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Mugabe nationalisation law surprises foreign businesses

Independent, UK

By Sean Farrell
Tuesday, 11 March 2008

British companies are seeking details of Zimbabwean legislation that would
enforce local ownership of their operations after Robert Mugabe, the
country's president, surprised observers by signing a Bill requiring them to
hand over control.

Many people had thought the Bill requiring foreign businesses to offer 51
per cent stakes to black Zimbabweans had lapsed. Mr Mugabe had left it
unsigned after it was passed by Parliament in September, but he signed it on
7 March.

UK companies operating in Zimbabwe include Barclays and Standard Chartered.
Both banks have been in the country for about 100 years.

Barclays said: "The implementation details of this law are still unclear.
Once further information is available we will assess it in more detail and
decide on what steps we should take." Barclays has 1,200 employees and
187,000 customers in the country.

Standard Chartered also said it was seeking clarification. Standard
Chartered has about 860 staff and 78,000 customers in Zimbabwe. The bank
wrote down the value of its Zimbabwe business in 2005. Other UK-listed
companies in Zimbabwe include the miners Rio Tinto and AngloAmerican, which
both said they had small operations there.

The Indigenisation and Economic Empowerment Act may not cover mines but of
greater concern would be the Mining and Minerals Amendment Bill, which has
not yet been passed by Parliament. It is understood that the legislation
would involve handing over a 25 per cent share to the Government as part of
putting 51 per cent in Zimbabwean hands. Companies might also have to pay
punitive royalties.

Rio Tinto employs more than 200 people in Zimbabwe where it has a small
diamond mine called Murowa. AngloAmerican has a platinum "project" which has
not yet been developed into a mine and employs about 400 people in the

A Rio Tinto spokesman said: "Rio Tinto is supportive of a move towards
indigenisation provided it is done at the right pace and doesn't discourage
much-needed overseas investment in the Zimbabwean mining industry." The
Murowa mine is 22 per cent-owned by a Zimbabwe-controlled partner called
RioZim, he added.

Some observers believe Mr Mugabe may have signed the Bill as a gesture
because he is fighting a tough election battle with his former finance
minister, Simba Makoni. Zimbabwe goes to the polls later this month amid
widespread hunger, mass unemployment and 100,000 per cent inflation.

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Iran to establish tractor plant in Zimbabwe

Harare, Zimbabwe - A top Iranian official said here at the weekend
that the Middle Eastern country would invest in a tractor plant in Zimbabwe,
and explore more areas for investment.

Foreign Minister Manuchehr Mottaki said Iran had made an initial
investment of US$4 million into the tractor plant, the first such facility
in Zimbabwe.

The plant, a joint venture between Iranian investors and a state-owned
Zimbabwean company, will assemble tractors from parts from Iran.

Mottaki, who held talks with senior government officials including
President Robert Mugabe, said technical teams from Iran would visit Zimbabwe
shortly to kick-start the tractor plant.

Zimbabwe, which is carrying out controversial agrarian reforms, is
keen to mechanise peasant farmers newly resettled by the government on farms
forcibly seized from white land owners.

The reforms have created huge demand for tractors and other
agricultural implements in the country.

Mottaki said Iran was also exploring investment in a disused oil
refinery in Zimbabwe, which was built with Iranian help in the 1970s.

Iranian experts have already carried out feasibility studies on the
refinery, which Iran intends to supply with crude oil for processing.

Harare - 10/03/2008


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Empire not able to clean up mess

Hawke's Bay Today, New Zealand


THE 53-nation Commonwealth is a ``force' for good. But, like the
United Nations, it is only as good as constituent parts.

Commonwealth Secretary General Don McKinnon has run up the white flag
over Zimbabwe's Robert Mugabe. He tried but failed.

Yesterday he conceded Zimbabwe was irredeemable, reaching the same
conclusion as those in the exodus from the former British colony in the past
eight years.

Mr McKinnon, who steps down from his post (perhaps inauspiciously) on
April 1, said Zimbabwe had isolated itself from the international community
to the extent that it could now be compared to Myanmar or North Korea.

All diplomatic avenues had been exhausted, he said: ``We did all we
could ... but so did the UN, so did the UK and US'.
Mr McKinnon's affable smile has masked the fact that he had a task
comparable to that of Sisyphus. Armed with neither carrot nor stick he has
had to fall back on good intentions and reason to try to restore sanity to

But none of that matters to Mugabe. His riposte to the Commonwealth's
decision to extend Zimbabwe's suspension was to abandon that body
altogether, calling it an ``evil organisation' and a front for UK efforts to
``enslave' his country.

He also described Mr McKinnon as ``a progeny of criminal descent'
whose ancestors had been deported by the British ``because they were robbers
and murderers'.

Mugabe's barminess cannot leaven the tragedy of Zimbabwe nor disguise
the helplessness of the Commonwealth to prevent it.

Inflation in Zimbabwe is estimated at a staggering 7600 per cent and
unemployment at 80 per cent. Power and fuel shortages are constant and price
controls have emptied shelves and depleted stocks, bringing shops and
factories to a standstill. Dissent is met with ruthless repression.

Mugabe has comprehensively wrecked his own country with the complicity
of some African leaders and the acquiescence of others, such as South
Africa. As Mr McKinnon has noted, the despot is still a revolutionary hero
to many in Africa because he stood up against the racist minority government
of Ian Smith. But what sustains him is that his Commonwealth colleagues fear
a backlash from militant groups in their own states who would use
anti-Mugabe action to accuse them of capitulating to ``imperialist'

In that way Mugabe's malaise becomes a collective madness. If Africa's
leaders gain and hold power as the antidote to the bane of empire, then it
is in their interests to perpetuate the neurosis of victimhood. In that way
kleptocrats are able to devour their own nations' futures, unhindered.

Despite representing 1.8 billion people, the Commonwealth was never a
major player on the world stage, offering little more than a collegial
environment for a chat. Today it emerges from the Zimbabwe failure very much
diminished. Ironically, yesterday was Commonwealth Day, observed on the
second Monday of every March.

That it should have passed unremarked indicates its lack of relevance
in our daily lives. Even the British Government, with its recently announced
plans for immigration barriers to its former allies, is prepared to treat
the legacy of empire as an annoying anachronism.

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Harare releases observer list

Business Day

11 March 2008

Hopewell Radebe

Diplomatic Editor

ZIMBABWE yesterday released a list of international organisations and
countries accredited to observe elections there this month.

The move is aimed at rebutting media reports that no international observer
structures would be welcome during the March 29 poll.

"Zimbabwe has invited countries and organisation from all parts of the world
. Our list excludes those countries with preconceived ideas who believe that
the only free and fair election is where the opposition wins," Zimbabwean
ambassador to SA Simon Moyo said.

The countries that have been excluded include the US, the UK, Australia and
other European countries with the exception of Russia.

Moyo charged that some of these countries had already "written their
 reports", and that his government had no desire "to give such cooked
reports the credence and credibility they lack and do not deserve".

"Foreign invitees were selected on the basis of reciprocity as well as their
objectivity and impartiality in their relationship with Zimbabwe."

He said all member countries in the Southern African Development Community
were invited.

South American and some Asian countries were coming to observe the elections
in line with the country's electoral act and the SADC principles and
guidelines that governed democratic elections.

He lambasted the South African media for peddling what he called "a virulent
and vicious smear campaign by the west" against his country that was
"certainly not out of ignorance of the facts, but out of sheer malice".

Among other African organisations and institutions, Zimbabwe has accredited
organisations such as the Pan African Parliament , the African Union
Commission and the continent's five regional economic structures.

The international institutions invited included the Non-Aligned Movement,
the Africa, Caribbean and Pacific group of states, the Caribbean Community,
the Association of South East Asian Nations, the Arab Maghreb Union, the
Community of Portuguese Speaking (Lusophone) countries and the
Inter-Governmental Authority on Development.

The Congress of South African Trade Unions said it welcomed the news that
some international bodies would be invited.

Spokesman Patrick Craven said: "We remain sceptical about the conditions
that have not been properly and sufficiently rendered conducive for all
parties to campaign freely." Zimbabwe had not failed to render elections
free and fair even in the presence of international observers who monitored
earlier elections.

"But we hope that democracy and the will of the people will prevail this
time," he said.

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Moyo predicts unprecedented chaos in Zimbabwe elections

New Zimbabwe

By Fikile Mapala
Last updated: 03/10/2008 23:44:00
A LEADING Zimbabwean political commentator has predicted "unprecedented
chaos" in elections scheduled for March 29, as European Union foreign
ministers on Monday pushed President Robert Mugabe to ensure the electoral
process is "free and fair".

Political scientist and independent MP for Tsholotsho Professor Jonathan
Moyo said Zimbabwe was going into an election it could not afford after a
constitutional amendment passed last year brought forward council, senate,
parliamentary and presidential elections to be held on the same day.

Moyo, a respected academic and former information minister, said the Zanu PF
government had no capacity to run such a mammoth election.

He said the chaos that characterised the sitting of the nomination courts
around the country on February 15 was a clear indicator that the government
was ill-prepared for the synchronised polls.

He said the nomination process was marred by inadequate manpower, a
shambolic voters' roll, power-cuts, and the unavailability of a delimitation
report to guide candidates on constituency boundaries.

Moyo said: "You will witness unprecedented chaos from 7AM to 7PM on March 29
not because of any political mischief by Zanu PF, but purely on technical
grounds. The state is going to be stretched to the limit."

Speaking to journalists at a press club in Harare last Wednesday, Moyo said
the Zanu PF government did not have the budget as well as the technical
capacity to successfully run the harmonised elections - a sure recipe for

He said: "This election is going to be very, very expensive. I agree with
those who say democracy is very expensive and if you look at the government
budget, you will realise that we are going to have an election we cannot

Moyo said it was also going to be difficult to recruit enough and reliable
manpower to run the polls given that a lot of teachers who have worked as
polling officers in past elections have left the country while the remaining
ones are on strike.

Moyo said: "We do not have enough human resources to run this election.
There are no teachers for example. The teachers who used to be recruited as
polling officers are just not there. They have left the country."

The former university lecturer said he got surprised to hear that there was
a teachers' strike going on at schools.

He said: "I wonder who is on strike because the teachers are not there. They
have left. And I can tell you disaster is very easy to predict in such a
scenario as ours."
Teachers went on strike last month demanding a review of their monthly pay
after soldiers got a salary windfall which excluded all other government

Moyo blasted Mugabe -- his former boss -- for calling "needless,
synchronised elections", saying only the presidential poll was due since
only the state president's term of office had expired.

He explained: "We did not need to have elections for local government
councils and the House of Assembly. It's only the president's tenure that
had expired and the country's constitution only required that elections be
held to elect a president not all of us."

Mugabe's strategists, Moyo said, had come up with the idea of the joint
elections as a way of allowing the ageing leader to be assisted by aspiring
councillors and legislators in his controversial re-election bid.

He observed: "Mugabe's strategy here was very simple. If you want every Zanu
PF politician to support the candidature of the president then you must
create a risk for them as well.

"To create the risk, you dissolve parliament and call for fresh elections
even before the MPs' terms have expired."

The European Union on Monday urged President Mugabe to ensure a free and
fair poll, although EU ministers said they were increasingly worried the
Southern African nation's dire political and economic state will endanger a
vote that would meet international standards.

"The voice of the people of Zimbabwe needs to be heard in free elections, in
which they cast their votes done without ... fear," British Foreign
Secretary David Miliband said.

"We want to see elections that are properly free and fair. That's very
difficult when you have got 3 to 4 million refugees outside the country."

Moyo said he feared many voters could fail to cast their ballots because of
the redrawing of constituency boundaries and new voting procedures.

He added: "Very few people know that these elections will be ward-based.
That knowledge is hardly known by the electorate. For example my
constituency Tsholotsho was divided into two and new wards were created.
People out there don't know where they will vote from."

Moyo has predicted a second round of voting in the presidential race, saying
it would be impossible for either President Mugabe, opposition leader Morgan
Tsvangirai or former finance minister Simba Makoni, running as an
independent, to get a majority 51 percent share of the votes on March 29 as
required by the constitution.

He said: "There is going to be a run-off between Mugabe and Tsvangirai or
between Mugabe and Makoni. But there won't be the same scenario between
Makoni and Tsvangirai."

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Zimbabwe Election Support Network - Press Statement

The Zimbabwean

 Monday, 10 March 2008 14:52


Harare 10 March 2008 - The Zimbabwe Election Support Network (ZESN) commends
the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) on the recent publication of the
list of polling stations, which appeared in the Saturday 08 March edition of
The Herald.

 This information is critical for registered voters to know where they will
vote on Election Day."The ZEC's publication of the list of polling stations
is an important and positive step. However, the list contains significant
errors and relatively few polling stations in Bulawayo and Harare provinces.
ZESN encourages the ZEC to rectify these issues so that everyone who wishes
to vote has a reasonable opportunity to do so on. It would be unfortunate if
the problem of too few polling stations in these provinces in 2002 is
repeated", comments ZESN Board Chairperson Mr Noel Kututwa.ZESN notes that
the polling station information for Matabeleland North appears to be
scrambled - with polling stations located in the wrong constituency. For
example, Victoria Pre-School polling station is listed in Ward 1 of Binga
Rural District Council (RDC). Actually the polling station is in Victoria
Falls Municipality. This is just one of many such errors for the province.
ZESN encourages the ZEC to urgently print a corrected list of polling
stations to ensure that all registered voters know their polling stations on
Election Day.Further, ZESN notes that there is a significant discrepancy in
the number of registered voters per polling station for different provinces.
There should be some variation, but the number of registered voters per
polling station in Bulawayo and Harare is more than twice that of the other
provinces (see table below). The situation is similar in Gweru and Mutare
municipalities where the average number of register voters per polling
station is 1,234.8 and 1,277.3 respectively. As a result, the average voter
in Harare province will need to be processed in 22 seconds and some cases in
as little as 9 seconds (Chitungwiza Ward 2 - 9,281 registered voters and 2
polling stations). The average number of voters should be consistent by both
constituency and ward. ZESN encourages the ZEC to increase the number of
polling stations in Bulawayo and Harare provinces as well as other urban
centres so that all Zimbabweans have a reasonable opportunity to vote on 29

Province Registered Voters Polling Stations Average Number of Registered
Voters per Polling Station Assembly Constituencies Average Number of
Registered Voters per Assembly Constituency
Bulawayo 313,459 207 1,514.3 12 26,121.6
Harare 766,478 379 2,022.4 29 26,430.3
Manicaland 709,664 1,150 617.1 26 27,294.8
Mashonaland Central 448,477 774 579.4 18 24,915.4
Mashonaland East 624,630 1,038 601.8 23 27,157.8
Mashonaland West 582,989 1,100 530.0 22 26,499.5
Masvingo 699,199 1,202 581.7 26 26,892.3
Matebeleland North 345,264 545 633.5 13 26,558.8
Matabeleland South 342,280 528 648.3 13 26,329.2
Midlands 739,510 1,289 573.7 28 26,411.1
Total 5,571,950 8,212  210
ZESN urges all registered voters to go out and vote on 29 March. Zimbabwean
people should remember that their vote is their right and they should ensure
that that democracy prevails by playing their part in the harmonised
elections. Ends//

Zimbabwe Election Support Network
+263 (04) 250735/6 or 703956/ 023277140 e-mail
address is being protected from spambots, you need JavaScript enabled to
view it /

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National Foods Boss Arrested Over Inflated Flour Prices

The Herald (Harare)  Published by the government of Zimbabwe

8 March 2008
Posted to the web 10 March 2008


NATIONAL Foods managing director Joseph Jeremy Brooke was arrested on
Thursday afternoon on allegations his company inflated prices of flour it
supplied to Lobels Bread while owners of a city supermarket face prosecution
for charging fruit crushes above legal prices.

Police spokesperson Assistant Commissioner Wayne Bvudzijena said Brooke was
in police custody as investigations continue and was expected to appear in
court soon on charges of contravening the National Incomes and Pricing
Commission Act.

He said allegations against National Foods arose on February 18 after it
sold 22,5 tonnes of flour to Lobels Bread at $900 million per tonne. The
gazetted price of flour at that time was $600 million per tonne.

Asst Comm Bvudzijena said Lobels Bread was then asked to make the payment in
two instalments: one of $13,5 billion into the National Foods account (which
covered the legal price) and another of $6,75 billion to a Harare company
called Welfareslide. According to police, National Foods inflated the price
by $6,75 billion.

On February 2, it is further alleged, National Foods sold another 44 tonnes
of flour to Lobels Bread at $2,5 billion per tonne instead of the gazetted
$600 million.

National Foods was paid $110 billion, prejudicing Lobels Bread of $83,6
billion, it is alleged.

In the other case, inspectors of the National Incomes and Pricing Commission
allegedly found Food King Supermarket along Julius Nyerere Way was selling
two litres of Mazoe Orange Crush for $33 million while other syrups were
being sold for $30 million.

The approved price for Mazoe Orange Crush is $22,5 million and $19 million
for other syrups.

When NIPC chairman Mr Godwills Masimirembwa, acting chief executive officer
Mr Esau Ndlovu and the commission's inspectors visited the supermarket
yesterday afternoon, the prices of Mazoe Orange Crush and other syrups had
allegedly been increased again with Mazowe Orange set at $85 million and
other syrups at $70 million, said Mr Masimirembwa.

Invoices from the producer (Schweppes) indicated that the supermarket bought
1 064 cases of Mazoe Orange Crush on February 25, 2008 and were given the
prices at which the commodities were supposed to be sold.

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Zimbabwe Business Watch : Week 11


The mix of politics and business becomes more and more of a feature in each
businessman's mind.

There are now renewed threats by the pricing Commission and this time they
are stating that there will be "No fines" meaning that offenders will
automatically go to Jail.

This is no doubt an election ploy to force down prices artificially and
attempt to deceive voters by placing the blame for economic failure on the
battered business community.

The USD is now trading as high as 46 million (46 billion at the old values)
and some traders have stopped dealing as they hang onto forex to try and
achieve the biggest advantage possible on the escalating rate. This puts
further pressure on the supply as demand remains healthy despite weak
production levels.

The lowest paid Grade One worker is now moving into the executive tax
bracket of 47,5% and this is a nightmare for employers who simply end up
paying the tax man and not their productive workers> who they wish to reward
and protect from hyper inflation.

This entry was written by Sokwanele on Monday, March 10th, 2008

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Blow to Makoni's image

Mail and Guardian

Percy Zvomuya: ANALYSIS

10 March 2008 12:00

       The state-owned Zimbabwean newspaper the Herald last week
reported that Citigroup and SABMiller were among the international companies
funding Simba Makoni's bold bid for the presidency, and argued that this
confirmed reports that "his election bid was part of the Western
regime-change agenda".

      Both companies have denied the reports, but the Herald's claim
may nonetheless be damaging to Makoni's campaign, especially in the rural
areas of Zimbabwe and on the African continent. In a way it recalls the
image that has again come back to haunt the Movement for Democratic Change
(MDC) -- that of white farmers making out cheques to the newly formed party
as foreign cameras flashed.

      It was a tactless image; one that the MDC privately regrets and
which the world-wise Zanu-PF seized as incontrovertible evidence that the
MDC was a neo-conservative project of the United States and British

      Former information minister Jonathan Moyo's propaganda machinery
argued that the MDC's entire raison d'ętre was to frustrate Zanu-PF's
revolutionary programme of transferring land from whites to landless blacks.
In an oblique sense, Zanu-PF was right -- white farmers' support for the MDC
was full of self-interest; they wanted to preserve their privileged status
as rich landowners.

      But what was conveniently forgotten in the developing world,
where Robert Mugabe became an instant hero, was the fact that the MDC was a
genuine grassroots-based party with popular appeal. The crisis in Zimbabwe
had its genesis in poor governance, not in land imbalances. Although land
issues remained prominent, most Zimbabweans felt that the Mugabe regime was
misgoverning the country.

      Another fact that was conveniently overlooked was that Zanu-PF
and its top functionaries were not loath to receive money from the "hated
imperialists". In the past, Zanu-PF and senior party members received
support from the multinational Lonrho - the sanctions-busting company that
propped up the Ian Smith regime -- and from other white benefactors who
mistreated farm workers.

      Whether SABMiller and Citigroup support Makoni is the subject of
another discussion. It has been reported that what actually happened is that
an employee of SABMiller attended the function in a personal capacity. But
the state information machinery won't let such details stand in its way. It
argued that "the event confirms that the British are working tirelessly to
affect regime change in Zimbabwe by funding opposition parties and groups".

      What the incident has done is to allow Mugabe to again stoke
passionate anger over the question of land -- an issue that has not been at
the fore for quite some time. "The country is ours and, as long as we are in
leadership, we shall never allow the British to come here again; we have
taken the land permanently," Mugabe recently declared with his customary

      Perhaps we should examine Makoni's prospects. There is no way he
can defeat Mugabe, the odds are very much against him. His importance is
more symbolic and salutary. He is the symbol of the realisation that the
Zanu-PF edifice may yet crumble. Reports carried in the state media confirm

      The Herald reported this week that vice-president Joseph Msika
admitted that "he sometimes differs with President Mugabe, [but] their
differences were on minor issues and not on principles". That's a telling
admission. And Makoni is the public face of these differences. But he should
be wary, lest his campaign be sullied the way the MDC's credentials have
been compromised.

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About loyalty

I had a brief and uncomfortable conversation today with a friend.
There is much confusion and its difficult to sort out the truth from the
In the end, we will all go into the booth on 29 March and make our choices.
Our vote is indeed our secret.

The last 8 years have been extrodinary as well as difficult and stressful;
we have made the first major challenges to the status quo and many have lost
a great deal and all of our lives have been changed beyond recognition. I
acknowledge and respect the role that Morgan Tsvangirai has played in that
process; and  he will always hold a special place in my my heart and in our
history. He, and many others who we may have already forgotten.

Nevertheless, the last 2 years have not been good ones in Tsvangirai's
faction and I have increasing concerns about his leadership ability,
especially looking at the inevitable changes ahead.  Whether we like it or
not, we have to live in the same space as those who have perpetrated acts of
aggression against us or who have remained silent.  We are all complict one
way or another - let us not forget that many of those in the oppostion were
at one time members of Zanu PF;  that while farmers were under siege, urban
voices were silent. There are many shades between black and white, between
the good and the bad.

I think we have become very polarised and are stuck in an MDC - Zanu PF
dynamic and that this is no longer productive but only continues to deepen
the divisions between us.  How much longer can we hold these fixed positions
while everything around us crumbles and dies?

Loyalty is a great quality, but we have to ask to what exactly are we being
loyal. The argument that we should continue voting for Tsvangirai because of
his past contribution is the same argument used by Mugabe as to why we
should vote for him. Didn't he liberate the country from colonial shackles
and therefore we should continue loyalty well beyond his abiltiy or
willingness to deliver "the goods"?

Sometimes, we have to step back from emotional loyalty and look to the
greater good.  In this circumstance, I always think of the politics of
post-WW2 Britain. Winston Churchill had led them through the dark and
difficult war years to success, yet the first election afterwards he was
voted right out. While Churchill's role was applauded and appreciated, the
voting public also realised that he was not a peace-time leader and out he
went. Despite that, 50 years later he still remains one of the most popular
British leaders of all time.

Not voting for someone is not necessarily being disloyal to that individual.
People's contributions to a cause, does not bestow the entitlement of office
or reward. We do what we do because it is the right thing, not because we
expect high office.  If Tsvangirai doesn't make it to the Presidency, I will
stilll respect and honour him. I just want to see my country begin the road
to recovery, both nationally and individually.


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National University of Science and Technology - Press Statement

The Zimbabwean

 Tuesday, 11 March 2008 06:00

National University of Science and Technology (NUST), Zimbabwe, held an
extra-ordinary general meeting on Monday, 03 March 2008 to delebarate about
the current political developments in the country, satanic fees currently
being charged by the university administration and bread and butter issues
affecting the students.
The students note with a heavy heart the emerging of  Dr Simba Makoni as the
third force in the March harmonised presidential elections. As the
intelligensia of the nation, students took their time to analyse all the
prons and cons concerning this issue. Movement for Democratic Change( MDC),
a labour party, was formed in September 1999 and have less than a decade in
Zimbabwean politics. Their core value is social democracy and are against
the dictatorial rule of the current ZANU-PF regime. Dr Makoni should have
co-joined hands with other pro-democratic forces like them, to build a
strong opposition. With such a background, students declared Dr Makoni's
presidential candidature as null and void. Students declared to strongly
rally behind Movement for Democratic Change in these coming electiopns.
Pertaining to the satanic fees, students declared that no student will pay
until their concerns  are heard. A five member delegation was summoned to
ingarge the ministry of higher and tertiary education to discuss the fees
issue and the current education funding policy. Food remain a problem at
college, the problem is rooted in the current economic hardships being
experienced in the country. The problem need to be addressed at national
level. Student leaders we instructed to convey the message to all relevant
stackholders so as to come up with long lasting solution.
The moto during the meeting was, "We do not have permanent friends but
permanent interests".
Inserted by
Langton Muchembere
Students Representative Council, President

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Zimbabwe's Only Chance

DR SIMBA MAKONI – Former SADC Executive Secretary, Finance Minister and firebrand Zimbabwean politician and leading African academic is running for President in the forth coming elections on March 29
On Saturday, the 08/03/2008 at Birmingham and Midlands Institute saw the birth of Simba Makoni, Mavambo , Kusile , Dawn – UK Steering Committee.  Below is the team that will be mobilising Resources and support in the UK.
Mr Jennings Rukani – Mobile: 07737272179 –
Information and Publicity
Chair:                Mr Durani Rapozo – Mobile: 07877212593 –
Members:          Dr John Tsimba – Mobile: 07506708860 –
                        Mr Everisto Kamera – Mobile: 07825161558 –
                        Ms Gladys Mahoko – Mobile: 07887485927 –
                        Mr Noble Sibanda – Mobile: 07796340237 –
Finance and Business
Chair:    Mr Silence Chihuri – Mobile: 07706376705 –
Vice: Mr Albert Weidemann – Mobile: 07917156093 –
Secretary:         Mrs Sarudzayi Barnes – Mobile: 07962355187 –
Vice:                 Mr Jefferson Mhanda – Mobile: 07872901633 –
Member:           Mr Moses Nyagodzi – Mobile: 07778547971 -
Chair:    Mr Givemore Chindawi – Mobile: 07948086037 –
Member:           (Women) Ms Virginia Ncube – 079887699156 –
                          Vice       Ms Tina Ngwenya – 07949034697 –
(Youth)    Mr David Bizabani – 07917867801 –     
                          Vice      Mr Njabulo Ngwenya – 07947221885 -
Please note that anyone who wants to participate and join us in mobilising
resources can contact our Chairperson, Organising Secretary and our Finance
and Business Committee team.
Thank you,
Simba Makoni –UK Steering Committee Publicity Department(

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HIV+ orphans flee Zim


10/03/2008 15:08  - (SA)

Machipanda - Zimbabwean orphans Evans, 13, and Edmond Mahlangu, 8, have
crossed a mountain range on foot to get to Mozambique, where they are slowly
recovering on life-saving Aids drugs in short supply back home.

"We walked for a day in the mountains. We had to keep quiet because of the
guards," recounted the boys' 17-year-old sister, Emmaculate, who made the
10km journey with her HIV-positive siblings at the beginning of February.

"It was tough above all for my brothers. They had to walk alone because I
was carrying bags."

The children had taken refuge with an aunt not far from the Machipanda
border post in the central Mozambican province of Manica.

Orphaned in 2006, the children lived with their grandmother in Mutare on the
Zimbabwean side of the border until she banished them in January.

"My grandmother chased us away. She was afraid of the boys because they are
sick. She was scared to touch them, even to cook for them," Emmaculate said.

'We accommodate all patients'

Without any identity documents, the children fled to Mozambique as little
hope remained in their home country with a critical lack of food and drugs
and official inflation exceeding 100 000%.

This state of affairs was widely blamed on longtime President Robert Mugabe
whose controversial land reform policies, seizing white-owned farms for
redistribution to landless blacks, all but killed commercial agriculture and
scared off foreign investors.

Evans and Edmond were put on anti-retroviral (ARV) treatment as soon as they
arrived in Mozambique. "I feel better now. It's not so bad as before," the
elder boy said timidly, his body covered in a severe rash.

The boys had been given ARVs once before, back home in Zimbabwe, but
government-sponsored drugs were hard to come by and private sector prices
were prohibitive.

"We accommodate all patients without discriminiating."

Mozambican officials say Zimbabweans flock across the border to access ARVs.

"Hundreds of Zimbabweans come here to get Aids treatment that Mozambique
provides for free," said a local coordinator of the national council against
Aids, a government body.

The Zimbabwean beneficiaries' numbers are not well documented.

"We accommodate all patients without discriminating," said provincial head
doctor Marilia Pugas.

More than 100 000 HIV-positive people now receive free ARV treatment in
Mozambique, up from 7 000 in 2005.

"It is extraordinary. But the costs are enormous," said Maurico Cysne,
Mozambican representative of the United Nations Programme on AIDS (UNAIDS).

"Treatment costs $50 a year." One of the poorest countries in the world,
Mozambique, like most of southern Africa was buckling under the impact of

'There are prostitutes all over'

It had an average HIV prevalence rate of 16% of the population, rising to
23% in some areas of Manica, a transit point for heavy trucks making their
way from Zimbabwe, Zambia and Malawi to the Mozambican port of Beira.

"There are prostitutes all along the route," said an official "Many are
Zimbabweans more concerned about survival than protecting themselves against

According to UNAIDS latest statistics, Zimbabwe's HIV prevalence was on the
decrease with 15.6% of adults between 15 and 49 affected.

With the scrapping of visa requirements between the two countries last
November, the number of Zimbabweans crossing into Mozambique had risen

Paradoxically, clandestine migration also shot up as Zimbabwean authorities
were unable to reverse a massive backlog in issuing passports required to
enter Mozambique.

"In January, 22 636 Zimbabweans, mostly women, crossed the border legally at
three posts in Manica, most through Machipanda - up from 8 971 in January
2007," said provincial migration service director Felipe Cumbe.

"They are allowed to stay for 30 days but 85% make their purchases and
return. We don't know what happens to the other 15%."

"Many others, including children and very young girls, cross illegally,"
added Alberto Limeme, customs chief of Machipanda.

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Edo to Partner Zimbabwean Farmers

Vanguard (Lagos)

10 March 2008
Posted to the web 10 March 2008

Gabriel Enogholase

Edo State Government at the weekend said that it has held talks with White
Zimbabwean farmers on the possibility of establishing large commercial farms
in the state.

Currently Zimbabwean farmers are in Kwara State where they have established
mechanised farms.

Special Adviser to the Edo State Governor on Farm Development, Ms. Uwa
Osunbor, who disclosed this in Benin said that representatives of the
Zimbabwean farmers had already inspected sites in three local govenment
areas in the northern part of the state, adding that each farmer would
require about a thousand hectares, saying that the arrangement would be
comprehensive, giving room for farming processing and export, adding that,
"We have the land and the climate. Since they are willing to come ,'why
not'. We went to three local governments where the chairmen were ready and
willing to accept them."

Ms. Osunbor disclosed that Etsako West, Etsako Central where the farmers
visited would be suitable for rice farming just as Uhunmwode and Uromi would
be a good place for pineapple and oranges.

She, however, said that the farmers would not just be let in to make their
profit and go away. "They will teach new technologies to our farmers; how to
apply fertiliser and more."

The special adviser allayed fears that the farmers would take away the
farmlands from the indigenous owners, saying, "It is the indigenous people
that will benefit. Most of the land is wasting away. We have over 200,000
hectares of land wasting away," even as she indicated that some American
farmers were soon to come for inspection.

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'Investing in women and girls'

The Daily Catalyst Monday 10 March

10 March 200

As the world commemorated International Women's day on the 8th of March
2008, Zimbabwean women had nothing to celebrate as the socio-economic and
political crisis in Zimbabwe worsens with women being the most affected. The
theme for this year's commemoration was 'Investing in women and girls'.

According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), the life expectancy rate
for Zimbabwean women is standing at 34 years as compared to 60 years at
independence which is lower than that in war torn areas. Iraq's life
expectancy rate stands at 61 years, Afghanistan, more than 40 years and
Sudan, 57.

The inflation rate was, at the end of January 2008, pegged at 100,580.2%[1]
while 85% of the population in Zimbabwe are living in abject poverty. Women
continue to bear the brunt of the soaring economy. Sanitary ware, which is a
basic right for any female is being sold for more than Z$30 million, which
is way beyond the reach of the majority. Many women have thus been driven
into prostitution due to the economic hardships being faced in the country.

HIV and AIDS have ravaged families with females being the worst burdened
with nursing the family members who have succumbed to the deadly disease.
WHO reports that approximately 3 500 people are dying in Zimbabwe every week
mainly due to the AIDS pandemic and related illnesses. Women are forced to
care for the sick as stereotypically they are viewed as caregivers. This has
impacted heavily on the women who still have to wake up in the early hours
of the day to pursue their daily chores of fetching the basic commodities
which are in short supply.

The government, which is supposed to be promoting women's rights, continues
to expose them to abuse through its uniformed forces. On 19 February 2008
when the Progressive Teacher's Union of Zimbabwe (PTUZ) leaders were
illegally detained by the ZANU PF youth militia, the women who were among
those detained reported that they were beaten on their private parts and
accused of being prostitutes. This was in full view of a police officer from
the Harare Central Law and Order section.

In addition, women are being harassed by the police under 'Operation Chipo
chiroorwa' (Chipo get married) where the police are targeting prostitutes.
However, a number of innocent women have been incarcerated and accused of
prostitution even in instances when they have been sported returning to
their homes from buying groceries. Such actions by those tasked with
safeguarding the law show how stakeholders are failing to uplift females.

As state party to the Convention on the Elimination of Discrimination
against Women (CEDAW), the Zimbabwean government should promote and respect
women's rights in order to fully invest in women and girls. The government
should improve the social, political and economic environment which allows
both men and women to have equal opportunities if the country is to develop
in line with the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs)


[1] Central Statistical Office-January 2008

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