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

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Zim Online

Thirsty Harare offers Dubai firm mining concessions
Wed 1 June 2005

      HARARE - The Zimbabwe government has offered a Dubai-based firm
lucrative mining concessions in return for a US$100 million loan facility to
import desperately needed fuel and food, sources disclosed yesterday.

      Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) governor Gideon Gono, tasked by
President Robert Mugabe to raise hard cash for fuel imports was leading the
negotiations with the Arab financier, Al Shams Building Trading Materials
LLC, according to the sources.

      Energy Minister Mike Nyambuya was also heavily involved in negotiating
the fuel financing deal which the sources said was "now almost concluded."

      The money Harare is seeking from the Dubai firm will however not be
enough to end Zimbabwe's fuel or food crisis. The country on average
requires about US$40 million worth of fuel per month, while at least US$200
million is needed to import about 1.2 million tonnes of food to avert

      An RBZ official, who spoke anonymously, said: "The arrangement is for
Al Shams to provide the money which will go towards paying for fuel and food
imports. In return, the Arab company will be offered a variety of investment
opportunities but mostly concessions in the vast coal fields in Matabeleland

      Gono could not be reached for comment on the matter yesterday while
Nyambuya refused to discuss the matter saying there were no new developments
in the financing of fuel imports since the RBZ released US$18.5 million to
the state's NOCZIM oil importing company last week.

      "Gono has made a statement (announcing the release of the US$18.5
million) and nothing has changed, there is nothing new," Nyambuya said
before switching off his mobile phone.

      The fuel situation has remained critical even after the central bank
provided the US$18.5 million, which is enough to keep Zimbabwe supplied with
petrol and diesel for about two weeks only.

      Workers in Harare and other cities are walking for as much 20km to
work because public transport is not running because there is no fuel.

      Zimbabwe, battling foreign currency shortages since the International
Monetary Fund withdrew balance-of-payments support six years ago, is in the
grip of an acute fuel crisis because there is no hard cash to pay for oil

      Zimbabwe has in the last four years entered into oil supply deals with
firms from Libya and Kuwait. The deals collapsed after Harare failed to pay.

      As the fuel crisis persists with no immediate end in sight, today's
talks between President Robert Mugabe and World Food Programme director
James Morris have given hope that a solution to severe food shortages could
be on the horizon. - ZimOnline

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Zim Online

Catholic commission condemns evictions
Wed 1 June 2005
  HARARE - The Zimbabwe Catholic Commission for Justice and Peace yesterday
accused the government of taking Zimbabweans for granted and of using
excessive force against informal traders and homeless people it is evicting
from cities and towns.

      The commission called on the authorities to call off the ongoing but
highly unpopular campaign until alternative space was found for homeless
people to stay and informal traders to carry on their business.

      A statement issued by the commission yesterday read in part: "The
Commission is strongly in favour of the idea of fighting crime in the
country but we are concerned about the manner in which the whole exercise is
being conducted.

      "The behavior of members of the police force who are taking part in
this operation is excessively violent and lacks the respect of the human
being. We suggest this operation, which has spread to other centres
throughout the country, be stopped while the concerned Councils find other
areas to place them.

      "Targeting innocent and defenceless people who are earning a living
using honest means is taking people for granted."

      Several human rights groups, the opposition and residents have
condemned the government exercise which has seen more than 18 000 people
arrested in less than two weeks and goods worth hundreds of millions of
dollars belonging to informal traders destroyed.

      The government says the operation is meant to clean up cities and
towns of crime and filth. But the main opposition Movement for Democratic
Change party which is calling on Zimbabweans to mobilise against the
operation says it is meant to punish urban residents for rejecting President
Robert Mugabe and his ruling ZANU PF party in last March's disputed

      The opposition party has also accused Mugabe of wanting to provoke a
spontaneous and violent reaction by residents so he could declare a State of
Emergency and rule by decree.

      Meanwhile, the police yesterday pressed on with the clean-up campaign
in Harare's oldest and most populous suburb of Mbare pulling down dwelling
shacks, flea market stalls and other informal businesses that had survived a
police blitz on Monday. - ZimOnline
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Zim Online

UN envoy wants Mugabe to lift price controls
Wed 1 June 2005
  HARARE - United Nations envoy for humanitarian needs James Tim Morris will
today ask President Robert Mugabe to scrap food price controls and to end
the state-owned Grain Marketing Board (GMB)'s stifling monopoly on grain
trade, sources told ZimOnline.

      Morris, visiting southern Africa to assess hunger in the region, meets
Mugabe in Harare this morning. The UN envoy, who is also director of the
World Food Programme (WFP), will also meet Zimbabwe's Agriculture Minister
Joseph Made and other government leaders involved in efforts to avert
starvation in the country.

      "Mugabe and Morris' meeting is likely to be tense particularly because
the UN official will touch on the controversial issue of price controls and
the GMB's continued monopoly," Western diplomats in Harare said.

      Both Mugabe's office and UN diplomats in Harare were mum yesterday on
today's talks between the Zimbabwean leader and Morris.

      In his last visit to Zimbabwe in September 2003, when close to half
the southern African nation's population faced starvation, Morris again
asked Mugabe to lift price controls and to open up grain trade to private
players in order to improve supplies.

      The corruption-riddled GMB remains Zimbabwe's sole grain trader, while
the government continues to fix prices of all basic food commodities. Food
industry experts say price controls and the GMB monopoly inhibits growth in
the industry in addition to preventing the entry of new resource rich

      About four million Zimbabweans or a quarter of the country's 12
million people face starvation unless the WFP and other donors provide about
1.2 million tonnes of food aid. This, after Mugabe only six months ago told
international food groups to take their help elsewhere because Zimbabwe had
enough food to feed itself.

      Once a net food exporter Zimbabwe has for the last four years survived
on food handouts because Mugabe's chaotic and often violent land reforms
destabilised the key agricultural sector causing farm production to fall by
about 60 percent. - ZimOnline

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Zim Online

Harare plunged into darkness
Wed 1 June 2005
  HARARE - Most parts of Harare were on Monday evening plunged into darkness
with power only returning at midday yesterday as a plethora of economic and
political problems continues suffocating Zimbabwe.

      Business came to a halt in the capital's central business district
from 6pm on Monday until noon yesterday. Chaos reigned on the roads with
severe traffic jams because traffic lights were not functioning after the
power loss.

      Only businesses with generators managed to open for business as usual
while those without had to wait until midday to open their doors to the

      The state-run Zimbabwe Electricity Supply Authority (ZESA) told crisis
weary Zimbabweans in a statement yesterday the blackout was because of a
shortage of spares required for repairs on two of its generators at the
giant Hwange thermal power station near the country's border with Zambia.

      "This (temporary power shortfall) is because we lost two generators at
Hwange power station due to the critical shortage of spares for maintenance
and overhauls," ZESA said.

      The power company, which also blamed rising demand because of low
winter temperatures, said that Zimbabwe will continue to experience power
interruptions until its engineers are able to bring back the situation to
normal. It did not say when that will be.

      ZESA also imports additional power from South Africa, Mozambique and
the Democratic Republic of the Congo all of which are having their winter
and unable to increase supplies to Harare.

      An acute foreign currency shortages gripping Zimbabwe since the
International Monetary Fund withdrew financial support six years ago has
crippled operations across the country's industrial sector with firms unable
to import raw materials, spares, or new equipment because there is no hard
cash to pay suppliers.

      Water supply in Harare remains precarious because water pumps
continuously break down due to a shortage of spares. Fuel, food, essential
medical drugs and other basic survival commodities are also in critical
short supply because there is no hard cash to pay foreign suppliers. -

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Zim Online

Man cited in business deal died 25 years ago, court told
Wed 1 June 2005
  HARARE - The trial of former finance minister Chris Kuruneri yesterday
took another twist after the state submitted documents suggesting the man
cited by the former minister as the one he dealt with in his business
dealings last year died more than 25 years ago.

      The documents from the Spanish government which were submitted to the
court yesterday indicated that Jose Solano Fernadez, cited by Kuruneri as
one of the people who gave him foreign currency to buy properties abroad,
died even before Zimbabwe's independence in 1980.

      Kuruneri's lawyer Jonathan Samkange opposed the submission of the
documents arguing they did not have "a seal or signature from the Courts in
Spain." But High Court Judge Susan Mavangira rejected Samkange's submission
saying the documents could be used in court.

      The trial opened to the public yesterday after the previous day's
proceedings were held in camera to protect what the State said was
"sensitive" information.

      "Jose Solano Fernadez is an uncle to the one making the declaration,
who was a shareholder of the company some years back and died more than 25
years ago," the documents state.

      Kuruneri was arrested in April last year on charges of externalising
huge quantities of foreign currency in breach of the country's tight foreign
currency regulations. He denies the charge insisting the money he used to
buy properties outside the country was sourced from his consultancy work
done outside the country.

      The former minister has already been convicted of the lesser charge of
breaching the Citizenship Act after he was found in possession of a Canadian
passport in violation of the country's citizenship laws which bar dual
citizenship. - ZimOnline

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Daily Mirror, Zimbabwe

Clean-up operation challenged in court

Clemence Manyukwe
issue date :2005-Jun-01

IN a move aimed at safeguarding the rights of uprooted people in the wake of
the ongoing government crackdown on illegal structures and crime, 54
residents whose homes were demolished in Hatcliffe extension, Harare, have
filed an urgent High Court application to stop the operation.
Currently, they are putting up on roadsides along the Harare - Domboshawa
road after their homes - which the government said were illegally erected -
were last Friday razed in a joint police and Harare City Council operations
dubbed Murambatsvina and Restore Order.
In their application, the residents allege that some government officials
had hoodwinked them into believing that their settlement was legal by
officiating at a "formal hand over" ceremony of housing co-operative
The residents, who are members of Dare Remusha Co-operative, contend in High
Court case number 2467/05 that they were given offer letters for stands in
the area by the Local Government Ministry and that the responsible Minister
Ignatius Chombo officiated at the hand over ceremony of the properties-hence
legitimising its existence.
Part of the final order they are seeking reads: "Operation Murambatsvina be
and is hereby declared unlawful and is hereby ordered to cease with
immediate effect."
In the event that the government opposes the application, the residents are
asking the court to grant them an order to return to Hatcliffe Extension
until the matter has been concluded by the High Court.
The residents cited Chombo, Harare City Council Commission chairperson
Sekesai Makwavarara, Home Affairs Minister Kembo Mohadi, Police Commissioner
Augustine Chihuri and the City of Harare as respondents.
Dare Remusha Co-operative chairperson, Devious Muvimbi, said in an
affidavit: "We were advised in 2002 at the handing-over  ceremony by first
respondent (Chombo) to start building our houses on these stands in
Hatcliffe after obtaining approval from the City of Harare, which at the
time was being run by a commission. Our occupation of the stands and
subsequent building of the houses on the same stands was with the consent
and authority of the first and second respondents (Makwavarara)."
He added that the lease agreements given were effective September 1 2003 and
stipulated that they should erect buildings within six years.
Muvimbi said in terms of the Administrative Justice Act, authorities are
required to give reasonable notice if someone is to vacate, which, in this
case, the police and the Harare Municipality did not do.
"The conduct of the respondents was arbitrary in that it was a blanket
approach in simply razing down all households without taking into account
the differing circumstances of each individual at the farm," added Muvimbi.
Although the High Court is expected to hear the application today, by late
yesterday, the respondents had not filed their opposing papers.
The police and Harare City Council embarked on the clean-up exercise - which
President Robert Mugabe has since supported - to rid the capital of illegal
structures and criminal activities a week ago following what sources said
was a Cabinet decision in efforts to bring back the Sunshine City  status
and sanity in other cities.
Shacks in the high-density suburbs, unlicenced flea markets and illegal
vending stalls in the capital have since been demolished forcing people to
abandon city life and track back to their rural homes.
The clean-up operation has since spread to other urban areas with police
vowing to end lawlessness.
Meanwhile, Harare Metropolitan Governor David Karimanzira has since
reiterated that the clean-up was irreversible while city spokesperson Leslie
Gwindi sang from the song sheet.
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Daily Mirror, Zimbabwe

Unite in cleaning up city: police

The Daily Mirror Reporter
issue date :2005-Jun-01

THERE is need for a multi-sectoral approach to solve problems affecting
Harare that have resulted in a joint operation between city fathers and the
police to rid the city of illegal vending and unsanctioned structures,
police spokesperson Wayne Bvudzijena said yesterday.
The clean-up operations dubbed "Restore Order" and "Murambatsvina" were
launched last week and have seen a number of flea markets and other informal
trading centres being closed in the capital, while outbuildings in most of
the high density suburb demolished.
Bvudzijena said it was imperative for other sectors to join in the fight
against illegalities and also in the up keep of people who have been
displaced in the clean up exercise.
He said: "What we want is to deal permanently with problems affecting Harare
and we will continue with the programme until our objectives have been
achieved. We will keep on monitoring the situation. What is however, needed
is a multi-sectoral approach to this issue.
"Municipalities, local government and non-governmental organisations should
do their part in helping these people," he said.
Bvudzijena added that while some of the affected people were temporarily
accommodated at Caledonia Farm, stakeholders must come up with a permanent
"People are being accommodated and screened at Caledonia Farm. However, this
is not a permanent place and we are holding them for a maximum of three
days. It's just a transit camp before they are routed to appropriate places.
That is where other stakeholders should come in," Bvudzijena said.
He said the police would arrest anyone who returns to the places that have
been destroyed as they seek to maintain the city's cleanliness.
The clean-up operation has led to the destruction of some prominent
settlements like Hatcliffe Extension, Tongogara Park at White Cliff Farm and
several others that were set up at the height of farm occupations in 2000.
While some have relocated to their former places of origins and others
sought refugee with relatives, some have been sleeping in the open and
roadsides in the past few days.
Meanwhile, over 600 people have been arrested in Mashonaland East in the on
going clean-up exercise.
Provincial police spokesperson, Darlington Mathuthu said 270 people had been
arrested for hoarding basic commodities, 381 for various traffic offences,
16 for illegally dealing in gold and 15 for border jumping, while two tonnes
of sugar were discovered at Mutoko Centre.
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Daily Mirror, Zimbabwe

Mwonzora wins $52m lawsuit against CIO officer

The Daily Mirror Reporter
issue date :2005-Jun-01

THE National Constitutional Assembly (NCA) vice chairman Douglas Mwonzora
yesterday won a $52 million lawsuit in the Masvingo Magistrates court
against a member of the Central Intelligence Organisation, David Nyika, as
compensation for his damaged vehicle in a car accident in January.
In a default judgment by the court, Nyika was found at fault of wrongly,
negligently and unlawfully driving a vehicle that later hit Mwonzora's Mazda
B1600 along the Masvingo-Beitbridge road.
As a result of the accident, Mwonzora's vehicle suffered  $25 million in
damages that Nyika promised to pay at the time, but never did.
This forced Mwonzora to seek recourse with the courts seeking $50 million in
damages from Nyika with interest and costs of the suit.
Read the Mwonzora's request for default judgment: "The defendant having been
duly served with summons, the time for appearance by the defendant has
expired, the defendant not having entered an appearance to defend, but
having failed to plead within the prescribed time. judgment may be entered
against the defendant, as claimed in the summons."
A warrant of execution against Nyika issued by the court authorised Mwonzora
to attach property from the CIO member amounting to $52 129 600.
"This is therefore to authorise and require you to attach and remove
property of the said David Nyika," read part of the warrant of execution.
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Daily Mirror, Zimbabwe

Beverage firms face hiccups

The Daily Mirror Reporter
issue date :2005-Jun-01

FEARS of beer completely running out persisted stubbornly across the nation
throughout the weekend as major beverage producers were struggling to secure
various inputs necessary in the production process.
Sources close to  companies such as Delta Beverages and United Bottlers,
both major subsidiaries of listed Delta Corporation, said the two were
failing to secure inputs because of the current foreign currency shortages.
Delta weaned off all of its non-beverage subsidiaries such as hotel group
Zimsun, supermarket chain OK Zimbabwe, and furniture retail store Pelhams, a
few years back to concentrate on the core business of beverage
But the re-emerging spate of economic problems that have been afflicting the
country of late have strained the production capacities of most companies
since they rely heavily on the availability of foreign currency.
Sources said the two beverages companies were struggling to secure some key
production inputs such as bottle tops, malt and barley.
"There is a shortage of malt and barley at Delta Beverages and this is
extending to the total output of beer produced. They have told us that they
do not have the inputs and they have told some of their workers to go home,"
one source said
Last month, a well placed source revealed that due to the lack of foreign
currency on the auctions, United Bottlers faced closure unless it received
forex urgently.
The bottling company was said to be failing to import its concentrate and
the lack of a competitive price was rendering operations unviable.
In April, government ordered all companies that had increased prices on
their products to revert to the old prices that were prevalent before the
general elections.
United Bottlers was importing concentrate from US-based Coca-Cola Company on
credit, but the latter had since run out of patience over delays in payment.
Some shops in the city centre did not have lagers in supply while others
were  selling quarts and canned beer.
Other retail outlets in the suburbs have since adjusted the prices of lagers
by between $15 000 and $20 000 arguing that they had sourced the products
from fellow retailers  and not at wholesale price, hence the upward
"We have been told that our suppliers have stopped producing because there
is no beer. After these quarts run out there will be no more beer until they
tell us otherwise," a beverage merchandiser in a
leading supermarket in the city
These shortages were prevalent at most beerhalls and shops over
the weekend as the country continued its fight against economic decline.
The beer shortages follow hard on the heels of sharp shortages of basic
commodities such as maize meal, sugar and milk that have not been  on the
shelves in many retail outlets for months now.
The shortages also come on the back of acute and puzzling fuel shortages
that government has been promising to end for nearly a month.
The central bank has since declared that it has released up to US$18,5
million to national fuel procurer Noczim, for the provision of fuel.
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Daily Mirror, Zimbabwe

Prices of basic commodities gazzeted

The Daily Mirror Reporter
issue date :2005-Jun-01

The government has gazetted new prices of basic commodities. In a notice in
the government gazette last Friday, the Minister of Industry and Trade Obert
Mpofu said  the setting of the prices was done in accordance with Section 5
of the Control of goods (Price Control) Regulations of 2001.
The producer price for a loaf of bread has been set at $4 200, while the
retail price is at $4 500.
The retail price of a 10kg packet of roller meal is now $17 300 and the
retail is $19 000. The producer and retail prices for a 50kg roller meal are
now pegged at $79 600 and $ 88 000 respectively.
$5 430 is the new producer price of a kg of self raising flour, while the
wholesale and retail price of the same quantity is now $5 700 and $6 300
The producer, wholesale and retail prices for a 10kg are now $51 680, 54 300
and $59 700.                       - Mirror Reporter
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Taxi drivers roped-in to boost tourism

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

BULAWAYO, 31 May 2005 (IRIN) - Zimbabwe's Tourism industry, once the
country's second largest foreign currency earner, has declined sharply in
the past few years as a result of the ongoing economic and political crises.

In 2003 the tourism sector shrank 13 percent, and a further 4 percent in
2004. In a bid to combat negative perceptions about the country and
encourage visitors to return, tourism officials and the government have
roped in an unlikely ally - taxi drivers.

The Hospitality Association of Zimbabwe (HAZ), a coalition of hotel and
safari operators, is encouraging taxi drivers operating at airports and
resorts to give tourists a positive impression of Zimbabwe, because they are
often the first people tourists meet when arriving by air.

HAZ president Francis Ngwenya told IRIN that the programme, which started
last month, would run for a year.

"Visitors rely on them [taxi drivers] for the goings-on in the country -
hence our engagement. We want to make sure tourism regains its place as a
major contributor to the gross domestic product (GDP), creates employment
and improves foreign currency inflows," Ngwenya told IRIN.

"The number of tourist arrivals has dwindled in the past, mainly because of
the negative publicity the country has received from the international
press. Our desire is to counter such negativity and promote the industry in
the best way we can. We believe taxi [drivers] are important partners in
this struggle, and can really make a difference," he added.

Zimbabwe boasts some highly rated attractions, such as the Victoria Falls,
Lake Kariba and the Great Zimbabwe ruins, but since the fast-track land
reform programme in 2000, after which Zimbabwe's economic and political
crisis began deepening, tourists have shied away.

While HAZ is confident that the 'taxi driver' strategy will work, some
tourism marketers and economists are a little sceptical: most say the crisis
bedevilling the country is too glaring to ignore, although they have pledged
their commitment and are willing to play a part in sprucing up the country's
battered image.

Taxi driver Jonathan Mafuka, who operates from the Joshua Mqabuko Nkomo
airport in Zimbabwe's second city, Bulawayo, said visitors were generally
inquisitive about the current state of affairs in the country and were
always concerned about their security.

"Generally tourists are very curious and the first thing they want to know
is: how safe it is to be in Zimbabwe?" Mafuka commented. "These days they
also tend to ask if there are any prospects of street protests, food riots,
how wildlife is coping in view of land reforms, etc. So, really, it takes an
effort for one to cheat them into thinking that all is well."

He said he knew about the HAZ programme, but "it's like we are being turned
into propagandists, and we have to be paid for that".

HAZ said there were no immediate plans to pay taxi drivers for promoting
tourism, although it was an issue that would be discussed soon.

Zimbabwe used to record some of the highest numbers of foreign visitors in
Southern Africa, mostly from Europe, who spent millions in foreign currency.
But the situation has changed drastically in recent years.

Now the few tourists who visit Zimbabwe are mainly from the East - China,
Korea and Malaysia, according to government records - a reflection of the
government's 'Look East' policy, adopted in response to sanctions by Western

Visitor arrivals from China increased from 4,960 in 2003 to 24,437 in 2004,
while the number from Malaysia rose from 1,030 to 3,369 during the same

However, HAZ noted that if Zimbabwe were going to boost its declining
foreign currency reserves, it would have to increase tourism promotion in
European countries.
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Operation 'Clean-up' could tighten food shortages

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

JOHANNESBURG, 31 May 2005 (IRIN) - Aid agencies in Zimbabwe were gearing up
on Tuesday to assist the thousands of people leaving the capital as a result
of the government's crackdown on illegal dwellings and street vendors.

Although it is still not clear just how many families have sought shelter in
rural areas, an estimated 17,000 people have been arrested since the police
blitz that initially started as an attempt to rid Harare of illegal foreign
currency dealers and informal traders.

Since last week the campaign has moved into working-class areas in urban
centres, where illegal dwellings were demolished, reportedly leaving
thousands without shelter.

"We are closely monitoring the situation and are preparing to intervene -
right now, we are receiving reports form our provincial office, which will
give us a clearer idea of the needs," Zimbabwe Red Cross Society country
director, Emma Kundishora, told IRIN.

World Vision regional spokesman Robert Michel said the aid group was "on

"We have two warehouses in Bulawayo [in the south of the country] with a few
metric tonnes of maize and cooking oil. We are preparing to assist those who
need it, but we expect that we are going to need a lot more, should we be
required to step in," he said.

Michel warned that any further internal displacement was likely to
exacerbate the impact of current food shortages.

As many as 4.5 million Zimbabweans out of a population of 11.6 million have
been estimated as needing food aid this year.

"In the rural areas there are already food concerns; with the additional
families now fleeing there, aid agencies are going to have their work cut
out for them," Michel added.

The 'clean-up' campaign, which authorities say is aimed at curbing rising
crime and urban decay, has been roundly condemned by rights activists and
the opposition Movement for Democratic Change.

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493 Vehicles Impounded

The Herald (Harare)

May 29, 2005
Posted to the web May 31, 2005


POLICE in Harare have impounded 493 defective vehicles and raised more than
$1,7 billion in revenue under "Operation Restore Order" which is aimed at
ridding the city's roads of unroadworthy vehicles.

Senior staff officer for national traffic Assistant Commissioner Apollonia
Munzverengwi yesterday said the impounded vehicles included small cars,
lorries and buses.

She said they have raised $1 787 955 000 in revenue since the operation
commenced on May 14.

The vehicles, she said, were impounded for defects, having inadequate
paperwork such as insurance, carbon and licence disks and also for breaching
traffic rules such as stopping in dangerous areas.

Most of the impounded vehicles were parked at the Police Support Unit
Headquarters in Chikurubi where officers from the Vehicle Inspection
Department were examining them.

Officials from the Central Vehicle Registry were also testing commuter
omnibuses that had been issued with discontinuance notices. Vehicles issued
with discontinuance notices are not supposed to be back on the roads until
they are repaired.

When The Herald visited the impounded lot, owners whose cars had been seized
for minor defects were busy paying fines and collecting their vehicles.
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Filling Stations Take Delivery of Fuel

The Herald (Harare)

May 29, 2005
Posted to the web May 31, 2005


SEVERAL fuel stations in Harare took delivery of fuel yesterday with anxious
motorists being seen milling around the service stations to buy the scarce

At some of the filling stations, police had to be deployed to maintain order
as commotion broke out with the motorists trying to outdo each other to
reach the pumps.

However, public transport remains in short supply. Desperate commuters could
be seen as early as 11am waiting for transport to take them to destinations
out of the city centre.

The country has been experiencing fuel problems over the past weeks with
unscrupulous dealers hoarding the commodity for sale on the black market.

Because of high demand for fuel, motorists were being forced to fork out as
much as $50 000 for a litre of petrol instead of the gazetted price of $3

The Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) on Tuesday announced that it had released
US$18,5 million to the National Oil Company of Zimbabwe for the procurement
of fuel with the first tranche made available last Friday.

Secretary for Energy and Power Development Mr Justin Mupamhanga this week
said he was confident that the situation would improve.

"We are working hand in glove with the RBZ. It's not just about the money,
but also the logistics in the supply chain. The process is a bit long but
efforts are being made to plug all the gaps," he said.
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Carte blanche for land grabs
31/05/2005 21:34  - (SA)

Harare - Zimbabwe will amend its constitution to allow the state to seize
land and claim full ownership without having to deal with court challenges,
the lands minister said on Tuesday.

Didymus Mutasa told AFP that the proposed amendment would allow the state to
immediately become the owner of farmland once a property had been
"designated" for expropriation.

"The problem with our land reform process currently is that people can
object to it and go to court, not that they want the land back, but just to
frustrate the programme," he told AFP in an interview.

"Now we want to stop that frustration by simply saying once any land has
been designated, that land immediately reverts to ownership by the state."

"Once that land belongs to the state, the state can do what it wants with
it, it can pass on that ownership to someone else, and in this case that
someone will be a new landowner ... on the basis of a lease we hope will run
for 99 years," Mutasa said.

Thousands of white Zimbabwean farmers who lost their land over the past five
years have gone to court to try and have their evictions overturned but
without much success.

In January, the country's administrative court started going through more
than 5 000 land cases, which a representative of white farmers, Mike Clarke,
described as their bid against the "attempt to legitimise an illegal

The legal process is likely to be overtaken by the constitutional reforms
which Mutasa said government wants tabled "as soon as possible" when
parliament reconvenes on June 9.

Mutasa said farmers whose land was not earmarked for seizure would retain
titles to their properties.
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New Zimbabwe

Mugabe's war on flea markets will backfire

By Brighton Musonza
Last updated: 06/01/2005 03:44:54
THE on-going operation against flea market traders in Zimbabwe is just as
dirty as its operatives, and not some clean-up exercise we are being told it

Zanu PF has come up with silly, extravagant political stunts over the years
and nothing has brought us any good.

Why should we accept better things from people who have failed us 25 years.
If only Sekai Makwavarara could learn from the way Jonathan Moyo was used,
then she should have salvaged herself from this monster of a regime.

I am intrigued by the defeaning silence from the MDC and its failure to take
advantages of opportunities. It is not enough for the MDC to tell its
supporters that it is afraid of a "State of Emergency" or being outlawed. No
pain, no gain, the
MDC leadership has got to be jailed, whacked or face humiliation if they are
to be taken serious. They can't expect it nice and easy from the
comfort of Harvest House. They have got to come out and defend the people
and not some internet press statement.

This "clean up" is only ear marked to tame a time bomb ready to explode in
the wake of food and basic commodities shortages. In other words, this is
Zanu PF on a counter attack. Attacking its people, cooking and roasting them
into submission and leaving them weaker with the ultimate aim to effect
wicked constitutional reforms that furthers the personal egos of the evil
dictator at State Housee. This is the work of many retired soldiers now
masquerading as Cabinet Ministers treating people as "povo" in their
military conduct, using military methods to instil fear among the civilian

This is also being used by Zanu PF to have more people in rural areas depend
on them for food aid, since their livelihoods have been destroyed. The
regime will predictably call for foreign food aid and hand out food to
manipulate the hearts and minds of the innocent victims of its crude,
selfish project. Zanu PF is simply up to its game of cynicism and hubris.

Now as the poor folks are being victimised, the Zanu PF multiple farm owners
are being given 99 year leases on prime agricultural land with Dydimus
Mutasa presiding over this massive corruption. The regime failed to clean-up
multiple farm ownership wrangles but has the guts to go gung ho on innocent
poor folks in the slams, using armed forces commanded by nephews and
loyalists who have benefited from the corrupt State House Destroyer.

Black markets are not destroyed by torching the physical market stalls,
after all these are real markets and the regime's markets are mere patriotic
outlets, urging the seller to sell below cost. This regime should learn that
after the closure of the Exchange Bureaus over two years ago, foreign
exchange deals went underground and the foreign currency went with them.
Watch the markets hit back!
Brighton Musonza is a student in the United Kingdom and regular contributor
on several online forums

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      Zim state TV to get competitor?

      The monopoly of Zimbabwe Broadcasting Holdings is set to come to an
end in that country as Munhumutape African Broadcasting Corporation (MABC)
has emerged as the only likely candidate to get a free-to-air commercial
television licence from the Broadcasting Authority of Zimbabwe (BAZ), writes
Roadwin Chirara in the Zimbabwe Independent.

      The authority, which is mandated by an act of parliament to license
and regulate the broadcasting sector, is set to award the company a licence.
      MABC's application to BAZ was submitted for consideration after the
broadcasting authority invited prospective broadcasting companies to apply
for licences in the categories of free-to-air commercial radio licence and
free-to-air television broadcasting licence.

      MABC's fate is likely to be decided after a public hearing which has
been set for June 8, a position which BAZ acting chairman, Pikirayi
Deketeke, confirmed last week.

      Deketeke said the public hearing was the final stage in awarding a
licence according to the Broadcast Services Act.

      "We have set a date for the MABC hearing and this is the final stage
in the licensing process," said Deketeke. "You have to realise the company
has presented us with a solid and detailed application as required by the

      He said the other stations that had applied for radio licences had
failed to meet the requirements set by the authority.

Tuesday, 31 May, 2005
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