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Daily News

Leader Page

      President couldn't be more out of touch

      12/16/2002 7:55:12 AM (GMT +2)

      THAT Zanu PF's conference in Chinhoyi at the weekend, much like the
one at Victoria Falls last year, was going to be nothing more than the one
huge feast for the party's leadership that it turned out to be was never in

      In fact, it came as no surprise that, as has come to be expected from
such "conferences", all it did was to endorse the suicidal course President
Mugabe is force-marching all of us along - apart, of course, from providing
a platform for the party president to exercise his gift of the gab, blaming
everyone else except the real culprit for the mess in which the country is
now in.

      There was one notable surprise, though. And that was Mugabe's
unrepentant, hate-filled and racist speech which, it must be pointed out
again for the umpteenth time, was the exact antithesis of the kind of model
non-tribal and non-racial society he told the world he was creating when he
first took office as head of government in 1980.

      At that time he made national reconciliation the bedrock of his
government's social policy in a Zimbabwe in which the past would be buried
forever, never to be revisited.

      Now, as he keeps harping upon the past, encouraging division and
threatening whites at every given opportunity, it is becoming difficult to
tell which is the real Mugabe between the one that spoke so admirably in
1980 and the promoter of hatred we are seeing today.

      It is even harder to tell whether it was a policy of convenience, or
that changed circumstances have forced him to genuinely revise that policy
or, even more worrying, that the nation has a schizophrenic case on its

      The temptation among observers to conclude the truth could probably be
the last of the three possibilities has been the strongest over the past
three years. It has now been made stronger by some of his utterances at the
Chinhoyi gathering which must have left everyone, except Mugabe's most
ardent sycophants, convinced that the President could never be more out of
touch with reality.

      When he launched his onslaught on white commercial farmers, letting
loose on them, under the command of the late Chenjerai Hunzvi and Joseph
Chinotimba, vagrants and common criminals glorified as war veterans,
everyone saw it for what it was: a last-ditch attempt to hang on to power.

      It was apparent he had correctly read the mood of the nation and
concluded that his party stood no chance of winning in a fairly contested
election against the infant MDC, hence the need to resort to violence to
achieve that end. But then again, everyone had hoped that as soon as that
end had been achieved, he would order a return to the rule of law. To date
he has not.

      As he himself confessed at Chinhoyi when he told delegates that white
farmers had "committed the unforgivable sin of supporting the MDC", there
was no doubt that the farmers were being both punished and discouraged from
bankrolling the new party.

      Mugabe has a perfectly genuine fear of losing power, a fear which he,
no doubt, shares with all those who have ever held high posts in his party
and government. Thus, his need to hold on to power by any means, though
totally unacceptable, is nevertheless understandable.

      But for him to say that from the moment white farmers showed support
for the MDC "we started treating them as enemies of our government and our
people" is to grossly misrepresent the truth.

      Enemies of his government, yes. Enemies of the people, no.

      All that the farmers were doing by donating funds to the MDC was to
show their solidarity with the majority blacks who had sent unmistakable
signals to Zanu PF that they had had enough of its misrule and its leaders'
patronising attitude. In other words, the farmers were merely playing their
patriotic role in empowering the majority against a black minority ruling

      There was absolutely nothing sinister in that since democracy is all
about creating optimum conditions for people to freely choose who will
govern them, which is precisely what the white farmers were trying to do.

      And for the President to say "we don't accept this cover that people
are fighting for democracy and human rights" is the height of illusion.

      That, Mr President, is exactly what the people are fighting for and
not, as you seem to think, to remove Robert Mugabe from power just because
he is Robert Mugabe.
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Daily News

Leader Page

      Let Mugabe keep his starving Zimbabwe

      12/16/2002 7:59:03 AM (GMT +2)

      THE first census results are out and they tell us what we all knew: a
lot of people have left the country.

      The census says there were 11,6 million people in Zimbabwe at the end
of August. That agrees very well with the Zimbabwe Election Support Network
(ZESN)'s estimate in February that there were then 11,9 million.

      Their estimate was based on two assumptions:
      - that as many people are dying every year as are born, because of
Aids. Many experts agree with this estimate, including those in the Ministry
of Health who were quoted by Dr Timothy Stamps late last year; and,
      - that a lot of people are leaving the country. We all know that.
      Because so many people are leaving the country, the ZESN estimate and
the census figures agree very closely.

      It is quite likely that 300 000 people left the country between
February and August and, therefore, the population dropped by 300 000 in
that time.

      It is possible another 300 000 have left since August, so that there
may now be only 11, 3 million people in Zimbabwe. We all know why they are
leaving. There are no jobs, there is no food and no one wants their
daughters to be called up into the youth brigades.

      Those who have left made the best choice they could see. We might
argue that they would have been able to do more to make the changes we need
by staying at home and working for them, but neither decision is easy.

      Maybe we should all be planning to follow them while we still have the
strength to walk to the border.
      It's no good waiting until you are too weak with hunger to make the

      We have it on the highest authority that President Mugabe doesn't want
anyone here who disagrees with him. Foreigners must keep their countries and
he will keep "his Zimbabwe".

      One of his senior sidekicks has said: "We would be better off if we
had only six million people, as long as they were totally loyal to the
revolution" - meaning our leadership and their party's interpretation of
"the revolution".

      He's being optimistic if he thinks he's still got six million totally
loyal followers, but it is obvious to us all by now that they don't mind how
the less loyal ones get out of their way: they can emigrate, they can stay
and starve or die in any of the quicker ways that people with degrees in
violence know all about. But the message is clear: they must get out of the

      So why don't we leave him his Zimbabwe? When it comes to a choice
between starving here or going to queue for food where people would at least
try to find us some, there's a lot to be said for joining the queues there.
We'd better make the decision before we find there is no food or fuel here
and we are too hungry to walk to the border. That situation is near now, so
we'd better not leave it too late.

      If we did make that choice, we would be creating problems for our new
hosts. Our neighbours already have a lot of hungry people to feed and eight
million or more extra will make their problem worse. But they try to share
out what food they have fairly. We'd be more likely to get something from

      It might be good to show them just how bad things are here. If we all
let Mugabe have "his Zimbabwe", there is a slight chance that the neighbours
might decide that Zimbabwe is a bit too big to be one man's private farm.

      They might decide that another land reform is needed, one that gives
enough of us a share so that we don't all go begging to them. They might, or
they might not, but at least we would have a better chance of getting a bit
of food to eat.

      We have heard that ours is an African problem and we should not be
looking for help from the man named after a toilet (you know who I mean: the
women's league all talk about him so much he must be their boyfriend) or the
one who spends all his time looking for terrorists to fight, because they
won't help us.

      They have other problems they think are more urgent. Our problem is an
African problem. Let's show some other Africans that it does affect them.

      It won't be an easy choice for them. They probably remember that when
that peaceable man Julius Nyerere decided the only way to solve his problem
with a difficult neighbour was to send his army to remove Idi Amin, those
rich people who talk so much about human rights didn't give him a cent to
compensate his pitiably poor people for the expense they suffered in order
to remove a threat to everyone's peace and security.

      The West won't lift a finger, perhaps because we don't have oil, like
Iraq. If our landlord was removed, they would probably heave a great sigh of
relief that he wouldn't be going to international conferences to insult

      But then if we all died quietly and he ran out of fuel to go to those
conferences, they would heave the same sigh of relief.

      But if we showed that we prefer to starve to death in peace on their
territories rather than being harassed all the way to the grave, then the
landlords of our neighbourhood might do something to prevent us crossing
into their countries.

      They might not do the right thing, but it would be better than letting
them get away with doing nothing.
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Financial Times

      Zimbabwe and Libya fail to secure fuel deal
      By Tony Hawkins in Harare
      Published: December 17 2002 4:00 | Last Updated: December 17 2002 4:00

      Zimbabwe and Libya have failed to reach an agreement on a new formula
to end Zimbabwe's fuel supply crisis, as President Robert Mugabe pledged to
"acquire the distribution points owned by multinational companies" so that
the government could distribute fuel itself.

      A Libyan delegation left the country at the weekend, after officials
failed to agree a new formula for financing fuel imports. However, the
state-owned Herald newspaper said further meetings would be held before the
end of the month.

      Five multinationals currently have downstream petroleum operations in
Zimbabwe -BP, Shell, Mobil, Total and Caltex. A senior executive of one of
the companies, who declined to be named, said: "We are not concerned. We
have heard these threats before. Our main worry is that our Zimbabwe
operations are increasingly unprofitable because of the absurdly low petrol
price and the collapse in volumes that are now little more than 50 per cent
of pre-1999 levels."

      At current parallel market exchange rates, petrol in Zimbabwe is the
cheapest in the world, retailing at around 5 US cents a litre. Economists
say prices would have to be increased at least five-fold to make the fuel
importing business viable.

      Addressing delegates at the ruling Zanu-PF party conference on
Saturday, President Mugabe criticised officials responsible for fuel
procurement, saying he had personally negotiated the supply agreement with
Libya's president Muammer Gadaffi.

      "Col Gadaffi ordered the Libyans to supply us with fuel, not in US
dollars, but in our dollars," he said. The Libyans would use the local
currency to establish joint ventures with Zimbabweans. But government
officials say the Libyans had found few attractive investments in Zimbabwe.

      Over the last few weeks fuel queues have again become the norm across
the country. One filling station in Harare's Mount Pleasant suburb said
yesterday it had last received fuel on November 29, while another in the
same area said it had received just 9,000 litres of petrol rather than its
normal delivery of 60,000 litres.

      Official statistics released yesterday show that inflation surged 30
points in November to a new high of 175.5 per cent. The figure, compiled
before price controls were imposed in mid- November, suggests that on an
annualised basis, inflation in Zimbabwe now exceeds 540 per cent.
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The Herald

Mystery over fuel funds

Herald Reporters
MYSTERY surrounds the whereabouts of the US$16 million provided by the
Government to Noczim last Friday for the procurement of fuel to ease the
worst fuel crisis to hit Zimbabwe.

No fresh supplies were purchased by the sole oil procurer resulting in the
fuel situation remaining desperate.

Sources said yesterday Noczim officials were pressing ahead with cash deals
and had used the US$16 million to pay outstanding fuel debts.

International fuel suppliers who demand cash upfront will only provide fresh
supplies when Noczim substantially reduces its debts.

However, Noczim managing director Engineer Webster Muriritirwa professed
ignorance about the foreign currency from the Government.

"What money?" said Eng Muriritirwa.

"I do not know anything about it. Where was it coming from? Maybe it is
still with the Ministry (of Energy and Power Development)."

Eng Muriritirwa could not talk about the fuel crisis, referring all
questions to the Minister of Energy and Power Development, Cde Amos Midzi,
who could not be reached for comment.

As the crisis worsens, Cde Midzi no longer wants to comment on fuel matters.

His deputy, Cde Reuben Marumahoko said yesterday he needed to be briefed
first since he was out of office for the whole day.

The veil of secrecy is infuriating motorists who bear the brunt of the

There are deliberate efforts by Noczim officials to ditch reliable oil
procurement deals in favour of shoddy and uncertain deals that can condemn
the country to permanent fuel shortages.

Noczim is planning to cut ties with the Libyan international oil supplying
company, Tamoil Trading, which charged for fuel in local currency under a
deal sealed by the Government.

Instead, the company intends to go into cash deals with other international
companies that demand foreign currency up front, upsetting the Libyan deal
in the process.

A delegation from Tamoil left the country on Saturday after abortive talks
with Noczim.

The delegation had been in the country for a week.

Sources said Noczim had also soured its relations with the Commercial Bank
of Zimbabwe (CBZ), although details of the differences were not available

CBZ helped broker the fuel deal between Zimbabwe and Libya last year and
renewed in September this year under which Tamoil supplied 70 percent of the
country's fuel needs.

It is understood Noczim withdrew $15 billion from CBZ and deposited it with
two other local commercial banks.

Sources said the move was carried out on the understanding that the two
banks would help Noczim source foreign currency to import fuel.

The fuel shortages that had vanished in the last two years after surfacing
in late 1999, resurfaced last week.

The shortages have grounded operations in crucial industries and important
service delivery departments, impacting negatively on the country's image.

President Mugabe at the weekend promised to personally look into the fuel

He told the Zanu-PF Annual People's Conference at the weekend that he would
look personally look into the fuel crisis.

"I am going into this matter in a serious way," he said in his closing
remarks at the end of the conference on Saturday.

Meanwhile, police recovered 20 drums of diesel and 15 drums of paraffin
after a raid on premises in an area popularly known as Greentrees in Harare'
s Aspindale industrial area.

Police spokesman Inspector Andrew Phiri said two people were arrested and
were assisting the police with investigations.

He said the police raided the spot after a tip-off from the public.

The culprits were selling diesel for $16 000 for a 20-litre container and
paraffin for an undisclosed amount which was obviously above the controlled

A drum can hold 200 litres of diesel or paraffin.

Black market dealers were capitalising on the critical shortages of fuel by
selling petrol for up to $1 000 a litre and diesel for $800 a litre to
desperate motorists.

The police warned members of the public not keep highly flammable liquids in
their homes as this was dangerous to people and property.

"The love of money should not go beyond the sanctity of life," Inspector
Phiri said.

The fuel crisis has forced transport operators to withdraw their vehicles
from the road, leaving thousands of workers stranded at pick up points
throughout the city.

The situation is so serious in some areas that the workers were seen waiting
for transport to take them to work as late as 9am or 10am. The situation was
the same after work and the workers were getting back very late.

Some of the worst affected areas are Budiriro, Glen View, Highfield,
Kambuzuma, Kuwadzana, Mufakose and Tynwald North.

The commuter trains and long buses, which ply the City-Mufakose and
City-Kuwadzana routes are now failing to cope with the increased demand.

Mr Felix Nyagumbo, a rank marshall at the Canaan/Western Triangle rank along
Mbuya Nehanda Street, said the situation had been bad since the end of last

He said the situation was likely to worsen if an urgent solution was not
found soon.

"We usually have kombis and buses on this route but now most of the kombis
are off the road because they use petrol, which is proving very difficult to

"The few buses on the route now have to cater for all the residents of
Canaan/Western Triangle, including those who used to board the kombis.
Unless fuel becomes readily available soon, people are going to continue
suffering," said the rank marshall.

Ms Martha Chinhengo of Kambuzuma, a businesswoman said she had suffered so
much over the last couple of days that she would stay at home for the
remainder of the week.

"I am tired of going through hassles every morning when going to the office
and every evening when going home so I will just leave it until after the

"Do you know that last week some people were getting home as late as 10pm?

"This is a sad state of affairs because whether or not you have your own car
or not, we are all suffering," she said.

Motorists have, in the past weeks been leaving their cars at home or in fuel
queues while others resorted to using public transport.

Operators in Mufakose, Mabvuku and Tafara have taken advantage of the
transport crisis by charging high fares during peak hours.

Commuters in these areas are paying between $100-$200 for a journey to and
from town, instead of $80.

The crisis has not spared emergency areas such as fire and ambulance
services in the City of Harare, according to Ziana.

"It is definitely a problem when it comes to fuel, though we have not had a
fire emergency in the past few weeks, ambulance services have been
affected," Ziana quoted a council official as saying.

"At times the emergency service department gets fuel from Mobil or the
municipal depot, but it is not enough because there has been a serious

The official told Ziana that the City of Harare ordered fuel for emergency
services and delivery was done directly to them, but for the past two months
no delivery had been made.

"They end up getting their fuel from the municipal depot which does not
operate 24-hours a day. Since they are a 24-hour service, their operations
are affected if there is no fuel," he said.

Fuel Talks Aborted

The Herald (Harare)

December 16, 2002
Posted to the web December 16, 2002


PetrolL supplies remained critical yesterday as it emerged that a delegation
of Libyan oil company Tamoil left the country on Saturday after abortive
talks with the National Oil Company of Zimbabwe.

Oil industry sources yesterday said the delegation was in the country for
about a week for negotiations with Noczim on the fuel deal between Zimbabwe
and Libya.

The sources said "nothing came out of the negotiations although there are
still hopes that something could be salvaged".

"The Libyans remain committed to helping us," the sources said.

A meeting of parties to the fuel deal is expected to be held by the end of
this month as part of regular reviews of the agreement between the two

The sources also revealed that relations between Noczim and the Jewel Bank
(Commercial Bank of Zimbabwe) "were no longer as cordial as before" although
finer details of the differences were not readily available.

The Jewel Bank helped broker the fuel deal, signed between Zimbabwe and
Libya last year and renewed in September this year, under which Tamoil
supplied 70 percent of the country's fuel needs.

Zimbabwe was paying for the fuel in local currency into a trust and
collection account at Jewel Bank on behalf of the Libya Foreign Bank and its
syndicate of lenders.

It is understood that Noczim withdrew $15 billion from the Jewel Bank and
deposited it with two other local commercial banks.

The sources said the move was carried out on the understanding that the two
banks would help Noczim source foreign currency to import fuel.

However, the deal flopped and the Government has been upset by the

Noczim has been reportedly pushing for cash deals with other international
companies to profit from illegal foreign currency transactions.

The sources said the Jewel Bank was not involved in the negotiations between
Noczim and Tamoil, although the bank has been acting as the oil procurement
company's financial adviser.

"It was rather surprising that CBZ, a crucial player in the matter, was not
part of the talks," the sources said.

When contacted for comment yesterday, Jewel Bank managing director Dr Gideon
Gono said: "I only got to know that there was a Tamoil delegation when it
was leaving the country. I will have to find out more about that."

On the current fuel problems, Dr Gono declined to comment and referred
questions to Noczim and the Ministry of Energy and Power Development.

"What I can only say is that fuel procurement is a process which requires
focus, commitment and undivided attention," said Dr Gono.

Both the ministry and Noczim have been silent on the matter and no comment
could be obtained from them yesterday.

President Mugabe told the Zanu-PF Sixth Annual People's Conference in
Chinhoyi on Saturday that he would personally look into the matter.

"The people we are working with are not happy that we agreed to enter into
this deal without foreign currency.

"They go to these companies like IPG where they need foreign currency, but
on Libya they drag their feet. That's nonsensical. Why offend the Libyans?
What for? What is it? I am going into this matter in a serious way," he

Industry sources also blamed the fuel crisis on attempts to involve more
local banks in fuel procurement.

"There are grumblings that CBZ has monopolised fuel procurement and there
are arguments that the task should be spread to more banks," according to
the sources.

Petrol shortages remained critical yesterday although a few filling stations
received supplies in Harare as fuel continued to trickle into the city.

Diesel is still readily available.

Long winding queues could be seen at the few service stations, which
received deliveries.

However, the queues were frequently chaotic as desperate motorists jostled
to be at the front.

Shortages have now reportedly hit small towns and growth points where
supplies had been normal.

The volume of vehicles on the roads has dropped significantly as motorists
have been forced to leave their cars either at home or in queues at filling

Business was brisk for commuter operators with fuel and some were allegedly
overcharging passengers.

Operators are charging $150 for a single trip to Mabvuku, Tafara, and
Chitungwiza during peak periods and up to $200 for trips to Mufakose and

Commuters to northern and western suburbs were paying $100 for a single trip
instead of the gazetted fares of between $65 and $70.

The Government has admitted that there were problems in the supply of fuel.

Motorists, industrialists and many other people now fear that the fuel
crisis could jeorpadise their travel plans for the Christmas holidays.

Most companies have parked their petrol cars and were now using diesel
trucks for deliveries and other tasks.

Industrialists say the fuel crisis has deepened and many businesses have
been grounded owing to the fuel shortages.

A filling station in Mt Pleasant only received 9 000 litres instead of about
60 000 litres which it receives under normal circumstances.

Chaos was the order of the day at a filling station along Robert Mugabe and
another along Mbuya Nehanda Street where petrol and diesel were available.

Motorists and commuter crews jostled to fill in their cars.

Others traded insults, which often degenerated into fistfights.

A litre of petrol continues to be sold at between $800 and $1 000 on the
black market, a price that has been stable for a week suggesting that while
supplies are not improving, they are not getting any worse.

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Resolute Mbeki sees off his leftwing critics

President's attack takes fight out of 'disloyal' dissidents in battle for
the soul of the ANC

Rory Carroll in Stellenbosch
Tuesday December 17, 2002
The Guardian

President Thabo Mbeki laid bare a resolve to rule South Africa for the next
seven years yesterday after rallying the African National Congress around
his leadership and cowing party critics who wanted to loosen his control.
Addressing the first day of the party conference, he made it evident that he
will crush potential challengers, and promised to accelerate the transfer of
economic resources to black people.

He was upstaged by the rapturous welcome given to his predecessor, Nelson
Mandela, but ANC officials said he had shown that he was dominating the
approach to the 2004 general election, when the ANC is expected to win
another five years in office.

An expectation that allies in the trade unions and Communist party will use
the five-day conference to "battle for the party's soul" by confronting the
leadership on its policies on unemployment, poverty and Aids faded yesterday
when they gave a guarded welcome to Mr Mbeki's speech, apparently accepting
that they are too marginal to resist.

Held every five years, the conference of 3,000 delegates has the task of
electing new leaders and debating government policy, but no significant
change to strategy or challenge to the leadership is expected this year,
despite the tension between the president and what he calls the

A national strike and street rallies were called before the conference in
protest at economic policies which have balanced the budget and kept
inflation low but failed to check the deepening poverty and unemployment.

For its 51st conference the ANC chose Stellenbosch, an Afrikaner university
town in the Western Cape considered the intellectual cradle of the apartheid
policy which was swept away by the ANC victory in 1994 and its return to
office with nearly two-thirds of the vote five years later.

Mr Mbeki called his critics in the party disloyal, and accused them of
accepting foreign funds and "other forms of persuasion" to act as an
opposition. "We must continue to rely on our membership and the masses of
our people to defeat these careerists who naturally are the heroes and
heroines of those who are opposed to our movement," he said.

"A manifestation of this has been the persistent practice among some of our
people to bad-mouth our country as loudly and as often as they can."

Referring apparently to the Eastern Cape, where the ANC left has been
accused of mismanagement, he said people had used money to buy votes and had
corrupted party procedures to capture power.

He blamed civil servants and their unions for not implementing government
policies. "Our national conference will have to improve the internal
accountability of our leadership as a whole."

Mr Mbeki, 60, is not a dynamic speaker and was greeted with polite applause,
and towards the end of his two-hour speech the delegates sang and danced
when Mr Mandela, 84, entered the hall and moved slowly to join those seated
on the podium.

Visibly vexed, Mr Mbeki did not smile when he attempted what aides said was
a joke: "Hurry up and sit down Tata," he said. Tata, which can be loosely
translated as "uncle", expresses affection or derision depending on tone and

Relations between the two men have grown sour in the past year since Mr
Mandela supported those prodding the government into distributing free and
cheap drugs to poor people with HIV. Mr Mbeki, who has questioned the link
between the virus and Aids, made two glancing references to the pandemic in
a list of diseases he linked to poverty.

He emphasised continuity with his popular predecessor by quoting repeatedly
from Mr Mandela's presidential address at the 1997 conference. But that text
is believed to have been written by Mr Mbeki, then deputy president.

Promising to continue the privatisation of state assets and other
market-friendly economic policies, he expressed hope for Africa's
"renaissance" and said an over-arching empowerment charter was needed to
give a bigger stake to black people.

"The bulk of our economy, including the land, remains predominantly
white-owned. Wealth, income, opportunity and skills continue to be
distributed according to racial patterns," he said.

He voiced hope of solving the "controversial issues" relating to President
Robert Mugabe, whose farm seizures have devastated the Zimbabwean economy.

"Like the leadership of the people of Zimbabwe," he said, "we are interested
that everything is done to address the challenge of ensuring a better life
for all the people of this sister country, both black and white."

Mbeki attacks agents of division
Posted Tue, 17 Dec 2002

President Thabo Mbeki launched a two-pronged attack on Monday on those
trying to sow divisions within the African National Congress-led alliance
and those preventing nation building in South Africa as a whole.

"Foreign actors" with significant resources were backing domestic
organisations in an offensive against the mass democratic movement and the
government, he said in his report to the ANC's 51st conference in

Some so-called watchdog groups had been enticed by funding and "other forms
of persuasion" to act as an opposition, Mbeki said.

According to the president, both the rightwing and the extreme left, at home
and abroad, hoped to build allied formations of political organisations to
mount a more effective offensive against the movement and the government.

"We have to wage a determined struggle to defeat all these manoeuvres as
part of everything we have to do further to strengthen the broad front for
reconstruction and development."

Although he did not mention any names, it seems likely that the far-left
Anti-Privatisation Forum, which has been volubly pushing a socialist agenda,
and the Landless People's Movement, were two of the organisations he had in

Mbeki attacks ANC careerists

In an apparent reference to the Eastern Cape, where the ANC's provincial
elections were recently nullified, he said people had used money to buy
votes and had corrupted the ANC procedures to capture power.

Mbeki hit out at what he described as the constant resort to lies to advance
immoral purposes, as well as the use of the mass media to camouflage corrupt

"We must continue to rely on our membership and the masses of our people to
defeat these careerists who naturally are the heroes and heroines of those
who are opposed to our movement."

Mbeki wants improved internal accountability

Another target for Mbeki's criticism were public servants and their unions
who were responsible for some of government's failures and whose conduct
undermined the attainment of the ANC's goals.

The failures included the embezzlement of public funds, lack of proper
control mechanisms and non-distribution of social grants.

"Our national conference will... have... to improve the internal
accountability of our leadership as a whole."

Mbeki dismisses notion of 'white marginalisation'

Turning to the recent spate of right-wing bomb attacks, he said: "The bombs
are but a delayed echo of a desperate struggle that failed, which sought to
perpetuate a social order that was doomed to extinction...

"It is clear that the forces of extreme racism have no possibility to
capture state power or to play a decisive role in the our national life."

Organs of the state would protect the people from all criminal violence and
defend the constitutional order from all unconstitutional acts, regardless
of who the perpetrators might be, the president said.

While preaching reconciliation, Mbeki made it clear that the wheels towards
a non-racial South Africa would not stop rolling.

Referring to "alleged white marginalisation", he said whites continued to
dominate the professions, management and the skilled section of the

This called for the intensification of the struggle for non-racialism.

"We must work to defeat the ideas that the transformation of our country
constitutes the opposite of and is inimical to national reconciliation, and
vice versa. These processes are interdependent and mutually reinforcing."

Mbeki calls for charter to explain BEE goals

He called for the adoption of a global transformation charter to explain
black economic empowerment (BEE) goals. This should form part of a more
systematic approach to transformation to help avoid the "unnecessary
investor panic" that followed the leakage of the draft Mining Charter.

Mbeki said the ANC would have to work to spread the understanding that BEE
was not a synonym for a less efficient economy, nor for less returns
relative to investment made.

"To combine the objectives of both deracialising our economy and achieving
its growth and development, we have to focus on the creation of new wealth
and productive capacity."

The president emphasised the need to transform the judiciary.

"We can neither afford nor allow the situation that our judicial system
loses credibility with our people as a whole, arising out of our failure
openly to consider the challenges that face the judiciary and the magistracy
in the context of the national transformation process."

Mbeki issues IFP a warning and talks tougher on Zimbabwe

The ANC remained committed to the rule of law and the independence of the
judiciary, he said.

In an apparent reference to the tension between the ANC and Inkatha Freedom
Party, Mbeki had this barely veiled warning: "...We could govern the country
on our own."

And in one of his strongest pronouncements on Zimbabwe yet, he said: "We
are... convinced that it is necessary to bring to a close the controversial
issues relating to our important neighbour, Zimbabwe."

The ANC would engage the Zimbabwe's ruling party, Zanu-PF, in this regard.

"In this regard, we are ready to engage both our ally and fellow liberation
movement, Zanu-PF (the Zimbabwe African National Union Patriotic Front), and
all others concerned to help resolve the various issues in a constructive

Mbeki repeated that the ANC favoured the current proportional electoral
system, despite the fact that a commission headed by Dr Van Zyl Slabbert
still had to report back on this.



 Zimbabwe's problems must end now: Mbeki
            December 16, 2002, 10:00

            Zimbabwe's problems must be brought to an end, President Thabo
Mbeki said today.

            "We are... convinced that it is necessary to bring to a close
the controversial issues relating to our important neighbour, Zimbabwe," he
told delegates at the ANC's 51st conference in Stellenbosch.

            "In this regard, we are ready to engage both our ally and fellow
liberation movement, Zanu-PF (the Zimbabwe African National Union Patriotic
Front), and all others concerned to help resolve the various issues in a
constructive manner."

            While putting a strong emphasis on reconciliation in his
political report to the conference, Mbeki made it clear that right-wing
terror campaigns and the undermining of the government by the left would not
be tolerated.

            In the wake of tension with the Inkatha Freedom Party, which has
axed two ANC members as MECs recently, he warned: "Both from a political and
constitutional point of view, we could govern the country on our own."

            Mbeki also said all South Africans need to take a stand against
those who seek to undermine the democracy of South Africa. In a direct
reference to the recent incidents involving the Boeramag he also touched on
the need to deal with the issue of global terror, especially in the light of
the recent Bali and Mombassa attacks.

            The judiciary is also high on the list where Mbeki says it has
lagged behind in keeping up with transformation in the country. He also
added that Afrikaans needs to be looked at and treated with respect as a
language of the country. - Sapa


Mugabe arrives at conference

Cape Town - President Robert Mugabe of Zimbabwe has arrived at the ANC's
national conference in Stellenbosch on Monday morning flanked by a big
convoy of motorcycles and cars, amid tight security.

The attendance of Mugabe will be a surprise to the ANC. At a news conference
on the eve of the conference, ANC deputy secretary-general Thenjiwe Mtintso
said Mugabe's party - the Zimbabwe African National Union Patriotic Front -
had been invited, not the president as such.

Beeld's Jan-Jan Joubert told News24 that Mugabe arrived at 08:30 amid tight
security. "His convey of about 12 cars was accompanied by six motorcycles.

"The bridge over Eerste River was closed to public traffic as the president
passed through. Once through the venue gates, the president moved inside and
access to the building was off limits to the media."

Other parties invited to the conference included Namibia's Swapo, Frelimo
from Mozambique, the Chinese Communist Party and the Cuban Communist Party.

Libya's Colonel Muammar Gaddafi was also invited, but there had been no
confirmation on whether he would attend.

Of the local parties, the Democratic Alliance and the Pan Africanist
Congress were not invited.

ANC president Thabo Mbeki will open the conference on Monday.

Daily News

      ANC defends Zanu PF invitation

      12/16/2002 8:35:21 AM (GMT +2)

      From Chris Gande in Johannesburg

      THE African National Congress (ANC) has shrugged off accusations that
it is legitimising the lawlessness in Zimbabwe by inviting President Mugabe'
s Zanu PF to its congress this week.

      Smuts Ngonyama, the ANC spokesman, said Zanu PF had always been
invited to its congresses in the past.

      "Our position is very clear. We have a relationship with Zanu PF as a
party and that is a historic relationship which dates back to the days of
the struggle," he said. The main opposition party in Zimbabwe, the Movement
for Democratic Change (MDC), has sharply criticised the invitation of Zanu
PF to the ANC congress.

      Paul Themba Nyathi, the MDC spokesman said:
      "We are surprised by people who keep on referring to South Africa's
'quiet' diplomacy. They are not engaged in quiet diplomacy. The ANC has
brazenly and openly supported Mugabe."

      The MDC, which has posed the greatest challenge to Mugabe's
22-year-old rule, was formed by labour union leaders and intellectuals more
than three years ago. Ngonyama, however, said the ANC also had a cordial
relationship with the MDC.After the disputed March 2002 presidential
election in Zimbabwe, Thabo Mbeki tried to get Mugabe and the opposition
leader, Morgan Tsvangirai to talk of a government of national unity but the
talks collapsed.

      Ngonyama said: "Although we have a relationship with the MDC, we don'
t, however, know the opposition party in the manner that we know Zanu PF."

      He said the ANC would continue trying to bring the two parties
together to solve their differences for the good of the country.

      Zimbabwe is currently facing a serious economic meltdown with acute
shortages of basic commodities, foreign currency and fuel.

      Asked whether there was any hope that the two parties would iron out
their differences, Ngonyama said: "It is difficult because it all depends on
Zanu-PF and the MDC."
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Gadhafi exerts influence in Africa
Tuesday, December 17, 2002 Posted: 6:26 AM HKT (2226 GMT)


BANGUI, Central African Republic (AP) -- The soldiers Moammar Gadhafi sent
to this African backwater speak no French or tribal languages -- nothing the
locals can understand.

When the Libyan troops want to make a point, they ram the safety off their
AK-47s and let the "click" speak for them.

Most visibly in the Central African Republic, the Libyan leader is putting
guns and money behind his decision to set his sights south of the Sahara.

Since deploying here in May 2001, Gadhafi's forces have saved the unpopular
Central African Republic president, Ange-Felix Patasse, from coup attempts
three times. Libya's prize: a monopoly on mining the country's lodes of
gold, diamonds and uranium -- although Patasse's government has denied it.

Covert Gadhafi roles are also alleged, and denied by Libya and its partners,
in the gravest wars now roiling Africa.

The embattled Ivory Coast government complains of outside backing in a
3-month-old rebellion shattering what was once West Africa's most stable and
prosperous nation.

Leaders of Liberia and Burkina Faso, both Gadhafi proteges, are accused of
funneling arms, cash -- and in Liberia's case, fighters to Ivory Coast

In Congo, where armed U.N. forces are trying to wind down a four-year,
six-nation war, the government says Libyan planes in recent weeks have flown
in arms, ammunition and tanks to a pet rebel group there.

"Liars," Libyan African Affairs Minister Ali al-Treiki responded over the

John Stremlau, director of the Center for Africa's International Relations
in Johannesburg, South Africa, says "Gadhafi has become a quixotic figure --
he's decided Africa is going to be his playground now that the Arab world
has ignored him."

"But he's not so loony that he gives troops away for free. He's not a
charitable organization," Stremlau added.

The conflicts are only the latest in Gadhafi's long African adventures. He
started them in 1969, with his own officers' coup in Libya, on the tip of
North Africa.

Alleged sponsorship of 1980s Arab terrorism led to international sanctions.
But Gadhafi has found himself free to dally for decades in his role as
Africa's godfather, without too much Western objection.

At times, he's fought African wars directly, as in Libya's invasion of
neighboring Chad.

More often, he's fought them indirectly, cosseting fledgling rebels into
full-grown fighters.

Wannabe-warlords Charles Taylor of Liberia, Blaise Compaore of Burkina Faso
and Foday Sankoh of Sierra Leone all got their starts in Gadhafi
guerrilla-training camps of the 1980s.

Taylor, who went on to launch a seven-year civil war in Liberia, remains in
power to this day.

So does Compaore, who ordered his best friend killed to take power. Sankoh,
a doped babbler who waged a 10-year terror campaign to win Sierra Leone and
its diamond mines, lost out, and awaits an expected war crimes trial from

At the same time, a generation of African leaders who have fallen out with
the West could turn to Gadhafi for money, guns and friendship.

The Libyan leader turned his back on Arab leaders in October, after the Arab
League refused to join African heads of state in condemning U.N. sanctions
on Libya for the 1988 Lockerbie airline bombing.

Now, the 60-year-old leader is throwing his energy and oil wealth into the
African Union, which he prodded into being in July, succeeding the old
dictators' club of the Organization of African Unity.

Gadhafi today has switched his Arab Bedouin robes for the African
gentleman's bou-bou.

The stream of African heads of state traveling to Tripoli has surged in step
with Gadhafi's African ambitions. Since September, 12 African leaders have
made the trip.

The Libyan-African friendships have paid off in promises of military
training for Mozambique; a $360 million economic lifeline thrown to
President Robert Mugabe's Zimbabwe, which receives 70 percent of its oil
from Libya.

Gadhafi's coveted returns: The respect denied him in the Arab world, a shot
at a statesman's role a la Nelson Mandela, and shares of the wealth knocking
around unstable, resource-rich Africa.

Gadhafi-watchers say they note a change in the aging, African Union-era
Gadhafi, who seems more focused now on propping up African leaders than
toppling them.

"If you look at Libya's foreign policy, Gadhafi has turned 180 degrees from
being this troublemaker trying to overthrow governments to someone who
protects the status quo," said a senior Western analyst. He spoke on
condition of anonymity for fear Libyan authorities could limit his access in

The Central African Republic is pointed to as prime evidence of that
theory -- although the alleged Libyan roles in Ivory Coast and Congo
rebellions would seem to shoot it down.

In Bangui, the Central African Republic capital, Gadhafi's mustachioed
soldiers man anti-aircraft guns. Libyan forces listen to Arab pop music in
front of rocket-launchers on the main road leading to the airport, where two
Libyan fighter jets stand ready.

Gadhafi's interest in Central African Republic dates to 1976, when he
explored uranium and other mining projects with self-styled emperor
Jean-Bedel Bokassa.

The deals fell through, despite a one-day conversion to Islam by Bokassa.

But there are indications Central African Republic's new leader, Patasse,
has revived the agreements. Earlier this year, his mining minister was
widely quoted as saying Libya was granted a 99-year monopoly on the
country's massive mineral reserves, including gold, diamonds and uranium.

The government subsequently denied the reports and banned all mining
ministry staff from speaking to reporters.

"I am not saying anything," was all Libya's most senior official in Bangui,
envoy Issa Moammar Baruni, would offer when asked about his country's
interest here.

Among locals, sentiments against Patasse's Libyan allies have swelled since
a November 2001 coup attempt.

Then, Libyans shelled northern neighborhoods of Bangui to stop the rebel
advance, said Gbossokotto Maka, editor of the Le Citoyen newspaper.

Residents show lone flip-flops, pools of dried blood and other debris --
evidence of loved ones killed by their Libyan allies, they say.

"Ever since the bombardment, Central Africans have had a grudge against
them. We refuse to accept them," Maka said. "These Libyans are mercenaries.
Even if the population is in front of them, they will fire. It means nothing
to them."
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Daily News

      New anti-Aids project aimed at youths begins

      12/16/2002 8:37:05 AM (GMT +2)

      By Henry Makiwa

      THE Zimbabwe National Family Planning Council (ZNFPC) has launched a
new community-oriented project to curb the spread of HIV/Aids.

      The project, known as the Adolescent Sexual and Reproductive Health
(ASRH) was set up at Magunje growth point in Hurungwe district in 1998 as a
pilot programme.

      It targets youths between the ages of 10 and 24 so that they can
access gender sensitive services and raise their HIV/Aids awareness.The
project urges people to have HIV tests and start constructive interventions
to curb the spread of HIV/Aids.

      Alford Phiri, the ZNFPC acting assistant director, said the youths
were the "window of hope" as research showed that the HIV/Aids prevalence
was least within the 10-24 age bracket.

      "The ASRH programme targets the youths most because they are the
embodiment of the country's hope and future in the face of the HIV/Aids
scourge," Phiri said recently.

      "There is need to educate the youths about responsible reproductive
health so that they can stay free of the incurable, deadly HIV/Aids. We have
noted that cultural barriers have often hampered dialogue on reproductive
health between parents and young adults and that youth generally lack
appropriate information on sexuality, hence we have devised the ASRH
programme to educate the youths."

      The programme employs trained cadres known as sahwiras who educate
youths in their communities about reproductive health and assist them in
making informed decisions about their sexuality.

      A sahwira in the Shona culture, is a very close (personal/family)
friend in whom one can confide. Sithokozile Simba, the ZNFPC assistant
service delivery director, said: "The ZNFPC provides bicycles for sahwiras
to assist them reach all corners of the district so that all youths are
educated about Aids. They also provide contraceptives and condoms though we
encourage abstinence among the youths.

      "Most young adults are not at liberty to talk with their parents about
sex and matters pertaining to sexually transmitted diseases because they are
considered culturally taboo. We therefore believe that if they can confide
in sahwiras, we can make some headway in fighting the spread of HIV/Aids."

      The ASRH programme is administered from the ZNFPC headquarters at
Magunje growth point which provides a clinic, study and recreational
facilities for the youths in Hurungwe district.

Daily News

      Media accused of not giving AIDS prominence

      12/16/2002 8:28:17 AM (GMT +2)

      By Henry Makiwa

      THE Harare Junior City Council has accused the Zimbabwean media of
concentrating on political issues while HIV/Aids ravages the country.
      The council, which is made up of high school students in Harare, last
week said they had set up a programme to place anti-HIV/Aids advertisements
in the Press and start artistic activities to raise awareness against the
use of condoms.

      Prudence Mazanhi, a Lower Sixth student at Mabelreign High School and
a Harare Junior Council member, said: "We know grown-ups may look down upon
us and refuse to listen to our advice because we are only children, but for
us saving the life of just one individual would be a great victory.

      "We also feel that the media has not played its role to its full
capability in fighting HIV/Aids. Lately they have been entangled in
political issues when Aids is clearly the country's worst nemesis at the

      She said when the media does talk about the disease, they do not
depict the true picture of how HIV/Aids has affected Zimbabwean society.
"Our council is working with the Zimbabwe Aids Network and, through our
partnership, we have observed the desolate work HIV/Aids has made out of our
country. Such pictures are unfortunately 'censored' in our media."

      Violet Karidza, another Harare junior councillor who is at Christ
Ministries College, said the advertisements and commercials they intend to
place in the media will encourage abstinence and self-control. She said:
"Our advice to the people is to abstain as condoms have been known to burst.
Our advertisements will consist of before and after pictures of people when
they are in good health and when they are emaciated and sickly after
contracting HIV/Aids. Others will show broken condoms."
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The Australian

Cricket in Zimbabwe out: MPs
By Julian Guyer in London
December 17, 2002

POLITICAL opposition to England's participation in World Cup cricket matches
in Zimbabwe is hardening, according to a survey reported by the BBC.

It polled 100 MPs from Britain's governing Labour party and found that 66
per cent thought England should refuse to play in Zimbabwe, which is
co-hosting February's tournament with South Africa and Kenya.
Only 18 MPs said England should go ahead with its matches in Zimbabwe, while
the remainder abstained.
Last week Britain's Foreign Office expressed its concern about what it said
was the growing humanitarian crisis in Zimbabwe caused by the policies of
President Robert Mugabe.
Michael Ancram, foreign affairs spokesman for Britain's opposition
Conservative party urged world cricket's governing body, the International
Cricket Council (ICC), to strip Zimbabwe of its host status.

However, Britain's sports minister Richard Caborn has always maintained that
the ICC, not politicians, should make the final decision on Zimbabwe.
The ICC sent a delegation to Zimbabwe last month, including its chief
executve Malcolm Speed and the chief executive of the England and Wales
Cricket Board, Tim Lamb, to inspect security arrangements.
The delegation's report was circulated to the ICC's 15-strong executive
board on Friday and its decision on Zimbabwe is due to be made public later
this week.
"The report from the security council delegation that went to Zimbabwe has
been circulated to all the member countries and we are collecting their
comments," said an ICC spokesman, who declined to comment on the BBC
"At the moment, until a decision is made, it would be inappropriate to
comment on whether a team should be travelling to Zimbabwe."
Harold Best, one of the Labour MPs surveyed, said: "I thought there should
be opposition to such a tour taking place in Zimbabwe.
"Cricket, the game of all games, calls for fair play and openness, and they
are not playing cricket in Zimbabwe, they are playing a kind of politics
which does not make any sense."
However former England opening batsman Chris Broad, who went on a rebel tour
to South Africa during the apartheid era, said cricketers should not be
forced to take a stand when British companies continued to trade with
"It is not right what is going on there, but why should England's cricketers
be singled out when there is so much other business going on in Zimbabwe,"
he said.
"If backbench MPs feel so strongly about it they should have a a word with
their colleagues who make the decisions and say 'We really feel it shouldn't
happen', and not only pull out England's cricketers but British Airways and
all other businesses who have dealings with Zimbabwe.
"It is incredibly unfair to single out cricketers just because they occupy
the back pages."
Pakistan played two Tests and five one-day games in Zimbawbe last month.
India, Kenya, Namibia and Pakistan have shown no hesitation at playing in
Zimbabwe, but Australia and England, the other visiting nations scheduled to
play World Cup games in Zimbabwe, have voiced concern.
Both the Australian and British governments have been severely critical of
Mugabe's policies.
Zimbabwe has come under international scrutiny over the forcible eviction of
white farmers, who owned more than 30 per cent of the country's most fertile
land before the policy to move them was launched in 2000 with Mugabe's
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Economic, technical agreement signed between China, Zimbabwe


      Xinhuanet 2002-12-17 01:54:38

      HARARE, Dec. 16 (Xinhuanet) -- An economic and technical agreement
was signed here on Monday between the governments of China and Zimbabwe.

      The agreement was signed at brief ceremony in Harare where the
Minister of Finance and Development, Hebert Murerwa, signed on behalf of the
Zimbabwe government while the Chinese Ambassador Extraordinary and
Plenipotentiary, Hou Qingru, signed on behalf of Chinese government.

      According the agreement, the Chinese government would extend a grant
of some 5 million US dollars to the government of Zimbabwe, which will be
used in alleviating some of the difficulties the country is experiencing.

      Murerwa expressed his government's appreciation of the Chinese
assistance, which he said would be directed towards developing agriculture
as well as supplementing government efforts to acquire food for its people.

      "As you are aware we have had a drought. We need funds to buy food
for our people who are facing food shortages," said Murerwa.

      "We also want to develop our agriculture to build the capacity of
our economy to face the prospect of an extended drought," he said.

      Murerwa said a large portion of the grant would be used to procure
irrigation equipment to develop the viability of the agricultural sector.

      "We worry that the drought may continue until the next year so we
want to be prepared for that," he said.

      Qingru said as a traditional friend, China was obliged to come to
the assistance of Zimbabwe during the difficult times it was going through.

      "It is a small assistance to help you overcome this challenge you
are facing. You can either use the money for importing Chineseequipment or
you can use it to purchase food from China to feed your people," he said.

      Qingru expressed optimism that the difficulties, which Zimbabwe was
going through were temporary and that it would be able to overcome them.

      "It is a challenge for the government and the people of Zimbabwe and
we are convinced that under the leadership of President (Robert) Mugabe you
will overcome them," he said.

      He said his country had provided numerous grants to the government
of Zimbabwe in the past 22 years and it was satisfied with the manner in
which these had been used.

      Qingru took the opportunity to reveal that 4,500 tons of yellowmaize
from his country were already at the Port of Durban in SouthAfrica and would
be arriving in the country soon.

      China and Zimbabwe enjoy strong bilateral relations, which dateto
the struggle for the liberation of Zimbabwe.

      A significant amount of trade takes place between the two countries
with Zimbabwe exporting the bulk of its tobacco to China.Enditem
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JAG Sitrep December 16, 2002

Johan Muller of Silver Oak Farm and his sister and mother were barricaded
into their homestead on Saturday morning by 50 war veterans and settlers
from neighbouring farms. The settlers had been attempting to incite the
workforce on the farm to strike for SI6 retrenchment packages, but they
refused. Consequently, the foreman was forced off the farm.

The settlers padlocked the main gate with their own locks, then cut the
back fence and attempted to herd in the Muller's cattle. Johan came out of
the building and chased them off with a handgun. The settlers then rounded
up the remaining farm employees and spent several hours "re-educating" them
before ushering them through the security fence and locking them in.  The
labour were forced to spend the night there, and were threatened with the
burning down of their village.

ZRP Beatrice, despite promising to respond at 07h30 in the morning, had not
appeared by the following day, and even turned down a lift from a
neighbouring farmer on the grounds that they "could not be seen arriving
in the vehicle of a white man".  At 10am this morning the settlers demanded
to use Muller's tractor to do their ploughing, but he refused. They began
to remove the vehicle from the shed in any case, and when he tried to stop
them, he was assaulted. Muller was kicked in the ribs, thrown in a puddle
and smeared with cow dung, whilst being threatened with a knobkerrie. The
police and a number of farmers arrived at this point and rescued him, but
the situation is not yet defused.

Muller does not have a crop in the ground, but does not want to leave the
farm because of his herd of several hundred cattle, most with calves.

Please disregard Question and Answer 12 in the legal communiqué sent out on
the 12th December. This information is not substantially correct.



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MDC Warns of Popular Uprising

The Daily News (Harare)

December 16, 2002
Posted to the web December 16, 2002

Ntungamili Nkomo

The MDC has warned of a mass uprising against the government, which could
lead to serious civil strife.The warning comes after a nationwide survey
conducted by the MDC which showed people were determined to take any action
possible to end what they called Zanu PF's oppressive rule.

Paul Themba Nyathi, the MDC spokesperson, said in an interview the survey,
carried out recently, indicated the masses were furious and fed up with Zanu
PF's dictatorship and were prepared to undertake any necessary action to
effect change.

Nyathi said: "In a nationwide survey, we established that people were geared
to take any necessary steps to bring about change, and as one looks around
the country, there are signs of resistance to Zanu PF tyranny.

"Mass action manifests itself in many ways, and the people are actually
ready for it," Nyathi said. The MDC cites mainly the lawlessness in the
country and the "deliberate starvation" of some people by Zanu PF, the party
in power, as the driving factors feulling anti-Zanu PF sentiment. MDC says
the government has shown no interest in the welfare of the people, most of
whom are seriously threatened by starvation.

The MDC has condemned President Mugabe and Zanu PF for allegedly sanctioning
brutal killings and attacks on innocent people by the youth brigade.

"We are seeing a regime that does not care about the plight of the people,"
Nyathi said. "They only care about funding the Border Gezi youth militia to
kill and intimidate peace-loving Zimbabweans." The MDC says for peace,
prosperity and the rule of law to prevail in the country, the people, as
indicated by the survey, will have to take action which might come in the
form of a civil war.

"The fat cats have feasted on what we have toiled, sweated and suffered for.
Let's all prepare for action, and we must come up with strategies. "Let the
fire burn because none but ourselves will bring about a better Zimbabwe for
us all."

This development comes against a background of calls for stayaways."It's
simply not true to say demonstrations have flopped. A revolution is, in
fact, a process. People must not gauge the success of a demonstration by
whether or not the demonstrators have dragged Mugabe out of office."Nyathi
said any action that had the support of the people could not be suppressed
by the forces of oppression, and that the MDC was synonymous with the
people, which meant that when the people took to the streets, it would be
the sign of an MDC-inspired revolution.

Daily News

      Skeletons of MDC supporters found

      12/16/2002 9:04:45 AM (GMT +2)

      Staff Reporter

      FIVE skeletons, four of them suspected to be the remains of MDC
supporters, were recovered by the police on Tuesday last week.

      The MDC supporters were abducted and believed murdered a few days
before the presidential election in March this year and their bodies thrown
into a disused dip tank in Lukona village, Nkayi.MDC officials who witnessed
the retrieval of the remains by the police from Matabeleland North said at
the weekend the police were led to the abandoned dip tank the previous
Saturday by the Zanu PF youth militia.

      The youths are alleged to have killed one of their Zanu PF colleagues
after a dispute. After the murder, the youths were traumatised by memories
of the crime, which they said kept haunting them. Community leaders in Nkayi
interrogated the youths, who confessed to killing their colleague, who was
only identified as Mazolo.

      "The information that we got from some of the villagers is that the
elders then reported the incident to the officers at Nkayi Police Station,"
an MDC official said. A war veteran leader in Nkayi, identified only as
Khiwa, accompanied the police to the spot.The MDC's security department
yesterday confirmed the discovery of the skeletons and said they had
photographic evidence showing the place where the skeletons were recovered.

      The department said it would use the photographs in their presidential
election petition.

      The British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) last week reported the
findings and said the skeletons of the MDC members were retrieved by Nkayi
residents and the police.

      The BBC said after the disappearance of the Zanu PF youth, villagers
in Lukona began looking for him and questioned other militia members.

      The militia members admitted that the body was thrown into the
derelict dip tank, but this was only after villagers had forced a confession
out of them by beating them up.

      The villagers then alerted the police who carried out an
investigation, leading to the discovery of the skeletons of the four MDC
      When interrogated by the police, the youths allegedly linked war
veterans in Nkayi to the murder of other MDC supporters in secret camps
established early this year ahead of the March presidential election.
Abednico Bhebhe, the MP for Nkayi, confirmed the discovery of the bodies and
the arrests, adding that he wanted to meet the police to discuss the case.

      Bhebhe, a member of the MDC, was himself abducted and severely
tortured by war veterans in Nkayi during the presidential election campaign.
Inspector Mthokozisi Moyo, the police spokesman in Matabeleland North based
in Hwange, could not be reached for comment yesterday.

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Zanu-PF Gears to Lure Back Urban Voters

The Herald (Harare)

December 16, 2002
Posted to the web December 16, 2002

Munyaradzi Huni And Innocent Madonko

ZANU-PF is gearing itself up to woo back the urban electorate so that it
wins the impending parliamentary by-elections in Kuwadzana and Highfield.

The ruling party also intends to make a strong showing in the 2003 urban
council elections, the party's Secretary for Administration Cde Emmerson
Mnangagwa has said.

In a report on the state of the party presented at the Sixth Annual National
People's conference, Cde Mnangagwa said the party's greatest task was to
devise an effective election campaign strategy.

"We need a think-tank and strong field-research unit that can gather
information on how to meaningfully reach out to the urban electorate.

"The party is revamping its commissariat work with a view to addressing the
real needs of the electorate.

"Our success in the presidential and rural district council elections is
testimony to the efforts of the commissariat," he said.

He said the party should not be lulled into a false sense of security
because the western world was still trying to remove the Government from

"We should not be lulled into a false sense of security for the western
world is not sleeping but has the sole objective of removing our
democratically elected President from power in favour of their stooges like
the MDC.

"The agenda of such western sponsored proteges is to reverse the current
agrarian revolution which we have dubbed The Third Chimurenga.

"It is therefore incumbent upon us to look seriously at the state of the
party in order to win the urban council elections in 2003," said Cde

He said the urban council elections were very crucial for the party, as they
would be a barometer of the party's strength and weakness in the urban

"For us to score resounding victories like what we did in Kadoma (mayoral
election), the party needs to be worker friendly, putting into place
cushioning mechanisms against transport blues, mealie-meal shortages, high
cost of living, unemployment, inadequate accommodation, fuel shortages and
so on.

"If the above problems are rectified, the party will win most of the 2003
urban council elections," he said.

Cde Mnangagwa said there was need for vibrant structures at all levels of
the party in both the urban and rural areas.

"In most provinces, structures are there from province to district but they
are non existent in branches and cells/villages.

"In Harare for example, there are structures only from province to the DCC.
This is not a healthy situation considering the fact that there are
by-elections around the corner in both Kuwadzana and Highfield," said Cde

He said the March presidential election was a milestone achievement for the
total emancipation of Zimbabwe.

Cde Mnangagwa said there was need for Zanu-PF to have a strong linkage with
the Government so that the party plays a supervisory role to the Government.

" . . . it will not be an exaggeration to moot the idea for the
establishment of a strategic think-tank for the party, which will be tasked
with issues like research, evaluation, advice and identification of critical
areas for implementation," he said.

On the land issue, Cde Mnangagwa said in the minds of many people, land
allocations were not done transparently.

"This should not cloud the great achievements made throughout 2002 as
highlighted in the Central Committee report.

"However, we need to address the issue of favouritism in land allocation in
order to retain the sympathy and support of our electorate.

"This issue needs to be tackled with the urgency and openness it deserves,"
he said.

"We need to be extremely careful because the enemy is devising all forms of
subterfuge to penetrate the party and rock the revolutionary boat."

The party was aware that some of the electoral promises had not been
fulfilled and would strive to honour them.

Meanwhile, the party raised close to $100 million in revenue from the sale
of cards and subscriptions between January and August this year.

Zanu-PF's credit rating has risen and its balance sheet is strong.

It has interests in various companies.

The party's secretary for finance, Cde David Karimanzira, told the
conference that there was a tremendous rush for party membership cards
before and after the Presidential election in March.

This was because of the massive membership and mobilisation drive conducted
prior to the poll.

Mashonaland East was the party's cash cow, generating $26 million in revenue
from subscriptions and the sale of cards.

It was followed by the Midlands Province with $18 million, Harare Province
($12 million), Manicaland Province ($10 million), Matabeleland South ($8
million), and Mashonaland West ($6,3 million).

Masvingo, Matabeleland North and Bulawayo provinces each generated $4
million from subscriptions and the sale of cards.

However, Mashonaland Central Province generated the least revenue of $2,7

Cde Karimanzira said the revenue from the sale of cards was expected to drop
drastically because most members had bought cards, which would expire in

The grants received from Government under provisions of the Political
Parties (Finances) Act increased from $50,4 million in 2001, to $76 million
in the current year.

Donations from friends and well wishers were the major source of funds for
the party.

They donated more than $406 million.

The party raised more than $974 million in 2002.

It spent $968,3 million.

Cde Karimanzira said the major expenditure items were the Presidential
election ($215 million) and acquisition of new vehicles.

The party purchased 65 vehicles worth $165 million.

It disposed of 27 old vehicles through a public auction and raised $5,3
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Daily News

      Epworth family feud turns ugly

      12/16/2002 9:00:36 AM (GMT +2)

      Staff Reporter

      THE Mumba family of Epworth allegedly destroyed a block of flats
belonging to the Sibanda family following a dispute over the ownership of
the land in the high-density suburb on Thursday.

      The land on which the flats were built has been at the centre of a
long-standing ownership dispute between the two families. Leonard Sibanda of
Stand 5103 Overspill in Epworth, alleges that the family of Dunmore Mumba
acting in cahoots with a hired gang, last week contrived to raze down the
flats in an attempt to evict Sibanda's family from their home of nearly ten

      Sibanda said on Saturday: "I was away at work for a week when my wife
called me to say our house had been knocked down by Mumba and his gang."When
I first came here, this place was virgin land and I had to work hard,
bulldozing the big rocks scattered around here and connecting the expensive
water systems for it to be a habitable site. It is so infuriating that Mumba
's gang just came and stripped down my fence and even cut down my fruit
trees." Sibanda says the improvements he had made on the site during his
stay were worth over $300 000.

      He argued that he lawfully bought the disputed stand from one Steven
Hwete for $17 000 in July 1992 and when he tried to change the stand's
ownership at the Epworth Local Board, he was told that he had to first
develop the premises by constructing a principal residential building.

      "I first built some cottages that I used to let out to raise enough
money to build the required principal residential building.All this time I
was paying for the rates and water to the local board, never ever did the
seller (Hwete) use a single cent," Sibanda said.

      He alleges that the police refused to arrest the culprits who
demolished his house because Mumba is an influential figure in Epworth.The
police officer investigating the matter, who was named only as Chemhere,
could not be reached for comment on Saturday. Mumba could also not be
reached for comment on Saturday.

      However, his brother Lazarus, said Sibanda was only staying at the
premises for free because he had been allowed to by Hwete. He challenged
Sibanda to produce the title deeds for the stand if he was the legitimate
owner. He said: "Sibanda has no legal papers to claim this place, neither do
we because this place was donated to us by our uncle Hwete.

      "After deliberations in the courts we were instructed by the messenger
of court to demolish Sibanda's structures so we can't really be at fault for
carrying out a directive from an arm of the law."
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Wheat Imports Urgently Needed Following Poor Harvest

UN Integrated Regional Information Networks

December 16, 2002
Posted to the web December 16, 2002


Zimbabwe would run out of wheat by the end of February unless 240,000 mt of
the grain was imported to cover this year's lower-than-expected wheat
harvest, the Famine Early Warning Systems Network (FEWS NET) said in its
latest report.

And NGOs and relief agencies have to step up efforts to provide relief food
to the 6,7 million people in Zimbabwe whose food security is under threat,
it warned.

FEWS NET researchers found that total maize imports of 748,773 mt by World
Food Programme (WFP), NGOs, the private sector and the government had
reduced the national food gap to about 600,000 mt.

According to official figures, a total of 1.2 million mt of maize had been
available in the country since 1 April, and on average the maize available
for the seven and a half months of the 2002/03 marketing year was 23 percent
greater than the national requirement, estimated to be between 1 million and
1.1 million mt for the period.

FEWS NET said if the import figures were correct, then Zimbabwe would have
available about 153,000 mt per month, which should have been adequate for
nutritional requirements. However, food shortages on the ground did not
reflect this analysis.

Reasons put forward for this discrepancy were that the distribution of
available maize had been inadequate, or many households did not have money
to buy maize even if it was available.

Wheat production this year had been 30 percent lower than expected and the
country needed imports urgently to avoid running out by February.

Some of the country's food shortages are due to disruptions to farming under
the controversial land reform programme and analysts have previously warned
that wheat shortages could be exacerbated by households turning to the
commodity as a substitute for maize.

Food aid distributions by WFP and NGOs had increased from 21 to 36 of the
country's 57 districts. WFP had planned to reach 3 million by November, 5.5
million people in January 2003 and 5.8 million people in February. However,
they were experiencing pipeline problems as some of the food pledged by the
United States had not been promptly cleared by government, FEWS NET said.

If all went according to plan, 86 percent of the population identified as
food insecure in the August assessment would be reached by the end of
February, with total coverage by March 2003.

This would only be possible though if both WFP and the NGOs received
outstanding grain imports of 216,000 mt before January. As of mid-November,
WFP had only 50 percent of its required funding and was still waiting to get
98,000 mt of cereals. The current food aid stocks could only feed 3.3
million people at the full ration.

The rainy season finally began late in October and farmers had started
planting, but were still constrained by limited seed availability, the
report said. They took advantage of the good rains and, using the limited
quantities of seed they had, planted most crops but a shortage of maize,
sorghum, millet, ground nuts and pulse seed on the market limited the
potential area that could have been planted.

While maize seed stocks available for the 2002/2003 production season were
enough to cover "normal" national demands of 40,000 mt, they were still
inadequate following the unprecedented demand set off by last's season's
drought and demand for the seed was estimated to be over 50,000 mt.

Although a recent televised announcement said the government was considering
importing maize seed from South Africa, this may not translate into
increased maize seed sales as the government's input programs have, in the
past, been too slow to reach the intended beneficiaries on time for
planting, FEWS NET said.

The fertiliser shortage also continued to be of great concern.

Both the government and NGO programmes had not yet delivered the bulk of
their seed support to the farmers earmarked for agricultural support, the
report said.

However, while the rains started well, predictions were for normal to below
normal rainfall until March 2003. As this coincided with the reproductive
stages of most of the cereal crop, crop yields were expected to be
depressed, researchers warned.

Food security in most rural areas was still critical as supply from the
Grain Marketing Board (GMB) remained erratic and was not adequate to meet
consumption requirements and, just as importantly, many poorer households
had run out of cash to buy available grain.

In urban areas, inflation rates, currently estimated at 144 percent,
continued to rise, increasing the cost of living for the urban poor at a
rate which far exceeded their income. Price controls had not helped as
affected commodities were not readily available in the formal market and
were sold instead on the parallel market where shortages continued to push
prices up.

One indication of the effect on urban households was that 22.4 percent of
households in the capital Harare failed to pay for their water between
January and October 2002, FEWS NET said.

Low-income households needed to employ all able-bodied members in some kind
of informal sector activities such as vending, hawking, gold panning, brick
moulding and selling firewood in order to make ends meet and some were even
forced to engage in illegal activities such as robbery, prostitution and
selling controlled commodities on the parallel market.

Poor urban households unable to increase their incomes were forced to reduce
the number and size of meals, and sometimes to forego them entirely.
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From The Times (UK), 16 December

Mugabe may seize oil giants' assets

From Jan Raath in Harare

President Mugabe of Zimbabwe has threatened to seize the facilities of
leading oil companies operating in the country and use them to distribute
fuel. At the annual congress of his ruling Zanu PF party, Mr Mugabe said
that the Government could "acquire" service stations and storage facilities,
compensate the companies to which they belonged and dispense the fuel. There
are five multinational oil firms with a presence in Zimbabwe - BP, Shell,
Mobil, Total and Caltex - and their assets there are worth millions of
pounds. Lawyers said that such a move would be illegal. One lawyer, who did
not wish to be identified, said: "It would be patently unconstitutional.
Besides, most of the International oil companies are covered by bilateral
treaties from this kind of nationalisation." The President's remarks came
two weeks after the Government said that it was drafting a new policy within
its so-called indigenisation programme to allocate fuel supplies to the 24
"independent" companies licensed to retail fuel, nearly all of which are
owned by senior Zanu PF officials. Fuel reserves in the country have reached
their lowest levels in three years, since leading oil companies cut off
supplies to the state-owned National Oil Company of Zimbabwe (Noczim) when
the Government failed to pay arrears for imports.

In the past week the queues of drivers have lengthened and more service
stations have been putting up "no fuel" signs. Vehicles abandoned at the
roadside for lack of fuel have become commonplace. In Chinhoyi, the venue of
the conference, fuel was available only for party officials. A journalist
was told at a Mobil service station that he could buy petrol only if he
could prove that he was a delegate. Mr Mugabe said that the oil companies
were making huge profits while the Government made losses from importing
fuel via Noczim, which sells it on - for just 3p a litre, making Zimbabwean
fuel among the world's cheapest - to the multinationals to distribute.
Economists say that total state control over fuel distribution would condemn
the industry to the same failure affecting much of the country's
agriculture, transport, mining, telecommunications, railways and power
industries. "Mugabe's thinking is that taps make water," a Western diplomat
said. "If he goes ahead (with the takeover of multinational service
stations), the country will dry up far quicker than it is doing already."
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From The New York Times, 16 December

Market booms while Zimbabwe prepares for the bust

By Rachel L. Swarns

Harare, Dec 13 – The ministers tending Zimbabwe's ailing economy have proposed a quick-fix remedy of price controls, wage freezes and the creation of collective farms, even though price controls are exacerbating food shortages, and a chaotic land redistribution program has devastated commercial agriculture. Meanwhile, hundreds of companies have gone broke, unemployment is soaring, and the country is teetering at the edge of famine. So, with the economy in shambles, why is business booming at the Zimbabwe Stock Exchange? In recent months, the market has reached record heights. This year, while the economy was contracting by about 12 percent, the stock exchange's market capitalization was doubling, surging to its highest level since it was established in 1896. What's more, sales of middle-income and luxury homes in the country's wealthy suburbs are surging. People with cash are snapping up televisions, luxury cars and stereos. The paradox stems from distortions in the controlled economy. With inflation at more than 144 percent and currency values plummeting, Zimbabweans are putting their money into assets they believe will increase in value - stocks, real estate, foreign currency, even refrigerators - rather than bank accounts. The government has kept interest rates low, so borrowing has been relatively cheap. And these days, many Zimbabweans are buying whatever they can, betting that they can sell the items later at a higher price, often on the black market. "It's unbelievable, absolutely unbelievable," said Emmanuel Munyukwi, the chief executive of the Zimbabwe Stock Exchange. "People think there's no economy in Zimbabwe. It's actually embarrassing when you have to tell them that we're doing very, very well."

The contradictions abound. While supermarkets routinely run out of bread, milk and sugar, the city's most expensive restaurants are packed, offering imported seafood and wines. Mercedes-Benzes cruise on potholed roads with broken street lights. Houses on prosperous tree-lined streets are selling quickly, and real estate brokers are scrambling to keep up with the demand. "People are not necessarily buying houses to live in," said Patson Mtare, a broker whose company has sold about 200 houses this year, compared with 100 houses in a normal year. "People are buying to sell." People with access to foreign currency are buying even more. The government insists that $1 is equivalent to 57 Zimbabwe dollars, even though $1 goes for as much as 1,600 Zimbabwe dollars on the black market these days. So even some government officials ignore the official exchange rate and change money on the street to make huge profits. Callisto Jonkonya, who manufactures and exports refrigerators, has bought a new house and several apartments. Raymond Chamba, who runs an employment agency in the United States, bought one 52-inch television, three 43-inch flat-screen televisions and a DVD player all in one day. He carried his cash in a suitcase. "Serious money you don't keep in the bank in Zimbabwe," said Mr. Chamba, who has spent the last six months with family in Zimbabwe. "My televisions, they're my bank here." Most Zimbabweans, however, are too poor to hoard televisions or cars. Over the last three years, the economy has contracted by more than 20 percent. More than 500 companies have closed. Unemployment stands at 60 percent. Most struggling citizens wait for hours in long lines to buy scarce gasoline or bread.

The combination of drought and land reform has left about 6 million people - roughly half the population - in need of emergency food aid. Foreign donors have contributed food but refuse to offer financial assistance to the government, which has condoned violence and land seizures. President Robert Mugabe insists that his controlled economic policy will fix the problem. He has called on the police to crack down on hoarding and black market sales. But Finance Minister Herbert Murerwa disagreed with this strategy last month when he told Parliament that price controls were leading to "shortages of critical basic necessities on the formal market" because they failed to address the rising costs of production. Mr. Murerwa said black-market dealers were the chief beneficiaries of price controls, while the poor were suffering. The government has acknowledged that corrupt officials are hoarding and then selling price-controlled goods on the black market. There are few indications, how-ever, that Mr. Mugabe plans to change course. So Mr. Munyukwi has decided to delay the celebration for his stock exchange's success. "It's very difficult to celebrate when your country is hungry," he said. "The stock market is supposed to reflect what's happening in the economy. But we know our economy is in shambles."

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Daily News

Beatrice farmer is Mash East tobacco grower of the year

12/16/2002 8:49:31 AM (GMT +2)

By Loveness Mlambo
ZIMBABWE Association of Tobacco Growers (ZATG) Mashonaland East Provincial
Tobacco Grower for the 2002/2003 season is Kingstone Zinyama.
Zinyama, a renowned ZATG flue-cured tobacco grower, leases 19 hectares on
Chikosha Farm in Beatrice.

Despite having applied for land under the government land reform programme,
he has not been allocated a farm.

Zinyama, one of eight provincial finalists to compete in ZATG prestigious
award, said during a field tour on his farm on Friday, that he had not yet
benefited from the government's land reform programme.

Under the controversial land reform programme, Zimbabweans were asked to
apply for land in the commercial farming resettlement scheme but many have
not been allocated the promised land.

Out of the 54 000 people who applied for land under the scheme, only
50 percent have been allocated land.

But President Mugabe this year castigated commercial farm resettlement
applicants for not taking up their plots when there "was plenty of land
available for all".

Zinyama's wife, Tracy, said the couple had applied for resettlement but they
had only been given reference numbers without an indication of where the
farm was.

The couple said they were renting the 19 ha of land from Bonface Takawira of
Alpha Farm in the same area.

"We can even increase the hectarage under tobacco to 50 if given a bigger
farm", said Tracy.

Kingstone Zinyama was chosen the ZATG provincial candidate for Mashonaland
East as the tobacco grower for the 2002/2003 farming season in the category
of farmers who grow between 10 to 20 hectares.

He won because he produced the best flue-cured tobacco in the area.
This is the first time Zinyama has been nominated provincial tobacco grower
in the area.

Tobacco farmers, representatives from the Zimbabwe Tobacco Auction Centre,
Tobacco Growers' Trust, Tobacco Research Board, Zimbabwe Tobacco Association
and commercial banks toured Chikosha Farm on Friday as part of the process
of judging his performance.
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Daily News

      Zanu PF agrees to pay gratuities to ex-detainees

      12/16/2002 8:56:30 AM (GMT +2)

      By Lloyd Mudiwa

      ONE of the resolutions passed by the sixth Zanu PF conference in
Chinhoyi was that ex-political prisoners, detainees and restrictees should
be paid gratuities.

      Zanu PF finally bowed to long-standing demands by members of the
Zimbabwe Ex-Political Prisoners, Detainees and Restrictees' Association
(Zeppdra), who have, for years, been engaged in a bruising fight with the
government to be paid allowances similar to the war veterans'.

      Zanu PF resolved that ex-political prisoners, detainees and
restrictees be given gratuities for the role they played towards the
liberation of the country.

      Zanu PF Members of Parliament were tasked with introducing legislation
to that effect in Parliament.

      About 7 000 ex-political prisoners and detainees vetted in 1998 were
promised payment for their participation in the independence cause.
      They were then told by the Ministry of Labour, Public Service and
Social Welfare to open bank accounts in anticipation of the $50 000
gratuities and $2 000 tax-free monthly pensions awarded to war veterans in
the previous year.

      But to date the payment has not been made, prompting Zeppdra to
threaten to sue the government at one time. The unbudgeted award of one-off
gratuities and monthly pensions to veterans of the liberation struggle is
largely believed to have triggered the fall of the local currency, and
ultimately the economy, as it drained $5 billion from the fiscus.

      About 50 000 war veterans were paid $50 000 one-off gratuities, plus a
monthly pension of $2 000 tax-free for life in December 1997.The Zimbabwean
dollar fell on Friday 14 November 1997, which in economic circles became
known as Black Friday, when Herbert Murerwa, the Minister of Finance,
announced the government's decision to pay the war veterans the gratuities
and pensions, which have since been increased to $8 000 per month.

      The War Veterans Act was amended in December 1998 to include
ex-political prisoners and detainees, although they and their dependants
were not entitled to gratuities and pensions under the changes.

      Ex-prisoners and detainees have also been lobbying the government to
have them covered by the War Veterans Act so they can enjoy the same
benefits as the ex-freedom fighters. Widows of war veterans and the War
Collaborators' Association have also been demanding compensation from the
government for their roles in the war.

      Other resolutions were to take over and indigenise businesses closed
for alleged political reasons, institution of effective price controls,
proiritising fuel in the allocation of foreign currency and to guard against
foreign currency shortages.
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Daily News

      Top Zanu PF officials in maize scam

      12/16/2002 8:51:51 AM (GMT +2)

      From Energy Bara in Masvingo

      A maize scam in which known top Zanu PF officials are allegedly
purchasing the scarce staple grain in large quantities for resale at
exorbitant prices on the black market has hit Gutu district.

      Three Grain Marketing Board (GMB) officers at Gutu Mupandawana growth
point who were allegedly acting in concert with the politicians are under
probe following the revelations that they were part of the scam.

      Villagers have since called on the government to institute thorough
investigations into the matter as hunger continues to tighten its grip on
rural communities.

      Some Zanu PF heavyweights, including politburo members, are allegedly
taking advantage of the maize shortage to hoard large stocks of the staple
food from the GMB using their influence. They later resell the grain at
exorbitant prices to hungry villagers on the open market.

      An official at the GMB depot at Gutu who refused to be named for fear
of victimisation yesterday said: "Currently three of our officers are under
investigation because of the maize scandal.

      "The three employees were working hand-in-hand with well-known
politicians to deprive people of food. After having used their influence to
purchase maize at the depot, the politicians would establish illegal selling
points on the open market where a 50-kilogram pack of maize would be
      sold for $6 500."

      The GMB retail price of a 50kg pack is less than $1 000. The police in
Masvingo yesterday said they were investigating a number of cases in which
the distribution and purchase of maize from the GMB depot in the province
was not done properly. The Masvingo police spokesman, Learn Ncube, said: "Of
late the distribution of maize has been going on well, save for a few cases
where the exercise was not properly done. "We will continue to investigate
those cases and we have so far arrested a Central Mechanical Equipment
Department driver and a GMB salesman who were found dealing in maize."

      Meanwhile, villagers in Gutu district have called on President Mugabe
to intervene and discipline members of his party who are involved in the
maize scandal.

      A spokesman for the villagers, Norbert Manyango, said they were
shocked to learn that senior members of the party were using their influence
to deprive people of food. Manyango said: "We can name the people who are
involved in the maize scandal. It's shocking that senior members of our
party, Zanu PF, want hungry villagers to starve to death. We are calling on
Mugabe to intervene otherwise people will die of hunger."

      Starvation has reached critical levels in Masvingo province where the
entire population is in desperate need of food aid.
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      NCA vows to continue confrontation

      12/16/2002 9:02:50 AM (GMT +2)

      From Energy Bara in Masvingo

      The National Constitutional Assembly (NCA) has vowed to do everything
it can to force the government to act in the face of the nationwide economic

      "We are going to use all the methods to force the government to act in
view of the current economic crisis. We are not going to abandon the issue
of stayaways," the NCA spokesman, Douglas Mwonzora, said yesterday.

      In an interview, Mwonzora admitted that last week's failed stayaway as
just testing the waters, but stressed that his organisation would plan and
execute future mass action more efficiently."The stayaway held last week was
just a test for calling mass action at short notice. That is why it was not

      "We will continue to organise people to embark on mass action. A
stayaway is our cup of tea. The NCA will continue to hold stayaways to
protest against the deteriorating economy and State repression in the
country," he said.

      Mwonzora said while stayaways were one method of confronting the
government, other avenues would be explored to force the government to act.
      He said the government had indicated informally that it wanted
dialogue with the Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions (ZCTU), the NCA and
other civic organisations over the current economic hardships.

      Said Mwonzora: "The government has already met the churches and it has
indicated to us that it wants dialogue over the national problems we face.
We will go to the negotiating table once the government has formally
approached us. We have to use all methods at our disposal."
      He said for any stayaway to succeed, the ZCTU must play its part
effectively as it is directly involved with the workers.

      The NCA organised a nationwide stayaway which failed partly because
there had been very little consultation with the stakeholders.
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