The ZIMBABWE Situation Our thoughts and prayers are with Zimbabwe
- may peace, truth and justice prevail.

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Cattle and game ranching proposed for non-arable land

BULAWAYO, 12 April (IRIN) - Zimbabwe's Commercial Farmers Union (ZCFU) plans
to intensify livestock and game ranching programmes in Matabeleland South
and North to promote agricultural production on land unsuited to crop
farming.

ZCFU president Davison Mugabe told journalists in Bulawayo that the union
had tasked its regional offices in Matabeleland to consult local farmers in
designing proposals for both game and cattle ranching projects.

"Matabeleland is rich in wildlife and cattle ranching. It has the potential
to contribute to the national economy if these are exploited to commercial
levels of production. We are aware that some farmers want to venture into
these projects, but cannot do so because of lack of capital," said Mugabe.

The ZCFU was discussing the incorporation of both livestock and wildlife
farmers into the fund allocated for the livestock rebuilding programme with
the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ).

"With the money that has been availed by the RBZ and the Land Bank (formerly
Agri-bank) we are going to make sure we complement this with adequate
support extension services and advice," Mugabe said.

The ZCFU livestock resuscitation plans come at time when the national cattle
herd has been depleted by three years of consecutive drought.

Cattle breeders across Zimbabwe were forced to sell or abandon thousands of
animals following the invasion of farms in February 2000 by war veterans.

The wildlife population has also been depleted by the resettled people, who
began poaching indiscriminately soon after settling in areas where game was
plentiful.

Edward Mkhosi, former chief livestock and land use planner for the state-run
Agriculture Rural Development Authority (ARDA) in Matabeleland South, said
the ZCFU's plans for both livestock and wildlife farming were likely to be
upset by regular outbreaks of foot-and-mouth disease (FMD).

"Foot-and-mouth, which affects livestock and wildlife alike, is still a
major threat in the region. The theft and deliberate cutting of boundary
fences around game sanctuaries has led to free movement of buffaloes, which
are known to spread the disease. The government has failed to control FMD,
and one wonders how the ZCFU intends to control it. Success is possible, but
the ZCFU needs to tell government to come up with an intensive
disease-control programme," said Mkhosi.

Foot-and-mouth has been rampaging through Zimbabwe since it was detected at
a farm outside Bulawayo in August 2001. Government efforts to control it
have been severely hampered by a shortage of foreign currency to import the
necessary vaccines from neighbouring South Africa and Botswana.

Zimbabwe's national cattle herd has dropped alarmingly from an estimated one
million early last year to slightly over 300,000 this year.

Over 200,000 cattle are reported to have died due to the drought, while an
estimated 15,000 have succumbed to a combination of tick- and waterborne
diseases as a result of inconsistent dipping services.

A shortage of chemicals has meant that cattle in Zimbabwe have gone more
than eight months without their usual fortnightly dipping.

[ENDS]

IRIN-SA
Tel: +27 11 880-4633
Fax: +27 11 447-5472
Email: IRIN-SA@irin.org.za
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From The Times, 12 April

ICC will distance itself from new Zimbabwe crisis

By Richard Hobson

Pressure is growing on the ICC to save Zimbabwe cricket from the crippling
impact of interference by the Mugabe government after the thin cloak of
independence was finally whipped away over the weekend. Heath Streak,
removed as captain last week, has appealed to the governing body to "come
and investigate the grave situation at all levels of the game". With ten
contracted white players sacked by Ozias Bvute, the man charged with
enforcing a quota system, the sport is in crisis just eight days before
Zimbabwe are due to entertain Sri Lanka in a one-day international at
Bulawayo. At present, it looks as though they might field a virtual second
XI of non-white players. An argument that began when Streak sought changes
to ensure that all of the selection panel have experience of first-class
cricket has escalated to an extent that ought to alarm the ICC. Forthcoming
Test series pitting a politically-correct Zimbabwe team against Sri Lanka
and Australia would make a mockery of the game. Talks between players and
the Zimbabwe Cricket Union (ZCU) are scheduled for tomorrow and Wednesday
but Vince Hogg, the chief executive, has already been outflanked by Bvute, a
supporter of the Zanu PF party who is known to be close to Jonathan Moyo,
the interior minister. Mugabe himself was re-elected as patron of the ZCU
last year.

Bvute acted unilaterally when the players, who are backing Streak, missed
domestic commitments at the weekend. They had been given permission to opt
out by Hogg as attempts continued to broker a settlement. Streak has said
that he will withdraw his threat to retire, but that is understood to be on
the basis that his wishes over selection are approved. There seems little
prospect of an about-turn. As captain, Streak was subjected to heavy
criticism among those who saw him as a naive stooge of Mugabe rule. The
family farm was among those reclaimed as part of the land nationalisation
policy that has contributed towards economic collapse. Now he finds himself
a pariah, described as "racist" by the state-run Herald newspaper. Streak
has finally concluded that those within the ZCU who are motivated by cricket
rather than politics need urgent help. "These issues keep coming to the
surface and we need to deal with them once and for all," he said. "It is
something the ZCU has brought upon itself. I am not desirous of bringing
collapse and I hope that is not the case."

The ICC, however, does not seem prepared to intervene. A spokesman said last
night: "There is no doubt that in some countries the political system is
responsible for some team selections. I am not saying that is the case in
Zimbabwe, but in Sri Lanka for example. We are not in the business of
interfering there. These are generally internal issues and they need to be
resolved within the legal framework of the country involved. We have had
people in Kenya ask us to get involved there as well, and it is not
something that we do. It would be unprecedented for the ICC to be involved
any further." So, there is no prospect of sanctions or even condemnation of
Zimbabwe for such blatant manipulation of the sport; only the growing threat
of suspension and a fine of at least 1.1 million for the ECB should England
refuse to tour next winter. Suddenly the argument espoused by Hogg, that
withdrawal would leave the ZCU in serious financial trouble, becomes less
persuasive. The organisation no longer requires outside help to bring itself
to ruin and discussions a week tomorrow between the ECB and a ZCU
delegation, including Bvute, might now become wider-ranging.

From David Morgan, the ECB chairman, through the staff at Lord's down to the
players, there is no relish for the tour. Yet, unlike those urging an
immediate boycott, they are compelled to weigh any moral gesture alongside
the cost of isolation from the world game, estimated as high as 50 million.
It sits clamped between a rock and a hard place. If only the Government
would issue the clear instruction to pull out, which the Board craves to
avoid penalties. With the link between Mugabe's despotic regime and Zimbabwe
cricket now transparent, Tony Blair can both take the moral high ground and
give English cricket the help that it desperately needs. That is too much to
hope from the ICC.
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Reuters

Zimbabwe players to boycott practice session

Mon April 12, 2004 11:48 PM By Telford Vice
DURBAN (Reuters) - Up to 11 Zimbabwe players will boycott a training
session in Harare on Tuesday in support of former captain Heath Streak, a
senior player told Reuters on Monday.

The boycott will be the latest development in a saga that began at the
start of the month when Streak's tenure as captain ended at a Zimbabwe
Cricket Union (ZCU) board meeting.

The ZCU said Streak had resigned and quit all cricket after his
demands concerning the composition of the national selection committee had
been dismissed.

The pace bowler's father, Denis Streak, has denied his son resigned.

"We were due to practice at 0900 (0700 GMT) but everyone has agreed
that we won't turn up," a senior player said from Harare.

Eleven contracted players have threatened to resign if Streak is not
reinstated. They are due to resume negotiations with the ZCU on Tuesday.

Zimbabwe play Sri Lanka in the first of five one-dayer in Harare on
April 20.

Wicketkeeper Tatenda Taibu, 20, named as Streak's successor, will
become the youngest test captain when he leads Zimbabwe against Sri Lanka in
the first test in Harare on May 6.

Streak told Reuters on Monday he would refuse to play for the ZCU
until they addressed his concerns over selection but added: "I've spoken to
Tatenda this weekend, and he's aware of some of my grievances.

"He has my full support, I have no grudges or issues with him. I
cannot work for the ZCU, but if and when those issues are resolved I'm quite
happy to play for Zimbabwe under Tatenda's captaincy.

"In the interim I'm willing to give as much help and advice as he or
the team may require."

Zimbabwe, already struggling to compete at test and one-day level,
lost two leading players -- batsman/wicketkeeper Andy Flower and bowler
Henry Olonga -- after the World Cup last year.

The pair wore black armbands to "mourn the death of democracy" in
Zimbabwe under President Robert Mugabe's administration.

The sport in Zimbabwe has traditionally been dominated by white
players but the ZCU is keen to see black players breaking through at the top
level.
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xinhua

Zimbabwe govt. urged to buy farm equipment from commercial farmers

www.chinaview.cn 2004-04-13 01:44:45

HARARE, April 12 (Xinhuanet) -- Zimbabwean Minister of
AgricultureJoseph Made said here Monday that farm equipment being acquired
from former commercial farmers should be bought by the state and placed
under management of an efficient institution so that anyonewho needs it can
have access to it.

He was commenting on recent revelations that some top civil
servants and politicians were abusing the Presidential Powers (Temporary
Measures) Acquisition of Farm Equipment or Material Regulations to acquire
tractors and implements from former commercial farmers for themselves.

Local newspaper the Sunday Mail reported that equipment that
included tractors and combine harvesters had been moved from Chegutu
district between Thursday and Friday last week.

The report said the equipment was being sold on behalf of former
commercial farmers at Dodhill warehouse in Chegutu.

"Let the state buy the equipment so that it can be put at the
disposal of everyone who wants to use," said Made.

He said it is wrong for a person to invest in capital
equipmentbefore they reached the capacity to use it, as they would let it
lie idle while others were in need of it.

He said should the state want to dispose of the equipment at a
later stage, the process should be conducted in a transparent manner that
did not favor a few individuals.

Made said there was need to increase production and productivity
to make up for time lost when the country experienceddroughts during the
past three years

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xinhua

Pressure group seeking black economic empowerment established in
Zimbabwe

www.chinaview.cn 2004-04-13 01:45:18

HARARE, April 12 (Xinhuanet) -- A new pressure group seeking
legislation and promotion of economic empowerment of black people in
Zimbabwe has been established, an official with the group announced here on
Monday.

National Empowerment Group spokesman Lloyd Mushore said the group
was aimed at ensuring the majority of Zimbabweans a prominent share in the
wealth of the country.

He said the past imbalances of wealth among Zimbabweans should be
reviewed with everyone in mind regardless of status.

He said the group would press for the crafting of legislation
covering the economic empowerment of black people. "There is need for
legislation on indigenization and black empowerment to providea just
framework."

He said the pressure group would work with stakeholders in the
private and public sectors of the black business community with the same
vision.

Caleb Chihota, a secretariat member, said "the National
Empowerment Group would foster, encourage, stimulate and promote debate on
the fair and equitable distribution of wealth among Zimbabweans."

The huge gap between rich and the poor in Zimbabwe is slowly
catching up with that of Brazil. "This gap is an urgent problem for our
country," said Chihota.

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Zesa Tariff Hike Threatens Companies

Zimbabwe Standard (Harare)

April 11, 2004
Posted to the web April 12, 2004

Richard Musazulwa
Gweru

Manufacturing firms in the Midlands are threatened with closure if the
massive hike in electricity tariffs by Zesa is not urgently reviewed. This
emerged during an industrial tour of Gweru companies last week by Samuel
Mumbengegwi, the Minister of Industry and International Trade.

Two giant companies in the city - glass and shoe manufacturing, Zimglass and
Bata Shoe Company - raised concern over the high tariffs that they said
affected the smooth operation of their companies as well as those of other
smaller manufacturers in the province.

They said the impact and effect of this massive tariff hike would result in
employee lay-offs or the total collapse of the manufacturing sector in the
province.

Jacob Dube, Zimglass managing director, said his company paid $6 million in
electricity bills in February alone and was shocked to receive another $26
million bill for March.

An official from Bata told the minister that the shoe maker might be forced
to close its Kwekwe plant and transfer critical staff to the main plant in
Gweru should the electricity hikes keep going up.

In response, Mumbengegwi promised to take up the matter to higher
authorities.

Zimbabwe's poor economic environment has made the country unable to generate
enough power and now it relies heavily on electricity imports at much higher
costs.

The poorly managed Wankie Colliery is also not operating at full capacity
thereby failing to produce adequate coal to feed the three thermal stations
in Harare, Munyati and Bulawayo.

National Railways of Zimbabwe (NRZ) has also compounded the problems through
its failure to repair more than 100 wagons and locomotives to help
transport, at cheaper cost, the little available coal to the thermal
stations.

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Fare Hikes Anger Mutare Commuters

Zimbabwe Standard (Harare)

April 11, 2004
Posted to the web April 12, 2004

Mutare

Urban commuter operators here last week hiked commuter fares by 50 percent
raising the ire of the already over-burdened residents.

Fares from city to Dangamvura, which is about 12km from the city centre -
were raised from $1 000 for a single trip to $1 500.

Residents of Saku-bva and Chikanga suburbs, both which are less than 5 kms
from the city centre, will now have to fork out $1 200 for a journey that
used to cost only $800.

Isau Mupfumi, President of the Zimbabwe Stage Carriage Association, (ZSCA)
Manicaland region, last week defended the fare increases saying the cost of
running their business was under threat if they did not hike fares. ZSCA is
an association of public transport operators.

"Long distance bus operators have increased their fares and we had no choice
but to follow suit as we are in the same industry," said Mupfumi.

But commuters last week lashed out at the operators accusing them of robbing
them of their hard-earned money.

"These new fares were never officially announced before being effected. It
is my belief that these fares were never gazetted by the government as is
the usual practice, hence they are illegal," fumed Emily Munyoro of Sakubva
in Mutare.

Munyoro said the operators should have at least informed the commuters in
advance of the impending increment.

Another Mutare resident, Ronald Muuya said the fare increment would lead to
many residents resorting to walking to and from town to cut down on
transport costs.

"Most of us can no longer cope with the cost of living in the city. We will
have to walk some of the days if our salaries are to last the whole month,"
Muuya said.

He said he was also contemplating buying a second hand bicycle to use for
travelling to and from town.

Mupfumi - who operates probably the largest fleet of commuter buses in
Manicaland - said spares for buses were too expensive. He told The Standard
for the public transport sector to remain viable increments had to be
effected when necessary.
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xinhua

Zimbabwe steps up tourism marketing in Asia

www.chinaview.cn 2004-04-13 01:45:39

?HARARE, April 12 (Xinhuanet) -- The Zimbabwe Tourism Authority (ZTA)
said here on Monday that it plans to increase its marketing activities in
the Asian region to underpin the growth.

ZTA Chief Executive Tichaona Jokonya said Asia was a huge untamed
tourist market for Zimbabwe, and the organization was pursuing a number of
initiatives to develop it.

Last year, Asia was the biggest growth market for tourists for
Zimbabwe at an increase of 40 percent over the previous year, withJapan,
India and China accounting for much of it.

In numbers, a total of 40,791 Asian tourists visited Zimbabwe last
year, up from 29,075 in the previous year.

"All the East Asian markets are growing. We have China which isnow
a giant in every respect, coming on board," said Jokonya.

"We are planning to develop this market, which in time can be the
largest market for tourists for Zimbabwe, and other countries in the
region," he said.

In pursuit of the goal, the ZTA has organized promotional
tripslater this year to a number of Asian countries and regions, including
China, Hong Kong and Malaysia, jointly with other players in the local
tourism industry.

Jokonya said tourism attaches had also been appointed to
Zimbabwe's embassies in China and Malaysia, and plans were afoot for others
to be deployed at the country's missions in India, Japan, Thailand and
Mauritius.

Zimbabwe and China recently signed a tourism agreement, which
Jokonya forecast would translate into increased inflows of Chinesetourists
to Zimbabwe.

Among projects being considered under the agreement was the
national carrier, Air Zimbabwe, flying to China.

Jokonya said Asia, where the economies of the countries in the
region enjoy the fastest growing rates in the world, had the potential to
surpass Europe as Zimbabwe's biggest tourism market.

The European tourism market for the country has slumped in recent
years, after Britain led a media onslaught against its former colony in the
last four years, in a vain attempt to thwart the government's land reforms.

Jokonya said diversifying Zimbabwe's tourism source markets
wascrucial for the long-term survival and growth of the industry, which got
44.1 million US dollars in foreign currency earnings last year.
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The Age

Zimbabwe tour could be farce: FlowerAlex Brown
Sydney
April 13, 2004

Zimbabwe's most capped cricketer has warned Australia to prepare for a
"farcical" tour of the African nation next month following the sacking of 12
senior white players over the weekend and threats of further walkouts.

According to Grant Flower, the Zimbabwean Cricket Union's decision to axe
the likes of Stuart Carlisle, Craig Wishart and Ray Price, supposedly for
not playing in a recent round of domestic matches, has threatened the
legitimacy of Australia's tour and Zimbabwe's status as a Test-playing
nation.

Cricket Australia officials pledged to monitor Sri Lanka's tour of Zimbabwe
this month, but remained committed to Australia's visit provided players'
safety was not threatened.

Flower believed the series could inflict irreparable damage on Zimbabwe's
already dented reputation as a cricketing force.

"(The ZCU) think that cricket will carry on regardless and they may as well
have 11 black players on the field," said Flower, a 67-Test veteran. "I
think the Australian tour could prove farcical. There's a very good
possibility that we could lose Test and one-day status, but our board thinks
otherwise. They think we'll lose these games anyway, regardless of who
plays.

"All we know at this stage is that Heath Streak has definitely been fired
from the captaincy, but is allowed to keep going as a player. Now we're
hearing that some guys who were supposed to play for Mashonaland have been
sacked, but haven't been phoned by the board. Under the current conditions,
all our guys have had enough."

Streak was sacked from the national captaincy after presenting a list of
player demands to ZCU officials.

An undermanned team could be further eroded after Ozias Bvute, the ZCU board
member charged with enforcing Zimbabwe's racial quota system, announced the
sacking of 12 white players over the weekend, heightening the likelihood of
further walkouts.

Meanwhile, Cricket Australia spokesman Peter Young confirmed that the
volatile political climate in Zimbabwe would be monitored closely.

"Our position is to complete the tour so long as player safety isn't an
issue," he said.

Sri Lanka's tour of Zimbabwe will begin on a contentious note, with the ICC
set to release its findings on Muttiah Muralitharan's doosra later today.
"If the report finds something, all he has to do is not bowl the doosra,"
said Sri Lanka coach John Dyson. "I've told him before, I think he bowls it
too much."

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Channel News Asia

Zimbabwe leaves Mbeki on the defensive in South African elections

JOHANNESBURG : President Thabo Mbeki is on the defensive over his failure to
persuade President Robert Mugabe to change his hardline policies, with
opposition parties calling on South Africa to speak out against the human
rights crisis in Zimbabwe.

Just after taking over from Nelson Mandela, Mbeki was confronted with a
major foreign policy challenge in 2000 when South Africa's most important
neighbor forged ahead with a land reform program under which white
commercial farms were seized and given to blacks.

The program was widely seen as a political ploy by Mugabe to cling to power
in the face of the growing popularity of the opposition Movement for
Democratic Change, which rejects Mugabe's victory in the 2002 presidential
election.

Led by veterans of Zimbabwe's war for independence, the campaign saw white
ownership of productive land reduced from 30 percent to three percent.

At least 12 white farmers were killed and tens of thousands of their black
farm workers were driven off the farms, some of them brutally beaten.

Many farm workers were beaten or had their homes burnt down and today around
two million workers and their dependents have been evicted from the farms
without benefiting from the land reform programme.

The expropriations were followed by a series of droughts, leaving Zimbabwe,
once southern Africa's bread basket, dependent on international aid with the
latest estimates showing that 5.5 million Zimbabweans will need food aid
this year.

The humanitarian crisis has been compounded by a Mugabe-led crackdown on
dissent that has targeted political opponents, human rights activists,
journalists and trade union activists.

Three million refugees have fled Zimbabwe, most of them to South Africa,
which is growing more anxious about the prospects of its northern neighbour
descending into all-out chaos.

But Mbeki's governing African National Congress, Africa's oldest liberation
movement, feels a loyalty to Mugabe's Zimbabwe African National Union -
Patriotic Front (ZANU-PF), which also led the struggle against colonialism
and racism.

Despite his repressive policies, Mugabe remains to many in Africa a freedom
hero.

Mbeki has been pressing Mugabe to open up to talks with the opposition to
end the crisis in Zimbabwe, which has come under sanctions from the United
States and the European Union.

But his entreaties appear to have fallen on deaf ears with Mugabe bluntly
stating that he was not ready to sit down for talks with the "enemy."

"President Mugabe does not take instructions from me", Mbeki said last month
during a campaign swing through KwaZulu-Natal province.

South Africa's opposition has fiercely criticised Mbeki's stance on Zimbabwe
in campaigns ahead of general elections Wednesday, arguing that his failure
to publicly condemn was in fact emboldening Mugabe.

"President Thabo Mbeki's government's credibility as a consistent supporter
of human rights and democracy is withering in the face of the outlaw regime
of Mugabe and his ZANU-PF," says Graham McIntosh, spokesman for the
Democratic Alliance, the main opposition party.

Former Anglican archbishop Desmond Tutu has publicly attacked Mbeki's stance
on Zimbabwe.

"What has been reported as happening in Zimbabwe is totally unacceptable and
reprehensible and we ought to say so," Tutu said.

"The credibility of our democracy demands this. If we are seemingly
indifferent to human rights violations happening in a neighbouring country,
what is to stop us one day being indifferent to that in our own?"

But others say Mbeki is treading a fine line and that his so-called quiet
diplomacy may yet yield results.

"To shout at Mugabe, publicly reprimanding him on account of his violations
of human rights and his government's misconduct will not persuade him to
change his ways," wrote former foreign minister Pik Botha of the last
apartheid-era government in an editorial published in Johannesburg's This
Day newspaper last week.

- AFP
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Black dairy farmers opt for crop production
HARARE, 12 Apr 2004 (IRIN) - Milk production in Zimbabwe faces a new
challenge as inexperienced black dairy farmers abandon the industry and opt
for crop production.

The new farmers were given dairy farms to rear cows and produce milk during
the fast-track land redistribution exercise.

Silas Chirume, 45, whose farm is situated in the Beatrice area, about 80
kilometres to the southwest of Harare in Mashonaland East province, is one
of scores of farmers who are abandoning dairy farming.

Chirume told IRIN he had acquired his farm in 2002, but was finding it
increasingly difficult to continue with milk production because the number
of cows had dropped from 80 to 25.

He obtained a loan from the government to buy the dairy herd from the white
owner of the farm, who had since relocated to New Zealand.

"I started off with 80 cows, but I was forced to slay 40 of them and sell
the meat in order to be able to repay the loan that I acquired from the
government. The other 15 were either stolen or died due to natural causes,"
said a distraught Chirume.

"The major obstacle in [the dairy] industry is of the scarcity of inputs.
When I took up dairy farming I thought it was an easy business, but hardly
had I started, did I realise that there was much more to it than leading
cows into a milking pen," he said.

"I have had a difficult time trying to acquire stock-feeds, which are
generally in short supply in the country. I am failing to access enough
financial support from the banks, some of which say my business has become
too risky," Chirume complained.

Stock-feeds are highly priced because they are in short supply after two
successive droughts and reduced production caused by the removal of white
farmers, who produced the bulk of the cereal crops required in manufacturing
the feed.

More than half the costs in diary farming are incurred by stock-feeds,
according to a presidential land review report produced in August last year.

"Stock-feed products have now become very expensive for farmers, and
production viability, in the face of controlled producer prices in all
livestock sectors, has been severely affected," the report noted.

Chirume said he was also unable to provide adequate veterinary services for
his cattle, because he did not have the financial resources. The situation
was aggravated by the fact that drugs and dosing chemicals were also in
short supply.

"It was painful to watch as some of my cows succumbed to diseases such as
foot-and-mouth because I could not afford to buy the vaccines, which,
anyway, could hardly be found," he said.

Chirume, without the approval of the government, was now experimenting with
paprika and soya beans. Even though he was not sure whether the soil on his
plot was suitable for these two cash crops, he was hoping to earn more money
this year from them than he did from dairy farming.

A recent survey by the National Association of Dairy Farmers (NADF), which
has 318 members, showed that the number of dairy farmers was still
declining, with 120 farmers, mostly black, having given up since 2000. The
NADF expressed concern that the country would end up as a net importer of
milk if the situation continued.

NADF spokesperson Hilary Blair told IRIN that the prohibitive costs involved
in dairy farming were a major contributing factor in the declining number of
farmers, as were ongoing insufficient feed supplies, caused by farmers being
prohibited from growing cereal crops for silage.

"Many producers also do not have access to sufficient arable land and
natural veld; many producers have been prevented from growing maize and
sorghum for silage, and utilising natural veld," Blair said.

"There are many examples where milk production on a farm has dropped by 25
percent to 45 percent because of insufficient feed, as a result of the
farmer not being able to carry on with normal cropping programmes," she
explained.

Blair said prohibiting the planting of cereal crops for fodder affected
mainly the remaining white farmers who had been spared the compulsory
acquisition of their farms.

She acknowledged that the national dairy herd had been affected by thefts,
with new settlers mostly being suspected of cattle rustling and slaughter.

"There are many reported cases of theft, slaughter and maiming of dairy
cattle," she said, adding that milk production was currently 60 percent of
what it had been before the land reform programme began.

The country needs over 13 million litres of milk every month, but production
is now less than 9 million litres.

Another new dairy farmer, Tamuka Zimuto, 51, in the Goromonzi area, some 35
kilometres to the east of Harare in Mashonaland East, said he was also
turning to crops because milk production was "too demanding". Maize farming
was easier for him because he grew up in a rural community where it was
grown.

He also bemoaned the fact that when he got onto his plot, some of the
infrastructure had been vandalised or stolen.

"Dairy farming was mostly the preserve of white farmers, and blacks were
minimally involved in it before the land reform programme. As a result, most
of us who went into dairy lacked the required expertise and it will need a
strong policy initiative on the part of government and farmers' unions to
train dairy farmers," said Zimuto.

He admitted that he only visited the farm on weekends, as he was a full-time
employee with a freight company in Harare.

Blair attributed the disillusionment new dairy farmers were experiencing to
this part-time and "half-hearted" approach. She also said new farmers lacked
the expertise required for successful dairy farming.

"Dairy farming demands a farmer with years of experience and training. He
must be a farmer, a veterinary doctor, a nutritionist and he must be on duty
24 hours a day, 365 days a year. These facts may help explain why new and
inexperienced dairy farmers may be abandoning their new-found trade," she
said.

The presidential land review report recommended that 20,000 heifers be
imported "to boost the national herd", and "concrete plans by [the
government] should be made to increase the number of new indigenous farmers
in milk production through various support programmes," to resuscitate the
dairy industry.
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Sharp Rise in Daylight Muggings in Harare

Zimbabwe Standard (Harare)

April 11, 2004
Posted to the web April 12, 2004

Caiphas Chimhete

A SHARP scream drew the attention of commuters growing restless after
queuing for hours waiting for transport to Kuwadzana Extension in Harare
after the day's work.

At around 7:30 PM, on a Wednesday evening, none of the commuters could have
been prepared for what took place right under their noses.

A young boy in his teens was writhing in agony with a broken collarbone and
blood oozing from the back of his head.

Five young men, seemingly drunk and shouting obscenities, leisurely walked
away from the scene at the corner of Nelson Mandela and Mbuya Nehanda roads
apparently unworried by the presence of curious onlookers.

They had robbed the young man of a cellphone and $100 000 from his wallet
before throwing the wallet back to him.

"They have killed me S they have killed me," wailed the boy in Shona to a
handful of sympathisers who had gathered around him.

But most of the commuters kept a safe distance from the bleeding teenager.
They were more concerned about finding transport to their own homes than
assisting the injured boy and possibly suffer the inconvenience of a police
interrogation.

It later emerged that the teenage boy had been followed by the five men
after he withdrew some money at an automated teller machine (ATM) at a bank.
Realising that the boy was about to reach where he would board an omnibus
home, the muggers pounced.

"He was hit by one of the robbers with a blunt metal object which was hidden
underneath a dust coat. When he fell to the ground the other robbers emptied
his pockets," said one eyewitness.

Cases of robbery and muggings in Harare's inner city have drastically
increased in the past few years.

While other crimes of robbery, muggings, theft and car jackings are
committed under the cover of darkness, most of the street muggings now take
place in broad daylight, as the robbers become more daring.

"It is dangerous. I see people being attacked everyday, but I cannot assist
because they will kill me instead," said Thomas Matibenga, a vendor who
sells cigarettes at the entrance of a noisy nightclub.

In February, a 14 year-old street kid was raped while sleeping in a sanitary
lane between Angwa and First Street in central Harare. The shocking incident
took place hardly three weeks after a 38-year-old woman was raped by a gang
of street people in the CBD on her way home from work.

Hararians blame street kids and the police for the rising incidents of
criminal activity in the city centre. "It's not only the street kids. Hard
core criminals are roaming the streets of Harare. Even mahwindi (touts) are
working in cahoots with these criminals but if you report them to the police
you see them free the following day," fumed Marian Taruvinga of Mufakose.

Taruvinga said the police's response to crime reports was disappointing. She
said that in most cases the police were reactive in their approach rather
than being pro-active or preventative.

But police spokesperson Inspector Andrew Phiri said the police have
intensified efforts to reduce crime in the city centre. He said since
reports of rape cases in Harare early this year, the police had intensified
foot, bicycle and vehicle patrols in the CBD.

"Presently we have "Operation Rarama" targeting traffic offenders and
"Operation Clean-Up" which started in Mbare but nets all criminals including
touts found terrorising commuters," said Phiri.

An irate Gerald Chimanga, however, was not impressed Phiri's explanation.

"You only see police at robots and intersections when President Mugabe is
driving from the airport or coming from his home area," said Chimanga.

Sociologist Gordon Chavunduka attributed the rise in crime in the city
centre to the general economic meltdown and breakdown of the rule of law.

He said because of poverty and the breakdown of the rule of law, many people
were no longer afraid to take risks such as committing crimes.

"They know there are chances that they will go scot-free. Because of that
they are more than willing to take chances," said Chavunduka.
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Province Expects Better Yields

The Herald (Harare)

April 12, 2004
Posted to the web April 12, 2004

Harare

MATABELELAND South, which was last year declared a state of disaster, has
come out of the drought with communal farmers in most parts of the province
expected to get above-average maize and sorghum harvests.

The province, like most parts of the country, received above normal rainfall
this season, although at the start of the wet season it looked as though it
was heading for yet another drought.

Chief Agricultural Research and Extension Officer for Matabeleland South Mr
Bernard Mneri Sibanda said the department's crop assessment showed that a
sizeable number of farmers would get better yields this year compared to the
past few years.

"When the rains came in October, cattle were weak as the grazing was not
adequate, so the communal farmers had a problem of draught power.
Nevertheless, those with donkeys and tractors managed to plant under those
circumstances," said Mr Sibanda.

He said farmers in Gwanda, Beitbridge, Plumtree, Insiza and Matobo districts
had planted maize on 45 600 hectares of land.

Figures for Umzingwane District were not available.

"However, there was a long mid-season dry spell which resulted in the
early-planted maize crop being a write-off. Some farmers re-planted and
others heeded our advice to stagger their planting.

"The late-planted crop is in a good condition as a result," he said.

Some farmers planted as late as last month and with the amount of moisture
in the soils, they were likely to "get something", especially if their areas
were not "frost-sensitive".

"The temperatures will be low so we do not expect a lot of evaporation," he
said.

Mr Sibanda said some areas in the province where there were sandy soils
might have been affected by leaching, as most farmers did not have
fertiliser to arrest the problem.

Leaching was pronounced in the Stanmore, Matshetshe and Dwala areas in
Gwanda North.

However, he said, projections were that a total of 23 290 tonnes of maize
were likely to be harvested in Insiza, Plumtree, Beitbridge, Matobo, and
Gwanda.

Mr Sibanda said good harvests of sorghum and peal millet were expected in
most parts of the province, although the crop yields would be reduced owing
to damage by birds.

In Insiza, where 19 300 hectares were put under maize, 15 400 tonnes of the
crop were expected to be harvested.

"Most of the maize crop in Filabusi was affected by the mid-season drought.
However, the late-planted crop is at knee height to grain filling stage," Mr
Sibanda said.

In Matobo, where the farmers planted maize on 17 000 hectares of land, a
combined harvest of 3 400 tonnes of maize was expected, while in Plumtree,
where the late-planted crop is at knee height, about 2 100 tonnes of maize
is expected from 7 000 hectares.

"As for Beitbridge, the early-planted crop was a write-off like in most
parts of the province, but the late-planted crop is in good condition and at
varying stages from emergence to the tasselling stage," he said.

Mr Sibanda said only 800 hectares were put under maize in Beitbridge and
this was expected to yield 1 600 tonnes as the farmers were expecting an
average yield of two tonnes per hectare.

"Beitbridge, however, has a good sorghum crop which has matured and the
farmers are expecting an average of two tonnes per hectare from 70 000
hectares of sorghum," he said.

Gwanda has the lowest projected maize yields as only 750 tonnes of maize are
expected from 1 500 hectares on which the crop was planted.

Mr Sibanda urged farmers to start planting such winter crops as wheat,
saying they should take advantage of the moisture in the soil.

"Immediately after harvesting, they should start ploughing in preparation
for the next season," he said.

The Government has announced that it will divert funds set aside for drought
relief programmes to other humanitarian assistance schemes if an assessment
being carried out reveals that every farmer in the country has harvested
enough food.

The Government allocated $48 billion for drought relief programmes this
year.
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mmegi, Botswana

Media manipulation

4/12/2004 8:29:51 PM (GMT +2)

Koosaletse told the Congress that the BDP continues to flout laws and
democratic principles with impunity.

He recalled that in 2000, the BCP complained to the Ombudsman with
regard to public officers accompanying Vice President Ian Khama on political
party activities and that he was also piloting Botswana Defence Force (BDF)
aircrafts. He said the Ombudsman ruled against the intransigent Vice
President but in vain. "The recalcitrant Vice President chose to ignore this
ruling and we were left dumbfounded to learn that the President has now
sanctioned the VP's illegal flying of the army aircrafts. Let me hasten to
congratulate the Ombudsman for his unparalleled independence. He did not
only corroborate our principled position, but also lamented ineptness of the
Office of the Presidency which ignored his advice," said Koosaletse.

He added that failure to act on the Ombudsman's ruling is tantamount
to suspension of the rule of law. "Our next move is to take the matter to
the Speaker of the National Assembly and ask parliament to take action," he
declared.

The BCP leader commended the Namibian president Sam Nujoma for not
seeking a fourth term. He expressed hope that other SADC leaders will
encourage such a move. He expressed concern about the economic and political
situation in Zimbabwe, which continues to deteriorate.

"This is a source for concern. African leaders appear silent and
indifferent to the plight of fellow Africans, particularly when their
colleagues transgress the rights of ordinary citizens. We call upon SADC and
the African Union to act on Zimbabwe without delay. We also call upon all
forces of democracy around the world to put pressure on President Robert
Mugabe to respect the rule of law and conform to democratic norms and
standards. Mugabe's failure to conform should attract serious sanctions," he
said.

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mmegi, Botswana

Zim rustlers threaten Botswana cattle industry

RYDER GABATHUSE
4/12/2004 8:29:17 PM (GMT +2)

FRANCISTOWN: Botswana's ailing cattle industry could be in danger
again as rustlers from neighbouring Zimbabwe continue to launch cross-border
raids.

The latest reports from the villages in the North-East District, along
the border, indicate that rustlers from Zimbabwe have been having a field
day on cattle grazing in the border villages of Maitengwe and others. This
follows an incident in which the cordon fence along the Maitengwe village
was cut to enable free and illegal movement of cattle in and out of the
country. "Botswana police and their Zimbabwean counterparts joint operation
recently recovered about 12 cattle in the Zimbabwean border village of
Cholocho and the cattle are currently being held at Madlambuzi police
station in Zimbabwe," explained Francistown police district officer
commanding, Senior Superintendent, Boikhutso Dintwa.

The police strongly believe that the cattle were stolen from Maitengwe
village. "The two-day joint police operation followed the cattle track until
they landed at a kraal in Cholocho where they found the animals still
kraaled. The cattle belong to a number of farmers and we used the brands to
positively identify the cattle," said Dintwa. The cattle are going to be
produced as exhibits in cases of stock theft that were reported in Zimbabwe.
"These animals can be sold in a public auction in Zimbabwe or can be
destroyed outside the Botswana border as they cannot enter back into
Botswana as there is a reported long standing outbreak of the contagious
Foot and Mouth Disease (FMD) in Zimbabwe. Cattle owners will be accordingly
compensated once animals have been killed," he said. Dintwa said the police
are working hand in hand with the veterinary officials to tackle the
problem. Botswana police recently reported that a number of cattle from
Botswana were killed and burnt after they crossed the border to avoid the
risk of FMD. Superintendent Hendrick Mmipi of Masunga police confirmed to
Mmegi recently that a fence was cut to enable the illegal movement of cattle
out of the country. "I don't completely discount a possibility that some
cattle from Zimbabwe could be finding their way into the country," he said.
A number of Zimbabweans and Batswana were previously arrested for illegally
importing goats into the country. They were reportedly bartering goats for
bags of mealie-meal claiming to be ravaged by hunger in Zimbabwe.

The Botswana Meat Commission (BMC) suffered greatly in 2002 following
the outbreak of FMD in the North-East village of Matsiloje resulting in a
net loss of about P28.3 million. As a result of the FMD outbreak, the two
BMC abattoirs of Lobatse and Francistown had to close temporarily for some
time.

The illegal movement of cattle along the border villages and the
cutting of the cordon fence threatens the cattle industry which was destined
to recover from the FMD and the drought. The police have appealed to
villagers to report any suspicious cattle movement in the area to avoid
further spread of the FMD as that would be bad news cattle farmers in the
area.

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Inter Press Service

Decades After Liberation, Landmines Remain Lethal

Stanley Karombo

HARARE, Apr 12 (IPS) - Rumbidzai Zulu, a woman in her early twenties, stares
at the freshly bandaged stump that used to be her leg. A landmine blew off
the limb while she was looking for firewood in the bush - also claiming the
life of her unborn child - and she is struggling to come to grips with the
trauma.

Hundreds of people have been killed, maimed or injured by mines which were
planted by government troops and their opponents in the 1970s, during
Zimbabwe's liberation struggle. A toll has also been taken on domestic and
wild animals.

It is estimated that Zimbabwe is one of the most heavily-mined countries in
the world, its borders with Mozambique and Zambia being virtually impassable
in certain stretches.

Anti-personnel mines used by authorities in what was then Rhodesia included
the R2m2, RAP Carrot, M972 and VS50 devices, which were strategically
planted to deter rebel fighters from crossing into the country from
surrounding states.

Twenty years later, the mines continue to wage war against unwitting
civilians.

According to de-mining analysts, over 500 million U.S. dollars are needed to
conduct a comprehensive clearance exercise along the borders. However,
Zimbabwe's cash-strapped government lacks the funds to provide even basic
healthcare to its citizens - and de-mining appears certain to remain on the
back burner for some time to come.

In addition, a new battle - the political war of words between Zimbabwe and
donor countries - has badly affected clearance operations.

Relations between Harare and several developed countries have been strained
since the start of farm occupations in Zimbabwe in 2000. Reports of ongoing
human rights abuses at the hands of officials and government-backed militias
have deepened tensions, as have claims that parliamentary and general
elections were marred by violence and vote-rigging.

The Director-General of Operations and Planning in the Ministry of Defence,
Trust Mugoba, says Washington has withdrawn funding for de-mining projects
in the northern areas around Victoria falls and Binga.

"Unfortunately, the military has not been spared by the politics between
Zimbabwe and the United States Government. The U.S. government stopped
funding (for the de-mining project) project in 2000."

According to Mugoba, the U.S. had contributed five million dollars to the
project since the 1990s, which resulted in several kilometres of land being
cleared of mines. It also trained 120 engineers from the Ministry of Defence
and provided funding for equipment and machinery used in the de-mining
process. The European Union has also withdrawn funds for mine clearance.

As a result of the danger posed by landmines, large tracts of arable land
remain largely uncultivated - a profound irony in a country so marked by
disputes around land ownership and availability.

A communal farmer from the Dande Valley that lies along Zimbabwe's border
with Mozambique, Brain Mutsago, told IPS that people there lived in fear of
the anti-personnel mines. "It is a dangerous thing to try to cultivate in
the area, as one can be blown up in any time," he said.

Jennifer Cohen, Director of Operations for Mine-Tech - Zimbabwe's only
private company specializing in mine clearance - says the weapons also
continue to pose a danger to people who cross the country's borders
illegally. Mine-tech's expertise has been used in operations in neighbouring
Mozambique - as well as Angola, Kosovo and Sri Lanka.

The landmine problem was exacerbated two years ago after rains induced by
cyclone Eline caused many devices to be unearthed.

The plight of mine victims in Zimbabwe may be highlighted at the Nairobi
Summit on a Mine Free World, which takes place at the end of November and
beginning of December this year.

This conference will review the progress made in implementing the 1997
Convention on the Prohibition of the Use, Stockpiling, Production and
Transfer of Anti-Personnel Mines and on their Destruction - the so-called
Mine Ban Treaty.

Zimbabwe is a signatory to this agreement, which entered into force in March
1999. The convention has set 2009 as the date by which countries that had
endorsed it in 1999 should have completed mine clearance. Over 140 states
have signed up to the Mine Ban Treaty - although the United States, China
and Russia have yet to come on board.

According to the International Campaign to Ban Landmines (ICBL), a
Washington-based group that has played a leading role in pushing for mines
to be outlawed, up to 20,000 mine-related casualties are reported every
year - with most victims being civilians (children account for 23 percent of
the casualties). Many wait years before being given the artificial limbs
that will allow them to resume a relatively normal life.

However, the ICBL also notes that that over 50 million stockpiled mines have
destroyed in recent years. The group was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in
1997 for its efforts to combat the scourge of landmines. (END/2004)
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New Zimbabwe
Streak is right

By Oswald Sibanda
Sports Editor
12/04/04
HEATH Streak, the man that the Zimbabwe Cricket Union would like you all out
there to believe is a racist monster bent on preventing black players from
playing cricket is nothing but a cricketing genius who loves the people and
his country.

The ZCU has told lies repeatedly and sullied Heath Streak's reputation. You
have been told that Streak wrote a letter to the ZCU threatening to resign
from 'all forms of cricket' unless his 'demands' were met.

False.

No such letter exists.

Here is a young professional who has refused to bow down to a cricket body
that plays politics at the expense of national interest.

If anything, Heath Streak is a national hero. Surely, if this Heath Streak
is the racist we are told to believe he is he wouldn't have stood for, and
passed the O' Level exam for the native Ndebele language with a B grade.

Out of all sporting competitions, cricket is the only sport that has
internationalised Zimbabwe, but there has been a marked decline in our
national game.

It is not hard to find the reasons for this. Several senior Test players
like Murray Godwin, Henry Olonga, the Strang brothers, Andy Flower and Grant
Flower have all dumped the team.

The man who wants you to believe Streak is a racist monster - Peter
Chingoka - is himself an obdurate racist devil whose actions are informed by
the same spirit that led Chenjerai Hunzvi to seize white owned farms.

Chingoka has presided over the shaming of Zimbabwean cricket, and is a
leading advocate for gate-crashing black players into the team, forget
whether they are talented or not.

New Zimbabwe.com holds no brief for racist fanatics, be they black or white.

There is an obdurate, racist white minority that still remains in our
cricket. Similarly, there is a dangerous racist hooligan by the name of
Chingoka who presides over our national game.

There is nothing wrong with getting blacks to play cricket. But there is
everything wrong with getting young, inexperienced and sometimes untalented
people to play cricket - simply because they are black.

We would love to see an all black Zimbabwean cricket team out there. For
Gods' sake, 99 percent of Zimbabweans are black.

Chingoka, the revisionist, racist historian is so obsessed with correcting
'past imbalances' that he has lost focus and direction.

Zimbabwe is a good team. We know we can play the game. But we don't deserve
Chingoka. He is pulling us down.
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Bulawayo Residents Face Water Cuts

Zimbabwe Standard (Harare)

April 11, 2004
Posted to the web April 12, 2004

Savious Kwinika

BULAWAYO City Council has resolved to cut off water supplies to more than a
thousand residents in a bid to recover about $500 million the local
authority is being owed, The Standard has learnt.

City Treasurer Middleton Nyoni told a full council meeting here last week
that there was need to beef up cash resources by intensifying urgent water
disconnections with a view to force the residents to comply with council
orders.

"The disconnection plan of action had envisaged that teams be placed in all
suburbs at once so that the impact of the disconnections would be felt
throughout the city.

"The City Treasurer therefore recommends that the cut off team be given top
priority by all and in the meantime, the disconnection exercise be
continued," said Nyoni.

Last month the Bulawayo Executive Mayor Japhet Ndabeni-Ncube threatened to
cut all water supplies to the Zimbabwe National Army (ZNA) barracks,
Zimbabwe Republic Po-lice (ZRP) camps in Bulawayo and to many government
offices for an accrued debt hovering above $3 billion.

After Ndebeni-Ncube's statement, the ZNA, police and several other
government departments rushed to settle their debts to avoid water cuts.

To date, the residents owe the council a whopping $419 898 840,82 in water
arrears.
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Carjackers Wreak Havoc in Byo

Zimbabwe Standard (Harare)

April 11, 2004
Posted to the web April 12, 2004

Wilson Dakwa

IT was shortly after 8.00PM in the evening when Dumisani Moyo, accompanied
by his 10-year-old son George, manoeuvred his Mazda 323 in the driveway
outside the block of flats where he resides in Bulawayo.

All seemed well and he was unaware that trouble was about to strike. As he
alighted from the car two men emerged from the shadows and before Moyo knew
what was happening, one of them - brandishing a pistol - ordered him back
into the car and told him to start the ignition.

"Drive or we will shoot," said the menacing voice, before pushing Moyo back
into the car. He started driving while the two hoodlums sat in the back.

Moyo drove towards the Bulawayo-Victoria Falls highway and after about 10
kms he was ordered to stop. He and his son were ordered to get out of the
car.

They were thoroughly searched for money and then ordered to strip. The
robbers took their clothes and drove off, leaving the two - father and son -
stark naked on the highway.

Moyo and son were lucky: a passing motorist saw them and gave them a lift
back into town where he reported his ordeal to the police.

Moyo is just one of the latest victims of carjackings which have wreaked
havoc in Bulawayo of late.

"I have only God to thank that we are still alive. I believe that these
robbers have for sometime been studying my movements before they decided to
pounce. I just hope my car is found because I paid a lot of money for it,"
Moyo told The Standard recently.

Cases of carjackings are on the increase in Bulawayo and since last year
many motorists have lost their cars to the violent thieves.

Motorists say they are finding it difficult to protect themselves against
the gun-totting robbers who have literally turned the once beautiful "City
of Kings" into a "City of Robbers and Muggers".

The robbers normally target luxury vehicles such as Nissan Hardbodys,
Pajeros, Toyota Hilux models and Isuzu twin cabs, which have a ready market
in and outside Zimbabwe.

Although police have arrested some of the carjackers, the problem is far
from over as the robbers constantly devise new ways of stealing.

"What is so frustrating is that there is no protection against these
robbers. Once someone brandishing a gun approaches you, you have no
alternative except to give up. Any brave act might result in your death,"
said Samson Ndleya who recently lost a Nissan Sunny outside his home in
Hillside suburb.

Bulawayo motorists have attributed the rise in carjackings to the increase
in the number of Zimbabweans being deported from South Africa. Some of those
deported are said to be bringing various dangerous weapons into the country
which they sell to local thieves.

Others are Zimbabwean criminals who had immigrated to South Africa but are
back in business here at home.

Jeremiah Masuku, who recently lost an Isuzu vehicle, said the robbers were
now targetting the latest luxury 4x4 vehicles.

"There is a ready market for these cars in Zambia," said Masuku. "The stolen
cars are taken to Zambia via Victoria Falls where there are immediately sold
for prices ranging from $70 million to $180 million. Some local car dealers
are also involved in the carjacking racket."

Police have previously warned motorists to be on the lookout for cars
following them suspiciously as they drive into their premises.

Law enforcement agents say motorists should also be on the lookout for cars
parked outside their gates since robbers normally pounce as victims open
gates to their homes.

Many motorists said anti-carjacking devises that are common in most cars do
not work because the robbers have found ways of disabling them.

"Some of us are now travelling with knobkerries and axes to protect
ourselves. In these times, it might also be a good idea to hire a bodyguard
to travel in the car with," said another Bulawayo motorist John Banda.
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