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Sibanda Did Not Call For An Ndebele State

Sent: Friday, November 11, 2005 2:40 PM
Subject: Re: MDC Statement

8th November 2005

An article in the Daily Mirror on 8 November, claimed that MDC Vice President, Gibson Sibanda, when speaking at a campaign rally last week, had called for the establishment of an Ndebele state.

Not only is this allegation untrue it also appears to be a deliberate attempt by the newspaper to fan ethnic tensions within the MDC and the country as a whole.

At the rally in question, Sibanda, rather than calling for a new independent state was urging the people of Matabeleland to turn out and vote in the senate elections in order to prevent ZanuPF from regaining a foothold in the region.  Not only did the reporter from the Mirror fail to interpret such comments in their proper context he also deliverately misquoted Sibanda's remarks.

Zimbabwe is still recovering from the brutal Gukarahundi period.  The wounds run deep but it is essential that, as Zimbabweans, we move forward together and build a country that is united and not paralysed by ethnic divisions.  

Zimbabweans do not want political leaders who play the ethnic card to advance a political agenda.   Propaganda of this game will take Zimbabwe down a path where chaos, suffering and misery will be the order of the day.

We urge the media to refrain from playing into the hands of those pursuing ethnic agendas and to accurately report comments made by political leaders.  Let all of us not forget the basic truth:  we are all Zimbabweans, irrespective of our ethnic origins, and we should be proud of being Zimbabwean.

It is time we transcended parochial agendas and looked at the bigger picture - how to restore Zimbabwe's fortunes as a nation and how to end the suffering in all corners of the country.

Paul Tyhemba Nyathi
MDC Secretary for Information and Publicity

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Women Fight State Brutality in Streets of Zimbabwe

      Run Date: 11/10/05
      By Nicole Itano
      WeNews correspondent
      Zimbabwe's government has used state-sponsored brutality to quash
dissent, and women on the front lines of protest are paying a heavy personal
price. Sixth in a series on emerging female leaders in Africa.

      HARARE, Zimbabwe (WOMENSENEWS)--In an unlit park in central Harare on
the night of Zimbabwe's March parliamentary elections, more than a hundred
women gathered to sing and pray for peace.

      In this increasingly authoritarian southern African nation even public
prayer is deemed a threat to public security.

      Several dozen police brandishing batons quickly arrived in tan Land
Cruisers and pushed the women into the cars. By the end of the evening 300
women, most ordinary mothers and grandmothers struggling to feed hungry
families, were in jail and at least nine had been beaten so badly they
required hospitalization.

      Among the first to be dragged away was Jenni Williams, a plump,
pale-skinned woman who helped to found Women of Zimbabwe Arise, one of the
few organizations here that has been consistently willing to take to the
streets in protest of their country's destruction.

      "The impetus really was that women were bearing the brunt of the
instability in Zimbabwe and as the people who were suffering most, they
should have been speaking out more and holding the regime accountable," said
Williams, who has been arrested 18 times, mostly in Women of Zimbabwe
Arise-related protests. "We call it tough love because we love our country
enough to sacrifice being arrested and beaten."

      Inspired by the methods of the U.S. civil rights movement,
anti-apartheid protests in South Africa and the nonviolent resistance of
Mahatma Gandhi, the women have prayed, marched and passed out Valentine's
Day roses affixed with messages of peace. They say they take courage from an
anti-apartheid slogan, "Strike a woman, strike a rock." When confronted by
police, they quietly obey, hoping their silent bravery will shame the
authorities for mistreating women who could be their mothers, daughters and

      A Dramatic Transformation
      Williams first rose to public prominence more than five years ago when
Zimbabwe's government began seizing white-owned farms to redistribute to
landless blacks as the spokesperson for the largely white Commercial Farmers
Union of Zimbabwe. She has undergone a dramatic transformation in recent

      From the public face of an organization seen to represent the views of
Zimbabwe's wealthy and insular white farmers, Williams has since become a
street activist and revolutionary in an organization of mostly poor, black
women. She began working for the white farmers when they hired her public
relations firm, but her work for Women of Zimbabwe Arise is personal. As
many white Zimbabweans left the country she decided, she said, to stay and
fight. At Women of Zimbabwe Arise protests she is often the only
light-skinned face in the crowd. She is quick to point out, though, that
despite her pale skin and an English name she is of mixed white and Ndebele

      Williams said that Zimbabwe was her country and that she would fight
to keep it safe. But her activism has taken personal sacrifice. Her husband
and two sons have left the country for safety reasons, although she hopes
the situation will soon stabilize enough that they can return.

      "I have requested a three-year leave from being a wife and mother,"
she said. It's been difficult, but her family has been supportive. "They
really do understand that we're trying to make Zimbabwe livable again."

      After five years of political violence and oppression, most
Zimbabweans are terrified to speak out against the government despite a
rapidly deteriorating economy and devastating urban cleanup campaign called
"Operation Murambatsvina" or "clean up trash" that began shortly after the
elections and has left an estimated 700,000 homeless and tens of thousands
of children out of school. Robert Mugabe, the country's president, has led
Zimbabwe since independence in 1980 and continues to hold fast to power.

      Fighting Through the Courts
      Williams and other civil society leaders have been disappointed with
the opposition Movement for Democratic Change's unwillingness to call for
mass action. The party has now lost three elections under conditions
condemned by the international community, but has chosen to fight through
the courts rather than on the streets.

      The political climate in Zimbabwe makes any kind of protest extremely
difficult. A series of new laws--like the Public Order and Security Act,
under which the women were arrested--restrict public gatherings and make
criticism of the president and security authorities illegal. The independent
press has been stifled and a state-sponsored campaign of violence against
government critics and opposition supporters has created a climate of fear.

      While both government supporters and critics are in theory subject to
the act, in practice the law has been selectively enforced to prohibit any
public expression of dissent. Usually it is simply used as an excuse to shut
down protests and meetings of dissidents.

      Arnold Tsunga, head of the Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights, which
represents Women of Zimbabwe Arise members in court, said that in 2003 and
2004 there were at least 2,000 arrests under the act and related laws. Not a
single person, he said, has ever been successfully prosecuted under the law.
On the night of the election, for example, Women of Zimbabwe Arise members
were eventually released after being charged with obstructing traffic,
although they were in a park with no roads.

      The Brutality of Zimbabwe
      Thabita Khumalo is a less visible face of Zimbabwe's protest movement,
but she too has experienced the brutality of Zimbabwe's regime first hand in
retaliation for speaking out against its excesses.

      One Saturday in July, the small, dark-skinned woman was about to open
a meeting of female trade unionists at a Harare hotel when a group of
outsiders stormed the room and began to beat the participants. A man smashed
his fist into Khulamo's face, breaking several teeth and giving her a black
eye. But the labor activist refused to run away or scream for help.

      "I wanted to assure them, we have to be brave," she said. "If I ran
away as a leader then it means that I would have destroyed all the work we
had done in recent years to encourage them."

      Like Williams, Khulamo has been arrested multiple times for political
protest. She has also been beaten, her children harassed and intimidated.
Once she was kidnapped by government supporters. She recognized her captors,
but was told by the police it was a political affair and they could do
nothing about it.

      Still, Khumalo is determined to fight.

      "This is the only country I know. I was born in this country. I want
my kids to have a better life here," she said.

      Khumalo fears how her activism is affecting her children, a
22-year-old daughter and 18-year-old adopted son, who accuse her of ruining
their lives. "I want them to victimize me, not my kids. I am fighting for
them, but this is not what they choose."

      Unlike Williams, she cannot afford to send her children abroad, but
her dearest wish is to see them safely outside of Zimbabwe so she can carry
on the struggle without fear for their safety.

      "We women are very brave. But they underestimate their power. Women
don't realize that they are very powerful," she mused. "The day they realize
their power they will change this country."

      Nicole Itano, a frequent contributor to Women's eNews, is a
Johannesburg-based reporter who has covered Zimbabwe since 2001 for Women's
eNews and other publications such as The Christian Science Monitor, the
Associated Press and Newsday.

      Women's eNews welcomes your comments. E-mail us at

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JAG Open Letters Forum No. 395


Please send any material for publication in the Open Letter Forum to with "For Open Letter Forum" in the subject line.


Letter 1:

Hello Jag,

I am trying to contact an old friend called Glen Houghton. Glen and his
family had been farming in Zimbabwe for a couple of generations I think
near Bulawayo. Glen came down to SWA in about 1976 after being shot up. He
ran the farm at the DeBeers mine at Oranjemund which is where we met.

I believe he returned to Zim in the early eighties and is still farming
there. I have come across his trail a couple of times on websites like "Old
Hararians" but have never managed to establish contact.

He was a great big larger than life individual and I would very much like
to re establish contact with him.

Any help you can give me would be much appreciated.

Kind regards

Tim Elster (UK)


Letter 2:

Dear JAG

Do you have any information regarding Dup and Hennelie Muller and their son
F. C. from the Rusape district....have they been evicted from their farms
and if so do you have contact details for them?

Mary Willcock


Letter 3:

Dear JAG

Mukuvisi Woodlands have had a bush fire and cannot feed the animals. Please
donate hay or veggies urgently to keep the animals alive. Geraldine

All letters published on the open Letter Forum are the views and opinions
of the submitters, and do not represent the official viewpoint of Justice
for Agriculture.

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Zimbabwe team to walk unless chairman quits

The Telegraph

By Peta Thornycroft in Harare
(Filed: 11/11/2005)

Zimbabwe's cricketers, including national captain Tatenda Taibu, have said
they will not turn out for their country again unless Zimbabwe Cricket (ZC)
chairman Peter Chingoka and managing director Ozias Bvute quit.

The players, and the six provinces, secretly arranged a press conference
yesterday - a day after the dispirited team returned from their tour of

They all signed a statement, which is a set of demands including player
safety after violence at a provincial game last month, their lack of
contracts and concern that Phil Simmons, the national coach, had been

The players said: "In coming forward in this way we realise we risk our
careers, especially as ZC has shown in the past they will not hesitate to
bully players. But we have no choice but to speak out."

A letter from the provinces was delivered to Chingoka calling on him to
resign and for Bvute to be suspended "pending a forensic audit on the
business and financial affairs of ZC before there is a total collapse".

Taibu, the captain, said: "We are prepared to down tools. There has been too
much interference in the game. This is not about race - we are getting
behind the provincial stakeholders."

Cricket in Zimbabwe has been in constant crisis since Heath Streak, the
former captain, was sacked in 2004, while more than 30 top players have
since left the game.

For more than a year, Chingoka played the race card accusing some white
cricketers of being a "third force" determined to destroy the sport.

But Taibu reiterated yesterday that the crisis has nothing to do with race:
"It is about the administrators - they have two players on contract and 75
people employed in administration."

Simmons, the former Trinidad and Tobago batsman who was sacked last month,
said: "Until those two go, cricket in Zimbabwe will not recover. If they
remain, cricket will die."

He said he had been informed by the department of immigration that he would
not be deported from Zimbabwe and was now trying to get his contract, valid
until 2007, reinstated.

ZC was awash with money last year from international match revenues, support
from the International Cricket Council and a penalty payment by the English
Cricket Board after it cancelled a fixture in Zimbabwe. Now its balance
sheet shows it is in debt.

Chingoka's position as chairman does not come with a salary, but the
provinces allege he is paying himself "a huge salary".

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Dysentery outbreak hits city

The Herald

Herald Reporters
HARARE and Chitungwiza have been hit by an outbreak of dysentery with over
200 cases reported in Mbare and at three residential blocks in Chitungwiza
in the last few weeks.

Chitungwiza is already enforcing a strict quarantine of its patients as part
of efforts to prevent further spread.

Disputes have arisen over the source, with the extreme localisation of the
outbreaks suggesting specific sources while municipal officials are laying
the blame on the Zimbabwe National Water Authority (Zinwa) even though the
outbreaks have not spread or become citywide.

Polluted open water is thought by health officials to the most likely source
of the outbreak. The sewerage system in Chitungwiza has been a cause of
concern with streams of human waste flowing in the town since the beginning
of this year.

Chitungwiza General Hospital chief executive officer and renal specialist Dr
Obadiah Moyo yesterday confirmed that the hospital was under pressure from
an increased number of diarrhoeal patients who have been flocking there for

"We have so far dealt with 43 cases from Chitungwiza alone in the last two
months. In all cases the investigations we conducted showed we were dealing
with dysentery," Dr Moyo said.

All patients diagnosed with dysentery had been quarantined and were
receiving treatment to make them regain strength following acute

"Sometimes after making follow-ups to where our patients stay we have come
across other cases either at the home of that particular patient or at a
neighbour's house.

"It is important that while making efforts to address the sewerage issue we
must embark on an awareness campaign to ensure that residents, particularly
children, stay away from sewerage ponds," Dr Moyo said.

All the cases of dysentery referred to the hospital were from Zengeza 3
Extension, Unit "D" and St Mary's.

Mbare recorded at least 80 cases a week in October, prompting the acting
director of city health services, Dr Stanley Mungofa, to notify the Minister
of Health and Child Welfare, Dr David Parirenyatwa, of the outbreak.

Dr Mungofa reportedly appealed for Government intervention in dealing with
the problem after he told the minister that numerous tests of water samples
taken from various points had indicated that the water was not adequately

Dr Mungofa wrote the letter on October 20, 2005.

The cases were attended to at Harare Central Hospital.

However, the hospital superintendent, Dr Chris Tapfumaneyi, yesterday
refused to comment.

"I do not talk to The Herald. My marriage with you people ended," he said
before hanging up his phone.

Town clerk Mr Nomutsa Chideya confirmed the outbreak but refused to comment
further, saying he had directed officials in the city health department to
investigate the causes of the outbreak.

He, however, advised that residents should boil their drinking water.

Contacted for comment, Deputy Minister of Health and Child Welfare Dr Edwin
Muguti referred all questions to the minister, Dr Parirenyatwa, who could
not be reached.

Officials at Town House said initial investigations on the origin of the
outbreak pointed to poor water treatment by Zinwa.

Efforts to get comment from Zinwa officials were unsuccessful as chief
executive officer Mr Albert Muyambo and chairman Mr Willie Muringani were
reportedly out of town.

However, the health crisis in Chitungwiza began a week ago following the
disconnection of water supplies after the municipality failed to pay bills
to the water authority running into billions of dollars.

Dysentery, which is characterised by blood-stained stool, can kill if a
patient does not quickly seek treatment or can cause some perforation in the
intestines, resulting in long-term health complications.

The unhygienic environment that has seen Chitungwiza residents getting water
for domestic use from unprotected wells and rivers which, in some instances,
are polluted by sewage, is being blamed for the outbreak.

The Government this week took over the running of the town council after
mounting evidence that the municipality had failed to deliver essential

The State also pledged to provide $5 billion to the municipality for it to
buy pumps and motors for sewerage pump stations as a measure to halt the
collapsing service delivery system.

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AG orders mayor's release from custody

The Herald

Court Reporters
CHITUNGWIZA executive mayor Mr Misheck Shoko, National Constitutional
Assembly (NCA) chairman Dr Lovemore Madhuku and four other members of his
group were yesterday released from police custody after the Attorney General's
Office declined to prosecute them.

Mr Shoko and Dr Madhuku were arrested under the Public Order and Security
Act on charges of inciting public violence and agitating for the removal of
Government through violence.

However, Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions (ZCTU) president Mr Lovemore
Matombo and secretary general Mr Wellington Chibebe, who were arrested on
Monday for organising an illegal demonstration, remained in police custody
pending their court appearance.

In the case of Mr Shoko, Dr Madhuku and the NCA members, the AG's Office
advised the police to proceed by way of summons in the event that new
evidence against them cropped up.

Acting director of public prosecutions in the AG's Office Mrs Fatima Maxwell
yesterday confirmed that her office had declined to prosecute Mr Shoko, Dr
Madhuku and the other NCA members. She said documents presented to her
office by the police indicated that they had sanctioned the meeting
addressed by Mr Shoko in Chitungwiza.

As such, she said, the Chitungwiza had no case to answer.

Their lawyer, Mr Alec Muchadehama of Mbidzo, Muchadehama and Makoni,
confirmed the release of his clients last night.

Mr Muchadehama said Mr Matombo, Mr Chibebe and the other 33 ZCTU members
would appear in court today.

"They are detained in Chitungwiza and I have been promised that they will
appear in court tomorrow (today). If they do not take them to court, we will
proceed with our urgent application at the High Court, seeking their

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A moment that shaped decades

Business Day

Posted to the web on: 11 November 2005


TODAY is the 40th anniversary of Rhodesia's unilateral declaration of
independence (UDI). While it was to last only 15 years, UDI drew southern
Africa directly into the Cold War, and precipitated a sharpening of racial
divides across the subcontinent.

Over the coming months several academic conferences will provide a chance to
rethink UDI and its politics.

This interest has been driven by three developments:

?First, recognition that Rhodesia was the archetypal developmental state.
Embedded within the policy frameworks of Keynesian economics, its government
developed a strong infrastructure, especially in education.

?Second, the new insights into contemporary international relations which
have followed upon the flowering of Cold War Studies.

?Finally, recently opened archives - in SA and beyond - are providing fresh
interpretations of the impact of the Rhodesian issue on southern Africa's

The story of UDI begins with British colonialism but its energy, and the
drama around it, was driven by the once fashionable idea of

Caught between the gathering pace of African nationalism and white SA's
obsession with racial domination, Britain dithered over its sovereign
responsibilities towards Southern Rhodesia, as Zimbabwe was then known. At
the time, the country was an artifact of settler colonialism, which had been
bequeathed to the British crown by Cecil John Rhodes.

But in the city then called Salisbury (now Harare), 40 years ago today, two
other historical events hung in the air: they mirrored the ambivalent
relationship towards Britain that had marked Rhodesia's history since its
founding in the 1890s.

One of these events was the declaration of Armistice in 1918 with its solemn
invocation to remember the fallen of the First World War at the eleventh
minute of the eleventh hour, of the eleventh day, of the eleventh month.

Ironically, this was never intended to be a central motif in the drama that
followed. The prominent historian of Rhodesia and its affairs, Richard Wood,
says that the declaration had been planned for the day before, the tenth.
However the rebel government, hoping for a last minute concession from
Britain, held the formal announcement back for 24 hours. The resulting
coincidence between Armistice and UDI enabled the Rhodesian government to
ambiguously claim that their act of rebellion was aimed, not so much at the
crown, but at Harold Wilson's Labour government.

As the clock struck eleven, the cabinet signed the Declaration of

Two-and-a-quarter hours later, at 1.15 (11.15 GMT), Ian Smith, Rhodesia's
Prime Minister, used the regular lunchtime newscast to relay the decision to
the country's 275000 whites. He set out the case for independence, stressing
the patience of Rhodesians in the face of treachery on the part of the
Labour government. These words echoed another declaration of independence,
America's; like the one from Philadelphia in July 1776, the message from
Salisbury was cast within a republican spirit.

Smith's broadcast was not well received elsewhere. The ministry of foreign
affairs in Pretoria (according to an officer then in the Africa Division)
was in shock. Cables from Salisbury had suggested that many Rhodesians had
hoped for a different outcome: influential ones, the same diplomat
remembers, even entertained the hope that SA might absorb Rhodesia as its
fifth province.

If taken, this option would have reversed the outcome of the 1922
referendum, when 8774 Rhodesian settlers had voted for "responsible
government" against the 5999 who had wanted "their country" to join its
strong neighbour to the south.

But Pretoria never seriously considered this option. For one thing, it would
have infuriated London at a time when the air force hoped to purchase
British fighter aircraft. But another issue mattered more: the Nationalist
government was incensed with Rhodesia's condescending approach to the policy
of apartheid. This had been biting during the years of the ill-fated
Federation of Rhodesia and Nyasaland whose collapse had precipitated UDI.
Like all federal systems, the Central African Federation - as it was also
known - was premised on liberal tolerance.

One strand of this, a policy called "partnership", aimed to promote good
relations between black and white but never tackled the redistribution of

Spurred on by Rhodesia's energetic envoy to the republic, John Gaunt, SA's
white electorate rallied to support the independence of their northern
cousins. In every city and sizable South African town a pro-UDI rally was
organised; funds for Rhodesia were also collected.

Official South African leadership was not enthusiastic, however. The
parliamentary record shows that Helen Suzman, for the first (and, perhaps,
only) time in her remarkable career, was of the same opinion as that of
Hendrik Verwoerd, SA's prime minister, and her arch foe. But not for the
first time (or the last) in its unhappy life, the United Party, then SA's
official opposition, miscued the moment: they joined the celebratory chorus
insisting that UDI would make SA more secure. It didn't, of course.

Supported by China and the Soviet Union, Zimbabwe's black majority
intensified the "chimurenga" - war of liberation. This brought the region
into the eye of the Cold War. Borrowing from American strategists, the
Rhodesian military perfected the cross-border raid: this tactic would later
be exported to SA and deployed as regional destabilisation.

Then, on a Sunday in Pretoria in late-September, 1976, Henry Kissinger, the
US Secretary of State, John Vorster, SA's Prime Minister, and Ian Smith
hammered out a breakthrough to end UDI. This agreement acknowledged the
principle of majority rule for the country. However, after the British
fumbled a follow-up conference Smith drew back, and UDI limped on for
another four years.

By this time sanctions, first proposed in the late-1960s as a means to end
the rebellion, had become effective. These hobbled, but did not destroy,
Rhodesia's resilient economy. In retrospect, these sanctions were important
for another reason: they were forerunner of the international pressure that
would be used to end another southern African deadlock, apartheid, a decade

Given geopolitics, not to mention the mood among the electorate, apartheid
SA became entangled in what many still insist on calling "the Rhodesian War".
By grim irony, it was military support - or, rather, the threat of its
withdrawal - that finally enabled SA to deliver Rhodesia to the British. The
Lancaster House Agreement which followed paved the way for majority rule,
and the presidency of Robert Mugabe, whose initial 20-year success has,
tragically, been overtaken by the unravelling under way in Zimbabwe.

The decision to declare UDI inevitably meant that white Rhodesians lost
their country. In the decades that have followed, all but a few have
emigrated from it. However their memories of the drama around UDI and its
tragic consequences for everyday life continue.

Recently, a younger cohort, born in Rhodesia during the UDI years, but who
have lived most their lives elsewhere, have begun to reflect - in art and in
literature, especially - on the loss of the country that they were promised.
One of their number, the Eastern Cape writer Dan Wylie, argues that their
work is characterised by "loss and mourning" and demonstrates "a longing for
a genuine truth and reconciliation process".

This suggests a fourth reason for the growing interest in Rhodesia. These
"diasporic white Zimbabweans" - as Wylie calls them - enable us to see UDI
through the eyes of those it utterly failed: the children of the parents
whom Smith had once promised that there would be no majority rule for a
thousand years.

Vale is Nelson Mandela Professor of Politics at Rhodes University and
member of the South African Academy of Sciences.

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Zim airfares soar 1 600%


11/11/2005 12:46  - (SA)

Harare - Inflation in the crumbling Zimbabwe economy surged to 411% in
October, one of the highest rates in the world, the government's Central
Statistical Office confirmed on Friday.

The office said a fall in the value of Zimbabwe's currency was the main
reason for the increase from 359.8% in September. The Central Bank devalued
the Zimbabwe dollar last month from Zim$26 000 to Zim$60 000 to the US

Acute shortages of hard currency have spurred black market deals that fetch
Zim$100 000 for the US dollar.

The official inflation figure is calculated on a basket of foodstuffs and
essential goods. The statistical office said goods and services normally
purchased by an average household have increased five fold in price since
October last year.

The highest price increase last month was on air fares on the national
airline, Air Zimbabwe, which rose by more than 1 600%, the statistical
office said.

The cost of a round trip to London soared to Zim$140m (US$2 300) and return
flights to the second city of Bulawayo, 450km southwest of Harare, rose to
Zim$20m (US$330).

Independent analysts blame the meltdown in the agriculture-based economy on
the chaotic and often violent seizures of more than 5 000 white-owned
commercial farms since 2000.

The United Nations estimates that at least 4 million of the country's 12.5
million people are suffering severe food shortages. Gasoline shortages have
crippled industry and transport services.

The state railroad company said on Thursday just 13 of its 175 locomotives
were fully operational because of financial difficulties and shortages of
fuel, spare parts and equipment.

The government insists drought and sanctions imposed by Western nations have
led to the worst economic crisis since independence in 1980.

The U.S. ambassador to Zimbabwe, Christopher Dell, received a formal protest
from the Foreign Ministry Wednesday for comments he made about the country's
economic plight.

Dell had said government mismanagement and corruption were most to blame for
the situation and not - as President Robert Mugabe contends - drought and
the limited travel and visa sanctions on ruling party leaders.


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Violence breaks out in Bulawayo over senate campaigns


      By Lance Guma
      11 November 2005

      The Ward Chairman for the MDC in Nkulumane, Samuel Musaka was brutally
assaulted by pro-senate youths in Bulawayo on Friday losing all his front
teeth. According to the party's National Executive Member for Bulawayo
Province, Gertrude Mtombeni, Vice President Gibson Sibanda's official driver
led the assault. Musaka was ambushed on his way to the central railway
station to collect fliers and posters for Morgan Tsvangirai's Sunday rally
at White City stadium.

      He was initially questioned by the gang of youths on why he was
talking to Tamsanqa Ncube, a former Chairman of the Bulawayo Province Youth
leadership. The Vice President apparently dismissed Ncube a few months ago
under unclear circumstances. The interrogation on the street was then
followed by a mob assault leaving Musaka needing hospital treatment. As is
usual practice in Zimbabwe, he first had to get a letter from the police
confirming the assault before he could get treatment.

      Mtombeni condemned the assault and said there is a clear and
deliberate strategy by the pro-senate camp to employ violence in the
Matabeleland area. She alluded to a meeting conducted this week at which
youths were openly urged to deal with anyone 'selling out on the cause of
the region'. Musaka holds a senior position in Gibson Sibanda's constituency
and is a known Tsvangirai backer. This apparently is what also made him a
clear target.

      SW Radio Africa Zimbabwe news

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Zim customs seizes war veterans' poppies

Mail and Guardian

      Harare, Zimbabwe

      11 November 2005 02:40

            A war veterans' organisation said on Friday that customs
officials in Zimbabwe impounded thousands of red paper poppies sent from
Britain for ceremonies commemorating the end of World War I.

            Red poppies are traditionally worn in the lapel in the run-up to
Remembrance Sunday, the closest Sunday to November 11, honouring the
armistice that ended World War I in 1918.

            British and allied veterans hold parades and memorial services
around the world.

            The Legion, a British veterans' group, said Zimbabwe customs
demanded Z$53-million Zimbabwe (about R5 900) in duty and tax for about 20
000 poppies donated by an affiliated British group.

            A Legion official said the group has appealed to the controller
of customs to release the poppies, but does not expect to receive them by
Sunday. He said poppies left over from last year will be used.

            No comment was immediately available from customs authorities.

            The Legion official said the poppies are not sold, but are given
out -- usually in return for cash donations used to run ex-servicemen's
welfare and charity groups.

            Veterans and military attaches from allied embassies lay wreaths
at a monument in Harare on Armistice Day each year. -- Sapa-AP

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War vets demand US envoy's departure


Nov 11, 2005 - By Stella Mapenzauswa

HARARE (Reuters) - Zimbabwean war veterans demanded on Friday that U.S.
ambassador Christopher Dell leave the country, accusing him of trying to
cause unrest and threatening to demonstrate against him if he stays.

President Robert Mugabe's government threatened on Wednesday to expel Dell
after he gave a public lecture in which he blamed the southern African
country's economic and political crisis on mismanagement and corrupt rule.

  a.. Bush Honors Veterans, Cheney Lays Wreath
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Veterans of the 1970s liberation war - who have emerged as the backbone of
the ruling party after spearheading the invasion of white-owned farms in
2000 - accused Dell of trying to sow divisions in the country.

"We advise him to leave this country. He must understand that in attacking
the Zimbabwean leadership, especially the president of this country, he is
attacking all Zimbabweans," war veterans' leader Andrew Ndlovu said on state

"I am calling upon all Zimbabweans to rally . against Christopher Dell who
has a mission . to destroy our country to cause more division, to cause more
havoc or even to an extent of creating a war amongst ourselves."

Accusing Dell of working to further the interests of the

main opposition party, the MDC, Ndlovu said "Can he please leave before we
stage a national demonstration against America and him."

U.S. embassy officials could not immediately be reached for comment.


Foreign Minister Simbarashe Mumbengegwi has accused Dell of trying to incite
a political revolt against Mugabe, citing Dell's lecture remark that the
government was responsible for plunging Zimbabwe into a crisis marked by
widespread poverty and chronic food shortages.

Mumbengegwi warned that the government would invoke provisions of the Vienna
Convention governing diplomatic relations "should at any time in the future
the U.S. ambassador again act in violation of the laws of the country."

The Vienna Convention allows host countries to expel diplomats or demand the
withdrawal of diplomats believed to be interfering in the domestic affairs
of their hosts, or acting in an undiplomatic manner.

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Threats force Taibu into hiding

Cricinfo staff

November 11, 2005

The seriousness of the struggle for power inside Zimbabwe became all too
clear with the news that Tatenda Taibu, the country's captain, was forced
into hiding last night after receiving threats from an individual known to
have close links to both Zimbabwe Cricket and Robert Mugabe's Zanu-PF party.

Yesterday, Taibu had been involved in a press conference where almost all
Zimbabwe's players had lambasted the performance of the board and warned
that unless there were changes, there could be another strike. ""The players
have stood together in this," he said. "And we will always be together. If
nothing materialises, then I am afraid we won't play."

In the evening it is understood that Taibu took a call at home from a known
hardliner which left him shaken. The Sports & Recreation Commission moved
Taibu, his wife, Loveness, and their four-week old baby to a hotel for their
safety and he is now staying with friends. "I am taking the call very
seriously," he said. "So much so I have decided to go and stay somewhere for
a while. I will not be deterred by the threatening phone call in pursuing
what I and all the others believe in, and what is right for us. But I left
home for and while for my own safety."

That the players called the media conference to support claims made against
Zimbabwe Cricket by leading administrators left Peter Chingoka, the ZC
chairman, and his board isolated.

"They [ZC] want to use it as a racial issue," Taibu explained. "It's not.
About 90% of the cricketers in this country are black. You are hearing it
from the horse's mouth now, as the captain representing the players. The
concerns [of the provincial chairmen] have our full support."

The players flagged contentious matters such as player contracts, the
funding of the players' representative and players' safety after the pitch
invasion by Mashonaland officials at a league game at Harare Sports Club.
Despite the incident being reported to ZC, no action has been taken against
those responsible.

"We do understand the difference which exists between player issues and
governance issues," a statement issued on behalf of the players explained.
"However when we find ourselves, as we do now, directly affected by
governance issues which are impacting adversely upon our performance and
living, we believe we have not only a right but a duty to speak out.

"We have also read that ZC is now planning to establish a further five
provinces, and introduce people into cricket with dubious cricketing
credentials. How can people such as Cyprian Mandenge, Themba Mliswa and
Tawengwa Mukuhlani with their past history be good for the game? How will
they portray our nation in good light in world cricket? Specifically, we are
concerned by Mliswa, after his involvement with Zimbabwe rugby, when we see
where rugby is now."

Mandenge is one of those accused of the pitch invasion where, it is claimed,
he racially abused players and threatened others. Mliswa's track record in
sport in dubious, and in a letter sent to the ICC by the provincial
chairmen, he was accused of making threats against them and the future of
Zimbabwe cricket.

"We realise that by coming forward in this way, we may risk our careers,
especially as ZC has shown by its past that it will not hesitate to bully
players. But we have no choice but to speak out. "We continue to play
cricket, but are told we have no right to interfere in the administration of
the game, even though that is having a marked and direct effect on our
ability to perform. How can we sing in tune when our backing band is playing
with no harmony?

"We are tired of being threatened by ZC, we are tired of the way ZC has
sought to split us and attack us individually. We have lost confidence in
the ability of the current incumbent chairman of Zimbabwe Cricket, Peter
Chingoka, and the MD, Ozias Bvute."

© Cricinfo

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Zim police free hardship protesters

Mail and Guardian

      Harare, Zimbabwe

      11 November 2005 05:46

            Zimbabwean authorities on Friday freed more than 100 protesters,
including top labour leaders, arrested in the capital on Tuesday for
demonstrating against economic hardships and shortages in the country.

            "They are being released now," lawyer Alec Muchadehama said in a
telephone interview.

            The group was charged for taking part in potentially riotous
activities after the protesters gathered in Harare to stage street marches
against the ever-rising cost of living, unemployment and shortages of

            Muchadehama said the 109 were released before being taken to
court because the state needed more evidence for it to proceed with

            "They were charged, but have not been taken to court because the
attorney general's office needs more evidence.

            "So, while the police continue with their investigations, they
have agreed that they will be released and when they are ready they can do
so by way of summons," he said.

            The group had been transferred from the capital to holding cells
in the dormitory town of Chitungwiza, about 23km away from the scene of the

            The protests were organised simultaneously for six main cities
and towns across the Southern African country and were meant "to remind
government and employers that workers are hungry, angry and tired".

            A small group of 37 arrested in the eastern city of Mutare was
released by a magistrate's court on bail on Thursday.

            The executive mayor of the Chitungwiza town, Misheck Shoko, and
a pro-democracy activist, Lovemore Madhuku, who faced separate charges of
inciting violence, were also freed on Thursday.

            The protest marches were organised by the Zimbabwe Congress of
Trade Unions, whose entire leadership was among the group released at

            Opposition Movement for Democratic Change leader Morgan
Tsvangirai angrily reacted to the arrests, warning that the Harare "rogue
regime" was declaring war against Zimbabweans by criminalising "an action to
express displeasure, anger and disgust over the state of affairs". -- 

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Violence is the real enemy: Sokwanele comment on events surrounding Zimbabwe’s senate elections

Sokwanele - Enough is Enough - Zimbabwe

Sokwanele Comment : 11 November 2005

Sokwanele is an activist, pro-democracy, non-partisan movement, committed to confronting tyranny, exposing corruption and bad governance and promoting peaceful change in Zimbabwe by non-violent means.

It is important that we set out our credentials thus and say precisely where we are coming from before we comment on the contentious issue of the Senate elections - a subject which to date has generated more heat than light and has sadly proved hugely divisive among those who are otherwise united in their commitment to ending ZANU PF misrule. So that we are not misunderstood, we repeat that we are a non-partisan group. We hold no brief to speak for any person or group either within the MDC or civic society. Our core commitment however, from which we will not be moved, is to the principle of non-violence. In confronting the most violent regime which has ever ruled this land, and which knows no other means to defend its hold on power than by violence, we have consciously and deliberately opted for the weapon of non-violence. This is our strength, not our weakness, and we would persuade as many as possible of our partners who walk with us the long and difficult road to freedom, to affirm the same core principle. For in this rather than in any threat of a violent uprising is ZANU PF most vulnerable and most threatened. They are never short of an answer to violence, for here they are playing on their "home turf". On the other hand they have no answer to active, imaginative, persistent, non-violent resistance.

We have been amazed at the amount of confusion caused by the Senate elections issue. But more seriously we have been appalled by the extreme intolerance shown by one side of the debate for the other - and remember, we are referring here to those who have a common cause in ending ZANU PF tyranny. Indeed there has scarcely been what we might dignify with the name "debate" at all, for instead of a mature discussion between those lobbying for and against participation in the Senate elections, we have witnessed only hot blasts of vitriolic name-calling, demonizing of those holding a contrary view, and the exchanging of blatant threats of all manner of reprisals. Objectively speaking we have to say that most of the vitriol and threats have come from those who are passionately committed to non-participation and are directed to those are persuaded in favour of participation. Robert Mugabe and his cohorts are no doubt rubbing their hands in glee. Just when ZANU PF was under the most intense pressure internationally on the food issue and locally due to the collapsing economy, and when the cracks within their own divided house were most apparent, the opposition has generously provided an alternative spectacle of abrasive disunity and confrontation.

The result of all this has been that almost the only words heard above the uproar in the opposition camp, have been words of abuse such as "gravy train", "sell-out" and "traitor". Yet if only those who were hectoring and sloganeering would just pause for a moment and actually listen to what the others are saying, they would find that they share a great deal of common ground. From the arguments we have heard both for and against participation in the Senate elections it is our observation that the following fundamentals are agreed by most if not all on both sides of the argument

  1. Within the dire social and economic conditions now prevailing in Zimbabwe the introduction of a Senate is a total irrelevance and a mischievous distraction. Realistically it cannot be expected to contribute one iota towards the solution of the massive and urgent problems confronting us in a collapsing economy, with inflation surging ahead out of control and with millions close to starvation - not to mention the need to investigate and bring to justice the criminals responsible for Operation Murambatsvina and other crimes against humanity. All are agreed that not one starving individual, not one hapless victim of Murambatsvina, will benefit because of the new Senate. On the contrary the profligate expenditure on this new arm of the legislature will only divert what little resources the country has left away from feeding the hungry, housing the homeless and providing health care for the millions of HIV-positive citizens.

  2. Moreover there is an almost total consensus among the opposition (and we suspect also among the more intelligent and honest ZANU PF supporters) about Mugabe's motive in rushing ahead to introduce the Senate. As Daniel Molokele put it so aptly, it is to provide "additional carriages on the ZANU PF gravy train". The fact is that Mugabe has an urgent need to extend his depleted resources for patronage. Many failed ZANU PF senior politicians, rejected by the electorate several times over, have fallen off the gravy train and are clamouring to get back on again. By giving them a helping hand up, Mugabe persuades a few otherwise disgruntled old bull elephants (and a few cows ?) from leaving the herd and causing havoc elsewhere. We suspect that Robert Mugabe has not fooled anyone of intelligence as to his real motives in setting up the Senate.

  3. Likewise the undignified haste with which he has moved to install his old cronies. The manner in which he rammed Constitutional Amendment No 17 through a Parliament which he had previously packed with his own compliant supporters, denying any opportunity for serious consultation or debate either inside Parliament or outside, has earned him and his collaborators only the utmost contempt among freedom-loving, law-abiding people, in Zimbabwe and the world over. MDC legislators resisted the dictator's machinations mightily, but in the end they were overwhelmed by the sheer numbers of those appointed to Parliament by ZANU PF fraud in the March 31 election.

  4. It is also common cause that the whole electoral process is hopelessly flawed and deliberately skewed towards a ZANU PF victory. Consequently whether MDC contests or not, there can be no other result than a ZANU PF landslide victory. The Zimbabwe Election Support Network chairman, Reginald Matchaba-Hove, has said as much and no independent commentator doubts it for a moment. Mugabe's team are past masters of the art of rigging elections, and there is no reason to think they will fail in the present instance.

On the above points there is very little disagreement among those whom we may broadly call the opposition, including the MDC and all pro-democracy civic groups. The differences of opinion only emerge when those intent on challenging the Mugabe hegemony move on from these "given" factors towards developing a strategy of response.

At this point those against participation argue that we have reached the end of the road on the electoral route to change. They say that the time has come - indeed it is long overdue - to develop alternative strategies, such as civil disobedience and mass action programmes, to deliver change which will not come otherwise. They argue that it would be inconsistent to fight against the 17th amendment to the constitution in Parliament, as the MDC did, and then participate in the process that they have (rightly) called a farce. And they claim that any contesting of seats in the Senate would have the effect of legitimizing the process - and, with it, the other ground acquired and now held by ZANU PF fraud.

In our view these are valid and powerful arguments against participation, and of course there are others. We do not claim this to be a comprehensive list.

Yet the fact is that those who are in favour of participation can also advance strong and persuasive arguments for their stance. Again we do not seek to canvas all the points they raise, but would just mention the following.

They claim that, despite all the odds stacked against the MDC, there may still be some mileage in the electoral route. They refer to the acute embarrassment caused to ZANU PF by some of the revelations made by MDC legislators in Parliament, for example on food security issues and on the favouritism shown to Mugabe protégées in the matter of land distribution, and point out that these revelations could not have been made outside Parliament without exposing individuals to very great risk. Moreover they are clear that they are not advocating the flawed electoral process as the only route to change. Rather do they put it forward as one of several different, non-violent means to be pursued along with others. To the civil disobedience, mass action proposals they say, yes, these too must be assessed and deployed, and as a matter of urgency. They assert that there is nothing inconsistent in voting against an Act in Parliament and then, when it is implemented against their wishes, using it as a weapon to strike at Mugabe's monopolistic powers. They say that not one inch of MDC-held political space should be surrendered to the dictator without a fight. And finally they strongly dispute the notion that to contest the Senate elections is to legitimize the whole process.

This and more, those in favour of participation say. Now we are not rehearsing their arguments, or the counter arguments, with a few to persuading anyone to change her or his mind. We merely make the point that there are good and sound reasons which can be advanced both in favour of, and against, participation. Indeed in making a difficult decision in an almost no-win situation the arguments for and against must be set one against another to decide where the balance of advantage lies. Having done that people of both insight and integrity will still come to different conclusions on this issue, and hence it ill becomes anyone to rubbish the arguments of those who hold a contrary view.

This is where we have to take issue seriously with those, particularly within the MDC, who are displaying just such an intolerance. We are dismayed for example at the public stance of Morgan Tsvangirai. Granted that he holds passionately to the opinion that his party should not participate in the elections, and granted that he has excellent reason for so thinking, by what right, we ask, is he entitled to impose his view on the party. The MDC is to be congratulated on consulting as widely as possible within the extremely limited time available on the views of its grass-root supporters. The process was hardly adequate but it was the best they could do in the given time. We are not aware that any other party or civic group consulted as widely on this issue, or at all. Moreover we understand that the debate in the National Council meeting on October 12 was conducted in a mature and open way, and then Council members voted - narrowly in favour of participation. What happened next, with the MDC President refusing to accept the vote, rushing out and lying to the international media, both about the nature of the debate and the outcome of the vote, was quite astonishing. If he could not persuade his party, represented by its highest policy-making body, to accept his counsel as leader, and if Morgan Tsvangirai could not bring himself to accept the democratic decision of the party, then he should have done the only honourable thing and resigned his leadership. We find Tsvangirai's conduct then and subsequently, totally unacceptable - and would expect that others committed to democracy and the rule of law would take a similar view.

What now transpires is that some of those committed to ensuring the MDC does not participate in the Senate elections have resorted to the kind of tactics normally associated with ZANU PF. Reports are surfacing of the use of threats of violent reprisals, both before and after the October 12 National Council meeting. Indeed our information is that some of those making the threats, and in some instances using actual violence against those perceived to be opposed to Tsvangirai, have purported to be acting with his authority. Nor has Mr Tsvangirai sufficiently dissociated himself from these bellicose youths. Which brings us back to the dark and so far unresolved issue of violence in the MDC.

One of the core values of the MDC since its inception six years ago has been the party's commitment to non-violence. It is this commitment which more than anything else distinguishes the party from ZANU PF, the party of violence. Indeed we would suggest that it has been the MDC's hitherto unswerving commitment to non-violence which has brought it the huge support it enjoys with the people of Zimbabwe. Recent events within the party however have cast doubt on its continued adherence to this core value - perhaps we should say, the adherence of some of its leaders to non-violence. Granted that within every political party of significant size there will always be some who will be tempted to try violence as a short-cut to success, the key question becomes, does the party leadership show any tolerance of this method? If the party leadership is united in affording zero tolerance to such delinquent elements within its ranks there is a good chance the party as a whole will remain resolutely against violence. Sadly that has not been the case with the MDC.

In October 2004 for instance the MDC's Director of Security, Peter Guhu, was viciously assaulted by a gang of youths within the precincts of Harvest House, the party's headquarters in Harare. Guhu was severely beaten and his assailants then tried to kill him by throwing him down the stairwell from the 6th floor of the building. Surprisingly this assault and attempted murder were not reported to the police. There were at the time strong suspicions that the perpetrators of this crime enjoyed the patronage and support of some senior, non-elected officials who were known to be close to Morgan Tsvangirai. The matter was investigated by an internal independent enquiry, but their findings were not revealed to the party and, until the delinquent youths had committed a further blatant crime of violence, they were not subjected to any form of discipline.

On May 12, 2005 and the days following some of the same youths who had assaulted the Director of Security went on the rampage again in Harvest House and elsewhere, attacking members of staff. The attacks caused mayhem and threw the party into disarray. The timing of the attacks, coming just a few days before the start of the infamous Operation Murambatsvina, was almost certainly not coincidental. Here was the main opposition party, reeling under the impact of this "internal" strife at just the moment it should have been ready to respond with energy and passion to this gross human rights outrage. In the event we now know that the response of the MDC leadership to this major challenge (and political opportunity) was patchy and hardly inspiring. It had lost focus at just the time it most needed to remain focussed in order to confront the fascist state with the terrible reality of their crime against humanity. In the months following, as the suffering of the victims intensified, the voice of the President of the MDC was hardly to be heard. And when speaking of this major dislocation of the party we put the word "internal" in inverted commas advisedly because the evidence suggests strongly that the strife was introduced to the heart of the party by outside forces. Who but ZANU PF benefited from this violence? And who had a better motive therefore to instigate the violence than the CIO, now recognised as the enforcement arm of ZANU PF? For which reason many in the MDC are convinced that the party has been infiltrated to the highest levels by the CIO.

So we have a party that is suffering an increasing number of violent attacks upon its own staff and members. That violence has the effect of weakening and dividing the party just when the party should be united and strong. There are strong indications that the violence is neither spontaneous nor originating from sources within the party, but is rather planned and orchestrated from outside. And, perhaps most significant of all, the party leadership is slow to respond to the threat. The culprits are not immediately expelled from the party (though 14 of the youths were expelled by the National Executive after the May 12 attacks). In short we have a situation developing in which a party once unequivocally committed to non-violence is starting to give violence a toe hold. It would call for strong leadership from the very top echelons of the party to snuff out this dangerous trend, but that leadership is not being given today. On the contrary the threats made to those who refuse to rally behind the President of the party on the Senate issue, are increasing daily.

Which brings us back squarely to the question of violence and suggests to us that the real issue facing the country today is not whether the opposition should participate in the Senatorial elections but rather whether we, collectively, will resort to the ZANU PF tactics of intimidation and violence in order to ensure that our view prevails. As we have already made the point, the Senate is of no consequence. It is a non-issue. What matters is whether the opposition can remain united around a non-violent policy and programme.

For consider how the history of this land has been bedevilled by violence from earliest times. By violence (and trickery) Cecil Rhodes took the land from Lobengula. By violence (and the threat of violence) Ian Smith perpetuated racist, minority rule. By the unbelievable violence of Gukurahundi, Robert Mugabe crushed ZAPU and forced Joshua Nkomo into an alliance that saw the effective disappearance of that party. And, after three recent fraudulent elections, by violence and intimidation Robert Mugabe continues his disastrous misrule. So if we ask, what has violence ever achieved for Zimbabwe, the answer has to be, nothing. Precisely nothing. On the contrary violence has only prolonged the suffering of the people, replacing one brutal dictatorship with another.

Which is why it is now so critical that the MDC should close ranks and once again affirm the principle of non-violence, both as a means of conducting its own business and as a means of challenging and confronting the violent regime of Robert Mugabe. For, make no mistake, the MDC as a party of violence would offer no threat to ZANU PF at all. Indeed it would offer ZANU PF just the pretext it wants to destroy the party once and for all. Only as a party resolved to follow the path of open dialogue, of consensual decision making, of tolerance, and above all of non-violence, does the MDC offer a radical alternative and therefore a real threat to the party of intolerance that is ruled by fear, violence and personal greed.

Violence is the real enemy, not those who take a different view to our own about the strategic value of participating in the Senate elections. And we would be pleased to see the MDC leadership, from Morgan Tsvangirai down, acknowledge this and begin to focus on the real enemy.

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Zimbabwe cricket boss contrite

canoe Canada

HARARE, Zimbabwe (AP) - Zimbabwe Cricket chairman Peter Chingoka agreed
Friday that concerns raised by players and administrators in a letter
demanding his resignation need to be addressed with "urgent and full

The board of directors is scheduled to meet Nov. 19 to try and resolve a
showdown between Chingoka and managing director Osias Bvute, and an angry
alliance of professional players working jointly with all the provincial

The urgent board meeting was called by Chingoka after players threatened to
strike because contracts, two months late, have not been resolved, and the
provinces demanded detailed replies to their lengthy queries about finances,
including huge losses, which they regard as dubious.

The crisis was caused, say the seven chairmen, because Chingoka and Bvute
have ignored repeated requests for straight answers, in particular to their
13-page dossier of 80 questions on Zimbabwe Cricket finances.

In a somewhat contrite statement, Chingoka said: "These replies cannot
unilaterally come from me alone. There is need for the board of directors to
meet and collectively respond."

Chingoka, who was accused by the chairmen of being dismissive over their
concerns, received a letter from their spokesman Charles Robertson on
Thursday demanding his immediate resignation. The letter was accompanied by
a demand to the directors to fire him and also to suspend Bvute until a
forensic audit on the board's financial affairs has been independently
carried out.

He said it had been difficult to call a directors' meeting recently because
he could not raise the necessary quorum (eight from 12). In fact the last
meeting of directors was July 9 this year.

In a written reply to the players, Chingoka said negotiations continue with
management over their contracts.

"As we have met all the conditions you requested, it is my hope that
negotiations can be concluded at the earliest, so you can carry on with your
core business. It is my hope that reasonable heads will prevail," he told
the players.

Robertson said he had not yet seen the Chingoka statement but would respond
as soon as he had.

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The noose tightens

Mail and Guardian

      Godwin Gandu | Harare

      11 November 2005 11:05

            Alarm bells have been raised over the safety of hundreds of
Zimbabwean workers, trade union leaders, students and civil society
activists detained during a wave of protests in the country this week.

            Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions information officer Mlamuleli
Sibanda said on Thursday that at least four HIV-positive workers have been
denied access to medication or medical assistance since their arrest on
Tuesday. He said all the detainees were denied lunch on Wednesday, have been
forced to remove their shoes and are being kept in filthy cells.

            On Wednesday, the International Confederation of Trade Unions
said it had received reports that the congress general secretary Wellington
Chibhebhe "may have been tortured while in detention". Sibanda denied
knowledge of this but expressed concern that, 48 hours after their arrest,
the detainees had not been brought to court.

            Chibhebhe and congress president Lovemore Matombo are among the
118 people arrested in the capital of Harare. More than 200 unionists and
workers were arrested around the country under the notorious Public Order
and Safety Act, which states that gatherings of three or more persons must
seek police permission. They are being held in cells in Harare and
Chitungwiza, 25km from the capital.

            ZimOnline reports that, on Wednesday afternoon, armed police
also swooped on the restive University of Zimbabwe campus, beating up
students and arresting six leaders. The students were planning to march to
the Ministry of Education offices in central Harare to present a petition to
the minister of education. It was intended to urge him to improve
fast-deteriorating learning and living conditions at the run-down campus.

            The congress leaders and workers arrested were also marching to
the Ministries of Labour and Finance to present petitions warning the
government that workers were "hungry and angry" after six years of an
uninterrupted economic recession.

            Also being detained by the police is the chair of the civic
alliance of the National Constitutional Assembly (NCA), Lovemore Madhuku,
after his group organised demonstrations last Saturday to demand a new
Constitution for Zimbabwe.

            Minister of Home Affairs Kembo Mohadi warned that "the
government will continue to arrest those who wilfully break the law."

            Zimbabwean opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai, in a statement
condemning the arrests, warned of possible civil conflict.

            Tsvangirai, whose Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) party is
divided over how to confront President Robert Mugabe, said Zimbabwe stood
"on the precipice of a full-scale national conflict".

            "Let me warn the Mugabe regime that targeting civil society for
regular attacks means declaring a war against the people -- and the people
shall respond."

            Tsvangirai, who has in recent weeks faced an open revolt by MDC
secretary general Welshman Ncube and other top lieutenants opposed to his
decision to boycott a Senate election at the end of the month, said: "Our
structures accept the demands from the people for an onslaught that will
deliver a result necessary for the introduction of democracy and good
governance in our land. We are not going to compromise with a dictator."

            He has insisted the MDC should not take part in the Senate poll
or any other election unless there were conditions for a free and fair poll.

            But Ncube's faction is adamant they should contest, because
boycotting would surrender political space to Zanu-PF. They also argue that
the MDC national council voted for participation.

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Zimbabwe inflation soars to 411 per cent, one of the highest in the world

   Canadian Press

Friday, November 11, 2005

HARARE, Zimbabwe (AP) - Inflation in the crumbling Zimbabwe economy surged
to 411 per cent in October, one of the highest rates in the world, the
government's Central Statistical Office said Friday.

The office said a fall in the value of Zimbabwe's currency was the main
reason for the increase from 359.8 per cent in September. The Central Bank
devalued the Zimbabwe dollar last month from 26,000 to 60,000 to the U.S.
dollar. Acute shortages of hard currency have spurred black market deals
that fetch 100,000 Zimbabwe dollars for the U.S. dollar.

The official inflation figure is calculated on a basket of foodstuffs and
essential goods.

The statistical office said goods and services normally purchased by an
average household have increased five-fold in price since October last year.

The highest price increase last month was on air fares on the national
airline, Air Zimbabwe, which rose by more than 1,600 per cent, the
statistical office said.

The cost of a round trip to London soared to 140 million Zimbabwe dollars
($2,300 US) and return flights to the second city of Bulawayo, 450
kilometres southwest of Harare, rose to 20 million Zimbabwe dollars ($330

Independent analysts blame the meltdown in the agriculture-based economy on
the chaotic and often violent seizures of more than 5,000 white-owned
commercial farms since 2000.

The United Nations estimates that at least four million of the country's
12.5 million people are suffering severe food shortages. Gasoline shortages
have crippled industry and transport services.

The state railroad company said Thursday just 13 of its 175 locomotives were
fully operational because of financial difficulties and shortages of fuel,
spare parts and equipment.

The government insists drought and sanctions imposed by Western countries
have led to the worst economic crisis since independence in 1980.

The U.S. ambassador to Zimbabwe, Christopher Dell, received a formal protest
from the Foreign Ministry Wednesday for comments he made about the country's
economic plight.

Dell had said government mismanagement and corruption were most to blame for
the situation and not - as President Robert Mugabe contends - drought and
the limited travel and visa sanctions on ruling party leaders.

© The Canadian Press 2005

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An unusual suggestion for Africa

Financial Times

By Jonathan Haward
Published: November 11 2005 11:28 | Last updated: November 11 2005 11:28

As a professional "homefinder" it is perhaps inevitable that, at some stage
of any dinner party, I'll be asked about the current state of the UK housing
market. At the end of a long week and in a time of unwinding, it's often
challenging to suppress a yawn before responding. However, the other day,
the question came to me in a different form: Across the whole world, where
did I think was going to be the next holiday-home hotspot?

I think my answer shocked my new friend: "Zimbabwe", I said. Silence fell
around the table and for a brief moment one of my late mother-in-law's
memorable sayings came to mind: "It's better to be thought a fool rather
than open your mouth and remove any possible doubt!"

Mutterings of "next he will be suggesting Iraq" (where, I would argue,
opportunities in commercial property could indeed be significant), I
attempted an explanation.

First, as with all countries in southern Africa, Zimbabwe's time is at worst
two hours different from the UK and western Europe; jetlag doesn't come into
the equation and, since many flights to Africa are overnight, neither does
sleep deprivation.

Second, because the country is on the other side of the equator, there is no
seasonal conflict with the northern hemisphere; as the nights draw in here,
the days get warmer over there.

So far, so good. One couple at the table quietly conceded that a family trip
to a friend's house in Florida resulted in everyone - especially the
children - being tired and irritable the entire time due to the time change.
And hurricane threats further undermined the relaxing holiday atmosphere.

As the idea of southern Africa became more attractive to the assembled
company, the questioned remained "But why, Zimbabwe?"

The answer is simple: there is not a single person I know who, having been
to Zimbabwe, hasn't fallen in love with the magnificence and the beauty of
the countryside. Yes, the country has been tragically torn apart by civil
war, the government of Robert Mugabe has been accused of corruption,
repression and illegal land seizures and few people go there for holidays.
But those who do, travelling perhaps to Lake Kariba or Victoria Falls, are
met with carefree, welcoming and loving people who genuinely cherish the few
visitors who come to their country - and not just because the dollars that
are spent will help sustain local families for months.

Many visitors leave with an overriding desire to do more. And one of the
ways to help improve a community is to buy property there and provide jobs.
For holidays, you get an idyllic environment. For investment purposes, there
is the possibility of significant financial gains, (preferably not at the
overt expense of the local market), although it should be noted that stamp
duties and other taxation will benefit the Mugabe regime.

Who, 10 years ago, would have dreamt of buying in Croatia or Mozambique,
where the property market has witnessed exponential growth?

One hopes, that for the war-weary victims of the Mugabe regime, democracy
will prevail and normality will return. There is, I detect, a growing
feeling that this will not be long in happening. Indeed, a call to Andrew
Golding, chief executive of the Pam Golding property group, confirmed that
their office in Harare is frantically busy. "The smart money has already
arrived," Golding told me. "Investors are expecting a regime change and with
it, a radical increase in property values."

Examples of the sorts of homes that early investors are buying can be found
at a gated golf club development known as Borrowdale Brook on the outskirts
of Harare. There is no restriction on who can purchase residential property
in Zimbabwe, but with inflation running at about 360 per cent, capital gains
taxes are fun to calculate and care needs to be taken when looking into
withholding taxes and other charges.

These issues are nothing other than one would expect in such a nation of
disarray. But, as soon as the political situation stabilises, regulations
will be quickly changed and that will be the time to buy I told my dinner
table friends, for it is when the potential dividend will be at its

Here, I was able to cite Mozambique where, in the past five years, the
property has more than doubled in value. The tenure is mainly leasehold
(maximum 99 years), but the government is keen to encourage external
investment and is looking to improve the tenure for purchases. Golding
reckons that Mozambique is one of southern Africa's great secrets. At the
recently launched Paradise View development, situated close to XaiXai on the
edge of a most magnificent beach, the take-up was mainly from South African
buyers anticipating the same sort of returns they've achieved in their own
market. Prices start at R400,000 (£35,000).

While my friends were not exactly rushing home to check the internet for
African property deals I do think their interest was tickled. Perhaps we
will never see the day when our neighbours casually inform us they are "just
popping down to Zimbabwe for the weekend". But for the week, maybe? And to
then enjoy watching the value of one's investment rising above any of the
inherent travel costs involved? Well, why on earth not?

 Jonathan Haward is managing director of County Homesearch International,
tel: +44 (0)1872-223349,

Pam Golding, tel: +27 21 7614921,

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Anglo's estates still on Zim's land radar

Mail and Guardian


      11 November 2005 11:05

            This week, the Zimbabwe government said that it would not
reverse plans to seize the giant Mkwasine sugar estates that are owned by
South Africa's Anglo-American Corporation.

            Speaking ahead of Friday's visit to Zimbabwe by Anglo officials
who are trying to persuade the government to return Mkwasine, Willard
Chiwewe, the governor of Masvingo province, in which the estate is located,
said the firm should not expect any favours from Harare. "We will leave them
with Triangle and Hippo Valley only," he said. These are Zimbabwe's largest
sugar estates, which, like Mkwasine, are located in the country's
south-eastern lowveld.

            Last September, the 11 500ha Mkwasine sugar estate was issued
with a Section 8 order, which, under the land acquisition laws, gives the
company 90 days to wind up operations and vacate the property.

            Although the government said it was not going to seize timber,
tea and sugar estates, several are now targeted for acquisition. The
seizures are also in violation of bilateral trade and investment protection
agreements with several countries, including South Africa.

            President Robert Mugabe's farm seizure programme has knocked
food production down by 60%.

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Hygienic advice as dysentery outbreak hits Harare and Chitungwiza

      By Tererai Karimakwenda
      11 November 2005

      Hundreds of people have been hit by an outbreak of dysentery in Harare
and Chitungwiza. According to Friday's state run paper The Herald, more than
200 cases had been reported in Mbare and at three residential blocks in
Chitungwiza in the last few weeks. The use of polluted open water is
believed to be the most likely source of the outbreak. Municipal officials
have blamed the recent outbreaks on the Zimbabwe National Water Authority

      The patients in Chitungwiza are reported to be on a strict quarantine
to prevent any further spreading of the disease. The sewerage system in the
town is reported to have streams of human waste flowing in it, and residents
should not drink water without taking precautions.

      We asked Dr. Greg Powell for a brief description of dysentery symptoms
and advice on methods of prevention. Dr. Powell said the disease is a
bacterial diarrhoea characterized by blood and mucus in the stool. Sometimes
there are signs of a fever, vomiting and abdominal cramps. The doctor urged
people to boil their water before drinking or to filter it when possible.
You should also wash your hands after using the toilet.

      Dysentery is not as severe as cholera and antibiotics can generally
take care of it.
      Obadiah Moyo, the Chitungwiza general hospital chief executive officer
and renal specialist, told The Herald that so far they had dealt with 43
cases from Chitungwiza alone in the last two months, and Mbare reported at
least 80 cases a week in October. The report says that Stanley Mungofa, the
acting director of city health services, had notified Dr. David
Parirenyatwa, the health and child welfare minister.
      Mungofa is reported to have appealed for government intervention after
he told the minister that numerous tests of water samples taken from various
points had indicated that the water was not adequately treated.

      SW Radio Africa Zimbabwe news

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An undignified exit looms

Comment from cricinfo, 10 November

Martin Williamson

At the start of this week it appeared that Peter Chingoka and Ozias Bvute,
the two driving forces running Zimbabwe cricket, had weathered the latest
and potentially most damaging storm and were on their way to quelling
another internal revolt. The weekend's press had been scathing about the
provinces who dared to challenge the board, accusing those who backed the
revolt as being politically and racially motivated. But less than four days
later, the whole deck of cards is close to collapse. It appeared that many
inside Zimbabwe cricket had had enough, and despite repeated attacks on key
protagonists by the state-controlled media, the rebellion just wouldn't die
down. Taking on players or the provinces was sustainable. Taking on both -
and the players' open dismay with the board has never been so obvious - was
too much to ask. The Zimbabwe Cricket board has used all the tricks in its
book. In September, the players issued an open statement denouncing its
tactics as those of a "bully" - ZC responded by barring all journalists from
its AGM the next day, a meeting which was rushed and undemocratic according
to those who did manage to get inside.

In October, more dire on-field setbacks brought the situation to a head.
Sides were sent to South Africa and India to play in domestic competitions -
both were trounced, and by the end opponents had taken to fielding
second-string teams and were still winning. At home, Kenya beat a side
nominally labeled as Zimbabwe A, but full-strength in all but name, in three
games out of three. The provincial chairmen had had enough. On October 21
they met and demanded change. The ZC board acted swiftly, denouncing the
meeting as being unrepresentative, and dispatching their own supporters to
the provinces to try to overthrow the troublesome chairmen. Inevitably, the
race card was played with gusto, but whereas the players' revolt in 2004 had
been dismissed as being by white cricketers, this time there was no such
divide to mask the issues. Those lined up against ZC were from across the
racial spectrum. That didn't stop the board throwing mud in every direction,
but this time little of it stuck. Then came the news that the board was
about to create five new provinces. It claimed it was a democratic move, but
most saw it for what it was - a desperate attempt to gain the board enough
votes from hand-picked appointees to survive. The announcement that Temba
Mliswa, one of Zimbabwe's most controversial characters and a pro-Mugabe
activist, was the first such appointment just confirmed what everyone

But it's the ZC finances that are at the heart of the dispute. Critics claim
that little money has found its way through to the provinces, and accuse the
board of paying their own officials massively-inflated salaries as well as
other perks. The chairmen's letter detailed numerous areas of concern. Those
few journalists brave enough to continue to delve in a country where freedom
of speech is almost non-existent, talk of being intimidated and threatened.
One reporter who made an enquiry to the board found himself called back by a
senior official from the Ministry of Information who warned him to back off.
In the last week, rumours started spreading that the local police were
sitting up and taking notice and that the chairmen's damning dossier had
attracted attention in high places. And in Zimbabwe, you can get away with
just about anything as long as you don't upset people near the top of the
food chain. That Chingoka, Bvute and other senior ZC officials were picked
up by the country's anti-corruption police for questioning is a sign that
the authorities are becoming interested. If ZC loses the patronage of the
government, the chances of its senior officials surviving are slim. Even the
ICC, which has repeatedly refused to get involved, is reported to have
dispatched its own sleuths to look into the board's dealings. A senior
administrator from outside Zimbabwe told me earlier this week that the
feeling was that Chingoka had lost control and support, and the aim now "was
to enable him to make a dignified exit." The events of the last few days
might have robbed him of even that opportunity.

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