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

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      Zimbabwe poll results challenged
      Zimbabwe's opposition Movement for Democratic Change is to challenge
the results in certain districts from last week's parliamentary election.
      The party has also published a report alleging "massive fraud" in the
31 March poll.

      The MDC MPS nevertheless took their seats as parliament met on

      "We will take a few selected cases to court on Friday to prove the
election was stolen," MDC spokesman David Coltart said.


      Speaking in South Africa, Mr Coltart said the party had already filed
one challenge to an electoral court on Tuesday, concerning a poll result
from the city of Bulawayo.

      "Aside from all the allegations of the use of food as a political
weapon there were systematic and fundamental violations of the electoral law
by the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission [ZEC] itself which facilitated the
final rigging and fraud on election day and the day after," Mr Coltart told
the BBC.

      He added that polling agents were denied access to the polls and tens
of thousands of voters were turned away.

      Mr Coltart also claimed there was "a disparity of a quarter of a
million votes" between the voter numbers announced when polls closed, and
the results announced in the following two days.

      No support

      The electoral commission has described the allegations as "not
relevant" and the ruling Zanu-PF party has dismissed the allegations of

      BBC correspondent Alastair Leithead says the MDC is running out of
options since there is no support from Zimbabwe's neighbours for the fraud
claims, and the courts have still not dealt with complaints about the 2000

      The MDC won 41 of parliament's 120 elected seats.

      President Robert Mugabe's Zanu-PF party won 78 and he can appoint
another 30 MPs.

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Mugabe appoints unelected MPs, boosts majority

April 12, 2005, 11:45

Robert Mugabe, the Zimbabwean president, has appointed unelected MPs ahead
of today's opening of parliament, boosting the large majority won by the
ruling Zanu(PF).

The Herald, the official Zimbabwean newspaper, has reported that Mugabe
returned Joseph Msika, the vice president, and Emmerson Mnangagwa, the
outgoing speaker, to the country's parliament. Msika did not stand in the
March 31 elections and Mnangagwa lost to an opposition candidate.

Zanu(PF) won 78 of the 120 elected seats, but Mugabe has the authority to
appoint another 20 members along with 10 traditional leaders, giving his
party much more than the two-thirds majority that allows him to change the
constitution at will.

Zanu(PF) chairperson not appointed
Local media have speculated that John Nkomo, the Zanu(PF) national
chairperson, might be brought in as the new speaker, but he was not among
those listed in The Herald.

The opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) has cited "serious and
unaccountable gaps" in vote tallies to back its accusations, supported by
Western powers, that Mugabe's party rigged the election. Zanu(PF) denies

The MDC won 41 seats in the elections, 16 seats less than in the last
parliamentary polls in 2000. The remaining elected seat went to former
Jonathan Moyo, the information minister, who won as an independent after
falling out with the ruling party. - Reuters
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Daily News online edition

      Makoni short-listed for ADB post

      Date: 12-Apr, 2005

      JOHANNESBURG - Dr Simba Makoni, Zimbabwe's former Finance Minister
faces stiff competition from other aspirants who boast of equally good
credentials for the top post at the African Development Bank (ADB). Dr
Makoni was short listed by the ADB's board of governors as one of the seven
candidates earmarked to run for the post of the bank's president.

      Dr Makoni, one of the most respected politicians in Zimbabwe and
outside, resigned from President Mugabe's Cabinet two years ago after he
disagreed with his colleagues on how to run the country's economy.

      He has been endorsed as the candidate of the Southern African
Development Community (SADC), where he was the executive secretary for nine

      Dr Makoni was credited with initiating Zimbabwe's Millennium Economic
Recovery Plan in 2000, but his strong advocacy for free market reforms and
the devaluation of the Zimbabwe dollar did not go down well with President

      Although no longer in government,t Dr Makoni is a member of President
Mugabe's inner circle because he is a member of the Zanu PF politburo. He
holds the post of deputy secretary for economic affairs.

      Dr Makoni faces serious challenge from six other candidates who were
also short listed for the ADB top job. They are Dr Donald Kaberuka (Rwanda),
Kingsley Y Amoako (Ghana), Ismael Hassan (Egypt), Theodore Nkodo (Cameroon),
Olabisi Ogunjobi (Nigeria) and Casimir Oye Mha (Gabon).

      Dr Kaberuka, Rwanda's Finance and Economic Planning Minister, is being
heavily supported by all countries from East Africa while the rest of the
hopefuls are being sponsored by their respective countries.

      Dr Kaberuka, according to the Rwandan media, is working round the
clock, traveling around the globe to solicit support for his candidature. He
has just returned from a tour from most of the countries in southern Africa
and is currently on a tour of European countries, Japan and the United
States lobbying.

      "We have been meeting leaders of different countries and finance
ministers to explain our vision for the bank," Kaberuka told journalists in
Kigali, Rwanda's capital, adding the race was stiff. "It's a tight race;
there are seven of us, all of them very good candidates."

      Nkodo of Cameroon is currently the ADB vice-president for north, south
and east operations apart from having worked as a director of the ADB's
central operations

      department. He has worked for the World Bank holding various posts.

      Ogunjobi of Nigeria is the vice-president of the ADB in charge of west
and central operations. He has been with the ADB since 1978 .

      Mba, the Gabonese candidate, is a former minister for planning and
development, as well as for foreign affairs in President Omar Bongo's

      Ismael Hassan is a former governor of Egypt's central bank and has
held top posts in several financial institutions.

      The elections are being held to replace the retiring ADB president,
Omar Kabbaj, a Moroccan economist who has led the institution since 1995.

      The African Development Bank Group consists of the African Development
Bank (ADB), Africa Development Fund (ADF) and the Nigerian Trust Fund. It is
headquartered in Abidjan, Cote d' Ivoire.

      Eric Chinje, the ADB public relations manager, told the Kenyan media
recently that election of the new president would be held during the annual
meetings of the ADB Group in Abuja, Nigeria, on May 18 and 19. The new
president is expected to take office on September 1.
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Daily News online edition

      Mwale to finally face justice over murder

      Date: 12-Apr, 2005

      JOHANNESBURG - The government has said Joseph Mwale, the fugitive
Central Intelligence Organisation (CIO) state security agent, will finally
face justice for allegedly masterminding the gruesome murder of two
opposition activists during the run-up to the 2000 parliamentary poll.

      Mwale has been a free man since the alleged murder of two Movement for
Democratic Change (MDC) activists Talent Mabika and Tichaona Chiminya
despite a High Court ruling which ordered his arrest.

      Pressed why Mwale continued to be a free man despite his alleged
involvement in the murder of the two MDC activists, Kembo Mohadi, Zimbabwe's
Home Affair Minister said: "Like anybody else if he (Mwale) committed a
crime, regardless of his status, he will get arrested. Nobody is above the
law in Zimbabwe. If he has not been arrested yet then investigations are
still in progress."

      Police fall under Mohadi's ministry.

      Mohadi refused to say when Mwale would be arrested since the police
and other security agents knew his whereabouts, saying: "These are security
issues which I can not discuss with journalists."

      Mwale, although now sporting a heavy beard to disguise his identity,
is known to be based in Mutoko District, 200 kilometers north-east of

      Mohadi's assurances that Mwale, will, at long last, face justice come
as a big relief as hopes were fading that the feared CIO agent would, one
day, be made to account for his alleged crimes against humanity.

      Chiminya, MDC leader Morgan Tsvangirai's personal assistant, and
Mabika, a youth activist, were killed at Murambinda Growth Point in Buhera.
The MDC activists were burnt to death when the vehicle they were travelling
in was torched by Mwale and three of his accomplices.

      The two were campaigning for Tsvangirai in Buhera North when they met
their deaths. Tsvangirai lost to Kenneth Manyonda, the Deputy Minister of
Commerce and

      International Trade in the 2000 parliamentary poll.

      Mwale's accomplices, Trainos Zimunya better known as Kitsiyatota,
other Zanu PF activists known as Gwama and Mudzamiri have since been
arrested facing murder charges. They are out on Z$5 million bail each which
was granted by High Court Justice Bhunu.

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Mail and Guardian

      MDC to take seats in Parliament

      Zimbabwe's main opposition party said it will take its seats when the
country's new Parliament is inaugurated on Tuesday, despite branding the
March 31 parliamentary polls as a massive fraud.

      "Our parliamentarians will be there at Parliament today," said William
Bango, spokesperson for Morgan Tsvangirai, who leads the Movement for
Democratic Change (MDC).

      At a news conference in Johannesburg on Tuesday, MDC spokesperson Paul
Themba Nyathi echoed Bango, saying: "Forty-one MDC members have been
elected. We expect them to carry out this responsibility."

      The MDC maintains that the March 31 polls were rigged by President
Robert Mugabe's ruling Zanu-PF, which took 78 seats of the 120 seats up for

      Mugabe had earlier said his party would "run the country in the normal
way", even if the MDC boycotted Parliament.

      Meanwhile, Mugabe appointed 30 lawmakers from the ruling party ahead
of the inauguration of the new 150-member Parliament, state media said on

      Under the Constitution, the president can nominate 30 members in the
150-seat Parliament.

      State television and newspapers on Tuesday listed the 30, including
serving Cabinet ministers and senior government officials who failed to make
it to Parliament in the March 31 ballot.

      Among them is former parliament speaker Emmerson Mnangagwa, who was
for a long time widely seen as a successor to succeed Mugabe, until a
leadership row last year that led to the sacking of former information
minister Jonathan Moyo.

      The MDC, which has mounted the stiffest challenge to Mugabe's 25-year
grip on power, has condemned the elections as "a massive fraud", citing
discrepancies between the number of votes cast and the results announced by
the national poll body.

      The opposition party has said its probe in four provinces showed
"serious and unaccountable gaps between the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission's
official pronouncements on the number of votes cast and final totals
accorded to each candidate". -- Sapa-AFP
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Zim Online

Mugabe throws lifeline to embattled former Speaker
Tue 12 April 2005
  HARARE - President Robert Mugabe yesterday threw a political lifeline to
embattled former Speaker of Parliament Emmerson Mnangagwa who lost in last
month's election after he appointed him a non-constituency Member of
Parliament (MP).

      Mnangagwa, who has seen his political fortunes take a nosedive after
losing the vice-presidency of the ruling ZANU PF and government to Joyce
Mujuru at the party's December congress, lost the Kwekwe Central seat to the
opposition Movement for Democratic Change's (MDC) Blessing Chebundo in last
month's election.

      Observers said the loss had threatened to send Mnangagwa, long seen as
Mugabe's heir before the December congress, into political oblivion.

      But yesterday, Mugabe threw a lifeline to the former speaker after he
appointed him non-constituency MP.

      Under the constitution, Mugabe appoints 30 MPs.

      Apart from Mnangagwa, 11 others were also appointed as
non-constituency MPs. These are Vice President Joseph Msika, Edna Madzongwe,
Patrick Chinamasa, Samuel Mumbengegwi, Paul Mangwana, Amos Midzi, Sikhanyiso
Ndlovu, Titus Maluleke, Canisia Sathiwa, Abigail Damasane and Munacho

      Most of those appointed yesterday lost to the MDC in its urban
stronghold during the controversial March poll. ZANU PF secured 78 of the
120 contested seats with the MDC winning 41 seats. Jonathan Moyo, who was
fired for backing Mnangagwa for the vice-presidency, secured the Tsholotsho
seat after standing as an independent.

      Mugabe also appointed four new governors and retained six others
yesterday, with long-serving Masvingo governor Josaya Hungwe, who backed
Mnangagwa in his bid to block the rise of Mujuru to the vice-presidency,
losing his post.

      The unelected Members of Parliament plus 10 pro-ZANU PF traditional
chiefs who seat in Parliament ensures the ruling party controls a critical
two-thirds majority in the House allowing it to unilaterally amend the
country's constitution. - ZimOnline

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Daily Mirror, Zimbabwe

Nkomo elected Speaker of Parly

The Daily Mirror Reporter
issue date :2005-Apr-13

ZIMBABWE'S Sixth Parliament yesterday elected Zanu PF national chairman and
ex-minister John Nkomo as Speaker while Edna Madzongwe retained her position
as Deputy Speaker to end a week of horse-trading within the ruling party
circles for the coveted posts.
As correctly speculated by The Daily Mirror, Zanu PF parliament-elects
yesterday morning met for at least four hours at the party's headquarters in
Harare to endorse the candidature of Nkomo and Madzongwe, ahead of
Parliament's swearing-in ceremony later in the day.
Nkomo and Madzongwe's candidatures were proposed by the ruling party
politburo after almost aweekofwide-scale consultations.Soon after the 150
legislators - 108 from Zanu PF, 41 MDC and independent Jonathan Moyo - took
their oaths of office, the governing party's national political commissar
Elliot Manyika nominated Nkomo for the Speaker's post and was seconded by
the secretary for administration Didymus Mutasa.
The MDC did not proffer a candidate and Nkomo was unanimously elected.
Out-going Cabinet minister Flora Bhuka and Zvimba MP Sabina Mugabe
respectively nominated and seconded the nomination of Madzongwe as Deputy
Again the MDC failed to offer an opponent.
Nkomo's election was almost a faiti accompli through out the week as he is
the fourth senior person in Zanu PF after President Robert Mugabe and Vice
Presidents Joseph Msika and Joyce Mujuru.
But, there was horse-trading for the Deputy Speaker's post over the past
week, amid reports of heavy lobbying for a number of would-be candidates
within the supreme decision-making politburo.
Numerous names were linked to the Deputy Speaker's post, among them Zanu PF
women's league boss Oppah Muchinguri, former Mhondoro legislator Mavis
Chidzonga and losing Harare Central candidate Florence Chideya.
By late Monday afternoon, Madzongwe was leading the pack. In the Fifth
Parliament, Madzongwe deputised Emmerson Mnangagwa, a former cabinet
minister and ex Zanu PF secretary for administration.The Speaker and Deputy
Speaker of Parliament are elected in terms of the Zimbabwe constitution.
The top two House officials, reads the constitution, must be elected in
accordance with parliamentary standing orders from among persons who are or
have been Members of Parliament and are not members of the cabinet,
ministers or deputy ministers.
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Daily Mirror, Zimbabwe

ARDA finally pays workers

Mirror Reporter
issue date :2005-Apr-13

WORKERS countrywide at the government-owned Agricultural Rural Development
Authority (ARDA), who had not been paid for the last two months, started
receiving their salaries and wages for February and March on Wednesday last
week, The Daily Mirror has learnt, Sources close to the parastatal yesterday
said the major cause of the delay was that the agricultural giant was
failing to break even, although it has several farms and properties across
the breath and length of the country.
Some workers, speaking on condition of anonymity for fear of reprisals, said
ARDA had started paying workers in batches.
Although efforts to get ARDA chief executive Joseph Matowanyika's comment
were fruitless, some workers insisted that indeed they had not been paid for
the past two months.
Matovanyika was said to be away officially in Rusape.
"Dr Matowanyika is on a business trip and is attending a function in
 Rusape," said his secretary.
"He should be returning later in the afternoon. You can speak to him when he
comes, preferably tomorrow early in the morning."
A visit to ARDA headquarters in Harare yielded nothing after this reporter
was denied an audience with the human resources manager.
"The human resources manager does not want to speak to you. Only the CEO
comments on such matters," said a man at the reception, who also declined to
disclose the manager's name.
"I think the best thing you can do is contact the boss (Matovanyika)."
Later when The Daily Mirror spoke to some senior officials based outside
Harare who had come to the offices on business, it emerged that workers went
for the Easter holidays without having been paid.
"We received our salaries some time ago, or to be precise last week," said
one of the officials, who later claimed that he was based at one of the
organisation's estates in Centenary.
"Probably other workers may still not have been paid. Otherwise we were
In a related case, some workers based at Transau and Kondozi farms near Odzi
said they had not been paid as of last Friday.
"I have not been paid since February and there are many of us in the same
"There are more than 50 families staying here at Transau Farm here who have
not been paid since February.
Many workers are now finding the going tough.
"We were advised that we would be paid after the just-ended parliamentary
elections. We hope to be paid probably at the end of this month, that is if
funds are available," said one worker.
At Kondozi, workers were understood to have publicly lost patience over the
lack of payment of their dues, with several complaining over their plight at
the local Odzi beerhall.
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Daily Mirror, Zimbabwe

Two MDC losing candidates arrested

Takunda Maodza
issue date :2005-Apr-13

TWO losing MDC candidates in the recent parliamentary elections, Douglas
Mwonzora (Nyanga) and Aaron Chinhara (Gokwe), were arrested last weekend on
allegations of inciting violence.
The latest arrests come after 16 other opposition MDC party youths were
nabbed and arraigned before the Harare magistrates in connection with
violence that erupted in the capital where property worth millions of
dollars was destroyed and people hurt.
The youths, facing charges of public violence, have since been released on
$300 000 bail each and are expected to reappear in court on April 22.
According to the MDC information department, Mwonzora was arrested on Sunday
night together with 16 opposition activists and were being held at Nyanga
Police Station. It added that Chinhara and about 50 party supporters were
also picked up in Gokwe on Saturday.
 The MDC said Chinhara was later released from police custody on Monday
without charge.
"The arrest of the two is seen as part of efforts by the police to harass
MDC officials and comes shortly after the arrest of Nelson Chamisa, the
Member of Parliament for Kuwadzana who was tortured while in police cells
last week," the opposition information department said yesterday.
Chamisa, the opposition party's national youth chairperson who has had
several brushes with the law since the birth of the MDC in September 1999,
was arrested on Thursday last week on allegations of inciting public
violence and is out of custody on $1,5 million bail.
The youthful MDC lawmaker who was sworn in yesterday together with his
colleagues has since claimed he was tortured while in police custody. His
lawyers were contemplating suing the culprits in their individual
Chief police spokesperson Wayne Bvudzijena would neither confirm nor deny
the arrests yesterday, but said was still verifying the facts.
He reiterated that the police would clampdown on offenders.
"If people commit offences the police will always arrest them," Bvudzijena
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Institute for War and Peace Reporting

Battling HIV/AIDS and Poverty

Short of staff and supplies, a Zimbabwean hospital struggles to cope with
the multiple symptoms of economic as well as medical problems.

By Marceline Ndoro in Buhera (Africa Reports: Zimbabwe Elections No 28,

"Prostitution, poor child spacing and poor water supply inevitably lead to
malnutrition, diarrhoeal diseases and sexually transmitted diseases," said
Dr Mike Thompson, a British medic who formerly worked at Murambinda hospital
in Zimbabwe.

He now helps raise funds in Britain for the facility, which recently became
the benefactor of the entire royalties of the latest book by Scottish
novelist Alexander McCall Smith.

"Tuberculosis thrives on such a rich diet of misery, with malaria thrown in
for good measure. AIDS is a huge and growing problem," said Thompson.

"[The staff have] to send terminal cases home as soon as possible to avoid
swamping the hospital and ruining families with debts run up for
transporting cadavers."

Murambinda hospital, founded nearly 40 years ago by a Catholic order, the
Sisters of the Little Company of Mary, serves the drought-stricken district
of Buhera in the southeast of the country.

It is one of the few efficient hospitals left in Zimbabwe's ruined
healthcare system.

But key services - including free supplies of anti-retroviral drugs to
patients with HIV - are almost entirely dependent on the flow of overseas
donations like those from McCall Smith.

Hospital superintendent Dr Monica Glenshaw explained that the vast majority
of patients are extremely poor.

"Buhera is the second poorest district in the whole of the country," she
told IWPR. "It's difficult to give a precise measure of the poverty level
because most of the people are subsistence farmers. But the average income
is less than 50 US cents a day."

The United Nations sets its own measure of absolute poverty at twice that,
one US dollar a day.

The maize crop in the district has failed this year as a result of drought -
and the hospital has seen an influx of patients suffering from kwashiorkor,
marasmus and other diseases symptomatic of malnutrition.

Doctors told IWPR they know of at least 60 people who have simply starved to
death in surrounding villages in the last 12 months, but they believe the
total is higher. With the help of a Dutch charity, the hospital has begun
providing a free basic meal to patients.

The sole benefit of the food crisis is that increasing numbers of people are
signing up for HIV tests in the desperate hope of receiving supplementary

The Murambinda hospital currently has 2,700 patients registered as
HIV-positive. So far just 53 have been supplied with anti-retroviral drugs,
which do not cure the condition but delay the onset of AIDS.

Besides supplying these drugs, charitable donations also make it possible
for Murambinda to charge some of the lowest fees of any hospital in
Zimbabwe. A consultation costs the equivalent of just eight US cents.

"It is so affordable here," Tariro Goto, whose husband was a patient at the
hospital, told IWPR. "When I brought my husband once before, I did not have
35,000 Zimbabwean dollars [just under six US dollars] to pay for the
medicines he needs, but I got them free when I explained I had no money."

But the facility is desperately short of staff.

"We arrived at seven o'clock and my husband only saw a doctor 15 hours
later," Goto added. "Then it took another six hours to be attended by a

Dr Glenshaw told IWPR that she really needs a minimum of four doctors and 55
nurses at the hospital, but is forced to struggle by with three doctors and
30 nursing staff.

For every 100,000 patients, a developed country like Britain has 150 times
more doctors than are available in the Murambinda area. The ratio is similar
with regard to nurses. And the hospital has just 125 beds to cope with the
many thousands of people who need in-patient treatment each year.

In an attempt to address this problem, staff have been forced to establish
an extensive homecare programme under local AIDS activist Nonia Temberere,
with the support of the French charity Doctors Without Borders and 300
community volunteers.

These volunteers work with terminally ill people, many of them AIDS patients
in the final stages of the disease.

With most AIDS deaths in the 15 to 49 age group, Temberere said, "I have
orphans and children being asked to take care of their terminally ill
mothers and fathers.

"But with very little or no guidance other than from my team and Murambinda
on how to administer home-based care, it has led to some of the children
themselves becoming diseased."

The situation reflects the state of healthcare across the board in Zimbabwe,
where the hospital system was once the envy of other African countries. Two
decades of mismanagement, neglect and rampant theft have left public health
services in a catastrophic state, with doctors and nurse leaving in large
numbers to seek work elsewhere.

"People have lost faith in the system," a doctor at the main public hospital
in Bulawayo, Zimbabwe's second city, told IWPR. "They think, 'Why spend our
money on a substandard, ineffective service?' Now, if they really want to be
cured, they go to a witch doctor."

Life expectancy, which was 63 in Zimbabwe in 1998, has plunged to 33 -
largely as a result of AIDS exacerbated by widespread hunger.

The money from donors like McCall Smith - whose book is forecast to bring in
over 190,000 dollars - will help provide a continuous supply of
anti-retroviral drugs from South Africa, which are otherwise becoming
increasingly unavailable in Zimbabwe as the national economy continues its

But Dr Glenshaw said she worries about what will become of the Murambinda

"The future remains bleak, especially because of the country's economic
problems," she told IWPR. "And things are likely to get worse before they
get better. Finance is a constant worry for us, and the current reliance on
donor support is not sustainable in the long run.

"What the future holds is uncertain."

Marceline Ndoro is the pseudonym used by a journalist in Zimbabwe.
Information on Murambinda hospital and efforts by overseas donors to sustain
its work is available at
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      Chinese auto giant explores possibility of setting up assembly plant
in Zimbabwe 2005-04-13 03:30:52

          HARARE, April 12 (Xinhuanet) -- A visiting official of China's
First Automobile Works (FAW) said here Tuesday that the company was
exploring the possibility of setting up a bus assembly plant in Harare that
would cater for the southern African region.

          Yan feng, vice president of the FAW import and export corporation,
said the company's technical team was already in Zimbabwe to study the

          Yan made the remarks while meeting with Zimbabwean President
Robert Mugabe, who expressed gratitude to FAW for supplying 50 80-seater
buses to Zimbabwe United Passenger Company (ZUPCO) to alleviate transport
problems in the country's urban areas.

          Mugabe said Zimbabwe looked forward to more business with the

          "I am extremely happy that the buses have come and that they will
continue to come," he said.

          "I am also happy with the relations that we have with the company,
and I hope we will continue to relate with the company ina meaningful way,"
he added.

          Yan said their company had chosen Zimbabwe as the focal point in
southern Africa because it was a friendly country.

          "Zimbabwe and China have longstanding relations, and Zimbabwe is a
friendly country," he said.

          Zimbabwe and China enjoy good bilateral and trade relations that
have seen the two countries cooperating in various areas.

          Yan said the 50 80-seater buses would be used to provide transport
in urban areas while his company would bring more buses to provide transport
between cities in the country.

          ZUPCO signed an agreement with FAW in December last year under
which the Chinese company will provide 400 buses to Zimbabwe.

          FAW, one of China's top automobile producers, made a new record of
exporting 10,336 motor vehicles last year, a 251 percent increase from 2003.

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Survey records alarming levels of child malnutrition

[ This report does not necessarily reflect the views of the United Nations]

JOHANNESBURG, 12 Apr 2005 (IRIN) - A survey in 10 districts across Zimbabwe
has recorded alarmingly high levels of malnutrition among children.

Interviews conducted by the country's Food and Nutrition Council, in
collaboration with the Ministry of Health and Child Welfare, showed stunting
or chronic malnutrition levels as high as 47 percent among children aged
from six months to 59 months on commercial farms.

High rates of wasting or acute malnutrition, ranging between 5.5 percent and
6.7 percent, were noted in the southern provinces of Matabeleland - triple
the "acceptable" level of two percent, according to the council.

The high malnutrition levels coincided with high prices for the staple food,

All three nutrition indicators - wasting, stunting and being underweight -
were worse among orphans.

"Orphans are three times more likely to be wasted/thin, two times more
likely to be stunted and 1.5 times more likely to be underweight than
non-orphans," the survey found. The council called for assistance to orphans
and vulnerable children to be scaled up.

The UN Children's Fund (UNICEF), which funded part of the survey, said the
findings highlighted the need for strengthened funding for ongoing food and
supplement interventions.

"The survey supports what UNICEF has said for some time, and it has [made a
case for] what we have been working towards - that is, critical support to
the country's nutrition and health services," said James Elder, UNICEF's
spokesman in Zimbabwe.

"There is an enormous need for children in this country; a need that UNICEF
and partners are ready to respond to on a large scale ... for this to
happen, a boost in funds is desperately required," Elder said.

"With elections now behind us, we are hoping that the issue of people will
override that of politics ... until that happens, life will remain very
difficult for Zimbabwean children," he told IRIN.

Among its recommendations the report called for an extension of the
surveillance system to all districts in Zimbabwe; an investigation into the
poor coverage by vitamin A supplementation programmes; and the inclusion of
an HIV indicator in the system.
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Cape Argus

      Upstarts out as Mugabe beefs up old guard
      April 12, 2005

      By Basildon Peta

      Two weeks after winning the controversial parliamentary election,
President Robert Mugabe has begun consolidating his power base by appointing
mostly loyal war veterans to 10 key
      government posts.

      And by amending legislation, he is set to add two years to his term as

      The appointment of nine war veterans and one loyalist as resident
ministers, or governors, shows Mugabe is keeping faith in the old guard and
jettisoning young turks who caused him trouble when they hatched a plot to
block his appointment of Joyce Mujuru as vice-president.

      He has also fired Josiah Hungwe, the once-powerful governor of
Masvingo province, who was linked to the ill-fated attempt by Mugabe's
former spin doctor, Jonathan Moyo, to block Mujuru's appointment.

      Mugabe appointed war veteran and close aide Willard Chiwewe to replace

      The 10 resident ministers operate from the 10 provinces, and
automatically become MPs. They are among the 30 nominees Mugabe is
constitutionally empowered to appoint to the 150-member parliament.

      He will reveal the names of 12 more appointees when he announces the
final list of his cabinet later today or tomorrow, after the new parliament
is sworn in this morning.

      Another eight appointees are drawn from a pool of traditional chiefs,
who played a crucial role in getting rural people to back Mugabe.

      Mugabe is expected to drop other officials linked to Moyo's bid to
block Mujuru when he announces his final cabinet line-up, but retain the old

      John Nkomo, Zanu-PF chairman and outgoing Special Affairs Minister in
the president's office, is set to be appointed the new Speaker of Parliament
today, replacing Emmerson Mnangagwa, who seems headed to the political
scrapyard after he lost his seat to the opposition.

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This is Exeter



      12:00 - 12 April 2005
      Valerie Clarke can still remember the devastation she felt when she
was told of the brutal murder of her sister in Zimbabwe. She received the
telephone call from the Home Office on Friday, September 26, 2003 - a day
that changed her life.

      Almost two years on, she is still fighting for justice for 66-year-old
Marjorie Eggleston and her husband Eric, who were killed in their home at
Prospect outside the Zimbabwean capital of Harare by armed robbers.

      The gang of four bound, gagged and beat them and then shot Mrs
Eggleston in the back. She lay dying for up to an hour while her home was

      Her 72-year-old husband is believed to have died from asphyxiation
after being tied up.

      Two men suspected of involvement in the killing were arrested by
police almost immediately.

      One was caught by a neighbour's gardener near the murder scene and the
other was detained by police the following week.

      A third was arrested in October 2003 and a fourth in December. All
four were charged in January last year with the murders.

      They were being held in the central jail of Harare awaiting trial and,
if convicted, faced the death sentence.

      Mrs Clarke, from Exmouth, hoped justice would be done, especially when
she was told that at least three of the suspects had admitted to being in
the house when the killings took place while another acted as look-out.

      But last week she was told that three of the four had been released
and the charges against them dropped.

      For Mrs Clarke and her family, it is another blow in an 18-month
nightmare. She still cannot believe her sister was killed. Mrs Eggleston
lived in Heavitree and Exmouth as a youngster before leaving to settle in
Rhodesia, now Zimbabwe, in 1962.

      "I still can't believe this could have happened to them. They were not
rich," she said. "They were retired and had been living almost hand-to-mouth
in a small house.

      "I have been told my sister was sitting doing a crossword puzzle when
the gang appeared. They tied and gagged them and then shot her in the back.
All they took in the end was her handbag.

      "They were just a retired couple living quietly - they did not have a
fortune or anything much."

      She said she had last spoken to her sister two weeks before when she
begged her to come back to Devon because Zimbabwe was such a dangerous
country. But she would not leave because she loved it there.

      Valerie said: "Marjorie would never come back to England. I wanted to
try to bring her back but she wouldn't come.

      "They only had a pension, that's what was so sad about the robbery.
They didn't have anything. Their pool was cracked and full of stagnant
water. Their garden was overgrown."

      Gail Van Der Merwe, the youngest of Mrs Eggleston's three daughters,
said: "Both mum and dad put a lot into the country. Mum was a very caring
and very determined person.

      "They were too scared to leave their property. One would stay in while
the other went out. It seems the robbers thought my folks had a lot of money
but they didn't."

      Mrs Van Der Merwe left the strife-torn country before her parents'
murder and now lives in Surrey. She said: "My husband felt he could not
guarantee our safety. It wasn't just about being killed, you could be raped,
too. We have got a better lifestyle now here."

      Critics of President Robert Mugabe's regime in Zimbabwe claim that the
country's economic plight and his government's policy of taking land off
white farmers to give to its supporters led to a huge rise in violent crime.

      Mrs Eggleston, then Marjorie King, lived in Exeter as a girl and
attended Ladysmith School in Heavitree.

      She later lived in Exmouth and worked for Boots before marrying and
moving to Africa.

      Mr Eggleston had been a catering manager at Air Zimbabwe and his wife
had worked in airport security before retiring. Post-mortem examinations on
the couple showed that they had been severely beaten before dying.

      Once she had been told of their deaths, Mrs Clarke began a long battle
to arrange a proper funeral service and cremation. The couple were
eventually cremated in Zimbabwe seven weeks after their deaths but Mrs
Clarke was determined to bring her sister's ashes back to her native city.

      She set about arranging a memorial service and an interment in
Heavitree: "We wanted to arrange a service in Exeter so all the people who
knew Marjorie when she was younger had the chance to come and pay their
respects to her. "

      Mrs Eggleston's daughter brought her mother's ashes back to Exeter in
March last year and she was finally laid to rest 10 months after she was

      Her ashes were interred at a service at St Michael's Church,

      Mr Eggleston's ashes were taken back to his home town of Hull.

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Radio frequencies

SW Radio Africa : The government is still jamming our shortwave broadcasts.
To get around this we are broadcasting on more than one frequency. For the
full 3 hours of our broadcast (6pm to 9pm Zimbabwe time) we are on 12145 kHz
in the 25m band. We are also broadcasting on 15145 Khz in the 19 metre band
from 6pm to 8 pm, on11770 Khz in the 25 metre band from 8pm to 9pm, and on
4880 Khz in the 60 metre band for the full three hours. In the mornings you
will also find us on Medium wave from 5am to 7am on 1197 kHz. Outside the
broadcast area, listen over the internet at .

VOA Studio 7 : VOA Studio 7: Studio 7 broadcasts every evening from 7 pm to
8 pm Zimbabwe time. In Zimbabwe, tune in to 909 AM, and at 4930, 11975 and
17895 kHz short-wave. Studio Seven in the Morning broadcasts Monday through
Friday at 5:30 am Zimbabwe time at 909 A-M and at 4930 and 6080 KhZ
short-wave. Outside the broadcast area, Studio 7 and Studio 7 in the Morning
are accessible on the internet at: .
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Farmers Threaten to Stop Growing Tobacco

The Herald (Harare)

April 12, 2005
Posted to the web April 12, 2005

Martin Kadzere

ZIMBABWE farmers who delivered their crop to the auction floors hoping for
"meaningful returns" last week have threatened to withdraw from tobacco
farming next year citing the poor prices on offer.

Farmers are protesting against the sharp drop in prices from US$2,90 last
year to an average of US$0,22 per kilogramme.

"We thought the situation will improve since we took up the farming of the
crop in 2002, but three years down the line we have not yet realised
meaningful returns as tobacco farmers," lamented Mr Noah Mberi who farms in

"I am actually thinking of pulling out of tobacco and start other
agricultural projects," said another disgruntled farmer from Mazowe.

The latest developments in the tobacco industry, which is usually regarded
as a major foreign currency cash cow, are likely to have far-reaching
effects on the production of the crop and economy in general considering the
farmers* threats.

Bearing in mind that the country was pinning its hopes on tobacco to improve
the foreign exchange inflows, there are increasingly vociferous calls for
Government to intervene to end the impasse between farmers and the

The current prices are very low and farmers have expressed their
displeasure, arguing that they borrowed a lot of money from banks and their
chances of paying back now look remote in the absence of an upward review in

The majority of small-scale farmers started growing tobacco three years ago
after benefiting from the Government*s land reform programme.

Since then the farmers have not yet started enjoying "meaningful returns"
considering the high cost of inputs such as fertiliser which is eroding
their meagre earnings.

However, they pointed that their decision to pull out should not be
misconstrued as sabotage since they were allocated land under agrarian
reform but pointed out that the sector was no longer viable.

"We appreciate what our Government has done to allocate land to the
landless, but we cannot continue farming when it is apparent that the
returns are not satisfactory,"fumed another farmer.

Given the importance of tobacco exports to the Zimbabwean economy, analysts,
however, said Zimbabwe would need to reduce its dependence on tobacco. In
particular, several factors would be significant in the country*s ability to
undertake a less painful transition away from tobacco production in the long

In fact, over the past decade Zimbabwean farmers have diversified into
several other export crops over the past decades. For instance, it exported
very few cut flowers 20 years ago, but between 1980 and 1999 the total
quantity of flower exports increased more than six-fold from 2 900 tonnes to
18 200 tonnes, while export revenue rose from US$13 million to US$84

While prices of many agricultural commodities have tended to fall over the
past years, Zimbabwe has maintained its exports. For instance, cotton
exports increased from 54 000 tonnes in 1981 to around 100 000 tonnes in
2000, while exports of tea and coffee doubled during the same period.

Despite the impasse between the farmers and buyers, Zimbabwe is likely to
generate close to US$157 million in tobacco sales this year, up by about 30
percent from last year, but this latest chapter could have negative impact
on the foreign currency inflows.
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ZCTU Leaders Physically Attacked At Meeting

The Herald (Harare)

April 12, 2005
Posted to the web April 12, 2005


ZIMBABWE Congress of Trade Unions president Mr Lovemore Matombo and his
deputy Ms Lucia Matibenga had to run for dear life recently when they were
physically attacked by some officials over alleged corruption and
mismanagement in the umbrella labour body.

Tempers flared at the meeting held in Harare and top ZCTU officials,
including Mr Matombo and Ms Matibenga, had to flee as disgruntled members
started throwing water glasses and other objects at them.

ZCTU secretary-general Mr Wellington Chibebe is said to have been poked
several times with a newspaper by Mr Langton Mugeji, a member of the labour
body's general council.

This was after Mr Chibebe allegedly failed to give a satisfactory
explanation as to who had sanctioned the salaries that Mr Matombo and Ms
Matibenga are getting.

Efforts to get a comment from Mr Chibebe were fruitless as his mobile phone
was either switched off or not being answered.

When contacted, Mr Matombo said owing to his status as an arbiter, it would
be unprofessional for him to publicly state his position on a contentious
internal matter which was still to be resolved.

"I am a professional and I cannot comment because I am also involved in the
issues at stake. About my salary, talk to administration.

"In any case, it is not important for me to comment because you want to
scandalise the ZCTU," he said before abruptly switching off his phone.

Ms Matibenga also refused to comment, saying she had important business to
attend to.

"I cannot talk to you because I have to answer my other phone," she said
before hanging up.

Mr Mugeji could also not be reached for comment.

A spokesperson for ZCTU affiliates which represent 19 unions, Mr Nicholas
Mazarura, who is also the deputy secretary of the Zimbabwe Construction
Industry Workers' Union, accused Mr Chibebe of giving leeway to Mr Matombo
and Ms Matibenga to misuse ZCTU funds.

"Matibenga has not been formally employed since 2000 yet she claims to be
representing the workers, and Matombo is now more of a politician than a
workers' union leader.

"These people are now getting a salary every month yet our constitution
stipulates that they should be given allowances only since they will be
operating on a part-time basis," he said.

He further pointed out that the two's contracts with the ZCTU were
terminated over a year ago but Mr Chibebe had ensured they continued working
for the union despite the fact that their changed status no longer met
requirements of the labour body's constitution.

Mr Mazarura further denounced the ZCTU for abandoning its core business of
representing the workers.

"One of the core principles of the ZCTU when it was formed was to work
towards the lowering of the number of workers living below the Poverty Datum
Line, but ironically this trade union has never made any effort to address
this crucial issue.

"Workers continue suffering. They are not accessing ARVs (anti-retrovirals)
yet as a group they are making the immense contribution to the Aids levy.
But senior officials at ZCTU are virtually doing nothing; they have become
more of politicians than workers' representatives," Mr Mazarura said.

The ZCTU top brass has been accused of hijacking platforms for addressing
and discussing issues affecting workers to further their own interests and
denounce the Government.

In a letter to Mr Chibebe dated April 8, Mr Mazarura attacked the ZCTU for
hijacking workshops meant to educate workers on occupational health and
safety to promote their personal interests and political agendas.

"We refer to the above, and write to advise you that we have been inundated
with distress calls from our concerned members who attend these workshops.
They are complaining that you are completely hijacking the agenda to further
your own interests.

"Could you kindly ensure that this kind of practice is stopped forthwith? Mr
Chibebe, please do not start off a fire you will not be able to control. You
have stretched our patience to the (breaking) limit now," reads part of the

The ZCTU leadership has also come under fire for opening an informal sector
account without the knowledge of the other members.

The criteria used to select signatories was controversy-ridden as only the
secretariat that comprises of the project co-ordinator, a Mr Mutemeri, and
Mr Chibebe are the sole signatories.

Mr Mutemeri refused to comment, saying he had knocked off work and was
relaxing at home.

Money in the account is believed to be from donors and no one audits the

"It's a pity that the officials are now labelling us radicals and some are
saying that we are being sent by external forces to cause havoc in ZCTU yet
we are fighting for the workers. We are only saying 'no' to corruption. We
are not going to break away from the ZCTU. We just want to put the house in
order and we are encouraging unions to pay up their subscriptions," said Mr

The ZCTU has over the past years been concentrating on partisan opposition
politics at the expense of its core business of championing and protecting
workers' interests. It has, in many cases, sided with employers who it
should be negotiating and bargaining hard with from opposite sides of the
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      Zimbabwe March inflation eases but pressures lurk

      Tue April 12, 2005 6:40 PM GMT+02:00
      By MacDonald Dzirutwe

      HARARE (Reuters) - Zimbabwe's annual inflation rate, among the world's
highest, slowed slightly in March, but analysts warned that food and foreign
currency shortages could push price pressures higher in the coming months.

      Inflation, branded enemy number one by President Robert Mugabe, eased
to 123.7 percent in the year to March from 127.2 percent in February,
according to official figures on Tuesday. Last year inflation hit 624

      However, the figures took no account of the doubling by businessmen of
prices of basic goods such as maize meal and sugar shortly after the March
31 election in which Mugabe's ZANU-PF party won a two-thirds majority in

      The opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) has rejected the
result, accusing Mugabe's government of vote-rigging.

      The government, which had kept a tight cap on price increases ahead of
the parliamentary elections, ordered a reversal of the increases but most
businesses have defied the directive, resulting in basic commodities
disappearing from shops.

      Some have re-emerged on the black market at higher prices.

      The Central Statistical Office said that on a month-on-month basis the
consumer price index in March was up 4.3 percent, compared with 3.1 percent
in February.

      "Going forward we will see a reversal in the inflation trend as a
result of pressures from food shortages and foreign currency shortages,"
economist Witness Chinyama told Reuters.

      An acute shortage of foreign currency has forced manufacturers to
operate well below capacity, further worsening the scarcity of commodities.

      The southern Africa nation is facing its worst economic crisis since
independence from Britain in 1980, blamed by critics on Mugabe's policies,
which include the seizure of large tracts of land from white farmers to
resettle blacks.

      The central bank has forecast inflation between 20 and 35 percent by
the end of this year, but analysts are sceptical on whether this will be

      "Because of the poor agriculture season and food shortages, prices
will rise further and food has a higher weight in the CPI basket," Chinyama

      Mugabe charges that the economy has been sabotaged by enemies of his
controversial land reforms, denying charges he has mismanaged the once
prosperous economy.

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If the MDC Changes It'll Be Another Zanu PF

The Daily News (Harare)

April 12, 2005
Posted to the web April 12, 2005

THE view of the cynical student of Zimbabwean political history is that
Robert Mugabe believes he will only relinquish power if someone can do to
him what he believes he did to Ian Smith. Mugabe and Zanu PF believe firmly
they removed Smith from power through force of arms. They would never hand
over power to the MDC after an election.

For them, the MDC and Morgan Tsvangirai have to beat them on the battlefield
to win the country. Zimbabwe's independence was negotiated among, as they
say today, "all stakeholders" who included the same much-despised Ian Smith,
and the even more pilloried Abel Muzorewa, prime minister of the fortunately
very short-lived Zimbabwe-Rhodesia.

But for Zanu PF and Mugabe, independence was negotiated on the battlefield.
You would think that Lancaster House, where a new constitution was hammered
out by the same stakeholders had not happened at all.

Many political students believe it is this view of the birth of Zimbabwe
which inhibits Zanu PF from letting "people who were not bitten by
mosquitoes" as the late Eddison Zvobgo put it famously take over the

What critics of the MDC are urging the party to do -- to be more militant,
to be more uncompromising - could turn it into another Zanu PF. It would
have to plunge into the gutter to the fight the dirty war that Zanu PF is
accustomed to.

Mugabe is no different, in this respect, from some of his contemporaries -
Kenneth Kaunda, Hastings Kamuzu Banda, Milton Obote, Daniel arap Moi, Mobutu
Sese Seko and Yoweri Museveni. These people wanted to hang to power for
ever. In most cases, they believed their countries owed them so much, it was
unthinkable for them to give away power in an exercise as mundane as an

Some of these people died in ignominy, out of power and quite often out of
their minds. In most cases, as well, their countries suffered incredible
economic decline.

Zimbabweans must pray this does not happen to their country. Of course,
relying on prayer alone might not save it either.
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Please send any material for publication in the Open Letter Forum to: with subject line "For: Open Letter Forum".


Thought of the Day:

"If you are kind, people will accuse you of selfish motives- be kind
anyway. If you are successful, you will win both false friends and real
enemies - succeed anyway. What you spend years building, someone may
destroy overnight - build anyway. The good you do today, most people will
forget - do good anyway. Give the world the best, you have and it may not
be enough - Give your best anyway. In the final analysis, it is between you
and God. It was never between you and them anyway."

Mother Teresa.


- RE: Tesco's - A new appeal - Alexandrea Johnstone
- JAGMA Mission and Vision Statements - Ade Williams
- MDC perhaps not finished - Keith Battye


LETTER 1: RE: Tesco's - A New Appeal, received 8.4.2005

by Alexandra Johnstone

Dear Ms Stott

I am writing AGAIN to you to appeal to Tesco to realize that dealing as
your company does with suppliers of vegetables from Zimbabwe, you may well
have the blood of many people on your hands.

I would like to point out to you that very few farms in Zimbabwe have had
LEGAL changes of ownership (in the British context of the adjective) and
that their owners, with title deeds, and many thousands of employees (whom
you profess to care so much about) are no longer on these farms.

These former farm workers are now refugees in their own country and face
starvation on a daily basis. What are your people on the ground achieving
(apart from good business deals for you in spite of the moral turpitude
surrounding them)if they cannot even get these facts right? Do you lot in
England not read the newspapers, or failing that, watch TV?

As I said in my previous message to Tesco, I have had sight of your
platitudes to other Zimbabweans in this country who are concerned about
this issue and your doling out of the same banalities over and over again
is an insult to our intelligence and rather beggars the question of what
sort of 'customer service' you offer. I wonder if you realize that there
are over a million of us in Britain?

Why are you not able to provide a list of the farms you deal with in
Zimbabwe so that the facts can be established once and for all? Your
reluctance to do so, as previously requested by several people, paints a
rather bloody picture of Tesco, in every sense of the word.

So, in a word, NO, you have not addressed my concerns, AGAIN.

Alexandra Johnstone


LETTER 2: JAGMA Vision and Mission Statements, received 10.4.2005

by Ade Williams


I was very pleased to receive the text of the mission and vision

It is extremely important that the future is considered-easy to say but at
a time when a great many people are feeling despondent over last weeks
events, it is necesary that as many as possible are encouraged to look

I suggested over two years ago to an MDC MP that consideration should be
given to the future of wildlife (although not, I accept, the most important
priority, food production, human rights must take priority) as soon as
possible because it will become again a source of forex but it will need a
great deal of time to investigate the situation and begin the conservation
in order to restore it to a point where it can be utuilised, whether for
photographic safaris or a return to hunting.

I was disapointed to hear the view from that MP that the matter of wildlife
could not be considered until there was a change of government.  Whilst I
am a wholehearted supporter of democratic change I feel that this
(personal) view of one MP is incorrect and I applaude the action of JAGMA
at present.

Ade Williams. from the UK


LETTER 3: MDC perhaps not finished, received 11.4.2005

by Keith Battye

I have heard and read a lot of analysis about the "poor showing" of the MDC
at the last election and I have a few thoughts you may wish to consider.

When it became obvious to the regime in February 2000 that there was a lot
of support for the MDC in Zimbabwe a number of things were done to reverse
that support, most of which had barely started by the time of the 2000
parliamentary elections. The result was 57 seats to the MDC. So the
electoral engineering by ZANU-PF started in earnest.

To deprive the MDC of funding the white farmers were stripped of their
farms, their bank accounts emptied by "redundancy packages" and their
non-farming and farming assets vandalized. At the same time a deliberate
policy of inflation was embarked upon to destroy savings and incomes so
that little or no discretionary finance was available to the opposition
from within Zimbabwe. The external finance was turned off by new laws
making foreign funding illegal. An outrageous treason charge was brought
against Morgan Tsvangirai and others thus using up any cash resources still
in the bank.

At the same time farm labour that was thought to be unreliable and
influenced by the white farmer was displaced, the unreliable middle class
forced into economic exile and "fear struck into the hearts of the whites"
as per the leader's stated policy.

We then saw the introduction of AIPPA and POSA which removed any access to
government media and closed down the critical mass circulation daily
newspaper. It also stopped any ability to campaign in either the urban or
rural settings. Add to this the continual arrest and harassment of MDC MP's
and supporters, the removal of foreign media practitioners, the destruction
of the MDC council in Harare, the effective use of militia, police and army
in the suppression of the opposition and you see an party with no way to
get the message out.

After all this and lots of other less notable but equally vicious tactics
what do we find. A ruined economy, no agriculture to speak of, a huge
migration of the brightest and best to anywhere but here, the subversion of
the uniformed services and youth, our withdrawal from the international
community and the destruction of the democratic norms we all yearn for, and
for what?

A total reduction of 16 seats to 41 for the MDC! Good grief. This stands as
a monument to the insanity of the regime and the sheer guts and sticking
power of the MDC and the great Zimbabwean electorate. I say well done and I
know that the regime and its leader must be very afraid now that having
brought their full vindictive and destructive power to bear on the MDC and
its supporters this is all they could achieve. I take my hat off to Morgan
and his team and I weep that such a destructive, vindictive and self
indulgent crew as Mugabe and ZANU-PF can be seen as winners by anyone let
alone Mbeki and the wusses in the ANC.

Knowledge is Power

Keith Battye


LETTER 4: RE: Gerry's letter on Zimbabwe, received 10.4.2005

by Ade Williams

Dear JAG,

I'd like to thank Gerry Whitehead for his letter and add my similar

Whilst we are all badly disapointed with the election results that were
announced (we are of course not at all disapointed with the true results)
we should remember that the only chance there has been of democratising
Zimbabwe has come from the MDC.  Because Mugabe and ZANU PF were able to
cheat Zimbabwe and the MDC of its just reward does not mean that MDC were
at fault.  MDC might be better organised in some areas, it could be more
effective here and there, it could benefit from a little less internal
struggling but tell me is there any party in the world which cannot be

I'm waiting?

I'm still waiting?

There may be much assistance from charities, civil rights groups, church
groups, and many others to whom we should be eternally grateful.

But in the end none of these can or will form a government, a political
party will become the government because only politics can provide the
answers to political problems and there is only one party in Zimbabwe that
can and is challenging Mugabe and ZANU PF. There is huge support for MDC
and for anyone to think that there will be any other group which can
provide a solution is ridiculous.

Ade Williams.


LETTER 5: SECURITY, received 12.4.2005

by Penny Crinkovic

Hi everyone,

Ok so I am a stupid Rusape women who has forgotten this is the " big city".

Just wanted to remind any other "village idiots" to take care out there. It
wasnt such a big deal as I am in one piece but still not a nice experience.

Tonight on my way back from dancing lessons (ok !!!//) I had to stop at a
red robot, big mistake!!!  but had no choice with lots of traffic - hence
to say I am basically unharmed, bit battered and bruised , but these guys
are nasty so ladies be warned!!. There I am minding my own business,
waiting at the robot, next thing I notice two very casually moving men, one
on either side, taking their time and their was nothing I could do!!!  I
realised what was coming and had no choice but to sit there and wait for it
- they were wrapping what I assume to be rocks inside plastic bags onto
their hands and moving towards my car, they were not afraid, they were not
wary, they just came towards me in what seemed like slow motion - smashed
the windows, whilst the one helped himself to my handbag from the one side,
the other tried to haul me out the car, thank goodness I am a heavy smoker
and had in my hand a huge metal heavy table lighter ( couldnt find my
little one when leaving home) so I literally hit the guy with it and hung
onto the steering wheel for dear life, they then walked away !!! and jumped
over the hedge into Harare Park - and of course made on their merry way.
This was at the intersection by the park playground, (old rhodes avenue and
moffat street )

Security guard with his bicycle on the island did nothing of course!, car
on my right nothing!  car behind nothing! What alarmed me though was that
it was not a quick thing - these guys couldnt have cared less who saw them
or whatever.

Of course, most importantly I am alive and breathing - but I am now without
my remote for the electric gate, house keys, diary with all our details in,
cell phone, bank cards, cheque books and most annoyingly and irritating and
time consuming to replace - drivers licence, id etc. so in future of course
I plan to travel light and leave the rest at home. >From today I am not
going to be the "village idiot" anymore - but in case there are any "out
there" I just wanted to let you know.

Take care of yourselves and leave the handbag at home - meantime I plan to
see if these two chaps use my just purchased tickets to the show at Reps on
the 21st!!! Imagine if there they are sitting in my seats - wouldnt suprise
me in the least if they had the nerve to do so.

Love Penny


JAG Hotlines:
+263 (011) 205 374 If you are in trouble or need advice,
                                  please don't hesitate to contact us -
                                  we're here to help!
+263 (04) 799 410 Office Lines

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From: Roger Stringer <> Reply-To:

[James Ball posted this on Social. It seems to have originated from Howard
Dean & Co. I'm posting it here (re-formatted from a Word doc.) as
discussions are taking place on both Market and Social. - Roger]


With effect from 1st March 2005, MINIMUM WAGES for Domestic Workers were
increased by almost 1000% and ALLOWANCES were increased by almost 500% |
Statutory Instrument 42/2005 dated 25th March 2005 refers.

These massive increases a week before the Parliamentary Elections led to
speculation that this was a vote-catching gimmick aimed at the urban
electorate. If so, execution was clumsy. Issuing the relevant Government
Gazette on the Easter Friday public holiday, coupled with the postal delay,
reduced the Minister of Labour to announcing details at a news conference
on the eve of polls. If this was aimed at urban votes, poll results
indicate it was not particularly successful.

The ZCTU itself was apparently seeking wage increases of the order of 500%
and was resigned to receiving about 150%.

It is possible that in the aftermath of the election, wages and allowances
may be revised downwards. However, Government Printing & Stationery in
Harare have already sold out their stocks of the relevant Government
Gazette & Statutory Instrument and are presently printing more. This may
indicate there will be no going back on the sudden, massive increases. (Or
it may of course merely be a classic case of the right hand not knowing
that the left is doing.) But until and unless the increases are altered,
employers of domestic workers are legally obliged to pay the gazetted
increases, which are reproduced below. Note that it is in order to give the
back-pay for March with the April pay | although it would be advisable to
tell your workers that you intend to do so, rather than leave them in the
dark. We follow this with some advice about employers- options, where they
feel unable to afford the steep increases.


Minimum Wages for Domestic Workers are provided for in the Domestic Workers
Employment Regulations, 1992 (SI 377 of 1992) in the First Schedule
(Grading & Wages). Wages have traditionally been updated by the Minister of
Labour in the middle of each year.  From 1st March 2005, minimum wages were
increased as follows |



GRADE Monthly Weekly Daily Hourly * Grade 1
Yard/garden worker 800 000.00 184 758.00 33 592.40
3 733.00

Grade 2 Cook/housekeeper (with or without Grade 1 duties)
850 000.00 196 305.00 35 692.00 3 966.00

Grade 3 Child/minder or disabled/aged minder (with or without Grade 2
duties) 900 000.00 207 852.20 37 791.31 4 199.00

Grade 4 Disabled/aged minder with Red Cross Certificate or similar
qualifications (without grade 1,2 or 3 duties) 950 000.00
219 400.00 39 891.00 4 432.33

* The hourly rate applies to each hour worked, and any part of an
hour worked must be remunerated as a complete hour.


Minimum Allowances for Domestic Workers are also provided for in the
Domestic Workers Employment Regulations, 1992, this time in the Second
Schedule (Minimum Allowances).  Again, allowances are traditionally updated
by the Minister of Labour in the middle of each year.  From 1st March 2005,
minimum allowances were increased as follows |

$ Accommodation 100 000 Transportation 140 000
Lights 60 000 Fuel
86 600 Water 20 000

ADVICE ABOUT EMPLOYERS- OPTIONS There is no doubt that since inflation
rocketed | and is still very high, as witness the costs of foodstuffs and
staples in the shops | minimum wages and allowances for Domestic Workers
have been grossly inadequate. To provide a context for the advice that
follows, we thought it would be useful to indicate a basic range of items a
Domestic Worker might hope to purchase each month, to keep himself or
herself fed, clean and fit for work. As we all know, prices keep going up
steadily | and quantities would obviously increase when family
responsibilities are taken into account. - Tea, mealie-meal, salt, cooking
oil, vegetables where these cannot be grown regularly. Milk, sugar, bread,
margarine, peanut butter and especially meat tend to disappear from the
table because of cost, resulting in a diet that no-one would choose to
subsist on. - Laundry soap, bath soap, Vaseline, toothpaste. - Additional
costs are clothing | underwear, footwear, off-duty clothing | also uniforms
in regard to children, school fees/levies. Medicines may be a cost where
clinics cannot provide them.

Those employers who can afford the increases, albeit reluctantly because of
the sudden jump, may well choose to pay, in view of the above context.
Where an employer has been providing food etc in addition to pay,
recognizing the hardships facing domestic workers, he may now choose to
explain to the worker that in view of the new minimum wage, he will no
longer be able to continue this, and that he is now passing this
responsibility back to the worker. However, if he has specified these
additional benefits in a letter of appointment, they have become part of
the worker-s terms and conditions of employment | and labour law stipulates
these cannot be unilaterally changed by the employer without the worker-s

We now set out various approaches that employers might wish to consider,
where they feel the size of the increases makes the continued employment of
a Domestic Worker on the same basis as before unaffordable.

1. -This is my relative- You could maintain that since the person doing
domestic work is related to you (a niece in the house, a nephew in the
garden, for example), you do not employ them, as such, and so do not need
to pay them the new rates. However, even the best (and highest) of families
have disagreements, as we have recently seen | and if at some time in the
future your -nephew- decides to seek back pay, you may find the judicial
process favours the weaker party rather than the one deemed to have long
pockets. Back pay at the new rates could be substantial.

2. Exemption You could seek exemption from the increases by applying to the
local Ministry of Labour offices. It is likely you will have to prove the
level and limits of your income and expenses. This may be a feasible or
even unavoidable approach for some (such as pensioners) but is likely to be
distasteful and even humiliating to anyone.

3. Two (or more) Households The Domestic Workers Employment Regulations
state that two or more households may share the services of a domestic
worker, in effect each employing him part-time. However, if the total time
he is employed is 30 hours or less per week | i.e. about 60% of a full-time
domestic worker | then he is categorised as a part-time or casual worker.
Obviously, in that situation, he must be paid twice the hourly rate for his
grade. The intention is obviously to try and ensure his total income does
not fall too low. Therefore, the answer is to ensure that in dividing the
domestic worker-s time between households, he ends up working for more than
a total of 30 hours a week. Payment would then be split between the two
households on some agreed basis.

4. Move to a fixed-duration Contract The advantages of a fixed-duration
contract are, correspondingly, disadvantages for the worker | you can pay a
lesser amount (for less work), and you can terminate services more easily.
The worker who is now in permanent employment would have to agree to become
a contract worker. Why should he? If the only alternative you can seriously
see is termination of employment, a full and frank discussion is called
for. Note that it would be advisable to pay him all terminal benefits due |
see below, under termination, for details | and formally terminate his
employment in a letter he signs acknowledging receipt of all terminal
benefits, at the same time as you both sign any new fixed-term contract. In
view of the reference to the 30-hour minimum in the Regulations, it would
seem advisable to employ for at least 30 hours a week, and base the pay on
the hourly rate for the grade. For a cook/housekeeper, this would still
exceed half a million dollars a month | and minimum allowances would still
be due, unless you provide accommodation etc. If this still seems
unaffordable, you may need to combine a contract with the previous option
of two or more households.

5. Terminate employment. This is likely to be a common first reaction to
the increases but is not a simple matter.  There are two routes.
Resignation | The domestic worker can resign, either of his own choice or
by mutual agreement between him and yourself. Resignation is always best
put in writing, in case of later disagreements. Note that legally a mutual
agreement must be put in writing and signed by both parties to the
agreement. You may wish to convince the worker to resign, recognising this
is the simplest route, by paying him (in addition to his terminal benefits)
rather more than you would if you terminated his services by dismissal (see
below).  Note well that if termination is on the basis of resignation, this
must be by mutual agreement and cannot be coerced or blatantly induced. The
domestic worker must clearly sign his acceptance of any mutual agreement
regarding resignation.

Dismissal | The Domestic Employment Regulations do not provide for an
employer to merely dismiss a domestic worker by giving him notice; nor does
the Labour Act. This is not to say that this is not done | particularly
where (perhaps because of proven theft or gross negligence) there has been
a breakdown in the trust inherent in an employment relationship where the
worker is often in sole occupation of the workplace for much of the day.
The Domestic Workers Employment Regulations do state in Section 16(6) that
-Nothing contained in this section shall affect the right of the employer
to dismiss a domestic worker | or the domestic worker to terminate his
employment | summarily on grounds recognised by law as justifying summary
termination of employment-. In this context, -summary termination- refers
to immediate dismissal.  Termination by normal disciplinary process (for
theft etc) is rather difficult in regard to a domestic worker, since a
single employer cannot in all fairness be the accuser, the investigator,
the impartial -judge- in the case and the person who hears any appeal
against his judgment. Also, there is no Employment Council for the Domestic
Employment sector, that could serve some of these functions, nor is there a
Disciplinary Code of Conduct for the sector.  In practice, therefore, the
Ministry of Labour in the past has seemed to allow an employer to discharge
a domestic worker by paying him three months- wages (plus allowances in
place of benefits such as accommodation etc) as Cash-in-lieu of Notice and
any Gratuity he is due for length of service, as well as any other Terminal
Benefits such as cash-in-lieu of vacation leave due. Note that if you
terminate before the end of a month, you must pay the remainder of that
month-s pay plus three months- cash-in-lieu of notice.

Obviously, if the domestic worker does not want to leave your employment,
perhaps because he considers his dismissal unfair, he may complain to the
Ministry of Labour | which before 7th March 2003 could hold a Hearing,
listen to both sides and issue a final determination on the dispute. Now a
Ministry Labour Officer can only try to -conciliate- | i.e. try to get you
and the domestic worker to compromise. If you want the worker to leave your
employ, however, there seems no room for compromise | except, perhaps, to
give him a bit more money. If conciliation fails, the next stage is
arbitration, arranged by the Labour Officer. It seems events are unlikely
to proceed to this expensive stage in a dispute involving domestic

Alternatively, the disgruntled ex-worker may involve a Trade Union
representative. The Union will probably recognise there is little chance of
re-employment and so will instead seek more money for the ex-worker from
you | with a proportion of that as its fee. Now that the wages are so high,
this could be substantial. In dealing with a Union, written proofs come in
very useful | a Letter of Appointment, Pay Records and a Leave Record | as
well as a letter signed by the worker listing all terminal benefits paid
and received at the time he left your employ. Nonetheless, even if the
Union cannot validly allege underpayments of any kind and therefore cannot
demand back-payments, it may still press for more money, even going so far
as to write you a letter formally alleging unfair dismissal, the need to
pay a retrenchment package, and so on. Note that in the past the Ministry
of Labour has appeared to tacitly recognise that formal retrenchment and an
associated package is not necessary in regard to domestic workers but that
is probably because of the practicalities, not the law. That may change,
particularly if these increases result in wholesale dismissals. You may
decide to pay an extra sum to get the Union and the worker to go away | if
so, prepare a letter to be signed by the worker; don-t pay direct to a
Union representative, leave it to the worker to negotiate any commission he
will pay to the Union for its intervention | or you may respond, verbally
or in writing, stating you are not prepared to pay more money and if the
ex-worker is unhappy with that, he should take it to the Ministry of abour
-and we-ll see you there in due course-. That is likely to be the end of
the matter as, in the past, the Union usually does not proceed further.
Again, this may change in view of the larger sums now involved.

Please note that explanations in this newsletter are not intended as a
substitute for professional legal advice which subscribers are advised to
seek when in any doubt.

A number of the points raised above are explained in more detail in a
publication -The Law on Employment of Domestic Workers-, available from
Aquamor. The publication covers minimum conditions, wages, allowances,
uniforms, hours of work, overtime, pay records, deductions from pay, trade
union-s right of access, part-time and casual work, working in two
households, piece-work, contracts, vacation leave, sick leave, special
leave, maternity leave, termination, calculating gratuities, and provides a
sample letter of appointment/ wage slip/ leave record.



JAG Hotlines:
+263 (011) 205 374 If you are in trouble or need advice,
                                  please don't hesitate to contact us -
                                  we're here to help!
+263 (04) 799 410 Office Lines

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1. FROM: WEEKLY STANDARD, received 11.4.2005

Publication Date: April 18, 2005

South Africa Abdicates Its Regional Responsibilities

by Roger Bate

Weekly Standard

Fresh from the charade of his latest rigged reelection, Robert Mugabe,
dictator of the disintegrating country of Zimbabwe, had the effrontery to
show up in Rome for the funeral of Pope John Paul II. Mugabe was raised a
Catholic and still sometimes is seen at Mass, though his record as a
political leader is anything but saintly.

The U.S. State Department called the March 31 election "seriously tainted,"
and European leaders joined in the condemnation. Crucially, however, the
observer mission from the Southern African Development Community approved
the result. The neighboring governments guilty of condoning this blatant
fraud--foremost among them, South Africa--should be made to pay a price in
their relationship with the United States.

The opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC), fearful of provoking a
violent crackdown if it staged street protests and dubious of the value of
a legal challenge, remains paralyzed in inaction. Ordinary Zimbabweans are
furious. "We should have boycotted the elections. If we had maintained the
boycott, [Mugabe's] ZANU-PF would have had no one to steal the election
from," shouted mechanic Mafios Mukeudzei, as celebrating thugs from the
ruling party drove past his garage a few days after the vote.

But higher-ups--Mugabe, the Southern African Development Community, and the
larger African Union--all wanted the election so they could maintain the
fiction that Zimbabwe is a democracy.

Given the absence of a free press, the government's use of food as a
political weapon, widespread intimidation by the ruling party, and even
murder, all of which have worn down most opposition, Mugabe may have
believed his Zimbabwe African National Union-Patriotic Front would actually
win the popular vote. He allowed foreign journalists entry a week before
the election, and while many opposition activists were hampered from doing
their job by being denied access to voter registration rolls and polling
stations, there was no systemic violence against the opposition. Mugabe
even allowed most people who wanted to vote to do so--although in several
key constituencies, many would-be voters' names were not on the rolls,
while their dead relatives' were.

After years of speculation over nightmare scenarios, the fraud was
astonishingly simple. Where ZANU-PF looked as though it would lose key
constituencies, it simply announced bogus results. It could do this because
there was no independent monitoring of the ballots. But inattention to
detail and poor coordination by ZANU-PF meant even this relatively secure
approach was exposed almost immediately, when the tallies announced by two
different electoral bodies failed to jibe.

First, officials of the ZANU-PF-run Zimbabwe Elections Commission announced
the number of people who had cast ballots in each constituency at the close
of voting. Meanwhile, the police radioed results to the National Logistics
Committee in the capital, Harare. Many hours later, the Logistics Committee
released the official election results.

I have now seen records documenting over 30 discrepancies between the two
sets of results, but three quintessential examples will suffice. In
Beitbridge, the Elections Commission announced that 36,821 votes had been
counted, yet the Logistics Committee counted only 20,602 votes, with
ZANU-PF winning. In Goromonzi, the Elections Commission claimed 15,611
voters, but according to the Logistics Committee the winning ZANU-PF
candidate alone received 16,782 votes. Similarly, in Makoni North, the
Elections Commission counted 14,068 voters, while the Logistics Committee
gave the ZANU-PF candidate 18,910 votes.

The Elections Commission figures would have been hard to fake, since they
reflected counted voters and were issued immediately upon the closing of
each polling station; whereas, the National Logistics Committee had hours
to come up with its count, and at a secret location in Harare. In perfect
Mugabe style, no observer mission--indeed, no outside party--had access to
the Logistics Committee. The South Africans admitted at their media
briefing that they did not visit the committee--indeed, that they did not
even know it existed.

The ruling-party leaders showed a breezy lack of embarrassment that these
discrepancies were witnessed by observers. Their unconcern shows that
President Mugabe knew the Southern African observers would endorse his
election no matter what--short of violence at the polls.

Clutching at straws, a spokesman for the opposition MDC party, Dave
Coltart, said, "If we can provide clear evidence of fraud we will remove
any last hope that Mugabe may have of proving legitimacy. . . . When you
have such blatant rigging, it's only a matter of time before it gets

The problem for Coltart is that the fraud has already been exposed, and
nothing will happen. Tom Woods of the State Department said prior to the
election that the United States "would not hold the region hostage over
Zimbabwe." Unthreatened by Washington, regional leaders proceeded with
business as usual. MDC leader Morgan Tsvangirai has so far ruled out legal
challenges over the poll, which may be the right call given that his
complaints over the 2000 election are still pending, although to make a
simple complaint would cost little energy. He has also ruled out armed
struggle, and considering the ruthlessness of the army and police, this may
be wise too. But anger over another stolen election is turning to despair,
and Tsvangirai needs to act quickly or see his leadership crumble.

Catholic archbishop Pius Ncube says the MDC should have thought of "a plan
to get Mugabe out. . . . Here in Zimbabwe people are so pushed around by
Mugabe they usually take the results and say, 'Ah, ah, what a pity.' They
want to leave it up to God. What I say is that God helps those who help
themselves." Ncube is extraordinarily brave, but unlike other Zimbabweans,
he has some protection from the Vatican and Mugabe's Catholicism. But he is
also right: Action is required, now.

Emulating the recent Ukrainian uprising, as Ncube wants, will be very
difficult--no neighboring countries are really friendly to the opposition,
there are no free media to summon people to the streets, and the police may
repress protesters brutally. But as I write, independent media
representatives are still in Zimbabwe, and could still report any action by
the opposition.

Sheperd Matetsi, a 26-year-old mechanic, was game for protest the day the
results were announced. "We're waiting for word from Tsvangirai," he said.
"If he gives the word, we will go to the streets, . . . although there is
some risk to life. But he hasn't called." And as AK-47-toting soldiers
fanned out across the suburbs of Bulawayo in an effort to prevent any large
gatherings, people waited.

Most likely, Tsvangirai and the MDC will avoid a confrontation, and opt for
a series of strikes, a natural response from a former union leader. But
strikes are a pitiful weapon against a president who has already
demonstrated that he doesn't care if the economy collapses. By the time you
read this, if protests are not in full swing, Zimbabwe could be stuck with
ZANU-PF misrule for many years to come. The State Department's Tom Woods
told me, "It remains our goal to ensure that when the time of transition
back to democracy is upon us, those Zimbabweans who must carry the country
into the future are prepared to do it."

As Mugabe's position strengthens, the more important political interactions
are between the United States and Southern Africa. Dave Coltart, the
opposition spokesman, wants the State Department to announce that it will
have to review the Southern African countries' eligibility for trade deals
and aid under the African Growth and Opportunity Act. While these countries
may be more democratic than Zimbabwe and just about meet the requirements
of the act, any long-term confidence Washington might have in them has been
undermined by their willingness to endorse gross electoral fraud.

South Africa's abdication is especially depressing. As the leader of this
election whitewash, Africa's most powerful state is flirting with a
dangerous retreat into the all-too-crowded ranks of unserious, even odious,
regimes that dot the continent. As some worried commentators in South
Africa are now saying, it is no longer unthinkable that the ruling African
National Congress, the party of Nelson Mandela, might follow the path taken
by ZANU-PF. Only a strong signal from Washington, like the withholding of
aid, is likely to convey to President Thabo Mbeki the grave concern with
which the United States would view any South African retreat from the path
of democracy.

Roger Bate is a resident fellow at AEI.

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