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

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      Donors tell Mugabe: no devaluation, no food aid

      By Abel Mutsakani News Editor
      5/9/02 3:11:41 AM (GMT +2)

      INTERNATIONAL donors want President Robert Mugabe and his government
to devalue the dollar and adopt sound economic policies, otherwise they will
not give food aid to more than 2.5 million people facing starvation, it was
established this week.

      Aid agency sources said representatives of the European Union, the US
and other major donors were insisting that the unfolding famine in
Zimbabwe - previously a regional food exporter - had been largely caused by
wrong economic polices, chiefly the skewed exchange rate.

      "The donors' position is that Zimbabwe's humanitarian and food crisis
is two-thirds a result of wrong economic policies," one source told the
Financial Gazette.

      "As well as other corrective measures, donors want to see the
government immediately implement an exchange rate that truly reflects the
value of the dollar," the source said.

      The donors are said to have made their position clear to United
Nations (UN) coordinator in Zimbabwe Victor Angelo during discussions last
week at the UN's New York headquarters.

      The talks were held in part to try to narrow the gap between Harare
and donors.

      Angelo has led efforts to try to mobilise more than US$80 million from
international donors and aid agencies, which is critically needed to avert
an unprecedented humanitarian and food crisis in Zimbabwe.

      But the donors are said to have told Angelo that unless Harare moves
to implement a sound exchange rate policy, among other key demands, then no
significant food aid will be given to Zimbabwe.

      Angelo, who retuned to Zimbabwe earlier this week, refused to discuss
his trip to New York or the fresh demands by the donors when contacted by
this newspaper.

      Finance Minister Simba Makoni was this week quoted by the
state-controlled Herald newspaper as having told Parliament that the
government did not have any plans to devalue the dollar.

      As well as implementing a sound exchange rate, donors are demanding
that the government takes measures to reassure the international community
that property rights are upheld in Zimbabwe.

      The protection of these rights, the donors said, was a prerequisite if
Zimbabwe was to lure back foreign capital and investors.

      Foreign investors abandoned Zimbabwe in early 2000 when self-styled
war veterans began seizing private farms ostensibly to pressure the
government to speed up the redistribution of land to landless blacks.

      The government's critics say the farm seizures, which many Zimbabweans
largely blame for causing the current food shortages because they disrupted
farming operations, were mere a ruse meant to take away attention on the
deteriorating economy.

      The government must also take up proposals by the United Nations
Development Programme (UNDP) that it implements an economically and
agriculturally sound land reform plan which can be supported by donors
instead of the present chaotic fast-track land reforms.

      The sources said issues of human rights, democracy and the rule of law
were still prominent on the list of outstanding items which the donors said
Harare must tackle before being given food aid.

      Of the US$83 million humanitarian appeal to the international
community made by the UNDP on behalf of Harare late last year, donors have
only given US$20.7 million, according to the government's own figures.

      Aid experts say the slow response to the humanitarian aid appeal is a
reflection of Zimbabwe's strained relations with the international community
over issues of governance and its human rights record.
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      Civil unreast looms as govt fails to arrest crisis

      By Abel Mutsakani News Editor
      5/9/02 3:17:03 AM (GMT +2)

      PENNILESS and isolated, Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe and his
government are not doing much except to police a political and economic
crisis which analysts warn could sooner rather than later explode into civil

      Only the seemingly boundless patience of Zimbabweans is so far saving
the day for Mugabe and his ZANU PF party, the country's sole rulers since
independence from Britain 22 years ago, the analysts said this week.

      University of Zimbabwe (UZ) Institute of Development Studies associate
professor Brian Raftopoulos told the Financial Gazette: "The government is
unsure what to do, all they are doing is just to police the crisis. Of
course it is a bankrupt strategy."

      He said the government did not have an answer to the problem of
international isolation and illegitimacy after the United States, the
15-nation European Union (EU), the Southern Africa Development Community
Parliamentary Forum and the Commonwealth all said it cheated in a
presidential election two months ago.

      Many Zimbabweans, including ZANU PF itself, have dismissed as futile
ongoing talks between the ruling party and the opposition Movement for
Democratic Change (MDC) that could offer the government a window to gain
some semblance of international legitimacy were an agreement to be reached
between the two parties.

      The analysts also noted that the foreign currency-starved government
did not have a solution to the fast unfolding humanitarian and food crisis
in the country.

      The World Food Programme has received only a third of the cereals and
other aid it appealed for from donors late last year to feed more than one
million starving Zimbabweans.

      Aid experts say the slow response to the appeal for food relief is a
reflection of Zimbabwe's growing international isolation over Mugabe's
controversial victory in the March ballot and over his government's alleged
bloated human rights record.

      The government also did not have an answer to the fast deteriorating
economic crisis, blamed on runaway state spending, and the hardships it
spawns both on ordinary Zimbabweans and the business sector alike, the
analysts noted.

      When Harare commuter transport operators last week hiked fares by
about 30 percent, the government responded not by tackling the high costs of
importing vehicle spare parts, which were cited by the omnibus operators as
the reason for their fare hike.

      Instead the government flooded the streets with the police who stopped
public buses at roadblocks, ordering bus crews not to charge the new fares.

      In a similar fashion, when the National Constitutional Assembly called
public protests last month to press the government to democratise Zimbabwe's
flawed Constitution, the government again flooded the streets with armed
police and soldiers.

      It did not address the constitutional questions which many Zimbabweans
and outsiders blame for the country's governance problems.

      A few months ago, state security agents and the army placed milling
companies under surveillance as the maize shortage worsened.

      An army spokesman told this newspaper at the time that the army was
only helping the private milling companies with transport and security.

      In fact the police and at times the army have from time to time been
used to monitor and suppress sectors of society that are feared might
attempt to question the government's handling of the economic and political

      For example, the main labour movement - the Zimbabwe Congress of Trade
Unions (ZCTU) - had to seek a court order to bar the police from its

      The police had insisted they should be allowed into ZCTU council
meetings to check on whether the powerful umbrella union was only discussing
labour and not political issues.

      The question, according to Raftopoulos, is: how long will the
government be able to hold back swelling public anger by using the police
and army to prevent the NCA, the ZCTU and the MDC from organising mass

      Masipula Sithole, another UZ political analyst, said the deepening
economic hardships and food shortages could in fact soon or later spark
civil unrest even without incitement from the agitating groups.

      ''The country is going to face civil unrest whether Morgan Tsvangirai
(the MDC leader) or anybody else likes it or not," Sithole said.

      "Conditions on the ground are such that the people will not need
anyone to call them onto the streets."

      As well as the biting shortages of the staple maize meal, Zimbabweans
have to contend with spiraling prices of virtually every other commodity on
the market. Inflation is running at a high of 113.3 percent and could rise

      Unemployment is surging beyond 70 percent as the country's beleaguered
businesses and factories fold up due to the worsening economic climate.

      More than 400 companies closed in 2000 alone, losing about 10 000 jobs
in the process. Figures of companies that shut down last year are not

      A burgeoning HIV/AIDS crisis is killing at least 2 000 Zimbabweans
every week.

      Independent economic analyst John Robertson said the situation would
get worse in the coming months.

      "Because the government is not taking measures to address the root
cause of the economic and political crisis, you can expect the situation to
deteriorate further," he noted.
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In this update:

  a.. Mugabe's presence at UN Children Conference shocking - Morgan
Tsvangirai, MDC President - May 09, 2002
  b.. Press Statement By Hon. Innocent Gonese, the chief whip of the
opposition in Zimbabwe's Parliament - May 07, 2002
  c.. Two more MDC supporters killed by suspected Zanu PF activists - May
07, 2002
Mugabe's presence at UN Children Conference shocking

Morgan Tsvangirai, MDC President

May 09, 2002

The Movement for Democratic Change is shocked that Mr Robert Mugabe is in
New York to attend the United Nations General Assembly Special Session for
Children Conference.

We are left wondering what message Mr Mugabe can possibly have for the
children worldwide when his illegitimate government in Zimbabwe is a living
example of how not to treat children.

The party that he leads has set up militia bases countrywide where people
with a different opinion to Zanu PF's are abducted and tortured. Most of the
people in these camps are youngsters below the age of 20 who are being
trained to brutalise their fellow Zimbabweans.

It is Mugabe's disastrous policies that have displaced over 300 000 farm
workers and their children. Stress and fear are widespread in schools as
militias sometimes beat up teachers and parents in front of school children.

In most cases there is no medication for children who are the victims of
Zanu PF's violence in government hospitals. While private hospitals have
medication, they charge fees which are not affordable which renders them a
useless option to affected families.

Zimbabwe which was the bread basket of Africa is now a basket case. Today
people are now eating roots and children are malnourished as they struggle
to survive in a country whose economy is on auto-pilot.

The current food crisis facing Zimbabwe is not as a result of drought
because the crop affected by drought is still on the ground yet to be
harvested. This food crisis is a result of Mugabe's misplaced policies.

We therefore find it absurd that a leader who has demonstrated such
callousness against his children can attend a children's conference. This
hypocrisy on the part of the Zimbabwean leadership has been going on for too
long and must be exposed for what it is.

Those who genuinely believe in human rights, and indeed children's rights
have a duty to say no to Mugabe's violence. He must be told in no uncertain
terms to disband Zanu PF militia camps and stop the violence in Zimbabwe.

Morgan Tsvangirai,

MDC President

Press Statement By Hon. Innocent Gonese, the chief whip of the opposition in
Zimbabwe's Parliament

May 07, 2002

MDC members of parliament met today and deliberated on a number of issues,
key of which was the recent presidential election, which the Zanu PF
candidate Mr. Robert Mugabe claims to have won.

The MDC parliamentary caucus restated and supported the party position that
available, indisputable and credible independent evidence demonstrate beyond
any doubt that the outcome of Zimbabwe's presidential election does not
represent the true expression of the will of the people of Zimbabwe.

MDC parliamentarians thus reject the poll outcome and do not recognize Mr.
Robert Mugabe and his cabinet as the government of Zimbabwe.

The sitting ministers who are purporting to execute executive functions are
illegitimate because Zimbabwe's real cabinet ministers are yet to be
appointed by a new and legitimate President of the Republic of Zimbabwe.

MDC members of parliament will, however, continue to attend parliament and
their presence in parliament does not in any way imply tacit recognition of
the flawed presidential election outcome and the consequent illegitimacy of
current regime.

Our submission is simply that, of the three arms that make up government, it
is the executive arm that lacks legitimacy and that has transformed itself
into a complete dictatorship. We should however point out that this violent
dictatorship shall and indeed should remain isolated for as long as it
continues to stand by its daylight theft of elections.

As we return to parliament today, our constituencies have given us a fresh
mandate to press for a re-run of the election under free and fair
conditions. Our energies both in and outside parliament shall thus be
concentrated on this issue until such time when the people's will is allowed
to prevail.

Hon. Innocent Gonese

MDC Chief Whip in Parliament

Two more MDC supporters killed by suspected Zanu PF activists

May 07, 2002

Two MDC supporters, one of them a polling agent in the March 9 and 10
presidential election, have been killed by suspected Zanu PF militia.

Jenus Ngamira, an MDC activist in Bindura, was murdered by Zanu PF militia
led by Munyaradzi Timoti in Chipadze Township of Bindura in the early hours
of last Sunday, while his brother Christopher Ngamira was seriously injured
and is recovering in hospital following an attack by the same group.

After killing Jenus, Timoti rushed to his home to put on his Zanu PF militia
uniform before surrendering himself to Bindura Police Station (Phone 071
6911). Ngamira was buried in Bindura yesterday.

Remains of MDC polling agent found
In Gokwe, the remains of Tiperson Madhobha, an MDC polling agent in the
March 9 and 10 presidential elections who was abducted by Zanu PF militia on
10 April, were found in a river last week.

A police officer who identified himself as Sergeant Chikuni (phone 059

confirmed that the remains of Madhobha had been found and that arrangements
for a postmortem were underway.

The police have of late promised to follow up each and every case of death
reported by the MDC. We hope that they are serious. The MDC condemns the
violence which is being perpetrated by the illegitimate regime of Mr Robert

The ongoing violence has the tacit approval of Mugabe, that is why even to
date Zanu PF's militia continues to have bases all over the country. As MDC
we will continuously pray for an end to violence. We pray for peace and
calm. We are confident that one day soon, justice will be done, if not from
the law of the land then from God himself.
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Letter to the Spectator

I'm no Zanu-PF crony

From Mr John A. Bredenkamp
Sir: I am writing to express my concern about your recent article ('The
cowardly whites who help Mugabe', 13 April) that includes a number of
statements and allegations in relation to me which are manifestly false.

Your article appears to suggest that I am a silent - and cowardly - white
collaborator who has somehow been responsible in part for keeping President
Robert Mugabe in power. Nothing could be further from the truth.

I am a Zimbabwean businessman and serious investor in a number of countries
throughout the world. I have created employment for hundreds of people in
Zimbabwe and continue to invest in the country at this difficult time. As an
investor I have had a long business relationship with many institutions
within Zimbabwe and consequently know a large number of politicians. This
does not make me 'a Zanu-PF crony', as you choose to label me.

I do not and never have provided funds to Zanu-PF. Furthermore, I have been
critical of a number of government policies and initiatives, and have
advocated and continue to advocate change. I have gone on the record on this
issue. You peddle the perception that I am close to President Robert Mugabe;
the reality is totally different. I have not met him or spoken to him for
almost 18 years.

I am apolitical and believe that the white people in Zimbabwe, who represent
less than 1 per cent of the population, should remain apolitical. This does
not mean that I sit on the sidelines. Far from it. I have been actively
promoting dialogue between the Commercial Farmers' Union and the government
to try to resolve the land issue in Zimbabwe. A blueprint for the resolution
of the problem was, in fact, accepted, based on the Zimbabwe Joint
Resettlement Initiative (ZJRI), which I started. I remain committed and
continue to give whatever input I can to try to resolve the land issue.

The Bayleys' story is a tragic one. The irony is that during the week in
which your article was published the Bayleys spent a number of days in our
offices in Harare seeking my help and assistance, which I was only too happy
to give. In a report of 21 April, Tommy Bayley wrote, 'We have not given up
on the farm and livelihood and are very appreciative of the assistance given
to us by family, friends, neighbours, the CFU and Jenni Williams, charity
organisations, our lawyers and the executives of Breco/Scottlee who have
spent many hours and cellphone calls, at all times of the day and night,
working on resolving our problems.' Breco and Scottlee are my companies.

I continue to help the Bayleys in any way I can and, although not resolved,
progress with the authorities is being made. There are over 185 other
farmers and their families who have sought our assistance in approaching the
authorities. You must understand that I deplore the violence and
intimidation occurring on the farms, which I find totally reprehensible.

You should know that my farm, which was bought long before the current
troubles, was listed, then de-listed and is now re-listed. As I write, it
remains listed for compulsory acquisition. I have had war veterans
threatening to take over the farm and, like the Bayleys, the situation
remains unresolved. In these current circumstances I have absolutely no
interest in buying further farmland in Zimbabwe. Your article is mischievous
and it is plainly wrong to suggest otherwise.

It is correct that a company within the group of which I am chairman is
involved in a joint venture to mine cobalt and copper in the Democratic
Republic of Congo (DRC). This is a transparent arrangement, which has been
legally validated by the Mining Convention to which the DRC government is a
party and is supported by presidential decree. These documents are public
documents. United Nations Panel representatives have visited our mining
operations. We have had no negative feedback from them.

It is incorrect to say that the Zimbabwean government is a party to any of
these agreements. It is not and never has been. Furthermore, the
continuation of the project in no way depends upon Zimbabwe continuing to
have troops or any other presence in the DRC. The mining operation has no
connection with Zanu-PF. It is a private venture.

I wish to stress that I fully support press freedom and the right to publish
articles involving sensitive or difficult issues. All I ask is that you do
your homework and present a balanced view based on the facts.

John A. Bredenkamp
Breco and Masters Group of Companies,
Hurst, Berkshire

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      War vets charged with murder of MDC official

      Staff Reporter
      5/9/02 3:14:42 AM (GMT +2)

      BULAWAYO - Eight war veterans accused of kidnapping Patrick Nabanyama,
an election agent of the opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) in
the run-up to parliamentary elections two years ago, are now facing murder

      Documents obtained by this newspaper this week from the Bulawayo High
Court show that the trial of the eight is due to open here on May 28 and
that the state is expected to call 15 witnesses, among them the wife of
Nabanyama, Patricia, and their two children.

      The documents indicate that the charges have been changed from
kidnapping, previously levelled against the veterans, to murder.

      The eight suspects listed in the court roll are Ephraim Moyo, Simon
Rwodzi, Aleck Moyo, Howard Ncube, Stanley Ncube, Julius Sibanda, Medicine
Ndebele and Thomas Munyuki.

      Reads part of the High Court roll: "The eight accused kidnapped the
deceased to an unknown destination (and) up to now the whereabouts of the
deceased are unknown."

      Nabanyama, the election agent for MDC legislator for Bulawayo South
David Coltart, disappeared from his Nketa home here five days before the
parliamentary vote.

      According to witnesses at the time, Nabanyama was dragged out of his
house and was last seen in the company of the war veterans, among them Cain
Nkala, the slain leader of the Bulawayo branch of the Zimbabwe National War
Veterans' Association.

      The late Nkala had been jointly charged with the eight.

      Ironically the late Nkala was kidnapped from his Magwegwe West home,
also in Bulawayo, in November last year. His decomposed body was found two
days later buried in a shallow grave at Norwood Farm in Solusi, about 50 kms
outside Bulawayo.

      The ruling ZANU PF has accused the MDC of being behind Nkala's murder
in retaliation for the disappearance of Nabanyama, a charge denied by the

      Several MDC officials and supporters, including MDC legislator
Fletcher Dulini Ncube, have been arrested in connection with Nkala's death.
They face murder charges.

      Apart from the Patrick Nabanyama murder case, the trial involving
Albert Ncube, another war veteran facing a charge of murdering Nyamandlovu
commercial farmer Gloria Olds in March last year, will be heard during the
second session of the High Court which opened here on Monday.

      According to court documents, Ncube shot the late Olds 17 times with
an AK rifle.

      The state is expected to call two witnesses to testify in the case of
the cold-blooded murder which left the Nyamandlovu farming community

      Olds, a widow, was gunned down barely a year after her son Martin was
riddled with bullets by suspected war veterans at the start of the farm
invasions by ZANU PF supporters in 2000.

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Fuel Consumption Down 20 Pct

Financial Gazette (Harare)
May 9, 2002
Posted to the web May 9, 2002
Staff Reporter

ZIMBABWE'S fuel consumption has declined by 20 percent since 1999,
highlighting the economic and political crisis that has gripped the country
in the past three years.
The Petroleum Marketers' Association of Zimbabwe (PMAZ), which groups the
country's oil companies, says there is a correlation between macroeconomic
stability and fuel usage.
PMAZ chairman Masimba Kambarami notes that fuel consumption has tracked the
decline in Zimbabwe's gross domestic product (GDP) since 2000 when the
country started experiencing economic and political problems.
" . . . overall fuel consumption was down by 20 percent from the peak point
in 1999 when GDP and economic activity was high," Kambarami said in a
He however did not provide statistics on trends in fuel usage in the past
three years, although analysts estimate that Zimbabwe consumed more than 80
million litres of fuel a month before the present economic crisis started at
the end of 1999.
The country currently consumes about 67 million litres of fuel a month.
Zimbabwe's economy has on average shrunk by more than five percent during
the past two years due to the disruption of activity in the key agricultural
sector by self-styled veterans of the country's 1970s independence war and
other ruling ZANU PF supporters.
The once-prosperous southern African economy is expected to decline by 7.3
percent this year, although analysts say the decline could be as high as 10
Simiso Nzima, an analyst with Sagit Stockbrokers, said the collapse of
Zimbabwe's agricultural sector and problems in the key mining industry were
some of the reasons behind the decrease in fuel consumption.
More than 5 000 white-owned commercial farms have been compulsorily acquired
by the government since February 2000 while expansion in mineral production
has been constrained by shortages of foreign currency, high production costs
and declining international prices.
"We however expect consumption by the transport sector to pick up in the
coming months because of the movement of food for drought victims," Nzima
told the Financial Gazette this week.
Zimbabwe faces a severe food crisis this year partly blamed on the drought
that hit southern Africa this year and the acquisition by the government of
prime commercial agricultural land.
The country needs to import between 1.5 and 2.2 million tonnes of maize this
year to feed more than two million starving villagers.

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Mugabe beats US travel ban

Oliver Burkeman in New York
Thursday May 9, 2002
The Guardian

The Zimbabwean president, Robert Mugabe, will address the UN summit on
children's rights in New York tomorrow, despite a travel ban imposed by the
White House which forbids him to enter the United States.
A state department official said government lawyers were being consulted.

Mr Mugabe is prohibited from entering the US under the targeted sanctions
announced by President George Bush in February. The decision to permit his
presence at the UN reflects a longstanding policy towards world leaders who
are otherwise persona non grata in America.

But last night the gay rights campaigner Peter Tatchell condemned his
presence in New York.

"[It] breaks the spirit if not the precise letter of the US travel ban -
what's the point in banning him if, under the guise of attending the United
Nations, he can come to US as he pleases?" he said.

"He's attending to promote himself as an accepted and respected world


      Mugabe faces travel curbs in US

      By Sydney Masamvu Political Editor
      5/9/02 3:08:28 AM (GMT +2)

      THE movement of President Robert Mugabe, who left Harare earlier this
week to attend a United Nations (UN) conference in New York, will be
restricted in distance to the confines of the UN, American government
sources said this week.

      The restrictions on Mugabe's travel in the United States are in line
with sanctions slapped on him and members of his inner circle by the US
government under the Zimbabwe Democracy Act.

      US administration sources said the movement of Mugabe, in the US to
attend a UN Children's Conference, would be curtailed to the geographical
limitations of the UN headquarters.

      "His movement is restricted under geographical limitation of the
United Nations headquarters and he enjoys freedom within that limitation,"
an authoritative source said.

      Another said: "If for example he wants to go to San Francisco, even
for shopping or sightseeing, that visa will not allow him that latitude."

      It could not be ascertained yesterday whether Mugabe intended to meet
any US government official while at the UN.

      Bruce Wharton, the US embassy spokesman in Harare, declined any
comment. "I am not at liberty to discuss specific visa cases," he said.

      The sources said the terms and conditions of Mugabe's visit to the UN
headquarters were similar to those imposed on Cuban leader Fidel Castro,
under US sanctions for decades over his policies on the Caribbean island

      Mugabe's visit to the US is his first one there since January 2000. It
is also his first since the Zimbabwe Democracy and Economic Recovery Bill
was signed into law by the Bush administration earlier this year.

      Sources said Mugabe is likely to use the opportunity of the UN
conference to brief UN secretary-general Kofi Annan on Zimbabwe's political
and economic situation in the aftermath of the President's disputed
re-election in March.

      The international community, minus a few African states, has refused
to recognise Mugabe's win, which has been branded by the opposition Movement
for Democratic Change (MDC) as daylight robbery. The MDC is challenging the
poll result in court.

      As a consequence of the disputed ballot, Zimbabwe has been suspended
from the 54-nation Commonwealth while the 15-nation European Union, the US,
New Zealand and Switzerland have slapped travel sanctions on Mugabe and his
inner circle.

      The blacklist has included top bankers, civil servants and army
generals who are accused of benefiting from Mugabe's policies.

      Washington says it is in consultation with western Europe and other
countries to impose further measures against the targeted individuals.

      The EU has also cut contact with the Zimbabwe government at
ministerial level, frozen the overseas assets of the targeted officials and,
like the US, banned the sale of arms to Harare.

      The sources said they believed Mugabe would use his trip to lobby
individual nations against imposing sanctions on his administration at a
time when Zimbabwe's economy is reeling from its worst ever crisis, shown
out by crippling food and foreign currency shortages, runaway jobless and
inflation (stagflation) and mass poverty.

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Zimbabwe's teachers under seige, says union

May 09 2002 at 05:51PM
Harare - Teachers in Zimbabwe have fallen victim to murder, rape, extortion,
assaults and kidnappings in ongoing political unrest, a teachers' union said
on Thursday.

Figures released to reporters by the Progressive Teachers' Union of Zimbabwe
(PTUZ) record more than 107 503 cases of extortion, 20 incidents of murder,
and 190 cases of rape between February 2001 and April 2002.

The number of cases of extortion is high because the same teachers were
repeatedly targetted in some provinces, the union's report said.

The alleged crimes against teachers countrywide are described by the PTUZ as
"poltical violence".

'This organisation is a rival to Zimta ... It's a way of making themselves
The union said it gathered the figures from reports made directly to the
organisation or its regional offices, or by newspapers.

PTUZ says other crimes against teachers, not all of them members of the
PTUZ, included death threats, political kidnappings and "re-education",
assaults, burning and looting of property, and torture.

Teachers here are widely perceived to be supporters of the main opposition
party, the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC).

The MDC says significant numbers of its members have been victimised by
supporters of the ruling Zimbabwe African National Union-Patriotic Front

Police spokesman Wayne Bvudzijena dismissed PTUZ's figures. He said crimes
of such "magnitude" had not been reported to police. He said he was aware of
only one teacher murdered recently in northern Zimbabwe.

He challenged the PTUZ to substantiate the figures, but remained sceptical
about their authenticity.

"This organisation is a rival to Zimta (the Zimbabwe Teachers'
Association)," Bvudzijena said. "It's a way of making themselves known."

The PTUZ said it stood by its figures.

"As far as we're concerned, this is what happened," said Raymond Majongwe,
secretary-general of PTUZ.

He said some teachers belonging to Zanu-PF had been targetted by MDC
supporters, but said "99 percent of the victims" were members of the MDC.

Rights groups here said political violence and intimidation have continued
since the March 9-11 presidential poll that returned President Robert Mugabe
to power.

The government dismisses the claims as part of a Western-backed smear

The PTUZ, which claims 12 000 members, was formed in 1997, it says, because
Zimta "was not fully representing the interests of teachers." - Sapa-AFP


Zimbabwe threatens Africa - report
May 9, 2002 Posted: 7:56 AM EDT (1156 GMT)

LONDON, England (Reuters) -- Zimbabwe faces economic ruin unless President
Robert Mugabe changes his policies, an influential report has said.

The International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS) made the claim in
its annual report on Africa, released on Thursday.

It sharply criticised South African President Thabo Mbeki for failing to
take coherent action when Mugabe was controversially reelected.

It added that the political and economic disintegration of Somalia and Kenya
were causes for serious alarm.

The London-based think-tank listed as positive developments in the ravaged
continent the ceasefire in Angola, tentative peace in West Africa and calm
in the Horn of Africa.

It said the biggest single threat to regional security on a continent
plagued by AIDS, poverty and instability lay in the political repression and
imminent economic collapse of Zimbabwe, where famine is looming as inflation
runs wild and state-backed farm seizures slash food production.

It said Mugabe, who has held power since independence from Britain in 1980
and who won a new six-year term in March in what the Commonwealth said were
deeply flawed elections, was practising "state terrorism."

"Mugabe's re-election has created an unsustainable and deeply damaging
situation in Zimbabwe, from which no escape route is apparent.

"Unless he changes course, 2002 is likely to witness the ultimate collapse
of Zimbabwe's economy and more food shortages, as well as Mugabe's total
international isolation," IISS said.

The report was scathing about the leaders of the neighbours of the former
Rhodesia who had endorsed Mugabe's reelection even though refugees were
already pouring over their borders.

But it was particularly savage about Mbeki's dithering approach to the

"Mbeki has moved from tacitly supporting Mugabe to having no identifiable
policy whatsoever," it said.

"He has managed to endorse the reports of two election observer teams that
reached diametrically opposing conclusions."

Kenya too was a cause for growing concern as tribal unrest bubbles under the
surface ahead of elections due by the end of the year at which President
Daniel arap Moi is constitutionally bound to step down after 23 years in
power, IISS said.

On a positive note, the IISS report said Africa might in the long term be an
unwitting beneficiary of the September 11 attacks as nations backing the
U.S.-led "war on terror" try to prevent militancy spreading to unstable and
poor nations.

"The West's long-term strategic interest in depriving terrorists of safe
havens may animate greater economic and political involvement in the region
to remedy or forestall state failure," it said.

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ZIMBABWE: Land Bill passed as farm violence increases

JOHANNESBURG, 9 May (IRIN) - Zimbabwe's parliament has passed a controversial law aimed at speeding up redistribution of land, as a local human rights group warned that illegal farm invasions had increased.

With the Land Acquisition and Amendment Bill being passed on Wednesday a constitutional lawyer, Greg Linnington of the University of Zimbabwe, said the ramifications for farmers were "pretty grim". The passing of the Bill made permanent temporary amendments to the land law by President Robert Mugabe.

"Various restrictions that were once temporary will now be made permanent. Restrictions that were imposed on farmers included regulating how they could utilise their land and providing for the seizure by the state of farm equipment and the like.

"It's designed to accelerate land acquisition by the state. The whole thing is generally bad news for the agricultural community," said Linnington.

He explained that Zimbabwe's constitution was amended before the last parliamentary election in 2000. A new section was added "that explicitly states that in the absence of the British government providing funding for land reform, the government no longer had a duty to pay compensation for land acquired" in the land reform programme. He said it was unlikely any legal challenge to the law would be upheld in court.

"There are certainly some good arguments that can be raised but the way the Supreme Court is now [with many independent judges having resigned], one can only feel pessimistic. There may also be various international pressures that could be brought to bear. The food situation is drastic, any sane government would not do what this government is doing. [Government's] policies are taking a bad situation and making it worse," he said.

Meanwhile, Zimbabwe's Human Rights NGO Forum (Human Rights Forum) warned that: "The attacks on commercial farmers and their workers have intensified with incidents of violence and evictions on the increase countrywide.

"These evictions are illegal and are not being carried out by any government officials, which would perhaps lend the processes some level of legitimacy, but are instead being enforced by [ruling party] ZANU-PF militia and war veterans."

Farmers and farm workers were sometimes given as little as one hour's notice. "The process has involved high levels of intimidation, property damage and looting. The police have taken no positive action to curb the evictions and have been reported to merely observe evictions as they took place," the Human Rights Forum alleged.

Having been evicted from farms, workers faced a desperate situation. "Most have worked at their respective farms all their lives and have no alternative rural homes to go to. They are essentially internal refugees with no access to any essential resources, that is, food, water and shelter," the organisation said.

The controversial ad hoc land redistribution programme has plunged Zimbabwe into a political and economic crisis. President Mugabe has declared a state of disaster due to critical food shortages brought about by exceptionally low agricultural production due to drought and other factors. Many claim the food crisis was exacerbated by the disruption of commercial farming by land invasions and illegal evictions.

Agence France Presse reported on Tuesday that Finance Minister Simba Makoni told parliament that the economy had shrunk by 7.3 percent last year. He also reportedly urged the government to "enable all farmers to farm without disruption".

The European Commission announced on Wednesday that it had approved food aid worth (Euro) ?6.5 million (about US $5.8 million) for Zimbabwe.

The European Commission Humanitarian Aid Office (ECHO) said: "This decision is designed to ensure that some of those in need have access to minimum food supplies in the coming months. This assistance will fund the purchase of 8,070 mt of maize, 1,500 mt of pulses (beans) if possible at the regional level and 600 mt of vegetable oil."

The food aid would be distributed among the poorest families in 19 districts of the country severely affected by food shortages "due to climatic problems faced in 2001 as well as the worst economic crisis Zimbabwe has ever faced".

Said ECHO: "This initiative constitutes the contribution of the EC to the emergency programme launched by the World Food Programme (WFP) in late 2001, as a consequence of the deterioration of the food security situation in the country.

"With an estimated initial target population of 558,000 people for the overall programme, this contribution will provide relief to those households that have become even more exposed to the risk of food insecurity."

The food is scheduled to reach the struggling Zimbabwean population within the next few weeks.
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      'Land law changes can be challenged'

      Staff Reporter
      5/9/02 3:17:52 AM (GMT +2)

      RULING ZANU PF legislators were last night expected to use their
majority to bulldoze through Parliament the Land Acquisition Act Amendment
Bill, but legal experts warned that the procedures used to push the Bill
through could be successfully challenged in court.

      Justice Minister Patrick Chinamasa yesterday moved a motion to suspend
some of Parliament's standing orders to fast-track amendments to the Land
Acquisition Act, which expire today.

      The Parliamentary Legal Committee (PLC), which is supposed to receive
a Bill 26 days before its first reading in Parliament, was only given the
Bill this Tuesday.

      The period in which the PLC is supposed to report back to Parliament,
which resumed sitting two weeks early on Tuesday, was also reduced to only
one hour.

      Legal experts said the handling by the government of the Land Act
amendments was similar to the General Laws Amendment Bill, which was
fast-tracked through Parliament in January but was struck down by the
Supreme Court in March.

      "It is similar in substance with the General Laws Amendment Bill," a
legal expert told the Financial Gazette. "There is good reason for success
if challenging the procedures in a competent court."

      The Supreme Court in March nullified the General Laws Amendment Act in
a case brought against Chinamasa and Attorney-General Andrew Chigovera by
Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) Member of Parliament Tendai Biti.

      The court found that Chinamasa had used improper procedures to push
the Bill through.

      MDC secretary-general Welshman Ncube, who is also a member of the PLC,
said the presentation of the Land Act amendments was in violation of the
March Supreme Court ruling.

      "This is erroneous and in violation of the Supreme Court ruling and I
have no doubt in my mind that anyone who will challenge it will win," he
said. Biti agreed.

      President Robert Mugabe used his controversial Presidential Powers
(Temporary Measures) Act to make amendments to the Land Acquisition Act last

      The amendments, which have been in force for six months and expire
today, gave the government full rights to land when an acquisition order has
been issued to a farmer as part of its land reform programme.

      As a result a large number of farmers has been given 90 days to cease
work and vacate their properties, further destabilising Zimbabwe's
agricultural sector.

      The sector, the backbone of the country's economy, has experienced a
significant drop in output, especially that of food.

      The government this year has to import maize to feed more than one
million people threatened with starvation because of the land reforms and a

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      US$23 million required immediately for food

      Staff Reporter
      5/9/02 3:19:09 AM (GMT +2)

      THE government needs to raise more than US$23 million immediately to
import an additional 170 000 tonnes of maize and wheat to meet the shortfall
of food needed to feed millions of starving Zimbabweans up to the end of
this month.

      Finance Minister Simba Makoni said Zimbabwe has only 230 000 tonnes of
grain out of the 400 000 tonnes required to meet food requirements up to the
end of this month and the government was now scrounging for funds for the
remaining 170 000 tonnes.

      The food import is expected to cost Zimbabwe, which is facing severe
foreign currency problems, about US$23.5 million at current import prices.

      It costs about US$137.40 to import a tonne of maize from South Africa.

      "Projections are that we need to import 400 000 tonnes of food up to
the end of May 2002 and of that amount 230 000 tonnes has already been
purchased which means we still need another 170 000 tonnes for which we are
still looking for funds," Makoni told journalists yesterday.

      So far, up to US$37 million has been spent by the government on food

      He said the country, which is facing a severe food shortage caused by
disruptions of activity of commercial farms and the drought, would also need
up to 1.2 million tonnes of grain between June 2002 and May next year.

      That would cost cash-strapped Zimbabwe at least US$165 million at the
current import prices.

      Makoni would however not say where the government would get the money
required to import the food, particularly against the backdrop of strained
relations between Harare and the international community.

      International donors, led by the United Nations' World Food Programme,
are however carrying out a separate relief effort and have so far raised
about US$20.7 million or 25 percent of their initial target of US$83.6

      This means that greater efforts by the government and donors are
required to arrest a looming humanitarian crisis that could plunge Zimbabwe
into social upheaval.

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      Farmers to meet banks over $30bln loan

      Staff Reporter
      5/9/02 3:05:39 AM (GMT +2)

      ZIMBABWE'S white farmers will this month meet banks and other
financial institutions to negotiate the rescheduling of an estimated $30
billion debt which the farmers owe the finance industry, according to
Commercial Farmers' Union (CFU) president Colin Cloete.

      "We want to start discussion with banks so that they can understand
the current situation on the farms," Cloete told the Financial Gazette this

      "Farmers are being chased away and are not allowed to sell their
agriculture equipment and yet they have to repay banks. At the moment
farmers owe banks around $30 billion - that is the money that they borrowed
last season."

      Ruling ZANU PF supporters have intensified a campaign to forcibly
evict the farmers from the land since President Robert Mugabe's
controversial re-election last March.

      The veterans say they are seizing the land to punish the farmers who
they accuse of backing international sanctions on Mugabe, his officials and
their families.

      The CFU says 250 of its members have been chased off their properties
since the March poll and says that some of the dispossessed farmers may
default on the loan repayments.

      In most cases the veterans have prevented the farmers from removing
irrigation and other farm equipment from farms they have seized.

      While the government itself has declared that it is illegal for
farmers to take away equipment and implements from farms targeted for
seizure, there is no law empowering the government to do this.

      It is feared that if the affected farmers are not allowed to sell
their equipment, crops or livestock, then they will be forced to default on
their loans.

      Cloete said the CFU was still trying to talk to the government to
bring an end to the intimidation of the farmers. But the organisation had
met with little success so far.

      An attempt by farmers to help resolve the land crisis by voluntarily
offering land to the government under the Zimbabwe Joint Resettlement
Initiative (ZJRI) virtually collapsed just before the presidential

      Cloete said the government now seemed disinterested in the programme
under which 558 farms had already been given to the government under ZJRI,
launched by farmers and the government last year to end the long-running
dispute on land ownership.

      "We have to dialogue but it is not working at the moment because the
government shut it (ZJRI) before the elections."

      Mugabe says he wants the fast-track land reforms completed by the end
of August this year.

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      Suppressing dissent is inviting violence

      Eunice Mafundikwa
      5/9/02 2:50:49 AM (GMT +2)

      THE government's continued harassment of some Zimbabweans and
near-successful attempts to suppress all forms of dissent offers fertile
ground for breeding of violence.

      Today very few options remain for democratic means of expressing

      All avenues of democratic and legitimate forms of dissent have been
closed. The government has, through a plethora of legislation, criminalised
normal political activities in its bid to retain power.

      The space for dissenters is shrinking with each day that passes.
Police clearance has to be sought to hold a meeting deemed political.

      Recently the government arrested National Constitutional Assembly
chairperson Lovemore Madhuku and two others from his office for planning a
peaceful demonstration to pressure the government to adopt a new
constitution. At this rate, it will not be surprising if people are picked
up for imagining in their heads a new Zimbabwe without certain figures.



      On April 6 2002, about 400 NCA protesters, including Madhuku, were
arrested on the streets of Harare under a section of the draconian Public
Order and Security Act, which the police say compels protesters to obtain
police permission before staging a demonstration.

      On the other hand, journalists continue to be harassed almost on a
daily basis. Now even drivers who ferry reporters to their assignments are
allegedly being taken in for questioning.

      Very few


      Such heavy-handedness leaves people with very few choices. The African
National Congress once put it this way during the struggle against

      "The time comes in the life of any nation when there remain only two
choices - submit or fight. That time has now come to South Africa. We shall
not submit and we have no choice but to hit back by all means in our power
in defence of our people, our future and our freedom."

      Speaking in the dock during the Rivonia Trial, Nelson Mandela was not
ashamed to be identified with violence.

      He said: "It was only when all else had failed, when all channels of
peaceful protest had been barred to us, that the decision was made to embark
on violent forms of political struggle, and to form Umkhonto we Sizwe. We
did so not because we desired such a course, but solely because the
government had left us with no other choice."

      The danger of the present situation is that the people of Zimbabwe may
soon feel they have no choice but to use force in order to defend themselves
against force.

      This, of course, will offer an already desperate government a great
opportunity to indiscriminately slaughter its own people it considers
dissidents. But with more than 100 innocent Zimbabweans already reportedly
murdered in the last two years for holding a different political opinion,
many more are likely to be convinced that violence would be the only way to
get rid of state violence. As they say, forewarned is forearmed.

      The continued wave of retribution, burning down of houses belonging to
opposition supporters and more farm seizures will make it seem justifiable
to return violence with violence.

      But even in this hour, there is need for government to still exercise
control and stop further assaults if Zimbabwe is to be saved from plunging
itself into a war zone.

      Eunice Mafundikwa is a Zimbabwean journalist currently on a
Transnational Justice and Human Rights Fellowship Programme at the
University of Cape Town in South Africa.

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      Journalists are Zimbabwe's endangered species

      Canisio Mudzimu
      5/9/02 2:49:14 AM (GMT +2)

      SINGING about the paradox of the power of truth, the talented South
African musician Lucky Dube points out that the "truth about the truth is
that if you stand for the truth, you will always stand alone".

      Dube's assertions are very true for Zimbabwe with the only variation
that if you stand for the truth in Zimbabwe you run the risk of standing
trial or being dragged before the courts for contravening the Access to
Information and Protection of Privacy Act.

      If you stand for the truth in this country, you are on the borderline
of joining a list of the most endangered species in the country.

      I am reminded of Haiti under the repressive and iron-fisted rule of
the Duvaliers - Papa Doc and Baby Doc - who were determined to turn Haiti
into a personal fiefdom through a myriad of policies and rules most of which
defied logic and all reason.

      Francois (Papa Doc) in particular wanted to perpetuate his autocracy
and totalitarianism by enacting a code in 1958 that allowed the state
machinery to shoot any journalists found "guilty" of spreading "false news"!

      When desperation for power reaches such horrendous heights then we
      might be heading towards Armageddon!

      I am equally reminded of Malawi under the despotic rule of Hastings
Kamuzu Banda when dissent was virtually crushed under the foot. Press
freedom was practically absent and journalists were persecuted and routinely

      Even novels that were viewed to be a threat to the survival of the
one-party system were banned and Animal Farm by George Orwell is a classic

      Songs were not spared either from the axe as a song, Cecilia, was
banned because its title coincided with the name of the official hostess -

      I would like to believe that Zimbabwe is not heading in the Haitian
and Malawian direction as it leads to the abyss of Press freedom

      Speaking on the importance of a constitution, Martin Luther King
Junior stated that "when the architects of our republic wrote the
magnificent words of the constitution, they were signing a promissory note
to which every American was to fall heir".
      I am compelled to reiterate these words today in Zimbabwe because
there is freedom of expression as per our sacred constitution but there are
conspicuous signs of diminishing freedom after expression.

      Journalists are living in constant fear of being arrested for
contravening sections of the recently enacted Access to Information and
Protection of Privacy Act, which has already made an imprint on the media
fraternity. Some journalists have already sought asylum in overseas and
neigh-bouring countries for fear of the unknown.

      Press freedom in the country is heading towards the precipice of doom
and the journalism profession has been made the most susceptible to risk in
Zimbabwe. It is
      worse for those journalists from the independent media who are
      to be critical of government policies and who staunchly and fervently
      believe that "open rebuke is better than secret love", as the Bible

      Zimbabwe must take heed of Benjamin Disraeli's advice that "no
      government can be long secure without a formidable opposition".

      It should be acknowledged in this landlocked southern African country
that it is impossible to frog-march every Zimbabwean to dance to the
"Agirimende" tune. It should be loud and clear that a free Press is
essential for democracy and instilling fear in journalists in order to
cockpit them into writing "favourable" stories is

      Zimbabwe must remember that it signed the Universal Declaration of
Human and Peoples' Rights whose Article 19 advocates freedom of expression
and also the African Charter which has the same provision.

      The country must act in tandem with the provisions of these charters,
and moreso its constitution. Sacrificing the lives of journalists on an
altar of
      political expediency defeats the whole concept of liberal democracy.

      The country's image is in desperate need of a makeover. We cannot
afford to be the world's pariah once more.

      As the architects of this republic contemplate improving the image of
the country, they must show that their zeal is not "full of sound and fury,
signifying nothing". It does not do this country's image any good if
journalists are incessantly being detained, cautioned and tried because that
sends bad signals to the international community.

      It is high time we resorted to image-building. By "victimising"
journalists we might be proving to the world that our determination to win
back its confidence is in fact much ado about nothing.

      Paulo Freire once pointed out that one true word sets the entire world
free, just as the holy book states that the truth shall set you free. The
government must not be afraid of facing the truth because "open rebuke is
better than secret love", as the book of Proverbs in the Bible says.

      Instead of arresting journalists and cautioning them perpetually, it
is high time the government acknowledged that a free Press is necessary for
democracy and that for this country to be perceived as a democracy, it must
behave as one.

      Canisio Mudzimu is a freelance writer. He can be contacted on e-mail

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      US earmarks US$15m for Zim projects

      Staff Reporter
      5/9/02 3:18:27 AM (GMT +2)

      THE US government will this year disburse more than US$15 million
($825 million) to Zimbabwe for development projects, according to the
American embassy in Harare.

      "The United States is providing continuing assistance to the people of
Zimbabwe in the areas of HIV/AIDS, micro enterprise development, housing and
other development projects amounting to more than US$15 million per year,"
the embassy said.

      Washington, one of the most vocal critics of President Robert Mugabe's
government, has already set aside US$20 million ($1.1 billion) for 34 430
tonnes of maize meal and other food commodities to feed 170 000 people
affected by food shortages in Zimbabwe's rural areas.

      The US has also provided a $650 000 grant for an irrigation project at
the Jairos Jiri Centre in Gwanda, which will be commissioned by US
ambassador Joseph Sullivan today.
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                  Mudzuri's nonsense
                  5/9/02 2:05:17 AM (GMT +2)

                  HARARE'S new mayor Elias Mudzuri has gravely let down the
residents of Zimbabwe's capital and, because of his membership of the MDC,
is unfortunately signposting an intolerable manner in which the opposition
party could govern Zimbabwe should it win a national vote.

                  That Mudzuri and his publicists should today stand up in
defence of the odiously opulent mayoral mansion is an insult to Harare's
hard-pressed ratepayers.

                  For the mayor himself to move into the so-called guest
house of the symbol of corruption and misrule, which have brought Zimbabwe
to its bended knees, is an outrage.

                  But even more outrageous is the fact that Mudzuri,
whatever the reason, has defied his own party's order not only to shun the
monstrous mansion but not to accept an equally ostentatious car for his own
official use, on top of an executive salary.

                  It matters little whether it was the full council, or its
security department or even Local Government Minister Ignatius Chombo who
may have recommended that the mayor moves into the mansion.

                  Nor does it matter really if it was the previous
government-appointed Harare commission which bought the top-of-the-range
Mercedes-Benz limo, or that state regulations specify that the mayor should
receive a monthly pay of $400 000.

                  At the end of the day, it is up to Mudzuri to either
decline or accept all or part of these perks, weighing as he should the
financial position of the city, which cries out for basics such as working
street and traffic lights, toilets and refuse collection, among a litany of
long-outstanding needs.

                  Are Harare ratepayers to assume that Chombo would have
vetoed Mudzuri had the mayor decided and then proceeded to live in a modest
house and to use an equally modest car after the council sold off both the
mansion and the Merc?

                  Are Harare residents to assume that Chombo would have
refused to approve a request by Mudzuri and his council to take pay cuts to
show that, under Zimbabwe's belt-tightening for most, they want to lead by
example because theirs is a more caring and untainted administration?

                  The nonsense that Mudzuri and his officials are now
peddling in defence of the intolerable, notwithstanding the politically
motivated directives from Chombo, cannot and must not be allowed to stand.

                  Mudzuri must simply get out of the mansion now and do
something about his other outlandish perks or he will drag the MDC down the
familiar path of endless talks and consultations with "our people" while
postponing the resolution of real issues that face the nation.

                  Harare ratepayers - indeed most Zimbabweans - are fed up
with officials who, upon their election into office, quickly forget their
campaign promises and instead rush to join the gravy train that starkly
offends amid withering human misery.

                  For the MDC, Mudzuri represents the party's
highest-ranking local government official whose actions are rightly under
the national spotlight for obvious reasons.

                  By deeds and these alone, he must therefore chart a new
era of sensitive and responsible governance if only because Zimbabweans will
most likely judge the MDC's possible performance at national level by what
its officials do at local level.

                  In many ways, the MDC's aspirations for higher national
office are being tested to the limit by the way its mayors across the
country run their cities and towns. It is like an internship which must
result in the MDC outflanking its political foes.

                  Thus either the MDC's mayors perform now and lift further
the image of their party to deserve greater responsibilities in future or
they fail and drag it down the road to inevitable oblivion. The message
couldn't be that clearer.
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      Mudzuri's nonsense


      Menashe cons Chiluba

      By David Masunda Deputy Editor-in-Chief
      5/9/02 3:07:46 AM (GMT +2)

      INTERNATIONAL wheeler-dealer Ari Ben-Menashe, paid millions by the
Zimbabwe government to spruce up its tattered image, conned the
administration of former Zambian president Frederick Chiluba of more than
US$6 million (about $330 million at the official exchange rate) three years
ago, it was established this week.

      The London Court of International Arbitration (LCIA), in a
determination just made public, has ordered Ben-Menashe and his Carlington
Sales Company to pay back US$6 108 822 plus interest for failing to supply
impoverished Zambia with 50 000 tonnes of maize it paid for in 1998.

      The judgment was made by arbitrator Axel H Baum after leading South
African bank Nedcor Bank Limited, acting on behalf of the Zambian
government, appealed to the international court because Ben-Menashe had
refused to pay back the money after failing to deliver the maize.

      But the money trail might prove elusive and just as hazy as the
underworld of international wheeling and dealing, as Nedcor has found out.

      Willem Kruger, the bank's head for legal affairs, told the Financial
Gazette that Carlington has "liquidated itself" to avoid repaying the money
it conned out of the Zambian authorities.

      "We are unable to effect our rights in terms of the arbitration
because Carlington has liquidated itself," Kruger said by telephone from
Johannesburg yesterday.

      According to court documents, Zambia's Food Reserve Agency was
introduced to Ben-Menashe in 1997. The agency then entered into an agreement
with the former spy in Israel's Mossad agency to buy 50 000 tonnes of maize
from Carlington, one of the businessman's firms.

      Ben-Menashe, at the centre of a court case in Zimbabwe after allegedly
trapping opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai into a plot to assassinate
President Robert Mugabe, was initially paid US$2.4 million by the Zambian
government in 1997 as a deposit for the maize.

      He was further paid other amounts to total US$7 746 108 by April 1999
after a new contract was negotiated and the US$2.4 million was carried over
into the new 1998 corn contract.

      But the controversial businessman began to prevaricate when asked to
supply the maize saying part of the payment for the maize deal was for the
"lobbying" work he did on behalf of Chiluba and the Zambian government and
that the US$2.4 million was never meant to be carried forward into the 1998
corn account.

      He alleged that some of the money meant for him for both the maize
deal and the lobby work had disappeared because of rampant corruption
involving senior Zambian government officials under Chiluba, including the
president's close advisers.

      Ben-Menashe said he was forced to bribe many influential Zambians and
claimed that a former leading opposition politician, Paul Tembo, was
brutally murdered in Lusaka around that time because he was going to testify
on his behalf.

      Baum, the sole arbitrator, dismissed Ben-Menashe's defence and ruled
that the former spy's offer to provide evidence of rampant corruption in
Chiluba's government was "clouded with references to the need for prior
approval from some nebulous authorities" and was only meant to delay

      The maize deal has attracted immense media scrutiny in Zambia and
internationally because it allegedly involves former senior members of the
Chiluba cabinet such as finance minister Edith Nawakwi, now in opposition,
and Chiluba's special adviser Donald Chanda.

      The LCIA, whose investigations give a glimpse into the murky
underworld of so-called international lobbyists such as Ben-Menashe, was
instituted after the former Israeli spy tried to wriggle out of his
obligations to deliver the maize by inferring that the money for the deal
was diverted to "special projects" demanded by Chiluba.

      In the complex arrangement, Ben-Menashe - a self-proclaimed admirer of
Mugabe - was also paid various sums by the Zambian government for
"international lobbying" while at the same time collecting millions in hard
currency to supply maize to the drought-stricken country.

      Ben-Menashe's Canadian-based Dickens and Madson public relations
company has since been employed by the Zimbabwean government and the ruling
ZANU PF party to lobby internationally to improve Zimbabwe's battered image.

      Dickens and Madson, which is supposed to have secretly recorded senior
Zimbabwean opposition leaders plotting to kill Mugabe last year, is involved
in the treason court case against Tsvangirai where its video tapes form the
key evidence that might be presented by the prosecution.

      The Canada-based businessman, who has been in and out of Harare since
the video tapes were broadcast leading to the charge against Tsvangirai and
two senior members of his party, says he has now distanced himself from the
case because he is preoccupied with lobbying for Zimbabwe.

      The LCIA has ordered Ben-Menashe to pay Nedcor US$4 988 508 for breach
of contract and interest of US$1 120 313. The businessman will also pay the
costs of the arbitration court amounting to 255 213 British pounds.

      Kruger said Nedcor was participating in Carlington's liquidation
process to try to recover some of its money and did not rule out pursuing
Ben-Menashe himself.

      "We are certainly investigating whatever we can do . . . we are
looking for alternative means to recover the money," Kruger said.

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      Invaded farms: Matter-of-fact
      5/9/02 3:15:15 AM (GMT +2)

      ONLY two out of the 44 farms leased by the government to prominent
blacks for commercial farming in Marula Block in Matabeleland South have
been invaded by war veterans and villagers, a farmers' spokesman said this

      Spokesman Jonathan Maphenduka was correcting a report in last week's
Financial Gazette which erroneously said most of the farms had been invaded.

      "The confusion appears to have been caused by the fact that I said
poaching of valuable wildlife and animals such as cattle was taking place on
virtually all the farms," Maphenduka said.

      "Only my farm and that of Justice Misheck Cheda have been invaded.
There is rampant poaching on virtually all the farms and most farmers have
lost a lot of cattle," he said.

      The Editor-in-Chief of the Financial Gazette, Francis Mdlongwa,
apologised to the newspaper's readers and said: "This is the kind of
journalism we cannot and must not tolerate. The reporter concerned has been
warned sternly for gravely impairing this newspaper's credibility and is on
notice that he will be summarily dismissed should any such slip-up ever
occur again.

      "We cannot countenance a situation where reporters, for whatever
reason, fail to do their basic homework of checking and double-checking
facts and instead file half-baked stories which lower the newspaper's
reputation in the eyes of the paying public."

      - Staff Reporter
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      Stamps still too ill for work
      5/9/02 3:13:20 AM (GMT +2)

      HEALTH Minister Timothy Stamps, who has been suffering from an
undisclosed illness since last October, says he is on the mend but not yet
ready to resume official duties.

      Speaking to the Financial Gazette this week through his wife Cindy,
Stamps said doctors from the government's Parirenyatwa Hospital were
treating him at his Harare home. He declined to be interviewed.

      Stamps, one of the longest serving Cabinet ministers in President
Robert Mugabe's Cabinet, collapsed in Kwekwe last October while on his way
to an official engagement in Nkayi.

      He was said to have suffered brain damage at the time and was at one
time admitted to Harare's St Giles Rehabilitation Centre for physiotherapy.

      He was initially expected to be back in office in mid-January but his
family has not shed any light on whether Stamps, whose ailment has not been
disclosed, has relapsed or is still merely recuperating.

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      Urban transport faces collapse: operators

      Staff Reporter
      5/9/02 3:12:16 AM (GMT +2)

      ZIMBABWE'S urban commuter transport operators, who are fighting
controls by the government, this week warned that the country's urban
transport sector could collapse unless the state lifts what they said were
unreasonable controls on the price of fares.

      Operators who spoke to the Financial Gazette said in the past year the
cost of spare parts had gone up by more than 100 percent without a
corresponding increase in revenue, threatening the survival of their

      "We do not have problems with the government controlling fares as long
as it controls the whole supply chain, otherwise if this practice continues
there will hardly be any commuter buses on the roads within the next few
months," one Harare operator said.

      "Why would the government want to control the fares when it is not
doing the same to our suppliers? The cost of some spares has gone up by
nearly 300 percent in the past one year when we did not even have a single
fare increase so how do they (the government) think we should operate?"

      The last urban commuter fare hike was in June last year in response to
a shocking 70 percent increase in the price of fuel.

      Last week the operators tried to introduce a 30 percent fare hike but
the government, which has reverted to its price control policies of the
1980s, declared the hikes unjustified and therefore illegal.

      The government maintains that increasing commuter fares in the absence
of a fuel price increase is profiteering by the operators.

      However the operators argue that in the distorted market in which they
are operating in, the cost of spares and not of fuel is the main threat to
their businesses. The government also controls the cost of fuel.

      The operators said the huge costs of spares were increasingly pushing
most them out of business. Unless something was done urgently, they noted,
urban commuters could suddenly find themselves without transport.

      "A year ago, our average daily costs were around
      $300 000, but they have now increased to between $1 million and $1.5
million," said Everton Magagani, a Power Coach Express buyer. "The cost of
spares has been going up almost on a daily basis."

      Magagani, whose firm runs a fleet of more than 50 buses - mainly as
commuter buses - said barely 11 months ago in June last year one bus tyre
cost between $60 000 and $70 000 depending on the supplier and size, but
this had increased to $158 000.

      This, he said, was the same with other vehicle consumables such as
bearings, brake drums, lubricators and bulbs, among other necessities.

      "We used to buy new spares altogether, but what we are now doing is
trying to repair the damaged parts and fitting them back on the buses but
they are not as good as the new ones," he said.

      This, he said, could only be done up to a certain point after which
new spares had to be bought if the buses were to remain on the roads.

      The runaway increase in the cost of vehicle parts, fuelled mainly by
foreign currency shortages and high import duties, has forced individual
operators who hardly have enough financial resources to park their vehicles,
thus cutting the number of buses on most roads.

      Urban transport, once a preserve of the state-controlled Zimbabwe
United Passenger Company, was opened up about 10 years ago in line with the
government's policy of economic liberalisation.

      This allowed private players to invest in the sector, whose service
and efficiency seemed to improve.

      But recent events indicate that with the latest problems, some of the
players in the sector are getting frustrated and moving their businesses to
neighbouring countries which they perceive to be more conducive to doing

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      New famine threat for Zimbabwe

      By Nqobile Nyathi Assistant Editor
      5/9/02 3:09:37 AM (GMT +2)

      THE Department of Meteorological Services said this week an El Nino
could hit southern Africa at the end of this year, which analysts said could
cause widespread famine in Zimbabwe, which already faces a food crisis
caused by a drought and disruptions on commercial farms.

      Meteorological Department director Leonard Unganai said his
organisation was monitoring developments in the Pacific, where the warming
of waters to above normal temperatures usually triggers the El Nino

      Spanish for "boy child", the El Nino can cause floods and droughts in
different regions of the world, sometimes with serious socio-economic

      Unganai told the Financial Gazette: "We have already started
disseminating some information on that effect. We have reasonable evidence
that we have an El Nino developing in the Pacific.

      "This is about the time of the year that it usually starts to develop
and by the time we reach December, it will be evident. We are also closely
monitoring developments in the Indian Ocean."

      According to weather experts, southern Africa in an El Nino year might
experience brief rainfall at the end of winter and then receive nothing
during summer. The region relies on summer rain at the end of the year and
into the new year, mainly to support its maize crops through winter.

      About the possibility of a drought in Zimbabwe next year, Unganai
cautioned: "It's a bit difficult to be deterministic about the effect, but
the current state of the global weather system is not quite right in terms
of having a good rainfall season. It's better to prepare for the worst."

      He said an El Nino warning expected to be issued by regional weather
experts at a meeting in September would enable countries to come up with
contingency measures to deal with the possible effects of the weather

      Zimbabwe analysts said a severe El Nino accompanied by a drought in
southern Africa would be disastrous for the region, where 2.6 million people
are already receiving food aid because of poor rainfall and inadequate crop
yields this year.

      Zimbabwe this year has to import at least 1.2 million tonnes of maize
to feed more than one million people facing food shortages as a result of a
drought, farm seizures by ruling ZANU PF supporters and a government land
reform plan which has destabilised the mainstay agricultural sector.

      Economic consultant John Robertson said: "We are watching the same
sequence that we saw in 1991 and that was followed by that very severe
drought in 1992. It ties in with an 11-year cycle that we have seen in
Zimbabwe for some time.

      "The drought in 1992 was the worst that can be remembered and the
damage done was severe. It wasn't apparent that it would happen until
January of the same year. This year, there has been some warning and the
country can start importing and building up stocks. The whole situation is
disastrous for everyone."

      The analysts said the consequences of another El Nino-induced drought
would be worsened by the fact that Zimbabwe, which has declared a state of
disaster because of the latest food shortages, has no foreign currency for

      The country has also been alienated by the international community
because of the disputed re-election in March of President Robert Mugabe and
his controversial policies.

      "The food situation is getting worse and we are agreed with the donor
agencies that Zimbabwe could physically run out of both maize and wheat
around the end of June or the beginning of July," a farming industry
official said.

      "The government has not yet responded to donors' proposals on food aid
because it has to take a position on violence, lawlessness and what's
happening in the farming sector. If there is no response from the
government, then famine-type conditions are inevitable."
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