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Regional ministers seek donor help for Zimbabwe

Fri Feb 27, 2009 3:13pm GMT

By Wendell Roelf

CAPE TOWN (Reuters) - Southern African finance ministers agreed on Friday to
push for donor help to rebuild Zimbabwe from economic collapse, and put the
initial need at $2 billion, South Africa's foreign minister said.

Zimbabwe's new unity government of old rivals President Robert Mugabe and
Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai is heavily reliant on donors to revive the
country, which is suffering hyperinflation, food shortages and 90 percent

South African Foreign Minister Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma said the finance
ministers would try to normalise Zimbabwe's status in the International
Monetary Fund, and regional bloc SADC plans a summit to consider financing
proposals presented by Zimbabwe.

"The ministers responsible for finance and investment undertook to pursue
measures in support of Zimbabwe's economic recovery programme, namely,
collectively engaging bilateral and multilateral donors through SADC and the
African Union," she said after the meeting of ministers from SADC, the
Southern African Development Community.

Western donors and foreign investors are cautious, however, and want to see
concrete signs that a democratic government is created and economic reforms
implemented before money will flow to the once relatively prosperous

"Of course we think the money will be used properly, there is a government
there and the minister of finance seems to be in charge of the issues,"
Dlamini-Zuma told reporters.

Zimbabwe's new finance minister, Tendai Biti, is from Tsvangirai's Movement
for Democratic Change but control of economic policy is a point of friction
between the two camps in the government.

The prime minister has said Zimbabwe needs $5 billion to recover from years
of decline, but Western countries are still waiting to see if the new
government will bring about real change.

In Harare, Mugabe dismissed as "nonsense" Western demands that he free up
Zimbabwe's media in order to get sanctions lifted.

Mugabe -- who turned 85 last week and will officially celebrate his birthday
at a huge rally on Saturday -- said his government wanted friendly relations
with all nations and was still assessing new U.S. President Barack Obama's

"We are open. We want to discuss. We have never closed our doors," he said.

Zimbabwe's economy is collapsing, and hospitals and clinics have been unable
to contain one of the continent's worst ever cholera epidemics.

The World Health Organisation said on Friday 3,894 people had died from
84,027 reported cases of the disease since August last year.

WHO spokeswoman Fadela Chaib told reporters in Geneva an inter-agency U.N.
team that carried out an evaluation in Zimbabwe had found the humanitarian
crisis remained "grave", with clean water lacking, sewer systems blocked,
and refuse uncollected in many areas.

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Zimbabwe gets promises, not cash at regional group

By CLARE NULLIS, Associated Press Writer Clare Nullis, Associated Press
Writer - Fri Feb 27, 10:12 am ET

CAPE TOWN, South Africa - Zimbabwe has come away empty-handed from a
regional meeting at which it asked for a $2 billion economic rescue package.

Foreign and finance ministers of the 15-member Southern African Development
Community (SADC) ended a two day conference Friday promising to "pursue
measures in support of Zimbabwe's economic recovery program."

They said regional heads of state would meet to discuss the financing
proposals submitted by Zimbabwe, but set no date and made no funding
commitments in the meantime.

At a meeting last week with Zimbabwean Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai,
South Africa's president promised that the SADC ministers would finalize a
package by the end of this week, saying that South African and the region
should set an example in helping the stricken country.

Zimbabwe's finance minister, Tendai Biti, who belongs to the Movement for
Democratic Change, attended the ministerial meeting in Cape Town and asked
for $2 billion - half for emergency spending on schools, health care and
infrastructure, and the rest on economic revival measures.

"We are all, as SADC, determined to help Zimbabwe mobilize the resources,"
said South African Foreign Minister Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma.

"But, I can't guarantee how much will be raised ... the economic environment
globally is difficult, so we will do our best."

Dlamini-Zuma said the regional bloc would lobby for "the normalization of
Zimbabwe" at the International Monetary Fund and the lifting of political
and financial sanctions against it.

Zimbabwe's new unity government is trying to hard to change the country's
status as an economic pariah, gained because of its failure to repay debts
and its inflation of 321 million percent.

But there are deep divisions within the government, as President Robert
Mugabe remains reluctant to cede authority. The leadership of the Movement
for Democratic Change, which was formerly in opposition, was scheduled to
meet Friday to discuss Mugabe's defiance of the power-sharing accord. The
United States and European Union are adopting a wait-and-see attitude before
they lift targeted economic sanctions imposed to pressure Mugabe into

Zimbabwe was once a regional breadbasket. Now, however, an estimated
two-thirds of the population is dependent on food aid. There are shortages
of all basic products, schools and hospitals are closed and a cholera
epidemic has killed nearly 3,900 people and sickened 84,000.

But South Africa and neighboring nations are also reeling from the global
economic downturn. There is concern that Biti will be unable to rein in the
central bank governor, Gideon Gono, who is close to Mugabe and is widely
blamed for the hyperinflation. And there are unanswered questions about the
fate of 300 million rands ($30 million) donated by South Africa last year to
allow Zimbabwe to buy seeds and fertilizer.

Dlamini-Zuma tried to play down concerns about aid.

"We think it will be used properly for what it is intended for. There's a
government there," she said.

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A donor-dependent region seeks to bail out Zimbabwe

Photo: IRIN
South African foreign minister Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma
JOHANNESBURG , 27 February 2009 (IRIN) - Southern Africa's finance ministers are mulling over a US$2 billion rescue package for Zimbabwe - 60 percent less than a 2008 estimate by the UN Development Programme (UNDP) of the financing required to haul the country out of its economic malaise.

A two-day meeting of the Southern African Development Community's (SADC) 15 finance ministers in the South African coastal city of Cape Town is being dominated by discussions about how best to avert the collapse of the once prosperous country.

Zimbabwe's Prime Minister, Morgan Tsvangirai, who was put under intense pressure by the SADC to embrace Zimbabwe's unity government, has appealed for US$5 billion to rebuild the shattered country - mirroring the amount UNDP said was required.

Trevor Manuel, South Africa's finance minister and chair of the Cape Town SADC meeting, told local radio: "I was present when Prime Minister Tsvangirai gave the number, but it was just a number. There's a document ... that actually splits the immediate costs over the next 10 months into two amounts of about a billion dollars each."

This included a US$1-billion loan to "restimulate retail and all kinds of things ... that's one billion we are exploring", said Manuel. "The other [is] about a billion dollars for emergencies in education, health, municipal services and some infrastructure."

Zimbabwe's economy is a twentieth of what it was in 1997 - the government stopped counting the inflation rate in July 2008, when it reached 231 million percent - seven million people, or more than half the population, are dependent on food aid, infrastructure has collapsed, and a cholera epidemic has killed nearly 4,000 people and infected over 83,000 people in six months.

Cheryl Hendricks, a senior research fellow at the Institute for Security Studies, a political think-tank based in Pretoria, South Africa, told IRIN: "SADC is in a catch-22 situation. It needs the unity government to work, but for it to work you need a peace dividend, so you have to put money into it."

However, Hendricks said the SADC region, which is heavily donor dependent, was feeling the effects of the global slow-down on its commodity-based economies and would probably not be able to provide the US$2 billion without donor assistance.

Lift sanctions call

South Africa's foreign minister, Nkosazana Zuma, used the Cape Town meeting as a platform to call for the lifting of European Union (EU) sanctions targeting more than 200 of the ZANU-PF elite.

Mugabe has blamed the country's woes on the sanctions, but the EU maintains that the country's collapse is a consequence of gross mismanagement and anti-democratic practices.

The EU has maintained a wait-and-see attitude towards the unity government to determine whether or not it will succeed in re-establishing democratic and good governance norms before it reviews sanctions.

Reports of a US$250,000 birthday bash for Mugabe's 85th birthday and an attempt by ZANU-PF vice-President Joyce Mujuru to sell US$90 million of gold bullion to a London brokerage are unlikely to change the EU's position, but it is ZANU-PF's flouting of the unity agreement that causes greatest concern.

In an interview marking his birthday, Mugabe dismissed calls by Tsvangirai's Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) to dismiss central bank governor Gideon Gono and attorney-general Johannes Tomama.

The MDC said these unilateral appointments were contrary to the terms of the unity deal, which demands consensus from all parties.

"I don't see any reason why those people should go, and they will not go," Mugabe told the state-run newspaper, The Herald.

Gono's governorship of the central bank has seen the inflation rate reach 6.5 quindecillion novemdecillion percent, while Tomama has frustrated the release of detained MDC activists, contrary to the terms of the unity agreement.


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

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Farm evictions and arrests - and contact details

SADC protected Zimbabwean farmer Peter Etheredge jailed in Chegutu
Ben Freeth reports from Chegutu: 
Yesterday evening, just before dark, Peter Chamada, the nephew of Nathan Shamuyarira [Zanu PF spokesperson], headed out towards our Mount Carmel farm in the Chegutu district of Zimbabwe, Mashonaland West Province, in two vehicles. 
Martin Joubert from Chegutu followed them to see what their intentions were.  Mr Chamada's vehicles turned around and chased after him and so he drove to the Chegutu police station to try to make a report.
While there, eight policemen went out in Mr Chasauka's vehicle - Mr. Chasauka is the Grain Marketing Board (GMB) manager for Chegutu.  He has recently invaded the Downs farm belonging to Wayne Seaman. The house has been broken into and Mr Seaman has been prevented from milking his cows or living on his property.  Mr Seaman also has a final order with protection from the SADC Tribunal.    
The policemen went to Stockdale farm where they arrested Peter Etheredge and put him in cells in Chegutu.  Peter has had invaders on Stockdale farm for several weeks.  Edna Madzongwe, Chairperson of the Senate and beneficiary of a number of other farms, has been trying to take over the farm for some time.  In June 2008, there was wholesale looting on Stockdale, with all the Etheredges' household effects having been stolen.
Mr Etheredge has a High Court Order as well as protection from the SADC Tribunal.  The Sheriff of the court evicted the invaders but they simply returned immediately afterwards in direct contempt of the High Court order.  For some weeks the Chegutu police have been promising to arrest the invaders but they have always complained of lack of man power.
Three days ago, Mr Etheredge was given a bit of paper signed by Mr Kunonga telling him to cease all farming operations.  The invaders have tried to enforce this.  Today the invaders came to steal firewood from his house area.  The situation became volatile and Mr Etheredge fired some warning shots into the air.  He is now in the Chegutu police cells while the invaders remain free to do what they like on his property.

Ben Freeth

Mount Carmel Farm

Cell:  +263 912 241477 

Zimbabwean farm test case:
Mike Campbell (Pvt) Ltd and Others v Republic of Zimbabwe (2/2007) [2008] SADCT 2, November 28 2008


Richard Thomas Etheredge  19th Applicant

Wayne Redvers Seaman 23rd Applicant
Letter to South African Embassy in Harare from Peter Henning of Chiredzi
For Att: First Sec Imran Simmins, SA Embassy, Harare
From: Peter Henning of Chiredzi
27th Feb 2009
Dear Mr Simmins
I am presently in Johannesburg.
I have been reliably informed this morning from Harare and Chiredzi in Zimbabwe, reporting that a team of legal persons / ZRPolice will visit Chiredzi from the Provincial capitol Masvingo. During the course of today they will be issuing warrants of arrest for farmers still deemed to be on their properties whether they are still living there or not.
My son, Greig Henning of Chiredzi, is such a person and is in imminent danger of being served with a warrant or even taken into custody.
All of his farmer colleagues in his immediate vicinity have taken refuge elsewhere to avoid incarceration. I have advised him to do the same, even though he is living in town, especially since he is in the proximity and could be a handy target of vindictive action therefore.
Would you please render assistance through the SAG to ensure the safety and protection of Greig (and myself) for his and my protection, both for our physical safety as well as that of our property.
I reiterate what I wrote to you last week. We have a High Court Relief Order to remain on the property and continue farming without interuption from anyone. We also have Eviction Orders from the High Court against all the A2 beneficiaries who were issued with plots on our land. All these Protection and Court Orders were granted in 2003 and were confirmed twice after that date. All remain ignored by the Zimbabwe authorities.
Yours faithfully





Tel:  +263 4 309 800

Fax: +263 4 309 849


Trevor Gifford


Zim cell:  +263 912 551 635

Zim cell:  +263 912 521 512



PA:  Natanya Scott



Deon Theron

Vice President


Zim cell:  +263 912 246 233

Zim cell:  +263-11 606 783



Hendrik Olivier

Chief Executive Officer

Tel:  +263 4 309 800

Zim cell:  +263 912 235 640

Zim cell:  +263 11 407 037






John Worsley-Worswick

Cell: +263 912 326 965

Cell:  +263 11 610 073

Tel:   +263 4 799 410








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Farmers forced into hiding as arrests and invasions continue

By Alex Bell
27 February 2009

A wave of fresh farm invasions and arrests has forced many of Zimbabwe's
remaining white farmers into hiding, to avoid the very real threats of
arrest, harassment and violence.

In the past few weeks, farmers have come under siege in what is being
described as a last-ditch effort by ZANU PF loyalists to complete the Robert
Mugabe initiated land grab, which has already seen the white farming
population cut to about 400 farmers. The offensive against the farmers came
just days before Morgan Tsvangirai was sworn in as Prime Minister earlier
this month. Almost 80 farms have since been seized in clear violation of the
unity deal between the MDC and ZANU PF, which calls for the return of the
rule of law and also says that farmers should be encouraged to produce food.

Commercial Farmers Union President Trevor Gifford, on Friday called the
fresh farms invasions a 'final assault' against the remaining white farmers
and described a clear "planned agenda by a third force in the government
that is hell-bent on destroying the unity deal." Gifford explained that,
according to minutes of secret meetings seen by the union, Zimbabwe's
Attorney General Johannes Tomana has instructed police and magistrates to
fast track farm evictions across the country, in a clear and coordinated
effort that is already well under way.

"These are senior ZANU PF members using their offices to ensure ethnic
cleansing can take place before the Prime Minister is able to stabilise the
country," Gifford said.

Tsvangirai on Wednesday ordered police to "bring the full weight of the law"
down on the perpetrators of the farm invasions. But, on the same day, farmer
Mike Campbell was ordered to leave his land, by the nephew of ZANU PF's
spokesman, Nathan Shamuyarira. Although the threatened seizure has not yet
happened, Campbell and his wife have both left the property to avoid an
attack. Campbell is still frail after a brutal beating when he was abducted
by invaders last year.  At the same time, farmer Paul Etheredge is behind
bars in Chegutu after he was arrested, also on Wednesday, and invaders have
reportedly taken over his Stockdale farm. Etheredge, along with Campbell and
77 other farmers, won a landmark farm test case that was taken to the SADC
Tribunal in Windhoek last year, and the farm invasions are a blatant
transgression of the protection supposedly offered by the Tribunal's ruling.

The CFU's president reiterated on Friday that the SADC ruling is being
wilfully ignored, explaining that the Attorney General has instructed
magistrates to ignore previous court orders protecting farmers and their
land, and in particular to ignore the SADC ruling.  More than 100 farmers
have already been caught in the coordinated effort to seize the remaining
farms, and reports of threats as well as arrests are piling up. A Chiredzi
farmer, who spoke to SW Radio Africa on condition of anonymity on Friday,
has already left his farm. He said that most farmers in his area have gone
into hiding for fear of arrest and prosecution. The farmer described the
invasions as a 'witch-hunt' and explained the charges being brought against
those farmers already arrested, carry jail terms of up to 6 months.

"Everyone is just trying to lie and low and see what happens, but we don't
know how long we'll have to wait?" the farmer said.

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Demands over media 'nonsense' - Mugabe

From Reuters, 27 February

President Robert Mugabe has dismissed as 'nonsense' Western demands that he
free up Zimbabwe's media in order to get sanctions lifted. In an interview
with Zimbabwean television aired late yesterday, Mr Mugabe also denied
foreign media reports that his family recently bought a luxury home in Hong
Kong, and criticised Britain for plans to help some of its nationals leave
Zimbabwe. Mr Mugabe was asked if his new government would meet benchmarks,
such as media freedom, set by Western powers including the EU and the US as
a condition for the removal of travel and financial sanctions imposed on his
Zanu PF party. 'That is nonsense,' he replied. Mr Mugabe's government has
tough media laws under which dozens of journalists have been arrested or
deported over the last eight years, and foreign journalists are banned from
basing their operations in the country. President Mugabe said his Western
opponents must unconditionally lift sanctions, which he sees as unfair,
illegal and racist economic penalties against his party. Western governments
have taken a cautious approach to Zimbabwe's new power-sharing government in
which Morgan Tsvangirai, Mugabe's longstanding opponent, has taken the post
of prime minister. They are still waiting to see if the new government will
bring about real change in a country suffering from hyperinflation and
economic breakdown.

Mr Mugabe, who turned 85 last week and will officially celebrate his
birthday at a huge rally tomorrow, said his government wants friendly
relations with all nations and was still assessing new US President Barack
Obama's policies. 'We are open. We want to discuss. We have never closed our
doors,' he said. Mr Mugabe expressed surprise at this week's announcement by
former colonial power Britain that it would offer help to hundreds of its
elderly nationals in Zimbabwe to return home. He said they were safe in
Zimbabwe, where more than 300 British companies were still freely operating.
'They are free here. They are quite comfortable. It's queer, strange
thinking by the British. We don't understand,' he said. The British
government said on Monday that some elderly British citizens in Zimbabwe
were facing severe difficulties getting access to food, medicines and care,
and it would offer them help to resettle. Commenting on Western media
reports that he bought a $5m home in Hong Kong where his daughter is a
university student, Mr Mugabe said: 'Of course not. There is a property in
which our girl and a friend are staying, but we pay rent. What do I do with
a house in Hong Kong?'

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Bennett case continued in High Court on Friday

By Violet Gonda
27 January 2009

Beatrice Mtetwa, the lawyer representing jailed MDC politician Roy Bennett,
was in the High Court on Friday challenging the State's decision to appeal
against the granting of his bail. On Tuesday High Court Judge Tedious Karwi
granted the Deputy Agriculture Minister designate bail, but he remains in a
Mutare prison after the State opposed this.

Mtetwa was back in the courts Friday challenging the decision by the
Attorney General's office, saying they did not follow proper procedure. The
defence team argues that the AG's office had appealed, without seeking
permission from the High Court judge. Apparently the State should have first
sought permission from the judge to appeal against the granting of bail. One
of Bennett's lawyers Trust Maanda said the State has seven days to apply for
this permission.

Bennett was arrested two weeks ago at Charles Prince airport, on his way to
South Africa where he had been living in exile since 2006. He is being
charged with the illegal possession of firearms for purposes of committing
banditry, terrorism, insurgency and sabotage. He denies these charges and
says he is being politically persecuted.

Meanwhile, Pishai Muchauraya the MDC spokesperson for Manicaland Province
and MP for Makoni South, who has been visiting Bennett regularly in prison,
said the official is still in good spirits despite the appalling and
overcrowded conditions at the prison in Mutare. He said Bennett is being
held in the D-Class section of the jail that houses dangerous criminals.
Muchauraya said senior prison officers from as far as Masvingo have been
deployed to Mutare because Bennett is being viewed as a 'hardcore criminal.'

The MP said the prison conditions for all inmates are disturbing. The remand
prison has a capacity of about 160 inmates but is said to be currently
holding at least 300. Muchauraya said food is very scarce and six inmates
have this week died in just two days because of starvation.

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NCA spokesperson arrested

By Violet Gonda
27 February 2009

Madock Chivasa, the spokesperson of the National Constitutional Assembly
(NCA) and the board chairperson for the Youth Forum, was arrested in
Masvingo Thursday evening, together with 5 other youth activists.

George Makoni, Information Officer for the Youth Forum, said Chivasa is
being accused of inciting violence, while the other activists were arrested
after a scuffle broke out between the police and the members of the Youth
Forum, who were trying to block Chivasa's arrest. Several others were beaten

Makoni said Chivasa had just finished addressing the gathering of about 300
youth members on the role of youths in the transitional period, when police
stormed the venue. Passers-by were caught in the scuffles and advocacy
materials belonging to the group were confiscated.

The public meeting was dubbed: "The role of youths in the transitional
period vis-à-vis national healing, peace building and conflict

The Information Officer said they were being denied access to Chivasa and
the others. He said Masvingo police were not giving them any information
about where the activists are being detained and they feared the detainees
will only appear in court after the weekend.

In other news, Frank Muchirahondo, the USAID employee who was arrested last
month on allegations of attempting to assassinate the Commander of the Air
Force, Air Marshall Perence Shiri, was freed this week after a Bindura
magistrate refused to place him on further remand. It's reported
Muchirahondo was beaten and tortured while in detention.

At the time of his arrest the US embassy said they had clear evidence that
their employee was not anywhere near the scene of the alleged shooting. The
USAID employee was arrested on January 22nd at the Mutare border. US
officials said he had been on a humanitarian mission, monitoring food aid.

Meanwhile the five WOZA activists arrested this week in Harare are still in
police custody. They were beaten and arrested during a peaceful
demonstration on Wednesday as they tried to present a petition to new
Education Minister David Coltart.

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Consumers up in arms over huge foreign currency charges

By Tichaona Sibanda
25 February 2009

Consumers are up in arms over what they term is daylight robbery by the
country's energy and telecommunications suppliers, following the
dollarisation of invoices which has led to astronomical tariff hikes.
The Combined Harare Residents Association is also deeply concerned by
reports that the Harare city council has asked residents in high density
areas to pay up to US$35 for rates per month.
Oswald Nyakunika of Knight Frank, expressed his disappointment over
development, saying there was no justification for the sudden increase in
the tariffs, after his company received a shocking bill of US$4,600 from
'We got a huge bill last month and we were wondering whether it was
realistic or not. Where in the world can anyone pay a US$4 600 telephone
bill,' asked Mr Nyakunika.
'Zimbabweans should start appreciating the real value of foreign currency.
We don't produce US dollars in Zimbabwe and thus they are scarce. We can't
pay such high bills.'
Many are wondering why there are no officials in charge of monitoring the
price of services provided, lamenting the fact that basic services in the
country are extremely expensive, while prices have gone down in neighbouring
Zimbabwe National Chamber of Commerce past vice-president, Charles Chiponda,
expressed concern over the high bills charged. He said companies should
charge rates that would allow businesses to remain afloat. Our Harare
correspondent Simon Muchemwa said the price of making phone calls has
continued to change everyday and providers are also selling or charging for
services at a wide variety prices.
Economist Luke Zunga explained that there was no formula used to come up
with the huge price increases in foreign currency.
'It happens in any transition, but it also exposes what lack of competition
can do to a country that doesn't open up to other players. The companies
that are doing this enjoy monopolies and therefore there is no other
alternative but to go along with what they demand,' Zunga said.
Other consumers have called for a price regulatory body to control the
market, before the problem gets completely out of hand. A businessman lashed
out at ZESA after receiving a US$1 200 bill for January. He said his company
was not operating at 100 percent capacity and he couldn't understand
receiving such a high bill.
Earlier in the week ZESA Western Regional General Manager, Lovemore Chinaka,
denied their bills were high but following many complaints, the new high
tariffs charged were halted, after the intervention of energy minister Elias
Mudzuri said domestic consumers will now pay a minimum of US$10 a month and
industry and commerce pay one third of the amount on their bills.
New Information and Communications Technology Minister, Nelson Chamisa, said
he had asked the phone operators to review the tariffs, following the huge
public outcry.  On Tuesday he met with the heads of the Posts and
Telecommunications Regulatory Authority, the state-owned fixed line network
TelOne as well as bosses of Net*One.

'I advised them to revisit the billing tariffs to address concerns being
raised by the majority of consumers,' Chamisa said.

The operators were in December granted permission by the government to
charge tariffs in foreign currency, which has seen subscribers across the
three networks - Telecel, Econet Wireless and NetOne - paying US$0,29 cents
per minute on a mobile and US$0,30 cents per 3 minute on a landline.

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MDC concerned about delay in implementation of GPA

By Tichaona Sibanda
27 February 2009

The MDC has called upon the government to speed up the implementation of the
Global Political Agreement and resolve all outstanding issues.

Nelson Chamisa said the party has taken note of progress made on the issue
of provincial governors, in terms of the adoption of an allocation formula.
The MDC-T will forward names of five governors, ZANU PF four and MDC-M one.

'The MDC calls for timeous and immediate swearing in of these provincial
governors to complete the formation of governors. While the party
appreciates the progress made within two weeks, we note with concern the
delay and gaps in the realization of the GPA,' Chamisa said in a statement.

He issued the statement soon after the MDC national executive met in Harare
to deliberate upon the report from party leader Morgan Tsvangirai on the
progress, challenges and obstacles in the inclusive government.

The MDC urged the authorities to immediately address the release of all
political prisoners, in line with the agreement by the three principals of
the political parties.

'The party also urges the inclusive government to put in place a framework
that would allow for a people driven constitution to be in place. The
government should ensure that the process of coming up with a new
constitution takes on board all citizens and key stakeholders to make sure
that it is beyond reproach and contestation,'

Members of the national executive noted with concern the fresh farm
invasions which are affecting production and stability on the farms.  The
MDC called on the government to immediately intervene to stop these

Meanwhile Tsvangirai, who was due to attend Robert Mugabe's birthday
celebrations in Chinhoyi on Saturday, is no longer going. Tsvangirai's
spokesman James Maridadi had said earlier this week that  the Prime Minister
had been invited and he was going to attend as an act of courtesy and in the
spirit of national unity.
Last year Tsvangirai railed against Mugabe's birthday celebration as 'a
gathering of the satisfied few' in a nation crippled by food shortages.

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PM visits delapidated hospital

February 27, 2009

By Raymond Maingire

HARARE - Business was brought to a standstill at Harare Central hospital when Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai visited the institution Friday.

Hospital staff and some curious members of the public who were visiting sick relatives literally clogged the hospital corridors and mobbed the Prime Minister as he traversed the hospital’s dilapidated wards to meet both the sick and the staff as well as to assess the general conditions prevailing at Zimbabwe largest referral hospital.

Dr George Vera, the hospital’s Clinical Director was forthright. He told the Prime Minister the government hospital’s infrastructure was no longer serviceable.

“The infrastructure is completely non-functional,” he said.  ”This is an old hospital  built in 1958. We are still using the same lifts, the same boilers, the same trolleys and the instruments that were bought in 1958 and a few years after that.

“You cannot even trust going up in the lifts, unless you have an absolute emergency. We have grown used to climbing up and down the steps while carrying critically ill patients.”

Tsvangirai promised government would move swiftly to redress the situation at the hospital.

The Prime Minister, who was accompanied by his deputy Thokozani Khupe and Health Minister Henry Madzorera, said the hospital needs at least US$1, 5 million to be rehabilitated.

“It’s so ridiculous that the figure that is required to spruce up this place is only US$1, 5 million,” Tsvangirai said.

By way of comparison to the figure quoted by Tsvangirai a total of US5, 7 million was allegedly lavished recently on an upmarket property in Hong Kong by President Robert Mugabe. The President denied the allegation in a television interview this week. He said the three-storey condominium had only been rented to accommodate his 20-year old daughter, Bona, arelative who is also a student and her bodyguards. Bona is studying at the University of Hong Kong.

When Tsvangirai toured the hospital mortuary he was greeted by the pungent smell of rotting corpses that wafted from ancient refrigerators.

He also toured the kitchen, the intensive care unit, the maternity ward as well as the children’s ward which has ceased functioning because of a shortage of both staff and equipment.

“There is an ICU (Intensive Care Unit) facility there which has been lying idle for the past six years. For 10 years, the new mortuary has not been completed,” said Tsvangirai.

‘”We have to prioritise our level of national investment. We need to appreciate that a healthy nation is a productive nation. This inclusive government has to put health delivery as one of its key priorities.

“As we grew up, Harare Hospital was the flagship of the health delivery system in Zimbabwe. We want to have an incremental improvement both in the conditions of workers and the facilities.”

Madzorera, the Health Minister, said 95 percent of all health personnel were now at work.

He reassured health staff that donor funds had already been delivered and would soon reflect in the foreign currency accounts of the recipients.

“The money has actually come,” he said, “It’s just a matter of logistics. Those who have foreign currency accounts will probably see their monies reflecting by Wednesday next week.”

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Tsvangirai met President Robert Mugabe on Thursday to discuss contentious issues to do with the appointment of the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe governor, Gideon Gono, the Attorney General Johannes Tomana, and permanent secretaries.

The MDC was caught by surprise on Tuesday when the Chief Secretary to the President and Cabinet, Dr Misheck Sibanda, announced the appointment of permanent secretaries in complete violation of the inter-party political agreement between Zanu-PF and the MDC.

President Mugabe stocked fires this week when he said he was not going to reverse his unilateral appointment of Gono and Tomana.

But Tsvangirai, who said he met Mugabe for two hours on Thursday, as they haggled over the issue, said the problem had been ironed out.

“We had our meeting yesterday (Thursday),” said Tsvangirai.

“We met for two hours and we ironed out all the outstanding issues and I am sure that we should move with progress to address all those issues that we need.

“We discussed a range of issues. I think we reached an understanding. I would not be here if we had disagreements.”

Tsvangirai refused to go into detail.

“We will deal with it in the manner in which we have agreed to deal with it,” he quipped, when he was pressed by journalists to reveal the details of their meeting.

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Daily cholera update and alerts, 27 Feb 2009

 Full_Report (pdf* format - 170.9 Kbytes)

* Please note that daily information collection is a challenge due to communication and staff constraints. On-going data cleaning may result in an increase or decrease in the numbers. Any change will then be explained.

** Daily information on new deaths should not imply that these deaths occurred in cases reported that day. Therefore daily CFRs >100% may occasionally result

A. Highlights of the day:

- 791 cases and 39 deaths added today (in comparison 396 cases and 16 deaths yesterday)

- 61..02% of the districts affected have reported today (36 out of 59 affected districts)

- 90.3 % of districts reported to be affected (56 districts/62)

- Cumulative Institutional Case Fatality Rate 1.83%

- Daily Institutional Case Fatality Rate 0.397%

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Statement by Professor Arthur Mutambara







1.     Deputy Prime Minister Professor Arthur Mutambara does not regret any statements that he made around the monetary policy statement and the national budget.


2.     Deputy Prime Minister Mutambara wants to put it on record that when President Mugabe referred to the Deputy Prime Minister’s statements, he President Mugabe was simply expressing his personal views and the Deputy Prime Minister totally disagrees with those personal views of President Mugabe.


3.     The Deputy Prime Minister says President Mugabe‘s public statements do not constitute policy because they are simply personal views and that Zimbabweans must make that clear distinction.




27 February 2009


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List of Ministerial appointments and abductees

Ministerial appointments

Ministers [41]

Zanu PF [16]

Kembo Mohadi [MP Mat South] Home Affairs; Emmerson Mnangagwa [MP Midlands]
Defence; Patrick Chinamasa [Appointed Senator] Justice and Legal Affairs;
Herbert Murerwa [Elected Senator Mash East] Lands and Rural Resettlement;
Simbarashe Mumbengegwi [Elected Senator Midlands] Foreign Affairs; Nicholas
Goche [MP Mash Central] Transport and Infrastructural Development; Ignatius
Chombo [MP Mash West] Local Government, Urban and Rural Development; Obert
Mpofu [MP Mat North] Mines and Mining Development; Joseph Made [Appointed
Senator] Agriculture, Mechanisation and Irrigation Development; Francis
Nhema [MP Midlands] Environment and Natural Resources Management; Stan
Mudenge [MP Masvingo] Higher and Tertiary Education; Sithembiso Nyoni [F]
[MP Mat North] Small and Medium Enterprises and Co-operative Development;
Webster Shamu [MP Mash West] Media, Information and Publicity; Olivia
Muchena [MP Mash East] Women's Affairs, Gender and Community Development;
Saviour Kasukuwere [Mash Central] Youth Development, Indigenisation and
Empowerment; Walter Mzembi [MP Masvingo prov] Tourism and Hospitality

Ministers of State in the President's Office [5]

Didymus Mutasa [MP Manicaland] Minister of State for Presidential Affairs;
Sydney Sekeramayi [Elected Senator Mash East] Minister of State for National
Security in the President's Office; John Nkomo [Appointed Senator] Minister
of State in President's Office; Flora Bhuka [MP Midlands] Minister of State
in Vice-President Msika's office; Sylvester Nguni [MP Mash West] Minister of
State in Vice-President Mujuru's office.

MDC-T [14]

Giles Mutsekwa [MP Manicaland] Home Affairs; Tendai Biti [MP Harare]
Finance; Paurina Gwanyanya [MP Harare] Labour; Nelson Chamisa [MP Harare]
Information Communication Technology; Fidelis Mhashu [MP Harare] Housing and
Social Amenities; Joel Gabuza [MP Mat North] State Enterprises and
Parastatals; Elton Mangoma [MP Manicaland] Economic Planning and Investment
Promotion; Elias Mudzuri [MP Harare] Energy and Power Development; Eric
Matinenga [MP Manicaland] Constitutional and Parliamentary Affairs; Eliphas
Mukonoweshuro [MP Masvingo Prov] Public Service; Henry Madzorera [Elected
Senator Midlands] Health and Child Welfare; Theresa Makone [MP Harare]
Public Works; Heneri Dzinotyiwei [MP Harare] Science and Technology; Samuel
Sipepa Nkomo [MP Bulawayo] Water Resources and Development;

Ministers of State in the Prime Minister's Office [2]

Gordon Moyo [no parliamentary seat] Minister of State in the Prime Ministers
Office; Sekai Holland [Elected Senator Harare]Minister of State in Prime
Minister's Office.

MDC-M [3]

Welshman Ncube [no parliamentary seat] Industry and Commerce; Priscilla

[no parliamentary seat] Regional Integration and International Co-operation;
David Coltart

[Elected Senator Bulawayo] Education, Sport, Art and Culture.

Minister of State in the Deputy Prime Minister's Office [1]

Gibson Sibanda [no parliamentary seat] Minister of State in Deputy Prime
Minister Mutambara's Office

Deputy Ministers [19]

Zanu PF [10]

Douglas Mombeshora [MP Mash West] Health and Child Welfare; Tracy Mutinhiri
[MP Mash East] Labour and Social Welfare; Lazarus Dokora [MP Mash Central]
Education, Sports, Art and Culture; Samuel Udenge [MP Manicaland] Economic
Planning and Development; Hubert Nyanhongo [MP Harare] Energy and Power
Development; Reuben Marumahoko [Elected Senator Mash Central] Regional
Integration and International Co-operation; Andrew Langa [MP Mat South]
Public Service; Aguy Georgias [no seat in parliament] Public Works; Walter
Chidhakwa [MP Mash West] State Enterprises and Parastatals; Mike Bimha [MP
Mash East] Industry and Commerce.

MDC-T [8]

Moses Mzila Ndlovu [MP Mat South] Foreign Affairs; Evelyn Masaiti [MP
Harare] Women's Affairs, Gender and Community Development; Murisi Zwizwai
[MP Harare] Mines and Mining Development; Jameson Timba [MP Harare] Media,
Information and Publicity; Jessie Majome [MP Harare] Justice and Legal
Affairs; Thamsanqa Mahlangu [MP Bulawayo] Youth Development, Indigenisation
and Empowerment; Dr Tichaona Mudzingwa [no seat in Parliament] Transport and
Infrastructural Development; Cecil Zvidzai [no seat in Parliament] Local
Government, Urban and Rural Development.

MDC-M [1]

Lutho Addington Tapela [Elected Senator Mat South] Higher and Tertiary

Roy Bennett of MDC-T [no parliamentary seat], Deputy Minister designate of
Agriculture, Mechanisation and Irrigation Development, was not sworn in.


Fidelis Charamba [29 Oct 08] detained/hospitalised; Larry Gaka [29 Oct 08]
missing; Gwenzi Kahiya [29 Oct 08] missing; Agrippa Kakonda [29 Oct 08]
detained; Pieta Kaseke [29 Oct 08} detained; Violet Mupfuranhehwe [29 Oct
08] detained; Terry Musona [29 Oct 08] protective custody; Collen Mutemagau
[29 Oct 08] detained; Lloyd Tarumbwa [29 Oct 08] protective custody; Fanwell
Tembo [29 Oct 08] protective custody; Emmanuel Chinanzvavana [3 Nov 08]
detained; Concillia Chinanzvavana [3 Nov 08] detained; Chris Dhlamini [26
Nov 08], Chinoto Zulu [27 Nov 08] detained/hospitalised; Mapfumo Garutsa [30
Nov 08] detained; Regis Mujeyi [30 Nov 08] detained; Jestina Mukoko [3 Dec
08] detained/hospitalised; Zacharia Nkomo [5 Dec 08] detained/hospitalised;
Gandhi Mudzingwa [8 Dec 08] detained/hospitalised; Broderick Takawira [8 Dec
08] detained; Ephraim Mabeka [10 Dec 08] missing; Lovemore Machokoto [10 Dec
08] missing; Charles Muza [10 Dec 08] missing; Edmore Vangirayi [10 Dec 08]
missing; Andrisson (Shadreck) Manyere [13 Dec 08] detained; Peter Munyanyi
[13 Dec 08] missing; Graham Matehwa [17 Dec 08] missing; Daniel Mlenga [22
Jan 09] detained; Frank Muchirahondo [22 Jan 09] detained; Roy Bennett [13
Feb 09] detained; Ernest Mudimu [unknown] detained; Audrey Zimbudzana
[unknown] detained.

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MDC: Zim's cabinet too big

Moses Mudzwiti Published:Feb 27, 2009

Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai's MDC party on Friday declared that
Zimbabwe's new cabinet was too big.

So far 41 ministers and 19 deputies have been appointed since the unity
government was established two weeks ago.

Commenting on Friday after a national executive meeting in Harare, the party
said: "The MDC national executive views the new cabinet as too big and heavy
for the country."

"In this regard, the MDC national executive restated the party's commitment
to a small but efficient cabinet to enhance accountability and fiscal

The original power-sharing agreement signed in September last year by all
parties - including Mugabe - only had 31 ministers.

However, the MDC did not say what it would do about the inflated cabinet.

Zimbabwe has huge outstanding debts and is in dire need of financial
assistance. Prime Minister Tsvangirai estimates that the initial economic
recovery plan needs a cash injection of about US5bn.

The party's national executive also reviewed the unity government's
performance and made public the growing rift between the prime minister and
President Robert Mugabe.

The MDC remained concerned about the continued detention of political
prisoners, fresh farm disruptions and Mugabe's unilateral appointment of top
civil servants.

"The party urges the inclusive government to immediately and efficaciously
address the release of all political prisoners in line with the agreement by
the three principals of the political parties in the inclusive government,"
said the MDC in a statement issued by its spokesman Nelson Chamisa.

Roy Bennett the MDC treasurer and deputy agriculture minister designate
remains locked up in a Mutare prison four days after he was granted bail.

The attorney general opposed bail after it had been granted causing the
judge to reconsider.

Next week Bennett is expected to appear before a magistrate's court to
answer to charges of illegal possession of arms for purposes of committing
banditry, terrorism and insurgency.

Earlier this week Prime Minister Tsvangirai revealed that Mugabe had agreed
to let all political prisoners free - either on bail or without conditions.

Mugabe has denied that he agreed to free political prisoners saying instead
that accused persons must go through the court process to determine their

The national executive also concurred with Tsvangirai's assertion that: "The
appointment of permanent secretaries did not comply with the provisions of
the constitution".

Again, Mugabe has dismissed the complaint as an "emotional outburst"
prompted by the urge to "hear one's own voice".

The MDC called on the inclusive government to "immediately intervene" to

stop farm disruptions in order to enhance productivity.

On the disputed allocation of provincial governors, the party said there was
progress and it expected new appointments soon.

The MDC demanded the "immediate swearing in of these provincial

governors to complete the formation of governors."

Another sore point was Mugabe unilateral appointment of the Reserve Bank of
Zimbabwe governor Gideon Gono and Attorney General Johannes Tomana.

The MDC national executive demanded "immediate" resolutions to all
outstanding matters, which Sadc promised would be dealt with once the unity
government was up and running.

Mugabe has made it clear he was not prepared to sack Gono and Tomano. "Why
must they go?" asked the Octogenarian who turned 85 on Saturday.


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Govt slashes water tariffs
      Friday, February 27, 2009

Municipal Reporter

Government has reviewed all new water tariffs downwards to make the levels
affordable and instructed councils to stop charging unapproved rates and

Local authorities have also been barred from cutting off water supplies and
locking out residents to force them to pay outstanding water bills and

With immediate effect, charges for raw water for local authorities and
mining sectors (urban, industrial and mining water) would be one US cent per
cubic metre or five drums, while the levy would be half a US cent per cubic
metre or per five drums.

Treated water from the Zimbabwe National Water Authority would cost 40 US
cents per cubic metre or per five drums for the first 12 cubic metres while
beyond the 12 cubic metres, punitive tariffs would apply in order to curb
potential abuse of water.

The agricultural sector would now be paying US$5 per megalitre or 5 000
drums inclusive of levy for water from Zinwa.

This includes supply from dams, boreholes and river pumping by Zinwa.

On separate occasions yesterday, Local Government, Urban and Rural
Development Minister Ignatius Chombo and the his Water Resources Development
and Management counterpart Samuel Sipepa Nkomo declared that no
disconnection would be allowed for now.

Minister Chombo held a meeting with local authorities yesterday afternoon
where it emerged that all urban councils had failed to beat the February 24,
2009 deadline to submit their budgets for the Government's approval.

A number of local authorities, including Harare City Council, have started
charging for services in foreign currency well before they have presented
their foreign currency-denominated budgets to the full council and

to Government for approval.

In separate presentations during a meeting with Minister Chombo, urban
councils indicated the various stages at which their budgets were.

The councils presented problems faced in the reclamation of water and sewer
management from Zinwa, which range from lack of transparency on equipment,
workers, broken-down plants and a critical shortage of water treatment

Minister Chombo said, as an interim measure, councils should charge half of
their proposed rates and levies pending approval of their budgets.

He also advised them that their tariffs should be affordable to residents
and ratepayers while their salary budgets should be kept between 28 and 32
percent of their total budgets.

"In the meantime, we will authorise you to charge 50 percent of what you are
requesting to charge," said Minister Chombo.

He was addressing town clerks, mayors, councillors and senior council
officials from across the country who had come to Harare for a follow-up
meeting on the transfer of water management from Zinwa to councils.

Minister Chombo said residents of high-density suburbs should continue to
pay their bills in local currency but did not specify what would happen to a
town like Chitungwiza, which is predominantly high-density but also needs
foreign currency to meet its obligations.

Minister Chombo said council budgets should clearly show the cost price of
providing a service and the profit council intended to make.

On the issue of water transfer from Zinwa, he said local authorities should
sign agreements with Zinwa showing that the takeover process was over.

In the absence of the signed paperwork, Zinwa would continue to manage water
for that particular authority.

A number of local authorities that presented progress reports on the status
of their budgets indicated that they were lagging behind and would only be
able to submit them to Government next week.

Minister Chombo advised councillors against passing resolutions requiring
funding when there were no resources.

Meanwhile, uncertainty surrounds the announcement of the Harare City Council
2009 budget amid city fathers' decision to give the nod to council to charge
in foreign currency in the absence of a budget.

Earlier indications were that the budget would be finally presented
yesterday, but new developments showed that the budget could be announced
next Wednesday.

Council already charges in foreign currency for all its services and has
started paying workers in United States dollars well before approval of the
2009 budget.

Home-owners in high-density suburbs are paying up to US$35 for supplementary
charges that include refuse collection and other service charges.

Illegally parked vehicles are charged US$35 with the penalties increasing if
the vehicle is towed away.

A booklet of parking discs with 10 pages, equivalent to 10 parking hours,
costs US$10. Simply put, a city worker who decides to park on the street
during working hours has to fork out US$8 for eight working hours.

The city's workers in lower grades have been paid amounts of up to US$290,
which included wages and allowances.

Local Government, Urban and Rural Development Deputy Minister Sessel Zvidzai
and Permanent Secretary Mr Killian Mupingo attended the meeting.

Addressing journalists in Harare yesterday afternoon, Minister Nkomo said
the new charges were interim as the Government was in the process of
conducting an in-depth water sector analysis.

"There is need for a proper stakeholder consultative process to take place.
This shall be done in due course," said Minister Nkomo.

He said the downward review of water tariffs would make water affordable for
every Zimbabwean and stimulate activity in both the industrial and
agricultural sectors of the economy.

"Since water is so central to life and to national economic development, its
pricing ought to reflect this fact.

"While it must not be priced beyond the reach of the users, the price must,
however, be such that part of the production costs can be met," he said.

Minister Nkomo urged all the local authorities to ensure that all water
supplied to the consumers was clean and safe to help combat the cholera

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Supporters raise 250,000 dlrs for Mugabe fete


1 hour ago

HARARE (AFP) - Supporters of Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe have raised
more than 250,000 US dollars (200,000 euros) for a lavish birthday
celebration for the long-time ruler on Saturday, a state-run newspaper said.

Fundraising for the party comes as Mugabe's long-time rival, Prime Minister
Morgan Tsvangirai, tries to raise five billion dollars in aid and investment
to rebuild schools, hospitals and sewers after a decade of economic

The Herald newspaper reported Friday that the fundraising committee had
topped its 250,000 dollar target for the celebration to be held in Chinhoyi,
a town north of the capital Harare.

"Now all is set for the event and we expect thousands of people to throng
the venue and celebrate with us," committee treasurer Themba Mliswa was
quoted as saying.

Mugabe, who has ruled Zimbabwe since independence in 1980, turned 85 on
February 21.

The weekend celebration comes after he and Tsvangirai formed a unity
government this month in hopes of ending nearly a year of political turmoil
that followed controversial elections.

Tsvangirai plans to attend the celebration, which he derided last year as "a
gathering of the satisfied few" in a nation crippled by food shortages.

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Illegally evicted residents must be reinstated-CHRA

27 February 2009


The Combined Harare Residents Association (CHRA) has learnt that dozens of families who were illegally displaced by ZANU-PF supporters from Council owned and other houses they rented during the pre-June 27 (2008) presidential run-off period, are still homeless as the courts have either failed to timeously hear their cases or are demanding exorbitant fees amounting to as much as US$30-00 before they can issue eviction orders to the current illegal occupants. The displaced were allegedly accused of coordinating CHRA activities, an organisation they (ZANU-PF supporters) accused of sympathizing with the MDC.


The heightened political intolerance which was witnessed across Zimbabwe left such victims as the Government of the day, those who sympathized with it, law enforcers and the judiciary colluded in committing massive human rights violations. The Association reckons that the former residents of Matererina Flats, Matapi Flats, in different parts of Mbare and indeed in all other residential and market places of the city must be reinstated as a matter of urgency as Harare/Zimbabwe cannot continue to live in the past under the current political dispensation and into the future all and sundry are hoping to see.


CHRA calls on the concerned authorities to immediately restore the residents’ rights, meanwhile the Association will facilitate that the illegally displaced residents get the long overdue redress. CHRA will continue to advocate for non-partisan, professional and effective service delivery in a democratic and socio-politically and economically just environment at local and national levels.


Combined Harare Residents Association

145 Robert Mugabe Way

Exploration House, Third Floor


 Landline: 00263- 4- 705114

Contacts: Mobile: 0912 653 074, 0913 042 981, 011862012 or email,

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Dear Lena, thank you so much for all your help - God bless you! And I hope
you are well!

Since your visit over Christmas and New Year life in Zimbabwe has become far
more bizarre - remember the prices for foodstuffs in these so called
"Foliwars-shops" and somehow everything being 3 to 4 times the price of
things of our surrounding neighbouring countries and like you commented, far
above even for Germany as one of the so called richest world countries.

But, this was/is quite bearable, compared to what happened last Thursday
late evening.

It was already getting dark, when Sithembile, the wife of our worker
Pindani, came screaming, with her even more screaming baby-girl Silibaziso
in her arms, racing towards our house. She came all the way from
Northlea-Road, where she is staying with her mother: she was in utter panic.

Her baby-girl was badly burned, face throat and upper torso, horrificly
scalded, blisters and parts of skin burned off, writhing in pain. I did a
fast dressing with the first aid kit for burns you brought me and gave her
some of the paediatric liquid Panado, which I always keep in my fridge.

D. meanwhile got the car ready, because from the amount of skin-surface
burned it was more than obvious, that the baby needed very urgent
professional emergency treatment. We rushed/raced/flew to the only
functioning 24 hour group practise based in town (you know, how far we are
living out of..). It was simply our only choice, especially since I had very
recent experiences with other clinics and hospitals here in Bulawayo: very
depressing, about these experiences I will write to you at a later point in

The 24 hour practise, was "Godthanks" not full and overcrowded (compared to
what one usually experiences here), I paid an admission-fee of 400 SA Rand,
while Pindani gave his details and they attended to the Baby quite quick.

I really can not remember the time they needed for the whole procedure, the
baby was screaming throughout in agony, I do not know, what happened in the
emergency room, the female Doctor on duty did send Sithembile out of the
room. Which I thought was very wrong, to separate such a small Baby from her
mother in times of such immense distress.

Finally they brought the Baby out, dressed and bandaged and I went to the
Reception to enquire about the cost. They gave me a horrible long number in
Rand, which I definitely did not have on me: it was in the thousands of SA
Rand! My only thought was with the priority of getting the medication for
and throughout the night and following morning, comprising of a 100 ml
Amoxycillin BP Suspension Broad-Spectrum Antibiotic and 100 ml Pyralen
Syrup, a Paracetamol-based painkiller.

Since there were "only" a further 420 SA Rand left in my purse, I tried to
explain to the receptionist, that, because it was so late in the evening now
to source the medications from a pharmacy and the baby-girl in distress, I
would like to pay for the needed medications, leaving 20 SA Rand as

Yes, you read very right: the cost of these two items got charged with 400
SA Rand!!!

After a substantial time of discussions about this arrangement - they asked
me to leave my cell-phone or something similar as a security, which I
refused - the outstanding money still amounted to a whopping 1 200 SA Rand.
Meanwhile the female Dr. on duty, after kind of ignoring me all the time
before (I can not really for sure remember, if I approached her directly -
yes, I think, I had to do so - or, if she finally condescended to converse
to me? -)

In any case: she lectured me on the immense difficulties  in obtaining
medications and material, that she/or the 24 hour practise has to source it
from SA through, what she called "runners", because of the absolute
unavailability here in Bulawayo. That, this was the "fact on the ground" and
the reason for the high expenses for treatments.

D. asked her - just for curiosities sake - what would have happened, when we
as whites (Makiwas) would NOT have been with to bring the Baby in for
treatment? She answered quite frankly, that, without us being there, which
she said she perceived as a kind of collateral, they would have asked the
parents of the baby to find the money first...

She finally took my word, that I would pay the outstanding sum of 1 200 SA
Rand the next morning.

At that time, I was happy to be able to give the baby her first dose of
essential Antibiotics and the painkiller for her to be able to get the so
much needed restful healing sleep.

D. and I went to sleep very late that night, discussing and reflecting on
this what just happened for a long, long time, me, checking a 100 times
through my bedroom-window, from where I could see the lights in Pindanis
room and Sithembile for hours carrying the baby to sleep.

The baby is in need of many follow-up-dressings and check-ups. When I paid
my debt of 1 200 SA Rand the next morning, I inquired about the cost of this

Betadine cream x 15 mls:   300 Rand

Vaseline Gauze x 3:              60 Rand

Gauze x 2:                             40 Rand

Dressing pro x 1:                   20 Rand

Surgical gloves x 1 pair:        60 Rand

Total:                                   480 Rand

I also asked for a written "bill listing" of the medications and materials
used of at the previous night of emergency treatment:

SSD (Silver Sulphadiazine 1%) Cream x 15 mls:                 900 Rand

Vaseline Gauze x 3
60 Rand

100 mm Crepe Bandage x 2
100 Rand

Gauze Swabs x 2
60 Rand

Dressing Procedure x 1
20 Rand

Surgical Gloves x 1 Pair
60 Rand

1200 Rand

Even so, they do not use this "magic potion" SSD cream (of which 15 mls are
costing 900 SA Rand) in the follow-up-dressings, instead it will be
Betadine-cream 15 mls for 300 SA Rand, the follow-up-dressings for 7 days
would cost 3 360 SA Rand!?

Lena, when you work out: 1 container SSD Cream of 500 g. 500 g divided
through 15 g (=mls per treatment) makes 33,333(period treatments) multiplied
by 900 SA Rand (cost of 15 mls at 24 hour group practise), amounts to 29
999,999 (period) SA Rand !

Please, feel free, to work out the cost for 500 g Betadine: It´s "enourmous"!

Impossible to afford for D. and me: We are already bankrupt, caused by
paying the first bill.

I went to my GP to ask for help. His diagnosis of Silibazisos injuries is:
9% superficial burns on Face and Anterior Chest Wall, he told me, that the
only item to purchase was the "magic potion", the SSD Cream, for him to
carry on with the follow-up treatments. With his prescription I went to a
pharmacy and 5 minutes later they handed me the exact 500 g green container,
I saw them using in the Clinic/Hospital: the 500 g "magic-potion" did cost
there 200 SA Rand.

Incredibly miraculous indeed: The female Doctor on duty on the night,
before, had told me a long story about the absolute unavailability of
obtaining this exact Sulphadiazine 1% cream!

She had explained, that through their efforts of obtaining medications and
medical material from South-Africa, through "runners", that this was the
reason, that in her Clinic/Hospital it is still possible, Quote:".that the
show still runs."  (- compared to Bulawayos other health-care-facilities -
suppose, that was what she meant?)

Baby Silibaziso is now in the care of my GP and his gentle nurse. She
doesn´t have to "wrestle" baby Silibaziso down, in sharp contrast to what
the female Doctor on duty told me on Thursday night: that she had to drive
all the way to the clinic/hospital using her very own petrol to wrestle the
baby down with 3 people in order to attend to her injuries.

I am fairly sure, that when she would have allowed Silibazisos mother´s
presence in the emergency room, it would NEVER have become a
"wrestling-match" and that Silibaziso would NOT have had to scream her
little soul out in such horrific distress.

With the daily follow-up-dressings, were the mother is actively assisting
with the dressing-procedures, Silibaziso seems to find her "trust in the
world" back, and is healing very well.

Silibaziso calls my GP´s nurse Gogo and talks to her in the words she knows
to speak with her 20 months of age. She is still a little bit frightened -
of course, the daily dressing-procedures are still painful.

Lena, this happening left me quite shaky. This is so very wrong, because,
like I wrote to you, with the collapsed education-system, this is now
medical treatment ONLY for the very rich people. Is medical care now a
"Privilege to survive" only for the people who can afford these absurd
amounts of money?

I made a list of all these items listed above and will investigate in our
Bulawayo pharmacies about the de facto availability and actual costs and
will report my findings back to you soon!

I´ve gotten to old to believe in fairy-tales of this kind anymore..

Dear Lena, here are the prices of Bulawayo pharmacies for same items as

SSD cream                              200 Rand (200 g) makes about 13 Rand
for 15 g

Vaseline Gauze                          7 Rand (each)

100 mm Crepe Bandage            30 Rand (each)

Gauze Swabs                              5 Rand (each)

Surgical gloves                          10 Rand (a pair)

Betadine cream                          50 Rand (25 g)

Amoxyllin BP Suspension      110 Rand (100 ml)

Pyralen-Syrup                            40 Rand (100 ml)

.. Everything readily available, also, the pharmacists told me, that all
these listed items are far cheaper in South-Africa: and that they have to
use "runners", too.

I am sending you attachments of the bills and Silibaziso, taken today, 26.
February, 7 days after the visit to this 24 hour group practise, which does
care so much more about money than lives.

Thanks to the help of my GP, his very gentle and bighearted Gogo-nurse and
the cooperation of Bulawayo pharmacists, Silibaziso was finished with her
follow-up-dressings today and will not have to bear lifelong scars.

The amount charged at the 24 hour group practise for this
emergency-treatment, was sheer extortion and altogether with the
treatment-procedure inhuman.

Dear Lena, I can very well imagine, that, this which I am writing is very
difficult to grasp for you. Human-lives in Zimbabwe are very cheap... Or,
immensely, expensive to very much depending on ones
perception ..

Lots of Love


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Mugabe fights to the grave

      Friday, 27 February 2009

      PRESIDENT Robert Mugabe last night mocked the British, saying "even my
ghost" would never allow Zimbabwe to be colonised aga

      "British imperialism was fought and defeated. They should stay very
far away from us," said Mugabe, who turned 85 on Saturday.
      "If they want the aged, the old people, we can assist to carry them,"
he said. Mugabe was referring to plans by the UK government to repatriate
its aged and infirm citizens from Zimbabwe on humanitarian grounds.
      "They want their nationals dead or alive, who are we to refuse?"
      In what was billed as a no-holds-barred interview on state television,
Mugabe said: "This soil will never be colonised again."
      "Even my ghost will not stand for it," he added, poking the lawn with
his finger.
      The interview setting was the pristine gardens of the State House in
Harare. In the now familiar disjointed manner, Mugabe spoke fondly of his
son, Chatunga, and angrily about Cecil John Rhodes and his pioneering
      The ageing leader spoke at length about sanctions and called on Prime
Minister Morgan Tsvangirai to take a "vigorous stance" in calling for their
      On reports that he had a mansion in Hong Kong, Mugabe said it was
rented accommodation for his daughter, Bona. She is studying there at a
university, Mugabe said.
      "We had this company, which offered that house. We pay rentals. The
girls stay there and we have a room for my security people."
      He said the Chinese government was doing something to stop the press
from snooping around the property.
      Mugabe dismissed claims that he had once considered fleeing to
      He said allegations that he abused human rights and stifled press
freedom were a ruse by enemies. "They needed a reason to impose sanctions."
      The octogenarian did not mention any possibility of him retiring any
time soon in the uninterrupted pre-recorded interview, which lasted more
than an hour.
      Meanwhile a belated birthday bash is planned for Saturday in Chinhoyi
and organisers said they were ready to put on a big show. Supporters will be
bused in from all parts of the country. They have been asked to adorn
clothes bearing Mugabe's portrait.

      The Times (SA)

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At least 200 dead as army moves into illegal mines

Ian Evans in Mutare
A BRUTAL government crackdown on diamond hunters in Zimbabwe involving
soldiers and police has led to more than 200 deaths in recent weeks.

About 30,000 would-be miners descended on the lucrative Chiadzwa fields, 65
miles south of the eastern city of Mutare, two years ago after the
government cancelled the owner's mining contract. While some used heavy
machinery, others dug with shovels to expose the rough diamonds - all
desperate to overcome the suffering caused by the country's economic

Then, in November, president Robert Mugabe's government sent in the army and
police to halt the free-for-all in operation "Operation Hakudzokwi", meaning
"you won't come back". Some of the prospectors were fired on from military

Anyone with foreign currency was arrested on suspicion of dealing and cars,
phones and other expensive possessions were confiscated unless the person
could explain their wealth.

Main roads to and from the area are now guarded by military roadblocks with
foreigners or those without adequate identification barred from entry.
Anyone caught near the diamond fields without permission risks a beating or
even death.

Inside the zone, only senior soldiers with the rank of captain or above are
allowed to give orders. People in the area claim some in the military have
set up underground syndicates with the backing of senior politicians from Mr
Mugabe's Zanu-PF party to sell diamonds on the black market.

Many of the rough diamonds are smuggled across the nearby, porous border to
Mozambique, where dealers from Lebanon, Belgium, Iraq, Mauritania and the
Balkans are waiting to buy.

Human rights campaigners say that up to 200 people have been killed since
the crackdown. They include Maxwell Mabota, 33, who was badly beaten in
Nyanyadzi. He died of multiple organ failure in a South African hospital.

His widow Hanna was too upset to talk about the death of her husband.
However, a family friend, who was prepared to talk on condition of
anonymity, said: "He was very badly beaten by the soldiers and we know the
name of the commanding officer, Brigadier Sigauke.

"They beat him with iron bars, fists, boots until he collapsed. He was taken
by a police officer to Mutare central police station and they called his
wife to get him. He was unconscious. He'd been badly beaten and his kidney
had dropped outside his body. He had a bleeding nose, his buttocks were
injured and his arms and legs badly bruised

"They took him to Mutare hospital but there are few drugs there and the
doctors said they could not do anything so his brother flew him to a private
hospital in Johannesburg. He had serious internal bleeding and died of organ
failure without his wife there." The Chiadzwa fields, stretching for 15
miles, used to be managed by the diamond firm De Beers. After Zimbabwe's
independence in 1980, De Beers sold the fields to a British company, African
Consolidated Resources, but the government confiscated the asset in 2006,
handing it to the state-owned Zimbabwe Mining Development Corporation.

That company failed to exploit the fields, prompting the invasion by the
thousands of prospectors and the rise of diamond dealers such as Mr Mabota.

As well as his life, the soldiers took US$11,000, his car and two mobile
phones which the family wants back. Mr Mabota and his wife had seven
children in their care. The family first claimed Mr Mabota had been in the
area to buy cattle to slaughter but now accept the transport operator, like
many others, was in Mutare to cash in on the unofficial diamond trade, which
could be worth up to US$1.2billion a month.

Zimbabwe is a signatory to the Kimberley Process, a 2003 agreement by
diamond-producing countries to prevent stones mined in "conflict" areas from
entering the mainstream market. The pact - highlighted in the Leonardo
diCaprio film Blood Diamond - aims to restrict illegal trade from countries
such as the Democratic Republic of Congo or Sierra Leone.

EU foreign ministers in Brussels have agreed a draft document urging the
Kimberley Process "to take action with a view to ensure Zimbabwe's
compliance", a reference to the ongoing violence around Chiadzwa. That move
was welcomed by pressure group Fatal Transactions, which campaigns for the
better governance of raw materials in conflict areas. "People are being
tortured and killed in Zimbabwe and there are widespread human rights abuses
so we think it should be kicked out of the KP," said Anneke Galama,
international co-ordinator.

"It is difficult because the government of a sovereign nation is the one
perpetuating the violence so they'd have to acknowledge doing wrong. We're
engaged in dialogue on this, but we realise it will be hard to do,
especially because Namibia is the next chair when it meets in June."

The KP offices would not comment on Zimbabwe's diamond industry.

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Shout with Short Wave - Zimbabwe's crisis
Voices from the ground - Can Mugabe be a part of the solution?

By Andy Clark


You've read about the crisis in Zimbabwe - now send your message to the country. We here at Radio Netherlands Worldwide pride ourselves on providing independent information and supporting press freedom around the world.

And this week we will bring you a series of special programmes on Zimbabwe and you can have your say too. Send us your messages by SMS or via the reaction form at the bottom of this page, include a phone number and you may get to be in the live Newsline Shout with Short Wave special on 6 March. Your messages will also appear online. To send us an SMS  first type the word 'news' then leave a space, type your message and send to +31 638 988286.

Radio Netherlands Worldwide
broadcasts to Zimbabwe

1800-1900 UTC
6020 kHz  49 metre band

1900-2100 UTC
7120 kHz  41 metre band

Alternative reception:
1800-2000 UTC
12045 kHz  25 metre band

Zimbabwe's president Robert Mugabe dismisses as 'nonsense' demands to allow a free press in his beleaguered country.

He prefers instead to wallow in lavish celebrations marking his recent 85th birthday whilst those who dare to speak out are thrown in jail or kicked out altogether.

Of course he has no gag on media from outside and by using short wave, from transmitters in Madagascar, we get daily independent news and current affairs in.

And this week working together with the independent radio station Voice of the People*, a local station brave enough to speak out, we will bring you the human stories behind the crisis in Zimbabwe.

A country once rich enough to be the bread basket for the region it is now a basket case, the economy has collapsed, there's hyper-inflation, millions are reliant on food aid and a cholera epidemic has claimed thousands of lives. The education and health systems are also all in a state of collapse.

At the same time something has happened in Zimbabwean politics that that few believed was possible. Almost a year after an apparent election victory, which most observers believe, was stolen from him, opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai has at last been sworn in as Prime Minister.

Poverty is widespread in Zimbabwe
Poverty is widespread in Zimbabwe
In theory at least, he will now share power with President Robert Mugabe who has had a stranglehold on power in the country since 1980. Our question to you is do you think this is possible, can Mugabe be a part of the solution when he is blamed by so many as being the principle architect of the country's collapse?

Radio Netherlands Worldwide journalist Eric Beauchemin has been undercover in the country, where he was finding out how ordinary Zimbabweans are trying to survive amidst in the chaos. He speaks to amongst others a bricklayer, a politician, housewives and a priest.

We will also bring you expert analysis of the bigger picture, looking into the politics of the situation and the role of surrounding countries and the international community.

The State We're In and Bridges with Africa will devote their programmes to the country and every day on Newsline you can hear Eric's reports.

And on Friday 6 March we will have our live Shout with Short Wave special edition of Newsline. We will use your messages in the show and if you leave your phone number we may call you and take your comments live in the broadcast. We will also have a live link up with our partners Voice of the People.

Will the new unity government improve life for Zimbabweans? Has South Africa failed its neighbour? Should donor countries give the new government a chance by lifting sanctions on Robert Mugabe's Zanu-PF and flood the country with aid? What is your view? Fill in the form below and have your say.

* Voice of the People is an independent radio station in Zimbabwe, which broadcasts via Radio Netherlands Worldwide in Madagascar.


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A letter from the diaspora


Dear Friends.

What is this national healing' everyone is talking about? It is a cosy
little, feel-good term which implies that all is now well in Zimbabwe. We
are, the politicians would have us believe, a united people all going along
the road together to rebuild our country. Augustine Chihuri used the term
last week to justify his directive that all charges against those accused of
violence 'before, during and after' the one-man election in June should be
dropped 'in the interests of national healing'. As Chihuri sees it,'national
healing' is simply a cover for doing nothing to right the wrongs inflicted
on the Zimbabwean people.
Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai used exactly the same term at the MDC rally
in Gweru last weekend. " This country needs national healing. It is time for
everyone to forgive those who trespassed against us. If there is no national
healing there is no progress. I appeal to all Zimbabweans from the bottom of
my heart, we should heal the nation."

Robert Mugabe used much the same language when he came to power in 1980 but
after twenty-nine years of independence, what evidence do we have that the
nation is healed? Past divisions and enmities are as deep as they ever were,
thanks in no small part to a vindictive and arrogant ruling party, I am no
theologian but surely for true reconciliation and forgiveness to take place,
there must be genuine repentance and remorse from the perpetrators of
violence. Talk of 'national healing' and forgiveness is nothing more than a
populist catchphrase if it is not accompanied by the positive, practical
measures to ensure that it happens. The perpetrators of the tsunami of
violence that has engulfed our country must be brought before the courts,
tried and punished if they are found guilty. Justice requires no less. Yet
both sides in this so-called Inclusive Government shy away from confronting
the issue - for their own political reasons. Morgan Tsvangirai is powerless
to bring about true justice in a country where the rule of law has
collapsed. He cannot even secure the release of Jestina Mukoko and the other
activists and his own Deputy Minister still languishes in gaol. Threats from
his party that they will pull out of the Inclusive Government unless this or
that happens are worse than useless for they demonstrate the MDC's impotence
in the face of Zanu PF's continuing vice-like grip on the police and the
military and their control over the judges and courts.

Repentance and remorse are so far from happening, that the perpetrators of
violence and theft committed during the violent jambanja feel themselves
entirely at liberty to continue in their criminal activities. Residents from
as far apart as Mbare and Mutoko who have attempted to get their homes back
from the Zanu PF thieves who stole them at the height of the politically
inspired violence were this week arrested by the police for house breaking
and theft! "This is nothing more than revenge" claimed self-righteous Zanu
PF sources but can people be blamed for wanting to get back what is
rightfully theirs? If we had a functioning law-enforcement agency, that is
exactly what would happen: a trial, a verdict and stolen property recovered
and returned to its rightful owner. On the commercial farms, too, we see
little sign of a change of behaviour on the part of the greedy
land-grabbers. One farmer was told this week by the gang invading his farm
that they didn't care about the law or the police, they would simply take
what they wanted. The treatment of the Woza women who were beaten and
arrested this week in Harare for simply trying to hand in a petition to one
of Morgan Tsvangirai's own ministers is further testimony to the myth of
'national healing'

If the term means sweeping everything under the carpet and pretending it
never happened, then the politicians on both sides need to understand that
ordinary people do not see it that way. They want justice and if the
Inclusive Government cannot deliver it then there is real danger that the
people will take the law into their own hands. The justice that will result
may be very rough indeed.

Yours in the (continuing) struggle PH. aka Pauline Henson author of
Countdown, a political detective story set in Zimbabwe and available on

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