Two weeks ago, I wrote that a former finance minister in Mugabe’s government was rumoured to be planning to stand against Mugabe in the elections scheduled for March 29.  Now it is out in the open, and it seems that Simba Makoni really is going to challenge Mugabe.  How he will do this is still not clear as he is a member of Mugabe’s ruling ZANU-PF politburo – and Mugabe is the appointed ZANU-PF candidate.  It has been suggested that he may stand as an independent.
Cathy Buckle reports from Zimbabwe that Makoni said “Let me confirm that I share the agony and anguish of all citizens over the extreme hardships that we all have endured for nearly 10 years now.  I also share the widely held view that these hardships are a result of failure of national leadership and that change at that level is a pre-requisite for change at other levels of national endeavor.”
But the elections have been hastily organised and are already ridden with confusion and illegality.  Zimbabwe’s longest standing human rights organisation, the Catholic Commission for Justice and Peace in Zimbabwe says that the “prevailing electoral climate is not conducive to free and fair elections…” again. Voter registration procedures are cumbersome and many voters have been unable to register.  Voters don’t even know where the new electoral boundaries for constituencies are because the details were only published last week, and have still not been made available to the public.  There are no maps showing the boundaries, so people don’t know where to register.
Meanwhile the opposition MDC is hopelessly split into two factions, so it’ll probably only realistically be a two candidate race between Mugabe and Makoni – both senior members of the same ruling party…
Last week I wrote about mercenary Simon Mann being spirited out of Zimbabwe’s Chikurubi Prison to face being sodomised and then flayed alive by Equatorial Guinea President Teodoro Obiang Nguema.  There’s an interesting background to this affair with pictures of the prison he has been moved to in the UK’s Daily Mail.
On January 28, I wrote that South Africa was beginning to show signs of problems.  Rolling blackouts were disrupting power supplies and affecting gold mine production.  This has resulted in the South African Rand – its currency – falling to its lowest value against other world currencies for many years.  This is despite the booming demand for natural resources that has taken every other commodity currency to near peak values against major world currencies.  In 2007 China beat South Africa into second place as the world’s largest gold producer.  South Africa had been the world’s number one producer of gold since 1905…



Author, Peter Davies was a soldier in Rhodesia from 1963 to 1975, where he took part in the capture and interrogation of terrorists.  His novel, Scatterlings of Africa, is based on his own experience during Rhodesia’s war on terror, and personal observations of how terrorist activities impacted Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe) and its people.

Readers who would like to make a contribution to help innocent pensioners, who are unable to buy food and other basic necessities in Zimbabwe, should please contact Patricia Williams by email

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