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Through the Valley, Richard looks at the plight of Zimbabwean refugees in South Africa. Without money, papers and contacts they struggle to survive in a country where they are not wanted and their stories are frequently desperate beyond imagination. Often, the only place they have to turn to is the church. This week a Catholic priest in Johannesburg has spoken up for sick Zimbabwean refugees who are refused treatment in hospital. The Catholic archdiocese is collaborating with the Methodist mission with housing, organising food aid and finding employment opportunities for these unfortunate refugees.

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HEALTHbeat, which takes an holistic view of issues concerning health and well-being. Dr Bob Choto has a list of accomplishments as long as his arm, he has lectured at universities worldwide and is a leading figure in the University of Zimbabwe medical department. His specialty is paediatrics, in particular infectious diseases and nutrition, and he also has an interest in cholera. He joins the programme to discuss the current health and welfare of Zimbabwean children, and he also talks about the rise in child abuse cases brought about by the economic crisis and the increasing numbers of vulnerable children in child-headed households.

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In Cathy Buckle’s Letter from Zimbabwe she writes, “The unity government is being torn apart over the retention of the Reserve Bank Governor, Gideon Gono. While they argue, threaten and grandstand, we look at our tattered lives.”

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Callback Pat says Zimbabweans need the rest of the world to intervene and end the suffering; Aviv Gruer is a keen art collector and he talks about the sad loss to the art world of the well-known sculptress Colleen Madamombe, and Hondo describes Gono as a ‘ZANU PF protected species,’ and adds that only if Gono goes can Zimbabwe have a chance of getting back on its feet.

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Hotseat with the second part of the debate on the constitution-making process with Constitution Minister Advocate Eric Matinenga and NCA leader Dr Lovemore Madhuku. Last week the two panellists differed sharply on who should spearhead the making of Zimbabwe’s new constitution. There have been concerns that if the NCA and other civic groups reject the government-led process they could miss out on a perfect opportunity to act as guardian of the people’s wishes. But if there is no consensus, how successful can the MDC be with a process that takes them away from their traditional allies, the NCA, ZCTU & ZINASU?

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Callback Wicklow says he was living in South Africa for a while but is now back in Zimbabwe because he believes the situation is improving, whereas Mandla vows to stay on in South Africa because he says nothing will change as long as Mugabe remains in power. Then, Chaka says Gono and Tomana should step down to allow for progress.

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BTH with Lee Johns
Imagine winning a High Court claim for over US$1 million against the Reserve Bank and on the day of this victory you are abducted by a gang of state agents and deported within 7 days. That is the story of Australian businessman Lee Johns who speaks to Lance Guma on Behind the Headlines. He narrates his experiences and how the bank, under Gideon Gono, is trying to under-cut his court victory by keeping him out of the country.

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Khumbu complains that forex is still difficult to get hold of and people are losing faith in the GNU; Masimba reports the University of Zimbabwe has not opened for a year and is now in a state of collapse. He says that this is a very bad time for the country’s youths, and it appears they are being left out of any plans for the future by the powers that be. Meanwhile, James says all 3 parties in the GNU should abide by the GPA if they want to get support from donors.

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The Heart of the Matter with Tanonoka Joseph Whande
On the eve of Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai’s whirlwind tour of Europe, Scandinavia and the United States, Tanonoka remarks that , ‘his mission is to convince allies and foes that he, not Robert Mugabe, is in charge and that his “intentions are clear”.’ But, Tanonoka asks “Tsvangirai’s biggest problem – how do you convince people that you are in charge when you are being humiliated on a daily basis and your intentions and progressive proposals for the country are always being thwarted on partisan grounds?”

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The Wednesday Forum
This is a weekly report from the London Monday Forum meeting, where speakers from politics, civic society, business, academia, and others with interests in Zimbabwe are invited to share ideas, plan actions and lobby with facilitators Jeff Sango and Sam. Zimbabweans at home and in the Diaspora are still struggling with the consequences of Mugabe’s disastrous socio-economic policies. How are Zimbabwean women in the UK facing these challenges, and what are they doing to address the situation at home? To discuss this issue the forum is joined by Maureen Ndawana of the Zimbabwe Women Network in the UK.
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