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

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Mail and Guardian

Zim arrest of suspected killer of MDC member

      Harare, Zimbabwe

      06 April 2004 16:45

Zimbabwe police have arrested a man in connection with last month's slaying
of an opposition member during a tension-filled by-election that was won by
the ruling party, a police spokesperson said on Tuesday.

Assistant Commissioner Wayne Bvudzijena said a 43-year-old man was arrested
near the capital, Harare, on Monday over the fatal March 28 shooting of
Francis Chinozvinya of the opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC).

"He [the suspect] has been charged with murder," said Bvudzijena, adding
that a pistol was recovered from the man, who is likely to appear in court
on Wednesday.

However, Bvudzijena could not say whether the suspect, whose name he could
not reveal, is a member of President Robert Mugabe's ruling Zanu-PF.

Chinozvinya was shot and killed when Zanu-PF activists stormed his party's
campaign centre during a by-election in Chitungwiza, 25km south of Harare,
according to the MDC.

The area is a traditional stronghold of the MDC. -- Sapa-AFP

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Diesel crisis hits commercial freight sector
BULAWAYO, 6 Apr 2004 (IRIN) - Standing beside his heavily laden haulage
truck, Agrippa Lusaba lifted a 20-litre jerry can to the lights of oncoming
traffic in a what has become a familiar sign in fuel-scarce Zimbabwe.

While petrol-engine cars with empty tanks have become a common sight along
the roads, for the first time the country is facing an acute shortage of
diesel, which means long-distance truckers like Lusaba are feeling the

"I am delivering coal from Wankie Colliery Company to some tobacco producers
in Manicaland. I should have delivered the load exactly two hours ago, but
here I am, about 500 km from my destination. The tank is empty, and this
load is stuck with me until I get fuel," he told IRIN, 80 km north of
Zimbabwe's second city of Bulawayo.

Last week the National Railways of Zimbabwe (NRZ) announced it was
suspending its services between Bulawayo and Harare, Victoria Falls and
Chiredzi, due to the worsening shortage of diesel.

"We are unable to run the regular inter-city passenger train services
because of the shortage of diesel. It's a pressing moment for the NRZ,
because it comes just as government has ordered that we prioritise the
movement of coal to the tobacco curing kilns in the producer areas. So the
little diesel we are getting goes to such priority projects," said a ticket
officer at the main Bulawayo station.

Stranded passengers could be seen milling around the departure area with
their luggage, pondering where to go next. Railway transport remains the
cheapest mode of travel in Zimbabwe.

The shortage of diesel has reportedly forced some commercial freight
companies to ground their fleets.

"We have pulled a number of our trucks off the road because there is no
diesel, especially in areas around Bulawayo. Harare [the capital] is better
because black market diesel is available. Bulawayo does not even have it on
the black market," said Thulani Mbambo, a fleet manager with Zim-Zone
Carriers, one of Bulawayo's leading cross-border trucking firms.

"We have sister companies across the region but we cannot import fuel using
their accounts anymore, for fear of contravening the foreign exchange rules.
Besides, no foreign company is willing to guarantee a credit payable in
Zimbabwe because of the economic uncertainties," said Mbambo.

Other commercial freight managers contacted by IRIN said the shortage of
diesel was most severe in areas around Bulawayo, which have relied on
railway-fed fuel deliveries.

Although in short supply, petrol is still available, but opposition economic
analyst Eddie Cross said the fuel crisis was likely to worsen.

"This crisis is a result of fear generated by the new foreign currency
regulations. Fuel importers are now afraid of bringing in large quantities,
as that would mean using large amounts of foreign currency at a time when
the RBZ [Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe] is investigating and fining a number of
companies over transactions in foreign currency. They have adopted a
wait-and-see attitude, which may last until the crackdown is over," said

"The shortage might even lead to an increase in public transport and road
freight costs, as operators are sourcing fuel at black market prices," said

An official of the Zimbabwe Rural Transport Organisation confirmed that bus
companies had applied to the ministry of transport for an increase in bus
fares to cover cost increases.

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Graft inquiry to probe Mnangagwa

Business Day 06 Apr 2004

Speaker of parliament and the party's administration secretary, he wielded huge influence over Zanu PF's business empire

Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe's heir apparent Emmerson Mnangagwa will once again come under the spotlight during an internal corruption probe within the ruling Zanu PF. Mnangagwa, currently speaker of parliament and the ruling party's administration secretary, is expected to be the centre of attention in the investigation as he wielded huge influence over Zanu PF's business empire. This comes as the Mugabe succession battle is steadily intensifying. The party's decision-making politburo last week appointed a committee chaired by finance secretary David Karimanzira to investigate its businesses amid allegations of entrenched graft. The committee also included retired army commander, Gen Solomon Mujuru, former finance minister Simba Makoni, Matabeleland North governor Obert Mpofu and party deputy transport secretary Thoko Mathuthu. The composition of the committee has raised eyebrows within Zanu PF, with insiders saying it was targeted at Mnangagwa whom Mugabe now apparently wants to eliminate from the succession struggle.

Mnangagwa has recently been beset by corruption allegations. Two weeks ago he was implicated in an illicit gold scam in which he allegedly received Z$16m from an "unscrupulous" dealer who is currently in court for allegedly violating the Gold Trade Act. The state accused Mnangagwa of being part of a network of illegal gold dealers wreaking havoc in the country through panning and trading activities. The charges were seen as a major blow to Mnangagwa's chances of succeeding Mugabe, who is expected to announce his exit his plans in December. Zanu PF spokesman Nathan Shamuyarira has said Mugabe would announce his future plans at the party congress in December, which he described as "a defining moment" for Zimbabwe. He said there would be "infighting" among Zanu PF leaders after Mugabe's departure. Shamuyarira said Nkomo and Mnangagwa were clear frontrunners in the succession race. Meanwhile, the Herald newspaper, a government mouthpiece, reported on Saturday a Zanu campaign was under way to tarnish the name of Information Minister Jonathan Moyo. The report said sources within government were circulating news that the minister had fathered an illegitimate child, who is now 22 years old.

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A 'pat on the back' for the Mugabe regime
By Kate Hoey 

Telegraph UK
(Filed: 06/04/2004)

So the England and Wales Cricket Board have invited Peter Chingoka, chairman of the Zimbabwe Cricket Union, to attend their management board meeting this month.

What are they trying to prove? What do they expect him to tell them that they do not already know? Given his recent characterisation of the ECB as "sanctimonious", of "waiving rules" and "double standards", it is amazing that any invitation was forthcoming. But nothing surprises me about the behaviour of the ECB these days.

From the day last year in Harare when chairman David Morgan promised that if Zimbabwe toured England then they would return the favour this autumn, it was clear that only one thing mattered to cricket's governing body in this country - money.

The ZCU's chairman is also very clear about what matters to his association and it is not money. His role is to sell Zimbabwe to the world as if nothing untoward is happening there and endeavouring to make sure that it is 'business as usual'. So his focus is on ensuring that the England tour goes ahead to send the image of a normal country around the world. His urbane approach in what is still perceived as the gentle world of cricket has made him the ideal front man for the vicious regime. He has been very successful in winning allies to his cause from among the cricketing nations of the world.

Many in Zimbabwe claim that he has been rewarded for his efforts with a farm grabbed under Mugabe's farms-for-cronies 'land reform' scheme - a sure sign that he has been doing useful work for the regime. Last year at Lord's, Chinkoga was allowed to get away with refusing independent Zimbabwean broadcasters admission to his press conference.

The European Union have imposed a travel ban on named individuals closely associated with Mugabe's regime in Zimbabwe, so why should Chingoka be allowed into the UK?

If the Government's view is that they can't ban the tour or stop it physically, but that they don't want it to go ahead, then why don't they refuse Chingoka a visa to come here? That would be a clear signal that they mean what they say.

The leader of Zimbabwe's parliamentary opposition has warned that a tour would be a "pat on the back" for Mugabe and a propaganda coup for the regime. Recently in the House of Commons I chaired a meeting to launch a report, "Playing with Fire", commissioned by a South African-based think tank. It chronicles the systematic human rights abuse of the 57 opposition Movement for Democratic Change MPs in Zimbabwe. Most of them have been beaten up, imprisoned, tortured or had their homes destroyed. If this is how elected, well-known MPs are being treated, how much worse it must be for ordinary citizens.

Let us be clear: If England did tour the players would not be in danger - in fact they would be safer there guarded by Mugabe's police and army than strolling through London. But that is not the issue.

More than any other sport, cricket has become the flag bearer of the Mugabe regime. His recent reappointment as patron was proposed by Chingoka and was a sign of their close relationship. That is one reason why it is a target for a boycott. More recently, signs of political vetting in team selection have been evident. Bryan Strang, who played 26 Tests and 46 one-day internationals for Zimbabwe between 1995 and 2001, has now been banned by the ZCU, who objected to comments he made last year about the morality of Zimbabwe hosting the World Cup.

Even Heath Streak, who captained his country 21 times, announced on Friday his withdrawal from all levels of cricket over disagreement about the selection policy. After Henry Olonga and Andy Flower wore black armbands during a World Cup match to 'mourn the death of democracy' the ZCU decided to rid the team of dissident, anti-Mugabe players. Alistair Campbell and Guy Whittall, both experienced players, complained about the 'politicisation' of the ZCU and are no longer part of the team. Two backroom staff who had supported Olonga were also sacked in another sign that the ZCU were determined to stop the team embarrassing Mugabe again.

I have a suggestion for the ECB if they do meet Chingoka. They should present him with a list of pre-conditions for any tour.

The first demand should be that all British citizens, including journalists and politicians wishing to travel to Zimbabwe, must be allowed in with complete freedom of movement anywhere in the country.

Secondly there should be an immediate lifting of the ban preventing BBC/ITN and Sky television crews travelling to Zimbabwe to report on the state of the country. Thirdly, they must insist that the team they play are not politically vetted and that Mugabe will not attend any match.

As long as cricket is being used as a political tool by Mugabe to prop up his dictatorship no English team should play there.

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Tim Cumming: Director, Old Mutual

By: Alec Hogg

Posted: 2004/04/05 Mon 21:00  | © Moneyweb 1997-2004

MONEYWEB: Wayne McCurrie might know him as a director of Old Mutual, you might know him as the chairman of Old Mutual Properties, but some Zimbabweans think he’s an international terrorist. Old Mutual director Tim Cumming joins us now from Mozambique. Tim, you were on a fund-raiser and you and colleagues of yours, nine of you in total, spent some time with the Zimbabwe police being interrogated as being terrorists. What happened?

TIM CUMMING: Yes, evening, Alec. Yes, we actually weren’t quite sure what we were being held for initially, but it was obvious with the benefit of hindsight and as things developed, it was clear that what started out as an apparent dispute over whether we had the right permits to be travelling down the Zambezi River on the Zimbabwean side quickly turned into the authorities being suspicious of our intentions and requiring us to – two of us had to remain in camp under police custody, whilst the seven others had to go into Chirundu for what was initially a fairly straightforward interrogation, and then turned into something of a nightmare for the seven guys involved, where it was clear, even though they weren’t laying charges, that they were being interrogated on suspicion of something covert, which couldn’t be further from the point because we were on an expedition to raise money to help fund malaria projects in the region – to help the people and not to do anything to destabilise them.

MONEYWEB: Tim, Old Mutual is a big name in Zimbabwe. Surely, just by saying that you’re from that company and the expedition you’re on is Old Mutual-backed – did that not hold any weight with the police?

TIM CUMMING: Certainly every time it was mentioned from my side, everyone knew about Old Mutual, but it didn’t seem to cut any ice. One can only surmise what it was that led them just to look past that and continue to press on for other information. Possibly it was that there is a line of command that goes all the way up, and no one wanted to make a decision and everyone was just told to keep interrogating. The information I had received more recently was that, given the fact that – I’m not sure but I think – the mercenaries or alleged mercenaries who were detained in that aircraft I believe are still in Zimbabwe, and I think the Zimbabwean authorities were afraid that someone might come and do something to release them. I’m sure they were on high alert for …

MONEYWEB: Did you have any weapons with you?

TIM CUMMING: No, no, no. The biggest weapon we might have is a fishing knife. We had no weapons and no need for weapons. So there was nothing. If you searched through our bags and looked through everything, there was absolutely nothing besides a couple of cell phones and normal camping kit.

MONEYWEB: And those cell phones – did they not come in useful? Could you not phone perhaps the South African High Commissioner in Zimbabwe, perhaps people back home, other Old Mutual people?

TIM CUMMING: Absolutely. We had two lines of communication, and there were some crossed wires, because I was back in camp under guard whilst the others guys were in the police station 100 kilometres away, and I could use the satellite phone that I’m talking to you on now to speak to our head of legal, Koos Stassen at Old Mutual, and he got the ball rolling. But the guys also were able to send SMSs from their cell phones, via their wives, to get information out to the High Commission and to media to get things rolling from that side once things seemed to hot up. But the cell phones were confiscated at about 10 o’clock the night they were arrested, and so I was the only one left with communications to the outside.

MONEYWEB: You said a “nightmare” for the seven guys who were arrested – amongst them a photographer, an attorney, a neurosurgeon from Grootte Schuur, a director of Beige, a couple of colleagues of yours from Old Mutual Properties – what do you mean by a nightmare?

TIM CUMMING: Well, I don’t know, I can’t speak for them – the nightmare was simply because they didn’t get to sleep all night. They were kept up through a roller-coaster of interrogation which, I think, is quite a standard approach where someone interrogates you, you think it’s all settled, they say it’s fine, you’re about to go, and then they stick you under the next string of interrogation with a new bunch of guys, and it starts all over again. There was no physical abuse or harm besides sleep deprivation and lack of food or water – but it was for 24 hours. But it is clearly very anxious when you are detained, you are not charged, you’re not allowed to contact your embassy, you have things confiscated, no one tells you why you are there, and you are just being pushed into a corner psychologically and mentally. I think for them it was 24 hours, for many people it’s a whole lot longer. They came through it with flying colours. I think as a team they worked very well, and stuck to their guns and I think they’re very relieved to be past it. Is it a nightmare? I’m sure they’ll get over it, but it wasn’t a pleasant experience that anyone would wish on probably their worst enemies.

MONEYWEB: What kind of questions were they being asked?

TIM CUMMING: There were questions like what’s your favourite whiskey, or what’s your favourite pub, and what’s your name, and who are your best friends, to where did you receive military training and are you a member of the special services and do you have tattoos on your body of any sort. So it was a whole range of things and, I would imagine, I’m no expert on interrogation techniques, but that’s what they do, they just keep asking the same questions over and over again until they find something maybe that they can get a handle on and twist it. And there was nothing because we have nothing.

MONEYWEB: Tim, doesn’t this concern you though? You are a director of Old Mutual, Old Mutual has substantial assets in Zimbabwe. This does not seem to be the practice of a civilised police force?

TIM CUMMING: Yes, look, to be fair I must admit it was out of the hands of the police after a very short while. All of the encounters that I had and most of the guys had with the police were very civil and amicable. It was when other forms of intelligence – and I don’t know who they were, if they were CID, military intelligence, whoever they were, then things became a little more hairy. What I can say is that, having realised that they made a mistake, and it was a big mistake, even the CID, and they were very apologetic and contrite, whether that cuts ice with the guys who had to undergo some of the worst aspects that I didn’t have to – that’s up to them. But from an Old Mutual perspective I wouldn’t want to suggest that that kind of experience is something that is common or frequent. Clearly, people need to be cautious of where they are going in countries that do have some form of security alert. We thought we had those permissions, and it’s unfortunate that this happened. As a company, I’m talking personally but also from an Old Mutual perspective, we have to look for the positives and remember from a company point of view there are hundreds and thousands of customers and clients out there who are good, dependable citizens relying on us to deliver them a service.

MONEYWEB: But isn’t it sending a message to you? We’ve had on this programme on numerous occasions Zimbabwean businessmen saying to us things are out of control in Zimbabwe. They are pleading with us in South Africa to do something about it. Now you get a fund-raising trip to raise money for malaria research, of which Zimbabwe is going to be one of the beneficiaries, and you’re going through Gestapo-type tactics for 24 hours. What more has to be done before people like yourselves, Old Mutual for one – it’s a big powerful company – will say hey, no more?

TIM CUMMING: Look, Old Mutual is very committed to the countries where it has customers. If it has problems with regulations and authorities, it will deal with those as best as possible. Quite simply, if you’re just talking from a financial point of view, the very worst time to be selling a business or trying to exit a business is when things are in some kind of a trough. That’s the time to be able to look forward and see if you can see some light at the end of the tunnel, and work out how you’re going to come through. Maybe that’s a little bit over-optimistic, and that’s my style, but clearly there are problems that Zimbabwe has to work through. It’s an issue for those citizens. From a company point of view, my colleagues from the Zimbabwean part of Old Mutual deal with the authorities on a regular basis, and have a good relationship and understanding. And I hope and I’m sure, I don’t know when, things will get better.

MONEYWEB: Tim Cumming, a director of Old Mutual. Just makes one remember some wonderful sayings, amongst them “Evil thrives when good men do nothing”. I wonder if we aren’t going through something here that one day we’ll look back on and say well, we should have known what happened in Germany 1933 to ‘39 – good men did nothing.

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Airzim Blames State for Losses

Zimbabwe Standard (Harare)

April 4, 2004
Posted to the web April 5, 2004

AIR Zimbabwe says it made significant losses last year as a result of
government interference.

Speaking at an annual general meeting of the Zimbabwe Aircraft Maintenance
Engineers Association (ZAMEA) recently, Rambai Chingwena, the Chief
Executive Officer of Air Zimbabwe said the government froze air fares for
the better of last year resulting in the company's bad performance.

"Last year because of the fuel shortages, the government froze our airfares
but the cost of operations continued to soar," said Chingwena.

"It had become much cheaper to travel by air than to travel by the road with
a Madza 323," said Chingwena explaining to airline workers why the company
had failed to raise salaries.

However, he said, the fares were eased in December and Air Zimbabwe had
recorded some growth since then.

Chingwena said Air Zimbabwe missed a lot of chances to turn around its
fortunes because of numerous problems.

He said there was a serious mismatch between the cost of operating the
airline and the revenue the company made last year.

"This year we are trying to cut down on costs by introducing smaller
aircraft that will ply regional markets such as Lusaka, Lilongwe and
Kariba," he said.

Air Zimbabwe is struggling to acquire spare parts because of the serious
shortage of foreign currency and has failed to pay its workers respectable

Due to the low remuneration, the company since March last year lost more
that 25 engineers who left Zimbabwe to seek greener pastures.
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Free And Fair, Or Else...

Zimbabwe Standard (Harare)

April 4, 2004
Posted to the web April 5, 2004

Brian Latham

THE government of a troubled central African police State has announced that
all elections will be free and fair.

A statement by the ruling Zany Party's ministry for misinformation said that
anyone who disagreed with this sentiment would be punished by a weekend in
police cells, death or both.

The statement went on to say that a recently held by election had also been
free and fair because the new law was retrospective.

A misinformation spokesman announced that the by election had been
'characterised by calm and peacefulness.'

The clearly untroubled spokesman said that allegations of a shooting were
invented by imperialist puppets of the Anglo-US alliance.

'No one was shot,' he said, 'except possibly a known member of the anarchist
opposition who shot himself.'

The spokesmoron dismissed as 'colonial lies' allegations that a member of
the More Drink Coming Party had been shot by a gun-toting Zany minister
known for his fondness for firearms.

'These allegations carry a penalty of a weekend in police custody, death or
both,' smiled the man from misinformation. 'Are you suggesting a member of
the vanguard socialist Zany Party would kill anyone?'

Over The Top declined to pursue the matter, relying instead on eyewitness
accounts from a troubled township where 99 percent of residents said they
were confused by the Zany victory.

Still, in response to the astonishing by election result, the More Drink
Coming Party said it would give serious consideration to boycotting future

'It seems to us,' said a More Drink Coming spokesman, 'That by Ôfree and
fair', the Zany Party means the results are organised before the election is
actually held.'

Meanwhile the More Drink Coming Party spokesman said he would leave OTT to
draw his own conclusions as to how an opposition activist could shoot
himself from some considerable distance away.

'These are matters of science that the Zany Party's misinformation ministry
has not taken into consideration,' he said, 'but if I go into further detail
I could end up in police cells for the weekend or be killed.'

Meanwhile the running dogs of western imperialism remained largely silent on
election tactics in the troubled central African banana republic. One brave
diplomat said the silence was because the announcement that all elections
were free and fair was so mind numbingly untrue that no one knew how to

Still, the Zany Party revelled in its strange by election victory and
announced it was a 'sure sign' that it had regained its losses in troubled
cities across the nation.

Residents in the township said that, weekends and death in police cells not
withstanding, they found the result perplexing given that of the thousands
questioned, the only person who admitted he had voted for the Zany Party was
an unemployed drunk man recently released from a mental institution. He said
he had been on heavy medication for 25 years. Furthermore, a group of green
clad youths told him to vote Zany if he valued his life.

He said his experience was that if aggressive looking youths waiving large
sticks told him to do something, he generally did it.

The question of Zany youths camped outside polling stations was denied
emphatically by the misinformation ministry.

'Nothing of that sort ever happens here because all elections are free and
fair,' he said, adding, 'if you report otherwise you could face a penalty or
a weekend in cells or death.'

Given the options, OTT is happy to report that there hasn't been anything
approximating a free and fair election in the troubled central African
police state for the last four years.

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The Telegraph

Streak's sacking 'was illegal'
By Charles Randall
(Filed: 06/04/2004)

Heath Streak is due to meet the Zimbabwe Cricket Union in Harare today to
discuss what his father claims has been an illegal sacking.

With several team-mates believed to be upset by the sudden departure of
their kingpin and captain last Friday, Zimbabwe face the loss of more
disillusioned senior players.

The Union claimed that Streak had given them an ultimatum to cut the number
of selectors from five to four while demanding that selectors all had to
have experience of first-class cricket.

Peter Chingoka, the chairman, said: "The board could not meet his ultimatum
and immediately accepted the fact that he was resigning."

Tatenda Taibu was immediately appointed to take over from Streak and, at 20,
he is due to become the youngest man to captain any country.

Denis Streak, a dispossessed farmer from Bulawayo, said he was "alarmed" at
press reports. He said: "My son himself cannot make a statement, as he
considers himself bound by his contract with Zimbabwe Cricket Union, which
limits his ability to make press statements.

"I am aware of the situation, as Heath has obviously discussed it with me.
Heath at no time tendered or threatened to tender his resignation as captain
or as a player, as alleged by the Union.

"All he said was that if his concerns were not addressed he would consider
retiring from international cricket. In the circumstances the Union in my
view have acted unlawfully in unilaterally terminating Heath's position as
captain and as a member of the Zimbabwe cricket team."

Streak added that Heath was seeking legal advice and that he enjoyed
"overwhelming support" from his colleagues and the public.

Recently Paul and Bryan Strang, both former Test players, were frozen out of
domestic cricket for alleged criticism of the Union's policies.

Warwickshire are seeking urgent clarification of Streak's availability as
one of their overseas players this summer, having assumed he would be on
Zimbabwe duty for all but a couple of months.

Chris Cairns, 33, has confirmed he will be retiring from Test cricket after
the New Zealand tour of England early this summer. He is hoping to continue
his one-day career through to the World Cup in the Caribbean in 2007.

Pakistan are to ask the International Cricket Council for a code of conduct
to prevent former cricketers from making match-fixing allegations without
proper evidence.

Last month their former captain, Rashid Latif, voiced what he termed
"suspicions" on television that Pakistan had intentionally lost a recent
one-day international against India. His accusations were condemned by both

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We buried Francis Chinozvinya (22) at Granville Cemetery in Harare on Sunday afternoon, a week after he was gunned down in broad daylight when a rowdy band of Zanu PF supporters raided the home of James Makore, the MDC candidate in the just-ended Zengeza by-election.


Francis could not be buried earlier because the police kept on delaying the processing of his clearance papers, saying there was a shortage of pathologists to conduct the post-mortem.


Zanu PF tried to put a brave face over the death of Francis. But a day after the tragedy, that party sent an emissary to the Chinozvinya family with a strange proposal. Zanu PF wanted to buy a coffin for Francis and to assist with the funeral expenses. The party claimed Francis was a member of that party. The family was surprised by these insulting overtures. They accordingly rejected them.


Hundreds of our activists and supporters lost their lives at the hands of state security agents, rogue war veterans and Zanu PF supporters during the past five years. No arrests or prosecutions were made, even in cases where the perpetrators are known to the community.


The latest election-related death of Francis highlights one of the major problems confronting the democratic movement in Zimbabwe since the emergence of the MDC on the political scene. Our opponents have to resort to force to deal with the rising MDC support every day, contrary to Robert Mugabe’s view that our party is ready for burial.


 For two years, there was absolute peace and tranquility in Zengeza. Hell broke loose immediately after Zanu PF deployed thousands of party militias and soldiers into the constituency. It is a pattern Zanu PF is using to drive away people from voting stations, to promote apathy, and to cause alarm and despondency as a way of discouraging people from exercising their right to vote. In Zengeza, the militias randomly attacked the residents, with the result that some Zanu PF supporters were caught in the melee.


The questions I posed at the beginning of the Zengeza campaign remain unanswered. Why would a popular party or government beat up its own supporters? Why would Zanu PF, if it is popular in Zengeza for example, bus in thugs and soldiers to attack and kill residents of that constituency, including young Francis?


I stated that militias are a product of failed regimes; regimes that thrive on terror. In the case of Zengeza, peace returned to the area as soon as the militias were withdrawn, immediately after the announcement of the result.


We understand 50 000 thoroughly brainwashed youths have since graduated at various training camps countrywide. Their brief is to create as much chaos as possible and confuse the electoral process in favour of Zanu PF. Their skills were tested in Zengeza; the practice will be perfected in Lupane next month.


Zanu PF’s idea is to remove the partisan members of the civil service from the front-end of the party’s campaign in an attempt to sanitize violence. The party wants to present a picture of an election distressed by inter-party political clashes arising from political turf wars. Zanu PF wants to argue that such electoral patterns are common and acceptable in Africa and therefore the election, though slightly imperfect, is the best Zimbabwe can produce and must be deemed legitimate.  This is incorrect. A firm restoration of the rule of law could prove this opportunistic theory wrong.


Francis Chinozvinya’s death shows that Mugabe and his party are left with only one political card: violence. Without violence, they can't get anywhere. That is why they want to give violence what they perceive to be an acceptable face; to make violence part of our political culture.  To them, withdrawing violence as a formula means giving up power to the MDC.


As long as Zanu PF invests in these idle youths by turning them into killing machines devoid of any morals or a conscience, Zimbabwe will never see a free and fair election. The militias must be disbanded. Their continued presence in politics is a sign of Zanu PF’s weakness.

After Zengeza, the regime bombarded the nation with all sorts of make-belief theories and over-boiled propaganda in a futile attempt to portray Zanu PF as a party on a recovery path. Zanu PF will never recover because the wounds it inflicted onto the people are too deep to be forgotten quickly.


By clinging to power into his dotage; by ruining the economic and social fabric of Zimbabwe, the only impact Robert Mugabe could have on the nation could arise out of a graceful exit. 


We are on record indicating our willingness to assist with a programme that could lead to a soft landing for a beleaguered regime considered, nationally and internationally, to have outlived his usefulness. We wish to state once again that we have no intention of pursuing a campaign of retribution once we assume power. There is no need for Zanu PF to go on a warpath against the people, purely out of fear of the MDC.


In March 2001, I wrote a personal letter to Mugabe in a bid to halt the downward slide our nation was facing arising from a selfish approach to the resolution of the crisis. Nothing came out it.


The MDC leadership has done its best to try and break the impasse and clear obstacles to national dialogue. We believe we have a national responsibility, beyond our personal interests, to seek a lasting solution to our problems and end the current wave of anxiety and untold suffering that has befallen our people for some time.


Zanu PF can force itself onto the people. They can celebrate their paper crowns as victories. But the solution to the crisis will remain elusive. They are wasting time, abusing national resources and driving the nation towards anarchy.


Killing Francis Chinozvinya and scores of MDC activists will never produce an amicable solution to our deepening crisis. If anything, such actions harden people’s attitudes and further polarize the country making the process of healing and nation-building even more difficult.


 Despite Robert Mugabe’s public utterances on the need for unity and political discussions between his party, Zanu PF, and the MDC, his regime continues to push itself away from the people through a web of repressive measures.


As leaders, we can register a significant shift in our political mindsets and in our personal attitudes if we were to confer directly to identify the main impediment to sincere and principled dialogue. The Church has tried without success.


Our neighbours have put a lot of effort in attempting to rescue us from inflicting further damage onto ourselves.  Mugabe told the nation in December 2003 that he was willing to open the way for formal dialogue between Zanu PF and the MDC. What happened to that pledge?


We must clear our misguided suspicions, address deep-rooted misconceptions and accord the nation the necessary confidence to push our country towards a final resolution of the crisis. Zanu PF is refusing to accept its responsibility in this regard. The nation cannot withstand any further battering. At a great risk to our own political credibility as a political party, we continue to advocate patience and self-control to our supporters. Our task could be made easier if our opponents in Zanu PF were to reciprocate.


While Zanu PF stands in jubilation over fraudulent results from fake elections, the crisis in Zimbabwe is now at a frightening level.


The endurance of the people has now been stretched to the extreme limit and there is no telling how much longer they can continue to tolerate the anguish that is multiplying itself almost on a daily basis. Zimbabweans are in a mess because of serious questions, demanding serious answers, which our people are asking every day. People need to know why we cannot have a clean voters roll. 


A record of the public hearings of the Mugabe-sanctioned Constitutional Commission in 1999 shows that Tobaiwa Mudede, the current Registrar General of Elections, has been thoroughly discredited and unfit to run elections in Zimbabwe. If the Mugabe regime is serious about democracy why does it allow Mudede and his administration to preside over our national elections? In short, people want an explanation as to why Zanu PF is not interested in an Independent Electoral Commission – a body the people said was an absolute necessity during the same Constitutional Commission hearings in 1999.


One of the issues highlighting Mudede’s incompetence is the perennial dispute over the state of the voters roll. Zimbabweans wonder why Zanu PF and the regime are against the introduction of a completely fresh voter registration exercise done by an independent statutory body with the help of the United Nations.

A new voters roll could be distributed widely to all political parties. Zimbabweans are asking why the actual voting process cannot take place on a single day, using translucent boxes, with the counting of the ballots done at each polling station. 


The majority have yet to get answers as to why it takes two days for a mere 16 000 voters, as in the case of Zengeza, to cast their ballots. In other countries, with a relatively lower literacy rate than Zimbabwe, the process is completed in a single day.


In South Africa next week, for example, more than 20 million registered voters are expected to vote in a national election in a single day. That election has 35 political parties contesting for political power. The counting of South African ballots will be done at the polling stations. The results will be endorsed by party election agents on the spot. Surely a tiny nation like Zimbabwe, with two main political parties vying for just about five million registered votes, does not need three or four days of voting?


Why must we have ballot boxes, made of scrap wood and containing material so sensitive that can make or break the nation, being carted from one place to another over a period of time? As was the case in the last election, MDC election agents were assaulted and chased away from 40 percent of the polling stations and barred from verifying the exercise.


People cannot understand why Zanu PF is keen to legally limit their basic freedoms by restricting the frequency of their meetings through the Public Order and Security Act and by refusing to allow the majority access to the public radio and television.


Strangely, Zanu PF does not seem to have any answers to these basic questions. We are challenging them to search for the answers and explain to the people if they are as democratic as they claim to be. We are challenging them to explain why they think killing voters, like Francis Chinozvinya, is a cause for celebration and an indication that, by so doing, they were burying the MDC.


Free and fair elections must pass a public confidence test. Why do Zimbabwean elections always fail that test? By raising these issues, we are not asking for a favour from Zanu PF. These are the minimum standards required for a legitimate election. They are based on the SADC protocols, which Zimbabwe ratified in 2001.


Zimbabweans are determined to stop Zanu PF from abusing the electoral process by claiming to be organizing an election when, in fact, what Zanu PF seeks to do is to engage in a fraud that leads to a pre-determined outcome.


The people are ready to take on the regime for it cannot continue to cheat the nation all the time.  The people are determined to overcome their problems and to pursue a transparent, rights based approach to national development.



Morgan Tsvangirai


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Sent: Tuesday, April 06, 2004 7:05 PM
Subject: WOZA in Court 7 April

The terrific trio of Jennifer Williams, Magodonga Mahlangu and Patricia
Khanye arrested on the eve of International Women's Day are due in Remand
Court tomorrow 7 April.
They were brought to court on 9 March after 48 hours in custody and were
charged with "Contravening Section 360 (2) (b) of the Criminal Procedure and
Evidence Act as read with Section 7 (c) of the Miscellaneous Offences Act.
The essence of the charge: Inciting other people to demonstrate and cause a
public disorder and/or disturbance and/or nuisance.
The magistrate who was conveniently ill last week along with the prosecutor
must answer a submission from the defence legal team. She will have to
either maintain the remand on charges that the prosecutor cannot 'explain'
or grant the submission from defence that the trio be released from remand
and the state proceed by summons.
Aluta Continua
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      Over 15-thousand people have been displaced from the zone of Caprivi,
in the extreme north-east of Namibia, afflicted in the past days by the
worst flooding of the Zambesi River in 50 years. As reported yesterday by
the local Red Cross, the situation is rendered even more dangerous by the
presence of snakes and crocodiles transported by the floodwaters. Numerous
helicopters - including some from neighbouring Zimbabwe, deployed by the
Harare government - are conducting searches in the flood zones in the Katima
Mulilo region, to evacuate as many residents as possible. According to the
same humanitarian sources, at least 50-thousand people will be in need of
assistance over the next months due to the disaster. "It is much worse than
last year, when we had to rescue 12-thousand people", stated Razzia
Essack-Kauaria, Red Cross secretary general. In the past days, in assuring
efforts of the government to aid residents of Caprivi, Namibian Premier
Theo-Ben Gurirab, declared that alternative settlements are being evaluated
to guarantee the functioning of schools, many of which submerged by the

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      Zimbabwe's ZANU-PF Tries to Remove Corruption From its Ranks
      Peta Thornycroft
      06 Apr 2004, 17:11 UTC

      Zimbabwe's ruling Zanu PF party has opened an inquiry into its vast
business holdings as part of what it says is a wider drive to stamp out
corruption. The inquiry has sent a shockwave through the business community,
and prompted the departure of a number of prominent business people from the
country. According to the state-controlled Herald newspaper, the most
prominent people close to ZANU-PF to leave the country in the last week are
members of the wealthy Joshi family. Linked to the ruling party since even
before independence, the Joshi family has helped ZANU-PF in acquiring
interests in many top companies.
      ZANU-PF's records show the party derives more than half of its
declared income from dividends from its business holdings. Since
independence in 1980, ZANU-PF has become a major business force in Zimbabwe.
Head of the party's finances is Emmerson Mnangagwa, a man until recently
tipped as President Robert Mugabe's most likely successor.

      The party's April 1 announcement that a committee to investigate the
party's finances was first seen as a joke. But when the committee began its
work behind closed doors, it sent a shockwave throughout the business
community, and several leading businessmen left the country. Added to the
community's apprehension is Zimbabwe's new anti-corruption decree, which
allows for detention without trial, and without any initial evidence of

      The government says the investigation is part of its drive to stamp
out corruption, but political observers and the opposition are skeptical.

      Paul Themba Nyathi, a veteran politician who fought for Zimbabwe's
independence and is now spokesman for the opposition Movement for Democratic
Change, said the probe is a sign of possible struggle within Zanu PF over
who will succeed Mr. Mugabe.

      Mr. Mugabe has repeatedly said he will not leave his party's
leadership post while ZANU-PF is in turmoil. Mr. Nyathi said the financial
probe appeared to be part of the ruling party's effort to clean up its image
among the increasingly impoverished Zimbabweans ahead of parliamentary
elections in March 2005.

      Members of ZANU-PF's clean up committee were not available for comment
Tuesday. The committee's proceedings are not public and it is not clear
whether the results of the probe will be released.
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JAG CLASSIFIED: Updated 6th April 2004

Please send any classified adverts for publication in this newsletter to:
JAG Job Opportunities <>


1.  Repeat - Advert Received 17th March 2004

        GALLAGHER electric fence energiser (nearly new) never
worked outside.  Model M1500 - G316.  Very strong, works up to a
few kilometres.  Offers to: Arnold 04 333285, 011 801 348,


2.  Advert Received 30th March 2004

Please could you place the following advertisement for us.

For Sale.  1/2 sized Tony Morkel Snooker Table for sale, plus balls cues
etc.  Highest offer secures.  For more information 'phone 011 401111.

Thank you.

3.  Advert Received 31st March 2004
Please send this out on your email.  Thanks.


Toyota Landcruiser P/Up (1996)
Beige with white canopy
Reg No: 641-173 B

Contact: J. Saul - 011 414050
                            04 790266
4.  Advert Received 31st March 2004
Springvale House has for many years double streamed at Grade 6 with the
idea of allowing children who wish to go onto Peterhouse Boys or Girls the
opportunity to do so.
This has proved most successful for those 15/16 children who are accepted.
A series of English and Maths tests is written in July for children in
Grade 5 on work they have covered in their syllabus. Successful applicants
are notified by August.
Those who are interested should contact the School Office for further
Telephone - 079-23598/22473
Fax - 079-22640
E-Mail -
Address - P/Bag 3774

More details on Springvale House can be found on

5.  Advert Received 31st March 2004
I am looking for an air compressor with a capacity of around 45 - 50 cfm at
a continuous 70 lbs per sq in pressure (quite large) for sandblasting.
Please reply to
6.  Advert Received 2nd April 2004
Please can you advertise for the following.

My daughter is coming out to Zim for a holiday and I would like to have
some form of communication with her whilst she is there. Is there anyone
out there whol may have a spare econet line for her to borrow She will
obviously be responsible for her own calls.
please get back to me on

7.  Advert Received 5th April 2004

Please could you advertise the following chemicals for sale :

Agrithin 1 x 5L @ $125 000 each
Dimethoate 4 x 5L @ $50 000 "
Alachlor 5 x 20L @ $400 000 "
Tamaron 3 x 25L @ $450 000 "
Benlate 9 x 1kg @ $50 000 "
EDB 5 x 57L @ $600 000 "

Tel. Pete 091-253985 or 04-309066, e-mail :
8.  Advert Received 5th April 2004

We are Zimbabweans who have remained in Zimbabwe despite the current
economic difficulties.

We are qualified nurses who offer a service, for a small fee, to those who
have had to leave the country and who are concerned about the well being of
their elderly parents or relatives left behind.

Our service provides regular visits, with a comprehensive report back, by
e-mail, to the family on the general health and well being (mental,
emotional and physical) of our clients.

We offer to make appointments with, and provide transport to, doctors,
dentists, chiropodists etc. We will assist with general shopping or just a
regular social visit, much as a daughter would do. We are not prepared to
queue for passports, petrol, pensions etc.  We will try to ensure that the
old folk are eating properly and managing to live comfortably.

We are available at all times for any emergency and all have cell phone &
e-mail contact numbers.

We look forward to being able to assist you and alleviate your anxieties.

Yours sincerely,

Cynthia Goodwin Ursula Murray Dorothy Page
Phone:- 263-9-471226 263-9-462445 263-9-242704
Cell:- 091 292946 023 407985 091 389191

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1.  From The Sunday Tribune (SA), 4 April

We will not return farmers' land, says MDC
By Moshoeshoe Monare

Zimbabwe's Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) says should it win power,
it would not return land to evicted white farmers. "We cannot go back to
the pre-2000 situation in which Mr Joe Bloke who has now run away, is in
Australia, we say come and get back your land. We cannot go back to that,"
said MDC president Morgan Tsvangirai, in an interview. Invaders headed by
war veterans took over farms in 1999, chasing white farmers away in an
action sanctioned by the ruling Zanu PF. "Neither can we endorse what Zanu
PF has done," Tsvangirai said. "Land reform without the issue of food
security is not land reform. Today six million Zimbabweans need food
assistance. The land grabbing exercise that Mugabe has embarked on has led
this country to a serious food deficit...We cannot reverse what has been
done, but we cannot endorse what has been done," said Tsvangirai. He said
the ruling party's method of grabbing the land was wrong, even though it
was backed by sound ideals. "Zanu PF has embarked on this disastrous land
grabbing exercise. We, as the MDC, think the method was wrong, the
objectives might be right... what we want as MDC is a rationalisation
process, to rationalise the land distribution process, to rationalise the
reform programme so that it becomes equitable, transparent and deals with
this historical grievance," Tsvangirai said. He said once his party came to
power it would conduct land audits to find out who owned farms and how
many. This stems from allegations that some of the Zanu-PF and government
officials have more than one farm. "(The audit) is going to reveal who has
got what, and clearly set up a mechanism of a land commission to deal with
redistribution, land reform itself, assistance to farmers and the
progressive support that should be given for food service sufficiency. "We
are not going to embark on witchhunting, we are going to say one farm, one
person. Need is an important issue, not greed," he said. Responding to
Tsvangirai's comments, Zanu PF spokesman Jonathan Shamuyarira admitted that
"there might have been problems with land allocation". "But we are dealing
with it, we are investigating the problem as government," Shamuyarira said.
He was referring to a probe into the land issue conducted by government,
but whose report has been kept under wraps.

2 From The Daily Telegraph (UK), 5 April

Mugabe land-grab advice
By Christopher Munnion in Johannesburg

President Robert Mugabe of Zimbabwe has begun to export his government's
expertise on the most effective methods of seizing farms from white
landowners. A team of Zimbabwean "land redistribution experts" arrived in
Namibia yesterday to advise the government of President Sam Nujoma.
Namibia, a sprawling mineral-rich state in south-western Africa, has
announced that it will soon start the forcible expropriation of white-owned
land for "redistribution to the landless masses". The government claims
that about 4,000 white farmers, most of them of German and Afrikaner
descent, own nearly half the arable land in the country. Mr Nujoma, one of
the most faithful supporters and admirers of Mr Mugabe, has said he regards
Zimbabwe's land redistribution programme as "a model for Africa". This is
despite the fact that the forced removal of several thousand white farmers
from their land has led to the near collapse of the economy, unemployment,
starvation, violence and an annual inflation rate of more than 600 per
cent. White farmers in Namibia have said they are prepared to discuss
reasonable land redistribution as long as proper compensation is agreed and
all dealings are carried out under law. "We are obviously alarmed that they
are taking advice from Zimbabwe," one said. "The Zimbabwean land grab has
been an economic disaster and most of the farms taken over by the
government in Harare were simply handed out to the ruling party elite
rather than landless people."

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Business Report - SA
SA imports 72 000 tons of maize
April 7, 2004

By Bloomberg and Reuters

Johannesburg - South Africa imported 71 921 tons of maize from the US and Argentina last week, the SA Grain Information Service, an industry body, said on its website.

South Africa imported 32 781 tons of white maize from the US and 39 140 tons of yellow maize from Argentina. Of the white maize, 15 000 tons was re-exported to Zimbabwe.

From South Africa 13 417 tons of white maize and 963 tons of yellow maize were exported to six other African countries.

In Chicago, traders said maize futures were lower yesterday following weakness in soyabeans. "It just seems to be running out of steam," one pit source said.

But the market remains underpinned by strong demand and the need to encourage farmers to plant maize as the US spring approaches.

The department of agriculture in the US said early yesterday that exporters had sold 220 000 tons of maize to an unknown destination in the past day.

Traders are paying closer attention to weather patterns in the US Midwest as the spring planting season approaches.
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Zimbabwean minister calls for provision of safe water 2004-04-07 05:22:36

 HARARE, April 6 (Xinhuanet) -- Zimbabwean Environment and Tourism Minister Francis Nhema here on Tuesday underscored the need for human settlements to have access to clean water and sanitation.

    Nhema said that access to these basics would allow people to engage in productive activities while helping protect the environment.

    "Human settlements should have access to clean water and sanitation to assist them in their upkeep and production," said Nhema.

    "By having clean water, people will be assisting in protecting the environment since 60 percent of what they do involves water," he said.

    Nhema had just returned from South Korea where he attended a ministerial meeting on safe water, sanitation and human settlements and how they affect the environment.

    One hundred and fifty environment ministers from across the world attended the meeting, held on March 27-31.

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Guardian UK

Rapist jailed for life

By Gavin McGregor

A rapist who climbed up a drainpipe and into his victim's Tooting bedroom before assaulting her at knifepoint last summer has been jailed by an Old Bailey judge after pleading guilty to a string of offences.

Zimbabwean teenager Lance Nicholas Smit received a life sentence for the rape on Friday, and admitted a spree of violent crimes across south London, including kidnap, false imprisonment and four counts of robbery. He was sentenced to three years in jail for each, all to run concurrently. The judge recommended that Smit be kept locked up for a minimum of five and a half years.

In his most audacious attack, during a heatwave that caused people to sleep with windows wide open, he scaled the wall of the Nimrod Road house in the early hours of June 16, 2003, produced a knife and subjected the woman to a 30-minute ordeal while her unsuspecting housemates slept.

He then stole money from his victim, who was in her 20s, and made her let him out into the back garden, where he collected his belongings from the foot of the drainpipe before leaving by the front door.

An e-fit of Smit's face was carried on the front page of the Wandsworth Borough News in July, helping to lead to his arrest but not until October.

Meanwhile, he robbed four women at knifepoint in the Tooting area, forcing some including one with a young baby to withdraw money from cash machines.

Days later, on October 9, he attacked a female jogger on Tooting Common, attempting to drag her into the bushes, but the woman made a lucky escape, breaking free and later giving a description to police.

Later the same day, Smit's criminal campaign was finally ended when he was stopped by police officers in Tooting, found in possession of a knife, and arrested.

Detective Chief Inspector David Way, from Wandsworth CID, said: "Smit is a dangerous and callous individual who targeted women in the Tooting Common area during the summer and autumn of 2003.

"We believe he may have been responsible for other crimes and would urge anyone with information to call the Operation Sapphire team based at Tooting, which deals with serious sexual offences, to call them on 020 8247 8170."

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'We need funding to save lives in Zimbabwe'

April 06 2004 at 03:51PM

Harare - The United Nations is appealing for close to $100-million (about R650-million) to meet "massive humanitarian needs" in Zimbabwe, according to a statement received in Harare on Tuesday.

The appeal is an extension of one made in July last year for funds to provide Zimbabweans with food aid and non-food needs such as safe water, sanitation and health care until the end of 2004, said the statement.

"Funding requirements total $95,4-million, including $31,1-million requested by local and international NGOs (non-governmental organisations)," it pointed out.

Zimbabweans, 70 percent of whom are said to live in poverty, are reeling under severe hardships with inflation hovering at over 600 percent, high unemployment and critical shortages of food, medicine and fuel.

Aid agencies estimate that around 5.5 million Zimbabweans, 2.5 million of them in urban areas, need emergency food aid this year.

The country is also hard-hit by the Aids pandemic, which claims around 132 000 lives a year, according to official figures.

"Funding is required to prevent loss of life, decrease human suffering and mitigate the impact of the crisis on the most vulnerable groups," it said.

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Zimbabwe's Trust Bank Likely to End Up As Part of the Old Mutual Stable

Stephen Gunnion, Financial Services Editor

INTERNATIONAL financial services group Old Mutual is being touted as a likely partner for at least one of Zimbabwe's ailing, locally owned banks.

Reports last weekend speculated that Old Mutual and its Nedcor subsidiary could be close to concluding a deal with Zimbabwe's Trust Bank. Some analysts say it would make more sense for Old Mutual to strike a deal than for Nedcor to do so.


Nedcor, whose CEO Tom Boardman has as his main task reviving the bank's domestic fotunes, is unlikely to commit any capital to Zimbabwe due to the sensitivity of its capital situation.

Old Mutual is a different story. It sits with surplus cash in Zimbabwe, which analysts believe is probably invested in treasuries.

With treasuries yielding less than inflation, the London-listed insurance group would probably be keen to move its money into a higher yielding investment.

Such a move would also make sense for the group, as there are a number of Old Mutual policyholders in Zimbabwe. It is unlikely to commit any South African capital to Zimbabwe, however.

Trust Bank is one of five banks that have been baled out by the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe's Troubled Banks Fund.

Of a total bail-out package of about Z400bn for the five banks, Trust Bank took over half. Because of the number of institutional investors invested in Trust Bank, the central bank chose to prop it up rather than close it down. The central bank is now trying to find partners for Trust Bank and the other troubled banks as it tries to rebuild Zimbabwe's banking system.

As one of the Zimbabwe Stock Exchange's largest investors, a number of the banks are lining up at Old Mutual's door.

Old Mutual is estimated to own about 6% of Trust Holdings through its subsidiary companies. But banking is not among its core businesses, and analysts say it would likely be a shortterm strategy if it were to buy a stake in Trust Bank.

One scenario would be to onsell the bank to Nedbank.

JP Morgan's banks analysts Jacques Badenhorst says it would be surprising if Nedcor were to take up a stake in Trust Bank now, as it has so many of its own domestic issues to sort out.

Nedcor cannot afford to fall too far behind other South African banks regarding expansion into Africa. Nedcor's only known asset there is a roughly 30% stake in the Merchant Bank of Central Africa.

The International Monetary Fund said last week that Zimbabwe's real gross domestic product has contracted by about 30% over the past five years, while inflation doubled each of the last three years to reach 600% at the end of last year.

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Daily news
E.Guinea investigators due in SA


A team of investigators from Equatorial Guinea will travel to South Africa shortly to gather evidence for the trial of the South Africans suspected in a coup plot against the president of that country, Foreign Affairs said.
The 70 alleged mercenaries, including at least 15 South Africans, were detained on March 7 after their plane was impounded at Harare International Airport, allegedly on its way to Equatorial Guinea where Harare says they were planning coup.
Foreign Affairs spokesman Ronnie Mamoepa said a team of officials from the SA Police Service, the National Prosecuting Authority, the South African Secret Service, the Departments of Justice and Foreign Affairs had visited Malabo, where the men were being held, and have made several recommendations on how South Africa could ensure that the men had a fair trial.
"The South African government firmly believes that by engaging the government of Equatorial Guinea on this matter it will make a small but positive contribution to the justice system in Equatorial  Guinea."

He added that the government would continue to engage the authorities of Equatorial Guinea to ensure the South African prisoners were treated in the spirit of fairness.
So far the accumulated charges against the 70 men are: conspiring to possess weapons of war, conspiring to murder the long-serving president of Equatorial Guinea and his bodyguards, possession of weaponry, violating Zimbabwe's immigration laws and attempting to overthrow a foreign government.
The accused say they were hired in South Africa to be security guards on a diamond mine in the Democratic Republic of Congo.
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