The ZIMBABWE Situation Our thoughts and prayers are with Zimbabwe
- may peace, truth and justice prevail.

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Zim Online

Thur 21 October 2004

      HARARE - Zimbabwe's soldiers tortured civilians in Harare's Mabvuku
suburb as political violence and human rights abuses worsened across the
country between July and August, the Zimbabwe Human Rights Forum has said.

      The forum, bringing together 17 of Zimbabwe's biggest human rights and
pro-democracy non-governmental organisations, regularly monitors human
rights violations in the country.

      In its latest report released this week, the forum said cases of
political violence mostly against supporters of the main opposition Movement
for Democratic Change (MDC) party sharply rose to 44 in August from 12
recorded the previous month.

      Politically motivated kidnappings increased to eight in August up from
only one such incident recorded in July, while 10 people were reportedly
tortured in August, some by uniformed members of the Zimbabwe National Army.

      In one incident recorded by the forum, 15 soldiers in uniform
descended on the low-income suburb of Mabvuku assaulting civilians before
abducting some of the residents and took them to an army base just outside
the suburb and tortured them.

      The soldiers were apparently angry after one of their colleagues was
assaulted by residents after he beat up a married woman who had rejected his

      The forum wrote:  "State agents were also allegedly involved in the
torturing of residents of Mabvuku on 26 August . . . The soldiers reportedly
abducted some residents, accusing them of being MDC supporters and took them
to (an army)  base along Mutare road
      (outside Mabvuku) where they were assaulted with riffle butts, baton
sticks and kicked with booted feet."

      Violent clashes between rival factions of the ruling ZANU PF party in
August further underscored the extent to which freedom of expression and
political tolerance were severely restricted in Zimbabwe, according to the

      "Intra-party violence between members of ZANU PF in Makoni North
(constituency) evidenced the continuing absence of freedom of association
and political tolerance," the report by the forum read in part.

      Between August 21 and 22, youth militants loyal to senior ZANU PF
politician and Anti-Corruption Minister, Didymus Mutasa, attacked and
severely injured supporters of another ruling party politician, James

      Kaunye and Mutasa are locked in a bitter fight to represent ZANU PF in
the constituency in next year's general election.

      Southern African Development Community leaders, including President
Robert Mugabe last August agreed new norms and standards for elections,
which, among other key issues, require political tolerance, the upholding of
the rule of law and human rights during elections.

      But political analysts warn that violence and human rights abuses will
only worsen in Zimbabwe as the country draws closer to a crucial general
election scheduled for March next year.

      The MDC has said it will boycott the election unless the government
fully upheld the SADC electoral norms and standards. - ZimOnline
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Zim Online

Wheels of justice still intact in Zimbabwe, says SA
Thur 21 October 2004

      JOHANNESBURG - South Africa says Morgan Tsvangirai's acquittal on
treason charges is a good indication that "there is rule of law in

      But South Africa's main opposition party, the Democratic Alliance,
dismissed as highly "misplaced" any suggestions that the Tsvangirai verdict
showed that the Zimbabwean judiciary was independent.

      Speaking after a meeting of the European Union and the South African
Development Community (SADC) in the Netherlands yesterday, South Africa's
Foreign Affairs Minister Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma said her country hoped that
Tsvangirai's acquittal last week would contribute to reconciliation in the

      Tsvangirai was acquitted last week of charges of plotting to kill
President Robert Mugabe and stage a coup ahead of the presidential election
in 2002.

      "First of all, I think it must indicate to everybody that there is
rule of law in Zimbabwe. There is a justice system that operates freely and
so it is indeed a positive thing that he was acquitted," Nkosazana
Dlamini-Zuma told reporters.

      "We do hope, yes, this will add to whatever efforts are there towards

      Dlamini-Zuma has become the first high ranking South African official
to welcome the Tsvangirai judgment and use it to vindicate Zimbabwe's
judiciary widely seen as discredited and corrupt.

      But the DA's spokesman for Africa, Joe Seremane, said optimism over
the not-guilty verdict on Tsvangirai's was misplaced.

      Addressing the South African parliament, Seremane said while the DA
was relieved by the decision, it did not change the fact that the crisis in
Zimbabwe ran much deeper than any one decision of this sort could rectify.

      "Tsvangirai is yet to face a second set of treason charges, and even
if he is cleared of these, his embroilment in legal complications has
effectively neutralised his role as leader of the MDC and damaged the
party's political role in Zimbabwe," he said.

      This could only further erode democracy in Zimbabwe. Seremane said
until such time as Tsvangirai was freed from the second set of treason
charges, the MDC would remain severely compromised and its activities

      He said ZANU PF's declaration that it would not talk to the MDC
despite the acquittal was further indication that the Zimbabwe crisis was
far from being resolved.

      Chinamasa declared this week that ZANU PF would not talk to the MDC
despite Tsvangirai's acquittal. He said the ruling party was only prepared
to meet the MDC at the polls next year.

      "It is high time that the South African government acted decisively to
end the harassment of the opposition and to ensure that Zanu PF enters into
talks in good faith," Seremane said.

      But there are fears that the South African government might want to
use Tsvangirai's acquittal as an indication that its quiet diplomacy
policies are indeed working. - ZimOnline

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Zim Online

Three Zimbabweans dying every month at SA detention centre
Thur 21 October 2004

      JOHANNESBURG - At least three Zimbabwean immigrants were dying every
month because of poor conditions at South Africa's Lindela Repatriation
Centre, the Southern African Women's Institute for Migration said yesterday.

      Lindela is the holding centre for illegal immigrants here before they
are deported back to their home countries. A large majority of the inmates
at the centre are Zimbabweans. There are an estimated three million
Zimbabweans living in South Africa after fleeing hunger and political
violence in their country.

      Director of the institute Joyce Dube said deaths of Zimbabweans at
Lindela could even be higher because some of the illegal immigrants were
never identified as they did not carry passports.

      Dube, whose institute helps repatriate bodies of Zimbabweans who die
here, said: "We want to work with the authorities at Lindela so that we see
how we can assist the immigrants. The conditions there are bad and encourage
disease. We are saying Lindela is not the solution and we hope we will be
able to work with the people there."

      Dube - who said her organisation repatriated the body of a Zimbabwean
who had died of diarrhoea at Lindela only a few weeks ago - said most deaths
at Lindela were due to diseases such as coughing, bronchitis and other
respiratory problems, all associated with poor
      living conditions and diet.

      No comment was available yesterday from South Africa's Home Affairs
Department, which runs Lindela. But both the South African and Zimbabwean
governments have in the past denied allegations of ill-treatment of
immigrants at Lindela.

      Harare and Pretoria last month said only one Zimbabwean detained at
the centre had died in the last six months, a claim hotly disputed by the
institute and other groups working with exiled Zimbabweans in South Africa.

      Zimbabwean Exiles Forum co-ordinator Gabriel Shumba, who said his
organisation visited Lindela last month, said conditions at the centre were

      A grinding economic crisis, which has manifested itself in shortages
of food, medicine, fuel, electricity and hard cash, has driven up to five
      million Zimbabweans to South Africa, Botswana, Britain, America and
other countries where they mostly survive on menial jobs.

      But many are in those countries illegally and are routinely rounded up
by the respective immigration authorities and detained at centres such as
Lindela before deportation.

      Relations between Zimbabwe and Botswana are strained with Harare
accusing Gaborone of ill-treating its nationals visiting that country. -

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Zim Online

English cricketers to decide on tour this weekend
Thur 21 October 2004

      HARARE - English cricketers will this weekend decide whether they will
tour Zimbabwe next month after a joint England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB)
and Professional Cricketers' Association (PCA) delegation finishes assessing
safety and security in Zimbabwe

      The delegation was sent to Zimbabwe after several players indicated
they were unwilling to tour the southern African nation on moral grounds.
England is scheduled to play a series of five one-day internationals against
Zimbabwe from November 26.

      ECB director John Carr and PCA chief Richard Bevan led the probe team
that also included English security experts.

      They held several meetings in the city of Bulawayo with provincial
officials, grounds staff, hotel management where the England group will be
staying, local government officials, opposition party leaders and police

      The English delegation moved into the capital, Harare, yesterday,
where they were expected to meet with the Zimbabwe Cricket Union (ZCU), the
police and high-ranking government officials to complete the four-day probe.

      Bevan was last night tight-lipped on their findings or who they had
met so far, only saying the delegation would report back to the ECB in
London tomorrow.

      Fast bowler Steve Harmison pulled out of the tour and star player
Andrew Flintoff said he would have boycotted too had the ECB not officially
rested him alongside veteran Marcus Trescothick, because the duo - like many
in the England team - felt "nothing has
      changed" on Zimbabwe's political landscape since 2003.

      England stirred controversy when they decided to boycott their 2003
World Cup fixture against Zimbabwe in Harare over political and security

      The International Cricket Council (ICC) gave the match to Zimbabwe,
depriving England of the points they desperately needed to make the World
Cup Super Sixes stage.

      Over half of England's squad argued that fulfilling the tie would have
been tantamount to approving the regime of President Robert Mugabe, who has
been accused by the West of "stealing" the ballot during a violence-marred
presidential poll two years ago.

      However the ECB is desperate to go ahead with the tour so as to "save
their integrity in international cricket" and escape possible punishment
from the ICC.

      Meanwhile, ZCU chairman Peter Chingoka yesterday told a news
conference that the union was now focusing on the field of play after they
were absolved of racism charges by an ICC investigation team.

      "It is now on record that the inquiry cleared the union of allegations
of racism," Chingoka told the media in Harare yesterday. "We are satisfied
with that outcome which allows us now to move forward with our core
business, which is to administer play."

      Chingoka was however evasive on issues concerning the rebel players,
who were sacked in April after walking out on Zimbabwe in protest after
Heath Streak was dismissed as captain.

      Though repeating "our doors remain open", Chingoka appeared more
concerned with the progression of the new youthful Zimbabwe team towards
resuming Test matches and going to the 2007 World Cup.

      Chingoka said: "We envisage that the squad we have will now come into
its own in the next one-and-a-half to two years. That the talent is there
cannot be argued.

      "What is lacking is experience and that can only come with engagement.
The players need to get continued exposure, particularly in the longer
version of the game." - ZimOnline.

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Daily News online edition

      Back Zanu PF or move out, governor tells pastors

      Date:21-Oct, 2004

      BINDURA - Mashonaland Central provincial governor, Ephraim Masawi, has
told church leaders who are not members of the ruling party Zanu PF that
they should move out of his province before serious campaigning for next
year's general elections start.

      According to pastors who recently had an audience with him after one
of their members was severely assaulted by Zanu PF militants during an all
night prayer meeting, the governor is alleged to have told the church
leaders that his role in the province was to carry out the ruling party's
mandate of recruiting more people to the party.

      The pastor, whose identity cannot be revealed for fear of reprisals,
told Daily News Online that the governor was defiant throughout the meeting,
insisting that church members who were not Zanu PF cadres should not come to
him for protection.

      He also allegedly told the pastors that president Mugabe would not
accept anything short of winning all the constituencies for Zanu PF in the
forthcoming general elections and that he was Mugabe's man on the ground to
see that nothing stopped the ruling party from clinching all the seats in
the province in the general elections set for March next year.

      "Mugabe's wish is to see that Zanu PF remains in power with a
resounding majority. This province is the only one where the opposition,
Movement for Democratic Change (MDC), failed to get any seat or
representation, either at parliament or council elections.

      "I would be happy if things remain this way. If your church members
are not prepared for this, they should move out of the province and go
elsewhere where opposition politics is tolerated," Masawi is alleged to have

      The governor is also alleged to have told the church leaders that
Mashonaland Central province had been declared a Zanu PF stronghold and 'no
go' area for opposition parties.

      The pastor said most of the church leaders who had gone to see the
governor were disappointed by the governor's response.

      Another pastor, whose church is affiliated to the Evangelical
Fellowship of Zimbabwe (EFZ), said the governor was not happy with the
church leaders in the province, whom he accused of promoting opposition

      Masawi, who is a defeated Zanu PF candidate in the 2000 parliamentary
elections in Mbare West constituency, was appointed governor for the
province by Mugabe last year.

      Since his appointment, Masawi has spearheaded a reign of terror in the
province, condoning farm invasions and making violent threats to members of
the opposition MDC.

      Just last week, an MDC member, Claudious Marimo, a local businessman
at Svisva Business Centre and also an MDC national executive member, was
granted an interim order by High Court judge, Justice Lawrence Karwi,
barring the governor from threatening to evict or disturb his stay or lawful
business activities in the province.

      Marimo, through his lawyer, Jessie Majome, had cited the governor and
the ruling party Zanu PF in his court application, stating that the governor
had tried to lure him to join Zanu PF in May this year in return for finance
to bankroll his business, but he had refused.

      He was given an ultimatum to join Zanu PF or vacate his business
premises if he wanted to remain an MDC member.

      Marimo then made an urgent appeal for a peace order in the High Court.
In the appeal, he cited Masawi, Zanu PF and nine of its supporters as

      On behalf of Zanu PF, party secretary for administration Emmerson
Mnangagwa, in an affidavit to the court, urged it to dismiss with costs
Marimo's application, saying it was not urgent, as the applicant had taken
time to raise the matter.

      "The events complained of, and thus founding the cause of action,
allegedly occurred first in May 2004. It is alleged that the last date of
occurrence is August 7 2004. Yet the applicant waited from May, up till
September 2004, to approach this Honourable Court," said Mnangagwa.

      Masawi had also argued that the hearing of the matter was not urgent,
saying it took almost five months for the case to be brought before the

      "Further the interim relief being sought is not pending the happening
of anything, rather the applicant wants to get a final order disguised as an
interim relief," said Masawi.

      In his affidavit the governor said he jokingly invited Marimo to join
his party, teasing him that he would benefit from the rural electrification
programme, which he was spearheading.

      He also implored that since the relief, which was being sought had a
bearing on the police operations and possible involvement, the police should
have been cited as respondents. He denied ever inciting the community to
evict Marimo from the area, adding that it was the applicant's
responsibility to prove his assertions. Efforts to get a comment from Masawi
proved fruitless as his direct telephone line in his office went unanswered.

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Daily News online edition

      Gono bars lending institutions from giving loans to uniformed forces

      Date:21-Oct, 2004

      HARARE - Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe governor, Gideon Gono, has
instructed all registered money lending institutions not to give any loans
to members of the country's uniformed forces.

      In a communique from the central bank, which was circulated to the few
registered money lenders recently, all money lending institutions were
instructed not to issue out any loans to members of the police force, the
army and the prison service.

      The communique indicated that all those institutions which violated
the order were set to lose out on repayments as all 'stop order' facilities
which had been open to the uniformed forces had been closed.

      The institutions were also threatened with the withdrawal of licences
if they were found to be flouting the new measures from the central bank.

      A number of institutions which were offering loans to members of the
uniformed forces complained that the decision by the central bank had caught
them unawares and that they could lose out.

      They said most of their clients were drawn from the Zimbabwe Republic
Police and the Zimbabwe National Army, to whom a 'stop order' deduction
facility had been arranged.

      "We are going to lose out if the government insists that it has closed
all 'stop order' facilities for members of the uniformed forces because our
largest number of clients was from that group," said Bigboy Chikozho, a
clerk at one of the registered money lending institutions.

      He said some of their clients had borrowed large sums of money for
various projects with the understanding that repayments would be effected
through the 'stop order' facility with the police and army paymasters.

      Meanwhile, business has started to boom for the unregistered money
lending agencies which are operating illegally in the capital city. Most of
the members of the uniformed forces who cannot get any loans from the
registered institutions are now going to the unregistered agencies where
interest rates are high.

      A member of the army, who caught up with Daily News Online at one of
the agencies in Harare's Commercial Business District said he did not see
sense in the directive from the central bank to stop registered institutions
from giving them money.

      He said members of the defence forces were some of the lowest paid in
the country and they had to borrow every month for them to survive.

      "It is the big guys who are getting fat pay cheques. For the rest of
us, it is peanuts, but you cannot complain because it will be construed to
mean that you are not a loyal soldier," he said.

      He said that junior officers in the army and police force would be
adversely affected by the directive. The directive, according to sources in
the army, had been effected after it was discovered that some of the members
of the defence forces were now going home empty handed at the end of every
month after all their earnings had been paid to the lending institutions.

      Some of the officers were also being accused of producing fake paylips
and workforce numbers to get loans.

      Most of the unregistered money lending agencies demand a bank card,
pay slip and reference letter from regular members for one to be given a
loan. Most of the loans which they offer are for 30 days, or payable on pay

      As part of its new monetary policy, the RBZ withdrew all licences of
money lending institutions which had been issued last year and introduced
new measures which the majority of de-registered institutions are failing to

      Just a few institutions have so far been registered with the RBZ.

      However, those institutions which have failed to meet the new
regulations have now gone underground, where they are conducting brisk
business especially from civil servants.

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Daily News online edition

      Zanu PF old guard faces the boot in Makoni

      Date:21-Oct, 2004

      CURRENT Zanu PF Members of Parliament in Makoni District face defeat
in the party's primary elections scheduled for year-end after grassroots
supporters shifted their support to their challengers.

      This comes two days after President Robert Mugabe, who is the first
secretary of the ruling party told Zanu PF MPs at a party caucus meeting in
Harare that they must devise methods of winning the right to represent the
party against the opposition next year.

      Zanu PF supporters in Makoni told the Daily News Online yesterday that
Gibson Munyoro, the MP for Makoni West was the only one with a slight chance
of being re-elected in an open race.

      Munyoro is being challenges by Joseph Made, the Minister of Lands,
Agriculture and Rural Resettlement, musician Dickson Chingaira and former
headmaster and businessman David Jura.

      But Shadreck Chipanga, the MP for Makoni East, who is also the Deputy
Minister of Home Affairs and the deputy chairman for the ruling party in
Manicaland faces his sternest challenge from Rusape businessman Nathaniel
Mhiripiri, formerly the District Coordinating Committee (DCC) chairman for

      Didymas Mutasa, the MP for Makoni North faces retired army Major James
Kaunye in the primaries.

      According to well-placed sources, judging from the attendance at
political rallies called by the contending Zanu PF politicians in recent
weeks, Chipanga and Mutasa might be on their way out of parliament.

      Yesterday, Mutasa insisted he would win the primaries because the
people in his constituency still wanted him to represent the party.

      "Mhiripiri has become like a saviour to most people here," one of the
officials said. "His meeting in Nyazura on Saturday was attended by over 3
000 people compared to less than 200 people who attended Chipanga's meeting
a fortnight ago."

      The official, who is in the Makoni DCC of the ruling party said
Chipanga had become even a threat to the ruling party for his alleged lack
of enthusiasm when it comes to meeting his constituents.

      "Chipanga has failed to acquaint himself with the grassroots politics
of the district," the official said. "He has remained aloof as if he does
not want to be involved with the people. In the last five years that he has
been the MP for Makoni East, he has held very few meetings with the
grassroots. Actually, most people would not recognise him if they meet him
on the streets in Rusape."

      An influential member of the ruling party in Makoni North said
although Mutasa has been the MP for the constituency since 2000, his
greatest undoing was his association with corrupt Makoni Rural District
Council councillors who always misrepresented the peoples' needs in terms of
development priorities.

      "Cde Mutasa is seen as corrupt and cruel," the official claimed. "He
has initiated some development programmes but the beneficiaries have been
very few. Those opposed to him have always been victimised politically. Some
have had their homes torched by his supporters for allegedly undermining his
authority and supporting his political rival within Zanu PF and the
opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC)."

      Already, Makoni North has witnessed some of the deadliest clashes of
Zanu PF supporters over the pending primary elections.

      In August Mutasa, Chipanga and other powerful war veterans descended
heavily on supporters of Mhiripiri in Rusape urban and Kaunye in
Chiendambuya, Mayo and Headlands, destroying their properties and thoroughly
assaulted them in the process.

      The official said there were still incidents of political violence
throughout the constituency.

      The Zanu PF supporters went on a looting spree and even assaulted
policemen during the melee. The case is pending at the Rusape Magistrates'
Court where 31 of the Zanu PF supporters will appear on Monday before
magistrate Mark Dzira for remand.

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Daily News online edition

      Racism in sport: evil to be fought like HIV/Aids

      Date:20-Oct, 2004

      RACISM in sport can be as devastating as HIV/Aids. It knows no borders
and no class.

      It will strike the most respectable community without warning, killing
high-profile citizens as easily as it decimates poor communities without the
resources for the expensive drugs that alone can prolong life.

      Recently, the Zimbabwe Cricket Union has been given a clean bill of
health concerning the charge of acting racially against white cricketers
over what has been called The Heath Streak Affair.

      The verdict of the International Cricket Council should encourage the
ZCU to boldly go where its detractors may have thought it feared to go.

      This is the full racial integration of the game. Only on merit should
players be selected for the national team. The idea of a quota for black
players may have its merits, but like soccer, cricket is an international
game and only the best players should take part on behalf of their country.

      There should be a safeguard against "reverse racism", the selection of
more black cricketers, regardless of their mastery of the game.

      This is not to take away anything from Tatenda Taibu's courage in
leading the national team at the tender age of 20 years.

      But it must be recognised that if there had not been an explosive
situation in the ZCU boardroom, this courageous young cricketer would not
have been given the captain's mantle.

      Zimbabwe's history is one of racism. The war of liberation, in
essence, was fought against racism. For many black Zimbabweans, it is
unconscionable that they could be discriminated against on the grounds of
colour, 24 years after independence.

      It is a racial insult of such enormity only a black person can fully
comprehend it. Yet Zimbabwe has experienced a form of racism of which even
black people must feel ashamed.

      The government of President Robert Mugabe, pursuing its primitive
anti-Western campaign, has acted brutally against its own white citizens.

      Some may have been closet racists, but the majority just wanted to
make an honest living at what they knew best, whether it was farming, motor
mechanics or the textile industry.

      The anti-white campaign waged by the government, through Zanu PF
thuggery, left many white citizens wondering if they were still welcome in
their country of birth.

      The white cricketers may have felt the same pressure of alienation.
Clearly, they may have over-reacted, but under similar circumstances, no
black person would have reacted differently - during the colonial era.

      Sport should not be contaminated with racism. Kirsty Coventry and
Elliot Mujaji are Zimbabwean Olympians of unparalleled distinction. It was
right for President Mugabe to acknowledge this publicly.

      But look at other sports: in soccer, boxing and track and field, the
only participants are black.

      In the most popular sport, soccer, there is not one white or even
Coloured player in the national team. It may well be that those communities
are not too keen on soccer any more.

      But in the past there were many players from those groups. What
happened to their enthusiasm?

      Was it sapped by reverse discrimination? Or did the political "hate"
campaign waged by Zanu PF frighten them?

      These are vital questions for the government to ponder. They started
the campaign and must end it.

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From The Daily Mirror, 19 October

Zanu PF youths harass electorate

Takunda Maodza

Five months before next year's parliamentary plebiscite, suspected Zanu PF
youths have begun intimidating the electorate to force them to attend ruling
party rallies in the high-density suburb of Glen View and surrounding areas.
The youths were seen yesterday in Glenview 8 moving door-to-door forcing
residents to attend a ruling party gathering- at a time when President
Robert Mugabe and Police Commissioner Augustine Chihuri have deplored the
use of violence in the country as a political weapon. Politburo member and
deputy secretary for youth, Saviour Kasukuwere, said he would investigate
the reports and bring the culprits to book as such behaviour brought the
party's reputation into disrepute at a time when Zanu PF was at pains trying
to spruce up its image regionally and internationally. Kasukuwere said he
would take up the matter with the Harare province leadership. One of the
victims who refused to be identified said: "The youths were moving
door-to-door writing down our names and ordering us to attend a rally which
was being held in the area."

On Sunday, The Daily Mirror crew witnessed youths spotting Zanu PF regalia
toy-toying and intimidating people at Tichagarika Shopping Centre in the
evening to attend their rallies "or else." Kasukuwere asked: "Who sent them?
We will investigate the situation and find out what is really happening. I
will also communicate with the provincial leadership. As a party, we
mobilise people not intimidate them." Last week, ruling party youths
allegedly pounced on residents in Glenview 3and forced them to attend a
rally there, a move residents said was likely to re-ignite violence as
characterised during the bloody 2000 parliamentary elections. Political
analyst Heneri Dzinotyiwei yesterday said politicians should concentrate on
solving problems bedevilling the nation rather than make life difficult for
the ordinary man. Said Dzinotyiwei: "The country is going to continue to
experience problems of that nature (violence). No one condones behaviour of
that nature. We hope that as elections draw near, Zimbabweans will develop a
sense of maturity, put the country first and focus on national goals rather
than petty differences." The University of Zimbabwe lecturer called for
tolerance of diverse political opinions in the country and for peace and
stability to prevail before, during and after the polls.

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Mugabe, the World is Watching

Business Day (Johannesburg)

October 20, 2004
Posted to the web October 20, 2004

Richard Meissner

BRITISH-based human rights interest group Amnesty International has accused
Zimbabwe's ruling Zanu (PF) party of exploiting the current food insecurity
to its advantage. In its report, Zimbabwe: Power and Hunger Violations of
the right to food, Amnesty International is arguing that a large part of the
Zimbabwean population has gone hungry due to "discrimination and

Local and international interest groups believe the government's claim of a
good harvest this season is part of a broader political strategy to coerce
people to support the ruling party ahead of elections next March. This has
been an accusation raised by interest groups since early last year.

When a state has sovereignty it means that no other country or nonstate
actor has the right to intervene in its domestic politics. However, for
Zimbabwe this is not the case, especially after the Commonwealth, Britain
and the US started criticising its government's human rights record. This is
an indication that international organisations and other members of the
international community can "transnationalise" domestic issues. Interest
groups also possess this talent.

In the light of Amnesty International's criticism, Zimbabwe's internal
problems are no longer the concern only of domestic actors but also of the
wider international community. That Amnesty International has compiled a
report on the matter shows it is using so-called "scientific proof"
(statistics and methodology of such studies are always questionable) as a
control technique in its lobbying strategy.

What are the implications of Amnesty's report for Zimbabwe's autonomy and
governance in the country?

First, Zimbabwe contrary to popular belief cannot act in an absolutely
autonomous way. Anything the government does is scrutinised by local and
international interest groups and acted on by them. This has repercussions
for the government's manoeuvring space it is shrinking. The interest groups
are placing additional constraints on the way the government devises and
implements its policies by creating moral norms, which are subsequently used
as a basis from which lobbying campaigns originate.

Second, the type of behaviour of Amnesty International (using so-called
"scientific proof" to lobby) has negative repercussions for Zimbabwe's
authority. Its moral authority is diminished to a significant extent. What
Amnesty International is indicating is Zimbabwe does not have the capacity
to look after every citizen, only those inclined to support the ruling
party. In other words, loyalty to Zanu (PF) dictates moral scruples, meaning
the separation between the ruling party and the state is blurred.

Both the diminishing of moral authority and the distortion of bifurcation
between party and state have repercussions for governance. Because of these
persistent factors in the body politic, Zimbabwe has been increasingly
unable to defend its policies and practices in the international community,
and it is incapable of enhancing the socioeconomic development of every
citizen because of an abuse of political power. This has increased the
salience of the issue of food insecurity and the role and involvement of
transnational interest groups in Zimbabwe's domestic affairs.

Zimbabwe will react to these claims by Amnesty International by denying
their truth and countervailing the statements through alternative
interpretation. Nevertheless, by acting in an authoritarian way, Zimbabwe
has incurred the wrath of outside interest groups. This means the Zimbabwean
government has to stave off criticism from international organisations and
other governments, and also criticism from an international movement of
nonstate actors closely watching its internal affairs. Not only are local
interest groups challenging the government's legitimacy and the governing
powers of its political leaders, but interest groups operating outside
Zimbabwe are doing it too.

The current government faces a severe challenge to its authority both on the
domestic front and internationally. Reasons for this include cynicism about
the political institutions of the country the executive, parliament, the
courts and the ruling party. This might have the opposite effect of buying
support with food loyalties are directed towards local and international
interest groups.

Ahead of the election, the government may rely on a diminished loyalty to
conduct a successful campaign. The transnational role and involvement of
international interest groups has dealt a blow to Zimbabwe's autonomy. No
matter how Draconian its Nongovernmental Organisation Bill, the government
cannot control the actions of international interest groups such as Amnesty.

Meissner is a researcher at the South African Institute of International

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Analysts predict rising tension ahead of Zim poll

October 20, 2004, 13:15

Morgan Tsvangirai, the Zimbabwe opposition leader's, acquittal on treason
charges has eased political tension in the country, but analysts say
temperatures will jump again in the run up to March parliamentary elections.

Zimbabwe's High Court acquitted Tsvangirai last Friday on charges of
plotting to assassinate Robert Mugabe, the president of Zimbabwe, and seize
power ahead of a presidential election in 2002. Tsvangirai (52), said the
verdict might boost prospects for "national reconciliation" but he still
faces a second treason case which could push the southern African country
back toward renewed crisis.

Political analysts say there are fears that Zimbabwe's 2005 elections could
be marred by violence similar to that witnessed in the last two major polls
in 2000 and in 2002, which was mainly blamed on Mugabe's militant war
veteran supporters. Ruling ZANU-PF holds nearly two-thirds of seats in
Zimbabwe's 150-member parliament, including 20 reserved for traditional
chiefs and presidential appointees. Tsvangirai's Movement for Democratic
Change (MDC) has 51.

Political pact
Tsvangirai has said the not guilty verdict in the first treason case, which
carried a possible death sentence, might open the way to talks between the
MDC and Mugabe's ZANU-PF. But analysts say chances of a political pact
before the parliamentary polls in March 2005 are slim because of Mugabe's
contempt for Tsvangirai, whom he calls a "pathetic puppet" of his Western
opponents, and ZANU-PF's rising hopes of burying the MDC with a landslide.

"I don't see any chances of any serious formal talks taking place between
the MDC and ZANU-PF before the elections," said Heneri Dzinotyiwei of the
University of Zimbabwe. "The parties are already assuming a fighting
posture, and outside parliamentary forums, it will be difficult to see how
any talks can be structured." Despite saying it will boycott all elections
until the government implements "real" electoral reforms, the MDC is
screening candidates for the March poll "in case we take part." Analysts say
they will contest it. In an article entitled "Tsvangirai: condemned by
acquittal," one columnist wrote in Zimbabwe's state-controlled Herald
newspaper: "Tsvangirai is a man the courts have saved from the gallows, only
to deliver to the guillotine of popular vote, come March 2005." - Reuters

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South Africa hopes for reconciliation in Zimbabwe

October 20, 2004, 18:57

Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, South Africa's foreign minister, said today she
hoped the acquittal of Morgan Tsvangirai, Zimbabwe's opposition leader, on
treason charges last week would contribute to reconciliation efforts.

Zimbabwe's High Court acquitted Tsvangirai last Friday on charges of
plotting to assassinate president Robert Mugabe and seize power ahead of a
presidential election in 2002. Dlamini-Zuma said: "First of all I think it
must indicate to everybody that there is a rule of law in Zimbabwe. There is
a justice system that operates freely and so it is indeed a positive thing
that he was acquitted.

"We do hope, yes, this will add to whatever efforts are there towards
reconciliation," she said after a meeting of the European Union and the
South African Development Community (SADC) in the Netherlands. Tsvangirai
has also said the verdict might boost prospects for "national
reconciliation". However, he still faces a second treason case.

The South African government's policy of "quiet diplomacy" to urge Robert
Mugabe's ruling Zanu-PF and the opposition Movement for Democratic Change
(MDC) to negotiate has met with little success. - Reuters

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Few rural dwellers visit VCT centres

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

HARARE, 20 Oct 2004 (IRIN) - Few rural Zimbabweans are using the Voluntary
Counselling and Testing (VCT) centres, according to the latest Zimbabwe
Human Development Report.

The US-based NGO, Pact, recorded only 50 to 108 visitors a month at two of
its VCT centres located at the Regina Coelli Mission in Manicaland province
and the St Theresa's Mission in Masvingo province.

"To go for testing takes courage - a person's perception of their risk to
exposure is what drives them. If we get 100 in one month, that's great,"
Choice Makufa, director of Pact told IRIN.

Pact's VCT centres are located at mission hospitals because "faith-based
organisations reach out to the most vulnerable people, who feel comfortable
with them," said Mafuka. To attract more visitors to the centre, the NGO
also offers Prevention of Parent to Child Transmission (PPCT) treatment,
access to home-based care, treatment of opportunistic infections and links
to services such as birth registration and writing a will.

The Zimbabwe Association of Church Hospitals uses a similar approach at its
10 rural centres, as does the government at its rural district hospitals.

But getting people interested in the programme requires a great deal of
community mobilisation by trained volunteers, Makufa explained. Emedie
Gunduza, an advocacy officer of the Women and AIDS Support Network, said at
some of the mobile PPCT points outside the capital, Harare, people came
forward in large numbers if food baskets were on offer but, generally, were
not keen on testing "for the sake of it".

VCT uptake in the urban areas was more impressive. Condom manufacturer
Population Services International (PSI), which runs 20 VCTs or New Start
Centres located mostly in the towns, showed that their larger centres
attracted 2,000 to 3,600 visitors per month, while smaller centres attracted
100 to 800.

Karin Hartzold, PSI's HIV/AIDS advisor, said advertising, promotions and
sponsorship of a popular television show centred on testing and living
positively with the virus had helped to popularise the VCT programme.

However, only 32 percent of the population lives in urban areas, where
people are better informed about HIV issues. The Human Development Report of
2003 said the border, mining and commercial farming areas, where prevalence
was known to be highest, remained neglected.

NGOs working in the field of HIV/AIDS believe Zimbabwe's fledgling
antiretroviral (ARV) rollout programme could increase VCT uptake
considerably if the centres were made an entry point for access, and if the
availability of treatment was speeded up. Currently, free ARVs are available
only to the very sick at a few urban government hospitals.
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   ACT Appeal: Famine Relief in Midlands, Masvingo, Matabeleland North &
South Provinces, Zimbabwe
      20 Oct 2004 12:16:00 GMT

      Source: NGO latest
      Elisabeth Gouel

Action by Churches Together (ACT) - Switzerland


Famine Relief in Midlands, Masvingo, Matabeleland North & South Provinces -

Appeal Target: US$ 1,213,751

Geneva, 19 October 2004

The overall national food supply situation through to the next harvest in
April 2005 remains uncertain. There is concern about increasing
vulnerability in rural areas especially in southern Zimbabwe where food
shortages are becoming apparent. There is no sign of new import activity by
the Grain Marketing Board or commercial parties. It is not clear how the
food security situation will be maintained through to the next harvest in
April 2005. Without further imports significant problems can be expected
from January to March 2005. The price of maize in the country is increasing
and in Masvingo it has already doubled since the April 2004 harvest.

ACT member, Lutheran Development Service (LDS) intends to continue working
in the same target districts as implemented under AFZW-31. This appeal
addresses immediate food insecurity through targeted food for work projects
and supply of essential seeds to communities to recover from the current
hardships and become self reliant in the medium to long term.

Project Completion Date: 31 March 2005
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      ANALYSIS-Zimbabwe tension seen rising again before poll
      20 Oct 2004 11:01:56 GMT

      Source: Reuters

By Cris Chinaka

HARARE, Oct 20 (Reuters) - Zimbabwe opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai's
acquittal on treason charges has eased political tension in the country, but
analysts say temperatures will jump again in the runup to March
parliamentary elections.

Zimbabwe's High Court acquitted Tsvangirai last Friday on charges of
plotting to assassinate President Robert Mugabe and seize power ahead of a
presidential election in 2002.

Tsvangirai, 52, said the verdict might boost prospects for "national
reconciliation" -- but he still faces a second treason case which could push
the southern African country back toward renewed crisis.

Political analysts say there are fears that Zimbabwe's 2005 elections could
be marred by violence similar to that witnessed in the last two major polls
in 2000 and in 2002, which was mainly blamed on Mugabe's militant war
veteran supporters.

Ruling ZANU-PF holds nearly two-thirds of seats in Zimbabwe's 150-member
parliament, including 20 reserved for traditional chiefs and presidential
appointees. Tsvangirai's Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) has 51.

Tsvangirai has said the not guilty verdict in the first treason case, which
carried a possible death sentence, might open the way to talks between the
MDC and Mugabe's ZANU-PF.

But analysts say chances of a political pact before the parliamentary polls
in March 2005 are slim because of Mugabe's contempt for Tsvangirai, whom he
calls a "pathetic puppet" of his Western opponents, and ZANU-PF's rising
hopes of burying the MDC with a landslide.

"I don't see any chances of any serious formal talks taking place between
the MDC and ZANU-PF before the elections," said Professor Heneri Dzinotyiwei
of the University of Zimbabwe.

"The parties are already assuming a fighting posture, and outside
parliamentary forums, it will be difficult to see how any talks can be
structured," he said.

Despite saying it will boycott all elections until the government implements
"real" electoral reforms, the MDC is screening candidates for the March poll
"in case we take part." Analysts say they will contest it.


ZANU-PF party engaged the MDC in talks over Zimbabwe's political crisis two
years ago but later withdrew after the opposition went to court to challenge
Mugabe's re-election in the 2002 poll it charged was rigged.

Since then the ruling party has also spurned foreign pressure for talks with
the MDC. It says the MDC must first stop supporting travel and economic
sanctions imposed on Mugabe and his top associates by the United States and
the European Union over his re-election and the government's seizure of
white-owned farms for redistribution to landless blacks.

The MDC says Western sanctions are meant to punish a "rogue regime" and not
to hurt the Zimbabwe economy, and rejects charges that it lacks the
nationalist credentials to be regarded as a party with the country's
interests at heart.

While the MDC called Tsvangirai's acquittal "a huge blow to the forces of
tyranny," the celebration was tempered by the prospect of separate treason
charges against him linked to anti-Mugabe protests he tried to organise in

"There is an air of uncertainty, and while talks might help, I don't see
them taking place," said Eldred Masunungure, chairman of the political
science department at the University of Zimbabwe.

ZANU-PF supporters say even outside the courts, the MDC leader must prepare
himself for a humiliating defeat in the 2005 parliamentary elections -- a
possibility also raised by analysts, who say the opposition has been
weakened by outside attack and riven by internal factionalism.

In an article entitled "Tsvangirai: condemned by acquittal," one columnist
wrote in Zimbabwe's state-controlled Herald newspaper: "Tsvangirai is a man
the courts have saved from the gallows, only to deliver to the guillotine of
popular vote, come March 2005."
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Disenfranchised Zimbabweans Attack Chinamasa

The Daily News (Harare)

October 20, 2004
Posted to the web October 20, 2004


Zimbabweans living in the diaspora have described recent utterances by
Zimbabwe's minister of justice legal and parliamentary affairs, Patrick
Chinamasa, that they will not be able to vote in the March 2005 general
elections, as uncalled for and reckless.

Responding to electronic interviews by Daily News Online, the Zimbabweans
said Chinamasa's recent statement that Zimbabweans in the diaspora would not
be allowed to vote in the forthcoming general elections in March next year,
was against the spirit of patriotism and good governance.

They indicated that Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe governor, Gideon Gono, as part
of his presentations when promoting the repatriation of foreign currency by
locals in the diaspora, had included discussions on how the locals could
positively participate in the development of the country.

The issue of providing voting rights to those Zimbabweans in the diaspora
was discussed, with Gono allegedly assuring them that he would inform the
government of their concerns.

Moses Muvevi, a Zimbabwean based in the United States, said most Zimbabweans
he had interacted with had indicated that they were not happy with the
government's position.

He said Gono had made assurances that he would personally deal with that
issue. On his promotion tours for 'Homelink' an RBZ initiative aimed at
harnessing the much needed foreign currency, which had been coming through
the black market, Gono, who went on a whirlwind tour of USA and Europe, told
Zimbabweans who attended the meetings that all the issues which they had
raised, would be forwarded to the relevant authorities.

Muvevi also said what Chinamasa had said, was against the spirit of
inclusive participation which Gono had exhibited in various meetings with
Zimbabweans in the USA.

"What Chinamasa has exhibited is his party's politics of exclusion. Zanu PF
seems to thrive on that and I know that most Zimbabweans will not accept
what he said. Zanu PF has always elbowed out any kind of opposition through
beatings and denials to vote," added Muvevi.

Muvevi was not alone in criticising the government, as another Zimbabwean in
London, Elphus Mutongwizo, said the statement by Chinamasa was set to
adversely affect RBZ's Homelink programme.

He said a number of surveys which have been carried out on Zimbabweans in
the diaspora, have indicated that they have always wanted to participate in
any democratisation process.

"I do not understand why the Zimbabwean government would want to be
different from other governments within the Southern Africa Development
Community (SADC), which are allowing their nationals in foreign lands, to
vote in general elections. Look at the Mozambican and Botswana

governments which are giving their nationals an opportunity to participate
in their forthcoming elections," said Mutongwizo.

Chinamasa, as minister of justice legal and affairs and leader of the house
of assembly, said it was government's position that all Zimbabweans in the
diaspora would not be allowed to vote in the forthcoming general elections
in March next year.

The MDC, which has given Zanu PF a run for its money, has meanwhile
indicated that it would not participate in the forthcoming elections if they
are not held under the SADC guidelines on elections which were unveiled at
the heads of government meeting in Mauritius in August.

President Robert Mugabe is a signatory to the protocol, which aims to put
all elections within the SADC region in line with world standards.

The opposition party has also called on the government to postpone the March
2005 general elections so that the contentious issues could be addressed.

Among the issues at dispute, is the participation of the Registrar General's
office in the election process.

The MDC is arguing that the office, which has been running all elections
since independence, had failed in its mandate to organise a free and fair

The establishment of an Independent Electoral Commission, which would
oversee the holding of all elections, including next year's general
elections, is one of the demands which the MDC has put forward to

Access to the public media and the democratisation of the country's media
policy is also another demand. The Government has however said it would not
open the public media to the MDC as it has said it will boycott the March

Although an electoral commission would be set up as part of changes to the
country's electoral laws, the Registrar General's office will continue
running the elections, against the MDC's wish. Meanwhile, the Botswana and
Mozambican governments have asked their nationals in Zimbabwe to come
forward and register to vote in their forthcoming general elections. The two
countries have been placing advertisements in the local media urging their
citizens to participate in their country's electoral processes. Botswana
will hold general elections on October 30, this year, while Mozambique's
elections will be held at the beginning of December.
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Zim instability 'has not reached state of unrest'
Posted Wed, 20 Oct 2004

Zimbabwe's political instability has not reached a point where it can be
described as "serious unrest", Parliament's home affairs committee heard on

"I don't think my office has come to the point where it is seeing the
situation as an area of serious unrest, but we have to monitor that
situation," United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees envoy Bemma Donkoh

She told members of the committee the South African government had to
"genuinely look at the situation and see when, 'God forbid', the situation
could escalate to such a point that there is insecurity which makes the
pursuit of life risky".

Donkoh was responding to a question from Patrick Chauke, the committee's
chairperson. He asked her about the "instability" in Zimbabwe.

"What is your understanding of this current influx of Zimbabweans into South
Africa?" Chauke asked.

Donkoh responded by saying the "issue of Zimbabwe is a very complex one".

She said not every Zimbabwean who came to South Africa sought asylum or
refugee status, others were economic migrants which the UNHCR would not help
at all.

"But then there are some who feel their lives could be at risk if they
remained in that country (Zimbabwe)," she said.

"Those are people who should be given the opportunity to explain their
reasons and, if in fact if those claims are credible, they should be
recognised as refugees."

There should be no blanket belief, or perception, that all Zimbabweans were
economic migrants, Donkoh said.

"There are economic migrants... but on the other hand there are genuine
asylum seekers among them... depending on what the person is describing as
the reasons for the decision to leave."

She said some people left Zimbabwe after being attacked or arrested for
being members of a political or social group.

"I would not go as far as to say that there is a situation in which broadly
everybody leaving Zimbabwe and going into another country is necessarily an
asylum seeker or eventually to be considered a refugee.

"From what we understand, not all of them are even interested in making that
claim," she said.

She said she had not come across a white Zimbabwean who sought asylum in
South Africa as many of them had dual nationality - mostly South African or

White Zimbabwean farmers who had that country's identity document and that
of South Africa were declined when they applied to be "South African
refugees", said Abel Mbilinyi, Donkoh's assistant.


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Daily News (SA)

      Hopes rise for Zimbabwe
      October 20, 2004

      By Dennis Pather

      It would not be stretching the bounds of credibility to suggest that
the acquittal of Morgan Tsvangirai on a charge of treason took most Zimbabwe
watchers by surprise.

      The perceptible compliance of the Zimbabwean judiciary to the dictates
of President Robert Mugabe has long been taken for granted.

      In recent years many senior judges who demonstrated even a modicum of
independent thinking have either resigned or been removed from the Bench.
Bearing this in mind, it was not unexpected that most observers thought
Tsvangirai was on to a legal hiding to nothing.

      But, at last, something positive has come out of Zimbabwe and for that
all critics of the Mugabe regime, and there are many, should at least be
temporarily thankful. We say temporarily because of the capricious character
of the long-serving despot.

      Whether Judge President Paddington Garwe, who is a close relative of
Mugabe, will be saved from a fate similar to that of many of his
predecessors remains to be seen, because he certainly did not pull any
punches in delivering a blistering attack of the government and its chief
witness, Canadian Ari Ben Menashe.

      It takes courage these days to stand up to the dictatorial Mugabe and
Garwe's judgment will be interpreted by some as a sign of better things to
come in that troubled country.

      It will also encourage Tsvangirai and his followers to continue their
struggle for the return of democracy.

      Zimbabwe's neighbours, and particularly South Africa, which has
steadfastly refused to bring pressure to bear on Mugabe and his bullyboy
regime, should take cognisance of Tsvangirai's acquittal and support him and
others in their fight for the return of personal liberties in Zimbabwe.

      The country remains in a perilous state. It desperately requires
salvation. Hopefully, Garwe's actions will spur his countrymen and women to
similar acts of resolve and hope.

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Sent: Thursday, October 21, 2004 6:16 AM
Subject: Tsvangirai picks up his travel documents from the High Court

Following his acquittal on the treason trial on Friday, MDC leader Morgan Tsvangirai today picked up his travel documents from the Master of the High Court.
This means he is now free to travel abroad after two years of virtual house arrest and other restrictions which were part of his bail conditions. Contrary to what the state media has stated, the second treason charge has a separate set of conditions which do not include a passport surrender and reporting conditions.
For the first time in two years, Tsvangirai did not have to present himself twice a week (Mondays and Thursdays) to Avondale Police Station in Harare.
At midnight, Tsvangirai shall release his analysis of the electoral climate in Zimbabwe today as we edge towards the Parliamentary election in 2005. Here are some of the highlights of that analysis:
-- urban constituencies lose voters, could lose constituencies: Harare (46 780), Bulawayo (22 689), Mutare Central (1 285), Gweru Urban (1 741), Mkoba (1 382), Masvingo Central (622) ... the list goes on!
--  rural constituencies gain large numbers of voters, could gain new constituencies. Uzumba Maramba Pfungwe (13 993), Seke (10 000), Kadoma West (15 000), Makonde (11 000), Bikita West (6 000), Insiza (6 000), Manicaland (106 757), Masvingo (82 908)... check out the figures for yourself!
--  Zengeza, Insiza, Bikita West gain new voters (There were by-elections in these constituencies after 2000. The MDC complained of ballot robbery ...)
-- Matabeleland North & South, Harare, Bulawayo, according to the latest (published this month, October 2004) Voters Roll, show a massive decrease in the number of voters.
-- But Census 2002 figures depict a different demographic pattern.
-- Also, see an October 2003 report on the age distribution of Zimbabwe's population by Ms F Matarise of the Statistics Department of the University of Zimbabwe for an independent demographic analysis.
Good night!
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