The ZIMBABWE Situation
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Government blocks distribution of US$500 000 donation to save wildlife

African News Dimension

      Wednesday, 18 January 2006, 1 hour, 22 minutes and 53 seconds ago.

      By ANDnetwork Journalist

      The Zimbabwean government has allegedly blocked the distribution of
over US$500 000 worth of auto and engine spares sourced from well-wishers to
avert the wholesale deaths of animals at Hwange National Park.

      The donation includes spares for the authority's broken down water
pumps, motor cars, tyres meant for the grounded fleet of the Department of
National Parks and Wildlife and other small pieces of equipment.

      The donations poured in between October and December last year
following a desperate appeal by the the Zimbabwe Conservation and
Development Task Force (ZCDTF) when it became evident that the government
had no capacity to save the animals that were dying en-masse of drought.

      In a telephone interview from Harare, ZCDTF chairman Johnnny Rodriguez
told AND that the donation saga started when the DPNW insisted on taking
charge of the distribution process against the donor's wish that the ZCDTF
take charge. He said it had worsened this week with a blanket ban on their
access to all wildlife camps.

      "A circular has been issued directing all chief wardens in wildlife
camps not to entertain us anymore. We have not been able to do anything and
the aid is still stored in our offices. The donations came mainly from
America and the donors said they cannot trust the government to be
accountable. So they insist that we take charge of the distribution process
but the parks authority want us to surrender it to them. The donors say no,"
said Rodrigues.

      More than 100 elephant and buffalo died between October and December
when all the watering pans dried up. The situation was further compounded by
endemic staff, fuel and equipment breakdowns and shortages at the DPNW.
Through hastily raised donations, the ZCDTF took the lead in reviving most
of the broken down pumps, re-opening some water pans and nursing the
emanciated animals.

      They also covered up for the parks authority's chronic shortage of
transport by providing vehicles to deliver fuel between the pumping points
until rains stabilised the situation in late November. Rodrigues said it was
foolish of the parks authority to be refusing aid because a solution had to
found to the water problem at Hwange.

      "The crisis will only be over if all the pans are revived, all the
water pumps repaired and when the parks authority has enough manpower,
equipment and logistical support to confront the scale of emergency in
Hwange. Measures need to be taken now to prepare for the post rainy season
period and drought sets in much earlier in Hwange," said Rodriguez.

      Her said he had written a letter to DPNW director Morris Mutsambiwa
and Francis Nhema, the minister of environment and tourism to express his
organisation's disgust at being denied access to wildlife areas.

      "Wildlife is the property of all Zimbabweans and not the DPNW only.
They are fiddling when they can see that the crisis in Hwange is far from
over. If they do not allow us to distribute this aid, I wil call a press
conference in two weeks time and let the world know all that is happening to
us as we attempt to save wildlife," Rodriguez told AND.

      Sources in the DPNW said the blocking of aid was based on the top
management's belief that the ZCDTF was out to expose them as weak by doing
their jobs. They added that broken down pumps and a critical shortage of
vehicles were not the only problems facing the organisation.

      "Corruption, top level corruption is the major factor that
contriobuted to the DPNW being unable to look after the animals. It is not
true to say the authority cannot afford to buy auto and pump spares.

      "We do that but these end up repairing similar pumps in the newly
acquired private farms of the bosses. Some of the so-called 'broken down'
pumps were infact cannibalised by people who latter sold them to the new
farmers who surround the park, and most of them are officers in this
department," said the source.

      She added that while the parks authority needed 120 new four-wheel
drive vehicles and plenty more staff to return to normal capacity, top
management at the DPNW head office in Harare had recently taken delivery of
14 brand new, fuel guzzling Isuzu Twin Cab four-wheel drive vehicles.

      "While most of the fuel shortages that affected parks countrywide
could have been genuine, most of the fuel destined for the parks never went
beyond the head office. Some officials are living a life of complete luxury
while the animals they were employed to look for die of drought. Poachers
have taken full advantage of the grounding of patrols teams and are wreaking
havoc across the parks," said the source.

      In a major climb-down in the stalemate, the DPNW today released a
statement denying ever  blocking the ZCDTF from distributing aid. It said
the organisation had been told to follow officials procedures of
distributing the aid. The statement added that there was a need to check any
aid coming into the country because there were many bogus organisations
purporting to be helping the wildlife cause in Zimbabwe.

      Oscar Nkala

      A.N.D Africa

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Al-Jazeera wants Zim bureau


18/01/2006 21:34  - (SA)

Harare - The Qatar-based Arabic news channel al-Jazeera is trying to open a
news bureau in Zimbabwe, state radio reported on Wednesday.

Representatives from al-Jazeera met information minister Tichaona Jokonya
and other government officials earlier in the day, the report said.

Zimbabwe has tough media laws that prohibit foreign journalists from working
permanently in the country.

International media houses may apply for a licence to operate a bureau, but
have to pay stiff registration fees in foreign currency and agree to employ
only local reporters if accredited.

President Robert Mugabe and his government say Zimbabwe has been the butt of
a hostile Western media campaign because of its controversial programme of
white land seizures.

During Wednesday's meeting, al-Jazeera's director of news, Steve Clarke,
"outlined the news agency's mission and proposals in Zimbabwe, saying it is
important that events taking place in Zimbabwe be reported factually at
international level", the radio said.

Andrew Symonds, the organisation's African bureau chief, was reported as
saying he "feels that Africa, including Zimbabwe, is not receiving adequate
and objective coverage despite its significance on the international arena",
the radio added.

Al-Jazeera International already has bureaux in several African countries
including South Africa, Egypt, Eritrea, Ivory Coast and Nigeria.

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Zimbabwean VP Joyce Mujuru Reveals Independent Streak


By Chinedu Offor
      18 January 2006

Zimbabwean Vice President Joyce Mujuru appeared to be staking out some new
and surprisingly independent positions in a televised interview Tuesday,
declaring among other things that she will "not stand on a shaky stool and
reach for the presidency" though she is thought to be President Robert
Mugabe's handpicked successor.

More surprising still, Mujuru seemed to discount Western sanctions as the
main cause of Zimbabwe's economic problems, a position held by most senior
officials of the ruling ZANU-PF party. She also took a swipe at cabinet
ministers who pursue their own financial interests rather than seeing to the
well-being of the country.

The president made Mujuru one of the country's two vice presidents in late
2004 while expelling several prominent politicians perceived to have
challenged his authority by holding an unsanctioned meeting to discuss how
to block Mujuru's nomination. One prominent casualty of that episode was
then-information minister Jonathan Moyo.

Mujuru has maintained a low profile since then - even when taking on the
ceremonial role of acting president when Mr. Mugabe leaves the country.
Reports said she was acting in that capacity when she made the speech,
though official press releases indicated Mr. Mugabe was home from a
Malaysian vaction by Wednesday.

She was involved in the 1970s liberation struggle and previously headed the
ZANU-PF women's movement. She is married to retired army general Solomon
Mujuru, who is known to be close to Mugabe and wields significant clout
within ZANU-PF.

Reporter Chinedu Offor of VOA's Studio 7 for Zimbabwe spoke with researcher
Chris Maroleng of the Institute of Security Studies in Pretoria, South
Africa, who said that he found the timing of the vice president's comments
highly significant.

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Zim fears up to 60 border jumpers drowned

Mail and Guardian

      Johannesburg, South Africa

      19 January 2006 07:05

            As many as 60 Zimbabwean border jumpers could have drowned in
the flooded Limpopo River last week, Zimbabwe's Herald newspaper reported on

            It said on its website police could neither confirm nor deny
this figure.

            The border jumpers are believed to have perished last Friday
night in the Dite area, 60km from Beitbridge town.

            Villagers from Dite told the Herald they believed some of their
relatives were among the casualties.

            South African rescue teams have joined Zimbabwe police in the
search for bodies.

            A 17-member police diving team, bolstered by two helicopters,
was already scouring the area on Wednesday.

            The Zimbabwe police officer commanding Beitbridge,
Superintendent Bethel Magora, said search patrols would be deployed on
either side of the Limpopo on Thursday.

            Magora said foot patrol teams of six would also be dispatched to
the suspected drowning spot.

            "Our search would include interviewing residents who live along
the river valley so that we come up with a clear picture of the situation."

            Heavy rains that have been pounding Beitbridge for the past 10
days led to the flooding of the Limpopo, which separates Zimbabwe from South

            The Herald said there has been an increase in the number of
border jumpers who, after being deported from South Africa, resort to
illegally crossing back through the Limpopo River. -- Sapa

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Zimbabwe try to save face by pulling out of Tests

The Times
January 19, 2006

By Pat Gibson

            ZIMBABWE have sidestepped any moves by the ICC to strip them of
their Test status by choosing to withdraw from Test cricket until next year.
The decision, taken yesterday by the government-appointed interim committee
that is now in charge of Zimbabwe Cricket (ZC), means that their tour to the
West Indies in April will be reduced to a one-day series.
            It is probable that the decision has come about because of
pressure applied by the ICC at its meeting in Karachi last week, but Peter
Chingoka, the ZC chairman, who has held on to his job despite demands from
the players that he should be removed, was putting a bold face on it last

            "The decision to suspend participation in Test matches was
reached by ZC after consideration of the recent performances by the national
and A teams," Chingoka said, with no mention of the players' strike,
suspended until January 31, or the alleged financial irregularities. "The
young teams remain full of potential and hopes abound for their development
into a strong and competitive performer in the Test arena.

            "ZC are now putting in place a programme to galvanise the
development of the Zimbabwe squads. They will work with other Test nations
and the ICC itself to realise this objective. While the side goes through
the programme to prepare adequately for the rigours of Test cricket, ZC have
no doubt the team will be competitive in their one-day international
commitments under the Future Tours Programme."

            It is the second time that Zimbabwe have withdrawn from Test
cricket. In June 2004, they pulled out for six months after the dismissal of
15 so-called rebel players and tours against Pakistan and England were
reduced to one-day series. Their next scheduled Test series is in Sri Lanka
in February 2007.

            West Indies have also lost their home series against Australia,
which was to have started after the World Cup final on April 28 next year.
It has apparently been postponed to avoid fixture congestion. It has also
been reported that India have withdrawn from their tour to New Zealand,
scheduled for February next year, because it is not seen as ideal
preparation for the World Cup.

            Graeme Welch has been named as Derbyshire's new captain in
succession to Luke Sutton, who left at the end of last season to join
Lancashire. Welch, 33, was the county's player of the year in 2005 with 818
runs and 60 wickets.

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Gono Pleads With Mugabe To Restrain Top Police Officers From Invading Peri-Urban Farms

Zim Daily

            Thursday, January 19 2006 @ 12:04 AM GMT
            Contributed by: correspondent
            Reserve Bank governor Gideon Gono has made an impassioned plea
to President Mugabe to restrain top police officers from seizing peri-urban
farms amid reports that senior assistant commissioners were circling on
flower exporting farm Gletwin in Mandara.

            Zimdaily heard that owners of the farm have been ordered to
vacate the farm by top police officers who visited the farm weekend
accompanied by senior officers from Police General Headquarters, district
officials and Zanu PF supporters. Government-backed seizures of white-owned
commercial farms for redistribution to landless blacks largely halted a year
ago, but there have been new farm invasions in the periphery of Harare.

            Gono was said to have met Mugabe Tuesday to complain bitterly
about the new farm invasion charging the top police officers' actions may
hurt his efforts to turn around the country's ailing economy. "They had a
closed door session and he was given assurances that the Home Affairs chief
Kembo Mohadi will talk to the senior officers," sources close to the meeting
told Zimdaily. In the past few months, Gono has spoken out against what he
describes as the under-use of land by some black farmers who benefited from
the controversial land reform programme.

            But it is not clear how widely his views are held in President
Robert Mugabe's government, which in September nullified more than 4,000
court cases brought by white farmers challenging the forced acquisition of
their land. Gono was said to have told Mugabe to haul the invaders before
the courts to show the seriousness of government on the matter chiding
Mugabe to stop the invasions forthwith. The constitutional changes signed
into law recently effectively nationalised all white-owned farms.

            Gono is on record saying the new invasions may have a negative
impact on Zimbabwe's economy, which relies heavily on agriculture and has
shrunk by about a third in the past six years. "This would cause some
disruptions in agriculture activities and as central bank, we do not condone
such action," he said in a recent monetary policy review statement.

            Gono has also called on the government to allow some white
farmers back on land seized for redistribution to blacks, to help revive an
economy on the brink of collapse. Critics say the land expropriation is
partly responsible for waning commercial agriculture and food shortages
since 2001, as new black farmers battle to raise production amid lack of
funding, agricultural inputs and commercial farming skills. Mugabe has
defended farm seizures as necessary to correct colonial imbalances that left
70 percent of the richest land in the hands of a few white farmers.
            The veteran 81-year-old leader says the economy, in its sixth
year of recession, is a victim of sabotage by foes .

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Chegutu Mayoral Elections In March But Voters Roll Is A Shambles

Zim Daily

            Thursday, January 19 2006 @ 12:02 AM GMT
            Contributed by: correspondent
            The Zimbabwe Electoral Commission this week announced stringent
requirements that are set to curtail the voting rights of many Chegutu
residents in the forthcoming Mayoral election as the registrar-general's
office opened the voters' roll for inspection. This came as the ruling Zanu
PF party was pushing for new legislation to ban elections for urban councils
and instead allow the government to appoint commissions headed by chief
executive officers to run cities and towns However the opposition MDC and
civic groups stepped up shrill calls to have a review of the voters'
register, which they said was a "shambles".

            ZEC spokesman Utloile Silaigwana announced that Chegutu dwellers
would be required, among other things, to produce proof of residence. This
could take the form of title deeds, rates receipts, utility receipts or
written statements from landlords or employers. But many Chegutu dwellers do
not own properties as they are gold panners who live in makeshift structures
dotted around the town.
            Silaigwana said the election together with 12 other local
authority polls in the same area would be held in March at a date yet to be
fixed by the commission.

            "Inspection of the voters roll of the Chegutu mayoral election
as well as other 12 local authority elections in the same area began on
Monday," Silaigwana said. "We have already embarked on a sensitisation
programme to let the electorate know of this development and the need for
them to go and inspect the voters roll." Lovemore Madhuku, chairman of the
National Constitutional Assembly (NCA), a broad-based coalition of civic
groups, said it was pointless to proceed with elections using a flwed voters

            "The roll is a shambles," Madhuku said. "Over the years the RG's
office has added more names but not totally reformed the roll. We have had
cases of
            deceased people appearing on the roll, people being registered
in the wrong constituencies, or others simply failing to find their names."
Reginald Matchaba-Hove, chairman of the Zimbabwe Election Support Network,
said this was a "worrying development". The Registrar of Voters Tobaiwa
Mudede, however, said: "Those questioning the accuracy of the roll are free
to go and inspect it, with the rest of the Chegutu residents during the
inspection period. I cannot comment on statements alleging irregularities
because we have not gone through the inspection process as yet."

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Consumer Council Of Zimbabwe Finally Grows Some Teeth

Zim Daily

            Thursday, January 19 2006 @ 12:01 AM GMT
            Contributed by: correspondent
            In a rare positive score, the Consumer Council of Zimbabwe (CCZ)
managed to make arbitration claims worth over $135 million on behalf of
aggrieved consumers last year. The consumer watchdog has been the target of
ridicule from long suffering members of the public for its inability to
effectively act against unscrupulous retailers, manufacturers and other
service providers. Over the years, there have been increasing reports of
product standard violations by firms, most of which have gone unchecked and
unpunished. According to statistical data obtained at the consumer lobby
group, a total of 230 complaints, with a total value of $42.6 million, were
received between January and March.

            Of that amount, CCZ managed to recoup $32,2million worth of
claims, representing a recovery percentage of 74,8%. In the second quarter
101 complaints were heard, while the value of complaints lodged amounted to
$93,1 million. A remarkable $57,7million was recovered, representing a
percentage recovery of 61.9%.
            A CCZ official said that although the consumer watchdog was
still compiling data for the third and fourth quarters , the progress made
by recovering significant consumer claims in the first and second quarters
was commendable.

            "We are grateful to have registered impressive arbitration
claims,"she said. "Although compilation of the national claims covering all
four quarters are still to be completed consumers out there now realize that
we are not a toothless bulldog after all if we can help them recoup claims
which they could have never earned had we not intervene."
            She added that most businesses are beginning to corporate with
the consumer watchdog after realizing the benefits of arbitration.

            "Most companies caught on the wrong side now prefer us to handle
their disputes with infringed consumers because they save billions of
dollars unlike opting for civil courts were they spend a lot in terms of
legal costs and stand a greater risk of being slapped with hefty
compensation fees. CCZ is the country's sole consumer pressure group,
mandated to lobby industrial stakeholders to put consumer interests ahead of
            The organisation also undertakes the task of consumer rights
advocacy and education and prepares the monthly consumer bread basket for a
family of six after every fortnight.

            The consumer watchdog has warned consumers against impulse
buying and to be wary of unscrupulous retailers in a statement, which reads
in part. "Consumers should shop around to avoid being ripped off by
unscrupulous retailers, this will also help them in getting a fair dea."

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IMF to probe Zimbabwe's surprise debt repayment

Business Day

Posted to the web on: 19 January 2006

Jonathan Katzenellenbogen


International Affairs Editor

FIVE International Monetary Fund (IMF) officials are due in Zimbabwe next
week as part of an investigation into Harare's repayment of an IMF loan,
which spared it being expelled from the world body.

After Zimbabwe made a surprise repayment to the IMF in September, the body's
board granted the country a reprieve. It delayed until March a decision on
whether to expel the country from the fund.

The IMF's week-long staff mission will feed into discussions at the March
meeting on Zimbabwe's economic policies and repayments.

Despite repayments to the IMF of $163,5m last year and $9,5m this year,
Zimbabwe's arrears were about $136,6m, an IMF official said yesterday.

Zimbabwe has been in arrears with the fund since February 2001, but has been
making repayments over the past 14 months .

Zimbabwe has not disclosed its level of foreign exchange reserves since
December 2004.

In the months leading up to the September repayment businesses complained
that the central bank had called them and asked them to loan them foreign
currency from the accounts that businesses are legally entitled to hold.

There was also evidence that the central bank had allocated amounts well
below those it said it was selling at its foreign currency auctions.

Officials from Zimbabwe's central bank held talks with the South African
Reserve Bank on a loan facility last year, but no loan was ever made. At the
time it was believed SA was insisting on a reform programme designed by the

President Robert Mugabe visited China ahead of the repayment, but there was
little evidence that Beijing was prepared to bale the country out.

Beijing offered a conditional loan facility of about $10m, some of which was
for food aid. It also asked for a loan repayment facility to be established,
indicating that Harare was also in arrears with Beijing.

The IMF said the visit would also review Zimbabwe's macroeconomic situation
and assess its efforts to improve co-operation with the fund ahead of the
March meeting.

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CPJ protests continued censorhip of Voice of the People

Committee to Protect Journalists

        New York, January 18, 2006-The Committee to Protect Journalists
expressed concern today that Voice of the People (VOP), an independent
Zimbabwean news production company, remains inactive after police
confiscated its equipment and files in a December raid. Authorities have
continued to hold VOP material for more than a month.

        VOP Director John Masuku appeared in court on Friday. He is accused
of violating the Broadcasting Services Act, which prohibits the possession
or use of radio transmission equipment without a license. Masuku could face
up to two years in prison if found guilty. The state-owned newspaper The
Herald said Masuku's next court appearance is scheduled for March 30.

        Police have also threatened to arrest VOP's board of trustees,
according to Arnold Tsunga, director of Zimbabwean Lawyers for Human Rights
(ZLHR) and a VOP trustee.

        VOP staffers produce programs on a variety of community and
political issues but do not broadcast directly within Zimbabwe. The
programming is transmitted via shortwave from overseas, although the
broadcasts were recently scrambled within Zimbabwe, according to local

        "We are deeply troubled by Zimbabwe's blatant censorship of Voice of
the People, an important news source in a country where independent
broadcasters are unable to operate," said Ann Cooper, executive director of
CPJ. "We call on authorities to release VOP's equipment immediately, to drop
all criminal proceedings against John Masuku, and to cease their campaign of
harassment against VOP staff members."

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China aiding corruption in other countries: Human Rights Watch says


(Japan Economic Newswire Via Thomson Dialog NewsEdge)WASHINGTON, Jan.
18_(Kyodo) _ (EDS: ADDING INFO)

Human Rights Watch says that China's economic and diplomatic policies are
aiding corruption and repression in Africa, Asia and Latin America in its
annual report released Wednesday, which covered more than 70 countries.

The New York-based international organization said in the report that
China's economic growth and quest for natural resources combined with its
stated policy of noninterference in domestic affairs led to its bolstering
of corrupt and repressive regimes in Africa, Latin America and Asia, "to the
disadvantage of the people of these regions."

Noting that China is increasingly becoming a donor, the group concluded,
"China's view that human rights conditions constitute unjustified political
interference significantly reduces the chance that its aid will benefit
those people who need it most."

"China...has played an important role in blocking the Security Council from
addressing systematic human rights abuses by Burma's military government,"
the group said, noting that China is the country's "largest investor and
supplier of economic and military aid."

The group also criticized Beijing for refusing to help North Korean
refugees, saying the Chinese government "refused to cooperate with the U.N.
special rapporteur on North Korea and refused to allow the Office of the
U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees access to border areas where most North
Korans reside."

Referring to China's growing interests in Africa, the group said, "Willing
to do business with anyone, the Chinese government threw an economic
lifeline to such highly abusive governments as those in Sudan and Zimbabwe."

The group also said China provided financial and military support to the
Sudanese government "even as it was engaged in massive ethnic cleansing in
Darfur, while Beijing successfully watered down U.N. Security Council
resolutions threatening sanctions against Khartoum for its Darfur

"The most deprived people of Africa suffered further because Beijing, in its
dealing with their governments, showed such indifference to their plight,"
the group said.

It also criticized the United States for putting more emphasis on economic
and security matters than human rights issues in dealing with China although
U.S. President George W. Bush called for political and religious freedom
during his visit to China last November.

"His agenda was long on economic and security concerns and short on human
rights," the group said.

The report also listed human rights abuses in many Asian countries,
including North Korea, Myanmar, Cambodia, Afghanistan, Bangladesh, East
Timor, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Nepal, Pakistan, Papua New Guinea, Sri
Lanka, Thailand and Vietnam.

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'Garbage Leslie' kicked out

New Zimbabwe

By Staff Reporter
Last updated: 01/19/2006 14:25:34
THE Commission running the affairs of the city of Harare has suspended local
government minister, Ignatius Chombo's blue eyed boy, Leslie Gwindi for

Town Clerk, Nomutsa Chideya said Gwindi, the commission's acting director of
waste management who was until recently its spokesperson, would be hauled
before a disciplinary committee in due course.

Following Gwindi's takeover of the waste management portfolio, rubbish has
been piling up in Harare, a development that has partially been blamed on
the spread of Cholera that has claimed up to 11 lives in the capital city.

Mbare Musika market was also closed, leaving hundreds of vendors and traders
stranded as the city fathers tried to clear garbage that had gone
uncollected for months at the popular market.

In 2003 the Harare council, then under MDC mayor Elias Mudzuri suspended
Gwindi on misconduct allegations, but he was muscled back into office by
Chombo following the sacking of the opposition mayor.

The minister also co-opted him as a member of seven witnesses who submitted
damning allegations to a hearing tasked to investigate Mudzuri.

The committee chaired by Harare lawyer Johannes Tomana went on to recommend
the mayor's sacking.

Sources said Wednesday that Chombo was likely to intervene to save Gwindi
the chop.

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Zimbabwe takes delivery of Chinese MA60

New Zimbabwe

By Staff Reporter
Last updated: 01/19/2006 14:49:25
ZIMBABWE'S national airline, Air Zimbabwe, on Wednesday took delivery of the
Chinese MA60 aircraft to breathe new life to its ageing fleet.

Zimbabwe's Transport Minister Christopher Mushowe told reporters that the
aircraft would help turnaround the parastatal's economic performance and
boost tourism.

Speaking at a ceremony to receive the third MA60 aircraft from China, the
minister called on the management of the national airline to fully utilize
the aircraft for the benefit of the company.

The two MA60 aircraft that Air Zimbabwe received from China last year ply
local and regional routes.

It was the dream of the ministry for Harare to be turned into a regional
hub, the minister said. The two aircraft received last year had flown over
2,000 hours and had proved to be robust, fuel efficient, comfortable and
safe with positive feedback from the traveling public, said Mushowe.

A representative of the China National Aero-Technology Import and Export
Corporation (CATIC) said the good operational record of the planes had
spurred the market and had seen the company selling 17 similar aircraft in
the region, with 14 more expected to be sold this year.

Air Zimbabwe, which has gained the "problem child" nametag, has been dogged
by various problems that saw the parent ministry firing the airline's board
and appointing a new one in a bid to improve the airline's fortunes.

Guests at the ceremony had the opportunity to board the plane and sample its
comfortable features. The Chinese government presented the aircraft as a
gift to the Zimbabwe government - Xinhuanet

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Zimbabwe tourism players urged to woo foreign investors

People's Daily

      Tourism players in Zimbabwe have been urged to enter into business
partnerships with foreign investors to develop the sector and attract
foreign direct investment for the country.

      Environment and Tourism Minister, Francis Nhema, made the call when he
officially opened the European Union (EU)-Southern African Development
Community tourism investment partnership promotion workshop on Wednesday.

      "We believe that this will not only enhance the capacity of
Zimbabweans to enter into business ventures but that this will also attract
foreign direct investment," Nhema said.

      He said smart partnerships were critical to the success of any
business venture.

      Investment into the tourism sector, he said, should aim at enhancing
the range of quality of tourism products and services to cater for the
increasingly sophisticated demands of modern-day travelers.

      The minister said tourism was a strategic sector with potential to
play a pivotal role in the turn around and recovery of the economy.

      "Tourism is a creator of employment, it is a generator of foreign
currency earnings and a catalyst to investment and infrastructure
development as well as in the expansion of the commercial sector," he said.

      If facilitated to grow in a strategic manner, tourism could also play
a leading role in wealth creation as well as in poverty alleviation, Nhema

      Meanwhile, he said the government was negotiating with neighboring
countries for the establishment of at least six transfrontier conservation
areas, which have vast investment opportunities for both local and foreign

      The Great Limpopo Transfrontier Park, incorporating three national
parks from South Africa, Zimbabwe and Mozambique, was one such TFCA, he

      Speaking at the same meeting, Zimbabwe Investment Center acting
executive director, Richard Mbaiwa, said tourism was one of the priority
sectors that had been targeted for investment promotion because of its huge
potential to attract investment.

      "The tourism sector in Zimbabwe is one of the sectors with the
greatest potential for spearheading economic development through the
creation of employment opportunities and generation of foreign currency," he

      Source: Xinhua

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