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Zim Online

African Union faces embarrassment on Zimbabwe
Tue 16 August 2005

      HARARE --The African Union (AU) is facing major embarrassment as
President Robert Mugabe appears determined to snub an initiative by the
continental body to broker a negotiated solution to Zimbabwe's long running
political and economic crisis.

      Nigerian President and AU Chairman Olusegun Obasanjo last week
appointed former Mozambican leader Joaquim Chissanno to mediate in Zimbabwe
in a first ever public attempt by the union to act to halt the fast
deteriorating crisis in the southern African country.

      Western governments and human rights groups have long accused the AU
of standing by in the face of gross human rights abuses by Mugabe and his

      Chissano, a long time friend of Mugabe and best man at the Zimbabwean
leader's wedding to his young wife Grace, immediately started laying the
groundwork for talks between Mugabe's ZANU PF and the opposition Movement
for Democratic Change (MDC) parties.

      But analysts on Monday told ZimOnlline, the AU was travelling a path
that regional powerhouse, South Africa, the Southern African Development
Community (SADC) and Obasanjo himself have walked before, with no success.

      "It is the best the AU can do, whether they are serious or not remains
to be seen," said University of Zimbabwe (UZ) political scientist Eldred
Masunungure. "But they are walking down a known path and we have already
seen that their success on this front is in doubt," he said.

      Obasanjo had banked on Chissanno's more than good relations with
Mugabe to lure the veteran Zimbabwe leader to agree to engage the

      But no sooner had Chissano started making the initial calls to ZANU PF
and the MDC had Zimbabwe government media moved in to kill whatever
prospects there may have been that the former Mozambican president could

      The official Sunday Mail newspaper, a reliable indicator of official
thought, dismissed the AU initiative which it labeled a project of Obasanjo
that was doomed to be humiliated.

      The state-run paper, which quoted unnamed government officials
castigating the AU initiative, reminded Obasanjo of Mugabe's declaration a
week ago that the would rather talk to British Premier Tony Blair who he
claims is the principal behind opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai and his
MDC party.

      To add more hurdles to the AU mediation effort in Zimbabwe was the
ever widening differences mutual dislike between Mugabe and his ZANU PF
party and Tsvangirai and his MDC party. With no common ground between the
two protagonists there was little possibility the AU could succeed where the
SADC and South African President Thabo Mbeki had failed, they said.

      The MDC sees the talks as necessary to restore Zimbabwe's battered
image abroad, which is key to unlock investor confidence and want to tie the
talks to Mugabe's future.

      But buoyed by a controversial landslide victory in March 31 polls that
have assured ZANU-PF two-thirds majority and negotiated financial lifeline
from chiefly China and South Africa, Mugabe has not hidden his hostility to
the talks.

      "As long as there is no clarity on what the talks should centre on the
two parties will continue to quarrel and cling to positions that are
partisan," said UZ lecturer Heneri Dzinotyiwei. "The starting point is to
have a programme of national transformation that can turn around the
economy," he added.

      Zimbabwe is in the throes of six years of economic recession,
highlighted by the highest inflation in the world, a jobless rate of above
80 percent and critical food shortages, all blamed on government

      Mugabe recently said his recent weeklong trip to China would affect
Zimbabwe's economy in a "fundamental way", which analysts took to mean that
the veteran leader had been promised large investment by the Asian giant.

      South Africa has agreed in principle to offer Zimbabwe a US$500
million loan but is said to have demanded that Mugabe resumes dialogue with
the opposition as one of its key loan conditions. Pretoria has however
denied the loan has conditions.

      Zimbabwe government sources told ZimOnline that the loan agreement had
been given to Harare for perusal at the start of last week but it could not
be confirmed by yesterday whether Harare agreed to the conditions.

      The analysts said they expected a SADC summit taking place in Botswana
this week to give tacit support to Mugabe which they said would make the AU
mission even more impossible. ZimOnline

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Zim Online

GNU not the answer to Zim's problems: South Africa
Tues 16 August 2005

      PRETORIA - The formation of a government of national unity (GNU) in
Zimbabwe was not necessarily the panacea to the country's political woes,
South Africa admitted yesterday.

      Both Zanu PF and the Movement for Democratic Change have persistently
ruled out a GNU but for different reasons. Zanu PF believes it has no
prerogative to form a GNU because it "won" elections "freely and fairly" and
has been "mandated" by the people to rule. The MDC argues that joining a GNU
would amount to legitimising the Mugabe regime's "theft" of elections and
giving it veneer of respectability that it does not deserve.

      Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Aziz Pahad said neither the ruling
Zanu-PF nor the opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) regarded a
unity government as an imperative,

      "It would be useless, us insisting on something both sides say is not
fundamental," Pahad said at a press briefing to reporters in Pretoria
yesterday (mon).

      He was refuting reports that South Africa had prescribed the GNU as
one of the key conditions for a reported US$1 billion loan Zimbabwe has
asked from Pretoria to meet urgent fuel and food imports.

      Pahad said Pretoria's only consideration for any such loan assistance
would be the impact that it could have on improving Zimbabwe's economy. The
GNU issue was therefore out of the question.

      "We are negotiating in the... broad context that we need fundamental
economic changes, and how do we minimise the political tensions of Zimbabwe
without necessarily talking about governments of national unity," said
Pahad, emphasising that there was a need for a "real re-look" at Zimbabwe's
economic affairs.

      Among issues that needed to be seriously looked at included the
independence of the central bank, exchange rate distortions, and getting
agricultural productivity back on track.

      A decision on a loan would take into account "certain basic
realities", he said. These included the point that Zimbabwe's expulsion from
the International Monetary Fund (IMF) over debt would lead to a further
deterioration of the country's political and economic situation.

      "All our interventions on the Zimbabwean issue have been to prevent a
failed state on our doorstep," Pahad said.

      Pahad said talks for the loan were continuing between South African
Finance Minister Trevor Manuel and SA Reserve Bank governor Tito Mboweni,
and their Zimbabwean counterparts Herbert Murerwa and Gideon Gono

      He professed ignorance over reports that Zimbabwe had decided to turn
down South Africa's help because of the strict pre-conditions Pretoria was
prescribing for the loan.

      He said a report on the outcome of the loan discussions was expected

      The South African parliament would be informed about the outcome of
the negotiations and nothing would be done in secrecy.

      Pahad said the Zimbabwean issue was not a separate agenda item for
this week's Southern African Development Community (SADC) council of
ministers and heads of state meetings in Botswana.

      "But clearly these matters are always discussed, if not formally then

      But South Africa's official opposition - the Democratic Alliance
(DA) - said

      South Africa had a special responsibility to play the lead-role in
addressing the Zimbabwe crisis and must therefore ensure that this matter
would be on the agenda of the SADC Heads of State Summit.

      The DA's spokesperson on Africa Joe Seremane said Foreign Minister
Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma could make sure of this during the SADC Council of
Ministers meeting today, where the agenda will be discussed and finalised
before the heads of summit meeting opens later this week.

      "If this does not happen, SADC will be nothing more than an 'old boys
club', determined to ignore a growing crisis which can drag the entire
region down," said Seremane.

      He said SADC leaders were seemingly determined to ignore the growing
crisis in Zimbabwe and would go out of their way to protect Robert Mugabe
from any form of censure.

      "But it is in the region's best interest for this to change. The time
for blind loyalty is long finished; now is the time for tough love," said

      He said SADC leaders must, among other things tell Mugabe that:

      * As a group, they unequivocally condemn Operation Murambatsvina which
was characterised by the UN as "a clear violation of international law." Any
similar operations must be ended immediately.

      * They must demand that all regional and international food aid be
allowed to enter the country without unnecessary delay.

      * As a group, they must urge Mugabe to immediately adopt prudent
fiscal and monetary policies.

      * They must demand a return to the rule of law and respect for
fundamental democratic freedoms.

      * They must strongly urge the Mugabe government to enter into
dialogue - in good faith - with the opposition MDC and other relevant
stakeholders, and provide the necessary political support to AU appointed
mediator Joaquim Chissano.

      "The international community will be justified in questioning the
commitment of some African states to good governance, if SADC yet again
fails to put political pressure on President Mugabe," said Seremane.

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Zim Online

Zim Priests Visit Exiled Zimbabweans in SA
Tues 16 August 2005

      Johannesburg - Several Zimbabwean priests - under the banner of the
Zimbabwe National Pastors Conference (ZNPC) - have begun a week long visit
to South Africa to assess the enormous problems of Zimbabwean exiles who
have fled their country and settled here.

      The pastors will visit Lindela Refuge Detention Centre, where several
Zimbabwean refugees have died while awaiting deportation back to Zimbabwe,
among other places. They will also visit slums where Zimbabwean exiles are
living in squalid conditions.

      "The aim of the visit is to acquaint pastors from Zimbabwe with
conditions and challenges facing Zimbabweans who have been forced to settle
in South Africa," said the organisation's spokesperson Vimbai Mugwidi.

      "The Zimbabwe National Pastors Conference is particularly concerned
that the situation in Zimbabwe is failing to show prospects of improvement.
It is tragic that the situation continues to deteriorate, given especially
its effects on the poor and vulnerable people.

      "Zimbabwe is in turmoil. Today and everyday, thousands of Zimbabwean
fathers, mothers, and children are forced to leave their country of birth,
and flee across the borders into neighbouring countries to seek political
and economic refugee. These countries include South Africa," said Mugwidi.

      She said ever since the Zimbabwean crisis began, life had become
particularly harsh for the people of Zimbabwe over the past few weeks.

      Operation Murambatsvina , which left more than 700 000 homeless had
been particularly brutal. The victims would not recover to resume normal
life in the foreseeable future.

      The United Nations said a total of 2.4 million people had been
indirectly affected in varying degrees by Operation Murambatsvina.

      "This has aggravated the unnecessary suffering and misery of the
Zimbabwean people, many of whom are left with no other option but to leave
Zimbabwe. The further disintegration of family and community relations is a
matter of grave pastoral concern to us. Now Zimbabwe stands as a nation
without strong family and community ties. This is the greatest challenge to
our pastoral work today," said Mugwidi.

      She said the pastoral visit was thus being undertaken because
Zimbabwe's clergy felt that they had an obligation to provide pastoral
support to Zimbabweans within the country, as well as those who had been
forced to leave the country under difficult circumstances.

      "We bring a message of hope in God. We would like to thank Church
institutions in South Africa, organisation and individuals who have received
and cared for Zimbabweans. We are encouraged by the expressions of
solidarity and support from the people of South Africa," she said. ZimOnline

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Zim Online

Zim newspapers in CIO funding row
Tues 16 August 2005

      HARARE -- Two Zimbabwe newspaper groups are accused of receiving
billions of dollars of taxpayer's money from the Central Intelligence
Organisation (CIO) laundered through 'loans' from a bank in which South
Africa's Absa is the major shareholder.

      These allegations, first published last week by the Zimbabwe
Independent have not surprised Zimbabwean media watchdogs who long suspected
that the weekly Financial Gazette and the Daily and Sunday Mirror were part
of the ruling Zanu PF's media wars.

      The Financial Gazette and the Mirror newspapers are seen as supporters
of the "enlightened" wing of the ruling Zanu PF.

      With the exception of two weeklies, the Zimbabwe Independent and its
sister Sunday publication The Standard, all other daily press and electronic
media are controlled by the Zanu PF government.

      Former information minister Jonathan Moyo now an "independent" MP
since the March general election, said Monday he was "shocked" at the
revelations that the Gazette and Mirror newspapers received covert funding.
"I will be investigating this," he said.

      The Zanu PF government, under Moyo's direction, launched a full
frontal attack on the privately owned press when, in early 2000 the new
opposition party, the Movement for Democratic Change mobilised enough
support to defeat a referendum for a new constitution.

      The Financial Gazette, then fiercely critical of Zanu PF was sold in
2002 by veteran publisher Elias Rusike to his editor-in-chief, respected
journalist Francis Mdlongwa now lecturing at Rhodes University.

      Mdlongwa, some say naively, borrowed the purchase price of Z$200
million (Zimbabwe dollars) , then about R25 million from the Commercial Bank
of Zimbabwe, CBZ, whose chief executive at the time, was Gideon Gono, now
governor of the Reserve Bank who usually relishes publicity.

      Absa has a 25 percent stake in CBZ.

      "The money was lent with no questions asked and without even any
agreement on when it would be paid back, and a few months later Mdlongwa was
asked to repay the money immediately, and obviously he couldn't," Rusike
said Monday.

      He said he had been happy for Mdlongwa to own the newspaper because he
knew it would be in "safe hands" and would remain "independent."

      Mdlongwa then had to withdraw and ownership of the publication passed
to two of Gono's associates in a deal which has never been adequately

      Upon the arrival of the two associates, Mdlongwa had retained his
position as editor in chief of the newspaper.

      In an interview yesterday, Mdlongwa said upon their arrival, the two
Gono associates started attacking the Financial Gazette's editorial stance,
saying the paper needed to be toned down as it was too critical of the

      Their stance alarmed Mdlongwa and his fellow directors with whom he
had formed a consortium to buy the newspaper.

      Mdlongwa, who now heads the Sol Plaatje Media Leadership Institute at
Rhodes University, said he then opted to quit his post as editor in chief as
he could not countenance attempts to compromise the editorial freedom of the
Financial Gazette - Zimbabwe's oldest independent newspaper.

      "Looking back with hindsight, it is difficult to rule out that there
could have been other forces behind it all, but we simply did not have
evidence.....," said Mdlongwa.

      Supa Mandawanzira, who has the contract to produce television news for
the SABC is now on the board of the Financial Gazette and also handles much
advertising and publicity for Gono's various projects at the Reserve Bank.

      Editor of the Gazette, Sunsleey Chamunorwa denied the newspaper had
been funded by the CIO through a deal facilitated by Gono. "I will be
issuing a full statement in the paper on Thursday," he said.

      Ibbo Mandaza, a long-time Zanu PF supporter, who claims to be the only
shareholder in the Mirror Group said yesterday: "This story is not true. We
have an overdraft from CBZ and circulation is growing. We would submit our
books to an independent audit."

      In Zimbabwe's hyper inflationary climate many find it hard to believe
that the two Mirror newspapers survive when both have maximum circulations
of about 15 000 and scant advertising.

      Gono declined to comment on the allegations of his involvement with
the newspaper groups. Nicholas Goche, formerly the minister responsible for
the CIO and who now heads up the welfare portfolio also declined to comment.

      Andrew Moyse, director of the Media Monitoring Project said he was not
surprised at the allegations of covert funding from the CIO to both
newspaper groups.

      "The editorial content of the Financial Gazette altered considerably
after it changed hands. It fails to ask fundamental questions that would be
unpalatable fo its owners. We have seen it protect Gono primarily and the
government he serves.

      "The Mirror newspapers are a foil for the reformed wing of Zanu PF.
They exist on some permanent financial support and we can only assume it
comes from quarters whose interest it reflects."

      The Daily News and its sister Sunday and two small weeklies the
Tribune and Weekly Times are banned from publishing because they failed to
get accreditation from the government appointed Media and Information
Commission, set up by Jonathan Moyo.

      Government critics are outraged that it invested billions in seeking
to control the private media while millions of people face food shortages.

      Independent Newspapers.

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Business Day

'Lessons for SA in Zimbabwe's crisis'
Vukani Mde

Political Correspondent

ZIMBABWE's revolution has gone off the rails and the country's current
troubles were the result of a failure to transform the colonial economy, the
Congress of South African Trade Unions (Cosatu) said yesterday.

Cosatu president Willie Madisha and general secretary Zwelinzima Vavi spoke
of Zimbabwe's failures to delegates at the union federation's central
committee meeting outside Johannesburg.

In his speech welcoming guests and delegates, Madisha said the South African
government should ensure that its proposed financial bale-out of Zimbabwe
did not lead to further attacks against that country's people.

Vavi said Zimbabwe's impasse had already shown its potential to divide the
African National Congress (ANC)-led alliance.

"Mechanisms should be put in place to ensure that the loan is not used for
further subjugation of the working class, but to address hunger and improve
political dialogue and general economic stability," said Madisha.

Zimbabwe's problems contained lessons for SA and highlighted problems to be
avoided in this country, Vavi's report said.

Any revolution ceased to be progressive if its main beneficiaries were no
longer workers and the poor but a new ruling class linked to business, he
said. "The Zimbabwean revolution is off the rails. It is no longer serving
the interests of the working class and the peasantry."

Cosatu's assessment of the Zimbabwe crisis comes as SA's government is
poised to bale out President Robert Mugabe's government with a financial
rescue package that could be worth up to $1bn.

Vavi said the source of Zimbabwe's crisis was not external debt, but "a
failure to restructure the colonial economy".

The post-liberation government had used the commodity-based economy to pay
for socially desirable programmes such as education and health.

However, when export commodity prices fell, this led to dependence on
foreign loans and the imposition of structural adjustment by the
International Monetary Fund (IMF), Vavi said.

Zimbabwe reportedly owes the IMF $295m and is in danger of being booted out
of the institution.

These developments had gradually set the state directly against the
interests of the poor, Vavi said. Zimbabwe's government had begun to use
"left-wing rhetoric to justify right-wing solutions", he said.

Cosatu's assessment of the Zimbabwean crisis dovetails with that of
President Thabo Mbeki, who told the national land summit earlier this month
that the country was in debt because it had overspent on social programmes
following its liberation in 1980.

However, Vavi went further than Mbeki, saying the Zimbabwean government had
created the present lack of foreign currency, collapsed economy and
widespread homelessness, and bore the responsibility for resolving it.

Mugabe's government "must take full responsibility for (the) crisis", Vavi
told the gathering.
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Business Day

Cosatu accuses Mbeki of favouring rival federations
Vukani Mde


THE Congress of South African Trade Unions (Cosatu) has accused President
Thabo Mbeki of snubbing it in favour of rival union federations not aligned
to the African National Congress (ANC).

The complaint is contained in general secretary Zwelinzima Vavi's political
report, presented to the federation's central committee's four-day meeting,
which started yesterday.

Vavi told 500 delegates from Cosatu unions and regions that relations in the
tripartite alliance had improved since January this year, but tension
remained over the allies' disagreements on Zimbabwe, black economic
empowerment and the "acrimonious discussion" between Mbeki and Archbishop
Desmond Tutu earlier this year.

Government leaders were quick to use the power of their offices to
discourage unpopular decisions, without sufficient buy-in from the alliance.

He said this problem was compounded by the fact that Cosatu had failed to
"develop a more direct relationship with the president".

However, both the National Council of Trade Unions (Nactu) and the
Federation of Unions of SA (Fedusa) claimed a "cordial personal
 relationship" with Mbeki, he said.

This had "strategic implications" for Cosatu and its access to government.

Vavi asked delegates why this was the case, given that Nactu and Fedusa were
not in a formal alliance with the ANC.

Both unions have criticised Cosatu's relationship with the ruling party,
arguing it compromised worker independence and distracted unions from
workplace struggles.

"The question that arises is whether we are beginning to witness the
emergence of a 'new worker' divorced from engaging with political
transformation in favour of only focusing on narrow workplace issues," said

Mbeki called for a "new worker" at Fedusa's national congress three years

At the time the call was widely interpreted to mean a less militant union
movement focused almost exclusively on shop floor issues and not policy

The call, which came amid acrimonious relations between Cosatu and the ANC
after the union's general strike against privatisation, led to a cordial
relationship between Mbeki and Fedusa.

Nactu has also recently enjoyed a close relationship with Mbeki.

Former general secretary Cunningham Ngcukana now occupies a senior policy
position in the president's office.

In contrast, relations between Mbeki and Cosatu soured recently, following
Cosatu's public backing of axed deputy president Jacob Zuma.

Zuma is expected to speak to the Cosatu meeting this morning.
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Business Day

      Black empowerment - Zimbabwe style


                   Presenter: Lindsay Williams  Guest(s): Dumisani Muleya

            A description of Zimbabwe's own style of black economic
empowerment - called indigenisation by some - comes from Business Day Harare
correspondent Dumisani Muleya

            LINDSAY WILLIAMS: When we first heard about the proposals from
the Zimbabwean government there was a minimum black shareholding of 20%
proposed in all mining companies within two years - I think that was about
nine months ago - increasing to 25% in seven years, and 30% in 10 years. Has
the process stalled now?

            DUMISANI MULEYA: Basically it's actually 30%. There are some
regulations which government is currently considering - I have those draft
regulations - basically those draft regulations will amend the Mines and
Minerals Act in order to introduce this black empowerment provision. It
basically reads: "In order to increase participation in ownership by
historically disadvantaged persons in the mining industry, mining companies
shall achieve 30% historically disadvantaged ownership of mining industry
assets in 10 years - 20% in two years, 25% in seven years and then the full
30% in 10 years."

            LINDSAY WILLIAMS: So the theory is very similar to the theory in
South Africa? The BEE process in South Africa has been proceeding apace, and
in the main has been a success. The theory is one thing, how will the
process be different in Zimbabwe should it go ahead?

            DUMISANI MULEYA: Actually they plan to reform the mining sector
along the lines of South Africa's Mining Charter - however in Zimbabwe it
will be quite entangled into the politics of the day because there have been
a lot of threats here of nationalisation of foreign-owned companies. The
threats have been made by President Robert Mugabe and his Ministers. That's
the uncertainty in the mining sector - if not across the whole economy -
particular to foreign investors. The problem that basically affects that
kind of legislation in Zimbabwe is that it's entangled into politics - it's
the rhetoric of politicians when they are going for votes, they always raise
these things. When they table these things there is always scepticism around
about how achievable it would be, about what the funding arrangements for
these things will be, and the feasibility or in fact viability of mines
under such a regime and what it will be like - those are the questions that
people are asking.

            LINDSAY WILLIAMS: Many people I speak to think that this could
actually be a rescue plan for the economy of Zimbabwe - not in isolation of
course, but with other things - but what worries me is are there enough
empowerment partners to take advantage of this legislation, should it go

            DUMISANI MULEYA: Yes. If this legislation does go through, it
will be very difficult to make sure that it works in practice - because
there are all sorts of serious implications of funding. If you look at the
situation now there is a serious foreign currency shortage. When they are
selling their stakes to local investors as stipulated by the legislation the
mining companies would need those equities to be sold in foreign currency
terms - we've seen in the past year that local investors do not have
capacity to raise foreign currency in order to take up stakes like this. We
have an example in Zimplats - a platinum mining company owned by South
Africa's Impala Platinum - that has offered local investors 16%, but there
has been a dispute going on about fund raising, and who qualifies. The
government just last week ended up saying that the 15% is to be split onto
two for different consortiums. We've also seen similar disputes with regards
to Independence Gold Mines here - the gold mines are owned by Metalon - so
there has been some disagreement as to how local investors are included,
because they don't have the money, and they can't raise foreign currency to
buy into those mines.

            LINDSAY WILLIAMS: The danger is, of course, that the deals will
fall into the hands of small concentration of individuals - and empowerment
will not be broad based. Is that a real fear?

            DUMISANI MULEYA: Yes, here it's even worse than South Africa -
small politically organised groups will grab these stakes, so these
political sharks will just move in using their political connections and
resources in order to take up these stakes - so it won't really be
empowerment, it will be just an elitist empowerment process, which is
exactly the problem that we have been facing over the years. This
"indigenisation" program has just degenerated into an empowerment of the
political, economic and military elites - in some cases there are some
people in the army who have ventured into the mining sector. I'm talking
here about certain military and former military people that have moved into
diamond mining here in Zimbabwe.

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Business Day

Zimbabwe mines face compulsory equity sale
Dumisani Muleya, Carli Lourens and Wendy Hall


HARARE - Zimbabwe is taking legislative steps to force foreign-owned mining
houses to cede 30% equity to local black investors in the next 10 years.
Most of the mines in Zimbabwe are foreign owned and the move could help
redress this imbalance.

However, the timing and motives of the legislation, 25 years after
independence, will undoubtedly fuel uncertainty in the country's troubled
economy, which is struggling to attract foreign direct investment.

Analysts also argued the move was a ploy by the forex-strapped government to
retain some of the mining sector's profits.

Fears were raised that, as with their South African counterparts, mining
stakes will be secured by a well-connected elite close to the government.

Draft regulations to be inserted into the Mines and Mineral Act through a
statutory instrument show government is mulling over plans to reform the
sector using SA's mining charter as a model.

The amendment, yet to be tabled before parliament, says: "In order to
increase participation and ownership by historically disadvantaged persons
in the mining industry, companies shall achieve 30% ownership of the
industry assets in 10 years of which 20% shall be achieved in two years, 25%
in seven years and 30% in 10 years from the date on which these regulations
take effect.

"Mining companies shall give historically disadvantaged persons a preferred
supplier status, where possible, in all three levels of procurement, namely
capital goods; services; and consumables."

Mining companies will now have to apply to the mining department when they
want to import capital goods, services or consumables and justify their
actions - a requirement that analysts said could cripple their operations
given the inefficiency of the Zimbabwean government's bureaucracy.

However, the regulations do not say how the locally held 30% stakes are to
be funded.

Zimplats, owned by Impala Platinum, has already offered 15% to local
investors who have, however, failed to fund the stake and have been fighting
over it for the past two years. Borrowing rates in Zimbabwe are at
astronomically high three-digit levels.

Mines Minister Amos Midzi would not comment on the draft yesterday, saying
he was "too busy". Chamber of Mines CEO David Murangari was also not
available for comment.

Although the Zimbabwean plan is meant to transform the mining sector,
dominated by British, South African and Australian companies, it has been
dogged by controversy stemming from repeated official threats to nationalise
foreign companies, including mines.

International mining companies operating in Zimbabwe include Anglo America,
Rio Tinto, Implats, Mimosa Platinum, and Aquarium Platinum.

Implats financial director David Brown says the 30% figure bandied about was
not dissimilar from empowerment requirements in SA, which his company was
comfortable with.

He suggested that funding empowerment deals in Zimbabwe was likely to be
more challenging than in SA.

"These requirements need to be balanced with what is do-able in reality,"
Brown said.

He said this requirement should be "almost reversed", given what was
achievable in reality.

Rio Tinto's London office said it would not comment before the bill was

Anglo American, which has significant mineral assets in Zimbabwe, also said
it was unable to comment on a document they had not yet seen.

President Robert Mugabe has often threatened forced company takeovers.

A few years ago Mugabe's supporters invaded companies' premises, trying to
take them over by force.

Although the mining sector has been slowly recovering in the past 18 months,
with mineral exports increasing 10% in the first quarter, it is still
reeling from a skewed exchange rate, foreign currency shortages and high

Zimbabwe produces minerals such as platinum, diamond, gold, black granite,
coal, chromate, cobalt, graphite, iron ore, iron pyrites, lithium minerals,
magnesite and nickel.

The mining sector's foreign-exchange contribution has also fallen in recent
years from more than 30% of the country's total net proceeds to 25%.
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New Zimbabwe

Teachers fight take-over of private schools

By Staff Reporter
Last updated: 08/16/2005 12:32:05
ZIMBABWE'S teachers and parents are planning a sustained battle against the
government over a planned take-over of private schools.

Teachers' unions, labour movements and parents' associations say the move
could spell the death knell for Zimbabwe's education system, once one of the
best in the region.

The government says private schools are a law unto themselves, and accuses
them of running a parallel education system which limits access by poorer
parents through unrealistic fees.

The new Education Amendment Bill 2005 will bring the control of the private
schools under government. The Bill also gives the Minister of Education
power to prescribe fees and school uniforms, and decide which affiliations
teachers could join.

Last week, the Zimbabwe Teachers Association (Zimta), the Association of
Trust Schools (ATS) and the Progessive Teachers' Union (Ptuz) presented
their critical submissions to the parliament's portfolio committee for

The Bill's critics said the offending sections were not practical given that
the ministry has previously failed to monitor and review fees at the
government schools.

Raymond Majongwe, the chairman of teh PTUZ said: "Government cannot be
allowed to direct affairs at private schools -- enough damage has already
been done in the public education sector under the same ministry, and we
should never allow the same rot to extend to private schools.

"That would kill the private schools which are our last hope for quality
education and truly free instruction."

Zimbabwe's Education Minister, Aeneas Chigwedere, has said the government
would take into consideration submissions by the teachers and parents before
the Bill returns to Parliament, but lawyers fear changes will only be

"If this Bill passes through parliament in its present form, half of our
schools would be closed by mid-next year," said a lawyer representing ATS.

Teachers and parents also say that the take-over of private schools will
present additional bureaucracy epitomised by the 1,000 percent tuition fee
increase in all government schools backdated to January this year.

"This is like trying to erase the diversity in our schools by prescribing
one common uniform; it is a serious violation of the children's, the
parents' and the teachers' right to make their own choices," Majongwe said.

Meanwhile most private and mission boarding schools have increased fees by
as much as 100 percent for the third term of this year.

School heads at private schools in the country justified the fee increases,
saying they were commensurate with the inflation rate, which continues to

Prices of basic food and non-food items rose by as much as 247 percent while
inflation is currently running at 164 percent.

Tuition and boarding fees at Arundel Girls' School have gone up from 16
million Zimbabwean dollars (about 888 US dollars) in the last term to 25.5
million Zimbabwean dollars (about 1,416 US dollars) in the next term. Prince
Edward High School has increased its fees to 15 million Zimbabwean dollars
(about 833 US dollars) for the boarders while day scholars have to pay 5
million Zimbabwean dollars (about 277 US dollars).

The parents from rich families said there was no reason for the ministry to
wait until it was too late to raise fees, adding that they were willing to
pay as they were also experiencing the same prevailing economic conditions
that schools are experiencing.

However, some poor citizens are crying foul over the fees increases, saying
that the move would eliminate their children from the schools.

Experts in the education sector said the fee increases were justified given
the prevailing situation. Some experts argued that if the responsible
authority is unable to charge fees sufficient to cover its costs, then it
would be unable to maintain its school.

They also said 95 percent of parents were "willing and capable" to pay
realistic fees at most private schools, so there was no need for the
government to be involved in fees determination.
Do you think the government is right to make a move for private schools?
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New Zimbabwe

Panic as Zimbabwe rocked by media scandal

By Staff Reporter
Last updated: 08/16/2005 12:29:16
ZIMBABWEAN government officials and senior intelligence officers are locked
in emergency meetings Monday in a bid to contain the fallout from the
biggest media scandal to rock the country in 25 years.

Government sources said State Security Minister Didymus Mutasa was expected
to meet senior intelligence officers in a bid to limit the damage caused by
media reports that Zimbabwe's state security agency, the Central
Intelligence Organisation (CIO), had taken over three private newspapers
using billions in taxpayers' funds. The development further cripples
independent critical voices in the country.

"There will be emergency meetings between government officials and the
intelligence chiefs to discuss the issue, which has sent shock-waves through
government and media circles," a source said. "There will also be meetings
between the management and editors of the three newspapers affected by the

"This issue has caused great damage to the government's image and also
threatened the survival of the three publications."

There were inconclusive meetings between government officials and the senior
intelligence officers, as well as management and the editors of the media
houses concerned, after the story broke in the Zimbabwe Independent, which
is owned by SA's Mail & Guardian proprietor Trevor Ncube.

The Independent reported on Friday that the CIO used billions of public
funds to buy major business weekly the Financial Gazette and the two other
newspapers under the Mirror Newspaper Group, the Daily Mirror and the Sunday

The CIO also tried and failed to buy the closed Tribune newspaper, and is
manoeuvring to buy President Robert Mugabe's ruling Zanu (PF) mouthpiece,
The Voice.

It was reported the CIO was behind the closure of the privately owned
Associated Newspapers of Zimbabwe title, the Daily News and the Daily News
on Sunday, and allegedly behind the closure of the Weekly Times earlier this

The CIO reportedly copied their strategy of owning newspapers through shell
companies or as silent shareholders from Angola, where the intelligence
service owns the largest circulating daily.

Mugabe's government already controls a chain of newspapers under the
Zimpapers stable, and enjoys a monopoly of the airwaves.

Over the past five years, the government has intensified media tyranny in
tandem with political oppression as part of its political survival strategy.

Dozens of journalists of the independent media have been arrested and
foreign correspondents deported. The Independent newspaper named CIO
officers deployed to the three newspapers to tighten the intelligence
service's grip on the publications.

The government, the CIO and the newspapers themselves have not disputed the
report. The CIO's action were twidely seen as similar to SA's information
scandal in the late 1970s when apartheid intelligence services set up a
newspaper and bought space in the foreign media to defend their policies -
Business Day

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New Zimbabwe

Zim newspapers sell their souls for survival

By Staff Reporter
Last updated: 08/16/2005 12:25:15
AN INFLATIONARY environment and political pressure is making Zimbabwean
newspapers financially vulnerable, according to media sources.

"There are exorbitant costs involved. All of us [newspaper publishers] have
enormous debts - we owe money to the banks," said publisher and editor Ibbo

"Newsprint accounts for 70 percent of our costs - it costs about Zim $20
million (about US $1,100) a tonne and we require three tonnes a day," noted
Mandaza, head of the Southern Africa Publishing House (SAPHO), which owns
and prints the Daily Mirror and Sunday Mirror.

Escalating fuel costs and increasing salaries to keep up with the high
inflation rate have also impacted on the company's resources.

Besides the financial costs, Mandaza said he had to contend with the
psychological pressure of "safeguarding his journalists every day" - he and
two journalists from his publishing house were detained in 1999.

This week Mandaza was busy fielding queries related to a controversial news
report claiming that the Mirror group, the Financial Gazette and the
suspended weekly, the Tribune, had either been bought or approached with a
takeover bid by the Central Intelligence Operation (CIO), Zimbabwe's state
security agency.

The report's claims have been shot down by all the publications involved,
but it highlighted yet again the vulnerability of the media in a politically
charged environment.

"I have a 100 percent stake in SAPHO - I own the publishing house. We have
in the past - i.e. before 2003 - received offers from several people we
found unsuitable; we have not received any offers since then," Mandaza
confirmed. "We might have CIO agents in my newspaper and I will be unable to
confirm that - I mean state security agencies across the world have agents
in the media - they are all over the place."

Kindness Paradza, publisher of Africa Tribune Newspapers (ATN), which used
to print the Tribune newspaper, said in the past he had also been approached
with offers, "but I will not be able to confirm whether they were CIO
operatives - I wouldn't know". Paradza has other pressing problems: he is
fighting to keep his business afloat after the government-appointed Media
and Information Commission (MIC) suspended ATN for a year in June 2004.

Last month the MIC turned down ATN's application to resume publication,
saying the company had failed to show that it had enough capital, and
because it intended operating from a residence.

"How was I expected to rent business premises if I had not yet been given a
licence? Anyway, I have gone ahead and rented premises and met with all the
requirements asked, and resubmitted my application last week," said Paradza.

ATN shut down when the MIC ruled that it had failed to inform the commission
that The Tribune - initially published on Thursdays as The Business Tribune,
and on Saturdays as The Weekend Tribune - had merged into The Tribune, which
had gone on sale on Fridays.

The one-year suspension was based on allegations of breaching the Access to
Information and Protection of Privacy Act (AIPPA), which stipulates that the
commission must be informed of any changes in the titles, frequency and
ownership of a licensed media house.

"We realise the costs of running the operation - both financially and
psychologically - but we are journalists: we cannot earn a living doing
anything else," commented Paradza, who has been in the profession for 22
years. ATN is owned by journalists, with Paradza owning a 90 percent stake.

The Media Institute of Southern Africa, a media watchdog, said controversial
legislation such as AIPPA had placed an additional burden on journalists in

"They have to operate in constant fear of possibly breaching the
legislation," commented MISA's Nyasha Nyakunu.

The MIC was set up under Zimbabwe's controversial AIPPA law to license
newspapers and journalists. In a high-profile decision in 2004 it denied a
licence to Associated Newspapers of Zimbabwe (ANZ), which owned two
antigovernment papers: the Daily News, once the country's largest selling
newspaper, and the Daily News on Sunday.

Despite these pressures, Mandaza said his company had taken out yet another
loan to purchase a printing plant recently. "We hope to divert some of the
resources that we will now be able to save towards increasing our

The public's "thirst for information" was what kept publishing houses
running, Paradza maintained. "Almost 80 percent of Zimbabwe's population is
literate. We already had our niche market because of our middle-of-the-road
stance" regarding the government. "With our belief in accurate reporting we
hope to maintain our readership - we believe you can do business in

Besides the official daily, The Herald, and pro-government The Daily Mirror,
Zimbabwe's press stable includes the privately owned weeklies The Financial
Gazette, The Independent and The Standard - IRIN

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No Refuge for Evicted People

Institute for War & Peace Reporting (London)

August 15, 2005
Posted to the web August 15, 2005

James Makwembere

Some of the people evicted from their homes in Zimbabwean towns in recent
weeks are trickling back to their destroyed homes, hoping to rebuild their
lives and start afresh.

But many find that as soon as they start building on the site of their
flattened shack, they are forced on to police trucks to be ferried out of
town again.

The government's Operation Murambatsvina - Drive Out the Rubbish - was
ostensible to clean up Zimbabwe's decaying towns and clear out criminals and
people working illegally. But many thousands of homes have been bulldozed,
with devastating social effects for some of the country's most vulnerable

Ten weeks after President Robert Mugabe's police began the mass destruction
programme, countless numbers of poor people are struggling to pick up the
pieces. Most of the displaced are living in abject conditions, surviving on
charity. Their children's education has been disrupted, perhaps terminally,
as there are no schools in the so-called "transit camps" to which the
families have been removed.

The government said it plans a three trillion Zimbabwean dollar (940 million
US dollar] rehousing programme. But that is an empty promise, as the
government is close to bankrupt, and the funding does not appear in the
national budget figures.

The fate of squatter camps like Porta Farm and Hatcliffe, on the outskirts
of the capital Harare is demonstrative of the effects of the government
campaign. The dazed residents have been creeping back furtively, only to be
greeted by the rubble of what a short time ago were their houses.

Nixon Ndongwe had a house at Porta Farm for 12 years before it was knocked
down. Like others who have nowhere else to go, Ndongwe, his wife Melody and
their three children made their way quietly back to Porta Farm after
officials suddenly announced they were closing the transit camp where the
family had been dumped.

They are among perhaps 2,000 people who have returned to the homes which
police first smashed and then burned when they moved in in July.

They now survive on help from well-wishers, particularly churches. "We came
back from Caledonia Farm [transit camp 30 kilometres outside Harare] last
week," a dejected Ndongwe told IWPR. "This is what we have been saying all
along - that we just don't have anywhere to go."

Families like the Ndongwes felt they had no choice but to go back to Porta
Farm after the government failed to deliver on a promise to allocate them
with new land plots, but closed the transit camp anyway.

Despite the government's public claims that it has allocated people new
housing plots, Ndongwe and many thousands of others have not benefited
because they are unable to meet all the conditions. To apply for one of the
limited places, they would need a rent card, a marriage certificate and a
salary slip - none of which people them are likely to possess.

"My life has just been destroyed because of government's actions," said
Ndongwe. "Because of the government I lost my house. We have no food. They
are telling everyone that we were given plots, but it's not true."

It was, ironically, President Mugabe who ordered the creation of Porta Farm
back in 1991, when 30,000 people were rounded up from squatter camps
scattered across Harare and housed in the new settlement so that they would
be invisible from view during that year's Commonwealth summit.

Those now returning to Porta Farm and Hatcliffe have not yet put up
permanent shacks, fearing that the government will return and destroy them
again. Instead, at sunset they put up makeshift shelters of corrugated iron
and plastic, hoping to ward off the chilly night temperatures that dip below
zero in the short but sharp southern African winter, and dismantle them
before sunrise.

"We are afraid that they might come back and drive us away. We saw what they
did to our homes and can't take chances any more," said Benedict Chiwora,
whose shack at Porta Farm was destroyed in the blitz. "So we only build
something for the night in case they come for us."

Chiwora added that he had been told by Harare City Council that he would
note be allocated a housing plot because he did not have a pay slip.

Last week, the police came back, and loaded the Ndongwes and others onto
trucks, and dumped them on the road to the eastern border city of Mutare.

As the transit camp at Caledonia Farm, inmates were ordered onto trucks last
week and driven away to unknown destinations.

Also last week, police evicted hundreds of homeless families who had been
given refuge in churches in Bulawayo, Zimbabwe's second city, where pastors
and priests were providing temporary sanctuary for victims of Operation

Riot units raided the churches and loaded the dispossessed people into
trucks. Police said they had instructions "from the bosses to take the
victims to Tsholotsho", referring to a rural community in an area of severe
drought some 120 km northwest of Bulawayo.

The police raids have deeply angered the Churches in Bulawayo, a coalition
of churches which has come together because of the demolition programme and
the resulting humanitarian crisis.

"The removal of the innocent, poor, weak, voiceless and vulnerable members
of society by riot police was uncalled for and unnecessary," said the
coalition in a statement. "It is inhuman, brutal and insensitive and in
total disregard of human rights and dignity."

Meanwhile police barred churches and non-government groups from entering
Helensvale Farm, a transit camp 20 km from Bulawayo that is the second
largest holding facility for families whose homes have been bulldozered and
burned in the city.

"There have been no provisions for the people at the transit camp since we
were ordered off Helensvale farm," said the Reverend Ray Motsi, a spokesman
for the church coalition. "And we do not know what the people are eating now
because we did not supply them with long-term food and other provisions. The
reports we got from the camp are worrying."

Pastor Moyo, another of the church aid coordinators, said amenities at the
camp were almost non-existent, and that armed police are stationed at the
entrance gates to Helensvale Farm to check people entering and leaving the

The government has reacted angrily to a highly critical United Nations
report on Operation Murambatsvina, saying the findings are "biased, and did
not take into consideration the effort of the government to provide

The report, order by UN Secretary General Kofi Annan, said the operations
had been carried out in a haphazard manner and that those responsible for
the clearances should be prosecuted.

James Makwembere is the pseudonym of an IWPR contributor in Zimbabwe.

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