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

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Zimbabwe tightens Mugabe's grip
President Robert Mugabe at the opening of Zimbabwe's parliament in June
President Mugabe will be able to appoint 16 of the 46 senators
Zimbabwe MPs have passed changes to the constitution to strengthen government control over land redistribution.

Another clause would allow President Robert Mugabe's government to confiscate passports of those deemed to pose a threat to national security.

Critics have condemned the proposals as an attack on fundamental rights.

The bill also reintroduces the Senate, which was abolished in 1987. Critics say this will allow the president to appoint more people to parliament.

Justice Minister Patrick Chinamasa said the amendments would bring to a full circle Zimbabwe's war against British colonial rule

"This amendment will conclude the third chimurenga [liberation war] and the process of decolonisation," he said.

Welshman Ncube, secretary general of the opposition MDC, described the bill as " the rape of democracy."


The bill has raised serious concerns among human rights groups and the political opposition, who are worried about how the draft puts certain actions of the government beyond the reach of the judiciary.

A black farmer in Zimbabwe tills the land
Legal battles have slowed down the transfer of land to new farmers

The government will now, for example, be able to expropriate land without being challenged in court.

This is being seen as a measure to smooth the government's programme of land redistribution from white farmers to the black majority.

One opposition MP raised the concern that vague wording meant it could affect someone growing cabbages in his back yard.

Another clause will give the government the right to withdraw passports or travel documents, again with no possibility of judicial appeal - opponents of the measure fear that it will be used to keep government critics on a tighter rein.

The changes also reintroduce the Senate, the upper house of parliament that was abolished in 1987.

The president will be able to appoint 16 of the 46 senators, in addition to the 30 MPs he already appoints to the lower house. President Robert Mugabe is expected to use this as an opportunity to bring back into parliament certain favoured former MPs and ministers who lost their parliamentary seats in the election earlier this year.

Property rights

The new bill also includes a proposal to bring private schools under state control.

President Mugabe has repeatedly changed the constitution during his 25 years as Zimbabwe's leader, but the latest changes are the most wide-ranging amendments ever put forward.

Most attention, though, has focused on the clause to deny the right of appeal to farmers whose land has been seized.

The government says it will conclude the land question.

The opposition says the move would further undermine property rights, deepening the country's economic crisis.

The Law Society of Zimbabwe has joined the criticism, condemning the proposals as an undisguised assault on the rights of citizens.

It concludes that the plans would seriously erode if not remove rights to property, protection of the law and freedom of movement.

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Zim Online

Constitutional Bill signals Harare ready for IMF expulsion: analysts
Wed 31 August 2005

      HARARE -- A controversial government constitutional Bill railroaded
through Parliament yesterday was the clearest sign yet that Harare may have
"settled for the probability that it will be expelled by the International
Monetary Fund (IMF)", analysts said.

      President Robert Mugabe and his government were most likely to follow
up Tuesday's rights-curtailing Bill with more similarly repressive laws in
the future as they put up a "brave couldn't care face" to the international
community, the analysts ominously warned.

      "That they have passed this Bill even as the IMF is still in the
country shows the government has settled for the probability that it will be
expelled and go deeper into isolation," Harare-based economic analyst John
Robertson told ZimOnline.

      "Like North Korea, the message they are sending out is that we do not
care about the IMF or the international community," said Robertson.

      An IMF team has been in Zimbabwe since last week for critical
consultations over the southern Africa country's economic recovery
programmes as well as its loan repayment plans to avoid expulsion by the
Bretton Woods institution.

      Robertson said the Bill that seeks to effectively nationalise
agricultural land would scare away international investors and derail all
efforts at reviving Zimbabwe's comatose economy.

      The new law was also a slap in the face for the IMF which emphasizes
human and property rights and has in the past clashed with Mugabe over his
seizure of farm land from whites.

      Described earlier this week by the Law Society of Zimbabwe (LSZ) as a
"direct and undisguised frontal assault" on the rights of Zimbabweans, the
Bill bans private landowners from contesting seizure of their land by the
state, while courts will be prohibited from hearing such appeals.

      The new law that now awaits Mugabe's signature before it can be
effective, will allow the government to deny passports to its critics and
will also create a 66-seat Senate. Mugabe has publicly said he wants to use
to the Senate to appease disgruntled lieutenants in his ZANU PF party by
rewarding them with seats in the upper chamber.

      University of Zimbabwe political scientist Eldred Masunugure said the
constitutional Bill demonstrated the government cared little about "people's
rights." The political scientist warned that Mugabe and his ruling ZANU PF
party would use their absolute control of Parliament to unilaterally change
Zimbabwe's constitution.

      Masunungure said: "This is one of the biggest assaults on democracy we
have witnessed in this country and goes to show that we are dealing with a
government that does not respect people's rights .. sadly this will not be
the last time the government will be coming with such amendments."

      A confidential ZANU PF document leaked to the Press several months ago
suggested the party wanted to alter the constitution to extend Mugabe's term
by another two years. The Zimbabwean leader's term expires in 2008 but he
could rule until 2010 if the constitution is amended.

      According to the document, which ZANU PF and Mugabe have not denied,
adding another two years to the ageing President's term would allow his heir
apparent Joyce Mujuru to understudy him before taking over. Mujuru is
currently second Vice-President of Zimbabwe.

      Zimbabwe is grappling its worst economic and political crisis since
independence from Britain in 1980. Critics blame the crisis on mismanagement
and repression by Mugabe, the only ruler the country has ever known since
the British left.

      Expulsion by the IMF would be then last signal to other multilateral
institutions, development agencies and donor groups to cut whatever little
aid is still trickling to Harare. Creditors would also call back loans, a
development sure to hasten the total collapse of Zimbabwe's economy.

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30 August 2005
The passing of the Constitutional Amendment Bill (NO.17) by the Zanu PF majority in parliament represents a flagrant disregard for democratic rights, standards and processes.
A constitution should be a symbol of national consensus. This consensus can only be established if a constitution is formulated in full consultation with the people. Zanu PF was presented with an opportunity to work with the people and formulation such a constitution.
It rejected this opportunity and instead doggedly pursued a piecemeal approach to constitutional reform; an approach which essentially aimed to ensure that the constitution is shamelessly corrupted to support the political objectives of the ruling elite at the expense of the interests of the people.
The creation of a Senate is in no way a move to improve legislative oversight. It has simply been created as an extension of presidential patronage, aimed at soothing bruised egos within the ruling party.
The new constitutional provisions represent a serious assault on citizens’ basic rights and freedoms. The Government will now be able to seize the passports of its critics. It will also have the power to acquire, without compensation, any land which it defines as ‘agricultural land’. These arbitrary powers are an assault on property rights. Land in peri-urban and urban areas could now be subject to compulsory purchase. Under the amendment, victims will have no right of appeal. 
This is a sad day for Zimbabwean democracy. On April 18 we celebrated 25 years of independence. 5 months later, the party which claims to be the custodian of the values which guided our liberation struggle has systematically abused the constitution to strip citizens of their hard earned rights.
For the MDC, and the people of Zimbabwe, the amended constitution is nothing but a politically partisan document, totally lacking in legitimacy. Its only contribution will be an intensification of the crisis of governance in Zimbabwe.
We trust regional leaders will take note of today’s developments and reconsider the merits of existing policy approaches towards the Zimbabwe question.
It is indeed true that as a region we will all sink or swim together. 
Paul Themba Nyathi
MDC Secretary for Information and Publicity
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CANOE, Canada

      Zimbabwean legislators cheer after approving constitutional overhaul


      HARARE, Zimbabwe (AP) - Dancing and cheering, legislators approved
sweeping constitutional changes Tuesday that prominent lawyers have called
the greatest challenge yet to Zimbabwean civil liberties.

      Ruling party representatives erupted into celebration after parliament
voted 103-29 to endorse the constitutional overhaul that sharply restricts
private property rights and allows the government to deny passports to its
critics. The 22-clause Constitutional Amendment Bill now goes to President
Robert Mugabe to sign into law.

      The slate of amendments, the 17th since independence from Britain in
1980, strips landowners of their right to appeal expropriation and declares
that all real estate is now on a 99-year lease from the government.

      Justice Minister Patrick Chinamasa said this would stop 5,000 evicted
white farmers from frustrating land redistribution to black Zimbabweans.

      "It will close the chapter of colonization," Chinamasa said during a
stormy half-hour debate that preceded the vote.

      The bill also gives the government authority to deny passports if it
is deemed in the national interest.

      "This will take away the right of those people to go outside the
country and ask other countries to impose sanctions on Zimbabwe," said
Chinamasa, who is among 200 of Mugabe's elite barred from travelling or
owning bank accounts in the United States and European Union countries.

      The overhaul also calls for a new 66-seat Senate to be formed, which
critics charge the ruling party will use to increase its patronage powers.

      Lovemore Madhuku, whose National Constitutional Assembly reform
alliance mobilized opposition to Mugabe's attempt in 2000 to entrench his
rule indefinitely, predicted swift implementation of the changes.

      "I think (Mugabe) is likely to sign the bill into law in the fastest
possible time - even within four days or so," Madhuku said. "He wants to
have elections for the Senate by October."

      Madhuku said the amendments add to a host of repressive measures
already imposed by Mugabe's 25-year-old regime.

      "But in time, it will eventually collapse," he said. "Do you think the
people are going to accommodate this for all time?"

      There had been concerns within Mugabe's Zimbabwe African National
Union-Patriotic Front that the party might not mobilize enough support to
pass the bill after it cleared a preliminary ballot with 61-28.

      Twenty-eight members of the opposition Movement for Democratic Change,
which has 41 seats in parliament, voted against the bill. The lone
independent legislator, Mugabe's former propaganda chief Jonathan Moyo,
faced a barrage of catcalls from his former colleagues when he, too, opposed
the changes.

      The MDC says approval of the amendments will destroy any hope of
agreement with Western donors for desperately needed aid.

      A team from the International Monetary Fund wraps up a two-week visit
Friday to reassess Zimbabwe's economic crisis ahead of a Sept. 9 board
meeting that could expel the country for failing to make payments on $295
million US in debt.

      The seizure of white-owned commercial farms, combined with years of
drought, have crippled the country's agriculture-based economy. Some four
million are in urgent need of food aid in what was once a regional
breadbasket, according to UN estimates.

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Rights activists condemn constitutional changes

[ This report does not necessarily reflect the views of the United Nations]

JOHANNESBURG, 30 Aug 2005 (IRIN) - Zimbabwean human rights activists
condemned sweeping constitutional amendments approved by parliament on
Tuesday, arguing the government has undermined basic freedoms.

Describing the proposed changes to the constitution as the "worst piece of
legislation yet", Joseph James, president of the Law Society of Zimbabwe,
said lawyers "across political and ideological lines" had, for the first
time, taken a stance against the new legislation.

"It is worse than the Public Order and Security Act (POSA) and the Access to
Information and Protection of Privacy Act (AIPPA), as the current
legislation attacks the very basis of our constitution," he commented, in
reference to two controversial laws that limit freedoms of association and

The law society is considering taking its protest to either the African
Commission on Human Rights or the Supreme Court in Zimbabwe, which also
functions as the Constitutional Court.

James pointed out that the 22-clause Constitutional Amendment Bill abolishes
freehold property titles; removes the landowner's right to appeal
expropriation; usurps the authority of the courts, and will restrict the
movement of Zimbabweans.

The bill also seeks to reconstitute parliament as a bicameral legislature,
consisting of a 60-seat senate and a House of Assembly. The new senate will
not have the authority to initiate legislation, but can review legislation
proposed by the assembly.

Forty-five of the 60 members will be elected to the house in elections to be
held in October. Each province will elect two senators - the remaining 15
will be nominated with the final approval of the president, which critics
have alleged will be used to reward loyalists.

Soon after a controversial landslide election victory in March, Zimbabwe's
ruling ZANU-PF party announced its plans to use its two-thirds parliamentary
majority to change the constitution.

National political commissar Elliot Manyika told IRIN that the House of
Senate was necessary for strengthening constitutional democracy and widening
the process of parliamentary decision-making, based on national consensus.
The senate was abolished in 1987.

James insisted the amendments were an "undisguised frontal assault" on the
rights of Zimbabweans, which "fully merit censure".

The amendments "seek to demolish and attack the fundamental principle of
constitutionalism, ensured by the separation of powers, checks and balances,
independent constitutional review by an independent judiciary, and
protection of individual rights".

"As officers of the Court, with a duty to the law and the pursuit of these
principles, we cannot sit back and fail to act whilst fundamental rights
accruing to people by virtue of their existence and dignity as human beings
are being attacked," he observed.

Earlier on Tuesday while introducing the bill in parliament, news agencies
reported that Justice Minister Patrick Chinamasa said the amendments would
bring to full circle Zimbabwe's war against British colonial rule which
culminated in independence in 1980.

"This amendment will conclude the third chimurenga (war of liberation in the
Shona language) and the process of decolonisation," he said.

The government's fast-track land reform programme, launched in 2000,
targeted the colonial legacy of land ownership, in which a small group of
largely white commercial farmers owned vast tracts of the country's most
fertile land. But it was accompanied by violence and intimidation.

Several farmers had successfully challenged the expropriation of their farms
in administrative courts, where over 5,000 land acquisition cases dating
back to 2000 were reportedly still waiting to be heard.

The changes to the property clause now allows government to seize land
without being challenged in court; moreover any court decision taken against
expropriation during the implementation of the land reforms will be
overturned in favour of the state.

Zimbabwe Human Rights Association (ZimRights) director Munyaradzi Bidi
described the amendments as an "evil piece of legislation, which completes
the cycle of repression", and said the changes to the property clause would
have "far-reaching consequences in a country dependent on agriculture".

Amendments to the constitution's freedom of movement clauses now allows the
authorities to confiscate passports of those deemed a threat to national
security. Chinamasa told IRIN earlier this month that there was no need for
law-abiding citizens to worry about the proposed changes.

Zimbabwe's constitution has reportedly been amended 16 times since
independence in 1980. The last attempt at constitutional reform was in 2000,
when the government's recommendations were rejected in a referendum.

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Mail and Guardian

      New Zim Bill is 'rape of democracy'

      Fanuel Jongwe | Harare, Zimbabwe

      30 August 2005 04:55

            Zimbabwe's Parliament on Tuesday approved a widely condemned
Bill that stops white farmers from challenging land grabs in court and
curtails the travel and voting rights of those without full citizenship.

            The Bill was passed by 103 votes against 29 in the 150-member
house where President Robert Mugabe's party has 107 parliamentarians.

            Introducing the Bill in Parliament, Justice Minister Patrick
Chinamasa said: "This amendment will conclude the third chimurenga (war of
liberation in the Shona language) and the process of decolonisation."

            "It's my hope that the process will be concluded with honesty
and integrity."

            The Bill will also disenfranchise all those who have one or more
foreign parents and hold permanent residency status but not full

            Another provision stipulates that anybody deemed anti-national
will not be allowed to travel abroad.

            Chinamasa defended it, saying: "It's not morally right and
patriotic for any Zimbabwean to gallivant the world on a Zimbabwean passport
asking for a military invasion of Zimbabwe or the imposition of official and
unofficial sanctions."

            The main opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) party
denounced the Bill, saying the ruling Zimbabwe African National Union -- 
Patriotic Front (Zanu-PF) party was doing what it pleased.

            "They want to curtail our freedom," said MDC secretary general
Welshman Ncube.

            "This is the rape of democracy."

            The Bill will also re-introduce a bicameral Parliament in a move
that critics said was aimed at beefing up the ruling party's presence in the
legislature and to accommodate Zanu-PF members who lost parliamentary
elections earlier this year.

            Leslie George, a member of the all-white Commercial Farmers
Union (CFU) said the Bill would "effectively suspend the rule of law,
undermine the judiciary and will be a blow to investor confidence".

            Another CFU member said on condition of anonymity that it would
"merely legalise and encourage widespread looting of the productive sector
in Zimbabwe which would lead to further unemployment and crime".

            He said it would also legitimise "a campaign of ethnic cleansing
against the productive Euro-African sector as part of a political campaign
to eliminate all forms of opposition or perceived opposition against the
ruling party".

            Zimbabwe's land reforms, which began, often violently, in 2000
after the rejection in a referendum of a government-sponsored draft
Constitution, have seen about 4 000 white farmers lose their properties.

            The land has been redistributed to landless blacks in a move
that the government has said is designed to correct imbalances created by
colonial rule, when the majority of prime farmland was owned by about 4 500

            The reforms have been trenchantly criticised by a leading
lawyers' forum and civic groups.

            A committee of lawmakers who consulted interested parties three
weeks ago, had also urged Parliament to amend the clause on farm seizures to
allow aggrieved farmers to seek redress in court.

            "It would be in furtherance of the tenets of natural justice
that any aggrieved person be given the right to approach the courts for
arbitration where there is a dispute," the committee said in a report to
Parliament. - Sapa-AFP

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IMF negotiations continue

[ This report does not necessarily reflect the views of the United Nations]

JOHANNESBURG, 30 Aug 2005 (IRIN) - The International Monetary Fund (IMF) is
to continue negotiations with the Zimbabwean government on economic reforms
to get the country back on track.

IMF spokeswoman Gita Bhatt told IRIN on Tuesday that the Fund's mission to
Zimbabwe had been extended, and that "the team is likely to stay on until
Friday in order to finish a report to management ahead of the board meeting
on 9 September".

Zimbabwe was suspended from the IMF and faces expulsion for non-payment of
arrears when the executive board meets.

Bhatt said the staff mission currently in Harare would "update information
on recent economic developments, as well as on policy initiatives that the
authorities plan to implement in the period ahead".

Zimbabwe has been in continuous arrears to the Fund since February 2001, and
about US $295 million was outstanding at 22 August.

The IMF's executive board extended a lifeline on 16 February this year, when
it postponed its deliberations on Zimbabwe's "compulsory withdrawal" from
the Fund for six months.

However, to unlock potential foreign aid the country had to strengthen its
cooperation with the IMF - something that had yet to happen, said Zimbabwean
economist John Robertson.

"The IMF is clearly looking to persuade the country to adopt policies that
will allow Zimbabwe to pay its arrears - it has got to recover the ability
to earn foreign currency. The IMF cannot lend to any country that shows the
lack of ability to repay the money," Robertson pointed out.

"The policies that have got us into the difficulties we now face; policies
that have destroyed our ability to earn foreign currency - such as the
[fast-track] land redistribution programme that wiped out the tobacco and
beef export industries - are the things the IMF want to see us fix before
they lend us any more money," he explained.

After a staff team visited Zimbabwe in June, the IMF noted that "the
magnitude of the economic problems confronting Zimbabwe calls for a
comprehensive policy package that should include decisive action to lower
the fiscal deficit, a tightening of monetary policy, and steps to establish
a unified, market-determined exchange rate. The package should also include
structural reforms, such as the removal of administrative controls, to ease
shortages and restore private-sector confidence".

Although the Fund stipulated that "a rebuilding of relations with the
international community" was a critical part of the effort to reverse the
economic decline, Robertson noted that the government appeared to be moving
towards a more "isolationist policy", which could see its international
relations deteriorate.

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Mugabe Cold-Shoulders IMF Mission

Business Day (Johannesburg)

August 30, 2005
Posted to the web August 30, 2005

Dumisani Muleya

THE International Monetary Fund (IMF) fact-finding mission to Zimbabwe ended
yesterday amid reports it wanted to extend its visit to secure reform and
debt repayment assurances.

Although the three-member team managed to see Zimbabwe's fiscal and monetary
authorities, it had not met President Robert Mugabe, who has the final say
on policy matters. This in effect rendered the trip academic because
government ministers and bureaucrats are unable to take important decisions
unless under presidential instructions.

Given that his regime is practically a one-man show, Mugabe would have been
the one to give the IMF commitments to adopt economic reforms and repayment
of $295m to avoid expulsion on September 9.

Mugabe would also have been able to clarify any progress in relation to the
loan from SA.

He has rejected the conditions to the loan, saying he would not succumb to
pressure for interparty talks and a negotiated political settlement.

South African government spokesman Joel Netshitenzhe said: "The only
information I have at the moment is that after the recent interactions
between delegations of the two countries, the issue was referred to the

Zimbabwean Finance Minister Herbert Murerwa would not clarify the issue.

"They are still around and we are still meeting with them, but I can't
comment any further than that," he said.

Asked if the IMF team would meet Mugabe, Murerwa said: "I can't comment."

Mugabe has always tried to avoid meeting IMF delegations. His hostility
towards the global fund is well known.

Insiders say he is convinced Zimbabwe ran into problems partly because of
the fund's economic structural adjustment programme from 1991-96.

"He doesn't think the way out of this crisis is through IMF- inspired
reforms," a government official said.
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From: "Jeremy Callow" <>
Date: Mon, 29 Aug 2005 12:31:57 +0100

Kate Hoey MP (Lab), with whom I am in contact, chairs a House of Commons All party Select Committee concerning Zimbabwe.   I am also in contact with Lord Hunt of Wirral who sits in the House of Lords, a former minister in John Major's cabinet.   Both have declared an interest in Zimbabwe.   They will welcome constructive recommendations.   I hope to appear before the Select Committee.
It will be recalled that Kate Hoey recently visited Zimbabwe.   Her visit was widely published on her return to Britain.   She passionately spoke about her visit in the House of Commons, highlighting the consequences of Operation Murambatsvina in particular.   For about a week Channel 4, in particular, with some coverage on BBC 1 and BBC 2, ran several programmes highlighting 'the plight of Zimbabwe'.   Most of the newspapers, particularly The Daily Telegraph, regularly publish articles about Zimbabwe.   Websites about Zimbabwe abound on the Internet.  
The Western World is concerned.   Many NGOs, including human rights organisations, are monitoring the situation and seemingly trying to do something.  The issue is not about an awareness of tyrannical rule, but what to do about it.  
One perceived avenue of relief is for the Western World to make charitable donations.   In general terms the British public are charitably minded.   Those with a knowledge of Southern and Central Africa often suffer from a colonial hangover of remorse - we stole the land, we treated the blacks like slaves, etc.  Some appease their consciences simply by donating money.   So Western Governments make money available for humanitarian relief.   They assert that they cannot watch from the touchline whilst people starve to death, have no shelter, etc.   Bob Geldof and Live 8 is evidence of this approach and who reject Roy Bennett's approach - "Mercs for  jerks".   Should the western world continue providing humanitarian relief, which is seen by some as maintaining Mugabe in power?
Given a number of criteria, cynical or otherwise, and mindful of the aftermath of the Iraqi War, careful consideration must be given to the easy recommendation that Zimbabwe be invaded.   Britain alone, if it were of a mind to do so, which it certainly is not, will not alone invade Zimbabwe to bring about a regime change.   [It didn't do so when UDI was declared.]
Please help me prepare submissions to be made to the All Party Select Committee, in the autumn, as to what the British Government, EU, UN and the Commonwealth should do. 
This email has been addressed to 53 individuals/organisations.   Some of you may consider it inappropriate to reply.   However I will be pleased to hear from all of you, should you be of a mind to assist.   I have no objection to this email being passed on to interested persons with an invitation to write to me.  
Aluta continua and best wishes.
Jeremy Callow
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      Rights Group Criticizes Zimbabwe

      26 August 2005

A United Nations report on the demolition of low-income housing and informal
markets in Zimbabwe concluded that up to seven-hundred-thousand Zimbabweans
had lost their homes, incomes, or both as a result of the campaign. U-N
Special Envoy Anna Tibaijuka found that the demolitions had made Zimbabwe's
economic and humanitarian crisis worse. She recommended that the architects
of the campaign be held accountable for their actions.

The Zimbabwean government has so far refused to admit wrongdoing. And there
is evidence that some internally displaced Zimbabweans are once more being
forcibly relocated. Amnesty International, an independent human rights
group, says that thousands of Zimbabweans who lost their homes have been
moved from temporary camps to more remote locations.

Amnesty International released footage taken in August at Hopley Farm, an
informal camp set up after the government closed a larger, better equipped
facility. The Amnesty International tape shows Zimbabweans living in tents
made from plastic sheets and complaining of a lack of adequate food and

Bishop Ivan Abrahams is a member of the South African Council of Churches.
He says that what is taking place in Zimbabwe today is similar to what
occurred in South Africa until the end of apartheid in the early 1990s:

"There has been a kind of parallel with what we have seen happening in South
Africa with forced removals, the apartheid forced removals that we have seen
where people are left destitute, without shelter, and livelihoods."

It would be in the best interests of the Zimbabwean people for the
government to accept the U-N report, admit its mistakes, and work with U-N
agencies and humanitarian donors to deal with and mitigate the massive
humanitarian crisis created by the housing demolitions. Efforts to relocate
internally displaced Zimbabweans should be voluntary, coordinated with
relief agencies, and carried out solely to improve the well-being of the
displaced. Any other approach will only compound their suffering.

Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said, "Zimbabwe's leaders have a
responsibility to address the political and economic problems that have
wrecked what only a few years ago was one of Africa's success stories."

The preceding was an editorial reflecting the views of the United States
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Mail and Guardian

      Meteorite 'dumbfounds' Zim villagers

      Harare, Zimbabwe

      30 August 2005 01:27

            Villagers said a meteorite that slammed into rural Zimbabwe
sounded like a helicopter as it landed, state media reported on Tuesday.

            The 4,1kg, white-speckled black lump landed on August 22 in the
remote Dotito area of the Zambezi escarpment, about 140km north of the
capital, Harare, The Herald newspaper reported.

            The meteorite is believed to consist mainly of nickel and iron.
It has been taken to a police forensic laboratory for study, and later will
be taken to the national museum.

            Those who saw it land are still "dumbfounded", The Herald

            Residents of Chaworeka village were working in their fields when
they heard a sound like a helicopter at about 5pm local time on August 22,
police Inspector Michael Munyikwa told the paper.

            Jeriko Muzanembi, who was cutting poles, said the meteorite
landed a few metres from his house.

            "The impact of the stone cut 15cm deep into the earth when it
landed," Munyikwa was quoted as saying. -- Sapa-AP

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Zim Online

Harare approaches South African bank for fuel money
Wed 31 August 2005

      HARARE - The cash-strapped Zimbabwe government has approached South
Africa's Rand Merchant Bank (RMB) for a fuel supply facility believed to run
into hundreds of millions of United States dollars, ZimOnline has learnt.

      A senior Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) executive official, who cannot
be named for professional reasons, said RBZ officials and representatives of
the South African bank met in Harare last week to "tie up the deal" that
will see Harare able to import desperately needed petrol and diesel.
Zimbabwe Ministry of Finance officials also attended the talks between the
RBZ and the South African bank.

      "We approached Rand Merchant Bank to look into the possibility of
helping the RBZ with a facility for the importation of petroleum products."
said the official, adding that this was not the first time the Zimbabwe
central bank had dealt sought financing from the RMB or other South African

      "We have done this on a regular basis in other products such as food
imports and capital equipment," said the official who however said he was
not in a position to declined to disclose the exact amounts the RBZ had
asked for and the duration of the fuel facility.

      Zimbabwe requires close to US$100 million a month to import petroleum

      It was not possible to get immediately get comment on the matter from
the South African merchant bank.

      Fuel, food, essential medical drugs, electricity and almost every
other basic survival commodity is short supply in Zimbabwe because there is
not hard cash to pay foreign suppliers.

      Previous fuel supply deals with Libyan, Iranian and South African oil
firms have collapsed after Harare failed to pay.

      As at the end of last year, the Zimbabwe government through its oil
utility, National Oil Company of Zimbabwe, owed a total US$171 million to
international oil firms.

      A list of the state oil company's foreign debtors independently
obtained by ZimOnline showed that as at December 2004 it owed LAFB of Libya
US$58 million, BP South Africa US$14 million, Kuwait IPG US$58 million,
Engen US$10 million, Caltex US$8 million, Exxor/Sanstorm US$8 million,
Nordea Bank US$10 million, and PTA US$5 million.

      The South African government has offered Zimbabwe a US$500 million
loan to pay off outstanding debts with the International Monetary Fund and
to buy fuel and food. But Harare is stalling on the offer unhappy about
demands by Pretoria to commit to implement a raft of political and economic
reforms before it could receive the money. ZimOnline.

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Zim Online

Opposition leader wants Mugabe to foot petition bill
Wed 31 August 2005

      HARARE - Zimbabwean opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai wants
President Robert Mugabe and the country election authorities to meet the
costs of his court petition challenging the result of the 2002 presidential

      In an application before the Supreme Court, Zimbabwe's highest court,
Tsvangirai said Mugabe and the Electoral Supervisory Commission should bear
the costs as penalty for delaying the matter from being concluded for the
last three years.

      Election petitions are treated as urgent matters under Zimbabwe's law.
But the hearing of Tsvangirai application to have Mugabe's reelection
nullified on the grounds that he used violence and fraud to win is still to
begin years after it was filed wit the High Court.

      Tsvangirai has now appealed to the Supreme Court to intevrevene
arguing there was no prospect he would get justice from the High Court.

      Zimbabwe holds another presidential election in three years time. This
is not the first time the High Court has set on petitions by Tsvangirai and
his Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) party. The court has still not
resolved more than a dozen petitions filed by MDC candidates in the 2000
parliamentary elections.

      Even if the petitions were concluded in favour of the MDC candidates
it would be of mere academic relevance as there has already been a fresh
parliamentary election last March. ZimOnline.

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Airzim Resorts to Connecting Flights

The Herald (Harare)

August 30, 2005
Posted to the web August 30, 2005


AIR Zimbabwe has now resorted to using connecting flights to ferry 200
passengers stranded at the Harare International Airport via South Africa, in
a move that will further strain the airline's meagre financial resources.

The move, which began on Sunday evening after the national airline flight to
London was cancelled at the last minute, however, could not see all
passengers travelling.

The provision is expected to last over a week as the number of passengers
travelling were determined on daily basis depending on bookings and
cancellations for flights at the Johannesburg International Airport.

Efforts to get comment from the national airline's chief executive officer,
Dr Tendai Mahachi, and the spokesperson Mr David Mwenga were fruitless, as
their mobile phones were not reachable throughout the day.

However, senior managers at the Harare International Airport and
Johannesburg International Airport, who refused to be named, said there was
no end in sight to the problem.

There was pandemonium at Harare International Airport as scores of
disappointed passengers demanded to have the airline pay for their
accommodation and food until they travelled to London.

"Things are just bad here and the big bosses are always in meetings and the
passengers are on our necks demanding that the airliner meet their expenses.

"Yesterday management resolved that some passengers who could be
accommodated in the Johannesburg-London flights be put in the
Harare-Johannesburg flight and only eight passengers managed to go," said
one of the managers.

He said 18 passengers were already in South Africa waiting to be connected
to London via other flights.

The official could however, not reveal the criteria used to select people
travelling on each day.

"Imagine there are 200 stranded passengers and in two days we have struggled
to transport less than 30 passengers and it can take the airline more than
two weeks to finish transporting all the passengers under the same process,"
he said.

Another senior manager said the plane repaired in London was expected back
within three days.

"Our technical teams are working flat out to repair the plane and they are
excepted to finish it by tomorrow (today) but it has to be tested before it
is on air with passengers.

"For the meantime we are relying on connecting flights to South Africa, a
move which is costing the company but they don't have a choice as we are
also trying to satisfy customers' needs," said the manager.

Some of the stranded passengers could be seen yesterday milling around
Harare International Airport as they were only told to keep on checking with
the airline for any progress.

International standards require that when passengers fail to take off
because of a particular airline's problem, the passengers would be
accommodated and fed by the airline.

This time the 200 stranded passengers were not accommodated under that
policy and were told to fend for themselves until they were accommodated in
other flights.
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UN and govt to rework text of $30m flash appeal

[ This report does not necessarily reflect the views of the United Nations]

JOHANNESBURG, 30 Aug 2005 (IRIN) - The United Nations and Zimbabwean
authorities went back to the drawing board on Tuesday after President Robert
Mugabe's government raised serious objections to a draft emergency appeal to
provide immediate aid to 300,000 people.

The UN flash appeal would cover those hardest hit by the government's
controversial urban cleanup campaign, but last week Mugabe refused to
endorse the US $30 million request after raising questions about the text.

Harare insists that the number of people affected by its controversial
demolition campaign has been inflated, and has downplayed the impact of the
operation on the livelihoods of those who had supported themselves and
others by means of informal trade.

UN officials met with their Zimbabwean counterparts on Monday and agreed to
set up a joint committee to draft a new emergency appeal.

"We made substantial progress during our meeting with the government of
Zimbabwe yesterday [Monday], and hope that by the end of the week we will
have a reworked text. Essentially, the Zimbabwean government has said that
the current challenges it faces cannot be compared to the crisis in Niger or
in other part of the continent," the UN Resident Coordinator, Dr Agostinho
Zacarias, told IRIN.

"The government also wants the new text to acknowledge that it has taken
action to assist those who have been affected, and that both sides need to
take a closer look at the number of people affected by the operation," he

While the UN estimates that a total of 2.4 million people, or 18 percent of
the population, were affected by the evictions and the crackdown on the
informal economy that began on 18 May, Zimbabwe's UN Ambassador, Boniface
Chidyausiku, claimed that only about 2,000 people were affected, according
to an Associated Press report on Tuesday.

"We have, firstly, to agree on a humanitarian plan. Once that is done, we
have decided to jointly assess just how many people were affected by the
campaign, but that will be done while we continue to help those in need.
Additionally, a joint committee has been established between the government
and the UN to consult regarding the technical and administrative support
needed for the humanitarian effort," Zacarias explained.

NGOs working in Zimbabwe, who have faced government criticism for their
apparent exaggeration of the impact of Operation Murambatsvina ('Drive Out
Filth'), said they had expected the UN to take a "stronger position" on the

"Although it is important to recognise the political dimensions in this
case, there was an expectation that the UN would have taken a more proactive
role in engaging the government. There is a need to look beyond relief
delivery and towards long-term structural factors," David Mwaniki,
humanitarian programme manager for Action Aid in Zimbabwe, told IRIN.

"The UN should move away from its current fire-fighting posture and focus
its energy on advocacy and trying to influence government policy, especially
since the humanitarian imperative should always take precedence."

Mwaniki pointed out that tackling Zimbabwe's macroeconomic challenges was
key to ensuring that the rights of those displaced by the operation were

Action Aid has been highly critical of Operation Murambatsvina, and has
questioned the capacity of the government to address the needs of the many
thousands affected by the campaign.

In a report released in July, the international development NGO said
although it was difficult to quantify the damage caused by the cleanup
operation in monetary terms, major losses across a broad front, ranging from
shelter to schooling, were likely.

The NGO argued that greater detail on the impact of the operation was
required for relief assistance to be effective, and also raised concerns
that current assistance was biased towards those with access to relief in
holding camps or sheltering in churches, leaving the most vulnerable members
of the affected population to fend for themselves.

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      Australia lobbies U.N. to indict Zimbabwe president
      Tue Aug 30, 2005 10:02 AM ET

CANBERRA (Reuters) - Australia and New Zealand are lobbying the United
Nations Security Council to indict Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe and
his government in the International Criminal Court for crimes against

Australian Foreign Minister Alexander Downer said on Tuesday that, because
Zimbabwe was not a party to the International Criminal Court, Mugabe could
only be indicted with a reference from the U.N. Security Council.

"I very much hold the view that as a country which is party to the
International Criminal Court and bearing in mind the simply horrific things
that have happened in Zimbabwe ... that it's worth a try to get an
indictment," Downer told Australian Broadcasting Corp. television.

Mugabe has led a drive to confiscate white-owned farms to give to majority
blacks. He says this is necessary to right the wrongs of colonialism, which
left the bulk of Zimbabwe's fertile land in the hands of minority whites.

More recently his government has cracked down on what it calls illegal
settlements in a move that rights groups say has left up to 300,000
homeless. The official figure is 120,000.

Downer admitted that getting a resolution to indict Mugabe through the U.N.
Security Council would be difficult.

"We've started a process of talking with some of the members of the Security
Council ... I think it's best to describe the response as cautious," Downer

"I think the U.S. position, the British position and the French position is
one of wanting a bit more time to consider this issue. Nobody has given a
commitment yet to take this forward ... I know it's going to be very

Relations between Australia and Zimbabwe are frosty. In 2002 Zimbabwe was
suspended from the Commonwealth -- a group of 53 mostly former British
colonies -- after Mugabe was accused of rigging his re-election.

The country withdrew from the group in December 2003 when its suspension was

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From: "Trudy Stevenson"
Sent: Wednesday, August 31, 2005 5:46 AM
Subject: CHRA v HARARE COMMISSION - Judge Chiweshe (ZEC) Notice of

High Court of Harare Case No: HC 2587/05
In the matter between
THE CHAIRPERSON ZEC         1ST Respondent
TENDAI SAVANHU                   3rd Respondent


1, GEORGE MUTANDWA CHIWESHE, do hereby make oath and state that:
I am the chairman of the 1st respondent appointed pursuant to Section 3 (1)
of Zimbabwe Electoral Commission Act Cap. 2.12 and consequently am, in terms
of Section 18 of the same act, authorized to make this deposition on behalf
of the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission.  In any event, I have been so cited as
is required by law.  The facts herein deposed by me are true and correct.

I have read the Certificate of Urgency by Rangu Nyamurundira and affidavit
of Michael Jeffrey Davies.  The issues raised by Rangu Nyamurundira in
his/her certificate of urgency will be dealt with by my legal practitioner
in his response to the Certificate of Urgecny.  I will respond, in this
affidavit, on the contentions of Michael Jeffrey Davies, starting with the
deponent’s locus standi which I read under the heading ‘Parties’ below.


Michael Jeffrey Davies has deposed to the affidavit on his behalf and that
of the 1st applicant.  Because of the judgment in Stevenson (supra) (which
is binding in this court) I am not in a position to challenge the deponent’s
personal locus standi.  However, where he seeks to depose to the affidavit
as a representative of the residents or voters of the Harare municipality, I
have been advised and verily believe such advice to be true and correct,
that he lacks, on the papers filed of record, such mandate.  I submit, with
respect that he does not have the locus standi to depose to the affidavit on
their behalf.  Put simply, he lacks necessary authorization.  What has been
contended by him does not amount to a mandate or a legal entitlement to
bring a representative action on behalf of Harare residents and/ or has not
complied with the requirement of the Class Actions Act Cap 8.17.  I
therefore put into contention his locus standi to represent the first
applicant.  This issue may not substantially alter the ultimate result in
this application, but as the foregoing will show, this may substantially
determine the issue of costs should be awarded.  It is submitted that a
party that rushes into litigation, purporting to act in a representative
capacity, without first having established his/her locus standi properly,
acts to his/her peril in the event that the court upholds a challenge to
his/her locus standi.
The applicants in this matter have formulated their claim without any
attempt to precision.  Because of this imprecision, one has to sift through
the debris to find the dead and the survivors.  In litigation, the interest
is on the survivors and not the dead.  To mix up the two issues results, it
is submitted, in the litigant failing, as they say, to see the tree because
of the forest.  The application, at least as regards the 1st respondent, is
as misguided as it is belated.  I will deal with the former aspect as the
latter will be dealt with extensively in the response to the certificate of
The application, including the order is forty-one (41) pages long.  However,
the issues raised in that lengthy affidavit can easily be summarized in a
few sentences.  These are:  that the respondents have failed to perform
their statutory duties in relation to the election of a mayor for the
Municipality of Harare and the Councilors, both elections being necessary to
the good governance of the council.  That, therefore, as they have not
performed their statutory duties timeously, this honourable court must
intervene and give the order sought to ensure compliance with the statutory
provisions that govern elections.  It is therefore to these issues that the
response is directed.

The statutory functions of the 1st respondent have to be spelt out, to
enable this honourable court to make a proper finding on the identified
issues.  This will help determine whether I, as chairman of the Zimbabwe
Electoral Commission, has failed to perform my statutory duties as enjoined
by statute, so as to bring the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission within the
jurisdiction of this court bearing in mind the provisions of Section 4 (2)
of the Zimbabwe Electoral Act, providing that:
        “Subject to the constitution and this act, the commission shall not
          subject to the direction or control of any person or authority in
          exercise of its functions in terms of subsection (1) …………”

Subsection (1) of course deals with issues pertinent to the application “to
prepare for and conduct – elections to the governing bodies of local

The Zimbabwe Electoral Commission was established in terms of Section 3 of
the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission Act Cap 2.2 (22/2000).  Its functions are
set out in section 4 (1) (a) to (i) of the said act.  Of relevance to this
application are the provisions of Section 4 (1) a (ii) which state thus: ‘to
prepare for and to conduct – election of governing bodies of local
authorities.’  In this regard, the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission performs
its functions as stated in the Electoral Act Cap. 2.13 (No. 25/2004).  The
latter act is then made applicable to the election of the governing bodies
of councils i.e. the Rural District Councils Act (Cap. 29.13) and the Urban
Councils Act (Cap 29.15).  These two statutes i.e. the Electoral Act and the
Urban Councils Act, have to be read together and with one another for an
understanding of the electoral process.  It must however (always) be noted
that the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission, being a creation of statute, is
bound and operates within the four corners of the statutes that create it
and regulates its operations and procedures.

The applicants have tried to make their case on an alleged contravention of
Section 121 to 124 of the Electoral Act, which sections, as this honourable
court will note, deal with the periods within which elections to the office
of the Mayor and Councilors must be conducted and/ or the circumstances and
the maximum periods which the 1st respondent may postpone such elections.
The factual contentions by applicants in those regards are correct.
However, the legal conclusions sought to be made by them are far from
correct.  In seeking the relief in the draft order, applicants have
overlooked that the provisions of the electoral Act are subject to the
provisions of the Urban Councils Act (as they relate to an election to the
office Mayor and the Councilors).  These statutes cannot be read separately:
if one does this, then one loses the whole election perspective.

It is axiomatic that the 1st respondent can only perform his duties/
functions (that is ‘to prepare for and conduct elections to governing bodies
and local authorities’ when there exists, (in terms of the Urban Councils
Act and the Electoral Act), a vacancy that must be filled by the holding of
an election.  In the absence of a vacancy existing, the preparation for, nor
the ‘conduct’ of elections by the 1st respondent does not arise.  I will
deal with the election of Councilors in the first place and thereafter the

The issue in relation to Councilors can be narrowed down to the provisions
of Section 121 (4) of the Electoral Act.  In other words, the contentions in
the application and the relief sought relates to the filling up of ‘causal
vacancies’(sic) in Council.  I say so, because it is common cause that in
March of 2002, all Councilors for the wards in the Municipality of Harare
were elected and assumes their positions.  It is further common cause those
seats were ‘vacated’, resulting in only two elected Councilors remaining
(see para 4.5 of the Applicants’ Affidavit.)  The situation that arose after
the seats fell vacant can and was dealt with in terms of Section 80 of the
Urban Councils Act Cap 29.5, in particular subsection (1) (b) which provides
as follows:

            ‘If at any time –
a)     …………...
b)     all the councilors for a council area have been suspended or
imprisoned or are otherwise unable to exercise all or some their functions
as counselors: the Minister may appoint one or more persons as
commissioners ….. to act as the council in accordance with this section’.

The councilors were unable to perform all their functions because of the
provisions of section 85 of the Urban Councils Act, in that they lacked the
requisite quorum that is required at meetings of council.  The Minister i.e.
the 10th respondent, then appointed Commissioners, whose appointment was on
the 9th of December 2004.  Their term of office (in terms of Section 18 (3)
(a) and (b) of the Urban Councils Act) expires as soon as there are any
councilors for the council area who are able to exercise their functions as
Councilors or six months after the date of their appointment, whichever
occurs sooner.  It is common cause that six months expires on the 9th of
June 2005, and no councilors had been elected earlier.  The Councilors’ term
therefore ended on the 9th of June i.e. six months after their appointment.
It is common cause that there were no councilors elected to fill vacancies
up to and until the 9th of June, the date of expiration of their appointment
in terms of subsection (3) (b) of Section 80.  The minister, the 10th
respondent, then exercised his right in terms of Section 80 (5) (after
having been satisfied that after the expiry of six month term service their
appointment there were no Councilors in council who would exercise their
functions) to reappoint the Commissioners for a further term of six months.
The term of office of Commissioners will therefore cease on the 9th of
December 2005.  Consequently, as for now there are no vacancies for
councilors to be filled.  One does not know what the Minister, the 10th
respondent, will do on the 9th of  December 2005 on the expiry of the
Commissioners for a further term of office until the 9th of June 2006.  If
appointed as such, those Commissioners will remain in office until August
2006 and not June 2006 (the latter date when in terms of Section 80 (3) (a)
elections for Councilors would have been due or the expiry of the six months
the Commissioners’ appointment ceases).  The extension to August is
consequential upon the provisions of the proviso to Section 121 (4) (b)
which reads:

           ‘Provided that, except where the number of vacancies exceeds one
half of
            the total number of councilors, no by-election shall be held to
fill such a
which occurs within one hundred and eighty days before the date fixed in
terms of subsection (2) for a general election for the council concerned’.

It will only be then that the 1st respondent is obliged to perform his
statutory function to conduct elections for Councilors.

The other scenario would be that after the reappointment of the Councilors
which the Minister did on the 9th of June 2005, the Commissioners may be
very well in terms of  Section 80 (4) ‘cause an election to be held on such
date as may be fixed by commissioners to fill the vacancies on the council
as if they are special vacancies’.  In such event, the Commissioners will
then advise the 1st respondent to conduct elections within such period as is
stipulated, but within the six months of the Commissioners’ appointment.  In
short, the performance of the duties of the 1st respondent is determined by
the Minister, the 10th respondent, in terms of Section 80 of the Urban
Council Act or the decision by the Commissioners, again in terms of Section
80 of the Urban Council Act.  The 1st respondent cannot merely act in terms
of the Electoral Act, otherwise were he to do so, he would run foul of the
Urban Councils Act and be in conflict with the Minister responsible for the
administration of the Urban Councils Act.

In short, and this point I reiterate, if a vacancy occurs in terms of the
Urban Councils Act, and the 1st respondent has been advised by the Minister
of Local Government or Commissioners appointed in terms of Section 80 that
there is a vacancy, only then can he prepare for and conduct an election.
It is only where a general election, (which election is only conducted in
August of every fourth year) that the 1st respondent, without any directive
from anybody can/ should/ must, prepare and conduct an election in terms of
the Electoral Act.  This much is clear and in consonance with the ruling of
the learned judge in the Stevenson’s case, in which it was held that the
appointment of Commissioners cannot and must not be used as a tool to avoid
the conduct of general elections.  Otherwise as soon as a general election
has been held, the discretion as to when an election to fill special
vacancies through a by-election is entirely upon the Minister and
Commissioners appointed in terms of Section 80 of the Urban Councils Act.
The applicant’s contention in seeking to oblige the 1st respondent in terms
of the Draft Order must therefore fail.
5.In short, and this point I reiteratre, if a vacancy occurs in terms of the
Urban Councils Act, and the 1st respondent has been advised by the Minister
of Local Government or Commissioners appointed in terms of Section 80 that
hthere is a vacancy, only then can he prepare for and conduct an election.
It is only where a general election (which election, is only conducted in
August of every 4th year, tat the 1st respondent, without any directive from
anybody can/should/must prepare and conduct an election in terms of the
Electoral Act.  This much is clear and in consonance with the ruling of the
learned judge in the Stevenson case, in which it was held that the
appointment of commissioners cannot and must not be used as a tool to avoid
the conduct of general elections.  Otherwise as soon as a general election
has been held, the discretion as to when an election to fill special
vacancies through a by-election is entirely upon the Minister and
Commissioners appointed in terms of Section 80 of the Urban Councils Act.
The applicants’\s contention in seeking to oblige the 1st respondent in
terms of the Draft order must therefore fail.

At first sight, it appears that the issues raised as regards the Mayor i.e.
that the
election to the office of the Mayor is long overdue are unassailable.  This,
because there are no provisions similar to those applicable to Councilors in
the Urban Councils Act i.e. the appointment of Commissioners to act in
his/her stead.  The situation as regards the election of Mayor after the
Mayor has vacated office for whatever reason), can only be, as stipulated in
Section 122 as read with Section 123 (a) (i) (ii), the latter which I quote:
‘shall not be for longer than three (3) months after the office of Mayor or
municipality concerned has for any reason fallen vacant’.  It therefore
means at first sight one only has to determine when the office of Mayor fell
vacant to determine when elections ought to be/ have been held.  But this is
only at first sight.

It is common cause that the office became vacant in April 2004 therefore a
postponement could only have been up to three months hence.  But this is
argument which appears correct at first sight; however on further
consideration, the answer is different.  One should read the ability of the
first respondent to cause a postponement (for a period not exceeding three
months in terms of Section 123 of the Electoral Act) with the proviso in
Section 80 of the Urban Councils Act.  The incumbency of a Mayor in the
office is certainly inconsistent with the incumbency of Commissioners in
council.  There is no provision in the Urban Councils Act that a Mayor will
preside over Commissioners to the extent of making resolutions and decisions
which in terms of Section 85 of the Urban Councils Act require a quorum.
The Mayor acts and executes his duties with the necessary number of
Councilors in council.  When that ceases to be the position, the Mayor is
not functional.

It should also be noted that the Mayor executes executive functions;
Commissioners do the same, only subject to the approval of the Minister in
certain situations, and in consultation with some of the Councilors if there
are any.  The incumbency, therefore of the executive Mayor and the
Commissioners in council are therefore mutually inconsistent.  They cannot
exist at the same time.  What this therefore means is that as long as there
are no sufficient Councilors for a quorum to be formed in council, it is
within the powers of the 1st respondent to postpone elections for the office
of Mayor for a period not exceeding (3) three months at any one time.  This
he can do until the fourth year, from the time the Mayor was elected, when
it becomes obligatory to hold elections and no further postponements are
then allowed.  That is submitted, is the only construction that can be given
to Section 123 proviso (ii).  That it is submitted, is from the normal
principle in the interpretation of statute, i.e. that a statute is to be
given a meaning/ interpretation which does not lead to absurdity.
Consequently therefore, the post of Mayor is not vacant.  The 1st respondent
therefore cannot prepare and conduct an election for a post that is not
available for election.  It is therefore submitted that the application, at
least as against the 1st respondent, should be submitted with costs.

In the body of the affidavit I touched on the issues of costs.  Clearly, the
has no locus standi to sue for the 1st applicant.  He has not proved his
mandate to do so.  The constitution of 1st respondent is not attached to the
papers before his honourable court, to enable it to see what provision it
has as regards which official is authorized to take legal action on its
behalf.  There is no resolution produced to court to prove 1st applicants’
authority to the deponent to swear to the affidavit.  Somebody however, must
bear the costs.  The costs, it is submitted, must be borne by the deponent
personally, on the scale of legal practitioner and client.  This is
recklessness of the worst kind.  Further, the case of the applicant is
hopelessly weak and lacks merit.  The 1st respondent is a public body whose
costs in litigation emanate from public funds.  One must wary (sic) before
engaging public bodies in litigation.  The consequences may be payment of
the costs on the punitive scale.  I therefore pray for any order cost on the
scale of legal practitioner and client.
      Therefore sworn to at Harare this 16th day of June 2005

SIGNED:          …………………………………
                          GEORGE MUTANDWA CHIWESHE

BEFORE ME:   ……………………………………..
                           COMMISSIONER OF OATHS
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Epoch Times

End Game for Zimbabwe

Eddie Bowden in Zimbabwe
The Epoch Times
Aug 30, 2005

Vendors try to save their belongings set on fire by police forces in Harare, Zimbabwe in June 2005. Part of a state-sponsored drive to raze illegal homes and kiosks in urban slums, leaving thousands homeless and destitute. (AFP/Getty Images)
High-resolution image (337 x 225 px, 72 dpi)

The past three weeks has been fascinating watching the antics of South Africa as it tries to fulfill the promises that it undertook at the G8 summit in July. It is quite obvious that as soon as South Africa’s Mbeki got home he communicated a proposed deal to deal with Zimbabwe’s President Robert Mugabe.

What that deal was is anyone’s guess, but I would hazard to say that it would have included the following elements:

  • A soft landing for Mugabe if he gave up power and agreed to retire (with grace) to somewhere where his safety and security could be guaranteed.

  • A comprehensive package of assistance to a transitional authority charged with trying to address the humanitarian and economic crises in Zimbabwe.

  • A “road map” back to a legitimate government in Zimbabwe via talks, a new constitution and fresh elections.

It is also clear that Mugabe rejected the deal outright – he knows full well that such a deal would mean exile for himself and the end of his ruling party, Zanu PF.

Africa Determined to Help

But this time he faced a more determined effort by African leaders to ensure that the roadblocks were removed as soon as possible. The first indication of this resistance was the flying visit to Harare by the South African Vice-President and the deputy Minister of Finance. They were instructed to inform his majesty that “no” was not the answer they were expecting.

Their determination to resolve the Zimbabwean crisis was again made clear when the South Africans briefed officials in the Ministry of Finance and the Reserve Bank. Precise details of Zimbabwe’s needs were communicated, with demands for immediate political and economical reforms.

On our side of the Limpopo another game was being played out – “We will never talk to the MDC [Movement for Democratic Change],” thundered Mugabe at a State function in Harare, referring to the major opposition party in Zimbabwe.

“We will never accept a deal with South Africa that carries any conditions,” stated several Zimbabwe ministers and Zanu PF spokespersons.

A politician should never use the word “never” and “no” because politics is the art of the possible and deals are a built-in part of the whole process. The actual deal under consideration was finally discussed at a Cabinet meeting in Harare and a few days later a more muted response was sent to Mbeki.

Not to be left out of the action, the African Union then threw its hat into the ring. It was not just the demand that caught my attention but also the manner in which it was carried out. The chairman of the African Union, President Obasanjo of Nigeria, appointed former Mozambique President Chissano as his emissary with the instruction that he was to get talks going as soon as possible and report progress. This is unprecedented pressure from the most powerful organ on the African continent.

Is This the End Game?

Someone called me yesterday and said that he had information that Mugabe would not last another month. Well, that may or may not be true – but I know one thing for sure, when this thing starts unravelling, it will unravel fast and will take most of us by surprise.

In the meantime the crisis here intensifies – inflation is spiralling upwards and is now almost out of control. There is very little fuel in the market and it is now four months since I last bought fuel in a filling station. Shortages are the norm – from matches to margarine. In the humanitarian sphere the first two-roomed house units are rolling off the construction assembly line – at a cost of at least $Z90 million per unit.

Very few can afford them and their main purpose is political at this stage. They will make very little impact on the needs of the 300,000 families made homeless and destitute by operation “Murambatsvina”, or “operation drive out rubbish”.

In an effort to clean up after this shambles the State is moving thousands of people from the urban areas after a rudimentary screening and dumping them in rural areas. There are reports of many deaths and deep hardship. Churches following up their members and trying to meet basic needs are discovering horrific conditions.

The Zimbabwean dollar continues to slide in a rather undignified manner at the Reserve Bank and in the open market it has simply jumped off the cliff – the local currency now trades at 6000 to 1 against the Rand and 35,000 to 1 against the US dollar. The Pound is trading at 65,000 to 1.

While Nero fiddles, Rome burns and there is little or no sign of preparation for the next summers cropping season – now just 90 days away. After a brief period when maize from South Africa was available in reasonable quantities, there is again a very severe shortage in markets.

Wheat supplies have been cut dramatically and long queues form wherever bread is in production. We need that deal, and very soon, if we are to avoid the catastrophe that others are predicting if nothing is done about the Zimbabwe crisis.

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Duty finally waved on donated blankets but food still waits for

      By Tererai Karimakwenda
      30 August 2005

      Some progress has finally been reported by the South Africa Council of
Churches (SACC) regarding the shipment of blankets they donated to help
victims of Operation Murambatsvina. On Tuesday Zimbabwean officials waived
the surcharge they were demanding in order to release the blankets from a
bonded warehouse in Harare. This is at least a month after the consignment
with the blankets and tonnes of food were sent to Zimbabwe by the SACC.
Church officials hope this is a sign that the food will at last be cleared
as well.

      Understandably, the churches had refused to pay duty on the donated
shipment. Ron Steele, who has been acting as spokesman for the churches,
said the two trucks with food for the displaced families living in camps are
still in Johannesburg waiting for clearance. He hopes the food will be
cleared soon so it can arrive in Zimbabwe within the next couple of days.

      As for what caused such a long delay in processing donated goods,
Steele said although there were standard procedures that had to be followed,
the lengthy delay was rather unwarranted since the food was for desperate
Zimbabweans they had met and wanted to help. He said the South African
people had been amazing in responding to a call for donations to assist
victims of Murambatsvina. However he would not be drawn into a speculative
political discussion about Zimbabwean officials. He simply said the churches
want to help some more because it is their duty.

      SW Radio Africa Zimbabwe news
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  Minister Chimutengwende says government should be congratulated for

      By Violet Gonda

      30 August 2005

      The EU recently added 6 more names of Mugabe's cronies to its
sanctions list which now comprises a total of 126 individuals. Top police
officers are on the updated list that was decided by the EU Council on July

      The updated list includes: Sekesai Makwavarara - Acting Mayor of
Harare, 3 assistant police commissioners- Edmore Veterai, Munyaradzi
Musariri, Wayne Bvudzijena. The permanent secretary in the Ministry of Local
Government, Partson Mbiriri and Melusi Matshiya, Permanent Secretary in the
Ministry of Home Affairs.

      The EU targeted sanctions, first introduced in February 2002, consist
of a ban on entry into EU member states and a freeze on financial assets. An
embargo on the supply of arms and equipment intended for military operations
is also imposed.
      The latest list is an update which includes persons seen to have been
responsible for the human rights violations committed under the
controversial Operation Murambatsvina. A damning UN report labelled this
clean up exercise a "disastrous venture" which affected the lives of 2.4
million people.
      In a wide ranging interview on the programme Hot Seat with Violet
Gonda, the acting Information Minister Chenhamo Chimutengwende denied that
thousands of people had been made homeless after the government's clean up
exercise. Echoing Robert Mugabe's line the Minister remained adamant that
people are not starving in Zimbabwe.
      Reacting to the updated EU sanctions the minister said, "It means
practically nothing to us as a country. It will not weaken our position nor
will it improve the position of the European Union...not many of us want to
visit the EU anyway."
      On effects of Operation Murambatsvina, Chimutengwende said no-one was
dumped in the rural areas saying, "that is where their homes are and they
have merely returned to their home."
      He defended the government operation saying the authorities have
embarked on a programme building 5 000 homes for those who don't want to go
to the rural areas. Despite numerous reports that thousands of people are
suffering countrywide, with many living under appalling conditions at
transit camps like Hopely Farm, the Minister's feeble reply was, "Hopely
farm is being turned into a residential area, the government is constructing
houses on Hopely Farm and many other farms as well."
      Asked why the government didn't build the houses first before throwing
people out into the streets, Chimutengwende said the government had been
building houses and now it has embarked on the biggest programme to be
mounted in the whole of Africa. "We should be thanked for that rather than
be denounced," he added.
      When asked how it made him feel as a person to hear that the police
went door to door forcing poor people to demolish their own homes
Chimutengwende said the government embarked on this programme to remove
filth from the streets. "Objectives of Murambatsvina was meant to clean our
cities and towns, clean them from filth, crime and illegal structures and
also to replace all that with legally built houses."
      On the issue of food shortages the Acting Information Minister said,
"We have not asked for food aid from other countries because we are coping
at the moment. When we need food aid from other countries we will say so."
      Although the Minister continually denied reports that there are
starving people in the country and that thousands have been made homeless as
a result of the government's clean up exercise, as we spoke a group of
churches in Bulawayo were in Victoria Falls to respond to the humanitarian
crisis there. More than 3000 people have been identified to be in need of
urgent food aid and shelter in this resort town alone. A quarter are said to
be sleeping in churches while the rest are sleeping in the bush.
      Speaking on behalf of the churches in Bulawayo, Useni Sibanda said the
religious groups were frantically trying to identify and help victims of
Operation Murambatsvina dumped in remote areas. He said a delegation of
church leaders were in Victoria Falls with a humanitarian aid package in the
form of blankets and food packs like, mealie meal, sorghum, cooking oil and

      SW Radio Africa Zimbabwe news
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Ugly row over Zimbabwe beauties
Miss Rural Zimbabwe winner Liweline Mukana (left), Runner-up Abigail Mabhoni (right)
Liweline (l) lost her crown to runner-up Abigail (r)
The winner of the Miss Rural Zimbabwe beauty contest, who was disqualified after it was discovered she sometimes lives in town, may be re-crowned.

Liweline Mukana, 16, lives with her grandmother in a northern rural village near Kariba town, but during the week stays in Kariba to go to school.

The judges initially disqualified her and crowned Abigail Mabhoni, 18, from central Mugabe village instead.

But the decision may be reversed after the uproar it sparked, organisers said.

Bare-breasted shock

"The contest was strictly for rural beauties," said Sipho Mazibuko, the beauty contest organiser.

Miss Rural Zimbabwe contestants on the catwalk

"Liweline shouldn't have been allowed to compete in her provincial competition.

"But she is a great model, and after considering her case, she will probably keep her crown."

The beauty contest has also caused offence as some of the girls modelled bare-breasted.

According to the BBC's Steve Vickers in Harare, it is culturally acceptable for an unmarried woman to expose her breasts in the south-west of Zimbabwe.

But many people in urban areas who watched the weekend final on television were shocked, our correspondent says.

The contestants used the pageant to highlight the problems that rural girls face, such as HIV/Aids, hunger and lack of education opportunities.

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Reporters without Borders

30 August 2005

Concern that verdict in Daily News journalist's trial could set grim

Reporters Without Borders voiced "great concern" today about the verdict and
sentencing expected tomorrow in the trial of Daily News reporter Kelvin
Jakachira, who faces up to two years in prison for working without
government accreditation. His conviction could open the way for the arrest
and trial of the banned newspaper's 44 other journalists.

"President Robert Mugabe's government clearly likes to crush all those it
dislikes but the Zimbabwean judicial system still has a chance to salvage
its honour by reaffirming its independence and fairness and by rendering
justice to the journalists of the Daily News," the press freedom
organisation said.

"There is no alternative to Jakachira's acquittal," Reporters Without
Borders added. "If he is not acquitted, those trying to negotiate a solution
to Zimbabwe's crisis - above all the International Monetary Fund and the
South African government - will just have to include the case of these
journalists in their list of conditions."

Jakachira is being tried for working without accreditation from the
governmental Media and Information Commission (MIC). The 44 other
journalists employed by the Daily News and its sister paper, the Daily News
on Sunday, have been charged with the same offence and are due to be tried
together in Harare on 12 October.

A press law known as the Access to Information and Protection of Privacy Act
(AIPPA) requires journalists to be registered with the MIC, a media
regulatory body that is closely controlled by the government. Since the end
of last year, the penalty for offenders has been two years in prison.

Jakachira said during his trial that he submitted an accreditation request
to the MIC but never got a reply. Article 82 of the AIPPA says a journalist
may continue working in the interval between the submission of an
accreditation request and the MIC's decision. Jakachira's lawyers cited this
article as grounds for dismissing the charges but the judge, Priscilla
Chigumira, ruled that the trial should go ahead.

Jakachira is the first journalist to be tried for violating the AIPPA. The
verdict and sentence which Judge Chigumira hands down tomorrow will serve as
a pointer to what the government intends to do with the rest of the Daily
News' staff.

"This case is very important and many of us are having sleepless nights over
it," one of the newspaper's journalists told Reporters Without Borders. "If
Kelvin Jakachira is convicted, we think the government will have all the
other journalists arrested and prosecuted on the same charges in one fell

Gripped by a political and economic crisis of unprecedented dimensions,
Zimbabwe is on the verge of bankruptcy and the government has approached
several countries including South Africa for emergency financial aid.
President Thabo M'Beki's government has agreed to consider the request but
has set several political conditions including negotiations with the
opposition. The IMF has meanwhile begun 11th hour talks with Harare about
its debts. If they fail, Zimbabwe could be soon be suspended from the Fund.

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