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From The Mirror (Masvingo), 14 May

Minister implicated in land scandal

Masvingo - The Zimbabwe National Liberation War Veterans in Masvingo
Province has unearthed a massive land scandal involving Governor and
Resident Minister Josaya Hungwe, Chief Fortune Charumbira, the Deputy
Minister of Local Government and Minister of Foreign Affairs, Dr Stan
Mudenge who own more than two farms, defying government policy of
one-man-one-farm. The ZNLWVA provincial chairman, Isaiah Muzenda, revealed
that some of the top leadership are not taking the issue of multi-ownership
of property seriously and the war veterans are taking steps to stop
corruption. Topping the list is Governor Hungwe who owns three farms, one of
which is in Mashonaland East, a Lowveld sugarcane farm and another In the
Sikato area in Masvingo. Mudenge has four farms namely Makanga Farm in
Mvuma, Landeni in Gutu, Richmond and Chikore, which he recently acquired in
Masvingo while Chief Charumbira, has Acton, Sikato and Cotapax farms in
Masvingo. The Chief Lands Officer, Aude Musanhu, who is being accused of
facilitating the acquisition of farms to the top officials is also listed as
having acquired five farms. Shuvai Mahofa, MP for Gutu South and Deputy
Minister for Youth Development, Gender and Employment Creation is also
accused of owning two farms. The top leadership has defied President Robert
Mugabe's and Minister of Special Affairs for Land Reform, John Nkomo's,
calls for those who have acquired more than one farm to surrender them.
Nkomo has threatened to prosecute those who benefited from the fast track
land reform through corrupt means.

The war vets are incensed that three government ministers are trying to
remove war vets from farms near town relocating them to distant farms. They
said this will benefit the opposition in Masvingo Central because the war
vets will find it difficult to come from these areas to campaign in the
constituency. "The war veterans' attention is being diverted to land battles
and the opposition is freely campaigning and this is proved by the
absenteeism of those members at most of the important functions organised by
the party and government," said Muzenda. "It is alleged that the top
officials usually use the names of their relatives or children who may be as
young as two months old to acquire land. It is disgusting to note that the
top leadership, which is supposed to give land to the people, are grabbing
the same land. We are definitely going to petition the President to act on
the matter or else we are going to occupy the farms and leave the leaders
with one farm each or none because of their greediness," threatened the
firebrand Muzenda who more than twice led a group to close the Governor's
and Lands Offices alleging corruption. War veterans and war collaborators
have joined hands in fighting the land grab by cabinet ministers and have
vowed to invade the land. The war veterans are also accusing the leadership
of under developing the province through their corrupt practices.

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From The Sunday Times (SA), 16 May

Zimbabwe forex scam raises more questions

Kuruneri withdrew millions from bank during central bank governor Gono's

Bonny Schoonakker

Evidence before the Zimbabwe High Court this week has raised questions about
the role of that country's central bank governor in the forex scandal that
led to the arrest of former Finance Minister Chris Kuruneri. According to
Judge Ben Hlatshwayo, Kuruneri unlawfully withdrew forex from Jewel Bank
(previously the Commercial Bank of Zimbabwe) in March 2002 - when Gideon
Gono, now governor of the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe, was its chief executive.
The judge also noted that the money was received by a Cape Town firm of
attorneys which handled Kuruneri's investment in the city' s property
market. C B Niland & Partners accepted a withdrawal of R5.2-million from
Jewel Bank "as payment for the purchase" of a property in Apostle Road,
Llandudno. Gono, who left Jewel Bank for the Reserve Bank in December last
year, has been credited with saving Jewel Bank from "the jaws of collapse".
Kuruneri was promoted to finance minister in February, after serving as
deputy to Herbert Murerwa, who has been reinstated since Kuruneri's arrest
last month.

The house in Apostle Road is one of three Cape Town properties owned by
Kuruneri, who this week lost his appeal to the High Court for bail. He is
facing five charges ranging from fraud to violating immigration laws.
Hlatshwayo listed the ex-minister 's mansion in Sunset Avenue, Llandudno,
among assets unlawfully acquired. The property's true ownership was exposed
by this newspaper last month. Since then, the only work on the site has been
to paint over graffiti daubed on its walls. Neighbours say the words, which
were mostly in Shona, included the phrase "blood money". Hlatshwayo also
listed "a Mercedes-Benz worth R547 734" and an apartment elsewhere on the
Peninsula. Altogether, Kuruneri's Cape portfolio is alleged to be worth just
over R8.24-million, partly funded by the illegal withdrawals made from Jewel
Bank from March 2002 to date. Developers of the Llandudno property, however,
claim that Kuruneri was planning to spend R30-million on the property. The
judge's summary does not explain how the rest of Kuruneri' s property was
funded. Hlatshwayo does take note of a submission filed by a Canadian
consultancy firm called "Filipe Solano SL", for whom Kuruneri worked between
1976 and 1981. A letter from the firm's president Felipe Solano to the
company building Kuruneri's mansion, states that Kuruneri had worked for the
company and acquired the funds legally. But the judge accepted the state's
argument that that explanation was "inconceivable ".

Kuruneri's lawyer offered an explanation for the transfer of funds from
Jewel Bank to South Africa, but this had only "equal weight" to the state's
allegations that the withdrawals were unlawful. The Cape Town-based
attorney, Lorenzo Bruttomesso, this week declined to comment on the
allegations and referred to a statement issued earlier this month on behalf
of his firm which said that: "In all matters dealt with on behalf of clients
our firm has complied with relevant laws and regulations. " Nevertheless,
the Jewel Bank withdrawals have raised serious questions, including some
about the role of Gono. According to a member of Zimbabwe's banking
industry, Gono's role needs to be examined "as it is most unusual that
approval would be granted as this would be considered an externalisation of
capital... ie, the remittance was not for the purposes of trade or the
production of income. Quite apart from the exchange control questions that
need to be answered, the question is, where did Kuruneri get the Zimbabwe
dollars for the rand transfers and purchases that he made? He couldn't
afford that sort of money on a deputy minister's salary. If this
investigation is conducted thoroughly, it will show that Gono has some
questions to answer."
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Zim Standard

Terror in Shamva as 'mabomber' flex muscles
By Bertha Shoko

'ZIMBABWE ndeye ropa baba, Zimbabwe ndeye ropa remadzibaba ..." sang the
team of youths shattering the early morning calm as the dawn broke.

For the many people in the sleepy town of Shamva, Chimurenga songs such as
this one and the spectacle of youths toyi toying in the streets have become
the wake up call every single morning.

However, a visit by The Standard last week to the mining town brought forth
some chilling realities.

Tucked away in one of Zanu PF's strongholds of Mashonaland Central province,
Shamva is a mining and farming community represented in Parliament by the
Minister for State Security, Nicholas Goche.

This, evidently, is the state of affairs that the Zanu PF loyalists in the
mine town are determined to maintain and the campaign terror ahead of next
year's parliamentary elections has already begun.

As early as 4.00AM, young Zanu PF loyalists - notoriously known here as "Ma
Bomber", go round the town's Wadzanayi high-density suburb forcing
able-bodied boys and girls to follow them for "training".

They must be fit, they are told, for the coming elections would be tough and
to defend their constituency from "enemies" who want to bring back white

After the round up, the youths are force-marched around the township and at
other times into nearby farming areas, chanting liberation war songs.

Every night "the bombers" round up every one else they can find in the
township for a "pungwe" (all night indoctrination meetings popular with
President Robert Mugabe's Zanla forces during the 1970s liberation war).

At the "pungwe", people dance while Chimurenga songs are sung over and over

These are interspersed with slogans in praise of Zanu PF and denigrating the
opposition Movement for Democratic Change. The meetings go on into the early
hours of the morning.

Some residents who spoke to The Standard said many young people had begun to
flee the mining town to escape the indoctrination and the forced marches.

"Some well-to-do parents have relocated their children to safer places.
However those who cannot afford to do this are forced to comply and let
their children be 'trained'," said a mineworker who was too scared to be

"Many people have suffered at the hands of these 'mabombers' and one opposes
them at one's own peril. They will kill you or beat you up and you can't go
and report to any one," said one resident in hushed tones.

Another mineworker accused "the bombers" of disrupting production at the
mine by forcibly recruiting youths for their errands.

"These bombers are not concerned about production at the mine. They come and
pick up students on attachment and rob us of labour. They have no idea how
this can impact negatively on production at the mine and the economy
subsequently," said the mineworker.

"As I speak right now a letter has been sent to the MP of this area about
this issue because this matter is serious. They should recruit their youths
elsewhere and not at the mine."

The Standard could not establish whether Goche had received the letter from
the mining company.

One woman spoke strongly of how the mabombers had created divisions in the
town, instead of unity.

"These people are really dividing people. They are using this tension to
settle old scores with each other. I can wake up one morning and claim my
neighbour is of the opposition and have them beaten up or killed" she said.

"They are really creating tension here and like the previous election, many
innocent people are going to die if no one intervenes to save the
situation,"the woman said scarcely concealing her fear.
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Zim Standard

Zimbabwean economy on a turn?
By Rongai Chizema,Chief Economist Intermarket Research

Introduction The Zimbabwean economy has gone through a major shake up
ignited by the launch of a monetary policy by the new Governor of Reserve
Bank Dr Gideon Gono on 18 December 2003. Since then the economic landscape
has not been the same.

The new Governor has embraced a new vision for the central bank, hinged on
development economics, with the institution taking a more pivotal role in
complementing national economic development, and applying targeted
incentives to reactivate the economy. Quite a bold approach, indeed! Most of
the measures implemented to date, and a rough audit of the same to be
accounted for later will possibly answer whether we are in fact on a turn
yet, or somewhere there.

Monetary Policy

Interesting to note that, the new RBZ regime, has rubbed off the void that
had haunted the economy, since 2000, which had relegated the timely
presentation of the monetary policy. Significance of the monetary policy had
virtually wilted over the years, given the apparent dominance of a lax
fiscal framework, which at most squeezed the monetary policy to more of an
accommodative and reactive instrument, instead of fighting price stability.
Now that the party is over, it is only fair to glean into the tail of 2003,
and four months into 2004.

The most significant impact of the monetary policy since its launch has been
a major swing inflicted on the growth trajectory of the financial sector
which had remained unchecked despite the perpetual slide in the economy.
Surprisingly even at the peak of macroeconomic instability, characterised by
hyperinflation, the financial sector had continued to ride on the rare but
unsustainable opportunities presented by economic policy gaffs since 1997,
when Zimbabwe evaded global attention, and had to pursue growth from within,
without IMF support for example.

The apparent, survival mode created severe strains on market economics,
which resulted in the pursuit of short-term policies to keep the economic
ship on high waters. Apparently all these policy inconsistencies created
uncertainty and hence the need for business to hold in there. It will be
interesting to note how such an economic landscape shaped events across
industry and commerce, and how the monetary policy has dealt with these.

Financial Sector Crisis

As economic instability mounted, it became increasingly unsustainable to
justify growth more so given the depressed real sector. Surely with
inflation at 600%, one wonders whether in our small-regulated economy, there
would have been any tangible opportunities to match such cost structures. In
fact it probably takes a few analysts to say that, the asset bubbles up and
until late last year would have rationally been inevitable if investors had
to shield their hard earned income, under siege from macroeconomic

Apparently, the continued pursuit of survival by the only surviving sector
was to absorb more risk (not necessarily diversify it) by bloating off
balance items. Policy gaffs, and inconsistencies also presented very rare
arbitrage opportunities across the entire economy. It would probably have
been difficult, to continue relying on that under changed economic tables,
as confirmed by the new era ushered in by the monetary policy. It was pretty
obvious that with such a growth strategy, a liquidity squeeze due to
interest rate movements, and of course limited access to RBZ lifeline, would
ignite a major crisis in the sector.

The sector had thus over the years resorted to less prudential banking
practices, relaxing on risk management, and credit control, heightened by
the fudged interest rate regime, which for 3 years had little bearing on
economic fundamentals. In essence money and capital markets got into a
pessimistic economic mode, given the misleading economic policy trajectory
that authorities had ushered in since early 2001, characterised by a loose
and of course unsustainable monetary and fiscal policy regime, which shaped
business decisions during that period. With every player, squeezed into a
short-term mode, as economic instability ignited more uncertainty it became
increasingly apparent that some thing had to give.

Now that the sector is on a mend, perhaps it's good to reflect on prospects.
Mergers have become a survival line, than a growth strategy. The sector is
thus on a consolidation phase, and bracing up for more supervision/policing
and prudential management. The hardening on the sector is bound to thaw as
the year progresses, as the RBZ assesses compliance rates, and corporate
governance issues are addressed. Though standards have been pitched highly
and globally by the RBZ, perhaps it was quite inevitable, though painful the
sector will eventually settle and reap the fruits of the sudden jerk.

Informal sector

Since 2001, the economy has been fast slipping into an informal mode, with
policy inconsistencies and the resultant economic decline magnifying the
relevance of the parallel economy. Parallel markets for goods and services,
foreign currency, even local currency, became increasingly a viable platform
to sustain welfare both from the dimension of market allocative efficiency,
and sustaining consumer welfare at least for urbanites. The formal economy
could have been dwarfed to less than 10%, given the vibrancy of the parallel
market in recent times.

The monetary policy managed to address the foreign exchange parallel market,
initially by pricking the borrowing capacity of business and commerce by
igniting a liquidity crunch late 2003, which virtually burnt badly leveraged
players, and at the same time introducing the auction system. The momentum
on the market thus became restrained, as speculators counted their costs all
the way into Xmas, and into Q1 2004. The auction system still has to come of
age, it has somehow put a check on the size and quality of business in the
once vibrant yet risky market. On the goods market, the removal of price
controls during Q1 2003 has also yielded positive results since then with
most goods back on the shelves.

The major concern though is that, the economy still has a significant
portion of business locked up in the informal drawer, and hence the need to
appreciate the sector in drawing up economic policies.


Is the economy on a turn? Perhaps not yet, though quite tangible signs are
showing on the horizon. The most notable being the reduction in inflation on
a month on month basis from 33.6% in Q4 2003, to 5.9% in Q1 2004, confirming
the thawing of inflationary expectations that were largely exchange rate
driven. The foreign currency market has not settled, with the multi tier
exchange rate regime still costly economically, and hence the need for
convergence. In fact there is probably no need for an exchange rate of
Z$824, when other rates are above Z$5 200, as this creates an opportunity
for rent seeking, arbitrage and potential speculative attacks on the local

The supply response of the economy will probably take another year to come
through, given that the real sector has been in limbo for the past three
years. The public sector debt profile is still far from pleasing, given a
failure over the years to convince investors that there is value in
government paper, and hence the bloating of the short term treasury bill

There is need for commitment towards cash budgeting to complement the RBZ
monetary policy initiatives. The other challenge is that the transitional
costs of the radical monetary policy measures which were inflicted on
already depressed economy, will compromise the speed of recovery in the
short to medium term, and hence delay the economy wide gains of the

A more realistic and perhaps strictly policed financial sector
reconfiguration could have had far reaching and less disjointed impacts on
business confidence in the sector, put a check on bank runs, which were
largely confined to indigenous banks, and hence put check on the future
prospects of the sector in the medium to long term.

The fruits of financial liberalisation may have been tempered with, under
the current approach. Lastly the economy is still to recover from the
preceding two drought years, and also still to dissipate the transitional
costs of land reform which require both material and financial input to
reinvigorate the sector's full potential.

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Zim Standard

Let them eat grass and more grass
overthetop By Brian Latham

AUTHORITIES in the troubled central African basket case have said there is
plenty of food for everyone.

The statement caused considerable alarm locally and internationally because
half the remaining population is on food aid.

Still, the Zany Party statement about food was not entirely untrue. It was,
however, incomplete.

What the minister for social injustice meant to say, of course, was that
there was plenty of food for Zany Party supporters.

Supporters of the larger but not yet governing More Drink Coming Party will
not be fed. This is because the ruling Zany Party believes the More Drink
Coming Party is unpatriotic and should be starved into submission.

SoS while the Zany Party's three dozen supporters will be well supplied with
mealie meal, the More Drink Coming Party's several million supporters will
have to look outside the troubled central African kleptocracy for food.

This suits the Zany Party down to the ground. With all More Drink Coming
Party supporters heading for the border in search of food and work, Zany
Party officials will not have to rig the next election.

Instead they will be able to say, quite legitimately, that the country's
remaining three dozen adults all voted Zany - after waddling down to the
polling booth, of course.

Meanwhile, donors who have kept troubled central Africans alive for the last
three years of enforced famine expressed dismay at the move.

"There are empty granaries, silos and warehouses from one end of the country
to the other," said an unnamed official from the United Nations. "There is
quite obviously no food to be had."

That statement was dismissed by a Zany Party official who said, "Those are
imperialist lies made up by the running dogs of capitalism. The truth is
that our chefs have planned everything very carefully and have amassed vast
wealth, sorry, food stocks, which will be sold, sorry, distributed, in the
not too distant future."

The Zany official said everyone would be happy, especially the Zany chefs
and their Zany bankers.

Still, a hungry man in a More Drink Coming Party dominated province of the
troubled central African banana republic said he was not sure. "Yes, we have
nothing to eat except bananas," he told Over The Top, adding, "and they are

His wife then reminded him that all the banana trees had been felled the
previous week by green clad Dzaku-dzaku youths. "Sorry," she said to OTT,
"But he gets his green bananas mixed up with his green bombers."

"That's true. They are both very dry," said the hungry old man.

Meanwhile, a dissatisfied Zany official, speaking on condition of strict
anonymity and in fear of his life said things might change. "When starving
peasants start banging on officials' doors, they will again ask the
imperialists to feed the people," said Comrade Nzara.

For their part, the generous imperialists, who have kept most troubled
central Africans alive since 2000, said it was unlikely they could be
bothered to help any longer. "In one sense the Zany Party is absolutely
right," said a western diplomat.

"There has been no drought, there is plenty of land and if it wasn't for one
vital factor everything would be fine. Sadly the missing factor is the
farmers. There are none, and with no farmers there can be no food."

The Zany misinformation minister dismissed the statement as "typical western
imperialist lies."

"There are 380,000 farmers," he fumed.

OTT can confirm that there are indeed about 380,00 farmers. And that none of
them seem to be farming.
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Zim Standard


No basis for Zanu PF to win Lupane

IT is a load of rubbish for anyone to suggest that there was ever a time in
recent months when prices had stabilised to enable most Zimbabweans to
afford most of the basic commodities on supermarket shelves. We must wonder
from what planet anyone saying this is living on.

The plain truth is that nothing has changed. Most of the commodities remain
beyond the reach of the majority of the people. True, most goods and
services are now available - a far cry from the situation that prevailed
yesteryear - but and this is a huge but - are they affordable? The answer is
a big NO.

A cursory glance at basic commodities in supermarkets will confirm how
prices have increased exponentially since the Zimbabwean crisis began. If
ever there was some stability or decrease in prices, this was evidently only
in the pages of the state-owned media not in the real world where the rest
of Zimbabweans grapple with ever shrinking buying power.

But of course, there is a limit beyond which the government-owned Press can
continue telling lies. There is evidence of people's own eyes. Even the
captive government media are now forced to admit that all has not been well
on the prices front.

Yesterday's "Government Gazette" which masquerades as The Herald catalogued
how the cost of a myriad of basic commodities have significantly increased
over the past few months. Bread, meat, eggs, chicken, toothpaste, soap,
cooking oil, transport, baby products, clothes and accommodation are some of
the commodities, goods and services whose costs have gone through the roof.
Why? The answer is very simple.

Gono or no Gono, we continue to live in a hyper-inflationary environment. It
is a delusional fantasy to talk about a decline in inflation which is making
a difference in our lives. Not to locate the root cause where it rightly
belongs is to do a grave disservice not only to government but to the people
of Zimbabwe as a whole.

The manufacturers are not to blame. It is the self-inflicted failure of the
economy, thanks to government's bungling, that is wholly to blame. There is
no point running away from this obvious fact.

We have said it before and we will say it again: Gono is merely tinkering
with the edges. What we need is a cure for the disease and not one that
deals only with the symptoms. The key point that needs to be made is that
unless the politics of the country are put right, there will be no end to
the 'politics' of Santa Claus that we have been witnessing for more than
four years now.

This is the bottom line and any finger pointing to manufacturers or Britain
and the US merely takes us to the land of fantasy and fiction.

Indeed, no manufacturer worth his salt would deliberately set out to 'fix'
consumers knowing fully well it is they that hold the key to his survival as
a business. The opposite is in fact the case.

There is invariably a symbiotic relationship that exists between a
manufacturer and consumer. One feeds on the other. To see it any differently
is really to turn things upside down.

It is always easy to blame somebody else for one's failures. The blame game
is what this government has perfected. How we wish once, only once, this
government would take responsibility for its actions.

We ask who has, to all intents and purposes, destroyed what was once a
beautiful and livable country? Who has practically destroyed industry and
commerce and created record unemployment of more than 80%? Who has killed
agriculture which once fed, not just this country, but the region as well?
Who has rendered Zimbabwe such a pariah State in the eyes of the
international community that we can no longer access foreign currency?

Who is responsible for more than three million Zimbabweans running away from
the land of their birth and becoming economic refugees in far away lands?
Who has destroyed the health delivery system and an education system once
the envy of the whole world?

Imagine a country where a government interferes with your freedom of choice
as has been demonstrated in the recent private schools saga. Imagine a
country where it is illegal to gather to discuss politics without getting
permission like some school child wanting to be excused.

For this and many other reasons, it is important that the people of Lupane
send a clear message this weekend to the ruling Zanu PF party: Shape up or
ship out! The truth of the matter is that the ruling party has destroyed our
lives. It is inconceivable that such a party would win an election in a free
and fair poll. There would be no plausible basis for that win.

Why, some would ask, should a savvy electorate as most Zimbabweans are, vote
for a party which, whatever it touches it turns into dust? Indeed, why
should Zimbabweans vote for Zanu PF when that party routinely tries to
deceive them by claiming that prices of goods and services are going down
when evidence on the ground clearly shows that the opposite is true?

When a government fails on as many fronts, as the Zanu PF government has, it
loses any legitimate basis to be voted back into power. It is that simple!
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Zim Standard

Standard newsman brutally attacked
By our own Staff

BULAWAYO - Standard senior reporter, Savious Kwinika, was brutally attacked
by four men suspected to be State security agents after he returned from
covering an MDC rally in Lupane that was addressed by party president Morgan
Tsvangirai on Wednesday.

Kwinika, who sustained serious facial injuries, reported the matter to the
police after the incident on Wednesday night.

"Before these people attacked me one of them charged that they were glad to
meet me after having seen me in Lupane," said the bed-ridden Kwinika.

"Before I could get a chance to reply all four pounced on me and assaulted
me using clenched fists, boots and some blunt objects," he said.

The incident was a second complication for Kwinika on the same day. Earlier
in the day he was stopped and harassed by police on his way from Lupane
along the Bulawayo road.

Kwinika, who was travelling in a vehicle behind the MDC leadership, was
stopped by armed police who seized his camera as well as those belonging to
other MDC officials in the car. The camera was only returned to him after a
heated argument with the police.

"I feel some of the people who attacked me could have been in this group of
State security agents," said Kwinika who was beaten until he lost
consciousness. He lost his cell phone, cash, a wristwatch and other
valuables during the attack.

The Zimbabwe Union of Journalists' Vice President Njabulo Ncube said the
union wanted the attack on Kwinika to be investigated and the perpetrators
brought to book.

The MDC also condemned the physical attack on Kwinika saying it was
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Zim Standard

CHRA to sue Mangwende over forced labour
By our own Staff

THE Combined Harare Ratepayers' Association (CHRA) is compiling a list of
names of people who were, in the past few weeks, forced to work by uniformed
forces and youth militia under the "clean up campaign" programme to sue
Harare Governor Witness Mangwende.

The chairman of the association, Mike Davies said CHRA was in the process of
compiling the list with a view of taking legal action against Mangwende, the
architect of the clean up programme.

"Mangwende is now the de-facto mayor of Harare. Two days before people were
forced to clean up, he had been to Siya-So in Mbare announcing the programme
so we regard him as the pioneer of the campaign," said Davies.

He said Mangwende, who was appointed Harare Governor by President Robert
Mugabe early this year, has usurped the powers of the council, undermining
the structures of local government.

The clean up campaign initiated by Mangwende came barely a week after the
dismissal of Harare's first democratically elected mayor, Engineer Elias
Mudzuri by the Minister of Local Government, Public Works and National
Housing, Ignatius Chombo, in cahoots with Mugabe.

Over the past few weeks, residents of different suburbs in Harare have been
forced to participate in the clean up campaign by the army, police and
members of the notorious Border Gezi trained youth militia.

Most of the people targeted live in high-density suburbs such as Mbare,
Mabvuku, Kambuzuma, Kuwadzana, Highfield and Hatcliffe.

The youths targeted people in flea markets, pedestrians, housewives as well
as cyclists. Some workers were caught in the crossfire and were forced to
join the clean up programme before going to work.

"What is happening is unacceptable. The Constitution of Zimbabwe protects
citizens from arbitrary arrest, torture and any form of forced labour. This
forced labour by the army and police is indicative of the death of the rule
of law and democracy," said Davies.

Harare, once dubbed the "Sunshine City", has lost its glitter and garbage is
pilling up in every street the central business district. Refuse collection
has become very erratic.

Meanwhile, CHRA has written to Chombo demanding to know Mangwende's terms of

But Chombo, who has been accused of frustrating Mudzuri before dismissing
him, has ignored the association's demands.

"If he (Chombo) refuses to give us the information we will seek that through
legal action," said Davies.

Both Chombo and Mangwende could not be reached for a comment last week.
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Zim Standard

Mutare Zanu PF wants contributions by civil servants made compulsory
By Our Own Staff

MUTARE - Ruling Zanu PF activists here have called on the government to make
it compulsory for civil servants to make financial contributions to the
party every month.

Zanu PF's vice chairman for youth affairs in Manicaland, Fred Kanzama, told
a meeting held at the Provincial Administrator's office last week that civil
servants should pay towards the party's programmes.

"They are benefitting from what the ruling party fought for and therefore
they have to pay," said Kanzama.

"We are the ruling government and Zanu PF brought the fruits they are
enjoying," he added.

Kanzama was speaking at the Zanu PF provincial fundraising committee meeting
where Mike Madiro, the provincial chairman, urged businesspeople to fund the
governing party.

The proposal to deduct money from civil servants would be presented to the
Zanu PF national fundraising committee this week.

Zanu PF intends to hold a youth league conference between July 8-11 at a
venue to be announced. A women's league conference is also on the cards in
August, while its national congress has been, as usual, slated for December.

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Zim Standard

Police beat up, arrest NCA, CASEP officials
By Our Own Staff

GWERU - Armed riot police officers yesterday stormed into Midlands Hotel,
which was the venue of a workshop by the Civic Alliance for and Economic
Progress (CASEP) and the National Constitutional Assembly (NCA), and beat up

Lovemore Madhuku, the chairman of NCA together with other eight
participants - among them officials CASEP, who included Lyson Mlambo the
organisation's national coordinator - were arrested.

Madhuku, who has had previous brushes with the police, was brutally
assaulted before being taken away in a police truck.

William Chikuvanyanga, CASEP National Programme Coordinator and another
official Thabitha Khumalo, were also beaten up as police sealed the hotel
owned by Gweru businessman Patrick Kombayi.

Eyewitnesses said police officers stormed into the conference room and
started beating up participants before firing teargas towards the crowd of
about 100 people.

"We were over 100 people in the conference room and there was a stampede as
participants ran for dear life. Some of the people rushed towards the
toilets and tried to hide but the room was not enough, others broke into
hotel rooms for safety," said an eyewitness.

Midlands journalists who were covering the event were also caught up in the

Standard correspondent, Richard Musazulwa, had to escape and hide in one of
the hotel's bars but luck quickly ran out for him as he was flushed out and
also assaulted. He suffered a hand injury.

The workshop was meant to discuss how constitutional reform could help
Zimbabwe solve its economic, social and political problems.

NCA is advocating for a new constitution before the next year's
parliamentary elections can be held.
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Zim Standard

30 torture victims sue State
By our own Staff

THIRTY torture victims are suing the Ministry of Home Affairs and the ruling
Zanu PF party, claiming close to a billion dollars, The Standard has learnt.

The victims - who have sought the assistance of the Centre for the
Rehabilitation of Torture Victims (Ceretov) - are taking legal action
against their attackers as part of their healing and rehabilitation process.

They include MDC Member of Parliament for St Mary's constituency, Job
Sikhala and Charles Mutama, the executive director of Ceretov.

Mutama was tortured last year together with Sikhala and three other MDC
activists, Gabriel Shumba, Taurai Magaya and Bishop Shumba after being
accused of plotting to overthrow the government.

Said Mutama: "They applied electrical shocks to my genitals, mouth, fingers,
toes, stripped me naked, urinated on me, assaulted me with clenched fists
for more than eight hours.

"The next day we appeared in court and the case was thrown out of court
because of no evidence."

Mutama said following the torture he suffered serious physical and emotional

"Initially after the torture I felt hopeless, confused, had bouts of anxiety
attacks and had hallucinations and practically relived the torture everyday
of my life. Then I got strength to fight this prevalence of violence in

Another torture victim Moses Marukutira is claiming $25 million from Zanu PF
activists who assaulted him.

In papers filed with the court, lawyer Lawrence Chibwe described the ordeal
of Peter Karimakwenda, another victim who was beaten by Zanu PF activists.

"Karimakwenda was collected at his home sometime in 2003 by some people
wearing military uniforms and carried to some farm far from his home during
the night. Upon arrival at the farm he was beaten and left for dead," Chibwe

Ceretov is a human rights organisation formed in December last year to
provide rehabilitation to victims of politically motivated violence through
free counselling.

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Zim Standard

Byo Zanu PF leaders squabble over missing food
By Loughty Dube

BULAWAYO - A storm is brewing in Zanu PF here after the provincial
Independence Day celebrations' organising committee failed to account for
seven head of cattle worth about $10 million and 700 kgs of mealie-meal that
was destined for White City stadium to feed people gathered to commemorate
Independence Day on April 18.

The disappearance of the beasts and the mealie-meal has led to the emergence
of two distinct camps within the provincial executive.

Meetings called so far to investigate the matter have all ended up in chaos
with one group accusing the other of having diverted the meat and the mealie

Official sources in the organising committee say because of the probe, two
groups have emerged and were at each other's throats over the missing food.

The missing cattle and mealie-meal were purchased by the Bulawayo
Independence Day Fund-raising Committee, whose chairman, Edson Mbedzi, is
the Matabeleland North provincial administrator.

The committee used funds that were raised from well-wishers and from
proceeds of a charity dinner dance.

Bulawayo Governor and organiser of the Independence Day dinner dance, Cain
Mathema, however professed ignorance about the matter. "I know nothing about
that issue S absolutely nothing," was all Mathema said.

Efforts to contact Mbedzi, who reportedly chaired Tuesday's chaotic meeting
on the disappearance of the food, last week proved fruitless.

Sources in Zanu PF said issue of the missing beasts was first raised at an
audit meeting called a few days after the Independence Day celebrations.

During the meeting, it was revealed that seven cows out of 17 meant to feed
the crowd at White City did not reach the stadium.

The meeting also learnt that 700 kgs of maize that was part of a tonne
donated by a local businessman for the occasion had also disappeared without

"It is still a mystery how such a large amount of mealie-meal and a large
number of cattle could just disappear without trace and yet everyone claims
to know nothing about the goods," said a source.

Tempers flared at the Tuesday meeting held at the Bulawayo municipal
building leading to many of the people storming out.

"There is a lot of thieving in the party. What has worsened matters is that
some of the stolen meat was discovered at a butchery along Fort Street but
so far nothing has been done," said the source.

This is not the first time that cases of looting have been reported in
involving national functions in Bulawayo.

Food was looted after the funeral of the late Vice President, Joshua Nkomo,
while officials allegedly also stole a sizeable amount of food left over
from the Youth Games in Bulawayo in 2002.
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Zim Standard

Family of slain mine boss blames government officials
By Valentine Maponga

THE family of Dr Leonard Chimimba, the late Bindura Nickel Corporation (BNC)
chief executive officer, shot dead at the gate of his Borrowdale house last
week, is blaming senior government officials whom they believe were involved
in plotting his alleged assassination.

Chimimba's family said the geologist was murdered in a hit-and-run operation
and some senior government officials were implicated.

BNC, the corporation Chimimba headed, is being investigated following the
disappearance of truckloads of nickel worth millions of dollars in South
Africa during the past few months .

Chimimba was helping police and State security agents in the investigations
and a close family member disclosed that he had met a team of investigators
from the Ministry of Anti-corruption and Anti-monopolies in March.

Simon Chimimba, his younger brother, said the family was convinced some
senior government officials were behind his murder.

"My brother was killed by the so-called big guns and as a family, we are
fully aware of who is responsible but we know God will provide the answer,"
said Simon.

A relative who was in the house at the time Chimimba was shot said there was
confusion when they heard the gunshot. "We were all not sure of what to do
next S we later rushed towards the gate and found Dr Chimimba's car parked
right outside the gate but with no one inside.

"The car keys were not there and the car had swerved plunging into a trench
nearby meaning he must have tried to drive away from trouble," said the

The Standard saw tyre marks that showed that Chimimba, who was coming from
Kamfinsa, had tried to evade two vehicles that had sandwiched his Toyota
Landcruiser at the gate before he was shot. Fresh tyre marks seemed to
indicate how one of the vehicles overtook and blocked his way while the
other vehicle following behind made it impossible for him to reverse.

One of the workers who went out to investigate after hearing the gunshot,
said he found the car parked just outside the gate with its rear tyres in
the drain.

It is also understood that he was due to meet the Reserve Bank Governor Dr
Gideon Gono on Tuesday, the afternoon he was murdered.
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Zim Standard

Zimbabwe cricket comes full circle
By Lloyd Mutungamiri

TEN or so years ago, Zimbabwe captured the imagination of the international
cricket community after batsman Andy Flower blasted his way into the history
books by being named among the world's top-10 batsmen.

It was no mean achievement for a player coming from such a small Test nation
but the dashing left-handed batsman, an elegant figure showing no discomfort
whatsoever in spite of the decorations on the rest of the class - among them
Ricky Ponting of Australia - was to hold his own for as long as it took him
to tolerate the cold war that was raging between him, the Zimbabwe Cricket
Union and at the very end of his glorious international career in March last
year, the Zimbabwean government.

During Andy's years, and arguably Zimbabwe's best spell in the international
fold, the country earned its place as an important member of the
International Cricket Council.

A Super Six Stage qualification at the World Cup in 1999 in England, the
emergence of black talent in the form of Henry Olonga, the eloquence of its
president Peter Chingoka as he expounded on the integration programme, and
the excellent development academies, earned the respect of the cricketing
fraternity throughout the world. It was always a joy to watch the boys take
to the field in their reflective shades in far-flung places such as Dhaka in

Without warning that glasshouse shattered when Flower and Olonga staged
their black-band act, the first step the game took to its death which was
completed on Tuesday when Chingoka announced the union was parting ways with
Flower's former team-mates who had stayed on after the former national
wicket keeper's inglorious departure, after last year's World Cup.

Again, Zimbabwe has become the focus of the cricket community.

In the week preceding the sacking of Flower's successor Heath Streak and his
"rebels", Zimbabwe had plunged into the cricket annals when doosra devil,
Muttiah Muralitharan, claimed a world record 521 wickets in Sri Lanka's win
to break Windies legend Courtney Walsh's previous all-time high of 519.

Before that bubbly Tatenda Taibu had become the youngest-ever Test skipper
after being fast-tracked into the captaincy following Streak's axing. The
world still focuses on this particular tour of Sri Lanka as more records are
set to tumble in view of an inexperienced side wearing Zimbabwe's national
colours, but the spotlight will be blinding when world champions Australia
play their first Test against Taibu's boys on May 22.

The international media has now preoccupied itself with Murali and Shane
Warne, speculating on who will reach the milestone 1000 wickets and Zimbabwe
feature strongly in the discussion. And at the core of all this is the ZCU -
and the ICC - whose roles have been seen as abetting the "politicisation" of
the game in the country which has turned international cricket on its head.

The ZCU has refused to be drawn into any kind of debate over the alleged
politics in the local game with Chingoka dismissing accusations of a plot to
kick whites out of local cricket. The ICC has also said they will not
intervene in the Zimbabwe dispute, and at the last minute breaking the
hearts of the 15 rebel players by calling their job action "ill-advised".

Last week, StandardSport interviewed an insider - who is white - in the
cricket saga, which has now spilled into the courts, who said the
termination of the contracts of the white players was something government,
not the ZCU, had "always sought to do in its determination to break any hold
whites still had in the country".

The insider said by virtue of their numbers in the national team and their
link with the outside world, whites could still claim control of some fabric
of the Zimbabwean society - small but important and influential - and by
starting a fight with the ZCU, Streak and his "rebels" had pressed the
self-destruct button which had blown whites' interests into 'kingdom-come'.

"As white people, we have been under siege for some time now. Cricket was
our last stand but that too has been frustrated in the past four years or so
where around 20 cricketers, among them Neil Johnson and Murray Goodwin, have
been forced to quit the country.

"I cannot talk about the general future of white people in this country, but
what I can tell is that the future of white cricketers in this country is
finishedS unless one is really prepared to put up with the poor management
at the ZCU," said the insider.

White players, who have led quite comfortable lives with some lucrative
contracts with the ZCU will, most of them, "struggle" to get into
professional cricket abroad, the insider admitted.

"Only a few will play first class cricket again, the majority will have to
settle for small-time club cricket or end their careers altogether," he

The insider went on to explain why the ICC had declined to be involved in
the Zimbabwe standoff.

"If it came to a vote, the Asian countries would always support Zimbabwe."

And there was no question of Zimbabwe being stripped of its Test status
because of low-playing standards, said the insider, indicating countries
like Bangladesh, at the moment the lowest Test nation at number 10 to
Zimbabwe's nine, having struggled in their early life in the elite group.

For the record, the only country to lose its Test status was South Africa
who were kicked out for refusing to integrate blacks during the apartheid

The Telegraph

ICC intervene to end Zimbabwe crisis
By Will Rouse in Harare
(Filed: 16/05/2004)

Growing pressure from the International Cricket Council and another day of
humiliation at the hands of Sri Lanka is forcing the Zimbabwe Cricket Union
to consider reinstating at least some of the country's rebel cricketers for
the Test series against Australia, which starts on Saturday.

Sri Lankan captain Marvan Atapattu (202 not out) scored his sixth double
century and third against Zimbabwe while the delightful Kumar Sangakkara
(186 not out) is approaching his second.

This hopelessly weak Zimbabwe side conceded 425 runs in the day and dropped
four straightforward chances, including Sangakkara before he had scored, as
Sri Lanka went to stumps at 443 for one in reply to Zimbabwe's 228. It is
against this depressing backdrop that some in the Zimbabwe cricket hierarchy
are hopeful the ICC can broker a resolution to prevent an even greater
humiliation against the world champions.

Concerned at the damage the festering dispute is causing cricket's
credibility, the ICC has become involved behind the scenes despite publicly
claiming it is purely an internal matter for Zimbabwe cricket. "This seems
to be the best chance of fixing the problem," a well-placed Zimbabwe cricket
source said.

A meeting of the rebels is being planned for Monday in Harare, where they
are likely to be addressed by their lawyer Chris Venturas and mediator Much

The ZCU began to soften their position on Friday, giving the 15 rebel
players a further 21 days to return to practice and make themselves
available for selection before their contracts would be withdrawn. Masunda,
a prominent businessman, described the ZCU's latest concession as

"It has been my hope that this would happen. We have to resolve it," Masunda
said. "To have this sort of stand-off when touring sides are in the country
is just not on."

Rebel spokesman Grant Flower said he had heard some "positive vibes" about
the ICC becoming more active in the dispute but remained sceptical.
Zimbabwe's most experienced current player believes the ZCU's latest offer
may be no more than legal manoeuvering. "It seems that they may have made a
mistake by firing us in the first place," he said.

He believes all that has changed at the moment is the players are allowed to
keep their ZCU-supplied cars without being arrested. "Obviously they want us
to play against Australia to prop up the system," Flower said. "We want to
get back and play but if this dispute is not resolved properly our stand
will be a waste of time."

Sacked captain Heath Streak had also heard of "encouraging dialogue"
involving the ICC but had no idea if he would be playing against Australia.

Promising 21-year-old all-rounder Sean Ervine, whose girlfriend is the
daughter of the Zimbabwe coach Geoff Marsh, has quit the country. He hopes
to represent Australia after the mandatory four-year qualifying period.

Meanwhile, the former British Prime Minister, John Major, told the annual
meeting of MCC that England should not tour Zimbabwe later this year because
the security of the players could not be guaranteed.

Major, a member of the MCC committee, also said that Robert Mugabe would use
England's presence as a platform to make derogatory attacks on the British
government. An estimated 90 per centof the membership present at the AGM
were against touring.

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Zim Standard

Retail giant says price controls may be introduced again
By Rangarirai Mberi

GOVERNMENT could return to price controls ahead of next year's general
election, the head of the country's largest retail chain predicted last

Willard Zireva, CEO of OK Zimbabwe, said on Wednesday a few basic products
could be put back under price controls, which the government largely
abandoned last year under pressure from distressed industrialists.

"With elections coming, we see some items being added to the price control
list as an election gimmick", said Zireva, who is also the head of the
Retailers' Association of Zimbabwe, which groups the country's retail

Zireva was however bullish about the general outlook for the economy.

The government has followed an on-off policy on price controls over the past
three years, returning to the controversial policy frequently, ostensibly to
protect customers from "profiteering" businesspeople.

The removal of controls on a variety of basic goods last year saw sharp
spikes in prices, OK Chief Operating Officer Albert Katsande conceded,
resulting in consumer resistance in the last quarter of 2003.

OK last week reported sales had been weak in the traditionally strong last
quarter, but said April sales had run ahead of forecasts. The retailer
however achieved sales growth above average national inflation for the
reporting period.

"We didn't achieve our November (sales) figure by a small margin. We also
missed our December targets, and we were also 5% down on our expectations in
January, and we only began to pick up in February," Zireva said.

Attributable profit of $34.3 billion, up 664% on the prior year, was
achieved on turnover of $320,9 billion, which was 574% ahead of 2003.
Headline earnings per share of 824 cents was largely in line with most
market forecasts.

In November, OK sold its furniture division for $10 billion to Furniture
Paradise, which is paying turnover based rentals to OK.

The retailer's convenient store brand OK Express helped improve stock-turn
for the group, which improved to 5%.

Zireva said calculations based on a basket of goods showed that central
bank's inflation target of 200% by year-end was achievable. He however
sounded some caution.

"I don't believe we are anywhere near to seeing the economy picking up
significantly. I don't think even the RBZ believes we are seeing a recovery.
We are still correcting," Zireva said.
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Zim Standard

Sewage oozing from water taps, cry Marondera residents
By our own Staff

MARONDERA residents say they were shocked last week to find raw sewage
oozing out of their domestic water taps, The Standard has been told.

The "water" was slimy and green in colour and emitted a very bad smell.

"All the suburbs were affected by this problem. The water started coming out
of the tapes brownish in colour and later turned green. It went on like that
for two days," said a woman from Paradise Park, a suburb in Marondera.

"We reported the problem to the council officials but they did not give us
any explanation on how that could have happened," said the woman.

The problem of dirty water has hounded residential suburbs such as
Dombotombo and Nyameni for a long time but the city authorities have not
done anything to solve it, said residents.

"We have been experiencing water cuts since last year and we have lodged our
complaints with the responsible authorities but nothing has been done," said
Tafirenyika Matsave of Nyameni.

Marondera Town Clerk Rinashe Nyamutsiwa expressed ignorance of raw sewage
oozing from water taps.

"I have not heard anything of that nature but I cannot give a comprehensive
comment because I am not obliged to speak to the Press. You can only get a
comment from the Mayor himself," said Nyamutsiwa.

Ralph Chimanikire, the Marondera Executive Mayor, could not be reached for
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Zim Standard

Government tables draconian amendments to Electoral Act
By our own Staff

THE government wants to amend the Electoral Act in a move that will further
close any democratic space remaining in the country's political system.

Under the proposals contained in the Electoral Amendment Bill 2003 which
analysts say are clearly targeted at the opposition MDC, it will
increasingly become difficult for poor urban dwellers - who are the
opposition party's main supporters - to vote because they would, among other
stringent requirements, have to produce proof of residence.

Without such proof, expected to come in the form a receipt or demand for
payment rates in terms of the Urban Council Act, they would have to produce
a sworn statement from their employer confirming their place of residence or
bring documents like bank statements or hospital bills.

In rural areas, the situation could be worse for people who are known MDC
supporters as they would be required to bring "sworn oral or written
statements" from their chiefs who are now an integral part of the Zanu PF
campaign machinery.

Apart from this, section 116A also makes it criminal for anyone to place any
poster anywhere without the consent of the property owner.

Much of the MDC campaigning has been through posters all over buildings in
the Zimbabwe's major towns.

Under the new proposals, MDC activists could get into trouble for placing
bills, placards, circulars or any other document and writing or painting
"with the object of supporting or opposing any political party, political
cause or candidate".

Anyone found guilty of this crime would face a maximum sentence of six

MDC shadow minister for home affairs Tendai Biti said the proposed amendment
reflected the "madness of the regime".

"The fact of the matter is that Zanu PF is offering nothing to the people of
Zimbabwe because it's the same party and leadership that has been the cause
of all the problems in the country," said Biti.

Political analysts pointed out that demanding letters of employment from
prospective voters was the same tactic which Ian Smith's Rhodesian
government used to disenfranchise blacks in the 1970s.
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Zim Standard

Mugabe to choose heir
By our own Staff

PRESIDENT Robert Mugabe says he is now busy working to handpick his
successor before he bids farewell to public office in 2008.

In an interview with the Kenyan newspaper - the East African Standard -
Mugabe said he would not seek re-election in 2008 when his current term
ends. He wants to concentrate on writing books.

The East African Standard's Caroline Mango was among a delegation of Kenyan
journalists invited to interview Mugabe by Junior Information Minister
Jonathan Moyo.

The Kenyan journalists were accorded the rare opportunity to interview
Mugabe at his offices at Zanu PF headquarters and were "special guests" of
the President at the chiefs' annual meeting in Masvingo last week.

"The man who has become the Western world's figure of hate and a pariah in
the Commonwealth following his government's decision to evict white farmers
and distribute their land to black Zimbabweans said that he won't seek
re-election in 2008. He wants to retire and write books," Mango wrote in an
article published in Kenya yesterday.

She quoted Mugabe saying he was serving his last term and had no intention
of "clinging on".

However, said the East African Standard "in the age-old style of African
dictators, Mugabe lamented that he is having trouble finding a successor".

"He is now busy shopping for the right person to take over from him when he
retires," the newspaper reported.

"Mugabe's search for a successor falls neatly into the pattern adopted by
some retiring African presidents who hand-pick politicians to succeed them,"
says the Kenyan newspaper.

The revelation though that Mugabe wants to handpick his successor would come
as a surprise in the governing Zanu PF party.

The Zanu PF strongman - who has ruled Zimbabwe with an iron fist since
independence from Britain in 1980 - has in the past said the party would
anoint his successor, not himself.

"I want to retire from politics. I have had enough. I am also a writer and
would like to concentrate on writing after this term in office is over,"
Mugabe - who hates interviews with independent local journalists - told the
East African Standard.

He said the problems he is having finding a successor are "causing power
struggles in the top leadership of the Zanu-PF party".

"They are fighting and some are even going to consult with witchdoctors. It
is very interesting to note that even educated people are seeking the
consultation of Ngangas expecting to be possible candidates," he said.

Local analysts however said it was better for Zimbabwe if Mugabe stepped
down before 2008.

"It is better for President Mugabe to step down forthwith rather than wait
until the lapse of four years. People have suffered enough and are tired,"
said former University of Zimbabwe vice chancellor, Gordon Chavhunduka.

Chavhunduka said Mugabe's intention to backtrack on his earlier pledge by
choosing his own successor was "undemocratic".

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By J. Grant Swank, Jr.
May 16, 2004

It's unChristian and uncivilized. Therefore the bishop calls for
international help, warning the world that the corrupt government is using
food scarcity as a weapon to starve off "the opposition."
Let them starve to death. Don't feed them. Don't permit them to cultivate
their fields. Don't open the doors to international assistance. Just watch
them die one by one. In that, the government puts away "the opposition."
Imagine lack of food as a weapon of warfare. It is in Zimbabwe. Evil stalks
in different clothing in difference locales. In Africa it can dress up in
Therefore Catholic archbishop of Bulawayo, Pius Ncube, informed BBC Network
Africa that "There's so much land lying fallow, some of the best farms are
not even cultivated."
They could be. They could blossom in God's sun. They could bring a harvest.
But the demented, demonic government leaders who are into their own power
plays simply won't permit plants to grow and people to feed off their own
"Bishop slams Zimbabwe food claims" is the BBC headline.
"One of Zimbabwe's top churchmen has criticized the government for refusing
international food aid, saying the country will be left hungry.
"Zimbabwe ordered UN crop assessors to stop their work last week, and
forecast a bumper harvest."
But according to the bishop, government officials lie. In forecasting a
"bumper harvest," they themselves know that's a lie. Labour Minister Paul
Mangwana said to the official news office: "We have enough for local
Mangwana lies. Others lie. It is a government agency of liars. They serve in
an office in order to murder their own people, the latter referred to as
"the opposition." The bishop knows this. Other Christians know this. But
they have their hands tied unless they can get outside ears to hear the
truth about the lies that are perpetrating murder.
The bishop points out that much land lays unfarmed. It could be cultivated;
but the ones holding the power stand in the way.
"'They want to use food as a political weapon as they have done in the past,
' said Archbishop Pius Ncube.
"He said the government had failed to distribute seed and fertilizer, and
that the rains had come two months late in some parts.
"'So I fear - for instance in western Zimbabwe - many people will have
enough food for three or four months, after which they will need food aid.'
"Aid agencies estimate that 5.5m Zimbabweans - almost half in urban areas -
will require emergency food aid this year.
"On Thursday the AFP news agency said it had seen a report by one of the
UN's top officials in Zimbabwe, which said that if Zimbabwe was to appeal
for food aid later in the year, the international community would not be
able to respond quickly enough.
"The agriculture spokesman for the opposition Movement for Democratic
Change, Renson Gasela, has appealed to foreign donors to continue bringing
in food - even without a government request. The opposition has accused the
government of only giving food aid to its supporters.
"With parliamentary elections due next year, it says the government is
preparing to do the same again. Archbishop Ncube said: 'They want to use
food as a political weapon as they have done in the past. Once they put out
the non-governmental organizations that have been feeding the people, then
they'll have the whole field to themselves. Then they can punish those
people who are supporting the opposition.'"
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The Telegraph

Democracy? It was better under apartheid, says Helen Suzman
By Jane Flanagan
(Filed: 16/05/2004)

Helen Suzman, for years the lone anti-apartheid voice in the South African
parliament, has turned her fire on the country's ANC government for being
"anti-white" and for abandoning the country's poorest blacks.
As South Africa celebrates the passing of a decade since its first free
elections, Mrs Suzman has cast an unexpected shadow over the party -
declaring that parliamentary democracy was healthier under the apartheid

As she sat in the study of her home in one of Johannesburg's smartest white
suburbs last week, the veteran human rights campaigner confessed that she
was disappointed by the African National Congress government which she had
worked so tirelessly to get into power.
"I had hoped for something much better," said Mrs Suzman, 86. "The poor in
this country have not benefited at all from the ANC. This government spends
'like a drunken sailor'. Instead of investing in projects to give people
jobs, they spend millions buying weapons and private jets, and sending gifts
to Haiti."
Dressed in a blue blouse, trousers and matching jewellery, Mrs Suzman's tiny
frame became powerfully animated as she discussed the subject of Zimbabwe
and President Thabo Mbeki's failure to curb the excesses of his neighbour,
President Robert Mugabe.
"Mugabe has destroyed that country while South Africa has stood by and done
nothing. The way Mugabe was feted at the inauguration last month was an
embarrassing disgrace. But it served well to illustrate very clearly Mbeki's
point of view."
She gestured fiercely with the manicured middle finger of her right hand and
added: "Mugabe has done that to the whites, and I think that is exactly what
Mbeki admires about him. Don't think for a moment that Mbeki is not
anti-white - he is, most definitely. His speeches all have anti-white themes
and he continues to convince everyone that there are two types of South
African - the poor black and the rich white.
"Meanwhile, he doesn't do what he should be doing, which is improving the
lives of the people who voted for him. Mbeki's attitudes to Mugabe and to
HIV/Aids are the reason we are not getting the levels of foreign investment
that we should."
Mrs Suzman was a lecturer in economic history before beginning her political
career in 1953 as an MP for the United Party. Six years later she founded
the Progressive Party, and for 13 years was its sole MP. She was a regular
visitor to Nelson Mandela and other ANC leaders during their long
incarceration on Robben Island.
Between 1961 and 1974 she bombarded the ruling National Party government
with parliamentary questions about the detailed workings of apartheid:
forced removals, racial classification, convictions for pass offences,
immorality laws and Bantu education. All were recorded in South Africa's
Hansard - two rows of which now line her study walls. "That's my life in
there," she said, her tiny arm sweeping along the shelves. "Of course, it
would never be possible today to ask as many questions as I did."
One reason is the abandonment of the first-past-the-post system under South
Africa's post-apartheid constitution, she said. "I used to be a fan of
proportional representation, but I am not at all now I have seen it in
action. Debate is almost non-existent and no one is apparently accountable
to anybody apart from their political party bosses. It is bad news for
democracy in this country. Even though we didn't have a free press under
apartheid, the government of that day seemed to be very much more
accountable in parliament."
Her energy and relentless criticism of the apartheid regime was formidable,
and earned her anti-Semitic and sexist attacks in parliament, where for six
years she was the only woman politician - referred to as "the lady from
Lithuania". She retired from politics in 1989 with 28 honorary doctorates
and two nominations for the Nobel Peace Prize.
Her probing continues unabated through the work of The Helen Suzman
Foundation, which scrutinises elections, voter choice and the conduct of
political parties in South Africa, Zimbabwe and other African countries. "I
am supposed to be retired, but my diary is as full as ever," she said with a
Around the study, photographs of her with Mr Mandela, Hillary Clinton and
parliamentary colleagues jostle with family snapshots. Like many other white
South Africans, Mrs Suzman has seen her two children move overseas. A system
of positive discrimination and labour laws that impose strict quota systems
on employers have led thousands of skilled whites to pursue their careers
"The employment laws are completely unrealistic," she said. The previous
education system, she said, left a generation of black children without the
skills for the jobs into which they are now being pushed.
"You cannot overcome that in only 10 years. It will take at least another
generation before young people are properly qualified. It is increasingly
hard for young white people to find jobs, and I can understand why white
parents are worried about the future," she said.
Perhaps conscious that she might be misconstrued, she added firmly: "For all
my criticisms of the current system, it doesn't mean that I would like to
return to the old one. I don't think we will ever go the way of Zimbabwe,
but people are entitled to be concerned. I am hopeful about any future for
whites in this country - but not entirely optimistic."
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Independent (UK)

British businessman accused of leading role in failed coup
Exclusive Investigation: Mercenaries held over Equatorial Guinea plot
identify west London consultant as mastermind
By Paul Lashmar and Adrian Gatton
16 May 2004

A management consultant from west London has been accused of being one of
the masterminds behind a plot to overthrow the government of the oil-rich
African state of Equatorial Guinea.

The failed coup - strikingly reminiscent of Frederick Forsyth's mercenary
tale The Dogs of War - came to light in March with the dramatic arrests of
67 soldiers of fortune at Harare airport in Zimbabwe. Now a witness
statement seen by The Independent on Sunday names Greg Wales, 53, an
accountant and management consultant, as a key organiser behind the plot.

He vehemently denies any involvement. But the government of Equatorial
Guinea has confirmed to the IoS that it now wishes to interview Mr Wales,
who has homes in Chiswick and Wiltshire and a history of business in Africa.

A statement on behalf of the state and President of Equatorial Guinea said
yesterday: "The appropriate authorities are anxious to interview Mr Wales in
view of his apparent involvement in the attempted coup d'état." British
lawyers acting for the government have asked Scotland Yard's Anti-Terrorist
Branch to investigate Mr Wales's role. "We believe attempting a coup against
an elected government by the use of force is an act of international
terrorism and should be investigated as such," one lawyer said.

Equatorial Guinea is a recently oil-rich but still impoverished country in
west Africa whose President, Teodore Obiang, has ruled for 30 years. At
Harare Airport on 7 March, Zimbabwean police arrested a former SAS officer,
Simon Mann, and 66 South African former special forces personnel on a
chartered Boeing 727. They have been charged with plotting a coup in
Equatorial Guinea. In a series of morning swoops on 8 March, a South African
former special forces officer, Nick du Toit, and 14 other men in Malabo, the
capital of Equatorial Guinea, were arrested by local police.

Mr Wales denies involvement in the coup. While he says he knows most of the
key figures said to be involved in the failed plot, he stressed: "I was not
involved in a coup. I do not even believe that there was a coup plot. This
is all a deal between [Robert] Mugabe [President of Zimbabwe] and Obiang. If
the government of Equatorial Guinea is saying I was involved then it is a

But Mr du Toit identifies Mr Wales as a key organiser, in a statement seen
by the IoS. It was signed in the presence of a British lawyer working for
the government. In the statement he says: "The first person who I spoke to
about the coup was Greg. I had not met him before. I do not know how he got
my telephone number but this was probably through Simon Mann. I do not know
his family name."

The IoS has confirmed that Mr du Toit had Greg Wales's personal mobile
number in his notebook. Mr Wales is an old Africa hand and has been involved
with Mr Mann over many years; Mr du Toit claims that Mr Wales arranged much
of the finance for the coup.

At the time, Mr du Toit was based in Equatorial Guinea starting up
businesses, including a deep-sea fishing project and an airfreight operation
in partnership with ministers. In his statement he says: "He called me and
asked me to meet him on 4 January 2004 in Sandton, South Africa. He said he
had a business proposition for me ... I decided to see what he proposed."

Of the meeting with Mr Wales, Mr du Toit says: "He explained that he had in
mind a coup d'état ... and asked if I would help. I said that I had business
that I was developing in EG and refused to assist."

However it did not stop Mr du Toit attending another meeting: "On 7 January
I saw Greg again. This time he was with Simon Mann who I know since 1998."
During the meeting Mr du Toit apparently changed his mind. "I agreed to help
with the provision of vehicles and guides. Simon asked me to provide
assistance to obtain arms. I said I knew people of Zimbabwe Defence
Industries in Harare."

Mr Wales says he met Mr du Toit around Christmas. But he says they discussed
rugby and not a coup: "I do not know why Nick du Toit has named me as being
involved in the coup. He obviously has an agenda. He is an Afrikaner and he
will be trying not to name friends and associates."

Simon Mann's statement to the Zimbabwe police, also seen by the IoS, says
that after a trip to Gabon with Mr Wales in January 2003, he met the exiled
opposition leader, Severo Moto, and several supporters: "At this stage, they
asked me if I could help support Severo Moto home at a given moment when
simultaneously there would be an uprising of both military and civilians
against Obiang."

According to Mr du Toit, by the time he was recruited it had developed into
a full-scale mercenary operation. "I was informed by Simon Mann that when
the existing President was deposed, Mr Severo Moto would be in the new
government. Simon Mann and Greg said that he was coming from Spain and knew
all about the intended coup." Had the coup been successful, he says, the
rewards would have been great. "I was promised $1m to be deposited in my
Malabo account at CCEI Bank and a guarantee that my business would continue
as usual."

Over the next few weeks, Mr du Toit claims, he helped to recruit mercenaries
from South Africa, Angola and Mozambique. He also flew with Mr Mann to
Harare to arrange the purchase of weapons. It was then his job to seize the
control tower of Malabo airport and provide guides for the mercenaries as
they landed.

Mr Wales said yesterday that he first met Severo Moto 18 months ago and most
recently a month ago. "I think he would be a far better president that
Obiang. He's quite an interesting man ... he and Obiang don't get on too

Denying any personal knowledge of the coup, he said Mr Mann had got himself
in a terrible situation: "I think he was nuts to be in Zimbabwe frankly,
because it's a dreadful place. I can't imagine that you could persuade me to
go there myself, not as things are now."

Mr Wales said he had an interest in Equatorial Guinea because he was going
to tender for a US State Department contract to conduct anti-poaching and
illegal fishing surveillance for the country.

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US firm strikes secret tobacco-for-maize deal

Antony Barnett and Patrick Smith
Sunday May 16, 2004
The Observer

A US financial firm has emerged as central to a secret multi-million dollar
plan by Zimbabwe's President Robert Mugabe to bail the country out of a food
shortage and prepare the way for his election victory later this year.
Last week Mugabe forced the UN's World Food Programme crop assessment team
to leave the country fearing that it would expose the dire harvest. Such a
disaster would fly in the face of Mugabe's claims of a bumper harvest and
prove that his controversial land reforms have failed. There has been a huge
drop in production caused by land seizures from white farmers with much of
the land lying fallow.

Sources claim that Mugabe has struck the secret deal with a group of US
firms to provide thousands of tonnes of grain in exchange for tobacco and

Insiders allege one of the US companies involved is Sentry Financial
International in Salt Lake City, Utah. Details of hugely profitable
tobacco-for-maize swaps, leaked to The Observer, involve Sentry and the
state-controlled Grain Marketing Board.

Last year Sentry was involved in a deal to exchange 300,000 tonnes of maize
and wheat for tobacco and minerals. Sources claim some 70,000 tonnes of
grain will arrive in Zimbabwe this month under an agreement shrouded in
secrecy because of its political sensitivity. Sentry's vice-president Kirk
Heaton said his company was doing business in Zimbabwe but 'the details are

Zimbabwe needs an estimated 900,000 tonnes of food this year. Opposition
politicians claim Mugabe's Zanu-PF party will use food to buy votes in
forthcoming elections and starve opposition areas.

· Patrick Smith is editor of Africa Confidential
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Subject: Alleged Mercenaries in Harare and Equatorial Guinea

Dear Editors,
Robert Mugabe is intending to extradite the alleged mercenaries to Equatorial Guinea in exchange for petrol and diesel.
Equatorial Guinea is descibed by UN and Amnesty International as the worst torture state in Africa.
A  German citizen, who was alleged to have been involved in the coup, died on 17th March, most likely as a result of torture.
Please find attached translation of the notification, I sent to the Attorney General in Berlin/Germany.
Attorney General  Dr.H.J. Karge has acknowledged receipt  of the notice, opened a docket and started investigations.
  Yours sincerely
Dr. Alexander von Paleske
Head, Department of Oncology
Princess Marina Hospital
Tel +267 3953221
Cell +267 718 480 74
Ex Barrister-at-Law, High Court Frankfurt (M)  Germany
Attorney General                              30th April 2004
at the High Court  Moabit
RE:  Notice is hereby given of the suspected crime of  
       murder of the german citizen Gerhard Eugen MERZ
       (NERSHZ) committed by servants of the Government of
       Equatorial  Guinea on March 17th 2004.
The notice is based on the following facts:
On 4th March 2004 a a group of foreigners was arrested in the capital city of Equatorial Guinea.
They are  accused of having planned a coup to oust President Obiang Mbasogo Nguema.
Amongst the arrested was a german citizen be the name of
Gerhard Eugen NERSHZ (MERZ)
Torture in the prisons is a day-to-day business in Equatorial Guinea according to Amnesty International..
Mr. Nershz (Merz) died on 17th March most likely as a result of torture.
He had visible signs of torture, according to  witnesses who saw him, when he was transported from the prison to a hospital  in Malobo hours before his death.
The official cause of death was "cerebral malaria".This was, most likely not the cause of death.
There has been no statement of the German Foreign Office as yet or from the German embassy in Jaounde. (there is no German embassy in Equ. Guinea)
For establishing the real cause  of death it is absolutely necessary, to have a postmortem done and for this purpose the corpse has to be transferred to Germany as a matter of urgency.
It is the legel task for the German prosecutors to investigate, as a German citizen has most likely fallen victim to a crime and the local authorities, as being involved, cannot be expected to investigate.
Yours sincerely
Dr. Alexander von Paleske
Physician, Haematologist
Head,  Department of Oncology
Princess Marina Hospital
Ex Barrister-at-Law, High Court Frankfurt (M) Germany
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