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

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Business Report

      Eskom powers up Zimbabwe deal
      August 6, 2003

      By Quentin Wray

      Johannesburg - Eskom Enterprises, the commercial and international arm
of South Africa's state-owned power utility, has confirmed it is "very
interested" in the privatisation of the Zimbabwe Electricity Supply
Authority (Zesa).

      Eskom chief executive Enos Banda said because Eskom Enterprises'
mandate was "to be the entity that identified new opportunities in the power
sector for the Eskom Group", it would look very closely at any privatisation
that happened in Africa, especially within the Southern African Development

      Eskom's participation would be on purely commercial grounds and would
not be linked to Zesa's outstanding debts, Banda said.

      Fani Zulu, Eskom's spokesperson, refused to disclose the amount
Zimbabwe owed for electricity, saying this was a "privileged client

      It is understood the debt is between R50 million and R100 million.

      Reuters reported Zimbabwe's state-owned Herald newspaper as saying
that the stage for Zesa's privatisation had been set after President Robert
Mugabe signed into law legislation that would establish Zesa Holdings

      This will retain some shares for the government and operate three
subsidiaries dealing with generation, transmission and distribution. This is
the model Eskom will use when it restructures and brings in private sector

      Banda stressed that if the costs of a deal with the Zimbabweans
exceeded the value it brought or there were too many regulatory impediments
or operational problems, Eskom would simply walk away.

      He said Eskom had already provided commercial maintenance services to
Zesa's Hwange Power Station and had a good understanding of the Zimbabwean
electricity industry.

      Asked about the political risk of doing business in Zimbabwe, Banda
said he "understood [these] issues and how to manage them".

      Eskom Enterprises already has interests in more than 30 African
countries - from seawater intake in Libya to Lesotho's cellphone operator.

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The Herald

Air Zimbabwe loses over $52 million

Herald Business Correspondent Charles Mtetwa
AIR ZIMBABWE, dogged by mismanagement over the years and adversely affected
by the acute shortage of foreign currency in the country, is due to lose in
excess of £40 000 (Z$52 million) this week in compensation to passengers
inconvenienced by over booking on its London-Harare flights.

On Monday the airline was overbooked by about 100 passengers and the
situation was likely to deteriorate further as the airline rolled over the
travellers to flights at a later date.

Last Friday Air Zimbabwe pumped out in excess of £5 000 (Z$6,5 million) to
24 passengers who were initially affected by a computer system change-over.

The passengers failed to travel on Thursday last week on its London
Gatwick-Harare flight and had to find alternative overnight accommodation,
forcing the airline to fork out £200 per traveller as compensation.

More passengers were left on Saturday and that has resulted in a cumulative
figure of 94 passengers.

It is a flurry of activity at the airline’s offices in central London as
desperate airline officials are busy rescheduling travel plans for
customers, much to the chagrin of most of them.

A carry over of the overbooked passengers will also affect the Thursday
flight which is said to be already fully booked.

As a result Air Zimbabwe will continue to fork out the £200 compensation per
traveller, which is a serious drain on its coffers. The cumulative figure
will be a conservative £40 000 this week alone.

In a statement released at the weekend here, the airline said: "Air Zimbabwe
regrets to advise that our flight UM 9727/31 July 2003 to Harare was
overbooked due to a Worldspan system error. Air Zimbabwe moved from the
Astral Reservations system to the Worldspan Reservation System in May 2003.

"Passengers already booked in the Astral system were not all transferred to
the Worldspan system due to a system error, as the transfer of reservations
from Astral to Worldspan should have been automatic."

A return ticket to Harare from London is currently £613 and if all the 94
passengers were to fail to travel because the flights are full until next
month, the airline would have lost a whopping £60 000.

Air Zimbabwe itself is on record indicating that it can ill afford to pay
for spares and other services because of the shortage of foreign currency.

The airline had to pump out the £200 per customer which it described as a
token of appreciation to the customers who besieged its offices in central
London on Friday.

This correspondent visited the office and airline officials were busy
repeating the same diction to the passengers, many of whom demanded that
they needed to get on the next flight.

The airline, which is fully booked until next month, is not taking new

Air Zimbabwe and British Airways are the only two intercontinental carriers
out of Harare.

Air Zimbabwe is offering a cheaper fare, which is one of the reasons why the
airline is fully booked this summer holiday as more Zimbabweans travel home.
Efforts to get comment from Air Zimbabwe’s Harare offices proved fruitless
as the senior manager (public relations) Mr David Mwenga was said to be out
of the office while the marketing manager Mr Steve Nhuta did not respond to
questions sent to him.

Meanwhile, the continued internal wrangles at the airline have seen the
manager for London Mr Chris Kwenda recalled to Harare and replaced by
Ethiopian born Mr Tesfaye Beleke.

Airline officials told Herald Business that the removal of Mr Kwenda had
been shrouded in secrecy and have questioned the appointment of Mr Bekele as
the former is said to be more competent and experienced.

Both officials declined to comment on the matter.
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The Herald

Fuel shortage cripples fishing operations in Kariba

By Masimba Karikoga recently in Kariba
THE shortage of diesel in Kariba has crippled operations with half of the
entire fleet of boats belonging to fishermen in the area grounded.

As a result, fishing companies and co-operatives are being forced to resort
to buying fuel from the black market.

The official pump price for diesel and fuel is $200 and $450 respectively.

However, the commodity is going for $1 000 and $1 500 per litre of diesel
and petrol respectively on the black market.

Several fishermen said the scarcity of fuel was having a negative impact on
their operations with most saying they had been forced to withdraw a number
of boats from fishing in the vast lake due to the unavailability of diesel.

"We received our last fuel supplies on May 23. Since then, we have not seen
any truck from the country's oil distribution companies,'' said Mr Mpumelelo
Nkomo of Zvatakarwira Fishing Co-operative in the Chiwara area of Kariba.

He added that fuel supplies were cut without notice and the fishermen were
in the dark as to when they will be resumed

The co-operative, which has a fleet of four boats was now using only two
because it was failing to secure enough diesel.

"We intend to export some of the kapenta but unfortunately, operations have
gone down to the extent that we are even failing to supply the domestic

" We are pleading to the Government to provide us with fuel allocations to
enable us to increase our operations. We can not import fuel because we are
only supplying the domestic market,'' he said.

Several other co-operatives, most of which are headed by veterans of the
liberation struggle, called for Government's assistance.

"We are still upcoming entrepreneurs and we need Government to nurture us in
order to grow.

"The Government must direct the National Oil Company of Zimbabwe to provide
us with fuel allocations to enhance our operations,'' said another official.

Established players also bemoaned the prevailing situation and urged the
Government to intervene.

Officials at Zambezi Proteins said operations have been affected by lack of

Fishing is usually undertaken at night and a single standard boat takes
between 80 and 100 litres of diesel per one expedition.

As if the diesel woes were not enough, the fishermen said they regularly
lost their catch to pirates from Zambia.

Some of the fishing co-operatives said daring Zambian thieves literally
stole anything from their catch to diesel, which they carry in cans while on
hunting expeditions.

However, piracy is said to have remained low in recent months owing to
increased police and army patrols in the lake.

Houseboat operators said business had gone down due to a drop in tourist

"Most of our boats have been lying idle because of a drop in tourist
arrivals and diesel shortage.

"In some cases, we have failed to cater for guests who attend conferences at
some of the major hotels because of the diesel shortage,'' said a worker
from one of the houseboat companies.
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MDC - Council Elections

Meet the Candidiates

WHERE :  Church of Ascension Hall, Hillside
WHEN:   Thursday, 7th August , 2003
TIME:   5,30 pm (1730 hours)
INTRODUCER: The Hon. David Coltart MP

You are invited to attend.   Meet the Councillors in waiting!

The importance of this election well exceeds the issues of local government.
It is your opportunity to express how we feel and the urgent need for
CHANGE!!   It is a process.
Be there, get informed and pass on the word to your friends and communities.

"We are the winners - Together we WILL complete the change for a better life
for all"

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Daily News

      Christian teachings offend MuslimsBy Fanuel Jongwe

        A LOCAL Muslim group has given the government 60 days to rectify
Zimbabwe’s Christian-biased school curriculum or it will file an application
in the Supreme Court for an order declaring unconstitutional the teaching of
Christian subjects and the reciting of the Lord’s Prayer at public schools,
the Daily News has established.

      In a letter written by its lawyer last week to Education Ministry
permanent secretary Thompson Tsodzo, the Islamic Convent of the Strict
Observance (ICSO) -- which groups parents of Muslim children attending
school in Harare -- said the country’s school curriculum contravened section
19 of the Constitution of Zimbabwe.

      The constitutional provision provides for protection of freedom of

      It could not be established by the time of going to press yesterday
whether Tsodzo had received the letter.

      However, this reporter was shown a copy of the letter bearing a date
stamp confirming that it had been received by the director of the civil
division in the Attorney-General’s Office.

      In the letter, the group protested that Zimbabwe’s school calendar
made provision for only Christian holidays and effectively did not cater for
other religious.

      “Although non-Christian pupils and students are generally exempt from
Christian instruction, the fact of the matter is that their consciences are
pricked because they are confined to libraries or studies during the times
Christian instruction is being given,” reads part of the letter written by
the group’s lawyer, Lewis Uriri.

      The letter adds: “This is not only discriminatory, but is also a
hindrance in their religious freedom, which they cannot manifest, while
their Christian counterparts are able to manifest their religion in public

      “In primary schools, the Grade 7 examination will, contrary to their
religion and belief, examine non-Christian pupils on matters relating to the
Christian God, Jesus Christ and the Christian notion of salvation.”

      The group said the repetition of the Lord’s Prayer at school
assemblies and the offering of prayers “to the Christian God” at all school
functions prejudiced non-Christian pupils of their rights to freedom of
religion and conscience.

      “The provision of holidays for important Christian historic events is
a further injury to our client’s freedom of religion,” Uriri said in his

      The ICSO gave the government 60 days from 1 August to rectify the
situation or face a Supreme Court challenge. The group has already
instructed its lawyer to file an application with Zimbabwe’s highest court.

      The organisation said in its letter: “Kindly, therefore, let us know
within the next 60 days whether your ministry will attend to the
rectification of the school curriculum such that it complies with the
procvisions of Section 19 of the Constitution of ZImbabwe.”

      Officials close to the group said the majority of the Muslim
organisation’s members had come up against the Christian bias in Zimbabwean
public schools after they were forced to withdraw their children from Muslim
private schools and enrol them in government-controlled institutions because
of recent school fee increases.

      Fees at some private schools are expected to increase to as much as
$1.4 million a term next month because of the country’s hyperinflationary
environment. Government schools, although they are also being forced to
increase rates, are still cheaper than private institutions.

      ICSO advocates the strict observance of Muslim religious teachings
without the interference of other religious groups. It is reported to be on
a campaign to recruit members from other parts of the country, the
organisation’s lawyer told the Daily News yesterday.

      Zimbabwe is a predominantly Christian country and three years ago, the
Evangelical Fellowship of Zimbabwe led a campaign and later petitioned a
government-appointed constitutional commission to declare Zimbabwe a
Christian nation.

     By Fanuel Jongwe

      Court Reporter
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Business Day

Leaders of Africa must act now to save Zimbabwe

Without a settlement, mass action and Draconian responses will go on,
increasing the likelihood of collapse
ARE winds of change beginning to blow in Zimbabwe, or is it just a lull in
the political hurricane? An unexpected moment of civility between President
Robert Mugabe's Zanu (PF) party and the opposition Movement for Democratic
Change (MDC) might be a rare chance to restore some calm to Zimbabwe.

But success will depend on a negotiation process in which SA's role will be
crucial. Further delay will almost certainly mean even greater turbulence in
Zimbabwe's future.

Reasons to act now are many. There is agitation from within the ruling and
opposition parties as well as from Zimbabwean civil society for a negotiated
solution, and widespread consensus that such a deal is the only viable means
for resolving Zimbabwe's ills. Zanu (PF) is showing signs of fragmentation.

Even Mugabe has been talking about succession although this may be a
delaying tactic on his part.

Despite this mood the MDC is still facing massive attack by the state, and
if party leader Morgan Tsvangirai is convicted of treason in a legally
specious case the party may be pushed beyond the possibility of compromise.
Recent MDC gestures such as attending Mugabe's speech opening parliament and
indicating that a swift conclusion to negotiations would be ideal, rendering
unnecessary its court challenge to the results of last year's presidential
election are signs of the opposition's willingness to negotiate.

Zanu (PF) leaders know they must turn the economy around. Important party
figures are speaking of the need to rebuild bridges with the International
Monetary Fund and investors. Assets they stole or bought at rockbottom
prices are largely worthless without investment and trade opportunities. The
incentives have shifted, from organised chaos in which assets could be
stolen, to normalisation so they can profit from the booty.

Although the state is in the process of slow-motion failure it has not yet
collapsed like Liberia or Somalia. If it does collapse, mediation will be
much more difficult as will post-crisis reconstruction. All the more reason
to act swiftly.

Without settlement, waves of mass action and civil disobedience will
continue, provoking more Draconian state responses and increasing the
potential for state collapse.

The dire humanitarian emergency will worsen as incomes deteriorate,
unemployment and inflation soar and crime and food insecurity increase.
There is an urgent need to stop the suffering of Zimbabwe's people.

The land issue requires resolution urgently, and this cannot happen without
legitimate political leadership. Here, justice objectives must be balanced
against the need for economic growth and food security. If not, the
agricultural sector will continue to decline, and foreign and domestic
investment will not resume.

The meeting between presidents George Bush and Thabo Mbeki in Pretoria on
July 9 provided positive momentum towards bringing Zimbabwe's parties to the
negotiating table. There is a sense of unity of purpose after months of
disparity between African and western leaders.

This meeting should also mute public criticism in the west of perceived
South African inaction, removing a persistent obstacle to more robust South
African engagement.

If no progress is seen soon there will probably be another wave of western
pressure on Zanu (PF), causing further division between the west and Africa,
which Mugabe will happily exploit. Such pressure should be revived if there
is no progress towards meaningful talks, but it should be held in abeyance
while the process is being cultivated.

As time goes on and the situation deteriorates, international willingness to
fund reconstruction efforts generously will diminish, removing a significant
carrot for resolution.

More transparent planning for economic rehabilitation would provide an
important incentive at this point in the diplomatic effort.

Should no African-led negotiation effort be initiated, it is likely that
there will be further negative effects on western backing for institutions
such as the African Union (AU) and the New Partnership for Africa's
Development (Nepad).

Significant additional western support for these institutions depends
largely on signs that they are addressing African problems. While African
leaders are showing greater leadership in crisis prevention and response in
many parts of the continent, Zimbabwe remains an exception one that, for
multiple and complex reasons, the west remains focused on.

Zimbabwe's churches are building the foundations for a serious negotiations
process by facilitating interparty contact.

That both sides are looking for a solution and are willing to engage with
the churches is a positive sign. However, the churches, lacking leverage and
capacity, can take any process only so far.

SA has always indicated that it did not want to initiate negotiations
between the two parties, but that it would support such a process if
Zimbabweans started it. The process has started.

The situation cries out for SA's deeper engagement, whether through the AU,
the Southern African Development Community or some other mechanism. A
serious, internationally supported negotiation is the only route to a
solution in Zimbabwe. Informal talks are no substitute for such a formal
diplomatic process.

Other crisis zones in Africa such as Liberia, Sudan, the Democratic Republic
of Congo and Burundi (agreements in the latter two negotiated by SA) are
much harder cases than Zimbabwe. The challenges in those countries require
much more in the way of resources, military muscle and diplomatic

African leaders have taken up that challenge and could reach a settlement in
Zimbabwe at a much lower cost. The time to act is now.

Prendergast is special adviser on Africa for the International Crisis Group.
He was formerly with the US National Security Council and state department.
Aug 06 2003 08:26:29:000AM John Prendergast Business Day 1st Edition
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Business Day

      DA claims report stifles facts on Zimbabwe


      Parliamentary Editor

      CAPE TOWN The African National Congress (ANC) used its muscle in
Parliament's agriculture committee yesterday to silence Democratic Alliance
(DA) objections to a report on the committee's fact-finding visit to
Zimbabwe earlier this year.

      The majority report, adopted by the committee, found that there was
consensus in Zimbabwe on the land reform programme.

      It also suggested that famine in the region was because new farmers
who had taken over seized white farms were poorly equipped and not because
the land grabs destroyed the country's commercial farming sector.

      DA MP Andries Botha tried to have his objections to the report heard,
but committee chairman Neo Masithela said this could not be done until the
committee had voted on whether or not to approve the report.

      This was done, and when Botha offered a minority report, he was told
that the rules did not allow for minority reports and he would have to make
his objections in the National Assembly when the matter was debated.

      "The report creates the impression that all Zimbabweans are in
agreement with the land invasions and ignore s evidence to the contrary," he

      According to Botha, the report failed to acknowledge the economic
consequences of the land reform programme, condemn the widespread violation
of human rights or acknowledge the fact that Zanu (PF) elite had benefited
most from the land invasions.

      "Rather than using this opportunity to criticise President (Robert)
Mugabe's disastrous policies, the ANC has created the impression that the
situation in Zimbabwe is relatively stable. The ANC has again failed to
address a far more desperate reality.

      "The ANC continues to protect the narrow and selfish interests of
Mugabe and the Zanu (PF) ahead of the people of Zimbabwe.

      "The land reform programme in Zimbabwe has been a catastrophic failure
that has plunged Zimbabwe into financial ruin. The sooner the ANC
acknowledges this, the sooner a sustainable and effective solution can be
found," Botha said.

      Masithela said: "We have different views on the report because we have
different ideological perspectives and different political backgrounds ."

      When Masithela asked the committee whether they would entertain a
minority report from Botha, the ANC MPs simply shouted: "No."

      The DA's Dan Maluleke asked how it was possible ANC MPs could reject
something when they had not even seen it.
      Aug 06 2003 08:06:33:000AM Wyndham Hartley Business Day 1st Edition
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