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Zimbabwe, WFP Sign Deal to Distribute Food Aid


      By Peta Thornycroft
      01 December 2005

After weeks of difficult negotiations, the U.N.World Food Program has signed
an agreement with the Zimbabwe government for an emergency program to feed
up to four million people. The United Nations won its demand that all food
distribution be done by non-governmental organizations and not the Zimbabwe

The World Food Program said it fed two million people in November although
the agreement was only signed Thursday.

The Zimbabwe government said last year it had grown record crops and asked
the WFP to stop feeding people ahead of the general election this past
March. Human rights groups protested that food was used as a political
weapon during the run up to the poll.

For the fifth year in a row, ever since President Robert Mugabe instituted a
policy of seizing white-owned commercial farms, Zimbabwe's crops have
failed. The economy, which depended for decades on agriculture produced by
the seized farms, has bee bankrupted. Zimbabwe had been self sufficient in
food production and its export crops provided 40 percent of annual foreign
exchange earnings.

Economists say that such products as seed, fertilizer, fuel and equipment,
were largely unavailable because of foreign currency shortages in last
growing season. In addition, rainfall was patchy, and in some areas, there
was a drought.

The WFP had been pressing to resume its emergency feeding program for
several months. Mr. Mugabe had said he would not allow non-governmental
organizations to distribute food because they have a political agenda.

The WFP, backed by strong calls from Secretary General Kofi Annan, insisted
NGOs would distribute the food and its determination has prevailed.

The WFP said its non-governmental partners were preparing to feed more than
three million people, as well as an additional million who are already being
fed through programs for targeted groups, such as orphans, school children
and people living with HIV/AIDS.

WFP regional spokesman Michael Huggins in Johannesburg said the deal only
covered food aid to rural areas and that many more people would benefit from
emergency feeding in urban areas. He said this could not be done until the
Zimbabwe government recognized that there was a need for assistance in these

Most opposition supporters live in urban areas.

Mr. Huggins said the WFP was concerned about urban dwellers who lost their
incomes during the government's demolition of hundreds of thousands of urban
homes and a crackdown on informal traders last May and June.

Agricultural sources across the country say that the 2006 farming season
will be the worst ever. December first is the last day for maize plantings
for fair yields according to the Commercial Farmers Union.

Less maize has been planted this summer season than at any time in the last
50 years according to farmers' organizations. The present agreement with the
WFP runs until June next year.

Emergency food is largely funded by donations from the United States, the
European Union and Britain.

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UN launches $270 million appeal

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

JOHANNESBURG, 1 Dec 2005 (IRIN/PLUSNEWS) - The United Nations is appealing
for $276 million in aid for Zimbabwe, and says the humanitarian situation in
the country is likely to continue deteriorating in 2006.

The UN Consolidated Appeal (CAP) for Zimbabwe, launched on Wednesday, said
the outlook for the year ahead was bleak: at least three million people
would require food aid, as only an estimated 600,000 mt of maize had been
harvested, compared to a national requirement of 1.8 million mt.

On Thursday the UN World Food Programme announced that it had concluded an
agreement with the Zimbabwean government on the delivery of food aid to the
millions in need.

"Among the expected development in 2006 are decreases in the quality and
access to basics services; deepening of urban poverty; ... continued
emigration, both legally and illegally; new farm evictions; and deepening
overall vulnerability to natural disasters," the CAP noted.

Given this scenario, the various agencies participating in the CAP expected
that "unless appropriate humanitarian action is taken, the use of negative
coping mechanisms will increase, placing vulnerable persons at further risk,
deepening poverty and minimising opportunities for long-term recovery".

Though many of the humanitarian challenges facing Zimbabwe were common to
countries in Southern Africa - particularly the 'triple threat' of HIV/AIDS,
food shortages and a decline in the provision of basic services - the
country has suffered rapid economic decline, and formal and informal
migration of skilled and unskilled labour. However, the CAP noted that these
problems "could be countered by appropriate government policies".

The Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the government and the WFP,
signed after several weeks of discussions, lays out the framework for food
aid distributions and clarifies government and WFP responsibilities.

"WFP welcomes the signing of this agreement, which will certainly assist in
meeting our plans to deliver food aid to hungry people across Zimbabwe,"
Kevin Farrell, WFP Country Director for Zimbabwe, said in a statement.

"This MOU sets out the modalities for food aid deliveries and we are
encouraged by the commitment to ensure procedures are formalised and
followed," Farrell added.

With generous support from a range of donors, WFP and its partner NGOs
provided food aid to two million people in November, in addition to ongoing
school feeding programmes. The relief agency is gearing up to feed more than
three million Zimbabweans through vulnerable-group feeding programmes, and
provide support to orphans and people living with HIV/AIDS.

The MOU is to run until the end of June 2006, when the food security of the
most vulnerable will be reassessed. In signing the MOU today, Nicholas
Goche, Minister of Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare, expressed
appreciation for the WFP's efforts to assist vulnerable people in Zimbabwe.

For the full CAP go to:

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Tsvangirai faction hits back

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

JOHANNESBURG, 1 Dec 2005 (IRIN) - In another twist to the crisis in
Zimbabwe's opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC), its' second
highest body, the national council, on Thursday revoked party leader Morgan
Tsvangirai's suspension and "disassociated" itself from the pro-senate

The MDC national council said in a statement that a disciplinary committee
meeting which had suspended Tsvangirai last week was not quorate and had not
followed proper procedures.

Sibanda had announced that Tsvangirai had been suspended last week Thursday,
after a disciplinary committee allegedly found him guilty of violating the
party's constitution by issuing a call to boycott the recent senate polls.

Committee members have since then disputed Sibanda's account and said they
were unaware of a formal meeting having taken place.

In a move perceived as an attempt to sideline the pro-senate faction, the
national council also adopted a vote-of-no-confidence in its leading
members: deputy president Gibson Sibanda, secretary-general Welshman Ncube,
deputy secretary Gift Chimanikire, treasurer general Fletcher Ncube,
spokesman Paul Themba Nyathi and others as they had not "availed themselves
for any party meetings".

"The congress has the power to remove the office-bearers, [which will only
meet in February 2006], until then the council is disassociating itself from
them," said William Bango, Tsvangirai's spokesman.

In another telling resolution, the national council vested control over the
party's finances in Tsvangirai and his allies: the party chair Isaac Matongo
and the leaders of the women and youth wings of the party.

The pro-senate election faction has refuted the national council decisions.
"The council meeting did not have a quorum. Only two of the top six
management official participated in the meeting - it is just a meaningless
gesture," said Nyathi.

Bango, however, maintained that 57 out of the 66 members of the national
council attended the meeting.

The crisis in the MDC followed Tsvangirai overruling a national council
decision in October to participate in the senate elections, which were held
on 26 November. He argued that the MDC's agreed position had been to ignore
the poll on the grounds that it would be a waste of taxpayers' money, and
the upper chamber would be dominated by the ruling party.

The pro-senate faction argued that by boycotting the elections MDC would
hand ZANU-PF control of constituencies it could not win through the ballot
box, and Tsvangirai had torn up the party's rule book by ignoring the
national council's decision.


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Zimbabwe Denies Protection And Assistance to the Evicted

Human Rights Watch (Washington, DC)

December 1, 2005
Posted to the web December 1, 2005


U.N., Other Humanitarian Agencies Need Unhindered Access to Hundreds of
Thousands Displaced

The Zimbabwean government is refusing to protect and assist hundreds of
thousands of people displaced by its campaign of forced evictions, Human
Rights Watch said in a report released today. At the same time, Zimbabwe is
deliberately obstructing efforts by international humanitarian agencies to
provide assistance and protection to the displaced.

The 61-page report, "Evicted and Forsaken: Internally Displaced Persons in
the Aftermath of Operation Murambatsvina," documents the government's denial
of assistance and protection to people internally displaced as a result of
Operation Murambatsvina ("Clear the Filth"), which began in May. The report
also examines the role of international agencies, and in particular the
United Nations country team, in addressing the humanitarian crisis in

"The Zimbabwean government has created a humanitarian crisis in which
hundreds of thousands of people are now living without food, water or
shelter," said Peter Takirambudde, Africa director at Human Rights Watch.
"Not only have the Zimbabwean authorities refused to acknowledge the crisis,
they have abandoned the men, women and children they forcibly evicted from
their homes."

Today, hundreds of thousands of displaced Zimbabweans are living outdoors in
disused fields or in the bush, in rudimentary shelters made from the debris
of destroyed houses, or are squeezed into tiny rooms with family members who
have agreed to shelter them. The government has done nothing to provide them
with food, water, sanitation and health services.

President Robert Mugabe's government has also failed to address the
desperate situation of vulnerable groups that were particularly hit hard by
the evictions. These groups include widows, orphans, households headed by
women or children, and the chronically ill or elderly. Some children have
developed malnutrition due to lack of food, while others have fallen ill
with pneumonia after months of sleeping out in the open. Following their
forced eviction, hundreds of people living with HIV/AIDS are no longer able
to access life-saving treatment such as anti-retroviral medications or
remedies for opportunistic infections.

The Zimbabwean authorities have engaged in a concerted effort to coerce
those displaced by the evictions to leave the cities and move to the rural
areas. In areas across the country, the national police have threatened,
harassed or beaten the internally displaced, forcing them to relocate to
rural areas where many have no homes or family and where social service
provisions and economic opportunities are minimal. In addition, the
government has tried to force relocation by denying assistance to those who
choose to stay in the urban areas, and has used food packages as an
incentive to compel families to move out of the cities.

In blatant disregard of its international obligations, the Zimbabwean
government has denied international humanitarian agencies access to the
majority of the internally displaced. The government has also deliberately
obstructed the provision of international assistance and protection to these
vulnerable people.

"Zimbabwe's blocking of humanitarian assistance for its displaced population
is unconscionable," Takirambudde said. "Such actions threaten the very
survival of these people."

The report emphasizes that the obligation to protect and assist the
displaced lies first with the Zimbabwean government. But Human Rights Watch
also found flaws within the U.N.-led humanitarian assistance program in
Zimbabwe. The problems include the U.N. country team's failure to assess and
monitor the situation of the internally displaced, and to devise a realistic
response strategy that would take existing challenges into account. The team
also has not paid sufficient attention to protection concerns in the
planning and implementation of its programs.

U.N. agencies involved in humanitarian response in Zimbabwe have been
reluctant to confront the government over its blatant disregard of the human
rights of the displaced and to protest the continued obstruction of
humanitarian assistance, claiming that quiet representation would be more
effective for achieving its operations.

"While the U.N. cannot be held responsible for the Zimbabwean government's
recalcitrance, it does bear a responsibility to protect and assist the
hundreds of thousands of displaced people whose fundamental rights are being
violated," Takirambudde said.

Human Rights Watch called on the Zimbabwean government to permit national
and international humanitarian agencies full and unhindered access to these
internally displaced persons and other victims of Operation Murambatsvina.
The government should immediately provide the displaced persons with
assistance and protection-including food, water, shelter, sanitation and
medical services-or ensure them access to these services. Humanitarian
agencies should give priority to the needs of vulnerable groups such as
widows, children, the elderly and the chronically ill.

The report called on the U.N. country team to work in full compliance with
its mandate to assist and protect the displaced and to advocate for the
human rights of all those displaced by Operation Murambatsvina.

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Defence gets fourth biggest chunk in Zimbabwe budget

Zim Online

Thu 1 December 2005

      HARARE - Defence received the fourth largest vote in a Z$123.9
trillion budget for next year unveiled on Thursday in Parliament by Finance
Minister Herbert Murerwa.

      The largest share went to Education which was allocated $7.4 trillion
followed by the health and public service sectors allocated $5.2 and $5.1
trillion respectively.

      Murerwa, who called for bold measures to ensure President Robert
Mugabe's government lived within its means, said he hoped to collect about
$110 trillion in the year to leave a budget deficit of $13.9 trillion or
about 4.6 percent.

      Reviewing Zimbabwe's prospects in the coming year, a clearly overly
optimistic Murerwa, predicted Gross Domestic Product to increase by between
two and 3.5 percent in 2006 after a 3.5 percent decline this year.

      Murerwa's forecasts drastically contradict figures given by the
International Monetary Fund which predicted Zimbabwe's GDP to fall buy about
seven percent next year, citing continued poor performances by key sectors
such as agriculture and manufacturing.

      The Financer Minister, who criticised ongoing farm invasions, said
expected good rains this farming season will push growth in the agricultural
sector by 14 percent in 2006 which he said would give momentum for overall
economic growth.

      "Growth in agricultural sector will be driven by increased production
of maize which is expected to increase by 33 percent and cotton which is
expected to increase by 26 percent," Murerwa told parliament.

      He said the mining sector will grow by a massive 27 percent next year
picking up from a 5.7 percent decline this year while the manufacturing
sector, at present running at below 60 percent of capacity, would decline by
just three percent next year.

      The Finance Minister said the Harare administration would maintain
consultations with all creditors including IMF and World Bank. - ZimOnline

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Zimbabwe economy to grow, budget gap to fall - finmin


      Thu Dec 1, 2005 5:16 PM GMT

HARARE (Reuters) - Zimbabwe's economy is set to grow next year for the first
time since 1999 on the back of an expected turnaround in the country's
troubled agricultural sector, Finance Minister Herbert Murerwa said on

Unveiling his 2006 national budget proposals to parliament, Murerwa said
gross domestic product (GDP) growth was forecast at between 2 and 3.5
percent in 2006, against a 3.5 percent contraction this year.

"Growth will be driven mainly by agriculture, manufacturing, mining and
tourism," Murerwa said, drawing shouts of derision from opposition
legislators. Last year the government said the economy would start to expand
again in 2005.

Zimbabwe, once the bread basket of southern Africa, is reeling from its
worst economic crisis since independence from Britain in 1980.

The crunch is widely blamed on mismanagement by President Robert Mugabe's
government -- especially the seizure of white-owned farms, which has led to
the collapse of the agricultural sector, formerly the mainstay of the

Mugabe, 81 and in power since independence, says the economy has been
sabotaged by opponents of his policy of redistributing the farms to the
landless black majority.

The country has suffered six years of recession, with output contracting by
more than a third. A combination of foreign currency shortages and drought
has forced the manufacturing sector to operate well below capacity.

Murerwa predicted the budget deficit would dip to 4.6 percent of GDP in 2006
from 5.0 this year. He gave no explanation for the lower forecasts, but has
repeatedly warned government departments against overspending.

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Zimbabwe's evicted and forsaken

From The Mail & Guardian (SA), 1 December

Matthew Burbidge

Johannesburg - On May 25 this year, Zimbabwe's government began Operation
Murambatsvina - a massive campaign of forced evictions and demolitions. Six
months later, says a damning Human Rights Watch (HRW) report released on
Thursday, the government has made no arrangements to provide even temporary
shelter to the internally displaced. Thousands of people are now living in
the open. "We have been out in the open since the end of May when our houses
were demolished during Operation Murambatsvina. We are not getting any
assistance from anyone. I have two children staying with me, but I sent the
other two to the rural areas. My husband does not have a rural home and I
don't think he would appreciate it if we went to my rural home. I don't have
the money to send my children to school. The kids have colds because of
staying outside and in the cold. I can't afford medical assistance.
Sometimes we sleep without eating a meal or anything. We don't know what's
going to happen once the rains come," a displaced mother of four, living by
the edge of a forest in Victoria Falls, told a HRW researcher in September.

HRW is an international NGO, based in New York, that conducts advocacy and
research on human rights issues. On the front page of the report, entitled
Evicted and Forsaken: Internally Displaced Persons in the Aftermath of
Operation Murambatsvina, there is a Reuters photograph of an old man sitting
among his possessions in front of his destroyed home in Norton, Zimbabwe. He
sits close to a small fire; his toes protrude from his shoes. He clasps his
hands; he does not look angry. There are cupboards, couches and clothes
strewn nearby. Women and children mill about in the background of the
photograph. Perhaps they are trying to reconstruct the rooms with the
furniture, repositioning it inside a house that now has no walls. In
September and October, HRW sent a new research mission to the country to
look into the plight of the internally displaced persons. The researchers
carried out site visits to numerous locations in four of Zimbabwe's
provinces and conducted more than 50 interviews with displaced people, human
rights activists, local authorities, church officials, United Nations staff
in Zimbabwe and others.

"The political, economic, humanitarian and human rights conditions in
Zimbabwe are all in precipitous decline. While drought and the devastating
HIV/Aids pandemic have influenced these conditions to some extent, the
actions of the Zimbabwe government and its indifference to the dignity and
well-being of its citizens lie at the heart of Zimbabwe's current crisis,"
says the report. "Ruling through intimidation and with respect for the rule
of law or the rights of his citizens, President [Robert] Mugabe's latest
outrage -- the forced eviction and displacement of hundreds and thousands of
mostly poor people from the urban areas throughout Zimbabwe -- has attracted
international condemnation but been defended with characteristic bluster."
The report says the displaced "have continued to suffer the cruel
indifference of their government; no protection or assistance, no
compensation, no accountability, restrictions on freedom of movement".

The report says up to 223 000 children were directly affected by the
operation. An ActionAid report found that, overall, 22% of children who had
been attending school dropped out because of the evictions. The
displacement, says the HRW report, also hindered parents' ability to pay for
schooling, which meant that even more children dropped out of school. The
report says that with unemployment at about 80%, most adults in Zimbabwe try
to make ends meet in the informal sector. Many lost their livelihoods when
the government destroyed market stalls and other informal-sector businesses
and homes. Now the government has prevented them from making money by
selling fruit, for example, says the report. Chipo D, a Harare township
resident, told HRW that although his stall was destroyed, he still tries to
sell vegetables, "but the police arrest me and make me pay a fine". Another
witness told HRW: "People whose market stalls were demolished have come back
and are selling their vegetables in the open. Police come about five times a
day and harass the vendors, and take their goods for free. "One woman got
tired of police harassment and threw stones at the policeman three weeks
ago. She was arrested by the police, and I don't know what happened to her."

The report says the Zimbabwean government has persistently obstructed
humanitarian operations. It says the UN staff interviewed by HRW in
September and October cited the Zimbabwean government's continuous
obstruction of operations as the main reason for the international agencies'
inability to implement their programmes. In its recommendations, among
others, HRW calls on the Zimbabwe government to take urgent measures to
provide protection and assistance to the displaced, including shelter, food,
water and sanitation and medical services. It also calls on the government
to allow the special envoy of the African Union Commission, Tom Nyanduga, to
return to Zimbabwe and fulfil his mandate and report to the AU on the status
of internally displaced people. It calls on the AU to adopt a resolution
strongly condemning the mass evictions and demolitions as well as strongly
condemning the obstruction of international humanitarian assistance. The
report says the plight of people displaced by the Zimbabwean government
cannot be overlooked any further. "It must generate a sense of outrage
sufficient to trigger concerted action to protect and assist the displaced."

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The MDC national council meeting and resolutions

1 December 2005






1. Article 15 of the MDC Constitution:


15.1 In any place where the requirements of this constitution cannot be satisfied because of an omission or oversight in draughtsman ship, or because a body provided for has not been established, or an officer provided for in this Constitution has not been elected or appointed, or because of a procedural problem, the National Council shall have the power to make such arrangements which in their opinion, satisfy the spirit of this constitution and shall seek approval for such arrangements at the next Congress.


1.0             Concern


1.1 . Convening of Council and  Executive Meetings


The Constitution of the party does not specifically provided for conveners of the meetings of the above organs of the party.


The constitution only provides that the Secretary General shall ensure that such meetings take place as required by this constitution but does not give him specific powers to convene. The constitution therefore infers that such meeting shall be convened by the respective chairpersons of the said meetings. This is an omission and, or a procedural problem.


2.0             Resolution


That in terms of Article 15 of the Constitution, Council hereby provides that


(a)   the Chairman or the President of the Party shall convene all Council meetings; and the Secretary General -- through the secretariat -- shall ensure that all administrative arrangements are made to ensure that the meeting takes place as convened.



(b) all council meetings convened either by the President or the Chairman of the party prior to this resolution are valid;


(b)  that the President and in his absence, the Deputy President, shall convene all executive Meetings.


The motion was put to the meeting and the resolution was adopted.


2. Article 15 of the MDC Constitution


15.1 In any place where the requirements of this constitution cannot be satisfied because of an omission or oversight in draughtsmanship, or because a body provided for has not been established, or an officer provided for in this Constitution has not been elected or appointed, or because of a procedural problem, the National Council shall have the power to make such arrangements which in their opinion, satisfy the spirit of this constitution and shall seek approval for such arrangements at the next Congress.




1.1 Ever since the meeting of the 12th of October 2005, the Deputy President, Secretary General, Deputy Secretary General, and the Treasurer General have not availed themselves for any party meetings including the Management Committee, the Executive and the Council. This has had the effect of paralyzing party business.


1.2 The Constitution does not provide for an officer to act in the absence of the Secretary General, Deputy Secretary General and the Treasurer General



1.0             Motion

(a)   No individual office bearer is bigger than the party and the party which is the people shall not be held at Ransom by an individual office bearer

(b)  In terms of article 15 of the Constitution, and up to the next Congress, Council resolves that in the absence of the Secretary General, the deputy Secretary General and the Treasurer General, the Chairman of the party shall perform the functions of the said office bearers.

        Resolution adopted.


3. Freedom of association, vote of no confidence motion -- availability of officers of Congress


1.0 Concern

1.1 Ever since the meeting of the 12th of October 2005, the Deputy President, Secretary General, Deputy Secretary General, and the Treasurer General and Executive have not availed themselves for any party meetings including the Management Committee, the Executive and the Council. This has had the effect of paralyzing party business.


2.0             Motion


The Council resolves that pending their availability for party business, the National Council resolves to exercise its freedom of association by not associating with the Deputy President, Secretary General, Deputy Secretary General, the Treasurer General, the Secretary for Information and Publicity and the Secretary for Policy and Research, among others.

The resolution was put and adopted.


4. Treasury and money matters


Article 8.3 The National Council shall prescribe the manner in which funds shall be kept and the manner in which money may be withdrawn for party use, including a prescription of which officers shall be signatories to party accounts.

1.0 Concern

1.1 Ever since the meeting of the 12th of October 2005, the Deputy President, Secretary General, Deputy Secretary General, and the Treasurer General and Executive have not availed themselves for any party meetings including the Management Committee, the Executive and the Council. This has had the effect of paralyzing party business.


1.2 The Secretary General and the Treasurer General have since the National Council meeting of the 12th October 2005, not availed themselves to facilitate the funding of the programmes of the party including meetings and rallies.


1.3 The party has not had sight of audited accounts since inception



2.1 . The Council resolves that with immediate effect, and in order to facilitate the smooth operations of the party, the President and Chairpersons of the Party, the Women’s Assembly and the Youth Assembly become the only signatories of the party until further notice.


2.2 . That party seeks access to the bank accounts to enable it to conduct its normal business without hindrance.


2.3 . That the Treasurer General, with immediate effect, facilitate by handing over all books of account to an independent firm of Auditors who shall appointed by Council to prepare a full audit for the next Congress.


Resolution put and adopted.


5. Article 15 of the Constitution of the MDC


15.1 In any place where the requirements of this constitution cannot be satisfied because of an omission or oversight in draughtsmanship, or because a body provided for has not been established, or an officer provided for in this Constitution has not been elected or appointed, or because of a procedural problem, the National Council shall have the power to make such arrangements which in their opinion, satisfy the spirit of this constitution and shall seek approval for such arrangements at the next Congress.




We have a provision in the Constitution for an Appeals Tribunal. The Tribunal must be set up by Congress. That did not happen at our last Congress, making it difficult for the party to handle a number of pending cases. In the interest of natural justice, appeals cannot wait until after our Congress in February. That would defeat the purpose and spirit of our Constitution and of the party.



That an appeals tribunal be set in terms of Article 15. The composition of the tribunal shall be determined by the council.


Resolution: That the matter be referred to the National Executive for reconsideration. The Constitution specifically states that such a body must be set up Congress.


6. Attempts to suspend the President – letter from Gibson Sibanda


The purported decision of the Disciplinary Committee of the 20th of November 2005 is null and void and without any force or effect. For the avoidance of doubt that suspension is set aside.


As Council, our reasons are as follows:


1.     In terms of clause 7.4 (b) of the Constitution, a decision of a party committee on a major policy issue shall not be implemented without the approval of the National Council. A decision to suspend the President is a major policy issue. It follows therefore that Gibson Sibanda and others breached this Constitutional provision.


2.     Further and in any event, in terms of clause 10.5 of the Constitution, the powers of the Disciplinary Committee of suspending a member can only be implemented after due process and the member has been found guilty of a misdemeanour. The President has not been found guilty of any charge.


3.     Members of the Disciplinary Committee in particular Messrs Tichaona Mudzingwa, Ena Chitsa, Innocent Gonese and Edith Mushore were never advised and invited to attend the meeting of the 20th November 2005. The meeting was therefore not quorate and was improperly called for.


4.     It is quite clear that Sibanda has acted both as complainant, prosecutor and judge in his own charge. The allegations made in the letter of suspension are exactly the same that Gibson Sibanda made and announced against President Tsvangirai on the 18th of October 2005. Principles of natural justice demand that justice must not only be done but seen to be done.


5.     Further, it is quite clear that generally the Disciplinary Committee as opposed to Congress cannot impeach the President.


6.     Having noted the above, the council set aside the decision.


7.     Alternatively, even assuming that Gibson Sibanda’s 20th November meeting was quorate, in terms of clause 10.6 of the Constitution, we would uphold the President’s appeal and set aside the suspension and the decision to charge him.

8.     The resolution was unanimously adopted by the Council.


In view of the National Council resolution dissociating the rest of the party from Gibson Sibanda and others, Nelson Chamisa, the national youth chairman and MP for Kuwadzana, Harare, was appointed the acting Secretary for Information and Publicity. He replaces Paul Themba Nyathi.

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Zim farmworkers treated like slaves

From The Pretoria News (SA), 1 December

By Tawanda Mashingaidze

The "rampant abuse and inhuman treatment of commercial farm-workers" are
widespread in the coffee and tea growing region of Chipinge, where Zimbabwe
war veterans and senior government officials have seized farms. According to
a report by the General Agricultural and Plantation Workers' Union of
Zimbabwe, (Gapwuz) farmworkers in the area are being subjected to "practices
synonymous with slavery". Some have been forced at gunpoint to work in the
plantations; only a few are being paid and then only a pittance. According
to Gapwuz secretary general Gertrude Hambira, some of the worst offences
have taken place on Redsands Farm, which is owned by senior members of the
Central Intelligence Organisation (CIO). The farm has been declared a no-go
area for union officials and has been put under 24-hour guard by members of
the CIO. Union investigators who managed to interview some of the workers
report that a dawn-to-dusk curfew is in place and that workers are often
expected to work 12 hours per day without a break. One worker who escaped
from the farm claimed he had been tortured by members of the CIO after
complaining of unbearable working conditions. All of those interviewed
reported not being paid. The same tale was being told at the Ashante Estate.
This estate was taken over by a group of veterans of the independence war
who have subdivided it into seven plots. The war vets told the workers that
they had spent years making the former colonial owners rich and therefore
had a responsibility to work for free for those who had liberated the
country. Several workers disagreed and were apparently beaten for it.

The Gapwuz report says severe beatings seem commonplace on these farms. And
in the anarchy that exists, different groups of war vets compete for the
same labour, often beating workers who have been forced to labour on another
plot. "This is a return to the days of Chibharo in the 1920s, when our
people were forced by the settlers to work the fields for free," says
Hambira. Most of the workers are also expected to provide their own
implements to till the soil. According to the workers, many of the new
farm-owners know little or nothing about farming and most have no equipment.
"So they provide their own implements and then have to work without pay.
"Something must be done," said Hambira. Complaints have been lodged with the
government, which has so far not responded. But the government has pointed
out in the past that there is a stipulated minimum wage for farm workers.
With soaring inflation, this is now worth less than R35 a month. Several of
the new farmers claim they are paying the equivalent of this wage or even
more - but in accommodation and food rather than cash. Union investigators
also found some farmers who were paying their workers something. But this
was often as little as the equivalent of R10 a month. "This third liberation
war has not freed the land. It has put us under new oppression." This was a
common refrain from workers reported by the union investigators.

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Mugabe slates 'super-power' trade rules


          December 01 2005 at 11:54AM

      Harare - Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe on Thursday accused
"global super-powers" of dictating international trade rules and urged
African and other developing nations to unite against such dominance.

      "As we work to elevate the performance of and depth of intra- and
intercontinental trade, we must as Africans guard ourselves against uneven
global trade," Mugabe told an annual gathering of African bankers being held
in Harare.

      "At such a forum as the World Trade Organisation, the global
super-powers continue to dictate and impose their value systems of what is
right and what is wrong, just and unjust, at the expense of weaker nations,"
he said.


      He said that the unfavourable conditions demanded "singleness of
purpose" between Africa and other developing countries "for us to take our
rightful place on the global trade arena".

      Mugabe, whose government has engaged on a controversial land reform,
expropriating land from white farmers and giving it to landless blacks,
complained specifically about the system of farm subsidies in western

      "Whilst the vast majority of developed global centres are propping up
their farmers with billions of dollars in annual subsidies, the same
subventions are condemned in developing countries as sub-economic policies,"
he said.

      His remarks came ahead of a key WTO meeting in Hong Kong starting
December 13 that is to address calls from poorer nations for an end to farm
subsidies and greater access to lucrative markets.

      Negotiators however have sounded a pessimistic note ahead of the
meeting, suggesting that talks on the so-called Doha development round,
launched in 2001, are expected to continue through 2006.

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Zimbabwe showing no promise as World marks AIDS Day

      By Tererai Karimakwenda
      01 December 2005

      Around the world, December 1st is designated as World AIDS Day, and it
is set aside as a time to remember friends and relatives lost to AIDS, take
stock of the lessons learned over the year, and to review any progress
towards stemming the tide of this challenging affliction. World AIDS Day is
part of a broader World AIDS Campaign, and the theme this year "Stop AIDS:
Keep The Promise" is one that should be taken very seriously by the Zimbabwe
government. Keeping the promise requires commitment, and according to Glen
Norah MP Priscilla Misihairabwi, the Zimbabwe government does not have any

      While other countries organised many events to mark AIDS Day on
Thursday, the Zimbabwe parliament sat through budget proposals for 2006
which were announced by finance minister Herbert Murerwa. MP Misihairabwi
said the important issue of AIDS, which affects all other areas of
development, was mentioned in only one sentence. She said the country has
run out of the drugs that are needed and condoms are not available.
Misihairabwi said the limited supplies available usually wind up in the
hands of a small priviledged class of people, while the poor and needy have
no access to services.

      Zimbabwe has created a very dangerous situation by failing to provide
Anti-retroviral therapy (ART). Misihairabwi said this could help develop a
mutated strain of the HIV virus. In turn, those with the mutated virus could
then infect others and spread this new form that is resistant to the current
drugs. Asked why the government has chosen to ignore this problem, the MP
said they had lost a sense of what is relevant. She said they spent loads of
money on a new cabinet and new vehicles while the more serious issues go

      The MP criticised recent statistics by The United Nations that claimed
that infection rates in the country were down. She said it is difficult to
accept these figures when many people are not receiving therapy and drugs
and condoms are unavailable. As the 2005 World AIDS Day theme is "Keeping
The Promise", the government needs to remember the promises it made to the
United Nations by being signatory to numerous charters that respect human

      SW Radio Africa Zimbabwe news

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Zim Should Respect Virtues of Property Rights, Says Gono

The Herald (Harare)

December 1, 2005
Posted to the web December 1, 2005


ZIMBABWE needs to observe and respect in full the virtues of property rights
to regain its attractiveness as a sound investment destination, Reserve Bank
governor Dr Gideon Gono has said.

"For international investors to prefer our economy as a destination, for
their hard earned capital, we must nurture a Zimbabwe that respects the
sanctity of private property rights," the governor said.

Dr Gono was speaking during the commissioning of Unilever South East
Africa's US$1 million washing powder manufacturing plant at its Workington

His vision, Dr Gono said, was of a Zimbabwe that condemned any form of farm
disruptions and vandalism of agriculture infrastructure.

"A Zimbabwe that implements economic policies expeditiously and
wholeheartedly without abrupt policy reversal and a Zimbabwe that engages
and works co-operatively with the international community.

"Without these basic requirements, the road to realisation of high
investment inflows will be narrow, lengthy and painful," Dr Gono said.

The RBZ governor said it was sad to note that some people had opted to
relieve themselves from the battle of reviving the country's economy saying
this could derail turnaround efforts.

In that respect he urged all patriotic Zimbabweans to collectively fight for
the building of a sustainable business environment.

"For our collective prosperity as a country, however, no amount of
resigning, capitulation and self-pity can ever solve our challenges.

"Rather, it is upon us as Zimbabweans to collect a pool of our individuals
and collective energies towards building a sustainable business environment,
for the good welfare of our current and future generations."

Turning to the state of the economy, Dr Gono reaffirmed Government's
willingness to address the challenges besetting the economy.

He said measures to contain inflation and measures to improve the
performance of the export sector and enhancing capacity utilisation in the
industry and commerce would be put in place.

Emphasis would also be put on underperforming parastatals and local
authorities and indiscipline across all sectors of the economy. The new
Unilever washing powder plant, which has been under construction for the
past eight months, has commenced operations.

It has the capacity to produce over 20 000 tonnes per month and is expected
to create additional 100 jobs over and above the current 500 employees.

The new plant has a lifespan of 30 years and it is expected to significantly
increase Unilever's production levels.

"The efficient local production will go a long way in saving foreign
exchange on the importation of the same (product) thus supporting the
country's import substitution programme," Dr Gono said.

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Drought decimates wildlife in game reserve

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

JOHANNESBURG, 1 Dec 2005 (IRIN) - Vultures croak and swoop noisily on the
decaying carcass of an elephant on the crusty shores of a dried-up water pan
in Hwange National Park, Zimbabwe's largest game reserve.

The elephant is one of the latest victims of a drought currently ravaging
southern Zimbabwe that has destroyed wildlife valued at more than US $50
billion in the last five months. Authorities say the animal sanctuary is
facing serious water shortages, which have claimed the lives of 43
elephants, 53 buffaloes, three zebras and a giraffe.

Several water holes have dried up and grazing has become scarce. National
parks authorities cannot pump water into man-made water points because they
either have no fuel or the motors have broken down. Of an estimated 66
drinking points, only seven, whose levels are also dropping fast, still have

National Parks and Wildlife Management (NPWM) spokesman Edward Mbewe told
IRIN that more animals could die if no remedial measures were taken, adding
that the depletion of pastures was mainly due to the increase in the number
of elephants, which had surpassed the national park's holding capacity.

"Basically, thirst is the major cause of their [the animals'] death and, as
the responsible authorities, we are doing the best we can to address the
situation. Although most dams have dried up, we try by all possible means to
ensure that water is available in some pans through our pumping system," he

"Again I must stress that the park is strained by the number of jumbos,
which has more than doubled in the last few years. Instead of each animal
occupying one hectare of land you will find that a tiny space accommodates
ten animals - it is just unsustainable, hence the deterioration of
pastures," explained Mbewe.

Kudus and Impalas [antelope] are among the other species that have succumbed
to the drought in Hwange, one of Zimbabwe's main tourist attractions.

Hwange, ranked in the same category as the Kruger National Park in South
Africa, has breathtaking scenery and many wildlife species. It can house
14,000 elephants but currently has a population of 75,000, according to
official statistics.

Mbewe added that there had been an outbreak of blackleg, an acute infectious
disease characterised by gas-filled swellings on the legs caused by a
spore-producing bacteria in the soil, which brings sudden death in most
species. Animals are more susceptible to blackleg in late summer when
grazing pastures are scarce and they are forced to start scrounging for food
at ground level or in creek bottoms.

Animal husbandry specialists say the disease, which is normally dormant,
attacks wildlife when there is inadequate drinking water and the ground is
too dry.

The fact that Zimbabwe is also in the throes of serious gasoline shortages,
which have crippled most of the country's economy, has exacerbated the
situation. Despite pledges of support, the ministry of environment and
tourism has not taken adequate steps to ensure steady supplies of fuel. More
than a dozen water pumps have been idle as spare parts are not available.

NGOs such as the Zimbabwe Conservation Task Force (ZCTF) have stepped in to
provide fuel, spare parts and other necessary auxiliary support. The
organisation recently bought two new water pumps for the park with donations
from the Save Foundation of Australia.

ZCTF chairperson Johnny Rodrignes said, "The water situation is really bad -
animals have to travel long distances to drink, while some get stuck in the
mud and die there."

He was dismissive of reports of animal overcrowding, saying research by his
organisation had shown that there were only about 27,000 elephants at Hwange
and not the officially estimated 75,000.

"Grazing pastures are not much of a problem - there is grass in some places,
but because there is no water in those areas the animals do not go there ...
The national park has failed to maintain boreholes at the park. When they
see the elephants crowding on these few watering points, they allege that
they [the elephants] are overpopulated," commented Rodrignes. "It is simply
not true, and what I suspect here is that the government just wants to cull
these elephants to feed the people who are battling with hunger."

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Bonus boost for workers

Daily Mirror, Zimbabwe

Masimba Rushwaya Business Editor
issue date :2005-Dec-02

THE bulk of Zimbabwe's workforce was yesterday given an early Christmas
present, with workers set to receive their bonuses tax free. The Minister of
Finance, Herbert Murerwa, hiked the tax-free portion of bonus income from $5
million up to $20 million, effective November 1 2005.
Announcing a $123,9 trillion 2006 National Budget, Murerwa said the increase
was necessary to uphold the spirit of celebration.
"Employees look forward to the bonus income in order to acquire assets as
well as prepare for the festive season. Aggregate demand for goods and
services is thus stimulated."
The minister added that government recognised the need for tax relief for
taxpayers through the regular review of the Pay As You Earn (PAYE) income
brackets and tax thresholds. With this in mind, Murerwa proposed an upward
review of the tax-free threshold from the current $1,5 million per month to
$7 million per month.
Furthermore, he widened the income tax band to end at $40 million, above
which income will be taxed at 35 percent.
These measures will be effective from January 1 2006.
Murerwa hinted that government could soon replace the progressive tax rate
on individual incomes with a flat tax rate because of its ease of
administration, enforcement and compliance.
The flat tax rate is already applicable for corporate tax where all
companies are taxed at 30 percent.
However the tax relief efforts were somewhat dampened when Murerwa said, as
widely expected, the pricing system for all goods and services will be
market driven.
 "These (price) controls have contributed to the shortages of basic
commodities on the open market, with the same goods resurfacing on the
parallel market. It will, therefore, be critical that market pricing
mechanisms be embraced, which are central to ensuring the viability of
industry, as well as the well being of consumers.However, subsidies and
safety nets will be essential to protect vulnerable groups, but will need to
be targeted."
Murerwa said the removal of the producer and selling price distortions,
especially for agro goods and fuel, would result in the efficient and
effective utilisation of resources.
In this regard, government will now offer post harvest producer prices that
will allow farmers to adequately prepare.
This will now mean that the Grain Marketing Board (GMB) will no longer sell
maize and wheat at subsidised prices but at break-even thresholds.
By implication, consumers will now have to buy bread and maize-meal at
market-determined prices.
Within the same vein, Murerwa alluded to the fact that the price of fuel
will now be determined by exchange rate and given the current interbank
rate, a litre of petrol could soon cost somewhere around $70 000, in line
with the current arrangement where some service stations are selling the
liquid at US$1 a litre.
Government will now use a trigger mechanism for determining the price of
petrol products taking into account  total procurement costs, including
movement in international prices and the exchange rate.
To provide shelter for people that were affected by Operation Murambatsvina,
government allocated $800 billion for the Garikai/Hlalani Kuhle programme.
Apparently taking cognisance of the impact the spiralling  prices has had on
consumers, Murerwa reduced the rate of value added tax (VAT) from 17,5
percent to 15 percent with effective from January 1 2006.
He urged stakeholders "to report on registered operators who fail to pass on
this benefit to consumers."
The 2006 budget framework for total expenditure at $123.9 trillion is a four
fold increase from the prior year's (inclusive of the supplementary budget)
$31 trillion.
Of the 2006 figure, $30,9 trillion or 25 percent of total expenditure would
go towards capital expenditure.
Total revenue is expected to be $110 trillion, with a budget deficit of
$13.9 trillion or 4.6 percent of the gross domestic product (GDP).
Murerwa forecasted that in 2006, the economy would grow by between 2 and 3.5
percent, with agriculture expected to register a positive growth of 14.8
percent on the back of a normal rain season, increase irrigation hectarage
and timely provision of inputs.
Murerwa said many parastatals had remained a major impediment to economy
growth and a drain on the fiscus.
In this regard, Zimbabwe Power Company, TelOne, NetOne, NRZ, Ziscosteel and
the Cold Storage Company (CSC) will all be privatised through joint
ventures, strategic alliances and concessioning.
CSC will undergo a partial divesture before listing on the Zimbabwe Stock
Small-scale communal and A1 farmers who had been left out of previous
financing arrangements were given $1 trillion which will be chanelled
through Agribank to finance inputs.

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Warriors get $10 billion

Daily Mirror, Zimbabwe

Michael Kariati
issue date :2005-Dec-02

Zimbabwe's Warriors yesterday received a major financial boost when the
government poured in $10 billion into the team's coffers ahead of the 2006
African Cup of Nations finals in Egypt.
According to the minister of finance, Hebert Murerwa, the money would go
towards "encouraging the team's performance as well as facilitating their
preparations for the Nations Cup finals." Murerwa made the government's
commitment towards the Warriors' cause when he announced his 2006 national
According to Murerwa, the $10 billion was a starting point for the Warriors'
2006 African Cup of Nations campaign and more would be coming the team's
Zifa have all along been crying for government support, and the association's
board member in charge of development Remigio Makoni applauded the
government's move and said the money would go towards player bonuses,
allowances, and airfares for the team.
National team coach Charles Mhlauri also said this was a good gesture from
the government and hoped that the Warriors would reciprocate the move with a
good performance in Egypt.
The Warriors have been drawn in a tough African Cup of Nations group
alongside Nigeria's Super Eagles, Senegal's Lions of Teranga, and Ghana's
Black Stars and need the best of preparations if they are to negotiate their
way through.
The money from government, according to Makoni, would help in the Warriors
preparations where friendly matches have been lined up for the team against
the likes of Zambia, Libya, and Angola before flying to France
for other engagements against Cameroon, the DRC, Auxerre, and Ivory Coast.
Although national team striker, Benjani Mwaruwari has indicated he would pay
all the other expenses for the team in France, he has asked Zifa to pay the
airfares of the team from Harare to Paris.

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Zim gets $2bn for Parly reforms

Daily Mirror, Zimbabwe

The Daily Mirror Reporter
issue date :2005-Dec-02

THE United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) has allocated US$2 million
to Zimbabwe to speed up its parliamentary reforms, which started in 1997.
Speaking at the official launch of Parliament's three-year Rolling
Multi-Donor Support Programme yesterday, UNDP resident representative in
Zimbabwe Agostinho Zacarias said:
" We are especially content with the dialogue facility which makes bi-annual
discussions between the business of the House Committee and participating
partners possible.
Hence our commitment to the next phase of the reforms which seeks to
complete outstanding activities and to embark on new initiatives.
To this end, we have allocated US$2 000 000 of which almost a quarter has
already been disbursed."
Zacarias added that he was happy to note that the money was matched by other
funds from Parliament's budget.
The proposed three programme needs resources from other partners, hence the
adoption of the Parliamentary fund to allow other donors to contribute, he
The UNDP local boss said the Zimbabwe government had exhibited commitment to
parliamentary reforms by pledging to take responsibility of running costs of
the august house's constituency information
Launching the three-year programme, Parliamentary Speaker John Nkomo said
the fund would facilitate greater civic participation, harnessing the power
of information and communication technology to enhance efficiency and
effectiveness and strengthening the house's legislative, budget and policy
analysis capability.
Nkomo added: "Some of the major activities to be undertaken include the
purchase and installation of cameras and ancillary equipment to facilitate
the live coverage of all plenary sessions and media coverage of committee
meetings, publication of informative publications on Parliament and
empowering members to monitor the implementation of the country's Millennium
Development Goals (MDGs)."
The Parliamentary reforms were adopted by the House in 1997 and among other
things, recommended the introduction of a weekly question time without
notice on policy issues.
Among those present at yesterday's function were the President of the
Senate, Edna Madzongwe and Nkomo's predecessors, Emmerson Mnangagwa and
Cyril Ndebele.

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