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Maize-meal queues resurface in Zimbabwe

Zim Online

Friday 04 May 2007

By Regerai Marwezu

MASVINGO - Maize-meal queues have resurfaced in most parts of southern
Zimbabwe with some villagers in the drought-hit region saying they last
received maize-meal supplies at the beginning of last month.

Long and winding queues have become the order of the day in most towns and
cities in the region as people desperately search for the commodity, the
main staple food for the majority of Zimbabweans.

There have also been reports that some villagers had besieged Grain
Marketing Board (GMB) depots around the country in search of maize-meal.

In Rutenga, Masvingo, for example, villagers had literally camped at the
business centre looking for maize-meal.

Villagers who spoke to ZimOnline on Thursday said they last received maize
supplies on 2 April and had since exhausted the little supplies they still
had in stock.

In Mupandawana, in Gutu district of Masvingo, the situation was almost the
same with some villagers saying they were on the brink of starvation because
of a severe shortage of maize-meal.

"We wake up as early as 3am to come and queue for maize or maize-meal," said
60-year-old Chapwanya Nherera of Muunde village in Gutu.

"We have been here for more than two days looking for the maize-meal and it
appears nothing is coming."

In Gweru and Bulawayo cities, shop managers who spoke to ZimOnline said they
had also run out of maize-meal saying the commodity was now only available
on the illegal black market at exorbitant prices.

An official with the Millers Association of Zimbabwe, Tinashe Romba told
ZimOnline that they were failing to secure enough maize supplies from the

"We last received maize from the GMB in March. Since then, supplies have
been very erratic.

"What has worsened the situation was that we are being ordered by the
government to deliver maize-meal to rural areas first before we give urban
dwellers. The situation is very critical," said Romba.

Zimbabwe's Agriculture Minister Rugare Gumbo confirmed to ZimOnline
yesterday that maize-meal was in critical short supply adding that he
expected the situation to improve in the next two weeks when farmers start
delivering maize to the GMB.

"I can confirm that the whole of the southern region which includes
Masvingo, Matabeleland North and parts of the Midlands is facing food
shortages," said Gumbo.

"We hope in the next two weeks the maize-meal queues will disappear since we
expect inflows of maize from those few farmers who managed to harvest

Zimbabwe has battled severe food shortages over the past seven years after
President Robert Mugabe's government seized white farms for redistribution
to landless blacks.

The farm seizures saw food production slump by more than 60 percent
resulting in most Zimbabweans depending on food handouts from international
aid agencies for survival.

But Mugabe denies that his land reforms are to blame for the food crisis
saying the shortages are due to natural causes.

The food security situation worsened last week after the government
sanctioned a massive hike in the producer price for maize from Z$52 495 a
tonne to Z$3 million a tonne.

The hike has seen the retail price for a 10kg bag of maize-meal going up
from Z$12 000 to a massive $47 000 while a 20kg packet of maize-meal now
costs about Z$100 000, almost half the salary of most average Zimbabwean

The Harare authorities have already declared 2007 a drought year and have
been importing maize from neighbours Malawi and South Africa to cover the
national shortfall.

Zimbabwe, once regarded as the breadbasket of southern Africa, is only
expected to harvest about 600 000 tonnes of maize against a national
requirement of 2.4 million tonnes of maize. - ZimOnline

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Group postpones launch of voluntary media council

Zim Online

Friday 04 May 2007

By Nqobizitha Khumalo

BULAWAYO - The Media Alliance of Zimbabwe (MAZ), a coalition of several
media organisations, has again postponed to the end of May the launch of a
Voluntary Media Council to regulate the operations of the media in Zimbabwe.

Earlier this year, MAZ had said it would launch the self-regulatory media
body on 3 May as part of World Press Freedom Day celebrations.

But for the second time this year, the MAZ postponed the launch of the
council to end of May amid allegations of serious disagreement within the
media organisations on the issue of the constitution.

Sources within the media group confirmed to ZimOnline that media groups were
still haggling over some "outstanding issues" adding that this had delayed
the launch of the media council.

Contacted for comment, MAZ co-ordinator Abigail Gamanya, dismissed charges
of disagreement within the media group saying the launch had been pushed to
end of May to allow for some minor amendments to be made on the

"From the consultations we did earlier in the year, there were submissions
made on constitutional amendments and that was not completed in time for the
launch on Thursday to coincide with the World Press Freedom day.

"That is the reason we have pushed the date to May 29 when we will
definitely launch the Voluntary Media Council," ¯Gamanya said.

The MAZ is made up of the Zimbabwe Union of Journalists (ZUJ), the Media
Monitoring Project of Zimbabwe (MMPZ), the Editors' Forum and the Media
Institute of Southern Africa (Zimbabwe).

Earlier this year, President Robert Mugabe's nephew, Leo, who heads
parliament's portfolio committee on transport and communications, told
journalists not to go ahead with the launch of the media council.

Mugabe said the voluntary council could only be set up after an amendment to
the Access to Information and Protection of Privacy Act to allow the council
to exist alongside the state's Media and Information Commission (MIC).

Zimbabwean journalists however said they would ignore Mugabe's threats and
would proceed with plans to launch the council.

Zimbabwe has some of the harshest media laws and regulations for
journalists. For example, journalists are liable to a two-year jail term if
they are caught practicing their profession without licence from the MIC.

Newspapers are also required to register with the state commission with
those failing to do so facing closure and seizure of their equipment by the

At least four independent newspapers including the biggest circulating
daily, The Daily News, have been shut down over the past three years for
breaching state media laws. - ZimOnline

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Media commission bans Zimbabwean journalist

Zim Online

Friday 04 May 2007

By Patricia Mpofu

HARARE - The Zimbabwe government's Media and Information Commission (MIC) on
Wednesday banned an independent journalist for a year, as the Harare
administration intensifies a crackdown against political opponents and

The MIC that has over the past four years forced the closure of four
newspapers and brought charges against scores of journalists said it removed
Nunurai Jena from the roll of journalists beginning on 3 May 2007 -
ironically World Press Freedom Day - until March 2008.

The state-controlled commission said Jena was banned after he was caught
using an expired licence. Under the government's tough Access to Information
and Protection of Privacy Act, journalists must obtain licences from the MIC
to practice with those failing to do so facing up to two years in jail.

The MIC had also accused Jena of freelancing for various foreign news
networks some of them banned in Zimbabwe. He denied the charges and argued
he had submitted an application for the renewal of his licence.

Journalists' organisations and pro-democracy groups immediately condemned
the banning of Jena. But they also warned it was the beginning of worse
things to come for the media as the government stepped up a crackdown on
dissension that has seen three journalists tortured by the police and
another murdered by suspected government agents over the past two months.

At least 600 activists of the main opposition Movement for Democratic Change
(MDC) party were also arrested and some tortured by state security agents
over the same period.

Zimbabwe Union of Journalists secretary general Foster Dongozi said: "It
(banning of Jena) is a continuation of a sustained campaign against
journalists and other media representatives after the murder of (journalist)
Edward Chikomba and the abductions of journalists which is still going on."

Chikomba, a former cameraman for the state-run Zimbabwe Broadcasting
Corporation (ZBC) but who had become a freelancer for foreign media, was in
March abducted by suspected state agents and found murdered several days

His colleagues believe Chikomba was murdered as punishment for supplying
foreign media with footage of a bruised MDC leader Morgan Tsvangirai
following his torture in police custody. The footage sparked international
condemnation of Mugabe and his government.

Freelance photojournalist Tsvangirai Mukwazhi and film producer Tendai
Musiyazviriyo were again in March admitted to hospital for treatment for
injuries suffered after they were arrested and brutally assaulted by the

Another journalist Gift Phiri, who works for the United Kingdom-based, The
Zimbabwean weekly newspaper, was in April abducted by the police in broad
daylight from a Harare shopping centre and taken to Harare Central police
station where he was brutally beaten and tortured.

Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition (CZC) co-ordinator Jacob Mafume said the
banning of Jena was a "typical example of (the government) muzzling the
media with elections less than 10 months away."

MIC chairman Tafataona Mahoso and Information Minister Sikhanyiso Ndlovu
were not immediately available to respond to charges the government is
muzzling the Press. The government has in the past denied suppressing the

Zimbabwe was this week ranked by the Austria based International Press
Initiative as the most difficult country in the world to operate as a

Besides journalists being required to obtain licences, newspaper companies
operating in the southern African country are also required to register with
the state commission with those failing to do so facing closure and seizure
of their equipment by the police.

Another law, the Public Order and Security Act imposes sentences of up to
two years in jail on journalists convicted of publishing falsehoods that may
cause public alarm and despondency, while the Criminal Codification Act
imposes up to 20 years in jail on journalists convicted of denigrating
Mugabe in their articles.

Repression against the media usually peaks up towards critical elections as
the ones to be held next year and which some analysts have said the
government could lose, citing a worsening economic crisis that is fuelling
anger against the government and boosting opposition support. - ZimOnline

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Zimbabwe Opposition, Under Pressure, Looks To African Union For Relief


      By Blessing Zulu, Patience Rusere and Jonga Kandemiiri
      03 May 2007

Founding President Morgan Tsvangirai of Zimbabwe's opposition Movement for
Democratic Change was set to travel to Ghana next week for a meeting with
African Union Chairman John Kufuor, Ghana's president, in which he hopes to
convince the organization to pressure Harare to halt its ongoing crackdown
on opponents.

Senior MDC officials said AU Commission Chairman Alpha Oumar Konare, a
former Malian president, will also take part in the Accra meeting.

Konare displeased Zimbabwe civil society leaders last October when he
declined to meet them while in Harare for discussions with President Robert
Mugabe. But Kufuor in March described the international furor over
Tsvangirai's severe beating while in Zimbabwean police custody March 11-13
as  "embarrassing" for Africa.

Tsvangirai MDC faction spokesman Nelson Chamisa said Tsvangirai had intended
to leave for Ghana on Wednesday, but canceled the journey after the sudden
death of Isaac Matongo, the MDC's founding chairman, who died in his sleep
that morning.

International Affairs Secretary Eliphas Mukonoweshure of the Tsvangirai MDC
faction told reporter Blessing Zulu of VOA's Studio 7 for Zimbabwe that
Tsvangirai will also update Kufuor and Konare on the mediation process led
by South African President Thabo Mbeki under the aegis of the Southern
African Development Community.

But independent political analyst Hermann Hanekom of South Africa said that
even if the AU brings pressure to bear, President Mbeki will have his hands
full convincing President Robert Mugabe to halt state violence and engage
the opposition.

Meanwhile, a bail hearing for 13 jailed members of the Tsvangirai MDC
faction was to take place on Friday despite efforts by Home Affairs Minister
Kembo Mohadi to call it off. He sent magistrate Lazarus Murendo a so-called
ministerial certificate this week urging him to throw out the application
for bail filed on behalf of the 13, who are alleged to have taken a hand in
firebomb attacks against police posts.

Lawyer Andrew Makoni, representing the jailed activists, said he had been
informed by the office of the attorney general that the bail hearing would
go forward.

Makoni, who described the minister's intervention as "unlawful," detailed
the charges faced by the activists, who are among a total of 31 MDC
officials or members held on an assortment of charges since late March, to
reporter Patience Rusere

Elsewhere, the MDC faction headed by Arthur Mutambara says it was much
saddened by Matongo's death early Wednesday. Matongo was chairman of the MDC
from its inception and sided with MDC founding President Morgan Tsvangirai
when the party divided in late 2005 over whether or not to contest elections
for the new senate.

Officials at the Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions, which Matongo once
served as vice president, said his passing removed a source of wisdom.
Matongo, who was 60, was to be buried at his rural home in Masvingo Province
on Saturday.

Mutambara faction spokesman Gabriel Chaibva told reporter Jonga Kandemiiri
that his death robbed Zimbabwe of a dedicated man who sought positive

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Beijing cools on Mugabe

International Herald Tribune

By Stephanie Kleine-Ahlbrandt and Andrew Small Published: May 3, 2007

HARARE, Zimbabwe:

The walls surrounding the Chinese Embassy in Harare are getting higher.
"Extra security," our host explained nervously - and one small indicator
that China's relationship with Zimbabwe is changing. Formerly a staunch
supporter of President Robert Mugabe, Beijing has said conspicuously little
about the current crisis in Zimbabwe, which started on March 11 when the
government began a bloody crackdown on opposition leaders.

China, which once perceived the West's condemnation of Mugabe and sanctions
against his regime as an economic opportunity, now views its involvement in
Zimbabwe as a liability both for its investments and its international

Mugabe's "Look East" policy, announced in 2003, was followed by a flurry of
loans, memorandums of understanding and weapons deals. It was supposed to
herald a new alliance: China would gain access to Zimbabwe's mineral
riches - chrome, gold and platinum - while providing Harare with financial
and political backing that could help stymie the West's attempts to isolate

But in the last few months, Beijing's support has dropped almost as quickly
as the value of the Zimbabwe dollar. In December, the Chinese government was
already so irked with Mugabe's trumpeting of their relationship that it
hauled in Zimbabwe's ambassador to Beijing for a dressing down, and soon
afterwards dismissed suggestions that a $2 billion loan was in the offing.

In a conspicuous snub, President Hu Jintao's trip to Africa in February
included stops in virtually all of Zimbabwe's neighbors, but not even a
stopover in Harare (the recent visit by Jia Qinglin of the Politburo was a
paltry consolation prize).
Senior Chinese leaders had given prominent support to previous government
crackdowns, including Mugabe's 2005 campaign to demolish the homes of
hundreds of thousands of Zimbabweans living in opposition strongholds. But
the current crisis has Chinese diplomats in Harare confessing to their
foreign counterparts that they are embarrassed to be associated with the

Beijing's pullback was no great act of moral courage. China knows fully well
that this is a dying regime. Although Mugabe announced that he will stand
for re-election, factions in the ruling ZANU-PF party are feverishly
planning for succession. Diplomats in Harare suggest that China has been
carefully gathering intelligence and cultivating relationships to prepare
for a post-Mugabe future.

For anyone who followed the money rather than the grand promises, the
writing was already on the wall. Beijing has realized that, in a country
facing what Chinese officials in Zimbabwe described to us as "the worst
economic situation in the world," most loans and investments are money down
the drain.

Zimbabwe's government has struggled to repay China for fighter jets it
bought on credit in 2005. Multibillion dollar projects announced with great
fanfare in sectors such as thermal-power generation have rarely taken off.

Officials of China's Ministry of Commerce have described recent efforts by
the Zimbabwean government to encourage new investment in power stations,
railways and coal mining as little more than a "headache." Chinese money has
largely been focused in sectors such as tobacco, where returns are quick and
exposure is low, and in positional investments, readying China to take
advantage if the situation changes for the better.

Ordinary Zimbabweans have been complaining about working conditions in
Chinese companies, the low quality of cheap Chinese imports and the
destruction of jobs in Zimbabwe's small-scale manufacturing sector. Some are
reported even to have attacked the property of Chinese expatriates.

While the financial prospects of China's relationship with Zimbabwe have
dimmed, its costs to Beijing's reputation have increased. As China
prioritizes its global image, boosts its leadership role and massages its
relations with the West, it is increasingly clear that lending fulsome
support to regimes such as Mugabe's is bad politics, with little payoff.

In a related change of heart, Chinese pressure on the Sudanese government
has widely been seen as critical to its agreement last week to accept a UN
force in Darfur.

These developments suggest that China's Africa policy is moving into a more
mature phase. In its initial flush of enthusiasm following the vacuum left
by the West and the Soviet Union at the end of the Cold War, Beijing saw the
continent as an investment opportunity and a giant repository of natural

Now the risks of investing in failing economies and of supporting fragile
regimes are becoming apparent. The fierce training of the international
spotlight on China's behavior is also starting to yield results.

China is making increasingly pragmatic calculations about its involvement
with regimes like Mugabe's, and it is finding that it's not in its interest
to be the symbolic head of a coalition of despots.

Stephanie Kleine-Ahlbrandt is an international affairs fellow at the Council
on Foreign Relations. Andrew Small is program associate at the German
Marshall Fund.

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Press freedom day, but not in Zimbabwe

By Violet Gonda
3 May 2007

Today is World Press Freedom Day but in Zimbabwe press freedom doesn't
exist. It's been reported that the regime barred journalists who wanted to
march to commemorate the Day. Media reports quote Matthew Takaona, the
President of the Zimbabwe Union of Journalists (ZUJ), saying the police
banned processions that were planned in all the provinces in the country.

We could not get a comment from the police.

Desperate to cling to power by every means possible, the Mugabe regime
continues to use draconian legislation such as the Access to Information and
Protection of Privacy Act (AIPPA) and Public Order and Security Act (POSA)
to control the media.

The state has used these laws as a weapon to restrict the operations of the
media and also to physically harass and arrest journalists. Over the years
Zimbabwe has also seen more and more independent newspapers like the Daily
News being forced to shut down. In other cases the regime has resorted to
taking over newspapers like the Daily Mirror & Sunday Mirror. An oppressive
accreditation system that is controlled by a government appointed Media and
Information Commission has also resulted in many journalists losing their
jobs and most foreign correspondents being denied accreditation.

There is no independent electronic media in Zimbabwe and the sole
broadcaster the Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation (ZBC) has become a
propaganda machine 100% controlled by the government. The media controls
have forced radio stations, such as SW Radio Africa and Voice of America's
Studio 7 to broadcast from abroad.

And unless you can afford DSTV satellite television, you are forced to get
your information from the ZBC, which is widely known as 'Dead-BC'. This is
because of its biased and news coverage.

But despite the clampdown journalists still find ways of reporting and
exposing what is happening in Zimbabwe. The human rights group, Amnesty
International has brought out a newspaper (found online at )
to mark World Press Freedom Day and to highlight the dangers of being a
journalist in Zimbabwe as well as the government's unjust and repressive
media laws.

Andrew Furlong, the Coordinator of Amnesty's Zimbabwe group, said the
newspaper called The Daily News in Exile, was named in honour of the banned
Daily News and has articles written by former senior journalists at the
newspaper, Geoffrey Nyarota, Sandra Nyaira and Nyasha Nyakunu.

Furlong said: "It's a tool by which through the media we express our
solidarity with journalists in Zimbabwe. And we use it to raise awareness
and as a way of campaigning against human rights abuses in Zimbabwe."

In the last seven years the situation in Zimbabwe has completely
deteriorated as a result of mis-governance and corruption. Inflation is over
2 000% with more than 80% unemployment. The majority of the working
population is now living below the poverty datum line. Researchers have said
the economic crisis has left Zimbabwe with a depressed population and the
lowest life expectancy in the world.
Those that can afford to leave the country have done so while others are
forced to cross the croc-infested Limpopo River, fleeing to neighboring
South Africa for sanctuary. The Sunday Times reported recently that as many
as 49 000 people a month are entering South Africa illegally.
Journalists are among the many who have fled, many of them forced to do
menial work in the Diaspora.
The Committee to Protect Journalists noted that the "Zimbabwe government has
waged a relentless war on critical voices since 2000, using repressive new
laws to imprison and harass journalists and driving dozens into exile."
Nelson Chamisa the spokesperson for the Tsvangirai led MDC said the regime
is trying to victimize and isolate people who are trying to inform the
The opposition official said: "Without information citizens are not able to
participate fully in any democracy and our concern and our problem is that
we are not going to be able to achieve free and fair elections under the
circumstances where you find that journalists are being murdered."

SW Radio Africa Zimbabwe news

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UK Parliament-House of Lords

The Zimbabwean

( -3-05-07)
UK Parliament

House of Lords

Wednesday, 2 May 2007

Zimbabwe: Non-governmental Organisations

Baroness Park of Monmouth asked Her Majesty's Government:

What steps they propose to take with the African Union to ensure that
immediate representations are made to President Mugabe to reverse his decree
banning non-governmental organisations from Zimbabwe.

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office
(Lord Triesman): My Lords, there have been conflicting reports on the
current situation for NGOs in Zimbabwe. Our understanding is that the
reported new procedures for the registration of NGOs do not appear to
require established and registered NGOs to re-register. The impact on new
NGOs is less clear. Our embassy is in constant touch with the NGO community
in Zimbabwe, which provides essential support for millions of ordinary
Zimbabweans, and we will monitor the situation closely. The increased
uncertainty for NGOs is part of a wider picture of intimidation, violence
and harassment of civil society in the run-up to the presidential and
parliamentary elections in 2008. It runs contrary to the NePAD and SADC

Baroness Park of Monmouth: My Lords, it is certainly the belief in Zimbabwe
that Mugabe deregistered all NGOs two weeks ago. They certainly fear that
that is what is happening to them. It is damaging civil society, giving
Mugabe political control over food distribution just before an election, and
the NGOs are intimidated. They must fear that their overseas funds are going
to dry up. They and the people see this action as one more assertion of
ruthless power.

I am glad that the Minister has said that this is contrary to NePAD. Should
not the AU be asked whether it condones this treatment of NGOs? This is the
second time that they have been threatened in this way over the past two
years. The AU also has NGOs. Does it want them to be treated in this way? Or
does it want NGOs abroad to think that they would be treated in this way if
they went to any country in Africa? It is a serious issue. There is general
intimidation and fear. That fear runs right through civil society. I am sure
that the Minister will agree that if intimidation and fear exist to that
degree there is a real danger that Mugabe intends to annihilate the NGOs.

Lord Triesman: My Lords, if I were involved in an NGO in Zimbabwe I would
share all of those apprehensions. In the run-up to the elections in 2005 we
saw those organisations under terrible pressure, particularly those that
promoted human or political rights. I would not rule out, whatever our
knowledge of the apparent position today, that that may very well happen in
the future. I am happy to give the House the assurance-I suspect "happy" is
not the right word in the circumstances, but I am most willing to give the
assurance-that those matters will be raised with the African Union, SADC and
the regional bodies. They are of very great importance.

Lord Alton of Liverpool: My Lords, does the Minister agree that one of the
guarantees that can be given to NGOs and civil society is the presence of a
free press and free media in a country such as Zimbabwe? Does he not agree
that the capricious licensing system used to stifle the freedoms of the
press in Zimbabwe is not a good augury for what might happen to the NGOs?
What does he make of the decision of the South African Broadcasting
Corporation a few days ago to open an office in Zimbabwe, having instructed
the network's news editors not to broadcast the views of Moeletsi Mbeki,
Archbishop Pius Ncube and Eleanor Sisulu-all prominent opponents of the
Mugabe regime?

Lord Triesman: My Lords, an energetic and free press is a precondition for a
healthy civil society, just as the work of the NGOs is. I agree with that
proposition wholeheartedly. I do not expect Robert Mugabe suddenly to
embrace the concept of a free press any more than anybody else in your
Lordships' House does. The South Africans take their own decisions. We will
continue to argue that they could take a more forward-leaning position.

Lord Morris of Handsworth: My Lords, is the Minister aware that the current
chaos in Zimbabweis being presented as a struggle against British
colonialism? It has also been said that it is a struggle against land
redistribution. What plans exist, if any, to assist the resettlement of
Zimbabwean citizens who may well be displaced-as we helped the Ugandan
citizens to resettle-when Mugabe's vile regime collapses, as it will do?

Lord Triesman: My Lords, I am aware of how the Zimbabwean Government
describe the interest that all of us show in that country. I assert that we
show that interest for humanitarian reasons. It is nothing to do with the
history. This generation in politics does not share that history. In the
kind of package that we have all agreed and on which we worked with Kofi
Annan when he was intending in the last days of his secretary-generalship to
visit Zimbabwe, we envisaged a raft of economic measures that would also
help to deal with some of those land resettlement questions. There has been
no desire on the part of successive United Kingdom Governments to avoid
doing so. What I think everyone has avoided is parcelling up money and
giving it to Robert Mugabe to distribute as he chooses.

Lord Avebury: My Lords, regarding the wider picture of intimidation that the
noble Lord mentioned in his first Answer, would he consider asking the
presidency of the European Union to raise with President Mbeki the
recommendation made by Human Rights Watch in its report published today? It

"systematic abuses against opposition members and civil society activists,
as well as the increasingly violent repression of ordinary Zimbabweans in
Harare's densely populated suburbs".

Could not the EU presidency ensure that a copy of this report, and of the
resolution which is likely to be passed by the Inter-Parliamentary Union at
its meeting this week on the violation of the rights of parliamentarians in
Zimbabwe, be placed on the desk of every AU president and Foreign Minister?

Lord Triesman: My Lords, I have had the advantage of being briefed on the
report that has just been published by Human Rights Watch, and I have little
doubt that the German presidency will want to raise it. In all the meetings
between the EU and the Government of South Africa that I have attended,
these issues have been on the agenda, and so they should be.

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ZNSPCA press statement regarding Shearwater elephants



CONTACT PERSON - Glynis Vaughan 091 2367 260 / 04 - 497574 / 497885



The Zimbabwe National SPCA (ZNSPCA)'s lawyer, Beatrice Mtetwa, has returned
to the High Court to discuss the above issue with a judge as access to the
elephants continued to be denied to the ZNSPCA despite a recent Court order
granting access.  The ZNSPCA continues to question why access is denied.
Welfare concerns grow as yet another elephant has died.

ZNSPCA Attorney Beatrice Mtetwa stated before the judge that she found the
situation extremely unusual in that the ZNSPCA was being instructed to rely
on veterinarians that they did not commission. Ms Mtetwa has written to the
Director of Veterinary Services and to one of the veterinarians nominated by
Shearwater Adventures to organise a visit to the premises where the
elephants are being kept. To date, no reply has been received.  Both the
above veterinarians were included in the Court order at Shearwater's

The ZNSPCA's statutory right to inspect the elephants continues to be
frustrated. The NSPCA believes it should not have to go to Court in the
first place to have access to animals for inspection.

In November 2006, 12 juvenile elephants were captured from wild herds in the
Hwange National Park to be "trained" for work with Shearwater Adventures.
One elephant subsequently escaped and one died days after capture.

The Zimbabwe National SPCA (ZNSPCA) laid charges on 19 December 2006 to
initiate a prosecution process against Shearwater Adventures, for cruelty to
animals. The ZNSPCA has  consistently been denied access to the 10 elephants
that were being held in the bomas at Nakavango range in the Victoria Falls.
Veterinarians from both Zimbabwe and South Africa have also been denied
access to the elephants.

On the 12th January 2007, the ZNSPCA filed a complaint with Zimbabwe
Republic Police in Victoria Falls, for obstruction (in terms of section 12
of the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act) after access to the elephants
was again denied.

The ZNSPCA attempted to meet with representatives of Shearwater to discuss
the way forward. The Board of the ZNSPCA attempted to engage in dialogue
with Shearwater's appointed lawyer but no agreement was imminent.
Shearwater Adventures threatened to bring a civil suit against ZNSPCA for
malicious prosecution, claiming that its business had suffered due to the
ZNSPCA's actions.

Shearwater eventually agreed to meet with ZNSPCA in the presence of their
lawyer on 31 January 2007.  In this meeting it was agreed that both parties
would release a statement to the effect that they were working together for
the betterment of the elephants concerned.

Shearwater have not withdrawn their threat of malicious prosecution against

On 19 February 2007, the ZNSPCA expressed concern that access continued to
be denied. After phoning Shearwater, the ZNSPCA was informed by the then
Managing Director, Allen Roberts, that until press statements were approved,
no access would be granted.

Mrs. Mtetwa, the lawyer acting for and on behalf of the ZNSPCA proceeded to
the High Court to obtain an order for ZNSPCA to have unrestricted /
unhindered access to the elephants.

On 09 March the Honourable Mr Justice Patel granted a Court order to the
ZNSPCA, giving access to the elephants.  Shearwater Adventures insisted that
they wanted ZNSPCA personnel to be accompanied by two vets, namely Drs.
Foggin and Zvishiri as well as a member of National Parks and Wildlife
Management Authority on such visits.  Shearwater Adventures requested that
the ZNSPCA would give them 24-hours notice before a visit in order to
facilitate the summoning of two veterinarians to accompany them.

The ZNSPCA gave Shearwater Adventures 2 working days notice of an intended
visit/inspection on  26 March 07.  Shearwater personnel insisted that it was
ZNSPCA's responsibility to obtain the relevant veterinarians and because
this had not been done, the ZNSPCA was denied access.

Shearwater has given access to numerous individuals and companies but still
resists the ZNSPCA.  In the interim, another elephant has died, leaving 9
elephants in the bomas.

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ZNSPCA update March 2007

We sincerely regret that it has been so long since we were last able to send
news of our activities.  We have been through an extremely difficult and
challenging period for our Society, not unexpectedly, as the social,
political and economic situation continues to deteriorate in Zimbabwe.  As
Chenjerai Hove recently stated, we are "a wounded country where people feed
on the illusion of freedom".

In November we received reports that wild elephants were being captured in
Hwange Game Reserve for 'domestication' and 'training' to fill the growing
demand for elephant back rides.  All scientific research and study has
proven that the removal of sub-adult elephants from their family groups is
extremely traumatic, not only for the captured elephants, but equally so for
the remaining elephants and indeed constitutes extreme cruelty.

To quote Doctor Dame Daphne Sheldrick:

"The impact on social dynamics within herds who have been subjected to
violent abductions of their young is emotionally profound.   Natural
mortality when the herd can grieve for a lost loved one is acceptable, as it
would be in human society, but the emotional damage inflicted on all members
of the herd when a calf is forcibly and cruelly abducted, is something else.
Like humans, elephant families like to know the fate of their precious

12 young elephants were taken from 8 different family groups and were run
down and darted by helicopter.  1 elephant died post capture and 1 escaped
post capture.  There was no grounds for their removal, they were not
starving and there was adequate water.*

Following intensive lobbying, the Department of National Parks and Wildlife
Management Authority, who have been very co-operative and supportive, have
given a verbal undertaking that no further permits will be issued for the
capture of wild elephant.  We would like to see this promulgated as a
regulation.  The authorities would like further supporting evidence of the
cruelty involved, to support the introduction of such legislation and we
continue to correlate all cases and experiences that substantiate the levels
of cruelty involved.

Further to this, the Department have stated that from now on, no permits for
the keeping of wildlife in captivity will be renewed or issued until both
National Parks and ZNSPCA have inspected the facilities.

This has become a major animal welfare issue in Africa with a great deal of
debate regarding the cruelty involved in the capture and 'training' of wild
elephants.  The Society is unequivocal - the expression 'domesticated
elephant' is a misnomer - in the wild or in captivity, they are still wild

We will continue with all of our efforts to stop this practise which is
driven by the tourist demand for elephant back rides.  Far better that
visitors support and promote facilities where they can enjoy a truly wild
experience by sharing the elephant's natural habitat and view their
fascinating natural behaviour and the close social interaction of a 'family'
of elephants that bond for life and care for one and other as much as any
human family.

Since their capture by Shearwater, a further elephant has died and the
Zimbabwe Conservation Task Force has reported on the increased level of
aggression being displayed by the elephants in Hwange who are now obviously
afraid of humans.

We are sending out a separate update with this report on the current
situation with the Shearwater elephants.

Apart from this instance, which highlighted the conditions of elephants in
captivity, ZNSPCA Inspectors have inspected the other 61 elephants around
the country that are held in captivity and great strides have been made in
improving conditions, with most owners co-operating fully with the Society
and taking all steps necessary to provide a stress-free existence for their

Whilst the Inspectors were in Victoria Falls to investigate the elephant
capture, they took the time to also check all horses and stabling facilities
being used for the tourism industry.

Four horses were attended to that had been abandoned at Brondsbury Park.
They have since been adopted by the new owners of the hotel and are
recovering well.

The ZNSPCA Inspectors also responded to a report of horses being neglected
at Park Acres Farm which had been 'resettled' and the horses left behind by
the farmer.  The new occupants expressed every willingness to take proper
care of the horses and requested education on how to care for them.  This
has been done and the horses are being monitored and are now in much better
condition.  Such are the strange conditions in our country.  We must ignore
the politics and remain focused on the best interests of the animals.

Chief Inspector Glynis Vaughan has reported on some of the other cases
attended to by the team and the great work they are doing in the rural

A horse owner in the Vumba is being prosecuted for cruelty - one horse had
to be euthanased; and the owner of a lion at Halfway House is also being
prosecuted for neglect.

Following numerous visits by ZNSPCA Inspectors to Snake World on the
Harare/Norton road, the final being on 5 September 2006, it was agreed by
the Inspectorate to confiscate most of the population of reptiles as they
required specialised care and treatment.*

On 14 September 2006, accompanied by respected herpetologist, Ben Vermeulen,
the ZNSPCA proceeded to Snake World to examine the reptiles.

The cages and holding pens were found to be inadequate for the respective
needs of each species as there was no heating in the cages and most of the
snakes were trying to stay as close as possible to the roof for warmth.  All
enclosures were dirty and all water containers full of algae and other
debris.  Behind the cages the Inspectors found the dead bodies and remains
of snakes, frogs and lizards that had just been discarded on the ground.

On closer observation they found sick snakes - one African Rock Python had
to be euthanased because of  severe mouth injuries and infection.  No
reptiles were receiving veterinary treatment.  All reptiles were
malnourished and Mr. Vermeulen demonstrated how loose and puckered their
skin was due to hunger.

Four rare Gaboon Vipers had grossly enlarged infected glands in the ventral
area.  Three Egyptian cobras had sustained broken jaws from striking the
glass.  With the adept assistance of Mr. Vermeulen, ZNSPCA confiscated the
following animals :

24 snakes (including 5 African Rock Pythons), 11 Tortoises, 6 Chameleons and
3 Rabbits.  All the animals were easy to handle as they had become lethargic
and weak from cold and hunger.

We had advised National Parks but they were unable to accompany the ZNSPCA
as they did not have personnel available.  We advised National Parks which
animals had been confiscated and handed them the desiccated snake skins
(including one Python) which had been found on the premises.  They
authorised government wildlife veterinarian, Dr. Foggin, to treat the snakes
and Mr. Vermeulen was given permission to release the ones that were well
enough to be returned to the wild.

On the advice of the National Parks, we wrote a letter to the Director
General of Parks requesting that he revoke the owner's wildlife permit.  The
owner is Mr. Graham Bristow who is also being prosecuted for cruelty.

We are monitoring Snake World closely and hope that the case will proceed to
court without delay.

Mr. Bristow also owns the Lion and Cheetah Park and we are monitoring the
movement of all animals.

A 'supplier' was caught capturing Gaboon Vipers at Aberfoyle Estates in
Honde Valley without a permit and National Parks are investigating the
intended destination of the snakes.

A farm rescue was carried out in the Kwekwe area where a dog and horses had
been left with the new occupants on Dunlop Farm.  The dog was uplifted to
Kwekwe SPCA..  A tame eland which had also been left by the farmer died of

The Avian Flu Task Force are pleased that ZNSPCA has been conducting
educational tours around the country.  As yet we are the only member of the
task force that is educating the public.*

These trips have given Inspectors the opportunity to meet with local Chiefs
and village elders who are anxious for us to increase our visits and expand
our activities to the more remote areas.  It has also afforded Inspectors
the opportunity to address certain cultural practices which involve cruelty
such as the placing of a live rooster into the grave of a deceased Chief.
This practice appears to be restricted to the Mutare area.

Recently the Inspectorate have been investigating fresh reports of dog
fighting in Harare.  They are working with members of the public and
following up on various leads.  They also had to deal with allegations of a
Chinese restaurant slaughtering dogs.  Undercover investigations revealed
that this information was incorrect, but we are monitoring the property at
regular intervals.  Harare City Health Department has also confirmed that
they not find any remains of dogs in the freezer, as had been reported.

The capture of several indigenous and endangered African Rock Pythons is
also under investigation as they are classified as specially protected in
Zimbabwe and may not be captured or hunted.

The Inspectorate have also commenced the checking of all Abattoirs in
Zimbabwe.  Several have already been found not to be pre-stunning, coupled
with other cruel practices.  Slaughter has been suspended at several
Abattoirs with warning letters being issued and prosecutions initiated in
the two worst cases.

A pig farmer in Gokwe is being prosecuted with over 400 counts of cruelty
and he will be appearing in court next month.

The owner of Sodbury Farm admitted to 60 counts of cruelty following the
death of 60 cattle that died of starvation in Nyabira.

The Inspectors continue to check all working dogs at Security Firms, with
several new firms having started up as crime levels continue to escalate.*

Despite fuel shortages, the teams are still managing to spend time on the
Donkey Outreach Program.  The use of yokes remains the biggest problem with
over 100 yokes being confiscated on a single trip to the Masvingo/Chiredzi
area, whereas on the Vic Falls Road which is regularly patrolled by
Inspectors (also being the road to Hwange) all donkeys are now harnessed and
in much better condition.  The teams are concerned as the dry winter months
approach that there will be insufficient grazing for donkeys and livestock
until the next rainy season in November.*

Despite the most dire and challenging of circumstances that continue to
prevail in Zimbabwe and the ever increasing demands placed on our
Inspectors, we continue to make progress. Due to our entirely apolitical
stance, concerning ourselves only with our service to animals, whatever the
circumstances, our presence and activities are respected and accepted by all
parties.  We are most pleased to report that the Minister of Education,
Sport and Culture has approved the introduction of animal welfare into the
Grade 3 to 7 curriculum in all schools and the Chief Education Officer
(Director) Curriculum Development Unit has been tasked with weaving our
educational material into the new syllabus which is currently being drafted.
To quote Minister Chigwedere "There is no doubt that our community needs
something bordering on a campaign on the care for animals, both domestic and

We have just received the following Inspectorate report for March from

The three trucks that were on the road during March covered a distance
between them of 12, 519kms using 1,057 litres of fuel.

Cases of interest were the closing down of another Reptile Park at Haka Game
Park, again with the ever-willing assistance of Ben Vermeulen.  Three
crocodiles, 2 tortoises, 1 terrapin, 1 water monitor and 8 snakes were
confiscated.  Two of the snakes had to be euthanased to prevent further
suffering.  The owner is being prosecuted.  National Parks assisted with the
confiscation and most of the reptiles have been treated and successfully
released back into the wild, with a few still receiving treatment.*

Lion and Cheetah Park, owned by Mr. Bristow (who is being prosecuted for
cruelty to the reptiles confiscated from Snake World), ran out of food this
month.  ZNSPCA provided 50kgs of meat on the day we arrived.  We appealed to
the public and managed to secure food for a further week.  The situation has
since improved but the fact remains that there are too many lions at the
facility and the uncontrolled breeding is compounding the problem.  They
have 43 lions with two of the females being pregnant.  The manager of the
facility is selling 25 lions to Antelope Park and Mr Sparrow's facility in
Masvingo.  Both of these facilities also breed lions.  ZNSPCA is addressing
the problem of uncontrolled breeding with National Parks and there has been
a verbal agreement that within a year, there will be proper controls in
place to strictly limit the number of lions bred in captivity.  ZNSPCA is
accompanying Parks to all the facilities in order to obtain accurate
statistics on the captive lion population in the country.  We remain deeply
concerned by the potential for lucrative canned hunts.

Numerous pig farms have started up around Harare and ZNSPCA has inspected 8
of these, finding many problems that were causing cruelty to the animals.
The new farmers are being educated by the Inspectors and we will regularly
check these facilities to ensure that the improvements are adhered to.

Six security companies in Harare CBD were checked, as Harare SPCA cannot
currently cope with the demand for their services.  Dogs were confiscated
from two companies due to cruelty.  We will continue to monitor Harare
companies in order to stamp out the cruelty in this area.

Besides these cases, 182 donkeys were treated, 11 goats and 32 chickens were
confiscated from the top of buses, 76 rural dogs were dewormed and dipped
and 38 oxen checked and treated.  Educating the public takes place every day
and we always stop at rural schools during our outreach work to talk to the

During the month another 4 wildlife facilities were checked and the animals
and conditions were found to be good, with a few minor changes recommended.
National Parks is working closely with ZNSPCA and will now only issue
permits if ZNSPCA approves of the facility.  Although we remain opposed to
the keeping of wildlife in captivity, this is a big step forward for animal
welfare in Zimbabwe.

The National Inspectors are now finding travelling easier with our new
camping equipment.  A kind member of the public, Mrs. Fiona Saunders donated
gas for our three camp cookers.  The three trucks are running well with our
main appeal being for a new battery for the Mazda B1600 and new tyres for
the Nissan 2.7.

We commend our Inspectors Glynis, Simon and Matthias and trainees Marko,
Ronald, Mac, Partmore, Levison and Oliver for their untiring efforts over
difficult and tiring terrain to get to all the animals in need of our
services and protection.

Before ending off we must once again thank all of our kind and caring
supporters from around the world who are so understanding and sensitive to
the difficulties we face in Zimbabwe, and in particular our South African
neighbours, the NSPCA and their member societies who continue to lend
material and financial support as well as manpower and expertise whenever
needed.  We would certainly still not be here without your unwavering

Thank you all

Bernice Robertson Dyer

National Chairman


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Tiseke Kasambala on BTH

This week Lance Guma speaks to Tiseke Kasambala, a researcher with New York
based Human Rights Watch. She authored the report: 'Bashing Dissent:
Escalating Violence and State Repression in Zimbabwe.' Lance speaks to her
about this report and the call by Human Rights Watch urging South African
President Thabo Mbeki to condemn state-sponsored violence in Zimbabwe.

For programme schedules visit:

Programmes are available for two weeks on our archives even after broadcast.

Lance Guma
SW Radio Africa

SW Radio Africa - the independent voice of Zimbabwe - is back on multiple

Between 7pm - 9pm  (Zim time) on shortwave every day and online 24 hours a
day at

In the 25m band , 11775 kHz , 11810 kHz , 12035 kHz
In the 60m band ,  4880 kHz

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Faith alone is not enough

03 May 2007 17:06:07 GMT
Source: IRIN

 BULAWAYO, 3 May 2007 (IRIN) - A church-led mediation effort aimed at a
negotiated solution to Zimbabwe's political crisis has been shaken by
government claims that the clergy support the opposition, and that the
interdenominational initiative has its own internal rifts.

A coalition of churches, under the banner of the Save Zimbabwe Campaign
(SZC), has been attempting to bring President Robert Mugabe's ruling
Zimbabwe African National Union Patriotic Front (ZANU-PF) party and the
opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) to the negotiating table, to
bury their differences and solve the country's deepening political and
economic crises.

SZC made a cocktail of proposals, including constitutional and electoral
reforms, ahead of next year's elections, but government recently condemned
the church leadership as opposition activists pushing a regime-change agenda
in the country.

"When the church movement started last year with the production of a
document, entitled 'The Zimbabwe We Want', which was embraced by President
Mugabe, we thought an end to the crisis had come," said Luke Sibanda, a
social commentator.

"But, due to infiltration by the ruling party, the movement has weakened ...
recent statements by government condemning church leaders as puppets mean
Mugabe has closed the door on them," he alleged.

Information minister Sikhanyiso Ndlovu told IRIN they had ample evidence
that the ongoing prayer meetings organised by the SZC were an initiative to
mount an anti-government crusade, with the intention of stirring a

With inflation at 2,200 percent, many poverty-stricken Zimbabweans have
sought refuge in religion and, according to observers, churches wield
considerable influence.

The SZC is led by influential church leaders, such as the outspoken Roman
Catholic Archbishop Pius Ncube and Raymond Motsi of the Presbyterian Church.

Ncube, a critic of the government, said a sense of mistrust had resulted in
a campaign against the church movement. In some instances, he claimed, state
security agents had been deployed in churches to spy on preachers.

The church campaign for reforms, which started two years ago, presented 'The
Zimbabwe We Want' to the government last year. But internal differences have
torn it apart: the Roman Catholic churches have been critical of the
crackdown on pro-democracy activists, while Anglican Churches have remained
resolutely behind the ruling party.

Catholic bishops recently distributed a pastoral letter, entitled 'God Hears
the Cry of the Oppressed', urging Mugabe to step down. But their Anglican
counterparts issued their own pastoral letter supporting Mugabe, and called
on the United States and the European Union to lift sanctions, which they
said hurt the poor.

Although there has been discord among church leaders over engaging with
Mugabe, Ncube said prayer remained an integral part of the efforts being
made to resolve the Zimbabwean crisis.

"The whole campaign against churches started when we organised a prayer
meeting in Harare [in March], which was set to be attended by many
peace-loving Zimbabweans, including political leaders. But because
government has become alarmingly paranoid, it responded quickly and beat up
a lot of people, including [Morgan] Tsvangirai himself [leader of one
faction of opposition Movement for Democratic Change]," he said.

"What we are doing, as a church countrywide, is to pray for the nation,
which has slid into a pathetic abyss. We even invite ZANU-PF leaders to
attend and pray with us, but they refuse."

Ordinary Zimbabweans have been supportive of the churches' efforts to
resolve the crisis. "It only needs courageous clergymen to sit down with the
ruling party and the opposition to discuss pertinent issues," said
churchgoer Tholakele Sibanda. "The suspicion between government and the
church is not necessary at all."

Church leaders seen to be critical of government have either been briefly
detained or threatened in the past few weeks.

SZC works with several political parties, civic groups and labour unions. It
also has support from churches in South Africa and Malawi. At a recent
prayer session in Bulawayo, Zimbabwe's second city, church leaders from the
two countries said they supported the movement's initiative.

Churchgoers remain hopeful. "Even in apartheid South Africa, church leaders
were influential in bringing about change, and I think the same is
appropriate in Zimbabwe," said Sibanda. "Each time I go to church I pray
that God ends the crisis that we are going through without any blood being

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Downer discourages Zimbabwe tour

By Nicolette Burke

May 04, 2007 12:00

FOREIGN Affairs Minister Alexander Downer will set up a meeting with top
cricket officials in the next week to discourage them from the planned tour
of Zimbabwe later this year.

Pressure has been put on the Australian team to cancel the Zimbabwean tour
in protest against the treatment of citizens under dictatorial President
Robert Mugabe.

The Australian team is required to tour the country under its agreement with
the International Cricket Council - and could face a fine of $2.4 million if
it does not attend.

Cricket Australia said it would not address the question of touring Zimbabwe
until the completion of the World Cup.

World Cup side member Stuart MacGill - who boycotted the last tour of
Zimbabwe three years ago - said this week he wanted his team-mates to look
more closely at the political situation when making up their minds.

"It's naive to think that sport and politics don't mix," MacGill said. "You
have a bigger part to play in the world community than just on the sporting

A spokesman for Mr Downer confirmed yesterday the Minister would be in
contact with Cricket Australia next week, after members of the Australian
team had finished celebrating their World Cup win.

"He'll be contacting Cricket Australia in the next week to set up a
meeting," the spokesman said.

The 83-year-old Mr Mugabe, who has been in power since Zimbabwe's
independence in 1980, faces an economic crisis, with inflation at almost
1800 per cent and 80 per cent of people unemployed.

Once the foodbowl of Africa, the nation is now on the brink of collapse,
with widespread famine and the lowest life expectancy in the world at 36

Under the international cricketing agreement, Australia is required to tour
Zimbabwe, and only a natural disaster, or significant threat to security,
are acceptable reasons for pulling out.

Failure to comply would result in $US2 million in damages paid to the
governing body of cricket in country.

In this case, the fine would be paid directly in to the coffers of Mr
Mugabe, who chairs the Zimbabwe Cricket Union and acts as an informal
selector, refusing to allow his opponents to play on the team.

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The situation in Zimbabwe is awful

Stabroek News, Guyana

      Thursday, May 3rd 2007
  Dear Editor,

      I've appreciated Vishnu Bisram's assessment and update on Zimbabwe in
his letter captioned "Mugabe is using brutal means to keep himself in power"

      I also support him strongly in calling for the Government of Guyana to
join international forces to put pressure on Mugabe so as to restore
democracy in that country.

      My friends from Zimbabwe here in India are moaning and groaning about
the appalling political, economic and social situation in Zimbabwe, aptly
described by Mr. Bisram. They are desperate for change, and ask that
international pressure be applied to Mugabe. I related to them that I could
empathise, as I had experienced similar horrors in my country.

      President Bharrat Jagdeo should do whatever he can to help alleviate
the situation in that once progressive nation, and bring urgent relief to
the people.

      It is a desperate situation which the world should not ignore. Mr.
Jagdeo needs to do his part, and do it soon.

      Yours faithfully,

      Devanand Bhagwan

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Seriously Consider Fuel Levy Proposal

The Herald (Harare)

May 3, 2007
Posted to the web May 3, 2007


ZIMBABWE'S appalling road toll leaves more than 3 000 people a year dead,
often with dependents needing help, plus many thousand more injured and

Besides these permanent casualties, there are many more who have to be raced
in ambulances to hospitals, given first class care and eventually

The hospitals do this, but often they cannot be paid because the injured
person is near destitute and has no medical aid.

Insurance payouts are supposed to take care of much of the financial burden,
but inflation has eroded what were already quite modest figures on the
minimum insurance plans.

More needs to be done, more money is needed to rescue accident victims and
to treat them, and more money is needed to help families who have lost a
breadwinner get back on their feet.

Harare Central Hospital clinical director Dr George Vera suggested at the
first United Nations Global Road Safety workshop in Harare recently that a
modest levy on fuel could provide the needed funds.

He is on safe ground here. Other countries impose such levies, which have a
degree of fairness. The faster you drive, and the more often you drive, the
more fuel you use and the more likely you will cause an accident or be the
victim of an accident.

Dr Vera not only wants to use the money to revamp his casualty department,
which receives more than its fair share of accident injured, and the similar
departments in other hospitals, but he also wants some of the money going on

We agree.

One reason for Zimbabwe's startling high death toll, similar to that of
several major European countries, despite the smaller population and far
smaller vehicle fleet, is the continued instance by many drivers to speed
dangerously and to drive after drinking alcohol.

Simply giving police at roadblocks cheap breathalyser kits would, if other
countries' experience is anything to go by, cut the death toll by two

Hammering speeding would take care of a good chunk of the rest.

So while fixing up rescue and casualty services is a priority, cutting
significantly the numbers needing such services would also have a serious
cost benefit, as well as averting much suffering.

Only a small percentage of accidents and road deaths are caused by bad roads
or badly maintained vehicles. It is in fact bad driving on good roads that
is so lethal.

On a bad road even the most dangerous driver must slow right down, and old
badly-maintained vehicles tend to come to stop, rather than crash.

Hitting speed, alcohol use when driving and jumping red lights and give way
signs will cut road accidents dramatically. And to do this simply requires a
few hundred thousand breathalyser tubes, a few score modern speed cameras,
and remote controlled cameras at traffic lights and stop signs.

That costs money but if half the income from Dr Vera's proposed levy went on
prevention and half on maximising the chances of an accident victim
surviving, Zimbabwe's death toll and disability toll could both be
dramatically reduced.

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Kadoma Awaits Delivery of Water Pumps From SA

The Herald (Harare)

May 3, 2007
Posted to the web May 3, 2007


KADOMA is waiting desperately for two new pumps ordered from South Africa
and paid for through a special levy.

The city is pumping water at below capacity owing to obsolete pumps that
constantly break down. This has resulted in intermittent water cuts.

In an interview yesterday, Kadoma mayor Cde Fani Phiri said the council was
waiting for the delivery of two pumps purchased from South Africa at a cost
of 500 000 rand.

"We expected to have received the pumps by now but there are some logistical
problems that have to be sorted out. We are, however, expecting to get the
pumps delivered soon," he said.

Cde Phiri conceded that the council was unable to meet demand for water at
the moment owing to the ageing pumps with a capacity of about 60 000
megalitres of water against demand of 80 000 megalitres.

He said the shipment of the pumps had been done but there were still some
outstanding clearance procedures to be done in Harare.

Rimuka, areas around Kadoma General Hospital, Westview, Queen Mary Private
Hospital and parts of the central business district have been the worst hit
by the water shortages.

Cde Phiri said the situation was being worsened by intermittent power cuts.

Kadoma Municipality introduced a special water levy for residents and
commercial property owners to raise money to purchase the pumps.

The city has been facing perennial water shortages and has had to rely on a
Harare company that has the expertise to service and repair the old model
pumps which were installed in the 1970s.

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JAG Job Opportunities dated 3 May 2007

Please send any job opportunities for publication in this newsletter to: JAG
Job Opportunities; or

(Ad inserted 26 April 2007)

Contracts in the DRC

Wanted: for  six month renewable contracts in the DRC, three Zimbabwean farm
managers.  One with experience in orchard and plantation crops especially
citrus and bananas, the second with experience in row cropping: potatoes,
maize/soya, wheat and barley and the third with experience in dairy
production.  Formal agricultural qualifications an advantage but not a

Fluency in Swahili preferable but not essential.

Contact: 011610073.


(Ad inserted 26 April 2007)


We have a vacancy for a mature/semi retired man to join our team.  The
position would be as workshop manager to be in charge of maintenance and
repairs of all farm equipment.  Accomodation and competitive package offered
for the right person. Situated 30km from Beit Bridge (Zim)
Please send CV/References to or


(Ad inserted 26 April 2007)


We are looking for a business partner in Bulawayo or Gweru or Masvingo to go
into a 50/50 venture to offer instant passport and visa photographs. We will
provide all equipment and training. The equipment comprises 1 compact
digital camera and 1 printer (the size of a supermarket till). The partner
will need to have a shop outlet close to the CBD and be able to devote a few
square metres of floor space to the passport/visa photography. The partner
will operate the venture and share all costs and profits on a 50/50 basis.
No photographic experience is required. The net profit to each party should
be in the region of USD 600 (equivalent) per month. Please reply to giving details of your location and any other
relevant information.


(Ad inserted 26 April 2007)

Management Couple / Professional Guide

Management couple/professional guide needed to run small, exclusive, safari
camp in Kariba/Matusadona as soon as possible.  Salary and benefits
negotiable depending on experience and qualifications - please contact one
of the following:
Steve -  Phone 013 43358    011 207 307
Wendy -  0912 307 875
Belinda - email:  phone:  (04) 301494/301496 or 011 603


(Ad inserted 26 April 2007)

Transport Manager

To co-ordinate all aspects of transport for cane haulers, mechanical
background is a pre-requisite

Please contact Rob Buchanan, E-Mail -
Cell 082-3371290, Tel 033-3431106


(Ad inserted 26 April 2007)

Manager for Sawmill

We are a large furniture manufacturing company (J.W.Wilson Int (Pvt) Ltd).
Based in Harare. We are currently looking for a manager for our sawmill in
Matabeleland, which supplies our Norton factory with teak.

The position entails travel to the mill in the Thlotsho area spending 2
nights, 3 days, a week at the mill attending to the management of the mill.
We feel that the job would suit a person with a farming background.

Should you need any further details please contact me at
of phone on cell 0912231 511 or Harare 620131.


(Ad inserted 26 April 2007)


A leading Independent School in Zambia requires a teacher of Computer
Studies for September 2007. Experience in a CHISZ school in Zimbabwe or an
Independent School in South Africa is essential. A good US dollar salary is
offered along with accommodation and other benefits which include medical
There is a possibility of other vacancies at both primary and secondary
arising in the future and interested teachers with appropriate experience
should register there interest.
A brief resume should be emailed to


(Ad inserted 26 April 2007)


Looking for an honest hard worker in Harare to work in the house as well as
in the garden. We would prefer a mature male who has experience.

Please if there is anyone out there who is leaving or knows of someone
please contact me on 011207583 or 0912308410.


(Ad inserted 26 April 2007)


Busy office in Avondale requires a full day lady to take care of
correspondence and general office duties.    Email/computer knowledge an
asset but we can teach you what you need to know.   Pleasant working
environment - to start as early as possible.

Please contact -


(Ad inserted 26 April 2007)

Employment Offered

I am a South African farmer who needs employers for the following vacancies:

1: A person with mechanical knowledge who can do welding and am able to work
with steel as well.  He must be reliable, able to attend to my vehicles and
help with general work on the farm and with the cattle

2. A reliable chef, housekeeper. He/she must have experience in western

I would like to see references which can be e-mailed to the following E-mail


(Ad inserted 3 May 2007)


Looking for a retired Christian couple - will suite ex-farming couple - to
be caretakers of a dairy enterprise.  70kms from Harare.  Accommodation on
farm.  Package to be discussed.  Please email CV and contact details to




(Ad inserted 26 April 2007)


Available to oversee construction operations and alterations/modifications,
assess and monitor quality control; submission of appraisals for repairs and
maintenance undertakings, and other associated tasks.

For further information please reply to the following contact.


(Ad inserted 26 April 2007)


I am an active, multi-skilled retiree seeking a fresh challenge. I have
extensive and long-standing knowledge of the Agrichem and Veterinary
supplies industries with over twenty years experience in management and
research. I am computer competent, multi-lingual, and have good
communications skills with all segments of Zimbabwean society. I will
consider full or part time engagement in any field.
Please contact me on 885236, on cell 0912 535737 or e mail at:


(Ad inserted 26 April 2007)

Employment Sought

A husband & wife team looking for employment with accommodation in Harare.
They both come highly recommended; he in the garden and she with housework,
cooking and child minding.  They have 4 children, 3 of whom are school
going.  Current employer does not allow the family on the property so he
spends his entire earnings on visiting them every 6 weeks in the Eastern
districts.  Please phone Julie on 011 605 083 or evenings only on 744156;

For the latest listings of accommodation available for farmers, contact (updated 3 May 2007)

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