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

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Rushing towards Year Zero
Perry de Havilland (London)

Robert Mugabe continues his insane demolition of houses and businesses as he
increasingly starts to look like Pol Pot reborn, seeking to depopulate the
cities and drive the now homeless and unemployed population into the
countryside to eke out an even more miserable living, thereby dispersing and
isolating people from communituies which might oppose his tyrannical rule.
And where are the marchers in the west? Where are the protesters calling for
justice in Zimbabwe? Where is the outrage from those tireless tribunes of
the Third World, the UN? Why can I not hear the snarls of fury from the
alphabet soup of NGOs? What of the legions of Guardian readers finding out
about all this? What are they going to call for? Amnesty International is
getting a lot of (bad) publicity from having called Guantanamo Bay 'a gulag'
whilst now admitting they do not actually know what is happening there, yet
why are they not straining every fibre of their being in opposition to this
African horror? There is tyranny aplenty to be opposed without having to
invent any.

Clearly the only chance for the people of Zimbabwe is for someone, anyone,
to help them to rise up and meet violence with violence. They do not need
aid, they need guns and ammunition some supporters of the MDC can start
shooting at anyone associated with ZANU-PF or the 'security' services. Time
for Mugabe's swaggering police thugs to be met with a hail of gunfire rather
than terrified sobbing. But of course the South African ANC government, far
from being a possible solution to the rapidly deteriorating situation across
the border, is aiding and abetting in the Cambodia-ization of Zimbabwe. I
look forward to Saint Nelson Mandela taking a loud, public and sustained
stand against Mugabe's madness. Yeah, right.

If Tony Blair was serious about doing something about poverty in Africa, he
would be sending guns to the MDC and anyone else who is willing to resist
and threatening have some gentlemen from Hereford put a .338 hole between
Mugabe's eyes unless things change radically. What a pity Zimbabwe does not
have oil or maybe more people would give a damn what is happening there.
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Security forces ready to "deal" with protests against evictions

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

BULAWAYO, 6 Jun 2005 (IRIN) - The Zimbabwean government placed its security
forces on high alert on Monday, in the event of a mass stay-away to protest
against the forced eviction of informal settlers in and around the capital,

A broad alliance comprising the Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions (ZCTU);
the National Constitutional Assembly (NCA), a coalition of civil societies;
the main opposition Movement for Democratic Change; and several other civic
bodies have urged people to stay away from work on Thursday and Friday this

The eviction campaign - described officially as an attempt to rid the
capital of illegal structures, businesses and criminal activities - began
three weeks ago and has left thousands of people homeless and without a
source of income.

Since the announcement of the protest action the government has deployed
armed riot police and soldiers in Harare and the second city, Bulawayo.

Police spokesperson Wayne Bvudzijena warned that security forces would deal
with any form of protest, and said there were enough security personnel to
contain the situation.

"Zimbabweans should be reminded that it is an offence to engage in protests
without police clearance, and those caught on the wrong side of the law will
surely be dealt with accordingly. It is therefore my advice to the people to
resist manipulation by a few individuals for their own safety," he

Protests and mass gatherings without prior police approval are barred under
Zimbabwe's stringent security law, the Public Order and Security Act (POSA).

But civic leaders appeared unperturbed and vowed to press ahead with the
protests. One of the organisers, Lovemore Madhuku, NCA chairman and law
lecturer at the University of Zimbabwe, told IRIN that threats of a
crackdown would not deter protestors.

"The government has ruthlessly demolished people's homes and destroyed their
[market] stalls - in a way complicating things for the masses - and this is
why we are saying people should register their disapproval through mass stay
away," said Madhuku.

The UN Commission on Human Rights (UNCHR) has called for an "immediate" halt
to the evictions. Miloon Kothari, special rapporteur on the right to
adequate housing, reminded the Zimbabwean government that forced evictions
constituted a "gross violation of human rights".

UN member states, prior to carrying out any eviction, must ensure that all
feasible alternatives to avoid or minimise the use of force have been

"Legal remedies or procedures should be provided to those who are affected
by eviction orders, along with adequate compensation for any property
affected, both personal and real," said Kothari.

In cases where evictions are justified, "it should never result in rendering
individuals homeless, or vulnerable to the violations of other human
rights," he pointed out.

The High Court in Harare has upheld as lawful the demolition of houses built
in Hatcliffe, one of the affected suburbs, as the co-operative had not filed
proper building plans.

The co-operative, supported by the Zimbabwe Human Rights Association
(ZimRights), had challenged the operation. The official Herald newspaper
reported that Justice Tedias Karwi had noted in his ruling that the affected
people should have been given a longer period of notice of the demolition

ZimRights director Munyaradzi Bidi said the organisation was considering
filing another application in the Supreme Court to stop the clean-up
operation, which is still continuing.

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Crackdown meant to punish us, says MDC
          June 06 2005 at 05:18PM

      By Michael Hartnack

      Harare - Police on Monday threatened tough action against anyone who
takes part in a general strike called to protest a government demolition
campaign that has left at least 200 000 urban poor homeless in the middle of

      A previously unknown group calling itself the Broad Alliance has
called on people to stay away from work on Thursday and Friday to protest
police demolition of shacks around the country and the arrest of more than
30 000 street traders.

      The government has said the campaign is aimed at cleaning up cities,
but the opposition says the crackdown is meant to punish its supporters
among the urban poor.

      State media on Monday alleged that the main opposition Movement for
Democratic Change was behind the strike call. But the party has not
confirmed its involvement. Under Zimbabwe's law, anyone convicted of
attempting to "coerce" President Robert Mugabe's government risks a 20-year
jail term.

      Police assistant commissioner Wayne Bvudzijena said that police would
deal "ruthlessly" with anyone participating in the planned stay-away on
Thursday and Friday.

      He claimed opposition parties and civic groups were "trying to take
advantage of the clean up exercise to make political capital" and had hired
youths to build highway barricades.

      The United Nations estimates that at least 200 000 people, mostly
urban poor, have been made homeless by police who have demolished or burned
thousands of shacks and kiosks around the country and arrested street
vendors the government calls economic saboteurs.

      Civic groups and the Movement for Democratic Change allege the
government is trying to force the people it sees as opponents into rural
areas where they can be more tightly controlled by the ruling party.

      Despite international condemnation of the crackdown, police destroyed
and burned more houses over the weekend.

      Churches in the eastern Manicaland region, which includes Mutare, said
in a statement on Sunday that they were "left shocked and numbed by the
utter havoc and destruction wreaked in Mutare townships."

      "What we have seen would reduce the hardest heart to tears," the
churches said in the statement. It said babies, nursing mothers, the sick
and the elderly had been left amid smoking ruins to face biting cold.

      A bulldozer, protected by six truckloads of armed paramilitaries,
flattened six recently completed brick houses in Harare's Kambazuma township
over the weekend while other mass demolitions were reported from the far
west to the east of the country. - Sapa-AP

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War vets threaten action against forced eviction

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

JOHANNESBURG, 6 Jun 2005 (IRIN) - The Zimbabwe National Liberation War
Veterans Association (ZNLWVA) has warned that its members will fight the
security forces if the crackdown dubbed 'Operation Restore Order' is
extended to farms.

Security Minister Didymus Mutasa reportedly said last week that the
operation, which has led to the arrest of over 22,000 people and the
displacement of several thousands would proceed to the farms to deal with
illegal settlers and owners of multiple farms.

The government said the operation was aimed at returning order and normality
in urban areas, in addition to putting an end to parallel market trading,
which has been flourishing on the back of crippling food shortages.

ZNLWVA chairman Jabulani Sibanda told IRIN that he did not know of any
illegal settlers among the war veterans and the poor, and claimed his
organisation was only aware of multiple farm owners and illegal settlers
among ministers, provincial governors, members of the ruling ZANU-PF
politburo and other party organs.

He alleged that the recent urban clean-up exercise was an inhuman act, used
to target poor people because they were seen to be opposed to certain
cliques in the ruling party.

"As war veterans, we will not be surprised if they move into the farms - but
what we want known is that we are against any exercise that causes loss or
homelessness to any Zimbabwean. This is not a ZANU-PF programme; it runs
contrary to all the ideals the party has stood for. It is unjust and we will
not take it lying down.

"People on the farms were settled there by the ZANU-PF government, in terms
of the Land Acquisition Act. The stands were given by government, and we
wonder on which farms minister Mutasa found illegal settlers," said Sibanda.

Last year the government took back the farm allocated to Sibanda after he
attended the ill-fated meeting at the Tsholotsho home of then information
minister Jonathan Moyo, allegedly held to block the appointment of Joyce
Mujuru as vice-president and back parliamentary speaker Emmerson Mnangagwa
for the position instead.

Sibanda remains suspended from the party but has continued as chairman of
the militant war veterans association, which spearheaded the farm invasions
that began in 2002 and has steadfastly supported ZANU-PF.

Mutasa told IRIN that the ZANU-PF politburo had already ordered the police
and paramilitary units involved in the crackdown to "sharpen their armoury"
in anticipation of pockets of resistance on some farms.

"The operation will go ahead as planned in the farms - only those who were
settled legally will remain: we have serious farm-by-farm intelligence
information, confirming that there are many illegal settlers," he said.

"The issue of multiple farm owners is a problem and, yes, they are mostly
senior ZANU-PF party and government officials. Government has been clear
from the beginning, and everyone knows it is illegal to own more than one
farm. We will deal with that as well," Mutasa remarked.

He said war veterans on the farms would be dealt with like anybody else if
they resisted. "War veterans are not above the law. If they break the law,
they must get ready to face the lawmaker one day. They are a big problem on
the farms, but we are serious in this operation. Any resistance will be
crushed - no matter how big and by who.

"War veterans are supposed to behave like all loyal children in the party.
They will never be the ones to tell government how and when to run its
business, and certainly cannot stand up and fight it," Mutasa maintained.

Sibanda's suggestion that the exercise was planned by a powerful ZANU-PF
clique with scores to settle against others was "outright silly", said
Mutasa, and showed that war veterans were mistaking their role of
party-backers with that of kingmakers.

"There are no cliques in ZANU-PF, and no one is abusing their power to
settle scores because this is a legitimate national programme," he asserted.

The war veterans' call for the prosecution of cabinet ministers and senior
party officials still holding more than one farm was belated and of no
effect - president Robert Mugabe had made a decision to pardon all those who
surrendered excess properties, Mutasa pointed out, and there would be no
change until government reviewed the process.

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Zimbabwe crackdown seen worsening unemployment

June 06, 2005, 17:30

A crackdown on illegal buildings will hit Zimbabwe's economy, striking at
the core of an informal sector which has propped up the southern African
country in recent years, economists said today.

Thousands of self-employed people have seen their informal business premises
razed to the ground and their goods confiscated in the cleanup campaign,
which has also left an estimated 200 000 homeless after their shacks were
demolished over the last two weeks. The crackdown will hit 3 million
non-registered small businesses, economic commentator Eddie Cross said,
adding it would take away the livelihood of millions of people who lost
their formal jobs in recent years.

Cross says this kind of economic activity has thrived as the formal sector
has crashed and the state has now decided to decimate the one thing that is
working. Cross, an economic adviser to the main opposition Movement for
Democratic Change, wrote in an analyst note today. Government officials say
the clean-up campaign, dubbed "Operation Restore Order", is meant to get rid
of illegal structures that have sprouted in urban centres in the last few
years and are seen as a haven for illegal traders in foreign currency and
scarce food items.

Critics say the exercise has worsened the plight of ordinary Zimbabweans
grappling with an economy hobbled by shortages of foreign currency for
imports such as fuel, as well as a high inflation rate and unemployment of
more than 70%. Economists estimate Zimbabwe's economic decline has shrunk
output by more than 30% in the last five years. - Reuters
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Sunday Times (SA)

Zimbabwe targets hotels, resorts

Monday June 06, 2005 14:21 - (SA)

HARARE - Cash-strapped Zimbabwe is prosecuting some 50 hotels and tourist
resorts for allegedly failing to remit foreign currency earnings to the
central bank, a daily newspaper reported.

"The state has started prosecuting hotels and other tourist facilities for
contravening exchange control regulations after they failed to remit more
than 200 million US dollars in foreign currency earnings from tourists," the
state-owned Herald said.

Tourist companies are required under Zimbabwe's exchange control laws to
charge foreigners in hard currency and to remit these earnings to the
Reserve Bank.

The central bank last week published a report listing "errant" hotels that
allegedly breached foreign exchange laws.

The report said "26 hotels forgot to collect foreign currency and 23 hotels
charged ridiculously low figures of less than 20 US dollars per bed per
night to foreign tourists." In a monetary policy statement last month,
central bank governor Gideon Gono warned that the police would track hotels
and other tourist resorts that were holding on to foreign currency or
charging foreigners in the local currency.

Last Friday a Harare hotel was convicted of breaching the exchange control
laws by charging foreigners in local currency.

The Harare magistrate's court was due to pass sentence today in the case in
which The Executive Hotel is accused of charging
foreigners who came through the hotel from January 1 to April 19 in local
currency, "prejudicing the economy of 6,979 US dollars."
Zimbabwe's economy has been on a downturn in recent years, characterised by
foreign currency shortages, triple digit inflation
and high unemployment.

The country is also facing shortages of basic commodities such as the
national staple cornmeal, cooking oil and sugar.

Various government initiatives to raise foreign currency, including a scheme
to persuade millions of Zimbabweans living and working overseas to send
money home, have yielded little success.

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Make tyranny history

Live 8's aims are laudable ... but Africa's tarnished leaders must first be
held to account

Michela Wrong
Sunday June 5, 2005
The Observer

There's a puzzling idea doing the rounds on Africa. It occasionally surfaces
in Tony Blair's speeches as Britain gears up for a G8 summit at which he
will be pushing for debt write-off and a doubling in aid to African
countries. I spotted it when Bob Geldof unveiled his Live8 concert plans.
It's pretty much a constant theme in the pronouncements of Hilary Benn, Aid
It runs something like this: the bad old days in Africa, when leaders in
Gilbert & Sullivan military costumes sent their wives to buy up London's
most desirable real estate, are over. The Mois, Mobutus and Bokassas are
either dead or in retirement. Western governments, whose generosity was once
held in check by the ghastliness of the dinosaur leaders, can fully engage
with a new generation of upright, forward-thinking African leaders with the
continent's welfare at heart.

Of course, the argument runs, we must still be responsible with our money.
But with this new generation at the helm, we can write off the billions of
dollars in 'odious' debts made to the old, discredited type of African
leader, confident the money freed up will go into health, education and
building roads. And if the G8 will only sign up to the principle, the funds
generated by a surge in aid will be put to more effective use.

It's a notion that forms the foundation stone of the Africa Commission.
'Things are changing on the continent, with African governments showing a
new vision ... Africa, at last, looks set to deliver,' the commission's
report gushes, while assuring us it has done its best to be 'blisteringly

To which, in 'blisteringly honest' mode, I can only say: utter balls.
Whenever I hear talk of a 'new generation of political leaders' in Africa, I
have to suppress a laugh. That's not the Africa I see on my travels, and if
plans for an African recovery are built on such naivete and
wishful-thinking, they are doomed to go the same way as every other
grandiose project drawn up for the continent.

Let's take a few examples. Uganda, say, where President Yoweri Museveni, who
once said no African leader should spend more than 10 years in power, has
now governed for nearly two decades and is set on amending the constitution
to allow him to stand again. It's strange that the Museveni case doesn't
weigh more on Geldof's mind, as Sir Bob was recently demonised in Uganda's
press for telling Museveni to step down.

And then there's Kenya. True, the opposition won the elections there in 2002
and, for once, an old-style Big Man leader agreed to stand down. But the
public mood has turned sour and angry, for the corruption of President Mwai
Kibaki's new administration makes Daniel arap Moi's regime look almost
restrained. The American ambassador to Nairobi worked out that the sums
stolen could have paid for every HIV-positive Kenyan to get antiretroviral
treatment for a decade.

Take Ethiopia and Eritrea, whose leaders are arms-shopping while relying on
the international community to feed their drought-hit millions. Or Ivory
Coast, where Laurent Gbagbo has encouraged the militias who support his
presidency to talk the language of genocide. Or Ghana, where President John
Kufuor's new administration, local commentators estimate, include more than
a dozen members of his family. But enough.

The point is that there are precious few signs of this enlightened 'new
leadership'. The fact that more African countries are run by nominally
elected governments instead of military dictatorships obscures just how
structurally similar the new administrations often remain to what went
before. The elites that have sabotaged development since independence have
adapted to the times, learning to play the democracy game with panache.
Africa's lootocracies have reinvented themselves.

Recent events in Togo illustrated this point. When dictator Gnassingbe
Eyadema, 38 years in the saddle, died in February and the army anointed his
son as heir, neighbouring countries said that this was unacceptable in
modern Africa. Elections were held and guess what? The loathed dictator's
son was 'democratically' elected.

Come to think of it, we've been here before. In 1997, when a regional group
of African powers joined forces to eject Mobutu Sésé Seko from Zaire,
Western leaders latched on to the idea that Africa had produced a set of
renaissance leaders who, working together, would find a solution to the
continent's ills. Within a few years, the renaissance metaphor took on a new
meaning as those same leaders went to war with one another.

Like most people who write on Africa, I pin my hopes on the emergence of a
breed of young, educated, technologically aware Africans who, less burdened
by the rigid demands of tribal loyalty and free of the inferiority complexes
of the colonial era, will stride confidently towards the future. But we are
not there yet.

We are stuck in an uneasy interim, where the remnants of the dinosaur
breed - Omar Bongo in Gabon, Paul Biya in Cameroon, Zimbabwe's Robert
Mugabe - cling on by their fingertips, while too many of the new breed
merely mouth the new credos while gleefully exploiting self-enrichment
systems set up by their predecessors.

This doesn't mean we should give up on aid, abandon the campaign to write
off debt, or stop trying to level the playing field when it comes to trade.
But it means that the same tedious, carping rules apply. Conditions on aid
will have to be set and strictly policed. Donors will have to keep a sharp
eye out for ever more sophisticated scams, as quick to apply the stick as to
offer the carrot.

Let's drop the Pollyanna rhetoric. Instead of congratulating the continent
on what is, after all, an overdue and still tentative shift towards
accountable government, we should acknowledge that one of Africa's biggest
blights has been its appalling leadership.

In our current mood of officially sanctioned optimism, we are in danger of
signalling to Africa that, just as in the old days, we would rather prop up
a corrupt president, especially one regarded as an ally in Bush's war on
terror, than risk losing influence in the region. By stubbornly whitewashing
over a grubby reality, we undermine the very domestic forces - church
groups, civic society, opposition parties - struggling to hold African
governments to account. They understandably feel betrayed. We should be wary
of admiring African leaders more than the put-upon citizens of those nations
do themselves.

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American fined over media laws
06/06/2005 21:22  - (SA)

Harare - An American teacher arrested for filming police demolishing the
shacks of urban poor pleaded guilty on Monday to breaking censorship and
immigration laws.

Howard Smith Gilman, 68, an unpaid geography lecturer at the United
Methodist Church's Africa University was arrested on May 27 and originally
charged with breaking the country's draconian media laws.

His lawyer said he was fined Z$100 000 ($11) on the immigration charge,
Z$200 000 ($22) on the censorship charge and will be deported from Zimbabwe.

Gilman was held in prison for 10 days after he was arrested filming police
destroying the shacks of poor people in Mutare, 400km east of Harare.

According to United Nations estimates, the blitz by police in what the
government calls a cleanup campaign has left 200 000 people homeless had has
led to the arrest of at least 30 000 street traders with no other source of

Gilman's lawyer, Innocent Gonese, told the court Gilman was on the board of
an orphanage at Mutare and was helping 73 children with their education
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New plan to coordinate OVC programmes

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

HARARE, 6 Jun 2005 (IRIN) - More than a million Zimbabwean orphans and
vulnerable children (OVC) are set to benefit from an ambitious National Plan
of Action (NPA) endorsed by the government.

Vulnerable children are defined by the NPA as girls and boys under the age
of 18, who have at least one deceased parent, are destitute or chronically
ill, are abused sexually or as a result of illegal employment, have physical
disabilities, or have been illegally contracted in underage marriages.

The UN Children's Fund (UNICEF) in Zimbabwe, which plays a facilitating role
and through which funds for the programme will be channelled, has welcomed
the NPA as a significant step towards creating an environment supportive of
the needs of children infected and affected by HIV/AIDS.

"UNICEF applauds the government's commitment to addressing the urgent needs
of orphans and other vulnerable children by endorsing the NPA for OVC and
fully supporting its implementation," UNICEF spokesman James Elder told

The social welfare ministry said the vision of the NPA was to "reach out to
all orphans and other vulnerable children in Zimbabwe with basic services
that will positively impact on their lives".

The programme aims to increase new school enrolment of OVCs and the
percentage of children with birth certificates - necessary for children to
attend school, and access health services and inheritances - and reduce the
number of children living outside family environments.

Stakeholders in the NPA have agreed that 25 percent of their objectives
should be achieved by December 2005.

The NPA will co-ordinate the work of NGOs and other organisations in the
field of OVCs. Busi Marunda, advocacy manager of the Child Protection
Society, a Harare-based NGO working with vulnerable children, said there
were more than 300 organisations involved in caring for OVCs.

Stakeholders will meet once a month to update each other and highlight
challenges facing the programme. A national secretariat of the NPA is
already in place to administer day-to-day operations.

The problems are vast. "Zimbabwe has a population of 980,000 children
orphaned by HIV/AIDS and the number is growing on a daily basis, owing to
the high mortality rate due to the pandemic," said Elder.

The health ministry estimates that by December 2005, Zimbabwe will have 1.1
million orphans, who are vulnerable to sexual and economic exploitation,
malnutrition, losing their rights to property, and have limited access to

"A UNICEF-led situation analysis of orphans and other vulnerable children,
conducted in 2002, found that many children who lack parental care and
protection, and do not have a supportive extended family to fall back on,
often end up in a negative and vicious cycle of victimisation," said Elder.

Last year a report by the ministry of health indicated that the country had
an HIV prevalence rate of 27 percent, while a UNICEF report, 'Zimbabwe's
Forgotten Children', released in March 2005, noted that the country had the
"world's fourth worst rate of HIV/AIDS".

Outgoing UNICEF executive director Carol Bellamy told a recent HIV/AIDS
conference in Johannesburg, South Africa, that about 100 Zimbabwean children
became HIV-positive every day, while one in every five children was an

The worsening economic situation, characterised by an unemployment rate of
more than 70 percent, has prompted an estimated 3 million people to leave
the country in the past five years, which has also contributed to child

Marunda told IRIN that a significant number of children were left without
proper care when their parents left the country in search of greener
pastures, and mostly ended up on the streets, where they lost the chance to
get an education and were open to sexual abuse.

"The beauty of the NPA is that it sets standards for organisations working
with children, while donors are encouraged to increase their commitment to
the cause of children," Marunda noted.

"However, let's not lose sight of the fact that striving to improve the
lives of orphans and other children is a process that has been taking place
for a long time through existing NGOs, and the NPA is mostly to consolidate
that process," she pointed out.

A shortage of funds presented the greatest challenge to the NPA. "Past
experiences have demonstrated that although Zimbabwe has a well-defined
legislative and policy framework to support children, lack of resources has
prevented full implementation of key national policies," noted Elder.

The NPA document indicated that the programme would require around US $1.2
million over a three-year period. It has been agreed that donors will
provide $1.1 million and the Zimbabwean government will provide the rest,
while the social welfare ministry will provide facilities such as office
space and staff.

"The challenge to all of us is to work together to ensure adequate
resources, strong political will and collective urgency to make this plan a
reality for every orphaned child in Zimbabwe, and to guarantee that their
rights to survival, development, protection and participation are upheld,"
said Elder.

Sydney Mhishi, the director of social services in the social welfare
ministry, said the tangible results of the NPA would be felt in the next
three to five years.

He added that significant progress had been made to set up structures for
the NPA, but acknowledged that an audit of work on the ground had yet to be

"National and provincial secretariats are in place to carry forward the
implementation of the NPA for OVCs," Mhishi told IRIN. "In terms of
education, shelter, food, protection from abuse, violence, exploitation and
discrimination, the secretariat has already started mapping, in order to
have a clear picture of which stakeholders are doing what."

Mhishi said the NPA's co-ordinated approach has given government insight
into the needs of orphans, while useful observations have also been made
about the activities of NGOs working with OVCs.

He said there was need for greater co-ordination among stakeholders because
there was a concentration of projects and duplication of efforts in some
areas, while others were completely ignored.

Although most of the burden to improve the welfare of OVC remained with
NGOs, faith-based organisations and community-based organisations, Mhishi
noted that the role of the NPA was not to create new organisations but to
consolidate the work of existing ones.

These NGOs have been under some strain, since most of their traditional
donors have scaled back their financial support or completely pulled out,
due to fears surrounding the NGO Bill, according to the National Association
of Non-Governmental Organisations (NANGO).

The Bill, which seeks to monitor the finances of NGOs and outlaws external
funding for organisations perceived as pursuing a political agenda, has been
passed by parliament and forwarded to President Robert Mugabe for approval,
but he has sent it back to the legislature for further deliberations.
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Daily Mirror, Zimbabwe

Clean-up victim commits suicide

Tinofa Karonga
issue date :2005-Jun-07

A 30-YEAR-OLD Chirumhanzu man, thrown onto the streets of Harare in the
aftermath of the clean-up of the city, has committed suicide following a
misunderstanding with his father over accommodation at his rural home.
Sources revealed that circumstances that led to the tragedy dated back to
1999, when Onward Duwa left his home at Chisiwiti Village, near Chaka, for
Harare in a huff after accusing his father of practising witchcraft.
On arrival in Harare, he found lodgings in Mbare and joined informal traders
at the suburb's Siyaso market.
After the destruction of his lodgings and market stall, he decided to
retrace his footsteps and took his family back to his Midlands village,
where he allegedly got a hostile reception.
After a heated argument with his relatives, who had allegedly refused to
leave his former stand, he took a pesticide.
Witnesses said after his brother who took over the stand and developed it
declined to vacate and pave way for Duwa and his family, the former city
dweller decided to take his own life.
The joint Harare City Council/police operation, which has led to the
destruction of illegal structures is now into the third week, with no signs
of abetting soon.
Mourners said there appeared no problem at all when Duwa returned to the
homestead to reclaim his long-forgotten stand.
They said even though Duwa left his home area under a cloud of controversy,
and vowed never to return until the sudden twist of events turned his world
upside down, nobody ever suspected that he would take his life.
"When he left for Harare six years ago, he vowed never to return because he
accused his father of practising witchcraft. When he left, his father
allocated that piece of land to his brother who has already developed the
place. The argument arose when Onward came with his family and property to
reclaim that piece of land after they were evicted from Mbare.
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"He quarrelled with his father who said he did not want to see him. His
brother intervened, which led him to commit suicide by drinking a
Duwa's wife, Martha, told this reporter that they had been evicted from
Mbare's Joburg Lines and this had apparently upset her husband.
"Patakasvika kuno zvinhu hazvina kufamba zvakanaka. Takanga tisina kuvaka,
saka patakabva kuMbare takasvikonetsana nevamwe kuno murume wangu ndokubva
azviuraya neshungu. (When we came from Mbare things did not go according to
plan. We were involved in a quarrel that led to my husband commit suicide,"
she said.
She said it would be difficult for her to fend for the family of three
children, Tinashe (7) and twin sisters Ropafadzo and Fadzai (4).
Thousands of people have been rendered homeless after the police destroyed
their shacks, stalls and dwellings as the clean-up campaign to rid the
country's urban centres of illegal settlements and crime continues.  "He
quarrelled with his father who said he did not want to see him. His brother
intervened, which led him to commit suicide by drinking a pesticide."
Duwa's wife, Martha, told this reporter that they had been evicted from
Mbare's Joburg Lines and this had apparently upset her husband.
"Patakasvika kuno zvinhu hazvina kufamba zvakanaka. Takanga tisina kuvaka,
saka patakabva kuMbare takasvikonetsana nevamwe kuno murume wangu ndokubva
azviuraya neshungu. (When we came from Mbare things did not go according to
plan. We were involved in a quarrel that led to my husband commit suicide,"
she said.
She said it would be difficult for her to fend for the family of three
children, Tinashe (7) and twin sisters Ropafadzo and Fadzai (4).
Thousands of people have been rendered homeless after the police destroyed
their shacks, stalls and dwellings as the clean-up campaign to rid the
country's urban centres of illegal settlements and crime continues.

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Daily Mirror, Zimbabwe

Chombo gives Mutare City Council ultimatum

From Netsai Kembo in Mutare
issue date :2005-Jun-07

LOCAL Government Minister Ignatius Chombo last week gave the MDC-led Mutare
City Council a 30-day ultimatum to redress irregularities unearthed by an
administrative systems audit team in January or face disciplinary action.
The audit team - headed by Makoni District Administrator Cosmas Chiringa -
in its report claimed there was rampant corruption, gross
mal-administration, and abuse of public assets, embezzlement of funds and
lack of consultation and communication with stakeholders.
At a heated meeting in Mutare, Chombo said: "I strongly warn you mayor
(Misheck) Kagurabadza and your executive to reverse and redress all
resolutions you made in contradiction of the Urban Councils Act as
highlighted by the administrative systems audit team.
"As I stress to you.  This is my second and last visit to this city for your
shoddy administration. Unless you change your behaviour, the obvious next
thing will be seeing you out of council."
Chombo told the council to reverse what he termed "illegal" occupation of
the mayoral mansion by town clerk, Morgan Chawawa, dual allocation of
residential stands to senior council employees at low prices, and the recent
controversial purchase of Kagurabadza's mayoral vehicle, a posh Mercedes
Chombo said Kagurabadza should occupy the mayoral mansion within 60 days or
cease claiming housing allowances if he wished to stay at his house.
The council, Chombo ordered, must find ways of reversing the $540 million
loan to buy the mayoral car.
He also instructed the city's 18 councillors to pay back allowances they
overclaimed in contradiction of the Urban Councils Act.
"Till further notice councillors allowances are to be adjusted to the level
as of January 2004.
"I therefore, also declare that the governor shall be the signatory to all
council resolutions before implementation.
There shall also be no council meeting held in the absence of the district
administrator for Mutare," Chombo summed up.

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Daily Mirror, Zimbabwe

Cost of living jumps by 28%

Business Reporter
issue date :2005-Jun-07

THE month-on-month cost of living basket jumped by 28 percent from about
$2,3 million in April to over $3 million in May, the latest Consumer Council
of Zimbabwe (CCZ) monthly budget survey has revealed.
The criteria used by the CCZ took into consideration the lower income urban
earner expenditure needs of a family of six, including the mother, father
and four children.
During the month of May, the family expenditure basket shot up to $3 045 170
from April's $2 347 063.
"The increase in the basket has largely been propelled by the black market,
which is still prevalent for commodities such as sugar, cooking oil, mealie
meal, flour and fuel," the CCZ noted.
"It is also explained by the increases in the price of controlled goods and
the new prices for monitored goods agreed  between industry and commerce."
Most of the basic commodities that have been running short in the economy in
the past three months have been available on the black market at exorbitant
rates that have in turn been eroding the purchasing power of most consumers.
In the past few weeks, the discretionary increases in the prices of most
commodities, particularly the various new brands of bottled fruit juices
that have emerged to fill in the vacuum left by the shortages of traditional
soft drinks, have been felt keenly as they follow hard on the back of
persistent fuel shortages and the ongoing clean-up campaign.
In an effort to stabilise the shortages of basic commodities and the
resultant arbitrary increases, government and industry recently agreed on
new price schedules for most products.
For some time government and industry have clashed, with government claiming
subvert sabotage by the private sector, and the private sector replying that
the basic commodity shortages remained a factor of an economy that has been
operating at less than 40 percent capacity since it embarked on broad based
land reform in 2000.
The CCZ welcomed the latest agreement on price schedules between government
and industry, hoping that it would signal an  end to the food shortages.
But the consumer watchdog remained unconvinced that the announcement of the
latest prices had been met with sincerity.
Instead the watchdog said while some retailers were adhering to the new
price structures, some were not.
"It is our belief, that the private sector is not being sincere with
government, as shown by overpricing of goods, even by traditional shops,
some of whom, are charging black market prices."
Tuck-shops - small front-yard shops popular in most high density areas in
Harare -  were not spared the charges of over-pricing.
A 2 kilogramme packet of Silo rice was sighted as one of the products that
was falling victim to illegal price increases.
Rice also represented commodity that was the largest mover in the latest 28
percent jump in the family basket requirements.
The prices increased by 72 percent, rent by 50 percent, roller meal by 44
percent and bread by 28,5 percent.
The CCZ attributed the significant increases in rent to the shortage of
accommodation spawned by the regularisation of cottages under the blessings
of Operation Murambatsvina.
"Notable increase were also noted on bread whose controlled price was
reviewed to $4 500 a loaf last month. Transport costs also went up, as
commuter omnibus operators have unilaterally hiked fares, or are charging
what they want, citing exorbitant fuel prices on the black market."

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Daily Mirror, Zimbabwe

ZCTU, govt wrangle over ILO conference takes new twist

The Daily Mirror Reporter
issue date :2005-Jun-07

THE wrangle between Zimbabwe Congress Of Trade Unions (ZCTU) and government
over the composition of delegates to attend the International Labour
Organisation (ILO) conference underway in Geneva took a new twist last week
with the International Confederation of Free Trade Unions (ICFTU)
intervening on behalf of the labour body.
According to documents in possession of The Daily Mirror, the ICFTU
Secretary General, Guy Ryder based in Geneva, wrote a letter to ILO director
identified as Somavia objecting to the "Credentials of the Worker Delegate
of Zimbabwe."
In his letter dated June 1 2005, Ryder accuses the government of Zimbabwe of
interfering in labour issues, especially in the selection of delegates to
attend the Geneva meeting.
Ryder wrote: "In accordance with Article 3 of the (ILO) Constitution, each
national delegation of the conference must include representatives of the
government, employers and workers able to act in full independence of each
other therefore freely chosen by each different constituent.
"This is not the case for the delegation of Zimbabwe, where the government
has acted upon its own choice, in order to try to divide our affiliate
organisation, the Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions (ZCTU)."
He noted in his letter that the ZCTU communicated on May 20 2005 to the
government its free choice of representation to the ILO, namely its
president Lovemore Matombo and secretary general Wellington Chibebe.
"Upon being informed that the government had unilaterally chosen a different
member of the ZCTU (Elias Mlotshwa) as workers' delegate to the conference,
on May 23 2005 Chibebe once more wrote to the government representative,
clarifying that the delegation should have been one freely and
democratically chosen by the ZCTU," Ryder said.
He alleged that on May 31 Mlotshwa wrote to the ILO confessing the
government had forwarded his name against his will.
"Furthermore on May 31 2005 Mlotshwa himself wrote to the ILO in order to
confirm that the government had preposterously used his name and that his
intention was not to come to the ILO since the legitimate representatives of
the ZCTU should have been Matombo and Chibebe," Ryder claimed.
He added: "These documents clearly show the blatant violation of the free
and democratic choices of the ZCTU.
Therefore the ICFTU argues the Credentials Committee to invalidate the
credentials of the current workers' delegates of Zimbabwe, recognising the
valid claim of Lovemore Matombo, elected president of the ZCTU, to represent
his fellow worker members."
Despite the fact the ILO conference kicked off last Wednesday, Matombo was
still in the country.
On Thursday Matombo said Mlotshwa refused to travel to Geneva on a
government ticket and without the blessings of the ZCTU leadership.
He claimed government was understood to have hastily sent ZCTU third vice
president Edmore Ruzive to Geneva.Efforts to get a comment from either
Mlotshwa or Ruzive were fruitless yesterday.
The government has since dismissed ZCTU allegations that it was blocking
Matombo from attending the conference and from the woes currently rocking
the labour body.
Labour, Public Service and Social Welfare Minister Nicholas Goche told this
newspaper that the ZCTU leadership was free to attend the Geneva meeting."If
they want to go we cannot stop them.
It should be emphasised that what is happening at the ZCTU is an internal
matter, which has nothing to do with government." Goche said.

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Daily Mirror, Zimbabwe

New farmers must apply for water permits: Zinwa

The Daily Mirror Reporter
issue date :2005-Jun-07

ZIMBABWE National Water Authority (Zinwa) says new farmers must apply for
irrigation water permits with the authority in terms of the law.
The authority's public relations officer Marjorie Munyonga said Zinwa was
concerned that a lot of farmers had no permits yet they were utilising water
sources to irrigate their fields.
"There is a significant number of new farmers who were supposed to apply for
permission to use water sources for irrigation in their fields as required
by the Water Act, but some of them have failed to heed to the call resulting
in the depletion of some water sources," she said.
Munyonga reiterated that the land reform programme saw the introduction of
new players who did not have adequate knowledge and information on water
management and that they had to apply for permits and be educated on how to
conserve the resource."Zinwa has since under-taken awareness campaigns at
sub-catchment levels and through the mainstream media on the need for new
farmers to apply for permits," she added.
She said since the authority embarked on the campaign programme, a positive
response from farmers has been noted.
"The authority had to intensify its campaigns as a number of farmers were
preparing for winter wheat farming which greatly relies on irrigation," she
However, the department of Agricultural Rural Extension Services (Arex) said
preparations for winter wheat farming were almost through.
The government through the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe unveiled $600 billion to
finance the winter wheat farming season.

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Daily Mirror, Zimbabwe

Hypothetical family of six needs $1m medical care monthly - survey

issue date :2005-Jun-07

A HYPOTHETICAL family of six needs at least $1 million monthly in medical
care, a pilot survey conducted by a non-governmental organisation, Community
Working Group on Health (CWGH), has revealed.

The survey, carried out with the assistance of Training and Research Support
Centre and the Community Monitoring Programme, shows that most people spend
a lot of money on healthcare, mainly buying food, reproductive health and
In his presentation on the survey's findings, the survey coordinator Thomas
Chikumbirike said: "The cost to the household for the health basket for one
month found in this pilot survey was just over Z$1 million."
The study was carried out in nine of the country's 53 districts. The
districts surveyed were Bulawayo, Chinhoyi, Chipinge, Chitungwiza,
Goromonzi, Gweru, Hwange, Insiza and Kwekwe.
Chikumbirike said the three non-governmental organisations interviewed 270
breadwinners with different age groups and found that most people have
dropped other basic health requirements because of economic difficulties.
"A number of items fell out of the household health basket due to costs. A
quarter or more of households said that they stopped consuming a variety of
hygiene products (soap, toothpaste,
 toilet rolls, cotton wool, foods including those important as source of
energy for young children (beans, peanut butter and margarine) and
prevention methods for reproductive health (condoms, oral contraceptives).
Some fall off in use of chronic disease medicines was also reported," said
He added that the most vulnerable households, were families whose
breadwinner was over the age of 60, have unskilled occupation or unemployed
and child-headed households.
"These households are more at risk of ill health as a result -but also least
likely to be able to meet the cost of this ill health," Chikumbirike
Commenting on the health basket, Lyson Mlambo of Zimbabwe Congress of Trade
Unions (ZCTU) said: "The project shows a good effort by the researchers but
the problem was that prices were continuing
 to escalate on a daily basis such that if a similar study was to be carried
today, people would get shocking figures."
The idea of coming up with a health basket was to make visible the costs of
maintaining health for different Zimbabwean households.
The next health basket would be due next week.

Monthly health basket for a family of 4.2 rounded to the nearest Z$

ITEM                            All areas, household cost in Z$ per month,
rounded to the nearest Z$
Bath soap  15 756
Laundry soap  23 944
Toilet roll  12 800
Petroleum Jelly  5 778
Toothpaste  18 233
Cotton Wool  16 847
Fresh Milk  104 767
Eggs   76 860
Meat Beaf  174 444
Chicken   102 617
Cooking oil  84 196
Margarine  24 422
Dried beans  19 636
Cabbage/Rape  34 444
Peanut butter  9 044
Bread   71 333
Tea leaves  6 878
Table salt  3 700
Sugar   17 067
Maize meal  28 256
Medical Care
Hospital fees (public) 12 967
Clinic fees  5 411
Reproductive health
Condoms  178
Oral contraceptives 416
Antibiotics  6 472
Pain killer  1 722
Cough mixure  7 354
Ant-hypertensive  10 809
Ant-diabetic  1 102
Anti-asthma  2 776
Prevention Drugs
Anti-malaria  3 028
Water charge/ monthly 7 200
Shelter one everage room 67 284
Transport  36 222
Total   1 023 386

NB: The findings reflect the field situation in October/November 2004.
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Daily Mirror, Zimbabwe

12 injured as minibus ploughs into commuters

The Daily Mirror Reporter
issue date :2005-Jun-07

A COMMUTER omnibus plying the City-Mabelreign route ploughed into commuters
at their pick-up point last evening injuring at least 12 people.
The commuters were queuing at the corner of Park Lane and Harare Street
where there are no functional streetlights.
"The driver tried to make a sharp turn and I think the breaks of the Kombi
failed and he hit over 12 people who were in the queue," said a cigarette
vendor who witnessed the accident.
When The Daily Mirror news crew visited the scene, police details were
recording statements from the bus crew while the last casualties were being
ferried to Parirenyatwa Hospital.
Harare City Council designated new pick-up points for commuters after the
launch of the twin clean-up operations, Restore Order and Murambatsvina,
resulting in passengers being dropped on the periphery of the Central
Business District (CBD).
The exact number of the injured could not immediately be determined at the
time of going to press last night.

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Daily Mirror, Zimbabwe

Kuruneri trial adjourns early due to transport blues

The Daily Mirror Reporter
issue date :2005-Jun-07

HIGH Court judge Susan Mavangira was yesterday forced to adjourn proceedings
in the foreign currency externalisation trial of former Finance Minister
Chris Kuruneri to allow one of her assessors to catch transport home early.
The decision scuttled defence lawyer Jonathan Samukange's intention to
address the court on his client's bail application, which he would do today.
Mavangira then advised the prosecutor at around 3.30pm that it was no longer
possible to continue due to transport blues.
"One of our court officials has to catch transport immediately so we have to
adjourn early," Mavangira said as State witness, Officer Commanding Serious
Fraud Squad, Samson Mangoma took to the witness' stand after lunch.
Samukange obliged but asked the court to adjourn proceedings to this morning
to pave way for the bail application.
He said he had accommodated the pleas in the interest of those affected by
the transport problems, as it also emerged that other court officials were
in a similar
Yesterday's trial kicked off with Mangoma narrating how he travelled to
South Africa on March 30 last year to investigate allegations published in
the South African Sunday Times linking Kuruneri to a seaside mansion that
was under construction in Cape Town.
"We discovered that there was a company called Choice Decisions in which
accused was the sole director and that he also owned three more properties
in South Africa. These were Number 17 Apostle Road, Number 38 Sunset Avenue
and Ocean View, Sea Point, all in Cape Town," Mangoma said.
Samukange immediately interjected and argued that the police officer based
his evidence on hearsay and was repeating evidence already led by earlier
Mavangira had to temporarily adjourn proceedings between 10.15am and 14.30pm
to allow the State and the defence time to deliberate on the hearsay issue
and reach common ground.
The deadlock continued in the afternoon with Samukange accusing the State of
seeking to twist the course of the case by bringing in police officers that
are interested parties.
"The State, having called 17 witnesses in this court and having realised
that they did not give evidence as expected, is trying to bring  in the
police, a police officer is not an independent witness, he has interests in
the case and that is to secure prosecution.
"You will be setting a very dangerous precedent if you allow a police
officer to repeat what has been already said by other witnesses, what value
will this evidence add to the case? The State has collapsed and it is now
using the police to resuscitate its case," Samukange stressed.
Prosecutor, Joseph Jagada backed down and asked Mangoma to concentrate on
how he used the information he had gathered, not to recount evidence already
tabled before the court.
Mangoma then proceeded with his evidence, noting that during the
investigations, he discovered that through a company called Venture
Projects, Kuruneri was letting two of the properties and received R41 800
per month.
The reconstruction of Number 38 Sunset Avenue had been budgeted at a cost of
R7,8 million the witness averred.
Mangoma also said he checked with the Deeds Office in South Africa and also
consulted the Department of Immigration where it was discovered that
Kuruneri held a Canadian passport.

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From Business Day (SA), 6 June

Tanzania's president defends Mugabe

International Affairs Editor

Cape Town - Tanzanian President Benjamin Mkapa strongly defended Zimbabwean
President Robert Mugabe at a meeting of the World Economic Forum in Cape
Town yesterday. "Zimbabwe has a right to manage its own affairs," Mkapa said
yesterday. In reply to a journalist's question about his views on
developments in Zimbabwe, Mkapa said Mugabe's land-redistribution programme
was, "returning the ownership of the country to its people". His remarks
have confirmed further the Southern African Development Community's
reluctance to distance itself from Mugabe on governance issues. But the
Tanzanian president's strident remarks in support of Mugabe also run counter
to the message that the World Economic Forum is pushing at its Cape Town
meeting - that of a continent increasingly unprepared to tolerate poor
governance. Issues of governance and accountability and how Africa can
establish a common brand to promote the continent to investors are the focus
of talks at the Cape Town meeting. Tanzania has over the past decade
established a good reputation among investors for what is widely regarded as
friendly environment for business. Mkapa said he felt emotional about
Zimbabwe and particularly about what he saw as the west's unjust criticism.
As he would be leaving office when his term ended in a few months' time, he
now felt free to speak out on Zimbabwe. The Tanzanian president said he
found "sanctimonious and pious declarations" by western countries about
Zimbabwe "totally abhorrent".

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Mail and Guardian

      Zim opposition pushes self-destruct button at wrong time

      Bafana Mpofu

      06 June 2005 08:59

            advertisementTrevor Ncube's remark (Mail & Guardian, March 18)
that Zimbabwe's opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) does not
have the muscle to dislodge the ruling Zanu-PF from power ruffled feathers
in the opposition and civic society in Zimbabwe, with many believing it was
not only wrong but also mistimed, as it came on the eve of a crucial

            Even after losing the general election dismally to Zanu-PF, the
opposition did not think that the problem could lie within it, but blamed
Zanu-PF, for setting up an unbalanced electoral framework, and the region -- 
particularly economic powerhouse South Africa -- for not pressuring Harare
to level the playing field.

            The MDC's failure to raise concrete opposition to Zanu-PF has
returned to the spotlight in the past weeks, when it engaged in internal
political games while Zanu-PF yet again raised the tempers of its subjects.

            Ten weeks after the election, Zimbabwe is on fire: shortages of
basic commodities and fuel have returned with greater force than before, and
the Zanu-PF government has engaged on a potentially explosive programme
ostensibly to clean up Harare.

            Under the programme, cynically codenamed "Operation Restore
Order", police have flushed out street vendors and informal traders from
designated flea markets in the city centre and have even taken the exercise
to the residential areas, where they have destroyed millions of dollars'
worth of property belonging to the informal sector.

            Many of the people that were hounded out of their stalls by the
police claim they were paying rates to the local authority and were not
given any notice to vacate their businesses, or to dispose of their wares,
most of which were confiscated or burnt by the police in action that has not
been witnessed since the rise of the informal sector.

            There is anger everywhere in Harare, as very few people have
escaped the clampdown in a country with an unemployment rate of more than
80% and chronic food shortages. The crippling fuel shortages have worsened
the situation, and people walk long distances to work while those who manage
to catch lifts only make it to work by midday.

            More than 10 000 informal traders were affected by the police
action that left even more homeless. But, surprisingly, apart from whimpers
from MDC president Morgan Tsvangirai that the destruction of the property -- 
including houses built on stands dished out to desperate residents at a fee
by the Zanu-PF-controlled war veterans a few years ago -- is "evil", there
has been no action from the opposition.

            Tsvangirai also complained that the government was punishing
city residents for the support they gave the MDC in the general election.
Only a few rag-tag youths, bitter about the senseless destruction of their
wares and their livelihood, engaged the police in street battles in three
suburbs two weekends ago. However, without anyone to lead them, their
resistance quickly fizzled out, although not before the government blamed
the "misguided" opposition for trying to take advantage of the situation.
Even then, all the MDC could do was issue statements condemning Zanu-PF's
hypocrisy, which was apparent to everyone.

            The MDC's failure to call for action against Zanu-PF's latest
abuse of its authority has rejuvenated accusations that it has failed to
provide leadership at critical times, after years of complaining that
Zimbabweans are docile.

            Outspoken Bulawayo Archbishop Pius Ncube captured this mood
after receiving the Burns Humanitarian Award in Scotland two weeks ago,
saying the opposition is hoping "ordinary people ... [will] lead a revolt,
without making any sacrifice themselves".

            Many people also believe that it is indecision that has cost the
opposition party at crucial times. Some recall its failure to call for
immediate demonstrations after Zanu-PF stole the presidential elections in
March 2002. Then, only the labour movement, the Zimbabwe Congress of Trade
Unions (ZCTU), called for a street rejection of the outcome of the poll. But
without any clear indication from the MDC, which in any case was the
"cheated" party, the demonstrations flopped.

            Few people realise that Zanu-PF's timing of its latest abuse of
Zimbabwe's poor could not have been better. In the past three weeks, the MDC
has been engaged in a bitter fight that is pitting the two major ethnic
groups in its leadership against each other. Youths from one of the factions
in the opposition locked out workers and senior party officials from the
opposition's Harvest House headquarters in Harare, and confiscated vehicles
from senior officials.

            There have been accusations that some members within the MDC are
trying to drive out Matabeleland-based politicians from influential
positions in the party. Some of the names that have been mentioned include
close confidants of Tsvangirai, who are said to be eyeing positions
currently held by politicians from Matabeleland.

            Two of the most prominent names that keep coming up are those of
labour activist and MDC chairperson for women affairs Lucia Matibenga, who
worked with Tsvangirai in the ZCTU, and University of Zimbabwe academic
Elphas Mukonoweshuro, who was accused of having advised Tsvangirai to issue
a statement calling South African President Thabo Mbeki a "liar" during
United States President George Bush's visit to South Africa in 2003.

            Tsvangirai's silence on these matters has compounded fears that
he may have secretly approved of the intimidation of party officials accused
of siding with MDC secretary general Welshman Ncube.

            Archbishop Ncube has previously said only an uprising of the
magnitude of the Ukraine's "Orange Revolution" could unseat Zanu-PF and
presumably lead to a resolution of Zimbabwe's crisis. The opposition has
also previously called on Zimbabweans to resist their oppression actively.
But the reaction of the opposition to its loss in yet another major election
has dampened any such hopes.

            Few Zimbabweans now believe the MDC is prepared to take Zanu-PF
head-on, apart from calling for international and regional pressure that it
hopes could lead to free and fair elections it seems sure it would win.

            Five years of intimidation at the hands of a partisan state
machinery; incessant government propaganda to malign the party; lack of a
mass circulating media channel to air its views; and, indeed, its naive
endorsement of South Africa's dishonest proposition that "dialogue" with an
intransigent Zimbabwean leadership was the way forward have thrown the party
into a severe state of paralysis.

            Consequently, the MDC -- which was born out of protests against
the country's mismanagement by President Robert Mugabe and his cronies -- 
has failed to organise any meaningful mass action since the "final push" in
2003, although conditions have worsened and the population is more

            However, despite its failure to force Zanu-PF to make any
meaningful concessions in the past, one thing with which critics have
credited the MDC is its unity. Unlike Zanu-PF's previous political foes,
there have been few cases of factionalism in the MDC, and none as serious as
this one.

            And, unlike previous opposition parties, the MDC has given the
electorate hope partly because of its apparent ability to transcend ethnic
differences, which have for long been the Achilles heel of Zimbabwean

            While MDC leaders deny any serious split in the party, its
failure to hold a congress -- it has now been postponed to January next
year -- tells a different story. The future of the MDC, and that of
Zimbabwe's politics, may depend on what happens between now and the

            Apart from the major cities, Matabeleland remains the
opposition's stronghold as the only region where it also controls the rural
areas. If, indeed, it is true that there is a plot to replace leaders from
that region in the party's executive, the effect may be the collapse of the
biggest challenge to Zanu-PF's dictatorship since independence.

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Country/Topic: Zimbabwe
  Date: 06 June 2005
  Source: Media Institute of Southern Africa (MISA)
  Type(s) of violation(s): censored
  Urgency: Threat
(MISA/IFEX) - Deputy Minister of Information and Publicity Bright Matonga
has been accused of interfering with the editorial content of reports by the
state-run Zimbabwe Broadcasting Holdings (ZBH).

According to the 2 June 2005 edition of the weekly "Financial Gazette",
Matonga has taken to personally editing stories for the main 20h00 news

Matonga reportedly visited the ZBH studios in Harare on 30 May and proceeded
to edit and select "suitable" video clips, following the police's ongoing
blitz on flea markets and illegal settlements in urban areas.

The police have been on a countrywide clean-up operation to rid urban areas
of illegal structures and criminal elements which has left hundreds of
millions of people homeless and jobless.

The deputy minister reportedly edited out footage of the police demolishing
shacks saying the clips in question would tarnish the government's image.

He is said to have spent more than three hours at ZBH writing the script for
the 30 May main news bulletin.


For further information, contact Zoé Titus, Programme Manager, Media Freedom
Monitoring, MISA, Private Bag 13386 Windhoek, Namibia, tel: +264 61 232 975,
fax: +264 61 248 016, e-mail:, Internet:

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Mail and Guardian

      'Where is the human face? Where is humanity?'

      Tafi Murinzi | Bulawayo, Zimbabwe

      06 June 2005 09:00

            The government calls the operation "Murambatsvina", a Shona word
meaning "to drive out rubbish". But, on the city streets where the campaign
has been carried out, people describe it as Zimbabwe's own "tsunami": a
razing of informal settlements and markets that has left thousands homeless
and jobless.

            Since May 25, authorities have bulldozed and burnt hundreds of
illegally built homes and stalls. This was ostensibly to rid cities of
unauthorised buildings and cut down on the black-market trade that the
government blames for the scarcity of fuel and other goods. More than 22 000
people have been arrested and vast amounts of property confiscated in the
course of Murambatsvina.

            The leading opposition party, however, is having none of it.

            "This is an indiscriminate abuse or assault on the people's
basic survival," observed Morgan Tsvangirai, president of the Movement for
Democratic Change (MDC), which says the operation smacks of a campaign
against party supporters, most of whom are concentrated in urban areas.

            Activist Felix Mafa believes the crackdown is also aimed at
providing cheap labour for a newly settled pool of black farmers who were
awarded land confiscated from minority whites after a series of farm
occupations that began in 2000.

            Initially, the seizures were portrayed as a gesture of
frustration by veterans of Zimbabwe's 1970s war of independence and other
militants, who were impatient at the slow pace of land reform in the
country. Although Zimbabwe attained independence in 1980, most of the
country's prime agricultural land was still in white hands two decades

            However, government critics have since claimed that the farm
occupations formed part of a plan to distract voters from the
administration's failing economic policies in the run-up to parliamentary
elections in 2000 (several properties have allegedly been given to ruling
party members and allies). The ruling Zanu-PF's victory in the 2000 poll was
disputed by the MDC -- as was its triumph in the latest parliamentary
election, held in March.

            Murambatsvina, also referred to as "Operation Restore Order",
started in the capital, Harare, but has since included Zimbabwe's
second-largest city of Bulawayo in the south, the northern resort town of
Victoria Falls, and Beitbridge, on the border with South Africa.

            Traders, some tearful, could only look on as police swung into
action last Tuesday in Bulawayo, moving from site to site collecting roof
material from stalls before setting it alight.

            At the city's oldest market, plumes of thick, black smoke filled
the air. Near the main bus station, a fire started by police threatened to
get out of hand, forcing them to request help from the fire brigade.

            Metal frames eventually served as the only reminder of where
traders' stalls had once stood. But even these were carted away later by the
police, who also swooped down on Bulawayo's "World Bank": a flea market
named for its under-the-counter foreign-currency transactions.

            The foreign exchange available in Zimbabwe has dwindled over the
past five years as the national currency has depreciated, and inflation

            Kilometre-long fuel queues have become a permanent sight, making
travel a difficult and time-consuming exercise for both motorists and
commuters (about 500 supposedly defective minibus taxis were also impounded
and fined during Murambatsvina).

            The blame game

            Certain analysts say the economic malaise is linked to a decline
in the agriculture sector brought about by farm occupations, and Zimbabwe's
costly involvement in the Congolese civil war -- among other factors.

            President Robert Mugabe lays the blame on Western powers -- 
which he accuses of planning to topple him -- and prolonged drought.

            For traders like Sheila, a mother of five whose husband is
unemployed, the notion of plots in London and Washington may have seemed
remote during the past few days -- and about as hard to swallow as the
government's claims that it was ridding Zimbabwean towns of a criminal
element. This is because Sheila is a fully licensed trader -- whose stall
was nonetheless destroyed.

            "We had our licences in our hands, but we didn't get the
opportunity to show them because they didn't ask us," she says of the
gun-toting, baton-wielding police officers.

            Bulawayo's mayor and opposition-run council have expressed
outrage at the operation, which comes just as winter in the southern
hemisphere is beginning in earnest. They say that at least 450 of the
destroyed stands were registered.

            "It's very devastating," noted councillor Matson Hlalo. "You ask
yourself, where is the human face? Where is humanity?"

            Added another councillor, Amon Mpofu: "Now they are destroying
the informal sector just like they destroyed agriculture.

            "Only somebody who's mad can do what we saw today."

            With unemployment put at about 80%, many people have been
obliged to earn their living though informal trade, and the government's
assault on this sector has left them dumbfounded.

            Up to a third of Zimbabwe's 12-million people are also said to
be in need of food aid.

            On Wednesday, the director of the United Nations World Food
Programme, James Morris, held talks with Mugabe about the country's food
crisis. The agency estimates that maize production in Zimbabwe this year
will amount to less than a third of the country's needs.

            Last year, the Zimbabwean leader rejected offers of food aid,
claiming the country could feed itself -- this as rights activists and
opposition supporters alleged that scarce maize supplies were being used to
force people to vote for the ruling party in the March poll.

            But, while Mugabe told Morris on Wednesday that he would welcome
food assistance, statements by Minister of Social Welfare Nicholas Goche the
following day indicated that the government was far from resigned to
admitting its errors in the matter of food supply. Speaking on state radio,
Goche denied that Zimbabwe has any need of emergency assistance.

            Certain opposition activists speculate that Murambatsvina is
aimed at diverting attention from food shortages and the other ills that
beset Zimbabwe, while others see it as a bid to gauge just how angry people
are about such matters.

            "It is a pre-emptive strategy where they are testing the power
of the people against talk of mass action that has been smouldering for
quite some time," says Mafa.

            MDC economic adviser Eddie Cross has a similar theory.

            "Mugabe," he says, "is goading the population to revolt. Then he
can declare a state of emergency and remove what is left of our civil
liberties and rights." -- IPS

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----- Original Message -----
From: Trudy Stevenson
Sent: Monday, June 06, 2005 10:29 PM
Subject: Will the real Council please stand up!

----- Original Message -----
Sent: Monday, 06 June, 2005 9:22 AM
Subject: Will the real Council please stand up!

Dear Friends

Our site has been updated! Please log on to to participate in this week's poll and to view the latest information from the assiciation. We will bring you a tally of the previous month's poll this week. Thank you to all those who have participated so far!

This week we ask whether the Commission will step down on 9 June 2005. The indications are that it will not. The Urban Councils Act (Chapter 29:15) provides that a Commission must be appointed for a maximum of six months for the facilitation of elections.

Combined Harare Residents Association is prepared to seek legal relief in the event that the Commission extends beyond the tenure. Combined Harare Residents Association has precedence on its side. We successfully challenged the tenure of the Elijah Chanakira led Commission and we will do so this time again.

Residents' representation is crucial in all local government operations. It is a pointer to democracy, an indication that government is essentially about people and for people. The deliberate disregard of popular concern smacks of brute and unwarranted action. The residents will have the last say!

Kind Regards
Jameson Gadzirai
Advocacy and Information Officer
Combined Harare Residents Association
Box HR7870

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----- Original Message -----
From: Mbanga
Sent: Monday, June 06, 2005 9:07 PM
Subject: The Zimbabwean

Dear Friends - please could you help us publicise The Zimbabwean through your website/email list. If you would like a sample copy pse send us your address. many thanks Trish Mbanga


LONDON – As we celebrate the publication of our 16th issue – which marks four months since the launch of The Zimbabwean – we would like to take this opportunity to thank you all for the role you have played in our success.


I am delighted to report that sales figures are growing steadily.  We have increased our supply into Zimbabwe, where the paper continues to sell out within hours and where we have received reports of a flourishing second-hand market.


Southern African sales, notably in Botswana and South Africa, continue to climb every week and our SA distributors have informed us that The Zimbabwean is the best-selling Zimbabwean news publication they have ever handled.


Sales in the UK and Europe are also climbing steadily and the number of international subscriptions has increased significantly since payment became available online at the beginning of this month.  The website has been a great success with sessions served continuing to increase every week and total hits about the 100 000 mark.


Our list of loyal, voluntary supporters continues to grow - we now have valuable technical expertise in the vital areas of web management, accounting and subscription database management as well as legal and regulatory matters.


In addition, our network of voluntary international correspondents, cartoonists and photographer continues to grow.  To all these professionals – many of whom cannot be identified for obvious reasons - we are extremely grateful for their loyalty and valued input which have made The Zimbabwean a newspaper to be reckoned with on the international scene. Respected British journalists have described the paper as ‘an excellent read’, ‘a serious newspaper’ and ‘a professional publication’.


Publishing the newspaper internationally and getting a substantial number of copies into Zimbabwe continues to be a logistical and financial challenge – and we are delighted to announce that Free Voice of The Netherlands and the Open Society Institute have come forward with funding to underwrite the printing costs in the UK and in South Africa.  Their support guarantees our continuity while your support guarantees our growth.  We are grateful to all concerned.


Our thanks also go to those who have heeded our call for grassroots action with regard to distribution in the UK.  This is bearing fruit as we are able to direct our distributors to focus on those areas where there are concentrations of Zimbabweans.  Please do continue with this as it is vital to our efforts to place the publication correctly within our niche market.


To those advertisers who have demonstrated their faith in us by coming on board at this early stage – thank you.  Letters and emails of support, encouragement and prayer continue to flood in, bringing us much delight. Thank you! We can’t tell you how much fun we are having with our new ‘baby’ – despite the continued, high predictable, sniping by Zimbabwean government officials and their sycophants in the state-run media. Watch this space for news of our expansion plans. – Wilf Mbanga

Wilf Mbanga
The Zimbabwean Limited
Tel/Fax: 02380 879675
mobile Wilf: 07963963547
General:  07714736382
P O Box 248, Hythe, SO45 4WX


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'Rainbow nation' alienating whites
John Simpson
By John Simpson
BBC world affairs editor

Eleven years ago, the run-up to the 1994 election in South Africa was violent and frightening, and people talked darkly about the civil war that was brewing.

Nelson Mandela presents the Rugby World Cup to Francois Pienaar, South Africa, 1995
Nelson Mandela envisaged an inclusive "rainbow nation"
Then the ANC won the election with a big majority, and Nelson Mandela was inaugurated as president.

On the day that happened, half a million people celebrated in the streets of the capital, then known as Pretoria.

When we checked with the police that evening, they told us that not a single crime had been committed in the city all day long.

It was, I think, the best story I have covered in my 40 years as a journalist.

And now? The outside world believes that South Africa was all sorted out in 1994, and the story had a happy ending.

But of course life is not like that.

On 30 May Schabir Shaik, the financial adviser to the Vice-President of South Africa, Jacob Zuma, was convicted of using a loan of nearly $550,000 (£300,000) to influence an arms contract.

The South African press demanded Mr Zuma's resignation, but on Friday he announced: "My conscience is clear, because I have not committed any crime."

It is assumed he will keep his job as vice-president.

Mr Zuma is a Zulu, and has strong support among the strong Zulu contingent within the ruling ANC and the unions.

Political stability

President Thabo Mbeki needs to keep the ANC together. Alienating the Zulu population by sacking Mr Zuma will not help to do that.

It is the kind of trade-off politicians have to make: in this case, ensuring the political stability of the country instead of facing up to the threat of high-level corruption.

President Mbeki has had to make a great many trade-offs like this since he took over from Nelson Mandela.

Because South Africa lacked the resources to cope with the terrible onslaught of Aids, he played down the threat and questioned its link with HIV.

Despite the catastrophe President Robert Mugabe has brought down on the people of Zimbabwe by wrecking its agriculture and undermining the rule of law, Mr Mbeki has consistently failed to condemn him.

He knows there are politicians within the ANC who would like to do the same in South Africa, and he believes the best way to counter them is to remain quiet.

He is constantly attacked for all this in the South African press, which is still predominantly white.

Because he is thin-skinned, his response has often been to suggest that his critics are unreconstructed racists: including some whose anti-apartheid credentials are impeccable.

President Thabo Mbeki (left) and his deputy Jacob Zuma
Sacking Mr Zuma would risk alienating the Zulu population

Back in 1994, the whites of South Africa, and particularly the Afrikaners, thought they had a deal: if they gave up political power, their position would be guaranteed.

Nelson Mandela went out of his way to court the Afrikaners. He spoke excellent Afrikaans, and had several close Afrikaner friends and advisers.

Thabo Mbeki comes from a different generation, and a different background. Most of his life was spent in exile, much of it in Britain.

In the ANC, he is often seen as a remote outsider. He knows it does him no harm whatever to criticize the unreconstructed attitudes of many whites.

Little things as well as more important ones grate on the white community.

White South Africans hoped the capital would keep its old name, Pretoria.

But under the ANC it has been renamed Tshwane. Only a district of the capital retains the name "Pretoria".

Black empowerment, which is essential if the country is to prosper, means that whites are losing their jobs throughout the economy.

Crime seems as bad as ever, yet the government sometimes gives the impression it is just a white myth.

Whites leaving

More and more whites are leaving South Africa; some temporarily, some for good.

The South African High Commission in London thinks there may be 1.4m South Africans in Britain.

Although it is essential to bring black people into the economy in large numbers, South Africa is in danger of losing the talents of its whites, who often feel it is no longer their country.

Most young white South Africans seem fully committed to living in a society where the colour of people's skin is of no importance whatever
Perhaps it is inevitable. Until less than 20 years ago, black people were still legally inferior in South Africa.

The apartheid system was just as cruel and stupid as its critics maintained, and simply handing over political power was not enough to wash away the after-effects.

Plenty of whites understand this. Recently a leading Afrikaans academic, Professor Willie Esterhuyse of Stellenbosch University declared: "The majority of Afrikaners and their opinion makers are still suffering from a historical 'black-out' as far as white racism and destructive perceptions of black people are concerned. The second and third generation after 1990 will hopefully be different."

He is right. Most young white South Africans, and particularly Afrikaans-speaking ones, seem fully committed to living in a society where the colour of people's skin is of no importance whatever.

They are proud of their country, and want to make it better. Most of those who are now living in Britain or other countries are determined to go home as soon as they can.

But this will not happen if the ANC reverses all its principles and regards South Africa as essentially a black people's country, where everyone else lives on sufferance.

If you would like to comment on John Simpson's article, please send us your views using the form below.

Your comments:

The SA government has the unenviable task of trying to balance "white fears" with "black expectation"
Luqman Ahmad, Toronto, Canada
The SA government has the unenviable task of trying to balance "white fears" with "black expectation". While I agree with much of what Mr. Simpson writes, I think it is only part the story. I'm sure one can find many more black South Africans (relative to the alienated white ones) who increasingly feel economically alienated in South Africa.
Luqman Ahmad, Toronto, Canada

Thank you John for outlining some of the concerns white South African have and often are unable to articulate, certainly not in the eloquent and balanced manner that you do. As a young white South African ex-pat with no ill feeling towards any of my fellow South Africans, it is very frustrating when my concerns and opinions are brushed off as unimportant or as some form of unreconstructed racism. I would like to return to my country and help construct a just society, but there must be a glimmer of hope that those in the ANC who wish to see the "white problem" solved, never reach the seat of power.
Dave Howson, Montreal, Quebec

Indeed, John Simpson has exactly caught the spirit. Pity now it is too late and there is "reverse apartheid" against Whites and it won't be long before South Africa resembles its neighbour, Zimbabwe.
Ken, Lagos, Nigeria

I am a tad curious about the motive behind this article. What is happening now in SA is as a result of years of oppression, degradation and sheer selfishness. I have no sympathy for the Whites that have benefited from the previous system and when things changed they took the soft option i.e. running away abroad and doing menial jobs like security guards, bartenders etc. They should return to SA and take a constructive part and leading role in rebuilding the country.
Ade Oguntunde, Lagos, Nigeria

I am a white South African, who came to the UK because there isn't a future for me in South Africa. I love my home country and the people, but unfortunately the country has no place for me. People are not judged by their skills or education, but by the colour of their skins. It is nearly impossible for me to make a living there, in the country that I love. I wish to return to someday, when all the races can learn to live together, and we are all truly equal.
Elmarie Saayman, Reading, UK (originally Pretoria)

If anyone gets offended that Blacks have started stamping their authority, South Africa is not the place for them
Steven Mudi, Harare, Zimbabwe
For so many years the South African Whites enjoyed the cake whilst the Black majority were sidelined. Now that the Blacks have started addressing the injustices suffered by the general populace by actively participating in their economy, you are now raising your eyebrows to the effect that the Whites are being marginalized. Don't you want to see Blacks prosper in their own country as well? If anyone gets offended that Blacks have started stamping their authority, South Africa is not the place for them
Steven Mudi, Harare, Zimbabwe

It's funny how it takes an outsider to articulate what us beleaguered whites are experiencing. One thing though, it seems the Pretoria issue is not yet final. Why can't they leave the history of the country alone? Next they will be pulling down the fabulous statues of Queen Victoria in Durban and Port Elizabeth.
Sarah Hudleston, Johannesburg

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