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

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Zim Online

Harare presses on with demolitions
Tue 19 July 2005

      HARARE - Zimbabwe police yesterday destroyed an industrial and office
block in Harare's red-light Kopje district barely three days after the
government announced it was temporarily halting its controversial urban
clean-up exercise.

      The office complex at the corner of Speke Avenue and Luck Street in
Kopje, housed general dealers in spare parts, coffins and wooden furniture.

      Harare announced last Friday that it was stopping its controversial
urban clean-up drive under which it has demolished houses, informal trading
stalls and offices, casting close to a million people onto the streets
without shelter, food or a means of livelihood.

      According to weekend media reports, President Robert Mugabe and his
government had called off the clean-up drive to fulfill conditions set by
South Africa before it could loan Zimbabwe about US$1 billion to buy
urgently needed food and fuel.

      Pretoria is said to have told Mugabe and his government they would
have to call off the clean-up drive that has drawn harsh criticism from
Western governments and international human rights groups before the money
could be made available.

      Police spokesman Wayne Bjudzijena could not be reached to establish
whether the law enforcement agency was under fresh orders to resume
demolitions of houses and office buildings deemed illegal.

      Police details interviewed by ZimOnline at the Kopje office building
said they were "under strict instructions" to demolish the building, adding
that they did not take orders from newspapers, in apparent reference to
reports carried by the official Herald newspaper last Friday saying the
government had temporarily halted the clean-up campaign.

      "We don't take our orders from newspapers. We are under strict
instructions to destroy this place. It is full of foreigners that are
involved in shoddy deals," said one police officer.

      Tenants, most of them believed to be Nigerian businessmen who have
flocked to Zimbabwe since the country's economic crisis began to worsen five
years ago, watched in shock and horror as armed police and bulldozers razed
the property to the ground yesterday morning.

      A few lucky ones were able to grab one or two pieces of furniture or
some stationery before the rest went down with the building into one huge
heap of rubble.

      The demolition of the Harare building happened as a South African
Council of Churches (SACC) delegation arrived in Zimbabwe yesterday on a
follow-up mission to work out how the SACC could mobilise international
relief for people displaced by the clean-up exercise.

      The SACC visited Harare last week and issued a damning report
condemning Mugabe and his government for inflicting untold misery and
suffering on poor urban families through their home demolition programme.

      South African President Thabo Mbeki has promised to back the SACC's
attempts to raise relief for the evicted Zimbabwean families. - ZimOnline
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Zim Online

Zimbabwe, SA bank governors discuss rescue package
Mon 18 July 2005

      HARARE - Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe governor Gideon Gono last Friday met
his South African Reserve Bank counterpart, Tito Mboweni, in Pretoria to
hammer out details of a possible US$1 billion rescue package for Zimbabwe.

      The visit by Gono was a follow-up to talks between South African
Deputy President Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka and President Robert Mugabe in
Harare last week.

      Mlambo-Ngcuka, who was accompanied by her country's deputy finance
minister Jabulani Moleketi, is said to have told Mugabe to halt his
controversial urban clean-up drive before funds could be made available.

      Both Gono and Mboweni could not be reached for comment on the matter
last night. But Pretoria's communications chief, Joel Netshitenzhe,
yesterday would not confirm or deny during an interview with South Africa's
SAfm radio whether there had been meetings to discuss a possible US$1
billion loan to Harare.

      Zimbabwe foreign minister expected in Pretoria in bid to avert

      Mugabe and his government urgently need hard cash to import food, fuel
and electricity and avert a total collapse of Zimbabwe that has in the past
six years, miraculously survived crisis after crisis.

      A meeting between South African Foreign Minister Nkosazana
Dlamini-Zuma and her Zimbabwean counterpart, Simbarashe Mumbengegwi, that
had been scheduled for yesterday as a follow up on Gono and Mboweni's talks
was postponed because Dlamini-Zuma is away.

      According to sources, Gono assured Mboweni that Harare would among
other things reconsider its clean-up exercise as well as repressive media
laws, all issues that have drawn criticism from major Western governments
and rights groups.

      "The Zimbabwean delegation sought to assure their South African
colleagues that Harare was willing to reconsider its crackdown on
shantytowns as well as its repressive media legislation, to smoothen the way
for financial help from Pretoria," said a source privy to the discussions
between Gono and Mboweni.

      The meeting between South Africa and Zimbabwe central bank chiefs was
followed by an announcement by Harare later on Friday that it was
temporarily halting its clean-up exercise.

      It could not be immediately ascertained whether South Africa will give
Zimbabwe the US$1 billion it has asked for or it will only provide part of
the money.

      Zimbabwe, grappling a severe hard cash crisis since the International
Monetary Fund (IMF) suspended balance-of-payments support six years ago,
requires at least US$250 million to import 1.2 million tonnes of food or a
quarter of its 12 million people could starve.

      The southern African nation also requires at least US$40 million a
month to import fuel, currently in critical short supply in the country.

      The IMF board is tomorrow expected to decide whether to expel Zimbabwe
for failure to repay debt, in what analysts say would be the last signal to
other multilateral institutions, development agencies and donor groups to
cut whatever little aid and financial support still trickling to Harare. -

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Zim Online

Two SA firms snatch Zimbabwe gold mine
Tue 19 July 2005

      HARARE - Two South African companies have joined forces to buy
Zimbabwe's Eureka gold mine for up to US$4.35 million at a time
international mining conglomerates are fleeing the crisis-torn southern
African country.

      South Africa's black-owned Mmakau Mining Ltd and its partner Shaft
Sinkers, said yesterday that the two companies had bought Eureka from
Canada's Placer Dome, which joins many other international mining firms that
have disinvested from Zimbabwe fearing the country's economic crisis.

      Placer sold the mine, which was closed in 2000 due to poor economic
conditions, said the final price will depend on whether it is successfully
revived. Placer acquired Eureka, located 150 km north of Harare, when it
bought Australia's AurionGold in 2002 but now regards it as a non-core

      The mine was originally expected to produce as much as 60 000 ounces
per year from open pit and heap leach operations, but the new owners plan to
build an underground operation, a statement said.

      It did not say how much gold per year the mine produced before it was
shut, but Mmakau and Shaft Sinkers expect to produce at least 22 000 ounces
of gold per year within three years, a spokeswoman for Mmakau said in a

      She said if the new owners manage to attain the minimum 22 000 ounces
of gold production, the purchase price will be $4.35 million. But if that
target is not met, then only $1.65 will have to be paid to Placer Dome.

      Placer joins other international companies like Anglo American, Rio
Tinto, BHP Billiton, AurionGold and several others who have in recent years
quit the country or drastically downsized operations due to economic and
political instability in the country.

      But the new investors, who said they had nine years of experience
operating in Zimbabwe, also plan to bring on board a black-owned Zimbabwean
partner for Eureka although most locals have failed to raise money to
acquire stakes in concerns such as platinum firm, Zimplats Holdings. -

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South African Loan to Zimbabwe Raises Many Questions
      Johannesburg & Washington
      18 July 2005

Confirmation that the South African government might lend Zimbabwe President
Robert Mugabe's administration hundreds of millions of U.S. dollars quickly
prompted South Africa's leading opposition party to say it will demand
answers in parliament.

The Democratic Alliance said it will table a motion in parliament to demand
details of the loan discussions from President Thabo Mbeki and his cabinet.

Correspondent Bernard Mandizvidza of VOA's Studio 7 for Zimbabwe filed this
report from Johannesburg about the domestic political implications of the

Given South Africa's uneven record of success in tempering the policies of
President Mugabe, the prospect of such a massive loan to Harare raises many

Reporter Blessing Zulu of VOA's Studio 7 for Zimbabwe asks with political
analyst Obri Mashiq of Johannesburg whether such a credit facility once put
in place would be likely to give President Mbeki greater leverage in dealing
with Mr. Mugabe.

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Loan request gives SA leverage to press for change

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

JOHANNESBURG, 18 Jul 2005 (IRIN) - Amid news reports that Zimbabwe is
seeking a massive loan from South Africa to offset chronic food and fuel
shortages, political analysts say it's an opportune time for President Thabo
Mbeki to push for political dialogue in the troubled country.

Although South African treasury officials confirmed meeting with their
Zimbabwean counterparts in Johannesburg on Friday, both parties were
tight-lipped about the possible loan.

Harare is reportedly requesting around US $1 billion to buy electricity,
fuel and food, but banking experts say the loan, if granted, is likely to
run into millions rather than billions of rands.

Joel Netshitenzhe, the head of the Government Communication and Information
Services on Monday said the principles and considerations guiding the
possibility of a loan would be Zimbabwe's "economic recovery" and "political

President Robert Mugabe's government again finds itself in a precarious
situation: up to four million Zimbabweans need food aid and petrol shortages
are a perennial problem. With most of its conventional international credit
lines cut, forex has been in short supply. To make matters worse, Zimbabwe
now faces expulsion from the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

A brief flirtation with Libya as a possible source of fuel soured over terms
of repayment; more recently Mugabe has turned to a number of Southeast Asian
countries in an effort to secure hard currency.

Even though cordial relations with China, Malaysia and India have yielded
some positive results, analysts point out that regional engagement,
especially with South Africa, is key to economic recovery.

South Africa continues to face a barrage of criticism from local and
international critics, who argue that Mbeki's "quiet diplomacy" has largely
failed. They point to deepening poverty, rapidly deteriorating health care
and a slew of human rights violations. South Africa's tacit support of the
Harare government, they say, has only served to strengthen Mugabe's resolve
not to engage the opposition and push ahead with policies that critics argue
have worsened living conditions.

On the other hand, Mbeki has long maintained that Zimbabwe is a sovereign
state and active interference in its domestic affairs would be misguided.

Observers point out that the Zimbabwe loan request puts South Africa in the
position to attach a number conditions to granting the funds.

"South Africa can now make full use of the carrot-and-stick approach. If the
loan is granted, it must be accompanied by a set of conditions, which
include restarting talks with the opposition MDC [Movement for Democratic
Change]. These talks are essential, as they will set the stage for
constructive dialogue towards economic recovery," a Harare-based economist,
Denis Nikisi, told IRIN.

"It is ironic that even though South Africa has constantly expressed support
for Zimbabwe, the support has not improved the lives of ordinary
Zimbabweans," Nikisi commented.

Zimbabwe's economic crisis deepened after 2000 as a result of the
government's violent and haphazard land reform programme, and the drying up
of aid. Parliamentary and presidential elections were condemned by many
international observers as flawed.

Some political pundits have argued that the lifeline from South Africa might
stave off food shortages, but was unlikely to remedy the country's
underlying impoverishment.

Albert Musarurwa, Chairperson of the Zimbabwe Human Rights NGO Forum,
commented, "If South Africa does indeed have the capacity to help Zimbabwe,
it will only be a short-term solution. We, as civil society, would like to
be part of any agreement between the two countries, in order to monitor just
how the money is spent." He cited alleged rampant government corruption as
the main reason for concern.

Musarurwa stressed that South Africa should turn up the pressure on the
government to end a controversial 'cleanup' campaign, that has displaced an
estimated 375,000 people.

It was reported that South Africa's deputy president Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka,
who visited Harare, last Tuesday, refused to bail out Zimbabwe unless Mugabe
stopped the demolition of illegal settlements - home to the country's urban

Chris Maroleng of the Pretoria-based Institute of Security Studies
underscored the importance of "strict benchmarks and exact timelines" in the
agreement, which he said should include easing up on the opposition, the
press and the NGO community.

"If South Africa misses this opportunity we are unlikely to see any concrete
changes until 2008 [when Zimbabwe's next presidential poll is due]. Mbeki
can contribute to change, but his government has to be firmer," John
Makumbe, a senior political science lecturer at the University of Zimbabwe,
told IRIN.

IRIN was unable to get comment from the Zimababwean government.


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UN News Centre

Secretary-General expresses increasing concern about housing demolitions in

18 July 2005 - United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan today voiced
increasing concern about the human rights and humanitarian aspects of the
housing demolitions in Zimbabwe.

Mr. Annan's Special Envoy, UN Human Settlements Programme (UN-HABITAT)
Executive Director Anna Tibaijuka, wound up her two-week fact-finding
mission to Zimbabwe earlier this month.

"The Secretary-General is increasingly concerned by the human rights and
humanitarian impact of the recent demolitions of what the Government of
Zimbabwe has called illegal settlements," a UN spokeswoman, Marie Okabe,
said at the daily briefing at UN Headquarters in New York.

Ms. Tibaijuka conducted an exhaustive examination, with the cooperation of
the Government of Zimbabwe, Ms. Okabe said. The Secretary-General would
receive Ms. Tibaijuka's report in the coming days, would study it to
determine the UN's next steps and would make it public after Zimbabwe's
Government had received its copy, she said.
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Photojournalist Arrested And Detained for More Than Four Hours

Media Institute of Southern Africa (Windhoek)

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

On 8 July 2005, award-winning veteran photojournalist Fidelis Zvomuya was
detained by police for more than four hours while covering the ongoing home
demolition campaign dubbed Operation Restore Order.

Zvomuya was arrested at Travos House, a building on Harare's Jason Moyo
Avenue, for taking photographs of a man who had been tied to a staircase in
the building using his necktie.

The photojournalist, who freelances for the privately-owned weekly "The
Standard", was handcuffed and detained in the building for more than two
hours before being taken to Harare Central Police Station. He was only
released after paying a Z$250,000 (approx. US$24) "admission of guilt" fine
for "misconduct".

A former chief photographer with the government-controlled national daily
"The Herald", Zvomuya said he paid the fine in order to secure his freedom.
He said his arrest was an indication of the repressive nature of Zimbabwe's
media environment.

Davison Maruziva, editor of "The Standard", described the arrest as the
actions of overzealous policemen. "Zvomuya was taking pictures in a public
place. If the police interpretation of the law is correct, it means all the
tourists that the country is expecting to visit and spend their foreign
currency will be at risk of arrest for merely taking pictures in public
places. I believe that is an unfortunate signal to send to the outside
world. Unless the police had something to hide, the arrest was both
unfortunate and totally unnecessary."
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Resource Investor
Zimbabwe gold goes down
By Jon Nones
18 Jul 2005 at 04:55 PM

Zimbabwe gold production had fallen in the first half of the year to 6,612 kilograms from 8,667 kilograms in the same period last year.
The Chamber of Mines cited viability problems, among the formal producers, as the main reason for the decline in output.
It said high inflation, currently standing at 164%, and shortages of fuel and foreign currency, were among the reasons that affected gold production in the period.
Gold is Zimbabwe`s second biggest export after tobacco, but output has been declining for years now.
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Zimbabwe Rugby Union Bankrupt

Zimbabwe Standard (Harare)
July 17, 2005
Posted to the web July 18, 2005
THE CASH-STRAPPED Zimbabwe senior rugby team, reeling from lack of player incentives, is battling to raise US$30 000 for the team's travel for the decisive World Cup qualifier against Ivory Coast on Saturday. They failed to pay bonuses for the Senegal match last month.
In a bid to raise the scarce foreign currency, Titus Zvomuya, Zimbabwe Rugby Union Chief Executive Officer, said they had been left with no choice but to send a distress call to the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe and Sports and Recreation Commission.
"If all goes well, we should be leaving the country on Wednesday. We intend to travel with a squad of 20 players and six officials. We are going to fly to Nairobi before connecting a flight to Abidjan," Zvomuya said.
The Union has been battling to raise funds for the upkeep of the Sables and their bonuses. The senior rugby team laboured to a 21-15 win over Senegal last month, despite the lack of player incentives.
Zvomuya revealed the Union has not paid the players "anything" for the hard-fought victory, due to a cash crisis.
"We are in a difficult position because we can not afford to pay the players' incentives. Right now, we are running around to raise the funds to pay the players for the Ivory Coast game, but we are not promising them anything," said Zvomuya.
The ZRU is suffering from a dwindling financial base and depends solely on grants from the International Rugby Union and waning sponsorship.
"We have a situation where players are just playing for the passion of the game and their country," Zvomuya said.
The Union hopes to start making money from television rights when they meet the Ivorians on 23 July. Zimbabwe Broadcasting Holdings screened the match against Senegal live on television, but the ZRU got nothing for it.
"We are only going to get money from television rights, from the next stage of the qualifiers against the Ivory Coast," Zvomuya added.
Despite security fears, Zvomuya said the Ivory Coast Rugby Board had assured Zimbabwe that their venue in Abidjan was safe.
"We have received communication from Ivory Coast that the team will be safe in Abidjan," Zvomuya said.
According to reports, tension is still gripping Cote d'Ivoire despite a peace deal signed in April this year between President Laurent Gbagbo's government and the New Front rebel group, the two warring parties that have been fighting a civil war since 2002.
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Ireland Online
No decision on Zimbabwe loan
18/07/2005 - 15:27:11

South Africa’s government today said no decision had been made on a possible loan to Zimbabwe to help that country purchase electricity, food and fuel.

Government spokesman Joel Netshitenzhe declined to confirm reports that a delegation from Zimbabwe met over the weekend with Reserve Bank governor Tito Mboweni and finance minister Trevor Manuel to discuss a loan.

The spokesman would say only that recent talks between the two governments “quite possibly” covered the issuing of a loan, but that no decision had been made.

A spokeswoman for the South African Reserve Bank said Mboweni met with the Zimbabwe delegation on Friday, but declined to discuss the topic of the discussions.

Nethitenzhe said considerations guiding the possibility of a loan would be Zimbabwe’s “economic recovery” and ”political normalisation”.

Any decision to make a loan to Zimbabwe would have to go before the Cabinet and Parliament, he said.

The Zimbabwe government, which earlier claimed its economic recovery was on track, announced that inflation last month jumped from 144.2% to 164.3%.

Zimbabwe housing minister Ignatius Chombo has also ordered a temporary halt to mass demolitions and evictions in its controversial clean-up campaign that has left hundreds of thousands, mostly urban poor, homeless.
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