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

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War vets defy Mugabe ruling
          December 07 2004 at 12:46PM

      Harare - The Zimbabwe National Liberation War Veterans' Association
(ZNLWA) has defied the ruling Zanu-PF party by saying that dismissed
chairperson Jabulani Sibanda is still their leader.

      President Robert Mugabe suspended Sibanda from the ruling Zanu-PF
after he attended a controversial and unauthorised meeting in Tsholotsho
district in the western province of Matabeleland.

      Also suspended from the party were six party provincial chairperson,
while information minister Jonathan Moyo, who allegedly called the meeting,
has been reprimanded and faces further censure.

      The meeting signalled the worst fissure in Zanu-PF in almost 25 years
of power.

      Still, ZNLWVA secretary-general Alex Mudavanhu said on Monday that his
organisation and Zanu-PF were "separate entities".

      "Our structure is still intact," he said. "It remains intact until a
congress is held with the required quorum. That is when a new executive can
be elected."

      No comment was available from Zanu-PF on the surprise announcement. -

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Airzim Must Not Be a Gravy Train

The Herald (Harare)

December 7, 2004
Posted to the web December 7, 2004


REPORTS that Air Zimbabwe was prejudiced of more than $10 billion between
January last year and October this year by current and former employees
through its 10 percent discount scheme for staff travel on its flights makes
very sad and shocking reading indeed.

Current employees and former staffers at the national airline are understood
to have taken advantage of the scheme and organised several overseas trips
for relatives and friends to destinations across the world.

As a result of the discovery of the scam, management at the national carrier
has slapped a temporary embargo on all passenger and cargo-discounted rates
for both serving staff and pensioners with the airline.

We would like to believe that this is a case of simple fraud and we call
upon management at Air Zimbabwe to put in place effective monitoring
mechanisms to check against the abuse of a well-intentioned schemes, and one
that is a standard perk on all airlines.

Since it is a worldwide stipulation that for one to board an international
flight one requires full documentation of one's travel status, why were
relatives and friends of staff allowed on the planes in the first place with
discount tickets?

Management at the national carrier should institute investigations and get
to the bottom of the matter and fish out these culprits and selfish

It is disheartening to note that the actions of some greedy individuals have
now resulted in the temporary embargo of the discount scheme under which
well-meaning and honest individuals, as well as pensioners and dependants,
have been affected.

We would like to point out here that the embargo cannot be a long-term
solution in this case. It can only serve a stop-gap measure at the most. The
best solution, like we have said before, is to put in place effective and
foolproof checks against such abuse of staff privilege.

But for this to take place and for the measures to be effective, there has
to be a substantive chief executive officer at the national airline to take
charge of the economic turnaround programme. There also has to be an
effective board of directors.

The discount scam has surfaced at a time when Government has been working
flat out to see the national airline getting back on a sound financial base
and return to profitability.

Only recently, Transport and Commu-nications Minister Chris Mushohwe
announced that Cabinet had approved Government's takeover of the airline's
local and foreign debt, which stood at $117 billion and US$13,9 million

Already, the airline has drawn up an ambitious turnaround programme
involving expansion of flight routes and acquisition of new aircraft to
modernise and increase the size of its fleet. Last month, Government signed
agreements with China to acquire three 50-seater aircraft for the national
airline which has opened new routes to Johannesburg from Victoria Falls and
to China and the Democratic Republic of Congo.

But all these efforts will come to nought if there are no effective
mechanisms to monitor abuse of benefits and other perks accorded to staff
and pensioners.

Air Zimbabwe should stop being a gravy train for criminally-minded and inept
individuals in its ranks. It should act as a commercial airline.

It is quite possible for an airline to make money on routes in Southern
Africa. All it takes is good managers, efficient staff and suitable planes
flying the right routes.

Several private airlines as well as some state-owned flag carriers now reap
profits in the region.

There is absolutely no reason why Air Zimbabwe cannot do the same.

The $10 billion scam is a symptom of the deep-seated malaise plaguing the
airline, not the cause of the dire state of its finances.
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New Zimbabwe

Zim man tries to blame dying wife for crash

By John Askill
Last updated: 12/08/2004 01:36:39
A ZIMBABWEAN man hauled his dying wife from the passenger seat of their
wrecked car - so he could blame her for the crash, a British court heard on

Vimbai Chakudunga, 28, told passers-by his fatally injured wife Claire, 30,
had been driving, it was alleged.

Prosecutor Grace Hale said a couple in another car drove up after the
Chakudungas' Vauxhall Corsa hit a tree.

She said: "They saw the man in the driver's seat lean across to push open
the passenger door. It opened, and a female fell out of the car."

Miss Hale said Mrs Chakudunga was left half-out of the car until her husband
climbed over to finish the job.

She added: "He climbed out and dragged her out of the car before placing her
on the ground, with her head next to the wheel.

"One of the couple told him to stop because he may damage her. But the
advice was ignored."

Chakadunga escaped last November's crash in Ravenshead, Notts, with minor

He failed a breath test and refused a blood test claiming he had not been

He insisted to police his wife had picked him up from the pub, where he had
drunk three pints.

Chakudunga told another passer-by that his wife had swerved to avoid a woman
in the road.

But Nottingham Crown Court heard that CCTV footage showed him at the wheel.

Miss Hale said: "When asked about the pictures he changed his story and
admitted he was driving at that stage - but said they then swapped seats."

Experts later found "severe impact damage" down the passenger side -
consistent with his wife's injuries.

And strands of hair found on the tree that the car smashed into matched with
Claire, who never regained consciousness.

Claire died in hospital 10 days later from her injuries, including a
fractured skull.

Chakudunga denies causing death by careless driving and failing to provide a
blood sample. The trial continues.
The Sun

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MISA Concerned Over Legal Vacuum in Broadcast Licencing Process

Media Institute of Southern Africa (Windhoek)

December 6, 2004
Posted to the web December 7, 2004

Government and Broadcasting Authority not sincere on Opening the Airwaves

The Media Institute of Southern Africa (MISA)-Zimbabwe, which continues to
campaign for broadcasting diversity under its Open the Airwaves Campaign,
welcomes as a step in the right direction announcements by the Broadcasting
Authority of Zimbabwe (BAZ) that it is ready to receive applications for
licenses for 15 private radio stations and one television station.

Of concern to MISA-Zimbabwe is the fact that while the BAZ is calling for
the applications it is not the licensing authority as was defined by the
Broadcasting Services Act (BSA).

The Supreme Court in the Capital Radio judgment struck down Section 6 of the
BSA, which made the minister the licensing authority, while the BAZ
processes the applications for a broadcaster's licence.

This means that while the BAZ is calling for interested parties to apply for
licenses, there is no legal instrument to facilitate the registration of
licenses in Zimbabwe. So far, the concerned Ministry has not come up with
any new set of regulations or amendments to the law that would facilitate
the granting of licenses.

In other words, there is a legal vacuum that is yet to be filled following
the Supreme Court ruling.

The call by BAZ in the Government Gazette of 5 September 2004 providing the
requisite application and licence fees for the respective classes of
broadcasting licensees will amount to nothing in the absence of the enabling
legal instruments.

We note that in March 2004, the same BAZ made another call for applications
and the results of such a call have not been made public. MISA-Zimbabwe is
concerned with the setting up of deadlines for application licensees, a
matter which we believe must be determined by the frequencies available.
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Cape Argus

      Where to now for Tuli elephants?
      December 7, 2004

        By Vivien Horler

      While questions regarding their fate need answering, the pachyderms
have major champions in game guide Bashi Patane and ecologist Jeanetta

      Jeanetta Selier laughs in embarrassment. "No, I'm not an elephant
whisperer," she says. "But I do talk to them. I talk to them all the time."

      We're in a game-viewing vehicle in a dry river bed in the Northern
Tuli Game Reserve in eastern Botswana, and a group of about 15 elephants are
going about their business just 20m away.

      An adult female kicks a hole in the gravel river bed, and has soon
created a small drinking pool. A young elephant, four or five years old,
wanders over and pushes his trunk into the pool, to the irritation of the
female. Using her trunk she gives him a push, but he stands firm. Now she
gives him a good shove, and he lurches away. Then he's back. She seems to
shrug, and they share the water.

      Slightly apart stand two young bulls, perhaps 13 or 14 years old.
They're only tolerated by the rest of the group, says Jeanetta. "Young bulls
have raging hormones, and no logic."

      The elephants glance over at us from time to time, but are totally
unfazed. They're drinking, rubbing against each other, constantly touching.
After about 20 minutes or so, they wander off down the river bed.

      The Tuli elephants are famous in South Africa as the group of 30
youngsters who were exported from their home in Botswana's Tuli Block to
South Africa where they were mistreated and eventually sold to private game
parks and zoos.

      But there are hundreds more Tuli elephants, living in freedom in the
largest privately owned game park in southern Africa. They no longer fear
humans and tolerate game vehicles.

      But only 20 or so years ago the Tuli elephants were feared as among
the most aggressive in Africa. After two centuries of being hunted and
poached, they were hostile and impatient of humans, who were advised to keep
their distance.

      This has changed, says Selier, a Pretoria University masters student,
thanks of course to the fact they are no longer hunted, but also to the
efforts of game guides like Bashi Patane, his brother Fish, and other guides
who, with Selier, are attached to Mashatu, one of the handful of private
estates that make up the reserve.

      The elephants have learnt that humans are not a threat. A key element
to this new relationship is the understanding on the part of people like
Selier and Patane that the animals must be treated with respect.

      "The question we ask ourselves is how would we want to be treated to
make us comfortable in the presence of our worst enemy - and humans have
been elephants' worst enemies. So we have learnt from the elephants and they
from us.

      "We never, for example, chase them from behind, never follow them in
forested areas because they don't have room to manoeuvre, we never box them

      "We never crowd them, and we restrict the number of vehicles in the

      The drivers also switch off their engines when encountering a group of
elephants, because the elephants have made it clear they don't like revving
engines - but the drivers always park so the vehicles can't be boxed in.

      Sitting in the front of the game vehicle, Selier and Patane take turns
in telling the wide-eyed visitors about the elephants. As the sun soars over
the horizon and the animals get on with their early morning routine, we
listen fascinated to the tales. They read the elephants' body language, and
Selier demonstrates with her hands just how expressive the elephants' ears
can be.

      Patane has worked at Mashatu for 14 years, but been a guide and driver
there for about half that. Although he doesn't read or write, he passed the
mandatory Botswana government game guide's exam orally, and has a driver's

      When he first came, he says, the elephants would get angry when they
saw a car. "But then we got to know them, and they got to know us.
Eventually they became more relaxed."

      He tells of the time when a one-tusked matriarch with a blue eye
charged his vehicle which contained a client and a tracker. "When she was
just 2m away from us I realised she was not stopping. I put my foot down and
we drove off at 40km/h, but after 300m my tracker said Bashi, she is coming.
She was pounding right over 1.5m high acacia trees. We just drove. Luckily
she had a calf with her who was screaming, and eventually she turned back to
her baby.

      "When we got back to the camp the client went to bed for the rest of
the day." Patane laughs. "Two days later I saw her again, and I was very
frightened. But I knew I could get away be-cause I had an escape route. I
think she came from Zimbabwe, that's why she was a mad elephant because of
the trouble there. I last saw her in March, heading towards the Zimbabwean

      Selier's master's thesis is on the distribution, size and demographics
of the elephant population in the central Limpopo valley, but her day job is
ecologist for Mashatu and adventure co-ordinator for visitors.

      Among the questions she needs to answer are also the movement of the
elephants - some never leave Tuli, while others range into Zimbabwe and
South Africa - as well as the co-existence of the elephants and vegetation.
The big question is whether there are too many elephants for the land to

      Selier believes elephants will not continue breeding to the detriment
of their environment, and that eventually they and the vegetation will reach
a balance. She also fears culling will set back the excellent relationship
between elephants and the reserve guests, causing the elephants to become
shy and remote at best and aggressive at worst.

      "The economy of this area is built on what we can show guests, and the
fact that we can get so close and even interact with the animals means that
people want to come here.

      "If we started culling we'd set our relationship with the elephants
back by 20 years."

      But others believe that if an elephant population explosion damages
the environment so badly that it becomes a desert, then the elephants will
leave and the visitors will stay away.

      But before the big question can be answered, accurate figures are
needed. Selier believes between 200 and 300 are permanent residents, with
numbers rising to 1 400 in summer.

      "In winter they move off looking for water and food, but in summer
families are reunited. Just like we get together at Christmas, so do the

      While the big questions are investigated, the Tuli elephants have
major cham-pions in Selier and Patane.
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Vultures on a Carcass.

Zanu PF has put on a spectacular display this past few weeks. They have
fought each other, gathered in large numbers and feasted on the carcass of
what was once a proud, liberation movement engaged in the process of
securing freedom for the people they represented.

We were visiting a large cattle farm in the midlands for a weekend. The
previous night a cow had died giving birth to a calf and the carcass was
lying out in a vlei some distance from the homestead. The farmer said he
would leave it there to see what the vultures did. The first bird appeared
about 11.00 hrs. We saw it high in the sky, just a small dot amongst the
clouds. By 15.00 hrs there were close to 300 birds on the carcass and by
evening there was little left except a bit of skin and the larger bones.

I was told that the vultures have very acute eyesight and that when a single
bird sees a possible prey, its behavior is immediately communicated to
others in the vicinity. The 300 birds we saw probably came from an area
covering hundreds of square kilometers.

They are a spectacular bird in flight - there are few who can compare, but
on the ground they are ugly, savage creatures with little regard for each
other and no respect for the animals they feed on - and anything is fair
game to them.

The leadership of Zanu has an uncanny resemblance to these predators in the
veldt. They can see that the present leadership is on its last legs and will
soon go - so they fly down and sit in trees near the dying animal, waiting
for their time to come. When the animal dies - or is nearly dead, they
gather in their hundreds to feed on the carcass. The fact that there will be
nothing left after they have finished is of little consequence to them - it
is the feast that counts while it lasts. Then when it is over, they will
rest for a while with full bellies before flying to distance places to hunt

The old Zanu is dead - has been for years. Zimbabwe is dying and all we have
to show for life is a collection of vultures who seek to reap what they can
before flying away to distant lands where they can enjoy the fruits of their
savagery. These vultures are also splendid in flight - Gucci shoes and
handbags, luxury cars and Saville Row suits. But think for a while about the
carcass; once proud and committed, now simply a pile of rotting meat and

This has not been a good week for Africa. At the UN the African block
prevented the General Assembly from debating human and political rights in
Zimbabwe and Sudan. The EU tabled the Zimbabwe resolution and this was
blocked by South Africa on behalf of the African group at the UN. The same
strategy was followed on the Sudan resolution - much more difficult to
understand because of the genocide aspects of the situation in the Darfur

To say that the international community was angry at this display of African
tolerance of the blatant disregard by African States such as Zimbabwe and
Sudan for the rights of their people is to put it mildly. Mbeki needs to be
careful in such matters, as there are limits to his "diplomatic and
political capital" as a consequence of his status as the President of the
most important African State and regional superpower.

It now looks unlikely that Zimbabwe will comply with the SADC rules for free
and fair elections. Certainly, compliance in the three months that remain
before we are supposed to go to the polls is now impossible. So the MDC has
a tough decision to make - do we contest the elections? Go through the
trauma of a violent electoral process with many people being beaten,
traumatized, imprisoned and even killed for their political views. Do we
allow the State to starve our supporters into submission and to use the
threat of expulsion from their communities and homes if they support the

Go thorough all of that again - for the third time in 4 years, just to see
the electoral process completely subverted and a false result emerge which
Zanu will crow was a victory for the "people" and to hear many other African
States welcome the outcome and demand that the rest of the world "respect
the outcome". To argue that if we were then unhappy with the process we can
do what the people of the Ukraine have done is just patent nonsense. Mugabe
would never allow mass demonstrations in support of democracy in Zimbabwe.
The Courts are simply a sick joke - we have been waiting for 4 years for the
results of the cases we launched after the 2000 elections and for nearly
three years for the presidential election challenge to be heard.

Then to have our tiny group of elected Members of Parliament insulted,
abused, poisoned and beaten or imprisoned, and simply swamped in Parliament
by the votes of the majority appointed by Mugabe under the present
constitution. We cannot stop or even influence legislation and in any new
Parliament, Zanu is almost certain to have a clear two-thirds majority with
which to change the constitution.

Once again an African country is faced with the choice - use violence and
illegal means to overthrow a government that cannot be removed
democratically because the whole system is so completely subverted or simply
continue to suffer under a regime that looks increasingly like the Burmese
Junta or the North Korean autocracy. Most will simply choose to slip away
and go to live in other countries where they do not have to face such
choices. Perhaps we are on our way to a country where "we have 6 million
rural people left who support Zanu PF." (D Mutasa in 2002).

South Africa alone has the power and the legitimate right to insist on a
free and fair election in Zimbabwe. They are not going to deliver and will,
like us, have to live with the consequences. No matter how they dress this
decision up, no one who supported the struggle in South Africa for justice
and change will be able to accept this blatant subversion, like the vote on
Sudan, of the most fundamental principles and values that the new South
Africa stands for in the world.

Eddie Cross

Bulawayo, 7th December 2004.

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7 December 2004

President Tsvangirai's Tuesday message to the people of Zimbabwe

When your opponent has been in power for close to a quarter of a century,
runs a minority party dependant on state institutions for that party's
continued existence and sustenance, it becomes inevitable for the nation to
follow his political behaviour.

A retiring chief executive officer naturally attracts attention if he openly
interferes with the selection and appointment of his successor, especially
when the governance record of that potential pensioner led to a near demise
of the organization he has led for 27 years.

Though the process, the internal succession mechanisms, the management of
political transitions within political parties remains a private affair, the
bigger picture shows potential dangers at a national level should a similar
style and practice be applied when handling a national leadership transition
for a country in as deep a crisis as that in Zimbabwe today.

Granted, what happened in Zanu PF last week set in motion an agenda for a
political evolution of that party's internal leadership? But by extension
the event opened up debate on the broad national question regarding the
pending national changeover of the current political leadership to a new
Zimbabwe. If the chaos and the circus we all witnessed last week, in
particular the manner in which that process was handled replicates itself at
a national level, Zimbabwe faces a serious catastrophe in the near future.

Beyond political parties, we need to harness our collective energies and
confront the reality on the ground. We have passed the stage when succession
is merely a question of who garners the largest numbers of votes. We are far
beyond the issue of winning or losing power. We have passed the stage when
the crisis can be wished away through references to history, the liberation
war, the usual camaraderie and nostalgic oldies.

After the stolen Presidential election in 2002, we counselled for a
political solution. We maintain that position today. We risk an implosion,
given what lies ahead. Mudding a political opponent in a polarized nation
leaves everybody muddied. And, there are no winners. Defence requires a
combination of offence, trade-offs and flexibility to translate into
political progress, creating space for human development.

Consider the events of the last few days and you will see that the political
climate is actually deteriorating. Parliament sits for 16 hours. Repressive
legislation is rushed through. Chimanimani MP Roy Bennet languishes at a
prison in Mutoko. New controls on the media. These are paper crowns which
never bring about a better Zimbabwe. Nor do they raise our standing within
the international community? Are our people developing greater confidence in
our systems, confidence in our country as a democratic model?

We cautioned against excessive reliance on a legislative formula as a
governance tool. We advised against intolerance, emotion, unchecked love for
power and partisanship in national affairs. We have been vindicated. But we
remain deeply concerned that the grass is now so dry that any form of
carelessness, in particular within the next two to three months, could lead
to an inferno.

The key issues confronting us in the next 90 days are election management,
the unending humanitarian emergency and a looming constitutional disaster.
In my travels in the SADC region, in West Africa and in Europe, it became
clear to me that if one political party forces a victory through a flawed
electoral process, the crisis of legitimacy shall remain with us, at least
for another five years. It further dawned on me that if we participate in
the election in March, regardless of the conditions, and win, that victory
shall ignite a serious constitutional firestorm, pitting the incumbency
against the people. The country risks running aground; the political setting
will quiver significantly towards a dangerous direction if the people are
denied the opportunity to participate in the forthcoming Parliamentary

These matters require sensitive political management, a patriotic analysis
and insightful leadership beyond political parties and individuals. We have
been thrust into a mess that requires all stakeholders to tackle without
bias, vengeance and political emotions. We must think deeper at the
implications of our actions. We must caution against our personal egos -
stroked by hired crowds, inconsequential praise singers, unlimited Press and
television coverage and deceit.

To the new Zanu PF leadership, I welcome you with the same old message: I am
still holding out that olive branch. An opportunity for a rapid turnaround
of our fortunes is still possible. Zimbabwe requires a soft landing. May I
call, once again, for a search for a political solution before it is too
late? We check our national transition in order to realize a win-win
situation. There is no other way out of the crisis.

The grim reality around us can never disappear unless we all put our heads
together. At the end of the temporary and phony cheers, beyond the fake
whispers and mislaid bravado, we must remember that the people still have to
pick up the pieces. Soon after leaving our convention centre, we face the
same long fuel queues, hungry children and food shortages, a runaway
HIV/Aids pandemic, collapsing infrastructure, unmanageable unemployment and
a dying economy.

To the people of Zimbabwe, I am aware of what you have had to endure to
reach this stage. We are confident that nothing has no end, it is true. I
recognize the significant strides you are making every day, in spite of the
personal challenges you deal with. Let us continue to organize and debate
the future. With the SADC guidelines on the conduct of national elections at
hand, let us evaluate the political temperature in preparation for a
comprehensive review of our stance regarding participation in the March
parliamentary election.

A new beginning, a new Zimbabwe is only possible source of food and jobs.

Together, we shall win.

Morgan Tsvangirai

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Daily News online edition

      Chigudu to take over Zanu PF chair in Manicaland

      Date: 8-Dec, 2004

      MUTARE - Tineyi Chigudu, the permanent secretary for mines, appears
set to take over the leadership of Zanu PF in Manicaland after the
unceremonious suspension of Mike Madiro last week.

      Zanu PF sources yesterday said consensus within their party's upper
ranks was that Chigudu should take over as the provincial chairman ahead of
Deputy Minister Kenneth Manyonda and businessman Shadreck Beta.

      Chigudu, who is the Zanu PF provincial secretary for legal affairs,
was not immediately available for comment. It was also not clear when
Chigudu would take over the reins of power since Madiro's suspension elapses
after six month.

      Madiro and five other ruling party provincial chairmen were suspended
by the Politburo for allegedly convening an 'illegal' meeting in
Tshlolotshlo were they resolved to back the candidature of Emmerson
Mnangagwa for the post of second vice-president.

      Mnangagwa, the Speaker of Parliament and Zanu PF secretary for
administration, lost the post to Joyce Mujuru, the Minister of Water and
Rural Development.

      Mujuru had the support of President Robert Mugabe, the influential
women's league and stalwarts such as her husband, Solomon, a retired army
commander, Nicholas Goche, Kumbirai Kangai Sydney Sekeremayi, and Saviour
Kasukuwere among other gurus.

      Madiro's suspension was certainly painful. He initiated several
development programmes in Mutare South where he was hoping to stand as the
Zanu PF candidate in the March parliamentary election.

      This leaves rural businessman Clifford Piki and top war veteran Levy
Gwarada to battle it out in the contest to win the right to stand in the
election on a Zanu PF ticket.

      Zanu PF sources say Madiro paid dearly for failing to properly gauge
the political temperatures in the ruling party.

      "Madiro does not really understand Zanu PF politics and particularly
the President," said one top Zanu PF member from Manicaland. "You do not
oppose Mugabe and expect not to have bruises. Madiro should ask those who
worked with the President during the liberation struggle."

      Madiro and the other five suspended provincial chairmen vociferously
campaigned for Mnangagwa even when Mugabe had made his intentions known that
he was for Mujuru, who was sworn in as the country's second vice-president
on Monday amid strong speculation she will automatically be Mugabe's heir

      Manicaland province, where Madiro and his lieutenants, worked round
the clock to secure a Mnangagwa vote, went to Mujuru courtesy of last minute
manoeuvres by Kangai, Oppah Muchinguri and upcoming politicians such as
Charles Pemhenayi, a top tobacco farmer and lately a Zanu PF central
committee member.

      "Madiro almost burst into tears after Mnangagwa lost the vote," said a
Zanu PF provincial member. "He `was shocked because he thought it was
already in the bag."

      Meanwhile, seven Zanu PF members from Manicaland were confirmed
members of the influential central committee at the just-ended ruling party

      The seven are transport tycoon, Isau Mupfumi, Pemhenayi, businessmen
Munacho Mutezo and Enock Porusingazi, Stanley Shamido, John Kadzima and a Mr
Mutomba who upstaged Manyonda in Buhera.

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Absence of Experienced Docs Blamed for Rise in TB Cases

The Herald (Harare)

December 7, 2004
Posted to the web December 7, 2004


THE absence of experienced doctors at health institutions in Chitungwiza has
contributed to the high incidence of tuberculosis (TB) and improper
diagnosis, a council health committee's report has revealed.

In its report, the committee noted that TB cases were on the increase and
that council clinics had attended to 3 243 TB cases in October alone.

"The absence of experienced doctors at Chitungwiza General Hospital has
continued to affect the proper diagnosis of the disease," the report said.

Cases of wrong diagnosis had increased, the committee reported to the full
council meeting last week.

An exodus of health personnel to greener pastures has hit the country while
some joined private practice where remuneration and working conditions are

Health services director, Dr Mike Simoyi attributed the increase in the
cases of TB to the ravaging HIV and Aids scourge.

The report noted with concern, the high incidence of TB in children blamed
on overcrowding in homes and on HIV and Aids.

Dr Simoyi said TB accounted for 80 percent of all HIV and Aids cases.

"This figure is an underestimate as the contact systems that used to exist
in the country are no longer as strong as they used to be," said Dr Simoyi.

He said the problem was "multi-faceted" and a community one.

Dr Simoyi said intervention programmes such as the land reform programme had
seen the majority of people gaining access to land and improving food

Chitungwiza council clinics, he said, had started training relatives of
people suffering from TB to administer the Direct Observed Treatment System
(DOTS) at home in a bid to mitigate the shortage of staff.

Dr Simoyi hailed the Government for increasing accessibility of TB drugs
which patients get for free.

He said there was need for council to educate residents on the disease but
revealed that council was constrained by limited financial and human
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Wildlife anthrax epidemic looms over Southern Africa

December 07, 2004, 18:15

Hundreds of buffaloes and elephants continue to die in the northern parts of
Botswana as the country faces a second anthrax outbreak in less than four
months. The hardest hit is the Chobe Lodge which was partially forced to
closure during the first outbreak.

Wildlife authorities have destroyed a total of 830 carcasses to date, of
which 725 were buffaloes and 60 elephants. The disease is said to be
spreading to neighbouring Namibia and Zimbabwe. South African wildlife is
also at risk of contracting the disease in areas where Mozambique's Limpopo
National Park meets the Kruger National Park.

Sennye Neo-Mahupeleng of Botswana Wildlife told the Botswana Press
Association that disposal measures such as burning and burying of carcasses
have been instituted. She said all the vehicles that enter or leave the
national park are also sprayed with the chemical, formalin, to reduce the
spread of the disease. Due to limited resources, the department of wildlife
in Botswana could not dispose of 17 other carcasses, which were later taken
by the Namibians, for disposal in their country.

The first outbreak of anthrax was in September this year. At that time,
wildlife officials found 248 carcasses of buffalo and 12 elephants tested
positive for anthrax. Anthrax is a fatal bacterial disease that can also be
transmitted to humans. In animals, it is characterised by blood discharge
from the mouth and nostrils leading to death. In humans the symptoms are
skin patches, lungs, vomiting, fever and ultimately death if not treated.

The department of wildlife in Botswana has issued a warning against eating
meat of wild animals that have died in mysterious circumstances.
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Zim makes another plan to ease fuel crisis

          December 07 2004 at 11:58AM

      Harare - Zimbabwe's Petroleum Marketers' Association has opened
tenders for the supply of petrol and diesel.

      The latest move comes as fuel queues snake through Harare's streets
while motorists wait patiently for fuel.

      The PMA said on Tuesday it was tendering for the monthly supply of 24
million litres of petrol and 26 million litres of diesel, with supplies
expected to flow from January. The tender would close on December 16.

      The tender is the latest plan in a saga that has seen the country reel
under sporadic fuel shortages since economic decline began in 2000.

      An official in the PMA, who declined to be named, said: "The situation
is such that come next year there should be no periodic stock-outs as we are
experiencing at the moment."

      Meanwhile, commuter taxi driver John Takawira told Sapa: "We are tired
of this nonsense. This week there is diesel but no petrol, last week there
was petrol but no diesel. It is impossible to plan and impossible to make

       Retired office worker Mishek Mubaya, waiting on a roadside in
Harare's Avondale suburb said: "It's ridiculous and all the government does
is tell us lies, promising that fuel supplies will return to normal.

      "We know now that when they return to normal it will be for a week, no
more, then it will run out again. Thousands of us will be trying to go home
to our villages for

      Christmas. How are we going to get there if there is no fuel?"

      Mubaya, waiting for a lift to a city centre bank, said a trip that
normally took him 20 minutes now took most of the morning because of the
fuel shortage.

      "There are too few taxis," he said. "They're all in petrol queues.
Thank you (President Robert) Mugabe."

      Zimbabwe's national fuel bill has dropped to about $30-million a
month, down from $40-million a month before economic and political crisis
hit the country in 2000, sparked by farm invasions and electoral violence. -
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