Armed police summoned to quell sugar, maize-meal
Tue 17 May 2005
HARARE - Armed police had to be called
in while a woman fainted as
thousands of hungry people jostled and stampeded
to buy sugar and maize-meal
that went on sale at two branches of a
supermarket chain in central Harare.
Hordes of people had begun
gathering at the OK supermarket branches
along First and Rezende streets as
early as 4 am after word got around that
the two shops would be receiving
deliveries of sugar and mealie-meal. The
two shops had not received supplies
of sugar and mealie-meal for weeks.
The two commodities are among a
long list of basic goods, including
fuel, electricity and essential medical
drugs that are in short supply in
Zimbabwe as an economic crisis gripping
the country for the last five years
The crowds that had anxiously waited
outside broke up into chaos as
shop staff attempted to begin sales of the
two vital commodities. Several
were injured and only a quick reaction by
officials at the two shops, who
summoned armed anti-riot police to restore
order, averted worse injury and
possibly even loss of life.
"What is the job of the government when we cannot get food, all this
commotion just for sugar tells you the government has failed," said an angry
Moleen Matora, almost naked after half her dress was torn away in the
Matora, who stays in the city of Chitungwiza, 21 km
Harare, said she had woken up at 3 am to join the queue after
tipped her there would be sugar and mealie-meal on sale at
"It is unfortunate that most Zimbabweans take this kind of life
normal but it is not. If this is what we have to go through just to buy a
packet of sugar or mealie-meal, then it means there is something seriously
wrong with whoever is running the country," Matora said before walking away.
She did not have the sugar after pulling out of the jostling crowd after her
dress was torn.
Zimbabwe's food crisis worsened days after
President Robert Mugabe and
his ZANU PF party's controversial landslide
victory in a parliamentary
election last March.
commodities vanished from shops while in the few shops that had
prices doubled or even tripled forcing the government to intervene
shop owners for charging more than state fixed prices.
government's intervention only helped fuel an illegal
black-market, which is
now the main source of nearly every other basic
commodity from washing soap,
to petrol, to birth control pills.
Economists say Zimbabwe's food
crisis can only worsen in the coming
months unless Mugabe addresses the
problems that led to Zimbabwe's
ostracisation from the international
community and the withdrawal of
financial aid vital to revive the
The United States, European Union, Switzerland, Australia,
and Canada have cut support to Harare and imposed targeted
Mugabe and his top lieutenants for failure to uphold
democracy, rule of law,
human and property rights.
accuses the West of only using human rights and democracy as a
sabotage Zimbabwe's economy to punish his government for seizing
farmland for redistribution to landless blacks. - ZimOnline
Top trade unionist to head civic coalition
Tue 17 May
HARARE - Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions secretary general
Chibebe was yesterday elected head of the Crisis in Zimbabwe
(CZC), an alliance of more than 40 civic groups campaigning for a
and democratic settlement to Zimbabwe's crisis.
Chibebe's rise to the helm of the CZC is set to bring a more
level approach to Zimbabwe's problems different from former
Kagoro's more intellectual approach that focused more on
international community to pressure President Robert Mugabe to
democracy and abandon his controversial policies.
The CZC is
credited with helping raise in the southern African region
the profile of
Zimbabwe's crisis particularly the negative impact of Mugabe's
as his chaotic land reform programme that has largely
contributed to food
shortages with poor black families the worst affected.
organisation has a representative office in regional powerhouse
but appears to have so far failed to convince President Thabo
abandon his quiet diplomacy approach towards Harare.
Institute of Southern Africa, Zimbabwe Chapter director Rashweat
elected Chibebe's vice, while University of Zimbabwe lecturer,
Marunda, came in as spokeswoman of the organisation. - ZimOnline
Former finance minister's defence wants trial postponed
17 May 2005
HARARE - High Court Justice Susan Mavangira will decide today
trial of former finance minister, Chris Kuruneri, for breaching
exchange rules proceeds or is postponed as requested by the
Stand-in lawyer, Christopher Venturas, yesterday asked
postpone the matter because Kuruneri's lawyer, Jonathan
Samkange is out of
Venturas also said the matter
should be postponed because the defence
had not been given sufficient notice
by the state that it wanted to amend
charges against Kuruneri, who has been
in jail awaiting trial for more than
The state opposed
the application for postponement saying it has
summoned witnesses from
outside the country and would incur huge expenses in
hotel and other upkeep
bills for the witnesses if the matter is postponed.
she will decide today on the application for
Kuruneri, who was arrested in April last year, is accused of
out of the country 5.2 million rand, 34 371 pounds, 30 000 euros
611.99. He is said to have used the money to buy luxurious
South Africa's Cape Town resort city and expensive
He is also accused of possessing a Canadian passport in
breach of the
Citizenship Act which bars Zimbabweans from holding dual
Kuruneri is denying all the charges.
Bank chief executive and now central bank governor Gideon
Gono, who is
accused of having personally facilitated the deal which saw
properties in South Africa, is scheduled to testify against the
The Jewel Bank facilitated the transfer of 5.2 million
Kuruneri's lawyers in South Africa for the acquisition of properties
country in violation of Zimbabwe's tight Exchange Control Act. -
SA to prosecute suspected mercenaries
Tue 17 May 2005
JOHANNESBURG - South Africa's National Prosecuting Authority has said it
will prosecute the 61 suspected mercenaries released from Zimbabwe at the
Two other alleged mercenaries released a few months
another still being held in Harare will also be brought to court
at a date to be set within the next 20 days, NPA spokesman
told the Press yesterday.
"We have conducted
exhaustive investigations and we believe we have a
strong case against
them," Nkosi told the South African Broadcasting
Under the country's Regulations of Foreign Military Assistance Act,
Africans are prohibited from engaging in mercenary activity without
permission form the National Conventional Arms Control
The 64 alleged soldiers of fortune, all holding South
passports, were arrested at the Harare International Airport last
allegedly on their way to topple the government of Equatorial
Zimbabwean authorities say the men had touched down at the
refuel and illegally pick up weapons from state arms maker, the
Defence Industries. The men were found guilty of breaching
immigration and aviation laws and were sentenced to one year in
The men's leader, Briton, Simon Mann, was sentenced to
which was later reduced to four years and under Zimbabwe's
Prisons Act, Mann
will be released towards the end of next
But Zimbabwe Attorney General Gula Ndebele yesterday told the
that Harare was ready to extradite Mann to Equatorial Guinea to face
treason charges there. - ZimOnline
SUPPORT THIS WONDERFUL CONCEPT!!!!!
Sent: Wednesday, April 27, 2005
I am taking this opportunity to
write personally to all MWEB subscribers. MWEB has recently completed its
year-end and as General Manager
of MWEB I would like to thank you for your loyal support throughout the
years. It has been a year fraught
with challenges for the telecommunications industry, but also a year in which
we saw a significant upgrade in
bandwidth provision by TelOne. However I am writing to you today to appeal for
support of a different kind.
Yesterday a tragedy unfolded, a
tragic event that could have been avoided, one that led to the unfortunate loss
of life. I overheard a
conversation at lunchtime at Royal Harare Golf Course. A woman was on her cell
phone and was looking for a
person whose blood group was B+. My blood group is B+, so I approached her.
She said that someone desperately
needed surgery, but there was no B+ blood available. The operation,
unfortunately could not take
place until a donor with that particular blood type was found. I went to the
Avenues and rushed up the stairs
to ICU to donate my blood. As I arrived on the 3rd floor I was met by the family
outside ICU and was told that the
person needing the blood transfusion had passed away 3 minutes ago. The family
had been desperately searching
for a donor since 10h00 that morning.
3 minutes! That is tragic! If I
had known about this desperate need for blood, I could have arrived at the
hospital sooner, and managed to
save a life. Instead I was eating lunch, entertaining clients, when someone
needed my blood less than 2km
away!! I could have made a difference if only I had known, more to the point -
if only someone had known how to
get hold of me.
The country is desperate for
blood. Even if one is a regular donor, this does not guarantee that there will
be adequate stock when it's
The young man in need of blood had
been involved in a car accident on Harare Drive earlier that morning. He
had been hemorrhaging and they
needed to operate to save his life but could not do so without blood. What I
wish to propose is a three-point
plan, which needs your support and action in order to make a difference;
1) Blood Donation Day. MWEB will
arrange a blood donation day at Meikles next week. MWEB will provide you
with free parking, tea and
biscuits and a 10% discount on one month's subscription if you come and donate
blood. Any new subscribers
joining and donating on the same day will receive 1 month's service for free. So
tell someone and bring them
2) Database. MWEB will collate a
database of people's contact details, landline, cell and blood group, as well
as their residential area. If
ever the urgent need for blood arises, this web-based database can then be
logged into and the type of blood
can be searched for. The database will come back with a list of all the people
with that particular blood group
in the area nearest to you, and all their contact details. This facility could
be the difference between life
and death. Anyone with Internet will have access to it.
3) Capture your details online.
Once preparations for a website dedicated to this blood donor database are
complete, (a week from now) you
will be able to log onto HYPERLINK "http://www.mweb.co.zw/bloodbank"http://www.mweb.co.zw/bloodbank.
and capture your details online.
All you then have to do is be available and prepared to donate blood to save a
life in an emergency.
We will send out another email to
let you know at what times and in what room at the Meikles Hotel, the blood
donation exercise will be carried
out. We hope to have this database up and running within the next 10 days, and
we appeal to you to please help
us to help save lives.
Lets make a difference through
making this work. If you have any queries or require further information please
contact us at MWEB on (04) 25 33
I look forward to your response and
Harare Residents and Ratepayers
Did you receive a huge rates bill this month? Do
you believe this bill reflects the services you are supposed to have paid
If not, what are you going to do about it?
If you want to join others in pushing for value for
money in Harare, and restoring Harare to top international city status, join the
Combined Harare Residents Association. CHRA is now a direct membership
organisation, so you do not need to be represented by anyone - you can represent
Harare is the leading city in this counrty - let's
maintain that status!
Daily Mirror, Zimbabwe
Zanu PF youths chase teachers
issue date :2005-May-17
ZANU PF youths last week allegedly
besieged two schools in Chihota,
Marondera District, and chased away nine
teachers, accusing them of backing
the opposition MDC.
Eight of the
teachers who fled from the schools have reportedly said they
return to the schools, alleging that their lives were in danger.
of Education, Sport and Culture's Mashonaland East provincial
director Vinah Kimbini yesterday confirmed that the teachers had
ordered to leave Mbonje primary and secondary schools.
"The teachers were
chased away by Zanu PF people from Mahusekwa. The matter
was not reported to
the police. Eight of the teachers have since asked for
they no longer feel safe. They have since been
redeployed to other schools
in Murehwa, Seke and Marondera," said Kimbini.
She added that one teacher had
expressed willingness to return to his
could not immediately say if the education ministry had found
for the redeployed teachers, saying she was at a teachers'
"At the moment I am not able to tell the extent of the disruptions or
whether things are back to normal as I am in the middle of presenting a
paper. Even if you call at our offices you will not be able to get the right
information as officers there are not sanctioned to comment," she
The Daily Mirror could also not verify if any teacher had been harmed
fracas, with Kimbini saying so far she had not received any reports
Contacted for comment, Zimbabwe Teachers Association
(Zimta) chief executive
officer Peter Mabande said his organisation had been
notified of the
teachers' plight, but referred all questions back to the
" We have referred the matter to the ministry and it is
now in their hands.
I cannot give the details. The specifics are with the
officer. If any member of staff finds some difficulties
in operating from a
certain area, it is the ministry which deals with the
issues," said Mabande.
Zanu PF's Mashonaland East provincial chairperson, Ray
Kaukonde, who also
doubles as the province's governor and resident minister,
said the incident
had not yet been brought to his attention.
" I have not
been informed about the incident. I was with the MP for that
Mutinhiri on Saturday and he did not mention anything," said
Mutinhiri, who is the Minister of Youth and Employment, could
not be reached
yesterday, and his secretary said the Marondera West
legislator would be
unreachable for the whole day.
This is not the first
time that teachers have been barred from carrying out
their duties in
Two days before the March 31 poll about 1 000 teachers from
Harare were ordered to leave Mudzi where they had been
deployed to help with
the running of the elections.
The teachers were
accused of being MDC sympathisers.
However, the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission
(ZEC) later said the teachers had
been ordered back because they arrived at
their station drunk.
Daily Mirror, Zimbabwe
Chombo suspends Chegutu deputy mayor, 10
Brian Mangwende Assistant Editor
IN a bid to return normalcy to operations of the Chegutu
Government, Public Works and Urban Development Minister
Ignatius Chombo has
suspended without benefits deputy mayor Phineas
Mariyapera and 10 other
The suspensions come against the
background of continued problems that have
deprived the people of that town
of much needed services.
The development comes almost two years after a
government task force was
sent to Chegutu for an in-depth investigation into
the problems plaguing the
The task force recommended
then that the council leadership - which had been
accused of untold
interference in council affairs hiding behind Zanu PF - be
nothing was done-raising eyebrows regarding Chombo's game
pervasive reluctance or fear of the unknown to effectively tackle
and find a
lasting solution to the alleged criminal activities in particular
scams and use of public funds seems to have engulfed and
crippled Chegutu municipality-a situation that could see the
disappear into the financial woods.
However, impeccable government sources
said Chombo dragged his feet because
of his cordial relationship with
Mariyapera until the situation worsened and
thus left with no choice, but to
suspend the deputy mayor.
Mariyapera has been accused of muzzling the
municiaplity, interfering in its
affairs therefore hindering the operations
of the executive.
He has also been pinpointed in the disappearance of about
$150 million from
council's drying coffers by placing his disciples in key
in the finance and recruiting departments whom he would
Mariyapera has since denied the allegations; which were
tabled before a
parliamentary portfolio committee last year.
In a letter
to Mariyapera dated April 25 2005, Chombo-who has also been
accused by the
MDC among others of meddling in local council business
country, wrote: "It has come to my attention that certain
committed by yourself as you continue to interfere with the
council affairs are hindering the efficient operation of
subsequently the delivery of services to the people of Chegutu.
"It is in
this regard that I am suspending you from being a councillor of
terms of Section 114 (1) of the Urban Councils Act (Chapter
suspension is with immediate effect."
The letter bore the names of other
suspended councillors: J F Tenthani, M
Chikazhe, E Mvura, W Macheka, E M
Nyemba, E Chihwanda, H Bangira, A
Dzingirai, M B Bhobho and P
Chombo then barred Mariyapera and his colleagues from conducting any
business - during their suspension - within or outside council
before he advised them that another government team would be
small town to carry out a thorough probe into the problems
Chegutu executive mayor Francis Dhlakama
said the government team arrived
last Monday and left on Friday.
he grumbled at their arrival saying if they had taken the matter
two years ago, Chegutu would not have been plunged into the mess
it is in
"The team arrived last Monday and left on Friday. They interviewed
officials, residents, a residents' association, the police and all
Asked why he thought Chombo took
time in dealing with such a delicate
matter contrary to the speed with
he dealt with Harare's former executive
mayor Elias Mudzuri and
councillors Dhlamaka replied: "It's all about politics."
On June 2
2004 Chombo put Dhlakama on forced leave for two months and
acting town clerk with the specific mandate to "turnaround" the
the municipality, but that bore no fruits hence the need for a
Daily Mirror, Zimbabwe
Food queues resurface
issue date :2005-May-17
queues, that were a nightmarish feature of the 2003 economic crunch, are
resurfacing again in the country as the biting shortages of most basic
commodities stretch into their second full month.
In a weekly survey carried out on Friday, three major
retail supermarkets along Nelson Mandela in the central business district (CBD)
still did not have maize meal, the country’s staple food, in supply while sugar,
cooking oil and bread could be found at one shop and unavailable at the
At OK Supermarket at the corner of First Street and Nelson Mandela,
there was a long and winding queue of more than 200 people early on Friday
morning, as consumers patiently waited to buy a 2 kilogramme packet of sugar
selling at $6 200 each.
The queue snaked from the back entrance of the
supermarket, dragged along the entire length of the supermarket along Nelson
Mandela and turned into First Street.
Other hopeful consumers could be seen
standing or sitting on the supermarket’s pavement, while others were crowded
right at the front of the queue that led into the supermarket’s warehouse,
patiently waiting for a chance to sneak into the
Right at the
front a man in a green shirt was trying to marshal a semblance of order into the
queue, allowing only one person at a time into the back entrance.
consumers were allowed to purchase only two packets of the commodity so that the
rest of the other people standing in the queue could get the product.
the guards at the entrance of the supermarket said it had been the same scenario
on Saturday with a long queue for sugar being the order of the day.
it was still the same, with about the same number of people waiting with
patient, glum and long suffering expressions that now aptly capture the faces of
the greater part of this country’s populace.
Less than 100 metres away, still
along Nelson Mandela, there was a shorter queue inside TM supermarket, and this
time consumers were waiting for yet another commodity – bread.
people made up the queue that snaked in the passage between two shelves
yesterday and it had been the same the previous Friday.
In the city centre,
the majority of the working population go for teatime between 10 and 12, a very
good explanation why the queue is usually long inside the supermarket during
“It now takes more time to buy a loaf of bread in the city centre
these days than before.
“Each time you go into a supermarket to buy bread
you find that it is not available so you walk on to the next supermarket where
you won’t find it. Its better to just wait here,” one consumer said.
not always been like this, at least in the past two years, but the shortage of
basic commodities on the formal market and their sudden reappearance on the
black market at inflated prices re-ignites unwelcome memories of the 2003
In that year, the country was confronted by perhaps its biggest
challenges ever when virtually everything, from fuel, foreign currency, basic
commodities and cash ran out completely.
The shortage of foreign currency
required to purchase raw materials and inputs led to low capacity utilisation
resulting in less output meaning that demand became much higher than
The launch of a new monetary policy by the central bank in late
2003 brought tight regulation to the economy and placed emphasis on reviving the
productive sectors of the economy, something that saw the shortages of basic
commodities vanishing while prices
But following the March 31
polls this year, the shortages of basic commodities re-emerged and as a result
food queues are now being witnessed with alarming
shortages persisted in the entire month of April and two weeks into May, and
nearly two months later, not much has changed.
The government’s verdict on
the shortages has been clear and predictable; the shortages are a result of
sabotage by the business community disappointed by the victory of the ruling
party over the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC).
But the business
community has been providing a more detailed response, blaming the shortages on
economic fundamentals that have gone awry.
According to economic analysts
and the business leaders themselves, the manufacturing and productive sector of
the economy is operating at less than 30 percent due to acute foreign currency
Secondly that the country’s exchange rate, at $6 200 to the
greenback, is grossly undervalued and fails to compensate for high production,
labour and import
With production falling and exporters failing to
be adequately remit their foreign currency, the production of most basic
commodities has plummeted resulting in the shortages.
This has seriously
undermined local producers of basic commodities and as a result some of the
supermarkets are even resorting to importing products such as cooking oil for
For instance at TM, a 750 bottle of pure vegetable oil,
manufactured by South African-based Epic Foods was selling at $19 700, with no
local products in sight.
Commodity OK TM FCG
Oil - $19 700 -
Sugar $6 200
Bread - $3 500 $3 500
meal - - -
Meat $49 500 $36 500 $55
Daily Mirror, Zimbabwe
Kuruneri indictment vague, embarrassing:
Constantine Chimakure Assistant News Editor
THE defence counsel in the high profile trial of former
Christopher Kuruneri-which kicked off yesterday-have argued
indictment against their client was vague and embarrassing forcing
to appeal to the High Court for an amendment before proceedings
Kuruneri has been languishing in remand prison in Harare since
April 24 2004
for allegedly contravening exchange control regulations six
flouting the country's citizenship laws.
Chris Venturas told High Court Judge Susan Mavangira that
last week, he
requested the State to provide specific dates on two of the
involving the externalisation charges, which they did not.
"We sought further
particulars after realising that the indictment was vague
At one stage the charge was that of smuggling... The State
claimed that the
accused took foreign currency on a plane and smuggled it to
Cape Town... How
can you allege that someone smuggled when you do not have
Prosecutor Joseph Jagada then argued: "In the indictment
served on the
defence, the State alleged on count two that the period during
accused committed the said offence extend from March 2002 to March
on count three the period extends from February 2002 to April
Jagada further argued that the law provides for the amendment of the
indictment if it appears that any particulars that ought to have been
inserted in the indictment, summons or charge have been omitted.
respectfully submitted that the amendment of an indictment is
long as it does not prejudice the accused in his defence. It
submitted that there is no prejudice to the accused in the
sought by the State."
Venturas did not respond to Jagada's application and
instead applied for the
postponement of the case arguing that the lawyers
needed to consult Kuruneri
on the way forward in the wake of the proposed
amendment, as it was his
Venturas then asked the
court to adjourn to Wednesday saying Kuruneri had
requested to be
represented by Jonathan Samukange, employed by the same law
firm to which
Jagada argued that the defence was only buying time and a
be costly to the State.
But after Venturas indicated that Samukange was on
business in Namibia,
Mavangira ruled the trial be continued today with or
The State says it will call 10 witnesses from South Africa
its allegations.According to the indictment, between
September 19 2003 and
January 4 2004, Kuruneri allegedly used a Canadian
BC149154) to travel from Zimbabwe to South Africa on six
written permission from the Minister of Home
This, the State alleged was in contravention of the Citizenship of
Act.Alternatively, the ex-minister is accused of breaching the same
between January 31 2002 and March 13 2004, by using Zimbabwean
passports (AD000475 and AD000937) to travel from Zimbabwe to
South Africa on
42 occasions when in fact he held a Canadian
The State further alleged that Kuruneri contravened the Exchange
between February 2002 and April 2004 at Harare International
Airport when he
exported US$582 611,99, British Pounds 34 471 and Euros 30
000 to South
Africa, through Christopher Heyman, a director of Venture
Heyman is said to be Kuruneri's projects manager
in South Africa.The money,
the State alleged, was meant to reconstruct and
develop one of Kuruneri's
properties, 38 Sunset Avenue, Llandudno, Cape
Alternatively, he is being charged for allegedly smuggling the said
contravention of provisions of the Customs and Excise Act.
another count, Kuruneri is being charged of exporting R1 314 102, 92 from
Zimbabwe to South Africa where it was deposited in his ABSA Bank account
Kuruneri is alternatively being charged for flouting
sections of the Customs
and Excise Act for smuggling the said amount of
foreign currency.On the
fourth account, Kuruneri is accused of making
payment outside the country
without the authority of the central
Allegations against him are that on March 6 2002, Kuruneri "caused" the
Commercial Bank of Zimbabwe to telegraphically transfer R5,2 million to CB
Niland and Partners Trust Account number 5005800916 with First National
Bank, St Georges Mall Branch, Cape Town.The money, the State averred, was
payment to Dunmow Pty Ltd for the purchase of a property, house number 17
Apostle Road, Llandudno, Cape Town by the accused person.
State alleged, on April 22 2002 made a R2,7 million payment to
Ltd to purchase a house, 38 Sunset Avenue, Llandudno, Cape Town,
authority of the RBZ.
On the sixth count, Kuruneri is again accused of paying
R2,5 million to
Shelly Joy Bernstein for the purchase of Unit B Ocean View,
without the authority of the central bank.
On the last count,
Kuruneri on February 3 2004 allegedly made payment of
R547 743 to Mercedes
Benz, Claremont, Cape Town, to purchase a Mercedes Benz
ML 350, again
without the authority of the RBZ.
Daily Mirror, Zimbabwe
UN ready to facilitate inter-party
issue date :2005-May-17
Nations is prepared to resuscitate inter-party talks between the
political parties, Zanu PF and the MDC, to find a lasting solution
The new United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)
Agostinho Zacarias, made the remarks last week
after his official
accreditation by the Minister of Foreign Affairs
Zacarias, who is also the UN coordinator in Zimbabwe
said, "President Robert
Mugabe indicated after the election his openness to
dialogue with the
opposition and international partners. This is a positive
establishing constructive dialogue necessary for Zimbabwe to move
In my view, the UN will strive to facilitate a conducive
wherever and whenever possible for this confidence building
process to take
Zacarias was appointed in March replacing the
long serving Victor Angelo,
and came to Zimbabwe a week before the March 31
Zanu PF and the MDC have been at loggerheads since the
birth in 1999. The shadow government has constantly
accused the ruling party
of fiddling with elections to retain
Efforts at talks after the 2000 parliamentary elections collapsed
parties failed to agree on the agenda while follow up efforts by
brokers including local church leaders have been fruitless so
Attempts by South African President Thabo Mbeki and his Nigerian
General Olusegun Obasanjo to bring MDC and Zanu PF to the
also came to nought with the ruling party insisting it
could not talk with
the opposition as long as it maintained its court
petition against the
outcome of the 2002 presidential election.On the other
hand, the MDC accused
President Robert Mugabe's party of insincerity in
The UN representative pledged to use his influence to
received more money under the Global Fund to help alleviate
the effects of
the dreaded Aids, which threatens to wipe whole
"After only a short time in the country, I perceive one of
concerns is HIV and Aids. This disaster takes the lives of 2
Zimbabweans every week.
HIV and Aids undermine development and
growth at all sectors and levels.
To fight the epidemic efficiently the
national efforts must be complemented
by regional and global
"Currently Zimbabwe is in large missing out of ongoing regional
programmes and much of the resources directed towards the region.
pleased that the first round agreement with the global fund has been
which means that US$11,3 million can soon be distributed from the
Zimbabwe, but we need to ensure that Zimbabwe can and will receive
more," Zacarias said.
He said the UN was ready to chip with food aid
if requested. He pointed out,
however, that long-term solutions in the
agricultural sector should be found
to ensure food security in a country
once regarded as the region's
Zimbabwe had a poor harvest
this year due to erratic rains and need to
import substantial grain to cover
Country's airwaves still restricted, says media lobby group
[ This report
does not necessarily reflect the views of the United
JOHANNESBURG, 16 May 2005 (IRIN) - A pioneering community
radio station in
Zimbabwe has been refused a licence by the country's
but Bulawayo-based Radio Dialogue has vowed to
continue its work.
The station was established in Zimbabwe's second city
in 2001 but, without a
licence, Radio Dialogue has been unable to transmit
"What we do while we're waiting [for a licence] is make
radio programmes and
record them on cassette for minibus taxis to play: we
call those taxi tunes.
Each of the programmes focuses on a different theme,
such as HIV/AIDS,
domestic violence, religion and politics, and so on," said
director Nigel Johnson.
Late last month the
Broadcasting Authority of Zimbabwe (BAZ) refused the
for a commercial licence, saying in a letter that "the
applications] was ... for a free-to-air broadcasting
Dialogue's] application does, not, therefore, conform to
the licence for
which the authority invited applications".
Even though it is a community
station, Johnson explained that in desperation
it had applied for the
"It's the first time they [BAZ] invited
[applications] for anything - we
felt we shouldn't just do nothing. We were
hoping that if they were
well-disposed and genuine, they would find some
sort of way around [the fact
that Radio Dialogue is a community station] ...
at least start talking to
"We did this so at least they know we
exist officially - they've known we
exist unofficially - and we felt we had
to take some action," he added.
Johnson said although the existence of
community stations was provided for
in law, "the problem is that there is
legislation ... saying no licence can
be issued to any organisation that is
partly or wholly foreign funded, which
we are, as we receive funding from
"You would find most community stations are [foreign
funded], as to raise
funds locally is nearly impossible," he added. "It's a
major stumbling block
to community stations."
Johnson vowed that "as
long as we can, we'll continue what we're doing and
try to pressure
authorities to give us licences", and commented, "but until
there is a
fundamental change in policy I don't think they'll be issuing any
to community stations.
Nyasha Nyakunu of the Media Institute of Southern
Africa's (MISA) Zimbabwe
chapter, said his organisation would continue to
"lobby and campaign for the
amendment of the Broadcasting Services Act ...
to look at clauses that
inhibit new players from entering the broadcasting
sector that is currently
monopolised by Zimbabwe Broadcasting Holdings,
which is supposed to be the
Some radio stations,
such as 'Voice of the People' have managed to get
around the restrictions by
broadcasting programmes produced in Zimbabwe back
into the country on Radio
"Their transmission signals are not based here," Nyakunu
they are not in breach of the Broadcasting Services
Year-On-Year Inflation Rises - CSO
The Herald (Harare)
Posted to the web May 16, 2005
year-on-year inflation for the month of April 2005 rose slightly
percent, an increase of 5,4 percentage points on the March rate of
percent, the Central Statistical Office (CSO) announced yesterday.
means that prices of goods and services as measured by the All Items
Consumer Price Index increased by an average of 129,1 percent between April
2004 and April 2005.
CSO acting director Mr Moffat Nyoni said it was
important for people to note
that a fall in inflation did not translate to a
drop in prices of goods and
"As long as inflation figures
are above zero, it means prices are rising and
a drop in prices will only be
reflected by expressing the inflation rate in
the negative," said Mr Nyoni
at a Press conference in Harare yesterday.
"The annual inflation figure
answers the question on how expensive goods and
services are in that month
of the year compared to that same month in the
said in sampling the prices of goods and services across the whole
CSO officials did not take into account whether the price of a
controlled or not.
"We go where the products are found whether at the
official or unofficial
market and get their prices and we stand guided by
and our sampling is based on the scientific norms,"
he said, adding that
inflation figures are arrived at after sampling 338
He was responding to allegations that CSO cooks up figures as
statistics did not reflect the situation on the ground.
is very far from the truth. I challenge the media or any other person
doubts to the objectivity of CSO to come to our offices and pick any
he or she suspects that figures could have been cooked up and ask any
of his or her choice to analyse the figures," said Mr Nyoni.
He said CSO
usually does the sampling during mid-month and any subsequent
changes to the
prices of goods and services would be reflected or factored
in the following
Of the 129,1 percent for year-on-year inflation, food prices
43,6 percentage points while non-food items in the CPI
accounted for 85,5
Food inflation prone to
transitory shocks stood at 112,5 percent, gaining
7,6 percentage points on
the March rate of 104,9 percent.
Non-food inflation stood at 139,5
percent gaining 3,7 percentage points on
the March 2005 rate of 135,8
The month on month inflation rate in April 2005 stood at 7,4
gaining 3,2 percentage points on the March 2005 rate of 4,2
This means prices as measured by all the items CPI increased by
of 7,5 percent from March 2005 to April 2005.
Of the 7,4
percent month-on-month increase in April 2005, food prices
accounted for 2,7
percent points and non-food items accounted for 4,6
percentage points. The
CSO said the increase in prices from March 2005 to
April 2005 was caused by
increases in the average price of beverages,
fruits, vegetables, meat and
Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe Governor, Dr Gideon Gono has
declared inflation as
the country's enemy number one and said he would work
hard to tame it.
Notable victories have been scored in the war against
inflation in the last
15 months, which saw it decline from a peak of 622,8
percent in January last
The success in taming the scourge has
been attributed to the central bank's
tight monetary policy stance,
increased foreign exchange inflows, fiscal
discipline on the part of
Government, improving confidence in the economy
and a positive response by
industry in capacity utilisation.
Dr Gono is expected to announce the
much awaited post election monetary
policy framework expected to give
direction to the economy next Thursday.
Police Raid Black Market Traders, Confiscate $30m Worth of
The Herald (Harare)
May 14, 2005
Posted to the
web May 16, 2005
POLICE in Norton yesterday confiscated
basic goods worth more than $30
million during a raid on black market
traders in the town.
Mashonaland West police spokesperson Assistant
Inspector Paul Nyathi said
they had arrested more than 20 black market
"We arrested them for contravening Shop Licences Act Chapter
4(1) (a) law that prohibits illegal business
"They have since paid a $50 000 fine for conducting business
licences and overcharging," said Asst Insp Nyathi,
confiscated commodities included sugar, mealie-meal, rice, cooking oil,
bread, washing soap and toothpaste. The goods were being sold at prices
higher than those gazetted by Government.
For instance a 2kg packet
of sugar was being sold for $25 000, when it is
supposed to be sold for $11
000, a 10kg mealie-meal pack was going for $40
000 instead of the gazetted
price of $12 620.
Asst Insp Nyathi said the raid, which followed a
tip-off by people, was a
result of intensified patrols by the police.
Police, he said, were
monitoring movements of the commodities from the
manufacturers and retailers
to establish the point of divergence of goods to
the parallel market.
They were also investigating where the traders were
getting the goods from
and the possible relationship that might be existing
between shop owners and
the illegal vendors.
He urged people to
continue supplying information to police and help them
The confiscated goods will be sold to the public at the gazetted
police and relevant authorities.
Most of basic food and
household items disappeared from the shelves of most
shops immediately after
the March 31 parliamentary elections only to
reappear on the black market
within these shops' vicinity.
Daily News, SA
Zim 'mercenary' to go on trial for murder
May 16, 2005
By Mbongeni Zondi
One of the men released
from the Zimbabwean jail along with 60 other
alleged mercenaries, will
likely be tried for murder as early as August this
year in the
Pietermaritzburg High Court.
Simon Witherspoon, is out on R5 000
bail in connection with the death
of Paulos Mpangase, a suspected thief
allegedly apprehended and assaulted by
Witherspoon and his co-accused and
whose body was found buried in a Mooi
River forest in 2001.
co-accused are farm managers, Grant McIntyre, Owen Nelson from
Valley, Dennis Mchunu and Welcome Hlela, both of whom were members of
Enviro-watch security firm.
Witherspoon is a former South
African Defence Force member. He had
successfully applied for a court
relaxation of his conditions to allow him
to travel to continue running his
game darting business but surfaced as one
of the accused in the sensational
Zimbabwe mercenaries case.
The men, all but one of whom have South
African nationality although
some are of Angolan or Namibian origin, were
arrested in March 2004 when
their aging chartered plane landed in Harare on
the way to oil-rich
authorities charged them with plotting to overthrow the
During a lengthy trial last year, they denied being part of
plot and said they were bound for the Congo to work as security at a
The Zimbabwean court convicted them of relatively
charges after prosecutors failed to prove more serious
weapons and coup
It took more than five
hours for the men, who had travelled all night
in trucks from Zimbabwe's
notorious Chikurubi maximum security prison, to
clear immigration in South
Africa for emotional reunions with family or
African officials said that checking that passports were genuine
responsible for the delay.
The concerns about delays in
Witherspoon's murder trial at one stage
led to discussions about a court
application to have the judge in the murder
trial go to hear evidence in the
Zimbabwean prison where Witherspoon was
kept, but this did not
Future of 'mercenary town' threatened
BBC News Website, Pomfret
been dubbed a "mercenary town" - but few people want to
talk about the
alleged mercenaries, many of whom have just been released
from jail in
People there are more worried about the prospect of leaving
that has been their home since they came to South Africa 16 years
The former army base, hidden among the thorn bushes on
the fringes of
the Kalahari, was given in 1989 to the veterans of 32
Battalion: the Angolan
soldiers who had fought with the old South African
Defence Force during its
incursions into Angola in the 1970s and
Most of the 61 men released at the weekend from a Zimbabwean
after being caught allegedly on their way to stage a coup in
Guinea, were 32 Battalion veterans who had previously lived at
With military training and few other ways of making a
living, they had
turned to mercenary activity - or "security" as the people
in Pomfret call
After already having had their hopes raised
and shattered when the
men's release was promised in March, families in the
town were sceptical
about the most recent reports of imminent
"We have heard this on the radio, but we haven't received
yet," said the daughter of one of the captives, who did not want to
Maria Fernando, the daughter of another
captive, was in the dark about
why her father had ended up in a Zimbabwe
"I don't know what work my father went to do," she
Her father, Agosto Fernando, had long since moved away from
and sent money back to the family from his place of work 600 km
The people left in
Pomfret are more worried about the future of their
community. The veterans
and their families used to be housed in northern
Namibia, but have been at
Pomfret since South African troops pulled out of
Angola, and Namibia gained
independence in 1989.
The streets still bear the names of
generals in the apartheid-era
army; the houses are now shabby and some have
been abandoned, but the place
still looks as orderly as you would expect
from a village purpose-built for
African National Defence Force General Bobo Moerani confirmed
this week that
residents would be moved from Pomfret, possibly by the end of
this year, and
rehoused in various locations around South Africa.
The government says Pomfret is unsafe because of
contamination from a
nearby asbestos mine.
councillor Domingos Kapanga believes the authorities have
"It is not asbestos that is stopping us from staying
here," he said.
"They say the people are highly militarily trained and they
become a problem
Gen Moerani dismissed this
view: "The [mercenary] issue surfaced only
last year. We have been
consulting with the community longer than that."
The general said
the residents of Pomfret had been consulted and
informed about the plans,
but people in the settlement seemed uncertain
about what the future would
hold for them.
The area is too dry for farming,
and Pomfret is 200 km from the
nearest town. Men have left to do "security"
work because there are no jobs
anywhere near Pomfret.
people who have spent the last 15 years among other Angolans in
Portuguese-speaking enclave are nervous about leaving.
left Namibia, this was the place given to us," said former
"I won't say if it's good or bad, but this is where we are
living - we
have our school, our clinic."
Gen Moerani in turn
accused councillors of being among those who were
resisting change because
they were drawing government salaries in Pomfret.
The general also
said the South African government had been talking to
about the possibility of former soldiers returning to
Angola on a voluntary
The soldiers were granted South African nationality after
Angola, but, says veteran Francisco Chaban, "Angola is our mother
Would he go back there?