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

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Joint Statement

23 June 2005

Amnesty International, the Centre on Housing Rights and Evictions (COHRE) and Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights

Noting with grave concern the deepening humanitarian and human rights crisis in Zimbabwe, more than 200 African and international human rights and civic groups have come together to call on the African Union and the United Nations to take action

Over the past four weeks the Government of Zimbabwe has orchestrated the widespread forced eviction of tens of thousands of informal traders and families living in informal settlements. During these forced evictions homes have been burnt and property destroyed. Many individuals have been arbitrarily arrested, detained, fined, abducted and/or beaten. Such actions continue unabated, and with impunity.

Tens of thousands of people are now living in the open - during winter - without access to adequate shelter, food or clean water. No care has been shown for these people, many of whom are vulnerable. Thousands of children, the elderly and the ill face the prospect of disease and in some cases death from hunger, exposure and drinking unsafe water. Some of the most vulnerable are dying already.

The complete and wholesale destruction of people’s homes and livelihoods – conservatively estimated to have affected at least 300,000 people so far – constitutes a grave violation of international human rights law, and a disturbing affront to human dignity. There can be no justification for the Government of Zimbabwe’s action which has been carried out without prior notice, due process of the law or assurance of adequate alternative accommodation. We condemn it in the strongest terms.

The African Union (AU) and the relevant bodies of the United Nations (UN), including the High Commissioner for Human Rights, the Security Council and the Secretary-General, cannot fail to act in the face of such gross and widespread human rights violations and appalling human misery. We urge the Chair of the AU and all member states to address the situation in Zimbabwe as an urgent matter at the forthcoming AU Assembly in Libya from 4 to 5 July. Similarly, the UN must act on the serious concerns raised by the UN Special Rapporteur on Adequate Housing in respect of the ongoing and massive violations of human rights in Zimbabwe.

We welcome the appointment by the UN Secretary-General of Anna Kajumulo Tibaijuka, the Executive Director of UN-HABITAT, as the Special Envoy for Human Settlement Issues in Zimbabwe. We strongly urge the UN to ensure there is no delay in either her visit to Zimbabwe or the publication of her findings. Furthermore, in light of the scale of the humanitarian crisis and the fact that forced evictions continue, the UN must call for an end to these violations and for humanitarian assistance to be provided to all those affected.

We urge all member states of the AU and UN to ensure that the relevant bodies of the two organizations:

·         Take immediate and effective action – consistent with their mandates – to ensure an end to the mass forced evictions and destruction of livelihoods in Zimbabwe, including by publicly condemning these violations and calling for their immediate end.

·         Call for the Government of Zimbabwe to ensure that all those who are currently homeless as a result of the mass forced evictions have immediate access to emergency relief.

Joint Statement on Zimbabwe Forced Evictions – 23 June 2005


Supporting Organizations



Development Workshop, Angola

Media Institute for Southern Africa, Angola

SOS Habitat



Amnesty International, Botswana

Ditshwanelo (The Botswana Centre for Human Rights)

Media Institute for Southern Africa, Botswana


Burkina Faso

Fondation Aimé Nikiema pour les Droits de l'Homme

Mouvement Bukinabè des Droits de l'Homme et des Peuples (MBDHP)

Union Interafricaine des Droits de l'Homme



Absolute Dispute Resolution

Human Rights Education Centre



Egyptian Centre for Housing Rights



African Centre for Democracy and Human Rights Studies



Centre for Democratic Development (CDD)

Centre for Public Interest Law

Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative (Africa Office)

Media Foundation for West Africa, Ghana

People's Dialogue for Human Settlements

Third World Network Africa (TWN)



Amnesty International, Kenya

Basic Rights

Catholic Diocese of Kitale, Kenya

Chemichemi ya Ukweli

Coalition on Violence Against Women - Kenya (COVAW-K)

Hakijamii Trust

Illishie Trust

Kenya Human Rights Commission

Kenya National Commission on Human Rights

Kisumu Urban Apostolate Programes – Pandipieri, Kenya

Kituo Cha Sheria

Shelter Forum


Umande Trust



Media Institute for Southern Africa, Lesotho



Amnesty International, Liberia

Centre for Democratic Empowerment (CEDE)



Centre for Human Rights and Rehabilitation (CHRR)

Institute for Policy Interaction

Media Institute for Southern Africa, Malawi



Amnesty International, Mauritius



APFIVA, Mozambique

Media Institute for Southern Africa, Mozambique

Mozambican Action on Crime Combat and Social Rehabilitation of Prisoners

National Association of Demobilised Soldiers of Mozambique



Clement Daniels Legal Practitioners

Forum For the Future

Integrated Rural Development and Nature Conservation

Katutura Community Radio

Legal Assistance Centre

Media Institute for Southern Africa, Namibia

Media Institute for Southern Africa - Regional Secretariat

Namibia Non-Governmental Forum

National Society for Human Rights

The Rainbow Project

Working Group of Indigenous Minorities in Southern Africa (WIMSA)



Action Health Incorporated (AHI)

Africa Alive

African Development Network

Ama Dialog Foundation

Baobab for Women's Rights

Borno Coalition for Democracy & Progress (BORCODEP)

Care Organization Public Enlightenment (COPE)

Central Educational Services (CES)

Centre for Constitutional Governance (CCG)

Centre for Democracy & Development (CDD)

Centre for Development Support Inititatives (CEDHPA)

Center for Law and Social Action (CLASA)

Centre for the Advancement of Democracy and the Rule of Law

Centre for Women Studies and Intervention (CWSI)

Child Help in Legal Defence of Rights to Education in Nigeria (CHILDREN)

Civil Liberties Organisation

Civil Resources Development & Documentation Center (CIRDDOC)

CLEEN Foundation (formerly Center for Law Enforcement & Education)

Community Action for Popular Participation (CAPP)

Constitutional Rights Project (CRP)

Development Alternatives and Resource Centre

Development Concerns

Development Network

Development Options for Humanity (DOH)

Freedom House

Gender and Development Action (GADA)

Gender Rights Project

General Action Against the Violation of Human and Childrens Rights (GAAVOHCR)

Girls Power Initiaitve (GPI)

Global Alert for Defence of Youth and the Less Privileged

Hope Worldwide

Human Development Initiative (HDI)

Human Rights Law Services (HURI-LAWS)

Institute for Dispute Resolution (IDR)

Institute for Human Settlement and Environment

International First Aid Society (IFAS)

International Foundation for African Children (IFAC)

International Press Centre

Journalists Against AIDS (JAAIDS)

League for Human Rights

Legal Defence and Assistance Project (LEDAP)

Legal Resources Consortium (LRC)

Media Concern for Women & Children (MEDIACON)

Media Development Network (MDN)

Movement for Cultural Awareness (MOCA)

Movement for the Survival of the Ogoni People (MOSOP)

Multimedia Centre for Democracy

NGO Guide 2000

Nigerian Network of Non-Governmental Organizations

Peace And Development Projects (PEDEP)

People's Rights Organization

Project Alert


Save-a-Soul Foundation

Social and Economic Rights Action Center (SERAC)

Social Economic Rights Initiative (SERI)

Society for Shelter, Education, Food and Agricultural Development in Africa

West Africa Bar Association (WABA), Nigeria

West Africa Network for Peace Building (WANEP), Nigeria

Women Advocates Research & Documentation Center (WARD C)

Women Aid Collective (WACOL)

Women's Optimum Development Foundation

Youth Development Education and Leadership for Africa (YORDEL)



Amnesty International, Senegal

Convergence Africaine pour la Démocratie et les Droits Humains (CADDHU)

Organisation Nationale des Droits de l'Homme (ONDH)

Rencontre Africaine pour la Defense des droits de L'homme (RADDHO)


Sierra Leone

Lawyers for Legal Aid Assistance


South Africa

Amnesty International, South Africa (AISA)

Anti-Corruption Trust of Southern Africa (ACT-Southern Africa)

Association for Rural Advancement (AFRA)

Centre for the Study of Violence and Reconciliation (CSVR)

Community Law Centre

Concerned Zimbabweans Abroad, South Africa

Crisis Zimbabwe Coalition, South Africa

Disabled Zimbabweans Abroad, South Africa

Free State Rural Development Association (FSRDA)

Glynn Hunters International

Heal Zimbabwe Trust (HZT), South Africa

Institute for Democracy in South Africa (IDASA)

Land Access Movement of South Africa (LAMOSA)

Lawyers for Human Rights (LHR), South Africa

Masisukumeni Women's Crisis Centre

Media Institute for Southern Africa, South Africa

National Land Committee (NLC)

Nkuzi Development Association

Solidarity Peace Trust (SPT),

South African National NGO Coalition (SANGOCO)

Southern African Action Network on Small Arms

Southern African Women’s Institute of Migration Affairs (SAWIMA)

Southern Cape Land Committee (SCLC)

Support Centre – ACTION for Conflict Transformation

Surplus People Project (SPP)

TRAC Mpumalanga

Transparency International - South Africa

Transkei Land Service Organisation (TRALSO)

Treatment Action Campaign

Zimbabwe Advocacy Campaign (ZAC), South Africa

Zimbabwe Exiles Forum (ZEF), South Africa

Zimbabwe Human Rights Lobby Group, South Africa

Zimbabwe Liaison Office (ZLO), South Africa

Zimbabwe Political Victims Association (ZIPOVA), South Africa

Zimbabwe Torture Victims Project, South Africa



Sudan Organisation Against Torture (SOAT)



Media Institute for Southern Africa, Swaziland



Media Institute for Southern Africa, Tanzania

Same network of NGOs/CBOs (SANGO Network)

Zanzibar Legal Services Centre



Civil Society Trade Network of Zambia

Legal Resources Foundation, Zambia

Media Institute for Southern Africa, Zambia

National Civil Society MDG Campaign

Transparency International, Zambia

Zambia Civic Education Association



Amani Trust

Amnesty International, Zimbabwe

Catholic Commission for Justice and Peace

Combined Harare Residents Association (CHRA)

Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition

Gays and Lesbians of Zimbabwe

Legal Resources Foundation, Zimbabwe

Media Institute for Southern Africa, Zimbabwe

Media Monitoring Project of Zimbabwe

National Constitutional Assembly (NCA)

Nonviolent Action and Strategies for Social Change

Southern Africa Human Rights Trust (SAHRIT)

Women of Zimbabwe Arise (WOZA)

Zimbabwe Association for Crime Prevention and the Rehabilitation of the Offender

Zimbabwe Association of Doctors for Human Rights

Zimbabwe Civic Education Trust (ZIMCET)

Zimbabwe Human Rights Association (ZimRights)

Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights



Alliance for Southern African Progress (ASAP)

Amnesty International

Association of Zimbabweans Based Abroad

Catholic Centre for International Relations

Centre on Housing Rights and Evictions

CIVICUS – World Alliance for Citizen Participation

Fahamu - Networks for Social Justice

FIAN International

Habitat International Coalition

Housing Land Rights Network, representing

Applied Research Insitute - Jerusalem, Palestine

Arcilla Research, Netherlands

Asia Eviction Watch, Philippines

Asociaciòn de Vivienda Económica (AVE), Argentina

BADIL Resource Centre for Palestinian Residency and Refugee Rights

Centre for Environmental Tourism Culture, Syria

Centro de Capacitación Social Ciudad de Panamá

Centro de Investigaciones CIUDAD, Ecuador

Centro de Intercambio y Servicios Cono Sur (CISCSA), Argentina

Centro de la Mujer Peruana Flora Tristan, Peru

Centro Feminista de Información Acción (CEFEMINA), Costa Rica

Coalición Internacional para el Hábitat, Mexico

Comunidades Automas, Venezuela

Coordinación Red Mujer y Habitat de America Latina, Argentina

Defence for Children International, Palestine

Egyptian Centre for the Rights of the Child

Geography Department, University of Akron, USA

Habitat International Coalition, Chile

El Instituto para la Superación de la Meseria Urbana de Guatamala

Land Centre for Human Rights, Egypt

Middle East/North Africa Program, Housing and Land Rights Network

Popular Development Centre, Palestine

Red Mexicana de Agricultura Urbana, Mexico

Rooftops Canada/Arbi International, Canada

Servicio Latinamericano, Asiático y Africano de Vivienda Popular, Chile

Shelter for the Poor, Bangladesh

South Asia Regional Program, Housing and Land Rights Network

Human Rights First

Human Rights Watch

Inter Africa Network for Human Rights (AFRONET)

International Alliance of Inhabitants (IAI)

International Bar Association's Human Rights Institute

International Commission of Jurists (ICJ)

International Crisis Group

International Service for Human Rights (ISHR)

Refugees International

Review of African Political Economy (ROAPE)

Safeguards International



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Sokwanele - Enough is Enough - Zimbabwe

The will to resist
Sokwanele Report : 23 June 2005

Robert Mugabe may have created a police state in which all signs of dissent to his autocratic rule are ruthlessly suppressed, but beneath what appears to be a tranquil surface there is simmering discontent - and from time to time the lid on the pot, though firmly clamped down, lifts enough for us to see it. A spontaneous protest here, an angry outburst there, and the contours of a new and effective form of resistance to ZANU PF tyranny are beginning to emerge within the troubled nation of Zimbabwe.

Woza protest march - 18 June 2005On Saturday (June 18) within a couple of hours two very effective protests were staged in the city of Bulawayo. The first was what may be called the traditional style of widely publicized street protest which ended, predictably, with a number of arrests. The second was of a different style altogether - a lightning strike in which the protesters appeared unexpectedly, executed a daring stunt and then disappeared from view before the forces of repression could respond. A problem from the protesters' point of view however is that under the oppressive media laws now in force it is always difficult to get the word out of any sign of dissent. Yet the people of Zimbabwe need to know, and be encouraged by the fact, that the groundswell of resistance is growing, for this gives the lie to the notion that all Zimbabweans have been cowed into submission by this brutal dictatorship. And herein lies Sokwanele's role in high-lighting these acts of civil disobedience which remind us that, however dark the present, one day Zimbabwe will be free.

The first protest was staged by the now battle-proved women of WOZA (Women of Zimbabwe Arise) who already have many such brave acts of civil disobedience to their credit. They assembled on the corner of Herbert Chitepo Street and 13th Avenue late in the morning. However careful the group might have been about security, word of the protest march inevitably reached the ears of the dreaded CIO (Central Intelligence Agency) before the event, and their agents were seen milling around the venue throughout the morning. WOZA must have been well aware of this, which makes their decision to go ahead notwithstanding all the more remarkable. At the time appointed the women suddenly appeared on the street, bearing aloft their colourful banners calling for an end to ZANU PF's hated "Murambatsvina" or clean-up campaign which over the last few weeks has seen hundreds of thousands of Zimbabwe's poorest rendered homeless and destitute. "Are we the trash ?" their banners read.

The courageous protesters obviously knew that they might be arrested very quickly because they set off down Herbert Chitepo Avenue at a brisk pace, distributing their protest leaflets along the way. An appreciative crowd of some 2,000 people watched the spectacle, some giving the opposition MDC open-palm salute. In the event the women had not walked more than a couple of blocks before baton-wielding members of the ZRP intercepted the group. A number of ZRP Defenders appeared and the police started to round up the women, packing them into the back of two of their vehicles. That was the end - an entirely predictable end - of their brief protest. But they had made their point, powerfully, not only to the surprised spectators along the route but to the nation. Those arrested spent an extremely uncomfortable weekend in the filthy police cells, appearing in court on Monday to be granted bail on charges which, if the regime runs true to form, will not be pursued.

Spontaneous protest - 18 June 2005The second and rather less conventional protest took place a few hours later at the Bradfield shopping centre. At about 2.00 pm. a group of between 20 and 30 young men suddenly appeared in the car park. Those hundred or so unsuspecting shoppers there at the time were treated to a most unusual spectacle as the youths unfurled banners and paraded them across the parking lot. "25 years is enough. We need change", the banners read, and again "We voted change", "Change is here". From the appreciative crowd there were smiles and a few shouts of support, as well as the MDC open-hand salute. None appeared to disapprove the brave stunt. And then, just as quickly as the youths had appeared, they left the scene. The police simply did not have time to respond. By the time news of the protest reached the local police station the youths were well on their way. The heavy curtain of state repression and sullen silence had been raised for just a few brief moments to remind those privileged spectators - and the nation - that no dictatorship lasts for ever, and that change is coming.

Let the nation salute the courage of these protesters and follow their brave example.

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Zim Online

Police bulldozer killed toddler
Fri 24 June 2005
  HARARE - One of the two toddlers who died during the government's ongoing
clean-up campaign was crushed to death when his family's makeshift home was
pulled down by police bulldozers, eyewitnesses told ZimOnline.

      Member of Parliament for Chitungwiza city's St Mary's constituency
yesterday also told Parliament during debate that a high school student from
      constituency was last Tuesday crushed to death when police used
bulldozers to pull down a house he was in.

      The student's death brings to three the number of people who have died
during the controversial clean-up exercise that has seen thousands of
families cast onto the streets after their homes and informal businesses
were destroyed by armed police and soldiers.


      The toddler crushed to death when police bulldozers pulled down her
family home, Terence Munyaka, was also from St Mary's while the second child
to die in the
      police operation, Charmaine Nyika, was from Harare's Tafara suburb. It
could not be immediately established whether Nyika's death was because of
direct action of
      the police.

      Police spokesperson Wayne Bvudzijena yesterday vehemently denied the
law enforcement agency, also blamed of beating up residents who disobey
orders to demolish homes deemed illegal, was responsible for causing any
deaths during the controversial clean-up drive.

      He instead blamed the parents of the children for being reckless when
demolishing their "illegal homes" which resulted in the deaths.

      Bvudzijena, who issued a statement carried by state newspapers
yesterday urging parents to be careful when demolishing buildings, said:
"The police are not responsible, that child died when the parents were
voluntarily demolishing their illegal house, they were just careless."

      But residents who witnessed Munyaka's unfortunate death last Sunday
described how the child's parents were busy removing household property from
their home
      when police suddenly ordered the operator of a waiting bulldozer to
pull down the structure.

      Unbeknown to the machine operator, there was a child sleeping in the
"illegal" house, they said.

      A senior official of children's rights group, Girl Child Network, who
refused to be named for fear of victimisation, said: "The child was crushed
by police bulldozers when he was fast asleep and the parents were busy
trying to salvage some of their belongings. Apparently they (parents) did
not think that the bulldozers were headed in the house. It is so horrible."

      Sikhala said the family of the child also reported to him that he had
been killed when police bulldozers destroyed their home. "A report was made
to me that the child had been crushed by police bulldozers but the family
has gone to bury the child," Sikhala said.

      The international community has roundly condemned the evictions, which
Mugabe says are necessary to restore the beauty of Zimbabwe's cities and
towns, as a gross
      violation of poor people's rights.

      A United Nations (UN) advance team started arriving in Harare this
week ahead of next week's visit by UN secretary general Koffi Annan's
special envoy, Anna
      Kajumulo Tibaijuka, to assess the impact of the mass evictions on poor
urban families.

      Tibaijuka will meet Mugabe, the opposition and non-governmental
organisations during her stay in Zimbabwe. - ZimOnline

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Zim Online

Harare awakens to eviction disaster
Fri 24 June 2005
  HARARE - The Zimbabwe government has asked donors to help assist families
evicted under a controversial"clean-up exercise" in an embarrassing U-turn
      also suggests Harare is finally waking up to the humanitarian disaster
precipitated by the mass evictions.

      President Robert Mugabe and his government have since last month
conducted a clean-up exercise that has cast close to a million people onto
the streets after their
      makeshift homes and informal businesses were destroyed by armed police
and soldiers.

      The government, which says the highly unpopular clean-up campaign is
meant to restore law and order as well as the beauty of cities, four weeks
ago banned non-governmental organisations (NGOs) from feeding or sheltering
the evicted families claiming it had enough resources to provide for the

      But the government, apparently alarmed at the unfolding humanitarian
crisis caused by large-scale dislocation of families, tasked Local
Government Minister Ignatius Chombo and his Agriculture counterpart, Joseph
Made, to appeal for help from NGOs and churches to rehabilitate affected
families and assist in the reconstruction of homes.

      Chombo, Made and other senior officials from relevant government
departments met the NGOs on Wednesday last week to discuss how the
organisations could chip in
      with help.

      "Mugabe and his Cabinet as well as the politburo of the ruling ZANU PF
party endorsed the move to recall donors after realising that the government
had not adequately planned for the after-effects of the clean-up operation,"
said a senior government official who did not want to be named.

      Chombo confirmed appealing for help from NGOs, telling ZimOnline
yesterday: "All stakeholders are encouraged to chip in. The clean-up should
not be viewed as a
      ZANU PF or government project. It is meant to help everyone and this
is why the NGOs will be welcome to help."

      Confirming the government's change of heart, National Association of
NGOs chairman, Jonah Mudehwe said: "We held a meeting last week on Wednesday
where the role of the NGOs in the whole clean-up exercise was discussed.

      "It seems from that meeting that the government now wants NGOs to chip
in with help. As a result, a number of NGOs such as Red Cross, Christian
Care and others
      are already active (providing help),"

      According to Mudehwe, NGOs will provide tents, food, medicines and
repatriation services to thousands of victims of the campaign condemned by
the United
      Nations, European Union, United States, local churches and human
rights groups as a gross violation of poor people's rights.

      More than 200 international human rights groups led by Amnesty
International and the Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights yesterday appealed
to the African Union
      and the United Nations to intervene and pressure Mugabe to call off
the evictions.

      UN secretary general Kofi Annan has already indicated he will send his
envoy on human settlement to Zimbabwe next week to make a first hand
assessment of the
      humanitarian crisis created by the evictions.

      Sources said in a desperate bid to urgently redress the crisis, the
government had set up a committee to co-ordinate rehabilitation and
restructuring exercise meant to mitigate the effects of the mass removals of
people. Chombo heads the committee while Zimbabwe's army engineering
division will spearhead reconstruction of homes.

      Transit camps are also planned countrywide to temporarily house
evicted families for a maximum three days before they are relocated to their
original rural homes or land seized from white farmers in the last five
years. - ZimOnline

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Zim Online

Police blow US$3.5 million while nation starves
Fri 24 June 2005
  HARARE - Zimbabwean police have ordered US$3.5 million worth of high-tech
gear from a South African company as the country battles to raise money for
food and
      fuel imports, ZimOnline has established.

      The Zimbabwe Republic Police made the order from Johannesburg-based
Travelo Manufacturing Company, which through its marketing arm, Instrument
      Traffic Law Enforcement (ITLE), dispatched a team to Harare last month
with samples of equipment.

      Police authorities headed by deputy commissioner, Godwin Matanga,
authorised the purchasing of the equipment after viewing the samples,
according to
      sources at police general headquarters in Harare.

      "We had a team from South Africa which showed us samples of the
equipment that includes high-tech digital cameras, pro-laser speed traps and
      various equipment that we require on a day-to-day basis. We are happy
with the equipment and we have made a purchase order," said a source on
condition he
      was not named.

      Sharon Smith, who represented ITTLE during the deal, could not be
reached for comment yesterday. But another official of the South African
firm, Shana van
      Heerden, confirmed that "it is true" that the company was supplying
equipment to Zimbabwe police accused by human rights groups of gross human
rights violations
      against President Robert Mugabe's political opponents.

      The police have since last month conducted mass evictions of poor
families living in shanty homes in or near urban areas in a controversial
      exercise that Mugabe says is meant to restore order and the beauty of
Zimbabwe's cities and towns.

      The United Nations, European Union, United States, Amnesty
International, Zimbabwean church and human rights groups have condemned the
evictions as a
      violation of poor peoples' rights.

      Western countries have slapped an embargo on sales to Harare of
military hardware or any equipment that can be used to "perpetuate
repression" against ordinary
      citizens. Police equipment is classified under the ban.

      South African firms have however continued sales of military and
police equipment to Zimbabwe with arms manufacturer Armscor having supplied
aircraft spares
      to the Air Force of Zimbabwe while in 2002, Harare confirmed that it
had bought a number of Mercedes Benz vehicles from its southern neighbour
for highway

      But the latest purchases come at a time Zimbabwe is battling to raise
foreign currency for food after a devastating drought while perennial fuel
shortages have worsened in the past week.

      Zimbabwe's foreign currency shortages have been worsened by the
halting of donor funds since 1999 after international lenders disagreed with
Harare's policies, mainly the seizure of white-owned commercial farms also
partly blamed for the current food shortages. - ZimOnline


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Zim Online

South Africa expresses "irritation" at Britain's remarks on Mugabe
Fri 24 June 2005
  PRETORIA - South Africa's presidential spokesman Bheki Khumalo yesterday
expressed irritation at Britain's remarks calling on African leaders to step
up pressure
      on Zimbabwe saying the approach smacks of "scare tactics" by the West.

      "I am really irritated by this 'kgokgo' approach", Khumalo said, using
a Sesotho term which refers to something used to scare children in a bid to
enforce obedience.

      "South Africa refuses to accept the notion that because suddenly we're
going to a G8 summit, we must be reminded that we must look good and appease
the G8
      leaders. We will do things because we believe they are correct and

      On Wednesday, British foreign secretary Jack Straw urged African
leaders to confront President Robert Mugabe over his human rights violations
in Zimbabwe.

      "Unless, and until, Africa's leaders as a whole recognise what is
going on, [and] take action not just to condemn it but to deal with it, we
are likely to be
      in for many more months of this kind of tyranny until President Mugabe
moves aside," Straw said.

      Attempts by the West to nudge South Africa's President Mbeki to adopt
a much more robust approach towards the Zimbabwe crisis have all failed.
South Africa has
      consistently refused to openly flog Mugabe over his human rights
violations preferring instead to pursue a policy of "quiet diplomacy"
towards its northern

      South Africa has remained mum on the latest crackdown in Zimbabwe
which has seen over 30 000 people arrested and over a million rendered
homeless after their homes
      were destroyed in a clean up exercise the government says is necessary
to restore order in cities and towns.

      But international and local human rights groups, churches and civic
groups have all criticised the crackdown as an assault on the rights of the
poor. - ZimOnline

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Zim Online

UN advance team arrives for probe
Fri 24 June 2005
  HARARE - A United Nations (UN) advance team started arriving in Zimbabwe
ahead of secretary general Kofi Annan special envoy Anna Kajumulo
Tibaijuka's visit to
      investigate the government's controversial clean-up drive next week.

      Officials at the United Nations office in Harare said two officials
had already arrived in Harare to lay the groundwork for Tibaijuka. Two other
officials were
      expected by the weekend.

      The officials were expected to work with the UN missions in Zimbabwe
to collect all information on the "Operation Restore Order" to give
Tibaijuka, who is
      scheduled to meet President Robert Mugabe during her visit, a full
briefing on arrival.

      "The advance team will get all the necessary information from the UN
missions here and co-ordinate with various interest groups like NGOs to have
a better understanding of what is happening. When the secretary general's
special envoy arrives she will be much better informed for her meeting with
the President," said a UN official.

      Tibaijuka, who is expected in Harare by Thursday next week, will also
meet NGOs and the opposition, according to the official.

      UNDP spokeswoman Catherine Anderson when pressed to confirm whether
the advance team was already in the country said "when we have anything to
inform you, we
      will let you know." She would not elaborate.

      Despite international condemnation, President Robert Mugabe's
government has pressed ahead with the controversial programme that has left
close to a
      million people without shelter after their homes were destroyed by
armed police and soldiers.

      In a debate in Parliament yesterday, the opposition legislator for St
Mary's Job Sikhala said an "A" Level student in his constituency had been
crushed to death
      by rubble when police destroyed a house he was in. At least two other
children have been killed since the operation started in Harare.

      Zimbabwe and international rights groups have urged the African Union
and the UN to intervene to halt the evictions. The United States, Britain
and the European
      Union who are critical of Mugabe's rule, have also widely condemned
the operation. - ZimOnline

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Zim Online

New Zealand to ban Zimbabwe cricket tour
Thur 23 June 2005
  JOHANNESBURG - New Zealand says it may ban a planned tour by the Zimbabwe
cricket team scheduled for December to protest against President Mugabe's
human rights abuses.
      New Zealand's foreign affairs minister Phil Goff said ealier today
that the Zimbabwe cricket team might be barred from visiting New Zealand
which has been at the forefront in criticising Mugabe's human rights record
against his political opponents.

      "The Zimbabwe cricket team should not anticipate that it will be
granted entry into New Zealand," Goff said in a statement.

      "The imposition of a ban on the team would send a strong message to
the Mugabe regime that New Zealanders and their government abhor the actions
it is taking against its people."

      The main opposition Movement for Democratic Change party, local and
international human rights groups accuse Mugabe of perpetrating serious
human rights violations against his political opponents in a bid to hold on
to power. Mugabe denies the charges.

      A month ago, Mugabe began destroying thousands of homes deemed illegal
in urban areas in a clean up cmapaign which has been criticised by the
United Nations, Amnesty International, church and human rights groups as an
assault on the rights of the poor.

      Mugabe insists the clean up is meant to restore the beauty and
cleanliness of cities and towns. The government also says the clean up is
meant to smash the illegal foreign currency parallel market blamed for
Zimbabwe's economic woes.

      "However, given the current appalling abuses of human rights and
relentless trend of the Zimbabwe government towards a dictatorship, the New
Zealand government would not welcome a visit from a side representing
Zimbabwe at this time," said Goff.

      The New Zealand government however said they had no power to stop
their cricket team from undertaking a five week tour of Zimbabwe set for
August. New Zealand will play Test matches against Zimbabwe in August. -

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Daily Mirror, Zimbabwe

Ministers skip Parliament

Clemence Manyukwe
issue date :2005-Jun-24

THE majority of Cabinet ministers, their deputies and Attorney-General
Sobusa Gula-Ndebele (an ex-officio legislator) skipped Parliament on
Wednesday - a day reserved for them to answer questions on government
matters - causing the deferment of some questions to next week.
Only five of the 30 ministers and two of the 13 deputies were present at the
session, and Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs Minister Patrick
Chinamasa had a torrid time taking questions on behalf of his colleagues.
However, Chinamasa, who is also leader of the House, could not give answers
to some of the questions, the majority of which were on issues of national
The absence of the ministers led MDC's St Mary's Member of Parliament Job
Sikhala to protest to the Speaker, John Nkomo.
"Firstly, I would like to raise a very serious protest that if our cabinet
ministers are being appointed, they are there to do a service to the
 nation," Sikhala said.
"Today we wanted to ask them specific questions on what is affecting the
people of Zimbabwe. Generally, the Minister of Transport, whom I want to
direct my question to, is not here. We want ministers to understand that on
Wednesdays they should be in Parliament, which is a day for government
business and we want to ask them questions."
Sikhala wanted to ask Transport and Communications Minister Christopher
Mushohwe about the current transport blues in urban areas and when they
would end.

Nkomo said the legislator's protest had been recorded.
"Let us deal with the first matter first. Your protest is accordingly
recorded," said Nkomo, who is also the ruling party's national chairman.
All ministers and deputies who were absent did not notify in advance as
required by  Parliament .
According to yesterday's Order Paper, only three MDC legislators - Priscilla
Misihairabwi-Mushonga (Glen Norah), Thokozane Khupe (Makokoba) and Paurina
Mpariwa (Mufakose) had notified the House of their absence.
Besides Chinamasa, ministers who were in Parliament were: Minister of
Education, Sport and Culture, Aeneas Chigwedere, Michael Nyambuya (Energy
and power Development), Francis Nhema (Environment and Tourism) and Chen
Chimutengwende (Interactive Affairs).
The deputy ministers who were present were Abigail Damasane (Gender and
Community Development) and Bright Matonga (Information and Publicity).
Chinamasa defended Mushohwe saying he was out of the country to mobilise
resources to address the transport problem, but could not say where the
others were.
Chinamasa also said that the Minister of Local Government, Public Works and
Urban Development, Ignatius Chombo, was expected to make a ministerial
statement regarding the clean up operation, but until the time Parliament
adjourned, he had not shown up.
Chombo's absence also forced the deferment to next week of the only question
with notice on the day's Order Paper, which was directed at him.
The MDC Bulawayo South legislator, David Coltart, who wanted to ask
Gula-Ndebele on progress regarding the prosecution of the alleged murder of
300 MDC supporters since 2000, was among those asked to put their questions
in writing as the Attorney-General was absent.
Missing Parliament is not the habit of ministers only, but of some MPs as
During the Fifth Parliament of Zimbabwe, several Parliamentary Portfolio
Committee meetings were cancelled at the last minute as the committees
failed to constitute quorums due to the absence of the majority of their
In some instances, the committees failed to question some ministers for the
whole session as they did not turn up when summoned.
Last year, President Robert Mugabe warned truant Zanu PF MPs that they
risked being expelled from the ruling party and by-elections would be  held
in their constituencies.
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Daily Mirror, Zimbabwe

House divided over clean-up

The Daily Mirror Reporter
issue date :2005-Jun-24

MDC legislator for Dzivaresekwa Edwin Mushoriwa yesterday moved a motion to
have the destruction of illegal structures stopped.
Zanu PF legislators opposed the motion, with the Deputy Minister of
Information and Publicity, Bright Matonga (Ngezi), saying there would be no
going back on Operation Murambatsvina/Restore Order.
Mushoriwa said the government should compensate all those who had lost their
properties during the clean-up.
He said it is unfortunate that the government had not heeded the call by the
Speaker of Parliament, John Nkomo, when he was still Minister of Home
Affairs, to demolish illegal structures when they started sprouting.
Referring to war veterans, who have so far turned out to be the biggest
casualties, he said until 25 years ago, they had lived in the bush. Now, 25
years after independence, they were going back to stay in the bush.
However, Zanu PF Makonde Member of Parliament Leo Mugabe said the clean-up
was noble, but pointed out that even people in influential positions should
not be spared if caught on the wrong side of the law.
Chiding the MDC, he said the government was doing the party a favour by
sprucing up areas they enjoyed support.
Moses Mzila Ndlovu (MDC - Bulilimamangwe North) called for a parliamentary
investigation into the conduct of people carrying out the operation, adding
that the government had promised people that it would build them houses, yet
there were no budgetary provisions for such a project.
Phineas Chihota (Zanu PF Seke) said the matter before the House should be
whether the removal of illegal structures was within the law.
Debate on the motion was going on by the time of going to press early last
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Daily Mirror, Zimbabwe

Mutare City Council to repossess houses

The Daily Mirror Reporter
issue date :2005-Jun-24

MUTARE City Council will repossess houses under its ambit being unlawfully
leased to desperate home seekers by absentee tenants.
Authoritative sources told this newspaper this week that the council made
the resolution to compliment government's ongoing clean-up exercise meant to
rid the country of rampant illegal
The city's director of housing, Stanford Mapurisa, declined to comment on
the resolution and referred all questions to mayor, Misheck Kagurabadza, who
was reportedly out of office.
"If anything of that nature is on the cards then only the mayor can talk of
it.  Please talk to him," said Mapurisa in a telephone
However, the sources said the council would soon repossess the houses and
reallocate them to home seekers on the waiting list.
"What necessitated the development was the fact that there were some long
registered tenants who had either retired to rural homes or their families
were still claiming ownership of properties they never bought," said the
The source added that the tenants were taking advantage of the current acute
shortage of accommodation to unlawfully sublet the properties at exorbitant
monthly rentals, hence reaping where they did not sow.
Some residents welcomed the council resolution.
"That decision by council is a noble one and will go a long way towards
restoring sanity in the housing allocation system.  There is no way council
should allow these people to financially benefit from properties that do not
belong to them," said one Sakubva resident, Noah Marufu.
Locations likely to be affected by the resolution are Muchena, Chisamba
Singles, National Housing Board houses (NHB) and Old Zororo
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EU extends targeted sanctions

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

 HARARE, 23 Jun 2005 (IRIN) - Economists have warned that the recent
extension of targeted sanctions against Zimbabwe by the European Union (EU)
is likely to further isolate an already weak economy.

The EU bloc renewed its travel ban on ruling ZANU-PF party officials last
week and extended it to senior executives appointed by President Robert
Mugabe after his party's disputed victory in the March parliamentary polls.

Deputy information minister Bright Matonga told IRIN that the government was
unperturbed by the EU decision, as the country had successfully penetrated
Asian markets.

"In our view, the sanctions are inconsequential: they have never worked. We
have established business contacts with Asian countries through our 'Look
East' policy, and if they [EU] think they can make us dance to their tune
they are certainly mistaken," said Matonga.

He accused the opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) of lobbying
the EU to impose sanctions on Zimbabwe after losing in the March poll. The
MDC denied the charge, but has said it supports targeted sanctions against
ZANU-PF officials.

MDC economic advisor Eddie Cross said extending the travel ban could mean a
protracted economic crisis, and expressed scepticism about the so-called
'Look East' policy as a means of reviving the economy.

"For as long as there is no political will by ZANU-PF to correct its
political mistakes, the sanctions will always matter, and our economy will
plunge further," commented Cross.

His sentiments were reiterated by a Zimbabwe National Chamber of Commerce
(ZNCC) official, who said: "Government officials are the ones who are
supposed to be in the forefront of the struggle to resuscitate the economy,
and this they have to achieve through traveling and dialoguing with their
counterparts around the globe. Now, if they can no longer travel and strike
deals on behalf of the business community, then there is a problem,"

Zimbabwe now conducts most of its trade with Asian countries such as China.

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank cut their balance
of payment support to the country a few years ago, alleging bad corporate
governance, while the EU imposed targeted sanctions on Zimbabwe in February
2002 after Harare expelled its election observer team.

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Civil society coalition calls for end to forced evictions in Zimbabwe

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

 JOHANNESBURG, 23 Jun 2005 (IRIN) - An African coalition of civil society
groups appealed on Thursday for intervention by the African Union (AU) and
the UN to stop the forced eviction of informal settlers and traders in

"We want the AU to pressurise the Zimbabwean authorities to stop the
evictions and allow humanitarian aid agencies to assist those who have been
left homeless," Arnold Tsunga of the Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights
(ZLHR) told IRIN.

At least 200,000 people have been left without shelter since the operation
to 'clean up' Zimbabwe's cities and towns began last month. Authorities
claimed the operation was aimed at ridding urban areas of informal flea
markets and illegal residential shacks and houses, saying they had become a
haven for criminal activities.

Five press conferences were held across the continent on Thursday, where the
joint appeal made by NGOs, including Amnesty International, the Centre on
Housing Rights and Evictions (COHRE), and Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights
urged Nigerian President Olusegun Obasanjo, as chair of the AU, to put the
crisis in Zimbabwe on the agenda of the upcoming AU assembly, scheduled to
take place in Libya on 4 and 5 July.

The coalition also called on relevant bodies at the UN, including the
Secretary-General, to publicly condemn the ongoing mass human rights
violations and take effective action to stop them.

UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan announced the appointment this week of Anna
Kajumulo Tibaijuka, the Executive Director of UN-HABITAT, as his Special
Envoy for Human Settlement Issues in Zimbabwe to investigate the situation.

Tsunga claimed there had been instances where aid agencies had been
prevented from providing assistance to affected communities; ZLHR had sought
court interventions to stop the eviction, but failed.

"Tens of thousands of ordinary Zimbabweans have been left sleeping on the
streets next to the rubble of their destroyed homes - it is time that the
African heads of state took action," said Hassen Lorgat of the South
Africa-based Zimbabwe Solidarity and Consultation Forum.

Lorgat added that civil societies across the region were attempting to form
a coalition to strengthen support for their counterparts in Zimbabwe. Other
NGOs joining the appeal are the Inter-Africa Network for Human Rights, the
International Bar Association's Human Rights Institute, and the
International Crisis Group.

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      Anthrax outbreak reported in Harare 2005-06-23 23:41:39

          HARARE, June 23 (Xinhuanet) -- An anthrax outbreak has been
reported on farms in the Harare metropolitan area, the Veterinary Services
Department said on Thursday.

          Principal Veterinary officer, Anne Mujeyi, said that the cases
were detected when three cattle died of the disease early this week.

          "We picked up cases of anthrax in the Harare metropolitan area
this week," she said. "The first case was recorded at an agricultural
engineering farm next to Hatcliffe on Monday while two others were recorded
on Tuesday at the Harare City Council farm in Crowborough and Winsbury plot
in Mt Hampden."

          Mujeyi said veterinary officers were immediately dispatched to the
affected areas and had since vaccinated all the cattle.

          She said the affected areas recorded anthrax outbreaks last year
and had been vaccinated in February this year.

          Anthrax is a bacterial disease that affects all warm-blooded
animals. Mujeyi said the affected farms had since been quarantinedto avoid
spreading of the contagious disease.

          She added that anthrax in human beings had also been detected in
Masvingo and Chihota communal area where one beast died this month.

          "We have discovered that there is no active infection within the
livestock in these areas but that the affected people consumedpreserved meat
of cattle that died of anthrax last year," she said.

          She advised the public not to eat meat from animals that would
have died on their own or buy meat from dubious sources.

          Mujeyi also expressed hope that no further infections would be
recorded in Harare within the next three weeks, the time it took for animals
to build up antibodies to fight off the disease after vaccination.

          Zimbabwe has lost a number of cattle over the years to
anthrax,which is fatal but curable. Enditem

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New Statesman

      Mugabe turns on old comrades
      Mark Olden
      Monday 27th June 2005

       Liberation-war veterans are the latest targets of the burnings and
bulldozers, writes Mark Olden

      Night has fallen and a power cut has plunged half of Harare into
darkness. We are hunting for fuel on the black market. Like bread, sugar,
milk, salt, cooking oil, maize and Coca-Cola, it's in short supply. We sit
outside a candlelit beer hall while our companions negotiate with traders at
the back. After an hour they return empty-handed: the little fuel available
is trading at almost double the price it was this morning.

      We drive off and witness a scene of des-truction. An entire market
lies smashed and broken. A few hours previously, people had survived here by
selling sweets, fruit, vegetables and second-hand clothes. Now the riot
police have bulldozed their livelihoods into oblivion. Operation
Mur-ambatsvina ("drive out the rubbish" in the Shona language) is under way.

      Suddenly, a truck appears with young men squashed in the back. "Youth
militias," says our companion. The government is deploying its shock troops
to pre-empt revolt. We move swiftly on.

      Operation Murambatsvina has now lasted a month. Each day Zimbabweans
have seen more of their nation destroyed. A campaign officially meant to
clean up the country and demolish illegal structures has left more than
200,000 people homeless. But uncertainty hangs over the crucial political
question: is Robert Mugabe - a supreme strategist in maintaining power -
operating many moves ahead of his opponents, or sowing the seeds of his
regime's demise?

      The former, insists one astute observer. "The reservoir that has kept
[Mugabe's] system of patronage going is almost exhausted," he says. "And
shifting the urban population [who mostly support the opposition] into the
rural areas where they're easier to control is a very wise move in
forestalling an uprising."

      Nevertheless, fury is rising among the group that has often held the
balance of power in Zimbabwean politics - and which might do so once more.
Many veterans of the 1970s liberation war that overthrew the racist
Rhodesian government of Ian Smith, and who later spearheaded the violent
land invasions of white farms from 2000 onwards, are now among the victims
of Murambatsvina.

      In mid-June Comrade Chinx, a singer and war veteran whose jingles
exalting Mugabe are constantly played on state television and radio at
election time, had his Harare mansion torn down. Witnesses said Chinx pulled
a gun and fired shots in the air before police talked him down from his
roof - and promptly beat him up. He later had to be taken to hospital.

      Jabulani Sibanda, chairman of the Zimbabwe National Liberation War
Veterans Association (patron: R Mugabe), voices some of the anger building
up among the recently loyal. Murambatsvina is "like a tsunami", he says.
"People are left with nothing. They are moving to the rural areas where they
don't have food or shelter . . . The whole nation fought for freedom, and we
are now being threat-ened by our government. They introduce these policies
and the people pay the price. They pretend to be God and do away with
everything. That is what Hitler thought. He did away with people. He didn't
want to see the crippled on the road. We have people in the government who
have a fascist mentality."

      Sibanda has been suspended from the ruling Zanu-PF party but retains
formi-dable support among war veterans. He is careful when asked about a
possible up-rising: "People can't rise up when they're still in shock . . .
The people are silent, but they have hate, that much I know. People are
hating inside their souls."

      "The war veterans had to go beyond their naive illusions of what
Mugabe stands for," says Munyaradzi Gwisai, the dreadlocked former
opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) MP. Breaking with official
MDC policy, Gwisai supported the war veterans' invasions of white farms, and
he has long argued that the "key imperative" in getting rid of Mugabe "is
unifying the urban opposition with the war vets". It almost happened eight
years ago, he points out, when urban food riots and a series of rowdy
protests by war veterans demanding pensions appeared to imperil the regime.

      A two-day strike was called on 9 and 10 June by the Broad Alliance, a
coalition of opposition groups, in protest at Murambatsvina. The alliance's
convener, Dr Lovemore Madhuku, believes that the growing anger among the war
veterans is "very significant". "It weakens the hold of Zanu-PF over its
base, and opens room for those who are opposed to them to unite - not as an
opposition party, but as Zimbabweans. It cannot be rationalised when you've
lost your home and livelihood."

      Others are even more sanguine. "They [the war veterans] have served
their purpose and are now just a nuisance and a threat to the big boys,"
says Trudy Stevenson, an MDC MP. "This operation is partly to be done with
the whole lot of them."

      Additional reporting by Michelle de Mello
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Army-led 'building brigades' to replace Zimbabwe housing

Thursday, June 23, 2005; Posted: 9:12 a.m. EDT (13:12 GMT)

 HARARE, Zimbabwe (AP) -- The government is mobilizing soldiers to build
houses for the thousands of people it forced from their homes in an urban
cleanup campaign that has drawn condemnation at home and abroad, a spokesman
said Thursday.
The announcement comes as Zimbabwe prepares for the visit of a special U.N.
envoy coming to see the effect of Operation Murambatsvina, or Drive Out
Trash, which the U.N. estimates has left up to 1.5 million people homeless.
The political opposition, which has its base among the urban poor, says the
four-week-old campaign is meant to punish its supporters.

After a seven-hour meeting of President Robert Mugabe's highest
policy-making body, the Politburo, spokesman Ephraim Masawi was quoted on
state radio Thursday as saying military personnel would lead national and
provincial reconstruction committees being formed immediately.

Masawi said there would be "building brigades in all 10 provinces for
reconstruction of houses, shops and flea markets," to replace those
flattened since May 19, when police launched their blitz first on the
capital's street traders, then on "informal housing."

The opposition Movement for Democratic Change says only supporters of
Mugabe's ruling ZANU-PF were getting new housing sites and trading licenses.

Answering questions Wednesday during a stormy parliamentary session Justice
Minister Patrick Chinamasa conceded harm had been done to legitimate housing
by what he called a "cleanup" meant to flush out black marketeers and
criminals. The government blames them for runaway 144 percent hyperinflation
and shortage of most staples.

"We are aware that there is damage, people are homeless and so forth," the
minister said. "We are aware and accept that the dislocation has affected
the immediate interests of the people, but government has put into place the
necessary logistics to address those immediate concerns such as health."

Since starting May 19 in Harare, Drive Out Trash has been extended
throughout the country, causing sporadic rioting as people tried to resist
destruction of their livelihoods and eviction into midwinter cold. This
week, the campaign in a nation facing severe food shortages moved on to the
vegetable gardens the poor plant in vacant lots around Harare. Police say
the plots threaten the environment.

'Plant flowers,' not food
Edmore Veterai, commander of the capital's police, was quoted in the
state-owned Herald newspaper Thursday advising city dwellers, 80 percent of
whom lack formal employment, to "plant flowers and lawns instead."

Senior Assistant Police Commissioner Wayne Bvudzijena told the Herald 42,415
people were arrested, fined or had their goods confiscated since the start
of Drive Out Trash, while he estimated the number left homeless at
120,000 -- far short of the 250,000 to 1.5 million estimate other observers
have given.

While Zimbabwe clerics have called the operation "a crime against humanity"
and "a war against the poor," government loyalists defend it. Vincent
Takure, chairman of the Association of Small and Medium Scale Enterprises,
was quoted by the state broadcaster Thursday as applauding "government
efforts to reorganize the informal sector."

Takure said it would give bankers confidence in small-scale businessmen and
help them create employment.

Police Wednesday closed seven office high-rise buildings in downtown Harare,
evicting photocopying and other small businesses they said were causing
crowding and strain on sanitation facilities.

Robert Chamunorwa, president of the Commercial Tenants' Association, told
the state broadcaster he welcomed police removal of firms operating
illegally from offices and workshops in up-market neighborhoods, but he
urged rent boards to impose strict controls.
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From Reuters, 23 June

 Children crushed in Zimbabwe housing blitz

 Harare - Two Zimbabwean children died this month after they were crushed by
rubble during the demolition of illegal houses in a government clean-up that
has made tens of thousands homeless, state media reported on Thursday.
Police spokesperson Wayne Bvudzijena urged residents to be cautious when
demolishing their buildings, suggesting the deaths were caused by
individuals following orders to pull down their own houses rather than by
police demolition crews. The local private media had reported that the
police were responsible for the deaths. "We would like to urge those
demolishing illegal structures to ensure the safety of everyone," Bvudzijena
told the official Herald newspaper. He was not immediately available for
comment on Thursday.The Herald said a one-and-a-half year old child was
crushed to death by rubble in Harare's Chitungwiza township on Sunday while
a one-year-old was crushed to death earlier this month in another Harare
neighbourhood. Thousands of self-employed people have seen their informal
shops demolished and goods confiscated in the six-week campaign dubbed
"Operation Restore Order" which officials say has also made 120 000 people
homeless. Aid groups and non-governmental organisations estimate that at
least 300 000 people have been evicted and have joined western governments
in demanding its immediate halt.

 President Robert Mugabe's government argues that illegal structures in
cities had become a haven for illegal trade in foreign currency and scarce
food items. Police have said the operation had reduced crime by a fifth in
Harare. The campaign has sparked angry criticism from Zimbabwe's main
opposition party as well as human rights and religious groups, who say it is
unfairly targeting the urban poor. The United Nations said it planned to
send a special envoy to Zimbabwe to asses the situation. Police on Wednesday
shut seven office buildings in central Harare accusing shocked tenants of
breaching licensing regulations and overcrowding. In one swoop hundreds of
small businesses from dress-making to cellphone traders were left on the
street with no income. Some colleges were also closed, leaving desperate
students writing their exams in the lurch. Critics say the crackdown has
worsened the country's economic crisis, which has already led to chronic
shortages of foreign currency, high inflation and unemployment of over 70
percent. Mugabe, in power since independence from Britain in 1980, denies
mismanaging the once prosperous economy and says opponents of the land
redistribution - which he says is meant to redress colonial land
imbalances - have sabotaged Zimbabwe's economy.
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Minister Explains Fuel Shortage

 The Herald (Harare)

June 23, 2005
Posted to the web June 23, 2005

Herald Reporter

The fuel shortage is a result of limited foreign currency compounded by a
doubling in international oil prices, Parliament was told yesterday.

The Minister of Energy and Power Development, Cde Michael Nyambuya, told
Parliament that the price of fuel had more than doubled from US$27 a barrel
to US$60.

The Government had put in place contingency measures to ensure that public
transport operators get fuel.

He was responding to a question by Makoni East Member of Parliament Cde
Shadreck Chipanga (Zanu-PF) during question time.

Cde Chipanga wanted to know the actual situation with regard to the fuel
crisis that has gripped the country.

Cde Nyambuya said the increase in the price of fuel on the international
market meant that instead of buying two barrels of fuel with the US$60 that
amount could now buy one barrel.

He said the National Oil Company of Zimbabwe was allocating 100 litres of
diesel to each bus everyday to ensure that public transport operators
secured fuel.

Commenting on the possibility of the Government reviewing the price of fuel,
Cde Nyambuya said: "That issue is being addressed."

He said this in response to another question by Mutare North MP Mr Giles
Mutsekwa (MDC) who wanted to know whether the Government would review the
price of fuel in view of the increase in the price of oil on the
international market.

Zimbabwe has been experiencing erratic fuel supplies over the past few
months because of foreign currency shortages and the galloping rise in world
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Mugabe vows crackdown on graft, illegal trading
      23 Jun 2005 18:18:39 GMT

      Source: Reuters

By Stella Mapenzauswa

HARARE, June 23 (Reuters) - Zimbabwe's President Robert Mugabe vowed on
Thursday to clamp down on corruption among business people he said had
abused his government's drive to empower blacks economically in the former
British colony.

In remarks broadcast on state television, the veteran leader also called for
mandatory jail terms for those convicted of illegal trade in minerals and
foreign currency, seen by the government as blocking efforts to pull the
country out of economic decline.

"While the government has demonstrated its sincerity in opening up economic
empowerment opportunities for the historically disadvantaged black majority,
it is regrettable that some misguided elements have seen this programme as
an invitation to engage in illegal business malpractices," Mugabe said at
the graduation of new police officers.

Mugabe last year launched an anti-corruption drive that saw several
officials from his ruling ZANU-PF party arrested on charges of participating
in a then-thriving black market for scarce U.S. dollars.

Most of those convicted paid fines, but the highest profile official, former
finance Minister Chris Kuruneri, is still on trial on charges of illegally
siphoning out large amounts of money to invest in property in South Africa.

"It is unfortunate that (while) the police have maintained their vigilance
on the new breed of crimes in the country, their efforts have not always
been fully complemented by our legislation," Mugabe said on Thursday.

"There is indeed growing need for mandatory jail sentences for persons
convicted of illegal dealings in precious stones and in foreign currency if
we are to stem the incidence of these daredevil and unpatriotic crimes."

State television also quoted Mugabe as reiterating government support for a
police crackdown on illegal homes and business structures, which authorities
say is meant to remove what had become a haven for crime.

Critics say the programme has worsened the plight of the urban poor as they
grapple with an economic crisis that has brought chronic shortages of
foreign currency, fuel and food, high inflation and unemployment of over 70
percent. Mugabe, in power since independence from Britain in 1980, denies
responsibility for the crisis and blames it in large part on opponents of
his forced redistribution of white-owned farms among blacks.
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SW  Radio

      Kuwadzana Raids
      SW Radio Africa Zimbabwe news

       By Tererai Karimakwenda
      23 June 2005

       Police with bulldozers returned to the Kuwadzana high-density suburb
of Harare Thursday morning to make sure all structures they had ordered to
be destroyed had been demolished. Tuck shops and informal houses were
targeted as they moved from section to section, starting early in the

      The MP for Kuwadzana, Nelson Chamisa, who is also the MDC National
Youth Chairperson, said he tried reasoning with the police and with council
officials to spare some of the shops and houses since his area is still
developing and not much has been built there by the government. His pleas
were in vain.

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SW Radio

      Government destroying education
      SW Radio Africa Zimbabwe news

       By Tererai Karimakwenda
      23 June 2005

      Recent events point to a government that is bent on destroying
education in Zimbabwe at every turn. Zimonline reports that more than 300
000 children of informal traders and squatter families have dropped out of
school, in the last four weeks alone, after their homes were destroyed by
the government. This figure increased with the destruction of Norton High
Academy this week, and another school in Harare on Wednesday.

      Officials at the Ministry of Education said directors of education in
the country's 10 provinces were last week asked to compile figures of
children under 13 years no longer coming to school. One senior official was
quoted saying school authorities had not been able to establish the
whereabouts of many children, who are now just roaming urban areas with
their families and sleeping in the open after their shanty homes were brunt
down by the police. The lack of transportation due to fuel shortages and the
government's crackdown on vehicles deemed not roadworthy, have also
prevented many students from making it to school.

      And as though this was not enough Cabinet announced a new fees
structure for June and November examinations.
      Education Minister Aeneas Chigwedere said parents or guardians with
children writing O-Level examinations would pay $35 000 per subject while
the government pays a subsidy of $25 000, bringing the total to
      $60 000 a subject. This is a rise from $500 a subject that was paid
last year.

       A-Level exams would cost $95 000 a subject, with the government paying
a subsidy of $5 000, bringing the fees to a total of $100 000. Last year
A-Level fees were $5 000 a subject. Grade Seven examinations will remain
fully subsidised and there will be no examinations for the Junior
Certificate this year.

      A five-year "Education Reform Programme" was introduced that will
      start from January 2006 which will necessitate an examination for Form
Twos at the end of 2007. Chigwedere however declined to give any details of
what this course is all about. He said Cabinet has not yet deliberated on

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"Education is the most powerful weapon
which you can use to change the world."
           - Nelson Mandela -

One of the most tragic, inspiring and life-changing things happened to me
this weekend; my gift to you is to perhaps lift you as others lifted me. On
our way to watch St.John's College Variety show on Friday night, we were
horrified to see a body lying in the middle of the road with speeding cars
coming from both directions; their headlights blinding each other to the
scene until almost too late and many swerving to avoid hitting another
person standing in the road trying to help the victim.

We ran from the car and to the poor soul lying crumpled and broken on the
tarmac, his few tomatoes and relish he had just purchased and was taking
home to eat with his family lying in bits all around. Lifting him to the
side of the road with a policeman who had been a passer-by and several other
helpers, we saw that his foot had been severed and smashed at the ankle
exposing the raw bone ... his foot attached to his body by the thinnest of

As many gathered around him recoiled in horror, another recounted how a
white twin cab had hit him and sped off. Without hesitation, an African
woman offered to take him to hospital in her pick-up, running for her
vehicle and turning it around in the main road with others risking life and
limb to stop the traffic so she could do this. As I waited for her,  I held
this poor man's head in my hands and made a pathetic attempt to try to
reassure him that everything would be ok and that he was being taken to
hospital and help. His breathing laboured and semi-conscious, I had a short
while to really look at him. A swelling the size of an orange on the side of
his bloodied face, his torn, thin, simple clothes hardly any use against the
bitter wind, his thread-bare trousers with broken zip, held to his body with
a piece of dirty rope. His one leg twisted in a sickening, bizarre way
(dislocated hip and shattered bones?) and lastly, my gaze rested on his foot
lying there next to his exposed lower leg bone .. still in it's humble, very
old canvas shoe. I looked at the people trying to help; the poor (fear and
desolation in their eyes), the man' s friends telling him they would tell
his wife and children, a businessman in his suit on the way home from the
office, a concerned policeman trying to administer first aid. In that moment
of darkness I remember thinking how crisis becomes community. Life is life;
we are all the same. He deserved our combined best attempt to help him fight
for it.

We lifted him into the back of the pick-up and tried to make him as
comfortable as possible as his shattered body lay on the dirty piece of
canvas on top of the cold metal floor of the back of the buckie. Off he
went. Austin and I got back in our car and continued to the function. I felt
the anger well up inside me as it had at a very similar scene six months ago
outside Jaggers. What hope have our people got? How dare I tell him that
help is on it's way when his chances of getting emergency care, drugs and
surgery are a million to one without him paying hundreds of thousands of
dollars or without the luxury of medical aid? What kind of human being
inflicts such misery onto his people in their daily lives and then strips
them of even the right to life when they lie broken and bleeding on
Zimbabwean soil? My rage grew as I took my seat and tried to recover my
thoughts whilst the show started.Then, suddenly, I knew the simple lesson of
what had just happened..

How dare we stand in our comfortable positions and bemoan the fact that the
masses are spineless, that they should rise up and resist their
ill-treatment? How dare we. It is us who have the resources, three sqare
meals a day, we drive our own vehicle, we have a roof over our heads, we can
impact on the spiritual, mental and physical growth of all those around us
in a multitude of ways! We have all it takes to do whatever it takes to
drive our nation forward in the right direction through whatever and however
means we can by simply using the gifts with which we have been so richly
blessed. As long as we do what is right, good and true and invest these same
values into our family and those around us.

The show started and I was captivated. As skit, followed singing, followed
comedy, followed music.... the magic unfolded before my eyes and lifted my
grieving heart. There were our children, young men and women of different
colours, backgrounds and cultures, our next generation. They sang, laughed,
performed and what was truly divine was that every offering was a gift from
their hearts, their minds, themselves. Teachers had guided them in helping
to create and set up the vehicles for their expression of how they see life
right here in Zim!! No long, drawn-out embittered past history, no
predjudice, no painful burdens. Simply a celebration of differences, of
being able to laugh at themselves and each other, of life. They look
brightly to their future and see a place for everyone there, side by side.

We have nothing to fear but fear itself. Our generations to come are
sprouting the flowers and the fruit of all that is right and good and all
that we have battled to instill in them and to show them the lessons arising
from our circumstances. We must hold our heads up high you and I. The going
has been tough and many times we have fallen short of what we would consider
"ideal" conditions under which to raise our offspring! Guilt if we go, guilt
if we stay. Well, I for one was thanking God with all my being for giving me
the grace to have been able to weather the storm and still be afforded the
blessing of being right here. There is nothing I want more for my beautiful,
precious children than a foundation built from what I have seen, the good
and the bad, al the lessons and what culminated in that one evening's
reflection of reality. Born and bred Zimbabwean, on Zimbabwean soil,
building themselves and each other up and sharing experiences created for
them by those angels on this planet called teachers.

Should you need any uplifting or confirmation of what's going on with our
future generations and therefore the future of this country, I suggest you
go and watch any interschool rugby match of any sporting event and see the
sportsmanship, the discipline, the pride and the respect which are the
fundamental tenets upon which we are growing this nation! I leave you with
an ode to our teachers and the perfect job they do ... and a "thank you"
from the bottom of my heart.

"No child is born hating another child because
of the colour of his skin
or his background or his religion.
 If a person can learn to hate,
he can be taught to love,
 for love comes more naturally
to the human heart than it's opposite."
                 - Nelson Mandela -

Thank you for sharing a few minutes of your time and a few thoughts with me.

As always,

Debi Jeans
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