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

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Homeless and hopeless: bulldozers carve out a bleak new reality for poor

In a special report from Harare, Duncan Campbell witnesses Mugabe's drive to
clear the makeshift homes of hundreds of thousands of people

Tuesday July 5, 2005
The Guardian

The giant prehistoric Balancing Rocks that stand 10 miles from the centre of
Harare are one of the great symbols of Zimbabwe, etched on to banknotes and
pictured in every tourist guide.
Immediately across the road from the rocks is a new symbol of the nation,
one that is unlikely to feature in any guidebook or on the notes of the
collapsing Zimbabwean dollar.

It consists of piles of rubble, corrugated iron and random belongings - a
basin, a single shoe, a coathanger - like the detritus left in the wake of
an earthquake or a storm. This was home to hundreds of people in the suburb
of Epworth until President Robert Mugabe announced last month that Operation
Murambatsvina (Clear Out the Trash) was under way. He authorised the
destruction of the homes of hundreds of thousands of people across the
country as a way of removing what the police commissioner, Augustine
Chihuri, described as "this crawling mass of maggots" who had settled into
makeshift townships on the fringes of cities. So far at least seven people
have died in the clear-out, there have been six suicides reported and 22,000
people have been arrested or had their property confiscated.

"They stood there with their AKs [Kalashnikov rifles] and told us we must
knock our own homes down," said George, a bearded, middle-aged man who told
his story as though recounting something utterly unfathomable. "Last night,
we all slept on the ground under a blanket with plastic bags over us. This
is what the government is doing to its people."

The drive back into town has a surreal quality to it. On one side of the
road, a group of Apostolic worshippers dressed in immaculate white are
conducting an open-air service as tsiri-tsiri birds hop beside them in the
fields. On the other side, hundreds of people desperate to get into Harare
to work or buy food try to flag down overloaded cars and lorries.

"We have to start walking at four in the morning now to get to work," said
Joyce, a young woman from Hatfield, another affected area. Most will end up
walking the 10 miles as petrol has almost run out, and drivers queue for up
to seven days, sleeping in their cars as they wait for the pumps to open.
"Some of the petrol stations, they ask to see your Zanu-PF [Mr Mugabe's
ruling party] card before they serve you," George said. In the centre of the
highway, armed police man roadblocks, waving down and searching cars.

"This country is upside down now," said one young man. "Once we had beef and
tobacco and maize and now - look - we have to stand in line for petrol, for
money, for mealie meal, for sugar. Soon there will be no country left at

A retired carpenter in his 80s said he had never seen Zimbabwe in such a
state. "You have to be careful what you say in public," he said. "You don't
know who is listening and what may happen to you but even under the whites
there was always work if you wanted it."

State of emergency

Operation Murambatsvina was launched in the wake of Mr Mugabe's fiercely
contested election victory earlier this year, which established him in
power, with 108 of the 150 parliamentary seats, until 2008, at which stage
he has indicated he will step down after 25 years as president. It also
comes as he has increased from two years to 20 the penalty for "publishing
and communicating false statements prejudicial to the state". But the law
has not curbed his critics.

"Once he was our darling," said Marcus, a young businessman in Harare. "I
remember when we were at school, we would all clap when we saw him on
television and he did great things with education, with healthcare. But now
the old man is ruining the country. He says that he will go in 2008, but
even if he does, that will be too late. He needs to go tomorrow. He cannot
go on treating people like this.

"He is not Pol Pot and he is not Hitler, like some of his enemies say, but
he has been behaving brutally. It has never been this bad before. What you
have here is a de facto state of emergency."

Not only Harare has been affected. From the Victoria Falls to Bulawayo to
Beitbridge, the bulldozers have gone in. Over the past week a transit camp
has been opened at Caledonia Farm near the capital to house some of the
homeless in single-sex units, but many now sleep in the open or erect
shelters secretly at night and pull them down before dawn. No one knows
exactly how many have lost their homes. The government figure is 120,000
while opposition groups have claimed as many as a million. Aid agencies
suggest the total is around 300,000.

The government remains bullish. Didymus Mutasa, minister for state security
and head of the Central Intelligence Organisation, said on Zimbabwe state
radio: "Everyone in Zimbabwe is very happy about this clean-up. People are
walking around Harare saying 'we never knew we had such a beautiful city'."

Yesterday, the UN special envoy, Anna Kajumulo Tibaijuka, continued an
inspection that started last week at the behest of the secretary general,
Kofi Annan. According to the government newspaper the Herald, she applauded
Mr Mugabe's "vision", but the report was immediately dismissed by a UN
spokesman as inaccurate.

Why has Mr Mugabe launched such an operation which has brought him the
attention of the UN and condemnation around the world at a time when he is
already beleaguered? The government's justification is threefold: that the
settlements consist of illegal structures which create a health hazard and
damage Harare's fragile infrastructure; that they breed crime; and that the
"parallel market" of unauthorised businesses dealing in currency, goods and
fuel constitute a serious threat to the country's economy.

Inflation is at 144% and unemployment is nearing 80%. While the official
exchange rate is around ZW$9,000 to the US dollar, the black market rate on
the street corner in Harare outside Meikles Hotel is ZW$25,000. Lack of
foreign currency after the collapse of the tourist industry has caused the
latest fuel shortage. The other shortages Mr Mugabe blames on droughts and
what he portrays as a racist campaign waged against him by Tony Blair and
George Bush.

Mr Mugabe's opponents see his motives very differently: to punish those from
the settlements who voted so heavily against him and for the Movement for
Democratic Change (MDC) in the elections, and to disperse people who might
foment an uprising in an increasingly hostile political environment.

"Another reason he is doing this is because farming has collapsed since he
took the farms away from the white farmers and gave them to the war veterans
[who fought the white regime] - although many people think he just gave them
to his supporters," said a young technician in Harare. "The people who had
worked on the farms came to the cities because there was no work for them in
the country. Now Mugabe wants to drive them back because the farms are
producing nothing."

On the streets of Harare, people ask how much a flight to London costs, what
an average wage is there, what work is available. An estimated 3 million
Zimbabweans now live abroad, mainly in South Africa but also in Britain - as
evidenced by the current hunger strike by asylum seekers - and the money
they send back keeps the economy afloat.

Politically, the clean-up has already prompted fissures within the ruling
party. Two days ago a Zanu-PF central committee member, Pearson Mbalekwa,
resigned, declaring himself "perturbed and disturbed" by what he saw. He is
seen as testing the water for others to follow and there is talk of a "third
force", a grouping of disillusioned Zanu-PF members and some MDC

The MDC's shadow justice minister, David Coltart, said yesterday that he
thought that unlikely. "I think it's a distinct possibility that Zanu will
fragment," he told the Guardian. "I think an uprising is unlikely and the
country will just literally grind to a halt. Sadly, when you go to some
other African states, you will see that Zimbabwe has quite a way to go."

Mr Mugabe remains unbowed. In an interview with the magazine New African he
denounced Tony Blair, saying he "wants to continue to maintain this
headmaster type of attitude - you must submit, after all you are a black

The new minister for information, Tichaona Jokonya, defended the laws
governing the media and the prohibitions on foreign media operating in the
country. He said the BBC, which is banned in Zimbabwe, had wanted 36 people
accredited for the elections. "Obviously, we knew what they were up to," he
told New African. "They wanted journalists to come here with a pack of
intelligence guys."

The Guardian's former Zimbabwe correspondent, Andrew Meldrum, was deported
two years ago, and in May two Sunday Telegraph journalists were jailed for
two weeks after being detained for reporting without permission. This report
was compiled on the same basis and names of members of the public
interviewed have been duly changed.

Mandela invited

The one country in the region with the power to influence events is South
Africa, but its president, Thabo Mbeki, has reiterated the position of the
African Union: Zimbabwe is a sovereign country and what it does within its
borders is its own affair. Mr Mbeki has also echoed Mr Mugabe's view that
the west is only concerned about Zimbabwe because of its old colonial
interests. This week, however, Mr Mbeki has held talks for the first time
with the MDC leader, Morgan Tsvangirai, who yesterday called on G8 leaders
to intervene in Zimbabwe.

The only other South African with the personal and moral power to intervene
is Nelson Mandela, and pressure is already being put on him by Zimbabweans
to act. Mr Mandela has been invited as guest of honour at a party to
celebrate the Mugabes' 10th wedding anniversary. In an open letter from
"concerned Zimbabweans" in the opposition newspaper the Zimbabwean, an
appeal has been made to Mr Mandela to stay away. "We, your admirers, are
concerned that your attendance at this event will be construed as a blessing
of the things that are occurring in Zimbabwe," urges the anonymous letter
writer. "I do not think that you are able to eat and drink and make merry
while Africans are being oppressed."

Mr Coltart, the shadow justice minister, believes South Africa now has to
engage in meaningful efforts to broker a way out of the crisis. "When Zanu
realises that they have to jettison Mugabe, then maybe something will
happen, but the outlook is pretty gloomy."

The International Crisis Group, the Brussels-based body chaired by Lord
Patten, said in its report on the elections last month that "economic
meltdown, food insecurity, political repression and tensions over land and
ethnicity are all ongoing facts of life that the election has not changed
for the better in any way". It concluded: "Robert Mugabe has been the father
of Zimbabwe in many respects but he is now the single greatest impediment to
pulling the country out of its precipitous social, economic and political

Out in Epworth, there is a plume of smoke from burning tyres. The Balancing
Rocks of Chipenga may have survived for thousands of years, but modern
Zimbabwe's balancing act seems more precarious by the day.

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Harare Withholds Appeal for Food Aid, Putting Off Donors By Patience Rusere
      04 July 2005

The World Food Program is finding it difficult to organize food aid for
Zimbabwe in the absence of a formal request from its government, said a WFP
spokesman. President Robert Mugabe said early last month that Zimbabwe would
accept food assistance - but only if there were no political strings
attached. Though the World Food Program's chief made no objection to this
position, Harare has not formally asked for food aid.

Mike Huggins, the WFP's spokesman for the Southern African region, said
Monday that the lack of a formal request makes it harder to line up donors
to fund food aid. He said about 4 million Zimbabweans need 1.8 million
tonnes of grain. WFP aid comes from some 60 governments, the United States
and Europe Union among them.

Mr. Huggins provided reporter Patience Rusere of VOA's Studio 7 for Zimbabwe
with an update on the status of food aid, noting that a food vulnerability
study which the WFP had helped prepare was to be presented to the cabinet
this week.

Meanwhile, riot police in Mutare, on Zimbabwe's eastern border with
Mozambique, were called to a supermarket to control a crowd of shoppers who
had rushed to the store after hearing it had received deliveries of scarce
sugar and maize meal. Store security guards called in police after the line
stretched over 200 meters.

 Reporter Sydney Sithole for VOA's Studio 7 for Zimbabwe was on the scene.
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Harare Keeps AU Special Rapporteur Waiting

04 July 2005

As African Union leaders gathered in Libya today to frame a position on debt relief and economic relations with the more prosperous countries of the Group of Eight, the crisis in Zimbabwe though not on the agenda loomed on the margins of the summit.

Relations between Zimbabwe and the African Union itself appeared to be under strain as an AU special envoy cooled his heels for a fourth day in Harare without receiving the accreditation diplomatic protocal says he needs to investigate the ongoing crisis.

Tanzanian Bahame Tom Nyanduga is a member of the AU Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights and and a special rapporteur for refugees, asylum seekers and the internally displaced. Mr. Nyanduga says the AU informed Harare of his mission before his arrival last Thursday, and he was to have completed his work by Monday.

Mr. Nyanduga told VOA’s Studio 7 for Zimbabwe that he can only wait in his hotel room until the Zimbabwean government gives him accreditation. But he added that he is also awaiting instructions from AU superiors as his scheduled time has run out.

The AU had said earlier it would not intervene in what it considered an internal matter, but under Western pressure partially reversed itself and dispatched Mr. Nyanduga.

Information Minister Tichaona Jokonya, who served as Zimbabwe’s ambassador to the United Nations until early this year, reporter Blessing Zulu that AU Chairman Alpha Oumar Konare, a former Malian president, had buckled under Western pressure.

For perspective on the awkward position in which the AU now finds itself, reporter Zulu also asked political analyst Ernest Mudzengi of the National Constitutional Assembly why the AU seems to be coming around on the Zimbabwe question.

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Zim Online

AU envoy chases shadows in Harare
Tue 5 July 2005

      HARARE - An African Union (AU) envoy to Zimbabwe was yesterday still
chasing after government officials for clearance to visit people affected by
President Robert Mugabe's clean-up drive as Harare authorities dithered,
insisting the AU man's visit was un-procedural.

      Bahare Tom Nyanduga, sent to Harare last Thursday by Alpha Konare the
chairman of the AU Commission that runs the daily affairs of the continental
body, has failed to assess the controversial operation after he was told
that he had to first get official clearance and a government-drafted
programme for his mission.

      Senior government officials said Nyanduga spent the whole day
yesterday battling to locate the relevant officials to get a programme and
to be cleared to visit areas and people affected by the operation which has
drawn world condemnation.

      "We understand he was still trying to get government clearance
regarding his mission to this country but that there were a number of issues
that had still to be clarified. So as far as I am aware, nothing has changed
since he arrived last week," said one Harare official, who did not want to
be named.

      The official Sunday Mail newspaper at the weekend castigated Nyanduga
saying his visit was "unprocedural" and in "breach of protocol" claiming
Konare's office only informed Harare of the envoy's visit when he was
already airborne on his way to Zimbabwe.

      Yesterday, Local Government Minister Ignatius Chombo, leading a
government committee in charge of the controversial clean-up exercise,
professed ignorance of Nyanduga's visit.

      "The Foreign Affairs will know about that.I have not been briefed by
Foreign Affairs so I don't know anything about him (Nyanduga)," said Chombo,
whose department should facilitate visits by the AU envoy to various suburbs
and squatter camps where the government demolished houses.

      Foreign Affairs Minister Simbarashe Mumbengegwi is in Libya for the AU
summit while his deputy Obert Matshalaga was unavailable for comment. The
Ministry's spokeswoman, Pavelin Musaka, promised to get back to ZimOnline
with a comment on the fate of Nyanduga's trip. She had not done so by late
last night.

      Nyanduga, who is rapporteur for refugees on the AU Commission on Human
and People's Rights, did not return calls and messages left at The
Ambassador Hotel in Harare where he is staying.

      Officials at the hotel said Nyanduga was scheduled to check-out this
morning. But it was not immediately clear whether Nyanduga, whose mission
was supposed to officially end yesterday, would extend his stay in Zimbabwe
so he could carry out his mission.

      The surprise AU decision to send Nyanduga to Harare was a policy
U-turn after the union had earlier said it would not intervene in Zimbabwe
because Mugabe's clean-up exercise was an internal matter.

      The continental body appeared to have buckled under intense pressure
from the international community who criticised the union for standing by in
the face of gross human rights violations.

      Meanwhile, the Untied Nations reiterated in a statement yesterday that
its envoy, Anna Tibaijuka, will give an "impartial assessment" of the
clean-up campaign that has cast thousands of families onto the streets
without clean water or food after their homes were destroyed by the police
and soldiers.

      "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 in part.

      The government says the clean-up exercise is meant to smash an illegal
but thriving black-market for basic goods and foreign currency in short
supply in Zimbabwe. The exercise is also necessary to restore the beauty of
Zimbabwe's cities, according to the government.

      But the main opposition Movement for Democratic Change party, which is
best supported in urban centres, says the campaign is a ploy to depopulate
cities, Pol Pot-style, and ensure people are concentrated in rural areas
where they are easy to intimidate and manipulate.

      Tibaijuka, who extended her Zimbabwe trip by another week, is
scheduled to travel to Zimbabwe's second largest city of Bulawayo by road
today and will make a stop-over in the city of Gweru along the way.

      The UN envoy will also visit Chinotimba low income suburb in the
resort town of Victoria Falls where thousands of people who lived in plastic
shacks are sleeping in the open, the local UN office said.

      She has already toured Harare and Mutare listening to harrowing tales
from families who lost their loved ones and property after the police
bulldozed their houses.

      Tibaijuka is expected to compile a report two weeks after her Zimbabwe
trip which she will present to UN Secretary General Koffi Annan. -ZimOnline

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Zim Online

Tsvangirai says Mbeki has seen the light
Tue 5 July 2005

      JOHANNESBURG - Opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) party
leader Morgan Tsvangirai, who has met with President Thabo Mbeki, believes
the South African leader has seen the light and is "coming on board" to help
halt the escalating political and economic rot in Zimbabwe.

      After meeting Mbeki in Pretoria on Sunday night, Tsvangirai told
reporters in Johannesburg yesterday that Mbeki appreciated that there were
no longer any excuses for his government's inaction on Zimbabwe.

      "I can say that he understands the urgency, that there are no longer
any excuses he can give (not) to resolve that crisis or at least to be seen
to be influencing the Zimbabwean government to come to the negotiating

      "I think (Mbeki) is coming on board. My sense is that he knows and
appreciates the fact he has to take the lead or there will be no movement."

      Mbeki himself has not commented on his first meeting with the MDC
leader since the March 31 parliamentary elections rejected by the opposition
as rigged.

      The meeting marked a significant departure from the MDC's vow to sever
ties with the South African government after the elections. The opposition
party had been incensed by the endorsement of the Zimbabwean polls by South
African observers and Mbeki himself long before ballots were cast.

      It felt used by the South African government who had encouraged it to
participate in the elections after an earlier boycott threat. MDC secretary
general Welshman Ncube later retreated from his party's earlier stance
saying the MDC had not cut ties with South Africa as reported but had
decided not to consider South Africa as a mediator in the Zimbabwean crisis.

      Still, Tsvangirai's request to meet with Mbeki was a marked departure
from that position and will invite criticism from the opposition party's
detractors who accuse it of being regularly inconsistent on critical issues.

      Tsvangirai said Zimbabwe was an albatross around the neck of African
leaders, who must condemn rights abuses there if they wanted rich countries
to help them tackle poverty on the continent.

      He said African leaders were damaging their credibility ahead of this
week's G8 summit in Gleanagles Scotland by "protecting and sanitising" the
Mugabe regime.

      Zimbabwe is not on the agenda of this week's 53-member African Union
summit in Sirte, Libya. President Mugabe has since arrived in Sirte for the
summit and re-iterated his stance that Britain is the cause of all problems
in Zimbabwe.

      "Zimbabwe is an albatross to all African leaders and therefore we want
to see a strong message at the G8 that this regime has gone beyond
acceptable behaviour of any government and that it be called to order,"
Tsvangirai said.

      "African leadership should be at the forefront of criticism of what is
taking place in Zimbabwe for their credibility to be enhanced at the G8 and
all other forums." - ZimOnline

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Zim Online

US delegation to meet ZANU PF, opposition
Tue 5 July 2005

      HARARE - A two-man United States (US) Congress delegation visiting
Zimbabwe will meet officials from the government and President Robert Mugabe's
ruling ZANU PF party, the opposition, religious and community leaders to
assess the situation in the crisis-hit southern African nation.

      The Congress mission comes as pressure mounted on Mugabe to abandon
his controversial urban clean-up drive that has cast thousands of families
onto the streets without food or water, with New Zealand at the weekend
calling for the Zimbabwean leader to be tried by the International Criminal
Court for human rights violations.

      In a statement yesterday, the US embassy in Harare said the two
officials, Gregory Simpkins and Pearl Alice Marsh, will "visit Harare and
Bulawayo to assess the current political, economic and health conditions, as
well as bi-lateral issues between Washington and Harare.

      "While in Zimbabwe, the two hope to meet government officials, the two
major parties in the country, religious leaders and community leaders."

      Simpkins and Marsh are both professional staff members of the US House
of Representatives International Relations Committee (HIRC). They advise the
key foreign relations committee and members of Congress on Africa. The two
were yesterday touring Zimbabwe's second largest city of Bulawayo.

      Their visit could signal that the world's sole superpower plans a
tougher stance against Mugabe and his government over failure to uphold
democracy, the rule of law and human rights.

      President George W. Bush has harshly criticised Mugabe's clean-up
exercise accusing the Zimbabwean leader last week of "destroying" his
country and urging southern African leaders to pressure Harare to change its
controversial policies.

      Zimbabwe Foreign Minister Simbarashe Mumbengegwi could not be reached
for comment on the Congress mission but senior ZANU PF member and the party's
foreign relations secretary, Kumbirai Kangai said the party and its
government will talk and co-operate with "any country except those that
harbour imperial ambitions."

      The US, European Union, Switzerland, New Zealand and Australia have
banned Mugabe and his top officials from visiting their territories and
embargoed military sales to Harare. - ZimOnline

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Zim Online

Top SA human rights lawyer raps evictions
Tue 5 July 2005

      JOHANNESBURG - Prominent South African human rights lawyer George
Bizos has condemned the demolitions of informal settlements in Zimbabwe
saying President Robert Mugabe's campaign against mostly urban dwellers was
clear testimony that the rule of law was seriously compromised in Zimbabwe.

      Bizos made the remarks at the launch ceremony of a book on Movement
for Democratic Change (MDC) leader Morgan Tsvangirai in Johannesburg last

      The biography - Face of Courage - by prominent Zimbabwean-born South
African journalist Sarah Hudleston chronicles the life of the MDC leader and
his struggle for democracy in Zimbabwe.

      Bizos, who represented and secured an acquittal for Tsvangirai over
charges that he plotted to kill President Robert Mugabe, said he had
received enquiries from people wanting to know whether the demolition
campaign in Zimbabwe could possibly be undertaken in South Africa.

      He said his answer was an emphatic no. Bizos said in countries like
South Africa where the rule of law was respected, no one, including the
South African government, could destroy another's property without a court
order authorising them to do so.

      "In South Africa, you cannot demolish any property without an order of
court even if that property - be it a shack - was built illegally on
someone's land because the rule of law is observed in South Africa," said

      He deplored the Zimbabwean government's insistence that it is cleaning
up the city and will provide alternative accommodation to those left

      "You don't destroy before you have built," argued Bizos.

      The prominent lawyer, who represented Nelson Mandela during the
Rivonia trial in the 1960s and saved him and other anti-apartheid activists
from the gallows, lauded Tsvangirai as a courageous crusader for the return
of democracy and the rule of law to Zimbabwe.

      Bizos also recalled the work he did for Tsvangirai during the treason
case with the help of "excellent" Zimbabwean lawyers who helped him prepare
the case. Bizos said Tsvangirai had ultimately been acquitted because he was
a "good witness".

      "For you to be a good lawyer, you need a good client and Morgan was an
excellent witness," he said.

      Bizos maintained that the state case against Tsvangirai had been
fabricated and poorly prepared by the prosecution.

      Speaking at the book launch attended by about 50 invited guests,
Tsvangirai said Bizos occupied a special place in the hearts of many
Zimbabweans because of his work in the treason case.

      The MDC leader conceded he had made a huge error of judgment by
meeting Ari Ben-Menashe, the Canadian based political consultant, who
provided a grainy video tape on which the state based its case during the
treason trial.

      "How I misjudged Ari Ben-Menashe and agreed to meet him is the
greatest mistake I have ever made in my whole life," he said, adding that
his decision to meet Ben-Menashe had been a "moment of weakness".

      He described the new biography on him as being part of the struggle
against the Mugabe regime. Tsvangirai said he would play whatever role he
could in helping Zimbabweans get rid of the Mugabe government.

      He described what Mugabe had done is destroying a country he had so
gallantly fought for its liberation as the "Great Betrayal". - ZimOnline

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Zim Online

Industry wants 90 percent quarterly price hikes
Tue 5 July 2005

      HARARE - Zimbabwe's struggling manufacturers have asked the government
to be allowed to hike prices of basic survival commodities by 90 percent of
inflation after every three months.

      In written submissions to Industry and International Trade Minister
Obert Mpofu, about two weeks ago, the Confederation of Zimbabwe Industries
(CZI), the main representative body of industry and commerce, requested the
government to devise an automatic price review formula for bread,
maize-meal, wheat and flour whose prices it strictly controls.

      Under the proposed price adjustment arrangement, manufacturers of the
four products would simply hike prices by 90 percent of the previous three
months' average inflation as determined by the government's Central
Statistical Office (CSO).

      Manufacturers wishing to increase prices by more than 90 percent of
average inflation in the previous quarter will have to apply individually to
Mpofu's department for special permission to do so, the CZI said.

      "We recommend that on a quarterly basis price monitored products be
granted an automatic price increase of 90 percent of the previous quarter's
inflation as determined by the CSO," the CZI said.

      Zimbabwe's year-on-year inflation, labelled number one enemy by
President Robert Mugabe, has retreated from an all time high of 622.8
percent in January 2004 to 144.4 percent according to the latest figures
released last May by the CSO. But it still remains one of the highest such
rates in the world.

      Mpofu, whose ministry also monitors prices of other basic commodities
such as sugar, salt, cooking oil and cement, could not be reached last night
for comment on the matter.

      But his permanent secretary, Christian Katsande, last week warned
industry that the government would not allow businesses to hike prices by
more than 10 percent. Katsande was speaking after the government increased
the price of scarce fuel by almost 300 percent.

      The CZI said allowing the 90 percent inflation-based automatic price
increases would cut on bureaucratic delays in processing applications by
firms for approval to adjust prices and in the process save companies from
losing millions of dollars in potential earnings.

      The automatic price adjustment formula should be designed in such a
way that it would complement government efforts to curb inflation while
ensuring viability of the manufacturing sector.

      Zimbabwe is battling its worst economic crisis after the International
Monetary Fund (IMF), other financiers and development partners pulled out of
the country over differences with Mugabe on fiscal policy and other
governance issues.

      Mugabe's chaotic seizure of farmland from whites only helped worsen
Zimbabwe's economic problems as the key foreign currency-spinning tobacco
sector was destabilised, while food production plummeted by 60 percent
because the government did not give black peasants it resettled on former
white farms skills training or inputs to maintain production.

      About 44 companies collapsed last year alone weighed down by among
other things, high inflation and severe shortages of fuel, hard cash and

      Unemployment in Zimbabwe stands at over 70 percent while people living
below the poverty line are about the same figure. - ZimOnline

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Zim Online

White farmers still under siege in Zimbabwe
Tue 5 July 2005

      HARARE - White commercial farmers who are still on their land remain
under siege from government supporters despite claims that Zimbabwe's
chaotic land reforms are over, the Commercial Farmers Union (CFU) has said.

      "Government has on many occasions indicated that the land reform
programme has been completed but despite assurances from the relevant
authorities, forced evictions, seizures and threats continue," CFU president
Doug Taylor-Freeme, said in a statement yesterday.

      Taylor-Freeme claimed that of about 400 farmers remaining in Zimbabwe
out of the 4 500 who worked their land before the often violent land reforms
began in 2002, at least five were driven off their land every week.

      "An average of five farmers per week are subjected to forced
evictions," he said.

      A farmer from the eastern Middle Sabi farming region who was "attacked
and severely beaten by six individuals" on Sunday was the latest victim and
the CFU strongly objected to the "constant lawlessness that prevails in the

      "This is unacceptable," added, Taylor-Freeme, urging the government to
end "this senseless violence, threats and intimidation."

      He warned that the food situation in Zimbabwe would not stabilise as
long as order was not returned to commercial farms.

      "The past agricultural season has been difficult with basic
commodities in short supply. There is need to show respect for each other's
lives and property so as to allow the agricultural sector to play its role
within the economy," he said.

      Reports have claimed that the Zimbabwe government is desperate to get
specialist white farmers it had evicted back onto their land, particularly
in the horticultural sector, to improve its empty foreign currency reserves.

      But several evicted farmers interviewed individually by ZimOnline have
rubbished the reports saying no such formal approaches had been made by the
Zimbabwe government for them to return to their land.

      "That's all rubbish. It's mere pub talk. There is no serious
re-engagement between us and this regime," said one farmer who preferred not
to have his name publicised.

      Others said they feared for their safety that they would not bother to
return even when invited while others said they had lost all hope in
Zimbabwe and were busy re-establishing themselves elsewhere and would not
bother to return to their confiscated land. - ZimOnline

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Demolition in Zimbabwe

[see below these letters - I have copied in John Vidal's article of July 1st
to which they refer.]

Tuesday July 5, 2005
The Guardian

John Vidal's analysis of slum clearance in Zimbabwe (Monster of the moment,
July 1) has to be challenged. First of all, the demolition of people's homes
has not only happened in Harare, but also in Bulawayo and other centres of
opposition to the government. The latest estimate is that more than 64,000
families have been displaced, representing 323,385 persons in need of
emergency relief. Even if we accept Vidal's arguments that Harare urban
council had plans to build 150,000 better homes, it is obviously illogical
to break down homes in the middle of winter to rehouse people before
alternative accommodation has been provided.

Of course we must protest when people are displaced on this scale anywhere
in the world. But Zimbabwe is special because it has become symbolic of the
response of some African governments to human-rights violations in Africa.
African governments are demanding to be able to solve their own problems but
have neither condoned nor condemned what is happening in Zimbabwe because
they do not want to be held accountable for the same human-rights abuses in
their own backyards. African people in general and Zimbabweans in particular
need international solidarity to challenge the corruption and lack of
accountability in their governments. As the world turns a blind eye to what
is happening in Zimbabwe, it is saying that it is all right for governments
to sacrifice their people, depriving them of food, education, health and now
the right to shelter.
Dr Farai Madzimbamuto
Dr Sunanda Ray
I have just returned from Zimbabwe and what is occurring is a flagrant abuse
of human rights. "Operation Drive Out Trash" is in clear violation of
several international conventions Zimbabwe has ratified. The parallels with
the forced relocations of the apartheid era in South Africa are inescapable.
John Vidal may think it is only the west which finds the situation
unacceptable. He would do well to speak to the people of Zimbabwe, who find
the official reason of "beautifying" their cities risible.
Judith Melby
Christian Aid

Reading John Vidal's article, I thought about people I know, including
relatives, whose lives have been torn apart because of the wishes of a
ruthless dictator. Regardless of the fact that this obscene exercise started
on May 25, Africa Day, the world has been generally silent. We have seen
Kate Hoey's TV video and others, yet the government still backs leaving our
policy to regional leaders, who of course remain silent. Mugabe has been
monster of the month for some, but for Zimbabweans he has been the monster
of the month for years.
Roger Strudwick
Bushey, Herts

John Vidal says that every year millions of poor people are evicted to make
way for tourism, dams, roads and assorted forms of development; for what
beneficial purpose are Zimbabweans being evicted? The suggestion of new
housing just won't wash; organised states arrange for the rehousing of
people before demolishing their existing dwellings.

The suggestion that Mugabe is unacceptable to so many people because he has
evicted whites is a convenient smokescreen. The eviction of white farmers -
and their black employees - and redistribution of their land to Mugabe's
cronies has led to the massive shortages of food. I submit that the motive
behind Mugabe's actions is to destroy any opposition to his dictatorial rule
and reduce the general populace to being peasants and vassals.
Richard Clatworthy
Beverley, E Yorks

Monster of the moment

Zimbabwe is being hypocritically vilified by the west for forced slum
clearances that are routine throughout the developing world

John Vidal
Friday July 1, 2005
The Guardian

For a month now, the BBC, CNN, ITV and others have been reporting what has
been portrayed as one of the greatest humanitarian and human rights
disasters in years. At least 200,000 people - sometimes this figure grows to
250,000 or even 300,000 - are said to have been forcibly evicted from slum
areas of Harare in Zimbabwe. The figure peaked last week at 1.5 million, but
yesterday the BBC reckoned that bulldozers were now "crashing through the
homes of 500,000 people".

In fact, only about 1.2 million people live in Harare and no one is
suggesting that half the population has fled in terror or that most of the
city has been wrecked. So where are all these allegedly terrorised people? A
few thousand have been filmed in makeshift camps but not many more. Who is
trying to count the numbers? They are almost always attributed to an unnamed
person in an unnamed UN agency. But read the only UN statement on the
evictions and it says nothing of 200,000 people.

The evictions - which are clearly happening on a wide scale - have been
seized on by the west, and the former colonial power Britain in particular,
as another reason to demonise President Mugabe and further humiliate
long-suffering Zimbabwe. It's open season on the Harare regime and it
appears that anyone can say anything they like without recourse to accuracy
or reality. Whipped into a frenzy of hypocritical outrage, the EU, Britain
and the US, as well as the World Bank - all of which have been responsible
for millions of evictions in Africa and elsewhere as conditions of
infrastructure projects - have rushed to condemn the "atrocities".

The vilification of Mugabe is now out of control. The UN security council
and the G8 have been asked to debate the evictions, and Mugabe is being
compared to Pol Pot in Cambodia. Meanwhile, the evictions are mentioned in
the same breath as the genocide in Rwanda and ethnic cleansing in the
Balkans - although perhaps only three people have so far accidentally died.
Only at the very end of some reports is it said that the Harare city
authority's stated reason for the evictions is to build better, legal houses
for 150,000 people.

Perspective is needed. The summary removal of people at gunpoint from their
homes is indefensible, almost certainly unnecessary, and probably
economically counter-productive, but it is not unusual in the developing
world. Every year millions of poor people are evicted to make way for
tourism, dams, roads and airports, for events like the Olympics, and for the
gentrification and beautification of cities, national parks and urban

Nor is it new. Forced evictions, brutal land grabs and slum clearances were
all used by Britain's own rulers in the past to enlarge their estates, build
bigger, more modern cities, construct reservoirs, make way for railways and
lay out fine parks and fashionable areas for the newly rich to live. Rapidly
developing countries are now doing the same as the rich world did during its
own industrial and urban development.

The difference is mostly in numbers. According to UN-Habitat, the
Nairobi-based agency that concerns itself with the urban environment,
hundreds of millions of the world's poor are technically illegal squatters
living in slum communities like those in Harare, liable to be moved on by
private landowners or by governments. In the past five years, slum clearance
programmes have forced more than 150,000 people out of their homes in Delhi;
300,000 people were evicted to make way for Olympic sites in Beijing;
100,000 were moved on in Jakarta; 250,000 were forced out of dam sites in
India; and as many as a million in Lagos and Port Harcourt in Nigeria. There
are many more.

Yet those who like to call themselves "the international community" say
nothing about these mass evictions and the world's press has been mostly
silent. For the World Bank to condemn the Zimbabwean evictions was
particularly rich. According to its own calculations, the bank has funded
projects that have required the eviction of at least 10 million people.

So why are the Harare slum clearances so different? As international monster
of the moment, Mugabe is unacceptable to Britain and the west mainly because
he has chosen to evict whites and redistribute land grabbed in colonial
times. The fact that the African Union and other African leaders are not
prepared to condemn him for the Harare evictions reflects the fact that
they, too, recognise the injustice of the colonial land ownership
inheritance and do not want to see Africa bullied again by the west.

But there may be another reason why African leaders have not condemned the
evictions. Urbanisation is overwhelming most African cities, which have been
flooded by impoverished people forced off the land. According to the UN's
2003 study of urbanisation and slums, the driving force behind the slums of
Africa and Asia is not bad governance or tyrants, but laissez-faire
globalisation, the tearing down of trade barriers, the privatisation of
national economies, structural adjustment programmes imposed on indebted
countries by the IMF, and the lowering of tariffs promoted by the World
Trade Organisation.

Like every city in the world that has tried to clear its slums, Harare will
find that history repeats itself. This year, Zimbabwe faces massive food
shortages that will force more of the urban poor into destitution and drive
yet more people off the land into the cities to look for work. The poor,
punished for their poverty rather than for voting one way or another, will
become poorer and the shacks and shelters so brutally pulled down in the
past month will just go up somewhere else.

However, an alternative to forced evictions is emerging right under Mugabe's
nose. Last year, 250 homeless Zimbabweans, members of the Federation of Slum
and Shackdwellers, negotiated the provision of land from the city authority.
They have now planned the layout of their community, worked out the costs of
the homes and are ready to build. Where are they? Harare.

· John Vidal is the Guardian's environment editor
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The Times

            July 05, 2005

            Proof of deportees' torture puts Clarke under pressure
            By Daniel McGrory and Richard Beeston

            CHARLES CLARKE is under growing pressure to explain why he
assured the Commons that deported Zimbabwean asylum-seekers would come to no
harm, when there is mounting evidence that some have been tortured.
            After revelations in The Times about the violence suffered by
some deportees, MPs from all sides demanded yesterday that the Home
Secretary face them before the start of the G8 summit and spell out whether
Britain can provide any help to these victims.

            Liam Fox, the Shadow Foreign Secretary, called on Mr Clarke to
halt deportations. "All deportations should be stopped to Zimbabwe until we
have in place a mechanism that can assure the safety [of those returned],"
he said. "The Government says that there is no evidence of maltreatment.
That is because the asylum-seekers disappear on their return. The wilful
naivety with which the whole approach to Zimbabwe is being conducted I find

            The Home Secretary also faced demands from a growing chorus of
MPs to report on the deteriorating health of 90 Zimbabwean hunger strikers
held at British detention centres.

            Among them is Absolom Mashamba, 34, a former prosecutor, who is
due to be flown back to Harare today.

            Evan Harris, the Liberal Democrat MP for Oxford and Abingdon,
whose constituency includes the Campsfield House detention centre where Mr
Mashamba is on the fifteenth day of his fast, is trying to block his
removal. "I will be furious if he is removed," Dr Harris said.

            "I told Charles Clarke it is hypocritical to claim that Mugabe
is an evil tyrant with an appalling human rights record and then claim it's
safe to return for anyone who has gone against the regime by making an
asylum claim, let alone one who may have as strong a case as Mr Mashamba

            Mr Mashamba was a senior figure in the Zimbabwe judiciary when
he was arrested in 2001 by police hunting his sister, a noted opposition
figure. She fled to Britain where she was granted asylum status.

            Mr Mashamba's face and head still bear the scars from being
beaten and given electric shocks. "My head was forced into a bucket of dirty
water until I nearly drowned," he told The Times last night.

            Some weeks later he was detained and tortured again. He fled to
Britain on April 17, 2001.

            His claims for asylum were refused and he was held in Walton
prison in Liverpool for a time until fellow Zimbabwean refugees helped him
to get bail.

            Mr Mashamba went underground, living with his English-born
partner to avoid deportation in September 2001, but was arrested last month
as the Home Office stepped up its deportation of Zimbabweans.

            "I would rather die here than face what happened to me before,"
he said. "That will never be wiped from my mind. If they try to handcuff me
and drag me on to a plane I will use what strength I have left to fight
being sent back."

            The Home Office - which misspelled his name on a memo - insisted
again last night that there is no change of heart on forced removals, but
immigration officials have called off a string of deportations since the
hunger strike started. Those given a reprieve last week told The Times
yesterday that they are fearful that they will be sent back once the G8
summit is over.

            Kate Hoey, the Labour MP for Vauxhall, and Alastair Burt, the
Tory MP for Bedfordshire North East, were among those demanding a new
statement from the Home Secretary.

            "It is unprecedented to have so many asylum-seekers on a hunger
strike in detention," Ms Hoey said. "Does Charles Clarke want someone to die
before he comes to his senses?" She is also urging the Government to
persuade the South African authorities not to return a 26-year-old man
deported from Britain last month who escaped custody after being beaten by
Zimbabwean police.

            The victim, who gave his name as Vincent, had worked for a
Christian charity in Bulawayo, which brought him up after his parents were
murdered by a militia belonging to Robert Mugabe's ruling Zanu (PF) party in
the early 1980s.

            He also worked for the opposition Movement for Democratic
Change. He was beaten after being questioned about that work and in November
2002 the charity gave him the money to flee to Manchester.

            When he arrived back at Harare airport last month he was
immediately arrested and beaten during three days of interrogation.

            After his release Vincent went to Bulawayo, where police were
again waiting for him. Two more periods of brutal detention followed and his
relatives were threatened so he escaped to South Africa.

            His cousin, who asked not to be named, told The Times that
Vincent was picked up at the weekend by South African police who said that
he will be sent back within 48 hours.

            A spokesman for the United Network of Detained Zimbabweans said:
"How much more proof does Charles Clarke need that deportees suffer violence
when they are forcibly returned?"

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The Telegraph

Making sense of Africa
(Filed: 05/07/2005)

It is not often that this newspaper finds itself in agreement with Colonel
Muammar Gaddafi of Libya, but he spoke sense at the African Union summit
yesterday. Addressing representatives of the 53-nation grouping, Col Gaddafi
told African leaders to stop "begging" the industrialised world for more aid
because ultimately it would create a wider gap between the richer and poorer

Separately, Morgan Tsvangirai, the Zimbabwean opposition leader, described
Africa's debt problems as "essentially political", and said they would be
solved only by setting up proper political structures. Mr Tsvangirai added
that African leaders risked not being taken seriously by richer countries if
they failed to condemn grotesque repression by dictators such as Robert

The Live8 concerts at the weekend and the protests in the run-up to
tomorrow's G8 meeting in Gleneagles have had the highly beneficial
consequence of opening up the debate about what really needs to be done
about Africa. By their nature, the slogans that galvanise marchers and
concert-goers are short and simplistic. We trust that this week in Scotland,
the G8 leaders take note of the more nuanced thoughts currently coming out
of Africa.
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Zimbabwe's demolition blitz under the spotlight

      Thousands have been left homeless as a result of the demolition blitz
in Zimbabwe

July 05, 2005, 06:15

Envoys from the United Nations (UN) and the African Union (AU) have pushed
ahead with separate missions on Zimbabwe's demolition blitz of informal
settlements. Anna Tibaijuka of the UN envoy decided to add five more days to
her already week-long mission to tour more affected areas in Zimbabwe.

Tibaijuka's aim is to listen to as many people as possible with a view of
understanding the situation without endorsing or discrediting their point of
view. With the operations called, Operation Restore Order and Operation
Murambatsvina now entering its seventh week, hundreds of thousands have been
left homeless. Robert Mugabe, the president, says the action is necessary to
enjoy future comfort.

The African Union is being criticised by Western governments for failing to
speak out against the demolition's and forced evictions.

Tsvangirai slams demolition blitz
Meanwhile, Morgan Tsvangirai, the leader of the Movement for Democratic
Change (MDC), says the number of people "thrown out on the streets" in
Zimbabwe is between 1 million and 1.5 million.

Tsvangirai was addressing the media in Johannesburg after the launch of his
biography, Face of Courage. Tsvangirai said that Mugabe's action to "clean
up" informal settlements during the last few weeks was callous, heartless
and was creating an horrendous humanitarian impact.
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Daily Mirror, Zimbabwe

Harare officials say they were sidelined in turnaround strategy

The Daily Mirror Reporter
issue date :2005-Jul-05

SOME Harare City Council officials have expressed concern after being
sidelined in the implementation of the capital's turnaround strategy that
will see the municipality's departments unbundled into strategic business
units (SBUs).
According to minutes of the council's implementation and monitoring
committee dated June 20 2005, various heads of department raised their
worries in a report circulated by Town Clerk Nomutsa Chideya on progress
made so far.
"The chairman (Jameson Kurasha) reported that heads of department had
expressed concern that they had not been fully involved in the
implementation of the strategic turnaround programme such that they are not
abreast with the chronology of phases or pending stages of the
implementation programme," the minutes read.
The Kurasha-led committee was appointed in May and tasked with implementing
and monitoring Harare's turnaround strategy.
As such, the posts of directors of works, city health and that of chamber
secretary, among others have already been re-advertised.  Added the minutes:
"The Town Clerk and his team should present the report at a special meeting
of this committee to be convened and it implored the heads of department to
firmly and freely contribute in the consideration of the matter."
Harare embarked on its turnaround strategy after service delivery to
residents deteriorated, with the city failing to provide adequate water
supplies and collect refuse on time.
The committee resolved that consideration into the Town Clerk's report be
deferred to its next meeting to allow him time to attend and present the
progress report.
Meanwhile, the committee is also disturbed by the snail pace with which the
acting director of business development was taking to present his progress
report on Rufaro Marketing.
Rufaro Marketing is a wholly-owned council liquor outlet but has been
performing badly due to a number of factors, including intense competition
from private players.
Chamber secretary, Josephine Ncube explained that the delay was to allow the
interim business development boss enough time to follow up on the
appointment of a board of directors and discuss with management of the
liquor outlet on its way forward.
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Daily Mirror, Zimbabwe

Fertiliser shortage looms

Shame Makoshori
issue date :2005-Jul-05

ZIMBABWE should brace for another spate of fertiliser shortages in the
coming season if the foreign currency shortages sweeping across the economy
are not immediately addressed, a leading fertiliser and crop chemicals
producing company said last week.
ZFC managing director Richard Dafana told The Business Mirror that out of
the two fertiliser producing concerns in the country his company requires an
annual 10 000 tonne supply of potash, an imported raw material.
However, the industry had been severely hit by erratic supplies of the
chemical due to the hard currency constraints.
Potash is one of the key raw materials in fertiliser production that is
imported from such countries as Russia, Jordan, South America and Israel.
Dafana said to satisfy the market, ZFC has to produce at full throttle
throughout the year but the plants had been forced to close down on several
occasions this year alone as the foreign currency auction floor has
struggled to attract adequate inflows for material imports.
"It has been a stop-start situation that is not good for the industry. Raw
materials are not coming in full capacity and we stopped producing on
Tuesday last week, right now only one of our production lines is working.
"Added to the potash shortages are some of the locally produced raw
materials such as phosphates from Zimphos and Sables, which are both not
operating at full capacity. If the foreign currency shortages are not
addressed I foresee shortages on the market this season, Dafana said.
At full throttle ZFC produces an annual output of 300 000 metric tonnes of
fertiliser for various crops.
The combined capacity of ZFC and another player, Windmill is 600 000 tones
per annum but the foreign currency shortages have resulted in failure to
meet market demand despite a reduction in land tillage in the past five
years due to the current transition in the farming sector.
Last season, hundreds of tonnes of the critical product ended up on the
black market where farmers who accessed it at the official market were
reselling at exorbitant prices.
Dafana added that despite the challenges, ZFC has procured additional potash
and shipments were in transit.
The company is expected to produce at full capacity by next month if the
consignment arrives in the next six weeks.
Meanwhile, information received last week indicated that ZFC has positioned
itself for the ISO 14001 standard certification.
Officials said in its quest to produce high quality products of
international standards, ZFC had engaged the Standards Association of
Zimbabwe (SAZ) on the project, whose completion is pencilled for next month.
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Daily Mirror, Zimbabwe

Patients in need of drugs - study

The Daily Mirror Reporter
issue date :2005-Jul-05

THE majority of patients in Goromonzi District are in dire need of
pain-relieving drugs, a recent study has revealed.
According to the study commissioned by the Island Hospice, 59 percent of
patients needed pain relief drugs, while 50 percent want drugs for reprieve
of other symptoms.
In addition, 50 percent of patients were unable to look after themselves
because of their health condition, hence the need for constant supervision
from either health workers or relatives.
The study also noted that 48 percent of patients needed food.
Furthermore, nine percent of patients needed counselling on various
ailments, nine percent required transport for them to travel to and from
health centres for regular check-ups while 11 percent needed other
The study also highlighted the problems faced by families looking after
patients at home.
Shortage of resources for care such as food and drugs was on top of the
list, with 86 percent of families raising it as the major hindrance to
effective care and recovery of patients.
Thirty-six percent of families raised problems in handling pain experienced
by patients who receive treatment at home, with 32 percent complaining that
they were getting little support from health care workers.
Families taking care of their relatives at home also cited problems in
caring for bed-ridden patients.
Fourteen percent of families often find it difficult to engage in other
chores because of the time spent caring for the ailing relative, the study
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Daily Mirror, Zimbabwe

Homeless camp along river bank

The Daily Mirror Reporter
issue date :2005-Jul-05

THE banks of Mukuvisi River have been turned into a squatter camp around
Mbare as scores of families settle.
Their illegal shacks were destroyed by the police during the on-going
clean-up operation
The river, which is laden with effluent from Harare's industries, is now
carrying the extra burden of domestic waste as the squatters throw their
filth into the water that is fed into the city's main water reservoir - Lake
Some people only come to put up by the river at night, disappearing early in
the morning, while other families have opted to stay in open spaces in the
suburb, although they always keep a wary eye on the police, who can swoop on
them at any time.
This is not the first time that squatters have invaded Mukuvisi's banks. In
1991, scores of families were rounded up by the police and municipality and
relocated to Porta Farm, about 30 km from Harare on the Bulawayo Road, ahead
of the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting in the city that same year.
Other squatters were also relocated to the farm from Epworth's Jacha area,
Gunhill and opposite Mbare Musika.
The joint Harare City Council/government operation, which the authorities
say is meant to rid the city of illegal structures and crime, has left
thousands homeless and scores of children out of school. Those who failed to
relocate to their rural areas or have no relatives to accommodate them have
resorted to squatting, although they know that the operation, dubbed
Murambatsvina/Restore Order, will catch up with them once more.
Some of the affected people, who said they were second-generation aliens and
had nowhere to go, were struggling to provide shelter for their children,
some of whom are still toddlers.
The authorities have already taken some of the affected families to a
transit camp at Caledonia Farm near Tafara to the east of the capital,
although no water and sanitary facilities have been provided there.
Police have already asked stakeholders to assist the families settled at the
Shamiso Makwanza (23), who is staying with her three siblings - all below
the age of five - on the banks of the river said:
"Our lives have been destroyed. I was living in the Joburg Lines with my
younger brothers and sister while I made a living selling vegetables at the
bus terminus. Now that they have destroyed our houses and prohibited us from
selling our wares at Mbare Musika, we don't know what to do next."
She added they had lived most of their lives in the suburb.
"I was born here and I was just a kid when I last went to my rural home in
Mutare. Both my parents are late. Even if I were to go back to Mutare, I
wouldn't know where exactly to start from."
Obert Nhinga, who was also a vendor at the market, said the operation had
not only left him homeless, but also unemployed.
"Besides destroying our homes, they also confiscated our wares which were
our only source of income. We have spent the past three weeks here living in
the open and exposed to wind, as it is so close to the river. Some of us
have little kids here and it's just painful to think that they also have to
put up with these harsh weather conditions."
Thomas Pauta, who reportedly lost a tuckshop during the blitz, said he did
not have money to ferry his belongings to his rural home in Murehwa.
"I can't sell my property because that is all I have. Until they have given
us somewhere to go, I will continue living here," he said.
Besides those living on the banks of the river, some families have also
relocated to a former vegetable market, which also does not have water and
sanitary facilities.
Isaac Marembo, who did not know his date of birth, said he was originally
from Mozambique and had nowhere else to go. "My parents were from Mozambique
and I came here as a small boy. I have been living here ever since and have
nowhere else to go. I was surviving on vending but that has all been
destroyed," he said. Marembo has since built himself a makeshift home from
John Kashiri, a security guard who hails from Mutare, said he had sent his
family back to his rural home while he looked for alternative accommodation.
Harare spokesperson Leslie Gwindi said all those on open spaces would be
removed. He urged them to go back where they came from - though definitely
not to their former homes in the suburb.
"As we have said, people came from somewhere and they should go back to
where they came from. All those in open spaces will be removed," he said.
Government has pledged to provide 20 000 stands to those affected by the
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Daily Mirror, Zimbabwe

US congressional staff in Zimbabwe

The Daily Mirror Reporter
issue date :2005-Jul-05

A UNITED States congressional staff delegation is in the country on a
four-day official visit to assess the current political, economic and health
conditions in Zimbabwe.
The team will also evaluate important bilateral issues between the US and
Gregory Simpkins and Dr Pearl-Alice Marsh, professional staff members of the
US House of Representatives International relations Committee (HIRC)
responsible for advising the HIRC and members for the U.S Congress arrived
on July 2 2005 and are expected to leave Wednesday.
 The delegation is expected to meet with government officials, religious
leaders and representatives from President Robert Mugabe's Zanu PF and
Morgan Tsvangirai's opposition MDC. They are also expected to tour Harare
and Bulawayo during their assessment of the political, economic and health
conditions in the country.
On the political scene, there is a stand-off between the two feuding
political parties- Zanu PF and the MDC -  which has had an adverse impact on
the economy effectively crippling the health sector now characterised with
an acute shortage of essential drugs as a result of foreign currency

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Cape Times

      Glimmer of hope
      July 5, 2005

      by The Editor

      Several events in Zimbabwe over the last decade have plunged that
once-promising country into political turmoil and economic disaster.

      Now, at last, there may be some glimmer of hope in sight.

      These include last weekend's resignation of Pearson Mbalekwa, a former
Zanu-PF parliamentarian, from the ruling party in protest against the
demolitions which have left thousands of urban people homeless.

      "I cannot be seen to be part of the ... exercise, which has caused
untold suffering to people whom we claim to represent," he said.

      The significance of Mbalekwa's resignation must not be underestimated:
he is a former Zanu-PF central committee member and was once a senior
director of Zimbabwe's notorious Central Intelligence Organisation.

      Sunday's meeting between opposition Movement for Democratic Change
leader Morgan Tsvangirai and President Thabo Mbeki, for a change, also
provided room for some optimism about Zimbabwe's future.

      "He (Mbeki) understands the urgency," said Tsvangirai yesterday. "My
sense is that he knows and appreciates the fact that he has to take the lead
or there will be no movement in resolving the Zimbabwe crisis."

      And, on the eve of this week's meeting of the G8, some countries have
indicated that they will increase pressure to find a resolution to the
Zimbabwe crisis.

      Hopefully these and other recent developments will not make President
Robert Mugabe more intransigent. But less confrontational approaches have
been explored, and produced no discernible results.

      Direct engagement, it seems, is the only alternative. It is time for
Mbeki and the rest of the Southern African Development Community to grasp
the nettle.

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The Mercury

      SA wants 'refined' relocations in Zim
      July 5, 2005

      By Sheena Adams

      South Africa has stopped short of criticising Zimbabwe's violent
eviction of hundreds of thousands of urban dwellers, calling instead for
"refined methods" of relocation.

      The comment from Housing Minister Lindiwe Sisulu was in response to
the explanation given by Zimbabwe's minister for local government, public
works and urban development yesterday for the controversial "Operation
Restore Order" at a housing seminar.

      The minister, Morris Kasabuya, said that the thousands of families
forcibly removed from urban centres by the Zimbabwean police were a planned
part of the country's "noble" housing programme.

      "The people who we have moved from Harare are those who have engaged
in illegal activities, illegal vending, smuggling of goods and . . . all
sorts of social decadences that you can think about in this world. Some
would even establish unauthorised illegal brothels and we could not allow
that to happen," he told delegates at the International Housing Research
Seminar in Cape Town.

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

      "I honestly believe that you as sister countries also have programmes
where you are removing illegal people who are doing illegal activities, but
when it is done by Zimbabwe it's another story."

      He said the country's land reform programme was not a "political
gimmick" as many people believed.

      "We know where we are coming from and we know where we are going. The
rural-urban migration has reached alarming levels . . . That is why we
undertook the resettlement programme. We were trying to decongest urban
areas and tribal trust rural areas," he said.

      Sisulu, speaking after Kenyan Housing Minister Amos Kimunya's veiled
criticism of the Zimbabwean government's way of dealing with urban
congestion, said Kasabuya spoke "at a very interesting time" in the
development of housing strategies in Zimbabwe.

      "I'm certain that your presence here will provide a certain fervour in
our discussions, and I can see the eyes glinting out there raring to have a
discussion on this issue," she said.

      "I am convinced . . . that the unity and purpose of developing
countries has never been stronger on matters of common concern, but we need
to refine, as the Honourable Kimunya from Nairobi has indicated, we need
also to refine the methods that we adopt."

      Kimunya had said that the Kenyan government sympathised with Zimbabwe
because it also struggled with illegal land tenants who "do not move until
they see a bulldozer".

      "I think the difference may well be the approach," he had added.

      According to the United Nations, at least 300 000 people have been
displaced as part of the government's crackdown on impoverished families
living in urban areas.

      Aid organisations say five people, including two children, have lost
their lives in the mass demolitions.

      The opposition MDC says that the demolitions are intended to punish
urban residents who did not support President Robert Mugabe in recent

      Mugabe, however, says the crackdown is meant to restore order in urban
areas overrun by crime.

      The UN said in a statement yesterday that its special envoy for human
settlements, Anna Tibaijuka, who was in Zimbabwe assessing the situation,
had decided to extend her stay by one week to tour more affected areas.

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African leaders set aid agenda
By Paul De Bendern in Sirte, Libya
July 05, 2005
From: Reuters

AFRICAN Union chairman Olusegun Obasanjo has urged rich nations to send the
continent "massive" financial help, saying it was moving from a past of
military coups to a future of good governance.

Mr Obasanjo, president of Africa's most populous country, Nigeria, said he
hoped this week's Group of Eight (G8) summit would extend a recent debt
cancellation agreed for 14 African countries.
"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 in Libya.

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 this

But he said rich nations should also 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.
"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.

However, Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi said Western aid was not the answer.

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

Nevertheless, it is Mr 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

AU spokesman Desmond Orjiako, a Nigerian, said the AU would ask the G8 to
improve the quality of aid.

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 per cent of Africans live on less than $US1 ($1.30) 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 summits, the AU 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.

"African leaders have said loud and clear and demonstrated our resolve that
never again shall we allow unconstitutional changes of government," Mr
Orjiako said.

UN 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.

There was no mention in the agenda of Zimbabwe, in keeping with the AU's
habitual deference to President Robert Mugabe, an icon of the continent's
anti-colonial struggle.

But summit guests included European Commission President Jose Manuel
Barroso, who has urged Africa to join in global condemnation of Mr 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.
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