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MDC to boycott Senate election

Zim Online

Wed 12 October 2005
  HARARE - Zimbabwe's main opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC)
party on Wednesday said it will boycott Senate elections scheduled for next

      "The (party) council resolved to stay out of the ZANU PF Senate
project," MDC leader Morgan Tsvangirai told a news conference in Harare.

      But Tsvangirai said the council had remained deadlocked 50:50 on the
matter after several hours of debate and that he had to use his casting vote
in favour of a boycott.

      The MDC, which emerged in 1999 to become the most potent threat to
Mugabe and ZANU PF's grip on power, says the government has used fraud and
violence to cheat it of victory in the last five years.


      Mugabe, who denies rigging elections, used his ZANU PF party's
absolute control of Parliament to force through constitutional changes
allowing for the reestablishment of the Senate which critics have said will
help bolster the veteran leader's hold on power.

      Tsvangirai and leaders of the MDC's youth and women's leagues had in
recent weeks vehemently opposed participating in the Senate polls saying
conditions on the ground were not conducive to free and fair polls.

      But the opposition party had remained sharply divided over the matter
with several of its top leaders saying the party should not surrender
political space to ZANU PF by boycotting the election. Besides it would not
make sense for the MDC to stay out of the Senate when it has 41 legislators
already sitting in the lower chamber of Parliament.

      Out of the 66 senators, 50 will be elected by Zimbabweans while 10
shall be elected by the Chiefs' Council and the remainder appointed by
Mugabe. - ZimOnline

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Welshman Ncube, Mnangagwa rebuff new party links

Zim Online

Thu 13 October 2005
  HARARE - Ruling ZANU PF party stalwart Emmerson Mnangagwa and opposition
Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) party secretary general Welshmen Ncube
have rejected widespread speculation that they will lead a new political
party to be launched before the end of the year.

      Speculation was rife in Harare this week that Mnangagwa, disgruntled
after he was ditched by President Robert Mugabe as heir apparent, would
leave ZANU PF to become the leader of the new United People's Movement

      The UPM that is expected to be formally presented to Zimbabweans in
December is largely the brain-work of former government propaganda chief,
Jonathan Moyo, who some reports suggested would be the secretary general of
the party.

      Ncube, who is said to have disagreed with his MDC colleagues
particularly over yesterday's decision to boycott next month's Senate polls,
was according to the speculative reports supposed to come in as one of
Mnangagwa's vice-presidents.

      Mnangagwa told ZimOnline: "I have never heard about UPM. It is stupid
to suggest that I would be its president when I am not even aware that there
is such a political party." He added: "Nobody has ever approached me to join
such a party and I will not be part of it."

      Ncube also distanced himself from the still to be formed party telling
journalists in Harare last Tuesday night that he was not leaving the MDC.

      He said: "If you have participated in the formation of a political
party like I have and you have been in the trenches facing the wrath of ZANU
PF, you would not want to go back and face the wrath of this government.

      "I would want to wish my friend Jonathan Moyo, if he is indeed
involved, the best of luck in the formation of his political party. The job
of creating a party is a difficult one."

      Former opposition politician and University of Zimbabwe lecturer and
political commentator Heneri Dzinotyiwei, who had been linked to the UPM,
also denied he was involved in the planned new party.

      "This is the first time I have heard about it. Nobody has approached
me regarding the issue and I am not even aware of the formation of a new
party save for what I read in the papers," Dzinotyiwei said.

      Moyo, has on several occasions publicly indicated the UPM would draw
some of its membership from both ZANU PF and MDC.

      He says the UPM is a synthesis of a failed ZANU PF and impotent MDC
and that it will focus on democracy, economic growth and development. -

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Tsvangirai walks on tight rope over Senate amid widening cracks

Zim Online

Thu 13 October 2005

      HARARE - The Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) party's move to
boycott Senate elections next month is a double edged sword that will
intensify pressure on President Robert Mugabe but is also potentially
splitting for the Zimbabwean opposition party, analysts said.

      Morgan Tsvangirai yesterday told a press conference that the MDC was
divided 50:50 on whether to take part in the November polls and that he had
to use his casting vote to sway the decision against participation.

      The analysts said swaying the MDC away from the Senate was the easier
part for Tsvangirai. Keeping the party together by providing a viable
alternative to pressure Mugabe to accept democratic reforms would be the
ultimate test for the former trade unionist-turned-opposition politician,
they said.

      "There are other supporters who may have wanted the party to take part
in the election and now it is up to Tsvangirai to give them acceptable
options. They cannot just boycott and do nothing," said Heneri Dzimotyiwei,
a University of Zimbabwe lecturer and political commentator.

      Dzinotyiwei said the MDC's decision was practical because the Senate -
which many have said will only help bolster Mugabe's grip on power - would
not add much value to the country's legislature.

      Out of the 66 senators, 50 will be elected by Zimbabweans while 10
shall be elected by the Chiefs' Council and the remainder appointed by

      National Constitutional Assembly (NCA) chairman Lovemore Madhuku said
Mugabe would have preferred the MDC to contest the polls in order to give
them a semblance of legitimacy.

      The international community was likely to dismiss the Senate as yet
another illegitimate institution to prop-up Mugabe and his ZANU PF party,
according to Madhuku whose NCA campaigns for a new and democratic
constitution for Zimbabwe.

      "The decision will definitely add pressure on Mugabe who on his own
will be unhappy to have an election without the MDC to legitimise it," said

      Both Madhuku and Dzinotyiwei were however agreed that the closeness of
the vote showed how the matter could split the six-year old MDC that is a
grouping of various interests many of them still in the party solely because
of their desire to remove Mugabe from power.

      "It is a good decision but at the same time could weaken the MDC going
forward if Tsvangirai does not handle it carefully," Madhuku said.

      There have been reports of a split within the MDC over the Senate
issue, with Tsvangirai backing a boycott, and another faction wanting to
contest the polls to avoid increasing ZANU PF's dominance in political

      Arguing against participating in the Senate polls, Tsvangirai has said
Mugabe and ZANU PF have won previous elections in the last five years
through rigging and violence. They would do the same to win the November 26
Senate polls, the opposition leader said.

      Mugabe, who used his ZANU PF party's absolute control of Parliament to
force through constitutional amendments in August, including provision for
the 66-seat Senate, denies using violence or fraud to win elections. -

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Zimbabwe threatens to recruit soldiers to run schools

Zim Online

Thu 13 October 2005

      HARARE - The Zimbabwe government has threatened to dismiss all
teachers if they strike for more pay and recruit former teachers and army
officers to run schools.

      In a memorandum to all public school heads last week, Education
permanent secretary Stephen Mahere said the government had put in place
emergency measures including calling the army to classrooms, retired
teachers and students at higher tertiary colleges to run schools should
teachers strike.

      "We will dismiss all teachers who engage in industrial action . we
will also call in the army, retired education officers, district education
officers, headmasters and their deputies, lecturers, relief temporary
teachers and tertiary students to keep the system running," the memorandum,
a copy of which was shown to ZimOnline, read in part.

      The memorandum was sent apparently because the government fears its
more than 100 000 teachers might resort to industrial action to press for
more pay, a situation that could disrupt key public school examinations due
to start in the next few days.

      The government is also said to fear that a strike by teachers could
ignite similar action across the entire civil service where morale is said
to be at its lowest because of poor salaries and working conditions.

      A strike by teachers could also disrupt elections for a new Senate
scheduled for next month. The government has in the past relied on teachers
to run polling stations.

      Progressive Teachers Union of Zimbabwe secretary general Raymond
Majongwe said his union, one of two that represent teachers, was not
planning to call a strike and said the government was only "panicking
because they know they are paying (teachers) meagre salaries. The guilty are
always afraid."

      A Zimbabwean school teacher on average earns a gross salary of Z$3
million which is way below the basic consumer basket. The state-funded
Consumer Council of Zimbabwe puts the consumer basket - comprising the basic
goods and services a family of six requires per month - at $9 million.

      Zimbabwe's education sector, once the envy of many in Africa, has
crumbled due to years of under-funding, neglect and mismanagement. Poor
salaries have also driven the best of the country's teachers to other
countries in the region and beyond where working conditions are better. -

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Zimbabwe hikes interest rates to over 400 percent

Zim Online

Thu 13 October 2005

      HARARE - Zimbabwe's central bank yesterday hiked interest rates to
over 400 percent to stifle speculation and reduce inflation but analysts
warned the rise in rates will drive businesses further into the ground as
production costs soar.

      Inflation, which raced to 359.8 percent in September, is a major sign
of a deepening economic crisis in the southern African nation.

      Data from the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) showed that the bank
rate, the rate at which the RBZ lends money to commercial banks increased
from around 280 percent previously to 415 percent yesterday.

      Money market dealers said the increase is meant to discourage
borrowing by speculators who RBZ governor Gideon Gono accuses of investing
borrowed cheap funds on the high performing stock market and black market
for foreign currency, which he says in turn stocks up inflation pressures.

      "The idea is good because it discourages speculation because money had
become cheap for those borrowing for speculative purposes," a money market
dealer with a Harare-based merchant bank said.

      Commercial banks are expected to increase their rates to as much as
450 percent this week, which is bad news for struggling companies who have
been surviving on borrowed money.

      Analysts said firms would be forced to downsize, which means shedding
off more jobs or pass on the cost to the consumer if they are to stay
afloat. This will inevitably push up prices and in turn inflation.

      "What we now have is a vicious cycle, we are in an inflation spiral
which the government is unable to end on its own," said James Jowa, a
Harare-based economic commentator.

      "On one hand the increase is welcome as a tool to fight inflation but
the impact on businesses that are already struggling is dire," he added.

      Zimbabwe is facing its worst economic crisis, which is signified by
hyper-inflation, critical shortages of foreign currency and fuel while eight
out of every 10 Zimbabweans have no formal jobs.

      The International Monetary Fund, once a key backer of Harare's
economic policies, says Zimbabwe has the fastest shrinking economy in the

      Critics of President Robert Mugabe, the only ruler Zimbabweans have
ever known since independence 25 years ago, say the veteran leader's
controversial policies have plunged the once bread-basket of Africa into
ruin and poverty.

      They point to the seizures of large tracts of white-owned commercial
farmland as responsible for worsening the economic crisis by driving
commercial agriculture down, contributing to widespread food shortages.

      An estimated four million people or a quarter of the 12 million
Zimbabweans require more than a million tonnes of food aid or they will

      Gono in his first public comments carried by the state media in the
aftermath of the September inflation figures, attacked mobs aligned to
Mugabe's ruling ZANU-PF party for resuming farm invasions, saying their
actions were inflationary.

      "Whoever is involved in the invasions is causing inflation, not only
in the short term but in the long term as well.when a nation chooses to be
fed by other nations even in times when drought is not an issue, it should
not complain when inflation starts biting," Gono said. - ZimOnline

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Trial of Zimbabwean journalists fails to take off

Zim Online

Thu 13 October 2005

      HARARE - The trial of 23 journalists of the banned Daily News who are
facing charges of practising without licence from the state media commission
failed to take off on Wednesday after the state said it was still preparing
a docket on the matter.

      State prosecutor Innocent Muchini said they could not proceed with the
case as they were still waiting for the docket from the Attorney General's

      "We will summon the accused as soon as the docket is ready," said

      But the journalists' lawyer Alec Muchadehama accused the state of
dragging its feet after the acquittal on similar charges of another Daily
News journalist Kelvin Jakachira last August.

      "It is clear that these journalists are facing the same charges which
Jakachira was acquitted of. The state has not prepared a docket for these 23
journalists because it has realised that it will not get a conviction," said

      A total of forty-five journalists from the Daily News and its sister
paper the Daily News on Sunday are set to face trial for working without
accreditation from the government commission.

      The police say they will try the journalists in batches with the first
group of 23 appearing in court on Wednesday.

      Although the Daily News journalists say they applied for registration
to the commission in late 2002, the commission refused to register them
saying it could not do so because they worked for a newspaper which was not

      The journalists were initially charged in September 2003 when the
newspaper was shut down and its equipment seized by the government after a
ruling by the Supreme Court that it was operating outside the law because it
was not registered with the state commission.

      The journalists face a two-year jail sentence if convicted for
practising without a licence. At least one hundred journalists have been
arrested in the last two years for allegedly flouting the government's tough
media laws.

      World press rights watchdog, the Committee to Protect Journalists
rates Zimbabwe among the three most dangerous places in the world for
journalists. The other two are Iran and the former Soviet Union republic of
Uzbekistan. - ZimOnline

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Farmer injured in shooting as farm evictions gain momentum

From SW Radio Africa, 11 October

By Tererai Karimakwenda

Violence against the remaining white commercial farmers has gained momentum
as a farmer was injured in a shooting in Harare South and evictions
continued in Manicaland over the weekend. Another farmer was forced to leave
with no time to pack on Tuesday night in Rusape. The shooting in Harare took
place early Sunday evening in Beatrice. John Worsley Worswick of Justice for
Agriculture said the area had been peaceful until three thugs attacked
Andrew Bruford and his wife at their farm. A chunk of masonry was thrown
through their lounge window and the three immediately appeared inside the
house. Two of the thugs were armed and they held Bruford's wife at gunpoint
while physically assaulting him. In the chaos that followed, Andrew was shot
on the shoulder and sustained a flesh wound. Worsley-Worswick said it
appears the thugs had no intention of killing the couple or of robbing them
either. Nothing was taken and the physical attack did not go any further.
The three simply left. Worsley-Worswick believes the attack was political
and probably meant to scare the couple into vacating their property. The
thugs' open display and blatant use of weapons also signifies that the
government may be sanctioning these recent attacks in a renewed effort to
scare off the remaining commercial farmers. Bruford was treated in hospital.
The most recent attack and eviction was in Rusape in Manicaland. Trevor
Gifford of the Commercial Farmers' Union said it started Monday night when a
group of about 25 thugs knocked on the windows of the Rusape farmer, so far
identified only as Michael. Gifford said the farmer was told to leave the
property by 6pm on Tuesday night. Michael has 33 hectares of tobacco, 10
hectares of maize and about 18,000 chickens. We spoke to Michael Tuesday
afternoon as he was trying to finish packing his chickens before the
deadline. He told us the people evicting him were in the house and he could
not speak. He said the new owner was a man named "Tsorai" who had a 3-year
old offer letter. Michael then hung up. Over the weekend two farmers were
evicted in Manicaland. One was from Nyazura and the other from Chipinge.

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No debate during sitting of Harare parliament


          October 12 2005 at 10:07AM

      By Cris Chinaka

      Harare - The first session of Zimbabwe's parliament after a month's
recess lasted just five minutes, suggesting it was unlikely to implement
measures quickly to confront the country's deepening economic crisis.

      The sitting on Tuesday was the first since parliament went on recess
after President Robert Mugabe's dominant Zanu-PF party pushed through
controversial laws to tighten its grip on power. It was not clear why the
sitting was so short.

      The southern African country is battling severe food, fuel and foreign
currency shortages, rising inflation and unemployment in a crisis that
Mugabe's critics blame on his government policies.

      Critics accuse lawmakers of ignoring Zimbabwe's pressing economic and
political problems that have forced an estimated 3.5 million Zimbabweans -
more than a quarter of the population - to emigrate in search of a better

      "Parliament should be the platform for honest debate of our national
problems ... but in our case, Mugabe and Zanu-PF have tended to treat
parliament as a process of formalising party positions," said John Makumbe,
a University of Zimbabwe political science lecturer fiercely critical of

      "The economic crisis that we are facing falls into the category of hot
and embarrassing questions, and Zanu-PF ministers are not going to allow
that to be debated publicly and honestly on the parliamentary floor," he

      The opposition Movement for Democratic Change has become ineffective
since it was dealt a crushing defeat in general elections last March.
Zanu-PF emerged with a two-thirds majority in the 150-member parliament.

      "They have used, and they will continue to use their numbers to stop
parliament from tackling the real issues, because for some of them, the duty
of all (Zanu-PF) party members is to defend Mugabe," Makumbe added.

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Zimbabwe banker blames land grab


      The governor of Zimbabwe's Reserve Bank has criticised the latest wave
of land invasions targeting commercial farms.
      Gideon Gono told the state-owned Herald newspaper that the seizure of
commercial land was contributing to the country's high inflation rate.

      The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has said inflation in Zimbabwe
will reach 400% by the end of the year.

      Inflation has been blamed on a shortage of foreign currency, which has
also led to shortages of fuel and basic goods.

      According to government figures, inflation currently runs at 360%.

      Dr Gono said it was the responsibility of every Zimbabwean to work to
reduce inflation.

      "If you invade a coffee, tea, cocoa, wheat or a fruit farm what you
are doing is to undermine the productive capacity of this economy, therefore
causing inflation," Dr Gono said.

      'Darkest hour'

      "So whoever is involved in the invasions is causing inflation, not
only in the short term but in the long term as well and when a nation
chooses to be fed by other nations even in times when drought is not an
issue it should not complain when inflation starts biting," he said.

      He said Zimbabweans should regard productive farms as sacred "because
to do otherwise is to surrender our control of the economy to imports while
reducing us to beggars of foreign currency".

      Dr Gono said though that the Reserve Bank would be able to deal with
the situation: "This is the darkest hour before dawn and we should never
underestimate monetary authorities' ability to deal with the adversity."

      In its 2005 review, the IMF estimated that Zimbabwe's GDP would fall
7% this year, a widening of 2004's 4% drop.

      Food imports

      President Robert Mugabe's controversial land reform programme has
since 2000 involved the seizure of white-owned farms.

      The policy has crippled agricultural production in the country,
leading to food shortages and an unemployment rate of more than 70%.

      Zimbabwe now has to import at least 37,000 tons of maize a week to
help feed its population.

      The government says it plans to help more than 2m people who are short
of food.

      Inflation will increase from 130% in January 2005 to 400% in January
2006, the IMF said.

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Hoogstraten grooming replacement


      Property baron Nicholas van Hoogstraten is grooming his son to take
over his empire - which he says is worth £800m.
      The tycoon, once described by a judge as a "self-styled emissary of
Beelzebub", said he was training Rhett, 20, the eldest of his five children.

      Mr Hoogstraten, who lives in a mansion near Uckfield, East Sussex,
said of his son: "He's doing fine. Well, he's my boy isn't he?"

      He was speaking in an interview to be broadcast on BBC2 on 20 October.

      Underground Britain shows Mr Hoogstraten, 60, visiting some of his
properties in one of his first major television interviews since he was
released from prison.

      'Over the top'

      He was jailed for 10 years in 2002 for the manslaughter of another
landlord, Mohammed Raja.

      Mr Raja, 62, was shot dead by two men identified as Mr Hoogstraten's
henchmen, but the tycoon's conviction for manslaughter was quashed by the
Court of Appeal in July 2003 and he was freed five months later.

      In the interview for the BBC2 documentary the property baron said he
has no plans to retire, but wanted his son to be groomed to eventually take

      He said: "I'm still young and fit and I've got a long time to go.

      "I'd like him to shadow me and find out everything that's going on.

      "But it's a difficult task because I keep everything close to my
chest, nothing's in writing, there are no records of anything."

      Rhett admitted his father can sometimes be a "bit over the top" but
said he wanted to emulate his no-nonsense business style.

      "I should hope so because he's been so successful," he said.

      "But there are also things that I'm sure I'll do differently than what
he does because we're different people.

      "I suppose I've got the best teacher so if I can learn his ways I
can't go too wrong."

      Mr Hoogstraten says during the programme that he currently has four
girlfriends and he claims to have made up to £25m in two weeks on the stock
market in Zimbabwe - where he owns land.

      The documentary reinforces his reputation for hoarding wealth,
re-using stamps and envelopes and buying discount Marmite.

      He said: "I'm not interested in spending money, I've never been.

      "I can't understand how people equate enjoying themselves with
spending money."

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Communal farmers to get preference on seed, says Made

The Herald

Herald Reporter
AGRICULTURE Minister Cde Joseph Made yesterday said seed houses have started
moving seed to retail outlets countrywide ahead of the start of the rainy

Cde Made told a Press conference in Harare yesterday that the Government
would this year give preference to communal and A1 farmers and contracts
would be signed between the Government and seed houses to ensure that
farmers receive seed on time.

"For the $1 trillion set aside for the agricultural season, the bulk of the
money would go to maize, sorghum and groundnuts.

"Communal farmers are already busy preparing their fields, so it's very
urgent that seeds go to communal farmers first," said Cde Made.

Secretary for Agriculture Cde Simon Pazvakavambwa, GMB acting chief
executive Retired Colonel Samuel Muvuti and Agricultural Research and
Extension Services (Arex) director Dr Shadreck Mlambo also attended the
Press conference.

Cde Made said GMB had been tasked to ensure that seeds reach communal
farmers in all parts of the country.

"To GMB, we would want to see that every area is touched.

"There would be little fertilizer distribution in the first phase of the
programme," he said.

Cde Made warned Arex officers against delaying the seed distribution

He reiterated that farmers' unions must organise themselves and form one
union with a common purpose and goals, not to sit and wait for Government
assistance all the time.

Said the minister: "They (farmers) should be masters of their own destiny
instead of attacking the Government every time."

Cde Made also said Non-Gover-nmental Organisations (NGOs) interested in
chipping in with their own farming inputs, were free to do so but with the
involvement of Arex officers.

"We are mindful of our environment. We accept the help that comes but it
must come directly through the Ministry of Agriculture."

Last month, Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe Governor Dr Gideon Gono said
small-scale farmers were the country's salvation because they were
dependable when it came to food production for the nation.

He said Zimbabwe's agro-based economy depended heavily on land and no amount
of finance could make agriculture successful until the land was fully

The 2005 rainy season was expected to start at the end of this week and
preparations of the farming season have gathered momentum countrywide.

The Department of Meteorological Services has predicted the start of the
rain season by the end of the week in the southern parts of the country such
as Masvingo, Beitbridge, Mwenezi, Chivhu and surrounding areas.

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Farmers Blasted for Underutilising Land

The Herald (Harare)

October 11, 2005
Posted to the web October 11, 2005


DEPUTY Minister of Agriculture, Cde Sylvester Nguni has taken a swipe at
some A1 farmers for letting the Government down by failing to utilise the
land they were allocated.

Speaking during a tour of a piggery project in his Mhondoro constituency on
Sunday, Cde Nguni said Government had given the farmers land on the strength
of their resource base.

He also castigated farmers who are in the habit of harassing former farm
workers saying such actions were illegal because the workers were
Zimbabweans who should enjoy equal protection.

The piggery project is run by four A1 farmers under a company called,
Braford Farming Services.

Cde Nguni said new farmers should inherit the farming activities from the
white former owners in order to avoid loss of production and under
utilisation of existing infrastructure.

The project has 560 pigs.

Braford managing director Mr George Mudanga said the project started in
August 2004.

He said they intended to expand their activities since they have received
support from Government departments such as the Pig Industry Board, Arex and
the Grain Marketing Board.

The former owner of the farm was also into rearing pigs.

Mr Mudanga said the major challenge they were facing was that of accessing
bigger loans from Agribank since there is a limit for A1 farmers.

Cde Nguni warned that all farmers who are not utilising the land, risked
losing farms to pave way for more productive farmers.

He said currently, a land audit team was in place and would visit all
provinces to assess productivity.

Cde Nguni told the farmers Government had set aside $1 trillion for A1

Cde Nguni said the money, which was made available through the Reserve Bank
of Zimbabwe, was availed after the realisation that the A1 farmers were
performing very well.

He said all farmers wishing to utilise the fund must approach stakeholders
such as Arex officers, community leaders who will support their applications
or produce their offer letters.

The deputy minister said supplies made to farmers would be paid to the
suppliers directly from the fund.

Interest on the loan is 20 percent, he said.

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Wolfowitz averse to Zimbabwean aid

Business Report

October 12, 2005

The World Bank might withhold further aid to Zimbabwe to "set an example"
over the situation under President Robert Mugabe, its president, Paul
Wolfowitz, said yesterday.

The World Bank would be allocating its funds "very, very carefully, and in
the case of Zimbabwe, perhaps not at all", he told reporters in Tokyo on the
first stop of a regional tour.

"My Africa experts say that with the kind of misgovernment that is taking
place in Zimbabwe, it is not clear that development is possible at all.

"We have to be very careful about corruption and its effects. We need to set
an example. It is a terrible waste of funds if it is diverted into

In a report published last week, the International Monetary Fund expressed
"deep concern" at the situation in Zimbabwe, with growth crashing, inflation
rampant and poverty soaring.

- AFP, Tokyo

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Wheels (and tyres) come off Mugabe's economy

Business Day

Posted to the web on: 12 October 2005

Dumisani Muleya

THE International Monetary Fund (IMF) painted a grim picture last week of
the Zimbabwean economic situation, warning the economy would shrink 7% this
year and take a long time to recover due to extended periods of

It seems the die is cast. Zimbabwe is irrevocably hurtling towards the
precipice and will crash to become a failed, rogue state.

With President Robert Mugabe locked in his own convoluted succession crisis,
he is barely doing anything constructive to reverse the damage caused by his
regime's failed policies.

The situation is worsened by the effective rule by the securocrats behind
the scenes. Last week it emerged that Zimbabwe's state security agency
engineered the disastrous demolition of shanties and informal businesses.
This shows clearly that Mugabe is hostage to his increasingly brash security
apparatus - army, intelligence and police - which is pulling the strings and
using Gestapo tactics. This will ensure that Zimbabwe not only becomes a
failed, rogue state, but also a police state, where those in control use
force - via the police, the intelligence services and the military - to
maintain power.

It is also clear the country will become chillingly repressive as the
economic and social conditions deteriorate. The diplomatic disengagement by
SA and the international community offers further room for Mugabe to ratchet
up repression.

Mugabe's economic recovery programme, which is more wishful thinking than
reality, has failed to turn around the crisis his regime's incompetence has
created. Mugabe's legacy will be devastating political and economic
collapse, characterised by poverty and social instability.

The IMF economic statistics on Zimbabwe were nerve-wracking to digest. The
IMF said the economy would contract 7% this year, after shrinking 4% last
year and 10,5% in 2003. The contraction will be due to continued
difficulties in agriculture, rising inflation and foreign exchange
shortages, particularly for fuel imports and other essentials.

Inflation would rise to more than 400%, the IMF said. Official figures
released on Monday showed year-on-year inflation rising dramatically, from
265% to 359% last month.

Inflation, described by government as the "number one enemy of the state",
could soon top last year's record 623%.

Central bank governor Gideon Gono, however, is clinging to claims that
inflation will be between 50% and 80% in December. He also thinks the
economy will grow between 2% and 2,5% this year. This shows how discredited
Mugabe's point man on the economy has become. No one believes his
projections any more.

Mugabe's regime is losing the war against inflation and this could well
become its political grave in the end. It is economic failure that will
finally bring down the Harare administration.

There are other factors showing the economy is fast vanishing down the
tubes. Only last week, Dunlop Tyres, Zimbabwe's sole tyre maker, shut down
due to foreign exchange shortages, throwing 820 workers on to the streets.

MD Phil Whitehead said: "We stopped production last week, and workers are at
home. This is a huge disaster. You cannot run an economy without tyres."

Dunlop is one of thousands of companies that have closed down in the past
five years.

In addition, a new wave of farm invasions and seizures is sweeping across
the country. The Commercial Farmers Union said last week that the government
had ordered 25 of the few remaining whites farmers to vacate their land by
the end of this month.

Such Stalinist measures will be the final nail in the coffin of Zimbabwe's
economy - and that will be Mugabe's undoing.

Muleya is Business Day's Harare correspondent and Zimbabwe Independent news

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High Court confirms Mandaza ouster

New Zimbabwe

By Staff Reporter
Last updated: 10/12/2005 11:10:11
IBBO Mandaza was cast into a media wilderness Tuesday after the High Court
threw out his bid to regain control of the Zimbabwe Mirror Group of
Newspapers (ZMGN) which was covertly bought by Zimbabwe's intelligence

The ZMGN is the publisher of Daily Mirror and its weekly sister paper, the
Sunday Mirror.

Mandaza had sought an interim relief setting aside his suspension after the
ZMGN board stripped him of all his benefits and suspended him on allegations
of siphoning close to $540 million from the company, based on a forensic
report into the Mirror's finances carried out by Ernst and Young auditors.

However, a High Court judge ruled Tuesday that the Mirror board which took
the decision to suspend Mandaza was properly constituted and the
intervention of the court would be unnecessary.

In his urgent application filed late last week, Mandaza had listed ZMGN
chairman Jonathan Kadzura, his deputy, Jonathan Marangwanda and the Central
Intelligence Organisation's dummy companies Zistanbald Investment (Pvt)
Limited and Unique World Investments as respondents. He also wanted the
court to determine if Kadzura's board had the legal force to suspend him.

Apart from seeking to have his suspension set aside, Mandaza wanted the
respondents to be "prohibited, interdicted and restrained from interfering"
with his "duties, responsibilities, privileges, business and general affairs
within the Zimbabwe Mirror Group of Newspapers."

Mandaza had hoped to get the interim order which would have allowed him to
within 10 days launch an action to determine whether or not Kadzura and
Unique World Investments (Pvt) Limited breached the parties' Shareholding
Agreement of Intent and whether they were shareholders in the group.

Mandaza's case hinged largely on clause 10 of the agreement which directed
that incoming investors into the Mirror should provide sufficient
guarantees, sureties, and securities to creditors of the company, which are
in proportion to their shareholding and as a precondition to them being
accepted as shareholders.

"The respondents have religiously refused to sign the indemnities to the
company creditors, yet they have the cheek and audacity to claim that they
are shareholders in the company," Mandaza said in his affidavit. "The group
is my personal property that has been used as security for all the company
debts and other finances the company mobilised to continue to capitalise.

"I submit that it would be naive, dishonest if respondents were to deny that
they have breached clause 10 of the agreement. Such breach has been raised
countless times directly by the first applicant, as well as by our

The take-over of the Mirror, in what is now commonly known as the Mediagate
scandal, is seen as part of an attempt by the intelligence services to
control the country's news output and limit dissent.

The Zimbabwe Independent newspaper which first broke the story of the CIO
take-overs, amid denials, has reported that the Financial Gazette, a
business weekly, had also been grabbed by the CIO in another covert
operation. The Financial Gazette's editor denies the paper is now owned by
the intelligence services but will not say who owns it.

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Buffalo deaths: Zimbabwe suspects anthrax


          October 12 2005 at 09:52AM

      Harare - At least 21 buffalo have died in the wildlife resort town of
Hwange in north-western Zimbabwe in a suspected outbreak of anthrax, the
official Herald newspaper said on Wednesday.

      "At the moment, we can only speculate on what is killing the animals
based on the symptoms we established. It is definitely not hunger or
thirst," the paper quoted Environment and Tourism Ministry Secretary
Margaret Sangarwe as saying.

      Sangarwe told the Herald that veterinary officers were making further
investigations. Officials were not immediately available for further comment
on Wednesday.

      Anthrax can rapidly kill cattle and other herbivores, but is treatable
with antibiotics.

      Last year, veterinary officials said more than 2 000 animals,
including 100 buffalo, had died in the biggest outbreak of anthrax in
Zimbabwe's private sanctuaries and that the disease could have been spread
by vultures from an outbreak in neighbouring Botswana.

      In their bid to contain that outbreak authorities in Zimbabwe burnt
two elephant carcasses, 100 buffalo and more than 2 000 smaller plains
animals while over 800 big game animals including 35 rhinos and buffalo were
vaccinated against the disease.

      Natural anthrax is endemic in Zimbabwe where its bacillus spores can
live for decades in dry soil and are ingested by animals ruminating for
remnants of vegetation, particularly in the driest months of September and
October before the summer rains.

      Humans can contract the disease if they cut up, carry or eat the meat
of infected animals.

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Questions and Answers: The “European Union Strategy for Africa”

European Commission Press Release

Reference:  MEMO/05/370    Date:  12/10/2005


Brussels, 12 October 2005

Questions and Answers: The “European Union Strategy for Africa”

1. What is the EU Strategy for Africa?

With this communication, the European Commission proposes the framework for a strategic partnership between the European Union and Africa. It sets out the way on how to support Africa’s efforts to get the continent back on track towards sustainable development and attain the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). It focuses on key requirements for sustainable development such as peace and security, good and effective governance, trade, interconnectivity, social cohesion and environmental sustainability. In addition, it reaffirms the commitment to increase EU aid to Africa and to improve aid effectiveness.

2. Why is the Commission preparing a new EU Strategy for Africa?

Despite much progress, Africa’s road towards sustainable development remains long:

  • Every 30 seconds, an African child dies of malaria,
  • Malnutrition and unsafe drinking water are widespread throughout the continent,
  • 40% of all Africans are still living on less then one EURO a day,
  • three out of every four persons who die from AIDS are Africans,
  • one African out of five lives in a country affected by war or violent conflict,
  • eighteen out of the twenty poorest countries in the world are African (in terms of per-capita income),
  • Africa is the only part of the developing world where life expectancy has been falling over the last 30 years.

Without substantial additional political will and financial resources Africa will only be able to reach most of the UN Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), not by the target year of 2015, but by 2050. As the biggest donor of development aid and the biggest trading partner of Africa, the European Union has assumed its responsibility. It has acted quickly and decisively to support Africa’s development: The European Council decided in June 2005 to make more resources available for development and to make Africa a particular focus of European development policy: The new EU Strategy for Africa sets out the framework of this policy based on the principles of equality, partnership and ownership.

3. What are the main themes of the EU Strategy for Africa?

The Strategy focuses on the key requirements without which sustainable development in Africa will not be possible: peace, security and good governance. It subsequently looks into action on key areas that create the necessary economic environment for development such as economic growth, trade and infrastructure. Finally, the strategy pushes for investing into areas with an important and direct impact on the fulfilment of the MDGs such as health and education, sanitation, and environment.

To address the key conditions for sustainable development, the EU strategy for Africa proposes inter alia a Governance Initiative and a Partnership for Infrastructure.

4. What does the EU’s commitment for “more, better and faster” mean for Africa?

The EU Strategy for Africa reaffirms the EU’s development aid commitment to do more, better and faster, made at the June 2005 European Council, to Africa:

  • Finance: At least 50% of the additional annual budget made available for development aid by 2010 will go to Africa. EU Aid to Africa will increase by two-thirds from 17 billion EUR in 2003 to a total of 25 billion EUR / year in 2010 (approx. figures);
  • Budgetary support will increasingly be used to implement development projects faster and strengthen African ownership;
  • Coordination among EU donors should be strengthened through concrete initiatives proposed in the Strategy; in this sense, it proposes to elaborate an Action Plan in 2006 enabling progress on issues such as Joint Programming.
  • Coherence with other policy areas such as trade, agriculture, fisheries and migration will be strengthened.

5. Which other concrete projects does the EU propose in its strategy?

To deepen the partnership between Europe and Africa, the EU Strategy proposes the following additional initiatives:

  • Twinning partnerships between universities, schools, municipalities, businesses, parliaments and civil society;
  • Creation of a pan-European voluntary service for young people with skills to share who are interested in Africa’s development;
  • Building on the experience and success of the Erasmus programme, a similar programme for student exchange between Africa and Europe will be examined.

6. How have relations between the EU and Africa changed?

The relations between the European Union and Africa are not new. They have evolved over the decades into a strong partnership based on common interests and mutual recognition. Yet, the relations between the EU and Africa have for too long been too fragmented between different policy areas and different approaches. The impact of EU policies is greater if all 25 Member States and the European Commission pull in the same direction and speak with one voice. Neither Europe nor Africa can ignore the three main opportunities for change that allow for building a single, comprehensive and long-term strategic EU-Africa framework:

  • One Africa: Many African countries have shown an impressive economic and social development in recent years. The African Union (AU) and NEPAD (New Economic Partnership for African Development) have rallied the continent around a process of political and economic integration.
  • One Europe: The European Union’s potential has increased with 25 Member States, but so have the challenges. The EU must improve coherence and coordination and make its aid more effective.
  • Common Objectives: Sustainable development in Africa is in Europe’s interest: economically, politically and strategically. A cross-cutting objective in the “EU strategy for Africa” is the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) on the African continent.

The EU Strategy for Africa can be downloaded at:

More information on the EU’s support for the Millennium Development Goals:


7. What is the political situation in Africa today?

With the birth of the New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD) in 2001 and the African Union (AU) in 2002, Africa has equipped itself with a strategy and institutions capable of guiding Africa on the road towards political and economic integration. The Regional Economic Communities (RECs), the building blocks of the continental integration process, are committed to fostering economic growth and political stability. At national level, many countries are making progress in the field of governance. In the past five years, for example, more than two thirds of the countries in Sub-Saharan Africa have held multi-party elections. A number of countries, such as Ghana in West-Africa, Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania in East-Africa and the RSA, Namibia, Botswana and Mozambique in Southern Africa have proven that political stability and sustainable development are two sides of one coin.

8. What is the economic situation in Africa today?

In the late 1990s Sub-Saharan Africa saw the first signs of a reversal of the trend of stalled growth of the previous two decades. In 2004, the region recorded real GDP growth of 5.1%, compared to 4.2% in 2003 and average annual growth of 2.3% between 1980 and 2000. Years of difficult structural reforms, the development of intra-regional trade and a fall in the incidence of conflicts have been key contributing factors to this expansion. Notwithstanding this progress, the number of Africans living on EUR 1 a day has almost doubled since 1981 to 314 million people. Thirty-four of the world’s 48 poorest countries and 24 of the 32 countries ranked lowest in the UNDP Human Development Index (HDI) are still in Africa, where malaria and HIV/AIDS kill over 2 million people a year.

9. What is the African Union (AU)?

The African Union, formally established in July 2002, has rapidly developed into a strong and credible continental political organisation. The AU seeks to promote progressive political and economic integration, democratic societies, and sustainable development on the basis of African-owned strategies. Only three years after its establishment, the AU has already made considerable progress and earned international respect as a credible and legitimate continental political actor and agent of change. Despite its limited resources, the AU was able to take responsibility and leadership for the African peace and security agenda and it continues to play a crucial role in the ongoing Darfur crisis.

10. How does the EU support the African Union?

The establishment of the AU as a new institutional pan-African level of governance has created new opportunities, and a new momentum, for EU-Africa relations. The EU has provided considerable political and financial support to the African Union and supports its objectives. Building on its own experience with integration processes, the EC has considered itself a key ally in the AU’s ambition to become a credible ‘change actor’ on the continent.

EU and AU have identified three main ways of building an effective partnership: through political dialogue, existing agreements and through the creation of a pan-African programme. The EU and the AU currently implement a number of joint projects, including the Peace Facility for Africa and a €50m support programme for the AU’s institutional and operational development.

11. Figures about EU Development Policy in Africa

The European Union is the biggest donor of development aid worldwide and the largest trading partner of the developing countries. For historical, economic and political reasons, the EU is also by far the most important donor of development aid and trading partner of the African continent:

  • overall, the EU (Member States and EC) provides 60% of all development aid to Africa
  • The EC is the second biggest EU donor to Africa after France with 10% of all aid to Africa
  • currently 46% of total EU aid goes to sub-Saharan Africa (e.g. 49% of Community aid, 85% of Irish aid, 82% of Belgian aid)

ODA (Official Development Assistance) to Africa by donors (OECD figures 2003 – table does not include the figures of other bilateral donors than EU, USA, Japan)

Million USD
EU – Community aid and bilateral aid of EU Member States taken together



EC – Community aid alone
IDA – International Development Agencies

[Graphic in PDF & Word format]

12. Facts about sub-Saharan Africa[1]

  • The country with the largest population is Nigeria, with 136.5 million people. It is followed by Ethiopia, with 68.6 million people, and the Democratic Republic of Congo, with 53.2 million.
  • The countries with the highest life expectancy are the Seychelles and Mauritius, 73 years (2003).
  • The country with the lowest total life expectancy, 36 years (2003), is Zambia, followed by Lesotho and Sierra Leone with 37 years.
  • The countries with the greatest reduction in life expectancy over the past decade in SSA are Lesotho (-20 years), Botswana (-19 years), and Zimbabwe (-18 years).
  • The country with the greatest HIV prevalence is Swaziland, where one out of every four adults has contracted the virus (38.8 percent of people in the 15-49 age group). This is followed by Botswana while the least is Mauritania (0.9).
  • Nearly half the population of Uganda (49.8) and Niger (48.9) are under 14 years old (2002).
  • The country with the highest level of child malnutrition is Angola: 53 percent of children under 5 are stunted (small for their age). Mauritania has the lowest levels, with 10 percent.
  • The country with the highest adult literacy is Zimbabwe (90 percent).
  • The country with the lowest adult literacy is Niger (17 percent).
  • The country with the lowest percentage of population with access to safe water is Ethiopia, with 22 percent.
  • The country with the least access to safe sanitation is Ethiopia, with only 6 percent of the population having access.
  • The country that received the highest net aid per capita during 2002 is Cape Verde (256 EUR), followed by São Tomé and Principe (200 EUR) and the Seychelles (92 EUR).
  • The countries that received the lowest net ODA per capita in 2003 were Nigeria (1.67 EUR)), Togo (7.50 EUR), Central Africa (10.90 EUR), and South Africa (11.70 EUR).

[1] Source: World Bank Fact Sheets


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UN war crimes prosecutor seeks Taylor handover

From The Financial Times (UK), 12 October

By Guy Dinmore in Washington and Mark Turner at the United,Nations

Liberia's elections present an opportunity for the international community
to ensure that Charles Taylor, the former president, faces justice before a
UN war crimes tribunal, according to the special prosecutor who accuses him
of being responsible for 1.2m deaths. Desmond de Silva, prosecutor of the
Special Court for Sierra Leone - which is investigating Mr Taylor's alleged
role in that country's internal conflicts - met Cindy Courville, senior
director for African affairs in the US National Security Council, shortly
before yesterday's polls. He wants the Bush administration to press Nigeria
to hand over Mr Taylor before the court, already trying nine other people,
starts wrapping up its work next March. The US and UK played a key role in
encouraging Nigeria's President Olusegun Obasanjo to grant Mr Taylor exile
in 2003 and hasten the end of 14 years of civil war. Mr de Silva says the
deposed warlord continues to stir up regional instability from his villa,
using vast sums plundered from diamond and logging industries. "It is very
important that this principle of accountability is put into effect," he
said. Analysts say Nigeria could hand over Mr Taylor if requested by the new
Liberian government. But it is far from certain Monrovia would risk a
backlash. "I'm just not sure a new Liberian government would feel strong
enough," said Salih Booker, head of Africa Action in Washington. "The
question is how much of a priority this is - how does it play politically
with all the major donor countries?" Mr de Silva is also concerned Mr Taylor
might flee to Zimbabwe if he sees the net closing in. Although the US is a
strong supporter of the court, and wants Mr Taylor brought to justice, it is
wary of jeopardising its relationship with Mr Obasanjo

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CSC to Spend $10 Billion On Drought Mitigation Programme

The Herald (Harare)

October 12, 2005
Posted to the web October 12, 2005


THE Cold Storage Company (CSC) will spend more than $10 billion in the next
two and a half months on a programme to save thousands of cattle that are
under threat from drought, the chief executive officer, Mr Ngoni
Chinogaramombe, said yesterday.

In an interview, Mr Chinogaramombe, said an assessment by officials from his
company revealed that a lot of livestock could be lost if action is not
taken to save the animals in drought affected areas such as Matabeleland
South, Masvingo and parts of Manicaland.

He said CSC discovered, on a recent tour of Matabeleland South, which for
years had been the country's prime cattle producing province, that more than
25 000 cattle might be under threat from drought.

"The situation is critical. That is why we are moving in with a drought
mitigation programme. Obviously our primary concern is to save the national
herd," Mr Chinogaramombe said.

Matabeleland South lost more than 50 000 cattle due to drought in 2003,
prompting President Mugabe to declare the province, a "state of disaster".

The CSC chief executive officer said the company would spend more than $10
billion in the next two and a half months on efforts to save cattle in
drought affected areas.

He said CSC was rolling out a drought mitigation programme covering four

"CSC is offering grazing land on our farms in Matabeleland South to farmers
who might be short of pastures for their cattle.

"Those interested in this aspect can liaise with our managers on the farms.
In fact, this aspect of the programme has been on since June," Mr
Chinogaramombe said.

He said CSC has two farms in Matabeleland South and these are found in
Matobo and Gwanda districts respectively.

"The beneficiaries are expected to pay a small fee for the service which
goes towards covering maintenance costs and we anticipate that, through this
relationship, the beneficiaries will at the end of the programme offer the
first right of refusal to buy their cattle whenever they intend disposing of
some of their animals.

"However, this does not mean that we will force them to sell to CSC," Mr
Chinogaramombe said.

He said farmers without water or grazing land for their cattle could sell
off their animals to CSC, which could either slaughter them or keep at the
company's farms.

"We do not, however, slaughter breeding stock. We only slaughter steers that
are still in fairly good condition," Mr Chinogaramombe said.

The CSC boss said the company would also buy cattle in affected areas and
move them to farmers who were under CSC's livestock supply scheme as part of
efforts to rebuild the national herd, which stands at about five million

"We will only do this where the Veterinary Services Department allows such
translocation. It has not happened as yet," he said.

Mr Chinogaramombe said CSC had come up with an arrangement where the farmers
could sell off 10 to 20 percent of their herd to CSC and use the proceeds to
buy stockfeed for the rest of the herd.

"The farmers are quite keen on this arrangement and have even modified it.

"They are saying CSC should buy the stockfeed and transport it to them and
then at the end of the programme they will pay CSC through the number of
animals equivalent to the cost of the stockfeed they would have received
from us, " he said.

Mr Chinogaramombe said this aspect of the programme had received a huge
response in Umzingwane and some parts of Matobo where there are more than 4
000 cattle under threat from drought.

"All things being equal, we should be sending our first consignment of
stockfeed under the programme to Umzingwane tomorrow (today).

"You realise that even if some of the farmers might have money to buy their
stockfeed they do not have the transport and fuel even to transport it," he

Mr Chinogaramombe said CSC was committed to saving the national herd and
contributing towards the rebuilding exercise.

Over the past few years, the national herd has been decimated by successive

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