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

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UN News Centre

UN envoy assessing mass evictions in Zimbabwe to visit Victoria Falls region
4 July 2005 - After a week of meetings in Zimbabwe with the President as
well as ordinary citizens who have been evicted from their homes, a United
Nations special envoy plans further travels in the country as part of her
fact-finding mission on humanitarian needs there, a spokesman for the world
body reported today.

Special Envoy Anna Tibaijuka, who is also the Executive Director of the UN
Human Settlements Programme (UN-HABITAT), will continue to hold meetings
both in the capital, Harare, and in other parts of the country in the days

A spokesman traveling with Mrs. Tibaijuka said she is scheduled to go to
Bulawayo by car today with stops along the way in the Midlands province.
While in Zimbabwe, the Special Envoy will also visit the Victoria Falls

Over the course of last week, Mrs. Tibaijuka met with President Robert
Mugabe, who gave her free access to visit any site and speak with anyone.
She and her team have held numerous meetings with people affected by recent
mass evictions in a number of locations, including the Caledonia Farm where
over 4,000 evictees are waiting to be resettled.

The Special Envoy is in Zimbabwe on a fact finding missions to assess the
scope and extent of the recent mass evictions. She is also sizing up the
adequacy of the Government's arrangements for the displaced and its capacity
to address the basic needs of the affected population, along with the
ability of the UN and its partners to respond to their humanitarian needs.
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MDC meets with Mbeki, ahead of AU summit

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

JOHANNESBURG, 4 Jul 2005 (IRIN) - The Zimbabwean opposition party, Movement
for Democratic Change (MDC), met with President Thabo Mbeki at the weekend,
ahead of a meeting of African leaders in Libya.

Speaking to IRIN on Monday, MDC leader Morgan Tsvangirai said, "We want to
show we are part of the solution and do not want to become part of the

Mbeki is attending an African Union summit, which opened in Libya on Monday,
before leaving for the G8 meeting in Gleneagles, Scotland, later this week.

The MDC leader asked for the meeting with Mbeki to brief him on the
controversial demolition of informal settlements in Zimbabwe that
humanitarian agencies say has left at least 320,000 people homeless. The
government has argued that the exercise was meant to rid urban centres of
criminal activities.

After South Africa's endorsement of the general elections earlier this year,
which the ruling ZANU-PF party won by a landlside, the MDC declared that it
did not consider South Africa "an honest broker" and would not participate
in any initiative led by South Africa to end political tensions in Zimbabwe.

Chris Maroleng, a researcher at the Pretoria-based Institute for Security
Studies, told IRIN that the MDC had realised that "a solution to any crisis
in the region [southern Africa] would always require South Africa's input;
South Africa should now end its tacit support to the ruling ZANU-PF".

But divisions within the MDC over South Africa's possible role in finding a
solution to the political crisis appear to have emerged.

Speaking from Zimbabwe, the MDC's secretary-general, Welshman Ncube, told
IRIN, "South Africa has not done anything in the past five years, so I don't
see the point [of a meeting with the South African authorities]. We do not
expect them to do anything."

Tsvangirai acknowledged that the MDC did not expect any action from South
Africa or the rest of the continent - even though it was likely that the
crises in Zimbabwe would raised at the G8 summit - but added, "We are only
asking them not shield [President Robert] Mugabe."

"The international community is willing to act [through the UN organs]; we
do not want the African leaders to protect Mugabe and block actions against
him," Ncube remarked.

Mbeki had assured them that he would meet with "his colleagues in the
African Union and other international leaders to start negotiations" between
the MDC and ZANU-PF, Tsvangirai said, "But it takes two to tango," he noted,
adding that he was not "very hopeful" about ZANU-PF playing ball.

Maroleng pointed to the "international flurry" caused by the government's
clean-up campaign, which had "put tremendous pressure on the Zimbabwean
government to at least appear to be leaning forward towards the MDC".

Unofficial talks between the two parties have been 'on' and 'off' since the
2002 presidential election, which many poll observers rejected as flawed and
marred by political violence. Earlier this year the clergy attempted to
break the political impasse between the two parties, but failed.

Mbeki's spokesman, Bheki Khumalo, told IRIN the South African president had
informed Tsvangirai that he had spoken to UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan
about the clean-up campaign in Zimbabwe. "The president said he was awaiting
the UN special envoy Anna Tibaijuka's report on the situation".

Tsvangirai appealed for international aid to help the affected communities.

Meanwhile, the Methodist bishops of Southern Africa warned at a meeting in
Johannesburg that a "potential genocide" could take place in Zimbabwe as a
result of the demolition exercise.

Ivan Abrahams, the presiding bishop of the Methodist Church of Southern
Africa, explained the use of "genocide" by saying, "We are using strong
language because we want the international community to sit up and notice.
Thousands of people have been left homeless and without livelihood, yet the
media focuses its attention on the Middle-East and Iraq".

The bishops also urged the AU and the Southern African Development Community
to "abandon the policy of silent diplomacy" and "censure Mugabe".

The MDC is scheduled to meet Tibaijuka on Monday, after which the UN envoy
is expected to travel to the Zimbabwean towns of Bulawayo and Victoria
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      Viewpoint: Africa's home made problem
            By Morgan Tsvangirai
            Movement for Democratic Change, Zimbabwe

      With the G8 summit set to focus on African issues, Zimbabwe's
opposition leader argues that Africa's political leaders are to blame for
much of the continent's poverty and debt. He sees the establishment of deep
democratic roots as the best hope of progress.

       "For more than two decades, the issue of debt and development has
dominated debate at local and international conferences, official meetings
and social gatherings.

      The sources and origins of the debt problem are known; so are the

      Several African countries are unable to show how the money so borrowed
was spent.

      Severe food shortages, infrastructural decay, unemployment, disease
and poverty are commonplace, yet the debt per capita continues to rise. The
problem is essentially political.

      The accumulated debt could easily have been averted if sufficient
political space was available to make allowances for robust national debates
and discussion on governance, transparency and accountability of the
political establishment.

      Post-liberation Africa has, to say the least, been a serious
disappointment. The objectives for the liberation struggles have yet to be
translated into reality, in particular the extension of freedom and the
entrenchment of a rights based culture.

      The nationalists who assumed political power at Independence have left
a legacy of intolerance, tyranny, dictatorship and corruption.

      Debt trap

      They allowed an inherited infrastructure to collapse, descended hard
on alternative and dissenting voices and discouraged opposition politics.

      A significant number turned their nations into one-party states,
declared themselves presidents for life, encouraged political sycophancy and
patronage and looted their treasuries, often with impunity.

      Compounded by the competition for either Western or Eastern backing
during the Cold War era, many African leaders fell into the debt trap,
borrowing huge sums of money to fortify themselves against imaginary

      The quality of life deteriorated significantly, debate and discussion
was muffled - leading to instability as people sought options for regime

      Up until 1991, a significant number of African countries had never
held what could qualify as a free and fair election. Zimbabwe was not spared
of the African disease.

      Our party the Movement for Democratic Change, the MDC's approach
presented immense difficulties to the African political establishment, still
threaded together by a common historical set of credentials: colonialism,
racism, liberation struggles and Cold War victim images.

      Africa found it hard to place the MDC in a defined political template
because the party was a post-liberation formation, advocating more freedom,
peace and security, and wishing to assume power through democratic means. It
was a departure from the norm.

      A child born in elsewhere Africa today is often told the continent's
debt was accrued in the process of raising resources for infrastructural
development and for improving the quality of life.

      But it is clear that most African countries are worse off than they
were at Independence.

      The crisis on the continent arose from the failure to place a range of
basic human safeguards to provide an insurance cover over the erosion of
democratic practices and norms.

      The crisis has now cascaded into a huge humanitarian emergency because
of a runaway HIV/AIDS pandemic.

      Eliminating poverty requires a deliberate setting up of deep
democratic roots in our countries.

      Without democracy it is hard to see progress - no matter how much help
we get and how rich we are in natural and human resources. "

      Morgan Tsvangirai is appearing on a special BBC TV Question Time
debate from Johannesburg about African issues to be shown as follows.

      BBC One: Thursday 7 July 2005, 2235BST
      BBC World: Saturday 9 July 2005, 0710 and 1510GMT;
      Sunday 10 July 2005, 1210 and 1910GMT.

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To Whom It May Concern:


The following statement was released by the Zimbabwe Association of Doctors for Human Rights (ZADHR) today, 4 July 2005, concerning the ongoing devastation to the people of Zimbabwe as a result of Operation Murambatsvina/Restore Order.


Once again, please distribute or print as you see fit, and direct any questions to this email address.



ZADHR Administrator


Zimbabwe Association of Doctors for Human Rights

PO Box CY 2415, Causeway, Harare, Zimbabwe



Appeal to the Zimbabwe Medical Association, the South African Medical Association, other national medical associations in Southern Africa and worldwide, Health and Human Rights organisations, and the World Medical Association


Operation Murambatsvina (sweep up the rubbish)


The tragic deaths of three people, including two children (a 4 year old and an 18 month old baby) during the forced destruction of dwellings at Porta Farm on the outskirts of Harare on the 30th June serves to confirm the ruthless nature of Operation Murambatsvina. To date at least eight deaths have been confirmed nationwide.


Porta Farm came into existence in 1991, when, in an operation similar to the current one, hundreds of poor urban squatters were rounded up by police and dumped outside Harare in order to “cleanse” the city in advance of a visit by Queen Elizabeth II. As now, government had made no arrangements for the care and support of these displaced people and it was left to NGOs and international agencies to provide emergency relief.


In the intervening 14 years Porta Farm evolved into a stable community with clinics, primary and secondary schools, preschools and even an orphanage. This community was obliterated in the space of a day. In clear violation of the International Convention on the Rights of the Child, hundreds of orphans and vulnerable children, together with the families caring for them, have joined the thousands already deprived of shelter, education and health care by Operation Murambatsvina.  Seven hundred primary school pupils, 150 of whom were about to write their Grade 7 examination, and 183 secondary school students have been forced to abandon their education, in addition to an estimated 300,000 children similarly affected countrywide.


ZADHR’s particular concern for health leads us to emphasise the manifest and predictable effects of Murambatsvina in terms of

(1)   the likelihood of further deaths due to arbitrary physical trauma, as incurred this week in Porta Farm, as a result of the thoughtless violence of the demolition methods,

(2)   deaths due to exposure and hypothermia among already vulnerable children, chronically ill adults and the elderly, forced to live through nights in the open at the coldest time of the year,

(3)   the spread of infectious disease due to the lack of proper sanitation or water supply for hundreds of thousands of people,

(4)   the generation of ideal conditions for the spread of epidemic disease (eg cholera and typhoid) from those directly affected into the general population,

(5)   the increase in incidence of malnutrition due to the breakdown of food supplies as family income generation methods are destroyed, in a context in which basic foodstuffs are already at a premium,

(6)   the exacerbation of the HIV epidemic as community structures are fractured and dispersed and the vulnerability of women, adolescents and children to sexual exploitation is magnified,

(7)   the inevitable emergence of widespread drug-resistant HIV as treatment programmes are disrupted.


Since the arrival in Zimbabwe of the UN envoy, UN-Habitat Executive Director Anna Kagumulo Tibaijuka, to investigate Operation Murambatsvina, the government has attempted to recast the destruction as a facet of a long-planned national housing scheme and subsequently announced plans for the immediate construction of thousands of new homes to replace those destroyed, Operation Garikayi (good living). This is completely devoid of credibility. Disregarding the fact that Zimbabwe is effectively bankrupt and has no capacity to implement an enterprise of this scale, there was no public announcement or record of such a plan prior to the unleashing of Operation Murambatsvina. Any government with even the most basic concern for the welfare of its citizens would have ensured that replacement housing was in place prior to the destruction of existing dwellings and that such an exercise was carried out in a phased and orderly manner.


The speciousness of the government claim is further evidenced by the total lack of preparedness of the key Ministries of Health, Social Welfare and Education to respond to the ensuing humanitarian and health crisis. It is clear that these ministries were not even consulted let alone involved in any planning process.


ZADHR calls upon the Zimbabwe Medical Association, the South African Medical Association and other regional medical associations to apply whatever influence they have, in whatever quarters, to seek an immediate end to Murambatsvina and the initiation of appropriate measures to reverse its catastrophic effects.



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The Times

            July 04, 2005

            Beaten and tortured, the asylum-seeker sent back to Mugabe's
police by Britain
            By Daniel McGrory

            AT HIS hideout on the outskirts of Bulawayo, Usher is recovering
from the violence that he has suffered since being deported from Britain
eight weeks ago.
            The vivid purple scars on his chest and feet, inflicted he says
by President Mugabe's security forces, show why church leaders and human
rights groups are demanding an end to the forcible return of Zimbabwean

            Usher's story of his torture since his expulsion in May is the
first detailed account of what lies in store for some of those returned. It
challenges Charles Clarke's statement to MPs last week that, to the
knowledge of the Home Office, none of the asylum-seekers sent back to
Zimbabwe has come to any harm. Refugee organisations say that they have been
unable to trace most of the deportees. Those whom they have tracked down are
too scared to say anything publicly about their treatment.

            As the hunger strike by Zimbabweans in British detention centres
entered its 13th day, Usher told The Times: "Anyone sent back here after
running away to Britain is in terrible danger, and those helping us are at
great risk."

            Usher, 24, fled to Britain in November 2002 after police
tortured him in an attempt to make him reveal the whereabouts of his uncle,
an activist for the Movement for Democratic Change opposition party in
Zimbabwe's Eastern Highlands. He was given exceptional leave to remain and
went to live with his aunt Mary in Brixton, South London.

            He was staying with his English-born girlfriend in Sussex when
at the end of April he was asked to report to immigration officials in
London. "I was told it was a routine meeting. This time though I was asked
to wait in a room with five other Zimbabwean men," he said.

            Without warning or explanation he and the others were taken to
Harmondsworth detention centre, near Heathrow. Before his family or lawyers
could intervene, Usher was transferred to Dover and, nine days after his
arrest, was forced on to an aircraft in handcuffs with another

            At Harare airport Usher's British escorts, working for a private
security company on contract to the Home Office, handed the pair over to

            "We were punched on the head and neck and asked why we didn't
have the right travel documents. Then four agents from what we took to be
the Central Intelligence Organisation appeared and we were moved to separate
rooms. They kicked me and kept shouting that I was a British spy."

            After two days of interrogation, Usher was driven to the central
prison in Harare, where he was repeatedly beaten on the soles of his feet.
Over the next three weeks in custody he says that he was subjected to
electric shock treatment to his chest and testicles.

            "They told me I would suffer for going to England," he said.

            Last month he appeared in a Harare court with other deportees
and magistrates warned them that they faced charges carrying long prison
sentences. As they were led from the dock one official thought that Usher
had been given bail, and he took his chance to escape.

            He says that for much of the past three weeks he has lived in
the bush, scavenging for food, until a school friend took him in. "If I am
captured again they will kill me for sure," he said. "I believe Tony Blair
and his ministers cannot know what is happening here or they would not send
people back. My only hope now is to somehow get across the border."

            Worried family and friends have tried in vain to alert the
British authorities to Usher's plight. His aunt Mary, who has looked after
him since his parents died, said: "He wanted to study art here. He was never
in trouble, he was respectful and loving and now I don't know what is
happening to him."

            She was allowed to see him only once during his detention.

            "How can Mr Blair talk of human rights at his G8 summit and send
boys like this back to danger? The Government is turning its back on

            The Home Office said last night that it did not routinely
monitor the returnees and suggested that Usher contact the High Commission
in Harare.

            Kate Hoey, his local MP, said: "Nobody is looking out for
deportees like Usher. Once they are out of Britain the HO couldn't give two

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ZENIT - The World Seen From Rome


Code: ZE05070320

Date: 2005-07-03

Pope's Address to Bishops of Zimbabwe

"Witnesses to the Hope Held Out by the Gospel"

VATICAN CITY, JULY 3, 2005 ( Here is the address Benedict XVI
delivered Saturday in English to the bishops' conference of Zimbabwe, at the
conclusion of their five-yearly visit to the Vatican.

* * *

My Brother Bishops,

"Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ!"
(Ephesians 1:2).

I offer a warm welcome to you, the Bishops of Zimbabwe, on the occasion of
your quinquennial visit "ad Limina Apostolorum." May your pilgrimage to the
Tombs of the Apostles Peter and Paul, and this meeting with Peter's
Successor, be for all of you an incentive to ever greater unity in the cause
of the Gospel and the service of Christ's Kingdom. May these days also grant
you a precious opportunity to withdraw from your pressing pastoral cares in
order to spend time with the Lord (cf. Mark 6:31) in prayer and spiritual
discernment, so that you may take up with renewed zeal your ministry as
heralds of God's word and shepherds of his people in your native land.

The recent elections in Zimbabwe have laid the basis for what I trust will
be a new beginning in the process of national reconciliation and the moral
rebuilding of society. I appreciate the significant contribution to the
electoral process which you offered to the Catholic faithful and to all your
fellow-citizens in your Joint Pastoral Statement published last year. As you
rightly noted in that Statement, responsibility for the common good demands
that all members of the body politic work together in laying firm moral and
spiritual foundations for the future of the nation.

Through the publication of the Statement and your most recent Pastoral
Letter "The Cry of the Poor," you yourselves have brought the wisdom of the
Gospel and the rich heritage of the Church's social doctrine to bear upon
the thinking and practical judgments of the faithful both in their daily
lives and in their efforts to act as upright members of the community. In
the exercise of your episcopal ministry of teaching and governance, I
encourage you to continue to provide clear and united leadership, grounded
in an unwavering faith in Jesus Christ and obedience to "the word of truth,
the Gospel of salvation" (Ephesians 1:13). In your preaching and teaching
the faithful should be able to hear the voice of the Lord himself, a voice
that speaks with authority of what is right and true, of peace and justice,
of love and reconciliation, a voice that can console them in the midst of
their troubles and show them the way forward in hope.

Amid the difficulties of the present moment, the Church in Zimbabwe can
rejoice in the presence of so many communities vibrant in faith, a
significant number of vocations to the priesthood and religious life, and
the presence of a committed laity devoted to various works of the
apostolate. These gifts of God's grace are at once a consolation and a
challenge to an ever more profound and integrated catechesis aimed at
training the faithful to live fully their Christian vocation. "In all areas
of Church life, formation is of primary importance" for the future of the
Church in Africa ("Ecclesia in Africa," 75). For this reason, I encourage
you to work together to ensure suitable and comprehensive catechetical
preparation for all the faithful, and to take whatever steps may be
necessary to provide for a more systematic education of catechists.

Future priests, for their part, should be helped to present the fullness of
the Catholic faith in a way which truly addresses and responds to people's
difficulties, questions and problems. The national seminaries require
practical support in their challenging task of providing seminarians with an
adequate human, spiritual, doctrinal and pastoral formation, while the
younger clergy would greatly benefit, in the first years of their priestly
ministry, from a program of spiritual, pastoral and human accompaniment
guided by experienced and exemplary priests. Your concern for sound
catechesis and an integral religious education must also extend to the
system of Catholic schools, whose religious identity needs to be
strengthened, for the good not only of their students, but of the entire
Catholic community in your country.

Dear Brother Bishops, in union with the Successor of Peter and the College
of Bishops, you have been sent forth as witnesses to the hope held out by
the Gospel of Jesus Christ (cf. "Pastores Gregis," 5). As you return to your
native land strengthened in faith and in the bond of ecclesial communion, I
ask you to cooperate generously in the service of the Gospel, so that the
light of God's word will shine ever more brightly in the minds and hearts of
Zimbabwe's Catholics, inspiring in them a deeper love of Christ and a more
firm commitment to the spread of his Kingdom of holiness, justice and truth.

With great affection I commend you and the clergy, religious and laity of
your Dioceses to the loving intercession of Mary, Mother of the Church, and
cordially impart my Apostolic Blessing as a pledge of joy and peace in the
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New Zealand Herald

      Zimbabwe immigrant policy a 'one-off'

      04.07.05 1.00pm

      A Government policy allowing some Zimbabweans to apply for permanent
residence without fulfilling the normal criteria is a one-off, Immigration
Minister Paul Swain says.

      Under a special policy, which starts today, Zimbabweans who entered
New Zealand before September 23 last year can apply for permanent residence
even if they do not meet the normal entry rules.

      Mr Swain today told National Radio the policy had been devised last
year when the political situation in Zimbabwe was "very rugged".

      The Government had decided that many of the Zimbabweans who had
arrived in New Zealand would be unable to return to their home country, yet
many did not meet New Zealand's permanent residence criteria.

      Many would have had a legitimate claim for refugee status and because
of their high numbers could have clogged the system if they had all lodged
their claims.

      He estimated about 450 Zimbabweans could gain residence under the
"one-off" policy.

      The Government had originally thought the policy may have netted 1800.

      However only 1100 people responded and of those about 650 could gain
residence through normal criteria.

      Mr Swain rejected assertions that exceptions were being made for
people from Zimbabwe because most were white.

      His advice was that about half were black.

      "Here's a situation where the system has completely broken down in
Zimbabwe, run by a tyrant."

      "We had people here prior to September," he told National Radio. "A
lot of them are not able to apply normally and we need to be able to give
them certainty in their lives."

      Mr Swain said the policy would not affect those who had entered the
country since September.

      People who arrived after the cut-off date had been made clearly aware
of that circumstance, he said.

      He rejected that the policy discriminated against people from other
strife-torn countries.

      They still had the opportunity to stay in the country, as they could
still apply through the normal refugee process, he said.

      - NZPA

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New Zealand Herald

      Government blocks visit by Zimbabwe bankers

      04.07.05 2.00pm

      The Government is taking steps to refuse visas to a delegation from
the Zimbabwe Reserve Bank.

      Green Party co-leader Rod Donald today called on the Government to
prevent the delegation coming here, saying they would encourage expatriates
to send money home to boost the bank's foreign exchange.

      However a spokesman for Foreign Affairs and Trade Minister Phil Goff
said the Government was already taking steps to deny the bankers visas to
enter New Zealand.

      Mr Donald said Zimbabwe's Reserve Bank had run out of foreign exchange
and representatives were in Canada now trying to pressure expatriates to
send remittances home to relatives.

      They had planned to do the same thing here next week, Mr Donald said.

      - NZPA
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The futility of throwing money at Africa

By Samuel L. Blumenfeld
web posted July 4, 2005

Tony Blair's new crusade to eliminate poverty in Africa makes as much sense
as trying to eliminate poverty in the U.K. Even in America we still have
poverty, despite the famous War Against Poverty launched by the Johnson
administration and fought by an army of bureaucrats. After throwing billions
of dollars at "poverty," the result has been the creation of an entrenched
and well-fattened bureaucracy dedicated to the preservation of its own perks
and the perpetuity of the war.

Why does poverty exist even in the richest nations? It has something to do
with human nature and character. There are those people in all societies who
do not have the desire, the capability, or ambition to raise themselves out
of poverty. In Africa, despite all of the advances in agricultural
technology made in the last two hundred years, you find rural Africans using
the most primitive methods of farming used for thousands of years to eke out
a subsistence living.

When you look at the refugees in Darfur, you see an entire society that has
lived in huts, surviving at the edge of starvation, in which little of the
modern world has had much of an influence. The Sudanese government has done
nothing to lift its people into the modern age, mainly because of its
thirteenth-century Islamic mindset. If it wasn't for oil, Saudi Arabia would
be as poor as Darfur.

And, of course, African leaders blame all of their problems on the West.
They were all liberated from their colonial overlords in the 1960s, and
forty-five years later they are worse off than they were under colonial
rule. If the colonial powers must share the blame, it is because they
educated the future African leaders to adopt socialism as their economic
system. The London School of Economics taught the Africans the glories of
Fabian Socialism. The Fabians used the gradual method to take over England,
but the Africans didn't have to use the gradual method. They could impose
socialism immediately. According to Dr. George Ayittey, a native of Ghana,
who advocates free markets and the rule of law for Africa:

  [The] socialist transformation required the institution of excessive
legislative regulations and controls. All unoccupied land was appropriated
by the government. Many foreign companies were nationalized, and numerous
state-owned enterprises were established..Bewildering arrays of restrictions
were imposed on imports, capital transfers, industry, wages, trade unions,
prices, rents, interest rates and the like.

Thus, the mechanisms of wealth-creation were thwarted in favor of
governmental and bureaucratic aggrandizement. Thus, if you wanted to get
somewhere in that kind of society, you got a job as a bureaucrat so that you
could partake of the benevolence of the Western powers. If you wanted to
become an entrepreneur, a capitalist, you had to leave the country and go to
Europe or America. Thus, the most intelligent, ambitious, and creative
Africans have gone West. That represents a brain-drain the continent could
hardly afford.

Africa is also plagued by a population of very limited education who have no
understanding of the Western concept of individual aspiration. The social
norm is the tribe or clan. Individual ambition as we know it cannot grow in
that kind of anti-individualist soil. But without it, you cannot create
wealth and are condemned to live in a society totally dependent on the
largesse of the governing class. The result is that poverty has become the
permanent quagmire of human existence in Africa. The only thing that Western
charity might do is simply provide the poorest Africans with free meals for
a period of time. But it will not give them the mindset that they can create
wealth by their own efforts.

One of the reasons why so many immigrants to America became producers of
wealth is because they left their clans and tribes behind and came here as
individuals eager to seek their fortunes. America's freedom permitted them
to exercise their ambitions, their ingenuity, their drive to achieve
success. No one goes to Africa to do what immigrants to America do.

Then there is the problem of government corruption, which is endemic to
Africa. For example, according to Dr. Ayittey, in Nigeria between 1970 and
2000 more than $35 billion in oil revenues disappeared into the Nigerian
government's coffers. Nobody knows what happened to the money. In Zaire,
Mobutu Sese Seko accumulated a fortune of $10 billion. He could have written
a personal check to pay off his country's foreign debt of $7 billion.

In Zimbabwe we have the spectacle of Mugabe's government systematically
destroying the homes of the very poor, creating thousands of homeless poor.
What's to become of them? Nobody knows. Mugabe also expropriated the farms
of his white citizens, which were probably the most productive on the whole
continent. Now there is a severe food shortage, which will result in the
starvation of thousands of the poorest in Zimbabwe.

Dr. Ayittey contends that African leaders are not interested in reform. "All
they are willing to do under international pressure is what I call the
'Babangida Boogie': one step forward, three steps back, a flip and a side
kick to land in a fat Swiss bank account."

We would hope that Tony Blair, George Bush, and all of those anxious to
throw huge amounts of taxpayer cash at Africa would sit down with Dr.
Avittey and seek his counsel. He is Distinguished Economist at American
University in Washington, not far from the White House, and President of the
Free Africa Foundation. Hopefully, those politicians who really want to
achieve some permanent good in Africa will listen to what he has to say and
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            PRESS RELEASE

      Why is the Government still deporting people to Zimbabwe?

            Fox: Why is the Government still deporting people to Zimbabwe?

            Commenting on the recent news of the Home Office's decision to
deport a woman refugee back to Zimbabwe on the eve of the G8 summit, Liam
Fox, Shadow Foreign Secretary said:

            "I will be writing to Jack Straw, to ask him why it is that
deportations to Zimbabwe are continuing when the Government has already
indicated to the public that all deportations to Zimbabwe had been
temporarily halted.

            "Given the Government's willingness to bury bad news based on
previous performances, most especially 9/11, was this deportation yet
another cynical attempt to play to public sentiment whilst ignoring
individual human rights abuses?"

            Dr Liam Fox MP

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Mail and Guardian

      Zimbabwe evictions: 'It is planned'

      Harare, Zimbabwe

      04 July 2005 03:06

            A United Nations envoy has extended her investigation of a
so-called urban renewal drive that has destroyed the homes and livelihoods
of hundreds of thousands of Zimbabweans to a second week, state radio
reported on Monday.

            Local Government Minister Ignatius Chombo was quoted as saying
envoy Anna Tibaijuka will now leave Zimbabwe on Friday.

            Tibaijuka, who was sent by UN Secretary General Kofi Annan to
investigate the humanitarian impact of the government's Operation
Murambatsvina, or Drive Out Trash, was initially expected to complete her
visit on Sunday.

            Tibaijuka was in meetings on Monday, UN officials said without

            On Tuesday, she planned to visit Zimbabwe's second city of
Bulawayo, scene of sporadic violence during the evictions. Police used tear
gas and batons to prevent protests when they moved last month into Makokoba,
the country's oldest black township outside Bulawayo, about 500km south-west
of the capital, Harare.

            Humanitarian workers estimate as many as 1,5-million people have
been left homeless since police began torching and bulldozing shantytowns,
markets and other structures they deem illegal on May 19.

            The blitz comes at the height of the Southern African winter and
has drawn international condemnation. Zimbabwean human rights groups,
doctors and clerics have called it a cruel attack on the poor.

            A number of people -- including the sick, the elderly and
children -- have died of disease and exposure. Others have been reported
killed by falling rubble, or in accidents involving vehicles used in the
forced removals. The total casualty count remains unclear.

            The main opposition Movement for Democratic Change argues the
demolitions and evictions are a crackdown on its support base among the
urban poor.

            President Robert Mugabe's government insists there is no
political motive and says the operation has already helped reduce crime and
restore order in city slums.

            The government has pledged Z$3-trillion (R2,2-billion) to
provide 1,2-million houses or building plots by 2008.

            Economists have voiced doubts that the government has the funds
for the massive reconstruction project at a time when inflation has soared
to more than 144% and an estimated four million people are in urgent need of
food relief.

            Minister defends demolitions
            Meanwhile, reports Wendell Roelf, delegates at an international
housing seminar in Cape Town heard on Monday that Zimbabwe's demolition of
urban slums is part of the country's national housing plan.

            "It is planned. We have never done anything unplanned in
Zimbabwe," said Zimbabwe's Deputy Minister of Housing and Public Works,
Morris Sakabuya.

            "The programme has so far allocated 200 000 stands for housing
development and acquired 33 000 hectares of peri-urban land to meet this
noble objective."

            Sakabuya told delegates that when Zimbabwe embarked on its
land-reform programme, people were saying it was a "political gimmick".

            "We know where are coming from. We know where we are going," he

            Rural-urban migration had reached alarming levels, where the
water restriction systems in urban areas could no longer afford the

            "In fact, that is why we undertook the resettlement programme.
We were trying to decongest urban areas and tribal-trust rural areas."

            Sakabuya said Zimbabwe's economy is agriculture-based and
unemployed people who are given land should develop that land instead of
trekking to the cities and staying in a shack.

            People recently removed from Harare were those engaged in
illegal activities, illegal vending, smuggling and "all sorts of
decadences", he said.

            Those with homes in rural areas and land in the resettlement
programmes are to return there, and those who have nowhere to go are being
put in holding camps and are allocated stands in the peri-urban farms.

            "The issue here, ladies and gentlemen, when it comes to
Zimbabwe, is our problem with Britain. Anything that Zimbabwe does is blown
out of proportion," Sakabuya said.

            His government is committed to provide "decent and affordable"
housing to all its citizens, which has been done since 1980.

            Meanwhile, Eduardo Lopez-Moreno of the UN Human Settlements
Programme said governments need to offer solutions first before demolishing

            "Any action, such as in Zimbabwe, means that in 10 to 15 years
we would find ourselves again in a similar position. There are no other
alternatives offered first," he said.

            He said slums and informal settlements in developing countries
are more a solution than a problem, because they provide between 70% and 80%
of new jobs and houses.

            Lopez-Moreno was one of hundreds of delegates attending the
two-day seminar, entitled Building an International Body of Knowledge on
Housing and Urban Development: Towards Achieving the Millennium Development
Goals. -- Sapa, Sapa-AP

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UN envoy prolongs her stay in Zimbabwe
          July 04 2005 at 12:20PM

      Harare - United Nations envoy Anna Kajumulo Tibaijuka, in Zimbabwe to
discuss the humanitarian impact of a controversial demolitions campaign, has
prolonged her stay by nearly a week so she can visit more places, a cabinet
minister said.

      Local Government, Public Works and Urban Development Minister
Ignatious Chombo said Tibaijuka had originally been scheduled to leave
Harare for Ethiopia on Sunday, but she would now stay until Friday.

      "The visiting envoy and her delegation has decided to postpone her
trip to Ethiopia until our mission is accomplished," Chombo was quoted by
the state-controlled Herald as saying.

      Tibaijuka arrived in Harare on June 26 for a fact-finding mission on
the humanitarian impact of a government demolition campaign that has left
hundreds of thousands of people homeless.

      She has so far toured parts of Harare that have been demolished and a
holding camp for victims of the operation where she acknowledged conditions
needed attention.

      She also visited towns and cities in eastern Zimbabwe at the weekend.

      Tibaijuka's spokesperson Sharad Shankardass said the envoy was due to
travel to Zimbabwe's second largest city of Bulawayo on Tuesday.
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Zim report will be 'impartial'
04/07/2005 17:07  - (SA)

Harare - A United Nations envoy sent to investigate the impact of shack
demolitions in Zimbabwe will give an "impartial assessment" of the campaign
when she reports to Secretary- General Kofi Annan, a statement said on

The envoy, Anna Tibaijuka, began a second week of investigations in Zimbabwe
on Monday into the effects of Operation Restore Order, which began in May
and has seen police demolish tens of thousands of shacks and backyard
cottages, as well as squatter camps and flea markets.

Human rights groups estimate that at least 300 000 people have lost their

"The aim is to listen to as many people as possible with a view to
understanding the situation without endorsing or discrediting their point of
view," the statement read.

The government says the police operation is necessary to cut down on crime
and ease pressure on overburdened municipalities.

But the opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) says it is aimed at
driving its supporters out of towns and cities into the rural areas where
they will be easier to control.

There was consternation last week among government critics when the
state-run media said Tibaijuka had praised the government for its "vision".

The UN said in its statement that Tibaijuka is this week due to visit the
country's second city of Bulawayo, as well as the resort town of Victoria
Falls, where squatter camps and flea markets have also been destroyed.

Tibaijuka was due to leave Zimbabwe on Sunday, but has extended her trip
until Friday. - Sapa-dpa
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Attempts to block AU official visit
      by Violet Gonda

      4th July 2005
      Human Rights groups are concerned that a senior African Union official
sent to Zimbabwe to investigate the demolitions has been told he must first
get government clearance. The African Union Commission, designated
Commissioner Bahame Tom Nyanduga to carry out a fact-finding mission in
Zimbabwe between June 30 and July 4.
      Mr. Nyanduga is a member of the African Commission on Human Rights and
Special Rapporteur responsible for Refugees, Asylum Seekers and Internally
Displaced People in Africa.
      Human rights groups said they are worried by the regime's negative
attitude towards the African Union especially since Zimbabwe is a member
state. Human rights lawyer, Arnold Tsunga said that in terms of the African
Union Charter and regional instruments, member countries have some minimal
obligations in terms of the promotion of human rights in respective
countries. He said, "the move is ill-advised and shows a level of contempt
for the African states by the government."
      Unnamed government sources told the state mouthpiece, The Sunday Mail,
that the move by the AU to dispatch a high-ranking official, without
notifying the government through the normal channels, was un-procedural and
out of step with protocol.
      The paper said Harare only became aware of the visit when Nyanduga was
already on his way. The Sunday Mail quoted Nyanduga as saying, "The
commission contacted the government on June 29 and they are aware of my
visit." He said he would meet government ministers, civic groups and visit
areas affected by the crackdown.
      Tsunga said the government may have a case against the AU by saying
the method of sending the commissioner did not seem to comply with protocol
but said this is a technical argument which has no merit in terms of
substance of the purpose of visit. He said, "The purpose is to allow for the
AU to get it's own expert on human rights to make an assessment of what the
government is doing in terms of the policy of forced evictions and its
implications on human rights."
      Human Rights groups have urged Nigerian President Olusegun Obasanjo as
chairman of the AU, to put the crisis in Zimbabwe on the agenda of its
summit which started Monday.The AU had previously said it would not
interfere in what it described as a member country's internal affairs.

      SW Radio Africa Zimbabwe news

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Give us support, not sympathy, Africa tells West
Mon Jul 4, 2005 4:47 PM BST
By William Maclean

SIRTE, Libya (Reuters) - African Union (AU) chairman Olusegun Obasanjo
called on rich nations on Monday to provide "massive" financial help rather
than sympathy in its fight against poverty at their summit in Scotland this

Some of Obasanjo's remarks ran counter to a call by AU host Libyan leader
Muammar Gaddafi that Africa should refuse conditional help from the wealthy
countries, some of them the continent's former colonial masters.

Obasanjo, president of Nigeria, Africa's most populous country, said he
hoped the Group of Eight (G8) summit would extend a recent debt cancellation
beyond the 14 African countries that benefited from it.

"This is not the time for a lot of talk but more of a time for serious and
concerted action," he told the opening session of a half-yearly summit of
the 53-nation African Union.

He praised a British-backed report recommending more help for Africa to be
presented to the G8 summit chaired by British Prime Minister Tony Blair on
Wednesday and Thursday.

But he said rich nations should repay money looted in the past by corrupt
African leaders and deposited in the West -- funds believed to be worth tens
of billions of dollars.

"The current situation in Africa ... is the slow pace of development,
increasing poverty and a rising rate of unemployment," Obasanjo said.

"For Africa (to fight poverty) it will require not only the debt forgiveness
for which we have been vigorously campaigning but also a massive inflow of
finance through repatriation of corruption-tainted funds in foreign banks,
the fulfillment of commitments made by our development partners, new funds
through investments ... and our collective political will to undertake our
own part for our upliftment," he said.

Gadaffi told AU leaders earlier to reject conditional aid from the West.

"Begging will not make the future of Africa, (instead) it creates a greater
gap between the great ones and the small ones," he said.

But it is Obasanjo who will be the key influence behind the wording of a
message that African leaders are expected to send to the G8 summit about
rescuing the continent of 800 million from poverty, war and disease,
diplomats say.


AU spokesman Desmond Orjiako, a Nigerian, told Reuters: "We have requested
Western partners to expedite debt cancellation for the whole of Africa by

"They should also improve the quality of the aid so that it is really
helpful to poor African people."

Many critics of Western aid say it suffers a number of defects, principally
that much of it goes to pay expensive Western consultants or that it is
conditional on African governments doing business with a donor country's

More than 40 percent of Africans live on less than $1 (57 pence) a day, 200
million Africans are threatened by serious food shortages and AIDS kills
more than 2 million Africans a year.

As it does at all its gatherings, the AU at the summit targeted wars as a
big barrier to growth on a continent that has seen 186 coups d'etat and 26
major conflicts in the past half century.

U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan told the summit nations had a
responsibility to protect people from genocide, war crimes and ethnic
cleansing if their own governments failed to do so.

Rock stars around the world sang for Africa on Saturday to try to pressure
the G8 leaders into action.

There was no mention in the agenda of Zimbabwe, in keeping with the AU's
habitual deference to President Robert Mugabe.

But guests include European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso, who
has said Africa must join the rest of the world in condemning Mugabe's
crackdown on illegal shantytowns.

AU officials last week rejected calls from non-governmental organisations to
intervene in Zimbabwe, saying the crackdown there was an internal affair.

© Reuters 2005. All Rights Reserved.

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Zim's unemployed 'should move'
04/07/2005 20:51  - (SA)

Johannesburg - Unemployed Zimbabweans, who had received parcels of land,
should build on it instead of dwelling in city slums, said Deputy Housing
Minister Morris Sakabuya on Monday.

Speaking at an international housing seminar, Sakabuya said Zimbabwe's
Operation "Restore Order" was aimed at relocating urban slum dwellers and
was part of a national housing programme to build 250 000 new houses
annually and wipe out a housing backlog by 2008.

"It is planned. We have never done anything unplanned in Zimbabwe," he said.

The controversial demolition programme has sparked international criticism.

Those expelled from Harare were being sent to the countryside, if they had
homes there, the minister said.

Others would be resettled on farms near the city after spells in transit

Sakabuya said: "In fact that is why we undertook the resettlement programme.
We were trying to decongest urban areas and tribal trust areas."

The head of the opposition Movement for Democratic Change, Morgan
Tsvangirai, confirmed on Monday a meeting with South African President Thabo

Tsvangirai, who is in South Africa to present a book, informed Mbeki of the
situation in Zimbabwe.

Both Mbeki and the African Union have refrained from criticising events in

Operation "Restore Order", launched on May 19, began with the arrests of
street traders and the demolition of flea markets.

Hundreds of thousands have been evicted from slums in Zimbabwe's big cities
in the middle of winter in the southern hemisphere.

Later, police backed by bulldozers swept through poor suburbs in Harare and
other towns and cities demolishing illegally-built shacks and cottages.

Human rights groups say at least 300 000 people have been made homeless.

UN envoy Anna Tibaijuka is currently touring Zimbabwe to assess the
humanitarian impact of the operation.
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Pretoria News

      Our government must stop Zim evil
      July 4, 2005

      As the news reaches us of the increasingly terrible situation in
Zimbabwe, I, like many others, feel helpless to do anything about the
relentless power of evil destroying the lives of thousands upon thousands of
our fellow human beings.

      I recall one of Bob Dylan's most prophetic and well-known songs,
Blowing in the Wind, composed at the height of the Vietnam war. Its message
is as powerful and as relevant today as it was then:

      "How many ears must one man have before he can hear people cry? ...
How many deaths will it take till he knows that too many people have died?
... How many times can a man hide his head and pretend that he just doesn't

      What can we do as individuals? Not much. But as a nation we can do a

      As a proud citizen of our country, I call on our leaders to stop
hiding their heads and pretending that they just don't see. I call on our
government to use its power for good to stop this evil before we have a
repeat of what happened in Rwanda, Burundi, the Congo, Kosovo, Auschwitz ...

      Krystyna Smith, Lynnwood

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Tehran Times

Annan tells AU world must protect against violence

UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) - UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan told the African
Union on Monday nations had a "responsibility to protect" people from
genocide, war crimes and ethnic cleansing if their own governments failed to
do so.

The concept, under discussion for several years, has met with opposition
among developing nations as an excuse for the powerful to intervene
militarily or impose sanctions.

"Some countries are concerned that the concept could be as a fig-leaf for
unwarranted interventions," Annan said in a keynote speech to the 53-member
AU summit in Sirte, Libya.

"Yet we would all agree that inaction in the face of genocide, war crimes,
ethnic cleansing and crimes against humanity is unacceptable," he said in
remarks prepared for delivery.

"Human beings threatened with such terrible crimes are entitled to look for
protection not only to their regional neighbors, but also to the
international community as a whole," Annan added.

African leaders have not joined Western condemnation of Zimbabwe's forced
eviction of hundreds of thousands of slum dwellers from urban areas.

Annan has not asked the U.N. Security Council to put the crisis on its
agenda because of opposition from some members. But he did send Anna
Tibaijuka, executive director of the Nairobi-based housing agency
UN-HABITAT, to Harare to report on the evictions.

Leaders at the AU summit were expected to discuss the continent's wars and
call for increased international funding of AU peace missions, particularly
a small force of less than 3,000 troops and monitors trying to stabilise
Sudan's troubled Darfur region.

Annan has been critical of the international response to the more than
two-year-old conflict and humanitarian crisis in western Sudan, calling it
"slow, hesitant, uncaring".

"We must not repeat the inadequate responses of the past," Annan said in his
remarks to the AU.

Annan hosts a U.N. world summit in September, expected to be the largest
gathering of world leaders in history, aimed at overhauling U.N. programmes
in security, development, human rights and reform its own institutions.

For Africa the sweeping reforms are aimed at an action plan to achieve U.N.
Millennium goals to cut poverty, ensure universal primary education, and
stem AIDS by 2015.

"No new promises are needed to make this happen -- just follow-through on
existing ones," Annan said.

Annan also called on leaders to seize this "precious opportunity" and decide
on how they would enlarge the 15-member Security Council, which as it is
currently configured reflects the balance of power after World War Two.

Germany, Brazil, India and Japan, aspirants for permanent seats, have
proposed adding 10 seats to the current 15-member council, two of them from

A rival plan, which has not resulted in a resolution yet, would add 10
nonpermanent seats for varying duration of time.

Annan urged African nations to back one of the two options he has suggested.
"I know you are discussing this issue at this summit," he said. "I urge you
to seize this precious opportunity."

The African Union has come up with a third option, indicating reform of the
council may be delayed indefinitely as Africa's 53 votes are crucial. Its
proposal is to add two permanent seats from Africa and three nonpermanent

The Security Council now has 15 members, 10 rotating by regions for two-year
terms and five veto-wielding permanent seats -- the United States, France,
Britain, Russia and China.

The AU is split on who should get any new permanent seats -- with South
Africa, Nigeria, Egypt and Kenya vying for them.

Annan also announced he would create a Fund for Democracy, first proposed by
the United States, now that enough nations have agreed to contribute. The
fund would provide assistance to countries seeking to establish or
strengthen democracy.

"There have to be assurances that the majority will not trample on the
rights of minorities, and that minorities will accept the legitimate
decisions of the majority," he said.

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Daily Mirror, Zimbabwe

Are bearer cheques being phased out?

The Daily Mirror Reporter
issue date :2005-Jul-04

THE Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ), which rolled out a string of financial
reforms soon after Gideon Gono became governor in 2003, seems to have
started systematically phasing out bearer cheques as a preface to the
planned introduction of new higher denomination notes.
Gono announced in his maiden monetary policy statement in December 2003 that
the central bank would, in line with his projection of a precipitous fall in
inflation, throw bearer cheques into the bulk shredder to make way for
higher denominations.
"It is not the vision of the monetary authorities that bearer cheques be
with us forever," Gono said. In the past three weeks, $10 000 and $20 000
bearer cheques have begun to vanish and there are more of  $500, $1 000 and
$5 000 bank notes in circulation, a move that has effectively increased
transactions costs involving bulk payments.
Economist Chakanyuka Mangwiro told The Daily Mirror yesterday that the
shortage of bearer cheques was a deliberate monetary policy thrust
consistent with the RBZ's vision of discontinuing bearer cheques, which have
been serving as a proxy of money.
"I would like to believe that the shortage of bearer cheques is a gradual
process of phasing out bearer cheques, rather than a way of controlling
spending because people are still able to access their money from banks. The
RBZ has made it very clear that bearer cheques will not be with us forever.
However, the phasing out of bearer cheques can cause problems because of our
inflation trends. This means that the central bank will have to introduce
higher denomination notes. Inflation remains the biggest challenge to this
vision," he said.
Bearer cheques were introduced in March 2003 to replace travellers' cheques
after the RBZ failed to finance the printing of higher denomination notes to
support the level of money demand triggered by hyperinflation.
At the time, the costs of printing new notes by far exceeded the face value
of the notes and this prompted the recourse to bearer cheques.
Till now, inflation has forced the central bank to pull out of circulation
all coins and $10, $20 and $50 notes, a signal that the phasing out of
bearer cheques, which are cheaper to produce relative to notes, might
experience hitches.
Efforts to get comment from the RBZ proved fruitless yesterday.
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Daily Mirror, Zimbabwe

Workers gear for price spirals

Givemore Nyanhi
issue date :2005-Jul-04

. govt hikes fuel prices
THE latest fuel hike effected last Tuesday by government - after more than
nine months - came on the back of pronounced fuel, foreign currency and
transport problems and clearly threatens the country's bid to keep the
inflation rate below 180 percent by year-end.
On Wednesday the following day the government swiftly moved to contain the
negative ripple effects concomitant with such a hike, candidly declaring
that it would not entertain any increases in the price of basic commodities
and services by more than 10 percent.
"We are meeting with stakeholders over the new development to formulate new
prices for basic commodities and see how we can control prices of other
goods and at what rate," the Ministry of Industry and Trade was quoted as
The government did not give a breakdown of how it had arrived at 10 percent,
though it is clear to both industry and trade that the ceiling will worsen
the plight of the country's wobbling manufacturing sectors of the economy,
that have been struggling under the corrosive effects of increased
inflationary pressures that are not compensated by the price tags of the
The government might have placed a ceiling on the business community in a
bid to protect the bulk of the country's low-income workers but the workers
are now much wiser and familiar with the negative effects of fuel price
increases on the economy.
"The increase in the price of fuel will see the price of products and
services going up by a similar margin and this will lead to the cost of
living going up," one passenger on a Warren Park-bound commuter omnibus
noted on Tuesday evening as news of the price hikes filtered through.
The price of petrol rose to $10 000 per litre, up from just $3 600 while
that of diesel was increased to $9 600 from $3 400 per litre.
The price of paraffin and Jet A1 were also set at $6 500 and $9 500
"The increasing cost of living in the urban centre is becoming more
expensive and this is going to force most of us living in urban areas to go
to the rural areas where it is cheaper," the commuter said.
Prior to the fuel price hike the country had been exposed to three months of
erratic fuel supplies, punctuated by long, winding queues for the commodity,
particularly in urban centres, that triggered a serious transport crisis
that left thousands of commuters stranded.
But the negative effects of the latest round of increases, coming after nine
months, will not only be felt by workers, but will also have an undesirable
impact on most of the country's key economic sectors such as agriculture,
transport, health, labour, tourism and mining among other critical sectors
of the economy.
Before this week's increase, the last hike had been effected in September
last year when the prices of petrol and diesel went up from $2 900 and $2
800 a litre to around $3 400 and $3 600 a litre respectively.
At that time, the major cause behind the increase had been developments on
the international markets when oil prices shot up to close to US$50 a
And when the government hiked the fuel prices this time around one of the
major causes, in spite of the acute foreign currency shortages, was also
triggered by similar developments on the international front.
International crude oil prices hugged US$60 a barrel last week in the
process making the cost of the commodity much more expensive to import.
Announcing the new prices, Energy and Power Development Minister Mike
Nyambuya said the price of fuel would be continually reviewed to take into
account international and regional prices.
But the chief executive of the Petroleum Marketers of Zimbabwe (PMZ),
Muziwoxolo Bukwele, welcomed the price adjustment in a positive but cautious
Bukwele, who leads an organisation that maintained a deafening silence on
the country's acute fuel problems in the past three months, said the price
increase would help restore their industry's viability but warned 'it will
by no means mean that supply will improve.'
But the biggest outcome of last week's new fuel prices is the blow it will
deal on the central bank's drive to curb inflation and keep it below the
revised 180 percent.
After initially forecasting year-end statistics of below 140 percent early
this year despite critical murmurs of disapproval by industry and commerce,
the apex bank was forced to climb down from its initial estimates after it
became apparent that the country was facing a drought this year.
Wheels first started falling off the cart when inflation data for the month
of March indicated a modest reduction down to 123 percent - that was also to
be the last time inflation declined - before it went on the upswing in April
as a result of unexpected basic commodity price increases.
It was also the time when 'foreign currency shortages' became the greeting
word in business circles when the foreign currency auction system began
groaning under the strain of overwhelming demand from industry and commerce.
True to analysts' forecasts, April inflation readings showed a 5,4 percent
increase on year-on-year inflation from 123.7 to 129.1 percent, confirming
fears that the weight of increased inflationary pressures would derail
efforts to keep inflation down.
In May the inflation rate increased to 144 percent.
The impact of this month's 300 percent fuel price increases will be carried
in inflation readings for June.
Even if government sets a 10 percent ceiling on the margin of increases in
the prices of services and commodities in an effort to control added
inflationary pressures, the 300 percent increase in fuel alone will trigger
a slew of discretionary price increases as business makes adjustments.
Already long distance transport operators responded to the latest increases
by hiking their fares by more than 100 percent, with the buses now charging
at least $120 000 from Harare to Mutare from the previous $50 000.
Further, with the labour sector entering into the collective bargaining gear
as the second half of the year kicks off, analysts said all the accumulating
inflationary pressures in the past three months, coupled with the recent
fuel hike, would make it very difficult for inflation trends to dip in the
coming two months- making the desired 180 percent inflation rate by year end
almost unachievable.
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Daily Mirror, Zimbabwe

Tibaijuka in meetings

The Daily Mirror Reporter
issue date :2005-Jul-04

UNITED Nations special envoy, Anna KajumaloTibaijuka was yesterday locked up
in meetings with other teams of her delegation who have been assessing the
clean-up operation since she came into the country last Sunday.
The UN delegation's spokesperson, Sharad Shankardass yesterday said, "She
will be in marathon meetings with other members of her team who have also
been assessing the exercise. We won't be making any visits today
Tibaijuka was in Mutare on Friday and Saturday where she met government
officials and victims of operation Murambatsvina/ Restore Order in the
Eastern border city.
Since her arrival in Zimbabwe, she has visited Mbare, Caledonia transit
camp, White Cliff and Porta Farms among other areas.
She has also met President Robert Mugabe, commissioners running the affairs
of Harare and various government ministers.
Most clean-up victims have urged the United Nations to assist in their
plight - a call heeded by Tibaijuka.
Tibaijuka is expected to present her report to UN secretary general, Kofi
Annan at the end of her mission.
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