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

Back to Index

Back to the Top
Back to Index

Nothing to lose.

I have just been into the largest wholesaler in Bulawayo. We are quite large
buyers and the staff greeted me cheerfully. Then I collected a trolley and
started to walk through the company premises - I came out in a state of
shock. Whole rows of shelving were absolutely empty - to the roof. There was
no soap powder, no bath soaps, no cooking oil, no fats, no sugar and no
maize meal, no flour and no rice, no milk products of any kind and no
children's foods.

We walked out empty handed and I said to the floor manager that I was
shocked - he simply nodded his head and said, "what can we do?" Frankly, I
find this situation very scary.

We need 36 000 tonnes of basic food imports a week, these will cost about
US$20 million. One of my friends sat in a fuel queue yesterday for 13 hours
to get a tank of petrol. Most garages have queues outside their premises -
even if they have no fuel. It has never been so bad as now. To top this
serious situation we have started to experience load shedding by the State
controlled electricity utility.

When we had an economy to speak of, we used about 5,5 million liters of
petroleum fuels a day - I would guess that today we use about 3 million
liters. Even that will cost about US$700 000 a day - or nearly US$5 million
a week - so just for the basics we need US$25 million a week. In fact we
earn about that from our exports each week but that leaves no margin for
anything else.

Yesterday I saw the new Chinese fighter jets fly over - we have just spent
US$400 million on these plus some Mig 23's, attack helicopters and military
vehicles. Most of it from China. We have also just purchased two Chinese
passenger jets for regional routes to augment the three remaining aircraft
still flying for Air Zimbabwe.

These ill-advised purchases have flattened our foreign exchange resources,
in fact I hear that we have sold 25 tonnes of gold forward (US$500 million)
and we have also sold our tobacco production forward. The main problem with
these transactions is that we no longer can produce 25 tonnes of gold in a
year and we have produced a very small and inferior tobacco crop.

Last year Gideon Gono was the local hero when he succeeded in herding all
local foreign exchange resources into the coffers of the Reserve Bank but in
doing so he has effectively spelled the death of the export industries that
fed the system. His hope of harnessing the US$75 million a month that comes
back to local families from Zimbabweans working abroad has flopped totally -
after handling a mere US$45 million in the past year, receipts are now
virtually zero.

The election results and the aftermath have not helped - we remain
completely isolated, people have no faith in the future, capital flight is
accelerating and the parallel market has taken off into the stratosphere.
The fact that the Reserve Bank was going to devalue by nearly 100 per cent
was leaked last week and there is a sudden frosty silence in that quarter.
The first month of sales on the tobacco floors - always an important period
in Zimbabwe, has yielded prices in Zimbabwe dollars below last years. This
simply puts paid to any hopes of a tobacco led recovery this year, or next.

The reaction of President Mugabe to these shocking facts was to hold a
"Silver Jubilee" celebration, which costs billions. Undertake a spending
spree for the air force in a country where we have no external or internal
threats and a vague promise by a muted Gono that a "recovery plan" is being
prepared. Oh yes - they fired the poor GM of the Grain Marketing Board and
kept that idiot Made (Minister of Agriculture) in an enlarged Cabinet.

We have had confirmation from official sources that the maize crop now being
reaped is a disaster - our estimate of about 400 000 tonnes seems about
right. There is a flurry of activity going on to try and get a wheat crop
into the ground before the 15th of May but it is unlikely they will get more
than the 50 000 tonnes or so they grew last year. So we are now faced with a
severe famine and no foreign resources with which to buy the food and other
products we need. In fact, if we had the resources we could hardly move this
volume given the parlous state of our infrastructure.

Official UN sources estimate that we have nearly 6 million people who need
food aid - donors are feeding about 1 million people at present - mainly
children. This leaves 5 million people at risk of starvation out of a
population of 11 million. The rest of us will simply have to fend for
ourselves - faced with rising prices, shortages and other problems. It seems
to me that South Africa will have to step in and pick up the pieces, as it
is very largely responsible for this sorry state of affairs.

The big question is what do we do about this situation. The one thing that
sticks out a mile is that Zanu has no solutions and we simply cannot let
things stand as they are. The MDC has put its own plans into action and at
this stage they are saying: -

1. The MDC does not accept the results of the election.

2. The MDC now accepts that neither democracy nor the legal system here
offer any way forward at present.

3. The MDC demands the resignation of the new government and the negotiation
of an interim administration to begin to resolve the immediate crisis
situation we are in.

4. The MDC demands the convening of a constitutional conference involving
all civic groups to draft a new constitution for the country with fresh
elections to be held under the new constitution and under the supervision of
the international community.

To back up these demands a broad coalition of civic groups is being formed
and will be charged with taking mass action against the new government. The
MDC will employ all forms of political action required to support the
efforts by civil society to rescue the country from the grip of a small,
self-seeking elite that simply refuses to allow the people to select the
government of their choice. It will call on the armed forces to support this
initiative in the broader interests of the country and its people.

The Ministry of Defense has stated that it will "crush" any mass action
launched by the opposition or civic society. On Monday last week thousands
took to the streets in Bulawayo after a football match on Independence Day -
it took the Police and the Army 7 hours to stop the rioting. To local
observers the policemen involved had little heart for the activity they were
involved in - next time it will be worse.

Eddie Cross

Bulawayo, 26th April 2005

Back to the Top
Back to Index

New Zealand Herald

      Mugabe orders wildlife reserves to kill animals

      by Basildon Peta

      JOHANNESBURG - Fresh from his disputed victory in Zimbabwe's
parliamentary elections, President Robert Mugabe has turned his sights on
the country's wildlife reserves in a bid to feed thousands of famished

      Zimbabwe's National Parks have been ordered to work with rural
district councils to begin the wholesale slaughter of big game. Parks
rangers said they had already shoot 10 elephants in the last week and their
meat was barbecued at festivities to mark Zimbabwe's 25 years of

      The 10 elephants were killed by National Park rangers. Four of the
giant animals were reportedly shot in full view of tourists near Zimbabwe's
Lake Kariba, the largest man made lake in Africa and a major haven for

      Five years after ordering the confiscation of white-owned farms, the
Mugabe regime has turned the country once dubbed the breadbasket of Africa,
into a famished land with an estimated four million rural poor suffering
from food shortages.

      The directive is a major blow to efforts by conservationists to
rehabilitate the wildlife sector which was devastated after Mr Mugabe
ordered his supporters to invade and confiscate white-owned farms in 2000.

      The chaotic farm invasions saw party militants storming into
conservation areas - both private and state-owned - to slaughter animals.
Unscrupulous South African hunters also joined in the looting, paying hefty
kickbacks to politicians to go into conservation areas and shoot lions,
leopards and cheetahs for trophies.

      But because of the general abundance of certain species of wildlife in
southern Zimbabwe and the establishment of the trans-frontier park, which
allows animals from Mozambique and South Africa's world famous Kruger
National Park to move freely into and out of Zimbabwe's Gonarezhou (home of
the elephants) National Park, there have been high hopes among
conservationists that Zimbabwe's wildlife sector could be restored to its
former glory.

      Zimbabwean conservationists have been particularly scathing about the
killings of the elephants for independence celebrations. Meat from a giraffe
killed to feed rural peasants in the Binga area during the independence
festivities disappeared. It is believed that police and army officials
appropriated the meat for themselves and it never reached its intended

      Rural peasants in Zimbabwe have relied on their own livestock in the
past three years of unprecedented famine, induced by Mr Mugabe's chaotic
land seizures. Their plight had even worsened since the government stopped
international donors from distributing food aid so he could take charge of
the process himself and punish those who did not support him.

      National Parks officials say many of the peasants living in areas
bordering National Parks have already been venturing into these parks to
hunt and kill animals with snares. But they said the impact of snare hunting
by the villagers was limited compared to what would happen if armed National
Parks rangers were allowed to enter conservation areas to kill for meat to
feed millions of hungry peasants.

      "Killing of animals for any reasons other than conservation can be
very disastrous," said one National Parks official, speaking on condition of

      "The politicians think we have enough animals to feed people without
wiping out different species. We as professionals don't think so. We are
talking to them (the politicians) and we hope we will reach consensus on
protecting our wildlife heritage."

      Other government officials said Mr Mugabe was so happy about his rural
constituency which ensured him a majority of seats in last month's
parliamentary elections and wanted to do everything to please the peasants.

      Mr Mugabe's party lost nearly all seats in urban areas, strongholds of
the opposition, and won in rural areas where it had created more
constituencies. He has even created a new ministry to specifically look
after the rural electorate.

      Food ran out in Zimbabwe soon after the election and the country has
experienced acute power and fuel shortages over the past two weeks. Basic
commodities have disappeared from supermarket shelves.

      Mr Mugabe has promised to jail manufacturers whom he accuses of
creating shortages to encourage people to revolt.

Back to the Top
Back to Index


      Zimbabwe faces 'food catastrophe'
      The opposition in Zimbabwe says the country has all but run out of
maize - the staple crop.
      A Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) spokesman Renson Gasela accused
the government of failing to act while the country faced "a national

      Last year President Robert Mugabe accused the MDC of exaggerating the
problem of food shortages, and turned down offers of international aid.

      There are also shortages of other basics like toothpaste and

      Mr Gasela said Zimbabwe would harvest only about 500,000 tonnes of
maize against a demand of 1.8m tonnes.


      "Any honest government, having misled the nation that there was more
than enough maize, even to the extent of stopping donors, would apologise to
the nation for its omission or commission," he said.

      Ahead of parliamentary elections in March, President Mugabe did admit
that Zimbabwe would have to import grain following drought and a poor

      The country is facing a foreign exchange crisis, with production of
cash crops such as tobacco only a fraction of what it was before the seizure
of white-owned farms.

      Critics blame food shortages on the land reform programme which has
seen thousands of white farmers forced to leave their land in the past five

      The government blames food shortages on drought and economic sabotage
by Western countries, led by the UK, opposed to land reform.

Back to the Top
Back to Index

Daily Mirror, Zimbabwe

Minister in land row

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

THE newly appointed Deputy Minister of Science and Technology, Patrick
Zhuwawo, has allegedly occupied part of Little England Farm in Mashonaland
West, displacing several settlers who had been allowed to stay there,
courtesy of a High Court order.
Impeccable sources close to the goings on at the farm told The Daily Mirror
yesterday that the lawmaker for the newly created Manyame constituency had
caused the displacement of the settlers to pave way for himself.
"Little England Farm has a number of sub-plots, one of which Zhuwawo has
recently taken and pushed out settlers on the part he now occupies," the
source said.
Because of persistent threats from unidentified people, the sources said,
settlers have been moving off the property since last year with the last
batch being kicked off allegedly at Zhuwawo's behest.
However, the youthful politician immediately dismissed his involvement in
the fiasco and instead implicated unnamed relatives.
The new Member of Parliament countered: "I did not occupy that place. It
falls under my constituency and at times I go there to hold meetings in
places such as Ivhu Tatora. I have a farm somewhere and I don't need any
other place. It is my relatives who were given part of that farm. It is my
brother's wife and children who occupied it."
In an earlier interview, Zhuwawo's mother, Sabina Mugabe - President Robert
Mugabe's sister, and also MP for Zvimba North - told The Daily Mirror that
the farm belonged to the Mugabe family, before she began threatening to deal
with this reporter.
"Nzvimbo iyoyo ndeyevanhu vekwaMugabe. Asi haudi kuti hama dzavaMugabe
dzipiwe minda? (That land belongs to the Mugabe family. Don't you want
(President) Mugabe's relatives to be allocated land?) If you write that
story, I will come there and personally deal with you," Mugabe said.
Soon after speaking to Mugabe, this reporter received a telephone call from
someone claiming to be an officer within the ministry of lands advising him
to stop writing about the Mugabe family and Little England Farm.
"What is your interest in Little England? If you write the story, it will be
the last story in your career. In fact, we know where you live," the
unidentified caller threatened.
Little England is said to have been earmarked for State House employees,
according to a court document by former Lands and Resettlement Minister John
Nkomo in a case in which he was seeking the eviction of the settlers. The
matter is still to be heard.
When Zhuwawo was made aware of his mother's threats, he asked for the phone
number this reporter had used to contact his mother, which after being told
he acknowledged as the correct one.
He then asked this reporter to hold on while he spoke to his mother.
Although this reporter did not hear Mugabe's voice, he could hear Zhuwawo
pleading with his mother not to threaten journalists.
He then apologised for his mother's behaviour.
Back to the Top
Back to Index

Zim Online

Army digs up ex-MP's farm in search of weapons of war
Thu 28 April 2005

      CHIMANIMANI - Zimbabwe army soldiers and the police have for the last
three days scoured jailed popular opposition member, Roy Bennett's farm,
digging up large swathes of land in search of arms of war they claim are
hidden on the farm, ZimOnline has learnt.

      The security forces have already arrested one of Bennett's workers,
Rueben Mangiza, who is employed as a security guard and are believed to be
planning to arrest more workers at the farm, known as Charleswood Estate,
over the suspected weapons cache.

      An operations manager at the farm, James Mukwanyayi, yesterday told
ZimOnline that the security forces have since Monday used heavy duty earth
moving equipment to excavate large areas on the farm saying they had
information that there were weapons cached at the farm.

      He said: "They are looking for arms of war at Charleswood but there is
nothing there . . . the excavations have been going on for the past three
days and they are using graders and caterpillars. Both members of the police
and the army are doing the excavation."

      Mukwanyai said the security forces might have been misled into
believing there were weapons cached at Charleswood by a disgruntled former
worker fired by Bennett for allegedly stealing a car from the farmer.

      It was not possible to immediately get an explanation from defence or
police headquarters in Harare on what might have led them to suspect there
were weapons hidden at Bennett's farm.

      Bennett's wife, Heather, was also not reachable on her phone
yesterday. Bennett's lawyer, Trust Mhanda, yesterday said he had been
informed of the arrest of Mangiza and the presence of security forces at
Charleswood but said he was still to go to the farm to ascertain what was
taking place.

      "I am still to go there but I have been informed that the police have
actually arrested Rueben Mangiza a former security guard for Bennett. I will
have to go there as I am told the police are looking for more people,"
Mhanda said.

      White and popular among both black and white Zimbabweans, Bennett is a
former opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) party Member of
Parliament for Chimanimani constituency under which his Charleswood Estate

      He was jailed last year after ruling ZANU PF party parliamentarians
used their majority in the House to vote for his imprisonment for shoving
down Justice Minister Patrick Chinamasa during debate.

      Bennett was unable to contest last month's parliamentary election and
his wife who stood in his place lost to ZANU PF's Samuel Undenge.

      Chimanimani is among 16 constituencies whose results the MDC is
challenging in court in what the opposition party says is an exercise to
demonstrate how Mugabe and ZANU PF stole the March 31 ballot.

      The government has in the last three years ignored several High Court
orders not to expropriate Charleswood under its chaotic land reforms instead
sending the army and its violent youth militia to occupy the farm on several
occasions in a bid to displace Bennett.

      Mugabe last year openly called on ZANU PF supporters in Chimanimani to
seize Charleswood, which is one of the most successful agro-firms in the
country. - ZimOnline

Back to the Top
Back to Index

Zim Online

Rights activist urges US to tighten screws on Mugabe
Thur 28 April 2005
  HARARE - A Zimbabwean human rights activist has called on the United
States (US) to sever all economic and political ties with President Robert
Mugabe's administration as punishment for its appalling human rights record.

      In a letter to the US State Department, Ralph Black, of the
Association of Zimbabweans Based Abroad (AZBA) pressure group, said targeted
sanctions imposed by Washington and Brussels against Mugabe and his top
officials three years ago were not enough saying continued trade between
American and European companies and Zimbabwe firms was helping sustain the
Harare government.

      "Despite American rhetoric and megaphone condemnations of (President
Robert) Mugabe, American companies continue to trade with the prescribed
outpost of tyranny. For the impoverished Zimbabweans, this apparent
duplicity is tantamount to betrayal and is viewed as aiding and abetting
Mugabe's murderous agenda," said Black.

      The US and European Union imposed targeted sanctions on Mugabe and his
top lieutenants after the disputed 2002 presidential election which the main
opposition Movement for Democratic Change says was rigged in Mugabe's
favour. But the targeted sanctions appear to have failed to nudge Mugabe
towards the democratic path.

      The US has also labelled Zimbabwe "an outpost of tyranny", together
with other countries like Burma, Cuba and North Korea.

      Reacting to the call for more sanctions against Harare, ruling ZANU PF
party secretary for administration Didymus Mutasa, who is also State
Security Minister, rebuked Black's assertions that tougher measures were
needed to force Zimbabwe into democratic reform.

      "This guy is aligned to the MDC and is simply parroting what the MDC
has already told its Western masters to do - to further impoverish ordinary
Zimbabweans through unjustified sanctions.

      "Zimbabwe is a democratic country and recent elections have vindicated
us. We are a country that shines as a beacon of democracy, by any
 standards," said Mutasa.

      Washington this week indicated it was already working on a new and
wider sanctions regime against Mugabe and his lieutenants but did not give
details of the new measures. - ZimOnline

Back to the Top
Back to Index

'Madhuku to Be Charged for Peddling Falsehoods'

The Herald (Harare)

April 27, 2005
Posted to the web April 27, 2005


POLICE will soon be charging National Constitutional Assembly (NCA) chairman
Dr Lovemore Madhuku with spreading falsehoods.

Police chief spokesman Assistant Commissioner Wayne Bvudzijena said the
delay in charging Dr Madhuku had come about because a number of issues were
still being attended to by the police at the moment.

The NCA last month produced a report in which the civic group alleged that
widespread violence was being perpetrated by the security forces against
opposition political parties in the run-up to the recent parliamentary

The report for the month of February - which was entitled "Consolidated
Election Climate No 1" - was distributed to the foreign Press and diplomatic

"Madhuku is certainly going to be charged with (spreading) falsehoods. Once
a crime has been committed, accused person no longer has control over that
incident. It's up to us who are investigating the case," said Asst Comm

In his report, Dr Madhuku made unsubstantiated claims that uniformed forces
had embarked on a reign of terror by restricting freedom of movement in two
constituencies, committing sexual assaults in about seven more and making
unlawful arrests in 24 others.

The report also accused the uniformed forces of arbitrarily closing schools
and further alleged that the Government was operating bases for military
groups throughout the country.

Although Dr Madhuku was given March 24 as the deadline by which to prove the
claims contained in the NCA report, he failed to do so, resulting in police
handing over the case to the Law and Order Section of the Criminal
Investigation Department.
Back to the Top
Back to Index

Zim Online

Analysts see no change of heart by IMF
Thur 28 April 2005
  HARARE - The International Monetary Fund (IMF) visits Zimbabwe next week
for consultations but analysts yesterday said President Robert Mugabe should
expect no change of heart from the Bretton Woods institution which cut
financial support to Harare six years ago.

      The May 3 visit, which falls under the IMF's article IV arrangement
providing for regular consultation between the institution and member
countries, will last two weeks during which fund officials will hold talks
with government, opposition, business and labour representatives.

      "The government's policies are unacceptable to the IMF, the (state
economic) reforms are not radical and far-reaching so government should not
accept any change of heart from there," said University of Zimbabwe business
studies professor Tony Hawkins.

      Zimbabwe's disputed election last month only helped make it even more
difficult for the IMF to its approach towards Harare, according to Hawkins.

      Zimbabwe plunged into its worst ever economic crisis after the IMF
withdrew balance-of-payments support in 1999. A foreign currency crisis that
ensued after the multilateral institution pulled out has led to acute
shortages of fuel, food, electricity and essential drugs because there is no
hard cash to pay foreign suppliers.

      Chaotic and often violent government land reforms also compounded
Zimbabwe's economic crisis after disrupting the mainstay agricultural
sector. Analysts say only resumption of IMF aid, which will unlock billions
of aid and support from other donors who take a cue from the institution,
will help bring Zimbabwe's once vibrant economy back to its feet. -

Back to the Top
Back to Index


      Zimbabwe opposition urges Mugabe to appeal for food

      April 27, 2005, 18:45

      Zimbabwe's main opposition party said today that the country had
virtually run out of the staple maize grain and urged President Robert
Mugabe's government to launch an appeal for foreign donor aid.

      Aid agencies say around 4 million people, a third of the population,
will need food aid this year after a poor harvest due to drought and
inadequate support to peasants who largely benefited from the government's
controversial land reforms. Renson Gasela, shadow agriculture minister for
the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC), said the party estimated maize
output from the just ended cropping season at about 500 000 tonnes against
domestic requirements of 1.8 million tonnes.

      No maize
      Gasela told a news conference that the country did not have adequate
stocks to see it through to the next harvest and that some districts in
drought-prone areas were already out of food. "In simple terms the country
has run out of maize and this is a fact," Gasela added, bemoaning what he
called failure by the government to quickly approach international donors.
"A lead time of three months is required to land maize in the country if
such maize comes from South America, for example. From South Africa the lead
time is two months," Gasela said, adding that millions of Zimbabweans could
not wait that long.

      Mugabe has repeatedly denied that his policy of seizing large tracts
of white-owned farms to redistribute to blacks has resulted in food
      Critics say it has destroyed commercial incentives for farming and
that those resettled on the land have not received the support needed to
make their plots viable. Government officials could not be reached for
comment on the MDC's assessment of the maize situation. - Reuters

Back to the Top
Back to Index

Lawyers Network to Engage Government

Media Institute of Southern Africa (Windhoek)

April 27, 2005
Posted to the web April 27, 2005

Zimbabwe media lawyers, who met under the auspices of the Media Lawyers
Network in Vumba from April 21-23, 2005, in Manicaland Province, resolved to
engage the government as part of efforts towards the repealing of repressive
media laws that have seen the closure of four privately-owned newspapers and
the harassment and arrests of journalists and media workers.

In a communiqué issued on April 23, 2005 at the end of a two-day MLN annual
general conference organised by MISA-Zimbabwe, the lawyers stressed that
they would not tire in pressing the government to repeal or amend sections
of the Access to Information and Protection of Privacy Act, (AIPPA),
Broadcasting Services Act (BSA) and Public Order and Security Act (POSA).

The lawyers noted that the repressive media and freedom of expression
environment in Zimbabwe, has resulted in many social, economic and political
problems for citizens of Zimbabwe. It was also noted that the conduct of
government business in secrecy has contributed to food shortages and has
also affected such national programme as combating the HIV-AIDS pandemic.
The repression the media faces in Zimbabwe, as a result of undemocratic
laws, has meant that challenges facing society are not finding space for
discussion as journalists exercise self censorship and newspapers are shut
down. Media lawyers resolved that they would use all the available laws at
their disposal in assisting the media to access information held by public
bodies such as the National Aids Council and National Social Security
Authority to ensure transparency and accountability on their operations and
use of public funds.

Following, is the full text of the communiqué and resolutions of the annual
general conference attended by a total of 21 lawyers, journalists and human
rights activists.


We, the Media Lawyers Network,

Reflecting on the development of the right to freedom of expression and
media freedom in Zimbabwe in the pre- and post independence era.

Recalling the suppression of freedom of expression and the media during the
colonial era.

Reiterating that freedom of expression is an inalienable right, which is at
the core of the ascent and development of humanity.

Observing that there is in existence obnoxious and draconian pieces of
legislations that suppress the right to freedom of expression and freedom of
the media, which are not likely to change in the near future.

Further observing with increasing concern as the government of Zimbabwe
clamps down on journalists, newspapers and other human rights defenders, and
as documented by the official African Commission for Human and Peoples'
Rights fact finding mission report on the human rights situation in

Lamenting the decline in the quality of life, the continuing misgovernance
and the breakdown in the justice delivery system in Zimbabwe as a result

Re-affirming the need to speedily deal with infringements of the freedom of
expression by the judiciary who are custodians of the Bill of Rights

Now therefore resolve the following:

1.. To actively engage government at all practical levels on the following
issues; · The opening of the airwaves

· The re-opening of closed newspapers

· The promotion of community radio stations by licensing potential community
broadcasters because of their potential impact at community level

2.. To continue to lobby at both the local and international level on the
government's attitudes on regional and international human rights

3.. To engage the judiciary and in particular the Constitutional Court to
exercise its mandate of administering justice and upholding the

4.. To engage and lobby parliamentarians to amend or repeal current
repressive laws such as AIPPA, POSA and BSA which militate against media

5.. In addition, parliamentarians should be conscientised on the adverse
effects of the proposed criminal code on the exercise of the right to
freedom of expression

6.. To use all necessary lawful means to obtain /access information from
public bodies such as NAC and NSSA on their operations and use of public

7.. To lobby the Minister of Information and parliamentarians for the
creation of an independent media regulating body

8.. To continue litigating and flood the Constitutional Court with cases,
notwithstanding that the cases may be unfavourably decided upon in order, to
keep a historical record of the court's shortcomings.
Back to the Top
Back to Index

New Zimbabwe

Searching for water in Harare

This is an eye-witness account by a Harare resident Jack Mutume on the
worsening water crisis in Harare

Last updated: 04/28/2005 01:33:53
HARARE has run dry.
"Water rallies", as they are now dubbed in Tafara and Mabvuku, continue
unabated in many parts of the Zimbabwe's capital where tap water supplies
have become erratic.

Gone are the days when the city council would deploy water bowsers to
affected areas and serve residents with water whenever there was a crisis.

The crisis is worsening as the people flock to fetch contaminated water from
streams, sink wells, discover "natiral water springs" and vandalise some
pipelines to survive. The increasing crowds are fast becoming a nasty
scenario, where as they jostle for the liquid, people engage in fist fights.

The local authourity run by a commission comprising President Robert
Mugabe's appointees remains mum on the water issue except hammering on the
"burst pipes" excuse and not indicating when and how the problems would be

The worsening crisis has been festering for more than six years when the
Zanu-PF-led council was fired by Mugabe's government for failing to deliver.
The government then appointed a commission to run the city. The commission
was replaced by the Movement for Democratic Change-led council elected in
June 2000.

The MDC council resigned after its executive mayor, Elias Mudzuri was
expelled for daring to remove ghost workers among other anomalies, from
council records. The ghost workers, all of whom are Zanu-PF supporters
continue to be paid regularly by the council. Prior to 2000 Mudzuri was
employed by the council as an engineer.

As the problem escalates, residents who own boreholes are being compelled to
sell water to poor neighbours.

The chairman of the Combined Harare Residents Association, Mike Davies said
his association received numerous complaints but there was nothing the
organisation could do.

The water crisis is worsening in many suburbs now because of the shortage of
water treatment chemicals obtainable only with foreign currency which is in
short supply in the country.

Some public bars in Harare which are the municipality's main source of
income are open with the toilets inside closed for lack of water.

Asked how patrons were relieving themselves a barman said: "Just go round
that corner and see how you can help yourself."

Back to the Top
Back to Index

Investors Pull Out of IDBZ

The Herald (Harare)

April 27, 2005
Posted to the web April 27, 2005


THE opening of Infrastructural Development Bank of Zimbabwe (IDBZ) could hit
a snag amid revelations that some of the investors have pulled out of the
"yet-to-be-opened" banking institution.

Sources close to the proceedings told Herald Business this week that the
bank could fail to take off due to capital constraints after it failed to
attract "meaningful" investors.

Initially the bank was expected to open mid-March capitalised to a tune of
$1 trillion, but failed to do so after some investors pulled out," said
sources who asked not to be named.

"Presently, we are working flat out to attract investors who are interested
in acquiring the remaining 30 percent stake on offer."

The Government and the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe will be major institutional
investors holding the remaining 70 percent stake.

Among the investors who have pulled out from the much-waited bank, according
to sources, include Zimre Holdings, one of the major shareholders in the
Zimbabwe Development Bank (ZDB), which is being transformed into a new bank.

Although the bank would be a transformation of the ZDB, it would replicate
some of the former's functions such as providing funds for
developinginfrastructure in the various sectors of the economy.

"The latest developments have resulted in the bank being heavily
undercapitalised and could not open as scheduled," sources said.

When contacted for comment, the Minister of Finance, Dr Herbert Murerwa,
could neither confirm nor deny, but insisted that they were working to solve
few problems which have delayed the opening of the bank.

"I cannot comment but I will come to you when we have finalised some issues
which have delayed the opening of the institution. But the bank will open to
the public very soon," said Dr Murerwa.

However, the sources said the bank has already started financing a number of
projects though it has not officially opened.

"So far we have financed several projects to the tune of more than $400
billion and are already underway," the sources indicated.

Last year the Government announced its intention to transform ZDB into a
more formidable institution, which would provide financial assistance for
infrastructural development.

Unlike ZDB, whose primary objective is to provide funds to the distressed
companies, the transformed institution would be much wider in terms of
entailing the funding of key national projects among them roads, electricity
infrastructure and dams.

In light of the land reform programme, the bank would be expected to channel
resources to the new farming communities where infrastructure is in poor

In particular, there is an urgent need for the new dams and roads to create
an efficient transport network among the new farmers and their potential

Infrastuctural Development Bank is expected to offer wider financial
services through subsidiaries. If fully operational, it would comprise
divisions namely ZDB Ventures Private Limited, ADB Development Bank,
Financial Services and the institute of Development Fund Trust.
Back to the Top
Back to Index

The Scotsman

            Wed 27 Apr 2005

10:11am (UK)
Zimbabwean Opposition Supporters Victimised after Election, Says Mdc


Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe's ruling Zanu-PF party has intensified
acts of post-election violence and intimidation against opposition
supporters, according to the opposition Movement for Democratic Change.

In a statement released on Tuesday, the party said opposition supporters and
polling agents in rural areas have been the victims of arson and looting,
chased from their homes and some forced to relocate.

 "ZANU-PF acts of retribution in the rural areas are only being carried out
because the party knows it lost the rural vote, hence the need to cow down
the electorate and instil fear in the people ahead of future elections," the
MDC said in its statement.

ZANU-PF claimed 78 of the 120 elected seats in the March 31 parliamentary
elections. The MDC won 41 and President Robert Mugabe nominates 30 others,
which guarantees him the two-thirds majority required to amend the
constitution at will.

The ruling party has not responded to the latest MDC allegations. However,
police spokesman Wayne Bvudzijena said they planned to bring charges against
human rights campaigner Lovemore Madhuku, chairman of the National
Constitutional Assembly, a pro-reform umbrella group of lobbyists.

Bvudzijena said Maduku, a university law professor, will be charged under
laws making it illegal to make false statements prejudicial to the state
because he refused to give police the names of witnesses quoted in a report
he distributed saying journalists and embassies would become targets of
violence during the election.

The report also alleged uniformed forces and youth militia terrorised rural
constituencies, making unlawful arrests and perpetrating sexual assaults.

The MDC alleges it won up to 94 of the elected constituencies but was
deprived of victory by rigging. It has lodged 14 petitions against results
with Zimbabwe's high courts, which it says are a "token" protest after
prolonged legal appeals failed to dislodge any ruling party legislators in
the wake of the last June 2000 elections.

Back to the Top
Back to Index

New Zimbabwe


      Overcoming Zimbabwe's 'Messiah Complex'

      Last updated: 04/27/2005 18:36:57
      MANY Zimbabweans are desperate for change from the ruinous path that
the country has been on under the long ruler ship of Robert Mugabe. Much of
the frustration that the change did not come about at the recent general
election is focused on the leader of the main opposition MDC party, Morgan

      It is natural that passionate, disappointed party members as well as
sympathizers call for the scalp of the head of the losing party's leader. It
is not uncommon for many such leaders under pressure to be forced to resign.
In Zimbabwe the anger at Tsvangirai may simply be part of this universal
reaction to disappointment, but I believe there is an additional interesting
dimension that is a reflection of where we are in our development as a

      That element is Zimbabweans' desire for a "messiah." To succinctly
illustrate the sentiment, I will quote Bob Marley in his classic protest
song, "Get up, stand up." "Some people think, great god will come from the
sky, and take away everything; leave everybody feel high." Many Zimbabweans
are similarly waiting for some great leader to emerge among them to sort out
the terrible mess. Hence the anger directed at Tsvangirai, every bit a mere
mortal as the rest of us and one who has done more for his country than most
of us will ever do. The anger is partly because more of us than ever before
are disappointed to realize that he cannot be our single knight in shining
armour. Many had hoped he would swiftly depose Mugabe the Destroyer, but do
it with little danger or cost to the rest of us, miraculously making
everything all right after he has sent Mugabe packing. Many are not sure
exactly what they think Tsvangirai should be doing differently, but
nevertheless want the ease and convenience of thrusting the responsibility
of meeting our political challenges on one man.

      It is beginning to sink into an increasing number of Zimbabweans that
the struggle that faces us may be a long one, and that it certainly will not
be easy. Those who had hoped that it will be waged and won while we watch
from the relative safety and comfort of nice homes, cars and offices in
Zimbabwe or from exile without getting hurt, only emerging to cheer, now
realize that we may be forced to play a more active part when we would
rather not, whether out of lethargy or fear. We would like someone else to
do the dirtiest aspects of cleaning up the mess Mugabe is leaving us.This
"messiah complex" of hoping for easy, one-man solutions to complex
challenges applies in many other aspects of life as well, not just politics.

      When the national soccer team loses consistently, coaches are blamed
and changed one after the other. Few people are interested to also ask if
issues like psychological and material motivation of the players could be
more of reasons for the poor performance than who occupies the position of
the coach, as important as that may be too.

      Various fundamentalist religious sects have taken hold in Zimbabwe in
recent years. One man, whom the followers relate to as a virtual god in his
own right, effectively runs many of them. In many of these sects it is
difficult to tell whether the entity that is being worshipped is God, or
whether it is the all-powerful, "anointed" pastor/preacher/bishop/"prophet."
Otherwise intelligent people who would normally expect and demand
accountability at work, the golf club or elsewhere are often very timid and
over-trusting of the often larger-than-life head of the sect. It can be run
as a private fiefdom for years as all sorts of things go wrong while the
flock cow-tow to the unquestionable "shepherd." Often what forces some
members to say "enough is enough" is sexual or financial scandal involving
the "anointed" leader, by which time there is so much dissension and
disharmony the "messiah" can never quite regain his credibility and the
organization is in shambles.

      On the economic front, the media in general in Zimbabwe very much
treated Reserve Bank governor Gideon Gono as a miracle worker who could walk
on water when he was first appointed a year and a half ago. We read his
lavishly, reverentially written profile many times, sometimes accompanied by
a colourful portrait-type picture taking up more than half a newspaper page!
Glowing editorials were written about his every guess or prediction;
interviews were often slavish and completely un-edifying. He was billed not
just as a dedicated professional (which he was and is) who might help the
country deal with just a few of the symptoms of its many self-inflicted
problems, but also as pretty much an economic messiah. No one was much
interested when it was pointed out that however competent and dedicated the
man was, it was inevitable that he would be constrained by the
un-enlightened political environment obtaining under the ruler ship of

      Many who should have known better, including Gono himself, chose to
believe that where many others before him had come up against that ultimate
political brick wall, he would somehow be able to transcend it and achieve a
miraculous economic turn-around. Like any believer in a fundamentalist
cause, they did not want to be confused with facts! Any one pointing out the
issues of the country's declining productivity in agriculture and all areas
of industry and commerce, its terrible international reputation and so forth
as political impediments to any abiding economic turnaround that had to be
dealt with first, was dismissed as a "heathen" detractor of the "one true
faith," obviously sent by the devil to lead us astray from the "messiah's"

      Alas, less than a year later, the poor hard-working Gono is crashing
against the reality of all the political causes of Zimbabwe's economic mess.
My only hope for poor Gono is that if and when his efforts come to naught
because of the clue-less ruler ship we have, he will not be used as a
convenient scapegoat by that vicious and cruel regime. Some of the media
hired guns who followed orders to feature him in the most favourable,
unquestioning light in TV and radio interviews, newspaper editorials and
even cartoons might just as easily "turn around" and slaughter him when
given the word to do so, should it be found politically expedient when the
"economic turnaround" fails to materialize!

      For both Zimbabwe as a society, as well as for the individuals who
have the crown of "messiah" thrust upon them, there are many pitfalls. The
society will have to learn that the kind of problems we face are not
amenable to simply having a charismatic leader to lead us to their solution,
as might be more the case in a guerilla war or a labour protest for
instance. They are complicated issues to do with national and international
political and economic structure that require thinking and strategizing on a
broad scale, rather than by a "messiah" waving his magic wand. For the
individual "anointed" with the unenviable but flattering title of "messiah;"
whether in the religious, political, economic or sports sphere, there can
only be a messy decline from that lofty position. As ego-boosting as it may
be for a short while, for an ordinary person to accept the unrealistic
mantle of "messiah" thrust on him by a desperate public unwilling to play
its proper role in its own salvation; the end is often quick, his good work
forgotten in the recrimination of him having predictably failed to do the

      Zimbabweans, there is no individual messiah who is going to emerge
from the sky to lead us to the Promised Land. Charismatic, enlightened
leadership certainly has its role to play in rallying people around a cause.
But a cause as important and daunting as snatching a beautiful, ruined but
potentially great country out of the hands of a ruthless, dim-witted clique
who have dragged it through the mud will involve the deeper and greater
involvement of more of us than many of us have been willing to face up to.
Perhaps that realization among more Zimbabweans will have been one of the
positive long-term developments to come out of all the reports and evidence
of the many structural ways that the political process has been deeply
flawed in recent years. If that is one of the outcomes of the last three
elections and the atmosphere that accompanied them, then it can be counted
as Zimbabwe's welcome evolution out of the messiah complex that has not only
been so unrealistic, but has failed us so miserably.

      The worse things get, the more fervently many of us pray for a messiah
to relieve us of the scary burden and responsibility of being the agents of
change. Yet more of us, collectively and individually, will have to "get up,
stand up for our rights" rather than waiting for some lone saviour out there
to bring change, freedom and prosperity to Zimbabwe. We should spend more
time looking at ourselves in the mirror than at blaming Tsvangirai and other
supposed "messiahs" for what has not yet come about, but that we would like
"someone" to bring about. Whom, if not you/me/us? -

Back to the Top
Back to Index

Further observations made by BBC Monitoring in the week commencing 18 April
2005, show continued but intermittent interference to the short wave
broadcasts of Short Wave Radio Africa.

SW Radio Africa describes itself as "the independent voice of Zimbabwe" and
began broadcasting via short wave and the internet on 19 December 2001. On
11 March 2005, the SW Radio Africa web site (
reported "jamming" on the 4880 kHz frequency forcing the SW Radio Africa to
an alternative frequency. [ Jamming was first detected from Harare on March
7th. by this observer. Ed.]

BBC Monitoring confirmed the deliberate interference of 16 March 2005 and
periodic checks during March and April have shown the continued use of
rotary type jammers against transmissions.
BBC Monitoring observed what appears to be interference specifically
targeted at both 15145 and 12145 kHz frequencies used by SW Radio Africa on
18, 19 and 20 April, although no jamming was audible on either 21 or 22

Typical of the results observed by BBCM were those of the 18 April, the 1630
gmt English transmission from SW Radio Africa was jammed from 1630 until
1644 gmt and then again from 1659 to 1714 gmt on 15145 kHz. On 12145 kHz
jamming was observed from 1645 until 1659 gmt and also 1715 until 1729. The
deliberate interference was again noted on 15145 kHz from 1729 until 1743
gmt and on 12145 kHz from 1744 to 1758 gmt.

On the same day, no jamming was noted on the 11770 kHz frequency used by SW
Radio Africa between 1830 and 1900 gmt. The 3230 kHz, 3300 kHz and 4880 kHz
frequencies used for the early morning 0300 gmt transmission were checked
daily 18 - 22 April, however they were noted as clear of jamming or
inaudible at the time of the observations.

In March 2005, Paris-based organization Reporters Sans Frontières reported,
that the Media Monitoring Project Zimbabwe (MMPZ), a Harare-based
independent watchdog, said the jamming of SW Radio Africa's broadcasts is
being carried out from Thornhill airbase - located outside the southwestern
town of Gweru, between Harare and Bulawayo - where the government has a
transmission station.

According to the International Broadcasting Bureau (IBB), a US federal
government entity, the equipment being used for the jamming comes from
China, which has close trade links with Zimbabwe, especially in
domain. Source: BBC Monitoring research 26 Apr 05 (via DXLD)
Back to the Top
Back to Index

Sudan Tribune

Zimbabwe to send 34 troops for peacekeeping mission in Sudan
Wednesday April 27th, 2005 06:30.

HARARE, April 26 (AFP) -- Zimbabwe is contributing 34 soldiers to a
10,000-strong UN peacekeeping force being deployed to support a January
peace deal which ended 21 years of civil war in southern Sudan, state
television said Tuesday.

Defence Minister Sydney Sekeramayi told the officers to maintain
professionalism while on duty there, the television report said, adding that
the troops would be expected to leave soon.
Zimbabwe's defence forces have been involved in other peacekeeping
operations in Angola, Mozambique and Rwanda. In 1998, up to 10,000
Zimbabwean troops were deployed to help prop up government troops against a
rebel uprising in the Democratic Republic of Congo in 1998.
The UN Security Council on March 24 approved the deployment of 10,000 UN
peacekeepers to shore up the January 9 peace agreement which put an end to
the 21-year-old north-south civil war in Sudan, Africa's largest country.
The war pitted the mainly Christian and animist south against the
Muslim-dominated central government based in the north and has left an
estimated 1.5 million people dead and four million displaced.
Back to the Top
Back to Index

Business Report

Zimbabwe's gold slump dents hopes
April 27, 2005

Zimbabwe's gold output dropped 17.6 percent in the first quarter of this
year amid continued economic uncertainty, denting hopes of record production
this year, statistics from the mining chamber showed.

Earlier this year industry officials said the country expected gold output
to rise nearly two-thirds to a record 35 000kg. But Chamber of Mines data
released yesterday showed output fell to 4 200kg between January and March,
down from 5 100kg in the same period last year.

Zimbabwe's total gold production last year reached 21 300kg, which saw
foreign currency earnings surge to $273.8 million (R1.7 billion) from $152.3
million in 2003.

The government has forecast economic growth of between 3 percent and 5
percent this year on the back of an expected recovery in the mining sector,
which earns a third of the country's exports.
Back to the Top
Back to Index

New Zimbabwe

Zimbabwe officials break ranks over food crisis

By Staff Reporter
Last updated: 04/27/2005 09:44:49
ZIMBABWE'S new security minister's claims that there were no food shortages
in Zimbabwe have been contradicted by government officials.

Didymus Mutasa whose ministry has taken over food distribution across the
country dismissed as "lies" reports of critical food shortages, especially
in parts of Matabeleland South province.

But confirmation of a cover-up came from an unlikely source on Tuesday when
the state-run Chronicle newspaper nailed Mutasa's lie in a headline story
announcing: Food shortages hit communities.

"The food shortage is reported to be more serious in the drought prone
Matabeleland South Province which has been experiencing perennial droughts
in recent years. The hardest hit area are Beitbridge and Gwanda where there
are reports of people sleeping in queues for several days at Grain Marketing
Board deports hoping to buy maize in vain," the Chronicle reported.

The paper quoted Matabeleland North governor Thokozile Mathuthu who also
blamed the food crisis on "a long dry spell".

"The grain situation in the province has been made more critical because
most farmers planted maize, which does not do well in the region. The
smaller grains perform better but very few people planted these," said
Mathuthu told the paper.

Midlands Governor Cephas Msipa also admitted to a food deficit in the

He said: "There is not much grain to talk about; we are relying on maize
from the Grain Marketing Board, to a large extent."

In an interview with SW Radio Africa last week, Mutasa accused Archbishop
Pius Ncube, journalists and aid agencies of lying about food shortages.

"If there were people starving some of them would be dead and you would have
actually seen the number of people dying in Bulawayo increasing," a defiant
Mutasa said.

Zimbabweans are reeling under a serious shortage of basic commodities,
compounded by erratic power supplies. Experts are partially blaming 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 normal.
Captains of industry and trade union leaders say the shortages were

The country's main labour movement blames 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 (ZCTU) 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.

The government has meanwhile 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

Back to the Top
Back to Index

John Love (1924 - 2005)
Former F1 driver John Love has passed away.
Six times South African F1 Champion in the 1960s, this Rhodesian star had
originally shone in the European Formula Junior firmament back in 1961-62 as
a member of Ken Tyrrell's Cooper-Austin team.
An unfortunate accident at Albi resulted in a very badly broken arm and
effectively thwarted his chances of moving into full-time F1, but he came
close when he was nominated as Phil Hill's replacement in the works Cooper
team for the 1964 Italian Grand Prix at Monza.
Nevertheless, he became a regular contestant in the South African Grand Prix
and was leading the 1967 event at Kyalami in his 2.7-liter Climax-engined
Cooper when a misfire prompted him to make a precautionary stop for extra
fuel and he dropped back to finish second behind the works Cooper-Maserati
of Pedro Rodriguez.

Published: 27/04/2005
Copyright © Pitpass 2002 - 2005. All rights reserved.
Back to the Top
Back to Index

Zim Online

Bank governor steps on ex-army general's toes
Wed 27 April 2005

      HARARE - Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) governor Gideon Gono is headed
for a clash with powerful former army general, Solomon Mujuru, after he
closed an asset management firm controlled by the general, sources told
ZimOnline yesterday.

      They said rumours last week suggesting Gono had attempted to resign
from his post were in part sparked by revelations that Mujuru - believed to
be second only to President Robert Mugabe in power and influence in ZANU
PF - owned a controlling stake in Mercantile Asset Management, shut down by
the RBZ last Thursday for irregular trading.

      Gono vehemently denied he had contemplated stepping down vowing to
press on with his job and insisted he was not under pressure from anyone to
quit as governor.

      "Mujuru owns Mercantile Asset Management firm through a nominee
company. Ray Kaukonde, who was helped by Mujuru to become governor of
Mashonaland East province is chairman of the asset firm," said a source in
the country's financial services sector, who insisted on his name not being

      He added: "We were not going to be too surprised if Gono had resigned
because the firm he closed is strongly linked to the powerful Zezuru
(tribal) clique in ZANU PF."

      Neither Gono, Kaukonde nor Mujuru could be reached last night for
comment on the matter.

      Belonging together with Mugabe to the same Zezuru clan of Zimbabwe's
majority Shona tribe, Mujuru is regarded as the kingmaker in ZANU PF and the

      He quietly flexed his muscles last year to catapult his wife Joyce, a
lightweight in ZANU PF and virtually unknown outside its ranks, to the key
post of second vice-president of the ruling party and the government and
position her ahead of the pack to succeed Mugabe when he and his first
Vice-President, Joseph Msika, retire in three years' time.

      Mujuru, who ZANU PF veterans say was critical in helping Mugabe to the
helm of the party in the 70s, is said to have blocked former parliamentary
speaker Emmerson Mnangagwa from the vice-presidency as punishment for
attempting in the 1990s to prevent the former general from taking over giant
chrome concern, Zimasco.

      Until the emergence of Joyce with support from her husband, Mnangagwa,
for long regarded as Mugabe's preferred choice of heir, was the leading
contender for the vice-presidency.

      A clash between Mujuru and Gono, who insiders say has direct authority
from Mugabe to clean up the corruption-riddled financial sector and help
turn around Zimbabwe's troubled economy, could have far reaching effects for
both ZANU PF and the government.

      According to RBZ insiders, Gono is adamant Mujuru's asset firm must
remain shut down and its top officials prosecuted after a probe he ordered
revealed the firm was conducting banking business in violation of the Asset
Management Act (Chapter 24:26).

      The firm was also unprocedurally using depositors' money to fund fuel
purchases with most of the firm's income generated through interest charged
on loans to fuel importers.

      As at December 31, 2004, interest paid on fuel loans constituted 95
percent of total income of $2.2 billion while fees accruing as a result of
core asset management business accounted for a mere one percent. The four
percent was attributed to "other" income.

      In addition, a review of the firm's asset management portfolio
revealed it did not separate clients' assets from its own properties as
required under regulations.

      The RBZ investigation also showed that accounting was being done
manually, rendering the books easy to manipulate. Resignations of directors
were also not communicated to the central bank while there was no board or
management committee to supervise the operations of the firm as is required
under new regulations and guidelines governing asset management firms.

      For example, a meeting called by the RBZ on 20 April 2005 with the
board of directors failed to materialise as no one from the firm pitched up.

      The board had also never met since the firm was granted an operating
licence in July 2004 while the executive management team only met four times
since licensing, with the last meeting of the committee being held in
October 2004.

      Mujuru's firm is the fourth asset management firm to be closed in less
than a year. Others are Sunshine Asset Management, First Factoring and GP2
Asset Management Company. - ZimOnline

Back to the Top
Back to Index

The Herald

No extension in sight as RBZ facility nears expiry

Business Reporter
THE Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe's Productive Sector Facility (PSF), which
benefited nine major sectors, expires on June 30 this year and no mention
has been made that the facility would be extended.

There has been wide speculation and misleading media reports that the
central bank would roll over the PSF after its expiry on June 2005.

A total of $2,47 trillion of the PSF was disbursed during the period from 1
January to 31 December 2004 of which $880 billion was repaid leaving an
outstanding balance of $1,59 trillion as at 31 December 2004.

Sectors that benefited include agriculture $1,05 trillion, manufacturing
$892 billion, mining $320 billion, transport $79,3 billion, tourism $69,2
billion, construction $23,8 billion, distribution $15 billion, communication
$12 billion and health $3,4 billion.

In his fourth quarter monetary policy statement presentation, the Reserve
Bank Governor, Dr Gedion Gono, did not say what would happen once the PSF

All beneficiaries of PSF funds are expected to have fully repaid their
borrowing by 30 June 2005.

"It is critical that producers prime their cash flows ahead of this
deadline, so as to avoid working capital crunches come 30 June 2005.

"Disbursing banks should give their customers prudent advice as under the
facility arrangement, the Reserve Bank will recover any outstanding amounts
from the banks concerned. Up to the expiration date, all PFS loans will
continue to attract a concessional interest rate of 50 percent per annum,"
said Dr Gono.

According to RBZ, successful dis-inflation requires that attentive focus be
placed at both demand-management policies as well as supply side policies
among other critical policy levers.

It was against this perspective that monetary authorities introduced the PSF
meant to benefit the productive sector.

Dr Gono said the potential inflationary effects of these facilities was
forestalled by the fact that during the year total disbursements were more
than offset by liquidity withdrawals through statutory reserve payments.

The Reserve Bank has maintained a tight monetary stance through adept
liquidity management under the open market operations (OMO) functions.

The disbursements induced a positive impact on capacity utilisation, with
average capacity increasing from around 30 percent in January in 2004, to
the year end levels of between 60 percent-70 percent.

There is a well-established inverse correlation between capacity utilisation
and changes in the general level prices-inflation.

The Confederation of Zimbabwe Industries (CZI) last week made it public that
it was pushing for the scrapping of the Productive Sector Facility while at
the same time proposing an alternative way of assisting distressed

"While appreciating its essence, there was a realisation that it is
impossible to control the use of the funds as it is feared they are
contributing to money supply growth, which has an effect on the rate of
inflation," an official from CZI said.

One of the perceived side effects of the facility was increasing money
supply growth and fuelling speculative activities such as parallel market
foreign currency dealings.

The tight liquidity management through the Reserve Bank's open market
operations (OMO) supported by continued fiscal rectitude has ensured that
money supply growth levels are consistent with the set dis-inflation
programme is now feared could slow down if the facility continues.

In line with this, an active liquidity mopping up programme put in place
last year with a number of bills introduced to withdraw excess money from
the market could also face a lot of stumbling blocs and rejections.

These include RBZ Bills, RBZ Financial Bills, Special Zimbabwe Treasury
Bills and ZTB OMO Bills.
Back to the Top
Back to Index

Zim Online

Media commission summons Daily News boss
Wed 27 April 2005
  HARARE - The government's Media and Information Commission (MIC) has
summoned banned Daily News boss, Samuel Sipepa Nkomo, to a hearing on

      Nkomo, who is chief executive officer of Associated Newspapers of
Zimbabwe which publishes the Daily News and its sister Daily News on Sunday,
confirmed to the press yesterday that he had been summoned to a hearing by
the MIC. Efforts to contact MIC chairman, Tafataona Mahoso, on the nature of
the Friday meeting failed.

      The two papers were shut down in September 2003 for flouting the
government's Access to Information and Protection of Privacy Act that
requires all media houses and journalists to be registered with the

      The paper took the case to the Supreme Court challenging the
constitutionality of the registration requirement. In a much-awaited ruling
last month, the Supreme Court ordered the Daily News to reapply to the
government commission.

      "We will go to the meeting but we know that we satisfied all the
conditions in our application and believe that we should be granted a
licence," said Nkomo.

      More than one hundred journalists have been arrested in Zimbabwe in
the last three years as the government cracked down on dissenting voices.

      A total of four newspapers, including the Daily News and Daily News on
Sunday, which were deemed too critical of the regime, were shut down in the
last two years for breaching the draconian press Act. - ZimOnline

Back to the Top
Back to Index

Hi Everyone!
When I sent out the request for donations to Hannes Botha's worthy cause, I made an error with his cell nos...the correct nos is 084 5893221(got the 8 & 9 the wrong way around). Also....his land line is 013-7900934.
Sorry for the inconvenience.  Remember he leaves on his next trip on 10th don't delay.  The trip after that will be in August.
Back to the Top
Back to Index

Daily Mirror, Zimbabwe

Water problems rock

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

WATER problems experienced in Mabvuku and Tafara suburbs have reached
alarming levels with most residents now fetching water from unprotected
wells dug in nearby home industries and settlements.
Residents there yesterday said the situation was unbearable and were now
living in fear of a major disease outbreak.
"People are now fetching water from a nearby farm where some people settled
during farm occupations in 2000.
"The problem is that the water is untreated and we fear that they might be a
disease outbreak," said Sydney Dimingo of Old Tafara.
The farm popularly referred to as KwaBob was occupied by home seekers in
2000, while squatters at Porta Farm were transferred and re-settled on the
same property by government last year.
Another resident, Lovemore Kapunzeni, said it was now difficult to get to
work on time due to the water crisis.
He added that they were being forced to walk as far as Zimre Park to buy
water from people with boreholes.
Kapunzeni said: "We have to get up as early as 2am to look for water, and if
you are lucky to find any you also have to fight it out for transport to get
to work."
Harare City Council spokesperson, Leslie Gwindi, said they were battling to
restore normal operations at the Letombo Pump Station after it had broken
down and added
the situation was
likely to return to normal at the weekend.
Other areas that have been affected include Greendale, Highlands and
Claris Antonio said she had resorted to boiling the water before using it
due to the unhygienic state of the wells adding the little water that was
occasionally coming out of the tapes was dirty.
Gwindi denied knowledge of the existence of dirty water adding they had not
received such reports.
"We only act when we have received such reports and so far we haven't
received any. If we had, we would have acted on the situation," he said.
Harare has been facing serious water problems since last year due to
perpetual breakdowns at its treatment plants and erratic supply of water
treatment chemicals.
Back to the Top
Back to Index

Daily Mirror, Zimbabwe

Govt defends Chinese aircraft

Shame Makoshori
issue date :2005-Apr-28

TRANSPORT and Communications Minister, Chris Mushohwe, was yesterday
defensive, shooting down spreading speculation that the two MA60 aircraft
that government had acquired from China were sub-standard and therefore a
threat to public safety.
Mushohwe touched down at the Harare International Airport midmorning and
headed straight to the boardroom to set the record straight, accusing the
negative suspicions as being peddled by people who were not happy to see
economic prosperity in Zimbabwe.
On Saturday last week, Zimbabwe took delivery of the US$22 million 60-seater
planes in Xian, China amid speculation in the Chinese media that the brand
would be taking to the skies for the first time, making Zimbabwe pioneers in
the purchase of the aircraft.
"There is suspicion on the reliability of the aircraft, but I am pleased to
say that AVIC (the manufacturer of the planes) is the major supplier of
aircraft components to major international airlines such as Boeing, Airbus,
Bombardia and others.
"There are no questions on the inferior quality of these planes and there is
no doubt about what these aircraft can do. Our problem is that there is a
misguided mindset that it is only the West that is capable of producing the
best products.
"Even Australian Prime Minister (John) Howard has admitted that China is an
awakening giant in terms of industrial development," Mushohwe told The
Business Mirror.
He added that several other countries such as Fiji, Eritrea, Congo
(Brazzaville), Angola, Oman and Namibia were scrambling for the Chinese
This trend had showed the confidence that the aircraft had generated in the
region, the minister added.A beneficiary of a $1.1 trillion central bank
facility for realignment, Air Zimbabwe has been struggling to service
several domestic and regional routes such Kariba, Buffalo Range, Beira and
Cape Town.The long range Boeing 737s had in some cases plied these routes.
Mushohwe added that the routes would get immediate attention and the sphere
of influence would be further widened as soon as Air Zimbabwe received a
third plane that was donated by the Chinese government.
If all the planes from China arrive, they will bring the fleet complement to
eight.However, the minister suggested that while demand determined the
number of aircraft that Air Zimbabwe needed, the company required at least
two long hauls, two medium range and another two cargo planes to
sufficiently service the market.
The first two of the three MA60s left India yesterday and were expected to
refuel in at
least five countries before arrival in Harare tomorrow.
Back to the Top
Back to Index

Daily Mirror, Zimbabwe

MDC agent claims victimisation

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

MDC youth chairman for ward 6 in Guruve North, Alfred Chideme, claims his
property was removed from his house and dumped at his father's home by a
group of Zanu PF youths on the instruction of a ruling party councillor
(name supplied) and a kraal head (name supplied) on 23 April 2005.
The youths allegedly destroyed the door to Chideme's house and forced
themselves in took property which included a bed, bedding and clothing,
plates, put them in a cart and dumped them at his father's house about 600
metres away.
Chideme was an MDC election
agent at Kasuwo School in the March 31 election.
 The MDC information office says
when Chideme initially reported the
incident at Mawuwe Police Station, the officer who heard the case said there
 nothing they could do to help as the officer responsible for such cases had
left the station.
 A second report was allegedly made to Constable Usika by Chideme's uncle,
RRB 0337049. However, no arrests have been made to date.
 Efforts to get comment from the police on this issue proved fruitless
yesterday-Mirror Reporter.
Back to the Top
Back to Index