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

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the zimbabwean
Scramble for pipeline properties
Zambezi River
LUPANE - Like many rural growth points in the remote and tragically underdeveloped province of Matabeleland North, Dongamuzi in Lupane is a lousy place to spend the day, coming alive when the one and only noisy bus that plies the route passes by.
The nearby huts are designed and decorated in the true Zulu traditional way.

But here live a depressed, hungry and angry people who have known nothing better than persecution since Robert Mugabe took power in Zimbabwe on April 18, 1980.

It is not the general oppression that concerns Jahelihle Ncube (not his real name), the proud sibling of a gallant fighter who guarded Lobengula in his last flight towards the Zambezi, lost to the Maxim guns of the invaders and decided to settle in the deep forests, far away from the menacing conquerors.

For Ncube, a former PF-ZAPU legal affairs member, the whole issue of political freedom and prosperity for the region hinges around one thing - the completion of the Matabeleland Zambezi Water Project (MZWP), which he calls "the long-awaited pipe-dream." He has no doubt that the project could save the province from perennial water shortages and the attendant humanitarian crisis.

"My problem with this pipeline is that past and serving Zanu (PF) politicians, soldiers and intelligence chiefs have already shared out all the possible benefits which could have gone to the communities.

"There is so little remaining now, and they have to fight for it. Some of the underhand wars we have seen inside the ruling party over the past four years have been for control of the MZWT water, whenever it comes," said Ncube.

A map of the proposed pipeline shows that from a point near the Deka River mouth on the Zambezi, it will cross the northern mountain range that follows the Zambezi and head for the confluence of the Gwayi and Shangani rivers where the long-touted Gwayi-Shangani Dam, supposed to have been completed three years ago, is yet to take shape. From there it runs almost straight to Jotsholo, through Lupane and Nyamandlovu and on to Bulawayo, keeping to the western side of the Bulawayo-Victoria Falls road.

According to Ncube, Zanu (PF) politicians used the land reform exercise to take all the farms that lie on either side of the pipeline. All the possible and existing large scale ventures like irrigation schemes, timber logging and safari business ventures on either side of the proposed pipeline will either be located in private property or depend on water supplies from booster stations inside privately owned properties.

"In the Insuza-Umguza area, industry and international trade minister Obert Mpofu, Vice-Presidents Joseph Msika and Joyce Mujuru, national chairman John Nkomo and Ibbo Mandaza have virtually shared out all the areas. So much that they are now fighting openly as you saw in the war between Ibbo Mandaza and Obert Mpofu over one farm in Umguza.

“The reason was that the farm either lies right where there should be a MZWT feeder station or strategically located downstream of it. Everyone wants to control the flow and access to it by the communities," said Ncube.

He also alleged that the timber milling businesses at St. Lukes in Lupane and Jotsholo further north would also enjoy easy and controlling access to the water if it ever flows.
"It is common knowledge that MZWT chairman and former minister Dumiso Dabengwa has a controlling stake in those ventures.

"The same is happening in the safari areas in the Hwange, Binga, Kamativi and Dete areas where senior Zanu (PF) ministers like Francis Nhema, former provincial chairman Jacob Mudenda and a number of former army and intelligence chiefs have divided the spoils and settled in for a long wait for the water. If it comes, they win.If it doesn't they don't lose too much.

The pipeline project was inherited from the colonial government in 1980. It was envisaged as a long-term drought relief strategy for the perennially dry provinces of Matabeleland North and South.

Dumiso Dabengwa has been at the helm of the MZWT, a public trust formed in the early 90s to guide the implementation of activities. Under Dabengwa's leadership, the public profile of the company faded quickly and turned into a one-man show, with the ruling party displacing the public as controlling shareholder.

None of the officials was available for comment except Obert Mpofu, whose secretary said the minister “does not talk to The Zimbabwean”.

In 2003, Arnold Payne, a leading campaigner for the realization of the MZWT pipedream dragged Dabengwa to court and won an order compelling the former minister to present MZWT accounts for scrutiny.

Up to now the minister has failed to do so and observers believe it could because he fears the damaging nature of the evidence that could come out of the audit. Dabengwa fired a number of MZWT staff in 2003 when they leaked documents allegedly revealing that, as minister, he had used MZWT funds to fly himself and a woman friend to secret honeymoons in Germany and Canada.

The documents also revealed that, contrary to government announcements that the project would take off soon, it was far from coming because the Malaysian and Chinese businessmen who had promised to fund it had failed to secure partners for the build-operate-and transfer project. The financiers allegedly did not have their own money, and were turned down by some Western funders whom they approached for loan support.

The financiers reportedly argued that Zimbabwe was a high-risk investment destination and referred to the land reform exercise as proof that property and businesses could be seized by government with neither notice nor compensation.
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From The Daily Mirror, 19 May

Crippling street petrol prices

Farirai Machivenyika

Black market petrol prices have skyrocketed to a whooping $40 000 a litre at some spots in Harare in the past few days as unscrupulous fuel dealers make a killing from the acute shortage of the vital commodity. A visit to one such spot – a taxi rank near the National Oil Company of Zimbabwe (Noczim) headquarters in Harare – The Daily Mirror last night witnessed black market fuel traders selling five litres at $200 000. The official pump price of petrol is $3 600 a litre. Last month, the price of petrol on the black market shot up to $18 000 per litre in Harare and Bulawayo when the shortage of the precious liquid took root. When The Daily Mirror visited a spot along Leopold Takawira Street, outlawed emergency taxi operators plying the City-Avondale route had abandoned ferrying commuters and were draining petrol to resell on the lucrative parallel market. When this reporter posed as a prospective buyer, a tout said he was willing to budge and sell a litre of petrol to him for $17 000 only if a he bought in "bulk," but insisted that the going price was $40 000. "Ndokupayi five litres ne $200 000 here blaz? (Do you want five litres for $200 000, my brother?)," he asked. He added that they were mostly dealing in petrol since it sold faster than diesel. Other touts stationed about 100 metres away from the scene of the black market could be seen making gestures to motorists in a bid to lure them. The fuel shortages have persisted despite assurances by central bank boss Gideon Gono early this month that they would end "soon." The governor attributed the shortages to lack of resources which, he said, he had been "overstretched" during the March 31 general elections. Meanwhile, commuters were stranded last night as the transport blues intensified in the city due to fuel shortages. Some operators capitalised on the situation by hiking charges well above the gazetted fares. Commuters travelling from Harare to Norton are being forced to pay $10 000 – up from $6 000 – while those going to Warren Park were paying $3 000 – up from $2 000. Glen View commuters now pay $3 000, while the Tafara route costs $7 000 – up from $2 000.

From Zim Online (SA), 19 May

Harare runs dry as fuel crisis reaches unprecedented levels

Harare - Harare was virtually dry of fuel yesterday as importers refrained from placing new orders with suppliers until Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe governor, Gideon Gono, announces his monetary policy review statement today. Fuel industry sources said importers are hoping that Gono will devalue the local dollar to attract more hard cash into the official market which they could tap to pay foreign suppliers. A devaluation, coupled with a hiking of the pump price by the government, would ensure profitability for fuel importers. Alternatively, oil firms want Gono to revive a foreign currency support facility for fuel importers that was abandoned last year amid allegations of gross abuse of the facility. "It is difficult for private players to bring in fuel at the moment. We will be forced to sell at a loss because of the exchange rates," said a senior executive with one Harare-based fuel firm, who did not want to be named. He added: "For example, let’s say one imports petrol from South Africa where the pump price is about five rand or more, which multiplies to about Z$5 000 at the official exchange rate, they will have to sell the petrol here at not more than $4 000, which is a huge loss." An official of local garage chain, Exor, said the firm’s garages had last received petrol supplies a week ago. "All our garages have no petrol and there are no indications that the situation will improve immediately," he said.

In a survey of garages in and near Harare central business district, Zim Online could find no petrol at nearly every filing station while only a handful of garages in the city’s outer suburbs were selling diesel yesterday. Most of the illegal fuel black-market traders, who usually provide a lifeline for stranded motorists, also did not have petrol. The few illegal fuel traders who had the commodity were charging 10 times more than the official pump price, as Zimbabwe’s five-year fuel crisis reached unprecedented levels. One of the fuel black-marketers operating along Leopold Takawira street in central Harare offered to sell a five-litre gallon of petrol to our news crew at $150 000, which translates to $30 000 a litre. The official pump price for a litre of petrol is between $3 400 and $3 700. Energy Minister Mike Nyambuya refused to disclose measures his department was taking to ensure fuel supplies to the country. yambuya, a former soldier, would only say: "The government is working out solutions to the fuel problem and it will be resolved soon." Zimbabwe has grappled severe fuel shortages for the last five years because the country has no hard cash to pay suppliers. Essential medical drugs, electricity, food and chemicals to treat drinking water for city dwellers are among the vital commodities in critical short supply in the country because of the lack of hard cash to pay for imports.

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the zimbabwean
Diaspora forum needed
JOHANNESBURG - There is no end in sight to the crisis in Zimbabwe, but this does not mean that we have to suffer forever waiting for the arrival of democracy. We need to survive and we have to save our families from permanent poverty. We in the diaspora also need to reorganise ourselves to be a meaningful force against the system in our country. The rescue of Zimbabwe lies in our hands.
The hands of those in the country are tied and only we are still able to speak out without being arrested. Therefore, let us revamp our structures and map the ways forward. We need a central national body where every organisation is fairly represented no matter how small.

The core problem of Zimbabwe is a failed economy coupled with government overspending. Government deprives citizens of development, forcing citizens to be weak, hungry and easy to manipulate. An international Diaspora Development Forum is necessary to liberate citizens economically to enable them to make free decisions.

The nucleus of the Forum would be derived from the current CSO formation coordination on the following pattern:

Aims: The main one is to engage in economic activities; to provide funds for Zimbabwean projects in the Diaspora and in Zimbabwe; to source funds, assess and plan development projects; to show Zimbabwe what development should be; to assist Zimbabweans to claim assets they lose in Zimbabwe; to assist Zimbabweans to float companies on the stock exchanges for projects in energy, mining, housing, tourism and manufacturing generally; to raise facilities and bonds for export credit, Letter of Credit and general trade guarantees for members.

Formation Process: A meeting of CSO should be held to amend approve this concept and set up a working committee to organise all aspects of committee formation. The committees then select delegates to the South African Diaspora Development Forum. Also, set up a secretariat for National Diaspora Development Forum and International body; -Organize representatives from Professional bodies such as Chartered Accountants, Chartered Secretaries, real estate, churches, business chambers; create a database of Zimbabweans and member-based organisational practice; call a national development convention to ratify.

Projected Activities in Zimbabwe: recruit Zimbabweans to membership and operations; sourcing and distributing seed and fertilizer into Zimbabwe; setting up TV and independent radio station in Zimbabwe operating in Vic Falls; floating companies to import and distribute fuels; floating companies for empowerment deals in mining, tourism, agriculture etc; helping rural committee members to organise projects for development and financing them on business principles; social projects in rural and urban areas; floating companies to negotiate concessions in toll roads, rail rehabilitation and electricity generation and conservancies; representing Zimbabweans at SADC, NEPAD etc, especially regarding the Diaspora vote.
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Women Call for Law On HIV Status

The Herald (Harare)
May 19, 2005
Posted to the web May 19, 2005
WOMEN have urged the Government to come up with legislation that compels spouses to reveal their HIV status to each other.
The Sexual Offences Act does not provide for the revealing of one's status to his/her partner.
Speaking at a meeting on gender violence and human rights in Harare this week, several women said it was dangerous that a married person's HIV status be considered private and confidential.
"When a man is treated for a sexually transmitted disease, health workers are is quick to inform him to bring his wife along to be treated.
"The same should be done in the case of HIV. We have many men who are HIV positive and as women we are sitting ducks for whatever they want to bring into the home," said one woman.
Another woman who identified herself as Mrs Mandaza said a woman should know her partner's status so that she could make wise decisions for the future.
"You can then find out your own status and practice safe sex to ensure that you do not get infected if you are negative and re-infected if you are positive," one female journalist said.
Some women, who live in the rural areas while their husbands are away at work in the urban areas, continue to have unprotected sex with their HIV positive spouses out of ignorance. Even if they are suspicious of the behaviour of their husbands, society does not permit them to deny them their conjugal rights and they are not even empowered enough to advocate for the use of condoms.

Participants at the meeting said most of these women only find out that their husbands were infected when they fall sick before going to the rural areas to be nursed.
Among those who attended the meeting was the Deputy Minister of Women's Affairs, Gender and Community Development Cde Abigail Damasane.
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ADSL (Broadband internet service) available in HARARE ....... go to website :
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the zimbabwean
Academics to ponder Zim’s future
OXFORD - The 2005 Britain Zimbabwe Society Research Day is to be held on June 11 at St Antony’s College, Oxford, under the title ‘Zimbabwe, Africa and the World’. The annual BZS Research Days aim to facilitate dialogue among a range of academics, professionals and Zimbabwe watchers about the nation’s past, present and future.
The event is also a conscious attempt to see Zimbabwe in terms of broader trends and developments within Africa and the larger world.

It is becoming increasingly clear that Zimbabwe has entered a second transition – the seed-bed of a new phase in its history and culture. This makes an examination of Zimbabwe’s connectedness with the rest of the world all the more important.

How are events within Zimbabwe influenced by those in the region and the rest of Africa? What role has South Africa played in bringing them about? How can Zimbabwean culture be positioned with relation to other ‘postcolonial’ cultures?

How do Zimbabweans in the diaspora view their home country and the world? These are some of the questions that the 2005 Research Day will debate.

Among the participants of the 2005 event are: Hasu Patel, a professor at University of Zimbabwe’s Department of Political and Administrative Studies and formerly Zimbabwe’s High Commissioner to Australia; Stephen Chan, Dean of Law and Professor at the School of Oriental and African Studies in London; Jack Spence, former Deputy Director of the Royal Institute of International Affairs, and Reg Austin, formerly Dean of Law at the University of Zimbabwe and a senior UN electoral official.

Key presentations will be given by Gugulethu Moyo of the International Bar Association and Beacon Mbiba of the Commission for Africa. Maurice Vambe and Drew Shaw will discuss Zimbabwean literature and culture. Sunanda Ray of the Zimbabwe Association of Doctors for Human Rights will address the urgent topic of the AIDS pandemic and the Zimbabwean diaspora in the UK.

The author, who is also the organiser of the event, holds degrees from the universities of Zagreb, Harare and Nottingham Trent, and now teaches Africana Studies at NYU in London.

To register:
For more information:
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the zimbabwean
Propaganda show rocks Joburg
Battle for Zimbabwe
Credit: MADUNA
JOHANNESBURG – If 24-year-old Kudzanai Chiurai were a hip-hop artist, his music would be an inspiration amongst his followers. His music would have addressed issues such as xenophobia, African culture and failed leadership.
No doubt, if the music were to be available in Zimbabwe it would not be played on local radio. Chiurai is an artist and his current exhibition, dubbed “Y Propaganda”, opened at Obert Contemporary in Melrose Arch last week.

The award-winning artist’s exhibition - a collection of mixed media works - heralds a new dawn in African art and has received acclaim in the South African media.

The exhibition consists of 11 mixed media works - described by critics as ‘extremely bold’ - depicting Robert Mugabe as a sell-out to his people.

The artist says his work is a protest that the ideals and ambitions of the Zimbabwean liberation movement have been betrayed. As a representative of the generation born after Zimbabwe’s independence, he sees no cause to celebrate.

"My generation has grown up into a society where there are no jobs; our education opportunities are fast disappearing and we cannot get proper health care facilities. Many of those who led the Zimbabwe’s liberation struggle have stolen the country’s wealth and destroyed our birthright," he said.

Chiurai’s first solo exhibition “The Revolution will be televised” was held in London last year.

One of his new pieces, entitled "press freedom (detail)" is about the banned media in Zimbabwe. The piece contains extracts from newspapers and contains a cartoon of a leader inscribed: “I am a man of integrity because every body says so”.

One of his earlier pieces, Y Propaganda, shows an unidentified black male figure in boxing shorts and gloves. At the top of the piece is the logo of YFM - a youth radio station in Joburg which projects an impression of black youth who are inspired by American hip-hop culture instead of being proud of their own African culture.

Chiurai has done well for himself in South Africa. His first exhibition was sold out on the opening night. He was the first black student to study fine art at the esteemed University of Pretoria. To date some of the awards he has won include most promising art student, University of Pretoria, South Africa in 2003 and merit award, the National Art Gallery, Zimbabwe in 2000.
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Sustainable Development International

Companies need to assess the financial impact of HIV/AIDS beyond Africa,” warns new report
Friday, 20 May 2005

Source: Business & Human Rights

A report published today has highlighted the financial risks to companies operating in fast-growth emerging economies from the spread of HIV/AIDS. The 83-page report, HIV/AIDS Beyond Africa: Managing the Financial Impacts, is the result of a unique collaboration between F&C Asset Management, a leading socially responsible fund manager, and the Equity Research department of UBS Investment Bank, one of the world's leading investment banking and securities firms.

The report notes that in 2004 estimates indicated that between 36 and 44 million people worldwide were living with HIV of which 65% were living in Sub-Saharan Africa. With infection rates as a percentage of the population hitting 39% in Swaziland, 37% in Botswana, 26% in Zimbabwe and 22% in South Africa, the report states that HIV/AIDS is still widely perceived to be an "African problem".

"From a humanitarian perspective it is understandable that Africa, rightly, remains the focus of world attention when it comes to the HIV/AIDS pandemic," said Kirsty Jenkinson, Senior Analyst at F&C, "but the financial impact of the disease has the potential to be more acute in other developing, and commercially important, regions. Whilst Sub-Saharan Africa accounts for 11% of the world's population it represents just 1% of global GDP."

The report raises concern about the impact of rising HIV/AIDS infection rates in four of the fastest-growing emerging economies: Brazil, Russia, India and China (the "BRIC" group). These countries cumulatively account for 42% of the global population and 8% of global GDP according to the World Bank.
"Furthermore," added Julie Hudson, Managing Director, Head of Socially Responsible Investment Equity Research, UBS, "these countries are key market places for manufacturing and outsourcing and have become strategically important for many western multi-nationals. They are expected to be significant contributors to future global growth."

The report states that whilst national HIV/AIDS prevalence rates appear low in countries such as China and India (0.2% in China and 0.4-1.3% in India), their huge populations mean that even small percentage increases represent significant numbers of infected people. Critically, seemingly low national prevalence levels mask the rising risks of severe epidemics in regional "hot spots". The report cites the examples of then Henan, Anhui and Sandong provinces of China where HIV was already spreading a decade ago among rural people who sold blood plasma in unsanitary conditions. In India the state of Tamil Nadu has HIV prevalence of 50% amongst prostitutes, while in Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Maharashtra and Nagaland, HIV prevalence has crossed the 1% mark among pregnant women.

"Two key factors set HIV/AIDS apart from other diseases in terms of its implications for the financial community," explained Hudson. "Firstly, it primarily strikes working age members of society at the peak of their economic productivity and secondly, there is a long time lag between infection and illness which means the disease can remain unidentified but contagious for many years. This latter problem is exacerbated by the secrecy and social stigma surrounding the disease in many parts of the world."

The report highlights lessons learned from the South African experience as the basis of outlining actions which companies operating in other rapidly developing countries should take. It notes that HIV/AIDS adversely affects company profit margins (particularly in industries where wages are a significant portion of a company's overall cost structure). A further finding is that HIV/AIDS causes a decrease in overall per capita expenditure but does not behave like a normal demand shock (spending on staple goods tends to be hit harder than discretionary spending) which puts certain sectors at greater risk. The report also notes that South African firms appear to trade more cheaply than their developed and emerging market peers, indicating some degree of South African risk premium in valuations which may factor in life expectancy.

The report concludes that as the disease spreads, the economics of prevention and treatment, as exemplified in South Africa, increasingly argue in favour of business self-help over reliance on public health authorities. In particular, the authors of the report make the following recommendations to companies operating in rapidly industrialising countries such as Brazil, Russia, India and China:

• Assess HIV/AIDS prevalence and the host government's response to the disease in country risk assessments for new and existing investments.
• Determine actual and potential staff exposure through situation analysis, prevalence surveys and voluntary counselling and testing.
• Evaluate the costs and benefits associated with intervention programmes. The authors believe that traditional accounting frameworks fail to capture the positive effect of successful intervention and instead propose a net present value (NPV) approach to valuing the impact of HIV/AIDS.
• Implement, where relevant, prevention, education, awareness, wellness and treatment programmes.
• Publish company-wide non-discriminatory policies relating to employees' HIV status and ensure senior management are accountable for such policies to reduce secrecy and social stigma surrounding the disease.
• Report publicly to shareholders and stakeholders how HIV/AIDS is being managed.
• Press host governments, international donors, multilateral organisations and NGOs to implement education, prevention and treatment policies, so as to boost the effectiveness of corporate efforts.    

"Both investors and companies have long been aware that investing in these rapidly developing markets carries higher levels of risk. This report suggests that assessing the potential financial impact of HIV/AIDS should form part of the wider risk assessment and management process," concluded Jenkinson.

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