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

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Problems mount in troubled Zimbabwe
Situation worsens since ruling party election victory
Tuesday, April 26, 2005 Posted: 10:52 AM EDT (1452 GMT)

HARARE, Zimbabwe (Reuters) -- Garbage is piling up uncollected in the
capital of Harare as Zimbabwe struggles with a deep economic crisis that has
also left major towns short of water and electricity.

The Harare city council said on Tuesday rubbish had not been collected in
several townships and suburbs of the capital for three weeks because of a
national shortage of fuel and the expiration of contracts for some private
garbage collectors.

Critics say the city's mounting problems mark a grim new stage of Zimbabwe's
long-running political and economic crisis, which many blame on President
Robert Mugabe's government.

"They have not collected refuse here for two months, and we are sick and
tired of their excuses," said one frustrated resident, pointing to a heap of
rubbish in Harare's densely-populated Mbare township.

Mugabe, who has been in power for a quarter of a century, plunged the
southern African country into crisis five years ago when he started seizing
white-owned farms for redistribution to blacks, mostly supporters of his
ruling ZANU-PF party.

The land seizures have hit the country's main commercial agricultural
sector, a key source of foreign currency earnings, and are largely blamed
for a five-year recession under which the economy has contracted by more
than a third and unemployment has topped 70 percent.

Mugabe's ZANU-PF won 78 out of 120 contested parliamentary seats in
elections last month which the opposition charges were rigged.

But the party lost most parliamentary contests in major towns -- which have
borne the brunt of the economic crisis -- to the main opposition Movement
for Democratic Change (MDC), a pattern also seen in earlier elections.

Post-election problems
Since the election, Zimbabwe city dwellers have seen their problems

Most gas stations in the capital Harare ran dry this week, while the state
electrical utility has warned of power cuts resulting from a lack of spare
parts to maintain generators.

Food is still available in city stores -- albeit at prices sharply higher
than before the election -- but officials say the country risks serious
shortages amid a drought and inadequate supplies of seed and fertilizer.

Zimbabwean voters told Mugabe about their problems with deteriorating public
services during his campaign drive in the opposition's urban strongholds.

The 81-year-old leader pledged he would help, but said the fault lay mostly
with the opposition-controlled city councils.

The MDC says urban councils it controls have been starved of money by
Mugabe's government and denied rights to borrow money or raise taxes to run
towns efficiently.

International donors have cut aid to Zimbabwe out of disapproval of Mugabe's
policies while Western powers have imposed sanctions over charges that
Mugabe rigged both the 2000 parliamentary poll and his re-election two years

Mugabe denies the charges and says he is the victim of a hate campaign
because of his nationalist stance.

Political and economic analysts say Zimbabwe's woes, including the
deterioration in public services, are likely to continue until Mugabe makes
peace with foreign donors.

"The bottom line about our situation is that we are on the slide and we are
going downhill until we get help," said leading economic consultant John
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Food imports will drain govt coffers, say analysts

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

JOHANNESBURG, 26 Apr 2005 (IRIN) - Zimbabwe has turned to Zambia, Uganda and
Tanzania for grain imports as the state Grain Marketing Board (GMB) attempts
to restock the country's dwindling maize and wheat stocks.

Minister of Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare Nicholas Goche
confirmed to IRIN that Zimbabwe had expanded its grain sources to include
these three countries, in addition to South Africa, the major supplier.

"We have been looking for more and more sources of grain. There are
contracts that have been in existence but not in force - we are reactivating
those, and signing up new ones, to ensure that food keeps coming. We
received about 150,000 mt from South Africa over the past month and we are
expecting more deliveries from East Africa," Goche told IRIN.

Goche, formerly the state security minister, assumed his new portfolio
following a cabinet reshuffle last week.

The government's admission came as economists said the country needed to
import at least 1.2 million mt of maize, 200,000 mt of wheat, and
unspecified tonnages of barley and sorghum to meet the country's immediate
food requirements.

Minister Goche said the country was expecting to feed about 1.5 million
people in seven mostly rural provinces, but could not say whether there was
a parallel relief programme for urban areas. Although there were no
responses from the embassies of the three source countries, an official at
the GMB procurement division told IRIN that the Zimbabwe-Uganda maize import
deal was signed during President Yoweri Museveni's recent visit to Zimbabwe.

Didymus Mutasa, Zimbabwe's newly appointed minister of state security, said
he could not divulge any details beyond what Goche had said, as food was a
national security issue. His ministry, which is responsible for the Central
Intelligence Organisation (CIO), has taken charge of the importation and
distribution of food.

"Why do you want to know where we get our food? I cannot tell you anything
more than what you already know because these are security issues. Besides,
I am new in this ministry, so I do not know much," Mutasa said.

A spokesman for the ruling ZANU-PF party, Nathan Shamuyarira, said the
country needed at least Zim $5 trillion (about US $818 million) for the
immediate importation of grains and cereals, and the government would divert
money from infrastructure development programmes to import food.

"We have been forced to divert resources from other projects to deal with
the immediate hunger situation. We are in a predicament. Food importation is
our priority at the moment," Shamuyarira told IRIN.

Economists Erich Bloch and John Robertson warned that the high cost of
importing food would drive up inflation and lead to a thriving alternative
market for scarce foodstuffs and foreign currency.

"The expanded government and [the proposed new] Senate will both be a huge
drain on the national fiscus, which does not have foreign currency at
present. It means spending on the bureaucracy would compete with food
importation for resources, but government simply does not have such money -
food importation alone will cost the country tremendous sums of foreign
currency between now and April next year when the next harvest comes," said
Bloch. "The result will be a resilient black market for scarce foodstuffs in
both rural and urban areas; there will also be a more stubborn foreign
currency black market to fill up where government is failing. The cost will
be too high for our ailing economy."

He added that there was no hope that the country's winter wheat-growing
season, due to begin in late April, would improve the food security
situation until the next harvest.

Robertson said the diversion of foreign currency into importing food would
stall other capital projects, costing the country heavily in terms of
development; the government needed to design long-term policies to counter
the overall economic meltdown, to solve the problem of food insecurity.

"Steps must be taken to deal with the shortage of foreign currency. The
causes of food insecurity can be traced back to the collapse of the farming
sector - the collapse of the tobacco, cotton, timber and beef export
industries. All attempts at ensuring food security without addressing these
problems will fail," noted Robertson.

The GMB noted in a recent report to the National Taskforce on Food Security
that rather than government's harvest estimate of 2.4 million mt, only
600,000 mt of grain had been surrendered to its silos after the 2004
harvest. The country needs 1.8 million mt of grain annually to meet domestic
consumption needs.

Contrary to government estimates that 1.5 million people would need some
kind of food assistance, the Famine Early Warning Systems Network (FEWSNET)
last month warned that up to 4.5 million were in need of immediate food aid.

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Mail and Guardian

      Zim reels under post-poll shortages

      Susan Njanji | Harare, Zimbabwe

      26 April 2005 04:46

            Zimbabweans are reeling under a serious shortage of basic
commodities and erratic power supplies following the March 31 parliamentary
elections, and experts partially blame this on dwindling foreign exchange
reserves and a poor harvest.

            Long power outages have become the order of the day in the
capital, Harare, affecting business operations, while for those at home,
candles have disappeared from shop shelves as demand outstrips supply.

            Zimbabwe imports electricity from South Africa and the
Democratic Republic of Congo, and this week, the power utility blamed the
shortages on transmission faults.

            The national staple cornmeal is snapped up within hours if
available, while margarine and even toothpaste have run out in shops.

            Milk and butter supplies are erratic.

            Queues for fuel are common as some gas stations run dry for days
in the post-election period. The shortage of fuel has partly been blamed for
non-collection of refuse in Harare.

            Water cuts running for days in parts of the country are becoming
the norm.

            Captains of industry and trade union leaders say the shortages
were anticipated.

            "The shortages should not be a surprise to anybody, we know the
challenges we are facing -- the biggest one being the shortage of forex. We
are not generating enough forex, some of the raw materials obviously have to
be imported," said Pattison Sithole, president of the Confederation of
Zimbabwe Industries.

            "Some of the raw materials are obtained locally, such as maize,
but we have had a poor agricultural season," said Sithole in an interview.

            "What we are seeing now is a culmination of the backlog that has
been building over the months in terms of raw materials; this is just crunch
time," said Sithole.

            The country's main labour movement blames the government for the
economic woes.

            "We have been harping on the fact that the idea by government to
pretend that the situation was normal, was actually treacherous. It's a war
against the people's minds, playing football with people's brains," said
Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions secretary general Wellington Chibebe.

            Observers say shortages have partly been due to controlled
prices of basic commodities, which producers say are not viable.

            Some goods are, however, available on the black market, where
they fetch much more.

            Meanwhile, the government has promised to review state-imposed
price controls on essential goods.

            "In the next two weeks, the shortage of goods will be behind
us," said Colonel Christian Katsande, secretary in the trade ministry, in
the state-owned Sunday Mail.

            The government, aiming at a two-digit inflation rate by year-end
from the current 123,7%, is battling to keep a lid on the prices of basic

            Zimbabwe's economy has been on downward spiral in the past five
years, characterised by runaway inflation and perennial shortages of basic

            President Robert Mugabe has repeatedly denied charges that he is
leading the once-model economy to ruin by blaming the economic crisis on
sanctions imposed on him and his close associates by the European Union and
other Western nations. -- Sapa-AFP

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Zimbabwe Bans Export of Machinery
      By VOA News
      26 April 2005

Zimbabwe's state-run newspaper reports the government has banned the export
of machinery to prevent what officials call the "de-industrialization" of
the country.

The Herald reports (Tuesday) the order halts the export of all machinery
used in mining, farming, manufacturing or industry without a permit.

The paper says the Ministry of Industry and International Trade took the
action after noticing an increasing number of companies were exporting
machinery that was not being used.

The ministry secretary (Christian Katsande) told the Herald such machinery
cannot be exported because it might be needed later as the economy begins to
turn around.

The newspaper says several white former commercial farmers in particular
were trying to export their equipment to neighboring countries where they
were offered land.

Some information for this report provided by Herald online.
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Zim's economic crisis spirals out of control    Basildon Peta
          April 26 2005 at 10:35AM

      Harare - Three weeks after President Robert Mugabe won a disputed
election, Zimbabwe's economy has deteriorated rapidly and hardship has
returned to haunt an embittered population.

      Prices have shot up - in some cases threefold - leading the government
to threaten to jail manufacturers and retailers not observing price

      Basic foodstuffs have disappeared from supermarket shelves, most
cities and towns have run out of fuel, and power blackouts have become the
order of the day.

      Tap water has become a luxury because the supply system has become run
down and there is a lack of foreign exchange to pay for imported
water-purifying chemicals.

      Those who have boreholes are cashing in by selling water to desperate

      In some suburbs of Harare, long queues of people with empty containers
have become a common sight at properties that have boreholes.

      Zimbabwean analysts note that there is no fresh election on the
horizon to spur the government into taking urgent steps to resolve the

      The response of the Mugabe government has been to blame everything on
"sabotage" by retailers and manufacturers "unhappy" that Zanu-PF, and not
the opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC), won the parliamentary

      Mugabe has accused retailers and manufacturers of wanting to incite
the public into revolting against him. But they say soaring production costs
and the lack of cheap foreign currency to import raw materials are the
reasons for rising prices.

      Mugabe has dubbed his new cabinet "the development cabinet",
suggesting that its goal is to halt economic decline and end the shortages
of basic commodities. What he has not spelt out is how this is to be

      "It is hard to be optimistic about anything at the moment as we hurtle
backwards into the dark ages," says author Cathy Buckle.

      Meanwhile, new Information Minister Tichaona Jokonya has promised a
new lease of life for Zimbabwe's embattled media and pledged to break with
the traumatic past under his predecessor, Jonathan Moyo.

      He has also promised to smooth the way for foreign journalists to get
accreditation. Foreign journalists were largely banned by Moyo.

      Jokonya pledged, however, to keep the Access to Information and
Protection of Privacy Act, under which all media restrictions have been

      He met editors of state and private newspapers at the weekend and
promised them that the era of wholesale closures of newspapers and mass
arrests of journalists was over.

      Jokonya's promises are conditional upon one thing, however: that the
media stop denigrating Mugabe.

      "We no longer want to see journalists arrested over stories they
write," he said.

      "But we should not malign the president."

      The privately owned media have reason to remain sceptical while the
pillars of repression erected by Moyo remain.

      As Jokonya was holding his meeting, the weekly Standard's editor,
Davison Maruziva, and reporter Savious Kwinika were being charged over a
report that ballot boxes and papers were found hidden at the house of a
rural administrative official days after the disputed poll.

      The substance of the report is not disputed by the police. The
official has appeared in court. But the journalists are being accused of
intending to incite public violence.

          .. This article was originally published on page 1 of Cape Times
on April 26, 2005

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Medical News Today

HIV/AIDS 'More Devastating' to Zimbabwe Than President's 'Despotic Habits,'
Globe and Mail Says
26 Apr 2005
Toronto's Globe and Mail on Saturday examined how the HIV/AIDS epidemic in
Zimbabwe "is having a more devastating impact on the country" than President
Robert Mugabe's "increasingly despotic habits." At least 25% of Zimbabwe's
adult population is HIV-positive, and about 2,800 people in the country die
of AIDS-related causes each week. However, unlike many countries in
sub-Saharan Africa, Zimbabwe does not have a national antiretroviral
treatment program and the country receives only $4 in donor aid for each
HIV-positive person, compared with a regional average of $74 per person,
according to the Globe and Mail. About 6,000 HIV-positive people are
receiving antiretrovirals through government clinics, nongovernmental
organizations and one local AIDS organization that provides the drugs
illegally. Another 3,000 to 4,000 people can afford to pay for the
medications at private clinics, although the supply of drugs in the country
is "unreliable," the Globe and Mail reports. Donor organization staff say
they make "hard decisions" about where funding will be used most effectively
for HIV/AIDS projects, and some express concerns that Mugabe might use the
provision of antiretrovirals "the same way he has food aid -- as a blatant
political tool, providing supplies to his perceived political supporters and
freezing out anyone thought to support his opposition," according to the
Globe and Mail (Nolen, Globe and Mail, 4/23).

"Reprinted with permission from You can
view the entire Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report, search the archives, or sign
up for email delivery at The Kaiser
Daily HIV/AIDS Report is published for, a free service of
The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation . © 2005 Advisory Board Company and
Kaiser Family Foundation. All rights reserved.

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Cape Argus

      Poaching, cattle 'decimating Zim national parks'
      April 26, 2005

        By John Yeld

      Reports of the continued slaughter of wild animals in Zimbabwe should
serve as a "wake-up" call to South Africa, says the Democratic Alliance.

      Reacting to weekend reports that nine elephants had been killed and
used as meat for Zimbabwe's 25th independence celebrations, DA MP Garth
Morgan called on Environment Minister Marthinus van Schalkwyk to "break the
silence" on conservation abuses in Zimbabwe.

      "Particularly (about) those areas that are due to be integrated with
the Kruger National Park to form the Great Limpopo Transfrontier Park, he
has remained deathly silent and his own officials have said there is nothing
to worry about."

      But Van Schalkwyk's spokesman Riaan Aucamp said the elephants had
reportedly been shot nowhere near the Gonarezhou National Park in the south,
Zimbabwe's contribution to the Great Limpopo Transfrontier Park. "So this
has nothing to do with us," he said.

      Morag said: "Over the past five years, Zimbabwe's national parks have
been decimated by poaching. In Gonarezhou, there are reports that there are
now more cattle than wild animals, due to the destruction of fences.

      "Private conservancies around Gonarezhou report that Zanu-PF strongmen
are frequently demanding that land owners allow Zanu-PF supporters to hunt
animals for food. Further, large portions of them have been invaded by human
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      Zimpapers sued for defamation

      The government-owned Zimbabwe Newspapers (Zimpapers) is being sued for
Z$100 million (R100 thousand) for defamation by the former Daily News
lawyer, Gugulethu Moyo and the Media Institute of Southern Africa (Misa)
regional director, Luckson Chipare, reports Gugulethu Ziyaphapha.

      The two are suing for Z$50 million (R50 thousand) each over
allegations, published in the group's two flagship dailies, The Herald and
The Chronicle, that the two were hand picked to demonise the call and call
for war against it.
      Stephen Ndlovu, the former editor of The Chronicle who authored the
articles, is being sued in his personal capacity.

      In articles he maintains were accurate recordings of a media seminar
that took place in Namibia last year, Ndlovu said Moyo urged the
international community to put more pressure on Zimbabwe even if it meant
taking the Saddam route, meaning military invasion or war.

      Ndlovu claimed that at the meeting, Chipare called for more pirate
radio stations to beam anti-Zimbabwe propaganda to oust President Robert

      He also claimed that Moyo abandoned Daily News workers when she joined
the Institute for Democracy in South Africa (IDASA) at the time of the
closure of the newspapers. Her lawyers say Moyo never worked for Idasa. She
did work for Misa before moving to England.

      "The said unlawful, false and intentional publication portrayed (Moyo)
as a reckless, unprofessional, irresponsible, unpatriotic, subversive,
seditious, deceitful, treacherous and irresponsible opportunist," court
papers say.

      "The false, defamatory and intentional publications regarding Chipare
have injured his name and reputation by suggesting that he is unpatriotic,
reckless, indiscreet, unprofessional, irresponsible, seditious (and) engaged
in clandestine and dishonest arrangements to cause hostile propaganda
against his own country."

      Sources from Zimpapers say the publishing concern's lawyers are
preparing a defence.

      Ndlovu was fired by Zimpapers last month and is fighting the lawsuit
in his personal capacity.

      Meanwhile, a reporter from The Standard, Savious Kwinika has been
charged with breaching the Access to Information and Protection of Privacy
Act (AIPPA) and the Public Order and Security Act.

      The charges come from an election story he wrote saying that missing
ballot papers and boxes were found hidden at a senior government official's

      This comes after his editor, Davison Maruziva, was charged with
abusing journalistic privilege and attempting to incite public violence with
the same story.

      A senior government official has been charged for breaching the
Electoral Act and the police confirmed the story, but the two journalists
are still being accused for publishing the story with the sole purpose of
inciting violence against government and to discredit the recent
parliamentary elections.

Tuesday, 26 April, 2005
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From The Mail & Guardian (SA), 25 April

Zim's political cancer has gone too deep

Mandla Mpofu

Johannesburg - Former Zimbabwe information minister Jonathan Moyo says
claims by the opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) that the
ruling Zanu PF rigged the elections are credible. In an exclusive interview
with the Mail & Guardian Online, Moyo also ruled out economic revival in
Zimbabwe under President Robert Mugabe, whom he said has been in power for
too long. Stopping short of calling for immediate regime change, Moyo said
Zimbabwe needs "an absolute renewal" because "the political cancer has gone
too deep". Once regarded as the fiercest defender of the Mugabe regime, Moyo
also lamented the system of patronage under Mugabe's rule -- which,
ironically, many people believe was the reason for his rise in Zimbabwean

How does it feel to sit in Parliament among parliamentarians who, by all
public appearances, hate you? Zanu PF regards you as a "traitor" or
"defector" and the MDC views you as the architect of the current media
regime, which it cites as one of the causes of electoral fraud since 2002.
Mugabe also expressed these sentiments during this year's campaign period,
as did the opposition: It's a simplification that they do that. Many of them
know better and are much more serious politicians who understand the
challenges our country faces. I have had a good working relationship with
many in Zanu PF and many in the MDC. Even the campaigning did not reflect
what you are talking about, other than the vitriol that came from certain
sections of Zanu PF, but not all of them. It is a fact that the national
chairman of Zanu PF, John Nkomo; VP Mujuru; Elliot Manyika; and Cain Mathema
said a lot of things they are regretting right now, which are not shared by
many people, even in Zanu PF. The president himself led that chorus. I'm
sitting in Parliament as an elected member, and all of us have taken an oath
of allegiance to Zimbabwe and are guided by the national interest. On the
day of swearing-in, there was a clear demonstration that we are committed to
working together.

Being the only independent MP, how are you going to make yourself effective
in shaping national policy in Parliament, since the last Parliament showed
us that MPs vote on partisan party lines? : It is regrettable that there is
a history of voting on party lines, even when reason or national interest
dictates otherwise. But Parliament is not just about voting. We're elected
to articulate national issues as they are, without fear or favour, and as an
independent, I will not be constrained by so-called party lines. Because of
the polarisation and division in our country, having a true independent
voice that is able to articulate issues of national concern is an advantage.
My concern will be all the people of Zimbabwe.

Will you enter into any coalition with the opposition or the ruling party,
and under what principle or understanding? : There is no need for me to
enter into any coalition. I'm not going to enter into such a coalition. I'm
not a member of either Zanu PF or the MDC, and I have no intention of
joining either. I will work with those who are prepared to deal with
Zimbabwe's problems. Zimbabwe needs a political settlement. So, I will cast
my vote with whoever takes the national position, even if it is the ruling
party. My vote will not be guaranteed to anyone. Certainly, I will be
sitting there [in Parliament] in opposition to Zanu PF. I ran a campaign
opposing Zanu PF in principle because of the unfortunate development in
November [when Zanu PF reprimanded Moyo and suspended six provincial
chairpersons for taking part in the Tsholotsho "declaration" to choose an
alternative candidate for the vice-presidency]. In general terms, I will be
working together with the MDC as a constructive opposition. This is
something I assured the electorate in Tsholotsho. People wanted to be
assured that I will not take their vote to Zanu PF, and I will not do so.

What is your view of the March 31 election? Was it fraudulent as the
opposition says, given that you have also challenged certain Sections of the
Electoral Act? : I have to make a correction here. I have not challenged
Sections of the Electoral Act, as reported in the media. I have challenged a
section of the electoral regulations, not the Electoral Act. The reason for
doing so is not to say the election was fraudulent, but that a key minimum
condition was absent. However, the discrepancies that have been cited [by
the MDC] are serious and you don't have to be a specialist to realise that.
One instance in Beitbridge shows that. Before the announcement of result,
the authority running the elections announced that 36 000 people had cast
their vote, but when the result was announced, what came out was that 19 000
people had voted. The same body [the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission] cannot
say at one point that 36 000 people voted and then say 19 000 voted. It has
never happened in the rational world that the preliminary figure is higher
than the final figure, and by that margin. You have to be totally mad or
have a terrible leap of faith to believe that. It does not make any sense,
especially since it is the same body that announced the preliminary figure
and the final figure. You can't have the left hand doing what the right hand
doesn't in the same body. Many people are shocked that the response to this
has been very casual. The freeness and fairness of the elections are about
perceptions people have about the [electoral] process, and that needs [to
be] a rational process. In this election, that rationality was totally
absent, notwithstanding what may come out of the courts regarding the
challenges that have been made. It raises serious eyebrows, and the sooner
the authorities realise that this is a serious matter and respond seriously
and accordingly, the better for the democratic process.

Do you think the coverage of opposition candidates - including yourself - by
the Zimbabwean media was fair? : I had no coverage whatsoever myself.
Invitations were made for us to come and debate on national television, but
we did not accept them because the whole thing was just a charade, and in
any case, there is no TV reception in Tsholotsho. We learnt a few things in
this election, and one of them is that the best broadcasting is people
broadcasting -- that is, direct, interpersonal communication with the
people. Obviously ... the opposition does not receive favourable coverage,
but the Broadcasting Service Act enables it to get its messages across
during an election.

To be continued...
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Daily News online edition

            Asian businesses take larger space at ZITF 2005

            Date: 26-Apr, 2005

            JOHANNESBURG - The Asian business community has taken up empty
space to exhibit at this year's 46th edition of the Zimbabwe International
Trade Fair which opens in Bulawayo today (26 April).

            The fair, which has always been regarded as Zimbabwe's window to
the outside world, has been adversely affected by the current political
impasse in the country, with most of the exhibitors from the western world
staying away.

            According to eye witnesses who are working as casuals in the
trade fair grounds, the Chinese have the highest number of exhibitors after
they occupied most of the empty space which had been created by the last
minute withdrawal of a number of western companies.

            President Mugabe is on record saying that Zimbabwe had decided
to do away with the western world and embraced the eastern community. He
told a crowd at the National Sports Stadium that western world had imposed
sanctions on his government over complains that elections in the country had
been rigged.

            Only 560 local exhibitors, most of them struggling indigenous
business people and flea market traders will be participating at the fair
which is expected to attract few visitors in its 46 year history.

            The Trade Fair is opening during a time when the country is
experiencing severe shortages of food and fuel compounded by serious power
cuts right across the country. In Bulawayo yesterday, reports indicated that
fuel was in short supply although hopes had been raised after reports that a
number of fuel containers had crossed the Beitbridge Border Post, herding
for Bulawayo.

            The fair will be opened by Mozambican president, Armando
Guebuza, who is set to arrive in the country sometime this week.

            This year's attendance at the fair is also set to be affected by
the recent opening of schools. In recent years, the fair has always
benefited from school children who visited it during school holidays.
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Daily Mirror, Zimbabwe

US moots widening sanctions

Clemence Manyukwe Senior Reporter
issue date :2005-Apr-28

THE United States says it is considering widening sanctions slapped on
Zimbabwe's leadership since 2000 in the aftermath of last month's
parliamentary polls it condemned as undemocratic.
Although it does not say how it will widen the sanctions, Washington's
intention to take punitive action against the country's leadership over the
outcome of the general elections contradicts reports by various
international observers endorsing the 31 March polls as free and fair.
Since 2000, the US and the European Union have imposed what they call "smart
sanctions" against President Mugabe, his Cabinet ministers and others deemed
sympathetic to the government. The list of targeted people has been widened
with each Cabinet reshuffle to include new ministers coming on board.
Although the sanctions are ostensibly targeted at the leadership, the
ordinary Zimbabwean has suffered following the withdrawal of aid by donor
The African Union (AU), Southern African Development Community (Sadc), South
Africa, Botswana, Malawi and some Asian observer missions said the polls
reflected the true wishes of Zimbabweans.
But Constance Berry Newman, US Assistant Secretary of State for African
Affairs, was of the contrary opinion.
The former ambassador to South Africa, who is reportedly close to her boss
Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, told the House sub-committee on Africa,
Global Human Rights and International Operations last Thursday, the US was
"reviewing and updating our sanctions regime to ensure that our targeted
sanctions have flexibility and teeth, and are adequate to the new situation".
Rice has no kind words for Zimbabwe and its leadership, which she has
described as "an outpost of tyranny".
Part of Newman's statement before the committee on Zimbabwe: Prospects for
Democracy after the March 2005 Elections reads: "I can say that the election
has re-confirmed the need for targeted financial and travel sanctions on
regime leaders who undermine democracy. The individuals who abused democracy
and helped to steal this election must be held accountable."
The US imposed targeted sanctions on the country's rulers, including
business and religious leaders she said were connected to the Zanu PF
government since the 2000 general elections.
Although foreign affairs spokesperson, Pavelyn Musaka could not be reached
for comment, President Robert Mugabe is on record saying US punitive action
against Zimbabwe was in retaliation to the country's land and agrarian
reform programme implemented in 2000  and a passion for regime change.
During celebrations to mark the country's Silver Jubilee, President Mugabe
said Zimbabwe did not need the US to validate its elections, as Africa
mattered more to it than the west.

 Zanu PF beat the MDC by 78 seats against the MDC's 41 in the 120 contested

University of Zimbabwe political analyst Heneri Dzinotyiwei yesterday said
further extending the targeted sanctions would only make life very tough for
ordinary Zimbabweans.

"It is vital for the countries to take positions that help ordinary people
than those that are seen as making the conditions worse. The latest
development may only serve to give legitimacy to government claims that
conditions in Zimbabwe are as a result of foreign enemies rather than
internal poor management," said Dzinotyiwei.

He added that it was difficult for ordinary people to view anyone taking a
stance that impacted negatively on their lives as a supporter of their
country in general.

National Constitutional Assembly (NCA) chairman Lovemore Madhuku said the
widening of sanctions would not help Zimbabweans achieve democratic reforms.
He pointed out that the Americans were misdirecting their support.

"We don't support sanctions as NCA, we want them to support those of us who
are fighting for democracy in Zimbabwe. Americans are good at making noise
without making commitment to the issues that require urgent attention," he

Madhuku also said only internal pressure would make President Mugabe yield
to people's demands.

He said: "If Mugabe is given sufficient internal pressure for a new
constitution to open up the media and so on, he will give in."

Another analyst, Claude Maredza, said the US stance would affect ordinary
persons as opposed to the leadership. Maredza added that the action spurned
President Mugabe's expressed willingness to engage the West.

"Before the polls President Mugabe said he was willing to talk to British
premier Tony Blair and by implication that extends to (US) President (George
W.) Bush. Actually, this means that they are spurning an olive branch by
someone who is saying 'let's talk'," Maredza explained.

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Daily Mirror, Zimbabwe

Mwonzora petitions Electoral Court

The Daily Mirror Reporter
issue date :2005-Apr-28

MDC losing candidate for Nyanga, Douglas Mwonzora, has petitioned the
Electoral Court seeking the nullification of the constituency's election
result, claiming massive intimidation of the electorate by his opponent,
Paul Kadzima of Zanu PF and a traditional leader - a situation, he said
frightened his supporters.
Kadzima polled 12 602 against Mwonzora's 9 360 votes.
Mwonzora, a legal practitioner, is also the National Constitutional Assembly's
(NCA) vice-chairman. He is seeking an order declaring him the duly elected
Member of Parliament for the area or alternatively a rerun of the poll.
The order Mwonzora is seeking reads in part: "It is declared that the
petitioner, Douglas Togaresei Mwonzora, was duly elected as the Member of
Parliament of Nyanga in the General Election of 2005. The cost of this
petition is borne by the respondent. Alternatively: it is declared that the
respondent was not duly elected as a Member of Parliament."
Mwonzora said he was seeking nullification of the result based on several
alleged malpractices such as the reported intimidation of the electorate by
the respondent, the District Administrator for Nyanga and Chief P.T.
Saunyama, acting in cahoots with Kadzima's supporters.
In his affidavit, Mwonzora said of Chief Saunyama: "On 29 January 2005, I
held a campaign at Nyatate Shopping Centre. The respondents then drove past
my rally. A few minutes later Chief P.T Saunyama came to the rally and
'arrested' me. He forcibly took me and about 10 of my supporters into his
car and drove me to ZRP Nyanga. He accused me of holding an MDC campaign
rally. He only released me after the police at Nyanga, especially Sergeant
Ngangami, intervened."
He also said the traditional leader had threatened to expel from his area
anyone who supported the opposition party.
Mwonzora further alleged that Saunyama called a meeting of kraal heads under
his jurisdiction and warned them that if they allowed MDC meetings in their
areas they risked being stripped of their headmanship.
He claimed that Kadzima bribed people with fertisliser and promises of food
in return for votes.
He added that at Chapatarongo Primary School polling station, maize was
brought before polling and Ellen Chapatarongo and Eric Baruku, a war
veteran, promised to distribute the staple grain after voting.
Mwonzora further alleged that ruling party youths physically attacked him
using beer bottles and reports were made to Nyanga police.
He said two of the youths who attacked him were fined $25 000 each.
He said villagers were threatened with war if they voted for the MDC and on
polling day a military helicopter, which had delivered ballot papers,
started hovering above many polling stations.
Mwonzora also alleged that a substantial number of people left without
voting after being told that this was in preparation for war.
In some instances, he added, election agents were allowed late into polling
stations on the basis they had no Zimbabwe Election Commission (ZEC) badges.
They were only allowed when polling had already commenced.
He further alleged that in some cases, his election agents were not allowed
to accompany ballot boxes to the constituency command centre.
He also cited discrepancies between figures given by the chief elections
officer by the end of day on March 31 2005 and the final declaration.
Initially, 13 500 people were said to have cast their votes, but ZEC said
over 21 000 reportedly voted.
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Daily Mirror, Zimbabwe

Govt recruits foreign doctors

issue date :2005-Apr-28

THE government of Zimbabwe is in the process of recruiting doctors and
medical specialists from Cuba and Egypt to alleviate the shortage of health
workers in the country.
Health and Child Welfare Minister David Parirenyatwa at the weekend said the
teams from Zimbabwe were already in Havana, Cuba, with orders to recruit as
many doctors as they could.
He said government was also negotiating with Egypt to pave the way for the
recruitment of medical personnel from that country.
"We want to get as many as we can get - there is a need to fill up all
vacant positions to improve health service delivery, particularly in the
rural areas. We are looking for general medical practitioners, specialists,
technicians, engineers and nursing school tutors," Parirenyatwa said.
He said the country was still losing trained medical personnel to its
neighbours and overseas job markets, which offered better opportunities and
conditions of service.
"We are still losing personnel, but I am sure the new Health Services
Commission, which will soon take over the responsibility of recruiting
medical personnel, will strive to improve working conditions and
remuneration, so that we can retain and even attract more skilled staff,"
Parirenyatwa added.
He also expressed concern that student nurses were abandoning their courses
midway to escape the three-year 'bonding' period they are required to serve
before they can receive their certificates. The bonding arrangement was
imposed last year as a way of reducing the exodus of staff, including newly
trained personnel, to countries offering better pay and working conditions.
The latest batch of foreign doctors is expected to arrive within the next
two months to join the 204 expatriates already working in Zimbabwe.
At present there are 127 Cuban doctors in the country - the largest
contingent - and 77 from the Democratic Republic of Congo.
The shortage of medical personnel has badly affected rural health
institutions, which also face chronic shortages of basic medicines.
Despite the establishment of several commissions and boards to spearhead the
revival of the health sector over the past two years, the shortage of human
and financial resources has stalled these efforts.
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Daily Mirror, Zimbabwe

Beer price up

The Daily Mirror Reporter
issue date :2005-Apr-28

WITH many Zimbabweans still trying to get to grips with the recent increase
in basic commodities, such as cooking oil, sugar and mealie-meal to mention
only a few, the price of clear beer has also shot up by over 80 percent.
This is the second increase in five months following another on Boxing Day
last year.
A survey conducted by The Daily Mirror yesterday at several liquor outlets
showed that a pint of Castle and Lion were being sold for up to $9 000 and
the local green bottles fetching not less than $10 000.
Quarts are now being sold for at least $16 000.
Those who prefer to merry till dawn will now have to part with a fortune,
with most night clubs now charging as much as $20 000 for a pint, while
quarts were pegged at $28 000 at one night club visited.
No comment could be obtained from officials at Delta Beverages yesterday
although they have attributed previous increases on rising in input
costs. -Mirror Reporter
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Daily Mirror, Zimbabwe

Water crisis to persist

The Daily Mirror Reporter
issue date :2005-Apr-28

THE City of Harare has said the current water cuts affecting residents in
the high density areas of Mabvuku and Tafara might take five days, if not
more before the situation returns to normal as the municipality battles to
repair the broken down pump at its Lemboto Station.
City spokesperson Leslie Gwindi said: "The shortages were due to breakdown
of equipment at the Letombo Pump Station and once the repairs are completed,
the water has to be pumped up to a certain level in our reservoirs before
the situation returns to normal."
Unscrupulous individuals have resorted to selling the precious liquid in
most high-density suburbs with a litre of water fetching about $2 000.
Harare has also experienced an acute shortage of water treatment chemicals,
especially Ecol 2000, an oxidising agent used to destroy algae in water.
The commission running the affairs of the capital city resolved at its last
meeting to appeal to the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) to give it a special
foreign currency allocation to buy the much needed chemicals.
Gwindi said the central bank has not yet responded to the council's appeal.
Due to high levels of pollution in the city's water sources, Harare now
requires eight different chemicals to treat its water. -Mirror Reporter
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