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Economic report on Zimbabwe to remain under wraps

Yahoo News

Saturday August 25, 06:02 AM

GABORONE (AFP) - The head of the Southern African Development Community said
on Friday a report on economic solutions for Zimbabwe would remain under
wraps, but he believed the country still had a viable economy.

SADC executive secretary Tomaz Salamao sought to quash rumours emerging
after last week's summit in Lusaka, denying he had suggested Zimbabwe's
neighbours should pump money into the country's ailing economy, or that its
currency be pinned to South Africa's.

"I have never suggested that money be pumped into the Zimbabwean Reserve
Bank as a rescue plan," he told reporters at a briefing in Gabarone,

"I have also heard rumours that in my report I have suggested that the
Zimbabwean Dollar be pegged to the South African Rand as a way of rescuing
the situation. That is not true."

He did however say his report recommended that SADC member states come up
with ways to help Zimbabwe, and that finance ministers had been tasked with
working with Zimbabwe and offering solutions for its problems.

Zimbabwe, once regarded as a regional bread basket, first ran into economic
trouble when Mugabe ordered the seizure of white-owned farms in 2001 which
had been a major source of revenue.

The situation has worsened, with rampant inflation of over 7,500 percent and
massive food shortages with more than three million Zimbabweans having fled
the country and four out of five people unemployed.

The contents of the report have remained a closely guarded secret, and will
remain so until further notice.

"I will make it available for the Finance Ministers of SADC for now. Now is
not the right time to make the document public. It will be made public at
some stage, but not now," he said.

Salamao said that when compiling his report he found that despite the
turmoil, the flailing economy remained a viable one.

"It is one economy that is operating with sanctions, although the European
Union claims that their sanctions are targeting some 130 individuals. If you
tell the world do not trust those who are running the economy, what message
are you sending," he said.

"Zimbabwe's economy currently has no access to soft loans and lines of
credit. They operate only on hard cash. You cannot run an economy that way."

South African president Thabo Mbeki, charged with mediating in the country's
economic and political crisis, denied in his weekly letter on Friday that
SADC leaders were divided over the report.

Quoting from sections of Salamao's report, Mbeki said the most urgent action
was to establish lines of credit to allow Zimbabwe to carry out imports for
production sectors.

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Zimbabwe: Relaxing price controls "too little, too late"

United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs -
Integrated Regional Information Networks (IRIN)

Date: 24 Aug 2007

HARARE, 24 August 2007 (IRIN) - Businesses say the Zimbabwean government's
about-turn on price controls this week, allowing manufacturers and retailers
to increase the prices of basic commodities, is "too little, too late", and
most are sceptical about whether the decision will restore a normal flow of
goods onto the market.

The government's reversal followed marathon meetings with businessmen, who
warned that more companies would go under if goods and services continued to
be provided at below-cost prices; many have already closed shop, saying they
could not afford to restock.

Government announced this week that retailers would be allowed a maximum
markup of 20 percent and charge Value Added Tax of 15 percent on goods, but
Bulawayo-based economist Eric Bloch said he did not see the move bringing
immediate relief.

"The stated increases announced by government do not cover operating costs
for the firms to manufacture goods in large enough volumes to meet demand. I
don't see this bringing back goods on shop shelves unless government
abolishes price controls, reduces state spending and stops printing money."

He said government should take positive steps to encourage and stimulate
production and value enhancing to generate foreign currency needed by
manufacturers to boost production.

A director of a retail chain in Harare, the capital, told IRIN that the
latest government intervention would not improve the situation. "Just about
everything is in short supply - from matches, beer, soft drinks, candles,
rice and meat - due to a combination of factors. In the majority of cases,
many manufacturers are saying they cannot restock because they were forced
to sell at way below the cost of producing commodities.

"Also contributing to the chaos is the fact that people are now generally
impulsive bulk buyers because of the uncertainty of what tomorrow brings, so
the few goods that are delivered are bought quickly before resurfacing on
the parallel market, where they would be selling for five times their
original value."

Grip of shortages

The country is saddled with crippling foreign exchange shortages and the
world's highest inflation rate, officially pegged at around 3,700 percent,
but in recent confidential correspondence with bank chief executives, seen
by IRIN, Reserve Bank Governor Gideon Gono said inflation had shot up beyond
the 7,000 percent mark in June.

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) estimates that Zimbabwe's inflation
will breach the 100,000 percent mark by December this year. IMF Managing
Director Rodrigo Rato visited Southern Africa this week.

"We have been emphasising with the Zimbabwe authorities the need to address
[the] very extreme and deteriorating macroeconomic environment," he said at
a news conference. "We are not encouraged by the responses of the
authorities ... Our advice to the Zimbabwe authorities is not ... [what]
they are applying."

The government has publicly accused manufacturers of scaling down production
or withholding products to protest the price controls, leading to severe

Economic analysts estimate that more than 70 percent of manufacturing firms
are operating at way below 30 percent capacity because they have been unable
to purchase inputs and spares to refurbish their aging equipment as a result
of several years of foreign currency shortages.

Elliot Manyika, Minister Without Portfolio and vice-chairman of the Price
Monitoring Task Force, set up to enforce the price blitz and whip
manufacturers into line, encountered a barrage of complaints about shortages
of power, water, coal and foreign currency while touring several
manufacturing firms in Harare earlier this week.

"For the past two years, we have not received even a single dollar in
foreign currency from the Reserve Bank. We have had no water from ZINWA
[Zimbabwe National Water Authority] for the past three days and unless
supplies are restored, there is little we can do," said one company

At a milk production company Manyika was told, "We cannot fire our boilers
with the little coal we have left," and shown a small pile of coal.

"We will see what we can do," Manyika said. "We will sit down, as
government, and see to it that all the challenges are addressed."

The empty shop shelves have also affected Sithabile Mguni, one of the many
vendors at supermarket entrances who sell carrier bags made out of cement or
maizemeal bags.

Business boomed when supermarkets started rationing and later charging for
carrier bags to cut costs. Now she hardly sells any. "Customers are getting
fewer and fewer. They have little to buy and no longer require carrier
bags," Mguni said, pointing to the bare shelves inside the supermarket.

Businessman Taurai Madzivire said he sympathised with vendors like Mguni and
wondered if her business would improve after the government's decision to
allow the hike in prices.

"The question is whether manufacturers will be able to absorb the losses
they incurred over the past month and half to justify increased production,"
he said.

"There are no guarantees that government will not launch a similar blitz
once they [manufacturers] have started production. Also, the increases do
not cover transport costs under current fuel shortages."



This article does not necessarily reflect the views of the United Nations or
its agencies.

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Indigenous Empowerment Bill Guarantees More Looting By Zanu PF

SW Radio Africa (London)

24 August 2007
Posted to the web 24 August 2007

Tererai Karimakwenda

The Third Session of the Sixth Parliament is bound to provide some dramatic
moments when a new Bill introduced by government this week is debated.
Parliament opened on Tuesday and government wasted no time. On Wednesday
ZANU-PF tabled the Indigenous Economic Empowerment Bill, aimed at giving
majority control of foreign-owned companies to locals, but excluding white
Zimbabweans. The opposition Movement for Democratic Change has already
dismissed the Bill as a ZANU-PF ploy to acquire and vandalise private firms,
the way the party took over and destroyed agriculture.

Indigenous is described as "any person who was disadvantaged by unfair
discrimination on the grounds of race before independence in 1980"- a
roundabout way of saying "no whites allowed." Economic analyst John
Robertson said he is not surprised at all because the government has shown
the same inclination to discriminate against white Zimbabweans for years. He
added: "Their stance is that white Zimbabweans have no business being in
Zimbabwe no matter whether they were born here or arrived here as
immigrants, or are descendants of the pioneers who came here over 100 years
ago. So their feeling appears to be any discriminatory legislation they
bring to bear on the white population is fully justified. And if they don't
like it they should leave."

An estimated 35 foreign-owned companies remain in Zimbabwe, including
Barclays Plc and Anglo American. Essentially the Bill will require them to
sell 51% of their shares to locally owned firms or risk losing their license
and registration. They must also do half of their business with local
companies. The government itself will be required to procure 75% of its
goods and services from locally owned companies and to deal only with
indigenous banks and accounting firms. The government's success in
destroying manufacturing and production will clearly make these requirements
impossible to realise.

Regarding accusations that the legislation is meant mainly to benefit
companies aligned with the ruling party, Robertson said this was true. He
explained that ZANU-PF wants to have majority shares. Once this is done,
they will then have the power to appoint the company chairmen and directors
who will take instruction from the party. He said: "Government's wishes will
be expressed in the business sector through them. And if these people fail
to do so, they will be retired or resigned and replaced by new people who
will carry out government's wishes."

In other related news; in Bulawayo the government has been accused of only
re-licensing abattoirs whose owners have close links to the ruling party. A
report on the Zimonline news site said out of 42 abattoirs that were given
back their licenses, none of the six white-owned private abattoirs in
Bulawayo had been re-licensed.

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Zimbabwe's Neighbors Call for Economic Policy Revamp


By Mike Cohen

Aug. 24 (Bloomberg) -- Southern African leaders today issued their first
unanimous public rejection of Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe's economic
policies and urged him to overhaul the way he manages the country to end a

The reprimand was contained in a report drafted by the Southern African
Development Community and adopted by leaders of the 14-nation regional
grouping at a meeting in Zambia last week. South African President Thabo
Mbeki released excerpts of the report for the first time in his weekly
Internet column today.

Zimbabwe ``must continue to implement robust policies to reduce the
overvaluation of the exchange rate, to reduce the budget deficit and to
control the growth of domestic credit and money supply, which fuel
inflation, and to reduce price distortions in the economy,'' Mbeki cited the
report as saying.

``Equally important is the need to avoid frequent changes in policy
initiatives, which have caused uncertainties and led to the view that the
policy environment is unpredictable.''

Zimbabwe is in its ninth year of recession, has the world's highest
inflation rate and is facing widespread shortages of fuel, food and other
commodities. Southern African leaders have previously been loath to
criticize Mugabe, a political ally.

`Hostile Allegations'

``The hostile allegation that our countries have recklessly turned their
eyes away from the problems of Zimbabwe, because of the imperatives of
solidarity, has always been nothing more than a product of propaganda,''
Mbeki said. ``The problems of Zimbabwe are our problems. Our entire region
stands to benefit most directly from the recovery of Zimbabwe.''

Mbeki cited the SADC report as saying Zimbabwe needed to restore access to
credit and its ability to generate foreign exchange to enable it to buy
imports for its manufacturing and agriculture industries.

``SADC should do all it can to help Zimbabwe address the issue of sanctions,
which is not only hurting the economy through failure to get balance of
payments support and lines of credit, but also through reduced markets for
its products,'' the report said, according to Mbeki. ``Sanctions also damage
the image of Zimbabwe, causing a severe blow to her tourist sector.''

The European Union and the United States have barred arms sales to Zimbabwe,
imposed travel restrictions against senior ruling party officials and frozen
their assets, while the International Monetary Fund has declared the nation
ineligible for further loans.

Zimbabwe's economic meltdown, sparked by the government's seizure of
white-owned farms, has been accompanied by political turmoil, with the
opposition accusing Mugabe of rigging elections and using violence to quell
dissent. Mbeki was tasked by SADC five months ago to mediate and ensure
Zimbabwe holds credible elections next year.

To contact the reporter on this story: Mike Cohen in Cape Town at

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Police haunts Crisis Coalition team in Gwanda

Crisis Coalition Alert

Police haunts Crisis Coalition team in Gwanda

Yesterday, 23 August 2007, plain cloths police officers failed to arrest the
Crisis in Zimbabwe Team which organized a Public Meeting and Civil Society
Briefing meeting in Gwanda. The police officers rounded the vehicle, which
Gladys Hlatywayo (Crisis Coalition Advocacy Officer) and Mehluli Dube
(National University of Science and Technology [NUST] Vice President) were
using at Gawnda Hotel accusing them of inciting the public to cause anarchy
and uprisings against the government of Zimbabwe. The team had to force its
way through the police barricade.

The Gwanda Police communicated with their counterparts in Esigodini to mount
a road block and arrest the two. The team had to escape when the police
officers at the road block were seeking confirmation of the vehicle
registration number of the people they were looking for.

The meetings deliberated on the political environment which the progressive
forces are operating before proposing the way forward. Amongst other
outcomes was the need to intensify peaceful civil disobedience programs to
pressurize the incumbent government towards upholding the tenants of good
governance and the rule of law.

Joint Command Center summons Bulawayo Agenda

The Joint Operations Command (JOC) comprising of the army, prison services,
police and Central Intelligence Chiefs, yesterday summoned the Bulawayo
Agenda Vice Chairperson Kucaca Phulu, and the organization's secretariat:
Xolani Zitha, Busani Ncube and Alfred Ncube to Bulawayo police station.

The organization notified the police of its plan to hold a public meeting in
the high density suburb of Makokoba which they will go ahead on Saturday 25
August 2007. The meeting is jointly organized by Crisis Coalition and
Bulawayo Agenda.

JOC interrogated the four for more than two hours. It threatened Bulawayo
Agenda with imprison if they are to mention the name President Robert Mugabe
during the meeting. The militant JOC accused the organization of harbouring
conspiracies of inciting uprisings against the government in the high
density suburb

Crisis Coalition and Bulawayo Agenda will go ahead with the meeting as per
our schedule starting from 1400 hours to 1600 hours. We hold that we have
done our part by notifying the police of the meeting. The police do not have
the powers to stop the meeting since the nefarious POSA only grants them the
power to be notified.

Save Zimbabwe Campaign launch: Midlands Province

The Save Zimbabwe Campaign launches its provincial campaigns in Gweru,
midlands province on the 1st of September 2007.

The launch will be held at Mukoba Stadium starting from 11am to 2pm.
Participants will be drawn from political parties, civil society, churches
among others.

The Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP) was notified of this event. We therefore
call upon the people of Zimbabwe and Midlands province in particular to
grace the event in their number in their bid to find a lasting solution to
the deep rooted Zimbabwean crisis.

Two Ameerican women deported!

The two American women, Lauren Carara and Ms Risley who were arrested on the
21st of August 2007 were yesterday deported around 1300 hours without due
process. The two had endured a night in detention after they were arrested
filming the activities of Girl Child Network.

The deportation went ahead irrespective of an urgent court order allowing
the two to be accorded legal representation which they were denied since the
day of their arrest. The Deputy Secretary General of the Law Society,
Lawrence Chibwe was granted an order to represent the two from the chambers;
however, by the time they went to serve the order to the police they were
informed that their clients had been deported.

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Woza Activists Arrested During Door to Door Raids in Bulawayo

SW Radio Africa (London)

24 August 2007
Posted to the web 24 August 2007

Violet Gonda

Police in Bulawayo reportedly abducted six women and a baby from the
organization, Women of Zimbabwe Arise during early morning raids. WOZA
coordinator Jenni Williams said the group received an alert around four in
the morning from the children of the arrested women, saying police officers
were going door-to-door arresting the activists.

Police are also accused of trying to break into the home of WOZA leader
Magodonga Mahlangu. They failed to get in and arrest her, but she has
reported that since the incident her dog is now missing. In the past police
have been brutal in their treatment of animals belonging to perceived
opponents of the government. A witness reported that police attacked the
barking dog with a hoe.

Those arrested include Rosemary Siziba and her one-year-old baby, Margaret
Ndlovu, Idah Ndebele and Maria Moyo. Williams said as usual lawyers were not
able to access them, as the police denied holding the activists.

The group says homes belonging to two WOZA members were also searched in
Masvingo on Thursday night. WOZA believes the authorities are paranoid after
the pressure group held a successful annual congress this past weekend. It
is assumed that these arrests and searches are an attempt to obtain
information about the congress resolutions.

A statement said: "They were taken to the bush around Khami Ruins some 40 km
outside Bulawayo and told this was the last time they would be seen alive.
It transpires there were three teams of police officers. Officers Mthunzi,
Musarira, MaNdlovu and Tshuma were identified by members. Three of the women
testified that they were taken onto the mountaintop overlooking the river
and told to tell the truth or be thrown in. The 'truth' required was the
whereabouts of Jenni Williams and Magodonga Mahlangu. They were questioned
about WOZA programmes and especially the 2006 and 2007 Sheroes Congress."

The group said the members were released in the afternoon unharmed but
traumatised and in shock.

Williams told us that plans to roll out a series of non-violent activities
are now underway, in preparation for the forthcoming elections.

The WOZA co-ordinator was part of a group of civic leaders who met with
South African officials to discuss the way forward last week in Pretoria.
She said she was worried at the choice of expression by the South African
officials. She said: "Words used by Minister Mufamadi over and over again in
the meeting were that they (SA) want an election whose results cannot be

But Williams said: "Surely it would be better to have a proper
constitutional process that would safeguard democracy in Zimbabwe and only
then will you have an election. Why should you try to stop the contestation
of an election? Rather do a process that results in a free and fair
democratic process."

South Africa is mediating talks between ZANU PF and the two MDCs. Civil
society have criticised this process saying free and fair elections could
only come about with the full consultation of all stakeholders and a people
driven constitution.

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Zimbabwe central bank head barred from Britain


Fri 24 Aug 2007, 11:17 GMT

By Nelson Banya

HARARE, Aug 24 (Reuters) - Britain has barred Zimbabwe's central bank
governor from visiting the country, a British government source said on

Gideon Gono joins President Robert Mugabe and other senior officials who are
banned from visiting Britain and the European Union, the United States and
Australia as part of targeted sanctions imposed on Harare over alleged human
rights abuses.

The official Herald newspaper reported on Friday that Gono was denied entry
into Britain by the Home Office (interior ministry) as his presence would be
"inappropriate". A British government source confirmed Gono was not welcome.

"No decision to exclude is taken lightly or as a method of stopping open
debate on issues," the source said. "Gideon Gono is not welcome in the UK.
We do not intend to let him go there."

The Home Office had no immediate comment.

The newspaper said the Home Office wrote to Gono on Aug. 17 notifying him of
its decision and alleging he was involved in "corrupt practices (that have)
undermined democracy and the rule of law in Zimbabwe".

"The Home Secretary, therefore, considers that it would not be appropriate
to allow you the privilege of entering the UK where you would enjoy a
platform to justify your actions," the newspaper reported the letter as

The Home Office charged that Gono's last visit in 2004 -- when he launched a
programme for Zimbabwean residents in Britain to remit foreign currency -- 
had led to public protests in Britain by crowds accusing him of trying to
raise funds to prop up Mugabe's government.

Gono was not immediately available to comment. His spokesman told the Herald
that only Zimbabweans could judge the central bank governor, who has
frequently called for an end to Zimbabwe's standoff with Mugabe's western

"It's the people of Zimbabwe who decide whether the actions of our governor
are inimical to their interests or not," the spokesman said. "It certainly
cannot be Australia or anyone else for that matter."

Since his appointment in Dec. 2003, Gono has been at he centre of government
efforts to revive Zimbabwe's battered economy, now in its eighth straight
year of recession and ravaged by the world's highest inflation rate.

Critics blame Mugabe's controversial policies -- such as the seizure of
white-owned farms to resettle blacks -- for a crisis marked by chronic food,
fuel and food shortages.

Mugabe, Zimbabwe's sole ruler since independence from Britain in 1980,
denies mismanaging the economy and blames western sanctions for the
meltdown. (Additional reporting by Sophie Walker in London)

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Vultures Circle But Regime's Death Throes Are Prolonged

Business Day (Johannesburg)

24 August 2007
Posted to the web 24 August 2007

Dianna Games

ZIMBABWE may not look like much of an investment prospect right now, with
its economy in a tailspin and the prospect of a rigged election looming on
the horizon. But the deeper the country sinks into the quagmire, the more
potential investors are seen sniffing about - in hopes of a fire sale, no
doubt. An adage of investing is that you should try to buy at the lowest

One Zimbabwean commentator wryly observes: "The vultures are circling." The
question of whether the country's fast-deteriorating assets really represent
a long-term investment has been around for a while. Bolstering the view that
there is a viable future for the Zimbabwean private sector is the fact that,
despite sustained assault by government policies for nearly a decade, it has
remained resilient and creative.

Everyone is looking for signs of an "endgame" for the shambolic political
regime of Robert Mugabe, and the investment community is no different.
Perceptions of investment viability are premised on the belief that
political change, and with it economic recovery, are just around the corner.

This waiting game is full of uncertainties. The longer the political and
economic crisis goes on, the more local assets become devalued, say some
observers. Others argue that the business assets are merely becoming
undervalued, and therefore growing in investment potential.

With Zimbabwean companies reeling from the latest government battering - the
lunatic price-fixing edict - talk of the endgame has come to the fore once

Companies are under greater pressure than ever. There was not much fat left
in the system when the government decided three months ago to undermine
margins in an attempt to reduce inflation.

The consumer population briefly hailed lower prices. But it learned the hard
way that there was little to celebrate, as the economy started grinding to a
halt. As Mugabe was cheered to the rafters by his peers at a presidential
gathering in Lusaka recently, a boy was killed back home in a stampede for

In just a few months, the business climate inside Zimbabwe has changed from
one of weary resignation to one of fear and desperation. "There was little
enough trust between the government and business before, but now there is
none. Everyone expects the worst," a businessman says.

More than 7000 people, including business people, traders, taxi drivers and
a range of other commercial operators, have been arrested and "tried" in a
specially convened court for allegedly violating the government's order to
cut prices. The government constantly urges consumers to spy on businesses
to ensure the success of the half-price sale.

Companies that have raw materials to hand are being forced to produce goods
by members of the security forces installed in factories. Warehouses are
raided to check for hoarding. Spies watch shoppers in supermarket parking
lots to ensure they do not leave with more goods than decreed by government
order. The government has now made such spying on the population legal with
new legislation.

A social accord once signed by the government, business and labour is
sometimes mentioned as being the best mechanism for all parties to solve the
economic problems in the country. The Association of SADC Chambers of
Commerce and Industry said recently that new negotiations under the
provisions of the accord were what was needed. In reality, this social
accord has been moribund for a long time. Critics say the government's
unrealistic economic projections, as well as a lack of trust between the
parties, render it dead in the water.

This week's big climbdown by the government on price-fixing may have
resulted in part from concerns raised by the private sector, but is more
likely to be about the government trying to salvage its ill-considered
pre-election image.

But even as pricing starts to normalise, the Zimbabwean business community
faces yet another government-inspired threat - the Indigenisation and
Economic Empowerment Bill, which is before parliament.

Although there has been significant "indigenisation" of Zimbabwean business
over the past decade, the new legislation opens up a new avenue for the
government to wield a big stick over the private sector.

The concerns in Zimbabwe seem to be less about the principle of the law
itself than about how it is likely to be applied selectively - for party
personnel advantage - and vindictively against regime critics by Mugabe's

Unsurprisingly, business confidence is at an all-time low. A survey released
by the Confederation of Zimbabwe Industries in May, just before the current
crisis, showed pessimists had grown from 54% of respondents in a similar
survey in 2005 to 77% last year. Nearly 70% of respondents said they did not
anticipate an economic recovery in the foreseeable future, compared with 48%
in 2005.

Companies are increasingly conducting their affairs in a low-key manner and
massaging their results to ensure they keep beneath the government's radar.
Doing well in a crumbling economy makes a company a government target.

According to an economic report by a leading banking group, more than 40%
has been shaved off the value of the Zimbabwe Stock Exchange in the three
months the price blitz has endured.

The Reserve Bank, in response to queries by banks, this week disclosed that
inflation had hit 7251% in June - almost double the last official figure,
3700% in April.

Ironically, when the retreat from price-fixing is completed, the
inflationary effect is likely to have been compounded by the price cuts, not
eased by them - due to extensive restocking and other factors.

As one economist says: "When will the government accept that its printing
presses are driving inflation, not the private sector?" Money supply growth
reached a massive 4211% in April.

It is against this rather bleak backdrop that demand for investment in
Zimbabwe is still outpacing supply.

If events of the past few months have affected sentiment in any way, they
have merely moved a few potential buyers from the "buy" to the "wait and
see" camp. The general election next year is seen as a major signpost to
investment decision-making. The poll process and its outcome could provide a
clearer time frame for economic recovery.

Although the price blitz knocked share values in the short term, the
Zimbabwe Stock Exchange reports that there is still much international
interest in investing in Zimbabwean companies. Officials say local companies
and larger shareholders show a distinct reluctance to offload significant
stakes - which has resulted in sluggish trade and low liquidity. "No one
wants to sell volumes at this stage. The economy has taken a beating and
confidence is low," a Zimbabwean economist says.

However, companies might be forced to sell if an economic upturn does not
come soon. Many are already battling cash-flow problems and may not be able
to ride out a long wait without new capital flows.

Right now, there is little to buy. "Everyone is setting up African
investment funds, some of which are targeting Zimbabwe. But demand far
outstrips supply and this is not likely change anytime soon," says a Harare

Another broker confirms that interest in investing in Zimbabwe has not
declined. "Assets are very cheap compared to the rest of the world - and
getting cheaper. Obviously they will be revalued when the economy improves,"
he says.

Although risk in Zimbabwe is high, so is the potential value of investments
in a reformed Zimbabwe. Companies are resilient, diversified and able to
withstand shocks; they have established export markets, good assets and
strong management. The country generally has a strong underlying industrial
base and a wealth of mineral assets.

The sticking point, as always, is the time frame for political and economic
change. The "vultures" may need to be very patient.

Games is director of Africa @ Work, an African consulting company.

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International community urged to re-engage Zimbabwe

Afrique en ligne

Windhoek (Namibia) The international community should end the
ostracisation of Zimbabwe and re-engage the crisis-ridden southern African
nation, respected academic and political scientist John Makumbe said here
Thursday night.

Makumbe, who has been conducting a series of public lectures in
Namibia on Zimbabwe at the behest of the Namibia Institute for Democracy
(NID), said that the policy of disengagement pursued by Western countries
against Zimbabwe had failed to yield any meaningful results.

In fact, Makumbe said, the initiative by southern African heads of
state to find a lasting solution to Zimbabwe's socio-economic political
problems could succeed.

Makumbe had earlier said that the initiative, which is backed by SADC
and headed by South African President Thabo Mbeki, was likely to stonewall
due to Harare's hardline stance.

"There has to be a policy to re-engage the dictator in Zimbabwe. It's
important for the Commonwealth nations and Western countries to re-engage
Zimbabwe," Makumbe said.

Zimbabwe, once the region's breadbasket, has the world's highest
inflation rate, severe food, fuel and foreign currency shortages and large
scale unemployment.

Observers and critics say that Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe's
controversial policies, including the seizure of white owned farms for
redistribution to blacks, destroyed a once vibrant economy.

"If re-engaged, the Zimbabwe government, most likely will thaw towards
a resolution," Makumbe said.

Harare's hardline stance against its "imperialist foes" has resulted
in most international financial institutions cutting the financial aid tape.

"The people being left behind are the people of Zimbabwe," Makumbe
said, of the current stand-off between Zimbabwe and the West.



African Press Agency

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ZANU PF, MDC talks still on course, says South Africa

Zim Online

Friday 24 August 2007

Own Correspondent

JOHANNESBURG - The South African government on Thursday said its mediation
effort in Zimbabwe was on course, dismissing suggestions to the contrary by
both President Robert Mugabe's government and the opposition as mere

Government spokesman Themba Maseko said South Africa's Cabinet had accepted
a report by President Thabo Mbeki that his effort to broker dialogue between
Mugabe's ZANU PF party and the opposition MDC was on track and would lay the
foundation for free and fair polls in Zimbabwe next year.

"The report ... was confident these talks will deliver an agreement that
will lay the foundation for free and fair elections in Zimbabwe," Maseko
told journalists in Cape Town.

Mbeki was last March tasked by Southern African Development Community (SADC)
leaders to lead efforts to resolve Zimbabwe's eight-year political and
economic crisis by facilitating dialogue between ZANU PF and the MDC.

However, Mbeki and fellow SADC leaders ignored calls for tougher action to
force Mugabe and ZANU PF to fully embrace dialogue, saying at the conclusion
of a regional summit last week in Zambia that Zimbabwe's  problems were

Statements by the MDC during the SADC summit that mediation was having
little effect and by ZANU PF that there was no need for political reform in
Zimbabwe appeared to suggest that Mbeki's mediation effort was virtually
headed for a dead end.

But Maseko said despite their public sparring, ZANU PF and the opposition
remained committed to talks, adding that Mugabe himself was "engaged and
involved" in the regional push to secure a negotiated solution to Zimbabwe's

"Yes, there will be hiccups as the talks unfold, but the overall assessment
... was that the talks were indeed progressing and that an agreement or a
settlement will be reached soon to make sure that there will be free and
fair elections in Zimbabwe," said Maseko.

He added: "From time to time the MDC and ZANU-PF will issue statements that
cast doubt. But the President (Mbeki) is confident that progress is being
made on a number of fronts."

Maseko rejected media reports that SADC heads of state were divided on how
to deal with the Zimbabwean issue and said there had been no discussion on
delaying elections.

Zimbabwe is in the grip of an unprecedented meltdown shown in the world's
highest inflation of more than 7 600 percent, 80 percent unemployment,
rising poverty and shortages of food, fuel and foreign currency.

Western governments, civic groups and the MDC blame Zimbabwe's meltdown on
repression and wrong policies by Mugabe - charges he denies.

Meanwhile, South African business leaders grouped in Cape Town on Thursday
for a meeting with Mbeki on a wide range of issues including the Zimbabwe
crisis that is negatively affecting the entire region.

Details of the meeting between Mbeki and the Business Working Group were not
immediately available by late afternoon.

The meeting was also attended by Mbeki's deputy Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka,
labour minister Membathisi Mdladlana and safety and security minister
Charles Nqakula. - ZimOnline

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40 percent of Zimbabweans mentally ill

Zim Online

Friday 24 August 2007

By Prince Nyathi

HARARE - About 40 percent of Zimbabweans suffer from mental disorders as a
result of current economic hardships and the effects of Operation
Murambatsvina, a top medical consultant has said.

Dickson Chibanda, a consultant with the World Health Organisation and
Ministry of Health, said cases of mental disorders have worsened since the
2005 controversial government slum eviction programme as well as ongoing
economic hardships that have seen most Zimbabweans failing to meet daily

"In Zimbabwe latest data on common mental disorders indicated prevalence
close to 40 percent. Operation Murambatsvina caused a lot of mental
disorders to those who were forced out of their homes," he said.

The internationally condemned Operation Murambatsvina (Drive Out Filth)
displaced over 700 000 families and forced hundreds of children out of

According to Chibanda, a survey of Harare's low-income suburbs in 2006
showed a prevalence of 36 percent.

A similar survey involving HIV patients utilising the opportunistic
infection clinic at Harare Central Hospital yielded 44 percent mental
problems incidence rate.

He said the percentage of Zimbabweans suffering from mental health problems
could be higher now due to the deteriorating economic climate in the
country, which has seen inflation topping 7 634 percent last July, the
highest in the world.

Unemployment is estimated at around 80 percent while most workers earn
salaries that do not last them a week.

Chibanda was speaking during a meeting organised by the Community Working
Group on Health, a network of community-based organisations that aim to
enhance community participation in health in Zimbabwe.

Both the Minister of Health and Child Welfare David Parirenyatwa and his
deputy Edwin Muguti could not be reached for comment on the matter last
night. - ZimOnline

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Mayor attacks government over Bulawayo water crisis

Zim Online

Friday 24 August 2007

By Thabang Mathebula

BULAWAYO - A storm is brewing between the government and Bulawayo residents
amid charges that the authorities were using water shortages to punish
political opponents and decimate the city.

The opposition-dominated Bulawayo City Council, residents and political
parties have joined forces in denouncing what they saw as a systematic plot
by President Robert Mugabe to deny them water and break their spirit in the
face of mounting economic hardships.

Zimbabwe's second city has faced perennial water problems for more than two
decades during which both residents and the city fathers have pinned their
hopes on an ambitious project to draw water from the Zambezi river.

Boreholes which have been providing the residents with most of their water
needs have also dried up in some parts, leading to the surfacing of black
market water dealers who are charging as much as Z$50 000 for a 10-litre

The Matabeleland Zambezi Water Project, a long held plan to tap water from
the Zambezi River through the construction of a 450km pipeline to arid
Matabeleland was mooted way back in 1912.

The total cost of the pipeline has sky-rocketed and the project is now
estimated to cost about US$600 million.

However, the crisis-ridden government has been unable to implement the
scheme, drawing the ire of Bulawayo residents and other pressure groups from
the region.

Bulawayo mayor Japhet Ndabeni-Ncube yesterday said the water crisis had gone
beyond his council's control, with some suburbs going for weeks without

Ndabeni-Ncube revealed that the council had last February appealed to the
government to declare the city a water crisis area, which would have allowed
non-governmental organisations to step in with assistance.

"Our repeated appeals have fallen on deaf ears," Ndabeni-Ncube told

Ndabeni-Ncube's council has resisted government attempts to impose the
ineffective Zimbabwe National Water Authority (ZINWA) as the body
responsible for water management in the city.

The government announced towards the end of last year that it was taking
over all water supplies in the country but Bulawayo appealed against the
decision in February saying water contributed more than 40 percent of the
city's revenue.

Ndabeni-Ncube charged that the ministries of local government, rural and
urban development and of water resources have not responded to communication
from the city council over the matter.

In the communication to the government, the city had also applied for a
monopoly over all water sources within its vicinity with the hope of
augmenting its dwindling supplies.

"There is also no word on the Mtshabezi-Bulawayo pipeline which would have
been a short-term solution," Ndabeni-Ncube said.

The mayor, who was elected into office in 2002 on an opposition Movement for
Democratic Change (MDC) party ticket, said the ruling ZANU PF party was
committed to bringing Bulawayo to its knees as it knew that the water crisis
would scare away the remaining investors and posed a health hazard.

"They want Bulawayo dead," Ndabeni-Ncube said.

ZAPU Federal Party president Paul Siwela described the situation in Bulawayo
as an act of genocide.

"By refusing to declare a state of water crisis here the government has
paved the way to a mass slaughter of Bulawayo residents through disease,"
Siwela said, adding that the move was bent on killing investment in the

A senior MDC official in the city said ZANU PF was using water shortages to
punish the people of Bulawayo for supporting the opposition.

"Government must return to sanity and declare the city a water crisis area,
it has gone beyond control," said the official from the main MDC faction led
by Morgan Tsvangirai who declined to be named as his party was yet to take a
common position on the issue.

Even the usually pro-government Bulawayo-based daily The Chronicle this week
questioned the government's stance on the city's water problems.

"We wonder if government is well informed of the situation on the ground.
The people of Bulawayo need water before a catastrophe befalls the city.
Without water there is misery and death," ran an editorial carried in last
Tuesday's issue of The Chronicle.

Local government minister Ignatius Chombo denied that the government was
neglecting the city and said only Mugabe had the final say on the
commencement of the Matabeleland Zambezi Water Project.

"The decision to declare a crisis lies with the President. He is fully aware
of the crisis and I believe he is as concerned as we are," said Chombo. -

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White-run abattoirs cry foul over re-licensing

Zim Online

Friday 24 August 2007

By Lizwe Sebatha

BULAWAYO - The Zimbabwean government has been accused of re-licensing
abattoirs owned by individuals with close links to the ruling ZANU PF party
in the second city of Bulawayo sidelining those owned by whites.

Industry and International Trade Minister Obert Mpofu, who is leading a
government crackdown on prices, on Monday said Harare was lifting a ban on
42 private abattoirs to alleviate severe shortages of beef around the

Investigations by ZimOnline this week showed that none of the six
white-owned private abattoirs in Bulawayo had been re-licensed raising
suspicions that the government was granting operating licences to its

The price crackdown that began last June has seen virtually all butcheries
and supermarkets run out of beef after commercial farmers refused to part
with their cattle because of the ridiculously low prices directed by the

"The Cabinet (taskforce on prices) is only licensing those who are
sympathetic to the ruling party. Only two small unknown Denver and Sivako
abattoirs have been given back operating licences in Bulawayo.

"The real big abattoirs like Mbokodo, Bulawayo Abattoir and Mguza that are
privately run by whites have been left out," said a farmer who refused to be
named for fear of victimisation.

Mpofu could not be reached for comment on the matter while his deputy Elliot
Manyika said: "That's rubbish. All procedures were followed in the
re-licensing of the private abattoirs. They met the requirements."

Marc Crawford, the chairperson of the Southern Africa Commercial Farmers
Alliance accused the government of sidelining white farmers and granting
licences to ZANU PF supporters.

"How could they give licences to abattoirs which do not have capacity to
slaughter even four beasts per week? Politics was at play in the
re-licensing of abattoirs. The government is actually killing the beef
industry," he said.

Zimbabwe has grappled with severe shortages of beef since June after the
government shut down all privately owned abattoirs leaving the state-owned
Cold Storage Company (CSC) with the task of buying and slaughtering of all

But the CSC failed dismally to supply beef to butcheries triggering massive
shortages around the country. - ZimOnline

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Robert Mugabe to seize control of companies

The Telegraph

By Byron Dziva in Harare and Tom Stevenson
Last Updated: 3:14am BST 24/08/2007

      President Robert Mugabe has paved the way to effectively seize control
of foreign-owned companies, many of them British, dealing another blow to
Zimbabwe's tottering economy.

      Under a bill laid before Zimbabwe's parliament, all firms undergoing
structural changes, and any new investments in the country, must be 51 per
cent controlled by "indigenous Zimbabweans".

      Paul Mangwana, the minister responsible for the programme, said the
bill was intended to "create an enabling environment that will result in
increased participation of indigenous people in the economic activities of
the country".

      The legislation makes clear, however, that white Zimbabwean
shareholders do not count. It defines an "indigenous Zimbabwean" as "any
person who was disadvantaged by unfair discrimination on the grounds of race
before independence in 1980".

      Given the precedent of the country's commercial farms, the measure is
likely to lead to majority stakes in companies being handed over to Zanu-PF
officials and their cronies, who will asset-strip them and run them into

      From 2000, white-owned farms were seized supposedly to ensure landless
blacks received property, but instead prime country houses - sometimes more
than one - went to those with government connections.

      Agriculture has since collapsed and, according to the World Food
Programme, more than four million people will need food aid by the end of
this year, in a country that was once a regional breadbasket.
      A repetition of such benefits, this time from the corporate sector,
will enable Mr Mugabe to shore up his support in the divided ruling party
and act as a temptation to voters in elections due next March.

      "There was no doubt they would push it through before the elections
because it's designed to garner votes," said Eric Bloch, an economic
commentator. "What remains to be seen is how vigorously they are going to
implement it, but it's certainly going to discourage investors."

      The language of the bill appears to make white-owned Zimbabwean
companies equally liable to its provisions, although officials said foreign
firms would be the first objects of its implementation, which may prove to
be a hollow promise. Zimbabwe already has the highest inflation in the
world, at 7,634.8 per cent, and four fifths of the population are

      "It will make things worse," said John Robertson, an independent
economist, who added that the government "will have to kiss goodbye to
foreign direct investment".

      Business assets, he pointed out, were "pretty valueless in the hands
of people who don't know how to make it work.

      "Every potential investor will choose another country to invest in and
Zimbabwe will be virtually abandoned."

      The only possible exception, he said, would be platinum miners, as
Zimbabwe has large untapped reserves.

      Zanu-PF has a large majority in parliament and the bill, which was
transferred to a committee for detailed consideration, is virtually certain
to pass later this year.

      Several major British firms and FTSE100 companies in the banking,
petroleum and mining sectors have operations in Zimbabwe, including
Barclays, Standard Chartered, BAT, Rio Tinto, Anglo American, BP and Shell.
But with their interests under threat, few would be drawn on the potential
consequences of the law yesterday.

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Zimbabwe Opposition Warily Eyes Constitutional Amendment Legislation


      By Carole Gombakomba
      23 August 2007

Though the Zimbabwean parliamentary session that opened this week has turned
first to legislation providing in effect for the nationalization of all
companies in the name of black empowerment, the main focus of attention in
the weeks and months ahead seems likely to be the government's bill to amend
the constitution.
Not yet officially tabled, the bill has drawn fire from opposition parties
and civic groups that oppose what they call "piecemeal" changes to the basic
document. It would:

    a.. Add 60 seats to the lower house and 18 to the senate;
    b.. Shorten the presidential term to five years from six;
    c.. Call general elections in 2008 - two years early;
    d.. Provide for the parliament choose a new president in the case of
death, incapacitation or early retirement.

Both factions of the opposition Movement for Democratic Change are still
discussing how they can shape the bill's final form, but analysts say that
given the ruling party's two-thirds house majority the MDC has little room
to influence the outcome.

Lawmaker Innocent Gonese of Mutare, chief whip for the MDC faction of Morgan
Tsvangirai, told reporter Carole Gombakomba his formation hopes the ruling
party will put the national interest first and compromise to ensure free and
fair elections.

Some legislators said that unlike ordinary legislation, the amendment bill
won't go into committee but will be presented directly to the house for
debate and voting.

Priscilla Misihairambwi-Mushonga, member for Glen Norah, Harare, for the
opposition faction of Arthur Mutambara, said the MDC influenced previous
amendments so she has no doubt that when the debate starts in parliament its
voice will be heard.

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Zim rescue plan a non-starter

Mail and Guardian

Drew Forrest

23 August 2007 11:59

      The economic rescue package for Zimbabwe, touted at the
Southern African Development Community (SADC) summit in Lusaka last week, is
a non-starter, economists and political commentators argued this week.

      They said that at least $15-billion would be needed to
restore Zimbabwe's collapsing infrastructure and revive commercial
agriculture, the mainstay of the formal economy. The region could not foot
this bill and Western "development partners" would not come to the party
unless Zimbabwe democratised and introduced rational economic policies.

      This week Finance Minister Trevor Manuel told Parliament
that South Africa would not waste its taxpayers' money bailing out Zimbabwe.
A South African government official told the Mail & Guardian nothing would
be achieved by "technical" economic measures when the root of the crisis was

      Added a diplomatic source: "The international community is
not interested in propping up [President Robert] Mugabe, nor in addressing
the symptoms rather than the causes."

      At the SADC summit regional leaders appeared to reject any
trade-off between reform and economic assistance, with President Thabo Mbeki
insisting there would be no conditions.

      The summit merely noted a report by SADC executive
secretary Tomaz Salomao calling for political and legal reform, civil
service overhaul, economic liberalisation, the entrenchment of the rule of
law and property rights among the conditions for economic aid, which would
include energy and loan finance.

      The lack of decisive action was seen to reflect a rift
between a pro-reform grouping, including Zambia, Botswana and Tanzania, and
hardline Mugabe allies, including Namibia and Angola, who argued that the
Salomao proposal amounted to an International Monetary Fund-style structural
adjustment programme.

      Regional finance ministers were asked instead to draft a
recovery plan in consultation with the Zimbabwe government.

      However, the M&G has established that no date has been set
for a meeting of finance ministers, while it appears that the South African
treasury has not started working on a plan. "Our understanding is that the
SADC merely flirted with the idea of a bail-out," said one diplomat. "There's
nothing concrete."

      Amid diplomatic forecasts that Zimbabwe's formal economy
might have disintegrated entirely by year-end, Zimbabwean officials said
report-back meetings would not take place before November.

      A new Zimbabwe Reserve Bank report measured annual
inflation at 7 634% in July, while unofficial estimates place it as high as
13 000%. The government stopped publishing inflation figures in April.

      Two Zambian ministers gave strong indications that Mugabe
had his way at the summit. Ng'andu Magande, Zambia's finance minister, said
only pressure from elder statesmen -- such as Nelson Mandela -- could force
things to be "done differently without anybody losing out".
      And the country's information minister, Mike Mlongoti,
said the region "can't pressure Zimbabwe because it is a sovereign state".

      Returning from the summit, Mugabe seemed buoyed by what he
described as "a good meeting". However, on Wednesday he postponed the
scheduled launch of the Zimbabwe Economic Development Strategy, the latest
in a string of economic blueprints he has touted as solutions.
      And in Parliament, Zanu-PF finally set in motion
"empowerment" legislation, which will localise control of all foreign-owned
businesses. Critics say it will damage the economy further.

      On the cards also is a Constitutional Amendment Bill that
will provide for simultaneous presidential and parliamentary elections
which, critics say, aims to allow Mugabe, rather than the electorate, to
pick a successor if he steps down mid-term.

      Mbeki gave the summit an upbeat account of the
SADC-sponsored mediation between Zanu-PF and the Movement for Democratic
Change (MDC), but recent developments suggest a different scenario. Last
week Zimbabwean Justice Minister Patrick Chinamasa told Zambian state
television that he saw no reason to negotiate with the MDC.

      Voter registration in Zimbabwe, which ended last Friday,
was a further setback for Mbeki's aim of ensuring free, fair and universally
endorsed elections next year. The MDC said registration centres had
deliberately been limited in opposition strongholds to enhance the prospects
of a Mugabe victory.

      A spokesperson for the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission
rejected MDC calls for an extension of voter registration, saying "time is
running out". Only 80 000 new voters were registered in three months, the
commission disclosed.

      Iden Wetherell, an editor at the Zimbabwe Independent,
argued that no economic rescue package could succeed without the
participation of the donor community -- principally the United Kingdom,
United States and the IMF. And the donors "would not help until Mugabe goes".
      Wetherell pointed out that in regular "Article 4" talks
with Zimbabwean leaders, the IMF had consistently urged sweeping reforms,
including a serious attack on inflation, which did not involve printing

      Administered prices were anathema to the world body, while
every Article 4 report had emphasised the need to entrench property rights
to regenerate commercial agriculture, which had suffered a 60% decline since

      Zimbabwean economist John Robertson estimated that at
least $5-billion was immediately required to prevent the collapse of water,
power, road and other infrastructure. Even if such an infusion was possible,
Zimbabwe's massive skills exodus restricted its ability to use aid.

      Last year Norman Reynolds, former adviser to Zimbabwe's
finance minister, put the cost of recovery at $15-billion.

      Robertson argued that South Africa, which favoured a
regional initiative, would be extremely reluctant to carry the can. A
further deterrent to lending would be Zimbabwe's inability, perhaps over a
10-year period, to service loans.

      No sanctions
      There are no international sanctions against the
Zimbabwean economy -- despite persistent attempts by Robert Mugabe's regime
to blame sanctions for the country's economic collapse.

      A document said to have been written by President Thabo
Mbeki before the SADC summit -- subsequently disavowed by the South African
government -- specifically blamed British sanctions for Zimbabwe's economic

      The reality is that the European Union (EU) as a whole -- 
not just Britain -- and the United States have frozen assets and imposed
visa bans on a tiny group of Zimbabwean high-ups seen as undermining
democratic and human rights norms.

      In 2002 the EU listed 131 individuals "who engage in
activities that seriously undermine respect for human rights and the rule of
law in Zimbabwe", including government ministers, senators and Zanu-PF
politburo members. This was renewed in February this year.

      They are prevented from entering or transiting the EU and
their assets there are frozen. The British High Commission said this week
that the United Kingdom had frozen bank accounts holding £172 000.

      In addition the EU has banned all military cooperation
with Zimbabwe, including arms sales.

       Two United States presidential orders, in 2003 and 2005,
list 128 individuals, starting with Mugabe, whose assets are "blocked" in
the US. They are understood also to be subject to visa bans. Last year
Zimbabwe had a $55,7-million trade surplus with the US. It also has a trade
surplus with Britain -- Drew Forrest

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Africa Insight - Country's Sick Economy Infects Health Sector

The Nation (Nairobi)

24 August 2007
Posted to the web 23 August 2007

Matirasa Muronda

Ten years ago, Zimbabwe's public hospitals were among the best in Africa
until the country's economy started falling apart. There seems to be no end
in sight unless, writes MATIRASA MURONDA, the country fixes its politics

Mt. Darwin District Hospital 120 kilometres from Harare.

A group of people queue outside a dilapidated house in Mbare, one of the
oldest suburbs in the Zimbabwean capital, Harare. Three sickly looking ones
lie on their backs facing the scorching sun while more than five others, who
look tired, lean onto the dirty walls.
Relatives flap pieces of cloth just above the faces of their beloved ones
lying in agony, some too weak to shoo flies away. Meanwhile, a middle-aged
man comes out of a room with two people supporting his wasted body from both
sides before a young woman calls for the next client to come in.

Mt. Darwin District Hospital 120 kilometres from Harare.

This has become the order of the day in Zimbabwe where many people are
resorting to traditional healers in the wake collapsing health
infrastructure as the once-prosperous economy sinks deeper into crisis.

Patients are turned away either because nurses and doctors are on strike or
the nurse on duty couldn't make it to work because there was no transport
from her home.

This might sound "mischievous" but a crippling fuel shortage means that
there is no transport to work. In this southern Africa nation, it is
understandable if workers either come to work three hours late or never turn

As a spin off of the economic crisis, patients are being diagnosed with
various ailments and told to buy themselves medication from expensive,
privately owned pharmacies beyond the reach of most Zimbabweans.

With the private pharmacies and hospitals way above the means of salaried
Zimbabweans, the option is the traditional healers known as n'angas in the
Shona language spoken by the majority of Zimbabweans from the Northern part
of the country.

A good number of people suffering from diseases that range from the
complicated HIV/Aids to running stomachs are flocking to traditional healers
for treatment at a minimal fee.

Many are dying while being attended by the n'angas, which complicates
matters because the law considers such deaths as happening in "unclear
circumstances", meaning police have to investigate such deaths.

Ten years ago, Zimbabwe's public health sector was among the best in Africa.

But today, people no longer trust their health workers because hundreds of
nurses and doctors believed to have been well trained when the sector was
still efficient have left the country for greener pastures.

The brain drain aggravates a situation where, in a population eight million,
at least 1.7m are HIV-positive.

The Government is trying to provide free treatment to people living with
HIV/Aids but according to some health experts, this might just be a dream
for many patients have been on hospitals' waiting list to get ARVs for

Ironically, the country exports some types of ARVs but owing to a severe
shortage of foreign currency, things boil down to a matter of weighing

Currently, it seems health is not on top of the priority list because of
serious food and fuel shortages. Even electricity has to be imported from
South Africa and the DRC. As a result people are dying while on waiting

Some concerned health experts say the current upsurge in research on herbal
medicine might alleviate the impact of the HIV/Aids pandemic on other
sectors like agriculture.

Others don't trust the researchers owing to the precedent set by quarks who
have introduced ineffective herbal medicines in the market, killing more
people in the process.

In spite of the criticism, patients are opting for the treatment they can
afford rather than wait for death.

Zimbabwe is not only grappling with HIV-Aids. Of major concern at the moment
are kidney diseases. Out of the 18 dialysis machines at one of the country's
major referral hospital chains, the Parirenyatwa Group, only eight are

In the second largest city in the country, Bulawayo, only one dialysis
machine is functional at Mpilo Central Hospital.

Zimbabwe has about 2,000 kidney patients and it is estimated that owing to
the HIV-Aids pandemic, up to 500 new cases are being recorded every year.

Patients supposed to be connected onto the haemo-dialysis machine for five
hours are there for three hours so that others can also have toxins removed
from their blood. Renal patients are supposed to undergo this process three
times a week but many are lucky if they are connected twice a week.

Sheer incompetence is also taking its toll. Recently, Vice President Joice
Mujuru criticised the Health Ministry for letting 18 dialysis machines to
gather dust in Bulawayo as people died of kidney failures. Also, several
kidney-related deaths have been reported following the lack of effective
assessment and treatment from public hospitals.

As the health delivery system fails, patients suffering from other
life-threatening diseases usually beg from well wishers for assistance to
get treatment in South Africa where facilities are better.

Just a few are lucky to get this kind of assistance while many die at home.

Hospital administrators in urban centers have always indicated that the
rural-urban influx exerts pressure on health facilities that were never
meant to cater for huge populations.

In the past 20 years, there has not been any significant expansion of the
health facilities even as new suburbs cropped up in all major five cities.

The rural to urban migration has presented several public heath challenges
as more people live in squalor, unable to afford decent urban shelter. The
result has been the outbreak of water-borne diseases, such as cholera, and
indulgence in prostitution hence aggravating the HIV-Aids situation in the

Harare has three squatter camps, Epworth, Hopley and Caledonia, which were
created after the popular operation clean up two years ago.

The operation targeted unplanned settlements.

Five years ago, it could safely be said that the residents of such
settlements were classified as poor. But now, with inflation estimated at
10,000 per cent, 70 per cent of people living in towns.

They are poor because it is difficult for a teacher or a nurse to look after
a sick child or relative when he cannot afford household basic necessities.

Courtesy of the inflation, the cost of burial is sometimes more painful than
the death.

At least one needs up to $500 (Sh33,000) to cover burial costs, which
includes taking the body for burial at one's rural home as is the norm.

But because many workers earn far below what is required to buy them food
for a month, they end up burying their beloved ones in the cities, exerting
pressure on urban cemeteries.

In desperate situations, especially in the illegal settlements, there are
horrific incidents of illegal burials on open spaces or in some cases,
people discreetly taking bodies to a nearby cemetery, digging up another
grave and burying the body on top of another.

Last year two people at Hopley settlement were arrested for burying an uncle
in another person's grave after failing to raise money for a burial site.

Mortuaries are also teeming with uncollected bodies. Consequently, Hospitals
are not accepting bodies of people who die at home. Also, relatives
disappear on receiving death notifications to escape shouldering the cost of

Under the laws of Zimbabwe, public hospitals are expected to keep unclaimed
bodies for at least six months but owing to the high death rate, they are
disposing of them after three months.

Health facilities in the rural areas are better although they are still very
few and inaccessible to many people. There is a good number of Church
hospitals, which are now more reliable because they don't rely on the
Government for supplies.

But Zimbabwe's problems are all over.

Because economic problems replicate themselves in all sectors, there is a
serious shortage of food in the country. Clothing retailers have even run
out of stock following an edict that requires manufacturers and retail shops
to slash prices to the June 18 level.

As poverty bites, Zimbabwe is churning out economic refuges. It is estimated
that over a million Zimbabweans are living in South Africa and Botswana, a
good number as illegal aliens.

As happens in such circumstances, the hosts have become hostile to
Zimbabweans, many of whom are suspected of engaging in crime.

There are multiple reasons why there seems to be no end in sight to
Zimbabwe's problems.

As is the case elsewhere in Africa, ruling parties enjoy overwhelming rural
support, which is the case with President Robert Mugabe's ZANU-PF. In the
last Parliamentarian elections in 2005, when again the ruling party won
almost all the rural seats, the general consensus was that with all the
suffering a round, there was need for serious voters education.

It is apparent that for many people voting simply meant, casting your vote
for ZANU-PF, with the interpretation of voting and what it meant

Many still do not understand the effects of where they cast their votes.
Intimidation and torture also frightened them into voting for the status

The opposition Movement for Democratic Change enjoys urban support but it
has been very difficult for urban people to engage in mass action because of
the government's highhandedness.

Demonstrations are brutally broken using live ammunition hence fatalities.
Not spared has been the Movement for Democratic Change's Morgan Tsvangirayi
who, months ago was bludgeoned by police.

As things stand now, Zanu-PF's grip on the country is far from loose.
Zimbabweans are pinning their hopes on the Zimbabwe crisis talks currently
being chaired by South Africa's Thabo Mbeki. However, Mugabe's regional
clout means that not even Mbeki can take him head on.

Africa Insight is an initiative of the Nation Media Group's Africa Media
Network Project.

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South African Cabinet Raps "Misleading" Reports On Zimbabwe Crisis


      By Ndimyake Mwakalyelye
      23 August 2007

The South African government criticized local media Wednesday for publishing
what it called "misleading" and "sensationalist" reports on the Zimbabwe

The accusation from the cabinet followed a briefing by President Thabo Mbeki
on last week's Southern African Development Community summit in Lusaka,

The cabinet issued a written statement saying that contrary to media
reports, regional leaders had agreed on the Zimbabwean situation and that
the facilitation process - diplomatic language for Mr. Mbeki's crisis
mediation - was on course.

The statement added that the cabinet rebuked "misleading and fictitious
reports in some South African media" which said that SADC leaders were
divided on how to move forward on Zimbabwe, and that the talks between
Zimbabwe's ruling ZANU-PF party and the opposition Movement for Democratic
Change were in trouble.

One target for the criticism appeared to be Business Day, which reported
that SADC leaders had been "sharply divided at their tense summit in Zambia
on how to deal with Zimbabwe's political and economic crisis."

The paper reported that during the summit, "President Robert Mugabe and his
ministers argued the economic crisis in Zimbabwe had been caused by
sanctions imposed on the country by the U.S. and the European Union over
repression and human rights abuses. Other SADC leaders, including President
Thabo Mbeki, while acknowledging the sanctions issue, said Mugabe's policies
were also responsible for the crisis. This created a paralysis among
leaders, who eventually could not come up with concrete measures to deal
with the situation."

South African government spokesman Themba Maseko told reporter Ndimyake
Mwakalyelye of VOA's Studio 7 for Zimbabwe that the official reprimand was
aimed solely at the South African media.

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Zimbabwe president's nationalisation plan stands to hurt economy

Resource Investor

By Jane Louis
24 Aug 2007 at 12:47 PM
Zimbabwe president Robert Mugabe is getting closer to nationalising
companies and driving foreign-owned firms out of the country in a move that
analysts say could be destructive to Zimbabwe's already struggling economy.

A bill placed before Parliament requires that all firms experiencing
structural changes and any new investments must be 51% controlled by
"indigenous Zimbabweans," meaning "any person who was disadvantaged by
unfair discrimination on the grounds of race before independence in 1980."

If the bill is passed, it will likely force foreign companies out of the
country and discourage foreign investment. Platinum miners, however, could
be an exception because of the country's large reserves, economist John
Robertson told The Telegraph.

The bill expected to be voted on before the presidential election in March.

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Camps are not the solution to influx of Zimbabweans in South Africa, says UN refugee chief

International Herald Tribune

The Associated PressPublished: August 24, 2007

JOHANNESBURG, South Africa: Setting up refugee camps is not the solution to
the increasing number of Zimbabweans flooding into South Africa to escape
the deepening economic and political crisis in their country, the U.N.
refugee chief said Friday.

"Only those who have never lived in a refugee camp will advocate camps as a
solution to this problem," said Antonio Guterres, the United Nations High
Commissioner for Refugees.

Guterres was addressing reporters at the end of a two-day visit to South
Africa where he met with President Thabo Mbeki as well as other government

The former Portuguese Prime Minister also visited Zambia and Mozambique, two
of Zimbabwe's other neighbors experiencing an increased influx of
Zimbabweans. He and said that his organization did have a contingency plan
to assist those in need, but would not reveal any details.

Massive inflation, food and fuel shortages and a crackdown on political
opposition to President Robert Mugabe's regime have sent Zimbabweans fleeing
by the thousands, leading to mounting concerns that the region will be
swamped with destitute refugees.

Recently Zambian immigration authorities reported that the number of
Zimbabweans crossing into Zambia at the southern border city of Livingstone
had risen from 60 to 1,000 people per day, and that they feared the influx
threatened security.
While there are few reliable figures on the number of economic migrants
crossing through South Africa's borders, estimates consistently refer to 3
million Zimbabweans living in South Africa.

Guterres said the biggest flow of Zimbabweans was into South Africa but that
many of the migrants were economic and not political refugees and were not
protected under international law.

"But this does not mean we can close our eyes. We have to provide ways to
support them," he said, urging the South African government to finalize its
strategy to deal with the problem.

The South African government has been under pressure to deal with the
growing humanitarian crisis within its borders and recently said it was
setting up a task team to look at ways of coping with economic migrants.

Home Affairs Minister Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula, who addressed reporters with
Guterres, said the government was not "in denial" about the influx of
Zimbabweans but it was not in favor of setting up refugee camps as they
acted as "pull factors" attracting more migrants.

"There are Zimbabweans who are not interested in receiving refugee status.
What they need is food on the table and they like to come to South Africa
and get a job, get money and go back and feed their families. That is the
reality of the situation," she said.

"We are concerned about the humanitarian crisis and are finding ways of
dealing with Zimbabweans coming into South Africa," she said, but did not
provide any details of the government's strategy.

Mapisa-Nqakula reiterated the South African government view that the best
way to stop the influx of Zimbabweans was to settle the pressing economic
and political problems in that country, but said this could only be achieved
by Zimbabweans themselves rather than imposed from outside.

Meanwhile Mbeki, who is leading mediation efforts between Mugabe and his
political opponents, on Friday dismissed suggestions that a regional
response to the Zimbabwean crisis was tempered by support for Mugabe.

Mugabe has the status of elder statesman among southern African leaders and
most are reluctant to criticize him openly.

The 83-year-old leader, who has ruled Zimbabwe since independence from
Britain in 1980, received loud applause at the Southern African Development
Community summit held last week in the Zambian capital, Lusaka.

"The hostile allegation that our countries have recklessly turned their eyes
away from the problems of Zimbabwe, because of the imperatives of
solidarity, has always been nothing more than a product of propaganda, which
all thinking persons would recognize as such," Mbeki wrote in his weekly
letter released by the ruling African National Congress.

"The reality is that in a very real sense the problems of Zimbabwe are our
problems, in the same way that the problems of the rest of Southern Africa
are problems for Zimbabwe as well."

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Mugabe pressurised on reforms

afrol News, 24 August - Despite victoriously emerging from the Southern
African Development Community (SADC) summit last week, President Robert
Mugabe was subject to closed-door pressures by his colleagues. He was asked
to comply with the common electoral rules adopted across the SADC region in

SADC leaders took note of President Thabo Mbeki's report on the Zimbabwean
crisis, Mugabe's attacks on opposition ahead of next year's general
elections and the deepening economic hardships in Zimbabwe.

A rescue package for Zimbabwe, which will be assessed by a team of regional
finance ministers, was presented by the SADC Executive Secretary, Tomaz

Before his government access US $500 million aid package, Mugabe must first
commit himself to reforms, including conducting free and fair elections as
well as drafting a new constitution that gets the approval of the

His government was asked to legislate electoral provisions that meet
international standards of fairness and transparency and repeal all laws
used to muzzle or gag the media or close newspapers and others used to
silence or intimidate political opponents.

Zimbabwean government has also been asked to respect Mbeki's mediation
process if it wants to enjoy the aid.

According to 'The Zimbabwean', SADC leaders insisted that Zimbabwe would not
be given aid in the absence of a clear signal that Mugabe had agreed to a
set of "circumstances" or a "context" that would justify assistance.

Mbeki believed that the Zimbabwean government recognised the urgency of a
political and economic recovery plan. But Mbeki was not confident that the
Southern African country was ready to create the circumstances that would
make the recovery possible.

Zambian President Levy Mwanawasa who has assumed leadership of SADC, called
for free and fair polls in Zimbabwe next year.

By staff writer

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Mugabe grabs plane, passengers stranded

The Zimbabwean

President Robert Mugabe last week commandeered the last remaining Air
Zimbabwe Boeing aircraft to attend the Southern African Development
Community (SADC) regional heads of state summit in Lusaka, leaving scores of
travellers stranded at Harare International Airport.
"We incurred huge losses following the cancellation of the Wednesday
international flight schedule as we had to foot hotel and food bills for the
customers that were to travel on Wednesday," said sources at Air Zim.
 David Mwenga, the Air Zimbabwe spokesperson, confirmed the flight was
re-routed to Zambia on Wednesday. "We rescheduled the Wednesday
international flight as the Boeing was on its way to Zambia. It is not true
to say that it was taken off by presidential decree."
Information Minister, Sikhanyiso Ndlovu refused to comment on reports the
President commandeered a plane to Zambia. "I have no comment to such a silly
question." He then cut off his mobile phone.
This is at a time when the troubled Air Zimbabwe is struggling to service
its local and international destinations due to a myriad of problems mainly
the sub economic fares it charges while its engineers have left for greener
Several aircraft, including the Chinese MA 60 planes, which the President
and ministers never use for safety reasons, are grounded due to lack of
foreign currency to purchase spares. - CAJ News

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We will choose our own leaders!

The Zimbabwean


The Zimbabwean's 16-22 August covering of the upheavals going on in the
lower ranks of Zimbabwe's military (including details of the alleged
assassination of three generals) is breathtaking in its detail. Long live
the brave correspondent who was able to give this eye-witness account.
The two front-page stories are replete with resonances from the country's
past. History will acknowledge the gratitude all freedom-lovers owe to
Zimbabweans who are bravely exposing the terrible things being done in their
country under Robert Mugabe's dictatorship.
I was most forcibly struck by the echoes from the near and distant past in
these reports. First - the ruling Zanu (PF) has covered up its complicity in
the murder of generals before, by burying them with full military honours at
Heroes Acre. The most obvious example from the past is Josiah Tongogara's
death, explained as a motor accident, which will always arouse suspicions
that this was a cover-up.
Mugabe's recent giveaway remark at General Mleya's funeral ".it was known
that politics leads the gun and not the other way around", speaks volumes.
The late Robson Manyika, a former ZANLA Chief Commandant for Training and
Personnel told me back in 1980: "The party controls the gun, the gun does
not control the party." His untimely death in the 1980s was also surrounded
with suspicion.
The late Josiah Tungamirai, a liberation war general who might ultimately
have come out as a witness to the truth regarding 'premature' military
deaths, has fairly recently died relatively young.
Reading of the lethal injections administered to two of the latest victims
of the Mugabe regime's alleged purging of military personnel gives credence
to the belief that Josiah was done away with because he was a close friend
of Tongogara.
Most likely he was spared the same fate until he was believed to have become
critical of Zimbabwe's descent into shame under the ignominious rule of Zanu
We can go further back in history, finding a parallel in the recent, alleged
'railway crossing' death of General Gunda. Some of us still alive now, were
around when the popular nationalist leader, Dr Tichafa Parirenyatwa, was
reported, by the then ruling regime, to have died at a railway crossing. Few
fellow nationalists believed it then, and almost nobody believes it now.
Circumstantial evidence re General Gunda's alleged political assassination,
reported in The Zimbabwean to have emanated from family members, is hard to
There was a civilian death in the 1990s which resonates starkly for me when
reading of the bewilderment of family members who 'mysteriously' lost their
sons: the state of the supposedly crashed vehicle in which Gunda died
reminds me of the whole nasty setup surrounding the death of Christopher
Giwa in a 'road accident'.
Especially sad for me is a reminder of the word  'pestered' (to stand for
Zanu PF. in next year's elections) which Gunda's cousins have recently given
to the press. That is the same word that the brilliant young Giwa used when
he told me how hard Zanu (PF)'s 'spooks' tried to subvert his loyalty to the
Forum Party, led by the late Enoch Dumbutshena in the early 1990s.
Back to killer cars: the mystery surrounding the state of the vehicle in
which Peter Pamire was supposed to have died when, as it was officially
concluded, "his Pajero's brakes failed" is another of several cases in
point. What of Christopher Ushewokunze, Moven Mahachi and Sydney Malunga
and, come to think of it, in the early years of Independence, Stephen
Parirenyatwa? They and others too numerous to mention  -  if we are to
believe all the spin surrounding their deaths - were, figuratively speaking,
devoured by rogue vehicles.
Finally, I can understand why General Chiwenga is reported to have sweated
and become shrill in the face of a concerted shout of Hatikuzivi (we do not
know you) from the soldiers assembled before him on Tuesday 14 August. I am
reminded of the response that came from the rank and file of the fighters in
the camps in Tanzania when Bishop Abel Muzorewa gamely attempted to persuade
them to accept him as their leader in the last stages of 'the Struggle' for
the liberation of Zimbabwe (the then Rhodesia) from colonial rule.
I was there, in Tanzania in late1975, collecting material for my Who's Who
of Nationalist leaders when I was told that the cry: "we will choose our own
leaders!" went up in Mgagao and other guerrilla camps. They chose Robert
Mugabe. With General Chiwenga, Mugabe's appointee, and other leaders proving
a disappointment to the rank and file of today's military, who will they
choose when it comes to the crunch and will he (or even she) be a soldier or
a politician?

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15 men of God languishing in police custody

The Zimbabwean

HARARE - At least 15 pastors re-arrested  onWednesday after attending a
prayer meeting in Chitungwiza  over the weekend were still  being held in
police custody, three days after their arrest.

The prayer meeting, also attended by St Mary's MP Job Sikhala and Zengeza MP
Goodrich Chimbaira was held at Nyamutamba Hotel in Chitungwiza  on Saturday.
The group was first picked up by police on Saturday afternoon and released
Monday. They were arrested again onWednesday, and were still languishing in
custody by Friday afternoon.

Among those who were arrested is Bishop Samuel Pasula, Reverend
Mabhena, Reverend White, Reverend Gordon Chinogurei and Reverend Patrick
Police alleged the pastors, arrested at the venue of the prayer meeting, had
violated a section of the draconian Public and Order ad Security Act, by
attending an unsanctioned meeting.

The tough security law requires that a gathering of three or more be cleared
by police. But prayer meetings are exempt from such clearance.

The pastors were initially released after paying fines of $40,000 each.
They were surprisingly picked up again on Wednesday during he dead of the
night from their homes.
They are all held at Makoni Police Station in the populous dormitory town.

A spokesman of the MDC (Mutambara faction) ,Gabriel Chaibva said the arrest
of the pastors was indicative of the continued assault on people's liberties
by the Zanu (PF) regime.

"To even suggest that the pastors should have sought permission to hold a
prayer meeting is symptomatic of a government that has become so paranoid
that the very idea of an opposition legislator
 attending such a meeting sends it in delirium," Chaibva said. "The citizens
of   Zimbabwe have the God given right to exercise their religious beliefs ,
including the political citizenry. It is further disturbing to note that the
police are being used to hound people out of their homes at night under
unclear circumstances."

Chaibva said such actions had no place in a democratic society adding police
were mandated to behave in a professional manner.

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Zimbabweans hit the bottle


24/08/2007 20:30  - (SA)

Harare - Beer has joined the list of commodities fast running out in
Zimbabwe, with the high demand for lager a sign of people hitting the bottle
to drown economic hardships, a drinks company said on Friday.

"We have witnessed an unprecedented demand for our lager beer products.
Average sales are rising fast and approaching 300 000 litres per day," said
Delta Beverages corporate affairs manager George Mutendadzamera.

He said in July alone, the level of beer consumption in the crisis-ridden
southern African nation, was approximately 50% up on the similar period in

Mutendadzamera said the current high demand also pointed to a "worrying
trend of alcohol abuse."

"This is an unacceptable trend with potentially serious consequences on our
society," he said.

Zimbabwe is buckling under massive unemployment - estimated at 20% of the 12
million citizens - and economic woes amid the world's highest inflation rate
of more than 7&500%.

The southern African nation has blamed its economic woes on sanctions
imposed by the European Union and the United States after Mugabe allegedly
rigged his 2002 presidential elections.

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Zimbabwe - Economic Fundamentals

Mens News Daily

August 24, 2007 at 12:26 pm

For most people the situation in Zimbabwe is quite bewildering. They find it
very hard to work out what is happening and to understand why. In fact if
you observe a few simple, but fundamental rules, it is quite easy to
understand why the collapse here has taken place and the speed with which it
has destroyed what had been quite a decent, if small, economy.

In my own business I have to observe these simple rules every day - or go
out of business. So for example I watch the following issues very closely on
a daily basis:

1. Does my staff feel they are a real part of the business and have a very
real say and stake in what goes on? If not, I cannot command their loyalty
and commitment to the business and without that, we simply cannot succeed in
the long term.
2. Are we making more money than we are spending? Its very simple really -
you can ignore the issue of "profitability" because that can mean many
things, but you cannot ignore your cash flow. In basic terms if you are not
making more money than you are spending, you are going broke.
3. Management is about managing change. Our working environment is changing
every day - sometimes by the hour. You cannot do much about the changes
taking place but you can learn how to surf the waves and enjoy the process.
If you do not, you will pretty soon find yourself on the beach.

It's like that in the country. If you print more money that is actually
needed to fund day-to-day transactions, you reduce its value. It's like
pouring water into a glass with some cool drink concentrate in the bottom.
Put too much water into the mix and it is tasteless - in monetary terms, it
will buy less. By doing so, government destroy value and savings, they
secretly tax their people by reducing the real value of what they earn or
have in their pockets by running the presses at the Reserve Bank.

If a nation spends more than it earns it has two options - it can borrow the
money from others willing to lend or it can print money. In the first
instance if they borrow from those who are a captive lender and take
advantage of their power to do so on uneconomic terms, then they pay a lower
return on such borrowings than would be demanded in a "free" market. Both
happen in Zimbabwe. We run a budget deficit that is extraordinary by
historical and world standards - last year it was over 60 per cent of GDP.

When even borrowing on the scale we undertake simply cannot fund this level
of spending then we print money, vast amounts of it and in doing so we
foster inflation and destroy value. This is why the real earnings of
everyone who lives in Zimbabwe are now down to about 10 per cent of what
they were 20 years ago. This is why all pensions are no longer worth the
paper they are written on. I think the failure of the pensions industry to
protect the real interests of their clients is an absolute disgrace. In my
own case I contributed to 5 separate policies for all my working life and
when they matured it would have cost the company more to write me a letter
thanking me for 50 years of servitude and to write a cheque that would not
buy me three loaves of bread today.

When governments behave like this they are in criminal dereliction of their
duty towards their people. That is the position of the Zanu PF regime in
Zimbabwe today. The fact that the private sector has been complicit in this
whole exercise is another shameful episode.

Then we come to two other key issues. The first is the truth that people
only look after what they own or have secure tenure over. When I was a small
boy my father became an alcoholic. He started out as a social drinker, it
got out of hand and when he finally woke up to what he was doing, we were
homeless, broke and five kids dependent on a working mother with a standard
two education.

We moved from a large home in an up market area to what was effectively a
slum; Municipal housing occupied by low-income families. When we had been
there for a few years, the City decided to give us title. We were allowed to
treat the rent we had paid as a deposit and were given a bond for the rest.
The transformation was immediate; people painted their homes, put up walls
and planted gardens. I have never forgotten the lesson.

Even today you can drive around any suburb and you will see which homes are
owned and which are rented. In the agricultural sphere it is the same - the
foundation of productive agriculture is a sound and secure tenure system
within a functioning legal system. Destroy that and you create deserts.
Africa's biggest problem is the loss of productive land through land
degradation. That is why our deserts are growing faster than anywhere else
in the world.

The second truth is that only markets can allocate resources efficiently and
make the hard decision as to what a product or a service is worth. You
interfere with this principle and you will pay a terrible price. I have seen
it all too often - try to knock a price down in a negotiation and you will
often get nowhere until you can say the magic words, "I can get this product
cheaper elsewhere".

In Zimbabwe we have violated all these fundamental principles and are now
paying the price. The loss of security of tenure has destroyed our farms.
The failure to observe basic discipline in our economic affairs is driving
inflation to historic levels, the attempt to halt inflation by exercising
control, is now wiping out what is left of our economy.

I warned my colleagues in the MDC leadership the other day that no foreign
owned firm or even a locally owned firm would accept the demand for 51 per
cent control. This is true for any country in the world but even more so in
Zimbabwe where everyone knows what the intended beneficiaries would do with
such control.

Countries, like ordinary people, can only learn from their mistakes. We are
certainly doing that and I see in that process great hope. Perhaps when
finally we throw off the yoke that we were landed with in 1980, a new
generation of leaders will come to the fore and having seen what happens
when you disobey the basic rules of economics, will instead make the
necessary decisions to take the country in a radically new direction. It's
not rocket science.

Eddie Cross
Bulawayo, 24th August 2007

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From the streets of Harare

The Zimbabwean


"But they were saying he was going to be grilled," a security guard wondered
as more joined in the chat last Friday at a robot in Harare city centre.  We
heard his sirens and all froze until the old dictator passed. That
spontaneous gathering heard the outpouring of serious emotions as people
really wondered what to do with Robert Mugabe just returning from Lusaka.

He returned triumphant, once again. The writing gets clearer on the wall,
Zimbabweans are doomed and faced with even more terrible times. Mugabe has
said he will not accept any constitutional reforms, he is pressing ahead
with his self-serving reforms and preparations to rig elections while also
"crushing" voices of dissent that dare disturb his "peace".

But where are Zimbabweans? Following behind their opposition leaders, one
presumes. And where are the opposition leaders going? They are committing
themselves to the talks' nonsense "because it deserves a chance". In reality
and in short, the opposition is dancing to the tune of Mugabe and his regime
while issuing endless press statements as well as wasting people's time on
puerile things such as drafting a Mickey Mouse list of "real heroes", and so

Morgan Tsvangirai is known for it, and will likely boycott Mugabe's rigged
elections, but who cares when there will easily be other clowns to
masquerade and contest?  Do we hear shouts from Harvest House claiming "we
will then take it from there"? Really? A repeat of the same system over and
over again!

Arthur Mutambara might have no option but listen to Welshman Ncube and
contest "because we are more relevant whilst in parliament".

There is a lot of sympathy and solidarity with the opposition but the bottom
line is: they don't have political strategies serious enough to cause
change.  Mutambara has held endless press conferences threatening "defiance
and confrontation" but is yet to show any signals. The shoulders of Josiah
Tongogara and Nikita Mangena he claims to be riding on must be getting sore
for nothing.

Morgan Tsvangirai's promised long winter can't even come in summer! His
spokesman Nelson Chamisa keeps telling the world "change is around the
corner" but it begins and ends there.  Mugabe gets away with claims of peace
and calm because the victims of his dictatorship are too nice to do anything
when, for example, 32 innocent men spend four months incarcerated on the
basis of pure lies by an illegitimate head of state.

We should not be surprised when the world believes Mugabe's claims that
Zimbabwe is not an urgent matter for the UN Security Council. Parliament is
sitting normally with a substantive opposition, serious shortages of
everything are being accepted peacefully by the people, and all the laws of
the land - including evil ones - are being observed.

It seems Zimbabweans are bracing for yet another six years of the Zanu (PF)
madness. It is really sad! -

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The untold story of the MDC split

The Zimbabwean


Standfirst: In this, the final in a three-part series on the MDC split, ITAI
DZAMARA reveals the search for a leader of the breakaway faction and
contents of minutes of a meeting between SA president Thabo Mbeki and the
Mutambara faction, outlining Mbeki's game plan for Zimbabwe.

The breakaway Welshman Ncube-led grouping first approached Tendai Biti as it
searched for a popular figure from Mashonaland who could lead it after the

It has been confirmed that Biti could have joined them because "he has a
soft spot for Welshman". He was, however, under immense pressure from his
close friends, such as Nelson Chamisa, Lovemore Madhuku and others in
politics as well as civil society who advised him not to join the splinter

It is important to explain the thinking of people from the country's
southern parts regarding their abilities to lead. It is generally believed
by aspiring leaders from that part of the country that, because of tribal
and population dynamics in this country, an individual from that region
cannot get enough support to lead the whole country. They therefore tend to
settle, pragmatically, for the deputy position in national politics.

After Biti declined to join them, Ncube and company tried to persuade
successful businessman, Strive Masiyiwa, owner of multinational

company, Econet.

This reporter established that several visits were made to Masiyiwa's base
in South Africa - but in vain. One of Ncube's colleagues who was involved
said "it was interesting to note Masiyiwa's concern and desire to contribute
to the cause of

helping his country but the issue at stake became whether or not it was
worth taking the risk".

An official from the Tsvangirai camp claims Masiyiwa sympathies lie with the
MDC (Tsvangirai) and that "there was no way he would agree to lead the
splinter faction".

Zimbabwe Election Support Network (ZESN) chair, Reginald Matchaba Hove was
also approached with the offer to lead the splinter faction but cited
"engagement on other commitments" in declining.

"After that, an earlier suggestion to bring in Arthur Mutambara became the
only option and Job Sikhala, who had shared the stage with Mutambara in
student leadership, was tasked with approaching him," said a source who was

Prior to this development, Mutambara had, during his sojourn across the
world in

search of educational advancement as well as other opportunities, exhibited
a serious ambivalence regarding his political plans.

On the one hand he had kept in touch with his "comrades" involved in the
struggle at home, the likes of Brian Kagoro, Selby Hwacha, Sikhala, Madhuku,
Chamisa and Gabriel Chaibva. He had even taken opportunities to contact with
Tsvangirai and "always wanted to know what role he could come and play in
the struggle". It is said he always showed a lot of respect for Tsvangirai.

Land policy an issue
However, interestingly, our investigations have also showed that whilst in
the United States of America, Mutambara flatly declined to join the MDC,
which was led in that country by the daughter of Gibson Sibanda.  One of the
above-mentioned colleagues of Mutambara spoke about a meeting he had with
him in Washington DC.

"We had a very long discussion about politics and the situation at home and
he basically said he didn't want to join the MDC because he alleged it
lacked a clearer policy on land," the source said. "By the way Zanu (PF) had
embarked on land seizures and I was utterly shocked to find Arthur seeming
to support it and even castigate the opposition for what he took to mean a
position against land reform. He is a man of resolve and it was clear he had
reservations about the MDC, not really to mean he supported Zanu (PF) but
probably hoped for another alternative."

That was around 2003.

About a year before the MDC 2005 October 12 split, Mutambara came home for
his wedding and it has been established that there were efforts afterwards
by his

colleagues in the party to have him join and fill the vacuum left by Roy
Bennett in Chimanimani, who had moved to South Africa.

"He was willing and could have come in had it not been that he didn't have a

card," said the source.

Shocked by events
When Mutambara was approached by the Ncube faction after the split, he
consulted his colleagues before taking it up and five of them told The
Zimbabwean that they were shocked about the events.

"He told me on the morning of the meeting with Welshman and company that

he wasn't yet decided and was likely to decline the offer but we later
learnt that he had already written his acceptance letter the previous night
upon arrival," a source said.

Another added, "I had been with him in America the previous week and he told
me there was no way he could accept to lead the splinter group."

Another source met Mutambara on the eve of his acceptance of the MDC
splinter faction presidency and said, "The way he went about it was very
interesting.  For example, on the night before his acceptance I was with him
and after advising him not to take it up he then asked what Tsvangirai could
offer him indicating he could instead join the main group but wanted a

Right from taking over the leadership of the splinter faction, Mutambara
approached the situation with conciliatory overtones and a member of his
faction says "it must have been his plan from the beginning to praise
Tsvangirai in the hope of achieving unity".

Mutambara has clearly indicated how he desired to go into a pact that would
bring the two factions together under the leadership of Tsvangirai and on
analysis, it could be concluded he personally led the faction into
negotiating for unity or coalition so early after the split more because of
his own fears and belief in abilities. That is one of the reasons his
hurried go at unity or coalition has failed.

It is also a fact that the relationship between the splinter faction and
President Thabo Mbeki of South Africa came into play again and contributed
to the failure of unity efforts.

Obstacle to Unity
Minutes of a meeting held last year - leaked to us by sources in the
Mutambara faction - show that the two parties still viewed Tsvangirai as "an
obstacle to unity" while alleging that the former trade unionist "fails to
understand that a government of national unity is unavoidable in solving the
country's problems".

That criticism of Tsvangirai notwithstanding, the splinter faction and Mbeki
acknowledged it was difficult to do without him and his following, hence the
resolve to work on establishing a coalition of opposition parties in the
event the attempt at convincing Tsvangirai into a power sharing pact between
the two factions failed.

A follow-up meeting was scheduled for the end of March this year but had to
be postponed after the events of March 11 when Tsvangirai, Mutambara and
other leaders were arrested and beaten at a Save Zimbabwe Campaign prayer

"The events of March 11 threw impetus into the engagement between Mutambara
and Tsvangirai but it was always queer how the splinter faction pushed hard
yet demanding equal power sharing," a source said.

Tsvangirai's side obtained intelligence on the plans and meetings between
Mbeki and the splinter faction and for that reason dragged its feet on
proposed unity or coalition deals until Mutambara recently burst out and
called his colleague on the other side 'indecisive' and announced he would
go it alone.

Mutambara had offered Tsvangirai the presidency of the united party or
coalition, with himself in deputy position - but really tried to clip the
wings of the former trade union leader by wanting a commitment that he would
not appoint cabinet members without his approval. The splinter faction also
asked for equal representation in constituencies ahead of the elections.

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Alert: Outcry over Hikes in rates for City Flats Dwellers

23 August 2007

ABOUT 700 residents of Harare living in City-owned flats are outraged at the
sudden rise in their monthly rentals, a situation that has driven some of
the affected tenants to the offices of the Rent Board at Makombe Building
for intervention.

They were neither consulted nor informed of the imminent increases until
they started receiving their monthly bills this week. This issue comes at
the back of planned meetings between a Mr Sibanda, a director at the Rent
Board and representatives of the various City-owned flats, who are mostly
municipal employees.

One of the affected tenants, Martin Prosper Dzvanga who resides at Glen
Norah A' Flats, a retired employee of the City of Harare told CHRA that his
August bill was beyond his apprehension and he would seek legal remedy until
justice prevails.

In monthly bills from the City of Harare shown to CHRA for the month of
June, July and August, Mr Dzvanga has to pay $4 991 552 in August, with $2
216 622 for 30-day debt and the current debt being $2 774 900. He is unable
to explain how his debt rose so drastically from the July figure of $2 629
322. As far as CHRA is concerned the residents objected to both the 2007
City of Harare and the Supplementary Budget

How the rates increased from a modest $44 983 in June to about $4, 5 million
boggles the mind as nothing has been officially communicated either to the
residents of Harare or through the media from Town House.

Most surprisingly, most residents in those flats are City employees but
still they were not informed of the increases until the Municipality's
Salaries Department simply deducted amounts in excess of $3 million from
some of the City of Harare employees.

According to insiders at Town House, this has created acrimony among City
employees who feel that they have been short-changed by the illegal
commission that authorised the increases and subsequent salary deductions.

The insiders said they received bills indicating that they had arrears for
the month of July and their salaries were deducted without their consent.
Some junior employees at Trafalgar Court were severely affected as they
found themselves taking home nothing in salary, except an overdraft on their
monthly pay. There are about 120 housing units at Trafalgar.

At the same time this move has also affected tenants living in Nenyere,
Annex, Matapi, Mashawasha, Glen Norah B' and Charles Bricks Flats in Mbare.

CHRA has since started documenting the issues of the affected tenant6s with
a view of taking up a legal challenge against the City of Harare on behalf
of the tenants.

"CHRA for Enhanced Civic Participation in Local Governance"
For further details please contact us on, and on mobile 0912
924 151, 011 862 012, 011 443 578 and 011 612 860 or visit us at Exploration
House, Third Floor, Corner Robert Mugabe Way and Fifth Street.


Precious Shumba
Information Officer
Combined Harare Residents Association

Tel/Fax: +263 4 705114
Mobile: +263 11 612 860
            +263 91 869 294

"Stand Firm and Be of Good Courgage"

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JAG Job Opportunities, August 23, 2007

Please send any job opportunities for publication in this newsletter to: JAG
Job Opportunities; or

Secretary/PA required (preferably a displaced farmer’s wife

An opportunity has arisen at the JAG Trust for a secretarial/personal
assistant to the CEO.  The successful applicant must be punctual, reliable,
able to use initiative, meet deadlines, engage in a high degree of public
relation skills and able to work as part of a team and independently.  JAG
is a small office but a fun and challenging environment to work in, although
can be stressful at times.

Skills required:

-          Typing
-          Minute Taking
-          Diary Management for CEO
-          Knowledge of all Microsoft Office Programs
-          Good PR skills

A competitive, inflation proofed remuneration package is offered plus a fuel

Interested applicants should contact the JAG Office on 04-799410 and furnish
a written application with cv via email:
and for the attention of the Trust’s CEO.


(Ad inserted 19 July 2007)


A large progressive farming estate in Swaziland has a vacancy for an
Engineering Manager.

Reporting to the Estate Manager the successful applicant will be responsible
for the management of all the engineering functions on the estate including
vehicle, machinery, pump, electrical and building maintenance as well as
monitoring capital projects.

He will be responsible for the maintenance of all aspects of the
Occupational Health and Safety Act and the Company's adherence to the
National and international standards.

The ideal candidate will be suitably qualified with at least 5 years
experience in a senior management position. He will have had at least 15
years work experience covering all aspects of the job. Computer skills are
also essential.

-A highly competitive negotiable salary
-Free housing lights and water
-Assistance with children's education
-Generous leave
-Assistance with Medical Aid
-Group Life Insurance
-Vehicle Scheme

Interested persons should send their applications in writing to

STUMAC RECRUITING - PO Box 177, White River, 1240, RSA
Email to giving full details of themselves.

Closing Date 31st July 2007


(Ad inserted 19 July 2007)


Anyone knowing of an experienced housemaid with a bit of cooking experience
PLEASE send her my way.  I am desperate. Phone Mandy Gilmour 0912 409750 or
0912 570521 or 069 3878.  We live on a farm 40kms from town so accommodation
is available with lights and water.


(Ad inserted 19 July 2007)

Position for manager of Meat Factory in RSA

I hope and pray that you are well in these difficult times and

I have an opportunity for an honest hard working couple who is destitute
though unforeseen uncontrollable circumstances.

They would need to re-locate to De Aar where the wife can run a Guest
House/Bed & Breakfast and husband can run a Meat Processing facility/Biltong
factory. I have everything re the business except the time to run it. I only
need able; hard working honest people. Profit sharing is a possibility.

The success/failure will depend solely on the manager/s of these

The position is available immediately and is rather URGENT.

Please reply to:


(Ad inserted 19 July 2007)


Organic/Bio-dynamic farmer or organic-oriented farmer with mechanical skills
required to operate 26 hectare certified organic small-holding one hour east
of Pretoria and Johannesburg. 8 hectares currently in production with
another 8 hectares to be developed growing vegetables. Poultry for eggs in
another opportunity. Would suit younger, energetic, hands-on, organized and
business-oriented couple. Must have mind-set to take direction and regularly
report to owner. House available. Profit sharing. References required.
Non-organic farmers will be considered as organic conversion training
available. Send details to e-mail: or fax: ++ 27 696


(Ad inserted 19 July 2007)

Unique Own Business Opportunity

To the right person a rewarding opportunity exists to ‘operate your own
business’ in partnership with Zimbabwe and UK based businesses and a
Non-Profit Organisation.  No financial investment is required of you,
HOWEVER, this opportunity has specific requirements which would be your
contribution to the ‘partnership’.

Kindly Note:
This is not a ‘job’ - this is an opportunity to ‘operate your own business’
Self righteous religious zealots will not be considered
Timewasters will not be responded to

About Us:
We are a low-profile service orientated business (inc 1994) and
organisation, providing commercial services to the business community, and
strictly confidential services to private clients, and non-profit

The Partners
The partners adopt a philosophical approach to Life, believing in the
significance of an individual’s need to find their very own unique and
special purpose, and to then live out their personal dream.

About You
Business skills:
Excellence & proficiency in: secretarial & office practises, written &
spoken communication, computer skills (especially MSOutlook & File
Working knowledge of Company formation procedures
Basic knowledge of computer hardware (you know what’s in the tower)
Basic accounting experience - accounts are contracted out
Willing to learn LINUX

As the successful ‘partner’ person you will be self-motivated, and
competently & with dedication, carry out the daily activities, expand the
market of our services in Zimbabwe and further develop, maintain & operate
various Address Book data bases (Network Marketing).

Personal attributes:
You will possess and be able to practically demonstrate: personal
responsibility, a high degree of personal integrity and trustworthiness,
that you are a ‘people person’ with  compassion and empathy, emotional
maturity and stability. Good health and bodily disposition. Be committed to
staying....for the next year at least.  An added ‘feather in your cap’ will
be that you subscribe to the philosophy as expounded in the movie and book -
‘The Secret”

It goes without saying that you will be generously rewarded

Quo Vadis
Write an Email letter (attaching your Résumé) telling us sufficient about
yourself that we would be wanting to meet with you for consideration as a
‘partner’ in Zimbabwe.

Thomas Vallance ACIArb, Executive Director, PARADiGM Trust(Pvt)Ltd
Trust Executives & Administrator, Para-Legal Advisory Services
POBox HG750, Highlands, Email: []


(Ad inserted 19 July 2007)

Accountant / Bookkeeper - at least 3 years experience required in the
accounting field.

To work for a busy lodge, friendly environment, Monday to Friday 8am to 5pm.
Good package offered including fuel. Please forward your CV's and References
to or post to T J Cornish, Box BW198, Borrowdale, Harare.


(Ad inserted 26 July 2007)


We are seeking to fill two vacancies in our tourism related business in
Kariba, these can be filled by individuals or by a couple.

Senior bookkeeper / Accounts department supervisor
This position requires an experienced Pastel bookkeeper to manage our
accounts department that consists of 3 additional staff. The successful
applicant will be required to supervise the entire accounting functions of
the company including cash controls and preparation of monthly trial
balances and management trading account reports. This is predominantly a
female environment, but the position may suit a retired male accountant
seeking a quieter lifestyle.

Workshops Manager

This position will require a more mature person with considerable mechanical
and maintenance experience as our workshop, with a staff compliment of 10
employees, not only maintains a fleet of speedboats and outboard motors, but
also our property and buildings as well as all types of maintenance on
houseboats. Experience of outboard motors, while not absolutely necessary,
will be a distinct advantage.
Apply with CV to General Manager at


(Ad inserted 2 August 2007)

Cotton Production Specialist

A local cotton company is seeking the full time services of an experienced
cotton consultant to work locally and in the region with contract growers.
Applicants to submit full C.V via email details of which are available
through 0912233415.


(Ad inserted 2 August 2007)


Required to run a workshop on a busy farm in Matabeleland North.

Applicants must have a sound knowledge and long-term, hands-on experience in
the servicing, maintaining and repairing of a wide diversity of vehicles and

The incumbent will be responsible for the supervising and development of
workshop  staff and tractor drivers.

Administrative work would include the timely procurement of inputs and
spares, ensuring on-farm stocks and minimal downtime of vehicles and

The ability to operate a lathe would be an advantage.

The successful applicant will take up his post on 2nd January 2008.

Very competitive remuneration and fringe benefits are commensurate with the

If you feel that you meet the requirements, send your CV and traceable
references to:

The Advertiser, Box 1288, Bulawayo or email: or Phone:


(Ad inserted 2 August 2007)

IT Technician

Wanted - IT Technician with standard hardware and network experience.
Papers not necessary but need somebody with reasonable common sense and
motivation.  Contact Donald on 091 2 258159 or 771101/771097-9.


(Ad inserted 2 August 2007)


Qualifications : Must have excellent qualifications in Pastel Vs 7, 8, 9 and
be proficient in Excel & Word

Duties :          Perform all basic tasks of data capturing into Pastel and
interpreting into Excel & Word Spread Sheets

Balancing inter Company Accounts (no wages or salaries)

Produce monthly balances of Expense Accounts in Pastel

Responsibilities :    Ensuring daily sales are accurate

                                    Reporting to Financial Manager &
carrying out duties allocated

                                    Supervising Accounts Clerk

Qualities :      Well organised & Punctual

                        Efficient & Dynamic

                        Must work well under pressure & in busy environment

                        Suit mature female/male

                        Be prepared to work 6 day week

Forward updated C.V. with contactable references to :
Glynis Wiley, ABC Auctions, Hatfield House, Seke road, Harare

Telephone: 751343 / 751498 or Email:


(Ad inserted 2 August 2007)


Qualifications : Must be very proficient in Excel, Word, Pastel and have
good working knowledge of VAT

Duties :  Data capture from departments and interpretation onto Spreadsheets
               RTGs applications
               Balancing spreadsheet to Pastel
               Produce cheques & write out orders

Responsibilities : Ensuring accurate daily data capture
                             Reporting to Financial Manager & carrying out
duties allocated

Qualities :   Well organised & Punctual

                    Efficient & Dynamic

                    Must work well under pressure & in busy environment

                    Be prepared to work 6 day week

                    Suite mature female/male

Forward updated C.V. with contactable references to :
Glynis Wiley, ABC Auctions, Hatfield House, Seke road, Harare

Telephone: 751343 / 751498 or Email:


(Ad inserted 2 August 2007)

Accountant / Bookkeeper

At least 3 years experience required in the accounting field.

To work for a busy lodge, friendly environment, Monday to Friday 8am to 5pm.
Good package offered including fuel. Please forward your CV's and References
to or post to T J Cornish, Box BW198, Borrowdale, Harare.


(Ad inserted 16 August 2007)


This position will require a more mature person over the age of 35, with
considerable mechanical and maintenance experience of ERF and Renault
trucks.  Would prefer a candidate with at least 5 years experience in this
same position, who would be able to manage the running of a fleet of
cross-border trucks.  Please send CV's to Mahomed Abdulla at .


(Ad inserted 16 August 2007)

Cook and Gardener

I am looking for a cook and gardener (preferably husband and wife team) to
start immediately. Accommodation is offered.

Please contact:  Glenn 011888214 or email:




(Ad inserted 19 July 2007)

Employment Sought

I am an ex-Zimbabwean farm manager with 6 years experience in Horticulture
and just recently established a 12.5 Ha project in Ethiopia working together
with Richel and Netafim.  I also have 3 years experience in Dairy and Beef
farming. I am looking for a vacancy in any of these fields.  My contact
email is


(Ad inserted 2 August 2007)

Employment Sought

Position sought - Finance, Salaries and Administration.

Work experience
Currently serving as a Finance and Administration Officer for a regional
17 years solid work experience, 8 in the NGO sector.
NGOs, Embassies, Regional or International organisations preferred.
Current salary in foreign currency.
Clean class 4 driver s licence.

Diploma in Personnel Management.
Higher National Diploma in Accounting.
Bachelor of Commerce Degree majoring in Finance.

Contact details
Juliah Murima – 04-2920769 home, 0912699258 cell, 091405281 husband
Email or


(Ad inserted 16 August 2007)


I am mature lady with 14 years working experience in Administration and
Human Resources. I am currently working at the University of Zimbabwe in the
Human Resources Department. I hold A Bsc in Sociology from The University of
Zimbabwe and Certificates in Human Resources Management. I am looking for
employment either as an Administrator  in Human Resources. My contact is Mrs
Hove 011218590 or 333524 or 492348. My e-mail address

For the latest listings of accommodation available for farmers, contact

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