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Mugabe, Tsvangirai fail to agree on posts

Article from: Agence France-Presse

From correspondents in Harare

October 01, 2008 04:57am

ZIMBABWE'S President Robert Mugabe and opposition Movement for Democratic
Change leader Morgan Tsvangirai met today but failed to agree on a share-out
of ministries in a power-sharing government, the opposition said.

MDC spokesman Nelson Chamisa said that the deadlock had been referred back
to former South African president Thabo Mbeki who mediated the agreement
signed earlier this month.

"As MDC, we refuse to be junior partners in the inclusive government," Mr
Chamisa said.

"Any power-sharing is supposed to be a partnership of equals. As a result of
this, there has been a deadlock. The matter has been referred to the

The standoff follows Mr Mugabe's claim yesterday that a new government would
be formed by the end of the week.

"Unfortunately, there has not been any movement on the part of (Mugabe's)
ZANU-PF who are insisting on taking all the powerful ministries against the
spirit of a power-sharing agreement," said Mr Chamisa.

A source close to the negotiations said ZANU-PF wants the defence, home
affairs, state security and finance ministries.

"We are hoping that the Southern African Development Community who are the
guarantors of this deal and the African Union will help us resolve this
matter," said Mr Chamisa.

The situation in the country was dire, he said.

Mr Mugabe yesterday said four ministries remained to be allocated and denied
there was a deadlock.

"We will be setting up government by the end of the week," Mr Mugabe said on
his return from the UN General Assembly meeting in New York.

"We never said there was a deadlock."

Mr Mugabe, Mr Tsvangirai and MDC splinter group leader Arthur Mutambara
agreed on September 15 to a landmark power-sharing agreement.

Under the agreement, Mr Mugabe will remain as head of state after nearly
three decades in power while Mr Tsvangirai is to take up a new post of prime

The deal brokered by Mr Mbeki was heralded as a historic initiative to
resolve Zimbabwe's political deadlock and economic melt-down.

Once one of Africa's most prosperous countries, Zimbabwe now suffers the
world's highest rate of inflation, last estimated at 11.2 million per cent,
leaving 80 per cent of the population living in desperate poverty.

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Mugabe demands right to appoint all key ministers

Power-sharing deal appears close to collapse as latest move leaves
opposition toothless at helm of Zimbabwe
Alex Duval Smith in Harare,
Tuesday September 30 2008 19:30 BST

The Zimbabwe power-sharing agreement today appeared near collapse after
President Robert Mugabe demanded the right to appoint all key cabinet
ministers, rendering the opposition toothless at the helm of the country.

After an hour-long meeting between the 84-year-old president and prime
minister-elect Morgan Tsvangirai, his opposition Movement for Democratic
Change (MDC) said it had asked South African mediator Thabo Mbeki to salvage
the power-sharing process.

However, South African officials tonight could not confirm they had received
such a request, amid confusion since Mbeki resigned as president on
September 21.

MDC spokesman Nelson Chamisa said: "We want to share power. But Mugabe wants
to swallow the MDC. We will not allow that. He wants all the key
ministries - finance, home affairs, defence, information, foreign affairs,
justice and even women and youth."

On Monday, after returning from the United Nations General Assembly in New
York, Mugabe told a crowd at Harare airport that he would appoint a cabinet
"before the end of this week", suggesting he would not await the agreement
of the MDC.

Zimbabwe has been without a government since parliament was dissolved in
January ahead of elections on March 29 in which the MDC won a lower house
majority and Tsvangirai forced Mugabe to a presidential run-off poll.

The violence that preceded the second election, on June 30, prompted the
opposition leader to withdraw. Under a power-sharing agreement mediated by
Mbeki and signed on September 15, the government was to have 31 ministries.

In a bid to reflect the parliamentary election result, 13 of the ministries
were to be nominated by Tsvangirai's MDC and a further three by another
faction of the MDC, led by Arthur Mutambara.

But talks about which ministries would be offered to whom had not been
completed before the signing and the process quickly began to falter amid an
unrelated power-struggle in South Africa which saw Mbeki ousted as president
a week later.

In New York last week, Mugabe claimed agreement had been reached on all but
four ministries, which he did not name but which were believed to be home
affairs, finance, local government and foreign affairs.

The international community were looking to the MDC winning control of at
least the finance ministry and preferably foreign affairs before resuming
full trade relations and ultimately considering lifting travel bans and
asset restrictions on leading figures in the ruling Zimbabwe African
National Union - Patriotic Front (Zanu-PF).

Observers had suggested that Mugabe wanted to retain control of the defence
ministry - and therefore the army - but might be prepared to relinquish home
affairs - and thus control of the police - to the opposition.

But it now appears that negotiations had never reached such an advanced
stage. Nor did they progress while Mugabe was in the United States for 10

University of Zimbabwe political analyst John Makumbe said the agreement was
"full of holes" from the start. He said: "I do not know what the MDC were
thinking when they signed it. The agreement left Mugabe with all the powers.
It was defective because it never allocated the levers of power.

"Now he has behaved in his predictable fashion. He is not only backing out
of the deal but it is clear that he was simply trying to use the MDC as a
glove to bring back foreign direct investment.

"By the end of this week we can expect to have a cabinet just as Mugabe
wants it. He is under pressure from the old guard in Zanu-PF who do not want
to lose their jobs."

Makumbe shared misgivings expressed by several observers about Mbeki's
future role. Despite having been endorsed by the Southern African
Development Community and the African Union to continue as mediator, he is
seen as lacking clout now that he is no longer president.

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Tens of thousands flood Zimbabwe banks as 11,000,000% inflation sparks cash shortage

By Amy Iggulden
Last updated at 5:31 PM on 30th September 2008


Tens of thousands of people are queuing at Zimbabwean banks in a desperate bid to withdraw cash before its value evaporates.

Crowds of savers lined up to remove their money after the daily bank withdrawal limit was raised to 20,000 Zimbabwean dollars - about £17.

The previous $1,000 limit was barely enough to buy a newspaper. Official inflation has hit 11 million per cent and the central bank issued higher denomination banknotes to tackle the cash shortage.

Enlarge   Thousands of Zimbabweans queued outside banks in Harare yesterday in a desperate bid to withdraw cash before its value evaporates

Thousands of Zimbabweans queued outside banks in Harare yesterday in a desperate bid to withdraw cash before its value evaporates

Mothers with babies strapped to their backs arrived at dawn to get at their savings while campaigners called for the withdrawal cap to be scrapped.

Lovemore Matombo, head of the Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions, said if politicians did not take action soon to ease the suffering of workers 'we will go onto the streets'.

He called for the limit on withdrawals to be removed altogether, but central bank officials say that could spark a run on banks that would worsen the cash shortages.

This Harare branch of Barclays was inundated by concerned Zimbabweans

This Harare branch of Barclays was inundated by concerned Zimbabweans

Mothers with babies strapped to their backs arrived at dawn to get at their savings while campaigners called for the withdrawal cap to be scrapped.

Lovemore Matombo, head of the Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions, said if politicians did not take action soon to ease the suffering of workers 'we will go onto the streets'.

He called for the limit on withdrawals to be removed altogether, but central bank officials say that could spark a run on banks that would worsen the cash shortages.

Enlarge   Thousands of Zimbabweans queued outside banks like this one in Harare in a desperate bid to withdraw cash before its value evaporates

The long queues weaved their way around the city centre

Zim cash

Cash-flow problem: Zimbabwe's Prime Minister-designate Morgan Tsvangirai talking to people outside the Stanbic Bank in Harare during a tour to assess the cash shortages facing the country

On Saturday, central bank governor Gideon Gono vowed to keep printing money despite warnings that the practice is fuelling inflation.

As the queues disrupted traffic in the capital Harare yesterday, President Robert Mugabe returned from a 10-day trip to the UN promising a new coalition government will be named soon.

Getting the long-promised government up and running is seen as a first step to addressing the southern African nation's growing economic and humanitarian crisis.

A man holds Zimbabwe's newly-released $10,000 and $20,000 bank notes

A man holds Zimbabwe's newly-released $10,000 and $20,000 bank notes

But with his absence, a power-sharing deal he signed with his rivals in the Movement for Democratic Change has stalled. The two sides have been unable to agree which party would control key Cabinet posts, among them the Finance Ministry.

Mugabe, 84, said: 'We never said there was a deadlock. But we will be setting up a government toward the end of the week.'

He also warned US ambassador James McGee, an outspoken critic, to stop 'interfering' in domestic matters.

Mugabe's rival, Morgan Tsvangirai, who is to be prime minister in the unity government, has said a new government must be formed within days to avert a humanitarian crisis.


This is true inflation, when the governments thinks it can get out of trouble by printing more and more money. What we have is not strictly speaking inflation. we have price increases. If wages start to increase to match then that becomes inflation! Heavens knows what 11,000,00% means. the country should have collapsed ages ago - can someone explain this?

- Joanna Later, Cambs, 30/9/2008 20:04


God help us!!

- Mabhena, London, UK, 30/9/2008 21:05


They might as well use bottle tops instead of notes

- Phil Bailey, Shrewsbury UK, 30/9/2008 21:51


And yet there are still people in Zimbabwe who support Mugabe. Makes me think that not everyone is suffering, or else they are very, very foolish indeed.

- Stanica, Canada, 30/9/2008 22:21


Tsvchangeri was a damn fool to sign up with Mugabe as he will become embroiled in the financial meltdown and Mugabe will see to that he will carry the can.

- Roger Kingston, york, 30/9/2008 22:54

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RBZ introduces new bank notes again

September 29, 2008

By Our Correspondent

HARARE - As President Robert Mugabe arrived back in Harare Monday after his
sojourn to the United Nations last week, his closest ally, Reserve Bank
governor, Gideon Gono, unveiled new currency.

Unconfirmed reports have it that the widely discredited Gono is Mugabe's
leading contender for the position of  Minister of Finance in the new
Cabinet whose composition has remained a bone of contention between Mugabe
and his major rival Morgan Tsvangirai leader of the Movement for Democracy.
The two signed a power-sharing deal on September 15. Arthur Mutambara the
leader of a small breakaway faction of the MDC was also a signatory.
Mutambara's faction secured 10 seats in Parliament in elections held on
March 29.

If the Movement for Democratic Change secures the Ministry of Finance there
is a perception that one of their first steps will be to terminate Gono's
tenure of office as governor of the central bank.

In a move aimed at easing the debilitating cash shortages that have affected
the country for 13  months, the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe unveiled new $10
000 and $20 000 notes which went into circulation on Monday, September 29.

The 19th and 20th banks notes introduced by the Reserve Bank this year
alone, were launched three days after the central Bank reviewed the maximum
daily cash withdrawals for individuals from $1 000 up to, while corporate
organisations can now withdraw $20 000.

The bank also announced that individual foreign currency account (FCA)
holders can now withdraw any amount from their accounts without limitation.

Prices of basic commodities immediately started to increase in response to
the appearance of the new notes.

"The Reserve Bank is fighting a losing battle," economist John Robertson
said in telephone interview. "As long as the inflation remains high, cash
shortages will persist. There is need to address the inflation by increasing
production so that goods do not cost a lot of money."

Last week, four Harare residents filed an urgent High Court application
seeking an order outlawing cash withdrawal limits. They argued in their
affidavit that the limits were depriving people of their right to life as
enshrined in the Constitution and international conventions.

Rogers Chigwededza, Tinashe Gotora, Jackson Mabota and Precious Mwateyeni
cited finance minister, the Reserve Bank and three financial institutions -
CABS, POSB and Metropolitan Bank - as respondents. Currently Zimbabwe has no
Minister of Finance or any other Cabinet minister.

The applicants want the High Court to bar the finance minister and the
central bank from imposing withdrawal limits.

"In the event there be any limits 1st and 2nd respondents (Minister of
Finance and Reserve Bank) should widely consult all stakeholders and take
into account their daily practical needs and that limits be revised once the
withdrawal limits become inadequate," read the application.

"The third, fourth and fifth respondents (CABS, Metropolitan Bank and POSB)
should allow applicants to withdraw in demand monies of the applicants held
by them."

The applicants said the limitation of withdrawals were inhumane, degrading
and a violation of the right to life as stated in Article 11 of the
International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights.

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New 20 000 dollar note printed on ordinary paper
Local NewsSeptember 30, 2008 | By Simba Dzvairo |

Harare-The new 20-thousand-dollar note unveiled by Zimbabwe’s central bank in a bid to ease widespread cash shortages is printed on ordinary paper and lacks any such security features as a watermark or security thread.

The Reserve Bank raised the daily withdrawal limit in Zimbabwe, prompting tens of thousands to line up in desperate hopes of getting enough cash for groceries before spiraling inflation eats away more of the currency’s value.

New rules went into effect the day President Robert Mugabe returned from the UN allowing withdrawals of up to ZIM$20 000 ($35). The old ZIM$1 000 limit was barely enough to buy a newspaper.

The limit and the fact that Zimbabwe has the world’s highest inflation rate, officially 11-million percent, unofficially much higher, has meant long lines at banks most days.

But Monday was extraordinary. Mothers with babies strapped to their backs arrived at bank doors at dawn. Police vainly tried to stop the crowds from blocking traffic, but there appeared to be more police and uniformed soldiers in line to get cash than on duty.

On Saturday, central bank governor Gideon Gono vowed to keep printing money, a practice critics say has fueled inflation.

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Farmers Under Threat as Farm Invasions Continue

SW Radio Africa (London)

30 September 2008
Posted to the web 30 September 2008

Alex Bell

As the impasse over the distribution of cabinet posts in Zimbabwe's new
government continues, white farmers have become targets of looting and
evictions - yet another sign that the deal signed by the country's political
rivals has done nothing to change the situation on the ground.

Since the leaders of the MDC and ZANU PF put their signatures to the long
awaited deal, there have been fresh farm invasions in Manicaland, with at
least 4 farms in the Vumba area being taken over. Another 2 farms in Old
Mutare have also been invaded, with the invaders apparently brandishing
'fake' offer letters from State Security and Lands Resettlement Minister
Didymus Mutasa.

A recent report on farm disruptions indicates that there has been a definite
upsurge in the increase of offer letters being issued by Mutasa, with a high
percentage of the new 'beneficiaries' being part of the military. The new
'beneficiaries' of the land have been arriving on many properties, claiming
immediate access to homesteads and crop lands. A further threat to
productive farmers has also come from the recent promise to give land to
Chiefs, who have allegedly not benefited from the land reform programme.

Meanwhile, according to a weekend report by the Commercial Farmers Union
(CFU) at least 35 white farmers have been forcibly evicted from their
properties since the deal was signed two weeks ago. The main farmers' body
in the country said state security agents and war veterans have led new farm
invasions that it said were taking place in almost all of the country's
eight provinces.

John Worsley-Worswick from Justice for Agriculture told Newsreel on Tuesday
that there are grave concerns of more invasions, and explained that there
has been 'distinct escalations' of attacks since both the signing of the
Memorandum of Understanding and the power sharing deal. He said both
occasions prompted an 'expectation of the return to rule of law', but
instead saw a, "last ditch grab by hierarchy officials, including war
veterans and high ranking ZANU PF members," for land and moveable assets.

The latest farm invasions are certain to disrupt preparations for the new
rain season that is weeks away, this in a country suffering acute food
shortages and needs to mobilise every farmer to grow as much as they can to
end hunger.

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Prices sky rocket as cash queues refuse to go away

By Lance Guma
30 September 2008

There was continued misery for thousands of Zimbabweans Tuesday as long
winding queues for cash at the banks refused to go away despite the
introduction of new Z$10 000 and Z$20 000 notes. Adding to the optimism
Monday was the increase in the individual cash withdrawal limit from Z$1000
to Z$20 000 sanctioned by the Central Bank. But just as there was chaos
Monday with police battling to control rowdy crowds, Tuesday was no

Our Harare correspondent Simon Muchemwa said what made it worse was that
unlike Monday when banks closed later around 10pm, on Tuesday most building
societies closed around 3pm while the commercial banks closed around 5pm.
Several banks did not even have the cash to dispense until deliveries from
the Reserve Bank reached them around 1pm. Black market traders also reported
that the Zimbabwe dollar crumbled against major currencies this week,
triggering an increase in the price of imported items.

As if this was not enough prices of basic goods and services in general
sky-rocketed to almost double their previous levels. Commuters paying
between Z$400 and Z$500 for various journeys will now have to fork out
anywhere between Z$700 and Z$1000 in fares. Prices of food stuffs like
sugar, cooking oil, bread and others also went up. Those celebrating the
increased cash withdrawal limit faced the reality of now needing more money
to meet their daily requirements.

Muchemwa reported that most parents are failing to pay school fees because
of the economic problems. Thousands of children have been asked to go home
and only return upon the payment of fees. Worsening their plight are demands
by several schools that a late payment fee be charged to children whose
parents have failed to pay. In most cases this amount is simply the same as
the fee itself, meaning parents are paying double in school fees if they run
into financial difficulty.

Meanwhile members of the business community have said the maximum cash
withdrawal limit of Z$10 000 for companies set by the central bank is far
from adequate. A businessman who refused to be named said it did not make
sense for individuals to have a higher withdrawal limit of Z$20 000 while
companies were restricted to Z$10 000 when they clearly had more commitments
to meet.

Tired of the cash queues 4 Zimbabweans Roger Chagwededza, Tinashe Gotora,
Jackson Mabota and Precious Mwateyeni have filed a lawsuit against the
central bank and want cash withdrawal limits to be declared unlawful. Human
rights lawyer Alec Muchadehama, is representing the petitioners.

SW Radio Africa Zimbabwe news

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Farm animals bartered to stave off hunger

Photo: Save the Children
Losing draught power
LUPANE, 30 September 2008 (IRIN) - In Dongamuzi village, in the Lupane district of Zimbabwe's Matabeleland North Province, Jestina Moyo, 56, is making a deal she knows is unfair, but she also knows she has little choice but to barter one of her few remaining cows for six buckets of maize to feed her family.

As in many other villages, people like Moyo have steadily seen their livestock depleted this year as animals are exchanged for grain in a bid to survive the country's acute food shortages.

There is an air of despair in rural areas. This year's elections brought widespread political violence on top of worsening food shortages, which the UN estimates will see more than 5 million people of the country's 12 million population requiring food assistance in the first quarter of 2009.

In the bitter election contest earlier in 2008, President Robert Mugabe's ruling ZANU-PF party banned non-governmental organisations (NGOs), including those distributing food, from operating for nearly three months on allegations of political interference. Although the restrictions have been lifted, hunger still stalks the country.

Moyo exchanged her cow to feed her eight orphaned grandchildren and a sick relative in her care. "After pounding the maize, the mealie-meal [maize-meal] I will get will only last a month, as I have to make porridge for the children before they go to school and I have to cook lunch and dinner. The amount is too little, as I am taking care of a sick nephew who has to eat frequently throughout the day," Moyo told IRIN. 
''These people are taking advantage of the food shortages to rip us off. The exchange is not fair but I have no choice, as there is no grain throughout the whole district''
"These people are taking advantage of the food shortages to rip us off. The exchange is not fair but I have no choice, as there is no grain throughout the whole district; but this is a rip-off," Moyo said, watching the cow being loaded onto the truck that will take it, along with many others, about 200km southeast to Bulawayo, Zimbabwe's second city.

So far this year she has bartered six cows for either food or money to pay her grandchildren's school fees. "At the beginning the year things were better because villagers were selling the cows for cash, and this allowed us to buy more grain amongst ourselves, but the whole village has nothing now and we have to get the grain from outsiders, who only want to exchange the maize for livestock," Moyo said.
She said one bucket of maize was now equal to four live chickens or a goat, while five buckets of maize were where negotiations started for a cow.

Livestock was also being exchanged for soap, cooking oil, flour, sugar and salt, which are not available from shops.

Zimbabwe's annual inflation rate of more than 11 million percent has made the local currency all but worthless, and although many city residents have resorted to using foreign currency, in the poor rural areas the only items of value people possess are their animals.

"Villagers are losing a lot of their livestock to these people from urban areas who are ripping us off, and as long as the hunger issue is not resolved we will continue losing our livestock," Moyo said.  
"President Mugabe and [Morgan] Tsvangirai [leader of the opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC)] should come up with their unity government, so that we will have food on the table. You should tell them we are starving, and if nothing is done we will all die," Moyo told IRIN.

Zimbabwe's political leaders agreed to a power-sharing deal on 15 September, but the formation of a unity government is being stalled by bickering over ministerial posts.

Thomas Ncube, 58, who also lives in Dongamuzi, told IRIN he had exchanged all his goats and had nothing left to barter with. "The people who are selling maize are refusing cash, saying the Zimbabwean dollar loses value fast and they only exchange the grain with livestock, and most villagers have become poor from exchanging their livestock for grain."
The misfortune of the villagers is providing George Ncube, who has a lucrative business touring the countryside bartering farm animals for maize, and then sells the livestock to city abattoirs and butcheries.  

"We [dealers] are providing a service because the people will die of hunger. We are exchanging items; there is no robbery, as the exchange is done on a willing-buyer, willing-seller basis, and if one is not happy then they do not become part of the deal," said Ncube. 
Verging on starvation

''We [dealers] are providing a service because the people will die of hunger. We are exchanging items; there is no robbery, as the exchange is done on a willing-buyer, willing-seller basis''
The MDC parliamentarian for Lupane North, Njabuliso Mguni, told IRIN the food shortages in his constituency were reaching critical levels. "The food aid agencies are returning, but not all villagers qualify for food aid, and that leaves quite a large number on the verge of starvation, and they are now resorting to selling off and exchanging their livestock for survival," Mguni said.
Zimbabwe's main harvest will only be gathered in March 2009, so the prospect of the food security situation improving anytime soon is remote. Making matters worse is that small-scale farmers have no access to vital agricultural inputs, such as fertiliser and seed.
"We are less than a month into the farming season and already there is no fertiliser or maize seed being made available to villagers," Mguni said. "And I foresee all this repeating itself in future." 


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

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Mugabe's dash to avert army coup

Published: 30/09/2008 20:03:37


JOHANNESBURG - President Robert Mugabe rushed back to Zimbabwe from a United
Nations summit to avert a military coup, according to media reports.

Talk Radio 702 reported last night that Mugabe discovered the intentions of
his security forces.

He immediately flew back after being warned that the generals, who have kept
him in power for 28 years, were in the process of taking things into their
own hands.

During the March elections, the generals and police heads vowed they would
never accept Executive Prime Minister designate Morgan Tsvangirai as the
head of state.

Mugabe and MDC leader Tsvangirai are expected to meet soon to iron out some
outstanding issues pertaining to the inclusive government.

"It can happen anytime. It could happen today or tomorrow. But it depends on
the outstanding differences," said MDC spokesman Nelson Chamisa.

Mugabe has said the new government would be announced by the end of the

However, he stressed there would be no reversal of his nationalisation
programme, and that land seized would never be returned to farmers who had
fled to "Australia and South Africa".

In the meantime, the MDC shot down Mugabe's claim of the imminent
finalisation of the inclusive government.

"Mugabe obviously knows something that I do not. We have a deadlock, and our
positions are tangential," said MDC secretary- general Tendai Biti.

He added: "As far as we know, there was no agreement on anything."

According to Biti, a constitutional amendment still had to be drafted to
give legal effect to the power-sharing deal.

"Also, importantly, constitutional amendment number 19 still has to be
drafted. Without it there is no legal foundation of the government," said

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Police fire rubber bulles ts at asylum seeker

Tuesday, 30 September 2008 10:46
Mothers with children on their backs tried to run for cover, but fell
to the ground, hundreds of others trying to get out the line of fire ended
up piled on top of each other in the street, and screaming could be heard in
between shots.

This was the situation at the department of home affairs' Nyanga
Refugee Reception Centre on Monday, when hundreds of asylum seekers, who up
to last week could be served at Barrack Street, arrived and added to a crowd
of at least 400 which overpowered security guards.

Police dispersed the crowd by firing rubber bullets.

After about 10 minutes refugees tentatively walked back into the
street in which a number of shoes were strewn and started trying to find the
ones they had lost.

Some had bleeding legs where rubber bullets had hit.

But Home Affairs remained confident that Monday's situation was "just
a teething problem" and the same would not happen on Tuesday.

As of Monday asylum seekers previously served at the Barrack Street
offices were routed to the Nyanga centre and this had resulted in a bigger
than usual crowd.

When the Cape Times arrived in Nyanga on Monday hundreds of refugees
were crowded around the centre and more were standing in the street. Police
officers were stationed at the entrance.

When the crowd kept surging forward despite repeated warnings to move
back, officers fired rubber bullets.

As refugees tried to run away, some fell which caused groups of them
to pile up in the middle of the street.

Children could be seen clinging to their parents and a number of women
with toddlers tied to their backs fell as they tried to get away.

A mother landed on her back on, with her child was tied on and so
struggled to get up.

Asked if they were hurt, she started crying and quickly walked away
hugging her screaming child.

"There is a problem. It seems like no one wants us here. Where must we
go? We're coming here and doing the right thing. No one tells us what's
going on," Carlos Mambosasa of Zimbabwe said.

"I wanted to apply for a passport. I'm five months pregnant and I was
so scared my baby would be hurt," Shamso Duali of Somalia said.

An hour later smaller queues and crowds kept reforming and officers
moved them back. They told the refugees to "go home" and come back to the
centre on Tuesday.

Bishop Lavis police spokesperson November Filander said no injuries
were reported and no one was arrested. He said officers would monitor the

Said Home Affairs spokesperson Siobhan McCarthy: "All applications for
asylum are now being handled in Nyanga. The offices at Barrack Street had a
problem with queues because the street's very narrow.

"The crowd was bigger than usual in Nyanga and security guards were
overpowered. But it should ease off," she said. - The Cape Times

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Zimbabwe needs Good Farmers not Mass Land Resettlement - agriculture analyst - Part 2 of 5


By Darren Taylor
30 September 2008

Zimbabwe's historic power-sharing pact recognizes that the revival of the
agriculture sector is essential to the recovery of the country's devastated
economy. Analysts blame President Robert Mugabe's confiscation of
white-owned farms largely for the rapid decline of agriculture in the
southern African nation. Since the ruling ZANU-PF party began the farm
seizures in 2000, the country is no longer a regional breadbasket but an
importer of food. Aid organizations say many Zimbabweans are now facing
serious food shortages. Mr. Mugabe, though, blames drought and sanctions
from some in the international community.

Zimbabwe's new prime minister and the head of the Movement for Democratic
Change (MDC), Morgan Tsvangirai, calls the situation in his country "one of
the worst man-made humanitarian disasters," and says more than five million
of his compatriots are endangered by "starvation and famine" - largely
because of ruling party policies that have eroded his country's
once-thriving agricultural base.

"Large-scale commercial farm a complete disaster," says Deon
Theron, vice president of Zimbabwe's Commercial Farmers Union.

Production of staple food crops, such as maize (corn), is down, and in
recent years Zimbabwe has consistently failed to meet its export quotas of
beef, for example, to the European Union. So valuable foreign currency has
been lost, deepening the suffering of the country's people.

It's in this context that a new-look government made up of former enemies
will be expected to unite to resurrect Zimbabwean agriculture.

It's a "frightening responsibility," says Geoff Hill, the Zimbabwean author
of several books about his homeland, which include analysis about its
agricultural decay.

Infrastructure and expertise lacking

The United Nations rates southern Africa one of the world's fastest
urbanizing regions.

"There's therefore a real need to grow crops on a big scale to feed people
in the cities," says Hill.

The UN estimates that up to 70 per cent of Zimbabweans live in towns and
cities, far away from farmlands.

In a scenario such as this, argues Hill, and with a small economy, very
large commercial agriculture is the only successful response to hunger in

"Tomatoes are cheap only if grown by the ton. Ditto most other foods," he

Hill points out that it usually takes only a season to turn seeds into
crops, and crops into food.

"So the problem isn't in planting food. Zimbabwe's huge problem at the
moment is that there really isn't the infrastructure and the expertise
necessary for commercial farming. We need train lines along which you can
cart the fertilizer, the roads to take crops to market, the tractor parts
getting to remote areas to maintain equipment, the dealerships where farmers
can buy essential products. All of this has broken down in the turmoil of
the past decade or so."

Hill says Zimbabwe's entire agricultural sector "basically needs to be
rebuilt from the ground up, and that's going to take time and money."

Acute shortages of fertilizer and seed and bad weather have also hurt
Zimbabwean agriculture in recent years, according to Ben Gilpin, of the
country's Justice For Agriculture group. He says Zimbabwe is set to face the
most serious cereal shortages since 2000.

Land reform mustn't be 'emotional'

President Mugabe has consistently maintained that his land reform program,
under which farms owned mostly by the descendants of British settlers were
sometimes brutally seized by ZANU-PF militants, the police and army, has
worked. It's been successful, he says, because it's given land to
impoverished black people.

Hill responds, "It wasn't a land reform program, it was a land
redistribution program. What happened was the land was simply given to
Mugabe cronies, like war veterans and army generals, who didn't know
anything about farming. They use the land to entertain themselves and their

Hill agrees that "responsible" land reform is necessary in Zimbabwe to
address the inequalities of the past, and adds that the "hopelessly
irresponsible" land seizures are largely responsible for the country's

"Agriculture is not just about using land for food," he explains. "Zimbabwe
used to be the world's number one tobacco producer, and a top producer of
cotton. It was near the top in producing high-end foods and flowers, coffee
and tea, for the world market - things that you can sell overseas in order
to get foreign currency, with which you can buy petrol and car tires and all
the things that Zimbabwe simply cannot manufacture locally."

The power-sharing agreement commits the signatories to land reform in
Zimbabwe, saying they'll "ensure that all Zimbabweans who are eligible
[shall] be allocated land and who apply for it shall be considered for
allocation of land irrespective of race, gender, religion, ethnicity or
political affiliation."

But Geoff Hill counsels against a "mass allocation" of land to Zimbabweans.

"Agriculture should be looked at as a means of feeding the people, not as a
means whereby people are settled on land. People need education to get
better work, not parcels of land."

Besides, he says, as the UN statistics show, Zimbabweans are continuing to
move away from the rural areas and into urban areas.

"Worldwide - in Brazil, Philippines, Thailand, Zimbabwe - if you give young
people an education, the first thing they do is go to town.. Now the
challenge is to feed them once they're in town."

Hill says this challenge will only be met by "putting lots and lots of
fairly low cost food" into the country's stores. He's adamant that
agriculture should be the responsibility of a relative few skilled farmers
who produce food and cash crops and not a "whole bunch" of small-scale
landowners who won't be productive.

"It is important get agriculture up to a commercial status as quickly as
possible. That means you don't want somebody growing a patch of tomatoes
outside his or her hut; you want someone who's going to grow ten hectares of
tomatoes, do it properly, and get them into the shops at a rate that is
competitive with what you'd pay in Johannesburg or anywhere in a country of
similar economy to Zimbabwe."

Hill says agriculture mustn't be seen as a "place to hide unemployment by
taking educated kids and dumping them on small plots of land to become

He questions attitudes among some in the international community regarding
land ownership and agriculture in Africa.

"When I give talks around the world on the books that I've written, always -
in Sydney, or New York, or London - someone will ask me whether giving
people plots of land is not a good way to stem unemployment. I'm never
actually asked that question when I address people inside Africa."

There's a good reason for this, Hill says: most Africans want jobs to ensure
their livelihoods, not land.

"There is this notion - it is racist but it's not meant to be - that when
white children get their (education), they should get a job in the bank, but
when black children get the same education, they should be satisfied with a
hectare of land and growing pumpkins; (like they're) going to walk with a
copy of Shakespeare in the one hand and a donkey in the other. And of course
it's just not going to happen."

White farmers won't easily return

The agreement accepts that land ownership has been "at the core" of Zimbabwe's
political fight, but recognizes that the parties differ as to the way land
reform must, and should have, happened in the country. The pact, however,
makes it clear that land taken from white farmers will not be returned to
them, but that former colonial power Britain - under whose rule prime land
was given to the whites - should compensate them for their loss.

Hill says even if the agreement had said the land should be returned to the
white farmers, this would not have been practical. Many of them are now
successful farmers in other parts of Africa, especially in Nigeria and
Mozambique, where white Zimbabweans are credited with spurring agricultural

"It's not so easy for these people to just literally pull up their new roots
and return to Zimbabwe. It's taken them years to establish themselves in
other countries, you can't just expect them to return to Zimbabwe at the
drop of a hat," Hill explains.

Besides, he says, Zimbabweans who left the country in droves in recent years
are mainly waiting to see if the agreement results in meaningful reform in
their homeland before deciding whether or not to return.

In the light of this, says Hill, says land reform in Zimbabwe must be
practical, not "too emotional."

Ultimately, he states, Zimbabwean agriculture will revive if the authorities
realize that it's not the farmer's race that matters, but his or her ability
to work the land productively.

"(The government must say) we're not giving you land for a weekend retreat
where you can take your friends for a (barbecue), like many of the ministers
are doing; we're not giving you land just to sit there and stare out at the
open spaces, we're giving you land to grow food economically, viably -
either for export or to feed the nation. If you don't do that, the
government must have the right to throw people off (the land)."

Sam Moyo, the executive director of the African Institute for Agrarian
Studies in Harare, agrees that a reversal of Mr. Mugabe's controversial land
redistribution process isn't feasible, and won't necessarily result in
better agriculture in Zimbabwe. What's needed, he believes, is training to
ensure that the country's farmers use the land in a sustainable, productive
manner, and better economic policies.

Moyo says land redistribution should continue in Zimbabwe and should include
white farmers. But he says the policy should be "one person, one farm."

The power-sharing agreement does indeed make provision for a land audit, to
eliminate "multiple farm ownerships." If completed successfully, such an
audit would remove farms from a number of the ZANU-PF elite, who now own
more than one farm.

"The bottom line," though, according to Hill, is "to get the land back into
commercial production to feed the subcontinent and to generate foreign
exchange to get Zimbabwe moving forward again."

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Look East Policy of Zimbabwe threatened by Power-Sharing Pact - analysts - PART 3 of 5


By Darren Taylor
30 September 2008

An international human rights organization based in the United States is
warning that relations between Zimbabwe and China are in the future likely
to be increasingly strained. The Enough Project - an alliance of scores of
advocacy organizations from all over the world - says Zimbabwe's recent
power-sharing agreement could result in a realignment of Beijing's
relationship with Harare. China has in recent years given President Robert
Mugabe's ZANU-PF government significant political and economic support.
Humanitarian groups say this has exacerbated Zimbabweans' suffering.

China has shielded the Mugabe administration from several international
punitive actions, such as an expansion of targeted sanctions against the
president and certain members of his ruling ZANU-PF party, at the United
Nations Security Council in July. Beijing vetoed a raft of new measures
against the Zimbabwean rulers, arguing that it didn't want to meddle in the
affairs of a sovereign country.

Despite the recent power-sharing agreement, "there really has yet to be an
international cost, a measure of accountability, for the (Mugabe) regime,"
says Colin Thomas-Jensen, the Enough Project's Africa Advocacy Manager.

"There are bilateral sanctions that the European Union and the United States
have against Zimbabwe, but the type of targeted sanctions that really bite
are those passed by the UN Security Council and implemented by every member
state. Because China's been such a staunch defender of the regime, we've yet
to see that level of international pressure."

Chinese arms and money keep ZANU-PF going

Activists argue that Chinese support has been a significant contributor
towards keeping Mr. Mugabe in power. Beijing has poured investment into
Zimbabwe, and has also through the years supplied arms and ammunition to the
ZANU-PF government.

In April, shortly after opposition Movement for Democratic Change - MDC -
leader Morgan Tsvangirai received more votes than president Mugabe in the
first round of Zimbabwean elections, Beijing shipped almost 80 tons of
rockets, mortars and other weapons to Zimbabwe. But, after the deal sparked
international outrage and workers in South Africa refused to unload the
cargo, China recalled the shipment. Speculation continues, though, that the
consignment did eventually reach Harare, although China and Zimbabwe deny

Human rights activists say China has also sold riot control equipment, small
arms and air force trainer jets worth $200 million to Mr. Mugabe's
government. In addition to the weaponry, Beijing has also given several
gifts to president Mugabe and his allies. The tiles that decorate the
president's palatial Harare home were a "goodwill donation" from China, for

Thomas-Jensen says Beijing's support for the Mugabe administration thus far
has "made a very bad situation much, much worse. An election's been stolen,
an economy's been driven into the ground by president Mugabe and those
around him, the security forces as well as paramilitaries (using
Chinese-manufactured) weapons have committed widespread human rights abuses
against the Zimbabwean people. It's a humanitarian disaster, it's a regional

The Chinese government has repeatedly denied that it has played any role in
harming the people of Zimbabwe, saying that it has pursued "legitimate
business interests" in the country, and that Zimbabwe's internal political
and human rights concerns should be solved by Zimbabweans themselves.

Thomas-Jensen says Beijing's stance "doesn't hold any water."

"The fact that China throughout this (political and economic chaos in
Zimbabwe) simply stood by and said, 'this is an internal matter,' I think
sends a pretty clear message to Zimbabweans that the Chinese really don't
care about Zimbabwean's human rights concerns, about their desire for
democracy and about the overwhelming expression that it's time for Robert
Mugabe and ZANU-PF to go."

The activist says the international community has since the days of
apartheid South Africa been awakened to the fact that doing business with
countries that commit abuses against their people emboldens and strengthens
such repressive regimes - "oiling the wheels of war," in effect - and cannot
be excused as "legitimate" business. This, he says, is seen in a number of
laws passed by certain states in the US that forbid American companies from
doing business with Sudan, which stands accused of perpetrating genocide in

Activists are also at the moment keeping a close watch on an unfolding case
in a New York federal courtroom, where various groups representing South
African victims of human rights atrocities have filed a lawsuit against 24
international banks and corporations that conducted business in
apartheid-era South Africa. The plaintiffs say the firms' business dealings
in the country advanced the apartheid system, and that this therefore makes
these enterprises complicit in the human rights abuses of the regime.

China driven by quest for resources

Thomas-Jensen says China's actions regarding Zimbabwe are "undoubtedly"
driven by its desire for African resources, and that the ZANU-PF rulers
grant Beijing certain privileges in exchange for its political and economic

"China's received a number of mining concessions (from Zimbabwe), and it's
really that that's been driving the Chinese interest in Zimbabwe," he says.

Zimbabwean businessman and MDC economics official, Eddie Cross, says some
within the country's mining industry are concerned that the Mugabe
administration is transferring a "range of mineral rights" to Chinese
companies, or to firms run by the president's political supporters who in
turn also have close ties to Chinese state-owned enterprises.

A spokesman for the ZANU-PF government, George Charamba, says the Chinese
are "doing a lot of good for the people of Zimbabwe, with jobs and all of
that" and that Harare wouldn't have forged such close ties with Beijing "if
it wasn't in the best interests of all our people."

Cross says the government has clearly made it as easy as possible for the
Chinese to do business in Zimbabwe. It has, for example, exempted Chinese
imports from customs duties, and president Mugabe has awarded the contracts
to supply all public buses and provide generators to Zimbabwe's power
company, to Chinese companies.

According to Cross, Zimbabwe has paid Beijing "mostly in kind" for this,
especially with tobacco and mineral rights, as foreign exchange is in short
supply in Zimbabwe and the country's own currency is almost worthless.

Also, in 2005, Cross says the ZANU-PF government began to lease land seized
from white farmers to "Chinese interests on a contract farming basis."

But Thomas-Jensen comments, "The Chinese haven't really received a return on
their investments that they expected. Nor have the Zimbabweans seen the
Chinese investment do anything to stanch the bleeding of what's the worst
economy in the world."

He says the Chinese have invested heavily in "infrastructure projects" in

"They money's been laid out but it's not yet been (spent), and I think that's
partly - if not completely - due to the imploding (Zimbabwean) economy. Even
for China, this is a very risky business environment that they're working

Yet Beijing has indicated nothing but patience with regard to Zimbabwe,
saying it's not concerned about the minimal returns on its investments in
Zimbabwe so far, as it's business plan for the country is long-term.

Tsvangirai Looks West, not East

Mr. Mugabe has called his pro-China policy 'Look East' and he says it's
bearing fruit, with increasing numbers of Chinese tourists visiting
Zimbabwe, for example.

As opposition to president Mugabe has grown since he began confiscating
white-owned farms in 2000, he has repeatedly said that he doesn't need
Western financial and political support, and is far better served by
Beijing, whose aid comes with no strings attached.

But analysts say Tsvangirai - who in terms of the power-sharing agreement is
Zimbabwe's new prime minister - is likely to significantly alter Harare's
relationship with the giant of the Far East.. If he and ministers allied to
him are indeed eventually given real powers to shape government policy.

"Rather than a 'Look East' policy, Tsvangirai has clearly in recent years
cultivated a 'Look West' policy. For better or worse, he's seen as very
closely allied with Britain and America," says Professor Sean Jacobs, a
South African expert on southern African politics at the University of
Michigan in the U.S.

China in turn says it wants to see a positive outcome in Zimbabwe, and is
willing to cooperate with the authorities there whoever they are, as long as
it's for the mutual benefit of both China's and Zimbabwe's people.

Thomas-Jensen says he doubts Tsvangirai will simply "let bygones be bygones"
with regard to China's recent role in his homeland.

"If Morgan Tsvangirai did have a role in which he could exert some influence
on the Zimbabwe government's policies, I really think we would see a
reexamination within the Zimbabwean government of the relationship with
China. Mr. Tsvangirai and MDC supporters are not going to easily and quickly
forget the role that China's played in helping to prop up this ZANU-PF

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Zimbabwe Tobacco Season Officially Ends; Deliveries Down 40%

By Brian Latham

Sept. 30 (Bloomberg) -- Zimbabwe's tobacco selling season officially ended
last week with deliveries dropping 40 percent from a year ago, the Tobacco
Industry and Marketing Board said.

Farmers brought 45 million kilograms (99 million pounds) of the leaf to
auction houses by Sept. 26, compared with 75 million kilograms a year
earlier, Andrew Matibiri, chief executive officer of the Harare-based board,
said by phone today. Unofficial sales will continue to be held every two

``There is still a lot of tobacco on the farms,'' Matibiri said.

Zimbabwe produces mainly high-grade flue-cured tobacco that rivals the U.S.
for quality, and flavors cigarettes such as Marlboro and Benson and Hedges.
Production has plunged since 2000, when President Robert Mugabe began
seizing white-owned commercial farms for redistribution to black farmers
deprived of land under British colonial rule. Tobacco output that year was
236 million kilograms.

Deliveries have slowed this year because of a shortage of diesel needed to
transport the crop to auction houses, said Lovegot Tengundu, executive
director of the Farmers' Development Trust. Growers are also dissatisfied
with the exchange being offered for their tobacco, said Zimbabwe Tobacco
Association President Andrew Ferreira.

``Prices have been good in U.S. dollar terms, but the interbank rate of
exchange isn't realistic,'' Ferreira said.

Zimbabwe has the world's highest inflation rate and is in its 10th year of
economic recession. One U.S. dollar traded at 129 Zimbabwe dollars on the
interbank market today, while on the black market, where most Zimbabweans
buy their foreign exchange, it is worth 1 million Zimbabwe dollars.

Tobacco exports earned Zimbabwe $145 million so far this year, compared with
$181 million a year earlier.

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Church World Service announces food crisis programs in Zimbabwe

By Violet Gonda
30 September 2008

More humanitarian aid agencies are pledging to bring emergency assistance to
Zimbabwe, a country with a collapsed economy, severe food insecurity and in
a political stalemate. Nearly half the population faces starvation and the
situation is set to get worse.

The Red Cross announced this month it was starting emergency food
distribution expected to reach a total of 260 000 people with monthly food
rations, for the next nine months.

The global agency Church World Service (CWS) has also stepped in and
announced a U.S. fundraising campaign to bring emergency and longer-term
assistance for the dire food crisis in Zimbabwe.

CWS spokesperson Jan Dragin told Newsreel that close to 27 000 most
vulnerable people will be provided with food assistance amounting to about
390 000 tonnes of cereals through to 2009. She said long term programs will
also be put in place to train farmers to employ more progressive sustainable
farming methods.

Dragin said: "The farmers and the people of Zimbabwe certainly long not just
for immediate food aid but also for the more flourishing prospects of being
self sustaining."

CWS Director of Emergency Response Programs Donna Derr said the agency, "is
welcoming the shifting policies in Zimbabwe" and will work with its partner,
Christian Care, to deliver badly needed general food aid, school feeding,
food recovery and psychosocial support, as part of the organization's
multi-solution response to the world-wide food crisis.

The international community has adopted a 'wait and see approach' to the
situation in Zimbabwe after the signing of the power sharing deal, and these
countries say they are holding off on structural aid for Zimbabwe until they
see if there is genuine power sharing. Many international aid groups were
banned from distributing food by the Mugabe regime during the election
period, a ban that was partially lifted recently. Because the economic
crisis is so severe some aid agencies are stepping in to help the most
vulnerable groups, including the elderly, orphans and people living with HIV
AIDS with food assistance.

SW Radio Africa Zimbabwe news

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Food crisis spells disaster

Tuesday, 30 September 2008 09:17


29 September 2008

Zimbabwe is facing a "disastrous" food crisis if a new power-sharing
government is not formed quickly, leader of the opposition Movement for
Democratic Change (MDC) and prime minister-designate, Morgan Tsvangirai, has

"We need to respond to this crisis with utmost urgency. It is therefore
imperative that a government be formed in the next few days and begins to
implement plans to insure that our people have food and do not die of
starvation," Tsvangirai told reporters.

President Robert Mugabe, Tsvangirai, and the leader of a smaller MDC
faction, Arthur Mutambara, signed a power-sharing deal on 15 September 2008,
but the deal, brokered by former South African president Thabo Mbeki,
deadlocked soon after, as the parties could not agree on the allocation of
ministerial posts.

Mugabe subsequently left the country to attend the UN annual General
Assembly meeting in New York and returned to the capital, Harare, on 29

Mugabe and Tsvangirai have both stated recently that they expect the unity
government to be established soon. "We discussed the ministries before I
left [for the UN]. Only four remain [to be decided], but there is no
deadlock," Mugabe was reported as saying on his return. "We will be setting
up government this week, towards the end of the week."

Tsvangirai made his appeal after a recent meeting with farmers, food
security analysts and other interested parties. "I am sad to report that my
preliminary findings in this exercise show a state of emergency in the area
of food security, with disastrous consequences if we take too long to attend
to the crisis."

MDC spokesman Nelson Chamisa told IRIN the absence of a power-sharing
government meant that there were "no mechanisms or strategies" to address
the food crisis.

The Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions (ZCTU), the country's biggest union
federation and largely responsible for the formation of the MDC, said the
power-sharing deal was "unacceptable".

Unions opposed to the deal

In a statement the union federation said: "The agreement is far cry from the
ZCTU expectations, as it is an outcome of a flawed process. From a labour
point of view, the agreement is not acceptable. Any country must be governed
by a democratically elected government, and the current arrangement means
that the people would be led by an unelected government for the next five
years," it said.

"The ZCTU maintains its earlier position on the need for a neutral
transitional authority as the panacea to the current electoral dispute.
However, if the present arrangement is to continue, it must be a
transitional arrangement that will lead to a free and fair election under a
new, people-driven constitution."

Earlier this year the UN estimated that more than five million people, out
of a population of 12 million, would require food assistance in the first
quarter of 2009. November is the planting period in the main agricultural
season, but cash shortages, a paucity of agricultural inputs, an
unfavourable long-range weather forecast and renewed disruptions on farms
are likely produce another poor harvest.

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Zimbabwe: Cholera disaster looms

  Harare (Zimbabwe) - A health disaster of unimaginable proportions looms in
Harare after the water situation deteriorated even further this week,
sparking fresh health concerns. An outbreak of cholera in Chitungwiza
claimed two more lives this week, bringing to 13 the total number of deaths
so far.

By Financial Gazette (Zimbabwe), by Nelson Chenga & Charles Rukuni |

The water crisis in Harare and in Chitungwiza, approximately 30 kilometres
south of the capital, has reached critical levels forcing doctors and the
cities' residents associations to exert pressure on government to put its
house in order and avoid continued loss of lives. Faced with severe
shortages of foreign currency required to import water purification
chemicals and spares to repair the ageing water infrastructure, the
government has all but admitted it does not have the capacity to deal with
the problem.

The confusion over Cabinet appointments has not helped the situation.

The Zimbabwe Association of Doctors for Human Rights (ZADHR) this week said
a serious health crisis looms in urban areas owing to the severe shortage of
running water. Failure by the state-run Zimbabwe National Water Authority
(ZINWA) to treat and pump adequate supplies of water has left most urban
homes dry and forced residents to rely on unsafe sources of water.

This, coupled with a breakdown in the sanitation system (burst sewage pipes
and lack of refuse collection and proper disposal) is threatening the health
of millions of Zimbabweans at a time when the health delivery system is
least prepared to deal with any major outbreak of diseases due to the brain
drain and the shortage of drugs.

ZINWA has admitted it has not been treating the more than 300 megalitres of
waste produced in the capital, which is simply being discharged into
Harare's main source of raw water, Lake Chivero. The untreated waste water
has contaminated more than half of Lake Chivero. As a result the water
treatment bill has spiked to such levels that ZINWA is now unable to procure
the enormous amount of chemicals needed to treat the murky Chivero water for
safe human consumption. Water experts have also said the treatment of Harare
water has become complicated because the waste water discharges were highly
contaminated with industrial toxins, which need complex methods to remove,
thus exposing consumers to health complications other than cholera.

"The new government must address this crisis as a matter of urgency. It is a
matter, which cannot wait for resolution of differences or 'sticking
points'. Public service provision has been inadequate for several years and
requires urgent and comprehensive remedial action," said ZADHR. The
association told The Financial Gazette this week that access to safe
drinking water and to adequate sanitation are basic human rights and not

"Lives have already been lost to cholera in Chitungwiza and health centres
in Harare and Bulawayo are burdened by numerous cases of diarrhoea on a
daily basis. It is highly likely that the number of deaths in Chitungwiza,
currently reported at 13 individuals, is much higher, and that this is but
the tip of an iceberg of much more morbidity. This has not been communicated
to the public," said the association.

Outbreaks of cholera at any time are symptomatic of serious structural
problems within the system of public works. They are more common when rains
have resulted in flooding or overload of drainage systems. An outbreak in
the middle of the dry season is particularly disturbing.

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Courtney Sparrow - Please urgent assistance is needed

Hi there,

As most of you are now aware,  Ron and Margaret Sparrows' little girl  -
Courtney Sparrow (9yrs) ,  was attacked by lions last tuesday.  (Attached is
a picture for your update/interest).

Her parents own a safari ranch in Masvingo and Courtney innocently went next
door, last tuesday, with the maids when they went to clean the one partners
house (he is away in Canada).  The partner, had brought up a couple of lions
and left them in the garden vicinity to look after the house and as a form
of protection as they have had a long on-going saga with war vets etc.

Courtney was inside the house, with the maids, and  was standing next to a
window. The lioness put her paw through and got Courtneys arm and actually
managed to pull her through the burglar barred window.  The gardner rushed
and beat the lioness with a pole and Courtney managed to get away - she ran
to the gate only to find it was locked, she panicked and ran back to the
window - and on the way a young male lion then attacked her.

Margy, her mom, managed to beat the male lion with a pole and they got
Courtney away and out the enclosure.  She was air lifted to Avenues, harare,
where there was absolutely nothing that could be done for her - fortunately
they managed to stabilize her enough and then Ron and Margy were able to
arrange to have her flown  to Milpark Hospital in Johannesburg, South Africa

Her osophegus had to be rebuilt and miraculously none of the puncture wounds
from the mauling damaged any internal organs and although the front of her
skull was bitten off - there is no brain damage. Her left eye was pulled out
the socket and the skin and bone on top damaged - but amazingly her eye is
intact and she has had an operation to repair the eye socket using bone and
skin from her hip.

Sadly with all the hassles the farmers have had here the last few years,
this families income has dwindled drastically to a point where, like most of
us Zimbabweans, they were already at a point of just making do (survival),
and were hoping and praying things would turn the corner soon with regards
to our economy.  I am led to believe that like most of us, they were unable
to afford the exhorbitant cost of external Medical Cover and now they have
been left in the devastating position of having to fund these unbelievable
medical bills.

More than anything, This family - especially Courtney, desperately needs
your prayer, and if you can afford it and  feel compelled to do so, a small
donation to help with the enormous costs incurred saving this childs life
and now her continued treatment which will include further surgeries.
Although she is stabilized, and  off the respirator and breathing on her
own, she still has a long long road ahead as far as full recovery is
concerned and already, one week in,  the medical bill is sitting at R500 000
(half a million rand).

We are doing every thing we can here to try and raise money but as you can
imagine it is difficult in Zim....

If you would like to make a donation then please contact either myself,  Lynn and Leanne McBean  or Ron &
Margy  or .

Lynn McBean together with Ron, will be instrumental in setting up an account
for this purpose.

More than anything please be assured, as mentioned earlier :- your prayers
and support are far more valuable than dollars and cents and are VERY, VERY
much appreciated by the Sparrow family. (One can only begin to imagine the
trauma and desperation that they have been through).

Thanks and God Bless

Dawn Holtzhausen

023 751170/09 289666

Lynn McBean

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