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Canada Free Press

Zimbabwe's Impending Elections - What Other Countries Can Do, and Why
by Roger Bate

Wednesday, March 2, 2005

Without pressure from outside nations, upcoming elections in Zimbabwe are
almost certain to hasten the country's slide into dictatorship under
longtime leader Robert Mugabe. Pressure must be brought to bear on Zimbabwe
's Southern African neighbors to enforce the agreed election protocols or
they, and not just Zimbabwe, should face the withdrawal of aid, trade deals,
and other U.S. largesse.

His Excellency Comrade Robert Mugabe remains president of Zimbabwe because
he is a tyrant who stole two elections. The international community is
absolutely convinced of this, but South Africa and most of Zimbabwe's
neighbors have refused to condemn him. Instead, the Southern African
Development Community (SADC) is trying to cajole Mugabe into acting
decently. It is failing miserably.

Two years ago, South Africa's president, Thabo Mkebi, gave President Bush
the assurance that his "quiet diplomacy" would resolve the impending problem
of a complete lack of democratic process in Zimbabwe. Now that thedate of
presidential and parliamentary elections has been announced asMarch 31, the
problem has become urgent. All signs indicate that Comrade Robert intends to
cheat and brawl his way to another "victory."

In August 2004, the leaders of SADC, an alliance of fifteen southernAfrican
countries, agreed to adopt electoral guidelines intended to ensure free and
fair elections throughout the region. Part of the deal was that a SADC team
would be invited to visit each country prior to elections and assess whether
the guidelines were being implemented. When it came to Zimbabwe, South
Africa was confident that these arrangements would satisfycritics who had
accused SADC leaders of allowing Mugabe to rampage overcivil freedoms. But
South Africa's foreign minister, Nkosozana Dlamini-Zuma, was obliged to
admit to a parliamentary media briefing that the SADC team would be welcome
only as part of a pan-African (AfricanUnion) poll observer team, and not
significantly in advance of theelections.

Mugabe well understands that limited election monitoring is the absolute
minimum requirement that allows his regime to be internationally recognized.
By allowing the SADC a brief, sanitized glimpse at the election process,
Mugabe is shrewdly trying to use the organization as apatsy for his
legitimacy. It has worked well enough before, since SADC ignored numerous
reports of violence and ballot-rigging and laughably declared the last two
elections "largely free and fair." But will SADC yet again play into
Mugabe's hands and allow for this most recent snub to go unpunished? If it
does, then the SADC, and not just Zimbabwe, is not serious about democratic

Recent signs of tension between South Africa and Zimbabwe indicate that at
least SADC's most powerful member is growing nervous over the potential
damage to its reputation brought on by dawdling over another sham election.
Within the last month, a Zimbabwe court convicted three people of selling
state secrets to South Africa. Most recently, a pre-election fact-finding
delegation from South Africa's official parliamentary opposition party, the
Democratic Alliance, was expelled on arrival at Harare International
Airport. Zimbabwe has also twice barred the powerful Congress of South
African Trade Unions (COSATU), allied to Mbeki's African National Congress
party, from sending fact-finding missions to the country ahead of the vote.

Mugabe's views on his own country's trade union organization are made plain
on the website of the party he leads, Zanu PF:

The Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions (ZCTU) has been exposed for what itis,
a front for employers and the opposition MDC. The ZCTU, which is bankrolled
by employers, the MDC and imperialist countries such as Britain and the USA
has for the past five years ignored the plight of workers and concentrated
on pursuing the agenda of the opposition party of trying to topple the ZANU
PF government.

When last October COSATU representatives visited Zimbabwe at the invitation
of the ZCTU, they were thrown out after spending only a few hours in the
country, since Zimbabwean officials described their visit as "inappropriate
and offensive." Undeterred, the general secretary of COSATU, Zwelinzima
Vavi, planned another trip, which was also blocked. COSATU announced a
protest blockade of the border crossings.

Opposition and Dissent
The Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) is Zimbabwe's only opposition
party, and the decision for the MDC to take part in the election was
takenonly on Friday, February 12. After the announcement, Mugabe's
government wasted no time marginalizing MDC's participation. By the
following Tuesday, February 15, the Zimbabwean attorney general, Sobuza
Gula-Ndebele, ordered prosecutors around the country to revive chargesa
gainst MDC activists that long ago were dropped because of lack of evidence.
Unsurprisingly, the MDC sees this as a clear bid to hamstring its election
campaign. Legal challenges to the last elections have yet to be heard. And
though MDC leader Morgan Tsvangirai was recently acquitted of treason,
another trial for treason is pending.

The stakes in these elections are high. The MDC is planning to put up 120
candidates, although several candidates did not succeed in registering at
nomination courts by the deadline of February 18. (The matter is still
pending as we go to press.) They currently have 57 seats in parliament and
must retain at least 50 to veto constitutional amendments. Should Zanu PF
muster a constitutional majority, the limited checks on Mugabe's power would
all but disappear. Unsurprisingly, the current regime is doing all it can to
ensure such an outcome. Speaking on February 17, MDC secretary-general
Welshman Ncube said that so far many candidates had been unable to find an
official in place to process their applications, without which, of course,
they cannot register. He adds, "We have written to the Zimbabwe Election
Commission repeatedly, but they ignore us."

On February 16 the MDC started making preparations for the election by
holding a candidate training workshop at a hotel in the capital, Harare. But
the MDC is still under intense surveillance, and police soon arrived to
declare the workshop illegal and to demand that the candidates disperse. The
MDC election manager, Ian Makone, was arrested and later released.

Arrests of officials and candidates have been a daily occurrence since
Mugabe was shaken by the success of the MDC in the 2000 general election.He
has successfully strained to make the lives of party officials
uncomfortable. A survey taken a year ago among MDC members of parliament
(MPs) found that 42 percent claimed to have been assaulted in the previous
four years, most commonly by the police, while 24 percent said they had
survived assassination attempts. Three MPs had died following assaults. Most
MPs had been arrested. Only one had been convicted: Job Sikhala was
eventually fined $5 for assaulting a police officer, after having been
arrested 17 times, stripped, bound, blindfolded, subjected toelectric shocks
to his teeth and testicles, and urinated on by apoliceman.

MP Roy Bennett is contesting his seat despite being in prison and serving a
ten-month sentence on a chain gang. Bennett's offense was to push Patrick
Chinamasa, the justice minister, during a heated debate in which the
minister branded Bennett's family "murderers and thieves." Bennett was
unconstitutionally sentenced by a parliamentary committee, but this means
that he is not a convicted prisoner and can stand for reelection.
Despitebeing white, he speaks the local language, Shona, fluently, is well
liked, and is certain to win.

In Mugabe's own tribal (Shona) heartland, Mashonaland, he expects
unquestioning support, rather than grudging acceptance. But unease is
growing as food supplies become dangerously low. And while in a recent
survey most agreed that life was getting harder and that the government was
to blame, most still said they would vote for the ruling Zanu PF "because we
fear that if we turn against the government, we will be victimized," said

When addressing his people, Mugabe routinely portrays the MDC as
foreign-sponsored militants seeking to undermine the country's prosperity
and security, and against which he is bravely fighting: "The MDC is now a
timid and much frightened creature as it tries to create all sorts of
excuses to escape certain electoral defeat. . . . Let them be warned,
however, that we shall brook no violence or any act that may seek to tarnish
the country's image. Let them also be warned that our security organs will
show no mercy towards any aberration that detracts from our peace, stability
and tranquility. The situation of law and order must be maintained," he
exclaimed recently.

Repeals Required
So far Mugabe has shown no intention of complying with SADC protocols, but
if he was pressured to comply, he should start by repealing these damaging
laws: Public Order and Security Act (POSA) No. 1 of 2002; Access
toInformation and Protection of Privacy Act (AIPPA) No. 5 of 2002;
Non-Governmental Organizations Bill (NGO), still to be signed into law and
gazetted; and Zimbabwe Electoral Commission Act (ZEC), No. 22 of 2004.

There are five key sections of POSA that must be repealed immediately for
there to be the least chance of a free and fair election in six weeks'time.

Sections 15 and 16 provide that imprisonment can result from publishing
anything prejudicial to the state and abusive of the president. Remarkable
even by Zimbabwe's despotic standards, this act was passed into law despite
being contrary to Section 20 of Zimbabwe's constitution, which protects
freedom of speech.

Sections 24, 25, and 26 also pack a punch. These establish that agreement by
the police and four days' notice are required before a political rally and
other meetings can occur. These sections effectively ban opposition
meetings. This is in direct contravention of Section 21 of the constitution.

Two sections of the NGO should be removed before it is enacted. Preferably
the bill should be completely abandoned and the perfectly serviceable
Private Voluntary Act reinstated.

Section 9 duplicates Sections 24-26 of POSA and imposes the same
restrictions on national and international bodies.

Section 17 makes it illegal to accept foreign funding for NGOs, including
from Zimbabweans living abroad. This notably restricts work on human-rights
protection, voter education, and monitoring voter fraud.

The whole purpose of the Access to Information and Protection of Privacy Act
seems to be to restrict freedom of the press. The entire Act should be
repealed since it has no redeeming qualities. Press freedoms in Zimbabweare
virtually nonexistent; since the last independent daily newspaper, the Daily
News, was bombed out of its offices in 2003, the electronic media are all
controlled by Mugabe, and nearly all foreign journalists have been expelled.

The Zimbabwe Electoral Commission Act is the most blatantly pernicious
specimen of this sorry collection of legislation. Five sections,
particularly, should be repealed. Sections 17, 51, and 83 respectively allow
the military to "supervise" elections, to decide the number and location of
polling stations, and to exclude MDC observers from polling stations.

Section 21 allows the voters' roll to be in paper rather than electronic
form. Before this was enacted last year, the registrar-general could have
provided an electronic copy to all legitimate requesters--not that he
everdid, since Mugabe demanded limited access. Paper rolls can be stolen,
and when they have been one realizes why Mugabe limits access. Perhaps
400,000 deceased people are on the old roll--and the dead do not vote for
the opposition. The roll should be given electronically to the opposition to
help identify voting fraud.

Section 71 restricts postal ballots, effectively disenfranchising all
Zimbabweans (probably over 4 million of a current electorate of
approximately 11 million) living abroad, many of them as political exiles.

This last item is being legally challenged by a group of exiles living in
Britain, the Diaspora Vote Action Group. This is a group of six people, but
they represent perhaps close to 90 percent of the Zimbabweans living outside
the country. The group has pointed out that Section 71 is contrary to the
constitution and that both Botswana and Mozambique included overseas
residents in recent elections. These arguments are unlikely tocut any ice
with Justice Minister Patrick Chinamasa. But they may be useful to convince
SADC leaders that Zimbabwe is an undemocratic pariah that will harm the
organization's reputation.

Socioeconomic Indicators and the Zimbabwean Diaspora
The Zimbabwean economy has halved in value in the past five years; money is
printed on one side only and is largely worthless since inflation is
rampant, unemployment is over 80 percent, and most people have given up
trying to find a job. Not surprisingly public services have collapsed.

The state education and health systems, the proudest achievements of Mugabe
's early years in office, are imploding. In 2000, primary school enrolment
was 95 percent for boys and 90 percent for girls. Four years later it was 67
percent for boys and 63 percent for girls. Ordinary Zimbabweans are so broke
that they cannot afford state school fees of $4 a term. The middle classes
still had the luxury of sending their children to private school of very
high quality--until the police brought notices round to the schools
commanding them to reduce their fees to nominal rates that are too low to
cover costs. As teaching standards fell, the pupils were taken away, not
just from school, but from the country.

AIDS and other infectious and opportunistic diseases are running riot in
Zimbabwe, helped along by malnutrition. Apart from lack of rains two years
ago, which caused Mugabe to request international famine relief, his policy
of reclaiming farmland "stolen by imperialists" has slashed food production.
While actual production figures are kept secret, the U.S.-funded Famine
Early Warning Systems network recently reported that about half the
population--5.8 million people--would need emergency food aid before the
next harvests in April. While MDC persistently claims that its own
supporters are denied government food handouts, the government reacted
angrily to the claims of shortage. Agriculture Minister Joseph Made
described the report as part of Western plans to destabilize Zimbabweahead
of the elections. The author witnessed food roadblocks preventing maize from
being transported into opposition areas in November.

The combined effect of food shortage and disease has been disastrous. In
1992, life expectancy in Zimbabwe was 60; in 2002 it was 33 and dropping.
Infant mortality has doubled in a decade. The official HIV/AIDS rate in 2002
was about 27 percent (the third highest in the world), but the real rate is
probably much higher, since sexual behavior, both forced (notably in
Mugabe's youth camps) and consensual, is likely tospread HIV rapidly.

AIDS patients have no drugs and no future. Many are too sick to travel and
seek treatment abroad, but younger Zimbabweans, who are overtly healthy
though malnourished, leave if they possibly can. This is exactly the age
group that carries the highest HIV burden, and they take the virus withthem
wherever they go--many of the women into prostitution.

The only good news is that the diaspora of Zimbabweans into neighboring
states may further encourage SADC leaders to act. In the short run Southern
Africa benefited from the influx of single, educated Zimbabweans, but as the
exodus continues those leaving have an undesirable profile--lesser educated
and probably carrying a higher burden of disease. Neighboring African
leaders will soon have to choose between strong action against Mugabe or
destabilizing health and economic situations in their own countries. Acting
now would demonstrate foresight and prudence.

Western Policy
The MDC has entered the upcoming election "without prejudice" and so
reserves the right not to comply with the outcome. If it sees evidence
ofrigging when the vote occurs, and presuming it has some successful
candidates, the MDC could refuse to take up seats in parliament, and so
invalidate the result. After that, the best hope is that its neighbors will
finally refuse to recognize the legitimacy of the despotic regimethat is
dragging them all down with it. But what can the West do?

So far policy has revolved around smart sanctions against the 71 highest
ranking Zimbabwean officials, from Mugabe to odious generals likeVitalis
Zsvinavasche, who has hundreds of deaths on his hands. These sanctions,
which prevent travel to the United States and to EU countries,have
apparently upset the hierarchy but have had little impact on policy changes.
No doubt diplomatic channels are open and must remain so, but so far,
inaction has been the order of the day. Quiet diplomacy--the "talk,talk, and
more talk" of South African president Thabo Mbeki--is changing nothing in
Zimbabwe, and the West's support of this strategy has done no good.

Unlike in the Darfur region of the Sudan or the regions ravaged by the
tsunami last December, the bodies are not piling up in Zimbabwe under the
scrutiny of a video-hungry media. Instead, apart from a steady but
relatively small number of victims of political murder, black Zimbabweans
are dying out of sight, in rural communities, of starvation and HIV.

Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice is to be commended for addressing
Zimbabwe. But the rhetorical battle has only just begun. She must convince
SADC leaders that U.S. aid, military support, and other diplomatic
favorssuch as trade deals hinge on their solving the problem on their
doorstep.They must believe that unless they enforce the election protocols
agreed to by Mugabe, the United States will withdraw support for the region.

The big question is whether Mbeki will finally stand up to the man who
supported him during the apartheid years by allowing ANC bases in Zimbabwe.
America can--and it should--make it too uncomfortable for Mbeki not to.
Business as usual should not be an option for this outpost of tyranny.

Roger Bate is a resident fellow at AEI.

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Comment from Business Day (SA), 2 March

Africa verdict will be pivotal

Diana Games and Greg Mills

The more things change, the more they stay the same. Nowhere is this more
true than with Zimbabwe's parliamentary elections, scheduled for March 31.
With just under a month to go, it seems the ruling Zanu PF has snookered the
region again, with the electoral landscape looking worse than in 2000 and
certainly not conducive to a free and fair election. This is clear to
everyone except, it seems, regional leaders, who are doing their best to
convince themselves and everyone else that President Robert Mugabe is acting
in good faith. Over the years, no one has come to expect much from the
Southern African Development Community (SADC) - but its protocol, Principles
and Guidelines Governing Democratic Elections, was impressive. Region
watchers believed that it might be a new start, particularly with Mauritius,
a no-nonsense country, in charge. But alas, this has not proved to be the
case. Zimbabwe has already violated a wide range of provisions in the
protocol and nothing has been said.

Mugabe's few gestures towards electoral reform, made to avoid censure at the
Mauritius summit where the protocol was signed, seem to have been offered up
to obscure what would happen next - further skewing of the electoral process
in favour of the government and a greater clampdown on freedoms. A "new"
electoral commission has been established, but it is chaired by a
pro-government judge appointed by Mugabe. For the first time, soldiers and
policemen will act as election officials. Election observers must be
accredited by a committee dominated by nominees of cabinet ministers and the
president, and only people invited by a minister or the Electoral
Supervisory Commission - dominated by government appointees - will be
eligible for accreditation. The opposition has to apply for permission to
hold campaign meetings in order not to fall foul of the Public Order and
Security Act, one of the country's most repressive pieces of legislation.
Opposition parties are forbidden to have foreign funding and are not deemed
eligible for government funding. Only government-licensed journalists and
publications may report events. Nearly 2-million "ghost" voters have been
found on the voters' roll and the military has been involved in the
demarcation of electoral areas, which has seen the elimination of three
opposition seats and three new ones created in Zanu PF strongholds.

Less than a month before the poll, Harare has not issued invitations to
election observers. The SADC protocol requires invitations to be made 90
days before the poll to allow for adequate preparation of a regional team.
The much applauded protocol, in its first real test, has been violated.
Regional leaders have been disempowered by their own protocol which, like
the African peer review mechanism, relies on the integrity of government
signatories to abide by it and contains no punitive or enforcement measures.
The short-term future of Zimbabwe depends on whether the March 31 poll is
declared free and fair - not necessarily by the international community,
which does not seem to have the power to change events in Zimbabwe much, but
by African countries, many of which have provided a bulwark against change
there. No matter what the opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC)
and international teams might think, the African "green light" is crucial in
providing Mugabe and Zanu PF with the legitimacy they crave to perpetuate
their rule by whatever means necessary. As with the presidential election
three years ago, it is difficult to envisage a circumstance in which the
African teams will not close ranks around the ruling party. South African
Foreign Minister Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, in the face of well-published
evidence to the contrary, has already intimated that conditions look
acceptable for elections to occur.

This assessment ignores the overall worsening of the political and economic
environment inside Zimbabwe. Any concessions Mugabe has made have been
overshadowed by the tightening of laws governing elections, the role of
civil society and the media. Some economic recovery may be possible under
the "close ranks" election scenario, but it will in the main be dislocated
from non-African assistance, except for burgeoning Chinese economic
interests. But this outcome will depend, too, on what response the MDC
adopts. Zimbabwe's opposition faced a dilemma: if they had chosen not to
participate in the elections, they would have been labelled spoilers and
lost relevance; if they did, they risked legitimising an apparently
inevitably fraudulent process. But this is not a zero-sum game. Now it has
confirmed its participation, the ball is firmly in the court of MDC leader
Morgan Tsvangirai and his colleagues. heir key asset and political leverage
is the legitimacy that they will accord to the process or not. This, in
turn, depends on how the party handles itself and its campaign in the weeks
before, and especially following, the election.

The MDC has to learn to play to its strengths and highlight the comparative
weaknesses of Zanu PF. These strengths include sound, youthful and pragmatic
leadership; a culture of nonviolence; broad-based support; and sensible
policies. The MDC has to offer a reasonable alternative to the internecine,
eccentric, egocentric and increasingly costly behaviour of the ruling party.
This demands a clear and continuous articulation of its core principles of
inclusiveness, not elitism; economic recovery, not continued collapse; and
popular support, not party centrism. Presuming the election follows the
predictable path of a hollow Zanu PF victory, most interesting is the MDC's
role afterwards. It has a number of possible strategies. First, the
"obstructionist parliamentarian" model, fighting for its cause from inside
parliament. Even though this may find favour with MDC members concerned
about their livelihood in the parliamentary gravy train, this role is likely
to serve simply to grant a stamp of approval to Mugabe, the election process
and Zanu PF misrule. A second option is not to enter parliament and publicly
contest the election result, using party structures and its union base to
mobilise mass protests - the "Ukrainian option". But the MDC has hitherto
shown little capacity or stomach for this type of action, and it is
uncertain whether Tsvangirai can make the leap to mass insurrection. Of
course, the Zimbabwean people have the power of change in their hands. But
there is also a heavy responsibility on the shoulders of SADC countries to
show proper commitment to their own principles of African democracy in order
not to render them valueless.

Games is director of Africa@Work; Dr Mills is the national director of the
South African Institute of International Affairs

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Mbeki: Zimbabwe elections will be fair
Wednesday, March 2, 2005 Posted: 12:15 PM EST (1715 GMT)

CAPE TOWN, South Africa (AP) -- South African President Thabo Mbeki said
Wednesday he does not believe anything will happen in Zimbabwe to prevent
free and fair elections on March 31.

"I have no reason to think that anybody in Zimbabwe will act in a way that
will militate against elections being free and fair," Mbeki told reporters
after meeting with outgoing Namibian President Sam Nujoma.

Mbeki's comments came just two days after the U.S. State Department, in its
annual human rights report, accused the government of President Robert
Mugabe of serious human rights abuses and of skewing the parliamentary
election in favor of the ruling party.

Mbeki, whose policy of "quiet diplomacy" with Zimbabwe has drawn harsh
criticism both at home and in Zimbabwe, said the Mugabe government was
observing regional election protocols established by the Southern African
Development Community.

However, he made the comments before a SADC observer mission has been
accredited to cover the election in Zimbabwe.

The main opposition Movement for Democratic Change party in Zimbabwe has
complained this month that its candidates and supporters have been attacked,
that state media still refuses to give it fair access and that both the
election laws and election bodies have been stacked in favor of the ruling
ZANU-PF party.

Mbeki contended in his comments that Zimbabwe's government had created an
independent electoral commission and had given the opposition access to
state-run media, the only daily journalism left inside Zimbabwe.

But critics contend that the election commission is not impartial. They note
that it is headed by a former army colonel with close ties to the ruling
party and that the Mugabe never consulted with anyone outside his own party
before making the appointment.

The MDC notes that when the ruling party launched its campaign, it got four
hours of coverage on state media and it was the main story on state media
for two days. When the opposition launched its campaign, it got 1 minute and
25 seconds of coverage on state media.

The State Department, in its report, said Mugabe and his ruling party have
"used intimidation and violence to maintain political power. A systematic,
government-sanctioned campaign of violence targeting supporters and
perceived supporters of the opposition continued during the year."
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Zimbabwe election already rigged: Leon

March 02, 2005, 17:00

Tony Leon, the Democratic Alliance leader, says this month's parliamentary
elections in Zimbabwe have already been rigged. He was addressing the
Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe in the Belgian capital,
Brussels today.

Leon told delegates the elections will be neither free, fair, nor
legitimate. He says he can state this ahead of the election because the
behaviour of the Zimbabwean government in recent times has left little room
for doubt. Leon also says the Zimbabwean government has violated all of the
most basic conditions for elections it agreed to at the meeting of the
Southern African Development Community (SADC) in Mauritius in August last

Jacob Zuma, the South African deputy president, has meanwhile cautioned
against pre-empting the coming elections in Zimbabwe as being not free and
fair. Responding to questions in Parliament today, Zuma said the South
African government is not in the business of condemning other countries, but
would rather assist where in can. He says the South African government has
been invited to observe the Zimbabwean elections in its capacity as a SADC
member and as a neighbouring country, while the ANC has also been invited.

Elections are set to be held in Zimbabwe on March 31.
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      Mugabe launches bid to re-take capital from opposition

      Wed March 2, 2005 5:13 PM GMT+02:00
      By Stella Mapenzauswa

      HARARE (Reuters) - President Robert Mugabe launched an opening shot in
his bid to re-take Zimbabwe's capital from the opposition on Wednesday,
telling supporters there was no room for "puppets" in Harare's halls of

      Mugabe's ruling ZANU-PF hopes the March 31 parliamentary polls will
see it win ground from the opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC)
in major urban areas, where voters have turned against the ruling party amid
a serious economic crisis.

      Harare has been a particular irritant for Mugabe since the capital's
voters returned MDC candidates to all of its parliamentary seats in the last
elections in 2000 -- a direct challenge to the elderly ruler who led
Zimbabwe to independence in 1980.

      "You are Zimbabweans and nationals. You are Zimbabweans and sons of
revolutionaries. How can we have puppets in Harare? Harare must change,"
Mugabe told supporters at the state burial of a senior official from his
ruling ZANU-PF party.

      Mugabe routinely dismisses the MDC as a puppet of former colonial
ruler Britain, with whom he has clashed mainly over his controversial
seizure of white-owned farms for blacks.

      The MDC narrowly lost the 2000 vote and says it would have won both
that poll and a presidential election two years later, were it not for
massive rigging by the ruling party. ZANU-PF insists it won fairly both

      Some rivals have dismissed the coming poll as a farce because of
electoral rules which they say are tilted in favour of the ruling party -- 
but both sides are already campaigning hard with urban areas a key

      Zimbabwe's economic crisis has hit urban residents particularly hard
with high inflation rising transport costs and declining municipal services.

      Harare residents were warned on Wednesday to brace for water supply
interruptions as municipal administrators run out of foreign currency to pay
for imported water treatment chemicals.

      The MDC, which has historically drawn support from urban labour
unions, has been strong in Harare and it effectively controlled the city
council before Mugabe's government ousted the party's officials over
allegations of misconduct.

      Political analysts say while ZANU-PF, which enjoys majority support in
rural areas, is likely to retain power in this year's vote, Mugabe faces a
credibility problem over the election and will have a tough time winning
over residents of Harare as they struggle with economic privations.

      "Although ZANU-PF is on this drive (to win back Harare), the practical
problems here is going to make it very difficult," said political analyst
Professor Heneri Dzinotyiwei.

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      Election observer accreditation gets off to slow start in Zimbabwe 2005-03-03 01:30:51

          HARARE, March 2 (Xinhuanet) -- Zimbabwe's accreditation of
election observers for the March 31 parliamentary poll got off to a slow
start on Wednesday. Only about 11 diplomats from five countries have
registered at the close of business, an official said.

          Accreditation Committee spokesperson, Chrispen Mavodza of the
Ministry of Foreign Affairs, said the process got off to a slow start, as it
could not start in the morning as planned.

          "We could not start at 08:00 hours as had been advertised sincewe
had not yet set up our equipment," he said, adding the exercisestarted at
1400 hours and 11 diplomats had been accredited.

          None of the registered local observers turned up for
accreditation, he said. None of the diplomats from African countries were

          At least 10 people per embassy would be accredited to observe the
elections, said Mavodza.

          Zimbabwe has invited local and foreign observers to observe
theelections scheduled for the end of this month.

          It has, however, barred Britain, the United States and the
European Union from observing the poll, accusing them of having
pre-conceived opinions about the elections. But their diplomats working
inside the country would be allowed to observe the election. Enditem
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Govt says it may soon de-register 30 NGOs

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

JOHANNESBURG, 2 Mar 2005 (IRIN) - The Zimbabwe government may soon
de-register at least 30 NGOs for failing to provide details of donor funds
channelled into the country through them last year, a senior offical told

The minister of public service, labour and social welfare, Paul Mangwana,
said the state had reasonable grounds to believe that the funds, meant for
rural sanitation and infrastructure development programmes, had been
redirected into supporting "anti-government activities".

Mangwana told IRIN that according to the Private Voluntary Organisations
(PVO) Act, NGOs were required to submit periodic reports of any donor
funding received as part of aid appeals made by the government, but the NGOs
concerned had failed to submit audited statements of their accounts to his
ministry, despite several written requests between October and December

"The government appealed and got more than US $210 million [in humanitarian
assistance], but the donors chose to channel the funding directly to the
NGOs. As the responsible ministry, we are empowered by law to demand
statements of accounts from the organisations, and to check their books to
see how they spent any money sent to them for programmes under the
government appeal. Of the 35 we dealt with in this issue, only five
submitted the necessary statements," the minister explained.

"However, we have written several notices to the concerned organisations to
demand their books, without success. We are now in the process of drafting
final letters of demand before we take action." He said the most likely
penalty would be suspension from operating or de-registration.

Although he declined to name the organisations facing government sanctions,
Mangwana said they had been involved in rural sanitation and infrastructure
revival programmes across the country.

Jonah Mudehwe, the spokesman for the National Association of
Non-Governmental Organisations (NANGO), said there had been no communication
between the ministry and the association on the possible de-registration of
its members, but confirmed having received complaints from some NGOs about
the government's demand to audit their accounts.

"NANGO has not been notified of possible action against its members. We have
only received complaints from individual organisations worried about demands
from the state. We are surprised by this development, because it appears the
state has given itself the duty to audit accounts - something which we
believe should be done by the donors."

He noted that some member organisations feared the government was using
provisions in the new NGO Bill, which was still awaiting President Robert
Mugabe's signature for enactment, and pointed out that the existing Private
Voluntary Organisations (PVO) Act had no provision for state supervision of
NGO accounts.

"The PVO Act provides only for the appointment of a senior civil officer in
the ministry of public service to probe accounts or general management,
where there is reasonable cause to believe accountability is at risk," the
NANGO spokesman explained.

The NGOs could only account for the use of funds to specific donors, while
their responsibility to government was to give regular updates of their
activities. Allegations that the funds could have been misdirected to fund
"anti-government activities" were "disturbing, but expected, as elections
draw closer", Mudehwe commented.

Mangwana insisted that some NGOs had funded the opposition and
"anti-government activities, in the name of democratisation", adding that
many were still actively working to undermine the ruling party, and there
was a need to monitor their activities and protect the citizens.

Over 300 local and 30 international NGOs were operating in Zimbabwe at the
end of last year. However, the new NGO Bill has paralysed the activities of
those involved in human rights and civic voter education.

The NGO bill bans foreign NGOs concerned principally with "issues of
governance", and denies registration to NGOs receiving foreign funding for
"promotion and protection of human rights and political governance issues".

The warning to NGOs, which have helped the humanitarian community feed
millions of drought-affected Zimbabweans for three consecutive years, come
as some aid agencies have raised the alarm over further food insecurity
across the country.
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New Study Links Zimbabwean Exiles to Development By  William Eagle
      02 March 2005

A new report says Zimbabweans living outside the country make a substantial
contribution to the well being of their families back home. It also shows
that many skilled exiles would be willing to return home to help develop
their country if conditions allowed. The study, entitled "The Development
Potential of Zimbabweans in the Diaspora," was released by the International
Organization for Migration. It was written by Alice Bloch, a lecturer at
City University in London.

Ms. Bloch told English to Africa reporter William Eagle there are thought to
be tens of thousands of Zimbabwean exiles in Britain, and hundreds of
thousands in South Africa. She says substantial number of those - especially
in the Britain - are skilled professionals. They, as well as unskilled
migrants from Zimbabwe, provide an important source of financial support for
their families back home. In South Africa, Ms. Bloch says Zimbabwean women
are increasingly joining men as cross-border traders in search of work.

The survey showed that about a quarter of those in the Zimbabwean Diaspora
left because of political repression, while others were seeking better
economic opportunities. Ms. Bloch says the study also had significant
findings for government development agencies and community activists: she
said the participants suggested that it would be easier to find work if they
enjoyed dual citizenship. Also, she says it would be helpful if the British
government would allow asylum seekers to work while their applications are

Today, it is illegal for asylum seekers to work in Britain, although Ms.
Bloch notes that some Zimbabwean professionals could be used to fill
shortages in some professions in the Britain, such as teaching. She says by
working, asylum seekers could also maintain or improve their skills so they
will be up to date if they decide to return to Zimbabwe.
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Adelaide Advertiser

Mercenaries' jail terms slashed
From correspondents in Harare, Zimbabwe
THE Zimbabwe High Court today reduced by four months the sentences of a
group of suspected mercenaries jailed over an alleged coup plot in the
oil-rich state of Equatorial Guinea.

"I can confirm that the sentences of the suspected mercenaries and the two
pilots have been reduced by four months," a court source said.

Judge Yunus Omerjee gave no reasons when he handed down his ruling in an
application made by the suspected mercenaries' lawyers late last year.

"If my calculations are right, the men should be released immediately,"
their South African-based lawyer Alwyn Griebenow said.

Last year, a lower court jailed the group of men, including former British
soldier Simon Mann, on various convictions for breaching Zimbabwe's
aviation, immigration, firearms and security laws.

Mann was slapped with a seven year jail term later reduced to four years,
while two pilots who flew a plane into Harare to collect arms got 16 months
and the rest were jailed for 12 months.

Mr Griebenow said the men serving the one year term now only had to serve
eight months, which ends on May 10.

But the men also qualify for a one-third remission of sentence provided for
well-behaved prisoners under Zimbabwean laws. Coupled with this reduction,
all the men - except the two pilots who received longer jail terms - should
be released immediately.

The court official said the men would be freed into the custody of
Zimbabwe's immigration department for deportation to South Africa since they
had been declared illegal immigrants.

Mann, a former member of Britain's crack Special Air Service (SAS) force,
along with 69 others were arrested on March 7 last year at Harare
international airport en route to Equatorial Guinea.

They were accused of being on their way to join an advance party in the west
African state of Equatorial Guinea in a plot to overthrow longtime leader
Teodoro Obiang Nguema.

The men denied the charges, claiming they were on their way to the
Democratic Republic of Congo to guard mines.

British businessman Mark Thatcher who was accused of partly financing the
alleged plot, was recently fined by a South African court for violating its
anti-mercenary laws and paid a hefty three million rand ($642,000) fine.
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Beyond Natural Resources: Developing

This Day (Lagos)

March 1, 2005
Posted to the web March 2, 2005

Abubakar Bukola Saraki

Dr. Saraki, Kwara State governor, presented this address recently at the
Harvard Business School in the United States of America. To be continued.

What we did was to strictly monitor the delivery of the fertilizers as they
arrived and took records of what was kept in each warehouse.

Instead of distributing the supplies to each council areas and districts, we
centralised the distribution and requested the extension officers in each
area to collect verifiable list of actual farmers who needed fertilizers. He
then collected their payments and forwarded same to a central office at the
State Ministry of Agriculture where each bag of fertilizer had been branded.
To our utter surprise, few weeks to the end of farming season, the
warehouses were still full of fertilizers despite repeated announcements on
the state radio that we had fertilizers in our stores.

This anecdote goes to show that some of our problems can be easily solved if
we are ready to pay attention to the system and strengthen it.

That was a little digression, but the point is that if we must practice
agriculture at a scale that would match our goals, it was necessary for us
to rise above this subsistence level, and move into large scale commercial
farming while gradually integrating the small farm holders into the core
farming centres to deal with the poverty component of our development

We had keenly followed events in Zimbabwe, which we knew had a rich history
of successful commercial agriculture. As it became clear that the crises
between the government and the white farmers was not about to be settled,
some of the farmers began to relocate. Some went to Zambia, while some moved
to Mozambique. In no time, we began to hear news of how these small crops of
farmers were beginning to turn around the agricultural sector in those

Naturally, it occurred to us, why not Nigeria, why not Kwara State. These
people have the kind of expertise we require, so why don't we bring them in.

So, we reached out and started talking to them.

Initially, they were reluctant. Even though they have lived in Africa for
many years, and many of them were even born in Africa, they didn't have much
information about Nigeria on which to base any investment decision (And
Kwara State, where was that?). Moreover, these were people who had just lost
their life investment to the political problem in their country, to convince
them to start all over again, in another African country, was going to be
difficult. It was therefore, clear that we had to start by shoring up the
confidence level. We started this by inviting them to Nigeria and to Kwara
State. On one of such visits, we conducted a tour of the farmlands and
afterwards took them to Abuja to meet with President Obasanjo, who assured
them that they are welcome in Nigeria because Nigeria would like to keep in
Africa what is good for Africa, and commercial farming is good for Africa.

The second level was the issue of funding. Like I said, most of these
farmers had lost their investments in Zimbabwe, even if they had any equity
to bring on board, they were naturally reluctant. Again, we began to talk to
some banks and arranged a series of meetings between them and the farmers.
Over the years, financial institutions, especially the banks, had complained
of lack of "bankable" project in the agric sector.

This project gave us opportunity to take them to task and we challenged them
that now here is a project that could be supported. In the end, they were
able to secure substantial commercial loans, which were protected by
government guarantee. The proposal as set out by the Zimbabwean farmers'
project indicates $7.5 million, which would go into providing road networks
around the farm sites, irrigation, water and power supply, and health
facilities; and another $10 million as working capital. These represent the
counterpart funding provided by government as loans. Farmers' equity comes
to $1.125 million representing the cost of farm lands and payable over a
5-year period.

Today, as I speak to you, these farmers are in Kwara State, working on a
scheme will initially bring an additional 20,000 hectares under cultivation
and will generate substantial marketable surplus in food and cash crops that
will encourage the development and expansion of local agri-processing and
agricultural exports. At the same time the scheme would provide for farm
extension activity designed to transfer knowledge and techniques into the
small scale subsistence farming sector.

For example, we project that investment in dairy production will yield up to
5 million litres of milk per annum (pa) and will take care of domestic needs
which is currently characterised by shortfalls, high prevailing prices, and
the importation of up to 98% of domestic consumption. At present Nigeria,
imports 48,000 metric tonnes of dry whole milk, 30,000 metric tonne of
evaporated milk, and 16,000 metric tonne of dry skimmed milk every year. It
is also projected that production of broiler chickens would yield 125,000
broiler hens, pa; dry land rice at 15,000 metric tonnes of, pa and irrigated
rice at 8,500 metric tonnes of, pa. With all these, projected growth in
dairy output in Kwara State alone, excluding growth in other sectors (rice,
maize and poultry) will generate a potential $21 million saving in foreign
exchange outflow (20 per cent of total whole milk imported amount by Year
Three), which will free up considerable potential development funds.

Quite significantly, it is projected the Zimbabwean farmers would be
cash-positive in poultry and diary in the first three years, and in would
declare profit for mixed farming in the first four years. It is anticipated
that total agricultural output will increase substantially over a five year
period as production expands and the impact of improved farming methods and
techniques are disseminated to the smallholder population through a planned
agricultural extension programme.

In employment terms, it is projected that direct employment per annum based
on a target of 15,000 ha of production would be 4,000 labour days in dairy
(rising to 40,000), 1,560 labour days in poultry, 2,000 labour days in rice.
While these estimates reflect direct on-farm employment a substantially
larger quantum of employment will be generated in downstream activities
(processing, transport, wholesale and retail). The overall effect of the
commercial farming initiative could be huge.

The Challenge of Value Addition

The overriding concern in all these is how to develop the penetrative
capacity of Africa's products in the larger economies of the world. We
cannot achieve this and the economic growth we envisage by merely exporting
raw materials. If we fail to add value, we would merely be labouring in
vain. Statistics from the International Coffee Organisation, shows, for
example, that for every dollar earned by the local coffee farmer, traders
and firms further up the value-adding chain received $13. Apart from the
enormous loss in income that comes with raw material export, there are other
advantages too.

It has been pointed out that exporting flower from, say Zimbabwe, depends
largely on economic conditions in Europe. Moreover, when prices of raw
materials increase, manufacturers in the West naturally device a more
efficient use of resources and ultimately substitute these with synthetic
material, as in the case with cotton. Also, increased protection of
agriculture in the West and slow down in population in, say Germany,
decrease dåemands for primary products.

In Kwara State, we have large farms of fruits and vegetables, especially
tomato. Almost all of these are sold cheap to domestic consumers and are
mostly wasted. Whereas the market was flooded with all brands of imported
canned and packaged fruit juice and tomato purees. However, the enabling
environment provided by Federal Government policies has enabled us to tie
our agricultural policies to industrialisation, especially in the
agro-allied sector.

We intend to replicate the success recorded in Asia with the philosophy of
"small is beautiful," by establishing small production and processing units
for poultry, especially frozen chicken, diary products, fruits and tomatoes,
cassava, cashew and sugar cane.

With less than $8, 000 we could establish sugar processing plant with 95 per
cent local content and a capacity to produce up to 90 tonnes per annum.
Nigeria produces about 120,000 tons of cassava annually, out of which 5,000
tons have been billed for export to China. The country hopes to realize 5
billion naira (about $38 million US dollars) from cassava export every year.
To promote this scheme, the Federal Government is providing $35 million
dollars through the Nigerian Export Import Bank to boost the production of
cassava chips.

Our government would be hoping to take advantage of this by establishing
cassava chipping centres in various parts of our state to support local
farmers, especially women, to benefit from this initiative. We have already
established small processing units for tomatoes, again to be operated by
women, which we launched late last year. The case of cashew is even more
interesting. In the past, Indians would come to Nigeria and buy up the raw
cashew nuts and take it to India for processing, from where they export to
Atlanta. Our plan is to process our cashew nuts ourselves and export from
Ilorin to Atlanta. We envisage that all this initiative will in time
position our Kwara State as a leading producer of processed fruits and
tomatoes, as well as sugar, poultry and cashew, for the domestic markets,
while pitching us for exports on these products.

The point I seek to make with the Kwara State efforts is that harnessing
Africa's competitive advantage in world trade will require us to add value
to our raw materials by investing in manufacturing, especially in the
agro-allied industries, and Small and Medium Scale Enterprises (SMEs)

Like agriculture, the industrial sector in Kwara is not large and not very
developed due to a combination of factors: relatively small size of the
local market; inadequate levels of critical infrastructure such as unstable
power supply, poor rural road connectivity, inadequate water supply; low
availability of affordable capital for potential entrepreneurs and
inadequate linkage between local research and technology institutions and
local entrepreneurs.

There is a total of about 20 Small and Medium Enterprises (SME's) operating
in the State.

Three-quarters of these are privately owned and are engaged in activities
such as the production of soap and detergent, chemicals, pharmaceuticals,
biscuit, tobacco, foam and beverage brewing and bottling. There are five
publicly-owned SMEs in the state in the business of furniture-making, paper
milling, textile manufacturing, sugar production and rice milling. None of
them is functioning at full capacity and some of them are moribund.

In seeking to revive this sector, we are embarking on an Independent Power
Plant (IPP) project to improve power supply and hence, reduce the cost of
doing business in the State. We have also focused on improving rural-urban
road network to ease farmers' difficulties in transporting produce to the
urban centres. At policy level, our step-change in agriculture has enabled
us to focus on schemes that would offer real and productive support to
farmers by assisting them to strengthen their associations and to organise
themselves better to take full advantage of the markets. Another policy
action is in leveraging funding support for small scale investors in
financial institutions with loans targeted for the development of small and
medium scale enterprises in the country.

Generally, our experience has shown that in seeking to develop the SME,
regulation and partnership are key factors. While outright privatisation
seems to be easy way out for most of the moribund companies, many private
investors are usually very skeptical of their viability. One way we have
sought to shore up their confidence is through partnership. The Kwara
Furniture Manufacturing Company ltd. is our major success in this respect.
Even though the company had been moribund for years, we have managed to
revive it through private partnership and investment with a South African
company. Backed with appropriate export incentives, we envisage that this
company would soon be exporting to markets in Europe and the Middle East.

In developing all these export capacity, I must mention that our
international airport in Ilorin is envisaged to play a very crucial role.
Recently, we were able to get the Federal Government to designate the
airport as the country's main cargo hub to serve as alternative to Lagos,
which usually suffers from congestion. Apart from serving as a dry port,
exporting by air from Nigeria also gives enormous advantage, especially in
exporting agricultural produce because it is only 6 or 7 hours away from
major markets of Europe.

Bureaucracy is a major death of enterprise in many African countries.
Government that should exist to facilitate business actually hinders
business. So, the first stage is to 'debureaucratise.' Apart from
willingness to partner with private investors, all the bottlenecks
associated with setting up business have to be removed. In Kwara State, one
of the most difficult aspects of setting up a business in the past is
getting legal title on land.

Therefore, many investors who recognised the strategic advantage of our
location as it relates to the national markets could not come because it was
near impossible to get land. One of the first things we did was to review
the regulations surrounding land allocation in the State. Then we came up
with a fast-track system that guarantees money back on failure to deliver
the Certificate of Occupancy to an applicant within two weeks of concluding
his application.

However, our experience has also shown that while partnership and regulation
are crucial to nurturing industrial growth, equally important is access to
market and of course, capital as well as a range of governance issues that
would inspire investor confidence. Government must demonstrate willingness
to strengthen and sanitise institutions of government and be more
transparent in the way it conducts business.

In our short period in office, we have managed to institutionalise the due
process as an administrative culture. By establishing the Price Intelligence
Unit (PIU) that ensures that cost of projects are kept at the prevailing
market rate; and the Project Monitoring Unit that ensures effective
completion of projects, we have not only enhanced the efficiency of
governance, but also ensured transparency and accountability.

If contractors know that their proceeds would not go back into bribing
officials or doing "PR", they won't be too keen in inflating contracts and
they are likely execute projects effectively. We are one of the very few
States in Nigeria that have followed the Federal Government in this
governance reforms effort. In fact, we were the first State to volunteer for
the DFID governance benchmarking exercise, which subjected our system to
strict compliance tests on a number of indicators on accountability and

By playing by the rules of good governance, we seek to gain the confidence
of everyone that come into contact with our state. This way, we are not only
seeking to re-brand Kwara State, but also Nigeria. With this outsiders can
take a second look at us and by doing so, notice our market and resource
potentials and accept us as a viable enterprise.

Africa of the Future: What We Must Do.

While I have touched on some of the reforms and support that are required at
the international level to enable African countries to fully take advantage
of their natural resources and compete effectively with the rest of the
world, I would like to focus presently on those things that we must do for
ourselves, especially if we must attract the necessary investments to our
continent in the areas that would enable us to fully realise our competitive

i. Economic growth and investments can only take place in an atmosphere of
social stability. As the former U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell once
said, "[c]apital is a coward. It flees war. It flees disease. It won't go
near corruption." African countries must create the right social and
political climate to attract capital. No one would put their money where
bombs and mortars are flying in the air.

Investment decisions rely heavily on predictability. For example, political
upheaval was said to have prevented Cote d'Ivoire from taking advantage of a
recent 15-year high in cocoa prices, and political strife is fast ruining
the economy of Zimbabwe, who for the first time in many years, had to start
importing food. Corruption is also a very important issue, and perhaps,
apart from war and disease, this has endured as another negative face of
Africa. However, I am glad to note that many African countries have recorded
significant progress in dealing with these problems.

Regardless of what the Transparency International reports, while we are
still far from stamping our corruption from the continent (and no other part
of the world has succeeded in doing that) appreciable progress has been
made. If we recall that evidence of commitment to fighting corruption is one
of the key AGOA criteria, then something is going on in Africa for 38 out of
48 countries to qualify for eligibility.

ii. Another important thing we must focus on is branding and packaging. How
come that even for people who cannot tell where Africa is, the continent
instantly provokes images of conflict, disease, corruption and all such
things. The answer is simple.

We have left the story of Africa to be told by other people. It is therefore
important that we must learn to tell our own story. We must celebrate our
own achievements, no matter how modest. Foreign investors have very little
information about markets in Africa and they tend to act together and
respond to market sentiments rather than macro-economic analysis. Therefore,
we have to package market opportunities in Africa and sell it to the world.

In 2002 when Nigeria deregulated the telecommunication sector and put up
licenses for sale for the operations of GSM phones, many investors were very
reluctant. Nigeria was just emerging from 17 years of uninterrupted military
rule. No one was certain if the new democracy would survive. When the bid
was advertised only three companies, one Nigerian, one Zimbabwean and one
South African dared to venture in.

MTN, a relatively small South African company was one of the two that got
the initial license after paying $280 million and thereafter invested
additional $500million loan in equipment and other expenditure. Less than
three years down the line, with about 2.5 million subscribers MTN's
investment today worth about $6 billion, with about $560 million in profit
level. This is in Nigeria where 70 per cent of the people are said to live
below the poverty level.

I am sure the big players in telecommunication, MCL, AT & T, would not touch
Nigeria with a long pole in 2002 obviously because of the country suffered
bad branding. Therefore, like I said earlier, we must pay considerable
attention to this issue of branding. We must tell our own story; we must
show that a new crop of young leadership is growing on the continent that is
prepared to play by the rule of a new world. Once investors can focus less
on country risk and begin to look towards Africa as an investment
destination, then it would be easier for them to assess each project and
opportunities on purely economic terms.

iii. We must also invest in the development of necessary infrastructure and
institutions, such as irrigation, roads, electricity, and research centres
that would boost farmers' access to modern production technologies, training
in technical areas such as sustainable agriculture, quality control and
packaging Support for the development of local farm organisations,
especially for marketing and distributed on. All these require huge
investments. And like I said earlier, these are critical areas that aid
could be given to African countries already suffering from low domestic
savings, and crushing debt overhang.

iv. As I have tried to demonstrate above, agriculture holds enormous
potentials for Africa's development if public policy makers in our countries
are willing to do the right thing. And like I said earlier, a new generation
of leadership is emerging on the continent of Africa that is genuinely
committed to the task of achieving development for Africa. However, beyond
this will and zeal, so much still depends on external forces, outside our

Agriculture represents different things for different parts of the world and
their governments. For the rich countries, agriculture is a pre-occupation
of a few interest groups. For the developing countries, especially the poor
countries of Africa, agriculture is tied to the very livelihood of the
majority of the people. For the rich countries, it is about making profits;
for the poor countries, it is about fighting poverty. And for any public
policy maker, poverty is a very serious concern.

While agricultural development is tied to the key problem of food security
in Africa, it also represents Africa's best competitive advantage and the
long term concern of economic growth. No country can hope to achieve growth
if it does not export, but successful export depends so much on equitable
trading at the global level.

Because Agriculture represents Africa's comparative advantage in global
trade, the continent's capacity to trade fairly with the rest of the world
rests on the principles and practices that govern global trading regimes. At
the moment, the card is hopelessly stacked against Africa and other
developing countries of the world.

Since the conclusion of the Uruguay round of trade negations in 1995 and the
adoption of the Agreement on Agriculture (AoA), African countries had hoped
for fairer deals than what they used to experience. While the principles of
the WTO as it relates to agricultural subsidies, market access and tariff,
seem to give significant considerations to the concerns of the developing
countries, not much has changed at the practical level. While tropical
agricultural products from Africa are still locked out of the developed
countries' markets, huge subsidies on agriculture in the developed countries
have sustained the flooding of African markets with cheap food and other
agricultural products. How for example, do we expect the poor dairy farmer
in Kwara State to survive when the market is flooded with highly subsidised

Therefore, the European Union's agricultural policy and U.S. agricultural
subsidies have grave implications for the ability of African countries to
raise exports by depressing our potential to increase our incomes through
trade. A recent World Bank report stated that industrial countries spend
more than $300 billion annually on agricultural subsidies. It is estimated
that this is six times the amount they spend on foreign aid to developing
countries. Conversely, it is projected that gaining unrestricted access to
industrial countries' markets could boost developing countries' incomes by5
per cent, calculated relative to the income forecast in 2015. For example,
that if the developed countries agree to withdraw subsidies from the cotton
sector alone, this could lead in the short term to 50 per cent rise in
price, and would boost Africa's cotton exporters' revenue by $500 million.

One of the hopes that African countries took to Doha and later Cancun was
that these sessions would, in line with the 'Development Agenda' lead to
measures that would promote fair trade and reduce Africa's reliance on aid.
Unfortunately, this has not happened. Even all the renewed efforts to focus
global attention on Africa's poverty and the continent's capacity to achieve
the MDGs, including the recent World Economic Forum, still focus largely on
aid. However, like I said earlier, if Africa really needs any aid now, it is
that aid which will enhance Africa's capacity to trade with the rest of the

Just as President Benjamin Mkapa of the Republic of Tanzania recently said,
let the rich industrialised countries agree to a timetable for dismantling
agricultural subsidies and other trade barriers; then let them support
Africa to develop its institutional capacities, including capacities to
implement some of the agreements under the AoA. The agreement on Sanitary
and Phytosanitary Measures (SPS) has presented great difficulty for African

Unfortunately, this has given legitimacy to some actions of the Developed
Countries in limiting access to agricultural products from the developing
world. A recent report shows that in 1998, European Community regulation on
SPS is estimated to have cost close to $700 million in lost revenue to
African exporters of groundnuts.

Therefore, aid should be directed at assisting African countries to
establish effective regulatory standards, and food safety assurance bodies,
while extending the transition period for those measures to be applied to
give enough time for countries to build their institutions. This is the only
way Africa can hope to compete fairly with the rest of the world. I believe
it is easier for a Developed Country leader to explain to his people that
subsidies are starving millions of people in Africa than for an African
leader to explain to his people why they would have to keep working so hard
and yet remain hopelessly poor. How would he then be able to go back to them
and ask for their votes which would keep him in office to continue with all
the wonderful reforms that the World Bank and the IMF demand of African
leaders? These are serious issues.

Distinguished ladies and gentlemen, I have tried in the last half an hour or
so to share my views with you on what Africa can do to raise its competitive
advantage in the world. I have also shared with you some of my own
experiences and approaches as Governor of Kwara State, Nigeria. If there is
one message I want us to take from here this is it: Africa must ask of the
world what is good for Africa; but more importantly, Africans must have the
courage to do what is right and necessary for Africa. We must dream the
African dreams, if we must be able to tell the African stories in a way that
would make other people want to come to us with respect and pride, and not
with pity and shame. We have wasted so many years and did many things wrong.
But we must not continue to dwell in the past and we must resolve to do the
right and march along with the rest of the world.

The Africa of my dream is that of a continent of the joyful young in one
another's arm, birds in the trees at their song, unmindful of the old and
their sad past, ready to march on and celebrate the future full of hopes and
confidence in the greatness of mother Africa.

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2nd March 2005


In recent articles carried by the state controlled Herald newspaper, police
chief spokesperson, Assistant Commissioner Wayne Bvudzijena, accused the MDC
of making false allegations with regards to an attack by soldiers on three
MDC candidates and of the abduction of an MDC candidate by Zanu PF
supporters in front of police officers.

For the record, the MDC stands by both allegations and is deeply disturbed
by the refusal of the police to properly investigate the incidents in

The comments attributed to Assistant Commissioner Bvudzijena cast further
doubt on the willingness of the police to act in a professional and
impartial manner.

The actions of the police thus far in the election campaign have served to
further erode public confidence in the electoral process and further
undermine its legitimacy.

Although there have been one or two incidents whereby police officers have
acted without bias and arrested Zanu PF supporters for committing acts of
violence, on the whole the police continue to behave in an overtly partisan

Most incidents of violence perpetrated against MDC supporters go unpunished
and the police continue to deliberately misinterpret existing statutes to
proscribe MDC campaign activities. To date there is no record of Zanu PF
activists being arrested for putting up posters or of Zanu PF meetings been
disrupted or banned from taking place.

MDC candidates and activists appear to be the target of increasing police
harassment as polling day approaches. This may be denied by police chiefs
through the medium of the state controlled press, however, their denials
appear somewhat spurious when compared to the facts on the ground

8 February: Members of the army brutally attacked 15 MDC supporters as they
departed a rally in Nyanga.

8 February: 13 MDC supporters in Gwanda were arrested and fined Z$25,000
each by police for waving their open palms at Deputy Foreign Affairs
Minister, Abednico Ncube.

8 February: Godrich Chimbaira, the MDC candidate for Zengeza, was arrested
for holding a meeting at his house with members of the local structures.

11 February: the MDC candidate for Hurungwe West, Godfrey Gumbo, was
abducted by a group of Zanu PF supporters and taken to their HQ in Harare
where he was severely assaulted. Mr Gumbo was abducted along with Stanley
Razaro(the District Chairperson for Hurungwe) and Masavhaya Dipuka (the

12 February: police arrested 40 women in Bulawayo following a march
organised by Women of Zimbabwe Arise (WOZA) 'to spread the message of love'.

15 February: 7 MDC supporters were arrested by police in Bulawayo for
distributing MDC campaign material. All campaign material was confiscated.

16 February: Police in Harare raided a training session of the MDC's 120
candidates. Police claimed the meeting was illegal under POSA. Ian Makone,
the MDC's Director of Elections, was arrested.

21 February: MDC activist Tendai Matsine and his wife were severely beaten
up by Zanu PF youth in Huruingwe East. They were attacked after being caught
putting up MDC posters. The incident was reported to the police but police
informed the MDC officials that they had been given instructions by their
superiors NOT TO ARREST Zanu PF activists engaged in acts of violence.

22 February: MDC candidate for Shamva, Godfrey Chimombe, was arrested along
with five MDC activists while putting up posters.

23 February: MDC candidate for Bindura, Joel Mugariri and Mashonaland
Central Provincial Chairperson, Tapera Macheka, were arrested by police for
putting up posters.

23 February: Hilda Mafudze, MDC candidate for Manyame, reported that 11 MDC
youths were assaulted by Zanu PF supporters while distributing campaign
literature. The incident was reported to Norton police station but the
police refused to arrest the Zanu PF youth.

It is incumbent upon the new Electoral Commission to engage the police and
instruct them to act without fear or favour. A failure to take tangible
steps in this direction will raise further questions marks about the
'independence' of the new Commission. It has a fundamental duty to ensure
that citizens are able to freely participate in the electoral process.

At present this basic democratic right, enshrined in the SADC Protocol on
elections, is being undermined by a police force seemingly determined to
frustrate the people's desire for a new beginning and a new Zimbabwe by
further distorting the electoral playing field to the political advantage of
the ruling party.

What the police must realise is that their partisan actions are
self-defeating. People want jobs and food security and know that these basic
aspirations will remain unobtainable as long as the present status quo
remains in place.

Paul Themba Nyathi
MDC Secretary for Information and Publicity
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Zim Online

High Court judge blocks Moyo's eviction
Wed 2 March 2005
  HARARE - A High Court judge today gave fallen former government propaganda
chief, Jonathan Moyo, a two-week reprieve to allow him to find alternative
accommodation to relocate his family from a state mansion he has occupied
for the last five years.

      Moyo, dismissed by President Robert Mugabe as information minister two
weeks ago, had appealed to the courts to protect him and restrain the
government from forcibly evicting him after he was given only 48 hours to
voluntarily vacate the house.

      He will now have to leave the state villa in Harare's rich Gunhill
suburb by March 14, Justice Tedias Karwi ruled in his chambers this morning.

      A court official who attended the proceedings in chambers told
ZimOnline that the state told Karwi that Moyo had refused to pay rent during
his five year stay at the mansion and that he had also refused to sign a
lease with the Ministry of Local Government and National Housing, owners of
the property.

      The state also said previous attempts to evict Moyo in September last
year were stayed after Moyo requested time to finish constructing a house at
his Mazowe Farm.

      Moyo could not be reached for comment on the matter. But the former
government official argued in papers filed at court that he was a statutory
tenant and could not be evicted without adequate notice.

      He also pleaded that he had nowhere to relocate his family within the
two-day notice the state had given him to vacate the house.

      Moyo was fired from the government after choosing to stand as an
independent in this month's general election.

      At one time one of Mugabe's closest and most powerful confidantes,
Moyo fell out with the President after he attempted to block the appointment
of Joyce Mujuru as ZANU PF and state second vice-president. - ZimOnline

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Daily News online edition

      Ex-UN commander calls for intervention

      Date: 2-Mar, 2005

      JOHANNESBURG - A commander of a United Nations (UN) peace-keeping
force during the 1994 genocide in Rwanda has warned there is urgent need for
regional and international intervention to prevent Zimbabwe's political
crisis from further deteriorating.

      Lt-Gen Romeo Dallaire, a Canadian who commanded the UN force during
one of the worst genocides in human history, said lack of regional and
international action on Zimbabwe was a perfect example of a lack of
political will to prevent crises from developing.

      Lt -Gen Dallaire drew parallels between the strife in the troubled
Darfur region of Sudan, where there is international inaction, and Zimbabwe
which the SADC region and South Africa, in particular, have largely remained
silent on.

      He issued the warning during his address at the Institute for Security
Studies in Pretoria on Friday.

      Lt-Gen Dallaire lectures widely around the world on peacekeeping,
providing an insight into his bitter experiences in Rwanda where about one
million Tutsis and politically moderate Hutus were killed between April and
May 1994. He has also written a book on the genocide entitled Shake Hands
with the Devil.

      "South Africa should not feel held back by its apartheid past from
playing a far greater leadership role in the region," he said. "Lack of
regional and international action on Darfur and Zimbabwe are perfect
examples of a lack of political will to prevent crises developing."

      During the build up to the Rwandan genocide, Lt-Gen Dallaire
repeatedly warned the UN Security Council and the United States government
that there was an urgent need to intervene to help the tiny central African
country from sliding into chaos. His fears were ignored.

      Instead, the UN Security Council and the United States reduced the
number of the UN peace keeping mission in Rwanda that time preferring to
boost its presence in Kosovo. This proved disastrous as Lt-Gen Dallaire's
peace keeping mission could not help but just watch as Hutu extremists in
Rwanda went on a killing spree of Tutsis and politically moderate Hutus.

      Both the UN and the United States have publicly apologised for failing
to react to Lt-Gen Dallaire's repeated warnings.

      Although the political situation in Zimbabwe could not be as tense as
it was in Rwanda during the build-up to the massacres, observers fear the
political situation could deteriorate if there is no immediate regional or
international intervention.

      President Mugabe's Zanu PF government is blamed for using violence and
intimidation to cow supporters of the main opposition party, the Movement
for Democratic Change (MDC).

      Journalists from the independent media and foreign correspondents have
also been targeted by President Mugabe's government in its quest to silence
any form of criticism to its maladministration and poor human rights record.

      Reports of violence and intimidation targeted at supporters of the MDC
and journalists from the independent press and foreign correspondents are
said to be on the increase ahead of the crucial March 31 election.

      Analysts have warned of disastrous consequences if the elections are
held in an environment deemed to be heavily tilted in favour of the ruling

      During his brief stay in South Africa, Lt-Gen Dallaire met South
Africa's President Thabo Mbeki and senior defence force members.

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Daily News online edition

      Distance yourself from Mugabe, Mozambique told

      Date: 2-Mar, 2005

      MAPUTO - Mozambique's best known writer, the novelist Mia Couto, has
called for a radical change in the country's policy towards Zimbabwe.

      In his regular column in the independent weekly "Savana", Couto noted
that the philosophy of governance espoused by the country's new president,
Armando Guebuza, involves a break with the spirit of "deixa-andar" - a
Portuguese term that expresses passivity and drift, just letting events

      Where this drift is most evident in Mozambican foreign policy, Couto
wrote, is in "the continued inability to break with Robert Mugabe".

      "Initially one could understand the historical ties, the
responsibility of the state, the need to prevent a wave of instability in
the region", he said. "But now the internal political situation in Zimbabwe
is so clear that defending the regime requires enormous blindness. Elections
are approaching and all the news indicates that an unacceptable swindle is
being prepared against those who defend democracy and freedom.

      "What is at stake is the prestige of our foreign policy and of our
country. The prestige of our country, and of SADC (Southern African
Development Community), which Mugabe is trying to use as his final shield",
warned Couto.

      He did not see how the country could claim to break with bad
governance, while at the same time defending the Zimbabwean regime.

      Zimbabwe did not only provide a shocking example of bad governance,
but the country's ruinous mismanagement "has destroyed one of the most
flourishing economies on the continent", Couto continued.

      He noted how the head of the Zimbabwean armed forces had once
threatened not to allow the opposition to win elections.

      With Mozambique's current stance, "we are sanctioning this kind of
abuse and assault against democracy".

      "It is easy to write opinion articles and comment on matters, sitting
behind a computer", Couto admitted. "But one can always hope that the new
government might surprise us, and help us recover our self-esteem".

      It was self-respect, Couto concluded, that at certain moments demanded
"a rupture, when it is a question of defending principles, and consistency
between words and deeds" - AIM
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Daily News online edition

      Mugabe lambasts Jonathan Moyo again

      Date: 2-Mar, 2005

      HARARE - President Robert Mugabe today again attacked former
Information and Publicity Minister Jonathan Moyo for being too ambitious.

      Speaking at the funeral of the late Witness Mangwende at the National
Heroes Acre in Harare, Mugabe said the chiefs of Tsholotsho, where Moyo is
standing as an independent candidate after being barred from representing
Zanu PF, told him (Mugabe) that they did not know Moyo until he was imposed
on them by the president.

      Mugabe accused Moyo of being overzealous, saying he only joined the
ruling party very recently and that his contribution could never be compared
to the likes of the late Mangwende, whom he described as an illustrious son
of Zimbabwe.

      "A gallant fighter and exemplary student and revolutionary who will be
missed by all those he worked with during his political career," said

      Last week, Mugabe attacked Moyo for refusing to step down and allow
the Politburo to have its way on the candidate for Tsholotsho constituency.

      Addressing a rally in Masvingo, Mugabe said he and vice President
Joyce Mujuru had spent nearly one and half hours trying to convince the
learned professor but he had refused because " ane musoro wakaoma sedamba"
(meaning he has a very hard head like that of a wild fruit called Damba in

      Mugabe was also reported to have told a recent politburo meeting that
Moyo must be stopped at all cost from winning as an independent in

      Moyo was dropped from his post as minister after he decided to stand
as an independent. He also automatically lost his party membership as the
ruling party's constitution stipulates that if one decides to stand as an
independent he will no longer remain in the party.

      Moyo is fighting to remain in a government house in the posh suburb of
Gunhill in Harare, after being ordered to vacate it within 48 hours last

      Justice Tedias Karwi of the High Court today gave Moyo a 14-day
reprieve from eviction, during which he must find alternative accommodation.

      Moyo says his family has nowhere to go at such short notice, while the
government argues that it does not have to give Moyo three months' notice to
vacate the premises. This is because Moyo did not sign a lease agreement for
the house and he was living in it only because was a cabinet minister.

      After losing his ministerial position, Moyo has forfeited all his
benefits and is no longer entitled to live in that house, which he had
called home for the past five years.

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Business in Africa

Change the only certainty in Zim elections

Published: 02-MAR-05

Zimbabweans go to the polls at the end of March in what is widely seen as an
unfair election, but even when the ruling Zanu-PF hang onto power, President
Robert Mugabe will have to create a practically new cabinet.

Zimbabwe is counting down the days to a Parliamentary election that will be
as much a test of its commitment to democracy as it will be for the Southern
Africa Development Community's (SADC) commitment to its own guidelines.
After much debate, the opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) has
elected to take part in the March 31 plebiscite, while maintaining its
objections about an uneven playing field.

But when the dust finally settles after an expected victory for the ruling
Zanu-PF party, Zimbabwe's president Robert Mugabe will have to fill half of
his cabinet with newcomers.

A series of upsets in Zanu-PF's primary elections to choose poll candidates,
criminal cases and political bickering have robbed Mugabe of at least a
third of his current cabinet. Others have simply lost favour due to

But the most damaging blow to the Zanu-PF has been the now infamous
"Tsholotsho Declaration", an alleged agreement by senior Zanu-PF members -
including the speaker of parliament Emmerson Mnangagwa, Information minister
Professor Jonathan Moyo, Justice Minister Patrick Chinamasa, July Moyo,
several provincial governors and senior party and government officials - to
defy a party directive to elect Rural Resources and Water Development
minister Joyce Mujuru as the party and government vice-president at Zanu-PF's
congress in December last year.

After winning 57 seats (out of 120) in the last election, the MDC should
have been building on this strong platform to mount an even better electoral
challenge to Zanu-PF's 25-year hegemony.

The MDC's better-than-expected performance in the 2000 elections presented
Mugabe with a selection headache, as half Should the MDC perform better than
the 57 seats it garnered in 2000m then Mugabe would mostly have to rely on
nonconstituency technocrats to fill his cabinet again.

Two of those in the current cabinet, Jonathan Moyo and Patrick Chinamasa,
have spearheaded some of the most repressive legislation reminiscent of
apartheid South Africa that have largely kept MDC inactive. Ironically, both
have fallen by the wayside after their opposition to Mujuru.

But such is the chaos in the opposition that many analysts believe that
Zanu-PF, with all the state machinery at its disposal and legislation meant
to stifle any opposition, will win by a mile. Even a former ally, the
National Constitutional Assembly (NCA), whose founding chairman was current
MDC leader Morgan Tsvangirai, believes that Zanu-PF will win the March 31
parliamentary elections because the opposition was no longer a formidable

This prediction from the NCA's current chairman, Dr Lovemore Madhuku, may
stem from frustration that the MDC has so far not made overtures to co-opt
him to its ranks, but recent events reveal a party striving to hold on to
the centre. In a presentation titled "Zimbabwe at a Crossroads" at the
Woodrow Wilson International Centre for Scholars in Washington DC in
January, Dr Madhuku said Zanu-PF would win the poll with a wider margin than
before because the MDC had ceased to be a viable opposition.

As a result, no one can begrudge President Mugabe using his black pencil to
mark potential ministers come April. He definitely will be without jailed
minister of finance, Dr Chris Kuruneri, who is being held for
 "externalizing" foreign currency under the country's tough new laws meant
to curb the flight of hard currency to friendly climes.

Information Minister Moyo, along with Justice Minister Chimanasa and July
Moyo, the minister of energy and power development and Zanu-PF provincial
chairman, were all barred from participating in the elections for their part
in the "Tsholotsho Declaration", ruling them out of the next government.

Other luminaries to lose out in the Zanu-PF primaries, and who will
consequently relinquish their posts at the end of the current government's
life span in March, include the Minister of industry and international
trade, Samuel Mumbengegwi; his deputy, Kenneth Manyonda, who beat MDC leader
Tsvangirai in the battle for Buhera North; and Labour Minister Paul

The biggest surprise in the next cabinet could be the appointment of Reserve
Bank governor Dr Gideon Gono as finance minister. In the absence of the
jailed Chris Kuruneri, Gono has single-handedly dragged the economy from a
quagmire to a situation where it is expected to record positive growth for
the first time since 2000.

His authority apparently supercedes that of ministers and he has spread his
influence to local authorities, even wading into the contentious issue of
the Matabeleland Zambezi Water Project, which has been on the drawing board
for the last decade with no action.

His post could then go to one of his deputies, Nicholas Ncube, the astute
permanent secretary of finance and a former head of Zimbabwe Investment
Centre, a quasi-government investment promotion body.

The current deputy minister of finance, David Chapfika, a former banker, is
seen as too weak and tainted to implement radical measures needed to
resuscitate the economy.

Businessman and Zanu-PF MP Ray Kaukonde could be rewarded with a ministerial
post, as could Dr Samuel Undenge, an economist who won the Chimanimani
primaries. Kaukonde is chairman of SeedCo, an agricultural concern with
operations all over the SADC region, while Dr Undenge is a former trade
attaché and a favourite among the corridors of power.

Another surprise could be Sylvester Nguni, a powerful businessman, and
Saviour Kasukuwere, one of Zanu- PF's "Young Turks" and one of the few
successes of the government's black empowerment programme.

Even if the MDC were still able to rock the boat, repressive legislation has
restricted its campaign. Any gathering of more than five people would be in
violation of Public Order and Security Act (POSA), a political tool the
Mugabe regime is maximising. The draconian law has made life became so
unbearable for the opposition as holding any meeting be it church, funeral
or political without the police permission would be a crime.

But the opposition seems to have found a way to beat POSA. In Matabeleland,
MDC candidates have resorted to campaigning for the election in vehicles to
avoid falling foul of the act.

"Zanu-PF must be reminded that goals can be scored without kicking the ball,
but directing it towards the goal employing other means. Let Zanu-PF hold on
POSA and we will continue to work effectively and efficiently," Njabuliso
Mguni, an aspiring MDC legislator for Lupane, told local journalists.

Makokoba Member of Parliament Thokozani Khupe was twice last month arrested
for holding an unsanctioned meeting in Bulawayo.

"The political playing field in this country is not level, hence the need to
have POSA completely scrapped off instead of making amendments. This piece
of legislation was bulldozed through parliament before being adopted into
law by the majority Zanu-PF MPs. The nation cried foul but the government
did not pay any heed," said Khupe.

While the MDC expects to retain most of its 2000 seats, it will be a cold
day in hell before Mugabe allows them to form a government.

With the international community excluded from any monitoring role, SADC,
particularly South Africa, must ensure its becomes a watchdog for the
world - and for Zimbabweans without a voice.
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      Stricken Zimbabwe capital faces water cuts - paper

      Wed March 2, 2005 12:04 PM GMT+02:00
      HARARE (Reuters) - Zimbabwe's capital city Harare is to introduce
water cuts because mechanical and electrical faults at its main water
treatment works have reduced supplies, the official Herald newspaper
reported on Wednesday.

      The cash-strapped city has suffered erratic water supplies over the
past year due to lack of foreign currency for imported treatment chemicals,
while the ageing waterworks system has struggled to cope with a rising

      The Harare municipality announced on that "residents of greater Harare
and its satellite towns will be experiencing water supply disruptions," the
Herald said.

      It quoted the municipality's director of works, Psychology Chiwanga,
as attributing this to a reduced flow of water into the city's treated
reservoirs. Chiwanga could not immediately be reached for comment on

      Services in Harare and other urban areas have degenerated over the
past few years, in some of the most visible indications of an economic
crisis widely blamed on government mismanagement.

      Last September Harare authorities announced 18-hour daily water cuts
in most residential suburbs, blaming the cuts on a decrepit main water pump
station servicing the city. Regular water supplies resumed after about a
month, although they have remained unreliable.

      Basic services in Harare have also suffered in the midst of political
wrangling between the ruling ZANU-PF party and the main opposition Movement
for Democratic Change, whose officials dominated the city council but have
since been fired by Mugabe's government on allegations of misconduct.

      The MDC in turn has accused the government of interfering in the
municipal operations not only of Harare but other cities were the opposition
enjoys control.

      Mugabe denies misruling the country since assuming power at
independence from Britain in 1980.

      He dismisses the MDC as a puppet of the former colonial ruler, which
he acccuses of spearheading a Western campaign to ruin Zimbabwe's economy
over his government's seizure of white-owned farms for landless blacks.
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Business Day

02 March 2005
Nepad must face Africa's realities
Hussein Solomon


THAT Africa is beset with problems is self-evident. In sub-Saharan Africa,
the number of people living in poverty is expected to rise from 315-million
in 1999 to 404-million by 2015. Life expectancy has declined from 50 years
to 46 years since 1990.

In 2003, 65% of west Africa's population lived in countries severely
affected by conflict. Over the past 15 years, nine of the 15 members of the
Economic Community of West African States (Ecowas) have experienced
conflict, ranging from civil wars to election violence. The region accounts
for 70% of military coups in Africa.

These are some of the realities that proponents of the New Partnership for
Africa's Development (Nepad) would like to gloss over or bury. Despite the
mutually reinforcing initiatives of the millennium development goals of the
United Nations and those of the continental leadership, poverty is on the
rise in Africa. Local initiatives with millions of dollars of donor support
have not resulted in capacity-building and institutional support.

What is fundamentally problematic is the African state. Despite all the
rhetoric surrounding the good governance principles of Nepad, its architects
should realise that Group of Eight industrialised countries will not be
taken in by principles, but require action. Why is the African peer review
mechanism voluntary and why start with the least problematic countries such
as Ghana, and not Zimbabwe or Swaziland?

Regional organisations tend to embrace unsavoury regimes on the basis of a
misdirected pan-Africanism or, as in the case of the Southern African
Development Community (SADC), actively defend undemocratic regimes from
popular forces within as well as external sanctions.

Nepad is premised on the idea that there is no need for external sanctions
or intervention given that Africans are taking care of problems themselves.
This is a fig leaf that is increasingly wearing thin for Africa's
long-suffering citizens as well as the international community, where donor
fatigue, especially in the absence of progress, is very real.

There is, however, a positive development. The tough stance adopted by
Ecowas in relation to the virtual coup recently in Togo needs to be
welcomed. The fact that the Togolese leadership has agreed to hold elections
within 60 days indicates that quiet diplomacy without teeth does not work.

A similar tough attitude needs to be adopted by the African Union (AU). All
African countries should not be entitled to membership of the AU. Like the
European Union, there should be strict political and economic criteria on
who gains membership.

The international community, too, needs to support Africa's people by being
quick to red-card those African leaders who do not live up to considerations
of human rights and responsive governance. Moreover, the international
community should support civil society and community-based initiatives to
widen the democratic space and challenge the crony capitalism that prevails
in many African countries.

The perpetuation of the authoritarian state lies in the fact that structures
like the SADC are willing to countenance Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe
and Swaziland's King Mswati. It also lies in the misplaced notions of
African unity, solidarity, cohesion and co-operation.

In reality, this is the unity, solidarity, cohesion and co-operation of the
African political elite, while their populations languish in misery. To
assuage popular anger, elites engage in playing the blaming game. Slavery is
the reason Africa is poor; colonialism is to blame for the pot-holed road;
western multinationals are responsible for the state of municipal

- Prof Solomon lectures in the political sciences department at the
University of Pretoria and is the director of the Centre for International
Political Studies.

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Chipangali Wildlife Orphanage

Dear Animal Lover,

The staff at Chipangali are pleased to present our  first  Newsletter of
2005 .  There is so much to tell you although we hope we have kept you
updated with our Breaking News , Releases to the Wild  and Our Other Family

Firstly, we all at Chipangali, family, staff and all the animals in our
care, have had close to our hearts ,  the human suffering of the Asian
Tsunami & for all those who lost family members, friends or work colleagues,
homes and life as they knew it, please Accept our Sincere Heartfelt

Subsequently, this Newsletter will also be FULL of interesting stories , and
slightly changed format as our Newsletters of 2004 .  If you're short of
time, why not scroll down, pick an item of interest to read now, & read the
rest at your leisure at a later date?  Or visit our website at

The first & perhaps most important piece of news is that this year is
Chipangali's 32nd Birthday
We remain strong, dedicated & fully operational, despite the long term
economic situation here in Zimbabwe.
 The Staff
Kevin and Nicky are still as busy as ever at the Orphanage; Cal is being
kept out of mischief, by being kept very very  busy.  Claire has finally
seen the fruits of her hard work in 2004, preparing the Volunteers Programme
& still having spare time to play surrogate Mum.  Mduduzi has joined us here
at the Orphanage working in the Wild Dog and Cheetah Research Centre.
Talking of which, and a typing error on my behalf in our Newsletter of
October 2004, Mduduzi was not studying Viv's skats, but leopards and other
carnivores and relaying his findings to Viv.  I on the other hand am a busy
as ever with the Adoption Scheme.

Animal Adoption Scheme
Presently, our Adoptions Sponsorship has  stands at:  233, whilst this is
the case there are a number of Adoptions which have not been paid for,
although we have as promised sent on the Adoptions Certificate and in some
cases the Datasheets  for the Animal Adopted.  However, having said that we
can not thank the wonderful Adoption Sponsors for all their generosity &
continued support, and for those of you that are able ~ your Adoptive
animals, so love it when you visit.

 I am still busy with the Datasheets, and have managed to cover a number of
the animals in our care, for those of you that are yet to receive your
Datasheet, please can we ask that you be patient as this is an ever lengthy
task, and we thank you  in advance for the same.   Please also be advised
that I will not be at work as from the 14th February until March, all urgent
matters will be attended by Kevin Wilson on

There are still a large number of the animals in our care, that have not
been sponsored and would just love to have a Mommy or Daddy.  In particular,
still not takers for Crunch, our hyaena, or Snap a small crocodile.   As
many of you have already adopted a wonderful character from us, can we ask
that you approach family members, colleagues to join hands and adopt the
little ones that are still looking for a surrogate Mum, Dad, brother or
sister, please contact me on:


Unfortunately again ~ for 2004, we at Chipangali were not able to produce
our wonderful calendars,  after a study it was clear that postage for these
far exceeded the cost of producing them..  However, this does not mean that
we will not discontinue the production of these beautiful calendars, but are
looking at positive avenues to address, the production of these, postage of
these etc.

Do not forget our Kiddies Page (sent separately) and we would like to
congratulate "Tamrin Grigoratos for winning ~ Newsletter (October) 2004,
Kiddies Page and we look forward to a lot more entrants.  Remember that
these can be passed onto your  children, grandchildren or friends children
for them to complete and return to

   Chipangali has an Educational program that is aimed at bringing Wildlife
awareness to
   School children.  The program in place right now involves giving visiting
Schools a
   briefing of the Orphanage, followed by a guided tour around Chipangali.

  This year the program needs to expand and start targeting High School and
  Educational Students.  Last year Mduduzi gave a talk and guided tour to
  Environmental   Club Students of Hillside Teachers College, of which we
  determined to follow through in 2005, involving ZINTECH in Gwanda, UCE in
  Bulawayo, NUST & Bulawayo Polytech.

  Our focus is to target teachers of tomorrow who will eventually spread
  awareness,  then on their deployment, hence boost the number of local
Senior Schools
  visiting Chipangali.

   Game Park
  We are proud of the 4 baby Zebra that took us by surprise on the 01st of
  We still have a number of impala, duikers & various numbers of jackals.
Daily scant
  to check for snares, are done with much vigor.  In was on one of these we
found our
  Waterbuck dead

   Orphan Deliveries
  Primates, primates and more primates . . .  Well,  I am sure that you all
remember OUZO, you would never guess yes, now she has a playmate "Kane" who
was rescued from being pecked alive but crows, in the Matopos.  On his
arrival to the Orphanage he was treated for all his external wounds, and as
you can imagine a very terrified little boy.  Now, he is Ouzo's constant
companion, and they thorough enjoy playing with one another, keeping them
both out of mischief during light hours.  Both Kane & Ouzo are starting the
change colour, where their body and facial hairs are getting lighter, & in
little Kane's case improving his looks.

In early November, a young lady from Mutare phoned, stating that she had
arranged for a young Samango monkey to be brought to us, who had been found
by a worker alongside the road; half-dead, dehydrated and
petrified On her arrival everyone fell in love with this most adorable
little monkey. Sammy slept
in Claire's bed at night as that is where she felt safe and sound , waking
Claire up at regular
intervals when she was a little scared .  This little darling has the most
wonderful nature, and
until recently was playing surrogate sister to Jack and Mr T.

What do you know, about two weeks later, the very same lady emailed us, to
let us know that a
little vervet monkey was saved.  Apparently, a security guard heard this
shouting,  screaming
and banging of some sort, and went to investigate, on his arrival his
witnessed two unruly
youths, beating young Jack's Mum with poles.  He chased them off, and on his
return, Jack's
Mom was having her last gasps of air, he tucked the little mite, into his
coat and took it to the
Mutare SPCA.  The SPCA managed to find a family to look after him, until
transport was
organised to send him onto us.  On his arrival there was  much excitement,
as one of the young
ladies that had raised Sammy, came along, and decided to stay with us for
awhile.  Anyway, poor Jack was not blessed with the best looks, & on
handling him, he hissed and squawked at us ~ but then we introduced him to
Sammy.  He was elated and ran and clung to her, and since seeks her
affection constantly.

  Then came, Mr. T. ~ a scrawny, tiny little mite, who held onto his foster
human  mother
  like no tomorrow . . . there were tears, from his foster mother, peeks
around the side
  to see that he was coping . . . and surprisingly he has.  Mr. T. was found
in Gweru and
  his foster parents, knew that they would be bringing him to us, so tried
(really tried,
  but from the goodbyes, I think he stole their hearts) not to become
attached.  Now,
  there is a constant struggle by Mr. T. and Jack to have ALL of Sammy's
affection . . .
  and being of the wonderful loving character, that she is, she makes sure
that they are    given equal amounts of her time and affection.  Yesterday
it was decided that we
  would  move Mr. T and Jack to their own enclosure as to give Sammy a

New Arrivals
Samara, one of Murdock's harem, surprised us on the 1st of February with a
litter of 4 cubs, 2 males & 2 females.   Samara in the past has not been a
good mother, however Samara  is  showing signs of being a super-mom, on
regular checks, she was found feeding them.

Overseas Volunteer Programme
Chipangali were fortunate to play  it's part in "A Dream Come True",
together with Anytime Magazine in South

Africa.   Geniene Birbeck had  recently  visited Chipangali, and fell in
love with us, being the
Editor at the time of the Anytime Magazine, she was approached by two animal
loving gals, who
believed their dream to be working with Wild animals.

Lara and Natalie, mainly worked with the Nursery animals, feeding, cleaning
monitoring the animals then when all chores were done, they frolicked and
played with Sammy, Mr. T., Jack and many others.  Lara fell head over heels
in love with Sammy, who you can read more about  . . .  .

   Besides the work in the Nursery, the girls helped with rhino
   browse, washing of the rhino's which created much hilarity when
   the washing of the rhino's turned into water fights. Both Lara and
   Natalie's were fortunate enough to be a part of moving 3 sub-adult lions
to another
   enclosure; which you can read more on.  It did not stop there, the girls
walked with the
   cheetah, ran with the Wild dog, who too were moved to a newly vamped
enclosure with a
  man-made lure.  Played a part in dipping the Wild dog & de-worming the

Lara and Natalie also got down and dirty, they along with staff, cleaned out
the pond in our large Aviary which houses, games birds ~ at first seemed a
breeze when emptying the water out, then came the real work, scrubbing the
walls of the pond, and mucking out the smelly mud ~ but they were never
short of smiles or giggles whilst hard at work.

Any prospective volunteers Should you, yourself be interest or know of
anyone that would be interested in this programme please contact :~ Claire
Lupton on

Pork ~ Chipangali's Pumba
Pork was off to her regular swim with the volunteers in the gamepark, dam .
. . she definitely was in the mood to really explore.  On the volunteers
return back to the Orphanage, Pork was nowhere to be seen, so as you can
imagine, hearts were heavy & praying that she make it.  Well about 2 hours
later, the Rhino's had a visitor ~ none other than Porky, who was crying and
calling out for those she had lost.  When she saw the staff cleaning, and
feeding the Rhino, she relaxed and the trotted up to her enclosure ~ showing
us all that she was not quite ready to make it in the big wide & wild world
on her own.

Our research team continue to monitor the movement & home range of radio
collared leopards & cheetah in Hwange & Matopos National Parks.  The
Biodiversity survey in Matopos  continues in the Matopos with excellent
results  being obtained from the survey.  The Research Team recently, mid
January 2005; radio-collared another leopard in the Matopos bringing the
number to 7.  If you wish to contact the Research Team, please email them on or visit their website

There is still the ever day, attention to all the animals in our care, to
gashes, scratches, de-worming etc.  The excitement was when we were moving
some of the  sub-adult lions to another enclosure.  The  sub-adults have
very little fear of human beings & are likely to attack at a moments notice.

They were coaxed into the small lock up enclosure, of which all of the
leopard & lion enclosures have.  Once in the small section, they were then
darted with anesthetic, when immobilised, removed, measurements of the
canines, front & hind limbs etc., monitoring respiration, inserting
transformers (chips) as part of an identification process, and monitoring
recover from anesthetic when placed in their new enclosure.  all information
was recorded, and kept on file.

Then, our Town Office was brought a sub-adult serval, who had been hit by a
vehicle, after being checked over by the vet she was brought here to the
Orphanage.  What a depressing sight when she arrived here, barely lifting
her little head, as well as scrawny & under-nutritioned.  Claire set to work
right away, with glucose doses at regular intervals, cleaning out her
mucused eyes & reassuring her as she whilst she was having fits; gradually
over a couple of days, the little treasure tried with all it's might to walk
around the nursery.  After a couple of attempts, Claire noticed that she
showed little or not fear of human presence and that she kept walking along
side the walls, and on arrival to a corner ~ walked straight into the wall.
We are not sure if her sight will return, as it may be an temporary injury
sustained when been hit by the car or for what we see, in regards to the
appalling condition we received her in, that her blindness is sadly a
permanent handicap.

The Orphanage
Sad Moments
Our graceful Black Swan, who has been with us for many years, sadly passed
away although a sad moment for all here at chipangali and the many visitors
that saw her ~ we are sure that she had a long, wonderful life , keeping
company  with the many different species of ducks, the guinea fowl (who are
very cheeky at feeding time) and Margo & Brenda the flamingos.

Then, on one of our regular Gamepark checks, we found our Waterbuck, near
the dam, dead.  We suspect this was from a snakebite, as on inspection, a
wound was found & indicated so.  We believe that he is now in a place were
there are many of his friends, and he now has not a worry in the world.

Reinvasions to the Reptile Section ~ Snake Pit & the Den
Chipangali has revamped the original open-aired snake pit a few yards from
the den; with lawn, man-made lures, shrubs, and small trees.   At  the time
of relocating these slimy, and in many cases deadly creatures, Kevin handled
these and did so with much ease and calm.  In the pit we currently have 5
puff-adders, one who has been adopted and affectionately known as PUFFY,
along with a couple of small Boomslangs.  All the snakes are pleased with
the move, as are visitors.

The Den ~ In the past we had asbestos heating panels which we used to heat
our snake cases during winter, keeping the snakes warm so that they in turn
would keep active and continue feeding during this time of year.  We heard
of another method  of internal heating by means of wire, in a zigzag form
like a heated pad, which we have chosen to adopt as it uses a lot less
electricity that that of the asbestos panels.

With this exercise, we have taken advantage of the opportunity to thoroughly
spring-clean the cases, putting in new stones, cleaning logs and other
implements, with were made and placed to make the snake feel more at home.
Thank you
 We are most grateful to everyone who has supported us both financially,
physically, and visited us throughout 2004.  Thank you also to all of you
who brought us sick, injured or abandoned animals, and offered their
assistance worldwide to help spread our good name and worthy cause.

Wishing you an enjoyable Summer
from all the Staff & Animals at Chipangali Wildlife Orphanage

About us
Chipangali Wildlife Adoption Scheme
P O Box 1057, Bulawayo, Zimbabwe
phone: 00263 - 9 287739/287740 / fax: 00263-9-287741
(Town Office phone: 00263-9-286460/286603 / fax: 00263-9-286460)
Janine Garrod   (Adoptions) / (Orphanage)
Claire Lupton (Volunteers)
(Website) / /
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