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Daily News online edition

      Chinamasa, Moyo kicked out Zanu PF politburo

      Date: 18-Dec, 2004

      EMMERSON Mnangagwa, the Speaker of Parliament and secretary for
administration in the ruling Zanu PF was yesterday moved to a lesser
important portfolio of legal affairs in the new-look politburo announced by
President Robert Mugabe.

      Didymus Mutasa, the secretary for external affairs becomes the new
secretary for administration, a position he held before Mnangagwa's

      Also left out was firebrand Minister of Justice, Legal and
Parliamentary Affairs and leader of the House Patrick Chinamasa.

      Unelected junior Minister of Information and Publicity Jonathan Moyo,
who had been in the politburo for the past four years as deputy secretary
for information and publicity was also left out.

      Moyo's nightmare in the high echelons of Zanu PF began after he
convened an unsanctioned meeting in Tsholotstho at which six now suspended
Zanu PF chairmen attended.

      Mashonaland West provincial governor and resident minister Ephraim
Masawi took over Moyo's politburo post.

      Women's league boss Thenjiwe Lesabe was replaced by former Manicaland
governor Oppah Muchinguri.

      Other appointments included the retaining of Elliot Manyika as
political commissar, Nathan Shamuyarira as information and publicity
secretary, Nicholas Goche as security among other senior Zanu PF

      Former Zipra commander Dumiso Dabengwa returned to the politburo while
Matabeleland North governor Obert Mpofu entered for the first time.
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Zim Online

Panicky withdrawals as one more bank faces collapse
Sat 18 December 2004
  HARARE - Another Zimbabwean commercial bank, CFX Bank Ltd, could collapse
under a heavy run on deposits by panicking clients following revelations of
massive fraud at the bank.

      CFX branches were offering maximum withdrawals of $1 million as the
run on deposits threatened the bank's liquidity position.

      The bank recorded an astronomical $115 billion loss as of October this
year and was this week negotiating with the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe for
authority to recall its statutory reserve funds to cover the yawning capital

      The proposals would see the RBZ refunding CFX's current $10 billion
statutory reserve obligations and exempting the stuttering bank from capital
adequacy subscriptions for a year.

      CFX officials were locked in meetings with central bank officials to
access the statutory reserves.

      CFX, whose merger with Century Bank was sealed in mid-May, published
profit warning statements this week saying profitability of the commercial
bank will be significantly below expectations.

      It did not elaborate on the reasons but attempted to reassure the
market that corrective measures were being taken. The cautionary statement
said other group associates would perform satisfactorily.

      Long queues of irate depositors wishing to withdraw their savings
could be seen at the bank's premises in Harare's central business district.

      Several banks, most of them locally owned have collapsed in the last
12 months due to mismanagement and in some cases to downright theft of
depositors' funds by top managers. Some bank executives have been arrested
while others have fled out of the country.

      CFX bank management could not be reached last night for comment on the
troubles bedevilling the bank. - ZimOnline
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Zim Online

FEATURE: Put on wrong outfit in Bulawayo, and you are off to the cells
Sat 18 December 2004
  BULAWAYO - A keen sense of fashion is fast becoming a necessary survival
skill for women shoppers in Zimbabwe's second largest city here.

      These days, venturing into downtown Bulawayo wearing the "wrong
outfit" in the eyes of the police can easily land women shoppers in cells.

      The Zimbabwe Republic Police, desperate to clear the streets of
illegal foreign currency dealers has deployed plain clothes and uniformed
officers to arrest suspects.

      But the police must first catch culprits physically exchanging money
before they can arrest them - an almost impossible scenario given the deep
secrecy with which illegal money changers carry out their activities.

      But an equally easy solution as far as the police here are concerned.

      For easy identification by their clients, illicit money changers, most
of them women, prefer to wear certain trendy outfits. For example, the
attire in vogue these days among women illegal forex traders in Bulawayo are
tailored denim skirts worn with multi-coloured tops with or without a lacy
white head scarf.

      And that is what the police simply look for before pouncing on and
arresting their victims. Because the Foreign Currency Exchange Control Act
requires that only suspects caught in the act changing money illegally can
be charged, police simply resort to the archaic Miscellaneous Offences Act
to make their charges stick.

      Under section 3 (g) of the colonial Act, Zimbabweans can be fined for
blocking pavements and that is the section under which suspected money
changers are charged.

      But in the process of rounding up the money changers, innocent
shoppers have been caught and harassed by the police simply because they
wore the wrong dress to town.

      As Sinini Moyo narrated to ZimOnline: "I was walking from a movie
house when a police officer stopped me and said I was a money changer. He
said I dressed like them (foreign currency dealers.) But he later changed
and accused me of blocking the pavement."

      Suspects are fined Z$25 000 for blocking pavements. Sources at
Bulawayo Central Police Station where the shoppers are detained told
Zimonline the force was collecting an average of Z$3.5 million a day from
the pavement blockers.

      And men have also fallen foul of the police's new and certainly
legally questionable tactic of ridding Bulawayo of illegal money changers.

      For example, Mandlenkosi Sibanda, who is an accountant with one of the
country's biggest accounting firms, says he was picked up for blocking the
pavement while talking to a friend outside a supermarket. Suspects who fail
to pay the fines are detained in overcrowded cells until they pay up.

      And another, who would only identify himself as Msipha said: "I spent
four days in detention for allegedly blocking the pavement. I was arrested
when I was about to enter a supermarket to buy some groceries."

      But occasionally, the officers are on target and pick up the foreign
currency dealers. Lungile Moyo admits she changes money downtown. Moyo has
been arrested several times but vows she will never abandon the World Bank
as Bulawayo's foreign currency black-market is known in local parlance.

      She said: "It is not easy to pay a bribe or pay a fine everyday. But I
have an ill husband who needs about $56 000 for tablets every month. And I
have children to look after. I have no option but to stick to money changing
which I know." - ZimOnline
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53 Prisoners Freed From Chikurubi, Khami

The Herald (Harare)

December 17, 2004
Posted to the web December 17, 2004


FIFTY-THREE inmates jailed at Chikurubi and Khami Maximum prisons have been
freed on medical grounds.

This was after President Mugabe assented to the 53 prisoners' release due to
their ill health.

According to a statement released by the Zimbabwe Prison Service yesterday,
the prisoners were serving sentences ranging from four to 18 years for
various offences.

These ranged from rape, armed robbery, murder, stock theft, robbery,
housebreaking and theft of motor vehicles.

The release of the inmates comes barely two months after two of the 67
mercenaries jailed at Chikurubi Maximum Security Prison were released on
October 22 this year on medical grounds.

One of the prisoners was said to have had diarrhoea "for some time and was
weak" while the other had a persistently swollen knee.

The two convicted men - Lenutu Eselumu (46) and Pius Hausiku Kanjowa (45) -
were part of a group of mercenaries who were arrested at Harare
International Airport in March while enroute to Equatorial Guinea to
overthrow the government of President Teodoro Obiang Nguema.

The two mercenaries were serving 12-month prison terms for contravening
sections of the Immigration Act and Civil Aviation Act. They were due for
release on September 19, 2005.

They would, however, have been released as early as May 17, 2005 on good

Seven Zimbabweans serving various sentences at Chikurubi Maximum Security
Prison for different crimes were also released on medical grounds on the
same day.

This was after President assented to the nine prisoners' release due to
their ill health. The local inmates were admitted to Harare Central Hospital
and Parirenyatwa Hospital for further treatment. Prison authorities had
earlier in the same week released apartheid spy Reon Schutte who was serving
a 26-year prison term at the maximum-security prison.

Schutte (43) was freed after the Government acceded to a request for
clemency from South African President Thabo Mbeki.

He was jailed in 1989 for carrying out acts of espionage against the African
National Congress of South Africa when he was arrested in Zimbabwe.

Schutte immediately flew to South Africa after his release.

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New bill draws criticism

[ This report does not necessarily reflect the views of the United Nations]

JOHANNESBURG, 17 Dec 2004 (IRIN) - Zimbabwean civil society groups and the
opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) have dismissed amendments to
the electoral bill passed by parliament this week as too little, too late.

The groups said the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission Bill did not represent the
opening up of democratic space in the country, while opposition spokesman
Paul Themba-Nyathi said the party was not satisfied with the amendments,
which now await President Robert Mugabe's signature to become law.

"The MDC still feels strongly that the amendments are simply not enough - we
have called for a complete overhaul of the electoral act in line with SADC
[Southern African Development Community] guidelines. What we have in
Zimbabwe now is a piece of legislation that can only benefit [the ruling]
ZANU-PF," said Nyathi.

He added that the MDC had not given up on pressuring the government into
further electoral amendments, and there was still time for governments to
fully implement the SADC electoral guidelines.

"Although we are far from satisfied, we believe other SADC countries will
increase the pressure for reform on ZANU-PF. Passing the amendments is one
thing, but implementing them is quite another. The MDC will meet soon to
review these developments," he said.

The MDC has threatened to boycott all elections, but Nyathi declined to say
whether the MDC would review its decision and participate in the March 2005
parliamentary poll.

Daniel Molokela, coordinator of the Johannesburg-based Zimbabwe Peace and
Democracy Project, said the amendments to the electoral laws would only
boost the position of ZANU-PF.

"The damage has already been done - there are only three months before the
elections," he said. "We have always demanded a complete overhaul of the
electoral system, and that will not happen before the elections. These are
cosmetic, window dressing measures designed to ensure that SADC will somehow
endorse a ZANU-PF victory next year."

He added that the proposed independent electoral commission would not have
any effect on the overall electoral process because Mugabe would still
appoint its leadership. The commission approves all civic organisations
wishing to engage in voter education - a situation Molokela said would
seriously weaken civil society's role in the upcoming poll.

Preparations for the March election are well underway. Justice minister
Patrick Chinamasa told parliament this week that the Delimitation Commission
set up to demarcate parliamentary constituency boundaries had finished its
work and had presented a report to Mugabe.

The Electoral Supervisory Commission, which will be succeeded by the
proposed Zimbabwe Electoral Commission, said it had already started voter
education campaigns in preparation for by-elections taking place before the
March poll.


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Zimbabwe Opposition Undecided on March Election By Peta Thornycroft
      17 December 2004

Leaders from Zimbabwe's main opposition, the Movement for Democratic Change
meet this weekend to debate whether to take part in parliamentary elections
next March. Some MDC leaders are opposed to taking part in the election, but
grassroots supporters say they want to fight the election.

The MDC believes it was robbed of victory in two national elections it
fought previously -- the general election in 2000, when it obtained nearly
half the parliamentary seats, and the presidential poll two years later
which President Robert Mugabe won with a 15 percent majority.

International observers in those elections found evidence of fraud and
concluded the ballots were neither free nor fair.

Zimbabwe's parliament, dominanted by the ruling Zanu-PF party, recently
adopted new legislation amending the electoral laws, which the party claims
now comply with regional principles of fairness. but civil society activists
and independent analysts say the changes are cosmetic and will not allow for
free and fair elections in March.

Lovemore Madhuku, is a veteran civil rights campaigner, whose organization
has led the campaign for a new, more democratic constitution.

Like most civil rights activists, he says MDC should not take part in the
upcoming poll.

"The only reason why they would participate is if they have no plan as to
what to do outside parliament , if they have no idea, of what to do, they
become like any other opposition political party to remain a party with one
or two three seats in parliament," he said. "The MDC must not participate in
the elections, they must make clear there is no point of participating. Then
get out of the elections, regroup with the rest of civic society, make clear
the demands and then outside of parliamentary process we fight the regime in
the streets, in every fora.

 And we are crying for the kind of things we want, a constitution, we want a
fair electoral playing field, we want a free media," he added, "the things
we keep talking about, we demand those things up front, When we have
established election can only happen in that context."

Mr. Madhuku, who is a law professor at the University of Zimbabwe, says
MDC's grass roots supporters want to take part in elections for many

"Grassroots people have not been fully exposed to what it means not to
participate in elections," Mr. Madhuku noted. "So if they see life of a
political party as being running for parliamentary seats, campaigning for
the MP [Members of Parliament], getting some allowances and so forth for
doing that, it's party life, party activity doing a.b.c.d. If we don't do
that what else will we be doing? That's where there is a division, at
grassroots level. It means a lot to be participating in elections. But the
other intellectuals, not at grassroots, perhaps looking at a proper picture,
saying, well, what is the point?"

The opposition party's leadership has not made its position public yet, and
may not do so until it holds its general meeting next January, 10 weeks
ahead of the polls.

While some party leaders are believed to be opposed to taking part in the
March elections unless the political climate is normalized and electoral
laws revamped, others say that the MDC could become irrelevant if it doesn
not take part in the national poll.

Meanwhile, several times this week, police have refused to grant permission
for the MDC to hold meetings.

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New Zimbabwe

Zimbabwe says UK deportees 'mercenaries of regime change'

By Staff Reporter
Last updated: 12/18/2004 01:53:55
FRESH fears for the safety of Zimbabweans deported from Britain were raised
Friday after a top government minister said they could be undercover
mercenaries sent to cause mayhem ahead of key parliamentary elections next

Controversial Information Minister Jonathan Moyo said Britain could be
sending "trained and bribed malcontents" to disrupt elections.

The UK has resumed the repatriation of Zimbabweans who were refused
political asylum.

Refugee groups say anyone deported to Zimbabwe could face persecution and
this week, Zimbabwean lawyers in the UK filed papers to secure an injuction
stopping the deportations following complaints that several deportees had
been harassed or were missing after they were deported.

Moyo's comments will harden the growing anti-deportation coalition and apply
pressure on UK authorities to once again suspend the deportations.

"We have a right to ask whether these would be deportees or Blair's
mercenaries of regime change or plain law-abiding Zimbabweans returning home
after having been abused and dehumanised in Britain.

"Their treatment will depend on which is which," Moyo told the state-run
Herald newspaper.

Earlier this week, Justice Minister Patrick Chinamasa said those sent back
from the UK would be welcomed back.

The UK authorities said they were lifting a two-year moratorium on
deportations because of the numerous abuses of the asylum system by people
claiming to have been persecuted by the government of President Robert

Zimbabwean refugees who protested at Downing Street on Wednesday say that
anyone sent back home from Britain faces reprisals from security forces.

"Britain knows the problems in Zimbabwe. They know it's not safe for those
who oppose Mugabe and the government," Edward Molife, one of the organizers,
told the BBC.
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Returning asylum seekers must not be harassed, rights group

[ This report does not necessarily reflect the views of the United Nations]

JOHANNESBURG, 17 Dec 2004 (IRIN) - Zimbabwean asylum seekers being
repatriated from Britain should not be harassed or subjected to
discrimination, a rights NGO has urged.

According to the official Herald newspaper, 10,000 Zimbabweans who failed to
gain political refuge in Britain are to be forcibly repatriated in the
coming months.

However, a British Home Office spokeswoman, Helen Bower, could not confirm
the figures quoted in the Herald. She told IRIN that on 16 November the UK
had announced its decision to end a blanket ban on the deportation of
Zimbabwean asylum seekers, introduced in 2002, as it had been abused.

She could not provide details on a timeframe for the deportations.

In response to a question in parliament, the Herald quoted justice minister
Patrick Chinamasa as saying, "We accept all our citizens, they are still
Zimbabweans," adding that the returning asylum seekers would be welcomed.

Bidi Munyaradzi, director of the Zimbabwe Human Rights Association, told
IRIN that "it would be unfortunate if some of those deported will be those
with a well-founded fear of persecution, should they return home".

When he announced the British government's decision to end the ban on
deportation of Zimbabwean asylum seekers, the British minister for
citizenship and immigration, Des Browne, stressed that although "there has
not been any improvement in conditions in Zimbabwe", removing the suspension
on deportation was necessary, due to abuse of the system.

Munyaradzi pointed out that many people seeking asylum in Britain had been
"subjected to unfair treatment and harassment" before leaving Zimbabwe.
"Their security must be guaranteed - political ideology should not dictate
the handling of these people when they come back home."

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            European Parliament demands release of imprisoned MP

            The European Parliament will today adopt a tough resolution
against the Mugabe regime demanding the immediate release of Roy Bennett, an
opposition MP sentenced to 12 months hard labour in Zimbabwe after
conviction on spurious charges.

            Geoffrey Van Orden MEP, the Conservative Spokesman who has led
the Parliament's actions against the Mugabe regime, said:

            "Roy Bennett's imprisonment is an appalling example of the
Mugabe regime's brutal oppression of its own people. Mr Bennett must be
released immediately and all violence and intimidation against his family
must cease.

            Elections in Zimbabwe are just months away. The Parliament is
calling upon the EU and Zimbabwe's African neighbours to do all that they
can to make sure that those elections are free and fair. That means
harassment of opposition politicians has to stop.

            A month ago I personally called on South Africa's President
Thabo Mbeki to help bring about change in Zimbabwe. The actions of
governments in southern Africa are key. But more has to be done by the wider
international community.

            The British Government has been limp-wristed over Zimbabwe and
it is time it took more effective action on both the diplomatic and
political fronts."

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Zimbabwe Daily Mirror

Banker 'kidnapped'

Constantine Chimakure Chief Reporter
issue date :2004-Dec-17

METROPOLITAN Bank company secretary Tendai Matambanadzo has disappeared,
amid reports that four unidentified men abducted him from his Chisipite home
in the capital on Monday night.
Matambanadzo's lawyer, Selby Hwacha of Dube, Manikai and Hwacha, law firm
told The Daily Mirror yesterday that the banker and lawyer had disappeared
and was now reportedly in State custody.
"We and the (Matambanadzo) family had been anxious as to his whereabouts
since Monday, but are now consoled by information, which frankly is yet to
be confirmed, that he is in the hands of the State. We expect that the team
of lawyers engaged to represent him will be granted access to him shortly,"
Hwacha said.
But police spokesperson Oliver Mandipaka yesterday professed ignorance over
the matter.
He said: "I have not heard about that case."
However, information at hand reveals that four unidentified men went to
Matambanadzo's home demanding to see his brother (name supplied).
Upon realising that Matambanadzo was not at home, they allegedly
interrogated the gardener and threatened to harm him if he revealed that
they had visited his home and said they would be back.
They then allegedly parked not far away from the house, awaiting
Sources said the gardener told Matambandzo's wife what had transpired.
She allegedly drove off in search of her husband who was said to be
attending business at a local hotel.
The two, however, missed each, the sources said.
Matambanadzo allegedly drove home and it was at his gate that the men
confronted him and bundled him into their vehicle.
The family, the sources said, made an initial report (IR number 12-484) over
the counter at Harare Central Police Station.
When they followed up, claims are that they were given a second case number
1231/04. The reports are said to be handled by police officers in room 145.
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Zimbabwe Daily Mirror

Jailed apartheid SA spies transferred

Clemence Manyukwe
issue date :2004-Dec-17

TWO South African apartheid era spies jailed in 1989 for bombing an African
National Congress (ANC) house in Zimbabwe have been transferred from
Chikurubi Maximum Security Prison to Harare Central Remand Prison.

Prison officials said the transfers were above board.
The pair, Kevin Woods and Phillip Conjwayo, have been languishing in the
maximum prison for the past 16 years.
They were sentenced to life in prison for the bombing of the NCA house in
Bulawayo, then occupied by South African exiles.
Zimbabwe Prison Services (ZPS) spokesperson, Elizabeth Banda, confirmed the
"Kevin Woods and Philip Conjwayo have been transferred from Chikurubi
Maximum Prison to Harare Central Prison," Banda said. "They have been at
Chikurubi Maximum Prison for 16 years. Their transfer is a normal transfer
like any other convicted prisoner."
The two spies have repeatedly pleaded for pardon from the Zimbabwean
government since the end of the apartheid era in South Africa in 1994, but
the pleas have been turned down.
Woods and Conjwayo's transfer comes in the wake of the recent release of
another South African, Reo Schuttee, on medical grounds.
Schuttee was also incarcerated in 1989 for car theft and possession of
dangerous weapons.
President Robert Mugabe pardoned Schuttee after his South African
counterpart President Thabo Mbeki's request for his release.
Recently, David Coltart, a lawyer and the MDC shadow minister of justice
said the government had the discretion to transfer prisoners when it deems
it fit.
Coltart was commenting on last month's transfer of the MDC Chimanimani
legislator, Roy Bennett from Harare Central Prison to a  Prison  in  Mutoko.
Bennet is serving a year in prison after assaulting Justice Minister Patrick
Chinamasa in Parliament early this year.
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Zimbabwe Daily Mirror

Unemployment rate at 9 percent?

Business Reporter
issue date :2004-Dec-17

PUBLIC Service, Labour and Social Welfare Minister Paul Mangwana on Monday
left a packed press conference in Harare astonished when he announced that
the rate of unemployment in Zimbabwe had declined to 9 percent.
Other government officials have always publicly said that unemployment in
Zimbabwe is now pegged at about 70 percent, while labour officials in the
Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions (ZCTU) have in recent months been arguing
that the rate of unemployment had surged to a record 80 percent.
However, responding to questions from the press this week, Mangwana said the
actual position was that Zimbabwe had a lot of job opportunities, especially
in the transforming agricultural sector and it risked turning to foreign
labour to meet its requirements.
"Unemployment in Zimbabwe is pegged at 9 percent, these are the figures that
were supplied to me by the Central Statistical Officer (CSO) and they are
the same figures that I use.
"It is an overstatement to say that unemployment in Zimbabwe is 70 percent.
If that was the case then there could be no Zimbabwe to talk about. All the
people would be dead because the 30 percent that is said to be employed
cannot support the remaining 70 percent," Mangwana said.
He added that the definition that is used when calculating unemployment only
took into account those people who are formerly employed.
He said Zimbabwe was now awash with self employed business people who would
adjust the statistics downwards if they were taken into account.
"In fact, a survey that is currently underway is revealing that there are
employment opportunities in farming and do we need to go back to Malawi to
look for migrant labour?" the minister confidently asked.
The Central Statistical Office had for the past 4 years kept quiet when the
70 percent unemployment figure started doing the rounds and officials at the
organisation were surprised that the minister had made such utterances at a
time when evidence was clear that
companies were winding up operations.
Industrial output plummeted to 30 percent this year with the
key-manufacturing sector being projected to decline by 8.5 percent by the
end of the year as a result of the closure of more that 900 companies since
the year 2000.
Mangwana said basing on the number of contributions to the National Social
Security Authority (NSSA), about 1.8 million people are formally employed in

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Zimbabwe Daily Mirror

MDC MP in court on violence charge

Court Reporter
issue date :2004-Dec-17

MDC Member of Parliament for Glen View, Paul Madzore, and nine suspected
party members yesterday appeared at the Harare Magistrates' Courts on
allegations of perpetrating violence and destroying property worth $58
Madzore, John Kamushinga, Edmund Boriwondo, Frederick Chihona, Tapiwa Dube,
Chamunorwa Mashungu, Fanny Mudomera, Wilbert Makope, Michael Banda (all from
Glen View) and Tapiwa Chikosha of Budiriro, were not asked to plead to
charges of contravening the Public Order and Security Act (POSA) when they
appeared before magistrate John Koto.
They were all remanded on bail to December 31.
Madzore was ordered to pay $1 million bail and his alleged accomplices $300
000 each.
The legislator was picked up by police outside the opposition party's
headquarters, Harvest House, on Tuesday.
Prosecutor Tambudzai Gonese told the court that on Sunday Madzore addressed
a party meeting in his constituency.
Later on that afternoon, he allegedly teamed up with about 20 party members
and proceeded to Chemhanza Car Park, which also houses a Zanu PF youth
Madzore and gang allegedly shattered windows of six vehicles and broke
windowpanes at a Zanu PF office and stole a Zimbabwe flag.
Eddie Machuwaire represented them.

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Zimbabwe Daily Mirror

Govt owes local authorities $50bn

The Daily Mirror Reporter
issue date :2004-Dec-17

THE government owes cash strapped local authorities nearly $50 billion, a
Parliamentary Portfolio Committee has said.
However, the report reviewing the 2005 budget by the Parliamentary Portfolio
Committee on Local Government, Public Works and National Housing presented
in Parliament on Tuesday, did not give a breakdown of the dues to each
Acting city of Harare Treasurer this week said the government owed them
"Local authorities are owed huge debts by different government departments.
The $15 billion allocated for amortisation of central government debt is
inadequate, as local authorities are owed $49 billion by different
government departments," said the committee report chaired by Gabriel
Chaibva, MDC legislator for Harare South.
The local government ministry was allocated $771,76 billion for next year's
budget, although it had submitted a bid for $27,5 trillion.
Ministry officials who attended meetings called by the committee after the
announcement of the 2005 budget said the amounts they were allocated fell
far short of their needs.
"More worrying is the fact that by February 2005, the amount allocated for
the ministry's core business will have been exhausted. Expenses carried over
from 2004 are going to consume 35percent of the 2005 budget. The ministry's
priority of turning around local authorities will therefore not be met,"
added the report.
As part of hedging against inadequate resources from the government, the
committee called upon local authorities to pursue prudent commercial
practices, it said councils have failed to undertake.
As an example of the failures, the committee cited  Mutoko Rural District
Council, which has not come up with royalties for granite extracted from
areas within its jurisdiction.
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Joint Venture to Ease Country's Fuel Woes

The Herald (Harare)

December 17, 2004
Posted to the web December 17, 2004


THE launch yesterday of a multi-million-dollar joint venture project that
will see the construction of an independent petroleum storage terminal in
Beira, Mozambique, is likely to end the erratic fuel supplies that have
dogged the country for the past four years.

The new terminal, which would be tied to the Beira-Feruka pipeline, road and
rail networks linking the two countries, would help the country to overcome
its logistical problems in the movement of fuel from Beira, a situation that
has contributed to the erratic supply of fuel in the country in the past.

The project, which was also launched in Mozambique last week, is being
undertaken by Inpetro S.A.R.L, a joint venture company formed in Mozambique.

The shareholders of the joint venture include the National Oil Company of
Zimbabwe (Noczim) with a 30 percent stake, Petroleos de Mocambique
(Petromoc) (40 percent) and the Independence Petroleum Group (IPG) of Kuwait
(30 percent).

The construction of the new state-of-the-art terminal consisting of nine
storage tanks with a combined capacity of 95 000 cubic metres would begin
early next year.

China Pipeline Engineering Corporation would construct the new terminal,
which is expected to come on stream in the second quarter of 2006. The three
shareholders have already paid the contract price of US$23,5 million, with
Petromoc also contributing the land on which the tanks would be built.

Speaking at yesterday's launch in Harare, the Minister of Energy and Power
Development, Cde July Moyo, said the project was crucial to Zimbabwe in
terms of guaranteeing the supply of petroleum products, especially when
taking into account Zimbabwe's landlocked position.

He said it was also important for the country to move away from the current
situation where Zimbabwe was paying for fuel on a cash basis to one where it
secures it through lines of credit.

"We want to return to a system where we have lines of credit for at least a
year, which allows us to choose suppliers of fuel through an open tender
system," he said.

The minister said they had since made headway in this regard when they
introduced three-month contracts in June this year.

The project, Cde Moyo said, was coming at a time when the ministry and
stakeholders in the petroleum industry were making concerted efforts to
ensure the maximum utilisation of the Beira-Feruka pipeline, which makes
fuel importation cheaper and also improves distribution networks of the fuel
within the country.

Cde Moyo said since the inception of the Special Purpose Vehicle a few
months ago the amount of fuel being transported through the pipeline had
increased from nine million litres in August to 78 million litres in

He said Noczim was assisting the SPV to ensure that petroleum products are
delivered during the shortest possible time. As a new entity, the SPV was
bound to encounter teething problems and Noczim "is there to help solve
those problems", he said.

In this regard, he said Noczim had already availed its depots in Harare,
Kwekwe, Gweru, Masvingo and Bulawayo for use in the distribution of fuel to
different parts of the country. Cde Moyo said the availing of the facilities
was also meant to ensure that fuel is available throughout the Christmas and
New Year holidays.

"We are looking at the supply situation everyday and Noczim is there to
backstop any shortcomings of the SPV," he said.

Apart from the benefits that the country was going to derive from the
project, the minister said the project had also demonstrated that the
Government's policy on Government-private sector partnership was viable.

He paid tribute to Mozambique for the assistance it was rendering to
Zimbabwe in the shipment of goods and IPG for the support it had given to
Zimbabwe throughout the difficult period that the country has been going
through for the past four years in terms of fuel procurement.

The minister also thanked the Chinese government for their continued support
to African countries and to Zimbabwe in particular.

The IPG's manager for legal and commercial affairs, Mr Nabeel Al-Adsani,
said his company's involvement in the project was a sign of the long-term
vision they had on the development of the Sadc region.

He said it was also part of his company's efforts to build a strong
relationship with Mozambique and Zimbabwe.

Petromog's head of legal affairs and advisor to the chief executive officer,
Mrs Dalva Verela, said apart from the obvious benefits such as increasing
storage capacity, it was also going to overcome some challenges.

These, she said, included demurrage charges (financial penalties) at the
Beira port which are a result of vessel berthing delays and backlogs due to
commercial and operational constraints placed on existing storage facilities
in the area.

She said the project would also spur economic development in the region.

The Beira port serves as the entry port for an estimated 1,325 million cubic
metres of fuel destined for region per year.

The president of the China Petroleum Pipeline Bureau, under which CPEC
falls, Mr Sushi Feng,made a commitment that his company's subsidiary would
meet the target for the completion of the project. The country has been
battling to normalise its fuel supply situation, which had been affected by
shortages of foreign currency and procurement bottlenecks.
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From ZWNEWS, 17 December

Opposition advert refused

ZBC has refused to air a party political advert for the MDC, in
contravention of SADC principles governing the conduct of elections in
member countries. The MDC submitted the advert to the state broadcaster for
transmission on national radio in early December, together with a guarantee
of payment, but ZBC refused to air it. "We submitted this advert with the
view to having it broadcast by ZBC radio," said MDC spokesman Paul Themba
Nyathi. "ZBC radio refused to flight it on the basis that it has some
offensive reference to Zanu PF. We don't believe that it was turned down
because of its content. We believe that the problem was simply that Jonathan
Moyo and Zanu PF simply refuse to adhere to the SADC Mauritius protocol."
One of the electoral principles contained in the SADC protocol provides for
"equal opportunity for all political parties to access the state media". The
Zimbabwe government undertook to abide by the protocol at the SADC summit in
Mauritius in August this year. ZBC officials at the state broadcaster's
commercial offices in Mbare took less than half an hour to take the decision
to refuse to transmit the advert, saying that MDC adverts should not
criticise the government, or make any reference to Zanu PF, which in effect
prevents any campaigning on national radio by opposition parties as they are
unable to challenge the ruling party's record. The advert was broadcast on
SW Radio Africa, which broadcasts to Zimbabwe, and South Africa's Radio 702
this week.
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