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

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VOA

Zimbabwe's Opposition Offers New Constitution to Parliament
By Peta Thornycroft
Harare
24 August 2005

Zimbabwe's opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) has submitted a
proposed a new constitution to parliament Wednesday. The proposed
constitution comes as President Robert Mugabe's ruling ZANU-PF party is busy
amending the present constitution in a way that critics say will further
curtail fundamental freedoms in Zimbabwe.

Ruling ZANU-PF legislators were taken by surprise Wednesday when the
opposition MDC presented a new and very different constitution to parliament
for consideration.

The opposition party says the new constitution could be the basis for a new
beginning for Zimbabwe.

MDC spokesman Tendai Biti said the document presented to parliament was a
combination of the best of two draft constitutions, one prepared by ZANU-PF
in 2000 and rejected in a referendum, and the second written by civil rights
groups after years of countrywide consultations with the people.

He said the suggested constitution was similar to the most progressive in
the region, such those in force in South Africa and Namibia.

The proposed MDC constitution would abolish the executive presidency and
instead have a prime minister elected by parliament with limited powers, who
would only be allowed to serve two terms.

Under the present constitution, President Mugabe can, and often does, make
laws by decree and he has been in power for more than 25 years.

Mr. Biti said the MDC constitution had a wide bill of rights and would
create oversight bodies such as a human rights commission and another fully
independent body to run elections.

All legislators would have to be elected. At present Mr. Mugabe appoints 30
legislators in addition to 120 elected to parliament.

Mr. Biti acknowledged the opposition-backed document presented to parliament
has no chance of being adopted now, as the MDC is the minority party. He
said if ZANU-PF were serious about ending the political and economic crisis
it would use this document as a starting point.

Next week, Mr. Mugabe's ruling ZANU-PF intends to finalize procedures to
fast track changes to the present constitution. Those changes would make it
possible for the government to assume ownership of farmland more quickly, by
barring the owner's right to appeal the takover in court and to confiscate
passports from citizens who the government says pose a threat to national
security.

Critics say the ruling party is abusing all notions of democracy with its
rush to make constitutional changes. The government says the changes are
needed and will help complete the Mugabe government's land reform program.

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UN News Centre

UNICEF staff members personally help Zimbabweans affected by evictions
24 August 2005 - In the absence of enough funding to cover the urgent
individual needs of those who have been hard hit by the recent Zimbabwean
Government evictions from housing and businesses, United Nations Children's
Fund (UNICEF) staff members have appealed to donors to look beyond the
country's politics to the suffering of its children and are personally
giving money to the most vulnerable.

Two months ago the Operation Murambatsvina (Restore Order) campaign left
more than 225,000 children homeless, forcing many of them to seek shelter
with their families in "'transit camps," temporary accommodation for
homeless people, and destroying the livelihoods of hundreds of thousands of
parents and caregivers, the agency said in a news release.

An informal poll taken in the UNICEF office in Zimbabwe's capital, Harare,
found that most employees, touched by the plight of the children and
inspired by the resolve of their families, have opted to help children out
of their own pockets, offering support for areas ranging from education to
health care and career development.

"Empathy for those we seek to serve is imperative in our work. Taking that
emotion and translating it into financial support is highly admirable,"
UNICEF's Representative in Zimbabwe, Festo Kavishe, said.

Orphaned 9-year-old Edward has become one of the many beneficiaries. The
demolitions forced him and his grandmother to sleep in the open for six
weeks at a camp called Caledonian Farm, far from the school where she had
struggled and sacrificed to send him.

If a child does not attend school for eight days and the school is not
notified, however, the child's enrolment is cancelled.

A UNICEF staff member who met him and his grandmother at the camp arranged
for him to re-enrol, paid his tuition, paid for his books and helped Edward's
grandmother get back into business.

"I couldn't afford to do this in my own country, but here I can. And so I
don't expect thanks. . Rather I think it's an honour to be in a position to
help educate a child," said the UNICEF staffer, who preferred to remain
anonymous, but who was overwhelmed by their gratitude.
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IOL

Zimbabwe loan not finalised yet - Mboweni
August 24 2005 at 03:04PM

Pretoria - South Africa's central bank has not yet finalised a loan
deal to help its struggling northern neighbour Zimbabwe, although talks are
continuing, Reserve Bank Governor Tito Mboweni said on Wednesday.

"The discussions are ongoing. There is no conclusion that I am aware
of as far as the Reserve Bank is concerned," Mboweni said in reply to a
question at a news conference.

Mboweni said media reports that South Africa would be prepared to lend
President Robert Mugabe's government as much as $1-billion (about
R6,5-billion) were exaggerated, but did not give any other details.

South Africa's cabinet this month agreed in principle to help
Zimbabwe, which is in a dire economic crisis which Mugabe's critics blame on
his policy of seizing white-owned farms to give to landless blacks.

Donors and institutions such as the International Monetary Fund have
withheld financial aid over policy differences with Mugabe's government, and
the IMF could move to expel Zimbabwe next month for unpaid arrears of
$295-million.

Mboweni said there had been regular meetings between officials from
the South African treasury and central bank and their Zimbabwean
counterparts on many issues, including the proposed loan.

"The discussions have centred on what policies need to be undertaken
in Zimbabwe to help boost economic performance, contain inflation, bring
about a more stable exchange rate and improve productivity," he said.

Discussions have also examined ways of preventing Zimbabwe's expulsion
from the IMF, Mboweni said.

South Africa's main opposition party has criticised the proposed loan,
saying Pretoria would be propping up a government accused by critics of
rigging elections and clamping down on human rights.

President Thabo Mbeki's government has defended the plan as a way to
help ease the suffering of ordinary Zimbabweans and prevent the country
collapsing into a "failed state."

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Mail and Guardian

How do you borrow a billion?

Everjoice J Win: COMMENT

24 August 2005 03:15

When I was a young girl, one of my grandmother's neighbours
always borrowed stuff from us. One time it was washing powder. The next it
would be sugar or vegetables or cooking oil. But, almost every month, she
would ask for salt. Salt. Over the years, she became too embarrassed to come
herself. So she would send her daughters, and eventually she sent her
grand-daughter who was my age. Nyarai was her name. I remember her quite
well. Sweet-faced, bright, talkative and very self-assured. Nyarai could
beat (physically and intellectually) anybody in our class.

But, when she came to ask for that salt, Nyarai was a different
person. Walking the 500m between our two homes would take her an hour. I
would see her coming, slowly, down the path. Shrugging her shoulders.
Sitting down in anger or shame or both? And finally summoning the courage to
come through the ramshackle gate to say in a very low voice, "Kwahi nambuya
tokumbirawo sauti [grandmother is asking for some salt]."

Nyarai spoke hardly above a whisper on these errands. She would
fidget with her skirt hem or put her fingers in her ears or her nose,
sniffle, shuffle about, anything just to get this to pass quickly.

Sometimes, my grandmother would be in such a bad temper and she
would shout at poor Nyarai: "Will your grandmother return what she borrowed
last month? Is she borrowing or just asking for free salt? What do you
people do with it, bathe in it?" For a whole week after she had come to
borrow salt, Nyarai would avoid me in class or on the playground. Similarly,
her grandmother would not pass by our yard on her way to the fields,
preferring to take the longest route around the village.

So here I am in 2005 and I am trying to understand how and in
what words, exactly, my country's president is trying to borrow his own
measure of "salt" from next door? I want to know how he and our country have
become like Nyarai's grandma? The latter were poor. Very poor.
Disenfranchised by colonialism, Nyarai's family had a non-productive piece
of land just like most of us in the village. But, in their case, they had no
one working in town or on the mines, no cattle, no goats, nor any other
productive resources. Each day was a struggle.

Even my grandmother, in her anger, continued to support the
family because she knew their problems and what was causing them.

Now how does an entire nation with productive resources, a
highly educated and skilled citizenry such as Zimbabwe get to the point
where it borrows salt from next door?

I want to know how the conversation takes place in Pretoria or
with Beijing: "Uuuhh ... Mr President, we are here to ask for a small loan.
Well, not exactly small, but just enough to tide us over. We are in a bit of
a rough spot ... things are not really going well for us. You know these
British and their opposition ... they are really messing up our economy. So
we are just asking for a loan to enable us to pay our fuel bills, what we
owe for our electricity and other such odds-and-ends. We promise we will
repay you very, very soon. Just as soon as things settle down again."

Nyarai had the advantage of twigs and shrubs to pull at back in
our village in Nhema to distract herself from the humiliating task at hand.

So what was the governor of my Reserve Bank, Gideon Gono,
pulling on -- his cuff links? His pen? Or his mobile phone? What was the
body language of the minister of finance? A whole grown up doctor of a man,
in a Saville Row suit, engaging in a conversation about borrowing money. As
we ask in Shona, "Vanenege vakatarisa pai mizvinda yevarume yakadai [where
the hell do these big men look?]." Or, more rudely, we'd want to know,
"havanyari [Are they not ashamed?]."

But I have never seen a more rude and unashamed bunch of
borrowers than our leaders. They even have the gumption to harangue their
supposed lenders at rallies and on television. If Nyarai's grandmother had
done this she would have known that was the end of salted vegetables.
Although I know, sometimes, Nyarai told some of our classmates that my
family were a bunch of stuck up misers, she never did say this to my face or
in public. Our bunch of borrowers are behaving as if they are still in a
position to be so brazen.

I am an ordinary Zimbabwean and I feel, like Nyarai, dreadfully
ashamed and gutted by us asking for salt from South Africa and China.

I am not the one doing the asking, yet I feel personally
implicated. I don't know where to look when people discuss on the bus, on
the streets and on television this issue of our massive begging bowl. I am
like Nyarai now.

Everjoice Win is a Zimbabwean journalist based in South Africa

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Reuters

Bourse impasse exposes Zimbabwe policies - analysts
Wed Aug 24, 2005 4:54 PM GMT

By MacDonald Dzirutwe

HARARE (Reuters) - A week-long impasse over a new tax on Zimbabwe's bourse
has cost the country critical revenue and shows the government is still
pursuing controversial policies likely to keep away international donors,
analysts and traders said on Wednesday.

There was no trade on Wednesday on the Zimbabwe Stock Exchange (ZSE) -- for
the sixth day running -- with no buyers to take up shares on offer after
Finance Minister Hebert Murerwa last week introduced a 10 percent tax on all
shares sold.

"Investors are resisting, saying it is too expensive to buy shares because
the tax is charged on gross sales and not profit. This is costing us and the
government a lot of money," a trader with Harare-based Interfin Stockbrokers
said.

ZSE officials said a continuance of the stand-off would cost the government
about Z$17 billion in stamp duty which it collects every month from the
79-stock bourse.

Analysts say Mugabe's government can ill afford the lost revenue as it
grapples with an economic crisis widely blamed on its mismanagement of the
once prosperous country since independence from Britain 25 years ago.

The crisis has shown itself in triple-digit inflation, unemployment of above
70 percent and shortages of foreign currency, food and fuel.

"BACKFIRING"

This week, an International Monetary Fund (IMF) team began week-long talks
with the government before a board meeting on September 9, which is likely
to decide whether to expel the southern African country over debt arrears of
$295 million.

Mugabe's government now relies heavily on the domestic market to finance the
national budget after a fall-out with international donors over differences
on policy, including the government's controversial drive to forcibly
redistribute white-owned commercial farms among blacks.

Last Tuesday, Murerwa also issued an order that effectively requires that
pension funds, the biggest investors on the ZSE, increase government bonds
and bills as a proportion of their portfolios.

Pension funds are required by law to invest 35 percent of their total assets
in bonds and Treasury bills.

Previously they calculated that percentage using the book value of their
investments as a basis, but Murerwa said they must now calculate these
assets on the market value, a move traders said would force companies to
offload shares to raise money for the required increased quota of government
paper.

"This was not a well thought-out policy ... it's backfiring and not yielding
the intended results. The government is sending wrong signals out there, and
worse still when the IMF is in town," John Robertson economic consultant
said on Wednesday.

Hit hard by foreign exchange shortages, Zimbabwe has approached neighbouring
South Africa for a loan, which local media estimate at around $470 million
and part of which analysts say would go towards settling the IMF debt.

But South African Reserve Bank governor Tito Mboweni said on Wednesday the
loan had not yet been finalised.

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Mail and Guardian

Zim slaps 'significant' custom duties on SA aid

Harare, Zimbabwe

24 August 2005 01:04

Zimbabwean officials want custom duties to be paid for about 6
000 blankets given by South Africans to victims of the government's recent
mass demolitions campaign, an aid organisation said on Wednesday.

Christian Care director Reverend Forbes Matonga said aid workers
have been barred from distributing the blankets donated by South African
churches until the matter is resolved.

"We are trying to get in touch with senior people in the revenue
ministry to strike an understanding," Matonga said, adding that the amount
demanded is "quite significant".

South African churches donated the blankets and sent two other
trucks loaded with maize, beans, cooking oil and other food items to
Zimbabwe two weeks ago to help hundreds of thousands left homeless and
destitute in the campaign.

However, the South African Council of Churches (SACC) said on
Monday it was still waiting for clearance certificates from the Zimbabwean
government for the trucks carrying relief food to that country.

"All the paperwork has been submitted ... we are waiting," said
SACC spokesperson Ron Steele.

Zimbabwean police demolished shacks, houses, market stalls and
shops during the 10-week campaign dubbed Operation Murambatsvina, which
ended in late July.

Matonga said the revenue ministry is demanding payment of custom
duties on some of the food items that were on the two aid trucks that have
remained at the border.

"It's unusually complicated," said Matonga. "But we still think
we will get these things in. We are not thinking of sending them back."

Zimbabwe has defended the demolitions as a campaign to rid
cities of squalor and crime and has since launched a reconstruction
programme to house those displaced.

SACC leaders, who visited Zimbabwe twice to report on the
evictions, have criticised the government, saying conditions in transit
camps set up for the displaced were appalling.

The church leaders have also twice met with South African
President Thabo Mbeki to discuss the aftermath of the government's campaign
that left 700 000 Zimbabweans homeless or without livelihoods, or both,
according to United Nations estimates. -- Sapa-AFP, Sapa

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South African government urged to intervene in clearance of donated
food

By Tererai Karimakwenda
24 August 2005

We reported Tuesday that Zimbabwean officials are demanding that a
surcharge be paid in order to release blankets donated by the South Africa
Council of Churches. The blankets are in a bonded warehouse in Harare and
they are part of a shipment meant to help victims of operation
Murambatsvina. After almost a month of delays caused by Zimbabwean
officials, the South African churches are now urging their own government to
intervene.

SACC officials say they have requested Reverend Frank Chikane,
director-general of the presidency for help. Chicane is reported to have
made assurances Tuesday night that the necessary documents will be processed
soon.

"the South African government to intervene. ..to..
2 truckloads of food that are part of this shipment are still in
Johannesburg waiting for a duty free certificate from Zimbabwe.

Pastor Ron Steele, who has been working closely with the aid mission,
told us officials are being sent from one office to another with no results.
After almost a month of delays in getting relief food to Zimbabwe, the
South African Council of Churches (SACC) has asked the
"The SACC has said Rev Ron Steele on behalf of the SACC on Tuesday.
Relief aid for Zimbabweans affected by the government's controversial
crackdown on illegal settlements and the informal economy was expected to
leave South Africa two weeks ago.
Two trucks carrying 37 mt of food aid, including white maize, sugar
beans and cooking oil, have been waiting in a depot for clearance since the
first week of August; another truck laden with blankets is currently in a
bonded warehouse in the Zimbabwean capital, Harare.
Initially the food relief was stalled when the Zimbabwean government
requested assurance that the maize was not genetically modified (GM); the
documents declaring the maize's GM-free status were submitted the following
week.
According to sources, the SACC is now attempting to get an exemption
from duty for the relief aid.
The NGO Christian Care is to distribute the goods for the Zimbabwe
Council of Churches to the displaced.
A report by UN Special Envoy Anna Tibaijuka said more than 700,000
people had been affected by the demolitions of shanty settlements in and
around urban centres, which "breached both national and international human
rights law provisions guiding evictions" and had created "a humanitarian
crisis".

SW Radio Africa Zimbabwe news
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More Zanu PF chefs added to EU sanctions list

By Violet Gonda
24 August 2005

The European Union (EU) has added 6 more names of Mugabe's cronies to
its sanctions list that now comprises a total of 126 individuals. 3 top
police officers are on the updated list that was decided by the EU Council
on 29 July 2005.

The updated list includes: Sekesai Makwavarara - Acting Mayor of
Harare, and 3 assistant police commissioners- Edmore Veterai, Munyaradzi
Musariri, Wayne Bvudzijena, Partson Mbiriri, Permanent Secretary in the
Ministry of Local Government, Public Works & Urban Development and Melusi
Matshiya the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Home Affairs.

The EU measures, first introduced in February 2002, consist of a ban
on entry into the territory of the EU member states and a freeze on
financial assets. An embargo on the supply of arms and equipment intended
for military operations is also imposed. The police spokesman, Wayne
Budzijena refused to comment when he was contacted by us.

On June 13 this year, the EU council had extended the list of targeted
sanctions from 95 to 120 to include newly appointed ministers and their
deputies in Mugabe's government. The latest list is an update which includes
persons seen to have been responsible for the human rights abuses violated
under the controversial Operation Murambatsvina. A damning UN report
labelled this clean up exercise a "disastrous venture which affected the
lives of 2.4 million people."

Targeted sanctions mean that individuals on the list would be barred
from travelling to EU member states as a result of their engagement in
activities which seriously undermine democracy, respect for human rights and
the rule of law in Zimbabwe. Their funds in those countries would also be
frozen.
Responding to the targeted sanctions, Acting Minister of Information
and Publicity Chen Chimutengwende said, "The sanctions don't mean anything
and won't change anything. It does not improve the EU's position or weaken
our position."

In a wide ranging interview with SW Radio Africa the minister denied
that thousands of people had been made homeless after the government's clean
up exercise. And echoing Mugabe's line, the minister remained adamant that
people are not starving and that the government is managing to feed the
nation with food sourced from the region.

SW Radio Africa Zimbabwe news
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NGO taking South Africa Home Affairs department to court

By Tererai Karimakwenda
24 August 2005

There have been some dramatic developments at The Lindela Repatriation
Centre in South Africa where 2 Zimbabweans died in July.

Deputy director-general Arthur Fraser, who is the brother of a cabinet
minister, director of deportations Ricardo Abrahams, and the chief director
of the inspectorate, Gcinumzi Ntlakana were suspended over the 2 deaths and
a host of other serious allegations. These officials have been suspended
with full pay pending investigation.

The suspensions come as The Zimbabwe Torture Victims Project, an NGO
that assists exiled Zimbabweans who were victimised back home, is initiating
a court case against the Home Affairs department of South Africa. The ZTVP
is suing on behalf of 50 of their clients who they believe qualify for legal
status, but like thousands of other Zimbabweans, have no access to the
application process. The processing centre in Johannesburg was closed in
April and Pretoria accepts a limited number of applicants each week. The
issue of access is also part of the investigations at Lindela.

In the first 7 months of this year alone, at least seven people have
died at Lindela, and 21 others at nearby Leratong Hospital where they had
been taken for treatment. In July as we reported, pregnant Zimbabwean Alice
Chumba, 18, died of complications and Mcabangeli Mlambo, 22, died the next
day after vomiting blood.

Piers Pigou, a researcher at ZTVP said there was great relunctance in
South Africa to accept Zimbabweans as being bonafide exiles who need legal
status until the United Nations Human Rights Commission intervened in 2003.
Since then there has been a small but steady increase in the numbers
accessing the application process. But Pigou noted that logistical problems,
corruption and some ineptitude have kept the numbers still very low. This
leaves Zimbabweans with no access extremely vulnerable to arrest by South
African police.

And as for Lindela, which is run by Bosasa, a privately owned security
and risk management company, a ministerial commission has been appointed to
investigate the situation there. The detention centre has been widely
condemned by human rights groups for the conditions to which detainees are
subjected as well as for the lack of procedures for refugees to seek asylum.

SW Radio Africa Zimbabwe news
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Reuters

ICC to reject British proposal on Zimbabwe ban
Wed Aug 24, 2005 9:20 PM IST

DUBAI (Reuters) - The International Cricket Council (ICC) is to reject a
proposal by the British government to ban Zimbabwe from playing
international cricket because of its human rights record.

"We do respect their views, but we don't make decisions on political grounds
and neither are our decisions on playing cricket based on the human rights
record of a country," Malcolm Speed, the ICC's chief executive, told Reuters
on Wednesday.

"I haven't had a chance to speak with our president (Ehsan Mani) but our
stand on such matter is pretty clear. It's up to the teams to decide whether
they honour the commitments."

Speed said the ruling body's position was the same when India and Pakistan
refused to play each other for political reasons.

"If the countries want to play it's fine and if they don't we don't
interfere in the foreign policy of any government," Speed said before the
ICC's scheduling summit to discuss a six-year programme of international
cricket on Thursday and Friday.

The summit will be followed by a meeting of the Chief Executives' Committee
(CEC) on August 28 and 29.

The inclusion of cricket in the 2010 Commonwealth Games in New Delhi will be
one of the major issues to be discussed, and recommendations will be sent to
the ICC Executive Board meeting to be held in Sydney in October.

"The format of the game will be a key topic whether it be the 50-over or
Twenty20 matches, we will have to see," Speed said.

"The inclusion of Twenty20 game in the international calendar will also be
debated," said Speed, who disagrees with the notion that it would threaten
the existence of the 50-over format.

"The idea is to add value to the game and not to take anything away," he
said.

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Moneyweb

Deregulation the way forward for Zimbabwe
IMARA
Posted: Wed, 24 Aug 2005 14:43 | Moneyweb Holdings Limited,
1997-2005

DEREGULATION prompted by Zimbabwe's economic crisis could show the way
forward for the embattled nation, according to one of the leading
Harare-based financial service companies.

John Legat, Chief Executive Officer of Imara Asset Management
Zimbabwe, this week (August 24) welcomed fuel market deregulation and hoped
it presaged a policy shift toward greater liberalisation within the economy.

He pointed out: "The fuel situation inside Zimbabwe is widely regarded
as the worst ever, with workers having to walk to work because there was no
fuel for commuter buses. These pressures have forced the government to
deregulate the fuel market.

"Fuel deregulation may have been prompted by Zimbabwe's troubles, but
all positive economic change is to be applauded. The fact that government is
starting to deregulate is a step in the right direction."

The Imara financial services group retains a strong Zimbabwean
presence, with full stockbroking, corporate finance and asset management
capabilities.

Despite the economic crisis, Zimbabwe still has a relatively well
diversified stock market, with 88 listed companies. Imara maintains a staff
of 70 in Harare. The asset management company has a client-base of 90
pension funds and 500 private clients.

Links are also strong with neighbouring Zambia, where Imara works in
tandem with Lusaka-based Stockbrokers Zambia, aa leading securities trader
in the copper-rich nation.

The Zambian example over a decade or more provides a close-hand
demonstration of the value of deregulation, said Legat.

He explained: "Zambia began to deregulate in the early '90s and the
process has continued under President Mwanawasa. It has been a key factor in
Zambia's revival and we now see Chinese and Canadian investors taking a
stake in the country's mining sector.

"The lesson should not be lost on the Zimbabwean authorities. Zimbabwe
will have to deregulate if we are to attract foreign direct investment on a
significant scale.

"The long-term prospects for Zimbabwe are not as problematic as some
may think. The key issue for potential investors revolves around the timing
of a credible economic reform programme."
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