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Zimbabwe private radio station boss released on bail

Zim Online

Sat 24 December 2005

      HARARE - The director of a private Voice of the People (VOP) radio
station John Masuku who was arrested on Monday for allegedly flouting the
country's tough broadcasting laws was yesterday released on bail.

      Masuku's lawyer, Irene Petras told the press yesterday that her client
was released on Z$4 million bail (US$51).

      "He has been released on Z$4 million bail by the Harare magistrates'
court. The court ordered him to report once a week to the police," said the
lawyer.

      Masuku and another director David Masunda, who were in hiding turned
themselves in last Monday, four days after the police raided the company's
offices in Harare.

      Three reporters from the radio station - Maria Nyanyiwa, Takunda
Chigwanda and Nyasha Bosha - were also released on Monday after spending
four days in police custody for allegedly breaching the broadcasting laws.

      While Masunda was released on the same day, Masuku was detained for
four days for allegedly operating broadcasting equipment without license
from the country's Broadcasting Authority of Zimbabwe. He faces a two-year
jail term if convicted.

      At least more than a hundred journalists have been arrested over the
past three years in Zimbabwe for breaching the country's tough media laws.
The United States-based Committee to Protect Journalists ranks Zimbabwe
among the three worst countries for journalists. The other two are Iran and
the former Soviet republic of Uzbekistan. - ZimOnline


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Tsvangirai says pro-senate faction a nuisance

Zim Online

Sat 24 December 2005

      BULAWAYO - Zimbabwe's main opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai on
Thursday told his party's followers in Bulawayo that he will not allow a
faction opposed to his leadership to topple him from power.

      Addressing a consultative meeting with the party's leadership in
Zimbabwe's second biggest city of Bulawayo, Tsvangirai said a faction led by
secretary general Welshman Ncube that has opposed his leadership in the
Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) party was a "nuisance" that should
never be allowed to take over the opposition party.

      "What is apparent at this point is that these people have become an
absolute nuisance. Most of them think they are indispensable, especially
people like Ncube and Job Sikhala, but they are not? No one will take the
MDC, not over my dead body," said Tsvangirai.

      Thursday's meeting was attended by MDC national chairman Isaac
Matongo, Makokoba Member of Parliament Thokozani Khuphe and  women's
assembly chairwoman Lucia Matibenga among others.

      The MDC which had presented the greatest challenge to President Robert
Mugabe's 25-year grip on power is embroiled in a bitter dispute after
Tsvangirai differed with four other top leaders of the party over whether
the party should have contested last month's election.

      The bickering and name-calling in the MDC has weakened the party that
had since its formation six years ago appeared Zimbabweans' only alternative
to Mugabe's government.

      Last week, the party's disciplinary committee suspended Ncube, deputy
president Gibson Sibanda, deputy secretary general Gift Chimanikire,
treasurer Fletcher Dulini Ncube and legislator Trudy Stevenson who are all
in Ncube's camp.

      MDC spokesman Nelson Chamisa told ZimOnline yesterday that Tsvangirai
had told the people from the three provinces that they had to elect a new
leadership because Sibanda and the others contesting his leadership had
become "archival material" needing replacement.

      "The President has been in Matabeleland preparing the groundwork for
national healing in the MDC as we anticipate to elect a new leadership at
our congress next year. The party structures he met said they were ready to
elect a new leadership.

      "They will be holding provincial congresses early next month in
anticipation of our national congress. Sibanda and company belong to the
museum as far as the President and the MDC are concerned.

      "We cannot allow them to work with ZANU PF in assaulting the
democratic struggle while wearing MDC caps. They are out. Maybe the only
congress they can attend is a ZANU PF one because that is where they
belong," said Chamisa.

      Efforts to get comment from the spokesman of the pro-senate faction,
Paul Themba Nyathi, failed last night.

      But Tsvangirai earlier this week told foreign diplomats in Harare that
Ncube's camp was working closely with Mugabe in a bid to assassinate him,
remarks which were quickly dismissed as rubbish by Paul Themba Nyathi. -
ZimOnline


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'Mugabe's mob' caught looting on film

ITV

3.59PM, Fri Dec 23 2005

Footage has been uncovered of General Mugabe's policemen and soldiers
looting civilian possessions in Zimbabwe.

The filmed incident occurred during one of the now common evictions of white
farmers from their land by Mugabe's men.

The footage in question shows police and army officers removing anything
they can carry from Peter Hennings' farm as he and his son Greg look on.

The equipment that was taken ended up at an auction to raise funds for the
police themselves.

At one point during the film, Greg Hennings challenges a police officer to
justify his actions.

Officers then move in with a crane to take away the heavy farming equipment,
leaving the family homeless and with no possessions.

Since the footage was taken, Greg and his dad Peter fled to South Africa
where they were reunited with the rest of their family.


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Private Fuel Importers Keep Zimbabwe Wheels Turning

VOA

      By Tendai Maphosa
      Harare
      23 December 2005

Zimbabwe's on-again, off-again fuel shortages are now in their seventh year.
The government, which lacks the money to import sufficient fuel, now is
allowing private imports. The importers then sell their fuel at prices way
above the official pump price. Tendai Maphosa recently traveled to
neighboring Botswana, from where huge amounts of fuel are being imported.

Any Zimbabwean can import up to 2,000 liters of fuel at a time, but there is
no limit to how many times one can import fuel, and nobody checks whether
the fuel is all used by the importer. The result is a booming private
market, selling fuel at prices almost five times the official pump price.

Selling fuel without a license is technically illegal, but even some
government departments buy their fuel on the black market, illustrating how
bad the situation is.

On the highway between the Zimbabwean city Bulawayo and the Botswana border,
most of the traffic is now trucks of various sizes carrying fuel. These are
not fuel tankers. Zimbabwe's new fuel importers use any container that can
hold fuel, the most popular being the 200-liter drum.

The importers pay a low duty of five percent, but still make a tidy profit.
There are reports that some professionals are quitting their jobs to make
money importing and selling fuel.

A school teacher on holiday told VOA on condition of anonymity that he makes
a profit of about $70 per drum; more than his monthly salary. He said, due
to the increased demand over the holidays, he would be importing the maximum
six drums his truck can carry every day.

A customs official on the Zimbabwe side of the border told VOA that dozens
of trucks pass through bearing fuel everyday. The official said the numbers
have increased over the past couple of weeks, as the demand for fuel for the
holidays increases.

While some Zimbabwean gas stations have not had any deliveries for months, a
few are selling fuel at the black market price. The state-controlled daily
newspaper, The Herald, recently ran an article on the law-breaking
establishments, but they continue the practice with impunity. This has
raised speculation about who owns the gas stations.

Earlier this year, the government designated some foreign currency gas
stations, where Zimbabweans can buy fuel using foreign currency, but supply
is very erratic. There are also some suppliers who demand payment outside
the country before delivering the fuel in Zimbabwe.

Since the fuel crisis began in 1999, the government used to issue statements
that things would get back to normal, but there have been no such assurances
for months.

The high price of fuel has also led to high fares on what is left of the
public transportation system.

Zimbabweans have to brace themselves for another expected increase in fuel
prices in the new year. In the recently announced annual budget, the
government said it would collect carbon tax on every liter of fuel imported.
Up to now, the carbon tax was a one-off annual payment. The school teacher
told VOA importers would likely pass on the tax to consumers by demanding
higher prices.


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The Outlook for 2006



      By Eddie Cross
      23 December 2005

      As we come to the end of 2005, we might find it difficult to look
ahead and ask ourselves what might be in store for those of us who live and
work in Zimbabwe. 2005 has been very tough - inflation has soared to new
heights, the economy has shrunk again - the 7th year in a row since 1999. In
fact it might be argued that the economy has been in decline since 1998 as
1997 was the last year during which we experienced any sort of real economic
growth.

      Our currency has lost 99.9 per cent of its value and over 80 per cent
of our population is now classed as being absolutely poor. Human flight has,
if anything, accelerated and it is now estimated that a third of the total
population lives in self imposed exile. Hundreds of thousands are dying each
year - from Aids, dysentery, tuberculosis, malaria, malnutrition, hunger and
the collapse of our health system. 2005 will go down as a miserable year for
millions with many now homeless and destitute after Murambatsvina (remember
what that means - "drive out filth").

      It will also go down as a year of failure - failure of the regional
community to face up to what is going on here and to tackle the crisis, the
failure of Mbeki's "quiet diplomacy" and the failure of the international
community to make progress in resolving the plight of the many who live in
the "outposts of tyranny".

      For the Zimbabwe government it has also been a year of failure -
failure of the much talked about "economic recovery", failure of their
agricultural policies, failure to get any sort of growth and recovery in the
mining and tourism industries. To this we might add the failure to halt the
slide in the public service and in all social sectors.

      And so we come to Christmas 2005, hungry, angry and disappointed.

      Disappointed with our leaders and disappointed with ourselves for
having achieved so little when the needs around us are so great. I think
this is going to be the worst Christmas ever for most Zimbabweans.

      But while we bemoan our condition we must now look into our proverbial
crystal ball and ask ourselves "what does 2006 hold for us". In business we
can hardly plan for tomorrow, how to plan for the next year is something we
do not even want to think about - yet we must. I am the proverbial optimist
so all my friends will take what I have to say with the proverbial pinch of
salt, but since they will not put their necks on the block - why should I
not have a go?

      The first thing we can say about next year - is that we have had the
best start to a wet season that I can remember for a long time. Last year at
this time we had 50 odd mls. of rain in October, none in November and then a
very wet December. That is about as bad a start to the season as you can
have in this part of the world. Crops planted with the early rains died in
November and those planted in December were too late to really perform and
got wet feet.

      This year, as if on a schedule, we have had 85 mls. in November - soft
rains and perfect planting weather. Now in December it has rained
continuously for a week and we are already up to half our last years total
rainfall. The only problem is that there are no crops in the ground. A
handful of large-scale commercial farmers are left and they are again under
siege. Money is tight, costs are in the stratosphere and inputs almost
impossible to find. Even the peasant sector has very little in the ground
and we can forecast an even worse outturn for the crop season just starting,
than last year when Mugabe stated in the famous interview that we had grown
2,5 million tonnes of grain and instead we reaped a paltry 600 000 tonnes.

      In last weeks budget statement the Minister of Finance predicted a
strong growth in agricultural output next year - well you can put that down
to the mad musings of Made (our nutty Minister of Agriculture). But while we
are likely to go hungry again next year it is possible that other sectors
might start to show signs of recovery.

      In the mining industry we have had a fantastic year on international
markets - gold is over US$500 an ounce, Platinum over US$1000 and all other
base metals and minerals are at record or near record levels. If we can get
a policy framework in place (and one already exists) which will give
investors confidence, then I would predict a veritable gold rush next year
in the precious metals industry. Already the rapid depreciation in the
official exchange rate coupled to the strong rise in world market prices and
demand, means that gold producers are at last making some real money here.

      In other sectors it is more difficult to see progress but I am sure
that we are about to see a major turn around by the State in the field of
economic and political policy. The signs are already there that the
Government is preparing to allow the re-emergence of free market forces in
all sorts of fields - fuel and food among others. This will allow the market
to overcome current shortages in many areas plagued by bad decisions and
poor policy making. Exchange rates are gradually (some would say rapidly)
being allowed to rise to free market levels and this will have all sorts of
implications for the economy. Minimum wages are already poised to go through
the Z$5 million a month barrier and will reach Z$7 million by March or
earlier.

      While this is being driven by inflation it also reflects employers
willingness to adjust wages more realistically than in the past when low
earnings from exports were crippling the productive sector.

      These policies will halt the decline in exports and allow some
recovery in industrial activity - but they will not be enough to turn the
tide altogether. That will depend on political events and the future of the
SA/G8 loan agreement talks and negotiations. In this respect I think we are
in for a surprising 2006, I think we might see the early retirement of
Robert Gabriel Mugabe and the adoption by the succeeding regime of many of
the reforms demanded in the SA/G8 loan agreement. We may see the Daily News
back and there is widespread talk that the State is going to reverse itself
on land - allowing title deed owners to reclaim their properties and resume
farming.

      If that happens then we might see the resumption of inflows of much
needed foreign assistance - the UN seems set to feed the country this
summer, Mbeki 's loans will overcome the current critical shortages of fuel
and electricity. If that happens then anything is possible - we might even
see a resumption of real economic growth. If this does not happen then I am
afraid we are in for another tough year. My money is on the positive outlook
and I am going to put some into the local stock market in the New Year. I
did well this year there and cannot see any reason why next year should not
be better.

      Eddie Cross

      Bulawayo, 8th December 2005

      SW Radio Africa Zimbabwe news


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Another envoy, another report, and still no houses



      By Tererai Karimakwenda
      23 December 2005

      Zimbabweans discovered on Friday that another United Nations envoy
will be headed their way in January of the New Year, but for the homeless
families that were forced to destroy their own homes at gunpoint by the
government this year, the visit does not translate into a roof over their
heads or an income to improve their livelihood. Two other envoys have
already confirmed their suffering in the last few months, and brought
detailed reports to the rest of the world. But they still sleep in the open
and in the mud, and their children continue to go to bed without enough
food. The only good news they could receive this year would be an envoy from
anywhere, bringing houses with a roof and running water.

      This time it is UN Under Secretary General for Political Affairs
Ibrahim Gambari who is due to visit Zimbabwe and attempt to forge a working
relationship with the difficult Robert Mugabe. The trip is reported to have
been recommended by the UN Security Council, with support from the United
States, Denmark and Japan. Gambari's mission is to assess the situation in
Zimbabwe and establish a working relationship with Mugabe, who has so far
been stubborn and unreasonably demanding considering he caused the problem
in the first place. It will take some skilful diplomatic finessing to
achieve positive results that translate into a better life for the victims
at the centre of the whole affair.

      Meranwhile, the ZimOnline news site reports that incomplete houses
were handed over to homeless families in the farming town of Chinhoyi on
Monday. The report said the town's Executive Mayor Ray Kapesa told some of
the displaced families that they would have to finish building the houses on
their own because the government was broke. This is further proof the
government had no solid plan for re-housing the victims and no money had
been set aside for the project.

      It was widely believed from the beginning that the June demolitions
were carried out as a punitive lesson for those who supported the opposition
in the March parliamentary elections. The now evident lack of planning and
resources further confirms this belief, and delays in building temporary
shelters due to the government's unfounded demands are also highly suspect.
The UN estimates that at least 700 000 Zimbabweans were left on the streets
without income or shelter, yet the state has failed to provide completed
houses for just a 100 families in Chinhoyi.

      SW Radio Africa Zimbabwe news


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The Anglican Church drops murder charges against Zimbabwe bishop

Pravda

15:07 2005-12-23
The Anglican Church has dropped charges of incitement to murder and
besmirching the name of the church leveled against a Zimbabwe bishop, church
officials said Friday. Harare Bishop Nolbert Kunonga, who is a strong
supporter of Zimbabwe's autocratic President Robert Mugabe, appeared before
an ecclesiastical court in August. He was also accused by parishioners of
intimidating critics, ignoring church law, mishandling church funds and
bringing militant ruling party politics to the pulpit.

But the court hearing collapsed in disarray when Judge James Kalaile of
Malawi refused to continue presiding after a dispute over the admission of
evidence. Officials at the Harare diocese office said the head of the
Anglican Province of Central Africa, Archbishop Amos Malingo of Zambia,
informed church leaders throughout the province that the case against
Kunonga had been dropped.

"The matter is closed and cannot be revived," said Malingo in a letter
dispatched to the region's 12 bishops on Dec. 19. Supporters of Kunonga, a
former African liberation theology professor in the United States, claimed
the case was racially motivated though all but three of scores of
complainants in 38 charges were black parishioners.

Lawyers for Kunonga accused Jeremy Lewis, appointed the prosecutor by
Archbishop Malingo, of not handling the case correctly under the church's
canon law. Lewis, contacted at his Harare home Friday, said he had not been
officially informed of Malingo's ruling that dropped the charges nor censure
of the prosecution in Malingo's letter to church leaders that led the case
being closed. "I would have expected His Grace (Malingo) to have
communicated such censure," he said.

Kunonga was elected Harare bishop in 2001 amid accusations he used his
influence with the ruling party to secure the post. He did not face criminal
charges in August but could have been expelled from the church, defrocked or
reprimanded. In the key charge, Kunonga was accused of urging a priest to
instruct ruling party militants to kill 10 of the bishop's critics in the
local Anglican hierarchy, reports the AP.
N.U.


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Zimbabwe-Islam -Conference

Islamic Republic News Agency
 
Pretoria, Dec 23, IRNA


A day-long Conference dubbed "The Position of Muslims and Islam in Zimbabwe" is held in Harare on December 22, 2005, in cooperation with Iran's cultural attache to the country.

2327/1420


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Warriors revolt over unpaid bonuses

Zim Online

Sat 24 December 2005

      HARARE - The Zimbabwe national soccer team camp has been hit by player
mutiny after the Zimbabwe Football Association (Zifa) failed to pay the
Warriors their winning bonuses from the Cosafa Castle Cup which was played
more than four months ago.

      Although both Zifa officials and members of the Warriors technical
team could not divulge details of the problems in the Warriors camp,
ZimOnline authoritatively gathers that the players initially refused to
train on Thursday although they  were later persuaded to train by head coach
Charles Mhlauri.

      "Like what has been happening for some time now, Zifa failed to give
winning bonuses to the Warriors who lifted the  Cosafa Castle Cup when they
beat Zambia in the final. So serious was the problem that the players
refused to train.

      "They had to hold an emergency meeting and were later promised their
outstanding money. These are the kind of  issues which distract the Warriors
at a time when they are in camp for the African Cup of Nations finals.

      "For now the matter has been resolved as the fund-raising committee,
which was launched last week, has promised to  pay the boys," said a highly
placed source.

      Zifa board member for development, Remigio Makoni had to be forced to
address the players who were represented by goalkeeper, Energy Murambadoro
and defender James Matola.

      Sources said the Warriors representatives expressed their anger at the
manner in which they were being treated by the Zifa officials.

      Zimbabwe's preparations are expected to move into top gear next week
when the foreign based players arrive from  their bases. The Warriors are
expected to break camp today for Christmas Day before returning to base on
Monday. -  ZimOnline


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Zimbabwe in fund raising drive

BBC

            By Steve Vickers
            BBC Sport, Harare

      A massive fund-raising exercise is being undertaken to cover
Zimbabwe's expenses for next month's African Nations Cup finals in Egypt.

      The Zimbabwe Football Association (Zifa) was allocated US$125,000 for
the tournament in the government's annual budget, but says that the amount
is inadequate.

      Government ministers and MPs have joined a committee to assist Zifa in
a drive to raise a further US$750,000.

      The vast amount is to fund pre-tournament training camps, travel, and
player allowances.

      It also covers winning bonuses for players, including the eventuality
of the team progressing beyond the group stage and even winning the
tournament.

      "We don't want to be taken by surprise and find ourselves reaching the
final and having nothing to give the players," Zifa board member Remigio
Makoni told BBC Sport.

      A series of dinners and musical galas are being held around the
country, and the national team players and coaches have a hands-on role.

      They are manning a call centre every evening, where fans can phone in
to chat and pledge money.

      "I'm very confident that we're going to raise the target," said Tendai
Savanhu, chairman of the fund-raising committee.

      "Companies are already beginning to support us, and we are hoping that
the public will be very generous."

      Due to financial constraints, Zimbabwe have yet to play any
international friendly matches ahead of the Nations Cup.

      The Warriors are preparing in Harare and will play Zambia in a warm-up
game on 31 December.

      They will then go to France in early January for a training camp which
will be funded by striker Benjani Mwaruwari.

      A friendly is being lined up against Cameroon in Tunisia before moving
on to Egypt.

      Zimbabwe have been drawn in Group D with Nigeria, Ghana and Senegal at
the Nations Cup finals in Egypt .


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Zimbabweans turn to ICC as strike deepens

Hong Kong Standard

Striking Zimbabwe cricketers say they desperately need help from the
International Cricket Council (ICC) if they are to keep on playing.

Saturday, December 24, 2005

Striking Zimbabwe cricketers say they desperately need help from the
International Cricket Council (ICC) if they are to keep on playing.
Their representative Clive Field insists many players will be forced to turn
their back on the game as the sport in the country goes through another
depressing crisis.

"It's a financial issue - these guys are crying out for help," Field told
the BBC. "If they don't see a viable career in cricket they will have to
earn a living doing something else.

"It's vital that we try to keep cricket going in Zimbabwe, but these are
professional sportsmen who have to make a living.

"I'm personally a bit upset that the ICC has not found the need to become
involved by now."

The players went on strike and said they would not travel to next month's
Afro-Asian `A'-team tournament in Bangladesh unless their demands, including
the dismissal of Zimbabwe Cricket (ZC) chairman Peter Chingoka and managing
director Ozias Bvute, and payment of monies owed to them were met.

"We made a 100 per cent decision not to go," said fast bowler Blessing
Mahwire, chairman of the Zimbabwe Professional Cricketers Association.

"We will still play club and provincial cricket in Zimbabwe, but we are
giving the Bangladeshis as much notice as possible so they can invite
another country.

"We are aware of the impact we will make, but we have been forced into it."

The Zimbabwe squad was due to leave for Dhaka on January 7.

The tournament, for `A' teams from India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, South Africa,
Zimbabwe and Bangladesh, is scheduled for the week starting January 16.

The Under-23 side will also not travel to neighboring South Africa to play
cup matches in February.

"The reason for the players' decision is because the Sports and Recreation
Commission (SRC) has not responded to a request by them and by most other ZC
stakeholders that four nominated administrators be appointed to run the
national cricket body temporarily," Field said.

"The SRC passed the matter over to the minister responsible for sport, Aenos
Chigwedere, and he has not responded either. And so the players have simply
had enough."

Last week, the players decided to resume training so that they would be
prepared for the tournaments, but they changed their minds because of what
was described as "the ongoing failure of ZC to address players' concerns,
both contractual and governance."

ZC shut its offices without notice a fortnight before Christmas and they are
not expected to re-open until mid- January.

"At a time when most workers in the country are receiving their annual
bonuses, the cricket players are still owed match fees from three months ago
and they feel they have not been given adequate attention and time to
address the issues," said Field.

It is alleged match fees were paid late or not at all for the series against
India and New Zealand.

"In the light of the persistent and continued failure by both the chairman
and the managing director of Zimbabwe Cricket to address the legitimate
concerns of their players, effective immediately no player will train or
avail himself for national duty," Field added.

AGENCIES


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Zimbabwe Cricket lurches towards anarchy



Cricinfo staff in Harare

December 23, 2005

Zimbabwe's cricketing crisis got worse today when an emergency meeting of
Zimbabwe Cricket which was expected to secure the position of Peter Chingoka
as chairman ended with delegates turning on him and demanding that he ignore
the board's constitution and force through changes regardless.

The meeting was called to endorse the creation of five new provinces, and it
was widely believed that these would have hand-picked chairmen who would
back Chingoka's ailing regime. But in the event, former allies called on him
to stand down and for the recommendations of the Sports and Recreation
Commission to be implemented.

The authority of the meeting was immediately invalidated as, yet again,
there were not sufficient delegates to form a quorum. All seven existing
provinces were supposed to approve the changes, but only three - Masvingo,
Manicaland and Mashonaland - attended. Those three, however, are run by
boards that are being disputed themselves.

As soon as it became clear that the attempt at affiliating the five new
provinces had failed, Themba Miliswa, who has been intalled as chairman of
Mashonaland West, one of the five, turned on a surprised Chingoka and
demanded that Robert Mugabe and Aenias Chigwedere, the sports minister, be
petitioned.

Mliswa, whose reputation is well documented and who links to cricket until
very recently were, at best, tenuous, then slammed and lectured Chingoka,
insisting that despite the lack of a quorum, the vote should be allowed.
Mliswa said that he should learn to disregard the law "as we did with
President Mugabe and the land reform."

To Chingoka's obvious embarrassment, Mliswa continued: "When you talk of a
directive, we all know what it is. If we go by the constitution, it won't
happen. The game suffers more. We need to move forward and affiliate these
people. We have come here by directive and not by ZC constitution. If
something cannot be done by the constitution, you need to move to the next
thing."

Chingoka did briefly defend the ZC constitution. "I am sorry we are
handicapped on that," he said. "Do not lose heart because we did not have a
quorum today. We are unable to make a binding decision, but it is in the
interests of ZC that you are affiliated at the earliest opportunity."

Mliswa was having done of it. "Are you denying the directive or not? If you
are not lets move forward. Mr Chairman let us affiliate the provinces we
have here."

He then again refered to Zimbabwe's controversial Land Reform programme,
which resulted in farms being seized from white owners and handed to Mugabe
supporters. "A few years back, me and Chenjerai Hunzvi (a key figure in the
farm invasions) told the president to go against the constitution of
Zimbabwe. We want to do what is just to the people of Zimbabwe. We cannot be
guided by Rhodesian laws when we are in Zimbabwe. We are in a country that
is black, and we rule. This is a train which cannot be stopped and we will
get in tough with whoever is in power to make sure that we cannot be
stopped.

"We need a decision that has to go against the constitution. If this can't
happen we will ask ZC to step aside, and we will find our way."

Although Chingoka again tried to battle his corner, Mliswa asked him to
confirm that he was defying a directive. "Tell us if you are defying it," he
growled, "and then we know that you still want the game to be enjoyed only
by the elite, by the whites. If you are denying we will go ahead and make a
resolution not what your constitution is telling us.

"To us, provinces like the Country Districts [who would have been replaced
by the new provinces] do not exist anymore. Let us not ignore the political
aspect of this. And this is the decision. If you deny that, we will put up
our own constitution and go to SRC and say this is the constitution of a
Zimbabwe Cricket Federation and get affiliated."

At a meeting after the main one had broken up, Mliswa was in an equally
belligerent mood. "The ZC board must go," he said. "We must be seen to be
supporting the SRC. If there are investigations, let them take place."

© Cricinfo


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Councillors beaten up

Daily Mirror, Zimbabwe

Tinofa Karonga
issue date :2005-Dec-24

TWO Mudzi councillors were last Tuesday assaulted by an angry mob for
allegedly including "ghosts" on a list of beneficiaries during a food
distribution exercise, the police have said.
The Officer Commanding Crime at Mudzi Police Station Sergeant Chigovanyika
said the victims were Bernard Mataire (38) and Taurai Maoresa (45).
Mataire sustained serious injuries and was rushed to and admitted at Mudzi
district hospital while Maoresa sustained minor injuries.
Chigovanyika said trouble started when villagers detected the anomaly while
receiving mealie-meal, maize and other handouts from Latter Day Saints
Church.
"Police investigations are underway. When the alleged theft was discovered
things did not go well with the people and they exchanged harsh words with
the councillors," Chigovanyika said.
He added that the dispute degenerated into a fisticuff resulting in the
victims sustaining injuries. The distribution of food had to be postponed to
the following day.
"We arrested three suspects in connection with the offence. They appeared in
the Mudzi Magistrates' Court on assault charges. If investigations indicate
that the duo were short-changing the intended beneficiaries, they will be
arrested and charged," Chigovanyika said.
He urged people to refrain from violence and engage peaceful means of
solving problems.
"People should always engage peaceful means of solving problems. They should
negotiate so that they can find a solution rather than resorting to
violence," he warned.
Last month, there was a food demonstration at headman Nyakudya's homestead
in the district.
The demonstrators were also protesting the criteria used to select the
beneficiaries.
Four people were arrested and later released after paying fines.
In a similar incident, a Chegutu councillor for Ward 7 was in August jailed
after he converted to his use 90 bags of maize he had collected on behalf of
villagers from the Grain Marketing Board (GMB).
He was one of the people tasked to collect maize from the GMB and resell it
to villagers at an affordable price.
As corruption seems to have found a new home in the stratum of the district
councils, another councillor from Chegutu was jailed in October this year
after he had diverted 7 bags of fertiliser meant for the villagers to his
use.
In Chivhu, a councillor of ward 6 and a kraal head were last month arraigned
before the Chivhu magistrates' court on charges of theft by conversion after
they diverted 60 bags of mealie-meal collected from the GMB on behalf of the
community.
Only 20 bags were recovered at the kraal head's homestead when the police
arrested him.


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Diesel shortage stalling efficient land tillage

Daily Mirror, Zimbabwe

The Daily Mirror Reporter
issue date :2005-Dec-24

SHORTAGE of diesel is stalling efficient land tillage across the country
with most rural farmers resorting to draught power, the Department of
Agricultural Research and Extension Services director, Shadreck Mlambo, said
this week.
As a result of the fuel problems, he said, tillage was expected to go beyond
early next year.
"We have not yet compiled the total hectarage tilled and we should be in a
position to do that once tillage has been completed throughout the country,"
Mlambo said.
A total of 1,3 million hectares are targeted to be put under maize by
communal and A2 farmers with an average output of 1,6 million metric tonnes
a hectare expected.
The central bank recently introduced a maize and sorghum production facility
of $1 trillion to support A1 and communal farmers with seed and fertiliser.
The government recently said the maize producer price for the 2005/2006
farming season would be announced after harvesting to factor in the actual
costs incurred by farmers. Last season's producer price for maize was $2,2
million a tonne, and the government this year availed a $500 000 bonus for
every tonne of maize delivered to the Grain Marketing Board.  In addition,
the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe has set aside an import substitution fund in
the form of an incentive of $2 million a tonne of maize and small grains
delivered to the GMB between February and May 2006.
Farmers who deliver their grain between June and July will get $1,5 million
a tonne.
Zimbabwe has been experiencing fuel shortage for the past five years and
recently the government said it would allocate 50 percent of all petroleum
imports to farmers.
However, individuals are now allowed to import the commodity using free
funds.
The country requires 1,8 metric tonnes of maize for livestock and human
consumption annually.


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'Manufacturing challenges to continue in 2006'

Daily Mirror, Zimbabwe

Shame Makoshori
issue date :2005-Dec-24

THE challenges haunting Zimbabwe's manufacturing sector will deteriorate in
the first half of 2006 before stabilising in the second half, economic
analysts have said.
They said the economy will improve in the second half as a result of a
variety of intervention measures proffered in the last quarter of 2005,
Excessive growth in money supply, the inability by companies to penetrate
international markets, high oil prices and a depleted capacity by the supply
side have remained major factors underlining the resurgence of negative
macro-economic fundamentals troubling Zimbabwe.
As a result, export shipments from the manufacturing sector in the first
nine months of 2005, declined by 7.6 percent from US$1. 3 million in the
same period in 2004 to US$1. 2 million.
Despite a projected 3.5 percent overall growth of the economy in 2006,
government has predicted a three percent decline in the sector.
However, an economic analyst and lecturer at the University of Zimbabwe
yesterday said by and large, authorities had put in place attractive
policies in 2005 but it would be naļve for the nation to expect them to make
an immediate impact.
He also said the inter-linkages between the manufacturing sector and
agricultural production would mean that the current interventions would be
delayed until June 2006.
"There is a strong interlink and interdependence between the manufacturing
sector and agriculture and if agriculture is doing well, manufacturing also
responds.
 If major agricultural drivers like cotton and tobacco perform well we will
then have more foreign currency to import the required raw materials.
"Other intervention measures have also been put in place such as the Export
Market Development Fund where the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) has
injected $100 billion to unlock foreign markets for local products but all
these do not take effect immediately," the lecturer said.
He added that until such variables as interest rate policies were dealt
with, borrowing costs would remain high and manufacturers will not afford to
access the required foreign and local currencies to finance operations.
The high cost of operations have been attributed to the speculation that
have hit manufacturers, most of whom benefited from the Productive Sector
Facility (PSF) provided by the RBZ at cheaper interest rates but ended up
speculating on the stock market.
Analysts said there were more returns to be derived from speculation than
investing in the production of goods and unless the trend was reversed
through such interventions as market
liberalisation, 2006 would remain a difficult year, as the shooting costs of
production would outstrip official prices.
The other problem that has remained of major concern to investors is the
high inflation that intensified in the second quarter of 2005 underpinned by
both  demand-pull and cost-push factors as well as notable exogenous factors
such as drought and sharp increases in international oil prices.
Government has however made fresh targets on inflation, which is expected to
decline to 80 percent by the end of 2006.
The UZ lecturer however believes that to have a two-digit projection would
be far fetched, arguing that the rate of inflation would close the year
between 100 and 200 percent.


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Two MDC chairpersons for Chitungwiza

Daily Mirror, Zimbabwe

The Daily Mirror Reporter
issue date :2005-Dec-24

BARELY a week after MDC leader Morgan Tsvangirai's camp elected what it says
is the new provincial leadership for Chitungwiza, the party's secretary
general Welshman Ncube's faction on Thursday selected a parallel structure.
Ncube's pro-Senate camp elected Zengeza legislator Goodwill Chimbaira as
provincial chairman, meaning the MDC now has two chairpersons for
Chitungwiza.
Commenting on his appointment, Chimbaira declared war against the Tsvangirai
camp.
He said: "We are preparing for congress. The new provincial leadership is
full of powerful politicians who believe in democracy. We do not recognise
them (the leadership elected by Tsvangirai camp) because they were imposed
on the people. Ours is a democratic train that is moving very fast."
Zarous Takapera deputises Chimbaira, while MDC losing candidate for
Chitungwiza in last month's Senatorial polls, Shakespeare Maya landed the
post of secretary general.
Maya's rival from the Tsvangirai camp is Moses Tsikwa.
The Ncube camp elected Milton Benhe treasurer while Wilfred Chitanda,
believed to be Tsvangirai's former bodyguard, landed the post of organising
secretary.
His deputy is Archibolt Mudimu.
A Chitungwiza based businesswoman Mary White was elected information and
publicity secretary and Merjury Zenda became the chairperson of the women's
assembly. Zenda's deputy is Rosemary Nyariri while Lucia Musasiwa was
elected secretary.
This week, Tsvangirai's camp restructured Midlands and Masvingo provinces.
 "The MDC has elected new leaders in Masvingo and the Midlands provinces as
part of the leadership regeneration and institutional renewal exercise," MDC's
Tsvangirai faction spokesperson, Nelson Chamisa said.
Sithino Dube of Mberengwa was elected Midlands chairman and is deputised by
a Ngwegwe from Gweru rural.
Gweru businessman Patrick Kombayi landed the post of secretary general.
In Masvingo province, Edmore Marima retained his post as chairperson and
would be deputised by a Sitemere.
Lawyer and Masvingo Central legislator Tongai Matutu landed the post of
secretary general and his deputy is Ray Muzenda.
"The process of restructuring the MDC is progressing very well and we are
going to Mashonaland Central, Midlands North and Matebeland provinces very
soon," said Chamisa, who is also the MDC national youth chairperson and MP
for Kuwadzana.
He was adamant that the restructuring exercise was constitutional.
"What we are doing is constitutional. Article 6.3 B and E of the MDC
constitution states that the national chairman is the officer solely
empowered to conduct provincial executive committee elections in the party,"
Chamisa said.
He stressed that contrary to the view that secretary general Welshman Ncube
was responsible for organising congresses, it was the duty of national
chairperson Isaac Matongo.
"The secretary general is only but a foot soldier," he said.
The Ncube camp dissociated itself from the Tsvangirai faction's
restructuring exercise. The Ncube faction spokesperson Paul Themba Nyathi
said they only recognised party structures, which were in place before
October 12 when the party split into two over participation in the Senate
polls.
The camp further argued that it was Ncube's responsibility to call for party
restructuring.

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