The ZIMBABWE Situation Our thoughts and prayers are with Zimbabwe
- may peace, truth and justice prevail.

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From The Sunday Times (SA), 5 December

Zanu fat cats don't say a word about the starving

Zimbabwe's ruling heavyweights gather for their leadership congress - and a
lavish meal or two

Convoys of limousines, Mercedes-Benz Kompressors, Lexuses, BMWs, Jeep
Cherokees and other posh cars roll into the grounds of the luxurious
five-star Sheraton Hotel and Towers in Harare, creating a dazzling
spectacle. Stepping out, their occupants show off designer suits and
latest-model cellphones. It is an extravaganza worthy of any Hollywood
gathering. But the spectacle is spoilt by the thousands of hungry-looking
people who make up the rent-a-crowd hired to sing and dance to greet the
delegates attending the leadership congress of Zimbabwe's ruling Zanu PF
party. The praise singers represent the other face of Zimbabwe: a country
where shortages of basics like water, fuel and electricity are rife, where
foreign currency is difficult to get and inflation is running at 200%. This
is a country described last week by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) as
a virtual basket case. But for the top brass of Zimbabwe's ruling Zanu PF -
or "chefs" as they are known locally - who arrived at their congress in such
style this week, that might as well be a continent away.

While thousands are said to be starving in his country, Zimbabwean President
Robert Mugabe and his entourage sit at VIP tables decorated with flowers and
bearing drinks, water and imported delicacies. Inside the venue, banners
like "MDC: The People's Enemies" or "2005 Anti-Blair Election" hang on the
walls. The 10 000 delegates - some put up at the city's finest hotels -
enjoy three hearty meals a day, a far cry from some of their families
starving back home. Some of the delegates, ambassadors in particular, have
been flown from all over the world to attend. Altogether, about Z$20 billion
is believed to have been blown on the congress. Yet, despite the problems
besetting his people, Mugabe does not talk about poverty, unemployment and
macroeconomic fundamentals such as inflation, interest rates and the
exchange rate in his keynote address. Instead, he spends most of his time
attacking real or perceived enemies, especially the opposition Movement for
Democratic Change and British Prime Minister Tony Blair. Even points about
the economy, land, elections, the power struggle in his party and
international relations are punctuated throughout by vitriolic remarks about

Mostly, the five-day conference - which ends today - is characterised by
infighting and a vicious power struggle between two factions, one led by
Mugabe's former heir-apparent Emmerson Mnangagwa and another by retired army
general Solomon Mujuru. Outside the conference, however, another Zimbabwe is
evident - one slated by the IMF, which has visited Zimbabwe three times this
year in a bid to pull the country out of the quagmire. In a report issued
last month, the organisation said Zimbabwe's social and economic conditions
had continued to deteriorate. In particular, it said the disorderly
implementation of the land reform programme had contributed to a sharp
reduction in agricultural production. "Concerns about governance, the rule
of law and human rights, and the continued lack of clarity about property
rights," it said, "have severely damaged confidence, discouraged investment,
and promoted capital flight and emigration.Unemployment is very high and
increasing, social indicators have worsened, and the HIV/ Aids pandemic
remains largely unchecked. Severe food shortages have necessitated massive
food imports and donor assistance," it said. But those inside the Sheraton
Hotel and Towers this week appeared blind to this reality, ignoring their
culpability as they plot their course - and that of Zimbabwe - for the next
five years.
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ABC Australia

Journalists celebrate Zimbabwean minister's demotion
Zimbabwe's privately-owned media is rejoicing at the apparent demotion of
the country's controversial Information Minister, Jonathan Moyo, in the
ruling ZANU-PF party hierarchy.

Mr Moyo is seen as the architect of the country's restrictive media laws.

He has been left out of the party's central committee and while he remains
Information Minister, there is widespread speculation that he may be dropped
him in an upcoming cabinet reshuffle.

The Sunday Mirror and the Standard newspapers have both run lead stories
headlined "ZANU-PF ditches Moyo".

The newspapers attributed this to his involvement in a suspected plot to
scuttle the nomination of party vice-president Joyce Mujuru.

"No true Zimbabwean is likely to feel any remorse for Moyo because of the
way he single-handedly changed the country's political and media landscape,"
the Standard> said in an editorial.

"Moyo may not be out but he is certainly down by all counts."

Mr Moyo, whose abrasive and combative style has angered several senior
ZANU-PF officials since his appointment more than four years ago, is
credited with designing Zimbabwe's harsh media laws.

The laws bar foreign journalists from operating in the country and require
all media practitioners to register with a state-appointed commission.

More than a dozen journalists have been arrested under the Access to
Information and Protection of Privacy Act while a few of foreign journalists
have been deported from Zimbabwe.

Zimbabwe's largest privately owned newspaper, Daily News, was shut down in
September 2003 for failing to register with the media commission as required
by the law and is fighting its closure in the courts.

The weekly Tribune newspaper was also closed in June this year for
contravening media regulations.

"News of his (Moyo) misfortunes was met with jubilation by some journalists
with some promising to throw impromptu parties," the Standard reported.

- Reuters

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Zimbabwe Mirror

Msika blasts Made
Farirai Machivenyika/ Kuda Chikwanda

MINISTER of Agriculture and Rural Development, Joseph Made, was yesterday
undressed by the Zanu PF presidium over the high level of interest rates
being charged on loans obtained by resettled farmers from Agribank.

Vice President Joseph Msika fired a salvo at Joseph Made, while President
Robert Mugabe registered dismay after Made revealed that his ministry and
Agribank officials had agreed to increase the lending rates from the agreed
20-percent to 120-percent.

"We sat as government and cabinet and initially agreed that the interest
rates would be 15 percent, but after negotiations with Agribank we later
agreed to levy 20 percent. We therefore want Made and company to explain
where the 30, 70 and 120 percent are coming from," Msika said.

As Msika spoke, a visibly angry President Mugabe shook his head in apparent
dismay at the interest rate hikes, which had been registered as a major
concern by delegates at the congress.

"Ndozvinotinetsa nevakomana vedu vatinoshanda navo (This is the problem we
have with these boys who we work with). I don't want to be unfair to Made
but money issues are difficult. If he sees problems with the interest rates,
let him come back to cabinet. Not to just come up with 120-percent, it is
unacceptable," said Msika to the packed auditorium in reference to an
embarrassed Made who could only smile sheepishly as the vice-president
castigated him.

The concerns on the interest rate hikes came to light when former Energy
minister, Enos Chikowore, presented his committee's report on Land Reform at
the congress.

Chikowore told delegates that the one of the major setbacks for the
beneficiaries of the land reform programme was the hike in interest rates on
Agribank loans.

President Mugabe was seen whispering something to Msika, who relayed the
message to Nkomo.

As soon as Chikowore concluded presentation of his report, Nkomo then
summoned Made to the high table to give an explanation on the high level of
the interest rates, but Made was nowhere to be found.

He later came in and was immediately called to give an explanation on the
contentious issue.

Nkomo had to rein in Made who tried to skirt the issue by concentrating on
gender equity in distributing land and the involvement of the youths in the

During his explanation, a visibly agitated President Mugabe shook his head
in disbelief as Made announced that they had increased the rates to
120-percent and was only saved from further embarrassment when vice
President took to the podium to explain the issue to the delegates. At the
end of Made's presentation, a stern faced President Mugabe then left
immediately, headed for the airport to see off Mozambican president Joachim
Chissano who was returning to Mozambique. Other Politburo members including
Cabinet ministers - notably Minister of Youth Development, Gender and
Employment Creation, Shuvai Mahofa and minister of Science and Technology,
Olivia Muchena - openly jeered at Made while he was giving his explanation.

Mahofa was overheard saying: "Ari kunyepa ini ndakatotora chikwereti changu
che irrigation nezuro chaiye ne 70 percent (He is lying, yesterday I
borrowed money for my irrigation project at a rate of 70-percent)." The
committee's report was only adopted by the congress after the section on the
interest rates charged by Agribank was removed.

Made has been criticized ever since taking over the helms of the
agricultural ministry. In 2001, Made deceived the nation on the state of
food supply in the country.

Made argued that he had taken a trip around the country in a helicopter and
had seen maize everywhere; proceeding on to assure the public that Zimbabwe
had adequate grain resources. However, Zimbabweans suffered from acute food
shortages and the country had to import grain .

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Vaughan disappointed by rebels' absence
Sun Dec 5, 2004 06:44 PM GMT
By Telford Vice
BULAWAYO, Dec 5 (Reuters) - England captain Michael Vaughan said he was
disappointed, "baffled and saddened" by the absence of the Zimbabwe rebels
from the controversial one-day series that ended on Sunday.

Arriving two days late after a row over the banning of 13 British media
members, England won all four matches against the lightweight Zimbabweans,
who have now lost 17 consecutive one-dayers.

Most of Zimbabwe's experienced players have not turned out for their country
since April when they became embroiled in a dispute with the Zimbabwe
cricket authorities.

Fifteen players refused to play after Heath Streak was succeeded by Tatenda
Taibu as captain. Streak was a spectator at Sunday's match which England won
by 74 runs.

"When you see Heath Streak sitting watching you in the stands it is
disappointing Zimbabwe aren't putting their best team on the field," Vaughan
told reporters.

"I'm baffled and saddened. I'd like to have played against the Flower
brothers (Andy and Grant), Heath Streak, and Stuart Carlisle, all of those

Streak told Reuters he felt Zimbabwean cricket would have been in better
shape if the rebels were still involved.

"There are some talented players in this team and we could have formed a
strong combination with them. You don't enjoy watching your country lose
badly," he said.


After the match Streak lingered in the Zimbabwe dressing room and chatted to
some of his former team mates.

"I still have a lot of friends in the changing room, I don't have any issues
with the players," Streak said. "My issues are with Zimbabwe Cricket and the
behaviour of some of the board members."

England came under pressure to pull out of the tour which was put in
jeopardy when the Zimbabwe government banned the 13 media representatives.

The authorities relented but the England squad arrived later than scheduled,
playing four games instead of five.

Vaughan felt the wider controversy that had dogged the tour had taken its
toll on his players early on.

"In the first game in Harare I thought the guys were affected by what had
gone on, but not since then," Vaughan said, adding his relief that
Zimbabwean president Robert Mugabe had not attended any of the matches.

That might have meant the England players would have had to shake Mugabe's
hand. "I am relieved, because I didn't want that to happen," Vaughan said.

Vaughan said he was satisfied with England's performance in the series,
though not without reservations.

"We've taken quite a few positives out of the four games. We expected to win
4-0 and we did," he said.

"A lot of players have given the selectors something to think about. But
both times when we batted first we've paced ourselves well until the latter
stages of the innings."
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      Zimbabwe to return to Test arena

      Zimbabwe's suspension from the Test arena will be lifted without any
formal assessment, according to International Cricket Council president
Ehsan Mani.

      In July, Zimbabwe Cricket was given six months for its fledgling side
to reach Test standard after being mauled by Sri Lanka in two matches in

      But Mani said the six months was not "set in stone" and there would be
no judgment made at any particular time.

      Zimbabwe will play series in Bangladesh and South Africa early next

      "There is no ultimatum on Zimbabwe to reach a satisfactory standard,"
said Mani.

      "The six months period was just loose."
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Mugabe's party faces strife ahead of Zimbabwe poll

December 05, 2004, 16:45

An internal power struggle over Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe's successor
has weakened his Zanu-PF party's ranks ahead of parliamentary elections next
March and could split the party before he retires, analysts say.

Mugabe is glossing over the cracks which emerged after he bowed to pressure
from a faction led by former army commander General Solomon Mujuru to pick
Mujuru's wife as second party vice president, blocking the general's
political rival. But political analyst and Mugabe critic John Makumbe said
the veteran Zimbabwean leader had damaged his personal standing by
supporting a move with regional and ethnic overtones, and that this would
weaken Zanu-PF in the coming months and years.

"Mugabe is putting up a brave face, a nice finish to this whole saga. But
the truth is that Zanu-PF is in deep trouble. There is a lot of anger over
how the whole succession question is being handled," Makumbe said. "I think
it is going to affect their campaign (for parliamentary elections), and I
don't think you can exclude outright splits towards Mugabe's retirement if
Zanu-PF has not found a fairer and smoother way of handling who will take

First women deputy
Joyce Mujuru, water resources and infrastructure development minister, a
politician in her own right but who nobody expected to rise to the position
which puts her on course to succeed Mugabe, was elected and confirmed on
Saturday night as Mugabe's first woman deputy.

Analysts say Mugabe chose Mujuru over parliament Emmerson Mnangagwa,
regarded for years his heir apparent, because he no longer trusted him.

This followed reports that his former state security minister had once tried
to lead Zanu-PF into a political deal with the opposition Movement for
Democratic Change (MDC).

While Mugabe maintained Mujuru was chosen in line with a 1999 resolution to
elevate a woman to the vice-presidency of the party, critics say he had
bowed down to a political faction bent on consolidating power in Zimbabwe's
northern Mashonaland provinces.

Mugabe, Mujuru and the other co-vice-president, 81-year-old Joseph Msika,
all come from Mashonaland, and Mnangagwa's bid was largely driven by
officials from the southern provinces.

Prior to Mujuru's election, Mugabe suspended seven top officials accused of
plotting to scuttle her rise in a purge Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation
called "the night of the long knives".

Opposition MDC still struggles
The 80-year-old Mugabe himself was retained as Zanu-PF leader for another
five years at the congress, but has indicated he plans to retire as state
president at the end of his current six-year term in 2008.

In what appeared to be a conciliatory gesture and a hint that he is worried
about Zanu-PF's future, Mugabe retained in the party's 240-member
policy-making central committee dozens of lieutenants accused of siding with

Heneri Dzinotyiwei of the University of Zimbabwe said although Zanu-PF has
been rocked by the power struggles and will battle to lift morale
countrywide, the opposition MDC would still struggle to win the March 2005
parliamentary elections.

"There are questions over the MDC's organisational ability to take advantage
of this, and there are questions over the whole electoral framework which
the government controls," Dzinotyiwei said. "There is a large feeling that
they can only fight but cannot win."

The MDC accuses Mugabe of rigging both the last parliamentary elections four
years ago and his own re-election in 2002 - a charge he denies.
Makumbe said Mugabe, in power since independence from Britain 24 years ago,
would try to maintain his ruling party movement by co-opting some officials
he has discarded in the past, enticing them with new positions.

"His problem is that he has played up his officials against each other over
too long a time and many are beginning to see through his game," he said. -
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Zim Standard

Zanu PF ditches Moyo
By Foster Dongozi and Valentine Maponga

... as the curtain comes down on its fourth National People's Congress
JONATHAN Moyo's two-year flirtation with the central committee of the
governing Zanu PF appeared to come to an end last night.

He did not feature in the new central committee announced last night.
In the outgoing Zanu PF central committee, Moyo was one of the 18 members
drawn from Matabeleland North province.

The Fourth Zanu PF's five-day National People's Congress was meeting last
night to elect the party's Presidium members of the Central Committee.
Members of the Politburo will be drawn from the Central Committee.

The axe had been hovering above Moyo's head all week after President
Mugabe's patience ran out following an unauthorized meeting Moyo organized
for six Zanu PF provincial chairpersons, who have since been suspended.

However, Moyo's fate remained undecided although the threat of decisive
action was pending and it appeared he was being set up for the fall from
grace, especially when Mugabe declared on Thursday: "We want a new Central
Committee and a new Politburo that will realize the unity of the party." The
suggestion was: its time to jettison some of the members. Moyo's exclusion
from the central committee last night appeared to herald the beginning of
the end of his romance with Zanu PF's upper echelons of power.

This is one congress that although Zanu PF sought to put up a faŤade of a
rejuvenated united party, the discordant murmurings over the handling and
suspensions of the six provincial chairpersons from Bulawayo, Matabeleland
North and South, the Midlands, Manicaland and Masvingo and the fate of
Mugabe's media czar seemed to hog the limelight.

After moving against the six and the chairman of the Zimbabwe National
Liberation War Veterans Association, Jabulani Sibanda, Mugabe's position
appeared secure and unchallenged - at least on the surface.

During the day, a glum looking Moyo spent the day holding his chin while
political turncoat, Sekesai Makwavarara, occasionally whispered in his ear.

The confirmation of members of the Central Committee was supposed to start
at 3.30PM but Mugabe, vice president Joseph Msika and party chairman, John
Nkomo, only returned to the Harare Conference Centre after 5 PM as they were
reportedly locked in a meeting to veto and approve names nominated for the
Central Committee.

This is where Moyo could have come unstuck as he has clashed with both Msika
and Nkomo, with newspapers under his control, routinely pillorying the two.
Moyo was one of the names, which had been submitted by Matabeleland North
after he defeated Bulawayo governor Cain Mathema 73-23 votes last week.

"We did a lot of vetting, others we vetted in, others we vetted out," said
Nkomo later.

Mugabe, who is believed to have always admired Moyo as the ruling party's
spin-doctor only became annoyed with the junior minister after he invited
six provincial chairpersons to Tsholotsho for a meeting, which is believed
to have come up with the so called 'The Tsholotsho Declaration'.

Amid murmurings from the delegates that: "It was a coup meeting," Mugabe
blasted the gathering in Tsholotsho. "We don't want party members who engage
in secret and clandestine dealings. Things should be done in the open and
that is why we suspended the chairpersons.

"It was wrong for them to go to a secluded place, ngale eTsholotsho to hold
secret meetings."

He warned his supporters to guard against people who bought their way into
the party. "Those people who use money to buy minds and hearts of the people
are political prostitutes," thundered the 80 year-old president.

A distraught-looking Moyo stormed out of the congress venue as soon as
Mugabe finished his speech.

During the elections he sat in the terraces together with Matabeleland North
delegates looking very distressed and dejected.

Smartly dressed in a beige suit, Moyo quietly walked out of the conference
hall accompanied by an aide who did all the talking while his boss looked

He declined to respond to questions asked by The Standard.

Moyo usually jokes with fellow politicians after party gatherings but
yesterday it was a different story.

The aide stopped a numbed Moyo when he tried to walk into the pouring rain
in a bid to leave the congress venue.

The aide borrowed an umbrella from a fellow delegate before the two
disappeared into the rain.

The congress also confirmed the nomination of Joyce Mujuru as one of the
Zanu PF vice presidents.

Also left out of the new central committee was Mashonaland West Provincial
chairman, Philip Chiyangwa and his Harare counterpart, Amos Midzi.

The presidency also overhauled the nominations from Bulawayo, which were
reportedly aligned to Moyo and Speaker of Parliament, Emmerson Mnangagwa.

They retained Dumiso Dabengwa and Sikhanyiso Ndlovu, who had been elbowed
out by the Bulawayo leadership.

The congress, afraid of chairpersons repeating a similar stunt, resolved
that provincial executives would not nominate members of the presidium

Instead the Provincial Co-ordinating Committees, which include members of
the Central Committee and Politburo, the provincial leadership and district
and branch executives would participate in nominating the presidium.

Moyo has presided over the formulation of repressive media laws, which has
led to the closure of newspapers and the arrest of journalists. News of his
misfortunes were met with jubilation by journalists with some promising to
throw impromptu parties.
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Zim Standard

$440bln vanishes at Time
By Rangarirai Mberi

THE assets of Time Bank will be sold and its investments liquidated, as the
bank's curator races to repair the bank's badly damaged balance sheet before

The assets include land at the centre of allegedly improper dealings between
Time Bank and property company Watermount Estates, which began in March this
year, sources said last week. Time Bank is also believed to have made
considerable investments on the money market, which the curator is now
seeking to liquidate to raise cash for the bank.
"Work to convert medium and long term assets of the bank to cash as quickly
as possible is continuing. I will keep stakeholders informed of significant
developments," curator of Time Bank, Tinashe Rwodzi of PriceWaterhouse
Coopers, said Friday.

Properties owned by Time - including some land registered to directors - are
already being sold, a source said. The bank's holdings in treasury
instruments and stocks will also be liquidated to shore up the bank's liquid

Rwodzi said an investigation into the state of the bank had found that
executives had run the bank's debts well above its assets, leaving the bank
in what he said was "a severe liquidity crunch".

"My work to date has, among other things, established that the bank has a
severe liquidity crunch. The current liabilities of the bank far exceed its
current assets," Rwodzi said.

The curator said the depth of the bank's liquidity crisis was such that the
it was unable to pay out October salaries trapped in the bank or support any
other outflows of cash to depositors. The curators of other banks that have
been under curatorship, such as Trust bank and Royal, have made such
concessions to depositors.

"Unfortunately, due to the bank's negative liquidity, I am unable to make
any payments in this regard any time soon," Rwodzi said.

It is understood that the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe wants to find a
resolution to the problems at Time Bank before it can launch its ambitious
project of amalgamated failed banks, the Zimbabwe Allied Banking Group

"The events at Time were unforeseen," a central bank source said last week.
"It is a major distraction now and the RBZ had not planned to bring it into
ZABG. This means they (curator) have to be quick in stabilising matters
there. It's no easy task, but we want to start the New Year on a whole new

Time Bank was placed under Rwodzi's management on October 27, only weeks
after the bank assured both central bank and the public that it was solvent
and that it had capital well in excess of the $10 billion minimum capital

StandardBusiness revealed last Sunday how Time Bank laid out $120 billion
for a land deal with Watermount within a month. Authorities however say up
to $440 billion in depositor funds have gone missing at Time, a charge that
led to the arrest of founder and CEO Christopher Tande and six other current
and former directors and associates of the bank.

The Watermount payments were made for on-lending to 12 applicants for pieces
of land at Rheimer Farm, a property along Mutoko Road.
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Zim Standard

Murerwa sticks to old traditions
By Rangarirai Mberi

HERBERT Murerwa stuck to all the old traditions of past Budget Days last
Thursday - the pose for the cameras with the briefcase, the swagger towards
the podium, and the introduction heavy on optimism.

However, by the time he had read through his 66 pages last week, the acting
Minister of Finance had given the country only the latest confirmation that
overall command of the economy has now been prised from his Ministry and
handed to central bank.
This is a suggestion that government, and the RBZ itself, has always
strongly denied. In March, Chris Kuruneri shot down suggestions that the
Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe had usurped the authority of the Finance Ministry -
and indeed the responsibilities of several other ministries.

"The (Finance) Ministry is not dead. We work in close consultation with the
RBZ," Kuruneri said. This was, of course, only days before he was famously
arrested on foreign currency-related charges.

But Murerwa's Budget gave scant evidence that the Finance Ministry is indeed
still as relevant to current economic management as it would claim. The
greater part of the Budget was devoted to mere support of the monetary
policies of RBZ Governor Gideon Gono.

"The Budget I have just announced is designed to consolidate this
turn-around process and to usher in a period of sustainable economic growth
and development," Murerwa said.

The decline in the influence of the Ministry of Finance began last year,
when Murerwa referred all the important stuff to RBZ's maiden monetary
policy statement of December 18. Since then, the Ministry has taken a firm
position in the back seat, showing neither the hope nor willingness to ever
return to the steering wheel.

The hard decisions that characterised past Budget statements now seem lost.
In the past, the days leading up to Budget day would be tense with
expectation. That was a time when business put key decisions on ice, brokers
on the stock market held their positions and even the usual assortment of
shady dealers also huddled in dark corners, waiting. Not this time.

There appeared to be a strong feeling, not only among the bureaucrats and
economists, but even among the general population, that someone else had
already served the big meal; that what Murerwa would give would be just the

Members of Parliament have religiously slept through every Budget over the
years, even while everyone else across the nation listened attentively.
However, this year, the MPs' napping bug must surely have spread.

Whereas in the past, policy on the exchange rate was the main highlight of
the national budget statement, this key part of economic policy was missing.
Since last year, this duty has been handed to central bank, especially after
Gono opened his foreign currency auctions.

Since his appointment, Gono has also assumed administration of parastatals,
leveraging that control on a large kitty of cheap funds he can use to keep
cash-hungry companies closely at his heel.

The Ministry of Finance has also lost its former authority in the licensing
of banking institutions to the RBZ. The only reference to the financial
sector was a congratulatory message to RBZ for "fostering future stability
of the banking sector" and sounding support for the Zimbabwe Allied Banking

With the big stuff stripped out of his list of duties, there was very little
left for Murerwa to work and play with.
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Zim Standard

Harare in garbage trouble
By our own Staff

GARBAGE has not been collected for nearly a month in areas of Harare,
because of a dispute over proposed new refuse collection charges. Residents
are furious arguing that the non-collection of domestic waste was posing a
major health hazard.

The Standard has established that refuse collection companies and the
financially troubled Harare City Council (HCC) are locked in a dispute over
payments that have paralysed refuse collection operations.
Sources in the council said yesterday the companies were demanding a review
of their payments from $5 to about $10 a bag to enable them to break even
under the current harsh economic environment.

The city council has refused to review the payments insisting that it had no
money resulting in the companies, Cleansing Environmental Services, Encore
Consolidated Private Limited and Broadway Services, embarking on a

Zanu PF functionaries Joel Biggie Matiza, Oliver Chidhawu and Tony Gara, who
could not be reached for comment as they were attending the party's fourth
national congress, own the three refuse collection companies.

In an attempt to normalize the situation, the city council is using tractors
in some suburbs to collect garbage but that has not helped much.

Some of the seriously affected areas are Warren Park, Kambuzuma, Highfield,
Glen View, Bluff Hill, Marlborough, Sunridge, Kuwadzana and Budiriro.

As loads of refuse pile up at home, some residents are dumping their rubbish
in storm drains, blocking them in the process.

Harare residents last week said the non-collection of refuse exposed them to

"They have not collected refuse from here for four weeks now and it's
garbage all over. We fear an outbreak of diseases," said Viola Mlambo of
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Zim Standard

Zimpost warns against undeclared parcels
By our own Staff

ZIMBABWEANS in the Diaspora who try to evade customs duty by not declaring
exact contents of parcels and letters mailed to relatives and friends risk
losing their valued goods, Bekhitemba Ncomanzi, the manager for Harare
central sorting office, has said.

Ncomanzi said the practice had resulted in valuable goods being lost or
customers approaching ZIMPOST to claim goods that were never posted in the
first place.
"If the undeclared goods are lost, it is very difficult to trace them. Even
when a customer can prove that the goods were there," Ncomanzi said.

One such parcel that had been declared as containing a pair of sneakers and
photographs, when opened by customs officials, was discovered to be
containing two cellphones tucked in one of the sneakers.

Ncomanzi said the Zimbabwe Revenue Authority (ZIMRA) were based at the
sorting office.

"When ZIMPOST officials collect international mail from the air port, they
are accompanied by ZIMRA officials. Once the mail is loaded onto a vehicle
for transportation to this sorting office, ZIMRA officials seal the vehicle
to ensure that no one will temper with the mail, said the official.

"Upon arrival, the ZIMRA officials open the sealed vehicle and check if the
parcels contain anything that might attract customs duty. So it becomes very
difficult for a falsely declared parcel to go unnoticed or for any received
mail to get lost as there is tight security" explained Ncomanzi.

When asked why, despite the "tight security", customers continued to lose
their mail or receive them after considerable delays, Douglas Zimbango,
ZIMPOST director of sales and marketing, attributed the problems to other
post offices around the world that would have misdirected the letters.

He produced letters that were destined for Europe, which for some reasons
ended up in Harare.

"We keep records of all international mail we receive, so if our customers
have any complaints they can approach ZIMPOST and we will be able to trace
the mail in question," Zimbango said.
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Zim Standard

'Free Bennett' campaign goes international
By our own Staff

BULAWAYO - A movement fighting for the release of jailed Chimanimani Member
of Parliament, Roy Bennett, has launched a website to publicise his plight
while efforts to engage the international community in support of his
freedom intensify.

The Free Roy Bennett Campaign website: started
operating last week and provides a history of his struggle with the local
authorities over Charleswood Estate in Chimanimani. It also carries
information on latest petitions aimed at securing his release.
The campaign is also collecting signatures for a petition to be presented to
organisations such as the SADC Parliamentary Forum, Inter Parliamentary
Union (IPU), and Parliamentarians for Global Action.
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Zim Standard

Office closures rile businessmen
By our own staff

SEVERAL business concerns with offices at the Harare International
Conference Centre were ordered by Zanu PF officials to stop operations for
the duration of the ruling party's Congress.

Angry proprietors told The Standard they stood to make losses running into
hundreds of millions of dollars due to lost business.
Speaking on condition of anonymity, the entrepreneurs, most of who are
black, said unidentified people told them they would compromise security
during the congress if they were allowed to conduct business.

"We find it strange that a political party which claims to champion the
policy of indigenisation should force emerging black-owned businesses to
close," complained one of the affected traders.

The congress started on Tuesday and ends today (5 December).

Interestingly, organizations linked to Zanu PF were peddling copies of the
ruling party's constitution and other pamphlets while another organisation
was selling herbs.

Destiny of Africa Network, which has offices at the Sheraton Hotel and
Towers grounds was not affected by the directive for the closure of the
offices. Reverend Obadiah Msindo, a Zanu PF stalwart leads Destiny.

The fist-waving pastor, who prayed for a successful congress while chanting
ruling party slogans, claimed he had blessed the congress.

The businesspersons said they were told to vacate their premises last
Saturday and to return only tomorrow.

"I have lost business worth tens of millions of dollars because of the
closure of our offices. I don't know how I will recover from the unplanned
loss," said a distraught entrepreneur.
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Zim Standard

Divisions rock Byo war veterans' body
By Loughty Dube

BULAWAYO - Divisions are threatening to tear apart the Zimbabwe National War
Veterans Association (ZNLWVA) after one senior war veteran announced last
week the "suspension" of a Bulawayo war veterans' provincial executive
member for taking part in the controversial Tsholotshoail meeting.

War veterans in Matabeleland are divided into two camps with one group
backing the national chairman, Jabulani Sibanda, while the other group is
now supporting Andrew Ndlovu, the former secretary for project who wants to
take over running the association.

Speaking at a function in Ntabazinduna last week, President Mugabe
personally asked Andrew Ndlovu to sort out the mess in the war veterans body
in the provinces. Mugabe is the patron of the war veterans association.

Ndlovu on Sunday convened a meeting at the Bulawayo provincial offices in
Entumbane where he announced that the Bulawayo executive has been suspended
for attending the Tsholotsho meeting whose agenda, it is believed, was to
scuttle the nomination of Joyce Mujuru for the post of vice president.

Ndlovu also took a swipe at Sibanda's leadership saying they would also deal
with ZNLWVA vice-chairman, Joseph Chinotimba, who attended the unsanctioned
Tsholotsho meeting.

An interim executive, led by former ZNLWVA chairman, Stanley Donga, was
elected into office to replace the suspended Bulawayo team.

Ndlovu confirmed to The Standard that he was tasked by President Mugabe to
re-organise the war veterans leadership.

"We are in the process of re-organising the war veterans leadership and we
have suspended the Bulawayo executive and, after the congress, we will move
to Matabeleland North and South because we understand the leadership in
those two provinces also attended the Tsholotsho meeting," Ndlovu said.

He said once the re-organisation exercise was complete the results would be
sent to President Mugabe.

"What the war veteran leaders in the provinces did is tantamount to plotting
a coup, because they defied the decisions of the presidium and the politburo
and, as trained soldiers, we see this move as treasonous," Ndlovu said.

The "suspension" of the Bulawayo executive by Ndlovu, has stirred a hornet's
nest with the national executive dismissing the suspension as the work of a

"Andrew Ndlovu and his clique are not even active members of war veterans
but they are criminals who are trying to raise dust in a rainy season but
there will be no dust because the scandal-ridden Zexcom and Zankorp are
still being investigated,"Sibanda said.
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Zim Standard

MDC predicts more violence after Zanu PF congress
By our own staff

THE Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) says the just-ended Zanu PF Fourth
National People's Congress was an opportunity used to whip up anti- MDC
emotions and set the stage for what may turn out to be violent general
elections in March next year.

President Robert Mugabe and other senior Zanu PF officials including Vice
President Joseph Msika and Speaker of Parliament, Emmerson Mnangagwa
persistently chanted the slogan of: "Pasi neMDC!" (Down with MDC) during the
five-day congress.
The Harare International Conference Centre (HICC), venue of the congress,
was festooned with posters carrying messages such as MDC: Enemies of the
People, MDC: Blair's Running Dogs.

Paul Themba Nyathi, the MDC spokesperson said: "We all know that by its
nature, Zanu PF is a violent party and that is why they have slogans like
Zanu ndeyeropa. The congress was used as an occasion to whip up emotions and
incite their supporters to engage in violent acts against MDC members."

He said it was unfortunate that Mnangagwa also chanted slogans against the

"For Mnangagwa, who is the Speaker of Parliament, to chant anti-MDC slogans
when the party is the official opposition party is the most despicable thing
to do."

Nyathi added: "We appreciate that Mnangagwa has to ingratiate himself with
the Zanu PF leadership after losing the race for the vice presidency. But
for the Speaker of Parliament to use such inflammatory language ahead of a
general election is a very unfortunate development. But then, such is the
level of intolerance of different views in Zanu PF."

Zanu PF national chairman, John Nkomo, preferred to say: " Phansi lesitha."
(Down with the enemy.)

Nyathi scoffed at the attack on British prime minister, Tony Blair by
President Mugabe in his opening address.

"If Blair is such a bad person, why have hundreds of thousands of
Zimbabweans fled to his country? Attacking Blair is a ploy to divert
Zimbabweans from real issues like hunger, lack of jobs, poor health
delivery, high cost of living and bad governance."

Commenting on Mugabe's statement that MDC president Morgan Tsvangirai should
concentrate on meeting the Zimbabwean electorate and not foreign heads of
State, Nyathi retorted: "Tsvangirai has been unable to travel for more than
two years and he is explaining the MDC position to other leaders. That is a
statement by a jealous person who is no longer able to travel at will. In
any case, Mugabe says we should hold meetings locally but his officials are
barring us from holding rallies."

Nyathi said MDC rallies set for last week were barred on allegations that
police officers would be providing security at the Zanu PF Congress.

Meanwhile the MDC has defended international forays into Africa and Europe
by Tsvangirai, saying its leadership has not abandoned its support base at
home but was consulting the international community on various issues.

After collecting his passport from the courts two months ago, Tsvngirai has
been on a whirlwind tour that has taken him to Mauritius, Botswana, Burkina
Faso, Nigeria, Senegal, South Africa, Norway, Sweden, Denmark, France and

Nyathi said it was evident Zanu PF was taken aback by the support Tsvangirai
received especially among African leaders.

"The way Tsvangirai was being feted in Africa and in Europe did not please
people in Zanu PF because Mugabe now does not enjoy the same treatment and
that is why they are creating stories that Tsvangirai has abandoned
campaigning locally,"Nyathi said.

Nyathi said during the past two years Tsvangirai had focused on meeting
people at grassroots level since he did not have a passport to travel
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Zim Standard

Hunger claims 10 more in Bulawayo
By our own Staff

BULAWAYO - Ten more people have died of hunger in the country's second
largest city of Bulawayo, bringing the malnutrition death toll recorded in
the city to more than 180 over the past year, official council documents

Bulawayo city council minutes on health, housing and education for November,
reveal that nine children under the age of four and a 70-year-old man died
as a result of malnutrition last month.
The deceased were from Bulawayo's wards 2, 4, 7, 9, 14, 15, 19 and 22.

Japhet Ndabeni-Ncube, the executive mayor of Bulawayo, refused to comment on
the statistics.

The mayor has in past provoked the ire of Zanu PF government officials for
revealing that people were dying of malnutrition in Bulawayo.

"At the moment, the Bulawayo city council is feeding over 13 000 children at
council clinics but the number of these desperate children is increasing
each day," said one councillor, who asked to remain anonymous.

Archbishop Pius Ncube, the head of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of
Bulawayo, said the deaths were a cause for concern. "It is a shame that the
latest 10 deaths have come at a time when the governing Zanu PF party is
spending billions of dollars feasting at its congress," he said.
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Zim Standard

Zanu PF in-fighting could prove costly
By Savious Kwinika

BULAWAYO - A senior politician in Matabeleland has predicted a tough time
for Zanu PF in its bid to win back parliamentary seats lost to the Movement
for Democratic Change (MDC) five years ago.

"Hate me or not but the truth is that the Politburo does not learn from past
mistakes. It imposed George Mlilo on Bulawayo residents during the 2002
mayoral election and Zanu PF lost dismally to MDC," provincial chairman
Themba Ncube told a stunned audience that included President Mugabe at
Elangeni Training centre in Bulawayo last week.
"People responded by not voting and this time around we are repeating the
same mistake by imposing central committee members who were initially
rejected by people and expect to win elections in Matabeleland region. This
is a recipe for disaster," he said.

Ncube added that even if the opposition was not as strong as it used to be,
he could foresee the ruling party suffering yet another defeat in the 2005
parliamentary election as a result.

Ncube, alongside five other provincial chairmen, was last week suspended
from the party for six months for attending a secret meeting convened by the
Minister of State for Information and Publicity, Professor Jonathan Moyo, in
Tsholotsho three weeks ago.

In a clear demonstration of Zanu PF's "dictatorial tendencies", President
Mugabe and the politburo reversed recent nomination outcomes for
Matabeleland region to reinstate former PF Zapu military supremo, Dumiso
Dabengwa and educationist Sikhanyiso Ndlovu who had lost their positions.

Dabengwa and Ndlovu, who were members of parliament (MPs) for Nkulumane and
Mpopoma respectively, fell by the wayside during the 2000 parliamentary
election when Bulawayo residents voted for the MDC.

Justifying the move, Mugabe said voting for new blood was not bad but the
party would not want to see Dabengwa and Ndlovu out.

"There are other people with a good record in the party and we are going to
include them even if they were voted out," Mugabe said.

Squabbles have intensified in the region with upcoming party cadres accusing
the old guard of violating rules and regulations and getting away with it.
It is these divisions that are likely to see the MDC dominating Matabeleland
again, observers say.

Mavis Ncube, a staunch Zanu PF cadre based in Nkulumane, said the entire
community had rejected Dabengwa and Ndlovu but the "powers that be" found it
necessary to impose them once more.
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Zim Standard

MDC warns of food manipulation ahead of poll
By our own Staff

THE Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) says the ruling party, Zanu PF, is
fighting to have a complete monopoly on food aid distribution in the run up
to the next year's parliamentary elections.

Speaking during a press conference in Harare on Friday, Renson Gasela, the
MDC's shadow minister for Lands and Agriculture, said that the government
was secretly importing maize in order to facilitate its agenda.
"Inflating crop yields does not only provide for a useful pretext for
terminating food relief efforts by international NGOs but it also creates a
convenient smokescreen behind which the government can covertly import food
to coerce a hungry electorate in the run-up to the elections," Gasela said.

A recent investigation by the Parliamentary Committee on Lands and
Agriculture found out that instead of the predicted 1,2 million tonnes of
maize being delivered to the Grain Marketing Board, only 351 810 tonnes had
been delivered by October.

Gasela said with the consumption rate of 158 000 tonnes a month, the country
would have run out of food by early next year.

"Despite the compelling evidence on the ground, the government continues to
tell the people of Zimbabwe, and the outside world that we have enough food
and do not need outside assistance. The government is playing with our
lives, we are fast running out of food," he said.

Gasela also said another reason why the government was "lying" about the
food situation was to portray the chaotic land reform programme as

Gasela said that an MDC government would ensure that communal and re-settled
farmers receive adequate inputs and financial support so that Zimbabweans
could see a revival of food production to levels that guarantee food
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Zim Standard

Opposition activists injured in attack
By our own staff

AT least four activists from the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) were
injured during a brutal attack by a group of war veterans and Zanu PF
supporters in Mutare West last week. The four were accused of being
"saboteurs", the party's provincial spokesperson for Manicaland has said.

Pishayi Muchauraya last week alleged that Zanu PF had started "a purging
exercise" in Mutare West, beating MDC supporters to force them into
submission ahead of next year's parliamentary elections slated for March.
"They have a list of MDC activists and supporters whom they are targeting.
Last week, a group of Zanu PF supporters led by a well known war veteran
beat up suspected MDC supporters, injuring four people," Muchauraya said.

Among those assaulted are Abel Mukamba, Tendai Jakachira, Spenser Gwizo and
Walter Marange, who were treated at Marange Clinic before being discharged.

"We are arranging so that the four can go to Mutare to seek specialist
medical attention because they might have suffered internal injuries,"
Muchauraya said.

Walter's mother, Mrs Emmilia Marange, said: "My son was tied to a tree and
assaulted using bicycle chains. He has bruises all over his body ... we have
reported the matter to the police but nothing has happened."

The MDC said the matter was reported at Chipfatura Police Station but the
suspects had not been arrested.

Due to increased violence, it is nearly impossible for the opposition party
to campaign freely in the constituency. MDC aspiring MP for Mutare West,
Gabriel Chiwara, said he had resorted to different strategies to avoid the
police and Zanu PF activists.

"We have devised a strategy whereby we hold planning meetings because if our
supporters attend public meetings they risk being victimised," Chiwara said.

Mutare West Member of Parliament, Christopher Mushowe, who is the Minister
of Transport and Communications, could not be reached for a comment.

Police Spokesperson Oliver Mandipaka said he was not aware of reports of
violence in Mutare West.
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Zim Standard

More urban families succumb to poverty
By Caiphas Chimhete

WHILE other children of her age are playing various games in the dusty roads
of Unit 'H' in Chitungwiza, seven-year- old Yemurai just stares from a

She has neither the energy nor zeal to be part of her joyous peers.
Nearby her mother, 24-year-old Monica Murambi, is selling tomatoes and
vegetables to raise money for food for her skinny-looking sickly daughter.

"She has not eaten anything since day-break. I hope I will get a few
customers before mid-day so that I can prepare her something to eat,"
Murambi said.

Her other child, 10-year-old Prince, has gone to school on an empty stomach.
On good days, her two children would eat porridge with salt in the morning.

Murambi, together with her unemployed husband, Mike, say it is becoming
increasingly difficult for them to provide for the family.

"If I can't afford a decent meal in the morning. Do you think I will be able
to send my child to hospital if she falls ill?" she says as she looks at
frail-looking Yemurai.

The Murambi family's predicament is reflective of an increasing number of
families in Zimbabwe's towns and cities as poverty takes its toll on the
urban poor. More and more urban families, like rural households, are failing
to access food, health and education as the economy continues to shrink. The
most vulnerable are those who live in high-density areas.

The second vice-president of the Urban Council's Association of Zimbabwe
(UCAZ), Alois Chaimiti estimates that about 80 percent of urban dwellers
countrywide live below the poverty datum line, now pegged at around $1,5

Chaimiti who is also, the executive mayor of Masvingo attributes increasing
poverty to unemployment, retrenchments, closures of companies and the Aids
pandemic which reportedly claims about 3 800 people weekly.

"In the past few years, scores of workershave been retrenched as firms
closed down while Aids continues to kill breadwinners, leaving children and
dependants vulnerable," Chaimiti said.

Chitungwiza mayor Misheck Shoko believes his town is the hardest hit urban
area in Zimbabwe because of its historical background. He estimates as much
as 90 percent of the town's one million people could be classified as "very

Unlike Harare, Bulawayo, Masvingo and Gweru, he said, Chitungwiza was
established as a dormitory town to provide labour to the capital city.

The town has no proper industries and people live in large numbers in small
rooms due to shortage of accommodation, exposing themselves to a host of
health hazards.

"Most of people in the town are poor because they are unemployed and those
that work spend their money on food and transport to Harare. As a result,
they are left with little money for their families," Shoko said.

He said proceeds from the Christmas Cheer Fund, which used to help the
needy, could no longer cope with the rising demand for handouts.

Shoko has proposed the 'Zunde raMayor', a project designed to assist the
poor, especially children orphaned by HIV/Aids.

"Through this project, we would be able to grow maize and vegetables to feed
the growing number of vulnerable people in the town," Shoko said.

Just like Harare, Makoni and Chitungwiza Town Centres have been invaded by
street children and the destitute, who roam and beg for money and food.

Chegutu mayor Blessing Dhlakama, who estimated that over 85 percent of the
town's population is poor, said most people had turned to street vending for
a living.

"Because of poverty they are failing to pay rates and as a result, as a
council, we are also failing to break even," Dhlakama said.

Bulawayo, the country's second largest town, has recorded nearly 200 poverty
related deaths. The city's mayor, Japhet Ndabeni-Ncube, said there was need
to put "safety nets" for the urban poor in Bulawayo.

Aids activists note poverty in the urban areas has also fuelled the spread
of Aids as poor women and girls turn to prostitution for a living. The poor,
because of their condition, are more concerned with "eating and living for
the day".

Davies Chiweza, the executive director of the Citizen Aids Survival Trust
(Cast), an Aids crisis response initiative, said Aids was rampant among the
poor because they have little choice on their destiny.

"Poverty is a catalyst to the increase of Aids because people who are poor
are desperate. Their decisions are based on the needs of that moment and so
they are more vulnerable," Chiweza said.

Over the years, the urban poor have been largely overlooked in Zimbabwe food
emergency needs because town dwellers were better off and used to support
relatives in the rural areas.

"The overall answer to poverty, not only in Chitungwiza but countrywide, is
addressing macro-economic fundamentals. We have to achieve political harmony
so that we can have donors because without doing this we will just be
addressing the symptoms not the causes," Shoko said.
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Zim Standard

Mugabe evokes Nkomo's memory
By our own Staff

'only to win elusive Matabeleland votes,' critics say

BULAWAYO - President Robert Mugabe's recent whistle-stop tour of rural high
schools in Matabeleland has brought to life the kingpin role played by the
late Vice president Joshua Nkomo in rallying support for Zanu PF in the

The opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) won most of the seats in
the 2000 general elections.
The tour has, however, exposed Mugabe's dilemma in attempting to convince
the electorate to support his party without evoking the name of the late
Vice president. He has to temporarily live in Nkomo's shadow - the man he
harassed and accused of sponsoring anti-government insurgents - to get the
electorate's attention.

Addressing villagers in Matobo at Joshua Mqabuko Nkomo High School, Mugabe
implored the people to keep the spirit of Joshua Nkomo alive by remaining
united. "You gave the school his name. On the other hand you say you want
MDC. What contradiction is that?" he asked.

An MDC Member of Parliament represents Matobo constituency, while the area
has an MDC councillor.

Mugabe appeared exasperated by the fickle nature of the electorate in
Matabeleland region, despite his party's victory in the Insiza and Lupane
by-elections. "Do you still have Nkomo in your mind? Do you have him in your
heart?" he asked saying the people of Matabeleland should show Nkomo is
still alive in their hearts, minds and whole lives.

No one among the region's surviving veteran politicians seems to have the
charisma and political stature of the late Vice president, resulting in
small groups trying to dominate the political landscape in both Matabeleland
South and North provinces.

Even Zanu PF national chairman, John Nkomo has been entrapped in the same
mindset; evoke Nkomo's magic wand and the political mentality of the people
in Matabeleland will turn around.

"What is happening in the Matabeleland region is a sad and disappointing
thing. As orphans following the death of Joshua Nkomo we can ill-afford to
be fighting each other. We cannot be seen to be disunited as a people of
this region," Nkomo told party provincial executives in Gwanda last week at
a meeting to realign the party following a spat with the Soviet-style

Recent events in which party provincial chairman for Matabeleland South,
Lloyd Siyoka was suspended from his post for failing to follow a directive
from the Presidium have jolted members out of ideological ignorance - which
the party operates on "guided democracy".

But the electorate in Matabeleland can be forgiven for taking a defiant
stance and providing Mugabe lukewarm reception that appear to question why
recent promises made during bye-elections in Inzisa and Lupane have not been

Still fresh in their minds is the proposed Lupane State University that
failed to register its first intake in September as promised. The site is
still scrubland without any sign that a university will, one-day, rise from
designated patch. The Gwayi - Shangani dam remains largely at the drawing
board stage while the electorate finds it hard to believe that the flurry of
development activity, which included road repair and tarring, that preceded
the two by-elections has almost dissipated.

More importantly, the crackdown on dissenting voices in the choice of party
members who demanded change of leadership has done little to assuage
suspicions that the Unity Accord only benefits those in government. Younger
members want party executives that agitate for government to honour its

"We have had a leadership that is bereft of ideas. The party cannot be
rejuvenated by the old guard who seem contented with securing their
positions than acting for the benefit of party members," complained Jabulani
Sibanda, the war veterans' national chairman, who was slapped with a
four-year suspension from the ruling party for indiscipline.

Rank and file party members say the problems in Matabeleland stemmed from
factionalism fanned by senior members of the party trying to take over
Nkomo's role.

Not many party members bothered when former Zanu PF national commissar, the
late Moven Mahachi, emerged from a crucial Politburo meeting convened to
discuss widespread factionalism and intra-party fighting and told a
television interviewer: "We have adopted 'guided democracy' as a guiding

Now that lapse of concentration has come back to haunt the ruling party in
Matabeleland, particularly among former PF Zapu members.

After the People's Congress, Mugabe could begin thrashing his hands about in
frustration, desperate to find a solution to the emerging divisions in the
region which could threaten the Unity Accord, something he always turns to
when he wants to court the region's support.
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Zim Standard

Increasing demand for Zim commercial farmers in SADC
By our own Staff

MUTARE - THERE is great demand in the SADC region for former Zimbabwean
commercial farmers who lost their land and property during the chaotic fast
track land reform exercise, The Standard understands.

A number of the farmers have moved to Mozambique and Zambia where they were
offered huge tracks of land. Others have travelled North to Nigeria where
they have found land in abundance in Kwara state, which has spearheaded a
campaign to lure the productive farmers.
Acting Malawian ambassador to Zimbabwe, Bill Itaye, last week made a
passionate appeal, during a meeting, for Zimbabwean farmers to invest in his

Itaye, who was in Mutare, said there were vast opportunities for interested
Zimbabwean farmers as well as businesspeople.

The meeting, organised by the Zimbabwe National Chamber of Commerce, (ZNCC)
was aimed at highlighting business opportunities between Zimbabwe, Malawi
and Mozambique.

He said his country needed wheat farmers and those that could rear

"The country does not produce wheat and it is in great demand. We offer
duty-free and tax-free for businesses that already pay tax in Zimbabwe when
they open branches in Malawi," Itaye said.

In the last 10 years, he said, Zimbabwe exported up to US$95 million worth
of goods to the country while Malawians exported between US$9-10 million
worth of goods.

"Malawi has been largely dependent on Zimbabwe for footwear, cooking oil and
margarine and we are happy Cottco (Cotton Company of Zimbabwe) has moved
into the country," he said.

Speaking at the same occasion, the Mozambican Consul-General, Americo
Chicolete, who is based in Mutare told the gathering that his country needed
Zimbabwean farmers and business people.

Speaking in Portuguese, he said: "You mean a lot to Mozambique, we have rich
soils for agriculture.

"There are no land problems in the country as we nationalised it soon after
independence and has remained state land. There are no fears of land
invasions and there is security in the country."

Chicolete said his country was in dire need of foreign investors, adding
international investors would have to have at least US$50 000 while smaller
businesses would require US$5 000 to set up businesses in the country.
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Zim Standard


Moyo - faced with retribution

IF we gauged correctly the current mood in the ruling Zanu PF party as it
concluded its congress, some form of sanction is at hand to admonish
Jonathan Moyo, the junior Minister of Information and Publicity in the
Office of the President and Cabinet.

No true Zimbabwean is likely to feel any remorse for Moyo because of the way
he has single-handedly changed the country's political and media landscape.
Moyo himself must have known that his day of reckoning would come some day,
surely as night follows day,
Moyo may not be out yet, but he is certainly down by all accounts. And
barring any miracles, we dare say he will be out very soon.

This man, whom many within and outside Zanu PF regard as mafikizolo may have
thought that he knows everything about power but alas - No. What's worse for
him is his failure to understand the nature of the beast that is Zanu PF. He
did not know that like a wounded animal, when cornered, Zanu PF can be
vicious in its treatment of those that dare cross its path. One has only to
look at the party's history - past and present - to confirm this.

It was predictable that sooner rather than later Jonathan Moyo would begin
to pay the price for his delinquent behaviour not only within the ruling
party but also within the Zimbabwean society at large. He symbolised the
worst in humanity i.e. destruction of freedom and democracy in this country
as well as wickedness, evil, racism and lies.

Today in Zimbabwe no name moves men and women more quickly to anger and
disgust than that of Jonathan Moyo. He became in the year 2000 the greatest
threatening force that the democratic and freedom-loving Zimbabwe faces
today. Moyo's repressive laws have had a devastating effect on the lives of
many Zimbabweans.

Newspapers have been closed down rendering many people jobless. Editors and
journalists have been fired from the State-owned media for no apparent
reason other than that this giver of evil gifts merely wanted to settle
personal scores.

Many a journalists have been arrested and harassed for no justifiable
reasons. A good number have fled the country literally killing the media
sector in the country.

Zimbabwe has become a pariah State in the eyes of the international
community largely because of this man's recklessness and foul mouth. For
four solid years, this mafikizolo of all mafikizolos in Zanu PF has been
beating on the independent media sector mercilessly. He has been pursuing
his wayward path with impunity knowing full well that his only constituency
i.e. President Robert Mugabe would protect him come rain or sunshine.

But chickens have now come home to roost. Jonathan Moyo had gambled with
people's lives for far too long. Ambition, abiding certitude, bristling
self-assurance - all this has now come to nothing. Moyo should have
downsized his expectations. The crunch has come with the 'Tsholotsho
Declaration' resulting in the suspension of six senior Zanu PF provincial

As experiments do, some end in disaster and the Tsholotsho experiment
clearly ended in disaster. As the convener of the Tsholotsho meeting, there
is no way Jonathan Moyo can escape the noose this time around unless he has
a strange protector in the form of a tokoloshi from another planet. As we
write, Moyo must be a man staggering around like a man who suddenly realises
that he has lost his script and is really reading some old sides from King
of Kings.

We have said it on numerous occasions and we say it again: We know of no
government in the whole wide world which has benefited from a repressive
media environment. Sooner or later such a government and its architect will
come to grief.

You cannot fight against the tide of democracy and hope to win for all time.
In the nick of time, you will be swept aside. Totalitarian governments do
not last forever. And what we in Zimbabwe have been subjected to under the
tutelage of this junior Minister of Information and Publicity can only be
described as the ultimate uroyi from this man.

Jonathan Moyo's driving passion has been to change things from fairly good
to very bad. In this, he has succeeded - only temporarily. His evangelism
against the media both local and foreign can never be sustained. The
triumphant march of freedom can never be stopped.

The demise of the Smith regime should have provided a salutary lesson to
Jonathan Moyo: that repression and crude media propaganda does not work in
the long run. God has his own way of punishing such people. At some point,
God will proclaim: Let my people go.

Foolhardy and arrogant as this man has been, we still feel that we must be
magnanimous enough to wish him well as he nears the end of his career and
restlessly prepares for his retirement from the bumpy and turbulent world of
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Covering over the cracks
overthetop By Brian Latham

SEVERAL troubled Central Africans have asked Over The Top why the
misinformation minister was sitting up in the gallery on the opening day of
the Zany Party Congress.

He looked lonely up there, people said, when hoardes of ministers and chefs
were grinning, clapping and sleeping down in the front rows.
Well, in truth Over The Top has no idea why the misinformation minister was
sitting up in the gallery, distanced from the dignitaries down below.
Perhaps he thought he'd have the moral high ground up there?

Just days before, OTT noticed that the misinformation minister was
reportedly reprimanded by the Zany Party's politburo for holding an
unauthorised meeting down in the dry west, where few Zany people venture on
account of the overwhelming popularity of the More Drink Coming Party in
those arid regions.

And not only was the misinformation minister reportedly reprimanded, the
news was carried in his own Daily Horrid newspaper - a paper where the
minister takes time to write much of the copy himself.

It was an interesting development, but troubled central Africans shouldn't
clutch at straws. The Most Equal of All Comrades personally took time to
congratulate the misinformation minister for countering imperialists and
malign influences that criticise the Zany Party. Such enemies of the state,
he said, had been thwarted by the misinformation minister's efforts.

Over The Top doesn't feel particularly thwarted except when visiting
supermarkets and filling stations where Zany economics have left havoc and
shortages, but never mind.

Still, despite the best efforts to paper over the divisions, the Zany
congress couldn't hide the fact that all is not well within the party.
Claims of 9,000 delegates were somewhat belied by pictures of empty seats in
the conference centre.

Meanwhile endless talk of discipline suggested that some chefs have been
straying from the straight and narrow - and it was interesting to see who
was smiling and who was not. Glum faces and weary applause seemed to suggest
a certain dissatisfaction in the ranks.

The Most Equal of all Comrades is said to be extremely displeased that some
provinces didn't vote for the vice president they were told to vote for.
About all this told

troubled central Africans was that voting for people of one's choice was an
alien philosophy for the Zany Party. Mind you, if two violent elections
haven't taught the people what the Zany hierarchy thinks about free votes,
nothing will.

Of course, one of the issues is that the Most Equal of all Comrade's choice
of a veepee happens to be a woman, sparking comments about a man's place
being on top - not to mention a certain amount of alarm among more
traditional members about redundancy.

Still, the question troubled central Africans have been asking is whether
the Most Equal of all Comrades can afford to fire his chief spin doctor four
months before an election. Based on the assumption that "it was good while
it lasted" - but it hasn't lasted long enough, he probably can.

In the meantime, the succession debate has been stymied, because the latest
move has put an end to it and there is no one in the sidelines to step into
the breach.

Perhaps the biggest irony, though, was the arrival of the guest-in-chief,
the president of a neighbouring country who is, strangely, stepping down
after 18 years at the helm. Odd that, when Zany officials called on the
troubled central African leader to stay in place until he needs a walking
stick to get from one place to another. Such calls should be made

It's more likely the walking stick will be used to beat recalcitrant and
disobedient chefs over the head.
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Docile Zimbabweans deserve what they get

TIMES are hard but Zimbabweans just accept what's put in front of them
without question. This is what we have been reduced to by our pathetic
government. We are now cowards who just cannot stand up for themselves

The new ID scheme is yet another of government's under-hand schemes to
hoodwink us into voting for it.
There is no doubt this is the beginning of rigging of the March 2005
elections, but we will just accept the results without question as we did
before. Would we go out on the streets as they did in the Ukraine? - no sir,
not a chance! Otherwise why didn't we show this "people power" two years
ago, when it was obvious elections had been rigged.

Historically, corruption was never part of our society but today greed rules
our hearts and we openly show our children how corrupt we are. The cancer is
growing and it will take some doing for any new government to stop it.

How can we be true Africans and be proud of our country, never mind
continent, when we have allowed power and corruption to take over our lives!
Zimbabwe is burning and we have allowed it to happen. We have never learned
from our brothers up north who are now enjoying the fruits of democracy.

One Zambian laughed in my face recently saying: "You did not learn from our
mistakes brothers. We thought you Zimbabweans were more educated than us!"

After my father has raped the farm he was given and there is nothing left
anymore and he has spent his money on wine, women and song, he is back in
his little hut no better a person than he was before. But he still wants the
rest of the family to continue toiling on the land. We tell him we are not
farmers, and guess what; we will lose the land to some other corrupt person!
Has my father seen the light; yes and he regrets his forced move in 2000.

They called the recent Budget "the People's Budget;" - believe that and you
will believe anything. Does The Herald think we are that stupid to swallow
this hogwash. The truth is it was a rich man's budget and we, the peasants
will continue to live from hand to mouth!

I feel very hurt and want to chant and show my feelings, but I fear I could
land in prison and my family will suffer. But if we do it collectively, we
have a chance of changing the situation.

But how many out there will be ready to join me?

Angry and alone

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Zim Standard


Soldiers harassing Harare commuters

ALLOW me space in your widely read newspaper to air my grievances on the
treatment of commuters by soldiers at the Rezende Zupco bus terminus.

Officers from the army are terrorising commuters at the terminus especially
during the evening rush hours. It is common knowledge that there are
transport problems but there is no excuse for the soldiers to treat
commuters in such a way. Often commuters are beaten up for no apparent
reason .
To make matters worse the soldiers sometimes use electric cables to beat
harmless travellers - this is uncalled for. An educated person can not do
such an evil thing.

Recently a soldier harassed an innocent student shocking nearly everyone at
the terminus.

Please, may the responsible authorities do something before these monsters
cause much suffering to innocent commuters.

Disgruntled commuter


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Zim Standard

Cultural revival or political posturing?
Sundayopinion By Desmond Kumbuka

MY 10 year old daughter could not conceal her exasperation when I failed to
help her with her homework.

The instructions from her class teacher were to list out 10 Shona proverbs,
and I could scarcely scrap two out of the 10. My pleas that having spent the
best part of my adolescence and adulthood outside Zimbabwe, I missed out on
some of the folklore tutoring that one gleans from a rural upbringing in
Zimbabwe, sounded like a lame excuse.
In olden days, my sort were derisively referred to as "bon-rukisheni" (born
location), which meant city-born and bred and therefore deprived of the
wisdom that comes from being mentored by village elders.

Apart from well grounded respect for the elders, those raised "properly" in
the village had other remarkable attributes: they could yoke cattle
blindfolded and use the the crude implements in the village with consummate
ease - a distinct advantage over the "bon-rukisheni" when it came to finding
a bride.

One of the ZTV's mediocre so called local drama series, Nzungu Muriva,
attempted to poke fun at city life by exposing a young city girl to the
vagaries of village life. The girl, left by her parents to ostensibly get a
taste of rural life, showed discomfort in a soot-blackened smokey kitchen,
provoking derisive contempt from her more seasoned village hosts.

She was afraid of oxen; had little knowledge of the routine chores in the
village such as sifting grain and was generally ignorant of how to behave in
a village setting. Protagonists of Zimbabwean culture frown down on people
who do not know their cultural roots or have no totems to identify them with
their ancestors.

Setting the cue for national intolerance of those perceived to be less
Zimbabwean, President Robert Mugabe raised the ire of foreign nationals
resident in the sprawling Mbare suburb when he chided them as "totemless;" a
profound insult to an African traditionalist!

The foreigners, mostly Malawians and Mozambicans, more willing than the
locals to take on menial jobs like cleaning toilets or manning waste
disposal trucks, found a niche in the pre-colonial urban employment
structures, and invariably found themselves accommodated in what was then
called Harare township (Mbare) within walking distance of the Harare Central
Business District.

While cultural practices are generally very loosely followed and vary from
one ethnic group to the other, more complex are interpretations and levels
of adherence to these practices, leaving them open to exploitation by
unscrupulous politicians who are invariably inclined to use them as tools of
political coercion.

Many people in Zimbabwe are unconvinced of Jonathan Moyo, the junior
Minister of Information and Publicity's new role as advocate of the
country's cultural revival. Moyo's attempts to peddle the cultural agenda as
the quid pro quo for his meddling in the local entertainment industry has
sought to foist on the public his own interpretation of the country's
cultural priorities.

For instance, while Moyo has virtually banned foreign music from the local
radio and television, it is doubtful that his own musical compositions
performed by the band, PaxAfro, carry any significant cultural message.
While most Zimbabweans readily identify with traditional music genres like
"Mbakumba", "Muchongoyo," "Jerusalema" and lately "Sungura", Moyo's
compositions can scarcely be said to conform to these musical types.

The Kongonya dance, being vociferously defended and promoted by those who
seek to benefit politically by identifying with cultural blandishments of
the liberation war period, is patently a silly dance with no artistic merit
whatsoever beyond its implicitly vulgar connotations. Kongonya has certainly
no place among such refined traditional dances as Mbakumba, Muchongoyo and
Jerusalema which are easily traceable to Zimbabwe's traditional culture.

Yet even these fine traditional dances, though popular and regularly
performed at the Harare International Airport when the government welcomes
visiting dignitaries and at many other formal functions by "traditional
dancers" they can hardly be said to constitute the mainstay of the country's
entertainment menu.

By the same token, while it is also doubtful that PaxAfro would be invited
to perform at the Harare International Airport to welcome visiting heads of
State for the precise reason that their music can hardly be described as
local or traditional, Moyo has looked decidedly ludicrous the few times he
has tried to be "with the people" by joining in the kongonya dance.

Over the past few years, musicians such as Aleck Macheso, Leonard Zhakhata,
Simon Chimbetu and scores of others have drawn impressive audiences at their
performances with music that combines the Sungura genre with a great deal of
influence from the ubiquitous and hugely popular "Kwasa kwasa" or Rhumba
music from the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and West Africa. But pop
music, American soul, rhythm and blues, and lately rap and so called hi-hop
music remain, arguably, still dominant as the preferred type of
entertainment music.

It is a fascinating phenomenon that music played by musicians like, for
instance, the late Jimi Hendrix still captures the imagination of fledgling
musicians in Zimbabwe who seem to believe the epitome of mastering the
guitar is the ability to reproduce as perfectly as possible the British
rocker's "Hey Joe" classic.

There is also no denying that a great majority of so called "rappers" in
Zimbabwe are undisguised copycats of American rap music with names like the
late Tupac Shakur, P Diddy, Snoop Dogg and scores of others with similarly
intriguing names immediately coming to mind.

To be fair, Moyo's attempts to foist his music on the listening public for
no better reason than that it is performed by Zimbabwean musicians, has
succeeded in one respect only. That is in diverting financial resources
towards propping up young novices trying to find their feet in a brutally
competitive field where determinants of success can be just as fickle as
those of failure. For that, he should be applauded.

Beyond that, Moyo's foray into the music industry has virtually placed
Zimbabwe entertainment industry under siege. Without the more refined
international music to use as a yardstick to gauge our own performance,
mediocrity now rules supreme. Any one who thinks they can sing can just rush
off to the studio in the hope that in the absence of anything better, their
offering will find takers.

Indeed, it is doubtful that under normal circumstances, any recording
company that has its eye on a good return on its musical product would be
persuaded to record the music of PaxAfro, a band of musicians who perhaps,
with more practice and grooming, would probably have some potential. This is
a typical case of a one eyed man among the blind, where Zimbabweans are
being told it is patriotic to support local mediocrity and treacherous to
enjoy wholesome and professionally produced music from the west.

In Moyo's deleterious hands, music has been turned into an instrument of
coercion being used ruthlessly to marshall support for the ruling Zanu PF in
much the same way that fundamental distortions have been applied to the
concept of culture so that recognition and reverence of the country's
liberation war heroes is viewed as the epitome to cultural enlightenment.

Much as people are exhorted to pay homage to fallen heroes of the liberation
struggle, there seems to be a thin line between genuine hero-worshiping and
deceptive posturing by the politicians. While paying tribute to declared
heroes and prominent personalities in society is a recognised global
phenomenon, it is the blatant exploitation of their names, evidently with
little compunction, that many find objectionable.

Lately, much disquiet has been expressed over the musical concerts being
held ostensibly to honour political icons like the late Vice Presidents,
Joshua Nkomo and Simon Muzenda, with critics of the events saying their
names are being exploited for political gain in the same way, some would
say, politicians exploit adherence to cultural norms and mores.

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Something positive in Zanu PF
Sundaytalk with Pius Wakatama

BELIEVE it or not, I still have personal friends who are ardent Zanu PF
supporters with whom I socialize now and then. With one of them however, our
political differences were beginning to affect our personal relationship.

The last time we got together, he said to me: "Pius, you are so biased. Your
articles in The Standard are not balanced. You never write anything positive
about Zanu PF. You are always denigrating us and praising the MDC."
I told him that I would very much love to say something positive about Zanu
PF even if it is just so I can please my Zanu PF friends. However, I find
very little positive in that party since it is responsible for the social,
economic and political mess that we are in today. After a rather heated
conversation, we parted company on a rather strained note.

I value the friendship with all my Zanu PF friends, especially those I grew
up with, am related to, or worked with. They are all good people trying to
do their best under the circumstances.

I tried to tell some of them that they would never be able to really serve
Zimbabwe under Zanu PF but they remain loyal to their party. It was their
political home since they were young and for them to leave is out of the
question. This was the case with the late Eddison Zvobgo and his partner
Dzikamai Mavhaire. They remained loyal even though the party gave them a
rough deal.

War veterans like Edgar Tekere and Margaret Dongo were made of different
stuff. They smelt the rat and protested. When their warnings and protests
were ignored, they chose to leave than be tainted.

Readers can, therefore, understand my joy because today I have something
positive to say about Zanu PF. The nomination of Mai Joyce Mujuru for the
Vice Presidency is a very positive move. She deserves that post for she
really is a woman and a half.

I will not say anything about her history because much has been said in the
Press about that. I am writing as one who knows her as a human being and a
Zimbabwean who loves the people and her God. She does not wear the Salvation
Army uniform, as a political public relations exercise as some are wont to
do. Her faith in Christ and the teachings of the Bible is real.

Mai Mujuru is a devoted Shona wife, doting mother and real pillar of
strength to her extended family and relatives. She is a real role model for
our young women. As Vice President she will be a real mother to the nation
in the same grain as Mai Sally Mugabe. President Mugabe must be
congratulated for nominating her. Apa magonawo Gushungo.

Mai Mujuru is a tolerant politician who is loved across the party political
divide. If a relative or friend of hers who belongs to the opposition is
sick or bereaved she will go to visit or attend the funeral. Political
pretenders will not do this. This is why I believe that if she were to stand
for President of Zimbabwe many in the opposition camp would vote for her.
Such is her character.

The idea that public political office has nothing to do with one's private
and personal life is hogwash. True political leaders are also leaders in
moral and ethical uprightness. Mai Mujuru is such a leader. She is so
different from a good number of Zanu PF women who are social rejects. They
are in politics only for what they can get and don't have the respect of our

These can't be role models for our girls or young women because they change
husbands as often as they change their panties. Some of their "husbands" are
actually younger than their firstborn children. They are indeed the ones who
are tarnishing the image of Zanu PF, not the MDC.

A positive by-product of Mai Mujuru's nomination is the unmasking of bad
apples in the party who had their own self-seeking agendas. I am talking
about the six Zanu PF leaders who were suspended from the party for their
machinations against Mai Mujuru's nomination and their disrespect of senior
party members.

I shouted, alleluia, when I heard that President Mugabe had finally
discovered that Jonathan Moyo is a snake in the grass. However, many people
are puzzled by the gullibility of our president. How could Moyo fool him for
so long? Many especially Vice-President Joseph Msika tried to warn him but
he would not listen.

The only answer is that President Mugabe is so desperate to cling onto power
that he has surrounded himself with sycophants who tell him what he wants to
hear and who seem to be protecting him from enemies who are, in fact,
creations of their own fertile imaginations.

The opposition MDC must be disappointed and worried. Their inside man, Moyo
has been unmasked. After trying to destroy Zanu PF by his writings without
success he followed the wise adage, "If you can't beat them, join them."

He decided to join Zanu PF in order to destroy it from within. Without being
elected, he wormed his way into the ruling party like a weevil until he
became a powerful member of the Politburo and a Cabinet minister. From that
vantage position he has done a commendable job of destroying what was left
of Zanu PF's good image. He also created confusion and lack of trust among
the previously united Zanu PF.

On 23 December 2002, I wrote about Moyo in The Daily News. I said: "He took
note of Mugabe's vanity, egoism and egotism and used that to catapult
himself to the highest echelons of power. This was not difficult because
Jongwe is terribly susceptible to praise and adoration. He, therefore,
started to sing the President's praises and in no time, his soft purring
voice put the mighty Gushungo in a trance and had him literally eating out
of his hands."

When the opposition gives its vote of thanks to Moyo for throwing Zanu PF
into disarray they must not forget to mention his fellow unelected
ministers, namely Minister of Justice, Patrick Chinamasa, who has turned his
ministry into the Ministry of Injustice.

He fought hard for unjust and unconstitutional laws to be passed by a docile
and rather bemused Zanu PF parliament of hand clappers. Nor should they
forget the comical Minister of Agriculture, Joseph Made, and his "bumper
harvest" buffoonery. Life is hard in Zimbabwe. His buffoonery helped us all
to forget our misery and laugh for a while.

Tafataona Mahoso, the conspiracy theorist, deserves special mention. His
"western conspiracy" theories against Zimbabwe helped many to regard Zanu PF
as a part of the world theatre of the absurd, totally incapable of solving
Zimbabwe's problems.

The three above-mentioned musketeers did a splendid job in destroying Zanu
PF's as a serious political party.

Many are baffled by the fact that Moyo, the convener of the treacherous
Tsholotsho meeting only got a reprimand while those he invited were
suspended from the party. The reason is simple. He is not even a
card-carrying member of Zanu PF and therefore cannot be suspended from a
party of which he is not a member. He is simply at the mercy of the
President who appointed him and has now angered. Didn't Zanu PF Secretary
for Information and Publicity, Nathan Shamuyarira, say that his (Moyo's)
fate would be decided upon later?

Impeccable sources say that he has already approached the University of
Zimbabwe for a teaching post.

He, who has ears to hear, let him hear.

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