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

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Zim Online

Armed police raid trade union offices
Sat 14 May 2005
  HARARE - Armed police yesterday raided the offices of the Zimbabwe
Congress of Trade Unions (ZCTU) seizing documents as the government steps up
a crackdown against civic society in the aftermath of last March's disputed
parliamentary election.

      Police details, who rummaged through ZCTU offices seizing files and
computer diskettes, said they wanted the material to prove that the union
was illegally dealing in foreign currency.

      ZCTU leaders immediately dismissed the claim they were illegally
dealing in forex as a mere ploy by the government to harass them and
intimidate them from fighting for workers' rights and freedoms.

      "The police impounded most of our floppy diskettes and some files.
They said they were investigating some cases of fraud and of involvement in
illegal foreign currency dealings by union officials," ZCTU secretary
general Wellington Chibebe said.

      "This is just a way of trying to intimidate the ZCTU but we will not
be deterred. We are now used to these dirty tactics. We will remain focused.
We have not been involved in any illegal forex dealings they are talking
about," he added.

      Police officers approached by ZimOnline as they searched through ZCTU
offices refused to answer questions, while police spokesman Wayne Bvudzijena
could not be reached for comment last night.

      But sources at police headquarters in Harare said the raid was ordered
from high office and that it was part of a plan to destabilise major union
and civic society groups aligned to the opposition Movement for Democratic
Change (MDC) party.

      "The instructions are coming from above . . . the idea is to
destabilise the entire labour union and all the organisations which are
sympathetic to the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC). The ZCTU still has
strong ties with the MDC," said a senior police officer, who did not want to
be named for fear of victimisation.

      State security agents including the feared spy Central Intelligence
Organisation, last month raided about 14 non-governmental organisations
(NGOs) quizzing officials about their operations and sources of income.

      The government claimed it was probing the NGOs to ensure they were
operating within the law and that they were not offloading foreign currency
received from outside funders onto the illegal black-market.

      The National Association of NGOs (NANGOs) said the government inquiry
appeared to be more than just meant to ensure civic bodies were operating
within the law but appeared to have an ulterior motive. The association said
it feared the state could use information gathered during the raids to close
down targeted NGOs once the new NGO Bill becomes effective law.

      Relations between the ZCTU and the government have been hostile since
the labour union gave birth to the MDC in 1999.

      Earlier this year, ZimOnline broke a story that the CIO had been
tasked to engineer a leadership change at the ZCTU and ensure pro-government
leaders take over control of the powerful union. - ZimOnline

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Zim Online

Inflation surges to 129.1 percent
Sat 14 May 2005
  HARARE - Zimbabwe's year-on-year inflation rate for April stood at 129.1,
a 5.4 percentage point increase on the 123.7 percent recorded the previous
month, the Central Statistical Office (CSO) said yesterday.

      The CSO said increases in both food and non-food items pushed the key
rate up with food price increases accounting for 43.6 percentage points
while non-food items accounted for 85.5 percentage points. Food inflation,
prone to transitory shocks stood at 112.5 percent gaining 7.6 percentage
points on the March 2005 figure of 104,9 percent.

      Non-food inflation stood at 139.5, a gain of 3.7 percentage points on
the March 2005 rate of 135.8 percent.

      The month-on-month inflation rate in April 2005 was 7.4 percent
gaining 3.2 percentage points on the 4.2 percent in March.

      Asked on why his office based calculations of inflation on official
prices of products when most consumers are accessing the commodities on the
black market where traders charge double or even treble the official prices,
CSO acting director Moffat Nyoni said while it was true the black market
existed, goods were still available in some shops.

      Nyoni said prices of goods were still on the upward trend last month
but at a slower rate than in April 2004.

      President Robert Mugabe has declared inflation, which hit an all time
high of 620 percent in December 2004, as his government's "enemy number one".

      At 129.1 percent, Zimbabwe's inflation remains among the highest such
rates in the world. - ZimOnline

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Zim Online

MDC lawyers complain over non-filing of opposing papers
Sat 14 May 2005
  HARARE - Lawyers representing opposition Movement for Democratic Change
(MDC) party candidates contesting ZANU PF's victory in 13 constituencies
last March complained to Judge President Paddington Garwe yesterday that
ruling party candidates had not filed opposing papers way past the deadline
to do so.

      The lawyers raised the matter at a meeting in Harare called by Garwe
to discuss the modalities of setting down of the petitions within the
six-month period prescribed by law.

      ZANU PF candidates and their lawyers also attended the meeting.

      One of the lawyers for the MDC candidates told ZimOnline after the
meeting yesterday: "We don't know the response of the majority respondents
(ZANU PF candidates) as indications are that most of them have not filed
their opposing papers . . . we raised this issue with the Judge President
that some have filed while most have not."

      Garwe is said to have indicated that despite the delays in filing of
opposing papers, the four-judge Electoral Court was well manned and equipped
to conclude the petitions within the period set by law.

      The MDC is challenging victory by ZANU PF candidates in the following
constituencies: Manyame, Gweru Rural, Gwanda, Insiza, Marondera East,
Chimanimani, Bindura, Murehwa South, Mutasa South, Gutu South, Goromonzi,
Bubi-Umguza and Chegutu.

      The opposition party says the petitions are merely an exercise to
expose to the world how ZANU PF cheated its way to victory in the March 31
poll. The ruling party won 78 seats against the MDC's 41. An independent
candidate won the remaining one seat.

      The MDC rejected the poll result while local church and
non-governmental organisations that observed the election said it did not
reflect the will of Zimbabweans. But observer teams from the Southern
African Development Community and other friendly countries declared the poll
as having been free and fair. - ZimOnline

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Zim Online

Police bar protest album release
Sat 14 May 2005

      HARARE - Zimbabwean police have used harsh censorship laws to stop
local civic organisations from launching and distributing a protest music
album calling for a new and democratic constitution and also castigating
state brutality against political opponents.

      A spokeswoman of the National Constitutional Assembly, a coalition of
churches, labour, civic rights and opposition political parties that is
behind the music album had told her organisation that they could only allow
the release of the music after it is approved by the state Censorship Board.

      She said: "We have no choice but to postpone. The police said we could
not go ahead with the launch and distribution of the album until it has been
approved by the Censorship Board. We find it unacceptable that music has to
be banned in a supposedly democratic country."

      The launch of the protest music album had been scheduled for last
night after the police had on Wednesday appeared to have agreed to its

      The Censorship Board, manned by government ideologues, vets and
approves information and publications such as films, music and books before
they can be released to the public.

      Manjome said: "We are told that the censorship board would only
approve the distribution of the album if they find the content to be
desirable. So we are not optimistic that our project will be approved
because they are likely to be offended by the content. You know in Zimbabwe,
the authorities want people to listen to material that pleases the

      Mugabe and his ruling ZANU PF party have ruthlessly clamped down on
divergent voices and dissension as their hold on power has come under
increasing challenge from the main opposition Movement for Democratic Change

      Several songs by Zimbabwe's most popular musician, Thomas Mapfumo and
other artists have been banned from radio and national television because
they were deemed too critical of the government.

      Four newspapers, including the country's largest circulating non
government-owned daily, the Daily News, remain off the newsstands after they
were banned by the government in the last two years. - ZimOnline

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Institute of War and Peace Reporting

ANC Line on Human Rights Dismays West

Despite adopting liberal politics, the ANC seems reluctant to criticise the
human rights and democratic record of other developing countries.

By Peter Fabricius in Johannesburg (Africa Reports No 34, 13-May-05)

The western world has been shocked and surprised by South Africa's silence
about Zimbabwean president Robert Mugabe's flouting of democracy and abuse
of human rights, as he clings ever more desperately to power in the country
right on South Africa's northern border.

The implication of this response from the world is that South Africa, as a
great champion of human rights, should automatically condemn such abuse
literally on its doorstep.

But this dismay of international champions of human rights - including
organisations like Human Rights Watch - is in an important sense an
anachronism. Their mindset stems from the first African National Congress
administration of President Nelson Mandela which posited human rights as a
major plank of foreign policy.

Mandela's successor, Thabo Mbeki, who became president in 1999, has taken a
significantly different view of human rights and in practice, if not in
principle, has subordinated them to development.

This becomes apparent if one looks at the debates and resolutions of the
United Nations Human Rights Commission, UNHRC, in Geneva. This organisation
has been widely condemned for allowing political considerations to divert it
from its official mandate, to uphold human rights. Instead, it has become an
ideological battleground between the First and the Third World of developed
nations. This is true not only of the positions which countries take in
debates and resolutions on human rights issues but also in the election of
countries to serve on the commission itself.

In the session just ended Zimbabwe, Sudan and Cuba were all elected onto the
UNHRC, and all were supported by South Africa, which also served on the

President Mbeki's delegate took this stand despite the fact that the High
Level Panel of Experts, which UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan commissioned
to recommend major reforms to the world body, had earlier this year said the
UNHRC's capacity to fulfil its role of protecting human rights " has been
undermined by eroding credibility and professionalism".

Annan went on, "Standard-setting to reinforce human rights cannot be
performed by states that lack a demonstrated commitment to their promotion
and protection. We are concerned that in recent years states have sought
membership of the commission not to strengthen human rights but to protect
themselves against criticism or to criticise others. The commission cannot
be credible if it is seen to be maintaining double standards in addressing
human rights concerns."

In addition to backing the election of Zimbabwe, Sudan and Cuba to the
commission last month, South Africa continued to vote against resolutions
condemning human rights abuses by notable abusers such as North Korea and

On all these resolutions the First World democracies generally voted for
condemnation while the developing countries voted against. South Africa thus
found itself frequently in the company of the likes of Zimbabwe, Sudan,
Belarus and Cuba.

In the case of Cuba, one could perhaps attribute South Africa's position to
sentimental and historical ties with Fidel Castro. But the same cannot be
said for North Korea with which South Africa has had no special

It must be said that though the UNHRC surprised its critics a bit by passing
a unanimous resolution last month condemning human rights abuses in the
Darfur region of west Sudan, this could be attributed to special
circumstances. That was the first time anyone in Geneva could remember the
African group at the UNHRC condemning a fellow African country. The
resolution was only passed, though, after the European Union and other First
World countries on the commission made fairly large concessions, toning down
their criticism of the government of Sudan and allowing much more of the
African group's language criticising the Sudanese government's rebel enemies
in Darfur.

Darfur is the current focus of much attention from governments and human
rights organisations which condemn Khartoum's support for murderous
"Janjaweed" militias killing, raping and plundering the region's civilians.

But the Africans did not get all they wanted. They had proposed a resolution
which, typically, implied that Khartoum was guilty only of incompetence in
failing to enforce human rights on its territory and that it should be given
plenty of aid to increase its "capacity" to do so. The draft African
resolution reserved moral condemnation for the rebels.

The EU took the lead in persuading the Africans to turn that around and
agree to a final resolution which ordered Khartoum "to disarm the Janjaweed
militias and stop supporting them". The EU managed to do this by making some
concessions itself but also by a judicious mixture of carrots and sticks -
the former in the form of assistance to the African Union peacekeeping
effort in Darfur and the latter in the form of thinly-veiled threats to
withhold some of the considerable aid they dispense to African states.

In that sense, the Sudan resolution was exceptional.

In general, though, the voting pattern at the UNHRC shows that South Africa
has generally joined the Third World camp to vote reflexively against what
it sees as the First World using human rights as a pretext for
"interference" in the sovereignty of Third World states.

Conversely, South Africa has backed resolutions proposed by Third World
commission members, which suggest that democracy and respect for human
rights should not be expected from underdeveloped states, whose
underdevelopment should be blamed on the First World.

Such a resolution on April 14 said that "democracy, development and respect
for human rights were independent and mutually reinforcing" and "urged all
states to take measures to eliminate obstacles and threats to democracy and
to ensure that barriers to participation, such as illiteracy, poverty and
discrimination, were overcome".

The First World countries voted against this resolution. Speaking for them,
the Netherlands representative, Ian de Jong, explained why. He said the
resolution implied that international aid and development were
pre-requisites for democracy. "There should be no excuse for governments not
to allow their citizens to exercise their human rights and fundamental
freedoms," he said.

De Jong's remarks, in fact, reflect Mbeki's position rather accurately; that
it is not African and other developing world countries which must be
criticised for abusing their people but rich First World governments for
creating the socio-economic conditions which make it impossible for the
Third World governments to respect such rights.

This analysis of South Africa's UNHRC voting record suggests that no one
should have been surprised that, for example, South African election
observers last month approved Zimbabwe's controversial parliamentary
elections, which most observers regarded as deeply flawed.

If South Africa cannot bring itself to criticise the human rights abuses of
a mad state like North Korea, why would one expect it to criticise the
comparatively less draconian falsifying of election results in Zimbabwe?

The South African government routinely defends its failure to criticise
Mugabe on the grounds that it is pursuing a policy of "quiet diplomacy" - of
refraining from criticism of him in order to keep open lines of diplomatic
communication through which to influence him.

Yet the UNHRC voting record rather belies this stance. It suggests instead
that South Africa now opposes in principle any public criticism of the
democratic or human rights record of another developing country, and that it
is refraining from condemning Mugabe not because of quiet diplomacy but
because of ideology. It is a Third World socialist ideology which is still
central to the African National Congress's fundamental mindset, despite its
pragmatic adoption of free market economics and liberal politics that were
part of the grand compromise in the transition from the apartheid era.

It is an ideology that puts development well before democracy and human
rights both in moral value and realpolitik. It also places the onus for
Third World development - and therefore, by logical deduction, for Third
World respect for human rights - firmly in the hands of the First World.

Peter Fabricius is group Foreign Editor of Independent Newspapers, South
Africa's biggest newspaper group which includes the Johannesburg Star and
the Cape Argus.
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Mercenaries still in jail: lawyer

Alleged mercenaries

The alleged mercenaries should have been released on Tuesday when their sentences expired

May 14, 2005, 08:00

The 62 alleged mercenaries, imprisoned for a year in Zimbabwe, were still in Chikurubi prison at 8am, Alwyn Griebenow, their lawyer said today. The men should have been released on Tuesday when their sentences expired. However, they remained in the Chikurubi maximum security prison for several more days, though, from Thursday, in the care of immigration officials. Immigration officials have changed their minds several times about when the 62 would be released. They have also refused to say how and when the group would return to South Africa.

By this morning the two options were sending them by road to Beit Bridge where journalists have been awaiting their arrival since Wednesday, or by chartered aircraft. The 62 were among 70 men who were arrested in March last year when their Boeing 727 stopped in Harare to pick up weapons that Zimbabwe alleges were to be used to depose Teodoro Obiang Nguema, the long-time Equato-Guinean dictator, in Malabo.

Briton Simon Mann, founder of the defunct mercenary outfit Executive Outcomes and the suspected mastermind of the alleged coup, remains behind bars as he is serving a four-year term on more serious charges of breaching firearms laws. Two pilots who flew the plane into Harare are due for release in two months. The three-million-dollar Boeing 727 that flew them into Harare has been forfeited to Zimbabwe.

Mark Thatcher, the former British prime minister son, was accused of partly financing the alleged plot to install Severo Moto, the opposition leader in Malabo, and pleaded guilty to contravening the Regulation of Foreign Military Assistance Act in January. Although he paid a R3 million fine, he still strongly denies knowingly taking part in the conspiracy. - Sapa

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Islamic Republic News Agency

Zimbabwe calls for expansion of ties with Iran
Pretoria, May 14, IRNA
New Parliament Speaker of Zimbabwe John Nkomo called for promotion of
Tehran-Harare all-out cooperation in a meeting here on Friday with Iran's
Ambassador to the country Hamid Moayyer.

Nkomo was elected the new speaker of Zimbabwean parliament after the African
National Union-Patriotic Front (Zanu PF) won the April election.

In his talks to Moayyer, Nkomo also invited his Iranian counterpart Gholam
Ali Haddad Adel to pay a visit to Zimbabwe.

The Iranian ambassador said, in his part, that the parliamentary election of
Zimbabwe was a "great success" for the country.

He also noted that the last January visit to Zimbabwe of President Mohammad
Khatami and signing 12 memoranda of understanding (MoUs) during his visit
indicated Tehran-Harare good relations in all fields.

The ambassador added that Tehran contributed 150 million dollars to various
projects in Zimbabwe.


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Sent: Saturday, May 14, 2005 4:03 PM
Subject: Don't follow me, I'm lost !

Dear Family and Friends,
Some weeks it is hard to know what to write that best describes the
events, atmosphere and topic of conversation in Zimbabwe. This week I
thought that the subject matter for my letter would be obvious and easy.
On Tuesday 62 men who had allegedly been involved in plotting a coup in
Equatorial Guinea, were due to be released from Chikurubi prison in
Harare. They had come to the end of their one year prison sentence and
were to be released and then immediately deported to South Africa. Tuesday
came and went without the release of the 62 men and the rather vague
explanation offered was that the dates has been incorrectly calculated and
the release date was actually only on Wednesday.

The alleged mercenaries were not released on either Wednesday or Thursday.
Trying to follow the story on state owned radio and TV news broadcasts was
almost impossible. On one of those days an announcement was made that the
62 men had now completed their prison term and were to be released into
the custody of Immigration officials. On the next day, when nothing had
happened I determined to watch the main evening Television news to get an
update. It was three or four minutes after 8pm when I switched on what is
usually an hour long event but it seemed that there was no main evening
news that night in Zimbabwe. There was no news at all just a football
game. There was no printed crawl line at the bottom of the screen with
summarised news highlights, there was just no news at all. I must admit
that I had already listened to the news on Short Wave Radio Africa and
knew that there was actually quite a lot of news that day including people
being arrested in Mabvuku for trying to protest about having no water.

By Friday evening the 62 men had still not been released from Chikurubi. A
litany of reasons had been proffered including "logistical problems",
"security concerns", an immigration official who was "out of town" and
finally the statement that the timing of the release and method of
transportation that would be used for the deportation, was "classified

Hey Ho ! This is clearly one story I am not going to tell but all week an
image has stayed imprinted in my mind and it has given me cause to smile.
One evening the Zimbabwean lawyer involved in defending the 62 mercenaries
was shown on a South African television news program. Behind him there was
a poster on the wall which read "Don't follow me I'm lost!" How very
appropriate. Until next week, with love, cathy Copyright cathy buckle 14th
May 2005
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New Zimbabwe


      The pitiful state of Zimbabwean agriculture

      Last updated: 05/13/2005 21:08:34
      FIVE years ago this time, the Zimbabwean government began the process
of seizing commercial farmland that had been occupied by mostly white
farmers. Reaction to that on-going process has run the gamut from elation to

      Black Zimbabweans who had always had dreams of trying their hand at
farming but could not dream of owning farmland on a "willing seller-willing
buyer" basis suddenly found themselves with a chance at it at no cost.
Others who may not have been particularly passionate about farming joined
the melee to get a free piece of land, figuring that if it didn't work out,
at least there was not much to lose, the land having been parceled out for
free. Many others who had no interest in farming supported the expropriation
and re-distribution of land on historical, racial, political and emotional
grounds. Even when there were misgivings about the economic and political
advisability of the violent, disruptive methods Mugabe used, these were in
many cases muted by the widely perceived arrogance and racism of the white
farmers as a group.

      There was indeed vociferous opposition to the sudden-ness and
haphazardness of the expropriations, as well as the violence that
accompanied them, but Mugabe and his government would not be deterred. Even
among many supporters of land reform there was an aghast reaction to what
was thought to be the inevitable calamitous result of the whole exercise.
But many others dared hope that it would still somehow end up as a genuine
people's revolution, even if it initially began as the desperate gambit of a
despot with no more useful to offer his country, but afraid to be kicked out
onto the street in a free and fair ballot.

      Whatever one thinks of how and why the whole process began, Zimbabwe
desperately needs to get its commercial agriculture working again.
Agriculture has been the main engine of export earnings, employment, taxes;
the very linchpin of the Zimbabwean economy for decades now. It has
experienced huge disruptions since 2000 and there can be no talk of Zimbabwe
gaining it's economic status of yesteryear without a significant revival of
commercial agriculture. In the near-term there is simply no other single
activity that has any prospect of taking the place of agriculture as the
foundation of Zimbabwe's economy, unless perhaps there is a sudden discovery
of huge deposits of oil! Mining, tourism, manufacturing and so forth are all
bit players in the economic scheme of things compared to agriculture, and
they are all in decline anyway, because of the country's multi-faceted
economic upheavals, and because of the Mugabe regime being widely considered
to be a rogue government to be shunned.

      In reaction to the widespread protest at his methods of trying to
redress a colonial anomaly, Mugabe and his government confidently responded
that the successful "end" of his version of land reform would justify his
violent, widely disruptive " means ". It was said the white farmers were too
arrogant and recalcitrant to be removed in any other way, and perhaps it was
better anyway to destroy the old system completely than adopt a more
evolutionary approach. Armchair revolutionaries and idological theorists
from near and far swooned at the hint of the word "revolution," delirious
with joy at how this or that Mugabe fat-cat had been "empowered" by chasing
some white farmer off the land, giving him a few hours to pack his bags,
harvesting his crop and pocketing the proceeds! Surely this was black
empowerment at its finest, wasn't it? How could it possibly go wrong?

      Agriculture would flourish under the thousands of newly-created black
farmers, and the world would come around to accepting that not only was the
whole thing right politically, but that Zimbabwe would experience a golden
era of agriculture-driven economic prosperity. The whole world would then
bow down in supplication to the great man Mugabe, grovelling to him for
forgiveness for ever having doubted him. He would go out in style, at the
top of his game, having proven his increasing number of detractors wrong
about his leadership abilities. It hasn't quite worked out like that.

      Even if allowances are made for several years of adjustment in which
yields fell, five years should be enough time to give at least a rough
indication of whether the general thrust of agriculture is promising. In
other words, even if things are tough today after such sudden and wholesale
changes as have taken place in Zimbabwe's agriculture over the last few
years, are there beginning to be definite signs that in the next few years
things will begin to normalize?

      Let's see. The new farmers need huge amounts of financial, equipment
and farming-input support from the government. Huge figures are bandied
about in this regard but they are either utter fiction or it ends up in a
few selected hands. Government simply does not have resources on the scale
required. For most aspiring farmers, commercial sources of funds are out of
the question. Most do not have collateral that banks require, they do not
have track records in farming, and they have neither title deeds nor
security of tenure on the land they propose to work to hedge a potential
lender against the high risk of default in Zimbabwe's dicey economic
environment. Even if one were to actually qualify for a loan, one must think
hard about the potential consequences of borrowing millions of dollars at
interest rates of 80% or higher, even if those rates may be obviated by the
much higher rate of inflation.

      Many of the huge percentage of unpaid agri-loans given out by the
"land-bank," the government-supported Agribank, were taken out by the
politically well-connected who are untouchable. Funds that are supposed to
be rolling from farmer to farmer and from year to year disproportionately
"circulate" amongst this unproductive but untouchable clique, defeating the
whole purpose of a developmental bank. You figure out the effects of this on
farming and in a few years down the line, if not already, on that bank's

      Most who end up trying to do it themselves predictably only manage a
hand-to-mouth job or fall flat on their faces, never to venture out onto the
fields again, having been burned so painfully at what they thought would be
a fun, quick road to riches.

      Tobacco and cotton have been the crop cash cows for many years. The
first has taken a severe beating on many counts. Brazil and other countries
increased the gap Zimbabwe left during the initial upheavals on the farms
and the many new farmers who venture into this crop in hopes of making their
fortunes are finding that the prices at the auction floors may be too low
for them to sustain tobacco farming. Cotton farmers are likewise complaining
bitterly that they are being asked to sell their crop at prices below the
costs of production, to a significant extent again an effect of the crazy
official exchange rate.. A government that is flat broke is being asked to
subsidise both crops to keep the new farmers in farming at all, hoping for
better years in future.

      All these problems plus the recent sudden worsening of the fuel crisis
of many years have affected the wheat crop as well. The now-familiar cries
of insufficient working capital, inputs, tillage equipment and so forth are
being heard yet again this year. Just as we predictably currently have maize
meal shortages, look out for shortages of wheat flour soon. There will be
panicky scrounging around for money for imports, but this will just push all
our problems further back and compound them.

      The continual free-fall of the Zimbabwean dollar, the
divorced-from-reality official currency exchange rate and the country's
on-going hyper-inflation make running any business a nightmare, but they are
particularly ruinous on agro-business. For those growing exportable crops,
the Zimdollar equivalent of one's forex earnings are pegged at the amazingly
low and out-of- touch-with-reality official exchange rate, while all inputs
must be bought on the basis of free-market exchange rates at least three
times higher! On this skewed basis alone, many farmers are almost guaranteed
to make a loss before they put anything in the ground!

      Inflation of over 100% officially (but perhaps in reality much higher)
and a stagnant economy of decreasing demand mean that the cost of production
(labour in particular, but many others as well) is going up much faster than
one can compensate for. So even when you work harder and smarter than
before, the chances are still higher that you will fall behind than move

      Keeping any machinery running is a nightmare. We must keep all our old
vehicles and farm equipment running because the prices of new ones are out
of reach, but the costs of spare parts are sky high and continuing to shoot
up daily. All machinery is imported so all the considerable, numerous
problems associated with that affect every farmer very closely. At a time
when more farmers should be mechanising for efficiency, the economic reality
is pushing more of them to simple subsistence farming of little
macro-economic consequence, or out of farming all together.

      Fertiliser firms have just as hard a time as any other industry
getting foreign currency for machinery and raw materials imports. There is
virtually no money in the country at the low, dream-land official rate of
one US dollar to Zim$6,200 because all export sectors of the economy are
severely under performing ,and Zimbabwe no longer gets international aid or
loans of any substance because of its pariah status. So like most importers
they must buy their forex on the free market, at up to Zim$28,000.00 to the
US dollar!

      "At least they are getting it, let them hurry up and produce tonnes of
fertilizer for the agricultural revolution," you might say. Sorry, but like
so many things in topsy-turvy Zimbabwe under this crazy regime, it isn't
quite so simple! Fertilizer is a hotly political commodity, so of course the
government controls the prices, and based on the official rate of procuring
forex, not the real one! The prices remain artificially, unrealistically
low, making the new farmer very happy-until he finds there is virtually no
fertilizer available on the market at that relatively low "political"
price!Naturally the fertiliser companies are in no hurry to drive themselves
to ruin by producing a product at a loss! So they produce just enough to
keep the government happy, afraid that if they suspend production like might
make strictly business sense, they will simply be taken over by that
government. Not at all surprisingly, shortages of fertilizer have become a
permanent feature of farming now, with disastrous consequences on yields.

      There simply isn't space to go into the full litany of problems that
bedevil agriculture in Zimbabwe today. Few of them if any, should really be
any surprise to us given how the attempt at land-redistribution was carried
out. Possessing or occupying land, whatever the attendant political,
historical, racial and emotional satisfactions of that occupation, is not at
all necessarily the same as benefiting from it economically. The long-term
decimation of Zimbabwe's economy seems an un-necessarily high price for a
nation to learn this straightforward lesson. We are getting a crash course
in how agriculture can simply not be separated from a country's relations
with the world, the performance of all other sectors of an economy;
parameters like inflation, exchange rates and so forth.

      Space does not allow me to more than just skim over some of the
frightening problems that suggest that in terms of commercial agriculture,
large or small, Zimbabwe is going to be a write-off for many years to come.
Throw in drought into this already chaotic mix and one's head spins in
fatigue, confusion and depression. We now have a full century of scientific
data of drought patterns, but at this critical time there is precious forex
somehow found for Chinese military jet planes, but none for an accelerated
dam-building/water-harvesting effort. Drought may not be man-made but in
Zimbabwe it is certainly man-worsened, by the usual suspect and his regime's
wacky, anti-prosperity sense of priorities! It all makes us look like
masochistic, self-defeating fools to the world; to be seen to so fail to
even get the basic orientation to our own problems right.

      The reason that a well thought-out, well-executed land reform effort
was and is still important is to a large extent because many of these things
that are happening five years down the line could have been predicted and
strategised against. If there was any satisfaction at giving the un-popular
white farming community a bloody nose, which Mugabe certainly did (he is
good at SOME things, it is true), then with each passing day that
satisfaction is being reversed by then failing to show a successful
alternative vision of commercial agriculture to take their place. It now
appears there never was a plan, and there still does not appear to be any
now, five years down the road, when we are still stumbling from crisis to
crisis. Forget about agricultural exports earning us money to fund imports
like fuel for a minute: we don't even have enough of maize, our own staple
crop! For goodness sake, Mugabe & Co.,droughts in Southern Africa are more
predictable than good rains; haven't you heard ? Or figured that out for
yourselves in twenty-five years in power and worked out a plan to begin to
address this reality?! Jeez, you guys are an embarrassment!

      Innovative, forward-thinking leadership, of the kind Mugabe is
incapable of, required that he "correct historical colonial imbalances"
while at the same time ensuring that the intended beneficiaries could hold
their heads high. This would have been by creating conditions to give them a
realistic chance of improving their lives from their birthright of land,
than the mere cheap "satisfaction" of just sitting on it, thumping one's
chest and boasting to the world, "this bare piece of land is mine, but I
can't sustain myself on it under the economic conditions brought about by
Mugabe, please help me with some handouts of food, I'm starving!" This is so
pitiful, so tragic, so unforgivably un-necessary for a country with so much
going for it like Zimbabwe. .

      I would desperately like to be wrong in this regard, but if my
analysis of the present and projections of the near future are correct, then
we are going down even faster than we have been in the last several years.
As much as I would like to grab onto any positive thinking; any hint of a
silver lining, I find it difficult to see any way out as long as Zimbabwe
under the disastrous Mugabe remains as isolated as it is. I do not see any
meaningful progress in agriculture or any other sector as long as the
cornered, clue-less Mugabe and his regime remain incompetently ruling over

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New Zimbabwe

Mugabe should just go!

By Jack Pedzisai Zaba
Last updated: 05/13/2005 21:24:58
I READ with glee the other week, the declaration by President Robert Mugabe
that he would finally cede power to write books and his memoirs.

It made interesting reading and at least gave Zimbabweans a reminder that
one day Zimbabwe will be under the rule of a new figurehead other than
Mugabe. Yes, so many of our kinsmen had forgotten or more precisely chosen
to forget that even national presidents are mere mortals like us. Thoughts
were rekindled to the effect that even the greatest of all revolutionaries
has his time to call it quits.

But I still question whether this annunciation by our dear leader has at all
a bearing on the political fortunes of his party? What impact does it have
to the opposition MDC and to the embattled citizens of Zimbabwe? After all
many a people questioned the earnest of such a novel declaration from one
whose colossal existence defies generations.

That very hint towards retirement by our dear leader indeed keeps a
refreshing titillation to citizens of this land much as they cherish the
nourishing permutations on what would really Zimbabwe look like minus the
great Gushungo. Spare a moment, Zimbabwe and cast your eyes beyond 2008.
What do you see? Will Zimbabwe be better off or it will be worse off? More
importantly who would be the heir to this great thrown?

An avalanche of unanswered questions come into mind but it remains a mystery
as to when the great man is actually going.

The issue of Mugabe`s retirement, or is it resting, presents several schools
of thought. The diversity of opinion and the apparent variance in
expectations at the encroaching end to Mugabe`s era stimulates interesting
reactions if not erections. In this submission I would visit the most
prominent schools of thought at the dusk that nears Mugabe's political
career. Reader in this moment allow me to fast forward your thoughts to 2008
and let's all shelve the idea that he is not going, but let's imagine that
it's only two weeks before the President finally ends his political sojourn.
Indeed it was a long one!

It is for you to choose which school of thought to subscribe on.

The first school of thought emanates from the Zanu PF circles. Indeed they
also have their momemts of permutations. It is such permutations that have
brought an ignominous demise to the great Professor`s political career under
the auspisces of the ruling party, at least. It is this imagination of the
end of Mugabe's political prominance which have unravelled such incredible
fissures and fractures within the ruling party. Members of the ruling party
represent a pie of contradictions.

There are apparently two groups emerging, one is of the inclination that it
is time the President cedes power to the younger ones in the ruling party.
This group has of late been a victim to several venomous attacks from
especially the geriatrics within the party. The young turks even think that
2008 is so far away and at least the heir to the mighty throne should be
chosen well before the presidential elections. That is as far as they can go
as they have no might to move the pistons of power, lest they are waylaid by
the well positioned and most fearful within the party ranks.

The Second group comprises the generality of the less ambitious, more
precisely the bootlickers. It is this group which epitomizes
short-sightedness within the party. They exude incredible ignorance on what
really should constitute a national leader. Admittedly, I feel sorry for
this group. Their imaginations seem to defy human mortality, they don`t
respect or imagine that at a certain age an individual, nomatter how a great
revolutionary he is, needs to rest. It is this less ambitious and nicely
cacooned group which has impressed upon the President that he can go as far
as he deems necessary, as long as he can still afford to open his mouth and
shout a word or two against his adversaries. This group is deeply entrenched
in that fallacy that power is a marathon not a relay as some would like to
believe. They are completely behind their devinely ordained leader so much
so they do not forsee a Zimbabwe without the great leader. It would be like
a horse without a jockey, so they believe! Unfortunately they constitute the
majority in the party. They are the propelling force behind Mugabe's dream
to hit a century in power. They are the water and Mugabe is the only fish
enjoying it's coolness.

The second school of thought is that of opposition minded individuals who
portend that Mugabe should have gone long before the nation reached it`s
silver jubilee. It is the proponents of this school who hold that instead of
celebrating the silver jubilee, the nation is having a memorial service over
the death of democracy and the abuse of the most basic of rights of the
citizens of this land. They too have a dream. This is the class which feels
hard done by the ruling party. They have a strong detest of any form of
hegemony, they believe leadership is all but a relay where the button should
be passed on.

This school posit that Mugabe should have given the people of Zimbabwe room
to express their displeasure with his style of rule through showing him the
exit. This idea of having Mugabe determine his own fate is at least
unacceptable and at most nonsensical to them. How could he when even the
spirits of this land are up against him, when he has presided over the
rabblement of an economy that we now have. They feel he should fall
ignominously, like the likes of Mobutu Sese Seko, Idi Amin and a host others
of his ilk, that's they feel he is a dictator.

It is out of this mental psyche that they have a blurred vision of Mugabe
lasting till 2008, let alone the proposed 2010. They maintain the removal of
Mugabe should never be of his own making but he should be made to leave.
This is the militant, rebellious and most callous of all schools of
thoughts. They are prepared to celebrate Mugabe`s departure whether it comes
through the ballot or through the sword. Theirs is a world so much soiled by
the dear leader that the very mention of his name brings a nauseating

The third school of thought falls more like the second one, but this one is
precisely from the only nascent political party in the country, the MDC.

Our fellow countrymen in the opposition at realising they are the only ones
with a realistic chance of providing an alternative government or
supplanting it are following this keenly. They are epitomized by a vulture.
A vulture is that bird which preys on dead animals, it is characterised by
unparalled patience and foresight which emanates from it's ability to see an
animal on death route. It tracks the animal knowing fully well that sooner
or later it would die. Vultures can wait for the animal to die even for

I might see this attitude flowing in the veins of the MDC. After the
disputed loss in the just-ended parliamentary election, the opposition might
adopt a culture of vulturism, that is if the word exist, in which case they
would wait for the Zanu PF ship to sink on it`s own. They are people filled
with hope. Hope that the apparent fragmentation within the party is only
ominous to it`s graeter fall. They subscribe to the thoughts that without
Mugabe the ruling party is doomed. To them Zanu PF and Mugabe are
synonymous, sharing the same fortunes and a similar fate.

They posit that whenever Mugabe sneezes the whole of Zanu PF catches a cold.
It remains axiomatic to them that the fall of Mugabe equals the fall of
their adversary, Zanu PF. Their envisioning into 2008 exludes the existence
of a leader hard enough to stand their heat which is driven by intellectual
tact that they so much boast of. They draw their inspiration to this school
of thought through history, talk of Kenya`s Arap Moi and his party, Jonas
Savimbi and his UNITA and a host other revolutionary parties that crumble
with the fall of the demagoue who presides over them.

So like a real vulture, the MDC is awaiting the imminent death of their
adversaries. They strongly feel minus Mugabe, Zanu PF would crumble from the
apparent fissures, fractures and fragments within the party. To them, all
hope for a new government now lie with either natural fate on Mugabe or his
desire to vacate office. That Mugabe would go in the next 5 years remains
axiomatic to them, and whichever way he goes gives them an edge towards
power. They are indeed wearing devil`s smile`s at relishing the political or
natural demise of the dear leader. They even wish it was today that fate
meets the dear leader, but mwari ndewemunhu wese, so they forget.

So much about the three schools of thought that were under scrutiny.

It is therein apparent that the general consensus is that of a deep-seated
wish to see Mugabe take a rest. There lies a general feeling that the time
is nigh, and his declaration in Indonesia a few weeks ago has rekindled that
speculation and agitation at seeing him go. Some are, however, afraid to
make their feelings known that they wish the old man serenity if he retires
soon enough. Others are failing to believe or imagine that he would go on
his own. So many dismissive letters littered the press in apparent denial
that he might call it quits at his own volition. They don't expect such kind
of attitude from Mugabe. Some think that retiring for Mugabe equals
capitulation of intolerable levels to any revolutionary.

All said and done, the issue of Mugabe`s retirement invokes much emotions as
it remains fruitlessly fearful.
Jack Pedzisai Zaba is a Harare based Political Scientist

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Daily Mirror, Zimbabwe

No rest for Chiyangwa

Mirror Reporter
issue date :2005-May-14

THERE seems no rest for troubled ex-Chinhoyi Member of Parliament Phillip
Chiyangwa after the government recently gazetted his Citrus Farm for
compulsory acquisition.
    In an interview with The Daily Mirror, Chinhoyi executive mayor  Risipa
Kapesa, said the gazetting was done through statutory 52 of 2005 published
in the Government Gazette of April 15 2005 in which President Robert Mugabe
expanded the boundaries of the Mashonaland West capital.
    Kapesa said that besides the embattled former legislator's farm, 13
other farms, had also been gazetted for takeover by the municipality.
     "The 14 farms including Chiyangwa's were gazetted recently.     I met
Local Government Minister Ignatius Chombo at the Zimbabwe International
Trade Fair (ZITF) and discussed how we are going to proceed," Kapesa said.
"We expect to be given offer letters by Governor Samkange (Mashonaland West
provincial governor Nelson Samkange) soon," he added.
     The Presidential proclamation that gazetted the farms reads in part:
"Whereas it is provided by Paragraph (b) of Subsection (2) of Section 4 of
the Urban Councils Act, by proclamation in the gazette and after
consultation with the council.
"I consider it desirable to (a) alter the boundaries of the council by
adding thereto the area known as Alaska, Cheltenham, Olympus, Sangwe,
Shakleton, Strathcoma."Kapesa said the areas afore mentioned formed part of
the farms.
Interviewed by The Daily Mirror early this year, the mayor said Chiyangwa's
farm should have belonged to council from "the beginning," while the
provincial governor stressed no ulterior motives by council to have the 14
gazetted farms than for developmental purposes.
Chiyangwa was freed in February this year by the High Court, which refused
to place him on further remand on allegations he sold State secrets to
foreign enemies.
The High Court judge blasted the magistrate who handled Chiyangwa's case
saying the judicial officer was overzealous and should not have let the
media sway his decision.
However, the State insists the businessman is still under investigation and
has indicated it would proceed by way of summons if further incriminating
evidence emerges.
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Daily Mirror, Zimbabwe

Bulawayo dams empty

Pamenus Tuso
issue date :2005-May-14

THE water situation in Bulawayo remains critical with two of the city's
major suppliers Lower Ncema and Mzingwane Dams now basically empty.
City engineering services director Peter Sibanda, recently told a full
council meeting that the available water supplies would last only 18 months
based on the current daily consumption rate of 144 597 cubic metres. Sibanda
said Insiza and Inyankuni dams were now being connected by gravity mainly
due to low water levels. Because of high consumption levels, Sibanda said
council was considering joining the two dams to the waterworks using pumping
mains to boost the city's water supplies.
"While the operational dams are 42,35percent full, the constraints faced in
drawing water from these dams is that water could not be pumped from them,
but could only flow through gravity due to how water levels," the city
engineer told the meeting.  Sibanda said under normal circumstances, four
pipelines draw water to the city, but only two were working due to low water
Some councillors felt the local authority was doing little to address
leakages in the city in a bid to conserve the precious liquid.
They felt continued delays to attending to the leaks, and the environmental
damage caused by gold panners at Mzingwane dam would exacerbate the
precarious situation if not addressed urgently.
Councillor Paul Nyathi suggested a fence be erected around the dam to
protect it from panners and stray livestock.
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Daily Mirror, Zimbabwe

Mutasa torn between

Phillip Chidavaenzi
issue date :2005-May-14

THE adjustments that President Robert Mugabe made to the Cabinet, which saw
the Minister for State Security, Didymus Mutasa being tasked to oversee the
modus operandi of Flora Buka's Ministry of State for Special Affairs for
Lands and Resettlement, could put a burden on Mutasa and divide his
attention - a situation, which could compromise his effectiveness, a
political commentator has said.

The Chief Secretary to the President and Cabinet, Misheck Sibanda, announced
Mutasa's additional duties in a statement issued by the Ministry of
Information and Publicity on Thursday night.
University of Zimbabwe (UZ) political science lecturer Eldred Masunungure
told The Daily Mirror yesterday that it was a weird combination that one
minister would simultaneously preside over matters of state security and
those of land.
"It is not so much about Buka reporting to Mutasa, but it is a very weird
combination. With all due respect, I think it is rather baffling that there
is a combination of agriculture (land) and state security. I don't see how
these two can be put under the same roof. It's an organisational disaster,"
Masunungure said.
According to Sibanda's statement, the adjustment required Mutasa to work
"closely with the Presidency in overseeing all matters relating to and
arising from acquisition, distribution and settlement of land under the
National Land Reform Programme."
But Masunungure noted that both ministries - that of lands and that of state
security - required full attention and needed young and energetic ministers,
something that was likely to be compromised given the demands of the
"Obviously, this might enhance Mutasa's stature in government, but not his
effectiveness. The reality is that these two ministries demand full
attention and robust ministers who can run around. This appears to be a
permanent arrangement and it's anomalous," he added.
He was also quick to point out that there could be more to Mutasa's
appointment than what meets the eye.
Reports indicate Buka's role was adjusted to stress field-based monitoring
of land reform-related settlements, both A1 (small-scale) and A2
(large-scale) models as part of streamlining government operations for more
rapid national development.
The government is still grappling with problems of multiple farm ownership,
which has seen some people, particularly in high-ranking positions,
accumulating farms in violation of the one man-one farm policy. The
government is also still in the process of implementing recommendations by
the former Secretary to the Cabinet and President Charles Utete dubbed the
Utete Presidential Land Review.
Another political commentator, Claude Maredza, said the development was an
attempt by the President to bring experience and skill together for best
results. "Buka had been a junior minister in the office of the late Vice
President Muzenda, so she hasn't got much experience that an enormous task
like land reform requires. So if she works under Mutasa, she'll be able to
get that experience. This was a shrewd move on the part of the President,"
he said.
He added that this might not disturb Mutasa's work given that he would not
be specifically responsible for policy implementation, but just the
While thousands of people have been resettled since 2000, a lot more are in
need of land. The Government has said land acquisition would be an ongoing
process, though at the moment focus has been on equipping the new farmers
with skills and inputs to ensure they use their land productively.
The uptake of land by new farmers allocated land under the reform programme
and the issue of productive utilisation is part of the challenges the
Ministry of Lands, Land Reform and Resettlement faces.
Mutasa served in the last Cabinet as Minister of Special Affairs Responsible
for Anti-Corruption and Anti-Monopolies Programmes.
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Daily Mirror, Zimbabwe

Judges mull guidelines to fast-track poll petitions

The Daily Mirror Reporter
issue date :2005-May-14

ELECTORAL Court judges will soon come up with practising guidelines for
lawyers in order to expedite the hearing of election petitions.
This came up during a meeting between Electoral Court judges and lawyers
representing Zanu PF legislators and losing MDC candidates in the hotly
contested March 31 parliamentary polls.
Judge President Paddington Garwe chaired the high profile meeting, which was
also attended by Harare Electoral Court judges Rita Makarau and Tendayi
Garwe said judges would also conduct conferences with both parties before
the petitions are heard to facilitate smoothness of proceedings. He said
lawyers would be issued with practising notes and guidelines on how to
pursue their cases until their finalisation within the prescribed six
The judge also said the Electoral Court would use High Court rules and
guidelines on procedures as the former does not have its own.
Commenting on the development at the meeting where all the MPs and losing
candidates failed to turn up, lawyer Fred Gijima who is representing Zanu PF
legislators Samuel Undenge (Chimanimani) and the Minister of Finance,
Herbert Murerwa (Goromonzi) said: "This will help to clear the grey areas
and expedite the cases as you go in (for hearing) knowing how to conduct the
trial and what sort of evidence (is needed). This will see us not wasting
time on technicalities, but dwelling on the issues at hand."
Before the elections, Nicholas Mathonsi, a lawyer representing MDC shadow
minister of agriculture Renson Gasela when he challenged the candidature of
Zanu PF's Gweru Rural MP Josphat Madubeko, expressed concern in an interview
with The Daily Mirror that the case had been dismissed on technicalities
sidelining the evidence at hand.
The MDC is challenging the outcome of 16 constituencies it says had the
worst example of "electoral fraud."

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Daily Mirror, Zimbabwe

Chaimiti wins as Zanu PF candidate is disqualified

The Daily Mirror Reporter
issue date :2005-May-14

MDC nominee Alois Chaimiti was re-elected mayor of Zimbabwe's oldest town -
Masvingo - yesterday after the nomination court disqualified his rival
Partson Mazvidziwa on grounds the Zanu PF candidate failed to provide proof
of educational qualifications on time.
Masvingo Zanu PF acting provincial chairperson Isaiah Shumba, yesterday
confirmed the development, but quickly complained that Mazvidziwa had been
unfairly removed from the mayoral race. And he also warned that the ruling
party would appeal against that outcome.
"His Ordinary Level certificate is from the 1960's and in those years the
grades indicated were passes, but they are now saying that he failed. We
will definitely appeal against that decision," Shumba told The Daily Mirror
by phone from Masvingo last night.
He pointed out that Muzvidziwa submitted his papers when the court opened at
10am, only to be told at around 3pm that they were not in order.
Chaimiti, who was first elected mayor in 2001 for a four-year term claimed
the nomination court, which was supposed to have closed at 4pm, had remained
open until after 6pm in a futile attempt to give the ruling party candidate
a final chance to bring his credentials.
Chaimiti said the immediate task of his council would be to complete
projects started during his first tenure.
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No 1
Obsession with Zimbabwe smacks of racism: Dlamini-Zuma
SAfm - 07h00 news bulletin
May 12, 2005, 05:00

Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, the foreign minister, says Africa's economic
upliftment should not be jeopardized by the perceived problems in Zimbabwe.
Dlamini Zuma was speaking yesterday in Dubai. She also said the obsession
with Zimbabwe smacked of racism.

Addressing media during a visit to the United Arab Emirates (UAE),
Dlamini-Zuma said Nepad should not be associated with just one country. "We
resent the idea that if the rest of the world or the West does not like
what one country does, then all of Africa must suffer." Why should Africa
suffer collective punishment, even if there were problems in Zimbabwe. Does
all of the EU suffer because of problems in Northern Ireland?".

Being divided only by the Limpopo river, South Africa knew Zimbabwe's
problems better than any other country, she said. "Zimbabwe is correcting
an historic injustice. We may not agree with the methods but we agree with
the correction of an injustice."

Element of racism "This whole hullabaloo is about black people are taking
land from white people. There is an element of racism," the minister said.
She stressed that South Africa believed in a more orderly way of land
redistribution. "In South Africa we are going through a process of buying
back land. We believe these things must be done in this orderly fashion. "

However, South Africa would not police Zimbabwe. "This is not how we
conduct our relations. When it rains there is a border between us, when
there is no rain there is no border. So we know the problems of Zimbabwe
better than anyone," the minister said.

She said if Zimbabwe should collapse Britain, the US or the EU would not be
affected. "South Africa will be affected. If there is a crisis, even the
white people will have to cross over to South Africa to get flights to

She said although Africa would accept the support of the West to see Nepad
succeed, it would not stoop to pressure to "police Zimbabwe." "Nepad should
not be linked to one country," she said. The minister also said South
Africa was hopeful that the UAE would become involved in Nepad through
infrastructure development. - Sapa


Release: Immediate.

Foreign Affairs Minister Nkosozana Dlamini-Zuma has yet again slipped and
mislead the world about the crisis in Zimbabwe. In an address yesterday in
the United Arab Emirates Dlamini-Zuma inexplicably chose to argue that what
is at stake in Zimbabwe is the question of race and land rather than the
collapse of democracy. I am sure that the people of Zimbabwe who have been
victims of violence and repression, who face the prospect of starvation and
sky high unemployment would agree that what is at stake in Zimbabwe is a
lot more than simply a "hullabaloo about black people taking land from
white people".

The current crisis in Zimbabwe has never really been about land, but rather
about one man's relentless pursuit of power at all costs. The fact that
Dlamini-Zuma does not see this is an alarming indication of the
government's inability to correctly assess the true extent of the Zimbabwe

It is also completely disingenuous for the Minister to lament the fact that
Nepad is being judged by the West on the problems of one country. The fact
is that the international community will judge Nepad, inter alia, on the
response of African leaders to the crisis in Zimbabwe. So far not a single
African country, with the possible exception of Botswana and Nigeria, has
had the courage to speak out against the misrule in Zimbabwe and to propose
concrete steps to resolve the crisis.

Furthermore South Africa's quiet diplomacy and the conspiracy of silence
among African leaders have led the world to question Africa's commitment to
the principle of good governance contained within Nepad. This is not the
fault of the international community, as Dlamini-Zuma would have us
believe, but rather the fault of African leaders who through their actions
are casting doubts about the strength of their commitment to key Nepad

It is high time that the Minister realised this, and instead of focusing
her anger at those countries and groups that raise legitimate concerns
about the plight of Zimbabwe, she should put her aim squarely on President
Mugabe, whose actions are undermining efforts to help bring about Africa's
renewal. Ultimately rants of the sort that the minister had yesterday will
only serve to strengthen international scepticism about South Africa's role
in the Zimbabwe crisis and reduce South Africa's credibility on the world
stage, and even within Zimbabwe itself.

No 2

It is understood that the Ministry of Labour has at last backed down on the
issue of domestic worker wages. The original Gazette Notice issued on the
25th March is now under urgent review and we expect a new Notice shortly.
In the meantime our advice stands..

1. You do not need to back pay - the retrospective nature of the original
Notice is illegal..

2.If you cannot afford the new wages you simply write to the Permanent
Secretary, Ministry of the Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare,.
stating that your income is as follows and you can only afford to pay your
domestic worker the following salary. You request the permission of the
Ministry to do so in terms of the Labour Act. which allows such special
dispensation to employers who cannot afford to pay the new wages..

3. The new Notice is likely to go back to the level of wage increase that
was originally proposed by the Board responsible - about $400 000 a month.
When this happens the advice outlined above will still stand.

You do not need to dismiss employees until this process is exhausted and
should any approach be made by the Union you can simply show them the
letter sent to the Ministry and refer the matter to your local Ministry of
Labour Offices - they will be very helpful. Under no circumstances allow
yourself to be bullied by the Union.

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As per previous 2 weeks, today's Herald, Friday 13 May 2005, contains no
new listings of either section 5 notices, section 8 orders nor section 7

This is the third consecutive week without any listings
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