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

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Zim Independent

CIO takes over private media
Dumisani Muleya
ZIMBABWE'S state security agency, the Central Intelligence Organisation
(CIO), is seeking to emulate South Africa's apartheid-era information blitz
by covertly taking over newspapers hitherto seen as independent of state
control.

As state-owned media lose their credibility, the government regards control
of the independent press as a more viable route to win the hearts and minds
of a restive population.

Information obtained from high-level intelligence sources shows the CIO in
2002 started manoeuvres to muscle into the Financial Gazette and the Mirror
Newspapers Group's two titles, the Daily Mirror and Sunday Mirror, which
they now control. Billions of taxpayers' funds were poured in to the
project.

The CIO tried and failed to buy into the Tribune and is currently making
moves to muscle into the ruling Zanu PF mouthpiece, The Voice.

"The CIO controls those three newspapers (Fingaz and Mirror titles)," an
intelligence source said this week. "They control a large stake, if not 100%
of the Fingaz, and 70% of the Mirror group. Ibbo Mandaza (Mirror chief
executive and editor-in-chief) owns 30%," the source said.

Mandaza was not able to comment, saying: "Phone me later, I'm on another
line."

It is thought the CIO copied its strategy of owning newspapers through shelf
companies or as silent shareholders from Angola where the largest
circulating daily is owned by the intelligence service.

South Africa's intelligence machinery in the 1970s was involved in setting
up newspapers and covertly occupying media space in what became known as the
Muldergate scandal.

CIO director-general Happyton Bonyongwe was said to have been the chief
engineer of the media project when current Labour minister Nicholas Goche
was still in the State Security portfolio. Repeated efforts to get comment
from him failed yesterday.

It is understood the CIO seconded intelligence officers to the Mirror group
to re-organise the media house. Officers in Bonyongwe's office, including
Emmanuel Gumbo who was attached to the CIO External Branch, have been
working on the project.

Sources said Gumbo recruited three staff members of the now defunct
Information and Publicity Department, Georgina Sabawo, Chris Murimbi, and
Joseph Neuso, to assist in his enterprise.

It was also said the CIO has deployed its own media specialist, Alexander
Kanengoni, as deputy editor-in-chief of the Mirror papers. Kanengoni, a
former Zimbabwe Broadcasting Holdings head of TV services, runs the papers.
Another CIO agent, Sign Chavonga, now based at "Red Bricks" (CIO
headquarters), was at one time attached to the Mirror.

The Mirror newspapers have no editors since the departure of Innocent
Sithole but only deputy editors, Tichaona Chifamba (Daily Mirror) and
Ruzvidzo Mupfudza (Sunday Mirror), who report to Kanengoni.

Sources said the covert operation was revealed through an audit done by CIO
assistant director for administration, Memory Chasakara, who was
subsequently promoted to hush her up.

Chasakara is understood to have complained after discovering the CIO was
paying up to 83% of the Mirror group's operating costs. She was then kicked
upstairs.

The sources said the CIO also tried in vain to buy into the closed Tribune
newspaper. Bonyongwe was said to be anxious to add The Voice to his stable.

Sources said the CIO was also instrumental in the closure of Associated
Newspapers of Zimbabwe (ANZ) titles, the Daily News and Daily News on
Sunday. The two papers were closed in 2003. Another paper, The Weekly Times,
was also closed earlier this year.

Zimbabwe's media tyranny has been escalating in recent years in tandem with
rising political repression. Dozens of journalists have been arrested, while
foreign correspondents were deported under draconian media laws.

Sources said the intelligence service influenced the recent decision by the
Media and Information Commission (MIC), led by government-media columnist
Tafataona Mahoso, to refuse to reopen the ANZ whose flagship Daily News was
twice bombed during its short life between 1999 and 2003. Nobody has been
prosecuted. The MIC also recently denied the Tribune an operating licence.

The CIO is understood to have staged a dramatic boardroom coup in 2002
against Octadew consortium that was headed by former Financial Gazette
editor-in-chief Francis Mdlongwa.

Octadew comprised Harare-based medical doctors and businessmen, Sylvester
Saburi and Solomon Mthethwa in addition to Mdlongwa. The group initially
bought the paper from Elias Rusike's Hamba Investments Holdings.

The agreement of sale was signed on October 1 2002 after both parties had
agreed on an evaluation of $200 million by the Financial Gazette's financial
advisors, the MBCA, as the price tag.

Rusike had sold the paper to Octadew on the strict understanding that the
new owners would maintain an "editorial policy that is independent of any
government, political party, and/or big business".

The editorial charter was incorporated in the agreement of sale.

However, differences later emerged between Octadew and the then CBZ

(now trading as Jewel Bank) chief executive, Gideon Gono, who was said to
have secured equity by putting the consortium under financial pressure.

Gono had financial leverage because Octadew had borrowed the

$200 million from the CBZ to finance the deal. Gono said in 2002 he did not
own the Financial Gazette because he was only a "financial advisor" in the
deal.

It was said the CIO had no difficulty moving into the Mirror group because
it owed CBZ a lot of money after failing to attract advertisers.

Sources said Gono forced the Financial Gazette to create the position of
financial director to accommodate his appointee, Blazio Tafireyi, when there
was a financial manager, Albert Mushonga, already in place. Tafireyi has
since left the paper. It is widely thought this was done to ensure the real
owners of the paper got to know the financial state of affairs at their new
company.

"After Octadew paid Rusike $200 million through Hamba Investments, it became
clear something was wrong with the deal," a source said. "All sorts of
problems emerged and it inevitably collapsed after a short period. A
boardroom coup had been staged."

In a statement issued on November 6 2002, Octadew said the deal had broken
down due to "differences centering on the implementation of the newspapers'
broad vision and operation issues".

After the deal failed, Octadew owners went to South Africa in a last-ditch
effort to secure funds from exiled tycoon Strive Masiyiwa who owns mobile
cellphone company Econet. Octadew had failed to find alternative funding
locally due to the credit crunch in the market.

Masiyiwa refused to help out.

"Masiyiwa asked what was in the deal for him," a source said. "He was also
surprised how Octadew wanted him to fund a closed deal which could not be
opened by any amount of capital outlay. He told Octadew he couldn't give
them money because in any case he wasn't a bank."

When options ran out for Octadew, Rusike, who wanted the paper bought by
independent owners, could not find a white knight to salvage the Financial
Gazette or sufficient shark repellent to deal with the CIO who were circling
behind the scenes.

Sources said the CIO grand plan was to buy into as many private papers as
possible to win the hearts and minds of an increasingly sceptical population
amid deteriorating social and economic conditions.

This initiative was intended to redefine the media landscape and help the
increasingly unpopular government to hold sway across a vast swathe of the
territory of public opinion.

Sources said the CIO media bid was akin to South Africa's Muldergate
scandal, sometimes called Infogate, in the late 1970s when the apartheid
regime embarked on a massive covert campaign to set up newspapers at home
and buy space in foreign media. Connie Mulder was Minister of Information at
the time.
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Zim Independent

Army, skewed laws handed Zanu PF victory - NGOs
Ray Matikinye
A COALITION of non-governmental organisations has discounted ballot stuffing
as the sole method Zanu PF used to rig the March election in which President
Mugabe's party beat the main opposition Movement for Democratic Change by 78
seats to 41.

The MDC has challenged the results citing massive rigging in the election.
It is currently entangled in court actions challenging the outcome of the
presidential poll in 2002.

In a report titled Of Stuffed Ballots and Empty Stomachs, the Zimbabwe Human
Rights NGO Forum attributes Zanu PF's victory in the March election to
militarisation of the electoral process and skewed legislation.

For instance, Justice George Chiweshe who chaired the Delimitation
Commission and one of the other two commissioners, Job Whabira, a former
permanent secretary in the Ministry of Defence, as well as retired Lt Col
Kennedy Zimondi who was chief elections officer on the Electoral Supervisory
Commission, have a military history.

"In the 2005 election this was manifested by the presence in the electoral
process of military personnel, or personnel with a military background,
with, in addition, a significant influence being exerted by a partisan
police force," the report says.

It notes that a common thread that ran through all the various pieces of
legislation that established and regulated the electoral process in Zimbabwe
was that those responsible for its implementation and supervision were
almost all either selected by government or subject to government
interference and influence.

It says for Zanu PF to have won the ballot in a climate of massive economic
decline defied logic.

According to the report, an analysis of voting figures by polling stations
suggests that if there was any stuffing of ballot boxes, it was not
significant enough to affect the result.

More people turned out to vote for Zanu PF than the MDC owing to Zanu PF's
capability to withhold food to starving villagers, the report says.

It says having increased the power of traditional leaders by giving them
influence in the distribution of food and land and having secured their
sympathies through largesse, the ruling party deployed these leaders to
ensure that villagers voted and voted favourably.

"This strategy was combined with a relentless campaign to portray the
opposition and its supporters as responsible for Zimbabwe's economic decline
and as enemies of the state and the opposition was unable to counter this,"
it says.

The MDC, which posed the stiffest challenge to Zanu PF since 1980, suffered
serious losses to the original 57 seats it won in 2000 during last March's
election. The MDC initially sought to contest the poll results from 13
constituencies but has withdrawn some of the petitions citing the improper
composition of the Electoral Court.
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Zim Independent

Mlambo-Ngcuka's joke not funny says DA

A REMARK made in jest by Deputy President Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka about land
reforms in Zimbabwe has sparked a major political controversy. Speaking at
the first African conference on distance education at Unisa on Wednesday,
Mlambo-Ngcuka said South Africa could "learn from Zimbabwe about land
reform".

She said many believed South Africa's own land reform process was too slow
and too structured.

It required "a bit of oomph", she remarked.

"We learnt a few lessons from Zimbabwe - how to do it fast," she said to

laughter from delegates, including Zimbabwe's Education minister, Stan
Mudenge.

"We may need some skills from Zimbabwe to help us," she said.

Although Mlambo-Ngcuka's remark was met with loud laughter from the
delegates, the Democratic Alliance and others reacted with shock.

On Wednesday night, Murphy Morobe, head of communication at the Presidency,
said there were several light-hearted moments during the conference.

"The deputy president made this remark during a light-hearted exchange
between her and Dr Mudenge, whom she knows," he explained.

Morobe said that notwithstanding the "light-hearted" moment, the point was
that South Africa could learn from Zimbabwe "or any other country" about the
important issue of land reform.

He added: "The deputy president definitely did not agree or disagree with
the Zimbabwean issue when she made those remarks. The fact is that our land
reforms need 'oomph', as she said, but one should not elevate a
light-hearted moment and turn it into a fact."

South Africa's northern neighbour has been plagued by high unemployment,
economic collapse and critical food shortages, and has faced international
criticism for its land reform programme and recent clean-up drive, which
left more than 700 000 people homeless.

The DA said in its reaction to Mlambo-Ngcuka's remarks: "Surely the deputy
president is joking?"

Party spokesperson Kraai van Niekerk said the DA believed that the lesson
for South Africa lay in not following the same route taken by its troubled
neighbour.

"Zimbabwe offers a textbook example of ways in which land reform should not
be carried out. A power-hungry dictator has driven his economy to the edge
of collapse. A thriving agricultural system is now just a distant memory,
and the president dishes out farms and land to his supporters in the defence
force."

The land reform programme in South Africa had progressed far too slowly, but
the blame for this, he said, rested with the government.

"The legal framework is in place and there are enough landowners and farmers
who want to be part of this process.

"The government is trying to turn landowners into villains instead of
recognising that they are victims of government slackness and failure to
vote the funds."

Van Niekerk added that Mlambo-Ngcuka should realise that, as deputy
president, she needed to act in a much more balanced and responsible manner
when she made public appearances. - The Star.
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Zim Independent

'Police blitz unlawful'
Susan Mateko
THE conduct of the police in executing Operation Murambatsvina in Bulawayo
has been declared unlawful by the High Court which ruled that the
confiscation and seizure of goods from vendors interfered with individual's
property rights.

Bulawayo judge Justice Maphios Cheda ruled on August 2 that in destroying
shacks and seizing and confiscating goods, the police had acted outside the
confines of the law.

United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan's special envoy on habitat, Anna
Tibaijuka, came to the same conclusion in her hard-hitting report on the
operation last month.

Justice Cheda made the ruling in the urgent chamber application filed by
Bulawayo Upcoming Traders Association (Buta), a grouping of hawkers and
vendors who challenged the police's confiscating of their goods during the
clean-up.

Buta cited as first, second and third respondents respectively the officer
commanding Bulawayo Province, the Commissioner of Police and the Bulawayo
City Council.

Said Justice Cheda on the conduct of the police in destroying shacks and
seizing goods: "This conduct on the part of the police was unlawful. Police
are empowered to enforce the law but can only do so within the confines of
the law and not outside it. The indiscriminate and wanton destruction as
described by applicant and not denied by first and second respondents cannot
be allowed."

He said the seizure of goods was unlawful.

"The seizure and confiscating of traders' merchandise in the absence of a
court order is unlawful as this interferes with individual's property
rights," the judge said.

The judge also took a swipe at the Bulawayo City Council for allowing the
vendors to sell their wares in the open. The court papers say the council
was collecting rentals from the traders but had failed to provide
appropriate shelter for them to conduct their business. The judge said the
shelters that the vendors were using, made of metal roads and covered with
canvas, were not proper.

"In my view that is not the type of shelters any local authority properly
applying its mind would allow," said Justice Cheda. "In fact by allowing
this type of conduct on the part of the applicants, the third respondent
(council) was perpetrating an illegality."

The court called on the Bulawayo city council to "re-visit its allocation
programmes of these vending bays bearing in mind the need to adhere to their
own by-laws and regulations in the city".

Robert Ndlovu of James, Moyo, Majwabu & Associates who was representing
Buta, this week said the city council had agreed that the vendors could
return to their vending bays.
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Zim Independent

MDC candidate breaks ranks
Ray Matikinye
DOUGLAS Mwonzora, the losing MDC candidate for Nyanga in the March election,
has broken rank with other opposition candidates who have since withdrawn
their court petitions and is pressing ahead with his challenge of the March
poll result in the Electoral Court.

The MDC initially filed petitions to contest the poll outcome in 13
constituencies, although it said electoral fraud was rampant in 30 of the
120 constituencies. After the election MDC secretary for legal affairs David
Coltart said his party had lost faith in the judiciary but was challenging
the outcome just to expose poll fraud.

The opposition party's legal department withdrew court petitions by Heather
Bennett (Chimanimani), Elphas Mukonoweshuro (Gutu South), Ian Kay (Marondera
East), Aaron Chinhara (Gokwe) and Hilda Mafudze (Manyame) and had sought to
withdraw the petition by Mwonzora.

On Wednesday he re-applied for the case to be heard. Mwonzora had lined up
70 witnesses against the respondent's 25 when the court told him his party
had withdrawn the petition.

"I am changing lawyers," said Mwonzora. "The MDC had wanted to withdraw my
petition like it did with the others but I see no merit in letting Zanu PF
off the hook. It is a case that I can win with the irrefutable evidence
available," he said on Wednesday.

Mwonzora, the vice-chairperson of the National Constitutional Assembly
(NCA), a key ally of the MDC, lost the March poll to Paul Kadzima of Zanu PF
by 2 887 votes.

He is contesting the figures given "unequivocally" by the chief elections
officer to the nation for his constituency by the end of the day which
showed significant variation with those finally declared.

His petition reads: "The election in Nyanga was characterised by
intimidation, undue influence, corrupt and illegal practices by the district
administrator for Nyanga and Chief Saunyama acting in concert or by the
elections agents of the respondent acting on direct orders or with the
concurrence of the respondent."

In his petition, Mwonzora cites more than 30 instances when the local chiefs
or Zanu PF functionaries either openly intimidated the electorate or
threatened that they would forgo food assistance if they voted for the MDC.
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Zim Independent

Voters displaced by Murambatsvina - MDC
Loughty Dube
THE MDC has expressed concern at the displacement of its voters under the
government's clean-up operation as the party prepares to lock horns with
Zanu PF in the Bulawayo mayoral elections due tomorrow.

The MDC spo-kesman for Bulawayo, Victor Moyo, said a lot of his party's
supporters were displaced by the government orchestrated clean-up exercise
that saw thousands of people lose their homes.

"We know that the whole operation was implemented by Zanu PF to change
demographic voting patterns in urban areas but that is not going to deter us
because we are going to retain the city come Saturday evening," Moyo said.

He said the MDC was hoping to get over 100 000 voters casting their ballot
in favour of its candidate, Japhet Ndabeni Ncube.

Ncube, who is the incumbent executive mayor for Bulawayo, battles it out
with Zanu PF's Dickson Abu-Basuthu for the highest seat in the city.

The election will act as a barometer of urbanites' anger over destruction of
their properties by President Mugabe's government.

Moyo supported the view that the electorate would vote against Zanu PF
because the people were still angry over the destruction of their properties
by the government and were likely to use their emotions when casting votes.

Zanu PF secretary for Information and Publicity, Effort Nkomo, however
dismissed claims that the people of Bulawayo will vote against his party
saying the MDC through its mayor Ncube was also responsible for the
destruction of the properties.

"If there is anger over Murambatsvina, then there should be anger also
against Ncube because as the mayor of the city he is also part of the
government and there is no way the people can be angry at Zanu PF and not be
angry at the incumbent mayor," Nkomo said.

He however said Zanu PF had covered ground in terms of the campaign and
further said the party would wrestle the mayorship from the MDC.

Nkomo said he was encouraged by the peaceful conduct of both parties during
the mayoral campaign.

Ncube in an interview this week expressed confidence that he would retain
his position.

"The campaign has been peaceful," said Ncube. "We have held rallies in
halls, open spaces and we have also embarked on door-to-door campaigns where
we have been issuing fliers and come Saturday (tomorrow) we will be
celebrating," Ncube said.

Ncube also expressed concern at the displacement of his party supporters
under the clean-up operation.

Meanwhile, police in Bulawayo on Wednesday night arrested 12 opposition MDC
activists for distributing fliers urging people to vote for incumbent mayor
Ncube.

The 12 activists were arrested in Bulawayo's Emakhandeni suburb as they went
on a door-to-door campaign to garner last minute support for Ncube.

Moyo said the police alleged that the eleven were arrested for causing
disorder and chaos in the suburb.

Police spokesman, Wayne Bvudzijena, promised to look into the matter when
contacted for a comment yesterday afternoon.
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Zim Independent

Spy saga: hubby was abducted mafia-style
Dumisani Muleya
THE wife of jailed South African spy Tendai Matambanadzo, also called
Tendai, has for the first time spoken out on the mafia-style abduction of
her husband by the Zimbabwean state security agents over the dramatic
espionage case.

Tendai said she was initially devastated by the sensational issue but was
relieved when Matambanadzo got five years in prison instead of a possible 20
years.

She said she was bracing herself for the tough life without her husband.

"It was a difficult situation because we did not know what was going on. The
way it happened was dramatic. He disappeared for seven days and we searched
at every police station in vain," she said in an interview.

"We went through a period of uncertainty but in the end, on judgement day
(in February), I was devastated but also relieved because he had been
convicted although it was for five instead of 20 years."

Accompanied by her husband's brother, Tichafa Matambanadzo, who was always
at her side from the start to the end of the trial, Tendai said the case
developed in a manner which left her emotionally drained and shocked.

"It was dramatic throughout. The saga started on December 14 last year when
our gardener came and told me there were people outside the gate looking for
my husband but they had indicated he should not tell me," she said.

"I didn't know who they were and what they wanted so I immediately tried to
phone him (husband) to tell him about the situation. His phone was off. I
had had lunch with him that afternoon and his phone had no battery. So I
then remembered that and decided to drive to where I thought he was."

Tendai said that marked the beginning of what was to become a painful
physical and emotional experience for her. "As I drove out of our home (in
Chisipite) I saw a car following me. It flashed lights for me to stop and I
did," she said.

"The men, four of them, drove close to me but suddenly made a fast U-turn in
the opposite direction. It seemed initially they had thought I was escaping
with my husband but when they realised I was alone they got away."

Tendai proceeded to look for her husband but they missed each other along
the way. When she returned home about an hour later she found that he had
been seized by people she did not know.

She then phoned her lawyer Selby Hwacha to start the long search for her
husband.

"We searched at every police station in Harare but we couldn't locate him.
Two days later we filed a missing person report," she said.

After that Tendai spent a week in the dark, agonising about the fate of her
husband. She had no clue about what was going on and why.

"But out of the blue he phoned after seven days to say he was fine and I
asked him where he was. He just said 'I'm fine'," she said.

"After that we started communicating through people we didn't know. On one
occasion, he phoned to say there were people who would phone me and I should
go to meet them at the shops and give them warm clothes," she said.

"I packed the clothes and went with Tich (the former radio and television
personality) to meet them. It was on December 23. We gave them clothes and
bought him some cigarettes. My husband later phoned to say he had received
the items."

At that point the Matambanadzo family at last had a clue about what was
happening because on the same day the Zimbabwe Independent published a story
reporting Tendai was among those arrested on espionage charges.

Matambanadzo was arrested by Central Intelligence Organisation (CIO)
operatives separately from the other alleged accomplices - Zimbabwe's
ambassador-designate to Mozambique Godfrey Dzvairo, Zanu PF foreign affairs
director Itai Marchi, former Zanu PF MP Phillip Chiyangwa and Zanu PF deputy
security chief Kenny Karidza.

A CIO operative who has now killed himself was also arrested. A South
African secret service agent, Aubrey Welken, was arrested over the issue.

Matambanadzo has been jailed for five years, while Dzvairo and Marchi went
in for six years each.

"We were very relieved that even though he was going, he got five years.

"He is a very strong man blessed with leadership qualities and we know he
was mentally geared for it," Tich said.

"He has adjusted to the situation and he is now more concerned about us than
himself."

Tich said they were doing their best to help his brother's family.

"They are trying but obviously it can't be the same as when he was there,"
Tendai said.

"But we were relieved the issue is finally over and we are now waiting for
him to come back home."
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Zim Independent

RBZ rejects Harare turnaround plan
Augustine Mukaro
THE Reserve Bank has rejected Harare council's much-publicised turnaround
strategic plan as not sufficiently profitable for the local authority to
repay the loan advanced by the bank.

The RBZ had promised the council $1,2 trillion to implement its strategic
turnaround plan under its Local Authorities Reorientation Programme.

The council planned to unbundle operations on the lines of Johannesburg's
Unicity structure to improve service delivery to ratepayers.

The plan was approved by government last year and was supposed to be
implemented beginning January. The unbundling process involved the
transformation of city departments into 12 autonomous business units.

City treasury officials said chances of council getting the funds were very
slim considering the current cash-flow hitches plus the social nature of
council services.

"Council's current cash-flows will not sustain the repayment of the loan,
making the RBZ sceptical about funding the plan," the officials said,
adding: "The RBZ wants council to provide bankable projects which will
generate surplus money or even increase council income. But that is very
difficult because our services are of a social nature. We are not a
commercial entity seeking to make a profit."

They said full cost-recovery was almost impossible.

Town clerk Nomutsa Chideya, the architect of the plan, said he was out of
town referring all questions to acting city treasurer Cosmas Zvikaramba.

Zvikaramba said he was not allowed to comment without clearance from the
public relations department. Leslie Gwindi (council's public relations
manager) could not be reached for comment as he was out of his office.

The Harare plan borrows heavily from the Johannesburg Unicity structure.

The document also resembles sacked executive mayor Elias Mudzuri's Vision
Harare 2010 strategic plan, turned down by Local Government minister
Ignatious Chombo in 2003, which councillors claimed was prepared by over 25
stakeholder organisations.

The Mudzuri document was sponsored and coordinated by Fredrick Neumann
Foundation to the tune of $20 million.

The Johannesburg structure is made up of 10 utilities in the form of
registered companies wholly-owned by council, run on business lines by a
city manager and executive directors.

The utilities are self-funding, receiving no annual grants from the city and
provide billable services direct to individual households.

Harare's plan envisages the creation of 12 autonomous business units to run
council affairs along commercial lines.

The plan proposes that the local authority wholly-own the business utilities
and where necessary enter joint ventures and smart partnerships for
technology transfers with the private sector.

The business utilities would include Harare Corporate, responsible for
information technology, procurement, human resources, public relations and
administration; Harare Metro which will be in charge of the municipal police
and municipal courts; Harare Water which will cater for water and sewerage
treatment, managed by an autonomous Harare Water Authority; Harare Estate
which will deal with estate development, valuation, housing and council
properties; Harare Infrastructure in charge of roads and lighting; Harare
Health in charge of primary health delivery; Harare Environment will take
over the general cleaning of the municipal area and refuse collection and
disposal; Harare Holdings will be the corporate entity that warehouses
council's businesses such as nurseries, chalets, crusher station and farms;
Harare Finance will be in charge of accounting, budgeting and revenue
collection; Harare Social will deal with social services, recreation and
sporting facilities; Harare Emergency will shelter the fire brigade and
ambulance services; and Harare Civic will be introduced to give the city a
new dimension in civic participation, consultations, and dialogue in order
to bring residents and council officials closer together.
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Zim Independent

End of private property tenure looms

Augustine Mukaro

GOVERNMENT'S proposed constitutional amendment to effectively nationalise
all land it acquires could mark the end of private property ownership and
dash hopes of any economic recovery in the near future.

Analysts say government's proposed constitutional amendment to the Land Act
to ensure all land gazetted for acquisition since 2000 is not contested in
the courts of law will undermine property rights and reduce the market value
of land.

The Human Rights NGO Forum warns that nationalising land will erode the
fundamental right to property and hamper economic revival plans.

Making its submission on the proposed Constitutional Amendment Bill, which
will effectively nationalise land, the human rights umbrella body said the
move was "ill-advised and damaging".

"Not only landowners will be affected: anyone with an interest or right in
land will lose their right or interest if the land is acquired under the new
section, and they will not receive compensation except for improvements,"
the group said.

"Mortgagees will therefore lose their security and will be unable to recover
anything from the state to mitigate their loss."

The NGO Forum said although their primary concern was human rights, the
proposed law would have "disastrous economic effects".

"Owners and occupiers of land, particularly rural farmland, will lose all
security of tenure. They will become mere tenants-at-will of the state," it
said.

"Large-scale commercial agriculture will be impossible because financial
institutions will not underwrite agricultural activities for fear that
someone will publish a notice in a Government Gazette and render their
security worthless."

The forum said prospects of economic recovery would be shattered by the
legislation.

"Any hopes of economic recovery through agricultural develop-ment will
wither as soon as the new law comes into force," it said. "Industrial
development, too, may be retarded because, as indicated above, the section
will apply to land that is capable of being used for agriculture even if it
is being used for something else."

The civic group said the impact of the Bill on human rights was chilling.

"The impact of the proposed law on human rights is equally obvious. It will
deprive Zimbabweans of their right to property and to protection of the law,
although these rights are guaranteed by our constitution and by
international instruments to which Zimbabwe is a party," it said.

"The Bill is appalling in its wide reach and arbitrary nature. There is no
applicable definition of 'agricultural land', so almost all land in Zimbabwe
will be subject to expropriation under the new law."

The forum said only land that was not possible to farm would fall outside
the ambit of the law. "Hence even residential stands in urban areas will be
subject to compulsory acquisition under the law, provided the stands are
large enough to produce a few flowers and vegetables," it said.

"Agricultural land - whatever that is - may be acquired for any purpose
whatever. The mere fact that a landowner has fallen from political favour
will be sufficient reason to expropriate his land."

Analysts said the amendment would completely derail Reserve Bank governor
Gideon Gono's call to make agriculture a bankable business. In May Gono
advocated a "command" form of agriculture so as to revive the country's food
security and self-sufficiency.

The analysts said Gono's call had provided a glimmer of hope to the
collapsing agricultural sector and offered a direct shift from government's
populist policies that have reduced the one-time breadbasket of southern
Africa to a net importer of food while vast stretches of former productive
land lie idle.

"Since the March election there has been a lot of excitement and
expectations, which has been instilled by a new government policy of
production and the stated implementation of an ambitious recovery programme
but the amendment will take us backwards," one analyst said.

He said while there has been a lot of encouraging words said and offers of
huge amounts of short-term, low interest concessionary finance by the RBZ,
there is still instability on the ground, with farmers facing daily
evictions.

Farmers' organisations warned that the proposed constitutional amendment
would result in land being owned along party lines rather than the capacity
to produce.

Justice for Agriculture chairman John Worswick told a parliamentary hearing
last week that the amendment would nationalise all farmland, making it lose
its market value.

"If the amendment passes, land in Zimbabwe will be owned on the basis of
patronage and not one's productiveness or ingenuity," Worswick said. "While
China has accepted the need for individual property rights, Zimbabwe is
moving completely in the opposite direction," he said.

Worswick said land the world over was not owned by the state but by
individuals and companies with leases and title deeds, which gives the land
market value.

Commercial Farmers Union (CFU) president Doug Taylor-Freeme last week took a
swipe at the proposed amendment saying it would speed up the collapse of
agriculture.

"It is extremely alarming to note that a new proposed gazette announcing a
constitutional amendment to the Land Act has been put to parliament," he
said. "It is proposed that all land gazetted for acquisition since 2000
cannot be contested in court. As virtually every white farmer has been
listed for acquisition in some way or the other this surely provides direct
evidence that a process of ethnic cleansing is taking place."

Taylor-Freeme said the proposed gazette was an admission that the existing
Land Act was not workable and that government had failed to acquire land in
an orderly, legal and amicable way, hence the use of violence, disruptions
and forced evictions that have occurred since 2000.

"If the objective of the authorities by introducing such draconian
legislation is to get agriculture back to work they are wrong! It is likely
to increase the conflict of ownership of the business on the land and reduce
meaningful investment in agriculture," Taylor-Freeme said.

He said there was no will or capacity to find a lasting solution to the
crisis in the farming sector because fundamental principles had not been
dealt with.

"Nationally agricultural output has predictably declined further despite
claims from various authorities that more hectares have been planted and
higher tonnages expected. In the business world such claims have become a
national joke as authorities attempt to cover up the reality on the ground,"
he said.

Taylor-Freeme said a major constraint to increased productivity was the
uncertainty of tenure in the agricultural sector where farmers are evicted
on a daily basis.

The constitutional amendment comes at a time when prospects of producing
enough food in the 2005/6 season have been dealt a major blow by the
shortage of inputs.

Seed and fertiliser companies revealed to farmers at their recent annual
congress that they would not be able to meet the country's requirements due
to forex shortages and continued evictions of producers.

Zimbabwe's largest maize seed producer, Seed Co, said a paltry 33 000 tonnes
of seed would be available from local producers.

Seed Co chief executive Pat Devenish said around 16 000 tonnes were expected
from his company.

"Our seed production dropped from 26 000 tonnes last year to an estimated 16
000 tonnes expected this year," Devenish said. "The drop can be attributed
to poor rains this year and lack of expertise on seed production by the new
farmers."

Pannar and other seed houses are expected to avail 17 000 tonnes.

Zimbabwe requires 100 000 tonnes of maize seed to meet demand for its
commercial, resettled and communal farmers. The deficit can only be covered
through expensive imports.
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Zim Independent

Comment

Mugabe's Blair illusions worsen crisis

PRESIDENT Robert Mugabe this week made it categorically clear he would not
be forced into talks with the opposition Movement for Democratic Change
(MDC) but declared he was willing to engage with British Prime Minister Tony
Blair.

His rationale - or rather his pretence - is that the MDC is a front
organisation for the British and therefore there is no use in talking to a
puppet when he can deal with its master.

This is Grandmother's logic, especially for someone who wants to posture as
a serious statesman. Why should Blair indulge Mugabe's self-serving
illusions about the MDC? More to the point, why should Mugabe reject
national dialogue with Zimbabweans and prefer to talk to Blair when as
recently as March he was campaigning against the British leader in what he
comically called an "Anti-Blair" election?

Did his party "win" the "Anti-Blair" election only to beg Blair for talks
and hypocritically engage a man he has called all sorts of childish names?

Blair has nothing to gain whatsoever from a dialogue of the deaf with Mugabe
and everything to lose from being seen to indulge a discredited dictator. So
where does this leave Mugabe?

The clear message which came out of the president's plea for talks with
Blair is that he does not trust Zimbabweans - the MDC and all its voters as
well as other citizens. It is now crystal clear that Mugabe would rather
engage former colonial masters, who by the way gave him an honorary
knighthood when he was still playing ball, than his own compatriots who have
genuine grievances against his failed leadership.

This further confirms Mugabe's detachment from the real world.

Will his desperate political manoeuvres to drag the British into what is
essentially a national question promote sovereignty and patriotism?

It is clear Mugabe's anti-British rhetoric was contrived to generate a false
fight between Harare and London while cultivating his persecution complex as
a victim of a former colonial power.

Now that the British have rejected his antics, he still wants to rope them
into his web of deceit and save face by agreeing to a truce with Blair. The
British, with their vast experience in diplomacy around the world, would be
unlikely to fall for such clumsy tactics. Blair will be keeping Mugabe at
the end of a very long barge-pole.

Certain issues are now beyond Mugabe's real control. The Zimbabwean crisis
has become a regional and international emergency. The international
community, including the UN, AU and Sadc, and leaders such as South African
President Thabo Mbeki and Nigerian ruler Olusegun Obasanjo, are now firmly
involved in the issue whether Mugabe likes it or not.

The appointment of former Mozambican President Joaquim Chissano as the AU
envoy to the Zimbabwe crisis confirms this. South African efforts to provide
Zimbabwe with a financial bail-out to avoid the country's expulsion from the
IMF confirms firstly that Mugabe has damaged the economy beyond his capacity
to repair it, and secondly the crisis has reached such alarming proportions
that it can only be contained through multilateral diplomacy.

This explains why Mugabe's rule is now a cause for international concern. It
also explains why the president is showing increased signs of irritation.
His country is being treated like a failed state which endangers its
neighbours.

South Africa is trying to tackle the humanitarian crisis created by Mugabe's
criminal urban demolition blitz - Operation Murambatsvina.

These efforts put Zimbabwe's crisis at the heart of international diplomacy
and Mugabe may not wriggle off the hook unless African leaders elect to
rescue him again, hoping he will listen to their "quiet diplomacy" overtures
for him to make a peaceful exit from power.

Mugabe's remarks that he would rather talk to Blair than Zimbabweans exposed
his double standards. He will happily talk to the "imperialists" when it
suits him but it is not acceptable for anybody else to do so!

Mugabe must understand there is a time to play to the gallery and a time to
be serious. The issue is not for him or Zanu PF to talk to the MDC. This
simplistic dichotomy which pretends Zimbabwe is divided into Zanu PF and the
MDC is totally unhelpful. What is required is a solution to the crisis
Mugabe's bankrupt rule has spawned and a restoration of democracy.

What is needed as a matter of urgency is national dialogue to find a way out
of this man-made disaster, characterised by hyperinflation, and shortages of
foreign currency, food, fuel, power, and water.

Mugabe alone self-evidently has no solution to this. Every time he opens his
mouth the crisis grows worse. It is not Blair's crisis, it is his own that
has brought the UN, the AU and the South Africans onto the national scene.
That is the sovereignty he has bequeathed us. He must now accept his
incapacity to govern and let others offer their solutions - before it is too
late.
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Zim Independent

Eric Bloch Column

Govt's economic paranoia growing

IN its deep-seated convictions of near megalomaniac proportions that it is
omnipotent and infallible, government has long attributed the diverse ills
that plague Zimbabwe to the vile machinations of others.

Its intense paranoia that others are firmly set upon its destruction,
convinces government that there are those obsessed with bringing it down by
resorting to diabolically evil actions which, in order to destroy it,
inflict ever greater hardships and distress upon the Zimbabwean populace.
Thus, ever since the economy was set upon a path of never-ending decline, in
late 1997, government has sought to identify those responsible for that
decline wilfully oblivious to the incontrovertible fact that it is itself
the cause of destruction of the economy.

First and foremost, it has cast blame upon the United Kingdom in general,
and its Prime Minister Tony Blair in particular. As alleged co-conspirators
and accessories to Britain's supposed actions, government has repeatedly,
and unhesitatingly, pointed its accusatory finger at the USA (and especially
at its president, George Bush), at the European Union, at white Zimbabweans
(with white commercial farmers ostensibly being at the forefront of the
alleged anti-Zimbabwe government campaign), at the opposition, and at the
independent press and allied media.

As the economy progressively weakened, many scarcities developed. Those
scarcities ranged from petroleum products to electricity, basic commodities
such as bread, sugar, flour, cooking oil, soap, coal and much else. Foremost
of the causes of the shortages has been a gross, growing non-availability of
foreign currency, required for the importation of manufacturing inputs,
spares for plant and machinery, and other essential elements of most
manufacturing processes.

Inevitably, as has been the case the world over, in instances of
inadequacies of supply to meet market demand, a virile black market soon
developed. That market is thriving and is probably the only sector of the
Zimbabwean economy enjoying real growth.

Whensoever demand for a product outstrips supply, the price of the product
rises and continues to do so as customers compete for the product, until
such time as the price reaches a resistance level where the consumer will no
longer be willing to purchase, usually because no matter how greatly he
needs the product, he cannot afford it.

This is a very strong characteristic of black markets, wheresoever they may
be. The Zimbabwean economy is no exception. As the prices rise, consumers
become increasingly embittered, with that bitterness reaching a pinnacle
when the consumer must either forgo other products in order to fund that
which he needs most, or he must go without a product, notwithstanding need.

That bitterness, and the concomitant hardships, provokes the populace to
seek to blame someone for the misery and the distress suffered, and in
Zimbabwe the Consumer Council of Zimbabwe (CCZ) is usually alongside
government at the forefront of identifying recipients of blame.

After all, it is the task of CCZ
to protect the consumer, and
therefore it strives vigorously to destroy the black market and to place
blame for its existence upon those that it perceives to be responsible for
its existence, instead of
upon the real culprit - being government.

Naturally, government is extremely sensitive to the situation, for it does
not wish to be the recipient of blame and particularly as its conviction of
its omnipotence and its infallibility motivates it to believe that the
circumstances cannot possibly be due to it. Therefore, it casts around to
find someone to blame and, upon doing so, very rapidly convinces itself that
the focus of its ire is in fact the cause.

For a considerable period of time it has unhesitatingly accused the
manufacturing sector, aided and abetted by the wholesalers and retailers, of
being the culprits who, driven by extreme greed, seek to profiteer at the
expense of the poor consumer.

It is, insofar as government is concerned, irrelevant as to whether or not
the manufacturers, wholesalers and retailers are actually at fault. It
suffices that they are credible targets upon whose shoulders blame can be
placed, and that credibility, and the need to place fault upon someone other
than government, enables government to convince itself that they are
actually the culprits. This was, and is, the stance of the president, the
cabinet, the former Minister of Industry and International Trade, Dr Samuel
Mumbengegwi and, as recently as last week, of the secretary for Industry and
International Trade, Rtd Col Christian Katsande, strongly supported by the
state-controlled media.

He is reported to have said that government would probe manufacturers to
find out factors behind the product shortages, and that "our ministry is
concerned about the continuous shortages of commodities at a time when we
have reached an agreement with manufacturers about price adjustments.
Anyway, some measures are being discussed to ensure that operations of
manufacturing firms are strictly monitored" so as to ensure that
manufacturers continued to supply enough goods to retailers.

He stated that government is committed to ensure the availability of goods
in the formal markets, for "black market trading is not tolerated in
Zimbabwe as it leads to an increase in prices. So our main agenda is to
ensure that manufacturers comply with production targets."

Concurrently, the CCZ has forthrightly and scathingly criticised
manufacturers for creating "artificial shortages" of most basic commodities
in order to "push prices up". The Bulawayo regional manager of the CCZ,
Comfort Muchekeza, is reported to have said that most retailers are selling
products at much higher than set prices, or are rationing such products in
order to give the impression that those products are not available.

The contentions of Katsande and Muchekeza were strongly supported in an
editorial in Zimbabwe's largest circulation daily newspaper, owned
indirectly by government. It sought to prove that manufacturers operate in
bad faith and to the prejudice of consumers by rebutting claims of
manufacturers that product shortages were due to non-availability of foreign
currency to import raw materials, machinery and spare parts, over and above
other constraints.

The editorial posed the question: "If this were so, how do the manufacturers
explain that those seemingly scarce commodities are available within the
black market?" It demands that manufacturers, "as partners in development,
need to behave responsibly and desist from feeding the black market".

It appears to be beyond the capacity of government, or its press, to
consider that there can be any other causes of the shortages, and yet that
is the reality. It is very evident from the magnitude of unsuccessful bids
at each and every foreign currency auction that there is a massive
insufficiency of foreign exchange.

The inability to access the extent of foreign currency needed has severely
impaired industrial productivity. Government and the misguided editors and
reporters could rapidly establish the realities of manufacturing
productivity by non-confrontational interaction with the Confederation of
Zimbabwe Industries and its members. If they did so, they would soon
discover that many factories are constrained to production of 30% or less,
of productive capacity. Others have been reduced to working two or three-day
weeks.

As to availability of the scarce products in the black market, there is a
very simple and extremely credible, easily verifiable explanation. Black
marketeers realise that their opportunities are most pronounced when
shortages exist, and are therefore very alert to the development of any
scarcities. They carefully monitor when any supplies whatsoever of those
insufficiently available, necessary products are delivered to retailers, and
immediately purchase the suddenly available goods, thereby restoring an
environment of shortages, whilst simultaneously acquiring the trading stocks
for their operations thereafter.

That this is so is not mere speculation, for many have observed (including
this columnist) that within minutes of products such as sugar, flour and
cooking oil, reaching the supermarkets large queues develop, with each
person purchasing the maximum permitted quantities, and very shortly
thereafter, those purchased products are available for sale by the black
marketeers in close-by sanitary lanes, the few remaining flea markets, and
the like.

Moreover, when the retailers "ration" products, with the intent of supplying
as many customers as possible, it is very evident that many of the queuing
customers are colleagues and syndicates, collaborating in buying as much as
possible, so as to intensify the shortages, and so as to maximise the
quantity of the goods they have for sale.

Government's paranoia is becoming so pronounced that it blinds itself to
these facts, but dwells upon ill-conceived perceptions, demoralising already
severely distressed manufacturers, and discouraging investors who abhor
excessive regulation.
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Zim Independent

Muckraker

Blair continues to haunt State House

WHAT do you call a man who wants to speak to foreigners but will not speak
to his fellow Africans? Muckraker reckons he is a hypocrite suffering from
an acute inferiority complex. That's a terrible situation for a nation to
find itself in, particularly where the person so afflicted is the leader of
that country.

President Mugabe has ruled out talks between Zanu PF and the opposition MDC.
He has also refused to meet MDC leader Morgan Tsvangirai because instead he
wants to meet British prime minister Tony Blair. His excuse is that
Tsvangirai is Blair's puppet.

If this kind of reasoning had been used by a white man he would have been
labelled a racist of the worst type. He would have been pilloried for
looking down upon Africans. Mugabe can't be accused of being a racist in
this case, but there is clearly a pining to meet his master at 10 Downing
Street. He told his supporters at Heroes' Acre on Monday that he wanted to
speak to Blair, although he didn't say what about.

"When will they (MDC) learn that power to rule Zimbabwe comes from the
people of Zimbabwe?" asked Mugabe. So what does he want from Blair?

Well it does appear that the sense of isolation is getting more unbearable
as problems in the country mount. A dream meeting with Blair is seen as the
first tentative step towards rehabilitation. Unfortunately he will have to
wait until the end of time, to borrow Professor Jonathan Moyo's expression.

Mugabe even scoffed at African friends such as Thabo Mbeki and Olusegun
Obasanjo who have been calling for national dialogue. "Today we tell all
those calling for such ill-conceived talks to please stop misdirecting their
efforts," he warned.

So for Zanu PF supporters and the rest of the country who were foolishly
thinking that wisdom comes with age, it is back to the drawing board as they
say. Blair's ghost is firmly ensconced at State House and will not go away.
But as we have warned in the past, the solution to Zimbabwe's problems does
not lie in Britain. Our problems start and end in Harare. Does Mugabe
seriously believe he needs to meet Blair before Zimbabwe can grow sufficient
maize to feed itself?

The Herald has come up with a novel idea to deal with "the dreaded quelea
birds" that threaten wheat farmers in the country. They must be harvested
and eaten is the solution that has been put forward by the brains at the
Herald .

Zimbabwe destroys millions of these birds each year, said the Herald , but
"no one has yet come up with a permanent solution to end the menace". Did
they expect such a solution to come out of Joseph Made's head?

More importantly, we seem to have found another convenient excuse for the
chaos on the farms. Last time around it was drought, this time it must be
the quelea birds.

When the Herald told us not to miss its exclusive interview with former
Finance minister Chris Kuruneri, we wondered what he was going to say. The
paper didn't disappoint with its heading on Saturday, "I'm not bitter:
Kuruneri".

But he was never quoted saying he was not bitter with his incarceration for
over 15 months without trial or bail.

Despite telling us that the minister was staying away from his family, the
writers still wanted us to believe their fable that he wasn't bitter. "I had
chosen to be at my farm but was not allowed," said Kuruneri who is under
24-hour house arrest in Glen Lorne.

He said he was not allowed to talk to the press either. Nothing useful came
out of the hour-long interview.

Just what did the Herald expect Kuruneri to say? That the country is under a
heartless dictatorship?

And there were many denials on that day: "I'm not bitter: Kuruneri"; "I'm
not a copycat: Mafia"; "I'm not biased, says Mhlauri." Had the subs just
returned from a refresher course on denial journalism we wonder?

A row has erupted in the UK over the award made by British American Tobacco,
the British-based cigarettes multinational, to Monica Chinamasa, wife of
Zimbabwean Justice minister Patrick Chinamasa, the Sunday Telegraph reports.

She was presented with $25 million prize money at the BAT Tobacco Grower of
the Year awards ceremony in Harare recently.

Richard Yates, a Zimbabwean farmer, told the Sunday Telegraph the Chinamasas
took the farm from him in September 2003. "They virtually evicted me at
gunpoint,'' he said.

Yates still has the title deeds to the 800-hectare farm in the Headlands
area. Although he was paid some compensation by the Chinamasas, he is still
waiting for full payment. "As far as I am concerned I still own the farm,''
he said.

The prize has sparked outrage among critics of the Zimbabwean government,
the Telegraph says, many of whom believe international businesses should
avoid any involvement with the country because of its appalling record of
human rights abuses and illegal land grabs.

Kate Hoey, the British Labour MP and former minister who has recently
returned from a fact-finding mission in Zimbabwe, described BAT's actions as
"shocking".

"I am very surprised that BAT has done this,'' she told the Telegraph .
"It's pretty shocking for a multinational corporation to reward theft. It is
like someone stealing a race horse and winning the Grand National.''

But BAT refused to apologise for its involvement in the awards. "It is not
our place to say how that farm was acquired and whether we believe it to be
right or not,'' said a spokeswoman.

"BAT believes that it is not our place to condone or condemn governments.''

Roy Bennett, a former farmer and MP, was quoted by the Telegraph as saying
BAT's apparent tacit support of the regime was particularly shocking in the
light of an initiative taken recently by the United Nations' Office for the
Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs.

"As soon as you get companies the size of BAT involving themselves in issues
that are clearly issues of human rights, it is indefensible,'' Bennett said.

Muckraker agrees. This newspaper has repeatedly drawn attention to companies
that are adopting amoral positions on human rights and governance issues,
even though the way this country is governed impacts on their ability to do
business. Nestlé provided a glaring example recently.

In this context we were rather surprised recently to see a report in the
Business Herald stating that telecoms company Econet had "thrown its weight
behind efforts to turn around the economy".

"As one of the largest companies in Zimbabwe we consider it our duty to lead
the way in ensuring that the economy is turned around," a company spokesman
said following Econet's commitment of $200 billion to network expansion.

This would encourage investors to have confidence in the country, he said.

Somebody needs to point out to Econet that they are ill-served by naïve
statements of this sort. Anybody using the expression "turnaround" is
attempting to deceive the public when no such phenomenon is taking place.
The economy is currently being sabotaged by spendthrift management. Every
consumer knows that.

If Econet wants to be part of an economic turnaround it should point out why
no investment can take place until confidence has been restored in fiscal
management. The IMF was very clear on that.

Econet's spokesman said the slowdown in the economy had not affected the
level of telephone traffic.

Of course not. People still have to communicate. What we want to see from
Econet is a better service, not statements about non-existent turnarounds
designed to impress the government.

P

resident Mugabe has been making equally misleading claims about his recent
visit to China.

"I am happy to announce that our Look East policies are beginning to assume
a concrete form and yield quantifiable economic results for our nation," he
said at Heroes Acre.

Our question is: Who will be doing the quantifying? As South African
newspapers pointed out, he did not mention gruelling shortages of fuel and
food. And what results have come out of China to date apart from a flood of
cheap manufactured goods?

Mugabe called on Zimbabweans to grow more food, because "until and unless we
feed ourselves, we remain vulnerable to outside influence and subversion".

Who has subverted agriculture over the past five years? Whose policies have
resulted in national ruin? They are not difficult to quantify. How does he
get away with this empty posturing? He has nothing to show for his trip to
China and he knows it. Which explains the fist-waving aimed at Thabo Mbeki
and Kofi Annan whose position has been strengthened by the failure of the
China trip.

The MDC also came in for particular abuse with Mugabe once again pinning the
"stooges" label on them. But he didn't say what we should call a leader who
sells the country to the Chinese.

Meanwhile, the South African Catholic Bishops Conference last weekend
invited Deputy President Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka to a special service of
blessing at Marianhill near Durban. They evidently felt that after recent
statements that the suffering in Zimbabwe was an internal matter she needed
their help.

Richard Menatsi, the secretary-general, told the SABC the Zimbabwean
government through its policies and actions had wreaked havoc and suffering
among the people. They, therefore, had reservations about financial
assistance being given to Zimbabwe.

Menatsi said they had invited the deputy president to receive the church's
blessing as she was occupying an important position in the country and they
wanted to offer her all their assistance. He said the Catholic Church was
concerned about fraud and corruption. According to Menatsi, the Catholic
Church faced serious challenges of bringing comfort and compassion to people
in countries such as Zimbabwe where widespread suffering is the order of the
day.

Has the Herald's Fortious Nhambura found out the correct date of the arrival
of the Pioneer Column yet? He was 10 days wide of the mark, a reader points
out. And Olley Maruma appears to be mixing up Yankee Doodle Dandy with
Crocodile Dundee to produce a film called "Yankee Doodle Dundee". Very
amusing!

The Sunday Mail's Emilia Zindi, who interviewed Nathan Shamuyarira on land
reform, needs a word of caution. Yes, the governments of South Africa and
Namibia are facing difficulties in forging ahead with land reform policies.
But listen to their spokesmen - and even South Africa's radical Landless
People's Movement - and you will hear the same thing: "We don't want to go
the way of Zimbabwe".

Zimbabwe is being held up as an example of how land reform can go bad unless
managed in a proactive way. Emilia, who made no disclosure about her
interest in land reform, should have asked Shamuyarira what has happened to
his biography of President Mugabe. Why does that no longer appear to be in
the pipeline?

And why does Shamu think Britain and America need Zimbabwe's agriculture to
"sustain" their economies? Which bits of the basket case do they need?

Finally, amidst all the indignation over the Tibaijuka report, why did
nobody ask what happened to government's pledge of "Housing for all by the
year 2000"? How come that target came and went without anybody noticing?
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Zim Independent

Tourism in limbo as sector declines 8%
Godfrey Marawanyika
THE country's tourism sector continues on a downward spiral after it
recorded an 8% slump in the first six months of this year, while hotels
operated below break-even point.

Tourism statistics prepared by the Zimbabwe Tourism Authority (ZTA) for
January to June show that the country received 766 986 visitors compared to
830 178 over the same period last year.

Last year's figure also showed a decrease of 36% compared to the same period
in 2003.

The ZTA said that over and above the 766 986 tourist arrivals, there were
298 614 people in transit, while 282 328 were day-trippers.

Of the one-day arrivals, 121 401 came through the Nyamapanda border post,
while Victoria Falls recorded 62 112 visitors.

During the first six months of the year, the country recorded a total of 856
578 returning residents.

Although Zimbabwe has sour political relations with European Union member
states and the United States, opting to deal with Asian countries, visitors
from Europe still constitute the majority of tourists.

"Of the total overseas tourist arrivals, Europe contributed 60%, America
20%, Asia 13% and Oceania 7%," the ZTA said in a report.

"The leading source countries remain the United Kingdom (28%), the USA
(14%), France (8%), Benelux (Belgium, Netherlands and Luxemburg) (6%),
Canada (5%), China/Hong Kong (4%) and Austria (4%)."

Overall, between the first half of 2004 and this year, European markets
registered an increase of 21%, while Asia, which the ZTA considers an
emerging market, declined by 15%, Oceania by 5% and America by 1%.

The ZTA could however not release the period's earnings, arguing that they
were still to be handed over to them by the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe.

The government has over the past three years been focusing its attention on
doing business with Asian countries - China, Malaysia, Thailand and
Singapore.

Despite the political shift, this has so far failed to translate into real
economic gains.

The country's Approved Destination Status given by China has not been
followed by an influx of visitors.

The ZTA said hotel occupancy rates remain "even lower than the point of
break-even".

During the first half of the year, Masvingo region recorded a decline both
in room and bed occupancies.

Its bed occupancies decreased from 37% in the first half of 2004 to 28% this
year.
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Zim Independent

Low interest rates make govt bonds unattractive
Eric Chiriga/Thomas Mutswiti
ANALYSTS say government bonds are not attractive enough to be fully
subscribed because of their long maturing periods and low interest rates.

Currently the average 91-day Treasury Bill rate is 185% and compounding the
rate for three years will give a better return than holding the three-year
paper giving a Consumer Price Index (CPI) rate of return of 164%.

The capital market has been awash with bonds as the government strives to
get funds for capital projects, parastatal resuscitation and local
authorities reorientation.

The bonds have also been issued to assist government in converting
short-term loan to long-term debt.

The government last week invited applications from investors to subscribe
for the three-year bond at an interest rate of CPI flat.

The offer closed yesterday.

Recent $500 billion bonds were quoting an interest rate equivalent to the
CPI rate.

In spite of the RBZ engineering all forms of incentives to attract
investors, the bonds have largely been under subscribed.

Market watchers say there is zero return in investing in bonds because the
interest rate offered is equal to the inflation rate.

The interest rate on the bonds is the annual rate of inflation, effectively
providing zero real returns.

They believe that in the short to medium-term interest rates will continue
to firm and hence fear losing out by holding on to the long-term paper.

A dealer from one discount house also attributed the under subscription to
the unattractive terms being given.

Given also the thrust by the Reserve Bank (RBZ) to target an inflation rate
of 80% by year-end that would mean a paltry return to the investors.

Economic analyst, John Robertson, said government bonds are always
under-subscribed because of the negative real rates of interest.

"The interest rates do not compensate the lender for inflation. At the end
of the year the lender gets less for his money," Robertson said.

He said government's imposition of prescribed asset ratios on pension funds
was also unfair.

The funds are obliged to tender for the bonds.

"Pension funds have become victims of massive redistribution of wealth and
pensioners cannot retain their lifestyles," Robertson said

"Government borrows money for recurrent expenditure and not for investment
and it ends up borrowing again to repay another debt."

Robertson said the government has become a victim of its own policies that
are stripping away savings.

Investors would rather rollover their short-term investments than hold bonds
as evidenced by the current support being given to Treasury Bills (TBs)
issues in the primary market.

There are competing options for the same money that the government wants to
raise.

The pension fund manager has the option of investing in the stock market
where the realised return has more often than not beaten the fixed income
securities even where the rate is floating but without premium above
inflation.

Another issue is the liquidity issue.

The bond market in Zimbabwe is so thin that it is very difficult to
liquidate the instrument at a fair value or sell the bond without suffering
substantial loss of value.

With stocks the pension fund manager simply restructures his portfolio by
selling some shares should he urgently need funds.

Pension funds that already meet the prescribed asset ratios are thus turning
to the stock market and property section where real returns potential is
better.

Pension fund managers also highlighted they were being robbed through
requiring them to buy unattractive bonds as prescribed assets and hence
suggested that actuarial input be made when the government sets prescribed
asset ratios.

They argued that the current 40% requirement at sub optimal rates of return
meant that the Zimbabwean pensioner would be very poor at the end of the day
yet the manager has a duty to invest where real returns will be realised for
the client.

As long as pension funds comply with the prescribed asset ratios they will
not subscribe to new issues and instead invest in stock market for long-term
capital growth, which will be above inflation or buy Treasury Bills in the
secondary market if the rates are attractive.

The undersubscription has also been attributed to the lack of investor
confidence in the RBZ on the back of continuous policy uncertainties
particularly with regards to interest rates.

The RBZ has been constantly reviewing interest rates and that has meant that
those people who take up bonds with rates not CPI linked at any point in
time will suffer a considerable amount of interest rate risk.

If interest rates fall during the life of the bond, the holders of the bond
will enjoy higher prices and hence portfolio values go up. In the event that
such rates go up, the prices of the bonds will fall causing a fall in
portfolio values.

This interest risk has been exacerbated by the policy uncertainties that the
RBZ has embarked on.

Interest rates are being changed arbitrarily.

Analysts also cited the mid-term monetary policy statement by RBZ governor,
Gideon Gono, where he announced interest rates of 180% and 190% for secured
and unsecured overnight accommodation respectively and then a week later
another 10% rate hike was made.

They said that such policy uncertainties have the effect of undermining
public confidence in these financial instruments to the extent that even
well structured bonds are being undersubscribed.

One fund manager said he believes that the issues are under-subscribed
because the money that the authorities want to raise is too much and the
market does not have that kind of money.

"Buildings form the core assets of pension funds and these are not liquid
investments such that even if the pension funds were to conform with
prescribed asset ratios that would take time," he said.

To reinvigorate the interest in the government financial instruments, the
RBZ should offer a reasonable premium above the CPI to enable investors to
realise real returns.

"A rate of CPI plus 10% would give reason to investors to buy the government
stocks," one analyst said.
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Zim Independent

Power cuts to continue
Godfrey Marawanyika
POWER outages currently plaguing Zimbabwe's urban areas are set to persist
for the foreseeable future as the Zimbabwe Electricity Supply Authority does
not have the US$7 million needed to service its generators.

The perennial outages have also hit industry, resulting in reduced
productivity across all sectors of the economy.

The central bank is allocating only US$125 000 to Zesa due to high demand
for hard currency from other sectors.

Since the beginning of the winter season, the country has been experiencing
shortages of 500 MW on a daily basis.

The blackouts, which are expected to last until the end of the cold spell,
have seen a huge surge in demand for power because of winter wheat
irrigation and curing of tobacco.

Obert Nyatanga, Zesa's general manager for corporate affairs, said their
generators were in dire need of maintenance.

"There is need to repair most of the generators. Most of them are
continuously breaking down," he said. "We expect the blackouts to last until
the end of this month at the earliest," he said.

"The repairs do not come cheap as they require foreign currency. We do get
some from the Reserve Bank but have to wait like everyone else," said
Nyatanga.

Over the past two months the country has been experiencing serious power
blackouts, which have resulted in industry operating at below 50% of
capacity.

Zesa generates 68% of national power requirements with 750 MW from Kariba
Power Station, 590 MW from Hwange Power Station and 100 MW from internal
thermal power stations.

The balance of 650 MW comes from Eskom (300 MW), Hydroelectrica de Cahora
Bassa (250 MW) and 100 MW from Snel in the DRC.

Zesa needs US$13 million a month to import power, pay debts and to purchase
spare parts.

The power utility has since warned that because of the low volume of water
supplies at Kariba Power Station the country could face serious power
deficits.

Confederation of Zimbabwe Industries (CZI) president Pattison Sithole said
most of his members were being badly affected by unreliable power
availability.

Although he could not be drawn into commenting on the overall business lost
due to power outages, he said Zimbabwe Sugar Refineries was feeling the
impact of the power cuts.

Sithole is group chief executive of ZSR.

"I cannot comment on the level of lost business for the industry as we have
not done an assessment," he said.

"However, at ZSR last week we had two days without power so there was no
production."

Sithole said a number of CZI members had been affected by the unreliable
power supplies, which made it virtually impossible to set production
targets.

"Right now, we do not have a plan of what to do because of the shortages of
electricity," he said.
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Zim Independent

SA parly presses minister to explain Zim loan

SOUTH Africa's National Assembly speaker Baleka Mbete told parliament's
programme committee yesterday that she would approach Finance minister
Trevor Manuel to make a statement on the proposed loan to Zimbabwe.

The committee is attended by the whips of the various political parties
represented in the Assembly.

Mbete said: "I am approaching the Minister of Finance to make a statement
(on Zimbabwe)."

She said it was "clearly" a matter of public interest and the statement
would be an opportunity "to see what this is all about". It would also give
parliament the opportunity "to express itself", said Mbete.

Cabinet is expected next week to provide a final pronouncement on the loan
to troubled Zimbabwe but it has already agreed "in principle" to aid
Zimbabweans but said this was tied to long-term economic and constitutional
reforms involving civil society, business, labour and political parties.

Embattled Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe has already said he would not
accept SA aid if it depended on dialogue with the official opposition
Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) - although the opposition party has
indicated that it had not demanded bilateral talks with the ruling Zanu PF.

Official opposition Democratic Alliance chief whip Douglas Gibson said in a
statement that following President Mugabe's apparent rejection of the
bail-out for his country, "government must in no way bend its conditions or
beg the Mugabe government to accept its offer of financial assistance".

"It is now quite evident that government's strategy on the proposed loan is
starting to fall apart. It was obvious right from the outset that attaching
conditions to the bail-out package would be problematic because first, the
Mugabe government has proven time and again that it cannot be trusted to
abide by its word, and second because it has also made it clear on a number
of different occasions that it will not accept any conditionalities.

"What is also concerning is that the government's apparent insistence on
talks between Zanu PF and the MDC is out of step with the views of the MDC.
The MDC has made it clear that it has never demanded talks ... and further
that it has no interest in serving in a government of national unity with
Zanu PF.

"What is now glaringly obvious is that years of a confused and misguided
foreign policy towards Zimbabwe have now come home to haunt the government.
It is quite bizarre that after the government and ANC delegations went out
of their way to legitimise a fundamentally flawed election held earlier this
year that the government has now decided to put the issue of elections and
talks on the table.

"How can the government make such a demand when its official policy is to
view Zanu PF as the democratically-elected government of Zimbabwe? Had it
not adopted such a fawning approach to Zanu PF over the last five years then
it would have been in a much more credible position to make such demands."

Gibson said: "It now appears that yet again President Mbeki has been
outplayed by the cunning of Robert Mugabe, who will quite obviously not
accept strict conditionalities. Now is the time for the government to play
hard ball and either enforce these conditions or more appropriately abandon
the loan altogether. Either way the time has come for President Mbeki to
take the nation into his confidence about how the government is going to
act." - I-Net Bridge.
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Zim Independent

Is it a few moments before dawn.?
By Admire Mavolwane
AT this moment in time the toughest question one may unfortunately (or
otherwise) be called upon to address and probably provide some insight into
is: "What does the future hold for the country?" Or, "Where will Zimbabwe be
in two months' time?"

The same question can be posed across our social and economic endeavours,
starting at a macro level and trickling down to micro levels such as firms,
schools, churches and even households.

The deeply religious might open the Holy Book, read a few wise words, and
perhaps proclaim that "the end is nigh".

Business people, however, are by their very nature an optimistic lot and
would vow that things will come right one day. Politicians would proffer
advice through parables or metaphors like "the night is always darkest just
before the dawn" and hence, with the future looking very dim indeed, things
are about to get better.

The cynics would obviously counter by stating that "we have heard all that
before".

Everyone probably has their own very strong opinion on this vexing question
which, understandably at this point in time, cannot be addressed with much
conviction.

The country's back appears to be firmly against the wall and outside or
foreign intervention on the economic front has never been more critical. It
is heartening that the authorities are at least aware of this fact, to judge
from media reports.

No official figures have been put forward as to how much the country is set
to borrow from South Africa but the authorities did confirm that they have
opened negotiations with their counterparts across the Limpopo River.

It has also been confirmed that the IMF decision on Zimbabwe has been
postponed to September 9 - some say this stay of execution is at the behest
of South Africa. Investors appear to have already taken a position on the
loan, the consequences of accessing, or losing it, and even on the fiscal
policy review which has been postponed twice already.

The minister responsible has justifiably been busy shuttling between Harare
and Pretoria.

The four-day sojourn obviously allowed investors to take stock, weigh the
pros and cons and decide on the best route. Clearly, the consensus was to
seize the bull by its sharp horns because after the holidays, the market
took off from where it had tentatively left off but with even more zest.

This Wednesday, the industrial index shrugged off the vacation blues gaining
3,24% to reach a new all-time high of 4 257 771,58 points. All indications
are that the bulls are unstoppable with the onset of the reporting season
and release of the July inflation figure likely to be the tonic needed to
start a stampede.

However, judging by the results released so far, the former could prove to
be a hindrance rather than a catalyst.

Dairibord (DZL) threw down the gauntlet, releasing six months to June 30
results on July 29 followed last Wednesday by Interfresh whose interim
numbers were unveiled to the market through the customary analysts'
briefing.

Starting with DZL; turnover increased by 203% to $470,5 billion spurred on
by significant sales volumes growth across most of the product lines.

Operating margins however succumbed to inflationary and possibly political
pressures, declining from 18 to 15% with this compression attributed to
price controls on milk products and inflationary increases in costs.
Operating profits thus grew by a watered down 140% to $68,4 billion.

The 40%-owned associate ME Charhon contributed $10,6 billion to the bottom
line, compared with $3,1 billion in the prior period whilst interest inflows
of $9,8 billion were recorded, a noteworthy recovery from the finance
charges of $3,4 billion in 2004.

Attributable earnings of $58,7 billion were realised showing an increase of
218% on the $18,5 billion achieved in the same period last year.

The group remains in a healthy cash position closing the period with a
bounty $47,6 billion after paying off $23,3 billion to the shareholders as a
dividend and utilising a further $20 billion to fund the purchase of shares
donated to the Employee Share Trust.

As has become the norm, the board did not commit itself as to what the
company will deliver for its shareholders in the second six months. It did,
however, express its confidence that the group is well-geared to face up to
the current economic challenges and will continue to produce satisfactory
performance.

Interfresh's interim results, whilst showing a rather solid performance,
were presented by the new regime in such a sombre tone that they left many
downbeat. Although not different from the previous set of results, where
history will confirm that the company has never outperformed market
expectations, the vitality and panache of the previous CEO, Evan
Christophides, somehow induced a sense of hope and optimism in the group's
future.

Turnover for the six months was up 134% to $185 billion, driven mainly by
local sales which grew by 170% whilst exports increased marginally by 39%
amid viability concerns in the export markets.

Poor quality citrus fruit coming from outgrowers which had to be diverted to
the juicing factory - obviously the country is now paying the price of the
2000 adventures -also affected the quantity of citrus exported. This
combined with weak international prices on the flower side of the business
contributed to the lukewarm top line performance.

Reduced export revenues coupled with high local inflation saw margins
yielding four percentage points to 10%.

The firming of the US dollar against the euro also affected margins as the
revenues from flowers are in euros whilst freight and logistics are charged
in American dollars. Consequently, operating profits increased by only 80%
on the previous period to $19,7 billion.

Attributable earnings of $12,8 billion were realised, up 133% on the first
six months of 2004.

Whilst the new exchange rate of $17,500 to the US dollar will go a long way
in improving the viability of exports, it will not be too long before local
inflation catches up, unless regular reviews are effected.

The announced impending closure of the Smithfield hypericum venture and
Citrifresh Exports cast a dark pall over the future of the group, especially
as these ventures are no more than two years old and, according to previous
management, held a lot of promise. Furthermore, the decommissioning costs
were not available and could be a surprise hit to the income statement come
year-end.

In similar vein to DZL, the board of Interfresh gave a non-committal
outlook, which serves to underline our assertion that the future, be it in
business, political or social circles, is now even more unpredictable than
what we had previously become accustomed to. Understandably, those entrusted
with the preservation and enhancement of shareholders' wealth are not
willing to put their heads on the block and promise superior returns come
year-end.
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Zim Independent

Editor's Memo

Right to know

THIS week we run in full the report of United Nations Special Envoy Anna
Tibaijuka on Operation Murambatsvina. We have no doubt that a majority of
our readers will have seen government's and civil society's very different
reactions to the report but have not had the opportunity to read it
themselves.

We provide an opportunity this week for our readers to acquaint themselves
with the useful remarks by Tibaijuka, not only on Murambatsvina but on why
the country is in this parlous state.

We would like to thank civic groups who came in to advertise in the
supplement or sponsor the publication of the long report which I believe is
a useful record of our short yet eventful history since 1980.

That President Mugabe's government has tried to convince us that the report
is biased and inspired by the British does not detract from the fact that
Zimbabwe has garnered more medals for notoriety by executing Operation
Murambatsvina in the brutal way that they did. Zimbabwe is a bad boy in the
hood and as opposition MDC secretary-general Welshman Ncube said in a
statement last week, the UN report "gives Mugabe an opportunity to break
with the past and make peace with the people of Zimbabwe and the outside
world".

Our dear leader is not interested in this. That is why his government
elected to condemn the report without making an effort to publicise its
contents. If the report was a really nasty piece of literature based on
falsehoods, Mugabe could have done his government a favour by publishing it
so that people could judge for themselves.

As was the case with the African Commission on Human and Peoples' Rights
report on Zimbabwe last year, the government saw it fit to mobilise people
against a report they had not seen. We will strive to publicise all reports
on Zimbabwe, negative or positive, because Zimbabweans have a right to know
what the international community thinks about their country even if it
amounts to a public flogging of its leaders.

It is the hallmark of despotism to bombard the public with tired
presidential speeches which are reproduced in full in the state media. The
speeches have unfortunately long ceased to be useful archival material.

In case you missed the Heroes Day offering, wait for the next burial at the
national shrine or Unity Day in December. Even then the president will not
talk about fuel problems or inflation or HIV and Aids or the IMF debt. At
Rufaro Stadium on Tuesday he spoke glowingly about the campaign in the DRC
which contributed immensely to our poverty. When is he coming home to deal
with Zimbabwe's predicament?

By contrast the Tibaijuka Report deals with all the contentious issues we
face today. That is why Tibaijuka is not the flavour of the month in
official circles. Read her comments about the rule of law, property rights
and about the judiciary's failure to protect sacrosanct rights of the
downtrodden citizenry.

She comments without fear or favour on the ills of the land reform programme
and the assault on property rights. She did not have kind words for
"overzealous" politicians responsible for Operation Murambatsvina and on how
the economy has been screwed up. Indeed, she said those responsible for
initiating the clean-up campaign should be prosecuted.

The report, an omnibus of varied inputs from a cross-section of Zimbabwean
society, including government, is important because it brings to the fore
the fact that everyone is agreed that the economy is in a mess. There is
agreement on the broader political context that Zimbabwe requires more than
just aid for the victims of Murambatsvina and the so-called reconstruction
programme. It needs a political settlement. Tibaijuka's team could not miss
that, hence the reference to dialogue in the report. Please read the report
in full.

More significant though is the fact that she has set the agenda for any
internal dialogue. AU chairman Olusegun Obasanjo's anointed mediator in
Zimbabwe, former Mozambican President Joachim Chissano, has his work cut out
for him when drawing up the agenda. But first he has to convince Mugabe that
the talks are not "ill-conceived" and that efforts to promote dialogue by
the international community are not "misdirected efforts".

Mugabe knows that any agenda for dialogue will have to deal with the crucial
issue of the shrinking democratic space, a haven for authoritarianism. He
knows that dialogue will entail media reform and doing away with oppressive
laws like the Public Order and Security Act. Also on the agenda should be
reform of security arms and the civil service which have all the bad traits
of the ruling party.

As Zimbabweans, we need to openly start debating possible agenda items for
national dialogue. Mugabe's obduracy aside, dialogue will soon take place
and it should have total local ownership.

Significantly, Mugabe is subtracting himself from this crucial process by
pursuing Tony Blair at 10 Downing Street. He evidently misses Sainsbury's,
Marks & Spencer's and Tesco. He can go on shopping sprees while we face the
reality at home.

But the bitter truth that he should be told is that Blair is neither the
cause nor the solution to our problems of governance, economic mismanagement
and political repression. Everybody seems to understand that except him!
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Zim Online

Tsvangirai welcomes Chissano's appointment
Sat 13 August 2005

      JOHANNNESBURG - Zimbabwean opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai on
Friday welcomed the appointment of former Mozambican president Joaquim
Chissano to mediate in the country's crisis but said Chissano faced an
uphill task convincing President Robert Mugabe to agree to talks with the
opposition.

      Tsvangirai, who has in the past accused South African President Thabo
Mbeki of siding with Mugabe when he tried to broker negotiations in
Zimbabwe, said Chissano, a close friend of Mugabe, had to prove he was not
taking sides in the southern African country's long-running political
dispute.

      The African Union (AU) this week appointed Chissano to mediate between
President Robert Mugabe's ruling ZANU PF and Tsvangirai's Movement for
Democratic Change (MDC).

      Tsvangirai told the Press from Seychelles , where he is holidaying:
"President Chissano is somebody who has left a very good legacy in
Mozambique . After 16 years of war he managed to resolve issues with the
opposition and left power without any controversy.

      "I think that gives him much more integrity and greater credentials to
intervene in a country which has also been instrumental in keeping the
conflict in Mozambique under control. He knows the burden is to prove that
one is not taking sides or you will not make progress."

      But Tsvangirai, whose MDC party poses the biggest threat Mugabe's
25-year iron fisted rule, said the former Mozambican leader would, "have to
find all the skill in the world to convince the other side, which is a bit
intransigent, to come to the table."Zimbabwe is grappling its worst ever
political and economic crisis which critics squarely blame on economic
mismanagement and repressive rule by Mugabe.

      The Zimbabwean leader denies the charges and instead says Zimbabwe 's
problems are mainly because of sabotage by Britain and its Western allies
who are out to punish his government for seizing land from whites and giving
it to landless blacks.

      Fuel, essential medical drugs, electricity and hard cash are all in
severe short supply while 1.2 million tonnes of food aid are required or a
quarter of Zimbabwe 's 12 million people could starve

      But Mugabe earlier this week ruled out talks with the MDC to find a
solution to Zimbabwe's crisis saying it would be more useful to talk to
British Premier Tony Blair, who he claims is the principal behind the MDC.
He also said he would however consider talking to the MDC if the party
stopped backing Western sanctions against Zimbabwe government leaders. -
ZimOnline

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Zim Online

Defence applies for acquittal of Daily News journalist
Sat 13 August 2005

      HARARE - Defence lawyers representing banned Daily News journalist
Kelvin Jakachira on Thursday applied for the acquittal of their client who
is being charged for practising without licence from a state media body.

      Beatrice Mtetwa, who is representing Jakachira, said she had applied
for the discharge at the Harare Magistrates' Court rguing the state had
failed to prove its case.

      The magistrate is set to make a ruling on the application on Wednesday
next week. Jakachira faces a maximum two-year jail term if convicted.

      Media and Information Commission (MIC) chairman Dr Tafataona Mahoso,
who is the sole state witness in the case, conceded he had not personally
considered Jakachira's application among several others filed by the Daily
News journalists because their employer was not registered as a media
service provider.

      The MIC chairman also admitted under cross examination that one could
not be prejudiced from practising if one does not receive a determination
from the regulatory body on the status of one's application.

      Mahoso argued that the applications by the journalists had not been
received by the January 2 2003 deadline. But the MIC chairman was reminded
by Mtetwa that there was a strike by Zimpost workers during the same period
which could have led to the delay in the movement of letters.

      "Mahoso also conceded that once an application has been posted to the
given postal box, one is deemed to have applied and that if the MIC takes
its time to collect the mail, that should not prejudice the applicant," said
Mtetwa.

      Jakachira is being charged under Section 83 (1) of the Access to
Information and Protection of Privacy Act (AIPPA) Chapter 10:27 which bars
journalists from practising without a licence from the MIC.

      He is accused of practising without a licence between January 2003 and
September 2003 when the paper was shut down after a Supreme Court judgment
that ruled the paper was operating illegally.

      Eight other Daily News journalists who are facing similar charges are
expected to appear in court on 12 October 2005.

      More than a hundred journalists have been arrested under the country's
tough media laws in the last two years. Four newspapers, including the Daily
News, have also been shut down during the same period.

      World press rights watchdog, the Committee to Protect Journalists
rates Zimbabwe among the three most dangerous countries in the world for
journalists. The other two are Iran and the former Soviet Republic of
Uzbekistan. - ZimOnline

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Zim Online

ZANU PF official jailed for assaulting MDC supporters
Sat 13 August 2005

      HURUNGWE - A ZANU PF official from Hurungwe district, about 290
kilometres north-west of Harare , was this week jailed for three months for
severely assaulting two opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC)
party members for wearing their party's regalia.

      The official, Albert Nyamapfeka, who is also a councillor of the
Hurungwe Rural District Council, beat up Medrina Humbasha and Chamunorwa
Dekesa when they turned up at a district development meeting two weeks ago
dressed up in T-shirts and other attire emblazoned with MDC insignia.

      ZANU PF members attending the same meeting were also dressed up in
their party regalia.

      Sentencing Nyamapfeka to jail, Hurungwe magistrate Morris Dingane
said: "There was no need to fight if you were addressing a developmental
meeting and to say the two provoked you by their attire is unacceptable in a
democratic society."

      Militant ZANU PF supporters have been accused of routinely beating up,
torturing or even murdering opposition supporters but very few have ever
been prosecuted, let alone jailed for the offences. - ZimOnline

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Zim Online

Lawyers vow to fight proposed constitutional changes
Sat 13 August 2005

      HARARE - Zimbabwean lawyers on Friday said they will fight proposed
constitutional changes barring landowners from appealing against seizures of
their properties in the courts.

      "We intend to challenge the passage of this evil piece of legislation
in all manners and through all channels available to us," said the lawyers
in a petition to Zimbabwe 's judges and parliamentarians.

      At least 100 lawyers signed the petition.

      The lawyers say they will take to the streets next Thursday to protest
against the planned constitutional changes in the Constitutional Amendment
Bill which is before parliament.

      "As officers of the court with a duty to the law, we cannot sit back
and fail to act while fundamental rights accruing to people are being
attacked."

      Under the new law, the government can seize farmland without paying
compensation and bar farmers from contesting the seizure of their
properties.

      The lawyers criticised the proposed amendments saying they threatened
to "ursurp the authority of the courts."

      "The amendment effectively usurps the authority of the courts by
denying people recourse to the law challenging state action which violates
fundamental human rights," the lawyers said.

      The Bill also seeks to reintroduce the Senate which was abolished more
than 10 years ago.

      Civic groups and the main opposition Movement for Democratic Change
party have criticised the move saying President Mugabe wants to accommodate
his pals who were left out of parliament during last March's controversial
election. - ZimOnline

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Sunday Times, SA

Mbeki, Manuel 'propping up a pariah'

Friday August 12, 2005 14:05 - (SA)

By Donwald Pressly

The ruling African National Congress' (ANC's) approach to the rulers of
Zimbabwe was in "striking contrast" to its past approach to the apartheid
regime, says official opposition Democratic Alliance (DA) leader Tony Leon.

Leon said in his Friday internet column, SA Today, that in October 1991 -
three years before the end of white minority rule in South Africa - then ANC
official (now South African President) Thabo Mbeki and (now Finance
Minister) Trevor Manuel took a strong public stance against any loans from
the International Monetary Fund for the government of then-President FW de
Klerk.

Mbeki and Manuel then were the leaders of the by then unbanned ANC's
campaign to isolate South Africa internationally.

Leon noted that Mbeki and Manuel issued a 'double warning' to the IMF and
World Bank ahead of their conference in Bangkok, Thailand, and stipulated
the following: "Firstly, that any premature lifting of financial sanctions
will enable the South African cabinet to stall, and thereby imperil, the
peace process. ANC backing for loans from the IMF will be given only when an
interim government is installed.

"Secondly, that a future ANC government will feel free to renegotiate any
foreign loans made to De Klerk's administration if its terms are deemed
unduly onerous."

Leon said that by giving a loan - which cabinet is expected to finalise next
week - to President Robert Mugabe today, "without making concrete political
change an explicit and public condition of that assistance, President Mbeki
and Minister Manuel are doing exactly what they opposed in 1991 - namely,
propping up a government whose rule has become an affront to human rights
and a pariah in the international community.

"President Mbeki and Minister Manuel, among others, argue that a loan to
Mugabe is necessary because we cannot afford to allow Zimbabwe to collapse.
But Zimbabwe has already collapsed - and it has done so partly because South
Africa's policy of quiet diplomacy over nearly six years has been such an
abject failure."

Manuel in particular had said, Leon noted, that South Africa did not want a
'failed state' on our borders. "He is offering us a choice between anarchy
on the one hand, and authoritarianism on the other.

"Neither he nor his government seems willing or able to find the backbone to
stand up for the third and best option: renewed constitutional democracy,
with Mugabe out of office.

"Mugabe is not seeking emergency aid for the sake of his people. If he were,
he could make do with far less, and he would allow international relief
agencies to handle the money.

"In fact, giving billions of rands to the (Zimbabwe ruling) Zanu-PF regime
will do little to ease the suffering of ordinary Zimbabweans and will in all
likelihood achieve the opposite by helping Mugabe stay in control. President
Mugabe has repeatedly stood in the way of aid, most recently delaying a
South African Council of Churches delivery of basic foods into the country
on the flimsiest of pretences.

"We must insist on the implementation of a 'road map to democracy' ... the
establishment of an interim government, the drafting of a new constitution
and the holding of new elections," said Leon.

"Only then will it be appropriate for us to provide large-scale assistance
to Zimbabwe - as a reward for progress, not an incentive to pillage and
plunder."

I-Net Bridge

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Constitutional amendment to restrict travel

[ This report does not necessarily reflect the views of the United Nations]

JOHANNESBURG, 12 Aug 2005 (IRIN) - The Zimbabwean government has dug in its
heels over proposed constitutional amendments and challenged its critics to
take their concerns to parliament.

Human rights activists and lawyers have slammed the controversial
Constitution of Zimbabwe Amendment No.17 Bill of 2005, labelling it the
latest in a long line of alterations to the constitution.

Zimbabwe's fundamental law has been amended 16 times by the ruling ZANU-PF
government, the most notable being the abolition of the Prime Minister's
position, which led to the creation of an Executive Presidency in 1987.

Under the draft Bill the government seeks the power to restrict freedom of
movement in the name of national interest and security. If passed, the
proposed legislation will give the state the right to suspend or withdraw
the travel documents of citizens.

Justice Minister Patrick Chinamasa told IRIN on Thursday that there was no
need for law-abiding citizens to worry about the proposed changes because
they were aimed at improving national security.

"All laws are created to protect national interests and this is just one of
them. The restrictions on travel and movement are not new, as it is normal
procedure for any suspects to be placed under such conditions," Chinamasa
said.

"The Bill is due in parliament, possibly this week. There is no need to
discuss anything about it until it goes through parliament. Those
complaining about it should make their representations to the parliamentary
portfolio committee on justice, legal and parliamentary affairs," he added.

Chinamasa would not be drawn on the criteria for determining whether an
individual or group posed a threat to "national interest".

In representations to the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee for Justice,
Legal and Parliamentary Affairs last week, Zimbabwe Human Rights Lawyers
(ZHRL), a civic group, complained that travel restrictions were likely to be
used against opposition party members and civil rights activists, who have
been critical of Harare's policies.

Since March 2001, ZANU-PF legislators have argued for the confinement of
opposition leaders who enjoy political links and travel rights to countries
considered active in maintaining targeted sanctions against some top ruling
party officials.

Despite the concerns raised by the opposition and civil society groups, the
Bill is expected to sail through parliament, which is dominated by the
ZANU-PF.

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Yahoo News

US envoy pledges continued food aid to Zimbabweans

MUTASA, Zimbabwe (AFP) - US envoy Tony Hall told Zimbabwean families
affected by the     AIDS pandemic the United States will help by continuing
to provide food aid to the southern African country.

"We are going to continue to help you and we hope that you will get better,"
said Hall, the US ambassador to UN food agencies and a leading US advocate
of aid.
Hall toured a feeding center run by a US-funded non-governmental
organisation, Africare Zimbabwe, which provides rations of maize, cooking
oil, beans and corn meal porridge to 255 households and to 1,470 orphans
living with AIDS.

The visit to the eastern Zimbabwe region came after a brief meeting with
Zimbabwean Social Welfare Minister Nicholas Goche in Harare that Hall
described as "very frustrating."

"We talked a lot about the situation here in Zimbabwe, the high inflation,
the long lines of people waiting for gasoline, the   HIV/AIDS problem and
the fact that there just isn't enough food," Hall said.

"He said 'we have it taken care of' and that everyone is being fed and
everybody is okay'," said the US envoy.

The UN World Food Programme estimates that 4.3 million Zimbabweans are in
need of food aid but the government of President Robert Mugabe has said that
far fewer people -- 2.4 million -- are hungry in a country of close to 13
million.

At the feeding center set up in a secondary school, Africare director Sekai
Chikowero said the recent government campaign to demolish homes, market
stalls and small businesses had aggravated food insecurity.

"The people in rural areas do not have the capacity to take in some of the
displaced from urban areas who are coming here," said Chikowero.

The 10-week campaign that ended in late July left some 700,000 Zimbabweans
without homes or livelihoods, or both, according to a UN report released
last month that harshly condemned the blitz.

The government has said the demolitions were necessary to rid urban areas of
crime and grime and has since embarked on a reconstruction program to build
new housing.

Zimbabwe is also one of the countries hardest hit by the HIV and AIDS
pandemic with at least 3,000 people dying weekly from AIDS-related
illness -- or about one person every three minutes -- according to the
National Aids Council.

The battle with the pandemic has been compromised by a collapsing public
health sector and dwindling funding due to strained relations between Harare
and big western donors.

Hall, who is the US ambassador to the Rome-based World Food Program (WFP)
and the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), was to visit new
settlements for some of the victims of the demolitions campaign on the final
day of his Zimbabwe visit.

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Committee to Protect Journalists

      ZIMBABWE: Journalist for banned newspaper goes on trial

        New York, August 12, 2005-The trial of a journalist accused of
working without accreditation for the banned Daily News opened yesterday in
a Harare court, according to his lawyer and the Media Institute for Southern
Africa (MISA). Kelvin Jakachira faces up to two years in prison in what is
seen as a test case for other former Daily News journalists.

        Jakachira is accused of working for the banned paper between January
and September 2003 without the government license required by the Access to
Information and Protection of Privacy Act (AIPPA). The Daily News,
Zimbabwe's only independent daily, was forced to close in September 2003
after the Supreme Court ruled that it was operating illegally under AIPPA.

        Jakachira's lawyer, Beatrice Mtetwa, told CPJ the defense presented
evidence that her client had applied for a license from the
government-controlled Media and Information Commission (MIC), but received
no reply-meaning that he was not operating illegally under AIPPA. MIC
chairman Mahoso Tafataona argued that his agency could not accredit
Jakachira to work for the Daily News because it was a banned publication,
she said.

        The case was adjourned to August 17. At least eight other former
Daily News journalists are facing similar charges and are likely to be
brought to court in October, according to MISA. Their prosecution could
depend on the outcome of this case, CPJ sources said.

        "Prosecuting a journalist for doing his job speaks volumes about the
appalling state of press freedom in Zimbabwe and flies in the face of basic
international standards for freedom of expression," said Ann Cooper,
executive director of the Committee to Protect Journalists. "We call on the
government to drop these unfounded charges against Jakachira and his
colleagues, to permit the Daily News to reopen, and to repeal the repressive
AIPPA."

        Since AIPPA became law in February 2002, the government of President
Robert Mugabe has used it to detain and harass dozens of critical
journalists, and to close four newspapers. It has not successfully
prosecuted a journalist under this law.

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IPS News

Fences Not the Only Barrier for Cross-Border Park
Stephan Hofstatter

KRUGER NATIONAL PARK, South Africa; Aug 12 (IPS) - The Pafuri-Banyini pan in
South Africa's north-eastern Kruger National Park teems with game. Elephant
bulls amble among clumps of marula trees and impala leap gracefully across
the grassland, where buffalo graze.

Located in the triangle between the Limpopo and Luvuvhu rivers where South
Africa, Zimbabwe and Mozambique meet, the pan is more than an idyllic corner
of Kruger, however: it will ultimately lie at the heart of the Great Limpopo
Transfrontier Park. This conservation area will encompass 35,000 square
kilometres, allowing animals to follow ancient migration routes between the
Kruger in South Africa, the Limpopo National Park in Mozambique and
Gonarezhou National Park in Zimbabwe.

The pressures that are being brought to bear on the pan are indicative of
problems that the transfrontier park as a whole will have to grapple with -- 
a matter of increasing importance as the deadline approaches for dropping
another stretch of border fencing to create the conservation area.

The first section of fence to be taken down was a 15-kilometre strip in
2002, between Mozambique and South Africa -- just north of where the
Shingwedzi River enters the Kruger. This year, a 30-kilometre section of
fence will be dropped south of the Shingwedzi - also between South Africa
and Mozambique - after the presidents of Zimbabwe, South Africa and
Mozambique open the border post at Giriyondo.

This post, between Kruger and the Limpopo National Park, is the first to be
opened under the transfrontier park initiative. The ceremony is scheduled to
take place in October.

Jack Greef, a former special forces operative who has worked in wildlife
security in Angola, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Mozambique and
Tanzania -- and who now runs a crack ranger unit in Kruger -- believes
dropping the fence without beefing up patrols on both sides of the border
will worsen poaching.

Reports have already surfaced of rhino poachers from Mozambique driving into
Kruger through areas where the first section of fencing was dismantled. And,
even though the Pafuri-Banyini pan lies some way north of Giriyondo -- where
the next stretch of fence is to come down -- poachers are already taking a
toll in the area.

"Zimbabweans cross the river, lay snares and sell bush meat in the villages
in South Africa. Then they buy groceries here to take back to Zimbabwe,"
Greef told IPS during a visit to the pan, pointing to one of several
well-trodden footpaths leading to the Limpopo River.

In May, Greef's team of eight rangers found 79 snares at a spring near the
Pafuri gate into Kruger that had been set three nights before. By the time
they reached the scene, a buffalo calf, hyena and impala had been killed.
"If we hadn't detected these snares it would have been a slaughter house,"
said patrol leader Prison Manganye.

Two months later, Kruger rangers caught a poacher transporting 129 gennet
skins by car from the Mozambican border post at Pafuri to the Punda Maria
gate into Kruger. "That's virtually the entire population of genets along
the Limpopo," noted Greef.

Mozambican park official Hernando Vukeya said 36 poachers armed with AK47
assault rifles had been arrested in the district during the past five years.
Most were war veterans turned poachers. But, he told IPS the situation was
under control: "We are dealing with poaching very efficiently here."

There are currently about 70 rangers in mobile units in the Limpopo National
Park who are in radio contact with their counterparts in Kruger.

"Generally bigger is better," Greef concluded at his headquarters. "And with
increased cross-border cooperation between ranger units we can catch more
poachers who escape by slipping across the border." But, he is not as
sanguine about the situation as Vukeya.

Poaching is only part of the problem, however.

Just 30 kilometres east of Pafuri-Banyini pan, in Limpopo National Park,
lies Shikumba village: one of a string of settlements along the Limpopo
river housing up to 20,000 people.

Inhabitants of these villages have refused to move elsewhere. "We debated
this issue and decided we would rather be fenced in and stay here," Maria
Nyampuli, one of the villagers, told IPS. "We are not happy about it, it but
we will adhere to the law."

However, certain villagers have also threatened to take up arms if the
number of elephant in their area increases as a result of park fences being
taken down. Elephant may kill people or trample crops, no small matter for
communities which rely on subsistence farming for their survival.

"People were saying to me, 'We hear on the radio they will move elephants in
here. If the animals come we will take them out'," says an ecologist who
conducted field work in the area. "It's a war zone out there."

Given the number of weapons that are in circulation in the aftermath of
Mozambique's 16-year civil war, the villagers' threats cannot be taken
lightly.

"This place is awash with guns from the war, including AK47s," said a South
African police inspector at the Pafuri border post. "You will see what
happens if you try to force them to move."

Steve Collins, a development worker with extensive experience of communities
living next to parks, is also concerned. "Community development issues have
become secondary to conservation," he told IPS. "This is colonialism by
conservationists."

Nyampuli and her family members were among thousands who fled the area next
to the Limpopo during the war, some as far as Johannesburg. Many returned
when the conflict ended in 1992. By then, trading stories established by
Portuguese colonists had been burned down and most game had been slaughtered
and eaten. The only means of survival for people in Shikumba and
neighbouring villages is farming, but drought has pushed them to the edge of
starvation.

"There's no rain," sighed Nyampuli. "Only hunger."

Villagers acknowledge that the transfrontier park may help them escape
poverty - even if it also causes headaches in terms of incoming elephant.

"If it can give our children jobs, if it gives us water and arable lands,
then we support it," said one inhabitant of the area, pushing his bicycle
down a deeply rutted track that passes for a road.

However, a community in South Africa is less optimistic about the eventual
benefits of the transfrontier conservation area.

The Makuleke ethnic group is the first community to have won back land in
one of the country's national parks, under a restitution system that was set
up to assist people who were forced off their land during colonialism and
apartheid.

It now leases this land to lodge operators, including Wilderness Safaris,
with substantial revenues flowing back into the community. The Makuleke are
concerned their animals will be poached when they wander into Mozambique and
Zimbabwe.

"We need to come up with programmes of direct benefit to communities in
Zimbabwe and Mozambique," said community spokesman Lamson Maluleke, who also
complains that the Makuleke have not been adequately involved in decisions
about the regional park.

However, the Peace Parks Foundation - which originated the idea of the
transfrontier conservation area - insists that community benefits lie at the
heart of its work.

The foundation is based in Stellenbosch, in the southern part of South
Africa. It was founded in 1997 to help create cross-border parks and promote
regional stability. The foundation assists governments to create these
conservation areas by securing grants from donor agencies. To date, six
transfrontier parks have been established, all in Southern Africa, but there
are plans to expand the concept throughout the continent.

The Limpopo villagers, says Ari van Wyk - transfrontier park co-ordinator in
Mozambique - will probably stay in the park, but be allocated hunting
quotas. "There will always be subsistence hunting when people are hungry,"
he told IPS.

As the amount of game circulating between Kruger and the Limpopo National
Park increases with the dropping of fences, Limpopo villagers may find that
their settlements fall within migration routes. With this in mind, a grant
of about 8.7 million dollars has been provided by France to relocate
villagers to the edges of game corridors - and to provide them with
irrigation systems.

Another group of people inhabiting the Limpopo National Park - 6,000 people
living in eight villages along the Shingwedzi River - will benefit from a
grant of about 7.5 million dollars made available by the German government.

Part of these funds will be used to establish an irrigation scheme outside
the park where soils are better, says Van Wyk, by way of an incentive to get
villagers to leave the conservation area. "Most have already accepted
resettlement because they live in remote areas without services," he noted.
Resettlement is expected to take three to five years.

In addition, certain camps for tourists in the Mozambican section of the
transfrontier park are to be run by villagers.

"We have calculated Limpopo has a carrying capacity of about 1,000 beds for
300,000 potential visitors a year," Peace Parks Foundation Chief Executive
Willem van Riet told IPS. "That translates to about 3,000 jobs." According
to Van Riet, the Limpopo National Park has already created 250 jobs where
previously there were none.

Maluleke's concerns about Zimbabwe are echoed amongst staffers at the Peace
Parks Foundation, however.

The country has become increasingly isolated over the past five years, in
the wake of a controversial programme of farm seizures, and three elections
marred by allegations of human rights abuse and vote rigging. These events
have taken their toll on Zimbabwe's economy, creating mass unemployment and
triple digit inflation. Certain Zimbabweans have turned to poaching in a bid
to make ends meet.

"Until Zimbabwe comes back into the fold nothing will happen there because
donors are not going to put up money," said Van Riet.

Wildlife operators such as Wilderness Safaris acknowledge that communities
living alongside and in the parks will have to be catered for by the
transfrontier initiative if it is to succeed. For all this, the park remains
an ideal tourism opportunity for them.

"Eventually you will be able to visit three national parks in three
different countries without a passport as long as you exit on your side,"
Gary van Rensburg, manager of the newest Wilderness lodge, which opened at
Pafuri last month, told IPS. "That's really attractive from a tourism point
of view - and we're right at the centre of it." (END/2005)
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Daily Mirror of 11/08/2005

 

Saving the life of Brian 

 

Brian Masawi (12) grew up a normal healthy boy in Chitungwiza. He enjoyed his schoolwork and sporting activities and hoped to become an art designer one day.  But that was all to change one fateful day when he was involved in an accident.

 

 

In the days following the accident, it appeared that Brian’s injuries were minor and he was discharged from hospital.  Within a few weeks he began to feel very tired and listless. He continued trying to work hard at school. One day a group of older boys tried to kidnap Brain taking him by force to a remote area in Chitungwiza. The incident still sends chills down his Mothers’ spine. “These older boys were very suspicious. What did they want to do to my son?’ Luckily, Brian was saved by an adult passerby, who intervened by asking why the older boys were manhandling the youngster.  Brian ran home knowing that his life had been spared. 

 

Within a few weeks after that 2nd horrifying incident, Brian’s body swelled up and he became very ill.  His family wept as they watched his young life fading away.

 

His Mother, Annamore Masawi took him to a Doctor and eventually, after tests, she was told that he had an enlarged heart leading to water retention. There was talk that the bus accident may have caused some internal damaged not picked up by Doctors’ after the accident. Brain was put on a weight gaining diet as he was now painfully thin.  Everyone who saw him thought that it was only a matter of time before he died.

 

 

The troubles increase

 

If the family thought their troubles would soon be over, they were wrong.

 

Brian’s condition deteriorated rapidly and he was admitted into hospital on three separate occasions. His mother was eventually told that there was nothing that could be done and that she should take Brian home to die.

 

As the sole breadwinner for the family, Annamore was distraught. How could she continue to look after her son and work to keep up with the bills? All her faith was used up in the daily battle for survival. Instead of praying for her son to be restored to health, she found herself praying for enough money to buy a coffin.

 

To add even more worries she was told that her rent had doubled and being unable to pay, she had to find alternative accommodation. Thankfully, her sister arrived to help take care of Brian during the day and with this extra help, Annamore’s fighting spirit returned.  She managed to find a suitable house nearby and moved the family’s furniture one piece at a time by walking the 250metres between the two houses.

 

The turn around

 

Church and School officials often visited the family and prayed for Brian’s life to be spared.

 

Annamore’s employer gave her a bottle of holy water from a town called Knock in Ireland, with instructions that she anoint Brian and pray for God to miraculously heal her son. The holy water from Knock is said to have miracle properties and pilgrims

go there all year round to pray for healing.

 

This incident proved a turning point for the youngster. Fifteen minutes after being sprinkled with holy water and prayed for, Brian fell into a short sleep. He had a vision of flying white birds and a waterfall of crystal clear water flowing down to him.  The entire family was excited by his vision and Brian began to recover. His stomach, which was swollen to three times the normal size, went down and his appetite improved. Instead of being bedridden he recovered enough to walk for a few minutes every day.

 

 

Ups and downs

 

Brian and his family continue to build their faith every day but Brian is not yet on the road to full recovery.

 

At a recent check up his Doctor expressed amazement that he was still alive. They have now told his mother that he must face a heart operation in South Africa to correct the damage if he is to live a long life. His mother is appealing for individual or corporate donors to help her meet the expense of travel, accommodation and the medical bills for Brian’s heart operation.

 

“I know that my sons life has been saved for a purpose. The devil was after him but thanks to God he is still alive and I know that he can do great things if his life is restored”.

 

 

Her contact details: Annamore Masawi   c/o Box BW 609 Borrowdale Harare or office email:  procomm@mweb.co.zw                                

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