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Zimbabwe Begins Nationalizing Privately-Owned Urban Land


      By Peta Thornycroft
      27 January 2006

Six years after instituting a policy of nationalizing white-owned farms and
evicting their owners, Zimbabwe's government has begun to seize white-owned
land in urban Harare.

Some 200 workers were rounded up by police and forced out of their homes
last week. The workers lived and were employed on Gletwyn, a large property
in the midst of several wealthy suburbs, 14 kilometers east of the city
center.  Many of them had lived there all their lives.

Gletwyn is an old farm, incorporated into the city of Harare in 1996. The
owners, two brothers, planned to subdivide the land into a new suburb, but
would continue to grow specialist crops, such as corn seed.

Police arrived before Christmas and said they were going to build houses for
themselves on Gletwyn. Ian Ross, 68, said the police started harassing and
evicting hundreds of workers from their homes.

"They arrived to evict the workers, which they did piece by piece, village
by village, compound by compound. They were loaded onto police trucks in the
rain, which most of the time arrived without fuel," he said.  "They forced
workers to buy fuel for them.  They took them to various parts of the
country.  They were basically dumped, they lost all their furniture,
saturated in the rain, but within days they all started to come back with a
reed mat, a couple of blankets, a pot.  They came back to work, but were
hounded day and night.  They moved into sheds, where they could sleep.  The
guys moved in to chicken runs; they were living like rabbits, like little
rats in a hole."

Ross, one of the owners of Gletwyn, went to court this week to try and stop
the police action against the workers.

Mac Tembo, 46, is a workshop manager who has worked at Gletwyn for 25 years.
He says he was sent back to his rural home, Nyampanda on the border with
Mozambique, but returned days later.  "I want to work," he said.  "I have
got more problems.  I want to sort my problems.  I [have] got children [who]
go to school, and we haven't got food at Nyamapanda.  If Mr. Ross goes,
myself, I will go to Nyamapanda.  If Mr. Ross is here, I myself will be

Tembo says he was kidnapped by state security agents Tuesday and taken to
Harare central police station to answer questions about stolen and destroyed
agricultural equipment, which he said was taken by thieves roaming the land.

A property firm with ties to the government, Divine Homes, also says it has
rights to Gletwyn. It is marketing 600 units on behalf of the government,
arguing that Gletwyn is public property as it is a white-owned farm.

A Divine Homes company official said this week there were no title deeds
available for the units, but that this will "sort itself out over time."

Deputy Finance Minister David Chapfkika is listed as chairman of the
company. He was not available for comment this week, nor were ministers in
charge of land affairs or local government.

Earthmovers operate at Gletwyn daily, chewing up fields with huge graders
and bulldozers, destroying borehole pumps, pipes and water reservoirs,
laying down crude, muddy roads, in no apparent order.

Last week they bulldozed workers' homes, cooking huts and thatched sheds
workers built to store possessions.

Gletwyn is urban land and was exempt from nationalization until 2002, when
the law was changed to allow the government to take any land, not just
white-owned farmland.

John Worsley-Worswick heads the advocacy group, Justice for Agriculture. He
says the ruling ZANU-PF party has nearly finished taking all white-owned
farms and so now has had to move to urban areas. He says Gletwyn was an
obvious target, as it is well developed.

"It's the first full wholesale attack on a huge tract of land that is
already in the city limits, it goes beyond chaos.  It's not a default
anarchy, it's by design," he said.  "The party have designed this anarchy to
be exactly what it is today."

Ian Ross went to court again Friday, seeking an order restraining police
from further intimidating or evicting workers on Gletwyn.   He says the
application succeeded but he adds he is not at all certain he will be able
to remain at his home.

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Zimbabwe commission freezes registration of journalists

Zim Online

Sat 28 January 2006

      HARARE - Zimbabwe's Media and Information Commission (MIC) has put on
hold the accreditation of all journalists from one of the country's few
remaining independent newspapers, demanding that the newspaper retract a
story it published last year.

      Fifteen journalists at the privately owned Zimbabwe Independent were
yesterday shocked when they were turned away from the MIC's offices in
Harare where they had turned up - by appointment - for accreditation.

      Under the government's tough Access to Information and Protection of
Privacy Act, all journalists must be accredited by the government-appointed
commission for them to practise. Media houses also have to obtain licences
from the MIC for them to operate. The accreditation is renewable every year,
while the publishing licences are for two years.

      MIC chairman Tafataona Mahoso did not explain to the Zimbabwe
Independent journalists why the commission was not ready to accredit them
yesterday but told them to "ask Raphael Khumalo", the newspaper's chief

      "We were turned away by the MIC although one of their officials had
asked us to come to their offices for accreditation yesterday morning," a
reporter at the paper said. "Mahoso only said we should see Mr Khumalo for
an explanation."

      The MIC however registered journalists from the Independent's sister
newspaper, the Standard. The two papers are owned by Johannesburg-based
publisher Trevor Ncube, whose passport was last year seized by Zimbabwean
authorities to prevent him from leaving the country.

      Ncube, who had had to sue the government to get his passport back,
also owns South Africa's Mail and Guardian newspaper and all his papers are
highly critical of President Robert Mugabe's rule.

      Khumalo confirmed that the MIC had not accredited journalists from the
Independent but said there was no problem between his firm and the
commission, adding that the MIC had rescheduled accreditation of the
journalists to sometime next week.

      He said: "I can confirm that the guys (Zimbabwe Independent
journalists) were not accredited this week. The programme was re-scheduled
to next week as MIC has an administrative issue to sort out. The guys will
be accredited possibly by next week."

      Mahoso refused to discuss the matter saying his commission treated all
applications for accreditation by journalists in confidence.

      "If there is an issue with the Zimbabwe Independent journalists or any
other journalist or any media player as a matter of policy we do not make a
public issue until such a time we deem it appropriate. We treat all
applications in confidence," said Mahoso.

      But officials at the MIC said Mahoso had told Khumalo during an
emergency meeting yesterday which was also attended by the Independent's
acting editor, Joram Nyathi that the paper had to retract a story it
published last year first before its journalists could be considered for

      The Zimbabwe Independent last year published a story on the
resignation of MIC commissioner Jonathan Maphenduka, who fell out with
Mahoso over his alleged refusal to grant an operating licence to the banned
Daily News newspaper.

      Mahoso claims Maphenduka did not resign as per procedure because he
had not handed in his resignation letter to the Information Minister, who
appoints the commission.

      The Independent has been asked to retract the story and put it in
Mahoso's view. It has not done so yet.

      The MIC has closed down four newspapers in three years, including the
Daily News, the country's biggest independent daily at the time of its
closure in September 2003.

      In December, Mahoso threatened to withdraw the licence of another of
the country's biggest independent papers, Financial Gazette, after the paper
had refused to retract a story it had published.

      The paper had reported that the MIC originally agreed to grant a
licence to the Daily News and then changed its mind under pressure from the
Central Intelligence Organisation. The Financial Gazette finally gave in and
published the retraction last week.

      The decision by the MIC to withhold accreditation of journalists from
the Independent came as journalists, their representative organisations and
human rights lawyers attending a workshop in Harare called for the
disbandment of the commission and the Broadcasting Authority of Zimbabwe
saying the two organisations suppressed media freedom.

      "These two organisations have done more harm than good to the
journalism industry in Zimbabwe (BAZ)," said John Masuku, the director of
the Voice of People broadcasting firm, who is on remand on charges of
violating the Broadcasting Services Act (BSA).

      The government accuses Masuku and four other VOP directors of owning
broadcasting equipment and operating broadcasting services without licence
from the BAZ as is required under the law. Masuku, who faces up two years in
jail if convicted, denies the charge.

      Veteran journalists and former editor of the banned Daily News on
Sunday, Bill Saidi, said the dissolution of the MIC and the BAZ should be
followed with a repeal of other laws and regulations that placed immense
fetters on journalists.

      The Harare workshop was organised by the Zimbabwe chapter of the Media
Institute of Southern Africa. - ZimOnline

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Zimbabwe Law Society accuses government of undermining rule of law

Zim Online

Sat 28 January 2006

       HARARE - The Law Society of Zimbabwe (LSZ) on Friday accused the
government of attempting to intimidate lawyers and undermine the rule of law
after President Robert Mugabe's spokesman, George Charamba wrote a newspaper
article attacking a prominent human rights lawyer.

      In a statement released to the press on Friday, LSZ acting president
James Mutizwa said Charamba's attack on award-winning lawyer Beatrice Mtetwa
last week was calculated to instil fear in lawyers and undermine the
independence of the legal profession.

      "Such an attack undermines the independence of the legal profession
which is so critical to the independence of the judiciary," said Mutizwa.

      Mtetwa, a fearless human rights lawyer, has been a pain in the neck
for Mugabe's government after successfully representing journalists and
opposition politicians in the courts over the past six years.

      But last Sunday, the lawyer was at the receiving end of powerful jabs
from Charamba in the state-controlled Sunday Mail newspaper. Writing in the
paper, Charamba warned that Mtetwa was "wriggling into the belly of the

      Charamba also attacked Mtetwa for challenging the tough Access to
Information and Protection of Privacy Act (AIPPA) that has been used to shut
down four newspapers since 2003.

      "There is ample evidence to show that dissenting elements within the
legal fraternity hatched a plot to simply overwhelm the government through a
series of challenges to AIPPA, most of them sponsored by the West that
decorates Mtetwa," said Charamba.

      The law society said the remarks by Charamba amounted to intimidation
and harassment of lawyers.

      The Zimbabwe government has fought a bruising battle against the
judiciary since 2000. Several judges and lawyers have left the country in
frustration after the government replaced independent judges with a pliant
bench. - ZimOnline

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Village health workers face extinction in troubled Zimbabwe

Zim Online

Sat 28 January 2006

      HARARE - Each of her hands tightly wrapped up in old plastic for
protection, Eugenia Mushambi carefully sat her patient - who suffers from
AIDS - on the goatskin mat. The delicate task completed, she slowly turned
around to speak  to us.

      "I have been a village health worker for the past 11 years but I can
promise you things have never been this  desperate," Mushambi said.

      Spreading out her plastic-wrapped hands she lamented: "We no do not
have gloves to protect us from contracting diseases during our work, we are
also no longer getting uniforms and I do not know the last time I received
drug  supplies for patients."

      A village health worker in the rural district of Chimanimani in
eastern Zimbabwe, Mushambi, 51, is one of a fast dwindling breed of
dedicated community workers, credited with helping make health accessible to
even the remotest  village but who now face "extinction", thanks to a severe
economic crisis gripping the southern African country for the  last six

      The economic crisis, worsened by acute food shortages threatening a
quarter of the 12 million Zimbabweans, has spawned shortages of electricity,
fuel, essential medical drugs and just about every basic survival commodity
because  there is no hard cash to pay foreign suppliers.

      With President Robert Mugabe's cash-strapped government forced to
divert resources to the importation of key  commodities and to servicing
mounting debts to the International Monetary Fund, other areas and needs not
considered immediately critical have suffered.

      Among these have been the village heath workers who now have to go
with virtually no support from the authorities in Harare. This, ironically
at a time village health workers are most required to help combat increasing
malnutrition-related  diseases because of hunger and not to mention a
burgeoning HIV/AIDS crisis that is killing at least 2 000  Zimbabweans every

      "You know, we even used to get bicycles from the Ministry of Health to
use to travel around the villages," Mushambi  said, a distinctive yearning
for the good old times unmistakable in her voice. And then in a much subdued
and drier  tone she added: "That was then, nowadays you have to organise
your own transport to visit the sick."

      The lack of gloves, drugs and other material support aside, Mushambi
said the little allowance the government pays health workers was most
disappointing even for those like her still wishing to soldier on with their
work for the good of  their communities.

      For example, as of December last year, a village health worker was
getting an allowance of Z$15 000 (US15 cents) a month, which is not enough
to buy half a loaf of the cheapest quality bread.

      "Their (health workers) allowances are too low although their workload
has almost doubled because they now double as home-based care givers (for
AIDS patients)," said Itai Rusike, the director of health promotion
non-governmental organisation, Community Working Group on Health (CWGH), who
spoke to ZimOnline in a separate interview.

      In the early 80s, there were about 9 000 community health workers
across Zimbabwe and they formed the backbone of the country's health
outreach programme. Today they are only about 500 village health workers
left in the field at a time when, according to Rusike, community health
workers are in critical demand to help villagers in remote areas cope with
the HIV/AIDS pandemic.

      "Most people who fall ill in the cities and towns end up in rural
areas and it is these health workers who take care of  them," Rusike said.
"They now carry the country's health burden," he added.

      Health and Child Welfare Minister David Parirenyatwa conceded the
community health workers were getting a raw deal from the government. But he
said the government had not neglected the village health workers saying
their plight in fact reflected wider "challenges" confronting Zimbabwe's
public health sector as the country grapples its worst ever economic crisis.

      Once the envy of many in the developing world, Zimbabwe's public
health sector has virtually collapsed after years of mismanagement and also
because there is no hard cash to import medicines and equipment.

      Most state hospitals cannot prescribe anything other than simple
aspirin while the majority of the best skilled doctors and nurses have fled
the country to seek better opportunities abroad. And those that remained
behind in government hospitals seem to spend more time either striking for
more pay or moonlighting in Zimbabwe's thriving informal business sector to
raise cash.

      But Parirenyatwa, himself a medical doctor, said his department was
doing its best to restore Zimbabwe's public health sector to its former
glory As part of the effort to rebuild the state health delivery sector, the
government would soon review and improve the conditions of community health
workers, who are the principal health outreach agents.

      "We have also since revised their allowances and they are now getting
Z$1.4 million a month," Parirenyatwa said.

      The new allowance might still not be enough to buy much in Zimbabwe's
hyperinflationary environment but it is an acknowledgment by the government
of the sacrifice that Mushambi and her fellow community health workers are
making. Hopefully it will encourage them to keep up the good work. -

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WFP provides more food to Zimbabwe

Xinhua 2006-01-27 02:05:45

          HARARE. Jan. 27 (Xinhua) -- The World Food Program (WFP) has
started bringing in more food to Zimbabwe after an agreement with the
government late last year, WFP said on Friday.

          Under the agreement, the world body promised to provide
300,000tons of food relief to the drought-stricken southern African country.

          Although correct figures were not immediately available, WFP said
the food aid program, which had already started prior to the agreement, had
been treated as a matter of urgency with large amounts of food having
already been distributed to the needy.

          WFP country representative, Kevin Farrell, said they would
endeavor to provide 300,000 tons of food before the next harvest.

          "We have been reasonably successful so far. We need to continue to
mobilize more food," said Farrell.

          More than 1.9 million people in 32 districts in the country
received a total 20,000 tons of food between November and December alone,
WFP said.

          According to the Zimbabwe Rural Food Security and Vulnerability
Assessment, about 2,9 million people in rural areas are in need of food as
of mid-last year.

          The Southern African Development Community (SADC) region is facing
a serious food deficit affecting some 9.71 million people in Botswana,
Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, Zambia, Zimbabwe and Angola.

          A SADC analysis of the situation indicates that only South Africa
has improved its cereal output, producing 56 percent of the region's total
maize output. Enditem

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Civil servants form business union in Zimbabwe

Xinhua 2006-01-27 01:33:01

          HARARE, Jan. 27 (Xinhuanet) -- A group of civil servants has
formed a business union in a bid to beat the harsh economic environment that
has seen the majority of workers struggling to survive in Zimbabwe.

          Known as the Civil Servants Business Union of Zimbabwe (CSBUZ),the
body seeks to economically empower workers in the face of the hyper
inflationary environment.

          Union deputy chairman, Misheck Kanotunga, said salary increments
were failing to address the challenges faced by civil servants, as they
could not match the increase in the cost of living.

          "We want to empower civil servants and those in the retirement
zone to be able to look after themselves in the harsh economic environment,"
he said.

          With a membership of over 100 and currently based in Harare, the
union plans to expand its base to all the country's districts.

          The inflationary environment has seen the cost of living
skyrocketing with the poverty datum line (PDL) estimated to be around 17
million Zimbabwean dollars (17 U.S. dollars) per month.

          However most workers, including civil servants who recently got a
salary adjustment of around 230 percent, still fall way below the PDL.

          With prices of basic commodities and medical services having gone
up by over 1,000 percent as at the beginning of this year, salaries are not
matching the rocketing cost of living in the country.

          Inflation is estimated to peak at around 800 percent by March and
this likely to see further increases in the cost of living. Enditem

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NGOs disappointed at AU's lack of response

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

JOHANNESBURG, 27 Jan 2006 (IRIN) - Zimbabwean NGOs said they were
"disappointed" that the African Union (AU) had failed to acknowledge a
resolution passed by its rights body, criticising the Harare regime.

The AU summit in Khartoum, Sudan, which concluded this week, declined to
take up the resolution tabled by its African Commission on Human and
Peoples' Rights (ACHPR), saying the Zimbabwe government had not had time to

"We understand that the government has to be given time to respond, but at
least the summit should have noted the report," said Tor-Hugne Olsen,
international office coordinator of the Zimbabwe Human Rights Forum, a
coalition of 17 Zimbabwean NGOs.

The ACHPR's resolution noted its concern over the "continuing deterioration
of the human rights situation" in Zimbabwe, and expressed alarm at the
number of people displaced by the official clean-up campaign, Operation
Murambatsvina, which the government said was aimed at clearing slums and
flushing out criminals.

A UN report estimated that the operation left more than 700,000 people
homeless or without a livelihood after kicking off in May 2005. The candid
resolution urged the government to end the evictions and called for action
against those responsible for the policy.

It said the Zimbabwean government should "respect fundamental rights", such
as freedom of expression, association and assembly, and repeal or amend
"repressive legislation", including the Access to Information and Protection
of Privacy Act, the Broadcasting Services Act and the Public Order and
Security Act.

The government was asked to cooperate with the African Commission Special
Rapporteur on Refugees, Asylum Seekers and Internally Displaced Persons in
Africa, and allow a fact-finding mission to investigate the impact of the
clean-up operation. Last year the rapporteur, Bahame Tom Nyanduga, attempted
to gauge the impact of the operation, but had to leave the country without
completing his mission after his visit was deemed "unprocedural".

The ACHPR also urged the AU to renew the mandate of the AU Envoy to Zimbabwe
former Mozambican President Joaquim Chissano to investigate the impact of
the clean-up operation.

According to the official Herald newspaper on Thursday, Zimbabwe had
indicated that it was "keen to open dialogue" with the ACHPR, and Patrick
Chinmasa, the Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Minister, had held a meeting
with the rights body at the AU summit. He was quoted as saying that the
government wanted to "clear the air".

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Zim's 'naked preachers' nabbed

Mail and Guardian

      Harare, Zimbabwe

      27 Jan 2006 17:42

      A Zimbabwean court on Wednesday charged two twin brothers with
indecent exposure for walking around in goatskin loincloths while claiming
to be divine messengers preaching about creation.

      Tapiwanashe and Tafadzwanashe Fichani (22) were arrested on Wednesday
while walking with only codpieces in a busy shopping centre in the posh
Harare suburb of Mount Pleasant.

      They were then brought before a Harare magistrate's court for
"appearing in a public place without wearing such articles of clothing as
decency, custom and circumstance require".

      Magistrate Mishrod Guvamombe remanded them in custody to February 2
and ordered a psychiatric examination.

      The twins claim they received a divine order to shed conventional
apparel for goatskin flaps and abandon the comfort of their family home in a
posh suburb to sleep in a chicken run.

      The twins, who also admitted smoking marijuana, said they were on a
mission to preach about creation. They were first arrested two weeks ago,
but they were set free after paying a fine. -- AFP

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Candid report hits at Zimbabwe and Sudan


          January 27 2006 at 08:22AM

      Khartoum - An African human rights commission has criticised the
continent's worst rights offenders, including Sudan and Zimbabwe, in a
report analysts say marks a "coming of age" for the organisation.

      The African Union's commission issued candid reviews of Ethiopia,
Eritrea, Sudan, Zimbabwe, Uganda and the Democratic Republic of Congo in the
report, obtained by Reuters on Wednesday.

      Those countries said they wanted a chance to reply before the report
became public, ensuring it remained confidential.

      "If the African Union is to have a strong voice it has to foster
constructive criticism, not bury it," said Reed Brody from the New
York-based Human Rights Watch.

      The report expressed concern at "the intimidation of independent
judges and the interference of the executive in the judiciary" in Zimbabwe.

      It also expressed alarm at the number of people displaced because of
government demolitions and urged Harare to immediately stop the policy which
has made 700 000 people homeless.

      It condemned Eritrea for arbitrary arrests and long detentions of
former ministers, journalists and parliamentarians, and demanded their
immediate release.

      In Ethiopia it called for the release of political prisoners and said
it "deplored the death of civilians during confrontations with security
forces". It also urged an inquiry into the clashes over elections last year.

      Summit host Sudan, snubbed for the chairmanship because of atrocities
in its western Darfur region, was urged to immediately cease all attacks on
civilians and to support aid workers trying to feed two million refugees.

      Sudan should fully co-operate with the International Criminal Court
(ICC), which is probing alleged war crimes, the commission said.

      Sudan says it will not let ICC investigators enter Darfur.

      The AU is reluctant to criticise members, but at a summit this week it
elected judges for an African human rights court and fought a fierce
diplomatic battle not to allow host Sudan to become its head, showing it
would no longer ignore atrocities.

      One AU official said this report was a challenge to member states and
proof the rights commission was a serious organ.

      "Here we see how sensitive our member states are to criticism, but the
commission is finally fulfilling its mandate and challenging them," said the
AU official, who declined to be named because the report was not yet public.

      "The states will get their chance to comment but then the reports will
be released," he added.

      Brody said this was a sign of maturity in the AU rights commission.

      "The African commission is coming of age. Now it is the African
Union's turn to do so," he said.

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Zim govt to 'close the net' on journalists

Mail and Guardian

      Harare, Zimbabwe

      27 January 2006 11:21

            Zimbabwe's National Security Minister, Didymus Mutasa, has
warned that "the net will soon close in" on journalists he claims are
threatening national security, a state-controlled newspaper reported on

            "It is sad to note that there is a crop of journalists who are
selling the country to the enemy by writing falsehoods, with the intention
of agitating violence in the country," Mutasa told the Manica Post, which is
based in the eastern city of Mutare.

            "They should be warned that the net will soon close in on all
those involved in these illegal activities," he added.

            His comments came days after six trustees of the independent
Voice of the People (VOP) radio station were charged under Zimbabwe's tough
broadcasting laws. Mutasa said VOP, which broadcasts its programmes into
Zimbabwe via shortwave, was operating "illegally".

            "These are media houses that are churning out falsehoods on a
daily basis about the country and government. We will not sit on our laurels
and watch people undermining the country's security," he said.

            Zimbabwean authorities have had a testy relationship with the
private media for several years.

            Shortly after his contested reelection in 2002, President Robert
Mugabe signed the Access to Information and Protection of Privacy Act into
law. Under the laws, foreign reporters are barred from working permanently
in Zimbabwe, while local journalists must be licensed by a state commission.

            Dozens of reporters have been arrested and four private
newspapers closed down. Critics have called for the repeal of the laws, but
Mugabe's government says they are necessary to protect Zimbabwe against a
hostile campaign by Western media.

            Mutasa told the Manica Post that reporters are "driven by the
love for the United States dollars and British pounds, which they are paid
by the foreign media houses to peddle lies".

            In a chilling warning, the newspaper said that although some of
the journalists use pseudonyms, "government had since identified them from
their closets". -- Sapa-dpa

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A2 Farmers Blacklisted

The Herald (Harare)

January 27, 2006
Posted to the web January 27, 2006


GOVERNMENT has blacklisted several A2 farmers for channelling subsidised
fuel obtained from the National Oil Company of Zimbabwe (Noczim) to the
black market at the expense of agricultural production.

The blacklisted farmers have -- with immediate effect -- been barred from
accessing fuel under the Noczim facility while the Government launches
investigations into the activities of several other farmers.

However, those who used the fuel for its intended purpose will continue to
benefit from the scheme.

Energy and Power Development Minister Retired Lieutenant-General Mike
Nyambuya yesterday confirmed the rampant abuse of the subsidised fuel
facility. "There are some farmers who have been getting the fuel and putting
it to good use while others have been abusing the facility.

"Some we have blacklisted and they will never be provided with fuel under
the facility again," he said.

The fuel facility was introduced two years ago with the Government
allocating 50 percent of all petroleum imports to farmers with the aim of
bolstering agricultural activities countrywide.

Rtd Lt-Gen Nyambuya said he was going to recommend to Cabinet a more
foolproof system to replace the existing system.

"But for the time being, the existing system will continue to function
subject to the availability of fuel until Cabinet makes a decision."

Farmers, Government ministries and departments buy fuel from Noczim at $11
000 per litre for diesel and $13 500 per litre for petrol. The gazetted open
market price is $22 300 per litre of petrol and $20 800 for diesel

A litre of petrol is, however, fetching up to $120 000 on the parallel

Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe Governor Dr Gideon Gono has openly condemned the
rampant abuse of the fuel facility. In his 2005 Fourth Quarter Monetary
Policy Review Statement on Tuesday, Dr Gono said Noczim was saddled with a
$1 trillion debt as farmers allocated fuel for agricultural purposes were
diverting it to the parallel market in return for a quick buck.

Meanwhile, Noczim has started importing fuel on behalf of individuals and
companies who have access to foreign currency in a bid to improve supplies.

A Noczim official said a litre of fuel would be selling at US$0,80 ($72 200
at the interbank prevailing rate) while individuals can import up to a
maximum of 5 000 litres of fuel at any given time.

The official added that clients would be required to deposit their hard
currency in Noczim's Zimbank Foreign Currency Account. Deliveries would be
made three days after payment.

"Free deliveries will be made for people living in Harare and Mutare while
others will have to collect their consignments at our depots," said the

Fuel shortages had become so severe that even essential services such as
ambulances and refuse collection have been crippled.

Many companies and individuals have resorted to importing their own fuel to
keep their vehicles on the road.

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Seed Shortage To Worsen

African News Dimension

      Friday, 27 January 2006,

      By Gift Phiri

      SEED Co Ltd, the country's leading seed producer, says it expects seed
production to decline further this year due to the dearth of agricultural
inputs. "There will not be a drought in Zimbabwe this year but seed
production will be hampered by the shortage of agricultural inputs," Pat
Devenish the chief executive of Seed Co said.

      SEED Co Ltd, the country's leading seed producer, says it expects seed
production to decline further this year due to the dearth of agricultural

      "There will not be a drought in Zimbabwe this year but seed production
will be hampered by the shortage of agricultural inputs," Pat Devenish the
chief executive of Seed Co said.

      Firms involved in the agricultural sector have been facing viability
problems due to unavailability of basic inputs like fertilizer, owing to
pricing distortions and an acute foreign currency crunch.

      TSL limited (TSL), involved in tobacco farming and inputs
manufacturing, reported in its financial results for the year ended October
31, 2005 that tobacco production is likely to decline in the forthcoming
season due to these constraints.

      Devenish said Seed Co would still press ahead with its regional
expansion programme, but would reconsider its footprint and withdraw from
countries where profitability was impaired.

      "We are currently moving into East Africa and recently established an
operation in South Africa. We are also rationalizing our operations in
countries we are performing well," Devenish said.

      He added that Seed Co was yet to settle a US$15 million debt owed to a
Botswana bank to finance the operations of its entity based in that country.

      "The loan will be paid in due course from the proceeds of seed we sold
to the government."

      Devenish said the operation in Botswana is currently breaking even and
has been positioned to fund operations in other regional markets.

      Seed Co also runs operations in Malawi, Mozambique and Kenya and is
listed on the Zimbabwe stock exchange. The firm's share price closed at $40
000 per share, having put on $4 000.

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Police officers to keep eye on colleagues

Daily Mirror, Zimbabwe

The Daily Mirror Reporter
issue date :2006-Jan-27

FORTY policemen - with a mandate strictly to enforce discipline within the
ranks of the force following rampant cases of corruption and disobedience -
graduated at Morris Depot in Harare yesterday.
Speaking at a pass-out parade for the officers, the acting Officer
Commanding Harare Province, Assistant Commissioner Edward Siwela, said the
exercise was meant to nip the problem in the bud.
After receiving numerous reports of indiscipline, Police Commissioner
Augustine Chihuri set up a board of inquiry into the complaints in 2003.
 That board confirmed his worst fears, prompting the introduction of a
programme to train a group of policemen to stamp out the rot.
"The findings of the board of inquiry plainly indicated an increase in the
incidences of indiscipline. It was also established that inadequate
supervision was among the prime causes of such deterioration in levels of
discipline. It is against this background therefore that the Harare province
embarked on this sergeant                discipline training programme,"
Siwela said.
He said there had, however, been a decrease in recorded cases of
indiscipline in the police force from 163 to 106 cases for 2004 and 2005
Siwela said among other duties, the graduands were to ensure that junior
officers maintained high levels of discipline in their conduct.
The senior police officer stressed that the exercise was open to everyone in
the police force and not restricted to men alone.
He said men in the force had dominated the pioneer stream because respective
stations forwarded their names.
The graduands underwent a three-week training programme in Harare and Shamva
covering areas of discipline, cane drill, foot and arms drill, supervision
and leadership, delegation, service planning, human rights and corruption.
The sergeant discipline officer can be identified by a leather strap running
diagonally across the body from the shoulders.
There were plans, said Siwela, to introduce discipline officers among the
senior ranks.
Siwela said police officers had on several occasions appeared before
disciplinary boards on indiscipline charges ranging from disobedience to
A number of police offices have been arrested and appeared before the courts
on corruption charges. Most of the cases recorded include theft of exhibits
and soliciting bribes.

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Black market rate soars

Daily Mirror, Zimbabwe

Givemore Nyanhi
issue date :2006-Jan-27

THE Zimbabwe dollar this week nose-dived against the US dollar on the
parallel market when it depreciated by at least 40 percent from around $100
000 to $140 000.
This is inspite of the encouraging performance of the four-month old
inter-bank exchange rate system that has seen the Zimbabwe dollar depreciate
significantly in a race to catch up with parallel market rates, and render
them useless.
Prior to the latest movement in parallel market exchange rates, one US
dollar was fetching an average of about Z$100 000.
This week's movement in the parallel market rates shows that the local
currency has depreciated by at least 40 percent, a movement that is expected
to widen the gap between the improving inter-bank rate that is on course to
breach the Z$100 000 to one US dollar rate by the close of this week.
Yesterday the inter-bank mid rate averaged around $99 000 to one US dollar
at most banks, up from less than $96 000 at the beginning of the week.
The inter-bank system is the shorter name for the liberalised tradable
foreign currency balance system (TFCBS), that was introduced last October
and saw the dollar depreciate by 131 percent from the government determined
rate of $26 000 to $60 000.
Since then, the liberalised official inter-bank system has been steadily
depreciating against the US dollar.
Economists and financial commentators lauded the movements of the dollar in
the last four months, pointing out that this would help in stamping out the
exorbitant black market rates.
In addition, the movements would benefit the export sector by giving them
more viable returns on their products and resultantly spur the country's
export receipts.
However, the gap between the inter-bank exchange rate and the parallel rate
widened this week, just days after the central bank bank governor, Gideon
Gono, presented the last quarter monetary review statement for 2005.
According to illegal foreign currency dealers that thrive at infamous spots
such as the Road Port Terminus in Harare, the new rates came into effect
this week.
"We are selling at between $140 000 and $150 000 for one US dollar but
business has not been good since the police have been carrying out
operations against us in the last two weeks," an illegal foreign currency
dealer said.
Some two weeks ago, more than ten plainclothes members of the Zimbabwe
Republic Police (ZRP) launched a massive operation at Road Port, where more
than 100 people, including illegal foreign currency dealers, were rounded
Economist Farai Dyirakumunda yesterday said one of the possible drivers
behind the surge in parallel rates was the demand and supply mismatch of
foreign currency in the country.
"There is a high demand for foreign currency and little supply available.
Dealers are putting a premium above the inter-bank rate and this results in
depreciation," Dyirakumunda said.
Another economist at a leading discount house in Harare said the rate was as
high as $160 000 for one US dollar and attributed this to high inflation
projections of about 800 percent in the first quarter and the general
shortage of foreign currency in the country.
"Though we cannot say the monetary policy triggered the latest movement of
the greenback on the parallel market, the absence of serious initiatives to
generate more foreign currency and high inflation projections have helped
push the US dollar up," the economist said.
"Most companies are hard pressed for foreign currency to bankroll their
operations and they cannot help going to the black market and secure the
hard currency ahead of others in light of the high inflation projections."

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Govt prepared to mend ties with Western states

Daily Mirror, Zimbabwe

issue date :2006-Jan-27

THE government is prepared to engage Western countries in dialogue to mend
relations that have been strained since the country embarked on the Land
Reform Programme in 2000, an official said yesterday.

Foreign Affairs permanent secretary, Joey Bimha, said this while outlining
Zimbabwe's foreign policy to students attending the Joint Command and Staff
Course at the Zimbabwe Staff College.
"Zimbabwe is not opposed to engaging our erstwhile friends to resolve our
differences," he said.
The government was prepared to discuss with any Western country which
accepted that its differences with the British government were a bilateral
issue and had nothing to do with the political situation in the country, he
Any country that wanted to engage Zimbabwe had to accept that the Land
Reform Programme was a reality and was irreversible, he said.
Bimha said the desire to protect the country's independence, sovereignty and
territorial integrity had largely guided the foreign policy agenda.
The pursuit of a policy of national reconciliation to achieve peace and
stability, uplifting the standards of living of all Zimbabweans and
exercising control over the natural resources, including land, were also
"The principles of the sovereignty of states, non-interference in the
internal affairs of other states, peaceful settlement of disputes and the
right to self-determination were critical to Zimbabwe's foreign policy,"
Bimha said.
Since 2000, the main priority of the country's foreign policy has been to
resist attempts by the United Kingdom and its allies to interfere in its
internal affairs.
The Land Reform Programme had had far reaching ramifications in relations
between Zimbabwe and the UK, beginning with refusal by the government of
Prime Minister Tony Blair to fund the exercise as agreed to by his
predecessors at the Lancaster House Constitution talks in 1989.
Bimha said the British government has, however, sought to internationalise
the dispute by making false allegations of human rights violations and bad
governance and has secured solidarity from the European Union, Australia,
the United States, Canada and New Zealand.
However, the rest of the international community has seen behind the
smokescreen and had refused to condemn Zimbabwe. New Ziana

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Commissioners slam quality of water

Daily Mirror, Zimbabwe

The Daily Mirror Reporter
issue date :2006-Jan-27

HARARE commissioners yesterday condemned the quality of water in the capital
and took to task senior council employees on what they were doing to improve
the situation.
The issue was raised at a full commission meeting following concerns raised
by the council's Education, Health, Housing and Community Services and
Licensing Committee in a meeting held on Monday.
The Zimbabwe National Water Authority (Zinwa) took over the management of
bulk water supply last year and is now responsible for its purification
before it is sold to Harare and other dormitory towns.
In their report, the committee recommended: "That the attention of the
commission be drawn to the water crisis and the urgent action be taken to
alert the relevant ministry on the water problem."
This followed a report on December 8 last year that the water was failing to
meet World Health Organisation (WHO 1993) and the Standards Association of
Zimbabwe (SAZ 1997) standards.
Commissioner Viola Chasi said the problem had not been solved since last

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No action yet on Marondera raw sewage

Daily Mirror, Zimbabwe

Patience Nyangove in Marondera
issue date :2006-Jan-27

MARONDERA Municipality is yet to take measures to stop raw sewage from
flowing into the town's main water supply dam, Rufaro.
A survey conducted by The Daily Mirror yesterday found that effluent was
still flowing into the dam and little if anything
was being done to rectify the anomaly.
Residents have been complaining that the portable water was not suitable for
domestic use, alleging it foamed when boiled and that  algae could be seen
when it settles.
According to the residents, effluent started spilling into the dam when a
sewer pump at Chicago Pump Station broke down some years ago.
As a measure to force the local authority to address the problem, the
Zimbabwe National Water Authority (Zinwa) last year took the council to
court to answer charges of pollution.
The council pleaded guilty and sentence is expected to be passed on January
"We have resorted not to pay rates until the council does something to
improve the situation.
"Why give our money to them when nothing meaningful to improve our well
being is being done," said an irate Mavis Muzanenhamo from Dombotombo
Another resident from Nyameni Township urged the government through the
ministry of Local Government, Public Works and Urban Development to
"Minister Ignatius Chombo should crack the whip on the council as he has
done to other local authorities.
"Where is all our money going to when services are not improving," said Abel
Mupamhanga in response to high increases in rates against a background of
poor service delivery.
Zinwa manager for Mazowe catchment area, which covers Marondera, Jerry
Gotora declined to comment saying that it was prejudicial as the matter was
still before the courts.
"I can not comment at the moment as the matter is still to be finalised in
the courts," Gotora said.
Efforts to get a comment
from the town's executive mayor Raphel Chimanikire and town clerk Josiah
Musuwo were in vain at the time of going to press yesterday.

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Gono Speech Fools Many

Sent: Friday, January 27, 2006 10:14 PM
Subject: Gono Speech Fools Many

The speech that Gono delivered about economy did manage too fool many a people including MDC.

The speech was well crafted by ZANU itself to let Gono win support from the masses that he is aware of corruption etc.Now here is how.Here we have one part of ZANU trying to play good by "blaming" some part of ZANU "the chefs" about  corruption.Who is fooling who and who is in charge ? And dont forget that this speech was made ata time an IMF team had landed in Harare for talks with Gono and the Finance ministry.So in all sanity do you think Gono was to be heard singing the usual master song of blaming the wst and sanctions for the dilemna we have ?

The most cunning part is where Gono indicates that army Chief urged Gono to feed people so that there wont be an uprising.This was an obvious strategy to let Zimbabweans know that the ARMY was watching , ready and aware of the fact that hunger could push people to a revolt and THAT the army would NOT want to be forced to TURN guns to civilians.This seems to me more of an advance warning."To quote the wisdom of General C Chiwenga, Commander of the Defence Forces, a hungry man is an angry man, and as Zimbabweans, we must pull together to ensure full productivity in agriculture so that hunger is alien to every Zimbabwean," Gono said.

Also knowing the level of ZPF intolerance , surely where would be Gono getting his guts to be that bare ? As a result I take that Gono speech with a lot of salt coz it was well crafted to ease the tension on the masses by creating a false image that "someone" cares  and is noticing the problem.

I used to think common sense was common but I guess I was wrong.I was NOT fooled by Gono speech.I dont know about you.You can fool some people some of the times but you can NOT folol all the people ALL the time so goes the saying.

Its a matter of time before the inevitable happens.Hence the advance warning by the Army that it would not like to use guns on hungry Zimbabweans.But also its saddenning that the opposition easily got duped by such an obvious move masterminded ZANU.It come as no suprise that the opposition was easily penetrated and divided without much effort.If this is a reflection of the calibre of leadership in the opposition , then God save Zimbabwe !

Robert Ndlovu
New York

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Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights - statement

Zimbabwe Lawyers ofor Human rights


Information Alert







It has come to the attention of the Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights (ZLHR) that the Ministry of Local Government, Public Works and Urban Development has evidenced an intention by the government to compulsorily acquire certain properties which fall within a designated security area. This area incorporates a property in Borrowdale Brook owned by the President of Zimbabwe.


ZLHR notes that in terms of General Notice 255 of 2004, “A Property in Borrowdale … and the areas surrounding these premises” were declared protected places in terms of the Protected Places and Areas Act [Chapter 11:12] (“the Act).


The description of the property is as follows:


“An area within the City of Harare bounded by a line starting at the intersection of eastern edge of Borrowdale Brook Road and the northern edge of Green Valley Lane; thence along Green Valley Lane in a generally southwards direction to the north-eastern point of Lot GB 16751/57; thence south-westwards along the south-western boundary of that property to the north-eastern part at Budleigh Close to its intersection with the northern edge of Carrick Creagh Road; thence northwards along the eastern edge of Swallow Hill to the intersection with Borrowdale Brook Road to the starting point.”


In a letter dated 11 January 2006, purportedly signed by one L Chimba from the Valuations and Estates Management Department for the Secretary for Local Government, Public Works and Urban Development, “The House owner” was advised that “… your property falls within a designated security area… As a result this office has been instructed to enter into negotiations with you, with a view to the acquisition of the property by Government. We will therefore be contacting you soon to arrange for an inspection of your property for valuation purposes”.


It is clear that this “notice” is as unlawful as it is unprocedural.


The “notice” is unprocedural, in that any action taken in respect of such a protected area must be taken by the Minister of Home Affairs and not by the Minister of Local Government.


It is further unlawful in that the Act does not provide for the acquisition of property in such a protected area by the government. At most, the Act allows for special security measures to be taken to protect against “unlawful damage or sabotage” and to “control the movement and conduct” of persons in the area, and only during a time of war, or a state of emergency or where it is reasonably necessary in the interests of defence, public safety or public order.


In terms of section 7 of the Act, any order relating to property within the protected area may only specify:

(i)         the extent of the premises or area declared to be a protected place or protected area, as the case may be; and

(ii)        the special precautions or measures which shall be taken to prevent the entry of unauthorized persons or to control the movement and conduct of persons, as the case may be; and

            (iii)       any measures necessary for demarcating the premises or area; and

(iv)       any measures necessary for protecting the premises from unlawful damage or sabotage.


ZLHR regrets to note a further instance of arbitrary action taken against residents of the City of Harare by a Local Government Minister who continues to act outside the ambit of his legitimate mandate, and with perceived impunity. It is also unfortunate that the government continues its attempts to deprive people of Zimbabwe of their property rights, as well as their right to protection of the law and right to be free from arbitrary state action. Such rights are protected under the Constitution of Zimbabwe, as well as key international human rights instruments to which Zimbabwe is a state party. ZLHR urges the government to refrain from such arbitrary action and reminds public officials to act within the ambit of domestic and international law.


27 January 2006

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Zimbabwe in bad times

Khaleej Times

By Mohammmed A. R. Galadari

27 January 2006

GOVERNANCE is not child's play. Leaders who have the vision succeed; and
those who act impulsively lead their people and the nation to difficulties.
Zimbabwe is a good example of the latter scenario.

Dear readers, those who have backed Robert Mugabe in recent years may listen
to what Zimbabwe's central bank governor and the president's own confidant
has to say: it is that the country is bracing itself for a social and
political upheaval over the issue of food shortages. Whose making is it?

Zimbabwe is not just another African nation. It was held in high esteem in
the past, when it had a strong showing in many fields. It is mineral-rich,
producing over 40 different types of metals and minerals, and its platinum
deposits are reckoned to be the world's largest. It also had a long-held
reputation of being a top exporter of tobacco. But, all these are not
helping it and its people now.

The ground reality is that most Zimbabweans live with an average of less
than 60 dollars a month and millions are surviving on food aid. They are
faced with every conceivable problem in life-namely poverty, a triple-digit
inflation, joblessness at 70 per cent and power shortage that cripples
agricultural and industrial activities as also the general life. So much so,
offices remain hit for several days without power.

Feelings are that Robert Mugabe and his government are literally pushed to
the wall, not being able to tackle a crisis of its own making. The economy's
downslide began when he amended the Constitution six years ago to seize
hundreds of White-owned farms. That saw the driving out of those who were
strengthening the national economy, even as they were fattening themselves
with profits from their farm operations. Empowering natives was a good
slogan, even though that didn't win Mugabe a lot more of support from his
own people-as was evident in the next elections.

The fact, as is now well known, is that those who were bestowed with the
ownership of the lands seized from the White farmers, had not been equipped
with the expertise to run the farms. The result was that many farms have
turned themselves into wasteland, affecting the production, and leading to
the food shortage-a scenario that is worsening now. Strangely, this is
happening in a land that once boasted of being a breadbasket for the
continent. So much for Mugabe's leadership skills.

The Central Bank governor's monetary policy statement makes it clear that
the country's farm output has fallen by half since the government started
seizing farms in year 2000. Driving more and more people into poverty is
definitely not the way to empower people. That the government, as also the
ruling party, has understood the mistakes is without doubt-which is why they
have now abandoned the much-publicised farm seizure drive. It is ironic that
when Mugabe aims high, people fall into further depths. While he bulldozes
homes and clears slums from the urban landscape in the name of an urban
beautification drive, the fact is also that more litter piles up on city
streets, and roads are filled with potholes.

The warning from the Central Bank chief is that the "country is standing on
the edge of a cliff, which threatens to irreversibly take us downhill if we
do not boldly move forward". But, how easy is it to undo what's already
done? How many generations it would take for Zimbabwe to get back on its
feet and be in a position to feed its people properly and put the economy
back on the rails-with or without Mugabe?

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AIDS Service Organisations Set To Petition Mugabe

Zim Daily

            Friday, January 27 2006 @ 12:03 AM GMT
            Contributed by: Reporter
            Aids service organisations based in Zimbabwe are set to petition
President Mugabe over the continued failure by the government in addressing
the HIV and AIDS issue. This comes after shocking revelation that referral
hospitals such as Parirenyatwa, Mpilo, Harare and Chitungwiza are failing to
provide ARV generic drugs to people living with HIV and AIDS. Mary Sandasi,
the director of Women and AIDS Support Network (WASN) said the government
needed to take the HIV/AIDS scourge seriously by making the life prolonging
drug available.

            "The government has already declared that the HIV/AIDS pandemic
is an emergency and therefore the petition is meant to make sure the
leadership treats the issue like an emergency.", said Sandasi.

            She said the petition would be copied to the Reserve Bank of
Zimbabwe, the Ministry of Finance, and the Ministry of Health and Child
Welfare. She expressed fear that people living with HIV and AIDS could start
developing resistance to ARVs because of interruption to supplies.

            However, in an evasive fashion, the CEO of Parirenyatwa, Thomas
Zigora, said ARVs were being distributed at the hospital. "As of now the
Opportunistic Infections Clinic at Parirenyatwa has a register of up to 250
infants and 300 plus adults who are accessing ARVs. Those on the register
are getting the drugs", Zigora. Zimbabwe is one of the countries under siege
from the world's number one killer although recent reports revealed that the
prevalance rate had significantly gone down.

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MDC Condemns Mugabe's Worsening Media Tyranny

Zim Daily

            Friday, January 27 2006 @ 12:03 AM GMT
            Contributed by: correspondent
            The opposition MDC has condemned the continued harassment of
media workers in the country saying this signifies a new assault on press
freedom in the country. The MDC's condemnation came as government charged
the directors of Voice of the People radio station with violating the
notorious Broadcasting Services Act for allegedly operating an independent
radio station. Just a week ago, police arrested and detained Mutare-based
journalist Sydney Saize for three nights in dingy cells in yet another
daylight assault of press freedom.

            "This adds to yet another sad chapter to the death of press
freedom in the country," MDC spokesman Nelson Chamisa said. "The MDC
condemns the harassment of the families of the VoP journalists and
ransacking of their houses in the name of 'justice.' We exhort the
journalists and directors to remain resolute and committed to the cause of
press freedom regardless of incessant threats harassment and intimidation."
Chamisa said the Mugabe regime's intolerance of media freedom and the
continued violation of the rights of Zimbabweans to receive and impart
information has reached catastrophic levels.

            The VoP radio station has since been closed and becomes the
fifth private media casualty after the regime closed four other independent
newspapers in a space of two years. Chamisa said the harassment was part of"state-terrorism"
against the private media in the country characterised by the closure of The
Daily News, The Weekly Sun, The Daily News on Sunday and The Tribune,
leaving thousands of Zimbabweans jobless.

            "The ploy is to make Zimbabweans passive consumers of government
propaganda churned out by the state-owned media every day," Chamisa said.
"The ploy is to create a media terrain of government apologists and praise
singers as if that alone will save the country from the deepening political
and economic crisis."

            Media and Information Commission chairman Tafataona Mahoso,
whose term was recently renewed, have become perennial media undertakers
known for killing and burying all media that agitate for alternative thought
and opinion. Chamisa said his party "commits itself to its founding values
of media pluralism and respect for press freedom, fairness and

            "Zimbabweans yearn for a new society in which the people's
inalienable rights-such as the right to free speech-are not impinged by a
paranoid government afraid of its own people," Chamisa said. "We will
deliver such a society. A new society in which we will enable media freedom,
diversity and pluralism. Zimbabwe needs a new beginning," he said.

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Government concerned about high levels of pollution

African News Dimension

      Friday, 27 January 2006, 43 minutes and 3 seconds ago.

      By ANDnetwork Journalist

      The Ministry of Environment and Tourism has expressed concern over the
increase in air pollution particularly from vehicle and industrial
emissions - a development which requires the formulation of a policy on
clean air.

      The Secretary for Environment and Tourism Mrs Margaret Sangarwe says
the ministry through the Environmental Management Agency is working on a
programme to monitor air pollution levels in order to abide by the levels
stipulated in the World Health Organization standards.

      Zimbabwe is making considerable strides in industrialization,
urbanization and economic development.

      Unfortunately, these developments have also contributed to air
pollution; a situation which environmentalists say requires urgent

      In an effort to map out strategies to control air pollution,
environmentalists met for the national dialogue on air pollution which was
organized by Air Pollution Information Network for Africa.

      Speaking on the sidelines of the meeting, the secretary for
environment and tourism Mrs Margaret Sangarwe revealed that more still needs
to be done to control air pollution in the country. So far the government is
in the process of phasing out leaded fuel in line with its commitment to the
Dakar Declaration.

      She added that the environmental management act which makes provisions
for adopting and enforcing environmental standards with regards to water,
air and soil and other agents which might lower environmental quality is an
important piece of legislation in the country's efforts to control air

      Government is a signatory to various multilateral environmental
agreements dealing with pollution including the United Nations Framework for
Convention on Climate change, the Vienna convention on the depletion of the
ozone layer and the

      And the Montreal Protocol on substances that deplete the ozone layer.
However, more still needs to be done in the implementation of these

      Source: Newsnet

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Farmers in Touch Newsletter

      January ‘06 Edition



Telephone 04 309800/6  Fax 04 309849

E-mail or


Creating a network of farmers for the development of farming in Africa


Happy new year to you all!  Here’s wishing you a positive and productive 2006.  Hope you had a relaxing and peaceful festive season and are ready to face a new year, filled with new challenges!!


The Farmers in Touch department is grateful for donations received towards putting together food hampers for various old age homes and displaced farmers throughout the country.  On behalf of our elderly farmers, we take this opportunity to thank everyone who contributed to this cause.


Information on countries outside  Zimbabwe:-



Progress has been made with the second tranche. The land has been identified, and each farmer will be entitled to between 500 and 700 hectares.  We expect the move will take place sooner rather than later.  We have put pressure on the decision makers, and expect that because of this, some of you will be farming in the very near future.


We have already requested information from those on the Nigerian list and unfortunately not everyone has responded. We are now sending this information on for initial selection.  If you haven’t already advised us of your details, we suggest you contact us immediately.  Only those who have supplied this information will be put forward!  


Also ensure that you are fully paid up as only those paid up members’ names will be put forward.



Contact has been made with some investors and financiers and we are now awaiting a response.  We are hoping to address the financial constraints farmers face.



The exploratory trip is still scheduled to take place at the end of the month and feedback will be supplied when available.


Employment Opportunities



A Bulldozer Mechanic to start as soon as possible.  Excellent remuneration offered



A farmer who has experience in different farming techniques and the farming of a diverse range of crops  which includes oil palm trees, cashews, citrus, mango, avocado, Caribbean nuts, cattle, plantain, mahogany trees etc is being sought.  Experience in bee, chicken, cattle and goat/sheep farming would be an added advantage.


West Africa

Husband and wife team with no children to fill vacancies on a dairy farm.  This position is to be filled immediately.



Growing Manager required with experience in horticultural production, glasshouse and outdoor - Lettuce, Romaine & Cucumbers.  Hydroponic growing.  Some packhouse experience. Good technical experience (BRC etc).  Supermarket supply experience.  Good agronomic experience -chemicals & fertiliser.  Programming (Crop) experience.  Versatile.  Good mechanical knowledge & maintenance.  Computer familiarity.  Willingness to learn and drive the business and expansion.  Budgeting.  Complexity.


An Operations Manager is required to head up the agricultural division. Responsible for overseeing production from producers, finances.  Person need not have agricultural or agronomic background but be a good manager of people and business. Outstanding leadership, commercial, analytical and communication skills within a multiple supplier environment.  This is a very senior position, with package to match.


South Africa

Farm Manager to be located near Pretoria required for intense farming of export horticultural crops, including day-to-day running of farms, but with comprehensive head office backup in administration. Suit young, dynamic farmers with horticultural and/or rose/flower experience, with degree/diploma or someone with good technical background. Good all-round package.


Pack house Manager to be located near Pretoria required to take control of all production activity within the pack house to ensure that standards of quality, hygiene, safety, productivity and time are met.  Ensure that high hygiene and housekeeping standards are kept.  Lead, motivate, develop and control staff and ensure that all work is carried out at a highest efficiency.  Create a friendly working environment throughout the team.  Review forecasts, prepare and communicate production plan to ensure that orders are completed and dispatched in time.  Customer and producer liaison.



The position of Estate Manager is available for a large centre based just outside the CBD.  The candidate should be capable of improving current services supplied to the centre.  The manager is required to supervise other members of staff and have management ability dealing with electrical, plumbing, repairs and maintenance of buildings.  An all rounder with vision!!


Promotions Manager to commence as soon as possible.  They will be responsible for event planning for the year with the ability to carry these plans to completion, advertising, good communication skills etc is essential.  Contact us for further information



Warehouse Assistant required for a small Harare based company to commence as soon as possible.  The job entails controlling of stock, supervision of contract packers, ordering etc.  Some accounts knowledge would be useful, but not essential.


Manager wanted as soon as possible for the Middle Sabi area.  160 ha row cropping – maize, soyas etc



The position of Farm Manager is still vacant This company will appoint someone by February 2006, so if you haven’t already applied for this position, please ensure that you send us your details as soon as possible. 



Logistics Manager required to commence as soon as possible.  The incumbent will take responsibility for the internal logistics and transport functions to ensure the timeous supply and logistical control of materials within the operations.





Would like to advise the visa fees for those traveling to Nigeria have been increased to the following:-


ZW Passport Holder       $ 3,000,000

SA Passport Holder         $ 3,900,000

GB Passport Holder         $ 8,000,000


The above fees are for single entries, valid for 3 months and are exclusive of our processing fee.


Note that visas may be submitted at the Nigerian High Commission on Monday – Thursday from 9:00 – 12:00.  They are closed for visa submission on Friday.


The list of countries that we are liaising with in regards to agriculture keeps growing and more recently includes Malawi and South Africa.  You will be kept informed of developments.


We did promise a survey would be carried out this year so would appreciate you taking a few minutes to answer the following questions and return to us.  We have kept it brief.







We would appreciate you sharing any ideas you may have that may add value to the newsletters.


                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Fiona Dhana,


       Farmers in Touch

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JAG notice - cruelty to animals




The Zimbabwe National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals
requests that all cases of cruelty or abuse of animals, both domestic and
livestock, are reported to them.

Recently there has been an increase of deliberate cruelty to livestock,
but unfortunately many of these incidents are not reported to ZNSCPA and
we only get to hear about them through a third party long after the abuse
has taken place.

Cruelty to animals, including wild life in captivity, is a punishable
offence in Zimbabwe and we are pleased to report that the Police and the
Courts are dealing swiftly and decisively with these cases when we present
our dockets to them.

Whilst ZNSPCA remains totally non-political, we continue to respond
quickly and professionally to requests for help on farms where the welfare
of animals is being compromised in any way.

ZNSPCA HQ: 497885/497574

156 Enterprise Rd, Chisipite

Inspectors Cell:

Glynis: 091 367 260

Simon: 011 630 430

Jimmy: 011 528 449

Justine: 023 306 456

John: 011 867 099

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The African Union: what's in a name?

Open Democracy

             Wilf Mbanga
            27 - 1 - 2006

            The Khartoum summit stitch-up over the presidency of Africa's
leading international body is only the latest episode in a saga of failure,
says Wilf Mbanga.

            "Africans are angered by the continued unwillingness of African
rulers to deal with human rights issues. The fact that they held the latest
summit in Sudan in the first place shows their disdain for human rights",
said Lovemore Madhuku, chairman of Zimbabwe's National Constitutional
Assembly. "The fact that they are passing the African Union chairmanship to
a coup leader in Congo makes them laughable. Where do Africans turn now?"

            The pessimism of dashed hopes has an especially bitter taste. In
July 2002 the reinvention of the African Union (AU) amid the ashes of the
discredited forty-year-old Organisation of African Unity (OAU) was hailed
internationally as a triumph. It was seen as a vital leap forward into the
21st century for the "dark continent" - with its tragic millions of
poverty-stricken, starving, diseased peoples, and its elite coterie of
portly, bemedalled, ageing dictators.

            Colonialism was dead and gone. In this one area the OAU had
succeeded. At its founding in 1963, its main goal was to rid the continent
of colonial oppression and exploitation. Freedom for Africans and
one-man-one-vote were the rallying cries. Almost four decades on, the
challenge was different, and yet eerily the same: power concentrated in the
hands of a heartless few, determined to exploit the many for personal gain.
Was Africa free? How did freedom taste?

            Where did the OAU go wrong? The colonialists had been replaced
by a new breed of African liberator-heroes, most of whom proceeded to
plunder the resources of their nations and oppress anyone who dare oppose
them. All pretence at democracy, freedom of expression and the rule of law
was cast aside. Coups, not elections, changed governments.

            The OAU's founding principle of respect for national sovereignty
became its Achilles' heel - allowing the excesses of dictators like Idi
Amin, Mengistu Haile Mariam and Robert Mugabe to be swept under the carpet.
As the hopeful new millennium dawned on an Africa riddled with war,
corruption, debt and disease, the OAU had become a sick joke.

            Enter the AU. With much fanfare and rejoicing the new body
proceeded to establish an impressive array of organs and instruments
purporting to deliver human rights to the continent's oppressed millions.

                 Wilf Mbanga is founder, editor and publisher of The

                  openDemocracy publishes regular, fortnightly extracts from
The Zimbabwean about Zimbabwe's political, economic and human-rights
situation, as well as other reports and analysis of life under Robert
Mugabe; see our debate "What future for Zimbabwe?"

            It signified, on paper at least, a new commitment by African
states to tackle issues of importance to the continent. The constitutive act
of the AU explicitly espoused the promotion of "democratic principles and
institutions, popular participation and good governance" and the promotion
and protection of "human and peoples' rights in accordance with the African
Charter on Human and Peoples' Rights and other relevant human rights

            Most significant was the agreement by member-states to limit
their sovereignty with specific regard to respect for democratic principles,
human rights and the rule of law. "Good governance" and "peer review" were
the new buzz phrases.

            In a further erosion of state sovereignty, the AU even gave
itself some teeth, allowing it to condemn and reject any unconstitutional
change of government and to impose sanctions against any member state for
failure to comply with its decisions and policies. Goodbye to coups and

            Tragically, it soon became apparent that the real implications
of all this for ordinary Africans remained limited and remote.

            How the African Union works

            One of the first individual test cases of the new body's formal
commitments was Zimbabwean human-rights lawyer Gabriel Shumba, who was
arrested and tortured by the government for defending in court a member of
the opposition Movement for Democratic Change. The Zimbabwean judicial
system failed him. He was threatened with death and fled to South Africa. In
2003 he approached the African Commission on Human and Peoples' Rights
(ACHPR) directly.

            The case was heard at the ACPHR's court in Banjul, Gambia, in
November 2005. The judges heard Shumba's testimony, including his claim that
the torture inflicted on him violated the African charter on rights. But
instead of ruling decisively, the court deferred its ruling to May 2006.

            "Nothing about the AU has changed but the name", said a bitter
Shumba. "We can only conclude that the African system, as a legal system to
enforce rights, is hopeless." He said the only value of appealing to the
commission had been the ensuing international publicity. He has abandoned
seeking recourse in Africa and has taken his case to Canada.

            A second test case confirms the pessimists' outlook. This
concerns the long-delayed presentation to the African Union assembly in July
2004 of the ACHPR's 2002 fact-finding mission to investigate human-rights
abuses in Zimbabwe. Howls of protests from the Zimbabwean delegation,
supported by the South Africans, resulted in the report's adoption being

            "This indicated a clear lack of political maturity at the AU to
hold member-states accountable", said Zimbabwean political commentator Brian
Raftopoulos. "Instead of defending and supporting the work of its own
independent human-rights institution, the AU assembly chose to accede to the
demands of the Zimbabwe government. Even when the assembly adopted the
report at Abuja in January 2005, it did not adequately hold Zimbabwe

            "What (the assembly) ought to have done was to publicly express
concern at the human-rights situation in Zimbabwe and request the government
to commit itself to implementing the recommendations of the ACHPR. This
would both have allowed the assembly to monitor implementation of the
recommendations in future and bolstered the confidence and role of the
commission", he said.

            But in November 2005, a commission meeting again raised hopes
that perhaps, after all, the organisation could make a clear stand in
defence of its own values. On that occasion, the ACHPR condemned Zimbabwe's
human-rights record and pressured Harare to stop evicting people from their
homes under the controversial social-cleansing programme, Operation
Murambatsvina ("drive out the rubbish").

            At the meeting, the commission said it was "alarmed by the
number of internally-displaced persons and the violations of fundamental
individual and collective rights resulting from the forced evictions being
carried out by the government of Zimbabwe". It urged Mugabe's government to
allow an African Union delegation to visit Zimbabwe on a fact-finding
mission. The report also called on the Harare government to repeal several
repressive laws, to stop the forced evictions immediately and to allow "full
and unimpeded access to international aid to help the victims".

            So far, so good. The problem is that afterwards, nothing
happened - no follow-up, no enforcement mechanisms, no redress. The AU's
fine words are little consolation to Zimbabwe's hungry, oppressed people.

            Sudan's price

            Such incidences of internal division, weakness, and loss of
nerve are helpful in understanding what happened - or did not happen - at
the African Union summit in Khartoum, Sudan on 16-24 January 2006.

            Only thirty of the fifty-three African state leaders attended
the summit. Several of them will not even sit in the same room as their
putative continental partners with whom they are engaged in bitter border
struggles or outright wars; the enmity between former comrades, Eritrea's
Isaias Afewerki and Ethiopia's Meles Zenawi, is only one such example.

            The host country would normally assume the chairmanship for the
ensuing year. In Khartoum, however, Chad accused Sudan of hosting rebels
trying to unseat the N'Djamena government; while other African leaders
charged Sudan with being responsible for a crisis in its Darfur region that
has killed hundreds of thousands of people and rendered millions homeless.
There, an under-resourced African Union peacekeeping force of 7,000 attempts
the impossible job of relieving a human disaster.

            The unseemly brawl over the chairmanship was resolved by
postponing Sudan's assumption of the chairmanship of the AU until 2007. This
year, the union will be headed not by Sudan's own president Omar al-Bashir
but Denis Sassou-Nguesso, president of the Republic of the Congo
(Congo-Brazzaville). While the leaders were squabbling, the United Nations
Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) announced that 43 million Africans
would need food aid this year - which is would cost $2 billion to supply.
Meanwhile, Ugandan rebels in the Democratic Republic of Congo were killing
eight UN peacekeepers; and insurgents in Nigeria's oil-rich delta were
launching a wave of attacks on public and commercial buildings.

            The Khartoum leaders were too busy quarrelling to address such
issues. Their rivalries and twisted priorities eclipsed discussion of such
vital issues as war and peace, famine and starvation, oppression and
freedom, unity and economic development. Just like its predecessor, the
African Union had failed the people of Africa.

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God 'will heal Zim cholera'


27/01/2006 18:18  - (SA)

Harare - Members of a popular church sect in Zimbabwe are refusing treatment
for the deadly cholera disease, claiming God will heal them, said reports on

Reports said police had to be called in to confront members of Johanne
Marange Apostolic sect in the eastern Buhera district, after an outbreak of

The disease, which spreads easily during the rainy season, had already
killed at least 14 people in Zimbabwe.

Three of the victims were from Harare, where the authorities had closed down
a popular fruit and vegetable market in a desperate bid to stop the spread
of the disease.

Zimbabwe's deputy health minister said the government would deal
"ruthlessly" with anyone trying to frustrate its efforts to control the

Conventional forms of medicine

Edwin Muguti said: "Those who resist medical attention, especially during
this time of an outbreak of a life-threatening disease, should face the full
wrath of the law."

Apostolics, who were well known for their distinctive all-white clothing and
their practice of gathering in the open to conduct their rites, were opposed
to conventional forms of medicine.

Cholera broke out at Murambinda, a small settlement in Buhera at the end of
the year. Health officials had been running cholera awareness campaigns in
the area, but met resistance from the sect members.

The reports said: "They (the officials) successfully penetrated various
sections of the community until recently when they met a lot of resistance
from members of the Johanne Marange church."

The Apostolic church was estimated to have about three million followers in
Zimbabwe - about one quarter of the population - but they were split into
many different sects.

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US mogul pledges $40 mln to Mozambique park


      Fri Jan 27, 2006 10:44 AM ET
By Mateus Chale
MAPUTO (Reuters) - U.S. Internet mogul Greg Carr has committed up to $40
million of his own cash to help rebuild a game park in Mozambique which he
hopes to restock with animals from elsewhere in Africa.

Carr, former chairman of Prodigy Internet and Boston Technology, told
Reuters on Friday he wanted Gorongosa National Park in central Mozambique to
recapture its place as a leading eco-tourism destination in southern Africa.

The park, which lies at the southern end of Africa's Rift Valley, was
largely destroyed during Mozambique's 16-year civil war that ended in 1992.

The Cambridge, Massachusetts-based Carr Foundation has managed the 3,770 sq
km (1,455 sq mile) park for a year under an agreement with the government,
which it is seeking to extend to at least 30 years, wildlife
conservationists say.

"I have committed personal funds in excess of $30-to-$40 million (to develop
the park)," Carr told Reuters in an interview.

He said he was looking for other foreign partners to fund the park, which is
also supported by the U.S. Agency for International Development.

"Gorongosa has the potential of being one of Africa's most important tourism
destinations," said Carr, whose foundation dedicated to human rights, the
environment and the arts was created in 1999.

"This year we will begin a re-introduction program to bring some animals to
the park, so once again the ecosystem can be complete," he said.

Rehabilitating the park -- including construction of a 6,000 hectare (23
square mile) sanctuary where animals are expected to breed -- will be
concluded by the end of rainy season in March.

The Carr Foundation is in talks with animal relocation companies in Africa
to source some species in Mozambique and neighboring countries such as
Zimbabwe and South Africa, he said.

"The good news is that there are a lot of animals now. We have almost 300
elephants, we do have a lot of antelope and fabulous bird life," Carr said.

"For tourists there is a lot to see now but there are still some other
species that are in very low numbers such as buffalo and zebra," he added.

Sadly though, animals such as roan antelope, cheetah and black rhino which
once inhabited Gorongosa were no longer to be found, Mozambican wildlife
officials said.

Mozambique has undertaken a program to improve infrastructure in its parks
as well as increase animal numbers in some areas substantially diminished by
poaching and the civil war -- in an operation that has usually included
moving transferring animals from other existing facilities.

Since 2002, Mozambique has transferred some 5,000 different animals to the
Limpopo National Park, one of its newer animal reserves.

At least another 2,500 animals have been transferred from the adjacent
Kruger National Park in South Africa to Limpopo --

part of the Great Limpopo Transfrontier Park that straddles Mozambique,
South Africa and Zimbabwe.

In the last four years, Mozambique, which has dedicated some 15 percent of
its total area to conservation regions, has created two national parks and
two reserves.

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JAG Open Letter Forum

From: "Justice for Agriculture" <>
Sent: Friday, January 27, 2006 9:06 PM
Subject: JAG Open Letter Forum


The sale of the Banket property has now taken place and final dissolution
of the association is to take place.

As you are all aware, with inflation at about 25% per month, the value of
these funds will not be maintained indefinitely.

The current value of the net assets is the equivalent of approximately
us$10 000. Disbursement of this balance amongst 350 members will be a
minimal amount. Your Trustees and Finance Committee have agreed to donate
this money to the Farm Families Trust to assist former commercial farmers
in distress.

Please contact Jean Simon on if you have any queries.

If you need financial support please contact Richard Brooker at The Farm
Families Trust on

Yours sincerely

Tredar Trustees
Tredar Finance Committee

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