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Zimbabwe police, war veterans share farm spoils

Zim Online

Tue 31 January 2006

      MASVINGO - Senior police officers and war veterans in the southern
Masvingo district have shared among themselves farm equipment worth billions
of dollars seized from white farmers, disregarding High Court orders to
return the property to owners.

      Police commander in the district, about 250km south of Harare,
Assistant Commissioner Loveness Ndanga told ZimOnline on Monday that they
took the farm equipment because they were following "political orders and
not court orders".

      Ndanga, who claimed the farm equipment was only loaned to the war
veterans and other senior police officers, also accused the former white
farmers of wanting to sabotage the country.

      She said: "We do not act according to court orders but according to
political orders . . . the position is that the property has since been
loaned to other farmers most of them police officers and war veterans who
want to grow crops for the country.

      "Those white farmers you seem to represent were sabotaging our country
and we took the property."

      The Masvingo chairman of veterans of the 1970's independence war,
Isaiah Muzenda, also confirmed that his followers were given some of the
farm equipment but complained that the police had kept most of the equipment
for themselves.

      Muzenda said: "Some of our members were given the property you are
talking about but we are still unhappy with the criteria used to give those
people the equipment.

      "Last week, as war veterans, we had a meeting with the police about
the issue because it appears senior police officers got the biggest share of
the cake".

      Both Home Affairs Minister Kembo Mohadi and Police Commissioner
Augustine Chihuri could not be immediately reached to establish whether
police officers were under instructions to disobey court orders and only
follow political instructions as claimed by Ndanga.

      But the government has in the past ignored several court orders which
went against it with President Robert Mugabe publicly declaring on several
occasions that his government would not be bound by orders from the courts
it felt were not correct or just.

      The farm equipment including combine harvesters, tractors, irrigation
systems and various other pieces of farm machinery was forcibly seized by
police officers and war veterans from three former white farmers during a
fresh wave of farm evictions that hit Masvingo province late last year.

      The farmers whose equipment was taken are Gerald Whitehead, Albetus
Jacobus Peppler and a Mr Henning.

      The three farmers successfully applied to the High Court in November
last year seeking the court to order the police to return the equipment. The
order was granted by Justice Baret Patel.

      But the police ignored the order forcing Patel to issue a second order
for the return of the equipment earlier this year, which order the police
have apparently also disregarded.

      The government has since 2000 seized more than 90 percent of the about
4 000 white-owned farms across Zimbabwe for redistribution to landless
blacks under a controversial land reform programme blamed for plunging the
southern African nation into severe food shortages.

      Although the Harare administration has refused to pay for land taken
from whites, it has promised to pay for all improvements on farms as well as
equipment. - ZimOnline

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MDC faction appeals to supporters to fund congress

Zim Online

Tue 31 January 2006

      HARARE - A faction of Zimbabwe's main opposition Movement for
Democratic Change (MDC) party aligned to Morgan Tsvangirai on Sunday asked
hundreds of supporters to fund the party's congress in March.

      The MDC, which presented the greatest challenge to President Robert
Mugabe's 25 year grip on power, is severely weakened after its leaders fell
out last October over whether the party should have contested last November's
senate election.

      MDC Harare province chairman, Morgan Femai, told hundreds of party
supporters in the poor suburb of Budiriro in Harare that the party was
banking on their support to raise the needed funds to bankroll the congress.

      "We need the support of party cadres like you at this decisive moment,
so we would like all of you to donate towards the party's congress to be
held in two months time. The $500 000 that you will donate will make a

      "We know there are a lot of you big guys in the crowd who would like
to come forward and give to your party . . . Even parties like ZANU PF are
facing cash problems and had to ask for cattle from farmers at their last
congress," said Femai.

      The MDC faction aligned to Tsvangirai will hold its congress from
March 17 to 19 this year while the faction led by Gibson Sibanda will hold a
separate congress this month signifying a formal split in the six-year old

      Political analysts last year warned that the bickering in the MDC
would severely weaken   the opposition's bid to remove Mugabe from power.
They also warned that donors would withdraw support from the party.

      Addressing the same gathering, MDC secretary for economic affairs,
Tendai Biti, said his faction will seek to amend the party's constitution to
give more powers to Tsvangirai and elect a new vice-president of the party.

      "The congress will celebrate six years of survival under the Mugabe
dictatorship, it is very difficult to survive under the cruel leadership of
Mugabe. . . . We would want this congress to tell the international
community who the real MDC is as well as telling Mugabe that the MDC is
still alive," said Biti. - ZimOnline

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32 members of Zimbabwe sect appear in court

Zim Online

Tue 31 January 2006

      BULAWAYO - Thirty-two members of a Bulawayo-based sect who were
arrested last week for besieging a police station to protest against the
arrest of their members appeared in court on Monday charged under the
Miscelleneous Offences Act.

      But there was drama at the court as the sect members who had broken
into religious songs refused to enter the dock or furnish the court
officials with their names and identification particulars.

      They also refused to answer questions from the magistrate, Lizwe
Jamela. The magistrate remanded them in custody to February 13.

      The sect members were arrested last week after they besieged a police
station to protest against the detention of four of their colleagues who had
been arrested for attempting to fraudulently withdraw cash from a bank.

      The four were said to have told the bank authorities that they wanted
to "withdraw money which came from God". After their arrest, the other
church members then besieged the police station demanding the release of
their colleagues.

      The cult is led by a woman, Memory Ncube. Leaders of the cult broke
away from the Seventh Day Adventist (SDA) Church in Bulawayo  over doctrinal

      The cult leaders were said to have told their followers to quit their
jobs in preparation for Jesus' second coming. They also demanded that church
members be circumcised.

      "As a church, we definitely could not allow such things because it
tarnished our image. So we had to politely tell them to find somewhere else
to do those things.

      "The SDA does not force people to be circumcised because that is not
within our code of conduct," said Bekezela Nkomo, a pastor with the SDA.

      Contacted for comment on why they had arrested the cult members,
police spokesman Oliver Mandipaka said: "When we get reports that someone
has committed a crime, we do not look at who they are or where they belong,
but act accordingly.

      "A criminal is a criminal, we have had government ministers and
doctors being arrested for committing crimes, what is special about this
church that we should not arrest its members whom we suspect to have
committed a crime?

      "There are criminals that hide behind various respectable bodies and
we are out to get such sophisticated criminals. If those people are
innocent, they will be released but police have to investigate all the
reports they get." - ZimOnline

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SA confirms flow of Zimbabwe aliens


January 30, 2006, 16:15

South African authorities have confirmed reports showing that the massive
influx of illegal immigrants into the country shows no signs of abating.
About 2 386 illegal immigrants had been arrested by the South African police
since December 29, Ronel Otto, a Limpopo police spokesperson, said today.

These border jumpers entered the country through the various border posts,
including Beit Bridge, Pontdrift, Groblers Bridge and Stokpoort. A
Zimbabwean newspaper reported earlier in the day that about 100 Zimbabweans
crossed the border daily in search of jobs. Otto said most of those arrested
the past month were Zimbabweans. Occasionally, citizens from Bangladesh.
Somalia or Pakistan would also attempt to jump the borders. Many were also
repeat offenders.

Otto said 753 illegal immigrants were arrested between January 5 and January
12, an average of 100 per day. The rainy season often sees fewer immigrants
entering the country as the Limpopo River is flooding, making the
crocodile-infested waters even more hazardous than usual. "When the river is
full numbers are down," said Colonel Gert Faul of the South African National
Defence Force's. Zimbabweans seeking to escape economic hardship in their
own country often wade across the river, which is only full two or three
months in a year, Otto said.

Illegal entry
The Herald said syndicates operating at Beit Bridge used South
African-registered vehicles to transport people from as far as Bulawayo to
Johannesburg for a fee of between R800 and R1 000. The immigrants were
dropped on the Zimbabwean side of the Limpopo River where they used a metal
walkway under the Limpopo Bridge.

Once the illegal immigrants got to no-man's land, they used a rope tied to
the tiers of the bridge to lower themselves to the banks of the river. They
then walked along the fence until finding an opening. After a walk through
the bush, a transporter picked them up at an agreed meeting point.

Otto said police often conducted special operations with members from other
units and at times joined forces with Zimbabwean and Botswana police at
borders. "Policing is quite sufficient at the moment, although this is a
vast border to patrol," she said. - Sapa

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NGOs urge IMF to spare Zimbabwe expulsion


          January 30 2006 at 08:09PM

      Harare - Zimbabwean non-governmental organisations on Monday asked an
International Monetary Fund (IMF) team not to expel the southern African
country for debt arrears, an official said.

      Representatives from non-governmental organisations warned that
Zimbabwe's expulsion from the IMF would widen disparities between rich and
poor and push the country to civil strife.

      "Our main recommendation was that Zimbabwe has to remain an IMF member
because if it is expelled there will be more problems for the ordinary
people," said Fambai Ngirande, spokesperson for the National Association of
Non-governmental Organisations (NANGO), representing 400 groups.

      "We told them the existing levels of inequality in Zimbabwe make it
socially and politically volatile. This leads to civil unrest. It's a
difficult situation we find ourselves in."

      NANGO also urged the IMF to cancel the country's debt.

      Zimbabwe is in the throes of economic crisis characterised by runaway
inflation, soaring poverty levels, an unemployment rate hovering at over 70
percent and chronic shortages of fuel and basic goods like cornmeal.

      A controversial urban clean-up campaign named "Operation
Murambatsvina" (Drive out filth) left at least 700 000 homeless from May to
July of last year, according to the UN.

      Central bank governor Gideon Gono said last week that the army chief
had asked him to make money available for food production, warning that
shortages could spark a popular revolt.

      At least four million of the country's 13 million population will
require food aid until the next harvest in May, according to UN agencies.

      The five-member IMF team arrived in Harare last week to discuss
Zimbabwe's outstanding debt of US$137-million to the world lending body,
owed since 2001.

      Findings from the mission will be submitted to the IMF executive
meeting on March 8 which will decide Zimbabwe's fate. - Sapa-AFP

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IMF shifting goalposts on Zimbabwe, paper says


      Mon Jan 30, 2006 8:18 AM GMT

HARARE (Reuters) - The IMF, which has threatened to expel Zimbabwe from the
fund over debt arrears, is shifting its goalposts as part of a drive to
punish President Robert Mugabe's government, a state-controlled newspaper
said on Sunday.

Zimbabwe says it has been making regular payments to the International
Monetary Fund and will clear its crucial arrears before a March deadline set
by the fund to pay up or risk expulsion.

The Sunday Mail newspaper said an IMF team now in Harare to review the
country's economic problems and programmes had suggested Zimbabwe's
difficulties with the fund were not over debt arrears but fiscal and
monetary policies and targets.

Both government officials and the IMF team, which has refused to make any
statements since its arrival last Tuesday, were unavailable for comment on

The Sunday Mail said the team from the IMF -- whose executive board in
September gave Zimbabwe a six-month reprieve to settle its arrears or risk
being expelled -- was being insincere in its dealings with Harare.

"Impeccable sources that have been closely monitoring developments between
Harare and the IMF told the Sunday Mail that the Minister of Finance, Dr
Herbert Murerwa, and the Governor of the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe, Dr.
Gideon Gono, should not be upbeat about the IMF visit," it said.

The paper quoted one source as saying: "While the country has made
tremendous progress in the settlement of its arrears that now stand at U.S.
$10 million they (Murerwa and Gono) should not be upbeat about the current
visit because these people and the institutions they represent tend to shift


"I have a feeling that the IMF will still produce a damning report probably
on the country's fiscal and monetary policies that they will say are not
good for the country.

"So Murerwa and Gono need to be told that they are going to bed with
insincere partners and the sooner they realise that the better for the
country," said the source.

The Sunday Mail said the IMF mission to Zimbabwe -- which is also probing
the source of money that Mugabe's cash-strapped government has used to pay
its arrears to the fund -- had started compiling its report barely 48 hours
after arriving.

Last Tuesday's the government-controlled Herald newspaper reported that
Zimbabwe -- which since September has paid the IMF $145 million -- had
forked out an additional $15 million since early December.

This left Zimbabwe needing just $14.6 million to clear its arrears under the
IMF's critical General Resources Account and $125 under the Poverty
Reduction Growth Facility, it said.

Gono has said the funds used for the payments to the IMF came from export
earnings, inflows from expatriate Zimbabweans and locals working for
foreign-owned organisations, who are paid in foreign currency.

Zimbabwe is struggling with its worst economic crisis since independence
from Britain in 1980, shown in food shortages, triple-digit inflation, a
jobless rate above 70 percent and a foreign currency crunch that has spawned
fuel shortages.

The crisis has been worsened by the withdrawal of aid by key donors who
cited policy differences with Mugabe, especially his seizures of white-owned
commercial farms for blacks.

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Tick-borne diseases kill 4,000 Zimbabwe cattle


      Mon Jan 30, 2006 12:58 PM GMT

HARARE (Reuters) - At least 4,000 cattle have died from tick-borne diseases
in one of Zimbabwe's 55 districts in just one month, a fresh blow to a drive
to resume beef exports to the EU, a state-controlled daily reported on

Analysts say Zimbabwe's beef herd has plunged to about 2 million from 5
million in the past five years due to drought and diseases.

The decline comes against the background of an economic crisis that critics
blame partly on seizures and redistribution of white-owned commercial farms
to poor and often inexperienced black farmers.

The Daily Mirror said on Monday 4,000 cattle were killed by tick-borne
diseases in the northeastern Mutawatawa district of Mashonaland East because
of a critical shortage of livestock dipping chemicals.

But the newspaper said the provincial governor for the area had blamed
veterinary officials in the district for failing to report the problem,
saying the government had resources to fight the disease outbreaks.

Zimbabwe was forced to suspend beef exports to the European Union over five
years ago following an outbreak of foot-and-mouth, and since then the
country has seen intermittent outbreaks of other diseases, including
anthrax, red water and black leg.

The government said last year it hoped Zimbabwe might be able to resume the
EU exports before the end of 2006.

The Daily Mirror said Zimbabwe's central bank -- which is funding a
programme to rebuild the beef herd -- had earlier this month released U.S.
$100,000 to the veterinary department to buy livestock medicines after some
provinces were reportedly left with just a week's supply.

Critics blame President Robert Mugabe's government, in power since
independence from Britain in 1980, for a severe economic crisis that has
left the southern African country struggling with food, fuel, and foreign
currency shortages and rising unemployment and inflation.

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Crucial trade meeting kicks off in Harare

East African Standard


      By Benson Kathuri Trade talks sponsored by the European Union start in
Zimbabwe on Monday amidst fears that other developing countries might oppose
a new trade pact expected in 2008.

      Kenya's Trade and Industry minister, Mukhisa Kituyi, said some
developing countries mainly from Latin America viewed preferential trade
terms offered to the African, Caribbean and Pacific Countries (ACP) by the
EU as discriminatory.

      Speaking during a forum organised by the Institute of Economic
Affairs, Kituyi, however, supported the talks considering that the recently
concluded World Trade Organization (WTO) ministerial meeting in Hong Kong
had failed to agree on a concrete action plan to reform the global trade

      "We cannot say the Hong Kong meeting was a success, but we managed to
have a commitment from the EU on specific timeframe to remove their farm
subsidies," Kituyi who chaired the agricultural committee at Hong Kong told
the forum.

      The US government also committed to compensate African states, mainly
in West Africa. These countries are said to have suffered from cheap cotton
exports from the heavily subsidised US cotton farmers.

      Analysts say that had the WTO meting succeeded in implementing the
Doha Development Agenda at the WTO, the bilateral agreement between the ACP
countries and EU would have been unnecessary.

      Trade arrangement between the EU and the 79 ACP countries offered duty
and quota free access to exports from these countries to the world's largest
trading block.

      However, the four decades arrangement have been discredited as going
against the WTO rules and regulations because the ACP member states had no
obligation to open up their markets to the EU exports.

      A ruling by the WTO had forced the EU and the ACP countries to
negotiate a new pact that conformed to WTO rules. As a result, the
countries, most of them former colonies of countries that make the 25-member
EU must negotiate for a new trade that allowed imports from the EU on
preferential terms.

      The new requirements have sent panic among some developing countries,
including Kenya where manufacturers fear that they would be pushed out of
the Comesa regional market by the superior goods from the EU.

      It is against these fears that high-ranking trade officials from 16
African countries meet in Zimbabwe to pursue the European Union-led Economic
Partnership Agreement (EPA) negotiations.

      "The team led by ministry of Trade and Industry permanent secretary
David Nalo comprise of the country's top trade policy analysts, negotiators
and policy makers," said Charles Mbogori who is co-ordinating the Kenyan
negotiating team to the forum.

      The Kenyan delegation includes the director of Fisheries, Nancy
Gitonga, who is expected to state the new fishing policy that aims at making
the industry more competitive.

      Kenya exported fish products worth Sh7 billion to the European Union
annually, but hygiene concerns had threatened the industry.

      The EU had imposed several export bans in the eighties and nineties
causing massive losses but the Government with financial assistance from the
trade block had embarked on ambitious programmes to improve the situation
mainly around Lake Victoria.

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Beer Price Shoots Up Again

Zim Daily

            Monday, January 30 2006 @ 12:04 AM GMT
            Contributed by: correspondent
            The price of beer has shot up by 40%, hardly a month after
another increase, forcing many guzzlers to cut back on their intake or give
up drinking altogether. The price of a pint of brown beer bottles such as
Castle Lager, Lion Lager and Black Label have increased from $35 000 to $50
000 while green bottles such as Zambezi and Bohlingers have shot from $50
000 to $70 000.

            There has been a corresponding increase in the price of quarts
from $65 000 o $90 000. The price of opaque beer, commonly known as 'Scud,'
has also increased from $40 000 to $60 000. The increase has been met by
howls of protests from beer drinkers who feel the increase is too steep.
"This is ridiculous!" charged regular drinker Mashford Munyoro from
Mufakose. "Its difficult to give up but I have no choice but to cut back."
However Mbare based Kumbirai Bazaya told Zimdaily he was contemplating
giving up altogether.

            Beer manufacturer Delta Beverages attributed the increase to
rising input costs and the hyper inflationary environment the business is
forced to operate in. Despite the incessant increase in the price of beer,
Delta says it has not recorded any falling beer sales, revealing that demand
for beer is actually going up. Economists attribute this inelastic demand to
the nature of beer, which they say is a "habit forming commodity." Night
clubs in the city centre are recording brisk business although a pint of
beer is now selling on average $150 000 a pint. More affluent places such as
the Meikles Hotel and the Keg and Sable, a pint of beer is now going for
$200 000 but revellers are still teeming to these outlets.

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BP Shell Mulls Zim Pullout

Zim Daily

            Monday, January 30 2006 @ 12:03 AM GMT
            Contributed by: correspondent
            GLOBAL petroleum firm BP Shell is mulling plans to pull out of
Zimbabwe amid reports that the profitability of its operations has been
severely impaired by a chronic fuel crisis. Zimdaily heard that the
petroleum firm was not happy with the impact of the fuel crisis on its
operations and the prices of fuel being foistered on them by government.BP
Shell was said to have failed to convince Energy minister Mike Nyambuya
about a review of the price of fuel and the perennial fuel crisis being
fomented by the corruption ridden NOCZIM's failure to coordinate fuel
supplies in the country.

            But the petroleum company dispelled speculation it is on the
verge of pulling out of Zimbabwe. Rodrick Kusano, corporate communications
executive at BP Shell Marketing Services Zimbabwe, said: "That rumour has no
substance at all. We are aware of the impact of the current fuel crisis, but
we are not contemplating an exit," Kusano, who also leads the Petroleum
Marketers Association of Zimbabwe in negotiations with government, said. BP
Oil Africa Region (OAR) owns 50 percent of the Zimbabwean operation, while
BP Zimbabwe holds the other half. Government has pegged the price of fuel at
$23 000 per litre rendering the industry unviable.

            The commodity is readily available on the black market at about
$120 000. Meanwhile, the imminent removal of the fuel subsidy to farmers
will rid the economy of costly pricing distortions that have bred arbitrage
opportunities. The National Oil Company of Zimbabwe, a parastatal that was
supplying the farmers with fuel at a hugely subsidised $10 000 per litre
(against the official $23 000 and the $100 000 black market rate), recorded
a massive $1 trillion dollar loss. Central bank governor Gideon Gono spoke
strongly against this subsidy on Tuesday, ahead of the visit of an
International Monetary Fund staff team currently in the country for
consultations with government. The IMF is a strident critic of the
government's subsidy policy.

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Govt Using Chinese Equipment To Jam VoP Radio Broadcasts

Zim Daily

            Monday, January 30 2006 @ 12:01 AM GMT
            Contributed by: correspondent
            The government - in an effort to silence independent voices -
has been jamming broadcasts of a Netherlands-based radio station Voice of
the People (VoP) that beams to Zimbabwe, using transmission equipment
located at the Thornhill airbase, Zimdaily heard yesterday. Official sources
told Zimdaily that the equipment being used to jam VoP broadcasts was
imported from China, which has close political and trade links with
Zimbabwe, especially in the telecommunications domain.

            VoP said its daily broadcasts to Zimbabwe was being
"deliberately jammed". "Our broadcasts are jammed by interference of a
rotary kind," an official with the radio station told Zimdaily. Zimdaily
heard that VoP has appealed to a United Nations body, the International
Telecommunications Union (ITU), to intervene and stop the Zimbabwean
government from jamming the radio broadcast beamed to Zimbabwe from
Netherlands. Media Institute of Southern Africa (MISA) said it was
 "outraged" by Zimbabwe's jamming of the privately-owned radio station which
employs Zimbabwean journalists.

            The station is supplied by news reports with journalists who are
based in Zimbabwe. In its letter to the Geneva-based ITU, VoP asked the UN
body "to seriously examine this situation, which constitutes a grave
violation of Harare's undertakings towards the United Nations". The
government last week charged VoP directors for breaching tough broadcasting
laws after hounding the directors and journalists before the courts.

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Farmers To Pay For Selling Produce

Zim Daily

            Monday, January 30 2006 @ 12:00 AM GMT
            Contributed by: Reporter
             In a sudden turn of events, farmers intending to sell their
produce at Mbare Musika will have to part way with at least Z$3 million. The
commission running the Harare City Council in conjunction with the Ministry
of Local Government revealed this announcing the postponement of the
reopening of Mbare Musika to Wednesday next week. Local farmers who make
small profits by trading at Mbare Musika received the news with shock.

            " This is unfortunate, it means we are going to double the
prices of our goods, the government is trying to reap us of our money for
their misrule", fumed Mr. Noah Marume, a horticulturalist in Murehwa.

            Mbare Musika, a hub of business activity was closed after fears
of cholera outbreak that had hit the southern parts of Harare and
Mashonaland West. More than twenty people died as a direct result of the
spate. Many families who make living from a living from selling were affect
by the sudden closure.

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Suppressed Inflation and Money Demand in Zimbabwe

International Monetary Fund

Author/Editor: Muñoz, Sònia
Authorized for Distribution: January 1, 2006
Electronic Access: Full Text in PDF format. (PDF file size is 155KB)
Use the free Adobe Acrobat Reader to view this PDF file.
Disclaimer: This Working Paper should not be reported as representing the views of the IMF. The views expressed in this Working Paper are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily represent those of the IMF or IMF policy. Working Papers describe research in progress by the author(s) and are published to elicit comments and to further debate.

Summary: The paper investigates the divergence between inflation and monetary expansion in Zimbabwe since late 2003. The substantial decline in velocity and increasing levels of real money balances during 2004 are at odds with a record of inflation closely tracking the growth rates of monetary aggregates in the past. Possible explanations for the divergence include an unstable demand for money, a sudden shift in the underlying demand for real balances due to a sharp change in an explanatory variable, and a structural break or aberration in a normally stable money demand relation reflecting some unexplained factor such as repressed inflation (given administered prices) or measurement errors in the consumer price index. The results of the study point to the last possibility as the most likely explanation.

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Death threats / Arbitrary arrest / Judicial proceedings / Harassment


Death threats / Arbitrary arrest / Judicial proceedings / Harassment - ZWE
001 / 0106 / OBS 011

The Observatory has been informed by the Zimbabwe Human Rights Association
(Zimrights) as well as by Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights (ZLHR) about
serious acts of harassment and risks for the physical and psychological
integrity of Mr. Arnold Tsunga, Chairman of the organisation, ZLHR Executive
Director, and a trustee of the radio station Voice of the People (VOP),
which produces independent programmes on political issues.

The Observatory for the Protection of Human Rights Defenders, a joint
programme of the International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH) and the
World Organisation Against Torture (OMCT) requests your urgent intervention
in the following situation in Zimbabwe.

Brief description of the situation :

According to the information received, on January 21, 2006, two police
officers and one soldier raided in the early hours of the morning Mr. Tsunga's
home, in Mutare. The men requested that Mr. Tsunga's workers, a female maid
and Mr. Charles Nyamufukudza, caretaker, accompany them to the police
station. Mr. Tsunga and his family were not at home at the time of the

In addition, on January 17, 2006, an article, published in The Herald, and
wrote by one Mr. Ceasar Zvayi, entitled "Pseudo Human Rights activism
exposed", had attacked the work of human rights lawyers and mentioned
specific lawyers and law firms.

Besides, on January 24, 2006, Mr. Tsunga, along with five other VOP
trustees, Mrs. David Masunda, Mr. Millicent Phiri, Mr. Lawrence Chibwe, Mr.
Nhlahla Ngwenya and Mrs. Isabella Matambanadzo, were arrested and charged
with « broadcasting without a license » (section 7.1 of the Broadcasting
Services Act), punishable of a two-year prison sentence. On that day, these
six persons were released on bail, but five of them, including Mr. Tsunga,
have to report weekly before the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) Law
and Order. The hearing was postponed to February 10, 2006.

Furthermore, on January 26, 2006, an unknown man came to Zimrights' office,
asking to talk with Mr. Tsunga. As Mr. Tsunga was absent, this man, who
seemed to be linked with the Army, explained that he had been visited twice
by some members of the Zimbabwe Military Intelligence Corps (ZIC), who told
him that they had received orders from the government to hunt Mr. Tsunga
down, and to kill him.

The Observatory expresses its deepest concern regarding this information,
and seriously fears for Mr. Tsunga's physical and psychological integrity.
In this regard, the Observatory recalls the article 12.2 of the Declaration
on Human Rights Defenders, adopted by the United Nations General Assembly on
December 9, 1998, which states that "The State shall take all necessary
measures to ensure the protection by the competent authorities of everyone,
individually and in association with others, against any violence, threats,
retaliation, de facto or de jure adverse discrimination, pressure or any
other arbitrary action as a consequence of his or her legitimate exercise of
the rights referred to in the present Declaration".

More generally, the Observatory reiterates its concern about the situation
of human rights defenders in Zimbabwe, who face serious risks to their
security as well as infringements of their freedoms of expression and

Action requested :

Please write to the Zimbabwean authorities, urging them to :

i. Guarantee, in all circumstances, the physical and psychological integrity
of Mr. Arnold Tsunga, and of all human rights defenders in Zimbabwe;

ii. Ensure that Mr. Arnold Tsunga, Mrs. David Masunda, Mr. Millicent Phiri,
Mr. Lawrence Chibwe, Mr. Nhlahla Ngwenya and Mrs. Isabella Matambanadzo be
granted a fair and impartial trial so that all charges against them be
dropped, as they are arbitrary;

iii. Put an end to all acts of harassment against Mr. Arnold Tsunga, all
human rights defenders in Zimbabwe, as well as Mrs. David Masunda, Mr.
Millicent Phiri, Mr. Lawrence Chibwe, Mr. Nhlahla Ngwenya and Mrs. Isabella

iv. Conform with the provisions of the Declaration on Human Rights
Defenders, in particular its article 1 which states that "Everyone has the
right, individually and in association with others, to promote and to strive
for the protection and realisation of human rights and fundamental freedoms
at the national and international levels", and article 12(2)

v. Ensure in all circumstances respect for human rights and fundamental
freedoms in accordance with international human rights standards and
international instruments ratified by Zimbabwe.

Addresses :

  President of Zimbabwe, Mr. Robert G. Mugabe, Office of the President,
Private Bag 7700, Causeway, Harare, Zimbabwe, Fax : +263 4 708 211

  Mr. Khembo Mohadi, Minister of Home Affairs, Ministry of Home Affairs,
11th Floor Mukwati Building, Private Bag 7703, Causeway, Harare, Zimbabwe,
Fax : +263 4 726 716

  Mr. Patrick Chinamasa, Minister of Justice, Legal and Parliamentary
Affairs, Ministry of Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs, Fax: + 263 4
77 29 99

  Mr. Augustine Chihuri, Police Commissioner, Police Headquarters, P.O. Box
8807, Causeway, Harare, Zimbabwe, Fax : +263 4 253 212 / 728 768 / 726 084

  Mr. Sobuza Gula Ndebele, Attorney-General, Office of the Attorney, PO Box
7714, Causeway, Harare, Zimbabwe, Fax: + 263 4 77 32 47

  Mrs. Chanetsa, Office of the Ombudsman Fax: + 263 4 70 41 19

  Ambassador Mr. Chitsaka Chipaziwa, Permanent Mission of Zimbabwe to the
United Nations in Geneva, Chemin William Barbey 27, 1292 Chambésy,
Switzerland, Fax: + 41 22 758 30 44, Email:

Please also write to the embassies of Zimbabwe in your respective country.


Geneva - Paris, January 27, 2006

Kindly inform us of any action undertaken quoting the code of this appeal in
your reply.

The Observatory, a FIDH and OMCT venture, is dedicated to the protection of
Human Rights Defenders and aims to offer them concrete support in their time
of need.

The Observatory was the winner of the 1998 Human Rights Prize of the French

To contact the Observatory, call the emergency line:

Email: Tel and fax FIDH: 33 1 43 55 55 05 / 01 43 55
18 80 Tel and fax OMCT: + 41 (0) 22 809 49 39 / 41 22 809 49 29

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Zimbabwe Vigil Diary - 28th January 2006

The depths of winter, with an icy wind from Siberia.  You had to sing and
dance to survive the Vigil.  Those of us used to the weather can only salute
those fresh from home, all too many of them without really warm clothes or
even full stomachs.  This at least was addressed by our English sympathiser
Hugh, who as he often does bought large pizzas for us to share.  He was
triumphant today because he had done a deal and is now getting every second
pizza half price!

Today we had two asylum seekers wearing tags, an electronic monitoring
system offered to asylum seekers in place of detention.  In addition to
Richard who came last week, we also had Tsitsi.  Tsitsi gave us her weekly
schedule of times she has to be at home.  It may interest people to know how
circumscribed she is: Monday, 9 - 11 am and 9 - 10 pm; Tuesday, 1 - 2 am;
Wednesday, 10 - 11 am and 3 - 4 pm; Thursday, 12 - 1 pm (report to police at
2 pm); Friday, 10 - 11 am and 9 - 10 pm; Saturday, 12 - 1 pm and 9 - 10 pm;
Sunday, 5 - 6 am.  Both Richard and Tsitsi were pleased that despite being
tagged they could still come to the Vigil.

Great to have 3 carloads of supporters from Leicester, including the Vigil
child, Tinotenda Vigil Muzuwa, wrapped like an Eskimo.  Despite the weather
there were loads of new faces including someone who came from Zimbabwe
today - we are always encouraged by new supporters.  Once people come they
realise they are among friends who can help and advise them.

The Vigil spokesperson, Julius Mutyambezi-Dewa reported that he had received
a reply this week to a letter he had written to the Foreign and Commonwealth
Office (FCO) on behalf of the Vigil.  He had asked for a meeting to discuss
the Zimbabwean situation and they have given a positive response.  Their
letter also said, "We share your views about Zimbabwe.  The situation is
appalling, as Mugabe continues with his disastrous policies.  We will keep
international pressure on the Government of Zimbabwe until reform takes
place."  Julius has taken the pulse of the Vigil and will reply with a
detailed agenda so that hopefully the Vigil will be able to discuss in depth
with the FCO issues of close concern to our supporters.

PS The Africa Centre bookshop in Covent Garden is closing for refurbishment
at the end of this month.  This was our stockist for The Zimbabwean
newspaper. However the paper will still be available from the Vigil through
our new stockist, African Enterprises, Unit 3 The Arches, Villiers Street,
London WC2N 6NG.

FOR THE RECORD: 54 signed the register today.

Vigil co-ordinator

The Vigil, outside the Zimbabwe Embassy, 429 Strand, London, takes place
every Saturday from 14.00 to 18.00 to protest against gross violations of
human rights by the current regime in Zimbabwe. The Vigil which started in
October 2002 will continue until internationally-monitored, free and fair
elections are held in Zimbabwe.

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Government intensifies campaign to intimidate perceived enemies

      By Tererai Karimakwenda
      30 January 2006

      The government is intensifying its campaign against perceived enemies.
It's adopted a strategy of threatening defenders of truth and justice in
Zimbabwe using illegal tactics. Already this is showing results in some
sectors as an environment of fear and paranoia now prevails. The hardest hit
so far appears to be the media. Our correspondent Mike Mutasa in Mashonaland
West said it has become almost impossible for journalists to follow stories
because any questions considered critical of government are being
interpreted as a sign of betrayal. He said they try to get information from
contacts inside government circles but those connections are very shaky
since you never know whom to trust.
      Last week The International Bar Association criticised the police for
attacking media freedom and for employing hostage tactics to secure the
arrest of government critics. This was after the police arrested workers at
lawyer Arnold Tsunga's home in order to force him to report to them. In the
same week the state security minister Didymus Mutasa threatened journalists
in the country saying "the net is closing in on them".

      The legal profession also came under siege last Friday when Mugabe's
long-serving spokesman, George Charamba, attacked prominent human rights
lawyer Beatrice Mtetwa. In a press statement in the state-controlled papers,
Charamba accused the legal fraternity of hatching a plot to overwhelm the
government through a series of challenges to AIPPA, the tough media law that
has been used to shut down independent papers and to prosecute journalists.
The Law Society of Zimbabwe immediately accused government of attempting to
intimidate lawyers and undermine the rule of law. Charamba suggested that
the legal challenges were mostly sponsored by the West, which he said
"decorates Mtetwa."

      Nokutula Moyo, chairperson of the Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights,
believes that the threats will not affect them because the legal profession
in Zimbabwe is a self-regulating statutory body. It has counsellors that the
government would have to get to in order to affect its members. Moyo also
said lawyers by training and by the nature of their work as fighters for
justice are less likely to fold. Moyo does admit that fear of arrest and
imprisonment exists in everyone. But she believes unlike the ordinary
person, lawyers are already exposed to and are more aware of this
threatening climate.

      SW Radio Africa Zimbabwe news

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Starving our Children

A billboard next to the road last week had printed on it the statement
"Government pay's the IMF another US$15 million". I do not know what that
takes us to - we must be approaching the total of US$150 million paid to the
IMF since Mugabe famously raided corporate FCA's (Foreign Currency Accounts)
to steal US$120 million last August to pay the IMF and stick one in the eye
for Thabo Mbeki.

The stated purpose of these payments is to prevent the IMF Board resolving
to kick us out of that funny club of nations that sends its Ministers of
Finance and Governors of Reserve Banks to Washington for a hugely expensive
bash twice a year. For some reason that eludes me, President Mbeki seems to
lose sleep over the possibility of our expulsion from this the most
capitalist club in the world. Mugabe killing thousands of his people by
proxy makes no impact at all - but lose our membership of the IMF Club -
that would be a disaster!

I find this whole thing rather nauseous - like the head of a family in a
starving village, throwing food over the fence to baboons waiting on the
outside, while the children of the village die of hunger, malnutrition and
disease. Too stark an image? Just think of what we could have done with that
money over the past 5 months - we could have bought enough food and raw
materials to resolve all the shortages of basic foods in the country. We
could have imported enough liquid fuels to overcome the persistent fuel
shortages that are crippling our public transport system and pushing
transports costs through the ceiling. We could have satisfied the needs of
all our hospitals for disinfectants, cleaning materials, drugs and essential
medical supplies.

Instead we go on paying this money to the IMF - they do not want the money,
they do not need the money, it does not change our status as a country under
threat of its membership because we are not servicing anyone's debt - least
of all the IMF and its sister institutions of the World Bank and the African
Development Bank. What the IMF and the WB want is clear signs that we are
coming to our senses, restoring our democratic credentials and the basic
rights of our people. Then and only then, will they consider an integrated
package of economic reforms designed to stop the hemorrhaging of the
Zimbabwe economy and even then they would require an extended period of
national discipline and management before they finally gave us the green
light and restored our rights as a member.

When we first paid that initial sum to the Fund I wrote to a staff member
who watches Zimbabwe from Washington and said they should refuse to accept
the cheque - send it back I argued, we need it more than you at this time;
people will die because these funds are being paid to you. Needless to say I
never got a reply and now they are here yet again with a small team to
assess our situation and to investigate where these funds are coming from!
It is bizarre to say the least.

And what will they find in Zimbabwe. They will find a country much worse off
than when they were here just six months ago. The media is more repressed
than six months ago; the economy is still shrinking, exports still falling
and food production, despite a wonderful wet season, set to decline. We
still have no freedom - we cannot meet without police permission, we cannot
talk freely on the streets or on the phone, we cannot demonstrate without
fear that the armed forces will use live ammunition on us. We cannot vote
for the leadership of our choice. Since they were last here three more
democratically elected mayors have been kicked out of their offices and
replaced by Zanu PF hacks and lackeys.

Our hospitals are worse than they were six months ago, our schools are still
sliding down hill in every department. Hundreds of thousands of children
have been withdrawn from school because they cannot afford the fees. Our
government is more corrupt and less competent than it was six months ago and
if anything, economic and monetary policy is in an even bigger mess than
when they were here last year.

There is not a shred of evidence that the Fund is about to start helping us
get out of our crisis, all that will emerge from this visit will be another
depressing analysis saying that Zimbabwe continues its downward slide in all
spheres including governance. The IMF Board will read the staff report with
a deep sigh of resignation and frustration and decide to keep us in limbo
for another six months and then get on with other business.

We do not have that luxury. I have just listened to an interview with Mel
Gibson of "Passion" fame. I have long been an admirer of Mr. Gibson since he
made that marvelous film on Robert the Bruce - one of my own personal
ancestors. Mel said, "Pain always precedes change". If that is true then
surely we will see change this year.

We certainly cannot take much more of this - inflation at over 1000 per cent
per annum (it has been at this level for the past four months), this past
week in Bulawayo we have had no maize meal - the primary staple food of our
people and I see no signs of a resumption of deliveries. If anything the
fuel situation is worse and this past week local bus drivers went on strike
to protest low fares. The great majority of people simply can no longer
afford even the basic necessities of life.

I think it is time we all agreed "no more, we have had enough!" The
restructuring of the MDC after the leadership split is nearly complete and
what is emerging as the "new" MDC is certainly determined that this will be
the year we see change. The MDC road map remains the same - a new, people
constitution, and a transitional government followed by fresh democratic
elections under international supervision.

We are now working on how to start this process and will in February meet
with our civil society partners to debate the strategies we are going to
use. Zanu PF is nervous and quite rightly so, they, like us, sense the
national mood is changing. The General commanding the Army said this past
week that he does not want to use the army to shoot hungry, angry people.
What he has to worry about is what happens when his army joins the people in
their demand for change.

Eddie Cross
Bulawayo, 28th January 2006.

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Thanks to the Warriors

Sent: Sunday, January 29, 2006 9:46 PM
Subject: Thanks to the Warriors

Dear Family and Friends,
I am not, by any stretch of the imagination, a football fan or even a
football follower but this week I found myself being swept along in the
fever that seemed to have infected the whole country. After six years of
deep political turmoil and dramatic economic collapse in Zimbabwe I didn't
think that there was anything that could unite us as a country. I was
wrong! This week all boundaries and differences were put aside and
regardless of race, class, religion or politics, the whole country looked
to football for relief. It didn't matter where you went this week or who
you talked to, the only topic of conversation was The African Cup of
Nations and the two games facing Zimbabwe's team - the Warriors.

The talk at first was about winning and losing but after we lost the first
game against Senegal hopes began to fade. Football commentators on state
TV said the Warriors would need divine intervention as the next match was
against a much stronger team. Football talk reached frantic levels,
everyone, everywhere was on about it and predicting the score became a
national past-time and caused passionate debate. For a week Zimbabwe's
Warriors gave us a diversion from the daily grind, they gave us something
else to think about and forced us to look outside of our own struggles -
no easy task in these desperate times.

In between electricity cuts and football games, it has been a very
difficult week to follow events and politics in Zimbabwe. Every night this
week the main evening news was cancelled on state owned TV - replaced by
football games - all of them and not just Zimbabwe's matches. There was
one diversion that raised a small ripple of attention and it came in the
form of an announcement from the Governor of the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe.
It was a strangely worded statement, that sounded more like a religious or
marital pronouncement than a financial fact. It read: "We are pleased to
announce that with effect from Feb 01 2006, a higher denomination of
50 000 bearer cheque will be added to the denominational family of bearer
cheques so as to bring added convenience to the transacting public." For
people unfamiliar with Zimbabwe's currency, we don't have coins or even
conventional bank notes anymore as they were unable to keep pace with our
almost 600% inflation. Instead we have bits of paper called bearer cheques
which is the equivalent of money but has expiry dates which the government
keep renewing as the economy continues to decline. So from next week we
are going to have a new bearers cheque with a value of 50 thousand dollars
and this just makes most of us laugh. Imagine your biggest denomination
bank note not even being enough to buy a loaf a bread.

I'll end this week by saying thanks to the Warriors for trying your best,
giving us a diversion and managing to do what no one else in Zimbabwe can
do - uniting the country for a few days. Until next week, love cathy
Copyright cathy buckle 28 Jan 2006

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Accreditation blackmail and arrest threats used against independent journalists

Reporters without borders

30 January 2006

Reporters Without Borders today condemned an attempt by Tafataona Mahoso,
the head of the Media and Information Commission (MIC), to blackmail
journalists working for the privately-owned Zimbabwe Independent weekly by
refusing to issue them with work permits until their newspaper retracts an
article questioning the MIC's independence.

The organisation said it was also appalled by the state security minister's
threat to arrest journalists working for foreign news media, and accused the
government of adopting an increasingly aggressive stance.

"Mahoso was personally criticised by one of the MIC board members and now he
is determined to use blackmail to silence everyone who reports this,"
Reporters Without Borders said. "The commission he heads, which was well
known for being under the government's thumb, is now functioning as his
personal weapon."

Reporters Without Borders added : "This episode should serve to dispel any
remaining doubts in the international community that the MIC is a purely
political tool in the hands of an aggressive government."

The Zimbabwe Independent's 15 journalists were turned away when they went to
MIC headquarters yesterday in response to a summons to collect their
accreditation. Under the Access to Information and Protection of Privacy Act
(AIPPA), the draconian law governing the Zimbabwean press, journalists need
MIC accreditation to be able to work, and their permits are reviewed every

By way of explanation, Mahoso told the Zimbabwe Independent journalists they
should "just ask Raphael Khumalo," referring to the newspaper's chief
executive. MIC officials said that, at a meeting in his office with acting
editor Joram Nyathi, Mahoso had demanded that Khumalo should publish a
retraction of an article that appeared late last year.

Like most of the independent press, the Zimbabwe Independent reported in
late November that the MIC originally agreed to issue a licence to the owner
of the Daily News and then changed its mind under pressure from the Central
Intelligence Organisation (CIO). The reports were based on a written
statement by Jonathan Maphenduka, an MIC member who resigned in August in

Two weeks ago, Mahoso threatened the management of the independent weekly
Financial Gazette (FinGaz) with non-renewal of its licence if it did not
publish a retraction. After initially refusing, FinGaz finally complied in
its issue for the week of 23-29 January.

The 27 January issue of the governmental Manica Post weekly (which is based
in the eastern city of Mutare) meanwhile published comments by state
security minister Didymus Mutasa, who is in charge of the CIO, in which he
warned journalists that "the net will soon close." He said the government
had identified the "closets" used by journalists who use pseudonyms to work
for foreign media. He accused them of being "driven by the love of the
United States dollar and British pound which they are paid by the foreign
media houses to peddle lies."

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Are you paying rates and charges to an unlawful commission?

----- Original Message -----
From: Trudy Stevenson
Sent: Monday, January 30, 2006 9:52 PM
Subject: Are you paying rates and charges to an unlawful commission? Stevenson v Minister of Local Govt - SC 38/02

The judgement in my Supreme Court case re Chanakira Commission states clearly that continual reappointment of Commissions is unlawful.  The relevant text is printed below.

This then begs the question : Are we obliged to pay increases in rates and charges to an unlawful body? 

Food for thought.

Trudy Stevenson



Judgement No. SC 3 8/02

Civil Appeal No. 126/01




(2)   THE REGISTRAR-GENERAL OF ELECTIONS       Second Respondent

(3)   ELIJAH CHANAKIRA       Third Respondent

(4)   JAMES CHITAURO       Fourth Respondent

(5)   AS MPALA     Fifth Respondent

(6)   JT CHIWESHE       Sixth Respondent

(7)   F GULA-NDEBELE       Seventh Respondent

(8)       CS CHIZEMA  Eighth Respondent

(9)   AL MUMBENGEGWI   Ninth Respondent

(10) ES MAKONI  Tenth Respondent

(11) lAB GALLETLY       Eleventh Respondent



HARARE, FEBRUARY 18 & MAY 30, 2002

A P de Bourbon SC, for the appellant

Y Dondo, for the first respondent

No appearance for the second to the eleventh respondents


Sandura JA

" ............................

In my view, the first respondent, being the Minister to whom the President assigned the administration of the Urban Councils Act, should have ensured that the commissioners whom he had appointed carried out their obligation to cause an election to be held before their term of office expired in September 1999.

Having said that, it is clear beyond doubt that s 80(5) of the Urban Councils Act, in terms of which the commissioners were re-appointed, on two or three occasions, was not meant to be a vehicle for the postponement of a general election of councillors. In fact, the re-appointment of the commissioners did not in any way whatsoever affect the legal obligation to hold a general election of councillors every fourth year.

I say so because there is no provision in the Electoral Act or the Urban Councils Act which states that once commissioners are appointed or re-appointed any general election of councillors which is due is postponed indefinitely.

Consequently, the Minister could not avoid having a general election of councillors by continually re-appointing the commissioners. In my view, s 80(5) of the Urban Councils Act was not enacted for that purpose. The power given to the Minister by that section was intended for use, as a temporary measure, during the period preceding the holding of elections as required by the Electoral Act. The reappointments of the commissioners were, therefore, unlawful.

The appeal must, therefore, succeed with costs. Those costs will be borne by the first respondent because he was the only respondent who opposed the appeal."

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Land grabbing exercise spills into urban areas

      By Lance Guma
      30 January 2006

      The controversial policy of seizing white owned farms in Zimbabwe is
now spreading to white owned properties in urban areas. Gletwyn Estate,
incorporated under the City of Harare, has now been grabbed by police who
first invaded the area in December last year. The police say they want to
build houses for their officers but observers say the manner of the
acquisition remains outside the law. Over 200 hundred farm workers have been
forced off the estate. Most have been bundled into police trucks and dumped
in various parts of the country. With operations at the farm having ground
to a halt the welfare of farm workers remains critical with many facing

      The police have grabbed a section of the estate owned by Ian Ross
while Divine Homes, owned by a government minister, is selling stands on a
part of the property owned by Stuart Ross. Deputy Minister of Finance David
Chapfika is listed as Chairman of the company which is already marketing 600
stands on the estate. The company claims Gletwyn is public property because
it is a white owned farm. Property owners Ian and Stuart Ross are expected
to take the issue to court, despite slim chances of success given government
intransigence towards court orders.

      Speaking from South Africa Stuart Ross said they are currently
informing influential figures in the diplomatic community on developments on
the estate. They will soon be approaching the courts if no amicable
agreement is reached. He urged prospective home owners not to be duped into
buying stands on the area as the legal dispute could threaten their home
ownership in the future. He criticised government double standards in terms
of their policy on the grabbing of farms. While Reserve Bank Governor Gideon
Gono is calling for an end to farm invasions, government officials are doing
the opposite and putting 'their snouts in the trough'.

      SW Radio Africa Zimbabwe news

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No free fertiliser for A2 farmers

The Chronicle

By Gabriel Masvora

THE Government has ordered the Grain Marketing Board to stop selling or
distributing the 25 000 tonnes of Urea it acquired for free distribution to
all A2 farmers, saying the fertiliser was meant to cater for A1, old
resettlement, communal and smallscale farmers only.

The order came amid reports that some GMB managers were selling the
fertiliser imported by the Government to some A2 farmers.
In an interview, the Minister of Agriculture, Dr Joseph Made, said the
Government was concerned about the reports that some of the fertiliser was
being diverted from its intended beneficiaries.
"When the Government sourced the fertiliser it was meant for the A1, old
resettlement, communal and smallscale farmers and never for A2 farmers. The
Government is worried about reports that some A2 farmers are now benefiting
from this scheme. I have ordered the GMB to stop giving or selling the
fertiliser to these farmers. The Government will increase its monitoring to
ensure that the laid down procedures are followed," he said.
Dr Made said since A2 farmers had resources, they must use them to look for
the fertiliser through other channels.
"People must understand that the fertiliser being distributed free of charge
is meant to cater for our food security.
"The Government has been spending a lot of money importing food for the
communal people and that is the reason we are giving them the fertiliser for
free. We want them to produce enough food for them to avoid the scenario
where we would import food. A2 farmers are farmers who have resources and
they must look for fertiliser from other outlets and not GMB," he said.
The distribution of the fetiliser started last week with 15 000 tonnes
distributed to farmers. The fertiliser was distributed to 80 main depots
countrywide with each deport receiving between 50 and 90 tonnes.
The Government has imported 30 000 tonnes of fertiliser to augment local
supplies and ensure there is enough to meet demand as the country continues
to receive good rains. The funds to buy the fertiliser were part of the
US$25 million facility for the import of fertiliser and agricultural
chemicals extended to the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe by the Africa Import and
Export Bank (Afrexim).
Zimbabwe needs about 700 000 tonnes of Ammonium Nitrate, and 800 000 tonnes
of Compound D every season, with the local industry capable of producing
about 450 000 tonnes of each type and the rest having to be imported.
Three companies - Sable Chemicals, Windmill and Zimbabwe Fertiliser
Company - all set to be merged into the National Fertiliser Company, are at
present the local suppliers of the crop nutrient supplement.
Meanwhile, the Government has started preparations for the winter crop with
the Ministry of Water Resources and Infrastructural Development working with
officers from the department of Agricultural Research and Extension Services
to identify arable land suitable for planting winter crops.
Though the hectarage that has been identified could not be obtained from the
Minister of Water Resources and Infrastructural Development, Cde Munacho
Mutezo, Dr Made said his ministry, through AREX, was preparing for the start
of the winter crop.
"My ministry through AREX is working with officers from the Ministry of
Water Resources and Infrastructural Development in identifying land to be
put under crop in winter. We are working towards a programme to ensure a
successful season," he said.
Dr Made said A2 farmers willing to grow winter crops must start getting into
contracts with seed houses to ensure that seed would be ready at the
beginning of the season.
He castigated those farmers who relax and wait for the Government to source
every input for them.
Every year the country has experienced shortages of farming inputs,
something that has resulted in the delay of the planting season.
"We must work together and not wait for the Government to do everything for
us. Farmers and seed houses must start developing programmes on how they can
work together to ensure that everything that is needed is ready in time. One
of the best ways to work together is to encourage contract farming," said Dr
Under contract farming, Dr Made said, seed houses sign agreements with
farmers to provide inputs and then work out how the farmers would pay back
or companies can hire farmers to grow crops on their behalf.
He said already ARDA had entered into contracts with some A2 farmers where
the parastatal has hired land for winter crops.
Dr Made said even communal farmers must be encouraged to plant more winter
crops to ensure that the country has enough food.
He said it was pointless for the Government to import food every year when
the country had the capacity to produce the crops locally.
"We must utilise all the wet lands even in the communal areas. If each
family can produce two or three bags of wheat then it will contribute to the
food reserves of the country," he said.

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Chombo using Zupco vehicle

Daily Mirror, Zimbabwe

The Daily Mirror Reporter
issue date :2006-Jan-30

IGNATIUS Chombo, the Minister of Local Government, Public Works and Urban
Development, is using a Zimbabwe United Passenger Company (Zupco) vehicle,
The Daily Mirror has established.
Chombo is understood to have taken possession of the car, an Isuzu KB,
registration number AAK 4566, soon after it was issued out to Zupco.
The military-green four-wheel drive with tinted windows is often seen parked
at Makombe Building where the minister is housed.
The minister acquired the car after the Zupco board, which falls under his
ministry, passed a resolution to hand it over to him.
Zupco board chairman, Charles Nherera, acknowledged to The Daily Mirror that
the minister had the vehicle.
"The car is one of the several vehicles that we bought but we have loaned it
to the ministry which pays for all its running costs; however, it still
belongs to Zupco. We are a government company, this is our parent ministry
and if they ask for help from us we are willing to assist them," Nherera
said.He added that the decision to loan the vehicle to Chombo was a
resolution passed by the board and Zupco would get it back once the minister
had another car to use.
Since Chombo could not be reached for a comment from Thursday, it is not
clear why the minister does not have a government-allotted car of his own,
and what functions the car was being used for. "We have bought over 60 cars
for the board, management and inspectors. There are two vehicles for the
board (another is white in colour) but there is nothing wrong in loaning the
car to our parent ministry," he said.
Nherera added that besides the two cars bought for the board, Zupco also
procured five vehicles for its managers and some more for its inspectors in
the country .Efforts to obtain a comment from Paul Mangwana, who is in
charge of parastatals, were also fruitless but Webster Shamu, the minister
presiding over policy implementation, professed ignorance over the matter."It
is the first time that I am hearing about this," Shamu said.
Most parastatals are reeling under viability problems and Reserve Bank of
Zimbabwe governor, Gideon Gono, during the fourth quarter monetary policy
statement (for 2005) blasted the non-performing utilities.
He described the parastatals, which have had to continuously approach the
central bank for financial assistance, as a "drag" on his economic
turnaround programme, saying he would not want to see a number of them
approaching his office for money again.
"To the management and boards of such parastatals, our message is one, and
that is to shape up or ship out, for you are imposing an intolerable burden
on innocent Zimbabweans.Most of them we do not even want to see them ever
coming to the central bank again," Gono remarked.
The central bank governor has however acknowledged that Zupco is making
progress in repaying its loan, which is to the tune of $42,6 billon.

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