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

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Zim Standard

      Mugabe in self destruct mode

      By Farai Mutsaka

      GOVERNMENT has prepared itself a time bomb following revelations that
it is to force school leavers and tertiary graduates to enrol for compulsory
national service, commentators say.

      In his slide down the greasy pole of political oblivion, President
Mugabe has since the 2000 parliamentary election sought to militarise
virtually all facets of society.

      The latest victims of Mugabe's obsession with power are the country's
youths who will from next year have to undergo compulsory national service
to instil in them "a sense of patriotism".

      The service will be a prerequisite for graduation from high school or
tertiary education.

      Facing a rising tide of anger from the country's restless youth who
have not been taken in by his nationalist rhetoric, Mugabe is seeking to
reign them in through mandatory national service.

      Initially a voluntary exercise when introduced late last year, the
service is now compulsory for all school leavers, as well as those
graduating from tertiary institutions.

      Apart from being imbuing the youths with Zanu PF propaganda the
national service will seek to give them the basics in military training and
this aspect of it, warn analysts could produce problems for Mugabe. They say
the very idea of compulsory youth service is the refuge of a crumbling

      Says Charlton Hwende, the secretary for International affairs for the
International Union of Students: "The concept of national service is easily
associated with the likes of Kamuzu Banda and Adolf Hitler, whose youth
movements killed many just to maintain them in power. The idea is to turn
them against proponents of democracy. The national service is usually
favoured by regimes teetering on the brink of collapse."

      Mugabe is facing the biggest threat to his 22-year grip on power from
the two-and-a-half-year MDC party, which already has 56 of the 120 contested
seats in parliament-a feat never before achieved by any opposition party in

      The party also narrowly lost the March presidential election which was
marred by intimidation, violence and a host of irregularities.

      The MDC is, however, challenging the outcome in court and has also
warned of possible mass action to force Mugabe into conducting a rerun of
the poll which has been dismissed by the international community, including
observers from the continent.

      Analysts say Mugabe, alarmed by the mass action threat, has decided to
introduce compulsory national service to forestall the very people who were
expected to spearhead the drive.

      Nelson Chamisa, the MDC national youth chairman, says by decreeing
compulsory national service, Mugabe was preparing himself for a violent

      "Our own feeling is that Mugabe is trying to militarise society. It is
clear that Zanu PF does not have its own youth so it is trying to create a
young cadreship for the future. But Mugabe is going to be training people
who will overthrow him. The youths will be equipped to deal with a dictator.
Not all the youths from that service will be able to get employment and
those left out will be ripe for terrorist activity."

      "This exercise exhibits a bankruptcy of ideas in government in terms
of policy mix and prescription. Once those youths find out that they have
been cheated, they will explode. Mugabe is sitting on a volcano ready to
erupt," says Chamisa.

      The fact that most of the country's youth are against the idea of
compulsory national service makes it even more dangerous for Mugabe to
embark on the programme, commentators say. Added to Mugabe's problems is the
fact that the country's civic movement and the opposition have their
powerbase among the youth.

      Innocent Mupara, a student leader expelled from the University of
Zimbabwe, echoes Chamisa's sentiments.

      "Mugabe is using the wrong idea. If he wanted to create a docile
generation he should have started with kindergarten kids who would then grow
up thinking he is a demigod. That's what the Talibans do. Trying to make a
25-year-old student start singing praises about a man he has been
criticising for the past 10 years is like teaching an old dog new tricks.
Mugabe is simply digging his own grave.The kind of training they will get
will make them more efficient thereby facilitating Mugabe's exit much
earlier than anticipated,"says Mupara.

      Takura Zhangazha, an advocacy officer with the Media Institute of
Southern Africa, however, believes it is possible for Mugabe to create an
anti-demoracy movement.

      "We are going to have a generation that will not be able to stand up
for democracy because of heavy indoctrination. They are not going to
explode. There will be no such thing as a revolution. The exercise cannot be
a starting point for mass action. The regime has mastered the art of
repression. If the youths are going to explode, they will have to be so now
rather than after the national service. They will have to mobilise and fight
for policy change now," he says
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Zim Standard

      Tsvangirai rallies banned

      By Zwakele Sayi

      MDC president, Morgan Tsvangirai, has been barred from campaigning for
his party for the forthcoming local government elections, The Standard has

      In a twist of events seen as a ploy to enhance the ruling party's
chances of winning the impending local government elections, police have
barred Tsvangirai from holding over 20 scheduled rallies to drum up support
for his party's candidates.

      In denying Tsvangirai permission to hold the rallies, the police
accused the MDC leader of advocating violence and mass stayaways, saying
they could not guarantee his safety.

      But MDC officials contend that the police are being used by the ruling
party to thwart the party's campaign and ensure a Zanu PF victory.

      Government has announced its intention to hold local government
elections countrywide in September.

      Although the ruling party won in most rural constituencies during the
2000 parliamentary polls and March's presidential election, the current mass
starvation being experienced in rural areas and a reluctance by war veterans
to campaign for Zanu PF is likely to tilt the vote in MDC's favour.

      Tsvangirai confirmed to The Standard yesterday that the police had
barred him from campaigning for his candidates.

      "I can confirm that a number of rallies I was supposed to address were
cancelled at the last minute. What is happening is almost a pattern to
deliberately use Posa (the Public Order and Security Act) against us. Zanu
PF does not need to apply to hold meetings. So many meetings are taking
place in the rural areas and they are not applying for permission. If we
hold any meetings we are brutalised, so literally no meeting of any
substance by the MDC will be allowed to take place. It is a deliberate move
to choke off the MDC from campaigning.

      ''The police have become partisan and this is because of war veterans
who have been promoted and are manning most of the sensitive areas. It just
shows you we can't have a fair election in this country. You have elections
whose outcome are predetermined. Apart from us being banned from
campaigning, we have witnessed the discriminatory distribution of food and
general violence against the people. Surprisingly, the people remain
steadfast in their desire for change," said Tsvangirai.

      Apart from the ban, the police has been accused of sponsoring terror
against MDC supporters in rural areas.

      Last week, the MDC chairman for Buhera district, Justin Mugashu, and
four other officials were seriously brutalised by police details, said

      While the police has barred the MDC from campaigning for the
elections, ruling party MPs and officials have been enticing voters by
dishing out maize handouts to impoverished rural families.

      MDC shadow minister for agriculture, Renson Gasela, and shadow
minister for local government, Paul Themba Nyathi, accused the ruling party
of using food aid to buy votes.

      "In September this year, there will be local government elections
throughout the country. Their (Zanu PF) only campaign tool is food. This is
a shameless violation of the human rights of a starving population. Numerous
cases of depriving people of food because they belong to the MDC have been
documented. Zanu PF has a history in this area as it will be remembered that
during Gukurahundi, there was a total food blackout in Matabeleland South
for three months. This regime is motivated by its unlimited craving for
power," they said in a joint statement.

      MDC MPs and officials on the forefront of the campaign are now up in
arms with the police and are now threatening to take legal action

      MDC Manicaland provincial spokesman, Pishai Muchauraya, said
Tsvangirai was supposed to address five rallies in the province but was
stopped by the police.

      "Tsvangirai was supposed to address rallies in Mutasa, Chipinge,
Nyanga and two in Chimanimani, but we were stopped by the police. We also
had meetings lined up in five venues in Chipinge North and South for every
Saturday and Sunday up to September 30 in preparation for the rural council
elections, but we have since been told these have been banned. We are now
not sure how we are supposed to campaign."

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Zim Standard

      The forgotten people of Epworth, Hatcliffe

      By Itai Dzamara

      RESIDENTS at squatter camps in Epworth and Hatcliffe Extension
situated just outside Harare, are waiting for government to fulfil its
promise to end their accommodation woes, seven years after the pledge was

      During his presidential campaign in 1995, Mugabe promised that
squatters evicted from the Porta and Churu farms, then owned by the late
opposition Zanu Ndonga leader Rev Ndabaningi Sithole, would be assisted by
the government.

      During this year's presidential campaign, Mugabe revisited the area
and made a similar pledge but this time few people took the beleaguered
president seriously.

      Chisoni Magaya, 60, a resident of Hatcliffe Extension since 1994 said
he had lost all hope of an end to their predicament, because of the apparent
hypocrisy of Mugabe and his ruling Zanu PF party.

      Said Magaya: "I no longer believe that our situation may be solved. In
1995, Mugabe came to us and promised that government would immediately
address our plight by building houses for us and making available all the
basic services. But, he forgot about us when he won the election."

      Magaya lives in a two-roomed wood cabin with his wife and four
daughters. They have to walk about one kilometre to obtain water. The pit
they use as a toilet is covered by tall grass.

      Before the 2000 parliamentary election, the Zanu PF chairman, John
Nkomo, who was then minister of local government, visited the area and
informed the squatters that they were not to worry as government had decided
to permanently allocate them stands.

      After the parliamentary election which saw Zanu PF record a narrow
victory over the opposition MDC, the residents found themselves again
forgotten until when yet another 'good Samaritan' in the form of Joseph
Chinotimba came their way.

      "This year, before the March presidential elections, Chinotimba came
and told us that he was going to use his influence to make sure that our
plight was addressed by government and that was that," said a resident of
Hatcliffe Extension.

      As the problem of the squatter camps, situated a stone's throw from
the city's affluent low density suburbs of Borrowdale and Park Meadowlands,
continue unabated, a serious health hazard is threatening the lives of the
thousands of residents who are languishing in abject poverty, without tapped
water, electricity or proper sanitary facilities. Their plight epitomises
the callous neglect of these areas by the Mugabe government.

      Epworth, 15 km northeast of Harare, has been in existence since the
early 80s, when mostly immigrants from neighbouring countries such as Malawi
and Mozambique, settled there. They were gradually joined by Zimbabweans
migrating from their rural homes in search of work in Harare.

      Tapera Mutemaringa, who resides with her wife and five children, two
sons and three daughters in a two roomed wood cabin, says he is disappointed
that no-one seems keen to address their problems.

      Like the Magayas, the Mutemaringas travel about a kilometre in search
of water, do not have electricity and use a makeshift pit latrine.

      Mutemaringa was removed from Porta farm by government in 1995 and
dumped at Hatcliffe Extension about 17 km southeast of Harare.

      "We are paying a monthly rent of $500 but, we do not benefit in any
way. We have no water or electricity and no access to communication services
such as a post office," says Golden Muuya, 35.

      Gift Dende, who stays in Epworth's Overspill area lambasted
government, the local board and Hatfield MP, Tapiwa Mashakada of the
opposition MDC. Said Dende: "Government officials only come here during
campaign periods to deceive us with a lot of promises, whilst their people
at the board continue to abuse funds. Even Mashakada seems to be
indifferent. He came during the campaigns and we voted for him, then he came
back only to thank us for the victory and has not implemented any of his

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Dear Family and Friends,
This morning I got an email from farmers recently evicted from their home detailing their ordeal and all the horrors they have been through at the hands of men who call themselves war veterans and government supporters. Their letter ended with these words: "In the meantime, like many others in Zimbabwe, the workers and their families, my wife and I are all unemployed and have no fixed abode." There are now hundreds of people in exactly this situation in Zimbabwe and unless there is a miracle within the next fortnight, this number will become hundreds of thousands as the government closes down 3000 commercial farms around the country. There are more and more cases now where farm workers, desperate to secure as much money as they can for the bleak months that inevitably lie ahead, have begun barricading their employers into their houses. Farm workers, often with the assistance of government supporters, threaten violence and refuse to let the farmers and their families out until they are paid enormous sums of retrenchment money. You can hardly blame them either and have to understand the reality of a country in economic collapse. One man earning one small salary has to support far more than just his wife and children. There is almost always a huge extended family consisting of  unemployed brothers and uncles, orphaned children whose parents have died of Aids and friends who have lost their jobs and belongings in the political turmoil of twenty nine months. This tragic situation is being ignored by our government and is not confined only to farmers and their workers. Everyone is climbing onto the bandwagon. Many house owners now demand rent in US dollars, property and car prices have soared into multi millions and basics like food, clothes and education have become unaffordable for most.
A few days ago, speaking on BBC Radio 4, Bob Geldof said that people were "bored stupid" of seeing images of starving people in Africa. This may be so but I think for me one of the most important lessons I have learned, thanks to war veterans and politicians, is the incredible goodness and kindness of ordinary people. Last week I wrote about my destitute 84 year old neighbour begging for a loaf of bread. I had him round for tea yesterday and his eyes filled with tears and his hands shook around the first cup of tea with milk and sugar that he'd had for two days. He has not shaved for over a week because he cannot afford shaving cream, soap or even razor blades anymore. When he left I hugged him and could feel his ribs and the fragility of hunger. Many, many people are going to die of hunger in Zimbabwe in the months ahead. It is not our fault that we have been unable to stop an incredibly powerful government from dragging us into this hell. Many people have been speaking out to try and effect change for 29 months and perhaps now, as things reach rock bottom, many more will begin to put aside their fear and speak out too. Dozens of people have asked me how they can help Zimbabwe in cash and kind and I hope by next week to have a number of reputable organisations to suggest. Until next week, with love, cathy
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Daily Record

Seized Mugabe minister protests over treatment Jul 27 2002

A Zimbabwean government minister, due to be deported from the UK, claims his
treatment by the British Government was "unjust".

Joshua Malinga, the ruling Zanu PF Party's deputy secretary for disability,
was seized at Gatwick Airport last night while trying to board a flight for
New York where he was due to attend a disability conference.

Wheelchair-bound Mr Malinga, who is travelling with his disabled wife, is
one of 52 people subject to a European Union travel ban which was only
passed on July 23.

Speaking from the Arora International Hotel in Crawley, Mr Malinga says he
is due to board an Air Zimbabwe flight back to Harare from Gatwick.

He said: "I feel strongly that this is unfair and unjust.

"I was in transit to New York because I am president of an international
human rights group, Disabled Peoples International, and I was travelling in
that capacity.

"I was also going to a United Nations conference on disabled people."

He claims he has been detained for up to nine hours by officials at the
airport without being given full details of his fate.

"I am very angry that they (the British Government) should have told me at
8pm when I arrived, but they kept me until 5am at Gatwick without telling me
what they had decided," he said.

"I think the decision should have been made earlier. They had me on the
list, why delay me?

"That is a violation of my human rights as a disabled person. I was sitting
in a wheelchair the whole day, without proper treatment. They did not
attempt to understand my situation."

Daily Record

Zimbabwe threatens to ban some British officials Jul 27 2002

The Zimbabwean government is threatening to compile a list of British
citizens barred from entry into the country in retaliation for the
deportation of a senior ruling party official from England.

British officials said Joshua Malinga, a politburo member and deputy
secretary for disability in President Robert Mugabe's ruling Zanu PF Party,
was violating European Union sanctions which banned top Zimbabwean officials
from travel abroad.

Malinga and his wife were detained and ordered deported after they tried to
board a flight to New York at Gatwick Airport near London.
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Zim Standard

      When truth is disreputable

      overthetop By Brian Latham

      THE disinformation minister in a troubled central African country has
threatened a US-based news broadcaster, accusing it of using 'colonial
tactics,' Over The Top has learnt.

      It is understood that the American news organisation was left somewhat
confused after it was explained that requesting an interview was a colonial

      "This comes as news to us," said a spokesman for the TV broadcaster,
"No one has ever told us what 'colonial tactics' are before," he said adding
that if asking for an interview was considered an underhand colonial tactic,
the whole future of disseminating news would be brought into question. "It
will be very difficult to produce balanced news if we're not allowed to
interview anyone," he pointed out.

      Still, sources within the troubled central African country's
disinformation department shrugged off the American broadcaster's concerns.

      "It's a simple matter," said a clearly deranged spokesman from the
department, "you just make the news up like we do in our own newspapers and
TV stations."

      The disinformation spokesman explained that he used the same principle
when writing presidential speeches. "That's why we describe mass starvation
and emergency food aid for six million people as an unqualified success in
the field of agrarian reform," he explained.

      Still, the point needed explaining just a day before citizens of the
troubled central African nation were left scratching their heads and
muttering obscenities under their breath when they heard the most equal of
all comrades blame food shortages on a group of bewildered grey people
inhabiting a small patch of mud between the coasts of Ireland and France.

      The most equal of all comrades had also promised an end to all drought
due to the unqualified success of shutting down the farms in the troubled
central African country.

      "That should solve the problem," said a man who'd been queuing for
three days in the hope of getting whatever it was he was queuing for. He
told OTT that he had no idea what was at the other end of the queue,
explaining that the queue was so long he expected it to take at least
another day for word to filter back with news of the commodity at the other
end. "Still," he said, "In a way, the most equal of all comrades is right.
If half of us die of starvation, there should be enough food left for the

      Meanwhile, both the most equal of all comrades and the department of
disinformation intensified their efforts to persuade the world that food
shortages were another 'colonial tactic' designed to steal the souls of the
troubled central African nation's sovereignty. Not that the claim held much
sway in food queues around the country. "They can have the soul of our
sovereignty, whatever that is," said one miserable woman, "I'll willingly
settle for a plate of hot food."

      Still, the most equal of all comrades' comment about the soul of the
troubled central African country's sovereignty had millions of hungry
citizens perplexed. Many wanted to know what sovereignty was, what it was
worth and how it could have a soul? "It sounds like a lot of nonsense to
me," said a man 300 metres from the front of a queue, "it sounds to me like
he's been smoking something. Did you know that cigarettes are also in short

      At this point a wildly gesticulating man in the queue turned around
and pointed out that the only commodity not in short supply in the troubled
central African nation was comrades. "We have lots of comrades," he
screamed. "If we could export comrades we'd be the wealthiest country in
Africa, but the problem is, no one wants comrades because they're
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Zim Standard

      Pull back from the brink, Mr President


      PRESIDENT Robert Mugabe has again disappointed the country. Opening
parliament last week, he made a speech high on vitriol and low on solutions
to the Zimbabwe crisis. Not once did he acknowledge the role of the
government's disastrous policies in the nation's descent into anarchy,
starvation and poverty.

      Instead, he blamed Zimbabwe's embarrassing decline on British
machinations and neo-colonialism (whatever that means)-and described the
cause of mass hunger, the violent invasion of Zimbabwe's farms, as an
unqualified success. The speech was depressing for its failure to identify
the real issues at stake in our present situation. The same old medicine-no
new approach was offered.

      But even more threatening was Mugabe's rigid dismissal of any
devaluation of Zimbabwe's embattled dollar. Anyone who suggests devaluation
is a good thing, implied Mugabe, is either Zimbabwe's enemy or a saboteur of
the economy.

      That obviously puts both finance minister Simba Makoni and Reserve
Bank governor Leonard Tsumba in an awkward and extremely untenable position.
Both men have been advocating devaluation for months. If they don't resign
now, after being so rudely insulted, then they must live with the attendant
ridicule that will surely follow. But we think they probably won't resign.
Like good and obedient little cadres of this discredited government, they'll
pretend they're braving it out for the good of the people.

      They'll imply that they're making courageous little forays behind the
scenes to assure business that they're doing what they can to water down the
idiotic rhetoric that emanates from elsewhere in cabinet. But no sane
Zimbabwean will buy that nonsense.

      Besides, just what economy was the president talking about? It has
shrunk so far and so fast under his tutelage that it is all but
unrecognisable. Keeping the country afloat-just-is a beleaguered export
sector that will follow agriculture into the abyss if devaluation does not
come soon.

      The alarming trend of company closures in the manufacturing, tourism
and non-financial sectors of the economy resulting in the loss of thousands
upon thousands of jobs must give any Zanu PF politician pause for serious
thought. It does not take an economist, neither does one have to be a rocket
scientist to know that this avoidable decline is happening at a time when
there is record inflation and when the country is facing a crippling foreign
currency crisis.

      Zimbabweans are thus rapidly coming to the conclusion that the ruling
party's grasp on basic economics is no more advanced than a five year old's.

      Either that, or an awful lot of chefs are making an awful lot of money
out of playing the black market. That means they have a vested interest in
the continuation of this economic chaos to the detriment of the rest of us
ordinary folk.

      The government needs to be told in no uncertain terms that this is a
world that is not only round but also wired and networked and there is no
way we can isolate ourselves. It is important to point out to President
Mugabe that this world has entered the millennium stage in which common
sense plays a much greater role than knee-jerk ideological faiths.

      It is now boys' work to be obsessed with ideology. Government must
deal with the circumstances of the day just as emergency hospital wards have
to deal with accidents. It is a life of a thousand compromises, regardless
of how unpleasant they might be to one President Robert Mugabe. After all,
Zimbabwe is much bigger than you Mr President and will always be there when
you have yourself bowed to the passage of time.

      Just this week, stories reached Harare of starving villagers cooking
and eating dung scavenged from the bush around Victoria Falls. It's similar
story around the country. This is Zanu PF's shameful legacy to the people.
How they choose to live with their legacy is up to them, but Zanu PF will
never be taken seriously again and will forever suffer the contempt of those
who truly love this land.

      In the midst of the country's worst ever humanitarian disaster,
President Mugabe manages to find scapegoats in far away lands-and vows to
turn away food offered on conditions that might offend his concept of
sovereignty. What sovereignty Mr president are you talking about when people
are starving? The point must be made that the world does not owe Zimbabwe a

      Now the President and Zanu PF are bent on worsening a situation that
most Zimbabweans hoped (and perhaps even believed) couldn't get any worse.
Having destroyed the engine that produces food locally, the President is now
destroying the engine that is, or was, capable of importing food. If Zanu PF
believe they can use spurious legislation to force importers to buy food at
Z$700 to the US dollar and sell it Z$55 to the dollar, then they are clearly
not just deluded, but clearly insane.

      Much that has happened in Zimbabwe over the last 28 months is so
irrational that more and more people are questioning whether the country's
impoverishment isn't happening by design. And while the chefs are sitting
comfortably in their northern suburbs mansions, or being driven around in
air-conditioned luxury, the rest of the nation grows poorer-not by the
month, nor even by the week, but by the day.

      For this reason alone, it's worth condemning President Mugabe's stance
on devaluation. With the economy disappearing, about the only hope of even
moderately easing the plight of the man in the street are urgent measures to
put the economy back on its feet.

      All the vague allusions to new fiscal regimes for mining, incentives
for exporters and inputs for agriculture, will come to nothing unless
Zimbabwe's currency reflects its true worth and we get our house in order.

      We therefore plead with you Mr President: Please pull back from the
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Zim Standard

      My house has become a railway station!

      americannotes by Ken Mufuka

      WHEN we were growing up, I remember that Thomas Zawaira's house in
Masvingo was nicknamed "KuRailway Station." There were always a visitors
there, complete with "katundu" luggage as if they were refugees.

      Now my house is like a railway station- in the last year alone, I have
entertained twenty refugees from Zimbabwe. Names have been slightly changed
to protect the innocent.

      Mr And Mrs Dziva were smallholder farmers from one of the purchase
areas in Zimbabwe. They were visiting us in January, right in the middle of
what should have been their busiest farming period. They were not in a hurry
to return to their chores. "Things have been spoiled for us," they said.
"Zvinhu zvaspoirwa neVakuru!"

      Educated at one of the mission schools they were articulate in their
explanations. In the previous year they had bought $50 000 worth of
fertilisers and other inputs. For a similar output this year, they needed
$200 000. "Nai VaMufuka, asi tavakupenga?" It seemed to me that surely they
were "penga" if they had allowed inflation to run them out of business in a
space of one year.

      A white insurance broker I had known in Masvingo also came by. He had
married an American wife and that gave him a right to acquire a work permit
in the US. But his good fortune was short lived. Insurance here is a cut-
throat business and he could not rise to the aggressiveness required. His
marriage soured in no time at all and he was separated from his wife. A very
decent chap he is - and I felt sorry for him.

      Another white businessman, Mr Coghill, had been a headmaster and a
building contractor in Bulawayo. I almost cried when he regaled his short
story. When the petrol shortage came, he laid off his 60 workers. The
trouble is, there is no knowing when petrol stations will return to normal.
So a businessman cannot really plan.

      Then the cement shortage came. "Ken, tell me, what can I bloody do
without cement?" I could see that a builder without cement is like a
professor without books. It is a bloody point he was making. He was now
working two jobs - he had secured a school's contract as janitor and in the
evening he worked at a nursing home for the elderly. This guy, now in his
fifties, had wonderful resilience. But his story was a sad one. His pension
was bloody useless - $100 000 in Zim dollars was worth a bloody U$1 000.

      Then there was a sister politician. She was not really a politician
but she was outspoken. "Things began to happen to me, Mukoma Kenny. Do you
understand that?" To begin with, they cut off her water. Then they cut off
her telephone line, and just for the hell of it, she was presented with a
$1- million- dollar bill for the trouble.

      But the most pathetic story is that of an honest to goodness guy, who
wanted only to carry on his business, hurting no one. He too had to flee the
country. This story reminded me of hero, Ben Mucheche's Bus Lines which
recently went bust. This brother, a Mhofu, had a vegetable supply business
and was doing well. The trouble was each trip he took to Mazowe Valley
Estates in his truck, the cost of inputs went up. His cabbages went up in
prices even while he was waiting to sell them. If he bought a tyre this
week, that tyre could possibly cost three times next week.

      His truck insurance kept on going up until the insurance companies
refused to insure his vehicles. A truck he had bought for $50 000 twenty
years ago was insured at $1 000 then. If that truck was valued at $5 million
replacement value, the insurance would be $100 000 if the policy is two
percent of value. I can imagine that Mucheche, with his 77 fleet bus lines,
must have faced the same problem. The insurance was just one problem. So
this Mhofu was heart broken-and had fled the country.

      I felt sorry for these people. I can sympathise with them up to a
certain extent. I had a similar experience in Jamaica thirty years ago.
While politicians like our Mukuru are making brave speeches against wicked
capitalists, I saw myself losing my insurance policy by inability to keep up
payments. I saw myself unable to send my children to college - the money
wasn't there. There were little frustrations everyday- one day there was no
matches. The next day there was no paraffin. The third day, lights went out
while we were cooking - and the frustrations continued day in and day out.

      Then one sees Mercedes Benzes drive by in convoy, Makonyora blow their
sirens giving warning to other users of the road to keep out of the road or
get shot. Yes, Mhofu, Yes Mr Mugove, Yes Murungu, I can understand what you
are going through. I too was there. I shipped out in 1984 before things got
worse. I feel your pain.
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Zim Standard

      Tourism and mining next

      crestacalling By Shingi Munyeza

      IT was interesting to listen to the president's address to the third
session of the fifth parliament of Zimbabwe.

      In that address, he reiterated government's determination to complete
its agrarian reforms at all costs and emphasised that priority would be
placed on agriculture, mining and tourism.

      "Support for productive sectors especially in agriculture, mining and
tourism, coupled with effective management and control of our financial
resources will be the priority of my government. Devaluation is thus dead!"
he said.

      I would like to analyse developments in agriculture while comparing
them with the mining and tourism sectors. We all agree that the current
stages of the agrarian reforms are irreversible. There's been widespread
criticism on how it has been done but the fact of the matter is that it has
been done and is irreversible.

      Could government now be indicating its determination to implement in
mining and tourism, the same kind of reforms it has done in agriculture? I
will try to draw parallels between agriculture and tourism.

      In his speech to parliament, the president promised to undertake a
substantive review of the Mines and Minerals Act to ensure effectiveness and
regularity in the mining sector. He also promised to ensure that the Mining
Industry loan fund was revamped to make it more responsive to the needs of
small-scale miners.

      Without speculating much on what the actual reforms will be like, I
can see that the days when a few multinational mining houses controlled the
mining sector, are numbered. The government is determined to transfer the
control and management of the country's resources to Zimbabweans,
particularly black Zimbabweans. This was emphasised in the president's

      What reforms does the government intend to introduce into tourism? It
is a known fact that tourism in Zimbabwe is heavily dependent on the west,
Britain in particular, but the latter has been singled out by the Zimbabwean
government as the main enemy of the state. Given this situation, every
effort will be made to ensure that there will be no more dependence on
Britain as a partner or major source market in tourism. The emphasis will be
on Far Eastern countries whose stance on Zimbabwe has been more
accommodating. So let us brace ourselves for help from the Vietnamese,
Nepalese, Chinese and any other 'ese' from the Far East. Even if it means
that we will have to pay for these 'wise men' from the east to come
initially, the fact is government is deliberately shifting focus to the
African, Asian and Far Eastern countries.

      "Our manufacturers and exporters therefore need to reorient themselves
and redirect their promotional efforts to those new markets where government
has now firmly opened a trading door," said President Mugabe.

      Although the primary objective in tourism would be to address source
market marketing with a specific emphasis on African, Asian and Far Eastern
countries, I foresee that government reviewing the control and management of
tourism products and investments. The objective would most likely be to
ensure that control and management of these products lies in the hands of
the majority of Zimbabweans. This would be consistent with the agrarian

      Why has the president been speaking about the prioritisation of
agriculture, mining and tourism in one breath? The three sectors are similar
and almost require the same treatment in government's, "Lets get what
belongs to us, dead or alive" strategy. The similarities are:

      All three are major earners of foreign currency.

      Historically, they have been in the control of the minority.

      They have a direct link with former colonial master, Britain.

      Given these similarities, it seems that government will apply in
mining and tourism, the same strategies and tactics it has applied in its
agrarian reforms, in anticipation of resistance to its agenda.

      Finally, what is interesting is that warning shots have already been
fired against the financial services sector.

      Could this be the beginning of the fourth Chimurenga? Soon we will be
done with hondo yeminda and can concentrate on hondo yeforeign currency!

      Shingi Munyeza is the group commercial director for Cresta
Hospitality. Cresta Hospitality manages 13 hotels in Southern Africa.
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Zim Standard

      Mining, engineering hit by forex shortage

      MINING and engineering supplies companies are failing to meet product
demand from their customers in the industry because of the absence of
foreign currency in the country, a leading mining supplies company has said.

      A representative of Central African Mining Suppliers at last week's
Mine Entra Exhibition at the Zimbabwe International Trade Fair Grounds told
Standard Business his company had an outstanding order for supplies worth
$21,1 million from local customers.

      He said the company, which is Harare based, would not be able to
fulfil the orders because the shortage of foreign currency had limited their
ability to import raw materials for making the industrial wheels which they
specialise in.

      "The foreign currency situation is heavily affecting our operations.
Although we still have a relatively high demand for our products we can not
supply because there are no raw materials. We need to import bearings from
South Africa but we can't get the rands to do the transactions. Production
is very badly affected and the market remains unsatisfied," said the

      He added that banks are failing to help importing companies source
foreign currency. "As of June this year we had an outstanding application of
$11 million in foreign currency lodged with our bank and that has still not
been processed. In a situation in which banks fail to supply industry with
money orders for inputs, the casualty is the supplying industry and its
customers," he said.

      The company, he said, had only received an order of $100 000 on the
first day of business despite its initial projection to make at least $12
million worth of business deals at this year's exhibition.

      "We were not at Mine Entra Harare last year but we hoped to make good
business out of this edition. So far things have not worked to our
expectations. The first day gave us $100 000 worth of orders but today has
been unusually quiet. Out of our daily projection of $3 million worth of
orders, we have only had enquiries worth $400 000 but it is doubtful if that
will translate into real business," he said at the end of the second day of

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Zim Standard

      Banks heading for stormy waters

      By Rangarirai Mberi

      BANKING stocks are likely to keep drifting despite an expected perk
from profit reports expected in the week, brokers said on Wednesday.

      The broader equity market is likely to maintain its push northward as
the market enters the financial reporting season, but brokers said although
financials will almost certainly publish positive profit reports, investors
will remain generally cautious.

      The brokers spoke a day after President Mugabe issued the latest
threat to punish banks over long-alleged impropriety in foreign exchange

      "Our banking institutions have to be shaken into realising the harm
they are doing to the economy through rampant indiscipline," Mugabe said in
his speech to open the new session of parliament on Tuesday.

      Mugabe's first intervention on the contentious matter will pile
negative sentiment in the financial sector, still struggling to find
positive ground after months of negative news, top on the list being the
placing of young Genesis Investment Bank under curatorship by the Reserve
Bank of Zimbabwe.

      That decision, which battered sentiment last month and caught bankers
off guard, drove banking shares into negative territories. Reserve Bank of
Zimbabwe officials said they had moved on the bank after finding it
undercapitalised and in breach of laws on trade in foreign exchange.

      Despite the negative feelings surrounding bank shares, they had
recently recovered to lead the bull run that has seen the benchmark
industrial index breaking the 90 000 mark and heading for the psychological
100 000 barrier in recent weeks.

      "What we will see in the next few weeks is the market being lifted by
the release of good corporate results, but even if the banks, as expected,
do report good results the latest statement (by Mugabe) means a test of
confidence will face the banks and they might not follow the market
upwards," one broker admitted.

      During the week up to Wednesday, key financial counters, CBZ, NMB and
Trust declined.

      The RBZ recently told the International Monetary Fund that it had
served corrective orders on six local banks over their conduct and
unsatisfactory levels of capitalisation, under its controversial Insolvency
and Troubled Banks Policy, formulated in November last year.

      Banks have managed super profits, steaming ahead of the economy's
three digit inflation and even attracting a 5% tax on profits. But experts
say results released this year in fact betray early signs of stress, as
margins deteriorate with the state of the wider economy.

      "Banks are usually the last to go. But with the greater restrictions
the economy is imposing, we might soon find ourselves in the red. This is a
real prospect that most of us are preparing for," a banker said last week.

      He predicted banks would speed up their regional drive to cut exposure
to the Zimbabwe depression and spread their risk. Kingdom recently concluded
acquisitions in Zambia and Malawi, while several other banks, including CBZ
and Century, are joining the trek into the region.

      Last week, banking giant ABC announced in a cautionary it had
concluded a deal to acquire a regional financial concern. The bank, with
assets of about US$300 million, has a primary listing on the Botswana Stock
Exchange, and has led a trendy push into regional markets by Zimbabwe's
increasingly jittery but ever ambitious bankers.
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Zim Standard

Letter (several similar ones)

      Jonathan Moyo: You are callous, cruel

      JONATHAN Moyo needs to be educated on what a "violent party" is or
does. He has unashamedly used the sad and regrettable murder of Mrs Rutendo
Jongwe for political mileage. Only a callous and cruel person would behave
in the way Moyo has.

      Rutendo Jongwe was a victim of domestic violence. That violence was
the act of one individual and was in no way reflective of the party that
Learnmore belongs to. Justice will take its course as the MDC president
rightly said.

      For Moyo's benefit, a violent party is the one that causes the
abduction and disappearance of people as in the cases of Rashiwe Guzha,
Captain Nleya and Patrick Nabanyama. A violent party is one that sends a
fully armed military unit to annihilate 20 000 innocent, unarmed civilians.
A violent party is one that kills its own cadres for political gain. A
violent party is one that kills, maims, tortures and rapes farmers, farm
workers, opposition supporters and other members of society simply because
they do not support it. A violent party is one whose leader boasts of
degrees in violence. A violent party is the one that Jonathan Moyo belongs

      Tjiliwa wa Lugondo


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Zim Standard

      Violence mars Kadoma poll

      By Walter Marwizi

      VIOLENCE characterised the first day of polling in the Kadoma mayoral
election as suspected members of the Zanu PF militia went around the small
town beating up supporters of the opposition MDC, The Standard has learnt.

      Early yesterday morning, the MDC command centre in Eastville came
under heavy attack from marauding Zanu PF youths who beat up personnel in
charge of the party's affairs in the two-day poll.

      Gunshots were heard as the Zanu PF youths fought running battles with
supporters of the opposition party.

      A number of MDC district officials were picked up by the police for
reasons that remained unclear at the time of going to press.

      Callisto Tsvangirai, the youth provincial chairman for the Midlands
North province said the police had arrested them after some stones had been
located near the command centre.

      "They (police) told us that the stones had been used in attacks on
Zanu PF supporters. Surprisingly, the police failed to arrest the green
bombers who came here to beat us up," said Tsvangirai.

      Nelson Chamisa, the MDC national youth chairman, told The Standard
that he sensed a well-orchestrated campaign by the ruling party to stop MDC
supporters from taking part in the election.

      "The truth is that Zanu PF now believe that the only way to win an
election is to beat people up so that they cannot exercise their democratic
rights," said Chamisa.

      Kadoma acting mayor Phanuel Phiri is representing the ruling Zanu PF
party while former school headmistress Edita Matamisa is the candidate for
the MDC.

      The post fell vacant in February this year, following the death of
Ernest Shamuyarira of Zanu PF.

      Meanwhile, thousands of people have so far turned up for the election
which residents say will see yet another crushing defeat for Zanu PF in an
urban election. A total of 38 000 people are registered as voters.

      The MDC have won all the recent mayoral elections held in the country.
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Comment from ZWNEWS, 28 July

Nice guy. Shame on his party.

Joshua Malinga is, by all accounts, a nice guy. The Zanu PF politburo member and party deputy-secretary for the disabled and disadvantaged – himself disabled – is certainly no thug, unlike so many others in the party of which he is a middle-ranking official. He and his wife – also disabled - were stopped at London’s Gatwick airport as they tried to travel across the city to make a connecting flight at Heathrow, and were returned to Zimbabwe on the first available flight. Mr Malinga thus gained the dubious honour of becoming the first Zimbabwean official on the expanded EU list of sanctioned persons to be caught since the new, longer list was issued this week. The list covers a wide range of individuals, from the criminal to the merely incompetent, from the bad guys to the nice guys. Even president Mugabe has said so - indirectly. Mugabe would certainly not include himself in the same category as his finance minister, Simba Makoni, who he regards as little short of treasonous. Both Mugabe and Makoni are on the list. And there are many, such as provincial governor Peter Chanetsa – incomparable with Joshua Malinga - who are not covered by the EU measures. Unfortunately, it seems that in this case, nice guys come first.

Jonathan Moyo was his predictable sanctimonious (and inaccurate) self yesterday morning: "This is the clearest example that the Brits have gone bananas and are harassing disabled people who should be assisted. To detain someone you don’t want in your country, especially who is on a wheelchair, when all you can do is deny them entry or facilitate their exit is the height of madness." (Malinga and his wife were not detained, unless being booked into an airport hotel pending their return flight qualifies as detention.) As usual, Moyo’s outrage is a sham. Zanu PF is not noted for its assistance of the disabled – if they happen not to be truly loyal to the party. As a matter of unarguable fact, Zanu PF has swelled the ranks of the disabled and disadvantaged over the last two-and-a-half years, as party thugs have run amok across the country, beating and permanently maiming with impunity. It is a little perplexing for Mr Malinga to say that he did not know he was on the EU’s expanded list. The list has been widely publicised in Zimbabwe, and it is beyond doubt that Zanu PF itself knew precisely who is and who is not on the list. It is also a little puzzling for Mr Malinga to express surprise at the accusations of violence levelled against his party.

But be that all as it may, there is another issue more important than Mr Malinga’s interrupted travel plans. Mr Malinga – like all other Zimbabweans, able or disabled, advantaged or disadvantaged - can choose. He can choose whether to support Zanu PF or not, choose to lend credibility to the current Zimbabwe regime through his patent personal decency - or not. Coming from Matabeleland, and as a former mayor of Bulawayo, Mr Malinga is well aware of what happened in the mid-1980s, and since February 2000, in his home provinces – at the hands of Zanu PF. Joshua Malinga should know better. Many of his compatriots, in more disadvantaged circumstances than he, have made the choice. Take Mr Anderson Mupinda of Binga. 79 years old and blind, he has been denied food aid by Joshua Malinga's party because the Binga district voted overwhelmingly for the opposition in the presidential election. Mr Mapinda's views on the government and the president have not changed,  despite his having to survive on leaves.

Nice guy, Joshua Malinga. Shame on his party.

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From The Sunday Telegraph (UK), 28 July

Stricken by hunger among the lush fields

Shorter than the dead wheat all around her, 18-month-old Alice sits in a field toying with the corpse of a tiny mouse. Tears spill silently from her large eyes. For this is not a game. Alice is hungry and her mother Brenda and aunt Winnie, who has an even younger baby strapped on her back, are hunting field mice. Scrabbling in the red earth, they pull out the tiny creatures which they will roast on a fire with salt, their only meal of the day. There are similar scenes all over southern Africa, where the worst drought for a decade has left millions facing starvation and prompted Britain's leading aid agencies to launch an emergency appeal last week. Yet there is something not quite right about this picture. For the field in Zimbabwe's Mazowe valley in which the starving women and their babies are mouse-hunting overlooks Mwenje dam, which is overflowing with water. There are two more small dams on the farm itself. On the properties all around, extensive sprinkler systems are watering lush green fields full of mangetout that will end up on the shelves of Sainsbury's. There are plantations of roses, too, and acres of ripening wheat.

Of the 14 million people on the brink of starvation in southern Africa, more than six million are in Zimbabwe, half the country's population. Yet travelling thousands of miles across the country from Matabeleland in the north and west to Mutare in the east, posing as tourists - the regime refuses to allow in British journalists - The Telegraph found the vegetation green, dams full and rivers flowing. There is no doubt, however, about the lack of food. Villager after villager took me into huts in which there was absolutely nothing left to eat and showed empty granaries. Four weeks without rain at the critical germination phase has led to the failure of their small crops. There will be no harvest again until next June. The inescapable truth of the famine in Zimbabwe is that it is man-made: and the man who is making it is President Robert Mugabe. The lush fields belong to those white farmers who are now cultivating their crops illegally, and the stricken farms are those that have been handed over to so-called war veterans or officials of the ruling Zanu PF party.

Already, the country has run out of maize, the staple food for most of the population. According to a director of Lobels, the country's biggest bakery, soon there will be no wheat left to produce the bread which people are buying instead. Cooking oil is in such short supply that it now sells at Z$900 (£10) a litre, a quarter of the average monthly wage. In Bulawayo, I saw queues for sugar, in which women with babies had waited from 4am until mid-afternoon in the baking sun - only for a government official to come and take away the lot. "Average rainfall for the last farming year was only down from 24in to 22in and we only had four weeks without rain," said David Coltart, the legal affairs spokesman for the opposition Movement for Democratic Change.For Zimbabwe's commercial farmers, who grow 90 per cent of the country's food, those four weeks made no difference as there was plenty of earlier rainwater available for irrigation.

Unfortunately for most of the farmers, Mr Mugabe has used his mobs and laws to make it either impossible or illegal for them to work their land. As a result the amount of staple maize under cultivation has been slashed. This year's cereal harvest is estimated by the United Nations at 687,000 tonnes, less than a third of the annual needs of 2.3-2.5 million tonnes. Two years ago, output was 2.48 million tonnes - enough to feed the whole country and still have enough left over to export to its neighbours. "This is Mugabe's famine," said Marcus Hale, whose family farm used to produce more than one per cent of the country's wheat needs, but who was forced to leave last month after two years of violence, which culminated in the "war vets" digging a grave for him outside his front door. "This year we would have produced 3,000 tonnes of wheat, but we produced nothing because we weren't allowed to," he said. "It's total insanity that one would close down the very producers of food at the same time as begging for food aid," said Jenni Williams, from Justice for Agriculture, a breakaway group of farmers who intend to contest the seizures of their farms in court.

Yet in his opening-of-parliament address last week, Mr Mugabe said: "No one can fairly blame us for the situation of want, naturally caused." He accused Britain of "using the drought to try to undermine the country's sovereignty" and proclaimed the land-reform programme "an unparalleled success story". With 90 per cent of arable land in the hands of 4,500 white farmers, almost all agreed that land reform was necessary. But as the August 9 deadline for farmers to abandon their land draws near, many of the war veterans who occupied the farms are also being thrown off to make away for Mugabe supporters and cronies. More than 110 government ministers, senior military officers and their wives, mayors and police chiefs have now taken over farms. "This is not land reform - it's theft," said Liz Coulson, whose tomato farm in Matabeleland has been taken over by a police superintendent.

Among the many new farm owners around Harare is Mr Mugabe's brother-in-law, Reward Marufu, who took over Leopardville Farm, and Jocelyn Chiwenga, wife of the army chief, who seized Shepherd Hall Farm. When Hortico, the local wholesale company, refused to export her roses, she seized that too, although this has subsequently been returned. On most of the "liberated" farms, previously planted crops have gone untended and no new ones put in. Some of the occupiers have even asked the white owners to manage the farms for them for a share of the harvest. At Glenwood, the farm on which Brenda and Winnie were hunting mice, the owner had fled to Ireland. Field after field of paprika for export is dying. The original war veterans who occupied the farm were recently replaced by Elijah Gumbo, the owner of a dishwasher factory, and some police officers. Mr Gumbo's brother Paul, who was manning the gate, admitted that they had no idea how to run the farm. "This is not our environment," he said. "I used to work on a white-owned rose farm and get a monthly salary and that was better. Now I have no money." It is not only the farmers who are losing their homes. The law requires all farmworkers to leave, too. More than 76,000 have lost their homes and livelihoods since February and more than 500,000 will be homeless by August 9.

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Zim safe for CWC - official

Harare - A top Zimbabwe cricket official insisted on Saturday that the
country would be a safe venue for matches in next year's World Cup.

Peter Chingoka, president of the Zimbabwe Cricket Union, said after the
body's annual meeting there was no reason for any of the six sides due to
play games here to fear for their safety and security.

Among the countries due to send teams are England and Australia, which have
been most critical of Zimbabwe's President Robert Mugabe's re-election in
the disputed March polls.

Australia pulled out of a scheduled tour here in April citing fears of the
team's safety, costing Zimbabwe some US$300 000 in revenue.

Zimbabwe does not plan to make any representation to World Cup organisers
about security, saying officials would wait until Pakistan's tour later this

"Pakistan have guaranteed coming here in October to play two Test matches
and five one-day internationals and what happens then will speak for
itself," said Chingoka.

But if the matches are switched to neighbouring South Africa or Kenya - and
provisional arrangements have been made for that ? it would cost the country
dearly in bad publicity and the ZCU will be set back financially.

Zimbabwe cricket is due to make $7.9 million, wherever they play as a
participating nation, but would lose $1.4 million in venue fees.

Zimbabwe is scheduled to host another heavy Test and one-day international
programme in 2004 when Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Australia and England are all
scheduled to tour.

President Mugabe was re-elected as patron of the ZCU without comment for a
seventh year running, at the meeting. - Sapa-AFP
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Zim Standard

      Moyo angers police chefs

      By Farai Mutsaka

      DISCONTENT has crept into the ranks of the Zimbabwe Republic Police
and the ministry of home affairs over what they describe as the use by
junior information minister, Jonathan Moyo, of officers of the force's Law
and Order Section, to settle personal scores, The Standard has established.

      Information reaching The Standard points to a growing resentment of
Moyo within the force's top hierarchy due to what they perceive as the
"privatisation" of some of the departments of the force by the minister.

      Highly placed police sources told The Standard last week that they
were looking for ways to stop Moyo soiling the image of the police by
selecting officers to fight personal wars against his perceived enemies,
particularly those from the private press.

      "It is an issue that is worrying a number of people within the police.
The minister of information is now behaving as if he is the one in charge of
us. Right now we hear there are some policemen at the Law and Order Section
who are in direct contact with him and that is not acceptable. We are not
enjoying the best of credibility now, but we cannot allow someone to dent it
further by using the force for his personal wars. It is something that we
are going to bring up with the Commissioner and probably the minister of
home affairs. We are confident this will be stopped," said a senior officer
based in Harare.

      In 2000 Moyo clashed with Deputy Commissioner Griffiths Mpofu when the
police refused to raid Capitol Radio as he had ordered because of a court
order barring them from doing so. An enraged Moyo threatened to take
disciplinary action against the police chief.

      Mpofu, however, dismissed Moyo's threats saying the minister had no
jurisdiction over police matters. Mpofu said since his track record in the
liberation war was unquestionable he would not dance to the whims of those
with dubious political credentials.

      Before joining Zanu PF in 2000, Moyo was reputed to be Zanu PF's most
vitriolic critic.

      Senior officers who spoke to The Standard complained about Moyo's
crackdown on the private media, which had seen police arrest 13 journalists
in the last two months. The arrests have been carried out under the
minister's self-crafted, discredited and inappropriately named Access to
Information and Protection of Privacy Act (AIPPA).

      Lawyers of the attorney-general's office are also struggling to come
up with concrete charges against journalists arrested under AIPPA.

      Only recently, the magistrates court acquitted foreign correspondent
Andrew Meldrum who was being charged under AIPPA.

      The continuous arrest of journalists on flimsy charges is also of
concern to home affairs officials who believe that this kind of
heavy-handedness is dealing a deadly blow to the already tainted image of
the police.

      "We don't necessarily agree with what you people write, but at the
same time we have to be seen to be doing things in a proper way. For,
example, if we are going to arrest journalists on a daily basis simply
because they have angered a certain minister, how is the public going to
distinguish between a genuine arrest and one that is not?" said an official
from the ministry.

      "We are making heroes out of some people by arresting them everyday
and yet we have more worthwhile arrests which no one appreciates anymore.
People see every arrest made on a journalist as politically motivated. We
have to rethink and resist some of this interference," said another source.

      The senior officers said they had conveyed their complaints about Moyo
to Police Commissioner Augustine Chihuri during informal discussions.

      Responding to the allegations from his colleagues, police spokesman,
Assistant Commissioner Wayne Bvudzijena, said: "We have not received such
complaints. If, as you are saying they were conveyed to the Commissioner in
an informal way then we don't deal with such cases.

      "Moyo has not been interfering whatsoever in our operations."

      Bvudzijena added that any arrests made were at the discretion of the
police alone. "We decide that an article is a falsehood deserving
investigation without consulting or waiting for a directive from the
ministry. We have the intelligence to interpret the law on our own," said

      Although, home affairs secretary, Tinaye Chigudu, could not be reached
for comment, he is on record as having lamented the hijacking of the police
by people serving their personal interests. Chigudu made this statement
during the live television programme, Face the Nation, earlier this year.

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Zim Standard

      Beer price up again

      By Kumbirai Mafunda

      BEER drinkers will, for the second time in barely a month, have to
fork out a bit more for their favourite larger, following a 28% increase in
the price of beer slapped on consumers by National Breweries, the country's
major producer of clear beer.

      Sources at Natbrew told The Standard on Friday that the 27,8% hike had
been necessitated by escalating production costs which were now affecting
the brewery's viability. Last month, Natbrew increased the retail price of
beer by about 12,5%.

      The latest increase was effected on Friday and revellers caught
unawares found themselves having to dig deeper into their pockets for a

      A pint of Castle, Black Label and Pilsner now retails at $115, up from
$90, while quality lager such as Zambezi, Bohlingers and Zambezi Lite now
cost $130, from $100.

      Perhaps even more depressing for beer lovers is that the price of
quarts, which many had resorted to because of their favourable cost, has
been raised by $45 to $195.

      In April, Natbrew increased the price of beer by 11% following an
increase in the price of maize, a key ingredient in the brewing of beer.

      Only last week Chibuku breweries, Natbrew's sister company under the
Delta conglomerate, temporarily halted operations at its Willowvale plant
because of a shortage in maize.
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Zim Standard

      US warns Zim on food aid

      By Zwakele Sayi

      THE United States has said it will not deal with the Zanu PF
government in the provision of food aid to hundreds of thousands of
famine-striken Zimbabweans, and has warned that it will withdraw its
assistance altogether should the Mugabe regime meddle with aid from that

      The warning comes in the wake of increasing reports that Mugabe's Zanu
PF party is using donor food aid to gain political mileage and to settle
scores with supporters of the opposition MDC.

      In a live dialogue programme which included journalists from South
Africa, Zambia, Swaziland and Zimbabwe, Andrew Natsios, the administrator of
the US Agency for International Development (USAID), said political
interference in the distribution of food aid had prompted his country to
deal solely with church organisations.

      Natsios said contingency measures were being undertaken to ensure that
the aid coming into Zimbabwe reached all intended beneficiaries, not just
Zanu PF apologists.

      Questioned on whether it would be possible for NGOs and church leaders
to disburse the aid in rural areas, in view of government's attempts to shut
them out of the exercise, Natsios admitted that they faced problems.

      "USAID has been disturbed by the recent media reports that the
government is starving the people of Matabeleland region, the opposition MDC

      "We are in the process of negotiating with the Zimbabwean government
to cease using the aid to lure votes from the starving and vulnerable," he

      Recently, government stopped the Roman Catholic Church in Matabeleland
from distributing food aid to starving villagers in the drought-striken
region, fearing that it would help to spread MDC propaganda.

      NGOs have also been barred from distributing aid to the rural areas
because of ruling party fears that their support base in the rural areas
might be eroded. Since independence in 1980, Zanu PF has always used food
aid to gain support from rural voters.

      Natsios added that the current food shortages in Zimbabwe could have
been avoided if proper policies had been put in place by the government.

      "The Zimbabwean government should have enacted policies that would
have shielded it from the effects of the 2001-2002 drought season," he said,
adding that price controls and the highly suppressed exchange rates were
some of the policies that must be done away with.
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Last white family takes stand against farm grab
By Christina Lamb in Marondera East
(Filed: 28/07/2002)

The morning rollcall over the radio of farmers in Marondera, started more
than two years ago after the murder of the first white landowner, gradually
got shorter and shorter. Last month it stopped altogether.
For Nigel and Clare Hough are now the only white farmers left in what was
once the richest tobacco growing area in Zimbabwe. Their 23 neighbours have
all left. Next month, the Houghs will be breaking the law if they remain on
their farm.
Amid the dancing shadows of an African winter afternoon it is at first
understandable why the Hough family is staying. Their four children aged
between one and seven run round the swimming pool, playing with two black
friends, while the couple watch from the terrace. The bougainvillea is
flowering in a blaze of crimson and a deep red sun is setting over the
Hwedza mountains.
The only sign of anything amiss is the absence of ostriches in a farm
proclaiming itself "Kendor Ostrich Station". Then the Houghs explain that
the huts from which wood-smoke is rising less than 300 yards away are not
workers' homes but those of so-called war veterans who have occupied the
place since the government-sponsored land invasions began in February 2000.
A truck is taking away 10 of their 20 cows for slaughter. "People are
stealing the cows, one every week now," explained Mr Hough. "We find the
skeletons in the morning, all the meat pulled off. It's what happens when
there is no rule of law."
The cows are not all that is disappearing. The pumps have gone and last week
the electrical cable was stolen, plunging the farm into darkness. While
local police do nothing about such thefts, Mr Hough is expecting to be
arrested within two weeks. Kendor is among 2,900 white-owned farms listed
under Section 8 of the Land Acquisition Act, which set a deadline of 45 days
for farming to stop and a further 45 days for the owners and their families
to leave.
For the Houghs, that means they have to leave by August 9. But, unlike most,
they are determined to stay. "We built this up from nothing and we think
this is worth fighting for," explained Mrs Hough. "But we have no illusions
that it will be easy."
The inclusion of the Hough farm is a vivid illustration of the lunacy of
Robert Mugabe's land reform programme. "I did everything possible to be a
model farmer," said Mr Hough. The couple bought the farm in 1996 with money
made raising ostriches in China and Indonesia. Within months they had given
half of it to a local black mechanic, a Mr Chirashi. He had repaired their
tractor and had nowhere to keep his dairy cattle.
The Houghs brought in 1,500 ostriches and set up a factory producing ostrich
skin bags and shoes for export and another making safari clothes. Then they
began training local people. With one in three of their workers dying of
Aids, they decided to build an orphanage for the children of deceased farm
labourers. Mr Hough became chairman of four employment creation committees,
helping 3,000 students to start up projects such as small-scale ostrich
"I pass on all the government's criteria for what they say they want," he
says. "Ours is a small farm with only 30 hectares [74 acres] of arable land.
It's the only farm I own. We train people in skills and what we produce goes
for export. I've done all I could for the local community. On every single
thing I pass except for one thing - I'm white."
Mr Hough, 39, was born in Marondera and comes from a farming background. Of
the 36 farming families he is related to, only three are staying. Marondera
has experienced some of the worst violence in the country. David Stephens,
the first of 12 white farmers to be murdered, was shot in the head in April
2000 at his tobacco farm just down the road. At one point there was an
incident every day.
It was only last month that the Houghs also began considering leaving. Mrs
Hough explained: "On the radio was yet more propaganda saying that the
whites are trying to sabotage this country, and I just thought 'I can't take
any more'." Within a day her husband was on a fact-finding mission to
Although the family will remain on the farm after the deadline, Mr Hough has
resigned himself to leaving, probably by the end of the year. "Even if I go
to court and win the farm, we'll never be secure," he said. "The moment some
big guy takes a fancy to the place we'll be thrown off." They are not the
only ones worried.
Akre, their nanny, wonders what will happen to her and her two children.
Their tenant, Mrs Chirashi, said: "Nigel has treated us like a brother. He
charges us only Z$1 [about 1p] per beast per month for land and nothing when
we have no money. He arranged us a loan to buy a truck. Whoever takes over
will evict us."
'State to Defy Judgments Which Are Not Impartial', says President Mugabe

The Herald (Harare)- govt mopthpiece

July 27, 2002
Posted to the web July 27, 2002

The Government will defy court judgments, which are not objective and
impartial, President Mugabe said on Thursday night.

He said judges should be objective, impartial and shun personal vendettas
against any member of society, otherwise they risked having their judgments

"We will respect judges where the judgments are true judgments.

"We do not expect that judges will use subjectivity in interpreting the law.

"We expect the judges to be objective. We may not understand them in some
cases but when a judge sits alone in his house or with his wife and says
'this one is guilty of contempt' that judgement should never be obeyed," Cde
Mugabe said.

The President was addressing guests at the traditional reception he hosts
for Members of Parliament to mark the opening of a new session of
Parliament, at State House.

"I am not saying this because we would want to defy judges. In fact we
increased their salaries recently. We want them to be happy.

"But if they are not objective, don't blame us when we defy them," he said.

Cde Mugabe was making reference to the contempt of court case involving the
Minister of Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs, Cde Patrick Chinamasa.

He said a person being tried must be present, but if they willfully
absconded court proceedings, then they should be punished.

"Kwete kuti unocontinue naye. Haiwa tinoti kwete (It must not be a case of
vendettas. That is unacceptable). No vengefulness, no revenge. Hatizvide,"
he said.

Judges should desist from favouri-tism, racism or discrimination of any

"Impartiality and objectivity are qualities that are demanded of all

The President said judges were human beings like everybody else and there
was nothing special about them.

"There is no law, which says the judge is superior to any individual. We are
all the same but there is a status we give to a person we call a judge, just
as we respect MPs and ministers, because he is in that crucial role to
interpret the law.

"Of course, judges are human beings. They are not gods who have come from
some planet, Venus or Mars.

"They are ordinary people, mortals with ordinary flesh who get drunk if they
drink at all. So we expect them to be objective."

In a wide-ranging address on the role of MPs, President Mugabe said
lawmakers should be committed to the people who voted them into Parliament.

Legislators were expected to help their constituencies particularly in areas
such as health and education.

They should also fulfill election promises or risk being voted out at the
next poll.

"Put the people first. Be true to your promises and pledges. Don't think our
people are fools. We do not want our people to be deceived. People do not
want you to do the impossible but to respond to their needs," Cde Mugabe

He said legislators must defend the country's constitution, sovereignty and

The President reiterated that the Government would not embark on another
Constitution making process.

Any amendments to the Constitution would have to be made by Parliament since
people had rejected proposals in a draft constitution two years ago.

"Some people think a constitution is like a football which can be kicked one
way today and another way tomorrow.

"Now they want the very amendments they caused to be rejected and we say no,
definitely no. Sorry to those who are cracking their heads about

Parliament must not make laws that make unnatural things like homosexuality
natural as some western countries had done, he said.

"I cannot appreciate that a whole Parliament can decide that Robert Mugabe
and Joseph Msika can get married.

"I certainly appreciate that which is natural. I don't think the mission of
human beings is to do unnatural things.

"When I said gays are worse than dogs and pigs, I really meant it because
pigs don't do unnatural things. Let not our Parliament ever entertain that
the unnatural must be made natural."

Parliament had to make laws that enhanced people's lives.

Cde Mugabe described as nonsensical certain tenets of governance like a
Parliament with strict separation of powers that some western countries were
pushing Africa to adopt.

The idea required that Cabinet ministers should not be MPs and the President
said the system was practised in some countries like the United States and

But Africa should not just accept such systems because it had its own ways
of governance, he said.

However, Cde Mugabe said MPs should scrutinise the work of Cabinet

He urged lawmakers to be honourable and ensure the legislature had dignity.

He lambasted MDC MPs for boycotting the opening of the Third Session of the
Fifth Parliament of Zimbabwe on Tuesday.

"Honourable members must do honourable things. Honour must beget greater

He described the action of the MDC MPs as childish and aimed at pleasing
their western masters.

"They gang together to boycott because they also have an international
gangster leader somewhere else and because if they are seen to be honouring
the President then there will be little room for us to intervene and say the
President of Zimbabwe is a dishonourable person.

"MPs must have that entity of independence to do that which is right. Do our
MPs have it? Let them undertake an exercise of introspection, I mean all

Cde Mugabe also deplored MPs who commit such acts as murder and adultery.

"When an honourable member commits a savage act like murder and the whole
world gets the news tinonyarira kupi seZimbabwe. We are all disgraced.

"Some people say these things happen. No, things like that do not happen.
Must we have MPs described as murderers or assassins? No that is wrong,
repulsive and disgusting. We have to condemn that all of us."

The President said people could be angered but must restrain themselves.

He, however, commended MPs for the work they have done in the past two years
despite the hiccups they faced.
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