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

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Zim Online

Tue 26 October 2004

HARARE - The government has deported a Congress of South Africa Trade
Union (COSATU) delegation that was in Zimbabwe on a fact-finding mission on
the country's deepening economic and political crisis.

Armed police and immigration officials ordered the COSATU delegation
to break a meeting they were having at a Harare hotel with Zimbabwe Congress
of Trade Unions officials and immediately leave the country.

COSATU second vice-president Violet Seboni and her 14-member team are
now at Harare international airport waiting for the next flight back to

Harare had late last night appeared to back down on its objections
against the COSATU mission, reluctantly allowing Seboni and her delegation
into the country even after the COSATU officials refused to guarantee they
would not meet with certain civic groups the
government says are opposed to its rule.

Commenting on the deportation Seboni said: "That (deportation) has
proved beyond reasonable doubt that democracy is endangered in Zimbabwe.
This crisis needs to be addressed. It is a clearest indication yet that
there was no sign of democracy or rule of law in Zimbabwe."

Seboni and her delegation had planned to stay in Zimbabwe until Friday
meeting several stakeholders including the ruling ZANU PF and opposition
Movement for Democratic Change parties in a bid to establish the state of
the country ahead of a crucial parliamentary election next year.

The COSATU officials were meeting in the morning with representatives
of ZCTU affiliate unions at Harare's Quality International hotel when about
10 police officers some of them armed and immigration officials arrived and
ordered them to stop the meeting.

The state agents said President Robert Mugabe and his Cabinet were
discussing whether to let COSATU stay in the country and the trade unionists
could only continue with their meeting after Cabinet had decided on the

A short while later, the police said they had received an instruction
that the COSATU officials had to leave the country and they promptly ordered
the South Africans into a waiting police truck to be taken to the airport.

Seboni and her delegation refused to board the police truck and drove
to the airport in a ZCTU vehicle.

ZCTU acting secretary general, Collin Gwiyo, said: "This is a most
unreasonable decision. It is not normal for a government that purports to be
democratic to deport people who merely wanted to gather information. We hope
the regime will one day reflect on this and see that it acted out of its

A spokesman for the National Constitutional Assembly that campaigns
for a new and democratic constitution for Zimbabwe, Jesie Majome said: "The
deportation must have cleared any doubts which South Africans, especially
President Thabo Mbeki, had on the nature of the regime. It is anti-democracy
and is not open to any form of dissenting voices.

"The action by Mugabe's regime shows that there is no freedom of
association and of assembly. The NCA laments the failure of the government
to guarantee the workers rights of assembly." - ZimOnline

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These guys are being deported now? For more infor, contact ZCTU. They were picked up the Quality International Hotel in Nelson Mandela Avenue. Immigration, CIO, riot police, everybody is involved.

COSATU Flies into Zimbabwe inspite of Zim Govt Ban.

Cosatu put out its own information release about its intentions to flt into Harare inspite of the much publicised Zim govt ban of its intended fact finding visit to meet a diversity of organisations most of which are targeted by the new NGO bill.

Amai Matibenga and I went to the airport to meet the gelegation. Lucia Matibenga is the 1st woman to hold the post of First Vice President of ZCTU, She was there in that caapacity to meet the delegation. The flight arrived at the expected time of 9pm. Passengers disembarked and left the airport, except for a group of 13 who we identified as the Cosatu delegation members. There was a lot of movement and cellphoning by some of them, we thought, the delegation leadesrship to negotiate their entry into Zim.

The welcome team on the Zim side was a motley crowd of ZCTU, press, NGO leaders, We spent an hour and a half or so, taking bets among ourselves on whether cio would let them in or not, and anxiously awaiting the outcome of what seemed to be serious discussions between the delegation and the Zim cio who were also at the Zim immigration arrivals area which is restricted, the entry point into Zim at the airport.

The remnants of the Zim press corps were there at the airport in full force to wiitness the Cosatu arrival event into Zim. Dr Godfrey Kanyenze the ZCTU economist was inside the restricted arrival area negotiating for the entry of the Cosatu delegation. Gwiyo from the ZCTU international relations committee was communicating with his colleagues by cell phone to find out about the latest development. Dr Maduku the NCA chairperson was present with his cellphone stuck to his ear, shuffling from point to point at the airport to discover what was going on.

Eventually Dr kanyenze left the arrival area inside and went out side of the restricted area. Most rushed to meet him to hear the news. He was informed that the delegation would be allowed in. The delegation members began to take their bags from the still moving baggage arrival's rack and going back inside to the cio who were still hard at interrogating each member of the delegation, a bad sign we all concluded. .

Eventually all Cosatu delegation member's cellphones were tucked away and the Cosatu International officer walked out of the restricted arrival's area into where we were all now waiting, a good sign. Eventually all the Cosatu delegation were allowed. They met an anxious welcome committee of the ZCTU international relations representatives as they emerged into Zim space. The Committee was made up of Tabitha Khumalo and Mlotswa who had been preparing for any outcome since their arrival from Bulawayo that morning. Finally around 10.45 pm we were able to go back to our homes..

By Sekai Holland
A personal Account
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Cosatu says deportation is attack on human rights

October 26, 2004, 17:00

The Congress of South African Trade Unions (Cosatu) says the deportation of
its fact-finding mission to Zimbabwe today represents a massive attack on
basic human rights. The 13-man team was kicked out of Harare after it
decided to go ahead with the visit despite a warning from that country's
government that they were not welcome.

Jonathan Moyo, Zimbabwe's information minister, said the visit was illegal.
He also accused the Cosatu delegation of being agents of Tony Blair, the
prime minister of Britain, and apartheid puppets.

Cosatu says the team only sought to meet representatives of the people of
Zimbabwe. The labour federation says the short visit has exposed some of the
harsh realities of Zimbabwe in that there is a serious lack of respect for
human rights.

South Africa's foreign ministry says government is aware of the deportation
and is monitoring the situation.

The South African NGO Coalition (Sangoco) has meanwhile expressed outrage at
the labour federation's expulsion. In a statement this afternoon the
organisation said it believed that Cosatu and civil society organisations
should be free to meet their counterparts in terms of the Southern African
Development Community (SADC) and African Union (AU) conventions concerning
freedom of association and the convening of free and fair elections.
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COSATU Mission deported from Zimbabwe: ICFTU to complain to ILO 26/10/2004

Brussels 266h October 2004 (ICFTU Online): The ICFTU has said it will
protest with the UN's International Labour Organisation (ILO) against the
expulsion from Zimbabwe, earlier today, of a delegation from the
ICFTU-affiliated Congress of South African Trade Unions (COSATU), just hours
after it had started its official programme in the country. The mission had
been scheduled to last a week, and aimed at getting an accurate picture of
the situation in the country in order to contribute to resolving some of the
acute problems faced by Zimbabwe and its trade union movement. The expulsion
came as police invaded the headquarters of the ICFTU affiliate, the Zimbabwe
Congress of Trade Unions (ZCTU), shortly after it had started a meeting with
the visiting COSATU delegation.

COSATU had last week received a letter from the Zimbabwe Public Service,
Labour and Social Welfare Ministry, in which it was simply told that its
mission was "unacceptable". The Ministry wrote that some of the civic
society organisations with which the COSATU mission was poised to meet were
"critical of the government" and that the mission was "predicated in the
political domain".

As the mission was entering the country earlier today, officials at Harare
Airport tried to persuade the 14-member team not to meet six organisations
in particular. The mission refused to accept this but was nevertheless
allowed into the country. They then went to hold their first meeting in the
offices of the ZCTU, but police invaded the building while the meeting was
in progress. The COSATU delegates were told that the government had decided
their mission had to be ended and leave the country immediately. "They told
us we must go back because our passports only granted us a one day stay,"
said COSATU Second Vice-President Violet Seboni.

The expulsion prevented the delegation from holding a scheduled meeting with
South Africa's High Commissioner in Harare, thus prompting COSATU
spokesperson Patrick Craven to declare that "the move is a snub to the South
African government as well as to COSATU". The ICFTU will report the
expulsion and the police raid on the ZCTU's headquarters as a part of a
major complaint it is about to lodge against the Government of Zimbabwe with
the ILO's Committee on Freedom of Association.

The ICFTU represents 148 million workers in 234 affiliated organisations in
152 countries and territories. ICFTU is also a member of Global Unions:

For more information, please contact the ICFTU Press Department on +32 2 224
0232 or +32 477 58 04 86.
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26 October 2004

Whenever your home is on fire, your reflex directs you to douse the flames,
protect your family and salvage any possessions you accumulated over the
years. At the same time, you raise alarm to your neighbours and to anyone
who cares to listen in order to get help.

Our neighbours are critical to our survival. They intervene, mediate and
advise when all is not well inside our homes. They are motivated by a
subliminal need to keep the neighbourhood intact, to defend their homes, to
protect the reputation and esteem of the neighbourhood and to ensure that
children from that neighbourhood carry the spirit and the good character of
their community wherever they are.

Together with my colleagues, Secretary General Welshman Ncube and his
deputy, Gift Chimanikire, we are currently in the SADC region in a bid to
consult our neighbours, to share political views, compare political notes
and to seek ways to help save Zimbabwe from a vicious firestorm.

The firestorm, as you know, has already consumed our economy - disrupted
agriculture, forced an estimated four million young adults into refuge,
depleted our food stocks, smashed our institutions and infrastructure,
pushed 85 percent of our workers out of formal jobs and impoverished us.

My presence in the region is simply to acknowledge and reinforce the work
the MDC set out for the people during the two and half years I was unable to
leave Zimbabwe, tied down by a treason trial whose origins were anchored on
political persecution. As leader of the MDC, I am here to thank regional
leaders for remaining focussed on the source and solution to the Zimbabwean

SADC has been particularly concerned about Zimbabwe. If anything, the region's
fortunes have been severely prejudiced by the deliberate delays in the
resolution of the crisis of governance in our country. SADC's relationship
with other trading blocks and the international community generally has
suffered because of the chaos in our homeland.

The region's search for a lasting solution and SADC's calls for sanity have
been marred by selfish nationalistic egos and political miscalculations at
the expense of the people.
I sincerely wish to thank my hosts for their understanding, their warmth and
ideas on how Zimbabweans should approach the crisis of legitimacy, the
pariah status and the sorry state of our nation today.

As we approach the endgame in our march towards freedom, I am confident that
despite all the obstacles and dangers Zimbabweans are poised for a decisive
victory. SADC is very clear as to the way forward. SADC's stance complements
our resolution as a nation to hammer out a permanent solution to our
political and economic predicament.

Friends, well-wishers, civil society, business people, diplomats and
politicians we met throughout the regional tour agree with us that Zimbabwe
needs a new beginning. The people should reflect on the past 24 years and
craft fresh programmes that address the urgent needs of Zimbabwe, in
particular the cross-cutting emergencies whose contagion is now being felt
in the SADC region.

There is a unanimous view that Zimbabwe should not be allowed to bleed to
death. They further realised that there can never be short cuts to a
lasting solution, given where we are today. The region and the people of
Zimbabwe believe they have an answer, buoyed by the spirit of Mauritius and
the latest principles and guidelines on the manner in which elections in
SADC ought to be administered and managed.

Together with the African Union's 'Declaration on the Principles Governing
Democratic Elections in Africa', the new SADC position promises to take us
to a new stage of political development, devoid of dictatorships and
post-colonial tyranny. The challenge facing SADC rests on the implementation
of the guidelines. You may have heard that the guidelines have no legal or
any other force and that any state may disregard them with impunity. That is

States accede to international conventions, protocols, treaties, principles
and other agreements out a belief in an improved atmosphere for the
furtherance of life and society. One can't suddenly "chicken out" of an
international family accord and get away with it so easily; either way one
regrets such misguided actions and behaviour. The regime has to play ball.
After all, Robert Mugabe appended his signature to the document and told the
world that he would abide by it.

As I have always said, with the right political will, we can emerge as a
leader in election management and practice. We need to embrace and engage
all our divergent minds to push through this crucial lap. If we are
careless, short-sighted and selfish as politicians, we risk blowing up a
golden chance to clean-up our mess as a nation already on its knees.

The SADC principles clearly impel all of us to install a democratic
infrastructure that will change and condition political behaviour. Although
Mugabe and his regime seem unsure as to what to do, eventually they will
succumb to pressure from the people of Zimbabwe, from all of us. Make use of
this opportunity. You must be heard. You deserve to be listened to - after
all, this is your only home.

You must never be driven into despair. We are getting there. Our turnaround
plan for Zimbabwe remains intact. We know of attempts to confuse the people,
push them further into misery, and spawn a despondent and hopeless
electorate. Gear yourselves for final victory, with the support of the

A new Zimbabwe is around the corner. It took a long five years, but
together we have managed to overcome a main barrier -- a vital part of our
struggle for freedom and choice. The new SADC rules bind the region and
Zimbabwe in particular, to fairness, access to the public media and
unhindered campaigning for all. They are morally binding and exclude sitting
regimes from the day-to-day management and administration of elections.

Mauritius provides a test of sincerity among Zimbabwean politicians.
Mauritius presents a challenge to democrats to help pull the country out of
isolation, to restart our economy and to bring about a legitimate
government. We are ready for that challenge.

We urge Mugabe and the Zanu PF party to move with speed and work with us to
enable Zimbabwe to restore the fundamentals of democracy and conduct the
forthcoming Parliamentary election in accordance with the spirit of
Mauritius. We must put in place essential confidence-building measures as
quickly as possible in order to conduct the next election in accordance with
the new procedures and new requirements. The MDC is ready to assist and
drive the process.

Allow me, once again, to express my heartfelt thanks to the region, its
leadership and governments for understanding the nature of the Zimbabwean
crisis and for the advice they have proffered to our people through the MDC.
I am convinced that soon the past shall be another country, another era. We
look to the future with hope and renewed confidence.

Together, we shall win.

Morgan Tsvangirai
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Daily News online edition

Church, Zanu PF on collision course over NGO Bill

Date:27-Oct, 2004

The Catholic magazine, Mukai/Vukani, published by the Jesuits in
Zimbabwe feels that the church and the ruling Zanu PF of President Robert
Mugabe is on a collision course over the Non-Governmental Organisation Bill
which has already been tabled before Parliament and might be enacted soon.

According to an article in the October edition, the magazine says the
NGO Bill should be seen in the context of two other recent pieces of
legislation, the Access to Information and Protection of Privacy Act (AIPPA)
and the Public Order and Security Act (POSA).

AIPPA requires that all media organisations register with the
government-appointed Media and Information Commission. The most significant
use made of AIPPA was the closing down of The Daily News, The Daily News on
Sunday and the Tribune independent newspapers.

This Act has been used to reduce freedom of speech in Zimbabwe and to
enable the ruling party controlled Press to dominate the print media. At the
same time, the new Broadcasting Act has never been put into effect, so that
both radio and TV are still completely controlled by the ruling party.

I say ruling party, rather than government or state, because it is
important to distinguish between the three - although, for many Zimbabweans,
the three are indistinguishable.

In a democracy, Acts of Parliament are passed for the good of the
State ie, for the entire nation made up of people of different cultures,
religions and political persuasions. However, our present regime passes many
laws for the protection, not of the State, but of one particular party.

Thus AIPPA has been used to suppress the voice of any person or
organisation which disagrees with Zanu (PF). In the same way, POSA is used
to prevent meetings and activities of any organisation which is critical of
Zanu PF.

Both acts have been used highly selectively. In recent years,
countless libelous reports were made, and criminal activities carried out by
supporters of Zanu PF but no action has been taken against them.

So we can anticipate that if the NGO Bill passes into law, it will
also be used to suppress any NGO which does not subscribe to the policies
and practicies of Zanu PF.

There is no problem, in itself, with requiring NGOs to register with
an independent representative council, or even with a government-appointed
body. For the good of the State, government needs to know which
organisations are operating in Zimbabwe, and the nature of their operations.

But the NGO Bill gives much further than this. The power to register,
to refuse registration or to cancel registration of NGOs will lie with a
council of political appointees. The Bill establishes a 15-person council of
whom 9 are from various government ministries, one from the President's
office, five from NGOs, "which the minister considers representative of

The chairman is appointed by the Minister of Public Service, and
Social Welfare. The NGO Council will therefore represent the interests
neither of the NGOs nor of the beneficiaries of the activities of the NGOs,
but of the government.

In the case of non-registration, that NGO will be operating illegally
and so will be forced to close down. If the Minister considers it to be in
the public interest, he may suspend any or all of the organisation's
executive committee.

After suspending the whole committee, the Minister shall appoint
trustees to run the organisation until a new committee has been elected.

Just like AIPPA and POSA, if passed into law in its present form, the
NGO Bill will be used to shut down the operations of any NGO which the
ruling party believes to be a challenge to its hold on power.

The Bill has special regulations for organizations dealing with the
promotion and protection of human rights and political governance issues.
Such NGOs will not be allowed to receive any foreign funding.

For example, it will be illegal for the Catholic Commission for
Justice and Peace to receive any funding from Misereor. Churches, as such,
will not be allowed to register under the NGO Act.

However, many churches encompass a large number of sub groups engaged
in very varied activities. The Catholic church in Zimbabwe is involved in 15
commissions appointed by the Bishops Conference. Of these the Catholic
Commission for Justice and Peace is likely to be an early target of the NGO

The Catholic Development Commission might also face problems. How
other church organisations will fare depends on their activities. Archbishop
Pius Ncube and others have alleged that the government plans to use food as
a political bribe to encourage voters to vote for Zanu PF in the March

If the CCJP continues its tradition of standing up for human rights in
Zimbabwe, and exposing human rights violations, then there will be a major
confrontation between the church and State - or rather, between the church
and the ruling party. - Mukai/Vukani

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Harare's CBD Needs Face Lift

The Herald (Harare)

October 25, 2004
Posted to the web October 26, 2004


HARARE is an attractive African capital city, or at least it should be.

Several problems mar the image. Many pavements, and the pedestrian mall
through the city centre are crowded with vendors.

Too many people just dump their rubbish. And the city council allows young
men to control the parking and intimidate motorists and passers-by.

In parts of the city centre and in most suburban shopping centres, the
vendors have been allowed to erect shacks, making the city even more ugly.
We do not deny that vendors and car marshals provide services that many
want. We do see the need to allow these people to earn an honest living from
the thousands who come into the city centre each day.

But we also worry that as the city centre becomes more ugly and dirty, there
will be an ever greater drift away into controlled environments.

Already there are large office parks in the northern suburbs and more and
more businesses are moving out, or at least moving out their head offices.

What is so sad is that solutions have been around for almost as long as the
influx of vendors started.

The city council itself, in the early 1980s, erected people's markets in
some parts of the capital, regrettably all too often in places were demand
was too modest.

The shopkeepers in Avondale set up a more controlled system in the 1980s and
built a proper and attractive people's market a decade later, saving their
shopping centre from the decline that hit too many others.

Similar efforts in Chisipite - regrettably destroyed in an abortive
development - saw the end of a grubby row of shacks and the vendors housed
in a decent thatched market on a good position.

We are now seeing the first proper development of vendors in the city centre
for many years and we hope that we will see more of this sort of

Private developers have redeveloped a market complex next to the old Market
Square that can be an example of its kind and some owners of flea markets,
although unfortunately not all, insist on some basic standards.

We believe that more can be done. It should be possible to have food markets
where the sellers of fruit and the like can rent small stalls in an
environment that is healthy.

Shops could easily be converted for this purpose and perhaps the vendors
could be grouped into co-operatives to rent such shops.

It should be possible for the city council, as it and private developers
continue to provide proper facilities, to move vendors off the streets and
yet still allow them to earn an honest living. At the same time, more bins
could be provided and a blitz launched by the police and municipal police to
force people to use them, rather than just dump their rubbish in the

Other cities have resurrected their city centres or have kept them as
attractive places to work and visit.

Sterling efforts by the police in the last year have made Harare city centre
a very safe place to walk around.

Now what is needed is an effort by the other authorities to make it an
attractive place to walk around.

This can be done in a city-business partnership that will retain the
vibrancy without allowing the city to degenerate.

We think it is worth the effort.
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South Africa's land reformers walk uneasy path
Tue 26 October, 2004 11:26

By Peter Apps

POLOKWANE, South Africa (Reuters) - As Mahile Mokomo decides which white
farmers must sell their land to black claimants in South Africa's northern
Limpopo province, he is keenly aware of events just to the north in

If he takes too long, black land claimants say they may take matters into
their own hands and seize farms. White farmers say if the process is not
handled correctly, farms will fall into disrepair and food supplies could be

The process takes place in the shadow of a draconian land reform programme
just across the Zimbabwean border, where President Robert Mugabe has
forcibly -- and sometimes violently -- seized white owned farms to give to

The farm seizures there have been blamed for creating food shortages in the
country, once the region's breadbasket.

South Africa's land reform programme aims to help blacks recover land they
have lost under colonial or apartheid-era laws by purchasing it from mostly
white landowners at market prices.

"It has to happen," Mokomo, a former lawyer who now serves as Limpopo's land
claims commissioner, told Reuters in the regional capital Polokwane,
approximately 200 kilometres (125 miles) south of the Zimbabwe border.

"You can't have a situation where 80 percent of the land is held by a group
who make up less than 12 percent of the country."

South Africa aims to put 30 percent of agricultural land in black hands by
2014, two decades after the end of white apartheid rule, mainly through
government-funded transactions on a willing buyer-willing seller basis.

This process has been criticised as too slow. The South African Communist
Party says less than three percent of the land earmarked for black ownership
has been handed over.

But land claims, in which blacks lodge formal requests for specific tracts
of land they say they were stolen from them in the past, have proven to be
even more controversial.

"It's Zimbabwe in a velvet glove," says white farmer and Limpopo mango
grower Tony Long, who grew up in Zimbabwe, told Reuters on the veranda of
his farmhouse in Tzaneen, 100 kilometres west of Polokwane.

"But there's a realisation that we need land reform. The main problem is the

All land claims had to be submitted by the end of 1998, but thousands --
some covering dozens of farms -- remain unresolved. Most of them are in
Limpopo, where the main staples are cattle and tropical fruit. South
Africa's main grain producing areas, further south, have been much less


President Thabo Mbeki says the land issue must be resolved by the end of

Mokomo says that target is an impossible challenge with some claims opposed
by white farmers and others stalled by competing demands of different groups
or by divisions among claimants.

"But we are confident by then we will have made considerable progress," he
says. "Three years ago, we had a staff of less than 20 and now it is 102."

In some cases, particularly where the disputed land is part of an urban area
or used for mining or industry, the claimants may receive financial
compensation rather than land.

Many white farmers in Limpopo say the commission takes too long to decide
claims, leaving farmers unable to refurbish their property, invest in farms
or plan for the future.

Despite repeated official assurances no further land claims will be lodged,
many white farmers fear more will follow in time -- something Mokomo denies.


Some early land transfers were handled badly, leaving a number of farms in
the hands of new black farmers who lacked the skills to run them profitably,
officials say.

Animal rights group the National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to
Animals says that in some cases cattle and pigs have had to be destroyed
because new farmers have been unable to look after them.

"These people don't have the skills, the training or the know-how of how to
farm," says Celeste Houseman, manager of the NSPCA's farm animal unit.
"Animals need basic requirements -- food, water and veterinary attention --
and without these the animals suffer."

Mokomo says new landowners in Limpopo will now need to find a strategic
partner to facilitate funding, training and an organised handover. Firms
like South African Farm Management, a private company, say they are ready to
step into the breach, providing essential help in return for a stake of
between 40 and 49 percent of the farm business for a 10-20 year period.

Some white farmers have also agreed to come on board as managers and
advisors, project director and Pentecostal preacher Reverend David Gondwe

"We need all these skills," he said. "But sometimes the new owners don't
want the previous owner to stay on because the communities don't trust

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Apologies a Good Trend Among African Leaders

The Daily News (Harare)

October 27, 2004
Posted to the web October 26, 2004

UHURU Kenyatta started the trend. On behalf of the party which brought
independence to Kenya, he apologised to the people for 40 years of Kanu

Kenyans may be forgiven for responding with: "It's too late. Many people
died when they could have been saved."

In Zambia, which celebrated its 40 years of independence last Sunday,
President Levy Mwanawasa made an apology, not to the people of Zambia, but
to the founding president, Kenneth Kaunda.

"KK" was harassed and hounded by his predecessor, Frederick Chiluba. Most of
the tribulations he endured related to xenophobia. Kaunda was born in
Zambia, but of Malawian parents.

He led the country to independence in 1964, then ruled for 27 years before
Chiluba beat him in a 1991 election considered free and fair by both foreign
and local observers.

But Chiluba's people brought up against him, quite shamelessly, the fact
that he was not a Zambian. If they had succeeded in convicting him, it would
have set one of the most terrifying precedents for Africa.

Kaunda's critics might say he himself ought to apologise to the people of
Zambia, for turning a country of potential abundance into a typical,
begging-bowl-in-hand African tinpot dictatorship.

But then he could always say he sacrificed all that to free most of southern
Africa from colonialism and apartheid.

But if more African leaders accepted that there was nothing demeaning or
humiliating in apologising for their present and past mistakes against
individual citizens or the entire nation, a new trend of political honesty
might be established on the continent.

Far too many African leaders run their countries as if they had a God-given
right to trample underfoot their citizens' inalienable rights to life and

Invariably, they harbour such a contempt for their political opponents an
outsider would wonder if it was personal rather than political.

In Zimbabwe, where most opposition politicians are treated as if they were
would-be murderers or confirmed foreign spies, the time may not be far off
when Zanu PF may have to apologise for some of its excesses.

Against every opposition party, from Ndabaningi Sithole's Zanu (Ndonga) to
Edgar Tekere's, Zum and now to Morgan Tsvangirai's MDC, the party led by
President Robert Mugabe has acted with such a single-minded viciousness, the
culture of political hatred it has engendered is going to take generations
to wipe out.

Politics has been turned into a life-and-death struggle. The sophisticated
thrust of civilised debate has been transformed into four-letter word abuse.

If we don't moderate our antipathy towards opposing views, the country's
future is bound to be filled with more hatred and more strife. Then, someone
may have to apologise for their sins, but risk being told: "It's too late."

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New Zimbabwe

Tsvangirai meets Sadc head in Mauritius

By Agencies
Last updated: 10/27/2004 04:23:14
ZIMBABWEAN opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai arrived in Mauritius on
Tuesday and met prime minister and Southern African Development Community
chairman Paul Berenger, officials said.

Details of their discussions were not immediately available.

Tsvangirai, who heads Zimbabwe's main opposition party, the Movement for
Democratic Change (MDC), travelled to the Indian Ocean island from South
Africa where on Monday he met President Thabo Mbeki.

Earlier this month Tsvangirai was acquitted of plotting to kill Zimbabwe's
president, Robert Mugabe.

This is his first trip abroad since treason charges were levelled against
him almost three years ago.

Mbeki had met the MDC leadership four times over the last four weeks in an
attempt to find a solution to the growing rift between the opposition and
Zimbabwe's ruling Zanu-PF party ahead of the country's parliamentary
elections in March.

Tsvangirai, a former trade unionist, also met leaders of South Africa's
largest trade union, the Congress of South African Trade Unions (COSATU) on
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Business in Africa

Parastatals bleed Zimbabwe's coffers dry

Published: 26-OCT-04

The abysmal performance of Zimbabwe's parastatals, many run by relatives of
President Robert Mugabe, is pulling the country even deeper into the
financial mire. By Thabo Masemola

Zimbabwe's government is spending money it does not have on under-performing
parastatals, thereby adding to the country's already unmanageable budget

Industry players and economists argue that moves to save under-performing
entities are unsustainable and likely to further bloat the national debt. It
is also likely to put paid to any lingering prospects for foreign

Of Zimbabwe's Z$1,2 trillion domestic debt, 60% is owed by parastatals. If
they were listed companies, analysts would label them "dogs". But instead of
euthenasing these perennial losers, the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) has
set up a concessionary loan facility to lend them money: US$25bn to the
Agricultural and Rural Development Authority, $20bn to the National Railways
of Zimbabwe (NRZ), $10bn for Zupco, and $7,5bn each to Air Zimbabwe and
Zimbabwe Broadcasting Holdings. It also regularly supplies the National Oil
Company of Zimbabwe with foreign currency to finance fuel exports.

None of the companies is likely to pay back the money. Some are untouchable
because they are being run by the president's relatives. Of the eight or so
parastatals, only one, Wankie Colliery, operates profitably.

The performance of Wankie, a coal mining company listed on the Zimbabwe,
Johannesburg and London Stock exchanges in which the government holds 40%
shareholding, is the only bright spot among the mediocrity of state owned
companies. In the half year to June, the company made an operating profit of
$25bn compared to $921m the previous year.

Others, such as the Zimbabwe Iron and Steel Company (Ziscosteel), Zimbabwe
Electricity Supply Authority (Zesa) and meat processor the Cold Storage
Company, are in desperate need of recapitalisation. The RBZ has given $20bn
to Zesa and will increase it to $50bn by the end of the year after finding
that the company was technically bankrupt.

The company underwent a restructuring exercise that created five companies,
creating huge overheads for new management. While the subsidiary companies
have put in place boards of directors, the holding company has been running
without one, with an executive chairman, Dr Sydney Gata, in charge. Dr Gata
is President Mugabe's brother-in-law.

In an effort to improve accountability, the RBZ asked all parastatals in
need of support to produce audited accounts and credible turnaround plans.
Only four of them met the deadline for the end of August. Zesa, Zimbabwe
Broadcasting Holdings, Tel One, Zimpost, Industrial Development Corporation,
Civil Aviation Authority of Zimbabwe, Road Motor Services, Air Zimbabwe and
National Railways of Zimbabwe have since submitted their accounts. Two of
them, Air Zimbabwe and the NRZ, were found to have inflated their balance

In NRZ's case, Ministry of Transport permanent secretary Karikoga Kaseke
said its $10bn monthly wage bill was higher than its turnover and the
parastatal has failed to pay its workers on time for much of the year. Some
of the companies, such as the National Social Security Authority, a
government pension agency to which all employees have to contribute, have
been operating on an unapproved budget for five years.

Plans to dispose of the Cold Storage Company, NRZ and the Posts and
Telecommunications Corporation have failed due to huge debts that have been
accrued over the years by the three companies.

Some of the companies that have been successfully privatised include
Dairibord Zimbabwe Limited, the Jewel Bank, Zimbabwe Reinsurance Company,
Rainbow Tourism Group, the Cotton Company of Zimbabwe, CAPS Holdings
Limited, Zimchem Refineries and Munyati Mining Limited.

To allow the parastatals to move forward, government would have to take over
the debts of some of them. It has already retired debts of $12bn for TelOne
and Net One to pave the way for an ultimately unsuccessful attempt to
privatise them. It also took over a debt of $3bn for CSC in an attempt to
commercialise the company earlier this year.

However, after the domestic debt doubled from $600bn in December last year,
government suspended debt underwriting for parastatals to meet its budgetary

The acting Minister of Finance and Economic Development, Dr Herbert Murerwa,
said government will no longer guarantee loans for unpaid debts incurred by
the utilities to encourage selfsufficiency and that it will avoid large
quasi-fiscal obligations such as debt takeover, price subsidies and loan
guarantees. He said access to commercial bank credit for parastatals would
now be based on acceptable business practices and production of externally
audited accounts and a viable pricing system. But the move appears to have
caught some of them off guard and some, like Zimbabwe Broadcasting Holdings
and Ziscosteel, have applied to the State to take over their debts before

Reserve Bank governor Dr Gideon Gono says there is need to bring sanity to
the government- owned companies because of the continued dependence on the

He said: "Specifically, the parastatal sector should evolve into contract
systems for engagement of top management, where each contract is renewable
upon satisfactory performance with remuneration being performance related."
The central bank has made all its senior management team sign five-year
contracts, which are renewable upon good performance. Dr Gono added: "For
meaningful investment to flow into the country, particularly in the
strategic parastatal community it is imperative that as Zimbabweans we rid
ourselves of the gross mentality of entitlement where office bearers resist
implementation of prudent turnaround strategies clinging to the past with no
sound financial management norms."

The RBZ has insisted on quarterly reports of progress towards implementation
of turnaround plans and that the parastatals should publish their accounts
every half year. Whether this will have any effect remains to be seen.

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Mbeki turns Aids row into race issue

Rory Carroll in Johannesburg
Tuesday October 26, 2004
The Guardian

President Thabo Mbeki of South Africa has caused a race row by making a
scathing attack on white people who link HIV/Aids to the alleged promiscuous
and predatory behaviour of black Africans.
Mr Mbeki turned a parliamentary debate on HIV and rape into a broadside
against "bigots" who he said regarded black people as "sub-human

The president was asked about his silence on a pandemic which infects 5.6
million South Africans, more than in any other country, and replied that the
real issue was prejudice, which endured a decade after apartheid.

"I will not keep quiet while others whose minds have been corrupted by the
disease of racism accuse us, the black people of South Africa, Africa and
the world, as being, by virtue of our Africanness and skin colour, lazy,
liars, foul-smelling, diseased, corrupt, violent, amoral, sexually depraved,
animalistic, savage and rapist."

Using language which disconcerted some of his own supporters, Mr Mbeki said
certain white people regarded black people as "rampant sexual beasts, unable
to control our urges, unable to keep our legs crossed, unable to keep it in
our pants."

The main opposition party, the Democratic Alliance, said the comments were a
a disgrace which made false accusations of racism, and the president was
ignoring a disease estimated to kill at least 600 South Africans every day.

Since succeeding Nelson Mandela as president in 1999 Mr Mbeki has queried
the connection between HIV and Aids and the safety of anti-retroviral drugs,
citing research by dissident scientists who have suggested that the disease
is not transmitted by sexual contact.

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Critics said he had fallen for crank theories, and after a wave of protest
inside and outside South Africa he announced that he would "withdraw" from
the debate.

The government started a national treatment programme earlier this year but
the target of treating 53,000 people by March has slipped, prompting lobby
groups to complain about a lack of urgency.

Earlier this month Mr Mbeki broke his silence and edged back into the
controversy in a column on the African National Congress party website which
lambasted white commentators for complaining about high rates of sexual

Official statistics showed that serious crime was falling, he said, but
people who were racist and wanted the country to fail falsely claimed South
Africa was the world's rape capital.

This prompted the opposition to table written parliamentary questions about
the extent of rape and its contribution to the spread of HIV.

In reply Mr Mbeki said he would not discuss Aids but would stick to the
central issue, which was the bigotry that thrived a decade after the end of
white minority rule.

"Millions of Africans in our country, in Africa and the world did not fight
against apartheid racism and white domination to create space for them to
continue to be subjected to dehumanising, demeaning and insulting racism,"
he said.

Tony Leon, leader of the largely white Democratic Alliance, said Mr Mbeki
had ducked a simple yes-or-no question about whether he was prepared to lead
the fight against HIV/Aids.

"Instead ... he recited a litany of racist caricatures that bordered on the
pornographic and implied that the DA believed them." He accused the state
broadcaster, SABC, of editing reports of the debate to spare Mr Mbeki

The Johannesburg paper the Sunday Times said Mr Mbeki had reason to harp on
race, but his "rising anger" had prompted hyperbole and "unpresidential
venom" which demeaned the debate.

"For a man who claims membership of the African intelligentsia, that is a
crass representation of the challenge we face as a nation seeking redemption
after a history of unspeakable bigotry," it said.

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Cape Times

Showing the way
October 26, 2004

By the Editor

The South African government's curiously muted approach to the crisis
enveloping Zimbabwe has been the subject of much criticism, at home, in that
beleaguered country, and abroad.

Yesterday, however, President Thabo Mbeki showed that his government
has not entirely lost its capacity for influence in Zimbabwe: opposition
Movement for Democratic Change leader Morgan Tsvangirai travelled south for
a meeting with the South African president.

Indeed, there are not a few MDC members who believe that Mbeki himself
holds the key to that country's future. They would surely have welcomed
yesterday's meeting - the first in some time between Mbeki and Tsvangirai.

That said, it does not seem likely that this event alone will signal a
turning point. The South African government itself was quick to dampen
speculation, saying raising expectations would do more bad than good.

Meanwhile, tripartite alliance partner the Congress of South African
Trade Unions (Cosatu) last night embarked on a fact-finding mission to

The Zimbabwean government had banned the visit, but Cosatu last night
said it was going ahead anyway.

This defiance was in line with a Cosatu congress resolution to get "an
accurate picture of the situation in the country" and to assist in resolving
Zimbabwe's problems.

Cosatu's determination is apparently based on concern for the people
of Zimbabwe and a recognition of the severity of the crisis that President
Robert Mugabe has visited upon that country.

This approach appears to be in stark contrast with that taken by the
South African government, which has given every impression that it is happy
to turn a blind eye to Mugabe's excesses, sometimes even defending or
finding reason to excuse them.

The wretched victims in Zimbabwe can only hope that Cosatu's approach
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The Mercury

Now Zimbabwe police ban toyi-toying
October 26, 2004

By Peta Thornycroft

Harare: Zimbabwe police have now banned toyi-toying.

In a letter written to Bulawayo South Movement for Democratic Change
MP David Coltart, Supt A Ncube of Nkulumane Police Station said the police
would allow him to hold a meeting on Sunday on condition that there would be
"no toyi-toying" and that the meeting would be held in a hall, not in the

Under Zimbabwe's Public Order and Security Act, police permission has
to be granted ahead of a political gathering.

"Toyi-toying has become an integral part of our meetings. It was
festive, and the youth would toyi-toyi around the area ahead of our
meetings, which was a way of advertising, given that the state press will
not take our adverts," said Coltart, who is also the MDC Legal Secretary.
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Anthrax outbreak under control in Zimbabwe 2004-10-26 03:48:29

HARARE, Oct. 25 (Xinhuanet) -- Zimbabwe's Department of Veterinary
Services said on Monday the anthrax outbreak that killed more than 100
cattle at the Harare City Council's Crow borough farm two weeks ago is now
under control.

Deputy Director of the department Welbourne Madzima said they had
vaccinated all the animals that remained at the farm following the outbreak,
while all the dead animals had been burnt.

"We urge farmers to bury and burn all dead animals. People must
also stop buying uninspected meat from street vendors."

"We have tasked the municipal police to monitor unscrupulous
people who sell uninspected meat," he said.

Anthrax is an acute infectious disease caused by sponge-forming
bacteria that live in the soil. Its symptoms include skin infections,
ulcers, swelling of lymph glands, breathing problems, vomiting and fever.

The last anthrax outbreak before the one at the city council
occurred in the Malilangwe and Save conservancies, next to the Gonarezhou
National Park last month.

Statistics released by the department show that 119 cattle and
1,600 wild animals have died of the disease since January.

Meanwhile, 18 cattle have reportedly died of a fresh anthrax
outbreak in the Nembudzia area in Gokwe. Six people were said to have been
affected after handling the carcasses of infected animals.

The outbreak was attributed to the recent wet spell.

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