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

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Mugabe accused of erasing MDC voters from roll
By Peta Thornycroft in Harare and David Blair, Africa Correspondent
(Filed: 22/10/2004)

The opposition in Zimbabwe yesterday accused President Robert Mugabe's
regime of manipulating the electoral roll, saying almost 70,000 names had
vanished from voting lists in Harare and Bulawayo.

Both cities are strongholds of the opposition Movement for Democratic
Change, which won all 27 of their parliamentary seats in the last election
in 2000. The party leader, Morgan Tsvangirai, accused the regime of a
"scandalous" attempt to prevent his supporters from voting in the general
election due next March.

He demanded an independent audit of the electoral roll and said: "I have
also instructed our legal team to consider legal action to protect the
interests of hundreds of thousands of Zimbabweans who will effectively be
disenfranchised through the scandalous conduct of the registrar general's

Tobaiwa Mudede, the registrar general, gave the MDC a copy of the latest
electoral roll two weeks ago. Comparison with the lists used for the
presidential polls two years ago disclosed a dramatic decline in registered
voters in opposition heartlands.

In Harare 878,715 voters were registered in 2002. Since then 46,780 names
have disappeared, reducing the total to 831,935.

Harare's population, like that of every other African capital, is growing
strongly. The last official census showed it was up by 30 per cent, or
424,670 people, between 1992 and 2002.

Mr Tsvangirai said manipulation was the only possible explanation for the
falling number of voters, which would allow the regime to damage his party's
chances by reducing the number of parliamentary seats in the capital.

In Bulawayo, the country's second city, 22,689 voters have disappeared. The
roll had 361,790 voters for the presidential polls but this has dropped to
339,101. The MDC won all eight of the city's seats in the last election.

Mr Mudede, who compiles the electoral roll, makes no secret of his support
for Mr Mugabe's Zanu-PF party. He benefited from the seizure of white-owned
land when he was given a farm in Nyabira district before the last
presidential election.

His conduct of that election was heavily criticised by Commonwealth election
observers. "Thousands of citizens were disenfranchised as a result of the
lack of transparency in the registration process and the wide discretionary
powers of the registrar general in deciding who is included or omitted from
the register," they reported.

Mr Mudede was not available for comment yesterday. An official at his office
said: "We cannot respond until we receive an official complaint."

The foreign minister, Stan Mudenge, yesterday accused unnamed western
countries of "plotting" to discredit the elections "in which they want to
inject their own ideas and preoccupations".
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The Times

October 22, 2004

Zimbabwe purges farms again
By Jan Raath in Nyabira

            SMOKE rose above the savannah along a 15-mile stretch of the
road, testament to the brutal conclusion to President Robert Mugabe's
resettlement programme.
            The homes that lay smouldering across the cattle country in
Nyabira district, 25 miles north of Harare, had housed peasant farmers,
formerly the foot soldiers who had invaded white-owned land during the
President's "revolutionary land reform programme".

            Now they too have been evicted by paramilitary police who burnt
down the farms that Mr Mugabe had ordered them to invade in 2000.

            "Police came here and told me go away," said Edgar Pfupajena. "I
thought they were joking. Then they burnt everything. We have been here for
nearly five years. The President resettled us."

            Amnesty Internationl estimated that 60,000 people were driven
from "resettlement areas" last month alone.

            Wayne Bvudzijena, a police spokesman, said evictions were being
carried out "around the country" to "regularise resettlement patterns in the
farming areas". He said some of the occupiers had "illegally settled

            John Nkomo, the minister responsible for land resettlement,
referred questions to local officials, who would not comment.

            However, there is little doubt in the minds of those forced off
the farms about the reason for their removal. Many have said in legal
affidavits that their evictions were preceded by visits from ruling party
"cheffes" - Mr Mugabe's nephew, Leo, has been named.

            The evictions have turned upside-down Mr Mugabe's emotive banner
of "land to the people" when mobs of ruling party supporters began
terrorising white farmers, thousands of whom fled.

            The agricultural sector lies crippled and the country is
expected to suffer a third successive year of famine.

            Munyaradzi Bidi, national director of the Zimbabwe Human Rights
Association, said that five years after the lawless invasions began "the
land imbalance is still there".

            "Peasants still don't have access to land and it's still in the
hands of a small group of people, only this time it's greedy senior ruling
party and military officers," he said.

            The new evictions have not only ignored all due process -
without legal notice, court orders, or court messengers to effect them -
they even violate the Rural Land Occupiers (Prevention of Eviction) Act
passed by Mr Mugabe's Government specifically to stop white landowners
evicting the settlers. Those evicted from the farmland have been left
without water or sanitation and have little food.

            "It's a humanitarian crisis," Obert Chinhamo, Amnesty
International's development officer, said. "No one is going to their
assistance. The organisations that usually help people like this are too
scared to do anything because they might be closed down by the Government or

            Charitable assistance is possible only with the approval of
local government authorities, Mr Chinhamo said. "There is no way the
Government is going to give permission for you to support people they are

            The original farm invaders had been stalwarts of the ruling
Zanu-PF party. In the past, any grievance would have been taken directly to
party officials for consultation. Now, however, settlers are turning to
lawyers and human rights groups for help.

            About 20 High Court orders have been won ordering police and the
Minister of Home Affairs to leave the settlers alone.

            Police have so far not stopped settlers returning to their
plots, but authorities in one district said they intend to challenge the
court orders.

            "These are the people who made Zanu-PF win both elections since
2000," Mr Chinhamo said. "All of them feel cheated and betrayed by the
Government. The land programme was an election gimmick."

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British Medical Journal

Health needs of Zimbabweans are poorly recognised in UK
EDITOR-In 2002 Zimbabweans were the second largest group of asylum seekers
coming to the United Kingdom, 7695 asylum applications having been made,1
and they constitute one of the largest migrant groups of English speaking
peoples from a developing country for 25 years. The lack of language
barriers may help this community to use the NHS more effectively than
earlier migrants, but they may face discrimination nevertheless. What is
known, and what needs to be known about the healthcare needs of Zimbabweans?

We found that most published work focuses on HIV and sexual health. The
prevalence of HIV seropositivity in Zimbabwe is estimated to be 25%. The
proportion of all reported HIV cases in the United Kingdom acquired in
Africa (90% heterosexually) is over 20% and growing.2 Several factors may
pose problems when treating Zimbabweans with HIV: patients may present late3
and they are highly mobile (partly because of the government's policy of
dispersal for asylum seekers), making follow up and contact tracing
difficult. These problems are not confined to Zimbabweans. Coinfection with
tuberculosis is a major concern, raising the question of whether Zimbabwean
babies should be vaccinated with BCG.

In some towns the incidence of HIV has risen considerably. Many primary care
trusts, local genitourinary services, and individual general practices are
struggling to cope with increasing demand (our two practices in Luton
together serve over a hundred HIV positive patients).

However, an inordinate focus on HIV may divert attention from other health
needs of Zimbabweans. Anxiety, depression, and mental distress are to be
expected among a population that has suffered rapid impoverishment and
family separation. People have more mundane health problems, such as
hypertension and diabetes. These have often been poorly controlled, and
Zimbabweans may overlook these if health professionals are preoccupied with
the risks of HIV. Only by integrating primary and specialist care can
earlier diagnoses and improved access be delivered-and the public health
interests of the whole population be addressed.

Steve Gillam, general practitioner

Lea Vale Medical Group, Luton LU1 1HH

Raj Khanchandani, general practitioner

Biscot Road Surgery, Luton LU3 1AH

Melusi Ndebele, specialist in sexual health promotion and African

Luton Teaching Primary Care Trust, Luton LU1 1JD
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Conference Timely for Harare

The Herald (Harare)

October 21, 2004
Posted to the web October 21, 2004


THE City of Harare today starts a two-day conference aimed at attracting

Particular focus is on the city's infrastructural development, which has
been slowly collapsing over the years.

Key stakeholders - who include leaders in industry, banking, commerce,
Cabinet ministers and representatives from some southern African countries -
are expected to attend the conference.

The decision to convene the investment conference comes at a time when the
capital city is in urgent and desperate need to overhaul and develop its
antiquated infrastructure.

Indeed, much of the city's infrastructure - waterworks system, sewer
reticulation, street lighting and roads, among others - is in need of urgent
and serious attention.

It is a fact that some of Harare's infrastructure is more than 50 years old
and cannot continue to hold anymore, where the city has been expanding over
the years.

During the investment conference, the city will seek to find the solutions
by exchanging ideas with stakeholders.

It will also want to identify partners and possibly obtain pledges towards
the development of critical areas.

We understand the city invited guests from such countries as South Africa in
order to draw important lessons from their experiences in the management and
development of cities.

Harare, as the capital city, must provide efficient services. The provision
of safe drinking water, sewerage reticulation, roads and electricity are the
starting point in attracting investment and should, therefore, not be found

Investors can only be attracted to other areas if they are first satisfied
with the infrastructure and management of the city, especially in the
delivery of services.

Cities throughout the world have developed their infrastructure and come up
with investment incentives.

Shanghai in China is a case in point. It has developed superior
infrastructure in comparison to other Chinese cities and has attracted the
attention of international companies.

Shanghai's special development zones, which are the equivalent of our own
export processing zones, have become central to many foreign companies'

This is because they allow companies to import, process, and export with
fewer taxes and less red tape than other places in China.

The zones have helped foreign firms integrate China into their global supply

Harare has the potential to follow the Shanghai route and grow into one of
the biggest and modern cities in Africa.

However, it is disappointing that the city has not been able to market
itself good enough to attract foreign investors.

Smaller towns and cities like Bulawayo, Chinhoyi, Marondera and Chegutu have
actually fared much better as they have aggressively marketed themselves as
potential investment destinations.

There is no single pamphlet about Harare and what it can offer to investors,
yet urban centres like Bulawayo and Marondera have produced investment

Harare has not taken advantage to market the potentially available land for
development after the Government recently acquired scores of farms around
the city and its surrounding areas of Ruwa, Chitungwiza and Norton.

The farms are available to be developed for industrial, commercial and
residential purposes.

There is also the Sunway City Industrial Park, the largest export processing
zone in Harare, which has not generated the expected interest from

We believe Harare's water woes can be a thing of the past if the planned
massive Kunzvi Dam in Mashonaland East is developed. But this project is one
key area which has also failed to attract investors for a long time.

It is, however, our strong belief that there are many business partners out
there willing to work towards the development of Harare.
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East African Standard

      Zimbabwe says West trying to subvert its polls

      HARARE, Thursday

      President Robert Mugabe's government accused its Western critics on
Thursday of plotting to influence Zimbabwe's parliamentary elections next
March, and said it would not take democracy lessons from "hypocrites."

      "Those who failed to teach us democracy or practice democracy when
they had over 100 years of ruling us are now pretending to be masters and be
teachers," Foreign Affairs Minister Stan Mudenge said.

      "We reject their teachings," he added.

      Zimbabwe's government has been in the international spotlight over the
last four years over its controversial seizures of white-owned farms for
landless blacks and Mugabe's disputed re-election in March 2002.

      Mudenge said some Western ambassadors in Harare were unhappy with
electoral guidelines recently adopted by the 14-nation Southern African
Development Community (SADC) and had approached diplomats from SADC states
to write new rules for Zimbabwe.

      Mudenge told a news conference after meeting SADC ambassadors that
Zimbabwe would not tolerate attempts by the West to interfere in its
domestic affairs or regional relations, and would act against its opponents.

      Some Western ambassadors, whom he did not name, had come up with the
idea of additional regulations for Zimbabwean elections in addition to the
SADC guidelines as part of an effort to influence March polls, Mudenge said.

      "We find it very odd that they should be involving themselves in
matters of SADC, which is a grouping of independent African countries
designing their destiny and their future away from colonial control," he

      Mudenge said contrary to media reports that the SADC guidelines
adopted at a summit in Mauritius in August were mainly targeted at Zimbabwe,
Mugabe's government was actively involved in their creation and adoption.

      "Any assumption that they were being designed for Zimbabwe are false.
We are very comfortable with the guidelines as they emerged. We have
incorporated them in the new (electoral) bill before parliament," Mudenge

      Mudenge said although diplomats from SADC had assured him that they
would not cooperate in a Western scheme to undermine Mugabe's government,
Zimbabwe would take action against anyone who took part in clandestine
activities against it.

      "They should not be abused to take on agendas of foreign countries, of
foreign organisations," he said.

      Mudenge, whose government has branded the main opposition Movement for
Democratic Change (MDC) a puppet of the West, accused Western ambassadors of
"threatening SADC states if they do not cooperate in prejudging and
preempting the outcome of Zimbabwe's vote.

      "These are the same countries who dare to lecture us about levelling
the playfield, free and fair elections, equal access to the media between
(ruling party) ZANU-PF and the MDC, the same countries who are broadcasting
to us hostile anti ZANU-PF, anti-government, pro-MDC propaganda," he said.

      "Hypocrites. We will not accept, we will not tolerate that kind of
posture. We will react," he added, saying Zimbabwe might bar any diplomat it
finds involved in undercover activities from observing the March elections.


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The Star

      It's hard to believe Mugabe has become liberal

      There is no Road to Damascus conversion here
      October 22, 2004

        By Peter Fabricius

      We would all love to believe that either Zimbabwean Judge President
Paddington Garwe or the country's President Robert Mugabe experienced a
Damascene moment last week. But perhaps it is too soon to proclaim peace in
our time.

      The putative conversion experience was Garwe's decision to acquit
Movement for Democratic Change leader Morgan Tsvangirai on treason charges.
This is being widely hailed as either an heroic defence of judicial
independence by Garwe or a sudden discovery of the rule of law by Mugabe.
Logically it cannot be both.

      Though the Zimbabwe government's public response was at first
ambivalent, Mugabe's propagandist Jonathan Moyo then, of course, hailed the
decision as proof of the judicial independence which the country had enjoyed
all along and therefore a sharp rebuke to those who had ever doubted it.

      There is also much speculation that President Mbeki must have put
pressure on Mugabe, though his government has remained mum.

      Perhaps the case against Tsvangirai was too weak even for Garwe to
stomach. But Garwe's track record of Mugabe-friendly judgments - for which
he has been rewarded with a stolen farm which could easily be taken back -- 
do not suggest a heroic temperament. It seems more likely that he was given
the nod from State House.

      And given Mugabe's own track record of complete contempt for the law,
whenever it clashed with his own survival strategy, it is hard to imagine
that he gave the nod because he had suddenly become a liberal democrat.

      It is surely more logical to see the move as part of a more refined
phase of that survival strategy - very likely related to the legislative
elections due by next March.

      The Southern African Development Community (SADC) adopted a set of
guidelines for the conduct of elections at its summit this year with which
Zimbabwe's electoral system is almost entirely at odds.

      Apparently as a result - and maybe because of - regional pressure,
Mugabe has begun to tinker with his electoral laws, including legislation to
establish an ostensibly independent electoral commission.

      His tinkering so far falls well short of the guidelines, not only on
how the actual elections should be conducted, but more especially on
ensuring free and impartial electioneering for all parties, including equal
access to the state's propaganda machinery. Mugabe has not, so far, touched
the latter. But presumably even the indulgent SADC would not have condoned
      executing or imprisoning the leader of the opposition just before

      Of course, Mugabe could still punish Tsvangirai on a pending second
treason charge. But he is probably calculating that he has already inflicted
enough damage on him and his party to beat them even in a relatively free
and fair election. Polls indicate that he is way ahead. He may now be
gambling on the big stakes of winning both the elections - and regional and
perhaps even wider approval. The latter would mean a return of international
institutions such as the IMF which could rescue the nosediving economy.

      It is the degree of freedom and fairness of the election that is
critical. Although the past five years of persecution of the MDC have
already skewed the pitch irreparably, South Africa and the region must
surely insist at least that from now on it is levelled. And that must
include a truly independent - meaning bipartisan - election commission and
the scrapping of extra-judicial security and media laws.

      The danger is that if SADC swallows a half-free election, the wider
world - weary of the vexing and divisive Zimbabwe issue - might do so too,
because it is increasingly looking to SADC for guidance on how to interpret
the elections, as Mugabe is unlikely to allow in non-African election

      It would be a terrible injustice if the world allowed Mugabe to get
away with a strategy of beating the hell out of the MDC for five years and
then righteously putting away his sjambok for the last few weeks
      before the poll.

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JAG JOB OPPORTUNITIES: Updated 21st October 2004

Please send any classified adverts for publication in this newsletter to:
JAG Job Opportunities

1.  Advert Received 17th October 2004

WANTED Bookkeeper competent in manual and computer literate, Cash book
reconciliation, Petty Cash, Wages, Salaries, Costings, financial monthly
budget and general. Very attractive package, located in Northern suburbs.
Contact Mrs Hall 303504 or 091321512

2.  Advert Received 17th October 2004

Executive lady in early fifties, requires mornings only position.
Experienced in Bookkeeping, old fashion manual style although computer
literate. Owned own business and has vast experience in all office
routines. Very old school with lots of common sence.  Good renumeration
required, no stingy boss will be considered. Tel Linda 251377 or 091321640

3.  Advert Received 18th October 2004

POSITION WANTED (Borrowdale, Highlands, Newlands, Eastlea, Westgate areas)

Reception / PA

Experience in:

Switchboard, typing, e-mails, filing, bookings of programmes, arranging
flights, choosing and ordering gifts for clients, creating powerpoint
presentations for community projects, designing & typing up menus, etc.

Highest School Level Attained:
3 A'Levels.


Have attained experience at a travel / tourism industry but willing to
learn in other areas.

Contact: Natasha Ferreira on 011 709 580.
CV can be sent on application / request.

4.  Advert Received 19th October 2004

Managerial position on a flower farm in Ruwa. +/- 16ha of greenhouse
management, anyone interested please contact Matthew Hopgood on 011201488
or e-mail

5.  Advert Received 20th October 2004

Production Manager ( Dry mix foods and detergents) Largely a supervisory
position. People skills and computer skills necessary. Electrical and
mechanical skills will help.

41/2 day week and Company vehicle plus usual benefits will accompany
negotiable salary comensurate with encumbent skills.

Applicants CV's can be E.Mailed to this address please.

5.  Advert Received 21st October 2004

Looking for Employment Experienced in Sales Reprehensive, Managerial, Dairy
Farming and Crops, Age 46 years Male If there is anyone that can help with
employment please contact me at 091 322 257 or email

For the latest listings of accommodation available for farmers, contact
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Cape Times

      Singing Bob's song
      October 22, 2004

      SOUTH African Foreign Affairs Minister Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma has
pounced upon the acquittal of Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) leader
Morgan Tsvangirai as evidence of a healthy Zimbabwean judiciary.

      Speaking in The Hague this week, Dlamini-Zuma said of the Zimbabwe
High Court decision to acquit him on charges of treason: "... it must
indicate to everybody that there is a rule of law in Zimbabwe. There is a
justice system that operates freely."

      Every other analyst has come to a different conclusion, most seeing
the hand of President Robert Mugabe in the verdict. Tsvangirai was
acquitted, they suggest, to conform with the Southern African Development
Community's electoral guidelines - and because the case against Tsvangirai
was so feeble.

      Why then Dlamini-Zuma's overly-generous interpretation of this event?
And many will remember that it was the same minister who leapt to Mugabe's
defence when he was floating the idea of registering journalists - hardly
the stuff of democracy.

      Surely the South African government is not reduced to clutching at
straws to justify its strange silence on its miscreant northern neighbour?

      If so, Dlamini-Zuma's comments are a depressing signal. They suggest
that the failure of silent diplomacy - indeed, Mugabe has made South
Africa's hand-wringing on this issue look like weakness - is not going to be
replaced by anything with more substance.

      All of which raises once again the question that arises around South
Africa's handling of the Zimbabwean crisis: on what is South Africa's policy

      Those who would suggest it is a matter of blind and unquestioning
loyalty to a former comrade in the struggle against white dominance, will
feel more than ever that their cynicism is well-founded.

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New Zimbabwe

Zimbabwe TV preacher held for stealing wine!

By Staff Reporter
Last updated: 10/22/2004 08:01:44
A POPULAR late night radio and television preacher has been busted stealing
WINE in Ruwa, just outside Harare.

Pastor Gift Mabhaudhi who presents the Radio Zimbabwe (formerly Radio 2)
programme "Zvidzidzo ZveBhaibheri" was spotted guzzling from bottles of wine
inside TM Supermarket, before taking two unopened wines and trying to leave
without paying.

Shop security held him and called the police who took Mabhaudi to the police
station where he paid a Zim$25 000 (about £2) admission of guilt fine.

Police say Mabhaudhi, 52, was spotted drinking from wine bottles and putting
them back on the shelf. He then took two 200-millilitre bottles of Meadows
Estate Chenin Blanc wine, with a street value of Zim$17 360 (about £1.50).

Superintendent Oliver Mandipaka said Mabhaudhi was apprehended outside the
shop after paying for a few other items, but not the alcohol.

"I am stressed and I am willing to be arrested. Please do not do this. I am
really sorry," Mabhaudhi pleaded with the supermarket manager, according to
the official Herald newspaper.

The preacher's son described his father as "emotionally unhinged" and
"incoherent", and said he had taken to drinking alcohol against the customs
of his chruch -- the Reformed Church in Zimbabwe.

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Cops Step Up Preps for 2005 Elections

The Herald (Harare)

October 21, 2004
Posted to the web October 21, 2004


Police have stepped up their preparations for next year's parliamentary
elections with senior officers meeting in Harare yesterday to devise
strategies to ensure the polls are peaceful.

Opening the meeting, Police Commissioner Augustine Chihuri said the
challenge to make the forthcoming elections a success calls for proactive
and pre-emptive activities on criminal elements.

In a speech read on his behalf at the one-day Election Tactical Plan
Framework Workshop, Cde Chihuri said the 2005 parliamentary elections posed
a challenge to all police officers and beckons the need for well-thought-out
tactical plans to counter enemies of the State, whose fortunes thrive on
bashing the image of the country.

The main aim of the workshop was to discuss several issues, including
ensuring that there would be no violence during the elections and adherence
to the Southern African Development Community (Sadc) principles and
guidelines governing democratic elections.

Other issues discussed were the need for police officers to be conversant
with their obligations under the new electoral laws, which include security
arrangements, the role of police in election administration, incident
reports and investigations, the nature of politically motivated crimes and
police presence during election campaigns.

Cde Chihuri said the birth of foreign-funded opposition political parties in
the country has seen the polarisation of society resulting in political

"A more strategic and robust approach on how provinces, districts and
stations will plan, organise, monitor, control and co-ordinate issues
pertaining to phases before, during and after elections is desirable," said
Cde Chihuri in the speech read on his behalf by Secretary of Home Affairs Mr
Melusi Matshiya.

He said the policing environment must be properly analysed and matched by
the judicious deployment of resources in various policing jurisdictions.

"Our electoral experience since 2000 indicate that the youths are a crucial
component in the campaign machinery of political parties in Zimbabwe," said
Cde Chihuri.

"However, they have been used as cheap cannon fodder in political violence.
It is, therefore, necessary for all commanders to closely monitor their
activities since they are easily swayed to commit crimes of a violent

He said the police force appreciates the right of citizens to freedom of
movement but would not tolerate the bussing of people to other

The Police Commissioner said previous experience had shown that the bussing
of party supporters created unnecessary tension that eventually undermined
peace and stability in some constituencies.

He said once this was noticed during the campaign period, the police would
be obliged to encourage politicians to restrict their activities to their

"A reasonable number of people can travel to campaign to locals of a
particular area, but the tendency to transport a whole rally in the bus to
go and campaign in other constituencies will be totally unacceptable since
criminal elements will easily find cover from such large numbers," he said.

He said the consensus in Government was that there must be zero tolerance to
political violence in the forthcoming elections.

"His Excellency the President feels very strongly about the issue and does
not brook any form of violence from whomever.

"The President stated in no uncertain terms in July this year, that
elections will be conducted in a peaceful and tranquil atmosphere with the
view to shame detractors who have made it their God-sent assignment to
lecture Third World countries on democracy and human rights while their
history and current practices are littered with flagrant human rights
abuses, violation of international law and the degradation of the human

Cde Chihuri said the Sadc Heads of State and Governments Summit held in
Mauritius in August was instrumental in the signing of the Sadc principles
and guidelines governing democratic elections to which Zimbabwe is a

He said it was crucial that all police personnel under the command of senior
police officers were aware of their obligations under the new laws and
acquaint themselves with these principles, which include full participation
of citizens in the political process, freedom of association, political
tolerance, voter education and regular elections as provided for by the
national constitution.

Other principles include acceptance of the election results by political
parties proclaimed to have been free and fair by the competent national
electoral authorities in accordance with the law of the land and equal
opportunity to exercise the right to vote and be voted for, among others.

The workshop was attended by senior police officers commanding all the
provinces in the country.

Cde Chihuri said in pursuit of a peaceful election, commanders must be
honest and factual in their reporting of incidents.

"To this end, I will not tolerate indecision, a laissez-fare (permissive)
attitude, sloppiness or malpractices on the part of the commanders in
enforcing the law and maintaining peace," he said.

He urged them to pass on the information to their junior police, saying that
he would not entertain any deterioration in any situation.
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Forex Abuse Results in Privilege Withdrawal

Financial Gazette (Harare)

October 21, 2004
Posted to the web October 21, 2004


WHEN Homelink was first introduced, recipients of money from abroad had a
choice of receiving their money in either local or foreign currency. Now,
however, money is only paid out to recipients in local currency.

Many people both at home and abroad were surprised that there was an option
to be paid in foreign currency. "Has Zimbabwe got sufficient foreign
currency to be able to do that?" one surprised Zimbabwean living in the
United Kingdom asked a member of the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe team that
visited that country earlier in the year.

Generally if you send money to a person in another country you take it for
granted that he or she will be paid in the currency of that country. After
all it is not much use to them in any other currency if they are to spend it

The only legal tender in Zimbabwe is Zimbabwe dollars. If you want to pay
school fees, hospital charges or funeral expenses or to buy food, you need
to have the local currency to do this. Foreign currency is no use to you,
normally speaking, except when you travel or wish to pay for something you
are purchasing outside the country.

Nevertheless, given that foreign currency for travel and individual
purchases outside the country was not readily available at the foreign
currency auction when Homelink was launched, the Reserve Bank decided to
allow recipients of money from abroad to opt for foreign currency payments
if they wished.

If they had no immediate use for the foreign currency, they could keep it in
a foreign currency account or at home for when they needed it. If they
wanted to convert it into Zimbabwe dollars at a later stage they could do so
at a bank, although they would then have to pay commission.

Where money transfer agencies disbursed money in foreign currency, none of
this money would of course reach the foreign currency auction. However,
because local purchases and payments for local services have to be paid for
in Zimbabwean currency, it was believed that most people would opt to
receive their money in Zimbabwe dollars, even if they had the option to
receive it in foreign currency.

On the other hand those who had a genuine need for foreign currency for
holidays outside the country or to pay for goods or services outside the
country could receive their money in foreign currency and use it for that
when they needed to.

At first this arrangement worked as expected. The majority of recipients of
funds from abroad opted to be paid in Zimbabwe dollars, while a minority
chose to be paid in foreign currency.

However, after a while many recipients of payments from abroad discovered
they could receive their money in foreign currency and sell it illegally at
a premium on the black market. This of course helped fuel the black market
trade in foreign currency and undermined the value of Homelink as a means of
mobilising foreign currency for the foreign currency auction.

Money sent from abroad was, by fuelling the black market, having a negative
rather than a positive effect on the country's economy. It was hardly
surprising, therefore, that the privilege of being able to choose to receive
payments in foreign rather than local currency was eventually withdrawn.

To compensate those who had legitimate reasons for wanting payment in
foreign currency, such as for travel or holidays abroad or to make purchases
from other countries, the Reserve Bank introduced the Tuesday foreign
currency auction for individuals and small businesses requiring US$5 000 or

Any individual or small business can put in a bid at the Tuesday auction
through banks that are authorised dealers. Prior Reserve Bank Exchange
Control approval is required, as is the case with the main auctions. The
approval is valid for 21 working days.

No more than US$5 000 can be bid for per bidder per month. Higher bids have
to be made at the main auctions. Foreign currency is allocated at each
bidder's bid rate, starting from the highest bid rate accepted until the
amount available at the auction is exhausted.

The auctions began on August 17 with US$250 000 being auctioned. The bulk of
the money allocated was for holiday travel allowances, followed by
education, air fares, subscriptions and household goods.

The Tuesday auctions are now well established. Ten of these mini-auctions
have been held so far, the most recent being on Tuesday this week. They are
intended to cater for needs not catered for in the main auctions, such as
holiday travel and the needs of cross-border traders.
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Zimbabwe accuses diplomats
21/10/2004 21:28  - (SA)

Harare - Zimbabwe's foreign minister on Thursday accused Western countries
of "plotting" to discredit next year's parliamentary elections, producing a
document he said was prepared by diplomats criticising preparations for the

"They are devising a scheme to measure the forthcoming general elections in
Zimbabwe, in which they want to inject their own ideas and preoccupations,"
Foreign Minister Stan Mudenge told a news conference.

"How can we have free and fair elections when they are already planning and
plotting?" he asked, referring to the March elections to parliament that
President Robert Mugabe's ruling party hopes will produce a stronger

Mudenge distributed a three-page document that did not carry a letterhead
and which criticised recently adopted electoral guidelines for southern
Africa, saying they failed "to go far enough to fully cover the minimum
standards required for genuine, democratic elections".

Zimbabwe has pledged to adhere to the guidelines adopted by leaders of the
14-nation Southern African Development Community (SADC) that call for access
to the media, freedom from police harassment and international supervision
of the vote, among other measures.

Pre-judge the elections

Without naming countries, Mudenge said the diplomats were "already planning
to pre-judge the elections. ... They are trying to write another report on
the forthcoming general elections before the elections are held."

"The Western ambassadors are unhappy about these guidelines. They have made
a critique with nine points against the SADC guidelines," Mudenge said.

"I want to state categorically, we reject their rejection of the SADC
guidelines, the guidelines will remain our guidelines.

"They are ours, we are proud of them, we devised them for ourselves. We do
not want anybody to interfere in the evolution or the implementation of
these guidelines," Mudenge said.

Zimbabwe accused the Commonwealth of producing a report on the country's
2002 presidential elections well before polling took place.

The report resulted in Zimbabwe being suspended from the Commonwealth on
grounds of unfair elections and human rights abuses.
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Zim Independent

Rigging on - Tsvangirai
Dumisani Muleya
THE Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) has expressed fears that Zanu PF
could have started rigging next year's election using the latest
"fictitious" voters' roll.

MDC leader Morgan Tsvangirai yesterday said the voters' roll showed
significant reductions or marginal increases of registered voters in urban
constituencies between 2000 and 2004 and dramatic increases in rural areas.

As a result, Harare and Bulawayo could lose seats during the ongoing
delimitation exercise, he said. The two biggest cities, which are controlled
by the MDC, lost constituencies during the demarcation of boundaries in

The voters' roll shows that in May 2000 Bulawayo had a total of 357 281
registered voters and eight constituencies, but now it has 339 101 voters.
This indicates a loss of 18 180 voters.

With the number of registered voters estimated at 5,6 million nationwide, on
average each of the 120 constituencies should have 47 000 voters.

Bulawayo is therefore likely to have seven seats, instead of eight.

The city is controlled by the MDC. Zanu PF does not have even a council ward
in Bulawayo.

Harare had 795 059 registered voters in 2000 and now has 831 935, an
increase of 36 876. However, during delimitation Harare, which has 19 seats,
could lose one or two constituencies.

Tsvangirai said this was surprising given that the 2002 population census
showed a population increase, particularly in Harare, than in rural areas.
He said the present voters' roll should be audited to prevent electoral

"This confirms our view that the voters' roll is deeply flawed and is used
to commit electoral fraud," he said.

"There has been political violence and intimidation but the manipulation of
the voters' roll has been the most common instrument of vote-rigging."

While registered voters decreased in urban constituencies, they dramatically
increased in rural provinces. The MDC won nearly all urban seats in 2000 and
liquidated Zanu PF. The ruling party was banished to the rural areas.

Manicaland, which is largely rural, has registered the highest increase of
registered voters. It had 577 398 voters in 2000 but now has 684 155, an
increase of 106 757. The province, which has 14 constituencies, might gain
one seat.

Zanu PF currently has six MPs while the MDC has seven and Zanu (Ndonga) has
one. However, Zanu PF is hoping to retain most of its former rural seats.

Mashonaland Central, Zanu PF's purported stronghold, has gained
significantly. It had 418 277 registered voters in 2000 but now has 490 222.
Mashonaland East had 506 817 voters in 2000 and now has 605 390, Mashonaland
West had 502 964 voters and now has 593 021.

Voters increased in Masvingo from 593 778 to 676 686, Matabeleland North
from 317 405 to 341 228, Matabeleland South from 319 015 to 340 709 and
Midlands from 658 422 to 746 046.

This means that Matabeleland South might lose a seat while Mashonaland West
could gain one during the drawing up of constituency boundaries.

The MDC has also expressed concern about the composition of the Delimitation
Commission sworn in by President Robert Mugabe last month. It said the
commission was dominated by Zanu PF functionaries and could be used for

"In these circumstances, I demand an immediate independent audit of the
voters' roll to rectify the grave anomalies prior to the delimitation work,"
Tsvangirai said. "I have instructed my legal team to consider legal action
on the issue."
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Zim Independent

Irate depositors take over NDH
Shakeman Mugari
A GROUP of depositors led by Harare lawyer Edwin Manikai this week took over
National Discount House (NDH) after the firm failed to meet its obligations
to them.

There was however dissatisfaction among depositors who said they had taken
over a "shell". They said there was no value in NDH, which was exposed to
the troubled ENG and then experienced a huge run on deposits.

The Zimbabwe Independent understands the depositors have asked two senior
managers who were also directors - chief operating officer Never Mhlanga and
group chief executive Ernest Matienga - to step down.

The depositors said after NDH was given money from the Reserve Bank's
Troubled Banks Fund, its senior managers used depositors' funds to repay the
loan. They said NDH acted "criminally" by continuing to write business when
it knew it was in the red.

"I do know for a fact that until very recently," an investor said this week,
"dealers employed by NDH were instructed without due warning to investors to
continue receiving investments and strike agreements on rates during a
period when the principals must have been well aware that company
liabilities exceeded assets by a huge margin. That is a criminal act,
actionable in law."

Another investor took a swipe at the Reserve Bank for not taking action
against the NDH management to protect the investing public.

"Through its intelligence network the Reserve Bank is clearly aware of what
has been going on at National Discount House yet to the best of my
knowledge, it has done nothing to either draw public attention to the
situation or to bring an aberrant executive to account," he said.

NDH, which donated $800 million to zanu pf last year, was expected to be
taken over by First Banking Corporation Holdings. First Bank is controlled
by Zanu PF.

The irate depositors led by Manikai took over the running of the company
after it failed to pay their maturities. The depositors have since formed a
committee to oversee the operations of the company. Manikai is the chairman
of the committee.

The committee took the unprecedented decision after NDH admitted in numerous
meetings that it was unable to pay its maturities. Fearing for their
investments, the depositors turned their investments into equity, thus
effectively taking over the company.

An NDH official confirmed the company had been taken over by the depositors.
"Technically yes, the committee of depositors now controls the company,"
said the official.

The company received $20 billion in liquidity support from the Reserve Bank
which the directors allegedly repaid using investors' funds. Some
shareholders and depositors are understood to be pushing for the prosecution
of the two directors.

NDH's woes have been worsened by capital flight. Figures in possession of
the Independent show that the bank lost more than $12 billion in the first
week of last month as panicky depositors took away their investments
following press reports that all was not well at the firm.

Sources say the company lost more than $25 billion in one month.
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Zim Independent

Harare MDC councillors to resume duties
Augustine Mukaro
DISMISSED Harare MDC councillors have resolved to resume their duties in a
parallel process to acting mayor Sekesai Makwavarara's operations, the
Zimbabwe Independent heard this week.

Over 40 Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) councillors who were either
fired by government or resigned to protest Local Government minister
Ignatious Chombo's interference in council affairs said they were still
answerable to ratepayers and therefore should continue to execute their

"We want to retain our relevance to the wards," councillor Last Maengahama

"Councillors will not attend the official business of the local authority at
Town House but will continue with all their social responsibilities. In fact
99% of a councillor's job is done outside Town House."

Combined Harare Residents Association (Chra) chairman Mike Davies told the
Independent that they were working with councillors in efforts to reach out
to the communities who voted them into office.

"We are facilitating councillors as community leaders to interact with their
electorate and other leaders in their communities," Davies said.

"It's a continuation of our capacity-building and development as we prepare
for a democratically-elected council," he said.

"When elections come at whatever stage committed and knowledgeable
councillors should be elected into office. Being elected a councillor should
not be seen as a form of employment."

Chombo rendered Harare council redundant when he fired the first
democratically-elected executive mayor Engineer Elias Mudzuri and 19 of his
councillors. The remaining councillors failed to hold meetings on several
occasions because they could not constitute a quorum.

Chombo proceeded to bestow the authority to run the city on governor Witness
Mangwende before appointing the James Kurasha committee to take charge of
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Zim Independent

ANZ case taken to AU Commission
Godfrey Marawanyika
THE Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights is taking the Zimbabwe government to
the African Commission on Human and Peoples' Rights in Gambia over the
closure of the Daily News and the Daily News on Sunday.

The case will be heard in the first instance on preliminary issues of
admissibility during the forthcoming African Commission Session scheduled
for the last week of November in Dakar, Senegal.

Professor Michelo Hansungule of the Centre for Human Rights in the Faculty
of Law at the University of Pretoria, South Africa, said lawyers would argue
the case before the commissioners.

"Cases from national jurisdictions of states parties to the African Charter
brought to the African Commission are not appeals but in the nature of
matters of first instance," Hansungule said. "Submissions on admissibility
have already been drafted and filed with the commission. During its session,
we will be arguing the case viva voce before the commissioners," he said.

The Daily News and Daily News on Sunday were closed last year following a
Supreme Court ruling on September 11 that they could not continue publishing
without accreditation by the Media and Information Commission.

Hansungule said their arguments regarding admissibility had already been
submitted to the African Commission Secretariat.

"This constitutes the first stage under the procedure governing the
operations of the African Commission. After the commission has made a ruling
on the matter, we will be called upon to submit on merits," he said.

"It is then that we shall submit our arguments on the merits of our
complaint. Nevertheless, we have already finished preparing the merits of
the complaint and are ready to submit anytime we are required."

He said they had taken the issue to the commission since his clients were
strong believers in the fundamental right of every Zimbabwean citizen to
have his or her dispute heard and determined by an independent judiciary. He
said the appellants also believed judges and lawyers should be allowed to
practise freely without interference.

"We strongly believe that our clients (ANZ) were denied their basic and
fundamental right to have their dispute with the executive branch of
government in Zimbabwe concerning the constitutionality of the Aippa law
heard and determined by the Supreme Court of Zimbabwe sitting as a
Constitutional Court," he said.

"It is our strong contention that the decision of the Constitutional Court
to deny our clients the right to be heard on the grounds that they had
'dirty hands' whilst at the same time entertaining the state evidently
clashed in the face of the golden principle of equality of treatment before
the law."
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Zim Independent

'Zim must re-open dialogue with donors'
Staff Writer
ZIMBABWE should re-open dialogue with bilateral and multilateral donors to
assist the country's economic recovery, outgoing United Nations Development
Programme (UNDP) resident representative Victor Angelo has said.

In an interview this week, Angelo said Zimbabwe had the potential to recover
but badly needed new money.

"The country is in a much better position than most African countries to
meet the UN Millennium Development Goals," said Angelo.

"I believe that the country will make it but it has to renew relations with
international organisations like the IMF and the World Bank. The country
needs developmental assistance," he said.

"This can be established through dialogue. Everything depends on the quality
of the dialogue. It is a question of goodwill. Zimbabwe does not have to
agree with donors on everything but there are areas of common concern," he

He said apart from developmental aid, the country should also position
itself as an investment destination.

"It is not just a question of mobilising external resources and getting
developmental aid but investment too. That is more long-term and important."

He however said it was crucial to sort out the internal politics first,
which have largely remained unattractive to investors. He said one way of
achieving this was a free and fair election next year.

"It would be rewarding if Zimbabwe can organise the electoral process in a
way that is acceptable to all Zimbabweans. The elections have to meet
criteria that were agreed by Sadc states," he said.

He said a proper assessment was required for Zimbabwe's humanitarian needs,
but that it was up to government to prioritise its needs. The UNDP has been
critical in mobilising humanitarian assistance for Zimbabwe. This year the
assistance shifted from food to health provision and other social services.

"I believe next year's programme should put emphasis on HIV/Aids and its
social consequences such as vulnerability of orphans," he said.

"There must also be recovery in the rural areas by bringing up production
through (provision of) inputs. Infrastructure such as schools and clinics
are important in these areas," he said.

But this required external support, he added. "The country needs external
resources. They will not come in the way of Zimbabwe if there is no dialogue
with those who provide the resources," he said.

Angelo will next week take up a new posting in Sierra Leone as a special

representative of the United National secretary-general Kofi Annan
responsible for peace building in the volatile country.
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Zim Independent

Acquittal to help heal Zim - SA
NKOSAZANA Dlamini-Zuma, South Africa's Foreign minister, said this week she
hoped the acquittal of MDC leader Morgan Tsvangirai, on treason charges last
week would contribute to reconciliation efforts. Zimbabwe's High Court
acquitted Tsvangirai on Friday last week 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 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 President Mugabe's ruling Zanu PF and
the opposition Movement for Democratic Change to negotiate has met with
little success.
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Zim Independent

40 firms close shop
Godfrey Marawanyika
ZIMBABWE'S harsh economic environment led to the closure last year of 40
manufacturing companies and the loss of close to 4 000 jobs, a report on the
state of the manufacturing sector by the Confederation of Zimbabwe
Industries (CZI) has revealed.

The firms closed down largely because of the macroeconomic instability,
which affected viability, depressed domestic sales; the influx of Chinese
merchandise and foreign currency blues.

The annual study, which should be released today, indicates that hardest hit
by the economic meltdown was the furniture industry, which saw 12 companies
shutting down.

The report said 11 companies closed down in the leather, shoe and allied
industries while six closed shop in the textiles, food and allied

The clothing and electronics sectors lost four firms and one firm

The report said the deteriorating operating environment was a major threat
to business viability. It said during the past four years the crisis had
deepened into a recession.

"The rate of company closures that slowed down from a peak of 400 in 2000,
to 150 in 2001, had started increasing again in 2002, to a level of 250,"
the report said.

"The economy's resilience came under test in 2003, which saw the asset price
bubble bursting in Q4 (fourth quarter of) 2003, signaling a major
involuntary reshuffling of business models late into 2003.

"Even then (fourth quarter of 2003), economic conditions were already
limiting for business continuity, with inflation running at 600% and foreign
currency costs at $6 500-$7 000 to the US dollar for financing imports."

Macroeconomic instability has largely compromised manufacturing sector
performance over the years, with the sector's contribution towards gross
domestic product retreating from 24,1% in 1991 to 14,5% in 1999. Analysts
say the sector contracted by a further two-thirds last year.

The situation was worsened by the fixed exchange rate of $824 against the
greenback. This fuelled the parallel market where the local unit slipped to
an all-time low of $7 000-$7 500 to the US dollar.

"The foreign exchange rate regime itself became a tax on exports which were
financed by the inflated parallel market exchange rate and yet remittances
were effected at the blended 50:50 ratio with the official pegged at $824
and government rate of $55," the CZI report said.

"Key utility costs such as electricity and fuel owing to the liberalisation
of the fuel sector in August 2003, added a huge cost burden on to the
manufacturing sector, hence posing a potential threat to business viability
in the short- to medium-term," it said.

The survey said figures obtained from National Employment Councils showed
that a total of 3 858 employees were retrenched last year, up from 1 187 in
2002, indicating worsening economic conditions for 2003.

The report said 25 firms could this year "probably retrench if their
viability remains threatened, and the situation will result in at least 2
575 employees being laid off".

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Zim Independent

Zimpapers refusing MDC adverts
Loughty Dube
THE opposition MDC says it is dismayed by the state-owned Zimbabwe
Newspapers Group (Zimpapers)'s refusal to publish its advertorial material
in violation of the Southern African Development Community (Sadc) protocol
on elections.

The Chronicle and Sunday News newspapers, part of the six government
mouthpieces under the Zimpapers stable, have in the past two months refused
to publish advertorial and press releases from Bulawayo mayor Japhet Ndabeni
Ncube and MDC MPs in the city.

MDC spokesperson for Bulawayo, Victor Moyo, said the Chronicle and the
Sunday News had turned down advertorials from Ncube and press releases from
his party's MPs.

"It is sad that the Chronicle and the Sunday News continue to turn down our
adverts and press releases yet the two papers are supposed to be part of the
public media," Moyo said.

Moyo said the Sunday News turned down a press release from the mayor
responding to allegations in the same paper alleging that he was making up
figures of malnutrition-related deaths in the city.

"It is sad that these papers continue attacking us but they do not give us a
chance to respond to the lies they publish about us. This is despite the
fact that we are ready to pay for these advertorials," he said.

Moyo said Bulawayo South MP David Coltart had adverts on report-back
meetings turned down by the state newspapers in September. Others MPs have
also been denied access to the newspapers.

The MDC has also been denied access to other state newspapers such the
Herald, the Sunday Mail and the Manica Post.

Sadc norms and standards on democratic elections demand that all parties
have equal access to the public media, in particular in the run-up to
elections. However, Zimpapers and Zimbabwe Broadcasting Holdings, which runs
television and radio stations, have sealed access against the MDC. They
currently operate exclusively as government propaganda mouthpieces, just as
they were before independence in 1980.

Information minister Jonathan Moyo, who rigidly presides over the state
media, has said the MDC will not get access to the public media because it
is allegedly disloyal to Zimbabwe.

Justice minister Patrick Chinamasa has also repeated the same claim,
equating Zimbabwe's main official opposition party to the stateless al-Qaeda
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Zim Independent

Byo council debt hits $34b
Staff Writer
GOVERNMENT and residents' debt to the cash-strapped city of Bulawayo has
risen by about $8 billion from $25 billion in one month alone.

Figures released by the Bulawayo city council's Finance and Development
Committee show that as of July residents and government owed the council a
staggering $33,8 billion in unpaid rates, up from $25,5 billion the previous

Bulawayo residents owe council $25,4 billion, while government departments
owe a further $8,4 billion in unpaid rates.

Council says failure by residents and government departments to service
their debts has compromised service delivery in the city.

Council records indicate residents owe the largest amount, $12 billion in
water bills, while rates and other supplementary charges make up $8 billion.

The council has embarked on a water disconnection exercise in a bid to force
residents and government departments to pay up. In the past the move has not
yielded the desired results.

The Ministry of Home Affairs owes council the biggest amount of $839
million, while the Ministry of Water Resources and Infrastructural
Development owes $749 million.

Government barred the Bulawayo city council from effecting rate increases
during the current financial year, leaving the municipality in financial
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Zim Independent

ZRP gobbles 77% Home Affairs budget
Staff Writer
THE Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP) has gobbled 77% of Home Affairs's 2004
budget vote, confirming its record as the biggest spender in the ministry.

A parliamentary committee last week heard that out of the $339 billion
allocated to the Ministry of Home Affairs, the ZRP alone had by June 30 used
up $263 billion, 77% of the ministry's total allocation. Part of the ZRP's
expenditures are not subject to audit by the Comptroller and
Auditor-General.The ministry comprises five departments - National Museums
and Monuments, National Archives, Immigration Control, Registrar General and
the ZRP.

Home Affairs and Defence constitute the largest expense on Zimbabwe's
national budget every year. Defence and Home Affairs parliamentary portfolio
committee chairman Saviour Kasukuwere last week told a 2005 pre-budget
seminar in Mutare that the ZRP needed a supplementary budget before

"The ZRP is the biggest spender in the ministry," Kasukuwere said.

"Out of the $339 billion for the year, ZRP had spent $263 billion by June 30
2004. This represented 77% expenditure. The ZRP may not see the year through
with no virements."

Last year the Comptroller and Auditor General's report said the ZRP owed
Treasury a substantial amount of money. The ZRP was accused of ignoring
Treasury instructions and liberally gobbled up public funds.

This comes at a time when the institution is reportedly undergoing a
restructuring exercise aimed at modernising the poorly equipped force.

Kasukuwere noted that the law enforcement agency had bought 2 000 bicycles
for patrols in town, 20 Truvelo Lider D-cam speed trap cameras, 200 Mazda
trucks, 13 command vehicles for highway patrols and uniforms.
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Zim Independent

MPs attack Moyo for abusing public media
Gift Phiri
INFORMATION minister Jonathan Moyo this week came under withering attack
from opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) MPs in parliament for
abusing public media to further his political ambitions.

Debating the Access to Information and Protection of Privacy (Aippa)
Amendment Bill on Tuesday, MDC MPs said Moyo had become a "dangerous"
politician who should be reined in by both Zanu PF and MDC legislators.

They accused Moyo of seeking to entrench his control on the media for
personal political gain. They said he was writing vitriolic columns in the
public media using pseudonyms and stories for Sunday Mail political editor,
Munyaradzi Huni.

"We know the minister wants to have complete control," charged MDC chief
whip and MP for Mutare Central, Innocent Gonese. "We know it because in the
Sunday Mail he calls himself 'Under the Surface'. He also calls himself
'Reward (Lowani) Ndlovu' or 'Mzala Joe' or 'Nathaniel Manheru'. We do not
know what he will call himself next but that does not satisfy him. He even
writes stories in the Sunday Mail under the by-line of Munyaradzi Huni."

Harare South MDC MP Gabriel Chaibva said: "Since 1988, it is publicly
documented that Professor Moyo is a man who cherished a free press, but he
has now made a dramatic somersault. The man has gone on to trample on views
that he previously held. There can be only one reason why a man wants to
hear his own voice. There can only be one reason why he wants to dance to
his own music. He is a dangerous man. If you support him, you will have
facilitated the reincarnation of the devil himself."

MDC spokesperson Paul Themba Nyathi said: "It is the process that has been
put in place which is threatening the security of the jobs of journalists
and cause them to sing for their lunch. For that reason, we have ended up
with what would easily be some of the professional men and women being
turned into clowns of those that handle them. Unfortunately, those that
handle them are not themselves intelligent."

The MPs said parliament could not continue giving more power to an
"ambitious man". St Mary's MP Job Sikhala said the amendments proposed by
Moyo were criminal in that no one, including members of the ruling party,
would be spared their effects.

"I can give you a simple example of being retributive, banning even a
newspaper that belongs to a colleague, banning The Tribune that is owned by
a member of his own party," Sikhala said. "If it was owned by Prof Welshman
Ncube, Gabriel Chaibva or Nelson Chamisa, we could understand, but not
banning a newspaper of your own brother in the same party, who sits in the
same caucus. It shows the man's hunger for power."

The MPs said the provisions of Aippa belonged in the doctrines of Nazism and
Fascism. They called for the repeal of the whole Act.

"Aippa is a very evil law," said Harare North MP, Trudy Stevenson. "It does
not support good governance, and it is not in conformity with Sadc
principles which despite what the minister believes, insists on a free and
independent press."

They said the proposed amendments to sections 40 and 83 of Aippa violate
international conventions and national statutes.

The Bill seeks to amend Section 40 of the Act which requires that some
members of the Media and Information Commission (MIC) be appointed from
nominees of an association of journalists and media houses.

Moyo said since an association of media houses did not exist, the
nominations should be received from either of such types of association.

The MPs said the proposal was absurd in that it sought to deny the existence
of the Advertising Media Association, a body that represents media houses in
the country.

"What Moyo seeks to achieve is to exclude publishers from taking part in
matters that affect them. For instance, if MIC is to make a decision to
penalise an errant newspaper, it should have representatives from publishers
and journalists for it to be binding," MDC secretary-general Welshman Ncube

Section 83 of the Act, which prohibits unaccredited or suspended journalists
from practising, will be amended to provide a penalty which is presently
absent. The Bill proposes that persons who contravene the section be guilty
of an offence and liable to a fine or imprisonment not exceeding two years
or both.

Ncube said Moyo was attempting to criminalise the journalism profession.
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Zim Independent

Zim hurtles towards fascist rule
Gift Phiri
PRESIDENT Robert Mugabe is tightening his grip on Zimbabwe through new
despotic laws that analysts this week said were calculated to cripple civic
society and the opposition.Mugabe's multi-pronged strategy to silence
dissent includes attempts to ban non-governmental organisations (NGOs)
involved in issues of governance and human rights, criminalisation of the
journalism profession and restricting opposition parties.

Catholic Commission for Justice and Peace (CCJP) national director, Alois
Chaumba, said four new Bills expected to be pushed through parliament would
effectively put the country under undeclared martial rule ahead of the
critical general election.

"Clearly Mugabe is trying to put the country under an unofficial emergency
rule ahead of the parliamentary election due in March," Chaumba said. "It
would seem there is a state of siege from the way state apparatus are being
used to deny people their freedoms."

Justice minister Patrick Chinamasa has tabled in parliament the NGO Bill,
Zimbabwe Electoral Commission Bill, Criminal Law (Codification and Reform)
Bill and Access to Information and Protection of Privacy (Aippa) Amendment

Brian Raftopoulos of the University of Zimbabwe's Institute of Development
Studies said the package of legislation was meant to consolidate Mugabe's

"It is meant to create the impression that the government is watching its
opponents and that it is aware of every move they make. In fact, this
represents a movement towards some kind of new fascism," Raftopoulos said.

The Aippa amendment will prohibit unaccredited or suspended journalists from
practising. The proposed legislation will also give the Information minister
more powers to appoint a disciplinary committee to deal with members of the
Media and Information Commission. The minister already wields immense powers
under the principal Act.

Government is also making frantic efforts to curtail the activities of civic

society. The NGO Bill seeks to repeal the Private Voluntary Organisations
Act and establish new legislation that analysts have condemned as "patently
unconstitutional, undemocratic and undesirable in a democratic country."

The Bill will confer on government broad powers to close down NGOs perceived
to be critical of its policies by imposing restrictive registration
formalities. NGOs dealing with human rights and governance would be denied
access to foreign financial assistance in a bid to curtail their contacts
with international organisations.

NGOs found in breach of these regulations would be liable to criminal
prosecution. UZ constitutional law expert Lovemore Madhuku said the NGO law
would criminalise democratic civil society activities.

"The proposed NGO law will have the effect of criminalising civil society
organisations, especially those working in the field of human rights and
governance by making them liable to prosecution for legitimate and peaceful
activities of promoting human rights in Zimbabwe," said Madhuku.

"There is not much you can gain from legal challenges given that the
government has already shown it will not obey court rulings that do not fit
into its programme," Madhuku said.

Another newly proposed electoral law, the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission Bill
has introduced a number of cosmetic changes to the electoral system, which
analysts say do not comply with the Southern African Democratic Community
norms and standards on elections.

Analysts say the proposed Bill is nothing more than another cynical attempt
by Mugabe to pull the wool over the eyes of Zimbabweans and the
international community.

"Firstly, it is clear that the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission Bill will not
alter the Registrar General's involvement in the electoral process," MDC
secretary for legal affairs, David Coltart said. "It appears the
registration of voters and the running of elections will still be done by
the Registrar General's office. It is no secret that the Registrar General's
office, especially under Tobaiwa Mudede, is a partisan body. For so long as
the Registrar General's office is involved in running the elections they
will not be free and fair. Besides, the chairman of this commission is
appointed by Mugabe."

The new Criminal Law (Codification and Reform) Bill is another proposed law
in a cocktail of legal instruments that analysts say if passed will further
curtail most basic freedoms. The Bill will seek to re-enact, amend or repeal
the non-statutory Roman-Dutch criminal law in force and as modified in
Zimbabwe since 1891.

A few crimes have also been created to bring the criminal law up to date
with modern developments, an example being those concerned with computer
crime. Government has recently been trying to effect legislation that would
empower it to snoop on e-mails and telephones through the proposed Security
of Communications Bill.
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Zim Independent

      Post-trial period crucial for MDC
      Dumisani Muleya

      OPPOSITION Movement for Democratic (MDC) leader Morgan Tsvangirai's
acquittal on trumped-up charges of high treason has triggered a heated
debate on the political meaning and significance of the ruling.

      There is a variety and a breath-taking range of explanations of the
judgement and what it means in the current political scheme of things.
Analysts touched on a number of fundamental political issues such democracy
and rule of law, judiciary, elections, and by implication, economic

      They also examined how events are likely to pan out in the short to
medium-term in reflection of a case that could easily have had far-reaching
political consequences had it ended with Tsvangirai sentenced to life
imprisonment or condemned to the gallows.

      Some analysts say Tsvangirai's acquittal was to be expected because
there was simply no case to begin with, some say it was unexpected given the
political situation, others say it was a victory for justice, and others
claim it was a triumph for democracy. Some say it opened a window of
opportunity for a negotiated political settlement.

      Yet others think the ruling vindicated Tsvangirai's plea of innocence,
while it exposed Zanu PF's malicious and dictatorial prosecution. Others say
it showed the civilised face of the raging Zanu PF regime as opposed to its
barbaric political culture, and some say it also proved Zimbabwe's judiciary
and the rule of law are still intact.

      Political observers differ on the impact of the ruling on the
political fortunes of the MDC and the ruling Zanu PF. Some say the ruling
was victory for the MDC because Tsvangirai is finally out of danger and will
now concentrate of leading his party without being constrained by political
harassment and fears of a death penalty.

      Those who think like this say the ruling will reinvigorate Tsvangirai
and galvanise MDC from a state of limbo into dynamic political action ahead
of next year's general election. They say the treason case had become a
chink in the MDC' armour as it had disoriented the party into political

      MDC deputy leader Gibson Sibanda said Tsvangirai's acquittal was a
blow to the "forces of tyranny". In classical thought, a tyranny is a
thoroughly corrupt and incompetent regime which rules in its own interest
and not those of the people that it purports to represent. It relies more on
coercive power in the absence of the rule of law than legitimate governance.
This absence of the rule of law suggests government by will of the tyrant.

      "His acquittal is a victory for the people of Zimbabwe and a huge blow
to the forces of tyranny," Sibanda said. "The ruling sends out a message of
hope to all those struggling for freedom and democracy both inside and
outside Zimbabwe."

      Although the MDC leaders feared the worst could happen, Sibanda said
they never doubted Tsvangirai's innocence. "The MDC and the people of
Zimbabwe have never had any doubt about the innocence of Tsvangirai and have
always remained confident that justice would eventually prevail. People were
not fooled by the state's desperate attempt to smear the image of the MDC
and its leadership," he said.

      "The treason charge, and the unrelenting campaign of violence and
intimidation against the MDC exposes clearly the level of panic that the
emergence and growth of the MDC, as the leaders of Zimbabwe's social
liberation movement, has caused within Zanu PF."

      While the MDC clearly thought it was victory for them, some analysts
did not think so.

      University of Zimbabwe law lecturer and National Constitutional
Assembly chairman Lovemore Madhuku said Tsvangirai's acquittal benefited
Zanu PF more than the MDC.

      "It benefits Zanu PF more than the MDC because the ruling party is now
able to lie to the world that there is rule of law and independence of the
judiciary," Madhuku said. "The MDC is now more likely to contest next year's
election, which Zanu PF desperately needs to see happening to avoid having a
farcical poll. It was an attempt at a sophisticated political approach."

      Madhuku said Zanu PF tried to create a win-win situation by
destabilising the MDC during trial and appearing magnanimous at the end, as
well as claiming the case proved the rule of law and judicial autonomy

      He said Zanu PF would deny that it was authoritarian in the first
place to pursue a political trial which had no chance of succeeding before a
competent court of law and judge by saying it was only following the due

      A day before the judgement, government warned the MDC against violence
in the aftermath of the ruling, suggesting Tsvangirai was going in. It also
created drama and a security spectacle to raise tension.

      Jet fighters hovered over Harare, soldiers - some mounting horses
paramilitary units and anti-riot police swarmed the city. Roads leading to
the High Court were blocked and people were harassed. Prison vehicles were
put on duty awaiting the ruling.

      But after the ruling the whole melodrama was deflated. Police looked
glum as MDC officials and supporters celebrated outside the court. The
visibly exasperated security agents, who seemed to be out of their depth
about the political deception around them, later fired tear-gas at
celebrating MDC supporters, while rampaging Zanu PF youths stampeded across
the streets.

      After the stage show, came in perhaps vintage Machiavellianism,
deception, and threadbare opportunism.

      Justice minister Patrick Chinamasa said government was disappointed
that a "guilty man" had been allowed to walk away scot-free.

      Information minister Jonathan Moyo waxed lyrical about the rule of law
and independence of the judiciary, diverting attention from the

      content of the ruling that exposed an amateurish sting operation by
Zanu PF agents.

      Few observers of Zimbabwean politics however can doubt that the
judiciary has been politically re-engineered and compromised.

      A number of independent judges were hounded out of office and replaced
by political appointees who later went on to refuse to deal with urgent
election petitions and allegedly played a collaborative role in the closure
of private newspapers.

      In some cases previous rulings were reversed and political programmes
like unlawful land seizures were legalised, analysts said.

      While the MDC was clumsy in falling into such a juvenile trap, the
issue remains that the wicked plot was cruel and needlessly wasted more than
$20 billion of taxpayers' money. Discredited state witness Ari Ben-Menashe
reportedly used US$2 million ($14 billion) alone.

      However, UZ political analyst John Makumbe said Zanu PF was a major
beneficiary of Tsvangirai's acquittal. "It creates an opportunity for Zanu
PF to posture as a democratic regime and claim that the rule of law is
there," he said. "It also helped Zanu PF to avoid elevating Tsvangirai into
a (Nelson) Mandela and setting him on course to power."

      Former South African president Mandela was convicted of treason in
1964 with several other nationalists and sentenced to life in prison. He
spent 27 years in detention but his image grew well beyond the control of
the apartheid regime. Mandela emerged from jail in 1990 as a towering
statesman and cruised to power in 1994.

      Makumbe said Zanu PF did not want a Tsvangirai conviction, especially
at a time when it was battling to "extinguish fires across Africa about its
appalling governance record".

      Government has of late been struggling to defend itself against an
African Union Commission on Human and People's Rights report and a United
Nations Economic Commission for Africa report which said there were
widespread human rights abuses in Zimbabwe.

      However, Makumbe said the treason case also left Zanu PF further
damaged because it confirmed the regime was bent on destroying opponents,
the whole idea of democracy and competitive politics through "fictitious
treason cases", as has always been done since Independence in 1980.

      The MDC also raised the same point last Friday after Tsvangirai was
set free. "Zanu PF's distorted view of democracy tolerates no threat to its
power, hence attempts to decapitate the opposition by laying an elaborate
trap in order to level charges of treason against the MDC leader," Sibanda

      Zanu PF unsuccessfully charged former PF Zapu leaders Dumiso Dabengwa
and Lookout Masuku, as well as Ndabaningi Sithole with treason. "This is the
third time that Mugabe has attempted to destroy one of his rivals by putting
them on trial to face trumped-up charges of treason," Sibanda said.

      "First, Dr Joshua Nkomo had to flee in 1983, then Lookout Masuku and
Dumiso Dabengwa, then Ndabaningi Sithole in 1992 and now Morgan Tsvangirai."

      Madhuku said the only way the MDC could benefit from this case was by
"raising fundamental issues which Mugabe cannot really address without
effectively surrendering power," he said. "They must demand a total package
of reforms by premising their grievances around a constitutional overhaul.
It's good to have electoral reforms but that alone cannot change the
political landscape which is what is needed to establish a democratic
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Zim Independent


Legislators letting down electorate

CHIVI South MP Charles Majange this week identified a major flaw in the
country's lawmaking process by his ruling Zanu PF party.

In a televised interview with Newsnet on Monday, Majange said it was
important for leaders to go to the people to explain proposed changes in
policy and legislation, instead of MPs encountering Bills at party caucus

Majange was speaking on the sidelines of a Zanu PF caucus meeting at which
President Mugabe warned that legislators who do not visit their
constituencies regularly should not cry foul when they are rejected by
voters in next year's election.

Just five months before the end of their parliamentary term, Zanu PF
legislators are being reminded of what they should have been doing during
the past four years.

It would be transcending uncharted plains of optimism to assume that Majange's
comment on Monday would result in a sudden policy change in Zanu PF. It is
not the first time that we have heard complaints of legislation being
bulldozed through parliament without national brainstorming. In fact, the
legislature has in the past been accused of rubberstamping executive fiat.

The fact that the comment is coming from a Zanu PF MP makes it a serious
indictment of the party. The process of lawmaking has become a preserve of a
few hawks seeking to advance personal agendas in the name of nationalism or
patriotism. Lately, there has been a new form of psychosis among ministers
presenting intended laws to parliament or those speaking on policy issues.

Legislation is being passed to correct colonial imbalances - 24 years
later - and to form a buffer against imperialist forces embodied by the
opposition Movement for Democratic Change as a front for Britain and the
United States.

That has become a major inspiration for pushing through repressive
legislation such as the NGOs Bill or purported amendments to a wicked law
like the Access to Information and Protection of Privacy Act (Aippa). The
raison d étre for making laws in the interest of the people has been sorely
perverted and the representative role of parliamentarians compromised.

Responding to questions in parliament on the opening of airwaves to
opposition parties two weeks ago, Justice minister Patrick Chinamasa openly
advertised this notion. He said government was not "stupid" to allow the MDC
access to the state-controlled media. He said doing so would enable the
opposition party to propagate British and American propaganda to "effect an
illegal regime change against a popularly-elected government".

This notwithstanding the fact that Sadc principles and guidelines governing
democratic elections, among other provisions, stress the need for political
tolerance and bids member states to allow all political parties equal access
to the public media.

In short, government is not "stupid" to abide by tenets endorsed by
President Mugabe in Grande Baie, Mauritius.

It therefore follows that the agitation for legislative amendments,
repealing of laws and promulgation of new legislation, are not coming from
legislators, let alone voters. There is a more compelling need - to
consolidate political hegemony.

As Majange pointed out, there should be broader consultation before a bill
is presented to parliament. The role of the MP in such a scenario is to
explain to the electorate the laws government is bringing to parliament. The
MP's contribution to debate on legislation should therefore be informed by
the popular will and not the interests of a few ministers.

But our MPs are apparently unaware of this simple legislative role. The
results are obvious. Retrogressive and tyrannical bills have over the past
four years been brought to parliament where MPs - some of them too ignorant
to know what is going on - have voted them through. This has fuelled
authoritarianism - adults nodding through repressive laws as long as that
enables them to secure a vantage position on the feeding trough!

We have heard Zanu PF MPs in far-flung rural constituencies complaining that
they do not get adequate media coverage. Do they know that part of the
explanation is because they blindly passed Aippa and the Broadcasting
Services Act? The electorate has deliberately been kept ignorant of laws
being passed. This is not surprising.

At various workshops and seminars, certain MPs have not made any attempt to
disguise their little knowledge of laws and how they affect their

One MP at a parliamentary seminar in Kariba recently, summed up his role
this way: "I have to win the election, that's first and foremost." He is not
alone in this mindset.

It was therefore not surprising that only a handful of Zanu PF MPs were in
the House on Tuesday when Information minister Jonathan Moyo was trying to
hoodwink the nation that the proposed amendments to Aippa were in the spirit
of the Sadc electoral protocol. Zanu PF MPs do not need to follow debate on
a bill. They will be whipped into line and vote for the legislation when
time is right. They are the vanguard of repression.
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Zim Independent

Eric Bloch Column

 Zimbabwe's great agriculture lie

THE government in general, and its ministry of propaganda, misrepresentation
and deceit in particular, continues to herald and trumpet the fantastic
success of the land reform programme, the magnitude of economic turnaround
and that that turnaround is founded upon the restoration of agriculture to
the role of foundation and mainstay of the economy.

If only there was a grain of truth in these recurrent, proudly proclaimed
contentions of the government. The widespread scarcity of all grains,
including maize and wheat, unfortunately extends also to grains of truth.

Months ago, the ministers of Agriculture and Rural Development and Social
Welfare grandiosely informed the international donor community that in 2004
Zimbabwe did not need food aid - other than for Aids orphans and other
deprived people. They claimed that the 2004 maize harvest would be at least
1,8 million tonnes, together with 600 000 tonnes of wheat and other grains.

This crop would exceed the total of the nation's needs, and therefore no
support was required from the United Nations Development Programme, the
World Food Programme and the many donors that those bodies interact with.
What was not explained, if Zimbabwe were to have such a bountiful crop, was
why food aid was still required from the international community for the
ailing and the under-privileged. Surely, if Zimbabwe had a surfeit of food,
the Ministry of Social Welfare could use those food resources to care for
the needy?

Very soon thereafter, the minister of propaganda - who doubles up as the
minister of fiction, fable and myth - succeeded in claiming that the maize
crop alone would be 2,4 million tonnes. He managed to combine the prior
prophecies of output of all grains into maize only, thereby implying a total
grains crop of three million tonnes - more than ever previously attained.

Since then, the government as a whole has steadfastly and ad nauseum
contended Zimbabwean self-sufficiency in food in 2004 and 2005, and has
recently been foreshadowing even greater production in the forthcoming
season. Although previously queried in this column, and by many others, is
how Zimbabwe could miraculously produce such vast quantities of maize when,
for the 2004 season, there had only been sufficient seed, fertilisers and
chemicals for a crop of about 600 000 tonnes and when prepared lands could,
if fully utilised, only have produced such a crop.

Similarly wild and hallucinatory projections emanated from the authorities
as to the 2004 tobacco crop, with the quantities that could allegedly be
produced ranging from 100 million to 120 million kg. In the end result,
total tobacco sales approximated 65 million kg only!

Having destroyed their already shady credibility with such spurious
forecasts, which had been immediately and authoritatively countered by those
on the ground, including representative farmer organisations, seed suppliers
and fertiliser manufacturers, Agriculture minister Joseph Made is now making
equally far-fetched prognostications as to crop production in 2005. He
studiously ignores the evidence that he had either misjudged or been
misinformed as to the realities.

That evidence includes that Zimbabwe is currently importing maize from
Zambia and wheat from South Africa. Why is it doing so if Zimbabwe has
enjoyed production in excess of needs? Were that so, Zimbabwe would either
be exporting or creating strategic reserves. That evidence includes
substantiated data as to the actual quantities of agricultural inputs as
were used in the 2003/4 season and, therefore, the maximum possibly
attainable outputs.

But no, facts will not be recognised when they do not accord with
governmental perceptions and its political needs. Instead, the refined
propaganda techniques of Goebbels and Lord Haw-Haw of the 20th century
become role models for attempted delusion of the populace. But those
techniques do not succeed when the realities become evident from rumbling
stomachs filled only with hunger pangs.

However, that is not deterring ministers from misinforming the president and
others in the political hierarchy as to the actual circumstances. In
endeavours of self-preservation and of politicking ahead of the forthcoming
parliamentary election, the facts are obliterated and wishful thinking takes

Thus, they repeatedly claim that not only is the land acquisition programme
complete - which doesn't reconcile with the pages of acquisition notices
appearing in the state-controlled newspapers and the Government Gazette
every Friday - but that in addition the newly settled farmers are now
established and on the threshold of all-time record crops.

That the extent of land preparation does not accord with yield projections,
that promised inputs have either not been forthcoming, or have been provided
belatedly, and that commercial farmers with crops in the ground continue to
be evicted and none thereafter tend to the crops, are all irrelevant.

All of these factors apparently have no bearing upon the size of crops that
the government has decreed will be produced. After all, who would dare act
in conflict with a government decree?

Recently, many ministers and other governmental spokesmen have stated
categorically that the 2004/5 tobacco crop will be at least 160 million kg,
which is well in excess of double of that for last season. They claim that
100 000 hectares of land were prepared for the tobacco crop and, with a
minimum yield of 2 000kg per hectare, the crop should be 200 million kg but,
allowing for contingencies, it will be at least 160 million kg.

But if one drove through Zimbabwe's traditional tobacco-growing districts
during the period of May to September, when seed planting should have been
taking place, not only was it evident that the prepared areas were far less
than the stated 100 000 hectares, but also much of the prepared land was
not, thereafter, planted. The most optimistic forecasts from any, other than
the government and its associated spokesmen, are that the forthcoming season
will at best yield 80 million to 120 million kgs.

Tragically, food crops are being subjected to the same politically driven
exaggerations. Foreign currency constrains, belated importations of seed and
other inputs, delays in providingintending farmers with promised financial
assistance and other factors are such that there is no realistic prospect of
Zimbabwe producing sufficient food to sustain itself next year.

Once again Zimbabwe will be dependent upon food aid or self-financial
imports. Admittedly, the government will ensure that there is a sufficiency
of maize meal until after next year's parliamentary election, irrespective
of the foreign currency costs and the prejudices to the economy, but
thereafter it will be faced with massive scarcities.

It will either have to swallow its pride and contain its ego by going once
again, cap in hand and on it knees, to beg for food assistance, or it will
have to direct massive amounts of Zimbabwe's very limited foreign exchange
resources from funding other essential imports to funding food imports.

Because year-on-year inflation, based upon the consumer price index, has
declined very considerably over the last eight months, the government is
claiming a Zimbabwean economic turnaround, and it claims that that
turnaround is attributable to the success of its agricultural policies. That
is the great agriculture lie!

The impressive fall in inflation is not to be belittled, for it is a
significant achievement, but it has been achieved by the monetary policies
of Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe governor Gideon Gono - albeit very greatly to
the prejudice of exporters and foreign exchange generation - and by somewhat
more effective fiscal policies than previously.

But that fall does not signify that economic turnaround has been achieved.
Businesses continue to downsize or close, unemployment numbers are still
increasing, shortages of essential imports are pronounced and the economy is
still sustaining negative growth.

So Zimbabwe has yet to achieve economic turnaround. Agriculture could be the
catalyst of the turnaround, but not for so long as the government continues
with its destructive and inept agricultural policies, and not until the
government is prepared to recognise agricultural fact.

Currently Zambia, Mozambique, South Africa and Nigeria are welcoming
displaced Zimbabwean commercial farmers with open arms - the very farmers
that have been the victims of the Zimbabwean government's bigoted,
misguided, politically and racially motivated policies.

Clearly, these countries know something Zimbabwe does not! They do not
believe the Zimbabwean great agriculture lie. They recognise fact and seek
to benefit there from.

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Zim Independent


Law has been unkind with Moyo

THERE is no mistaking the bitterness in Jonathan Moyo about MDC leader
Morgan Tsvangirai's acquittal by the High Court last week. The reaction was
expected though.

He had hoped by some strange logic that Tsvangirai would be convicted. We
don't know why he was so optimistic against the facts although we know why a
conviction would be good. That would create the much-prayed-for leadership
crisis in the MDC to enable Zanu PF to win next year's election by default.
In other words they don't believe their own propaganda that the MDC is dead
and buried.

The law has been very unkind with Moyo. Now instead of resting after
Tsvangirai should have been benevolently put out of the way by the courts,
he must continue the propaganda fight until next March.

But surely how did Moyo expect a conviction from a videotape that was
described as incomprehensible at best? Otherwise it was absolutely useless
although government forked out US$200 000 of the taxpayer's money for it.

The propaganda machine has been running at full steam since the judgement by
Justice Paddington Garwe last Friday. But the tenor has dramatically
changed. The ruling was proof that democracy was alive in Zimbabwe and that
the judiciary was independent, said Moyo.

We are not going to intrude into that debate. The verdict was simpler: the
court found Tsvangirai innocent. From the evidence produced in court, even a
Zanu PF caucus would have found it difficult to convict Tsvangirai. The
judge said as much when he ruled that it was almost impossible for a
reasonable court to find for the state.

In short, the state had no case. Its claims were frivolous and vexatious.
All it did was squander national resources on a case that turned out to be a
huge embarrassment. A case that was more costly for democracy than for
Tsvangirai. A case that sought to drive a wedge between Zimbabweans along
political lines.

Why did a party that boasts of nationalist credentials rely on a "suspect"
white spy for a witness?

Did government have to waste millions of dollars giving Ari Ben-Menashe
five-star accommodation at the Harare Sheraton at a time thousands of
Zimbabweans were facing starvation and had to survive on the charity of
foreign donors? And Moyo has the cheek to tell us Zimbabweans will have
their chance "to extract their natural justice" against Tsvangirai in next
year's election, according to the Chronicle.

Muckraker has no doubt that if Moyo himself took a stroll in downtown Harare
Zimbabweans would not wait for March to avenge their dignity, which he has
so recklessly abused.

The sense of fear and paranoia was evident for all to see on judgement day.
From Harare to Bulawayo there was an attempt to put on a brave face by the
wanton show of state power against unarmed citizens. The anti-riot vehicles
whose existence the state tried to deny last year were on red alert in
Harare, Chitungwiza, Gweru and Bulawayo.

Sources in Bulawayo say the riot police looked ridiculous as people
studiously ignored them and went about their daily business. The judgement
was being delivered in Harare and therefore they had nowhere to sit and
listen to the judge. In the end they were seen chasing away street kids
going about their scavenging business.

In Harare a bunch of police details wielding truncheons cordoned off the
High Court. People couldn't get into the court because it was full, said a
very aggressive, short woman at the corner of Sam Nujoma and Samora Machel.
She asked why we wanted to get into the court, as if that was the new role
of a police constable. While we tried to explain, she was beckoning some
mean-faced colleagues to drive us away.

There were also Air Force of Zimbabwe jets thundering across the Harare sky,
and the spectacle of mounted police patrolling the streets while members of
the military police helped block traffic into town. It made nonsense of
police assurances the previous day that Zimbabweans should go about their
business as usual as the police would guarantee their safety.

How can it be business as usual when armed police put up senseless
roadblocks that delay your journey to work by more than 30 minutes and they
don't tell you what they are looking for? And in the process you waste many
litres of scarce petrol while your blood pressure shoots up as people lose
their tempers.

It was interesting reading Vimbai Chivaura's latest discovery in the Sunday
Mail this week. That Africans don't deserve so-called "universal rights". He
says these belong to the white man. We suspect this was a broadside at
non-governmental organisations that have been engaged in voter education and
the rehabilitation of victims of Zanu PF violence.

We wonder what he has been reading all these years if he has just discovered
The Struggle for Zimbabwe and how charitable King Mutota was in his day,
even if it means quoting the same whites that he is vilifying. While the
poor were well taken care of by the king, Muckraker can tell Chivaura that
life today is a dogfight.

How many "blind people and street children" do we have on the streets and
yet we have all our land back? Has the good Dr tried to park a vehicle in
the city centre and observe how hungry people suddenly mob him? Or is
Chivaura so lost in his ivory tower at the University of Zimbabwe he can't
smell the overpowering rottenness around him - the corruption, the violence
and the poverty that has reduced most urban Zimbabweans to scavengers?

"David Livingstone continues to be celebrated in Zimbabwe today as a hero,"
declared Chivaura. "His statue still stands tall at Victoria Falls and
throughout the country 24 years after Independence." Who is "celebrating"
Livingstone and how many statues of his do we have in the country?

We know Chivaura has some catching up to do since the debacle at New Ziana.
It pays to keep close to the professor at all times. His colleague Rino
Zhuwarara has since parked his trademark rickety bicycle he used at the UZ
in exchange for an executive vehicle as head of Zimbabwe Broadcasting
Holdings, plus a driver and a farm for a good measure.

Similarly, Cde Tafataona Mahoso has since shed all idealistic pretensions as
a socialist after his brief but nasty encounter with the real struggling
masses when he tried to make his way into town on foot after a "presidential
gala" at State House in 2002. He has fully embraced the 4x4 club of NGOs and
capitalists and their ostentatious lifestyles.

Chivaura is singing for a ride on the gravy train too.

Legal Affairs minister Patrick Chinamasa last week had to do away with
diplomatic niceties regarding who can vote and who cannot. He was quoted in
the Herald telling parliament that Zimbabweans abroad would not vote. His
logic was devastatingly simple.

All Zimbabweans outside the country are MDC, Chinamasa suggested. Answering
a question by MDC MP for Nkayi Abedinico Bhebhe whether government would
follow the example of other countries in the region that are encouraging
their nationals to vote, Chinamasa declared that the MDC had campaigned for
the imposition of sanctions on the country and therefore could not hope to
benefit from external votes.

Muckraker reckons there can be no better way to score an own goal. Why does
government think it is entitled to receive foreign currency from Zimbabweans
in the diaspora? How is Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe governor Gideon Gono hoping
to promote his Homelink project abroad when those who are expected to
provide the money are being denied their constitutional right to vote as
citizens of Zimbabwe? Why should MDC supporters help a Zanu PF government
oppress its own people? Has Chinamasa heard of a campaign against "taxation
without representation" we wonder?

And, with friends like Chinamasa, does Gono need a Blair or a Bush?

Asked whether the opposition would be granted access to the public media,
Chinamasa declared: "If the opposition wants to use the public media to say
the government should be removed violently, we will not allow that, we are
not stupid."

Pretty clever. Who said they were? Do we need a professor of rocket science
to tell us who said Zanu PF was stupid when we have all the evidence from
Chinamasa's own response? The story was headlined "Zimbabweans abroad will
not vote".

As if to confirm our worst fears and expose Zanu PF for what it is, on Page
15 of the same edition the paper ran a story headlined "Mozambique allows
citizens abroad to vote". It was the same in Malawi. Botswana is pleading
with its citizens abroad to register to vote. All political parties are
featured in a song telling Bastwana why they need to vote. It's only in
Zimbabwe where a government declares war against its citizens abroad and
still expects them to pay tax.

Incidentally, why is it that only MDC MPs ask questions in parliament? Half
the time either Zanu PF MPs are not in the House, they are jeering at MDC
MPs who ask questions or they are attacking Tony Blair. What is their

We were left none the wiser for watching Tazzen Mandizvidza's Media Watch on
Monday. Dr Mahoso was allowed to ramble on about the so-called
"anti-Zimbabwe report" presented in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. Both didn't
appear to have any clue as to what the report contained. At the end of the
programme we still didn't know what the United Nations Economic Commission
for Africa report said about Zimbabwe that Mahoso and his team of Jonathan
Moyo and Paul Mangwana were so keen to conceal.

Their embedded reporter Munyaradzi Huni made a splendid job of keeping us
uninformed. Good time away to earn a few imperialist dollars. What would
Zimbabwe do without such sterling reporters?

The Ministry of Local Government has released another list of those who have
been allocated stands to build residential accommodation. Despite the small
instalment published in the Herald this week, there are already glaring

A number of those published on Tuesday appear twice. In fact nine of them
appear twice on separate stands. Then there is the luckiest of them all,
Shingirai Wagonekwa, who has been allocated a whole block of four stands.

It is obvious that the same unprofessional hands that caused chaos during
the land reform programme are at work again here. We don't want to insinuate
any corrupt tendencies, but another Charles Utete or Flora Bhuka inquiry won't
be amiss. Multiple farms and multiple stands.

The most ridiculous spectacle of the week was seeing Agriculture minister
Joseph Made on ZTV frothing at the mouth after his Tuesday tour of
unpatriotic Windmill fertiliser company in Harare. The company was accused
of collaborating with the British government to sabotage the land reform
programme. Their crime was unpardonable: they were demanding cash upfront
for their fertiliser.

We were only amused by Made's stage-managed anger as he accused Windmill of
"holding the country to ransom" by "hoarding" tonnes of fertiliser and
demanding cash payment.

Who is not demanding cash these days when it's so expensive to secure a loan
from banks? That's if there is a bank solid enough to give you the loan in
the first place? Made should be told in no uncertain terms that not everyone
is so lucky as to run a company the way he did Arda and still be promoted to
a minister. Most mortals survive on their jobs on a performance rating, not
because they carry party cards!

In any event, 18 000 tonnes of fertiliser won't save a disastrous land
policy. If he has been lying to Mugabe, at last the chickens are coming home
to roost.

Can somebody tell Carlton Majuru of Live 60 on SFM that he doesn't have to
start every sentence with "Of course"? There is also a huge difference
between a programme being featured every day and one that is broadcast every
other day. Live 60 is broadcast every day.
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Zim Independent

Pay Homelink proceeds in forex, RBZ told
Shakeman Mugari
THE Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) must immediately revert to the promised
system of paying Homelink proceeds in foreign currency if the scheme is to
survive, a parliamentary portfolio committee on budget, finance and economic
development has said.

Making a presentation during a three-day pre-budget seminar in Mutare,
committee chairman and Mudzi member of parliament, Ray Kaukonde, said there
was an urgent need to start disbursing Homelink proceeds in foreign

He said the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe auction system was fuelling the black
market because of its static, unrealistic exchange rate.

Few, if any, people were using it anymore despite the huge amounts spent
advertising it.

"The Homelink facility is good, but should revert to giving the funds from
abroad in foreign currency," said Kaukonde. "The current system of giving
out money in Zimbabwean dollars is fuelling the parallel market."

Reserve Bank governor Gideon Gono made a sudden policy about-turn when he
ordered all money transfer agencies under the Homelink banner to pay
recipients in local currency.

The move has seen people in the diasopra reverting to the more lucrative
black market that flourished before the new monetary policy was announced by
Gono in December last year. For all practical purposes, Homelink is dead.

Analysts say the foreign currency exchange rate being offered by the Reserve
Bank is far too low to attract the diaspora market. People abroad are also
concerned with the yawning gap between the central bank's controlled
exchange rate and that on the parallel market.

They said recent remarks by Justice minister Patrick Chinamasa that
Zimbabweans abroad would not be allowed to vote were an own goal by a
government eager to be seen as investor-friendly. Chinamasa last week said
Zimbabweans who do not work at any of the country's diplomatic missions
would not be able to vote in the parliamentary election set for March next

On his recent visits to the United States and the United Kingdom to solicit
for foreign currency, Gono was confronted by angry protestors who demanded
the right to vote as one of the conditions for supporting the Homelink

The auction rate, which is the benchmark for the Homelink rate, has been
stagnant since April. The fragile Zimdollar has been hovering around $5 616
against the US dollar. The slow business in Homelink seems to be also
impacting on the foreign currency auctions floors, which have been battling
to meet demand from the market.
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Zim Independent

RBZ courts donor community
Eric Chiriga
CONTRARY to government claims that the country can do without the donor
community, the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) is again pleading that Harare
restores relations with the international donor community.

"Re-engagement of the international donor community was put in place as a
measure to evoke a positive supply response and reduce inflation," said
Simon Nyarota, the divisional chief for National Development and Economics
at the RBZ on Saturday.

He was speaking at a pre-budget seminar held in Mutare.

Since December last year, central bank officials have been on a major drive
to re-engage the international community.

Two weeks ago the acting Minister of Finance Herbert Murerwa accompanied RBZ
governor Gideon Gono to an International Monetary Fund (IMF) meeting in the

The government has over the past four years insisted that it can do without
international donors such as the World Bank and IMF.

Nyarota said the RBZ had set aside $150 billion to finance the winter wheat
programme and had also financed the rehabilitation of irrigation equipment
in a bid to improve food availability in the country.

"The bank also financed the rehabilitation of irrigation equipment to the
tune of $85 billion through the Agricultural and Rural Development Authority
and the Grain Marketing Board. This assistance should go a long way in
enhancing food security," he said.

Nyarota also said they had set aside $200 billion, which is now being
disbursed through the Zimbabwe Development Bank for the rehabilitation of
industries and processing centres.

However, the disbursement of the money has raised concerns, with an economic
analyst saying there is no evidence of increased productivity in the
industrial sectors of the economy.

"The money is bearing fruit for some, particularly the agriculture sector
but there is no persuasive evidence that industrial production capacity has
increased and if the companies can pay back the money," said economic
analyst John Robertson.
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Zim Independent

Editor's Memo

Bridge in the air
Vincent Kahiya
UNITED Nations Development Programme resident representative Victor Angelo
is leaving Zimbabwe this weekend after a tumultuous tour of duty during
which he was vilified at every turn by an ungrateful host.

His stay in Zimbabwe should be a case study on the application of United
Nations diplomacy on rogue regimes presiding over a poverty-stricken
population. The Portuguese-born diplomat soon found himself in a perplexing
position and he had to tread with caution.

His critics in government said he was bungling because of his interaction
with Western donors, NGOs and dispossessed white commercial farmers. Then
there were muffled rebukes by diplomats who believed Angelo was cosying up
to government and mobilising humanitarian assistance to prop a Zanu PF

Government accused Angelo this year of "exporting white farmers" it had
expelled from the land and arranging funding for their relocation. Angelo,
government said, should have pre-occupied himself with mobilising resources
for its new farmers.

He came to Zimbabwe when a crisis was unfolding and he is leaving before the
curtain comes down on Zimbabwe's comedy of errors.

He came to Zimbabwe in 2000 when government was decimating

commercial agriculture with its fast track resettlement exercise. His office
was expected to help Zimbabwe secure funding for agricultural reform. The
international community expected the United Nations, through the UNDP office
in Harare, to come up with workable resettlement models in place of the
haphazard fast track.

The UNDP office in Harare tried to be helpful. Towards the end of 2000 UNDP
administrator Mark Malloch Brown came to Zimbabwe to discuss the land reform
programme with government. He said the UNDP was prepared to provide Zimbabwe
with technical assistance, but government would also have to allay donors'
concerns about law and order in the country.

The government promised to co-operate. At the same time Zimbabwe ran cap in
hand to the UNDP to beg for humanitarian assistance as the chaotic land grab
began to rear its ugly head. Foreign Affairs minister Stan Mudenge in an
interview with Ziana summed up the difficult task newly arrived Angelo had
to deal with in Zimbabwe.

"In my letter I indicated that great need had arisen from the fact that
people were resettled quickly on the land and we would need assistance and
help of the UN agencies because of the... heavy rains with the risk of
malaria and the fact that there are no clinics, no educational facilities
and no clean water."

The government expected the international community to come in and repair
the damage wrought by a rush of blood to President Mugabe's head. This would
be Angelo's pre-occupation for the next four years in Harare. He had to sate
government's quest to avert a humanitarian crisis while at the same time
addressing the concerns of Western donors who were complaining loudly about
the expropriation of productive commercial farmland.

Donor countries with offices in Harare were looking to the UNDP to talk
Mugabe's government into implementing a less destructive agrarian reform. At
meetings with the UNDP they put forward their terms, which could not be met
as relations continued to deteriorate.

A UN technical team came to Zimbabwe in 2001 to study the situation and
recommend an acceptable agrarian reform. It produced a report which did not
fit in the fast track template. That route was abandoned.

Efforts to broker a deal between the government and donors were quickly
superseded by an even bigger problem - Zimbabwe required humanitarian
assistance after the poor harvest of 2001 and the drought of 2002.

Angelo became co-ordinator of that humanitarian effort. Thousands of tonnes
of food were shipped in and distributed through NGOs and the World Food
Programme. This was not without acrimony as politics of the stomach were a
key campaign tool in the 2002 presidential election.

There were allegations that the government wanted to control the
distribution of food. This was vehemently denied but there were weekly
reports of interference. In October 2002, the World Food Programme suspended
food distribution in Insiza after Zanu PF officials seized food from aid

Angelo nevertheless leaves the country with his head high after successfully
mobilising international humanitarian support for Zimbabwe. Angelo, who is
taking up a new post in Sierra Leone, captured his stay in Zimbabwe with
this soundbite: "I was trying to build a bridge which failed to touch the
two banks." Building bridges in the air?

At a farewell luncheon attended by diplomats and government officials last
week, a senior diplomat thought Angelo was too balanced - meaning he should
have leaned more to one side. His bridge could then have touched one bank
but whoever tried to cross it would end up in the water. The raging river is
yet to be forded.

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