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Canada Free Press

Staying awake in Zimbabwe
by Judi McLeod,

October 18, 2004

The Underground Weather Report, dispatched to the outside world from org over the weekend is worthy of world note.

"Harare has been gray and overcast for the last five days, but the sun broke
through the clouds as Morgan Tsvangirai was acquitted in the High Court.

"And now the sky grows dark again and thunder is rumbling around reminding
us that we are not yet free. Join hands in chasing this regime out."

In what is regarded as a surprise move, Opposition Leader Morgan Tsvangirai
was acquitted on treason charges last Friday.

From the little people, there was jubilation, dancing in the street and even
a public show of the MDC (Movement for Democratic Change Party) open hand

Tsvangirai's wife, Susan hugged and kissed him. Defense attorney George
Bizos, who also defended Nelson Mandela in 1963 and is credited with saving
Mandela from execution, stood with tears of joy streaming down his face.

Since his tantalizingly narrow, March 2002 election victory, Robert Mugabe
has made a monopoly of power, guaranteeing that judges loyal to his party
preside over the courts, shutting down the country's independent press and
silencing dissent with a security law that restricts freedom of speech and

"It is important that we are not lulled into any sense that the judiciary is
impartial and accountable," warns news@zvakwanaja in its weekend communiquZ.
"The acquittal was orchestrated by the regime to make our country seem law
abiding and democratic. The regime is desperate to be seen (as) upstanding
and to win favour with Southern African Development Communnity, (SADC), the
African Union, (AU) and the international community ahead of next year's

The people of Zimbabwe look to much from the MDC. "All of Zvakwana hopes
that the MDC will find some new energy and go all out to help us get a
better life in Zimbabwe. We do not want fighter planes circling the skies or
hundreds of black boots on the streets; we want jobs, food, good education
and health care."

Zimbabwe is owed more by the international community, and particularly by

Treason charges against Tsvangirai stemmed from state accusations that
Tsvangirai plotted to kill President Robert Mugabe with the help of a
Canadian-based political consultant, Ari Ben Menashe.

Attorney Bizos made mincemeat of Menashe's testimony at trial. Judge
Paddington Garwe said the state failed to prove that Tsvangirai ever asked
Ben Menashe to help assassinate Mugabe. Judge Garwe said Menashe was not a
reliable witness, has accepted money from the state and that his testimony
was not supported any independent credible witnesses. He also said that it
was clear that Menashe wanted to entrap Tsvangirai.

There was no mention of the RCMP report requested by Canada's Minister of
Foreign Affairs to investigate the plot.

Not only is Ben Menashe still conducting business in the City of Montreal,
according to the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC), "Ottawa has known
for years about Ben Menashe's trips to Zimbabwe's capital and his
association with Robert Mugabe.

Meanwhile, Zimbabwe came alive in joyful celebrations of all shapes and
sizes on Friday night, when justice paid a rare visit to a country that lost
its democracy.

"The regime can only stomp out a few fires, but they cannot dampen the
spirit of change that Zimbabweans are seeking," says news@azvakwanaja.

Canada Free Press founding editor Judi McLeod is an award-winning journalist
with 30 years experience in the media. A former Toronto Sun and Kingston
Whig Standard columnist, she has also appeared on, the Drudge
Report,, and World Net Daily. Judi can be reached at:
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      Olonga unconvinced by ICC verdict

      Former Zimbabwe paceman Henry Olonga feels the controversy surrounding
the team will not be ended by the ICC's decision to clear them of racism.
      Olonga retired from the international arena in 2003 claiming his
position had become untenable as his opinions were so opposed to those of
the authorities.

      An ICC probe found "absolutely no evidence of racism," by the ZCU.

      But Olonga said: "There will still be questions on the conduct of the
hearing and if it was the right conclusion."

      Olonga, who was full of praise for England's Stephen Harmison who
chose not to tour Zimbabwe, admitted the trip presented major obstacles to
governing bodies.

      "The ICC were in a very difficult position if the ZCU were found
guilty of racism not only on the rebel players but in selection in general,"
he said on BBC Radio Five Live.

      "It's a way out for the ICC in one way, they've washed their hands of
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From: Michael Laban
Date: Mon Oct 18, 2004  10:35:02  a.m Africa/Harare
Subject: Friday the 15th

Former-Councillor Laban's Occasional Newsletter - After 15 October 2004

What used to be a bulletin of discussions, resolutions, events and
pertaining to Ward 7 (Avondale, Alex Park, Strathaven, KG6 Barracks, etc.)


Well, I almost made it into the Daily Mirror on Saturday. There on page 2,
article headed "Mirror Staffers Arrested". The last sentence says, "Angus
a freelance photographer, was also arrested." I know the next
sentence was going
to say "former-Councillor Laban was also illegally detained for the day,
with about 12 old women who were holding a prayer vigil." Apparently it is
against the law to take pictures, or to pray. Perhaps some background
is needed.

I went down town on Friday. Like thousands of others, and it would appear
hundreds of thousands of police. I was stopped at the intersection of Second
Street and Samora Machel and told I could not go up Samora Machel to the
Court, nor could I even continue to walk along that side of the street.
some discussion a man in civilian clothes came up and asked what I wanted. I
told him the same story, and he said I could not go up. I asked who he was,
if he was a policeman. He said he was not, so I said, since we were both
civilians, I would just stand and chat with him. He then turned to the riot
policewoman beside him and said, "Put cuffs on him". I decided that he
did not want to have a conversation, and also that he was a lair when
he said he
was not a policeman, and I crossed the street where I found a friend to talk
with (from the MDC District Executive) as we walked along.

I met many more people in my strolling after that. Former Councillors L. P.
Mushonga, K. Nemachena, N. Bangajena, and then Ian Makoni and Eddie
Cross. Eddie
Cross told me that the police had taken him around the corner and "given him
some whacks", and he limped a bit. I enjoyed the fly past and looked at the
police horses, but the police to a man (or person) did not know why they
there. They all just knew it as "an event", and I had to explain to all of
that it was Morgan Tsvangirai's treason trial result.

Finally, I met Dale Dore. I took a picture of him (my second picture, the
was of the National Gallery) and we sat down to discuss Council, and
issues around it. Then the police came along and said, "Come with us". There
were four of them. I asked why, and was told that, "I would be told",
and "don't
make me use my baton on you". I asked if I was under arrest, and again told,
"you will be told". So I walked across Kwame Nkruma to a police Land Rover,
everyone started issuing orders. "Get in the back", "just wait for
instructions", "show us what is in your bag", "do you have a camera?" So I
opened my bag and showed them everything, including an apple. Now the
one yells,
"Are you trying to make us look stupid, I said camera and you show me
an apple!"
"No", I respond truthfully, (they do not need help being made to look
stupid) "I
was told to show you what is in the bag, and here it is, an apple". After a
more of this, I get into the back, still asking if I am under arrest, and
g told.

At Harare Central, my ID particulars are taken by the riot police in the
Rover. In the car park, my ID particulars are again taken, and again I ask
if I
am under arrest, and what charges and if I am detained. Again, "You will be

An officer from Police Intelligence branch in a brightly coloured tie takes
to his office, and seems unconcerned that I am talking on my cell
phone while we
go upstairs. He takes my ID particulars, and will not tell me if I am under
arrest. He asks for my story. I explain the City Council and show him
my picture
on his wall (Mayor and Councillors are up almost as often as President
He asks about the camera, and I finally discover the reason for being
taken in -
"suspected journalist". Well, I am not a reporter, I do theatre
lights, but that
does not seem to matter.

I am then taken across to Law and Order. Al this time I have still been
on my phone, and sending and receiving text messages, and Dale has rung up
say the result is out, Tsvangirai has been acquitted. So I tell everyone.

At Law and Order I am taken to one room with lots of people sitting on the
floor (Angus Shaw, the women, etc.) and my ID particulars are taken again. I
show the camera again and it is given back to again. I ask if I am under
and I am told, "you will be told", again. I am then taken to another office
where a man behind the desk is talking on two telephones and listening to
police radio. And my phone rings again. He gets very agitated, and
screams at me
to turn my phone off, so I do. He asks who I am, looks at my ID, his
phones ring
some more, and I am ushered out, never to see him again!

Back in the room with all the people I am told to sit. Not on the benches -
they are for officers - but on the floor. I say I am not going to sit on the
floor. I am not under arrest; I am not accused of any crime that I know of,
why should I sit on the floor. So I stand. Several police officers tell me
sit. The people on the floor tell me to sit, because I will not win. I
that we will win (meaning the longer struggle), and that I am not compelled
follow orders from people who are acting unlawfully. After a short while, I
told by one place officer to take the chair from that wall, but I must sit
the other wall. So I do it.

After some hours (around 1400), a more senior officer comes in and reviews
everyone by the notes written on pieces of paper. Most of it is in Shona, so
pick up only bits of it. Everyone remains sitting on the floor, and
passes their
IDs without standing up - sliding across the floor on bottoms if necessary.

When he gets to me, I stand up, walk across the room, give him my ID, and
return to my chair. He tells me to sit down - unnerved by the whole thing.
asks me why I am here. I ask him to tell me, and ask if I am under arrest,
for what reason I am being detained. I explain that I have been asking since
being picked up if I am under arrest, and that unless I am being charged
something I am being kept illegally, and I will sue for false arrest.
He now has
to think a bit, then declares that I am being held for "participating in an
unlawful demonstration," that threats to sue him will not intimidate him
doing his job, I will be told how they will proceed at the end of the day.
is the end of my interview.

While he is dealing with Angus Shaw, there is a great deal of commotion
outside. Someone is shouting for Angus Shaw, the door is slammed shut, she
yelling "Is Angus Shaw in there?" the police are yelling "NO", I am yelling,
"Yes, he's in here," and the police are cautioning Shaw that he is not to
anything or make a sound. I am saying that it is only polite -
someone calls for
your name, you should answer them. There is a lot more rushing about, doors
slamming, people going back and forth, and then the woman, who I now know is
Beatrice Mthetwa, is standing outside the closed door, dictating in a loud,
clear and precise voice, the details of an urgent court application for
release, "unlawful and unjustified detention". A real performance from a

After this, the two Daily Mirror reporters are led in, and Tichaona Chifambe
just takes a chair and sit beside me on the "non-police officer" side of the
room. We chat a bit. I read the Economist and give my apple to one of the
women. People go in and out to the toilet. It is all very boring. The
big threat
is that it will be very bring for the whole weekend, since it is Friday.

Finally, about 1600, I am taken out and put into a senior officers office. I
stand around for a bit, and am then told to wait in another office with two
others. For much of the time we are left alone in the office, looking out
window at the bus terminus outside (through the panes of glass that are
there, and not the broken ones that are covered by bits of cardboard) and
if I felt like being a snoop (or a good journalist), to read the notices on
walls, look in the officers diaries and address books, and all the papers
on the desks. It all seems a strange way to conduct business to me.

Then I am taken back in to the first office and meet the senior officer
(another one). He tells me to take the film out of the camera, leave
it here and
go home with the camera. But I cannot have the film. It is against the law
take pictures of police officers. I have to explain, again, what a
camera is. That there is no separate film. I cannot take it out. He is
perplexed, like all the other officers before him (I did not think
cameras were so rare!) and eventually we agree to leave the camera there,
and I
can come back on Monday.

Now I am left standing in the hallway waiting for an officer to escort me
while everyone delegates the job to someone below them. The officer I
to sue goes back into the senior officers room to check that I am really
let go, and finally a junior leads me away to the front door. It is
pouring with
rain but a friend, who takes me and my bicycle home, rescues me and life

To me, it is very evident. The police are seriously over-stretched, and
funded. They have no lights and no windowpanes. They lack paper. But
most of all
they lack legitimacy, and any pretense of law and order. They only manage to
the poor job they do by intimidation and threats. They constantly maintain
your rights have been forfeit when you get into a police station. And
faced with
someone like me who maintains that you cannot take a Zimbabweans rights
they are at a serious disadvantage. However I must say that I found their
threats to be very intimidating. I did not want to stay in for the weekend.
did not want to be there for another hour. I fully understand why the two
Mirror staff signed admissions of guilt - even though they had press cards.

So what is to be done? The police have taken it upon themselves to be
investigators, judges, and executioners.
?       They picked my up unlawfully - I was not charged, nor informed of
reasons even for my "investigation").
?       I was not tried, not even by a police kangaroo court. I never met my
accusers - "I was seen taking pictures", no evidence was presented - the
pictures are still undeveloped, and I never put my case forward because I
never really told what law I had violated.
?       I was punished by the police. I was deprived of my liberty for most
a day. There are many more who have suffered corporal punishment at
the hands of
the police, such as Eddie Cross the same day. Worse punishments have
been given,
if any of the stories are to be believed.

A big part of me would like to sue for false arrest (or whatever it is). If
police are not brought to task, nothing will change, and they will continue
give unsatisfactory service to the people of Zimbabwe. Service that we are
paying for directly, with taxes, and indirectly, with the loss of
flight of skills, rise of corruption and other crime, and all the
counter-development aspects that come with a break down of law and order.
the downward spiral will continue. As long as the police are allowed to use
unlawful means, they will lose the respect that should be theirs as the
legitimate enforcers of law and order. And when they lose that respect, they
will have to resort to further unlawful means. Hence the downward spiral.

However, I lack the resources to sue the police. No lawyer, nor funds to pay
for one. In addition, there is the part of me that is afraid to do what I
is right. Much advice is that by the time it gets to court, it will be to
But will it ever be to late? When there is a new regime, will that not be
late already? Just as Zanu PF kept the Rhodesian Front's Law and Order
Maintenance Act, will there not be a temptation to keep "things that
work" along
into a new order? Should we not start building democracy at the grass
roots now,
or afterwards? Is the struggle for democracy, or for a new order?

The other most annoying advice from almost everyone is to stay low and mind
own business. Try other means. I even had one man in the Reps bar ask why
women were praying in public? He prays for change, but does so in private.
Basically those women are silly for annoying the current regime. What he was
saying, to put it another way, is that we must censor ourselves, and keep
step ahead of the regime in suppressing ourselves. And even before praying
public is made illegal we should ban ourselves from doing it. This is the
as the graffiti advice "Help the police. Stay home and beat yourself up".

Anyways, I was out for the weekend. I did lights for the Bulawayo show
Spectacular", which was very good, and on Sunday helped move in for "Jesus
Christ Superstar" which opens on Wednesday at Reps. And I know I am going to
enjoy every performance of it.


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Zim Online

Tue 19 October 2004

      HARARE - The Zimbabwean government yesterday began recalling retired
teachers back to service and was recruiting unemployed high school and
university graduates to man classrooms as the country's more than 80 000
teachers went on strike for more pay.

      As education authorities battled to avert a costly disruption of
public examinations because of the job action, the police raided the Harare
offices of the Progressive Teachers Union of Zimbabwe, which is spearheading
the strike.

      Thousands of primary and high school pupils began writing their public
examinations yesterday.

      Secretary general of the teachers' union Raymond Majongwe said the
police seized various documents but did not arrest anyone when they raided
the union's offices in Harare's Milton Park suburb.

      Majongwe, who told ZimOnline his union had written to President Robert
Mugabe and his wife, Grace, pleading for a salary increment as a last
resort, vowed teachers would not go back to work unless their salaries were
increased from Z$670 000 for the least paid to Z$1.4 million.

      According to the Zimbabwe Consumer Council, an average family of six
(mother, father and four children) requires $1 494 700 per month to survive.

      Majongwe said: "We wrote letters to Mrs Mugabe and to the President
himself. We never got a response. We are just asking that an ordinary
teacher be paid a new salary of $1.4 million per month including a 50
percent transport allowance."

      Instead, Majongwe said, he had received a letter from the government
threatening him with jail if the teachers' strike went ahead.

      Recalled to help keep the creaking education system running were
former education administration officers, school heads and university

      Worst hit by the strike were the country's southern Matabeleland
provinces where the government had to hire people to invigilate pupils who
were writing their final primary school examinations.

      In Harare some teachers turned up for work but many who reported for
work yesterday said they would not do so today.

      The education sector, which together with health, was the pride of the
government's achievements since independence 24 years ago is in a state of
virtual collapse after years of under-funding, corruption and downright

      Strikes by teachers for better pay packets and working conditions have
become an annual ritual as has become strikes by nurses and doctors also for
the same reasons. - ZimOnline
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Zim Online

Student leader battles for life after savage attack
Tue 19 October 2004

      HARARE - Zimbabwe National Students Union president Philani Zamchiya
was yesterday battling for his life at Harare's Avenues Clinic after he was
kidnapped and severely attacked last Thursday by suspected members of the
government's secret service agents.

      Zamchiya, 24, could hardly talk or lift himself up from his hospital
bed when this reporter visited him at the privately-run Avenues Clinic. But
a nurse at the hospital told ZimOnline the student leader's condition had
improved since his admission on Thursday night.

      She said: "His condition is stable now, although he is still in great
pain and we are closely monitoring him."

      According to Zamchiya's colleagues at the students' union, he was
walking home from the union's offices in Harare at around 7pm, when a Mazda
B2200 truck suddenly pulled up by the roadside.

      Several men, who identified themselves as plain clothes policemen,
alighted from the vehicle, bundled the young student leader into their truck
and sped off. Members of the government's dreaded secret service, the
Central Intelligence Organisation, often pass themselves off as plain
clothes policemen.

      The secret service agents accused Zamchiya of mobilising students and
youths to demonstrate at the High Court against President Robert Mugabe
during delivery of judgment in opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai's treason
case that was taking place the following day.

      "They savagely beat him up. They claimed that they had information
that Zamchiya was organising to bring Harare to a standstill. He had to jump
off the moving truck for his safety," one of Zamchiya's colleagues said.

      The student leader blacked out after jumping from the truck and a
passerby took him to hospital at around 10pm.

      Police spokesman Wayne Bvudzijena could not be reached for comment on
the matter yesterday.

      The opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) party, churches,
local and international human rights groups have in the past accused the
government of using the police and soldiers to harass and torture its
political opponents.

      On the next day on Friday, after Zamchiya's ordeal, police and
soldiers teargassed and beat up hundreds of MDC supporters who were
celebrating in central Harare the acquittal of their leader on charges that
he had plotted to assassinate Mugabe ahead of the 2002 presidential
election. - ZimOnline

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Zim Online

Frail-looking Kuruneri remanded to next month
Tue 19 October 2004
      HARARE - Finance and Economic Development Minister Christopher
Kuruneri was yesterday remanded in jail to November, when he will face trial
for allegedly breaching Zimbabwe's foreign currency and citizenship

      Pale and frail-looking, Kuruneri, who was clad in a navy blue suit,
could only wave wearily to friends and relatives in the public gallery when
magistrate Omega Mugumbate told him to return to court on November 1.

      Kuruneri, who has been in jail since April, is accused of possessing a
Canadian passport in contravention of Zimbabwe's Citizenship Act which bars
Zimbabweans from holding passports of other nations.

      The most senior member of government to be nabbed in an
anti-corruption crackdown launched by the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe five
months ago, Kuruneri is also accused of siphoning out of the country 5.2
million rands, 34 371 pounds, 30 000 euros and US$582 611. 99.

      The Finance Minister denies the charges saying the foreign currency he
is accused of having illegally taken out of Zimbabwe and used to buy
properties in South Africa was acquired through consultancy work done
outside the country.

      Kuruneri also claims that a Canadian passport seized by police from
his home did not belong to him but to his son, Christopher (Junior).

      The Finance Minister, who may not be able to present the government's
next national budget in Parliament next month if he is not released from
jail, is also the ruling ZANU PF Member of Parliament for Mazowe West
constituency. - ZimOnline

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Daily News online edition

      Zanu PF wants me dead, says Muzembi

      Date:18-Oct, 2004

      THE newly-elected Masvingo Member of Parliament, Walter Muzembi says
some Zanu PF members in Masvingo want him dead.

      Muzembi surprised mourners gathered at the funeral of the late
freelance photographer, Lucky Hakata at Grenville cemetery in Harare on
Saturday when he said the Pajero that Hakata was travelling in with four
others had been shot at by Zanu PF members opposed to his election.

      Hakata, a Harare-based sports photographer was travelling in the car,
owned by Muzembi, to Harare when it rolled over several times at the 109 km
peg between Featherstone and Munyati on Thursday afternoon and died on the

      His body was taken to Chivhu hospital for a post mortem. The others in
the car sustained serious injuries and were admitted at Chivhu hospital.

      Without mincing his words, Muzembi, whose election surprised many
people as he was on suspension from the ruling party, said the people who
fired shots at his Pajero thought that he (Muzembi) was in the car as it was
the same vehicle that he had been using during his campaign in Masvingo

      "The people who shot at my car wanted to kill me. Hakata was sitting
in the back seat of the car where I used to sit during my campaigns. I am
very sorry for the Hakata family for what happened," said Muzembi, who
offered to foot the bill including buying the casket.

      A policeman from Chivhu who attended the burial of Hakata confirmed
that Muzembi's car had been shot several times.

      Muzembi's public announcement was filmed by a Zimbabwe Television crew
which covered Hakata's burial but the clip was not screened when the story
was aired on Saturday night.

      The Masvingo South constituency fell vacant after the death two months
ago of Zanu PF long standing member and former cabinet minister Eddison

      The two Zanu PF factions in Masvingo, the one loyal to the late vice
President Simon Muzenda and the one loyal to the late Zvobgo had been vying
for the Masvingo South seat when it fell vacant following Zvobgo's death.

      The Masvingo Zanu PF provincial executive, led by Daniel Shumba
announced that Muzembi, who belongs to the Zvobgo faction, had been elected
unopposed after all those within the party who had been contesting stepped

      It is not clear whether they were coerced into stepping down or did so
of their own volition. Attempts to get a comment from Zanu PF were in vain.

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Daily News online edition

      South African groups hail Tsvangirai*s acquittal

      Date:19-Oct, 2004

      Johannesburg - South African organisations have welcomed last Friday'
s acquittal of the opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) leader,
Morgan Tsvangirai but said it is too early to celebrate as Tsvangirai and a
number of MDC leaders and members were facing trumped up charges in the
Zimbabwean courts.

      Amnesty International South Africa chairperson, Samkelo Mokhine said:
"We are happy but we don't think that this signals a change for the better
in the judiciary in Zimbabwe. It's too early to read too much into that

      He said they would be fully satisfied that the pro-Zanu PF judiciary
had changed if it freed Tsvangirai on his second treason charge and all the
MDC leaders and members who were appearing in court on fabricated charges.

      Congress of South Africa Trade Unions (COSATU) spokesperson, Moloto
Mothato told the South African press that Tsvangirai's acquittal was "a
welcome move."

      "We welcome the judgment and we think that in itself, it strengthens
(what) the progressive democractic organisations are striving for . the
democratisation of Zimbabwe," said Mathato.

      He expressed optimism that the rule of law, the right to assemble and
freedom of speech would be restored.

      Mothato said there had been concern that opposition organisations and
unions that have been vocal against President Robert Mugabe and his policies
had been silenced through harassment.

      Mothato said this was evident in Tsvangirai's treason trial where he
was framed.

      The opposition Democratic Alliance welcomed the acquittal. However,
President Thabo Mbeki's African National Congress refused to comment on the
judgment until it had been fully briefed about the verdict.

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Diesel Shortage Hampers Refuse Collection

The Herald (Harare)

October 18, 2004
Posted to the web October 18, 2004


THE shortage of diesel is hampering refuse collection in most parts of
Harare and Chitungwiza.

As a result, residents have resorted to indiscriminate dumping of refuse.

Mounds of uncollected refuse could be seen at the hectic "Siya-So" informal
industries in Mbare and by roadsides in Chitungwiza.

Several proprietors of businesses at "Siya-so" expressed fears of a disease

"Considering that it's now raining, a health threat is looming if council
does not address this issue urgently," said a motor mechanic, who preferred

Harare public relations manager Mr Leslie Gwindi, while acknowledging that
refuse was not being collected in some areas, blamed the situation on the
council's failure to get a front-end loader in addition to the erratic fuel

"The problem was that we had no front-end loader. We have since managed to
get one which is working in Mbare right now and there should be people
working there throughout the weekend to clear out the mess," said Mr Gwindi.

In Dzivaresekwa, where refuse has not been collected for nearly six weeks,
residents are left with no choice but to dump it wherever is convenient for

Private companies are servicing some areas of Harare.

A member of Chitungwiza's health committee reported to council recently that
indiscriminate dumping of refuse was rampant in the country's third most
populated town.

He urged council to urgently clear the sites where refuse was dumped to
avert "a possible disaster" before the onset of the rainy season.

Acting Chitungwiza town clerk Mr Conrad Mutubuki told council recently that
the shortage of diesel had forced the local authority to reduce refuse
collection from twice a week to once.

However, with the size of Chitungwiza's population, a once weekly collection
would be far outstripped by the rate at which refuse accumulates.

In an interview last week, Chitungwiza mayor Mr Misheck Shoko revealed that
council had received diesel and petrol stocks which were expected to
alleviate the situation.

"This has been a major problem, but I can tell you that we have just
received petrol and diesel supplies. In fact, I have seen some trucks
collecting refuse around Makoni shopping centre," said Mr Shoko.
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Teaching Loses Lustre

The Herald (Harare)

October 18, 2004
Posted to the web October 18, 2004

Sifelani Tsiko

TEACHING was once the most sought-after profession through which scholars
enjoyed respect, support and a highly-glorified social status.

But over the years, the teaching profession has evolved, changing into one
which an analyst says is an "undervalued, under-appreciated and underpaid"

It is often said that teaching is the most essential job which makes other
professions possible.

But what has happened to all the respect, pride and esteem that the
profession had in the past?

"Gone are the days when teachers in a village could have chickens
slaughtered for them as a result of that esteem and the high knowledge they
held over others," says Professor Fred Zindi, an educationist at the
University of Zimbabwe.

"A teacher in the past was seen as a person who could afford a car and a
decent house. Now, all that is gone. Owning a house and a car is now a dream
that might never come true for many teachers today."

In the past, says Prof Zindi, the literacy rate in the country was very low
and whoever could read and write was highly respected and seen as the beacon
of knowledge.

"Human beings are the only species on earth which read books and do
calculations. No other animals have that gift.

"And with time, more and more people began to read and write. Those with
that knowledge became common and so the respect and reverence given to
teachers in the past began to depreciate in value," he says, explaining some
of the reasons that have seen the teaching profession losing its lustre.

Employment opportunities also widened soon after independence in 1980 and
more people were able to take up jobs in the financial, agricultural,
architectural, engineering, legal, business and other lucrative sectors
which were previously a preserve for whites.

"Teaching is now seen as a very common profession which has become easily
accessible," Prof Zindi says. "It no longer carries the same status that it
used to have in the past."

Instead, he says, there is now a tendency for society to glorify the
so-called "dealers" who flaunt their wealth by showing off their posh cars,
the latest trendy dressing, their plush mansions and other material symbols
of wealth.

"So-called dealers make quick money and have things to show off to the same
teachers who would have taught them.

"They all seem to be better than the teachers and tend to look down upon
teachers. This takes away all the pride teachers used to have," he says.

"Teachers are working for 30 days for next to nothing."

A teacher in Harare says some students even drive cars to school while they
have to contend with using public transport to the schools they teach.

"I've nothing," she says.

"Some kids drive to school and I can't even afford to buy a bicycle. This
erodes confidence and respect for teachers both in schools and in society at

She says some teachers, even though it's illegal, now borrow money from
students to see them through until the month-end.

"We can't cope with the rising cost of living because of our poor salaries,"
she says.

"There is now an entrenched view in our society that teaching is less
prestigious and less attractive."

This poses serious challenges to Zimbabwe, especially on how the country is
going to recommend its best and brightest students to consider taking up a
teaching career.

Teacher retention is another tricky aspect.

"How can we relieve teacher burn-out and feelings of intellectual isolation
so widespread among teachers in Zimbabwe?" asks one social commentator.

"At some point, I believe Zimbabwe will go through a phase, like the one
being experienced in rich countries - the shortage of teachers and nurses.

"Right now, the demand for teachers and nurses is so high in these countries
because of the issues and concerns that were not addressed in the past."

Prof Zindi says the economic challenges being experienced in the country
have also worsened the plight of the teachers.

Poor remuneration, a high workload, lack of accommodation, lack of learning
materials and other incentives have resulted in a flight of teachers from
the profession to other attractive jobs in the financial sector here at home
or to other menial but much higher paying jobs abroad.

Stories abound of teachers selling sweets, scones, fish and other things
just to augment their meagre earnings.

They also have to do part-time jobs, like offering extra lessons after
school and during school holidays, and this compromises the teacher's time,
commitment and preparedness in the classroom, resulting in a fall in the
quality of education offered.

"Respect can only be restored if teachers are highly remunerated and have
all the privileges of society that a person with a certain level of
education enjoys," Prof Zindi says.

"Teachers, just like people in other professions, have the potential to
climb up to positions such as that of secretary-general of the United
Nations, yes, just like UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan was a teacher or
President Mugabe was a teacher," he says.

He says there are many people who have risen to influential positions in
society, but teaching acted as a foundation and eventual launch pad.

Zimbabwe has more than 100 000 teachers, and teachers' unions are still
battling for better salaries and working conditions.

The Government has tried to address some of their concerns, but unions say
the issues are not being taken seriously.
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Forestry Commission Launches Energy Programme

The Herald (Harare)

October 18, 2004
Posted to the web October 18, 2004


THE Forestry Commission last week launched the Tobacco Wood Energy Programme
(TWEP) aimed at providing alternative source of energy to new tobacco
farmers during a field day held at Chapepa farm in Karoi.

This development comes at a time when there is rampant destruction of
forests by newly resettled farmers who are mostly dependent on woodlands as
a source of energy to cure their tobacco.

Speaking during the launch, the Governor and Resident Minister of
Mashonaland West Province Mr Nelson Samukange said it was imperative to
encourage new tobacco farmers to establish the wood lots to avoid further
destruction of forests.

The wood lots mature after five years.

"Presently, most tobacco farmers are mostly dependent on natural woodlands
as a source of energy. This programme seeks to avail an alternative wood
energy source by promoting the establishments of wood lots by all new
farmers growing tobacco," said the Governor.

Since many farmers have taken up to tobacco farming as a result of the land
reform programme, there was a shift from using coal which was traditionally
used by former large commercial farmers.

The shift, the Governor said, was due to high prices of coal which new
farmers could not afford.

He noted that unless concerted measures were put in place to curb further
destruction of forests, the trend would continue for sometime as long as new
farmers have no alternative.

Mr Samukange pointed out that Zimbabwe was a signatory to international
multilateral environment agreements such as Convention of Desertification,
thus activities towards bio-diversity loss should be minimal.

The Governor urged all stakeholders to take a leading role if the problem
was to be put under control.

"The Tobacco Industry Marketing Board (TIMB), apart from seeking markets,
should co-ordinate the various stakeholders and advocate for standards and
review the production policy.

"The farmers through the Zimbabwe Tobacco Growers Association (ZTAG) and
other arms of government like Tobacco Research Board, Forestry Commission,
Arex and the Department of Natural Resources should strive for high level of
collaboration to promote this programme," he said.

Speaking during the same occasion, the president of ZTGA Mr Julius Ngorima
said farmers should start to plant genetically improved exotic trees such as
eucalyptus, which grows faster than indigenous ones.

Mr Ngorima expressed concern over veld fires, which are impacting negatively
on the forests.

The occasion was attended by representatives from Arex, Department of
Environment and Zimbabwe Farmers Union (ZFU).

Forestry Commission, since the inception of agrarian reform in 2000, has put
in place measures to conserve the forests as well as to re-green the
affected areas.

It also deployed forestry management committees in all provinces, which are
conducting awareness campaign to educate people to manage the existing
indigenous woodlands for future generation especially in newly resettled

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World Bank urges leaders on values

[ This report does not necessarily reflect the views of the United Nations]

ADDIS ABABA, 18 Oct 2004 (IRIN) - African governance has been "polluted by
western intrusion," James Wolfensohn, the head of the World Bank, said on
Friday. Speaking at the United Nations African Development Forum in the
Ethiopian capital, Addis Ababa, he told politicians and delegates they must
tap their own traditional systems and values.

"Before colonialism it is clear that this continent had a remarkable concept
of management," Wolfensohn said. "There was long before colonialism a sense
of values, a sense of sharing, a sense of community and a sense of

He added: "It was a system of people coming together for a common purpose.
Now we have to find our way back. Governance is not something that is
strange to Africa, it is something that has to be rediscovered in Africa."

In a wide-ranging speech, Wolfensohn told the week-long conference focusing
on governance that the world's attention had been diverted to issues of
terrorism and Iraq. He said the "shadow of Iraq, the shadow of terrorism,
the shadow of political uncertainty" posed major hurdles to growth in

"The impact of this is important because it has diverted the attention of
the world to questions of military expenditure as distinct from
development," Wolfensohn noted. "The single statistic that tells it all is
that in this last year the world spent US $900 billion on military
expenditure and $50 to $60 billion only on development. As we come to Africa
we come to the recognition that the largest problem on the fundamental issue
that we all need to face is the issue of equity and poverty. If we do not
address [it] then there is no chance of peace," he said.

"If the fight against poverty is won it will remove the fundamental base
from the problems of injustice and the problems of terror," Wolfensohn
added. He noted that Africa was the "most vulnerable" continent with regard
to achieving the 2015 global anti-poverty targets known as the Millennium
Development Goals.

In Africa, Wolfensohn said, 314 million people now lived under the
international poverty line of $1 a day, compared to 160 million in 1981.
Africa's share of global GDP - which he said was $40 trillion - was just one
percent at $400 billion, he added.

Wolfensohn said that AIDS was the biggest threat to governance on the
continent. "You have to deal with the questions of AIDS because it is a
challenge that would bring down any government," he said, adding that
corruption, capacity building and legal and financial reforms were also key.

"All too many of the corrupt governments can be found in sub-Saharan Africa
and this is a tragedy," he said. "People lose their enthusiasm, they lose
their sense of purpose if they find that the results of the nation's hard
work is being distorted and going to the wrong places. This issue of
corruption is the single worse cancer that there is," he concluded.


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Harare's New Breed of Dealers

The Herald (Harare)

October 16, 2004
Posted to the web October 18, 2004

Melody Mbira

THEY wake up early in the morning everyday headed for the city centre - just
like any other formally employed person - where they mix and mingle all day
long. They come in all age groups - young and old - and can easily be
identified bytheir expensive designer wear.

Looking at them, one wonders where and how they get that kind of money to
buy Porsches, Mercs, Beemers, and their matching designer clothes - some in
red T-shirts and red shoes laced with patched designer jeans while others
prefer yellow or baby blue.

Just mingling apparently doing "nothing", the next question will be, how in
Zimbabwe are they managing to survive especially looking that good? Simple,
wheeling and dealing in Harare!

A new breed of dealers has emerged in the capital city - illegal money
changers, genuine and fake cellphone dealers, formal and informal retailers
are some of the businesses thriving in the city.

Some have criminal records while others deal ethically and legally.

Ximex Mall has become a hub for most of these dealers who spend hours
seemingly doing nothing, only to return home with a fat wallet. Because of
their colourful designer clothes many people now refer to them, as
"Coloureds" even though most of them prefer to be called "bawlers", a term
whose origins remains unclear.

However, not all those who wear such designer clothes are dealers. Some just
move with the fashion trends.

But just like some members of the Apostolic church who have been harassed
after being mistaken for the foreign currency dealers who dress like them,
they are in danger of being mistaken for dealers.

While there is nothing wrong with that kind of dressing or "dealing" in the
legal sense, the dress code has become synonymous with many illegal dealers
who make quick and easy money and can therefore afford the designer wear.

The most popular hangouts for Harare's dealers are Ximex Mall, Union Flea
Market and of late the extensively refurbished Gulf shopping complex next to
Market Square.

"I see these guys everyday, same faces, hanging around this place (Union
Flea Market) but honestly I do not have a clue of what they will be doing,"
confessed a 33-year old Harare man, Mr Witness Binde.

They park their cars at the same rendezvous "offices" everyday where their
partners come to discuss business. It would seem they owe the City Council
millions in uncollected revenue for free office space in the CBD!

This breed of dealers comes from several nationalities - among them
Nigerians, Congolese - but mostly Zimbabweans who are "living large" from
the proceeds of dealing.

"I repair cellphones and I also buy and sell cellphones and accessories and
if there is no business I come out of my office to chat with my friends.

"I have run my shop for the last three years but I have never been arrested
because there is nothing illegal about my business.

"I have heard people talk about changing foreign currency here (Ximex Mall),
but I do not know how far true that is. I only get to know of foreign
currency dealers when police conduct their raids," said one of the dealers
at Ximex Mall.

It seems this new breed of dealers continues to grow, and when the economy
takes a downward turn, they become even more prosperous. During the days of
cash shortage, they had it in abundance and when foreign currency was still
scarce, these dealers had thousands of US dollars and British pounds, some
of it fake.

While entreprenuership and innovative approaches to the unemployment crisis
are to be applauded it seems some of these dealers have become a menace to
the economy.

Worse still, they provide a ready market for stolen goods like cellphones
and computers as they buy these goods - no questions asked - for resale to a
desperate and unsuspecting public.

Many cellphone thieves have connections among the dealers some of whom
operate cellphone repair shops to camouflage their shady operations.

In Harare, one can buy a Nokia 3510 cellphone for only $800 000 from these
dealers. The same phone goes for about $3,5 million in registered

You can buy any time of cellphone and accessories at giveaway prices from
Harare's dealers. But, there is a catch - there are no guarantees, and, in
most cases, no certificates to prove ownership. In other words, you buy at
your own risk.

Police have in some cases conducted raids at the Ximex Mall, Union Avenue
Flea Market in a bid to monitor exactly what goes on there and curb illegal

"Quite often police have conducted raids which have seen most of them being

"It is always advisable that whatever business one is involved in, they
should ensure that they are in line with the rules and regulations of this
country," said police spokesperson Supt Oliver Mandipaka.

The dealers are also known to deal in foreign currency, which is illegal
under the Exchange Control Act, and in some cases some have been arrested
for engaging in illegal gambling.

"To keep the situation under control, police send out a surveillance team
sometimes disguised to keep an eye on the activities," Supt Mandipaka said.

Such scenes as the one often at Ximex Mall have become a norm in many other

In Gweru, the Chicken Inn area is crowded with this breed of dealers while
in Masvingo they usually hang around Liquids Bar and in Kwekwe they are
found at the glamorous King Solomon's nightclub.

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Challenging Chombo's Undue Influence

Zimbabwe Standard (Harare)

October 17, 2004
Posted to the web October 18, 2004

Takura Zhangazha

THE crusades by the Minister of Local Government, Public Works and National
Housing, Ignatious Chombo, against local authorities in opposition
strongholds is the stuff that depressing politics is made of.

While it may sound like everyday language, the consistency the minister has
shown in dealing heavy-handedly with local governments has undermined the
democratisation process where it matters the most in Zimbabwe .

Perhaps with deliberate and malicious intent, Chombo has begun a
redefinition of what it means to be a locally elected politician. He has,
albeit with the acquiescence of the executive, trivialised local government
elections, local political institutions and community-based organisations
beyond the pale.

He has shown that local elections are secondary to the national ones not
only in relation to the practice of power, but more so in terms of their
relevance to the bringing of freedom to the doorstep of the people of

In the capital of Harare, there is a subtle if sometimes non-existent
discontent with the Chombo sanctioned remnants at Town House. The water
crisis, for all its health hazards as well as its continuity, is being
articulated in the most political of fashions. The government and its media
have placed the blame on the opposition councillors while the opposition, in
turn, has blamed blatant government interference in the activities of
council as the reason why the capital city is in its current state.

What one might however disagree with is the reaction to these machinations
by Chombo and officials in the ministry as well as the council. It is the
familiar feeling of anguish, hopelessness that pervades many a Harare
resident when they wake up in the morning to the stark realisation that
there is no water to take a bath/shower and any other such uses that we make
of water every morning. Beyond that, it is acquiescence, and the shrugging
of shoulders.

To explain this acquiescence, it it is convenient and preferable simply to
point a finger at the repressive laws and brutality of the police but that
is patently inadequate. Chombo functions on the basis of the politicisation
of local government institutions and issues. At every turn in his political
manoevering, he waits to utilise the Urban Councils Act to undermine the
opposition led councils strictly for the purpose of the reclaiming political
ground lost by Zanu PF.

An example of this type of political trickery has been the manner in which
he is dealing with the Bulawayo City Council's position on starving
residents in the City of Kings. Chombo conveniently ignores the actual issue
of the dying and starving, and pursues the mayor with venom.

The opposition councillors on the other hand, react in kind. They react with
a simultaneous politicisation of local council issues. They got into office
by correctly claiming the failure of Zanu PF but have since proven inept at
de-politicising their electoral victories in order to garner support among
the residents.

One might argue, that everything in Zimbabwe is political and therefore the
councillors were not naive or simplistic in attacking Chombo from a
politicised view. True, this argument would sustain a conversation but I
hazard to add, would come nowhere near sustaining a continually politically
conscious urban populace.

What perhaps should be addressed is the meaning of "local issues" and as a
consequence, the significance of local government in the context of
Zimbabwe's dictatorship. local issues related mainly to the provision of
amenities within a specific community. These services will include running
(and clean) water provision, health services, education and management
public transport.

This goes both for the rural and the urban communities that comprise
Zimbabwe. These issues have direct relevance to people's lives and
essentially, are life and death matters. They do not in any way pre-suppose
a distant governing authority that is run solely on the basis of the number
of council meetings held or the type of offices that an authority is housed
in. Local issues are "living" or "organic" issues that are articulated
everyday in the locality in which they are residing. In other words, local
issues, because they relate to the day-to-day events of people's lives, are
the bedrock of mass mobilisation.

Chombo, by running the Harare council into the ground, should have created
fertile ground for discontent within the capital. On the contrary however,
he has successfully managed, at least for now, to create a comfortable
victory for himself. Because the elected councillors reacted in an
"political" sense, by correctly accusing the government of usurping the
people's will, they lost out on the meaning of continued engagement with the
local issues affecting residents.

To clarify, the engagement with local issues does not mean council
resolutions and availability of funds only from rates or central government.
It means continued mobilisation of residents on the basis of the evident
discontent over the manner in which services are being provided.

To centre on power institutions is to miss the mark widely. A city council
exists in so far as it regulates the city, but the issues that are affecting
residents exist with them and they must be moved to act upon issues that are
being ignored.

When there have been the organisation of demonstrations, issues of mass
action, the central focus has been targeting institutions of authority in
the country and articulation of a good governance agenda. The brave men and
women who have been organising these demonstrations have to include as part
of their grievances, local issues.

Moreover, they need to decentralise these demonstrations to places such as
residential areas, where even though they will get less press coverage, they
will etch themselves into the local psyche for working on more immediate

It is from there that there will be a renewal of the popular support against
the government and the likes of Chombo.

The former MDC councilors for Harare should now be directly involved in
challenging Chombo on the basis of community mobilisation in their wards,
and the creation of alternative means of dealing with the problems
bedeviling the residents.

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Export Market Shows Decline: Zimtrade

The Herald (Harare)

October 18, 2004
Posted to the web October 18, 2004


ZIMBABWE'S performance on the export market continues to show a decline
despite a number of incentives put in place by Government to boost the

The country's trade promotion body ZimTrade says the manufacturing sector
has not been doing particularly well.

"The export market has continued to show a decline particularly in the
manufacturing sector.

"Capacity is still there however for the short-term," ZimTrade manager,
Information Services Mr Chris Tsimba said.

However there are other macroeconomic challenges that hinder the
manufacturing sector from realising its full potential and operate at
maximum capacity.

"Examples are hyperinflation, the non availability of foreign currency at
affordable prices and general decline in domestic disposable incomes that
have all impacted negatively resulting in manufacturing generally operating
below capacity," Mr Tsimba said.

The Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe recently said the export sector was suffering
under the pressures of rising production costs and foreign currency

Foreign currency is required to source raw materials, chemicals, machinery
and equipment and other essential inputs such as fuel and electricity.

Exports represent a major source of foreign currency earnings for the

The recently unveiled Industrial Development Policy prioritises a
comprehensive national export strategy.

ZimTrade is expected to play a key role in the strategy espoused in the

Its role is to spearhead the opening up of new export markets and
consolidate existing markets.

Statistics from the central bank show that export earnings declined from
US$2,4 billion in 1996 to around US$850 million last year in nominal terms.

Trade analysts have said that exporters are not fully taking advantage of
the various incentives in place.

Exporters have been urged to develop an export culture, which takes
advantage of opportunities in the sub-region and other international trading

Government also recently unveiled the productive sector facility, which is
designed to boost production in the manufacturing sector.

The need for value addition has also been emphasised.

Zimbabwe's manufactured exports only account for about 20 percent of total
exports with the bulk being primary goods.

Meanwhile, ZimTrade's says it has been involved in a number of export
promotion activities.

"We assisted companies to attend the following trade fairs; Malawi
International Trade Fair, Luanda International Trade Fair, Angola and Dar es
Salaam International Trade Fair, Tanzania," Mr Tsimba said.

Zimbabwean companies also participated at SAITEX multi-sectoral trade fair
in South Africa.

Mr Tsimba added that ZimTrade also has a number of promotional activities
lined up from October to December 2004.

"There will be a Hortifair in Amsterdam, Holland and this is the only
European Union specialised international trade fair for cut flowers and we
also have a selling mission to Lubumbashi coming up," he said.

In addition ZimTrade is co-ordinating preparations for Zimbabwe's
participation at Exposition Aichi 2005, Japan.
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