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The Outlook for 2006

As we come to the end of 2005, we might find it difficult to look ahead and
ask ourselves what might be in store for those of us who live and work in
Zimbabwe. 2005 has been very tough - inflation has soared to new heights,
the economy has shrunk again - the 7th year in a row since 1999. In fact it
might be argued that the economy has been in decline since 1998 as 1997 was
the last year during which we experienced any sort of real economic growth.

Our currency has lost 99.9 per cent of its value and over 80 per cent of our
population is now classed as being absolutely poor. Human flight has, if
anything, accelerated and it is now estimated that a third of the total
population lives in self imposed exile. Hundreds of thousands are dying each
year - from Aids, dysentery, tuberculosis, malaria, malnutrition, hunger and
the collapse of our health system. 2005 will go down as a miserable year for
millions with many now homeless and destitute after Murambatsvina (remember
what that means - "drive out filth").

It will also go down as a year of failure - failure of the regional
community to face up to what is going on here and to tackle the crisis, the
failure of Mbeki's "quiet diplomacy" and the failure of the international
community to make progress in resolving the plight of the many who live in
the "outposts of tyranny".

For the Zimbabwe government it has also been a year of failure - failure of
the much talked about "economic recovery", failure of their agricultural
policies, failure to get any sort of growth and recovery in the mining and
tourism industries. To this we might add the failure to halt the slide in
the public service and in all social sectors.

And so we come to Christmas 2005, hungry, angry and disappointed.
Disappointed with our leaders and disappointed with ourselves for having
achieved so little when the needs around us are so great. I think this is
going to be the worst Christmas ever for most Zimbabweans.

But while we bemoan our condition we must now look into our proverbial
crystal ball and ask ourselves "what does 2006 hold for us". In business we
can hardly plan for tomorrow, how to plan for the next year is something we
do not even want to think about - yet we must. I am the proverbial optimist
so all my friends will take what I have to say with the proverbial pinch of
salt, but since they will not put their necks on the block - why should I
not have a go?

The first thing we can say about next year - is that we have had the best
start to a wet season that I can remember for a long time. Last year at this
time we had 50 odd mls. of rain in October, none in November and then a very
wet December. That is about as bad a start to the season as you can have in
this part of the world. Crops planted with the early rains died in November
and those planted in December were too late to really perform and got wet

This year, as if on a schedule, we have had 85 mls. in November - soft rains
and perfect planting weather. Now in December it has rained continuously for
a week and we are already up to half our last years total rainfall. The only
problem is that there are no crops in the ground. A handful of large-scale
commercial farmers are left and they are again under siege. Money is tight,
costs are in the stratosphere and inputs almost impossible to find. Even the
peasant sector has very little in the ground and we can forecast an even
worse outturn for the crop season just starting, than last year when Mugabe
stated in the famous interview that we had grown 2,5 million tonnes of grain
and instead we reaped a paltry 600 000 tonnes.

In last weeks budget statement the Minister of Finance predicted a strong
growth in agricultural output next year - well you can put that down to the
mad musings of Made (our nutty Minister of Agriculture). But while we are
likely to go hungry again next year it is possible that other sectors might
start to show signs of recovery.

In the mining industry we have had a fantastic year on international
markets - gold is over US$500 an ounce, Platinum over US$1000 and all other
base metals and minerals are at record or near record levels. If we can get
a policy framework in place (and one already exists) which will give
investors confidence, then I would predict a veritable gold rush next year
in the precious metals industry. Already the rapid depreciation in the
official exchange rate coupled to the strong rise in world market prices and
demand, means that gold producers are at last making some real money here.

In other sectors it is more difficult to see progress but I am sure that we
are about to see a major turn around by the State in the field of economic
and political policy. The signs are already there that the Government is
preparing to allow the re-emergence of free market forces in all sorts of
fields - fuel and food among others. This will allow the market to overcome
current shortages in many areas plagued by bad decisions and poor policy
making. Exchange rates are gradually (some would say rapidly) being allowed
to rise to free market levels and this will have all sorts of implications
for the economy. Minimum wages are already poised to go through the Z$5
million a month barrier and will reach Z$7 million by March or earlier.
While this is being driven by inflation it also reflects employers
willingness to adjust wages more realistically than in the past when low
earnings from exports were crippling the productive sector.

These policies will halt the decline in exports and allow some recovery in
industrial activity - but they will not be enough to turn the tide
altogether. That will depend on political events and the future of the SA/G8
loan agreement talks and negotiations. In this respect I think we are in for
a surprising 2006, I think we might see the early retirement of Robert
Gabriel Mugabe and the adoption by the succeeding regime of many of the
reforms demanded in the SA/G8 loan agreement. We may see the Daily News back
and there is widespread talk that the State is going to reverse itself on
land - allowing title deed owners to reclaim their properties and resume

If that happens then we might see the resumption of inflows of much needed
foreign assistance - the UN seems set to feed the country this summer, Mbeki
's loans will overcome the current critical shortages of fuel and
electricity. If that happens then anything is possible - we might even see a
resumption of real economic growth. If this does not happen then I am afraid
we are in for another tough year. My money is on the positive outlook and I
am going to put some into the local stock market in the New Year. I did well
this year there and cannot see any reason why next year should not be

Eddie Cross
Bulawayo, 8th December 2005

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Mugabe party calls for crackdown on 'hostile' NGOs


      10 Dec 2005 17:50:59 GMT

By Stella Mapenzauswa

ESIGODINI, Zimbabwe, Dec 10 (Reuters) - Zimbabwe's ruling party has
recommended a crackdown on Western-sponsored groups hostile to President
Robert Mugabe and asked security forces to make a list of people whose
passports should be seized.

On the last day of its annual conference on Saturday, Mugabe's ZANU-PF party
adopted a central committee report that recommended government action
against non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and civic groups allied to the

"The opposition is also grouped in the form of NGOs and civic groups, all
sponsored by the United Kingdom, the United States and the European Union,"
it said. "Stern action shall be taken against them."

Senior ZANU-PF officials refused to discuss any details.

Last year the ruling party passed legislation that banned foreign funding
for local rights groups and tightened the registration of other NGOs.

Analysts say Mugabe did not sign the bill into law as Zimbabwe badly needs
aid from NGOs as it struggles with food and fuel shortages.

Critics charge Mugabe -- Zimbabwe's sole ruler since independence from
Britain 25 years ago -- has plunged one of Africa's most promising countries
into a deep political and economic crisis through controversial policies.

Mugabe has blamed Zimbabwe's problems on sabotage by opponents of his drive
to redistribute white-owned farms among blacks and sanctions imposed on the
country by the West.

Despite its firm political grip on the southern African country, Mugabe's
government still feels insecure and has imposed tough media and security
laws to police its opponents, analysts say.

This week Zimbabwe security agents seized the passports of a top opposition
figure and of the country's leading private newspaper publisher under a
controversial law allowing the government to bar travel by "traitors".

A resolution adopted by the ZANU-PF conference on Saturday, welcomed moves
to withdraw passports of people "who go around demonising the country" and
to implement the law right away.

"We want the security forces to draw up a list of such people so that their
passports can be withdrawn," it said.


ZANU-PF wrapped up its two-day congress in the southwestern Esigodini
district on Saturday night secure in its political domination. But it faces
the daunting task of pulling the economy out of crisis and overcoming
factionalism over Mugabe's likely successor on his expected retirement in

When he opened the conference, and in the wake of a Senate victory last
month, Mugabe said on Friday his party was growing "higher and higher,
bigger and bigger, stronger and stronger".

But in his closing speech, the Zimbabwean president acknowledged there was a
wide gap between making verbal resolutions on the economy and acting them

"There are serious shortcomings in government planning and steps will have
to be taken to correct them," he said.

He also conceded some party officials were involved in corrupt activities
such as black market foreign currency trade.

Others had seized more than one farm for themselves in abuse of the land
reforms, which critics blame for food shortages that have plagued Africa's
former breadbasket for five years.

"That greed is untenable and some of our leaders are guilty of that. Bring
cases of that kind of greed to us and we will correct them," Mugabe said.

Analysts also say Mugabe is fighting to stamp out remaining party tensions
over his selection last year of Joyce Mujuru as vice president -- which put
her first in line for the top job after Mugabe's expected retirement in
2008. (additional reporting by Cris Chinaka)

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Economy, divisions hamper Mugabe party dominance


      Sat Dec 10, 2005 10:04 AM GMT

By Stella Mapenzauswa

ESIGODINI, Zimbabwe (Reuters) - Zimbabwe's ruling party wraps up its annual
congress on Saturday secure in its political domination, but facing the
daunting task of pulling the economy out of crisis and overcoming

"Our party is growing higher and higher, bigger and bigger, stronger and
stronger," President Robert Mugabe told delegates at the start of the
meeting in the south-western Esigodini district on Friday.

But officials acknowledged that despite a sweeping victory in a Senate poll
in November, the ruling ZANU-PF still had to grapple with corruption,
factionalism and the country's worst economic crisis since independence.

Mugabe has blamed Zimbabwe's problems on sabotage by opponents of his drive
to redistribute white-owned farms among blacks. But he conceded some party
officials were involved in corrupt activities such as black market trade in
scant foreign currency.

Others had seized more than one farm for themselves in abuse of the land
reforms, which critics blame for food shortages which have plagued Africa's
former breadbasket over the last five years.

"That greed is untenable and some of our leaders are guilty of that. Bring
cases of that kind of greed to us and we will correct them," Mugabe said.

Analysts also say Mugabe is fighting to stamp out remaining party tensions
over his selection last year of Joyce Mujuru as vice president -- which put
her first in line for the top job after Mugabe's expected retirement in

"Some (party officials) had become far too ambitious and wanted to get to
the top," Mugabe said on Friday in tacit reference to the row that erupted
over Mujuru's appointment.

The veteran leader, in power since independence in 1980, took another swipe
at former colonial ruler Britain, with which he has clashed over charges of
rights abuse and election rigging, as well as the land seizures.

Britain still wanted control of Zimbabwe to exploit its vast mineral and
agricultural wealth, Mugabe told delegates, charging: "They would want
Zimbabwe therefore to subject itself to their will so they can manipulate
the government here so they can have a grip on our economy."

Mugabe accused U.N. humanitarian affairs and relief co-ordinator Jan Egeland
of misrepresenting Zimbabwe this week after a four-day tour to assess the
impact of a government crackdown on urban slums.

Calling Egeland was a "hypocrite and a liar", Mugabe said on Friday he would
ask U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan to no longer send to Zimbabwe envoys
"who are not his own but agents of the British, because we don't trust men
from his office any more."

Egeland said from New York he had told the truth about his tour to assess a
crackdown the U.N. says left 700,000 people homeless and without a
livelihood and that Mugabe's speech was for the benefit of his audience.

Analysts say the Esigodini meeting is likely to gloss over the country's
chronic shortages of fuel and foreign currency, unemployment of over 70
percent and rampaging inflation, which surged to 502 percent in the year to

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Mugabe warns against dubious Zanu-PF leaders


          December 10 2005 at 02:18PM

      Esigodini, Zimbabwe - President Robert Mugabe's ruling Zanu-PF party
winds up its annual conference late on Saturday but there have so far been
little or no leads as to who is to succeed him when he retires in 2008.

      Still smarting from a leadership row that rocked the party in December
last year over leadership changes, Mugabe and other top leaders warned party
faithfuls against "crooks and dubious" leaders among them.

      "We have had some very bad leaders, some perhaps came to the fore like
a whirlwind.

      "They demonstrated... enthusiasm, so we promoted them to higher
positions only for them to turn against the party a year or two after," said
Mugabe in apparent reference to his one-time protege and former information
chief, Jonathan Moyo.

      Moyo, a former university lecturer, who made a dramatic about-turn
from fierce critic to Mugabe's loudest cheerleader, rose rapidly through
party ranks to become one of the president's closest advisers and spin

      He was sacked earlier this year after he fell out of favour for
allegedly plotting against the ruling party's leadership as it prepared to
elect a new vice president to Mugabe.

      Party chairman John Nkomo said "the residual impact (of last year's
row) is still lingering as evidenced by the unwholesome behaviour of some
party cadres even during the recently held senatorial elections" who were
mobilising against formally approved candidates.

      Zanu-PF last year suspended senior officials saying they held a secret
meeting that defied Mugabe's directive to nominate a woman for the post of
vice-president which was vacant at the time.

      "We have had some crooks in the party, some dabbling with foreign
currency, others involved in the black markets and others even turning
against the party," said Mugabe.

      "Be careful of such crooks," he said.

      A senior party official and businessman James Makamba and former
Finance Minister Chris Kuruneri were arrested last year for foreign exchange
control violations.

      "Some became too ambitious and wanted to get to the top. So for them
it was that the party should serve their self interests," he said.

      Mugabe, 81, also blasted ruling party officials for selling secrets to
foreign governments. He was referring to an alleged espionage ring involving
senior Zanu-PF members and a South African spy.

      The ruling party's policy-making body urged party supporters to cash
in on the disarray in the main opposition to recruit more members.

      "The opposition, represented by the MDC, has given our party great joy
as it drives itself into a suicide mode and finally commits suicide over the
much-awaited senatorial elections," Zanu-PF's central committee said in a
report submitted to the conference on Friday.

      "The party must take advantage of this commotion and disarray in the
opposition and mobilise new members."

      The MDC split into two in October following a row over participation
in senate elections held on November 26 and won by Zanu-PF. - Sapa-AFP

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Zim 'undermines press freedom'


10/12/2005 10:59  - (SA)

Johannesburg - Print Media SA (PMSA), the publishers' lobby, on Friday
condemned the confiscation of the passport of Mail and Guardian publisher
Trevor Ncube.

Zimbabwean immigration officials took away Ncube's passport shortly after he
arrived in Bulawayo from South Africa on Thursday.

A recent constitutional change passed in Zimbabwe allows the government to
confiscate passports of citizens it believes are undermining its "national

"Print Media SA believes that this action is a move on the part of the
Zimbabwean government to subdue any criticism against it," the PMSA said.

Ncube is also the publisher of Zimbabwe's Standard and Zimbabwe Independent,
two newspapers which have been critical of the Zimbabwean government and its

Under the Access to Information and Protection of Privacy Act, Zimbabwean
authorities have arrested journalists and closed down newspapers critical of
state policies.

"PMSA believes that this action further undermines the principles of freedom
of expression and freedom of the press in Zimbabwe," the lobby group added.

Ncube is a past president of PMSA and a board member, till November this
year, of the World Association of Newspapers.

PMSA president Connie Molusi said the move was a flagrant assault on the
media and freedom of expression and implored the Zimbabwean government to
revoke the action that, he said, virtually put Ncube under house arrest
without due process.

"We are very concerned that this action not only interferes with Mr Ncube's
rights of free movement as a citizen, but also restricts his activities as
an accomplished publisher of several newspaper titles in Southern Africa,"
Molusi said.

The German dpa news agency reported that Ncube appeared to be the first
person to have his travel documents taken away from him under the
constitutional amendment

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Humpty Dumpty

Sent: Saturday, December 10, 2005 4:33 PM
Subject: Humpty Dumpty

Dear Family and Friends,
Zimbabwe's ruling Zanu PF party have been holding their annual congress
this week and watching some of the coverage on television made for
staggering viewing. By any standards Zimbabwe is a country in dire
trouble. Inflation, which began the year at 134% is again completely out
of control and presently at over 400%. Life expectancy continues to
plummet and is now just over 30 years. Unemployment is well over 70%,
almost a quarter of our population are eating food provided by
international donors and the number of people in need grows by the week.
With these dreadful facts and figures you would think that our ruling
party would have more than enough to worry and talk about at their annual
congress. The posters adorning the walls of the now well known enormous
white tent were damning. The slogans were not about the economy, early
death, hunger or inflation. They were the same old deflectory attacks,
just as they have been since Zanu PF first realised they had lost popular
support when they were defeated in the constitutional referendum in 2000.
"Mr Bush, how about New Orleans!"
"MDC beating about the Bush."
"Mr Blair, how about Brixton?"
"Humpty Dumpty fell off the wall and Blairs horses couldn't put the MDC
together again."

So while the party which has governed Zimbabwe for 25 years finds it
fitting to focus its energies on attacking the world, ordinary Zimbabweans
have been looking to more pressing issues.This week the United Nations
Emergency Relief Co-ordinator Jan Egeland concluded a five day visit to
Zimbabwe and saw first hand the dramatically deteriorating situation in
the country. His observations and comments were not about nursery rhymes
or Humpty Dumpty and will hopefully again cause the world to look to the
dreadful conditions of so many people in Zimbabwe.

Mr Egeland said : "The humanitarian situation in Zimbabwe is very serious.
The need for international aid is big and growing." He said that: "When
life expectancy goes from more than 60 years to just over 30 years in a
15-year span, it's not just a crisis, it's a meltdown." Mr Egeland said
that "The food security is now an exploding issue" in Zimbabwe and said
that the need for international aid was "big, and growing". He said the UN
was already feeding two million people in Zimbabwe and that this would
increase to 2.5 million by December and 3.3 million by January 2006.

In the course of his visit Mr Egeland offered Mr Mugabe tents from the UN
for the estimated 700 000 people whose homes were destroyed by the
bulldozers of the Zimbabwean government's Operation Murtambatsvina in mid
winter. The offer was declined. According to the Herald newspaper,
President Mugabe told the UN envoy that: "We are not a tent's people... We
believe in houses." Mr Egeland criticized the governments rejection of
tents saying:  "If they are good enough for people in Europe and the
United States who have lost their houses, why are they not good enough for

The situation in Zimbabwe is neither nursery rhyme nor fairy story but the
grim picture of real people struggling endlessly from one day the next
just to survive. Until next week, love cathy. Copyright cathy buckle
10 December 2005.
My books "African Tears" and "Beyond Tears" are available  from:

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End destitution for Zimbabweans and give them the right to work, say MPs

The Zimbabwe Vigil is sending the following press release to its media list on behalf of the Refugee Council.
Vigil Co-ordinator
Monday 12 December 2005
Ref: 62/05
At a news conference in the House of Commons this morning, the All Party Parliamentary Group on Zimbabwe and the Refugee Council join the recent call from the Archbishop of York, Dr John Sentamu, and other church leaders, for the government to address the growing problem of destitution among asylum seekers, and to allow those who can to work.

The Immigration Minister Tony McNulty MP this week suggested that support is available for unsuccessful asylum seekers who cannot return home, and that government policy is not responsible for making people destitute. This is not the case, and nowhere is this demonstrated more clearly than by the situation faced by asylum seekers from Zimbabwe.
The Asylum and Immigration Tribunal ruled in October that it was not safe to return asylum seekers back to Zimbabwe.  Since then, Zimbabwean asylum seekers have been left in limbo, unable to access support from the government, unable to work, but with no prospect of returning home.
Kate Hoey MP said:  "There are Zimbabweans I know personally who have been reduced to destitution within the past few weeks even though they have skills we  really need in this country such as teaching and nursing.  We can't send them back to Mugabe's tyranny, so it is common sense they should be allowed to work for their living."

The Refugee Council is campaigning this winter to end destitution for asylum seekers, and is calling on the government to allow those who can to work.

 Maeve Sherlock, Chief Executive of the Refugee Council said: "It is inexcusable that we are still forcing vulnerable people into destitution.  It is even worse that many of these people have valuable skills and talents that could benefit both the UK economy and society.  If people are unable to return home, they should be properly supported  and offered the opportunity to work and contribute."

Many Zimbabwean asylum seekers in the UK have skills and experience that are in huge demand here in the UK.  Harris Nyatsanza, a secondary school Geography teacher from Zimbabwe who has been refused asylum, said: "Asylum seekers would love to work and support themselves whilst waiting for decision on their cases.  We don't want to be a burden on  the economy or the state, that's the simple argument we are making.  If the state is finding it difficult to support us then give us the  right to work and support ourselves."

Notes to editor:
1. Kate Hoey MP, Chairman of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Zimbabwe, Annette Brooke MP, Graham Stuart MP and Maeve Sherlock,  Chief Executive of the Refugee Council, will speak at a press conference to be chaired by Baroness (Shirley) Williams of Crosby, on  Monday 12 December 2005 at 10am at the Jubilee Room in the House of Commons, London SW1 0AA.
2. Zimbabwean professionals who have sought asylum in the UK and would like to utilise their skills will be present at the conference to discuss their plight.
3. A media pack is available containing a briefing on the right to work and the current situation facing Zimbabweans in the UK, and CVs of Zimbabweans currently not allowed to work in the UK.  Please contact Hannah Ward on 020 7346 1213 or

Hannah Ward
Press Officer
Refugee Council
240-250 Ferndale Road, London SW9 8BB
T 020 7346 1213
F 020 7346 1245
Asylum is a human right - join our campaign
The Vigil, outside the Zimbabwe Embassy, 429 Strand, London, takes place every Saturday from 14.00 to 18.00 to protest against gross violations of human rights by the current regime in Zimbabwe. The Vigil which started in October 2002 will continue until internationally-monitored, free and fair elections are held in Zimbabwe.

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WOZA Press Statement 10 December 2005

WOZA Women Mark International Human Rights Day with Six Street Actions - five women arrested and assaulted in custody
HUNDREDS of members of Women of Zimbabwe Arise (WOZA) took to the streets of Harare and Bulawayo today in six separate protest marches to commemorate International Human Rights Day.
The women wore t-shirts calling on Zimbabweans to ‘Stop Violence against Women’ and also bearing the international symbol for this campaign - an open hand. Whilst marching, the women distributed WOZA’s newsletter which included an open letter to the Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP) to stop arbitrary arrests of WOZA women.
By noon five women from the Harare protest were in custody at Harare Central Police station. They were assaulted with open palms and baton sticks whilst in detention by officers, including one called Mhondoro. Due to a combination of this assault and refusal of access to lawyers, the women decided to negotiate the payment of ZD $25,000 admission of guilt fines. They were released on this basis at 16:45 pm. In Bulawayo no arrests were recorded although five simultaneous protests had been conducted.
The placard-waving women held aloft placards and banners bearing their messages, including “the strongest man is a woman” and an Eleanor Roosevelt quote, “Women are like teabags. We don’t know how strong we are until we are in hot water.”
In the spirit of “Tough Love”, WOZA’s brand of civil disobedience, the ‘mothers of the nation’ defied the Public Order Security Act (POSA) and conducted their protests without giving notification to the police.
In Harare, after a WOZA delegation participated in a ZimRights-organised march, they went on to gather on Fourth Street before proceeding along Nelson Mandela Avenue. The women were intercepted at Second Street by a police vehicle however and five women were promptly arrested. The five are Loise Grezia, Rosemary Mironga, Julia Chipehama, Noria Kadhari and Monica Chimbiro. Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights have reacted and are attempting to gain access.
In Bulawayo, five community-based protests were conducted simultaneously. They were joined by male defenders and children who found the singing and evident enjoyment of the protestors irresistible.
Women started their protest at Mabutweni Shopping Centre and ended at Mabutweni Police Station where the women dispersed, leaving their placards and the open letter addressed to the ZRP. In Mpopoma, the protest started at Msitheli High School and ended at Matshobana Beer Garden, passing Traffic Police on the way. As the women dispersed, a police vehicle pursued some protestors but soon gave up chase. In Tshabalala, WOZA women gathered at the shopping centre and marched towards Sizinda Beer Garden, leaving their messages with the patrons present. In Magwegwe, Pumula, Emakhandeni and Luveve, protests also started and ended without incident as did the Nkulumane contingent. As the marches proceeded, children joined in helping to distribute the Woza Moya newsletter. 
On International Human Rights Day and the final day of the 16 Days of Activism against Gender Violence, WOZA made the following demands to the ZRP in their open letter:
ALL Zimbabweans respect the rights of women and girls and violence against women is stopped. NO MORE VIOLENCE!
The police respect the rights of women human rights defenders and the women they represent. We call on the officers from all ranks to refuse to arrest WOZA women as they go about their peaceful business.
·         ALL police officers read and uphold the 2001 Harare Resolution on the Southern African Regional Police Chiefs Cooperation Organisation (SARPCCO) Code of Conduct for Police Officials. The specific points that should be implemented to restore their dignity as professional police officers are, in particular, Articles 1- 5.
Article 1 - ‘In the performance of their duties, police officials shall respect and protect human dignity and maintain and uphold the human rights of all persons.’
10 December 2005
For more information about WOZA and the protests conducted today, please contact Jenni Williams or Magodonga Mahlangu on + 263 91 300 456 or + 263 91 898 110/1/2/ or Ellah Hwenzira on + 263 91 377 800.
Photographs are available on request. A copy of the open letter to the ZRP is included below:
An open letter to the Zimbabwe Republic Police
WOZA, the acronym of Women of Zimbabwe Arise, is an Ndebele word meaning ‘Come forward’. WOZA is a registered trust formed in 2003. Our objectives are to:
-          Provide women from all walks of life with a united voice to speak out on issues affecting their day-to-day lives.
-          Empower female leadership that will lead community involvement in finding solutions to the current crisis.
-          Encourage women to stand up for their rights and freedoms.
-          Lobbying and advocacy on those issues affecting women.
We encourage women to speak out and hold their government accountable. Our mandate is to conduct peaceful protests in defiance of unjust laws that sanction our fundamental and god-given freedoms of assembly, expression and association. Through our actions, we create space to allow the general public to articulate issues they are too fearful to raise alone. WOZA has conducted over 30 protests in its three year existence. We recognize the sacrifice of over 800 women who have spent up to 48 hours in custody, some more than once. On 31 March this year, over 265 women and 20 babies spent a night in custody after conducting a prayer vigil on election night. These women, front-line human rights defenders, are willing to suffer beatings and unbearable conditions in prison cells to exercise their constitutional rights.
We have set out to prove that the power of love can conquer the love of power. ‘Tough Love’ is our weapon of mass mobilisation. 'Tough Love' is the disciplining love of a parent; we must practice it and bring dignity back to our families. Tough Love from the grassroots is the solution to the crisis of governance in Zimbabwe. Our rulers need some discipline; who better to dish it out than a mother! But what kind of mother would we be if we remained silent while our children cry from hunger? Do your children go to bed at night with full stomachs? Can you afford to send all your children to school and provide them with a promising future?
When WOZA was formed we adopted the highest risk option of demonstration when the most repressive laws were in effect. We had to find ways to speak out about our wellbeing rather that suffer in silence. We knew that police officers would support our struggle if they saw our love and determination. So when we march with love in our hearts, it helps us to bear the consequences. The consequences we suffer are arrest, assault and harassment by YOU – police officers. We know that you are our children, parents who are also trying to earn a living and feed your families.
Through our work we must break the chain of oppression. Rhodesia had an elite group of capitalists ruling over and oppressing people with unjust laws based on inequality. Little seems to have changed – we now have Zimbabwe and an elite group of black capitalists ruling over and oppressing people with unjust laws based on inequality. How many houses were some of you forced to destroy because of colonial housing laws? How may people did you make homeless and jobless through Operation Murambatsvina?

As the women of WOZA mark the 16 Days of Action Campaign with activities, we will be calling on Police officers to join us in saying ENOUGH IS ENOUGH, SOKWANELE, ZVAKWANA. During this time, and forevermore, WOZA demands that:
·         ALL Zimbabweans respect the rights of women and girls and violence against women is stopped. NO MORE VIOLENCE!
·         The police respect the rights of women human rights defenders and the women they represent. We call on the officers from all ranks to refuse to arrest WOZA women as they go about their peaceful business.
·         ALL police officers read and uphold the 2001 Harare Resolution on the Southern African Regional Police Chiefs Cooperation Organisation (SARPCCO) Code of Conduct for Police Officials. The specific points that should be implemented to restore their dignity as professional police officers are, in particular, Articles 1- 5.
o        Article 1 - ‘In the performance of their duties, police officials shall respect and protect human dignity and maintain and uphold the human rights of all persons.’
Signed by
Your mothers, sisters and grandmothers
Women Human Rights Defenders

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Zim court overturns bar on Tsvangirai   


Basildon Peta
          December 10 2005 at 02:11PM

      The Zimbabwe High Court has overturned the suspension of Movement for
Democratic Change (MDC) leader Morgan Tsvangirai by senior members of his
party who differed with him on the issue of participation in a newly
introduced upper house, the senate.

      A faction of the MDC led by its party secretary-general, Welshman
Ncube, and Tsvangirai's deputy, Gibson Sibanda, recently suspended
Tsvangirai for breaching the party's constitution after he overturned a
narrow party vote to participate in the senate project.

      Tsvangirai rejected the suspension and the pro-senate faction
petitioned the High Court for an order to enforce it.

      In their application, filed by MDC deputy secretary-general, Gift
Chimanikire, the pro-senate faction asked the High Court to order Tsvangirai
to surrender all party property in his possession and refrain from visiting
party offices or carrying out any party business.

       But Judge Junus Omerjee dismissed the pro-senate faction's
application with costs on Friday morning.

      The judge said he would provide detailed reasons later. Tsvangirai's
lawyer, Selby Hwacha, confirmed the judge's ruling.

      In a statement, Tsvangirai applauded the judgment and thanked the
people of Zimbabwe for rallying behind him.

      Tsvangirai lobbied for a boycott of the poll and later said he had
been vindicated after the lowest-ever number of Zimbabweans to vote in any
election reported for the senate polls.

      "It is common cause that all democratic struggles are known to be
associated with detractators and divisionists," said Tsvangirai.

      "These are normal diversionary tactics deployed by the enemy to slow
down the people's revolution and quest for democratic dispensation."

      Tsvangirai bemoaned the crisis in Zimbabwe, which he said continued to
escalate, with the price of wheat increasing yesterday by 2 000 percent from
Z$900 000 a ton to more than Z$12-million.

      The increase follows a sixfold increase of fuel prices to Z$120 000 a
litre. The hike in the price of wheat means bread will become a luxury for
many in Zimbabwe.

      Tsvangirai said the challenge for the MDC was to rally the people and
the international community to address the crisis.

      If President Robert Mugabe thought he had had an early Christmas
present in the form of a dead MDC, he would in fact face a New Year wake-up
call with a rejuvenated party to confront him, said Tsvangirai.

      Addressing party loyalists at the Zanu-PF annual conference in
southern Zimbabwe yesterday, Mugabe reportedly chided the MDC, saying its
infighting had revealed "the real character" of the opposition party.

      He accused the MDC of being driven by greed and obsessed with power.

      This article was originally published on page 6 of Sunday Argus on
December 10, 2005

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Zanu PF Functionaries Default On RDC Levies

Zimbabwe Independent (Harare)

December 9, 2005
Posted to the web December 9, 2005

Augustine Mukaro

ZANU PF chefs and war veterans who grabbed farms under the land reform
programme are being taken to court for failing to pay levies to Rural
District Councils (RDCs,) the Zimbabwe Independent heard this week.

Highly-placed sources said summons have been dispatched to more than 200 A2
farmers, the majority of them political bigwigs and war veterans who have
evaded levy payments over the past five years when they forcibly moved onto
commercial farms.

Association of Rural District Councils president, Jerry Gotora, confirmed
that farmers' reluctance to pay levies had crippled RDCs' operations and
capacity to provide basic services. He however could not provide specific
details on RDCs that had engaged debt collectors.

"I can't give you which RDCs have already engaged debt collectors now
because I am not in my office," Gotora said.

"But you should understand that it is within the RDCs' powers to engage debt
collectors or even lawyers to ensure that farmers pay the levies."

Gotora said he would be willing to provide specific details of what is
happening next week when he gets back to his office.

Sources said RDCs which have already forwarded names to debt collectors
include Mazowe, Shamva, and Mvurwi in the fertile Mashonaland Central
province where chefs stampeded to grab prime properties.

"Topping the list of non-paying people are A2 farmers," a source said. "The
majority have not paid anything from the time when they moved on to the

Levies are used for the repair and upgrading of district infrastructure such
as roads, clinics and schools.

But the newly drafted 99-year leases for occupiers of state land stipulate
that the lessee can only secure the lease agreement when they have paid
annual levies based on the type of land and improvements on the property
they occupy.

Government has the right to cancel the agreement if the lessee fails to meet
these conditions.

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The moral case for booting out Mugabe

The Telegraph

Simon Heffer on Saturday
(Filed: 10/12/2005)

The tales of yet more horrors coming out of Zimbabwe, with the opposition
now it seems emulating the brutal tactics of the evil dictator "Butcher Bob"
Mugabe, ought to prick the conscience of our Government. Sadly, as we all
know, the Government doesn't have a conscience, and this can mean only that
the morass into which this once happy and prosperous country is sinking must
get deeper and deeper. It won't be long now before our television screens
are adorned with films of fly-blown, starving Zimbabwean children,
famine-stricken not because of the vagaries of the soil or the climate, but
because of a conscious decision by Mugabe to destroy the nation's
agricultural industry. We have sent thousands of troops into Iraq to boot
out Saddam Hussein. The problems in Zimbabwe are entirely our
responsibility, because of the foolish way we decolonised it. If ever we had
a humanitarian responsibility to intervene in another country's affairs by
force, this is surely it.

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City Council billing water charges month in advance

Daily Mirror, Zimbabwe

The Daily Mirror Reporter
issue date :2005-Dec-10

THE Harare City Council has raised the ire of some disgruntled ratepayers
after billing water consumption charges a month in advance for water
supposedly consumed in December following a breakdown of its billing system
in October.
Acting City Treasurer Cosmos Zvikaramba yesterday acknowledged the problem,
saying the embattled council had experienced problems with its bill
generation programme.
Zvikaramba said: "You might be aware that we bill rates in advance, which
means that ratepayers pay this month for services they will receive next
month. With our water charges, you will notice that we have written on the
bills that the charges recorded may be subject to change. The problem lies
with our computers.
"The bill generation system we were using went down on October 31 and it has
to be upgraded by South African engineers."
He added that to bill for November, the council reverted to its old billing
system and some arrears were carried over from that month.
Asked whether his office had received complaints from residents, Zvikaramba
said: "The problem will be rectified as soon as our system is upgraded. We
cannot deal with it now because the Christmas holiday break is coming soon.
We have communicated the issue on this month's statements that the charges
are only initial. We are assessing water consumption queries from individual
Ratepayers who thronged the city's Rowan Martin Building to pay service
charges and rates said they were confused by the October water charges
statements. One Chardcombe woman only noticed in the queue that her bill was
written "January 2006".
A disgruntled ratepayer, Taka Ruzvidzo, of Msasa Park, queried: "They have
already charged me $200 000 for water consumed in December. Surprisingly, I
have not yet consumed water this month because we have not been having water
in Msasa Park since last week. So where is this charge coming from? I told
the cashier about the problem but he was not even aware of what was going
on. He insisted that I needed to pay up that fee or my water would be
The billing problem adds to other challenges faced by the city.
Harare is currently experiencing serious water shortages, forcing the
Zimbabwe National Water Authority (Zinwa) to ration the precious liquid.
Council has also gone for months without collecting refuse after the
withdrawal of private garbage collection companies citing sub-economic
fees and fuel shortage as the main reasons for doing so.
Furthermore, the council is struggling to repair burst sewer pipes that have
posed a health threat to the city's population.

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Marondera hospital faces drug shortages, staff exodus

Daily Mirror, Zimbabwe

The Daily Mirror Reporter
issue date :2005-Dec-10

MARONDERA Hospital is facing drug shortages and staff exodus, amid reports
that non-critical patients are being turned away from the health
The hospital's medical superintendent, Jervas Majok, told this newspaper
this week that the major cause of the staff exodus was poor remuneration and
working conditions.
"Non-critical patients are at times turned away due to lack of drugs and the
shortage of staff to attend to them timeously.
"Others are referred to other district hospitals and clinics to get
treatment," said Majok.
He said since November the hospital lost seven nurses.
"Nurses are experiencing housing problems after Operation
Muramba-tsvina/Restore Order displaced them. Some are now living in areas
out of Marondera," Majok said.
He added that the majority of the nurses had left because of poor
"Most of the nurses are leaving for greener pastures because what they are
earning is not enough to sustain them and their families. After deductions
they are taking home between $2,5 million and $3,3 million a month," Majok
The most affected hospital departments by the staff exodus were maternity
and theatre.
The situation is further compounded by the acute shortage of drugs, with
stocks below 25 per cent, which authorities said, was against the World
Health Organisation recommended minimum of 70 percent.
"The situation will be worse if a consignment of new drugs is
not delivered by January 2006.
"If the situation does not improve, other wards will be temporarily closed,"
he added.
The problems facing the hospital had seen many patients in the town seeking
medication from expensive
private health institutions.

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Mozambique police recover vehicle worth $1bn stolen in Zim

Daily Mirror, Zimbabwe

Court Reporter
issue date :2005-Dec-10

POLICE in Mozambique recently recovered a vehicle worth $1 billion stolen in
Zimbabwe when two suspected car thieves fled on being asked to produce
identification papers.
One of the suspects, Paradzai Matsambe (38), was arrested at his Waterfalls
home on Thursday last week.
Matsambe appeared before Harare magistrate Rodin Mzyece on Thursday and was
granted $5 million bail. He was also ordered to come back to court on
December 29.
Police are now hunting for the alleged accomplice Tanaka Macheka Nyabonde.
Prosecutor Lucky Mauwa alleged that on November 22 Winhoo John Ralph secured
his Toyota Land Cruiser and parked it at home,
but Matsambe broke into the car using an unknown object.
He picked up Nyabonde and they drove to Mozambique in the stolen car.
After entering Mozambique through an illegal point called Dumisa, local
police stopped them.
They were asked to produce their passports and car papers,
but they lied that they had left the documents somewhere.
 They then asked for permission to go and collect the papers and were
allowed, on condition they left the car.
When the suspects did not return, Mozambican police searched the car and
recovered their particulars.

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Economics for dummies

Globe and Mail, Canada


Saturday, December 10, 2005

The Undercover Economist:

Exposing Why the Rich are Rich,

the Poor are Poor --

and Why You Can Never Buy a Decent Used Car

By Tim Harford

Oxford University Press,

286 pages, $34.95

Economics has the power to bore the bright and to enchant the dull with
abstractions that have no counterpart in the real world, and policies
concocted by those who have never tried them. It is a discipline that gets
respect because its precepts ought to work, apart from frequent evidence
that they don't.

Tim Harford is an official of the World Bank in Washington, D.C. He also
writes a column for London's Financial Times Magazine. In The Undercover
Economist, he sets out to restore relevance to economics.

As he sees it, the failure of many theories to predict the real world is a
result of reaching to grasp small issues in spite of bigger ones compelling
attention. As he writes, "most economics has very little to do with GDP
[gross domestic product]. Economics is about who gets what and why. . . .
There is much more to life than what gets measured in accounts. Even
economists know that."

Harford offers fresh explanations for ordinary questions. He shows how
Starbucks gets away with charging $5 a cup for froth. His theory is that
it's not the cost of production that sets the $5 price. Rather, he says,
that's the price paid by the customer for being able to become a star for a
moment while a wish for a latte is fulfilled. Harford explains how
imbalances of information influence pricing when one side in a deal knows
much more than the other. For example, a seller knows the truth of a used
car's condition and the buyer wants a deep discount because he doesn't.

The Undercover Economist concludes with a discussion of globalization, trade
and economic development. Harford acknowledges the harm globalization can
do, but insists that protectionism does far worse things to people and to
the environment.

Harford demonstrates that the economics taught a generation or two ago is
old hat, stuff that should be put aside. For example, 40 years ago, it was
economics' vanity that the business cycle was dead, put out of its misery by
wise governments and their economists. Then came stagflation in the 1970s,
an economic debacle in the early 1980s, when interest rates went double
digit, and the currency crisis in the early 1990s, with its resulting year
of depression in Southeast Asia. The business cycle, credit cycles and trade
cycles are thriving, theories that they are dead notwithstanding.

A few decades ago, the World Bank operated in the belief that no country was
too much of a disaster to move up to developed-world prosperity. A village
in Laos could turn into Singapore in a generation with the right loans and
guidance. The theory asserted that with the right equations, poverty would
be licked. Harford doesn't say if he was part of this conceit, but he offers
a very different take on how entrenched poverty should be viewed today.

He takes on Cameroon, calling it "the armpit of Africa," a kleptocracy in
which the government has stolen so persistently that it has created an
economy in which the only work that pays is stealing. Officials steal from
visitors, from locals and from each other. An idealist would replace the
crooks with honest officials, but this would be a mistake, Harford argues.
He cites the work of economist Mancur Olson, who proposed that a wise
dictator bent on theft will leave enough capital in the country to keep the
economy running, the better to allow more theft.

But Cameroon has been bled dry, so is Olson wrong or are the crooks not
optimizing their stealing? This is a vital question, for kleptocratic
government is common in the developing world. (In the developed, too, some
would say, but I digress.) Harford offers only half an answer. A rational
dictator can pillage a country's wealth as long as he gets a superior return
from his stash in Zurich, still a popular place for kleptocrats to hide
their loot. Infrastructure maintenance is all very nice, but complete
destruction works very nicely too. If one needs another example of a
national looter who has turned government into robbery and destroyed a
formerly verdant economy, Robert Mugabe of Zimbabwe will do.

What to do? Harford is too decent to say it, but cutting off the aid that
gets stolen might actually force the crooks to flee to where they have put
their cash. Just a thought, of course.

Harford is a realist. He notes the argument of leftist critics of child
labour who would like to abolish factories that employ children in the Third
World. He argues that the kids and their families are better off making
money honestly, even if it is not much more than they would make in the
twilight economies of market stalls, crime and poaching.

That aside, The Undercover Economist is dulcet stuff. It should interest
both economists and schmoozers at Starbucks. Brief, chatty and digestible,
the book should refute the old canard that economics is dismal.

Andrew Allentuck writes often for the Report on Business.

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