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

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Zim Online

Murder as retribution campaign gains momentum
Mon 02 May 2005

HURUNGWE -- An opposition supporter was last Friday abducted and
murdered in Hurungwe East constituency as ruling ZANU PF party militants
intensify retribution against the opposition while the international
spotlight focuses on Zimbabwe's worsening food and humanitarian crisis.

Opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) party member Moffat
Ibrahim was a few days before his death first summoned to attend a village
court hearing by the headman in Ward six of Hurungwe district, more than 200
km north of Harare.

The headman, one D. Mupanedengu, allegedly told Ibrahim that he was no
longer welcome in the area because he belonged to the MDC and had voted for
the opposition party in the March 31 election.

Before Ibrahim could flee his village to the neighbouring Karoi town
where dozens of other MDC supporters have fled since the retribution
campaign began a week after the election, he was waylaid and kidnapped by 16
ZANU PF militants who murdered him in cold blood.

"He had alerted the police that his life was inn danger at the time he
was summoned to the village court," a local MDC leader Biggie Haurovi told
ZimOnline yesterday.

A police inspector Khumalo at Karoi police station, which oversees
Hurungwe, confirmed the murder of Ibrahim. He said no one had by yesterday
been arrested over the murder but said investigations into the matter where
still in progress.

ZANU PF spokesman Nathan Shamuyarira could not be reached yesterday
for comment on the matter. But Shamuyarira has in the past denied claims of
retribution by ZANU PF militants against the opposition.

With the attention of the international Press, local church and human
rights groups that have in the past highlighted human rights abuses in
Zimbabwe drawn to the country's unfolding humanitarian disaster, ZANU PF
militants especially in Matabeleland South, Mashonaland West and Manicaland
provinces have taken advantage to mete out retribution on MDC supporters.

Hurungwe East constituency falls under Mashonaland West province.
Haurovi, who was also the MDC's candidate in the constituency in last month's
controversial election, said he was struggling to provide for dozens of
families living at his house in Karoi town after being forced by ZANU PF
militants to flee their homes.

ZimOnline reported last week that dozens of opposition supporters from
Chipinge town in Manicaland province had also fled their homes for dear life
as war veterans and ruling ZANU PF militants there stepped up a crackdown
against MDC members in the town and surrounding districts.

Some of the families, who said they had fled after receiving death
threats from ZANU PF militants, alleged that some members of the police in
Chipinge were actively assisting the ruling party militants in persecuting
people suspected of having voted for the MDC in the March poll.

A church minister in Mutare city, who did not want his name or that of
his church mentioned for fear of reprisals, said his church was looking
after at least 12 families that had fled to the city, about 200 km north of
Chipinge.

In Gwanda in Matabeleland South, deputy Foreign Affairs Minister
Abednico Ncube is allegedly leading a witch hunt against MDC supporters in
the area and is said to have instructed government food distribution
officials in the area to deny food to opposition supporters. ZimOnline.

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Zim Online

More than 7000 teachers die because of HIV/AIDS
Mon 2 May 2005
BULAWAYO - More than 7 000 teachers nationwide have died due to HIV/AIDS
related illness in the last five years, according to the Progressive
Teachers' Union of Zimbabwe (PTUZ).

PTUZ secretary general Raymond Majonwge told workers gathered in
Bulawayo city yesterday to mark May Day that a survey by his union showed
that nearly every school in the country had lost at least two teachers to
the scourge since 2000.

"The economy is continuously declining and the issue of Aids remains
dire .we have (established) that at least 7 000 teachers have died of the
pandemic in the past five years," said Majongwe, whose PTUZ is one of two
bodies that represent teachers in the country.

Health and Child Welfare Minister David Parirenyatwa could not be
immediately reached yesterday for comment on the union's findings and
statistics on HIV/AIDS deaths among the teaching profession.

Majongwe said while teachers had better information on the disease and
on ways of preventing contracting the virus, lack of antiretroviral (ARV)
drugs especially for infected teachers based in schools in remote rural
areas had led to the high death rate among the profession.

"As a union, we are therefore saying we need ARVs to be made available
to teachers and should be affordable.other ways the continuous death of
teachers spells doom for this nation," the PTUZ official added.

Zimbabwe has one of the highest HIV/AIDS infection rates in the world.
Food shortages plus a crumbling public health system amid a five-year
economic recession have only helped exacerbate the HIV/AIDS pandemic in
Zimbabwe where the diseases kills more than 2000 people every week.
ZimOnline.

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Zim Online

Zimbabwe moves to end brain drain
Mon 2 May 2005
HARARE - The Zimbabwe government plans to bond all professionals trained
at state funded institutions in a bid to end a severe brain drain that has
seen hundreds of thousands of skilled Zimbabweans skipping the country to
take menial but better paying jobs abroad.

The state-run Sunday Mail newspaper yesterday quoted Ministry of
Higher Education permanent secretary Washington Mbizvo as saying that a
draft document of the new bonding regulations was already with President
Robert Mugabe and his Cabinet for their consideration before the proposed
regulations can become effective.

The government already bonds health professionals for several years
before they can be allowed to leave the country or government service. The
planned regulations which Mbizvo did not indicate when they are likely to
become effective, will affect professionals such as lawyers, engineers and
technicians trained at government universities and polytechnic colleges.

More than three million Zimbabweans or more than a quarter of the
country's 12 million people leave and work outside the country mostly in
South Africa, Britain, United States, New Zealand, Australia and Canada.

Most of the highly qualified professionals are however forced to take
up menial jobs in their host countries to survive after fleeing home because
of poor working conditions and political persecution. ZimOnline.

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Zim Online

War veterans leader threatens soccer officials
Mon 2 May 2005
HARARE -- Controversial war veteran and vice-chairman of the ruling ZANU
PF party-sponsored Zimbabwe Federation of Trade Unions (ZFTU) Joseph
Chinotimba has threatened Premier Soccer League (PSL) and Dynamos football
club officials after they refused to allow the popular Harare club play army
side Black Rhinos at ZFTU hosted May Day celebrations yesterday.

Sources told ZimOnline that Chinotimba, known for leading violent
invasions of white-owned farms in the last three years, had wanted to use
the soccer match to attract a bigger crowd at the ZFTU celebrations that
were being held at Rufaro stadium.

The Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions, the country's main labour body,
held separate and better attended celebrations to mark Workers' Day at
Gwanzura stadium just across town.

Sources said Chinotimba attempted to arm twist PSL fixtures secretary,
Godfrey Japajapa, and Dynamos chairman Morrison Sifelani both of whom
however refused to be intimidated by the self-styled commander-in-chief of
farm invasions.

A PSL management committee member, who spoke anonymously, said:
"Chinotimba phoned the PSL last week and demanded that Dynamos should play
Black Rhinos at his rally but we refused because as far as we are concerned,
the club will play their league match against AmaZulu in Bulawayo on Monday.
There is no way Dynamos can play on Sunday and Monday.

"He threatened to deal with some members of the management committee
saying that they were refusing to support government initiatives. He even
made ridiculous claims that the PSL management committee was made up of
(main opposition) Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) party members and
that he would request ZANU PF politicians to deal with us."

A Dynamos official said Sifelani also stood firm against Chinotimba
telling the war veteran leader that he did not want Dynamos used to prop up
the ZFTU because it was a "useless organisation."

After failing to cajole the PSL and Dynamos to help attract people to
his rally Chinotimba later settle for Black Rhinos and AirForce of Zimbabwe
side, Chapungu. ZimOnline.

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Daily Mirror, Zimbabwe

ZEC sets date for urban council polls

The Daily Mirror Reporter
issue date :2005-May-02

THE Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) has set June 11 as the date for
elections in 18 wards in various rural and urban councils.
In a statement on Friday, ZEC chief elections officer Lovemore Sekeramayi
said nomination courts for interested candidates would sit on May 13.
"Nomination courts shall sit on Friday, 13 May, 2005, commencing at 10 o'clock
in the morning at the places specified for purposes of receiving nominations
of candidates for election to the office of councillors aforesaid.
"Polling shall take place on Saturday 11th June, 2005, if a poll becomes
necessary after the close of nomination courts," Sekeramayi said.
Inspection of the voters' roll closed on Saturday last week.
Rural district councils in which there would be elections include, Chipinge
(Ward 8), Buhera (Ward 21) Nyanga (Wards 4 and 30), Muzarabani (19), Shamva
(23), Mudzi (9 and 10), Mutoko (13), Hurungwe (12), Bikita (18), Mwenezi
(7), Bubi (1), Tsholotsho (1 and 5) and Bulilima (11).
For the municipalities, polls will be held in Kariba's ward 4, Gwanda (7),
Kwekwe (7), Mutare (26) and Chegutu (7).
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IOL

Zim unions issue May Day distress call
May 01 2005 at 07:19PM

By Susan Njanji

Harare - Union leaders urged Zimbabweans on Sunday to take action to
stave off famine and economic collapse, warning that they may not make it to
next year's May Day due to worsening food shortages.

Zimbabwe has over the past two weeks faced crippling shortages of
fuel, and power and water outages, while basic foodstuffs such as maize
grain are in short supply.

"Let's take action whilst we still can, otherwise we will not even
make it for next year's May Day celebrations due to hunger," said Lovemore
Matombo, president of the Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions (ZCTU,) at a May
Day rally in the capital.

About 3 000 people turned out at the rally, held under the theme
"Protect our rights, save our economy and our jobs" and which unions said
was a call to action to halt the deterioration in living standards of
workers.

President Robert Mugabe's government blames the shortages, which have
worsened in the aftermath of the March 30 parliamentary elections, on a
drought but critics say bad policies are also at fault.

"Last year government announced that there was enough food and
...right now the strategic grain reserves are empty and Zimbabweans are
hungry with no food in sight," said Matombo.

The government announced last week that it will take delivery of 1,2
tons of imported staple corn to augment its stocks but it has not approached
international agencies such as the UN World Food Programme for assistance.

In Harare shops, the national staple cornmeal is snapped up within
hours if available, while margarine and even toothpaste have run out. Milk
and butter supplies are erratic.

Fuel shortages have paralysed the transport industry with workers
spending up to five hours waiting for buses to get to or from work, while
motorists spend nights in queues at fuel pumps to fill up.

Zimbabwe's Reserve Bank said that the fuel crisis was caused by a
foreign currency crunch and that the situation would improve in the coming
weeks.

"It's not a secret that our resources got a little bit over-stretched
during the just-ended election, especially in the area of foreign currency,"
Reserve Bank governor Gideon Gono told the state-owned Sunday Mail.

"With respect to fuel, the situation should normalise over the next
one-and-half to two weeks," he said.

Electricity supply has also been erratic and officials say the power
cuts are set to persist as one of the country's main power generators broke
down last week and parts needed to repair it must be imported.

Water cuts have been so severe in some parts of the country that
schools in one Harare suburb were reportedly sending children home after
only three hours of classes due to fear of disease outbreak.

"From here, let us take time to start thinking seriously about what to
do to improve the situation in the country. Our problems are just too many,"
said Matombo.

"Last year we vowed that if prices rose further, we would take to the
streets. What streets are you still waiting for?" asked ZCTU secretary
general Wellington Chibebe.

ZCTU also called for a sharp increase of the minimum wage from the
current equivalent of US$96 (about R584) US dollars to US$387, a cut in
personal income tax and free anti-AIDS drugs to help the 2,3 million
Zimbabweans living with HIV and Aids.

The European Union announced in March that it would give ?15-million
euros in humanitarian aid to Zimbabwe.
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IOL

Wheels come off in Zimbabwe
May 01 2005 at 11:04AM

By Peta Thornycroft

Harare - Just weeks after a disputed national poll returned President
Robert Mugabe to power, Zimbabwe is falling further into economic meltdown
amid a crippling shortage of foreign currency.

Fuel as well as the nation's staple food, maize meal, and other basics
like cooking oil, sugar and margarine have run out across the country.

Zimbabwe's shortage of food has become an emergency, according to a
famine warning network that issued an alert this weekend saying most people
can no longer afford to eat.

Mealie meal is largely unavailable, except on the black market,
according to USAid's Famine Early Warning Systems Network (Fewsnet). Its
statement on the perilous food situation is the first assessment of
Zimbabwe's summer harvest, which is "insufficient to satisfy consumption
needs" for the next year.

Fewsnet is a long-established regional food monitor and its
cautiously worded statement is confirmation of what farmers and rural
Zimbabweans already knew.

Patchy rain and drought in traditionally dry parts of the country
aside, the harvest was the worst in decades, economists say.

"It is urgent that objective assessments of the magnitude of the
problem be undertaken to help the government of Zimbabwe determine whether
it will need outside help to close the food gap," Fewsnet says.

For several months western countries have tried quietly to prod the
Zimbabwean government to sign an agreement allowing donors to launch an
international appeal.

Mugabe said last year that donors should divert resources to other
countries as Zimbabweans would "choke" if any more food aid was delivered.

This week Renson Gasela, the opposition Movement for Democratic
Change's agriculture secretary, was grim-faced when he addressed a news
conference and gave his second food crisis warning of the past month.
"Donors have not been approached, nor has a signal been given that the
government would welcome assistance."

He estimated that Zimbabwe needed to urgently import a million tons of
maize as it had grown less than a third of its annual consumption of 1,8
million tons.

"Maize is now treated like a security item on which the country must
be kept in ignorance," Gasela said.

The only legal grain trader, the government's Grain Marketing Board,
is not allowed to divulge maize statistics and its senior positions are
mostly filled by members of the Zimbabwean national army.

"We have fuel shortages and no sugar. There is no cooking oil, no
milk. Only totalitarian, oppressive regimes would keep citizens in ignorance
of the food supply situation," Gasela said.

Much of the 2004-5 maize crop was planted late, up to the end of
January, and even short-season varieties did not enjoy enough heat in the
soil for long enough to produce decent yields, according to cereal growers.

Former security minister Nicholas Goche, now labour minister, who
heads up a food task force, said the government had bought 150 000 tons of
maize from South Africa. Poor international prices for cotton, and a hugely
decreased crop size for 2004-5, have deepened Zimbabwe's agricultural woes.

The tobacco crop is unlikely to reach more than 65 million kilograms
and many small-scale growers refuse to sell at the annual auctions because
they say the US dollar price is too low, and the exchange rate of $1 to
ZIM$6 000 prevents them from meeting costs.

Most irrigation schemes left on former white commercial farms when
their owners were evicted are no longer working. All wheat in Zimbabwe is
grown under irrigation.

Last season Zimbabwe produced about 80 000 tons good enough for
milling, down from a high of more than 350 000 tons four years ago.

a.. Basildon Peta reports that most suburbs of the capital, Harare,
have been without water for two weeks and schools are shutting down to avoid
outbreaks of epidemics.

Power blackouts have become the order of the day, forcing more
companies to consider closing or putting workers on short working weeks.

One of the country's main gold producers has shut down due to erratic
power supplies and soaring production costs, bringing to 10 the number of
major mining companies that have closed in the past four years, leaving
thousands jobless.

The meltdown comes at a time when Zimbabwe has taken delivery of six
Chinese jet fighters worth $120 million (about R7,2 billion). Mugabe
justified the purchase of the jets by saying Zimbabwe needed to prepare to
defend itself.

.. This article was originally published on page 1 of Sunday
Independent on May 01, 2005

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IHT

'Long arm' of the government threatens media in Zimbabwe

By Robyn Curnow International Herald Tribune

MONDAY, MAY 2, 2005

LONDON Zimbabwe holds the dubious distinction of being one of the
worst places in the world to be a journalist.

That "honor" was bestowed on the country by the Committee to Protect
Journalists, a U.S.-based organization that promotes freedom of the press.
For 2004, Zimbabwe placed third on the list, behind Iraq and Cuba.

With the exception of two weeklies, The Standard and The Independent,
all newspapers, radio and television stations in Zimbabwe are
government-controlled. The popular independent daily newspaper The Daily
News, which had the largest circulation of any paper in the country, was
forced to close in 2003.

Since 2002, it has become a criminal offense to practice journalism
without a license, granted - and revoked - at the discretion of the
government-controlled Media and Information Commission.

For many in Zimbabwe's press corps, losing the license is just one
threat; the possibility of arrest, beatings and intimidation is also ever
present. Authorities are quick to harass journalists who report what the
state calls "lies" about human rights abuses, economic ills or the
opposition party, the Movement for Democratic Change.

These are just some of the abuses highlighted by the International
Press Institute, a global network of editors, journalists and media
executives. The institute has Zimbabwe on a watch list for violating press
freedoms.

Even foreign media organizations have been hounded out of the country.
In February, reporters for The Associated Press, The Times of London and
Bloomberg News fled the country. They feared they would be jailed after
being subjected to hours of harassment and what one of the correspondents
described as "not-so-veiled threats." All three are Zimbabwean citizens.

And for non-Zimbabwean reporters who think they can slip into the
country on a tourist visa, the prospect of spending as much as two years in
a Zimbabwean jail makes many think again.

In April, two British journalists from The Sunday Telegraph were freed
after spending 10 days in a squalid Harare jail. They were acquitted after
the state failed to prove they had been working as journalists ahead of the
March 31 elections.

The legislative backbone behind the muzzling of the media in Zimbabwe
is the Access to Information and Protection of Privacy Act, which was
tightened in 2004, and the Criminal (Codification and Reform) Act, which
calls for 20 years' imprisonment and/or heavy fines for those who publish
"false" information about the state. Dozens of journalists have been
detained and harassed under these laws, but none have been convicted.

The result of this sustained assault on press freedoms is that
Zimbabwe's free media now operate outside the country's borders.

The Zimbabwean newspaper and SW Radio Africa are two media outlets
that have decamped to Britain. On the other side of the Atlantic, Voice of
America's Studio 7 station has broadcasts to Zimbabwe in the mornings and
evenings and on weekends.

Studio 7 is aired in Shona, Ndebele and English, the main languages
spoken in Zimbabwe.

Studio 7 was introduced in 2003 and is based in Washington. SW Radio
Africa has been up and running since 2001 and is based in London. The
Zimbabwean was started in February and is based in Southampton, England.

These outlets have all found innovative ways around the Zimbabwean
government's restrictive laws.

The Zimbabwean, a weekly tabloid, is edited and printed in London.
Currently 50,000 copies are distributed every Thursday in South Africa,
Botswana and Zimbabwe.

The editor, Wilf Mbanga, said the paper was allowed to distribute in
Zimbabwe because of a loophole in the Access to Information and Privacy Act:
because it is published and printed outside the country, The Zimbabwean and
its journalists, based both inside and outside the country, do not have to
be accredited.

Mbanga said distributing as an international publication was, for now,
one of the few ways to dodge the media laws, which he says are "used to deny
information, not protect it." It is a strategy that Mbanga said was working;
growing numbers of Zimbabweans are reading his weekly.

Of the 50,000 copies printed, 40,000 are sold to the Zimbabwean
diaspora, who live mainly in South Africa, Botswana and Britain. The other
10,000 copies are flown to Zimbabwe each week and sold at shops and street
vendors across the country, alongside the state-run newspapers, The Herald
and The Chronicle. The price per copy is 4,000 Zimbabwean dollars, or 68
cents at the official exchange rate.

Mbanga said the newspapers were selling - and reselling. "People are
buying a copy for 4,000 Zimbabwe dollars, reading it and then selling it for
5,000 dollars. You can't give it away. It's gold," he said with a chuckle.

Further proof of the newspaper's success, Mbanga said, is the negative
response he and the paper have received from the Media and Information
Commission.

"They've denounced us," Mbanga said gleefully. "They've issued
statements saying I am Blair's puppet and receiving slush funds from
America," he said, referring to Prime Minister Tony Blair of Britain.

But Mbanga points out that those helping him to "tell the truth" are
not the British or American governments. The Zimbabwean is funded by three
Dutch nongovernment organizations. The groups, Netherlands Institute of
Southern Africa, Press Now and Free Voice, have each donated ?10,000, or
about $13,000.

Recently, the Open Society Institute, a foundation started by the
financier George Soros to promote democratic governance, also stepped in
with a special grant to cover the paper's printing bill until the end of the
year.

The Zimbabwean also earns money from subscriptions and advertising.
Money is tight, so articles are written on a volunteer basis.

The content of The Zimbabwean, and on www.thezimbabwean.co.uk,
reflects deep resentment toward the Mugabe government. Articles chide
Zimbabwe's human rights record, and editorials warn of the dangers of an
"emasculated" judiciary. Cartoons mock President Robert Mugabe.

Many of the correspondents use pseudonyms. They still fear for their
safety, even if they are based in Britain or South Africa.

Mbanga said he and his volunteer staff were aware that they were still
within reach of what he calls the "long arm of Mugabe."

That long arm caught up with SW Radio Africa in London: three weeks
before the parliamentary elections at the end of March, SW Radio frequencies
were jammed.

SW Radio Africa offers news coverage and political talk shows, with
topics ranging from women's rights to religion to Mugabe. Zimbabwean
listeners to SW Radio Africa can phone in using a local number.

Studio 7, which continues to broadcast without interference, bills
itself less as a platform for democracy and more as a news organization.

"We're trying to cover the news like we're based in Harare," said
Brendan Murphy, the program coordinator for Studio 7. Murphy's staff, as
well as SW Radio Africa's, is made up almost entirely of Zimbabwean
journalists.

Both stations broadcast via short-wave and medium-wave radio
frequencies, which are easily picked up on African radio sets.

Gerry Jackson, the founder and editor at SW Radio Africa, insists that
the Zimbabwean government is behind the jamming. On the station's Web site,
www.swradioafrica.com, listeners are told of alternative frequencies on
medium wave that have not yet been jammed.

Jackson is nervously monitoring reports in the Zimbabwean press that
the government is about to launch an all-day propaganda station to be called
Radio 24-7, on short-wave frequencies inside and outside Zimbabwe.

"This is to counteract so-called negative information put out by
organizations like us," he said. "It is a big media push, which is quite
clever, but quite disturbing."

Mbanga, for his part, is keeping a close eye on South African media
reports that the editor of the state-run newspaper The Herald was recently
making inquiries into printing and distributing that newspaper in
Johannesburg.

"They're worried about our influence in South Africa," he said. "It is
to compete directly with us. We welcome it. It would give readers a choice."

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Reuters

Zimbabwe c.bank sees fuel crisis over soon - paper

Sun May 1, 2005 1:59 PM GMT+02:00
HARARE (Reuters) - Zimbabwe's central bank believes the fuel crisis
gripping the country will end within a fortnight, saying March parliamentary
elections over-stretched limited foreign exchange reserves, state media
reported.

The crisis-ridden southern African nation started to run low on fuel
and other basic commodities soon after the March 31 poll which returned
President Robert Mugabe's ZANU-PF party to power amid opposition cries of
rigging.

"Its not a secret that our resources got a little bit over-stretched
during the just-ended election, especially in the area of foreign currency,"
Reserve Bank governor Gideon Gono told the Sunday Mail.

"With respect to fuel, the situation should normalise over the next
one-and-half to two weeks. Therefore, motorists need not panic as the
situation will be brought back to normal."

Zimbabwe has suffered erratic fuel supplies since 1999, when key
donors led by the International Monetary Fund withdrew support over policy
differences with the government.

Critics say Mugabe, in power since independence from Britain in 1980,
has crippled a once-vibrant economy through skewed policy decisions
including the controversial seizure of white-owned commercial farms for
landless blacks, a programme they say has destroyed the mainstay agriculture
sector.

Mugabe denies misruling the country over the past 25 years, arguing
the economy has fallen victim to domestic and foreign opponents of his farm
seizures.

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Zim Standard

Govt descends on workers' leaders
By Foster Dongozi and Valentine Maponga

oScores arrested in nationwide blitz THE government last week unleashed a
blitz against leaders of the mainstream labour movement amid mounting
concern that it was anxious to pre-empt demonstrations against shortages of
all basic commodities by urban dwellers during today's May Day celebrations.

Several labour activists, meeting to plan today's commemorations, were
arrested last week for allegedly holding unsanctioned meetings.
The Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Union (ZCTU) secretary-general, Wellington
Chibebe, said he was worried by the rate at which labour activists were
being arrested. He also said the government had launched a sustained
campaign to infiltrate and sponsor some members of the affiliated unions in
order to cause chaos.

"Right now we are still coming up with figures on the exact number of our
members who have been arrested.

"Certainly the police have descended on our members and are arresting them
on issues connected to May Day. The harassment of ZCTU members is not a new
thing. They fear that the ZCTU could mobilise the workers to demonstrate on
May Day and that is what has terrified them into making the arrests,"
Chibebe said.

Six ZCTU officials were arrested in Mutare last week for holding a
preparatory meeting for today's Workers' Day. They were released after four
hours.

Helarious Ruyi, a general council member; Eria Mwandipe (regional
chairperson); Tambaoga Nyazika (regional officer); a Mr Chandakabata,
(regional treasurer); Superior Boka, (district chairperson); and Medicine
Muringi (district organiser) were arrested last Wednesday for meeting at
Mutare's Hellenics Sports club.

Ruyi said the police stormed the meetings' venue and told them they were
holding an illegal gathering because they had not sought police clearance.

Innocent Gonese, a Mutare lawyer, who accompanied the six to the police
station, said the detentions were illegal since ZCTU, as a labour body, did
not require police clearance to hold its meetings.

"It is unfortunate that the police do not know the provisions of the law.
The provisions of POSA (Public Order and Security Act) are quite clear on
who is supposed to apply for police clearance and who is not," Gonese said.

Ruyi rapped the police for disrupting the meeting, saying this had been
costly to the organisation as they had paid for the venue but had not
concluded their business.

He blamed the police for what he said was "overzealous behaviour".

In Harare, ZCTU's Health and Safety Co-ordinator, Nathan Banda, and three
other workers of the labour movement were on Wednesday morning briefly
detained by the police while commemorating the World Day for Safety and
Health at Work.

Mulamuleli Sibanda, the ZCTU spokesperson, said the four and two other
unidentified members from the Associated Mining Workers Union were just
about to march from Harare City Centre to the National Social Security
Authority (NSSA) House along Sam Nujoma Street when police pounced on them.

"The police detained them for more than an hour and asked them not to
proceed with the march. They were left with no choice but to abandon the
march," Sibanda said.

He said the peaceful demonstrations were organised by NSSA and the
Associated Mining Workers, an affiliate of the ZCTU.

The three other workers from the ZCTU are: Elijah Mutemeri; Nyikadzino
Madzonga; and Vimbai Mushongera.

The Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights (ZLHR) condemned the arrests saying
the harassment of labour activists was a clear and contemptuous violation of
workers' rights.

"It is common cause that workers the world over mark and commemorate these
days and they have the inalienable right to do so. The State has no right to
effectively delete all these rights at whim, as has been the case in
Zimbabwe recently," the lawyers said in a statement.

Ordinary Zimbabweans are suffering due worsening economic problems
characterised by crippling fuel and water crisis, electricity blackouts and
the scarcity of sugar, cooking oil, soft drinks and maize, the country's
staple food.

Prices of the few available commodities have sky rocketed beyond the reach
of ordinary Zimbabweans while the parallel market has resurfaced.

Transport shortages have worsened in most urban centres, with commuters
spending hours in queues while others foot to and from their work places.

The Standard also observed riot police controlling fuel queues at several
service stations in Harare's central business district (CBD) to ensure there
are no riots as the shortages persist. Roadblocks have been set up along
routes leading into the city centre during the past week in a show of
strength that the ZCTU says is intended to send warning signals to
organisers of today's Workers' Day celebrations.
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Zim Standard

MDC decries Zanu PF 'retribution'
By Caiphas Chimhete

THE Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) says the ruling Zanu PF party has
intensified post-elections retribution against the opposition party's
supporters, mostly in rural areas, in order to cow the disgruntled
electorate.

The party claims its chairman for Ward 6 in Karoi, Ebrahim Moffat, was
murdered by suspected Zanu PF supporters on Friday, as the ruling party
tries to ensure complete dominance in rural areas.
Zanu PF won 78 seats while MDC got 41 seats in the disputed 31 March
parliamentary elections.

Paul Themba-Nyathi, MDC spokesperson said the murder of Moffat was one of
the several cases of post elections retribution by the ruling party.

He said Zanu PF was targeting people who were MDC poll agents in the 31
March 2005 parliamentary elections.

"While the Zanu PF leadership is trying to give an impression that there is
peace in the post-election era, we continue to receive reports of MDC
activists who are being assaulted, intimidated and threatened throughout the
country," Themba-Nyathi said.

Police spokesperson, Oliver Mandipaka, said he had not details of the
alleged murder case as he was attending the Zimbabwe International Trade
Affair (ZITF) in Bulawayo.

"I don't have details of that case, but you can get in touch with Assistant
Commissioner Bvudzijena he should be back in Harare by now," Mandipaka said.

Efforts to get a comment from Bvudzijena were unsuccessful.

Themba-Nyathi said retribution was worst in resettlement areas where the
people are afraid of loosing land they received.

He said MDC election agent in the 31 March, Sam Komala (25), at Sanya
Primary School in Shamva and his wife, Patience Maungire, who was a polling
agent at Soma Resettlement area in the same constituency had their tuckshop
looted of goods worth millions of dollars by a group of suspected Zanu PF
supporters on 18 April 2005, the day Zimbabwe celebrated its 25th
independence.

"It (retribution) is actually worst in the resettlement areas where people
are held hostages. Zanu PF tells them that because they are on the
resettlement schemes they have not right to support an opposition party,"
Themba-Nyathi said.

The MDC spokesperson said the ruling party was harassing and beating up
people in the rural areas because the opposition party had made inroads in
the rural areas, once viewed as a Zanu PF's stronghold.

"They know they do not have support anywhere in the country so they have to
get it through intimidation, abuse of traditional structures and food, which
is being used as a weapon of force," Themba-Nyathi said.

The MDC also claims that Washington Wengai Hwiza of Hoyuyu in Murehwa South,
who worked as an election agent at Karumazondo Primary School during the
past elections, was severely assaulted by a group of four Zanu PF
functionaries at a tuckshop he operates in Gwishiri Village last week.

In Guruve, North MDC youth chairman for Ward 6 in Guruve North, Alfred
Chideme, had his property removed from his house and dumped at his father's
home by a group of Zanu PF youths allegedly on the instructions of a Zanu PF
councillor.

"When Chideme initially reported the incident at Mahuwe Police Station, the
officer who heard the case said there was nothing they could do to help as
the officer responsible for such cases had left the station.

" A second report was made to Constable Usika by Chideme's uncle, upon which
the case was reported as RRB 0337049. However, no arrests have been made to
date," said the MDC.

Chideme has since fled the area following threats by the youths, said the
MDC.

Zanu PF national chairman, John Nkomo, refused to comment referring all
questions to the party's spokesperson, Nathan Shamuyarira, who could not be
reached by the time of going to print.
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Zim Standard

Guebuza hails NEPAD but Mugabe 'looks East'
By our own staff

VISITING Mozambican President, Armando Guebuza, has challenged African
leaders to uphold the principles of the New Partnership for Africa's
Development (Nepad), saying it would help develop the continent and
alleviate worsening poverty.

Speaking at a reception held at State House on Thursday evening, Guebuza,
who is in the country for a four-day State visit, said African leaders are
playing a more prominent role in the fight against poverty and in the
promotion of sustainable development.

"Nepad represents our renewed commitment to peace and stability and to
entrenching democracy and raising standards of good political, economic and
corporate governance," he said.

Guebuza said through Nepad, African leaders would be telling the rest of the
world that they are ready to confront all their problems head-on.

"Nepad is a cry for help from someone who is not looking by, but who is
clear as to what he or she wants to achieve. It is a cry for help from
someone who wants to take full responsibility for his or her own fate firmly
in his or her own hands," said Guebuza, who officially opened this year's
Zimbabwe International Trade Fair (ZITF) on Friday.

He said Nepad symbolises the call for true and genuine partnership that
Africa wants to build with the rest of the world.

Zimbabwe has so far not yet signed up for the African Peer Review Mechanism
(APRM), a voluntary undertaking by member states that would facilitate
periodic peer reviews and be guided by agreed parameters for good governance
at both political and economic levels.

President Robert Mugabe, speaking at the same function took the opportunity
to announce that his crisis-wracked country now had a "special bias towards
the Far East, with countries like China, Singapore, Malaysia and Indonesia
playing a leading role as development partners".

Mugabe spoke about the importance of ties between Mozambique and Zimbabwe
with the former playing a pivotal role as Zimbabwe's shortest gateway to the
rest of the world.

"We have a few outstanding areas we need to work hard on, which include the
joint vision for Beira, but one often stymied by lethargic bureaucracies in
our two countries," he said.

He said he was happy that Mozambique was exhibiting at the Zimbabwe
International Trade Fair (ZITF), which ended yesterday.

The success of NEPAD is expected to ensure that Africa develops and
eradicates poverty, which has brought many social ills to the continent.
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Zim Standard

'No money for you'- Parastatals wait in vain for Gono's promised billions
By Kumbirai Mafunda

HALF the number of Zimbabwe's loss making parasatals have not received a
cent from the ambitious $10 trillion the central bank pledged in January,
Standard Business has learnt.

Central bank Governor Gideon Gono - who three months ago unveiled an
ambitious plan to dole out a whopping $10 trillion to more than 16
financially crippled parastatals - said at the time that targeted outlays
under the programme would primarily be for the specific uplifting of
worn-out public enterprises and human resource rationalisation and
development.
Official sources said the central bank has failed to raise the unbudgeted
funds and instead has only $5 trillion, which it has parceled to a few
parastatals.

Among the few beneficiaries was Hwange Colliery Company, which received $95
billion, a fraction of the $400 billion Gono had said would go to the
country's sole coal miner.

Godfrey Dzinomwa, Hwange MD on Friday confirmed receiving the funds, which
he said had "brought up our production".

Some local authorities were also said to be among the early recipients of
the funds. However others such as Mutare, that was promised $40 billion,
haven't received a cent.

"We have heard about it on radio and read about it newspapers," is all that
Mutare Executive Mayor Misheck Kagurabadza said when Standard Business
solicited for his comment.

Electricity supplier, ZESA, which had hoped to embark on a number of
projects with the central bank money, says it has not yet received its
promised allocation. Because of that ZESA has stopped work in Shawasha
Hills, Ruwa and many other suburbs.

Most of the electrification work has stopped because ZESA has no money to
buy transformers and companies that used to supply it on credit have frozen
ZESA accounts because of non-payment, sources told Standard Business.

ZESA's Corporate Affairs Manager Obert Nyatanga on Friday said the
electricity supplier was still to receive its $1 trillion tranche from Gono.

"We have not yet received the money," said Nyatanga. "They are still
processing and we are likely to get it soon," he added.

Almost all loss making institutions such as NRZ, ZISCO, GMB, ZUPCO and Air
Zimbabwe are in line for a massive capital injection under Gono's ambitious
reform plan.

Critics however say several rescue packages for State enterprises in the
past have either failed to take off ground or bear any fruits because of
mismanagement and lack of fiscal discipline. The analysts warn that unless
corporate governance issues are addressed the $10 trillion rescue package is
tantamount to taxpayers' funds being poured into a bottomless pit.

Other analysts attributed the RBZ's failure to raise the much-needed rescue
funds to under subscription of the central bank's stock on the market.

"The market can not obtain that much," said Daniel Ndlela economic
consultant at Zimconsult.

Independent economic consultant John Robertson blamed the loss of national
savings brought up by negative real interest rates, as the main cause the
RBZ cannot easily raise funds. He said the government is saddled with other
pressing commitments that it will be difficult for the central bank to raise
the $10 trillion.

Standard Business failed to get the normally easily accessible Gono's
comment before going to print despite repeated efforts to contact him.
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Zim Standard

Little business at ZITF
By our own staff

BULAWAYO - Zimbabwe's annual trade exhibition, Zimbabwe International Trade
Fair (ZITF) ended on what many concluded was a disappointing note.

A snap survey conducted by The Standard yesterday revealed that most
exhibitors did not conclude many deals. The exhibitors only reported having
received inquiries.
In an interview, Zambia's first secretary for economic affairs, Dyriss
Kabwita, said about 10 Zambian companies, which participated in this year's
ZITF, were yet to conclude deals.

"We are yet to clinch concrete deals. We have only received inquiries about
our products. We were given a few promising contacts.

"From my observation of this year's show, the participation was low though I
don't really know the cause," Kabwita said.

Ten Zambian companies, which exhibited at the ZITF under the Zambian embassy
stand, comprise Aminita Private Limited, which specialises in the production
of cooking oil and chips; Trade Kings, which manufactures detergents, mahewu
drink and other consumables.

Other companies such as Rivonia Private Limited, Zambia Sugar Company,
Zambia Breweries, Plascom Paints, Dulux, Vitretext (Pvt) Ltd, Zambia-China
Mulungushi Textiles (ZCMT) and the International Drug Company were among the
foreign companies, which exhibited.

The other Zambian firm which said it failed to clinch deals was the
International Drug Company of Zambia. It said the bigger markets in the
Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) made up for the disappointment suffered
at this year's ZITF.

Zambian Counsellor Chembe Nyangu said although most companies did not
conclude deals, they would in future benefit from the contacts they made.

Malawi's Export Promotion Council Senior Manager, Daisy Pamela Mthindi, said
she was still to reflect on the business concluded at the Trade Fair.

"As you can see, I am still compiling the list of orders made during the
week. Off hand, I can't say much except that the business was low," Mthindi
said.

Imperial and Commercial Refrigeration, a local company, said it had only
sold four refrigerators during the exhibition.

The company's sales representative, Johnson Chipfunde, said the four
refrigerators were valued at $90 million.

"I would not want to say much, but we sold four refrigerators here. The
level of participation was okay but as Imperial and Commercial
Refrigeration, we are experiencing serious foreign currency challenges.

"We have since scaled down operations as a result of the shortage of foreign
currency," Chipfunde said.

Car Guard Company's technician at the ZITF, Richard Moyo, said: "Sales have
gone down but we have to pull up our socks to visit clients from the
targeted companies. The other issue that should be implemented is thorough
advertising as well as visiting people on the ground," Moyo said.

Mozambican President Armando Guebuza officially opened the show on Friday.

He said the ZITF was a clear manifestation of the strength of the people of
Zimbabwe to overcome obstacles in their way.
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Zim Standard

Bulawayo, Masvingo council budgets approved
By our own staff

BULAWAYO - THE government has finally approved the budgets for Bulawayo and
Masvingo cities but it might take long before they are implemented because
they need to be gazetted first, The Standard has established.

The budgets were supposed to have been approved by December last year so
that implementation would start at the beginning of 2005.
Bulawayo executive mayor, Japhet Ndabeni-Ncube, confirmed that the city's
budget had been approved but the council was still waiting for it to be
gazetted, before implementation.

He said the delay in approving the budget had cost the council several
millions of dollars in revenue.

"We incurred some heavy loses during the past four months when we were
waiting for our budget to be approved. As it is right now, we cannot
implement the budget unless gazetted first.

"We are still in a difficult position. Right now we don't really know when
our budget will be gazetted so that we start the implementation," he said.

Complicating matters, the city of Bulawayo budget was slashed from $775
billion to $515 billion, a move that has raised grave concern with local
authority.

The executive mayor of Masvingo, Alois Chaimiti, also confirmed that his
city's $45 billion budget was approved but pointed out that it was yet to be
gazetted.

"Right now we can not implement the budget because it is not yet gazetted,"
Chaimiti said.
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Zim Standard

Authorities mum on fuel shortage
By Bertha Shoko and Emmanuel Mungoshi

THE government yesterday failed to provide a satisfactory explanation on
when the current fuel crisis is likely to end as queues during the whole of
yesterday appeared the longest since the crisis started.

Justin Mupamhanga, permanent secretary for the Ministry of Energy and Power
Development, said the obstacles that have been affecting the fuel industry
for the past two years were still the same.
He asked The Standard news crew if they were not aware of the current
problems affecting the country.

"What was the situation two years ago? The fuel industry, like any other
industry has constraints, which is what the government is working to
address," said an apparently irritated and impatient Mupamhanga.

He added: "I have not changed my position concerning what I told the Press
last week. Government is making efforts to address the situation. The
foreign currency situation is our major constraint, where this issue is
concerned."

Mupamhanga said the fuel crisis was no longer news anymore because the
problem has been affecting the country for a couple of years now.

Mupamhanga, however, said the government was working on logistics to ensure
constant and timely delivery of fuel.

National Oil Company of Zimbabwe spokesperson, Zvikomborero Sibanda, said
the issue is now a national problem and was being handled at ministry level.
"Noczim is no longer the sole fuel procurement company in the country. There
are other companies now. I think you should talk to the ministry," Sibanda
said.

Gordon Musarira of the Petroleum Marketers' Association of Zimbabwe (PMAZ)
could not be reached for comment.

As the fuel problems persisted, threatening to enter a second week running,
long and winding queues of desperate motorists at petrol stations and
garages have become a common phenomenon countrywide.

The shortages have led to the emergency of a thriving parallel market. Five
litres of petrol is reportedly now selling at $60 000 at the illegal market.

As late as 11PM, commuters were milling around in Harare's central business
district in search of transport to go home after knocking off from work as
early as 4 PM.
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Zim Standard

Mutare council workers threaten strike
By our own Staff

MUTARE - The cash-strapped Mutare City Council was by late last week
scrounging around for money to pay its increasingly restive workers in a bid
to avert an imminent strike by its employees.

Council workers last week wrote to the city fathers warning them that
failure to pay them a 140 percent salary increase by the end of last week
would be an invitation to them to down tools.
In a letter addressed to Morgan Chawawa, the City's Town Clerk, the workers
said if council fails to comply with their demands they would be left with
no option but to go on industrial action.

The employees, who exceed 1 000, are demanding a 140 percent salary
adjustment backdated to January, that an arbitrator granted them early this
month.

Council and workers took their salary dispute for arbitration after
collective bargaining became deadlocked.

Mutare Executive Mayor Misheck Kagurabadza said his council had by last week
secured 70 percent of the 140 percent workers were demanding.

He blamed the city's woes on the delay by the Ministry of Local Government,
Public Works and Urban Development to approve its 2005 budget.

The ministry's permanent secretary, David Munyoro, recently ordered the
MDC-led council to revert to the 2004 rates after the council had increased
rates without its approval. But Kagurabadza said the 2004 figures had been
crafted in 2003.

"Our 2005 budget has not been approved and this is making it very hard for
us to operate," lamented Kagurabadza.

The Executive Mayor said it was not feasible to award workers such an
increase although he fully understands their plight.

"It is impossible to do that with the 2004 rates," he said.

Local Government, Public Works and Urban Development Minister Ignatious
Chombo quashed the council's attempts to raise rates in 2004.

Kagurabadza said service delivery was being slowed down by the rate freeze
since the cost of service and goods had risen sharply.

The government, eager to reduce support of the opposition Movement for
Democratic Change (MDC) in urban cities has on numerous counts appointed
committees and commissions to run most urban cities.

In 2004 the government appointed a four-member committee to take over the
running of the Mutare City Council from the MDC-controlled council.

Although Kagurabadza is still executing his duties as the city's Mayor, the
appointment of the committee raised fears that the government is on the
verge of taking total control of the city council
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Zim Standard

NSSA plan for health insurance slammed
By Emmanuel Mungoshi

THE National Social Security Authority (NSSA)'s proposal to launch a
national health insurance scheme is another of the government's numerous
ploys to squander workers' hard-earned money, civic organisations have said.

The parastatal has said it intends to introduce a national health insurance
scheme, under which every worker would be obliged to contribute a certain
percentage of his or her monthly salary. It has approached the Tender Board
for approval to engage consultants to update a 1996 report on the cost of
health services.
According to Amod Takawira, NSSA's acting general manager, the consultants
would help in determining the levels of the contributions to the scheme.

If the Tender Board considers the request before May, the outcome of the
consultants' work could be known by June next year.

It is expected that the consultants' brief would be to establish the monthly
cost of providing health services to an individual worker.

The rationale for establishing a national health insurance scheme is that
many people were failing to access health services due to rising costs of
health care.

However, drawing parallels from past experiences with NSSA's existing
pension and funeral funds, civic organisations said the parastatal is not
the best organisation to administer people's money.

Lovemore Matombo, president of the Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions (ZCTU)
cited lack of transparency in the way NSSA conducts business as one reason
for the parastatal's mismanagement of the workers' contributions to schemes
under its administration.

"Workers are unable to access funds from existing schemes currently
administered by NSSA, which makes one wonder who exactly or which group of
people are benefiting from these schemes," Matombo said.

Matombo argued that the normal process was for NSSA to consult all the
stakeholders before implementation of such schemes.

"We (as workers' representatives) have not been given the opportunity to
forward the names of people to represent the workers. It's just another of
the government's ways of squandering the people's money," Matombo said.

Dr Billy Rigava, president of the Zimbabwe Medical Association (Zima) said
the national health insurance scheme is a noble idea but added that he had
reservations arising from NSSA's history of incompetence.

"It is a very good idea, probably the way to go, but NSSA is not the right
organisation to administer the scheme.

"They have failed to be transparent with the funds they have now, why should
people trust them to administer the national health scheme?" asked Rigava.

Mike Bimha, the president of Employers' Confederation of Zimbabwe (Emcoz),
in his capacity as a NSSA board member laid the blame on the prevailing
economic environment, insisting that the benefits were being eroded by
inflation.

"We need to get our economy right. Unless we turn the economy around the
benefits from any scheme will be insignificant," Bimha said.

NSSA's Takawira, however, labelled all those critical of the parastatal
launching a medical scheme as detractors, who were opposed to change.

"Those people are well up and can afford to pay fees being charged by
private doctors. How about those in the clothing industry, for example, can
they afford to pay for an X-ray?

"The reason NSSA has decided to offer a medical scheme is to ensure that
people are covered for the rest of their lives by one service provider, even
if they change employment," Takawira said.

NSSA's medical scheme will first target those in formal employment before it
rolls out to the informal sector.

"We must first of all come up with a strategy on how those in informal
sector can contribute to the scheme," Takawira said.

Late last year, a Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Public Accounts
observed that NSSA had "no proper investment register" for its holdings in
equities, prescribed assets and other properties.

Such loopholes, the committee said, meant that the authority was susceptible
to manipulation.
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Zim Standard

State raids NGOs
By Foster Dongozi and Rutendo Mawere

NON Governmental Organisations (NGOs) and the Zimbabwe Congress of Trade
Unions are under siege from the Ministry of Public Service, Labour and
Social Welfare, which they allege is out to destroy them.

The Ministry is headed by former State Security Minister, Nicholas Goche,
believed by the two organisations to have been re-assigned in the recent
Cabinet reshuffle to 'deal' with the two groups.
Operatives from the Central Intelligence Organisation, appointed as
government inspectors, last week raided offices of several NGOs and demanded
to go through their books.

Under the Private Voluntary Organisations Act, the minister can appoint any
officers in the Public Service as Inspecting Officers.

The National Association of Non Governmental Organisation (NANGO) was raided
last week.

A statement issued by NANGO said: "We understand that the Probe Team also
includes representatives from line ministries as well as the Central
Intelligence Organisation."

NANGO added that the raids appeared to have a political dimension.

"A cursory analysis of the list of organisations that have already been
probed indicates that one of the organisations had a former founder board
member who is now a key figure in the opposition Movement for Democratic
Change. Another organisation is one set up by the Commercial Farmers' Union
while another is a prominent and outspoken human rights organisation."

NANGO said NGOs faced a challenge of contesting the political objectives of
the probe.

"The raids on NGOs can be used as a vindictive and punitive response to what
has been termed as subversive activities by NGOs."

Goche, The Minister of Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare told The
Standard that investigations were still going on although he could not be
drawn to disclose the number of NGO's that had been raided.

"The commission is continuing with the investigations but I have not met
them to discuss their findings and which NGO's have been investigated."

Sources in the NGO sector said Probe Teams swooped on close to 15 NGOs.

"About thirteen NGO's have been visited including NANGO, Zimrights, World
Vision and Farm Orphan Support Trust but some of the NGOs are afraid to come
out in the open and say what exactly transpired for fear of victimisation."

Several organisations contacted to confirm the raids said they could not
comment for fear of reprisals.

The director of ZimRights, Munyaradzi Bidi, confirmed that government
inspectors swooped on his offices last week.

"Four people, one woman and three males claiming they had been sent by the
Ministry of Labour called at our offices saying they had been appointed
inspectors to verify the affairs of the private voluntary organisations."

He said among the issues that the inspectors wanted to scrutinise was their
activities, sources of income, books of accounts, major donors and foreign
currency disclosures."

Bidi said the government was jittery because a lot of NGOs were close to the
people. "The government's discomfort stems from the fact that NGOs are more
in touch with the people at grassroots level than themselves."

Abisha Makondo the administration and finance manager at the Farm
OrphanSupport Trust could neither confirm nor deny the raids to this paper.
Makondo said: "I am not at liberty to disclose that information over the
phone."

An official with NANGO said several organisations had been cowed into
silence by the visits.

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Zim Standard

Court acts on Chigwedere
By our own staff

THE High Court last week issued an interdict barring the Minister of
Education, Sport and Culture, Aeneas Chigwedere, from interfering in the
affairs of Happy Home plot in Marondera, The Standard has established.

Happy Home plot is owned by Rhoda Mhute, who says Chigwedere is interfering
with the operations at her plot, which is situated next to Chigwedere's
Mildebron Farm in Marondera.
She also says Chigwedere was harassing her family and workers.

High Court Justice Alphas Chitakunye ordered Chigwedere to stop the
interference, as well as meet the costs of the case. "The respondent
(Chigwedere), his employees or agents be and are hereby interdicted from
interfering with the applicant's peaceful possession or occupation of Lot 1
of Happy Home of Waterval of Wenimbi Estate," Chitakunye ordered.

According to High Court documents Mhute, argued that her problems started
after Chigwedere occupied his allocated Mildebron Estate in 2002. In the
application Mhute sought an order that would bar Chigwedere from interfering
with the running of affairs at her farm.

Mhute said she bought the farm from Eris Richard Nilson, who is the previous
owner of the small folding plot, after Joseph Made, then Minister of Lands,
Agriculture and Land Reform, cleared it by issuing a Certificate of No
Present Interest.

Chigwedere argued that Mhute had mistakenly cited him in her application
instead of the people from the Land Task Force which, until the new cabinet
announced two weeks ago, fell under the Ministry of Lands, Agriculture and
Rural Development.

Chigwedere had said Mhute made baseless allegations that the people from the
Land Task Force had been sent by him.
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Zim Standard

Zim most dangerous for journalists

THE Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) named Zimbabwe one of the
"World's Worst Places to Be a Journalist" in 2004, with the government of
President Robert Mugabe continuing to crack down on the private media.

Repressive legislation was used to close the country's only independent
daily newspaper, The Daily News, and to detain and harass journalists.
Authorities were particularly sensitive to reporting on human rights,
economic woes, and political opposition to the regime.
No foreign correspondents reported from Zimbabwe in 2004 after the last
remaining one, Andrew Meldrum of the London-based Guardian newspaper, was
deemed "undesirable" and deported in 2003. Local journalists known to be
filing for foreign news organizations have been subjected to frequent
harassment; in February, three journalists from the state-owned daily The
Herald were fired for working for the US government-funded broadcaster Voice
of America.

In March 2005 three correspondents for foreign news organisations - Angus
Shaw, Brian Latham and Jan Raath, fled Zimbabwe after their security was
threatened. Police had been to their offices and houses looking for them.

In November, Parliament passed a measure banning foreign-funded,
nongovernmental organizations that promote human rights and good government.
Independent journalists in Zimbabwe and abroad feared that the legislation
would deprive them of important sources on crucial issues. It was but one in
a series of repressive new laws rushed through Parliament in the run-up to
the elections. Others include the Criminal Law (Codification and Reform)
Act, which imposes up to 20 years' imprisonment, heavy fines, or both for
publishing or communicating "false" information deemed prejudicial to the
state. Journalists fear that the law could be used broadly against any
Zimbabwean who communicates with news outlets or organizations based abroad.

Another measure passed in November toughened the already strict Access to
Information and Public Privacy Act (AIPPA), a 2002 law that criminalized
practising journalism without a licence from the government-controlled Media
and Information Commission (MIC). The 2004 amendments allow authorities to
jail any journalist found working without MIC accreditation for up to two
years. During parliamentary debate, MDC members called for the repeal of
AIPPA, according to South Africa's Mail and Guardian. One MDC
parliamentarian noted that AIPPA did not conform to Southern African
Development Community (SADC) principles on good government and free press.
The SADC comprises 14 southern and central African countries, including
Zimbabwe, and promotes sustainable development, democracy, peace, and
security.

However, SADC countries, including Zimbabwe's powerful neighbour, South
Africa, have been reluctant to criticize Mugabe, with whom they have
long-standing ties. South African President Thabo Mbeki has remained
publicly supportive of Mugabe and has pressed ahead with a policy of "quiet
diplomacy".

In February, Zimbabwe's Supreme Court upheld AIPPA in a constitutional
challenge brought by the Independent Journalists Association of Zimbabwe.
The association had argued that compulsory registration violated
journalists' constitutional rights to free expression. A separate challenge
to the law by ANZ, the company that owns The Daily News, was pending at
year's end.

The Daily News first closed in September 2003, when the Supreme Court ruled
that it was violating the law by not registering with the MIC. Police
occupied the newspaper's offices to enforce the ban. The daily briefly
resumed publication in January 2004 but was closed and local journalists
held out little hope that it could reopen before the March 2005 elections.
The Daily News continued to publish an online edition from South Africa.

William Saidi of The Daily News, said AIPPA was being used to destroy his
paper. "The Daily News had overtaken the government's newspaper The Herald
in circulation and was accused of influencing the elections in 2002, so as
some form of punishment, the government decided they would ban The Daily
News," he told the BBC in July. Mugabe was re-elected in the 2002 vote,
which foreign observers said was marred by violence and intimidation.

In June, authorities closed the private weekly Tribune for a year, saying it
had violated AIPPA by failing to notify the MIC of changes in ownership and
frequency of publication. Tribune Publisher Kindness Paradza told CPJ the
closure was politically motivated, and local journalists noted that Tribune
published articles critical of former Information Minister Jonathan Moyo.
Paradza, who until March 2005 was a member of Parliament with the ruling
Zanu-PF, said in March that Zimbabwe's media laws should be revised.

Moyo lashed out at two other independent weekly newspapers, The Standard and
The Independent, calling them "running dogs of imperialism." The editors of
both newspapers faced charges under restrictive press and security laws. CPJ
sources said authorities targeted the two publications in the run-up to the
2005 March parliamentary elections, noting that with the closing of The
Daily News, the weeklies were the country's only remaining independent
newspapers.

Still, government harassment has not silenced the papers' critical
reporting. In October, for example, The Independent wrote that Zimbabwe was
"hurtling towards fascist rule" with the introduction of "new despotic laws
that analysts ... said were calculated to cripple civil society and the
opposition." - CPJ.
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Zim Standard

Shrinking ZITF mirrors economic collapse

THIS year's Zimbabwe International Trade Fair (ZITF) has been a further
disappointment. It reflects poorly on us when we invite a foreign Head of
State to come and officially open a near- deserted event.

The ZITF is supposed to be a multi-national and intra-regional trade
exhibition centre - the showcase of trade this side of the Sahara.
During the 2004 ZITF, 680 exhibitors took part, as compared to 734 during
2003. This year the ZITF could only manage 600 companies. The figures tell a
sad story of a progressive decline in one of the most prestigious trade
calendar events. In actual fact, the exhibitors this year equal those of
three years ago, when it drew participation from countries such as Austria,
Botswana, China, the DRC, Egypt, Kenya, Malawi, Mozambique, Nigeria, South
Africa and Zambia.

Such was once the significance and popularity of the ZITF that exhibitors
jostled each other for space or they found accommodation under the umbrella
of participants from their various countries. Travelling to Bulawayo during
the Trade Fair and finding accommodation was simply a nightmare. It used to
be a very hectic period. This year, the numerous service providers, among
them lodges that benefit from the overflow from the trade centrepiece will
have been disappointed because of reduced business.

The main reason for inviting foreign leaders is to maximise on opportunities
for trade with businesses from the countries whose leaders come to
officially open the Trade Fair. The foreign leaders are normally accompanied
by a high-powered business delegation - emphasising the commitment to
promote and improve business relations with Zimbabwe.

Overseas foreign companies made a bee-line to the ZITF because they realised
that it was a unique platform that brought together so many of the
businesses in the region. Participation offered them value for money.

But this year's Trade Fair should serve as a warning signal to either
re-invent itself or go the way of many other companies and institutions in
that crumbling city.

It is unfair to the Mozambican leader, President Armando Guebuza, to be
asked to preside over an event that is either predominantly empty or overly
populated by quasi-flea market operators.

Both the Trade Fair authorities and the government could do well to reflect
on why a once premier event has lost its gloss. The Trade Fair authorities
might not have the courage to explain the reason - it is a Zimbabwean
affliction to duck reality and seek refuge in politically correct
explanations. The disappointing turn out reflects how the region and the
world perceive Zimbabwe.

While the government cannot be expected to do much because it is the cause
of the image that Zimbabwe is getting, it nevertheless needs to reflect on
whether this is really what this country, once described as the "Switzerland
of Africa", deserves.

Although 600 exhibitors are said to have booked their participation at this
year's Trade Fair, what in essence they have done is merely to reserve their
stands for when things return to normal.

Zimbabwean companies would have shown less enthusiasm for participation at
an event dominated by small and medium scale enterprises (SMEs) or flea
market operators, while for the SMEs, the fees for participation would have
the effect of limiting participation.

For the larger companies, participation and exposure would have been good
for their order books, but the reality is that given the foreign currency
crisis, getting orders when one is not able to fulfil them is meaningless.
In fact, it could end up being costly because they can be sued for failing
to deliver or for misrepresentation.

The following might better illustrate their predicament: the amount of
foreign currency available on the auction floor as of last week was
US$11million. This is against a demand for 6 436 rejected bids for US$215
million. Given such a scenario, companies reasoned that while they would be
able to attract orders, they would not be able to fulfil those orders
because they require foreign currency in order for them to import raw
materials necessary in fulfilling the orders from the Trade Fair. They opted
to wait for an improvement.

The shrill voices claiming sabotage conveniently overlook and seek to mask
the real problems. The government, ever fond of conspiracy theories, will
plead that this is another indication of how the West is busy trying to
derail Zimbabwe's efforts at economic turnaround. But the truth is that even
our new-found friends are not exactly falling over each other trying to take
over the role once played and occupied by the West.

It is the failure to secure critical raw material imports that explains why
despite attendances by Presidents Jose Eduardo dos Santos of Angola in 2003,
Levy Mwanawasa of Zambia in 2002, Sam Nujoma of Namibia and leaders from the
DRC, that Zimbabwe is not enjoying roaring trade with businesses from these
countries. There is need for an audit of the investment made in getting
foreign leaders and their business delegations to the ZITF. We must be frank
in confronting the reasons why there is no appreciable return on our
investment.

The way forward is for the ZITF authorities and industry to sit down and
work out how ZITF 2006 can mark the beginning of regaining lost ground. In
contrast, the Harare International Festival of the Arts seems to have done
exceedingly well from both the viewpoint of business and public attendances.
There could be instructive lessons for the ZITF in HIFA.
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Zim Standard

Freedonia's revolution goes into overdrive
By Dumisani Mpofu

FREEDONIA'S Revolutionary Party (FRP) was concerned about the voting
preferences of its urban dwellers. It was an issue that puzzled and
exercised their minds a lot.

A Commission was set up to investigate why the urban dwellers were not so
enthusiastic in their support for the revolutionary party.
The answer was not long coming. One day, a person from the FRP's
Commissariat hit upon an idea. "Fellow revolutionaries", his voice shrieked.
"I propose that we dilute the stranglehold that the opposition has
maintained on our urban areas." As far as the FRP was concerned, they owned
everything and they would have loved to claim ownership of the people as
well.

"The government should allow local authorities to increase rates, rentals
and fees for other services to levels that would render it impossible for
most of the residents to afford living in the urban areas.

"Given the current hardships, caused by our enemies, such measures will
drive out the residents to the rural areas, where we shall entice them with
the rural electrification programmes, boreholes and road infrastructure."

The commissar explained that this strategy would serve two things: The first
would result in depriving the opposition of its support base, who were
essentially urban dwellers; The second was, once the urban dwellers merged
with rural communities, their political rebelliousness would end - the rural
communities, who were predominantly supporters of the FRP would ensure the
new arrivals converted to the ruling party. In order for one to survive in
the rural areas, one had to be a member of the Freedonia's Revolutionary
Party - this guaranteed access to goods and services, which no one outside
the urban areas could not survive without.

For example, membership of the FRP guaranteed one access to all the
necessary resources to be able to carry out farming activities. Membership
was also the only way that one was able to sell the products from the farms.

Driving everyone out of the towns and onto the farms was good propaganda for
Freedonia's leadership. "There is such an overwhelming demand for land among
our citizens such that even city dwellers are deserting the cities in
preference to farms. Our agrarian revolution enjoys 120 percent support of
our people," explained Freedonia's spokespersons. It was one way of ensuring
the urban dwellers rallied behind what was described as the agrarian
revolution.

But as was the case with the leadership of this nation, no one stopped to
think about how they were going to make up for lost revenue from residents
who would be relocating to the rural areas. The funds for implementing the
programme to bring electricity to the rural areas were from levies charged
urban dwellers. The relocation to rural areas would result in less revenue
from this revenue base. But that was the least of the worries for
Freedonia's leadership. Power and control mattered most and everything else
was secondary.

The Don of Freedonia's revolution was pushing one of his pet projects. In
reality, it was part of a strategy designed to consolidate the FRP's hold on
power and secure the future of the ruling party.

Addressing a gathering in the amphitheatre in the capital of Freedonia, he
thundered to choreographed cheers and applause from the ruling party's young
pioneers: "Fellow Freedonians. Those of us who are privileged to travel
abroad are struck by the pride and identity of our brothers and sisters on
the continent.

"Accordingly, we, your wise leadership have agreed that Freedonians adopt a
national dress. We want Freedonians to stand out from the crowd and be
noticed and recognised as revolutionary sons and daughters of the soil
wherever they may be. Our designers at the highest institution of political
correctness and national guidance are busy finalising the designs. These
should be ready when we next meet to remember our fallen liberators."

He said the national dress was more than just a question of identity. In
fact, imported designs and foreign clothing would be banned and all
Freedonians would be compelled to wear the national dress. Failure to do so
would be punishable by two weeks' hard labour on the newly resettled farms.
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Zim Standard

Forex demand surges
By Allen Tichaona

DEMAND for foreign currency on the foreign currency auction market has
swelled over the past three weeks as the market takes a position in
anticipation of the overdue devaluation of the Zimbabwean dollar which is
expected to be announced in the next monetary policy review statement.

Total amount of bids have been averaging US$200 million on the foreign
currency auction market compared to US$50 million in January this year and
US$70 million in March.
Although the amount on offer at each auction floor has remained static at
US$11 million it is now glaringly insufficient to meet a fraction of the
needs of the bidders.

There were 7 481 bids on the auction held on April 21 this year and 7 402
were rejected because demand outstripped supply by more than 2000%. On
Thursday more than 90% of the bids were rejected. Out of the 6 508 bids, 6
436 bids were rejected.

Dealers said the surge in demand was being driven by the speculation of an
imminent devaluation of the local currency against the American greenback.
They said some banks were also holding on to their foreign currency reserves
with the intention of capitalising on the devaluation to declare more
profits.

Gideon Gono, the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) Governor, is expected to
devalue the Zimbabwean dollar by more than 100% as per recommendations of
different stakeholders in the economic sector.

The Zimbabwean dollar is fixed at around $6 100 against the United States
dollar at the auction market while on the parallel market it is changing
hands for as much as

$22 000.

Economic analysts warned that a devaluation would swell the production costs
for local industries by between 80% and 100%.

John Robertson, independent economic analyst at Robertson Economic
Information Services, said the surge in the applications was being pushed by
a number of different factors being at play in the economy.

He says many of the applications are by people who had had their
applications initially refused.

"Many of the applications are refused and what we are seeing is a build up
of unsatisfied applications," Robertson said.

He added that the price of the American greenback was very attractive and
many people were eager to access the money at favourable rates.

In the next monetary policy review statement the RBZ is expected to increase
the amount on offer at each auction market to US$30 million but analysts
have said this will still be insufficient.
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Zim Standard

Nothing to celebrate on May Day, say workers
By our own Staff

BULWAYO - Today, Benson Moyo expects to join his working colleagues
affiliated to the Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions (ZCTU) at White City
Stadium to commemorate Workers' Day.

Moyo, who has spent the last 11 years repairing carriages at the National
Railways of Zimbabwe's workshops in Bulawayo, said he would be attending the
activities out of habit. A paid up member of the Zimbabwe Amalgamated
Railway Union, Moyo is frustrated by his working conditions which he
complained are falling everyday. He is particularly bitter that for the past
year, he has been receiving his wages two weeks late.
The railway worker and thousands of other workers in various sectors in
Bulawayo told Standard Business they were keen to hear what the ZCTU leaders
will have to say about their deteriorating plight.

The workers are also hoping the union leaders will have good news to lift
their spirits as inflation has eroded much of their earning power, pride and
dignity.

"Working in Zimbabwe is no longer a prestigious issue. We are just working
for the sake of maybe just going to get that little for our families. But
saying you work in Zimbabwe is no longer something that you can go around
boasting about. It's really a disappointment working in Zimbabwe," noted
Moyo.

But there might be little coming from the labour movement's leadership to
cheer up the depressed workers. The ZCTU national executive is presently
embroiled in a power struggle that has seen the labour movement's internal
politics making regular headlines and very little about workers' welfare.

Leaders of 19 out of the 34 ZCTU affiliate unions are demanding that four
national executive members step down. The affiliates want ZCTU president
Lovemore Matombo, first vice-president Lucia Matibenga, secretary general
Wellington Chibebe and Women's Advisory Council head, Tabitha Khumalo out of
the labour movement.

On the other hand, the embattled leadership accuse the dissident affiliates
of being tools of the government. The four maintain that those spearheading
their removal have been "bought" by government to neutralise the ZCTU by
preventing its top officials from attending a June meeting organised by the
International Labour Organisation.

Matters came to a head during a general council meeting in Bulawayo last
Saturday when hired thugs beat up some of the officials before police were
called in to restore order. The melee led to the meeting starting two hours
late and adjourning without concluding its set business.

The infighting is confusing and worrying ZCTU members who said they want to
see their leaders channelling their efforts towards revitalising the economy
to ensure workers remain employed.

"Personally, as a worker, I see the events as a disgrace, if I may use that
word. It seems from my own assumptions, anyway, there are dirty hands behind
all this of which us, as workers we should stand up and raise our concerns,"
said Moyo.

He added that the friction was bad for the image of workers both locally and
abroad.

Gracious Dube works as a clothing factory in the country's second largest
city. Dube acknowledged knowing little about the ZCTU's internal problems or
politics but said she would want to see the unions' leaders working together
to fight for workers' rights.

"Right now the $600 000 that I earn is not enough for anything except taking
me to work. I am lucky I live with my mom but I can't even help buying food.
I can't afford clothes or think of buying property. I am working to go to
work," complained Dube.

Other workers who declined to be named said they were looking forward to
meeting their leaders today to discuss various issues. Many said they were
anxious to hear what wage increase and improved working conditions the ZCTU
has negotiated for the coming year.

The ZCTU is commemorating May Day under the theme: "Protect Our Rights: Save
The Economy And Our Jobs"

The labour body lists its major demands for this year are as follows: Wages
above the poverty datum line (PDL); affordable, quality sanitary pads; the
right to organise and freedom of association; the right to safe working
environment; democracy in the workplace; free anti-retroviral drugs;
industrial pension in all sectors; an efficient, affordable and reliable
transport system; an organised and efficient public health delivery system
and a review of the taxation system to include the removal of tax on
pensions, benefits, retrenchment packages, wages below the PDL, transport
and housing allowances, education allowances, motoring benefits and
maternity leave and terminal benefits.

But with the internal politics threatening to tear apart the leadership, it
remains to be seen whether the ZCTU will be able to deliver on members'
expectations.
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Zim Standard

Thieves run riot as cowardice rules
By William Gwata

THERE is a lot of cowardice about us. In fact
cowardice is now in fashion, thanks to well meaning but short-sighted
security advisers. Their standard prescription for dealing with carjackers
is: "Just give them the keys."

I beg to differ! This has led to the absurd
situation where carjacking is now easier than shoplifting! With shoplifting
there is always a security guard to challenge the culprits.
In March 2005 my 80-year-old mother wrestled and
single-handedly managed to fend off a burglar. She inflicted a scar on him
that later facilitated his arrest. I am very proud of her because she
succeeded where many younger agile-bodied individuals would have chickened
out.

Earlier in the year, Frances, a friend in Pretoria
successfully repulsed an army of carjackers. She drove off with one of her
assailants dangling from her smashed car window.

The story has been told of a lady who pulled off a
similar stunt at the Coke Corner in Harare a few years ago.

Contrary to popular belief, ladies appear to have
more mettle than men!

Yet another common fallacy is that modern man is
superior to primitive man. The so-called primitive man was miles more
courageous than today's yuppie. I know because I went to school with the
last of the Neanderthals. His name was Eddy Mazambani but was better known
as Missing Link, Loose Ends or Gori (short for gorilla). He had a
characteristic jaw and a menacing deportment that made him look the part.

He was equally savage too. Even some teachers were
believed to be afraid of him. Yet underneath all this we all held him in awe
born of a combination of fear and admiration of his courage. When he was
ultimately expelled Fletcher High School was never the same again.
Generations of students were subsequently churned out without a role model
of true courage.

In the eighties, carjacking was what you did prior
to changing a tyre. Somewhere along the way, it assumed new meaning and the
rest is history.

We are incessantly advised to, "Just give them the
keys". That is not good advice. With all due respect to those who have
followed it, there once was a context when it was appropriate advice.
However, it has had its day. Appeasement does not work in the long run, as
Neville Chamberlain discovered to his cost. It is tantamount to paying
protection fees to a bully! Courage is a much higher virtue than mere
survival.

In nature if vermin is not checked it will
proliferate to plague proportions. By just giving them the keys we are
fuelling the genesis of a plague. I say aggressors should always be
confronted. Extortion in any form should never be tolerated.

The Asian water buffalo has been domesticated for
centuries because it is docile. In contrast nobody messes around with the
African buffalo. There can be no doubt that attempts were made to tame it
back in the mists of history. A few African buffalo will have no doubt
suffered and even died in their resistance then. Thanks to their sacrifice,
the African buffalo remains a free animal to this day.

Similarly as we resist the scourge of carjacking a
few of us are bound to suffer or even die. However, that is the stuff that
heroes are made of. There is more to fear if we do nothing. Do not just give
them the keys! Resist in whatever way you can. You would be amazed by how
much you can achieve with even just a wheel spanner. You do not necessarily
need sophisticated tools to win the day.

Sure, carjackers are potentially dangerous but I
suspect they also ride on a fair amount of mystique and brow-beating. They
are flesh and blood after all. We should call their bluff at every turn.
This is bound to stunt their proliferation. Carjackers in South Africa are
reputed to be a lot more ruthless but even they are not beyond challenge.
Frances is living proof that it can be done.

There is no royal road to security and peace of mind
(with apologies to Aristotle). Every campaign comes with a price tag. There
is nothing new in that. Every threat throughout history has called for
sacrifice by a few for the good of society and generations to follow. A few
of us might be hurt or even killed as we confront the carjackers.

But then again it is much better to live a short
life of bravery than a long life of cowardice and subjugation. For all his
weaknesses, Benito Mussolini put it very well, " meglio vivere un giorno da
leone che cent'anni da pecora" (roughly translates to, It is better to live
a short life as a lion than a long life as a sheep).

The whole idea is to raise the cost to the
carjacker. If this is achieved consistently the industry is bound to shrink
before too long. If prey becomes costly to catch, the population of
predators will dwindle. If prey becomes impossible to catch, the predators
become extinct.

This article is dedicated to Mrs Edith Gwata of
Marondera, Miss Frances Boshoff of Pretoria and the gallant unknown soldier
of Coke Corner, Harare. They are the leading edge of an incipient revolution
we should not allow to die. If we emulate them we will establish a legacy of
courage that will benefit not only us, but generations to come.

Friend, would you be a water buffalo or an African
buffalo? The choice is yours.

As for me I am an African buffalo. I will never give
my car away without resistance, whatever the cost.

William Gwata can be contacted on gwataw@zol.co.zw
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Zim Standard

MDC must adopt a new paradigm
Americannotes By Ken Mufuka

WE know that the reason the MDC has lost the last two elections has nothing
to do with the economic wizardry of the Zanu PF party.

Judging from two case studies, Michael Manley's Jamaican assault on the
American Bauxite Companies (1971-75) and Idi Amin's assault on the Asian
merchants in Uganda (1971-1979), the Mugabe land experiment in Zimbabwe has
no chance whatever of succeeding. The MDC, as the opposition party, must
therefore search for a new paradigm.

Let us start with the agreed facts. Imperialists do exist and it is true
that they do not wish us any good. Their methods are the same, and
similarly, the reaction of their victims has been foreseen. In Jamaica,
Manley's attempt to partially nationalize the bauxite mines brought a swift
reaction from the capitalists.

The $250 million surplus he had achieved by the act of nationalization was
wiped out within two years when the Jamaican dollar was killed by the
International Monetary Fund and its ally, the World Bank. Further the
Jamaican monetary unit, which had been backed by the English pound was no
longer convertible. The Jamaican dollar depreciated from US$1 to 45J even as
we speak.

Car prices jumped from $2 000 for a Madza truck in 1973 to $5 000 overnight.
There was no end in sight.

To cut a long story short, with sugar, vegetable, banana and beef shortages
becoming a daily occurrence, it was the price of mortgages that finally
impressed all young Jamaicans that they were better off as second class
citizens in New York, Toronto and London than they were as militant
nationalists in Jamaica. In my department of history, of the 13 professors,
eleven found alternative employment abroad in the same year that I left.
Today, there are more Jamaicans in New York than there are in Jamaica.

Then as now, the majority of people of colour sympathized with Manley. The
great sugar company, Tate and Lyle, was driven away and their land given
over to sugar share croppers. These share croppers could be seen standing by
the wayside, selling one or two sticks of sugar cane. They regarded
themselves as unemployed since the departure of their former employer, Tate
and Lyle, despite the fact that they now owned the land.

Today, President Thabo Mbeki, and I suspect every man who has some African
blood in his veins, quietly wishes Mugabe success even if he knows that the
facts are against that possibility. Here are the new facts which Mugabe and
his cronies refuse to accept.

After a hundred years of colonization, cultures have changed. The majority
of young Africans want to make their career in the banking and
air-conditioned world of the city rather than on the land. That is a fact.

The so-called chefs are no exception. Surely, they consider their careers to
be bound with politics, even if they want to visit a bushy place they call a
farm over weekends. Because of technological advances, farming has become a
specialized field for agronomists and chemists rather than an occupation of
unschooled peasants.

The facts of politics, which the MDC must now face, are that Zanu PF and
Mugabe are in politics till death doth us part. In order to win an election,
one must assume that the government is willing to lose. If a government is
not willing to lose power, and does not hold the same values of democratic
change, as the opposition does, surely, it is a waste of time to argue the
case. "How can you lose if you are counting the votes," is a Malawian joke.

We have to accept that we are dealing with a generation of leaders that has
no shame. We must accept that we are our own liberators. President Mbeki and
the rest of the African leaders believe that black oppression is acceptable
and is in the nature of reality. They also genuinely hate European
domination. A loss for Mugabe is a bad example for them. No help can be
expected from them.

What is even more amiss is that we cannot expect any help from the European
Union either. The old liberal spirit has been wiped out of Europe and the
United States by a concerted effort of propagandists like Rupert Murdoch and
the devil. The old liberal parties have been converted to imperialism. But
even if they wanted to help, they cannot help unless the Zanu PF party is in
a predicament from which it has no escape.

At the moment, there is no such threat, and if I were in their shoes, I
would not be in a mood to negotiate either. It was not for love of peace
that Ian Smith negotiated with the black nationalists. Nor was it for the
love of peace that Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher negotiated with us. It
was Nigeria had threatened to nationalize BP five billion dollar investments
in Nigeria that drove Thatcher to negotiate. From a white population of 250
000, Smith was left with a remnant of 100 000. That population was facing
annihilation from an insurgent guerilla war. We must look for a new paradigm
or nothing will change.

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Harare to Raise $16,5bn From Parking Fees

The Herald (Harare)

April 29, 2005
Posted to the web April 29, 2005

Harare

HARARE City Council is set to raise $16,5 billion from parking fees under a
new system to maximise the usage of parking garages and lots devised by the
Commission running the affairs of Harare.

Parking fees have not been increased this year following a boycott of
parking facilities by motorists in the Central Business District since last
year.

A survey by The Herald has shown that parking lots remain deserted with only
a few motorists using the designated parking areas.

It costs an average of $2 000 to park a car under the supervision of a
street kid or street marshal as compared to $34 000 a day in the parking
lots.

After years of losing parking revenue to street kids and street marshals,
the Commission has come up with new strategies to ensure that motorists use
the designated parking spaces.

The Commission intends to install automated boom gates and computerised time
clocks at the entry and exit points in all its parkades.

According to the new parking system, the Commission will repair all the
lifts, provide adequate lighting and security at all times in parkades.

When motorists boycotted the use of parkades and parking lots last year they
cited lack of security and high parking costs as reasons.

Arguments were that streets were safer because street kids were readily
available to give security at lower costs.

Repairs and filling of potholes will also be prioritised in the parking lots
while security proof parking discs will be issued.

"The Commission will increase the number of agents from which motorists can
acquire the pre-paid discs.

There will be on street sales of the discs by council staff," reads part of
the recommendations.
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