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ZANU PF coerces youths to register as voters

Zim Online

Friday 15 June 2007

By Farisai Gonye

HARARE - Government officials and ruling ZANU PF party activists have over
the past few weeks commandeered hundreds of eligible school children in
rural areas to register as voters as President Robert Mugabe leaves nothing
to chance ahead of a tricky vote next year.

Zimbabwe holds joint presidential and parliamentary elections next year and
some analysts say an acute economic crisis and food shortages could see the
electorate punishing Mugabe and ZANU PF by voting them out of force.

Mugabe and ZANU PF, in power since Zimbabwe's 1980 independence from
Britain, have lost support in urban areas where the economic crisis has hit
hardest. However, Mugabe and his party still enjoy support in rural areas
even among the youths some of who have been mobilised into militant mobs
that attack opposition supporters.

In a bid to maximise on support in rural areas, teams of ZANU PF and
government officials have traversed rural areas, rounding up school children
of voting age and taking them to registration centres so they could be
registered to vote next year.

School officials and teachers, who agreed to speak to ZimOnline on condition
their names were not published for fear of possible victimisation, said in
many cases they had been forced to suspend classes as mostly senior students
were loaded on cars and driven to registration points dotted across most
ZANU PF supporting rural areas.

"We didn't have any normal lessons last week as students were routinely
forced to leave classes to go and register. We can't resist because the
ZANU-PF officials can be nasty," said a headmaster at a high school in
Mutasa district in eastern Zimbabwe.

A teacher at Kazangarare secondary school in Mukwichi district about 250 km
north-west of Harare said the worst affected students were those preparing
to write examinations at the end of the year because in most cases they were
the ones old enough to vote.

"Most affected are examination writing students because that's the age group
with potential voters," said the teacher.

Registrar General Tobaiwa Mudede was not immediately available for comment
on the matter.

But sources in his department said the Ministries of Home Affairs and that
of Youth Development were spearheading the campaign to register school
children and other youths in rural areas in the provinces of Mashonaland
East, West, Central, South and Manicaland that are known to strongly back
ZANU PF and Mugabe.

According to the sources, voter registration was also underway in other
provinces and in urban areas but not at the same massive scale as in the
ZANU PF supporting areas.

"We have instructions to undertake massive voter registration in the three
Mashonaland provinces and Manicaland. Local ZANU-PF and ministry of youth
officers are mobilising potential voters," said one source.

Deputy Youth Development Minister Saviour Kasukuwere confirmed his
department was mobilising youths to register but he said this was normal for
any government to do before an election and said in any case the youths and
school children could only register but they would not be forced to vote.

He said: "It is common cause that before an election, the government
undertakes enhanced campaigns to register new voters. Naturally, youths
would form the bulk of new voters. But they are not forced to exercise that
right."

Nelson Chamisa, the spokesman for the main opposition Movement for
Democratic Change party said while it was not wrong to encourage youths to
register as voters, the ongoing exercise was skewed and designed to benefit
ZANU PF.

"We are concerned about the way the Registrar General's office is being
abused to act as a conduit to the ZANU-PF rigging machinery . . . voter
registration is vigorously carried out only in areas perceived as ZANU-PF
strongholds," said Chamisa.

The MDC, which insists the political field is heavily tilted in favour of
Mugabe and ZANU PF, this week said it would wait for the outcome of
President Thabo Mbeki-led talks before deciding whether to contest next year's
presidential and parliamentary elections.

South Africa's President Mbeki was last March appointed by Southern African
Development Community leaders to head efforts to seek a solution to
Zimbabwe's seven-year old political impasse between Mugabe's ZANU PF and the
MDC. - ZimOnline


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Coalition meets SA envoy, presses for role in Mbeki talks

Zim Online

Friday 15 June 2007

By Hendricks Chizhanje

HARARE - A coalition of Zimbabwean civic groups and churches this week met
South Africa's ambassador to Harare Mlungisi Makhalima to press him to
arrange a meeting with President Thabo Mbeki's mediation team.

Mbeki was last March tasked by the Southern African Development Community
(SADC) to mediate between President Robert Mugabe's ruling ZANU PF and the
opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) party.

Useni Sibanda, the spokesperson for the Save Zimbabwe Campaign said civic
leaders had presented a position paper on the mediation process to Makhalima
on Tuesday at the South African embassy in Harare.

The Save Zimbabwe Campaign is a coalition of churches, non-governmental
organizations (NGOs) and opposition political parties that is fighting for
negotiated solution to Zimbabwe's seven-year old political stalemate.

"We were seeking a way of making contact with the mediation team and we
asked him (Makhalima) to facilitate a meeting with the mediation team. We
also gave them a position paper from the SZC," Sibanda said.

Makhalima told the Save Zimbabwe leaders that although he did not have a
mandate to facilitate a meeting with the mediation team, he would still pass
on their position paper to Mbeki's mediation team.

The Save Zimbabwe Campaign last month sharply criticized Mbeki for
attempting to reach an agreement between ZANU PF and the two factions of the
MDC without involving civic society.

The civic groups are demanding an active role in the Mbeki-led talks saying
any deal struck between ZANU PF and the MDC without involving civic society
was doomed to fail.

Earlier this month, Mbeki said he was happy with the co-operation he had
received so far from ZANU PF and the MDC during the preliminary discussions
in the search for a lasting solution to Zimbabwean crisis. - ZimOnline


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Police stop satirical play

Zim Online

Friday 15 June 2007

By Nqobizitha Khumalo

BULAWAYO - Zimbabwean police on Wednesday stopped a controversial play, The
Good President, from being premiered in Bulawayo saying organizers should
first seek permission from the police before staging the play.

The satirical play which drew huge crowds when it premiered in Harare last
month, was written and directed by seasoned playwright Cont Mhlanga and was
produced for stage by Davis Guzha.

Mhlanga said the police led by one Inspector Mhaka, stormed Bulawayo Arts
Theatre minutes before the staging of the play and ordered all theatre
lovers to disperse.

The police said organizers of the show should first apply for permission to
stage the play as it was "clearly political".

"We were warned not to proceed (with the play) and the police said we had to
apply for permission to hold the show under the Public Order and Security
Act (POSA). But this is just a play and it is not a political rally," said
Mhlanga.

Under POSA, Zimbabweans must first seek permission from the police before
meeting in groups of more than three people to discuss politics. The law
does not however restrict cover cultural gatherings.

The main opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) party and human
rights groups have often accused the government of using POSA to stifle
political dissent, a charge the government denies.

Although the play was staged in the capital without any incidents, the
Harare authorities have in the past been highly intolerant of artistic works
critical of President Robert Mugabe's government.

For example, prominent musicians such as Thomas Mapfumo and Leonard Zhakata,
have had their songs unofficially "banned" from state radio stations for
allegedly pushing a regime change agenda against the government.

The Good President is a satirical play that touches on last March's barbaric
assault of Zimbabwe opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai at the hands of
state security agents after he tried to attend a banned rally in Harare.

Mugabe, who is facing unprecedented opposition to his 27-year old rule,
defended the beating of Tsvangirai saying the opposition leader will be
"bashed" again if he tried to organise another illegal political meeting. -
ZimOnline


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French film firm threatens Harare over US$1 million debt

Zim Online

Friday 15 June 2007

By Wayne Mafaro

HARARE - A French film distribution firm that won a US$1 million lawsuit
against Harare last May over an unpaid debt has threatened to file contempt
of court charges unless the government showed how it will pay up, ZimOnline
has learnt.

Daro Film Distribution that is based in Monaco, sued Zimbabwe's Ministry of
Finance after the ministry assumed a US$869 247 debt from the state-run
Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation (ZBC) that it had failed to service.

The debt arose from film and television programmes that had been supplied
over some period by Daro to the ZBC.

In a judgment delivered on May 4 in Harare, High Court Judge Alphas
Chitakunye ordered the Zimbabwean government to pay US$1 million to the
French film distribution company.

In a letter dated 7 June that was addressed to the Civil Division of the
Attorney General's office that represents government ministries in court,
Daro's lawyers, Sawyer and Mkushi demanded details of how government would
liquidate the debt.

"As of today, the total due in terms of the Court Order including interest
is US$1 084 385,72 with further interest accruing at the rate of 9 percent
per annum with effect from the 8th of June 2007 to date of payment.

"Kindly advise how and when your client will effect payment by the 19th of
June 2007 failing which our client shall consider instituting contempt of
court proceedings," the lawyers wrote.

The Zimbabwean government is battling its worst ever economic recession that
has seen it fail to service its debts with international creditors.

The World Bank says Zimbabwe's economic collapse is unprecedented for a
country not at war. Zimbabwe's inflation which currently stands at a
staggering 4 530 percent, is the highest in the world.

The main opposition Movement for Democratic Change and major western
governments blame the crisis on repression and bad economic management by
President Robert Mugabe's in power since Zimbabwe's independence 27 years
ago. - ZimOnline


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Zim government accused of politicising education system

The Zimbabwean

 By Natasha Hove

BULAWAYO:  THE militant Progressive Teachers Union of Zimbabwe (PTUZ) says
the government is substituting poor examination standards for political
expedience ahead of next year's harmonized presidential and parliamentary
elections.

PTUZ said the fees set by the government for this year's O and A-Level
subjects were too low for the examination regulatory body to operate
efficiently. The government has pegged examination fees for an O and A-Level
subject at $500 and $1200 respectively.

The government has on numerous occasions reportedly turned down proposals by
ZIMSEC to increase fees. But the examination's regulatory body says its
failure to administer the examinations properly have been caused by funding
constraints.

Raymond Majongwe, the PTUZ secretary general told CajNews: "We are headed
for crises in so far as the handling of examinations is concerned. The low
examination fees are disheartening. They do not meet up with the high
inflation rate.

"The amount being charged being charged is only for political gain and
people who live in the rural areas are already celebrating the low
examination fees. What is worsening the situation is that the ministry of
education has no budget to run examinations and the money being charged is
insufficient to pay the examination markers."

Education Minister, Aeneas Chigwedere defended the low examination fees.
"All students should be able to write their final examinations. No student
should be denied the opportunity to write because of lack of money."

ZIMSEC has been unable to get assistance from government since the Zanu PF
administration implemented a populist decision of localising O-level and
A-level exams in 1998.

The government argued the move would ensure that the syllabi remained
relevant to Zimbabwe 's socio-economic needs University of Cambridge in the
United Kingdom used to run the examinations.

But frequent 'boobs' by the examining body like leakages of papers, mix-ups,
delays in the release of results has raised fears that the country's
education standards could be compromised.

At the same time, markers have constantly downed tools citing low allowances
from ZIMSEC. This has impacted on thousands of students who have failed to
enroll for higher level education due to lack of exam results.

There have been calls for the government to overhaul the whole body saying
they were concerned with "deterioration of standards, flagrant breach of
security and confidentiality of examination papers and delays in the
issuance of certificates at ZIMSEC-CAJ News.


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Mnangagwa linked to coup

Zim Independent

Shakeman Mugari

THE alleged coup plot to overthrow President Mugabe's government
thickened this week amid claims that the plotters wanted to install Zanu PF
legal secretary and presidential aspirant Emmerson Mnangagwa as leader of
the country.

Court documents obtained by the Zimbabwe Indepednent show that the
allegation that Mnangagwa would take over power is contained in a charge
sheet that the state is using in its outline.

Mnangagwa denies any involvement in the alleged coup. He said
yesterday: "It's just stupid."

The men accused of being the brains behind the coup are Albert Mugove
Matapo (40), a former army officer, and two other soldiers still employed by
the Zimbabwe National Army, Olivine Maroala and Shingirai Mutemachani (20).
The three, who police accuse of being the core part of the plot, are still
in custody. Other alleged plotters, who include Nyasha Zivuku (32), Oncemore
Mudzurahova (41), Emmanuel Marara (40) and Patson Mapfure (46), have been in
custody since May 29.

The charge sheet claims the accused had been planning the coup since
June last year. The claims that Mnangagwa was involved were allegedly made
by Matapo, who police say was the chief architect and coordinator of the
plot. Mnangagwa yesterday denied any involvement in the coup plot.

"That is stupid. I don't know anything about that. It's stupid. I'm
reading about it in the paper but there's nothing like that. I'm the
Minister of Housing. It's better for you to ask the guys from the Ministry
of Security but I must tell you it's just stupid."

Those arrested are being charged with treason. The state outline seen
by the Independent states that the accused wanted to hand over power to
Mnangagwa after the coup.

The court papers say that Mnangagwa would assume the position of prime
minister. The men, who appeared in court last week for initial remand, all
deny the charges under Section 20 of the Criminal Law (Codification and
Reform) Act.

The accused persons' lawyer, Charles Warara of Warara & Associates,
claims his clients were tortured while in custody. He has since filed an
urgent application in the High Court seeking the release of the accused on
bail.

The High Court is expected to make a ruling on the issue this morning.


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Who gave away the coup plot?

Zim Independent

Dumisani Muleya

A FORMER army captain who feared the country was about to plunge into
chaos spilt the beans on the alleged military coup plot by serving and
retired soldiers to topple President Robert Mugabe's regime, it emerged
yesterday.

Claims of a coup to overthrow Mugabe are contained in a charge sheet
for six accused suspects currently in detention after they were arraigned
for allegedly plotting to oust the government and "invite" Rural Housing
minister Emmerson Mnangagwa to take over power.

Mnangagwa yesterday dismissed the charges as "stupid". Those
sympathetic to Mnangagwa warned that the coup allegations against him could
be part of the intensifying Zanu PF power struggle over Mugabe's succession.

Mnangagwa is seen as one of the leading contenders in the race to take
over from Mugabe. In 2003 Mnangagwa and former Defence Forces commander,
Vitalis Zvinavashe were linked to a plan to "ease" Mugabe out of power.
Zvinavashe was later removed from the military.

Military sources said the former captain recently travelled to West
Africa and phoned the Zimbabwean embassy in Ghana to alert them of fears of
an imminent coup in Harare. It is said the captain feared Zimbabwe was on
the verge of chaos due to the coup.

The sources said the captain told Zimbabwean embassy staff in Accra
that he had "extremely sensitive and emergency information" to relay to
them, but he would not say anything over the phone and in Ghana because of
security concerns.

The sources said the captain then suggested that he would travel to
France to recount the coup plot in Paris where he felt safe. After that the
captain is said to have gone on to narrate the story to embassy security
staff in Paris.

He is said to have given them a detailed map on the coup plot, showing
those who were involved, the chief architects and the would-be executors of
the plan. The information was relayed to authorities in Harare who reacted
by rounding up suspects for interrogation and later prosecution.

A number of serving army officers are being court martialed over the
issue, while former army officers and their alleged civilian accomplices are
being prosecuted through ordinary courts. The suspects are facing treason
charges.

The sources said the coup plot - in which a senior army commander and
a top Air Force officer were involved - has forced government to put the
army on high alert. The alleged coup is claimed to have been planned with
the aid of foreign forces.

Although it is claimed the senior army commander and Air Force officer
were under house arrest, sources said they were not because both of them
were seen in public during the course of this week.

Government has so far remained mum over the coup plot, deepening the
mystery. Defence minister Sydney Sekeremayi has only been quoted as saying
the issue was about "indiscipline and misconduct" rather than a coup. State
Security minister Didymus Mutasa has said he did not know anything about it.

However, sources say government wanted to make an announcement on the
matter a week ago but decided that it should be kept under wraps.

The sources said government decided to act by giving soldiers a 900%
salary increase to pacify hordes of restless middle and lower rank officers
who were complaining about low salaries and poor working conditions.

It is said Finance minister Samuel Mumbengegwi last week on Monday met
Reserve Bank governor Gideon Gono over money for the troops. Government has
now released money to appease the restless soldiers.


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Alleged coup plotter speaks out

Zim Independent

Itai Mushekwe

ONE of the alleged coup plotters yesterday spoke exclusively to the
Zimbabwe Independent, narrating the ordeal he suffered together with a group
of former military servicemen at the hands of the Military Intelligence Unit
(MIU) last month.

Gilbert Kagodora, treasurer for the Movement for Democratic Change
(MDC) in Mashonaland Central, said he was abducted by suspected Central
Intelligence Oganisation (CIO) officers while discussing party business with
a retired army officer, Albert Matapo, on Tuesday May 29 around 2pm in
Harare.

"We were abducted by men who were dressed in civilian clothes whom I
suspect to be working for the intelligence service," said Kagodora.

"We had gone to meet Matapo for business together with three other
party activists at Winston Court along Fourth Street. Initially they told us
that we were being arrested for dealing in foreign currency and they then
proceeded to blindfold us
with masking tape. They also tied our hands and took us into a van
downstairs. I could not tell exactly where they were driving us to."

Kagodora said they were taken into a basement where the suspected CIO
operatives handed them over to MIU. It was here that the MDC activist said
he endured grave pain from systematic beatings and torture from his
interrogators who accused him of working to topple the government by
midnight Saturday, June 2.

"They accused us of attempting to
unseat the government by June 2 and were using electrical rods to
torture us while recording statements in which we were made to admit
planning to stage a coup. They wanted me to tell them about the MDC bases in
South Africa where party members were undergoing militia drills with the
intention of causing a regime change, the master-mind of the coup and
financiers of the opposition."

The MDC activist said MIU also wanted him to supply them with
information about alleged petrol bombers in the MDC and to expose members of
the party's Democratic Resistance Committee accused by government of
engaging in activities to make the country ungovernable.

Kagodora was kept in MIU detention until Friday, June 1 before being
handed over to the police Law and Order section at Harare Central Police
Station. He also revealed that MIU wanted Matapo, whom they accused of
plotting the coup, to disclose names of senior army and police officers with
whom he had close links.

"While interrogating Matapo, I could hear them demanding that he
reveal the names of his close associates in the army and police."

Kagodora was released on Monday, June 4 after the police failed to
prefer charges against him. At first he said they wanted to charge him with
treason, then the coup charge but failed to come up with concrete evidence
to arraign him before the courts."

However, Matapo and the other ex-servicemen were still in police
custody and have been refused bail.


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Zim going the Kenya way - ICJ

Zim Independent

By Andrew Meldrum

A TEAM of international judges who visited Zimbabwe last week found
that President Robert Mugabe's government is inflicting a "shocking" level
of intimidation and violence upon lawyers and is breaking down the rule of
law in the country.

Beatings and other abuses inflicted on lawyers are damaging the legal
system in Zimbabwe, said representatives of the International Commission of
Jurists. They issued their findings after a five-day fact-finding mission to
Zimbabwe.

The international judges said despite news reports about the situation
in Zimbabwe, they were surprised by the extent to which the government had
broken down the fundamentals of the rule of law.

"We were shocked by what we found. The beatings of lawyers by police,
the beatings of people and in particular the refusal by the police to carry
out court orders, was shocking," said head of mission Justice Claire L'Heureux-Dube,
a former Canadian Supreme Court justice.

She said the recent arrests, detention and beatings of lawyers was
"clearly an escalation in the harassment and intimidation of the legal
profession. The mission is disturbed that the unjustifiable harassment,
detention and beatings of lawyers has only increased the tension between the
Law Society (of Zimbabwe) and the government."

The well-respected ICJ is based in Geneva, Switzerland, and its
membership includes 60 of the world's most eminent judges. The group
monitors the independence of the judiciary and the maintenance of the rule
of law around the world.

Kenyan representative on the ICJ team, George Kegoro, said the
situation in Zimbabwe reminded him of the worst days of repression under
Daniel arap Moi.

"I was struck by the parallels between Kenya in the late 1980s and the
1990s," said Kegoro. "The crackdown on any dissent, the lack of independent
news media, particularly in broadcasting, the way the police diminish
respect for the judiciary. We saw it in Kenya and now we see it in
Zimbabwe," said Kegoro.

L'Heureux-Dube has been coming to Zimbabwe since 1996 and said she was
"disturbed" by the extent to which the rule of law has been eroded in that
time.

"I am worried by the aggressive vilification of lawyers by the state
media," said L'Heureux-Dube. "Zimbabwe's lawyers are working to uphold the
rule of law in very threatening conditions. They are showing incredible
strength and courage. The government should see them as allies rather than
as enemies."

The ICJ team said it "regretted" that it got no response to its
requests for meetings with the Ministers of Justice and Home Affairs and the
Chief Justice of the Supreme Court and the Judge President of the High
Court.

Instead the ICJ representatives met with the permanent secretary of
the Ministry of Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs, David Mangota, and
the Attorney-General, Sobusa Gula-Ndebele.

The visiting judges were "astonished by the cavalier response" of the
attorney-general, who told them he did not plan to investigate the reports
of police mistreatment of lawyers.

The ICJ team found that Zimbabwe is breaking international covenants
on the rule of law that it signed with the United Nations and the African
Union. It urged those groups to investigate and take government to court.

"The independence of lawyers and judges is a cornerstone of the rule
of law. It is essential in a democratic state to protect the separation of
powers, the fair application of the law and the rights of all people in the
country and to prevent arbitrary actions by the executive," concluded the
ICJ mission. "We urge the government to end the harassment of lawyers, to
control the police and to hold them accountable, and to restore a
fundamental democratic principle that is pivotal for the rule of law in
Zimbabwe - the independence of the legal profession."

Meanwhile, ANC deputy president Jacob Zuma yesterday said torture was
unacceptable wherever it was practiced.

At a press conference held by the Foreign Correspondents Association
in Johannesburg, Zuma was asked his response to the evidence of state
torture in Zimbabwe of members of the opposition, lawyers, trade union
officials and journalists.

"Torture cannot be acceptable in a democracy," said Zuma. "I say this
coming from our background of apartheid, where there was torture and it was
wrong. It cannot be acceptable to torture citizens, opposition members,
journalists or anyone. It cannot be right and it needs to be condemned."

Zuma went on to say that he hoped South Africa would play a role in
finding a resolution to Zimbabwe's political and humanitarian crisis by
engaging the government and the opposition in talks.


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Zanu PF, MDC meet for talks

Zim Independent

Dumisani Muleya

ZANU PF and opposition MDC delegates involved in talks facilitated by
South African President Thabo Mbeki to resolve the Zimbabwe crisis will meet
this weekend in Pretoria for first direct negotiations.

The two-man negotiating teams will meet tomorrow and on Sunday to
start the talks which failed to take place on June 2-3 after the Zanu PF
team asked for more time to write its position paper which was later
submitted to Mbeki's team last week on Monday, official sources said.

This came as President Robert Mugabe left for Libya on Wednesday on a
three-day state visit for talks with the country's leader, Muammar Gaddafi,
recently asked by the outgoing British Prime Minister Tony Blair to mediate
in the Zimbabwe situation.

Gaddafi has confirmed this.

The sources said when Blair visited Africa three weeks ago he
discussed the Zimbabwe issue with Gaddafi in Libya and asked him to mediate.
They said Blair has proposed a package for Mugabe to go to pave way for
recovery.

They said Blair briefed Mbeki about the Gaddafi plan which he
presented as complementary to what the South African leader is already
doing. This was necessary because Mbeki and Gaddafi are bitter rivals.

Blair does not have full confidence in the Sadc initiative and thinks
it would be better to have a Plan B, it is understood.

Blair said recently in South Africa there should be changes in
Zimbabwe before elections tentatively scheduled for March next year.

Gaddafi, rehabilitated by the West after years of damaging sanctions
and isolation, is expected to nudge Mugabe to quit because the current
situation is unsustainable, the sources said.

Gaddafi is a Mugabe ally although the two's relationship soured for a
while over Harare's failure to pay for Libya's fuel supplies. Libya a few
years ago cut supplies to Zimbabwe after the country's failure to pay.

Apart from that Gaddafi, who trained Zimbabwe's liberation struggle
fighters, has a lot of influence over Mugabe and resources to fund the
initiative on his own.

Meanwhile, Mbeki is piling on pressure to ensure his mediation
succeeds this time around.

The Zanu PF team, which includes Justice minister Patrick Chinamasa
and his Labour counterpart Nicholas Goche, last weekend failed again to make
it for talks because Goche was in Geneva attending an International Labour
Organisation conference which ends today.

Sources said Mbeki's team this week put pressure on the Zanu PF team
to attend the start of the talks. Mbeki is said to be determined to find a
breakthrough on the Zimbabwe situation which he has been dealing with since
2002.

The MDC team, comprising Welshman Ncube and Tendai Biti, has been
waiting for the beginning of the dialogue. The Zanu PF and MDC delegations
leave for South Africa today to engage in critical preliminary talks under
the mediation of Mbeki's point men.

Mbeki's mediation team is headed by his Local Government minister
Sydney Mufamadi. Mbeki is expected to report to regional leaders on the
progress made on talks by June 30.

The sources said Mbeki's team would table the two parties' position
papers and figure out a formal agenda from them. Mbeki has said the critical
issue now is to level the electoral playing field ahead of next year's joint
presidential and parliamentary elections. This would be complemented by an
economic rescue package for Zimbabwe in the event that a political
settlement is reached.

The sources said Mbeki's team wants Zanu PF and the MDC to focus on
the draft constitution agreed in 2003/2004 by Chinamasa and Ncube and the
proposed constitutional amendment gazetted last Friday. They said this would
train the attention of the parties on compelling issues instead of the
polemics they raise in their position papers.

The MDC argues the solution to the current crisis lies in holding free
and fair elections, while Zanu PF says the solution lies in addressing the
root cause of the problem - land.

The sources said Mbeki's team would tell Zanu PF and MDC delegates
that the issues they raise in their documents were discussed during the
talks in 2003/2004, leading to the draft constitution which was sunk by Zanu
PF infighting, and there is no need to go over them again.

Mugabe has ruled out the possibility of a new constitution, but Mbeki's
team believes that a new constitution is possible if the two parties proceed
from where they left off in 2004 because the issues at stake are still the
same.


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Woza challenges Act

Zim Independent

LAWYERS representing Women of Zimbabwe Arise (Woza) have given notice
that they will challenge the Criminal Law (Codification and Reform) Act on
the constitutionality of sections of the law that state security agents and
the police are using to bar demonstrations and to harass demonstrators.

Police have also used the Act together with the Pubic Order and
Security Act to detain opposition supporters and activists taking part in
peaceful demonstrations.

Kossam Ncube, one of the lawyers representing Woza, said he has filed
papers with the local magistrates' court ready for onward transmission to
the Supreme Court for the constitutional challenge.

Ncube said Woza will challenge Sections 37 and 47 of the Criminal Law
(Codification and Reform) Act.

"We have given notice of our intention to challenge the law in the
Supreme Court and the papers have been sent to the magistrates courts which
is the first step before the lower courts forward the case to the Supreme
Court," Ncube said.

He said the wording in the Act was vague and meaningless and in most
instances the interpretation by the police was always wrong.

"Ever since the law was enacted, there has never been a prosecution,"
Ncube said. All Woza activists have been set free and the law is a waste of
time since it is ineffective."

Woza women arrested under the harsh laws have either been acquitted or
the state has subsequently withdrawn charges.

The decision by Woza to challenge the Act comes barely a week after
the organisation's leaders Jenni Williams and Magodonga Mahlangu were
arrested and detained for three days for taking part in a demonstration.

The two were however remanded to June 18 on $100 000 bail each.

They are being charged under Sections 37 (1a) and 46(2v) of the Act.

Under Section 37 of the Act, it is illegal for one to "participate in
a gathering with intent to promote public violence, breaches of the peace or
bigotry".

Chapter 46, which is also being challenged by Woza read with Section
2(v) of the Third Schedule to the Criminal Code, makes it an offence for
anyone to "employ any means whatsoever which are likely materially to
interfere with the ordinary comfort, convenience, peace or quiet of the
public or any section of the public, or does any act which is likely to
create a nuisance or obstruction."

Meanwhile police on Monday arrested 100 women who had gathered in
Filabusi to launch the Woza People's Charter. The 100 women were later
released without charge.

The Woza People's Charter has been launched in Bulawayo, Harare,
Masvingo, Gweru and Mutare.


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WFP, FAO slam Zim's fast-track

Zim Independent

Lucia Makamure/Itai Mushekwe

WORLD food bodies, the World Food Programme (WFP) and the Food and
Agriculture Organisation (FAO) have criticised government's botched land
reform programme for decimating food production and effective land
utilisation resulting in massive food shortages.

The revelation of WFP and FAO disenchantment with government's
controversial land reform is contained in a special report on Zimbabwe's
Crop and Food Supply Assessment Mission (CAFSAM) released last week.
Government has been battling to feed the population ever since it embarked
on its forced seizure of white-owned commercial farms resulting in a huge
drop in national food security.

Zimbabwe requires at least two million tonnes of maize to meet
national food obligations, 1, 5 million tonnes being the ideal annual
requirement with 500 000 tonnes being strategic reserves. CAFSAM's estimated
harvest for the season is 799 000 tonnes, with maize output estimated to be
46% lower than last year.

"Land distribution in Zimbabwe since Independence in 1980 has remained
highly skewed," reads the report. "In July 2000 the 'fast track'
resettlement phase was launched to speed up land acquisition and
resettlement. A law was enacted for the purpose, with compulsory acquisition
and resettlement being the key focus. With the ongoing land reform
programme, only about 500 or so large-scale commercial farms remain now.

"These activities and processes have severely disrupted farming
activities as many resettled farmers lack access to capital and other inputs
or need time to settle down, contributing to severe under-utilisation of
land resource and low production. They have also contributed to the
significant decline in the national dairy and export beef herds."

The report castigates government's command agriculture policies for
adversely affecting maize production owing to market distortions and little
incentives for farmers to engage in optimum production.

"Current agricultural policy has adversely affected production of
maize and wheat due to unintended market distortions. There seems little
incentive for farmers to produce beyond their subsistence needs, given the
lack of alternative marketing channel and price controls with static
procurement prices in an environment of hyperinflation resulting," says the
report.

"The current price of $3 million per tonne with a possible bonus of
additional $1,2 million (equivalent to US$140 per tonne at parallel market
exchange rate of 30 000), announced on 26 April 2007, is lucrative for now.
However, the hyperinflation, over 3 700% in April 2007, will quickly erode
the value of maize sold to GMB and again farmers may not have enough capital
or incentive to invest in applying fertiliser and other improvements come
next season," the report said.

The two UN bodies said maize was also being sold at subsidised prices
in various locations but the GMB supplies were widely reported to be
irregular and inadequate resulting in varied food prices from one part of
the country to another.


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Zim found guilty

Zim Independent

THE African Commission on Human and Peoples' rights has found the
government of Zimbabwe guilty of violating articles 1 and 7 of the African
Charter following human rights violations that occurred during the land
reform programme, 2000 parliamentary elections and the 2002 presidential
elections.

The commission adopted the decision in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia in
January 2007 after the Zimbabwe Human Rights Forum had filed a complaint
against the government in 2002.

Zimbabwe violated the right to protection of the law and failed to put
in place measures to ensure the enjoyment of these rights by its people.

In a press statement issued this week, the forum said it welcomed the
decision as it is a clear recognition by the African heads that there are
human rights violations in Zimbabwe.

Communication 245/02 which was filed at the commission in 2002 noted
human rights violations that occurred between 2000 and 2002 Presidential
elections. It also stated that the government of Zimbabwe had abandoned its
duty and responsibility to protect Zimbabweans against human rights
violations, as stated in the African Charter on Human and Peoples' Rights.

The African Commission has called on the Zimbabwe Government to
establish a Commission of inquiry to investigate, the causes of the violence
that took place from February -June 2000 and bring those responsible for
violence to justice and identify the victims of the violence in order to
provide them with just and adequate compensation. - Staff Writer.


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Kasukuwere faction emerges in Mash Central

Zim Independent

Constantine Chimakure

VICE-PRESIDENT Joice Mujuru is slowly losing grip on her stronghold in
Mashonaland Central amid reports that a faction led by deputy minister
Saviour Kasukuwere has emerged to scuttle her presidential plans.

The emergence of the faction is part of the widening rift in the
ruling party over the succession of ageing President Robert Mugabe.

Kasukuwere, sources said, was heading a pro-Mugabe faction - made up
of Zanu PF political commissair Elliot Manyika and Labour minister Nicholas
Goche, among others.

The faction allegedly enjoys the support of the Zanu PF Women's League
boss Oppah Muchinguri and State Security minister Didymus Mutasa.

The Mugabe loyalists are pitted against two other camps - one rooting
for Rural Development minister Emmerson Mnangagwa and the other backing
Mujuru.

The sources said the Kasukuwere faction was pushing for the ouster of
provincial governor Ephraim Masawi, Guruve North MP David Butau, senators
Betty Chikava (Bindura-Shamva) and Agnes Angelina Dete (Mazoe), and Bindura
mayor Advocate Dinha to weaken Mujuru's grip on the province. The five are
seen as key allies of Mujuru.

Mujuru, the sources claimed, on May 31 bulldozed into a development
meeting held in Goche's Shamva constituency and accused the Kasukuwere group
of working against her.

Mugabe's nephew Patrick Zhuwao, among other Zanu PF officials,
reportedly attended the developmental meeting.

Zhuwao is a member of the national youth executive and a close ally of
Kasukuwere.

During the meeting, the sources said, Kasukuwere and his group
attacked Masawi for sluggishness in executing development projects in the
province.

The sources said Mujuru stopped the meeting and accused Kasukuwere's
faction of undermining senior party officials in the province.

"Mujuru was ranting and raving when she arrived at the venue of the
meeting. She threatened to deal with Kasukuwere and his group. She said
'ndichakutumirai vakomana (I am going to unleash my boys) to deal with you'.
She then called off the meeting," a source told the Zimbabwe Independent.
"The vice-president alleged that Kasukuwere's primary target was her."

"Everyone realised that Mujuru had made a reckless statement. People
wondered whom she referred to as 'the boys' and how she intended to deal
with Kasukuwere and his colleagues," the source added.

Another source said: "There is indeed a plot against Masawi, Dinha,
Butau, Dete and Chikava by the Kasukuwere group. The five are seen as
sympathetic to amai (Mujuru)."

On Wednesday, Kasukuwere - who represents Mount Darwin South in the
House of Assembly - confirmed that a meeting indeed took place in Goche's
constituency, but denied that Mujuru attended it and attacked him and his
group.

He also confirmed that Zhuwao attended the same meeting.

"The meeting we had in Goche's constituency was centred on
developmental projects in the area and it's true that honourable Zhuwao was
in attendance. However, it is absolute hogwash that Mai Mujuru attended the
meeting and threatened me or any other person. If I was threatened, I would
have confirmed that," Kasukuwere said.

Kasukuwere denied leading a faction against Mujuru.

"I am not involved in politics of that nature," he said curtly.

Yesterday, Chikava said she did not attend the developmental meeting
as she was attending a funeral.

She, however, confirmed that she was in support of Mujuru to succeed
Mugabe once he retires from office.

"I have supported Mujuru since the liberation struggle. I do not see
anything wrong with her succeeding Mugabe once the president calls it quits.
I am saying Mugabe must remain our leader, but if he and vice-president
Joseph Msika steps down Mujuru must surely take over," Chikava said.

She said Mujuru never at anytime said she wanted to unseat Mugabe.

Chikava declined to comment on the emergence of factions in the
province.

Repeated efforts to get a comment from Butau yesterday proved
fruitless with his Dande Holdings office saying the lawmaker was in his
constituency and unreachable on his mobile phone, while Manyika, Goche, Dete
and Dinha could not be reached for comment.

Sources in the province said at a provincial coordination committee
meeting held at Bindura Municipality offices on June 2, Mujuru denied
harbouring an ambition to unseat Mugabe.

"She categorically stated that she didn't belong to any faction. She
said she was a national leader and treated Mugabe as her political father
and will never think of unseating him," the source said.

The succession debate in Zanu PF has divided the party ahead of an
expected special congress to take place either in Harare or Bindura later
this year.

The congress, party insiders said, would deliberate on the succession
issue with the Kasukuwere camp pushing for Mugabe's endorsement as Zanu PF
candidate for the presidential polls.

The poll is expected to run concurrently with parliamentary elections
if parliament and Mugabe pass and assent to Constitutional Amendment Bill No
18 gazetted last Friday.

Zanu PF's central committee on March 30 endorsed the candidature of
Mugabe, but members aligned to the Mujuru camp said the endorsement was
ultra vires the party constitution.

The constitution, the members argued, states that a presidential
candidate must be endorsed by an all-people's conference or a special
congress convened for that specific agenda.

Moves to oust Masawi from Mashonaland Central started in January when
the youth league recommended his suspension pending expulsion for allegedly
failing to defend President Mugabe during the launch of former party
secretary-general Edgar Tekere's autobiography, A Lifetime of Struggle.

The youths also recommended Tekere's expulsion from the party - barely
a month after he was re-admitted into Zanu PF at its annual people's
conference in Goromonzi after his 1989 expulsion. Tekere is a self-confessed
Mujuru ally.

During the launch attended by Masawi, Tekere lampooned Mugabe by
labelling him a liability to Zimbabwe and laid responsibility for the
country's deepening political, social and economic crisis at the
octogenarian's doorstep.

However, the move to have Masawi suspended fell by the wayside after
the party absolved him, but Tekere was given the boot.

Kasukuwere had reportedly masterminded the recommendation by the youth
league.


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Govt moves to pacify civil servants

Zim Independent

Lucia Makamure

GOVERNMENT in a desperate attempt to prevent a massive strike by
workers in the public service last week started depositing allowances into
civil servants' bank accounts to supplement their May salaries which they
complained could not take them up to the end of the month.

Doctors, nurses and hospital support staff called off their strike
following the deposit of the allowances from government into their accounts
over the weekend.

President of the Hospital Doctors Association, Amon Severegi,
confirmed that doctors had returned to work after government deposited
allowances in their bank accounts over the weekend.

"Doctors have returned to work and also other health workers and the
hospital staff, we have been awarded an increment but with inflation on the
rise, the money is likely to be nothing in a few months' time," said
Severegi.

Other beneficiaries of the allowances include soldiers, teachers,
lecturers and members of the uniformed force.

The allowances which range from $2 million to $4 million for the
teachers, lecturers, nurses and soldiers have come barely two weeks after
the civil servants got their May salaries. No pay slips have been supplied.
This is over and above the 639% salary hikes awarded to civil servants
effective this month.

Last month when schools reopened for the second term a considerable
number of teachers failed to report for duty complaining that their salaries
were too low and this resulted in schools in both urban areas being forced
to operate with half of the required staff.

Many of the teachers who have left the country are reported to be
working in South Africa where there is a demand for science teachers.

Limpopo Education MEC Aron Motsoaledi is on record saying his
department is going to recruit foreign teachers.

If the department did employ foreign teachers to teach science
subjects, pupils would spend the whole year without being taught these
subjects.

It is also reported that some of the teachers who have left the
country are working at small unregistered colleges in South Africa being
operated by Zimbabweans.

The police force has also not been spared by the mass desertions as it
announced last month its plans to go on a massive recruitment drive that
would see the number of police officers increased from the current 29 000 to
50 000 to boost the police manpower in preparation for next year's
elections.

Government's failure to pay its workers salaries in line with the
poverty datum line has made strikes a common occurrence in the country while
at the same time contributing to the gradual demise of the public sector.


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Save Zimbabwe takes campaign to Europe

Zim Independent

Orirando Manwere

LEADERS of the Save Zimbabwe Campaign - a broad coalition of political
parties, the church and civic society seeking to resolve the social,
economic and political crisis in the country - are set to embark on a
diplomatic tour of African and European states to brief them on the local
situation.

A source who requested not to be named said the coalition leaders on
the tour comprise convener Reverend Levee Kadenge, MDC leaders Morgan
Tsvangirai and Arthur Mutambara, National Constitutional Assembly chairman
Lovemore Madhuku, Zapu leader Paul Siwela, and Zimbabwe Students Union
leader Promise Mkwananzi.

Madhuku and Kadenge yesterday returned from Ghana where they had gone
on a similar mission.

In a telephone interview upon his arrival, Madhuku said he was not
aware of the scheduled tour but confirmed he was in Ghana with Kadenge on a
mission aimed at "updating concerned stakeholders outside Sadc about the
situation in the country and progress on the Sadc mediation initiative being
conducted by President Mbeki".

Madhuku said they held meetings with civic society organisations and
the media to help them appreciate developments in Zimbabwe.

"I am not aware of that tour but I can confirm that we visited Ghana
together with Bishop Kadenge. We went there to enlighten concerned
stakeholders about what is happening here - human rights violations by state
agents, various initiatives being carried out including the Mbeki mediation.
We cannot rely on the Mbeki mediation alone, hence our visit to Ghana but I
am not aware of the trip you are talking about," said Madhuku.

The Zimbabwe Independent understands that the coalition leaders want
to visit European countries on the same mission after their African tour,
amid reports that African leaders were not keen to entertain them alongside
political leaders as that would interfer with the Sadc mediation initiative.

The scheduled tour comes after Tsvangirai told journalists this week
that the MDC formations and other stakeholders were not entirely relying on
the Mbeki mediation to solve the political crisis in the country.

"Obviously, we are not putting all our eggs in one basket although we
hope that the Mbeki mediation will achieve the desired results. We have
other plans to turn to should that fail but I cannot divulge that for
strategic reasons," he said.

MDC party insiders said the country's political crisis could only be
solved through regional and international intervention, hence it was
imperative that stakeholders continued to drum up support from fellow
Africa, leaders and the entire international community.

"We cannot sit on our laurels just because of the ongoing Mbeki
initiative," a source said. "The ruling Zanu-PF party is proceeding with
amendments of the constitution which is the most fundamental issue that
should be addressed by Mbeki. So we have to prepare for any eventualities.
Should Mbeki fail, we will have to appeal to the international community to
put pressure on Mugabe to respect the wishes of the people. So it is
necessary to regularly update all those concerned about our situation," said
the source.

The 32-member coalition's general council last week adopted a position
paper emphasising the need for dialogue to pave way for the process of
drafting a new democratic constitution for Zimbabwe to start soon.


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Who will pull the punch bowl?

Zim Independent

By Admire Mavolwane

TOBACCO is the talk of town not because of the issues to do with the
health hazards of smoking but because of the wealth being accumulated by
tobacco farmers.

It is not unusual to see "chicken" buses bound for the rural tobacco
growing areas laden with leather lounge suits, television sets, solar panels
and other high-value furniture items. Second-hand car dealers have also been
trying to get a slice of the cake, handing out leaflets of the location of
their premises.

Two months ago the farmers were complaining about the exchange rate
and were withholding their crop from the auctions and no-one would have
imagined that these same farmers would be a happy lot a few days later. The
resultant solution to the impasse, a support price of $40 000 per each
kilogramme fetching US$1,50, pro-rated has had a big impact not only on the
morale of the farmers, but prices in the shops and activities in the economy
in general.

The farmers are in high spirits. We gather the quality of the crop has
been good, and the presence of some "wisemen" from the east has meant that
the average price at U$2,16 is way above the threshold, thus implying an
average support price per kilogramme of $57 600.

Besides the farmers, we also have happy stock market investors. A big
portion of the liquidity arising from the disbursements of tobacco support
money has been finding its way into the stock market and the results are
there for all to see.

When the tobacco auction floors started trading, the exchange rate was
around $30 000 to the greenback and the implied tobacco exchange rate was
looking good. In order to maintain value in a hyperinflationary environment,
a project in which we are all trying to make the best of a bad job, the
farmers have been active both on the currency and stock markets. The
exchange rate, we are made to understand, is now on the other side of a
century thus taking away the lustre from the implied tobacco exchange rate.

On shares, the industrial index is up 236% since the month began and
is now on 40 063 181,62 points driven by broad buying which has seen some
counters notching up daily gains of over 50%. The effect of such movements
is that the market capitalisation of the Zimbabwe Stock Exchange has
increased significantly even in US Dollar terms.
As of Wednesday, the market capitalisation stood at US$3,4 billion
using the parallel rate of $130 000. Overvalued as it might seem, there are
a number of counters trading at US$ values that are way below December 29,
2006 levels. Glaring examples include BAT which at the end of 2006 was
valued at US$49 million and by Wednesday its value had shrunk by US$22
million to $26,7 million. Bindura is another one, valued at 80% of what it
was at the beginning of the year. Hunyani, whose interim results to April 30
were commendable, is showing a depreciation in value of real terms of US$56
million. In total there were 18 counters in this position.

On the other side of the coin, counters like CFX, Kingdom, Zimsun,
Interfresh, Pelhams, and Willdale appear to have made considerable additions
to their businesses if the appreciation of values in hard currency terms is
anything to go by. The banking groups CFX and Kingdom have seen their values
appreciate by 901% and 813%, respectively. In dollar terms the two are now
valued at US$45 million and US$59 million compared with US$5 million and
US$7,3 million at the beginning of the year. The blue chips although not
featuring prominently as far as percentages are concerned have not done
badly either.

Delta is now being valued at US$318 million, Meikles, US$318 million,
and Innscor is now worth US$305 million. This trio added at least US$100
million to their weight.

The big question is whether the situation on the ground justifies
either a case of US dollar discounts or premiums. Logic would indicate a
situation where there is maintenance of value in real terms and not the huge
disparities. As the sages would say, there will come a time for a
correction. As such, possibility of some authority intervening and taking
the punch bowl away is now very high.

Moving to the financials, which theoretically should support these
valuations, we start with numbers from Hunyani released last week. Turnover
grew by 4 428% to $105,4 billion, mainly on the back of inflation pricing.
Volumes were depressed with a comparison to the previous six months of 2006
showing a drop of 11%, a fact attributed to the depressed local market and
the late commencement of tobacco carton exports.

A seven percentage point increase in operating margins to 30% saw the
corresponding profits grow by 5 951% to $32,4 billion. The need to fund
export production meant that the company had to utilise borrowing
facilities, on which an interest expense of $2,1 billion was incurred. The
increase in the interest cover from 6x to 16x resulted in an enhanced growth
in the bottom line of 6 705% to $21 billion.

Revamped, or is it restructured, Chemco released a set of results
which show the impact of the acquisitions of Farm-a-rama hardware outlets,
TST Timbers, Agriculture Buying Services and Highveld Harvesters made in the
second half of last year. As such, revenues are reflecting a growth of 7
923% to $25 billion.

A decline in margins from 72% to 41% probably highlighting the impact
of the low margin retail operations, resulted in a diluted growth in
operating profits of 4 499% to $10,4 billion. The re-branded group is still
in an interest paying position with a $72 million outflow being recorded.
However, the impact on the overall picture was minimal. Consequently,
attributable earnings grew at a similar pace to operating profits to $7
billion. As is the company's norm, a dividend of $122 per share was
declared. Notwithstanding these good results, the counter remains the worst
performing share to date, having gained by only 1 471% by Wednesday this
week.

TSL Ltd, which owns 40% of Hunyani and 51,5% of Chemco, also released
its interim results for the similar period. The numbers largely reflected
the impact of these two units which contribute a combined 83% to TSL.
Turnover grew by 4 630% to $79,7 billion. The bottom line again fell between
Hunyani and Chemco, growing by 3 548% to $18,3 billion.


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Gold mines reel as RBZ fails to pay for deliveries

Zim Independent

Shakeman Mugari

MORE trouble is brewing in the mining sector with revelations this
week that the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) has once again failed to raise
foreign currency to pay mines for gold deliveries since last November.

It also emerged yesterday that last month's state media reports that
the central bank had paid US$15 million it owed to gold mines were not true.

Miners told businessdigest that central bank governor, Gideon Gono,
had not lived up to his promise during the interim monetary policy statement
in April that the mines would be paid immediately.

Documents to hand show that as of May 7 the central bank owed gold
producers US$20,3 million but the figure is understood to have ballooned to
about US$30 million.

Most companies have not been paid for the past eight months and there
are now fears that the sector could collapse if nothing is done immediately.

"We are in a fix. We might close because we don't have the foreign
currency to buy inputs for the production of gold," said a miner.

The miners said efforts to engage the central bank over the delays
have yielded just "more promises". Minutes of a meeting held with the mining
sector on May 7 shows that the RBZ promised that "something was being done
about the payment".

Another meeting held at Great Zimbabwe on May 23 between Gono and gold
producers again yielded nothing.

It is understood that RBZ admitted at that meeting that it did not
have the foreign currency to pay the mines. Gono, sources said, promised to
settle the debt out of future gold deliveries.

He told the miners that as part of efforts to settle the debt the
mines would be allowed to retain 80% of their earnings instead of the
mandatory 60%.

"The idea was that the extra 20% would go towards paying the debt on
gold deliveries," said a miner who attended the meeting.

That idea was shot down by the miners who told Gono that they needed
cash in order to resume production.

"Gono then promised us that he would work on plans to get a loan to
raise the foreign currency to pay the gold producers," said the miner.

The mines are still waiting. Most mines have been surviving on bank
loans since January.

"Others have been relying on borrowings from other mines but now it's
going to be crunch time because nobody has anything to lend anymore."

Gold production has plunged since January. The gold sector and central
bank have since formed a special committee to map the way forward with
regards to the payment. The committee will also discuss the challenges
facing the sector and come up with recommendations.

The central bank last week paid about US$3 million to small producers.

Meanwhile businessdigest can also reveal that the central bank has
intensified security at mines to monitor production to curb alleged gold
smuggling. Officials from the RBZ and officers from the police's gold squad
have been camped at gold mines since January.

There are also undercover officers planted at the mines.

Sources this week said the central bank demanded that it be allowed to
also put its locks on gold safes and milling plants at all mines. This means
that no gold will be collected unless there is an official from the central
bank.

In normal situations at least four locks are used to keep the gold
safe. The keys are kept by different people. The new measure means that the
RBZ will now be part of the security team at mines.

Miners, however, criticised the move saying the central bank was
"misdirecting" itself to believe that the drop in gold production was caused
by smuggling.

"The bottom line is that gold output is going down because they are
not paying the mines. How can mines produce more when they are not being
paid for their gold deliveries to the central bank?" another miner asked.

"We don't have money to buy cyanide and other chemicals for the
milling plant. We can't even repair our equipment and vehicles. Surely with
those conditions it is difficult to see how gold production can go up."


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Gold mines battle massive skills flight

Zim Independent

Shame Makoshori

A MASSIVE skills flight has hit the gold mines, worsening the plight
of the sector already on the brink of collapse due to delays by the RBZ in
releasing payment for gold deliveries.

The mining sector's problems have been worsened by Zesa's power cuts
which have reduced their production hours.

Senior gold mining executives told businessdigest this week that the
last two months had seen an increase in the exodus of skilled labour.
Qualified workers are sceptical of the future of the gold industry in this
country. More than 3000 skilled people have left the sector since last
December, the executive said.

While there were efforts from gold mines to retain professionals
through employee share ownership schemes most skilled workers had opted to
work in the fairly stable chrome, diamond and platinum sectors. Others have
moved into nickel mines.

The gold mining boom elsewhere in southern Africa and high demand for
skills in South Africa in the run-up to the 2010 World Cup have been the
major attractions for Zimbabwean professionals.

Miners said the human resources situation in gold mines is so
desperate that even if the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe pays for the gold
deliveries it will take a long time for them to recover.

"Diamond, coal, platinum and chrome mines sell their minerals directly
to customers and they are relatively stable than gold mines because they
receive payments promptly," a chief executive with a gold mining concern
told businessdigest.

"Gold mines sell to the RBZ but payments are erratic. We have slowed
production to unrealistic levels," he said.

"At the end of the day we are losing critical skills. Many skilled
workers have moved to other local mines and other countries. There is a
danger that when serious mining begins later, gold mines will face serious
problems.

Most gold mines have continued to pay workers industry regulated
salaries even though there is little production taking place.

Chamber of Mines figures show that gold output has declined in the
first quarter of the month. Production has been going down since January
when the industry produced 819 kg. In February the country produced 768 kg,
March (690kg) and April 500kg.

There are fears that output could plunge further due to the escalating
power cuts, poor input supply and the mounting debts.

At least 3 000 highly qualified professionals are estimated to have
resigned from gold mines since the beginning of 2007.

Mining industry minimum wages are pegged at $600 000 and the companies
are forced to pay the workers even though they are not producing much gold
because of lack of inputs.

Zimbabwe Stock Exchange listed gold producer Riozim warned last week
that the gold mining sector faced a daunting task to retain mining
professionals in the face of the viability problems that have hit the
companies since payments form the central bank became erratic in September
last year.

"Retention of senior employees in the face of the ever deteriorating
economic environment is proving to be a very difficult challenge," Riozim
chairman Eric Kahari said.

He said Riozim was seriously considering an employee share option
scheme to avert the labour crisis.

Apart from mining, Zimbabwean health, education, manufacturing,
tourism and other professionals have fled the country in the past seven
years due to mounting problems sprouting from the mismanagement of the
economy.


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RBZ set to up withdrawals

Zim Independent

Paul Nyakazeya

THE Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) will in the next two weeks increase
cash withdrawal limits for individuals and corporates to keep pace with
galloping inflation.

The current limits have become inadequate because of the recent surge
in the prices of basic commodities. The dollar is also losing value at an
alarming rate.

The business community has been lobbying for a review since late May
arguing that the rate at which prices of goods and services was rising
required an individual to withdraw cash on successive days to meet daily
needs such as groceries, service bills and rent.

Business is proposing a review of $3,5 million from $1,5 million for
individuals and at least $7 million for companies.

The RBZ is said to be studying the proposals and has promised to come
back with new figures by early July. No official comment could be obtained
from the RBZ. The central bank last reviewed the limits on April 16.

Tight withdrawal limits were announced last July as part of the first
phase of the currency reform programme that saw the introduction of new
bearers' cheques. The central bank argued then that the new limits were part
of measures it was implementing to reduce speculation in the market. It
encouraged the use of plastic money and other payment systems.


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The return of the 000s

Zim Independent

Kuda Chikwanda

JUST 10 months after slashing three zeros from the local currency,
Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) governor, Gideon Gono, has come under renewed
pressure to remove another set of naughts because the accounting systems can
no longer cope with the figures due to hyperinflation.

Bankers told businessdigest that Zimbabwe's high inflation poses a
technical risk to the stability of information technology (IT) systems. The
bankers said very soon their IT systems would not be able to cope with the
increasing digits in the local currency.

They warned that banking systems
could crash in the next few months if the central bank does not move
to rectify the situation. Inflation continues to rise at an alarming pace,
inevitably bringing back the zeros on the face of bearer cheques. Media
reports this week said inflation rose to 4 530% from
3 700% in April. The Central Statistics Office had not released the
figures at the time of going to press yesterday.

CBZ Bank managing director, John Mangudya, said whilst his bank was
protected from the return of the zeros, he is not sure how they would
transact with other financial institutions which have not yet upgraded their
IT systems.

"The major problem is trade. It becomes difficult to transact with
some of our counterparts who are yet to upgrade and cannot cope with the
return of the zeros. The whole economy has to upgrade," Mangudya said.

Mangudya said inflation has now compromised trade between banking
institutions.

A senior executive with Kingdom Financial Holdings Ltd (KFHL) said
hyperinflation had caused the return of the zeros and was fast becoming a
threat to the financial services sector.

"There is now more punching in work, and data storage is used up
faster. If you look at the cash required everyday, it is now a challenge,"
the KFHL executive said. "It's like we are back to square one," he said.

"It is now back to the millions and billions that we had become used
to before the zeros were removed. Very soon we will be talking of trillions
again."

FBC Holdings group marketing director, Agrippa Mugwagwa, said they
were very concerned about the zeros coming back. He said FBC was in constant
discussions with the central bank on the matter. Institute of Chartered
Accountants of Zimbabwe (ICAZ) chief executive, Sonny Mabheju, said the
trend with which inflation has continued to rise unabated would almost
certainly result in the crashing of banking IT systems.

"By the time the zeros were removed last year, most systems were
failing to accommodate the digits. Most institutions are still using the
same software and the same hardware. The rate at which month-on-month
inflation is rising certainly spells doom," Mabheju said.

He said while no time frame could be attached, the threat of systems
collapsing was already imminent.

Gono revalued the Zimbabwean currency in August last year after
concerns from
the banking community that the increasing number of digits caused by
high inflation created technical risks for their financial systems.

The exercise saw $1 000 of the old family of bearer cheques being
revalued to $1 under the new family of bearer cheques.

However, inflation has continued to increase sharply as the economic
crisis deepens. At the time of revaluation last year inflation was 1 204%.
The dollar has lost 98,3% of its value since last August forcing the RBZ to
constantly review the maximum cash withdrawal limits. The central bank has
also introduced new $50 000 and $5 000 bearer's cheques.

The Consumer Council of Zimbabwe breadbasket for a family of six has
increased by 4 909% since September last year when it was $112 034. It is
now $5,5 million. In August last year bread was $80 000 and after
revaluation it cost $80. A loaf of bread now costs $24 000. Bearer cheques
were first introduced in 2003 after the highest denomination of bank notes -
the $1 000 - was driven out of circulation by rampant inflation.


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Mozambique reduces Zesa supplies over debt

Zim Independent

Kuda Chikwanda

MOZAMBIQUE'S power utility Hidroeléctrica de Cahora Bassa (HCB) has
reduced electricity supplies to Zimbabwe by 66% after Zesa Holdings failed
to settle a US$12 million debt dating back to 2004.

HCB last month reduced electricity exports to Zimbabwe by 450
megawatts to just 150 Megawatts per day.

Zesa has a firm electricity supply contract with HCB of 50 MW.
However, HCB has been providing Zimbabwe with 450 MW per day. This means
Mozambique has been supplying Zimbabwe with an extra 400 MW.

Reliable sources said this week HCB took the drastic measure after the
Zimbabwean government refused to give concrete assurances of early payment
of the debt.

This was after Mozambican Energy minister Salvador Namburette tried
unsuccessfully to meet Finance minister Samuel Mumbengegwi to discuss the
issue.

Namburette was in Zimbabwe in April for the Sadc Energy Ministers
Conference which ran concurrently with the Southern African Power Pool
(SAPP) executive meeting.

Sources said Namburette and HCB officials held a meeting with Energy
minister Mike Nyambuya and Zesa Holdings officials to discuss the debt which
has accumulated for the past the past three years.

"Nyambuya passed the buck on to government's chief finance man,
Mumbengegwi. Namburette tried to see Mumbengegwi but failed," the source
said.

Zesa Holdings chief executive office, Ben Rafemoyo, denied that HCB
had reduced its power supplies to Zesa.

"That contract was not firm to the extent of 450 MW which means it
could not be enforced. It is only firm to 50 MW which is contractual. Though
this figure is far less than what we need, we have been receiving much more.
We continue to access more than the firm contract," Rafemoyo said.

Zesa also owes US$5 million to the Democratic Republic of Congo's
power utility SNEL.

SNEL has a firm contract with Zesa to provide 150 MW to Zimbabwe's.

Zimbabwe is experiencing its worst power crisis since 1980 with
current generation and imports standing at half the total demand.

Generation and imports currently account provide 900 MW against total
demand of between 1 850 MW and 2000 MW.

The problem has been worsened by biting foreign currency shortages
which have seen Zesa struggling to raise funds to import power. Coupled with
recent generator failure at Kariba most parts of Zimbabwe have been forced
to go for 20 hours a day without power.

Local generation fell drastically at the start of this month after
Hwange Power Station (HPS) failed to secure adequate coal deliveries to
enable it to produce electricity.

The coal shortages saw Zesa lose 410 MW out of a possible 500 MW with
the current dilapidated equipment that is long overdue for overhaul.

While the entire Sadc region is facing power shortages which SAPP
warned of in 2005, Zimbabwe appears to be the only country reeling from
electricity shortages.

South Africa's Eskom and Zambia's Zesco did not renew their firm
contracts with Zimbabwe. This means they can only export power to Zesa when
it is available.


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ZSE battles to computerise

Zim Independent

Pindai Dube

THE Zimbabwe Stock Exchange (ZSE) is battling to comply with the
regional deadline to computerise the exchange by December next year,
businessdigest established this week.

Sadc stock markets resolved to computerise their systems by December
next year in order to harmonise trading.

It however emerged this week that the ZSE is failing to raise the US$2
million required for the complete computerisation of its systems.

ZSE chief executive officer, Emmanuel Munyukwi, this week confirmed
that the stock exchange had proposed to extend the deadline.

"In terms of the computerisation facility, the ZSE is actually
proposing an extension of the entire system so as to link with all other
stock exchanges regionally," Munyukwi said.

Munyukwi said the ZSE was proposing an extension to give it time to
raise the funds for the project. If successful, the link of the Sadc stock
exchanges is expected to attract new capital inflows into the region.

A Sadc stock exchange committee is expected to meet in the next few
weeks to consider the proposed extension of the deadline.

The meeting would review progress on the integration and how member
states can assist in economic development within the region.

Some of the issues to be discussed include the establishment of a
secondary bourse for the small to medium enterprises.

Apart from the ZSE, stock markets in Malawi, Swaziland and Zambia were
also facing problems.

ZSE has been trying to court international financiers to provide
offshore credit lines to help it complete the project.

Munyukwi said despite the problems of funding, the ZSE was committed
towards the programme. The ZSE is a small but dynamic African stock
exchange. It currently has the best return rate in the world.


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Bankers fail to thwart strike

Zim Independent

Shame Makoshori

GOVERNMENT this week blocked attempts by the Bank Employers
Association of Zimbabwe (BEAZ) to stop industrial action set for next
Tuesday saying the bankers had not given convincing reasons to stop the
strike.

BEAZ last week applied to the Ministry of Public Service and Social
Welfare requesting that the Zimbabwe Banks and Allied Workers' Union
(Zibawu) show cause why they were planning to strike. The appeal was however
thrown out by the ministry on Wednesday.

"The BEAZ show-cause order was thrown out," a senior official with
Zibawu said on Wednesday.

"But our notice is still running and we have told BEAZ they are in a
position to call off the strike on condition that they apply to the High
Court because there is a backlog at the Labour Court," the official said.

"The adjustments were supposed to be effected in March. There is no
room for delays. They are driving smart vehicles but workers who are their
biggest assets, are suffering."

BEAZ secretary-general Simba Manhondo refused to answer questions from
businessdigest.

Tension swelled after Zibawu discovered that some financial
institutions were paying salaries below the agreed minimum wages.

Figures seen by businessdigest this week revealed that one of the
leading commercial banks is paying its Grade C tellers $863 000 instead of
the agreed minimum gross salary of about $1,1 million per month.

Bank workers, who had been pushing for a 165% wage increment, are now
demanding that the BEAZ implement Tripartite Negotiating Forum (TNF)
recommendations that salaries be based on Consumer Price Index movements.

"Perhaps common sense will prevail on the employers' camp and they
will implement what was agreed at TNF," Zibawu told businessdigest. "If that
happens we will approach the negotiations with sober demands. But our
constituency is now restive."

Zibawu has also demanded that banks correct the "differentials" that
existed in salary structures prior to awarding the March increments and the
165% cost of living adjustment.

This would take the lowest paid worker in the industry to a minimum
salary of $626 725 per month from $236 500.


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Lending rates up

Zim Independent

Paul Nyakazeya

COMMERCIAL banks are adjusting their minimum lending rates in line
with run-away inflation, a move which economic analysts say could force the
Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) to hike overnight rates before the next
monetary policy statement.

Economists said it was highly likely that the central bank will review
secured and unsecured lending rates before the next monetary policy
statement scheduled for July.

The cost of borrowing rose by between 15% and 25% to between 550% and
630% for all commercial banks over the past three weeks. Secured and
unsecured accommodation rates are currently at 600% and 700% respectively.

While lending rates are too high to attract borrowings the banks are
offering low interests of between 8% and 30% rates for individual and
business savings.

Zimbabwe Allied Banking Group (ZABG) increased its rate to 625% but it
is paying 20% on savings.

Metropolitan which reviewed its lending rates to 650% is paying 5% on
savings. Kingdom, MBCA, Stanbic, ZB Bank, Standard Chartered and NMB
adjusted their lending rates to 550%. The banks are however paying between
6% and 10% on savings.

CBZ and Barclays are charging 540% and 525% respectively. FBC Bank is
charging the least at 500%. CBZ is paying 9% on savings while Barclays is
offering 8%.

The new rates will hit the companies which are already reeling from
the high cost of borrowing. Analysts say the rates are likely to continue
firming as long as the market remains short.

The money market on Monday opened in surplus of $185 billion after
being in the negative for almost every week since January on the back of
unspecified government expenditure.

The market was forecast to close $478 billion short today due to
statutory reserve payments and the Reserve Bank was on the market with
365-day paper and received total bids amounting to $1 billion at an average
rate of 348%.

The money market has remained an unattractive investment option
because of the massively negative real rates.

The mainstream industrial index which opened at 583 760,43 points at
the beginning of the years points is now above 40 million points. The mining
index which is now just above 20 million points opened the year at 354
464,10 points.


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Chalkboard news

Zim Independent

I WAS in Cape Town last week attending the supremely well-organised
World Association of Newspapers and World Editors Forum conferences. The
gathering of 1 600 media executives accentuated the fast-changing trends in
the media industry, influenced by technological advancements and the usual
age-old notion that news must always travel fast whatever medium is used to
relay information.

Media executives proudly shared information about their products, from
the avant-garde e-news outlets which enable consumers to access news on
cellphones, ipods and laptops, through to websites, good old newspapers and
down to Alfred Sirleaf is bulletin board in Liberia where news is
handwritten with chalk.

With such glaring dissimilarities in the employment of technology, one
cannot even start using the cliché "digital divide" because in parts of the
world, news is yet to enter the digital age, let alone for the print media.
While in the Third World, news is still disseminated using primeval means
like the chalkboard, or runners who deliver by word of mouth, still in these
environments speed and accuracy of information remain key.

The slow growth in technological advances in the developing world
bodes well for dictatorial tendencies of the ruling elites there. To them,
information is a dangerous tool that can arm the masses to start to demand
better governance. The so-called digital divide is therefore widening as the
relatively freer world is moving at break-neck speeds to develop new media
products and systems to tell the story first and convey it to a varied
audience using the most convenient media.

To facilitate this, media houses have started to reinvent the
traditional newsrooms usually staffed by old school hacks high on coffee and
nicotine, to include computer programmers, new media technicians,
photographers, television camerapersons and broadcasters. These all gather
in large rooms with futuristic designs which have managed to flush editors
out of their cocoons. They now sit with staffers and hear the crude
shopfloor banter and jibes but more importantly share ideas without strict
adherence to hierarchical protocol of going through line editors and
supervisors. The goal at the end of it all is to create a continuous
newsdesk which works round the clock feeding the various footage, voice and
text to the public.

As William Lewis of the Daily Telegraph put it in a presentation at
the conference, readers are demanding contents in new formats, advertisers
are seeking new ways to reach audiences. With integration "we give our
consumers what they want, when they want and in the format they want it", he
said.

The recently launched Daily Times, in South Africa, a sibling of the
Sunday Times is a step towards integration. The craze is coming closer to
home.

The new age of integration of news platforms is allowing the media
houses to cover the same story using as many media as possible. New-age
journos now cover stories armed with digital video and still cameras,
palmtops and 3-G phones which allow them to transmit realtime images,
footage and sound to audiences. The same reporter is still required to file
a story for the evening paper or the next day's edition. All this coming
from one news centre! The debate though on the survival of newspapers in
this digital age is just starting as media houses are literally scooping
themselves. The common trend that is emerging is the "web-first" policy
where news is available on line before more in-depth coverage in the print
version.

The use of new-age technology is also inviting citizens into the
newsroom. There is now greater use of user-generated content from citizens.
That is non-journalists providing stories, pictures and footage to
integrated media houses.

There is again debate on the credibility of this form of content and
the capacity of media houses - in a hurry to tell the story - to perform
prudent gatekeeping. Citizen journalism has its roots in the notion that
journalists have slowly lost their monopoly as opinion leaders. Their job is
now to filter user-generated content to ensure that it does not degenerate
into dangerous copy. We have seen a lot of it lately on online editions
reporting Zimbabwe from abroad which have become hosts to embarrassing
unprofessionalism.

Then there is the issue of weblogs or simply blogs which are now being
linked to newspaper websites. They can enhance a news site and with equal
measure can erode credibility if bloggers' contributions are not verified.
But exponents of this new craze believe that news sites should provide
platforms for interactivity with its publics and comment must not be trashed
because it's considered undesirable.

As Steve Outing of the Washington Post put it, "Public discussion is
scary and can get messy,"
barring it would only "demonstrate that your organisation doesn't
understand the current media landscape."


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Poll boycott the way to go

Zim Independent

DEAR Editor,

Your June 8 (Independent) issue publication had some very interesting
articles by Brian Raftopoulos, Professor Moyo and Dumisani Muleya on the
current state of affairs in Zimbabwe. I have a completely different
perception of the likely outturn in Zimbabwe. In my opinion, the oppostion
which includes political parties, the church and civil society hold the "ace
in the pack".

If free and fair elections are held the oppositon will beat Zanu PF
hands down. It is important for the opposition to participate in the
elections only "if the elections are not only free and fair but are also
seen to be free and fair". Muna Ndulo in the Mail & Guardian outlined
clearly the minimum conditions for free and fair elections. The conditions
are:

l International observers must ensure that each stage of the election
is satisfactory and pronounce their judgement at each of the key stages: the
registration of voters; the campaign period and the voting and counting of
votes;

l These minimum conditions must be accompanied by electoral and
constitutional reform.

If these minimum conditions are not met the opposition should boycott
the elections. What Mbeki and Zanu PF are looking for is legitimacy for
Robert Mugabe. If the opposition do not participate then that legitimacy is
"pie in the sky".

So the oppostion are in a very strong position contrary to current
views being expressed in the media. If free elections are held they will
win. If conditions for free and fair elections do not exist they must
boycott the election and Mugabe will not get the legitimacy that he craves.
Eventually the people will revolt and push him out of power.

Totemless,

Croydon, Surrey, UK.


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Law-making process undemocratic - experts

Zim Independent

Orirando Manwere

THE current legislative process is partisan, undemocratic and subject
to political abuse by the incumbent party, legal experts have said.

There is therefore an urgent need for stakeholders to push for a new
constitution which should make provision for the specific role of parliament
to promote a new culture of democracy and tolerance and ensure that the
House is not used to merely rubber stamp unpopular laws and policies which
end up affecting the country's development.

The experts said this could be achieved through rational adoption of
recommendations from portfolio committees and stakeholders, including the
abolition of the party whipping system through caucuses, open voting by show
of hands or division of the House on critical issues which affect the
nation.

The current system, said the experts, has seen rational legislators
from different parties, fearing reprisals, being forced to toe respective
party lines and voting for unpopular and retrogressive legislation
detrimental to economic development.

The experts have noted with concern that the constitutional rights of
citizens to liberty, fair trial, protection from inhuman treatment,
protection from deprivation of property, arbitrary search, protection of the
law, freedom of expression, conscience, movement, assembly and association,
among others, are no longer guaranteed as the state is increasingly
interfering with the independence and integrity of the judiciary which is
mandated to protect these rights.

Presenting papers on the topic "The Judiciary in Troubled Times" at a
public forum organised by the Research Foundation of Zimbabwe in Harare last
week, leading human rights lawyers Advocate Eric Matinenga, Alec Muchadehama
and Beatrice Mtetwa (Law Society of Zimbabwe president) expressed concern at
the current partisan and undemocratic law-making process and government's
interference with the judiciary.

Coincidentally, despite clarion calls from stakeholders on the need
for a new constitution, the government, on the strength of its majority in
parliament, is going ahead with Constitutional Amendment Number 18 and
enacting more repressive laws ahead of the scheduled 2008 presidential and
parliamentary elections.

The amendment seeks to expand the House of Assembly and harmonise
presidential and parliamentary elections under the existing controversial
electoral laws, among others things.

A new constitution and amendment of existing electoral laws are the
major issues the opposition and civic society are hoping South African
president Thabo Mbeki will address in his mediation efforts initiated by
Sadc heads of government.

However, while the Mbeki mediation is now underway, the government is
going
ahead with a parallel process to amend the constitution and last week
gazetted the amendment Bill which is likely to be adopted because of the
ruling party's majority in the legislature.

Responding to a question on the challenges faced by legal experts and
other stakeholders in contributing meaningfully towards the legislative
process, Matinenga said the hurdles faced by the profession could only be
resolved through a constitutional challenge.

"It's true we in the legal fraternity and other concerned citizens are
in a dilemma in this regard," said Matinenga. "Under the current set up, it's
parliament that makes laws and we have very little input that we can make
although we sometimes make recommendations during consultative meetings with
portfolio committees on some pieces of legislation which affect us. But at
the end of the day, it's parliament which decides and the party with the
majority has the final decision on the outcome of any piece of legislation."

He added: "So the only way that can be corrected is through a
constitutional challenge. We need a core of lawyers who can stand up and
make a constitutional challenge to ensure that there are clear provisions
that would ensure a more inclusive and representative process," said
Matinenga.

In her presentation, Mtetwa, who was last month arrested and assaulted
by police during a peaceful demonstration against the arrest of fellow
lawyers Mchadehama and Andrew Makoni, concurred that government was abusing
the legislature to enact repressive laws to ensure its continued stay in
power.

"The ruling Zanu PF party has and continues to take advantage of its
majority in parliament to enact repressive laws like the Public Order and
Security Act, the Access to Information and Protection of Privacy Act, among
others to remain in power.

"There is no meaningful contribution towards the enactment of laws by
the judiciary, legal practitioners or other stakeholders. So as LSZ, we
appeal to our members to continue fighting and taking up controversial human
rights abuse cases for records purposes for any future reference.

"If we do not challenge this, who will ensure the protection of
innocent citizens? We have to continue fighting lest the law of the jungle
prevails in our society," said Mtetwa.

Muchadehama said through abuse of the legislative process, government
had over the years legitimised farm invasions and the unlawful arrest of
journalists, human rights defenders and openly encouraged assaults and
contempt of court and pardoning of perpetrators of politically motivated
violence.

He cited the Presidential Clemency Order Number 1 of 2000 which saw
amnesty being granted to kidnappers, torturers, assailants and arsonists who
wreaked havoc during the 2000 election campaign.

Muchadehama said apart from enacting repressive laws, it was
unfortunate that the judiciary has become the punching bag and the weakest
among the three pillars of the state.

"It has been observed that of the three pillars of the government, the
judiciary is the weakest. It has neither the power of the purse, nor the
power of the sword, neither money, nor patronage on the one hand nor
physical force to enforce its decision on the other hand. It merely relies
on the support of the people by virtue of its moral authority," he said.

In an interview on Tuesday, MDC chief whip Innocent Gonese who is
member of the Parliamentary Legal Committee, confirmed the undemocratic
legislative process, adding that it could only be resolved through a
constitutional process.

"This would help avoid situations where there are disagreements within
the party, portfolio committees and in the House when Bills are tabled,"
said Gonese. "But under the current set up, legislation is initiated by the
executive and brought to parliament by an incumbent minister. Through
caucuses and the whipping system, there is no meaningful debate as even
rational legislators from the ruling party are forced to toe the line. They
are scared of expressing their opinions and the end result is half baked
legislation without looking at its implications," he said.

Gonese cited the adoption of the Constitutional Amendment (Number 17)
Act where the House was openly divided into two during the vote.

He said despite recommendations of portfolio committees comprising
legislators from opposing parties, the ruling party continued to use its
majority to adopt the proposed changes.

He also cited the shooting down of the recommendations of the
portfolio committee on local government, public works and urban development
on the controversial take over of water and sewer reticulation by the
Zimbabwe National Water Authority.

Gonese pointed out that even when there was a damning report by the
parliamentary legal committee, a Bill would be decided through voting and
the majority party would decide.

He added that under the current set up, private motions by opposition
legislators on pertinent issues were always shot down.

"We need to develop a new culture of democracy and tolerance to ensure
that our legislative-making process is inclusive and represents the wishes
of the generality of our populace," said Gonese.

Muchadehama also summarised the dilemma which citizens find themselves
while depending on the law for protection of their rights.

Quoting remarks by former chief justice Antony Gubbay who was also
making reference to Justice Hand, Muchadehama said: "I often wonder whether
we do not rest our hopes too much upon constitutions, upon laws and upon
courts. These are false hopes, believe me. They are false hopes. Liberty
lies in the hearts of men and women. When it dies there, no constitution, no
law, no court can do much to help it.

"When law fails, people take the law into their own hands and society
starts to disintegrate from within. The result is the law of the jungle,
survival of the fittest and a general state of decay in society."


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Anti-corruption fight futile unless big fish netted

Zim Independent

By Obert Gutu

THE Zimbabwean economy is on the verge of total collapse. This crisis
has been a direct result of poor governance coupled with massive and
unmitigated corruption in both the public and private sectors, particularly
from the late 1990s onwards.

There is a certain school of thought that passionately argues that
Zimbabwe's economic decay is a direct result of the so-called "illegal"
sanctions imposed against the country by the West. It is my humble
submission that this is a simplistic and escapist explanation for Zimbabwe's
virtual economic collapse.

This is a myopic and self-serving type of reasoning, typical of people
who are in denial and who continue to stubbornly bury their heads in the
sand in the vain hope that Zimbabwe's economic collapse will simply be
resolved by the lifting of the so-called "illegal" targeted sanctions.

The economic and socio-political decay in our country is chiefly
attributable to rampant corruption, political repression and poor macro- as
well as micro-economic governance.

In order to effectively fight the scourge of corruption, Zimbabwe
needs a truly independent, powerful and effective Anti-Corruption
Commission. The commission should therefore not be a mere extension of the
executive but should act as the rallying point for the fight against
corruption in our country.

Corruption is simply defined as the abuse of an entrusted position for
private gain.

Corruption in Zimbabwe is definitely not a monopoly of the government
and the ruling party only. Indeed, there is massive and rampant corruption
in the private sector, civil society organisations, non-governmental
organisations and even in opposition political parties.

Thus, for the fight against corruption to be effective and successful,
the cancer of corruption should be tackled head-on and there should be no
sacred cows.

The anti-corruption commission in Zimbabwe was introduced through
Constitutional Amendment Act No 16, promulgated in the year 2000. This
constitutional amendment introduced Section 108A to the Constitution of
Zimbabwe which, in a nutshell, provides that the president shall appoint
members of the anti-corruption commission.

The Anti-Corruption Commission shall consist of at least four and not
more than nine members appointed by the president.

Personally, I am very uncomfortable with the sweeping powers given to
the president in his role of appointing members of the Anti-Corruption
Commission. The practice in Zimbabwe is that only persons with either a
direct or indirect link to the ruling party will end up being appointed to
the Anti-Corruption Commission and to the boards of parastatals and various
other quasi-governmental organisations.

Inevitably, therefore, the Anti-Corruption Commission will be
perceived as a partisan institution which clearly lacks the willpower or the
moral authority to effectively monitor and combat corruption - especially
corruption in high government and political circles.

Little wonder therefore that although the Anti-Corruption Commission
in Zimbabwe has been in existence for more than two years, its activities
are not visible to the average person and there is very little, if any,
major corruption scandals that have been publicly unearthed and thereafter
prosecuted at the behest of the commission.

Section 108A of the Constitution of Zimbabwe states that the main
function of the Anti-Corruption Commission shall be to combat corruption,
theft, misappropriation, abuse of power and other improprieties in the
conduct of affairs in both the public and private sectors.

As I have already indicated, and with due respect to our
Anti-Corruption Commission, it has come out as a toothless bulldog that has
done very little, if anything at all, to combat corruption in our country.

Corruption is fashionable in today's Zimbabwe. Corruption cuts across
the fabric of society, through the racial, ethnic, religious and even
political divide. Corruption in Zimbabwe has become a monster, a deadly and
cancerous virus threatening to wipe Zimbabwe from the face of the earth.

Unless something is done to combat corruption in our motherland, every
Tom Dick and Harry in Zimbabwe will be reduced to a corrupt deal maker.
Instead of celebrating success brought about by sheer honest hard work, in
Zimbabwe we now have a country of fly-by-night billionaires who rake in
millions every hour without contributing anything at all to the country's
economic sustenance!

Instead of blaming the West, and crying foul about the so-called
"illegal" sanctions, we should take a hard introspective look at ourselves
and ask ourselves why seven years after the so-called land reform programme
was embarked upon we still find ourselves in the humiliating position where
we have to import maize from Malawi and Zambia of all countries! Isn't this
a national disgrace of unprecedented dimensions?

My argument is that for the Anti-Corruption Commission to be effective
its independence must be guaranteed. This is in tune with international
standards. Even the Sadc Protocol on Corruption, signed by Zimbabwe in
August 2001, refers to the setting up of institutions that will fight
corruption.

It is universally agreed that an Anti-Corruption Commission should be
independent in order for it to be effective. To this extent, therefore, I
have always wondered why in Zimbabwe we have a government ministry
responsible for anti-monopolies and anti-corruption.

What Zimbabwe needs is a truly independent and effective
Anti-Corruption Commission and not a government ministry responsible for
fighting corruption. Surely, you cannot expect a wolf to hunt down fellow
wolves.

The public should be involved in the selection of members of the
Anti-Corruption Commission. Nominations should be invited, through
parliament, from the public stating clear criteria of the qualities required
for appointment to such a commission. Parliament will then peruse and choose
and shortlist nominees found and this shortlist will then be taken to the
president for endorsement.

In my humble opinion, appointment to the Anti-Corruption Commission
should be people-driven and people-centered. It should never be by way of
being the president's blue-eyed boy or being a member of the ruling party.

Persons nominated for appointment to the Anti-Corruption Commission
should have personal integrity and they must also come from organisations
that respect, uphold and enforce accountability and transparency. Of course,
the Anti-Corruption Commission should have gender balance.

Corruption undermines good governance, distorts public policy and
leads to the misallocation of resources leading to low or slow development
and ultimately hurting those who can least afford it - the poor,
marginalised and indigent majority.

In order for it to be effective and independent, our Anti-Corruption
Commission should be given adequate financial resources by the national
fiscus. The commission, besides having the powers of investigation, should
also be given the powers of prosecution. It should not rely on the
Attorney-General who is part of cabinet.

We have all heard about the south-east Asian economic resurgence. This
is mainly so because countries in south-east Asia such as Singapore,
Hong-Kong and Malaysia have managed to demonstrate that strong political
will and the building of correct institutions are essential tools in rooting
out corruption.

It is not impossible to reduce and even eradicate corruption in both
the public and private sectors in Zimbabwe. Let us save our motherland. Our
country is facing the challenge of specific and pronounced institutional
failure cutting across the whole fabric of our society.

Agricultural production has seriously declined in recent years; the
manufacturing sector is tottering on the verge of collapse; the public
health sector is in the intensive care unit; and the education sector has
not been spared from this decay.

If you visit the University of Zimbabwe campus today, the general
outlook of institutional decay is striking. Halls of residence are in a
state of general dilapidation and even the grounds and gardens are in dire
need of manicure. We should not let our country go to the dogs just like
that. The fight against corruption must be vigorous and multi-faceted.

As long as the real big players in the corruption underworld remain
scot-free and untouchable, the so-called anti-corruption crusade by the
government will always remain a façade - a political smokescreen to hoodwink
people into believing that the government is determined to fight corruption.
Of late, small fish have been fried ruthlessly while the real big
fish and the Mafioso of Zimbabwe's corruption underworld remain
untouched.

Corruption will drive this country to oblivion unless and until the
government becomes serious in fighting and combating this scourge.

Obert Gutu is a Zimbabwean lawyer writing from Harare. He can be
contacted on: gutulaw@mweb.co.zw


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How about monetary sovereignty?

Zim Independent

By Chris Mhike

WHILE Zimbabwean rulers scream hoarse about political sovereignty,
declaring that "Zimbabwe will never be a colony again", fiscal and monetary
authorities seem to sing a different tune.

The Ministry of Finance, the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) and other
politicians are advocating the superiority of the United States dollar, the
British pound, the euro and other foreign currencies over the local
currency, at least in the import-duty arena.

Statutory Instrument 80A of 2007, gazetted in early April this year,
provides that "payment of customs duty and value-added tax on the
importation of any items of goods designated as luxury items shall be
payable in United States dollars, euros, or any other currency denominated
under the Exchange Control Act".

The importation of motor cars has been the worst affected commercial
activity.

The legality of these recent import regulations is currently
contentious, especially without authoritative judicial precedent on the
matter. A sound judgment of the High Court or Supreme Court could be useful
in settling the question.

Government, the RBZ and the Zimbabwe Revenue Authority (Zimra) all
maintain that the imposition of duty in forex is perfectly legal. But a
careful consideration of relevant statutes suggests otherwise.

A good starting point for the discussion on the legality or illegality
of the subject policy would be the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe Act [Chapter
22:15], No. 5 of 1999.

One of the functions of the RBZ under that Act is "to achieve and
maintain the stability of the Zimbabwe dollar". That naturally includes
upholding the supremacy of the local dollar within our borders.

The RBZ Act empowers the central bank to issue local currency, and
sections 41 and 44 of the same Act compel individuals and institutions in
the country to honour local currency.

These two sections stipulate that any tender for payment of money
within Zimbabwe, if made in banknotes or coins of current mass, which have
been issued by the RBZ, and which have not been demonetised, shall be legal
tender of the amount expressed in the note or coin.

Those provisions should be read together with the definition of the
term "currency", as given in the Customs and Excise Act, which states that
"currency" refers to "any bill of exchange, promissory note . . . or other
document issued to obtain currency or credit for an amount of money".

The promissory note referred to in the definition includes local
banknotes and bearer cheques. On the banknote, the governor of the Reserve
Bank promises "to pay the bearer on demand . . . dollars".

On the bearer cheque the governor orders recipients to "pay the bearer
on demand . . . dollars . . ." In both instances, "dollars" refers to the
Zimbabwe dollar.

The net significance of the given statutes, therefore, is to establish
the supremacy of the Zimbabwe dollar above all other currencies within the
borders of the country. The promises and dictates on local banknotes raise
contractual obligations upon the RBZ, all institutions and the transacting
public to have high, if not sacred regard, to the actuality of the Zimbabwe
dollar.

The supremacy of the Zimbabwe dollar in Zimbabwe, over all other
currencies, is indeed in line with the legal concept of monetary
sovereignty.

Monetary sovereignty certainly entails the right to issue currency,
the right to determine and change the value of that currency, and the
regulation of the use of the currency with the borders.

If political, monetary and fiscal authorities have lost confidence in
the credibility of the Zimbabwe dollar, they should therefore seek solutions
to the credibility crisis from any of the tenets of monetary sovereignty.

Whichever way one looks at it, and whether the "duty in forex" policy
is legal or illegal, what becomes clear from the collation of the country's
laws, and the contents of our banknotes, is that the determination of import
duty in foreign currency seriously compromises the county's monetary
sovereignty.

The Zimbabwe dollar ought to be the country's flagship in monetary
circles, just as Air Zimbabwe is the country's flagship when our rulers fly
around the world.

This latest demotion of the local currency in the import duty regime,
from supreme currency to second-class money, amounts to the lowering of the
Zimbabwean monetary flag and the raising in its place of the American
dollar, the British pound, the European euro and other "acceptable" foreign
currencies.

We cannot as a nation shun "any inch of Europe" and yet at the same
time fret over Europe's coins and notes. That would clearly suggest that as
a nation we are covetous and materialistic in our outlook - doing anything
for "their" money.

The same concept of political sovereignty applies in monetary
discourse. Indeed, just as political independence is meaningless without
economic independence, economic independence (with the farms and industries
back in black hands) is empty without monetary sovereignty.

If a citizen within the borders of the country offers to pay for the
duty relating to the importation of her property, and that offer is declined
in preference for the state's receipt of the currency of a foreign nation,
the RBZ would have failed in its statutory duty to protect the integrity of
the local dollar.

The rejection of local currency by the rulers also amounts to the
breach of the contract which is recorded on every banknote.

Another cloud that hangs over the legality of the subject duty arises
from customary international law and from the Geneva Convention of April 20
1929, which both protect a state's right to issue currency against foreign
states.

If Zimbabwe wishes to use American dollars for any of its internal
transactions, it follows that her leaders should ask President George Bush
for permission to use American property, if not out of respect for the US's
monetary sovereignty, then at least out of courtesy.

There is nothing to date to suggest that President Robert Mugabe has
sent an application to Bush for such permission. The latest duty policy
would therefore be in contravention of international law and rules of
etiquette, in addition to the breaches of domestic law.

The new regulations should also be weighed in relation to their
friendliness or usefulness to citizens. Democracy has often been described
as the governance of people, by the people, for the people. It is clear that
the policy has not and will not benefit ordinary citizens.

Finance minister Samuel Mumbengegwi claimed that the policy would
"influence investment patterns towards the more production oriented
activities as part of strategies to turn around our economy".

But with inflation, and other economic and political variables running
as wild as never before, what investment could one seriously talk about!

Chris Mhike is a Harare-based lawyer.


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Handouts are not the answer

Zim Independent

Comment

HIS week the central bank and government once again dug deep into
their reserves of invention to find the cure to hyperinflation which is
wreaking havoc on the economy. They came up with tractors.

At a ceremony to hand over farming implements to politicians, farmers
and business executives in Harare, Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe governor Gideon
Gono said the equipment would help to fight inflation.

"The world must know that we are now focused on productivity which in
turn will help us bring down inflation and generate foreign exchange through
increased production and exports."

Gono's statement comes in the wake of government's unbudgeted 600%
increase in civil servants wages and allowances, some of which are backdated
to the beginning of the year. Here is a government that for two decades has
broken its every pledge to contain expenditure and cut back on the
ballooning budget deficit.

Only last year, former Finance minister Herbert Murerwa in his 2007
budget speech promised the nation that the government would institute
measures to contain expenditure.

"As we move forward, it will be critical that the 2007 budget
expenditure levels be consistent with a credible anti-inflation programme,
targeted at drastically reducing money supply growth," said Murerwa. "This
is the only way we will begin to have a firm hand in containing inflation, a
prerequisite for building confidence and dealing with high inflation
expectations."

There is no evidence of that to date as the government wage bill alone
is estimated to be three times more than the resources budgeted for the
whole year and our government, including the highest office, has no regrets
about failure on this front. The Zanu PF government now believes that
economic salvation will come from printing money as is evidenced by the huge
salary hikes for civil servants.

The same technocrats do not see anything remiss here as the country
heads towards an election. There will be no commitment in the near future to
halt over-expenditure which is largely responsible for the growth in money
supply. This front has been abandoned and a new one was being prepared this
week - food inflation.

We do not dispute the contribution of food price hikes to inflation
but we do not believe that the weapons that have been wheeled onto the deck
to fight the scourge will achieve victory for the state.

The Zimbabwean agricultural system was in the pre-land reform era
well-equipped and producers did not require state handouts to buy tractors,
combine harvesters and other tillage implements. These were procured through
structured financing from financial institutions and in some cases through
profits from commodity sales.

The system of political patronage that guided the land reform
programme destroyed processes that supported agriculture. It is still the
same system that was evident on Monday when tractors were dished out to
people who grabbed choice properties between 2000 and 2002. A number of them
looted equipment, dug up irrigation pipes and disassembled tractors to sell
as scrap metal or parts.

Piled-up equipment which is rusting in the sun at service centres
along major roads leading to key farming areas bears testimony to the state
of senselessness. There is equipment at Selous along the Bulawayo Road, at
Melfort along Mutare Road and in Mount Hampden along the Chirundu Road.

In December 2005 the government ruled it would "compulsorily acquire"
any farming equipment and material left behind by white farmers. Under the
regulations it became an offence for a farmer to damage or get rid of any
equipment without authorisation from the Lands minister.

There is no public record of the use of the equipment and the names of
the beneficiaries.

The issue here really is that the agricultural sector cannot be
revived by giving handouts to farmers who do not regard faming as a
business. We have seen the ineffectiveness of various farming packages that
offered cheap money to farmers to produce crops. They have failed to spur
production in wheat, tobacco and maize. Beneficiaries have become very rich
in sharp contrast with the state of the economy.

The government must come up with a value-for-money audit of all past
loans dished out to farmers. Results of such audits must be made public to
name and shame those who have abused such loans.

The challenge is for the state to devise a scientific agricultural
model that feeds into our failing industry. Throwing money at the problem is
not the answer.


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Candid Comment

Zim Independent

by Dumisani Muleya

LAST Friday the government gazetted Constitutional Amendment (Number
18) Bill which, among other things, seeks to synchronise presidential and
parliamentary elections in March next year.

The controversial Bill is being marketed by government as a
well-intentioned proposal to smooth the conduct and management of polls.
There is nothing sinister about the Bill, we are told, except in government
detractors' view.

However, it is not unreasonable to think that President Robert Mugabe's
ulterior motive in all these Machiavellian manoeuvres is simply to maintain
power for life.

In fact, it's perhaps somewhat naïve to think that Mugabe is fighting
only to aid the smooth running of elections. It would be a crass lack of
caution to imagine Mugabe wants to contest elections and retire after the
polls as some want us to believe.

Mugabe only recently said that he would not go and leave his fractured
party to disintegrate, perhaps along ethnic and regional faultlines. It was
very revealing and showed his true intentions.

With this in mind progressive folk in Zanu PF, the MDC and President
Thabo Mbeki as mediator in the Zimbabwe crisis must stop government's
constitutional amendment plan - which is clear political monkey business -
in its tracks because it is a stumbling block to talks that formally start
tomorrow.

This brings me to the issue of internal dynamics in Zanu PF. The
faction of the ruling party led by retired army commander Solomon Mujuru has
been struggling to block Mugabe's plans, especially after thwarting his
equally self-serving 2010 proposal.

We have often been told of how powerful and influential the Mujuru
camp is and we have watched with interest its performance in the tussle for
power in Zanu PF.

The other faction led by Emmerson Mnangagwa appears to be seeking
accommodation with Mugabe instead of tackling his plans. There is nothing
strategic about this position - it's just trouble-free cowardice typical of
the group.

Now that the Bill has been gazetted and will in August be introduced
for debate in parliament, the Mujuru faction has the best opportunity to
show what stuff it is made of. Those in the camp have always threatened to
block the Bill in parliament, upping the ante in the Zanu PF power game.

The stakes are very high on this issue and if the Mujuru camp wants to
show its credentials as a faction with sufficient grit to confront Mugabe,
then the stage is set for a battle royal. The Mujuru camp only needs to
convince nine ruling party MPs to vote with the MDC and Jonathan Moyo to
block the Bill.

If the faction is really as influential as we have been told it should
be the easiest of tasks to achieve a political victory over Mugabe and
hopefully trigger a sea change in Zanu PF and national politics. This is
even more urgent for them because the Bill is designed to frustrate their
candidate, Vice-President Joice Mujuru, and entrench Mugabe in power.

So the ball is in the Mujuru camp's court.

What is urgently needed to nip the Bill in the bud, first and
foremost, is not the numbers in parliament, but political strategy and
courage.

The Mujuru faction must remember Machiavelli in The Prince, politics
is about one and only one thing: obtaining and maintaining power. Mugabe
knows this very well and appears to live by the philosophy.

Everything else - religion, morality, etc - people associate with
politics has nothing to do with this fundamental aspect, unless being moral
helps one to get and keep power.

This is not an encouragement for the Mujuru faction to seek power for
its own sake. Far from it, it is a challenge because we often hear the
Mujuru faction is powerful, something which we now doubt very much. In fact,
some now say the whole thing is a myth, a tired and detested fable. But the
truth is some of us simply don't know. That's why the Bill would be an acid
test for them.

The Mujuru faction would need forthright and courageous leadership if
it really entertains fighting Mugabe over his plans. Threatening to do so in
dark backrooms and in private places does not help anyone if it doesn't find
expression in public fora like parliament. If they have the courage of their
convictions why can't they tell Mugabe in a straight-forward manner that
they are opposed to his proposals and hear what he says? Courage in
political leadership can be expressed in many different ways. It can be
changing a strategy or tactics in shifting circumstances like in Zanu PF. It
can be maintaining an ethical stance in the face of blatant risks. Courage
is a key factor in driving out the fear that is prevalent in many
authoritarian political parties such as Zanu PF.

Neither political courage nor leadership can be founded on the action
of an individual or a group which lacks self-belief. Political actions would
fall somewhat closer to rashness in the event of lack of courage of one's
convictions. This is the challenge for the Mujuru faction. Either the camp
rises to the occasion in parliament or it simply shuts up and lives with
Margaret Dongo's rather unkind conclusion: Zanu PF MPs are Mugabe's wives.


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'England made me'-Matonga

Zim Independent

MuckRaker

RESIDENT reaches out to MDC," the Herald announced on Tuesday. Not
with his fists this time but with tractors.

In what was clearly an attempt by government to legitimise the land
expropriation programme and to implicate the MDC, Mugabe called for national
unity at a ceremony to distribute 925 tractors and other equipment to
farmers.

It was a very revealing show. While we knew some MDC officials such as
Welshman Ncube and Renson Gasela had acquired land under the land
redistribution programme, the government propaganda machine tried to
lengthen the list to include Arthur Mutambara, Gibson Sibanda, Thokozani
Khupe, Innocent Gonese, Giles Mutsekwa, Blessing Chebundo, Job Sikhala,
Tapiwa Mashakada, Alois Chaimiti, Tongai Matutu, Njabaliso Mguni, Jealous
Sansole, and Joel Gabbuza.

Mutambara and the MPs exposed government's deceit by making it clear
they do not own farms acquired under the land reform programme. Mutambara
said if offered the equipment, he would reject it with contempt.

But the Herald on Wednesday continued to ventilate this lie in a funny
piece on the leader page by Hatred Zenenga (When was he liberated from the
commissioner's pool?) declaring that RBZ governor Gideon Gono, an architect
of the tractors ruse, was "gifted with exceptional abilities" to unite
people.

Zimbabweans cannot be united by this infantile attempt to validate a
programme characterised by violence and political malice; a programme that
led to the crisis we are in now.

However, that said, there were obviously individuals receiving
government gifts who should know better. For those business people wondering
why the CZI has lost its voice and no longer speaks for them the answer is
not difficult to discern: current CZI president Callistus Jokonya is among
the beneficiaries. So is ZNCC president Marah Hativagone. And will anybody
take Doug Taylor-Freeme seriously as a spokesman for the farming community
after this?

Nobody would mind if these farms had been acquired under a transparent
programme designed to enhance agricultural productivity and social justice.
Instead agricultural output has collapsed, cronies have been rewarded, and
the UNDP, normally anxious to indulge the regime, cannot be persuaded to
release a letter to donors saying it approves.

We are only surprised that the Herald didn't include judges on its
list of those whose judgement has proved manifestly wanting.

A reader mailed us last week with an interesting profile of deputy
Information minister Bright Matonga compiled by a local college website in
the UK in 2001, just before his return to Zimbabwe to take up a post as head
of television services at ZBC.

Matonga moved to Essex in 1994 to join the first ever cohort of
students to study for a Media Production and Technology degree at South East
Essex College.

"Bright has spent seven years in Essex and during his time here has
gained a degree, new career and new family," the website announced with some
pride.

"When he first came here at the age of 27 from Harare in Zimbabwe, he
was coming from a completely different environment where white and black
people were segregated and although he could speak English, Shona was his
mother tongue."

The liberation war temporarily halted his education when he was 10,
the website tells us. In 1982, at the age of 16, he went back to school to
do Grade 6 in a class with 10-year-olds.

"Can you imagine being in a class with 10-year-olds? It was very
embarrassing but I had the opportunity to go back to school and restart so
you have to lower yourself to those youngsters and put on the uniform."

During his time at college in the UK there was a worrying period when
it looked like the Home Office might send him back to Zimbabwe as they had
mislaid his passport with his visa application. Local MP, Sir Teddy Taylor,
represented him and the college also supported him. Fortunately just before
it reached the hearing, the mistake was realised and he was able to stay and
complete the degree.

Matonga completed the degree in 1998 with a lower second. His father
travelled from Zimbabwe to attend the graduation ceremony. Matonga said: "It
was an experience for him as it was the first time he'd been to England. He'd
always wanted to come. It was challenging for him to sit in a graduation
hall full of white people and to just mix with white people. I explained to
him that it was different here to Zimbabwe and people were just treated like
people.

"Theresa Gorman MP invited us to the Conservative Party's annual
dinner. She had also helped me with the visa as she was MP for Billericay
and I had moved to that area at that time. She introduced us as visitors
from Zimbabwe and for my father that was the highlight of the tour."

In the final year of the degree, the website reveals, Matonga did work
experience at the BBC World Service and trained with them. In 1998 when he
was in Zimbabwe, he covered the Champion's League Final for the BBC. He also
worked at Spectrum Radio (a London-based radio station specialising in
programmes for ethnic minorities) and wrote for New African magazine. When
he enquired about the position at ZBC the company sent someone to England to
interview him.

Matonga said: "When the news came in I was excited as when I went back
in 1998 there were things on the TV and radio that I thought were tacky so I
thought I would change them if ever I got the opportunity. Now I am
wondering where I am going to start."

Matonga said he would miss the UK.

"I will miss England a lot as this country has made me the person I am
today and has given me the opportunity to further my studies."

He said it, not us.

Matonga's training in Essex was sadly not in evidence during his
interview with former Iraqi prime minister Ibraham al-Jaafari in the
Saturday Herald. His first question was: "How is the situation like in Iraq
at the moment?"

The response should have been: "Thank you for that gift of a
question." But despite his interviewer's indulgence, the former PM told us
little of value except that the Americans were "interfering" everywhere and
bombing everyone.

This enabled the Herald sub-editors (or Bright) to craft the following
introduction: "The situation in Iraq where Iraqis are being persecuted by
American and Western powers is almost similar to the situation in Zimbabwe
where Zimbabweans are being persecuted for refusing to give away their
birthright."

Indeed, persecuted by their own government! And there are armed bands
who roam the country abducting and in some cases killing people just because
they hold different beliefs. The parallel is more obvious than we had
thought. Our thanks to the Herald for alerting us to this dire situation!

Matonga's poor grounding in democratic fundamentals, despite his
British education, was on display in responses made to the Zimbabwe
Independent's story on money spent by government on public relations in the
New African magazine.

"Government and the ruling party are free to spend whatever amount of
money they wish," he defiantly declared last week. "Even if we spend US$10
million it's none of your business."

So, no accountability there even when public funds are put to improper
use.

Matonga thinks it was "money well spent". But how many friends has
Zimbabwe won through magazine articles that suggest opposition leaders got
their injuries by resisting arrest or "provoking" the police? You do not win
friends abroad with facile claims of that sort.

But having said that, Matonga's response to the withdrawal of Mugabe's
Edinburgh University honorary degree was pithy. "He won't lose any sleep
over that," the deputy minister opined. Compare that with Sikhanyiso Ndlovu's
turgid statement that ran on for 16 meandering paragraphs unmolested by an
editorial pen.

By carrying on like that Ndlovu unwittingly gave a hostage to fortune.
Labour former minister and Edinburgh South MP Nigel Griffiths said he was
"glad" Zimbabwe had responded in such a way.

"I'm glad we have provoked a reaction," he said. "This shows that
Mugabe has been really hurt by being stripped of his degree when earlier he
was saying it didn't really matter.

"It shows that we can get under his skin and that sends a message to
the brave opposition parties opposing his regime."

But we liked Ndlovu's call for Edinburgh University staff to come and
see the "real" situation for themselves, so having got first-hand
information they could see "the error of their ways".

Interestingly, the International Commission of Jurists did just that:
they came to see for themselves last week and at a press conference in
Johannesburg on Monday described the visible collapse of the rule of law in
Zimbabwe. They said they were shocked by the extent of the government's
abuse of the legal and judicial system.

Malaysian Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, following a visit to
Sudan, Namibia and Kenya in April, has urged Malaysian companies to
participate in infrastructural projects in those countries.

"Leaders of those countries are bullish about Malaysia," he said.
"They want more (Malaysian) participation in their countries' development."

Badawi was accompanied on his visit by 20 leading Malaysian business
executives. Zimbabwe was not on his list.

What happened to the special relationship between Zimbabwe and
Malaysia's leaders that nearly led to the disposal of Hwange power station
on spurious South-South grounds contrary to the wishes of the Zesa board
which said the deal was not in the national interest?

The simple fact of the matter is that Zimbabwe, with its crude
nationalist dogmas and lawlessness, is no longer an attractive investment
destination. It is salutary to see what the UN Economic Commission for
Africa had to say last week about Angola's phenomenal growth.

"Angola's economic stability is not only the result of the increase of
oil revenues," it said, "but also because of inflows of foreign direct
investment, a sustainable monetary policy, and a macro-economic management
adjusted to the (needs of the) current moment." And here we are heading in
the opposite direction!

We were amused by the treatment given to the Zaka East by-election in
the official media. Zanu PF "romped to victory", we were told - on the basis
of a 27% voter turnout!

This was hardly the ringing endorsement Vice-President Joseph Msika
sought when he said the party needed a "resounding" turnout.

"Victory in Zaka East is a foregone conclusion," he said immediately
ahead of the poll, "but my main concern is how we are going to achieve it. I
want to urge you to go in large numbers and vote resoundingly."

Voters seem to have ignored him. Only 11 152 voters heeded his call
out of 50 000 registered. And even though the MDC had boycotted the poll the
Herald tried to pretend the outcome was a defeat for the MDC by claiming
they were "actively supporting" the UPP.

The Voice, the ruling party's semi-literate mouthpiece, carried a
headline saying "Zanu PF has scored another important victory against the
opposition MDC". The ruling party was set to "thrash" the MDC, it said just
ahead of the poll. But in its excitement it forgot to say where the
by-election was taking place!

Msika had "implored" voters to support the ruling party, telling them
fables of diamonds and diesel whch would underscore the nation's economic
independence.

Zanu-delusional!


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Give social contract a chance

Zim Independent

Eric Bloch Column

ON Friday June 1, the partners constituting the Tripartite Negotiating
Forum (TNF), being government, business and labour, signed a social contract
intended to address the distraught economic conditions prevailing in
Zimbabwe. Within days the state controlled media eulogised that occurrence
as the assured catalyst of an undoubted, almost immediate economic
metamorphosis. Concurrently, much of the independent media, members of the
political opposition, and the countless prophets of doom and gloom
unhesitatingly belittled that signature of the social contract. They
forcibly contend that it is a "non-event", for nothing meaningful will flow
from it.

Those cynics and sceptics may well be right, for the social contract
cannot succeed unless it is vigorously and resolutely supported and
implemented by all the signatories to it, and by the populace at large. It
can also not succeed unless other key political, economic, and social
actions are taken, for the social contract is not, on its own, the magical,
curative elixir to restore vibrancy and life to an economy which presently
appears to be on the threshold of death.

And that support, implementation and actions must be pursued by all
with unreserved recognition of realities. With all these prerequisites for
success, and with an extraordinarily poor past record of Zimbabweans in
general, and government in particular, acknowledging unpalatable facts, of
being self-analytical and critical, and being willing to initiate and accept
change (other than, very occasionally, superficially), it is understandable
that so many should be so convinced that the social contract is doomed to
failure.

But, although regrettably, they may be right, nevertheless the social
contract should not be cavalierly dismissed before there has been any
opportunity for it to be fulfilled. That can only ensure that the prophecies
of doom are self-fulfilling. Instead, all sectors of Zimbabwe should use
every ability and available resource to motivate the contracting partners to
fulfill their obligations with intense, timeous, effort and conviction,
interacting constructively and recognising that the social contract can well
be Zimbabwe's almost last chance of economic recovery and wellbeing.

In practice, it has taken 10 years for the negotiating partners to
reach an accord, for the foundation of that accord is the Kadoma Declaration
of 1998, and even now the accord is not complete. The social contract is
constituted of an acceptance of the Kadoma Declaration, and agreement upon
three protocols - an incomes and pricing stabilisation protocol, a
restoration of production viability protocol, and a protocol on
mobilisation, pricing and management of foreign currency.

However, while the representatives of government and business signed
the declaration and the three protocols, as did also two of the
representatives of labour, being the Apex Council and the Zimbabwe
Federation of Trade Unions, the Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions has at
this stage only signed the incomes and pricing stabilisation protocol, and
has reserved its position on the others. This is inevitably a valid cause
for concern for, unless all parties are unreservedly committed, the social
contract has no prospect of fulfillment.

Nevertheless, the developments of June 1, after an effluxion of a
decade, were significant, and were undoubtedly occasioned to a material
extent by the call by Reserve Bank governor, Gideon Gono, on January 31, for
a social contract to be agreed, and also to an equally material extent by
the gargantuan acceleration of economic collapse in recent months, massively
intensifying the appallingly great poverty and misery suffered by an
overwhelming majority of the population. But, despite the achievement of
some agreement, there are very major defects in the protocols which need to
be urgently addressed if the social contract is to have any chance of
succeeding. These include:

The setting of realistic, attainable targets. Some of those contained
in the incomes and pricing stabilisation protocol are surrealistic in the
extreme, with no credible prospect of being achieved. Particularly
unattainable is the projection that the budget deficit will be reduced to
under 10% of gross domestic product by the end of 2007. How can that
possibly be achieved when governmental spending has soared upwards through
the year to date, and especially so in the last month. Very necessarily,
civil service salaries were increased by 693% last month (which still means
that most are grossly under-remunerated).

One of government's greatest costs is the funding of mammoth
borrowings, and it doesn't have the resources to repay them. The magnitude
of this expenditure is highlighted by an accumulated interest debt, in May
2007 of over $1,5 trillion. Moreover, although government's revenues are
increasing in dollar terms (thanks to hyperinflation), they are reducing in
real terms, as the economy continues to contract, whilst its expenditures
are increasing in both real and in hyperinflationary terms.

Unless government would dynamically reduce its expenditures over the
months ahead, and would generate increased revenues (without resorting to
increased taxation), there is no realistic prospect of achieving the
protocol's targeted budget deficit.

The target for monthly inflation is that it reduces to below 25% by
year-end. That is an attainable target, but only if government substantially
reduces its expenditures, if printing of money is contained to reasonable
levels, if productivity is restored throughout the economy, inclusive of the
parastatals, if exchange rates in "alternative markets" are stabilised and
if there are genuine measures to contain corruption. If these are not done,
and done without delay, the 25% target will be nothing but a myth.

Furthermore, if inflation is to be substantially reduced, it will not
suffice to stabilise and manage only prices of specified goods and services
as detailed in Statutory Investment 125 of 2003, which lists price
controlled, and price monitored, products. All Zimbabwean goods and services
must be managed and stabilised, whilst prices of imports should change only
in alignment to actual cost increases. However, the protocol addresses only
price-controlled and monitored goods, and therefore the prospects of
achieving the inflation target are poor.

Amongst the provisions of the protocol on restoration of production
viability are some relating to agriculture, and it is indisputable that the
greatest area in need of restoration of productivity is the agricultural
sector. But the protocol merely reiterates the "wishy-washy" statements that
have characterised government's policies for the sector over the last 10
years. In particular, no attention is given to reversal of the grossly
ill-conceived, and even more grossly mismanaged land reform programme.
Instead of restructuring the programme to one which would right the wrongs
of the past, which would ensure the proper and effective usage of a provenly
fertile land, the protocol merely intends policies which have oft been
stated, but were either not applied, or were mis-applied.

The protocol on foreign currency mobilisation, pricing and management
speaks grandiosely on foreign exchange policies, without any intended
progression to a market-driven exchange rate and whilst intending to
motivate foreign investment, does not address the needs for policy and
attitude changes if such investment is to materialise.

With these and other defects in the social contract prospects of
success are undoubtedly reduced, but may yet be enhanced if, progressively
and urgently, the defects are addressed, and if all the negotiating parties,
and the Zimbabwean populace, covering all sectors of society, develop a
determination to make the contract succeed.


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Zim Independent Letters



Once an African. . .
I HAVE left Zimbabwe. It was becoming very difficult to work there. I
lived in the country for 45 years but the Zanu PF government succeeded in
driving me out in the end.

I have written a book called Once an African about the time I spent in
our beautiful country. I am so sad I had to leave.

Africa seems determined to destroy itself. Political leaders there and
liberals elsewhere blindly support Zimbabwe's brutal and corrupt government.

All the country's problems are blamed on the legacy of colonialism.
Everything is said to be the fault of the whites. That excuse will no longer
do.

In Zimbabwe there was no golden age prior to the advent of the white
colonial period. There never had been one. People were poor and downtrodden,
even before the Zulu migrations of the 1820s drove the Matabele into
Zimbabwe.

The Shona-based Zanu PF party is proof of the fact that the Shonas are
just as capable as Zulus or whites or anyone else of oppressing other racial
groups. Worse than that, they also persecute Shonas!

The world must insist that Africa be held responsible for its actions.
Why should Africa be treated differently from the rest of the world?

Africans, including those in the Diaspora, and liberals everywhere,
must hold renegade governments such as that of Zimbabwe to a normal standard
of ethical behaviour.

If they do not comply, they must not be supported. If they brutally
oppress their people they must be shunned. Then they will wither away and
die. Or better, perhaps, their own suffering masses will lose patience and
get rid of them.

Africa must be allowed to grow up: to stand on its own. Its
politicians must be forced to pay for their errors. There is no moral
obligation to make excuses for them. Tell them the truth. They have many
harsh truths to face.

Politicians in Zimbabwe must not be allowed to answer every criticism
by deflecting attention from their criminal behaviour to the freedom
struggle. They must not be allowed to cash in on sympathy for the gallant
freedom fighters of several decades ago, and on emotional anti-colonial and
anti-white feelings.

Yes, many of the whites were racist and arrogant when they ruled
Zimbabwe in the colonial period. But not all of them were. Thousands of
selfless missionaries came to the country and dedicated their lives to
helping the black people.

Even under the Rhodesian Front, black Zimbabweans were better off in
terms of education and health care than any other people in sub-Saharan
Africa. Tens of thousands of whites objected to the Rhodesian Front, spoke
out against it and voted against it.

Zanu PF is not simply stealing from whites (to the delight of many
blacks and liberals all over the world) - it is impoverishing the nation -
and the poor blacks bear the brunt of the suffering. Supporting the corrupt
Zanu PF government is helping to oppress the people of Zimbabwe.

Every accolade Zanu PF receives from outsiders, every endorsement of
its ruinous policies by African states, by blacks in the diaspora or by
"liberals" from the west, strengthens it, and prolongs the suffering of the
black people of Zimbabwe.

Two thousand years ago, the Roman author, orator and politician,
Marcus Tullius Cicero said: "The welfare of the people is the ultimate law."

That law does not apply in Zimbabwe. Far from it. Zanu PF has
demonstrated unequivocally (especially in Gukurahundi and Marambatsvina)
that it cares nothing for the welfare of its people.

Let us all unite against Zanu PF cancer.

It has long outlived its usefulness.

Larry Farren,

larryal.farren@gmail.com

-----------------------

      We want dual citizenship

      I WISH to make a contribution in the on-going debate about the
18th Constitutional Amendment which is likely to be tabled anytime before
the 2008 elections.

      As pointed out in many forums, we need to work within those
constraints imposed by Zanu PF than to demand things we all know we won't
achieve with this regime. Here I am referring to acceptance of the 18th
Amendment but work with this regime to include some reforms.

      For example, it's nearly impossible to have a new constitution
ready by March 2008, but we should ask them to include reforms like votes
for Zimbabweans in the diaspora and dual citizenship for children born in
the diaspora.

      We are facing serious problems in obtaining birth certificates
for these children, let alone passports, even renewing passports for
ourselves. We end up taking our host countries birth certificates and
passports as Zimbabwean documents are very hard to acquire.

      As I write I have just read in the news that a Zimbabwean
passport now costs US$220. How many can afford that, say you are a family of
four? We also end up taking our hosts citizenship to enhance our chances of
higher employment positions which require citizens only to apply.

      The Zimbabwe authorities have said it many times, a case in
point is when Gideon Gono launched the Homelink Project, that the world is a
global village therefore Zimbabwe has to accept that its nationals can now
move across the boundaries in search of other kinds of life and work
anywhere in the world.

      Whilst on this renewal of passports, Zimbabwe is now forcing its
nationals to obtain citizenship of their host countries. If you go to the
Zimbabwe embassy, you will be given a form which asks you if you are
eligible to apply for citizeship in the country you are living in, and why
you have not applied for that citizenship if you are eligible. So in other
words why apply for a Zimbabwean passport if you can change your
citizenship?

       The irony is, you are not allowed dual citizenship, but they are
asking you why have you not applied for your host's nationality.

      Why does the government of Zimbabwe want to "denationalise" us
in the disapora, but at the same time wants us to send our hard earned US
dollars to them by Homelink?

      Which "home" are they refering to if I am no-longer allowed to
claim Zimbabwe as my home country? Zimbabweans arise, this farce has gone
too far. Let's close ranks and ensure we fight the common devil.

      Mabasa Mhepo,

       Australia.

--------------------

      Mugabe should resign

      ON Tuesday I bought fuel for $57 000 a litre on Wednesday the
price was $85 000 to $90 000. I spoke to a taxi driver and he said that the
standard fare from the high-density townships to the city centre was $15 000
to $20 000 and will be $25 000 later this week.

      The currency continues to collapse and is now trading at 10 000
to R1 and anything from 75 000 to 100 000 against the US dollar.

      Maize meal is again out of stock as is cooking oil and sugar. I
bought a loaf of bread from Lobels for $30 000 and other bakeries are
selling it at $24 000.

      The government's stipulated wage for a domestic worker is less
than $15 000 a month, the wage of a farm worker less than $40 000 a month
and a worker in industry probably gets about $500 000, not enough for bus
fare.

      We had tea with the widow of a Supreme Court judge on Sunday.
Her pension is $90 000 a month - US$1!

      We are now experiencing power cuts for up to 20 hours a day; the
city has just announced that they are going to cut water supplies for eight
to 10 hours a day.

      A meeting was held last week with local industrialists who were
told that they were going be cut as well. This will have a catastrophic
effect on their operations.

      There is a limit as to how much of this we can take. Even the
most optimistic of characters is now uneasy about the situation and the
government shows absolutely no ideas how to fix the problems.

      Tuesday's Herald said Reserve Bank governor starts distribution
of farm equipment. That must make all our previous Reserve Bank governors
turn in their graves.

      Really, enough is enough, it is time to go. President Mugabe and
his entire cabinet should admit failure, resign and call fresh elections.
Zanu PF has failed utterly and there can be no more prevarication on this
issue.

       Eddie Cross,

      Bulawayo.

------------------

      Mpofu is not alone in this

      RECENT news has it that "heavyweight" Matabeleland North
politician and Minister of Industry and International Trade, Obert Mpofu, is
accusing Matabeleland North governor Thokozile Mathuthu of protecting white
farmers whose farms were acquired by the state.

      How curious this is! Mpofu is the incumbent governor's
predecessor. What did he do to ensure that the farmers vacated the farms?
Was it not these very same white farmers and their employees who we saw on
TV at Mpofu's campaign rallies in 2005 and who voted for him, overwhelmingly
giving him the most votes in the whole of Matabeleland? Did these white
farmers do this? If anyone believes so, they will believe anything.

      Something fishy is frying. Here in Matabeleland we have always
had a handful of so-called heavyweight politicians who do not want to see
enterprising and promising junior politicians scaling the political ladder.

      What is worrying is that the majority of them do not have
electoral constituencies as they have been rejected by the voters. They are
in top positions in the party and in government through central committee
and politburo selections and courtesy of presidential favour.

      I will tell you this, Mpofu is not alone in his wild accusation
of Mathuthu. There are other big fish as well. You cannot separate them when
it comes to scheming and plotting against their perceived enemies.

      Ask Professor Jonathan Moyo and he will concur. Mpofu's track
record speaks volumes about the man. With these men and women in the party
and in positions of influence and as blue-eyed confidants of the president,
Zanu PF will not survive beyond Robert Mugabe.

      Sub Rosa,

       Lupane.

--------------------------

      Beat errant NRZ staff into line

      AS an experienced former NRZ employee, I feel more than
qualified to make pertinent and objective observations with the express
intention of eliciting not only a comment from the parastatal authorities,
but also corrective measures thereof.

      It would seem that Zimbabwe has two national railway networks
operating divergently yet seemingly (on paper) managed co-peratively. We
have the eastern area and the southern area.

      The former which is administered in Harare, is badly run.
Passengers and commuters are subjected to verbal and even physical (shoving
and pushing) abuses on a daily basis by security personnel, some in plain
cloths and others in uniform.

      I am speaking on behalf of the majority of rail transport users.
Passengers at Harare railway station are treated as unwelcome loiterers or
at worst a huge nuisance.

      The (so-called) upper class waiting-room is used more by
relatives and friends of staff than by intending passengers particularly
during weekends when soccer matches are screened on TV. Staff and their
relatives/friends (including girlfriends) take up all the available seats so
that ticket holders have nowhere to sit.

      I do not know whether there is a substantive manager at Harare
station. There is just no order there. If you query you are arrogantly and
tersely told that Harare is not Bulawayo.

       If you are travelling from outside Harare it's almost impossible
to secure a return booking through Harare reservation office. The staff
there do their own thing. They are not accountable to anyone. They are
arrogant.

      The NRZ security branch is the worst run branch on the system, I
must point out.

      Having said so, let me say that I have the greatest respect and
admiration for the incumbent general manager. He has proved that he is the
best since Independence.

      I do not buy the chaff of militarisation of parastatals sprouted
by some. To those of us who know the NRZ we will realise that the parastatal
was flat on its belly. It was in debt to its scalp.

      It's an open secret that civilian managers are steeped in
corruption and thievery to the extent that they have virtually destroyed all
the parastatals in the country. The guys from the uniformed civil service
are trying their best to instill discipline in parastatals.

      After all, every Zimbabwean has a constitutional right to secure
a job if they qualify. The incumbent GM should deal decisively with the
security branch and the eastern area and bring them into line with HQ.

      Martin Stobart,

       Lupane.

-----------------------

      Rushwaya must also go with Mhlauri
      THE current reaction by the nation regarding the Warriors
elimination from Ghana 2008 makes interesting reading.

      The axe is hovering over Charles Mhlauri's head. Fine and fair,
he should go!

      But what about the fate of the Zifa executive, including the
much publicity-hyped CEO Henrietta Rushwaya? In fact Rushwaya has done
absolutely nothing for football ever since she came on board with promises
of turning the image of Zifa into a positive mode.

      What she has managed to do is hop on and off various planes to
meaningless journeys.

      For how long will the Zimbabwe soccer fraternity keep on
entrusting their beloved game to non-football people like Rushwaya and her
allies at Zifa?

       Get football people like Ndumiso Gumede, Julius Chipokoyo,
Francis Zuminya, Kenny Ndebele, Rafik Adam, Josiah Nxumala and Sunday
Chidzambwa to lead Zifa, not Rushwaya and her buddies!

      Enough is enough! Let football be run by football people.

      Dixon Maeto,

      Chitungwiza.


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MDC faction vows to continue with protests

IOL

     June 15 2007 at 01:38AM

By Gershwin Wanneburg

Zimbabwe's main opposition party will stage protests and strikes to
pressure President Robert Mugabe's government to adopt democratic reforms
ahead of elections next year, an opposition leader said on Thursday.

Arthur Mutambara, head of a Movement for Democratic Change (MDC)
faction, praised mediation efforts by South African President Thabo Mbeki
but said the push to resolve Zimbabwe's economic and political crisis would
come from within.

"We have a defiance campaign on the ground. We will liberate
ourselves," he said at the World Economic Forum on Africa after a debate on
Zimbabwe.

      'We are fighting in the streets'
"We are fighting in the streets... through demonstrations, marches and
strikes," he said in response to a question about whether the opposition was
planning protests.

The government's mismanagement of the once prosperous southern African
nation amounted to genocide, he said.

The MDC has threatened to boycott parliamentary and presidential
elections expected next year unless there is a guarantee they will be free
and fair.

Critics blame Mugabe and his ruling Zanu-PF government for the
economic crisis, marked by inflation of more than 3 700 percent, high
unemployment, rising poverty and chronic shortages of fuel, food and foreign
currency.

Mugabe says the crisis is a result of sabotage by former colonial
power Britain and other Western nations who he says are punishing his
government for seizing white farms and redistributing the land to poor
blacks.

The 83-year-old Zimbabwean leader has described the MDC as a puppet of
the West. Mutambara's group is one of two factions in the MDC. Morgan
Tsvangirai leads the main wing of the party.

The two factions have been cooperating more closely since a government
crackdown in March which led to the arrests and beatings of dozens of MDC
members and widespread international condemnation of Mugabe.

Mutambara said they were in talks to unite but would not comment on
the progress of the negotiations.

Mugabe is widely accused of rigging a series of elections and pressure
has been building on him in Africa to reform.

In March a Southern African Development Community summit appointed
Mbeki to mediate the crisis and bring the MDC factions and the Zanu-PF
together in talks.


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Zimbabwe forum urges solidarity

People's Weekly World

Author: John Bachtell
     People's Weekly World Newspaper, 06/14/07 17:23

CHICAGO - With the Zimbabwean economy in a state of collapse and President
Robert Mugabe stepping up repression against the country's population,
activists here called for extending greater solidarity to the people.

The gathering of 100 participants under the auspices of the Chicago Forum on
Zimbabwe was held June 2. A panel of veteran activists of the Southern
Africa solidarity movement and Zimbabweans helped shed light on the
complicated situation.

Zimbabwe, formerly Rhodesia under British colonialism, won its independence
from white-minority rule in 1980 after a long liberation struggle. Mugabe
was a key leader of the liberation movement and is still revered by many,
particularly in the rural areas.

In sharp contrast to that memory is the current descent into repression and
corruption by Mugabe and the ruling ZANU-PF party, which has generated large
and growing opposition.

"Zimbabwe is in crisis," said Bill Lucy, president of the Coalition of Black
Trade Unionists and secretary-treasurer of the American Federation of State,
County and Municipal Employees. Lucy didn't mince his words: "This crisis
rests on the heads of Zimbabweans every day, especially trade unionists who
are up against both the government and Mugabe, a brutal dictator."

Lucy was invited to get a firsthand view of the crisis by the Zimbabwe
Congress of Trade Unions (ZCTU). But Lucy and the CBTU delegation were
barred from entering the country. On Sept. 13, 2006, one week prior to their
planned visit, the Mugabe government brutally attacked a trade union
demonstration. ZCTU has been stepping up its efforts to organize mass
"stay-aways" of workers to bring pressure on the government.

Panelists, who included Lucy, Nicole Lee of TransAfrica Forum, Elizabeth
Mhangami of Vanavevhu (Children of the Soil) and Arnold Tsunga of Zimbabwe
Lawyers for Human Rights, wove a complex narrative of the current situation
and interests at work - including British imperialism, the Bush
administration and the Zimbabwean ruling class - along with a history of the
liberation movement.

Once considered the jewel of the Southern Africa liberation struggles,
Zimbabwe, with its multilayered crisis, is of great concern, activists said.
Today unemployment is around 80 percent, food shortages abound and nearly 30
percent of the population has fled the country. Life expectancy has
plummeted 20 years and is now less than 37, the lowest in the world. Annual
inflation is over 3,500 percent, the highest in the world.

Despite whatever the Bush administration is trying to do, progressives,
human rights activists and unionists can't stand by and let this repression
continue, TransAfrica's Executive Director Lee said.

Under Mugabe, panelists said, Zimbabwe has become a closed society. A
variety of delegations have been denied entrance including human rights
organizations, the Congressional Black Caucus as well as international
media.

Panelists said Mugabe implemented the World Bank's stringent policies, even
though they were hurting the Zimbabwean people. The result is Mugabe uses
major repression and violence against the people. For example, the Public
Order Security Act bans political protest by declaring that three or more
people who are unrelated have to get a permit from the government to meet.

Tsunga, executive secretary of the Law Society of Zimbabwe and director of
Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights, described the 2002 land reform. The
government used land reform to reclaim legitimacy following the imposition
of these "structural adjustments," Tsunga said.

Mugabe gave the once white-owned land to his cronies in the army and
government, Tsunga said. Agriculture, which once fed the nation and employed
500,000 farm workers, is at 40 percent of capacity and employs only 150,000,
he said.

Moderator Prexy Nesbitt, a longtime solidarity activist, authority on Africa
and teacher, has led groups to Zimbabwe regularly. But he said he thought
seriously of cutting short the last visit because of the dangers. He
described roadblocks throughout the capital city, Harare, manned by armed
ZANU-PF youth, harassing people.

The panelists urged broader public awareness of the situation, greater
support for the Zimbabwe trade union movement and other civic organizations,
pressure on elected officials to take a stand, and support for the process
being unfolded by leaders of other southern Africa nations. They also urged
calling the Zimbabwe Embassy to demand the Mugabe government restore
democratic rights.

jbachtell @rednet.org


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JAG Job Opportunities dated 14 June 2007

Please send any job opportunities for publication in this newsletter to: JAG
Job Opportunities; jag@mango.zw or justiceforagriculture@zol.co.zw
--------------------------------------------------------------------------

(Ad inserted  17th May 2007)

Contracts in the DRC

Wanted: for six month renewable contracts in the DRC, three Zimbabwean farm
managers.  One with experience in orchard and plantation crops especially
citrus and bananas, the second with experience in row cropping: potatoes,
maize/soya, wheat and barley and the third with experience in dairy
production.  Formal agricultural qualifications an advantage but not a
necessity.

Fluency in Swahili preferable but not essential.

Contact: 011610073.

 --------------------------------------------------------------------------

(Ad inserted 17th May 2007)

ORIGNATOR/GRAPHIC DESIGNER WANTED

IDEAL PERSON NEEDS TO BE FULLY COMPUTER LITERATE (CORRELL DRAW EXPERIENCE
ESSENTIAL) METHODICAL, PATIENT AND TECHNICALLY MINDED. TO RUN A NEW DIGITAL
PRINTING PROJECT.

PLEASE RESPOND WITH CV AND REFERENCES TO:
hotelgs@mweb.co.zw or tel: 04 485695/6 attention Brigit."

--------------------------------------------------------------------------

(Ad inserted 17th May 2007)

Houseworker required

Gardener OR houseworker required.  Someone who is clean, and hardworking.
Preferably employer recommended or contactable references.  Please phone
011-614-233 or email : dieselandplant@zol.co.zw

-------------------------------------------------------------------------

(Ad inserted 17th May 2007)

Looking for Investors:

Looking for serious investors that want to get involved in the Floricultural
industry of Zimbabwe.  Need secure land close to Harare and access to
finance.  Technical expertise, markets and highly skilled human resources
ready available. For serious enquires please contact me on:  011 630 696,
0912 782 782, 480 160, watin@zol.co.zw

--------------------------------------------------------------------------

(Ad inserted 17th May 2007)

Housekeeping Team

Looking for an experienced husband and wife team to cook and housekeep.
Excellent staff accommodation is available on the property.  A very
competitive remuneration package, with benefits, proportionate with
experience and qualifications is offered by way of negotiation with
successful applicants.  Traceable references are essential.

Apply on 091 2 238 204
--------------------------------------------------------------------------

(Ad inserted 24 May 2007)

Secretary

Doctor's secretary required, preferably coming from Mount Pleasant, Emerald
Hill, Avonlea, Avondale, Alexandria Park area.  Mornings only 8:30 - 1 pm -
5 days per week.

Work load is not heavy.  Nursing experience is not required.  Any one
interested should be mature and able to handle files, correspondence and
simple book keeping.

References are essential.

Contact Clare Peech at cflegal@kpmg.co.zw

--------------------------------------------------------------------------

(Ad inserted 24 May 2007)

Employment Offered

OXFORD IT is looking for cvs.  Please send your cv as soon as possible if
you wish to be considered for the positions.
MANUAL/HANDS ON POSITIONS
These positions will go very quickly so please do not delay in sending your
cv.  The positions are offering very good benefits and locations.
Mechanics (Automotive and Mechanical/Industrial), Construction Workers,
Waste Disposal Workers etc
Mining Engineers, Drillers, Crane/Forklift Operators, Truck Drivers
Workshop Managers, Driver/Messengers, Dispatch Supervisors
NON-IT POSITIONS
Temporary/Mornings Only/Flexi-time
Bookkeepers/Secretaries/Receptionists/Accountants

Contract/Consultancy/Permanent
Advertising/Marketing
Administrators/Secretarial
Finance (especially Bookeepers)
Management
Sales
Shipping/Transport
Tourism/Hotel Industry

IT POSITIONS
IBM Service Consultants
SAP/Spectrum Consultants
Developers, Network Engineers, Technicians, ISP Engineers

Positions we have on our books at the moment are:
Bookeepers
Mining personnel
Manual/Hands On personnel
Personal Assistants
And various others....

Please email you cv to the below email address or contact the General
Manager for more information.  If you have a cv which does not fit into the
above descriptions, please send it on.  We deal with all types of
recruitment now, so delay in sending your cv might result in your missing
out on the right job.

Miss Sarah Vale
GENERAL MANAGER
Oxford IT Recruitment
Agriculture House, c/o CFU Building, Cnr Adylinn Road/Marlborough Drive,
Marlborough, Harare
Tel:  + 263 4 309274 (Direct)
Tel:  + 263 4 309855-60 (Ext 23)
Cell: + 263 11 231 917 (Office Hours Only)
Fax: + 263 4 309351
Email: sarah@oxfordit.co.zw

--------------------------------------------------------------------------

(Ad inserted 24 May 2007)

Partner in Tanzania

Needed an Agricultural Partner to establish plantations in Tanzania to grow
the following crops; rise, maize, beans, vegetables, cotton, wheat and many
others.

 Contact details:

  Name:Philip Mbunda,

  Tel. +255 754262486

--------------------------------------------------------------------------

(Ad inserted 24 May 2007)

Looking for a cook

Cook wanted with a Zambian passport or can get a Zambian passport for Zim
couple living in Lusaka Zambia, must be able to cook every thing from
pancakes to pies breakfast, lunch and dinner, please phone Pam on this no
+0966291818 or email Tony at rbzhatchery@iwayafrica.com
--------------------------------------------------------------------------

(Ad inserted 24 May 2007)

Houseworker required

I am looking for an excellent cleaner who not only cleans my home but also
takes pride and can clean his own quarters regularly.   A good salary is
offered to the right person.  Please phone 011-614-233.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------

(Ad inserted 31 May 2007)

Lab Technicians

Oxford IT is looking for Lab Technicians with experience in testing
Jet/Diesel and MOGAS.  This is a new position which has just come in; there
will be extensive travel; excellent pay and exposure to International
Organisations.

Please email your cv as soon as possible to the below email address as this
position is only open for a couple more days, the cut off is early next
week.

Miss Sarah Vale
GENERAL MANAGER
Oxford IT Recruitment
(Recruitment Specialists in IT and General Recruitment)

Agriculture House, 1 Adylinn Road, Off Marlborough Drive, Marlborough,
Harare
Tel:  + 263 4 309274 (Direct)
Tel:  + 263 4 309855-60 (Ext. 23)
Fax: + 263 4 309351
Cell: + 263 11 231 917 (Office Hours Only)
Email:  sarah@oxfordit.co.zw
--------------------------------------------------------------------------

(Ad inserted 31 May 2007)

Oxford IT has a number of new positions that have come up in the
Aviation/Fuel Industry.  We are looking for Ground Crew/Load
Master/Engineering cvs.

There is:-
·  Extensive travel
·  Excellent pay
·  Exposure to International Organisations.

This has been advertised in the paper, so many cvs have already been
received.  The turnaround time is very short, please act fast and email your
cv to sarah@oxfordit.co.zw or call Sarah Vale on 309274 or 309855-60 (Ext.
23)

We are also looking for cvs in: -
·  Construction
·  Maintenance
·  Camp Services
·  Water/waste/sewage/power generation

--------------------------------------------------------------------------

(Ad inserted 7 June 2007)

Furniture Factory Manager

Beira, Mozambique - based

A furniture factory making a range of hardwood furniture is looking for a
production manager.

This person will be responsible for:
Management of the machine shop and assembly line of a hardwood furniture
producer.
Implementation of the process of continuous improvement within the factory.
Production scheduling of orders and management of all raw materials and
consumables.
Operations and the maintenance of the equipment.
Quality management and control.

The candidate should have experience with working with large teams of semi
and unskilled workers. Be adaptable and creative, working in sometimes
difficult conditions without technical support. The ability to make critical
decisions, at times with little information, to anticipate problems and plan
for them. The flexibility to develop creative, practical and realistic
solutions in based on an understanding of the limitations of the local
environment.

Experience in production and manufacture in the timber industry preferred,
though relevant non-timber production experience in developing countries
also an advantage.

The candidate should be prepared to reside full time in Mozambique full
time. Fully legal residence and work permits will be provided.

Package in US$.

Portuguese not essential at the start but the successful candidate would
have to learn to communicate in the language.

Basic computer literacy an advantage.

CV's will be accepted until the end of June 2007, and the candidate will be
expected on I August 2007. Included in your CV or on the covering letter
please advise what package you will be expecting.

Please email tctdalmann@tdm.co.mz or fax +258 23 30 21 61 for an application
form.

For additional company information see www.dalmann.com

--------------------------------------------------------------------------

(Ad inserted 7 June 2007)

Mature gardener

Preferably married but without children. Traceable references required.
Accommodation on site.

Contact G. Dartnall - 302702.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------

(Ad inserted 7 June 2007)

VACANCY - ESTATE MANAGER

Applications are invited for the position of Estate Manager at St George's
College.

Applicants should have mechanical experience sufficient for the maintaining
of vehicles, borehole pumps, estate machinery and the general supervision of
the on-site workshop and stores department.

Other duties include the maintenance of school buildings and staff
residential accommodation, the care and development of grounds and gardens
as well as the correct utilization of the irrigation and water management
systems.

Applicants should have good man management skills; the ability to understand
and converse in both languages will be an advantage as would basic computer
skills.

A good salary is offered, commensurate with experience, as well as other
benefits including housing on campus.

Interested candidates should forward CV's and contactable references to the
Headmaster's Secretary on headsec@stgeorges.co.zw or Fax CV's to Harare
797648.

Closing date for applications will be the 30th June and we regret that only
short-listed candidates will receive a response.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------

(Ad inserted 14 June 2007)

Receptionist wanted

Must be young, innovative, and computer literate. Excel spreadsheets a must.

Good telephone manners needed. Msasa area.

e-mail cv's to info@fourseasonsfoods.co.zw or fax 486168

--------------------------------------------------------------------------

(Ad inserted 14 June 2007)

Nursery School Teacher

Fairly newly established nursery school in Chisipite looking for a qualified
nursery school teacher to teach pre-school year.  Looking for somebody who
is not likely to be leaving country in near future and mature and
professional by nature.  Attractive salary on offer and lovely environment
to work in.

Please contact Kerry-Ann on 0912 754226.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------

(Ad inserted 14 June 2007)

Secretarial/Management Position

. . . to commence soonest . . .

UK based business needing a competent & efficient, self-motivated,
dedicated, responsible mature person of high integrity to manage their
office in Zimbabwe.

Required of you:-

A. Excellent Computer Skills in -
    - MSOutlook emails
    - File Management
    - MSWord
    - Internet
B.  Good in MSExcel
C.  Company Registration procedures:
- working knowledge of

Knowledge of LINUX an added advantage

Located in Avondale.
Remuneration paid from UK

Assessments being conducted by

Thomas Vallance ACIArb
Executive Director
PARADiGM Trust(Pvt)Ltd
Trust Executives & Administrators
Para-Legal Advisory Services
POBox HG750, Highlands.
Tels: (B) 04-304 482
  (M) 011-617 161
        0912-227 473

Emails:
[paradigm@zol.co.zw]
[paradigm@mango.zw]

--------------------------------------------------------------------------

(Ad inserted 14 June 2007)

We are looking for a mature person or couple to run our small 12 bed safari
camp. This position would be ideal for a mature couple or man from a farming
background.

Essential are staff management skills as well as able to speak shona.
Love of wildlife and wilderness areas.
Ideal candidates will have some animal husbandry skills in particular in
relation to horses.
The camp is situated 2 hours from Harare.
There is no zesa but then  again there is none in Harare!
Good communication skills and like people also a requirement!
Some handy man skills an advantage.
Excellent package for right person/s.

Please contact  091 2256434 or email riding@vardensafaris.com  delay in our
replying via email may be experienced due to dial up/phone problems.

VARDEN SAFARIS
RIDING SAFARIS - MAVURADONHA MOUNTAINS
PO BOX BW 1714 - BORROWDALE
HARARE - ZIMBABWE
PH/FAX: HARARE OFFICE  (263) 4 861766
JANINE CELL: (263) 91 256 434
BASE CAMP CELL: (263) 91 252 163

email: riding@vardensafaris.com
www.vardensafaris.com

WE OPERATE IN A MALARIA FREE AREA.

WE AIM TO REPLY TO ALL EMAIL MESSAGES WITHIN 24 HOURS - IF YOU HAVE NOT
HEARD FROM US AND ARE EXPECTING A REPLY PLEASE RESEND YOUR EMAIL

ZIMBABWE -  POSITIVELY GOOD!

--------------------------------------------------------------------------

EMPLOYMENT REQUIRED
--------------------------------------------------------------------------

(Ad inserted 17th May 2007)

Employment Sought - Secretarial

I am a mature Lady looking for Secretarial / Administration/ Reception with
20 years of experience.  Computer literate, good communication skills with
all segmentas of Zimbabwe society.
I will consider full or part time engagement in any field

Please contact me on 331116 ( Home) 011 732 497 Cell or e-mail me at:
srakabo@yahoo.co.uk

--------------------------------------------------------------------------

(Ad inserted 17th May 2007)

Seeking Challenging Management Position:

I am looking for a good management position where by I can grow with the
business; I have mainly been involved in Rose exports for the past 15 years
on large scale farms in Zimbabwe.  Although this is my main line of
expertise, I interested in any other industry that is looking for strong
management, an energetic, ambitious, honest and strong willed person to join
their organization.

Please contact me, Wayne Seiler on the following details if you are
interested and I will forward you my CV,  011 630 696, 0912 782 782, 480
160, watin@zol.co.zw .  Skype name : Wayne Seiler

--------------------------------------------------------------------------

(Ad inserted 7 June 2007)

Outsource your payrolls. For confidential payrolls produced on FDS system.

Accounting services offered to Final accounts

Contact : Jenny at tiger1@mweb.co.zw or 011400754.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------

(Ad inserted 7 June 2007)

I am a mature man looking for Secretarial / Administration/ Reception with
10 years of experience.

Computer literate, good communication skills with
all segments of Zimbabwe and foreign societies.  Hard working.  I will
consider full or part time engagement in any field.  Well travelled having
worked in almost every sector in the industries.

Please contact me on 492 590 (Work) 0912339 438 Cell or e-mail me at:
tengarnetts@yahoo.com

Tendai Karinda Mr.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------
For the latest listings of accommodation available for farmers, contact
justiceforagriculture@zol.co.zw (updated 14 June 2007)


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CIO Beefs Up Protection Chef's Kids in S. Africa...correction

Sent: Friday, June 15, 2007 10:48 AM
Subject: zimbabwe situation


[This article first appeared in The Zimbabwean]

Please correct the error that my daughters Jacqueline and Elna Kundishora are said to be daughters of Brigadier Kundishora and Hillary Mugabe. I am not Hillary and I am not related to any Chef. I have struggled to see my daughters where there are now. It pains me for all I am going through working overtime and at times 2 jobs to ensure that the fees are paid and all my efforts to be attributed to some Chef in Zimbabwe.
Their father is a Kundishora but has never worked in the government in any capacity. 
I am just an ordinary Zimbabwe in Diaspora.
I am prepared to help to prove that I am paying fees from my wages or if possible the College can confirm where the money is coming from.
 
So please kindly correct that for me
 
Yours
Ms. M.Matanda

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