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

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Zim has conscription plans
03/05/2005 15:01  - (SA)

Harare - The government said on Tuesday it plans to make its controversial
national service programme mandatory for students at all educational
institutions from primary schools to universities.

State radio said deputy youth minister Savior Kasukuwere toured a training
camp for youth militia and said the government is determined to introduce
national service that would give all Zimbabwean youths "proper orientation."

Human rights groups, opposition politicians and some Western governments
accuse the government's youth militia, known as the "green bombers" because
of their military style uniforms, of being at the forefront of political
violence and intimidation directed at opponents of President Robert Mugabe.

According to the latest figures, 11 000 youths between the ages of 15 and 20
have passed through training depots around the country since 2001.

Graduates are given preference in state employment and in admission to
tertiary institutions, such as teachers' colleges.

"There is need to introduce aspects of national service in all schools from
primary to tertiary and university level," Kasukuwere was quoted saying.

His ministry had resolved to merge national youth service programmes,
teaching patriotism and ideological orientation, with skills training at
service centres.

Deserters from the programme have told church-organised press conferences in
South Africa of indoctrination and abuse of female recruits at centres.

In last year's national budget $38m was allocated to the youth ministry.

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Zimbabwe parks overrun with elephants
Government trying to sell thousands of surplus pachyderms
Tuesday, May 3, 2005 Posted: 9:03 AM EDT (1303 GMT)

HARARE, Zimbabwe (AP) -- Zimbabwe's Parks and Wildlife Authority is looking
for private buyers for thousands of elephants because its game reserves are
too crowded.

Notices inviting tenders for purchase of the live elephants were published
in the government controlled daily, The Herald, on Tuesday. State radio said
the elephants are not for export but for wildlife farming by local farmers.
It said they would be taken from areas where there were "excessive

A Parks Authority official told the radio station it aimed to encourage
recipients of 5,000 formerly white-owned farms "to venture into wildlife

He said game sanctuaries that cover a fifth of the country could only carry
45,000 elephants without environmental damage, but there are 80,000 to
100,000 elephants in the reserves.

Would-be elephant buyers will have to pay 1 million Zimbabwe dollars
(US$164) just for a tender form, and must prove they have sufficient land.
The average size of larger commercial units allocated to recipients of
President Robert Mugabe's controversial "fast track" land redistribution is
600 acres (250 hectares), but experts say each elephant needs a grazing and
browsing range of approximately one square mile (2.6 square kilometers).

Prospective owners also have to prove they are able to move the 2-ton to
5-ton pachyderms safely to their new homes -- a process involving the hire
of specialist veterinary surgeons, drug darting teams and large teams of
laborers, as well as low-loading trucks and special crates.

The advertisements gave no guidelines for prices but at the last auction for
trophy elephants in Zimbabwean state-owned safari hunting areas, bull
elephants fetched US$22,950 to $25,400 each.

Trophy elephants are ones that are raised for shooting by wealthy tourists
who pay a small fortune to hunt the animals and then keep the head.

The closing date for tenders is May 27. The total number of elephants to be
auctioned was not disclosed.

After years of controversy, Zimbabwe in 1999 obtained permission from the
Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) to sell
limited and strictly monitored supplies of ivory to Japan.

However, it has so far held back from culling its annual 500-elephant quota,
in deference to vocal international animal welfare lobbyists. Kenya led
opposition to any resumed trade in elephant products, including ivory, meat
and hides, saying this encouraged smuggling by poaching syndicates.

Wildlife experts, who asked not to be named, rejected South African media
reports last month of widespread killing of animals by the Parks Authority
to supply hungry tribespeople. They said less than 100 elephants were shot
to supply rangers' routine "meat quota" before the April 18 Independence

Some of the notoriously coarse-grained and indigestible elephant meat was
given as a goodwill gesture to rural people in areas bordering reserves, in
a bid to discourage poaching of rare species such as roan antelope and
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Zimbabwe must allow foreign aid in, says UN
          May 03 2005 at 06:51PM

      By Peter Apps

      Johannesburg - Zimbabwe must allow a massive United Nations
humanitarian food aid operation or many may die as 5.5 million people face
serious food shortages after a regional drought, the United Nations agency
Unicef said on Tuesday.

      UN food agencies cut back operations in 2004 after President Robert
Mugabe said the country had more than enough food, but reports of shortages
have continued and aid workers say drought across southern Africa has all
but destroyed the 2005 harvest.

      "I would be very surprised if the government didn't take a different
line this year," UN children's agency Unicef southern and east Africa
regional co-ordinator Per Engebak told Reuters. "It's quite clear that what
we're seeing this year affects almost the entire region."

       Food was a major issue in Zimbabwe's recent parliamentary election,
won by Mugabe's Zanu-PF party but widely criticised by western nations as
not free and unfair, with the opposition demanding the government appeal for

      Some aid workers and observers have accused Mugabe's government of
destroying Zimbabwe's farming sector with chaotic and violent seizures of
white-owned farms for landless blacks.

      Neighbouring Zambia, Mozambique and Botswana have also seen staple
maize crops seriously damaged by drought, while the HIV pandemic has left
many farmers dead or sick and unable to farm.

      Zimbabwe's government has only allowed the UN World Food Programme to
continue targeted feeding programmes reaching just under a million people,
mainly Aids orphans and other at-risk groups. Agencies say they have long
hoped to be allowed to enlarge their operations, but with little joy.

      In a telephone interview, Engebak said people would likely starve to
death if the government did not allow in UN assessment missions and then
food aid.

      "If the international community, backed and supported by the UN, is
not in a position to effectively help to mitigate the effects we will be
allowing scenes of that nature," he said. "Absolutely," he said, asked if
that meant people might die.

      Last week, Zimbabwe's state media reported the government-run Grain
Marketing Board would buy 1.2 million tonnes of maize for the country after
Mugabe admitted publicly the country faced shortages but promised no one
would starve.

      The opposition Movement for Democratic Change says the country lacks
the foreign exchange for such a purchase, and South African traders say
Zimbabwe has defaulted on past purchases.

      In March, Public Service and Social Welfare Minister Paul Mwanga told
Reuters Zimbabwe would seek donor assistance only if food needs exceeded the
budget the government had set aside.

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A Postmortem.

Its now one month since the elections in Zimbabwe and I thought a quiet
reflective post mortem might be timely. One has so little time to give the
overall picture some thought when we are in the thick of things, so this
might be instructive.

Seven months ago the MDC leadership decided to suspend participation in
local elections. (It's only been 7 months!!) This was just after the Mugabe
regime had announced that they would hold elections in March 2005 and then
celebrate 25 years of independence in April. At that stage they were quite
confident that they could win a two-thirds majority and gain acceptance from
the international community for a new Zanu PF led government. The consensus
among the diplomatic community was not very different - they were saying to
MDC leaders that if they were not careful, Zanu PF would regain the
initiative in international and regional affairs.

On the down side we lost a number of parliamentary and local government
seats during the 5 months when Zanu basically had the field to themselves.
But while this was going on we secured a number of major achievements. We
focused attention on the conditions under which the next general elections
were to be held. This exposed all the shortcomings in the Zanu PF platform
for acceptance and ensured that this issue remained center stage the whole

On the domestic front we quietly set about rebuilding our Party structures
in all those areas where Zanu PF had tried over the previous 4 years to
exclude the MDC. We also set about preparing for the March elections - we
drafted a manifesto and got it accepted by the Party. We started candidate
selection and developed a campaign strategy and campaign materials. We
overcame the restrictions imposed on the printing industry, which
effectively denied us access to printing capacity in the commercial sphere,
by installing our own equipment. We built up our finances in preparation for
the campaign.

The suspension also had the added benefit in that it intensified the
struggle for power inside Zanu PF. This eventually emerged in the form of a
clear schism in their ranks between the new generation of Zanu PF leaders
and the old guard. This culminated in the Tsholotsho meeting and the
subsequent split in Zanu and the expulsion of a number of leaders.

The chaos in Zanu PF and the consequential bickering led to a delay in the
election by two weeks and even then when the date was finally fixed, Zanu
still had to select a large number of candidates and was poorly prepared for
the bruising political struggle ahead.

To my mind there is little doubt that the MDC won this campaign hands down.
It was better prepared, its campaign was slick and professional and I
thought it was the best yet. We well knew that the election would not be won
or lost in the campaign but in the manner in which the actual vote was taken
and counted and then announced. None of which was under the control of the
MDC in any way. From start to finish the election was run by Zanu PF
loyalists and the military or security services.

Our own forecast was that we had 33 safe seats and 17 possible wins. An
estimate that proved all too accurate. It was based purely on our own
estimate of which constituencies Zanu PF would abandon to their own devices
and where the MDC was overwhelmingly strong.

With so much attention focused on the election - both by the media and the
international community, it was always a reality that any rigging would be
exposed and the results of the election rejected by serious observers. This
proved to be the case and no sooner had the sound of Zanu "victory"
celebrations died down (after 30 minutes or so - they were so muted) the
major western States rejected the outcome as being rigged in favor of Zanu
PF. The media also, by and large, said that this election was not free or
fair and that the playing field had been tilted in favor of Zanu from day
one. Even Mr. Mbeki was forced to hold back his endorsement of the outcome
when it finally came to that point in the SA Parliamentary debate.

The question now arises as to what to do after the election. I said in the
days that followed March 31 that Mugabe was in the same position as a rugby
fullback who finds himself on the field with the ball in his hands and the
entire front line bearing down on him with the intention of doing him real
harm if they catch him with the ball! I said that these forwards included
tighter sanctions by the international community, increased regional
isolation and the domestic problems of fuel, food and the collapse of the
economy. The one element in Zimbabwe that he cannot intimidate or cower, is
the economy.

This has proved to be the case - made worse by the fact that the Mugabe
regime has foolishly spent up to half a billion US dollars on arms and
aircraft in recent months. It now has little in reserve to fight off these
domestic nightmares.

So now, having gained their goal of a two thirds majority in the House - at
great cost to themselves, they must deal with an angry international
community which is planning more sanctions and isolation and is threatening
aid flows to the continent in retaliation for what they see as complicity
with the electoral fraud in Zimbabwe. The international community also
recognizes this as a real threat to democratic principles throughout the

They must also now deal with the crisis created by Mugabe's own
intransigence on the issue of food aid and the near collapse of the Zimbabwe
economy. Zanu PF is not made up of idiots - there are a few of those, but
most are well educated and experienced people. They know that if they move
towards extending Mugabe's term to 2010 or tightening the grip on power of
the aging oligarchy in the Politburo that this would ignite an already
explosive situation in the country. The army is on full alert and armed
roadblocks have been erected across the country and are operating for 24
hours a day. They are nervous and know full well that the ice under their
feet is very thin and the water below, extremely cold.

As for us in the MDC - we are just quietly raising the temperature.

Eddie Cross

Bulawayo, May 2nd 2005
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Boston Globe

      In Zimbabwe, AIDS care done on the cheap
      By John Donnelly, Globe Staff  |  May 3, 2005

      HARARE, Zimbabwe -- Some of those who fight AIDS in southern Africa
have a name for Zimbabwe: the ''hole in the doughnut." In the region with
the highest HIV infection rates in the world, they explain, all the
countries except Zimbabwe are beginning to receive heaps of donor money and
putting significant numbers of people on AIDS treatment.

      A World Bank analysis last year found that Zimbabwe receives $4 in
donor support for each person infected with HIV, compared to $187 per
infected person in neighboring Zambia.

      The reason is simple: Donors fear the government of President Robert
Mugabe would either steal some of the AIDS money or divert it for political

      But the results here, according to numerous interviews during two
trips over the last two months, have not been all dire. One major AIDS
prevention program, for instance, has expanded nationwide with little
funding, thanks to initiatives started by the country's health
administrators and workers. That program is designed to prevent the
transmission of HIV from mother to child during birth.

      ''The effort to prevent mother-to-child infection was developed in
large part by health workers themselves, which is very encouraging amid all
the crises here," said Geoff Foster, a pediatrician and AIDS researcher in
the eastern city of Mutare.

      Agnes Mahomva, the government coordinator of the program, said it is
in 800 of the country's 1,183 hospitals and clinics, likely the most
extensive national program in Africa. She said 265 of those health
facilities offer full services, including rapid HIV tests.

      ''We decided to move with the capacity that we have," Mahomva said in
an interview in her office earlier this month. ''We've been working
flat-out, and the expansion was so rapid, moving like a veld fire."

      Yet, she said, the country's problems are beginning to erode those

      In 2002, according to government figures, 35 percent of women testing
positive for HIV and their babies received a single dose of nevirapine -- 
which dramatically lowers the transmission of the virus -- during and after
birth. In 2003, the figure jumped to 56 percent of the HIV-positive women,
but last year it fell to an estimated 46 percent.

      In recent weeks, Mahomva investigated the decline and discovered that
many health workers trained to give the medicine and test for HIV had left
the country in the past year. ''In one area, we don't have a trainer
anymore," she said. ''The last one is going to Botswana."

      The flight of health workers stems from the ongoing political and
economic troubles in Zimbabwe, which only a decade ago had one of Africa's
best health and education programs. In 2000, Mugabe won an election that
international observers called deeply flawed, and he ordered many of his
supporters to seize hundreds of white-owned farms. As a result, most major
foreign investment in the country ended and the country's agricultural
output was crippled.

While causes of death in Africa are extremely difficult to estimate because
of a lack of good research, the United Nations believes about 2,800 people
die each week of AIDS in Zimbabwe.
Only about 9,000 people now receive antiretroviral treatment, which can
greatly extend the life of someone infected with the deadly virus. The UN
estimates one-quarter of the population aged 15 to 49 is infected, or
roughly 1.8 million people. Of those, an estimated 295,000 may need

Money is the major reason most are not getting help.

The US government, by far the largest donor, this year allocated $25 million
for HIV/AIDS programs in Zimbabwe, including $1.6 million for the program to
prevent mother-child transmission. US officials said they have not found any
instances of misspending, including money that goes directly to the Ministry
of Health.

The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, recently assured
that Zimbabwe has instituted the proper safeguards, last month released $10
million in grant funding that had been on hold since 2002. Zimbabwe's was
the 68th and last grant to be funded from that year.

''It would have been easy to provide money to Zimbabwe much earlier so we
can feel better," said Global Fund spokesman Jon Liden in a telephone
interview from Geneva. ''But that doesn't necessarily mean that money will
be translated into money that helps people on the ground. . . . Now we
believe the proper safeguards are in place."

Last year, Liden said, Zimbabwe submitted a request for $300 million in
grants, but a technical review panel rejected it, finding that the country
could not effectively oversee that much money.

To fill the gap in the meantime, a handful of US-based non-governmental
groups have been illegally smuggling in thousands of doses of antiretroviral
drugs to clinics.

Officials at one clinic confirmed they had received batches of the drug
nevirapine from the New Mexico chapter of the National AIDS Brigade, an AIDS
activist group. They traded some of the nevirapine to another clinic in
exchange for other antiretroviral drugs to put together triple-combination
therapies for treatment. One clinic worker, who asked not to be identified,
said such smuggling and drug trading were part of an extensive underground
effort to treat people with AIDS.

Prisca Nyakutombwa, an AIDS activist in Harare, said she knew of several
such situations where activists were forced to work beneath the government's
radar. ''We are suffering because of our government," said Nyakutombwa, who
has been living with HIV since 1986.

But in Glendale, about 50 miles north of Harare, the government is starting
its first rural treatment program at Howard Hospital. Paul Thistle, the
Canadian doctor in charge, said he has 160 people on antiretroviral drugs,
and hopes to have 200 by the end of the year. He estimates that 5,000 people
need the drugs in his district alone.

One receiving treatment is Tambudzai Chigwida, 30, who had given birth three
months earlier to a son, Isheunesu, which means, ''The Lord is with us."
Both mother and son are still at the hospital -- the mother weighing 77
pounds, her boy less than 4 pounds. Both have slowly gained weight.

As the mother gently pulled her son from an incubator, Thistle said of the
baby, ''He's a survivor."

The doctor's hope is that the mother, now on AIDS drugs, is one as well.

John Donnelly can be reached at
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3 May 2005




Today, on ‘World Press Freedom Day’ the MDC congratulates the thousands of brave journalists worldwide who continue to stand up to oppressive regimes and courageously expose their criminal failings, at great personal risk. We also salute the tremendous progress made to advance media freedom around the world.


In Zimbabwe repressive media laws have resulted in the closure of four independent papers. Journalists live in constant fear of arrest. They are often scared to write the truth for fear of incurring the wrath of a Government with a consistent track record of punishing those expressing views at variance with its own.


The absence of a free press in Zimbabwe is indicative of the poor standards of democratic governance that exist in the country. 


As many countries today celebrate the impressive gains made with regards to media freedoms, we in Zimbabwe are forced to soberly reflect on the losses we have incurred over the past few years. Press freedom in Zimbabwe is at its lowest level. 


In the recent parliamentary elections in Zimbabwe the lack of a free press meant that voters were unable to access the wide variety of information necessary to make an informed choice at the ballot box.


The MDC is however slightly encouraged by recent comments made by the new information minister, Tichaona Jokonya, who appears to be less hostile towards the independent media than his predecessor. The Minister now needs to follow-up his rhetoric with action. If he really is committed to a more permissive media environment then he must take immediate steps to allow all closed newspapers to re-open unconditionally.  


Paul Themba Nyathi

Secretary for Information and Publicity

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SA 'spy' being held for questioning in Harare
          May 03 2005 at 02:23PM

      Harare - The South African "spy" who was apprehended in Zimbabwe last
year was not under arrest but was being held for "questioning", it was
reported on Tuesday.

      Zimbabwe's director of public prosecutions in the office of the
attorney general, Joseph Musakwa, said the 48-year-old man was a witness,
contradicting earlier reports which claimed he was a top spy in an espionage

      "He (the South African) is a witness and is still giving testimony.
Why would a witness be under arrest?" Musakwa said in an interview with that
country's Sunday Mirror newspaper.

      On December 15 several prominent Zimbabweans were arrested and charged
including Philip Chiyangwa (Zanu-PF's provincial chairperson), Godfrey
Dzvairo (Zimbabwe's designated ambassador to Mozambique), Tendai
Matambanadzo (a banker) and Itai Marchi (Zanu-PF director of foreign

      Kenny Karidza, security director of Zanu-PF, was also questioned.

      The men were later charged with espionage.

      The South African "witness" was allegedly lured to Zimbabwe by that
country's central intelligence organisation (CIO), where he was apprehended
and he allegedly later gave the CIO information that led to the arrest of
the other five.

      In a trial that took place in camera, Dzvairo was sentenced to six
years in prison and Matambanadzo and Marchi to five years each. Chiyangwa
was temporarily released but could be charged again later.

      Erasmus Moyo, a Zimbabwean diplomat in Geneve, was also allegedly
implicated by the five, disappeared from an airport in Switzerland shortly
before he could be extradited to Zimbabwe.

      Karidza has since objected to the admissibility of certain of the
evidence against him.

      Musakwa said a trial within a trial was now taking place before any of
the espionage charges could be dealt with, the online news service said.

      The men allegedly sold political and economic information about
Zimbabwe. Chiyangwa allegedly received up to R65 000 a month from his South
African handler.

      The five apparently also sold some of the top secret decisions taken
by Zanu-PF's inner circle.

      The man has only been identified as "Andrew Brown". - Sapa
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Business in Africa

Switzerland, Turkey to import Zimbabwean cotton

Published: 03-MAY-05

A Zimbabwean agricultural retailer has clinched two deals worth $20 million
to export cotton to Switzerland and Turkey. Afaras Gwaradzimba, head of FSI
Agricom, said Swiss importers wanted up to 10,000 tonnes of cotton, while
those from Turkey were looking for between 20,000 and 22,000 tonnes.

Zimbabwe is a big cotton producer, and its crop is reputed to be of the
finest quality in the world.

But production has dropped this year because of drought, and Gwaradzimba
said fulfilment of the two foreign orders would depend on FSI Agricom
securing the crop from farmers. Last year, Zimbabwe earned $150 million from
cotton exports.
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Daily Mirror, Zimbabwe

MDC activist murdered

The Daily Mirror Reporter
issue date :2005-May-04

SUSPECTED Zanu PF supporters allegedly murdered Moffat Ebrahim, the MDC
chairperson for Ward 6 in Kasimhure Village near Karoi last Friday, police
said yesterday.
On Monday the police confirmed arresting two people in connection with the
alleged murder, adding that they suspected that it was politically
MDC Mashonaland West spokesperson, Biggie Haurobi, alleged on Monday that
war veterans and Zanu PF supporters had fatally assaulted Ebrahim.
Haurobi, who also contested in the March 31 parliamentary polls and lost the
Hurungwe East seat to Zanu PF's Reuben Marumahoko, said Ebrahim (55) left
his home late in the afternoon on Thursday to attend a relative's funeral in
Kariba but was allegedly kidnapped and assaulted by suspected Zanu PF
"Moffat left his home to attend his brother-in-law's funeral in Kariba on
Thursday around 4 pm. He was, however, kidnapped by some Zanu PF supporters
and was taken to the home of a war veteran (name given) where he was
assaulted and left for dead," Haurobi said.
Confirming the murder, police spokesperson Assistant Commissioner Wayne
Bvudzijena said Ebrahim was assaulted after he torched a house belonging to
a Zanu PF supporter in a neighbouring village.
"The facts are that Moffat Ebrahim of Plot 2 in Kasimhure Village went to
Plot 3 at Travos Farm at around 1am in the company of four other unknown
people and set on fire a house in which three people were sleeping knowing
fully well that the occupants were Zanu PF supporters.
"The plot is owned by Elphas Gora, who was alerted by his wife Tendai
Chikopa when the house was burning, and they managed to rescue the two other
people who were also in the house," Bvudzijena said. He added that Gora woke
up other villagers who gave chase to the five arsonists but only managed to
apprehend Ebrahim, who they assaulted, resulting in his death.
"We have managed to arrest two people in connection with the murder, but we
are still looking for the others who were involved," he said, adding the
police suspected the issue was politically motivated.
Haurobi denied Moffat was involved in any act of arson, saying he had in
fact been under siege from Zanu PF supporters. He added that there had been
attempts to expel him from the community last month after some Zanu PF
supporters petitioned the village head.
Zanu PF acting provincial chairman, John Mafa, professed ignorance of the
matter. He said, however, that his party condemned acts of violence.
"I am not aware of that incident. But as a party we have always spoken
against violence and President Mugabe has also spoken against such behaviour
and urged police to arrest anyone found on the wrong side of the law," he
 MDC national spokesperson Paul Themba Nyathi said it was disheartening
people continue to be assaulted by Zanu PF thugs.
"It is sad that we are continuing to receive more and more reports of
assaults of innocent civilians by some Zanu PF criminals, " he said.
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Daily Mirror, Zimbabwe

Zvinavashe charged with illegal forex dealing

The Daily Mirror Reporter
issue date :2005-May-04

WILLIAM Zvinavashe, who was arrested last Friday, is being charged with
illegally dealing in foreign currency connected to his unsuccessful bid to
acquire Turnpike Properties just outside Harare.
Police confirmed the controversial businessman's case was related to his
attempt in November 2002 to buy the property from the Greebes family.
"He is being charged with dealing in foreign currency
in connection with the
Turnpike Properties," police spokesperson Jessie Banda said yesterday.
Zvinavashe lost Turnpike Service Station and a nearby lakeside house, among
others, after a sale agreement he had entered into with Kenneth Greebe and
his wife, Sheila, turned sour.
This was after the Greebes complained that Zvinavashe
had grabbed the then disputed properties despite failing
to make the required payment.
Banda said apart from issuing a cheque which was later dishonoured by a
UK-based bank, Zvinavashe had deposited 6 000 pounds (about Z$72million)
into Greebe's South African account for the properties for which 1million
Rands (Z$43billion) was charged.
Banda said Greebe had also been charged and fined $15 million for also
dealing in foreign currency illegally.
From then on, Zvinavashe claimed he had fully paid for the properties.
According to filed High Court papers, Zvinavashe offered to buy the property
claiming he had external funds in Mozambique and the United Kingdom he had
from business deals in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC).
High Court judge Susan Mavangira in her judgment, dated 10 June 2004,
ordered the properties revert to the Greebes, saying Zvinavashe had failed
to provide proof of payment.
The judge also ruled the sale agreement Zvinavashe and Greebe had entered
into was illegal.
Its illegality stemmed from the fact that it violated the Exchange Control
Regulations Act as no prior authority was obtained by either party to pay
for property outside the country.
According to Section 11 of the Act, no Zimbabwean resident
is permitted to pay or obliged to make payments outside the country without
the consent
of relevant authorities.
The law also bars transactions in a foreign currency account.
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Daily Mirror, Zimbabwe

'MIC not serving interests of journalists'

The Daily Mirror Reporter
issue date :2005-May-04

ZIMBABWEAN journalists commemorated World Press Freedom Day yesterday
against the background of closures of four newspaper titles since the
promulgation of Access to Information and Protection Act (AIPPA, the
Zimbabwe Journalists for Human Rights (ZJHR), has said.
The affected papers are the Associated Newspapers of Zimbabwe's (ANZ)
publications The Daily News, its sister paper The Daily News on Sunday, The
Tribune and The Weekly Times.
The ANZ titles were banned in 2003 after the Supreme Court ruled that their
publisher was operating illegally after refusing to register with the Media
and Information Commission (MIC).
The media house  challenged the constitutionality of the superior court
ruling barring it from operating in Zimbabwe without the blessing of the
The Tribune's licence was cancelled last year on grounds it had not notified
the MIC, media regulating body, on changes in its shareholding, while The
Weekly Times was also suspended for allegedly breaching its publishing
"We cannot celebrate when there are four newspapers closed. What we want is
a self-regulatory body in the mould of the Law Society of Zimbabwe where
every media organisation including the government is represented," ZJHR
chairperson Pedzisayi Ruhanya said, adding the MIC was not serving
journalists interests at all.
He called on government to repeal sections of AIPPA that made it illegal for
journalist to practice without accreditation. Sports Writers Association of
Zimbabwe (SWAZ) secretary, Simba Rushwaya, condemned the harassment and poor
remuneration of scribes.
He said: "Journalists in Zimbabwe are grossly underpaid exposing them to
corrupt tendencies that undermines their impartiality and objectivity.
"The continued harassment of scribes during the discharge of their duty is
also a cause for concern as we commemorate this day."
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Daily Mirror, Zimbabwe

GMB accused of political persecution

The Daily Mirror Reporter
issue date :2005-May-04

Allegations of political persecutions continue to haunt the Grain Marketing
Board as another manager resigns citing harassment due to his links with
sacked Midlands Regional Manager, Goodwill Shiri.
Patrick Kokera Shumba, the grain ulility's acting deport manager in Gweru
claims he called it quits after harassment due to his association with
Shiri, a losing candidate in Mberengwa West Zanu PF primaries as well as
parliamentary polls, in which he ran as an independent.
Shiri, who  lost both races to the former Minister of State for State
Enterprises and Parastatals Rugare Gumbo was axed on allegations that he
abused the quasi- government organisation in an attempt to win votes.
Shiri denies the allegations and alleges that he was being punished for
daring to challenge Gumbo in the polls.
In an inteview with The daily Mirror Shumba said: " I have submitted my
resignation letter. It should reach head office soon. I was being harassed
after the Shiri issue.
"They even wanted to transfere me."
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Daily Mirror, Zimbabwe

Power cuts to continue

The Daily Mirror Reporter
issue date :2005-May-04

POWER cuts that have hit the country are set to continue for another month
as Zesa Holdings is yet to import spares to repair a generator that broke
down at Hwange Power Station two weeks ago.
In an interview with The Daily Mirror yesterday, Zesa Holdings corporate
affairs manager Obert Nyatanga said spares for the Hwange generator were
expected in the country in a month.
"We will get the spare parts in four weeks time. They will be there (power
cuts), but very limited ones," said Nyatanga. He added that the Reserve Bank
of Zimbabwe (RBZ) had allocated Zesa funds to import the spares, but could
not give figures.
Zimbabwe was hit by power supply interruptions mid-last month after the
breakdown of three generators - one at Hwange and two others at Kariba - and
a transmission failure to access supplies from Snell, the Democratic
Republic of the Congo (DRC) power utility. The imports and generators at
Kariba have since been restored.
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Daily Mirror, Zimbabwe

ZRP to launch Vision 2008

The Daily Mirror Reporter
issue date :2005-May-04

THE Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP) is set to launch a new concept, Vision
2008 in line with the country's economic turnaround programme outlined by
the central bank last year.
Police Commissioner Augustine Chihuri said the vision required uniformed
forces to play an effective role in ensuring that efforts by the monetary
authorities to revive the economy succeeded through the provision of sound
and stringent policing strategies.
"We have a new vision as the Zimbabwe Republic Police and the new vision has
been dubbed Vision 2008. This is a vision that seeks to complement economic
turnaround efforts by the central bank," Chihuri said-Mirror Reporter
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High Bills Irk Harare Residents

The Herald (Harare)

May 2, 2005
Posted to the web May 2, 2005


SOME Harare residents have complained over high rate and tariff increases in
their bills, which have seen some households getting statements as high as
$1 million as council starts effecting changes in line with last year's
fourth quarter fiscal budget.

Council started implementing rate, supplementary and tariffs charges for the
last quarter of 2004 on April 1 after approval from Government.

Residents who spoke to The Herald said the increases were too steep for the
ordinary person, a situation that will further affect council's revenue
collection especially in high-density areas.

"I don't know where I will get the money to settle the bill because the
money I get at the end of the month is too little to sustain my family and
pay bills as high as these," said Mr Taurai Shamba of Warren Park.

Ironically, council will start implementing its 2005 financial budget in
June which will see further increases in rates, supplementary and tariff

The residents also complained over the resolution by council to charge
backyard shacks and other structures on households around the city saying
they contributed to the huge bills.

"Council cannot charge structures that are helping in the sustenance of life
in most high-density areas. People make a living from these backyard shacks
and structures," said one Glen View resident.

Some landlords have constructed backyard structures in a bid to raise income
through rentals and revenue through tuck shops and other activities.

Harare public relations manager Mr Leslie Gwindi said council adopted the
resolution after the realisation that some structures were a hazard and had
to be destroyed while those that did not pose a threat to human life had to
be levied for the services rendered.

"This arrangement is more relevant for commercial structures and as for the
residential structures, we will charge them for the service they get from
council," said Mr Gwindi.

Council is now charging refuse collection, sewerage and other fees
separately per each family on a household, a situation that will further
worsen the plight of lodgers as landlords tend to pass on the costs to them.

Residents of Harare have enjoyed six months of paying lower charges
following a freeze on rate increases imposed by Government last year.

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Obasanjo Hails Saraki's Zimbabwean Farmers' Initiative

This Day (Lagos)

May 2, 2005
Posted to the web May 3, 2005


President Olusegun Obasanjo has commended Kwara State Governor, Dr. Bukola
Saraki, on his Zimbabwean Farmers initiative, saying Nigeria would gain a
lot from the project.

Speaking on Sunday night during the monthly Presidential Chat on the network
service of Nigerian Television Authority (NTA) tagged: "The President
speaks," Obasanjo expressed Federal Governmentís commitment to ensure the
success of the commercial farming project.

The project, according to him, would benefit the country in the long run
because the Zimbabwean farmers would transfer their expertise to the local
farmers and increase their yields.

Apparently defending the invitation of the white farmers by Saraki, the
President said the few farmers coming from Zimbabwe would not impose any
burden on the country, describing it as an investment which would benefit
not only Kwarans but the entire citizens of Nigeria.

He said he invited the white farmers to Abuja for a private audience at the
wake of their invitation, having realised the expected benefits derivable
from the project and assured Saraki of his support to realise the objectives
for which the project was initiated.

Speaking in the same vein with the President, the governor said the decision
of the state government to invite the Zimbabwean farmers was in the interest
of the country, the state and Shonga, the host community where they would

The governor disclosed that his visit to the farm last week to interact with
the farmers was a revealing one, as between 700 and 1,000 youths of the area
have been employed and now earning a minimum of N6,000 as a means of

Saraki said the white farmers, even though their houses have not been
completed, are now living in the tents constructed on the farm which
demonstrates their commitment to the project, apart from creating employment
to the generality of unemployed youths in the area.

On the claims by critics that the white farmers have been invited to take
away lands in Shonga, Saraki said "there are 15 farmers coming to farm at
Shonga, how can they take away what belong to over 30,000 inhabitants of the

"We have only invited them to come and assist us to develop our fertile land
that have been lying idle and to assist our local farmers to be able to
improve their yields per tone," Saraki said.

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Comment from The Cape Times (SA), 2 May, 2005

Dictators' weapons of choice switch from military coup to stuffed ballot box

By Peter Fabricius

The African Union (AU) and the Economic Community of West African States
(Ecowas) have incurred a responsibility to resolve the crisis in the sliver
of a West African nation, Togo. Togo is descending into chaos after the
electoral authorities declared that acting president Faure Gnassingbe, son
of the late president, had won the recent elections - and then opposition
leader Emmanuel Akitani Bob cried foul and declared himself the real winner.
His supporters took to the streets and chaos ensued. Ecowas, which sent
observers to the poll, said that there had been some rigging, but not enough
to change the outcome. It and the AU condemned Bob for unilaterally
declaring himself the winner. This was quite evidently irresponsible of Bob,
who also turned down an invitation from Nigerian President Olusegun Obasanjo
and Faure to join a government of national unity. But if Bob is behaving
badly (no, not that Bob), you can't heap all the blame on him. Who could
really believe that Faure Gnassingbe had conducted a free and fair election?
This is, after all, the son and heir of Eyadema, the long-time military
dictator who metamorphosed into a civilian democrat by manipulating
elections for years. And the champion of the shadowy military men who pull
the strings. The democratic process simply lacks credibility in Togo - as it
does elsewhere in Africa - and that is a reality which those with influence
on the country will have to address. The question is how; the AU, Ecowas and
the international community as a whole are all over-stretched in West
Africa. They are battling to keep the lid on the cauldron in Ivory Coast,
just two countries to the west. Liberia and Sierra Leone are just emerging
shakily from years of chaos.

But the AU and Ecowas have incurred a responsibility in Togo which goes
beyond their normal duties. When Faure tried to bypass the constitution
after his father died earlier this year, and simply take over the country
without elections, the AU and Ecowas stepped in and insisted he remain on
the constitutional path. They exerted considerable diplomatic and other
pressure and eventually Faure complied, agreeing to hold elections. For this
the AU and Ecowas received critical acclaim and many flattering comparisons
with the failure of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) to
exert comparable pressure on Zimbabwe. Now Ecowas finds itself in a rather
similar situation to SADC, both having given their approval to regional
elections which the opposition and outside observers in each case condemned
as fatally flawed. So perhaps Ecowas was no better after all than SADC?
Perhaps. Perhaps in both cases we have reached the end of the African tether
when it comes to enforcing democracy on the continent. The charter of the
African Union holds its members to respect for democracy and human rights as
a whole. It may, therefore, act to enforce any breach of them. But in
practice the AU and its sub-regional bodies seem to define their
interference rights the same way as the old Organisation for African Unity
did. And that is that they may interfere only in the case of an
unconstitutional change of power. That is what Faure attempted the first
time. But not the second time. This time he merely crooked the books, or so
it seems. In other words, he got smart and learned to play the game by the
rules - not the universal rules but the AU rules. So it seems. Both Zimbabwe
and Togo seem to illustrate that in the evolution of democracy in Africa,
the tyrant's weapons of choice have evolved from the military coup to the
stuffed ballot box. If the AU and Ecowas wish to change that perception,
they need to be absolutely sure that the election was fair. And, having
insisted on the electoral route in the first place, they have incurred a
responsibility to ensure that it does not lead to chaos

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Crush Cattle Rustlers Ruthlessly

The Herald (Harare)

May 3, 2005
Posted to the web May 3, 2005


THE comprehensive restocking exercise pursued by the Government is now
bearing fruit as witnessed by the modest increase in the national herd over
the last two years.

At the just-ended Zimbabwe International Trade Fair in Bulawayo, farmers
expressed gratitude at the return of livestock displays.

Animal exhibits resumed at the trade fair after three years of absence owing
to outbreaks of the foot-and-mouth disease and anthrax.

Figures released by the Veterinary Services Department recently show that
the country's national herd has slightly increased from five million in 2002
to 5,3 million in 2003.

Preliminary figures for 2004, which exclude cattle in Chiredzi, Gutu,
Masvingo and Kwekwe, all major cattle producing areas, indicate a total of
5,2 million cattle in the country.

This is indeed good news as far as the restocking exercise is concerned
which is also being spearheaded by the Agricultural Development Bank of
Zimbabwe (Agribank).

The Government's $50 billion livestock scheme is already benefiting both the
A1 (small-scale) and A2 (large-scale) resettlement models.

Agribank is also funding the establishment of infrastructure as well as
working capital for stockfeeds and veterinary inputs.

However, this good effort is being frustrated by cattle thieves. Recent
reports that cattle rustling is on the increase ought to be cause for great
concern to both the farmers and the authorities.

Never a week passes without reading about arrests and convictions of cattle

The actual number of stolen cattle obviously should exceed the figures given
by owners of large cattle herds since small-scale and communal farmers must
also be losing beasts to these marauding thieves.

These thefts have a ripple effect that is bound to be felt later.

Already, there is a shortage of beef; and where it is available, it is
unaffordable because of the high price.

We all know that Zimbabwe's cattle herd was decimated during periodic
droughts in the 1980s and 1990s, hence the Government's move to put in place
various programmes to finance restocking by livestock farmers.

But add to that the thefts and ever-escalating prices of stockfeeds.

As if that was not enough, farmers are now forced by circumstances to employ
guards on farms to safeguard their livestock.

The extra costs from all these activities will have to be passed on to
consumers. And with the consumers already groaning under the burden of
skyrocketing prices, beef will be out of reach for many.

Now with one of the causes of such high prices being thefts, we urge the
authorities to be ruthless with cattle rustlers.

We have pointed out in the past that cattle are an invaluable source of
income because they provide draught power for most of the communal people.

They also earn foreign currency for the country through beef exports.

It is disturbing that the country has recorded an increase in stock theft
cases at a time when the nation is consolidating its land reform.

It is also in this context that we urge the Government to speed up the
review of the new stock theft Act to correct anomalies that have been
observed in the sentencing structure.

According to the Director of Public Prosecutions, courts have suspended
mandatory jail sentences prescribed under the new Act because of some
irregularities which need to be rectified.

Once this is corrected, the responsible authorities should effectively deal
with these thieves.

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Shift to Commercial Production, ZFU Urges Communal Farmers

The Herald (Harare)

May 3, 2005
Posted to the web May 3, 2005


THE Zimbabwe Farmers' Union (ZFU) has urged communal farmers to move away
from subsistence farming to commercial production to help the country regain
its status as the breadbasket of Southern Africa.

The union's vice president responsible for livestock, Cde Abdul Nyathi, said
the ZFU would soon embark on an outreach programme targeting small-scale
farmers in the new resettlement and communal areas with the aim of educating
them on the need to commercialise their operations.

He said this would ensure adequate food reserves for the country in addition
to improving the economic well-being of the farmers.

"This month we will be embarking on an outreach programme to educate farmers
on the need to move away from subsistence farming to commercial production,
which is a major component of the Government's land reform programme," Cde
Nyathi said.

"Various stakeholders in the agricultural industry, including the Cold
Storage Company (CSC) and extension workers, will take part in the outreach

"We want to demonstrate to the farmers that they have the capability to
produce at the same scale as the white former commercial farmers and even do
better to ensure the country's food security."

Cde Nyathi, who also sits on the CSC loans committee, said the Government -
through the CSC Livestock Supply Scheme - would widen its scope of
beneficiaries to ensure that small-scale farmers contribute to the
rebuilding of the country's national herd.

A total of 264 farmers benefited from the $10 billion loan scheme, which was
divided into two categories, one for feeders and the other for breeders.

The feeder scheme is a short-term programme targeted at both new and
established commercial farmers running for four to six months, during which
time the cattle are either pen-fed 100 percent or receive a ration of
supplementary feed and then let out to graze.

The breeder scheme is long-term and runs for three to five years.

During this period, cattle or heifers are expected to produce offspring,
which remain with the farmer, and when the loaned cattle reach the end of
their productive lives, they are returned to CSC abattoirs.

The Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) this year allocated the CSC $350 billion
to continue the rebuilding programme, which, Cde Nyathi said, would be
inclusive of all the farmers.

"The major objective is to see to it that our farmers are commercially
viable. In that regard, the CSC scheme will now target all farmers - from
the communal areas to those who were resettled under the A2 (commercial)
model and the large-scale farmers," he said.

"We hope the RBZ will release the funds soon so that we can start working on
the disbursements. With the support of all stakeholders, the CSC will regain
its status within a very short period of time."

The country's national herd has declined over the years owing to successive
droughts and now stands at around five million.

Meanwhile, in July the CSC will introduce an anti-stock theft award to help
in the fight against the growing incidence of rustling, which was recently
described by President Mugabe as a threat to the national economy.

CSC spokesperson Mrs Patience Madambi said the national award would be for
anti-stock theft units throughout the country to bolster their resolve to
fight the menace.

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New Zimbabwe

Kwaito star Zola slams Mugabe

By Showbiz Reporter
Last updated: 05/03/2005 09:31:08
SOUTH African kwaito star Zola has wade into a political storm after telling
fans during a live concert in London: "Robert Mugabe doesn't deserve to be
your President."

The kwaito star interrupted his live show at London's Stratford Rex on
Sunday night and asked if there were any Zimbabweans in the club.

He then dedicated a song to the "suffering" Zimbabweans driven into exile by
Mugabe's regime.

"We share in your suffering, this is a special dedication to all
Zimbabweans," Zola said to wild cheers from the crowd.

Zola, real name Bonginkosi Dlamini, was recently voted by the public as
South Africa's Artist of the Year at the Sama Awards.

Talking to New, Zola said he was shocked and disappointed at
how many Zimbabweans had been forced to leave the country for South Africa,
Britain and other countries.

"It is a fact Zimbabweans have been working in South Africa from a long time
ago, mainly in the diamond mines. But the level of intensified migration
away from Zimbabwe is quite simply staggering.

"Mugabe has destroyed that country, and it troubles me deeply. Sometimes you
wish you had a solution to a people's crisis, like the one you have," said

Interestingly, Zola's comments came soon after a staunch supporter of
Mugabe's policies Simon "Chopper" Chimbetu had just finished his
performance. Chimbetu missed Zola's comments as he had already disappered
into the drssing rooms.

While many artists are scared to make their feelings on social and political
developments known, Zola has carved a career campaigning for the poor.

In 2003, he expanded his horizons in showbiz and launched a television
programme, Zola 7, in which he travels around the country helping young
people fulfill their dreams. It's gained such popularity that he now travels
to the rest of Africa too.

His acting roles have included the notorious gangster Papa Action in Yizo
Yizo 2. He and Moshidi Motshegwa are the hottest things in Zola Maseko's
movie Drum, which releases next month. In the movie he plays a menacing
Sof'town gangster called Koortboy.

His latest album Bhambatha has sold over 120 000 copies and he recently
scooped the prestigious 2005 Sama award for Artist of Year. "I dedicate this
award to the little hands and little feet that never had sex but died of
sexual transmitted diseases," he said in his acceptance speech.
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