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From The Cape Times (SA), 20 June

Dark, acrid smoke now rises above Victoria Falls gorge in place of the mist

By Jonathan Pindor

The sight of the mist rising out of the Victoria Falls gorge, said David
Livingstone, was so beautiful that it stopped angels in their flight. Last
week, the dark, acrid smoke of burning homes billowing up on the other side
of the falls village, would have caused those angels to hasten on their way
in horror. In a nationwide purge that the government has called Operation
Murambatsvina, "unwanted" sectors of the urban population were being
targeted for relocation to rural areas, precipitating a humanitarian crisis
of enormous proportions. Victoria Falls, a tourist mecca with a highly
developed adventure industry and many elegant hotels, had not been spared.
Shacks, brick houses and spaza shops - most owned by respectable citizens -
were set alight in President Robert Mugabe's "clean-up" campaign of "illegal
structures". Two days earlier armed police had moved into town; outsiders
come to torch the homes of their countrymen. They began at 3am in the
coldest hour of a winter's night, ordering people out of their beds, giving
them scant warning before dousing their shacks with petrol and setting them
alight. Families, confronted by guns, stood mutely in the township's dusty
streets, gaping at the state-sanctioned arson.

It didn't stop at shacks. Armed with a council plan, the police began
setting alight brick houses. When their owners protested that they had paid
for and been given the stands and building rights by the council, police
claimed they'd been illegally issued by a corrupt official and had to be
demolished. Spaza shops were next. Clustered along township roads, they had
been the economic lifeblood of hundreds of residents. Throughout the
country, urban people were being forced into the drought-ravaged rural areas
where there are high levels of impoverishment and starvation. Yet there are
few buses to take them and a chronic shortage of fuel. The crackdown is
being seen by most victims as a post-election crackdown on Movement for
Democratic Change supporters. At the elegant Victoria Falls Hotel, an
impeccably dressed waiter was clearly deeply traumatised as he served pots
of Tanganda tea to wealthy holidaymakers. "I have to be here because I need
this job," he lamented. "I've worked here for eight years. But my house was
burnt, my wife is on the street with our baby. Where are we to sleep
tonight?" He offered to take in a small digital camera to try to get some
shots, but if he'd been caught, the consequences would have been dire. Armed
police were everywhere and seemed jumpy and ready to shoot. His anger,
though, made him willing to take the chance, but it seemed irresponsible of
me to expose him to even further risk.

At a restaurant, the manageress was desperately worried about the furniture
on her stoep. "All night people were coming to me with their belongings.
They're from my church; I can't turn them away. They have nowhere to go,
nowhere to put their possessions. But now I hear that if the police see
furniture on your veranda they burn your house too. There was a lady with a
two-month-old baby with nowhere to go. And it was cold, so cold. If you have
two radios or two TVs, the police take one. They say you must be using
illegal money to buy them. If they find you with forex (US dollars, rands or
pounds) they take that too and tell you it is illegal to hold forex." The
forced removals are occurring against a background of severe food shortages
and unemployment levels in excess of 70%. In addition, Zimbabwe has one of
the highest levels of HIV in the world with around 25% of the sexually
active population infected. With the clampdown on information, it's
difficult to estimate the number of people evicted - estimates are between
250 000 and a million. Victoria Falls is the tourist centre of Zimbabwe and
both tour operators and hoteliers struggled to deflect questions from
foreigners about the billowing smoke and absence of local people in the
village. Some simply gave up trying.

"It's a bloody disaster," one operator told me. "How can we keep tourism
going with this happening? Next I suspect we're going to be raided for
forex. You have to charge foreigners in forex, but then you're supposed to
run to the bank and change it into Zim dollars. But you can't buy anything
in Zim dollars. They're cheaper than toilet paper and nobody outside the
country will accept them. If you don't hold forex you can't get spare parts
for your vehicles or replace broken equipment or even buy the sort of food
that tourists expect." People in Victoria Falls were confused by South
Africa's failure to intervene. There's even a wild rumour going round that
the reason for President Thabo Mbeki's lack of response is that he owns a
number of diamond mines in Zimbabwe. It's the only way people can understand
his support for Mugabe. On a beautiful drive through the winter-yellowing
mopane woodland to the Botswana border, a bus driver spoke about the
destruction of his community. "It's a war," he said. "When Zanu PF took over
we thought we'd be free. But it's the same government as before, only with
black faces. We haven't won our freedom yet. It still has to come. It will
come. Everything must end sometime... "
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New Zimbabwe

Zimbabwe: talking with one voice

By Tendeukai Bongozozo
Last updated: 06/21/2005 03:16:22
ELECTIONS have come and gone. Whether they were stolen or not the result
still stands: ZANU PF is the ruling party. NCA called for a boycott, ZINASU
did the same, but the rabble wanted MDC to participate.

We meet again in the background of a shrinking democratic space. Every voice
of resistance is being strangulated. When it was MDC under siege others were
smiling, now that the sword is on them they are crying out loudly forgetting
that only yesterday it was them who were reluctant to fight the smaller
devil that was insidiously developing fangs. Everyone is now running to
everyone in search of solace. This is a lesson to us all-this is a war on
everyone thus everyone has to be involved!!

The reason why we have failed is simple -- we have been fighting sporadic
uncoordinated battles with no will to amalgamate our forces. We spent more
time seated behind closed curtains articulating problems that were obvious
to all and sundry. We have been taking a bourgeois's approach towards the
struggle. We have co-modified the struggle at the expense of our vision to
realise a democratic Zimbabwe!

Why I call these sporadic is because we have limited our objectives and
sought to pursue these without turning our heads towards other pressing and
equally important issues. NCA has blended itself as a force for a
people-driven constitution, ZINASU has limited itself to representing the
interests of students and students alone whilst MDC wants to get into power
and probably seek to make reforms from there. There are clashes of
ideologies between forces whose main goal at the end of it all is the
same -- to restore democracy in Zimbabwe.

Crisis in Zimbabwe coalition is shouting for democratic space, NCA is
shouting for democratic space, WOZA is shouting for the same space, so is
ZINASU and ZCTU. The question is why these organisations need democratic
space. If Mugabe lifts all those repressive laws and allows NCA to consult
freely, ZINASU and ZCTU to address students and workers respectively without
fear or victimisation what will be next? Does it mean that NCA is just a
pressure group pursuing a democratic constitution only, does it mean that
ZINASU is only interested in issues pertaining to student affairs only. If
given the space what will we do with it?

This is where we need to come clear; Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition, NCA,
ZINASU, ZCTU and other organisations are representative pressure groups. In
their objectives they do not seek to rule this country nor to take part in
the political governance of this country but to help in the democratic
transformation, which would allow them to function more effectively and
increase their relevance. MDC is a political party and not a pressure group.

The difference between these organisations and MDC is that they are
pro-democratic forces in pursuit of isolated agendas with the ultimate hope
of helping in the realisation of a better democracy in Zimbabwe whilst MDC
is an instrument of implementation wanting democratic space to enable it to
participate in the political governance of this country hopefully to
attribute its existence to the will of the people. The point here is that
MDC needs ZINASU but ZINASU will need MDC at least as a government for its
continued existence and significance. What it implies is that out of the
vision to perpetuate the legacy of students` rights ZINASU should not only
sympathise with MDC but also support it especially in this critical time.
The same applies to other organisations.

It does not help to pursue impulsive struggles for the sake of putting our
names or the names of our organisations in the limelight. The nerve shown by
Dr Madhuku to me is recklessness and a futile attempt to sustain relevance.
What Madhuku should realise is that he can never push for a democratic
constitution by himself alone. He needs the support of the people. In actual
fact we as intellectuals support the idea but the constitution might mean
nothing to a starving peasant down in Murombedzi. We respect Madhuku for
showing us that this despotic system can be challenged but NCA now needs to
broaden its activities and seek to orient everyone on the need and
importance of a democratic constitution but more importantly a democratic
government. That this can be achieved by primarily pushing for the current
government to adopt a new people-driven constitution or by bringing a people's
government into power. This applies for all other organisations.

MDC on its part should also mature and act responsibly, wisely and sensibly.
It is a blessing in disguise that it failed to take power within five years
of its formation otherwise we could be in a deeper quagmire than what we are
currently in. It is time they realise that they are a political party and
not a pressure group, whose main objective is to rule this country and rule
democratically. Upon recalling this, it should then weigh all the possible
routes to democracy.

Firstly, not everyone in MDC is interested in change. It is time to
sacrifice those who are not willing to sacrifice themselves for the purpose
of the struggle. It is time to restructure. To a peasant farmer in
Chikombedzi, MDC is an elitist party seeking to represent the interests of
the rich only yet this is not correct-at least from the party's view. There
is need for democratic accountability and collective responsibility for all
the actions that the party takes. It is not always feasible that everybody
be consulted before the party makes a decision but it is very attainable to
inform everyone of a decision taken. The party should desist from being an
intellectuals` league but bear with the majority of its supporters who might
not be at an equal academic footing with some of its leaders. Thus the party
should not assume that everybody grasps their arguments at a level similar
to theirs. For example, the RESTART PROGRAMME: not more than 10 % know about
its existence, its contents or even its significance. What MDC has failed is
to bring down for public consumption all those professional jargons,
something that ZANU PF has perfected to its advantage.

Secondly, discipline is an imperative virtue that should punctuate the
perpetual existence of any political party. In as much as we are all part of
the party, it does not follow that we have the right to hold the party at
ransom simply because we feel something has not been done right. Democracy
does not mean the freedom to infringe on other people's basic rights as
individuals. At the end of it all the desires of the party should prevail
over the needs and aspirations of individuals. It is politically improvident
that someone hires a bunch of youths to harass other party members simply
because of the need to consolidate political power and relevance. Morgan
Tsvangirai is challenged to bring sanity to the party!

Finally, there is too much idleness at the party. It is not too late for the
party to start embarking on a clear, precise and open agenda. If the party
is saying the elections were rigged are they going to reclaim the elections?
Right now MDC does not have the capacity to call for a nationwide mass
action or strike but if they work in earnest.

With all the dedication and sacrifice that this requires very soon MDC would
replant the zeal and enthusiasm seen in years gone by. What people should
realise is that the party is going through a vital metamorphosis
characteristic of all movements serious on taking power -- some chancers
have to go while some new and dynamic voices have to be added. The same
happened to the Red Army, Mensheviks, PF-ZAPU and even ZANU PF of the
pre-independence era. Some people in MDC definitely have to go because they
have made a fortune; they have co-modified the struggle. A capitalistic
approach to the struggle brings with it mistrust and fear of loss. How can a
man with six PRADOs sacrifice himself for the benefit of a puny midget
treading the street with nothing to show of it to the world?

The struggle is not yet lost, a man who fights and runs lives to fight
another day. A bend on the road is not the end of the road unless of course
one fails to negotiate the curve -- LONG LIVE THE STRUGGLE FOR DEMOCRACY!!
Tendeukai Bongozozo is former chairman of the University of Zimbabwe
Students Union

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      Zim clean-up moves to business
      Jun 20 2005 01:55:00:967PM

      Harare - Zimbabwean officials said on Monday they were extending a
widely condemned drive involving the flattening of shacks and homes dubbed
"illegal structures" to business offices in Harare's posh northern suburbs.
      "We are moving everywhere, including the northern suburbs and some
rural areas, everywhere where there is an illegal structure, we will get
there," Harare police spokesperson Whisper Bondayi said.

      "We are targetting all illegal structures," he told AFP in an

      Leslie Gwindi, the spokesperson for the Harare city council, said the
campaign would now focus on offices violating laws for doing business in
residential areas in the northern suburbs, where the city's elite -
including top politicians, businessmen and sports personalities - live.

      "We will be moving in to close offices in undesignated areas in the
northern suburbs," he said.

      "We cannot stand aside and look while people run out of accommodation
when houses are being turned into offices," Bondayi was quoted by the
state-owned Herald newspaper as saying.

      Hordes of armed police have gone on the rampage over the past month in
major towns across Zimbabwe, demolishing and torching backyard shacks and
makeshift shop stalls in a campaign that has drawn global condemnation,
including from the United States and churches.

      The operation has so far left between 200 000 and 1.5 million people
homeless, according to the United Nations and the opposition respectively.

      The double-barrelled crackdown, code-named Operation Murambatsvina,
which means "Get rid of trash", and referred to as "tsunami" among urban
dwellers, comes against a backdrop of worsening food and fuel shortages.

      Over the weekend, the Harare municipality shut down several office
blocks that were considered "overcrowded, filthy and unhygienic", according
to the Herald.

      On Sunday, armed police used bulldozers to raze backyard structures
and market stalls in the teeming township of Chitungwiza, south of Harare,
where some two million people live.

      An AFP correspondent witnessed a woman throwing herself to the ground,
wailing "my property, my property," after police demolished her former home
in Chitungwiza's Saint Mary's quarter.

      Some residents rummaged through debris to salvage broken pieces of
furniture while scores of families lined the streets with their belongings
contemplating their next move.

      In other parts of Chitungwiza, police ordered residents through a
loud-hailer to destroy "all illegal structures except the main house".

      Truckloads of riot police patrolled Chitungwiza's streets following
reports that residents in the township, an opposition bastion, intended to
resist the demolitions.

      Chitungwiza, situated 25km south-east of Harare, was created in the
1970s with a capacity for 30 000 people but its population ballooned as it
became a haven for Harare's working class.

      The township provided the venue for the launch nearly six years ago of
the opposition Movement for Democratic Change, which has posed the stiffest
challenge to President Robert Mugabe since he came to power in 1980 when
Zimbabwe gained independence from Britain.

      The demolitions in Chitungwiza came a day after police started
destroying shacks in Epsworth, Harare's oldest shantytown.

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Zim Standard

Clean-up splits Zanu PF
By Foster Dongozi and Vusumuzi Sifile

THE decision to destroy homes and flea markets around the country has
reportedly left Zanu PF divided, with some senior Central Committee and
Politburo members describing the locally and internationally condemned
exercise as an anti-people campaign.

More than 20 000 people have been arrested during the blitz, while hundreds
of thousands have been displaced after their homes were destroyed.
Senior Zanu PF officials have not come out in the open in support of the
brutal campaign because they are concerned it could cost them potential
votes in future elections.

A Politburo member, who declined to be named, told The Standard yesterday:

"What is going on is absolute madness. It does not make sense to destroy
people's homes and their sources of income when there is a lot of poverty
and suffering. That is why you have not seen any politician supporting this

Only President Robert Mugabe publicly supported the campaign at a recent
Zanu PF Central Committee meeting.

Kembo Mohadi, the Minister of Home Affairs, who heads the police, has
remained tight-lipped on the exercise, preferring to let senior police
officers, Edmore Veterai and the police commissioner, Augustine Chihuri, at
the forefront parrying criticism of the campaign.

Acting Harare executive mayor, Sekesai Makwavarara, who defected from the
opposition Movement for Democratic Change after being elected on that
party's ticket has also been roped in to support the clampdown while other
mayors around the country have not been as vocal or enthusiastic about the

Mohadi was not reachable for comment last night.

The campaign has also been castigated by veterans of the liberation
struggle, who are an integral part of Zanu PF.

Thousands of war veterans, who had resettled themselves at different
settlements around the country, had their houses demolished by the
government during the past four weeks.

Zimbabwe National Liberation War Veterans' Association chairman, Jabulani
Sibanda who is also former Zanu PF Bulawayo provincial chairman told The
Standard that it was "unfortunate that the people who fought tirelessly for
the liberation of the country are being made to suffer at the hands of a
government that we put into power."

"This is not the first time war veterans are suffering. If you know your
history, you will remember that our bases in Zambia and Mozambique were
bombed but that did not kill our fighting spirit. Our parents' homes were
burnt, but that inspired us even more," said Sibanda.

"During the war, we lost Herbert Chitepo and Jason Ziyapapa Moyo, who were
exploded to death. We also lost Ethan Dube who disappeared, Josiah
Tongogara, who died in an accident that is yet to be detailed. We suspect
there were some people in the struggle who were eliminating them, and today
some of them are in power. They are now finishing us so as to remain
undisturbed in furthering their mission, which they got from the
imperialists - to disturb the revolution," he said without identifying the

In a statement, the Zimbabwe Liberators' Platform (ZLP) council said some of
the fallen heroes "must be turning in their graves when their comrades and
the people they liberated are brutalised by a government borne out of a
bitter liberation struggle."

"Obviously the operation is unlawful, brutal and insensitive as it violates
human rights and inflicts untold suffering on an innocent population. Even
the war veterans, who were used as cannon fodder by the ruling Zanu PF party
to invade farms in 2000, have also become victims. The motive for the
unprecedented action is unclear and misguided," reads part of the ZLP
statement released to The Standard.

The fiery Sibanda said the government would not get away with murder, "as
Zimbabwe has heroic people who are prepared to die for a worthy cause. That
is why we have a Heroes' Acre, where such people lie.

"The heroic people are counting the activities and damage being done and
will definitely do something to fight this hegemonic policy by a few

However, Zanu PF stalwarts, Nathan Shamuyarira and Didymus Mutasa denied
that Operation Restore Order had divided the ruling party. "It's not true,
those are lies. We are strongly united in our efforts to make Zimbabwe a
clean and safe environment," said, Mutasa, the Minister of State for
National Security.

"The decision to embark on a clean up campaign was taken at Cabinet level
and right now I am in Chipinge, where the people are praising us for the
clean up campaign. You people at The Standard are always making noise about
the rule of law and when we use the law you make unnecessary noises."

Shamuyarira said the campaign had the support of the ruling party's

He said: "The decision to embark on a clean up campaign was adopted at both
party and government level and we fully support it. When food is sold in the
open under unhygienic conditions, it could lead to a lot of disease
outbreaks. The people of Zimbabwe deserve a clean environment. Many people
are in support of the clean up except the MDC. The stay away was a flop
because the people of Zimbabwe are fully behind the clean up exercise."
Shamuyarira said.

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Zim Standard

Government fails to end fuel crisis
By our own Staff

DESPITE repeated assurances by the government that the fuel supply situation
will normalise "in a few weeks"; crippling fuel shortages continue to be
experienced countrywide.

Long winding queues of desperate motorists searching for fuel have become a
permanent feature of Harare, again.
Although motorists struggle to get the precious fuel, bulldozers which have
been destroying homes appear to be adequately supplied.

Energy and Power Development minister, Mike Nyambuya, was very vague when he
told journalists, in Harare on Friday that his ministry was coming up with a
Petroleum Bill that is expected to "ensure long term measures" in the supply
of fuel.

He did not, however, address the immediate crisis, which has left many
commuters stranded all over especially in Bulwayo and Harare.

Players in the fuel sector were yesterday afraid to comment on the absence
of fuel, saying only the minister, Nyambuya could acomment, suggesting this
has become a security issue.

"I beg you please don't ask me to comment on the fuel situation. I don't
want any trouble with anybody by talking about fuel," said a senior official
in the fuel industry.

Desperate Harare residents were yesterday battling to find transport to and
from their homes as most commuter buses were queuing for the scarce

Many commuter buses are off the road after they were impounded by the police
during the ongoing clean-up campaign.
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Zim Standard

Police dodge questions on impounded goods
By our own Staff

POLICE have been less transparent in discussing the whereabouts of goods
worth billions of dollars that were confiscated from flea market operators,
vegetable vendors and hawkers as part of the clean up campaign aimed at
restoring order in the capital.

Only sugar, which was impounded from vendors, has been publicly auctioned.
Traders who spoke to The Standard said they were unhappy with the slow pace
at which their goods were being disposed of.

Flea market owners who had their wares impounded said they had not received
their items back more than three weeks after the police raids last month.

Some of the goods impounded by the police include designer clothing.

One trader who declined to be named said: "The goods were just thrown into
trucks and it will be difficult for the police to say which goods belong to

"I don't know if we are going to get our goods back."

Other items that were confiscated included audio and video cassettes,
compact discs, shoes, jeans, cellphone chargers and other electrical

Flea market traders, informal sector manufacturers and tuck shop owners lost
billions of dollars worth of goods and property when police swooped on them
during the blitz.

Stanley Madzinga, who lost his wares during the clean-up campaign, is a
bitter man.

"After I failed to get a job in the formal market I decided to buy and sell
goods in the informal market but today I don't know what I am going to do
next. They have destroyed my source of income," Madzinga said.

Out of all the impounded goods only 30 000 tonnes of sugar recovered from
Mbare was publicly disposed of through a public auction at the Mbare
Magistrate's Court last week.

However police spokesperson, Superintendent Oliver Mandipaka, said they had
no legal obligation to tell the public how they were going to dispose of all
the goods they recover during their operations.

"We are not under any single legal obligation to tell people what we are
going to do with exhibits. Everyday we recover exhibits in our day-to-day
operations," said Mandipaka.

He, however, said most of the goods were disposed of in terms of the law.
"Most of the flea markets owners who were operating legally were given back
their goods and they just paid fines," he said.

Mandipaka said they have several ways of disposing of goods that they would
have been recovered from suspects.

"Officers may be ordered to destroy all perishables a few days after they
are recovered and some goods are disposed of through public auction," he

Mandipaka said the police were now more energised and were determined to rid
the country of all criminal elements.

"We are going to be more vigorous because we can not have a society where
everyone is corrupt. We are not going to stop this operation until
everything returns back to normal," Mandipaka said.

Thousands of Zimbabweans had resorted to informal trading due to shrinking
formal job opportunities as a result of economic recession, largely blamed
on Zanu PF government's mismanagement.
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Zim Standard

Govt prints more money
By our own Correspondent

THE government, which throughout last year was praised for maintaining
surpluses in its treasury account with the central bank, has been forced to
print new money to finance an overshooting Budget deficit after failing to
extract about Z$6 trillion from local credit markets, StandardBusiness has

In its 2005 national Budget statement presented in November 2004, the
government had budgeted a fiscal deficit of 5 % of gross domestic product
(GDP), which at the time was projected to surge from a 2,5 % shrinkage in
2004 to about 3,5 to 5 % this year.
Finance Minister Herbert Murerwa in his last Budget statement assured the
nation that the government would source from local credit markets the Z$5
trillion budget deficit - about 18 % of the total expenditures for the year
amounting to Z$27,5 trillion - since offshore capital support was put on ice
because of international sanctions.

However, the resurgence in hyperinflation, coupled with huge food import
expenses caused by the drought, plus the bloated new Cabinet that is
fleecing unbudgeted money, has effectively inflated by about 40 % the cost
of running the State.

The drought, which has buried hopes of a projected agriculture-led economic
recovery and positive real growth, also enmeshes Zimra in the same web of
financial crisis because its forecasted revenue collection target of about
Z$22 trillion is unlikely to be achieved.

This unforeseen economic shrinkage and accompanying inflationary pressures
have conspired to force the real Budget deficit to leap to levels of more
than Z$7 trillion, pushing the State into a financial quagmire.

Official sources said the government's current account with the RBZ has sunk
into an overdraft position of about Z$1 trillion against a statutory limit
on advances to government of about Z$1,3 trillion for the running budget.

Economist John Robertson told StandardBusiness the government has now
resorted to borrowing from RBZ money, which in actual fact, does not exist.
Money borrowed from the RBZ is repaid by printing new money and not created
productively. This tends to flood the economy with more money than the value
of goods available.

Current statistics show that money supply growth has more than doubled in
the past year, yet the economy is shrinking and this is ample evidence that
more money is being printed ahead of developments in the productive sector.

Said Robertson: "The government has already started printing money. It is
printing money to the extent that it has been allowed to borrow from the
RBZ. This money has not been created productively and this means that the
government is borrowing money that does not exist. There are no goods to
represent that money. Worse still, this money being borrowed is not being
used productively.

"The reason why the government is now failing to borrow from the money
market to finance its budget deficit is simply that for a long time it
pursued policies which reduced the savings of the country by paying low
rates on its borrowing instruments (TBs and bonds). As a result, there is
shortage of money in the market.

"They only realised this mistake at the end of last month, when they decided
to raise rates in order to encourage people to lend to the government. But
then the money the government hopes to borrow is simply not there. They
forgot that if you want money today, you should have saved yesterday."

Eric Bloch, an economic critic, said the only emergency exit door open to
the government would be to cut on expenditure - which is unlikely given the
extended Cabinet (and the planned Senate) or to squeeze the already
crumbling private sector by increasing taxes.

The government is trying to drive savings into the market at a faster rate
by increasing TB rates from about 90 % to a range between 130 and 150 % in a
desperate effort to stick to non-inflationary Budget deficit financing
through conventional market borrowing at the insistence of RBZ Governor
Gideon Gono.

But the policy decision to raise the deposit rates on long-life securities
could put hot charcoal under the feet of the cash-strapped government by
catapulting public domestic debt to uncontrollable magnitudes.
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Zim Standard

                        Inflation rise deals big blow to govt's economic
                        By Kumbirai Mafunda

                        ZIMBABWE'S economic turnaround nose dived last week
as inflation, which has been stabilising for the past eight or so months,
defied government expectations and rose to 144,4% in May.

                        Although the government and Reserve Bank Governor
Gideon Gono tried to play down the effects of Zimbabwe's overheating
economy, the reality is that it is proving very difficult to tame runaway
inflation because of rising prices of basic commodities and the lack of hard
currency to import fuel and other essentials.
                        Since he took office as Zimbabwe's third Governor in
December 2003, Gono has largely been credited for reining in runaway
inflation, which was once at 622,8% in January 2004 to 123,7% in March 2005,
and for tidying up the financial sector.

                        But the consecutive surge including the creeping in
of more inflationary pressures in the past four months are threatening his
good work. Although in March inflation had surprisingly softened from a
February peak of 127%, a round of price increases effected on almost all
basic commodities soon after the March parliamentary elections won by the
ruling Zanu PF party, is fuelling inflation into the stratosphere once

                        The steep increase revealed last week by the Central
Statistics Office (CSO) showed that the average cost of goods and services
rose by 13,1% - gaining 5,8% on the April rate of 7,4%.

                        The government, which tracks inflation each month by
measuring the price movements of a given quality and quantity of goods and
services, attributed the increase in large part to beverages, rent and
rates, meat, owing to a blitz on vendors. The upward effect mainly came from
non-food items.

                        The Consumer Price Index (CPI), the most closely
watched inflation gauge, indicates that Zimbabweans paid sharply higher
prices for food in May, causing inflation at the consumer level to rise at
its quickest pace in five months.

                        The surge in inflation, analysts say, sounds a death
knell to Gono's efforts to slay the inflation dragon ominously snarling at
the economy.

                        Though the increase was in line with Zimbabweans'
forecasts, economists and consumer groups question the basis for the
calculation. They feel the government statisticians are ignoring the
necessity for black market purchase of a wide range of basics, unobtainable
at the official prices.

                        "Inflation will keep on going up. It is not finished
yet," said Tony Hawkins of the University of Zimbabwe's Graduate School of
Management. Hawkins says an imminent review of electricity tariffs and fuel
prices will fuel the rampaging inflation scourge.

                        He added: "How much longer can we hold on to the
fuel prices?" Hawkins said inflation would rise faster in the third quarter.
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Zim Standard

                  MDC MPs to lose pay
                  By Kumbirai Mafunda

                  OPPOSITION Movement for Democratic Change (MDC)
legislators could have their June salaries and allowances forfeited for
boycotting President Robert Mugabe's address to Parliament, The Standard has
been told.

                  Sources within the ruling party said they were
contemplating taking the opposition's snub to Parliament when it resumes on
Tuesday (21 June), with the aim of blocking their salaries.
                  Forty-one MDC MPs and Jonathan Moyo boycotted the opening
of the first session of the Sixth Parliament of Zimbabwe in line with the
party's call on Zimbabweans to stay away from work in protest against
worsening social and economic hardships.

                  Mugabe's address coincided with a two-day stayaway
organized by the Broad Alliance, a civic grouping to protest the ruthless
destruction of homes and a crackdown on millions of informal traders,
sanctioned by the government.

                  "Some MPs have been offended by the MDC's move. So they
will definitely move a motion in Parliament to deal with them," said the

                  But MDC secretary-general Welshman Ncube laughed off the
threatened motion. "We are definitely not intimated by any such tactics,"
Ncube said.

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Zim Standard

                  West ignores Mugabe rhetoric, offers aid
                  By Valentine Maponga

                  DESPITE President Robert Mugabe's incessant anti-west
rhetoric, developed countries have continued to offer much-needed support to
Zimbabweans to ensure that they enjoy facilities which their own government
cannot provide.

                  Britain, the USA and their allies pour aid worth trillions
of dollars, which benefit millions of Zimbabweans despite State-sponsored
propaganda that western countries are against Zimbabwe.
                  One such country is Canada, which through its Embassy, has
been at the forefront of funding development projects among rural
communities by empowering the majority of the people to become self-reliant.

                  John Schram, the outgoing Canadian ambassador to Zimbabwe,
says he trained his sights on improving the lives of rural communities from
the day he arrived in the country.

                  Schram came to Zimbabwe in 2002 at a time when diplomatic
relations between Zimbabwe and Canada were strained.

                  The disagreements centred mainly on issues of governance
but the ambassador maintains that links between the two countries should be

                  Speaking during an interview with The Standard last week,
Ambassador Schram said Canada had committed more than 10,5 million Canadian
dollars ($54,6 billion) over the past three years for acquainting the less
privileged with life skills, new farming techniques, building water supply
projects and launching small-scale income generating activities.

                  "My feeling is that real development has to start with the
ordinary people in the rural areas and I think we have helped a lot in
equipping the less privileged with life-surviving skills," Schram said.

                  He said in the three years that he has been in Zimbabwe;
he managed to commission projects, which he felt were very critical for the
well being of all the people.

                  The Canadians funded the construction of bridges, water
wells, schools and other projects that improved the lives of many in the
rural areas.

                  Schram said Canada funded the establishment of irrigation
schemes in the driest areas of Matabeleland, Masvingo and Manicaland. The
projects had improved and transformed people's lives.

                  The ambassador admitted that political relations were not
at their very best: "I can't pretend to have made some impact on the
politics but we still talk of working together from the time Zimbabwe was a
member of Commonwealth, and when Zimbabwe was still a leader among the
Frontline States in the anti-apartheid struggle in South Africa."

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Zim Standard

                  Air Zimbabwe pilots quizzed over mbanje find
                  By Foster Dongozi

                  AN AIR Zimbabwe cabin crew and two pilots were recently
questioned and searched by British police after a suitcase packed with
marijuana worth US$50 000 (about $1,75 billion on the parallel market) was
discovered at Gatwick Airport after the plane arrived in London.

                  Sources who witnessed the drama told The Standard that
sniffer-dogs became "excited" when the conveyor belt, carrying luggage from
the Air Zimbabwe plane started moving.
                  "When the sniffer dogs started yelping as an indication
that they had sensed some illegal substances, police details waited at
luggage belt for the bag owner to claim the suitcase," said a source.

                  The source added that after nobody claimed the suspicious
suitcase, detectives working in the drugs squad seized the suitcase and
found that it contained marijuana compressed into bricks.

                  "The police in Britain reacted by questioning and
searching the cabin crew and its pilots before they were allowed to go," the
source said.

                  A female employee with the airline has been suspended on
allegations that the suitcase laden with mbanje belonged to her.

                  After the incident, The Standard visited the Harare
International Airport where police officers and sniffer dogs were on the
prowl, to crack down on drug smugglers.

                  Attempts to obtain a comment from Air Zimbabwe chief
executive officer, Tendai Mahachi, were fruitless.

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Zim Standard

Sobering drinkers moan as beer shortage bites
By our own staff

BEER guzzlers who do not usually worry about shortages of basic commodities
like sugar or cooking oil, are now feeling the pinch as the country has been
experiencing shortages of both opaque and clear beer.

The shortage of beer has led to the closure of some bottle stores, while
others are operating well below capacity.
Brewers, Delta Beverages confirmed the shortages but said: "all relevant
stakeholders are working together to find a lasting solution to the

The few bottle stores with beer are cashing in on the shortage by charging
exorbitant prices of up to $15 000 for a two-litre Chibuku"scud" and a pint
of lager instead of the $10 000 charged under normal circumstances.

Some of the beer drinkers complain that those who have developed loyalty to
specific brands are being forced to take any brand available on the market.

"I had difficulties in finding beer and when I found it at a bottle store at
Makoni Shopping centre it was well above the usual price. I no longer choose
brands. I take what is available on the market, " said a Harare drinker,
Samson Mashoko.

A snap survey by The Standard found that at most beer outlets only one brand
was available with the popular castle lager the most scarce.

Opaque Chibuku beer, which is popular with those in the lower income
bracket, is also in short supply and many drinkers have reportedly resorted
to brandy and other spirits like whisky or vodka while others have turned to
home - brewed beer.

Another Chitungwiza man, Henry Gwauya, expressed concern over the shortages
saying: "We can have a shortage of basic commodities but beer has to be
available to drown our sorrows."

As a result of the shortage, most bottle stores were last week closing as
early as 5PM.

Harare bottle store owners with stocks of beer said that they were
travelling as far as Marondera to buy beer. A bottle store owner at Taita
shops in Seke, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said he had raised his
beer prices to compensate for increased transport costs. "I buy fuel on the
black market, so I have to adjust my prices in line with the costs I incur,"
he said.
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Zim Standard

Clean-up leaves sculpture vendors stranded
By Godfrey Mutimba

THE latest model Jeep with a foreign registration number grinds to a
screeching halt at the 100 kilometres peg along the Masvingo-Beitbridge
road. A man, his wife and some siblings alight from the vehicle and head
towards a huge display of sculpture artwork beckoning prospective buyers.

Before reaching the stone carvers, scores of the highly skilled artists rush
to meet the newcomers in the hope of enticing them with their own wares.
Despite the entreaties, the man leads his family as they head towards an
appealing wooden Giraffe. He picks up the carving and engages an old woman
in what seems to be a price negotiation.

After several minutes of the exchange, the man hands out a wad of notes to
the old woman, leaving her with a wide smile on her face. The family then
proceeds to buy some pottery and sculpture pieces from different artists
before returning to their vehicle and driving off.

But gone are the days when Beatrice Marunda (62) and scores of others like
her could eke out a reasonable living selling various artefacts on the side
of the road. The widely condemned Operation Murambatsvina has spilled into
the robust sculpture industry along the Masvingo-Beitbridge road, leaving a
number of the artists without a source of income.

Police raided the sculptors as the government continued to clamp down in
what it claims to be illegal activities despite having been operating from
these places for nearly two decades.

Granny Marunda says she will have to return to arid Maranda in Mwenezi
without any other source of income. "I started making artefacts with my
brothers about 40 years ago when I was only 20 years old," she said.

The old woman, clearly distressed by the turn of events, said the money she
earned from selling carvings was enough to fend for her 71-year-old
unemployed husband and some grandchildren. "When the police forcibly removed
us from our selling points, they told us that we would never be allowed to
sell along the road again. There is now no hope for a better life for my
family," she sobbed, tears streaming down her cheeks.

But granny Marunda is not alone in her predicament. Nineteen-year-old school
drop out, Thomas Mabwe, a gifted sculptor was also a victim of the clean up
exercise. But Mabwe says he is not accepting defeat and is prepared "to play
cat and mouse games" with the police if that is the only way he will sell
his wares.

"This is the only decent way I can earn a living and I will continue to go
on the roadside to sell my pieces. We have established ourselves here and
are earning enough to fend for our families,"he said.

Other victims of the clean-up who spoke to The Standard accused the
government of being insensitive to their plight saying they could not
understand what they must do in order to survive.
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Zim Standard

'Private sector key to Africa's economic future'
By our own staff

ZIMBABWEANS desperate for investment and grappling with maximising diaspora
resources heard how the private sector and economic development are assuming
centre stage in the quest for a more sustainable African future.

Jay Naidoo, a former South African government minister and now prominent
business personality, told the business community at The Zimbabwe
Independent Quoted Companies Survey and awards presentation last week that
Africa was at a cross-roads.
Naidoo said attention was increasingly being focused on the cost of doing
business and the attraction of foreign direct investment, including that
from the diaspora.

He said: "Investment in infrastructure and a better investment climate have
become cornerstones of regional and national economic strategies. One path
involves an African Renaissance, new relations with the outside world and a
more sustainable and dignified future."

A former Congress of South African Trade Unions (Cosatu) general secretary,
Naidoo said such a path would reverse Africa's marginalization and begin to
close the huge economic and social gap that exists between most of Africa
and the rest of the world.

"The other path," Naidoo said, "involves poverty, conflict and continued
decline. In other words, it means continued human insecurity, misery, and
lost potential."

Without strong leadership, especially in the economic and business spheres,
Africa would not find the right path. Africa needed more determined
leadership in order to bring about renewal, innovation and the discipline of

The leadership he spoke of was not Africa specific. He said: "We must also
acknowledge, however, that we need leadership not only from within the
continent, but also from outside the continent. While a great deal can be
done better within the continent, there are major constraints that we face
in the global context. And we need new win-win partnerships with
industrialized countries to break down key barriers to our development.

"For instance, we need a more level playing field in international trade,
and in the application of distortionary subsidies. In the absence of such a
level playing field, it will be very difficult for us to grow and trade out
of poverty. We also need to break free from the odious debt that prevents us
from investing in our people, infrastructure and strategic industries."

There are millions of Zimbabweans in South Africa and the way towards peace,
prosperity and stability for future generations is in building on the
existing regional integration efforts and initiatives and a smart
partnership that places the interests of people above our vested economic
interests, he said.

Naidoo said the recently launched Commission for Africa (CfA) Report is
playing an important role in bolstering the New Partnership for Africa's
Development (NEPAD) case, by pressing G8 countries to take action as
promised at the G8 Summit in Kananaskis, when the G8 Africa Action Plan was

The multiple recommendations of the CfA report are far-reaching and seek to
unlock US$25 billion of additional finance for Africa a year over the next
five years, and US$50 billion over the following five years leading up to
2015, the target date for the MDGs, Naidoo said.

Of the US$25 billion sought for the next five years, US$10 billion is
earmarked for infrastructure.

"... This is truly exciting as it has the potential to dramatically alter
the economic and business prospects in our continent. It will reduce the
cost of doing business, facilitate the integration of markets within the
region and draw in greater fixed investment, from within, the diaspora and
foreign sources," he said.

Development finance institutions in the region such as the African
Development Bank, the Development Bank of Southern Africa and national
direct foreign investment will be key in implementing NEPAD priority
programmes and CfA resources.

"They can intermediate much of this additional finance in a manner that
empowers Africans and builds their institutions. The Development Bank of
Southern Africa, which I chair, will certainly work towards this possibility
in collaboration with the SADC-wide DF Network, which comprises national
DFIs in the region. The establishment of this DFI network was approved by
the SADC Council at their October 2002 Meeting in Angola."

He said it was essential that African DFIs be well governed and managed.
Africa could not repeat the mistakes of the past, which saw the collapse of
many national DFIs.

Naidoo said sound leadership and entrepreneurship, not only in the economic
and business spheres, but also in the political and social spheres, was
central to Africa's Renaissance.

"There is growing evidence that we are in the midst of a significant
transformation in Africa, one that is changing not only the way we do things
in the political and economic spheres, but also the way we relate to the
rest of the world.

Winners of this year's most successful public listed companies on the
Zimbabwe Stock Exchange were judged by a team of analysts drawn from
different stock broking and asset management companies. The judging process
picked winners by examining the performance of companies in the financial
year closest to December 2004, with the cut off for reporting being 31
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Zim Standard

Clean-up endangers PLWA's
Aidswatch with Bertha Shoko

THERE is no doubt that "Operation Murambatsvina", also now being derisively
referred to as Tsunami - after the devastation that occurred last year in
parts of South East Asia - has caused untold suffering to many Zimbabweans.

Many people have been left homeless after their houses and cottages,
condemned as "illegal" by the government, were destroyed. Informal traders
such as furniture manufacturers, flea market traders and street vendors have
also been left without sources of income after they were caught in the web
of the operation.
The clean-up operation last week spread to rural areas and small towns such
as Bindura, Murehwa and Seke leaving thousands more displaced and the
devastation is serious.

Sporadic checks made by StandardHealth during the past few weeks have
revealed a serious humanitarian crisis because many of the displaced
families have turned destitute and are spending nights in the open where
they are exposed to the cold with no access to proper sanitation, medical
care and health facilities.

At Caledonia farm, where displaced families in Harare were dumped to await
relocation by the government, conditions are overcrowded and health experts
say there is an urgent need for a clinic.

In rural Bindura town, home to the country's first woman Vice President,
Joice Mujuru, displaced gold panners and their families have spent the last
two weeks - living like wild animals in the open with their newly born
babies and school-going children. There is need for urgent help for this
mining community in Bindura's Kitsiyatota area where a disease outbreak is

From an HIV and AIDS perspective, the situation at hand is grave. The
effects of the operation on People Living With HIV and AIDS (PLWAs) and
affected families is immeasurable.

Being far removed from health facilities and living in the open with no
access to proper sanitation has left many of the PLWAs prone to disease,
with no access to medical care when they need it. While it is strongly
recommended that PLWAs seek treatment quickly for any opportunistic
infections, the prevailing situation has made this almost impossible.

It is feared many of the indigent PLWA's who have been displaced lack the
resources to relocate or seek alternative accommodation. This, invariably
leads to more stress and anxiety, a state of mind which could quicken
progression from HIV to AIDS.

The loss of income for the informal sector, particularly vendors and flea
market traders, will no doubt increase women and girls' vulnerability to HIV
infection as some will be forced to resort to commercial sex to earn a

Human rights organisations are convinced that the government has created a
humanitarian crisis by forcing thousands out of accommodation and not
offering them an alternative.

The Zimbabwe Association of Doctors for Human Rights (ZADHR) has said it
"deplores in the strongest possible terms" the ongoing operation that has
left many families displaced.

"This brutal action by the government of Zimbabwe has precipitated a
humanitarian crisis against a background of severe food shortages and 70%
unemployment levels ... of particular concern to ZADHR is the impact that
this campaign is having on children and families infected or affected by
AIDS...," said ZADHR.

"This operation by the government of Zimbabwe is a clear violation of
international conventions including the International Conventions on the
Rights of the Child, the African Charter and the Universal Declaration on
Human Rights, to all of which Zimbabwe is a signatory."

The effects of this operation, certainly has far reaching consequences and
is not good news for any HIV and AIDS activist. Human rights organisations
and those involved in Aids work should not only condemn this operation but
also move in to help and assist affected families throughout the country as
a matter of emergency.

Failure to do so will be a great crime to humanity and a loss to all the
efforts and great strides that have been made on the AIDS front these past
two decades. This is an urgent Save Our Souls (SOS) message for the donor
community. For feedback and question email
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Zim Standard

Pinning hopes on IMF visit

A series of fortuitous circumstances could provide Zimbabwe the lifeline it
desperately needs ahead of next month's board meeting of the International
Monetary Fund (IMF), which could prove critical in determining the country's
fortunes and relations with international financial institutions.

A delegation from the IMF is in the country for talks with the government
ahead of next month's IMF board meeting due to deliberate on Zimbabwe's
future in the fund. In February this year, the IMF postponed a decision on
the expulsion of Zimbabwe from the fund after promises from the Harare
authorities that Zimbabwe was willing to implement a wide-ranging and
encompassing economic turnaround programme.
In April, the government bought time when it postponed a planned visit by
the IMF team, citing a cabinet reshuffle that resulted in the former
Ministry of Finance and Economic Development being divided into two
different ministries.

But over the past month, Zimbabwe has gone out of its way to portray to the
rest of the world and international financial institutions such as the IMF,
the World Bank and the African Development Bank (AfDB) that it has the will
and resolve to implement genuine reforms; that these are on course and that
there are results that demonstrate the country's commitment to implement

President Robert Mugabe seems to have set the tone and direction of the
train of events when he told the first session of the Sixth Parliament that
Zimbabwe was pleased with the greater part of the international community
and that international support had strengthened the government's resolve to
co-operate with fellow developing countries in the economic fields of trade
and investment.

He said: "My government will continue to cultivate these close relations as
well as make more efforts to broaden this circle by turning potential allies
into friends."

The Reserve Bank Governor, Dr Gideon Gono, in his recent Monetary Policy
Statement spoke on international relations saying as part of the turnaround
programme, there was need for Zimbabwe to continue working closely with
regional and international business partners.

He said: "We also remain committed to the full payment of all our debts to
international creditors, which repayment programme is already underway, and
is expected to be stepped up as the foreign exchange situation improves. We
also reaffirm our commitment to working closely and co-operatively with our
multilateral partners who include the IMF, the World Bank, the AfDB, as well
as bilateral creditors within and outside the Paris Club, who, over the
years have been understanding to our foreign debt situation."

But by far, the most determined of the government's actions in its desire to
deliver on its promises to the international community and financial
institutions, would appear to be the combined Operation Restore
Order/Murambatsvina. Although the government has vehemently rejected the
link, there is no denying the visiting IMF mission will be impressed by the
Harare they are seeing now and the impact of the clean up operation as it is
being rolled out to the farms and the areas where illegal gold panning had
become rampant and which the government says is bleeding the country.

Law enforcement agencies say that much of the precious mineral is being sold
on the parallel market, while some of it is being smuggled out of the

According to police Assistant Commissioner Munyaradzi Musarira, in charge of
the operation, "A lot of gold is being sold on the black market with some of
it smuggled outside the country. This haemorrhaging of the economy must be

The visiting IMF team will no doubt be impressed by these determined
efforts. But Zimbabwe must have a guardian angel. To help the international
lender's board when it deliberates the country's future in the fund, the
State-run Herald newspaper quoted a senior World Bank official in Harare
saying the World Bank had "expressed its readiness to avail US$2 million
towards economic development in Zimbabwe."

According to The Herald, the funds will be channelled towards "some of the
economic turnaround strategies currently being implemented in the country".
It is difficult to see how the IMF board could decide on action that could
condemn Zimbabwe by expelling it from the fund, after such recommendation.

But there will be other considerations that are likely to persuade the IMF
to give Zimbabwe another chance: the country has enormous natural and human
resources and potential for becoming a significant regional economic
powerhouse. However, in the meantime the total impoverishment of almost the
whole nation and the prevalence of HIV and AIDS - one of the highest in the
region - require international interventions because Zimbabwe does not have
the capacity to go it alone.

The recent visit by the UN special envoy, Jim Morris, who is also the
executive director of the UN World Food Programme, and the US offer of
assistance suggest an international consensus on rescuing Zimbabwe from the
brink of the precipice.
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Zim Standard

A hurricane sweeps through Freedonia
By Dumisani Mpofu

A TRAGEDY foretold. A hurricane swept through Freedonia, leaving in its wake
large scale devastation - a wasteland. I have never, in the short history of
my life ever seen such destruction.

For many, what defied logic was that the "hurricane" was the work of the
cream of Freedonia. Everything was being turned inside out and upside down.
The trigger point had been a lingering suspicion that the ostentatious
lifestyles that Freedonians lived were being financed from extra-legal

I recall an incident in which, one of the street population inhabitants, a
mad man dived into a huge drum used as a litter bin. He rummaged through it
furiously like a desert animal, scattering all its contents far and wide.
What was happening to Freedonia was something like that, but on a much wider

Freedonia had an international reputation because of its world famous
sculptures. Its major highways, and roads leading to and from the airports
were adorned with rows upon rows of sculpture pieces.

The authorities raided the sculptors or any persons found offering these
artefacts for sale. The victims of this swoop were searched and required to
turn in the amounts they had been paid for their work, particularly by
foreign visitors. They were required to account for all the sales they made
to foreigners during the previous 12 months.

Next were the galleries and any shops trading in cultural artefacts that
targeted foreigners. Authorities in Freedonia said there were many of these
foreigners visiting the country and the statistics said they should have
left the country awash with foreign exchange.

Then everyone who was seen driving a luxury vehicle - and Freedonia had
become a huge market for foreign vehicles - was required by law to explain
how they came about the resources to afford such properties. This was
particularly amusing because every top citizen of Freedonia or anyone who
thought they mattered wanted to show off their prosperity by their love of
foreign goods.

Many Freedonians watched and wondered whether there would also be an audit
of the foreign furnishings that were found in the homes of the rich and
famous in Freedonia.

But Freedonians were good natured people. So they watched. Many hoped it had
nothing to do with them. So they waited to see how far it would go. They did
not have to wait long.

The authorities decreed that all homes would be searched to establish
whether people did not keep foreign exchange in their houses and by so doing
exacerbate the scarcity of the resource. That's when Freedonians came face
to face with reality. For a start they could kiss goodbye to such niceties
as personal privacy and rights of access to properties. The distinction
between a police State and one huge open prison, passing off itself as a
sovereign State became blurred.

It was decreed that any arrival - whether local or foreign - would
henceforth be required to strip, and be searched to ensure the State
received all the money they had brought with them.

Someone invited us to a huge outside show - one similar to what used to be
known as drive-in cinemas.

"Fellow citizens," boomed a voice, "we present you the future of Freedonia."

We peered, but all we could see was this massive dark/black square. Perhaps
others understood it. I didn't.
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Zim Standard


Moyo has deserted Tsholotsho

PROFESSOR Jonathan Moyo, the vicious former information minister has
deserted his Tsholotsho constituency. Since winning the parliamentary seat
in March, he has not set foot in the constituency. This has once again
exposed him for what he is - an opportunist who wanted to use the people of
Tsholotsho to save himself from certain political demise.

I have always maintained that Moyo is selfish and power-hungry. All he is
after is self-glorification. Remember how he claimed personal responsibility
for Zanu PF's victory in the two previous elections, yet it was clear that
victory by fair or unjust means was attained by Zanu PF as a party and
cannot be personalised no matter how vigorously the said individual worked.
No individual has ever claimed, and should ever claim personal
responsibility for Zimbabwe's independence.
Moyo's latest lawsuit challenging Zanu PF and two thirds majority is simply
a gimmick to hog the limelight. He is not the best person to tell the people
what is fair and what is not. Has he quickly forgotten how he contributed to
violence in the previous elections by creating animosity towards opposition
party supporters. That was uncivilised politics at its worst.

We will never forget that dark era when he went about muzzling the Press,
messing up the public broadcaster; wasting billions of taxpayers' money
organising all those galas at the expense of the people.

I ask Moyo: Was it really necessary to turn back the hands of time 50-60
years by adopting costly totalitarian propaganda techniques that would no
longer work evenfor their original proponents like Joseph Goebels? His silly
vision was to create a supernatural nation that thinks the same way.

No Zimbabwean is in a position to sympathize with Moyo not matter how
vigorously he works to show us that he is now against Zanu PF, except a
handful of his subservient praise singers like Stephen Ndlovu and Believe
Gaule. Moyo should be told so that he knows that all Zimbabweans are
celebrating and breathing a sigh of relief over his unceremonious exit.

Moyo will go down the annals of history as a minister who lacked foresight
and for needlessly pouring vitriol on his perceived opponents. We have not
forgotten his famous shopping spree in South Africa and engineering massive
unemployment of journalists through the draconian regulations that he
co-authored. We will always remember his penchant for primitive propaganda,
a highlight of which was his claim that 70 000 people had attended a rally
at White City stadium which has a capacity of only 12 000 people.

My final analysis is that he is heading for the precipice and his political
prospects are doomed even though he won the Tsholotsho seat. He might be an
accomplished spin-doctor and intelligent as some claim, but I don't
subscribe to that myself.

In Ndebele we say:Ubukhosi ngamazolo.(You are a king, but for a period).This
saying fits so well in Moyo's situation. Whoever coined it appears to have
had Moyo in mind.

The player who thought he was the man of the match has scored a spectacular
own goal. Let the play go on !

Asher Tarivona Mutsengi

Solusi University

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Zim Standard


What will it take for the UN to act on Zim crisis?

THE crisis in Zimbabwe unfolds and I am soon to be a part of that unfolding
sorry drama because I live in an" illegal shack" therefore I am dirt,
criminal and need to be cleaned up. I was, therefore, touched by the
statement of one United Nations (UN) luminary who estimated the number of
soon to be homeless at potentially millions.

That was very perceptive of him and I shall thank him from under the cold
wintry skies sometime this week. But more seriously is this the best the UN
can do in this day, the 21st Century, when faced with the needless internal
displacement of hundreds of thousands of people? Come up with an estimate
then, sigh - sit back and say the best has been done?
I am sure even The League of Nations came up with an estimate of the number
of Jews targeted by Hitler's final solution. That didn't help six million of
them as this UN estimate won't help any of the millions of Zimbabweans at
risk from this mayhem.

Wake up UN! Have a conscience and make sense!

I suppose years down the line some UN functionary is going to come here and
apologise and say: "Yes, so much more could have been done but wasn't which
is a pity..." But unfortunately that isn't going to reach back into this day
to mitigate the suffering or provide warmth to the multitudes made homeless.

What does it take for the UN to act? Must we as a people, as the human race,
first erect a sky high monument of all the broken lives, the suffering, the
deaths and put atop it first the billionth victim of the UN's ineptitude and
indifference before it grows a conscience and becomes relevant? We could
also then call in our very own Koffi Annan at the end of his term to
commission it.


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Zim Standard


Spare a thought for poor

I never thought I would ever see such heartlessness especially during these
trying times and, worse still, such behaviour coming from our esteemed
leaders. How do they put up with their conscience when they see the most
vulnerable now having to sleep in the cold open?

Those men and women who claim to be human and have access to the important
people in central government and City of Harare, please show us your
humanity and say something. Common sense and our common humanity make us
want to protect the vulnerable, the defenceless and the wretched of our
tCould buy hose with a conscience, talk to those important people - they
should try to reason with them and a little more time for the poor? Is this
asking for too much?

Are they so tied up with imporant business that they totally forget about
women and children sleeping in the open because their 'shacks' have been
razed to the ground?

I know we are still governed by humans and not machines. I know most of us
still remember what being poor and defenceless means. And I know we still
have a conscience that enables us to feel for others and to want to do

Let's spare a thought for the poor for a second and plead with those
responsible for the currtent blitz on unauthorised settlements to have pity
on the women, children, sick, defenceless and poor. Whatever their faults,
they too deserve to live.

Do we need foreigners to think about our poor and defenceless?

Very worried

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Zim Standard


Gazetted wages beyond most employers

I think that rather than propagating wishful thinking, as a voice
independent of the government propaganda machine, you should be dispelling
the myth that domestic workers are receiving a monthly wage of between Z$850
000 and Z$1 200 000 (your item on the infamous Chinotimba last Sunday was
the latest piece to refer to this).

Obviously some are, but I believe the true facts to be that the majority of
employers of domestic workers simply cannot afford to reward them with such
munificent amounts and in particular, most pensioners cannot do so. In my
case, as an example, the lower figure is in excess of 10 times what I
receive as a monthly pension.
In the case of a friend, he receives just .03% of Z$850 000 as his monthly
pension, which were it sold that way, is enough to buy him and his wife one
slice of bread to share between them for the month. He is thus only
marginally better off than would be his housemaid, were he not able (and
willing) to scratch elsewhere in order to keep her.

In my own case, it goes without saying that for me to employ anyone on a
wage that is anywhere near meaningful, my already near valueless life
savings have to be progressively eroded and assets disposed of. This applies
to most people I know of in my age group.

No sir, relatively few domestic workers are receiving the quoted amounts.
Indeed, the truth of the matter is that many of them have been dispensed
with altogether, while in other cases, they are being employed Chinotimba
style at a wage far below the ones you give. I suspect these instances would
be in the majority. In my own case, my worker's income is earned by
employing him, with his full consent obviously, on a fixed term hourly paid
contract at the gazetted rate for his grade and for as many hours as fit my
own slender means. As a consequence he receives nowhere near the contentious
minimum wage.

Significantly, each one of my friends and acquaintances who have not
dispensed with their labour-force altogether has necessarily adopted a
similar compromise.

Hence, it is a myth to blandly indicate that domestic workers are in receipt
of something they are, in the majority of cases, not. I know full well that
in some instances the wage has been found. I also know this position has
been reached only by the forfeiture of rations previously purchased for the
benefit of the worker concerned.

So government in its own inimitable brand of wisdom, has, once again, not
achieved what it unilaterally and against professional (reportedly even
Union advice), set out to do.

While on the subject, I cannot for the life of me see, when we live in the
trying times that we do, why a bunch of bureaucrats seek to impose
"solutions" on employers and their workers, which at the end of the day,
benefit nobody.

Surely, if any worker is prepared to be employed and keep body and soul
together at a level commensurate with the employer's ability to pay, then
that is not only mutually beneficial to both parties but allows them to
co-exist until such time, if it ever happens, that the worker is able to
improve his or her lot elsewhere. This is not exploitation. It is common
sense - something lacking in the bureaucratic Zimbabwean psyche.

Pro Lege


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Zim Standard

Hwange targets Chinese
By our own staff

COAL miner Hwange Colliery Company (HCCL) and China North Industries
Corporation (NORINCO) are still negotiating a proposed barter trade of

According to the barter deal, HCCL will cede coke and coal for haulage
trucks and earth moving equipment. The equipment from NORINCO will be used
by HCCL to increase the mining output of coke and coal.
John Nkala, HCCL's Marketing and Public Relations Manager, told
StandardBusiness the two parties were in negotiations working out the
modalities on how the two companies can progress in the barter trade.

Nkala said the arrangement with NORINCO was still at a proposal stage and
would move forward if all the parties agree to the terms of the arrangement.
HCCL will work with Norinco as trade partners and progress to joint ventures
once discussions are concluded.

Nkala said HCCL has been supplying coal to NORINCO's sister company FEZA
mine in Democratic Republic of Congo. The coal and coke from Zimbabwe would
be used to fire smelters in the DRC with the end products being shipped to

HCCL and Norinco signed a memorandum of understanding with NORINCO last year
in a move meant to increase the production of coke and coal last year.
Officials from the Chinese firm toured the mine in December. HCCL is listed
on the Zimbabwe Stock Exchange, London Stock Exchange and JSE Securities
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Zim Standard

Zimbabwe now totally totalitarian
sundayopinion with Tony Namate

WHAT is happening in Zimbabwe right now is clearly a war of attrition
against a dejected people by a regime whose popularity is at its lowest.

Zanu PF's callous disregard for human life has become stuff legends are made
of. Those war veterans who have been caught up in the ongoing mind boggling
police operation should now be the first to admit that our leaders' claims
of as much as 100% disability during the War Victims Compensation probe in
the late 1990's, were valid.
The law enforcement agents have become a law unto themselves, only
answerable to the Great Leader. They get angry on his behalf. Public
relations consists of words like: "we strongly warn.we repeat. people must
desist.we will not tolerate."

No matter how right you are, you are always wrong. It sounds Machiavellian,
but that has become true of our government. Totally totalitarian! In a
normal situation, high-handedness would be used as a last, not first,
resort. They have become weapons of vindictiveness and revenge, and have
thrown all professionalism to the winds. The only thing we have in common
with them is our skin colour.

Where are the houses they have built for those they have now rendered

Their latest action is like a husband who burns all his wife's clothes
because they are old, yet has not bought her a single shred of new clothing.
They have succeeded in making us prisoners of fear. No one dares criticize
them - they are the law. Anyone who dares criticise them must face the wrath
of the "law".

Ordinary citizens have been criminalised without even the need to refer to
law's golden rule: innocent until proven guilty. Hell, what the BSAP could
do, we can do better! Arrest first, investigate later. Gideon Gono
threatened to reveal the names of corrupt government officials (which, by
assumption, means he knows them), but he never did. Neither did the police
ask for their names.

George Orwell succinctly put it in the last paragraph of Animal Farm:

"Twelve voices were shouting in anger, and they were all alike. No question,
now, what had happened to the faces of the pigs. The creatures outside
looked from pig to man, and from man to pig, and from pig to man again; but
already it was impossible to say which was which."

The law has been misused, occasionally with the compliance of learned men of
letters, to settle political scores. As far as Zanu-PF is concerned,
collateral damage is part of the game. The more casualties, the merrier.

The minister says people were warned. When? Can he stand up in court and
produce the evidence? How? Did the police go round the townships with loud
hailers asking people to close their flea markets, remove their shacks or
close down their tuck shops? Did they place notices in the media? Did they
put up posters?

No. They didn't need to. "The people knew what they were doing was illegal"!
And they knew the police were going to raid them!

Before the raids, Harare was colourful, bright and cheerful, now it looks
clean but grey, lifeless. Africa Unity Square eerily resembles a cemetery.

Since 1980, this "peoples'" government has done everything that is humanely
possible to make sure Zimbabweans never enjoy their so-called independence.

No. It is a fascist government that is there to inflict maximum pain,
trauma, uncertainty, fear, as a way of reminding you who is in charge. It is
a heartless government that has no compassion for AIDS orphans who cannot
afford to live in better accommodation because when their parents died, they
had no rural home or house of their own. No. It is a cutthroat government
which gives people a few hours notice in the middle of a crippling fuel
crisis or the biting cold of winter to "go back where they came from" - a
clear abuse of power. It is a shameless government that has no known record
of building houses for the people like Ian Smith did. It is a government
that is accountable to no one. We have become refugees in our own country.

Thousands have been rendered homeless, jobless, moneyless, nay hopeless -
not that they had these in the first place. The bright spark who thought up
this monumental shindig deserves to be awarded the Order of The Zimbabwe
Ruins. Some of these shacks housed former commercial farm workers, and some
those who fled the war in the late seventies and never went back.

Some of the affected families had children writing "O" and "A" Level
Examinations. Some of the destroyed shacks had owners who were outside the
country, probably buying goods for resale at flea markets. When they come
back, their lives can never be the same again.

Some of these shacks probably had people lying sick with AIDS or TB. Some
affected people sought accommodation near their workplaces to minimize the
transport costs spurred by a chaotic transport situation. Some of the shack
dwellers were family members who could no longer fit in the main house. I
know people who have lodged in the same shack since the mid-eighties. And
then someone crows and says the action was taken after consultation with
stakeholders! There's no telling how many will die or fall ill due to
stress. Those lucky to have rural areas will have to cut down trees for
firewood and building, further straining an already damaged environment.

In one fell swoop, 2005 has become an annus horribilis.

As the regime gets more vicious and desperate, it only manages to become
more unpopular. You can never force popularity on your people. Period. To
quote one sage: "Too much of anything is not good for you." And the law of
physics says that there is a reaction for every action. The people's anger
cannot remain motionless forever.

We have now come to the stage where almost everything we do is now
classified as unlawful. Perhaps we should be thankful for the small
liberties that we still have left, like breathing, walking, flushing the
toilet, or getting into new clothes, for they could be taken away. Perhaps
we should start living our lives by the hour. Perhaps we should all have a
suicide pact. Perhaps.

How many achievements against its people have our sovereign, legitimate
government notched up since Prince Charles uttered the immortal words:
"kuzvitonga"? Just when you think they have quenched their thirst for wanton
violence, they come up with new excesses. What did Ian Smith's scientists
really do to the minds of these people?

How low do we have to sink before we finally realize that our situation is
not normal? They say a people deserves the government they get. I certainly
don't deserve this one. Our people's government has lost the plot, just like
Ian Smith did when he declared: "Never in a thousand years". The future, for
many, is scary.

Who will be next? No one is safe from this government.

Seeking shelter from the elements is a universal right, but in Zimbabwe it
has become illegal. Soon, it will even be illegal to exist.

I am one person who genuinely believes that the current operation is not the
coup de grace of our suffering: There is worse torment to come. As
Tsholotsho MP Jonathan Moyo once said: "You ain't seen nothing yet."
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