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

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Sunday Times, UK

            July 10, 2005

            British tycoon tightens his grip

            THE British property magnate Nicholas van Hoogstraten has
strengthened his ties with the regime of Robert Mugabe by taking the largest
stake in a Harare-based bank - a move that he claims makes him the biggest
foreign investor in Zimbabwe, writes Tom Walker.

            NMB Bank was valued at £70m when it was floated in 1997 and was
ranked among the top 30 in sub-Saharan Africa. But last year its fortunes
plummeted after its founders - supporters of the opposition Movement for
Democratic Change - were forced to flee Zimbabwe. They were accused of
illegally moving currency abroad and Mugabe's government froze all their

            Van Hoogstraten, who was released from Belmarsh prison in 2003
after his manslaughter conviction for the killing of a business associate
was quashed, has been building up his interests in Zimbabwe over the past

            He owns Central Estates, a sprawling 600,000-acre ranch, and has
a controlling stake in Wankie, the country's largest coalmine.

            But last week he shocked what remains of Zimbabwe's financial
community by turning up at the annual meeting of NMB and announcing that he
had become the largest shareholder.

            Analysts said van Hoogstraten had built up his stake to about
30% through two companies, Messina Investments and Palisades.

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Daily Mirror, Zimbabwe

Basic commodity shortages worsen

Shame Makoshori
issue date :2005-Jul-11

BASIC commodity shortages that have rocked Zimbabwe in the past four months
have since worsened, with critical foodstuffs like bread, cooking oil,
kapenta, milk and sugar, among others, disappearing from major supermarket
While there are erratic supplies of cooking oil, most consumers in Harare
say bakeries have failed to supply bread, while milk deliveries have also
been erratic.
Bakers have generally been supplying consumers with "Whole Wheat" bread
which, at between $9 500 and $10 000, is well beyond the reach of many.
The gazetted price of a standard loaf is $4 500.
A snap survey conducted by The Daily Mirror in the capital at the weekend
revealed that cooking oil was now available in strange brands of two litre
containers costing $150 000.
The Daily Mirror witnessed hundreds of consumers jostling for the brand at a
supermarket along Cameron Street.
The survey also revealed that the price of a 750 millilitre bottle of
cooking oil had shot up to $31 000 from $12 000 last month.
The government and the public have previously accused basic commodity
manufacturers of withholding their products to suffocate the market in a
mercenary bid to push for higher prices.
Most bakeries said the industry was trapped under a biting fuel crisis that
had caused their failure to produce enough products for the market.
"We have raw material supplies, wheat is available and flour is on stock.
The problem is that our ovens are powered by diesel. So the fuel shortages
are impacting negatively on our operations.
"Smaller bakeries use electricity but they do not produce much,

 this is not about prices, or anything, but fuel," a baker said yesterday.
Sugar producer ZSR chief executive Patison Sithole refused to divulge the
circumstances behind sugar shortages.
"That is a very serious issue that I cannot answer over the phone," Sithole,
also President of the Confederation of Zimbabwe Industries (CZI), said.
He has, however, been on record saying price controls were gnawing into ZSR's
coffers and lobbying for regular upward adjustments.
The Zimbabwe National Chamber of Commerce's (ZNCC) chief executive Innocent
Makwiramiti also complained about price controls saying they had hit hard on
the chamber's members.
"Let the market set its pace. It is difficult to produce when prices have
already been set and the issue of price controls have featured in most of
our discussions.
"The other challenge has been that of supply bottlenecks of raw materials.
It is a fact that 60 percent of the manufacturing sector depends on
agricultural produce so the decline in crop output has also impacted
negatively on industrial output," Makwiramiti noted.
The government last month gazetted prices of basic commodities to cushion
consumers who were being short-changed and taken advantage of by
unscrupulous "fly-by-night" shop owners.
The recommended producer price of bread is $4 200 while the retail price is
marked at $4 500 a loaf.
A 10 kg packet of roller meal costs $19 000 while a 50 kg now costs $88 000.
However, long queues continue to appear at supermarkets as consumers jostle
for the available products, usually distributed in small quantities.
Motorists also continued to queue outside service stations yesterday, hoping
that petrol and diesel would be delivered.
The National Oil Company of Zimbabwe has remained mum over the fuel
shortages for some time now, with the old explanation of foreign currency
constraints still persisting.
Both petrol and diesel are now selling for $100 000 a litre on the
This means that for a return journey between Harare and Bulawayo, a motorist
can spend around $6 million on fuel alone.

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Daily Mirror, Zimbabwe

Patients discharged as water runs out

Netsai Kembo
issue date :2005-Jul-11

A CRITICAL water shortage last Saturday forced Hauna District Hospital in
Mutasa to prematurely discharge scores of patients.
Sources at the government-run health institution said the water crisis
started last Wednesday following the break-down of the pump that feeds the
hospital from the nearby Ruda River.
The Daily Mirror failed to get a comment from the authorities when it
visited the hospital the same day the patients were discharged.
At least 10 patients were seen being taken home in wheel-barrows by
relatives who had come for the lunch hour visit, only to see them stranded
One of the patients, Charles Manjengwa, said:  "I was admitted in hospital
with severe stomach pains last Tuesday.  Though not yet fully recovered, I
was discharged at around 10 a.m but remained here because I could not walk
Speaking on condition of anonymity, a nurse at the hospital said several of
patients had already been discharged owing to the critical water problem.
Only the critically ill and expecting mothers who could source own water
from the community were retained.
"We have no option but to discharge scores of patients whom we felt could
come for treatment from home.
"We couldn't retain the whole lot as we are relying on water from the
community.  Even toilets are not flushing, thereby posing a serious health
hazard to all of us," said the nurse.
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Yahoo News

Zimbabwean hunger striker in hospital
2 hours, 54 minutes ago

LONDON (AFP) - A Zimbabwean hunger striker has been taken to a hospital near
London after refusing food for 36 days to resist deportation.

The 28-year-old teacher, Mqhubel Timbha, began the strike on June 2 in
protest against the lifting of a ban on deportations to Zimbabwe and was
followed in the strike by scores of his countrymen.
He was taken to an east London hospital where he had reportedly started
taking food under medical supervision.

"He was sufficiently ill that, on the strength of my report, the Home Office
accepted that he needed to be taken to hospital by ambulance," doctor Frank
Arnold said Sunday.

A second hunger striker, who has not been named, was also taken to hospital
Saturday, the man's solicitor said.

The British government confirmed the pair were in hospital but said there
were no concerns over their health. "Two of the hunger strikers are
currently receiving care in hospital. This is purely a precaution and there
are no concerns over their health at all," a Home Office spokesman said.

The hunger strikers argue that they would be killed if they returned home
after Britain in November 2004 lifted a ban that prevented asylum seekers
from being deported to Zimbabwe.
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Zim Online

Mugabe agrees to talk to Tsvangirai
Mon 11 July 2005
  HARARE - Embattled President Robert Mugabe has agreed to talks with
opposition leader, Morgan Tsvangirai, to find a solution to Zimbabwe's fast
deteriorating crisis.

      Nigerian President Olusegun Obasanjo, behind the renewed effort to
pull Zimbabwe back from the brink of economic and social disaster, last week
told British legislators that talks between Mugabe and Tsvangirai could be
held in Zimbabwe or South Africa.

      The proposed talks, whose dates or specific agenda still have to be
fixed, would be held under the mediation of a respected African, possibly a
retired president from a southern African country.

      Obasanjo, who convinced Mugabe to agree to dialogue when they met on
the sidelines of the African Union summit in Libya last week, said the
Zimbabwean leader was initially unco-operative and reluctant to commit to
talks with his political opponent.

      "But I persisted and he agreed a facilitation should take place," said
Obasanjo, who added that he had also managed to get Tsvangirai to agree to
talks with Mugabe during a meeting with the Zimbabwean opposition leader in
Abuja, the previous week.

      The proposed talks would be the first face-to-face meeting between
Mugabe and Tsvangirai who last met more than six years ago to discuss worker
problems when Tsvangirai was still leader of the Zimbabwe Congress of Trade

      Talks between Mugabe's ruling ZANU PF party and Tsvangirai's Movement
for Democratic Change (MDC) party that were brokered by Obasanjo and South
African President Thabo Mbeki collapsed in August 2002. ZANU PF pulled out
of the talks in protest after Tsvangirai filed a court application
challenging Mugabe's re-election earlier in the year.

      Subsequent attempts by Mbeki and Zimbabwean church leaders to bring
the country's two biggest political parties to the negotiating table have
failed with Mugabe and ZANU PF accusing Tsvangirai and his party of being
controlled by Britain and the West, insisting they will not negotiate with

      The opposition, which accuses Mugabe and his party of routinely
stealing elections, denies being a stooge, instead claiming that the
Zimbabwean leader and his government avoid a negotiated and democratic
settlement for fear it could lead to free and fair elections resulting in
their losing power.

      Even after giving his word to Obasanjo, it remains uncertain whether
Mugabe would finally agree to meet Tsvangirai, whom he appears to loathe
personally and has in the past accused of hiring assassins to kill him.

      But analysts say Mugabe, who could still use his ZANU PF party's
absolute control of Parliament to change the constitution and extend his
term in office without facing elections, might this time round be forced to
the negotiating table as Zimbabwe faces total collapse amid growing concern
by African countries that have so far stood with Harare.

      A six-year fuel shortage worsened in recent weeks bringing most of
industry and commerce to a virtual halt with only a handful of garages
supplying the commodity across the country. Electricity is also in short

      A quarter of Zimbabwe's about 12 million people could starve unless
donors provide 1.2 million tonnes of food aid. Essential medical drugs,
several other basic survival commodities and hard cash are also in critical
short supply.

      Inflation, which hit an all time record high of 622.8 percent in
January last year, has retreated to 144.4 percent at present but remains one
of the highest such rates in the world. Unemployment is pegged at 80
percent, while a burgeoning HIV/AIDS pandemic is killing at least 2 000
Zimbabweans every week. - ZimOnline.

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Zim Online

High Court judge "chickens out" of clean up test case
Mon 11 July 2005

      BULWAYO - A High Court Judge has recused himself from hearing a test
case application by informal traders in Bulawayo challenging the government's
decision to ban them from trading on the streets under its controversial
clean-up operation.

      The government has in the last six weeks banned informal traders from
hawking or conducting their businesses on the streets and also arrested more
than 77 000 others as part of its urban renewal exercise. The police also
confiscated goods and wares valued at several millions of dollars from
informal traders.

      In a case putting to the test the legality of the state's actions, the
Bulawayo Upcoming Traders' Association (BUTA), representing 9 000 registered
informal traders, wanted the police to return goods confiscated from their
members and force the law enforcement agency and city authorities to allow
association members to carry on their businesses uninterrupted.

      But Justice Maphios Cheda scuttled plans by informal traders to revive
their operations when he stood down from the urgent matter citing pressure
of work.

      Regional president of the Zimbabwe Chamber of Informal Economy
Associations, that incorporates BUTA, Edward Manning, said Cheda's move
would delay the hearing of the matter as the informal traders would now have
to file a fresh application with the court.

      Manning accused the judiciary of reluctance to expedite the informal
traders' matter and said the traders might have to resort to street
demonstrations to force the wheels of justice to move faster on the

      An exasperated Manning said: "We might have no alternative but to
resort to street demonstrations because honestly we do not understand why
(the matter application is not being expedited) . . . we are traders
registered with the council. We pay rent to council and were paying 10
percent tax on earnings to the government every month. So why are we being
punished like this?"

      The registrar of the Bulawayo High Court could not be reached to
establish when the informal traders' case will be heard before a new judge
but some officials indicated the matter might be set down for Thursday this

      The Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights Association (ZLHRA), which has
taken several cases before the courts on behalf of families evicted from
their homes, has accused the judiciary of being hostage to the political
establishment and said the bench was failing to defend the rights of poor
families evicted from their homes by the government.

      The lawyers group said many of Zimbabwe's judges were beneficiaries of
a patronage network run by President Robert Mugabe and his ruling ZANU PF
party that they could not be expected to rule against the mass evictions
that Mugabe himself has publicly defended. - ZimOnline

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Zim Online

Four million Zimbabweans in rural areas will need food aid
Mon 11 July 2005

      HARARE - An increase on the price of grain on the international market
could see the number of people requiring food aid in Zimbabwe's
poverty-stricken rural areas shooting up from 2.9 million at present to
about four million, according to the World Food Programme (WFP).

      In its latest hunger vulnerability assessment report on Zimbabwe, the
WFP said the number of hungry people in rural areas could also increase if
the staple maize imported from outside the country was not distributed
through the government's Grain Marketing Board, which normally charges
affordable prices for consumers.

      "If maize is not made available through the Grain Marketing Board, or
if it increases in price (on the international market), the number of people
requiring food assistance could rise substantially. As a contingency, WFP
plans to assist up to four million people in Zimbabwe in the year ahead,"
read the WFP report dated July 7, 2005.

      Food relief experts say the overall number of people requiring food
aid across Zimbabwe is about four million or about a quarter of the country's
total population of 12 million people and the figure is certain to change if
grain prices escalate on the international market.

      More than US$250 million is required to import about 1.2 million
tonnes to avert starvation in Zimbabwe. President Robert Mugabe in June
accepted an offer for help from WFP chief James Morris but to date has not
yet made a formal appeal for food aid, a situation that hampers efforts by
the food relief body to raise help for Zimbabwe.

      Mugabe, whose chaotic land reforms are largely blamed for causing food
shortages in Zimbabwe, has not declared a state of disaster over food, a
requirement if international relief agencies are to successfully raise aid
for the country.

      Harare, pressed for hard cash to import fuel and other basic needs,
has indicated it has enough resources to ensure no Zimbabwean starves. -

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Zim Standard

Chombo, Mohadi clash
By Valentine Maponga

IGNATIOUS Chombo, the Minister of Local Government, Public Works and Urban
Development clashed with Kembo Mohadi, his colleague who heads the Ministry
of Home Affairs, over the destruction of houses under the widely condemned
"clean up" operation, which has left hundreds of thousands of families
homeless, The Standard has learnt.

Despite repeated pleas from Chombo to Mohadi and the Commissioner of Police,
Augustine Chihuri, for them to spare several registered housing
co-operatives in Harare, Mohadi defied him and sanctioned their destruction.
The co-operatives had been approved or were about to be sanctioned by
Chombo's ministry.

Documents in our possession indicate that the police destroyed houses
belonging to members of five co-operatives in Harare, despite efforts by
Chombo to stop the demolitions.

At least seven people died in circumstances linked to the operation.

In a letter dated 3 June this year, the Secretary for Local Government,
Public Works and Urban Development, Partson Mbiriri, to Chihuri and copied
to Mohadi, he advised them not to demolish houses at Joshua Nkomo, Nehanda,
Sally Mugabe, Ngungunyana, Ushewekunze and Border Gezi co-operatives.

Chombo also wrote: "This minute seeks to confirm that the following housing
co-operatives have their layout plans approved or about to be approved by
this Ministry. The elaborate structures being constructed relate to the
layout plans."

The police, however, went ahead and destroyed the co-operatives' houses,
prompting Chombo to write another protest letter directly to Mohadi and
copied to Harare Resident Minister, David Karimanzira, and Chairman of the
Commission Running the City of Harare, Sekesai Makwavarara.

Chombo wrote on 14 June: "On 3 June 2005 we advised the Commissioner of
Police, with a copy to your ministry to spare the following housing schemes
in the current clean up exercise (Copy attached).

"Despite this request the demolishing of the structures has continued at
Aspindale, Saturday Retreat and Glen Eagles. I am also informed the
Kuwadzana Extension is lined for demolishing."

Chombo pleaded: "We sincerely request your intervention to save the
remaining schemes. Looking forward to your cooperation."

But the demolitions continued, putting Zimbabwe in a negative international
glare. Four of the six listed housing co-operatives were not spared. But
Sally Mugabe and Nehanda housing co-operatives were.

When contacted for comment, Mohadi confirmed that there had been "some
communication breakdown.

"I have not received a copy of that letter but he (Chombo) mentioned
something to that effect. There have been some sort of communication
breakdown and I think I will have to look at the letter before I can make
comment," Mohadi said.

The government launched the "clean up" operation on 25 May, displacing
thousands of street vendors and flea market operators.

A number of housing settlements under the housing co-operatives, were also
destroyed, condemning hundreds of thousands of families to homelessness and

Zanu PF central committee member, Pearson Mbalekwa, last week resigned from
the ruling party citing the "clean-up" operation. The former Central
Intelligence Organisation operative said he did not want to be part of this
"shameful and vindictive political act".

Former Zanu PF central committee member, Phillip Chiyangwa's resignation
from the ruling party on Friday lends credence to assertions that there
could be a spate of resignations in protest against the "clean-up" as well
as general disgruntlement about the dictatorial manner the party is run.

Analysts say several senior and middle ranking officials, especially the
so-called Young Turks in Zanu PF, were enraged by the inhumane manner the
ruling party handled demolitions, which affected mostly the poor.

A source told The Standard yesterday: "Most of them are fed-up but they are
not sure of what will happen to them if they quit the party.

"Look at what's happening to Mbalekwa. They have grabbed irrigation
equipment from his farm. It's a test case for most Zanu PF members who
intend to resign."

Soon after Mbalekwa resigned from Zanu PF, the government raided his farm
and took away farm equipment.

Mbalekwa said: "They are only being vindictive but what they should know is
that the land is for every Zimbabwean regardless of political affiliation."

While Chiyangwa could not be reached for comment yesterday, his supporters
say there was general disgruntlement over the way Chiyangwa's case was
handled by the ruling party. Justice Charles Hungwe freed Chiyangwa from
prison early this year and issued a blistering attack on the police and
judicial officers.

His supporters spoke of the former Mashonaland West provincial chairman of
Zanu PF being "harassed", suggesting widening cracks in the ruling party.

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Zim Standard

Zimbabwe grinding to a halt as fuel runs dry
By Vusumuzi Sifile and Kumbirai Mafunda

THE fuel crisis, which has crippled almost every sector of the economy,
reached such critical levels last week that even essential security and
health services had reportedly run out of the commodity, The Standard

Even the ruling Zanu PF party was demanding fuel from private importers
because the crisis-ridden National Oil Company of Zimbabwe (Noczim)'s depots
were dry.
The Standard has established that a senior Zanu PF official, P Washaya wrote
to members of the Petroleum Marketers' Association of Zimbabwe (PMAZ),
demanding that the association avail fuel to the ruling party for "its

A source told The Standard: "It's a demanding letter."

Washaya could not be reached for a comment.

Sources in the intelligence services said allocation of fuel to members of
the Central Intelligence Organisation (CIO), Police and the Zimbabwe
Republic Army had severely been reduced.

The sources said the security services were now drawing their fuel from
strategic reserves.

But the director of army public relations, Lieutenant Colonel Aggrey Wushe,
said the army was not affected very much by the problem, as they always kept
reserves for emergency operations.

He said: "The army always reserves fuel for emergency operations. That fuel
is always there and is not used for anything but the purpose for which it is
kept - emergency operations. As such, our operations have not been affected
by the current problems."

He, however, said the current problems were indirectly affecting transport
services for individual officers in the army, "just like everybody else".

Public health institutions have also not been spared. A survey by The
Standard established that most hospitals were operating below capacity, as
their fuel reserves were almost running out.

Most patients who had gone to the hospitals for treatment said they used
their own transport, as the ambulance services were inadequate.

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Zim Standard

Zimbabwe could miss out on G8 concessions
By Kumbirai Mafunda

PRESIDENT Robert Mugabe could be ruing the day he picked up a fight with the

The President could also be ruing the day he let his administration and
supporters wreck the country's once vibrant economy and promising democracy.
All this because the West he so loathes has unveiled a plan to double aid
flows to Africa and cancel the continent's debt in order to make progress
towards meeting ambitious UN targets to cut extreme poverty and hunger by
2015. The biggest write-offs of debt ever could also spark major
improvements in the lives of the world's poorest people.

To qualify for the debt forgiveness and increased aid inflows, the West has
dangled the carrot and stick approach declaring that the primary focus will
be on reforming countries.

The "Marshall plan" is set to benefit 14 African countries immediately.
These include Benin, Burkina Faso, Ethiopia, Ghana, Madagascar, Mali,
Mauritania, Mozambique, Rwanda, Senegal, Tanzania, Uganda and Zambia and
later on Cameroon, Chad, Congo, Gambia, Guinea, Guinea Bissau, Malawi, Sao
Tome & Principe and Sierra Leone.

But as other African and developing nations are cheering at the prospect of
having their colossal debts annulled by the G8 industrialized nations,
Zimbabwe was left rueful as the West outlined that aid would be ineffective
without progress and reform. And this is where, analysts point out, lies the
Achilles' heel for Zimbabwe.

In remarks preceding last week's G8 summit in Gleneagles, US President
George Bush stressed that trade and good government were as important as aid
and African leaders must themselves be the "agents of reform", rather than
"passive recipients of money". British Prime Minister Tony Blair, who is
hosting the Gleneagles summit and has placed Africa at the centre of the
summit's agenda hinted before the opening of the summit that trouble in
Zimbabwe would make it difficult for him to persuade leaders of the other G8
countries to pour more money into Africa.

At a meeting in London to prepare for the Gleneagles summit, G8 finance
ministers agreed to cancel US$40 billion worth of debt owed by 18 of the
world's poorest nations most of which are in Africa. Much of the cancelled
debt is owed to the World Bank Group, the African Development Bank and the
International Monetary Fund.

Zimbabwe already ostracized and facing expulsion from the IMF this month
owes the global lender about US$295 million and moderate analysts estimate
Zimbabwe's foreign debt at US$7 billion.

Zimbabwe's refusal to present itself for the African Peer Review Mechanism,
which is designed to enable African countries to monitor each other and
promote better standards of governance, could weigh against the crisis-torn
southern African country. Presently, 23 African countries have agreed to a
system of review to monitor their own political and economic performance.
Ghana and Rwanda have had their first reports under the review mechanism
assessed by fellow African leaders.

Prevalent corruption, analysts say, could also cost the troubled southern
African country as progress on good governance and corruption is seen as
essential if the West is to agree to increased aid. To be sure, corruption
is still widespread, Transparency International reports that 18 of the 50
worst nations are in Africa and Zimbabwe is ranked 114 out of 146.

Neighbouring South Africa is seen as taking on high-level corruption - or at
least the appearance of it following the firing of its former deputy
President, Jacob Zuma, allegedly for a corrupt relationship with his
financial adviser. Zuma's sacking came at a time of increased efforts to
fight graft across Africa.

Observers believe that a call by African leaders on the rich countries to
cancel all of Africa's debts at the G8 summit will fall on deaf ears unless
the continent reforms as a whole.

"No amount of aid or debt relief or trade concessions are going to help this
country get out of the hole it is in - only a radical change of direction
and leadership will do that and I am afraid that this same analysis applies
to many countries on the continent," says Eddie Cross, economic adviser to
the MDC.

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Zim Standard

State splashes $230m on 'Umdala Wethu' gala
By Savious Kwinika

BEITBRIDGE - The government spent more than $230 million to host last
weekend's Umdala Wethu gala held in Beitbridge, The Standard can confirm.

The Permanent Secretary for the Ministry of Information and Publicity,
George Charamba, said his ministry had used $236 million towards payment of
musicians, who participated in the gala.
But popular king of Sungura music, Alick Macheso was not at the all-night
gala at Dulibadzimu Stadium in Beitbridge.

Instead, he was wowing the crowds with a live performance at Educare Hall in
Gweru the same night of the much-publicised gala.

Most of the musicians lined up at the gala relied on CDs as they do not have
backing guitarists usually preferred during live shows. This is in contrast
to performances by the more seasoned artists such as Macheso, Oliver
Mtukudzi and Charles Charamba.

George Charamba dismissed the claim that Macheso snubbed them as baseless,
unfounded and unsubstantiated arguing that those allegations were the work
of the country's detractors.

"Macheso will be available in future galas. Mind you, galas are there for
publicity opportunities for musicians. Musicians get to meet their own
audience. They (galas) are not benefiting the government in anyway but
benefiting musicians," said Charamba.

However, William Tsandukwa, Macheso and Orchestra Mberikwazvo band manager,
said there was no way they could have participated at the Beitbridge gala
arguing that they had already organised two shows in Gweru and Bulawayo's
Zimbabwe International Trade Fair (ZITF) grounds.

"It's unfortunate that we did not participate at the national event, the
Joshua Nkomo gala because we had already lined up two shows in Gweru and
Bulawayo. We could not cancel our shows because we had made prior bookings
some weeks back.

"Whilst we do appreciate and respect the Joshua Nkomo gala for being a
national event, we however apologise to the nation that we were not
approached in time and we therefore could not cancel the agreement we had
entered with our fans," Tsandukwa said.

He said the band was always there for the nation but pointed out that proper
channels should be followed to allow business of the day to prevail.

However, Matabeleland South governor, Angeline Masuku, said the show was a
great success.

In an interview at Dulibadzimu, Masuku said her province was proud to host
such a national event that attracted thousands of people from all walks of

"I don't have much to say except pointing out that the function was a great
success," said Masuku, before overzealous security agents pushed The
Standard reporter away.

But hundreds of motorists were stranded the following morning, as they could
not get fuel from this border town back to their respective destinations.

Hlambelo Tshavani of Dulibadzimu told The Standard that he only attended the
gala for the beer to socialize and console himself since his home was
destroyed by the police.

"The late Father Zimbabwe we are worshipping and glorifying tonight was not
as destructive, insensitive and corrupt as the present leadership in Zanu

"Right now we are sleeping in the open, no blankets; children are no longer
going to school because of the same government that is trying to hoodwink us
tonight. I am not fooled at all," Hlambelo said.

Mavis Muleya, a commercial sex worker, said the gala did not mean anything
to most people in this border town as they were battling to secure
accommodation and fuel while the rate of unemployment was ballooning on a
daily basis.

"Father Zimbabwe did not fight the white colonialists in order to oppress
his own people as the ruling Zanu PF is doing today.

"Instead, Nkomo went to the bush to fight for our stolen human rights,
provide the nation with equal employment opportunities and building houses
for the nation as opposed to president Mugabe's kind of leadership," Muleya

But it was Hosea Chipanga, Zexie Manatsa, Cephas Mashakada and Ndolwane
Sounds, who thrilled the crowd with their music that either made the people
dance or listen to their powerful messages.

Chipanga said the nation was suffering and his music was pointing to the
problems faced by the nation while a few "chosen ones" were enjoying every
minute of life despite the hardships.

"If you listened carefully to my message, I am trying to convince those in
authority to realise that the nation is suffering and urgent peaceful
solutions are needed without fighting one another," Chipanga said.

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Zim Standard

Fuel crisis wreaks havoc on education
By Nqobani Ndlovu

BULAWAYO - THE worsening fuel shortage in the country is posing a serious
threat to educational standards as students and teachers are failing to
attend lessons due to the transport problems.

The Progressive Teachers Union of Zimbabwe (PTUZ) secretary general, Raymond
Majongwe, said the fuel crisis was compromising education standards, once
regarded as among the best on the African continent.
In an interview last week, Majongwe said there was need to take drastic
measures to save the sector from total collapse. He said problems in the
sector have been exacerbated by destruction of people's homes in urban
centres, driving pupils out of school.

Majongwe said: "As somebody from the education sector, I would say that
education, one of the last remaining things we are proud of is under serious
threat. "If we do not rush to save the crisis, all will be destroyed.

"Also the environment does not allow learning time and give the students a
conducive environment as they will be thinking of where they will sleep and
get transport. It's a confused situation."

Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) shadow minister of education, Fidelis
Mhashu, said students could not concentrate during lessons.

"First of all starting with the teachers, because of the fuel problems, they
arrive at school mid-morning tired after queuing for hours and queuing again
to go home. When they get home, they will not have the time to plan for the
next day.

"It is also the same story for the pupils. They are now psychologically
affected. They cannot concentrate at school as they will be thinking of
transport and also where they will sleep.

"Teachers are struggling to get the attention of students because of these
problems. This is seriously going to hurt our education, especially for
those studying for the final 'O' and 'A' level examinations."

Efforts to get comment from the Minister of Education, Sport and Culture,
Aeneas Chigwedere, proved fruitless.

The PTUZ and the Zimbabwe Teachers' Association (Zimta) estimated that more
than 300 000 pupils have dropped out of school after their homes were
destroyed by government in a controversial operation dubbed "Murambatsvina/

The operation has left hundreds of thousands families homeless.

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Zim Standard

Villagers slam plans to move them
By our Staff

VILLAGERS in Harava District in Seke Communal lands under Chief Seke are
fuming over a decision to move them from their ancestral land as part of the
government's "Operation Murambatsvina".

At least 15 villages that are close to Dema Growth Point will be affected.
Among the villages that will be affected are Marikopo, Mutsvairo, Musoko,
and Chamboko.
Mayambara village, which has some beautifully-built houses and where the
Police Commissioner, Augustine Chihuri is widely believed to own a house,
will also be affected.

At a meeting on Friday the villagers were told by Harava District
Administrator, identified only as a Ms Mubaira, that they should vacate
their homes by tomorrow.

Mubaira said all the people, who came to the district after 1983, would be
moved while those whose homes are within 100 metres of the main road will
also be affected.

The villagers said they were given a seven-day warning during an ad hoc
meeting on Monday.

"It is true that the demolitions are coming, the government will proceed
with the demolitions starting Monday. Everything should be planned," Mubaira

However, the traditional leadership of the area believes that their powers
have been usurped and that the role of the chiefs is now being disregarded.

Sebastian Matema, headman for Matema village castigated the impending
demolitions saying they were uncalled for. "I was born here and now I am 58
years old. We have been elbowed out of our fathers' land. Svinurai suburb
has taken our fields," he said.

Ray Zhanje, the headman for Zhanje village asked: "I don't know what they
mean when they say people will be removed. What will be the role of the

Farai Matema, who lives in Matema village, described the move as vindictive
and retributive to perceived Movement for Democratic Change (MDC)

"We thought the operation was a clean-up in urban areas but for them to come
to the rural areas is senseless. Where will we go? They are talking of
development at growth points but there is no industry here (Dema) save for a
few bottle stores,"

A 69-year-old woman who only identified herself as Mbuya Marikopo bemoaned
the manner in which the government was acting and was worried about the
graves of her relatives.

Scores of graves, which predate the road, are adjacent to the road.

Chief Seke pleaded for some of the houses to be spared but the DA dismissed
his plight saying it was impossible to accede to his request.

"I am sorry chief, if they don't have the papers they will be removed,"
Mubaira said.

Meanwhile police continued to demolish housing structures around the country
last week despite claims by the government that the controversial "clean-up"
exercise had been stopped to pave way for the construction of houses.

The government launched "Operation Garikai/ Hlalani Kuhle" under which it
says $3 trillion has been set aside for the building of houses to replace
those demolished by the "clean-up exercise".

In Bulawayo, the demolitions were still taking place in the high-density
suburbs of Gwabalanda, Luveve and Emakhandeni, while in Harare cottages were
on Thursday destroyed in Westwood and Epworth.

The demolitions continued in the country despite the presence of UN special
envoy, Anna Kajumalo Tibaijuka, who was here to assess the impact of the
operation. She left Harare yesterday.

Bulawayo residents who spoke to The Standard on Wednesday said the police
were also targeting extended houses.

Salute Moyo (40) of New Luveve, who had his extended house demolished, said
he would sue the police for compensation.

The council approved his building extension plan in 1985.

"I wish to point out that number 917/85 was approved on 30 December 1985 and
that building operations have been at a standstill for more than six
months," reads part of the building plan.

In Chitungwiza's Unit H, 35 houses were razed to the ground by the police
last week.

Chitungwiza Mayor Misheck Shoko told The Standard that the police destroyed
the houses without his approval.

"The police were accompanied by our security officer and we had told them to
leave Katanga and Unit H, yet they went on to demolish the houses," Shoko

The following day, Shoko said, the Governor's office notified him that they
had made a "mistake".

"They came to me and asked me to go and apologise to the affected families
but I could not apologise since I had not sent anybody to destroy the
houses," said Shoko.

Apart from that, some legal structures were also demolished. Two famous home
industries' sites, one in St Mary's and the other at Makoni shopping centre,
were also destroyed. The industries had water, electricity and sewer

However, Houses belonging to Zororo Co-operative started by Zanu PF
supporter Christopher Chigumba, which were built on top of sewer pipes, are
still standing, despite the fact that they are illegal.

"We never gave Chigumba any stand and they should have been demolished,"
Shoko said.

Contacted for comment, police spokesperson Assistant Commissioner, Wayne
Bvudzijena said: "I have no comment for The Standard".

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Zim Standard

Veteran photographer arrested
By our Staff

VETERAN photographer, Fidelis Zvomuya, was last week detained for more than
four hours by the police after taking pictures of a victim of the so-called
"clean-up" exercise at Travos House, along Jason Moyo Avenue in Harare.

He had gone to cover the evictions at the building when he found police had
tied one of the occupants of the building to the staircase using his
He took two pictures of hapless man but in the process a police officer
arrested him and erased the pictures he had taken.

"What do you think you are doing? Give me that camera!" shouted the police
officer who arrested him.

Zvomuya, who freelances for The Standard, was handcuffed and detained in the
building for more than two hours before he was taken to Harare Central
Police Station. He was forced to pay a $25 000 admission of guilty fine for
"misconduct" before being released. The receipt number is 1718601.

The police told him that if he failed to pay the fine they would lock him

Zvomuya described his arrest as "unjustified and an indication of the
repressive environment in which Zimbabwean journalists were operating.

"I don't know why they arrested me. I was just doing my job. I paid the fine
just to secure my freedom. But I did so under protest," said Zvomuya, a
former chief photographer with The Herald.

Davison Maruziva, the Editor of The Standard deplored the arrest. He said
police officers were acting overzealously.

He said: "This was absolutely unnecessary. Zvomuya was taking pictures in a
public place. If the police interpretation of the law is correct, it means
all the tourists that the country is expecting to visit and spend their
foreign currency will be at risk of arrest for merely taking pictures in
public places. I believe that is an unfortunate signal to send to the
outside world. Unless the police had something to hide, the arrest was both
unfortunate and totally unnecessary."

Police swooped on Travos House on Friday morning ordering all the occupants
to get their furniture and wares out.

However, soon after the raid the tenants made an application through the
Harare Magistrates Court to have the evictions stopped. The application was

The tenants cited the City of Harare and the Commissioner of Police,
Augustine Chihuri, as the respondents.

The tenants were being accused of operating illegally.

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Zim Standard

Hats off to donor community
Aidswatch with Bertha Shoko

IT has been quite obvious that for the past month and half since "Operation
RestoreOrder/Murambatsvina" began, Zimbabwe has had a serious humanitarian
crisis on its hands.

At least eight people, among them four children, have died in circumstances
related to the so-called "clean up" campaign, which has displaced more than
one million people.
Also education representative bodies estimate that more than 300 000 school
children have been forced out of school as a result of the displacements.

Our particular concern in this whole crisis has also been the vulnerability
of People Living With HIV and AIDS (PLWAs) who are more prone to disease
because of their weakened immune systems.

Being displaced and sleeping out in the open with no proper sanitation and
properly cooked clean food can make PLWAs prone to diseases such as
diarrhoea that can even result in death, if untreated.

This is bearing in mind the fact that most displaced people have been
relocated to places far away from health facilities.

And as the media joined many others in condemning this operation through
reports, highlighting its insensitivity and unjustness, a lot of positive
things have come up.

Notable is the international attention that the media been able to draw to
Zimbabwe to make President Robert Mugabe's government accountable and how
the donor community has moved in to help affected families in the operation.

Thanks to the SOS messages we sent out as the media fraternity, a United
Nations team was in Zimbabwe to assess the situation following the so-called
"clean up" campaign.

Headed by Anna Kajumalo Tibaijuka, the UN team is expected to draw up a
report and submit it to the UN Security Council for determination.

There is no doubt Tibaijuka is walking a diplomatic tight rope, but I am
optimistic that her visit will have a lot of positives on the humanitarian
crisis in the country.

Although the government was at first reluctant to allow Non Governmental
Organisations to assist the victims, they have bowed to pressure from the
international community and local organisations.

It is commendable that quite a number of organisations are responding to the
humanitarian situation and offering various forms of assistance.

Last week, the Canadian Embassy donated $62 million to assist victims of the
"clean up" operation. The Zimbabwe National Pastors' Conference (ZNPC) has
been chosen by the Canadian Embassy to distribute the money because they
work more closely with people on the ground.

The Canadian Ambassador to Zimbabwe, John Schram, told journalists that his
government was willing to offer more assistance to affected families.

The ZNPC, which is a network of pastors from different denominations, says
it hopes to channel more resources to Bulawayo where there is no organised
holding camp for displaced people like Caledonia farm in Harare.

The Zimbabwe Red Cross Society was one of the first organisations to respond
to the humanitarian crisis. At Caledonia farm and in Manicaland province,
the Red Cross provided temporary toilets and helped pitch up tents for
evictees to sleep during the night.

It has also been providing blankets, cooking utensils and jerry cans for use
by displaced families throughout the country. They are also providing
temporary relief to families through its eight provincial offices with the
support of the International Federation of Red Cross Societies.

UNICEF the United Nations Children's' Educational Fund (UNICEF) donated
mobile toilets and sanitary equipment to children at Caledonia farm, which
houses the majority of settlers displaced from Harare. About 25 000 litres
of water are also distributed daily at the camp. UNICEF also constructed a
makeshift preschool for children at the farm.

After pressure from health experts, the ministry of health and child welfare
set up a mobile clinic at Caledonia farm, which offers free treatment.

Though support is not being specified, that is, this is for children or
PLWAs or women, there is no doubt PLWAs, are among those who have benefited
from all this assistance.

It is comforting that those few organisations that have come out to help
have made a difference in this humanitarian crisis.

Lives have been saved and hope certainly restored. Those affected have not
felt neglected and lost. They have been given a new lease of life through
all this assistance and if help continues to pour in, they will eventually
be able to pick up the pieces of their shattered lives.

I believe the media has certainly played a key role in this humanitarian
crisis. We must continue being the watchdog of society.

oFor feedback and questions please email:

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Zim Standard

Zimbabwe among the worst corrupt
By our staff

ZIMBABWE has slipped deeper amongst the worst corrupt countries in the world
to number 114 out of 146, a 2004 Transparency report has revealed. The
report, which ranks countries on the corruption index shows that Zimbabwe
has a score of 2.3.

Zimbabwe is tied with Sierra Leone, Moldova, Venezuela, Bolivia, Guatemala
and Kazakhstan.
However Zimbabwe's score remains unchanged as compared to the 2003 report.
In 2003, Zimbabwe was ranked 106 tied with Bolivia, Honduras, Serbia
Montenegro, Sudan and Ukraine.

According to the scorecard a country with a score of 0 is regarded as very
corrupt while the one with a score of 10 is classified as highly clean. The
scores refer to perceptions of the degree of corruption, as seen by business
people and country analysts.

In the 2004 report, Botswana is the least corrupt nation in Africa after
notching up a score of 6.0.

Tunisia is ranked 39 with 5.0, while South Africa is five places down the
ladder on 4.6.

Angola is the worst rated nation in southern Africa on 133 with a score of
2.0 tied with Ivory Coast and the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Nigeria is on 144 with a score of 1.6 just ahead of Bangladesh and Haiti,
classified as the worst corrupt countries on 1.5.

Analysts say Zimbabwe's ranking flies in the face of a raft of measures
introduced by government to rein in corruption. The measures included the
formation an anti-corruption ministry.

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Zim Standard

Churches assist the displaced
By Savious Kwinika

BULAWAYO - CHURCHES and non-governmental organisations are shouldering the
burden of feeding, accommodating and clothing families made homeless by the
government's urban cleansing exercise.

More than 10 000 were displaced in Bulawayo, the country's second largest
city, alone.
A snap survey last week revealed that most of the families displaced by the
controversial "Operation Restore Order" are now being looked after by
churches and non-governmental organisations, which government has on several
occasions accused being fronts for Western countries in their endeavours to
unseat the government.

New Life of All Fellowship is now home to 5 000 people while the Brethren in
Christ Church is assisting at least 300 people with food, clothing and

Bulawayo Alliance of Churches' Pastor Nsika Ncube told The Standard that
churches were looking after hundreds of displaced families. "I don't really
know how the government would tackle this crisis because as I speak to you
right now the churches are still taking care of the families displaced with
my church taking care of over 300 people," Pastor Ncube said.

Another Bulawayo clergyman, Pastor Albert Ndlovu of the Brethren-In-Christ
church, said he has met with several stakeholders including the governor's
office, the Red Cross Society and the United Nations in an effort to find
ways of assisting displaced people.

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Zim Standard

Agricultural 'revolution' in jeopardy
By Kumbirai Mafunda

ZIMBABWE'S much-vaunted agricultural "revolution" could be in jeopardy as
manufacturers of fertilizer navigate their way through a maze of operational

Sable Chemical Industries (Sables), the country's sole manufacturer of
ammonium nitrate fertilizer, which early this year indicated that it was at
the verge of closing down as a result of prolonged price controls on its
agrochemical products advised StandardBusiness that it was operating below
capacity. Although Sables was permitted to review its fertilizer prices
upwards in April, the company said the adjustment was inadequate to cushion
it from galloping production costs.
"The last price review was insufficient because costs are rising," said
Elliot Mugamu, Sables director. This will hamper the company's capacity to
carry out major maintenance work."

The government has since 2001 imposed price caps on basic commodities in an
unpopular fashion only rivalled by former Soviet Union command economics.
The forced price dictates have not taken into account spiraling operating
costs, resulting in significant operating losses for Sables.

Saddled with growing shortages and with time running out for farming
preparations Mugamu disclosed that the national demand for fertilizer had
already exceeded supply.

Apart from being hamstrung by unprofitable prices, Sables is also lamenting
the acute foreign currency crisis, which is undermining industrial

Shingi Mutasa, TA Holding's chairman and majority shareholders in Sables,
recently disclosed that the selling price of bagged ammonia nitrate
fertiliser of $612 000 a tonne was significantly below the cost of
production of $2 042 065 a tonne. Sable contributed $3,9 billion to TA
Holding's revenue in 2004, compared to $10,3 billion in 2003, while total
ammonia nitrate fertilizer production slumped to 138 865 tonnes against 162
125 tonnes produced in the previous year.

"The level of price reviews allowed by the government will determine the
future performance of the agrochemicals associates," said Mutasa. The
companies face collapse if they do not get significant price increases to
enable them to finance operating and critical expenditure," he added.

If Sable closes down as Mutasa hinted, then Harare will be forced to import
the vital product at a time the country is battling critical foreign
currency shortages.

Economic analysts warn that the recovery of the agriculture sector could
take much longer if Sable is not rescued as a matter of urgency.

"If the government is serious about reviving agriculture then someone should
move fast to avert the collapse of such a crucial industry," said one Harare

Agriculture, formerly the backbone of the economy has been decimated in
recent years as a result of the seizure and redistribution of productive
farmlands among government loyalists in the name of addressing colonial

Sable's closure could leave more than 520 employees jobless. The situation
could be worse if downstream industries are considered. Sable started
operating on imported ammonia in 1969, before the commissioning of its own
ammonia production facility in 1972. It has since operated at full capacity
by importing a third of its ammonia requirement.

The company distributes its annual production of 240 000 tonnes through two
agro-chemical concerns, Windmill and ZFC. Sable also produces and sells
gaseous oxygen, liquid oxygen, anhydrous ammonia and nitric acid. Sable owns
and is situated on 26 000 hectares of land and is practising some commercial

TA Holdings Ltd has a 51% stake in Sable Chemical Industries. Chemplex
Corporation owns 36% and Norsk Hydro 12%. The public owns the balance.

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Zim Standard

Reconstruction plan slammed
By Loughty Dube

GOVERNMENT plans to pour in three trillion dollars into the reconstruction
of houses for over 400 000 people displaced by the ongoing "clean up"
operation will swell government deficit while increasing the country's
inflation index.

The government last week announced that it has set aside $ 3 trillion for
the nation-wide reconstruction of houses to replace "illegal structures"
that were razed to the ground by police. Government's reconstruction plans
for houses and vending places come against a massive increase in the price
of scarce fuel.
Leading economist, Eric Bloch told The Standard that unless government cuts
out other budgetary items to raise the $ 3 trillion then the country's
inflation rate would shoot up if the funds are obtained from other sources.

"If government cuts out other budget items then the effect of raising this
amount would not be felt on the national economy but if the amount is
sourced elsewhere this would increase government deficit and inflation will
shoot up," Bloch said.

Zimbabwe's inflation now stands at 144.4 percent down from a record high of
622.8 percent in January last year. The government says it will build
thousands of houses by the end of August and will also construct scores of
vending stalls to replace the shacks it destroyed in its internationally
condemned "clean up" exercise.

Bloch said options that government could use to cut on other budgetary
expenditure include the postponement of the creation of the Senate and for
government to accept international food aid unconditionally.

"Government can cut other budget costs by postponing the creation of the
Senate and by so doing government would have cut costs on salaries for the
secretariat, senators and the costs for setting up the infrastructure needed
for the senate. "

Turning to international food aid Bloch said Zimbabwe's food imports would
be heavy and government needed to swallow its pride and accept international
food aid unconditionally as doing so would release funds for the
reconstruction programme.

Zimbabwe is facing serious food shortages largely blamed on President Robert
Mugabe's chaotic land reform programme that has destroyed a once thriving
agrticultural industry.

Bloch said President Mugabe should also cut his cabinet's international
travels that are a drain on the national fiscus while at the same time he
should focus on trimming his cabinet.

Bloch also defended recent fuel price increases saying petroleum companies
were making losses and as a result the increases would improve fuel

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Zim Standard

Crisis of ideology haunting Zanu PF
sundayopinion By Itai Masotsha Zimunya

THE multifaceted crisis that besets Zimbabwe today has been explained in
many terms. The ruling Zanu PF party attributes the poverty and hunger
ravaging the country to international sanctions and drought while civil
society believes it partly has to do with the chaotic land reform exercise.

However, other scholars and economists link this socio-economic collapse to
Zanu PFs policy inconsistencies and its disrespect for the rule of law. In
an historical context, the crisis in Zimbabwe can best be matched with an
acute deficiency of ideology in the ruling Zanu PF party.
After the first decade of so-called scientific socialism, the government
dived into the dark pool of capitalist structural adjustment programmes.
Having excelled in the provision of social services like education, health
and housing provision in the first decade of power, the Zanu PF government
would have done well by maintaining a people centered policy system.

The abrupt change from a "humanist" to a cost recovery economic system was
the era of reversing the gains of the liberation struggle. In this context,
evils such as "Operation Murambatsvina" and the wholesale nationalization of
non-Zanu PF businesses are but manifestations of years of ideological

Present day Zimbabwe is under siege from militarism. Like Father Zimbabwe,
Dr Joshua Nkomo noted in 1985: "The people of Zimbabwe are defenceless and
live in fear, not of enemies but of their own government". In its history of
ruling since 1980, the ruling party has resorted to a dangerous system of
pseudo-nationalism, violence and chauvinism. The Matabele massacre of the
1980s, the violent retribution to student activism since the early 90s, the
land reform exercise and the current anti-MDC campaigns confirm this
assertion of Zanu PF's belief in violence.

Mugabe explains his power more because of his history of the liberation
struggle than being a people's choice through elections. Thus, after
independence, the Zanu PF elite converted themselves into the bourgeoisie
class, and this explains the ideology currently reigning supreme in Zanu PF.
This also explains why land, allowances and chiefs' salaries are rewarding
war veterans and chiefs, the merchants of Mugabe's power.

Social pessimism and disbelief in dialogue has engulfed Zanu PF, and has
contributed to its resorting to virtual war to solve any problem whether
within Zanu PF or outside the party. The callousness with which Zanu PF
carried out its evil plans of evicting millions of poor workers from their
homes and razing them to the ground because they were "illegal structures"
is a clear example that Zanu PF has long forgotten that the liberation
struggle was fought by these very same poor people.

The black government in Zimbabwe appears to have adopted a form of racist
apartheid against indigenous Zimbabweans in favour of the Chinese who are
seen as providing economic salvation. The delicate trick here is the dilemma
that racism is the oppression of a few by the majority or only occurs
between blacks and whites.

The Zimbabwean economy, in the meantime, is suffering from asset stripping
and primitive accumulation of capital by the ruling elite. The land grabbing
exercise by Zanu PF chefs and the so-called war veterans is part of the
accumulation project. The taking of corporation's accused of expropriating
foreign currency is part of this capital project. Gideon Gono, the Reserve
Bank Governor is an accomplice in this project. His call for the
extermination of corruption is sterile as he searches far and wide while the
real looters surround him.

The peasants were used as ponies in the land reform exercise. They were
asked to occupy peripheral lands and warned not to construct permanent
structures while the elite were commandeering government trucks into fertile
green lands. In the urban areas, workers face the most savage form of
exploitation when the authorities make a monetary statement that freezes
(without consultation) wages on the background of an above 120% inflation
rate and acute shortages of basic commodities. Fraud, plunder and propaganda
make the day for the ruling Zanu PF elite.

Professor Jonathan Moyo, despite being a political mercenary, best describes
Zanu PF's bankruptcy of ideology when he says - "they just make slogans and
declare them policies. Operation Murambatsvina is one such slogan that was
converted into policy overnight at the Police General Headquarters."

Before the March 2005 elections Morgan Tsvangirai, the leader of the MDC,
described the numerous and haphazard constructions on the farms with a
remarkable simile. He said "the settlements were sprouting like mushroom".
He was taken to task by the State media which irrelevantly accused him of
"cursing the descendants of Mbuya Nehanda and Mzilikazi. "

In agreement with Karl Marx's theory of primitive accumulation of capital,
Gono, the untrained economist prescribed the destruction of flea markets and
informal business merchants in the towns and cities of Zimbabwe with many
shallow aims.

Firstly, he argues that flea market traders waste foreign currency by buying
non-essentials from South Africa, Zambia and Botswana. Therefore closing
them will lower the demand of forex in Zimbabwe and scuttle the parallel
market. This has a tendency to lower the inflationary pressure and divert
most forex in informal hands to the productive sector.

"Operation Murambatsvina" is a well-calculated political project. The
agrarian revolution can not be a success without labour. It has emerged that
there is a critical shortage of labour on the farms to an extent that all
agrarian targets remain a mirage until this issue is addressed. The plot
therefore, is that displacing people from the urban areas and banning urban
agriculture will force people to work as farm workers in the commercial

It is a shame for Zimbabwe that, 25 years into independence, the government
which ought to have been working for the people, chooses to implement a 16th
century and failed plan to force people into their labour traps. "Operation
Murambatsvina" is much like, according to Marx, the 16th century bloody laws
of France, Britain and Holland, which targeted so called vagabond peasants
who were driven into capitalist factories and habituated to wage slavery by
the threat of flogging and hanging.

The answer to this madness is simple and just. The current political
leadership must pave way for new beginnings. It has to be a calculated
people's reclamation of their independence from opportunists that want to
build empires on the blood of the sons and daughters of Zimbabwe.

The colonial constitution has to be archived while a new people-written
constitution, one that separates powers between the executive, the
legislature and parliament comes into effect. The leadership code has to be
built around sound corporate governance systems. All prospective members of
senior government positions must declare their wealth before assuming duty
so that the current white-collar crime is checked. It will not, however, be
sustainable not to revisit the injustices of the current government on the
people of Zimbabwe on the political and economic fronts. Another Zimbabwe is
possible as nothing is constant but change.

o(Itai Masotsha Zimunya is human rights activist and former student leader.
Currently with the Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition. Contact email:

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Daily Mirror, Zimbabwe

Mutare, ZNA build houses for clean-up victims

The Daily Mirror Reporter
issue date :2005-Jul-11

Mutare City Council and the Zimbabwe National Army (ZNA) will build 300
standard houses, in a joint venture meant to accommodate victims of the
government's clean up campaign.
Mutare's mayor Misheck Kagurabadza said the move to construct the houses was
aimed at complementing the government's recently initiated Operation
Mutare has over 10 000  homeless families after the demolition of their
illegal structures.
Kagurabadza said construction work had already begun at Rahin between
Chikanga and Sakubva. The soldiers were building while council provided
specialist assistance. "The programme is a joint operation by the army and
council. The army is doing the construction work, while council is providing
skills like surveying and planning, amongst others," explained Kagurabadza.
He would not give details on the cost of the project.
The mayor said although the number of houses to be build was a drop in the
ocean considering the city's huge housing backlog, the houses would go a
long way towards alleviating housing problems.
According to town clerk Morgan Chawawa, the city has 31 000 applicants on
its housing waiting list.
"The list has shot up to 31 000 after the "tsunami", but I cannot tell
exactly what it was before, since I have no records readily available.  But
generally it was lower than that," said Chawawa.

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      South African Clerics in Zimbabwe to Assess Clean-up Operation
      By Tendai Maphosa
      10 July 2005

A South African Council of Churches delegation and representatives of
non-governmental and civic organizations are in Zimbabwe on a two-day visit
to assess the government's crackdown on informal businesses and unapproved
residential structures.

A three-person advance party arrived at Harare International Airport.
Methodist Bishop Ivan Abrahams, a spokesman for the group, said the church
leaders were disturbed by reports regarding Zimbabwe's clean-up campaign,
which the government calls Operation Restore Order, and wanted to see for

"There has been a kind of parallel with what we have seen happening in South
Africa with forced removals, the apartheid forced removals, that we have
seen, where people are left destitute, without shelter and livelihoods," he
said. "That is the message we have heard from our partners in civil society,
and from churches here, and we are greatly concerned."

Bishop Abrahams said the churchmen would visit the Caledonia Transit Camp,
where thousands of people whose homes were demolished are staying. The group
also plans to meet with trade unions, civil society organizations and
political leaders from both the ruling and opposition parties.

Bishop Abrahams said he was not sure if they would meet with President
Robert Mugabe. But they are prepared to approach their own president, Thabo
Mbeki, with their findings.

"If it means making certain recommendations to the South African government,
and to our president, that, we will do, after we ourselves have been
informed, and after we have seen what has happened," said Bishop Abrahams.

President Mbeki has been criticized for his quiet diplomacy policy toward
alleged human rights violations in Zimbabwe.

Meanwhile, state radio has announced that the operation to demolish illegal
structures will be directed starting Monday at Harare's high-income suburbs.
The police warned that unapproved structures, such as staff quarters or
garages, could be demolished. The report quoted a police spokesperson as
saying residents of the suburbs should tear down unauthorized buildings on
their property and have approved construction plans ready to show police
when they start their exercise.

The crackdown, launched on May 19 has been criticized both at home and
abroad as a gross violation of human rights. The United Nations says about
200,000 Zimbabweans have been left homeless, and has called on the
government to halt the forced evictions.

The government says the exercise aims to clean up urban areas, and deal with
criminal activities, such as hoarding of scarce basic commodities for sale
on the black market and illegal foreign currency dealings.

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The Advertiser, Australia

Tortured activist fights for his life
WHEN you hear Western nations decrying the horrifying actions of the Robert
Mugabe regime in Zimbabwe, spare a thought for Crispen Kulinji.

This softly spoken, increasingly emaciated man, sitting in a dreary
Oxfordshire detention centre in England, knows what rough politics are like.
He hails from a culture where to go off-message is to risk death, where a
three-line whip is one that flays the flesh - his included. He is one of the
brave Zimbabweans who dared to stand up to Mugabe's ghastly regime.

British Home Secretary Charles Clarke and his department are trying to send
this man - and many like him - back to Mugabe and his thugs. No wonder Mr
Kulinji is on a hunger strike - about to enter its third week. He is one of
113 detained Zimbabwean asylum seekers facing deportation on the grounds the
British Government has decided they have nothing to fear back home. The man
detained in Campsfield Detention Centre was nearly repatriated last month.

A last-minute campaign by supporters, including Labour MP Kate Hoey, secured
him a reprieve. But for how long?

His hunger strike is giving him headaches and he has given up painkillers
because he cannot keep them down. This pain, however, is nothing compared
with what he endured on a Saturday in Zimbabwe's capital Harare in March,

"I was staying at my mother's house. At around midnight, two trucks full of
soldiers turned up and kicked in the door," he claimed. "They sexually
assaulted my mother with an AK-47 in front of the whole family. They told
her: `You gave birth to a traitor.' They beat her and I could not let them
do that, but then they beat me."

That was just the beginning. Mr Kulinji, an electrician by trade, had been a
senior member of the opposition Movement for Democratic Change for three

Arrested more times than he can remember, he was used to the odd spell in
prison and the odd beating. But not this.

"My sister, Margaret, was in the house. She had been an MDC secretary and
they started beating her, too. Then they pushed our children into a room and
took us away while others looted the house. They wanted names and addresses
of my colleagues, but I wouldn't give them any."

He was bundled into a lorry with Margaret, who later was thrown on to the
road, badly injured.

Mr Kulinji later was put into a car and driven to an unknown destination,
while his captors stuck an electric prod under his tongue. He was subjected
to whippings by electric cable.

"By now, I couldn't feel any more pain. They kept ordering me to admit that
the MDC was being funded by Britain, but I didn't know anything like this,
so there was nothing I could say," he said.

"Then it went black and the next thing I remember is waking up in a pit,
covered in blood, with the airport tower in the distance."

He managed to get to a local hospital, from where friends spirited him away
to a private hospital. He fell into a coma for four days and was in a
wheelchair for six months, before being transferred to a safehouse outside
Harare. Mugabe's Central Intelligence Organisation had started to torture
details of safehouses out of captives. It was time to leave.

Having been smuggled across the border, Mr Kulinji bought a Malawian
passport and returned to Zimbabwe to raise funds for an exit flight.
Finally, last September, a contact at the airport helped him board a flight
to London. "As we were about to land, I felt like I had found freedom," he
says sadly. He had not.

At Gatwick, with just $20 in his pocket, he was denied entry and told he
would be sent back. "I didn't know the asylum procedure, but I told them
that I would have serious problems if I was sent back. They said `so you're
claiming asylum' and that's how I ended up in a detention centre."

In hearing after hearing, he explained his situation, but the Home Office
insisted that because he was travelling with a Malawian passport, he was
from Malawi and should go back there, even though Mugabe-friendly-Malawi is
teeming with Mugabe's spies.

Mr Kulinji showed them his scars. He produced his Zimbabwean identity card,
recordings of himself addressing Zimbabwean rallies, a tape of support from
the MDC leader, Morgan Tsvangarai, and even his son's Zimbabwean birth

Finally, in January, he was granted bail while his case was re-examined. He
went to live with his refugee girlfriend, Fransesca, in Leicester, reporting
to the Home Office as demanded.

On June 17, he was detained again. He was told he would be deported on June

"My world fell apart. I decided to go on hunger strike and pray to God." His
prayers were answered with that last-minute reprieve, but he is maintaining
the strike until he and his comrades are granted asylum.

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Sunday Mirror, Zimbabwe

Price increases erode incomes
Staff Writer

SOME unions which last month successfully negotiated for wage and salary
increases, could be forced back to the negotiating table for another round
of collective bargaining talks with their employers, following recent price
increases of most basic commodities.

The surge in prices has eroded gains bagged by workers following the June
salary adjustments.

Prices of goods and services have shot up by more than 100 percent in the
past weeks going beyond the reach of many ordinary workers whose wages
remain well below the poverty datum line of $3 500 000.

A survey conducted by the Sunday Mirror showed that prices of groceries and
other merchandise in some supermarkets in Harare have gone up threefold. A
bottle of cooking oil which cost $10 000 at the beginning of May is now
selling for more than $30 000 and a two kilogram packet of sugar which was
previously selling for $8 000 during the same period is now going for more
than $20 000. The same packet of sugar is going for more than $35 000 on the
black market. The retail price for beer has risen, almost doubling from $8
000 $14 000 a pint. The price of fuel also shot up by 300 percent two weeks
ago triggering another bout of price increases. It now costs an average of
between $10 000 - $20 000 per day for workers who stay in high density
suburbs of Harare to commute to and from work (the latter fee comes about
when public transport operators split their trips into two). According to
the Consumer Council of Zimbabwe, (CCZ) the monthly budget for a family of
six rose from $3 000 000 in May to $4 200 000 in June, a 38.5 percent jump.
The consumer watchdog said the increase in the shopping basket has been
caused by the escalation in prices of virtually all basic commodities.

But these price increases have not been met by corresponding wage and salary
adjustments. Investigations by this paper revealed that some factory workers
and security guards earn between $800 000 to $1 400 000 a month, way off the
monthly CCZ cost of living index.

ZCTU Secretary General, Wellington Chibhebhe says the current economic
melt-down which has resulted in the shortage of basics and the rise in the
cost of living has left the worker worse off than he was ten years ago.
Chibhebhe said although some unions had successfully negotiated for
increments ranging between 90 to 100 percent, this "was not enough" as the
new figures are a far cry from the poverty datum line mark.

Chibhebhe said although it is the ZCTU policy that wage negotiations should
be conducted quarterly, it had now become imperative that collective
bargaining should take place after every two months to cushion workers
against inflation and cost of living. Inflation is currently pegged at 144.4
percent and economic analysts project it might rise to 200 percentage point
by the end of the year.

"The worker is desperate today as he has been forced to bear the brunt of
the economic recovery programme. Government should increase disposable
incomes for workers through reduction of tax, a maximum tax band of 30
percent could go a long way to cushion the worker against the high cost of
living," Chibhebhe said.

The Governor of the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe, Dr Gideon Gono who has
declared war on inflation has recommended that salary increments should be
awarded but these should not be above 100 percent if the battle is to

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