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

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ZIMBABWE: In the face of hopelessness

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

BULAWAYO, 14 Jul 2005 (IRIN) - With a child tied on her back and a plate in
her right hand, Florence Chilufya joins a winding food queue in an
overcrowded yard at a township in Bulawayo, Zimbabwe's second city.

Although children, the elderly and the terminally ill are given first
preference, the 39-year-old widow is confident that she will get a helping.

"We have two meals a day: we eat in the morning and in the evening. There
are many of us and, at times, if you are at the back of the queue you seem
to panic, thinking that the food will get finished before you are served but
everyone always gets something," Chilufya said.

She is among the estimated 375,000 left homeless by the cleanup campaign
launched in mid-May, which the authorities have claimed was part of an urban
renewal strategy that will eventually build 10,000 homes at a cost of US
$300 million.

A former vegetable vendor and resident of an informal settlement just
outside Bulawayo, Chilufya now has nowhere to go. She said she could only
watch helplessly as soldiers and police officers torched her shack and
confiscated her merchandise and other possessions. Her children, now
displaced, have dropped out of school.

"The settlement was the only home I knew, but now the authorities have told
me that I will be sent back to Zambia ... where my late parents come from. I
am in a tight position and my children are now suffering. We need help".

In the meantime she is grateful to the church leaders who have given her
sanctuary and food. "I am so grateful to the church people who have looked
after me, my kids and the rest of the people now without shelter. They are
doing a good job and may God bless them," she said.

About 1,500 affected people in Bulawayo have found temporary sanctuary with
various church organisations, who told IRIN this week that the affected
people were to be transferred to Hellensvale, a holding camp set up by a
coalition of humanitarian and human rights NGOs about 40 km north of

However, it would take a great deal of effort to convert Hellensvale into a
fully-fledged holding camp. "We have been working closely with UNICEF [the
UN Children's Fund] and other stakeholders, but a lot still has to be done,
especially the setting-up of sanitary facilities," said a Red Cross

The government said affected people would only be allowed to stay at the
camp for a month while they searched for accommodation in permanent
settlements or were returned to their rural homes.

However, the clergy was concerned about the affected people without rural
homes, especially those of foreign parentage, like Chilufya.

"Government says they should go back to their rural homes, but what happens
to people of foreign origin who have not known any other home but the places
in which they lived?" asked Pastor Patson Netha, chairman of a coalition of
churches in Bulawayo. "It is a disturbing development but, as churches, we
are working on a special programme to retain them while a lasting solution
is sought."

He acknowledged that keeping more than a thousand people in churches has
been a challenge, as they were battling to provide them with food, blankets
and other assistance.

"It is our social responsibility to provide for the poor and fight for their
rights, but keeping them at our churches has been a daunting task. In our
view the displaced are victims of unjust government actions, and we just
could not stand by and watch them die of hunger and cold in the rubble of
their homes", Netha commented.

He noted that criminal activity was bound to rise as people struggled to
survive in a ravaged economy, and was particularly concerned about the
plight of children and those with HIV/AIDS, whose treatment programmes had
been disrupted.

The plight of the homeless has touched many, including UN special envoy Anna
Tibaijuka, who visited Zimbabwe on a recent mission to assess the impact of
the cleanup campaign.

"As the UN we don't believe that you, the poor, are criminals; the poor are
just disadvantaged individuals trying to eke out a living in the urban
areas, and sending them back to rural areas will not work - it is a
violation of the freedom of movement", said Tibaijuka in a brief speech to
hundreds of displaced people living at the Agape Mission in Bulawayo.

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The Australian

Mugabe's wreckers enter the suburbs
Jan Raath, Harare
July 15, 2005
THE thud of sledgehammers echoed across the more affluent areas of
Zimbabwe's capital yesterday as President Robert Mugabe's demolition
juggernaut moved from the shantytowns to the suburbs.

In Ceres Avenue, a worker swung at the remains of a one-room cottage.

Police had passed through with loudhailers, telling home owners to demolish
any "illegal structures".

"They will come back today to check," a young man said as his wife helped
him to load their goods on a small two-wheel hand trolley. "If it is not
down, they will fine the owner. Then they will beat you."

When asked where he was going, all he could say was: "I don't know."

The Government has announced that the mass demolition of homes that has
destroyed half the township dwellings in Zimbabwe's urban areas was moving
to the formerly whites-only suburbs.

Any suburban building without officially approved plans will have to come

Panic is running through Harare's better-off neighbourhoods. About 80 per
cent of homes in the suburbs have had extensions added in the past 20 years.
Few bothered to secure the approval of lax municipal inspectors.

Barely 24 hours had passed since the departure of Anna Tibaijuka, the UN
special envoy dispatched to Zimbabwe to investigate the eight-week Operation
Murambatsvina (chuck out the rubbish) campaign.

Mr Mugabe asserts that he is carrying out a clean-up operation. His victims
say that he is "fixing" them for voting for the opposition Movement for
Democratic Change in March.

Opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai hinted yesterday that South Africa had
pledged to take a stronger stand against the Mugabe regime in the face of
growing international outrage at the unfolding humanitarian crisis.

South African President Thabo Mbeki had decided that quiet diplomacy towards
Zimbabwe had failed, Mr Tsvangirai said.

"I think what President Mbeki can do, and which he assured me he is going to
do, is to change tack, to change strategy around how to influence the course
of events in Zimbabwe," he said.

"President Mbeki has a role to play in the solution of the Zimbabwe crises
but has failed to do so over the last three years through quiet diplomacy
because he believed strongly that he could persuade President Robert Mugabe
to see that he was facing a precipice."

Mr Tsvangirai was responding to a question on whether he had an idea of the
reason behind the lightning visit to Harare on Tuesday by South Africa's
Deputy President, Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka.

Ms Mlambo-Ngcuka flew in for talks with Mr Mugabe and his deputy, Joyce
Mujuru, and said she had come to help "synchronise" Pretoria's policies with
Harare. "I was getting a global understanding of the challenges, and we are
challenged," she said.

The visit came after US President George W. Bush last week accused Mr Mugabe
of "destroying" his country and urged South Africa to intervene.

The Times, AFP
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      Food imports head into Zimbabwe
      Zimbabwe has begun a massive programme to import food from South
Africa to feed 4m people which the United Nations estimates are in need of
food aid.
      The state-run Grain Marketing Board head said imports of 1.8m tons of
maize should be enough until June next year.

      The government had predicted a bumper harvest but blamed drought for
the shortfall, not its controversial land reform programme.

      Zimbabwe has been slow to take UN food, saying it wants to feed its
own people.

      Aid agencies say the campaign to demolish some poor townships, which
has left some 300,000 people homeless, is likely to exacerbate the food

      'Tough line'

      "We have embarked on a massive importation programme. The maize has
already started coming into the country from... South Africa," Grain
Marketing Board head Samuel Muvuti told state media.

      "We have opened all our routes to ensure that the grain comes into the
country [in time]."

      Meanwhile, opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) leader
Morgan Tsvangirai said South Africa's President Thabo Mbeki, who is often
criticised for not taking a tougher line on Zimbabwe, was ready to try new
strategies to deal with the country's problems.

      "He recognises that the quiet diplomacy has not produced the requisite
result," Mr Tsvangirai said at a press conference on Wednesday, AFP reports.

      He was speaking after talks between South Africa's new Deputy
President Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka and President Robert Mugabe on Tuesday.

      Ms Mlambo-Ngcuka said she is working to understand the "economic
challenges" facing Zimbabwe.

      'Trampling humanity'

      But Zimbabwe's Information Minister Tichaona Jokonya said he did not
see any purpose in the MDC turning to South Africa for help.

      "If they have gone to President Mbeki then God help them. I do not see
any useful purpose to be served by that approach, " Mr Jokonya told
state-run television.

      "We have solved many, many intricate political problems in this
country which were the product of our colonial past and we have never had
anybody to come and tell us how to do it" he said.

      South African church leaders have accused President Mugabe of
"trampling on humanity" with the recent destruction of houses in what he
says is a crackdown to rid cities of criminals.

      A motion proposed by the MDC condemning the demolitions has been
rejected by Zimbabwe's parliament by 54-33 votes.

      Earlier this month the World Food Programme head James Morris said the
current food shortages in Zimbabwe made it one of the countries he was most
worried about in the world.

      Critics blame shortages on its land policy which has seen thousands of
white farmers forced to leave their land in the past five years.

      The government blames food shortages on drought and economic sabotage
by Western countries, led by the UK, opposed to land reform.

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Why Zim needs a catastrophe...
14/07/2005 19:25  - (SA)

Johannesburg - The situation in her country needed to reach catastrophic
proportions before the world took notice, said a member of the Zimbabwe
Congress of Trade Unions (ZCTU) on Thursday.

Thabita Khumalo, secretary of the ZCTU's women's advisory council, said: "I
want to believe something bad is going to happen. That is the only language
the world will understand," said .

"You get help when there's been a catastrophe," she told a press conference
in Johannesburg.

Khumalo was recounting her recent experience of being beaten up by a group
of thugs who disrupted a ZCTU women's meeting in Harare on July 9.

She sat down painfully and winced as the camera lights were turned on her.

Beatings 'won't break my spirit'

"They turned my body into a punching bag. One of the guys re-arranged my
skin tone," she said pointing to a large bruise that spread from her left
eye to the side of her face.

"They will never touch my spirit, that I can assure you."

Congress of SA Trade Unions (Cosatu) general secretary Zwelinzima Vavi said
the South African government needed to be far more aggressive in
highlighting the plight of ordinary Zimbabweans.

Vavi said: "They are going through unbelievable levels of hell.

"The African Union and the New Partnership for Africa's Development will be
discredited if we don't hear their voice to condemn what is happening (in

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Africa blamed for complacency in Zimbabwe crisis

July 14, 2005, 18:15

A Zimbabwe trade unionist says Africa will only pay attention once the
situation resembles the Rwanda genocide and Darfur crisis. Thabitha Khumalo,
the head of the Zimbabwean Congress of Trade Unions' (ZCTU) women's affairs,
is part of the union's delegation in the country for talks with the Congress
of South African Trade Unions (Cosatu).

The ZCTU says Operation Restore Order has seen Zimbabweans become refugees
in their own country. Khumalo, whose face was blue and swollen following a
violent assault allegedly by youths, says Zimbabweans have been shocked and
numbed by their country's Operation Restore Order.

Cosatu on the other hand says the current crisis, which occurred as result
of the operation, is too big for civil society. The federation has
subsequently urged African governments to get involved.

Cosatu describes the situation in Zimbabwe as a massive tragedy and the only
way forward is for that country is to establish a Broad-Based Government of
National Unity, embracing all political parties, civil society, church and

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Business Day

Posted to the web on: 14 July 2005
SADC region stable, says Kasrils


THE Southern African Development Community (SADC) region is stable, largely
owing to member states' commitment to the consolidation of democracy and
good governance, Intelligence Minister Ronnie Kasrils said today.

Speaking at the 26th meeting of the SADC Inter-State Defence and Security
Committee, he included Zimbabwe - whose general election earlier this year
was widely condemned internationally as not being free and fair - as one of
the SADC countries showing such commitment.

"In this regard, the successful elections held in Botswana, Malawi,
Mozambique, Namibia, Mauritius and Zimbabwe are a reflection of this," he
told the meeting, underway in Boksburg, Gauteng.

A copy of Kasrils' speech was sent to Sapa.

"In particular, the success of these elections resides in their compliance
with the SADC principles and guidelines governing democratic elections.

"As a result they were accompanied by an absence of violence, where the
smooth handover of power was the order of the day.

"Further, in instances where the constitutionally-set tenure of presidents
has come to an end, leaders have vacated office, as reflected in Malawi,
Mozambique and Namibia."

Kasrils said the SADC region was stable.

"There is no interstate conflict nor violent hostilities besides the
occasional localised clashes in the Democratic Republic of Congo.
Notwithstanding these outbreaks, the transitional arrangements that have
been put in place in the DRC have been tested and have proved resilient."

Kasrils also told the committee the security and well-being of SADC
countries "are inextricably tied to that of each other and indeed the
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Appeal for retired Zim nurses to work again
          July 14 2005 at 04:29PM

      Harare - Zimbabwe will rehire retired nurses to help ease a critical
staff shortage in public hospitals caused in part by the exodus of health
care workers to Europe and Australia, the health minister said on Thursday.

      Zimbabwe's public hospitals have a shortage of about 3 000 nurses.
With an estimated unemployment rate of more than 70 percent, the majority of
Zimbabwe's 12 million people rely on public health care, which is
considerably cheaper than private facilities.

      The brain drain has put further strain on the health sector which has
been hit by the Aids pandemic, said to be killing 2 500 Zimbabweans every
day. An estimated 24,6 percent of the country's adult population is infected
with the HIV virus.

      "We are training about 1 000 primary care nurses and over 4 500 other
nurses a year. They are still leaving (the country), but the trend has
slowed. I am very excited by that," Health and Child Welfare Minister David
Parirenyatwa said.

      "We will welcome retired nurses who want to come and help us. One of
the most important things about retired nurses is that besides teaching,
they are very good when it comes to discipline and ethics," he said.

      Nurses normally retire when they are 60 years old. Parirenyatwa said
those wanting to return would be screened before they could resume their
nursing duties.

      Zimbabwe is experiencing its worst economic crisis since independence
from Britain 25 years ago and many professionals have left the country. The
health sector has been hardest hit as nurses and doctors flock to
neighbouring Botswana and as far afield as Britain and Australia.

      The Southern African country also has a shortage of doctors. About 160
are trained annually, but a large proportion leaves soon after.

      The brain drain is only one of several problems afflicting the
country, including acute foreign currency, fuel, food and medicine

      President Robert Mugabe, in power since independence, is accused by
opponents and critics of running down one of Africa's most promising
economies through a series of unsound policies, including land seizures.

      Mugabe denies the charges and says the economy is the victim of
sanctions and sabotage by opponents of his forcible redistribution of
white-owned farms for black Zimbabweans.

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NCA Condemns Attack On Philani Zamchya

The National Constitutional Assembly (NCA) strongly condemns the poisoning of the former Zimbabwe National Students’ Union president, Philani Zamchya by suspected state security agents.

Zamchya was kidnapped by a six men gang in town on Wednesday 13th July 2005. The men jostled him into an unmarked Defender vehicle which had no number plates. After making him drink some liquid and assaulting him, the men dumped Zamchya along Seke road where he started experiencing severe stomach pains. Zamchya only managed to be taken to hospital after he phoned Donald Lewanika, a friend who took him to the Avenues clinic where doctors confirmed that he had been made to drink chlorine.

The NCA deplores such murderous acts that are aimed suffocating democracy. The men who kidnapped Zamchya accused him of planning an NCA demonstration, threatening that he would lose his life if he continues participating in activities of the NCA. 

The NCA sees this as an open attack to the cause for a democratic constitution in Zimbabwe. Zamchya’s tormentors are part of the clique that is benefiting from the status qou and are against an open democracy that will help spread the proceeds from national coffers to the majority of Zimbabweans. The existence of such reactionaries will certainly not stop the NCA from wedging the struggle for a democratic constitution in the country. More demonstrations and other forms of mass action in protest against the prevailing bad governance are on the cards.

In applauding his bold steps in fighting a regime that thrives on an anachronistic constitutional framework, the NCA wishes Zamchya a speedy recovery.

Jessie Majome
NCA Spokesperson
14 July 2005

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Stuff, New Zealand

Last-ditch efforts to stop Zimbabwe tour
15 July 2005

New Zealand officials in London will meet International Cricket Council boss
Ehsan Mani today in a last-ditch attempt to stop the Black Caps' tour to

But the meeting looks doomed to fail after Mr Mani made it clear the tour
could be stopped only if the Government made it illegal.

With the Government ruling that out as a step too far, the only chance of
today's meeting stopping the tour is if Mr Mani says the ICC will accept a
strongly worded resolution from Parliament as enough for the Black Caps to
pull out.

However, that is fraught with difficulties as any resolution will require
overwhelming support. ACT says it will not back anything that "tells" New
Zealand Cricket what to do, and Foreign Affairs Minister Phil Goff has
indicated it would ask, rather than order, the team not to go.

Today's meeting comes after Mr Goff asked Mr Mani to clarify a statement
that suggested the tour could be cancelled and the Black Caps could avoid a
$2.9 million fine if the Government "directed" the team not to go, which it
has no power to do.

The statement contradicted ICC rules, which say tours can be called off
without sanction only if it is "impossible" or "illegal" to travel or there
are security threats.

The statement raised hope among MPs who want the tour canned because of
Robert Mugabe's repressive regime, but Mr Mani smothered it with a second
statement yesterday that said "a tour should take place unless a government
prohibits such a tour by making it illegal for its cricket team to

Mr Goff said high commissioner to London Jonathan Hunt and officials would
meet Mr Mani today in a final effort to see what the Government could do
short of banning the tour.
"But I have to say that I am cynical that the letter . . . is an invitation
for us simply to issue a statement that they should not go.

"I believe that what we will find is that they will insist . . . that this
country would have to make it illegal. Most parties are concerned about the
precedent that that would establish.

"We neverthless want to put a resolution before Parliament that not only
condemns Mugabe but also calls for the tour not to proceed."

Green co-leader Rod Donald - who failed to persuade other parties to support
a bill banning sporting links with Zimbabwe - said any resolution should be
as strong as possible so New Zealand Cricket could "call the ICC's bluff".

"It's unfortunate that Phil Goff took the opportunity that the ICC gave to
issue a directive and asked 'exactly what sort of directive do you mean?'.
The ICC have used that polite request to firm up what is required.

"I think it's now important that our Parliament unite behind a resolution
condemning the Mugabe regime and calling on New Zealand Cricket not to go
and I want that to be in the strongest possible language that can gain the
support of the overwhelming majority of Parliament.

"This should be the easiest catch of Phil Goff's life . . . "
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Mapfumo calls for armed struggle

      By Lance Guma
      14 July 2005

      In a sign of how bad things have become in Zimbabwe Chimurenga music
icon, Thomas Mapfumo, has called for an armed struggle to topple Robert
Mugabe. In an interview at the Eden Music festival two weeks ago, promoting
Live 8 in the UK, he says the white regime of Ian Smith did more for the
welfare of Africans than Robert Mugabe's government has. The title of his
new CD, 'Rise Up' has a song entitled 'Kuwarira Mukati'. In the song he
calls on Zimbabweans to rise up and not suffer in silence.

      Mapfumo says the government has banned his music on the state
broadcaster because of the political content. The ban is now so broad they
will not even play any of his love songs. He had a very good relationship
with government before independence but this gradually deteriorated as
Mugabe became more dictatorial. When people elected Mugabe they thought he
would be their saviour but Mapfumo believes he has been a big let down.

      Pressed on what he meant by rise up, he said 'if we say enough is
enough, the gun is the answer.' The suffering in the country has gone on for
too long and people just have to do something to effect change.'
      It is a great tragedy that the immense suffering in Zimbabwe and the
lack of regional pressure on Mugabe to step down is forcing Zimbabweans to
think of turning to violence.

      SW Radio Africa Zimbabwe news
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CIO infiltrate UK groups

      By Lance Guma
      14 July 2005

      There is mounting concern that a significant number of state security
agents from Zimbabwe are infiltrating groups in the UK under the pretext of
helping asylum seekers or even claiming asylum themselves. Several meetings
have been disrupted by rowdy elements who claim to be genuine activists. The
growing fear is that Mugabe is sending spies into the UK who will be
collecting information on activists in the country.

      Wiz Bishop, an activist based in London, has warned all asylum seekers
in the UK to be careful who they approach for help. She believes it's
important not to divulge personal details to people whose background is not
clearly known.

      A weekly activist meeting known as the Forum was disrupted on Monday
when a group of three individuals Nobel Sibanda, Edward Kambarani and Isaiah
Mugobi continuously interjected in discussions taking place. Sibanda, who
heads the United Network of Detained Zimbabweans, says the allegations are
not true and that the other associations feel threatened by their work.

      SW Radio Africa Zimbabwe news
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Mlambo-Ngcuka 'Nudging Mugabe'

Business Day (Johannesburg)

July 14, 2005
Posted to the web July 14, 2005

Dumisani Muleya

SOUTH African Deputy President Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka was in Zimbabwe on
Tuesday to push President Thabo Mbeki's bid to revive talks between the
ruling Zanu (PF) and the main opposition party.

Official sources said yesterday that Mlambo-Ngcuka had a mandate from Mbeki
to nudge Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe to talk to Movement for
Democratic Change (MDC) leader Morgan Tsvangirai.

"Her mission was a follow-up on the talks between Mbeki and Mugabe last week
in Libya over the issue of talks between Zanu (PF) and the MDC," a senior
government official said.

Mlambo-Ngcuka met Mugabe and Joint Vice-President Joyce Mujuru for several

"There is always a co-ordinated approach to assist Zimbabwe," Mlambo-Ngcuka
said afterwards.

"We need to understand as well the extent of the challenges and the impact
on the people. I was getting a global understanding of the challenge."

Mbeki's spokesman, Bheki Khumalo, would not comment on the issue, referring
questions to Mlambo-Ngcuka's press officers. Kanyo Gqulu, Mlambo-Ngcuka's
spokesman, said he could not confirm or deny that the issue of Zanu (PF)-MDC
talks was on his boss's agenda.

Mbeki met Mugabe on the sidelines of the African Union summit in Sirte,
Libya, to discuss the revival of talks to resolve Zimbabwe's political and
economic crisis. Mugabe also met Nigerian President Olusegun Obasanjo in
Libya, who later revealed that Mugabe had agreed to talk to Tsvangirai.
Sources said that former Mozambican president Joaquim Chissano would
facilitate the talks.

However, Mugabe's spokesman, George Charamba, said although Mugabe had met
Mbeki and Obasanjo, there would be no talks with the opposition.

Zanu (PF) and the MDC started talks after the disputed presidential election
in 2002, but these collapsed. Mbeki and Obasanjo have been trying to restart
the stalled talks.

Meanwhile, the MDC's court challenge over disputed election results suffered
setbacks this week. There was a break-in by "unknown criminals" at the high
court where ballot box evidence relating to the trial was being kept. The
boxes were opened and the ballots mixed, preventing the vote auditing,
initially expected to start on Monday, from getting under way.

The process had originally failed to start on time because lawyers could not
agree on which boxes to count first.

The MDC said yesterday that Zanu (PF) was trying to destroy evidence proving
that the election had been rigged.

MDC legal affairs secretary David Coltart told journalists that Zanu (PF)
was trying to sabotage Tsvangirai's case. This had forced Tsvangirai to file
an urgent application in the supreme court, Coltart said. The MDC now wanted
the highest court in the land to deal with the issue.

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Barbados Advocate

Those with principles must speak out against Mugabe
Web Posted - Thu Jul 14 2005
Over a period of time your newspaper published several articles pointing out
serious problems with the way some governments were operating in Africa. You
also printed articles about good governance in other countries on that
continent. Botswana is perhaps the best example.
Response on certain radio stations to those articles did not include the
positive side that you published so there was criticism that the
unfavourable spotlight was put on leaders like Robert Mugabe. As a matter of
fact one of your columnists criticised your newspaper for revealing the
truth of what is going on, including modern day slavery.

I admit that Mugabe served his country well during the liberation war to
oust Ian Smith, but in the past few years up to the present he turned
against his own people, based on hunger for power and partisan politics.

I remember you stated that Barbados gave an excellent formula for land
redistribution through our Tenantries Freehold Purchase Act. Mugabe did it
by compulsorily seizing lands, factors, plantations and stores. Everyone can
now see you were right because of the total mess that Zimbabwe is in today
with poor black people suffering while Mugabes regime is preventing food
aid to get to the people he believes did not vote for him.

How sad that this is happening to a country that was once the breadbasket of
Southern Africa with one of the continents highest literacy rates, and a
prosperous agricultural and manufacturing sector.

What the world is seeing today is a shameful situation but those individuals
and organisations that are always condemning Britain and European countries
for what happened nearly 200 years ago are not saying a single word on
behalf of the millions that are being ruthlessly crushed in Zimbabwe today.

I find that it is hypocrisy to talk about standing up for black people when
they are seen to suffer at the hands of other races but remain silent when
it is question of Blacks victimising other Blacks. That is a major weakness
among African leaders and also people in the diaspora. They live in a state
of denial that is preventing much of the positive progress that continent is
basically capable of achieving.

If people are not true to the principles they say they respect, they are
only exposing themselves as hypocrites. Let those who still have any
principles speak out against what Mugabes ZANU-PF is doing to their fellow
citizens who we say are our brothers and sisters in Zimbabwe.

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No Hope of Recovery Under Mugabe Regime

Financial Gazette (Harare)

July 14, 2005
Posted to the web July 14, 2005

Isaya Sithole

IN the first part of this series last week I pointed out that the Zimbabwean
crisis is now assuming proportions outside the capacity of the current
regime to deal with, contrary to all the claims and pretensions of the

This week I discuss how Zimbabwe's economic recession has now transformed
from a cyclical to a structural crisis.

The noble efforts of the central bank in tring to resuscitate the economy
are now taking a negative turn as the regime begins to crumble under the
weight of its irreconcilable complexities and absurdities.

The treasury is now as bankrupt as the political system and the
manifestations are there for everyone to see.

The ordinary Zimbabwean on the street who is wearing the shoe is the one who
knows best where it hurts. If the poverty and hardships faced by ordinary
Zimbabweans were shared between them and their leaders, it would not
generate so much tension.

The crux of the matter is that we are witnessing poverty for the masses amid
plenty for the forgetful political class. Indications are that, sooner or
later, those who possess and are selfish will not have their dinner in

Unmistakably, it is the totality of the Zimbabwean crisis which now
generates within the structures of President Robert Mugabe's ZANU PF party
the pressures for what is called "political reform".

While for the opposition, the broader civil society and the international
community a long-term solution lies in "regime change", for ZANU PF "reform"
has become the magic word for ending the crisis.

But the party hopes against hope that economic, as opposed to political,
reforms spearheaded by Reserve Bank governor Gideon Gono will do the trick.
Being a party with a Marxist-Leninist orientation, ZANU PF knows well that
"economics is the base, and politics is the concentrated expression of

The idea and hope seems to be that if a miracle happens and the economy
fully recovers, all opposition to the system will fizzle out and the main
opposition Movement for Democratic Change party will be rendered irrelevant.

The ruling party and government seem determined to continue to believe and
argue that the economic crisis in Zimbabwe is not political and that it can
be solved on a purely economic front without any far-reaching political

There is nothing that can be further from the truth. The reality is that the
central bank is being given an insurmountable task.

The dramatic irony of the situation is that the costs of managing the
superstructure of the status quo and implementing and sustaining a
turnaround programme are beginning to exceed the surpluses generated by the
system. As such, there is no hope for an economic recovery under the current

"Reform", which ZANU PF believes in, by definition consists of an adjustment
of the variables within a given institutional structure or simply "reform"
through changes within the system. It presupposes an acceptance of the
fundamental framework within which the system operates.

In the case of Zimbabwe, this would amount to no more than rearranging the
furniture of ZANU PF and opening windows to make the system appear more
democratic and accommodating, without altering it in any fundamental way.

This, quite clearly, is not what the majority of the people of Zimbabwe can
and will accept.

With the current economic rot and the government's callous insensitivity, if
not inhumanity, a prairie fire has been ignited and there now exists in
Zimbabwe's body politic more inflammable material than is within the
capacity of the fire-fighting Harare regime to extinguish.

There doesn't seem to be anyone who sees the way out for ZANU PF and the
economy. We are just stumbling blindly and falling.

Zimbabwe has been in a deep economic crisis since 1997 and to date we are
still experiencing lethal problems characterised by a negative growth rate,
scarcity of foreign currency on the official market, an intermittent and
cyclical hyperinflationary rate, a biting shortage of fuel and basic
commodities, high unemployment, depressed demand due to low salaries which
mean less disposable income, low investment levels preceded by massive
capital flight from the country.

Currently we have an unprecedented fuel crisis which has literally grounded
industry and commerce to a halt, in addition to worsening an already
critical urban transport situation. There is currently no sound proposal
from the government on how to ensure the availability of fuel.

What makes the situation even more tenuous is the proposed hike of
electricity tariffs by between 200 and 600 percent with effect from this
month. The Zimbabwe Electricity Supply Authority has already started
load-shedding on an increased scale. A combination of the fuel and energy
crises will paralyse and cripple all economic activity.

Worse still, there are irreconcilable fundamentals between the government's
progressive monetary policy and its retrogressive fiscal policy, as the two
are not properly synchronized. The government has no fiscal discipline and
the fiscal policy is under threat from high debt levels as the government's
domestic debt is now over $10 trillion while the external debt is around $4
trillion. Total debt is above $14 trillion which is much more than the
country's gross domestic product (GDP). The government is aware of both the
crisis and its magnitude and has tried this and that but the truth is that
they have long exhausted their capacity to deal with the challenges facing
the nation. All the government's "economic recovery plans" have hit a brick
wall but there was unprecedented hope and faith in the Central Bank's
monetary policy, which hope and faith are now wearing thin following the new
levels the crisis is now assuming. In the past we have had several worthy
and unworthy economic plans which became much ado about nothing. These range
from Growth with Equity and Zimcord in 1981 through the first Five Year
National Development Plan in 1986, the Economic Structural Adjustment
Programme in 1991, Zimprest in 1996, Vision 2020, the Zimbabwe Millennium
Economic Recovery Programme in 2000 and most recently the Reserve Bank of
Zimbabwe's efforts to restart the economy.

It is clear now that notwithstanding the missionary zeal and adventures of
its Governor, the Reserve Bank seems to be fighting a losing battle due to
massive governmental interference for short-term political expediency, and
even outright sabotage by influential politicians and businessmen within the
system. But whatever the case, Gideon Gono will go down in history as having
put up a good fight. He is one of a few operating within the system who
still has a conscience and better economic sense. There are now in Zimbabwe
a whole lot of factors putting a much higher price-tag on the sustenance of
the political status quo and the structures of a mismanaged economy. The
regime and capital have over the past few years generally responded in
diverse ways to the emerging costs and difficulties. For capital, both
domestic and international, Zimbabwe has become a high-risk and high-cost
investment site. It may well be said that capital is in a dilemma. Any move
towards higher capital investment is an act of confidence - that markets
will expand and that profits sizeable enough to repay the capital within a
reasonable time-scale can be generated.

That confidence has been put into serious doubt since the onset of the
recession in 1997 and may indeed have collapsed. The profit rate has slumped
while a hyperinflationary rate has eroded the real value of assets. And the
collapse of the Zimbabwe dollar and shortage of foreign currency suggests a
breakdown of confidence on a substantial scale with large amounts of capital
leaving the country. The refusal of the World Bank, the IMF, major
international donors, foreign banks and other financial institutions to
extend credit or grant new loans to Zimbabwe is now beginning to be
traumatic; it implies a dwindling of the sources of funding to meet the
rising costs of ZANU PF authoritarianism. With the economy in a deep slump,
it has now become clear that overpowering economic and political forces have
now combined to produce a comprehensive structural crisis for the Zimbabwean
economy, generating schisms of varying significance within capital, the
regime and some sections of the Zimbabwean populace.

The response of the regime to the crisis, especially since 2000, has been
manifold. The state's involvement and intervention in the national economy
was sharply accelerated. The instruments of coercion and repression have
been perfected and considerably enlarged. The bureaucracy required to manage
and administer the ever-increasing body of legislative and ministerial
controls and restrictions on business and the hungry and restless masses has
been similarly increased. A specific militarist social formation aimed at
securing military self-sufficiency, intimidating dissenting voices, stifling
free political debate and crushing resistance has been set in train, with
the police, armed and security forces occupying an increasingly political
role in directing and implementing the state's policies. Not to mention a
bloated and inefficient civil service coupled with thriftless non-productive
expenditure by government. In these essentials, the massive growth of the
ZANU PF state machine requires funding far beyond the surplus the regime can

These difficulties have now reached the point of unprecedented crisis- the
gravest yet in the history of the state. The fundamental factor contributing
to the transformation of the recession into a structural crisis concerns the
ever-growing absorption of the country's resources by the state machinery.
These resources have to come from somewhere but they can not come from
further taxation of the labour force as that has been pushed to its limits.
Nor can they come from some miraculous increase in productivity since such
an outcome is dependant upon the wholesale dismantling of the structures of
the ZANU PF regime. Recent developments suggest that resources available
from international borrowing have now dried up and are unlikely to be
resumed for years to come. Public pressure against bank loans to Zimbabwe
has become a major political force in the United States, Britain and several
countries of Western Europe. Hence, the needed resources can now only come
from corporate profits, which are not much, if there is any.

It is in this context that for the first time, business, both local and
international, is forced into an agonizing reassessment of the value of
their interests in Zimbabwe, and into making a choice as to whether they
should continue the risk of remaining committed to the establishment. The
regime knows that its policies are not economically sound and have resulted
in massive capital flight from Zimbabwe. Capital, on the other hand, is
equally aware that keeping the lid on a potential revolt by the majority of
the population through mounting repression and state acts not only puts in
question that security, but undermines the capital accumulation process
itself. The system, realizing the anger and impatience of the people with
its failures, has set in motion a systematic process of patronizing part of
the electorate through clandestinely dishing out unbudgeted for funds to
them and thus give them a stake in maintaining the status quo. Talk of the
war veterans, war collaborators and former detainees. Now the system is
pursuing an appeasement policy code-named "Operation Garikai" to appease
"tsunami victims" in the aftermath of the discredited "Operation Restore

Again the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe was arm-twisted to release a yet
unbudgeted for and staggering $3 trillion to build houses for the displaced
and homeless. Many of the youth militia from the National Youth Service who
are used to prop up the regime are now involved in managing the institutions
of the system- in the police, security and armed forces, in the various
departments of state, in executive and managerial positions of the economic
infrastructure, and in other forms of non-productive employment. This
parasitic profile of employment has considerably raised the cost of
maintaining an authoritarian regime. As opposition to the regime mounts,
this sector of crony employment can only become more expensive and
extensive. Capital will ultimately have to bear these costs without any
certainty of social and political stability or a resumption of high rates of
return on investment. How far will capital go in abandoning the Mugabe

This is certainly the central problem confronting the regime but much
depends on what the regime itself will do in the near future. They have to
choose either to be responsible and thus dig themselves honorable graves or
to be irresponsible and dig themselves dishonorable graves. I hope that they
will choose the former for, as a result of my personal interaction with some
of the influential pillars of the system; I know that they want to leave
behind a good legacy although they still need to do a lot in shedding their
characteristic "our-hands-are-tied" syndrome. Let's continue the discussion
next week.

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New Zimbabwe

Tsvangirai blows chance to heal rifts

Last updated: 07/14/2005 19:55:55
DAYS after his release from jail, Roy Bennett delivered a devastating
critique of the Movement for Democratic Change today.

At the risk of being labelled "mad" by one of Morgan Tsvangirai's aides, the
outspoken former Chimanimani MP spoke of "opportunists" and money grabbers
hijacking the party.

The MDC came out fighting. Bennett was "out of touch" after spending eight
months in jail, opined Tsvangirai's spokesman, William Bango.

It is this cavalier and often dismissive attitude to criticism that has put
the MDC on a slippery slope to Amageddon.

Tsvangirai's shadow cabinet reshuffle on Wednesday reenforces this view.

If the reshuffle was designed to end the well documented rifts at the top of
the MDC leadership, the outcome would appear to be the opposite.

How, for instance, is Moses Mzila Ndlovu's elevation to foreign affairs
spokesman at the expense of Priscilla Misihairabwi likely to heal the
divisions within the MDC?

Mzila Ndlovu is a brute and a thug who physically attacked one of
Tsvangirai's advisers last year, directly leading to his removal from the
same position. So what has changed?

While reshuffles are not isolated to the MDC only, Tsvangirai's obsession
with shadow cabinets and positional politics exposes him to criticism. If
the suggestion that Mzila's return is because he has President Thabo Mbeki's
ear is true, then one has to wonder whether Tsvangirai is in charge at all.

Misihairabwi had done nothing wrong. She was hard working, intelligent and
gave an eloquent representation of the MDC's policies. In fact her elevation
to the key post of foreign affairs secretary had been hailed as a triumph
for women. But with three women ranged against 13 men in the new shadow
cabinet, Tsvangirai has unwittingly alienated the female constituency.

So much for healing rifts!

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Mmegi, Botswana

      SADC and the AU have failed Zimbabweans!

      7/14/2005 9:42:22 AM (GMT +2)

      It seems the people of Zimbabwe can forget about ever getting any kind
of assistance from either the African Union (AU) or the Southern African
Development Community (SADC) concerning their autocratic president and his

      Earlier this year, it was the fraudulent elections, which both the AU
and SADC happily endorsed as free and fair.

      Now, the Zimbabwe government is destroying the homes of close to
half-a-million people under the pretext that they are illegal and unsightly
structures. Initially, the AU described the crisis as an internal matter,
but later dispatched an envoy to Harare, who the government refused to see.
In contrast, SADC's reaction was total silence.

      It would be difficult, of course, to try to defend the construction of
illegal and unsightly structures anywhere. What is difficult to understand
about the Zimbabwe structures is that their owners were allowed to live in
them for so long that many of them, some in their 70s and 80s, have never
owned any other homes.

      Why did it suddenly become so urgent to demolish the structures that
it had to be done in the middle of the cold season? And why are the
properties being demolished with such recklessness that a number of their
occupants, including small children, got killed in the process?

      While President Robert Mugabe's government has promised to build
better accommodation for all the affected families, it is difficult to
imagine how the government hopes to meet the huge costs of such a project.

      If Mugabe were confident that his government could indeed raise the
required resources, would it not have been better to postpone the demolition
of the structures and spend the money on more urgent needs of the people of
Zimbabwe? If, on the other hand, Mugabe was convinced that providing
accommodation that is more attractive should be given top priority, why not
construct the new houses before demolishing the old ones? This would,
without doubt, have been the most logical way of resolving such a problem.

      However, applying this kind of logic to the problem of the illegal
structures assumes that building decent homes for the affected people is the
sole reason behind the demolition exercise. But is it? I do not think so.

      The members of the Zimbabwe government are very intelligent people who
could not possibly believe that demolishing illegal structures before
building new ones was the right way to solve the problem of this nature.

      The only other reason that I can imagine for the demolition project
is, as others have already argued, to punish those who did not vote for the
president's party in the last elections. And to make sure the message was
clear, the demolitions had to take place as soon as possible after the

      How disappointing that the SADC governments have chosen to remain mum
in the face of such human rights violations on the part of the Zimbabwe
government! Whatever happened to the principled spirit that characterised
the activities of the Frontline States, the precursor of SADC? These states
were tireless in their moral campaigns against the constant violations of
human rights by the white-minority governments in Rhodesia and South Africa.
They never tried to hide behind the principle of non-interference in
internal affairs of neighbouring states.

      Why do SADC governments find it so difficult to follow the example of
the Frontline States in this regard? Could it be because the former would be
criticising a black government, led by a liberation-war veteran, whereas the
latter criticised white-minority governments? Or do our leaders do this out
of self-interest, in case they end up in a similar position to that of
Mugabe? Whatever the explanation for the unprincipled behaviour, it is
causing serious damage to both the regional and the international reputation
of SADC and its member states.


      Assistant Minister Oliphant Mfa's reputation as a backbencher was that
of a constant basher of Botswana Ash, the company in his constituency. He
hardly left any meeting of Parliament without attacking the company for one
reason or another.

      Mfa now threatens to take the entire private sector of Botswana
head-on. He signalled this recently by terminating the work permit of a
senior employee of Botswana Ash, and now intends to scrutinise the
employment practices of other companies.

      He should be more and remember that his government is fighting a
losing battle to attract foreign direct investment to Botswana. He also
needs to understand that employing expatriates is far more expensive in
terms of housing, passages, schooling and other factors than employing
Botswana citizens.

      His top priority should be to help grow the economy, and not to hunt
down expatriate employees for populist reasons.

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From SW Radio Africa, 13 July

Tsvangirai lawyer's homestead targeted

By Lance Guma

A 49 year old homestead belonging to Advocate Eric Matinenga, who normally
represents opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai, is being targeted for
demolition. High Court judge, Charles Hungwe issued an order barring the
Buhera Rural District Council and the police from carrying out the
destruction, only after Advocate Matinenga filed an urgent chamber
application challenging the move. The homestead falls under an irrigation
scheme in Chief Nyashanu's area and has a kitchen, gazebo and brick
storeroom. Matinenga says it will be unfortunate if government is trying to
victimise him for representing the opposition leader because 23 other
families live in the homestead. He believes it is a hopeless task to even
attempt to engage Chief Nyashanu in Buhera over the issue since most Chiefs
are government henchman.

Government attempts to remove the Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Union
leadership erupted into a violent attack on two top female union members.
Thabitha Khumalo and Phoebe Vhareta, members of the Women's Advisory Council
were assaulted during a meeting at the Quality International Hotel in
Harare. Twenty hired thugs led by Kumbirai Kudenga burst into the room and
demanded Khumalo and Vhareta leave the meeting. The assaults were then
carried out. Khumalo had to be taken to the Avenues Clinic for treatment
while Vhareta sustained minor injuries. Although the ZCTU previously secured
a court order barring interference with its activities, the order cited only
two individuals, Nicholas Mazarura and Langton Mugeji, the ring leaders. So
to get around the court order the two are alleged to have recruited the
services of Kudenga and a few hired thugs to do the dirty work for them.
ZCTU spokesman, Mlamleli Sibanda says government has failed to mobilise
workers against their union and hence is resorting to violence. Sibanda says
outside the unions congress government has no chance of effecting a
leadership change and their efforts will prove in vain. The state controlled
Herald newspaper has also launched an aggressive campaign to discredit the
ZCTU for allegedly abandoning the workers and meddling in politics.
Relations between government and the ZCTU soured when the labour body
successfully lobbied the Congress of South African Trade Unions to picket
the border in protests at human rights abuses in Zimbabwe. This has
precipitated the current onslaught on the ZCTU leadership.
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Mail and Guardian

      SA pilots to be released from Zim jail

      Harare, Zimbabwe

      14 July 2005 12:08

            Two South African pilots arrested in Zimbabwe last year over an
alleged plot to overthrow the government of Equatorial Guinea will be
released this month after serving two-thirds of their 16-month prison terms,
their lawyer said on Thursday.

            Pilot Jaap-Niel Steyl and co-pilot Hendrik Jacobus Hamman are
currently being held in Harare's top-security Chikurubi prison.

            "They are due to be released on July 21 or 29. They've served
their two-thirds [of jail time]," their lawyer, Jonathan Samkange, said.

            The two men were jailed by a Harare magistrate last September
for immigration and aviation offences after they flew a Boeing 727 into the
country in March.

            The men were to pick up weapons in Zimbabwe that prosecutors
said were to be used to overthrow the government of Equatorial Guinea.

            Sixty-four men aboard the plane, and three men who went to meet
them in Harare -- including alleged coup plot leader and Briton Simon
Mann -- were arrested and jailed for similar offences.

            Most of the men were slapped with year-long sentences for
violating Zimbabwe's immigration laws. They were released in May this year
and deported back to South Africa.

            Several of them have subsequently been charged under the
country's anti-mercenary laws.

            Mann, a former British special forces commando, received a
seven-year sentence, later reduced to four for security and firearms
offences relating to the purchase of weapons without a certificate.

            Zimbabwe does not have anti-mercenary laws, which is why the men
were charged with relatively minor offences. -- Sapa-DPA

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'Gangster' Mugabe likened to Idi Amin    Hans Pienaar
          July 14 2005 at 10:46AM

      Colourful African-American philosopher Cornel West has become the
latest prominent figure to denounce Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe.

      To applause at the Human Sciences Research Council in Tshwane on
Wednesday, he compared him to dictators and mass murderers like Idi Amin and
Mobutu Sese Seko, and said he was "not afraid to call a brother a gangster".

      Delivering the first lecture in a series of three on Nelson Mandela,
West also criticised South African leaders in general, saying they were
losing touch with the impoverished majority and that intellectuals had to
tell them what the truth was. He also warned against idolatry, referring
implicitly to Mandela.

      As great a man as Mandela was, he was not merely an icon but part of a
tradition without which he or the ANC could not have done anything, he said.

      West brought up the issue of Zimbabwe himself while responding to a
question by Mildred Trouillot, wife of deposed Haitian president
Jean-Bertrand Aristide. He said Aristide was a democratically elected
president "overthrown by thugs".

      He said Aristide was unlike Mugabe, who used to be a hero of African
Americans but was now a gangster.

      "I know gangsters when I see them," said West, who had lived with them
in an American ghetto.

      He warned several times that South Africa's democracy was fragile and
still only a "magnificent experiment. Without eternal vigilance, we'll lose

      The new democracy came at a time when the "dogma of free-market
fundamentalism went global", he said. He was especially scathing of the new
African bourgeoisie and the youth "strutting around like peacocks" who
thought the struggle had been about their success.

      He said a "trans-generational transfer" of freedom-struggle values had
to be made among the youth, adding that "Mandela knows that the struggle
goes on and on and on".

      This article was originally published on page 5 of The Star on July
14, 2005
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Daily Mirror, Zimbabwe

Fate of Sam Levy's Village hangs in the balance

The Daily Mirror Reporter
issue date :2005-Jul-15

THE fate of Sam Levy's imposing office complex and shopping mall in
Borrowdale hangs in the balance after the City of Harare yesterday said they
were still looking at the circumstances under which the structures were
constructed in the 1990s.
If nothing concrete comes up, the Village in the plush suburb of Borrowdale
could possibly be demolished in the on-going clean up operation.
Operation Murambatsvina has spread to the low-density areas and yesterday,
Harare spokesperson Leslie Gwindi insisted that Levy had a case to answer.
"We have been saying it (that the complex was irregularly constructed). He
has a case to answer and we are looking into it," Gwindi said.
The land the complex was built on was initially meant for residential
purposes and in 1989 and 1990, residents in the area obtained two court
orders barring the continued construction of the shopping mall.
A woman at a real estate agent in charge of the two complexes who spoke on
condition of anonymity refused to comment on the issue.
"We have heard about that (possible destruction) and a lot of people have
also been phoning, but unfortunately we are not going to comment," she said.
Gwindi added that council was also regularising some structures that were
irregularly constructed but added cases were being looked at individually.
"We are looking at individual cases and have always encouraged residents
whose structures  were illegally constructed to come to council with proper
documentation that include, the house plans so that they are regularised.
However, those who have failed to do so will have their structures pulled
down," he said.
Some residents have been thronging council district offices in their areas
to have their illegally constructed structures regularised and this has seen
the fees charged by architects rising to as much as $15 million dollars up
from $6 million.
Meanwhile residents of Hatfield, Epworth and Waterfalls continued pulling
down illegal outbuildings as the clean up of low-density areas continued
On Tuesday police discovered 10 herds of cattle and several goats and
chickens that were being kept in Waterfalls in contravention of the city's
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Daily Mirror, Zimbabwe

'Clean-up affects Aids patients, opharns'

The Daily Mirror Reporter
issue date :2005-Jul-15

MANY people, especially vulnerable groups such as HIV and Aids patients and
orphans, are in dire need of food aid following their impromptu displacement
triggered by the government clean-up campaign now in its sixth week.
This was said by Francoise le Goff of the International Federation of Red
Cross and Crescent Societies (IFRCCS) while visiting Murambatsvina victims
in Marondera town recently.
"We are very concerned and we urge the government to take a more human
approach in its activities. A relocation plan should have been formulated
before people were evicted," Le Goff said.
"More than 200 have been receiving food and we will continue sourcing funds
to help these people because our mandate as Red Cross is to assist the most
vulnerable," she added.
She predicted that the blitz, whose aftermath would take years to redress as
building materials had sky rocketed due to high demand, would end soon.
The secretary general of the Red Cross Society in Zimbabwe, Emma Kundishona,
said they had been assisting vulnerable groups in the Mashonaland East
She said: "Red Cross distributes aid to vulnerable groups such as child-
headed families and suffering people through our home-based care programme.
"We are facing challenges in accessing beneficiaries because they were
displaced by the clean-up."
Red Cross records reveal that 74 beneficiaries were uprooted in Marondera
while at least 10 relocated elsewhere.
Kundishona said problems such as shortage of food, blankets, school fees,
relocation and employment opportunities, haunted victims of the clean up.
The Red Cross is providing temporary relief to affected families through its
eight provincial offices with support from the IFRCRCS.
Assim Hamidu, an HIV and Aids patient, said his shack in Dombotombo
high-density suburb was demolished he was now staying in the open after
relatives had  shunned him.
"The house is full. It has four rooms and accommodating eight people is just
too much," he said.
The Red Cross has distributed
2 825 blankets in eight provinces, provided 14 temporary toilets for Harare
and Manicaland, four of them at Caledonia Farm, the
transit camp for Murambatsvina victims seeking alternative places to go.
This is in addition to cooking oil and 475 jerry cans  donated countrywide.
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Daily Mirror, Zimbabwe

Allocation of stands at Whitecliffe hits snag

The Daily Mirror Reporter
issue date :2005-Jul-15

THE government's intention to allocate and develop 9 000 stands at
Whitecliffe Farm in the capital under Operation Garikai is in limbo after
the property's owners - Eddies Pfugari Properties (Pvt) Limited - declined
to be compensated by the State for losing the land.
Eddies Pfugari Properties' owner Edward Tanyanyiwa told this newspaper
yesterday that his firm was not in negotiations with government for
compensation for the acquisition by the State of Whitecliffe Farm, contrary
to government assertions.
"There is nothing like that (negotiations for compensation). The issue
(ownership wrangle) is still on but contact my lawyers and they will brief
you on the latest developments," Nyanyiwa said. His lawyers, Scanlen and
Holderness, confirmed that there were no negotiations between the government
and their client.
The lawyers said they would soon approach the High Court seeking the
confirmation of a provisional order granted by the court a fortnight ago
barring the government from allocating and developing stands at the farm.
"We want to have our provisional order confirmed by the High Court and that
is the stage we are at. At no time have we had talks with government lawyers
or have there been any agreement between the two parties," the lawyers said.
But the Minister of Local Government, Public Works and Urban Development
yesterday maintained that the ministry's lawyers were in negotiations with
Eddies Pfugari Properties.
He said the farm in question was now State property and the negotiations
were centred on compensating Eddies Pfugari Properties for developments they
made at the farm.
"The farm was acquired by the government for expansion of urban housing and
our lawyers are now holding discussions with Pfugari on levels of
compensation," Chombo told The Daily Mirror. High Court Judge, Justice Mary
Gowora two weeks ago issued a provisional order stopping government from
allocating stands and building houses on farm.
She said: "It is declared that the allocation of residential stands and
construction of sample houses by the respondents and officers under them at
the applicant's property called the remainder of Whitecliffe, situated in
the district of Salisbury, measuring 1065,7090 hectares, held under deed of
transfer No 10444/2000 is unlawful and wrongful." Chombo was cited as the
respondent in the matter.

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Daily Mirror, Zimbabwe

Parties urged to work together to solve basic commodity shortages

The Daily Mirror Reporter
issue date :2005-Jul-15

MDC Masvingo Central legislator, Tongai Matutu has called on Zimbabwe's main
opposition and its rival Zanu PF to work closely to find lasting solutions
to the current acute shortages of basic commodities, fuel and drugs.
During a debate in Parliament yesterday on a motion moved by MDC Harare East
MP, Tendai Biti, calling on the government to quickly address the scarcity
of essential commodities, Matutu said: "Let's sit down and plan ahead. That
would benefit our country. Patriotism is about providing food, drugs, good
The parliamentarian said he saw no need to lay the blame of the shortages
squarely on the so-called sanctions, adding that the embargo had nothing to
do with the disappearance of basic commodities from shelves.
He cited sugar shortages saying some people were allocated land to plant
sugarcane but had not done so. As a result, Matutu said, most people now
spend more time in queues hunting for the scarce
basics. Makonde MP (Zanu PF) Leo Mugabe said the shortages were
indefensible, but the issue needed objectivity.
"Yes, we have massive foreign currency shortages, but what is it that
government is doing to address it, what is that the MDC is doing to assist?
We want to say that Zanu PF, MDC, independent, but what is it that we must
do and not do," said Mugabe.
On another note, deputy health minister Edwin Muguti said the shortages were
interlinked with sanctions.
The Chirumhanzu MP disagreed with critics that Zimbabwe's health sector was
He said the government had made strides in developing health infrastructure,
declaring the services "were second to none."
St Mary's MP (MDC) Job Sikhala said it was unfortunate some legislators were
not proactive because their children were not affected.
"My child is facing a crisis of not getting a loaf of bread in our stores,
but some honourable members' children are having breakfast in London. Some
of them have white-in-laws," he said.
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Daily Mirror, Zimbabwe

Agricultural inputs, implements 'smuggled to Mozambique'

Netsai Kembo
issue date :2005-Jul-15

CROSS-border traders in Mutare are reportedly smuggling large quantities of
agricultural inputs and implements into neighbouring Mozambique, in what has
been interpreted as frustrating government agrarian reform initiatives ahead
of the farming season.
The suspected smugglers are being accused of ferrying fertilisers, maize
seed and chemicals as well as ox-drawn ploughs and harrows, for resale in
neighbouring Mozambique,   where they are said to be on high demand.
Well-placed sources said the above commodities had flooded the streets of
the Mozambican cities of Chimoio, Manica and Beira, an affront to the
capabilities of Zimbabwe's agro-powered
Manicaland Governor and Resident Minister, Tinaye Chigudu had expressed
disappointment over the allegations and called for thorough investigations
to get to the bottom of the alleged scam.
"Such behaviour, particularly at this time when government is doing
everything possible to ensure that the agrarian reform programme becomes a
success, is highly condemnable," Chigudu said.
"We, however, wish to thoroughly investigate the report so that appropriate
action is taken," he added.
Mozambican authorities in Mutare confirmed that Zimbabwean manufactured
goods had indeed flooded their markets but that was not strange considering
the cordial relations existing between the two Sadc states.
"I confirm the abundance of Zimbabwean commodities in our country. There is
nothing sinister about that as our countries have close trading ties since
attaining independence," Mozambican vice consul in Mutare Americo Nhanture
said recently.
"Zimbabwe itself also gets several commodities from Mozambique," he added.
Concerned Zimbabweans said if these reports were true, it was unfortunate as
it equated to a slap in the face of government's desire to provide adequate
agricultural inputs and implements.
They said smuggling farming implements meant to reassert Zimbabwe's enviable
status as the breadbasket of the sub-region was tantamount to reversing the
gains of the independence war whose origins was inequitable land
"No amount of economic hardships whatsoever may justify the smuggling of
such strategic commodities for resale in a foreign country at the expense of
own country," said James Machingami, a farmer. "Such love for money is
highly deplorable for it also shows total lack of urgent redress."
For over two years now, agriculture, the mainstay of the economy, has been
adversely marred by critical shortages of essential inputs and implements
making a mockery of the land reform.
Last week, the Zimbabwe Farmers Union (ZFU) president, Davison Mugabe
appealed to the corporate world to complement government efforts by also
assisting farmers with inputs and other essential resources.
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