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

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Recovery prospects for Zimbabwe fade
Wed Jul 20, 2005 10:27 AM BST

By Lucia Mutikani

HARARE (Reuters) - Zimbabwe's long-awaited economic turnaround after six
years of recession is doomed to fail unless the government liberalises the
exchange rate and instils fiscal discipline, analysts said on Tuesday.

Official forecasts predict growth will resume this year, but the country is
still grappling with its worst economic crisis since independence from
Britain 25 years ago, marked by acute foreign currency, fuel and food

It also has one of the highest inflation rates in the world.

The central bank has put in place measures to revive the economy -- once the
breadbasket of the region -- but analysts see no prospects for success for
as long as the exchange rate stays on a crawling peg system and the
government overspends.

"A reversal will only take place if the exchange rate is liberalised so that
it is in line with the purchasing power parity," said Luxon Zembe, president
of the Zimbabwe National Chamber of Commerce.

"Instilling fiscal discipline is also crucial," he said.

The Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe's administered currency auctions are only
meeting about 10 percent of the foreign exchange needs of local companies,
which are unable to import vital machinery.

On May 19, the bank devalued the local unit by 31 percent to 9,000/dollar,
and allowed it to slide further at the weekly auctions. It was quoted at
10,800/dollar at Monday's auction, bringing its depreciation since the
devaluation to 16.7 percent.

But black market rates are said to be double that price.

Analysts argue that the foreign currency crunch could be alleviated if the
government adopts a managed float system for the exchange rate.

"They have to bite the bullet and liberalise the exchange rate. There will
be an inflation shock, but it will just be once off," said one analyst who
wished to remain anonymous.

"Forex shortages are creating shortages which, together with fiscal
indiscipline, are fuelling inflation," he said.

Zimbabwe's annual inflation rate accelerated to 164.3 percent in June from
144.4 percent the previous month but is still lower than its record peak of
623 percent in January 2004.


The bank has forecast inflation averaging between 50 and 80 percent this
year, a target seen as too optimistic by most.

"We have inflation pressures coming through from money supply growth. We
also have the impact of the drought. We are likely to see inflation rising
over the next months," Zembe said. "Our inflation forecast for the year is
at around 200 percent, but that might be higher," he added.

Zimbabwe's money supply grew by 207.6 percent in the year to April after
surging by 210.4 percent in March.

Zembe said companies were operating at 30 percent capacity because of
shortages linked to the lack of foreign currency.

An estimated 600 firms had shut over the past three years, pushing the
unemployment rate to about 75 percent, he said.

The government is due to table a supplementary budget -- which analysts
estimate at 12 trillion Zimbabwe dollars to meet a huge food import bill as
well as fuel costs.

It is reportedly seeking to borrow money from neighbouring South Africa -- 
the continent's powerhouse -- to cover those requirements. South Africa
acknowledges talks on the issue may be taking place, but has given no
details so far.

Money will also be required to fund a 3 trillion Zimbabwe dollar housing
reconstruction exercise following the demolition of shanty towns that left
an estimated 300,000 people homeless.

"The supplementary budget will further worsen the situation. We must avoid
spending outside the budget. The government should try to re-allocate
resources. They must also try to ease out on price controls so as to allow
business viability," said Zembe.

He predicted that the economy would shrink by between 2 to 3 percent this
year, contrasting with the central bank's forecast of a growth rate of
between 2 and 2.5 percent.

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Zimbabwe searches high and low for loans

July 20, 2005, 15:45

The Zimbabwean Government says they have been forced to create new lines of
credit following a concerted international effort to stop that country from
accessing loans from international institutions.

Zimbabwe is awaiting a decision from South Africa following its request for
a loan. George Charamba, Zimbabwe's secretary of information, says the
country is experiencing financial difficulties because of what he calls
"illegal sanctions" against Zimbabwe's government.

Zimbabwe says South Africa is not the only country it approached for a loan.
Charamba says its financial difficulties have forced it to seek loans from
countries such as China, Malaysia and Iran. Charamba says Zimbabwe enjoys
good trade relations with South Africa and the two countries also have a

Charamba says if South Africa grants Zimbabwe the loan, the money will be
used to assist in recovering it export industry. Zimbabwe owes the
International Monetary Fund almost $300 million and has failed to repay any
of this debt since 2001.
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      Zimbabwe Newspaper to Appeal Denial of License
      By Tendai Maphosa
      20 July 2005

Associated Newspapers of Zimbabwe, owner of The Daily News, will appeal a
government decision denying the paper a license to publish.

The government-appointed Media and Information Commission denied a
publishing license to The Daily News on Monday.

"There will be a legal challenge to this decision, including an appeal to
the administrative court. It is our hope that such challenge will be dealt
with by the appropriate authorities and finalized without any undue delay,"
said Sam Sipepa Nkomo, the chairman of company.

This decision to go back to the courts is the latest development in a saga
that started with Associated Newspapers defying a 2002 media law that made
it compulsory for publishers and journalists to obtain licenses to operate
in Zimbabwe. The publisher argued that sections of the law, called the
Access to Information and Protection of Privacy Act, were unconstitutional,
including the requirement to register.

The Supreme Court ruled in September 2003 that the newspaper had to be
licensed before challenging the Act. After the court ruling The Daily News
appeared on the streets, the publishers assuming that they could could
continue operating while applying for a license. But they had their
equipment seized by the police.

Since then, a lower court ordered the Media and Information Commission to
license the daily and its sister paper The Daily News on Sunday. But the
commission has blocked publication by appealing to a higher court.

Founded in 1999, The Daily News, which was highly critical of President
Robert Mugabe and his government, quickly became the country's most widely
read newspaper.

The Access to Information and Protection of Privacy Act has been widely
condemned as stifling freedom of expression. Besides requiring that
publishing houses be registered, journalists also have to apply for a
license to operate in Zimbabwe. Any unlicensed journalist who operates in
Zimbabwe faces a heavy fine and up to two years in jail.
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Zim Online

Zimbabwe central bank chief expected to shed light on SA loan
Thu 21 July 2005
  HARARE - Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) governor Gideon Gono will today
announce a monetary policy review statement that insiders said might also
shed light on the progress of Harare's US$1 billion loan request from South

      Officials in Harare and Pretoria have confirmed loan negotiations
between the two capitals but have not said when they are likely to be
concluded. Sources last night said Gono's statement today was most likely to
give out pointers on progress on the financial rescue package as well as
progress on a variety of other emergency measures to revive the collapsing

      "There is going to be a major policy statement on Thursday (today)
which will lay out a number of plans by the government on various fronts,"
said an RBZ official, who insisted on not being named.

      Zimbabwe urgently needs hard cash to import fuel, food, electricity
and essential medical drugs. Four million people or a quarter of the
crisis-hit country's 12 million people require 1.2 million tonnes of
emergency food aid after a poor harvest last farming season.

      A fuel crisis that began six years ago after the International
Monetary Fund withdrew financial support worsened in recent weeks with only
a few garages able to supply petrol or diesel. Business leaders say commerce
and industry will soon grind to a complete halt unless the fuel supply
situation improves.

      Gono, who led a delegation to meet South African Reserve Bank governor
Tito Mboweni in Pretoria last week, last made a policy statement on May 19
and indicated at the time he would make another statement at the end of the
first half of the year.

      Apart from the possible aid from South Africa, Gono's policy statement
is likely to unveil fresh measures to try and stem surging inflationary
pressures. Year-on-year inflation rose by 19.99 percentage points to 164.3
percent in June with many predicting it could hit 200 percent by year-end.

      Market analysts have suggested that the central bank could once again
aggressively hike interest rates in response to rising inflation.

      Not much is expected on the exchange rate front, where Gono has been
stealthily devaluing the dollar, from a diaspora floor price of $9 000/US$
announced on May 19 to a weighted average auction rate of $10 800/US$ as of
Monday this week.

      It also remains to be seen if Gono will, once again, review optimistic
official projections for inflation and GDP growth in the face of incessant
fuel, power and food shortages as well as the decimation of the informal
sector- estimated to account for about 60 percent of the economy- through
the government's controversial two-month demolition campaign.

      Government had projected GDP growth of between 2.5 percent and 5
percent in 2005 and a year-end inflation rate within the 50-80 percent
range. - ZimOnline

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Zim Online

Churches barred from holding camp
Thur 21 July 2005

      BULAWAYO - The Zimbabwe government has banned the church from
Helensvale Farm holding camp for Bulawayo families displaced by the
government's clean-up campaign.

      Church leaders, who had sheltered the about 300 homeless people at
their churches before their relocation to Helensvale last week, will now
have to seek permission from Bulawayo governor Cain Mathema to visit the
camp, about 20 km north-west of the city.

      The religious leaders from various denominations had held on to the
families, resisting government efforts to move them to the camp demanding
that basic amenities be first installed at Helensvale and also guarantees
they would be allowed to continue helping the displaced families.

      The government agreed to the churches request only to turn back on its
word on Tuesday this week when state security officials and welfare officers
interrupted a church pastor in the middle of a sermon and told him the
church was no longer welcome at the camp.

      Pastor Albert Chatindo of the Christian Faith Fellowship Church that
is among about 20 churches from Bulawayo that was helping raise aid for the
displaced families as well as ministering among them said the government
officials told him they had been instructed by superiors in Harare to bar
churches from the holding camp.

      "They (government officials) said I should get off the farm
immediately. I had to beg to go back to get my jacket and Bible," Chatindo
told ZimOnline. "The social welfare officer said they had received
instructions from Harare not to allow churches on to the farm. They said we
now have to get clearance from the governor before going to the farm," he

      The government's change of tack came at a time when a South African
Council of Churches delegation was expected in Bulawayo as part of a
countrywide tour of Zimbabwe to assess aid requirements for people displaced
by the government urban clean-up campaign.

      In the meantime, the government has also stepped up pressure on
displaced people still sheltered at church halls to leave the halls and go
either to Helensvale or to their rural homes.

      A team of police officers on Wednesday went around Bulawayo churches
collecting identification details and finger prints of people staying at the
churches in preparation of their relocation which sources indicated must
take place by Monday next week. - ZimOnline

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Zim Online

UN agency sets up US$100 000 fund to revive informal sector
Thur 21 July 2005

      HARARE - The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) has set up an
emergency US$100 000 fund to help Zimbabwe's informal sector revive
businesses destroyed by the government's controversial urban clean-up

      An official of UNDP Zimbabwe, Katherine Anderson, said a more
comprehensive and long-term support programme would be implemented based on
recommendations of UN envoy Anna Tibaijuka, who earlier this month spent two
weeks in Zimbabwe assessing the impact of the clean-up exercise.

      "In the short term UNDP has immediately set aside US$100 000 to assist
the informal traders initiate a process of re-establishing their
livelihoods," Anderson said in a statement on Wednesday.

      "A programme of support will be formulated that will be based on a
comprehensive assessment of the livelihood means of the affected people, as
well as based on the recommendations of the UN Secretary General's special
envoy, " she added.

      UN-Habitat boss, Tibaijuka's report is expected either tomorrow or
Monday while UN chief Kofi Annan in a statement earlier this week said he
was worried at the humanitarian crisis caused by Zimbabwe's clean-up drive
in what UN experts said was indication Tibaijuka's report will be
devastating against Harare.

      The United States, European Union, Zimbabwean and international human
rights groups have roundly condemned the clean-up drive as a gross violation
of human rights.

      Non-governmental organisations say about 300 000 people were left
without food or water after the police demolished their city backyard
cottages and shantytown homes. The main opposition Movement for Democratic
Change party puts the figure of displaced people at 1.5 million.

      President Robert Mugabe has defended the clean-up drive as necessary
to smash crime and restore the beauty of Zimbabwe's cities.

      But the MDC, which is most supported in cities, says the exercise was
meant to punish urban residents for rejecting Mugabe and his government in
last March's disputed election. - ZimOnline

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Zim Online

Botswana opposition party lashes out at ZANU PF
Thur 21 July 2005

      GABORONE - Botswana's main opposition Botswana National Front (BNF)
party has condemned President Mugabe's government for pursuing
"anti-democratic and reactionary" policies after it destroyed thousands of
homes in a clean-up exercise.

      BNF leader Otsweletse Moupo told delegates at the annual party's
congress in Gaborone which ended on Tuesday that Zimbabwe's ruling ZANU PF
party had abandoned its "progressive agenda".

      "In spite of its progressive tendencies (in the past), ZANU PF is
pursuing clearly anti-democratic and reactionary policies," Moupo said.

      He also criticised the government's "clean-up" exercise which has
thrown close to a million people onto the streets. The Harare authorities
have defended the clean-up saying it is necessary to smash crime and restore
the beauty of cities and towns.

      "The recent attack on the poorest of the poor by demolition of houses
and informal sector business premises in the Zimbabwean urban areas is
indicative of this trend," the opposition leader said.

      The clean-up has attracted the wrath of the international community
with the United States, Britain and human rights groups all condemning the
exercise as a violation of the rights of the poor. - ZimOnline

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Zim Online

Banned paper debunks state commission's "false" charge
Thur 21 July 2005

      HARARE - The publishers of Zimbabwe's banned Daily News newspaper on
Wednesday said one of the key reasons cited by a state commission in
rejecting the paper's application for a licence that it had employed a
convicted criminal as journalist was false.

      Sam Sipepa Nkomo, chief executive officer of Associated Newspaper of
Zimbabwe (ANZ) which published the Daily News and its sister paper, Daily
News on Sunday, said High Court Judge Tedious Karwi had quashed the
conviction of journalist, Chengetayi Zvauya, on criminal defamation.

      Nkomo, who was speaking to journalists in Harare, read out part of
Karwi's ruling dismissing Zvauya's conviction on defamation over a story he
published while working for the local Standard newspaper.

      The ANZ boss, who has already said his company will appeal against the
state Media and Information Commission's refusal to licence the two papers,
also said the publishing firm had requested commission chairman, Tafataona
Mahoso, to recuse himself from a panel that adjudicated on the licence

      But Mahoso, well known for his hatred of the independent media and the
Daily News in particular, refused to step down. "The Chairman ( Mahoso)
refused to recuse himself since we felt in our view the Supreme Court had
also said that he should (not) have been part of the proceedings," said

      Apart from citing Zvauya's case, the commission rejected the ANZ's
application for a licence for its papers because the company had published
an edition of the Daily News in September 2003 after the Supreme Court
ruling that the company's newspapers were operating outside the law because
they were not registered.

      It also accused the ANZ of employing unaccredited journalists in
violation of AIPPA. But the company's journalists were not registered only
because the commission refused to do so until the papers they worked for
were first registered.

      The commission said ANZ had also contravened the Press Act by failing
to deposit copies of its newspapers with the state media body.

      But Nkomo said the reasons cited by the commission were the same ones
it put forward when it initially refused to register the ANZ papers two
years ago, which he said was indication the government organ had rejected
the applications out of hand.

      The government's Access to Information and Protection of Privacy Act
(AIPPA) requires journalists and newspapers to register with the commission.
Journalists can be jailed for up to two years for practising without being
registered while newspapers will be shut down and their equipment seized by
the state for the same offence.

      ANZ had refused to register and applied to the Supreme Court
challenging the constitutionality of the requirement that it registers to
publish its newspapers. But the court in September 2003 refused to hear the
paper's application saying it should comply with the law first before
challenging it.

      The Supreme Court also declared that the two ANZ papers were operating
outside the law and a few days after the court's declaration, the police
forcibly shut down the papers and seized equipment. - ZimOnline

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Zim Online

ZANU PF finally picks candidate for Bulawayo poll
Thur 21 July 2005

      BULAWAYO - The ruling ZANU PF party which was struggling to come up
with a candidate for the Bulawayo mayoral elections yesterday finally
settled for little-known Dickson Abdul Basithu.

      Basithu will lock horns with the opposition Movement for Democratic
Change (MDC) candidate and current mayor Japhet Ndebeni Ncube for the
mayoral post.

      There were reports that ZANU PF was failing to come up with a
candidate for the election as the majority were snubbing the call to stand
on the party's ticket. Bulawayo is a bastion of the MDC which swept all the
seats on offer in the last parliamentary election in March.

      But ZANU PF provincial secretary for information Effort Nkomo
dismissed reports that the party was failing to come up with a candidate
amid fears that the party was ill-prepared for the poll.

      "What is important is that we have a candidate before the nomination
court sits tomorrow. Basithu is a trusted member of the party. He is not a
nonentity, he is a veteran and will be able to articulate his policies to
the people," Nkomo said.

      ZANU PF has virtually failed to recapture the urban constituency after
losing it to the MDC five years ago. The opposition controls most urban
towns except Harare after the government fired an MDC-led council two years
ago. - ZimOnline

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Initiative to help homeless Zimbabweans launched

July 20, 2005, 21:15

The South African Council of Churches (SACC) has launched a campaign to help
homeless Zimbabweans who were left destitute during their country's
"clean-up" operation two months ago. The "Operation Hope for Zimbabwe" was
launched in consultation with Zimbabwean churches, the SACC said today.
"There was consensus that Operation Hope for Zimbabwe will be managed and
co-ordinated by the churches, working together with the affected
communities," said Ivan Abrahams, a Methodist bishop who is the chairperson
of the SA Church Leaders Forum.

The campaign will provide immediate relief, in the form of blankets, food,
water and medicine, to all Zimbabweans affected by "Operation
Murambatsvina", the government's campaign involving the demolition of
informal housing. It will help particularly "the most vulnerable sectors of
the society: those living in transit camps, the elderly and women with
children", Abrahams said.

The SACC has urged all South Africans to contribute to the campaign. "I
appeal to all people of good conscience to restore hope and dignity to our
sisters and brothers in Zimbabwe by supporting this initiative generously,"
Abrahams said. "However humble your gift, you will be sending a powerful
message to displaced families, letting them know that someone cares and
giving them hope for a brighter tomorrow."

Molefe Tsele, the SACC's general secretary, called on the South African
government, business, trade unions and other faith communities to join the
churches in "making the campaign a beacon of hope to our neighbours in

Contributions to Operation Hope for Zimbabwe may be deposited to SACC
Emergency Relief Trust, Account Number 1979 410 526, Nedbank, Fox Street
Branch, Branch Code 190805. "Please designate your donation by writing "Hope
Zimbabwe" in the reference line," Abrahams said.

The clean-up programme, launched two months ago, has left at least 300 000
people homeless since it was launched two months ago, human rights
organisations said. - Sapa

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Global Politician

      Mugabe Will Not Surrender Through Talks Or Economic Pressure
      Jan Lamprecht - 7/20/2005
      I have mentioned several times in the past, that whenever Zimbabwe
President Robert Mugabe does something that irritates the big nations of the
world, stories are then planted in various newspapers around the world
stating that he will be gone soon. The stories sometimes take the form of
reports that his heart is failing, or he is going mad, etc. Or they will say
he is old and will retire soon.

      Sometimes Mugabe seems to play along with this. He has said in the
past that all he wants is to "win the next election and then he will step
down". But he goes on to cheat at the next election and nobody ever mentions
his stepping down.

      Mugabe has many friends. South African President Thabo Mbeki is his
leading supporter. The African Union definitely supports Mugabe. They refuse
to ever condemn him.

      I do know, from some of my past activities, that there is indeed
diplomacy - much more than people realize. There are talks, deals and
threats being made on a government to government basis all the time with
regard to Zimbabwe. Individual European nations interact with Mugabe to
protect their investments in his country. Most of this is very quiet and one
never hears about it.

      I even know of a certain exceptionally wealthy European businessman
who meets directly with Mugabe and his Vice President personally. These
things never stop. But the question one has to ask oneself is whether any of
all these secret deals and talks actually caused Mugabe, during the last
five years, to change his stance in any way. The answer is an emphatic NO!
It should be clear for everyone to see that diplomacy with Mugabe has been a
complete failure for five years. So why would it work now?

      Furthermore, Mugabe, being an old Marxist, is a practitioner of
deception. He uses his CIO (Central Intelligence Organization) to spread
stories and rumors which take the heat off him when things are getting
really hot. I have written several times in the past about Mugabe "playing
dead" whenever he upsets major Western nations and the USA, UK and others
start rumbling. That's when the stories suddenly start appearing either in
the media in Zimbabwe, or even in Britain, saying that his health has taken
a sudden turn for the worst, or he's secretly negotiating with the MDC, or
he is picking a successor and getting ready to stand down. Suddenly, all
these stories come out, which make people think: 'Leave him alone. He is
going to die soon anyway, so let's let nature take its course.' These
stories always result in one reaching the conclusion that "The End of Robert
Mugabe is Nigh", sit back, relax, he will be gone soon. Everyone is always
too happy to have an excuse to do nothing, and so this appeals naturally to
most people. Then everyone backs off, waiting for him to die, retire, etc...
the months go by... and nothing happens.

      Yet this is mere deception to get people off his back. It buys him
time until people aren't as worked up about his actions.

      I had many arguments with Zimbabweans in the past over the demise of
Robert Mugabe. I have been shouted down by people who told me that he was
finished, and it was the end, so I should not be concerned about the
problems of Zimbabwe because it is all about to come to an end.

      As such, I am exceedingly skeptical about the recent "information"
that is coming out in the media about Mugabe's impending death. Recently, a
website which claims to be the largest in Zimbabwe, wrote that "Mugabe is
standing down in 2008 anyway". But there's no reason to believe this. That
rumor has been floated before and turned out false. There is no evidence
that he is going to stand down. Do you remember when he said he only wanted
to win one more election and then it would be the end? Yet, elections have
come and gone and the old bastard is still there. These are lies -
deliberate lies - spread in the media either by his CIO or by his friends.

      Some have reported recently that British diplomats are talking
secretly to Mugabe, asking him to hand over power simply so that he can
return his nation to the Commonwealth. Does this sound rational to you?
Mugabe has been thrown out of the Commonwealth and has been trading with
Libya, Communist China, Iran and some of the former Soviet states. Mugabe
has said he is not interested in the West. He said he is turning to China.
He has a lot of deals with China. His people are being taught Chinese. He
buys arms from them. They invest in Zimbabwe. Mugabe doesn't strike me as
being all that worried about the Commonwealth. What is the Commonwealth
going to do for him anyway? To me, the Commonwealth seems more like a club
which the British created so that they could still trade with their former
colonies. Other than that, the Commonwealth really has no importance.

      Why would Mugabe now crawl on his hands and knees to the British?
Mugabe has insulted Tony Blair at every twist and turn. Mugabe has said that
Zimbabwe will never be a British Colony again. Mugabe ran his recent
election by insulting Britain and portraying it as wanting to re-colonize
the country.

      Why would a man who feels no remorse, who is willing to starve people
by the million, who is willing to wipe out the homes of his own people,
going to cave in to the British? Merely to become a member of the
Commonwealth again?!

      The man is willing to destroy 25% of what remains of his country's
economy in one month. Do you really think he cares about the Commonwealth?
He openly ignores the European Union and moves in circles from which he is
banned. Mugabe has never negotiated anything away in his life. Mugabe has
never settled for peace just to have peace. Mugabe has a long record as a
war-mongerer. He sent his army to fight in Mozambique for 11 years. He sent
his army to Zaire to fight a most unpopular war there. He has never
surrendered to anyone. Why should he do it now?

      Mugabe will not surrender unless a gun is being pointed at his head.
It is ridiculous to think that he will ever surrender or negotiate for mere
economic reasons.

      The Zimbabwean activists I knew some years ago believed he would cave
in if there were massive strikes and the country were brought to a complete
halt. The MDC tried that a couple of times and it failed.

      The help Mugabe gets from South Africa is a major reason why he won't
cave. We all know about South African President Thabo Mbeki's convenient lie
about "Quiet Diplomacy" - which opposition leader Tony Leon correctly
interpreted as "Quiet Support". Several weeks ago, former South African
Ambassador to Zimbabwe said on SABC-TV that there are a lot of "secret
talks" between South Africa and Zimbabwe. He never said what was discussed,
but the way he said it, it appeared to me, he was hinting that the South
African government was working secretly in conjunction with Mugabe's

      Mugabe may have brought ruin to his country. Westerners think that
economic ruin scares a Marxist like Mugabe, but it doesn't. Look at what
Communism did to Eastern Europe. Look at what Communists have done in so
many other countries. They murdered people, they destroyed farmers. In North
Korea, like Zimbabwe, they even tried to starve their own people. But none
of those regimes collapsed. None of those leaders ran crying like babies to
the UN. They just killed and murdered, and then killed some more.

      Mugabe is not going to surrender. In my book, Government by Deception,
I said that people need to put themselves in the mind of a Marxist. The
Marxist is more concerned about control than he is about the state of the
nation. The Marxist will destroy that which he cannot have, so as to deprive
his enemies of it. That is the rationale behind wiping out the Commercial
Farmers of Zimbabwe. They were making good money and winning political
friends. The combination of power and money could have unseated Mugabe and
his cronies - so he struck the first blow and wiped out the farmers. He did
it to stave off certain defeat. And, thus, saved himself and kept Zanu(PF)
in power.

      Economic strife and hardship often suits the Marxist mind because it
gives him an additional hold over people which he did not have before.
Everyone has noticed by now how Mugabe used the food supply as a way of
trying to control people and a try to influence their loyalties. It is
blatantly obvious by now how the food supply system has been politicized and
abused. Now isn't this better for him than it was before? Before, when
everyone had food, he had no leverage. But now that there is no food, he has
lots of leverage.

      People have to learn to think like Marxists. Marxists are control
freaks. They are totally obsessed with controlling everything, and that is
the case in Zimbabwe. Mugabe, in a nutshell, is really trying to herd Black
people like sheep. That's his real game, and he is very good at it. He uses
the carrot and the stick. When the carrot (giving them land which he stole
from White commercial farmers) does not work, he whips out his stick in the
form of the Militia (Green Bombers), smashed houses, controlled food supply,
and alike.

      When people don't listen, he will keep on punishing them until they
either flee or fall in line. It is really that simple.

      Jan Lamprecht was born and raised in Zimbabwe, then called Rhodesia,
during the "Bush War", which resulted in Robert Mugabe coming to power. He
was educated in Harare, the capital of the country, before leaving for South
Africa, where he spent some time in the Navy. He wrote a book called
"Government by Deception" about African politics related to Zimbabwe and the
effects Mugabe's policies may have on other countries.

      He publishes a popular, highly "politically-incorrect" web site

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Sonyika lambasts Mugabe, calls for loan denial

July 20, 2005, 17:00

Wole Soyinka, the renowned Nigerian author and Nobel Laureate, has lambasted
Robert Mugabe, the president of Zimbabwe, for his clean-up campaign, which
has left about 30 000 people homeless. He says South Africa should not give
Mugabe the loan he has asked for.

"A great revolutionary...a liberation fighter has become a monster. There's
no other word for it. He's lost his bearings completely. He's behaving like
a colonialist," said Soyinka.

Addressing the Cape Town Press Club, he said African leaders should have the
courage to sanction Zimbabwe - by refusing to give it loans.

A call supported by a US academic. "It's time to step up to the plate and
say what Mugabe is doing is wrong and has to stop," said Henry Louis Gates,
the professor of Humanities at Harvard University.

The Zimbabwean government has on the other hand vowed to continue with its
clean-up campaign.

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Daily Mirror, Zimbabwe

Gono reviews monetary policy

Masimba Rushwaya
issue date :2005-Jun-21

BARELY two months after announcing the post election and drought mitigatory
monetary policy, Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) governor, Gideon Gono, will
present an apparent firefighting monetary policy review statement this
The sudden announcement by the central bank has taken many off-guard, but
the move has been generally welcomed, as the country's economy needs urgent
attention to avert imminent collapse.
While admitting that the grave state of the economy required that the
central bank intervene in the economy and give policy direction as and when
the need arises, an RBZ official said Gono was obliged to give a mid-term
monetary policy statement in terms of the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe Act.
Zimbabwe National Chamber of Commerce (ZNCC) president, and RBZ Advisory
Board member Luxon Zembe confirmed that the RBZ chief had this time around
not consulted industry and commerce as he had consistently done since his
debut statement in December 2003.
"He (Gono) did not call for the usual input from industry and commerce. We
just received a phone call this morning informing us of the latest
development. We anticipate that the governor will take a different approach
but at the end of the day Gono is hard pressed to address certain issues,"
Zembe said.
Gono was not readily available for comment on what the nation should expect
today, but the RBZ official said this was to be expected, as he would be
briefing President Robert Mugabe prior to the review announcement.
Another member of the RBZ Advisory Board said the announcement of the
monetary policy review was duly expected.
"We knew that there was to be a monetary policy review before the end of
July but the major consideration was whether it would be before or after the
Minister of Finance (Herbert Murerwa's) presentation of the mid-term fiscal
 "Since the governor had his document ready a few days beforehand, maybe
that is why he will precede the minister. Even if the governor had made a
review only on May 19, he is still required by law to make a mid-year
The board member added the present circumstances made it necessary to update
the nation and make changes on certain policy issues.
Zimbabwe has plunged into a deep recession that has worsened at an
accelerated pace over the past few months.
The central bank will have to deal with the acute foreign currency shortages
that have seen demand for foreign currency on the auction floors far
outstripping supply.
Only last Thursday, total bids totalled US$748 million, while the amount on
offer was a mere US$12.5 million.
The shortage of hard currency has seen the country struggle to procure fuel
and pay for power imports from the Democratic Republic of Congo, Mozambique
and South Africa. The shortage of fuel has seen virtually all the sectors of
the economy negatively affected; further reducing industry and commerce's
capacity to generate the much-required foreign currency
To compound the situation, the little foreign currency that is available is
likely to be gobbled up by food imports as the country has failed to produce
adequate food to feed itself.Zimbabwe finds itself trying to ward off wolves
from all directions as the International Monetary Fund (IMF) is also said to
have run out of patience over the US$295 million it is owed in arrears.
Attempts to reduce this debt may be scuttled, as the country has to foot its
food import bill.
There have been unconfirmed reports that the country has made overtures to
South Africa to the effect that the latter should loan Zimbabwe US$1
billion-a lot of money for any country to dole out.
The audacious request-if true-comes on the back of the country's desperate
need to pay for fuel, food, electricity and the IMF to stave off expulsion.
Inflation, which last year appeared destined for double digits by the end of
this year, has reared its ugly head again and has been on an upward trend
during 2005 with the June figure at 164 percent.
Quizzed as to what in his view was  the way forward, Zembe added: "What is
clear is that the economy needs to be liberalised and we need a market
driven economy. We hope that the governor will tackle this issue."
Zembe opined that this liberalisation should also encompass the exchange
rate that should move towards the purchasing power parity.
Confederation of Zimbabwe Industries (CZI) president Pattison Sithole
yesterday afternoon professed ignorance of the pending review: " I am not
aware of that (monetary policy review) but definitely I will be going. What
industry wants remains the same. We need to sort out the issue of foreign
currency availability and there must be a policy instrument that catalyses
the generation of foreign currency. The exchange rate is one of these but
some of our members are encouraging investment in the mining sector that
will boost output for export. But there is need for clarification of certain
issues especially in the platinum industry, before they (investors) put
their money into our economy."
The central bank has in the past ruled out outright devaluation of the local
currency saying that it could not dance to the whims of an illegal foreign
currency black market.
Gono is on record of saying Zimbabwe's economy was import dependent and any
currency depreciation would translate immediately into cost-push inflation.
However, despite the central bank boss's stance, there had been calls for a
devaluation of the Zimbabwean dollar as a way to eradicate the black market
and ensure that exporting firms would be able to break even, as they were
failing to get adequate foreign currency on the auction floor.
"Those behind these ridiculous exchange rates expect monetary authorities to
legalise such trading or worse still, agree to index the Zimbabwean currency
and economic activities on the back of such shadowy figures, most of which
are being set and determined in some dark alleys and street corners of our
cities.This will not be tolerated," Gono said in May.
The RBZ has instead upped the Diaspora rate, which has, in effect, given the
direction in which the exchange rate on the auction floor should move.
This has led to the unofficial devaluation of the local currency to about
Z$10 500 to US$1, while the black market rate has been anything upwards of
Z$25 000 to US$1.

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Daily Mirror, Zimbabwe

UNDP avails Z$1 billion to informal traders

The Daily Mirror Reporter
issue date :2005-Jun-21

THE United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) has set aside US$100 000
(Z$1 billion at official rate) as a short-term initiative to assist informal
traders affected by the clean-up operation to re-establish their business
Spokesperson for the UNDP office in Zimbabwe Katherine Anderson yesterday
said an interim multi-sectoral plan had been developed to help affected
people in the medium to long term.
 "In the short term, UNDP has immediately set aside US$100 000 to assist the
informal traders initiate a process of re-establishing their livelihoods. In
addition, UNDP has been working with other UN agencies and humanitarian
organisations in responding to the immediate humanitarian needs of the
affected people," Anderson said.
"An interim UN multi-sectoral response plan has thus been developed jointly
by the United Nations Country Team (UNCT). UNDP's thrust in the response
strategy has focused on the medium to long-term recovery of livelihoods of
the affected people," she added.
Anderson said the UNDP had raised concern with the government over alleged
human rights violations which occurred during the operation.
"UNDP has been playing a critical role in raising concern and sensitising
the government on the humanitarian implications of the operation as well as
on human rights violations that have accompanied this operation," Anderson
She said a comprehensive support programme would be formulated based on the
assessment of the livelihood means of the affected people, as well as the
recommendations of the UN Secretary General's special envoy, Anna Kajumulo
Tibaijuka, who was here a fortnight ago assessing Operation
Murambatsvina/Restore Order.
She is expected to present her report to her boss Kofi Annan tomorrow. The
document will only be made public after presentation to the Zimbabwean
The UNDP also committed itself to provide shelter and other basic
infrastructure to people affected by the clean-up.
"UNDP will continue to engage the authorities on this issue to ensure that
the Government adheres to its international obligations as enshrined in the
relevant covenants," Anderson said.
The government says the clean-up was meant to rid the country of illegal
structures and criminality, and has since embarked on a $3 trillion
reconstruction programme code-named Operation Garikai/Hlalani Kuhle to build
houses for Murambatsvina victims.

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Daily Mirror, Zimbabwe

ZNCC calls for liberal economy

Givemore Nyanhi
issue date :2005-Jun-21

FIVE years after Zimbabwe started hurtling towards an economic meltdown
typified by acute foreign exchange reserves and spiralling inflation that
eroded competitive pricing, the Zimbabwe National Chamber of Commerce (ZNCC)
has remained hopeful that government will deregulate the exchange rate and
allow market driven mechanisms for pricing to prevail.
"We need to have competitive prices in a competitive environment that will
allow prices that are viable for business," Luxon Zembe, ZNCC president
"We need prices that will ensure the affordability and availability of
products and allow businesses to operate viably and be rewarded according to
their investments," Zembe said at a press briefing to launch the
organisation's proposals and findings reached at its annual general meeting
held last month in Kariba.
The proposals dubbed the White Paper on Zimbabwe's Economic Turnaround, are
captured in a 17 page document that seeks to promote a truly Zimbabwean
brand, that rings with largely optimistic calls to overhaul various sectors
of the economy such as the export sector, infrastructure, money supply,
government expenditure and the exchange rate among others.
Despite government's well-known reluctance to liberalise the
controlled/managed exchange rate in the past couple of years, the ZNCC
continued to call for the liberalisation of the exchange rate to revive
business and pull back the economy from ruin.
"In line with a market driven economy we should liberalise the exchange rate
as an instrument that can be used to drive economic growth and investment
into the country. The current level of the exchange rate makes our products
unproductive and unsustainable."
Zimbabwe's exchange rate has been managed as far back as 1999, when the
value of the dollar began freefalling against other major currencies such as
the pound and greenback that has resulted in an informal foreign currency
market thriving on the black market.
According to the managed exchange rate, the Zimbabwe dollar is fetching $10
500 to the greenback, while the same dollar fetches about $13 000 for
companies on the export front.
However, on the black market the unofficial rate has been standing at over
$25 000 to the greenback, a scenario that has been described as uneven and
which has created pricing distortions in the market.
Over the years, government's reluctance to deregulate the exchange rate has
been premised on the argument that such devaluation would trigger a raft of
uncontrollable increases in the costs of services and products that would
expose the nation to the whims of unscrupulous business practices.
On the other hand, the business community, through various business
conferences and workshops that have been held in the past five years have
remained firm that the success of strategies aimed at reviving the economy
hinged on a market driven exchange rate.
On pricing, the ZNCC said there was an urgent need for a pricing commission
because the environment was characterised by distortions and supply
"That the setting up of an independent Prices and Incomes Commission be
expedited so that the objective information on pricing will be timeously and
readily available to stakeholders for use as a basis for decision making.
Business recognises the need to regulate prices in an environment full of
distortions and supply bottlenecks."
Presently there are certain commodities whose prices fall under government
control and monitoring with bread and maize-meal being some of the products
whose prices are controlled by government.

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Daily Mirror, Zimbabwe

MDC legislator calls for Cabinet reshuffle

The Daily Mirror Reporter
issue date :2005-Jun-21

KAMBUZUMA Member of Parliament Willias Madzimure (MDC) on Tuesday called for
a cabinet reshuffle, arguing the present crop of ministers had failed to
address the acute shortage of basic commodities in Zimbabwe.
He also warned that the southern African country's pressing needs and
economic turnaround programme could not be achieved through the central bank's
monetary policy alone.
"There must be a serious cabinet reshuffle. It is just too big. This is a
fact. They cannot do some things that are simple, simple Form Four stuff,"
said Madzimure.
The opposition legislator was contributing to a debate on a motion moved by
Harare East parliamentarian Tendai Biti (MDC) seeking to call on the
government to "immediately address the critical shortages of food, energy
and public sector amenities".
Madzimure noted that it was regrettable and unfortunate that some MPs went
outside the country and said Zimbabwe had a working Parliamentary committee
system, yet the government did not consider people's contributions in those
Because of failure to manage the national economy, Zimbabwe would ask for a
credit facility from South Africa, a development Madzimure said would see
Harare being debated in the SA national parliament.
This reduced Zimbabwe to a province of its southern neighbour, he added.
Another MDC legislator, Thokozani Khupe (Makokoba) said it was sad that some
workers were resorting to walking to their workplaces.
This, she said, negatively affected their output.
However, the Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs, Obert Matshalaga, accused
concerned opposition MPs of engaging in "misinformation".
He denied the shortages were caused by mismanagement, but attributed them to
other factors such as drought.
"There is an attempt to deny that there was a drought.
Drought is not measured in terms of saying there is no drought. Drought is
measured in terms of rainfall patterns and is not as a result of
mismanagement," said Matshalaga, also MP for Zvishavane.
He also stressed that Zimbabwe's education system had not collapsed,
boasting it was "second to none".
The deputy minister also said rising international oil prices were to blame
for the fuel crisis and nothing more.

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The Australian
Mugabe cash not worth the paper
By Jan Raath
July 21, 2005

PRESIDENT Robert Mugabe's regime asked South Africa for a $US1 billion
($1.33billion) rescue package this week to buy food and fuel. Well it might:
Zimbabwe's currency has been so debased by inflation that it has become
virtually worthless.

The cost of running my small office and two part-time workers hit $Z1
million this month ($121). In 1980, that is what it cost the Rhodesian
Government to run an army of 40,000 men for a day when it was fighting Mr
Mugabe in the civil war for black majority rule.
When Roy Bennett, a former opposition MP, finished his jail sentence this
month for shoving one of Mr Mugabe's ministers, he received the release
gratuity of $Z6 to help him "re-enter society".

It showed how sublimely out of touch the Government is. A box of matches
costs $Z1000.

Total government spending in 2002 was budgeted at $Z5 billion. Today, that
would fill a mere 10 supermarket trolleys with groceries.

Inflation hit 164 per cent last month. Economists predict it will double in
five months, and again three months after that. This time last year, pound
stg. 1 fetched $Z8500 on the black market, increasingly the only real
exchange. Yesterday it fetched $Z54,000.

Five years ago, Zimbabwe's economy was arguably the continent's second-most
robust and diverse after South Africa's. It has shrunk 5 per cent a year
since 2000, when Mr Mugabe went to war against white farmers, the
opposition, churches, judiciary, the press, private enterprise and anyone
else he saw as a threat.

The $Z20,000 bill is the currency's highest denomination and its most common
unit. It is not a banknote, however, but a bearer cheque - and most carry a
2004 expiry date.

People carry a fat wad of 50 bills - called a "bar" after the days a bar of
gold was worth $Z1 million - just in case they find a petrol station with
fuel and a short queue.

Almost always, however, the lines outside service stations are "hope queues"
where drivers leave their cars to gather dust.

The Government has cut fuel prices for buses and minibuses to $Z6000 a
litre, so minibus drivers fill up, drive around the corner and sell the fuel
for up to $Z120,000 a litre, then rejoin the queue.

On the rare occasions I can fill up my car, it costs me $Z1.5million.

On Saturday, riot police arrived at my local supermarket to beat back a
queue of about 700 people waiting to buy sugar, which had just been
delivered. Last week, I had struggled through a crowd for a loaf of bread,
only to have someone steal it out of my basket.

It has not been a bad few days, though.

Yesterday I successfully queued for gas, after a month of cold midwinter
showers. On Saturday I found bread and milk, and even cooking oil made a
brief appearance. But as I left the supermarket a respectably dressed white
woman begged me for money. Never before had I had such an encounter in

- From The Times

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Islamic Republic News Agency

Iran set to carry out Zimbabwean power plant project
Pretoria, July 20, IRNA

Iranian and Zimbabwean officials signed a 200-million-dollar agreement in
Harare Tuesday to develop a hydroelectric power plant in the African state.

The accord was signed by the managers of the Zimbabwean company of ZESA and
Iranian Farab company which are both affiliated to the energy ministries of
Zimbabwe and Iran respectively.

Based on the four-year agreement, the Iranian part will build two units of
the Kariba power plant in Zimbabwe with a total generating capacity of 300

Iran's Ambassador to Zimbabwe Hamid Moayyer, the country's Deputy Energy
Minister Reza Amrollahi and Zimbabwean Minister of Mines Amos Midzi were
present at the ceremony held to sign the agreement.

The new round of Tehran-Harare cooperation is made within the framework of
agreements signed during the visit to Zimbabwe of Iran's President Mohammad
Khatami in January 2004.

Iran's Ministry of Energy have successfully undertaken a number of water and
power projects in different African countries during the past years.

Kariba is the largest project ever been committed by the ministry in a
foreign country both in terms of value and operation.

Farab Company is one of the ministry's active firms constructing different
hydroelectric power plants in Iran with a generating capacity of 3,500

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Flogging a Dead Horse in Harare

Business Day (Johannesburg)

July 20, 2005
Posted to the web July 20, 2005

Dumisani Muleya

PRESIDENT Thabo Mbeki and his Nigerian counterpart, Olusegun Obasanjo, are
once again trying to resuscitate talks between Zimbabwe's ruling Zanu (PF)
and the opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC). But calling for
inter-party talks between the two now, even if underwritten by an economic
rescue package, is flogging a dead horse.

SA's credit facility to Zimbabwe, which could be up to $1bn, will not
increase Mbeki's leverage over President Robert Mugabe because it is
appeasement. In international politics, appeasement of dictators does not
work. You cannot conduct business with tyrants without reading the riot act
to them. History bears testimony. The 1938 Neville Chamberlain-Adolf Hitler
episode is a classic example.

Despite his capabilities, Mbeki has failed to influence Mugabe because SA
has not harnessed its resources to become relevant to the issue. These are
the perennial shortcomings of Mbeki's feeble "quiet diplomacy".

The credit facility will not change anything because subsidising a corrupt
and incompetent dictatorship whose catastrophic leadership and policy
failures have ruined a hitherto flourishing country will simply be a wasted
effort. Financial handouts are not a credible substitute for a
well-calculated diplomatic approach.

Mbeki, who has endorsed Zanu (PF)'s stolen election victories, has not been
able to mobilise and target his capabilities to exert unbearable pressure on
Mugabe. The international community has also failed to use multilateral
diplomacy to good effect. Its criticism has only helped Mugabe maintain his
fight with western powers and his wretched pretence at being a champion of
his people's interests. It has helped him to cling on to power, albeit by
his fingernails.

Mugabe and MDC leader Morgan Tsvangirai, whose political styles are like
chalk and cheese, have drifted poles apart. But Obasanjo claims Mugabe has
agreed to meet Tsvangirai. This followed meetings between Mugabe, Obasanjo
and Mbeki in Libya two weeks ago, as well as recent meetings between
Tsvangirai, Mbeki and Obasanjo.

But Mugabe's spokesmen have been falling over each other to deny this. That
is how Mugabe operates. His real position on such issues is often reflected
by his minions. Mugabe has been able to run rings around Mbeki and Obasanjo
through such calculated deceit. In 2002, Mugabe formed a negotiating team,
including hawks such as Jonathan Moyo and Patrick Chinamasa. Their brief was
to sabotage the dialogue.

Although Zanu (PF) and the MDC had secret talks on constitutional and
electoral reform in 2003, and briefly last year, things have changed a lot
since then. The current dynamics within the two parties make it even more
difficult to revive talks, although some might say deteriorating economic
and social conditions could make it easier.

The biggest stumbling block is perhaps infighting within both parties, which
are split down the middle by factional power struggles. Zanu (PF) is in
effect divided into two camps, one led by retired army commander Gen Solomon
Mujuru, and the other by party luminary Emmerson Mnangagwa.

The MDC is also in huge turmoil. It has two main factions, one led by
Tsvangirai and the other by secretary-general Welshman Ncube.

This situation, combined with the imbalance in power relations between the
two parties, makes it doubly difficult to have talks. Besides, without
sufficient pressure and incentive, it would be difficult to force Mugabe to
the negotiating table.

The talks might well have been overtaken by events. A new party, the Third
Way, is emerging. But only time will tell if Mbeki and Obasanjo are not on
another wild goose chase.

Muleya is Harare correspondent.

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Zim slum dwellers back 'home'
20/07/2005 21:18  - (SA)

Harare - The Zimbabwean government has started moving some former slum
dwellers left homeless by a controversial demolition campaign back to what
remains of their destroyed shacks, state television reported on Wednesday.

"What is happening is that those from Hatcliffe Extension who have ... lease
agreements are being asked to return to their old stands," said police
inspector Garikai Marange, referring to a once densely populated shantytown.

Marange, who is in charge of a transit camp on the outskirts of the capital
Harare, added: "About 100 people have left the camp so far.

"We have between 200 and 300 people and they are very happy to go back to
their stands."

Human rights lawyers said 2 000 families were thrown out of their makeshift
homes in Hatcliffe Extension, a slum 10km west of Harare when the government
launched its controversial clean-up campaign in May.

Some of them were moved to the settlement in the early 1990s after they were
removed from the streets of Harare in a clean-up campaign on the eve of a
visit by Britain's Queen Elizabeth II.

High Court Judge Tedius Karwi dismissed an application in May by 2 000
families removed from Hatcliffe Extension, who wanted their eviction to be
declared illegal.


"It's not clear whether they are going to stay or if this is just another
political gimmick," Otto Saki of Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights told AFP.

"The other question is what is the government going to do about shelter and
property they destroyed and the families who have moved to their rural

"Are they going to compensate everyone affected?"

Bands of armed police have gone on the rampage in the last two months in
major towns across Zimbabwe, demolishing and torching backyard shacks and
makeshift shop stalls in a campaign the UN says has left 200 000 people

President Robert Mugabe has consistently defended the blitz, saying it was
an urban renewal project to rid the country of crime and grime.

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Poll chief: No Zim vote-rigging
20/07/2005 21:18  - (SA)

Harare - Zimbabwe's elections chief on Wednesday dismissed claims of
fiddling with evidence intended to be used by the main opposition party to
challenge President Robert Mugabe's re-election in 2002.

"The registrar-general Tobaiwa Mudede said ballot boxes for the Rushinga
constituency from the 2002 presidential elections were intact when they were
delivered to the high court, contrary to reports that some ballot boxes were
tampered with," state television reported on Wednesday.

Mudede told a news conference: "The boxes had to be checked to see that
everything was intact. Everything was done and indeed the boxes were intact.
The boxes were brought here under the escort of the police."

MDC's legal challenge

Opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai told a news conference last week members
of his Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) discovered ballot boxes from the
2002 vote that had not been originally recorded and which had been unsealed
during an inspection.

The boxes were being held in a storage room at the Harare high court.

Tsvangirai wants to use ballot papers and voters' lists from the poll as
evidence in his legal challenge of the results from the election, which was
marred by violence and intimidation.

"All this means is they have been tampered with for a certain objective to
arrive at a predetermined outcome," said Tsvangirai.

Tsvangirai filed the court challenge to the outcome of the presidential
election in 2002, but it has yet to be heard by the high court.

He has since filed another case in the constitutional court complaining that
his rights have been violated by the delay and also wants the Supreme Court
to rule on the matter.

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East African Standard

      Maathai warns Africa against displacing wildlife

      Johannesburg, Wednesday Kenya's Deputy Environment Minister and Nobel
Peace laureate Wangari Maathai has warned Africa against pushing out
wildlife to make way for farming.

      Maathai, who won the 2004 Nobel Peace Prize for her environmental
work, said if used properly, Africa's wildlife could bring in enough cash to
improve public services.

      She was speaking in Johannesburg at the annual Nelson Mandela lecture
attended by the former South African leader, former US President Bill
Clinton and other dignitaries.

      "We are sacrificing wildlife for agriculture," she said.

      "In Kenya, we would be able to provide free secondary education if we
managed our wildlife and tourism better instead of encroaching on savannah
and wildlife."

      Maathai said most wildlife reserves in Kenya are owned by foreigners
or Kenyans of European descent, and local communities should be earning more
from tourism.

      "Because our people have not valued wildlife as a resource, because of
the pressure on land and the expansion of agriculture, we push wildlife out
and are more interested in planting maize and beans," she said.

      Maathai said many African governments were keen to address the problem
and work to salvage environments such as the Congo Basin, which had been
devastated by mining, forestry and industry.

      "In the Congo, the law alone will not do it and the governments there
do not have the capacity to protect the environment alone. You need the
participation of the people."

      Saying control and use of land was often an emotive issue in Africa
because of its colonial past, she advised governments to show strong
leadership in preventing clashes. She cited Zimbabwe, where President Robert
Mugabe has been accused of seizing white-owned farms to cement his political

      "I am quite sure this issue is about party power and using land to
help rally people around you. You really need a very safe and secure
leadership to deal with that issue without using power to victimise those in
a weak position," she said.

      But Maathai, once whipped, tear-gassed and beaten in clashes with the
Kenyan authorities, said African governments were progressing as far as good
governance and environmental protection were concerned. She is now part of
President Mwai Kibaki's government .

      "I don't think things are moving as fast as we would like. "Heads of
states are talking much more openly about good governance than they did
before. I don't think (former Ugandan dictator) Idi Amin would survive today
in Africa."

      - Reuters

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      Australian Broadcasting Corporation



      Broadcast: 20/07/2005

      Aust help sought to end Zimbabwe's demolition program
      Reporter: Tony Jones

      TONY JONES: Joining us now is David Coltart, who brought us some of
that footage. He's an MP for the Zimbabwean Opposition Movement for
Democratic Change and their spokesman on justice and legal affairs.

      Thanks for joining us.

      Can you start by explaining to us exactly what was happening in that
extraordinary footage at the beginning of that piece that clearly was
happening in a village and not in town?

a week ago in central Zimbabwe.

      TONY JONES: Just a week ago?

      DAVID COLTART: Just a week ago on Tuesday afternoon. What was
happening was that the police were going systemically through villages
torching them in an effort to try and drive people away from those areas.
The significance of this, of course, is that this was being done in rural
areas. Most of the focus up until now has been on the cities.

      TONY JONES: Were you able to verify what was actually happening there?
Who these people were who were being driven from their houses in that case?

      DAVID COLTART: Well, the people being driven were squatters close to a
mine. They'd moved in there in the last five years, part of informal
settlement. It was hard to say who they owed their political allegiances to.
They were just poor Zimbabweans bearing the brunt of this campaign.

      TONY JONES: There's no question in your mind this is part of the
so-called "drive out the filth" campaign that's mostly focussed on cities up
until now?

      DAVID COLTART: We have no doubt. Bear in mind, in the March 2005
elections, only the Government knows exactly who voted for them and we've
argued that they know literally village by village who voted for them, who
voted against them and this program we believe is targeted against even
small communities like that rural community that suffered the brunt of this
last Tuesday. We believe it was done primarily in retribution.

      TONY JONES: Could that be the only reason, though? I mean, in the end
there would be no way of proving that because Mugabe is claiming, for
example, in the cities he's driving out criminal elements.

      DAVID COLTART: It's not the only reason. We think as well what is
driving us is fear. The regime knows tension is rising. They haven't been
able to meet their campaign promises and we believe that this is a
pre-emptive strike directed against people who are likely to rise up.

      We also think it's tied into the shortage of foreign exchange. Labour
is now our biggest source of foreign exchange. There are 3 million
Zimbabweans in the diaspora, all of whom send money back to their relatives
in Zimbabwe. But they've sent it through the informal sector and we believe
this attempt to destroy the informal sector is designed to get people in the
diaspora to channel their money through the formal banking sector, which can
be controlled by the government.

      TONY JONES: What is happening to these people? We saw some pictures at
the end of that piece, people sitting on mattresses on the side of the road.
What is happening to them after their houses are destroyed?

      DAVID COLTART: Let me describe to you what has happened in the city I
live in, Bulawayo. The Bulawayo City Council in a report recently given to
the UN special envoy estimated that 74,000 people have been displaced, have
been rendered homeless, in the course of the last five weeks. They have now
been taken in by churches. On occasions have been taken in by homeowners.
But the vast majority are literally out in the open in mid-winter.

      TONY JONES: We don't have to go too far back in history to remember
what happened in Cambodia under Pol Pot in year zero when people were forced
into the countryside. Is there an element of that here?

      DAVID COLTART: As I said in that earlier film clip this evening, we
believe that one of the motivations is to drive people out into the rural
areas in Pol Pot-type fashion where they can be more easily controlled.

      TONY JONES: Alright. This campaign has come on top of an AIDS crisis
and really terrible drought over the last - the period of the last summer.
There are grave fears that Zimbabwe will be subject to a widespread famine.
How many people could be affected if that's the case?

      DAVID COLTART: James Morris, the director of the World Food Program,
spoke in the United Nations about Zimbabwe three weeks ago and he said that
the worst humanitarian crisis in the world is not Darfur, is not
Afghanistan. It is in fact centred in southern Africa and the epicentre of
that is Zimbabwe where the World Food Program estimates 4 million
Zimbabweans are now in need of urgent food assistance. So this a massive
humanitarian crisis we are facing.

      TONY JONES: And you spoke earlier about fear; that Mugabe actually
fears an uprising. Why hasn't there been one?

      DAVID COLTART: Zimbabweans have been through two civil wars in their
recent history. They went through the liberation struggle in the late 1970s
and then in the early 1980s Mugabe perpetrated his so-called gukurahundi,
his campaign to quash the Joshua Mgabuko ZAPU party in which 20,000 people
were massacred. That's so fresh in people's memories, they will do almost
anything to prevent further atrocities like that happening.

      TONY JONES: Now, at the beginning of this program we noted that two
years ago there was an assassination attempt against you. It's obviously a
very hard job being an MP in Zimbabwe. First of all, can you tell us what
happened in that case, briefly, at least?

      DAVID COLTART: It was on a Saturday morning, I was taking my children
to a sports event and three men in a vehicle were waiting outside my gate. I
was suspicious of them. I tried to avoid them. They followed me. We had a
car chase, literally through the streets of my constituency for about 10

      TONY JONES: Were they armed?

      DAVID COLTART: They were armed. I was saved, fortunately, by a cell
phone. I was able to phone my security team that then intercepted this
vehicle, got me into a safe house, reinforcements came and they prevented me
from being attacked. Many of my black colleagues were not as fortunate as I

      TONY JONES: I understand that in the last parliamentary session there
was a terrible death rate actually of Opposition MPs?

      DAVID COLTART: Six of the 57 MDC MPs elected in June 2000 died during
the course of that Parliament, directly or indirectly as a result of torture
or state-sponsored violence.

      TONY JONES: What happened to them?

      DAVID COLTART: Well, the majority of them were detained, tortured by
the police and several months later succumbed to the injuries they
sustained. One other was beaten up by ZANU youth and another died in
suspicious circumstances in prison.

      TONY JONES: Now, you spoke earlier about the campaign in the south in
the 1980s against Nkomo's people. It was more or less an ethic campaign,
wasn't it? You described that as genocide at that time, and still do, I
think. This is not genocide, in your opinion, what is happening now?

      DAVID COLTART: I think it is dangerous to describe what's going on as
genocide. In the 1980s it was clearly directed at a specific group. This is
far too general. I'd describe this now as a crime against humanity. I
believe it violates article 7 of the Treaty of Rome, the statute that set up
the International Criminal Court, which defines the forcible transfer of a
population as a crime against humanity.

      TONY JONES: Now, you want the Australian Government to get involved
in, if you like, forming an indictment against Robert Mugabe, which I
believe would happen in the Security Council; is that right?

      DAVID COLTART: Zimbabwe has not ratified the International Criminal
Court treaty, so it requires a resolution to be brought before the Security
Council. Now we are under no illusions that that will be a difficult task
but we believe that Australia has a unique role to play in this record.
Australia stood up against the apartheid regime and was the very vanguard of
the anti-apartheid struggle and to that extent has the moral authority and
it also isn't an imperialistic or colonial power and we hope the Australian
Government will take the lead in rallying international support to support
an indictment against those responsible for the horrors of the last few

      TONY JONES: Now, I believe tomorrow you're actually going to meet the
Justice Minister Ellison - Senator [Chris] Ellison. Are you going to make
this case to him tomorrow?

      DAVID COLTART: Exactly. I'll do that tomorrow.

      TONY JONES: What will you say to him?

      DAVID COLTART: Well I'll say, for a start, that we welcome the
comments made by the Foreign Minister, Mr [Alexander] Downer, a few weeks
ago when he met Foreign Minister [Phil] Goff from New Zealand, in which they
spoke about the possibility.

      And I will present to him further evidence, some of which you've seen
this evening, to support our contention that this is in fact a crime against
humanity and that we need to move from rhetoric to action.

      TONY JONES: Now, is there anything else that the Australian Government
could do? I mean, we often hear of stopping cricket tours and those sort of
things, but what could be done beyond that, beyond the indictment issue?

      DAVID COLTART: I think that Australia needs to consider supporting the
civic society group, the human rights groups, the churches in Zimbabwe who
are taking a very courageous stand against the Mugabe regime. Many of these
institutions are under dire threat and need whatever support they can be
given and the Australian Government can play a meaningful role in that

      TONY JONES: The man who could possibly exert the most powerful
influence over Robert Mugabe is a South African president Thabo Mbeki. Why
is he virtually sitting on his hands, while this is going on?

      DAVID COLTART: We speculate a lot about that. I think it's a very
complex issue. I think it has to do with fears about divisions within his
own ANC Party. As you know the Opposition in Zimbabwe was rooted in labour
and the ANC has divisions as well complicated by the emergence of COSATU,
the South African Trade Union group as a powerful block within the ANC. I
think as well, that Robert Mugabe has...

      TONY JONES: Do they revere him still as a great African revolutionary?
Is that one of the problems?

      DAVID COLTART: Well, I think that that is the problem. And Robert
Mugabe has had the ability to press all the right buttons in Africa. He's
used land, race and imperialism to argue his case. And of course those
issues resonate in South Africa, resonate in the rest of Africa and leaders
like President Mbeki have to be aware of their own constituencies in
tackling Robert Mugabe.

      TONY JONES: You recently had an audience with Nelson Mandela and I'm
wondering, is he at all disturbed by the inaction on the part of his

      DAVID COLTART: Well, he didn't - he was polite enough not to speak
about President Mbeki. But he's obviously deeply concerned about what's
taking place in Zimbabwe. He's spoken out publicly against what is happening
and I think he's doing whatever he can within the ANC to bring a stronger

      TONY JONES: Very briefly, do you think he'd be prepared to get further
involved if pressed by the Australian Government, for example?

      DAVID COLTART: President Mandela is one of my heroes and he turned 87
this week. I think he deserves his retirement and I think he's doing what he
can within the ANC.

      TONY JONES: David Coltart, thank you very much. It's a rare thing to
get an insider's perspective on what's going on in Zimbabwe these days. We
thank you for coming in to talk to us.

      DAVID COLTART: Thank you for having me.

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      Hefty fines for Zim homeowners
      Jul 20 2005 05:16:40:193PM

      Harare - Residents of the Zimbabwe capital Harare will have to pay
hefty fines to save "illegal structures" from demolition when a
controversial government clean-up campaign resumes later this month, a
newspaper reported on Wednesday.
      Residents of Harare's high-income suburbs will have to pay fines
equivalent to more than $2 000 (Z$23m) to "regularise" buildings on their
properties that were built without permission from the city council, the
state-controlled Herald reported.

      "The money is like a fine to people who built illegal structures that
were not approved at their premises," a city council official told the

      10 days to get structures approved

      On Monday, residents of Harare's wealthier suburbs were given 10 days
to get approval for structures on their properties after the government
temporarily halted Operation Restore Order, a controversial campaign that
has seen houses, shacks and backyard cottages destroyed in poorer suburbs of
Zimbabwe's towns and cities.

      The programme, launched two months ago, has received widespread

      Human rights groups say at least 300 000 people have been made
homeless by the drive, which the opposition Movement for Democratic Change
(MDC) says is aimed at driving its urban supporters into rural areas that
are dominated by President Robert Mugabe's ruling party.

      Meanwhile, opposition lawmaker Trudy Stevenson said on Wednesday
residents of the low-income Harare suburb of Hatcliffe Extension who had
their houses demolished at the height of the Operation Restore Order have
been reallocated plots of land in the same area by the government.

      "How will they transport all their furniture and belongings and
families back to Hatcliffe Extension?" the lawmaker for Harare North asked.
"And how will they all find out about this, when some have been chased back
to their rural areas by the police?" - Sapa-dpa

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  Operation 'raise money'

      By Lance Guma
      20July 2005

      After destroying the homes of the poor in the high density suburbs the
government is turning the amnesty offered to the richer low density suburbs
into a money making exercise. Residents there can now buy their way out of
trouble by paying 23 million Zimbabwe dollars and have their plans
'regularized'. Officials have said the amount is the equivalent of the fine
council has set for all illegal structures. Those who have lost their
building plans will also have to pay a 'searching fee' of $Z150 000.

      Most residents have said it is better to pay the 23 million than
demolish their structures and rebuild again given the high cost of building
materials and the lack of availability. Analysts believe the move shows the
double standards of a cash-strapped government that is willing to do
anything for money. MDC parliamentary spokesperson for local government,
Trudy Stevenson, says apart from the obvious discrimination between the rich
and the poor the Harare City Council is broke and has found a new way to
raise money.

      Stevenson says residents are planning to challenge the exorbitant
fines being imposed. Asked why an unelected city council commission was
making binding decisions under 'murambatsvina,' she said the Combined Harare
Residents Association is challenging the extension of the term of office for
the commission running Harare in the courts. Under the Local Government Act
this cannot exceed 6 months and should only be for the purposes of
facilitating elections for a Mayor and councillors.

      SW Radio Africa Zimbabwe news

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Reactions to Zimbabwe's loan request

      By Tererai Karimakwenda
      20 July 2005

      Reactions to Zimbabwe's request for a loan from South Africa are
beginning to appear in the local and international press and if the initial
comments are any sign of what is to come, Mugabe may as well put away his
begging bowl. It seems most people, from ordinary black South Africans to
financial experts and politicians, are not in favour of bailing out ZANU-PF
and its oppressive policies.

      Geoff Hill, author and correspondent for The Washington Times in South
Africa, said Mbeki is likely to face resistance from his tripartite alliance
partners who have always taken a hard line against Harare, and even from
some of his own ANC officials who see no progress in the Zimbabwe situation.
Furthermore, Hill said a recent poll showed that only 14% of Black South
Africans approved of the way Mugabe was running the country. Hill believes
Mbeki can no longer excuse his own inaction by saying he has no leverage on
Zimbabwe, because the loan request has now definitely given him just that.

      The biggest problem for Mugabe is the issue of repayment. Just how
does a government that is broke and without an economic plan intend to repay
such large sums of money? Economist John Robertson, who has been quoted in
the South African press, said the Zimbabwean economic crisis was not likely
to abate soon. Robertson said South Africa is in a good position right now
to use its economic muscle to intervene politically.

      Professor Brian Raftopoulos, a development studies lecturer at the
University of Zimbabwe, said South Africa had to work out a long-term
project to help Zimbabwe to reform its economy. "The government has a
limited amount of foreign exchange to run the economy. The black market is
very strong, so you can see that there is a need for economic reform and not
just a bailout."

      SW Radio Africa Zimbabwe news

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Embassy, Canada

Embassy, July 20th, 2005
By Archbishop Pius Ncube, Dr. Roger Bate, and Richard Tren
Zimbabwe's Tragedy Is Africa's
Up to 1.5 million people homeless, more than 300,000 homes destroyed, more
than 46,000 people arrested, over 4 million people starving
Embassy's three-part report on Zimbabwe by Archbishop Pius Ncube, Dr. Roger
Bate, and Richard Tren

When Robert Mugabe became the first president of the newly independent
Zimbabwe in 1980, his conciliatory approach and apparent commitment to
nation building generated worldwide confidence. Numerous countries came
forward with support, hoping to ensure the country developed peacefully and
prosperously. Apart from his ordering the largely unpublicized and tragic
massacre of between 20,000 and 30,000 ethnic Matabele people in the early
1980s by the notorious North Korean-trained 5th Brigade, Zimbabwe was
relatively stable. The Mugabe government invested significant amounts of
money into improving health care delivery and educational standards, and
achieved the highest literacy standard in Africa.

In time, however, large-scale corruption, economic mismanagement and the
increasingly vocal disgruntled war veterans began to undermine Mugabe's
popularity. An attempt by Mugabe to change the constitution and further
entrench his power was thwarted in a popular referendum held in February
2000. Just days later, the government-instigated farm invasions began,
leading to the collapse of the commercial farming sector. In the face of
growing unpopularity, his regime responded by clamping down on opposition
politics and the free press. Sham elections were held and property rights,
together with any credibility in the rule of law, were destroyed. Wide scale
abuse of basic human rights took place. Torture as a means of suppressing
opposition escalated dramatically. The Zimbabwean economy has been in
freefall for several years with rampant inflation and unemployment (even
prior to Operation Murambatsvina) approaching 80 per cent. A combination of
price controls, politicized state distribution of maize meal and a lack of
foreign currency meant that nearly every basic necessity was in short
supply. An estimated 4 million Zimbabweans have been forced to eke out a
living in the informal sector (such as street traders), supporting further
millions, and it is these people who were targeted by Operation
Murambatsvina as 'economic saboteurs'. According to Mugabe, they, along with
western imperialists, are causing the economic crisis.

Operation Murambatsvina

Described as "Operation Restore Order" by the government, Operation
Murambatsvina is claimed to be a clean-up of illegal businesses and housing
in Zimbabwe's towns and cities ­ Harare, the capital, in particular. It is
more accurately translated from the Shona language as "Operation Drive out
the Filth" and lacks legality in not having properly served notice to
owners, in not offering compensation and in not providing alternative
accommodation. In many cases, residents have been woken by police raids, and
ordered to remove what belonging they could before their homes were
demolished. Back garden cottages and extensions have been razed;
stallholders arrested and fined and their goods confiscated or burned. Plots
used to grow vegetables for home consumption or for sale have been grubbed

This theft and destruction were justified, according to the state, because
black market operators were making the city centre unsightly, dealing in
increasingly scarce staples such as maize meal and sugar, and worse,
creating the foreign exchange crisis through illegal currency transactions.
However, the seized goods mostly included new and second-hand clothing,
domestic appliances and foodstuffs. Even curios in tourist centres were
destroyed. Within three weeks an estimated 46,000 street vendors and flea
market traders had been arrested. Mugabe justified the demolitions in a
speech to the central committee of the ruling Zanu-PF party: "Our cities and
towns had become havens for illicit and criminal practices and activities
which just could not be allowed to go on. From the mess should emerge new
businesses, new traders, new practices and a whole new and salubrious urban
environment. That is our vision."

Further endorsements came from the police. On June 16, 2005, Police
Commissioner Augustine Chihuri said that Operation Murambatsvina was meant
to "clean the country of the crawling mass of maggots bent on destroying the
economy." He went on to thank the people who had their homes destroyed "for
not going wild during the exercise." Police spokesperson Whisper Bondai
informed the state-controlled Herald newspaper that criminal activity in
Harare had fallen by 16 percent in May compared with the same month last
year. "This shows that the operation, despite being condemned, has started
bearing fruit," he said. However, to quell rioting that broke out in some
areas, the Zimbabwe National Army was deployed to help police repel attacks
from angry urban residents.

The "Clean-Up" Spreads Rapidly

By May 28 when the devastating clean-up had spread throughout townships
surrounding Harare, police commander Edmore Veterai gave a briefing to over
2,000 police officers assuring them of Mugabe's full support for the
operation. Veterai went on to say: "From tomorrow I need reports saying that
we have shot people... You should treat this operation as a war."

One of the worst hit areas was Hatcliffe Extension, which had been an
informal settlement until it was recognized unanimously by the last
Parliament. It was recently supplied with water and sewerage services
through World Bank funding, but on June 3 the residents were given 24 hours
to demolish all structures, including the crèche, clinic and orphanage run
by the Dominican Missionary Sisters, which had provided antiretroviral
treatment and home-based care for AIDS patients and cared for many AIDS
orphans. Sister Walsh of the Mission wrote, "We stand in shock and cry with
the people but we also have to try to keep them alive... When will sanity
prevail? Where is the outside world? How can the little ones of this world
be brutalized in this way?"

The evictions and demolitions have displaced thousands of urban and rural
children, leaving them without homes, food, clothing, or a school to go to.
A list compiled by directors of education in Zimbabwe's 10 provinces shows
that more than 300,000 children have dropped out of school since their homes
were destroyed. In November 2004, the Famine Early Warning System Network
(FEWSNET) had already reported falling school attendances as desperate
parents took their children out of school to work in fields or find food.

Echoes Of Pol Pot

The displaced and dispossessed people are being forced into the countryside
either physically, by being trucked to holding camps, or by attrition, as
aid agencies and churches are being aggressively dissuaded by the police
from offering assistance. The elderly, sick and young children were loaded
onto trucks with no food, clothing or personal possessions. Many residents
were taken to Caledonia Farm, a holding camp outside Harare with only one
toilet for more than 3,000 people. Church workers have revealed that those
inside are being subjected to political re-education, forced to shout party
slogans and warned that they will not be given new plots for homes or
licenses for market stalls unless they join Mugabe's Zanu-PF party.

The operation has left vulnerable groups exposed to death from starvation
and disease, triggering outrage from numerous human rights organizations and
the international community. The police also forced Muslims at gunpoint to
demolish a mosque which could have provided shelter for homeless people.
Priests and aid workers have been warned by the government that they will be
treated as "Tony Blair's dogs" if they provide assistance.

Catholic priests in Harare have reported that many of those seeking refuge
have appeared with documents forced on them by the police ­ bills for water,
sewerage and electricity on their destroyed homes and businesses, complete
with substantial penalty charges.

Demolishing Lives

"Getting rid of the trash" has directly caused several violent and totally
avoidable deaths that we know of. Two-year-old Charmaine Nyika died on June
8 after a wall that had been partially razed collapsed on her in Harare's
working class suburb of Tafara. A few days later, in Chitungwiza, outside
Harare, one-and-a-half-year-old Terence Munyaka, the son of a policeman,
died of head injuries when the walls of his house came crashing down. On
June 30 four people were killed at the sprawling squatter settlement of
Porta Farm near Harare. One five-year-old child was killed when he was run
down by a police truck and a heavily pregnant woman died when she fell from
a police truck.

The operation, which has been conducted in mid-winter, has left thousands of
people exposed to the near freezing nighttime temperatures. Several reports
have emerged of young children dying of exposure while their parents
pathetically try to shield them from the elements.

In the once prosperous and popular tourist town of Victoria Falls, shacks,
brick houses and convenience stores were torched by police in a callous raid
beginning at 3 a.m. Without warning, shocked residents were ordered out of
their beds by armed police before their shacks and possessions were doused
with petrol and set alight. The government reported that 3,368 homes, many
solid brick or concrete structures, were knocked down and six kilometers of
craft stalls were torched and smashed.

The operation has not been limited to the informal sector. In Harare's
central business district, formal sector tenants such as stationers, estate
agents and tailors were evicted by police claiming the buildings were
overcrowded. In some areas, groups of supposed 'war veterans' who had
illegally occupied previously productive commercial farms with the
encouragement and support of the Mugabe regime were ordered to vacate the
farms three weeks after Operation Murambatsvina began.

After Harare, the operation was extended to Matabeleland, a stronghold of
the opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC). Licensed traders at the
popular Fifth Avenue market in Bulawayo had to watch the destruction of not
only their wares, but the entire complex. In one of the cities' oldest
suburbs, Makokoba, police attacked unarmed civilians before demolishing
their property. In many areas, small four-room houses built with government
approval as long as 70 or 80 years ago were razed with impunity in what
people are referring to as the Mugabe tsunami.

By the end of June, virtually every town and rural business centre in the
country had been affected and every day the nation awoke to fresh
destruction and horror.

Archbishop Pius Ncube, Catholic Archbishop of Bulawayo, Zimbabwe; Dr. Roger
Bate, Resident Fellow, American Enterprise Institute, Washington DC and
Richard Tren, Director, Africa Fighting Malaria, Johannesburg, South Africa
prepared this report for the Solidarity Peace Trust.

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Zim women dress 'too skimpily'
20/07/2005 13:14  - (SA)

Harare - Zimbabwean women dress so skimpily that they are encouraging
"negative attitudes" towards sex, the state-run Herald newspaper quoted a
government minister as saying on Wednesday.

Kenneth Mutiwekuziva, the deputy minister for small and medium enterprises
development, told parliament earlier this week young women needed to "dress
up properly", the newspaper said.

"Our girls are moving naked and this attracts negative attitudes towards
sex," he said.

The official said he was worried about an increase in rape cases.

Many Zimbabwean women living in cities and towns wear Western-style clothes,
some of them imported cheaply from China.

But older-generation people often criticise the tight-fitting hipster jeans,
cropped tops and short skirts which are popular among many young working
girls in Harare.

President Robert Mugabe's government has said it wants to introduce a
national dress for Zimbabwe. Designers have been asked to compete to design
the costume. - Sapa-dpa

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Zimbabwe rules out flexible exchange rate
Wed Jul 20, 2005 1:09 PM GMT
By Lucia Mutikani

HARARE (Reuters) - Zimbabwe will not liberalise the exchange rate soon
because of widespread indiscipline in the economy, central bank head Gideon
Gono said on Wednesday, but he did not rule out reverting to a free-float by

Pressure is mounting for the government to liberalise the exchange rate to
alleviate a foreign currency shortage, which has resulted in acute fuel and
food shortages, and forced companies to operate at 30 percent of their

Responding to a letter from a Zimbabwean living abroad on the need for a
flexible exchange rate published in the state-owned Herald, Gono said the
market could not be left to determine the exchange rate because of greed by
some players.

"For as long as a country has widespread indiscipline ... where market
players are bent on making quick gains through such rent-seeking activities
as mere trading of foreign currency ... on the parallel market ... any
unguided exchange rate depreciations will turn out to be short-lived," he

Zimbabwe suspended a free-float system for the local dollar shortly after
November 1997 when the unit came under speculative attack.

The currency was pegged to the dollar after a falling out with the donor
community in 1999, including the International Monetary Fund, which
suspended financial aid to the country over policy differences with
President Robert Mugabe's government.

Government seizures of white-owned farms for resettlement by landless blacks
have isolated the former British colony and pushed its economy into a
recession which has lasted for 6 years, pushing inflation into triple


The central bank has now moved to a crawling exchange rate peg through
weekly auctions it administers. But these currency auctions are only meeting
about 10 percent of the foreign exchange needs of local companies, which are
unable to import vital machinery.

On May 19 the bank devalued the local unit by 31 percent to 9,000/dollar,
and allowed it to slide further at the weekly auctions. It was quoted at
10,800/dollar at Monday's auction, bringing its depreciation since the
devaluation to 16.7 percent.

But black market rates are said to be double that price.

The Reserve Bank is scheduled to present its regular monetary policy review
from 1230 GMT on Thursday and analysts reckon that Gono could further adjust
the auction rate and raise interest rates in a bid to quash the parallel

"It is worth noting that monetary authorities, through Vision 2007, envisage
a Zimbabwe with adequate foreign exchange reserves, hence limited controls,
if any," said Gono.

"This, in essence, explains the unavoidable need for your central bank to,
in the meantime manage the exchange rate in the interest of common good and
revival of our economy."

Vision 2007 is the Reserve Bank's blue-print to turnaround the economy which
has suffered six years of recession and is grappling with one of the highest
inflation rates in the world.

"It remains, however, important for all of us to note that we cannot attain
that vision tomorrow unless we are prepared to sacrifice today and confining
our foreign currency remittance to official channels is one such sacrifice,"
said Gono.

Commercial banks are giving individuals selling foreign currency through
them a 25 percent bonus above the prevailing auction rate in a bid to
discourage people from changing money on the black market.

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Wednesday 20 July, 2005

SA told to think twice about loan for Mugabe

Star (SA)

"Any country needs a bailout"

By Moshoeshoe Monare and Sheena Adams

South Africa should tell Zimbabwe to get its economic-political house in
order before bailing out its cash-strapped neighbour. This was the warning
on Tuesday from Harare economists as Pretoria stayed mum about the
R6-billion lifeline President Robert Mugabe has asked for. Zimbabwean
government spokesperson George Charamba referred inquiries regarding the
bailout to South African authorities. He added: "Any country needs a
bailout". Harare-based economist John Robertson wanted to know how Harare
would repay a loan because the Zimbabwean economic crisis was not likely to
abate soon. "South Africa should say to Zimbabwe: We want you to change your
policies, otherwise we know that you will never be able to repay the money.
That is what the International Monetary Fund said. South Africa will do
Zimbabwe another disservice if it continues to support it without forcing it
to change," said Robertson. "South Africa is in a good position right now to
use its economic muscle to intervene politically," he added.

If Zimbabwe did not get any bailout it would go the Somalian route, "where
the mockery economy is controlled by warlords. If it were a company I would
say it will collapse and South Africa will bear the brunt." Robertson said
the economic meltdown in Zimbabwe was caused mainly by political
interference in the economy through the controversial land grab programme.
"Mugabe chose to control everything for political reasons and has done
immense damage to the economy by interfering with the markets. The
government does not have the power to take on market forces, which are very
powerful. Like the force of gravity, if you choose to defy the law of
gravity, you are going to get hurt."

Professor Brian Raftopoulos, a development studies lecturer at the
University of Zimbabwe, said South Africa had to work out a long-term
project to help Zimbabwe to reform its economy. "The government has a
limited amount of foreign exchange to run the economy. The black market is
very strong, so you can see that there is a need for economic reform and not
just a bailout." Jenni Williams, of the women's empowerment NGO Woza (Women
of Zimbabwe Arise), said that besides devastating food shortages, there was
a fuel crisis that never seemed to end as well as constant water and
electricity cuts. All basic food stocks were depleted either because there
were no supplies in the country or because the four-year-long fuel crisis
prevented manufacturers from delivering goods. Williams said that with the
average Zimbabwean earning between R1 000 and R2 000 a month, inflation
continued to leave "big dents" in people's earnings. "The ordinary person
cannot even afford to use public transport to come to town anymore. If you
are lucky to find transport, the price may have doubled, so you won't have
money to get home," Williams said.
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From: "Trudy Stevenson"
Sent: Wednesday, July 20, 2005 9:31 PM
Subject: alert - Constitution Amendment Bill - land, senate, affirmative
action, public interest of State...

Constitution of Zimbabwe Amendment Bill No 17

Please note that this Bill not only provides for the re-establishment of the
Senate under different conditions, but also intends to nationalise farmland
identified for acquisition before 8 July 2005 and prevent claims for
compensation, legalise discrimination for affirmative action, outlaw
activity including travel perceived to be against economic or public
interest of the state,

This Bill was gazetted on Friday 15 July and can be debated in Parliament a
minimum of 30 days after that date, ie any time from Friday 12 August.

It should be remembered that the people expressed a strong desire for a NEW
PEOPLE-DRIVEN CONSTITUTION in the process leading up to the Referendum in
February 2000, and they rejected the version prepared by the government-led
Consitution Commission because it ignored their wishes and inputs in certain
critical areas - eg presidential powers.

Here is another chance for THE PEOPLE to take over the process of
constitutional reform, which is the key to moving Zimbabwe out of the
current political and economic deadlock towards a new, democratic order.
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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. Where 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 an 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.        







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New CGD Note: Costs & Causes of Zimbabwe's Crisis

July 20, 2005

New research from the Center for Global Development, a non-partisan development policy thinktank in Washington DC, estimates the huge costs of Zimbabwe's economic crisis--and shows that the government, rather than drought or donors, is mostly to blame.  Summary and links below.  If you are interested in interviews, please contact the authors directly via email or on 202-416-0715.

Costs and Causes of Zimbabwe’s Crisis
by Michael Clemens and Todd Moss

Center for Global Development Note
July 2005

Zimbabwe has experienced a precipitous collapse in its economy over the past five years. The purchasing power of the average Zimbabwean in 2005 has fallen back to the same level as in 1953. For people in extreme poverty, a collapse like this translates directly into sickness and death. We conservatively estimate that persistence in the economic shock will cost the lives of at least 3,900 Zimbabwean children per year—about half the infant death toll from HIV/AIDS. The government blames its economic problems on external forces and drought. We assess these claims, but find that the economic crisis has cost the government far more in key budget resources than has the donor pullout. We show that low rainfall cannot account for the shock either. This leaves economic misrule as the only plausible cause of Zimbabwe’s economic regression, the decline in welfare, and unnecessary deaths of its children.

The full Note (4 pages) is available here: Costs and Causes of Zimbabwe’s Crisis

Please email me if you cannot access the paper through the hyperlink and I can send you an attached copy.

Todd J. Moss, Research Fellow
Center for Global Development
1776 Massachusetts Ave, NW, Suite 301
Washington, DC 20036
tel (202) 416-0715 fax (202) 416-0750

About CGD
The Center for Global Development is dedicated to reducing global poverty and inequality through policy-oriented research and active engagement on development issues with the policy community and the public.   More on

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UN News Centre

Zimbabwe: UN report on recent evictions on way to Government

      Anna Tibaijuka
20 July 2005 - A United Nations report on the humanitarian aspects the
evictions of some 200,000 people in Zimbabwe from their homes and markets is
being sent to the Government of the southern African country today, just two
days after Secretary-General Kofi Annan voiced increasing concern.

The report, drafted by Mr. Annan's Special Envoy, UN Human Settlements
Programme (UN-HABITAT) Executive Director Anna Tibaijuka, after a two-week
fact-finding mission to Zimbabwe earlier this month, is expected to be made
public on Friday or Monday.

On Monday, UN spokesperson Marie Okabe told the daily briefing at UN
Headquarters that Ms. Tibaijuka conducted an exhaustive examination, with
the cooperation of the Zimbabwean Government.

"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," she added.

At the end of last month, 10 UN Special Rapporteurs on human freedoms and
rights expressed concern over what they called "recent mass forced evictions
in Zimbabwe and related human rights violations," and raising questions
about the negative effects on supplies of water and food, education and
health care, including HIV/AIDS treatment.

The Government should "immediately meet its human rights responsibilities,
particularly with regard to the situation of those people who have already
been displaced," they said in a statement issued through the Office of the
UN High Commissioner on Human Rights (OHCHR).
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