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More Zimbabwe Ruins

Sunday Times (Johannesburg)

July 17, 2005
Posted to the web July 18, 2005


ELSEWHERE in this newspaper we have published a disturbing picture. It shows
how desperate Zimbabweans have invaded that country's Gonarezhou National
Park and erected dwellings.

Wildlife in the park has been slaughtered on a vast scale in the search for

The park invasion represents a double tragedy.

First and foremost it is evidence of the extent of the humanitarian disaster
that is visiting Zimbabwe as a consequence of Robert Mugabe's failed state.

Poverty, homelessness and starvation are afflicting the people of Zimbabwe
to the extent that they are now seeking refuge in the last remaining
survivable land in the park.

The second tragedy is ecological. Just three years ago, South Africa,
Zimbabwe and Mozambique agreed to establish a vast transfrontier park
encompassing Gonarezhou, Mozambique's Limpopo National Park and our own
Kruger National Park.

Such a facility could have become the world's premier wildlife spectacle,
generating massive tourist income and the jobs, housing and security that
come along with it.

That dream now stands in ruins thanks to the iron-fisted mismanagement of
Robert Mugabe.

Sustainable tourism cannot compete with the quest for survival.
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Mail and Guardian

      Zim's new homeless live 'worse than animals'

      Reesha Chibba

      18 July 2005 08:59

            Just outside South Africa's borders, a humanitarian crisis is
brewing. Despite a news blackout imposed by Zimbabwe's President Robert
Mugabe, conditions in a large camp housing those displaced by Mugabe's
Operation Murambatsvina are drawing sharp criticism from countries around
the world.

            Since May this year, thousands of people have been forced to
desert their homes and have been dumped at the makeshift Caledonia camp,
about 30km outside Harare.

            Last week, the clean-up operation was extended to wealthier
suburbs in Harare.

            In the past two weeks, there has been a stream of foreign
visitors to Zimbabwe seeking more information about the controversial

            First, United Nations Secretary General Kofi Annan sent Sharad
Shankardass, the executive director of UN Habitat, to Zimbabwe for two weeks
to learn more about the campaign. The envoy's report is expected to be
completed within a week.

            Then it was the turn of the African Union, whose representative
Zimbabwe turned away because the government said it was too busy to see him
and that he had not given the government enough advance notice of his visit.

            Among the few foreigners to visit the camp was a group of
clerics from the South African Council of Churches (SACC). They returned to
South Africa with tales of horror, calling the situation a humanitarian
disaster waiting to happen.

            It seems the whole world is baying for Mugabe's blood, with
United States President George Bush and British Prime Minister Tony Blair
calling for strong action by Mbeki.

            This puts the South African president in a tricky position. He
seems to be working behind the scenes to soothe tempers while publicly
saying that Zimbabwe's people must engineer their own future.

            Nomfanelo Kota, the director of public diplomacy in South
Africa's Department of Foreign Affairs, told the Mail & Guardian Online:
"South Africa respects the sovereignty of the people of Zimbabwe and will
continue to encourage dialogue among all the political and other role
players in Zimbabwe in an effort to create an environment conducive to
reconciliation and the reconstruction and development of Zimbabwe."

            Mbeki sent his new deputy, Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, darting into
Zimbabwe last week for talks with Mugabe and her counterpart, Joyce Mujuru.
It emerged over the weekend that Mugabe asked Mlambo-Ngcuka for a loan of
hundreds of millions of rands to buy fuel, food, seeds and fertiliser.

            Kota says: "South Africa is also engaging with Zimbabwe on a
bilateral level and the latest visit by the deputy president ... is part of
those ongoing efforts to help Zimbabwe to solve its problems."

            Mbeki's spokesperson Bheki Khumalo told the M&G Online:
"Zimbabwe must come up with their own, homegrown solutions [to the country's

            Mbeki has been criticised for his policy of quiet diplomacy
towards Zimbabwe, which Khumalo says is a term that doesn't exist in any
political class, adding that the president is sticking with this approach
and it's not going to change.

            However, Kota says: "South Africa will continue to work through
collective international efforts to assist the people of Zimbabwe to find
lasting solutions to their problems.

            "As part of his latest efforts, President Mbeki has consulted
with the Secretary General of the United Nations, Kofi Annan, with regards
to the work of the special envoy, the executive director of UN Habitat, who
visited Zimbabwe a few weeks ago, to understand the situation of the latest
operation better.

            "Further engagement is also taking place within the Southern
African Development Community [SADC] and the AU in terms of how African
multilateral organisations can assist in the reconstruction of Zimbabwe's

            SA should take 'more active role'
            Pastor Ray McCauley, president of the International Fellowship
of Christian Churches and a member of the SACC delegation that visited
Zimbabwe, told the M&G Online that the Zimbabwean problem is not only
internal and that South Africa should take a more active role.

            "What would [have] happened to South Africa [during apartheid]
if the international world didn't take interest?" he asks, adding that the
people in the camp are "looking to Mbeki" to do something "constructive".

            "Particularly in the role of Nepad [the New Partnership for
Africa's Development], they see him as a leader. We just really want to see
African leaders taking an active strong role to stop Mugabe and bring sanity
to the situation."

            Zimbabweans living in the Caledonia transit camp "are
traumatised, bruised and battered into deep trauma", says Methodist bishop
Ivan Abrahams, who was also part of the SACC group.

            "It could have been a camp of displaced people in [the
Democratic Republic of] Congo, [but] the whole tragedy is that we not
talking about people in Congo."

            "[It's] the same kind of thing you see in Bosnia," he told the
M&G Online. "A lot of their shelter and livelihood had been destroyed. [They
are] feeling very disillusioned, and the vulnerable among them are the women
and the children.

            Abrahams said the camp has no infrastructure in place and the
only amenity available is a clinic, housed in a tent.

            "This is the worst tragedy that the people there have ever
witnessed. There are many, many babies that are still [being] breastfed.

            "We were told that a doctor comes [once a day to the clinic],"
says Abrahams -- but he only saw community workers handing out female

            "There were a lot of younger people. They were just loitering.
Besides one loud radio, other folk were just around. They were not
productive. There was a sense of helplessness," he adds.

            Most people are using plastic sheets as shelter.

            "Judging from the most elementary and rudimentary shelters, it's
plastic bags supported by a few poles. I could not see everybody [in one
family] huddling in these rudimentary tents.

            On Wednesday last week, the ruling Zanu-PF used its two-thirds
majority in Parliament to reject a motion by the MDC condemning the clean-up

            Reuters reported that state radio on Wednesday said: "After
scrutinising the ongoing clean-up exercise for over two weeks, members of
the sixth Parliament of Zimbabwe have rejected a motion by the MDC ... to
condemn the exercise."

            Conditions in Zimbabwe have not always been this way. During the
late 1970s, Mugabe was lauded by his people. He was credited with ending
colonial rule in Zimbabwe -- then formally known as Rhodesia. He also
supported sanctions against South Africa before the lifting of apartheid.

            After he came into power in 1980, many people viewed Mugabe as a
war hero fighting the racist white majority for the freedom of his people.
Zimbabwe's economy was booming back then, but soon living standards started
to drop. Unemployment and inflation increased, and the admiration for the
man who redeemed Zimbabwe was tainted.

            Abrahams describes the transit camp as having only the "bare

            "I think a lot of these people are traumatised. There's a sense
of numbness [in the camp]. They just seemed to be beaten into submission.

            "What one sees is the result of trauma ... I think these people
couldn't believe what was happening to them.

            "It seems as if the government war on the poor is a kind of
scorched-earth policy to drive people into submission [politically]," he

            On arrival at Mbare township, close to Harare, where most of the
houses were demolished, Abrahams says he was shocked by what he saw. He
compared it to a town that had just been hit by air raids.

            "I just looked at the places from where the people were moved
and it looked as if there had just been an air raid, with so much litter ...
[I felt] outrage, absolute outrage and immense anger," he says.

            He says the SACC delegates were wary of taking photographs,
fearing they would be blamed for "inciting [the] people".

            "I think some of the haunting images that will be etched in
one's memory for life is looking in the eyes of women [and seeing] no hope.
There's almost a plea of 'get me out of this situation' or 'what can I do'.
One feels hopeless."

            Abrahams hopes Mbeki will revise his stance of quiet diplomacy.

            "It's just not working. This visit just reaffirmed that. To
remain silent any longer would be scandalous to us. The credibility of all
African leadership is at stake around what is happening in Zimbabwe.

            "I think it's somewhat scandalous that we have the AU meeting in
Libya and [the African leaders remaining] adequately silent [about

            All foreign media have been expelled from the country and the
country's journalists live in fear of their lives.

            Rangu Nyamurundira, a lawyer for the Public Interest Litigation
Project in Zimbabwe, told the M&G Online that he went to the camp to
represent a woman who was arrested for taking pictures while she was
compiling a document for ActionAid, a British-based developmental charity

            Her camera was confiscated and the police are still
investigating the case, but she has not been charged with anything yet, he

            About the camp itself, Nyamurundira says: "I think it was a sad
sight. It's quite cold as well. It's one of the coldest winters I've
experienced in Harare.

            "I think it's unfortunate that no alternative housing was
provided for the people before their homes were demolished."

            Action groups such as the "Women's Action Group, ActionAid and
Unicef [the United Nations Children's Fund]" are providing the people in the
camp with blankets and water, he says.

            'Worse than animals'
            McCauley told the M&G Online that people in the camp are "living
worse than animals".

            "Everyone I spoke to says they were living for many years in a
brick home and were given permission from [the city] council [to do so]," he

            Many of the people at the camp "began to weep and cry" when he
was speaking to them, he adds. One child, a "most beautiful big-eyed boy",
touched the pastor's heart.

            "He had one shoe on and the other was broken. [His] shorts were
sopping wet [probably from wetting himself], his nose was running and his
hair had lice in it," says McCauley.

            McCauley sees no "purpose other than madness" for the forced
removals in Zimbabwe.

            Through the churches in Zimbabwe, he says, there is some
infrastructure in the camp. People were told that they would be given water,
but they have to provide their own tubs to bathe in.

            "Everything they owned has been bashed down."

            To put up the tents made from plastic and wooden poles, "some of
the wood has been broken from their own furniture", he says.

            "[People] were absolutely dazed at what they were going through.
Some of them had cuts and holes in their skin.

            "There was singing [from some kids, while] others were just
sitting around."

            "We're going to do a national and an international drive to
raise money [for the people in Zimbabwe]. We have the infrastructure through
the churches," says McCauley. "We need to stop this deadlock from

            'They were just dumped there'
            Reverend Ron Steele, McCauley's spokesperson at Rhema and
another SACC delegation member, told the M&G Online that Rwanda's refugee
camps, which he visited in 1994, "would be a five-star place compared to
what we saw".

            "You just see groups of people around a fire.

            "These people have just been dumped there. There's no running
water ... it's dusty, dry, windy and cold. [The camp] is a piece of land
with sand, some trees and rocks.

            "It's quite a long way out of Harare ... about 30km [away from]
where these people were moved.

            "It makes it almost impossible for people to get into town and
get jobs. There is a fuel shortage in Zimbabwe which is absolutely
appalling. The transport system is just not working because the fuel supply
is so short," says Steele.

            He adds that approximately 25% of Zimbabweans are HIV-positive.
Though the number of them in the camp is unknown, he is concerned about how
they will receive anti-retroviral treatments now that they are so far away
from Harare and their hospitals.

            "They're not getting any medical treatment. They don't have that
access any more."

            According to Steele, the only thing the Zimbabwean government
provides is portable toilets. There is pressure on the camp's amenities
because of the large number of people living in the camp.

            People spend "half their day" walking to water tanks and back
again, and there is no electricity, "so they were cutting down trees to make
a fire".

            "There was a little tent this child had made. It was tiny and he
could just squeeze in and it would cover him," says Steele.

            'I don't have a future any more'
            He met a woman whom he describes as "articulate and very angry".
She used to have a stall in the flea market, and had her electric strove and
fridge with her.

            "She's sitting in the middle of the bush ... it's so
ridiculous," says Steele.

            Another 20-year-old woman claimed she had no parents and was
looking after her three siblings.

            "Their clothing was in a pathetic state and you could see lice
in their hair. [She told me] 'I don't know what I can do. I don't have a
rural area to go to. I don't know what I can do. I have no village.'"

            Yet another victim of the removals worked as a security guard
before he was moved to the camp. He told Steele: "I haven't got a future.
Nobody knows me [in the rural area]. I'm 25 years old. I grew up in the
city. I was trying to plan for my future. Now I don't have one any more."

            Mbare township, Steele says, was "just stand after stand and it
was just rubble. It was pathetic. The flea market was deserted."

            Steele feels there are solutions to the crisis in Zimbabwe, but
that Mugabe doesn't want to implement anything.

            "There has been no planning [in Zimbabwe]. Everything has been
done ad hoc. They can't solve their problems themselves ... I would put
money on it," he says.

            "I never saw a happy person [in the camp]. I thought people in
the camps would mob us and say, 'Tell Mugabe this and tell him that' ... It
didn't happen. There's a sort of numbness in that place ... they don't know
how to react. They feel helpless.

            "It's terrible that the government can treat people like this.
There's no care and no compassion [for its people].

            "It's an appalling situation that people are being treated as
objects," similar to the apartheid era in South Africa when the blacks were
treated as objects, says Steele.

            He feels South Africa is doing what it can for Zimbabwe, but
thinks people there are "running out of time".

            "The situation is getting desperate. There's a new urgency to
get something concrete [to happen].

            "The country is slowly disintegrating."

            Anger and confusion
            Paul Nantulya, from the Institute for Justice and Reconciliation
in South Africa, told the M&G Online: "One did not expect to find camps such
as you'd find in Burundi. [The camp] resembles a refugee-type situation.

            "There was a sense of anger and confusion [around the camp].
Crucial facilities are non-existent in some places and if they are, they are

            Nantulya says many people in the camp are confused and still
have their property title deeds and trading licences.

            He feels South Africa "needs to take a stronger stance with the
people" of Zimbabwe because any sort of uprising there would reflect badly
on Southern Africa.

            "I never thought I'd see something [like this] just a few
kilometres from our border," says Nantulya.

            "It's a very demoralising experience, to live in a camp like
that [in Zimbabwe]. I'm very worried it's going to be permanent."

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From The Financial Mail (SA), 15 July

By the seat of the pants

By Thandeka Gqubule

Managers in Zimbabwe have been forced to throw away their management

The crisis in Zimbabwe has prompted company managers to develop unique
capabilities in a time of profound economic decline. Short-termism and
crisis management are the order of the day and managers say long-term
business planning is impossible. Managing by the textbook in such an economy
is irrational, they say. The manager of a food chain says he has a planning
cycle of "all of 24 hours". He says most of the crucial decisions he has
made over the past three months have been about the value of money in a
country with a dual interest rate. Key features of the Zimbabwean economic
meltdown are dual interest rates, a critical shortage of hard currency with
which to buy manufacturing and industrial supplies, and nonexistent
agricultural output. Commercial agriculture, once the backbone of the
Zimbabwean economy, is dead, and the manufacturing sector is running on
average at 30% capacity. Prices of basic commodities fluctuate wildly and
hyper-inflation is rampant. Productivity is low, labour is expensive and
rent-seeking behaviour - arranging special favours - is rampant.

The recent humanitarian crisis in which more than 135 000 families have been
made homeless has disrupted the workforce. Some factories are production
lines during the day and dormitories at night. "My factory has become a
makeshift home for the newly displaced and I as a manager have turned into a
dispenser of soft loans to my employees and a social worker and counsellor
all in one," says one businessman. The MD of a packaging company says
government policy has turned most business people into criminals. He says
government has created many rules and structures that are not conducive to
business activity. He gives the example of the foreign exchange auction
market set up by the central bank. Through the market, government presides
over who is to get an allocation of scarce foreign currency. Yet the chances
of a business getting foreign exchange are small. So companies split their
bids, using third-party agents to bid for forex. Since their chances of
getting forex are about 2%, managers feel they are engaged in a lottery
rather than a rational money market. Unable to raise money officially to
meet their obligations to suppliers, businesses turn to the parallel market
for forex, or have to shut down.

Few businesses have not received "little visits" from the economic crime
unit in President Robert Mugabe's office. Often the visits are prompted by a
special allocation. Managers often petition the Reserve Bank for extra
allocations of forex and argue that without these they will have to close
down. Those that are able to convince the bank receive a stack of foreign
currency and then a "little visit" to ensure that the money allocated at a
special rate is being used for the purposes intended. A hotelier says
managers have become good at reading the nuances of economic and political
policy and adapting accordingly. He says resilience is fast becoming one of
the defining characteristics of those businesses that remain open. Many
manufacturers are highly indebted to suppliers of raw materials in SA and
most have run out of credit. A bank manager says strategic planning is
difficult because all economic interventions - even small ones - need
political support. He asks: "How do you give a loan to a white farmer who
has good credit and a solid balance sheet , when there is no guarantee of
the security of his tenure on the land or his property rights? Our managers
are having to design politically inoffensive stakeholder-based plans . This
is making the managers very strategically astute."
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Zim Online

SA church delegation back in Zimbabwe
Tue 19 July 2005

      HARARE - A South African church delegation arrived in Zimbabwe
yesterday, the second such group in less than a week, to discuss aid for
thousands of families left homeless by President Robert Mugabe's
controversial urban clean-up campaign.

      Last week another team from the South African Council of Churches
(SACC) joined Western governments and aid groups in condemning Harare's
clean-up exercise saying it had left victims including thousands of children
scrambling for shelter, deep in the southern hemisphere's winter season.

      The leader of the SACC team, Ivan Abrahams, said his mission had the
blessings of South Africa's President Thabo Mbeki.

      "We are coming to assess and discuss with the Zimbabwe Council of
Churches the aid or humanitarian package that the South African Council of
Churches together with the South African government is putting together,"
Abrahams told reporters on his arrival at Harare International Airport.

      "It is related to the demolitions. Also there is concern because of
the United Nations Development Programme report that five million
Zimbabweans will be at risk in terms of food security," said Abrahams.

      The team that visited Zimbabwe last week has since met Mbeki and
Abrahams said his mission had been promised that their report would also be
considered by the South African government when and if it decides to take
action over Mugabe's home demolition programme.

      Mbeki is expected to decide on a course of action when the UN
publishes a report by special envoy Anna Tibaijuka who was in the country on
a two-week visit to assess the government's much criticised demolitions of
shantytowns and city backyard cottages.

      Well-placed sources said Mbeki's deputy, Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, last
week urged Mugabe, during talks in Harare, to end the demolitions that have
claimed the lives of at least five people, according to police figures.

      Zimbabwe state media has sought to discredit the earlier SACC
delegation that was led by South African Anglican Archbishop Njongonkulu
Ndungane, suggesting its visit was bankrolled by British intelligence to
smear Mugabe's government. Britain denies the charges.

      "I don't know where that comes from. All the clergy that came . . .
their tickets were not even bought by the SACC, every denomination paid
their own way," said Abrahams.

      Mugabe, defiant in the face of mounting condemnation, has defended the
demolitions as necessary to clean up Zimbabwe's cities and flush out crime
and illegal trading in foreign currency and food commodities in short supply
after drought slashed farm output. - ZimOnline

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                  Mbare Report No 15, 13 July 2005,


                  I could not get into my own premises, such a throng of people
jostling each other were in front of the gate. People are hungry and desperate.
Were is the next meal coming from? The sick, the handicapped, the elderly may
get elbowed out of the way; the bedridden may be left out altogether. Mbare has
an unusually large elderly population. Leaders of our parish neighbourhood
groups come with lists of people we have not been able to assist yet and tell
harrowing stories of biting hunger. How do we reach them all?
                  A few vendors are timidly emerging again on the streets with
just a few vegetables and fruits for sale, not more than they can grab and run
with if the police come round the corner. You get arrested if caught vending.
                  Most people who were self-employed or depended on income from
renting out rooms are ruined. They have no chance ever to follow their trade
again unless they are party supporters and are given stands at the new sites
controlled by the party. People not supporting the party no longer have a right
to life.
                  Not all who escaped the chaos in Mbare to the rural areas
have been lucky. A woman who has a history of being harassed as a opposition
party supporter, who had her house burnt and was beaten up, came back from a
remote area to look for food: there is nothing where she went; she has been
feeding her family on vegetables only.

                  There is no cleaning-up. There is only destruction and heaps
of rubble lining certain streets and filling up empty spaces where people have
dumped the debris left after -tsunami-. Mbare was never so ugly.
                  That is the depressing thing: the enormous lies that are
being told day in, day out. The -country is being cleaned up, order is restored;
you are freed from crime and corruption; new houses are being built-. Truth is
constantly being twisted and distorted. Which touches our very humanity. We
cannot live without truth. It is part of the air we breathe. You choke on this
diet of lies, you vomit when constantly fed such poison.

                  The boys of Hartmann House loaded our car with blankets they
had brought from home for the displaced people. The students of St George-s |
reputed to be interested only in cricket or rugby, far from the social reality
of the country | raised $ 20 million with which we bought three bales of
blankets, 60 blankets each. It is very encouraging to experience the solidarity
of fellow Christians.
                  On Monday afternoon, while watching the crowds lining up for
food distribution, amidst the hustle and bustle of people shouting and arguing,
crying and pleading, suddenly Cardinal Napier, archbishop of Durban, SA,
appeared. I could not believe my eyes: what is he doing here? Then more clergy
emerged from a mini-bus: the delegation of the SA Council of Churches was
visiting Mbare. +Tell your president|.,-our aid workers told the visitors. Our
president never received them. It was good to experience the concern of our
neighbours from down south.
                  Oskar Wermter SJ


                  Manresa Farm (Chishawasha, on the Arcturus Road) is meant to
become a residential township. A contractor has been working there for some
years laying out the roads, putting down sewage pipes and installing the water
supply. All the stands are sold, and the owners wait for the time that they can
start building their houses. There are stands for schools, shops and churches.
                  What is holding up the development is the presence of
settlers who claim this as their land. Some were given permission by Silveira
House to settle there for a time, or their presence was at least tolerated.
Others seem to be there because their parents or grandparents were working on
the farm under the last commercial farmer who rented the land up to the sixties.
                  The law courts decided that these settlers had no right to
stay there and should move. The Jesuits could have asked the forces of law and
order a long time ago to evict them. They did not do so, but tried to come to an
amicable agreement with them. There is in fact land available where they can
                  It is not true, as stated in the press, that the Jesuits want
the police to demolish their houses and evict them +Murambatsvina-- style. Other
than in the +Operation Clean-up-, the people have known for a long time that
their position is illegal and were given time to move elsewhere.
                  The Jesuits are in a difficult position: they do not wish to
cause the settlers unnecessary hardship in settling elsewhere, but they also
have an obligation to the people who have acquired stands in the new township
and are eager to get on with building their houses.
                  Some settlers have been encouraged by certain local
politicians to stay put. This has not helped. In recent days representatives of
the illegal settlers and of the Jesuits met again, and it is hoped that a
settlement of the longstanding dispute can be reached. | oWe

                  Cardinal Wilfred Napier, Catholic Archbishop of Durban, and
the Anglican Archbishop of Cape Town Njongonkulu Ndungane were part of the
delegation of the South African Council of Churches who paid a pastoral visit to
Zimbabwe to see for themselves the destruction caused by +Murambatsvina- and
speak to the people affected by it.
                  On Monday, 11 July, they visited Mbare and arrived in time at
St Peter Claver Church, Madzima Road, to see the crowds queuing for food
rations, donated by the Catholic Relief Services and distributed by parish staff
and Justice & Peace activists.

                  CENTRAL COMMITTEE | MEETING 12 & 13 July 2005
                  Pastoral Visit to Zimbabwe on 10-11 July
                  1. INTRODUCTION
                  1.1. PASTORAL MISSION
                  A delegation of South African Church Leaders accompanied by a
representative of the All Africa Conference of Churches paid a pastoral visit to
Zimbabwe on 10-11 July 2005. Archbishop Ndungane, Anglican Archbishop of Cape
Town and Professor Russel Botman President of the SACC led the SACC delegation.
The pastoral visit was facilitated and hosted by the Zimbabwe Council of
Churches (ZCC).
                  The purpose of the visit was to provide pastoral solidarity
to the communities affected by the recent "Operation Murambatsvina", described
by the Zimbabwe government as "Operation restore order" and the churches
ministering to them. The delegation visited the Caledonia 'Transit' Camp, where
displaced people have been relocated to, and visited the Mbare Township from
where some of the displaced people originate.
                  The delegation met with the Zimbabwean Church leadership,
(representing the Zimbabwe Council of Churches, the Evangelical Fellowship of
Zimbabwe and the Catholic Church). They were also briefed by Zimbabwe civil
society organisations, including the Zimbabwe Confederation of Trade Unions.
                  The camp is located approximately 30 kilometres to the South
East of Harare in the Ruwa area. The place of relocation previously served as a
farm. There are no facilities' on or adjacent to the camp, other then an old
farm house. The displaced people informed the delegation that they were given 30
minutes to pack their possessions after which they were loaded on trucks and
dumped in the Caledonia Transit camp.
                  The only existing shelters are plastic sheets supported by
pieces of wood. The displaced persons themselves erected these inhabitable
shelters. Government made little effort to provide any services other than the
members of the Zimbabwe Republic Police who are managing the camp. Churches and
particularly Christian Care (the service arm of ZCC) provides blankets, a few
tents and food to the 4890 displaced persons. UNICEF provides water.
                  Those displaced to Caledonia camp were told that they would
be there only for five days. By the time the delegation visited the camp they
had been there for a month, and were unsure of when they would move to an
improved situation. The displaced are living under inhuman conditions. Scores of
children, young people and unemployed parents and grandparents have to eek out a
measly existence on rations supplied by foreign and local NGOs and Churches. 260
children are registered at a crèche set up in the camp. On the day that the
delegation visited only 30 children turned up and because it was cloudy and cold
they played inside of a building that had no room windows or a door.
                  Street people and informal vendors are the main victims of
the Operation. A considerable number are born in Zimbabwe with parents from
neighbouring countries. Displaced people are, on the whole, income earners who
had been supporting their families and sending their children to school. Taking
away their economic productivity and reducing them to living on relief supplies
has stifled their creativity. A large number of teenage mothers were seen in the
camp nursing their children.

                  A shocking site greeted the delegation on entering Mbare
Township. Almost every yard was filled with rubble from the demolition of
structures. A considerable number of people who have been living in Mbare for
many decades had their homes and informal business structures destroyed as part
of "Operation Clean-up". Extensions were made to houses to support the extended
family and in some instances to supplement old age pensions. These extensions
were broken down. The affected people sought shelter with families and friends
or ended up in the transit camps.
                  The delegation witnessed the desperate poverty of the people
in Mbare Township. On visiting a Catholic Church in the township the delegation
was greeted by long queues of people waiting to collect their monthly food
rations. This is illustrating a looming hunger crisis in Harare.
                  2. STATEMENT OF THE DELEGATION
                  There comes a time when human suffering is indescribable.
What we have seen is a small portion of the human suffering playing itself out
in the townships of Harare. At such times the Christian Church and community is
challenged to speak the truth in an uncompromising manner. Such times demand
unity of purpose amongst churches. The cries of the affected people must be
heard and seen, and the credibility of the Gospel cannot be compromised. The
dignity of people who are created in the image of God must be affirmed.
                  In this instance the affected people are the already
vulnerable: self-employed, under- employed and unemployed, taking care of
dependant minor children, youth and grandparents. Within no time these people
have become victims of a political and economic system. Their humanity has been
denied and their remaining dignity trampled upon. Their efforts to survive
through informal trading have been criminalized. Many of the informal vendors
were laid off from employment in the formal sector and started income generation
                  We salute the churches in Zimbabwe for the commendable
interventions they continue to make. While we continue to uphold them in
prayers, we recognise that they need our practical support in resolving the
causes of the problems.

                  The church cannot sit by idly when leaders treat their people
worse than animals. The situation is worsened when efforts at service delivery
are restricted by political objectives. The Church of Christ cannot afford to be
a silent observer when poverty and homelessness is meticulously implemented.
There are sinister motives informing government action where the broad populaces
are affected in townships and cities and growth points.
                  The pain and hurt is visible in the eyes of children and the
despair of parents fuel their loss of dignity. Such observations are dominant in
the camps where the relocated have been dumped. The limited chances to sustain a
livelihood have been taken away from the relocated families. "Operation Restore
Order" fuels serious shortages of food, and a humanitarian crisis last seen in
Zimbabwe during the liberation struggle.
                  Young people who could be agents of change may become
catalyst for conflict as they are exposed to the hopelessness of their parents.
Because of the stress, trauma and lack of proper nutrition, mothers are unable
to breast-feed their babies. Fathers who are denied the opportunity to support
their families are loitering in transit camps, consumed by boredom and despair.
The deplorable health conditions have also compromised the battle against HIV
and Aids and other infectious diseases.
                  All of this happens due to a lack of economic planning by the
government. If there is any planning it is poor and inconsiderate of the people
that government is meant to serve and take care of. The affected people should
have been provided with alternatives that are sustainable and humane. Instead
informal business people are sacrificed for the formal economy. These people are
removed from opportunities to earn a living and driven to the periphery of
society. This deliberate destruction of the informal economy, which is meant to
cater for economically vulnerable groups, is unparalleled in modern day Africa.
                  The displaced are told that they must return to their rural
homes. Most of these people moved to the main centres of business driven by
poverty and a need to earn a living. Forcing them to return to rural areas where
there are water shortages, high levels of unemployment and skills shortages is
no solution. Such action is inconsiderate of its consequences and the affected
people. The next harvest will only happen in eight months.
                  Making victims of the poor and criminalizing their efforts
for survival will not resolve the political and economic problems of Zimbabwe.
The timing of the operation is when the Zimbabwean economy is at its worst and
in the heart of winter.

                  It is good for 'Law & Order' to be maintained, but like the
Zimbabwean Church leaders, we have a problem with the manner and methods that
are inhuman. Local government and authorities are not involved in the provision
of services to the relocated people. The Zim $ 3 trillion that government offers
will only be able to build 3,000 (three thousand) houses.
                  Zimbabwean churches and other service providers are placed in
an invidious position. Through their humanitarian assistance they could be
considered to be complicit in the suffering of the affected communities. While
churches do not condone the actions of government they are obliged to provide
support to the displaced people. Consistent efforts to meet with government
failed to yield any results.
                  Churches are concerned that such transit arrangements tend to
become permanent.
                  . There is no rationale for Zimbabweans to be internally
displaced, except for the fact that people are economically driven. The
delegation encourages leaders in Southern Africa to consider the threat of
economic displacement in the economic models they pursue.
                  What was\experienced by the delegation was a situation seen
in Somalia. In the case of Somalia the reasons for the devastation of the
livelihood of the poor was due to natural causes. However in the case of
Zimbabwe the sad situation of the destruction of livelihood and family life is
due to the orchestration of a government which cannot recognise that it has
dumped its people into another crisis from which they will have difficulty
                  THE WAY FORWARD
                  The delegation having had the experience of seeing the
devastating poverty and turmoil in the lives of those cruelly and inhumanly
displaced by the Zimbabwean government are convinced that tangible and
sustainable efforts need to be put in place to save Zimbabwe's poor from
complete destruction. We hereby offer the following proposals for consideration
by the SACC Central Committee.
                  1. For the SACC to plan and execute a National Campaign of
                  2. To organise a solidarity letter campaign.
                  3. To organise a prayer campaign focusing on the plight of
the Zimbabwean people.
                  4. Organise a Civil disobedience campaign.

    Prof Russel Botman: President of the South African Council of Churches
    Archbishop Njongonkulu Ndungane: Anglican Archbishop of Cape Town
    Cardinal Wilfred Napier: Catholic Archbishop of Durban and
President of SA Catholic Bishop's Conference
    Pastor Ray McCauley: President of International Fellowship of
Christian Churches
    Archbishop Njeru Wambugu: All Africa Conference of Churches.
    Bishop Ivan Abrahams: Presiding Bishop of the Methodist
Church in Southern Africa and Chair of Church leaders Forum
    Dr. Coenie Burger: Moderator of the Dutch Reformed Church and
member of SACC NEC
                  Father Matt Esau: Anglican Church of Southern Africa
                  Mr Eddie Makue: Deputy General Secretary of the SACC
                  Rev Ron Steele: Rhema Church
                  Mr Paul Graham: IDASA
                  Mr. Paul Nantulya: Institute for Justice and Reconciliation


            The minister of information, trying to -clarify- the role of the
media in Zimbabwe, told journalists they should be -patriotic- and act -in the
national interest-. But what is -patriotic- at the present time? Telling people
that to destroy their homes is in their best interest?
            As usual, government fails to tell the difference between the state
(and its constitution which is permanent) and the government / ruling party of
the day (changeable). This mental confusion does not -clarify- anything.
            According to this view, the interest of the party in power equals
the +national interest-. Anyone not supporting the claim to absolute power of
the ruling party is not +patriotic-.
            What is excluded is the very real possibility that it may be in the
true +national interest- to remove the party at present in power from government
and elect someone else.
            If you accept the +national interest- as your highest value you may
well justify extremely dangerous government action in the international scene,
e.g. military adventures for the self-enrichment of the rulers.
            Rights of individual citizens can be disregarded in the +national
interest-. The life of the poor may be sacrificed in the +national interest-, as
happens at present in the +Murambatsvina- campaign (now called +Murambavanhu- by
            Media ethics demands a key role for the CONSCIENCE of the
individual media worker. Significantly, conscience was never mentioned by our
top media controller.
            Journalists without a conscience are mere propagandists who have
sold their souls to the powers that be, mercenaries who have hired themselves
out to the highest bidder.
            Such hirelings running our media is not in the +national interest-.

      (C) Jesuit Communications, MMIV
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Zim Online

Evicted Bulawayo residents moved to holding camp
Tue 19 July 2005

      BULAWAYO - More than 300 people, who were being sheltered by churches
in Bulawayo after their homes were demolished by the government, have since
last week been moved to a state holding camp at Helensvale farm, 20 km
north-west of the city.

      Church leaders, who had refused to move the over 2 000 displaced
people to the holding camp until basic amenities such as tents, toilets and
clean water were in place, yesterday said they were "satisfied" with the
facilities installed at the farm.

      The religious leaders, assisted by non-governmental organisations
(NGOs), continue to be responsible for the welfare of the families at the
green-tented transit camp.

      More of the displaced families still in church halls across Bulawayo
will be vetted and sent to Helensvale or to their original rural homes,
according to Zimbabwe National Pastors' Conference chairman, Raymond Motsi.

      "We continue to play a very significant role in deciding who goes
where and what happens and the NGOs are very much behind us. The most
important thing is that the government has minimal input in terms of what's
going on here and the church is the bigger influence," Motsi said.

      The families, part of close to a million people displaced by the
government's clean-up campaign countrywide, are supposed to remain at
Helensvale for up to three months before they can find more permanent places
to stay.

      Conditions at another state holding camp, at Caledonia farm near
Harare have been condemned by local and international human rights groups. A
South African Council of Churches delegation that visited the overcrowded
Caledonia last week described the situation there as shameful and absolutely

      More than 4 000 people are staying at Caledonia without adequate clean
water, food or toilets. Most of the people spend the cold winter nights in
the open because there are no enough tents.

      Bulawayo church leaders from various denominations fearing that
Helensvale could become another Caledonia, persuaded the government not to
relocate displaced people to the camp until conditions and facilities there
were in line with internationally accepted standards for internally
displaced people.

      Helensvale is easy to spot along the highway from Bulawayo to the
fading tourist town of Victoria Falls with its rows of neatly pitched green
tents bearing the Red Cross and Red Crescent logo.

      One hundred tents have been pitched so far to accommodate the 66
families that have moved in since relocation began last Wednesday. A family
of five is allocated a tent while individuals, teenagers or single parents
share five to a tent. Trench toilets have also been dug and are already in

      The United Nations Children's Education Fund (UNICEF) provided five
water tanks with a capacity of 5 000 litres and also has a bowser to
replenish supplies as there is no running water on the farm.

      World Vision is providing food rations comprising mealie-meal, cooking
oil and dried beans. Churches provide sugar, salt, fresh vegetables and
other food items that World Vision does not supply. Each family cooks its
own meals at a communal open air kitchen.

      A tent that serves as a clinic has been pitched where volunteer
doctors who visit the camp to attend to the sick operate from. Children are
expected to enrol at a primary school about two kilometres away on a
neighbouring Agricultural and Rural Development Authority (ARDA) Estate.

      The government however keeps a close watch on what goes on at the
camp. Two police officers in plain clothes are stationed at the entrance to
the farm round the clock to monitor who goes in and out of the camp. -

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Doubts over Zim maize claims
18/07/2005 10:57  - (SA)

Johannesburg - Experts in Zimbabwe have cast serious doubts on claims by the
Zimbabwe government that it is able to secure 1.2 million tons of maize to
feed millions of food insecure households, the United Nations' Integrated
Regional Information Network (IRIN) said on Monday.

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 would 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, IRIN said.

Recent figures showed that drought conditions had reduced the maize harvest
to around 600 000 tons, against a national consumption requirement of 1.8
million tons.

The Grain Marketing Board (GMB) plans to import 600 000 tons 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

EU food security programme coordinator Pierre-Luc Vanhaeverbeke said: "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

"The 1.2 million tons will definitely be adequate to meet the needs of the
vulnerable, but so far there hasn't been any major import of maize, and we
are all wondering how true the information is."

Sources noted that just a fraction of the necessary maize - around 260 000
tons - had been delivered.

Surplus stocks from South Africa are expected to be the main source of

Recurring fuel shortages also threaten to complicate food distribution.

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

Zimbabwe 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
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Zim varsity students next to face crackdown
          July 18 2005 at 01:55PM

      Harare University students could be the next victims of Zimbabwe's
controversial clean-up campaign, the state-controlled Sunday Mail newspaper
has reported.

      A shortage of accommodation at the country's top higher education
institution, the University of Zimbabwe, has led many students to rent rooms
and cottages in the nearby suburb of Mount Pleasant.

      But now police and officials have ordered residents of high-income
suburbs like Mount Pleasant to demolish all illegal structures.

      However, in a surprise move this weekend, the government announced it
was halting the operation for 10 days to allow residents time to get copies
of their house plans so they can prove they are legally built. - Sapa-dpa

      This article was originally published on page 4 of Cape Argus on July
18, 2005

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Bishop accuses SACC of colluding with Blair
          July 18 2005 at 03:58PM

      Harare - A delegation of South African churchmen arrived in Zimbabwe
on Monday on a three-day follow-up visit to assess the relief needs of
churches in Zimbabwe following a controversial government "clean-up"
campaign, a member of the delegation said on Monday.

      The visit comes a week after a tour led by the Anglican Archbishop of
Cape Town, Njongonkulu Ndungane. That delegation reported back to the
central committee of the South African Council of Churches (SACC) following
their visit, and the second delegation is said to be here to share
information on the outcome of that meeting.

      Ivan Abraham, of the SACC said the delegation arrived in Harare
mid-day on Monday, added that the aim of the visit was "to share with the
Methodist church in Zimbabwe, and be envoys for the SACC".

      He said his delegation, which is here at the invitation of Zimbabwe's
Methodist church is expected to meet with their counterparts in the Zimbabwe
Council of Churches (ZCC) on Tuesday.

      Churches in Zimbabwe have been at the forefront of helping people who
have had their homes demolished in a controversial government campaign
called Operation Restore Order that has seen police destroy shacks, backyard
cottages and housing co-operatives said to have been built illegally.

      Human rights groups say at least 300 000 people in towns and cities
throughout Zimbabwe have been made homeless by the exercise, while many more
have lost livelihoods following the demolition of flea markets and home
industry bases targeted by Operation Restore Order, now in its second month.

      Last week's visit by Ndungane was heavily criticised by
state-controlled media in Zimbabwe, with the official Herald newspaper
claiming that Ndungane's visit was masterminded by British intelligence
agents, a claim denied by the British embassy in Harare.

      On Sunday the Anglican Bishop of Harare, Nobert Kunonga repeated the
accusation, telling a state-controlled weekly paper that the visit was "part
of the British attempts to destabilise the country by painting a false
picture of developments here for the international world".

      President Robert Mugabe's government claims former colonial power
Britain and her allies are trying to find a pretext to implement regime
change in Zimbabwe. - Sapa-dpa
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'Ethanol Plant to Be Reopened'

The Herald (Harare)

July 18, 2005
Posted to the web July 18, 2005

Chenai Kandenga

Besides re-commissioning the ethanol plant in the Lowveld to extend petrol
supplies, the Government is re-opening research into using vegetable oils
from a variety of sources as a diesel substitute.

Zimbabwe abandoned the production of ethanol in 1992 during the great
drought after blending it with petrol for more than a decade.

At Zimbabwe's altitude, petrol can contain up to 20 percent ethanol although
the percentage used for much of the 1980s was 10 to 15 percent.

Vegetable oils, with modest extra processing, are already in use in diesel
engines in parts of Europe where they are popular with the Green movement.

The only problems encountered are when temperatures drop below minus 5
degrees celsius and they flow less easily, a problem that cannot be seen in

There was some research into bio-diesel in Zimbabwe in the 1970s and 1980s
but this was wound down when it was found the country would gain by
exporting the vegetable oilseed and using the proceeds to import diesel.

However, the huge rise in the prices of petroleum and its products in recent
months make bio-diesel economically competitive in many countries.

In an interview, the Minister of Energy and Power Development, Retired
Lieutenant General Michael Nyambuya, said an implementation team was in
place and the results should start flowing soon.

"The ministry is aiming at producing fossil fuel substitutes from ethanol
blending, castor and soya beans, livestock feeds, jatropha curcas seeds,
rape and sunflower seeds," he said.

With the cost of fossil fuels continuing to rise on the international
market, the Government is embarking on medium to long-term plans for massive
import substitution.

"It is well known that the price of crude oil has risen from about US$27 in
January to about US$60 per barrel.

The effect of the increases in oil prices means that where US$1 could buy 2
litres of fuel in January, that same amount can now only buy one litre of
the same product," he said.

The search for plant oils in Zimbabwe started during the late 1970s when,
due to sanctions, the country experienced difficulties in obtaining fossil

The ethanol plant in Triangle was started in the late 1970s but only
commissioned after independence. For just over a decade, it provided
Zimbabwe's only bio-fuel, an additive for petrol.

The use of bio-fuel was abandoned in 1992 when the country was struck by to
the extent that ethanol was not forthcoming.

During the post-drought period, the cost of ethanol went up such that that
it was more expensive to buy a litre of ethanol than that of petrol.

Cde Nyambuya's ministry is working closely with other government departments
like Noczim, Forestry Commission, SIRDC, and Arex among others, to ensure
the success of the bio-fuel project.

Research work is currently underway and people will be encouraged to grow
crops from which bio-diesel is extracted.

Jatropha curcas, known as Ngondofa or Mujirimono in the Shona vernacular, is
one of the plants that the Ministry is targeting.

The plant seed contains up to 40 percent oil by seed weight and 25 percent
can be easily extracted.

Jatropha seed has immense potential to produce fuel and its by-products are
useful in the production of medicines, pesticides, presscake for fertiliser,
hulls for stockfeed and soap.

Jatropha curcas has traditionally been limited to the smallholder-farming
sector in Zimbabwe in Murehwa, Mutoko, Mudzi and Nyanga.

It is believed to have originated from Peru and Mexico and was spread by
Portuguese and Arab traders.

The semi-naturalised plant has established itself in Zimbabwe in extremely
harsh environments, as it requires very little management.

It has since been used for living fences and is a drought resistant species,
which is not browsed by livestock.

Cde Nyambuya said that the current fuel challenges are being caused by a
shortage in foreign currency, which the country is experiencing.

He, however, said that his ministry is working tirelessly to find lasting
solutions to the fuel crisis.
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Villagers Protest Against 6-Week Ban On Field Work

The Herald (Harare)

July 18, 2005
Posted to the web July 18, 2005

George Maponga

Villagers in Murinye communal lands, Masvingo, are protesting against the
imposition of a six-week ban from fieldwork (Mahakurimwi) to commemorate the
death of their chief last year.

Chief David Mudarikwa Murinye died last year at the age of 83 and his son
and successor Chief Matopos Murinye this month imposed a six-week ban from
field work for all villages under the chiefdom to commemorate his father's

The ban prohibits such activities as working in the fields and gardens among
other domestic duties that involve the use of hoes and axes.

Villagers were ordered to stop working for six weeks with effect from July 1
this year, a practice known as "Mahakurimwi" in conformity with a
traditional way of honouring the death of a powerful chief.

Any breach of the chief's declaration invited a punishment which requires
the payment of a live goat.

Historically, this was a common phenomenon among Shona chiefdoms but the
modern day subjects of Chief Murinye, whose survival hinges on an array of
agricultural plots around Lake Mutirikwi, feel six weeks would affect their

"We were told that with effect from 1 July we should refrain from doing work
which involves the use of hoes and axes, even digging in out gardens or
ploughing our fields until after six weeks to commemorate the death of Chief

"However, we feel badly let down by such a move because we need to work to
fend for our children and pay school fees.

"This practice (Mahakurimwi) should be lessened to two days so that people
can work for their families. Six weeks is just too long a time," said an
irate villager from Munamati in Murinye.

Another villager said such practices like "Mahakurimwi" should be done away
with because they disregarded the economic realities of today.

"In the past, if a woman gave birth to twins, people used to kill one of
them because it was believed that it was a bad omen but today that will be
treated as murder. Some of these traditional practices should be scrapped,"
said another villager from Dikitiki.

Most other villagers said the order should be reversed to allow farmers a
chance to prepare for the rainy season.

The villagers were reportedly warned that they risked losing a goat to the
headman and a beast to the chief if they defied the order.

Efforts to get a comment from Chief Murinye were fruitless.

However, the president of the Zimbabwe Council of Chiefs, Chief Fortune
Charumbira, said it was wrong for villagers in Murinye to rush to the media
instead of discussing the matter with their chief.

"There seems to be some ulterior motives behind the move to rush to the
media by the villagers in the area which might even be political. A person
who belongs to a community is expected to be part of the traditions and
customs of that community.

"They should not have gone to the media to Villagers protest against 6-week
ban on field work remedy a family problem because in essence, I take that as
a family problem. If they were aggrieved they should have approached the
chief through the chief's council of elders who would talk to him," said
Chief Charumbira.

He said whether the time of mahakurimwi was too long or shot was an
immaterial issue stressing that Chief Murinye was just implementing the
tradition and customs of the Murinye chiefdom.

The Murinye people, who are of the Duma clan, preserve their cultural values
and norms.

At the funeral of the late chief Murinye in February this year, scores of
people who thronged his Boroma Hills residence for his funeral did not see
even his grave or know the time he was buried.

Mourners were only told about the burial of the chief after he had long been

However, investigations later revealed that chief Murinye --- who ruled for
52 years --- had already been buried long before the announcement of his
death in line with the Duma tradition of burying chiefs.
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The Age, Australia

EU 'considering' Zimbabwe sanctions
July 19, 2005 - 6:14AM

The European Union has strongly condemned Zimbabwe's demolition of houses in
poor townships and Sweden says the EU was mulling sanctions against those
responsible for making at least 300,000 people homeless.
In a strongly worded statement, EU foreign ministers called on Zimbabwe
urgently to provide shelter for people who had lost their homes and
businesses in the crackdown and said aid workers should be allowed to reach
those in need of help.

The EU imposed a visa ban in 2000 on senior members of the government led by
President Robert Mugabe after accusations of vote rigging in parliamentary
polls and Swedish Foreign Minister Laila Freivalds said restrictions may be

"We are looking at the possibility of complementing the sanctions list ...
with names of persons who are directly responsible for the current
(situation)," she told reporters.

Sanctions include a ban on the sale, supply or transfer of arms to Zimbabwe.
People suspected of human rights violations are barred from entering the EU
and assets they hold within the 25-nation bloc may be frozen.

Police have razed shacks, unregistered stalls and workshops in poor urban
townships in an operation aid agencies say has left people homeless and
without income. The two-month old crackdown has now moved into more affluent
Mugabe's government has said the demolitions were meant to clean up
Zimbabwe's cities and flush out crime and illegal trading in foreign
currency and other scarce commodities.

The government has denied accusations that the campaign, called "Operation
Restore Order", is targeted at opposition supporters who mostly live in poor
urban areas.

But the Commonwealth, EU, Britain, the United States and rights groups have
condemned the exercise, in which at least five people have been killed.

British Foreign Secretary Jack Straw, whose country holds the EU presidency
until the end of the year, said EU ministers wanted the African Union to
press Mugabe on the matter.

"There was strong and widespread condemnation of President Mugabe's policy
of demolition and clearances," he told a news conference. "We called on the
African Union to use its influence to bring an end to the suffering of the
people of Zimbabwe."

© 2005 AAP

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Shortage of Nurses Hits Rural Hospitals

The Herald (Harare)

July 18, 2005
Posted to the web July 18, 2005


A CRITICAL shortage of nurses has hit rural hospitals and health centres
with Zimbabwe needing urgently 3 337 nurses.

Government investigations have shown that 40 percent of rural health centres
are being manned by untrained nurses while rural district council clinics
need 1 278 nurses, a situation that has posed serious challenge to the
health delivery system.

The Minister of Health and Child Welfare, Dr David Parirenyatwa, said one of
the major reasons why the primary care nurse programme had been introduced
and why the registered general nurse training output had been increased was
to ensure that trained personnel would man all health centres.

He was speaking at the inaugural graduation ceremony for 270 primary care
nurses in Harare last week.

"It is envisaged that by January 2007 all our rural health centres including
clinics will be manned by one trained nurse and by two trained nurses by
July 2008," he said.

The 20 registered general nurses and 16 primary care nurses training schools
throughout the country were expected to graduate more than 6 000 nurses by
the end of 2007.

Fourteen Government and six mission schools are currently conducting the
three-year general nurse training programme while 16 centres are conducting
the primary care nurse (PCN) training programme.

At least 200 of the 270 inaugural graduates of the PCN programme have
already been posted to several rural health centres, rural hospitals and
mission hospitals where they are expected to boost health delivery services.

"Our nursing vision is to have a health care service delivery system which
is responsive to the health needs of the country and renders comprehensive
high quality care.

"This can only be done by ensuring that all the available nursing posts are
filled," said Dr Parirenyatwa.

At the present rate of training and attrition, Dr Parirenyatwa said, it was
also envisaged that mission and rural hospitals would have 66 percent of
their posts filled by January 2010.

Among the 16 schools training PCNs in the country are Bonda, Murambinda,
Mutambara, Mt Selinda, Howard, Nyadire, Silveira, Mnene, Sanyati and
Tshelanyemba mission hospitals.

Two more hospitals, St Albert's Mission and Guruve District Hospital are set
to join commence training primary care nurses in January next year, which
means more nurses would be produced.

So far 504 primary care nurses have been trained.
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Forestry Company Set to Export Timber to Botswana

The Herald (Harare)

July 18, 2005
Posted to the web July 18, 2005


THE Forestry Company of Zimbabwe will export billions of dollars worth of
timber to Botswana where it is desperately needed by the construction

Secretary for Environment and Tourism Mrs Margaret Sangarwe yesterday said
her Ministry's senior officials and other stakeholders from Zimbabwe were in
Botswana last week to officially open the Forestry Company of Zimbabwe's
offices in Gaborone.

This is the first investment outside Zimbabwe since the formation of the
timber company, two years ago.

"We are in the process of identifying new markets in the region and hope to
expand to other regions where timber and some of our resources that are not
properly marketed are in demand," Mrs Sangarwe said.

Botswana is a major market for timber because the country is mostly a desert
yet a lot of construction requiring timber going on there.

"We produce one of the best timbers in the region and some companies from
Botswana have been buying from us making it imperative to ensure consistent
supply and easy access of the product," she said.

Mrs Sangarwe said the Government through the Forestry Company of Zimbabwe
expects to realise millions of dollars in foreign currency.

"Business has already started and there are positive indicators showing
quite a substantial amount of foreign currency will have been generated from
this business venture by the end of the year."

Mrs Sangarwe said this development comes after her ministry had realised
that enough was not being done to tap from the country's natural resources
that are on demand as raw materials in many countries.

She said Zimbabwe boasts of vast natural resources in the form of forestry,
which include natural herbarium, minerals, aquatic life and wildlife.

"Proper marketing of these resources can make an immense difference to the
country's economy," Mrs Sangarwe said
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Government to Carry Out A2 Farm Audit

The Herald (Harare)

July 18, 2005
Posted to the web July 18, 2005


The Government will this month carry out an audit of A2 farms in a move that
will address the underuse of land and the issue of multiple farm ownership,
the Minister of State for Special Affairs responsible for Land and
Resettlement Programme, Cde Flora Bhuka has said.

Responding to concerns raised at the just-ended Association of Rural
District Councils of Zimbabwe fifth biennal congress in Victoria Falls, Cde
Bhuka said the audit would be carried out with the assistance of the
recently constituted National Land Board and the National Land Inspectorate.

Delegates had expressed concern that lack of information about beneficiaries
of the land reform programme was hampering revenue collection by rural
district councils.

She said her Ministry had established a department to collate data from
other stakeholders so that it could be made available to the rural district

Cde Bhuka said the audit would enable the Government to produce authentic
lists of beneficiaries of A2 farms.

"The Ministry, assisted by the National Land Board and the National Land
Inspectorate, will carry out an audit of all A2 farms beginning this month,"
she said.

"The audit will, among other things, cover the following: collect accurate
missing farm records, the actual farm by farm take rates, the level of land
utilisation on each farm or subdivision, the existing farm infrastructure
particularly shared infrastructure and multi-farm ownership and multiple

The final list of beneficiaries and the corrected farm sizes would be passed
on to the rural district councils to enable them to work out unit tax

Cde Bhuka said her Ministry intended to establish and update a centralised
database for all land beneficiaries by October.

"Thereafter a title survey should be carried out.

"Presently, the Department of the Surveyor General is facing serious
incapacitation in both expert human and material resources, hence impacting
negatively on this daunting task," she said.

"The Ministry has worked out a budget for the exercise and will soon be
engaging the relevant authorities for funding of the exercise."

Delegates had expressed concern that the issuing of leases for A2 farmers
had taken too long. Cde Bhuka said the drafting of lease agreements for A2
farmers and permits for A1 farmers was complete.

She said all those with valid offer letters and were able to meet stipulated
conditions would enter into a 99-year lease agreement with the State.

Farmers leasing conservancies would be issued with 25-year lease agreements,
she said.

In January, the Government appointed the National Land Board to facilitate
the speedy issuance of offer letters and lease agreements.

She said consultations on the composition of the provincial and district
committees of the National Land Board should be complete by the end of this

"It is hoped that the relevant institutions that will be part of the
Provincial and District Land Committees will genuinely assist in solving the
land issues so that offer letters and leases are produced speedily," she

She said since the start of the Land Reform Programme, 6 796 farms measuring
12 499 133 hectares had been compulsorily acquired for resettlement purposes
under A1 and A2 schemes.

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Black market trading thrives again in Bulawayo

      By Tichaona Sibanda
      18 July 2005

      Black market traders in Bulawayo are selling petrol and diesel at $200
000 or more per 5 litres, whilst the recently gazetted government price was
pegged at $10 000 per litre.

   The price of bread has also gone up to $7000 from $3500. Prices of
other commodities like cooking oil, sugar and salt have all gone up,
although the commodities are in short supply.

   Zimbabwe Independent Journalist Savious Kwinika said life in the city
has become a struggle for most to survive because of the crippling

      Kwinika said government announced that the fuel situation will improve
in the next two weeks but remained silent on the steadily deteriorating
crisis regarding bread shortages.

      SW Radio Africa Zimbabwe news
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Asylum seekers fear abduction by CIO agents in Botswana

      By Tichaona Sibanda
      18 July 2005

      Five asylum seekers in Botswana are accusing the police in that
country for failing to provide them with adequate security against suspected
security agents from Zimbabwe.

      Themba Nkosi our Bulawayo correspondent was in Botswana on Saturday
and was briefed of the security concerns of the five asylum seekers.

      Suspected Central Intelligence Organisation agents have been
threatening the group with death, since their escape to Botswana at the
height of the war veterans' violent campaign against white farmers and their

      Two of the asylum seekers said they are living in constant fear of
being abducted by CIO agents. There is deep suspicion Harare unleashed a
good number of agents into Botswana to trace and monitor the activities of
exiled MDC followers.

      Themba Nkosi said a number of Zimbabweans have allegedly been abducted
and tortured inside Botswana. A few are still missing after being reported

      SW Radio Africa Zimbabwe news

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Zimbabwe publishes draft senate bill

      By Tererai Karimakwenda
      18 July 2005

      The state-run Ziana news agency said on Saturday that the government
had published a draft bill to overhaul the country's constitution and
provide for the re-introduction of a two-chamber parliament. But critics are
suspicious of the government's motivation. Mugabe has powers to appoint 30
members to parliament under the current laws, and the proposed amendments
would give him the power to appoint 65 more members to parliament under the

      Zanu-PF gained a two-thirds majority in the last elections which
enable it to make constitutional amendments to the supreme law. Critics view
the new proposals as a way to accommodate Mugabe's loyalists who did not
succeed through the ballot box during the disputed March 31 polls. It was
the public rejection of a government-sponsored draft constitution in 2000
that sparked the invasion of white-owned farms.

      The National Constitutional Assembly, which has been insisting on a
new constitution before any elections can be held, criticised this move by
the Mugabe regime saying other areas are in urgent need of reform. Even the
ousted former information minister Jonathan Moyo questioned the need for
such changes, in his manifesto in the run-up to the March parliamentary

      NCA spokesperson Jessie Majome said she was appalled at the proposed
changes. She said constitutional changes require a democratic process and
should be inclusive of Zimbabweans from all sectors. Majome said all the
problems affecting us right now, from the failed economy and agriculture,
can be traced back to bad governance. The power to make serious changes she
said should not be a monopoly of one organisation.

      SW Radio Africa Zimbabwe news

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Bishop Kunonga defends Mugabe again

      By Tererai Karimakwenda
      18 July 2005

      Zimbabwe's Anglican Bishop of Harare, Reverend Nobert Kunonga, has
once again spoken in support of the Mugabe regime and against efforts by
other clergy to act on the controversial operation Murambatsvina.

      Reverend Kunonga criticised South African clergymen who last week
visited Zimbabwe to assess the impact of Operation Murambatsvina, saying the
group was serving British interests under the guise of a humanitarian
exercise. The South African team was led by Archbishop Njongokulu Ndungane,
also of the Anglican Church, who Kunonga described as "a willing horse for
the British government".

      Kunonga's main argument was that the visiting delegation had not
consulted the church's Province of Central Africa under which Zimbabwe
falls. He said since Archbishop Ndungane belongs to the Province of Southern
Africa, he was therefore supposed to inform the Central African chapter on
his mission.

      The Herald reported Sunday that Kunonga's remarks came after
revelations that the clergymen's two-day visit could have been funded by
British intelligence services. According to The Herald, Kunonga said the
clergymen had "disgraced" themselves by becoming part of futile attempts to
effect regime change in Zimbabwe.

      Reverend Kunonga went further to attack some local churches that he
said have been working hand in glove with countries that are seeking to
destabilise the country. He said these churches had lost direction and
abandoned their real calling.

  SW Radio Africa Zimbabwe news
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--> VOA

      Zimbabwe Mulls Alternatives as Fuel Shortage Worsens
      By Tendai Maphosa
      18 July 2005

Three weeks after increasing the price of petroleum products by as much as
300 percent, the fuel situation in Zimbabwe has not improved. The government
is considering a variety of alternatives to ease the situation.

Stuck in an unprecedented fuel shortage since earlier this year, the
Zimbabwean government has announced it is looking at alternatives to fossil
fuels, some old; some new.

At the top of the list is reopening an ethanol plant set up during the
colonial times after Ian Smith declared independence and the world imposed
sanctions on the country, which was then called Rhodesia. Ethanol, which is
produced from sugar cane in Zimbabwe, can be blended with gasoline. The
plant is in Zimbabwe's sugar-cane growing Lowveld.

The state-controlled daily newspaper The Herald quotes energy minister
Michael Nyambuya as saying other alternatives the government is considering
are the extraction of oil from plants such as castor, soya beans and
sunflowers seeds.

Ethanol extraction was abandoned in 1992 when Zimbabwe suffered one of its
worst droughts. The Herald says after the drought Zimbabwe did not resume
ethanol extraction as it became more expensive than gasoline.

The proposed ideas, some of which are still at research level, will not
immediately change anything for Zimbabwean motorists and commuters. Some
motorists have parked their cars for weeks at gas stations lining up for
fuel that has not come. Prices on the black market have risen to as much as
10-dollars per liter at the official rate. The official price is just more
than one dollar.

What remains of the public transport system and the minibus operators who
augment it have hiked fares as a result of the price increases. Some also
say they get their fuel on the black market.

The government has admitted it is caught in a foreign currency crunch, but
President Robert Mugabe and his finance minister Hebert Murerwa say the
government now has some money to import fuel. Mr. Murerwa blamed the high
price of crude oil for the crisis. The country's erratic fuel supply started
in 1999 before the current high prices of crude.

University of Zimbabwe economist Tony Hawkins dismisses the introduction of
alternatives to fossil fuels as cheap talk and says even if the ethanol
plant was revived the country needs fuel to mix it with. He said gasoline
can be mixed with about 15 percent ethanol. He adds that sugar production
has gone down as a result of Mr. Mugabe's controversial land reform and it
is unlikely the people who used to run the plant can be persuaded to invest
in its resuscitation.
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