The ZIMBABWE Situation
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Mugabe's soldiers swap barracks for farms to fight hunger

Zim Online

Fri 16 December 2005

      HARARE - The Zimbabwe government has begun deploying hundreds of
soldiers on state farms as part of a new Stalinist-style command agriculture
drive that President Robert Mugabe says is necessary to boost farm output
and end food shortages in the country.

      Addressing Parliament last week, Mugabe said the new farm exercise,
codenamed Operation Food Security, would see selected privately-owned farms
required to produce specific quantities of strategic crops such as maize,
wheat and tobacco.

      Zimbabwe army soldiers would also be deployed on farms owned by the
state Agricultural and Rural Development Agency (ARDA) to produce food under
the plan.

      Investigations by ZimOnline revealed that the government has since
last week been moving soldiers from various army camps to more than 50 ARDA
farms dotted across the country to grow crops there.

      For example, our reporters were this week able to witness hundreds of
soldiers being transported from the army's 3 Brigade headquarters near
Mutare city in Manicaland province to various ARDA farms in the province,
which is one of the country's prime agricultural regions.

      Senior army officers, who spoke on condition that they were not named,
said that the movement of soldiers to farms was being carried out

      "Our men will cover farms in Manicaland but the operation is
countrywide and each brigade will focus on farms in its zone," said one
colonel, who agreed to talk to our reporters.

      At most of the farms where soldiers have moved in thousands of
workers, except managers and those with special skills, have been dismissed
to allow the army men to take control of operations, our investigations

      It was not possible to get comment from Defence Minister Sydney
Sekeramayi or from Agriculture Minister Joseph Made on the government's
latest farming initiative that agricultural experts have said is certain to
fail simply because soldiers are trained to fight and not to grow crops or
milk cows.

      The experts also say that shortages of fuel and farm inputs that have
hampered civilian farmers would also hinder the soldiers from producing
adequate food to end severe hunger gripping Zimbabwe over the past five

      But State Security Minister Didymus Mutasa, who is also in charge of
land reform and food aid distribution, defended the use of soldiers to try
and revive Zimbabwe's collapsed agricultural sector.

      "They (the army) have been helping in other government operations. The
army has agricultural experts and the manpower and we are sure they will
come in handy," Mutasa said.

      On a visit to ARDA Odzi farm, formerly known as Kondozi farm and one
of Zimbabwe's biggest agro-export projects before it was seized by the state
last year, our reporters could see soldiers already taking run operations at
the farm that is located less than 50km west of Mutare.

      Some workers at the farm that had become near derelict since being
taken over by the state said they had been told to leave because the
soldiers would now be doing all the farm work.

      "They (soldiers) just sent us home without giving us our pay. They
said they were taking over everything at the farm," said Mavis Matongwe, a
former worker at ARDA Odzi. She said many of her colleagues had already left
the farm for their rural homes or to look for alternative jobs at
neighbouring farms.

      Zimbabwe has grappled severe food shortages after Mugabe's
controversial farm seizure programme destabilised the mainstay agricultural
sector, knocking down food production by about 60 percent.

      Once a regional bread basket, Zimbabwe has largely survived on food
handouts from international relief agencies for the past five years. An
estimated three million people or a quarter of the 12 million Zimbabweans
require more than one million tonnes of food aid between now and the next
harvest around March/April 2006 or they will starve. - ZimOnline

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Harare moves to set up law allowing passport seizures

Zim online

Fri 16 December 2005

      HARARE - The Zimbabwe government is frantically working to introduce
legislation to enable it to withdraw passports from political opponents and
critics, authoritative sources told ZimOnline on Thursday.

      President Robert Mugabe's government last August controversially
amended Zimbabwe's constitution to give itself powers to seize citizens'
passports. But the lack of an Act of Parliament empowering the state to
exercise the powers granted it under the constitution saw immigration
authorities this week being forced to return the passports of three
government critics they had seized.

      A senior legal officer at the government Attorney General (AG)'s
office told ZimOnline that state Registrar General Tobaiwa Mudede was among
senior government officials pushing for legislation to enable the seizure of

      "Since Mudede was told by the AG's office that it is illegal for him
to just take away people's passports he has been agitating for the required
legislation to be put in place and I can tell that the government is now
focusing on this issue as a matter of urgency," said the legal officer, who
spoke anonymously for professional reasons.

      The officer said it was however impractical that the government could
enact such legislation, which he said had not even been drafted, this year.
But he would not rule out the possibility of a decree by Mugabe to allow
seizure of passports while awaiting the required law to be passed by

      Under the Presidential Powers (Temporary Measures) Act, Mugabe is
allowed to decree laws for a limited period after which such legislation
either lapses or is endorsed by Parliament.

      Efforts to reach both Justice Minister Patrick Chinamasa and AG Sobuza
Gula-Ndebele yesterday for comment on the matter were fruitless.

      Immigration officers last week seized the passports of newspaper
publisher Trevor Ncube and opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC)
politician Paul Themba Nyathi saying their names appeared on a list of
people whose travel documents should be impounded.

      But they had to return Ncube's passport after conceding that they had
no legal right to impound it while Nyathi's passport was only returned when
a court ruled that the immigration department had acted without the required
legal backing.

      The government was still holding onto trade unionist's Raymond
Majongwe's passport which they seized on Wednesday but was expected to
return it.

      The Harare government says it needs to ban several leaders of the
opposition, journalists and officials of civic society groups from
travelling abroad to prevent them from campaigning for international
sanctions against Mugabe and top officials of his government.

      The Zimbabwean leader and his top officials are already under special
visa and financial sanctions from the United States, European Union
countries, New Zealand, Switzerland and Australia for failing to uphold
human rights, democracy and the rule of law.

      Political analysts say the seizure of passports of critics and
political opponents suggested Mugabe and ZANU PF, who boosted their hold on
power with a landslide victory in a controversial election last month, were
panicking in the face of swelling public discontent because of worsening
economic hardships.  - ZimOnline

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Zimbabwe police raid private radio broadcaster, three journalists arrested

Zim online

Fri 16 December 2005

      HARARE - Police and officials from the Broadcasting Authority of
Zimbabwe (BAZ) on Thursday raided the offices of a private broadcasting
company in Harare, seized computers and arrested three of the broadcaster's

      A lawyer of the broadcasting company, Voice of the People (VOP), who
spoke to ZimOnline by phone from Harare central police station, said the
reporters were to spend the night at the police station. But the lawyer said
it was unclear yet what charges if any the police would prefer against the

      "We are still at the police station . . . they said they want to
interview our journalists," said VOP lawyer, Jacob Mafume.

      The government's draconian Broadcasting Act requires radio and
television firms to obtain licences from the BAZ to be allowed to broadcast
from the southern African nation.

      VOP does not broadcast from Zimbabwe although it maintains offices and
reporters in the country. The station broadcasts into the southern African
country from the Netherlands and is one of several radio stations
broadcasting into Zimbabwe from outside the country.

      The foreign-based radio stations were set up by Zimbabwean
broadcasters unable to set up their studios in the country because of
stringent conditions under the Broadcasting Act.

      The VOP offices were once bombed by unknown assailants five years ago.

      Yesterday, about 10 plain clothes police and two BAZ officials stormed
the offices of the radio company saying they wanted to search for
broadcasting equipment. The police, who had a search warrant, ordered
everyone at the office to switch off their mobile phones and not to leave
the building until they were through with their search.

      The police also attempted to seize documents from the offices but were
stopped by the VOP lawyers who pointed out that the search warrant allowed
police to look for broadcasting equipment only. The raid on the private
broadcaster comes barely 48 hours after a vitriolic attack by government
Information Minister Tichaona Jokonya against the privately-owned media
which he accused of being paid by Western countries to tarnish the image of
President Robert Mugabe and his government.

      Jokonya threatened to take unspecified but tough measures against the
small but vibrant privately-owned media. - ZimOnline

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Lawyer accuses resettled black farmer of extortion

Zim online

Fri 16 December 2005

      HARARE - A lawyer representing a Chegutu farmer who was arrested
earlier this week for allegedly destroying a neighbour's seed maize crop on
Thursday turned on the complainant accusing him of extortion and blackmail.

      Thomas Beattie was arrested on Monday in the small farming town of
Chegutu, about 100km west of Harare, after he was accused by a resettled
black farmer, Mashava Mugwagwa, of destroying his maize seed crop.

      But Beattie, who spent two days in custody, was released on Wednesday
after Mugwagwa withdrew charges in the "spirit of good neighbourliness".

      A lawyer who represented Beattie in court, Ozias Musamirapamwe, told
ZimOnline that contrary to state media reports that Beattie had sabotaged
the resettled farmer's crop, Mugwagwa had sought to use blackmail to force
his client to prepare 60 hectares of seed maize contrary to their initial

      Beattie had entered into an agreement with Mugwagwa whereby the
resettled farmer would cede 10 hectares on an adjacent piece of land to
allow Beattie to increase his seed maize crop. In return Beattie would
provide seed, equipment and prepare a similar portion of land on the other
side of the farm for Mugwagwa.

       "Mugwagwa turned round and demanded that Beattie prepare 60 hectares
instead of the 10 they had agreed upon," the lawyer said.

      "Even the magistrate rapped Mugwagwa in court for trying to extort his

      Newly resettled black farmers have had an uneasy relationship with the
few remaining white farmers whom the government accuses of failing to accept
the new realities on land ownership in Zimbabwe.

      President Robert Mugabe five years ago violently seized large swathes
of commercial farmland for redistribution to landless blacks in a campaign
he said was necessary to correct historical imbalances in land allocation.
But the farm seizures slashed food production by 60 percent as the new black
farmers lack sufficient skills and experience to maintain production on the
farms. - ZimOnline

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Mugabe goes back to the 70s on CD of speeches

      Andrew Meldrum in Pretoria
      Friday December 16, 2005
      The Guardian

      President Robert Mugabe is aiming to be top of the pops in Zimbabwe
with a CD of speeches that will be promoted as "good home entertainment".
      Mugabe Speaks, a compilation, will also "be useful to scholars", said
Webster Shamu, minister of policy implementation and a former disc jockey.
Some of the speeches are from the late-1970s, when Mr Mugabe was leading the
nationalist war against Rhodesia's white minority rule.

      It is not known how much the disc will cost: with inflation above
500%, shops increase their prices at least once a week.

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Obasanjo, Govs Meet on Zimbabwe Farmers

This Day, Nigeria

From Tunde Sanni in Ilorin, 12.15.2005

Impressed by the success of the commercial farming initiative of Governor
Bukola Saraki of Kwara State, President Olusegun Obasanjo would today hold a
retreat with all the state governors in Kaduna to explore the possibility of
replicating  the initiative in  other states.
Already, two states, Nassarawa and Oyo have expressed willingness to embrace
the commercial farming idea and have directed the pioneers of the programme
in Tsonga, Kwara State, the Commercial Farmers Union {CFU} to come over to
their respective states to commence the programme.
The Minister of Agriculture, Alhaji Adamu Bello who led Governor Adamu
Abdullahi of Nassarawa State and the Deputy Governors of Oyo, Kaduna and
Kogi, Mr. Adebayo Alao Akala, Mr. Patrick Yakoha and Mr. Phillips Salawu
told newsmen at the end of a day summit to understudy the Zimbabwean Farmers
in Tsonga hinted that the retreat with Obasanjo and the governors would
discuss among other things explore funding/interest rates as well as the
problems confronting the white farmers.
Prior to the retreat, Adamu had disclosed that the Presidency after his
visit to the state to assess the progress of the Zimbabwe Farmers had met
with the expatriate farmers at Aso Rock where he had recommended the
commercial farming initiative to 12 states and had directed them come to
Kwara to see things for themselves.
The minister who was fielding questions from newsmen shortly after the
meeting stated that the retreat would also involve the governor of the
Central Bank of Nigeria and other bank chiefs in the country with a view to
securing formal official interest ceiling on all agric loans.
He stressed that in its determination to ensure the success of the White
Farmers programme, the federal government had set up a technical committee
to advise and added that funding would play critical roles in the success of
the programme.
Bello admitted the problem poor power supply can generate for the
agriculture policy of the government and added that a federal government
committee is now at work to look into how the current power supply
generation in the country can be improved upon.
On the embrace of the commercial farmers initiative by the governments of
Nassarawa and Oyo, the minister assured that the Zimbabweans currently in
Kwara shall not be dislocated to any other state but rather shall invite
their fellow displaced countrymen to the interested states.
Bello praised the white farmers for putting the nation on the world map of
agriculture revolution and added that agriculture remained the mainstay of
the nation's economy, "it is growing at a faster rate because it holds the
key to job creation and poverty reduction."
Visiting Nassarawa State Governor, Abdullahi Adamu expressed excitement at
the prospects of the commercial farming initiative and said, "from today, I
wish to announce to you that the government and people of Nassarawa State
having come and seen the good efforts of these farmers and what they have
done within 10months which we cannot do in 10 years we are on board."
He assured that all the obstacles that may impede the successful take off of
the programme in his state shall be taken out, "and I want to promise that
we will be there in the next planting season.
Host governor, Bukola Saraki exuded happiness that the commercial farming
initiative was now being embraced by the country and assured that his
government shall not disappoint in playing leading role in the economic
development of the country.

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Mbeki Pressured Harare To Return Ncube's Passport

Zim Daily

            Friday, December 16 2005 @ 12:05 AM GMT
            Contributed by: correspondent

            Acting President Joseph Msika, pressured from Pretoria, summoned
Attorney General Sobusa Ndebele to his offices Thursday for a strong
dressing down on the illegal seizure of Trevor Ncube's passport. Official
sources told zimdaily that an irate Msika, who has received generous
coverage in Ncube's Zimbabwe Independent newspaper, was pressured from
President Thabo Mbeki's office to return the seized passport on grounds that
the issue had attracted unnecessary international hostility and would negate
efforts made by Harare to end its isolation in the community of nations.

            Government's dramatic climbdown shocked observers, more-so as
government moved in to seize the passport of firebrand activist Raymond
Majongwe. Ncube's passport was released before an application for its return
lodged by his lawyer was heard by the High Court. The attorney general said
he was not contesting his application to the court.

            Although the official line was that it was illegal to impound
the passport in the absence of an Act of Parliament empowering the state to
withdraw citizens' travel documents, zimdaily heard that pressure had been
brought to bear on Msika from South Africa, prompting the release of the
travel document. Ncube remains a major player in the South African media
industry and his M&G has been shaping events in South Africa recently.

            Ncube bought into South Africa's leading independent newspaper,
the Mail&Guardian in 2002 and relocated to Johannesburg where he took over
as chairman and chief executive of the newspaper from Chief Executive Govin
Reddy. Ncube snapped up a a majority share of 87,5% in the Mail&Guardian's
publishing company MG Media from London-based Guardian Newspapers Limited.
The Guardian continues to hold a 10% stake in the newspaper. As part of the
deal, Ncube also acquire 35% of the Mail&Guardian Online, the internet
publication of the Mail&Guardian newspaper. The other 65% is owned by
internet service provider M-Web, the largest player in the South African
dial-up subscriber market.

            The M&G has recently taken a sympathetic line to Jacob Zuma's
rape allegations and sources said this attracted sympathy from Pretoria.
Although Ncube denied lobbying anyone for the release of his passport,
zimdaily heard that there was intense lobbying behind the scenes to have the
passport returned.

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Agriculture Zim's Escape Route

The Herald (Harare)

December 14, 2005
Posted to the web December 15, 2005


ZIMBABWE, facing astronomical increases in prices of basic commodities, has
one clear escape route -- massive food production.

This was highlighted by President Mugabe in his State of the Nation Address
in Parliament two weeks ago when he said:

"Resuscitation of agriculture to ensure food security, generation of foreign
currency, increased industrial productivity, infrastructure development and
sustainable growth in energy supplies, remains the priority of Government.

"Let us go into the New Year with renewed vigour, firstly to guarantee our
nation food self-sufficiency and a surplus for export; and secondly to work
hard to grow our economy to commanding heights. We have the natural
resources in abundance. Let our energies as indeed our virtues also be
abundant and operate under the bond of unity!"

Despite recurrent droughts, the country has the land, vast quantities of
dammed water for irrigation, both on the surface and underground, and a
committed Government that has tirelessly sought to oil the agricultural
sector through funding.

The usually marginalised communal and A1 (small-scale) farmers were, for
instance, allocated $1 trillion for inputs, irrigation, horticulture, dairy
farming, cropping and livestock rearing.

President Mugabe's call for "renewed vigour" is a rallying call to arms for
dedicated economic revolutionaries who are prepared to sweat for the
prosperity of the nation and not that of individuals.

The selfless revolutionary cadres should have the zeal to develop the
country equal to that of freedom fighters who took up arms to liberate the
country from the yoke of colonialism and political oppression.

Because the benefits of this new revolution will accrue to every individual
in the form of more food, jobs and general development, all are called to
play their role, however small.

Indeed, some progress has been made, but the battle for economic
independence is being retarded by some individuals who are still bogged down
in a political fight that has very little to do with Zimbabwe's
consolidation of its sovereignty.

As brothers, this is not the time to tear each other's throats to lay claim
to the seat of power whose inheritor shall come from the resolve of the
combined masses of Zimbabwe under a democratic process of the ballot box.

If the people of Zimbabwe shall agree to disagree and unite their energies
to feed their families, communities and the nation as a whole, then the
problems that plague them would be easier to solve.

Appeals for unity of purpose have been too numerous to mention that it is
surely high time the people of Zimbabwe set sight on their development.

President Mugabe has re-emphasised that accountability by various
ministries -- for example, as expounded in the 2006 Budget -- is also
another critical component to the country's economic revival.

"United we stand, divided we fall," says an old adage that has spurred many
people to various political and socio-economic victories over the centuries.

Because Zimbabwe's strength and source of prosperity lies in agriculture, it
is important that, as President Mugabe rightly points out, this sector be
revived as a matter of urgency.

It is only that vigour that seems to be lacking in many Zimbabweans -- the
vigour of dedicated patriots eager to stand out and be counted.

Many great nations that one many of us find admirable have all come from a
strong unity of purpose to stand up and be counted.

Japan, for instance, despite being completely devastated by two atomic bombs
at Hiroshima and Nagasaki during the Second World War, rose from the ashes
to become one of the world's most advanced nations.

Horst Kohler, the managing director of the International Monetary Fund,
acknowledges that: "The economic performance of this country (Japan) over
the past 50 years has been a remarkable tribute to the energy and creativity
of the Japanese people.

"At the time Japan joined the IMF, it was still recovering from the
devastation of World War II. In subsequent decades it grew and prospered,
transforming itself into an industrial and technological powerhouse.

"Now Japan is one of the wealthiest nations in the world, and the second
largest shareholder in both the IMF and the World Bank.

"At a time when there sometimes seems to be too much pessimism, Japan's
accomplishments during 50 years of membership in the IMF should be a source
of pride, and of confidence that this country has the capacity to respond to
the challenges of the future."

Zimbabwe, which starts off from a much firmer footing than Japan, has a
brighter chance to be among Africa's highly developed nations.

But this is only possible if, like the Japanese, Zimbabweans unite their
energy and creativity to develop the country.

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Zinwa Tariffs Unsustainable - Farmers

The Herald (Harare)

December 14, 2005
Posted to the web December 15, 2005


MANY farmers may find it difficult to cope with the new water tariffs which
the Zimbabwe National Water Authority (Zinwa) introduced from November 1,
2005 given the fact that they have been struggling to pay their bills even
before the increases.

Zinwa assistant public relations officer Mr Nicholas Mukarakate recently
revealed that the water tariffs rose from $55 000 per megalitre to $190 000
(about 19 cents per litre) for the same volume of water for those farmers
who use the water on a commercial basis.

"The communal pump scheme price also rose from $30 000 per megalitre to $104
000 per megalitre while the communal gravity class (comprising the water
that flows naturally by gravity) rose from $25 000 per megalitre to $86 300
per megalitre.

"The increase is designed to enable Zinwa to remain operational while making
sure that water, as a social and economic good, is stored, used properly and
sparingly and distributed evenly to all users in a manner that ensures that
everybody gets the right quality of the commodity," Mr Mukarakate said.

Nonetheless, farmers feel otherwise.

In recent interviews in some of the country's top farming provinces of
Mashonaland East, West and Central, the Midlands and Manicaland, farmers
confessed that the water bills they were paying to the water authority were
just astronomic and unsustainable.

The Member of Parliament for Chipinge South in Manicaland, Cde Enock
Porusingazi, who is farming in the Chipangayi area of the Middle Sabi
Valley, said other farmers in the area were finding it difficult to pay
their water bills, which usually came at irregular intervals.

He said the prospects of Zinwa stopping some of the farmers from using the
water until they made their payments were firming by the day and that would
affect production.

Other farmers from Mashonaland highlighted that the costs of running an
irrigation system including the electricity and maintenance costs were
generally too high to leave the farmer with reasonable profit margins to
fund further farming projects.

In fact, their general impression is that electricity and water charges
needed to be reviewed downwards for the benefit of agriculture lest there
would be no continuity in the industry.

Most farmers were fortunate to inherit irrigation infrastructure when the
land resettlement programme was implemented but the costs of rehabilitating
the pipes, pumps, sprinklers and even engines have been prohibitive.

Those who managed to have them operational have found it difficult to pay
the bills they accumulate throughout months of crop irrigation.

As a result, many water bodies have been left unused on farms that used to
have irrigation with farmers cowering from the expenses that accompany

Some farmers have even stopped irrigating because they are afraid they may
continue piling debts that may later attract legal battles with Zinwa.

Most farmers contend that the water they use for irrigating and watering
their animals and other domestic activities on their farms is raw and not
treated and should therefore be cheaper than what Zinwa is charging.

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Moyo 'ghost' haunts State media

Daily Mirror, Zimbabwe

The Daily Mirror Reporter
issue date :2005-Dec-16

THE "ghost" of former Information Minister Jonathan Moyo is strolling in the
official media organisations following calls at the just-ended 8th Zanu PF
national people's conference in Esigodini that employees perceivably linked
to him be sniffed out.
There were strong feelings from the conference's information and publicity
committee that the government should get rid of all those thrust into employ
and strategic positions by Moyo.
The committee said Moyo made the appointments for personal gain and at the
expense of national interests and development.
Presenting recommendations after a meeting of the committee, Zanu PF deputy
national spokesperson Ephraim Masawi called on the government to clean up
the State media and other government-run information structures.
"Your Excellency and delegates, we feel there is need for the government to
revisit all party and government structures and weed out all elements that
supported former minister of information Jonathan Moyo," Masawi, the
Governor and Resident Minister of Mashonaland Central, said.
"There is need to restructure these organs of information dissemination and
rid them of these elements because they are the greatest undoing to the
current efforts to turnaround the party and government revamping exercise of
the information dissemination.
"Jonathan Moyo was doing things for his personal gain at the expense of the
government and people of Zimbabwe. We believe the elements that he left
behind could be doing the same and prejudicing the State. That is why we
urge the government to revisit all those organs and clean them up."
Masawi then stressed the need for the information ministry and Zanu PF's
information department to work together in countering bad reportage by the
international press.
"We also believe that the ministry of information and the party's
information and publicity department should work together to counter adverse
media publicity by the international media," he said.
Masawi said it had also been resolved to appoint a spokesperson for the
party Presidium, saying this would assist in updating members on decisions
made by political hierarchy.
"This is the person who would be responsible for linking party members with
the presidium as well as releasing relevant information from the presidium,"
he said.
Moyo was dismissed as Information and Publicity minister early this year
after defying Zanu PF regulations not to stand in Tsholotsho as the party
had reserved that seat for a woman candidate.
Moyo stood and won the seat as an independent.
The anti-Moyo sentiments have been gathering momentum of late.
Speaking in Parliament on Wednesday, Makonde MP and chairman of the
parliamentary portfolio committee on Transport and Communication Leo Mugabe,
fired a broadside at Moyo, lambasting him for the manner in which he
embarked on the unbundling of ZBC
and created Strategic Business Units with several chief executive officers
under the a new Zimbabwe Broadcasting Holdings (ZBH).
Contributing to the national budget debate presented to the House of
Assembly by Finance minister Herbert Murerwa on December 1, Mugabe accused
Moyo of disbanding the ZBC into nine companies without providing seed
finance for their operations.
At the same venue, the governor for Matabeleland North, Thokozile Mathuthu,
presented a report on deliberations regarding social services saying party
members were concerned about the operations of a number of parastatals.
"The committee expressed dissatisfaction on the operations of Air Zimbabwe
and a number of parastatals. The national airliner has been performing badly
of late. It is understood that this is due to the shortage of foreign
currency," Mathuthu said.
"We, however, call on the government to look into this issue and come up
with a solution as soon as possible."
The national airline has in the past been forced to ground its fleet due to
lack of fuel blamed on the management's lack of planning.
She also suggested that the National Oil Company of Zimbabwe (Noczim) should
stop selling fuel to Air Zimbabwe in foreign currency.
"BP/Shell and other companies are procuring fuel from NOCZIM using the
Zimbabwean dollar. We wonder, as a  committee, why Air Zimbabwe buys its
fuel in foreign currency," Mathuthu said.
Also blasted was the manner in which the National Railways of Zimbabwe was
being run.
The committee indicated the need for the government to allocate more funds
to the railways.
"NRZ should be allocated more funds to purchase coaches and also revamp its
coaches. We urge the government to make sure that all other parastatals that
owe the NRZ pay back as this would improve its operations," she said.

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MDC faction restructures Chitungwiza leadership

Daily Mirror, Zimbabwe

The Daily Mirror Reporter
issue date :2005-Dec-16

THE Morgan Tsvangirai led faction within the MDC is continuing with its
restructuring exercise and recently reshuffled the leadership of the
dormitory town of Chitungwiza as preparations for the opposition party's
second congress gather momentum.

That faction's spokesperson and Kuwadzana legislator Nelson Chamisa told The
Daily Mirror: "Martin Magaya and Edward Musumbu have been elected chairman
and deputy chairman of the MDC in Chitungwiza province while Moses Tsikwa
and Tineyi Munetsi were also voted secretary-general and deputy
Wiseman Mutero is the new treasurer while Greenbert Dongo was elected
organising secretary with councillor Phineas Mushaya as his deputy.
Briton Manyonga was voted secretary for information and publicity, while
Thabani Mlambo and Evelyn Chinyerere were selected youths and women assembly
However, information reaching this newspaper is that the other faction led
by vice president Gibson Sibanda is set to meet next week to elect their
provincial leadership for Chitungwiza.
"We are meeting next week as the provincial council to elect the new
leadership into office. We do not recognise the so-called new Chitungwiza
provincial leadership. That is nonsense," said MP Job Sikhala of St Marys'
Last week, the Tsvangirai led faction elected Tapiwa Mashakada, Willas
Madzimure - legislators for Hatfield and Kambuzuma respectively and Tichaona
Munyanyi, former Mbare East MP to top positions in Harare.
Morgan Femai retained his post as Harare province chairperson.
Mashakada deputises Femai, while Munyanyi and Madzimure were elected
organising secretary and secretary for information and publicity.
Budiriro legislator and out-going chair of MDC Harare province, Gilbert
Shoko, is the new treasurer- general.

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Chitungwiza health department fails to procure drugs

Daily Mirror, Zimbabwe

The Daily Mirror Reporter
issue date :2005-Dec-16

EMBATTLED Chitungwiza City Council's health department is failing to procure
drugs from National Pharmaceutical Company (NATPHARM) because of funding
crisis bedevilling the municipality, the city's director for health
services, Mike Simoyi has said. "We (Chitungwiza health department) have
been handicapped by the fact that we do not have enough funding to procure
the necessary drugs from Natpharm for our clinics," said Simoyi.
Asked what his department had done to ease the drug shortages at the
clinics, Simoyi said the council had approached non-governmental
organisations (NGOs) for assistance.
The council has been facing financial problems for the past year.
Employees of late went for months without salaries, while council projects
were suspended because of the financial crisis.

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No takers for council vacancies

Daily Mirror, Zimbabwe

The Daily Mirror Reporter
issue date :2005-Dec-16

HARARE City Council has failed to attract takers for vacant managerial posts
within its new Strategic Business Units (SBUs) and Utilities department
created under the turnaround programme because of poor incentives, insiders
have said.
A highly-placed source said there had been "insignificant" responses to the
vacancies after council flighted adverts in the Press two weeks ago.
"The responses have been very poor and it's likely going to affect the
implementation of the programme. Besides those posts, council has also been
finding it difficult to fill other vacant posts in the past mainly due to
poor remuneration," the source said.
He added that this was likely to affect the programme's implementation if
competent and qualified staff were not hired to fill the void.
"Council has always been facing problems in retaining competent staff and I
don't know if the same problem will not affect the programme," the source
Harare strategist Chester Mhende, however, refused to comment on the vacant
posts, saying the issue was internal. He pointed out that council was not
only looking for personnel from outside, but also from within.
 "Those are internal matters, but you also have to know that posts are open
to all even those that are currently there. We are also very particular
about competence and ability to deliver," he said.
SBUs head Alois Masepe said the issue was not whether council would afford
the perks for the new positions, but on creating a new start for the
"These SBUs and utilities are there to generate revenue and as you know
there will always be that resistance to change," he said.
The city has set March 2006 as the deadline for the full implementation of
the turnaround strategy expected to bring back the sunshine status.
In August, city directors were earning a net salary of approximately $33
million excluding other perks like vehicles and cellphone allowances.
The municipality suspended its chamber secretary Josephine Ncube, director
of works Psychology Chiwanga, director of housing and community services
Numero Mubayiwa, and four senior police officers for various offences.

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Vandalism delays trains

Daily Mirror, Zimbabwe

From Our Correspondent in Bulawayo
issue date :2005-Dec-16

AS a result of a spate of thefts and vandalism of signalling equipment on
the country's railways, the National Railways of Zimbabwe (NRZ) has been
forced to delay trains.

NRZ public relations manager, Fanuel Masikati said vandalism of signal
equipment is rampant particularly along Dabuka-Harare and Bulawayo-Dete
sections where the perpetrators target equipment such as transformers,
copper cables, location boxes, circuit breakers and booster return
"Theft and vandalism of signal equipment - which amounts to economic
sabotage - is causing train delays, cancellations and even derailments
during this critical period of coal, fuel and grain movements. Equipment
replacement has significantly affected NRZ's ability to timeously move
freight between Gweru and Harare as the normal turnaround times can no
longer be achieved," Masikati said.
He added that theft and vandalism of signalling equipment contributed 45
percent of the total train delays in the past six months.
Masikati said because of the increasing thefts, the parastatal set up a
whistleblower fund meant to reward all persons who report cases of property
abuse, theft and destruction to the parastatal.
"The reward is given to the first person who provides information of theft,
which may lead to the recovery of stolen railway property. The whistleblower
shall receive a reward equivalent to 2.5 percent of the value of the
property stolen," he said.

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