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Enough is Enough



We have a fundamental right to freedom of expression!



First day of Christmas: ‘Do they know it’s Christmas?’

Sokwanele Reporter: 26 December 2004


On 25 November 1984, the now infamous song, ‘Do They know It's Christmas?' was recorded at Air Studio in London, and featured a cross-section of some of the most successful British rock and pop acts of the time. Band Aid was born.


A joint effort between two friends – Bob Geldof and Midge Ure – this ‘modern carol’ was a fund and awareness-raising venture brought about in response to heartbreaking events unfolding in Ethiopia. Michael Burk, the journalist who called the world’s attention to the Ethiopian crisis in a report aired on the 23 October 1984, described the scenes of starvation and suffering in that country as a ‘biblical famine existing in the twentieth century’. Aid workers described it as “the closest thing to hell on earth.”


Twenty years on Band Aid is celebrating its twentieth anniversary with the re-release of ‘Do they know its Christmas?’ sung this time by a group of musicians who are mostly too young to remember the original Band Aid initiative. As Christmas rolls around this year, many Zimbabweans find that they are too busy trying to survive that they have very little to celebrate.


Sokwanele will be releasing an article for every one of the twelve days of Christmas, starting today, the 26 December. Our articles will remind you that our country has a tradition of state imposed starvation – a tradition that ironically began in the same year that Band Aid was born. We will share the voices and experiences of some of the most vulnerable people in our community, voices which come from different social and cultural backgrounds, and we will describe to you how food shortages impact on their lives. Twenty years on, while Band Aid celebrates its anniversary and reflects on the meaning and impact of Band Aid on the world, many Zimbabweans are living through a repeat of the cold indifference displayed by the state twenty years ago.


Starvation, regardless of political or religious persuasion, is at its core a moral issue and we ask that you put aside your political beliefs, and consider what many Zimbabweans are experiencing today in that light. State imposed starvation, which sets out to terrorise people through the threat of a slow tortuous death, or worse, through the threat of witnessing the slow death of their family, their children, is an unspeakably evil act.


The twelfth day of Christmas, 6 January, Epiphany day, is the day that Christians believe that the three wise men presented their gifts to the new born Christ. Regardless of your own personal faith, we ask that you share in the symbolism of this day and to give a gift of time to those in our community too isolated or vulnerable to speak for themselves.


Twenty years ago the Ethiopian people were fortunate to have present a journalist like Michael Buerk to call the world’s attention to their plight. They were lucky to have aid workers assisting them, aid workers who were able to testify to the horrors of their experience. Zimbabweans cannot hope that a talented foreign journalist will write an article that gives the world a wake-up call, because the ZANU-PF government has banned foreign journalists from freely entering the country. Local journalists risk criminal charges if they try to speak the truth; besides, where would they publish? Most dissenting media voices have long ago been shut down. Suffering communities may hope that concerned aid workers will be present to witness and call attention to their experiences, but this hope will fade fast when the new NGO bill comes into force and aid workers are expelled from the country.


Bob Geldof has taken pains to point out that the people who supported Band Aid in 1984 are now the same people who are in power today, and that the possibility of a political solution is therefore better than before:


"More than raising money, you make a political demand this time, because these people in power know what's going on. Twenty years ago we raised an issue, now we're raising it again, and I hope we can finally deliver."


The Ethiopian experience that gave rise to the Band Aid phenomena is an experience that many Zimbabweans shared at the same time as them, that many Zimbabweans are experiencing now twenty years later as a result of the politicization of food. It’s an experience that many more of us are likely to experience in the future as food shortages increase. This is our story and in this information-starved community it falls to us to be our own storytellers.


Day 2: 27th December 2004
Tomorrow’s article will describe Zimbabwe’s long history of using food as a political tool to control and intimidate a civilian population.

Second Day of Christmas: Hunger as a political weapon
Sokwanele Reporter: 27 December 2004
In the 21st century when the Zimbabwe government uses food deprivation as a means of silencing dissent, it is reviving an established practice of political control. Zimbabwe is a drought-prone country, and drought strikes most frequently in the western provinces of Matabeleland.  The years 1982, 83 and 84 produced typically poor harvests or no harvests at all, and the rural population learned to depend on drought relief in the form of food aid from relatives in town or from distribution networks established by the Social Welfare Department and the churches. But in Matabeleland North, from January to April 1983 and in Matabeleland South, from February to April 1984, a curfew imposed by government blocked the movement of people and goods, including food.  It is not a coincidence that these months were chosen – they are the months before the harvest, when granaries in Matabeleland villages are almost always empty, and the people would suffer the most.
The curfew was a deliberate and calculated policy to starve the people of Matabeleland into submission, at a time when government claimed to be fighting a dissident rebellion.  The fiction that people were supporting “dissidents” was an excuse to punish them for daring to vote for ZAPU and terrorise them into abandoning their traditional support for the party led by Joshua Nkomo,
Control of food was not new in Zimbabwe.  In 1896, the British had tried to quell Ndebele resistance in the Matopos by starving them out; Smith’s army and police had tried something similar and for the same reasons.  However, the massacres and starvation of rural people in Matabeleland in the 1980’s far surpassed anything of its kind perpetrated by Smith.  While these atrocities failed to induce the people to vote for ZANU PF in the elections of 1985, in the end the ZAPU leadership capitulated and joined with ZANU at the end of 1987 in order to stop the punishment of their people.
A government that is capable of massacring and starving their own people once can certainly do it again.  So we should not have been surprised when, feeling its back against the wall and its position threatened after the 2000 parliamentary elections, ZANU PF again resorted to the use of starvation to secure its political position.
In the 1980’s, artificial food shortages were created in rural Matabeleland by prohibiting distribution.  In the period leading up to the 2002 Presidential election, genuine food shortages resulted from government policies.  First, production was seriously reduced by the fast-track land “reform”, secondly a black market was created by uneconomic price controls, and thirdly, illegal exports were encouraged by  artificial foreign exchange rates.  It is doubtful whether government deliberately induced these food shortages, but once they were there, they seized the opportunity to exploit them for their own political gain.
Since 2002 Zimbabwe has depended on foreign food aid, as chaos on the land combined with drought caused repeated declines in food production.  Each election, whether for local government, for the President, or for parliamentary by-elections, has seen ZANU PF trying to control the supply of food to those who have none.  Different tactics have been used:  only those with ZANU PF cards are allowed to buy; food is supplied to ZANU PF functionaries for sale; shops or grinding mills owned by opposition supporters are closed; or the maize is stacked by a polling station and handed to voters with threats of what will happen if the results do not show a ZANU PF victory. As we approach the 2005 election, the campaign is already in full swing.  Rural people are being told that their votes will be known and a community that votes for the opposition will not receive food supplies. 
Manipulation of food supplies has now become a major tool for controlling the population, for wearing down their resistance to ZANU PF.  From temporary aberrations during time of war or civil disturbance, the political use of food has become a permanent condition of rural life in much of Zimbabwe.  Failed land and agricultural policies ensure that there will be food shortages for the foreseeable future, and as we lurch from one election to the next ZANU PF uses control of food as a desperate means to cling to power.  What had been a frightful but fading memory from the past has now become a permanent recurring condition of life in ZANU PF’s  Zimbabwe. Unless there is change soon, it will also become a constant fear for the future
Day 3: 28th December 2004
Tomorrow’s article focuses on Belinda and her grandmother. Belinda’s grandmother faced enormous challenges in the fight to keep Belinda alive. 

Third day of Christmas: Belinda’s Story

Sokwanele Reporter: 28 December 2004

Belinda was 6 weeks old when her plight was first brought to the attention of AIDSCARE (the fictitious name of an NGO).  Belinda’s Mother had died of AIDS soon after Belinda was born and she was now being cared for by her grandmother.   Sadly, Belinda herself was HIV positive.


Belinda’s grandmother was tearful and agitated and in a really desperate state when she approached AIDSCARE for assistance. In order to assist her and Belinda, a qualified nurse and a social welfare worker had to visit them both at home and assess their situation first hand. What they found there was more depressing than they had expected. There was no food at all in the house and Belinda and her grandmother had no decent bedding to speak of. Belinda’s grandmother was a widow with no source of income whatsoever, dependent solely on “Good Samaritans” for food. Many times they both went without anything to eat. The investigating team found that Belinda had been without Baby Formula for some time as her grandmother couldn’t afford to buy her any. She was severely dehydrated and had to be hospitalised immediately so she could get fluid intravenously. AIDSCARE provided Belinda’s grandmother with the ambulance fee so she could be taken to the hospital. The grandmother was extremely grateful for this assistance.


Getting Belinda to the Hospital wasn’t the end of the story. Upon arrival, the grandmother was told she had to provide her own “Drip Set” (cannula, tubes and fluid bag) as well as Baby Formula during Belinda’s hospital stay. The poor woman didn’t even have enough money to buy herself an orange, let alone a drip set and Baby Formula. She was beside herself, so  she came back to AIDSCARE to explain the hospital requirements.  Their staff went to the hospital and confirmed from the Sister in charge of the Children’s Ward, that indeed patients were required to provide their own drips and formula – which they found truly unbelievable.   As AIDSCARE  does not handle any cash (except for ambulance fees and bus fares), they gave Belinda’s grandmother food vouchers so she could buy formula for the baby. They also took a small collection among themselves to buy the Drip Set for Belinda.


When Belinda was discharged from the hospital a week later the AIDSCARE staff followed up with a home visit to see how she was doing.  They found Belinda’s grandmother was in serious need of counselling.  They were able to provided her with enough food vouchers, mealie meal and beans to sustain her and the child for a while. They also provided them with blankets and warm clothing, which are regularly donated to AIDSCARE by well-wishers.  


As Belinda was HIV positive, she tended to get sores from time to time that needed to be dressed regularly. Her benefactors made arrangements for her to get free treatment from the nearest clinic.


One morning when the medical/social welfare team delivered food, blankets and clothing to Belinda’s grandmother they found her looking rather dejected, so they decided to sit with her a while. In a 2 hour counselling session she told the nurse and social welfare worker that she had often contemplated suicide. She said that what prevented her from taking her own life was the thought that she would leave behind a helpless Belinda (even though she knew deep down that Belinda would not live long). After talking for a while the grandmother recovered her composure . She asked her visitors to pray with her, and after that she promised them she would never think of suicide again.


Belinda died at the age of 3 years. Her grandmother now lives all alone, but at least she receives a regular gift of  food from those who care. – and they are planning on visiting her again this festive season.


Day 4: 29th December 2004
Tomorrow’s article is a first hand account of appalling conditions in Zimbabwe’s prisons. Zimbabwe’s prisoners live in very unhygienic conditions and are expected to survive on hardly any food at all.


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Daily Mirror, 28 December
Chiyangwa alive - expected to appear in court today
Mirror Reporters

Ostentatious Harare businessman Phillip Chiyangwa, reportedly in the hands of state security agents for undisclosed crimes, is expected to appear in court today – a development that dispels recent rumours in the capital that the Zanu PF Mashonaland West provincial chairman could have died. Highly placed sources told The Daily Mirror that Chiyangwa – whose last public appearance was on December 15 when he presented a budget review report in Parliament – would be dragged to the courts today where charges against him would be preferred. The gaudy Chiyangwa, also chairman of the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Budget and International Trade, left Parliament before the august House adjourned, and disappeared into thin air. Ever since his disappearance, his family and lawyer Llyod Mhishi were either unprepared or uninformed about his whereabouts, sending tongues wagging that the showy businessman could indeed be in the hands of the State for a very serious crime. The outspoken Chiyangwa has been conspicuous by his absence in the political arena, giving credence to reports that he had disappeared. He has not been attending Parliament since December 15 and was not at the newly elected party’s central committee meeting where he is an ex-officio member.
Speculation has been rife that Chiyangwa played a tacit role in the unsanctioned Tsholotsho meeting but later performed a double summersault in the eleventh hour, after realising the game plan and the environment had changed. The indaba, reportedly convened by Information Minister Jonathan Moyo alongside Zanu PF Midlands chairman July Moyo, was meant to change the party’s presidium which could have seen Parliamentary Speaker Emmerson Mnangagwa, Thenjiwe Lesabe and Justice Minister Patrick Chinamasa assuming the presidency, while Moyo would have taken over as the party’s secretary for administration. However, sources said, it was highly unlikely that Chiyangwa could have been arrested for the Tsholotsho allegations unless, as speculation has it that there could be something more sinister he is suspected of having done. If he appears in court as sources claim, this will quell rumours of death or insanity, which have been making the rounds in the capital over the past few days.
Although the police and his relatives have vehemently denied that Chiyangwa was arrested, speculation over his whereabouts was fuelled by a recent interview in which his lawyer was quoted as saying his client "was in control of the situation", without elaborating on the circumstances surrounding his client’s whereabouts. His scheduled court appearance comes in the wake of last Friday’s appearance of four other men who went missing about the same time – namely banker Tendai Matambanadzo, Zanu PF deputy security chief Kenny Karidza, Zimbabwe’s ambassador to Mozambique Godfrey Dzvairo, and Itai Marchi. The four were reportedly remanded in custody to tomorrow in proceedings the Press and the suspects’ relatives were barred. Asked about Chiyangwa’s possible court appearance today, police spokesperson Oliver Mandipaka expressed ignorance on the matter. "I do not know anything. Did you go to his home and see that he is truly not there?" asked Mandipaka. Mandipaka also professed ignorance on the court appearance of the other four men, alleging that he was unaware of their arrest. Harare lawyer Selby Hwacha, representing Dzvairo and Matambanadzo, told The Daily Mirror last week that no one had informed them that his clients had been arrested and what the charge was. He said he was surprised that they had appeared in court without legal representation – a legitimate expectation.
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Zimbabwe squad hit by tour delay
Khaled Mashud sweeps against Zimbabwe
The series pits Test cricket's two weakes teams against each other
The Zimbabwe cricket team has been delayed en route to Bangladesh following the tsunami which devastated large areas of south Asia.

The team were due to catch a connecting flight from Calcutta to the Bangladeshi capital, Dhaka, on Tuesday.

It is now hoped they will be able to leave India, with their first game due to start on Saturday.

The tour will see Zimbabwe play two Tests, their first since May, and five one-day internationals.

They are still relying on a young, inexperienced squad. led by wicket-keeper Tatenda Taibu, and have not won a game since beating Bangladesh in a one-day series on home soil nine months ago.

Bangladesh, however, have high hopes of winning a Test match for the first time since being granted Full Member status by the International Cricket Council in 2000.

They defeated in India in a limited overs international last Sunday, and although they lost the series decider 24 hours later, it did not take the gloss off their achievement.

"I feel proud of them. We sometimes pushed them [India] back and there were a lot of positive things to enjoy.

"I am very much more hopeful for the upcoming Zimbabwe tour," said coach Dav Whatmore.

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AFP, 28 December
Zim jazz pioneers still at it
Susan Njanji

Neither age nor adversity have worn down the talent, creativity or determination of the Cool Crooners, the seasoned veterans who make up Zimbabwe's oldest township jazz group. Most members started playing jazz in the 1950s, and though now in their 70s, they can kick up their heels high during live shows while staging spectacular dances. Their voices are still strong and clear. "At times people are surprised to see old people like us singing," said Cool Crooner member Abel Sithole (70). The Cool Crooners originated in the black working class township of Makokoba in Zimbabwe's second largest city of Bulawayo, 459km southwest of the capital Harare. They call their music 'township jazz', because it emanated from the Makokoba township, Bulawayo's oldest ghetto. Their music is a fusion of American blues, western jazz blended with African rhythm and traditional vernacular chants born in one of the country's poorest suburbs. Sithole said their music is influenced by South African artists such as the Manhattan Brothers and Miriam Makeba. "Our music is based on marabi, which is what we grew up listening to," said Sithole, referring to a 1920s music style that arose in Johannesburg's slumyards blending Afro-American ragtime and blues.
The Crooners have survived in a country where music until recently was not considered a profession from which one could earn a decent living. People who turned to music instead of other professions were considered lazy, wayward or simply delinquents. Sithole said a strong passion for music has kept them going and in good shape as well. "I could have been playing music for much longer than 48 years but my father was against it," said Sithole, who has been playing jazz since 1956. "I think it is the determination to accomplish what was disturbed by the war of liberation which keeps me going," said Sithole. Sithole joined the guerrilla war and went for training to fight against British colonial rule in the 1960s. He was captured in 1969 and sentenced to death, later commuted to 18 years imprisonment. He served 10 years and was freed in a general amnesty at independence in 1980. On release from prison, he had the choice to join either the police or the army, but "I refused and carried on with my music". "I love music and it's what I know better," he said adding "and if it's standard jazz, I can sing anything. I can perform with any group even without practising," said Sithole.
The group originally started singing separately in the 1950s as two different formations, the Cool Four and the Golden Rhythm Crooners, and teamed up only in the 1990s to form the Cool Crooners. Although singing for decades, the Crooners were quite obscure until they were 'discovered' by French film maker Patrick Meunier a few years ago when he was doing a documentary in Bulawayo. The group, consisting of Lucky Tondhlana (65), Eric Juba (54), Timothy Sekane (72) and Sithole (70), has now been able to record two CDs - one of them this month in France. The exposure they have enjoyed recently has seen them playing not only in many more places in Zimbabwe, but also touring countries such as Canada, the United States, France, Switzerland, Tunisia, Democratic Republic of Congo, Malawi, Tanzania and Kenya.
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               New Challenges for the President in 2005: Human Rights in Africa
                                          By Scott Morgan
                 By most accounts 2004 was a disappointment for Human Rights in Africa. Violence flared up in both the Democratic Republic of the Congo and in Cote D’Ivorie, With Peacekeepers actually getting involved in the strife on more than one occasion. The situation within Zimbabwe showed no sign of improvement let alone being resolved. Finally the African Union had to send troops to the troubled Sudanese region of Darfur to try and end what the US Congress found to be genocide.
                Despite the violence depicted above there were some positive developments on the continent. There were Democratic Elections in Niger, Namibia and most recently in Mozambique that resulted in peaceful changes of Governments. But despite the positive developments and the interest in the critical situations mentioned above there is a situation that continues to fall off the radar of many Western Governments. But there is growing interest from China in the dark Continent.
               The situation in Northern Uganda is what some in Congress have stated to be a crisis. There has been an insurgency in the country that has been going on since 1986. Both the Ugandan Government and the main Rebel Force the Lord’s Resistance Army have used Child Soldiers to replenish their ranks. There have been some serious allegations that instead of repatriating Child Soldiers that were ‘rescued” from the ranks of the LRA the Ugandan Military is conscripting them. This has led to two investigations being launched into the Human Rights Situation there. One is a Criminal Investigation by the Newly formed International Criminal Court. This targets mainly the Acts committed by the LRA. Mostly this involves the use of Child Soldiers. But there is an investigation taking place into the situation by Congress. The Congressional investigation has major implications for some of the President’s agenda. First Uganda is a member of the international criminal court. This Administration is no fan of that body and Uganda received a Waiver in order to receive Military Aid. Also Uganda is a key ally in the War on Terror. The US Military has refurbished the infamous Entebbe airfield at a cost of Millions of Dollars for use as a regional staging base.
             But with these steps that have been taken there is a crucial question that has yet to be answered by the Authorities in Kampala, Washington and the Hague.
What will happen to the Acholi People? This is a group of people that have been caught in the middle of the conflict since it began in 1986. They have suffered abuses and been targeted for violence from both Government and Rebel forces. They have been residents in IDP (Internally Displaced People) Camps. Recently the authorities in Kampala announced that they will be closing the camps soon. If or when this occurs these people will bee left to the whim of the combatants. The Government had been providing Security for the camps. Unless a Peace Accord is reached and ensures the safety of these people than the Acholi will continue to suffer.
           This coming March will be the latest installment in the tragic saga of what appears to be the implosion of a once-thriving country. Once again the world will cast an eye of scrutiny on Zimbabwe as it holds Mid-Term Elections for Parliament. The ruling ZANU-PF (Zimbabwe African National Union-Patriotic Front) has passed a new slate of laws that seem to ensure its victory. These new laws limit the impact of those NGOs which have been providing food, legal advice and Medical Care for the destitute of that troubled state. The lndependent Media continue to suffer as a new law will charge them with Sedition for showing Government Mistakes. There have been allegations by several Human Rights Groups that the current regime has been using food as a political weapon. Talk about a 100 day honeymoon for the President.
          These will not be the only instances of crisis that the President will have to address in his Second Term. The State and Defense Departments, Congress and others will be forced to pay attention to events in Africa for this term. The Central African Republic will have elections this spring. The Plight of Abused Women continues to grow in interest. Calls for Democracy grow in Swaziland. Mr. President how can I help you?
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ZIMBABWE: Govt moves to stem health sector brain drain

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

JOHANNESBURG, 28 December (IRIN) - The government of Zimbabwe hopes to
stem the tide of medical professionals leaving the country through a new
bill that allows for public sector health workers' salaries to be set
separately from other civil servants.

The Health Services Bill, which passed through parliament last week,
effectively removed all health service personnel from the employ of the
Public Service Commission (PSC) and placed them under a yet to be
appointed Health Services Board.

However, the Zimbabwe Medical Association (ZIMA) has warned that the newly
gazetted bill may not be enough to improve conditions of service in the
health sector, as long as the ministry of health does not control its own

Government has hailed the bill as a breakthrough in its bid to improve
conditions of service and remuneration in the health sector and stop the
exodus of qualified health personnel from the country.

Health and Child Welfare Minister David Parirenyatwa told IRIN that the
Health Services Board, once established, will oversee the improvement of
conditions of service of health care workers.

"We expect the board to improve conditions of service and renumeration for
all health staff, professional and non-professional. The problem we had
with the PSC is that they employ all civil servants and as such cannot
attend to the special needs that have developed in the health sector over
the years," he said.

"There was trouble, as all civil servants would demand inclusion each time
the ministry called for salary hikes and other improvements [for health
sector staff]. It was even impossible to reward staff by way of promotions
as that decision lay with the PSC as their employer," Parirenyatwa noted.

"The new board shall be directly responsible for all staffing and service
matters in the health sector. We aim for an overall improvement of the
sector so that we can be able to attract and retain professional staff.
Judging by the improvements we are planning on, brain drain will soon be a
thing of the past," Parirenyatwa added.

Billy Rigava, the president of ZIMA told IRIN he was unconvinced that the
Health Services Board would be able to improve conditions of service for

"I do not think it is correct to say the mere creation of a board will
improve conditions. People are leaving because of poor remuneration and
conditions of service. The new board may make recommendations for
improvements but, like the PSC, they will still have to beg the ministry
of finance for money," Rigava said.

"That alone clearly [implies] that it will not have the power to implement
its own decisions. It is common knowledge that government rarely has
money. So the creation of the board is a non-starter because there will
still be the usual delays that will inevitably lead to dissatisfaction,
strikes and professionals will continue to leave the country," Rigava

He said an ideal situation would be the incorporation of a representative
of the finance ministry to advise the new board and ensure that any
budgetary needs are speedily attended to. The new bill also classifies the
health sector as an essential service, meaning employees cannot strike.

The ministry proposed the bill in December last year at the height of a
two-month strike by hospital doctors and nurses. The proposal drew heavy
criticism at the time from bodies representing health professionals as
they feared that it would deny them the right to protest poor remuneration
and conditions of service.

Efforts to get a comment from the Hospital Doctors Association of Zimbabwe
were unsuccessful.


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The British government announced on November 16 that it was lifting the suspension on returns to Zimbabwe. We have always argued since then that it was not safe to remove any Zimbabwean just 3 months away from the General election set for March 2005. The Zimbabwean government is paranoid and will treat anyone deported with suspicion.  Our fears have since then been confirmed by an article titled “Be wary of UK deportation threats: Moyo”, which came out of the Zimbabwean government mouthpiece the herald. The Zanu PF propagandist Moyo went on to say that “the threats by the united Kingdom to deport about 10 000 Zimbabwean might be a cover to deploy elements trained in sabotage, intimidation and violence to destabilize the country before and during next March parliamentary elections”

Our fears are also shared by people in Zimbabwe such as the MDC MP Job Sikhala who asked the minister of Justice Chinamasa to give assurances that those who were going to be deported would be safe when they arrive home. The MDC MP got a cosmetic answer from Chinamasa who went on to say that “the chickens are coming home to roost. It’s wrong to suggest that they went there as victims of torture, but the truth is that there were economic refugees. We accept all our citizens; they are still Zimbabweans.” The following day the propagandist of this regime made all of us more worried when he went on to say that, “The MDC MP Sikhala might know something more than meets the eye. This in considering that just in June, Blair said he has been working with the MDC to effect regime change in Zimbabwe. So we have a right to ask whether these would be deportees are mercenaries of regime change or plain law abiding Zimbabweans coming home after having been abused and dehumanized in Britain. Their treatment will depend on which is which”

There is no prize for guessing what will happen to the Zimbabweans that are going to be removed by the UK government. The British government has now maintained a policy of achieving a big number of removals without giving any consideration to the safety of the people there are removing. It also contradicts itself as summarized by Professor Terence Ranger. (President of the Britain Zimbabwe Society and Trustee of Asylum welcome) Professor Ranger wrote in his article the following:

“The new policy makes no pretence that Zimbabwe has become a safer 
place since 2002. The Government says that there has been no change 
'in our opposition to human rights abuses in Zimbabwe' and that it 
will work to 'restore democracy so that all Zimbabweans can in time 
return safely to help build a prosperous and stable Zimbabwe'. In the
meantime, however, it proposes to send many Zimbabweans back to an 
unstable Zimbabwe in a state of economic collapse and with continuing
human rights abuses. What has changed since 2002 is not Zimbabwe but
the British political climate. In 2002 Zimbabwe was much in the news
because of the take-over of white-owned land. Even the Conservative 
Party supported the suspension of removals. Now Zimbabwe has dropped 
out of the news headlines. Few British politicians care much any 
longer about what happens to black Zimbabweans.

But those of who do care wish to register a strong protest against 
the resumption of removals and to call for the re-instatement of just
processes of assessment of asylum claims.”

It is obvious that the British government is trying to remove Zimbabwean by any means necessary. We call upon you all to show your solidarity by supporting us in stopping these removals. To those who choose silence, let me adapt the Rev Niemoller's famous words. FIRST THEY CAME FOR THE NDEBELE, BUT I WAS NOT A NDEBELE SO I DID NOT SPEAK OUT. Then they came for the farmers, but I was not a farmer, so I did not speak out. Then they came for the farm workers, homosexuals and the trade unionists, but I was neither, so I remained silent. Then they came for the journalists, but I was not a journalist so I did not speak out. And when they came for me, there was no one left to speak out for me. STOP THE REMOVALS NOW!!!



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Article compiled by Dr Brighton Chireka a Zimbabwean in the UK.


Petition to the Home Office
Please make sure that you are not sending home Zimbabweans whose lives are at risk because of their support for Zimbabwean opposition parties or because they are perceived to be opponents of Zanu-PF, the ruling regime.  The UK Government’s announcement that it is to reinstate forced removals of failed Zimbabwean asylum seekers, after a two-year moratorium, has caused great alarm among the Zimbabwean community in the UK.  It understands the problem caused by bogus asylum seekers, but begs the Home Office to ensure that the many genuine victims of torture, rape and violence are protected, as well as those whose political activism has put them in jeopardy.

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[ This article was printed from - home of the Sunday Times, South Africa. ]

Lady Joyce in charge while Bob's away

HARARE - Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe has left for Malaysia for his annual vacation, leaving the country's newly appointed vice-president Joyce Mujuru in charge, state radio said.

Mujuru becomes the first woman to act as interim head of state and will be in charge until January 8, when Mugabe returns.

She was appointed second vice-president at the ruling Zimbabwe African National Union - Patriotic Front (Zanu PF) congress in Harare earlier this month, replacing the late Simon Muzenda.

Mugabe and his family, who left Harare late on Monday, will holiday with Zimbabwe's Paralympic gold medallist Elliot Mujaji, who won a vacation with the first family after he returned from the October Paralympic Games in Greece in triumph.

Mugabe, who is under European Union and American travel sanctions, has in recent years vacationed in Malaysia. Earlier,
however, Mugabe and his family took their yearly break in Europe and would normally make a stopover in London.


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Zimbabwe's Mugabe Names Female VP Acting Head-of-State

28 December 2004

Officials say Mr. Mugabe left Harare late Monday to travel to Malaysia, and is expected to return early next month.

The state-run Herald newspaper says Vice President Mujuru will serve in his absence, becoming the first woman to hold the nation's highest office.

Ms. Mujuru was approved as one of Zimbabwe's two vice presidents during a ruling party conference earlier this month. She had served as water minister and fought in the country's guerrilla war for independence in the 1970s.

In an interview with South African television on Monday, Ms. Mujuru said she may seek Zimbabwe's presidency in 2008 elections, when Mr. Mugabe is due to retire.

Some information for this report provided by  AFP, Reuters, Sapa-DPA, Herald, FBIS-SABC.

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China news
Zimbabwean gov't calls for planting more trees to rebuild ozone layer 2004-12-29 01:25:39

    HARARE, Dec. 28 (Xinhuanet) -- The Zimbabwean government on Tuesday called on the country's farmers to take advantage of the falling rains to plant more trees, thus contributing to global efforts to rebuild the ozone layer which is being depleted by toxic emissions.

    Abednigo Marufu, acting assistant general manager of the Forestry Commission of Zimbabwe, said farmers should also plant more trees as crops from which they could derive such benefits as fruits, fencing poles, firewood as well as a beautiful environment.

    "Let's plant tress, lots of trees, as much as we can to reduce temperature changes that cause environment hazards such as droughts and diseases," he said.

    Marufu said recent studies had revealed that temperatures in Zimbabwe were rising as a result of the depletion of the ozone layer.

    He said emissions from factories, motor vehicles, and other industrial and domestic applications were depleting the ozone layer and endangering all life forms on the earth.

    Since trees take in carbon dioxide and release oxygen, which isneeded by all life forms, it was therefore important for people toplant them and conserve existing ones, he said.

    The depletion of the ozone layer has seen an increase in the incidence of droughts throughout the world.

    Marufu urged newly resettled farmers to plant woodlots to replace the trees which they cut for building houses and for firewood.

    He also called on urban dwellers to plant fruit trees on their stands, which they can harvest as well as prune for use as firewood. Enditem

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The following is an editorial reflectiing the views of the United States government:
Zimbabwe will hold parliamentary elections in March. But President Robert Mugabe and his ruling ZANU-PF party are making it difficult for those who oppose them. Mr. Mugabe has served as Zimbabwe's president since 1980. Mismanagement, rampant inflation, and major abuses of freedom of expression and other human rights have taken their toll on the economy, which has been in a state of collapse since 2000.
The U.S. government and others, including Amnesty International, have commented on intimidation and fraud in elections held in 2000 and 2002. This month, Zimbabwe's state radio announced that a commission appointed by President Mugabe has merged six urban parliamentary seats to form just three. The leading opposition group, the Movement for Democratic Change, won those six districts in the 2000 general election. Three new voting districts have been created in the ruling ZANU-PF party's traditional rural strongholds.
Professor Lovemor Maduku is chairman of the National Constitutional Assembly, a group seeking a new constitution for Zimbabwe. Mr. Maduku says that "ZANU-PF has gained more seats in areas [where] it is assured of victory."
In addition, the state-owned Zimbabwe Broadcasting Company, or Z-B-C, has refused to run an advertisement provided by the Movement for Democratic Change. The refusal, says Paul Themba Nyathi, a movement spokesman, not only underlines "the extent to which the Zimbabwe government is failing to comply with the election stands. It also provides a stark reminder of the fact that Z-B-C is now simply a propaganda arm of the ruling party."
To get Zimbabwe back on track, the government must hold free and fair elections in compliance with the election guidelines of the fourteen-nation Southern African Development Community.
President George W. Bush says, "Human rights are defined by a constitution, they're defended by an impartial rule of law, [and] they're secured in a pluralistic society.... We've got to speak clearly for freedom," says Mr. Bush, "and we will in places like...Zimbabwe."
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The Herald

Banks set to conform to international rating framework

Business Reporter
JANUARY 1 2005 is D-day for all local banks as they will be expected to be part of the international rating framework as announced by the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) in its last monetary policy statement review.

Most banks are said to have aligned their operations and systems in line with this critical requirement although the central bank remained tight-lipped on how many institutions will comply by January 1 2005.

"To encourage local banks to conform to international best practice, there will be a mandatory requirement that each banking institution be subject to an agreed international rating framework," RBZ governor Dr Gideon Gono said.

The governor said this measure was meant to enhance the scope for easier brokerage of correspondent banking relationships between local financial institutions and their international counterparts.

The governor also called for changes in the composition of bank boards to avoid situations of undue interference in banking affairs by, for example, founder members. The call was made against the backdrop of a number of majority shareholders who also had direct influence on the day-to-day running of the business.

Because of management interference from the main shareholders this tended to result in the diversion of core business.

"In line with international best practice on corporate governance there is need to strike an appropriate balance between executive and independent non- executive directors," Dr Gono said.

"Consistent with this, it is now a requirement that boards of banking institutions have majority of independent non-executive directors."

Under the proposed new set-up an independent director is a non-executive director who would, among other things, not be a representative of the shareholder with the ability to influence management.

Also, the non-executive director would not have been employed by and has no immediate family members who have been employed by the financial institution in an executive capacity.

Dr Gono said against the background of fundamental compromises of sound corporate governance that had been displayed by some institutions, no shareholder with a more than 10 percent stake would form part of the institution’s management.

Regarding indigenous banks that have been caught on the wrong side of the law the governor said:

"Our proven support of enthusiasm to have indigenous banks does not, however, imply that we will cast a blind eye at indiscipline or create a separate or softer banking code."

"Our view is that being indigenous imposes an even greater responsibility, obligation and duty towards one’s country, towards one’s depositors, a shortcoming which a few of our brothers and sisters running and or owning indigenous institutions seem to have forgotten."

Indigenous banks that have been caught on the wrong side of the law include Royal Bank, Time Bank, Barbican Bank, Trust Bank, Intermarket with CFX being the newest kid on the block.

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The Herald

State to finalise constitution of productivity centre

Business Reporter
GOVERNMENT will next year put the finishing touches on the constitution of the Zimbabwe National Productivity Centre (ZNPC) to pave way for its implementation.

The ZNPC aims at enhancing competitiveness, particularly in the manufacturing sector, to meet the challenges posed by globalisation and the requirements of the new high-tech methods of doing business.

It is also expected that the establishment of the centre would improve the productive capacity of local firms, which have been operating at below 50 percent capacity due to the harsh economic environ-ment.

ZNPC’s thrust would have a strong bias towards raising productivity in agriculture, considering that Zimbabwe’s economy is largely agro-driven.

When ZNPC becomes operational, it is expected that locally manufactured products would have a competitive edge on the international market as most have played second fiddle over the past few years.

ZNPC was established in February this year under the structures of the Scientific, Industrial Development Centre, under the auspices of the Tripartite Negotiating Forum (TNF).

Its establishment could realise a smooth-sail, at least financially, as the International Labour Organisation in June this year pledged financial assistance once the Tripartite Advisory Council was set up.

The establishment of ZNPC is also an extension of the Government’s unfettered resolve to capacitate local firms as manifested in the Productive Sector Facility under which several companies that were almost on their knees were thrown a lifeline.

The loans were advanced at concessionary rates to raise productivity, which had slumped to unsustainable levels and the under-performance of these firms would have a ripple effect on the entire economy.

Finalisation of modalities for ZNPC next year is part of a broad range of resolutions drawn up for sustaining economic recovery gains achieved so far.

The resolutions are enshrined in the Macro-Economic Recovery Policy Framework 2005-2006 and among the strategies is the Pricing and Incomes Policy.

Under the strategies enunciated in the policy framework, there would be an attempt to implement the Incomes and Prices Stabilisation Protocol in collaboration with partners under the TNF.

The TNF has since come up with a pricing and incomes restraint matrix aimed at controlling incomes and price increases since they tend to put inflationary pressure on the economy if they go uncontrolled.

The Macro-Economic Policy Framework also provides guidelines for mutual collective bargaining.

Similar efforts will be put on other sectors such as tourism, mining and construction as part of a holistic approach towards harnessing all strategies critical to the turnaround process.

It is against that background that the Government has been putting in black and white guidelines for reviving the economy and with the commitment thus far demonstrated, 2005 promises to be year of remarkable growth for the economy.

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The Herald

IDC plans to set up tractor manufacturing plant

THE Industrial Development Corporation of Zimbabwe (IDC), with technical assistance from Iran, is planning to set up a tractor manufacturing plant to support the country’s agricultural activities.

Agriculture and Rural Development Minister Dr Joseph Made told New Ziana that a team of officials from the Agricultural and Rural Development Authority (Arda) and the Department of Irrigation left the country for Iran last Friday.

The team was expected to "speed up talks on the plans for IDC to set up a tractor manufacturing plant in the country with the help of Iran", he said.

He said the plant was expected to boost the country’s depleted tractor fleet.

The District Development Fund, a parastatal which provides tillage services to farmers, has 304 tractors in operation out of a fleet of 733 that was set aside for the tillage programme.

The minister said the country needed not less than 50 000 tractors to complement the agrarian reform programme.

He said an Iranian delegation that consisted of bankers arrived in the country on Wednesday last week to hold talks on strategies to increase mechanisation in the agricultural sector.

"We discussed the need for the country to receive more training on agricultural engineering and ways to acquire farming equipment from Iran so as to make sure that farmers utilise the land more efficiently," Dr Made said.

He said since the country would next year increase the area under irrigation from 75 000 to 150 000 hectares, there was need to boost irrigation capacity.

Combine harvesters, Dr Made said, would also be imported from Iran to enhance efficiency in the harvesting of wheat, soyabeans, sorghum and maize.

He said farmers were working around the clock to develop the agricultural industry, adding that those who did not have machinery for tillage should utilise animal-drawn implements.

Iran has been contributing towards the development of the country’s agricultural industry and other sectors and recently gave 20 million euros to Arda for the procurement of equipment. The land reform programme the Government embarked on in 2000 to rectify colonial land imbalances has resulted in increased demand for farming equipment.

More than 124 000 families have been resettled so far under the programme. — New Ziana.

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Top Zim bankers arrested for fraud

Zimbabwe authorities have arrested two senior executives of a collapsed local bank and seven others are being sought for questioning about allegations of fraud involving $20.5-million (R116.4-million).

The country's central bank said CFX Bank, a former foreign exchange dealer, was shut down by monetary authorities on December 18 after allegations of fraud and mismanagement triggered mass withdrawals from its branches.

All transactions and accounts at the bank were frozen for six months by an independent regulator.

Thousands of depositors were left without cash over the holidays and hundreds of others faced losing their investments with the bank.

Thousands of depositors were left without cash over the holidays
The Reserve Bank said in a statement that investigators believed CFX executives produced false profit statements to conceal the theft of at least $20.5-million.

"The law enforcement authorities are pursuing the case," the Reserve Bank said.

CFX deputy chief executive Gary Shoko and financial director Onias Ndlovu were arrested on Sunday.

Others wanted for questioning include executives of the computer department after forensic auditors restored erased computer data.

"A cartel of bank management existed in the institution and used its influence to conceal financial irregularities and illegal and unethical deals," the Reserve Bank said.

It warned efforts would be stepped up to "smoke out errant bankers"
It warned that efforts would be stepped up to "smoke out errant bankers" in Zimbabwe's troubled financial sector.

Six other private banks were shut down this year and put under the control of independent accountants.

All the suspended banks are among a dozen local banks licensed by the government as part of efforts to break a banking monopoly traditionally held by the main foreign-owned international banks.

None has reopened and many depositors are still waiting for their money.

Zimbabwe is suffering its worst economic crisis since independence with an inflation rate of 149 percent - the highest in the world - and soaring unemployment.

Since 2000 the agriculture-based economy has been crippled by the often violent seizure of thousands of white-owned commercial farms.

Shortages of petrol, food, hard currency and even local banknotes spurred speculation that gave finance houses a boom but the boom collapsed when borrowers failed to repay speculative loans. - Sapa-AP

The Argus

Published on the Web by IOL on 2004-12-28 11:43:00

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Sent: Wednesday, December 29, 2004 1:59 AM
Subject: Zimababwe: Breach of SADC Standards - Issue 9

Enough is Enough
We have a fundamental right to freedom of expression!
“Mauritius Watch”
The Zimbabwean Elections:
(Monitoring SADC Protocol Violations)
Issue 9.   December 20 2004
On August 17 2004, SADC leaders meeting in Mauritius adopted the SADC Protocol – Principles and Guidelines Governing Democratic Elections.  Zimbabwe, as a member of SADC, also signed the Protocol and committed itself to implementing its standards.
“Mauritius Watch” provides a regular, objective and non-partisan assessment of Zimbabwe’s compliance with the Protocol.  In the run-up to the 2005 Parliamentary Elections we note any significant failures to adhere to the SADC standards.
DateIncidents/Developments SADC standards breached
The Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation (ZBC) has refused to air a political advertisement for the opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) party, in direct contravention of the SADC principles governing the conduct of elections in member countries.  The MDC submitted the advertisement 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 advertisement with the view to having it broadcast by ZBC radio,” said MDC spokesperson Paul Themba Nyathi. “ZBC refused to flight it on the basis that it has some offensive references to ZANU PF.  We don’t believe that it was turned down because of its content,” added Nyathi.  “We believe that the problem was simply that the Minister of Information, Jonathan Moyo, and ZANU PF refuse to adhere to the SADC Mauritius protocol.”
ZBC officials at the state broadcaster’s commercial offices in Mbare took less than half an hour to make the decision to refuse to transmit the advertisement, saying that MDC advertisements should not criticise the government, or make any reference to ZANU PF, which in effect prevents any campaigning on national radio by opposition parties because they are unable to challenge either the ruling party’s record or its advertisements.  
This effectively leaves the ruling ZANU PF with a total monopoly of the airwaves on state radio, a powerful means of campaigning.  ZANU PF messages are broadcast daily and in recent elections they have used ZBC vehicles, equipment and personnel in the remotest rural areas to follow and report on their candidates exclusively.
(See the report on ZWNEWS: 2.1.5        Equal opportunity for all political parties to access the state media
7.4              (Government to) safeguard the human and civil liberties of all citizens including the freedom of … expression and campaigning as well as access to the media on the part of all stakeholders during the electoral process …
Zimbabwe’s main opposition party has issued a catalogue of human rights abuses perpetrated against its members throughout 2004 by ruling party supporters and state agents. In a detailed report dated December 11, the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) recorded a multitude of abuses including arbitrary arrests, abductions, rape, disruption of political meetings and destruction of property.
“The report is an indictment of the activities of the current government and underlines how political oppression in Zimbabwe remains a pervasive force,” MDC spokesperson Paul Themba Nyathi said.    Seven opposition lawmakers, 53 party officials and hundreds of activists have been subjected to arrest, intimidation, beatings and torture, Nyathi said.
The catalogue of abuse includes references to the firebombing of an MDC official’s house  in Zvishavane in January, and the violent assault in Shamva on a suspected opposition supporter who subsequently died of his injuries.
(For the full report see .    The report was quoted in News24 (SA) -  and repeated in ZWNews the same day - ) 2.1.3    Political tolerance
4.1.1        Constitutional and legal guarantees of freedom and rights of the citizens
4.1.2        Conducive environment for free, fair and peaceful elections
7.5         (Government to) take all necessary measures and precautions to prevent the perpetration of fraud, rigging or any other illegal practices throughout the whole electoral process
The police in Harare banned two meetings planned by the opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) party, one to pave way for a ruling ZANU PF party meeting and the other because the police did not want the MDC meeting at night.
The two meetings were scheduled for December 16 in the MDC strongholds of Harare and Chitungwiza.  They were part of an estimated 5 000 meetings the party wants to hold across the country to conclude discussions with rank and file members on whether to participate in next year’s general election.
MDC secretary general Professor Welshman Ncube was unsure whether the police would also ban the remaining meetings.
The official police spokesperson, Oliver Mandipaka, refused to reveal to the press the reasons for banning the meetings.  However, letters written to the MDC by the police indicate that the opposition party was barred from holding a meeting in Stodart Hall in order to allow a ZANU PF meeting to take place near the hall.
Note: The Public Order and Security Act (POSA), under which the police regularly ban opposition meetings, merely requires the organisers of any proposed public gathering to give four days’ written notice to the police authority, rather than obtaining their permission.  The police do not have a general discretion in the matter but may, for certain specified reasons, prohibit the meeting.  There is nothing in the Act which would authorise them to prohibit the holding of a meeting of one party in order to give preference to another.
(See Zim Online:
 2.1.1         Full participation of citizens in the political process
2.1.2        Freedom of association
4.1.1.      Constitutional and legal guarantees of freedom and rights of the citizens
4.1. 2    Conducive environment for free, fair and peaceful elections
7.4              (Government to) safeguard the human and civil liberties of all citizens including the freedom of movement, assembly, association, expression and campaigning
The ruling ZANU PF party plans to amend the Political Parties (Finance) Act in order to give itself a bigger share of state financial grants at the expense of the opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC).
The move is intended to financially cripple the MDC, which can no longer get funds from foreign donors or even from Zimbabweans living and working abroad after the government banned foreign-sourced funds for political parties.
“ZANU PF wants the grant allocation to be changed in its favour. This would hurt the MDC’s pocket besides obviously meaning more cash for ZANU PF,”  an official of the party confided to Zim Online on condition of anonymity.
It is understood that ZANU PF is seeking 65 per cent of the Z$ 6.5 billion allocated to political parties under the 2005 national budget, regardless of the percentage of votes it receives in the March ballot.  At present parties are allocated their portion of state funds according to the percentage of votes they receive in a general election, and on this basis ZANU PF currently receives 51 per cent of the annual allocation.
(See the report in Zim Online:
 4.1.6          Where applicable, funding of political parties must be transparent and based on agreed threshold in accordance with the laws of the land
Armed police had to be called in to break up violent clashes last week between rival factions of the ruling ZANU PF party at Magunje rural business centre, about 240 kilometres west of Harare. 
Magunje and the surrounding Hurungwe rural district is a no-go area for the main opposition party, the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC).  In the past, militant ZANU PF supporters have hunted down and tortured suspected supporters of the MDC.
Last week however, the ZANU PF factions in the area turned upon each other.  Police chief superintendent Ernest Masuku, in charge of Hurungwe police station, confirmed that his officers had arrested 22 ZANU PF supporters over clashes there on December 12.
Logs and iron bars were used in the violent confrontations between supporters of the ZANU PF Member of Parliament for the area, Phone Madiro, and supporters of Cecelia Gwachiwa, also a member of the ruling party, who is challenging the incumbent.
(See the report in Zim Online:        Full participation of the citizens in the political process
2.1.3        Political tolerance
4.1.1        Constitutional and legal guarantees of freedom and rights of citizens
4.1.2        Conducive environment for free, fair and peaceful elections
7.5               (Government to)  take all necessary measures and precautions to prevent the perpetration of fraud, rigging or any other illegal practices throughout the whole electoral process, in order to maintain peace and security
7.      7    (Government to) ensure that adequate security is provided to all parties participating in the elections
Human rights and pro-democracy groups met in Harare last week to discuss severance packages for workers and the disposal of furniture as they face closure after the ZANU PF-dominated Parliament banned foreign funding for the groups.
The Non Governmental Organisations (NGO) Bill was rammed through Parliament against spirited opposition from the opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) party - and in defiance of an adverse report from Parliament’s own legal committee. The report advised that the legislation was in breach of the Constitution in several respects.  The Bill will become law immediately it receives the presidential signature and is gazetted.
NGOs in the country employ about 10 000 people. It is understood that of the nearly 3 000 civic groups which operate in Zimbabwe, about 40 per cent, deal with governance-related issues and could face closure if they are prevented from accessing funds from foreign donors.   As a result, uncertainty has gripped the NGO community, with foreign donors unsure as to whether they should continue giving support, even to groups that deal only in humanitarian aid. 
(See the report in Zim Online:        Full participation of the citizens in the political process
4.1.1        Constitutional and legal guarantees of freedom and rights of the citizens
7.4              (Government to) take all necessary measures and precautions to prevent the perpetration of fraud, rigging or any other illegal practices throughout the whole electoral process
About 100 supporters of Zimbabwe’s main opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) party protested in Harare on December 16, demanding the release of parliamentarian Roy Bennett from prison.
The protesters, who appeared to have taken the police by surprise, marched along Harare’s Nelson Mandela Avenue and along the capital’s First Street mall before armed police broke up the procession.  They sang anti-government songs and distributed pamphlets reading: “We want our MP back”,  “Free Zimbabwe ! We want our freedom back”.
Some of the protesters interviewed later vowed to continue the “Free Bennett Campaign” marches until the government releases him from prison.
Bennett, who is the popular MDC MP for the almost exclusively black Chimanimani constituency, was jailed in October for 12 months. ZANU PF parliamentarians used their majority in Parliament to send the legislator to prison as punishment for shoving Justice Minister Patrick Chinamasa during a debate earlier this year.  Chinamasa had referred in the debate to Bennett’s ancestors as thieves and murderers.
(See the report in Zim Online:  .        Equal opportunity to exercise the right to vote and be voted for
4.1.1        Constitutional and legal guarantees of freedom and rights of the citizens

On the basis of these and numerous other daily breaches of the SADC Protocol on Democratic Elections, it can be seen that the Mugabe regime has yet to show any serious intent to change its ways or to begin to prepare for anything resembling fair and free elections.  In fact a new raft of oppressive legislation rushed through Parliament will result in a situation even worse than that which prevailed during the Parliamentary Elections of 2000 and Presidential Election of 2002, both of which were heavily criticized by observer missions from the international community.
And the March 2005 Parliamentary Elections are now a matter of weeks away …..
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