Posted to the web on: 15 November 2005
HARARE - Zimbabwean authorities evicted scores of people who were sleeping
rough in a poor suburb of the capital yesterday, in apparent defiance of a
court order, a human rights lawyer said yesterday.
Otto Saki of Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights said people had been loaded
onto trucks in the early hours and taken to an unknown destination.
The eviction of the squatters, who had been camping out in open spaces in
Harare's Mbare suburb following the widespread demolition of shacks and
cottages by the police in May, was in defiance of a court order obtained
last month barring their eviction.
More than 330 people were believed to have been living rough at the site.
"I saw the trucks leaving. They had cleared the place," Saki said in a
telephone interview. It was not immediately clear if they were police
"It's in complete disregard of the decisions of our courts and it makes a
mockery of our justice delivery system," he said.
In October the Harare High Court barred police and municipal authorities
from evicting the squatters until they had found alternative accommodation
Saki said the authorities might argue they had complied with the court order
by finding an alternative place for them to stay. But Hopley Farm, where it
is thought they could have been taken, was a "place where people have been
held in secrecy".
On Sunday, the privately owned Standard newspaper reported poor hygiene
conditions at Hopley were likely to lead to the spread of disease.
It said aid groups had complained they were unable to reach ill people as it
had been declared a "security area".
Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights is considering contempt of court
By Staff Reporter
Last updated: 11/15/2005 14:29:33
CONSTRUCTION of the Kunzvi Dam is the panacea to the water problems plaguing
Harare and its dormitory towns, Water Resources Minster Munacho Mutezo said
"Harare has been facing a major water shortage and implementation of Kunzvi
Dam is the solution," he told a Chinese delegation from Jiangxi Province,
which is on a five-day visit to the country to explore areas of possible
"We hope the project will be able to work shortly so that the people in
Harare and surrounding areas do not have to suffer."
Mutezo said time was ripe for implementation of the project, which had been
on the cards for the past eight years.
Suburbs in Harare have been going for weeks without water supplies with
satellite towns such as Chitungwiza going for more than two months without
While aging water infrastructure has been singled out as a major contributor
to the woes, declining water levels in major supply dams have been cited as
contributory to the problem.
According to Mutezo, the contractors had completed projects such as the
Valley Dam and Irrigation scheme in Kezi district, Masvingo Rural, Runde and
Mawere water schemes.
And the Marowa Nyathi Dam in Manicaland was being implemented, he said --
By Sifelani Tsiko
HARARE City Council's entire ambulance fleet has been grounded due to a
shortage of fuel and spares, paralysing the provision of emergency services
in the city.
This has forced the majority poor to either hire private vehicles or use
public transport to ferry sick relatives to Zimbabwe's two major referral
centres - Parirenyatwa Hospital and Harare Central Hospital.
"I called for an ambulance this morning to ferry my pregnant wife to
Parirenyatwa, but to my surprise I was told there was no fuel to have one
dispatched," said Mr Musa Nyandoro of Mabvuku.
"My wife was in deep pain and I had no choice but to board a commuter
omnibus with her to the city."
He said the level of charges by private ambulance firms was far beyond what
he could afford.
Medical and Air Rescue Services (MARS) and Emergency Medical Rescue and
Ambulance Services (EMRAS) are the main private operators.
Hospital sources said an increasing number of people were now using their
own means to bring sick and injured relatives for treatment.
Many patients who could otherwise survive, the sources said, were now at the
risk of death because of lack of access to emergency care from trained
MARS and EMRAS respectively charge $7 million and around $4 million a trip,
figures well beyond the reach of many Harare residents.
At $500 000 a trip, City of Harare ambulances are by far the cheapest.
The Herald called the Central Fire Station in Belvedere, the same complex
that houses the council's ambulances, and city medics confirmed that their
fleet was grounded as there was no fuel.
Council spokesman Mr Leslie Gwindi said the council was facing fuel
shortages like all organisations and everybody else.
"We have always had erratic fuel supplies, but when we get it, we have
always prioritised them (ambulances). We are struggling to get fuel like
everybody else. They (ambulances) have got something," he said.
Ambulance drivers and medics were now being required to take days off as
they had nothing to do most of the time because of the fuel shortage.
The City of Harare has 25 ambulances. Out of these, 10 are grounded owing to
lack of spares while the rest have been immobilised by fuel scarcity.
The city's emergency services - ambulance and fire services - always get top
priority in the allocation of fuel from the National Oil Company of Zimbabwe
However, shortages of foreign currency have forced Noczim to cut supplies to
the city's emergency services, leaving many patients who need urgent medical
Supplies have been erratic and at one point, Noczim gave the city 5 000
litres for its entire fleet.
This was not adequate to cover ambulance and fire services, including
garbage collection and other equally important services of water and
Ironically, the city fathers recently blew more than US$27 000 ($2,4
billion) on a trip to Russia which could have enabled them to buy fuel from
filling station selling the commodity in hard currency.
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Recently Judge Chidyasuku stated that judges are also entitled to land, the
same as any other Zimbabwean. There is just one little detail that seems to
have escaped the learned judge's attention.
If the previous owners were paid any compensation then there would be no
problem with the state giving the land to whomsoever it sees fit.
The record unfortunately shows that the previous owners were simply
dispossessed, often by force, without any compensation at all. In other
words, the land and everything else on it now became stolen property, and
therefore anybody, including the judges, that benefited, is now the
recipient of stolen property.
If somebody tries to use the old red herring that the whites stole the land
from the blacks, then the present government was a full accomplice in the
theft for the following reasons:
· The majority of farms were purchased after Independence after a
Certificate Of No Interest was obtained from the present government.
· Funds to purchase these farms were mainly provided by Agribank, a
government financial institution, and were duly repaid with interest. Again
this occurred with the blessing and full assistance of the present
· After the purchase was finalised, transfer and other government
fees were levied by the present government and paid by the purchasers.
· Taxes were levied on any profits that the previous owners made on
these farms. Therefore again the present government benefited from the
activities of the former farmers.
W P BREYTENBACH
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
China will improve coordination with Zimbabwe in the International
Criminal Police Organization and other international agencies in a bid to
crack down crimes against the two countries and the two peoples.
Chinese State Councilor Zhou Yongkang said that in Beijing on Monday
when meeting with Zimbabwean Minister of Home Affairs Kembo Mohadi.
Zhou said that Chinese public security departments will enhance
cooperation and exchange with Zimbabwean counterparts, safeguard a normal
border-crossing order and create a better environment for people-to-people
contact, trade and economic cooperation.
Mohadi spoke highly of the friendly cooperation between the Zimbabwean
and Chinese security departments, saying he hopes the two sides can further
strengthen such relations.
Mohadi started his China tour last Saturday as guest of the Chinese
Ministry of Public Security.
NewsTalk New Zealand
The already-fragile state of Zimbabwean cricket appears to be on the point
of cracking up completely.
Contracted players are saying there will be a strike unless senior
management resign because of corruption.
Cricinfo managing editor Martin Williamson says as a result one underworld
figure has threatened national skipper Tatenda Taibu and his family with
violence. Taibu and his family have gone into hiding.
Williamson says thugs in Zimbabwe are not to be messed with. The man who has
threatened Taibu is alleged to have said "now we have taken the farms we are
going to take the cricket", in a reference to the Government policy which
has seen white farmers removed from their farms and replaced by new, black
Williamson says the same character was arrested on charges of attempted
murder three years ago, connected with the repossession of a farm.
Meanwhile Board chairman Peter Chingoka is amongst those "helping police
with their inquiries".
The ICC cannot interfere with a country's cricketing structure unless asked
by the board, which given the current situation, is near impossible.
Arbitrary detention / Release / Judicial proceedings - ZWE 005 / 1105 / OBS
The Observatory has been informed by Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights
(ZLHR) about the arbitrary detention of Mrs. Netsai Mushonga, Coordinator of
the Women's Coalition, an umbrella body of women's rights groups in
The Observatory for the Protection of Human Rights Defenders, a joint
programme of the World Organisation Against Torture (OMCT) and the
International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH), requests your urgent
intervention in the following situation in Zimbabwe.
Brief description of the situation:
According to the information received, on November 8, 2005, Mrs. Netsai
Mushonga was arrested, allegedly for convening a meeting at a local hotel
for training women in using non violent means as a tool for dispute
resolution under the banner of Women Peacemakers International. Ms. Mushonga
was detained over night as the police were still working on the charges. On
November 10, 2005, she was charged for contravening section 24 (6) of the
Public Order and Security Act (POSA), which criminalises organising a
political meeting without informing a regulatory authority, the police in
this matter. On the same day, Mrs. Netsai Mushonga was released as the
police indicated that they will proceed by way of summons, which means that
once they have completed their investigations, they will summon her to
appear in court.
The Observatory expresses its grave concern about the arbitrary detention of
Mrs. Netsai Mushonga, as it violates the provisions of the Declaration on
Human Rights Defenders adopted by the UN General Assembly on December 9,
1998, in particular article 5(a), which states that "for the purpose of
promoting and protecting human rights and fundamental freedoms, everyone has
the right, individually and in association with others, at the national and
international levels to meet or assemble peacefully". The Observatory is all
the more worried that this arrest took place in the context of serious
infringements the last days of the right to freedom of expression in
Zimbabwe, and therefore urges the Zimbabwean authorities to release
immediately and unconditionally Mrs. Netsai Mushonga.
Please write to the Zimbabwean authorities and ask them to:
i. take all necessary measures to guarantee the physical and psychological
integrity of Mrs. Netsai Mushonga, as well as all human rights defenders in
ii. ensure that she will be brought before an impartial tribunal, so that
the charges against her be dropped, her prosecution being arbitrary;
iii. end all forms of harassment and ill-treatment of human rights defenders
in Zimbabwe, and guarantee in all circumstances that human rights defenders
and organisations are able to carry out their work without any hindrance;
iv. comply with the provisions of the Declaration on Human Rights Defenders
adopted by the UN General Assembly on December 9, 1998, in particular
article 1, which states that "eveyone has the right, individually or
collectively, to promote the protection and fulfilment of human rights and
fundamental freedoms at the national and international levels",
above-mentioned article 5(a), and article 12.2, which states that "the State
shall take all necessary measures to ensure the protection by the competent
authorities of everyone, individually and in association with others,
against any violence, threats, retaliation, de facto or de jure, adverse
discrimination, pressure or any other arbitrary action as a consequence of
his or her legitimate exercise of the rights referred to in the present
v. guarantee the respect of human rights and fundamental freedoms in
accordance with the Universal Declaration on Human Rights and other
international human rights instruments ratified by Zimbabwe.
President of Zimbabwe, Mr. Robert G. Mugabe, Office of the President,
Private Bag 7700, Causeway, Harare, Zimbabwe, Fax : +263 4 708 211
Mr. Khembo Mohadi, Minister of Home Affairs, Ministry of Home Affairs,
11th Floor Mukwati Building, Private Bag 7703, Causeway, Harare, Zimbabwe,
Fax : +263 4 726 716
Mr. Patrick Chinamasa, Minister of Justice, Legal and Parliamentary
Affairs, Ministry of Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs, Fax: + 263 4
77 29 99
Mr. Augustine Chihuri, Police Commissioner, Police Headquarters, P.O. Box
8807, Causeway, Harare, Zimbabwe, Fax : +263 4 253 212 / 728 768 / 726 084
Mr. Sobuza Gula Ndebele, Attorney-General, Office of the Attorney, PO Box
7714, Causeway, Harare, Zimbabwe, Fax: + 263 4 77 32 47
Mrs. Chanetsa, Office of the Ombudsman Fax: + 263 4 70 41 19
Ambassador Mr. Chitsaka Chipaziwa, Permanent Mission of Zimbabwe to the
United Nations in Geneva, Chemin William Barbey 27, 1292 Chambésy,
Switzerland, Fax: + 41 22 758 30 44, Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Please also write to the embassies of Zimbabwe in your respective country.
Geneva - Paris, November 14, 2005
Kindly inform us of any action undertaken quoting the code of this appeal in
The Observatory, a FIDH and OMCT venture, is dedicated to the protection of
Human Rights Defenders and aims to offer them concrete support in their time
The Observatory was the winner of the 1998 Human Rights Prize of the French
To contact the Observatory, call the emergency line:
Tel and fax FIDH: 33 1 43 55 55 05 / 01 43 55 18 80 Tel and fax OMCT: + 41
(0) 22 809 49 39 / 41 22 809 49 29
The Herald (Harare)
November 13, 2005
Posted to the web November 14, 2005
GOVERNMENT has lost billions of dollars due to the misappropriation of funds
by companies involved in the exploration of the Lupane Gas Project, the
largest gas fields in eastern and southern Africa, The Sunday Mail Business
The State is currently in the process of reviewing the terms under which
special grants, which were issued through the Ministry of Mines and Mining
Development, were awarded.
Despite heavily investing in the multi-billion-dollar project, the
Government has over the past few years expressed concern at the lethargic
pace at which the project has been moving.
In a booklet released as part of the country's drive to attract investors,
the Government says it is exploring avenues of attracting foreign investors
to the multi-billion-dollar project, whose reserves are estimated at 500
million cubic metres of gas.
"Current exploration ventures by some local companies have shown that there
are elements of misappropriation of Special Grant facilities issued and
monitored by the Mining Affairs Board.
"The Ministry of Mines and Mining Development is reviewing the terms under
which Special Grants are awarded, and to expedite participation of investors
who have the financial and technological resources required to speed up the
benefits of coal-bed methane gas to the nation," said the Government in the
It is understood that some of the companies accessed the special grants
under the pretext that they would be importing exploration equipment and
hiring technical expertise but later channelled the funds for other uses.
Information made available to The Sunday Mail Business indicates that the
companies that misappropriated the funds will be given a period in which to
pay back the money or risk prosecution.
Indications are that the coal-bed methane gas to be used in electricity
generation is one of the several alternatives that the county intends to
pursue to guard itself against the anticipated power shortage which will
affect the southern Africa region in 2007.
Methane gas can be turned into natural gas, which can also be used as a
substitute for petrol and can be used in the manufacture of fertilisers and
The Industrial Development Corporation, which holds exclusive rights to a
concession to massive coal- bed methane gas reserves, is currently involved
in negotiations with investors - including some from Iran - who have
expressed interest in investing more than US$6 million into the project.
If successful, the Lupane gas project is expected to launch the IDC's
venture into the fuel and energy sector.
Hwange Colliery Company, which has also identified gas deposits, has made
significant progress in
attracting foreign investors as well as negotiating for offshore loans.
HCC managing director Dr Godfrey Dzinomwa recently told this paper that the
locally listed coal mining giant was involved in negotiations with potential
investors from China, Iran and the United Arab Emirates.
"There has been so much interest from our partners and the negotiations are
close to coming to fruition," he said.
Hwange Colliery discovered the huge deposits of the methane gas late last
year in the Lubimbi area in Binga, close to its coal mining operations in
the Hwange area and there is a growing feeling among exploring experts that
additional deposits will be discovered through the use of imported
Despite the announcement of a proposed US$62 million investment by the
Zimbabwe Mining and Smelting Company and two United States investors six
years ago, the project's commencement has, however, been delayed on several
Apart from being financed by Government and other investors, the Lupane Gas
Project is also set to receive major financial assistance from the recently
launched Infrastructure Development Bank of Zimbabwe.
Press Trust of India
New York, Nov 15 (PTI) Terming it as a "dark year" for press with 51
journalists having lost their lives in the line of duty so far, the World
Association of Newspapers has claimed that Asia was the worst region in the
world for practising journalism.
Over 500 journalists have also been arrested during 2005. Asia remained the
worst region in the world for practising journalism, considering the number
of news persons prosecuted, lack of independent media outlets, and
government repression of press freedom, the Association said.
"The suffocation of independent media continues unabated in many countries
around the world. The governments of Nepal, China, Cuba, Belarus and
Zimbabwe persist in their relentless onslaught against the media." Iraq
remains a deadly place for journalism. Eight journalists have been murdered
in the past six months, bringing the total number for this year to 19.
"Silence from North Korea, Eritrea, Libya and Turkmenistan sends an explicit
message concerning the state of the media behind their fortified walls," the
report on freedom of press sais.
The Paris-based WAN, the global organisation for the newspaper industry,
defends and promotes press freedom world-wide. It represents 18,000
newspapers. Its membership includes 72 national newspaper associations,
individual newspaper executives in 102 countries, 11 news agencies and nine
regio nal and world-wide press groups. PTI