Wed 12 April 2006
HARARE - Zimbabwe State Security Minister Didymus Mutasa on Tuesday
ratcheted up pressure against the opposition threatening to "use guns" to
thwart anti-government protests and warning its leader, Morgan Tsvangirai,
he will pay with his life if he called such protests.
Mutasa, in charge of the government's spy Central Intelligence
Organisation and probably the most powerful of President Robert Mugabe's
lieutenants, boasted that Mugabe and his ruling ZANU PF party had "shed
blood before" to free Zimbabwe from colonialism.
The Security Minister, who was responding to questions by ZimOnline on
whether the government would permit peaceful protests by the opposition,
said Tsvangirai and his Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) party would
"pay dearly" if they tried to take to the streets against Mugabe's
Mutasa said: "Anyone, particularly Tsvangirai who threatens peace and
stability in this country will get capital punishment .. and we mean it. We
maintain organs of national security such as the army to protect the
stability and integrity of our country. They will be instructed to use all
resources at their disposal, including guns (to stop protests)."
In a most chilling reminder to the opposition, Mutasa added: "We have
shed blood before to achieve independence. So let no one be fooled that we
will fold our arms while they (the opposition) cause mayhem and violence to
remove democratically elected governments. They will pay and pay dearly."
Tsvangirai, who says the MDC has lost faith in elections as a
democratic tool to change the government because Mugabe always rigs polls,
has vowed to call mass anti-government protests this winter to force the
government to accept a new and democratic constitution that would ensure
free and fair polls.
The MDC leader last Sunday told thousands of supporters at a rally in
Zimbabwe's second largest city of Bulawayo that he was ready to lead from
the front in street protests to force Mugabe to accept democracy even if it
could lead to his own death.
The rally attended by more than 5 000 supporters was the fourth the
opposition leader has held in major cities in the last two weeks to mobilise
Zimbabweans for mass anti-government protests whose date he has not yet
Mutasa's outburst is the latest in a series of similarly strongly
worded threats by the government against Tsvangirai and the MDC with Mugabe
having warned the opposition leader last month that he would be "dicing with
death" if he tried to instigate a mass revolt against the government.
The State Security Minister last month threatened to "physically
eliminate" opposition leaders if they attempted to remove the government
from power through mass protests.
Zimbabwe has been on edge since Tsvangirai and his MDC party resolved
at a congress last month that they would no longer limit themselves to
elections but would use what they called "people power" to pressure Mugabe
to embrace democracy.
Political analysts say the MDC that enjoys strong support in urban
areas is best placed to organise streets protests against the government.
But they also caution that the opposition party is at the moment too
weakened to confront the government and its army in the streets after it
split into two rival political parties last year.
Besides the Tsvangirai-led MDC - that is widely seen as the main rival
to Mugabe and ZANU PF - there is another faction of the opposition party
that is led by former student activist Arthur Mutambara. - ZimOnline
Wed 12 April 2006
HARARE - Zimbabwe National Army (ZNA) Major Craven Nkiwane yesterday
confirmed that the army was recruiting more soldiers, indicating that the
hiring of more men and women had in fact begun this week.
In a statement that was also given to ZimOnline, Nkiwane, who is
administrative officer of ZNA's One Brigade, said the recruitment exercise
kicked off earlier this week in the southern Matabeleland region.
Young men and women aged between 16 and 22 years, with a minimum
height of 1.6 metres and weighing around 55 kilogrammes started registering
to join the army from Sunday to yesterday at Tshololotsho and Lupane police
stations in Matabeleland.
ZimOnline had erroneously reported on Tuesday that the recruitment
exercise would only begin on April 26, which in fact is the date when the
new recruits are scheduled to begin their six-month training programme.
According to Nkiwane's statement, more young men and women will be set
to join the army at Binga police station on April 19, Hwange police station
on April 21, Nyamandlovu and Nkayi police stations on April 25 to wind off
the exercise in the Matabeleland region.
Nkiwane said in addition to stated physical qualities, the aspiring
soldiers should also have "five Ordinary Level passes, a long birth
certificate and a national identity document."
Each of the country's ten political provinces are expected to
contribute to the 5 000 men and women that the ZNA wants to hire in an
apparent reversal of the government's defence policy that in recent years
has focused on reducing the army by about 25 percent to between 30 000 and
35 000 soldiers.
The hiring of more soldiers comes as the main opposition Movement for
Democratic Change (MDC) prepares for mass anti-government protests in the
President Robert Mugabe, who has in the past deployed soldiers and
police to crush street protests by the opposition, has told MDC leader
Morgan Tsvangirai he would be "dicing with death" if he tries to instigate
popular revolt against the government. - ZimOnline
Wed 12 April 2006
HARARE - Struggling national carrier Air Zimbabwe on Tuesday announced
it was retrenching 30 percent of its workforce as part of what board
chairman, Mike Bimha, said was an exercise to rationalise staff and keep the
"The airline is embarking on a staff rationalisation exercise," Bimha
told journalists in Harare. "This will result in a 30 percent reduction out
of the 1 200 staff. The overriding objective of the shareholder, the board
and management is to return the airline to viability."
The reduction of staff levels at Air Zimbabwe comes in the backdrop of
a drastic decline in the number of tourists visiting the economically
troubled and potentially unstable southern African country.
Bimha said staffing levels had remained generally the same over the
years despite the drop in passenger uplifts as well as operating a smaller
fleet of aircraft, and the loss of market share, as foreign tourists shunned
Zimbabwe because of reports in the international media of political violence
and a breakdown in the rule of law in the country.
Zimbabwe was less than a decade ago one of the most stable African
countries with a vibrant economy but now stands on the brink of civil
conflict. The main opposition Movement for Democratic Change party has
threatened to call mass protests against President Robert Mugabe whom they
accuse of stealing elections and running down the economy.
Mugabe denies ruining Zimbabwe's economy and has threatened to unleash
the army to crush street protests against his government.
Air Zimbabwe, like other businesses operating in the country, has also
grappled a tough operating environment characterised by erratic fuel
supplies, declining passenger numbers, foreign currency shortages, declining
customer confidence and escalating costs.
With flights frequently cancelled for one or another reason, Air
Zimbabwe quickly lost its reputation as one of the more reliable airlines in
Africa and has only survived this far because the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe
has regularly pumped money into the airline to keep it afloat. - ZimOnline
Wed 12 April 2006
HARARE - Zimbabwe opposition legislator, Blessing Chebundo, has
resigned from a faction of the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) party
led by former student leader Arthur Mutambara.
He has rejoined the faction of the MDC led by Morgan Tsvangirai,
recognised by many political analysts as the main faction of the divided
Chebundo, who was recently appointed director of elections and chief
whip in parliament of the Mutambara faction, tendered his resignation to
secretary general Welshman Ncube last Thursday citing personal reasons.
"It is with deep regret that I have to advise that, due to very
personal reasons, I am no longer able to continue as the 'Director of
Elections, and as Chief Whip' of the MDC side led by Prof A Mutambara.
"My resignation from the above two positions is with immediate effect.
I trust, and wish the 'side' all the best," said Chebundo in his terse
resignation letter which was also copied to Mutambara and the faction's
deputy president Gibson Sibanda.
Chebundo's resignation appears to deal a serious body-blow to the
Mutambara faction of the MDC which has been struggling to attract huge
crowds to its rallies around the country.
Chebundo told ZimOnline last night that he had been "pressurised by
his constituency" to rejoin the Tsvangirai faction.
Priscilla Misihairabwi-Mushonga, who is the deputy secretary general
of the Mutambara-led MDC, confirmed Chebundo's resignation but claimed the
Kwekwe legislator had been threatened with unspecified action by
"The Tsvangirai faction has used the same tactics that ZANU PF has
been using over the years. It is not that Mavhaire (Dzikamai) wanted to come
back to ZANU PF but was put under intense pressure just like Chebundo. You
cannot blame him," she said.
Mavhaire was however never expelled from ZANU PF although he was once
suspended from the party after calling on President Robert Mugabe to step
Spokesman for the Tsvangirai-led faction, Nelson Chamisa, welcomed
Chebundo's return saying the legislator had "recommitted himself to the
noble cause of liberating Zimbabwe."
The MDC, which had presented the greatest challenge to Mugabe's
26-year old grip on power, is embroilled in a bitter factional war after it
split into two factions last year over the senate elections.
The factions have since held two separate congresses during which one
faction retained Tsvangirai as leader while the other elected Mutambara as
president. - ZimOnline
Wed 12 April 2006
HARARE - Fifty-one members of the National Constitutional Assembly
(NCA) civic group who were arrested last Friday for staging an illegal
demonstration in Harare were on Monday released from police custody after
the Attorney General's office declined to prosecute them.
A lawyer representing the protesters, Alec Muchadehama, told ZimOnline
on Monday that the AG's office had refused to prosecute the demonstrators
who had been in custody since Friday.
"I highlighted to the police on Friday that there was no basis to
arrest my clients. But the police insisted on detaining them over the
weekend," said Muchadehama.
Muchadehama said they had to pay Z$250 000 each admission of guilt
fines to have his clients released from police custody.
"We only accepted to pay fines as we did not want to continue exposing
our clients to inhumane conditions in the police cells. Otherwise, a trial
in court would have proven that these people are innocent," said the lawyer.
NCA chairman, Lovemore Madhuku, welcomed the release of the protesters
and vowed to stage more protests to demand a new, democratic constitution
"We are obviously happy about the release, but we are concerned by the
systematic way in which the regime is trying to instil fear in our members,"
"The arrest was just meant to embarrass and harass the NCA membership
to stop these demonstrations. But that will not deter us. We will only stop
after there is a new constitution," he said.
Under Zimbabwe's tough security laws, it is illegal for organisations
to demonstrate without first seeking approval from the police. But the NCA
has often defied the law resulting in a number of their members being
arrested during protests. - ZimOnline
By Violet Gonda
11 April 2006
READ MORE A fuming Raymond Majongwe from the main teaching union, the
Progressive Teachers’ Union of Zimbabwe (PTUZ), said a new circular titled
“Termly teacher rating by pupils” was distributed to all provinces to tighten
the screws on the already suffering teaching population. It’s reported that some of the issues that pupils from both
primary and secondary schools would be assessing their teachers on will include
questions like, does the teacher teach any politics in class? Does the teacher
talk about politics? The outspoken leader said the teachers are again and again being
subjected to torture; “This is violence against teachers and it’s unfortunate
really because we would have expected the same government to say, let’s get our
citizens and assess our ministers and I am sure the whole ministry of education
would lose their jobs.” This latest edict about teachers will ultimately create a culture
where students - who have no training to assess their superiors – will be
reporting about what a teacher does or does not do. The PTUZ warned it will not
allow this to happen and will take the government to court. This kind of system was made famous by Chairman Mao and Adolph
Hitler who both used children to report any deviance from official policy.
Majongwe said there is no law in Zimbabwe that allows this. He said; “Statutory
1 (of the education act) of 2000 does not allow for such things to happen. These
are things founded on threats and intimidation.” Majongwe believes whatever the government may try to do it won’t
work because it does not have the capacity. It does not even have the money to
print the forms to be distributed to all the schools. He said bottom-line, teachers need money; “If they are well
remunerated and there are good conditions of service, the results will be
positive.” If the government goes ahead with this plan it’s also feared that
this will simply bring animosity between teachers and their pupils and
ultimately it is the children who will suffer. Majongwe warned that teachers will adopt a position that will
liberate them from what he termed, “This rank madness that is gripping the
education ministry.” He said the bottom-line has to be made very clear; “Citizens of
this country must decide. As long as they keep quiet then they deserve the
leadership they have if they just sit down and just cry and not do anything with
their feet.” The PTUZ General Secretary also called on the civic and political
leaders to physically lead from the front. “ We have gone beyond talking… we
have been talking about leadership and there is no leadership. We have been
talking about change. The change doesn’t come. People must start to walk the
talk!” FULL AUDIO INTERVIEW; Archives click on Tuesday
archives HOT SEAT PROGRAMME - 11 APRIL
A showdown is looming between teachers and the government after a memo was sent to schools saying that starting next month school children will be assessing the teaching methods of their teachers.
Majongwe said this time the Ministry of Education has gone too far. He said; “It is nothing but madness. Teachers will be assessed by their pupils in areas like punctuality, the standard of dress, attendance, whether they are being given adequate work, whether they are prepared for lessons, whether they are being given homework, whether they know the subject or not, whether teachers are able to explain new concept, whether they are providing a stimulating learning environment.”
It’s feared that more teachers, who are already smarting from poor salaries and politically motivated factors, will resign.
A fuming Raymond Majongwe from the main teaching union, the
Progressive Teachers’ Union of Zimbabwe (PTUZ), said a new circular titled
“Termly teacher rating by pupils” was distributed to all provinces to tighten
the screws on the already suffering teaching population.
It’s reported that some of the issues that pupils from both primary and secondary schools would be assessing their teachers on will include questions like, does the teacher teach any politics in class? Does the teacher talk about politics?
The outspoken leader said the teachers are again and again being subjected to torture; “This is violence against teachers and it’s unfortunate really because we would have expected the same government to say, let’s get our citizens and assess our ministers and I am sure the whole ministry of education would lose their jobs.”
This latest edict about teachers will ultimately create a culture where students - who have no training to assess their superiors – will be reporting about what a teacher does or does not do. The PTUZ warned it will not allow this to happen and will take the government to court.
This kind of system was made famous by Chairman Mao and Adolph Hitler who both used children to report any deviance from official policy. Majongwe said there is no law in Zimbabwe that allows this. He said; “Statutory 1 (of the education act) of 2000 does not allow for such things to happen. These are things founded on threats and intimidation.”
Majongwe believes whatever the government may try to do it won’t work because it does not have the capacity. It does not even have the money to print the forms to be distributed to all the schools.
He said bottom-line, teachers need money; “If they are well remunerated and there are good conditions of service, the results will be positive.”
If the government goes ahead with this plan it’s also feared that this will simply bring animosity between teachers and their pupils and ultimately it is the children who will suffer.
Majongwe warned that teachers will adopt a position that will liberate them from what he termed, “This rank madness that is gripping the education ministry.”
He said the bottom-line has to be made very clear; “Citizens of this country must decide. As long as they keep quiet then they deserve the leadership they have if they just sit down and just cry and not do anything with their feet.”
The PTUZ General Secretary also called on the civic and political leaders to physically lead from the front. “ We have gone beyond talking… we have been talking about leadership and there is no leadership. We have been talking about change. The change doesn’t come. People must start to walk the talk!”
FULL AUDIO INTERVIEW; Archives
click on Tuesday archives HOT SEAT PROGRAMME - 11 APRIL 2006
[ This report does not necessarily reflect the views of the United Nations]
JOHANNESBURG, 11 Apr 2006 (IRIN) - Parents and educationists in Zimbabwe
have warned that a rise of more than 1,000 percent in school fees will force
larger numbers of children to drop out and preclude others from all
Inflation has hit a new high of 913 percent, bringing a 12-fold rise in the
cost of essentials. All schools, including those run by the government, said
they would have to enforce the increases, effective from May.
This is the second time this year that school fees have been hiked. Parents
had to fork out more money in January this year after private and missionary
schools raised tuition by between 150 percent and 500 percent. From May, the
fees in government-run primary schools will go up from US $4 a term to $18,
while pupils in missionary schools will pay $564 instead of $221 per term.
Pupils in private schools will have to lay out around $1,000, up from $440
they paid last term.
"To say the increase is too much is to understate this problem - it is
simply unaffordable for everyone. This is no longer a matter of haves and
have-nots; this increase is too much for everyone, poor and rich," a parent
in Zimbabwe's second city, Bulawayo, remarked.
According to the Consumer Council of Zimbabwe, an average family of five
requires at least $350 every month for essential food and services, but
average monthly incomes are often less than $100.
Leonard Nkala, former president of the Zimbabwe Teachers Association, told
IRIN that the new fee structure could only worsen the school dropout rate,
and many children would miss the opportunity of ever going to school.
"Inasmuch as people struggle to send their children to school, even in these
difficult circumstances, we have come to a point where people just want to
give up. Many people are now talking more about practical courses, which are
cheaper and shorter, than the academic process, which has just become
unaffordable," he commented.
According to UN Children's Fund (UNICEF) statistics for the period 1996 to
2004, only 44 percent of boys and 42 percent of girls enrolled in a
secondary school attended classes. "Zimbabwean children are faced with some
of the worst hardships confronting children anywhere in the world," said
UNICEF spokesman James Elder.
Zimbabwe has been experiencing runaway price increases since 2000, causing
living standards to plummet as salaries failed to match the rate of
inflation. Many parents told IRIN that their children would have to drop out
of school and look for work to help support the family.
The high cost of schooling has eroded the long-held notion that education
was the right of every Zimbabwean, said Nkala. "Education is now for those
with the money ... given the widespread retrenchments, soaring unemployment
rates and a food crisis that refuses to go."
The ministry of education was unable to comment on whether the government,
which reimposed price controls on basic commodities last week, would move to
act against the tuition fee increases.
By Lance Guma
11 April 2006
The embattled government of Robert Mugabe intends to sink over Z$250
billion in propping up the New Ziana news agency amid a worsening human
rights record. New Ziana boss Munyaradzi Matanyaire told the parliamentary
portfolio committee on Transport and Communications the agency had been
unbundled into three strategic business units but needed money to begin
operations. The agency plans to set up radio and satellite television in
addition to the news agency already running and churning out state
propaganda. War veteran and broadcaster Happison Muchechetere has been lined
up to run the stations.
Matanyaire, who was presenting oral evidence to the committee,
conceded that the proposed New Ziana short-wave radio project in Gweru was
political and could not generate 'the much needed revenue'. He said the
radio and satellite television stations were meant to counter what he called
'negative publicity against Zimbabwe by the hostile Western media.'
Observers have however pointed out that given the country's dire economic
situation the Z$250 billion needed for this propaganda campaign would better
serve the interests of ordinary people via the purchase of food and
Zoe Titus a programme Director with the Media Institute for Southern
Africa (MISA) told Newsreel 'the government has no business operating media
institutions.' She said authorities in Zimbabwe should be providing
platforms for other players to enter the broadcasting sector instead of
trying to control it. The government could avert negative publicity by doing
positive things in the media and that includes granting licences to
community broadcasters and local FM stations. Titus also said the billions
of dollars they wanted to use in the propaganda war could be better spent on
essential services for poor Zimbabweans.
The government has also invested heavily in equipment thought to be
from China to jam the shortwave transmissions of independent stations like
SW Radio Africa. Harsh media laws like the Access to Information and
Protection of Privacy Act (AIPPA) have been selectively used to shut down 4
SW Radio Africa Zimbabwe news
By Staff Reporter
Last updated: 04/11/2006 12:41:03
THE Zimbabwe government will sink Zim$152 billion setting up a propaganda
radio and satellite television station targeting its nationals in the
Diaspora as it fights to win the hearts and minds of a restive population.
In a report to the parliamentary portfolio on Transport and Communications
presented Monday, New Ziana Chief executive officer Munyaradzi Matanyaire
said George Charamba, President Robert Mugabe's press secretary had told him
that the projects had the "support from the highest level and I repeat from
the highest level".
Former Zimbabwe Broadcasting Co- oporation television anchor and Zanu PF
adhererent Happison Muchechetere would be in carge of the stations.
Matanyaire also said all the equipment for the radio project was already in
The Zimbabwe government has enacted harsh press laws that have resulted in
the closure of four newspapers in an effort to stem negative publicity
triggered by its ruinous policies.
Recently, the government has been funding visits by journalists on guided
tours from Asian countries as part of Mugabe's 'Look East' project.
Matanyaire said: "The radio programme to be on Shortwave (SW) and the
satellite television would solely target our people in the diaspora to
counter the negative publicity from those countries."
The station would be stationed in Gweru, but would have separate offices
from the state-run Power FM which targets locals. Matanyaire added that they
would needed $152 billion from treasury to implement the two projects.
Over the years, the government has been blaming negative publicity over its
appalling human rights record by the international media as the cause of an
unprecedented economic crisis.
Presenting his monetary policy in January, the country's central bank chief
Gideon Gono also blamed the economic mess on negative publicity that he said
portrayed Zimbabwe as a war zone.
Gono said: "The negative publicity by local, regional and international
media has thus, in effect, worked to undermine and destroy business
confidence and investor sentiment towards Zimbabwe."
Tue Apr 11, 2006 8:09 AM ET
HARARE (Reuters) - Zimbabwe has lifted a freeze on private health care
charges, the official Herald newspaper said on Tuesday, allowing fees to
double in a move likely to add to the woes of Zimbabweans grappling with
From April 1, general practitioners' consultation fees have gone up by 100
percent to 5.8 million Zimbabwe dollars ($58), the paper said, adding that
specialist physician fees have also been doubled to 8 million.
Zimbabwe's health sector is among those hardest hit by a deepening economic
crisis widely blamed on President Robert Mugabe's mismanagement, and showing
itself in perennial shortages of foreign currency, food and fuel as well as
constant water and electricity cuts.
"I do not want to kill the private sector. I want it to thrive so that it
can complement the public health sector," Herald quoted Health Minister
David Parirenyatwa as saying in justifying the price hike.
It follows a raft of basic commodity price hikes over the weekend in
response to a sharp jump in inflation, now the highest in the world.
Parirenyatwa was not immediately available for comment.
Official figures released last week showed inflation vaulted to 913.6
percent in the year to March, triggering a 60 percent jump in the cost of
bread for struggling urban dwellers whose salaries have failed to keep up
with soaring costs.
The Consumer Council of Zimbabwe says an average family of five requires at
least 35 million Zimbabwe dollars every month but an average middle class
citizen earns just 15 million.
Political and economic analysts say many urban Zimbabweans have so far
survived the country's long-running economic crisis through wheeling and
dealing and through subsidies from relatives abroad who send money for
Private hospitals and doctors, who still offer far better service than the
country's run-down government hospitals which are chronically short of drugs
and trained staff, had wanted to hike fees by up to 240 percent.
Government doctors and nurses have staged a number of strikes over the last
seven years to press for better pay, while thousands others have moved to
neighboring countries and further abroad in search of greener pastures.
Mugabe, in power since independence from Britain in 1980, rejects charges he
has misruled Zimbabwe and blames its economic woes largely on sabotage by
his opponents in retaliation for controversial land reforms that has seen
white-owned farmland forcibly redistributed among blacks.
By a Correspondent
HEALTH for all by the year 2000 was one of the most prominent of
slogans during the ruling Zanu PF's hey days of office. But the year 2000
marked the beginning of the country's worst political and economic crisis
and millions in the country no longer have access to health facilities.
Consultation fees and the cost of medication continue to skyrocket as like
all the other things in the country, the health delivery system continues to
Today was World Health Day and the day was marked under the theme
"Working Together For Health" but many Zimbabweans have nothing to
celebrate. The Zimbabwe Association of Doctors for Human Rights (ZADHR)
marked the day registering its concerns for health rights in Zimbabwe.
"This year's theme focuses on health workers and the essential
contribution they make to
strong, functioning health systems. We recognize that realization of
highest attainable standard of physical and mental health remains a
daily struggle for all health workers in Zimbabwe," the ZADHR said today.
The country's health delivery sector is presently in a state of crisis
with hospitals and clinics countrywide barely functioning due to a lack of
sufficient nurses and doctors. Operations at referral hospitals in Bulawayo
and Harare have been severely compromised
with many district and mission hospitals threatened with closure. Some
district hospitals are operating without medical officers as a result of the
continued massive exodus of qualified health workers.
"The failure to retain health workers results from many factors,
poor remuneration and lack of basic medical equipment necessary for
health workers to satisfactorily carry out their work," the doctors
The ZADHR also notes with concern the state of the country's main
referral hospital, Harare Central Hospital. The hospital is currently
operating with inadequate medical officers, indefinite closure of certain
wards including the intensive care unit (ICU) and break down of equipment
such as lavatories and elevators being among many other ills facing the
hospital. Harare hospital also has insufficient teaching staff for
undergraduate and graduate students.
"The right to health cannot be realized without well trained health
workers. We maintain that the economic challenges prevailing in Zimbabwe do
not justify government's failure to promote and protect the right to
health," ZADHR said. "Striving to achieve, at the very least, minimum
standards for health, is the basis of ending deprivation and inequality in
access to health."
Inadequate investment in the public health service continues to cause
severe shortages of staff, supplies and equipment, resulting in unnecessary
deaths and patient suffering.
Solutions do exist to Zimbabwe's health crisis, the doctors'
association said. The Government should take the lead in halting further
deterioration of the Zimbabwean health sector. The association says the
Ministry of Finance must ensure that health is made a priority in allocation
of resources by Government with a national public health strategy and plan
of action being developed to address the current crisis and lead to
protection and promotion of health rights;
The association is also calling for the development of effective
measures to prevent, treat and control epidemic and endemic diseases. With
respect to Harare Central Hospital, ostensible commitment by the Minister of
Health and Child Welfare to addressing the crisis prevailing at the hospital
must translate into effective action. The association says there is also
major need for more dedication of resources to improving salaries and
working conditions of health workers.
Zimbabwe Standard (Harare)
April 10, 2006
Posted to the web April 10, 2006
COMMISSIONERS running Harare city are now courting the business community to
repair roads and street lights in the city, The Standard has learnt.
Officials at Town House are busy working out incentives for companies
prepared to take up duties traditionally reserved for the local authority.
A full council meeting on Thursday tasked the City's Department of Works to
come up with the policy on the Prevention of Inner City Decay that would
give incentives to the business community prepared to bail out the local
According to the minutes, officials suggested that rates could be reduced
for organisations prepared to maintain certain roads and streetlights within
"The committee felt there was need to make the Central Business District a
more attractive environment for those who work in and enter it to buy
services and goods and implored council and all stakeholders to rehabilitate
the centre into a safe, clean, comfortable and beautiful place," reads part
of the minutes.
An internal city health department report warned that Harare was fast
degenerating into a "fly and rodent city" as a result of garbage that goes
uncollected for months .
The Herald (Harare)
April 11, 2006
Posted to the web April 11, 2006
ECONOMISTS say the absence of effective measures to combat inflationary
pressures could deal Zimbabwe's inflation battle a body blow, at least until
the beginning of the third quarter.
Although the food situation is projected to improve this year on the back of
a good agriculture season, economists believe inflation-fighting policies
have been half-baked, and might fail to contain inflation. A recent economic
report by a Harare financial firm noted: "The outlook for inflation remains
grim in the absence of any effective measures in place to curb inflationary
pressures. "In fact, recent policies announced such as the gazetting of 1
500 percent increase in the maize producer price, as well as subsidised
tobacco price will only serve to stoke inflation.
"To compound the situation, the aggressive mopping-up campaign instituted by
the Reserve Bank will have negative connotations on money supply growth
which is now entirely emanating from the public sector." Over the last two
months, the central bank has been issuing short-term Treasury bills to wipe
out excess liquidity in the market, and the strategy appears to have worked,
as the market has persisted in the de ficit.
But worrying March inflation figures have sparked new calls from analysts
for the apex bank to tighten its inflation-fighting policies, as the scourge
is threatening to get out of hand. The Central Statistical Office reported
last Friday that yearly inflation for March had climbed to 913 percent from
782 percent with the monthly rate coming down to 19,8 percent from 27,5
However, the CSO did not give reasons for the slowdown in the month-on-month
figure. Some economists have predicted that inflation could peak at around 1
100 mid-year before coming off to levels just under 450 percent by year-end.
Analysts say the country might have experienced an above normal rainy
season -- implying a bumper harvest -- but production was severely
constrained by inadequate preparations, and unavailability of critical
inputs such as fertilizer.
"Prospects for a meaningful recovery in the local economy during 2006 remain
elusive with agriculture and manufacturing yet to respon d positively to the
policy initiatives aimed at reviving the sectors," says another economic
report by Interfin Securities. "Inflation is certain to break the four-digit
mark in the second quarter as resurgent pressures continue unabated.
"While there might be a seeming improvement in maize availability during the
harvest season followed by temporary price stability, the projected deficit
suggests that there will be continued cost-push inflation pressure arising
from food requirements beyond the second quarter." Among the challenges
affecting the economy are high inflation, shrinking gross domestic product,
decline in the real value of the local currency and high unemployment.
Of late, the country has been subjected to a spate of massive price hikes,
salary adjustments and tariff increases coupled with critical foreign
currency shortages that feed heavily into inflation. It is against this
backdrop that economic experts believe Zimbabwe is faced with a Herculean
task in its fight against inflation.
The key to reining in CPI inflation lies in prudent exchange rate management
and putting a lid on speculative demand, analysts say. Monetary control has
also remained below desired levels with expansionary policies still arising
from the need to fund the country's agricultural sector. This is despite new
targets set by the central bank to slow down the rate of money supply growth
to levels in line with inflation expectations. Some economists have urged
monetary authorities to adopt stricter policies to guard against further
increases in inflation.
April 11, 2006, 10 hours, 45 minutes and 23 seconds ago.
By Tagu Mkwenyani
Harare (AND) WORKERS of Zimbabwe's power utility company down tools in
what may paralyse supplies in a country already experiencing frequent power
WORKERS of Zimbabwe's power utility company are on strike. There are
fears that the industrial action by Zimbabwe Electricity Supply Authority
(Zesa) workers may disrupt power supplies in the country, already reeling
from power outages.
The workers went on collective job action Friday saying the power
utility had reneged on earlier agreements to effect salary increments as per
an earlier agreement. On March 3 2006, the workers represented by their
unions, the Zimbabwe Electricity and Energy Workers Union (ZEEWU), Zimbabwe
Electricity Power Industry Workers Union (ZEPIWU) and the Zimbabwe Technical
Employees Association (ZTEA) had agreed on a 100% salary increase with
This was effective from 1 January and the same percentage hike
beginning April. The salary increments were for Grades A1 to D2 but ZESA
management refused to implement the agreement on the basis that it was
facing serious cash flow problems. This prompted the workers to down their
tools on Friday.
Ian Munjoma, EEWU secretary general confirmed the on-going strike.
Zesa management could not be reached for comment as they were reported to be
in a series of meetings.
At the request of the Zimbabwe Association, the ZimbabweVigil is sending out the following Press about the ruling on Zimbabwean Asylum Seekers at the Royal Courts of Justice tomorrow.
The Vigil, outside the Zimbabwe Embassy, 429 Strand, London, takes place every Saturday from 14.00 to 18.00 to protest against gross violations of human rights by the current regime in Zimbabwe. The Vigil which started in October 2002 will continue until internationally-monitored, free and fair elections are held in Zimbabwe. http://www.zimvigil.co.uk
PRESS RELEASE -
From: Zimbabwe Association (ZA), a support group for Zimbabwean asylum seekers and refugees in the UK
COURT OF APPEAL RULING ON ZIMBABWEAN ASYLUM SEEKERS
Date and Time:
Place: Court 71, Royal Courts of Justice,
The Home Office is appealing the
decision in October 2005 on the Country Guidance Case AA which found that it was
not safe to forcibly remove Zimbabwean asylum seekers from the
The ZA believes that it is NOT SAFE to
return asylum seekers to
The situation in
A further deterioration in the situation
is shown in Operation Taguta/Sisuthi (Eat Well) Report from the Solidarity Peace
Trust, April 2006, stating how the army now controls production of food in rural
If we cannot help people within
Media Enquiries: Sarah Harland (ZA coordinator) 07985037198, Yvonne Mahlunge (legal issues) 07984645994, Patson Muzuwa (ZA convenor) 07951725758