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

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Zim Independent

Govt to acquire 130 000 more hectares
Blessing Zulu
THE government has gazetted 130 033 hectares of land for acquisition despite
its claims that the controversial land grab exercise had come to an end.

The government last week served Section 5 notices on 55 farmers for
compulsory acquisition of their farms.


The two Matabeleland provinces had 27 farms designated, Mashonaland Central
province 11, and Mashonaland West six. Other areas that were affected
include Harare and Manicaland.


The farms that are earmarked for compulsory acquisition include Insingisi
Farm in Bindura, Kayansee Ranch of Nuanetsi Ranch in Beitbridge, and River
Ranch and Makovani estate in Insiza.


Agriculture minister Joseph Made told parliament earlier this month that the
land reform programme had been completed.


Commercial Farmers Union president Collin Cloete said farmers were no longer
secure and this was set to affect production on the farms.


"Farms are being listed every Friday," said Cloete.


Mugabe has been grandstanding at international conferences saying no-one
would be left without a farm but this policy has largely been ignored by his
lieutenants.


"We do not know what has happened to the one-man, one-farm policy because it
is not being followed," said Cloete.


"Even those farmers who have not been served with any orders are not secure
any more. This is likely to affect production because banks do not know
whether to lend them money or not because of the insecurity. There is need
for Made to give farmers assurances so that production will be maximised."


Former Justice for Agriculture spokesperson Jenni Williams said Made should
clear the air on the direction the land reform exercise was taking.


"There is no clarification on the land reform exercise," said Williams.
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Zim Independent

Muckraker

Handcuffs, gesturing and puerile drivel
ABOVE the caption "Honourable MPs" the Herald last week carried a front-page
picture of two MDC MPs being escorted handcuffed to Harare magistrates
court.

The intention was obviously to suggest that they were anything but
honourable when they faced charges of abusing their parliamentary privilege
to import vehicles for resale.

The Herald's attempt to tarnish their reputations backfired when the
magistrate refused to put them on remand after the state failed to disclose
an offence. There followed a hullabaloo in the official press as
ruling-party activists - some disguised as "legal experts" - took out their
frustration on the Attorney-General's Office. It was accused of not doing
its homework before "rushing to court".

In fact these accusations miss the point altogether. The AG's office is
clearly not the author of the campaign against the MDC and its MPs. It is
not the one "rushing to court" with unsatisfactory charges. We all know
where those charges are being hatched. And it is not the AG's office.

The AG's office has been accused of "dragging its feet" in prosecuting the
Cain Nkala case. Police Commissioner Augustine Chihuri has criticised the
courts for treating the MDC with kid gloves.

Something needs to be spelt out here. The government is losing cases in the
courts because charges brought against the accused are often flawed in the
first place and evidently driven by political prejudice. The police should
examine the nature of the evidence before arresting individuals and bringing
charges that are clearly unsustainable in law. That is their professional
duty. They should not allow themselves to be used by politicians to settle
scores.

Why were Job Sikhala and Tafadzwa Musekiwa handcuffed to each other when
brought to court? Is it seriously suggested they might have tried to escape
surrounded as they were by armed riot police? This looked very much like an
attempt to humiliate them. Zimbabwe has signed the regional police charter
that forbids mistreatment of prisoners. It is clearly not being enforced.

The Herald's attempt to pour scorn on the "Honourable MPs" has another
dimension its authors failed to consider. Their front-page pic showed that
in Zimbabwe opposition MPs are arrested on the basis of spurious charges
(including previously telephoning a minister whose word was the only
evidence to go on), incarcerated, handcuffed and taken to court escorted by
baton-stick wielding officers.

That is the Zimbabwe we all know. But did the Herald mean to advertise it
quite so crudely?

On the same front page there was the story of an "American lecturer shot
dead at roadblock". It turned out that he had been engaged in charity work
and fundraising for local primary schools. He had been at the roadblock
earlier and was returning with the documents he was asked to produce.

The Herald occasionally and unwittingly shows us the real Zimbabwe. We are
grateful for that.

Those who believe the Roman Catholic church, like many other denominations,
has failed in its duty to the people of Zimbabwe in their hour of need, will
have had their views confirmed by the way in which Zimbabwe Catholic Bishops
Conference secretary-general Father Walter Nyatsanza collaborated with the
state media last weekend to cast aspersions on Archbishop of Bulawayo, Pius
Ncube's claims that 160 people had starved to death as a result of the
government's policy of political discrimination in food distribution.

Nyatsanza's exchange with a Sunday Mail reporter enabled that paper to
report that the bishops had distanced themselves from the archbishop's
"lies" regarding starvation.

A more circumspect official would have declined to be drawn into what must
have been an obvious agenda. Instead Nyatsanza walked right into it. And it
is clear from his remarks that the more timid among the bishops are not
prepared to support the archbishop.

These are probably the same people who refused to endorse the release of the
Catholic Commission for Justice and Peace and the Legal Resources Foundation
's report on the Matabeleland killings, Breaking the Silence - Building True
Peace (1997).

They thought such disclosures "unhelpful" and "confrontational". But by
remaining silent now, the bishops are endorsing another programme of
political cleansing that is likely to make Ncube's figure look distinctly
conservative. Beyond that, the Zimbabwe Catholic Bishops Conference has
failed in its primary duty to denounce evil - such as starving people to
death because they don't agree with you!

Ncube follows in the tradition of Donal Lamont and Michael Traber - those
"turbulent priests" who in the 1970s stood up for justice and human rights.
By collaborating with the ruling party's media to distance themselves from
Ncube, the bishops are anointing the forces of oppression and injustice.
Judgement awaits them.

Meanwhile, we can be sure the following paragraph in Ncube's offending
Durban address led to the Sunday Mail article: "Ministers and other Mugabe
cronies are expert liars. They continue to blame this starvation on the
drought when in reality, and everyone knows this, the food shortages are a
result of the farm invasions and poor governance. Money for arms, aircraft,
ministerial Mercedes abounds while the people starve."

We clearly need more Pius Ncubes in the ranks of our pathetic churchmen!

We were interested to note Justice minister Patrick Chinamasa's remarks in
parliament that POSA would not be repealed because it ensured the MDC was
kept in check.

"There is no quest to repeal the Act because POSA is the answer to the MDC,"
he said.

And there we were thinking good governance and economic recovery were the
answer to the MDC. But suppression is obviously all Zanu PF knows!

As for Chinamasa's statement that Zimbabwean employees of foreign-based
radio stations would be arrested on arrival back in Zimbabwe, we find this
equally curious. What offence have they committed? They are fully entitled
to work for externally-based stations (which are legally licensed, not
"pirate" as the state media keeps alleging), especially after the government
here made broadcasting pluralism impossible despite a court ruling for it to
open the airwaves. And "demonising" the government is a childish notion, not
an offence in law.

But we understand why Chinamasa was required to make silly Mugabean threats.
Jonathan Moyo's initial attempt to forbid Zimbabwean citizens re-entering
the country was so self-evidently unconstitutional as to induce what is
called "a sense of shock". He tried to justify this in the Sunday Mail by
pretending the offending individuals were dual citizens and were therefore
walking around with two passports.

When that failed to convince - and remember, the South Africans have been
pressing the need to "Observe your own laws" - Chinamasa was wheeled in to
declare what we all knew: Zimbabwean citizens cannot be barred from
re-entering the country. But to make this concession palatable to the
ministerial fools around him who got the government into this mess,
Chinamasa had to assert "they will all be arrested!"

Just like Sikhala and Musekiwa were arrested we suppose?

We are grateful to State Security minister Nick Goche for his definition of
democracy and human rights: "Semantics" he called them! He was announcing
surveillance measures of NGOs whose "nefarious activities" were clearly (if
you are paranoid) designed to overthrow the government. Amani Trust,
Westminster Foundation, Zimbabwe Democracy Trust, and the Southern Africa
Media Development Fund have all been targeted for monitoring, the minister
announced.

This very public declaration of who-is-watching-who represents a novel
approach to intelligence work. Can the minister further furnish us with a
description of the agents tasked with watching these organisations? Perhaps
he would like to publish their names? We would be happy to assist! And
Muckraker was interested to learn that the CIO has an economics department.
What is the entry test?

Muckraker was gobsmacked by the new law making it an offence to gesture at
the presidential motorcade. Under a newly-issued Statutory Instrument it is
now a crime to make any gesture or statement "within view or hearing of the
state motorcade with the intention of insulting any person travelling with
an escort or any member of the escort".

We can only guess at what impertinences the public may have been engaging in
to make their views of presidential misrule known to the occupant of the
blacked-out limo.

Needless to say, the law is completely unconstitutional. We have every right
to make our views of those we elect - or in the case of Harare, decline to
elect - known even if they do insist on hiding from us in an expensive
bullet-proof Merc.

For its part, the government would have had difficulty finding a more public
advertisement of the president's unpopularity than this clumsy move. In any
case, we always thought his escorting goons descended with force upon any
unsuspecting member of the public perceived to be unacceptably slow in
getting out of the way of the cavalcade!

What a pathetic spectacle Police Commissioner Augustine Chihuri makes of
himself as he tries to parrot his political masters but doesn't quite get it
right.

Attacking the private press again this week, he said it was unfortunate the
media had assumed the role of whistle-blowers while "telling lies" about
human rights abuses.

"Such misguided assertions are the usual capitalist rhetoric bent on
creating a false sense of insecurity in Zimbabwe and should never be
tolerated," he told regional police chiefs.

It would be interesting to know which countries represented consider
themselves as non-capitalist. Are there still any "people's republics" left
among us? Did the Office of the President approve this redundant rhetoric
before it was aired?

There are a large number of Zimbabweans who feel very real insecurity given
the tendency of Chihuri's officers to make arrests in the early hours of the
morning, mislead lawyers as to the whereabouts of their clients, and then
proffer politically-driven charges that are designed to harass and humiliate
without any real prospect of success in court.

Defending the land reform programme, Chihuri said "the media-bashing at both
local and international level that the programme has been subjected to is
indeed reflective of the resolve of proponents of international capital to
maintain and perpetuate the traditional capitalist society."

What did his fellow commissioners make of this puerile drivel we wonder?

We appreciate many in the media fraternity are now - like everyone else - in
dire straits. But it will shock readers of the Daily Mirror to know that the
paper's reporters hail from Porta Farm. At least, according to Philip
Chiyangwa, they do.

He was feeling particularly pestered by what we would see as perfectly
legitimate questions about his territorial ambitions. Asked if he would be
moving into Lilfordia, Sam Levy's former farmhouse in Nyabira, Chiyangwa,
evidently unimpressed by the number of bedrooms, declared to the Mirror's
reporters: "It is a good house for people like you who are squatters at
Porta Farm, not me. I have a nice house and I do not think even my sleep
will come in such a house, it's not even in my dreams."

The rich, it seems, inhabit a different planet from the rest of us!

We were interested to note this week a report of an American and UN official
being detained by war veterans for trespassing on a Melfort farm. Two
Zimbabweans accompanying them were beaten up. This has led to a predictable
response from the US embassy in Harare.

The incident was "symptomatic of the lawlessness that has affected Zimbabwe
for the last two-and-a-half years", the embassy said.

What intrigues us is how Jonathan Moyo could make claims of trespass against
the four when President Mugabe two years ago dismissed trespass as a "little
law" that people could disregard at will. Has it resumed its old importance
now that war veterans are landowners? As for Moyo's claim that there are no
displaced farm workers in Zimbabwe, the president's delusional condition is
evidently contagious.

This may explain reports we have received that following the postponement of
the Miss Malaika contest, the Ministry of Information will soon also
announce the postponement of the eclipse. Having been eclipsed by Miss
World, they are determined to maintain their grip on the Malaika-related
solar event by rescheduling it for next year. The new date should be
announced soon.
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Zim Independent

President's life exposed to danger
Staff writer
AIR Zimbabwe might have endangered the lives of President Mugabe and his
retinue when the airline's maintenance workers refuelled a plane while the
presidential party was boarding, the Zimbabwe Independent heard this week.

Last week the Independent revealed that the Civil Aviation Authority of
Zimbabwe (CAAZ) had written to Air Zimbabwe complaining about the slack
maintenance work at the airline and the disregard of safety regulations.


The report provoked a fiery response from Air Zimbabwe's public relations
manager David Mwenga who issued a statement saying the airline's planes were
in good working order and the Independent's story was meant to "frighten the
travelling public through baseless interpretations".


One of the letters from CAAZ referred to by the Independent last week
complained about the refuelling of flight UMCHT 491A VVIP with passengers on
board.


The Independent has since established that President Mugabe had chartered
the plane in question. It was not possible to confirm the destination of the
plane but it is believed it took the president and other dignitaries to
Bulawayo for the National University of Science and Technology graduation
ceremony. Mwenga said yesterday that no passengers were on board the plane
when refuelling started.


"Passengers started arriving for the flight when our engineer was about to
finish refuelling," he said. "By the time most passengers boarded the
aircraft refuelling had finished. Air Zimbabwe did not endanger the lives of
passengers."


He did not say if Mugabe was among the passengers.


CAAZ chief executive Karikoga Kaseke on the phone from South Africa
yesterday confirmed that the authority had made the complaint but said the
issue was still being investigated.


"As a matter of principle a plane should have fire cover when it is being
refuelled," said Kaseke. He said he had tasked his deputy to undertake a
full investigation into the incident.


CAAZ is believed to be under investigation from the International Civil
Aviation Organisation (ICAO) following reports of the problems the national
airline is facing in terms of safety. Kaseke denied this saying it was
disgruntled engineers fired by Air Zimbabwe this month who had written to
ICAO. - Staff Writers.

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Zim Independent

Budget prompts frantic moves on forex market
Godfrey Marawanyika
THERE was frantic activity this week on the foreign exchange market as
exporters and other holders of forex inundated dealers with instructions to
backdate their transactions following the November 14 budget announcement
which requires exporters to sell 50% of their earnings to the central bank.


The Zimbabwe dollar is trading at 1 500 against the greenback with the
official rate stuck at 55, where it has been pegged for the past two years.


The policy announcement unveiled last Thursday in Finance minister Herbert
Murerwa's budget caused panic on the market. Bureaux de change operators,
who have been accused of fuelling the parallel market, were being restricted
to a maximum withdrawal of $5 million a day by banks to stem liquidations.


Before the November 14 directive, dealers managed foreign currency sales of
up to US$350 000 a day, whilst purchases could go up to US$795 000 a day. A
week after the announcement, sales of foreign currency yesterday shot up to
US$500 000 and purchases declined to US$115 000.


Dealers this week said government failed to close all the loopholes as
banks, the biggest traders of forex, moved their clients to other
institutions which escaped the dragnet.


"Since last week's directive some banks are moving their big clients to
trust funds or non-governmental organisations who are not affected by
Murerwa's directive," said one dealer.


"This week many people were liquidating their positions as they do not want
to be affected by the directive. Traders are now in the process of adjusting
their CD1 forms."


Concern has been raised in the financial sector by the lack of clarity on
the future of corporate foreign currency accounts.


Finance minister Herbert Murerwa announced during the budget presentation
last Thursday that government was increasing to 50%, from 40%, foreign
currency receipts which importers have to deposit with the central bank. The
balance has to be surrendered to the RBZ to be held for 60 days, and can
only be released if the exporter meets set criteria on the priority list.


On the same day government took a political decision to close down bureaux
de change by the end of this month.
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Zim Independent

MDC activists seek asylum in US
Mthulisi Mathuthu
TWO of the three Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) activists who attended
the Washington meeting at which the United States administration announced
its interventionist plans in Zimbabwe are reportedly seeking asylum in the
US for fear of retribution back home.



The Zimbabwe Independent heard this week that former magistrate Johnson
Mnkandla and Bulawayo Residents' Association chairman Edward Simela, who
were expected back in the country last week, are considering staying on in
the US due to official threats and statements portraying them as saboteurs.


While their families refused to discuss the two's decision, a family friend
from Bulawayo, who said he had talked to the two on a number of occasions on
the phone, confirmed they were afraid to return home.


Mnkandla and Simela, whose "crime" was to express the known complaints of
the people of Matabeleland including the government's 1980s atrocities, have
delayed their departure, lending credence to reports that they were seeking
asylum.


A friend said the two former Zanu PF members had expressed fears for their
safety upon returning home following threats from Justice and Foreign
Affairs ministers, Patrick Chinamasa and Stan Mudenge, that their conduct
was "unacceptable" and bordered on sedition.


"They are concerned about their safety," said a friend of Simela in Bulawayo
on Monday. "Remember Mnkandla has worked in the judicial system in this
country so he knows how one can be prosecuted even without having committed
a crime."


Last week Chinamasa told parliament that Zimbabweans working abroad for
private radio stations would be arrested on their return. Security minister
Nicholas Goche at the same time announced a crackdown on NGOs including the
Zimbabwe Democracy Trust which, together with the Centre for International
and Strategic Studies, helped to organise the Washington meeting.


A colleague of the two, Ernest Mthunzi, who took part in the Washington
meeting, skipped the country to settle in the United Kingdom some four years
ago. The US embassy had not responded to written enquiries about the two by
the time of going to press.


Government accuses the three of colluding with British intelligence to push
for an "invasion" of Zimbabwe and for whipping up anti-Mugabe sentiment
following US assistant secretary for African affairs, Mark Bellamy's
comments during the meeting.


Already the official media have linked the three to British intelligence and
to a document detailing a Shona-initiated Ndebele annihilation programme
which has been knocking around for years and is a transparent fabrication.

Simela and Mnkandla's friends in Bulawayo this week said the war veterans
were already being mobilised by Zanu PF to de-campaign the two as saboteurs
while security agents scavenged for legal grounds for their apprehension.
The two are accused of having dumped Mugabe' party to join the MDC.


"There is a lot of talk here about the two having to be arrested and they
already know about it," a friend of one said. "With these funny laws which
you also know of they can be arrested upon arrival. Actually this government
doesn't need any law these days, they can just arrest anybody for the sake
of it."
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Food for thought
"
By now we all know of the blatant use of food aid as a political weapon. Assistant District Administrator Ms. Chingwe has often openly told groups of starving people waiting for food at Rutenga GMB Depot that farm workers are going to be starved and will definitely not be allowed to be given (or sold) government food assistance.
 
She can be contacted at 014-271/219.
 
A farm worker's family in Chikombedzi has also been forced out of his rural home by the local headman "because he is MDC, because he works for whites".
 
Only the naive would believe that the land invasions are caused by a hunger for land. Journalists need to emphasise the fact that this is a low intensity war over political survival. We are falling into their planned strategy by over playing the humanitarian side of the plight of the farmers. The fact is that the party is being allowed to pull every trick out of the book for its political survival as the world sits and watches a once self sufficient nation be destroyed by a few.  
"from an undisclosed author
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From the Mail & Guardian (SA), 21 November

Zimbabwe and US in diplomatic spat

Harare - The Zimbabwe government has accused the US of breaching regulations by allowing some of its diplomatic staff to travel outside the capital without permission, a newspaper said on Thursday. Last week a party of four from the US embassy that included an American diplomat, a Zimbabwean embassy worker, plus a UN worker and their Zimbabwean guide were detained in a farming district north of Harare. The two Zimbabwean members of the group were beaten by war veterans, seen here as being loyal to President Robert Mugabe's ruling Zanu PF party. The US government immediately protested the incident. "How do our people know that the people are genuine diplomats if they had not been notified," an unnamed foreign affairs official in Zimbabwe was quoted as saying in Thursday's edition of the state-controlled Herald newspaper. "The fact that they did not notify the ministry shows that there was something wrong with their visit," the official charged. Under regulations circulated to embassies in Harare in July, diplomats stationed in Harare have to give the government 48 hours notice if they want to travel more than 40 kilometres outside the capital, the paper said.

The US embassy in Harare said the four were on a field trip to assess the plight of farm workers displaced by a controversial land reform programme. The US on Wednesday accused Zimbabwe of violating diplomatic conventions. "The United States regards the unprovoked attack on our personnel as a serious breach of the Zimbabwe government's responsibility to safeguard diplomatic personnel in Zimbabwe," said deputy State Department representative Philip Reeker. Reeker said the incident contravened the Vienna Conventions on diplomatic protocol and hinted Washington might withdraw some personnel from Zimbabwe unless Harare responded to two previous complaints about it. "Their response will certainly be factored into our ongoing assessments of the safety of our personnel and of our diplomatic and humanitarian operations in Zimbabwe," he said. "The breach cannot be hidden behind Zimbabwe government's fabrication of a nonsensical story to justify the lawless actions of its supporters," he said, repeating two previous US demands for full explanation of the incident.

On Tuesday, the Herald said the pair - who were travelling with a local guide and a British UN worker - had sparked the incident by throwing food at farm workers. "They allegedly threw food from a moving vehicle to farm workers whom they then filmed as they jostled for the food," the paper reported, adding that the four "are alleged to have done this on three separate occasions." Reeker said the four had been on a fact-finding trip in the farming district of Melfort about 25 kilometres southeast of Harare, assessing the impact of food shortages when they were detained by self-described veterans of Zimbabwe's liberation war against white minority rule. In addition to being held against their will, searched and then robbed, Reeker said the two Zimbabweans were severely beaten by the war veterans. War veterans are generally staunch supporters of President Robert Mugabe's Zanu PF party. "The assertions that the Zimbabwean government has made in these press reports that embassy staff created and filmed a scramble for food among farm workers are complete fabrications, utterly without foundation, and clearly, once again, betray the cynicism of the Mugabe regime in Zimbabwe," he said.

Reeker noted that Harare had requested international assistance for the some 6,5-million Zimbabweans are now at risk of hunger and that the four people involved in Friday's incident were working to that end. "The visit was part of their normal work, fully consistent with the legitimate diplomatic and humanitarian activities permitted to diplomats under the Vienna Convention and in the best interests of the people of Zimbabwe," he said. The Herald quoted Zimbabwean Information Minister Jonathan Moyo as saying the incident was "rooted in intrusive and interventionist behaviour by some US embassy personnel who have been trespassing onto some farms under the guise of looking for alleged displaced farm workers." US officials have growing increasingly critical of Mugabe since he was won re-election earlier this year in a vote widely decried as flawed and have frequently blamed his government for policies that have exacerbated the food shortage. "The food crisis in Zimbabwe is primarily the result of the Zimbabwean government's political and economic policies," Reeker he said on Tuesday. He repeated allegations that Mugabe's government was channelling food assistance to its political supporters. "There's a real crisis there, and to see the Zimbabwean government acting in this manner is quite appalling," he said.


Daily News

      US envoy denies apologising to government over assault incidents

      11/22/02 8:59:34 AM (GMT +2)


      Staff Reporter

      THE United States government has not apologised and will never
apologise to the Zimbabwe government for carrying out their normal
diplomatic duties. The Herald, the government mouthpiece, yesterday reported
the two Americans detained by the war veterans at a Melfort farm had defied
a government order requiring diplomats travelling more than 40km outside
Harare to notify it in advance.



      Melfort is within the 40km range. The paper said Joseph Sullivan, the
US ambassador to Zimbabwe, was summoned to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs
to explain why his officers had violated the order. It reported that he had
apologised to the government over the "behaviour" of his officers. But Bruce
Wharton, the US embassy spokesman, said: "We have not apologised and we will
not need to apologise for doing what we are supposed to be doing." Wharton
said whatever the Harare authorities tried to portray of the incident in
which two US embassy officials were assaulted and illegally detained by
so-called war veterans in Melfort, they still insisted on the arrest of the
assailants. "Our position as the American Embassy has not changed about the
incident," he said. "We are still waiting for the government of Zimbabwe to
respond to our request for an investigation into the 15 November incident."

      Wharton said the Americans would continue to do their work as they
have always done in the past. He said their embassy would not make any
comments on statements in the State media concerning the incident.
Immediately after their staff were assaulted, the embassy issued a statement
expressing concern over the incident, urging the government to identify and
arrest the perpetrators. The embassy statement read: "The United States
government is deeply concerned by this incident. It is symptomatic of the
lawlessness that has affected Zimbabwe for the past two years. It is the
same sort of intimidation and violence suffered by thousands of Zimbabweans
since the rule of law was effectively suspended." The two embassy officials,
accompanied by a United Nations Development Programme official and one
Zimbabwe citizen, were detained and subjected to hostile interrogation by a
group of men who identified themselves as war veterans. The incident
occurred at a site where displaced farm workers were subsisting on a diet of
berries and termites. A Zimbabwe citizen, employed at the embassy, and
another Zimbabwean were beaten up and some personal and official items were
stolen.

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Zim Independent

SA seed distributors can't supply Zim
Augustine Mukaro
SOUTH African seed distributors this week said they will not supply the
commodity to Zimbabwe as they have already entered into agreements with
other regional countries to supply them.

This has put paid to Agriculture minister Joseph Made's last-ditch effort to
import agricultural inputs to kick-start production by the newly-resettled
farmers in the 2002/3 season now underway.


Sources at Monsanto South Africa, distributors of the popular Zadzamatura
seed variety in Zimbabwe, said they had already signed contracts to supply
seeds to Zambia, Malawi, Angola and other regional countries experiencing
food shortages.


"We have communicated to Zimbabwe that we can only avail seeds to them after
we have satisfied our orders first and if there is a surplus," an official
said.


Zimbabwe's four seed-producing companies, Seedco, Pannar, Monsanto and
National Tested Seeds, confirmed they had run out of seed and were not
likely to receive any imported product in the next three weeks before the
maize planting deadline.


"We last dealt in seeds last month and that was the last batch we had," one
seed company official said.


"Government instructed us to import seeds, which we did but we haven't
received any assurance that we might get any seeds for this season."


The government had until this week been assuring farmers that there was
enough seed to cater for their needs over three seasons.


According to a UN report dated November 13, a total 30 600 tonnes of seed
has been released to farmers either through government's inputs credit
scheme or direct sales to farmers.


"The Zimbabwe government reported that it has ordered and paid for 15 000t
of maize seed," the report said.


"The direct sales from seed houses through their own distribution chains is
about 15 600t. The total maize seed bought by government and sold by seed
houses to date would plant about 980 000 hectares," the report said.


The report said the total area that could be planted under maize with the
seed that has been acquired by government and donor agencies would cater for
1,2 million hectares.


"The initial production estimate at a yield of 0,6t/ha to 0,8t/ha would be
between 720 000 and 960 000 tonnes of maize and that is far below the
national requirement of about 1,8 million tonnes, excluding the strategic
grain reserve requirements," the report said.


Just before the kick-off of the current season, seed houses in the country
reported that there was more than 50 000 tonnes of maize seed available and
such a quantity could cater for two seasons but were not on the market
because of the controlled prices. Government responded by awarding an up to
120% price increase on seeds.
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Zim Independent

comment
Budget will lead to further collapse

WHEN the barometer of financial confidence in the country - the ZSE - drops
20% in one week, it should ring more than a few bells in government that the
market is far from impressed with the budget in spite of glowing reports in
the state media.

The downward move has been driven by one thing in particular - the effective
takeover of corporate FCAs - but the rest of what government has announced
over the past week - a new interest rate policy and a price freeze - are to
the market and business just as problematic and unsustainable.

It would be nice to think that the government is testing business' opinion
when it comes to these new policies by not formalising anything as yet.
Sadly, this same government has ridden roughshod over any input from the
private sector over the past 22 years.

Business could live with government helping itself to 50% of exporters'
proceeds at the morally unjustifiable level of $55:US$1, but government's
short-term greed to aim for the whole pot has massive ramifications for our
economy.

Government could reverse this apparent disaster by trusting companies to
dispose of the balance of their forex earnings in the productive market
place as they have been doing, but in all likelihood it will just blindly
stumble on.

What inconveniences business most is the vagueness of detail in all the new
announcements. RBZ Governor Leonard Tsumba has refused to answer questions
on what exactly will happen to the 50% balance of exporters' earnings. And
while the RBZ has signalled that it no longer wants liquidity to determine
interest rates, it is yet to outline just what the exact "market" mechanism
will be. How it proposes to preside over the new interest rate regime will
provide another example of Zanu-PF's control-freak tomfoolery.

While the budget does not in any way encourage productive capacity, the
lower interest rate policy for exporters and others in the productive sector
presents a dream-scam scenario. Who, in this nation of seasoned operators,
won't try to take advantage of free money?

Exporters will borrow as much cash as they can at 5%, others will rush to
Electra House to get "exporter" added to their memorandum documents while
those with farms will also head for their banks to finance crops they won't
even bother to plant. Worse still, this cheap money won't find its way to
the people that really need it - the newly-resettled farmers - and it comes
when we are nine-tenths of the way through the planting season.

Probably 70% or more of this new statutory money will go into consumption
activities such as vehicle- and furniture-buying sprees. The net effect of
this so-called policy will be to further fuel money supply and consequently
push inflation higher.

Government has forecast inflation at the end of next year to be 96,1% but
with policies such as this, it is more likely to be 961%!

The government is also unlikely to use the extra forex in any productive
way. It would be better advised to put up the price of fuel rather than give
it away as it does at the current price. But it is worried about the
reaction of a restless population. What will push the people over the edge?

At the end of the week, government has so far presided over a massive
destruction of wealth. In an inflationary environment - which makes the end
result all the more incredulous - government has managed to wipe $180
billion off the ZSE and the experts reckon there is more red ink to come.

By yesterday morning, the carnage continued and the market had recorded its
fifth consecutive day of losses. Market commentators expected the
Industrials index to lose the 100 000 level by the end of the week.

Pension funds, insurance companies and private investors are poorer, it
places overborrowed banks in a precarious position and could precipitate the
collapse of so much more.

Business, as weary as it is, will no doubt struggle on, accused of being
saboteurs. But the real saboteurs of this economy are those who fashioned th
is damaging and poorly thought-through budget.
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News24

Zim: Mbeki's plea to investors

Johannesburg - South African President Thabo Mbeki has said he is working
hard to resolve Zimbabwe's political and economic problems, in an apparent
bid to reassure investors.

Mbeki made his comments during a satellite video link with a conference for
South African chief executives in London late on Thursday, which was
organised by financial services group Investec.

"I would like to reiterate what we have said in the past, that we are
unequivocally committed to do everything we can to assist the people of
Zimbabwe successfully to address all their challenges," Mbeki said.

"These include issues of democracy, the rule of law, human rights, social
stability, the resolution of the land question, economic recovery, and the
current food shortages."

The volatile rand was hit hard by contagion concerns fanned by Zimbabwe's
deepening crisis last year, and Mbeki has been criticised for his policy of
quiet diplomacy towards President Robert Mugabe's government.

Offshore investors were worried that Zimbabwe's controversial state seizure
of white commercial farmland for redistribution to landless blacks could one
day be repeated in South Africa, despite Pretoria's official statements that
the rule of law would be upheld.

Mbeki said he was "very hopeful" that South Africa could help "take off the
international agenda a contentious issue" which it had inherited because
principal players found it impossible to achieve a commonly acceptable
solution.

South Africa would continue to work with Zimbabwe's government and its
former colonial ruler Britain - along with other "interested parties" - to
resolve the crisis in its northern neighbour, Mbeki said.

Mbeki said South Africa's efforts were part of its drive to promote peace
and stability on the continent, and ensure the success of a home-grown
recovery plan, the New Partnership for Africa's Development.

He also highlighted domestic growth data released on Thursday, which showed
that the economy expanded by 3.0% in the third quarter - slower than 3.8% in
the second but still much faster than the global average.

"This is an important development and shows that our economy will continue
with its steady growth this year amidst the general global economic
stagnation," he said.

South Africa was starting to reap the rewards of eight years of tough
restructuring, Mbeki added.

"We are now moving into a second phase, which focuses on growth and
employment creation," he said. South Africa's official jobless rate stands
at about 30%.
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Zimbabwe Limited Needs Visionary Leadership



Zimbabwe Independent (Harare)

OPINION
November 22, 2002
Posted to the web November 22, 2002

By Tafirenyika Wekwa Makunike


PICTURE this. The president and chief executive officer (CEO) of a holding
company presides over the most systematic destruction of value since Enron
and Worldcom. The holding company's share price has plummeted. The CEO calls
the company's management and stakeholders to a press conference where he
proceeds to announce that none could have managed the company better than
him.

Then he changes his tone and goes into a tirade against all the company's
subsidiaries whose heads he has personally appointed.

He explains how he is now having stomach and headaches because of presiding
over this "tomfoolery".

Incredible! Outlandish! I hear some of you say. "Bonkers!" Bishop Tutu
weighs in. Unfortunately this is the story of Zimbabwe Holdings. We have an
economic problem which has been exacerbated by the absence of leadership and
a national vision. The Bible teaches that where there is no vision the
people perish.

Where do we start to get Zimbabwe Holdings back on track? Task forces, NECF,
commissions, business forums and national budgets will not work in the
absence of leadership. We should do what companies do when they re-engineer.
The most urgent thing in the country today is to ensure that President
Robert Mugabe gets an urgent honourable exit package so that the rest of us
can get on with it. All those predatory businesspeople who hang around the
president and any other Zimbabweans who would like to see him gracefully
retire should all contribute to his retirement fund.

Accountants can call this fund purchasing the future since the future is
where we are most likely to spend the rest of our lives. The money can even
be used to establish Mugabe's anti-colonialism institute. If the funds are
still not enough we can ask Coltrane Chimurenga and Violet Plummer to raise
additional funds for this purpose. This would also ensure that Mugabe's
legacy is perpetuated after he is gone and no angry mob will hound Chatunga
and Bona Junior out of the country and in return we receive our future back.

While we are arranging Mugabe's exit, we could concurrently call upon my old
friend Lovemore Madhuku and his NCA counterparts to come up with a proper
bill of rights for this nation and tear down Eddison Zvobgo's
"people-under-a-tree" constitutional make-believe. That way we can ensure
that for the rest of the nation's life it will never be enslaved to the
whims of one man.

Mugabe has for more than two years turned hating the British into a national
emotion. The political leadership has been sucked into a vortex of
bitterness and rage to the extent that every phenomenon has to be
interpreted in the framework of British colonialism. I implore you my
countrymen not to allow your emotions to suck you in as well. Nowhere in the
world has rage and bitterness succeeded as the engine of growth and Zimbabwe
is unlikely to be the first successful prototype.

For those who are counting on the international community to come to our
aid, let me quickly disabuse you of such a notion. Others have been calling
on the MDC youths to slug it out with the Green Bombers to get change. I say
to you perish the thought. It is not the most useful application of our
youths' energies as violence begets violence. The international community
watched while Somalia was turned into a gangster state; they let the
Angolans butcher each other until that lucky shot and need I say more about
Liberia or Sierra Leone? The best you can expect from them is condemnation.

As for our neighbours, I can assure you that they do not have our best
interest at heart.

For the first time Zambians has discovered that the Victoria Falls is also
visible from their side and they have been building a tourism industry from
the ashes of ours. Mozambique has discovered that flowers grow well on its
Manica side and is now busy renovating the airport to start freighting
flowers to Europe.

While land reform is imperative, economic hooliganism in the name of
political supremacy is not. South African businesses have reaped huge gains
from the peace in Mozambique. Mozambique overtook us more than two years ago
as South Africa's largest trading partner. Since young Joseph Kabila decided
that peace was the best thing for his country he has avoided our nation like
a plague and has made several forays into South Africa. He has even fired
those officials who fraternised with our political leadership. South Africa,
the peace knight has started sending their businessmen to the DRC to take
advantage of the business opportunities without firing a single shot. They
will reap another mighty harvest from our sacrifices.

While we have been preaching our abhorrence for Western trappings, the
politicians' children have been voting with their feet, flooding every
Western capital that accepts them and some even going to the extent of
getting married there, thus exposing the hypocrisy of it all. The United
Kingdom is littered with thousands of Zimbabwean professionals who should be
the fuel for economic development back home. All that investment in
education is going up in smoke on the altar of political expediency.

The next leader needs to work on the fundamentals. You cannot play hide and
seek with economics. It is a very basic subject with straightforward rules.
You cannot have an exchange rate for politicians going on foreign trips,
then an exchange rate for gold, then an exchange rate for luxury goods, then
another one for those we do not like.

If we cannot learn from our enemies let us at least learn from our so-called
friends who are able to separate business from rhetoric. Malaysia has been
advertising all over Europe, the US and through CNN that "Malaysia is truly
Asia" trying to attract those westerners they find so abhorrent. Tourism
could be one of the fastest growing sectors given the hospitality of the
people of this country. We need a leader who will stop insulting our
customers and putting prohibitive visa requirements against those with money
to spend.

We have criminalised every legal way of generating foreign currency by our
formal businesses by expecting them to buy their raw materials at the
parallel rate yet requiring them to cash in their receipts at the official
rate. Law-abiding exporters and bankers have been turned into fiddling
creative accountants as they try to account for their export receipts
without breaking the law. Somehow we think that if we all line the streets
of Harare selling cheap Chinese items after the destruction of formal
businesses that is empowerment. We have allowed dubious mafia characters
masquerading as economic crack teams to harass formal businesses that look
successful.

Tafirenyika Wekwa Makunike is a Harare-based freelance writer.
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VOA

Zimbabwe's New Economic Regulations Lead Businesses to Bankruptcy
Peta Thornycroft
Harare
22 Nov 2002, 17:50 UTC


Businesses leaders in Zimbabwe say new foreign currency regulations are
crippling the export-oriented manufacturing sector. Many exporters say they
are headed for bankruptcy or will be forced to shut down because of the
regulations.

The new foreign currency regulations were introduced last week and
businesses are already feeling the impact.

A few of the smaller manufacturers in Zimbabwe are already negotiating to
close up shop because they say they have been bankrupted by the new
regulations.

Others say they are completing their Christmas orders, and do not know if
they will reopen after the Christmas break.

Still others say the government must have made a mistake and will correct
the new measures.

The new regulations severely curtail exporters access to foreign currency, a
precious commodity in Zimbabwe because of the country's soaring inflation.

Until now, exporters could place a percentage of their foreign currency
earnings into their own bank accounts. Then, when they needed it, they could
use their foreign currency to import raw materials or spare parts.

Under the new regulations, the government has virtual control of all the
foreign currency the exporters earn.

They now have to exchange 50 percent of it at the official exchange rate,
which is $55 (Zimbabwe) to $1 (U.S). On the street, it takes $1,800
(Zimbabwe) to get a U.S. dollar.

When the exporters want access to their foreign currency they have not
exchanged, they have to apply to the reserve bank and justify why it is
needed.

Several leading exporters say they applied for their own foreign currency
early this week, but by Friday had still not been given permission to use
it.

Several mining companies say they are in the same position, and economists
are predicting marginal mines will be forced to close down early next year.

Bankers in Harare say they do not know what to do about the confusion over
foreign currency accounts. One banker said Friday that he was advising his
clients to hold on for another week and hope that the government cancels its
new regulations.
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Zim Independent

SA works out rescue package for Zimbabwe
Dumisani Muleya
SOUTH Africa has put in place a rescue package for Zimbabwe which will
enable it to use its economic leverage to influence events in the country,
diplomatic sources said yesterday.

The package of measures was agreed after a Joint Commission meeting between
the two countries' representatives in Pretoria.


South African Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesperson Nomfanelo Kota
yesterday said Pretoria agreed to help out in a number of ways. But the
package - which includes seed and fertiliser, food relief transportation and
fuel - was the major issue of the Pretoria meeting.


"My understanding on the agricultural issue is that Zimbabwe had requested
seed, fertiliser and equipment," Kota said. "It was agreed that the two
ministers of agriculture (Zimbabwe's Joseph Made and South Africa's Thoko
Didiza) would meet soon to work on the details."


Apart from agricultural help, the package also included helping Zimbabwe
resuscitate its declining mining sector. Sources said South African
officials believe that instead of giving Zimbabwe economic aid, it was
better to help them reconstruct their shattered economy.


On the food crisis, South Africa agreed to use its infrastructure and
transport network to facilitate the movement of food relief to
starvation-hit Zimbabwe.


Although there was no firm commitment on fuel because the relevant ministers
were absent, the issue of shortages was raised and an agreement reached on
the need for South African help.


Zimbabwe also made a request for the relaxation of visa requirements for its
nationals travelling to South Africa as part of the rescue package. South
African deputy Home Affairs minister Nosiviwe Maphisa-Nqakula agreed to look
into the matter.


To keep lines of communication open, Kota said, foreign ministers agreed to
meet soon under the auspices of the New Partnership for Africa's Development
(Nepad) and African Union and report back to the commission before the end
of February.

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Zim Independent

Judgement reserved in Ijaz challenge
Staff writer
JUDGMENT was yesterday reserved in the Supreme Court challenge by the
Independent Journalists Association of Zimbabwe (Ijaz) to the Access to
Information and Protection of Privacy Act.

The law requires journalists to register with a government-appointed
commission. It also punishes "abuse of journalistic privilege" such as
publishing what the government deems to be falsehoods.


Ijaz lawyer Sternford Moyo told a packed Supreme Court yesterday that parts
of the law "hinder the enjoyment of freedom of expression and interfere with
the right to receive and impart information and ideas in contravention
of...the Constitution of Zimbabwe".


Chief Justice Godfrey Chidyausiku heard the case together with Justices
Wilson Sandura, Misheck Cheda, Vernanda Ziyambi and Luke Malaba.

In his submissions Moyo said the Act attacked the very core of the
profession.


Some are "so vicious in their attack on professional independence and
autonomy as to depart significantly from the legislative philosophy of the
parliament of Zimbabwe," Moyo said.


"Taken as a whole, it is hard to avoid the conclusion that the real purpose
of the licensing system...is to provide the government with a measure of
control over journalists and to prevent or at least limit critical
reporting," he told the court.


Moyo also took exception to the enormous powers Information minister
Jonathan Moyo was now wielding.


"In the two decades since the attainment of democracy and Independence, no
government minister in Zimbabwe has found it necessary to subject
professions governed by legislation administered by him to the type of
control that the journalism profession is being placed under," he said.


"Indeed, even the dark days of repugnant and autocratic rule appear to have
respected the autonomy of professions." - Reuter/Staff Writer.
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Daily News - Leader Page

      Punish Zanu PF for using food as a vote weapon

      11/22/02 8:18:59 AM (GMT +2)



      THE government has persisted in denying it is using food aid as a
political weapon. Yet newspapers have published stories of Zanu PF
functionaries, including a defeated municipal council election candidate in
Hatfield, Harare, organising the sale of maize-meal to Zanu PF card-carrying
residents.



      There have been similar reports in other cities, towns and villages.
Hungry people without Zanu PF party membership cards have had to rush to the
party's nearest offices to buy the cards, before dashing back to buy the
maize-meal. Maize-meal is in such short supply the slightest delay could
mean the difference between another week without a decent meal of sadza for
the family, and full stomachs. International agencies, including the World
Food Programme (WFP), have condemned this use of food as a political tool.
In the Insiza by-election campaign in September, Zanu PF seized WFP food and
distributed it to their supporters. That food was intended for all the
deserving people of Insiza.

      As a result of this callous disregard for desperately hungry people,
the WFP withdrew its food aid from Insiza. Even before this shameful
incident, James Morris, the head of the WFP, had raised this scandal with
President Mugabe. In response Mugabe assured him there would be no such
tomfoolery any more. But the President's message to his party was either
ignored, or it did not reach the appropriate ears. This evil practice
continues to this day. It is thoroughly evil because people of conscience,
people who would never stoop so low as to compromise their political
principles by pretending to love Zanu PF for the sake of a bag of
maize-meal, are being asked to think again: would you rather die than buy a
Zanu PF card? It's a choice the people of Insiza were forced to make in the
September by-election. Like the Mafia, Zanu PF made them an offer they could
not refuse: vote for the Zanu PF candidate or risk death.

      A party which sinks to such depths of depravity has no place in a
political system which claims to be democratic and to espouse a morally
defensible code of ethics. The leader of such a party must spend sleepless
nights - unless his greed of power has emptied him of all righteousness.
Only this week a Danish human rights group spokesman made the following
statement: "If it is not possible to increase non-partisan food supplies
into the country, it is our opinion that starvation and eventually death
will occur along party political lines in Zimbabwe." The reaction of the
government will be predictable: as one of its most implacable enemies,
Denmark and all its agencies can have nothing complimentary to say about
Zimbabwe.

      But there is evidence on the ground that Zanu PF is stoking the fires
of a violent food upheaval by using food aid to score political points. In
Kuwadzana, for instance, where a parliamentary by-election is imminent after
the death of Learnmore Jongwe of the MDC, there are persistent reports of
maize-meal being sold only to Zanu PF card-carrying residents. Kuwadzana,
like the rest of Harare, voted overwhelmingly for the MDC in the
parliamentary and presidential elections in 2000 and 2002 respectively.
These were defeats which shocked Zanu PF and they would love nothing more
than to reverse them, as they did in Insiza. Their modus operandi would be
the same - use food to lure the voters. It is possible that Zanu PF still
believes most people are so politically malleable they can be bought with a
bag of maize-meal. Others believe this could be fatal miscalculation. But
what is far more urgent right now is for the international community to
display in word and deed that it will not tolerate any more the obtuse use
of food for political gain. More sanctions against the leadership, tougher
and not as porous as the European Union travel bans, would be perfectly
justified.
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Daily News

      Week-long party under the stars for eclipse fun-seekers

      11/22/02 8:13:13 AM (GMT +2)


      From Sandra Mujokoro in Bulawayo

      PREPARATIONS for the solar eclipse in the Marula area of Matabeleland
South have reached fever pitch, as several music groups have been lined up
for the week leading up to the eclipse day - 4 December.

      The School of African Awareness together with Western Touring Company,
a safari operator, are organising the event billed as "the party of the
 year".

      The party will be held at Beaconsfield Farm, 12km off the
Bulawayo-Plumtree Road, and will start on 30 November and end on 4
December.The artistes to perform over the five days include Plaxedes
Wenyika, Makhalima Lungisani, Roy and Royce, GTI from South Africa, African
Awareness Community Theatre, the famous IYASA and Skull Crakers of Mai
vaLeopold fame.

      Mkululi Sibanda, the project manager, said it would be a week of fun
and music as people wait to witness the spectacular natural phenomenon.The
eclipse will be 100 percent visible in the area and will last for about one
minute and 30 seconds.

      "We will be putting up two tents in which various entertainment
activities will be taking place. Other activities will be held concurrently
in the Marula Hall. "However, we are still open to entertainers who might be
interested in being part of this event," said Sibanda.

      A host of other entertainment activities, including sporting
activities such as volleyball, football and cricket, will also be available.
Children have not been left out of the fun programme, as a playground has
been set up for them, complete with a jumping castle.

      Girl guides will take care of the children. Two camping sites where
the eclipse can be clearly viewed inside the farm have been cleared and
prepared for tents. Ablution facilities have been put in place. For those
who might not want to stay in the camp, fishing, horse riding, booze-cruises
and viewing of Bushman paintings have been arranged. There will be braai
parties at various sites. The farm is situated three kilometres from the
Marula Game Park, where tourists can go for game viewing and drives.

      Sibanda said: "It will be a week to remember, and we hope to have one
of the shows transmitted live on 3FM radio. People have a choice to either
bring their own tents or sleep under the stars," said Sibanda.
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Daily News

      Supreme Court queries motives of media laws

      11/22/02 8:48:26 AM (GMT +2)


      By Fanuel Jongwe/Reuters

      THE Supreme Court reserved judgment yesterday on a challenge by
journalists against tough new media laws which critics say are aimed at
muzzling dissent against President Mugabe's government.

      The Access to Information and Protection of Privacy Act (AIPPA)
requires journalists to register with the government-appointed Media and
Information Commission (MIC) and bans foreigners from working in the country
as correspondents for foreign media.

      It also punishes "abuse of journalistic privilege", such as publishing
what the government deems to be falsehoods, with fines and up to two years
in prison. Twelve journalists have already been charged under the Act.
Sternford Moyo, representing the Independent Journalists' Association of
Zimbabwe (IJAZ) in a constitutional challenge of sections of the
internationally-condemned AIPPA in the Supreme Court yesterday, said:
"Journalists are being forced to fill in forms and the Minister will
announce at a later stage who qualifies. They are being told to submit
themselves to register before they know the code of conduct that will guide
them.

      "It is like being asked to enter a house without knowing whether you
are going to be whipped or given food.

      "Apart from the accreditation fee, Statutory Instrument 169 (c) of
2002 does not say what is required for one to be registered." IJAZ,
represented by Abel Mutsakani and Vincent Kahiya, wants the constitutional
court to strike down Sections 79, 80, 83 and 85 of AIPPA.

      The journalists argue that the sections hinder the exercise of freedom
of expression and interfere with the right to receive and impart information
in breach of Section 20 (1) of the Constitution of Zimbabwe.

      In his submissions before Chief Justice Godfrey Chidyausiku and
Justices Wilson Sandura, Luke Malaba, Vernanda Ziyambi and Misheck Cheda,
Moyo said Section 80 which deals with the publication of false information
was "excessively broad to the extent of penalising jokes such as April Fools
' Day jokes".

      "We are dealing with something that is manifestly unconstitutional.
"This statute imposes criminal liability even if the rights and reputation
of persons have not been affected," Moyo said. Johannes Tomana, representing
Jonathan Moyo, the Minister of State for Information and Publicity and the
MIC, was at pains to justify the need for a commission appointed by the
minister, notwithstanding penalising the publication of falsehoods when the
publication does not hurt a person's right or reputation.

      The Chief Justice had asked him why the minister was given "so much
power" and why the statute was opposed to an independent body that would
regulate the conduct of journalists.

      Justice Malaba queried the constitutionality of vesting the commission
hand-picked by the Minister of Information with the powers to
      determine the truthfulness of a story.

      He admonished Tomana to stop lecturing on the philosophy or noble
objectives of AIPPA, but to confine himself to the contentious sections.In
his submissions, Tomana had attempted to give a background to the events
leading to the introduction of the media law.

      "You are not relating to the constitutionality of the relevant
sections," Justice Malaba said. "There is need to regulate, but it has to be
regulation within the law. What you need to demonstrate to us is whether it
has been done professionally," said Chief Justice Chidyausiku.

      The Chief Justice challenged Tomana to justify why AIPPA made it a
criminal offence to publish a falsehood even where there was no complainant,
as opposed to dealing with the matter as an ethical issue of misconduct.
Tomana conceded that where there was no complainant the law could not be
said to be protecting the rights and reputation of persons and that the
wording does not specifically mention the interests to be protected under
the Act.

      Justice Ziyambi noted that Section 80 (1) of the Act deems a
journalist guilty of an offence as opposed to being innocent until proven
guilty.
      Tomana said there was room for appeal under the law, and the minister
did not have the final say on licensing journalists.

      The government argues the law is necessary to restore ethics in the
private media, which it accuses of spreading Western propaganda against
Zimbabwe in retaliation for Mugabe's seizure of white-owned farms .

      Chidyausiku said the judges would need time to study the lawyers'
submissions. He did not give a date for a ruling.
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Zim Independent

Market carnage follows Budget
Staff Writer.
THE ZSE Industrials index plunged nearly 20% in the wake of the Budget and
analysts were predicting more damage would follow over the next week unless
the government and RBZ came out with a better explanation of their new forex
restrictions.

By the close of trading on Wednesday, the market had recorded four
consecutive days of losses, the worst being on Monday when the Industrials
index slumped 9,55%, while the Minings index plummeted 14,39%.


On Wednesday the Industrials index dropped another 3 100,82 points (or 2,8%)
to close at 104 502,30, taking the losses for the week since the Budget last
Thursday to 24 434,16 points or 18,9%. Minings closed at 7 615,85 points,
losing 252,39 (or 3,2%) on the day, and a whopping 25,7% on the week


Brokers predicted the Industrials index would fall below 100 000 before the
week was out.


Only days before the budget, on November 11, Industrials and Minings both
hit all-time highs of 130 899,59 and 11 181,20, respectively.


Notable losers included Ariston, Interfresh, TZI, Cottco and Bindura, which
each fell by more than 30%.


"It's carnage out there," said one broker, "and the blood hasn't even begun
to spill. It's bizarre. You have the government sitting there and trumpeting
what a great Budget it is along with the sycophants at the Herald but here
you quite clearly have what the market thinks of it.


"As per usual, the government has just gone ahead with something that they
have not properly thought out," he said.


Uncertainty about the government's new interest rate regime - with a yet to
be determined "market rate" further muddled things. Call rates crashed as
the government announced it was doing away with the bank rate.


Analysts said the market was most unnerved by the lack of clarity over the
future of corporate Foreign Currency Accounts (FCAs). Government announced
in the Budget last Thursday that it was increasing the forex component of
the FCAs that had to be remitted to the RBZ to 50% from 40% and the balance
had to be surrendered to the RBZ to be held for 60 days and could only be
used if it met conditions outlined on a "priority list".


Exporting companies with a net forex surplus had used parallel market
proceeds to remain profitable, but earnings have soared since the parallel
market rate started to run in April. Critics have queried the system, saying
companies would be unlikely get a fair rate for their forex and it would be
more open to corrupt practices such as favouring certain banks close to the
government.


Others said that Zimbabwean exports would be made even more uncompetitive as
they would have to use higher US dollar prices if there was a higher
retention rate and this would fuel even more illegal cross-border trading.


"There is absolutely no incentive to export now," said a fund manager. "You
get to borrow at a lower interest rate (as an exporter), but what's the
point of exporting when the government is going to take 100% of your
proceeds and then after 60 days decide to pay you at a yet undecided rate,
which in all likelihood will be well below the market rate?"


Company management and analysts sought a clearer explanation at a RBZ press
conference on Wednesday to announce the new interest rate regime, but RBZ
Governor Leonard Tsumba brushed off all questions.


Analysts were also worried about banks and financial institutions with
large, highly- leveraged exposures in the equity market. A spate of
indigenous consortium buyouts over the past few weeks means that most are
sitting on massive paper losses.
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ATTN SUBSCRIBERS: Please note a correction to the following story released on 19 November. WFP had delivered 20,000 mt of food aid in October alone.

JOHANNESBURG, 19 Nov 2002 (IRIN) - The Zimbabwe government and NGOs need to step up efforts to provide food aid to about 6.7 million people whose food security is under threat in the face of vastly reduced crop estimates for next year, the Famine and Early Warning Systems Network (FEWS-NET) said on Tuesday.

While agriculture has formed the base of the Zimbabwean economy, contributing 45 percent of export earnings and providing livelihoods to over 70 percent of the population, researchers found that farmers had only secured 20 percent of the estimated Zim $160 (US $2.9 billion) needed to finance agricultural activities for the 2002 to 2003 production year.

If a planned Zim $60 billion (US $1.1 billion) Agribond issue raised enough capital, the agricultural funding gap could be reduced to 42 percent, the report said. However, response to the bonds was expected to be "lukewarm" and funding from wary commercial banks was unlikely to close the deficit.

Wheat production at 212,000 mt was the lowest since 1991 and only 62 percent of last year's production. The poor yield would require imports to alleviate shortages from April to the next harvest in October 2003, FEWS-NET said.

Maize imports up to March 2003 would only provide 73 percent of the country's monthly maize requirements, leaving a food gap of about 256,000 mt to meet the total 2002 to 2003 consumption requirement of 1.6 million mt. The report recommended that the maize marketing system allow more private sector participation to increase supplies and lower prices.

Adding to farmers' woes, the moderate El Nino conditions were expected to expand to establish basin-wide mature El Nino conditions between December and February. Past data had shown that this could be accompanied by a drop in rainfall in the south of the country and a reduction in crop yields by between 20 to 40 percent.

Although the country had enough hybrid maize seed for a 14 percent increase in the hectares planted, last year's bad crops and the controversial land reform programe - which saw thousands of commercial farmers evicted - had left a shortage of seed for sorghum, millet, pulses, beans and groundnuts, which were traditionally held over by farmers.

The price of groundnut and sunflower seeds rose by 150 percent, sugar beans by 300 percent and soyabeans by 375 percent, making it more difficult for farmers.

FEWS-NET also warned of an impending shortage of fertilisers.

Phosphate was scarce because rail transport was stretched by food deliveries, forcing the use of more expensive road transport. Calcium and supplementary ammonia supplies were imported, leaving companies at the mercy of foreign currency shortages and fluctuating exchange rates. However, the government had tried to alleviate the shortages by allocating foreign currency to the fertiliser companies, the report said.

If these shortages were not addressed by the provision of foreign currency by the government, it would result in a further reduction of harvests in the 2002-2003 season.

Significant drops were expected in the flue-cured tobacco harvest for next year, which contributes about 29 percent of the country's total export earnings as well as valuable foreign currency and 9 percent towards GDP.

While the country comes to grips with escalating food costs and shortages, the National NGO Food Security Monitoring Network reported high levels of population movement in search of work, land and food through the districts of Matabeleland and Mashonaland central provinces in August and September. There was also a prevalence of internally displaced people in Matabeleland south and Mashonaland central.

World Food Programme spokesman Luis Clemens told IRIN that in response to the countrywide food crisis the organisation had distributed more than 20,000 mt of food aid to over two million people in 20 districts in October.

"In November we hope to increase that to more than 30 districts and reach three million people depending on the availability of food," he said.





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(Not Zim related )From Reuters, 21 November

S.Africa Prison Gangs Use AIDS Rape as Punishment

Thu November 21, 2002 02:07 PM ET

JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) - South African prison gangs are using HIV
infection as punishment, ordering gang members carrying the AIDS virus
to rape disobedient inmates in a ritual known as "slow puncture,"
officials said Thursday.
A spokesman for the Judicial Inspectorate of Prisons confirmed that
the new practice first came to light about six months ago and was
believed to be spreading.

The inspectorate's director Gideon Morris told a government commission
on Wednesday that the rape would be carried out by one person, or
sometimes several.

"They give him a 'slow puncture', meaning he will die over a period of
time," Morris said. "It's a new phenomenon."

South Africa has the highest number of people living with HIV in the
world, with about 4.8 million people, or one in nine of the country's
population of 42 million, infected with the virus which causes AIDS.

Morris' testimony on the ritual was put before the Jali Commission, an
inquiry board set up last year to look into allegations of corruption
and mismanagement in South Africa's prison network.

Department of Corrections spokesman Russel Mamabolo said department
officials could not comment, and would await the commission's findings
before mounting their own investigation.

"This information is still allegations at this stage," Mamabolo said.

The opposition Democratic Alliance issued a statement Thursday calling
on the government to provide all prisons with anti-retroviral drugs to
treat HIV infections -- in part to reduce health costs.

"At the very least, prisoners who are raped should have access to
anti-retroviral treatment to prevent them from getting infected with
the HIV virus. However, it also makes sense to prevent HIV-positive
prisoners from developing full-blown AIDS," said Mike Ellis, the
party's spokesman for correctional services.

The South African government has been criticized for its reluctance to
provide universal access to anti-retrovirals, citing safety and cost
grounds.

Morris said it was difficult to say whether AIDS was now the chief
cause of death in South African prisons, noting that many prisoners
who die of AIDS are listed as dying of natural causes.

He did note, however, that the number of inmates dying of natural
causes in jail has risen sharply over the past seven years, jumping
from 186 in 1995 to 1,169 last year.

South Africa currently has about 179,000 people in prison, making it
second only to the United States in the number of inmates per capita.
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