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

Back to Index

Back to the Top
Back to Index

Sokwanele - Enough is Enough - Zimbabwe

Zimbabwe police commit murder
in broad daylight and in front of witnesses

Sokwanele Report : 15 July 2005

On Sunday July 10 an elderly lady died in Bulawayo's Gwabalanda high-density suburb. Her death was directly attributable to an act of wanton violence of a police officer or - as one should say these days - by a person wearing the uniform of the Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP). The incident was observed by a number of witnesses who, not having any faith in the ZRP to carry out a proper investigation and bring the perpetrator to justice, wish to report it first, through us, to the national and international media. This was a savage and unprovoked act committed against an innocent and defenceless bystander. It certainly qualifies as murder, and should be treated as such.

The incident occurred during the demolition of houses by the "police" in Gwabalanda. About 60 uniformed ZRP members, believed to have come from the Luveve Police Station, had descended on the suburb and were going about their now routine work of demolishing habitable dwellings on the pretext the structures are "illegal". Our informant, whose name is known to us but whose identity must be protected for fear of reprisals from the "police", said the men set about their work of destruction with gusto. They were armed with pick axes and other instruments suitable for the purpose. Our informant (let's call him Kofi) watched in disbelief as Mugabe's storm troops completely destroyed a house belonging to someone he knew who now resides in South Africa. The house in question had been built as long ago as 1957. In fact, Kofi believes it was one of the original, colonial-style houses in this area. (So much for it being an "illegal" structure).

Close by, on plot 8687, was a 7-bedroomed house, to which the uniformed thugs (a purely descriptive term which avoids any risk of inaccurate terminology) next turned their attention. As they set to work demolishing the old house an elderly woman, whose age Kofi estimates at about 60 years, was watching in silence from a distance. One of the uniformed thugs confronted the woman. In an arrogant manner he demanded to know: "Why are you standing there?" When the woman did not answer immediately he struck her across the chest with a garden fork. The woman collapsed and, as it later transpired, she died on the spot. Her assailant conferred with his comrades and in due course a vehicle appeared to take the body away.

Kofi and others who observed the spectacle could hardly believe their eyes. This was murder in broad daylight, the murderer being either a regular member of the ZRP or at least a thug dressed in the uniform of that once-professional body responsible for law enforcement - and so dressed with ZRP's active connivance. There are witnesses who - subject to certain minimal requirements for their own safety - are willing to tell their story. Here is a case, if ever there was one, waiting for an investigative journalist possessing both courage and integrity, to pursue. Let justice be done, with or without the cooperation of Mugabe's politicized police force.

Visit our website at
Visit our blog: This is Zimbabwe (Sokwanele blog)

We have a fundamental right to freedom of expression!

Sokwanele does not endorse the editorial policy of any source or website except its own. It retains full copyright on its own articles, which may be reproduced or distributed but may not be materially altered in any way. Reproduced articles must clearly show the source and owner of copyright, together with any other notices originally contained therein, as well as the original date of publication. Sokwanele does not accept responsibility for any loss or damage arising in any way from receipt of this email or use thereof. This document, or any part thereof, may not be distributed for profit.

Back to the Top
Back to Index


      Zimbabwe says church group was on spy mission - paper
      Fri Jul 15, 2005 2:13 PM GMT

      HARARE (Reuters) - Zimbabwe sought on Friday to discredit South
African clergymen who have criticised its demolitions of shantytowns, with
state media saying their visit to assess the drive was bankrolled by British

      The South African church group, led by Anglican Archbishop Njongonkulu
Ndungane, said after its visit on Monday it had seen victims of the
crackdown living under inhumane conditions at a camp near Harare.

      The clergymen also said they would urge local counterparts to speak
more forcefully on the government campaign to tear down illegal shantytowns,
which has left an estimated 300,000 people homeless and has been widely
condemned at home and abroad.

      The official Herald newspaper, citing government sources, denounced
the visit as part of "the large campaign by Zimbabwe's detractors pushing
for a regime change agenda in the country".

      The Herald said it had been masterminded by a Harare-based British spy
to keep the spotlight on President Robert Mugabe's government. A British
embassy official said she could not immediately comment on the report.

      Relations between Mugabe's government and Zimbabwe's former colonial
ruler have been increasingly strained in recent years, mainly over Harare's
seizure of white-owned farms for redistribution among blacks.

      "(Britain) would want justification for Zimbabwe to be discussed at
every gathering as a rogue state, hence their continued bankrolling of
clandestine operations disguised as fact-finding missions," Herald quoted
one source as saying.

      Officials from the South African Council of Churches, which organised
the trip, were not immediately available to comment on the Herald report.

      Mugabe has defended the demolitions as necessary to clean up
Zimbabwe's cities and flush out crime and illegal trading in foreign
currency and other commodities in short supply.

      In power since independence in 1980, he says the opposition Movement
for Democratic Change party is a puppet of the British government, which he
accuses of spearheading a campaign to sabotage Zimbabwe's economy over the
farm seizures.

      A U.N. envoy who spent two weeks in the country studying the
demolitions is expected to present her findings to Secretary-General Kofi
Annan later this month.

Back to the Top
Back to Index


      Mugabe Shifts Housing Reconstruction Burden to Localities
      By Studio 7
      15 July 2005

President Robert Mugabe has handed to local authorities the responsibility
for building homes for those whose dwellings were destroyed by state agents
in Operation Murambatsvina. He said that the government reconstruction
program called Operation Garikai or Hlalani Kuhle should bring "joy" to
those without lodgings, the state-controlled Herald newspaper reported. The
paper said Mr. Mugabe told an audience in Victoria Falls that 2 million
homes would be built by 2010.

President Mugabe expressed some second thoughts about Operation
Murambatsvina ("Drive Out Rubbish"), to the extent of acknowledging "we did
not emphasize that reconstruction aspect of it." But he rejected criticisms
that it was "a callous exercise to destroy homes," the Herald reported.

Since the beginning of the "cleanup" campaign it is estimated that anywhere
from 250,000 to 750,000 people have been left homeless. Thousands are living
in transit camps near Harare and Bulawayo, the country's second-largest
city. Several children have died in home demolition operations, and others
have been killed in road accidents during chaotic resettlement operations.

President Mugabe's promise of a massive reconstruction drive follows
international criticism of his government's slum clearance operation. Before
last week's Group of Eight summit in Gleneagles, Scotland, U.S. President
George Bush re-asserted that Mr. Mugabe was a "tyrant" and that other
African nations should not have to suffer because of it. At the summit,
Russian President Vladimir Putin referred to Mugabe as a "dictator" and said
Harare should receive no aid at all.

Addressing a meeting of the Association of Rural District Councils of
Zimbabwe in Victoria Falls, the President appeared to be shifting the burden
of reconstruction from the central government to local authorities. He
announced that he was "challenging all councils to play a definitive and
active role in spearheading the reconstruction program," the Herald

Mr. Mugabe has announced a budget of Z$3 trillion, or about $ 30 million,
for the reconstruction effort. But economists say it is unclear where the
strapped Harare government will find the funds.

Back to the Top
Back to Index

Independent media's battle continues

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

JOHANNESBURG, 15 Jul 2005 (IRIN) - A Southern African media watchdog has
renewed calls for self-regulation of the Zimbabwean press, after a
government-appointed commission denied a newspaper permission to reopen.

The Media and Information Commission (MIC) declined granting a licence to
resume publication to Africa Tribune Newspapers (ATN), publishers of the
weekly The Tribune newspaper, saying the company had failed to show that it
had enough capital, and because it intended operating from a residence.

However, the ATN publisher, Kindness Paradza, told the Media Institute of
Southern Africa-Zimbabwe that they had met all the requirements for
re-registration in terms of the Access to Information and Protection of
Privacy Act (AIPPA).

"The issue of whether we have enough capital to resume publication does not
arise at all, because there are banks that are willing to grant us loans
towards the re-capitalisation process," he commented. Paradza denied he
planned to operate from his home.

The MIC was set up under Zimbabwe's controversial AIPPA law to license
newspapers and journalists. In a high profile decision in 2004 it denied a
licence to Associated Newspapers of Zimbabwe (ANZ), which owns two
anti-government papers: the Daily News, once the country's largest selling
newspaper, and the Daily News on Sunday.

MISA's Nyasha Nyakunu said it had been lobbying the government for an
independent commission, which would be run by members of the media to
regulate the information industry.

The ATN's appeal against its suspension is still pending a hearing in the
Supreme Court.

ATN was closed in June 2004 after the MIC ruled that it had failed to inform
the Commission that The Tribune - initially published on Thursdays as The
Business Tribune, and on Saturdays as The Weekend Tribune - had merged into
The Tribune, which had usually gone on sale on Fridays.

The one-year suspension was based on allegations of breaching AIPPA, which
stipulates that the commission must be informed of any changes in the
titles, frequency and ownership of a licensed media house.

Besides the official daily The Herald, and pro-government The Daily Mirror,
Zimbabwe's press stable includes the privately-owned weeklies The Financial
Gazette, The Independent and The Standard.

Back to the Top
Back to Index

Zim Online

Mugabe's bid to pry into private bank accounts shot down
Sat 16 July 2005
  HARARE - Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) governor Gideon Gono has shot down
a directive by President Robert Mugabe and his Cabinet to pry into private
bank accounts to trace possible foreign currency black-marketers, ZimOnline
has learnt.

      According to the sources, Finance Minister Herbert Murerwa three weeks
ago ordered Gono to withdraw from the market large denominated special
bearer cheques and replace them with smaller denominated bank notes in an
obscure plan sanctioned by Mugabe and his Cabinet to nab black-market

      The bearer cheques introduced two years ago at the height of cash
shortages in Zimbabwe are denominated from $5 000 to $20 000 while normal
banknotes are lesser denominated with the $1 000 note being the highest

      An RBZ official, who did not want to be named, said: "The plan was to
flood the market with $1 000 and $500 notes and the simple idea behind it
was that big-time black market traders who normally deal in cash would be
forced to do bank transfers.

      "State intelligence officers working with RBZ auditors would simply
monitor bank accounts and track down people making huge transfers to
investigate whether they were not financing foreign currency black market

      Gono, who has desperately and unsuccessfully battled the illegal but
thriving foreign currency black-market, initially bought into the simplistic
plan and ordered a gradual withdrawal of bearer cheques from the market
while banknote allocations to banks were increased.

      Members of the public and firms withdrawing cash from banks especially
in the last week of June were paid in $1 000 and $500 notes as the scheme
slowly got into motion.

      But the RBZ chief soon backed out of the plan under pressure from his
advisers who insisted that withdrawal of bearer cheques was going to create
a new and artificial shortage of local currency on top of the biting foreign
currency shortages.

      Gono is said to have two weeks ago told Murerwa that withdrawing
bearer cheques was a "schoolboy tactic that would never work" and that he
(Gono) was going to explain the matter directly to Mugabe in his regular
briefings with the President.

      It could not be immediately established whether Gono, seen as one of
Mugabe's closest lieutenants, has already met Mugabe to explain his refusal
to go along with the government forex black-market busting plan.

      A secretary in Gono's office said he was too busy to take questions
from the media and referred ZimOnline to an RBZ public relations official,
Charity Tambandini. The RBZ public relations official had by late last night
not responded to written questions sent to her on Tuesday this week.

      Murerwa refused to comment on the matter saying it would be
un-procedural for him to discuss with the Press issues deliberated on by
Cabinet. The Finance Minister also said his "affairs" with the RBZ were not
for the Press.

      He said: "If you say the issue (forex black-market busting scheme) was
discussed in Cabinet then I will not comment because that would be
un-procedural. I also do not talk to the Press about my affairs with the
RBZ." - ZimOnline

Back to the Top
Back to Index

Zim Online

Inflation surges to 164.3 percent
Sat 16 July 2005

      HARARE - Zimbabwe's year-on-year inflation shot up by a massive 19.9
percentage points to 164.3 percent in June to virtually erase hopes of
reversing a grinding economic crisis now in its sixth year running.

      The state Central Statistical Office attributed the strong upsurge of
inflation on rising prices of commodities most of which are in short supply
in the country.

      Economic analysts said with food and fuel shortages set to worsen,
pushing prices even higher in the coming months, the Reserve Bank of
Zimbabwe (RBZ) was certainly going to miss on its target of bringing the key
rate to between 50 and 80 percent by December 2005.

      RBZ governor Gideon Gono had initially predicted inflation to end the
year at between 20 and 30 percent but had to adjust the target upwards
citing unforeseen government expenditure because of food shortages that
President Robert Mugabe and his government had apparently not prepared for
anticipating, against all advice, a bumper harvest.

      Economic analyst and RBZ adviser, Eric Bloch, told ZimOnline inflation
was most likely to end the year between 180 and 200 percent. "By the end of
the year, the (inflation) figures will be between 180 and 200 percent and
not the 50 to 80 percent targeted by Gono," Bloch said.

      Inflation, declared Zimbabwe's enemy number one by Mugabe, hit an all
time high of 622.8 percent in December 2004 before retreating. But at 164.3
percent, it remains the highest such rate in the world.

      Apart from worsening food shortages, an unbudgeted programme to build
houses for close to a million people displaced by the government in an
ongoing controversial urban renewal campaign is expected to widen the state
budget deficit and further push inflation.

      At least US$300 million is required for the housing project announced
by the government three weeks ago as criticism mounted against its urban
clean-up drive under which it has demolished city backyard cottages and
shantytowns leaving thousands of families on the streets without food or
clean water.

      The United Nations, United States, European Union, Zimbabwean and
international human rights groups have roundly condemned the campaign as a
gross violation of poor people's rights. The government denies violating
displaced people's rights saying the clean-up campaign is meant to smash
crime and restore the beauty of Zimbabwe's cities and towns.

      Zimbabwe is grappling its worst economic crisis since independence
from Britain 25 years ago. Fuel, electricity, food and essential medical
drugs are all in short supply while unemployment is pegged at about 70

      Critics blame Mugabe for running down what was once one of Africa's
most vibrant economies and causing food shortages through his chaotic and
often violent seizure of productive farmland from whites.

      Mugabe denies mismanaging the country, instead accuses Britain and the
West of sabotaging Zimbabwe's economy to punish his government for taking
land from whites and giving it to landless blacks. - ZimOnline

Back to the Top
Back to Index

Zim Online

Mbeki throws weight behind church relief effort for Zimbabweans
Sat 16 July 2005

      JOHANNESBURG - President Thabo Mbeki has pledged to throw his weight
behind efforts by South Africa's church leaders to mobilise support for a
relief effort for Zimbabweans displaced during the clean-up blitz.

      Speaking after meeting Mbeki in Pretoria yesterday, the South African
Council of Churches' (SACC) leaders said the president had agreed to support
the relief effort.

      "The president said he will support that (relief effort)," said SACC
President Russel Botman.

      Mbeki, who has consistently backed Mugabe in the past, pledged to act
only after receiving a copy of the report which was compiled by United
Nations (UN) special envoy Anna Tibaijuka who was sent to assess the
evictions by UN boss Koffi Annan.

      At least a million people were thrown onto the streets after their
houses and backyard cottages were destroyed in a campaign the government
says is necessary to clean up cities and towns and smash the illegal foreign
currency parallel market blamed for Zimbabwe's economic ills.

      But the main opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) party
which is mainly supported in urban areas has accused the government of
waging the blitz to punish its supporters for rejecting Mugabe's ruling ZANU
PF party during last March's election.

      The South African church leaders who were in Zimbabwe last week to
assess the plight of thousands of evicted families, have described
conditions at temporary holding camps around the country as "shocking,
horrendous and heart-rending."

      Yesterday, the state-controlled Herald newspaper accused the SA church
leaders of spying on behalf of Zimbabwe's former colonial master Britain.

      The British embassy in Harare expressed surprise at the claims saying
the British government had neither funded nor organised the visit.

      Botman yesterday demanded that the Harare authorities halt the highly
unpopular operation.

      "The operation must stop. There is no choice. We cannot see that
process going through," he said.

      The United States, Britain, church and human rights groups have all
condemned the evictions which they said were a violation of the rights of
the poor.

      United Nations special envoy Anna Tibaijuka who spent two weeks
assessing the evictions in Zimbabwe is expected to present her report to UN
boss Koffi Annan next week.

      Meanwhile, South Africa's opposition African Christian Democratic
Party yesterday said Mbeki has "long exceeded his capacity to excuse not
acting on a matter that will destabilise the entire southern region of

      "We applaud the efforts of the SACC and other religious institutions
and non-governmental organisations that have ... worked tirelessly to bring
stability and mobilise Zimbabweans and other African states to turn this
situation around." - ZimOnline

Back to the Top
Back to Index

This is Kent and Sussex

      Next Story | Previous Story | Back to list

      15:00 - 15 July 2005
      Proprety tycoon Nicholas van Hoogstraten has denied "propping up" the
Mugabe regime by taking a controlling stake in a Zimbabwean bank.

      The Sussex landowner said becoming the largest stakeholder in NMB Bank
was purely business but admitted to having a political role in the pariah

      His comments follow reports in the Zimbabwean press and the Sunday
Times that he had built up his stake in the Harare-based bank to 30 per

      It is alleged that the move - which reportedly makes him the biggest
foreign investor in the country - was made to cement ties with the ruling
Zanu PF party.

      But speaking this week, he denied the claim: "I'm alleged to be
propping up the regime by buying a bank - I do not see the connection. By
buying HSBC would I be propping up Blair. It is a purely business venture."

      But he did reaffirm his support for President Mugabe - a man he has
previously likened to an English gentleman.

      Mr van Hoogstaten also stated that he had taken on a political role in
Zimbabwe but refused to go into detail.

      He said: "I support and advise the government. I support them
financially when needed. But I do more useful things than contribute
financially to Zanu PF."

      In reference to the "slum clearance" programme which has resulted in
an estimated 323,000 people being made homeless, Mr Hoogstraten said he
supports Mugabe.

      He told the Courier: "The slum clearances - in inverted commas - have
been taken out of context.

      He added: "It is necessary to clear all the rubble away so I can build
my new palaces."

Back to the Top
Back to Index


INTERVIEW - New Zealand wants South Africa to isolate Zimbabwe
Fri Jul 15, 2005 10:38 AM GMT
By Paul Tait

SYDNEY (Reuters) - New Zealand will not declare next month's tour of
Zimbabwe illegal over human rights abuses but will call on South Africa to
help it isolate Zimbabwe.

"It is not the New Zealand government's intention to legislate and prevent
the tour," New Zealand Foreign Minister Phil Goff said on Friday, citing the
right of individuals and organisations from New Zealand to travel freely.

New Zealand is leading an international push to have Zimbabwe banned from
the cricket tour schedule over concerns of abuses under President Robert
Mugabe. New Zealand had asked the International Cricket Council (ICC) to
change its policy requiring teams to tour Zimbabwe.

The game's ruling body said this week the tour should go ahead unless the
New Zealand government ruled it illegal. New Zealand has already said it
will not provide visas for a reciprocal tour it is due to host late this

Goff said New Zealand officials, including from the New Zealand High
Commission in London, would meet ICC President Ehsan Mani later on Friday.

"What we are looking at across the board is showing our abhorrence at what
Mugabe is doing and try to put pressure on the international community to
take a united approach against him," Goff told Reuters by telephone.

Goff said New Zealand want Zimbabwe excluded from the International Monetary
Fund and were investigating whether a case could be mounted against Mugabe
in the International Criminal Court.

Representations are being made to the U.N. High Commissioner for Human
Rights, the European Union and the Group of Eight nations.

He called on the development community in South Africa and other
neighbouring countries to isolate Zimbabwe, just as nations like Australia
and New Zealand had responded to African National Congress calls to isolate
South Africa during the apartheid era.

"New Zealand and Australia will be doing a joint demarche on those
countries," Goff said.

"While we readily and willingly responded ... to the ANC's request to
isolate South Africa, we would expect South Africa to have some sympathy for
people being oppressed by Mugabe in the same way that they were oppressed by
the apartheid regime."


An ICC statement this week said it was the responsibility of governments to
provide legal frameworks in which sports operate and that cricketing boards
would be expected to fulfil their obligations in the absence of government

New Zealand, Britain and Australia want Zimbabwe banned from the ICC's
future tours programme. Goff wants New Zealand to be allowed to cancel the
tour without having to pay the ICC a minimum fine of $2 million.

"I've written, and Australia has supported, a representation being made to
the ICC that in situations of gross human rights abuse they should waive the
obligations on parties to the future tours programme," Goff said.

Goff said there was no sign Australia and New Zealand had made a
breakthrough in their objectives yet. "You've got to take a stand and you've
got to start somewhere," he said.

Tours to Zimbabwe by Australia and England were cancelled last year when the
ICC took away Zimbabwe's test status because of the team's weakness
following a player boycott. The ICC has since restored Zimbabwe's status.

Back to the Top
Back to Index

'At Least $25 Trillion Needed for Dams Revamp'

The Herald (Harare)

July 15, 2005
Posted to the web July 15, 2005

Mutare Bureau

GOVERNMENT needs up to $25 trillion to revamp dams and irrigation schemes in
the country as it moves towards mitigating recurring droughts, a Cabinet
Minister has said.

The Minister of State for Water Resources and Infrastructural Development,
Engineer Munacho Mutezo, said in an interview there was an urgent need to
rehabilitate vandalised irrigation schemes and old dams, while constructing
new ones if the country is to be self sufficient in food production.

He said the recurrent droughts Zimbabwe was experiencing had shown beyond
reasonable doubt that rain-fed crop production was unreliable. Eng Mutezo,
who was on a tour of irrigation schemes in Manicaland and Matabeleland
South, said the need comes against the realisation that irrigation was the
only panacea to the droughts the country had experienced for the past five

"The ministry was allocated an irrigation support of $1 trillion by the
Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe during the Post-Election and Drought Mitigating
Monetary Policy Framework. However, about $25 trillion is needed for the
rehabilitation of irrigation schemes and the construction of new dams.

"I have visited irrigation schemes in Matabeleland South and some parts of
Manicaland and this week, I will visit Matabeleland North to access their
state. Most irrigation schemes are operating below capacity. We want to
increase the utilisation of irrigation schemes and dams in the country. We
have come up with short, medium and long term plans to boost the utilisation
of these schemes," he said.

In the monetary policy statement, RBZ Governor Dr Gideon Gono, said the $1
trillion for irrigation support would cover acquisition of pipes, purchase
of water pumps and centre pivots.

Dr Gono said this was to ensure food security and surplus crop production.
The country should have at least 300 000ha irrigated maize, 15 000ha under
winter wheat and 100 000ha under other crops like tobacco, potatoes and

"If 300 000ha of land are put under irrigation maize, about 75 percent or
nine months of the country's minimum needs of 1,8 million tonnes will be
met, with the balance coming from the rest of the farmers.

"This strategy will ensure that the country meets its staple food needs at
all times and in good rainfall years, the surplus is exported," Dr Gono

Eng Mutezo said the short term plan included restoring operations of
existing irrigation schemes.

"In the medium term we will be looking at the utilisation of water from our
dams for irrigation. These dams include Osborne, Mpudzi in Manicaland and
Zhove and Mtshabezi in Matabeleland South, among others, which have been
lying idle for years," he said.

Eng Mutezo visited Kwalu, Bili, Chikwalakwala, Jalukanga and Shashi
irrigation schemes in Beitbridge in Matabeleland South which he said were
disappointedly operating below capacity.

Beitbridge, Gwanda South and some parts of Masvingo are some of the areas in
the country that received very low rainfall and the need for more irrigation
schemes and restoration of the old ones is the only answer to mitigating the
recurring droughts.

Back to the Top
Back to Index

ZIMBABWE: Food import bill beyond govt's pocket
      15 Jul 2005 17:46:10 GMT

      Source: IRIN

JOHANNESBURG, 15 July (IRIN) - Experts in Zimbabwe have cast serious doubts
on claims by the government that it is able to secure 1.2 million mt of
maize to feed millions of food insecure households.

The authorities have been reluctant to launch an official appeal for
international aid to stave off widespread food shortages, saying the
government was capable of importing adequate stocks to address the

Relief agencies have estimated that up to 4.5 million Zimbabweans will need
food aid this year, but officials maintain that just 1.5 million people
require food assistance, based on a government crop assessment undertaken
between December and January.

Recent figures showed that drought conditions had reduced the maize harvest
to around 600,000 mt, against a national consumption requirement of 1.8
million mt. The national grain procurer, the Grain Marketing Board (GMB),
also plans to import 600,000 mt to build its strategic reserves.

But a senior European Union food security analyst in Harare expressed
serious concerns, saying the figures did not add up and the government,
already strapped for hard currency, was unlikely to follow through on its

"The government says it has plans to procure maize for food use, but so far
it has not backed up where they would source the funds from to pay for these
imports. The 1.2 million mt will definitely be adequate to meet not only the
needs of the vulnerable but many more people in Zimbabwe, but so far there
hasn't been any major import of maize, and we are all wondering how true the
information is," EU food security programme coordinator, Pierre-Luc
Vanhaeverbeke, told IRIN.

Sources noted that just a fraction of the necessary maize - around 260,000
mt - had been delivered. Surplus stocks from South Africa are expected to be
the main source of imports.

Recurring fuel shortages also threatened to complicate food distribution.
"The task to get so much food across the country is not an easy one - and
extremely expensive - so one would hope that the government has a
comprehensive plan in place that takes all of these factors into
consideration," Vanhaeverbeke said.

Apart from needing forex to import food, the county has to find enough money
to bring in fuel, electricity, medical supplies and other essentials.

Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare Minister Nicholas Goche told IRIN:
"All I can say is that we are importing large quantities of grain,
particularly from South Africa. I cannot give you the exact budget for
importing and distributing the grain around the country, but the GMB already
has a system which we shall make use of."

Goche said the fuel crisis would not hamper the distribution of maize but
referred IRIN to the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) and the chief executive
officer of the GMB, Samuel Muvhuti, for details on expenditure and the
proposed safeguards for ensuring that the food reached the needy.

Muvhuti could not be reached for comment.

Zimbabwe's foreign currency shortage has been tightening steadily since
1999, with a deficit of over US $600 million reached in 2004, according to
the Famine Early Warning Systems Network. Since the beginning of 2005, the
demand at monthly foreign currency auctions has grown to about US $215
million, far outstripping the US $11 million usually made available by the

The French embassy in Harare has announced that it will assist Zimbabwe with
Euro 1 million towards emergency food aid, channelled through the UN World
Food Programme.

WFP currently feeds about 1.1 million people in Zimbabwe, providing
nutritional support to people with HIV/AIDS and malnourished children and
Back to the Top
Back to Index

   SA Catholic Cardinal says Mugabe's conduct in Zimbabwe undermining the
whole of Africa

      By Violet Gonda

      15 July 2005

      The head of the Roman Catholic Church in South Africa, Cardinal
Wilfred Napier, has said Robert Mugabe's conduct in Zimbabwe is undermining
every reason why the West should help Africa. Cardinal Napier who was part
of the SA church delegation that went on a 2 day pastoral visit to Zimbabwe
has expressed outrage at the plight of those made homeless by the Mugabe

      He said the pastoral visit was to walk among the victims and offer
prayers for them. The Cardinal saw confused and very traumatised people
living in sub-human conditions. So shocked were the church leaders with what
confronted them in Zimbabwe that they are going to approach the South
African political leadership and its foreign office to express concern over
the lack of response from the continent's leaders. He said, "It's hard to
understand how African leaders who committed themselves just recently at the
G8 summit, can remain silent." Cardinal Napier joins the growing list of
influential leaders calling for a much stronger and open reaction from the
Southern Africa Development Community and the African Union. He said, "Much
has been said about NEPAD and the peer review mechanism but its not
happening in the case of Zimbabwe."

      The president of the South African Council of Churches Russell Botman
and the Anglican Archbishop for Cape Town Njongonkulu Ndungane, were part of
the church delegation that met church leaders, civic society and some
victims of Operation Murambatsvina. The head of the Catholic Church said the
delegation had asked for a meeting with Mugabe to coincide with this visit
but the request was not granted.

      He dismissed reports in the state controlled media saying the bishops'
trip was masterminded by British intelligence services as part of a campaign
to push a regime change agenda.

      The Cardinal said the church leaders have no connection with British
intelligence but they "went as leaders of our churches to express pastoral
solidarity with the people of Zimbabwe."

      They visited the Caledonia transit camp where thousands of people
whose homes were demolished are staying. Another delegate Reverend Mathew
Esau, recently said that the clerics could find no words to describe the
shocking situation that confronted them. He said they were outraged by the
plight of more than 4 000 people at Caledonian Farm, adding that South
Africa squatters under apartheid could not have faced a worse experience. He
said: "What we saw was a diabolical situation."

      Cardinal Napier said the church leaders want Thabo Mbeki to pressure
Mugabe to stop the evictions. He said it's illogical for Mbeki to talk about
quiet diplomacy when people are dying.

      SW Radio Africa Zimbabwe news
Back to the Top
Back to Index

New government needed to solve fuel crisis in Zimbabwe

      By Tichaona Sibanda
      15 July 2005

      The government announced on Friday that individuals with free funds
outside Zimbabwe or those with foreign currency accounts could import fuel
for resale.

      This new policy comes in the wake of crippling fuel shortages that
have brought the country to a halt. The fuel crisis is so serious that it
has created an unprecedented revolt by Zanu (PF) MPs in Parliament, who
accused the government of failing to come up with a solution to the
drawn-out crisis.

      The opposition MDC was quick to go on the offensive, pointing out that
the new policy is a clear admission by government they have failed to
resolve the fuel crisis.

      New spokesman for Energy, Transport and Communications in the party,
Murisi Zwizwai, is adamant the only way to solve the economic crisis is to
have a political solution.

      In short, said Zwizwai, what we need is a new government.

      Political commentator Bekithemba Mhlanga cemented Zwizwai's comments
and rubbished government's turn around programmes as a being out of touch
with reality.

      He said; "what we need in the country is operation restore order and
democracy.pure and simple. These other operations will never bring any

      SW Radio Africa Zimbabwe news
Back to the Top
Back to Index

   Tribune newspaper denied licence

      By Lance Guma
      15 July 2005

      The Government appointed Media and Information Commission has denied
the weekly Tribune Newspaper a licence to resume publishing, a year after
suspending its operations. In a further assault on the media, MIC Chairman
Tafataona Mahoso says the company failed to meet their legal requirements
since they did not have enough capital to resume publication. He also said
the company intended to operate from the owners residential home, a move
which needed council authorisation.

      After using two weak excuses to deny the paper a licence Mahoso
attempted to look sincere by offering to review the application if the city
council authorised the use of the publishers residential property. Kindness
Paradza, the owner of the paper, disputes the MIC's claims saying his
company had met all the requirements for re-registration in terms of the
Access to Information and Protection of Privacy Act.

      He told the Media Institute for Southern Africa that whether they had
enough capital to continue publishing or not was immaterial since there are
banks willing to grant loans for their project. Paradza has also denied they
planned to operate from his home saying they had only informed the MIC the
company's property was being kept at his house. The newspaper has a pending
Supreme Court application challenging their suspension by the MIC.

      Things took a down turn for the former Zanu PF legislator after he
criticised AIPPA in parliament and a when he visited the United Kingdom he
was accused of trying to resuscitate the banned Daily News through the back
door. The Zimbabwe Union of Journalist, President Matthew Takaona meanwhile
slammed the decision of the MIC as being negative. He says government should
concentrate on managing the media and not crushing it. ZUJ will intervene in
the matter at the request of the publisher and was giving the two parties
time to resolve the dispute.

      SW Radio Africa Zimbabwe news
Back to the Top
Back to Index

   UK stops deporting failed Zimbabwe asylum seekers
      15 Jul 2005 16:03:24 GMT

      Source: Reuters

By Jeremy Lovell

LONDON, July 15 (Reuters) - Britain has stopped deporting failed asylum
seekers to Zimbabwe after two judges appealed for a halt, the Home Office
said on Friday.

But the Home Office said the suspension was temporary and the issue would be
resolved by early August when test cases on the legality of sending people
back to the former British colony of Rhodesia were due to be concluded.

"Out of respect and courtesy for the fact that two judges have commented on
this issue, we feel it is appropriate not to enforce the return of failed
asylum seekers prior to the court hearing on 4 August when we hope the issue
can be fully resolved," it said in a statement.

The government has come under pressure from human rights groups to stop
deporting failed asylum seekers after the government of President Robert
Mugabe embarked on the systematic destruction of thousands of homes it said
were illegal.

The appeals over the past two weeks for a suspension came from two judges
sitting on separate asylum appeal cases.

Opponents of Mugabe's ruling ZANU-PF party -- in power since independence
from Britain in 1980 -- say they are victimised and their lives would be in
danger if they were forced to return.

Last month several failed asylum seekers being held in detention in Britain
went on hunger strike to highlight their plight.

But the Home Office said on Friday no Zimbabweans in detention were still
refusing food.


Britain suspended deportations to Zimbabwe for two years because of the
rising political violence there, but quietly resumed the practice in
November 2004 despite protests from rights groups that the situation had not

ZANU-PF won elections in March that the opposition Movement for Democratic
Change and some outside observers said were rigged.

Immediately afterwards the government embarked on the wholesale destruction
of thousands of homes in the suburbs around Harare, making some 300,000
people homeless.

Catholic Archbishop of Bulawayo Pius Ncube, an outspoken critic of Mugabe's
government, accused the government of a policy of "peasantification" similar
to that carried out in Cambodia by Pol Pot.

The government claimed they were illegal settlements, but opponents said
they were retribution against people who voted against Mugabe.
Back to the Top
Back to Index


Axed Moyo puts pen to paper
          July 15 2005 at 05:45PM

      Harare - Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe's former spin doctor
Jonathan Moyo - sacked earlier this year for defying the ruling party - is
working on a book about his time in government, a newspaper reported on

      Once seen as Mugabe's blue-eyed boy, the former information minister
has become a fierce critic of the Zimbabwean government.

      Moyo, a member of Mugabe's cabinet for nearly five years, was sacked
in February when he chose to stand as an independent candidate in March
parliamentary polls, a move that saw him winning a seat in a remote rural

      Moyo has promised to reveal the inner workings of the ruling Zimbabwe
African National Union - Patriotic Front (Zanu-PF) party in his book, the
Zimbabwe Independent reported.

      "It would be a betrayal of my profession as a trained academic not to
write a book of my memoirs and experiences while in government and of state
policies and their implications for the country and for Africa as a whole,"
Moyo, a professor of political science, told the paper.

      The US-trained academic, who is searching for a publisher says he
wants the book published before the end of the year.

      "The book will be about everything I did before joining government,
the reasons that led me to join government and Zanu-PF, the actual dynamics
in government and in Zanu-PF," the Zimbabwe Independent quoted him as

      Moyo was a staunch government critic before he joined the government.
But during his time as information minister, Moyo became an ardent supporter
of Mugabe's controversial policies, including the forcible seizure of
white-owned land, and a vociferous critic of the West, particularly former
colonial power Britain.

      He also crafted tough press laws - the Access to Information and
Protection of Privacy Act (AIPPA) - that that were responsible for closing
down four independent newspapers.

      Since leaving government Moyo is reported to have become popular as a
speaker at civil rights meetings in the Zimbabwe capital. - Sapa-dpa
Back to the Top
Back to Index

Individuals Free to Import Fuel

The Herald (Harare)

July 15, 2005
Posted to the web July 15, 2005


THE price of fuel for farmers, Government departments and other preferred
users was increased with effect from yesterday, while individuals with free
funds outside the country and foreign currency accounts can import fuel for
resale, a Cabinet minister announced.

The Minister of Energy and Power Development, Retired Lieutenant-General
Mike Nyambuya, said farmers and other preferred market consumers would now
pay $5 700 a litre for diesel, up from $1 650, and $6 000 a litre for
petrol, up from $1 750 a litre.

Fuel prices for all other users were last month increased by 178 percent,
resulting in the price of petrol rising to $10 000 per litre, up from $3
600, while that of diesel went up to $9 600, up from $ 3 800 a litre.

The increases were likely to act as a deterrent to some farmers who were
buying the cheap fuel and reselling it on the black market.

Rtd Lt-Gen Nyambuya said the increases excluded transport and handling
charges, which would be borne by the farmer or consumer.

He said the increases had been necessitated by the rise in international
prices for oil from US$27 to about US$60 a barrel and the need to cushion
the National Oil Company of Zimbabwe (Noczim) against losses it was
incurring as a result of the low prices that were being charged on fuel for
farmers and other preferred market consumers.

Noczim, the minister said, had since April been accessing foreign currency
at the going auction rate instead of the favourable official exchange rate,
resulting in it making a loss of $4 050 for every litre sold in respect of
diesel and $4 250 for every litre of petrol sold.

To this end, he said, there was need to adjust prices to enable Noczim to
continue supplying fuel.

The minister said the new prices - which were about half of what other users
were paying for fuel - allowed the oil procurement body to break even
without profit.

"On the other hand, consideration was given to the fact that Government
should continue to support the agrarian reform in order to ensure food
security and reduce the production cost of basic food commodities as well as
expansion of cash crop production for export.

"In reviewing the price of fuel to farmers and other prescribed market
consumers, therefore, Government took into consideration the need to support
farmers and essential services whose success is key to the economic
turnaround," he said.

Rtd Lt-Gen Nyambuya said his ministry would endeavour to make fuel available
to farmers even during the current situation when supplies are limited.

He, however, warned farmers not to abuse the facility and called on members
of the public to report to the police and other relevant authorities any
acts of corruption by farmers, service station owners and staff and other
members of society.

"I call on the farmers and other prescribed consumers to conserve fuel and
abstain from abusing fuel availed to them so as to gain more mileage from
the limited supplies," he said.

The minister also said individuals with free funds outside the country or
foreign currency accounts are free to import their own fuel.

"We have always encouraged this. In fact, it will help augment the supplies
that are being put on to the market for the general public," he said.

The minister, however, said those bringing in their own fuel would be
required to sell it at the gazetted price of $10 000 per litre for petrol
and $9 600 a litre for diesel.

He was responding to reports that he was pressing for the further
deregulation of the fuel industry.

Turning to efforts being undertaken to improve supplies to the public, Rtd
Lt-Gen Nyambuya said plans were afoot to revive the blending of petrol using
ethanol, which in turn was expected to improve the supply of fuel in the
near future.

"As we speak, we have officers in the Lowveld assessing what is available
and what is needed," he said.

The minister said Government was also in the process of securing lines of
credit to ensure the availability of fuel in the country.

Back to the Top
Back to Index

Salvation from Gleneagles?
By Zack Jeh

The Perspective
Atlanta, Georgia
July 15, 2005

It has been dubbed a moral crusade. Its proponents run the gamut from Nelson
Mandela and Bill Gates to dirt poor African farmers; its public voices
include Tony Blair, Bono and Bob Geldorf. It has harnessed star power quite
well. It is endowed with substantial emotional and promotional capital. Its
battle cry Make Poverty History" resonates well. The project for $55
billion in debt relief for Africa is, thankfully, one of the few areas in
which the world is almost unanimous in its endorsement.
What about the vexing issues that reside on the African side of the equation
(debilitating graft in officialdom, pervasive nepotism, absence of
transparency, indifference to fiscal frugality, etc) , the dramatic
reduction which are moral and technical imperatives if aid is to dent
ubiquitous poverty? Will Africans meet the G8 halfway by at least slaying
the beast of continental hunger in a decade? Or will it be the same decade
from now, prompting a quantum jump in the index of misery? Will fair critics
of failure be rejoined with tired cries of Africa bashing? Will apologists
for failure bemoan the manifesto for debt relief? A good document for debt
relief is not a proxy for prudent behavior.

Development aid's shortfalls outdistance successes too many times in Africa
that cynics describe it as a zero sum exercise. The current aid regime with
its archaic cold war accent has shortchanged the economic program, producing
white elephants and sapping initiative while viewing colossal graft and
incompetence with staggering apathy. The sad result is political stability
is the exception and grinding poverty and regression the norm in huge swaths
of Africa-potential grounds for terrorism's recruits. Witness Somalia, where
a state akin to the Dark Ages obtains. In Liberia and Sierra Leone, goons
governed for close to a quarter century, rendering armed crime gangs
formidable players in the body politic. In Congo, lawlessness reigns in most
of the country.

In fashioning an effective framework for debt relief, the prevailing aid
paradigm must be retired. The G8 must be quite selective in dispensing
relief. Should Angola, brimming with diamonds and oil, but managed by a
corrupt regime, be a beneficiary of G8 largesse? What about Nigeria, an OPEC
member, whose vast oil wealth ends up in the Swiss bank accounts of
dictators and government ministers? Robert Mugabe has ruined agriculture to
clobber dissent, how should debt relief be used to penalize his tyranny and
not the people of Zimbabwe? And Sudan, where the inane ambition to build a
theocratic state enlists mindless brutality and acts of genocide?

Europeans , especially, because of colonialism's foibles must not see debt
relief as a guilt trip but rather as an exercise in market development and a
strategic counter to global terrorism-a grand bargain in which the good guys
always win. Where poverty is self-inflicted the G8 must point this out;
where graft and ineptitude are barriers to an effective assault on poverty
non-governmental organizations may hold greater promise. Projects that
engender self-help should receive the lion's share of relief: that means
starving misguided military programs and boondoggles; it also means quota
and timetables must be insisted upon and met. Of course, insistence on
transparency and accountability will lead to fervid cries of the loss of
sovereignty. In exchange for aid something must give.
The lunch of debt forgiveness must not be free.

Debt relief as an antidote to Africa's advancement is an illusion that has
great appeal, yet history teaches otherwise. Societies that have made great
strides in the last hundred years have nurtured stability, a culture of
initiative, science and technology, the rule of law, and free
trade-generosity by former colonial masters did not do it. There are things
magnanimity by the G8 cannot do. The road to African development does not
begin in Europe; it runs from the Cape of Good Hope to Cairo and points in

Walter Rodney, the West Indian intellectual, theorized how Europe
under-developed Africa, now it is Africans that are raping Mother Africa,
rendering a highly endowed continent the poster child for the worst in the
human condition.
Back to the Top
Back to Index

New Zimbabwe

For Zimbabwe, elections not an option any more

By Lance Guma
Last updated: 07/15/2005 19:14:21
ZIMBABWEANS are slowly awakening to the fact that a twenty-five year
flirtation with the ballot box does not necessarily guarantee democracy.

The last remaining dictators on the continent have resorted to election
rigging and have cast military coups to the back burner of consideration. If
ever there is to be dispute about the conduct of Zimbabwean elections it is
only be because thieves and a close network of beneficiaries have enough
circumstantial evidence to support convenient claims for legitimacy. The MDC
for a six year old party has done considerably well to shake up the
foundations of Zanu PF's power. The manner in which it has haunted Robert
Mugabe in the last six years is testimony to those efforts. Sadly that is
all they have managed to do.

The party seems eager to over- employ strategies which worked in the past in
every crisis it faces ahead. It is obvious to many the parliamentary
democracy they subscribe to is holding them prisoner. The decision to
continue participating in parliament with a miserly forty-one seats has
turned off many Zimbabweans who recognise the rubber stamping role of that
institution. The reason why the June stay away flopped is simple. The party
asked people to make a big sacrifice when it cannot itself make simple
sacrifices like completely boycotting parliament for fear of losing 'their
seats' or is it parliamentary pensions and benefits as some have quipped? It
is a weird scenario for the likes of Jenni Williams from WOZA and Lovemeore
Madhuku of the NCA to get arrested more than members of the MDC itself.

When Zimbabweans hear how cautious party leaders are for fear of getting
arrested they begin to wonder why the ordinary supporter should be expected
to take the risk alone? It does not help for the MDC to complain about
Zimbabweans being cowards or 'mbwende' as Tsvangirai put it, when people
clearly see that the only cowards are those leading them. People want to
hear inspirational stories like, 'MDC leader Morgan Tsvangirai has been
arrested for defying POSA, AIPPA or some such repressive law'. Nelson
Chamisa the Youth Chairman is among a few individuals with the courage to
defy Mugabe's authority. You can not ask your supporters to be defiant when
you yourself are working within the system. The MDC should cleanse itself
from this 'parliamentary disease' and reflect on where the real power lies
in the country.

The down side is everyone now knows what needs to be done in order to remove
Mugabe but no one wants to say it first. Even the MDC knows exactly what
needs to be done. Many hope the party will have the sense to convert their
party machinery into an underground resistance network and mobilise people
instead of fruiltless diplomatic shuffling and press statements on every
little crisis. The party has the machinery to make things happen but
disappoints many by running a political factory that only produces
candidates for rigged elections. Is there hope in channeling resources
towards fighting more elections with Mugabe? The regime is jamming Shortwave
signals from SW Radio Africa, destroying the homes of the urban poor,
attacking small scale businesess, buying jets and other tools for
repression. The message is clear, Zanu PF is fighting to the last drop of

People need something that will lift their hopes. They have been bludgeoned
beyond redemption and will never be motivated by idle talk or statements
from the safety of Harvest House, the opposition headquarters. Trade
Unionist, Raymond Majongwe says the MDC of yester-year when Tsvangirai told
Mugabe at a rally 'to go peacefully or be removed violently' was the MDC
that could bring about change. The current group cannot even fathom the
thought of spending the night in police cells.

The Chitungwiza MDC Mayor was said to be on the run one weekend after
reports indicated police wanted to arrest him for urging Chitungwiza
residents to defy operation 'Murambatsvina'. Now if leaders who are urging
defiance then run away themselves, what do you expect people to do? This
week when WOZA women were arrested without their leader Jenni Williams, she
went to the police station later to hand herself over in solidarity.
Lovemore Madhuku from the NCA has shown the same commitment. Will the MDC
leadership show the same courage before expecting people to break a leg for

The weak have one weapon: the errors of those who think they are strong!
Lance Guma is a Zimbabwean journalist and opinions expressed here are his
and not of his employers SW Radio

Back to the Top
Back to Index