Sent: Wednesday, December 22, 2004 11:43 PM
Subject: ZIMBABWE: Child rights affected by weak law
ZIMBABWE: Child rights affected by weak law
[This report does not necessarily reflect the views of the
HARARE, 22 December (IRIN) - Zimbabwe has over 20
laws relating to
children's rights, but implementation is weak and many of
breached the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC),
a UN Children's Fund (UNICEF) report.
'Children and Women's Rights in Zimbabwe, Theory and
the gap between theory and practice to
socioeconomic challenges and a lack of human
Although Zimbabwe had comprehensive laws protecting children
violence, sexual and economic exploitation, the report noted,
remained disadvantaged. Victim-friendly courts were hampered by high
turnover among court officials and police officers with
Zimbabwe's Children's Protection and Adoption
Act (CPAA) prohibits the
exposure of children to hazardous and harmful
conditions, and using them
for begging purposes. However, because of abject
poverty, the employment
of children on farms and plantations, in street
trading and as beggars was
rife and often went on with the "knowledge,
encouragement or instruction
of the parents".
Regarding custody and
inheritance issues, UNICEF said Zimbabwean laws were
non-marital children. This was in breach of several CRC
clauses, such as
those related to discrimination and the right of children
parents to have regular contact with both parents.
The Guardianship of
Minors Act denied the father of a non-marital child
custody and access unless
he had compelling reasons.
Inheritance laws, applied in the absence of a
disinherits non-marital children but allows them to claim
the deceased's estate if his paternity is established. The
noted, however, that establishing this relationship is often
The CRC provides for the compulsory registration of
children at birth but
Zimbabwe's Birth and Deaths Registration Act, while
registration mandatory within 42 days of birth, had no
mechanisms, and many children thus remained
Transport costs were a further deterrent, as was the
parents to be registered themselves.
A 2003 study in
Mashonaland West province revealed that 25 percent of
primary school pupils
had no birth certificates, and neither did 75
percent of people in farming
communities, 60 percent of parents and 70
percent of orphans. The report
recommended that personnel from the
Registrar General's Office be stationed
at all hospitals to register
children at birth.
The CRC calls for free
compulsory education and the country's Education
Act complied with this
provision but, again, there were no appropriate
Increased poverty and the impact of the AIDS
pandemic had also affected the
school dropout rate.
The report observed that compulsory primary
education could only be
realised if education was provided free of charge, as
it had been in the
1980s when favourable economic conditions enabled the
country to achieve
near universal primary education.
Zimbabwe has also
complied with another CRC provision by providing
financial assistance to
needy parents under the Basic Education Assistance
Module (BEAM), included in
the Social Welfare Assistance Act.
system was hampered by the cumbersome procedure for filing claims,
of social welfare officers to speed up the process at most
and government's increasing inability to support social
services because of
the continued deterioration in the economy.
While Zimbabwe's Public
Health Act tried to comply with the CRC's
stipulation that a child had the
right to "the highest attainable standard
of health", and had waived fees for
the destitute at government hospitals,
UNICEF said economic setbacks have
left government institutions facing
critical shortages of basic drugs,
equipment and personnel.
In accordance with the CRC's stipulations
covering juvenile offenders,
Zimbabwe had initiated the pre-trial diversion
scheme under the CPAA
where, with the support of a probation officer,
offenders charged with
petty crimes were diverted from the formal criminal
justice system, their
cases were heard in a closed court, and sentences were
In practice the initiative lacked
resources and to date the closest
practical option had been the community
service programme, which had so
far benefited over 50,000 offenders, some of
Young offenders usually appeared in court for minor
offences, often in the
absence of probation officers. Only one prison, Khami
Matabeleland, offering four years secondary education, was
designed for juvenile offenders but not all could be housed
Consequently, most juvenile offenders were imprisoned with adults
often abused. The report called for greater support for the
diversion initiative in terms of training, infrastructure, human
The UN agency urged that campaigns be
undertaken to raise public awareness
of the laws, with sustained training for
practitioners and increased
numbers of probation and social welfare officers.
It recommended a
comprehensive children's law with "a cohesive integrated
structure and system to bring together related laws, policies,
It also called for more investment in child
issues. "Laws cannot solve
problems of hunger and malnutrition of children,
abuse or neglect,
problems of street children and begging or problems of
health," the report
The labour and social welfare ministry
have reportedly recently set up an
advisory council to coordinate all child
welfare issues in accordance with
the CPAA, and advise the ministry on the
formulation of appropriate
policies and how best to apply
Tel: +27 11 895-1900
+27 11 784-6759
Comment - Cape Time (SA)
North Korea looms for the man dubbed
A look at the career and prospects of the man dubbed "Mugabe's
Goebbels" by his opponents.
Jonathan Moyo isn't taking calls. He wasn't at
his office on Monday morning either. His permanent secretary, George Charamba,
who contributed to vitriolic and sometimes incomprehensible newspaper columns
written by Moyo, has quickly distanced himself from his disgraced boss. While
Moyo was out doing whatever he is doing these days, Charamba was at a party at
State House, according to his secretary, so he seems to have survived the purge
that caught his boss. Moyo turned up for probably the last parliamentary session
before elections on Monday afternoon, looking downhearted and isolated. It is
generally agreed that Moyo's "crime" was to cross his boss. He organised an
"unauthorised" meeting to oppose the appointment of Joyce Mujuru as a
vice-president instead of his preferred candidate, Emmerson Mnangagwa, once
tipped by the media and Moyo to be Mugabe's successor. Moyo rallied six
provincial chairmen to his cause. And he did it without the Central Intelligence
Organisation finding out and ratting on him to the presidency. Mugabe only
discovered at the last minute that his own plan to prevent Mnangagwa becoming a
vice-president was in jeopardy. And Moyo is enough of a power player to know
that crossing Mugabe was a fatal error.
For the record, though, did he do
wrong in terms of party rules? According to political analyst Brian Kagoro, Moyo
did indeed transgress the Zanu PF constitution. "Any meeting of more than three
people would be seen by Zanu PF as unauthorised, and Jonathan should have known
that," Kagoro said. Where does this all leave the great opportunist who until
five years ago was one of Mugabe's sharpest critics? Can he perform another
somersault and land on his feet? On the face of it, one would think not. Moyo's
political and financial prospects look bleak. What about becoming an ordinary
MP? He put time and money into Tsholotsho, in Matabeleland, his home village and
the constituency he hoped to win. By all accounts, life in Tsholotsho improved
as a result of Moyo's ability to deliver largesse. So in a fair primary
election, he could well be Zanu PF's candidate there next year. But Zanu PF
could easily block that if it chose. It says it will not allow anyone to stand
for it in the March parliamentary elections unless they have been a party member
for at least five years. As a Johnny-come-lately, and presuming he joined the
party when he began his public association with Zanu PF in late 1999, Moyo would
be too new to qualify.
Mugabe can and does appoint unelected ministers, which
is how Moyo got his present cabinet post in 2000. Mugabe has indicated he will
in future only appoint ministers from the ranks of elected parliamentarians. But
that may not be set in stone. Moyo may have been dropped from Zanu PF central
committee and was therefore automatically excluded from the politburo, but he
hasn't yet been sacked from the cabinet. With a general election only three
months away that is largely irrelevant. But will Mugabe bring him back after the
election? He ought because he owes Moyo, but ought means little to Mugabe and
Zanu PF. He ought because Moyo sold Mugabe's chaotic land grab in the most
important constituency, Africa, most of which sucked up his every word, not only
about how it was correcting genuine historical injustices, but even that it was
legal, constitutional and a roaring success. He arranged field visits for
African visitors and selected journalists to carefully chosen farms. He
entertained them lavishly at the most expensive and popular restaurant in
Harare, and engaged them with the full blast of his considerable charm.
PF owes him," says Kagoro. "He delivered the top prize, he got the hugely
popular Daily News off the streets and crafted new media legislation, the Access
to Information and Protection of Privacy Act which delivered journalists to
Harare Central Police Station in record numbers. He got every journalist not on
a Zimbabwe passport out the country and changed the political lexicon to include
the blame and fear mantras of 'Tony Blair' and 'sovereignty'." His cabinet
colleagues, some of whom loathed him, nevertheless applauded his achievements.
There is speculation, and so far that's all it is, that Mugabe will fob him off
with an ambassadorship. The joke among his many enemies is that he will get
North Korea. We in the media cannot be expected to feel much sympathy for his
plight. But - digging deep for impartiality - the few foreign correspondents who
have survived his purges will miss his occasionally perspicacious descriptions
of ourselves in his columns. And it was cool, for a while, being the "running
dogs of imperialism".
Business Day (SA), 22 December
Harare’s fate in SADC’s hands
The main opposition party in Zimbabwe, the Movement for Democratic
Change (MDC), has said it will soon decide whether or not to contest the
country's parliamentary elections, scheduled for March next year. A few months
ago the party "suspended participation" in all elections on the grounds that it
was impossible to hold free and fair elections in the current environment.
Squeezed as the MDC is by the weight of oppressive legislation that effectively
bars it from mounting a proper campaign and by widespread intimidation, a
decision not to participate in the polls would seem to be a foregone conclusion.
After all, some believe, participating in the election will show that the party
has not learned the lessons from March 2002, when the majority of international
observers said President Robert Mugabe and his Zanu PF party stole the poll.
With only three months before elections, there are no indications that the
climate of political intimidation is about to evaporate. The Mugabe government
has an armoury of laws it can use to prevent the opposition from holding rallies
and campaigning. And the extensive use of the ruling party's militia is building
fear among the voting population of being identified with the opposition party.
The government has such tight control over the diminishing rural infrastructure
that to vote for the opposition could have the effect of denying families food
or medical attention.
Despite the dice being loaded against the MDC in the
election, there are strong reasons the party should participate. The first is
that by not participating, the party will not be represented in parliament to
provide opposition to Zanu PF rule and to attempt to put a brake on the party's
legislative excesses. Secondly, participating in the election keeps the MDC on
the field of Zimbabwean politics. A boycott would mean that should it wish to
launch another protest or a disobedience campaign, it would have an improved
organisational base with which to do so. And thirdly, the MDC does not have any
other options, apart from participating in the vote, to mobilise and gain
supporters. Despite the advantages of participation, it would be foolhardy for
the MDC to enter the campaign without publicly made guarantees from regional
leaders that they are prepared to isolate Mugabe if the election is not free and
fair. The MDC leadership and its members will enter an election campaign at
considerable personal risk to themselves. They should not expect police
protection from violent attack by Zanu PF aligned militias. They will also face
the possibility of detention or imprisonment on arbitrary grounds.
Southern African Development Community (SADC) now has a clear instrument with
which it can hold Zimbabwe to account the principles and guidelines on elections
agreed on at its summit in Mauritius this year. The MDC and civil society groups
say Zimbabwe has already violated them, but the silence from the SADC holds. At
yesterday's meeting of the "troika" of past, present and future foreign
ministers who chair the SADC's Organ on Politics, Defence, and Security, the
election was discussed . Early in the new year, the SADC will meet Zimbabwean
officials to discuss reforms of their electoral laws . If the SADC wishes to
send a forceful message on the matter, it has little time to do so. SA and most
of the region are keen for the MDC to participate in the election. But it is
asking a lot for the party to go into the election unprotected. The SADC can
best provide this protection, but considering the past sycophancy of regional
leaders towards Mugabe, private promises to the MDC are insufficient; these must
be made publicly. Then there is the matter of whether the poll is free and fair.
In 2002, in the face of massive thefts of ID cards necessary to cast a ballot
and the late opening of polls that denied voters in mainly opposition areas the
right to vote, the SADC and SA's official observer mission declared the poll
free and fair. Clearly, the MDC also needs guarantees about whether the observer
missions will uphold the SADC's guidelines. In short, the MDC's participation
has to depend on whether or not the SADC will offer protection, now something it
can do easily . The question has to be whether the SADC will seize this
Zimbabwe maize demand boost exports
December 22, 2004
Johannesburg - South African maize exports rose to
a five-week high last week on demand from Zimbabwe, even though the country has
repeatedly said it reaped more maize than it needed this year.
Africa last week shipped 5 060 tons of white maize to Zimbabwe, 3 106 tons to
Lesotho and 2 028 tons to Botswana, the biggest shipments since it exported 29
342 tons of maize in the week to November 12, the SA Grain Information Service
said on its website yesterday.
President Robert Mugabe's government
in Zimbabwe rejected food aid this year and said Zimbabwe reaped a record 2.4
million tons of maize after it evicted most white commercial farmers from their
properties and replaced them with black farmers.
In the week before last
Zimbabwe imported 6 530 tons of maize from South Africa. Last week South Africa
imported 278 tons of white maize from Malawi and 32 688 tons of yellow maize
Business Day (SA), 22 December
SADC push to lure MDC back into Harare
International Affairs Editor
In a move that could result in the main opposition party in Zimbabwe,
the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC), dropping its boycott of next year's
elections in the country, officials from the region are to meet with government
officials in Harare to review the country's electoral laws. The aim of the
meeting will be to ensure that the laws adhere to standards set by the Southern
African Development Community (SADC) on the running of elections. The meeting
will come just months ahead of Zimbabwe's poll due in March next year. The MDC
is to decide in coming weeks whether or not to boycott it. According to sources,
Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe gave the go-ahead for SADC talks on his
country's pending electoral law reforms at a recent meeting in Pretoria with
President Thabo Mbeki. The planned talks with Zimbabwean authorities were
discussed yesterday in Pretoria at a meeting of SADC's "troika", which consists
of the past, present, and future chairmen of the group's organ on politics,
defence, and security. Also discussed at the meeting, which was chaired by SA's
Foreign Minister Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma (pictured left) and attended by Defence
Minister Mosiuoa Lekota, Lesotho Foreign Minister Monyane Moleleki and Namibian
Foreign Minister Marco Hausiku, were preparations to send SADC election
observers to the country.
SADC's protocol on principles and guidelines
governing democratic elections was passed earlier this year at a regional summit
in Mauritius, and the group faces the challenge of ensuring Zimbabwe adheres to
them. The MDC says that the country is in violation of most of the guidelines,
mainly because changes over the past few years imposed restrictions on its
ability to campaign and due to the intimidation of its supporters. Changes
Mugabe may make as a result of the meeting with SADC may satisfy most SADC
countries about Zimbabwe's adherence to fair election practices, but it may be
insufficient to satisfy Europe and the US. Mugabe recently said that observers
from the European Union (EU) and the Commonwealth would not be allowed into the
country to observe the election. Officials from SADC member countries are due to
meet in Lesotho next year to discuss budgeting and other arrangements for SADC's
official election observer mission to Zimbabwe. A senior official said yesterday
that SADC members would "gain comfort" about the March elections if the
Zimbabwean electoral laws were compliant with SADC's principles and guidelines.
Ministers also discussed how to fund SADC's regional peacekeeping training
centre in Harare now that European funders had withdrawn their commitments
because of "smart sanctions" against Zimbabwe. A member of a delegation at the
meeting said that SADC had protested to the EU about its imposition of what it
saw as collective punishment of the region with the withdrawal of funding
because of a disagreement with one country.
bargaining for trade unionists in Africa
defends Zimbabwe visit, saying African leaders are intolerant of worker activism
MOST African leaders are not tolerant of trade union movements, says Congress
of South African Trade Unions (Cosatu) general secretary Zwelinzima Vavi.
Speaking after recently being elected as an executive board member of the
International Confederation of Trade Unions (ICFTU) , Vavi said the organisation
should pay attention to the fact that most leaders on the continent find unions
"I know if you generally talk on such an issue you are likely to feed into
Afropessimism, but one can safely say there is a tendency among African
politicians to signal left and turn right," he says. "And once they turn right
they become very, very impatient with the trade unions."
Referring to Zimbabwe, Vavi says some African leaders do not like the fact
that unions speak out against the enrichment of a politically connected few.
Cosatu is very critical of President Robert Mugabe's government and was recently
expelled from the country while it was on a fact-finding mission.
Vavi says Cosatu's problem with the Zimbabwean government is its continued
violation of basic human rights. The continued suppression of freedom of the
press and trade unions' right to protest is "problematic".
The second problem in Zimbabwe, says Vavi, is its shambolic economy .
"We want to urge the government of Zimbabwe to find a solution to the
economic problems which are resulting in joblessness and widespread poverty
among ordinary Zimbabwean workers," he says. "Their inflation rate is above
300%. Their economy has declined about 20%, the unemployment rate is very high
and the government does not want to acknowledge these problems."
Cosatu already plays a critical role in the international labour movement.
The ICFTU, in which Vavi also serves as a member of its steering committee,
represents 150-million workers and more than 150 labour federations around the
Vavi says Cosatu will add an African voice to the organisation, which he
describes as the "voice of the marginalised" in the world.
"Participation in such a structure helps us to keep abreast of all those
economic debates that have an impact on our local economy," he says.
"It also helps us understand the balances of forces in the global economy."
He says the organisation is relevant, especially after a recent report by the
International Labour Organisation showing that almost half of the world's
workers live on less than a $1 a day.
"This is unacceptable. We cannot continue to live in a world where people are
filthy rich while others are dying in poverty."
Vavi has also served on the World Commission on Social Dimensions and
Globalisation. Cosatu participates in the African Labour Federation, and has
bilateral relations with trade unions in Ghana, Nigeria, Swaziland and Tanzania.
The federation is developing working relations with unions in Africa's
"We need to break the divisions caused by language within the labour
movement. Such divisions are very, very dangerous. They are a typical by-product
of colonisation," he says.
Cosatu is helping to build capacity of unions on the continent by conducting
leadership training courses and sharing its expertise and experiences, says
He says Cosatu is respected worldwide as a strong labour federation that
contributed to ending apartheid and continues to vigorously defend workers'
rights in postapartheid SA.
He says Cosatu affiliates also follow their federation's trend of
participating in world labour organisations.
Unions such as the South African Democratic Teachers Union and the National
Union of Mineworkers hold either the presidency or the vice-presidency of their
world associations .
"It is amazing how much work still has to be done on the continent to improve
the position of trade unions, and Cosatu is playing a very important role in
that," Vavi says.
"Hence, our stance on Zimbabwe is nothing new but a continuation of what we
already doing in other African countries such as Nigeria," Vavi says.
Dec 22 2004
08:05:07:000AM Sphiwe Mboyane Business Day 1st Edition
Daily HIV/Aids Report
December 22, 2004
Posted to the web December 22, 2004
Nearly One Million Zimbabwean Children Have Lost One
or Both Parents to AIDS-Related Illnesses, UNICEF Official Says
million children in Zimbabwe have lost one or both parents to AIDS-related
illnesses, Dr. Festo Kavishe, UNICEF's representative to Zimbabwe, said in a
statement, Zimbabwe's Herald/AllAfrica.com reports. Kavishe said that at least
1.8 million HIV-positive people live in Zimbabwe, and 2,000 people in the
country die of AIDS-related illnesses each week. Many of the people dying of
AIDS-related illnesses are parents and primary income earners, meaning that
thousands of children are left to "fend for themselves," Kavishe said, according
to the Herald/AllAfrica.com. Many children who lose parents to AIDS-related
illnesses live with their extended family, but Kavishe said, "In such instances,
finding enough money to send the children to school, feed them and clothe them
is not always possible," adding, "We cannot afford to have more than 20% of the
country's children more likely to fall out of school, more likely to be
malnourished or involved in hazardous forms of labor" (Herald/AllAfrica.com,
12/20). About 26% of Zimbabwe's population is HIV-positive, and life expectancy
has fallen from age 52 to 37 since 1990, according to SAPA/News24.com. Zimbabwe
is in its "worst economic crisis since independence" and is facing medicine
shortages (SAPA/News24.com, 12/20).
Kavishe said that
fulfilling the rights of children who lose parents to AIDS-related illnesses
presents many challenges, but those challenges are "based on the choices that
governments and citizens of different countries made," according to the
Herald/AllAfrica.com. "It is time to redefine our priorities and redefine the
choices we make, especially those we know will have a detrimental impact on the
right to a good childhood," Kavishe said. He praised the Zimbabwean government's
National Plan of Action for orphans and vulnerable children, which aims to
provide basic services for at least 25% of the country's AIDS orphans in 2005,
according to the Herald/AllAfrica.com. "We encourage government and donors alike
to commit the needed resources and political will to ensure that we reach all
the children in the country who are at risk of losing their childhood with the
safety nets they so badly need to preserve their basic rights," Kavishe said
Washington Post Profiles Clinical Trial in
Nigeria Testing Tenofovir for HIV Prevention
The Washington Post on
Wednesday profiled the Nigerian arm of an ongoing clinical trial that is testing
the antiretroviral drug Viread -- which is known generically as tenofovir -- to
determine if it can reduce the risk of HIV infection. Researchers in the city of
Ibadan have enrolled approximately 125 commercial sex workers, who were
recruited from several brothels and have been taking the drug once a day since
July (Timberg, Washington Post, 12/22). NIH, CDC and the Bill & Melinda
Gates Foundation are funding three separate studies of Viread, which is
manufactured by Gilead Sciences. The drug is FDA-approved for use as a treatment
for HIV infection and has been shown to boost immune response and lower viral
levels in the bloodstreams of patients who are resistant to other
antiretrovirals. CDC has granted $3.5 million to fund trial sites in San
Francisco and Atlanta, while the Gates Foundation awarded a $6.5 million grant
to Family Health International to conduct a randomized, placebo-controlled
clinical trial including 2,000 HIV-negative volunteers at sites in Cambodia,
Ghana, Cameroon, Nigeria and Malawi. NIH also awarded a $2.1 million grant to
University of California-San Francisco researchers to test Viread in 960
HIV-negative Cambodian women, most of whom are commercial sex workers. However,
Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen in August ordered a stop to the planned human
clinical trial in the country because of the possible effects of the drug on
trial participants (Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report, 12/2). The initial results of
the Nigerian study are expected in 2006, the Post reports.
Female-Controlled Prevention Method
According to researchers, one of
the "most appealing aspects" of using Viread daily to reduce the risk of HIV
infection is that "women could take it privately at a time of their choosing,
without a husband or other sexual partner knowing," the Post reports. Married
women, including those who are monogamous, currently are one of the most
vulnerable groups to HIV infection because "husbands who have sexual relations
with other women may be unlikely to take precautions or alert their spouses,"
according to the Post. "World over, it is much more difficult for somebody in a
long-term, supposedly faithful relationship to use a condom," Helene Gayle --
president of the International AIDS Society and director of HIV, tuberculosis
and reproductive health at the Gates Foundation -- said. If the trials find that
Viread is safe and effective for HIV prevention, some say that the drug could be
packaged with other medications taken on a daily basis, such as oral
contraceptives, to "make it even easier to use," according to the Post. However,
the trials raise a "number of scientific and ethical questions, any of which
could prevent it from ever being widely administered" -- including the "safety
and practicality of a long-term daily drug regimen for healthy people" and
"[c]omplaints" from advocates of traditional vaccines and microbidicdes who say
that the studies are "costly diversion[s] from other research," the Post reports
(Washington Post, 12/22).
ADF to Fund Region's Tsetse Fly Campaigns
The East African
December 20, 2004
Posted to the web December 22, 2004
East African trypanosomiasis occurs in
parts of East and Central Africa, including Uganda, Kenya, Tanzania, Malawi,
Ethiopia, Zaire, Zimbabwe, and Botswana, reports BAMUTURAKI MUSINGUZI
Uganda and Ethiopia are to benefit from a multimillion dollar project funded by
the African Development Fund (ADF) to eradicate sleeping sickness on the
continent. The project, approved by the Fund on December 8, is also meant to
improve food security and economic losses associated with the
The Creation of Sustainable Tsetse and Trypanosomiasis
(T&T) Free Areas in East and West Africa Project forms the first phase of a
wider programme on the continental level, co-ordinated by the African Union's
Pan-African T&T Eradication Campaign (PATTEC).
"The Project will help
improve food security in the six countries participating in the first phase -
Burkina Faso, Mali, Ghana, Ethiopia, Uganda and Kenya - through the integration
of suppression, control and eradication technologies, while ensuring the
reclaimed areas are equitably, sustainably and economically exploited," says a
statement from ADF.
The project, covering an area of 180,000 square km with
about 14.8 million people in the implementation areas, will clear 13 million
hectares of T&T.
It will also train 600 technical staff, 1,800 extension
staff, 3,600 village technicians and 1,200 village leaders. It will enable an
estimated increase in production of crops and livestock, 19,000 tonnes of meat,
99,000 tonnes of milk, 7,000 tonnes of sorghum and 15,336 tonnes of various
crops in the project areas.
The ADF funding consists of a loan of $67 million
and a grant of $4.4 million. The six participating countries will share the
loan, while the grant will benefit the countries as well as PATTEC.
entire programme will cover 37 tsetse fly-infested sub-Saharan countries.
first phase is expected to start in June 2005 and run for six years. It will be
executed by government ministries or departments mandated to address the problem
of T&T in the participating countries.
The consultancy services will
cater for technical assistance services for the insectariums and the line
ministries; training, technical support to GIS staff, development of the project
manual of procedures and the mid-term review. They will also facilitate land use
planning, monitoring, baseline surveys, audit, studies and fly release
Tsetse and trypanosomiasis is a major constraint to the attainment
of food security and middle-income status in the six participating
African trypanosomiasis is a serious parasitic disease that is
always fatal if not treated. The disease is spread by the bite of tsetse flies,
found only in Africa. It occurs in two forms: East African trypanosomiasis and
West African trypanosomiasis.
East African trypanosomiasis is caused by the
parasite trypanosoma brucei rhodesiense while the West African trypanosomiasis
is caused by trypanosoma brucei gambiense.
East African trypanosomiasis
occurs in parts of East and Central Africa, including Uganda, Kenya, Tanzania,
Malawi, Ethiopia, Zaire, Zimbabwe, and Botswana. West African trypanosomiasis is
found in parts of West and Central Africa.
In rare cases, an infected
pregnant woman can pass the infection to her baby. Infection can also be
transmitted of blood transfusion or organ transplant, but very rarely.
Trypanosomiasis can be diagnosed by laboratory tests on blood and spinal
According to experts, the East African trypanosomiasis is usually
confined to woodland and savannah areas away from places where people live.
Tourists, hunters, game wardens, fishermen, and other people who work in or
visit game parks in East and Central Africa are at greatest risk of
The risk of infection increases with the number of times a person
is bitten by a tsetse fly. Therefore, tourists are not at great risk for getting
trypanosomiasis unless they travel and spend long periods of time intsetse fly
Worldwide, 20,000 new cases of both East and West African
trypanosomiasis are reported each year. Since 1968, 17 cases of East African
trypanosomiasis have been reported in the United States; fewer cases of the West
African form of the disease have been reported.
Health Services Bill Passed
The Herald (Harare)
December 22, 2004
Posted to the web December 22, 2004
THE Health Services Bill,
which seeks to remove all health workers and other support staff in the Ministry
of Health and Child Welfare from the Public Service Commission and placing them
under the Health Services Board, was passed by Parliament on Monday with
Another Bill, the Finance (No 2) Bill 2004, which seeks to amend
the Finance, Income Tax, Stamp Duties, Value Added Tax, Estate Duty and Custom
and Excise Acts sailed through without amendments.
The two Bills will become
laws once President Mugabe assents to them.
According to the Health Service
Bill, the affected workers would fall under the Health Services Board, whose
establishment and functions are covered in the Bill.
The board would be
responsible for crafting the health workers' conditions of service in
consultation with associations and organisations representing health service
It may alter the conditions of service of existing members of the
health service, but no member's fixed salary would be reduced except in cases
where the member has been found guilty of misconduct or has consented to the
In the event of a member or a former member being aggrieved by any
verdict reached or punishment imposed on them, the Bill provides room for appeal
to the Labour Court.
The Financial (No 2) Bill also seeks to alter income
tax bands from the present minimum of $2,4 million a year to $12 million a
The Bill also proposes the increase of tax-free bonuses from $100 000
to $5 million with effect from last month.
'Zim Contributed US$1m Towards Fund'
The Herald (Harare)
Posted to the web December 22, 2004
contributed US$1 million towards the Global Fund but this has not worked in the
country's favour as it continues to be denied access to the money, a cabinet
minister has said.
The Minister of Health and Child Welfare, Dr David
Parirenyatwa, said the country had contributed the little that it could afford
at the inception of the Global Fund with the intention of benefiting from it at
a later stage.
"However, we continue to be denied access to the funds. This
is despite the fact that our proposals are excellent and are even more
transparent than some of the countries that have been given the funds," he said
Zimbabwe applied early this year for US$218 million to finance the
country's HIV and Aids programmes and US$30 million for tuberculosis
This application was rejected in April this year and an appeal
was made but the technical review committee turned it down in September.
first application by Zimbabwe to the Global Fund was in 2002 when the country
applied for US$8 million for malaria and US$14,1 million for HIV and
The money from the Global Fund was meant to increase the prevention of
HIV infection among the youths, expansion of prevention of HIV transmission from
mothers to children, increase the supply of drugs for opportunistic infections
and to provide skills education in school.
The Global Fund was established in
2001 to fight TB, malaria, HIV and Aids wherever these diseases occur around the
These diseases are said to be killing more than six million people
each year and the numbers continue to grow.
Funding from the Global Fund was
expected to save millions of lives, stop the spread of diseases and halt
devastation to families, commu- nities, communities and economies around the
world on humanitarian grounds.
Government and other stakeholders have
since said the denial of funds to the country by the Global Fund is
The people sitting at the helm of the fund, said Dr Parirenyatwa
were British and American respectively, whose relations with Zimbabwe are at an
all time low.
Trip crisis inspires business brainwave
|A WORCESTER globe-trotter came up with the idea for a
new business, which could prove to be invaluable to travellers and
holiday-makers the world over, after being seriously ill while in
Martin Hook, from Powick Mills in the city, left all of his personal
documents in a hostel while he was hooked up to a drip in a Zimbabwean hospital
in 1998 after contracting a life threatening case of amoebic
Fortunately for him nothing was stolen, but it was this experience
that prompted Martin, 42, to think about setting up www.myonlinesafe.com - a
service which provides scanned copies of important travel documents.
met Charles Huthwaite, a member of the West Midlands IT Association (WMita)
committee, at a Profit Through Innovation meeting in June this year and the duo
launched the company.
The website, which costs £25 a year to use, offers
replacement copies of tickets, travellers cheque receipts, driving licences,
vaccination certificates and other important documents.
Travellers are given
their own password-protected safe which can be accessed from any internet
location and the site is available in six languages.
It also provides
important links to help plan trips, find local cash machines or accommodation
when overseas and a world wide Embassy finder for consular help.
also runs a vinyl graphics consultancy, said the increasing threat of crime
highlighted the necessity for this site when away from home.
"People are now
travelling more frequently to further and more exotic destinations than ever
before," he said.
"If the originals of important documents are lost or stolen
then being able to visit an internet cafe, log on to your personal online safe
and print off the scanned images is
December 22, 2004, 15:15
The European Union (EU) criticised today a new Zimbabwean law banning foreign
funded rights groups, saying it undermined democracy in the
Zimbabwe's ruling Zanu(PF) party used its parliamentary majority
to pass a law on December 9 obliging non-governmental organisations operating in
Zimbabwe to register with a state-appointed body, and banning foreign funded
"The European Union expresses its concern on the adoption
of the NGO bill which will...have severe consequences for the operations, even
the existence of many local and foreign NGOs active in Zimbabwe," the Dutch EU
presidency said in a statement.
The bill "...will further reduce the
democratic space in Zimbabwe...If the bill is implemented immediately, the EU's
ability to provide assistance to Zimbabwe will be significantly
The government of Robert Mugabe, the Zimbabwean president, has
accused some NGOs of working with Western countries to undermine his rule. On
the same day it passed the NGO bill, parliament also passed electoral reforms
the opposition said did not go far enough.
Foreign critics have said
Zanu(PF) rigged parliamentary elections in 2000 and the 2002 presidential poll,
and accuse the government of widespread human rights abuses.
The EU said
the bill could limit the ability of NGOs to conduct governance work, and so
raised new concerns over parliamentary elections due in March. It also regretted
its likely impact on social, health and humanitarian programmes.
has imposed sanctions on Mugabe and his inner circle and accused the government
of intimidating the opposition and muzzling the media. - Reuters
Ease Plight of HIV/Aids Orphans
December 22, 2004
Posted to the web December 22,
THE HIV/Aids scourge has seriously ravaged Zimbabwean
society as more and more children either become orphans or are infected by the
Nearly one million children have lost at least one or both parents,
a situation that has also resulted in hundreds of child-headed
A visit to Granville Cemetery in Harare also paints a very sad
picture of infant mortality.
Rows and rows of graves indicate a growing
number of children dying before they have reached the age of three.
these were infected either during pregnancy, at birth or through
Zimbabwe is also among the top four countries in the world
with the highest prevalence of HIV/Aids infection.
At least 1,8 million
Zimbabweans are living with the virus and nearly 2 500 die every week.
these children may have an extended family, most have become homeless or fend
for themselves as relatives are also battling to cope with the prevailing
Relatives are no longer interested in taking on board
extra mouths to feed.
This leaves orphans open to all sorts of harsh
conditions that eventually expose them to Aids.
As Zimbabweans slowly walk
into 2005, it is important to reflect on the plight of children who have been
orphaned because of this pandemic.
There is also need for the Government to
place the needs of orphans high on the agenda for next year, as it is quite
evident that more and more children will lose parents to the pandemic.
Government has an obligation, as the ultimate custodian of these children, to
ensure that they receive care, support and protection.
However, many orphans,
especially girls, fall prey to "Good Samaritans" who sexually abuse them in
exchange for food.
One orphan was driven into prostitution after being
promised a job in the city.
She is said to have slept with 100 men in six
months at a brothel in Waterfalls.
She is now, inevitably, HIV
There are so many other orphans who also come into the cities with
relatives who enslave them into unpaid domestic work.
Some are raped and
dumped onto the streets the moment the employer discovers they have fallen
The only intervention possible that could curb the pandemic is to
make anti-retroviral drugs (ARVs) available for free like what is happening, for
instance, in Swaziland.
There is need for the adult population to live longer
so that they can be able to fend for their children into adulthood.
known to prolong lives for decades if taken properly.
Zimbabwe was denied access to Global Fund support for HIV and Aids programmes,
it is imperative that we also take advantage of other therapies that would bring
relief to people living with HIV and Aids.
Zimbabwe has to take a much more
proactive approach to the pandemic in order to save the population.
are so many known therapies that could bring relief to people living with HIV
and Aids, but there seems to be a sluggish approach to implementing such
The fact remains that not many will be able to access
anti-retroviral treatment (ART) and that means that Zimbabwe will be faced soon
with a whole generation of orphans.
Sent: Wednesday, December 22, 2004 11:00 PM
Subject: Christmas letter
Dear friends in and around Harare
I write to you as another year in our struggle for democracy draws
close and as we face an even more difficult year, with the General
slated to take place in March and with practically none of the
for a free and fair election insisted upon by SADC and MDC being
What is the point, many of you ask – and indeed I am
virtually under siege
as people declare either that they are leaving, that
they will not vote,
that MDC has betrayed them, etc. etc.
that when things seem most hopeless, that is when you sort out the
the boys – and the women from the girls! – and that is the time
when you need
to stand firm, because it is a sign the other side is
desperate, and fighting
with no holds barred.
We have just witnessed an attempted rebellion in
ZanuPF, and the fallout
from that is far from over. Six out of the ten
provinces were part of that
rebellion – as was a senior leader of the ZanuPF
war veterans. Now we have
many powerful but disaffected politicians. Do you
believe they will all
simply throw in the towel, when their entire future is
at stake? What kind
of primary elections are likely to take place in that
party, with this
amount of division and animosity?
Yes, it was a
clever move to appoint Joyce Mujuru Vice President – but the
majority of the
people see through the gender dimension of that appointment
to the real
reason – tribal politics. And I believe that the majority of
disgusted to see that in the 21st century, after 17 years of
Accord, Mugabe reverts to tribal politics to retain his own
power. This is
not the Zimbabwe we want. This is not the way forward out
of our national
crisis. (By the way, have we heard anything out of the
mouth of Joyce Mujuru
since she was appointed?)
When the enemy is fighting amongst themselves,
attack! Only a fool would
give up at this point. Yes, obviously the first
battle is over the playing
field itself – and that is precisely where MDC has
been putting most of its
efforts. Hence national pressure all this year, as
well as the regional and
international initiatives led by President Morgan
Tsvangirai in November –
and some of the results of those initiatives are
just coming out now. Note
that MDC has still not announced its decision to
participate or not– we are
still working for more concessions on the SADC
principles and guidelines.
Nothing is impossible.
So as we gird our
loins and bosoms for battle, I wish you all a very Happy
Christmas season with your family and friends. As we celebrate,
let us spare
a thought for Roy Bennett in Mutoko prison and his family (our
went to visit him yesterday 21 Dec with a letter signed by all
MPs)– and for
all those who are suffering and who have suffered and died in
for a New Beginning for our beloved Zimbabwe.
Harare North Constituency
It is that time of the year again w h e n w e c e l e
b r a t e Christmas. It is the time for rejoicing and
sharing: the time when
we sit down with our families and
extend goodness and charity to our
families, friends and neighbours.
It is saddening that for the fifth year
running, the nation
experiences unprecedented suffering due to high commodity
and diminishing wage value. We are spending a fifth
hungry christimas. The crisis of governance in Zimbabwe is
clear for all to see.
The past year has seen continued food shortages.
government claims that you all have enough maize, that
granaries are full and that therefore you are not starving. We all
this is false. The government has even said to the donor
that they should take their maize elsewhere. The truth is
Zimbabweans need food. Under my government in a new Zimbabwe,
open doors to international food aid and allow food relief
agencies to assist
the vulnerable rural and urban folk in need of food.
As a long term strategy
we will rationalize agriculture with a view to
increasing productivity and
Prices for basic commodities continue to
government claims that inflation is receding and that
ordinary man on the street can afford a decent living. I am
most Zimbabweans are earning salaries way below $750 000
month. The workers representatives, the ZCTU say workers need
than $1,5 million per month for basic survival. We agree with
The danger posed to the country by the scourge of HIV/Aids
remains unabated. With more than 1,8 million
Zimbabweans living with the
virus this scourge threatens the
nation's very existence. It threatens the
future of our children. Our
priorities in the AIDS scourge should be in
declaring it a national
disaster thereby elevating the issue as a national
priority. We need to
show compassion and ensure that all AIDS patients have
cheap Aids drugs to mitigate their condition without
Millions in the national workforce remain unemployed because
are no jobs. Massive retrenchments are taking place
everywhere as hundreds of
companies close shop in this hostile
system has virtually collapsed due to
mismanagement and corruption. Poor
remuneration and intimidation have negatively affected
of our teachers and shortchanged the students. We believe
creating a future for every child in Zimbabwe. Corruption is an
of the people and should be eliminated from our society. Our
deserve the best. Their morale is an issue of primary
Zimbabweans deserve a violence free environment. We need
environment where citizens and visitors alike are able to
go about their
daily lives confident of the inalienability of their
through its economic blueprint, RESTART has outlined
its policies on issues
of the economy, land, health and HIV/Aids and
However, the year
2004 has given us a ray of hope. In August SADC
adopted a regional protocol
on elections, which will have far
reaching effects on election national
management in the region. By
adopting the protocols SADC accepted our
reaffirmed the universality of our demands for free and
elections. SADC accepted that equal access to the media,
independent election management system and free campaigning
issues are prerequisite for a legitimate government.
The spirit of Mauritius
gives us a starting point for a new
beginning. Legitimacy is equal to
Democracy. We will continue the
democratic struggle, the struggle for
political space until the SADC
protocols are realized in their
As we celebrate Christmas and the New Year let us spare a
for the poor and vulnerable in our midst as well as those of
cadres who died during the course of this struggle for
Zimbabwe needs a new beginning.
I wish you a prosperous 2005.