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Zimbabwe general attacks MDC

Aljazeera

Tuesday 13 December 2005, 2:35 Makka Time, 23:35 GMT

A senior Zimbabwean army general has warned soldiers against supporting the
main opposition, branding it an enemy of the country, state television said.

Political analysts say Zimbabwe's military brass is fiercely loyal to the
governing ZANU-PF party and Robert Mugabe, who co-led the country's
liberation war in the 1970s and has ruled as president since independence
from Britain in 1980.

On Monday the television said Major-General Martin Chedondo "issued a
warning" at an army parade in the central town of Gweru, that supporters of
the opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) would not be tolerated
in military ranks.

The station reported: "In a no-holds-barred off-the-cuff speech ...
Major-General Martin Chedondo said it was the duty of every soldier to know
the country's enemies and to protect it from them."

It said the general branded the MDC was an enemy of the people and the
state, and said supporters of the MDC would not be tolerated in the Zimbabwe
National Army.

Zimbabwe Television did not say what had prompted the comment, but it showed
a clip in which Chedondo said: "If there is any among you who are supporters
or have any sympathy for the MDC, then the military is not your place."

Private institution

Although the army officially says it is non-partisan, critics say Mugabe,
81, has turned the army into a private ZANU-PF defence institution in the
face of a deepening economic crisis and growing opposition in the southern
African country.

On the eve of presidential elections in 2002 - which the opposition says
Mugabe rigged - Zimbabwe's army and security commanders said in a strong but
indirect statement that they would not tolerate a win by Morgan Tsvangirai,
the leader of the MDC.


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Kasrils travels to Harare to fetch SA spy

Mail and Guardian

††††† Chriselda Lewis | Johannesburg, South Africa

††††† 13 December 2005 08:08

††††††††††† Minister of Intelligence Ronnie Kasrils is on his way to
Zimbabwe to fetch a South African agent jailed there for spying on the
ruling Zanu-PF.

††††††††††† "Yes, Minister Kasrils is on his way to Johannesburg
International airport now. He will probably board a flight at about 10am,"
his spokesperson Lorna Daniels said on Tuesday.

††††††††††† She confirmed that spy master Aubrey Welken will be released to
Kasrils and South African Secret Service director general Hilton Dennis in
Harare.

††††††††††† "Kasrils will also meet with his Zimbabwean counterpart. We
expect they will return today after 1pm," said Daniels.

††††††††††† Welken was arrested by Zimbabwe Central Intelligence
Organisation (CIO) operatives at Victoria Falls on December 10 2000.

††††††††††† He was accused of controlling a spy ring of senior Zimbabwean
government and ruling-party figures.

††††††††††† Welken allegedly paid his Zimbabwean contacts to report on
tensions within President Robert Mugabe's government -- in power since
independence in 1980, but now dogged by a prolonged economic and political
crisis.

††††††††††† A press conference is expected at Johannesburg International
airport on Tuesday afternoon. -- Sapa


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Harare City Commission Re-Appointed



The Herald (Harare)

December 12, 2005
Posted to the web December 12, 2005

Harare

THE commission running the affairs of Harare City Council since December
2004 has been re-appointed for a further six months by the Minister of Local
Government, Public Works and Urban Development, Cde Ignatius Chombo.

Members of the commission who have had their terms renewed are Ms Sekesai
Makwavarara (chairperson), Professor Jameson Kurasha, Cde Tendai Savanhu,
Mrs Prisca Mupfumira, Mrs Viola Chasi, Mr Musavaya Reza, Engineer Noel
Muzuva, Mr Michael Mahachi and Mr Terrence Hussein.

Two more members, whose names could not be established last night, have been
appointed, bringing to 11 the number of commissioners.

Cde Chombo confirmed the extension of the commission's term yesterday.

He justified the move saying the commission was now implementing a
turnaround strategy as agreed at its appointment.

"The commission is busy with the turnaround strategy. We felt we could not
disturb the flow of the implementation process," he said.

The commission's second term expired last Friday.

The commission was appointed following the dismissal of the MDC-led council
in 2004 after it was found guilty of mismanagement of council affairs.

Although commissions are normally appointed for a period of six months, in
the case of Harare, the Government indicated at the beginning that the body
would operate for 24 months, implying it would periodically renew the
commission's mandate.

The two-year period expires in December 2006.

The Urban Councils Act, which governs the operations of local authorities,
empowers the Minister of Local Government, Public Works and Urban
Development to appoint a commission.

The Act states in section 81 that: "A commissioner appointed in terms of
sub-section (1) shall hold office during the pleasure of the minister, but
his office shall terminate as soon as there are councillors for the council
area who are able to exercise all their functions as councillors, or six
months after the date of his appointment, whichever occurs first."

The Act states that if the minister is satisfied that after the termination
of the office of a commissioner appointed in terms of sub-section (1), there
will be no councillors for the council area who will be able to exercise all
their functions, the minister may reappoint the commissioner in terms of
sub-section (1).

Sub-section (1) states that the minister may appoint a commission to act as
council if there are no councillors or all the councillors for a council
area have been suspended, imprisoned or are unable to exercise their
functions as councillors.

The commissioners have a mammoth task before them as residents have for long
been calling for an improvement in service delivery in the city and have
accused the city fathers of neglecting malfunctioning street and traffic
lights, mounting garbage and increasing potholes.

A survey around the city yesterday showed that traffic lights at the
intersection of First Street and Jason Moyo Avenue, Samora Machel Avenue and
Leopold Takawira Street, Sam Nujoma Street and Nelson Mandela Avenue, and
Robert Mugabe Road and Fourth Street are not working.

Traffic lights at the intersection of Jason Moyo Avenue and Julius Nyerere
Way, Samora Machel Avenue East and Robert Mugabe Road and at the section of
Enterprise Road where there is a zebra crossing to David Livingstone Primary
School were either partially working or had robot heads vandalised.

Potholes also litter most streets in the capital and have gone uncovered.


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Who will police the police?

Daily Mirror, Zimbabwe

Court Reporter
issue date :2005-Dec-13

TWO police officers, Clotty Nhema and Saul Chipuriro of Milton Park and
Central Police Stations have appeared before Harare magistrate Rodin Mzyece
charged with corruptly confiscating 54 pirated CDs valued at $2,5 million
from a suspect.

The State alleged that on November 28, the suspect Never Ernesto was
arrested after being found in possession of 170 pirated CDs. He was later
handed over to Nhema and Chipuriro for further investigations.
Ernesto was allegedly charged under the Miscellaneous Offences Act and paid
$25 000 fine. Nhema and Chipuriro allegedly released Ernesto and gave him
only 40 CDs and kept 130 before demanding $2 million to release the
remainder.
After failing to get the money they allegedly confiscated 54 CDs, which they
converted to their own use, and only registered 76 in the Harare Central
charge office lost and found property book. The confiscated CDs were valued
at $2 541 132.
The two were not asked to plead to the corruption charges and remanded to
December 28 on $2 million bail each.
Recently,† police commissioner Augustine Chihuri lashed out at corrupt
police officers saying: "Let me put it to you that there is no justification
whatsoever for one of us to be caught on the wrong side of the law in this
regard."
Chihuri expressed concern over the increasing number of policemen being
arraigned before the courts on charges of corruption.
He said there was need for all officers to display a high degree of
discipline and uphold police ethics.
The police chief stressed that there was need for the police to shun
corruption, which had become a cancer.


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Undiplomatic row as envoys evade £3m in fines

The Scotsman

JAMES KIRKUP WESTMINSTER EDITOR
FOREIGN envoys in Britain have used their immunity from prosecution to rack
up a total of £3 million in unpaid fines and 11 serious criminal offences,
it was revealed yesterday.

The Foreign and Commonwealth Office, apparently tiring of foreign officials'
abuses of their privileges, took the step of releasing details of the
transgressions to parliament.

†The biggest liberty with fines is taken with London's congestion charge.

Earlier this year, it emerged that the United States embassy refuses to pay
the toll, considering it a tax.

But yesterday it was confirmed that the US, which owes £62,000, is only the
tenth-worst offender. Topping the list is the United Arab Emerates, whose
envoys owe Mayor Ken Livingstone £452,650, with 4,859 fines outstanding.

In all, ten countries owe the London authorities £1.9 million for 20,804
fines.

More than 4,000 tickets are outstanding against cars with diplomatic licence
plates from the year 2004. The associated fines are worth £361,830.

Enjoying rare renown at the top of the parking-fine league table is
Kazakhstan.

The central Asian republic's mission owes £23,870 for 246 outstanding
tickets. Saudi Arabian envoys have 243 fines worth £21,980.

Adding spice to Britain's increasingly heated negotiations over the European
Union budget, some of the biggest EU powers also have outstanding parking
fines. German diplomats owe £12,280 for 128 tickets and the French embassy
has 90 tickets and a £8,360 bill.

While diplomatic missions are largely exempt from paying taxes, most
embassies and high commissions are liable to pay something towards local
street lighting, cleaning and fire services.

Here again, some missions see an opportunity to test their diplomatic
licence to the limit. Unpaid rates bills were worth £880,000 as of 1 July.

The Chinese embassy in London has so far declined to pay a bill for £62,320.
Zimbabwe's envoys owe £54,605.

And in perhaps the most alarming revelation, the FCO said that during 2004,
diplomats had been responsible for a number of "serious" criminal offences,
crimes which would be punishable by prison sentences of 12 months or more.

In all, 11 such alleged offences were reported to the FCO. None of the
accused ever faced trial in Britain.

But the right of a foreign power's representatives to go unmolested by the
law has been an accepted part of international politics for centuries.
Immunity was formalised in the 1961 Vienna Convention on Diplomatic
Relations.

Free-wheelers

What countries owe in London congestion charges:

United Arab Emirates £452,650
Angola £392,750
Sudan £274,870
Nigeria £140,620
Tanzania £136,280

Sierra Leone £135,290
South Africa £122,590
Kenya £96,010
Zimbabwe £96,390
United States £62,250

This article: http://news.scotsman.com/uk.cfm?id=2395382005

Last updated: 13-Dec-05 00:51 GMT


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Players 'disillusioned' by ICC handling of Zimbabwe issue

The Telegraph

By Charles Randall
(Filed: 13/12/2005)

The plea by the game's world governing body for a return to fair play in
international cricket was met with only qualified support from the players
yesterday.

After the International Cricket Council had reported that standards of
behaviour had dropped during the year, urging a recommitment to the "spirit
of the game", the Federation of International Cricketers Associations said
these words had a hollow ring in view of reprehensible conduct by certain
administrators - especially in Zimbabwe.
Malcolm Speed, the ICC chief executive, disclosed that since the Ashes
series there had been a spate of code of conduct violations and a total of
38 so far this year before the busy Christmas period, compared to 37 for the
whole of 2004. However, Tim May, the FICA chief executive, said the ICC
could be accused of double standards for allowing the Zimbabwe situation to
deteriorate without the power or desire to intervene.

May endorsed the spirit of cricket plea, but added: "In an environment where
players have been subject to threats of physical and other forms of
intimidation, public criticism of their on-field behaviour will have a
hollow ring. The game's handling of the present Zimbabwean issue has
disillusioned and disappointed the majority of players around the world."

Speed said the national captains had been praised at their meeting in
October for helping to improve on-field behaviour. "Those same players now
have the responsibility for ensuring that these standards are maintained,"
he said. "Players should be under no illusions. Cricket is a game that
expects high standards of behaviour from its players."

Among recent unsporting incidents was the surprising case of Shahid Afridi,
suspended for one match for blatantly roughing up the pitch in a Test
against England.

In England the Professional Players' Association reported that on-field
behaviour had improved this year and at their annual meeting they strongly
endorsed the two-division championship format.


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Soldier pumps six bullets into victim

Daily Mirror, Zimbabwe

Oswelled Ureke
issue date :2005-Dec-13

A HARARE man must be ruing the day he asked an Airforce of Zimbabwe (AFZ)
officer to help solve a dispute he had with his 21-year-old son after the
soldier allegedly shot dead the young man in a moment of explosive rage that
left the Dankwerts Chedgelow farm community in Manyame in grief and shock.
The incident, which Harare police spokesperson, Inspector Loveless Rupere
confirmed yesterday, happened last Saturday night and the soldier, who faces
a possible murder charge, was now in police custody.
But Rupere said he was yet to get intricate details of what actually
transpired and promised to furnish this newspaper with the facts once he got
them.
The suspect, whom sources identified as Brighton Nyaruwe, allegedly pumped
six bullets into Taurai Zharengi's back with an AK 47 assault rifle after he
had beaten him while trying to resolve the father and son dispute.
Fighting back tears, grieving relatives said Taurai's death came at the
worst possible time, as he had recently engaged.
At the weekend, The Daily Mirror crew visited the farm compound, about 300
metres adjacent to Manyame Airbase along Airport Road, and found stunned
mourners still trying to come to terms with the tragedy.
A neighbour of the Zharengis, Beauty Rebecca and other relatives witnessed
the shooting and narrated the incident to this reporter.
She said Taurai lived together with his father Timothy Zharengi on the farm.
Trouble started when Taurai rowed with his father who was allegedly in a
drunken stupor at the time.
According to some mourners at the funeral wake, Taurai, who worked as a
guard for a local security company, had come home that afternoon after
visiting an uncle in Epworth.
He is said to have given his mother bus fare to travel to their rural home.
This did not go down well with his father who allegedly became violent and
assaulted his wife.
"Taurai protested against his father's behaviour and a row ensued. A family
friend came to resolve the dispute and tempers cooled. Zharengi retired to
bed and Taurai started playing music outside the house. His father who had
since fallen asleep, was awakened by the music and stormed out of his
bedroom heading for an unknown destination," said Rebecca.
She continued: "Thinking that the dispute was over, Taurai continued playing
music and was joined by neighbours. His father later came back in the
company of a soldier who was armed with a rifle. There was also a female
officer in attendance and the two were reported to be on duty at the Manyame
Airbase guardroom."
It is alleged that Nyaruwe started manhandling and shoving Taurai with the
rifle butt and accusing him of not respecting elders. This, however, didn't
please Taurai at all who reportedly lost his cool and a physical brawl broke
out.
According to Rebecca, Taurai pinned the soldier down while he relentlessly
pounded him with clenched fists. Sensing defeat after realising that the
soldier was no match for Taurai, Zharengi then allegedly brandished a metal
bar and struck his son on the back several times.
†Taurai eased his grip on Nyaruwe and fled. The battered soldier got up and
then fired a volley of eight shots, six of which hit Taurai's back ripping
open his abdomen.
Taurai is said to have fallen down, but before he lost consciousness he
reportedly told his father that he had "killed" him. An ambulance later
rushed him to a Harare hospital, but was pronounced dead on arrival.
While national police spokesperson Chief Superintendent Oliver Mandipaka was
not cooperative, the Officer-in-Charge of Hatfield police station where the
soldier was detained, said they had referred the case to the Criminal
Investigations Department (CID).
The Daily Mirror then visited Hatfield Police Station and found Taurai's
sister Fungai Zharengi and their parents dejected and in a state of shock.
They had gone there to help the police with investigations into the fatal
shooting.
"How could my brother have died just like that?" asked Fungai fighting back
tears. "He was a good person and had engaged with his girlfriend two weeks
ago."


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Car-jackers hit on VP Mujuru Benz

Daily Mirror, Zimbabwe

From Nkululeko Sibanda in Bulawayo
issue date :2005-Dec-13

SUSPECTED armed car thieves on Saturday nearly hijacked a Mercedes Benz
believed to belong to Vice-President Joice Mujuru near a city hotel.
The incident, witnessed by this reporter, occurred near the Bulawayo Rainbow
Hotel at around 11pm, when the chauffer was about to park the Benz outside
the hotel.
The carjackers who were driving in a white Land Rover and Peugeot pick-up
truck, seemed to have trailed the Benz for some distance, and apparently
wanted to pounce on the driver as he headed for the parking bay.
They blocked the way and one of them who was brandishing an AK-47 assault
rifle approached the chauffer.
As the drama unfolded, a ramshackle yellow Peugeot truck without number
plates closed in from behind the State vehicle as one of the suspected
carjackers in the truck readied to disembark and pounce.
†Sensing danger, the Benz's driver drew out his service pistol and this
forced the two armed attempted carjackers to retreat to their vehicles
before taking off at high speed dropping several bullets in the process.
Frustrated, they then shouted obscenities at the driver for having botched
their attempt.
The driver of the Benz took a swipe at eyewitnesses. "You claim to be Zanu
PF supporters yet you leave people do as they please here. It's only that
this is Bulawayo otherwise if it were in Harare this would not have
happened," he fumed.
Vice-President Mujuru was staying in the city while attending the Zanu PF
eighth National People's Conference, which ended on Saturday in Esigodini,
Matabeleland South.
Bulawayo police spokesperson Inspector Smile Dube was said to be out of
office when The Daily Mirror sought his comment yesterday.


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Anti-Senate MDC faction restructures

Daily Mirror, Zimbabwe

The Daily Mirror Reporter
issue date :2005-Dec-13

THE rift-ridden opposition MDC has restructured its Harare province ahead of
the party's second national congress set for February next year with Tapiwa
Mashakada, Willas Madzimure, and Tichaona Munyanyi landing powerful
positions.
Mashakada, Madzimure and Munyanyi are legislators for Hatfield, Kambuzuma
and former Mbare respectively.
In an interview with The Daily Mirror yesterday, newly appointed
spokesperson of the anti-Senate faction and also Kuwadzana legislator Nelson
Chamisa said: "Femai has retained his post as chairman of the province with
Mashakada becoming his deputy, Munyanyi organising secretary while Gilbert
Shoko is now the treasurer."
An official only identified as Shonhe deputises Munyanyi while Costa
Machingauta was elected provincial chairperson for youths with Roran
Dambajena now chairing the provincial women's assembly.
The on-going restructuring exercise has, however, been castigated by some
party insiders who claimed that the process was marred by factionalism.
They alleged that factionalism had spread to all party structures and
accused Femai, Last Maengehama (the former spokesperson for Harare province)
and Shoko of endorsing candidates in ward and district structures without
conducting elections as required by the MDC constitution.
"The Senate issue has rocked the party to levels beyond redemption. The
Harare province is moving around the capital endorsing officials sympathetic
to the anti-Senate camp in party structures yet the constitution calls for
the election of office bearers," the source said.
"Last Tuesday Harare province caused chaos in Mufakose when it endorsed
people from the anti-Senate camp in the structures of the party against the
wills of the majority." Added the source from Mufakose: "They claim that
Morgan Tsvangirai instructed them to get rid of officials from the
pro-Senate camp in all party structures ahead of Congress."
Femai recently dismissed the allegations as baseless and accused the
pro-Senate camp of trying to bulldoze its way into party structures against
the wills of the majority of MDC supporters.
He said: "The problem is with the pro-Senate camp officials who want to
bulldoze their way into party structures against the wills of the people.
"The people are resisting this move and there is nothing we can do as the
province."
Femai claimed the restructuring exercise was progressing well in all
branches of the MDC and accused the pro-Senate faction of "splashing money
everywhere in a bid to buy the hearts of the people." Paul Themba Nyathi,
who MDC leaderMorgan† Tsvangirai said he had since been removed as party
spokesperson, said the pro-Senate camp would not recognise the new
structures in Harare province.
"That does not come as a surprise to us at all. Those people (anti-Senate
camp) are allergic to democratic principles.
"We will not recognise the structures. The real structures of the party are
the ones going to attend Congress," he said.
The MDC is in the throes of in-house squabbles arising from differences over
participation in the Senate polls, a situation that has torn the opposition
party down the middle.
Tsvangirai commands the anti-Senate camp while his deputy Gibson Sibanda and
party secretary-general Welshman
Ncube leads the pro-Senate faction.
Zanu PF walloped the MDC in the Senate polls that were held on November 26
and that phase is now over.
The Senators have since been sworn in and held a workshop yesterday, but the
MDC continues to fight over a done deal, said an MDC insider who refused to
be
named.
The ruling party garnered 43 out of the 50 contested seats against MDC's
seven in the Upper House in which 10 seats are reserved for chiefs elected
by the Chiefs College while the President appointed six more representing
special interest groups.


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Zimdollar inches closer to black market rate

Daily Mirror, Zimbabwe

Business Reporter
issue date :2005-Dec-13

THE official interbank exchange rate of the Zimbabwe dollar against other
currencies has gradually inched closer to trading rates on the country's
noxious parallel market, falling to an average $75 884,54 against the US
dollar.
Market watchers said while the development would make it more difficult for
individuals and organisations trying to secure hard currency, it was likely
to have a positive impact on inflows of hard currency into official coffers.
The new rates represent a 24 percent slump from the $60 000 to one US$
charged at the introduction of the interbank currency trading system two
months ago, and could point to the continued fall of the local currency,
analysts have said.
Exchange rates on the official interbank foreign currency market have fallen
dramatically over the past three weeks, with rates falling at every
interbank auction.
Official figures have shown that the dollar has now dipped to $75 884,54
against the US dollar, $12 590,16 to the South African rand and $132 676,53
to the British pound.
Rates to the Euro and the Botswana Pula have also fallen, crashing to Z$89
376 and Z$14 554 respectively.
The new official rates have loomed closer to prevailing black market rates,
which sources indicate are now within reach at $90 000 to the greenback and
$160 000 to the British Pound, while rates to the Rand and the Pula are
believed to be Z$15 000 and Z$18 000 respectively.
"It does make it considerably more difficult for people and companies trying
to buy foreign currency but you must look at the other side, which is that
it encourages people to trade their hard currency on the interbank market at
rates that are now closer to the black
market rates," Interfin securities research analyst Farai Dyirakumunda said.
Shortages of foreign currency have been one of the country's major economic
problems, and have had a ripple effect on productive capacity, commodity
supplies and the general cost of living for
locals.
The interbank system has reportedly suffered from market sceptism, with
individuals opting to trade their hard currency on the black market where
rates have been higher and more lucrative.
"People are yet to gain confidence in the foreign currency interbank system.
"What we have noticed is that there are very few holders of free funds who
are bringing in foreign currency and the system has been mostly dependent on
remittances by exporters.
"In the long run this could be the greatest undoing of the system," a
research analyst told Business Mirror.
According to statistics from the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ), foreign
currency inflows have gradually increased this year from US$96.4 million in
January to more than US$1.030 billion by September this year.
However the increase in supplies has not been enough to jerk the economy
back into recovery mode.
"If all that foreign currency that is being traded on the black market were
being channelled into the official system then we would be able to deal with
a big part of our challenge to get the economy back on
track.
"So one of our biggest challenges at the moment is stamping out black market
dealing in foreign currency," RBZ chief Gideon Gono said last week.
The persistent fall of the dollar had been a major concern for government
and central bank in recent years, with the State for a long time sticking to
a managed exchange rate and a "no devaluation" policy.
However this year alone the RBZ governor has 'devalued' the
dollar more than three times in an effort to boost productivity and
increase inflows into the system.
Should government and the central bank succeed in solving the hard currency
quagmire, economists believe the country could find itself smoothly on the
recovery path.


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Patients to purchase drugs - Council

Daily Mirror, Zimbabwe

Health Reporter
issue date :2005-Dec-13

THE Harare City Council has recommended the selling of drugs in its clinics.
In the past, patients would only pay consultation fees of $200 000 for
adults and $100 000 for children (current) and get prescribed drugs for
free.
However, owing to continuous economic meltdown experienced in almost all
sectors of the economy, the city health department decided to charge drugs
as a cost recovery measure.
Announcing recommendations on reducing council's expenditure for the 2006
period, chairman of the Harare Commission's finance committee, Tendai
Savanhu said: I am proposing the following in an attempt to reduce the
effect on rates increases:- that the city health department sells drugs to
patients at cost."
Council health centres were the only institutions providing free drugs in
the country.
Patients seeking treatment from government health
centres pay hospital fees and purchase drugs either at the institution's
pharmacy or private pharmacies.
The idea of providing free drugs to patients was aimed at alleviating the
burden of medical costs on the already overburdened low and middle class
earners.
The Harare City Council also recommended appealing for funding from the
National Aids Council (NAC) arguing that all its infectious health centres
were treating Opportunistic Infections.
The city's health institutions, Wilkins and Beatrice Road Infectious Disease
hospital, handle cases of people living with HIV and Aids.
"I recommend that the director of health services approaches the National
Aids Council for an allocation of funds from the National Aids Levy as the
city's infectious hospitals are treating Aids sufferers," Savanhu said


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Senators vehicle loans fund inadequate: Zvoma

Daily Mirror, Zimbabwe

The Daily Mirror Reporter
issue date :2005-Dec-13

A FUND set up to provide Senators with official vehicle loans to enable them
to execute their parliamentary duties efficiently is inadequate, Clerk of
Parliament Austin Zvoma said yesterday.
He said this during an induction seminar for Senators where he also
presented a paper on the composition, powers and functions as well as the
administration of parliament.
Zvoma did not give the required amount or the funds that have been availed
for the purpose so far, but said a board chaired by the Minister of Justice,
Legal and Parliamentary Affairs Patrick Chinamasa would soon look into the
matter.
"We were advised by Treasury that the applicable exchange rate is what was
the auction rate that is US$1: Z$26, which makes a 4X4 vehicle cost around
$1,8 billion. The biggest challenge is that it is not substantial in terms
of repayments which we must address," said Zvoma.
He added: "Even if it was affordable, there is the question of forex and a
vehicle from the Willovale Mazda Motor Industry is
more expensive than an imported one."
The fund, established in terms of the Audit and Exchequer Act, attracts
concessionary rates of 15 percent, Zvoma also said.
He said although 120 Parliament Constituency Information Centers (PCICs) had
already been established to provide members of the House of Assembly a venue
to meet with their constituents, a policy decision concerning PCICs for
Senators was yet to be made.
In her opening remarks, the President of the Senate Edna Madzongwe said
Zimbabweans expect Senators to justify the re-introduction of the Upper
House on the basis of work they would do.
The former deputy Speaker of Parliament added that the induction course was
meant to enable members realise where they can best participate in the
overall goal of national development.
"It is indisputable that Parliament is an institution whose powers are so
pervasive that its position in society remains sacred," Madzongwe said. "As
you know, it performs representative, legislative and oversight functions
for the common good."
In another presentation, counsel to Parliament Choice Damiso, said the
Privileges, Immunities of Parliament Act has not yet been amended to take on
board Senators.
"The Act has not yet been amended to cater for Senators and I have talked to
the director and he has said it would be amended soon in order to cater for
a bicameral Parliament," said Damiso.
She also said that under the Act, members have among others, freedom from
arrest within the precincts of Parliament unless with the approval of the
Speaker of
the House of Assembly or the
President of the Senate when amended.
Damiso noted that members from both Houses can also act as commissioners of
oath.
The Parliamentary Reform Programme gave birth to the need for Parliament to
conduct induction workshops for new members to familiarise themselves with
the operations of the legislature in order to enhance its effectiveness.

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