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

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Sent: Saturday, August 06, 2005 5:39 PM
Subject: Glow from the mobile phone

Dear Family and Friends,
Almost every day now I hear the country I live in being described as a
"collapsed state". The way people talk so easily and casually of our
"economic meltdown" puts in mind a square of chocolate sitting in the sun
melting into a soppy pool. I hear South African leaders talking about
economic "challenges" in Zimbabwe and the UN talking about human rights
"challenges" and I wonder what happened to real words that mean real
things. Words like catastrophe, disaster, chaos and crisis which really
describe things in the Zimbabwe I live in, but it seems these are not
diplomatically acceptable words and so they talk of "challenges". It has
certainly been a very bad week in Zimbabwe and I am not sure if some of
the events listed below would be classified as challenges so leave you to
fill in the adjectives for yourselves.

On Monday the electricity went off at 6 am and only came back on six hours
later but didn't stay for long. At 3.30 in the afternoon the power went
off again and didn't come back on until 10pm that night.

On Tuesday a desperate father told me how he'd taken his daughter to
Harare airport for a 6am flight to the UK. There were no lights in the
airport public toilets and so men used the glow from their mobile phones
to light a slippery path to the urinals.  No announcements were made about
the 5 hour delayed departure of the international flight which went to
Uganda first to get fuel before finally heading to London.

On Wednesday the government announced that the public could now go and buy
fuel from a named service station but that we would have to pay in foreign
currency. Aside from the fact that it has been illegal for ordinary people
to posses foreign currency for a number of years, the electricity
blackouts were increasing and spreading and so petrol couldn't be pumped

On Thursday there was no electricity from 8am to 6.30 pm and when I phoned
to enquire after having been off for 10 hours I was told that there was no
foreign currency with which to buy power. On the same day my friend who is
an epileptic went to the hospital for his monthly check up. He waited for
three hours in a queue but didn't see a doctor because they "hadn't come
yet". In simple English this actually meant that junior doctors weren't
there as they were on strike for an 800% pay rise. My friend didn't get
any phenobarb for his epilepsy as there wasn't any at this main provincial
government hospital.

On Friday morning I got up long before dawn to try and cope with days of
backed up emails but that was pointless as the electricity was gone by
7am. In the town, the supermarkets were also without power, meat had
defrosted and the shelves were bare of basics that we all desperately
search for :- bread, sugar, soap, margarine, cooking oil. Outside another
supermarket a sea of people, standing in lines four deep stretched along
the main road for over four hundred metres. They had heard that they may
be a delivery of sugar. Outside the post office was a sign which read: "No
electricity, phones not working".

On Saturday morning, as I write this hurriedly before the power goes off,
we have no water because the pumps need electricity, generators need
diesel. In a couple of days time it is Heroes Day here, a time when we
remember the people who died to give Zimbabwe independence. I wonder what
they would think if they could see these "challenges"  twenty five years
after their sacrifice. Until next time, love cathy.Copyright cathy buckle
6th August 2005
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Zim Standard

Ministers threaten doctors
By Caiphas Chimhete

JUNIOR and middle-ranking medical doctors, who last week staged a crippling
job action demanding an 800 percent salary increment, were ordered by
government to return to work or face detention, The Standard has been told.

State security agents allegedly began visiting the striking doctors.
Doctors who spoke to this newspaper on condition of anonymity said they
resumed work following threats from the Minister of Health and Child
Welfare, David Parirenyatwa and his deputy Edwin Muguti.

"We did not get what we wanted. We were threatened out of it, as usual,"
said one junior doctor at Parirenyatwa Group of Hospitals, one of the
largest referral health centres in the country.

The junior doctors, who earn a basic of $5.7 million a month, went on strike
last week demanding that their salaries be increased to $47 million. They
also demanded better working conditions.

The doctors said Muguti "arrogantly" told them to go back to work or face

"Muguti told us that we were not doctors but medical interns and threatened
us with arrest," said another doctor, who requested anonymity for fear of

He said for the larger part of last week, representatives of junior doctors
were being visited by people whom they suspected to be Central Intelligence
Organisation (CIO) agents, telling them that it was for their own good to
return to work.

Zimbabwe Medical Doctors Association president, Takarunda Chinyoka, on
Friday told The Standard they called off the strike on "humanitarian
grounds" but confirmed the threats by Muguti as well as security agents.

"What worries us is when Dr Muguti calls us interns. A strike by junior
doctors can paralyse the whole health sector. It shows how important we are.

"As a fellow medical doctor, minister and employer we expect him to say
things which are constructive. His attitude is 'we don't care you can go',"
said Chinyoka, who added that the doctors would soon down tools if their
grievances are not immediately addressed.

The junior doctors' strike had serious repercussion on Zimbabwe's
disintegrating health sector. There is serious a shortage of qualified
personnel, drugs and equipment.

Chinyoka said several patients died, prompting them to return to work.
Hundreds of outpatients were turned away because the hospitals were
admitting emergency cases only, he said.

The well-to-do were going to private clinics.

The junior doctors said forcing them to return to work through use of
threats was only addressing symptoms of a deep-rooted problem. Under the
Essential Services Act, workers manning essential services are prohibited
from striking.

Parirenyatwa could not be reached for comment, but yesterday Muguti
confirmed that he had "told" the doctors to go back to work or risk being
charged for breaching the Essential Services Act. "They are doing an
essential service to the nation and under the law they are not allowed to
strike. They are not justified in striking because the government is
addressing their grievances. What they have done is unfair and criminal,"
Muguti said.

He said the deaths that might have occurred were not necessarily linked to
the strike.

The deputy minister said he was right to use the term "interns" because that
is what the junior doctors were. Muguti said the doctors were still on
training and worked under qualified personnel.
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Zim Standard

UN to launch appeal for food-aid funds
By Walter Marwizi

THE United Nations will this week launch a humanitarian appeal aimed at
raising funds to help hundreds of thousands of Zimbabweans affected by
"Operation Restore Order".

The United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
(OCHA), announced on Thursday that 300 000 Zimbabweans would benefit from
the appeal whose priority is to provide shelter, food and sanitation.
The appeal is part of the pledge by UN Secretary General Kofi Annan to
mobilise international assistance in order to prevent the further suffering
of people whose homes and properties were destroyed in the "clean-up"

Anna Kajumulo Tibaijuka, the UN Special Envoy on Human Settlement Issues,
says the operation was carried out "with indifference to human suffering"
and left 700 000 people homeless while another 2.4 million were affected in
one way or another.

A number of international agencies are assisting people who are sleeping in
the open and in danger of contracting communicable diseases.

One of these organisations, UNICEF, has "expressed horror that displaced
children are dying of treatable respiratory infections and evicted women
have no alternative to giving birth in the open."

The organisation says it has been providing blankets and plastic sheeting as
protection from winter and winds as well as distributing thousands of litres
of water a day, providing sanitation facilities and supporting chronically
ill people with supplies for home-based care.
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Zim Standard

Outcry over proposed amendments
By Walter Marwizi and Valentine Maponga

HUMAN rights activists and lawyers, stressing that Zimbabwe deserves a
wholesome constitutional reform which takes into account the views of all
stakeholders, have warned that the proposed constitutional amendments will
worsen the country's economic and political crisis.

They said the Constitution of Zimbabwe Amendment (No.17) Bill, 2005, is the
latest in a long line of alterations to a constitution which, "by its very
nature and history, is fundamentally deficient and problematic especially in
the protections offered under the Declaration of Rights".
The Constitution has been amended 16 times by the Zanu PF government, and
the most notable amendment remains the abolition of the Prime Minister's
position, which gave way to creation of the Executive Presidency in 1987.

This single amendment, crafted by the late Zanu PF legal guru, Dr Eddison
Zvobgo, gave President Mugabe, the extraordinary powers he enjoys today.

Mugabe is the head of State, head of government, commander-in-chief of the
defence forces and can single handedly come up with temporary legislation by
invoking the Presidential Powers Act.

The Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights (ZLHR), in a statement, called on the
judiciary, which would be rendered useless in so far as land matters are
concerned, to take a firm and public position against the amendments.

Under the proposed amendments, owners of land deemed "agricultural land" and
gazetted cannot challenge its acquisition in court.

Making presentations at a public hearing on the Constitution Amendment (No
17) bill called by the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee for Justice, Legal
and Parliamentary Affairs on Thursday, lawyers and human rights groups said
this clearly deprived Zimbabweans of rights to property and to protection of
the law - rights guaranteed in the Constitution and other international

"There is no applicable definition of agricultural land, so almost all land
in Zimbabwe will be subject to expropriation under the new section. The only
land that will fall outside the ambit of the section is land on which it is
impossible to conduct any form of agriculture. Anyone with an interest or
right in land will lose their right or interest if the land is acquired
under the new section and they will not receive compensation," said Abel
Chikomo, who represented the Zimbabwe Human Rights NGO forum.

The forum is a coalition of organisations such as the Legal Resources
Foundation (LRF), the Catholic Commission for Justice and Peace in Zimbabwe
(CCJPZ), and Amnesty International Zimbabwe Chapter, which made an in-depth
analysis of the proposed amendments.

The forum's spokesperson added that even residential stands would be subject
to compulsory acquisition, provided the stands are "large enough to produce
a few flowers and vegetables".

"Section 16 and 16a of the Constitution specify the purposes for which
property, including land, may be acquired compulsorily, but under the new
section the purpose of the acquisition is not relevant and can not be
challenged," he said.

If passed into law, the bill seeks to make provisions for the confirmation
of the acquisition of land for resettlement, which gave effect to the Land
Reform Programme, which started in 2000.

Former High Court Judge, Justice George Smith, said because of the failure
by the bill to define agricultural land, land set aside for sporting
activity could also be acquired for agricultural purposes.

"The amendments make it criminal to challenge the acquisitions and it is
also going to be difficult for the courts to decide whether a piece of land
is agricultural land or not? Golf courses are large enough to be called
agricultural land," he said.

Acting secretary for the Law Society of Zimbabwe and Zimbabwe lawyers for
Human Rights director, Arnold Tsunga, said the association was opposed to
the bill in its present form because it defeated the whole purpose of

Blessing Chimhini, a legal officer with the Human Rights Lawyers for
Southern Africa, said the proposals would make Zimbabwe an outlaw of the
regional international conventions.

"It seems the government has not seriously considered the impact of the
amendments. The bill is actually taking away the rights citizens already
have and it is very unfortunate because the country would be put under
international condemnation," Chimhini said.

The Parliamentary committee, chaired by Zanu PF MP for Makoni East, Shadreck
Chipanga, will present its findings before the House for consideration
before the bill can be passed into law.
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Zim Standard

Coal shortage blamed for power black-outs
By our Staff

POWER cuts affecting homes and business premises across the country have
intensified, with ZESA Holdings blaming chronic coal shortages. In many of
Zimbabwe's major towns, power blackouts have become a common feature
especially during the mornings and evenings.

All the suburbs have been hard hit in Harare, where electricity sometimes is
switched off for up to six hours a day.
Officials at the Zimbabwe Electricity Authority have attributed the load
shedding to coal shortages and a breakdown of generators and a boiler point
at Hwange Thermal power station on Sunday last week.

Technicians who spoke to The Standard yesterday said the generators had
since been repaired and what remained were coal shortages.

Sherperd Mandizvidza, the senior public relations officer for Zesa, however
could not be reached for comment yesterday but the Hwange Colliery Company
issued a statement saying it could not transport coal to thermal power
stations in Bulawayo, Munyati and Harare.

"Supplies to small thermal stations resumed at the end of June 2005 after
orders were placed on 16 June 2005. However this coincided with diesel
shortages, which affected the movement of coal by both rail and road.

"Hwange Colliery Company Limited is cognisant of its responsibility for coal
supply and national energy security and would at all times want to channel
all energies and resources towards this strategic role."

Affected residents told The Standard that life in city was no longer
enjoyable under the circumstances.

"Where there is no water and electricity, life in a city becomes very
difficult," said a disappointed Tatenda Chitova who stays in Waterfalls.

Despite the take over of the water supply system from the Harare City
Council, by the Zimbabwe National Water Authority (Zinwa) water shortages
have continued in Harare.

Some suburbs go for days without water. The Minister of State for Water
Resources and Infrastructural Development Munacho Mutezo claimed in
Parliament two weeks ago that water supplies in Harare had improved
tremendously following the take over by ZINWA.

However, Mike Davies, chairman of Combined Harare Residents' Association
said the problem of water in Harare would persist as no half-hearted measure
would solve the crisis.

"The solution is to have an additional source of water to cater for the
increasing population," Davies said.

Harare residents have been facing water shortages since 1997 with nothing
tangible being put in place to curb this dilemma. The Kunzvi Dam project,
which was supposed to have been completed by 2003, is yet to commence.
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Zim Standard

Operation Garikai a 'pie in the sky'
By Caiphas Chimhete

THE government, battling to build houses for thousands of people rendered
homeless by the controversial "clean-up" operation, has failed to meet its
target of building 5 000 two-roomed houses countrywide by end of July,
investigations by The Standard have revealed.

On 9 July, the Minister of Local Government, Public Works and Urban
Development Ignatious Chombo announced that the government would have built
5 000 houses in urban and growth points "in the next three weeks" under
"Operation Garikai/Hlalani Kuhle", with the help of the army and the youth
When the end of July deadline seemed unattainable, the government quickly
shifted the target dates to the end of August.

But still, critics question how the government, struggling to import fuel
and food for more than 2.5 million people, will fund such a massive
construction project, with an initial capital outlay of $3 trillion.

In Harare, beneficiaries of the operation have already been allocated stands
at Hopley, Hatcliffe and White Cliff.

However, a visit to some of the construction sites by The Standard last week
revealed very little progress, despite the fact that the operation is
already into its second month.

Some of the estimated 1.5 million people, affected by the internationally
condemned operation, still live in the open, under the chilly weather with
few blankets provided by church organisations.

At White Cliff, where a total of 20 477 people were allocated stands, only
50 small houses have been constructed to roof level, a clear indication that
government has failed to meet the target.

Workers at the site said progress was being slowed down by shortages of
cement, asbestos and fuel.

"We have completed 50 houses now and about half that number at various
stages of construction. At foundation level, we have over 100 houses," said
one of the workers.

The water and sewer systems are still to be installed.

While Chombo had publicly announced that there would be an office at White
Cliff for council officials to speed up processing of papers and showing
beneficiaries their stands, The Standard established that no such structure
is in place.

The MP for Harare North, Trudy Stevenson, said there was virtually no
construction progress at Hatcliffe Extension, where more than 300 families
were allocated stands after being removed from the overcrowded Caledonia

Hatcliffe Extension is in Harare North constituency.

"Nationally, there is no way that the government can achieve its housing
target because very little is happening on the ground. For example, in
Hatcliffe Extension only a few people were given some asbestos sheets and
that was the end of it," said Stevenson, adding, "massive construction of
houses under Garikai is only taking place on television".

A senior Mutare City Council official on Thursday was equally skeptical of
government's capability to build the 300 houses in the border town by end of
this month as targeted.

He said of the targeted 300 houses only 20 were at various stages on

"It is not possible to achieve such a target because right now we are
talking about 20 houses that have been built in a month, which is nothing,"
said the official.

In Masvingo, the government said it would establish nearly 7 000 houses and
factory shells in two months. However, just as in other cities, very few
houses are at various stages of construction.

Masvingo mayor Alois Chaimiti said the local authority was "working on about
100 stands only", a month after Operation Garikai started.

"There are about 100 stands that are being worked on but I don't have
details because everything is controlled from somewhere," Chaimiti said.

In Chitungwiza, the government said it plans to construct 500 houses by end
of August but Chitungwiza acting mayor, Collin Gwiyo, said this figure was
"insignificant" compared to the estimated 100 000 people affected by the
operation in the town.

"In our case, that target is not important because the number is
insignificant. We wonder where all the other people affected by the
operation will be staying all this time," questioned Gwiyo.

Bulawayo acting mayor, Angilacala Ndlovu, said construction of houses under
"Operation Garikai/Hlalani" Kuhle was taking "shape" but he was however
reluctant to say whether government would meet the target.

The government plans to build 1 003 houses by end of this month, a figure
most critics said was not attainable considering the non-availability of

But analysts said the government wanted to hoodwink the United Nations into
believing that it had capacity to house all the displaced people in a short
space of time.

Even in her report on the clean-up operation, UN special envoy Anna Kajumulo
Tibaijuka expressed doubts about the government's capacity to accommodate
the affected families in a few months.

"Government's track record of supplying serviced sites in recent years has
been less than 5 000 stands (plots) per year, compared to the nation wide
objective of Operation Garikai to deliver 4 900 stands within a few months,"
she wrote in her damning100-page report.

Chombo, who is currently touring the country to assess construction
progress, could not be reached for comment.

Last month, he estimated that government would have constructed 300 000
houses by end of the year, an achievement rendered equally doubtful,
considering the little financial resources it has and the pace at which
current projects are shaping.
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Zim Standard

IMF gives Zim grace period
By Ndamu Sandu

THE International Monetary Fund (IMF) has given Zimbabwe a one-month stay of
execution to clear its arrears or risk expulsion from the 184-member fund.

Standarbbusiness can reveal that the multilateral financial institution's
executive board will meet on 9 September in Washington to come to a decision
on banishing Harare from the global lending institution.
As of 30 June, Zimbabwe owed the IMF US$199,56 million from US$295 million
as of 20 June, meaning that Harare has made some significant repayments
recently in spite of the foreign currency shortage.

In a telephone interview from Washington the IMF's spokesperson Frances
Harbin confirmed the September meeting, saying it was normal that Zimbabwe
be given a grace period.

Harbin said: "The executive board will meet on 9 September and it is part of
IMF regulations to give a country that is facing expulsion time to settle
its arrears."

Zimbabwe, which has been in arrears to the global lender since 1999 has in
recent weeks engaged in frantic efforts to source hard currency to settle
its overdue arrears.

There were indications that China had availed nearly US$100 million to
Zimbabwe to settle its debt with the multilateral financial institution.

A strong Zimbabwean delegation was in China a fortnight ago during which
various agreements were signed. Although the visit was ostensibly to sign
agreements of co-operation, sources told Standardbusiness that Beijing had
bailed out Harare with funds to repay IMF.

Harare is also courting Pretoria for a rescue package and there were
indications this week that Pretoria had pledged to settle Harare's debts of
more than US$350 million to the World Bank.

Pretoria's assistance to Harare heightened last week when Reserve Bank of
Zimbabwe (RBZ) Governor, Gideon Gono, made a stop over from Beijing and met
his South African counterpart Tito Mboweni. Finance Minister Herbert Murerwa
also flew to South on Thursday for SADC finance ministers meeting. Sources
said Murerwa would use the opportunity to seal the US$1 billion loan. The
loan was approved by South Africa's cabinet last week but has drawn sharp
criticism from opposition political groups with the Democratic Alliance
leading the pack.

Zimbabwe joined the IMF on September 29, 1980 but has not had rosy relations
with the financial institution since 1999.

Last year the IMF closed its Harare office, in a more linked to the impasse
between Harare and Washington. Although the central bank was making frantic
efforts to normalize relations with the global lender, the political
leadership was dismissing the fund as unfriendly to Zimbabwe.

However, Harare softened its stance following a visit by the IMF's team in
June for the annual Article IV Consultation. In its recommendations, the
mission said that a comprehensive policy package 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, IMF said. But Harare has dismally failed to take up the economic
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Zim Standard

Low attendance, poor business at book fair
By our Staff

THE current fuel shortages and economic hardships affected attendance and
business at this year's Zimbabwe International Book Fair (ZIBF), which ended
in Harare yesterday.

Many exhibitors failed to turn up and there was low attendance by the
general public as compared to previous years.
"We cannot blame people for not turning up as was expected. Everyone knows
the economic crisis in this country and for one to think of buying a book
and not a loaf of bread, it's something else," said Sonny Smoyi, one of the

Many exhibitors who spoke to The Standard yesterday said the exhibition was
not inspiring at all.

"This year everything is just down. Public turn-up was very low and even our
fellow exhibitors failed to come, especially regional exhibitors. This is
not what we expected because as publishers we wanted to interact," another
exhibitor said.

However, an official with Grail Message Distributors, from Johannesburg,
South Africa, said since this fair was their first, they were not

"We are aware of the economic crisis in this country and we even wonder how
people are surviving here," said one official.

The Harare City Council also worsened the problems of the exhibitors. On
Wednesday, its officials asked all the exhibitors to pay for traders'

However, some of the companies refused to pay the $402 000 fee saying they
had made all the arrangements with the organisers.

"We refused to pay because all the necessary payments were done before by
the relevant departments here and we are only showcasing our books. We are
not concerned about those payments, after all the council only wants to make
money where it is not necessary," said one exhibitor.
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Zim Standard

Sugar production hits rock bottom
By Godfrey Mutimba

CHIREDZI - Zimbabwe could shortly be forced to import sugar as production
levels in the Lowveld are down to unprecedented levels.

Speaking at a National Economic Consultative Forum (NECF) regional meeting,
Triangle Estates Agricultural Planning Director, Farai Musikavanhu, said
sugar production levels had plummeted to an all time low.
"There is no doubt that there has been a big decline in sugar cane
production due to the land reform programme. Land acquisition has brought
more challenges to the sugar industry and because of that we are now in a
critical position," he said.

During the past few years, government has seized vast tracks of land from
the sugar estates and commercial farmers and resettled new farmers who lack
the necessary sugar farming skills and resources.

"The quality of sugar that used to be produced by former commercial/ private
cane growers cannot be matched with what we are getting now and this has
also contributed in the downfall of production," Musikavanhu said.

It emerged at the meeting that some of the new farmers, who are provided
with fuel and fertilizer by government were now involved in black market
deals, selling the much-sought after commodities.

Others were allegedly growing maize, cabbages and other vegetables instead
of growing sugar cane.

"Surely for one to take a hectare of sugar cane for maize is the highest
economic sabotage for the sugar industry I can ever think of," said

Musikavanhu said in 1999, Triangle used to produce 315 000 tonnes a year and
last year they only produced 250 000 tonnes, while private growers'
production dropped from 573 000 tonnes to 349 during the same period.

Disputes between new farmers and Mkwasine estates are negatively affecting
production as the settlers, who are mainly war veterans and Zanu PF
sympathizers, refuse to vacate from the land they settled on illegally.

Sugar remains one of the commodities in short supply in the country.
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Zim Standard

Ministry threatens to get tough on lecturers
By Nqobani Ndlovu

BULAWAYO - The Ministry of Higher and Tertiary Education will soon lay off
staff at the government's tertiary colleges "in order to restore sanity and
prevent" total collapse of the education sector, an official said on

The permanent secretary in the Ministry of Higher and Tertiary Education, Dr
Washington Mbizvo, said the ministry would crack the whip in the sector in
order to ensure the country's educational standards remain high in the
Mbizvo also said that the curriculum is also being changed to ensure high
standards are maintained.

"We expect that our lecturers and managers in tertiary colleges, such as
Bulawayo Polytechnic, will continue to be professionals of a high calibre
who operate within set standards and intrinsic monitoring mechanisms in
order to perform and deliver high standards of education and training.

"We have zero tolerance for laziness, sloppiness, shoddy work,
inconsistency, absenteeism and other professional vices. Such performers and
professional saboteurs will persistently and constantly be weeded out of our
tertiary education system as we strive to achieve our goals of delivering
the highly skilled and innovative manpower for the national economic
turnaround," Mbizvo said.

However, the Progressive Teachers' Union of Zimbabwe (PTUZ)
Secretary-General, Raymond Majongwe, said that the ministry was skirting
around the real issues affecting the education sector.

Majongwe said firing lecturers was a misdirected effort, as the problems
facing the sector will persist. He said what was needed was the improvement
of conditions of service.

"It's quite sad and one gets surprised by what these politicians are saying.
The real issue here is not about firing the lecturers and threatening them.
It is because the conditions of service do not provide any basis for
motivation," Majongwe said.

The trade union activist said the people who needed to be fired were those
who are in positions of authority.

"It is quite surprising that everybody talks about disciplining the teachers
yet the ministry is doing nothing to restore their status. They have to give
them remuneration, loans and so forth so that they can also be able to buy
houses and cars. They must engage the stakeholders and come up with
meaningful solutions of addressing the problems," Majongwe said.

Meanwhile Mbizvo, who was officiating at the graduation ceremony at Bulawayo
Polytechnic, said that all the country's polytechnics would introduce a
Bachelor of Technology degree programme.

He also revealed that the Bulawayo Polytechnic School of Hospitality and
Tourism would be transformed into a National Institute of Hospitality and
Tourism commercial entity "that will offer first class training of manpower
for the hospitality industry, locally and for the region".
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Zim Standard

Zanu PF top chefs sued
By Valentine Maponga

A Masvingo Zanu PF official has taken party squabbles to the High Court in
an unusual move that will expose infighting and divisions in the once united
organisation, now disintegrating in the face of mounting economic hardships.

Clemence Makwarimba, unhappy with the manner he was relieved of his duties
as the acting chairman of the Masvingo Zanu PF district co-ordinating
committee (DCC), has filed an urgent High Court application seeking to have
his dismissal set aside.
The legal suit filed on 29 July before Justice Charles Hungwe also cites
provincial chairman Samuel Mumbengegwi and National Political commissar,
Elliot Manyika, as the first and second respondents.

Makwarimba wants the court to re-confirm him as the "rightful and lawful
chairperson" of the Masvingo DCC according to the Zanu PF constitution.

He was removed from office by the Mumbengwegwi's executive, which came to
power after the dismissal of former Masvingo Provincial Chairman, and
TeleAcess boss, Daniel Shumba.

Fungayi Jessie Majome, of Jessie Majome and Company, who is representing
Makwarimba, argued that the provincial executive had violated the party's
constitution by removing her client from the post of DCC chairman.

"The applicant Makwarimba was co-opted as Zanu PF Masvingo district
coordinating committee chairman on 16 May 2004 according to the party's
constitution article 29 (250) and allows him to hold office until the next
elections are held in terms of article 14 section 19 of the same
constitution," wrote Majome in an affidavit before the courts.

Majome said the matter should be treated as an urgent case: "Only two months
remain before the applicant's (Makwarimba) term of office expires.
Therefore, if the matter is not dealt with urgently the applicant will
suffer irreparable prejudice in that he will be barred from exercising the
functions of his office."

Makwarimba was dismissed as chairman on 16 June this year by a letter from
new provincial chairman Mumbengegwi, which advised him of the restoration of
Masvingo South MP Walter Mzembi as the DCC chairman.

Mzembi had been suspended by the Shumba-led executive after being accused of
being disrespectful of party elders, among other reasons.

Mzembi is also cited as a third respondent while other party activists
Natson Tsere and Kudakwashe Mugabe are fourth an fifth respectively.
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Zim Standard

'Clean-up' victims still waiting
By Caiphas Chimhete

THE majority of the victims of the controversial "Operation Murambatsvina"
blitz on slums, which left an estimated 700 000 people in urban areas
homeless, have not benefited from the government's follow-up reconstruction
exercise, The Standard has established.

Some of the displaced have since been returned to Hatcliffe or have found
temporary shelter in relatives' homes, while the remainder has been forced
back to the rural areas.
Ironically, at White Cliff Farm most of the beneficiaries of the
reconstruction campaign code-named "Operation Hlalani Kuhle/Garikai'' are
civil servants - police officers, soldiers and Central Intelligence
Organisation (CIO) officers - according to a list published in the State

About 50 members of the media fraternity who were not resident at White
Cliff before the "clean up" were also allocated residential stands at the

Former residents who spoke to The Standard said it was disheartening to note
that people who were resident at the demolished housing co-operatives were
not the ones being allocated stands.

Among the houses demolished were those owned by members of co-operatives
such as Joshua Mqabuko Nkomo, White Cliff, Ngungunyana, Ushewekunze and
Border Gezi.

But the anomaly is most evident at White Cliff Farm and Hatcliffe.

A former resident of White Cliff Farm who spoke to The Standard at Harare
City Council's Department of Housing and Community Services in Mbare
recently said she had lost hope of ever getting a stand in the city.

"Soon after our houses were destroyed the government promised we would get
first preference in the allocation of stands at White Cliff but up to now we
have nothing," said a women, who requested anonymity for fear that her name
would be deleted from housing waiting list.

The government published 4 470 names of beneficiaries of stands at White
Cliff housing project. It claims that about 20 477 people are set to benefit
from the project.

Some families that had not been allocated stands and do not have alternative
accommodation, have since erected shacks adjacent to their demolished
houses, hoping that one day they will also be allocated housing stands.

This is most pronounced at housing co-operatives such as Joshua Mqabuko
Nkomo and White Cliff.

According to Harare North MP, Trudy Stevenson, only 18 percent of the people
who were at Hatcliffe Extension got their stands back.

"We have not finished our analysis, but according to what we are getting it
would be very few people, about 18 percent," Stevenson said.

The government, two weeks ago, published 2 578 names of people allocated
stands under Hatcliffe housing project.

She said very few people even knew they had been allocated stands because
many had already returned to their rural areas while some had left for
countries such as Malawi, Mozambique and Zambia.

The Minister of Local Government, Public Works and Urban Development,
Ignatious Chombo, said his ministry did not compile the list of
beneficiaries. "Names of beneficiaries at White Cliff and other
co-operatives were compiled by co-operatives themselves not my ministry.
Those who claim to have been left out were not members of the
co-operatives," Chombo said.

He dismissed as false the suggestion that "Operation Hlalani Kuhle/Garikai"
had benefited civil servants most.
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Zim Standard

History will condemn us for inaction

THE year is 2040 and a history teacher is floundering through an explanation
to the events between 1980 and 2009.

One student stands up and declares that the information in the text is
heavily distorted to insult the intelligence of the students and that ought
to be stopped. He does not understand the malleability of the peoples'
patience that, for almost three decades, not only eulogised the madness of
an ignominious dictator but also allowed him to destroy their means of
livelihood with some underhand tactics.
The concept of urban-rural migration is incomprehensible to him. Even
Dambudzo Marechera's statement that "Zimbabwe is a country paranoid about
sex and politics" would not yank the collar of his conscience and compel him
to buy into such an illogical series of events.

Where was their sense of nationhood? What were the people thinking when they
had to stand such egregious humiliation? Why were they complaisant
accomplices, not only in the destruction and corruption of the national
psyche, but in bartering the conscience of their country for such cheap
shame, idiocy? How could they insidiously betray their common good and
forfeit their stewardship in a powerfully choreographed tragedy designed to
outperform any one of the Shakespearean tragedies? How could they be that
amenable to some of the most botched up legalism that would, under the
loosest interpretation of any laws constitute treachery and treason?

The student is baffled. Something just does not add up. Were the people
peace-loving, as alluded to by some historians? Or were they some
individualistic cowards, with very low expectations and standards for their
systems of human affairs governance? Or the hiatus of political thought,
activity and indifference was just that historical period of blinding apathy
and maddening languor? Whatever it was, there is no excuse for this
generation to have betrayed the future of the country, the student

It will be that bleak and disturbing and we will be scrambling for excuses.
We will try to absolve ourselves of any blame and lie that we did our best
under very challenging and intractable conditions. But are we? Did we? We
will write dossiers of apologies and promise not to repeat it when we know
that our days are numbered. We will complain that we lived in a police
state, with a very dense network of spies only second to the notorious KGB
of the former Soviet Union.

But where do the spies and the police live? Aren't they our tenants? Why
can't we kick them out when they bite the hand that feeds them and soil the
water that they drink.

Yes, they spy on us and tell the government. Yes, they tell their friends to
come at night and pick our neighbours whom we will never see. And, of
course, we foot their wage bill through our taxes! I am not trying to incite
public violence, whatever that means. But we have our destiny in our own

One way or the other, we have to get back our country from this gang of
bandits because we owe ourselves an apology. But as bandits live by the
sword, they sure will terrorise us using the machinery of the government
bought by our tax dollars. We can refuse to pay taxes and the whole
machinery of the kleptocracy will crumble under its weight. It is not easy
but what is the difference between being shot and being starved to death?

Their hired thugs will surely petrol-bomb the printing presses of the
newspapers that oppose banditry and we have to promise ourselves that we
will not be spectators, again.

As foreign currency coffers dry up, my country is now officially a
mendicant. From Namibia to China, it cannot be worse than that! Where did
the foreign currency at the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe go? But as sure as the
sun rises tomorrow, we have a decision to make -whether we will be a
citizenry of indebtedness that belongs to the trash can of history or
history will vindicate us for saving our country from total demise.

Nikolai Sanyika

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Zim Standard

Why not just make Zim a province of SA

SO now President Thabo Mbeki has confirmed that his government is seriously
considering facilitating a large loan to our government?

Indications are that a large chunk of the said money will probably be paid
directly to Eskom, South African maize suppliers and maybe even South
African fuel suppliers, under the umbrella of assuring financial
accountability by President Robert Mugabe's regime, of course.
What a wonderful opportunity for Mbeki to score a hat-trick by: repairing
his damaged "quiet diplomacy" (aptly renamed "quiet support" by an
opposition politician); repositioning South Africa to influence the Mugabe
succession equation; and using Zimbabwe as a syringe to inject money back
into the South African economy!

Tony Namate's cartoon in a weekly last week was right on the money. In the
short term, Mbeki has played his cards cleverly by watching passively while
Mugabe has disembowelled the economy of South Africa's nearest geo-political

At the end of the day, Mbeki the politician does not owe the Zimbabwean
voters or economy any favours. The extent to which Mbeki's policy reflects
on the foundation, stability and future direction of South Africa's own
young democracy is intriguing.

Finally, the one farcical question recent developments beg of our Zimbabwean
leaders in government, finance ministry and the central bank is this: "Why
not just make us a province of South Africa and be done with it?"

B Mhlanga


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Zim Standard

WOZA letter to Mugabe, amai Mujuru

AS Zimbabweans, we say enough is enough. Heroes' Day which we observe
tomorrow is a time to heal the nation.

The launching of "Operation Murambatsvina" demonstrated irrevocably to us
that the "liberation guns have been turned against us" women fought
alongside men to usher in a new era for the population but our independence
has not done away with all the vestiges of our colonial past.
The women of WOZA remember the time of the Zhii Riots in the month of July
1961. We remember them not because of the violence and looting which we
condemn, but because it was a time when the Law and Order Maintenance Act
(LOMA) took hold and many nationalists faced detention under this unjust

While Zimbabweans celebrated independence in 1980 with promises for peace
and prosperity in a spirit of reconciliation, never could our fallen heroes
or we predict that the ghost of LOMA would come back as POSA - the Public
Order and Security Act. And that the passing of POSA would help usher in
further unjust laws.

The legislature should instead have focused on a new constitution and
removing remaining colonial laws. Your government instead institutionalized
a framework of governance that retained the structures, laws, culture and
spirit of intolerance used during colonial times.

Through POSA, AIPPA, and the ad hoc amendments to the Constitution your
government has perpetuated the colonial mentality we fought to remove. As we
have consulted and discussed, we find that "Operation Murambatsvina" is
proof that we may be an independent

nation but are not free from colonial laws, which continue to oppress the
majority of Zimbabweans.

Your government has failed to reverse the unequal and exploitative nature of
capitalism. By continuing to keep these oppressive systems in place your
government has become guardian to a different form of exploitation.

Already socially and economically disadvantaged by a crashing economy,
Zimbabwean mothers suffer greatly every hour, every day. We have lost our
homes and livelihoods to "Murambatsvina" and have reached the point of no
return. The United Nations estimates that some 700 000 people in cities
across the country have lost their homes, their source of livelihood or
both. Indirectly, a further 2.4 million people have been affected in varying

Sokwanele, Zvakwana and Enough is enough of unjust laws and systems! The UN
recommendations must be fulfilled. For us to find the strength to go on
believing in the Zimbabwe of our dreams we feel we have the rights to demand
the following based on the UN recommendations:

Repeal POSA, AIPPA and other unjust laws. Repeal the Regional Town and
Country Planning Act 1976 [Chapter 29:12] ("Planning Act"); the Housing
Standards Control Act 1972; the Urban Councils Act; and several other
municipal bylaws. These laws have trampled upon our freedoms and are
divorced from social, economic and cultural realities. By repealing these
unjust laws your government will also set a good example and show
willingness to respect the freedoms allowed under the constitution.

Adhere to the rule of law and end selective application of all laws seen by
arrests and detention of people with alternative views.

Open up dialogue and consultation with the populace and their civic
representatives to help dignify the nation and heal the fabric of society.

As a further step in re-establishing goodwill with the people of Zimbabwe,
announce the names of the architects of "Operation Murambatsvina" and hold
them accountable in an independent court of law for their crimes against
Zimbabwean people.

Stop interfering with the operations of municipal leaders and systems of
operation. Leave elected mayors alone - they are held accountable through
their electorate.

Stop political interference with the operations of the Zimbabwe Republic

As mothers we wish to remind your government that the UN Report recognized
that Zimbabweans have rights and freedoms and we quote:"The fundamental
right to human dignity, to shelter, to employment, to education and to
health care are all entrenched in a variety of international and regional
human rights instruments, all of which Zimbabwe is party to. The government
of Zimbabwe has a duty to protect and enforce the economic and social rights
of its citizens as guaranteed by the Constitution of Zimbabwe and the
African Charter on Human and Peoples' Rights. The Government of Zimbabwe
also has a duty to fulfill its obligations under the International Covenant
on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, which Zimbabwe ratified on 13th May

In the Executive Summary, the UN Special Envoy, Mrs Anna Tibaijuka found
that the operation "was carried out in an indiscriminate and unjustified
manner, with indifference to human suffering". Once compensation has been
paid and the perpetrators brought to book, Zimbabweans may forgive what
happened, but as with Gukurahundi, we will not forget and we hope that the
UN report will help to remind our grandchildren who may face constitutional
challenges in the future. A constitution is only as effective as we, the
people, insist that it be fully respected.

We quote from the UN report: "Although the Zimbabwe Constitution provides
protection under Chapter III, Declaration of Rights, Operation Restore Order
infringed upon many of these rights. The forced evictions and resultant
displacements have rendered thousands of people homeless and thus vulnerable
to the violations of a number of other rights. In addition to the violation
of the right to adequate housing, other key rights including the right to
life, property and freedom of movement have also been violated."

Please take the opportunity Heroes' Day will present, to announce that your
government has heard our cries for peace, justice and healing. We will see
that our appeal has been heard when your government repeals all the unjust
laws and removes once and for all the remnants of colonialism.

All members of WOZA Countrywide
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Zim Standard

Murerwa blunders on while economy sinks
By Kumbirai Mafunda

ZIMBABWE'S longest serving Finance Minister Herbert Murerwa was by last week
still unsure and "stuttering" on what therapy to apply on the country's
economic meltdown, which analysts say, has now entered a final phase towards
irreversible economic collapse.

Murewa, who had originally been scheduled to give a clear picture of the
state of the economy in July, postponed the presentation of the mid-term
fiscal policy and a supplementary budget to 4 August but later on deferred
it again to the 16 August.
But economic observers read this adjournment as failure to find any
prescription to cure the country's ailing economy.

"He has nothing to offer," said Daniel Ndlela, economic consultant at

"Things are going out of hand and instead somebody is running away when the
beast is really attacking the child," Ndlela added in reference to
Zimbabwe's worsening economic fundamentals.

With a multiple exchange rate, rocketing food prices, a worsening foreign
currency shortage, rampaging inflation and company closures all adding up to
cocktail of economic imponderables, analysts say the country is sliding
deeper into crisis by the day.

Although supplementary budgets are common in Zimbabwe where the government
is known for its spending imprudence, a severe economic slump has forced the
country into outlandish territory. As if the domestic debt that has
sky-rocketed up to $12 trillion, up from $10 trillion as of last month is
not enough, Murerwa will table a $12 trillion supplementary budget,
ostensibly to fund food imports and "Operation Garikai/Hlalani Kuhle".

The long-serving finance minister will largely defend recourse to a
supplementary budget on basis of the drought that hit most parts of the
country, severely compromising food production.

In an apparent shift away from last year when the government appeared
committed to fiscal prudence in compliance with monetary policies introduced
by the Governor of the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe, Gideon Gono, Murerwa is
expected to say the second budget will be applied to importing grain and to
nurse the sick economy back to health.

Estimates indicate that than two million Zimbabweans will be needing food
assistance while the government has been ambivalent about appealing for food

However, economic critics contend that Zimbabwe needs foreign currency to
secure grain from neighbouring South Africa and other countries with surplus
grain and not local funds."The drought is the government's excuse but we
don't purchase grain with local currency," said Tapiwa Mashakada, the
opposition MDC's spokesperson on Finance and Economic Affairs.

Observers also suggest that the government has been spending public funds
without parliamentary approval. Harare has already committed funds under its
fast-track reconstruction programme code-named "Operation Garikai\Hlalani
Kuhle" and only intends to bring the new spending for parliamentary

The government is already dipping its hands into an unbudgeted $3 trillion
to construct houses for thousands of displaced families who were rendered
homeless by an ill-considered "clean-up" campaign.

Murerwa is also expected to allot funds to equip new ministries created by
President Robert Mugabe in his April cabinet reshuffle. Government sources
say most ministries are only shelf ministries, manned by ministers and
skeletal staff.

"They just want to come and sanitise the public accounts," noted Mashakada.

He also accused the government of undermining parliamentary protocol by
bypassing the legislature on loan agreements. President Robert Mugabe's
government is reportedly courting Pretoria and Beijing to help with its loan
repayments to multilateral lenders. Harare is battling to clear US$295
million it owes the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

Although Murerwa had estimated collecting revenue of $23.5 trillion and to
spend $27 trillion in the 2005 fiscal year, causing a $4.5 trillion deficit
or 5% of GDP, analysts warn the supplementary budget would result in an
unprecedented budget deficit.

Mashakada estimates that the deficit will approach 10% of GDP if the
outstanding debts some local authorities and parastatals owe are taken into

Apart from a budget deficit, Harare also faces slower economic growth and
Murerwa should revise his 2005 growth forecasts of between 3% and 5%. The
Central Bank governor, Dr Gideon Gono, has already admitted that his 50-80%
inflation target is in jeopardy.
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Zim Standard

Zimbabwe's retail market shrinks
By Ndamu Sandu

ZIMBABWE'S retail and supermarket sales are projected to drop to US$70
million in 2007 a recent report by the London based Business Monitor
International (BMI) reveals.

The slump in sales from US$332 million in 2002 is attributed to a harsh
economic environment.
The report, The Zimbabwe Business Forecast Report Q3 2005, said that
although Zimbabwe has over 100 supermarkets and two hypermarkets current,
economic trends mean that it is highly unlikely for other foreign operators
from Europe or United States to enter the market at this time.

The report said: "However should the economic climate change, Zimbabwe's
formerly developed retail market would be of interest to companies wishing
to invest in Southern Africa."

Domestic manufacturers, the report says, are expected to continue to battle
with shortages of fuel and electricity that will negatively affect
production and production distribution.

"The high price of grain or its unavailability will effectively stop the
production of beer and other cereal based foods," BMI said.

The report said that although South African retail chain such as Shoprite
and Pick 'n' Pay are currently targeting other African countries for
expansion due to market saturation Zimbabwe could not benefit until the
economic climate improves.

As a result, the report said, Zimbabwe was missing out on foreign direct
investments from regional retail operators due to "a lack of food, currency
devaluation, general poverty, political unrest and shortage of fuel and

"Shoprite which has just one store in Zimbabwe has already halted its
expansion in Zimbabwe for the above reasons, while it is aggressively
pursuing its African expansion elsewhere, via entrance into Ghana and Angola
as well as planned entry into Nigeria," the report said.

The report said that as a result of the harsh economic conditions, store
openings were likely to be put on hold in the foreseeable future.

Established in 1984, BMI is a leading print and online publisher of
specialist business information on global emerging markets.

BMI's client and subscriber base includes leading financial institutions,
corporates, multinationals, government and academia in over 125 countries
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Zim Standard

Why African despots 'look East'
sundayopinion By Tajudeen Abdul-Raheem

PRESIDENT Robert Mugabe is a troubled old man who last week not just looked
East but went East in search of solutions to the many challenges that his
iron grip on the politics and economy of Zimbabwe since independence in 1980
has brought about.

It is threatened with expulsion from the IMF if it does not pay up in the
next few weeks.
The President's trip to China has yielded new promises of aid and agreements
with the Chinese government for mineral exploitation in the country.

China is neither troubled by human rights concerns nor allegations of
corruption; it is only interested in promoting its economic interests with
whoever is able and willing. It is an official "communist" state internally
in a very limited but important way politically for its peoples but an
unapologetic capitalist state outside of its borders.

It's "no questions asked" couched as "non-interference" but operating as
"complete indifference to the suffering of others" has made it a favourite
partner for many troubled African leaders from Khartoum to Harare. Even the
late Sani Abacha of Nigeria "turned East" when his government became a

While Mugabe's China trip and other deals with Asian countries may give him
and his propagandists collateral excuses that show that they are not
completely isolated, the immediate reprieve they need from the IMF debacles
may come nearer home. South Africa is the only country that has indicated
that it could take over some of the loans, pay off the debt and save the
country from being declared bankrupt.

I have been a long- term critic of Uncle Bob's autocratic rule. I should
also say that this has not been very popular with many Africans who identify
with Mugabe and see him as a veteran Pan Africanist giving back African
lands that were illegally, often brutally, stolen by British imperialists
and distributed to their kith and kin.

Many will decry the crude methods and brutalities but comfort themselves
that on scales of historical injustice the white farmers despite some deaths
have fared better than the original Africans from whom the British
forcefully stole the lands. They did not have any powerful state or group of
states then to protest and protect them internationally.

There are even many Zimbabweans who do not support Mugabe politically but
say they don't care how he is doing it let him just give us our land back.
According to these people, it is unfortunate that the methods led to deaths
but the end justifies the means.

My criticisms are based on a number of reasons that may warrant brief
recapture. One, the land campaign was hijacked by Mugabe and Zanu PF to save
their skin after more than a decade in power looking after themselves and
their cronies and thus facing mass loss of legitimacy.

Two, if they knew they would confiscate the land why did they not prepare
the people for the action through training, both technical and managerial
that would have ensured that there was minimum disruption to production.
They had more than a decade to do this, why didn't they?

Three, blaming everything on the British is popular but disingenuous. Mugabe
has been in power for 25 years and for two decades before the confiscations
began has he been ruling on behalf of the British for all those years? Even
the Lancaster House agreement compromise ended in 1990 so why did he not

Four, if this campaign is about righting historical wrongs done to black
Africans how come more of them have died than the white farmers? Is it not a
case of robbing Peter to pay Paul that set up veterans against agricultural

There are many more questions and queries that can be put forward but they
all boil down to political opportunism by a ruling elite that is clinging
onto a popular issue in order to retain power. There is nothing spectacular
about that: all governments will do anything to maintain their power.

Therefore Mugabe is similar to many of his critics in that sense.

However the stronger reservations from a human rights perspective that no
historical circumstance should vitiate or compromise is the respect for the
right of citizens to disagree with their government without having their
lives threatened and their security compromised. It should not be treachery
to oppose any government even if one's opposition is reactionary.

In the 1980s Mugabe forced ZAPU and the people of Matabeleland into a
virtual one-party State through unity with his Zanu PF after a campaign of
violence, intimidation and gross abuse of human rights.

In a bitter irony many Africans who now support Mugabe use this same
incident claiming that because the Westerners who are now shouting
themselves hoarse did not say much in those troubled times they have no
reason to do so now. The reason for the double standard is not difficult to
deduce: blacks killing blacks is not news but once one white person is
affected it becomes a threat to international security! It is not only in
Zimbabwe that this hypocrisy rears its head but I find this logic very
twisted as used by our own people to censor any censure of Uncle Bob.

An African life is equal to any other life and it does not need validation
from Washington or London. If they don't value our lives much does that mean
we don't value them ourselves?

In spite of my strong criticisms of Mugabe as a tired geriatric who (sadly)
like some still serving African leaders do not know when to bow out when the
ovation is still there I find myself an unwilling defender of the old man
especially dealing with media and academics in the West. Whatever topic you
are discussing these Westerners will find a way of introducing Mugabe into
it. Somehow in their minds Africa is not a continent (in spite of the fact
that one country alone, DRC, is bigger than the whole of Western Europe put
together) but one country to which we are all jointly accountable.

Perhaps as a Pan Africanist who believes in one government and one
citizenship I should not mind this but Pan Africanism is not what is pushing
these people. It is prejudice and ignorance. The same people will not expect
Tony Blair to be held responsible for Jacques Chirac's or Silvio
Berlusconi's problems. So why do they expect that other Africans have to be
responsible for Mugabe's excesses?

Their more scurrilous anger is reserved for President Thabo Mbeki of South
Africa, whom they accuse of not "doing enough". I have always wondered what
enough means. Do they want him to invade Zimbabwe the way they have occupied
Iraq and Afghanistan?

Now they are speculating about Mbeki's offer to bail out Zimbabwe. Would he
put conditions? What would those conditions be?

African Slum dwellers, as long as they are in Harare, have suddenly become
darlings of the West. They are assumed to be opponents of Mugabe therefore
fit the pariah mode. But where were the cameras when President Olusegun
Obasanjo's regime in Nigeria, the Chair of the Commonwealth, razed down two
cities, Odi and Zaki Biam?

Interestingly another shameful famine has hit us from Niger. Emergency aid
is finally being sent. How come nobody has asked what the government of
Niger was doing when it allowed drought to degenerate into famine?

I hope South Africa does come up with the hard cash to prevent Zimbabwe from
becoming bankrupt. It will be concrete solidarity with the people of
Zimbabwe, not necessarily its government. It will be money well spent and it
may even buy it significant influence with Uncle Bob.

If Blair can stand shoulder to shoulder with George W Bush why is it so
wrong for Mbeki to do the same with our cantankerous Uncle Bob? Why can't
these Westerners understand that the more they shout about Mugabe the
stronger such leaders become and the more difficult it is for an African
leader to condemn him openly for fear of being seen as Western puppet?
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Zim Standard

Fuel for forex move spells doom
sundayopinion By Sure Mataramvura

I read with amazement, an article in an online publication stating that fuel
is now being sold at some garages in Harare, in foreign currency. The order
to do so was reported to be coming from the Reserve Bank Governor, Dr Gideon

Firstly, I do not know whether our constitution now allows someone to sell
or offer his/her services and charge in a currency other than the domestic
currency. If that is illegal, then the Governor should be held accountable
for this new development. In the event that it is legal, then I intend to
highlight how Zimbabwe is doomed.
My first contribution is based on the simple fact that the consumers of fuel
products range from the general public, civic groups, companies and even
political parties. Gono reportedly said that he would not ask anyone about
the source of the foreign currency used to buy the fuel.

Given that such a measure (selling fuel in foreign currency) is an admission
that the problem of fuel has no immediate solution, then everyone is bound
to queue at the chosen garages for the product. But where will they get the
foreign currency from?

Some are lucky to have relatives abroad who will once in a while send them
money for use. Companies and service providers have no alternative except
either to charge their products and/or services in foreign currency or in
local currency but using such rates (read parallel market rates) that will
allow then to buy the foreign currency from wherever or they have to close

Given that companies and service providers still want to operate, then the
first option will be taken. So the question is: where is Zimbabwe heading?
The answer is simple...the dolarization of the economy... a situation
similar to a country in war.

Then the next question follows...why? The answer again is simple. Africans
are cursed.

The present situation where certain shops have to be opened to charge in
foreign currency is not new. In the former leftist countries such as Cuba,
they have what they call "Diplomatic Shops" where those in possession of
foreign currency buy local and mainly imported products. The aim is the generate foreign currency because for one reason or another, the
local industry cannot produce enough for export where most of the foreign
currency should come from.

These "Diplomatic Shops" then become the source of all evil.there will be
serious parallel market trade in the products that come from there. As a
result, one who will be fortunate to buy a litre of fuel at US$1 will be
tempted to immediately sell to those who are not so lucky to have foreign
currency at an inflated price.

That is the situation which the Reserve Bank has to allow otherwise the
"Diplomatic Fuel Stations" will not generate as much foreign currency as
they want if they attempt to control this illegal trade. The Reserve Bank
should be reminded that its previous attempts to chase around parallel
market traders and confiscate their money was a futile exercise. No country
in the world has been known to eliminate arbitragers (risk takers who take
advantage of anomalies on the market).

The solution is to create an environment that eliminates arbitrage
opportunities through allowing capitalist principles of supply and demand
and open competition to take charge.

After having explained all this, I want to go to my claim that Africans are
cursed. This may appear offensive to some because we have always perhaps
taught ourselves to be on the defensive each time one of us is under attack.
Aidan Hartley (Zimbabwe Independent 8 July 2005) wrote a very emotional
article about the way most Third World leaders abuse their positions and use
public resources for their aggrandizement.

Similar articles appear daily about our own government's abuse of State
resources through corruption, unplanned expenditure, unnecessary
expenditure, theft and other means. On the political scene, similarly
Mafia-style gambling strategies are reported during election time. All this
comes to one theme.that once in power an African (read Third World leader)
wants to die there.

Some time in the late 90's, I wrote an article to The Sunday Mail demanding
to know why the international community decided to give jointly the Nobel
Peace prize to Nelson Mandela and his former jailer Mr FW De Klerk. Now I
suspect I have an took De Klerk a lot of effort to see logic. In
our own homeland, Ian Douglas Smith believed that he could not be ruled by a
black person..."not in a thousand years".

When they bombed his petrol tanks, prompting the country to experience fuel
shortages better than those experienced now during the reign of his enemies,
and when inflation moved from a single digit to two digits...then it did not
take time for Smith to see reason. But these are just but two examples.and
then I try to justify my point with such a small sample.

The civil war in Mozambique took more than 20 years of suffering by the
general public. I doubt whether Samora Machel then as president and his
rival Afonso Dhlakama were feeling any effects of the war. They were
supposed to get everything from protection to goods. The civil war in Angola
took more than 20 years. The same can be said about Jonas Savimbi and
President Eduardo dos Santos. The situation was the same in the DRC before
the death of Laurent Kabila. The mess has to drag on and on because the
leaders feel that they are not suffering from the effects of their actions.
It is only the general public which has to pray everyday for the situation
to change.

In our own set up, one cannot imagine the presidential motorcade stuck
without fuel one day, or even to dream of seeing the president and/or any of
his cabinet ministers or Morgan Tsvangirai spending the night in a fuel
queue for just one day, or better still, to imagine the First Lady
complaining that she could not make tea for her husband because she could
not find sugar in the supermarkets!

This is the kind of attitude which is killing Africa because those involved
in its demise are not affected by the effects of their actions. This was my
point when I said Africans are cursed. We do not see sense in the way De
Klerk or Smith did, but we are quick to remind each other that these two
were more evil than us just because their ancestors colonised our countries
or to borrow Patrick Chinamasa's words "because their ancestors were

But my understanding is that a person who yesterday was a thief is no worse
than a person who today is a thief. If the Smiths were thieves yesterday and
the black are thieves today, all are senior or junior thief

Lastly, the other reason why we are cursed is this attitude of "I know
everything". President Robert Mugabe has distaste for people who pretend to
know everything. Five or so years ago, he hired Professor Jonathan Moyo to
try and prove to all Zimbabweans that he knows everything. He could attempt
to crush any point raised by the public. He was Minister of all, including

The result was the creation of the most oppressive environment perhaps
experienced even under the colonial era. The president has also just hired
Gono as Governor of the Central Bank. In the same style as Moyo, Gono is
seen everywhere, giving orders (or advice) even to city councils about
housing stands. One then wonders whether the Central Bank Governor is
Minister of everything, including knowledge. We then wonder why President
Mugabe has a taste for such characters.the answer could be simple.that
personally he has a problem.

We should accept that certain positions in society fit certain characters
and not all. The "I know everything" characters have never been known to be
good leaders. President Mugabe has called retired Archbishop Desmond Tutu "a
little bishop", Tony Blair a "small boy". Therefore, in his eyes he is the
big man of the world. Who has the guts to challenge such a big man.he asks
himself. Who is Kofi Annan to give me orders, who is Blair to suggest that I
be democratic.who is Tutu to suggest that I resign.these are just but small

Perhaps he is right age-wise, that is. This explains part of the causes of
the demise of Africa.
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Zim Standard

Celebrating the right to return to basics
By Dumisani Mpofu

FREEDONIA'S megaphones were in overdrive mode. They were tripping over each
other, reminding the country's citizens of the importance of reminiscing
over Freedonia's struggle for self rule.

"Freedonians fought for the hard-won independence by dislodging a brutal,
insensitive and exploitative regime to usher in a new era of freedom, peace
and equality." was one of the messages that received considerable airplay.
But there were facetious characters in the land of the brave and the free.
They thus rewrote the above statement to reflect the fact that although
Freedonians fought a bruising war to wrest their independence from former
oppressors, they were the wiser because it was abundantly clear that they
had merely exchanged oppressors. An oppressor by any colour still remains an
oppressor, but worse still one of your own.

It was pointed out that the only freedom Freedonians had was to agree with
the Freedonia Revolutionary Party. This was done in the "interests" of
maintaining law and order and "safeguarding the national well-being".

A visiting envoy described the laws in Freedonia as worse or similar to
those used by oppressors. In fact, the revolutionary leaders were happy to
inherit and implement the same laws they had fought to rid the country of.
It was unclear whether their struggle had been about getting into the shoes
of the oppressors or not.

As a result of its governance crisis, Freedonia had the singular distinction
of being the only nation on the continent that tried to preside over an
economy stripped of the best of its entrepreneurs. Its most successful
business professionals were either imprisoned while those who outsmarted
Freedonia's intelligence corps sought refuge abroad, most of them ironically
in the land of the former oppressors that the leadership decried at every
available opportunity. The consequences were evident to everyone, who cared
enough. There were more business closures than there were new ones. It was a
challenging study case.

One of the effects of this drive against those capable of generating hard
currency was that the land of the free and the brave was hard-pressed to
meet its import obligations. It was not surprising therefore when
Freedonia's leadership started suggesting a return to basics.

What this in essence meant was that where once people had become used to
public or informal sector transport to move from one point to another, back
to basics dictated that they walk. Where once people relied on electricity
for energy and other uses, they were being encouraged to do without and the
leadership romanticised this state of affairs suggesting it brought people
together, encouraged them to find time to discuss issues (except politics)
and created greater awareness of the environment.

Freedonians were encouraged to discard reliance on refrigerators. In reality
this was a disingenuous move to prevent people from buying more of the
increasingly scarce commodities since they had no means of preserving them.
This way, the shortages would not be amplified.

Back to basics, also meant that where once traffic lights controlled such
things as traffic, this no longer applied. As a substitute, law enforcement
agents were deployed, not necessarily to control traffic. More to keep an
eye on as well as the lid on possible manifestations of discontent: the
thought and action police.

Back to basic meant more recourse to use of traditional healers, uncollected
refuse being burnt or pilling up, more reliance on wells or untreated water,
while what passed for its national air carrier was grounded, because such
things did not exist before the age of enlightenment.
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