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

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Zim Online

Mugabe pledges to buy more weapons from China
Wed 10 August 2005

      HARARE - President Robert Mugabe on Tuesday said his government would
buy more weapons from China and other Asian allies despite a crippling
economic crisis threatening Zimbabwe with total collapse.

      Addressing thousands of mostly supporters of his ruling ZANU PF party
during celebrations honouring the Zimbabwe Defence Forces (ZDF), Mugabe -
who says Western powers want to recolonise Zimbabwe - said it was critical
to buy more guns to protect the country's sovereignty despite pressing
economic difficulties.

      "Despite the difficult economic environment, we will continue
allocating substantial amounts of resources to the ZDF to adequately equip
it to make it safeguard our sovereignty," said Mugabe, to about 20 000
people, most of them members of the ZDF.

      To circumvent a Western military embargo, Harare, which is vigorously
pursuing a new "Look East" policy, would source arms from China and other
friendly nations in the East to replace weapons it lost when it
controversially intervened in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC)
civil war, according to Mugabe.

      "(We need) to replace equipment that was destroyed in the wars that we
have been involved in," he said.

      Mugabe in 1998 sent the ZDF to help defend the DRC government from a
Ugandan and Rwandese-backed armed rebellion, a decision that helped worsen
Zimbabwe's economic decline.

      As part of its rearmament drive, the ZDF had already received fighter
jets from Beijing and was to purchase more military hardware, the Zimbabwean
leader said.

      The United States, European Union, New Zealand, Australia and
Switzerland have banned sales of military equipment to Zimbabwe and also
banned Mugabe and his top officials from visiting their territories to
protest Harare's failure to uphold human rights, rule of law and democracy.

      Mugabe's pledge to spend more on guns comes as a six-year economic
crisis worsened in recent months and is threatening to bring the southern
African country to a complete halt.

      Fuel, food, electricity, essential medical drugs, and almost very
other basic commodity is in short supply chiefly because there is no hard
cash to pay foreign suppliers.

      A US$500 million bailout package Zimbabwe is negotiating with South
Africa is hanging in the balance after Mugabe this week refused dialogue
with the opposition, a key condition Pretoria wants met before it could
release the money.

      In the meanwhile, to keep the ZDF happy amid economic collapse its men
and women had been allocated land seized from white farmers and residential
stands in urban areas, Mugabe said.

      He said: "Now the majority of Zimbabweans, including some members of
the Zimbabwe Defence Forces, are proud occupants of commercial land having
benefited from the land resettlement programme."

      Commenting on Mugabe's pledge to buy more guns and keep soldiers
happy, leading lawyer and civic rights leader, Lovemore Madhuku said: "All
this points out to signs of a growing dictatorship.

      "Why would we concentrate on equipping the army when we are not at war
and when the populace is suffering? Such resources must be diverted to ease
the shortages Zimbabweans are exposed to by this melting economy. After all
the military equipment was destroyed in foreign battles which we never
benefited from." -ZimOnline

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Mail and Guardian

      Zim defence forces given land and housing

      Harare, Zimbabwe

      09 August 2005 02:12

            Members of Zimbabwe's armed forces have been given farm land and
housing plots in a government effort to boost morale among troops, President
Robert Mugabe said on Tuesday at an address to mark Defence Forces' Day.

            In a colourful ceremony at a football stadium in Harare,
Mugabe -- who is commander-in-chief of his country's armed forces -- said
his government has made "tremendous efforts to ensure that morale remains
high among the defence forces".

            Mugabe told the packed stadium that members of the defence
forces have benefited from the controversial land-reform programme launched
five years ago and said they have been given plots of land to build new
houses following this year's urban clean-up campaign.

            "Now the majority of Zimbabweans, including some members of the
Zimbabwe defence forces, are proud occupants of commercial land, having
benefited from the land-resettlement programme," said Mugabe.

            He promised another 6 000 members of the armed forces will soon
be allocated land.

            During Tuesday's celebrations -- described by Mugabe as
"vivacious" -- troops marched past the dignitaries, carrying a portrait of
the Zimbabwean president. Four recently acquired Chinese fighter jets
performed a fly-by.

            Speaking about an ambitious housing programme launched in the
wake of a heavily criticised slum-clearance campaign, Mugabe said 600
soldiers have been given plots at Whitecliff Farm, a housing development
project on the outskirts of Harare.

            "The remainder will be considered in other areas," he said.

            The ceremony was shown live on state television.

            This year, Zimbabwe allocated a ninth of its annual Budget to
the armed forces, and its members have remained loyal despite crippling
economic problems.

            Mugabe said the authorities are "constantly reviewing" salaries
and allowances for the forces "in line with economic trends".

            Zimbabwe is in its sixth year of recession. Annual inflation is
more than 164%, one of the highest rates in the world.

            Prices escalate on a near-weekly basis and there are shortages
of many basic commodities. -- Sapa-DPA

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Mbeki locked in meeting with SACC on Zimbabwe

August 09, 2005, 17:15

President Thabo Mbeki is meeting with a delegation from the South African
Council of Churches (SACC) at the Union Buildings in Pretoria, to discuss a
number of issues relating to the Zimbabwean socio-economic challenges.

According to presidential aides the meeting follows the request by the SACC
to have an audience with Mbeki to discuss the United Nations report on
Zimbabwe's controversial urban clean-up operation. Last month the UN
released a scathing report denouncing the campaign, stating it had left 700
000 Zimbabweans homeless and destitute.

The SACC has this week provided three trucks filled with food and blankets
as part of the humanitarian aid to Zimbabwe. But it's been reported that the
trucks have not made it to Zimbabwe mainly due to red tape. Zimbabwean
authorities are said to have requested the SACC to provide clearance
certificates confirming that the maize being exported is not genetically

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Mugabe honours DRC veterans
09/08/2005 18:14  - (SA)

Harare - President Robert Mugabe on Tuesday conferred medals to about 20
Zimbabwean officers and military staff who fought in the Democratic Republic
of Congo from 1998 to 2002.

"The timely intervention in the Congo by our forces resulted in the creation
of a relatively peaceful environment conducive to the development of a
meaningful political process," Mugabe told thousands who thronged a Harare
stadium to mark Defence Forces Day.

Zimbabwe sent up to 12 000 troops to the DRC to help Kinshasa in its war
against rebels backed by Rwanda and Uganda, a move criticised by rights
groups and the opposition as a costly venture at a time when the economy was
in trouble.

A formal peace deal was signed for the DRC in 2003 that set up a
transitional government under President Laurent Kabila.

The government has never given the number of casualties that it suffered in
the war but rights groups have said that scores died.

A United Nations report on the DRC war released in November 2002 accused
Zimbabwean defence forces of plundering resources in the central African
country but Mugabe then denied the allegations.

Mugabe reviewed an honour guard, standing in an armoured vehicle during the
ceremony that was attended by the defence ministers of Angola, Botswana,
Mozambique, Namibia and Zambia.

The president said that despite Zimbabwe's economic problems, the
"government will continue to allocate significant resources to ensure
sustained defence of our hard-won independence, sovereignty,
self-determination and national interests."
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Defiant Mugabe Tests South African Resolve - and Patience By Blessing Zulu
      09 August 2005

Zimbabwe's economy has virtually collapsed with widespread and critical
shortages of food and fuel, but despite the country's need for a financial
lifeline, President Robert Mugabe has given no sign of acceding to South
African conditions for a large loan.

In exchange for helping Harare pay down debt arrears with the International
Monetary Fund and restore the inflow of food and fuel, Pretoria wants Mr.
Mugabe to open and sustain a political dialogue with the opposition Movement
for Democratic Change.

Reporter Blessing Zulu of VOA's Studio 7 for Zimbabwe asked Dr. Chris
Lansberg of the Center for Policy Studies in Johannesburg about Mr. Mugabe's

The MDC was dismissive of Mr. Mugabe's caustic comments when he branded it
on Monday as a puppet of Britain, ruling out discussions with its
leadership. Mr. Mugabe added that if the MDC really wanted talks, it should
urge the international community to lift what he called "odious sanctions"
imposed on the ruling party's top circles.

Reporter Zulu asked MDC spokesman Paul Themba-Nyathi for his response to Mr.
Mugabe's broadside at a commemoration of the national liberation struggle.

South African opposition parties, meanwhile, were stepping up pressure on
Pretoria to disclose details of the proposed loan. The government has yet to
issue an official statement on the terms of a loan that could amount to a
half billion dollars.

Zenzo Nkomo, a prominent South African Communist Party member, told reporter
Chris Gande of VOA's Studio 7 for Zimbabwe that stringent conditions must
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In The Hot Seat - Roy Bennett

      With Violet Gonda
      09 August 2005

      Former MDC MP Roy Bennett is the guest on the programme Hot Seat. The
outspoken activist is in the UK taking a break to rejuvenate and recharge
his batteries since coming out of prison. He has also been busy trying to
bring attention to the issues at home. On Hot Seat, Bennett said there is a
need for cohesive action by all stakeholders to bring about peaceful change
in the country. The former MP said it's unfortunate that infiltration and
infighting is derailing the struggle. He appealed to stakeholders to mount a
civic resistance against the ZANU PF government. He urged the MDC to stop
participating in parliament and taking legal action in the courts saying
Zimbabwe no longer has the 3 separate pillars of state - judiciary,
executive and parliament. He said all 3 run by ZANU PF. Roy Bennett believes
that change is possible if people also stopped paying rates and any other
charges that keep the regime in power.

      SW Radio Africa Zimbabwe news
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  Sabhukus deny food to MDC supporters in Mashonaland Central

      By Tererai Karimakwenda
      09 August 2005

      Henry Chimbiri, the information officer for the MDC in Mashonaland
Central province, reports that their supporters are being denied maize by
the traditional leaders in some areas. Chimbiri said the problem has become
very serious in an area called Mukumbura. Many sabhukus there are reported
to have lists of ZANU-PF supporters who can easily get maize. But MDC
supporters who are known or suspected are simply told to go away.

      This is not a new practice in Zimbabwe, but it is the ever-growing
role of traditional leaders that is of concern. Traditionally sabhukus play
the opposite role, being the caretakers of the people in their area. But
that role has been increasingly threatened by ZANU-PF in a desperate
campaign to maintain control over the rural populations which are growing.

      An angry Chimbiri warned these sabhukus, especially those near a
secondary school named Katarira, that one day they will be made to account
for their actions. Chimbiri stressed the fact that the MDC is keeping lists
of perpetrators and collecting evidence. Many of the names will be
publicised later this week.

      SW Radio Africa Zimbabwe news
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Harvest Quelea Birds for Consumption

The Herald (Harare)

August 9, 2005
Posted to the web August 9, 2005


ZIMBABWE'S wheat production - estimated at 280 000 tonnes this year - has
already suffered a major setback after a huge percentage of it was destroyed
by wheat-eating quelea birds.

The dreaded birds, which flock in strong roosts of at times between 400 000
and 12 million and have the capacity to destroy several hectares of wheat
per day, have so far invaded vast swathes of winter wheat in Manicaland,
Mashonaland Central and West provinces.

Agricultural experts say if effective measures are not urgently taken,
farmers risk losing the bulk of their early-planted wheat crop currently at
various stages of maturity.

The birds have increased owing to favourable breeding conditions.

Queleas, which are migratory birds, invade crops in one country while
roosting in another.

They are capable of wiping out entire wheat fields in a matter of days.

Each year Zimbabwe destroys millions of these birds.

What is puzzling, up to now, is that while the birds are edible, no one has
yet come up with a permanent solution to end the menace.

The birds, once harvested, can be canned, frozen or dried for consumption.

This is an area which has been overlooked and still awaits exploitation.

We need not say much on how the kapenta industry developed.

When the Government launched drought relief programmes, largely for people
in communal areas, it encountered problems because of the unavailability of
beans and cooking oil when dried quelea, like dried kapenta, could be

There are arguments that chemicals used to poison the birds are only harmful
to the quelea. This is comforting.

But what is disturbing is that there is no serious discussion, especially in
the region, on the merits of harvesting the quelea for human consumption.

The kapenta was never viable until someone saw the opportunity and began
exploiting it.

Today, considerable sums are spent on hiring aircraft and chemicals to
control the birds, when farmers could be encouraged to grow and harvest the
wheat and quelea which would have been attracted by the crop.

The quelea birds can also grace the tables of some European gourmets thereby
earning the country the much-needed foreign exchange.

The millions of quelea killed each year during crop protection exercises
represent a substantial protein source.

Using this protein source commercially would help offset the crop losses and
the cost of control.

This is an issue our entrepreneurs should take up.

It is also worth noting that the Department of Agricultural Research and
Extension (Arex) is now investigating the migration patterns of the quelea

This follows reports that an organisation called Desert and Locust Control
in Tanzania is also battling to contain the same birds in that country.

West Africa has also not been spared. Farmers in countries like Nigeria stay
awake all night in their fields beating drums to scare away the quelea

All this is clear evidence that this menace can only be overcome if
countries, especially in the Southern African Development Community region,
worked together.

Although the Parks and Wildlife Management Authority is doing its best to
control the quelea, we still feel more should be done to find a lasting

And considering the urgency the situation demands, farmers should also pool
their resources together to hire private planes and have their fields
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Worst Cricket Team Ever!

The Herald (Harare)

August 9, 2005
Posted to the web August 9, 2005

Lawrence Moyo

THOSE who thought Zimbabwe's cricket had sunk to its lowest last year after
the much-publicised rebel saga needed to be at Harare Sports Club yesterday
to see the national team suffering their worst Test defeat in history.

Those who thought the integrity of Test cricket had been soiled after
Zimbabwe's innings and 254-run defeat to Sri Lanka last year while fielding
a teem full of teenage debutants ought to have been there yesterday.

If what was on display at Harare Sports Club yesterday is too be reviewed at
the highest level then Zimbabwe should not be playing Test matches in the
interests of the world's Test match standards.

Yesterday Zimbabwe became only the second team in history of Test cricket to
be bowled out twice in one day as they were bundled out for 54 in the first
innings before being dismissed for 99 in the second innings.

All this in just three sessions!

The only other time being way back in 1952 when India made 58 and 82 in
Manchester against England.

All this after winning the toss, electing to field, hoping to get 10 wickets
cheaply and then bat through to Day Three!

Last month former English Test batsman Geoff Boycott advocated the end of
Test status for Zimbabwe and Bangladesh while delivering the annual Cowdrey
Lecture at the Lord's -the home of cricket.

Now a controversial television commentator, Boycott criticised the
International Cricket Council for keeping Zimbabwe and Bangladesh into the
Test arena saying the two countries "devalued" the game.

"The ICC should be ashamed of themselves for allowing the devaluation of
Test cricket to continue. My mum would have scored runs and got wickets
against Bangladesh.

"They are an embarrassment to Test cricket. Nobody wants to see it
(one-sided Test cricket) and the vast accumulation of runs against them does
nothing for the game."

Boycott's advocacy was based on the fact that Bangladesh have won only one
Test since being awarded full member status by the ICC in 2000 and that was
against Zimbabwe while Zimbabwe's cricket team was said to have decimated
after "a row between players and officials".

We thought Boycott's assessment bordered on racism and dismissed it as cheap
talk while the cricket community in Bangladesh advised the veteran critic to
concentrate of giving batting analysis during matches.

We thought his position on Zimbabwe was not fair given that they had been
fielding a team full of inexperienced teenagers who needed at least two more
years to be fully competitive and we wanted him to wait for the New Zealand
tour now that experienced players had returned to the fold.

Barring the injured bowling pair of Tinashe Panyangara and Douglas Hondo,
Zimbabwe were fielding their strongest Test team but now it will be
remembered as the worst team this country has ever produced.

Thousands of cricket lovers who chose to spend their Heroes holiday at
Harare Sports Club were subjected to the worst batting in the history of
Zimbabwe cricket.

What a shame!

It was so terrible that one-day international prospects like Stuart
Matsikenyeri, Gavin Ewing, and Mark Vermeulen offered better batting while
facing throw downs in the nets.

Those concentrating on the proceedings on the real field were offered better
value for their day by the security guards marching to the wicket at the end
of the day's two sessions and also for the innings break after Zimbabwe's
first innings ended.

New Zealand, who declared their first innings on an overnight total of
452/9, crushed Zimbabwe by a record innings and 294 run victory on the
second day of the first Croco Motors Test.

It was New Zealand's biggest win in their Test history, bettering the
innings and 185 run win over Pakistan in Hamilton in the 2000-01 season.

Man-of-the-match and left-arm spinner Daniel Vettori, who scored 127 in just
98 balls during New Zealand's first innings on Sunday, took four for 28 to
join Richard Hadlee and Chris Cairns on being the only New Zealand bowlers
to take 200 Test wickets.

For Zimbabwe the only performance worth talking about was Hamilton
Masakadza's 42 off 79 balls in the second innings which in itself was a
disappointment because he had made a good start on the second attempt and
ought to have gone all the way to reach three figures.

He had sustained pressure from New Zealand but then put pressure on himself
to make a quick-fire half century by going for an unnecessary chip against
Vettori's spin and he could only manage a leading edge back to the bowler.

On Sunday DStv reserved Channel 22 for the Ashes and viewers watched the
best in Test cricket as the enthralling fourth day of the second Ashes Test
at Edgbaston ended in a dramatic two-run win for England.

Yesterday viewers of the same channel were subjected to the worst of Test
cricket as Zimbabwean batsmen were given two opportunities to force a
contest out of the New Zealand fielders only to provide the visitors with
three sessions of catching practice.

Generally people learn from experience but the Zimbabwe batsmen did not
learn anything from their shambolic first innings batting which lasted just
29,4 overs with nine players failing to reach double figures, five of them

Zimbabwe's second highest contribution in the first innings came from the
New Zealand bowling extras (14) with Stuart Carlisle being the lone ranger
as he was left stranded on 20 batting at number six.

When New Zealand captain Stephen Flemming enforced the follow-in, we thought
it would work in cricket fans' favour as Zimbabwe's batsmen had learnt a
thing or two from the first innings and would take the game into Day Three.

The game was actually due to end on the day the third Ashes Test gets
underway at Old Trafford but now the cricket fans will have to look for
alternative entertainment today, the last day of the long weekend.

Maybe the umpires and the match referee should have ordered the teams to get
the second Test underway and it would have been finishing anytime from

But then the New Zealand cricketers earned themselves a good three days to
go on a tour of the country's holiday resorts with Kariba and Victoria Falls
being first options!


New Zealand 1st innings : 452/9 dec (Fleming 73, Vettor1 127, McCullum 111;
Mahwire 3-115)

Zimbabwe 1st innings

N. Ferreira c McCullum b Franklin 5

B. Taylor run out (Styris) 10

D. Ebrahim lbw b Franklin 0

H. Masakadza lbw b Franklin 0

C. Wishart b Bond 0

S. Carlisle not out 20

T. Taibu lbw b Martin 5

H. Streak c McCullum b Martin 0

N. Mahwire lbw b Martin 4

A. Cremer c Martin b Vettori 1

C. Mpofu st McCullum b Vettori 0

Extras (lb 6, w 1, nb 7) 14

Total (all out, 29.4 overs) 59

Fall of Wickets: 1-9 (Ferreira), 2-9 (Ebrahim), 3-10 (Masakadza), 4-11
(Wishart),5-28 (Taylor), 6-46 (Taibu),7-46 (Streak),8-51 (Mahwire), 9-53
(Cremer), 10-59 (Mpofu)

Bowling: Bond 5-1-11-1, Franklin 5-0-11-3(4nb), Martin 10-1-21-32nb,
1w),Styris 7-4-9-0, Vettori 2.4-2-1-2

Zimbabwe 2nd innings (following on)

N. Ferreira c Fleming b Franklin 16

B. Taylor c Vettori b Franklin 0

D. Ebrahim b Martin 8

H. Masakadza c and b Vettori 42

C. Wishart c Fleming b Bond 5

S. Carlisle c Fleming b Bond 0

T. Taibu c Fleming b Martin 4

H. Streak lbw b Vettori 3

B Mahwire not out 4

A. Cremer c J. Marshall b Vettori 3

C. Mpofu st McCullum b Vettori 0

Extras (lb 8, nb 6) 14

Total (all out, 49.5 overs) 99

Fall of Wickets: 1-5 (Taylor),2-14 (Ebrahim),3-53 (Ferreira), 4-76
(Wishart), 5-80 (Carlisle),6-84 (Masakadza),7-90 (Streak),8-90 (Taibu),9-99
(Cremer), 10-99 (Mpofu.

Bowling: Bond 11-8-10-2, Franklin 10-2-19-2(2nb), Styris 2-0-3-0, Martin
8-5-16-2(2nb), Vettori 13.5-4-28-4(2nb), Astle 5-0-15-0.
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Daily Mirror, Zimbabwe

Chaos at ZBH . . .

The Daily Mirror Reporter
issue date :2005-Aug-10

GEORGE Charamba, the permanent secretary in the Ministry of Information and
Publicity on Monday night stormed Pockets Hill, the headquarters of the
Zimbabwe Broadcasting Holdings (ZBH) following the chaos that has gripped
the national broadcaster including allegations of rampant love affairs
between senior managers with their subordinates.
Charamba also warned that heads were going to roll in the NewsNet newsroom
because of the circus, he said, that threatened to compromise the quality of
news and broadcasting standards.
But what irked him most on Monday was the way the lead story on Zimbabwe's
25th Heroes Day anniversary was handled and the general laxity at the
broadcaster's newsroom.
Yesterday Charamba said he
 decided to drive to Pockets Hill in Highlands after his numerous calls to
the ZBH newsroom went unanswered. He said when he got there he found the
place half lit while staffers went about their personal business as if all
was well.
"I phoned ZBH on their hotline between 6:30 and 7:20 p.m. and all my calls
went unanswered. I got so furious and had to leave my wife who is bed-ridden
and go to ZBH," Charamba said.
He went on: "When I got there, there was chaos in the newsroom. It is
appalling for a 24-hour newsroom to leave its hotline unattended when news
breaks every minute."
Charamba, who also doubles as President Robert Mugabe's spokesperson, also
accused the editors of not giving radio news the prominence it deserves when
the majority of the population relies on it for information.
He added that the broadcaster lacked national consciousness.
"It's not my first time to fight with them over the lead story. They
concentrate on TV news instead of radio news when the majority of the
population listens to the radio.  So yesterday (Monday) when I was driving I
turned my radio on to listen to the news and their lead story was "President
Mugabe has called on Zimbabweans to defend their Independence and
"In 1980 that was the President (then Prime Minister)'s call and in 1985 it
was the same. The bottom line is, there is nothing new about that. The
President made known his positions (in his Heroes Day speech) on talks with
the MDC and also talked about operation Murambatsvina, which are more
relevant at the moment," Charamba added.
Charamba said he would tackle problems at ZBH head on and warned of impeding
changes in the organisation's newsroom.
"When a conscious national broadcaster uses as its sound bite the first and
second paragraph in a speech it shows that someone is not working at all.
"There is a serious problem in that newsroom and it's an area I am going to
tackle head on. I am not going to stand by, there will be changes in the
newsroom," he added.
On reports that a senior editor, (name supplied) was found in a compromising
position with a foreigner on internship, Charamba said he did not act on
 "I have heard the rumours about the love affairs and also that there are
people with no certificates, but I don't proceed on rumours. However, it
also shows that there is something wrong at ZBH and I am determined to
tackle it," he said.
ZBH chairman Dr Rino Zhuwarara refused to comment on the issues of the love
affairs but confirmed there was a case of a news reporter who had forged
professional qualifications.
"I have not heard about the affairs but on qualifications it's only one case
(of forgery) that is verifiable," he said without elaborating.
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Daily Mirror, Zimbabwe

US envoy to assess Zim food security

The Daily Mirror Reporter
issue date :2005-Aug-10

US Ambassador to the UN Food and Agricultural Organisation (FAO), Tony Hall,
is expected to arrive in Zimbabwe tomorrow for a three-day visit to assess
the southern African country's current humanitarian and food security needs.
"Ambassador Hall will be visiting Harare as well as Zimbabwe's Eastern
Highlands in order to observe the current humanitarian and food security
situation in Zimbabwe," the American embassy in Harare said.
The embassy's Public Affairs section said Hall was expected to hold talks
with government officials and other stakeholders to get the exact situation
on the ground and requirements to improve the lot of Zimbabweans facing
looming starvation following a bad harvest caused by the drought.
"While in Zimbabwe Ambassador Hall will be meeting with government
officials, representatives from the World Food Programme, Food and
Agriculture Organisation, the International Organisation for Migration, the
European Union, non-governmental organisations and other agencies," the US
embassy said.
Presidential and chief government spokesperson George Charamba professed
ignorance over Hall's planned visit yesterday.
"We are not aware of that," he said when contacted for comment by The Daily
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Daily Mirror, Zimbabwe

Zesa, Hwange in war of words

Business Reporter
issue date :2005-Aug-10

COAL mining concern Hwange Colliery last week dismissed assertions by power
supplier, Zesa Holdings that electricity generations had been affected by
depleted coal deliveries.
The listed mining company said it was cognisant of its role to supply coal
to strategic energy sectors and has undertaken to supply Hwange Power
Station (HPC) with more coal than the 180 000 tonnes per month contractual
Last week Zesa shifted the blame from the Democratic Republic of Congo's
(DRC) Snel that it has always said was failing to provide enough power to
Zimbabwe and said erratic coal deliveries from Hwange had caused the latest
power shortages.
Statistics made available by the coal miner indicated that in April, June
and July, coal deliveries to HPS were above agreed monthly tonnages, adding
that HPC's statements missed the point.
"Power shortages attributed to unavailability of coal are in fact a result
of the faulty generation units (at HPC), and once the units are brought back
on line, coal stocks available are sufficient for HPC to operate full
"The current coal deliveries to HPC are the best the company has achieved
over the past twenty four months and well above contractual tonnages, Hwange
Colliery's marketing and public relations manager, John Nkala said in a
Nkala added that Hwange has halted coal supplies to Zesa Holdings' small
thermal power stations in Bulawayo, Munyati and Harare last year at the
request of Zesa.
Supplies however began in June this year after the power concern placed
orders but the resumption coincided with the ongoing fuel shortages.
This, Nkala noted, had affected logistical plans to move the fossil from the
mine to all the stations.
Zesa runs the country's power stations but its capacity has been affected by
ageing plants and equipment and the foreign currency shortages facing the
As a result, the company has been forced to import 35 percent of its
requirements from regional power companies such from South Africa and
Cash flow problems in the past few years have however seen the company
failing to settle some of its debts to the foreign companies, leading to
sporadic threats to plug off Zimbabwe.
Zesa has however entered into strategic deals with Chinese companies that
are expected to channel foreign currency into the refurbishment of the
Hwange Thermal power station and the hydroelectric plant in Kariba.
At least US$400 million will be sucked up in the projects, which are
expected to improve electricity.
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Daily Mirror, Zimbabwe

ZDF to de-mine GonareZhou park

The Daily Mirror Reporter
issue date :2005-Aug-10

THE Zimbabwe Defence Forces (ZDF) will soon start de-mining the Gona-reZhou
National Park in the south east of the country in concerted efforts to fully
utilise the Great Limpopo Transfrontier Park - a multi-billion dollar
tourist project involving Zimbabwe, South Africa and Mozambique.
Speaking at the 25th anniversary of ZDF celebrations at Rufaro in Harare
yesterday, President Robert Mugabe said the government was committed to
removing the landmines and unlock the full potential of the vast game
"Cognisant of the danger that landmines pose to the population, government
remains committed to their removal. The defence forces will be deployed in
the Sango Border Post to Crooks Corner minefield which lies in the heart of
the famous Gonarezhou National Park," President Mugabe said.
"The de-mining of this area will enable the successful and full utilisation
of the Great Limpopo Transfrontier Park, a joint tourist venture with
Mozambique and South Africa," he added.
The development is a timely boost to the economies of Southern African
Development Community (Sadc) states as it comes just six years to the 2010
World Cup to be hosted by neighbouring South Africa.
Economic commentators predict brisk business in the sub-region that time, as
large numbers of tourists are expected to flock  here for the global
football fiesta.
The President said since independence from Britain in 1980, the ZDF has
removed landmines planted by the colonial regime thereby opening up more
land for infrastructural and other economic development.
He said over 220 square km of once mine-infested land between the Victoria
Falls and Mlibizi Fishing resort bordering Zambia would soon be handed over
to the Ministry of Local Government, Public Works and Urban Development and
the Ministry of Environment and Tourism for productive use.
That strip of land was heavily mined by the settler regime in its vain bid
to slow down the progress of freedom fighters crossing the treacherous
mighty Zambezi onto the battlefront.
President Mugabe also applauded the ZDF for proudly serving the nation well
during their tour of duty in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).
"We also recall the role played by the Zimbabwe Defence Forces alongside
other Sadc  Allied Forces from Angola and Namibia in assisting the
government of the Democratic Republic of Congo retain its sovereignty
against the invading rebel forces of Rwanda," he said.
To that end, President Mugabe also conferred about 30 ZDF members with DRC
campaign medals as a token of appreciation for their sacrificial
participation in the war, which if some Sadc-member states had not timely
intervened, would have plunged the region into further turmoil.
Defence minister Sydney Sekeremayi said the rest of the ZDF would receive
their medals from their respective commanders soon.
President Mugabe also defended Operation Murambatsvina/Restore Order
reiterating that the no-nonsense blitz had brought much order and normalcy
in the business sector and residential areas complimenting the new vast
housing programme code-named Operation Garikayi/Hlalani Kuhle.
"In pursuing its vast housing programme, the Government in May this year,
first embarked upon Operation Restore Order to bring order, normalcy and
legality in both the business sector and the residential areas," President
Mugabe said.
"This undertaking has now metamorphosed into Operation Garikayi/Hlalani
Kuhle, an operation in which the Zimbabwe Defence Forces engineers are
supporting the Ministry of Local Government, Public Works and Urban
Development in reconstruction projects," the President added.
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Sokwanele - Enough is Enough - Zimbabwe

Lindela Detention Centre claims two more Zimbabwean lives
Sokwanele Report : 9 August 2005

The deaths of two more Zimbabwean asylum-seekers in South Africa's notorious Lindela Detention Centre at Krugersdorp on the outskirts of Johannesburg last month has sparked outrage from human rights organisations and calls for an official enquiry into the deaths.

Alice Chumba, who was only 18 years old and pregnant, died of complications on July 4, just five days after being admitted. Mcabangeli Mlambo, who was 22, died the following day after vomiting blood. According to Papele Shabane of Bosasa, the private company contracted to manage the centre by the Department of Home Affairs, Mlambo visited the clinic twice and was later taken to the sick bay. When detainees become ill at Lindela they are sent to Leratong hospital for treatment but Shabane said Mlambo died before he could be admitted.

Remember Moyo, chairperson of the Zimbabwe Action Support Group (ZASG), visited Lindela after the deaths to assess the situation and described it as very painful. "The centre is far too crowded and there is very limited medical attention," he said. "When people are sick it usually takes a long time for them to be treated, especially if they become ill during the night." He also pointed out that detainees were locked into their sleeping quarters during the late afternoon and the doors were only opened the following morning.

Although figures are not available for the number of deaths recorded at Lindela, estimates vary widely. Zim Online reported on 21 October last year that, according to the director of the Southern African Women's Institute for Migration Affairs, Joyce Dube, at least three Zimbabweans were dying every month due to the poor conditions. However, in her view this number could be even higher because some of the illegal immigrants were never identified as they did not carry passports.

Moyo agreed that many people had died and said his organisation was considering various approaches such as demonstrating outside the Department of Home Affairs in Johannesburg, at the United Nations offices or even at Lindela.

On 3 August a Sokwanele reporter spoke to two Zimbabwean asylum seekers who had been detained previously at Lindela. The first was "Prudence" (26), a Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) supporter who fled from Zimbabwe because her husband and daughter had been killed by ZANU PF supporters. She said she had been sent to Lindela a number of times because she had been unable to get an asylum-seeker's permit from Home Affairs. They always tell you to come back tomorrow and tomorrow," she said, "it is so difficult."

Prudence said detainees in Lindela did not receive enough food and what was available was of a very poor quality. She explained that it was bitterly cold in winter, with insufficient blankets to keep people warm at night. While she was there three people died, two from Maputo and one from Zimbabwe. "People are coughing all the time but there are no doctors," she said.

"Lucas" (27), who is also an MDC supporter, left Zimbabwe after escalating harassment by ZANU PF supporters made him fear for his life. He was arrested by the police and spent two weeks in Lindela at the height of winter. "It was so cold that it was difficult for us to sleep and the food was very bad," he said. "While I was there, two guys from Mozambique died during the night, but the security staff did not seem to care." One of the men had been coughing continuously for four days and passed away in the next but one bed to him. Although Lucas had been concerned about his deteriorating state of health, they had not spoken to each other because of the language problem.

According to Kaajal Ramjathan-Keogh of Lawyers for Human Rights (LHR) in Johannesburg, the prevalence of respiratory diseases such as pneumonia and bronchitis, as well as airborne viruses and diarrhoea, is exacerbated by bad hygiene and overcrowding. Outbreaks of body lice have also been reported. LHR has condemned the lack of medical facilities available at Lindela, but the authorities have done nothing to upgrade the clinic, which provides little more than Panado.

Remember Moyo believes better facilities should be available on site to protect the health of the detainees. Although there is a trained nurse at the clinic, she is not always accessible. "It is very worrying that most people are sick but everyone seems to be given the same tablets, irrespective of their symptoms," he said. Last year, when Zimbabwe Exiles Forum co-ordinator Gabriel Shumba visited Lindela, he described the conditions as life-threatening.

At the time of writing, Mcabangeli Mlambo's relatives have been located and they are working on arrangements with the Southern African Women's Institute for Migration Affairs. The organisation is still trying to locate the relatives of Alice Chumba.

The Zimbabwe Action Support Group encourages all asylum seekers to register with their organisation and with other Zimbabwean organisations so that their details can be recorded and assistance provided wherever possible.

Remember Moyo (Chairperson): SA cell: 072 032 4223
Rogers Mudarikwa (Co-ordinator: SA cell: 083 753 0399

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