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My Zim contact explains why fasting is good for the people

Cape Times

26 July, 2007

By John Scott

Interview with one Doc Mtusi who appears to be one of the few people who
understands Zimbabwe's economic policy. He knows whats going on even better
than his boss, Finance Minister Samuel Mumbengegwi who announced in Masvingo
that there was no need for people to hoard food.

"But if people don't hoard food, what will they eat when the shops run
empty?" the Doc was asked after he had agreed to an interview.
"Who says they will run empty?" he retorted

"Shelves are already empty of basic foodstuffs."
"Then we will order the shopkeepers to fill them. We have already jailed a
few who refused to do so. It is simple economics. We will also jail anyone
who hoards food because that is what has caused the shelves to be empty."

"Sorry to cross swords with you Doc but your government is forcing
shopkeepers to sell all their existing stocks for less than they paid for
them. How can you expect them to buy in more supplies at the wholesale price
if they know that by selling them at the government's retail rate they'll
make a bigger loss. It's a quick way to go bankrupt?"
"No one ever said saving Zimbabwe's economy would be easy. We all have
sacrifices to make?"

"My point is that you can't blame shoppers for thinking that, unless they
quickly buy up whats left, there'll soon be no food to buy. They are not
stupid. They can see that all the shopkeepers will either be bankrupt or in
"Änd my point is that it is unpatriotic hoarding of food gives the
impression that we have a problem, which clearly we haven't, except in the
South African media's mind. I'm surprised that Mbeki still allows you to
write this nonsense. We are relying on comrade Zuma to make you change your
tune once he takes over." The Doc responded.

"But until then, Doc, why have you now even passed a law to stop Zimbabwians
importing food from SA. If they can't hoard food, they have to get it from
somewhere. Otherwise they will starve?"
"We don't call it starving. We call it fasting. Fasting is actually good for
you. Lots of famous people fasted for the benefit of their people. Ghandi,
for instance, fasted. In our case, the people themselves well be encouraged
to fast thereby strengthening themselves against the onslaught of colonial
imperialism." Doc said.

"I'm sure they really would prefer to eat, most people do."
"We have no objection in principle to people eating." Doc conceded. "Those
of us in government all eat, but only because persons in our important
positions have to. What we must guard against, though, is the belief that
ordinary people have the right to break the law if they are hungry."

"Thats how the French Revolution started." said interviewer
"Thank goodness we won our revolution 27 glorious years ago. So there is no
need to worry." declared Doc.

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War veterans harass business leaders in Masvingo

Zim Online

Wednesday 01 August 2007

By Regerai Marwezu

MASVINGO - War veterans in the southern town of Masvingo on Monday
threatened to "deal" with business leaders who are defying a government
directive issued in June to reduce prices of basic goods by 50 percent.

The former liberation war fighters, who spearheaded the government's
violent farm seizures seven years ago, delivered hostile letters to white
and Asian businessmen in the town threatening to take over their properties.

The war veterans, led by notorious ex-fighter Francis Zimuto, also
known as Black Jesus, accused the business leaders of defying a government
directive to reduce prices by half as well as roll back prices to mid-June

Mohammad Lambat, a businessman in Masvingo, confirmed receiving one of
the threatening letters from the war veterans.

A copy of the letter seen by ZimOnline warned business leaders "not to
risk their lives" by failing to support the government programme on prices.

An official from the Confederation of Zimbabwe Industries (CZI) who
refused to be named because he is not authorised to speak to the media, said
his organisation had received numerous complaints from the business
community over the threats by war veterans.

"We have received numerous reports of harassment, intimidation and
even assaults from the business community and we are busy engaging
government to ensure that there is calm," he said.

President Robert Mugabe's ruling ZANU PF party has used the war
veterans as foot soldiers in every major election held since 2000.

The main opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) party and
human rights groups have in the past accused the former fighters of
intimidating and harassing government opponents during election times.

Zimbabwe was plunged into further economic turmoil last June after
Mugabe ordered businesses to slash prices in a government crackdown
codenamed Operation Dzikisa Mutengo (Operation Reduce Prices).

The directive has resulted in empty shop shelves as hungry Zimbabweans
swept away all basic goods from shops with at least 6 200 business leaders
having been arrested during the crackdown. - ZimOnline

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MDC files Z$504 billion lawsuit against police

Zim Online

Wednesday 01 August 2007

By Batsirai Muranje

HARARE - Zimbabwe's main opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC)
party has filed a Z$504 billion lawsuit against the police for breaching
their role of protecting public order when they violently crushed a
court-sanctioned rally earlier this year.

In a letter of demand filed with the civil division of the Attorney General's
office last week, the MDC is demanding Z$504 billion in damages after the
police thwarted the rally on 18 February.

The rally at Zimbabwe Grounds in Harare's working class suburb of Highfield
had been sanctioned by a High Court order a day earlier.

"You are liable, jointly and severally for the damages suffered by lour
clients because you breached the duty of care you owed to our client," said
the MDC's lawyer, Jessie Majome in her letter.

"You further breached the duty of care because instead of actually providing
security and ensuring that there was peace and order, you reprehensibly
became the perpetrators of unlawful conduct," said Majome.

The Zimbabwe opposition party led by Morgan Tsvangirai is suing the police
in terms of the State Liabilities Act that makes the state liable for
failing to protect citizens' rights.

"The police flagrantly defied the court order and denied our clients entry
into the stadium in order to hold the rally, thus infringing our clients'
right to freedom of assembly, association and expression," their lawyers

Police Commissioner Augustine Chihuri and four other senior police officers
are cited as respondents.

Home Affairs Minister Kembo Mohadi who is in charge of the police, could not
be reached for comment on the lawsuit last night.

Hundreds of MDC supporters and senior party officials were seriously injured
followed violent clashes in Highfield in February after the police sealed
the venue in the suburb to prevent the rally.

A few weeks later, the MDC under the Save Zimbabwe Campaign, called another
rally at the same venue on 11 March in defiance of a police ban on political
meetings and rallies in Harare.

Tsvangirai and several other opposition and civic leaders were detained and
severely assaulted by state security agents for attempting to organize the
"illegal" meeting.

The Zimbabwe opposition party says rallies are the only means at its
disposal to communicate its political message and advance its political
programmes with voters after President Robert Mugabe banned independent
daily newspapers over the past four years. - ZimOnline

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Pressure group accuses police of hoarding basic goods

Zim Online

Wednesday 01 August 2007

By Pfudzai Chibgowa

BULAWAYO - The Women of Zimbabwe Arise (WOZA) pressure group has urged the
government to root out corrupt tendencies among the police who are enforcing
price controls around the country.

In fliers distributed to the public during demonstrations in Bulawayo on
Monday, WOZA demanded that Home Affairs Minister Kembo Mohadi investigate
corrupt activities of police officers enforcing the price controls.

The pressure group accused members of the police who are part of the
taskforce on price controls of hoarding basic goods for re-sale on the
parallel market at inflated prices.

"If the Minister of Home Affairs conducted an unbiased investigation into
the parallel of black market, he would find that it is family members of the
police and the army who are allowed to buy in bulk and take these goods onto
the pavements for resale at inflated prices.

"The uniformed forces should join the queues with immediate effect instead
of having their own queues," read part of the flier.

Zimbabwe was plunged into economic chaos last June after President Robert
Mugabe's government ordered shops to roll back prices to mid-June levels as
well as reduce prices by 50 percent.

The directive is resulted in empty shelves in most shops after Zimbabweans
took advantage of the bargains to sweep away virtually every basic goods
from shops.

"Slashing of prices is not enough - something has to be done to ensure there
are enough supplies of basic commodities for everyone. This will not happen
if corruption and inflation are not tackled by meaningful political change,"
read the flier.

But most of the goods have found their way onto the parallel market at
double their normal price.

There were no arrests following the protest by WOZA.

The women's pressure group has in the past staged demonstrations in major
cities and towns demanding an end to the country's bitter eight-year
economic crisis that has been described by the World Bank as unprecedented
for a country not at war. - ZimOnline

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 Water Shortages in Capital Leave Residents Desperate

IPS news

By Tonderai Kwidini*

HARARE, Jul 31 (IPS) - Taps in the Zimbabwean capital, Harare, are running dry even though the city’s main supply dams are more than 60 percent full, according to figures from the Zimbabwe National Water Authority (ZINWA). With more than half of Harare's three million inhabitants now experiencing water shortages, residents are resorting to desperate measures to find supplies.

Carrying a large bucket to work has become a daily task for Tedious Marembo, employed as a cleaner at a block of government offices in the city. This building is never without water, because it houses three government ministries. So Marembo fills his bucket at work to provide water for his wife and two children who live in Kuwadzana, a poor suburb in the south-west of Harare.

"My wife has to walk a long distance to get water at a church in my neighbourhood where a borehole was sunk, (and) she has to pay 50,000 dollars for a bucket. The only way I can help her cope with household chores is to carry with me a 20-litre bucket to bring water from my work place," he said.

At the official exchange rate, 50,000 Zimbabwe dollars is worth 200 U.S. dollars; at the black-market rate, however, it would only buy 36 U.S. cents at the time of writing. On average, civil servants earn four million Zimbabwe dollars -- a little over 22 U.S. dollars per month, at unofficial rates.

Harare has experienced intermittent water shortages for some two years now, due mainly to poor management and ageing infrastructure. Water experts from a Scandinavian development agency who preferred to remain anonymous said ZINWA management was inadequate because the water authority was not run by professionals, but rather by political appointees hired by Water Resources and Infrastructural Development Minister Munacho Mutezo.

The experts believe the capital's water distribution system, built long before independence in 1980, has gone without proper maintenance for many years. Critically important pumps that have an expected lifespan of between 15 and 20 years had not been replaced since they were installed, for instance.

Sanitation has gone the way of water provision, as members of the Mashapa household -- also in Kuwadzana -- can attest. A blocked pipe caused a fetid pool of sewage to build up around their house, and this outflow now slowly winds its way through the suburb to a nearby stream.

"We are locking children in the house. They can no longer play outside because of the danger of contracting diseases. Cholera is right in our midst; we have reported to ZINWA and they came…but as soon as they left the problem started (again); we now don’t even know what to do and who to tell," said Olivia Mashapa, mother of the family.

While the Mashapa children may be kept away from the sewage, others are not: primary school children who use a path alongside the Mashapa home are obliged to pick their way through waste matter, while other children play in the effluent -- and are exposed to water borne diseases.

At the far end of the suburb, still more residents are at risk, as they buy vegetables from vendors who sell their wares right next to open sewage. Many toilets in this area are blocked and can no longer be used.

"I did not bath today; I have been up and down the suburbs looking for water. Sometimes we get the water from the main local authority office, but today they are refusing to let us into their premises to fetch water, although we are still paying our water bills in full," said Memory Mucherahowa, an elderly street vendor.

For the fortunate few who can afford membership for the city centre gym, visits there have become a necessity -- not only for exercise, but also for a shower.

The frequency of service delivery problems increased significantly after the management of Harare’s water system was transferred earlier this year from the City Council to ZINWA. Opposition party members believe the transfer was based more on political considerations than managerial criteria.

Two reports tabled recently in Zimbabwe’s House of Assembly by the parliamentary portfolio committee on local government made it clear that ZINWA, a parastatal, lacked funds, equipment and above all, the expertise to run the city’s water affairs.

"Although ZINWA reiterates that it has the capacity to take over the entirety of water and sewerage services in the country's urban areas, local authorities and the public feel that ZINWA is not able to undertake this task," one of the reports stated.

"In view of the evidence gathered, the committee recommends that the cabinet reconsider the directive as the takeover of the services from the city of Harare has proved that ZINWA has no capacity."

Government has however not implemented recommendations for the city’s water management to be returned to the council, and ZINWA is in the process of extending its reach to other cities and towns including the country’s second largest city, Bulawayo.

IPS was not able to get comment from ZINWA about the complaints made against it.

The water shortages constitute just one of many difficulties confronting Harare, and Zimbabwe as a whole. Runaway inflation and high unemployment have driven many into poverty -- and the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) estimates that just over two million of the country's approximately 13 million citizens will experience food shortages "as early as the third quarter of 2007".

This figure "will rise to 4.1 million at the peak of the crisis in the months before the next main harvest in April 2008," the WFP website goes on to say.

Economic difficulties are paralleled by a political crisis that has resulted in a number of disputed elections, and widespread human rights abuses.

* This feature is the first in a two-part series on water shortages in Zimbabwe. The second item, 'DEVELOPMENT-ZIMBABWE: The City of "Passport Size" Ablutions', focuses on the water situation in Zimbabwe's second largest city, Bulawayo. (END/2007)

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The City of "Passport Size" Ablutions

IPS news

By Ephraim Nsingo*

HARARE, Jul 31 (IPS) - The City Council of Bulawayo, Zimbabwe's second
largest city, has issued a warning to residents of a possible outbreak of
disease following a massive cut in the city's water supply. This is the
first time in Bulawayo's history such a health warning has been issued.

"Water will be available for seven hours in every two days and during that
time people are advised to fill their containers and cover them up. The City
Council is aware that water cuts may result in the outbreak of diseases, and
we wish to advise members of the public to take preventive measures," said
council spokesperson Phathisa Nyathi recently.

The water shortage has been ascribed to drought, a burgeoning population and
the lack of co-operation between the City Council and the Zimbabwe National
Water Authority (ZINWA) -- a parastatal.

Bulawayo is the capital city of Matabeleland, a southern region that has for
decades been prone to droughts. When the last of its five dams was completed
in 1979, the city had a population of around 250,000 and the City Council
could manage the needs of residents and factories.

However, those same five dams are unable to cope with the requirements of
the 1.5 million people who now live in Bulawayo. And, while authorities have
in recent months introduced strict water-rationing measures, these have
failed to stop the water crisis from becoming the worst in the city's

Earlier this month, the council was forced to decommission the Lower Ncema
dam because it ran dry. Two other dams, the Upper Ncema and the Umzingwane,
had already been decommissioned for the same reason.

Officials have warned that Inyankuni will be also decommissioned soon, as it
is only about a tenth full. This would leave the Insiza dam as the last
water reservoir for the city.

Insiza is Bulawayo's largest dam, with a capacity of just over 173 million
cubic metres. Currently, it is standing at slightly above 88 million cubic
metres; according to Nyathi, this means that "Collectively, the city's
supply dams are only 24 percent full, which is worrisome."

Bulawayo needs about 120,000 cubic metres of water per day, but at the time
of writing had the capacity to pump only 69,000 cubic metres. This figure is
expected to drop to 46,000 in October when the Inyankuni dam is

Eighty boreholes were sunk during the last major drought in the early 1990s.
But, these fall far short of meeting the residents' requirements, especially
since most of them are no longer operational.

The water crisis is having a significant effect on the way most people in
Bulawayo go about their daily lives. The upper and middle classes are coping
with water restrictions reasonably well, but the overwhelming majority of
people living in the vast shanty towns that have swollen the city's
population in recent years are struggling.

Residents of some of the poorer suburbs now have to walk long distances to
the nearest borehole to draw water, while profiteers exploit their plight by
selling water at exorbitant prices.

For many, bathing has become a luxury as they reserve the little available
water for other uses. Instead of bathing, they now perform what is known as
a "passport size", wiping the face and other essentials with a damp towel.

"With the way things are going, it is very unlikely we will get any supplies
(of water)," said Memory Ndlovu of Emakhandeni suburb. "We now have to walk
all the way to Old Luveve where there is a borehole, but even the borehole
sometimes runs dry, as it serves people from (several other suburbs).
Something has to be done urgently otherwise a disaster is looming here."

People in Emakhandeni say water cuts have exceeded the time periods
indicated by the City Council. "They told us the water shedding would be for
many hours, but now it's turning out to be many days," noted another
resident, Thabiso Ncube.

The current crisis could exert pressure on the Bulawayo City Council to
allow ZINWA to take over the city's water and sewerage system. From the
beginning of the year, there has been fierce resistance to this proposed
takeover, with both politicians and residents arguing that water management
should remain in the hands of council.

ZINWA has already taken over Harare's water management system and has not
proved to be very effective in the country's capital.

If ZINWA were to assume control of Bulawayo's water, however, it might open
the way for the city to tap the idle Mtshabezi dam or the Nyamandlovu
Aquifer -- two reservoirs are under ZINWA management.

A 33-kilometre long pipeline between the Mtshabezi dam and Bulawayo's
existing Ncema system appears to be the most viable short-term solution. But
even that option would take several months to implement.

The obvious long-term solutions to the water shortage would include the
construction of new, larger dams and the laying of a water pipeline from the
Zambezi River to Bulawayo. These solutions would, however, require a
considerable investment -- unimaginable in the country's present situation.

Zimbabwe is battling economic difficulties that have seen inflation climb to
four digits, widespread job losses and shortages of essential goods such as
fuel. This is taking place in the midst of a political crisis characterised
by clampdowns on opposition members, rights activists and the media by the
government of President Robert Mugabe.

* This feature is the second in a two-part series on water shortages in
Zimbabwe. The first item, ' DEVELOPMENT-ZIMBABWE: Water Shortages in Capital
Leave Residents Desperate', deals with the water situation in Harare.

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Zimbabwe's Opposition Rejects New Currency Denomination


By Peter Clottey
Washington, D.C.
01 August 2007

Zimbabwe's main opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) has sharply
dismissed as cosmetic President Robert Mugabe's government circulation of a
new currency denomination. The new 200,000 Zimbabwean dollar notes, which
will be issued by the Reserve Bank today (Wednesday) is meant to cut down on
the country's hyperinflation rate, perceived to be the highest in the world.
But the MDC says the new money shows that the ruling ZANU-PF is bankrupt of
ideas and unable to formulate policies that would alleviate the suffering of
the people. The MDC is therefore calling on the government to resign and
hand over power to the opposition.

Nelson Chamisa is the spokesman for the MDC. From the capital, Harare he
tells reporter Peter Clottey that resolving Zimbabwe's governance problem is
the only solution to the country's economic emancipation.

"Our position is very clear that clearly, it shows that the crisis continues
to escalate; the inflation even continue to even worsen, in fact we are in a
hyperinflation environment to the extend that we now need to print almost
new notes almost on a monthly basis. For us it's an indictment on the regime
and the regime's policies. We feel that what we now need is a clean slate of
policies instead of these piecemeal measures, which are just meant to
firefight and try to massage the crisis," Chamisa noted.

He said President Mugabe and his ruling ZANU-PF government should be blamed
for what he described as the economic crisis facing the country.

"It clearly shows that what we have is a regime which is so desperate, and
which has run out of ideas, bankrupt on policies and programs, and clearly,
when they start printing money as a way of controlling inflation, it clearly
shows that there is a death of ideas; there is a death of vision in terms of
where we are going," he said.

Chamisa said the MDC has been vindicated by the recent economic hardship
many ordinary Zimbabweans are experiencing.

"It's actually a confirmation of what we've always said as MDC that until we
resolve the governance issue, we are not going to find any economic solution
because we will be tinkering on just the cosmetics. We want to address the
fundamental issue, and the marrow of the matter here is to deal with the
politics of the country, restoring democratic rights, making sure that we
give people fundamental freedom," Chamisa pointed out.

He said the opposition has plans to rescue the country from what he termed,
the economic doldrums.

"As the MDC we have a reconstructing and stabilization document, which is
the alternative to the government programs and policies, which has clearly
shown that they are barren, and they are not capable of turning around the
economy," he said.

Chamisa said the problem the country faces now should be blamed on the
president, since Chamisa said he has been in charge at the time of

"President Mugabe has clearly failed! He has delivered 27 years of agony. Of
course we must say that in the first years, it was better. But now, he has
failed and he has clearly been overwhelmed by the economic challenges, by
the political challenges. And he has resorted now to repression, he has
resorted to finger pointing, and he has resorted to a blame game, without
realizing that he, himself is at the center of the crisis. In fact when his
fingers point at the MDC, four of his fingers are pointing at himself. He
must remember that he is the one who has been entrusted at the helm of this
country since 1980, and he has nobody else to blame except himself," he

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Q&A: Zimbabwe's economy

Tuesday, 31 July 2007
Empty shelves in a Harare shoe shop
Price controls have ravaged stocks in Zimbabwe's stores
Zimbabwe has just about the worst-performing economy in the world. Some say the economic problems could soon bring down the government of President Robert Mugabe, although that has been predicted many times before.

People are struggling with soaring inflation, widespread joblessness and the exodus of millions of Zimbabweans, both to neighbouring countries and to Europe and the US.

What's going on with Zimbabwe's economy?

By any measure, Zimbabwe is in deep financial trouble.

In many stores, the shelves are nearly empty much of the time, and prices are skyrocketing for what goods remain as hyperinflation sets in.

About four out of five people are estimated to be out of work - at least as far as the official economy is concerned.

The situation is so bad that about 3,000 people a day are thought to be crossing Zimbabwe's borders into neighbouring countries.

And increasingly, many Zimbabweans are dependent on support from relatives and friends abroad to keep food on the table and roofs over their heads.

Hyperinflation - what's that?

This is what happens when the value of money plummets.

Police stop shoppers from approaching a discount warehouse
Stampedes have broken out when goods arrive at some stores

In Zimbabwe's case, the near-5,000% annual rate of inflation means that a loaf of bread bought today is about 50 times more expensive - in cash terms - than it was a year ago.

And prices are continuing to accelerate, in some cases doubling in weeks - or even, on occasion, days.

Wages, on the other hand, are nowhere near keeping up.

One correspondent recently told the BBC News website that one candle can cost twice the official government wage for a farm worker, while the price tag for a single banana is 15 times what she paid seven years ago for a four-bedroom house.

Another effect is that people simply do not hang onto money. As soon as it is earnt, it must be spent - because prices will have risen sharply even by the following day.

How do people cope?

Barter is increasingly common.

So, too, is a reliance on remittances from abroad - in money but increasingly in goods. Several shopping websites now allow expatriate Zimbabweans to order food supplies to be paid for in foreign currencies and delivered to relatives at home.

Similarly, with petrol shortages endemic and prices spiralling - not to mention power cuts, often for 20 hours in the day - one enterprising firm now allows vouchers to be sent as text messages, to pay for fuel in US dollars.

Wherever possible, people exporting and importing goods do so on the black market, since a sizable slice of foreign currency exchanged at the official rate has to be kept in accounts which the government can use to feed its need for foreign exchange.

In any case, exchange rates on the unofficial or "parallel market" can be 20 times more generous than the official one of Z$15,000 to the US dollar.

How did it get to be like this?

For many people, the key cause of the current problems is Zimbabwe's land reform programme.

Most of the country's most productive farmland remained in white hands after independence in 1979, and through the 1990s the government of President Robert Mugabe worked to shift ownership.

By 1999, however, with little movement, the government unveiled plans to seize land without compensation - a process which started in earnest the following year.

Zimbabwe dollar bills and bearer cheques
Revaluations and new currency have failed to halt inflation

As hundreds of farms were taken over - sometimes by local people, often by senior government officials - production, and export, of grain and tobacco collapsed.

Huge spending on involvement in the conflict in the Democratic Republic of Congo was also a drain on the public purse.

The result was a food crisis, and a battering for the economy as foreign exchange earnings slumped - both from farming and from tourism, amid violence surrounding the land reform programme.

What is the government saying - and doing?

As far as President Mugabe and his ministers are concerned, land reform has nothing to do with the country's economic travails.

Instead, sabotage by the West in general, and the UK - the former colonial power - in particular, is responsible.

They point to sanctions imposed against the country - although these are aimed at leaders, rather than at the economy as a whole.

And the government has also taken a string of measures intended to stem the country's decline.

Among them have been limits on foreign currency movements, a revaluation of the Zimbabwe dollar, the introduction of vouchers instead of banknotes, and - most recently - the imposition of stringent price controls.

Cuts of as much as 50% on many commodities are now required by law, and thousands of businesspeople have been arrested for pricing goods at levels it sees as amounting to profiteering.

Meanwhile, the government is planning to "indigenise" foreign-owned businesses by making sure black Zimbabweans have majority control.

And Mr Mugabe is also promising to print even more money, should government projects require it.

Is any of this working?

President Robert Mugabe
President Mugabe blames foreign sabotage for Zimbabwe's ills


The hyperinflation affects raw materials and wages as well as retail prices, after all.

So businesses argue that at the prices the government demands, they simply cannot afford to make or buy the goods in the first place.

The result, Zimbabweans report, is hoarding of what goods remain; stampedes whenever a shop acquires a much-needed staple like cooking oil or maize meal; and further hardship.

And the import restrictions may make things worse, since the collapse of domestic output means goods brought across the border are often the only thing on the shelves.

Printing even more money, meanwhile, will simply add to the hyperinflation.

Some analysts say the situation will lead to a complete collapse of the economy and the government by the end of the year but each time people have said in the past that things couldn't get any worse, they have.

So is anyone gaining from this?

A few businesses are making huge profits from the black market - for example those with good connections who can buy hard currency at the official rate and sell it to those who need it at a far higher price.

The Zimbabwe Stock Exchange has also been roaring ahead - it has been one of the best-performing in the world in recent years.

As the government prints money, and interest rates have failed to keep up with the rampant inflation, assets such as stocks have been one of the few places where Zimbabweans have been able to put their money so as to retain its value.

The result: share prices increasing even faster than retail price inflation.

Meanwhile, many South African shops are experiencing their own mini-boom.

As goods become ever scarcer, Zimbabweans are flocking across the frontier to stock up - and not only to stores in towns near the border.

And many of the million or more Zimbabweans already in South Africa are similarly buying up staples to send home.

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Zimbabwe Government Alleged To Block NGO Food Assistance Efforts


By Patience Rusere
31 July 2007

Zimbabwean Local Government Minister Ignatius Chombo has warned councilors
in the rural Mashonaland West district of Zvimba not to let non-governmental
organizations distribute food in the area, telling local officials such
groups intend to use food aid to destabilize the government, local and other
sources said.

The sources said Chombo issued the instructions last week in a meeting with
local councilors. His intervention comes as the country is grappling with
food shortages and experts warn some 4 million Zimbabweans will need food
aid by early-2008.

Chombo could not be reached for comment. VOA was unable to obtain
confirmation from NGO managers, because officials either were not available
or declined to speak about the highly sensitive issue. The Harare government
requires authorization from the international down to the local level for
food distribution, and has shut down food distribution programs in the past
with little or no explanation.

Spokesman Fambai Ngirande of the National Association of Non-Governmental
organizations said interference with food aid has mounted as elections
approach. The country is scheduled to hold local, general and presidential
elections in early 2008 and critics have charged in the past that Harare
uses food to exert political pressure.

Ngirande told reporter Patience Rusere that international as well as
domestic humanitarian organizations face increased official restrictions

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Zimbabwe NGOs Looking Into Roadside Murders Of Student, Two Others


By Carole Gombakomba
31 July 2007

Zimbabwean non-governmental organizations are investigating the apparent
murders last week in Harare of a student from the University of Zimbabwe and
two other men whose identities are not known or which authorities have not
made public.

The Zimbabwe National Students Union put out a statement Monday saying all
three homicide victims were university students, but the Crisis in Zimbabwe
Coalition said its own investigation had identified just one of the slain
men as a student. Tafirenyika Mugwidi was a second-year humanities student
at the University of Zimbabwe.

All of the victims were found in a secluded area along the road from Harare
to Harare International airport, stripped of their clothes, the NGOs said.
Mugwidi was found dead Friday and the two others were taken to a hospital
where they died later.

Mugwidi was buried in Mhondoro, Mashonaland West, on Tuesday, after a
coroner determined that he had been murdered, nongovernmental sources said.

Zimbabwe Republic Police spokesman Oliver Mandipaka said that he could not
comment immediately on the apparent murders.

Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition spokesman McDonald Lewanika, coordinator of the
Students Solidarity Trust, told reporter Carole Gombakomba of VOA's Studio 7
for Zimbabwe that the three men were victims of the economic crisis which
now obliges people to walk long distances, leaving them vulnerable to random

Click here or ALT-T to return to TOP

The problems that dog the opposition in Zimbabwe

01 August 2007

By Brian Kagoro

The malaise that dogs the opposition in our country has three inter-related
dimensions, which we have collectively articulated on this platform, and yet
we are happy to ignore when these dimensions manifest in their crudest
forms. First, there is an ideological crisis because the main opposition
politics in our country was born out of a clear social base and veered into
the neo-liberal trap of reducing its function to contesting elections. Its
mission was over-simplified into that of supplanting an exhausted
nationalist oligarchy of looters, pretenders and brutes.

But removal of kleptocracy by itself hardly constitutes a uniting
ideological premise for a movement in a country in such dire need of
structural transformation. Such that consensus on the need to remove Mugabe
does not extend to a re-construction programme for leadership at all levels
as well the economy and political architecture of our country.

Second, there is a crisis of political programming. Even if one were to
accept the argument that even the ANC did not have ideological asymmetry
when it assumed power in South Africa, one would be forced to accept that it
had a clear political programme that formed the premise of its tripartite
alliance (RDP). An election is not wholesome rather holistic political
programme. Particularly in a country where systems, institutions and
processes of sanity have been denuded to such a vulgar extent. Yes unity is
important, but that unity must be premised on a political programme should
ideological consensus prove difficult in the short term.

Third, there is the question of leadership renewal. In the last two decades
Mugabe has managed to produce Simba Makoni, Jonathan Moyo, Eddison Zvobgo,
Joyce Mujuru, Emmerson Munangagwa, Xavier Kasukuwere, Gideon Gono, Happyton
Bonyongwe, etc. In each moment our attention have been diverted by these
constructions and at other times almost deceived by them. Whilst the
consistency of leadership in the MDC is commendable, perhaps the party needs
its own constructions. A lease of new blood and fresh ideas. These would not
supplant Morgan Tsvangirai but re-enforce and capture national imagination
and attention away from the banal political analysis of Morgan and Arthur.

Perhaps, there are those who do not care whether the opposition wins or
loses the next election? They see the status quo as favorable to their
interests (personal or otherwise). Perhaps the absurdities of the
developments in the MDC are reflective of its Zanufication? Rather
reflective of an exclusive politics that we have all entertained and
romanced over the last five years? We have created camps and fiefdoms and we
have forgotten what it means to be truly inclusive. We elbow each other out
of opportunities and we malign each other in circumstances and instances
when we should be standing in solidarity.

Perhaps the real undoing of our politics is our tenacious appetite for
opposing each other as opposed to the establishment. When we ought to have
been organizing, we have been agonizing? Instead of gathering we have been
scattering? The failure of opposition unity is in essence a failure of the
humane essence.....the ability to serve each other and recognize and
celebrate our respective strengths and shield our respective weaknesses?
After all none of us is an angel?

We can never defeat Zanu PF standing to its political right. We have to
stand to its ideological left and dramatize the contradictions of its
defensive radicalism and contrived left rhetoric. We also have to accept
that the crisis of livelihoods in our country is not a disease of the post
February 12, 2000. That it has its roots in the transition to independence
as well the disastrous SAPs and cocktail of neo-liberal poison that we
imbibed from 1989 to 1999.

Our economic re-construction agenda should therefore address poignant and
pertinent issues relating to meeting of the basic needs of the citizenry,
creation of employment, eradication of poverty and misery. It must also
guide us towards a pro-people re-industrialization model. In short ,it must
allow us to imagine afresh an egalitarian society; agrarian and national
questions as well re-construction of the Zimbabwean state and its role.

Civil society in Zimbabwe is very weak, nevertheless resilient. It has
survived extreme battering from a very brutal system. However, civil society
is also part of the problem as it exhibits the same strands of divisionism.
Some of it has even shamelessly constructed itself along ethnic fiefdoms and
regionalistic politics. Because of its inherent appetite for sectarian
politics ,it is ill disposed to play a unifying role in our national
politics. The MDC we may not be able to do anything about, but civil society
we should certainly focus our attention on in a very self-reflective and
critical manner.

At the risk of not stopping when I have finished, let me end my rumblings
right here.

Nehanda Radio: Zimbabwe's first 24 hour internet radio news channel.

Click here or ALT-T to return to TOP

Zimbabwe Teachers Union Seeks To Reopen Talks On Compensation


By Jonga Kandemiiri
31 July 2007

The Progressive Teachers Union of Zimbabwe said it is seeking a meeting with
top government officials to demand salary increases for its members, saying
that with inflation running at several thousand percent they cannot make
ends meet.

Union officials said salaries are far under the poverty line of $8.5 million
monthly living costs for a family of six.The union said it has started
holding consultative meetings with its members and hopes to meet with
government officials next Wednesday.

The union seeks a minimum monthly salary of $8.5 million versus $2.9 million
currently being earned by teachers, and income tax breaks, among other

Members of the union went on strike January 31 and returned to work February
22 after the government agreed to raise their wages.

PTUZ General Secretary Raymond Majongwe told reporter Jonga Kandemiiri that
Harare must revisit salaries quarterly to cushion teachers from rampant
inflation and to keep the country's educational system from collapsing due
to teacher emigration.

Click here or ALT-T to return to TOP

JAG Classifieds dated 31 July 2007

As a JAG member or JAG Associate member, please send any classified adverts
for publication in this newsletter to:

JAG Classifieds: - JAG Job Opportunities:

Rules for Advertising:

Send all adverts in word document as short as possible (no tables, spread
sheets, pictures, etc.) and quote your subscription receipt number or
membership number.
Notify the JAG Office when Advert is no longer needed, either by phone or
Adverts are published for 2 weeks only, for a longer period please notify
the JAG office, by resending via email the entire advert asking for the
advert to be re-inserted.

Please send your adverts by Tuesdays 11.00am (Adverts will not appear until
payment is received.). Cheques to be made out to JAGMA.


1.  For Sale Items
2.  Wanted Items
3.  Accommodation
4.  Recreation
5.  Specialist Services
6.  Pets Corner
7.  Social Gatherings



1.1  Generators & Inverters for Sale

The JAG office is now an official agent for GSC Generator Service (Pvt) Ltd
and receives a generous commission on sales of all Kipor generators and
equipment.  Generators are on view at the JAG office.  Please could all
those JAG subscribes who deal directly with GSC, rather that through the JAG
office, clearly stipulate that the commission if for JAG.

The one stop shop for ALL your Generator Requirements SALES:
We are the official suppliers, repairs and maintenance team of KIPOR
Equipment here in Zimbabwe.  We have in stock KIPOR Generators from 1 KVA to
55 KVA.  If we don't have what you want we will get it for you.  We also
sell Inverters (1500w), complete with batteries and rechargeable lamps.  Our
prices are very competitive, if not the lowest in town.

SERVICING & REPAIRS: We have a qualified team with many years of experience
in the Generator field.  We have been to Kipor, China for training.  We
carry out services and minor repairs on your premises.  We service and
repair most makes and models of Generators - both petrol and diesel.

INSTALLATIONS:  We have qualified electricians that carry out installations
in a professional way.

SPARES: As we are the official suppliers and maintainers of KIPOR Equipment,
we carry a full range of KIPOR spares.

Don't forget, advice is free, so give us a call and see us at: Bay 3,
Borgward Road, Msasa.  Sales: 884022, 480272 or
Service: 480272, 480154 or


1.2  For Sale

So Far and No further! Rhodesia's Bid for Independence during the Retreat
from Empire 1959-1965 by J.R.T. Wood

533 pages; quality trade paperback; pub. Trafford ISBN 1-4120-4952-0
Southern African edition, pub. 30 Degrees South : ISBN 0-9584890-2-5

This definitive account traces Rhodesia's attempt to secure independence
during the retreat from Empire after 1959. Based on unique research, it
reveals why Rhodesia defied the world from 1965.

Representing Volume One of three volumes, Two and Three are in preparation
and will take us to Tiger and thence to 1980;

To purchase:

Zimbabwean buyers contact Trish Broderick:

RSA buyers: WWW. 30 or Exclusives Books

Overseas buyers see:
and a link to Trafford Publishing


1.3 For Sale

Road motorcycle for sale. YAMAHA - Model YZF 600cc - Thundercat - in
immaculate condition.

Highest cash offer secures.  For further details contact Dave on 011 600 770
or 091 22 55 653 or email


1.4 FOR SALE (Ad inserted 24/07/07)

Buy the all new Wiztech 223 Super Satellite Receiver and receive satellite
TV FREE by using your existing dish! This is a one-of payment - NO SUBS to
pay. No hidden costs. SABC 1,2, 3, Botswana, e-TV, SA News International,
CNBC, Press TV, Trade and Travel, several religious channels, Radio stations
like RSG, Radio Pretoria, SAFM, 5 FM, 2000 Fm etc. Contact Joe Esterhuizen
on Harare 339378 (anytime) or 0912 338414 or e-mail


1.5 National Bull & Heifer Sale (Ad inserted 24/07/07)


Brings you the 39th NATIONAL BULL & HEIFER SALE


SHEEP - 20 Dorper Rams, 20 Dorper Ewes

DAIRY BULLS - 4 Holstein, 2 Montbeliarde

BEEF BULLS - 80 Brahman, 24 Simmental, 6 Limousin, 12 Hereford, 3 Charolais,
6 Sussex,
16 Tuli, 11 Beefmaster, 4 Droughtmaster, 2 Santa Gertrudis, 9 Senepol, 6

BEEF HEIFERS & COWS - 54 Brahman, 2 Hereford, 5 Tuli, 17 Beefmaster, 5 Santa
Gertrudis, 3 Senepol

Date of Sale - Friday, 27 July 2004 9am

Viewing - Thursday, 26 July 2007 2pm

Venue - Mount Hampden Sale Pens, Mount Hampden, Sign Posted on Sale Day

Conditions of Sale - Deposit $ 5 000 000 Cash, Payment strictly Cash/RTGS

Enquiries - CC Sales Ltd - 04-252253-7, Mark Hayter - 011 604 623, Allister
Banks - 011 601 083


1.6 FOR SALE (Ad inserted 24/07/07)

Are you leaving Zimbabwe and wanting an investment to take with you? For
sale (Valuation certificate by Sharon Caithness available).

Solid silver tray (2.836 gms), Solid silver tea set - Teapot,sugar bowl and
milk jug (1.307gms).
Valued by Sharon Caithness at Z$2,201,000.000.00 (two billion, two hundred
and one million dollars).

NO -


1.7 THE WEAVERY (The African Craft Market) (Ad inserted 24/07/07)

Going Overseas or down South? Why not take hand woven gifts for your friends
or family?  These super articles which are light, easy to pack, take or
and fully washable. Contact Anne on 332851 or 011212424.Or email

Discount of 20% on all articles.
Crocheted oven gloves--$810,000.
Cotton oven gloves--$765,000.
Small woven bags--$665,000.
Large woven bags--$810,000.
Crocheted bags--$945,000.

Single Duvet cushions(open into a duvet)--$4,080,000.
Other sizes to order.

3 piece toilet set--$1,610,000.
Bath mat--$1,140,000.(small rug).

Decorated cushion covers--$810,000.

Table runner--$473,000.
Set(4)Bordered table mats + serviettes--$1,610,000.
Set(6)Bordered table mats + serviettes--$2,420,000.
Set(4) crocheted table mats only--$1,280,000.
Set(6)fringed table mats + serviettes--$2,420,000.
The table mat range is to be discontinued once present stocks are sold.

Small(approx.105x52cms) plain cotton rug--$1,140,000.
Medium(approx.120x65cms) plain cotton rug--$1,610,000
Large(approx.150x75cms) plain cotton rug--$2,420,000.
Ex.Large(approx.230x130cms) plain cotton rug--$5,210,000.
Small patterned cotton rug--$1,610,000.
Small rag rug--$1,140,000.
Medium rag rug--$1,610,000.
Medium patterned cotton rug--$2,420,000.
Large patterned cotton rug--$3,230,000
Ex.Large patterned cotton rug--$6,390,000.
Small patterned mohair rug--$3,180,000.
Medium patterned mohair rug--$4,010,000
Large patterned mohair rug--$5,210,000.
Ex. Large patterned mohair rug--$8,810,000.

Lots of other articles.PLEASE be aware that prices may change without
notice and orders take some time as they have to be woven and sent from
Gweru to Harare


1.8 For Sale (Ad inserted 31/07/07)

1996 Toyota Land-cruiser for sale.  Very good condition with plenty extras.
Tel:  498001, 0912 437845 or email


1.9 For Sale (Ad inserted 31/07/07)

ZNSPCA HQ 156 Enterprise RD. Tel 497574/ 497885


113cm x 139 cm - $3 600 000
90 cm x136cm - $3 000 000
70 cm x 61.5cm - $900 000
59,5cm x 62 cm - $700 000




PRINTERS TRAY - $ 500 000


FIRE WOOD - $150 000 PER BAG


1.10 For Sale (Ad inserted 31/07/07)

1 x MF265S tractor - front to back rebuild.  US$12,500 equivalent

1 x Ursus 3512 tractor - front to back rebuild.  US$12,500 equivalent

1 x Renault ME160 7 tonne truck - immaculate condition, new tyres, imported
batteries etc. + 1 x 5 tonne drop side trailer - immaculate conditon, new
tyres etc. - US$40,000 equivalent

Telephone Marondera 079-21421, 0912 256 661, e-mail


1.11 For Sale (Ad inserted 31/07/07)

10 kg LPG cylinders (empty): ea- 20

2 kg LPG cylinders - need attention ea- 10

Army (ex) steel frame stretchers: 20

Bar (small): 25

Book case (teak) 2 shelf small: 20

Camping stools and chairs: 6 - 10

Coffee table 30

Dart board with darts 15

Fans  various from fixed  to oscillating: 30 - 40

Garden hose on hose roller 15

Rucksacks (Hiking) (empty!): 20 - 40

Pentium 1 computer and screen  30

Soda streams and CO2 cylinders - 10 and 15

Spring-Master 4 serving bowl Hostess Food Warmer: 50

Steel garden swing chair (1950 era): 60

Steel garden round table and four chairs and securing chain: 55

Steel  chaisse longez: 20

Well used golf set with various clubs and woods and about 2 doz golf balls:

Figures represent US$ also payable at the current equivalent.

Email: for more details or Phone 301646 or 011 201 231
for viewing



2.1 Wanted

By way of loan or donation to the JAG Trust.  The Trust is Capacity Building
a New Project which necessitates the furnishing of an office with desks,
chairs, cupboards and shelving. Any surplus office furniture or trimmings
will be welcomed.  Phone 799410.


2.2 Wanted

Sheila Macdonald (Sally in Rhodesia) - If you have any of Sheila Macdonald's
books for sale, please let JAG know the details including condition etc with
your name, telephone number and price wanted.

Telephone JAG - 04 - 799410


2.3 Shotgun Wanted

Good quality, Baretta or Browning, 20 bore over/under shotgun.  In excellent
condition.  Please contact the JAG office on 799410.


2.4 Wanted (Ad inserted 24/07/07)

Urgently is Working / Non Working TVs, Decoder , Hifi and Cell-phone buyer.
Cash paid on spot. Collect anywhere in Zimbabwe.

 Contact Joel on 011 569 194 or Email -


2.5 Wanted (Ad inserted 31/07/07)

ZNSPCA :  We are looking to purchase two second hand 165 / 13 inch rims for
our horse box and one of our pickups.  Currently we have no spare for these
vehicles.  We are also looking for tools for our vehicles - pliers, spanners
and screwdrivers - so please if you are clearing your workshops we are keen
to buy your junk off you.  Any donation of the above equipment will be
greatly appreciated.
Head Office:  04 - 497885 / 497574

Is also looking for donations of
Buiding Materials:
Pit and River Sand, Bricks
Second hand Window Frames, French door
Wooden doors
Door handles/Locking Mech.
Fluorescent light fittings tubes and bulbs

ZNSPCA is always looking for 2nd hand Dog collars, leads, kennels and

ZNSPCA HQ156 Enterprise Rd or Tel: 497574/497885




3.1 Accommodation Wanted

Ex farmers daughter, husband and two young children looking for 3/4
bed-roomed, 2 bath-roomed house, with domestic quarters to rent. Prefer a
long lease.  Please call Chere 011631546.


3.2 Accommodation Offered (Ad inserted 24/07/07)

Attractive two bedroom thatched cottage in farm garden at Bromley, 50 kms
from Harare.  Nice garden and lots of space.

Three million per month.

Contact Jennifer at 073 3399 or 011 423614


3.3 House-sitter Wanted (Ad inserted 31/07/07)

I am looking for a house-sitter for mid August till mid October on my little
farm in Bromley  There is no farming to be done, the settlers have seen to
that, just 6 pets (4 dogs and 2 cats) to love and look after.   I have a
home and garden (the house is over 100 years old), good security with two
watchmen, and a very good house servant.  We are 50 kms from Harare.  No
money exchanges

Please contact Jennifer at 073 3399 or 011 423614 - or sms, or E mail:




4.1 Need a break

Getaway and enjoy peace and fresh air at GUINEA FOLWS REST
Only 80kms from Harare, Self-catering guest-house
Sleeps 10 people, Bird-watching, Canoeing, Fishing, DSTV

REGRET: No day visitors.  No boats or dogs allowed.
Contact Dave: 011 600 770 or Annette 011 600 769
or 091 22 55 653 or email


4.2 Savuli Safari (Ad inserted 31/07/07)

Self catering chalets in the heart of the Save Valley Conservancy. Game
watching, fishing, horse riding, canoeing, walking trails and 4x4 hire. Camp
fully kitted including cook and fridges. Just bring your food,  drinks and
relax.    Best value for money. U12 are 1/2  price

Contact John : or Phone 091 2631 556




5.1 Vehicle Repairs

Vehicle repairs carried out personally by qualified mechanic with 30 years
experience. Very reasonable rates.

Phone Johnny Rodrigues:  011 603213 or 011 404797, email:


5.2 SpeedWorx - WYNN'S

Intelligent Car Service has arrived!

Why pay ridiculous prices and be without your car for days.

Our services are done while you wait & cost a fraction of the normal repair.

At SpeedWorx we will:

Service your car
Increase your engine's performance and improve your fuel economy
Completely flush your engine oil to prolong your engine life
Restore your Power steering performance and stop it leaking
Restore your Automatic Transmission performance and stop it leaking
Completely flush your brake system and make you safe
Stop your car overheating and reduce the risk of leaks
Remove bad odours from the interior of your car and keep it fresh

Services done at your home or office.

Contact: Bryan 011 612 650 or Russell 011 410 525.



Filming & Editing of Weddings & Special Events. DVD Production, Broadcast
Quality.  DVD & VHS transfers. Call Greer on 744075 / 0912 353 047

Greer Wynn - Focused Video Productions:  0912 353 047 / 744075


5.4 MAGNA PLUMBING & ELECTRICAL (Ad inserted 24/07/07)


Please be advised that the above Company has moved premises and the phone
number has changed.
We still offer continued professional and prompt service for the following

A.     Electrical repairs and installations
B.    Plumbing repairs and installations
C.    Home and Office renovations
D.    Extensions and Buildings
E.    Patios and Driveways
F.    Painting, Carpentry and Glazing
G.    Roofing, Gutters and Flashing

Please contact ROB and SUE

Phone   (04) 852658
Mobile  011 601 885   /   023 824 896
Email        /



·    Fast and efficient dipping and shipping
·    Professional administration and storage of trophies
·    Taxidermy in the USA
·    Convenient drop-off

Contact me, Joe Wells on Tel/fax (263) 04 490677, Cell: (263) 0912 239305


5.6 KARIBA CATERING CLUB 52 (Ad inserted 24/07/07)

TEL (061) 2582 /2595, CELL:  0912259645/0912262631/0912416072

All your catering and beverage requirements taken care of & placed on the
boat prior to your arrival (see our Menus)

Houseboats hired to your requirements.   Contact us via our e mail : or call us on telephone numbers shown above.

Secure parking for cars and speedboats
Fuel can be arranged for you
Ice sales
Fishing rod hire
Tackle sales
Bait Sales
Any requirement will be considered if attainable

BOAT TRANSFERS:  Anywhere on Lake Kariba



6.1 Looking for a Home (Ad inserted 31/07/07)

Jack Russell male, tan/white 'PERCY' needs kind and loving home. 5 years,
owner left. Has been spoilt and adored. Tel Michelle on 884294 or 011602903
or e-mail




MONDAY 13 AUGUST 2007 (over long weekend)

All serious runners, fun runners/walkers, family and friends are invited to
take part in the second Kariba Half Marathon, sponsored by Cutty Sark Hotel.

Disco, full bar and catering at Cutty Sark after the race.

Email: or for more information or
telephone 011 208 218 / 0912 275 714


7.2 Country Juke Box (Ad inserted 24/07/07)

Come and party with Country Juke Box. Bring the family. Children allowed.
Reasonable bar prices, club menu and a great atmosphere. A wide selection of
dance music from the 60's to 90's, Country, Tiekkie Draai, Rock and Roll
etc. For details contact Joe Esterhuizen on 339378 or 0912 338414 oe e-mail

JAG Hotlines: +263 (011) 610 073, +263 (04) 799 410.  If you are in trouble
or need advice, please don't hesitate to contact us - we're here to help!
To advertise (JAG Members): Please email classifieds to:
with subject "Classifieds".

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