Thu 26 January 2006
HARARE - Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) governor Gideon Gono has
disclosed that the country's top military commander fears that worsening
hunger could ignite a popular revolt against President Robert Mugabe's
Gono, a top ally of Mugabe, made the startling revelation when he
presented his monetary policy review statement for the last quarter of 2005
on Tuesday this week.
In a statement broadcast live to the nation on state television, Gono
said Zimbabwe Defence Forces (ZDF) commander General Constantine Chiwenga
had approached him and told him to adequately fund food production this
farming season because the military did not want to be asked to "turn our
guns on hungry Zimbabweans" protesting for food.
"To quote the wisdom of General C Chiwenga, Commander of the Defence
Forces, a hungry man is an angry man, and as Zimbabweans, we must pull
together to ensure full productivity in agriculture so that hunger is alien
to every Zimbabwean," Gono said.
Departing from the prepared text, the RBZ chief added: "General
Chiwenga told me: make sure agriculture is revived and make food available
so we (soldiers) will not be forced to turn our guns on hungry Zimbabweans."
Chiwenga is the highest military commander of the ZDF, which brings
together Zimbabwe's air force and army. He reports to Mugabe, who as
President is Commander-in-Chief of the ZDF. Gono, who did not say when he
spoke to Chiwenga, also did not say whether the ZDF commander believed a
hunger-induced uprising was imminent.
But the RBZ boss' disclosure is the first time that a top official of
the government has ever publicly revealed growing fear within the ruling
elite that severe food shortages and worsening economic hardships could
trigger a popular uprising by Zimbabweans.
Zimbabwe is grappling an acute food crisis with a quarter of the
country's 12 million people needing urgent food aid between now and the next
harvest around April or they will starve.
The food shortage has been worsened by a severe economic crisis
gripping the southern African nation since 2000 and which has spawned
shortages of fuel, essential medicines and just about every other basic
survival commodity because there is no hard cash to pay foreign suppliers.
Critics blame Zimbabwe's problems on repression and wrong policies by
Mugabe especially his farm seizure programme that destabilised the
agricultural sector, knocking food production by about 60 percent. Mugabe
denies the charges.
And political analysts see no possibility of a mass revolt against
Mugabe's government in the near future, saying the veteran President still
enjoys solid support among security commanders who in the past have acted
swiftly to crush any signs of mass action. - ZimOnline
Thu 26 January 2006
HARARE - Anti-corruption watchdogs have applauded Reserve Bank of
Zimbabwe (RBZ) governor Gideon Gono for speaking out against corruption but
said railing against corruption would achieve little unless the government
gathered the will and courage to root out dishonest conduct among top
In a joint statement, the Zimbabwe chapters of Transparency
International Zimbabwe (ITZ) and the Africa Parliament Network Against
Corruption (APNAC) said the government should now "walk the talk" by
investigating several cases of corruption involving high government
officials that they said had been swept under the ground.
"We welcome Gono's remarks on the fight against corruption but we are
deeply concerned that although there has been much talk about nabbing
corrupt high-ranking officials, there is very little to show on the ground
regarding their arrest and prosecutions of the said culprits," the two
The ITZ and APNC criticised the government's Anti-Corruption
Commission which they said had remained silent on corruption since being
established in September 2005 despite a backlog of unresolved cases some
dating as far back as 1987.
"We also note with concern that since the appointment of the
Commissioners in September 2005, the Anti-Corruption Commission, has
remained silent leaving the public with great anxiety and anticipation about
the unresolved cases dating to as far as 1987 and other emerging cases of
corruption," they said.
Presenting his monetary policy review statement for the last quarter
of 2005, Gono said corruption was on the rise at all levels of society,
warning that efforts to revive Zimbabwe's comatose economy would fail if
pilferage of national resource and corrupt conduct among those in positions
of power and influence did not stop.
Citing the gold and farming sectors as examples, Gono said Zimbabwe
over the last year alone lost US$160 million worth of gold through smuggling
by traders, while farmers allocated scarce fuel for farm production had
instead diverted the commodity to the illegal black-market where returns are
higher and immediate.
Gono also criticised blacks allocated farms seized by the government
from whites for underutilising the land while some were still hanging on to
more than one farm in violation of government policy that no one should have
two or more farms.
But the anti-corruption organisations said it was time Gono named and
shamed the culprits and added that the government should prosecute those
suspected of corrupt activity. - ZimOnline
Thu 26 January 2006
HARARE - Students at Zimbabwean state universities and other tertiary
institutions say they will next month stage demonstrations to protest
against low stipends and falling standards at their institutions.
University of Zimbabwe Students Representative Council (SRC) secretary
general Mfundo Mlilo yesterday told ZimOnline that a "national co-ordinating
committee" had been set up to organise the protests by students at the
various colleges across the country.
"A number of student leaders have been expelled in the past few years
in clear cases of victimisation. We have also been deprived of our right to
demonstrate," said Mlilo.
"Students have other grievances such as low payouts and shortage of
accommodation," he said.
President Robert Mugabe's government has in the past violently put
down demonstrations by students while several student leaders have been
expelled from institutions of higher learning for demonstrating against the
Protests by university students over pay-outs and deteriorating
standards are routine in Zimbabwe which is battling a severe six-year old
Resident students get Z$1 million while non-resident students take
home Z$3 million per six-week semester. But the students say the money is
too little in Zimbabwe's hyper-inflationary environment.
Universities in Zimbabwe are scheduled to open in the second week of
February. - ZimOnline
Thu 26 January 2006
HARARE - A five-member International Monetary Fund team on Wednesday met
Zimbabwe's Finance Minister Herbert Murerwa and central bank governor Gideon
Gono to assess Zimbabwe's efforts at economic recovery.
The meeting comes a day after Gono blamed the country's economic problems on
targeted sanctions imposed by the West.
"We met with the IMF team but we have not discussed much," said Andrew
Bvumbe, secretary for the ministry of economic development who was part of
the Zimbabwe delegation.
The IMF team is in the country to assess Zimbabwe's progress four months
after the Fund spared the axe on Zimbabwe for non-payment of debt. Zimbabwe
has since August made further payments to the IMF to significantly reduce
Gono has since promised to clear Zimbabwe's debt to the IMF by February 28
The IMF team is also scheduled to meet with business and labour leaders in
the country during their six day visit which began on Tuesday. Its
assessments during the meetings will be used at the Fund's executive board
meeting on March 8 which will decide Zimbabwe's fate.
Zimbabwe is in its sixth year of a bitter economic crisis blamed on
President Robert Mugabe's mismanagement of the economy. But Mugabe denies
ruining the country blaming the crisis on sabotage by the West for seizing
large tracts of commercial farmland for redistribution to landless blacks
six years ago.
On Tuesday, during his monetary policy review statement, Gono said Zimbabwe's
problems were as a result of targeted sanctions imposed on Mugabe and his
top lieutenants by Western governments.
The United States, Britain and other major European countries imposed the
sanctions on Mugabe in 2002 after they accused the veteran Zimbabwean leader
of human rights abuses and failing to uphold democracy.
Mugabe denies the charges insisting they are trumped up by the main
opposition Movement for Democratic Change party and human rights groups to
tarnish his image. - ZimOnline
Business Day (Johannesburg)
January 25, 2006
Posted to the web January 25, 2006
AN International Monetary Fund (IMF) fact-finding mission arrived in
Zimbabwe yesterday, in time to see central bank governor Gideon Gono give
his first-quarter monetary policy statement. Contrary to official claims
that this year will see changes for the better, 2006 has started just as
2005 ended: on a terrible note. Zimbabwe is still groaning under the weight
of economic crisis and rampant authoritarianism.
The country, which President Robert Mugabe has ruled for 25 years, is run by
a government that has lost legitimacy. The predatory and parasitic elite at
the helm of the Zimbabwean state are now increasingly relying on repressive
apparatuses, rather than representative institutions, as instruments to
perpetuate their rule.
Mugabe's centralisation of institutions and the personalisation of power
remains a malady in local politics. Nothing has changed.
His regime's trademarks -- such as the use of the state to serve narrow,
elite interests; transgression of human rights; the assault on the
judiciary; the breakdown of rule of law; political arrests and detentions;
the crackdown on private media, which saw several journalists arrested in
the past month alone; and the deployment of the securocrats for predatory
self-serving activities -- are still evident.
Democracy, in its basic, procedural form -- which includes free and fair
elections, as well as a strengthening of state and civil society
institutions to represent the collective will of the people -- is not taking
root in Zimbabwe. Instead, politics and the political economy are being
monopolised by a discredited elite that is hanging on to power by its
fingernails, and with no legitimate platform to stand on.
While the superstructure is collapsing, the economic base has crumbled.
A casual glance at the situation reveals that the economic indicators are
grim and worsening. The IMF team will no doubt be alarmed by this. The IMF
recommendations -- especially on economic deregulation to increase the role
of market forces in the economy; and reform of public enterprises, the
fiscal sector, agriculture and governance -- have largely been ignored. Only
piecemeal reforms have been made -- lifting selected price controls, and
relaxing the exchange rate. Structural distortions and administrative
controls are still embedded in the economy.
On the political front, the crisis of governance spawned by misrule has
worsened. Mugabe's Jacobinism still holds sway and, as a result, the
democratic space is shrinking instead of opening.
But there is a further problem. The main political parties -- the ruling
Zanu (PF) and the opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) -- are
both in turmoil. The stalled dialogue between Zanu (PF) and the MDC to break
the political impasse caused by disputed elections has all but disappeared.
Zanu (PF) is reeling from a fierce internal power struggle over who will
succeed Mugabe, while the MDC is falling apart -- also as a result of
infighting. This dire situation has left Zimbabwe locked in a party
Mugabe's succession problem has become intertwined with the dynamics of
national politics. It is now damaging party and state institutions. What
makes matters worse is that Mugabe -- instead of accepting, for the sake of
the country that he pretends to love so much, that his time as president is
now up -- is digging in. In the process he is dragging the whole country
Zimbabwe illustrates the difficulties countries face when making the
transition from a dictatorship to a democracy in societies with weak
institutions and where personalised rule has been firmly entrenched.
The prevailing touch-and-go political situation in Zimbabwe makes it very
difficult for the economy to recover. Investor confidence will remain at its
low ebb until a holistic solution -- which encompasses the political and
economic spheres -- can be found to sort out the crisis.
Perhaps the expected visit to Harare by United Nations Secretary-General
Kofi Annan in March might set in motion an international process that may
lead to settlement of these questions.
SA's President Thabo Mbeki might want to use that opportunity to renew his
efforts to resolve the situation in Zimbabwe, which is a dead weight on the
WORLD AT SIX, JANUARY 24
Zimbabwe's currency is once again in freefall, Professor Tony Hawkins of the
University of Harare explains Reserve Bank governor Gideon Gono's comments
in the context of the IMF team are visiting the country, and how much clout
The Zimbabwean currency is once again in freefall. They are pegging
inflation at 800 percent. I wondered if Gideon Gono was waving some kind of
economic/political olive branch towards the west.
Let's get an opinion from Professor Tony Hawkins, the University of Harare
Graduate School of Management, joining us from the Zimbabwean capital.
Professor Hawkins, good evening to you and welcome. What do make of these
comments by your central bank governor?
Well, I think that they need to be put into some sort of context, in the
sense that there is an IMF team here, which arrived today. And clearly, the
message he wanted that team to take back was that he, if not the rest of the
government, was keen on improving ties with the international institutions.
Now, with President Mugabe saying not too long ago that the IMF can go to
hell, I'm not sure how seriously these statements are taken.
Let me put the question to you slightly differently. Who carries the most
weight: Gideon Gono or Robert Mugabe?
I think Robert Mugabe, by quite a long way. I think Mr Gono, you know, he's
made a number of impassioned pleas. He had one last week about the
parastatals losing trillions of dollars, and him writing to the president
about it and saying we've got to do something about this.
He has repeatedly said, and did again this afternoon, in the statement you
are referring to, that we must stop evicting productive farmers, and so on.
He's announced a new plan, which the government has agreed, that any farmer
who has borrowed from the central bank's special facilities should be given
Again, when it comes to what actually happens on the ground, I'm afraid
there's a huge gap between intent and reality.
He really has the most unholy mess to deal with, looking at inflation
figures, looking at the currency figures, looking at the attempts to limit
those currency movements. It's not a job I'd like to have at the moment.
No, I think not. I think Mr Gono quite enjoys it, ironically. But I do think
it is a mess, and he is right in saying that we have to get the
international community back in play. But I doubt that is feasible as long
as you have got the people running the government in play. It's a question
of what gives first. I think that's the answer.
On the line to us from the University of Harare Graduate School of
Management, Professor Tony Hawkins, we appreciate your time here on the
World at Six.
January 25 2006 at 08:08AM
Zimbabwean civic rights leaders are seething over the African Union's
(AU) decision to let President Robert Mugabe off the hook again by ignoring
a report by its human rights arm on escalating rights abuses in the troubled
They had expected the report to be tabled for discussion and adoption
at the AU leaders' summit underway in Sudan.
The leaders said the decision to skirt the Zimbabwean issue and other
worrying human rights abuses on the continent proved that the AU system was
not working for Africans.
"Africans have an enormous responsibility to make the AU work," said
Arnold Tsunga of the Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights, which made
submissions to the the African Commission on Human and People's Rights on
rights abuses in Zimbabwe.
Last month, the commission adopted a report taking the government to
task over abuses. National Constitutional Assembly chairperson Lovemore
Madhuku said: "African leaders will always find an excuse to avoid
He believed many Africans would be angered by the continued
unwillingness of African leaders to deal with human rights issues.
"The fact that they are meeting in Sudan in the first place shows
their disdain for human rights," said Madhuku.
"The fact that they are passing the AU chairmanship to a coup leader
in Congo makes them (African leaders) laughable."
South African Foreign Minister Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma was quoted by
Beeld newspaper as saying the issue was not tabled because Zimbabwe and
other African countries facing similar reports had not had adequate time to
respond to the allegations.
This article was originally published on page 5 of The Star on January
[ This report does not necessarily reflect the views of the United Nations]
JOHANNESBURG, 25 Jan 2006 (IRIN) - Zimbabwe's Reserve Bank governor Gideon
Gono used his quarterly monetary policy statement to rebuke parallel market
traders in fuel and other essential goods, but delivered little by way of
concrete steps to reverse the country's ongoing economic meltdown, says an
A recurring theme in Gono's statement was the need to curtail corruption in
both the public and private sectors.
"If, as a nation, we do not resolutely stamp out growing corruption,
especially among us people in positions of authority and influence ... we
will soon discover, too late, that policy formulations, implementation,
monitoring and decisions have been based on self-interest, racial overtones,
regional and tribal considerations, at the expense of national good," Gono
"Economic opportunism is now at the heart of everything we seem to be doing
day in, day out, and this cancer needs to be stopped as we open a new
chapter in a new year full of new prospects," he noted.
Economist Dennis Nikisi said it was pointless to rail against corruption
without addressing the environment in which corrupt practices flourished.
"Without a consistent and cogent policy in regard to securing foreign
currency we are shooting in the dark. We were joking this morning that the
Reserve Bank governor should now [become] a preacher - the [monetary policy]
statement was not economic policy but merely addressed issues that have to
do with morality," he said.
The government's attempts to control the exchange rate, and the resultant
critical fuel and foreign currency shortages, created opportunities for
people to "engage in arbitrage".
"For example, a new farmer will take a whole [growing] season to earn money,
but he can buy fuel [at a subsidised rate] and sell it on at a profit almost
immediately," Nikisi pointed out.
Gono admitted that Zimbabwe was the only country in the world experiencing
hyperinflation, and said curtailing money supply growth, applying a tight
interest rate policy and reinforcing the interbank foreign exchange market
Nikisi predicted that inflation would continue to climb, as the cost of
money was rising due to the increased printing of currency to support fuel
imports and the ailing agricultural sector. "This translates into higher
costs of production and companies will have to increase the prices of
goods." It was difficult to imagine inflation staying below 600 percent this
year, he concluded.
January 25 2006 at 04:35PM
Harare - Human rights campaigners accused Zimbabwe authorities
Wednesday of using hostage tactics in the pursuit of government critics
after two employees of a prominent lawyer were detained for allegedly
obstructing a police investigation into his activities.
Arnold Tsunga's driver and gardener were accused of trying to prevent
plainclothes police officers from entering his Harare home Saturday. They
were released without charge Tuesday when Tsunga presented himself to
police, said his attorney, Beatrice Mtetwa.
This represents "a disturbing new tactic in which innocent individuals
are being detained in order to unlawfully secure the presence of human
rights defenders who have been continually harassed by state authorities or
individuals acting on their instructions," Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights
said in statement.
Police insist the arrests were justified, accusing Tsunga's employees
of giving him time to escape. The lawyers' group, which Tsunga heads, says
he was out shopping at the time.
Tsunga is one of six trustees of an independent broadcast studio who
were sought by police for allegedly breaching the country's stringent media
laws. All were charged in court on Tuesday with illegally operating a
President Robert Mugabe's government has sought to crack down on his
critics as it confronts the worst economic and political crisis since
independence from Britain in 1980.
No licenses have been issued for private broadcasters in Zimbabwe,
where the government controls the sole authorised radio and television
station. But at least three private radio stations beam programs into the
country using long range transmitters.
Tsunga's Dutch-funded Voice of the People studio produces community
and political programs broadcast into Zimbabwe from shortwave transmitters
placed outside the country.
Police arrested three staff members on December 15 and held them over
the weekend until their director, John Masuku, and trustee chairman, David
Masunda, reported to police on December 19.
Masunda was among the trustees charged Tuesday, while Masuku also
faces a charge of operating without a broadcast license. The trustees' next
court appearance is scheduled February 10.
In August 2002, the Voice of the People offices were destroyed in a
nighttime bombing. No arrests were made in connection with the attack. -
From Associated Press, 24 January
By Angus Shaw
Harare - Zimbabwe is introducing a new range of bills that will more than
double the value of the largest bank note to help reduce the piles of money
needed in routine cash transactions in the stricken economy, the central
bank announced Tuesday. Gideon Gono, governor of the Reserve Bank, said a
50,000 Zimbabwe dollar bill, worth 52 US cents (43 euro cents), will be
released Feb. 1, with a whole new range of bills to follow later in the
year. The biggest note currently in circulation is for 20,000 Zimbabwe
dollars, worth 20 US cents (16 euro cents). With inflation running at 586
percent, that note buys only half a loaf of bread and is no longer
sufficient for a local daily newspaper. Gono did not provide additional
details about the new bills in a review of fiscal policy broadcast on state
Zimbabwe's economy has collapsed since the government began seizing
thousands of white-owned commercial farms for redistribution to blacks in
2000. Years of drought have compounded the country's difficulties. Inflation
is soaring and the value of the currency plummeting. Stores, restaurants and
other businesses have frequently appealed for notes of up to 500,000
Zimbabwe dollars or one million Zimbabwe dollars to reduce the bagfuls of
notes needed for routine transactions. Shoppers carrying bundles of currency
bound with elastic bands, known as "bricks," that do not fit in purses or
pocket books, are a common sight. There are no coins in circulation. Gono
said the central bank was taking steps to curb the depreciation of the
Zimbabwe dollar by linking it to the volume of currency traded daily with a
2 percent cap. In October, the central bank abandoned a fixed exchange rate
of 26,000 Zimbabwe dollars to the U.S. dollar, allowing the rate to fall to
96,000 last week, a rapid fourfold devaluation that spurred inflation. Gono
warned inflation was expected to peak at between 700 percent and 800 percent
in March and urged the nation "not to panic."
He said the only cure for hyperinflation was greater productivity and the
eradication of rampant corruption. He also blamed ill-disciplined government
spending, profiteering and inefficiency in public utilities, which pushed up
taxes and municipal charges. Gono urged authorities to crack down on
lawlessness on farms, which has disrupted production, and said Israeli
experts had been hired to investigate smuggling of minerals, including gold,
one of the nation's main foreign currency earners. The central bank also
plans to appoint a body to investigate "corporate governance" that will
include retired executives, retired Judge George Smith and David Phiri, a
former governor of the central bank of neighboring Zambia. "There is rampant
dishonesty in the economy ... This cancer needs to be stopped now," Gono
January 25, 2006, 11:30
At least 12 crocodiles have starved to death on a farm in Serui, Zimbabwe,
while another 258 are close to dying, that country's Herald newspaper
reported today. It said the reptiles had been going without food since
November last year.
Some of the four-year-old crocodiles, which were kept in four dry ponds,
showed signs of serious skin damage because of extended exposure to the sun.
Malham Farm was allocated to Karikoga Kaseke, the Zimbabwe Tourism Authority
chief executive officer on November 3 last year. He confirmed this
yesterday, but said he could not move in without an official offer letter.
"I was shown the farm early in December but I have not received an offer
letter yet. I had placed some guards there but later withdrew their
Surviving crocodiles rescued
Officials from the Parks and Wildlife Management Authority and Zimbabwe
National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ZNSPCA) rescued
the surviving crocodiles yesterday. They were taken them for feeding and
treatment at Pangula Farm near Chikurubi Maximum Prison.
Workers at the farm said the crocodiles' last meal was a baby chicken.
Jimmy Zuze, the ZNSPCA regional inspector said his organisation became aware
of the matter after a worker called to say the reptiles were dying of
After his attempts to meet Kaseke proved futile, he wrote him a letter.
"Nothing came out of the warning letter until we informed Parks and Wildlife
Management Authority about the issue."
Edward Mbewe, the Parks spokesperson, said the authority was checking land
records to establish who actually owned the farm so that the Parks and
Wildlife Management Act could be invoked. - Sapa
The East African (Nairobi)
January 25, 2006
Posted to the web January 25, 2006
Britain is to offer African asylum seekers £3,000 ($5,400) to go home or
leave the UK.
In a pilot scheme which will apply to all asylum seekers to the UK this
year, the British government has introduced the payment in an effort to weed
out those who have applied for refugee status merely in search of a better
But critics say that the scheme could have the opposite effect from that
which is intended. Last year, a permanent secretary in the UK Home Office
warned MPs that making such a payment might actually encourage people to
come to Britain.
"If the worst thing that is going to happen to you if you come and claim
asylum when you are not due asylum is that someone gives you a few thousand
pounds to send you home, that may not look like a very big downside."
The British government says such a payment is better than attempting to
force people who are not given political asylum to leave. This, it says, can
cost around £11,000 ($19,800) per person. Just under 34,000 people applied
for political asylum in the UK last year, one of the lowest figures over the
The number of applications from East Africa has also been declining over the
past decade with just 1,475 Kenyans, 3,045 Ugandan and only 230 Tanzanians
applying for political asylum between 2000 and 2005.
This is dwarfed by the country with the largest number of asylum appeals to
the UK over the past five years - Zimbabwe. Over 16,000 people from Zimbabwe
have applied for asylum in Britain since 2000.
The offer of £3,000 ($5,400) to return home or voluntarily leave the UK will
be paid to people who agree to leave Britain in the next six months and
could mean a family of four receiving £8,000 ($14,400) in cash plus a
further £4,000 ($7,200) in job training and education. It will only apply to
people who have asked for political asylum since December.
The total cost of the exercise could be more than £6 million if the
predicted 3,000 people take up the offer. In addition, the government will
pay their travel costs.
Daily Mirror, Zimbabwe
The Daily Mirror Reporter
issue date :2006-Jan-25
PARIRENYATWA Hospital's Renal Unit has for the past week been turning away
patients before dialysing after it ran out of a critical concentrate -
The hospital's chief executive officer, Thomas Zigora, yesterday would
neither deny nor confirm the turning away of the patients and shortage of
"I am not aware of the current situation, but what I was told last week was
that the concentrate was in short supply," said Zigora.
Patients interviewed said they were told to return tomorrow to check if the
hospital's pharmacy would have ordered the concentrate.
"I was told to return on
Thursday to check if the concentrate would be available, but for now I
cannot walk because my legs are swollen," said a Budiriro woman who spoke on
condition of anonymity.
Other patients castigated the hospital pharmacy technicians for failing to
prioritise such essential medications, complicating the condition of the
"What people do not understand is that this illness is different from common
It is very painful when you do not dialysis when you are suppose to," said
an irate Chitungwiza man who also preferred anonymity.
Haemodialysis is a medical procedure to remove wastes and additional fluid
from the blood after the kidneys have stopped functioning.
Renal patients dialyse for 14 hours a week.
If people with kidney failure do not dialyse adequately they find it
difficult to breath and parts of the body swell.
Apart from Parirenyatwa, haemodialysis is done at Harare and Mpilo Central
But Harare hospital has few and old machines, which are not enough to serve
all patients with kidney failure in and around the city.
Bindura General and Chitungwiza Central hospitals are also set to establish
renal units, as part of the government's efforts to equip public health
institutions with all health services.
The Herald (Harare)
January 25, 2006
Posted to the web January 25, 2006
THREE truck drivers have been arrested after they were found draining $300
million worth of fuel belonging to the National Oil Company of Zimbabwe in
Police recovered about 3 000 litres of fuel and $100 million in cash from
The three -- all employees of local transport company Kukura Kurerwa -- were
supposed to deliver the fuel to Noczim Harare depot from Beira, Mozambique,
when they were arrested at around 8pm on Saturday last week.
Mashonaland East acting provincial police spokesperson Assistant Inspector
Aspias Shumba confirmed the arrests and said investigations were still in
He said policemen on patrol caught the three red-handed while draining fuel
from the tankers.
After quizzing them, police discovered that the three were actually stealing
the fuel and had already drained about 3 000 litres which they had put into
On being searched, one of the suspects was found in possession of $100
million cash, which he failed to account for.
Police suspect that the money part of proceeds from fuel sales along the
"Further investigations carried out revealed that the suspects were coming
from Beira and the fuel was destined for Noczim," said Asst Insp Shumba.
He said the suspects are expected to appear in court soon to face theft
During the last 18 months, Noczim officials and several bogus fuel merchants
have been arrested on allegations of stealing fuel from the State oil
Most of the fuel found its way on to the black market while part of it was
smuggled to neighbouring countries.
In August last year, police in Harare arrested eight Noczim workers and
recovered 19 000 litres of diesel and 13 000 litres of petrol.
The fuel was allegedly stolen from the oil company's Msasa depot. It is
believed the suspects wanted to sell it on the black market.
The workers had connived with the drivers of tankers and loaded more fuel
than the allocated quantity.
25 Jan 2006 17:26:57 GMT
KHARTOUM, Jan 25 (Reuters) - An African human rights commission has
criticised the continent's worst rights offenders, including Sudan and
Zimbabwe, in a report analysts say marks a "coming of age" for the
The African Union's commission issued candid reviews of Ethiopia, Eritrea,
Sudan, Zimbabwe, Uganda and the Democratic Republic of Congo in the report,
obtained by Reuters on Wednesday.
Those countries said they wanted a chance to reply before the report became
public, ensuring it remained confidential.
"If the African Union is to have a strong voice it has to foster
constructive criticism, not bury it," said Reed Brody from the New
York-based Human Rights Watch.
The report expressed concern at "the intimidation of independent judges and
the interference of the executive in the judiciary" in Zimbabwe.
It also expressed alarm at the number of people displaced because of
government demolitions and urged Harare to immediately stop the policy which
has made 700,000 people homeless.
It condemned Eritrea for arbitrary arrests and long detentions of
ex-ministers, journalists and parliamentarians, and demanded their immediate
In Ethiopia it called for the release of political prisoners and said it
"deplored the death of civilians during confrontations with security
forces". It also urged an inquiry into the clashes over elections last year.
Summit host Sudan, snubbed for the chairmanship because of atrocities in its
western Darfur region, was urged to immediately cease all attacks on
civilians and to support aid workers trying to feed 2 million refugees.
Sudan should fully cooperate with the International Criminal Court (ICC),
which is probing alleged war crimes, the commission said. Sudan says it will
not let ICC investigators enter Darfur.
The AU is reluctant to criticise members, but at a summit this week it
elected judges for an African human rights court and fought a fierce
diplomatic battle not to allow host Sudan to become its head, showing it
would no longer ignore atrocities.
One AU official said this report was a challenge to member states and proof
the rights commission was a serious organ.
"Here we see how sensitive our member states are to criticism, but the
commission is finally fulfilling its mandate and challenging them," said the
AU official, who declined to be named because the report was not yet public.
"The states will get their chance to comment but then the reports will be
released," he added.
Brody said this was a sign of maturity in the AU rights commission. "The
African commission is coming of age. Now it is the African Union's turn to
do so," he said.