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

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Mail and Guardian

      Zimbabwe caught off guard by US ambassador

      Harare, Zimbabwe

      06 August 2005 10:16

            Zimbabwe has not been officially informed of a planned visit
next week by a United States ambassador to examine the humanitarian
situation in the Southern African country, a state-run newspaper reported on

            Ambassador Tony Hall, who represents the US at the Rome-based UN
agencies for food and agriculture, was to make a five-day visit to Zimbabwe
beginning on Tuesday "to observe the current humanitarian and food security
situation in Zimbabwe," the US embassy said in a statement.

            But The Herald newspaper quoted secretary for foreign affairs
Joey Bimha as saying that the government had not been officially informed of
the visit and that it would have to verify whether Hall had been granted a

            "We are not aware of his visit," Bimha said.

            "They have not officially informed us about the visit. We don't
know anything. We have to check with our United States embassy if he was
granted a visa."

            Hall, who has travelled to North Korea, Iraq and visited
Zimbabwe in 2002, is the US ambassador to the World Food Programme (WFP),
the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) and the International Fund for
Agricultural Development (IFAD), based in Rome.

            He was due to meet government officials, representatives of UN
agencies, non-governmental groups and other international agencies during
his visit to Zimbabwe.

            A UN report released last month called for an international
relief effort for Zimbabwe following a government-driven campaign to
demolish shacks, market stalls and other unauthorised buildings.

            The blitz began in mid-May and was declared over by the
government at the end of July, leaving about between 300 000 700 000 people
homeless and affecting the livelihoods of about 2,4-million others.

            The United States has harshly criticised the government over the
demolitions campaign and called on it to work with the international
community to develop relief and reconstruction efforts. - Sapa-AFP

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Comment from The Star (SA), 5 August

Zimbabwe conundrum facing Mbeki diplomacy

By Peter Fabricius

The fog of South Africa's Zimbabwean diplomacy has now become so dense that
one can trust virtually nothing you hear or read about it. Are we going to
give Robert Mugabe's government a loan of $1-billion (about R6,5-billion),
R965-million or something in between? Are there going to be any
preconditions and if so what? Will they include the all-important political
conditions without which any economic reforms would be unfounded and
ultimately meaningless? Perhaps we will find out soon. Perhaps not. But
almost everyone who takes an interest in the country has now become
terminally exasperated by quiet diplomacy which has been dragging on for
five years while Zimbabwe slides into oblivion. And the fog has grown denser
over the last few weeks as the putative loans were debated. The
contradictions multiply - President Mbeki promises action on Mugabe's brutal
clean up of the country's shacks and hawkers, but his foreign minister
Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma dismisses this as "an internal matter".

Some government officials insist that Zimbabwe's dire straits have now at
last presented SA with an opportunity to exert the influence it has always
wanted to. Others say there will be no conditions. Then Mbeki makes some
remarkable statements exonerating Mugabe, including the assertion that the
origin of all his troubles is that, like an overly-generous uncle, he spent
too much on his poor countrymen after independence. And, rather sinisterly,
Mbeki "reveals" that back in the early 1990s, SA persuaded Mugabe to hold
off on his landgrab until after the SA transition so as not to frighten SA
whites from giving up power. Sinister because it implies that the ANC was
quite happy with the land grab; it's only concern being not to interrupt its
own powerplay down south. Mbeki said this, significantly perhaps, at a land
reform conference where his government abandoned the willing-seller,
willing-buyer basis of its own land-reform policy. As always the rest of us
are left to puzzle whether all these noises are sincere, or just more of the
same quiet diplomatic methodology of flattering Mugabe in public the better
to stiff him in private.

Understandably the Zim-watchers have had just about enough. The Democratic
Alliance naturally doesn't like the loan idea at all. But it adds that if we
must give Mugabe one, it must come with very tight strings and these must be
debated in Parliament. Analysts agree, noting the Achilles heel of quiet
diplomacy is that Mugabe can break any promises he makes to Mbeki with
impunity because no-one except Mbeki knows he has made them. Nevertheless it
is a quirk of fate that just as everyone has really had enough of five years
of failed quiet diplomacy, now may be its moment. With Mugabe apparently on
his knees, having exhausted alternative sources of funds such as Libya and
China, SA may really be positioned to exert influence. We may now be about
to see whether "quiet" diplomacy is also weak diplomacy as many have long
suspected. Or whether our government has really been twisting Mugabe's arm,
or trying to twist his arm, quietly, in private. For toughness is after all
more important than loudness. If Mbeki really feels that by going public
with the conditions now, he will embarrass Mugabe into rejecting them, that
may be the way to go, since the opportunity to influence him has perhaps
never been greater.

But it must surely be the last time. And Mbeki can use the tactic of quiet
diplomacy to greatest effect now by adding this further condition to the
loan; that if Mugabe reneges, all will be revealed about his broken promises
and SA will furthermore publicly disown him. Henceforth SA will speak its
mind, publicly and loudly, on all his misdemeanours. Part of the problem is
what many South Africans have not only lost trust in Zimbabwe, they also
lost trust in their own government's sincerity, suspecting that quiet
diplomacy is a convenient excuse for protecting Mugabe from the deserved
consequences of his own actions. That is why Pretoria must now show results
or show its cards.
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Mugabe regime spin-doctors NZ team's visit
          August 06 2005 at 11:17AM

      Wellington - New Zealand's prime minister has dubbed "most
unfortunate" a state-controlled Zimbabwean newspaper's praise for her
country's cricket team's tour of the African nation, a newspaper reported on

      "We always warned that the cricketers would be used by the Mugabe
regime to portray Zimbabwe in as normal a light as possible. In fact, the
country is in deep crisis," Helen Clark told Wellington's Dominion Post.

      The New Zealand cricketers start their tour in Zimbabwe this weekend,
defying a motion in parliament moved by Clark urging them not to go because
of President Robert Mugabe's human rights abuses, including demolition of
urban homes and buildings that has left an estimated 320 000 homeless.

      A Dominion Post correspondent with the team in Harare reported that
the Zimbabwe Herald praised the team for "having chosen to put the value of
sport ahead of petty political considerations".

      The paper said: "We salute the team leadership's brave stance to go
ahead with their tour of Zimbabwe despite reservations from their political
leaders who are clearly obsessed with the isolation of this country."

      Rod Donald, co-leader of New Zealands Green Party, said: "For Mugabe
to use them as pawns in his political game was not unexpected. We didn't
want them to go in the first place and feared this would happen. We just
hope the team will be safe for the rest of their tour." - Sapa-dpa
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AU Summit Hits Deadlock

The Herald (Harare)

August 5, 2005
Posted to the web August 5, 2005

Itai Musengeyi
Addis Ababa

African leaders, President Mugabe included, were by yesterday evening still
locked in a meeting to discuss a contentious compromise on the reform of the
United Nations Security Council at an emergency extraordinary African Union
(AU) summit here.

Discussions centred on a compromise deal some members of the AU have struck
with the Group of Four (G4) - comprising Brazil, Germany, India and Japan -
for Africa to drop its demand for veto power.

But officials said most leaders and heads of delegations in attendance
wanted Africa to stick to its agreed position while others were in favour of
the deal with the so-called G4.

Last month, AU leaders agreed to push for the Security Council, the powerful
UN organ mandated with the responsibility of preserving world peace, to be
expanded to 26 seats, with six new permanent veto-wielding seats, of which
two would be reserved for Africa; and five new non-permanent seats, of which
two would also be for Africa.

But some AU members have backtracked and agreed to a proposal by the G4.

The G4 has been lobbying for permanent seats on the Security Council with
particular attention being paid to African states, which could make up a
powerful bloc in the world body.

At a recent meeting of senior AU and G4 officials in London, the two groups
emerged with a recommendation for a common proposal that would boost council
membership to 25, with six new permanent seats without veto power - one each
for Brazil, Germany, India and Japan, and two for Africa - and four
non-permanent seats.

For Africa, that would mean two permanent seats, one non-permanent seat and
sharing another non-permanent seat with other developing nations, AFP quoted
the South African Foreign Ministry as saying.

But the deal is certain to cause divisions within the AU as other members
are of the view that should the veto system be retained following the reform
of the UN, then all members of the Security Council should have veto power.

Other countries have also emphasised that the reorganisation of the UN
should not just be about representation in key organs such as the Security
Council, but also refocus the world body on spearheading development.

"It is true we are looking for seats in the UN Security Council, but it is
not only the seats in the Security Council for which Africa is looking for.

"We are looking for a system that will bring equality, justice, peace and
development," AU spokesman Mr Adam Thiam was quoted as saying.

Nigeria is one of the countries in support of the compromise deal with the
G4 judging by President Olusegun Obasanjo's speech at the opening of the
one-day extraordinary meeting.

"The main issue before us is to decide either that Africa will join the rest
of the world in bringing to a conclusion the demand for UN reform; or if
Africa will stand on a non-negotiable position, which will certainly
frustrate the reform efforts," said President Obasanjo, who is the AU

"It is obvious that Africa, with its 53 members in the UN, is a sizeable
group, but so is Asia with its 54 members. We Africans in isolation cannot
impose our wish on the 191 members of the UN General Assembly. We need to
negotiate with other groups, unless our objective is to prevent any
decision. If that happens, let us be under no illusion (that) Africa stands
to lose more than any other region.

"Our objective today, therefore, is to confirm the understanding reached
between the AU follow-up mechanism on the one hand, and the G4 acting on
behalf of the co-sponsors of the other draft resolution initiated by them so
that both sides can jointly submit a common resolution to the General
Assembly," he said.

President Obasanjo said the envisaged UN reform went beyond institutional

He said development was also an important aspect of the reform and this had
already forced the Group of Eight (G8) most industrialised and rich nations
to accelerate international co-operation for Africa's development.

"If all elements of that decision are to bear full fruition, we should
recognise that UN institutional reform should enable the organisation to
play an important policy and co-ordinating role," he said.

The Nigerian leader said the reform also touched on security issues,
including conflict resolution.

He noted that Africa's conflicts occupied about 70 percent of the Security
Council agenda and time.

"To have Africa's representation on that Council to be increased from three
to six will be a quantum leap forward."

In addition to considering the deal with the G4, AU leaders will try to
reach agreement on which African countries it will endorse for inclusion on
an expanded council should such reform be adopted in New York next month at
the UN General Assembly.

Regional powerhouses Egypt, Nigeria and South Africa are considered the
favourites, but Kenya, Angola, Libya and Senegal have also put their names
in the race.
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Mixed Feelings Over Constitution of Zimbabwe Amendment Bill

The Herald (Harare)

August 5, 2005
Posted to the web August 5, 2005


Various stakeholders yesterday expressed mixed feelings on the Constitution
of Zimbabwe Amendment Bill that seeks, among other issues, to provide for
the re-introduction of the Senate, with some supporting the provisions of
the proposed law while others expressed reservations.

This came out during a public hearing that was conducted by the
Parliamentary portfolio committee on Justice, Legal and Parliamentary
Affairs to gather oral and written evidence concerning the Bill.

A representative for the Centre for Peace Initiatives in Africa (CPIA), Mr
Etherton Mapisaunga, welcomed the provisions in the Bill seeking to abolish
the Electoral Supervisory Commission (ESC) to pave way for the Zimbabwe
Electoral Commission (ZEC).

"This is a welcome move and we hope ZEC will be given enough resources to
carry out its mandate. We also sincerely hope that other quasi-bodies in
charge of elections such as the Registrar General's and the Delimitation
Commission will fall by the way side," he told the committee.

Mr Mapisaunga said the ESC and ZEC were duplicating each other and this
created confusion in the conduct of elections.

The CPIA, he said, also welcomed the proposal for the re-introduction of the
Senate as it played an important role in the legislative process.

However, Mr Mapisaunga said all the 66 senators should be elected, adding
that there was no moral justification in appointing members of the Senate
from those who have lost in the elections.

Commercial Farmers Union representative and former High Court Judge, Justice
George Smith, told the committee that the union was not opposed to the land
reform programme but wanted it to be done in a fair manner.

He said the provisions in the proposed law barring any court challenge on
all land compulsory acquired nullified the Bill of Rights that guaranteed
the protection by the law.

The Bill seeks to confirm the acquisition of land for resettlement purposes,
which took place during the land reform programme, which began in 2000, and
for the future acquisition of land for resettlement purposes.

Justice Smith said there was no clear definition in the Bill on what
actually constituted agricultural land and the implication was that the
Government was free to acquire all the land.

His sentiments were echoed by the Zimbabwe Law Society acting secretary, Mr
Arnold Tsunga, who said the judiciary should not be barred from hearing
court applications related to the land compulsory acquired for resettlement

However, Mr Antony Baroni of the Land and Property Association welcomed the
provisions in the Bill seeking to confirm the acquisition of land, saying
this would effectively deal with the bottle necks that had arisen during the
land acquisition process.

The Government, Mr Baroni said, should adhere to its policy of not acquiring
farms owned by black people under the land reform programme.

Zimbabwe Election Support Network (ZESN) representative Ms Emmaculate
Chiseya told the committee that her organisation fully supported the
proposals in the Bill providing for ZEC to be solely in charge of elections.

"ZESN fully agrees with the proposals that ZEC be fully in charge of
elections as this will make sure that the duplication between ZEC and the
ESC will be no more.

"ZESN believes that it is imperative for ZEC to be perceived as a body that
conducts its operations in a fair and transparent manner for the elections
to be credible," she said.

The ZEC is already in existence by virtue of the ZEC Act which was passed
early this year.

Turning to the proposed Senate, Ms Chiseya said its members should be
elected through a mixed system of proportional representation and winner
take all.

A representative from the Women in Politics Support Unit Ms Tsitsi Matekaire
welcomed the proposed amendment of section 23 of the Constitution seeking to
guarantee protection against discrimination on the physically handicapped.
The submitted evidence would become part of the report to be presented by
the committee in Parliament during a debate on the Bill.

The Bill, that has already been gazetted, seeks to provide for the
constituting of Parliament as a bicameral legislature consisting of a House
of Assembly of 150 members and a senate of 66 members.

The parliamentary committee is chaired by Makoni East MP Cde Shadreck
Chipanga (Zanu-PF) and the other members are: Chief Ndiweni Bidi of
Matabeleland South, Government Chief Whip and Mberengwa West MP Cde Joram
Gumbo, Chinhoyi MP Cde Faber Chidarikire (Zanu-PF) and Bulawayo South MP Mr
David Coltart (MDC).

Other members are: Rushinga MP Cde Sandra Machirori (Zanu-PF), Silobela MP
Mr Abednigo Malinga (MDC), Kambuzuma MP Mr Willias Madzimure (MDC), Chief
Cyprian Malisa of Midlands, Masvingo Central MP Mr Tongai Matutu (MDC), Glen
Norah MP Ms Priscilla Misihairabwi-Mushonga (MDC) and Chief Patrick
Mudzimurema of Mashonaland East.
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Please send any material for publication in the Open Letter Forum to with "For Open Letter Forum" in the subject line.


Letter 1:
Letter From America

The news that the remaining mostly white commercial farmers financed the
ZANUPF campaign during the last elections raises two fundamental questions
about the nature of the struggle for democracy in Zimbabwe. Many political
scientists use what is known as political economy as a method of studying
the politics of power and coalitions in Zimbabwe. In this method they look
at power relationships among the key political and economic players in
Zimbabwe. When Zimbabwe gained independence in 1980 three power groups came
into a coalition that ruled the country. These were the political power
group made up of the ZANU-ZAPU loose alliance. Next, was the industrial and
manufacturing group which together with the commercial agricultural sector
formed the economic power base in post colonial Zimbabwe. The nationalists
who supposedly gained political power formed a coalition with the economic
sector. This coalition was necessary because the political elite did not
have the resources to sustain themselves. ZANU and ZAPU leaders and their
top cronies became dependent on the economic power elites, namely
manufacturing, industrial and commercial agriculture.

Thus the role of the state under the Mugabe regime was traditionally a
support base for the ZANU and ZAPU. The state became the mother of ZAPU and
ZANU. But unlike children ZAPU and ZANU were never weaned off the state.
Such a coalition was fragile of course because it depended on Mugabe
maintaining strong control over the masses. To achieve this Mugabe co-opted
the army, police and CIO to keep the masses at bay so to speak. For several
years after independence this coalition was able to sustain a national
growth rate of about five percent. This was above average in many
developing countries. The routine was the same: the economic elites created
wealth and paid taxes to the State. The State used some of this money for
development projects. But other money was used to reward the ZANU ZAPU
elites. The subvention for these elites also came from development aid.
Part of aid and loans and grants from developed countries was diverted to
feed the ever hungry ZANU/ZAPU monster. This monster was made up of cronies
whose primary task was to keep the masses under control. But the demands
and numbers of cronies were skyrocketing. Mugabe was forced to create
meaningless positions both in government in the united ZANU PF and in the
party. This meant diverting even more resources from development to the
cronies. However, international aid to Zimbabwe meant Mugabe did not rely
only on the economic elite for his sustenance and that of his cronies. I
must state here that national growth rate as measured by the World Bank and
other economists are based on the performance of the formal economy. The
informal economy, which sustains the vast masses in Zimbabwe, has never
been traditionally and systematically measured as part of the national
growth rate. Some economists have argued that the informal economy does not
contribute significantly to the creation of wealth. If we look at the
political economy of Zimbabwe under Mugabe we will have a better
understanding of the dynamics of the politics of power and the contexts in
which problems and issues are addressed. There can be no doubt that
Zimbabwe is now a class society. And the problems and issues in Zimbabwe
today have to do with the haves and have nots. It is within this context
that we can better understand why the commercial farmers funded the ZANU PF
campaign. Both the commercial farmers and the top ZANU PF politicians have
similar class interests because they belong to the same class. While nearly
5,000 white commercial farms were seized by Mugabe, it was the black farm
workers who suffered untold hardships. Over 500,000 blacks were displaced
and dumped by the roadside in an operation that ostensibly was aimed at,
according to Mugabe, taking farms from the whites to blacks. The true
nature of this operation was Mugabe seized farms from one class, the white
farmers, and gave the farms to another class, the top ZANU PF officials.

Even in the opposition movement some of the leadership actually belongs to
the elite class. Thus in between the opposition leadership and the white
commercial farming community the struggle for democracy can be defined as
the struggle for equitable distribution of goods and resources among the
privileged and elite class.Where their farms have been seized the
commercial farmers have enjoyed lucrative loans and concessions in other
countries like Zambia, Mozambique, Uganda and Nigeria. Such invitations,
concessions and loans have not been extended to the displaced blacks. None
of the neighbouring countries have invited displaced blacks. Using the
model I outlined above for understanding issues and problems in Zimbabwe
one can understand Mugabe's reckless behaviour. All the criminal acts
committed by Mugabe have been targeted mainly at the masses. One may ask
the question: If the masses' informal sector does not produce wealth in
sufficient quantities to be measured on the national GDP why should Mugabe
even waste his time harassing them? The answer is simply to consolidate his
political power base. It was Jonathan Moyo at the time he was a Mugabe
fanatic who advised Mugabe the Machiavellian politics of instilling fear in
the people so they can never think of ever staging a demonstration against
him. Mugabe has a political power base. And he has consolidated that power
through his actions ranging from the massacre of over 30,000 Ndebele in
1982; the rigging of elections, lack of respect for the constitution and
the rule of law, the creation of the militia thugs and the manipulation of
the army, police, CIO into agents of ZANU PF rather than the state. To this
extent Mugabe feels he is now firmly politically entrenched. But Mugabe is
not in control of the economy. Mugabe belongs to the political elites who
are incapable of creating wealth. These elites have traditionally depended
on the industrialists, manufacturers and commercial farmers to sustain
them. So did Mugabe by his actions kill the golden goose that laid the
golden eggs? In a way he unwittingly did so. What Mugabe wanted was to
create a new ZANU PF economic class that would not only create wealth but
reduce ZANU PF reliance on the economic class of industrialists, commercial
farmers and manufacturers. Mugabe must have looked at China and, to a
lesser extent Cuba. He must have concluded that, as in China, Zimbabwe
could adopt the Chinese model of economic prosperity without democracy or
the rule of law. In looking at Cuba Mugabe must have seen in Fidel Castro a
survivor of US sanctions even though the Cubans had been reduced to a
difficult life.

Mugabe's model for socially engineering Zimbabwe is primarily to instill
fear among the Zimbabweans not to protest against him. Even the opposition
movement is unsure about staging massive protests. Next, Mugabe hopes that
hitching Zimbabwe on the Chinese economy Zimbabwe can achieve the economic
growth and prosperity that China currently enjoys. Mugabe's dream is a
Zimbabwe that he controls both politically and economically. Politically he
has staffed his regime with pro-ZANU PF sympathizers. Economically he is
steadily giving control of the country's manufacturing, industrial and
especially commercial agricultural sectors to ZANU PF cronies. In reshaping
Zimbabwe Mugabe has had to contend with disgruntled voices from within his
party. The last thing Mugabe wants to see is a fragmented ZANU PF. One way
of dealing with rebels, apart from sacking Moyo, is to give his staunch
supporters commercial farms or other industrial, manufacturing companies.
Mugabe now has two major projects. The first is to consolidate the
country's economic machinery under ZANU PF control. A select number of
whites will still command some aspects of the economy but they will be
under political control and direction of ZANU PF.

The problem with Mugabe's grand plan to give ZANU PF control of the economy
and the wealth producing institutions is that ZANU PF has no capacity or
tradition to create wealth.

ZANU PF is a viper's nest of consumers of wealth but not producers. ZANU PF
simply does not know how to create wealth. They cannot even manage their
party accounts.

Herein lies the root of the economic problems in Zimbabwe, namely bad

By Professor Stanford Mukasa
01 August 2005


Letter 2:
Hi All,

I see that Cloete has admitted that a whole bunch including himself bank
rolled the ZANU PF to protect their farms, screw the country or anybody
else, they were just thinking of themselves.

Many suspected it, but still had faith in human nature. No wonder we could
not get the CFU to stop wheeling and dealing with these evil people, this
has been going on since 2000, they were prepared to destroy the CFU to
protect their own farms. I find this shameful, many Zimbabweans white and
black have been imprisoned and have risked their lives, some have even paid
the ultimate price for their neighbours and their country. I am sure that
this will make Roy feel shame for these people, it certainly does this to


Gerry Whitehead

All letters published on the open Letter Forum are the views and opinions
of the submitters, and do not represent the official viewpoint of Justice
for Agriculture.

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Angola Press

Zimbabwe urged to look for alternative sources of foreign currency

HARARE, 08/06 - A local financial institution, Kingdom Stockbrokers, said
Friday that Zimbabwe needs to look for alternative sources of foreign
currency rather than simply relying on the export sector if it is to meet
its import requirements.

"Even if served with the best policies, the export sector cannot generate
foreign currency that satisfies our national demands to a level where we can
save," Kingdom Stockbrokers said.

"The export sector needs to be augmented with the revitalization of other
sources of foreign currency, namely foreign direct investment and capital
flows from multilateral financial institutions," it added.

The comment by the firm came as foreign currency availability at the auction
system in the aftermath of the adjustment of the exchange rate continued to
remain tight.

The Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe adjusted the auction rate by 70 percent to
17,500 Zimbabwean dollars per US dollar from 10,800 Zimbabwean dollars last
month, to spur exports.

The firm noted that during the two auctions held after the monetary policy
statement on July 25 this year, the average shortage amounted to 163 million
US dollars or 92 percent of total bids.

"Even if we were to wait for a month or two to allow for adequate supply
response, we are sure that there would be no improvement in foreign currency
inflows," it added.

"This is because the Governor of the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe is targeting
one source of foreign currency generation-export sector," the firm said.

Meanwhile, the stock broking firm observed that the hiking of accommodation
rates to between 180 and 190 percent from 160 and 170 percent by the central
bank last month had resulted in real interests rates becoming positive again
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The Media Monitoring Project Zimbabwe

Monday July 25th – Sunday July 31st 2005

Weekly Media Update 2005-28








1. General comment


THE government media’s reluctance to expose the ruling party’s undemocratic tendencies and intolerance of the opposition was illustrated again this week by their suffocation of the continuing harassment of MDC officials by ZANU PF activists.

For example, ZBH (28/7, 8pm) and The Herald (29/7) censored the alleged assault and harassment of MDC MP for Mbare Gift Chimanikire by ZANU PF youths and officials during the re-opening of Mbare Retail Market, forcing him to leave the event. Instead, the paper only focussed on vice-president Joseph Msika’s speech in which he claimed that “government will not discriminate against members of the opposition” in its operation Garikai.


Only The Daily Mirror (29/7) revealed that Chipangano, a notorious mob aligned to ZANU PF, had assaulted Chimanikire and his aides in the “presence of the police”, although the Zimbabwe Independent (29/7) also referred to the incident in their story on the raid on the MDC’s election expert, Topper Whitehead. According to the Mirror, the police detained Chimanikire instead of arresting the assailants when he went to report the assault at Mbare police station.

The papers quoted police spokesman Wayne Bvudzijena saying Chimanikire was arrested for possessing “two rifles in his car”, a matter the police were “investigating”.

Studio 7 reported the story in its evening bulletin on the same day.


In their stories about the raid on Whitehead’s home The Daily Mirror, the Independent and Studio 7 (29/7) all reported that police had confiscated material that could have provided evidence showing how the 2002 presidential election was allegedly rigged. According to these media, the police pounced on Whitehead’s home at “night” claiming that they were looking for “subversive materials” such as photographs and videotapes filmed during Murambatsvina.

Although The Herald (30/7) reported the raid, it carried the story as a news brief buried on page 10. While the private Press viewed the police action as yet another incident of harassment of the opposition and the authorities’ attempts to disrupt the MDC’s efforts to analyse the 2002 election material, The Herald steered clear of such observations and merely quoted Bvudzijena saying the police had raided Whitehead’s home in search of “aggressive documents”. 


Meanwhile, The Daily Mirror and SW Radio Africa (26/7) revealed that the Supreme Court had dismissed ZANU PF Gokwe South legislator Jaison Machaya’s appeal against a High Court ruling nullifying his victory against MDC candidate Lameck Muyambi in the 2000 parliamentary elections. The paper quoted Muyambi’s lawyer saying the Supreme Court judgment, which was delivered on February 4 this year and “made available” on July 25, had become “academic and overtaken by events since new polls have been held” adding that had it “come out on time…fresh elections would have been called for the constituency”.

The government media ignored this latest example of how the administration of justice in the country has been subverted.


2. The urban purge and Tibaijuka’s report


UNITED Nations special envoy Anna Tibaijuka’s report on Operation Murambatsvina continued to attract heavy media attention during the week.

The media carried a total of 153 stories on the matter. Of these, 73 were carried by ZBH (ZTV [34], Radio Zimbabwe [20], Power FM [19]), 20 by Studio 7, 30 by the government-controlled Press, while the remaining 35 stories were published in the private papers.

But while the private media carried fairly investigative and balanced reports on the topic, the government-controlled media’s coverage was rigid, characterised by shrill defence of government’s implementation of Murambatsvina while simultaneously parading the clampdown’s mop-up successor, Operation Garikai, as a worthy programme.


For example, ZBH devoted 31 stories (42%) out of the 73 stories they carried on Murambatsvina to condemning Tibaijuka’s findings. The broadcaster and its print counterparts passively peddled as fact unsubstantiated conspiracy theories by government officials and their sympathisers that Tibaijuka’s damning report on Murambatsvina was instigated by British Prime Minister Tony Blair.


ZTV alone carried at least five stories propagating this agenda.

For example, ZTV (25/7,8pm) quoted Information Minister Tichaona Jokonya accusing Tibaijuka of having come to assess the clampdown without an open mind” and saying  she was on a mission to satisfy Tony Blair’s agenda”.  

It was in this context that The Herald and Chronicle (25/7) reported President Mugabe as having invited UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan to visit Zimbabwe “to see for himself the situation on the ground” because as he told ZTV (26/7, 8pm), The Herald and Chronicle (27/7), Tibaijuka’s assessment of Murambatsvina was pre-determined.


The two papers (27/7) quoted him alleging that Tibaijuka had told him “her hands were tied” because “certain people had been planted in her assessment mission to ensure that the report was damning”.

Without independently ascertaining the veracity of Mugabe’s allegations, the government Press simply magnified them in 10 other reports they carried on the subject. However, these allegations contradicted those by Annan’s spokesman. He told Studio 7 (27/7) that Tibaijuka had produced the report on her own authority saying, “ the report is clear, complete on the situation on the ground and on the humanitarian situation”.


Other analysts quoted on the same bulletin also dismissed government’s denial of the UN findings. Director of African Policy Studies, Princeton Leman, told Studio 7 that the government strategy was “to discredit the report and deny what is actually happening”. Added Leman: “It’s not the first time he (President Mugabe) has done this. He denied there was a food crisis last year then turned around of course for food aid…”


In fact, The Financial Gazette (28/7) quoted unnamed ZANU PF sources revealing that Tibaijuka had told Mugabe not to “expect nothing short of a bad report given the situation on the ground”. The story also revealed that due to divisions within the ruling party over Murambatsvina, some party members had “nicodemously” provided Tibaijuka with information to “recant what they would have said in broad daylight”.

The Sunday Mirror (31/7) concurred, saying there was no “collective inter-ministerial drive” on the operation. It claimed that Harare City Council initially planned the operation, which later “spun out of control” when Chombo took the Harare “clean-up” to Cabinet level.


The government media steered clear of these matters.

Their preoccupation with portraying Britain as the brains behind Tibaijuka’s unflattering findings even resulted in them distorting the circumstances leading to the presentation of her report to the closed-door session of the UN Security Council.

For example, The Herald (28/7) wrongly gave the impression that London had bulldozed the report onto the agenda of the Council instead of clearly stating that its tabling was as a result of a procedural vote in which the Council voted 9:5 in favour of the report’s presentation. Instead, it narrowly portrayed the vote as having been only conducted to determine whether or not Zimbabwe should attend Tibaijuka’s briefing.


Similarly, although the Chronicle (29/7) acknowledged the Council’s decision to have the report presented over opposition from China, Russia and African countries, it maintained that Britain and the US had to “force a briefing” after their “spirited campaign” to have Zimbabwe “foisted on the agenda of the UN organ” was “thwarted” by other members.

Still, despite government’s strident initial criticism of the UN’s ‘biased’ report, government media’s audiences would have been confused when ZTV (27/7, 8pm) and The Herald (28/7) passively quoted Deputy Information Minister Bright Matonga denying government had “condemned” the report. They made no effort to explain this represented a contradiction of government’s previous position.


Similarly, the same reports failed to reconcile the authorities’ attacks on the UN report with invitations to the UN from Vice-President Joyce Mujuru and Matonga to complement government efforts in realising its “national reconstruction programme”.

Not surprisingly, the government media’s attempts to ignore Murambatsvina’s devastation and project government as committed to providing shelter and vending stalls to the victims of its purge exactly mirrored the official focus on reconstruction.


To this end the official media carried 50 glowing stories on Garikai.

The stories were hardly informative as none of them gave a detailed inventory of the government’s reconstruction programme. These media just bombarded their audiences with meaningless statistics and projections that were sometimes at odds with reality.

For example, ZTV (26/7,8pm) did not question government’s claim that it would complete building “100 houses in four weeks” in Victoria Falls “despite fuel shortages” crippling the country.     


Neither did ZTV (28/7,8pm), Radio Zimbabwe (29/7,6am) or Power FM (29/7,8pm) question in what capacity Acting Commander of Zimbabwe Defence Forces (ZDF) Perence Shiri was commenting on issues pertaining to Garikai, an allegedly civilian exercise. The stations merely reported him as commending “the commitment shown by Mashonaland East Province in the construction of houses, factory shells…under the current reconstruction programme” and urged it to meet government’s August 31st deadline. There was no attempt to discuss the practicability of this deadline.


Rather, ZTV (25/7,8pm) and The Herald (26/7) passively reported Acting Foreign Affairs Minister Stan Mudenge saying the deadline was “achievable” and “real people who were staying in shacks are going to live in real houses”.

The government media’s partisan approach in handling the topic was evident in their sourcing pattern, which was dominated by official voices. See Fig 1 and 2. 

Fig 1. Voice distribution in the government Press 





Local govt.


Jonathan Moyo












The 10 foreign voices quoted in the government Press were supportive of government while Moyo and the MDC’s voices were only quoted in the context of ZANU PF MPs’ response to their motions in Parliament. 


Fig 2. Voice Distribution on ZBH





Ordinary People

Local Govt














Nearly all the ZBH sources were quoted rubber-stamping Garikai or vilifying the UN report.

Except for 10 reports in the Mirror stable, which echoed the official media’s position, the rest of the 45 stories carried by the private media endorsed the UN report.   

The Financial Gazette (28/7) and The Standard called on government to accept its mistakes and mend fences with the rest of the international community.


In fact, The Standard reported that despite spirited protestations against the UN report, ZANU PF’s politburo was scheduled to meet to discuss the findings “as pressure mounts on President Mugabe to fully comply” with the UN recommendations. It quoted unnamed diplomatic sources saying members of the international community had endorsed the report and were treating its findings seriously.

In addition, it also reported that owners of Whitecliff Farm, Eddies Pfugari Properties, had filed contempt of court charges against Chombo for defying an earlier court order barring his ministry from building houses at the farm.


Contrary to the official Press’ narrow coverage of the clampdown, the private media continued to highlight the misery caused by Murambatsvina and exposed government’s continued demolitions and evictions of people in Chipinge and Porta Farm and the inhumane treatment of those removed from government’s holding camps.

The government media ignored this news or focussed on Joyce Mujuru’s announcement that Murambatsvina was over (The Herald, 28/7). The Herald (25/7) gave the impression that Porta Farm residents were voluntarily “relocating” to their rural homes.


However, Studio 7 (27/7) revealed that church leaders were battling to establish where government had taken those it had forcibly removed from Porta Farm and transit camps and that the police were barring civic groups and aid agencies from assisting Murambatsvina victims. 

The station (26/7) also reported that a 40-year old man had died outside a Tsholotsho district administrator’s office after he and about a 100 others were dumped by the authorities following their removal from Bulawayo churches that housed them.

The report lacked police confirmation.


The varied themes the private media covered on the topic and the professional manner in which they handled the subject were reflected by their diverse sourcing pattern. See Figs. 3 and 4.

Fig. 3 Voice distribution in the private Press


Zanu PF


Ordinary people

Local govt

















Fig 4. Voice distribution on Studio 7


Foreign dignitaries

Ordinary People











3. Economic Issues


THE government media’s reluctance to openly discuss key national issues was demonstrated by the way in which they covered President Mugabe’s recent trip to China aimed at shoring up the country’s waning economic fortunes.

Although they carried 28 reports ‘hailing’ the trip as ‘successful’ these media provided very little information to back this up.


For example, none of the 18 stories that ZBH carried hardly audited the details surrounding the “number of agreements” signed (ZTV, 31/7, 8pm). 

ZBH’s Reuben Barwe merely reported that China was Zimbabwe’s “all-weather-friend” without exactly explaining how the “Zimbabwe and China trade”, which “had grown by at least 40% per annum, reaching $250 million per year”, had revived the fortunes of the economy.


Similarly, the 10 stories that the official Press carried on Mugabe’s trip were scant on detail and failed to link it to government’s efforts to seek an economic rescue package.

Rather, these papers (26/7) merely reported that the country’s mining, transport and road sectors were set for “a major transformation as Chinese companies have expressed an interest in investing” in them. The next day The Herald announced that China and Zimbabwe had signed several deals, including a US$6 million grant to import grain, the provision of 100 computers to support President Mugabe’s “wish to make technologies accessible to all people” and investments in the power industry and coal mining.


The government media’s supine coverage of these trade agreements reflected the way they covered the rest of the problems bedevilling the economy. They carried 43 reports that glossed over the country’s food insecurity, the galloping cost of living, and its purported thawing relations with international financial institutions.

In contrast, the private media were more revealing in their 31 stories on the economic crisis. For example, they linked Mugabe’s visit to China and Zimbabwe’s appeal for a US$1 billion loan from South Africa directly to the country’s precarious economic situation.


The Independent reported that Mugabe had “failed to get a rescue package he had hoped for” and “entered trade and investment deals that will not be of any help to the battered economy in the short to medium term”.

It revealed that government was so desperate for financial support that it could “mortgage key national resources” to get it.

Economist Godfrey Kanyenze agreed on Studio 7 (27/7). He said Zimbabwe was “simply signing off its wealth without tangible benefits”.


The Gazette (29/7) revealed that Zimbabwe had even taken its “begging bowl to Namibia…in its increasingly desperate bid to rustle up urgent financial aid from its dwindling bed of allies.” 

In addition, the paper reported World Bank director Harwig Schafer saying the country’s rapid economic decline” over the past six years was “unprecedented for a country that is not at war” with 70% of Zimbabweans living below the poverty datum line.



The MEDIA UPDATE was produced and circulated by the Media Monitoring Project Zimbabwe, 15 Duthie Avenue, Alexandra Park, Harare, Tel/fax: 263 4 703702, E-mail:


Feel free to write to MMPZ. We may not able to respond to everything but we will look at each message.  For previous MMPZ reports, and more information about the Project, please visit our website at

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Zimbabwe comes to a halt
Business evaporates with fuel shortage
      By Craig Timberg, Washington Post

      HARARE, Zimbabwe - This had long been a city in motion. Corners were
crammed with men offering fruit or cigarettes, restaurants were busy and
plentiful, shops were well-stocked. And only the foolhardy would dare cross
the traffic-clogged streets without the assistance of a green light.
      But four months into a crushing fuel shortage, and more than two
months since the government began a campaign to clean up slums and informal
markets, the capital of about

      1.4 million has slowed to a halt.

      Empty cars are parked in gasoline lines that stretch for blocks. Even
at rush hour, pedestrians can stroll across major boulevards without a
glance in either direction. With tens of thousands of street vendors
reportedly arrested, the few that remain have turned shy. Grocery stores
routinely run out of cooking oil, sugar and soap. Shoppers must wait in line
to buy a loaf of bread.

      Harare's bustle is gone. Even those lucky enough to have jobs, in an
economy with 70 percent unemployment, have trouble getting to work because
public transport has become so scarce. It is not uncommon, workers said, for
their daily commute to take three or four hours each way, most of it spent
waiting in line for transportation. Many have resorted to walking, rising
hours before dawn and returning home well after sunset.

      "Our government is hopeless," said Arnold Mapfumo, 21, a welder
waiting in a line for gasoline in the suburb of Chitungwiza. "If we don't
have petrol, everything stops. Everything stops. What can we do?"

      President Robert Mugabe's demolition campaign, called Operation
Murambatsvina, or "Drive Out the Rubbish," has generated international
outcry because of the brutal destruction of slums, which the United Nations
estimates has made more than 700,000 people homeless. Many are sleeping amid
the rubble of their homes or under plastic sheeting at government
resettlement camps. A U.N. report last week called for an end to the
program, which the government said it had temporarily halted.

      So serious are the current problems that many party members are
itching for an alternative, even if that means ending the reign of Mugabe,
81, a former hero in the struggle for independence. He has ruled the nation
since the end of British control in 1980, and for the past five years, he
has been resorting to increasingly authoritarian measures, including
cracking down on political dissent, closing independent newspapers and
seizing land owned by white farmers.

      "Maybe he has been there a little too long. Maybe he has gotten too
confident of what he is doing, and maybe he is no longer listening to the
wishes of the people. Because if he was, I don't think we'd be in this
mess," Mbalekwa, 53, said in an interview at his home in an elegant suburb.
"It's time for him to pack his bags and allow for a new leadership."

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New Zealand Herald

      Cricket: Fistful of inflated dollars


      By Dylan Cleaver

      The harsh economic realities of life in Zimbabwe should have hit home
to the Black Caps when they received their tour allowances on Wednesday.

      Instantly the players became multi-millionaires, pocketing
ZWD$32,000,000 for their troubles.

      They might be cash-rich but the millions aren't going to get the
cricketers far in the real world.

      The ZWD$32m equates to about $2700, although Zimbabwe's
hyper-inflation renders exact equations impossible.

      Inflation is not new to this troubled nation. In the final months of
2003, Zimbabwe was experiencing year-on-year inflation of up to 630 per

      According to the International Monetary Fund (IMF), Zimbabwe's economy
has shrunk by close to 50 per cent over the past five years.

      In its latest press release regarding Zimbabwe, the IMF projected
that: "On the basis of present policies, the budget deficit will increase
markedly in 2005, partly due to the cost of higher food imports, interest
payments and higher pension costs... these deficits would fuel a sharp
increase in money supply, and hence inflation, by end-2005."

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Kiwi media dons the tin helmets

Andrew McLean

August 6, 2005

When New Zealand travelled to Bangladesh last year, just two home
journalists made the trip to cover the tour. Despite Zimbabwe being just one
place higher than Bangladesh in the ICC Test Championship and it being a
considerably more expensive place to tour, the number of New Zealand
journalists in Zimbabwe is, prima facie, quite remarkable.

According to, the journalists sent to Zimbabwe by New
Zealand media organisations include a "Pacific correspondent" and a
"seasoned war journalist". While it may seem a bit extravagant when the only
person firing bullets will be the New Zealand paceman Shane Bond, the media
contingent on the ground reflects the manner in which the politicians in New
Zealand have built up the tour.

The non-cricketing media brigade did not take long to dangle the political
bait but the players' uniform response - "we are only here to play
cricket" - was as emphatic as the question irresponsible. This is, after
all, a cricket tour.

The Test series starts tomorrow at the Harare Sports Club, which is expected
to provide an excellent surface for batting. With the firepower it has in
its line-up, New Zealand should win the series without too much trouble and,
although it is winter in Zimbabwe, the sun and mid-twenties temperatures
forecast for the opening days of the first Test mean the weather is unlikely
be a concern.

Zimbabwe has a lot to prove both to themselves and the cricketing world but
it hard to see that happening quickly when you consider India are their next
opponents. Eight of the side that played the two Tests in South Africa in
March return; those missing being opening batsmen Stuart Matsikenyeri and
Barney Rogers and the promising allrounder Elton Chigumbura.

Despite the players and administrators' row ending, including the
significant appointment of Heath Streak as the vice-captain for this series,
the only additional players of significant experience Zimbabwe have been
able to call on are the batsmen Stuart Carlisle and Craig Wishart.

Carlisle is coming off an unbeaten 103 in his last Test but that innings was
way back on March 1, 2004. The other four players joining the squad have
just six caps between them and they all belong to Blessing Mahwire who has
an uninspiring bowling record of six wickets at 82 in his previous Test
appearances. In contrast, New Zealand has the luxury of recalling Bond,
Scott Styris and Daniel Vettori and denying Jacob Oram even the
drinks-carrying job!

If Zimbabwe is to taste success in the next month it may be more likely to
come during the one-day tournament with New Zealand and India where Streak
and Andy Blignaut should flex some muscle. Streak has a soft spot for New
Zealand as his batting average of 198 is his last four one-day digs against
New Zealand indicate while Blignaut is a power hitter who could further
expose New Zealand's death-bowling frailties.

As expected, Bond has been recalled to start his first Test since May 2003
although John Bracewell, the coach, told The New Zealand Herald that an
allrounder was needed to ensure Bond was not over bowled and that there was
"even more need to make sure that we have all the options covered,".

The upshot is that Styris - with 30 wickets at 23.80 for Middlesex in the
County Championship this year- has been included at the expense of Oram, who
is not yet fit enough to bowl.

As New Zealand will have a bowling quintet of Bond, two other pacemen to be
chosen from James Franklin, Chris Martin and Kyle Mills, the left-arm spin
of Vettori and Nathan Astle's medium-pacers, it is hard to see why further
bowling cover is needed for this match.

With an batting average of 54.60 under Bracewell and a brilliant century
against Australia at the Gabba two Tests back, Oram's omission as a batsman
is a major surprise and begs the question how many other countries could
leave such a performer out of its top six?

The other curious selection is the choice of Lou Vincent at opener in the
place of Craig Cumming. Vincent was dropped after opening the innings in
Bracewell's first two Tests as coach against Pakistan in 2003 and recalled
to the side last season as a middle-order batsman. Such has been Vincent's
chequered run at the top of the order and his recent success further down,
it is mind boggling to think that he has now gone the full circle.

What it does show is influence of the captain Stephen Fleming, who wants to
bat at No 4, and the uncertainty of the New Zealand selectors around who the
opening pair will be in the future. James Marshall and Vincent will be the
third partnership tried in the last five Tests.

Andrew McLean is a presenter of The Cricket Club, New Zealand's only
national radio cricket show

© Cricinfo
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Daily Mirror, Zimbabwe

SA won't be bullied over Zimbabwe loan

The Daily Mirror Reporter
issue date :2005-Aug-06

ZIMBAWE'S key ally, South Africa, has refused to act like a "Big Brother" to
its northern neighbour and attach strings when extending the much-talked
about loan to the country.
The move comes hot on the heels of calls by those against the granting of an
unconditional financial package to assist Zimbabwe meet its financial
obligations including the repayment of a US$295 million debt to the IMF.
Some of the preconditions being reported in the media include talks with the
opposition MDC, although President Robert Mugabe has insisted the two
parties were already engaging in deliberations in Parliament.
Chief government spokesperson Joel Netshitenzhe said: "We do not believe in
being 'Big Brother' to Zimbabwe. In principle we do not deal with other
countries on the basis of conditions.
Sources within the South African ruling ANC, said South Africa's Defence
Minister Mosiuoa Lekota who is currently in the country buttressed the need
to do away with conditionalities
However, there is a fierce debate on the modalities and conditions of
providing the loan.
President Thabo Mbeki was recently quoted as saying it is in South Africa's
interest to extend the loan to Zimbabwe otherwise the repercussion would
affect his country as well.
Meanwhile, there is fierce opposition from the Democratic Alliance (DA) over
moves by the South African government to extend the loan to Zimbabwe,
arguing that granting the loan would be tantamount to propping up President
Mugabe's style of governance. The DA reportedly said in the "unlikely" event
that the loan was granted, it should be disbursed through non-governmental
organisations (NGOs), but did not elaborate on how NGOs could come into a
government to government bilateral agreement.
Over the past weeks speculation in the media has been rife that Zimbabwe was
looking for a bail out of up to US$1 billion and this has prompted the visit
to South Africa by the Finance Minister Herbert Murerwa and central bank
governor Gideon Gono.
The two Zimbabweans are holding discussion with the South African
counterparts SA Reserve Bank governor Tito Mboweni and Minister of Finance
Trevor Manuel in the wake of an Sadc Finance Ministers meeting in South
Africa. Manuel said the figure was irrelevant since his government would
give Zimbabwe what was necessary and required. Whilst there is consensus in
Zimbabwe that receipt of the loan would benefit the country, there are mixed
feelings over the conditions for the financial bail out. Government sources
close to the happenings said it is a business agreement
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and arrangement that will be repaid and so there was no need to attach
"It's not as if the South Africans are giving us the loan for free. It shall
be repaid," he said.
The same impeccable sources said the recent State visit by President  Mugabe
to China had opened another financial option for the country.
They said the incident where China threatened to veto any manoeuvres at the
United Nations to bring Zimbabwe for discussion in the Security Council was
an indication of the level of co-operation between the two countries.
The source added that it would appear that Zimbabwe has a choice of who to
seek for financial assistance from.
"If the government refuses the South African deal because of the conditions
associated with it and opts for another then it would
mean that it is in agreement with the terms and conditions of that other
option," one of the sources said.
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Daily Mirror, Zimbabwe

Court orders cops to return MDC poll expert's materials

The Daily Mirror Reporter
issue date :2005-Aug-06

THE High Court has ordered the police to return materials they confiscated
at the home of MDC election expert Topper Whitehead they claimed were
subversive and prejudicial to the State.
Whitehead's lawyer Brian Elliot confirmed that Judge Yunus Omerjee in
chambers Wednesday ordered the police to release the equipment by last
Thursday morning after the MDC filed an urgent application.
Speaking to The Daily Mirror through his secretary this week Elliot said:
"The judge has granted the order."
MDC secretary for legal affairs David Coltart also confirmed that some of
the articles taken by the police had since been returned.
"The order was granted on Wednesday and the police were given up to 8.30 am
on Thursday to return the equipment. As we are speaking now some of the
equipment has already been delivered," he said.
The Criminal Investigations Department's (CID) Law and Order section raided
Whitehead's home last week Wednesday suspecting that he possessed subversive
The confiscated stuff included three computers, three removable external
hard drives and the presidential voters' rolls for Harare North and Harare
Central constituencies, cellphones, diskettes, files and other documents.
The police had a search warrant and claimed that some of the material
Whitehead had included such as photographs and videotapes filmed during the
clean-up, was prejudicial to the State.
The MDC maintained that Whitehead would use the equipment to analyse data
from the 2002 presidential ballot boxes.
MDC recently appointed Whitehead to unearth alleged rigging of the 2002
presidential poll won by President Robert Mugabe but which the opposition
vehemently disputes.
President Mugabe won by over 400 000 votes against MDC leader Morgan
The main opposition claim that the confiscated equipment was capable of
analysing data from ballot boxes the High Court has granted access to the
MDC. The MDC was also convinced the raid was meant to thwart the party's
efforts to analyse the ballot papers.
The raid came soon after the MDC discovered that some of the ballot boxes
used in the hotly disputed presidential election had allegedly been tampered
with while police reported a break-in at the High Court in Harare where the
boxes are being kept.
Last month, the Attorney General's (AG) office opposed without success the
inclusion of Whitehead in the MDC legal team challenging President Mugabe's
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Daily Mirror, Zimbabwe

Government to enhance agriculture production

Netsai Kembo in Mutare
issue date :2005-Aug-06

MORE than 200 potential commercial farmers have been identified in
Manicaland as government intensifies efforts to enhance production by
complementing the land reform programme, a senior government official has
Addressing participants at a provincial council meeting here recently,
Manicaland provincial administrator Fungai Mbetsa, said government had
earmarked 229 farmers to fully utilise about 15 000 hectares of land under
its accelerated "targeted farming" initiative.
The farm beneficiaries would be given priority under the Reserve Bank of
Zimbabwe's (RBZ) agricultural funding facility, he added.
"The farmers had been identified from across the province with emphasis on
balanced production of all types of crops depending on suitable crops for
each region," Mbetsa said. "But other farmers not on this list can still go
on making own borrowings from financial institutions for production to go
Provincial council agricultural sub-committee chairman Godfrey Mamhare, also
Agricultural Research and Extension Services (Arex) officer, said his
committee was doing everything possible to make the initiative a success.
Apart from facilitating funding for the programme, Mamhare said, they also
ensured farmers received essential relevant technical assistance.
"We hope to successfully tackle the challenges, courtesy of government that
is massively recruiting agricultural extension workers to help farmers," he
"There is also need to conserve soil and water to maintain the arability of
vast tracts of land in the province for the programme to succeed," added
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Daily Mirror, Zimbabwe

Manpower needed for Operation Garikai/Hlalani Kuhle in Bulawayo

From Our Correspondent in Bulawayo
issue date :2005-Aug-06

SERIOUS manpower shortages have hit Operation Garikai/Hlalani Kuhle in
Bulawayo, with the problem set to delay the construction of the targeted
1003 housing units by August 31.
The head of the operation in the city, Colonel Brave Matavire this week said
there was urgent need to scout for manpower, especially bricklayers, if the
first phase of the project is to meet the deadline.
The government last month launched operation Garikai/Hlalani Kuhle to speed
up provision of accommodation to people who were affected by Operation
Murambatsvina/Restore, which saw the destruction of illegal structures.
"We had planned to have about 150 bricklayers when this programme started,
however we have only managed to get 70 and this is affecting the flow and
speed of the construction programme," Matavire said.
He said out of the targeted construction of 1003 houses, only 29 were now at
roof level.
Speaking after touring the site, Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare
Minister Nicholas Goche said the government was committed to the
re-construction programme and would provide implements and building
"We are the government.  We are the ones that have started the programme and
there is no way shortage of implements and other building materials can
affect the progress of the programme," Goche said.
He added that the project was a massive one that needed maximum cooperation
from all stakeholders, adding that there was need for people to put their
heads together and work for the success of the programme.Goche said despite
the lack of manpower in Bulawayo, he was pleased by the progress made so far
and was optimistic that the staffing issue would be resolved soon.
"I am very pleased with progress that has happened here so far. It shows
that these you know what you are doing and I hope that by August 31, you
would have made tremendous progress," he added.
The government this week dispatched high-powered delegations led by Cabinet
Minister to all but one province - Harare - to assess progress on the
reconstruction programme.
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