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

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The Telegraph

South Africa is ready to get tough with Mugabe regime
By Bill Corcoran in Pretoria
(Filed: 20/08/2005)

President Thabo Mbeki of South Africa has privately conceded that his "quiet
diplomatic" approach towards Zimbabwe has failed to yield results, opening
the way for a more forceful policy towards the regime of Robert Mugabe.

The signs from South Africa now suggest that the African leaders - who for
decades have refused to criticise abuses among their number - are for the
first time seriously considering breaking the taboo and taking Mr Mugabe to
task for the destruction of his own country.

The South African leader has sacrificed much of his international reputation
by declining to criticise President Mugabe's excesses. Instead, South Africa
has tried to influence Zimbabwe's regime with behind-the-scenes talks.

Yet the country's descent into economic collapse and political repression
has continued unabated, leading Mr Mbeki to think again. "Our President has
eventually agreed that the quiet diplomatic approach has not yielded the
results that were expected," said Devikarani Jana, a diplomat who received a
briefing on Zimbabwe from South African officials on Wednesday.

In an interview in South Africa's capital, Pretoria, before taking up her
position as ambassador to Ireland, Miss Jana added that she was personally
"not happy" with the behaviour of Zimbabwe's regime, as there were "serious
allegations of human rights violations".

These signs that Mr Mbeki is changing his policy towards Zimbabwe come at a
critical time. Mr Mugabe has spurned the latest diplomatic efforts made by
African leaders to resolve Zimbabwe's crisis.

The African Union, an alliance of all 53 countries on the continent, had
decided to send a mediator to Zimbabwe to broker talks between Mr Mugabe and
the opposition Movement for Democratic Change. It chose Joaquim Chissano,
the former president of Mozambique, for this mission.

But Mr Mugabe refused to receive him and called on those who "should know
better" to stop asking him to meet his opponents.

Until deciding on this abortive mission, the AU had always described
Zimbabwe's crisis as an "internal matter". When AU leaders gathered for
summit meetings, they would ensure that Zimbabwe did not figure on the
agenda.

But Miss Jana's remarks indicate that South Africa would no longer object if
the AU voiced public criticism of Mr Mugabe's regime. She said that it was
"unreasonable" of Western governments to expect South Africa to "go it
alone" when dealing with Zimbabwe, saying that the AU held prime
responsibility.

"South Africa cannot act as a single country, as it belongs to the AU, and
it's up to the AU to take a stand against Zimbabwe," said Miss Jana. She
added: "I speak for myself when I say I would like the AU to take stronger
measures on that."

She speaks at a time when South Africa has greater bargaining power over
Zimbabwe than ever before. Unable to import essential supplies of food or
fuel, Mr Mugabe has been forced to turn to his powerful neighbour for a
rescue package.

Zimbabwe's economic crisis has reached such proportions that the country
faces expulsion from the International Monetary Fund - a move that would
cast Mr Mugabe into total isolation.

Miss Jana said South Africa was likely to insist on a number of conditions
before issuing the loan. "We have in principle agreed to the loan, but the
finer details are still being sorted out at the moment," she said.
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Change Agent?


Nic Dawes

Simba Makoni.

What does Zimbabwe need to do to recover from its economic crisis?

The same things I tried to do when I was in government. You need a stable macroeconomic environment with stability in policies you implement. You need to support the productive sector, and you need to relate normally to the rest of the world.

Is any of that possible without a change in the political environment?

No. Economics and politics are two sides of the same coin.

Is Zanu-PF doing enough to deal with the economic situation?

There is a government that was elected, and which is legitimate in its own mind and the minds of many Zimbabweans, and it is governing as such. That government has offered a turnaround programme that, if implemented fully, effectively, and timeously, is enough.

In your view, is that happening?

There is a basis for making the country work normally, but a basis is not the same as action. We are not doing everything that needs to be done, or not doing it simultaneously. Action on interest rates, the currency and support for the productive sector is being taken piecemeal. What you need is a comprehensive programme for all three to be enacted simultaneously.

Some suggest you could lead Zimbabwe in its recovery process. Are you interested in the job?

I know I am a leader in Zimbabwe, and I am involved right now -- in the party [Zanu-PF], in national business leadership, and in structures that bring business and politics together. I don't seek specific roles, but I will remain engaged.

What is the current state of health of Zanu-PF? We hear increasing reports of deep internal division.

It is well enough to be the governing party. Zanu-PF has been around in one form or another since 1959, and it isn't going to disappear ... Zanu-PF's future depends on how relevant it remains to the needs of Zimbabweans.

When the proposed new constitution was rejected in 2000, Zanu-PF suffered its first real setback, and I personally believe the rejection was unfortunate. People campaigned against that constitution on the basis of two or three problematic clauses but Zimbabwe would have been better off now if that constitution had been adopted. We would have had time to focus on the offending clauses in a more inclusive way than is possible now. I think the party and the government will continue to amend and make better the constitution, but there is not going to be a constitutional commission held by this government in the next two, three or five years.

In that case, how can the political process be advanced?

There is a need for change in Zimbabwe that secures the broad endorsement and acceptance of the majority of people. Talks between Zanu-PF and the Movement for Democratic Change are not the only modality for securing that. It is feasible for Zanu-PF to help usher in that change. And it will if we capture the inputs of all stakeholders, including the MDC. There are many ways to get from point A to point B, and people who want to help Zimbabwe should focus on getting from A to B rather than specifying the means. I believe the MDC has a role to play in the process, but that role must be defined by Zimbabweans.

Do you think there is the will in Zanu-PF to begin political reform?

There is, but only if it is defined within very narrow parameters. There is will if we are not compelled to deal with an entity that we do not perceive as national, there is will if people agree that we are the aggrieved party. We need to move out of that box, but the will to do that is not very strong.

What is your assessment of South Africa's role, and in particular, the loan offer that is being negotiated?

South Africa is right to be searching for a way to help us, and to be doing it in consultation. There are well-intended things that we have done the wrong way, and people need to take time to understand the drivers of that. Glib condemnation doesn't help. As much as we need Mugabe to understand why the world takes the view it does of Zimbabwe, we need the world to understand why we are doing what we are doing.

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News24

Over 300 arrested in Zimbabwe
20/08/2005 14:45† - (SA)

Harare - Zimbabwean police arrested more than 300 people in the capital
Harare as the authorities pressed on with their bid to clear the streets of
vagrants, vendors and touts, a newspaper reported Saturday.

The state-controlled Herald said 318 people, who included vagrants, touts
and street vendors were rounded up on Friday. Others arrested were those
engaged in "theft, obstructing pavements and illegal gambling", the paper
said.

In a controversial clean-up campaign launched in May, the Zimbabwe
government arrested and later released thousands of people across the
country for various offences such as vending on street corners.

The police blitz, dubbed Operation Restore Order, went on to demolish flea
markets, houses and shanties deemed illegal, sparking an outcry from Western
countries, churches and human rights groups.

The authorities in Harare reported this week that illegal activities were
returning to the streets of the capital and vowed to clamp down on them.

Human rights groups say that because of Zimbabwe's 70% unemployment rate,
millions of the country's poorest people are dependent on street trading to
make a living.

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Watch the secret footage filmed by Amnesty International
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/africa/4169386.stm

News24

Secret film reveals Zim horrors
20/08/2005 17:29† - (SA)

London - The Zimbabwean government cleared out camps for those it made
homeless in a so-called urban cleanup campaign after a UN investigator
condemned conditions there, secretly dumping their inhabitants on the
outskirts of the capital in even worse conditions, an international human
rights group said Saturday.

Amnesty International released footage it said had been smuggled out of
Zimbabwe. The footage showed people sheltering in an area known as Hopley
Farm under little more than blankets and sheets of plastic and lining up
with buckets at a mobile water tank.

Amnesty said it feared the problem was widespread, calling on the Zimbabwean
government to say whether other areas like Hopley Farm existed and ensure
aid agencies had access to them.

"Once you scatter throughout the country victims of this operation, it
becomes much harder to find them and give them assistance," Audrey Gaughran,
a London-based Amnesty researcher who was in Zimbabwe in late July and early
August, said Saturday.

Gaughran added that the campaign the government has dubbed Operation
Murambatsvina, or Drive Out Trash, should be seen in the context of
wide-ranging human rights abuses under Zimbabwe's increasingly autocratic
President Robert Mugabe. Security laws have outlawed basic freedoms of
association and speech. Independent journalists have been jailed and their
publications shut down.

Operation Murambatsvina "is the latest manifestation of a massive human
rights problem in Zimbabwe that's been going on for years," Gaughran said.

She said Amnesty obtained the Hopley Farm video shot earlier this month from
a source it would not name for fear of repercussions in Zimbabwe. A week
ago, Zimbabwe's security forces prevented Tony Hall, a Rome-based US
ambassador to the UN food agencies, from making a scheduled visit to Hopley
Farm.

Hall said he was quietly told the government did not want him to see
conditions there, but that the official reason given was that the military
ran the site and his delegation needed a special visitors permit from the
information ministry.

Gaughran said a group of the homeless had been dumped at Hopley Farm July
22, the day the UN released a report by housing expert Anna Tibaijuka
calling the clean-up campaign a "disastrous venture" that left 700 000
people without homes or jobs and violated international law.

The Zimbabwean government has accused Tibaijuka of bias and said the
clean-up campaign was meant to stem "chaotic urbanization" and improve the
lives of city dwellers. Opposition leaders claim the campaign is aimed at
driving their supporters among the urban poor to rural areas where they can
be more easily controlled.

The UN report described dire conditions at what the Zimbabwean government
had called "transit camps" for those affected by the campaign. Clearing the
transit camps appeared aimed at removing "this visible evidence of what had
happened," Amnesty's Gaughran told The Associated Press. "This may be an
attempt to hide people away."
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19 Aug 2005 11:57 GMT IMF Team To Reassess Zimbabwe As Economic Crisis
Deepens

††††† Copyright © 2005, Dow Jones Newswires

††††† HARARE, Zimbabwe (AP)--An International Monetary Fund team will visit
Zimbabwe Monday ahead of a September board meeting during which directors
may expel the southern African nation for falling $295 million behind in its
debt payments.

††††† Reserve Bank Governor Gideon Gono announced the visit in the
state-controlled Herald newspaper Friday amid warnings of a possible stock
market crash and a big fall in the value of the Zimbabwe dollar.

††††† "The nation should not despair but should rededicate itself to
responsible behavior, particularly when it comes to the setting or review of
prices of goods and services in the economy," Gono said.

††††† Mugabe blames British-inspired sanctions and boycotts for his
country's troubles, along with drought. He last year said: "To hell with the
IMF."

††††† The South African government earlier this month offered an unspecified
bailout package to Zimbabwe and indicated it would take over the country's
debt to the IMF to prevent expulsion. However, the loan is reportedly
dependent on economic reforms and a greater role for the opposition Movement
for Democratic Change. South Africa said earlier this week that it was still
awaiting Zimbabwe's response.

††††† President Robert Mugabe's government dashed hopes of political reforms
Thursday by pressing ahead with a 22-clause bill to amend the constitution
that the opposition has denounced. His ZANU-PF party in March won the
necessary two-thirds majority needed to amend the constitution.

††††† The proposed changes would strengthen his 25-year hold on power with
the creation of a senate expected to be dominated by ZANU-PF.

††††† The bill proposes canceling freehold title to real estate and barring
those stripped of their land from appealing to the courts. Government
opponents risk being stripped of the right to travel.

††††† "This is either a snub to Mbeki or an indication the South Africans
are complicit," said David Coltart, legal affairs spokesman for the
opposition Movement for Democratic Change. "We are told the South Africans
are calling for constitutional reforms and liberalization but this is the
most draconian change since independence."

††††† At a "managed auction" conducted by the central bank Thursday, the
official rate for the Zimbabwe dollar, worth $2 at 1980 independence, slid
from 18,003 to 24,025 to the U.S. dollar in the wake of an announced 254.8%
annual inflation figure. The illegal black market rate has fallen below
45,000 Zimbabwe dollars to the U.S. dollar.

††††† Finance Minister Herbert Murerwa submitted a supplementary budget to
parliament on Tuesday with a raft of new and increased taxes to try to meet
a state spending deficit equal to nearly 9% of the country's annual output.

††††† Brokers Thursday boycotted the stock market, which trades 79 listed
local companies, to protest Murerwa's plans for a 10% withholding tax on all
deals, and demands that pension funds place more assets in low-return
government bonds.

††††† "It is a disaster and there is a very high possibility that the market
will collapse," said Zimbabwe Stock Exchange chairman Emmanuel Munyukwi.

††††† Thursday's "callover" or daily settlement, which normally takes an
hour, lasted seven minutes, while the industrial index shed 6.5%. Daily
trading averaging ZWD20 million was down to ZWD1.3 million.

††††† Economist John Robertson said: "The government is trying to extract
every last dollar that might be out there but by doing so it is making
people poorer when they retire."

††††† The economy has been in free-fall since the March 31 parliamentary
elections. An estimated 4 million people need food aid in what used to be
the region's breadbasket.

††††† (END) Dow Jones Newswires

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SABC

SACC to hold prayer meeting for Zimbabwe today

August 20, 2005, 05:45

The South African Council of Churches (SACC) will hold a solidarity prayer
meeting in the Johannesburg city centre today for the Zimbabweans who were
forced to leave their country because of oppression and injustice.

"The meeting, expected to be attended by several hundreds of Zimbabweans, is
scheduled to take place at the Central Methodist Church," said Father Jo
Mdhlela, the SACC spokesperson, said yesterday.

He said Molefe Tsele, the SACC's general secretary, will deliver a homily. -
Sapa
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Associated Press of Pakistan

IG Zimbabwean Armed Forces visits GHQ
RAWALPINDI, Aug 19 (APP): Major General Edzai Absalom Chanyuka Chimonyok
Inspector General Zimbabwean Armed Forces currently on an official visit to
Pakistan Friday visited General Headquarters and met Acting Inspector
General Training and Major General Haroon Sikandar Pasha.
He remained with him for some time and discussed matters of professional
interest. Later, Inspector General Ziambabwean Armed Forces also met
Director General ITD Major General Muhammad Asaad and discussed
professional matters.
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August 20, 2005

††††††††††††††††††††††† Fiction

††††††††††††††††††††††† Africa's bloody children
††††††††††††††††††††††† By Maggie Gee

††††††††††††††††††††††† MUCH MODERN FICTION is glossy but empty, but
Uzodinma Iweala and Ian Holding come from a different world. After Delia
Jarrett-Macauley's accomplished novel about a child soldier in Sierra Leone
earlier this year, Moses, Citizen and Me, these two very young first
novelists have written striking accounts of the way war sucks children into
its blood-soaked ranks. The setting is again African, but the theme is
universal - all over the world, children are enlisted to die for their
parents' quarrels, and Iweala and Holding's own youth (Iweala, a
Nigerian-American, is only 23, Zimbabwean Holding 27) gives them a direct
line to the uncertain, adrenalin-fuelled world of their boy protagonists.
††††††††††††††††††††††† Holding's book is set in an African country very
similar to Mugabe's Zimbabwe, though the dictator is never mentioned by
name. It is ambitiously structured with a narrative that zigzags forward and
back in time from the moment when Dave, only son and heir to paradisal
Edenfields Farm, is left an orphan by the brutal murder of his parents by
black settlers. Dave's very existence then becomes a reproach to the
remaining white farmers, who pack Dave precipitously off to boarding school.

††††††††††††††††††††††† But the logic of the original killing works its way
through in Dave's eventual mission of revenge. He crosses the country alone
and virtually without money to find Edenfields and the hatefully corrupt,
fat, mobile-phone-wielding woman who drove his parents out and destroyed the
farm, its "red soil roasted black". Elsewhere Holding's politics is
even-handed. Dave's father, fair to his workers, was hard on his son,
beating him with a sjambok . So the boy's own violence is partly
pathological, the fruit of a society habitually cruel to children and
animals. Holding's description of Dave's great trek, living the way that
most black Zimbabweans do, is riveting.

††††††††††††††††††††††† This boy with "sun cream, face cleanser, hair gel"
in his bedroom at home finds only smashed stores with no food. Those who
have suffered most are not the expropriated white farmers but the
desperately poor blacks who had hoped for justice from a black leadership.

††††††††††††††††††††††† Holding's writing is not helped by wayward editing,
but he has courage and wide sympathies, and shows real literary promise when
he eulogises the land he loves, "the expanse of flaxen bush, the gold crop
thick and full on the fields".

††††††††††††††††††††††† Uzodinma Iweala's Beasts of No Nation, its title
taken from a Fela Kuti song, is less traditionally literary than Holding's
book but carries more naked impetus, written in the first person in a
lightly smoothed version of the pidgin English spoken in parts of Nigeria,
with verbs made from adjectives and stream-like sentences that convey
irresistible, rushing activity. Agu, a "good boy", is kidnapped from his
village by a ragtag mob of soldiers who "are angrying too much and just
kicking so the whole of this place is shaking and the roof is falling apart
small small so that more light is coming in". The impression of authenticity
is itself a highly literary construct, as Iweala was raised in America and
is a recent graduate from Harvard.

††††††††††††††††††††††† Agu is forced into contaminating acts of violence
himself and is sexually abused by the fat, corrupt "Commandant", but
maintains a puzzled dialogue with himself: is he "beast or devil"? Or is he
just a child who is "also having mother once, and she is loving me"? Written
ten years after the political execution of the Nigerian writer Ken
Saro-Wiwa, Iweala's powerful debut recalls Saro-Wiwa's first-person
masterpiece about a soldier-boy, Sozaboy: A novel in Rotten English, which
ends with an unforgettable statement of the message of all these books: "I
was thinking how I was prouding before to go to soza and call myself
Sozaboy. But now if anybody say anything about war . . . I will just run and
run and run and run and run. Believe me yours sincerely."

††††††††††††††††††††††† My Cleaner by Maggie Gee is published by Saqi this
month

††††††††††††††††††††††† Unfeeling
††††††††††††††††††††††† by Ian Holding
††††††††††††††††††††††† Scribner, £10.99; 243pp

††††††††††††††††††††††† Beasts of No Nation
††††††††††††††††††††††† by Uzodinma Iweala
††††††††††††††††††††††† John Murray; £12.99; 140pp

††††††††††††††††††††††† 0870 1608080
††††††††††††††††††††††† www.timesonline.co.uk/booksfirst
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Sunday Mail, UK

CRAIG'S TV GIRL DEFIES MUGABE

††††† By Bruce Walker

THE ex-lover of former Scotland boss Craig Brown has gone undercover in
Zimbabwe.

TV journalist Louise Port risked imprisonment or even death to expose
dictator Robert Mugabe's brutal regime.

With a hand-held video camera, she shot footage of Mugabe's horrific
Operation Clear Up Rubbish programme, which has seen entire slum communities
bulldozed.

Louise, 29, from Golspie, Sutherland, said: "Nothing could have prepared me
for what I saw. Three quarters of a million people have been made homeless."

Louise funded the trip herself and some of the footage has been shown by her
employers, GMTV.

She added: "It's a bit like seeing the aftermath of an earthquake or some
natural disaster. But this is man-made.

"They are victims of their own government."

AUN report into Operation Murambatsvina says it is a humanitarian disaster
for which the government is accountable.

Louise will continue to campaign and hopes her footage will persuade
charities that more should be done to help the Zimbabwean people
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Daily Mirror, Zimbabwe

Zanu PF fights over poor election show

From Pamenus Tuso in Bulawayo
issue date :2005-Aug-20

BITTER in-house squabbles have rocked Zanu PF in Bulawayo, as it emerged
that cracks have surfaced over the ruling party's dreary performance in last
week's mayoral election.
Zanu PF candidate Dickson Solomon Abu-Basuthu was trounced by the returning
mayor Japhet Ndabeni Ncube of the MDC in an election widely marred by voter
apathy.
The ruling party's failure to take control of Zimbabwe's second largest city
has since irked some of its ardent supporters now demanding the ousting of
the Zenzo Nsimbi-led Bulawayo province interim executive blaming it for the
heavy loss.
Ndabeni Ncube, who just prior to the poll was adjudged best civic leader by
government and UN officials, garnered 29 575 votes against Abu-Basuthu's
mere 5 509 votes.
A senior party official who preferred to remain anonymous for fear of
breaching party protocol, said: "This result has fuelled intra-party
fighting in the province."
During a post election no-holds-barred-meeting last Sunday in Mpopoma
high-density suburb soon after the mayoral results were announced, Zanu PF
supporters reportedly exchanged nasty words over the defeat and immediately
called for heads to roll in the interim executive.
"During the meeting, everyone agreed that the party's structures in the
province was in a shambles. It was generally felt that the current executive
failed to vigorously campaign for the party's candidate and should go," said
the source, who said he attended the meeting addressed by Sikhanyiso Ndlovu,
Zanu PF's secretary for education in the Politburo.
Ndlovu was reportedly the only senior
††††††††††††††††††††††††††† To Page 2
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†party official who drummed up support for Abu-Basuthu during the run-up to
the election.
At a caucus at the party provincial headquarters in Bulawayo recently,
Politburo members in the province present were also divided over the issue
of Nsimbi's executive, with former city ceremonial mayor Joshua Malinga
calling for its dissolution while Dumiso Dabengwa and Ndlovu gave the
incumbent committee a thumbs up.
Reached for comment, Ndlovu, also Higher and Tertiary Education deputy
minister, confirmed the meeting took place, but said it was informal and
meant to evaluate the outcome of the elections.
"Yes, I personally called the meeting like what I always do after such
elections. I felt that I should meet the party representative and help each
other to map out the way forward," Ndlovu said stressing that what
transpired in the meeting was privy to him and participants only.
The losing candidate Abu-Basuthu said: "From the tone of the discussion in
the meeting, its purpose was to massage me over my loss. We also discussed
reports from each ward concerning the elections which I believe I did not
lose but the people of Bulawayo lost."
He denied reports of divisions within the party in the province claiming all
structures supported him during his campaigns.
Malinga and Dabengwa could not be reached for comment by the time of going
to print.
However, Zanu PF insiders said all was not well in the party structures in
Bulawayo where the MDC also retained the parliamentary seat in March.
Voter apathy in structures within the ruling party, which boasts of 54
administrative districts in the province, was also cited as a major cause of
Abu-Basuthu's loss.
"There was apathy because not enough was done to conscientise the
supporters. There are all sorts of problems here in Bulawayo. You must all
understand that there is tribal politics at play," another ruling party
insider said.
"At the moment, Zanu PF, no matter who they field in Bulawayo is certain to
lose. So we need to put our house in order and rise above tribal politics as
a party if we are to reclaim lost ground in Matabeleland," the official
added.
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Daily Mirror, Zimbabwe

Zim has no funds to buy seed maize

The Daily Mirror Reporter
issue date :2005-Aug-20

ZIMBABWE has no financial capacity to purchase the requisite 48 000 tonnes
of seed maize and fertiliser for this year's agricultural season, Deputy
Minister of Agriculture Sylvester Nguni told Parliament on Wednesday.
Responding to questions from MDC MP for Kambuzuma Willas Madzimure on the
availability of inputs this season, Nguni said the country needed to import
just below half of the required seed maize.
"We have made arrangements with relevant authorities like the Reserve Bank
of Zimbabwe to ensure that we buy the shortfall on seed maize from
neighbouring countries.
"The country can produce 26 000 tonnes and we need about 48 000 tonnes,
Nguni said.
"We haven't had much foreign currency given to fertiliser manufacturers but
the House would be updated as and when it is available. Unless and until we
have been given the foreign currency I am afraid we might not have the
required amounts."
The chairman of the portfolio committee on Lands and Agriculture, Walter
Mzembi, while applauding the $6,6 trillion supplementary budget tabled in
Parliament on Tuesday said the agricultural sector had not been allocated
enough financial resources.
"My submission is that given the state of our agriculture, we have been
under-budgeted and should have been given more resources. Drought mitigation
should be part of the budget and not be an interventionist strategy," he
said.
Richard Dafana the managing director of ZFC, one of the country's leading
fertiliser manufacturers told this newspaper last month that his company had
not been operating at full capacity this year due to shortages of raw
materials caused by inadequate foreign currency. He said his company
requires an annual 10 000 tonne supply of potash, an imported raw material
and is imported from Russia, Jordan, South America and Israel.
At full throttle ZFC produces an annual output of 300 000 metric tonnes of
fertiliser for various
crops.
The combined capacity of ZFC and another player, Windmill is 600 000 tones
per annum but the foreign currency shortages have resulted in failure to
meet market demand despite a reduction in land tillage in the past five
years due to the current transition in the farming sector.
The Minister of Finance Herbert Murerwa in his presentation of the mid term
fiscal policy review said supply of inputs was being reviewed to include a
greater role of market agro-dealers, a shift from the current scenario where
the supply is centralised at the Grain Marketing Board (GMB).
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Daily Mirror, Zimbabwe

Councillor stole 70 bags of maize

Tinofa Karonga
issue date :2005-Aug-20

A CORRUPT councillor without a heart for the needy who stole bags of maize
meant for feed drought-striken people, has been sentenced to 18 months in
prison.
Zanu PF's Wellington Macheka, Ward 7 councillor of Chegutu Municipality,
diverted to his own use 70 bags of maize earmarked to benefit the rural
folks in his ward.
Macheka pleaded not guilty to the charge of theft by conversion but was,
however, convicted by Chegutu magistrate Tinashe Ndokera. Six months of the
sentence were conditionally suspended and the remaining 12 wholly set-aside
on condition Macheka completes 540 hours community service at Chegutu Police
Station.
The State case was that in 2004 Macheka was together with other councillors
tasked to obtain maize from the Grain Marketing Board (GMB) on behalf of
villagers.
He was expected to distribute or sell the maize at a subsidised price to
residents in his ward hard hit by drought.
On 19 December last year, the councillor received 300 bags of maize from the
GMB intended for ward residents. Instead of† channelling the whole
consignment to the intended beneficiaries, Macheka sold 70 bags of the corn
to Graeme Waterfall and converted the proceeds to his own use.
He then sold the remaining bags of the food aid to the local community.
The scandal came to light when some villagers in the ward besieged the local
GMB depot in a bid to buy the scarce commodity leading to Macheka's arrest.
Ignatius Murambatsvina of Jarvis and Palframan Legal Practitioners of Kadoma
defended Macheka.

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