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Not enough goods in the shops to work out inflation figure, says state statistical office

International Herald Tribune

The Associated PressPublished: November 27, 2007

HARARE, Zimbabwe: Zimbabwe is so short on consumer goods, the government
can't even calculate inflation, the chief statistician said Tuesday.

Chief statistician Moffat Nyoni said goods used in calculating the average
inflation basket were not available in stores across the country and so the
figures, usually issued at the beginning of each month, would be delayed.
The official inflation was given last month as 7,982 percent, by far the
highest in the world.

"There are too many data gaps," he told the state media.

His office was "now trying to find ways of coming up with the missing
figures," the daily Herald newspaper, a government mouthpiece, reported.

Zimbabwe suffers runaway prices, chronic unemployment and acute shortages.
Unofficial estimates say that true inflation based on the government's
basket of goods at around 15,000 percent and that - taking into account a
broader range of goods - is closer to 40,000 percent. The International
Monetary Fund has forecast it reaching 100,000 percent by the end of the

Corn meal, bread, meat, cooking oil, sugar and other basic staples used to
measure inflation largely disappeared from stores after a government order
in June to slash prices of all goods and services by about half. Producers
said they could not afford to sell their goods at below the cost of
producing them.
About the only meat-based product on the shelves is sausages composed of
about one-fourth low grade pork and the rest cereal. A package of six rose
thirty-fold in price in the past month, to 20 million Zimbabwe dollars.

Most scarce products are available in limited quantities on the illegal
black market at up to 10 times the government's fixed prices. If inflation
was calculated on black market prices alone it would reach the IMF's
prediction of at least 100,000 percent.

Last month, the central bank offered loans to businesses at 25 percent
interest to restore supplies to shops. Interest of about 500 percent is
charged on routine commercial bank loans.

But central bank loans have made little difference to the availability of
basic goods so far, store managers say.

A strike by court magistrates and state prosecutors demanding more pay was
in its fourth week Tuesday.

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Mugabe to Attend EU - Africa Summit, Brown to Boycott

New York Times

Published: November 27, 2007
Filed at 12:32 p.m. ET

LISBON (Reuters) - Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe will attend a European
Union-Africa summit in December in Lisbon, a spokesman said on Tuesday,
triggering a boycott of the meeting by British Prime Minister Gordon Brown.

"We got the invitation last week and we are going," George Charamba,
Mugabe's spokesman, told Reuters in Mozambique.

Brown told reporters in London nothing will be gained from dialogue between
Britain and Mugabe and that the Zimbabwean leader must "take full
responsibility" for the collapse of his country's economy and society.

"We will not be prepared to sit down at the same table as Mugabe," Brown

Charamba, Mugabe's spokesman dismissed Britain's objections, saying: "The
British fear a handshake. We can't expect timid characters to be where men

The dispute between cast a shadow on the first meeting between the
continents' leaders in seven years.

Previous EU-Africa efforts to meet have foundered over whether Mugabe,
accused by the West of widespread human rights violations but who Africa
sees as an independence hero, should be invited.

Pressed by rising competition from China in Africa, the EU is determined
that this year's summit on December 8-9 should take place, in part to
solidify its position as Africa's largest trading partner.

A spokesman for Senegalese President Abdoulaye Wade said he would fly to
Zimbabwe on Wednesday to meet Mugabe to try to resolve the dispute between
Harare and London.

"President Wade's visit is in the framework of the Lisbon summit because in
order for the summit to be a success, it is necessary for everyone to be
there," presidential spokeswoman Fatou Tandian told Reuters in Dakar.


Portugal has come under fire from human rights activists for the invitation
to Mugabe, but African leaders have said they would not attend the Lisbon
meeting if Zimbabwe were excluded.

Western critics accuse Mugabe of ruining Zimbabwe's economy, rigging
elections and violently suppressing opposition.

Mugabe denies he has wrecked the economy with policies such as seizing
white-owned farms for blacks with little experience, and he blames Western
pressure -- notably former colonial power Britain -- for hyperinflation and

The EU agreed earlier this month to send a "clear and tough" message to
Mugabe on human rights at the summit.

In Brussels, an EU source said Portugal would formally notify member states
this week that it would waive an EU visa ban to enable Mugabe and his senior
aides to travel to Portugal.

Under a deal agreed in the EU, no member state was expected to object
despite Britain's misgivings, he said.

Only Czech Prime Minister Mirek Topolanek would join Brown in staying away.
Denmark, Sweden and the Netherlands, which had hesitated, have informed the
Portuguese presidency that their prime ministers will attend, the EU source

The EU presidency spokeswoman, who confirmed Mugabe would attend, said the
full list of attendees was still not available.

The EU source said a plan to send an EU special envoy to study the situation
in Zimbabwe would not be carried out until after the summit to avoid any
risk of undermining South African President Thabo Mbeki's efforts to broker
a deal between Mugabe and opposition parties on holding free elections next

Portugal's Foreign Minister Luis Amado, who invited Mugabe, recently said he
would prefer him not to come because his presence could distract from the
essential point of the summit.

"We deeply regret that what is being done to innovate and truly transform
the relationship between Europe and Africa is being dampened by some
obsession by the media around the president of Zimbabwe," Joao Cravinho,
Portuguese secretary of state for foreign affairs, told TSF radio in Lisbon.

(Reporting by Paul Taylor in Brussels, Axel Bugge in Lisbon, Sophie Walker
in London, and MacDonald Dzirutwe in Mozambique, editing by Mary Gabriel)

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Senegal's Wade to mediate with Mugabe on EU summit


Tue 27 Nov 2007, 17:03 GMT

By Diadie Ba

DAKAR, Nov 27 (Reuters) - Senegalese President Abdoulaye Wade will fly to
Zimbabwe on Wednesday for talks with President Robert Mugabe in an attempt
to resolve a row between Harare and London which threatens to derail a
EU-Africa summit next month.

Wade will fly to Zimbabwe for a 48-hour visit after British Prime Minister
Gordon Brown said on Tuesday he would boycott the planned Dec. 8-9 Lisbon
summit because Mugabe would be there, a spokeswoman said.

"President Wade's visit is in the framework of the Lisbon summit because in
order for the summit to be a success, it is necessary for everyone to be
there," presidential spokeswoman Fatou Tandian told Reuters on Tuesday.

The Senegalese leader, a critic of South African efforts to resolve the
political crisis in Zimbabwe, has called for an active role for other
African leaders in negotiations between Mugabe and his domestic opponents.
Wade had originally planned to visit Zimbabwe last month, but the trip was

A grouping of southern African nations has mandated South Africa's Thabo
Mbeki to secure a deal on constitutional reform between Mugabe and the
opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) ahead of presidential and
parliamentary polls in March.

However Wade, who has sparred with Mbeki for leadership on continental
issues, said the whole of Africa shared the responsibility to prevent the
collapse of Zimbabwe.

Once the bread basket of southern Africa, the country suffers chronic food
and fuel shortages, 80 percent unemployment and the world's highest
inflation rate, topping 8,000 percent.

Mugabe accuses the West, and particularly former colonial power Britain, of
conspiring to ruin his government as revenge for Zimbabwe's seizure of
white-owned farms.

Brown, a leading advocate of debt-relief to Africa, has sharply criticised
Mugabe for rights abuses during his 27-year rule and said he would boycott
next month's EU-Africa summit, the first in seven years, if the Zimbabwe
leader attended.

The dispute raises heckles in Africa, where many still regard Mugabe as an
independence hero for his part in toppling the white-minority government of
Ian Smith, who died last week.

Mbeki, who praised Mugabe's support for the struggle against apartheid in
South Africa, said recently he was very confident his mediation would
resolve Zimbabwe's crisis. The MDC, which has accused Mugabe of intimidation
and election rigging, also expressed optimism last week that the talks could

Wade's announcement of his mediation trip comes a week after Mbeki cancelled
a working visit to Senegal at the last minute, citing a diary clash with a
Commonwealth summit in Uganda. (Writing by Daniel Flynn; editing by Alistair
Thomson and Mary Gabriel)

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Zimbabwe budget seen unlikely to halt economic decline


Tue 27 Nov 2007, 13:45 GMT

By Nelson Banya

HARARE, Nov 27 (Reuters) - Zimbabwe will present its budget on Thursday, an
annual ritual which analysts say is an increasingly futile attempt to halt
an economic crisis blamed on President Robert Mugabe's policies.

The southern African nation is caught in an economic meltdown that has left
four of five adult Zimbabweans jobless, battling the world's highest
inflation rate and shortages of fuel, electricity, foreign currency and

United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation and the UN World Food
Programme have said at least four million Zimbabweans -- a third of the
population -- will require food aid early next year.

Finance Minister Samuel Mumbengegwi returns to parliament on Thursday with
the 2008 budget, just two months after unveiling a supplementary budget for
2007 to augment earlier allocations eroded by rampant inflation.

He added 26.4 trillion Zimbabwe dollars ($880 million at the official
exchange rate but $18.9 million on the black market) to the initial Z$6.2
trillion budget that was exhausted by June. Ministries had asked for Z$255

Zimbabwe's inflation is nearly 8,000 percent. Economic analysts say the
budget has ceased to have any real impact on the economy -- which has shrunk
by over 40 percent since 2000 -- and was now merely an event to dole out
funds to ministries.

"One can certainly expect them to come out throwing money in all
directions," economic consultant John Robertson said.

"Success doesn't materialise simply because you're throwing money at your
problems. We need a radical change in policies that restore investor
confidence and if I were the minister I'd urge government to abandon its
recent political decisions."


Robertson said it was almost impossible for the government to reverse the
decline, with investor confidence further dented by the proposed transfer of
foreign-owned firms, including mines and banks, to black Zimbabweans.

The move follows a disastrous attempt to curb runaway prices in June.

Mugabe imposed a freeze on prices, resulting in empty shelves in shops and
shortages of basic goods, while several businesses drastically reduced
operations to avoid losses.

Robertson added the government could not continue trying to dig its way out
of the crisis by printing money.

Central bank governor Gideon Gono has said printing money was the country's
"last line of defence" in the absence of external sources of funding for a
government that has faced international isolation over charges of human
rights abuses and economic mismanagement.

Critics say the government set itself overly optimistic targets in previous
budgets, making official forecasts meaningless.

In the last budget the government predicted inflation would decline from
above 1,000 percent to between 350 and 400 percent.

In contrast, record inflation has helped raise social tensions.

The country's main labour body, the Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions
(ZCTU), has called two nationwide strikes this year, while government
employees have repeatedly downed tools to demand higher wages.

The ZCTU wants tax cuts to ease pressure on hard-pressed workers.

"We also propose that the maximum tax rate be pegged at 30 percent (from 47
percent)," the ZCTU said in a statement.

Mugabe, who denies mismanaging the economy and says western nations opposed
to his rule have sabotaged it, has staked recovery on the agriculture
sector, which his government has extensively supported through special loans
and subsidies.

Analysts say the veteran leader, who is running for re-election next year
against a weak and divided opposition, is under pressure to stop the
economic slide and placate an increasingly restive population ahead of the

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Zimbabwe critical of new US envoy

Yahoo News

By ANGUS SHAW, Associated Press Writer 1 hour, 15 minutes ago

HARARE, Zimbabwe - Zimbabwe's government newspaper offered a chilly,
racially tinged welcome Tuesday to the new U.S. envoy.

In his column in The Herald, a government mouthpiece, political editor
Caesar Zvayi said James McGee had criticized Zimbabwe's democratic and human
rights record in statements to the U.S. Senate before his arrival and, as an
appointee of U.S. President George W. Bush, was likely "to turn out to be
the house Negro." McGee is black.
McGee, who began his assignment in Harare last week after formally
presenting his diplomatic credentials to President Robert Mugabe, declined
to respond to Zvayi's remarks.

Though "one of our own, at least as far as skin color is concerned," McGee
was a Vietnam veteran who earned three flying medals for "bombing hapless
villagers" there, Zvayi wrote.

But "Zimbabwe welcomes the Son of McGee and hopes he will not shame the
ancestors in whose loins he crossed the Atlantic to his adopted home," Zvayi

During his Senate confirmation hearings in September, McGee said Zimbabwe
was "suffering under authoritarian misrule," and said he would work for
peaceful change.

"Abandoning the people of Zimbabwe to the worst effects of their
government's misrule is not in America's interests," he said.

McGee's predecessor, Christopher Dell, also had been a sharp critic of
Mugabe's government.

In a farewell interview before taking up a post in Afghanistan after three
years in Zimbabwe, Dell told an independent newspaper that the government
was "doing regime change to itself" through economic mismanagement.

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SA unveils multiple entry permit for Zim traders

Mail and Guardian

Johannesburg, South Africa

27 November 2007 08:47

Cross-border traders from Zimbabwe intending to travel to South
Africa for business may now be eligible for a 12-month multiple entry
permit, the state controlled Herald reported on Tuesday.

A permit would be granted as long as they belonged to a bona
fide association or a body representing small and medium-scale enterprises,
the newspaper said.

"They must also have proof of sufficient financial means
equivalent to R2 000, and a passport valid for not less than 30 days after
the expiry of the permit," the newspaper said.

Each visit should not exceed 30 days for permits valid for
entries of more than 12 months.

If the stipulated requirements are met, the permit may be
acquired within five working days, the Herald reported.

Before this arrangement, cross-border traders were being treated
as ordinary visitors and were finding it difficult to conduct their
business, the report said.

"But this multiple entry permit gives them a status better than
that of an ordinary visitor."

Principal chief immigration officer Clemence Masango told the
paper that he had received official confirmation from SA.

"As immigration officials, we are, however, yet to meet the
South African officials to discuss the implementation modalities of this
cross-border traders' facility," he said.

A letter written by the South African national immigration
branch to Masango read, in part: "Please be informed that in consultation
with head office [national immigration branch in Pretoria, South Africa], it
has been agreed that the following requirements will suffice to issue
permits to members of the Zimbabwe Cross-border Traders' Association and/or
SMEs [small and medium enterprises].

"In the absence of proof of membership [of the Cross-border
Traders' Association or an association of SMEs], every person in the street
will declare themselves as ware traders. In order to curb abuse of this
dispensation, please furnish us [South African embassy] with a list of names
and membership numbers.

"Your register should collate with records to suit the embassy."

The development followed talks between the two countries two
weeks ago under the Joint Permanent Commission on Defence and Security in
South Africa, the paper said. - Sapa

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Zimbabwe pays USD28 million electricity debt to Mozambique

Afrique en Ligne

Harare, Zimbabwe - Zimbabwe's state-owned power utility company said
on Monday it had paid Mozambique USD28 million in electricity debt,
prompting the country to increase supplies.

Ben Rafemoyo, Chief Executive of the Zimbabwe Electricity Supply
Authority (ZESA), said the debt was cleared recently, and as a result
Mozambique had increased power supplies by 100 megawatts.

Mozambique and other regional countries supply 35 per cent of
Zimbabwe's electricity needs, but are not paid promptly due to the economic
crisis in the country.

The slow payment has forced some countries, including South Africa and
Mozambique, to reduce electricity supplies to Zimbabwe.

"It's true, we have reduced the debt substantially as of last month
and currently we are working on doing the same with South Africa, Zambia and
the Democratic Republic of Congo," Rafemoyo said.

He said ZESA was negotiating with Mozambique to increase supplies by
another 100 megawatts.

The country is experiencing severe power shortages and carries out
extensive rationing.

Harare - 26/11/2007

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Zimbabwe's Central Bank Moving Toward Issuing New Currency - Again


By Blessing Zulu
26 November 2007

Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe Governor Gideon Gono has announced that he will
soon impose a limit on the amount of cash which individuals and businesses
can deposit in bank accounts in a move seen as preparatory to issuing a new

Gono said he wants cash to flow out of parallel markets for currency and
goods back into the banking system, which in recent days has experienced
cash shortages.

The state-controlled Herald newspaper said that that effective December 1,
individuals will be allowed to deposit just Z$50 million (US$35) in cash per
day without explaining its source, while small businesses will be allowed to
deposit Z$200 million a day.

Businesses which handle large amounts of cash will be allowed to deposit Z$1
billion dollars a day. Businesses seeking to deposit more than those
prescribed amounts will be asked to submit evidence to prove the excess
arose from legal activities.

Central bank sources said some Z$30 trillion, or 51% of the total cash in
circulation, is held outside the banking system in which some Z$28 trillion
in cash is held.

Gono has warned time is running out for the "cash barons" he accuses of
withholding cash from the banking system, but has refused to say when a new
currency will be launched. A previous currency exchange took place in August
2006, but inflation running at some 15,000% annually has made ordinary
transactions arduous.

Director Godfrey Kanyenze of the Labor and Economic Development Research
Institute told reporter Blessing Zulu of VOA's Studio 7 for Zimbabwe that
Gono should not attack the so-called cash barons as his own monetary
misdeeds are greater.

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Zimbabwe's Ruling Party Prepares 'Million Men March' Backing Mugabe


By Blessing Zulu
26 November 2007

Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe's ruling ZANU-PF party is staging what it
calls a "million-man march" on Friday in support of his re-election, taking
charge of a campaign that was previously in the hands of liberation war

ZANU-PF Political Commissar Elliot Manyika announced that Mr. Mugabe will
address the marchers at the Zimbabwe Grounds in Highfield, a populous suburb
of Harare that in March saw a deadly confrontation between the opposition
and police, leading to the arrest and beating of opposition leaders,
sparking international outrage.

It was unclear whether those in the ruling party who selected the venue
appreciated the symbolism of staging the Mugabe re-election rally in

Though the march is intended to prove Mr. Mugabe is strongly supported,
sources in the ruling party say he was obliged to give way to fierce
internal pressure for the party to take over organization of the march from
the war veterans who have been staging such demonstrations in the provinces
under the leadership of Jabulani Sibanda.

Sources in the ruling party said a number of top ZANU-PF officials told Mr.
Mugabe they would refuse to join the rally if it was directed by Sibanda,
who has acquired numerous political enemies, especially in the Matabeleland

Analyst Glen Mpani told reporter Blessing Zulu of VOA's Studio 7 for
Zimbabwe that President Mugabe had to acquiesce as he is fighting for his
political survival.

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EU's stance on Mugabe is 'empty posturing' at best

Financial Times

Published: November 27 2007 02:00 | Last updated: November 27 2007 02:00

From Geoffrey Van Orden MEP.

Sir, President Thabo Mbeki of South Africa could give Robert Mugabe of
Zimbabwe no better piece of advice (report, November 23) than to stay away
from the European Union-Africa summit on December 8. Every year since 2002
the European Union Council has voted unanimously to ban him and more than
100 other key regime figures from setting foot in Europe. But the Portuguese
tell me that their government invited President Mugabe to the summit last
week. When he replies, they will then try to find a way round the ban.

This is a disgraceful approach. It sets at nought the terrible sufferings
imposed by a despotic regime on a helpless people. It ignores the very
crimes that made sanctions necessary in the first place, and contradicts the
EU's own position.

There is little point in even thinking of an EU-Africa summit if the
overriding necessity of promoting good governance in Africa is so casually
cast aside.

It is not surprising that many in Britain regard the EU's efforts at
assuming a meaningful role on the world stage as at best empty posturing, at
worst cynical pursuit of someone else's foreign policy interests.

Geoffrey Van Orden,
Conservative Spokesman on Defence and Security,
European Parliament

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Analysts say free and fair elections will depend on political climate

By Tichaona Sibanda
27 November 2007

The country is far away from staging free and fair elections because voters
in Zimbabwe still don't enjoy broad freedom to criticize government, to
publish their criticism and to present alternatives, according to a
political analyst.

The government recently published new electoral laws that it said would
provide a better electoral framework. But Cape Town based political analyst
Glen Mpani said only when the ruling Zanu-PF regime guarantees basic human
rights, values tolerance, allows equality before the law and the due process
of law, will people talk of free and fair elections.
Mpani told Newsreel on Tuesday that despite a glimmer of hope resulting from
the ongoing SADC sponsored talks there was still a dangerous climate of
hatred between Zanu-PF and MDC leaders and their respective supporters to
allow for a political climate conducive of elections. He said politicians
should instead tolerate one another and acknowledge that each has a
legitimate and important role to play.
'Whatever happens at the talks, we would still fall short of holding free
and fair elections. There is little time left to implement the new electoral
laws. The problem in the country is we have a regime that wants to rush to
stage an election to give its rule the aura of legitimacy. In such
elections, you get only one candidate with no alternative choices from a
failed government. And through intimidation or rigging that candidate is
chosen. That's not what you call a democratic election,' Mpani said.

He explained that opposition parties and candidates must enjoy freedom of
speech, assembly, and movement and be allowed to voice their criticisms of
the government openly. This provides alternative policies and candidates to
the voters.

In Zimbabwe's case simply permitting the opposition access to the ballot is
not enough. An election, in which the opposition is barred from the media
and has its rallies banned, is not democratic.

'To be fair to the mediation process, on paper the electoral laws have
improved but we still have to witness any changes in the political climate
on the ground. The violence is still there, the opposition is not being
allowed to hold rallies and they are not getting any coverage from the state
media,' Mpani said.

SW Radio Africa Zimbabwe news

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1000 WOZA members mark 16 days of activism against gender violence

By Tererai Karimakwenda
27 November, 2007

In a surprise move that caught the police unaware, about 1,000 members of
Women and Men of Zimbabwe Arise marched through the central district of
Bulawayo on Tuesday to mark the beginning of '16 Days of Activism Against
Gender Violence.' This is a global event commemorating the rights of women.
The world theme for 2007 is "Demanding Implementation, Challenging
Obstacles: End Violence Against Women."
WOZA coordinator Jenni Williams said there were no police officers at the
Bulawayo High Court, which was their starting point, and due to the element
of surprise they completed their route to the Government Complex at
Mhlahlandlela before a senior police official approached.

The Officer Commanding Bulawayo Central Station ordered the group to
disperse saying the official government launch is on Wednesday and they
should come back then. But he did not give any details as to where this
official launch was due to take place.

Williams said: "We would want to know what exactly is going to be discussed
at the official launch when we didn't know about it beforehand and whether
we will be allowed to address people and speak the truth about this violence
in different forms, including the violence of refusing to allow people to
buy food. The price controls is another form of violence. We would want to
speak about all those issues."

Jenni said despite the fact that the Zimbabwe government has passed a
Domestic Violence Bill, it becomes meaningless when it does not translate
into action. She added: "Our members are continually harassed. They continue
to visit me at my home. They continue to follow me around town. These things
end up meaningless if they are not going to give activists like myself space
to work on the ground."

The occasion coincided with the anniversary of the group's launch of the
People's Charter on 29th November last year. On that day riot police
brutally assaulted hundreds of WOZA at Mhlahlandlela. One of the founders of
WOZA, the late Maria Moyo, was a leaders of this protest last year. Sadly
she passed away recently due to ill health, exacerbated by the trauma of
being abducted and tortured by police.

SW Radio Africa Zimbabwe news

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Uganda to assume mediatory role between Mugabe and Britain

By Henry Makiwa
27 November 2007

President Yoweri Museveni of Uganda has accepted a mediatory role in the
diplomatic impasse between Britain and Zimbabwe, his office has said.

Museveni assumed the responsibility following a request from British Prime
Minister Gordon Brown on Sunday. Brown reportedly made the request during a
meeting on the sidelines of the just-ended Commonwealth Heads of Government
Meeting (CHOGM) in Uganda's capital, Kampala.

Observers have however expressed doubts that the proposed initiative will
yield anything, given the warm friendship between Mugabe and Museveni, with
many questioning his impartiality in handling the issue.

Museveni is largely dismissed as a dictator by the opposition in Uganda. He
has been pushing for the establishment of a de facto one-party state system
called "the Movement".

We are reliably informed that Museveni promised to facilitate talks between
Zimbabwe and Britain and ensure that Robert Mugabe restores democracy and
the rule of law. Museveni made the assertions as he assumed his new role as
the Commonwealth chairman.

Nonetheless, history rules against investing much hope in the arrangement
given Mugabe's track record as a man who does not negotiate and one who is
intent on holding on to power.

Speaking from Kampala, Museveni's spokesman Tamale Mirundi said British
Premier Brown promised to assist Mugabe in repairing the country's destroyed
economy, if he observed democratic principles.

He said: "The President (Museveni) said that in his capacity as Commonwealth
chair, he can influence President Mugabe because previously he had no
capacity to involve himself in Zimbabwean politics. The plus in all this is
that Mugabe is good friends with Mr. Museveni as well. Mr. Brown told us
that Britain was willing to participate in the rehabilitation of Zimbabwe's
economy if Mr Mugabe restores order in Zimbabwe. But Mr. Museveni also
pointed out that Zimbabwe's concerns need to be appreciated."

Mugabe blames Britain for the country's crisis, accusing the former colonial
power of reneging on its role to facilitate land redistribution and
sabotaging industry and commerce. But it is well documented that Zimbabwe's
current crisis has been created by nothing more than bad governance and
endemic corruption.

SW Radio Africa Zimbabwe news

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Food aid 'only for Zanu (PF)'

Business Day

27 November 2007

Tendai Tangireni

CAJ News

HARARE - Zimbabwe's ruling Zanu (PF) party still manipulates
food supplies for political gain, says a nongovernmental group.

The Zimbabwe Peace Project (ZPP), a coalition of civic groups,
says the government uses traditional leaders to deny suspected members of
the opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) access to grain.

The ZPP says in a report, Partisan Distribution of Food and
Other Forms of Aid, that people without Zanu (PF) cards are routinely denied
food from the state-controlled Grain Marketing Board.

"Traditional leaders, councillors and community food committees
mostly recommended by Zanu (PF) leaders orchestrated the removal of
nonruling party members from the list of beneficiaries." Beneficiaries had
to "chant ruling party slogans and to produce party affiliation cards before
receiving food".

ZPP recorded 267 cases of partisan food distribution. About 70%
of those denied food were members of the MDC, 8% from Zanu (PF), and 19%
were not affiliated to any political party.

The Famine Early Warning System Network says nearly 4,1-million
people will need food aid in the 2007-08 agricultural season before the main
harvest next year.

Even Zanu (PF) supporters are falling victim to partisan food
distribution. Those not attending political gatherings are dropped from
beneficiary lists. "Some of the victims from Zanu (PF) were mostly
victimized by fellow Zanu (PF) supporters on allegations of nonattendance at
meetings," says the report.

Other forms of aid, says the report, have focused on provision
of antiretroviral drugs for people living with HIV/AIDS and education
assistance for orphaned and vulnerable children.

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Zimbabwe's HIV-Positive Concerned About Expired Antiretroviral Drugs


      By Marvellous Mhlanga-Nyahuye
      26 November 2007

Some HIV-positive Zimbabweans fending off AIDS with the help of
antiretroviral drugs say they have started to receive pharmaceuticals whose
expiration date has passed, and express concern that such drugs may
undermine their struggle to survive.

Justice Mapfumo of Bulawayo said he and others in the government program in
which he is enrolled have been receiving expired antiretrovirals since last

He told reporter Marvellous Mhlanga-Nyahuye of VOA's Studio 7 for Zimbabwe
that he hopes officials will address this issue as he fears his health may
be on the line.

Washington-based HIV/AIDS research and policy consultant Frank Guni said it
would be of considerable concern if Zimbabweans were receiving outdated

Taking antiretroviral drugs which have lost potency could promote the
emergence of HIV strains which are resistant to those particular drugs, said
Guni, urging those who are given outdated pharmaceuticals to seek the advice
of a qualified physician.

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Zim, C'wealth; how to end the rift

26th Nov 2007 23:46 GMT

By Chenjerai Chitsaru

YOWERI Museveni, the president of Uganda, is probably not every African's
favourite leader.

To some, his record is comparable to that of our own president. In fact,
when Museveni visited Zimbabwe, the two leaders seemed to enjoy a
particularly close relationship.

Last week, Museveni hosted CHOGM, the Commonwealth Heads of Government
Meeting, attended by most members through their presidents.

The Queen and her son, Prince Charles, graced the occasion and were feted
lavishly by Museveni.

What political and economic benefits Uganda reaped from hosting this
glittering occasion may yet be determined. But it would be amazing if, on
both fronts, Uganda and Museveni did not gain something tangible.

It's now four years since President Robert Mugabe, in what his critics have
called a fit of rage or pique, pulled the country out of the Commonwealth.

In Abuja , the multiracial group had decided to lift its suspension of
Zimbabwe "from the councils" of the Commonwealth over its
 "anti-Commonwealth" conduct of the presidential election in 2002.

"We don't need you, anyway," Mugabe is said to be snorted after declaring
his country out of the so-called "Club". Yet there are reports that there
have been overtures on either side for a dialogue that could lead to the
re-admission of the delinquent Zimbabwe into the 53-member group, which
represents two billion people around the world.

Looking at Museveni and Uganda, some critics of the Commonwealth might
conclude that the reason for Zimbabwe's suspension were distinctly
lightweight when juxtaposed with the political situation in Uganda.

For decades, Museveni has waged a bloody war against his compatriots, known
as the Lord's Resistance Army (LRS). To this day, attempts at ending the
conflict through dialogue have proved fruitless.

Even during the summit itself last week, opposition groups in Uganda staged
protests against Museveni and there were injuries.

But not one African member has as much as expressed disquiet over Museveni's
running of his country.
There has been no public criticism of the Commonwealth by the Zimbabwe
government so far, which itself could be indicative of a reluctance to muddy
the waters, in case there is an attempt at reconciliation.

There is now no doubt that even Mugabe appreciates that Zimbabwe needs the
Commonwealth more than the multiracial body needs it. Not one African or
Asian member has left the group since 2003, in solidarity with Zimbabwe.

So, politically, Zimbabwe has gained nothing from the pullout.
Economically, it cannot have escaped Mugabe and Zanu PF's attention, in many
ways, that the economic problems they have inflicted on the country with
their bull-in-a-china-shop policies would have been dealt with positively if
they had called for help from fellow members of the Commowealth - if they
had not pulled out.

The Commonwealth has many
councils dealing with almost every sector of the economy and politics. All
members are entitled to seek the help of these councils, whether it is
medicine, agriculture, the law, science, education, the media and sport.

For instance, the seemingly endless problems with electricity and water
would have been tackled diligently if the country had appealed to fellow
members of the group for assistance.

It is ironic that, although there must have been similar appeals to fellow
members of the Southern African Development Community, on these specific
fronts, we still remain mired in darkness and thirst.

There have been minor improvements, but the overall picture remains bleak.
There has never been any doubt that membership of the Commonwealth is of
great benefit to its members.

Apart from the political clout of belonging to a grouping representing two
billion people in the world, there is the opportunity to interact with both
developed and developing countries.

Worthwhile lessons in politics, economics and the development ethos can be
gleaned from such regular contacts.

International advances in medicine, law, science, architecture and
agriculture can be at members' disposal as the Commonwealth boasts of
citizens who have won Nobel prizes in all those fields.

Of course, there has always been the criticism that the Commonwealth is no
more than "a club", during which heads of state exchange ideas or even make
decisions on weighty matters, but are not bound by any written convention to
abide by them.

But it is more than just the camaraderie stemming from the usage of one
language, English, among the member-states. It surely must be the
recognition of the strength in numbers and the fact that there are members
on every continent.

CHOGM has been held in every continent in the world, including Zimbabwe in
the mid-1980s, during which there was crafted the Harare Declaration.
Incidentally, there was a time when Zimbabwe was proud of this declaration,
which bore the name of its capital.

What soured relations between the country and its fellow members was the
impunity with which Zanu PF cheated its opponents in the elections,
beginning with the watershed one in 2000. Not many neutral observations have
argued against the charge by the opposition and others that had the 2000
election campaign and the poll itself been free and fair, Zanu PF would have

It is quite often forgotten that there were 40 deaths during that election
campaign, two of the most prominent casualities being Talent Mabika and
Tichaona Chiminya.
The 2002 presidential election was no better.

After the suspension from the Commonwealth, the government was expected to
take measures to indicate that it appreciated the criticism and was
determined that, in future, it would rectify the anomalies.

Unfortunately, Zanu PF reacted with customary arrogance: "go to hell" was
its unmistakable response. It is also true that Mugabe had no idea of the
extent of the embarrassment and disappointment among erstwhile supporters
over the contempt with which the government reacted to the suspension.

If he and Zanu PF had expected a lifting of the suspension in Abuja in 2003,
then it is fair to say that they were so wrapped up in their own sense of
self-righteousness they were blinded to the reality of bitterness among
former colleagues.

Zimbabwe should return to the Commonwealth. It belongs to the Commonwealth
and, in the proper circumstances, would be a model member: it is still a
multiracial society and can still channel the energies of all its citizens
towards the construction of a democratic, prosperous, self-respecting and
respectable nation.

Looking at what tragedy has befallen the country since 2000, it is difficult
to perceive of such a transformation taking place for it to be recognized as
the same politically and economically stable country that it was before

The economic and political turmoil has had a tremendous impact on the people's
spirit. In all sectors, there is a feeling of despair, in spite of the
constant calls for solidarity and unity by Mugabe himself and even the
governor  of the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe, Gideon Gono, whose role is
increasingly becoming more and more political than economic.

Where Murambatsvina was the nadir of the government's contempt for urban
dwellers, perceived as supporters of the opposition parties, the price blitz
was another example of how contemptuous the government is of industry and
commerce and every potential entrepreneur.

What that reckless and impotent endeavour to fight the curse of
hyperinflation did to the country's potential to attract foreign investment
is probably incalculable.

For Mugabe and Zanu PF to even contemplate a return to the Commonwealth
would entail an acceptance of a change in leadership and a change in the
style of governance. If the elections in 2008 bear the true hallmarks of a
free and fair choice by the voters, there could be a chance of change.

Yet knowing how Zanu PF is frightened of losing power, particularly to what
they believe to be a "British puppet" party, the MDC, another rigged poll
seems inevitable - unless people like President Thabo Mbeki now accept that
Mugabe and Zanu PF can now make not one contribution to Zimbabwe's return to
what it was before 2000.

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No to cosmetic budget consultations

27 November 2007,

The Combined Harare Residents Association (CHRA) rejects with contempt the
ongoing cosmetic budget consultations being carried out by the Commission
running the City of Harare. It is folly for the City of Harare to conduct
budget consultations when it is already implementing its 2008 budget. The
Association will participate in these consultations and will mobilize its
members to do so. The Association will however only participate to emphasize
that the process is flawed and illegitimate. Our members will send a clear
message to all the delegations from the Commission that they are opposed to
the process.

We reject the consultations for the following reasons.

The Association is convinced on the illegality of the Commission. It has
been reappointed over six times against the law. The Urban councils Act
(Chapter 29:15) stipulates the maximum period a commission can serve. The
courts of law have on various occasions declared it illegal. Note the
Justice Sandura case, the Justice Kamocha case etc.

The City of Harare is already implementing its proposed rates. Several CHRA
members have reported cases in which municipal clinics are charging the new
fees. It was also reported that the new parking fees of $100 000 was already
being implemented. It is useless then to consult residents on a budget that
is already in implementation.

The Commission running City of Harare has a history of implementing its
budgets without taking due cogniscence of process. In the last two years
budgets have been implemented well before the lapse of the mandatory 30 day
consultation period. Consultations are now more of a formality as opposed to
being part of the entire budgetary process.

There is no taxation without representation. CHRA demands the holding of
free and fair elections for the Mayor and Councilors. We demand leaders who
are accountable to the people and who will monitor how residents resources
are properly spent.

The Association is mobilizing and conscientising its membership to reject
the illegal commission and its illegitimate budget processes. CHRA is also
running budget literacy workshops which aim at capacitating residents with a
better understanding on the due process of budget formulation. CHRA
continues to advocate for effective, transparent and accountable local
governance. We seek to enhance the participation of residents in the
formulation of local governance policies and in the public budget making

Farai Barnabas Mangodza
Chief Executive Officer
Combined Harare Residents Association (CHRA)
145 Robert Mugabe Way
Exploration House, Third Floor
 Landline: 00263- 4- 705114

Contacts: Mobile: 0912638401, 011443578, 011862012 or email, and

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CHRA local government weekly update

26 November 2007,

In the past week CHRA focused more on the 2008 City of Harare budget
consultations. CHRA mobilized its members to participate in the ongoing
budget consultations by the Commission running the City of Harare. The
participation will however be meant to send a message that the commission is
illegal and has no mandate to budget on behalf of residents. The budget
making process is flawed as the Commission is already implementing the
proposed rates.

In view of the local governance situation CHRA reports deterioration in the
electricity power situation in Harare. Most suburbs continue to be hit by
daily power cuts, a situation that has made life difficult. Residents around
Mount Pleasant report daily cuts while Mbare reports daily 15 hour power
cuts. Generally, most residential suburbs continue to report deterioration
in the power situation. This is however in contrast to reports by ZEDC
(Power Company) that over 28 million United States dollars in debt had been
paid resulting in increases in power supplies. CHRA will continue to monitor
the power situation to see if there are any improvements.

The water situation has also worsened especially in Mabvuku and Tafara. Some
areas that were receiving erratic supplies of bi-weekly are reporting that
there has been no water in the past week. The current rains will not improve
the situation as the water problems result from shortages in purification
chemicals. ZINWA has no financial capacity to purify sufficient water to
cater for the residents in Harare. The City of Bulawayo has threatened to
decommission one of the dams supplying Bulawayo owing to low levels of
water. The rain situation is expected to improve the water supply in

The waste management system in the City of Harare continued on a downward
trend. There are numerous reports of uncollected refuse in most parts of
Harare. More reports are coming from Mbare, Glen View and Kuwadzana.
Residents fear that there might be disease outbreaks as the rain season has
started in earnest.

In the past week CHRA compiled these stories that reflect the local
governance situation. We continue to welcome your comments on how we can
improve this weekly update.
zimbabwe: agency irrelevant if it is not pro-active - Washington,USA
the harare city council is not doing a very good job of adhering to its own
by-laws. a few weeks ago, the local authority was fined an undisclosed sum
for ...
See all stories on this topic

Zimbabwe: Pollution Sees Water Treatment Costs Rise - Washington,USA
In addition to this, pollution of Lake Chivero has compromised the quality
of the water consumed by Harare residents. However, in early October, ...
See all stories on this topic

Zimbabwe: landlord demand groceries as rent
Landlords in the Midlands have devised new forms of rent payment for their
tenants as a way of beating the continued erosion of the Zimbabwe dollar:

Zimbabwe: Bulawayo warns it could decommission dam.
BULAWAYO - Bulawayo city council says it could be forced to decommission one
of last two dams supplying water to city

Zimbabwe: Zesa reduces debt
ZESA holdings has substantially reduced its debt..

Farai Barnabas Mangodza
Chief Executive Officer
Combined Harare Residents Association (CHRA)
145 Robert Mugabe Way
Exploration House, Third Floor
 Landline: 00263- 4- 705114

Contacts: Mobile: 0912638401, 011443578, 011862012 or email, and

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A Concert For Freedom In Zimbabwe

Magamba! & LNM Entertainment

MAKE SOME NOISE! A Concert For Freedom In Zimbabwe
Press Release

Saturday 8th December
7pm till late
Bassline, Jo'burg
CC: R30

On Saturday 8th December Jo'burg will see the explosion of MAKE SOME NOISE!
The Concert aims to raise awareness about the crisis in Zimbabwe and the
suffering that South Africa's neighbours are going through. The Concert aims
to galvanise the South African public into putting pressure on their
government to be a positive force for change in Zimbabwe. The Concert also
hopes to bring together the many asylum seekers and human rights defenders
in the country to strengthen their networks. The Concert is a joint
initiative between Magamba!, a Zimbabwean network of artists struggling for
freedom, and LNM Entertainment, one of Jo'burgs top musical promotion

Being held at the Bassline, one of Joburg's premier live music venues, MAKE
SOME NOISE! will feature some of Zimbabwe and South Africa's most explosive
artists. From South Africa there will be top names such as the popular rap
poet, Lesego Rampolokeng and the emerging Reggae Rock sensation, Steady
Rock. Also confirmed to grace the stage is South Africa's new Hip Hop
maestro, Blindfold, who's hit song has been number one on YFM for three
weeks. To round up the South African team is DJ Kenzero, one of Jo'burg's
finest Hip Hop DJs who always brings a crowd with him.

The Concert will be blessed by the performance of Chiwoniso, one of
Zimbabwe's most popular artists. Chiwoniso has toured the world with her
powerful mbira music and has won numerous international music awards
including the Radio France Award and the International Song-writing
Competition Award. Also from Zimbabwe will be Comrade Fatso and Chabvondoka,
Zimbabwe's leading protest band. Comrade Fatso has performed his rebel
poetry across the world and has built up a following in South African poetry
circles. The controversial poet will be performing with his band Chabvondoka
which is stirring up the dance floors of Harare with their insurrectionary
blend of poetry, hip hop, chimurenga and jazz. The event will also be graced
by Outspoken, a rising voice in the Zimbabwe poetry scene. So come in your
numbers and MAKE SOME NOISE!

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