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Zimbabwe Opposition Alleges Abductions by Government Agents


By Blessing Zulu
      Blessing Zulu
      20 April 2006

Zimbabwe's opposition Movement for Democratic Change said suspected members
of the Central Intelligence Organization aiming to suppress protests
abducted provincial officers of the party's youth wing along with members of
their families, beat them and threatened them with worse if they organized
protests against the government.

In interviews, several victims of the crackdown said the apparent government
agents threatened them with death if they tried to mobilize people to
demonstrate in keeping with a call by MDC founding president Morgan
Tsvangirai for mass protests. Some said they were warned against speaking
with Studio 7, a Voice of America program broadcast to Zimbabwe in three
languages for 90 minutes on weekday evenings..

Those abducted and beaten asked not to be identified for fear of suffering

The alleged official violence against the opposition in Zimbabwe's eastern
provinces came on the heels of a stern warning by President Robert Mugabe on
Independence Day - April 18 - that the government will come down hard on
those who challenge it. Tsvangirai has said he won't be intimidated, setting
up a potential confrontation.

Spokesman Nelson Chamisa of the MDC faction led by Tsvangirai provided
details on the provincial violence to reporter Blessing Zulu of VOA's Studio
7 for Zimbabwe.

The National Constitutional Assembly, meanwhile, said its coordinator for
Harare, the capital, was abducted and severely beaten by suspected militants
of the ruling ZANU-PF party, then dumped 50 kilometers outside Harare on the
highway to Bindura.

Studio 7 correspondent Irwin Chifera filed a report on the attack on the NCA

Security forces were also reported to be active. Residents of the Harare
satellite city of Chitungwiza said heavily armed police were patrolling
streets and dispersing those gathering in groups of more than four people,
and also pursuing street vendors.

Studio 7 correspondent Ben Chaleka filed a report from Chitungwiza.

In other political news, the leader of the MDC faction that has challenged
Tsvangirai's leadership, Arthur Mutambara, issued a statement saying faction
members who have "developed cold feet or doubts about the efficacy of our
values" should resign.

The MDC has been divided into so-called pro-senate and anti-senate factions
since October 2005, when the leadership of the country's main opposition
party fell out over the question of participating in or boycotting the
senate elections held in November. Mutambara, a former student leader who
has spent much of his adult life outside Zimbabwe, was recruited to lead the
pro-senate faction early this year.

Mutambara's statement came after the resignation of his faction's national
chairman, Gift Chimanikire, the third top official to jump ship. Studio 7
reporter Patience Rusere asked Chimanikire why he decided to abandon the
Mutambara faction.

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MDC leader warns of 'cold season' in Zimbabwe


          April 21 2006 at 05:54AM

      Zimbabwe's main opposition party has vowed to press ahead with mass
protests against President Robert Mugabe, saying it will not be derailed by
his threats to crush the demonstrations.

      Movement for Democratic Change secretary-general Tendai Biti said on
Thursday: "We are unmoved by the ramblings of an 82-year-old geriatric. We
are not deviating from the course we have taken."

      MDC leader Morgan Tsvangirai, whose party has come closest to
unseating Mugabe at the polls, last month threatened a campaign of peaceful
mass protests, prompting warnings from the veteran leader that the MDC was
"dicing with death".

      MDC officials said anti-Mugabe protests were still on, and that
Tsvangirai would address weekend rallies in Harare and the eastern border
city of Mutare to mobilise support for the drive, which comes as Zimbabwe
teeters on the brink of economic meltdown.

      Political and economic analysts say rising prices of basic foodstuffs,
public transport and housing is stoking anger in an urban population already
struggling with breaking sewerage systems, water and electricity cuts,
uncollected garbage and roads full of potholes.

      But they say the MDC still needs to shore up support for a unified
stand against Mugabe's forces, with the military, police and security
agencies still believed to be firmly behind the long-time president.

      "Zimbabweans are moving away from collective action in preference for
individual action to solve their problems, so they need to be convinced to
buy into the MDC's programme," said political analyst Heneri Dzinotyiwei.

      Previous MDC protests have been met with tough tactics by Mugabe's
security forces - the last, in June 2002, being dubbed "the final push" to
drive Mugabe from power. It failed, and led to Tsvangirai's arrest on
treason charges.

      The MDC has not given a timetable for new protests, but Tsvangirai
told supporters at a congress last month they should save money and stock up
on food ahead of a "cold season of peaceful democratic resistance".

      MDC spokesperson Nelson Chamisa said: "There has never been a
revolution with a timetable, but it is the pressure on the ground and the
momentum from (the MDC) congress that will determine when such action will

      Political analysts say the MDC is keeping information about
demonstrations to a minimum to keep the government guessing.

      "They are keeping their plans close to their chest probably because
they are borrowing from the military strategy of a surprise attack," said
Eldred Masunungure, chairperson of the political science department at the
University of Zimbabwe.

      Tsvangirai, who has led the MDC since 1999, has been constantly
out-manoeuvred by Mugabe, but analysts say he has emerged from his party's
recent split intent on taking the battle to the veteran leader.

      On Wednesday, a rebel MDC faction which this year formally broke ranks
with Tsvangirai over how to tackle Mugabe's Zanu-PF, announced that its
chairperson had joined three other senior officials who had quit and
defected to Tsvangirai's camp.

      This article was originally published on page 6 of The Star on April
21, 2006

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Chelsy Davy's father faces inquiry into business deals

Independent, UK

By Basildon Peta in Johannesburg and Cahal Milmo
Published: 21 April 2006
The father of Prince Harry's girlfriend, Chelsy Davy, is facing financial
disaster and possible imprisonment after the Zimbabwean government announced
that it was investigating him for illegal currency dealing.

Charles Davy has accumulated a multimillion-dollar fortune through his big
game hunting business, HHK Safaris, which survived the wholesale seizure of
white-owned farms and game reserves under the regime of Robert Mugabe.

But any protection once extended to Mr Davy's company through his business
relationship with Webster Shamu, a senior minister in the Zimbabwean
government, seems to have evaporated. The country's anti-corruption
minister, Paul Mangwana, announced yesterday he was placing the South
African-born entrepreneur under investigation for the illegal export of
large sums of foreign currency.

Mr Davy's close links to Mr Mugabe's government have been the cause of
unease in Britain after the two-year relationship between his 20-year-old
daughter, an undergraduate at Cape Town University, and Prince Harry was
made public. Officials are known to have expressed concern that, if the love
affair heads towards marriage, any links between the Royal Family and the
Mugabe regime would be unthinkable.

Mr Davy, whose company has prospered from charging mostly American clients
£17,000 for a 24-day shooting expedition in the Zimbabwean savannah, has
recently distanced himself from HHK by selling his holding in the company.

The Zimbabwe investigation is thought to have been sparked by an HHK
employee, who alleged much of the firm's foreign currency earnings were
being channelled outside Zimbabwe and traded illegally.

It follows remarks made to an undercover reporter for a British Sunday
newspaper this month by another HHK worker in which he appeared to confirm
the vast majority of the company's earnings were diverted away from Zimbabwe
into American bank accounts.

Ade Langley, a professional hunter working for HHK, told the Mail on Sunday:
"Less than 20 per cent of your dollars will ever enter Zimbabwe. All the
money is kept offshore."

It also appears that Mr Davy's contacts within the Mugabe government, mainly
Webster Shamu, the minister for policy implementation, are unhappy with how
he has run the affairs of the company.

Mr Davy has been the subject of questions about how his business has
survived during a purge which has seen the number of white-owned businesses
in Zimbabwe fall from 4,500 to 350 in the last decade.

The safari owner recently issued a robust defence of his relationship with
Mr Shamu, a long-term ally of Mr Mugabe and a shareholder in HHK, saying he
considered him a personal friend and denying that he had any political

An HHK official, Graham Hingeston, claimed that Mr Davy was no longer a
shareholder of the business after disposing of the equity that has helped
him earn an estimated £20m. And Mr Hingeston also claimed to an American
hunting magazine that Mr Shamu was never a joint venture investor but just a
"front man".

The father of Prince Harry's girlfriend, Chelsy Davy, is facing financial
disaster and possible imprisonment after the Zimbabwean government announced
that it was investigating him for illegal currency dealing.

Charles Davy has accumulated a multimillion-dollar fortune through his big
game hunting business, HHK Safaris, which survived the wholesale seizure of
white-owned farms and game reserves under the regime of Robert Mugabe.

But any protection once extended to Mr Davy's company through his business
relationship with Webster Shamu, a senior minister in the Zimbabwean
government, seems to have evaporated. The country's anti-corruption
minister, Paul Mangwana, announced yesterday he was placing the South
African-born entrepreneur under investigation for the illegal export of
large sums of foreign currency.

Mr Davy's close links to Mr Mugabe's government have been the cause of
unease in Britain after the two-year relationship between his 20-year-old
daughter, an undergraduate at Cape Town University, and Prince Harry was
made public. Officials are known to have expressed concern that, if the love
affair heads towards marriage, any links between the Royal Family and the
Mugabe regime would be unthinkable.

Mr Davy, whose company has prospered from charging mostly American clients
£17,000 for a 24-day shooting expedition in the Zimbabwean savannah, has
recently distanced himself from HHK by selling his holding in the company.

The Zimbabwe investigation is thought to have been sparked by an HHK
employee, who alleged much of the firm's foreign currency earnings were
being channelled outside Zimbabwe and traded illegally.

It follows remarks made to an undercover reporter for a British Sunday
newspaper this month by another HHK worker in which he appeared to confirm
the vast majority of the company's earnings were diverted away from Zimbabwe
into American bank accounts.

Ade Langley, a professional hunter working for HHK, told the Mail on Sunday:
"Less than 20 per cent of your dollars will ever enter Zimbabwe. All the
money is kept offshore."

It also appears that Mr Davy's contacts within the Mugabe government, mainly
Webster Shamu, the minister for policy implementation, are unhappy with how
he has run the affairs of the company.

Mr Davy has been the subject of questions about how his business has
survived during a purge which has seen the number of white-owned businesses
in Zimbabwe fall from 4,500 to 350 in the last decade.

The safari owner recently issued a robust defence of his relationship with
Mr Shamu, a long-term ally of Mr Mugabe and a shareholder in HHK, saying he
considered him a personal friend and denying that he had any political

An HHK official, Graham Hingeston, claimed that Mr Davy was no longer a
shareholder of the business after disposing of the equity that has helped
him earn an estimated £20m. And Mr Hingeston also claimed to an American
hunting magazine that Mr Shamu was never a joint venture investor but just a
"front man".

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Criminals tarnish agrarian reform

Daily Mirror, Zimbabwe

The Daily Mirror Reporter
issue date :2006-Apr-21

 CRIMINALS are taking advantage of the on going land reform exercise to
vandalise and loot property on acquired farms to tarnish the progress of the
agrarian reform exercise.

Billions of property has been looted and vandalised on farms throughout the
country with the police saying they were on high alert for such acts of
Recently, an attempt by three heavily armed men from Harare to rob a
Midlands-based com-mercial farmer, Joe Ferreira, of his property resulted in
a fatality when the intended victim gunned down one of
the assailants, police said yesterday.
Midlands police spokesperson Patrick Chademana, identified the deceased as
Ignatius Shindiro (27).
He said his two accomplices were still on the run.
The police spokesperson said three men were armed with AK47 assault rifles.
But before they pounced on their victim, the police said, the suspects
poisoned three of the farmer's vicious dogs to gain entry onto the premises.
"They proceeded to the Redcliff farming area just after Kwekwe where they
poisoned three vicious dogs belonging to a commercial farmer, Joe Ferreira
(42) and broke into his house," Chademana said.
Upon entering the victim's home, Chademana added, the three were confronted
by another dog, (a Chihuahua) that the   farmer kept as a house pet.
"When the robbers entered the house, the dog raised alarm and the farmer
immediately woke up. He knew something was amiss and on setting foot in the
corridor the robbers ordered him to surrender," narrated Chademana.
Ferreira resisted the suspected robbers' orders and allegedly opened fire,
hitting one of the suspects in the head, killing him instantly.
Chademana said the other two robbers fled  from the scene immediately.
"The deceased's body was taken to a Kwekwe mortuary," he said and advised
people to be careful when dealing with robbers.
He said: "One just has to be very careful when dealing with armed robbers as
it would be a matter of life or death."
There have been several other incidents of criminals who attempt to rob or
vandalise equipment to the detriment of farm owners. In some of the cases,
farmers have been injured or killed.
On March 18 2002, a Norton farmer, Terry Ford of Gowrie Farm, who was in his
mid-50s, was beaten to death by some unknown assailants after he was found
alone in his farmhouse.
 Last year, armed police were deployed to two farms in
Stapleford, Harare, following
theft of potatoes and farming equipment worth billions of dollars at the
The thieves, who were believed to be from Dzivaresekwa high-density suburb,
attacked guards and farm workers before looting equipment and farm produce.
Early this year, the police in Manicaland recovered nine cattle in
Mozambique believed to have been stolen from Chikukwa Village in
Chimanimani. The loot was recovered during a joint operation between
Zimbabwe and Mozambique police.

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Mujuru slams corrupt police officer

Daily Mirror, Zimbabwe

The Daily Mirror Reporter
issue date :2006-Apr-21

VICE-PRESIDENT Joice Mujuru yesterday slammed members of the police and
prominent members of society who indulge in corrupt activities saying it was
saddening they had turned into champions of deceit.

       Mujuru was speaking at a pass out parade of 488 police officers at
Morris Depot in Harare.
"It is, however, saddening to note that when police officers and prominent
members of society are supposed to be the repository of hope in our quest to
restore our social integrity have turned into champions of deceit," Mujuru
She said the government would not hesitate to prosecute those who abuse
strategic facilities and resources meant to sustain efforts to turnaround
the country's fortunes.
Mujuru challenged the police force to ensure that agricultural inputs were
put to good use for the effective revival of the economy.
"Government has noted with concern the abuse of agricultural inputs such as
fuel and fertiliser. I would like to challenge the police force to ensure
that inputs are put to good use for economic turnaround," Mujuru said.
"As key instruments of development the police should thrive to create an
environment that is safe and conducive to doing business through curbing
criminal and corrupt activities."
Cases involving corruption by some members of that force have been prominent
in the courts of late.
Police Commissioner Augustine Chihuri is on record castigating such
behaviour and has since warned his subordinates that no stone would be left
unturned in uncovering cases of corruption within the police force and
elsewhere as no one is above the law.
The vice-president then bemoaned the ever-increasing cases of gender-based
violence directed against women and the girl child in the country.
"It is saddening to note the escalation of gender-based violence directed
against women and the girl child in our society. Of late, the media has been
awash with cases of serious violence against women, which sometimes
degenerated into murder that is, more often than not, perpetrated by their
"I am convinced that the efforts made by the police to establish Victim
Friendly Units at police stations will be buttressed by the much awaited
legislation that reflects our resolve to stem the tide of gender-based
violence," Mujuru said.
However, she praised the ZRP for being one of the pioneers of gender equity
that has witnessed the elevation of female officers to the top echelons of
the police force.
Mujuru said what was pleasing to note was that the female police officers in
positions of
authority had not been found wanting.

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Former Presidents to Discuss US-Africa Relations

The Nation (Nairobi)

April 21, 2006
Posted to the web April 20, 2006

Nation Correspondent

Ten former African presidents are participating in a two-day roundtable
discussion at Wits University, on issues that impact on US-Africa relations.

The former heads of state include: Nic phore D. Soglo of Benin; Sir Q.
Ketumile J. Masire of Botswana; Pierre Buyoya of Burundi; Aristides Maria
Pereira of Cape Verde; Jerry J. Rawlings of Ghana; Daniel arap Moi; Karl
Auguste Offmann of Mauritius; Ali Hassan Mwinyi of Tanzania; Benjamin
William Mkapa of the United Republic of Tanzania; and Dr. Kenneth Kaunda of
the Republic of Zambia. Students from African universities, the United
States and representatives of the African Diaspora will contribute to the

The presidents were on Wednesday night hosted by the US Consul General
Steven P. Coffman at a reception in his residence before the start of the
two-day session yesterday.

During yesterday's session which was closed to the media, the ex-presidents
discussed Africa's image in American Media as well as how to engage the
diaspora n the continent's development.

Today, the ex-presidents are expected to discuss how to facilitate private
capital flows into the continent after which they will address a press
conference and take part in a public forum.

The African Presidential Archives and Research Center (APARC) at Boston
University provides former democratically elected African leaders with a
forum to share their insights and expertise in the democratisation and free
market reforms in Africa.

According to David Monyae of the Wits International Relations Department,
"The aim of the event is to provide former leaders, who constitutionally
retired from the presidency seat as required by democratic rule, with a
platform to discuss issues pertaining to Africa, to share and reflect on
their experiences during their term of office with the continent and
upcoming leaders on issues of economic and political governance. "

The Center offers an exceptional opportunity to see the present phase of
Africa's development through the eyes of the "architects of that change,"
according to the centre's website.

The centre provides such former leaders with a two-year residency programme
during which they are expected to write, lecture and engage the Boston
University and the wider community on the African issues and matters of
interest relative to Africa.

The Lloyd G. Balfour African Presidents in Residence Program gives former
democratically elected African leaders to spend up to two years in residence
at Boston University.

The programme provides such ex-presidents with an opportunity to transition
to civilian status by providing a venue that will value and utilize their
experience and expertise.

The program also serves as an inducement for leaders to fully support
democratic transitions of power. As one of the few internationally
recognized and prestigious forums available where they can continue to
contribute to Africa's growth and development, the residency programme
serves as an incentive for positive political change.

The programme also provides the university and broader community with access
to these leaders who have a unique perspective on the political and economic
dynamics in Africa.

Some of the ex-presidents who have attended the residency programme include
Sir Q. Ketumile Masire who in July 1980, succeeded the late Seretse Khama as
the second president of Botswana .In 1984, Mr Masire won the presidential
elections with a landslide oand served as head of state until March 1988.

President Karl Auguste Offmann served as president of the Republic of
Mauritius from February 2002 to October 2003. Throughout his political
career he contributed greatly to the economic development and social harmony
that is known some ten years later as the "Mauritian Miracle".

Madam Ruth Sando Perry led Liberia from September of 1996 until August 7,
1997 when she provided for the smooth and peaceful transfer of power to a
democratically elected government.

Former Zambian President Kenneth David Kaunda was the first African
President in residence at Boston University. Dr. Kaunda led Zambia to
independence and served as the first President of the Republic of Zambia. He
served as the president of Zambia from 1964 to 1991.

The rationale behind the establishment of the centre was to provide the
continent's democratically elected leaders with a credible forum to
articulate their aspirations for the continent as well as influencing the US

During the Cold War years, US interest in Africa increased, for the
continent had become an ideological and actual battleground with the former
Soviet Union and its surrogates. It changed under the Clinton Administration
with the President's Africa Growth and Opportunity Initiative and a $500
million commitment to combat HIV/AIDS.

Presently, there are signs that Africa's importance to the United States has
increased beyond the particular interest of any one administration as the
continent's potential and important role in international trade and
investment grows.

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JAG Job Opportunities dated 20 April 2006

Please send any job opportunities for publication in this newsletter to: JAG
Job Opportunities; or

Ad inserted 16 March 2006




Ad inserted 23 March 2006

Positions Vacant

Maintenance Manager wanted for busy dairy & cropping farm 30kms outside
Harare.  Position includes maintenance of tractors, boreholes etc, running
of workshop and buying of spares.  Office work available for spouse.  Small
house available on farm with other company perks.  Suitable applicants
please phone 091 202692 or email


Ad inserted 23 March 2006

Farm Manager

Farm located 12km from Gweru city centre. We are looking for a horticultural
manager with experience in flowers mainly roses. Will also be required to
assist in
potatoes, tomatoes, cabbages and paprika. Good accommodation is provided on
the farm, also good perks for the right candidate.

Interested qualified persons should contact Evans/Bongi +263 9 889420 fax
+263 9 889421,


Ad inserted 23 March 2006


Looking for a maid/cook to work in the Ballantyne Park area.  Must be able
to read and write and have some cooking experience.  Duties also, include
general housework and childminding.  Accommodation is offered and would suit
someone without any dependants.

Please contact on or 494404 or 091 248460.


Ad inserted 30 March 2006

Tobacco Manager

If you were a successful former Tobacco grower now sitting in town but
wanting to get back into Tobacco, please make comms and write to:


Ad inserted 30 March 2006


Preferably a single woman who can speak English well and who can assist with
the cooking and undertake general housework, i.e. ironing, cleaning, etc.
The person must have contactable references.
Single quarters will be provided on site with very good conditions.
Contact 884270


Ad inserted 30 March 2006

Vacancy - Citrus Farm

We have a vacancy for a managerial couple on a well-established citrus farm,
good package for the right couple with usual farm perks.  Please send C.V to


Ad inserted 5 April 2006


Assistant farm manager wanted for farming set up in Mozambique 60km from
Mutare border, growing 60ha tobacco and 15ha paprika.  Position would suit a
school leaver with farming background or Blackfordby leaver.  US$ package,
medical aid, vehicle and usual farm perks.

PHONE LISA- 011 420805


Ad inserted 5 April 2006


We are looking for the impossible.... someone to fulfil a job that can be
hectic, boring, frustrating, inspiring, and humorous, depressing,
challenging, tiring, easy and impossible. We have a small camp and bar in

The applicant will be coordinating 6 staff. Sometimes they are outstanding;
sometimes they are comatose. Sometimes we can get stock; sometimes we can't.
Sometimes we can afford repairs; sometimes we can't. Sometimes we're busy;
sometimes we're not. We always have fun. Ideally the applicant will be
single and (semi-) retired and wanting to keep him/herself busy. A handy man
would be fantastic and the ability to socialize with all and sundry is
imperative. Salary will be commission based, according to sales/profit. We
provide food and very basic accommodation, beautiful surroundings,
elephants, zebras and hippos.


Ad inserted 5 April 2006

Job opportunity

I am looking for a retired farmer to help oversee my small dairy and do odd
jobs whilst I am away for two months at a time.  Accommodation available, in
lovely setting.

Replies to email: or telephone for an
appointment on 073 2737 or 011 607 275.


Ad inserted 13 April 2006


Preferably an enthusiastic school leaver who has done a Pitmans course or
Accounting to "O" level, willing to learn. We are a new, growing group who
need staff to take up accounts clerk positions. Successful candidate could
start immediately.

Contact Jean at 369800 or


Ad inserted 20 April 2006


To:  A Special Lady somewhere out there

Position exists for a Personal Assistant

If you are able to honestly answer YES to these questions, we ought to be

Are you -
computer competent in MSWord, Email (MSOutlook),
MSExel, File management, Address Book & Distribution Lists, an exceptional
office administrator?
Self-motivated, resourceful and able to work both independently and with

Do you -
have a working knowledge of the Internet
have a basic knowledge of accounts

possess a compassion for the elderly in our country, and want to make a
difference in their lives

It goes without saying that you will answer YES as to being a special person
with the attributes of confidentiality, integrity, a pleasant disposition
and exceptional telephone manner.

We operate a small but growing office located in Alexandra Park whose
activities comprise, in the main, varied para-legal advisory services and
charity programmes for the elderly.

This could be a full, or part day position - flexi - let's talk.

Thomas Vallance ACIArb
Commissioner of Oaths
Para-Legal Advisory Services
Trust Executives & Administrators
Tels: (B) 744 648  (M) 011 617 161


Employment Sought


Ad inserted 16 March 2006



I am a specialist in tractor service/repairs, with 32 years experience,
having worked for several years in hands-on and management positions, for
such companies as Bain New Holland and Duly's.  After leaving Duly's, I
become self-employed (since 1990) with similar work.  Our work has consisted
of repairs/service work carried out at our workshops in addition to field
service work as and when required.  In addition to the above my business
includes the sourcing of spares and organising outwork such as injector
pumps, clutches, brakes and engine machine work being carried out by those
companies offering the best service.  One department of our business
specialises in the service/repair work of all tractor steering related
components such as steering boxes, orbital valves, rams, hoses, etc.

I would like to stress that I wish to work on a contract basis, preferably
for a farming syndicate or a large, well established farm set-up as I have
been self employed for 16 years and have a commitment towards children who
are being schooled locally.  I am seeking such work outside of Zimbabwe as
we feel the economics of our country have made it impossible to continue a
viable business.  My wife and I wish to keep our home as a base for the
stability of our children.  We would like to travel back to Zimbabwe every 3
to 4 weeks to be with them.

We hope the above meets with the approval of those looking for a contractor
for this type of work.

For further information contact Doug or Tracy Edwards -
or 068-22463 / 011212454


Ad inserted 5 April 2006

Employment Sought

Tania (Aged 27). She has finished her IATA course & is waiting for the
results. She has completed her schooling up to "O level standard, with
Executive Secretarial Pitman's Qualifications which include.... English for
business communications, Level one and two Book-keeping & Accounts, and
Typewriting. She has worked for several different companies in the past; her
experience was as a personal assistant to various persons in different
companies, secretarial and receptionist. Her most recent employment was as a
Trainee Travel Consultant.

Daniel (Aged 22). He has completed his schooling up to 'O level standard,
doing various studies. Previous employment experience includes, Supervisor,
Trainee Manager, Control room operations, Vehicle Surveillance operator,
Product manager and administrator. His current employment is as a part time
Headwaiter until he finds full time employment. He is very arty and business
minded. Social, motivated, hard worker and willing to learn.

Ron (Aged 19). he has completed his schooling up to 'O level standard, doing
various studies. Previous employment experience includes, Trainee
Computer/printer technician, Control room operator, Trainee motor mechanic,
vehicle Surveillance operator, Floor manager/supervisor and administration.
His current employment is as a vehicle Surveillance operator (After hours).
He is hard working, willing to learn and social.

These three young people are looking for well paid jobs, and are willing to
give it their all given the right employment opportunities that so fit their
experience, or in companies that are willing to take them on and train them
as to how it would best suit the companies needs. They are hard working,
fast learning, and social, Independent and motivated. Please could you let
everyone know as it is a necessity for them to find employment as soon as

Please contact Miss Carmen VanWyk for further details or to view their cv's
using the following details.
cell: 091 615 656 Tel: 575 431 - 3 E-mail:


Ad inserted 13 April 2006

Anyone seeking a Cook

I have an old cook who has been with me for 8 yrs; he is a family cook and
can cook any thing from pie's to pan cakes.

We have to leave, is there any one out there who would like to take him. He
has done every think from house washing and ironing. we are sorry to let him
go, but been born bred Zimbo's and with out a job we have to. May be there
is somebody out there who is looking for an couple to manage their farm or
lodge, have been in farming all our lives, well it was worth a try.

You can contact Tony at 091 404 449


Ad inserted 20 April 2006

Employment Sought

Very knowlegeable and experienced ex-commercial agricultural representative
with farming experience in Zimbabwe and Mozambique seeks position,
preferably external, Mozambique or further afield. Contact Stu Taylor Odzi
2288 (0204), cell 091 - 650997, or (Mozambique) 00258-8240407490.


Ad inserted 20 April 2006
Handyman Wanted


PLEASE CONTACT MRS. D"Elia   303056 or email


For the latest listings of accommodation available for farmers, contact (updated 20 April 2006)

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Mujuru plan Collapses

Zim Independent

            Dumisani Muleya

            ZANU PF's plan to amend the constitution to delay the 2008
presidential election until 2010 to facilitate Vice-President Joice Mujuru's
succession to President Mugabe appears to have collapsed in acrimony after
its designated architect, Justice minister Patrick Chinamasa, confirmed it
is no longer on the cards.

            This came amid reports yesterday that Chinamasa, who is still
viewed with suspicion by those linked to the Zanu PF faction led by retired
army commander General Solomon Mujuru because of the 2004 Tsholotsho power
struggle, was facing a backlash over the issue by those who think he might
have torpedoed their plan.

            Sources said the strategy was to introduce a constitutional
amendment delaying the 2008 presidential election to 2010 to assist Mujuru
in her bid to become president. The plan would ensure President Robert
Mugabe goes in 2008 and Mujuru takes over as an interim president, elected
by a two-thirds majority of both houses of parliament, between 2008 and

            Mujuru was expected to become the Zanu PF leader when Mugabe
steps down during the 2009 party congress. In 2010 she would then become the
party candidate in the presidential poll.

            Sources said Chinamasa's adversaries were planning to arraign
him over an unclear case of alleged interference in due process regarding a
sensitive political violence case which was recently in the courts as
retribution for his perceived failure to manage the succession plan.
Chinamasa, who was linked with a camp led by Emmerson Mnangagwa, yesterday
said he was not aware of any manoeuvres to arrest or summon him to court.

            "Certainly, I don't know what is going on about that. I wish I
knew," he said. Efforts to get comment from the Attorney-General's office
failed as everyone ducked the issue.

            While the ruling party was known by insiders to be working on
the plan to smooth the way for Mugabe's problematic succession plan and
facilitate Mujuru's entry, Chinamasa said the item was not on the agenda.

            "The 18th amendment is about the Zimbabwe Human Rights
Commission and that is what is coming because it has been approved by the
party and cabinet," Chinamasa said.

            "I'm not aware of the other issues to do with harmonisation of
elections. There was never any consideration to make that part of this

            "As you will recall, I only raised the issue for brainstorming
and debate. It was never considered by the party at any time and I hope the
party will come to it sometime and clarify issues."

            Although Chinamasa said Zanu PF did not table the issue,
well-placed ruling party sources insisted the plan was initially the main
reason for the expected amendment, not the proposed Human Rights Commission
which is an afterthought to save the already announced amendment.

            "The election postponement, with a succession handling
mechanism, was initially part of the 18th amendment agenda but was dropped
for specific reasons," a source said. "Apart from the fact that the issue
had already been made public by the press before the politburo and cabinet
discussed it, it had no sufficient support inside and outside Zanu PF."

            It is understood Zanu PF MPs linked to the Mnangagwa camp wanted
to block the plan in parliament. Opposition parties and civil society
groups, as well as the international community also wanted to build
resistance to it.

            Sources said after last year's general election, Mugabe tasked
Chinamasa to look into the issue when he was working on the 17th amendment
which dealt with the senate and land acquisition matters. However, the
election issue was not supposed to be publicised. When Chinamasa, said the
sources, reported on progress in his assignment to the politburo in May last
year, he was told to leave the succession issue which was earmarked to be
tackled in the 18th amendment.

            On May 27 last year, Chinamasa presented a memorandum to the
Zanu PF central committee which dealt with the proposed 17th amendment. In
the process he said another amendment was coming.

            "Further and above the constitutional proposal referred to
above, I wish to alert the central committee to the fact that during the
course of the sixth Parliament of Zimbabwe I intend to bring further
comprehensive constitutional proposals to address, in a holistic manner, the
constitutional changes that we need to put in place to take effect from
2010," Chinamasa said.

            He also said the senate - which was part of transitional and
succession management mechanisms -would last from 2005 to 2010. Sources said
the idea was to manage Mugabe's volatile succession and Mujuru's takeover.
But mounting opposition appears to have scuttled it, at least for the time

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Mutambara camp falls apart

Zim Independent

            Augustine Mukaro

            THE Mutambara faction of the opposition MDC appeared to be
gradually collapsing this week amid defections by senior officials to the
rival camp led by Morgan Tsvangirai.

            The party has been hit by a spate of resignation with the most
notable being that of chairman Gift Chimanikire who jumped ship on
Independenence Day. Last week Kwekwe MP Blessing Chebundo also moved across
to join the Tsvangirai camp.

            Other prominent opposition activists who have left Mutambara's
faction include Silence Chihuri, Givemore Chindawi, Frank Mamvura, Ignacio
Mushoperi and Nyasha Munjoma.

            In a letter to the Mutambara faction's secretary-general
Welshman Ncube, Chihuri and colleagues said they were no longer able to work
in that group.

            "We have come to the conclusion that our aspirations and
contributions to the Zimbabwean political process will not be realised by
our affiliation to that grouping," Chihuri and colleagues said. "We will no
longer act, speak, or engage in any activity on the supposed behalf of that

            "We have notified our colleagues accordingly. We wish you well
in your endeavours to enhance the democratic process in Zimbabwe."

            However, Ncube last night said the camp was not crumbling due to
the defections. He said they had already filled the vacancies and "we will
emerge stronger" from the crisis.

            "We are not bothered by the resignations," said Ncube. "That is
why we have openly issued a statement to say 'please go if you do not
believe in our principles'.

            "We are not in politics for self-aggrandisement and we are not
marketing numbers but principles which will be assessed by the people at

            The Zimbabwe Independent yesterday heard there could be further
defections from the Mutambara camp.

            Other senior officials alleged to be making moves to rejoin the
Tsvangirai camp include Dzivarasekwa MP Edwin Mushoriwa, Hwange West MP
Jealous Sansole and Thembinkosi Sibindi.

            Although they dismissed the claims, the Independent has it on
good authority that they are seriously considering crossing the floor.

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'Mugabe knew of Tsholotsho'

Zim Independent

            PRESIDENT Robert Mugabe, who claimed he didn't know of the
November 2004 Tsholotsho meeting called to decide the Zanu PF succession
issue, calling it a "clandestine" affair, was in fact fully briefed on it,
former government spokesman Jonathan Moyo has said.

            In his disclosures about the ruling party's power struggle
published in this newspaper today (See Page 13), Moyo said Mugabe was kept
fully informed of the developments around the issue.

            In the wake of the Tsholostho meeting on November 18, 2004
designed to block the ascendancy of Vice-President Joice Mujuru, Mugabe
lashed out at members of the Zanu PF faction led by Emmerson Mnangagwa for
acting unprocedurally and trying to stage a palace coup.

            This was followed by a ferocious purge which affected a number
of high profile Zanu PF politicians, including Moyo.

            However, Moyo said Mugabe was aware of the Tsholotsho plan. He
said Zanu PF national commissar Elliot Manyika chaired meetings in Harare
and Mugabe's rural home area of Zvimba where the plan was discussed in
August 2004. Mugabe was kept abreast of events through briefings by Manyika,
he said.

            "What is particularly significant is the fact that the
principles of the Tsholotsho Declaration and their procedural implications
were the subject of three joint meetings of Zanu PF provincial chairmen and
provincial governors under the chairmanship of Elliot Manyika, the party's
national commissar," Moyo said.

            "This is very significant in so far as it proves that there was
nothing clandestine or untoward about the application of the principles of
the Tsholotsho Declaration on November 18, 2004 because it was the
culmination of properly constituted party structures with the knowledge of
the top leadership, including President Mugabe."

            Zanu PF secretary for administration Didymus Mutasa yesterday
refused to comment on the Tsholotsho drama, saying he preferred
"constructive dialogue" rather than "such kind of things".

            "I want to discuss something constructive rather than these kind
of things like Tsholotsho," Mutasa said.

            Moyo said after the Zvimba meeting on August 30, where what
became known as the Tsholotsho plan was adopted, Manyika briefed Mnangagwa
about the outcome of the deliberations of provincial chairmen and provincial
governors, "an outcome whose essence was to adopt the principles of the
Tsholotsho Declaration".

            "On the same day, August 30, 2004, Mnangagwa sent a letter to
provincial chairmen advising them to notify all party structures under them
about the convening of the 4th annual people's congress due in December 2004
and the business of that congress including the election of the party
leadership and the procedures thereof," Moyo said.

            "Also by this time, through the formal structures of the party,
a circular from Mnangagwa had already gone out on August 30, 2004 advising
provincial chairmen to prepare for the December 2004 congress in terms of
the party's constitution which did not have a provision reserving one of the
positions of vice-president and second secretary for a woman."

            Moyo said subsequent communications in the aftermath of the
Tsholotsho agreement were entirely procedural and approved by Mugabe.

            "On November 11, 2004, in consultation with Manyika as the
political commissar and with the specific approval of Mugabe, Mnangagwa sent
another letter to provincial chairmen, as a follow-up to his August 30, 2004
letter as required by the party's constitution, informing them about the
procedures for the nomination of the top four leadership positions of the
party," he said.

            "By this time everyone in the party knew that the nominations
for the top four leadership positions in the party and central committee
members would be nominated by provincial executives on November 21, 2004.

            "More specifically, it was common knowledge in the party the
principles of the Tsholotsho Declaration would apply as supported by at
least seven and possibly eight provinces of the party."

            All these things, Moyo said, would not have happened, especially
in a party like Zanu PF, without
            Mugabe's knowledge. - Staff Writer.

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Police halt mining at River Ranch

Zim Independent

            Clemence Manyukwe

            POLICE have stopped River Ranch Ltd from carrying out further
mining activities at a diamond mine in Beitbridge whose ownership is in
dispute, in line with a High Court order.

            The freezing of mining activities at River Ranch Mine follows
the issuing of two court orders, one in February nullifying Mines and Mining
Development minister Amos Midzi's cancellation of Bubye Minerals' claim to
the mine that had been approved by the mining board in January 2005, and the
second one the following month interdicting him from presiding over the

            Midzi was barred from adjudicating in the matter in the second
court order after he had invited submissions for purposes of determining the
case despite being prevented from doing so by the first court order.

            On Wednesday, Bubye Minerals director Adele Farquhar said police
had finally taken action on the matter.

            "The continued unlawful exploitation of Special Grant 1278 and
the looting of stones therefrom have been reported to the CID Minerals
Division. The case number is DR 32/03/06," said Farquhar.

            "We are informed that Chief Superintendent Nyamupaguma visited
our claim last week in the company of officials from the Ministry of Mines
and finally took action against the unlawful occupants by ordering them to
cease operations."

            Contacted for comment on Wednesday, Nyamupaguma, who heads the
CID Serious Fraud Squad (Minerals Division), referred all questions to the
police public relations unit which could not immediately comment.

            The dispute over the mine was triggered by a January 2005 mining
board decision to cede the mine's special grant, previously held by River
Ranch Ltd, to Bubye Minerals.

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Mugabe's economic forecast seen as 'wishful thinking'

Zim Independent

            Dumisani Muleya/Paul Nyakazeya

            ECONOMIC analysts yesterday described as wishful thinking claims
by President Robert Mugabe that the economy will grow by 1-2% this year in
the midst of an unprecedented meltdown.

            Speaking at Independence Day celebrations on Tuesday Mugabe said
the economy would grow by 1-2% this year. He said the anticipated growth
rate would be driven by a 9% expansion in agricultural production.

            Last year government claimed the same sector would grow by 28%
but all signs are that output continues to slide.

            "The economy is expected to grow by between 1-2% this year,
underpinned by agriculture with a forecast growth rate of 9%," Mugabe said.

            He referred to the National Economic Development Priority
Programme (NEDPP) launched on Wednesday. As first revealed by the Zimbabwe
Independent two weeks ago, NEDPP was formulated by the Zimbabwe National
Security Council, chaired by Mugabe, and is supported by the National
Economic Recovery Committee and the Technical Team of Experts.

            There has been a series of failed similar programmes before

            Analysts said there was no way an economy whose real gross
domestic product has contracted by a cumulative 35% in the past five years
could bounce back overnight to register a 2% growth rate when a number of
functioning economies are struggling to achieve that.

            Last year government claimed - against all reasonable
forecasts - that the economy would grow by 5% before it climbed down to a
figure of 3,5%, then 3%, and finally 2-2,5%. The International Monetary Fund
predicted a 7% contraction before revising it to 4% but independent
economists maintained 7% was about right. The government later admitted
during its annual budget presentation that the economy had in fact
contracted by 3,5%, a figure deemed a conservative estimate by many.

            Zimbabwe's economy has been rapidly declining over the past few
years - by 10% in 2003, 4% in 2004 and 7% or 3,5% (depending on who you
believe) last year - earning itself the dubious distinction of being the
fastest shrinking economy in the world outside a war zone.

            Zimbabwe's social and economic conditions have continued to
deteriorate, reflecting a weakening base.

            In particular, the disorderly implementation of the land reform
programme has left agriculture in ruins. Current threats to grab mines
compounds an impression of a country where policy is unpredictable.

            Concerns about governance, the rule of law and human rights, and
the continued violation of property rights have severely damaged investor
confidence and promoted capital flight and emigration, thus contributing to
further decline.

            Unemployment is nudging 80% and increasing, social indicators
have worsened, and the widespread HIV and Aids pandemic remains largely
unchecked. Food shortages have necessitated massive food imports and donor

            Arguably the most damaging dimension to misrule, the economy is
plagued by a record 913,6% inflation rate which is fuelled by money
printing, interest rates of above 500%, a yawning budget deficit, and a
worsening fiscal crisis.

            There are also shortages of foreign currency due to poor export
performance, lack of balance-of-payments support, freezing of donor aid and
drying up of direct foreign investment critical to economic growth. Lack of
forex has in turn caused the shortage of fuel, electricity, spares,
machinery, inputs and basic commodities. Thousands of companies have closed,
worsening the unemployment situation.

            Independent analyst John Robertson said Mugabe's projection of
economic growth was "bizarre". He said there was no way an economy could
grow when there was no investment.

            "What the president is effectively saying is that the economy
will this year grow by over 35%, from a negative of 35% in the past seven
years, which is not possible," Robertson said. "You cannot achieve growth
where there is no investment."

            A review of economic recovery programmes adopted by government
since 2000 shows that their policies, content and objectives are all
similar. The names of individuals tasked to implement the blueprints are
virtually the same. The only difference is the packaging and the current six
to nine months timeframe, which is likely to make NEDPP's failure even more
spectacular than its predecessors.

            Otherwise, the rest is the same, save for the fact Mugabe -
whose policy and leadership failures are blamed for the current crisis - is
now part of the team preparing to plaster over cracks in the dam wall.

            In 2000, government adopted the Millennium Economic Recovery
Plan, followed by the National Economic Revival Programme in 2003, the
Macroeconomic Policy Framework last year and now NEDPP. There have also been
initiatives by the central bank.

            Prior to that government has tried to introduce economic reforms
through the Economic Structural Adjustment Programme and the Zimbabwe
Programme for Economic and Social Transformation. All these programmes,
including Vision 2020, failed dismally because of a mixture of insincerity
and incompetence.

            The epitaph of failure is written all over NEDPP due to the
current political and economic circumstances which - without fundamental
reforms - will not allow a policy-driven approach to work.

            Analysts say the recycling of unworkable economic blueprints
shows a terrible policy paralysis in government. They say current problems
in Zimbabwe can no longer be resolved by the incumbent using the same policy
approach as he is the author of the problems in the first place.

            An economist with a commercial bank who requested anonymity,
said the only way Zimbabwe can pull itself out of the morass is through
adopting sensible policies and rebuilding good relations with the
international community.

            "Mugabe's remarks are just empty rhetoric tinted with calculated
political newspeak which will not change anything, except making the
situation worse," the economist said.

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MDC leaders unfazed by Mugabe's threats

Zim Independent

            LEADERS of both factions of the MDC were unrelenting this week
in their calls for President Robert Mugabe to step down despite his
statement that he would crack down on any attempts to remove him from power.

            In messages to mark 26 years of Zimbabwe's Independence, the
leader of the anti-senate faction, Morgan Tsvangirai, threatenened mass
protests saying Mugabe should "be nudged" into leaving office while
pro-senate president, Arthur Mutambara, said the country was ripe for
revolution and demanded that the president resign.

            "There is no point in continuing to watch with trepidation a
small nationalistic class, aided by a corrupt and parasitic bureaucracy and
supported by desperate opportunists wreak havoc on the national cake. We are
ready to pay the prize to liberate ourselves," said Tsvangirai.

            His rival in the opposition camp said the country was in a
revolutionary mood emanating from Zanu PF's suicidal policies and called on
Mugabe to step down.

            "There is a revolutionary mood pregnant with expectations in the
country. The people of Zimbabwe will not accept anything short of a
revolution," said Mutambara.

            He added: "We demand an end to the national economic crisis
today. We demand the immediate resignation of the entire Zanu PF government
today. The people of Zimbabwe must rule themselves again".

            Both Tsvangirai and Mutambara claimed that since Independence in
1980, Zanu PF had worked against the ideals of the liberation struggle
resulting in large-scale suffering.

            Delivering his speech on Tuesday to mark Independence Day,
Mugabe warned against protests aimed at pressuring him out of office.

            He also said the country's security forces would be used to
"mercilessly" deal with the opposition leaders and their supporters.

            "I want to warn them that they are playing with fire," said
Mugabe. The president has previously warned those calling for his removal
that they would be "dicing with death".

            Tsvangirai and Mutambara bemoaned the migration of Zimbabweans
to other countries to work under harsh conditions as they escape their
country's economic collapse.

            "The people are desperate to get out. There is too much poverty
and too little growth," said Tsvangirai.

            Mutambara went on to demand the vote for all those in the
diaspora. He said there is need for investor confidence-building measures
through working with strategic partners in Western countries for the economy
to recover. - Staff Writer.

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Blue Train still grounded

Zim Independent

            Loughty Dube

            THE launch of the eagerly-awaited Blue Train service linking
Zimbabwe and Botswana has failed to take off after it emerged that the
National Railways of Zimbabwe (NRZ) could not mobilise enough resources to
resume the once popular rail service.

            The Blue Train passenger and goods train service between
Francistown and Bulawayo was suspended seven years ago due to viability
problems. The service was set to resume at the beginning of this month.

            However, NRZ management has postponed the relaunch to a later
date after a meeting held by
            officials from Botswana Railways and the NRZ before the Easter
holidays failed to come up with a timeframe for the resumption of the rail

            Sources at the NRZ said the parastatal could not harness enough
locomotives needed to resume the rail service, leading to the shelving of
the project.

            NRZ public relations manager, Fanuel Masikati, however refuted
claims that the plans had been shelved and said deliberations on the matter
were still ongoing.

            "As you are aware, since this project also involves the
governments of Zimbabwe and Botswana, there are also deliberations at that
level. We expect all the loose ends to be tied up soon," said Masikati.

            Pressed to commit a date for the resumption of the project,
Masikati said the service could be up and running by mid-May this year.

            "We expect to do a test run of the route before we resume
service but that is likely to be done by May and everything will be on
course after that," Masikati said.

            He however dismissed claims that the NRZ had no resources for
the project and said the involvement of the two governments meant that
things had to be done above board.

            "The cross-border train service has not been abandoned
altogether but there are still deliberations at government-to-government
level. We expect to launch the service soon," Masikati said.

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Crackdown on vagrants

Zim Independent

            POLICE in Bulawayo at the weekend rounded up homeless people and
vagrants in an operation that appears targeted at removing street people
ahead of the Zimbabwe International Trade Fair (ZITF) which begins in the
city on Tuesday.

            The weekend exercise has seen hundreds of homeless people and
vagabonds being rounded up and detained at Bulawayo central police station.

            Police have since Tuesday last week been rounding up vagrants
and illegal foreign currency dealers from the streets.

            Police spokesperson, Assistant Commissioner Wayne Bvudzijena,
however refuted claims that the arrests were linked to the trade fair but
said this was a routine exercise aimed at eradicating crime around the

            "This is a routine exercise we are carrying out and illegal
vendors and vagrants who are caught committing crimes are arrested, it has
nothing to do with the ZITF," Bvudzijena said.

            Questioned on the fate of the vagrants, the majority of whom
have failed to pay admission of guilt fines, Bvudzijena said if people are
found to be guilty they either have to pay a fine or challenge their arrest
in court.

            "The vagrants will have to pay an applicable admission of guilt
fine unless they opt to go to court and stand trial for whatever crime they
would have been arrested for," Bvudzijena said. Police have been working
hand in hand with the municipal police in the exercise that has seen the two
teams invading sanitary lanes and dragging out vagrants and homeless people
who use the backstreets as temporary homes.

            Bulawayo City Council spokesperson, Pathisa Nyathi, confirmed
the involvement of the municipal police and said the council was only giving
a helping hand to the police in the exercise. - Staff Writer.

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Probe team vindicates MDC claim

Zim Independent

            THE MDC team that inspected the disputed 2002 presidential poll
has produced a report alleging that at least 490 000 fraudulent votes were
stuffed into ballot boxes to give President Robert Mugabe his fifth term in

            In an interview on Tuesday, the party's former secretary for
legal affairs, David Coltart, said: "After analysing 12 constituencies we
arrived at the conclusion that 490 000 votes were fraudulently added. We
submitted our report to (Morgan) Tsvangirai."

            Coltart, who lost an executive post in the opposition party
after refusing to attend either faction's congress, referred further
questions to Innocent Gonese, the anti-senate's faction secretary for legal
affairs, saying he was no longer handling the matter.

            On Wednesday Gonese said he could not comment as he wanted to be
briefed first by the lawyers who are involved in the matter. He could also
not say when the inspection would re-start following adjournment of the
process indefinitely last November.

            In the vote that was characterised by intimidation and violence
against the opposition, Mugabe won by almost 400 000 votes after polling 1
685 212 votes against Tsvangirai's 1 258 401 votes.

            Tsvangirai described the outcome as a "daylight robbery" while
Justice minister Patrick Chinamasa labelled it a well-deserved "run away
victory" for Mugabe.

            The inspection of the election materials started last year after
Registrar-General Tobaiwa Mudede surrendered them at a time a contempt of
court charge was hanging over him for defying several court orders to do so.
            The first order had been issued in September 2002.

            * Meanwhile, Gweru Rural parliamentary losing candidate Renson
Gasela has complained that Justice Mafios Cheda's delay in releasing a
written judgement on his election petition has affected the hearing of his
appeal in the Supreme Court.

            Justice Cheda dismissed Gasela's petition seeking to nullify the
result of the election in October last year but is yet to produce a written

            Correspondence by Gasela's lawyers, Coghlan & Welsh, to the
former MP says "it would appear that until the 24th March 2006 Justice Cheda
was still sitting on the judgement and the court record. This explains why
the record was never transcribed."

            The judgement in the case was handed down on October 15 last
year and in terms of the Electoral Act an appeal must be determined within
six months from the day of lodging.

            "When we tried to uplift the judgement we were told that it was
still being typed," another letter dated March 17 to Cheda's clerk said.
"The writer had to request to be allowed to peruse the handwritten judgement
in order to file an appeal."

            The letter says the appeal was subsequently filed in the Supreme
Court and served on the Electoral Court on November 1, 2005 with a special
request that the appeal record be transcribed urgently given that there are
time limits within which the Supreme Court must dispose of a matter.

            "We have made several efforts through the registrar's office to
uplift the judgement without success," the letter says. - Staff Writers.

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Tsvangirai calls for action against alleged CIO killer

Zim Independent

            Clemence Manyukwe

            MORGAN Tsvangirai has written to the Attorney-General Sobusa
Gula-Ndebele demanding the prosecution of a Central Intelligence
Organisation officer, Joseph Mwale, fingered as the principal offender in
the death of two MDC activists in the run up to the June 2000 election.

            The two, Tichaona Chiminya and Talent Mabika, were burnt to
death when five Zanu PF supporters, including Mwale, allegedly hurled petrol
bombs into a car the deceased were travelling in.

            The incident occurred at Murambinda growth point while
Tsvangirai was campaigning in the Buhera North constituency that the MDC
claims was won fraudulently by Zanu PF's Kenneth Manyonda.

            In a letter addressed to Gula-Ndebele dated April 14 on
Tsvangirai's behalf, Harare lawyer Sheila Jarvis requested that justice be
done in the murder case which she said was riddled with political

            She also expressed concern that instead of being brought to book
the CIO operative had been promoted when he was the ringleader of the
alleged murderers.

            "It seems imperative that very real public efforts be made
urgently now to locate the missing accused from this case, Joseph Mwale,
before the murder trial and to establish also whether any of his superiors
has been involved in covering up his whereabouts or is in any other way
still trying to obstruct the course of justice and then to also prosecute
those suspected of the crime," said Jarvis.

            Last year three other accused persons, Webster Gwama, Bernard
Makuwe, and Morris Cainos, alias Kitsiyatota, were indicted on two counts of
murder but their trial has not yet started. At the time prosecutors said the
other accused, America Mudzvinyiriri, who was driving the vehicle used in
the ambush and killings, had died while Mwale was said to be on the run. Two
MDC witnesses have also since died.

            Jarvis said there was need for Mwale to be apprehended and tried
with the others to avoid having separate trials for the same offences that
may prejudice the case.

            She added that if the state decided to split their prosecution,
the AG "risks being seen as bringing a token prosecution calculated to
confer future impunity by facilitating acquittals rather than ensure

            She said although the Attorney-General's office had directed
police commissioner Augustine Chihuri to investigate the matter and submit a
report to his office which was to be tabled in parliament, this had not been

            Also, "a record of evidence (heard by Justice Devittie in an
electoral petition) was not transmitted to your office as the tapes were
stolen from a locked room at the courthouse", Jarvis said.

            "The judgement confirmed that the killings were particularly
cold-hearted, brutal and politically motivated - in the judge's words 'a
wicked act'."

            But despite the fact that Mwale was ostensibly a fugitive from
justice no warrant of arrest was sought, she said.

            "The conduct of the whole prosecution surrounding these deaths
is so unusual," Jarvis said, "that it is difficult to escape the conclusion
that the same acknowledged political interference still continues and that,
in violation of the constitution, instructions are still being given and
being followed by your office in this matter."

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Hungry Zimbabweans 'celebrate' freedom

Zim Independent

            ZIMBABWEANS marked 26 years of independence on Tuesday with
little to celebrate as the African state plunges into deep economic
hardship, personal tragedies and a rapidly widening gap between the elite
rich and the majority poor.

            President Robert Mugabe's ruling party said on Monday it was
"disturbed" that young Zimbabweans in particular showed no pride in their
nation's Independence from colonial-era white rule after a bitter seven-year
bush war in which at least 40 000 fighters died.

            But Linda (22), an unemployed former office clerk, was not
interested in the lavish celebrations throughout the country.
            Linda, who wouldn't give her last name for fear of reprisals,
now hangs out in a seedy Harare bar, looking for customers.

            She said she was aware of the dangers of prostitution in a
nation where at least 3 000 people die of HIV/Aids-related illnesses each

            "What can I do?" said Linda in a voice breaking with desperation
and typical of the fear felt among many Zimbabweans at Mugabe's clampdown on
civil liberties. "I have to eat."

            Mercedes limousines were parked outside a posh restaurant and
bar across town. Half a dozen of its patrons, drinking doubles, consumed
within 90 minutes a bottle of the finest 12-year-old Scotch whisky for a
total cost of about US$280, at least four times the monthly salary of the
bartender and other average wage earners.

            The vast and growing disparity between the poor and a rich elite
of about 5% of the population is blamed largely on corruption, black-market
profiteering, favouritism in official contracts and land deals and the
peddling of political influence.

            Unemployment exceeds 70% and inflation is the highest in the
world at 913,6% on basic goods.

            Scarcities and black marketeering have sharply eroded the
spending power of the Zimbabwe currency in the past few years.

            An estimated 3,5 million Zimbabweans, mainly skilled
professionals, are living outside the country.

            Disruptions in the agriculture-based economy after the often
violent seizures of thousands of white-owned commercial farms since 2000
have led to acute shortages of food, fuel and medicines.

            The weak Zimbabwe dollar, plummeting in the worst economic
crisis since Independence, has hit health, education and other public
services. Absenteeism from schools has soared in the wake of frequent fee
increases. - AP.

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Foot-and-mouth hits Carswell Meats

Zim Independent

            ZIMBABWE'S leading abattoir, Carswell Meats, has been hit by a
foot-and-mouth disease (FMD) outbreak, forcing it to temporarily suspend the
slaughter of animals indefinitely.

            Unconfirmed reports last night said there was also another
outbreak at an abattoir along Mutare Road and measures had been put in place
to quarantine the farm. Private abattoirs have become the major suppliers of
meet to urban areas after the collapse of the government-owned Cold Storage

            Carswell Meats' Nyabira branch, 30 kilometres out of Harare
along the Chinhoyi highway, stopped slaughtering cattle three weeks ago
following the discovery of FMD among cattle in the feeding paddocks used to
fatten cattle before slaughter.

            A Carswell Meats farm general manager who refused to be named
confirmed that an FMD outbreak was discovered three weeks ago at the farm
and that government had deployed a team of veterinary experts to stop the
spread of the disease.

            "A veterinary team led by Dr Josphat Nyika has been based at the
farm for the past three weeks," the general manager said.

            "They have been treating some of the affected animals and
controllers have been put at all farm entrances to quarantine vehicles at
the point of entry."

            He said another team of assessors would be visiting the farm
today (Friday) to check on progress.

            "We will need up to three weeks to make sure the disease is
eradicated before we can resume the slaughter of animals."

            The general manager referred any further questions to Nyika whom
he said was in charge of the operation.

            FMD outbreaks have increased in different parts of the country
over the past six years due to the uncontrolled movement of animals during
the chaotic land reform programme. - Staff Writer.

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Zesa posts $32 trillion loss, blames tariff freeze

Zim Independent

            ZESA Holdings last year picked up a staggering $32 trillion
loss, blamed by the utility on a three-year freeze on tariff increases, a
document seen by businessdigest indicated.

            The loss followed another one to the tune of $2 trillion by the
power utility the previous year, which came against the backdrop of a $230
billion loss in 2003.

            The figures, part of a comprehensive document to President
Mugabe and his cabinet responding to harsh allegations of mismanagement at
Zesa by the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe, which prompted a reversal of tariff
increases by Mugabe, indicated "the death of a sector" hounded by "a
crippling three-year tariff moratorium", said Zesa.

            Zesa recently took flak from RBZ governor Gideon Gono over plans
to increase tariffs, which Gono said would spur inflation.

            Gono, in a letter to President Mugabe and cabinet, said an
analysis of Zesa's domestic debt had revealed "glaring imprudent commitments
through short-term Zesa bonds and Megawatt Bills, which were largely
financing consumptive outlays".

            Gono alleged that Zesa had adopted a "costly superstructure"
swallowing 65% of Zesa's total revenue through salaries and wages at the
holding company.

            But Zesa hit back in its reply to Gono addressed to Mugabe and
his cabinet, accusing Gono of failing to tackle the inflation scourge and
reneging on promises to provide foreign currency.

            Zesa recently came to the market to raise $500 billion through
180-day Megawatt Bills, for which it is expected to fork out a hefty $2
trillion to pay back investors.

            The interest charge on the bills amount to $1,5 trillion over
the 180-day period.  - Staff Writer.

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Politicians meddle at David Whitehead

Zim Independent

            Itai Mushekwe

            LEADING textile producer, David Whitehead Textiles Ltd, has
presented President Robert Mugabe with a comprehensive report of its
operations and the way forward in what appears to be a move to stop
political interference by Zanu PF heavyweights in Chegutu.

            The move comes amid media reports that government is
contemplating taking a 25% stake in the firm. The report said politicians in
the area were fomenting industrial unrest in the company to effect a "
regime change".  This has adversely affected plans to resuscitate the
company which was suspended from the Zimbabwe Stock Exchange last year.

            Contacted for comment yesterday David Whitehead acting chairman,
Willie Muringani, could not disclose the names of the Zanu PF politicians
said to be interfering with the company's operations but said "some local
political heavyweights in Chegutu" were causing instability by pushing for
worker unrest.

            He however could not confirm that the company had presented a
turnaround report to Mugabe. Muringari said although the firm was facing
economic challenges it had devised contingency measures aimed at turning its
fortunes around.

            He dismissed as "speculative talk" reports that government
wanted a 25% equity in the firm.

            According to the report, titled 2004-2006 Turnaround Strategies
and Update, which was leaked to businessdigest this week, the textile
manufacturer gives detailed information pertaining to its turnaround plans
and an analysis of their strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats as
it steps up efforts to remain viability.

            The document says that continued meddling in the affairs of the
company by "influential" politicians who have been instigating labour unrest
has seen workers downing t tools thus cutting productivity at a David
Whitehead fabric factory in Chegutu and a spinning factory in Kadoma, which
are currently operating at below capacity.

            In giving reasons for the company's distress, the report
stresses that: "Admittedly we are not operating at full capacity at two of
our three factories, with only the Gweru plant working to capacity.

            "This is primarily due to foreign currency shortages. Without
foreign currency we cannot import required spares, dyestuffs and chemicals
to process the local and export fabrics." The report also rests blame on
coal shortages, which have contributed to the loss of about $50 billion in
turnover in the last 12 months; cotton lint supply problems and sour labour

            It adds that the workers committee and the trade union have
filed two failed High Court applications for judicial management of the
company, raising a lot of slanderous falsehoods against the company and its

            "There has recently also emerged sinister collusion between the
same divisive unions and influential politicians. This has become the only
factor preventing the company from completing its turnaround and moving on."

            On the proposed way forward to rescue the company, the report
said David Whitehead would implement a zero gearing position concept as
"this is the only way to survive in manufacturing during volatile
hyperinflationary times".

            The company intends to boost its export potential currently
averaging US$50 000 to US$100 000 per month. The report also proposes two
solutions to raise productivity.

            The first is to among other things "identify and facilitate the
remittance of owed funds to the relevant and respective principal companies
of local suppliers for these requirements", while the second requires
"advance utilisation of expected export proceeds, but still following all
submission regulations of required documentation".

            This entails adhering to all export FCA utilisation and RBZ
cession percentage proportions applicable at the time.

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Problems in dairy farming cause 60,4% downturn in milk output

Zim Independent

            Paul Nyakazeya

            MILK production has declined by 60,4% since government embarked
on the land redistribution exercise in 2000 because many new farmers who
went into dairy farming lack the required expertise.

            A senior Dairibord Zimbabwe Ltd official told Businessdigest
that milk production declined from about 245 million litres in 1999 to 97
million litres last year. This was after government and farmers' unions
failed to adopt a strong policy initiative to train the new dairy farmers.

            The new farmers were given dairy farms to rear cows and produce
milk during the fast-track land redistribution exercise, but have found it
increasingly difficult to continue with milk production because the number
of cows are dropping due to lack of stockfeeds and vaccines.

            According to DZL, the national dairy herd has declined from 104
483 milking cows in 1994 to 35 000 in 2005. Per capita consumption of milk
declined from 25 litres in 1990, to 10 litres in 2002 and an estimated seven
litres in 2005.

            "The major obstacle in (the dairy) industry was the scarcity of
inputs. The new farmers realised that there was much more to dairy farming
than leading cows into a milking pen," said one farmer last week.

            Stockfeeds were highly-priced because they were in short supply
after reduced production caused by the disturbances on the farms and two
successive droughts in 2003 and 2004. Dairy farmers say more than half the
costs in dairy farming are from stockfeeds.

             "Some dairy farmers were failing to access financial support
from the banks, as their businesses had become too risky," a farmer said.

            He said over the past three years many cows had died after
succumbing to diseases such as foot-and-mouth as the farmers could not
afford to buy vaccines.

            Figures made available by DZL revealed that milk production has
been on the decline since 1990. National milk production increased from 150
million litres in 1980 to a peak of 256 million litres in 1990 and declined
to 97 million litres last year.

            DZL group director (manufacturing) Theodre Nyamande acknowledged
the decline in milk production saying DZL would this year buy 450 cows from
South Africa to boost milk production under the Build Operate and Transfer
(BOT) model.

            "There is potential to increase milk production to 140 million
litres by the end of 2006 through concerted efforts by key stakeholders.
There are regional opportunities for exporting," said Nyamande.

            The BOT programme entails rebuilding dairies, transfer of dairy
management skills to A2 dairy farmers, increasing the size of the dairy herd
through importation of heifers and access to the Agriculture Sector
Productive Enhancement Facility funds.

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Petty tariff wars set to plunge Zim into darkness

Zim Independent

            Shakeman Mugari

            SAVE for public posturing, Zimbabwe authorities have not moved
an inch to avert the pending regional power crisis expected at the start of
next year. Instead they have expended their efforts fighting petty wars over
tariff increases - something that will not stop the country plunging into
darkness when the regional power shortages start taking effect next year.

            While other countries are preparing for the eventual "blackout",
authorities in Zimbabwe have for the past four months been at each other's

            Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) governor Gideon Gono says Zesa
Holdings and the Minister of Energy and Power Development, Mike Nyambuya,
are conniving to mislead the cabinet and President Robert Mugabe to justify
tariff increases, accusing them of trying to sabotage his war on inflation.

            He does not explain why inflation has been galloping despite the
absence of a significant tariff increase in the last three years.

            Zesa executive chairman, Sidney Gata, accuses Gono of
misrepresenting facts to justify his interventions.

            Nyambuya, although bitter at being overruled by Gono, seems
boxed into a corner.

            While adding flavour to the drama, the accusations and counter
accusations will certainly not provide Zimbabwe with electricity when the
shortages hit the region next year.

            The country is already facing serious power shortages that have
badly affected both domestic and industrial consumers.

            As things stand, Gono seems to have the upper hand after
convincing cabinet and Mugabe that Zesa only needed a 95% increase instead
of the 560% it had proposed.

            Not accepting defeat, Gata has vowed to take the matter to
another level - this time to the president.

            After failing to make headway in cabinet, Gata last week pleaded
for direct access to President Mugabe to present his side of the story and
counter Gono's allegations.

            Indications are that he is bracing for an all-out fight with

            But whoever wins the battle would only have achieved a pyrrhic
victory because the key challenge to ensure consistent power supplies in
2007 will remain untackled.

            The situation on the ground shows that none of these exchanges
and accusations will save Zimbabwe from the pending black-out next year.

            The reality is that the power outages currently wreaking havoc
in industry will intensify next year unless something dramatic happens
between now and year-end.

            Despite this pending danger, the authorities look unperturbed.

            There are now fears that Mozambique, South Africa, Zambia and
the DRC, which supply Zimbabwe with 35% of its electricity, might not have
enough to spare for us next year.

            Even with enough foreign currency to pay for the imports, there
is no guarantee that regional suppliers like HCB (Mozambique), Eskom (South
Africa), Snel (DRC) and Zesco (Zambia), have the capacity for exports.

            Revelations this week that Zesa is still to extend contracts
with some of its power suppliers only make Zimbabwe's situation more

            The supply contract with Mozambique's Electricidade de
Mocambique (EDM) hangs in the balance as Zesa still owes the Mozambican
company about US$8,4 million.

            Zimbabwe now risks losing the contract unless it makes an urgent
payment; it also needs to raise millions in foreign currency to finance the
proposed extension of Hydro Cahora Bassa (HCB) to increase generation.

            Zesa still owes about US$7 million to Snel of the DRC and looks
set to lose the contract unless an urgent payment is made. The payments
would however not save the country from the looming crisis.

            While the contract with HCB says it can supply 200mw, HCB is
however obliged to supply only 100mw, while the remainder can only be made
available "as and when available".

            Eskom's commitment is also heavily limited during peak hours.

            Snel's 100mw supply is erratic especially at peak, while Zesco's
140mw is also not firm and can only be available during off-peak hours.

            Despite all these insecure contracts with suppliers, Zimbabwe
has failed to improve its own generation capacity because of foreign
currency, coal and diesel shortages.

            Poorly performing generators and ageing equipment have made the
situation worse.

            Zesa's capacity to supply power is dwindling by the day. The
three small power stations - Bulawayo, Harare and Munyati - which can supply
a combined 150 megawatts, have since shut down due to shortages of coal and
spare parts.

            Unconfirmed reports this week said the power utility has been
"cannibalising" the three stations to repair Hwange thermal power station.

            Hwange station, which is capable of generating 780mw when at
full capacity, is currently producing 400mw due to perennial equipment

            Shortages of coal (8 000 tonnes per day) and diesel have also
hit the stations.

            To return to full capacity, Zesa would have to pump out US$90
million in overhauls, mill refurbishments and spares.

            While the obvious challenge at the moment is the availability of
foreign currency to repair the 22-year-old plant, the real crux of the
problem is the time it will take to finish the refurbishments.

            It will take 18 months to rehabilitate Hwange station, by which
time the economy would have bled.

            Assuming that work starts next month, full capacity would only
resume in December next year.

            Kariba, which can supply 750mw, is currently generating 720mw.
Its generators are however ageing and full supply is subject to the level of
water at that time.

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Moyo's legacy stifles ANZ titles' registration

Zim Independent

            Clemence Manyukwe

            THE filing of opposing papers to Associated Newspapers of
Zimbabwe's bid to get registered by the Minister of Information Tichaona
Jokonya has exposed government's determination to uphold repressive media
laws and keep the Daily News and the Daily News on Sunday closed.

            Despite promising to consider proposals to amend the Access to
Information and Protection of Privacy Act (Aippa) by removing its
restrictive clauses - assurances of which were given to the African
Commission on Human and Peoples' Rights in Banjul by government law
officers - Jokonya is showing signs of a hardening position to maintain laws
that were spearheaded by his predecessor, Jonathan Moyo, to suppress the
media and shield government from scrutiny.

            In the process Jokonya and government show that regardless of
their attempts to distance themselves from Moyo's projects, they are still
part and parcel of them. Jokonya revealed his intention by filing opposing
papers to the Associated Newspapers of Zimbabwe (ANZ)'s application in the
High Court in which the newspaper group wants to be deemed registered.

            The ANZ is arguing that the Media and Information Commission,
chaired by Tafataona Mahoso, and Jokonya violated the law by failing to deal
with their case within a month from a February 8 judgement that nullified a
July 2005 MIC decision not to grant their application. The High Court also
ruled that the MIC was disabled from presiding over the latest case due to
perceived bias.

            Analysts this week said Jokonya's assertion that he stands by
the MIC and Mahoso shows he has failed to change government thinking in
dealing with the media. In opposing the ANZ registration bid, Jokonya
however admitted that Aippa has flaws.

            "It is also my submission that matters of public policy and
interest are best served only when a party is heard on the merits and not by
orders obtained on a technicality arising from a lapse or otherwise in the
provisions of a piece of legislation," said Jokonya in his papers.

            On the MIC, the former diplomat said: "I submit that I still
retain confidence in the entire membership of the first respondent and
therefore I do not wish to remove it. as no member of the first respondent
has done anything in respect of this matter which I consider to be in breach
of the law, otherwise to dissolve the current commission would set a bad
precedent as it would mean that whenever a commission is accused of bias it
would have to be dissolved."

            The head of research and monitoring at the Media Monitoring
Project of Zimbabwe (MMPZ), Nhlanhla Ngwenya, said: "We think that despite
the departure of the former Information minister Jonathan Moyo, the
authority's pathological hatred of the independent media still remains. For
instance, the MIC is still in place despite the fact that the court found
its chairman Tafataona Mahoso to be biased."

            He added that another indication was that apart from maintaining
the repressive laws, the government intends to add legislation to the
statutes, like the Interception of Communications Bill that would hinder the
free flow of information.

            Ngwenya said although Jokonya and his deputy Bright Matonga had
promised to look into Aippa and the Broadcasting Services Act, they have not
come up with a timetable to do so.

            "It would be naïve to think that he has any intention to
democratise the media because the same culture is still with us," added

            The director of the local chapter of the Media Institute of
Southern Africa (Misa), Rashweat Mukundu, said from the look of things,
media reforms may take some years to be effected.

            "We do not see any changes in the immediate future," said
Mukundu. "It will take a lot of struggle to remove the entrenched repressive
legislation although we are saying the first step must be now."

            Mukundu said Jokonya, who promised to break with government's
confrontational stance against the private press, also faces constraints as
a result of people in his ministry and government in general who are opposed
to reforms.

            "There are people within the ministry who believe that the law
(Aippa) is a good law. He is also a Zanu PF person through and through. He
is a ruling party member of parliament and is answerable to Mugabe," said

            George Charamba, Jokonya's permanent secretary, has persistently
defended the Act and has hinted that it will not be amended.

            In the court documents Jokonya said while the ANZ accused the
MIC and the minister of inaction following the February 8 judgement, he was
not to blame as the matter had been stalled by the fact that Aippa does not
empower him to do so.

            "The relief sought unfairly suggests that I have not been able
to resolve the problem faced by the applicant, which problem is not of my
own making. In fact the non-availability of powers in the Act to appoint an
ad hoc commission has affected progress."

            David Chimhini, the head of the Zimbabwe Civic Education Trust
(Zimcet), on Tuesday said the way the government was handling the issue had
become a circus.

            "As a nation we need to be given reasons that are satisfactory,"
said Chimhini. "It must not appear as if a newspaper is being denied
registration for political reasons. A decision must be taken once and for

            He added that when Jokonya came into office he gave the
impression that "he would want to see newspapers flourishing under freedom
of expression" but it would seem that the Daily News will take some years
before hitting the streets.

            Unlike his predecessor, Jokonya met editors from both the
private and the public media, representatives of media organisations such as
Misa, the MMPZ and the Zimbabwe Union of Journalists (ZUJ).

            "I think it may take time to come back. One needs to look at the
Econet saga. It took patience," said Chimhini.

            Notwithstanding his stand in court papers that he has confidence
in the MIC, last year Jokonya suggested that the present media body was on
its way out.

            In a letter dated November 22 to ZUJ, Jokonya said he had
delayed "the reconstruction of the MIC board of governors deliberately to
ensure that the new board for this vital arm of the industry can be more

            In another letter last December to extend the tenure of
commissioner Jonathan Maphenduka, the minister said:

            "The extension also takes into account the on-going
consultations between the ministry and stakeholders in the media regarding
the future of the industry."

            Chimhini said the case is intertwined with other cases where
government has to look at amending other laws hindering freedom of assembly,
association and speech.

            "It is not a question of dealing with freedom of expression
only. We need to look at other laws such as Posa that do not promote
participatory democracy," he said.

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Hope the next Independence Day will bring real joy, freedom

Zim Independent

            By Eddie Kwaramba

            IT was sad to wake up  in a foreign country to realise that
Tuesday was Zimbabwe's Independence Day, marked in commemoration of freedom
from the rule of Ian Smith some 26 years ago.

            My mind started to wonder about and threw me  back to the
much-awaited Independence Day in 1980, reflecting on how my parents and
everyone else celebrated. I still recall it very vividly although I was just
a little boy.

            I was also happy that our prime minister would be a black man
called Robert Mugabe and the president a black man too called Canaan Banana.

            I also started to evaluate the progress that this Independence
brought to my well-being and the freedom that we gained for ourselves as a
black nation.

            It is unfortunate to note that this Independence hasn't meant
anything encouraging at all, only suffering, corruption, misery and hunger.

            If the truth be told, I am not ashamed to say that the Smith
regime, despite the inhuman treatment of the black people, had a very sound
economy and corruption-free governance.

            Bob Marley was invited for our Independence bash where he sang
about the African liberation
            in celebration of a new, free Zimbabwe.

            He preached about tolerance and respect for each other and
congratulatory messages poured in. Little did we know that this was the
beginning of an end for our beloved country.

             It's high time we reclaimed our Zimbabwe  and start rebuilding
with a new leader at the helm. Those who have failed us should refrain from
dreaming they will rule forever, or die in power.

            We have had enough and need change to be able to enjoy our
motherland without fear of reprisals if we open up our mouths to express our
feelings. Hopefully, the next Independence celebrations will bring joy and
real freedom.

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Fuel price freeze a vote-catcher

Zim Independent

            Shakeman Mugari/Augustine Mukaro

            THE government last week ordered all major fuel companies to
freeze prices in a move that analysts believe is part of the ruling party's
efforts to lure voters in the upcoming parliamentary poll. The companies had
raised fuel prices in response to the sliding value of the local currency,
which has been in a free-fall for the past seven months both on the auction
floors and on the parallel market. The energy importers were also reacting
to the upsurge in international fuel prices that have been galloping since
last year.

            In its ultimatum, the government indicated that it would not
tolerate any fuel price increases before the election.

            In a letter to petrol retailers, the Petroleum Marketers of
Zimbabwe (PMZ), acting at the behest of government, demanded an immediate
reversal of the price hikes arguing that this could tarnish Zanu PF's image
ahead of the month-end election. "Your actions of increasing pump prices
are, inter alia, contrary to the central bank's economic turnaround strategy
and will tarnish the government's image ahead of the forthcoming elections,"
said the letter.

            "There are in fact paradoxical to the government's deregulation
of the fuel sector." (Quote is verbatim.)

            The letter also directed that prices be pegged at $3 600 per
litre for petrol and $3 650 for diesel. It further pegged the prices in the
southern region at $3 800 and $3 850 for petrol and diesel respectively.

            "May you please refrain from any pump price increase in future
without the express and written authority of the PMZ," the letter said.

            All fuel procured through the National Oil Company of Zimbabwe
(Noczim) has already been reduced to $3 350 and $3 400 per litre for petrol
and diesel respectively. Analysts view this as an overt case of vote-buying,
especially among the urban electorate who are largely pro-opposition. In the
last parliamentary election government lost all urban seats in Harare and
Bulawayo to the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC).

            They say the move reflects government's desperation, which also
characterised the previous elections. Over the past 25 years, the Zanu PF
government has been known to spring populist policies just before an
election such as the farm invasions and price controls. This has resulted in
temporary reprieve for the electorate, which later suffer when the
government fails to sustain these piece-meal measures. The private sector
has in the past borne the brunt of price controls instituted under the guise
of consumer protection but are actually meant to bolster Zanu PF's

            The fiscus has also been raided to finance hefty salary hikes
for civil servants. Government recently increased civil servants' salaries
by between 250 and 600%. It is probably the biggest salary review in the
history of public sector negotiations.While government insists that these
are genuine measures to improve the welfare of the workers, analysts say
there is a worrying trend where these popular measures are introduced just
before the elections. Analysts say civil servants' salaries are heftier in
election years.

            However, the move to control prices of basic commodities and
essential services is tantamount to forcing the private sector to
participate indirectly in the government's campaign and pre-election public
relations stunt.

            "It is a vote-buying tactic. The salary hikes, the fuel price
freeze are part of that scheme," said Eric Bloch, a Bulawayo-based economic
commentator. "But that is abuse of power which will eventually hit the
customer because the manufacturers will hike the prices after elections to
cover the losses, " Bloch said.

            He said the vote-buying tactics included increases in allowances
for the war veterans. The government recently increased war veterans'
allowances by about 200%. There are also plans to compensate the war
collaborators to the tune of $10 million one-off payment per individual and
allowances thereafter. The one-off payment will gobble in excess of $60
billion from the fiscus, which has not been budgeted.Chiefs and village
headmen have also received a 150% increase in their allowances. Most chiefs
have been given subsidised vehicles, had their homes electrified and
boreholes sunk in their homesteads.

            All these beneficiaries have in the past been crucial to the
Zanu PF election machinery. The war veterans played an important role during
the 2000 parliamentary and 2002 presidential elections, which the ruling
party won narrowly.

            They have also been used to intimidate the electorate. The
chiefs and headmen have also been used in the campaign, with recent reports
of some of them threatening to evict opposition supporters from their areas.

            Analysts said the payouts to chiefs, civil servants and war
veterans create a large hole in the fiscus that will have to be filled by
printing more money or raising taxes. "It is just not sustainable and the
government knows that it does not make economic sense," Bloch said. The
controls on industry and commerce have however taken a new dimension with
government roping in the central bank to dictate the prices of goods and
services. Recently the RBZ instituted a blanket ban on price increases for
services offered by parastatals and local authorities.

            RBZ governor Gideon Gono has put 70% as the ceiling of increases
that can be instituted by any service provider. A proposed 120% hike on
energy by Zesa was recently blocked by the central bank on the basis that it
would stoke up inflation. Local authorities have also been forced to revise
downwards their budget proposals in line with Gono's dictates. Dr Alex
Magaisa, a lecturer at Nottingham University in the UK, said the policy was
bound to boomerang.

            "If state intervention in setting prices fails to reflect market
realities, the result might be that business will become too costly to run,"
said Magaisa. "Eventually businesses will have to close - which affects not
just the supply but employment and has knock-on effects on related entities.
The fixing process may be convenient for political expediency, but it may
have dire consequences for industry in the long-run," he said
            Harare city council is however still seeking to increase rates
by between 300 and 600%. The city treasury department has described Gono's
70% benchmark as not feasible considering the state of the economy.

            Bulawayo and Chitungwiza on the other hand are seeking rate
increases of not less than 250%.
            Gono has said hefty increases will not be tolerated since local
authorities should benefit from a $10 trillion seed fund as bridging
finance. Local authorities have described the fund as a drop in an ocean.
Analysts say Gono's moves are short-term appeasements geared to hoodwink the
electorate. "They say it's part of the anti-inflation drive but it's a clear
campaign strategy," said Brian Kagoro, a political commentator.

            "That has been their system of offering piece-meal measures that
in the end destroy the economy," Kagoro said.

            He said the government was penalising manufacturers and service
providers. "There is every reason to view this as a blatant vote-buying

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They call themselves Chimurenga heroes

Zim Independent


            TO say there is corruption in Zimbabwe is a banality bereft of
any national significance. The subject is easily displaced from the core of
national priorities as Zimbabweans have trained their focus on survival
issues: the cost of basic commodities, rentals, health and education.

            Attempts by government to elevate the scourge of corruption to
the same level as other ills like inflation have failed. The government has
set up an Anti-Corruption Commission as a bulwark against graft and Reserve
Bank governor Gideon Gono also raised the stakes in his 2005 last quarter
monetary statement.

            On Tuesday in his Independence Day speech, President Mugabe
spoke at some length on corruption, imploring the nation to help him to
catch the thieves.

            This presidential rendition is not likely to stir the nation
into corruption-busting. In fact if Zimbabweans were to heed the call and
immediately act, we would have seen mobs storming the VIP tent at the
National Sports Stadium to effect citizens' arrests. The president does not
need to look far for the corrupt. They are there in high office and the
manifest failure of government to act has killed the fight in the ordinary

            Last Thursday we reported that Vice-President Joice Mujuru had
been told of senior government officials who had looted equipment from the
once productive Kondozi Estate in Odzi. The state-controlled Manica Post
also published details of how 40 hectares of maize grown by the army wilted
when a government minister commandeered a pump being used for irrigation for
use on his farm. Other senior officials helped themselves to tractors and
motor vehicles from the farm.

            Kondozi is a microcosm of the widespread looting of farm
infrastructure involving ministers and senior civil servants.

            This culture is a direct product of the fast-track land reform
programme where lawlessness was allowed to prevail in the name of correcting
the injustices of our colonial past. Even when the government says the land
reform has been "concluded" Zanu PF functionaries continue to invade farms,
even those belonging to fellow blacks.

            Last week we reported new invasions of sugar estates in the
Lowveld. The sugarcane on the affected properties is due to be harvested at
the end of the month. Some of those involved have just abandoned land that
they have been occupying for the past three or four years. They obviously
felt it was time to move on to something fresh to plunder.

            Two senior Zanu PF officials from Manicaland, Enoch Porusingazi
and Esau Mupfumi, have been arrested on charges of corruptly acquiring maize
and cheap government fuel respectively. They are the only ones on the list
despite clear evidence of maize and fuel being diverted by new farmers for
resale on the black market.

            The fuel saga is an undisguised illustration of government's
role in aiding and abetting corruption. A situation where the same commodity
is sold at three different prices can only breed corruption. There is fuel
for the farmers and public transporters at about $20 000 a litre, fuel for
parastatals and other quasi-government agencies going for $100 000 and the
rest of us buy it for $200 000. We have seen the same happening in
fertilisers which farmers have been getting for free or paying $300 000 for
a 50 kg bag and then reselling it for $2 million. Everyday newspaper
classified sections have adverts of dealers selling expensive fertiliser
most probably diverted from government stocks. The police have told us they
are investigating. Like the president we do not know where they are

            This all sounds commonplace now because the ordinary citizen has
over the years been groomed to participate in corruption rather than expose
it. But the real tragedy in all this is our government's failure to
articulate the cost of corruption to the nation. There is no need for
forensic audits here. One only has to look at the trillions pumped into
agriculture and the output from the fields. The reason we are importing
maize has very little to do with drought, Tony Blair or sanctions but
hemorrhaging from corruption by those who are shielded from prosecution by

            We all remember TV footage of white farmers labelled saboteurs
because they were not watering their wheat or maize crop. If these were
saboteurs what then do we call those who steal irrigation pumps, maize seed,
fertiliser and fuel? Heroes of the Third Chimurenga? They are thieves,

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Jokonya postures about need for press freedom

Zim Independent

            Editor's Memo

            Vincent Kahiya

            LAST month I wrote in an editorial that the real test of
Tichaona Jokonya's credentials as a progressive Information minister rested
in his handling of the Associated Newspapers of Zimbabwe (ANZ)'s application
for a licence to reopen the closed Daily News and the Daily News on Sunday.

            The jury was not out for long before coming back time with a
verdict. Jokonya appears to have been railroaded to walk the same path as
his predecessor, the butcher of the media, Jonathan Moyo.

            Jokonya, in an affidavit filed in the High Court two weeks ago,
said he had confidence in the Media and Information Commission (MIC) despite
a High Court judge's assertions that that statutory body, especially its
head Tafataona Mahoso, was tainted with bias in deciding the registration of
the ANZ.

            Jokonya said dissolving the commission "would set a bad
precedent as it would mean that whenever a commission is accused of bias, it
would have to be dissolved".

            Jokonya also raised another technicality in defence of the
Mahoso regime at the commission. He said there was a no provision in the
Access to Information and Protection of Privacy Act (Aippa) for him to
appoint an ad hoc committee to deal with the ANZ registration even though
the MIC had shown demonstrable bias in handling the application.

            How convenient?

            Jokonya would rather keep the biased commission because he is
powerless to dissolve it. He does not have the powers to dissolve the
commission because Aippa, which he has always told us is a good law, is
silent on what the minister can do in the current impasse. He said in the
affidavit that the "way forward" would be to amend Aippa "to provide me with
powers to appoint an ad hoc committee."

            It is ironic that despite the vast powers bestowed on the
minister to appoint the commission, which is answerable to him and not
parliament, he is still incapacitated to deal with the body even when it
takes obtuse decisions.

            But for a minister who in December last year branded journalists
working in the private media "character assassins, malinformants to the
point of having become embedded warmongers or. weapons of mass destruction"
(straight from Moyo's book of insults), the omission in Aippa could not be
bad after all.

            Jokonya's statement was a departure from his jolly-good-fellow
face he showed us at the historic meeting at his Munhumutapa offices last
year. The gullible among us thought that the evil veil of the Moyo era had
been lifted by the coming in of the ambassador. But the corrosive statement
by the end of the year confirmed my worst fears.

            Jokonya could be caught in the same rut of bias against the
privately owned press as Mahoso who in the last edition of the Sunday Mail
described the Zimbabwe Independent as "one of the few racist papers in the

            He obviously took exception to our plucked rooster! And this
coming from a man vested with quasi-judicial powers discloses a dangerous
partiality which should disable him from being a fair superintendent of the
media industry.

            More dangerously, Jokonya says he still has confidence in Mahoso's

            When he took office last year, Jokonya gave the impression that
he would behave differently from Moyo who is credited with crafting laws
unfriendly to the media and the arbitrary arrest of journalists. He invited
recommendations from the media on possible amendments to Aippa and appeared
to entertain journalists proposing the setting up of a voluntary media

            But only a fortnight ago he told journalists from Indonesia that
there was nothing draconian about Aippa compared to the US's Patriot Act.

            That is the best he can do in defence of this egregious law! We
have in the past heard lame attempts to compare Aippa to Swedish media laws.
The Swedish ambassador has managed to demonstrate that this is tantamount to
comparing chalk and cheese.

            "There has never been an agenda in Sweden to shut down
newspapers, big or small because they cannot raise the required capital to
publish nor the simple reason that they have changed shareholding structures
without informing the government or a quasi-governmental department," he
said in an interview with the Standard recently.

            What do Jokonya and Mahoso have to say to this?

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Can we hear the whip crack, VP?

Zim Independent


            UNDER the heading "Let's celebrate Independence together", the
Herald on Monday carried a front-page appeal by Elliot Manyika for
Zimbabweans to put aside their political differences and attend the
celebrations held on April 18.

            Significantly, his appeal included the following observation:
"It was disturbing to note that some Zimbabweans, particularly the youth,
were no longer honouring such national events as the Independence Day
celebrations and Heroes' Day commemorations under the misguided belief that
these were for the ruling party."

            At least Zanu PF now recognises that it is the party of the
past, not the future. And in bold contradiction of Manyika's claim that
Independence Day was a national, not a partisan event, the Herald carried on
its editorial pages a vicious character assassination of MDC leader Morgan
Tsvangirai penned by Caesar Zvayi.

            Nothing could be more calculated to signal to MDC followers that
April 18 is not for them than this crude, clumsy attack on the MDC
leadership repeating a whole raft of lies about Tsvangirai and dragging in
Arthur Mutambara for good measure. The article was locked in the mindset of
the past.

            What Zvayi seems to resent more than anything is the MDC's
promise of "a new Zimbabwe and a new beginning".

            That is the last thing the political dinosaurs in Zanu PF want.
They want to continue feeding at the trough of the old Zimbabwe, the country
they have failed with their ignorant posturing and bankrupt policies but
which they insist still owes them a living.

            Zimbabweans have voted with their feet against that Zimbabwe
where inflation is 1 000%, unemployment 80% and the right to protest
trampled under foot.

            Manyika is correct in his understanding that the youth of today
are not buying his party's silly excuses for failure.

            Blaming the MDC for the country's problems (Zvayi had to say
"challenges" because he is not allowed to say failures) is an exercise in
delusional dishonesty. And those in the state media who aid and abet this
dishonesty are equally culpable as their failed political masters.

            William Bango had to write to the Herald last week to rebut some
of the more pernicious lies being told about Tsvangirai. But Herald
columnists continue to repeat them.

            Recently Swedish ambassador Sten Rylander gave an interview in
which he said he had never called for the lifting of EU sanctions. His
remarks on relations between Zimbabwe and the EU had been "distorted" in the
official press, he said.

            But Campion Mereki in the Herald last week wrote a whole opinion
piece based on the false premise that Rylander had indeed made a call for
the lifting of sanctions and was therefore at odds with other EU members.

            Mereki completely ignored Rylander's denial.

            In his interview Rylander said the government media had failed
to adhere to basic principles of media ethics and professionalism which was
self-defeating since it was crucial for the country to convey the correct
message to well-wishers who may want to assist the country in its recovery.

            While we are on the subject of media ethics, Tafataona Mahoso
should be asked how professional it is for the MIC chair to attack
newspapers whose political views he doesn't like in his weekly column when
he is expected to preside over the registration of those papers with a
measure of fairness and impartiality? And he should tell us why he considers
the jongwe a Zimbabwean national symbol. He refers to "Zimbabwe's jongwe

            He earlier states that it is the symbol of the united Zanu PF.

            We are not sure that even that claim is true. Did Zanu PF and PF
Zapu not agree on the Great Zimbabwe site's conical tower as their united
party's motif? Could somebody involved in those talks please clarify.

            We were intrigued by a story carried in the Mail & Guardian on
the systematic looting of Kondozi Estate by Zanu PF chefs.

            Vice-President Joice Mujuru was visiting the farm in the company
of six ministers. Col Ronnie Mutizhe, deputy commander of 3 Brigade charged
with running the farm, told her that the maize crop had wilted because it no
longer has irrigation equipment.

            Mujuru demanded to know what had happened to the equipment.

            "It's not something I can say in public, Your Excellency,"
Mutizhe was reported as replying. "I need to discuss it with you in

            Mujuru would have none of that. "Let the cameras roll," she
ordered. "I want you to tell me now what happened to that equipment. I'm the

            Mutizhe reluctantly admitted, we were told, that the pump was
taken by Christopher Mushohwe who had "not returned it since". He added that
another minister, Nyathi, took the tractors.

            When Mujuru demanded to know who Nyathi was, he replied: "It's
the Minister of Intelligence, Didymus Mutasa, Your Excellency."

            The M&G reports Mutizhe as alleging provincial governor Tinaye
Chigudu had also removed tractors.

            "It's for that reason that we are unable to do much on this
farm," the paper reports Mutizhe as saying.

            Isn't this story emblematic of Zimbabwe's land reform programme:
chefs helping themselves as good productive farms go to waste?

            Not long ago there was huge excitement in official circles at
the prospect of Al Jazeera setting up shop in Zimbabwe. This would tell the
"true story" of Zimbabwe to the outside world, we were told, and correct
Anglo-American "lies".

            Well, Muckraker checked out the Arab broadcaster's website over
the weekend. Prominently displayed was a story headed "Zimbabwe's curse of

            "Zimbabweans mark 26 years of Independence on Tuesday with
little to celebrate as the African state plunges into deep economic
hardship, personal tragedies and a rapidly growing gap between the elite
rich and the majority poor," it said.

            And there was Zvayi on Tuesday telling us "our country is
evidently a success story in Africa". Not so evidently, it seems!

            We pointed out last week that Zanu PF is crafting a
hagiographical account of Mugabe's role in the liberation struggle. This
week the Herald's Isdore Guvamombe told us that "the turning point in
Zimbabwe's liberation war was on April 4 1975 when Cde Mugabe crossed into
Mozambique with Cde Tekere to start the armed struggle".

            Can we expect a North Korean-style tableau to this effect?

            We can safely assume from this that Cde Tekere has now been
fully rehabilitated after his little indiscretions. And we liked the way
Lord Soames and Bishop Abel Muzorewa have been airbrushed out of the
following: "On April 18 1980 the vehemently cruel and illegal Rhodesian
regime led by Ian Smith collapsed and paved way for a democratically elected
Zimbabwean government led by Cde Robert Mugabe."

            Lancaster House has disappeared!

            Those few tourists who do brave the "negative publicity" to
visit Zimbabwe may be in for a rude welcome. Passengers arriving on BA153 at
06:30 from London on April 13 were still standing in queues to be cleared by
customs at 12:30. It appears that passengers who arrived minutes earlier on
an Air Zimbabwe flight from Dubai were carrying huge quantities of goods and
as a result customs forced all passengers to go through the red route.

            Our informal business sector, it would seem, has taken a tad too
literally the invitation to do business with the Middle East. And ordinary
travellers are paying the price!

            Air Zimbabwe is proudly joining the league of parastatals that
are being forced to unbundle. It is being transformed into five strategic
business units. The Business Herald reports that this has been necessitated
by a huge salary bill and reduced business. As a result the company plans to
retrench about 360 workers.

            But you need time to follow the logic. The airline's acting
chief executive officer Captain Oscar Madombwe recently told a parliamentary
committee on tourism that the airline only managed to transport 230 000
passengers last year from a peak of 1 000 000 in 1999.

            Ordinarily one would expect those in charge to think of
downsizing from the top down. Instead, Air Zimbabwe has created five
so-called strategic business units and is inviting applications to engage
five general managers for each of these.

            From our experience with the former Zimbabwe Broadcasting
Corporation, more general managers mean more expenses on salaries and other
perks. How they plan to do it this time around for less with reduced
passenger traffic remains a mystery. Does somebody understand the logic
beyond creating jobs for the boys?

            Still on Independence Day celebrations, President Mugabe on
Tuesday repeated the flyblown claims about the causes of poverty in
Zimbabwe. It was the usual scapegoats: drought and unjustified sanctions
that caused shortages of food, drugs, electricity and other essential

            In the fashion of all propaganda fairytales Mugabe said nothing
about the havoc wrought on commercial agriculture by the unplanned land
reform and how this had undercut the supply of essential raw materials to
industry. Where he did mention the abuse of fuel, seed and fertilisers by
some of the beneficiaries of the land reform, it was as if he had to
apologise instead of demanding punishment for the offenders. Even his
comments on the levels of corruption in the country did not sound
convincing. It was as if he was mentioning a pardonable aberration by junior
officials in his government filching petty cash.

            Those involved must have had problems trying to suppress a

            But he was not done yet. The speech had to end with a positive
prophesy. We were told government had dreamt up a new "priority programme"
that would turn around the economy in the next six to nine months. The
miracle programme would increase food security and generate more foreign
currency. The result? Economic growth of between 1 and 2% this year on the
back of a 9% growth in agriculture.

            How will this be achieved in the face of so-called "unjustified
sanctions"? It sounds like a poor rendition of one of Aesop's many fables.

            Harare council has splurged a mind-numbing $280 million on two
cellphones for its officials, one of whom has been on suspension for the
past three years with full benefits. According to a Herald report on
Wednesday, the fancy cellphones were not in the capital budget for 2006.
Instead Harare residents had to foot the cost of this obscenity by having
money diverted from allocations for chairs and office desks.

            What is shocking is that this is the same council that is
charging ratepayers swingeing rates but is failing to collect refuse. It is
the same council that cannot repair potholes, burst sewerage and water pipes
because it claims it has no money. It is the same council that recently
splashed $1,1 trillion on vehicles and was having a fun day arguing about
commission chair Sekesai Makwavarara's request for $35 billion to buy
curtains for the mayoral mansion.

            Having been thwarted on that front, she dribbled past the
bemused town clerk Nomutsa Chideya and installed a satellite dish in the
same mansion without going to tender.

            What else can we expect from these big spenders? At least now
Muckraker understands former Zanu PF MP Philip Chiyangwa's exhortation: If
you want to get rich join Zanu PF. Makwavarara's timing can't be faulted.

            Finally, we were rather amused by a story in the Sunday Mail's
business section. It proclaimed that Zimbabwe was back in ARSO and had even
attended an ARSO meeting in Cairo last month. The meeting was hosted by
Egyptian ARSOs.

            In case you are wondering, ARSO stands for the African
Organisation for Standardisation, according to the Sunday Mail. The acronym
would more likely suggest the African Regional Standards Organisation.
Whatever the case, it is rather unfortunate that this august body did not
contemplate the consequences when it devised its appellation.

            Meanwhile, David Coltart may have been alarmed on Tuesday to
hear ZTV referring to "Cde Coltart Chimurenga".

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Can military men be supremos of the economy?

Zim Independent

            By Eric Bloch

            ALTHOUGH, on the face of it, Zimbabwe is still governed by Zanu
PF after the party won the parliamentary elections in 2005, and therefore
claims to be constitutionally and democratically ruled, there is increasing
evidence that the country has to a significant extent been subjected to a
military coup.

            De jure, President Robert Mugabe, his cabinet - inclusive of
many inept ministers - parliament and a senate in which the ruling party
holds a majority govern Zimbabwe.

            However, de facto, its defence forces are increasingly governing

            The Zimbabwe National Security Council (ZNSC), which comprises
various arms of Zimbabwe's armed forces, inclusive of the army and the air
force, supplemented by the Central Intelligence Organisation (CIO) and the
Zimbabwe Republic Police, is being vested with an ever-greater authoritarian
role in the governing of the country or, at the least, in fulfilling the
functions of government.

            That first became apparent when the ZNSC was empowered to pursue
the ill-fated programme of command agriculture under Operation Maguta. As
yet, that programme is still to yield any significant recovery for the
agricultural sector.

            Admittedly, the 2006 maize harvest will be somewhat greater than
any of the harvests in recent years, although still only about half of that
produced prior to the disastrously implemented land reform programme.
However, command agriculture can claim little credit for the improvement,
which has mainly been forthcoming from those outside of the programme.

            But the enhanced maize crop is counterbalanced by ongoing
decline in almost all other crops, including a catastrophic fall in tobacco
production to an estimated 45 million kgs, or less, reduced production of
sugar, coffee, tea, citrus, grains other than maize, and by minimal change
in volumes of other agricultural outputs.

            Then, following upon Operation Murambatsvina in which hundreds
of thousands had their minimal sources of livelihood and makeshift housing
destroyed, the ZNSC became actively involved in Operation Garikayi/Hlalani

            Having been indirectly involved in Operation Murambatsvina,
which was perpetrated by the police and abetted by the army, the ZNSC was
then charged with much of the implementation of the programmes of housing
reconstruction. The fox, having invaded the chicken coop and having wrought
havoc therein, is mandated to develop the new chicken coops!

            But the ZNSC's penetration into the role of government has now
extended markedly further, as evidenced by statements by State Security
minister Didymus Mutasa and Economic Development minister Rugare Gumbo that
the ZNSC has been mandated to achieve Zimbabwe's economic recovery.

            The mind boggles at the concept that those trained in warfare
and defence should become the supremos of the economy. What on earth does
their background, training and experience include that has any bearing on
formulating, guiding and driving the diverse elements of an economy, ranging
from agriculture to mining, from manufacturing to tourism, from trading to
finance, and much else? How can expertise in national defence be
constructively applied to facilitating, enabling and motivating economic

            Although Zimbabwe has pronounced scarcities of many items,
ranging from petroleum to maize meal, medications and consumables in state
hospitals, it has an overwhelming surplus, and that is of rumours, many of
which are wholly without foundation, and most of the others being greatly
exaggerated, but nevertheless a few that are of substance. Among the rumours
currently in circulation is one that the ZNSC is now overseeing the
operations of the Zimbabwe Revenue Authority (Zimra). Should that be so, it
is incongruous in the extreme.

            What on earth does the army know about taxation, internal
controls, audit and the like? Surely the responsibility for oversight of
Zimra should vest in the Ministry of Finance and the Auditor-General and, if
necessary, the Ministry of Anti-Corruption and the National Economic Conduct

            If the ZNSC has been charged with the task of overseeing Zimra,
that is as far-fetched as has been the appointment of military personnel to
head the Grain Marketing Board and the National Railways of Zimbabwe, as has
recently occurred, over and above like appointments to top posts in a number
of other parastatals, while many very senior governmental posts are also
filled by ex-army and air force personnel.

            Another rumour in circulation, albeit uncorroborated, is that
the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) has also been placed under the
surveillance of the ZNSC. If that rumour has any foundation, that would be
appalling in the extreme.

            The RBZ is accountable to the Ministry of Finance and,
therefore, any monitoring that may be necessary should be the function of
that ministry. Moreover, the RBZ is subject to an annual, independent audit
of its financial statements by registered public auditors. How then can any
ZNSC involvement be justified?

            The realities are probably two-fold. On the one hand, the
government has never been able to recognise or accept that any of Zimbabwe's
economic ills could conceivably be caused by it, whether by acts of
commission or acts of omission.

            It cannot recognise that it set Zimbabwe's economy cascading
downwards by granting compensation pensions to war veterans far beyond the
means of the exchequer. The government then accelerated the downward cascade
by embarking upon a grossly mismanaged and abused programme of land reform,
and the economic decline was compounded by gargantuan fiscal mismanagement,
excessive and unproductive state expenditure, immense misdirection of
parastatals, gross corruption, and alienation of the international community
by endless disregard for the fundamental principles of democracy, justice,
law and order and human rights.

            Because it could not accept that it was in any way culpable for
the economic destruction, the government convinced itself that others were
responsible and intently focused its attention and its ire upon those of the
international community who criticised it.

            The government has probably resolved that it requires a new
vehicle of surveillance, monitoring and economic management and control.
That resolve may well have activated it to disregard the established
governmental surveillance and controls infrastructure, and to resort to the
ZNSC, albeit that the body is devoid of the requisite financial and economic
skills necessary to fulfil a supervisory control effectively, and to bring
about an economic turnaround and recovery.

            On the other hand, it is also possible that the government is
intentionally increasing the authority and national involvement of the ZNSC
through fear that the ever-increasing poverty and misery pervading Zimbabwe
could ultimately provoke a military coup. With such a fear, it cannot be put
past a government, which has long demonstrated Machiavellian skills at
survival to determine that the best way to avoid a coup is to give those who
could resort to such an action increased authority.

            However, the government overlooks that in so-doing, to a very
major extent, the very coup that it wishes to avoid is, in fact,
materialising for, to all intents and purposes, the ZNSC will progressively
have ever-greater control of Zimbabwe by virtue of its control of the

            The alternative, of course, is for the government belatedly to
recognise the real causes of the demise of the economy and, based upon that
recognition, to adopt constructive new policies.

            These must include economic deregulation and liberalisation,
fiscal probity and prudence, meaningful containment of corruption at all
levels of society, equitable land reform, facilitation of productivity,
creation of an investment-conducive environment and reconciliation with the
international community.

            The government can still reverse the developing military coup,
but has it the will to do so?

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There is a limit to propaganda

Zim Independent

            Candid Comment

            By Joram Nyathi

            TUESDAY this week was a day like no other. Early in the morning
as I was getting into town I was touched by the sight of hundreds of youths
heading for the giant National Sports Stadium. Herein lay the future of
Zimbabwe. This was our Independence anniversary and they were ready for the

            All these positive thoughts were quickly dispelled. Most of
those youths wore all manner of tattered pieces of clothing and footwear. I
had no doubt most of them had been mobilised to make up the numbers. The
police escort duly confirmed my suspicions. One also couldn't miss the
waving of the trademark fists at passing motorists.

            I quickly recollected all this as I listened to President Robert
Mugabe addressing the crowd later in the stadium. He was at pains to stress
that this was a national occasion - not a Zanu PF function - but there was
nothing to excite people. I was left wondering if most of them understood
what he was talking about. The few instances he got a round of applause was
when he made gratuitous attacks against Morgan Tsvangirai in Shona.

            The crowd was made up of mostly students or school-leavers
desperate for entertainment or the supporters of Caps United and Masvingo
United football clubs. Most poor Harare residents were elsewhere fighting
for survival.

            The only group that appeared solidly represented were members of
an apostolic sect resplendent in their white regalia in a corner of the
stadium. Members of the Zanu PF Women's League always take it as a party
event. For the uniformed forces it is a national duty.

            This is a major shift. In the past it was elders who attended
such occasions. The youths were left out or did not see what was in it for
them. They were accused of lacking patriotism or an appreciation of the
liberation history of this country - hence the much derided "born-free"
brigade that needed political orientation. Perhaps that is how the idea of a
national youth service was conceived.

            That notwithstanding, there is no denying that there has been a
rupture between the ordinary citizen and the Zanu PF political leadership.
It is more than a few opposition rebels weighing what Mugabe is saying
against what is on the ground just to score points. There is palpable
incongruity between what political leaders say and what people are
experiencing for themselves. It is naïve to imagine that people still buy
into empty slogans about the success of the land reform when they can't
afford the staple maize meal and the prices of basic commodities skyrocket
every day.

            People have stopped believing the sincerity of Operation Garikai
as most of the 700 000 left in the open since May last year by the
ill-conceived Operation Murambatsvana destroyed their homes are still
stranded. Hundreds lost their shelter and sources of livelihood after their
informal businesses were destroyed. Promises of a new beginning have largely
remained a mirage.

            Some left for their rural homes in despair while those with
nowhere to go have been reduced to destitution in towns. They can't run the
old-fashioned tuckshops and are not allowed to sell their wares in public

            The trouble is that President Mugabe has become so far removed
from the reality of our daily lives one wonders how far he is misinformed
about the state of the nation. This is evident in the way he harps on about
the schools and hospitals and clinics government constructed soon after

            A fleeting tour of the countryside would show him that most of
that infrastructure has collapsed. He will be shocked to discover that
classroom blocks either don't have windows or roofing sheets. A majority of
the schools don't have desks, books, piped water or qualified teachers.
Instead of a consolidation of the early gains, there has either been
stagnation or deterioration all around.

            Vice-President Joice Mujuru was shocked after a recent tour of
what was touted as a major irrigation project in Masvingo and what has
become of Kondozi Estate in Manicaland. Instead of which Mugabe predicts 9%
growth in agriculture this year!

            Equally misplaced is Mugabe's anger directed at people perceived
as less patriotic or Zimbabwean than those who died for the liberation of
this country. Few need to be reminded of those sacrifices. The
disillusionment comes from worsening poverty and quality of life for both
those born before or after Independence.

            After the "golden era" of the past few still have faith in
Mugabe positively changing their fortunes, hence his own preoccupation with
liberation war credentials. All that people can see around them are mounting
problems, from food to transport and accommodation.

            Life expectancy has almost halved from 67 years at Independence
in 1980 to 37 years today. Aids is seen as only accelerating what was
already a steady decline in the quality of life. For the first time perhaps
since Independence a majority of parents can't afford the fees for their
children at secondary schools. The cost of university and tertiary education
has turned it into an elitist pursuit like a game of golf. This is a
betrayal of the ideals of the liberation struggle.

            You then ask yourself as you watch these poor and hungry
children trooping into the National Sports Stadium whether they carry the
future of the country on their emaciated limbs and tattered dreams. Are
these the leaders of tomorrow?

            Tafataona Mahoso would do well to examine the quality of our
education each time he talks about mission schools which produced the
intellectuals who spearheaded the liberation war. Most of those leaders did
not need lessons in patriotism. What has gone
            wrong? Independence Day celebrations should not be merely a time
for self-adulation about past achievements but also a time to reflect
seriously about where we are going.

            There is a limit to what propaganda can do.

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Zim Independent Letters

With advisors like Bloch there's cause for fear

            I WOULD like to correct a perception created by Eric Bloch in
his article, "Achieving tourism turnaround", (Zimbabwe Independent, April
13), that Zimbabwe is an "extremely expensive destination" without
mentioning any concrete figures to back this up. This, coming from someone
who is an advisor to the Reserve Bank governor, makes me extremely sceptical
of all the so-called turnaround efforts.

            For example, comparison of rates charges for hotels, lodges and
related services across Sadc would show that Zimbabwean rates are very much
on the lower end. Even at Victoria Falls, Zambian charges are much higher
than on the Zimbabwean side.

            When Bloch says National Parks is charging massively, what is he
comparing against?

            It seems he is quite happy to pay hundreds of rands in South
Africa but wants the paltry charge at the entry points removed, my foot!

            He even complains about the minute tax of $1 000 per litre! With
this bush economics and the inflation sliding towards 1 000%, while
purporting to be doing a turnaround like a merry-go-round, Zimbabweans need
to be very afraid about the experts in whom they are putting their faith to
deliver them to the promised land.

            With such advice being dispensed, it is no wonder that the
Reserve Bank can justify printing trillions of dollars with a straight face
to pay the IMF.

            Instead of using the US$210 million to create economic value to
fund essentials such as fertiliser and petrol to create economic benefit
which could be used to pay off debts, it was flushed into a bottomless pit.

            For example, increasing road tourism from South Africa does not
require a large capital outlay. It can start by making sure that Zimra does
not treat every person entering Beitbridge as a potential criminal who needs
to be sent around in circles from one queue to another by abusive officials.

            It can start by putting up proper rails so that there can be
orderly queues. It can put some officials on the floor who can talk to
customers and ensure that people do not waste hours in wrong queues.

            This can be augmented by making sure that unemployed youths
paint the correct road signs such as how far the next town is, directions to
the next police post (assuming the police are there and not at the farms!),
hospital, petrol station, etc.

            It may also be useful to warn motorists about humps on the road
before one is three-quarters way into the undulating humps (or better still
level them off!).

            I spent the Christmas period in Cape Town where I kept bumping
into many Zimbabweans. The major reason why someone would spend their
holiday at a crowded beach 1 500 km from Johannesburg instead of the nearer
shores of Lake Kariba is probably because they are terrified at the prospect
of spending frustrating hours at the border. It is not because it is more
expensive in Zimbabwe.

            It may be useful to put proper toll gates on the major highways
and ensure that the money is used to maintain roads. We do not want to turn
Zimbabwe into a paradise for parasitic backpackers and hitch-hikers who are
looking for the rock-bottom prices being suggested by Mr Bloch.

            Real tourists must be prepared to pay for a proper service and
that is the market the Zimbabwe Tourism Authority should target as they
generate real economic benefit.

            Another Zimbabwean problem that has created the "Mafioso"
economy is having two prices for the same thing. Even primary school
economics will tell you that it is folly to sell diesel at $12 000 for one
group while the correct price is $200 000.

            Surely, agriculture has not become more profitable than a profit
of $188 000 per litre realised in a few days rather than waiting for nine
months for a harvest that may not be realised?

            If the desire is to support agriculture, is it not more
effective to give a rebate of the same amount to the people who deliver
their harvest to the GMB after they have procured their requirements on the
open market?

            Why is this common sense evading these so-called experts
presiding over this economy? Or perhaps they are all beneficiaries of
mafioso economics and do not care about the hard-working struggling  working

            Tafirenyika Wekwa Makunike,
            Midrand, South Africa.


                        Media is fuelling divisions

                        AFTER the MDC was affected  by the current divisions
I, like every other  responsible citizen, had to stop and decide which of
the two sides to give my vote.

                        I wanted to make a choice.

                        As an ordinary citizen, most of the information that
I can use to make that choice comes from the grassroots and  the media both
in and outside Zimbabwe.

                        The political problems we are facing in Zimbabwe
today are more complicated than the divisions in the MDC, with the media
being the major culprit in this situation.

                        Someone once asked a weekly  newspaper to
investigate and tell the nation who among our opposition members  owns two
farms, who among them has a house guarded by soldiers, why Zanu PF released
the political parties' funds just in time for one of the factions' congress
and who was absent on the day of voting to pass the Bill that brought back
the senate? What did we get?

                        Only deafening silence from the media.

                        Can someone please tell me where  Dumisani Muleya's
survey results are so I can update myself?

                        Muleya told us: "While Tsvangirai  was able to
attract 15 000  delegates, the danger  remains if the MDC fails to reunite,
his faction will lose an important power base: the south-western region
(Matabeleland and parts of the Midlands) where the Mutambara camp is

                        How does he know  this camp is dominant in this

                        Some sections of the media are fanning these
divisions which unfortunately  some of these learned guys swallow, believing
that because they are Ndebele, then they should be happy to be led by
anyone. I find this contemptuous of people from the region.

                        Like any other people from all over Zimbabwe, people
from Matabeleland want social and economic  justice.

                        Was it necessary for Muleya to tell us about
Lovemore Moyo's mother-in-law and that Morgan Tsvangirai comes from
Masvingo etc?

                        Because of the refusal of the media to report it
like it is, we will meet Mugabe in the streets. My choice is made.

                        Original Masendeke,
                        Saucetown, Bulawayo.


                        Stop the carnage

                        DRIVING along Harare Drive from Rolfe Valley towards
Enterprise Road is extremely dangerous! I will tell you what happened to me.

                        The time was about 9.55pm recently and there was no
power in Glen Lorne, meaning the lights on Enterprise Road were out.

                        A stretch at the intersection of Enterprise Road and
Harare Drive with no halt sign or white lines looks like a straight road and
I overshot it, only to suddenly realise what had happened as I went over
humps meant to protect school children.

                        I stopped, shaking like a leaf and thanked God that
there was no traffic travelling along the road that night.
                        I survived by the grace of God.

                        Several drivers who do not know the area well have
gone through  this experience.

                        I have been using the Enterprise Road since 1979 and
at this intersection I have witnessed many accidents.

                        Surely it wouldn't cost much to put up visible stop
signs and re-paint the white lines clearly. The responsible authorities
should spare a thought for the valuable lives they will save.

                        We pay rates and council should meet part of its
bargain by giving us service that tallies with what we pay.

                        Very Scared,


                        Victory for Zanu PF

                        THOSE with historical records will know that certain
European and Scandinavian countries aided and abetted the killing of
innocent civilians of local and European origin in Zimbabwe.

                        This they did by fuelling evil, murder and
corruption - all ostensibly in the cause of the eradication of emerging
civilised values, alleged racism and mainly in sponsorship of the then
predominant evil of communism.

                        Later they even sent their children to Zimbabwe to
purportedly build house for the comrades.

                        A later time of sobriety came when a realisation
fell over most parts of Europe about the realities of Africa.

                        Now new blood from a generation of blinkered
woolly-minded do-gooders suggest that all past and current evils in Zimbabwe
should be accommodated and forgiven.

                        Buckets of aid should be put under the snouts of the
hierarchy to forage in to sustain their control and suppression of all
things normal as per the norms of civilised values.

                        Many of those that aspire to be diplomats would know
that a posting in Siberia was not a promotion while being assigned to
Zimbabwe has only one better benefit - being treated to sunshine.

                        To some recently delegated European diplomatic
deadbeats, it appears that a fundamental requisite for the assignment was to
be an invigorated bootlicker towards the ongoing propagation of evil.

                        Walter Hurley,


                        Let's not mix issues

                        I HAVE been reading some articles that you publish
in your paper and it is so dismaying to note that you give the impression
that problems obtaining in the country have to do with what is happening
within the MDC.

                        More time and energy is being wasted on talking
about the MDC factions.

                        Zimbabwean politics have been characterised by
tribalism and nepotism and power-hungry people eager to take advantage of
the situation.

                        A lot of politicians have emerged from nowhere to
make empty promises to the masses.

                        These people do not have the people at heart, but
are just vultures ready to pounce on every slight opportunity that comes
their way.

                        Who knows if the Mutambara faction does not have its
fair share of vultures?

                        Why are they still fighting to retain the original
MDC symbols?

                        Why are they still fighting in court to be
recognised as the main party yet in actual fact the decision lies with the

                        Let's not mix personal gains with national issues.


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