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

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Zim Online

Fri 29 October 2004

      HARARE - The government will next year take over six privately-owned
banks or nearly half of Zimbabwe's 15 commercial banks in what Reserve Bank
of Zimbabwe governor Gideon Gono yesterday said was part of measures to
stabilise the country's troubled financial

      In a series of increasingly desperate measures to fix Zimbabwe's
ailing economy, Gono also announced the immediate devaluation of the local
dollar but only for three months and exclusively for exiled Zimbabweans
sending hard cash home through the governor's failed
      Homelink scheme.

      The state will seize control of the banks, all of them locally-owned,
by converting debt owed to the central bank into equity beginning January 1,
2005, Gono said during his monetary policy review statement in Harare.

      The banks, all of them already under fiscal supervision by the central
bank because they were no longer financially sound, were mostly surviving on
loans advanced to them under the RBZ's Troubled Banks Fund.

      Gono said: "The Reserve Bank has, through the Troubled Bank Fund, used
public funds to resolve solvency and liquidity deficiencies in the
privately-owned banking institutions, which will be converted into equity.

      "A Special Purpose Vehicle, designated Allied Financial Services, will
be used to hold shares that the government will acquire in troubled banking

      "Government will acquire the shares through conversion to equity of
liquidity support loans granted to troubled banking institutions by the
Reserve Bank under the Troubled Bank Fund or temporary liquidity assistance,
as well as outstanding loan in respect of Statutory Reserve, and Productive
Sector Facility."

      A new entity, the Zimbabwe Allied Banking Group (ZABG), into which all
the banks seized by the state would be collapsed, will be formed by the
government, Gono said in the statement that sent shock waves throughout the
financial sector.

      The government will be the majority shareholder in the proposed new
bank but is expected to divest from the institution by 2007, according to
the governor.

      The state already has controlling stake in two other commercial banks,
the Commercial Bank of Zimbabwe, which Gono headed before his appointment at
the RBZ and the Zimbabwe Banking Corporation.

      Among the banks likely to be swallowed up by the proposed ZABG
include, Time Bank, which was shut down on Wednesday, Trust Bank, Barbican
and Intermarket Banking Corporation.

      Gono had in January given commercial banks up to the end of last month
to increase their paid-up share capital to $10 billion. Merchant banks and
finance houses had to up share capital to $7.5 billion while building
societies had to increase theirs to $5 billion.

      The central bank governor said out of a total of 40 financial
institutions, 29 had met the new capital requirements while those that had
not done so had been given up to December to meet the new requirements.

      Gono, who has visited South Africa, Britain and the United States to
plead with the more than four million Zimbabweans working and living there
to send money home through official channels, said exiles will have their
money exchanged at a rate between $5 600 and $6
      200 to the US dollar.

      He said: "In order to further promote foreign currency remittances,
under the Homelink initiative, the Diaspora floor price of foreign exchange
will be managed between the current auction rate of around $5 600 against
the United States dollar and $6 200 per US
      dollar to January, 2005."

      Previous attempts to coax Zimbabweans living and working abroad to
send money through the bank system failed because rates offered on the
official market were far less than those on the black market where the
greenback fetches up to $7 000.

      On a more confident note, the RBZ governor announced that Harare had
increased its loan repayments to the International Monetary Fund.

      "As monetary authorities, we are pleased to report that modest
initiatives have been forged in this respect, with the country stepping up
its repayments to the International Monetary Fund, from US$1.5 million per
month, to US$5 million per quarter, beginning June, 2004," Gono said. -

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Zim Online

Parliament endorses Bennet's jail sentence
Fri 29 October 2004
      HARARE - Ruling ZANU PF party parliamentarians last night used their
majority in the House to impose a one-year jail term against opposition
legislator Roy Bennet for shoving Justice Minister Patrick Chinamasa during
debate in May.

      A parliamentary committee, also dominated by ZANU PF, had on Wednesday
recommended that Bennet be sentenced to a 15-month imprisonment with three
months suspended.

      The matter was debated in the House last night with 53 ZANU PF members
voting to commit Bennet to prison against 42 opposition Movement for
Democratic Change legislators (MDC), who opposed the motion.

      It was not clear whether Bennet, who was arrested by police yesterday
morning as he attempted to fly out of the country, will immediately go to

      The opposition MP had appealed to the High Court well before last
night's vote in Parliament to have the jail term set aside.

      But Speaker of Parliament Emmerson Mnangagwa yesterday morning issued
an order in terms of the Privileges, Immunities and Powers of Parliament Act
barring courts from hearing Bennet's appeal.

      But constitutional law experts said the Speaker was wrong in issuing
the order which virtually preempts the judicial process and takes away
Bennet's rights guaranteed by Zimbabwe's Constitution to seek recourse at
the courts.

      University of Zimbabwe constitutional law lecturer Lovemore Madhuku
said: "The whole thing is totally wrong. Unless if it was in the United
Kingdom (UK) where there is no Bill of Rights, but Zimbabwe is different
from the UK.

      "In the UK there is Parliamentary Sovereignty, but in Zimbabwe we have
a situation where the Constitution is supreme. There is something inherently
wrong with that decision. This is a judicial matter, not a case of having
many numbers in Parliament."

      Human rights lawyer Brian Kagoro questioned the severity of the
sentence saying in an ordinary criminal court, Bennet's case would have
qualified as a common law assault case which would not have justified any
fine worth more than a few hundred Zimbabwe dollars.

      Police accused Bennet of wanting to flee the country when they
arrested him at Harare international airport yesterday morning.

      But the legislator, who was scheduled to fly to South Africa on
business and return to Zimbabwe the same day, denied he was fleeing. He
said: "I would rather go to jail if it pleases this regime than flee my
country into exile."

      One of only three white opposition members of Zimbabwe's Parliament,
Bennet knocked Chinamasa to the floor after the latter had referred to his
ancestors as "murderers" and "thieves" who stole Zimbabwe's land from

      If he eventually goes to jail, he will become the first MP to be
jailed in Zimbabwe's history for contempt of Parliament and the first person
in the country to be sentenced outside the court process. - ZimOnline
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Zim Online

ZANU PF Congress funds trapped in closed banks
Fri 29 October 2004

      HARARE - Close to Z$2 billion meant to pay for the ruling ZANU PF
party's watershed congress scheduled for December is locked up in three
financial institutions shut down by the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe, sources
told ZimOnline.

      They said the party had invested the money in Barbican Bank,
Intermarket Bank and the National Discount House, all forced to stop
operations and placed under curatorship by central bank governor Gideon

      The institutions, among six that have been so far placed under
curatorship, were ordered to stop operations because they were no longer
financially sound because of corruption and mismanagement.

      According to the sources, the money the ruling party had raised
through donations and from other sources for the congress was invested in
the three locally-owned institutions through an investment company called
Climax, which is jointly owned by the central bank and the Ministry of

      ZANU PF secretary for finance David Karimanzira would neither deny nor
confirm that the party had its money trapped in the troubled financial
institutions. But he insisted the December congress, at which the issue of
President Mugabe's successor could be resolved, would go ahead "anyway".

      Karimanzira said: "The congress will go ahead at whatever cost but I
cannot confirm where the party's monies are deposited or invested. We hope
to have raised the total amount we budgeted in time for the congress despite

      Climax, chaired by former finance minister, Tichaendepi Masaya, has
already failed to recover part of the ZANU PF funds it had invested in one
of the three financial institutions, National Discount House.

      But it was not clear whether it would be able to recover the funds
invested with Barbican and Intermarket.

      Insiders said the party was now looking at ways of raising cash, it
looks more uncertain whether it will be able to recover the $2 billion in
time for its congress. - ZimOnline

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Zim Online

Withdraw draft NGO Bill, say international civic groups
Fri 29 October 2004

      HARARE - Civic society groups from southern Africa, Asia, the
Caribbean and Latin America have called on the government to withdraw a
draft non-governmental organisations (NGOs) law that seeks to restrict NGOs
in the country.

      In a statement, the NGOs from 30 countries said the non-governmental
organizations Bill, now before Zimbabwe's Parliament, sought to criminalise
civic society groups working for the promotion of human rights and democracy
in Zimbabwe.

      A statement issued by the groups at the end of their IV International
Colloqium on Human Rights meeting held in Brazil a fortnight ago, read in
part: "We note with great concern the imminent threat inherent in the
intended piece of legislation, which endangers the existence of civil
society in Zimbabwe.

      "The current form and content of the Bill criminalise the work of
Zimbabwean citizens who advocate for the promotion and protection of human
rights and democratic governance."

      Among other key issues, the draft NGO Bill seeks to ban NGOs from
carrying out voter education while those wishing to engage in human rights
and democracy work will be prohibited from receiving foreign funding.

      A government-appointed council will be set up under the proposed new
law to register NGOs and ban those failing to abide by the new regulations.

      Parliament, which is dominated by the ruling ZANU PF party, is
expected to enact the Bill into law before the end of the year. -ZimOnline
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Washington Times

A stain on South Africa

South Africa's self-deprecating silence in the face of Zimbabwe's escalating
contempt is defining the Mbeki government's Africa policy. As despotic
leader Robert Mugabe continues his catastrophic dictatorship in Zimbabwe and
puts the South African government in increasingly difficult positions,
Pretoria continues to respond with its ineffectual "quiet diplomacy." That
policy is becoming a national embarrassment for South Africa.
    On Tuesday, Zimbabwe's immigration officers seized 13 members of an
influential South African trade union as they met with counterparts in
Harare, the capital. They were ordered to leave the country. Yesterday, they
were deported.
    The outrageous move was even opposed by Zimbabwe's High Court, which Mr.
Mugabe largely controls. The court blocked the deportation until the
government could present a valid reason for their removal. Unsurprisingly,
the government simply said they never received the order and forcibly
removed the South Africans, loading them onto buses and dumping them on the
    Considering the many times that South Africa has turned a blind eye to
Mr. Mugabe's transgressions against his own people, it was truly amazing to
see the Zimbabwean leader mistreat the South African delegation. The trade
union had intended to meet with civic, church and human-rights groups,
including the opposition party Movement for Democratic Change, Zimbabwe
Congress of Trade Unions, Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights and Zimbabwe's
Council of Churches. The Zimbabwe government initially tried to block the
visit, and later granted a one-day visa. The Congress of the South African
Trade Unions said in a statement that their delegates were in a "totally
peaceful" meeting with a Zimbabwe trade union when they were detained.
    Amazingly, South Africa made excuses for the Mugabe government. "What
Zimbabwe did was to invite them out," South African Foreign Minister Stan
Mudenge said yesterday on the radio in South Africa. "There is no souring of
relations between Pretoria and Harare because these people decided to do
their own thing against the laws of South Africa and against the laws of
    What is evident is that the Mugabe government ignored the court order
barring the deportation. South Africa, one of Africa's most important power
brokers, should begin standing up for justice and democracy in Africa. The
government's rhetorical contortions for the sake of Mr. Mugabe are becoming
a stain on the nation and a misfortune for the continent.

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Business Day

Harare puts squeeze on platinum miners

By Dumisani Muleya
HARARE - The Zimbabwean government on Thursday abolished offshore accounts
held by platinum producers operating in the country, in a bid to shore up
its foreign currency position.

Zimbabwe's platinum sector is dominated by foreign companies, which include
SA's Anglo American Platinum and Impala Platinum Holdings as well as the
London/Australia-listed Aquarius Platinum Holdings.

Central bank governor Gideon Gono said during a monetary policy statement
third-quarter review on Thursday that Zimbabwe, which had the world's
second- largest platinum deposits after SA, would now force platinum
producers to open local foreign currency accounts.

Producers in Zimbabwe used to have a special dispensation in which they
retained 60% of their receipts offshore.

However, the government said it would take over the marketing of platinum,
as it did with gold, because it was "strategic mineral".

The revised mineral marketing plan is designed to ensure forex earned is
brought back into the country to boost the heavily depleted foreign currency

"All offshore accounts for Zimbabwean-based platinum will cease to operate
and all previous exchange control dispensations or government approvals
allowing for the creation and holding of these accounts outside Zimbabwe are
hereby rescinded," Gono said.

"Platinum producers will be required to open special local foreign currency
accounts in which all proceeds will deposited under a structure that will
ensure a smooth transition from the prevailing offshore arrangements."

This move is likely to spark jitters among producers, since Zimbabwe has a
record of raiding local foreign currency accounts when it gets desperate for
hard currency.

Gono said he would devalue the battered local currency from Z5600 to Z6200
to the US dollar, in order to encourage Zimbabweans abroad to remit more

Zimbabwe earned 1,2bn in the first nine months of the year compared with
only $250m for the same period last year, representing a 399,4% growth in
forex inflows.

Gold had been key in this improvement. Gono said he would with immediate
effect adjust the gold price from Z85000 to Z92000 a gram .

Business Day

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Independent (UK)

Zimbabwean MP jailed for a year after shoving minister
By Basildon Peta, Southern Africa Correspondent
29 October 2004

Zimbabwe's most persecuted white MP began a year of hard labour last night
after parliament voted to jail him for shoving the Justice Minister during a
debate over land seizures.

The ruling sparked outrage among lawyers and human rights groups who argued
that in a normal criminal court of law, Roy Bennett would have faced a small

Parliament voted 53-42 to jail Mr Bennett - one of three white Movement for
Democratic Change MPs - for hitting Patrick Chinamasa during a debate in
May. The government had moved to seize Mr Bennett's farm as part of
President Robert Mugabe's programme to take white-owned properties for
landless blacks.

The incident came after a heated debate during which Mr Chinamasa described
Mr Bennett's white ancestors as "rapists", "murderers" and "thieves" who
stole black-owned land. Zimbabwean law empowers parliament to impose
sentences of up to two years in jail. It was the latest in a litany of
abuses suffered by Mr Bennett, including the abduction and murder of his
farm workers.

His lawyer, Arnold Tsunga, said Mr Bennett started serving his sentence last
night. He had been arrested at Harare airport while trying to board a plane
to South Africa.

The authorities accused him of trying to flee and slapped him with an extra
charge of trying to obstruct the course of justice. Mr Bennett denied the
charge, saying he had never contemplated fleeing but was on his way to South
Africa to meet lawyers helping him recover money for coffee stolen from his
farm by Mr Mugabe's supporters and supplied to a German coffee trader.

Mr Bennett's troubles were worsened by an earlier order by the Speaker of
parliament, Emmerson Mnangagwa, banning the courts from hearing his
application to have the sentence set aside. Mr Mnangagwa said the case
should be concluded in terms of parliamentary procedures which insulated the
house from judicial scrutiny. Mr Tsunga dismissed the Speaker's argument as

Before parliament voted, Mr Bennett had been brought by police to appear
before it and he had apologised for his conduct in charging at and pushing
Mr Chinamasa. "I'm extremely sorry for the disturbances that I caused to
this house. I apologise to you Mr Speaker, I apologise to Honourable
Chinamasa," Mr Bennett said. But the apology failed to save him.

President Mugabe routinely accuses Mr Bennett of working with Tony Blair to
try to topple the government.

The MDC issued a statement last night detailing all the abuses Mr Bennett
has suffered including the forced seizure of his farm in eastern Zimbabwe by
militant war veterans and the army in defiance of four court orders; the
rape and murder of his workers; the theft of his crops and livestock; the
destruction of his game farm; and the illegal arrests and beatings he has

Before his arrest yesterday, Mr Bennett had vowed never to flee Zimbabwe. "I
would rather go to jail if it pleases this regime than flee my country into
exile," he said.

Mr Tsunga had assembled a team of lawyers last night to try to save Mr
Bennett by pursuing what is probably his last remedy - mounting a
constitutional challenge at the Supreme Court against powers of parliament
to deal with matters which should ordinarily be handled by the courts in
line with the doctrine of separation of powers.

But with Zimbabwe's highest court now packed with loyalist judges, Mr
Bennett's future looks very bleak.

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Enough is Enough



We have a fundamental right to freedom of expression!


Mauritius Watch


Issue 1.   25th October


On August 17th 2004 SADC leaders, meeting in Mauritius, adopted the SADC Protocol – Principles and Guidelines Governing Democratic Elections.  Zimbabwe, as a member of SADC, also signed the Protocol and committed itself to implementing its standards.


“Mauritius Watch” provides a regular and objective, non-partisan assessment of Zimbabwe’s compliance with the Protocol.  In the run-up to the 2005 Parliamentary Elections we note any significant failures to adhere to the SADC standards.




SADC standards breached


Zimbabwe Social Forum


Zimbabwean anti-globilisation activists who were due to hold the second Zimbabwe Social Forum in the Harare Gardens from October 14th, were refused permission to stage the event.   Chief Superintendent S Pondo, officer commanding Harare Central District, banned the gathering on the grounds that “from information available (it) will occasion public disorder and may cause damage in the Central Business District”.   


The Zimbabwe Social Forum was meant to prepare for the country’s participation in the forthcoming Africa and World Social Forums scheduled to be held in December 2004 (Zambia) and January 2005 (Brazil)


(For further details refer to “Green Left Weekly”, October 20, 2004)


2.1.1.“Full participation of the citizens in the political process”

2.1.2 “Freedom of association”

2.1.3 “Political tolerance”


4.1.1 “Constitutional and legal guarantees of freedom and rights of the citizens”


7.4  The state’s responsibility to “safeguard the human and civil liberties of all citizens including the freedom of movement, assembly, association, expression..”


Food as a political weapon


In a press release dated 18th October Amnesty International reports that policies and practices of the government are undermining people’s access to food and violating the country’s obligations under international human rights’ law.  The government is heavily criticized for its response to the food crisis. The near-monopoly of the state-controlled GMB on trade in and distribution of maize has been used by the government to control food supplies and manipulate food for political purposes, says the report.


“The GMB distribution system has been used to discriminate against supporters of the political opposition. In numerous cases only those who can prove membership of ZANU PF have been allowed to access maize distributed by the GMB.  During election campaigns voters’ access to food has been threatened unless they vote ZANU PF ...  Farm workers have also been discriminated against by the GMB distribution system, reportedly in an attempt to force them to work for the newly resettled farms at low rates of pay”


Amnesty International expresses concern about potential further violations of the rights to adequate food and freedom from hunger in the context of the 2005 elections, given the GMB’s history of discriminatory distribution of the grain it controls and the pattern of abuse of access to food at times of elections over the past two years.  


(For further details refer to Amnesty International’s report “Zimbabwe Power and Hunger, Violations of the Right to Food”  available online at


2.1.3 Political tolerance


4.1.2 Conducive environment for free, fair and peaceful elections


7.4 The government’s responsibility to “safeguard the human and civil liberties

 of all citizens”    (Accordingly the government is duty bound to uphold the  right to adequate food and the right of freedom from hunger of ALL citizens)



Arrest of journalists


Harassment of independent journalists continued with the police arresting Richard Musazulwa, the Midlands’ correspondent for The Standard.  He was arrested by police from the Law and Order Section in Gweru in connection with a story that appeared in the paper some months ago concerning an incident when hungry ZANU PF youths tried to gatecrash a Heroes’ Luncheon hosted by the army chiefs.  Musazulwa was charged with abuse of journalistic privilege by publishing a falsehood under the draconian Access to Information and Protection of Privacy Act (AIPPA)


Another journalist, Owen Matava, who works for the Midlands News was also arrested and questioned by police last week in connection with a story he wrote that raised the ire of the Midlands Governor, Cephas Msipa.


(For further details see the report in The Standard of 17th October)


2.1.1 Full participation of the citizens in the political process


4.1.1 Constitutional and legal guarantees of freedom and rights of the citizens


4.1.2 Conducive environment for free, fair and peaceful elections (which must include the right of all citizens to receive news from an independent media)




Student leader battles for life after savage attack


Zimbabwe National Students Union president Philani Zamchiya was yesterday battling for his life at Harare's Avenues Clinic after he was kidnapped and severely attacked last Thursday by suspected members of the government's secret service agents. Zamchiya, 24, could hardly talk or lift himself up from his hospital bed when visited at the privately-run Avenues Clinic. But a nurse at the hospital told Zim Online the student leader's condition had improved since his admission on Thursday night. She said: "His condition is stable now, although he is still in great pain and we are closely monitoring him." According to Zamchiya's colleagues at the students' union, he was walking home from the union's offices in Harare at around 7pm, when a Mazda B2200 truck suddenly pulled up by the roadside. Several men, who identified themselves as plain clothes policemen, alighted from the vehicle, bundled the young student leader into their truck and sped off. Members of the government's dreaded secret service, the Central Intelligence Organisation, often pass themselves off as plain clothes policemen


(For further details see the report in Zim Online)


And for news of a further attempt on the life of Zamchiya by state security agents while he was lying in hospital in Harare see the Zim Online Report of 23rd October



2.1.1.      Full participation of citizens in the political process

2.1.2.      Freedom of association

2.1.3.      Political tolerance

4.1.2    Conducive environment for free, fair and peaceful elections


Zanu PF youths harass electorate

Five months before next year's parliamentary plebiscite, suspected Zanu PF youths have begun intimidating the electorate to force them to attend ruling party rallies in the high-density suburb of Glen View and surrounding areas.

The youths were seen in Glenview 8 moving door-to-door forcing residents to attend a ruling party gathering. One of the
victims who refused to be identified said: "The youths were moving door-to-door writing down our names and ordering us to attend a rally which was being held in the area."


(For further details see the report in Daily Mirror)


2.1.2.      Freedom of association

2.1.3.      Political tolerance

4.1.1.      Constitutional and legal guarantees of freedom and rights of the citizens

4.1.2.      Conducive environment for free, fair and peaceful elections


State media refusing MDC adverts

THE opposition MDC says it is dismayed by the state-owned Zimbabwe Newspapers Group (Zimpapers’) refusal to publish its advertorial material in violation of the SADC protocol on elections.

The Chronicle and Sunday News, two of the six government- controlled papers, have in the past two months refused to publish advertisements and press releases from Bulawayo’s Executive Mayor, Japhet Ndabeni Ncube and MDC MPs in the city


MDC spokesperson for Bulawayo, Victor Moyo, said the Sunday News had turned down a press release from the Mayor responding to allegations in the same paper to the effect 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,"  said Moyo

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 including the Herald, the Sunday Mail and the Manica Post.


(For further details see the report in The Independent)

2.1.5        Equal opportunity for all political parties to access the state media

7.4                (the state’s duty to provide) “access to the media on the part of all stakeholders, during electoral processes”



Repressive new laws


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 Bill.


(For further details see the report in The Independent)


4.1.2        Conducive environment for free, fair and peaceful elections



Proposal to exclude some SADC observers

According to state radio the government has said it will ban African observers from monitoring national parliamentary polls next year if they have close links with Western countries.

Foreign minister Stan Mudenge told state radio Zimbabwe had collected evidence of "maneuvers" by some countries and foreign organisations to include their allies in African monitoring groups. He said African diplomats or monitors found co-operating with foreign governments would be barred from election observer groups.

"SADC and African ambassadors should not be used to take up agendas of foreign missions or interests," he said.

(For further details refer SABC)


6.1.2        (The rights and responsibilities of SADC election observers include) “accreditation as election observers on a non-discriminatory basis”




Non-resident citizens excluded from voting

The Mugabe government has disenfranchised millions of Zimbabweans now living outside the country from voting in the 2005 poll.  While the Governor of the Reserve Bank continues to make strenuous efforts to persuade Zimbabweans of the Diaspora, thought to number in excess of three million, to send their forex back through his “Homelink” scheme, they are not to be permitted to vote in the election.  Their hard-earned forex effectively keeps the country going, yet they are to be excluded from the vote. 


Other SADC countries including Botswana, South Africa, Namibia and Mozambique, afford their non-resident citizens the right to vote in national elections, but not Zimbabwe.


This contrasts with the position during the DRC civil war when Zimbabwean members of the defence forces based in that country, were permitted and even encouraged to vote in the 2000 parliamentary election and the 2002 presidential election. Soldiers then voted under the close supervision of  their commanding officers.

Patrick Chinamasa, Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs Minister, is on record as saying that permitting Zimbabwe’s vast number of citizens abroad to vote in the election would unduly benefit the opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC)


(for further details refer to “National News” of 24th October)


2.1.6        Equal opportunity to exercise the right to vote and be voted for


4.1.3        non-discrimination in the voters’ registration



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JAG JOB OPPORTUNITIES: Updated 28th October 2004

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

1.  Advert Received 25th October 2004

WANTED : Bookkeeper/Manager must be computer literate.  Business situated
in Msasa.  Contact: Mrs. Bolton on

2.  Advert Received 25th October 2004

"Required: A tobacco manager to assist with growing 130Ha of tobacco in
Choma District, Southern Province of Zambia. Applicant's MUST have genuine
Tobacco Diploma and several year's experience (for work permit
requirements) and should be available to start work as soon as possible.
USD salary offered. Please contact Bruce Danckwerts
+260-3-220675 (evenings)"

3.  Advert Received 25th October 2004

Ex-farming couple, 50-65 yrs., required for business in Ruwa area.
Mechanical knowledge and workshop ability essential for the man. 3-4 days a
week in the office for the wife. Salaries negotiable. House provided with
usual perks. Need to start end of November. Please contact 073 - 2777, or
073- 22595.

4.  Advert Received 26th October 2004

WANTED a general manager to run a business with 37 staff members.
Situated in Harare.  Send CV's to

5.  Advert Received 26th October 2004

1) Projects/Maintenance Manager

Vanduzi S.A.R.L Fresh Produce Exports, Manica Province, Mozambique

Highly motivated manager required for the fields of mechanical, irrigation,
electrical and civil engineering, maintenance and construction. Ideal
candidate will have at least 5 years experience in a similar role and be
practical, methodical and have some experience in all of the above fields.

Fleet management knowledge and ability to manage a project essential.

Excellent US$ salary offered.
011 410 367; 00 258 82 509491

2) Bookkeeper

Vanduzi S.A.R.L Fresh Produce Exports, Manica Province, Mozambique

Very strong Pastel user, highly computer literate. Cash book
reconciliation, Petty Cash, Wages, Salaries, Costings, Budgetting,
Forecasting, Debtors, Creditors, Inventory, general.

Very attractive US$ package
011 409612

6.  Advert Received 27th October 2004

Temporary Secretary required by hotel in Vumba, starting mid-December until
mid-April. Please reply to above address or phone the GM's Secretary
020-60115, 60198, 60170 or Fax 61165
For the latest listings of accommodation available for farmers, contact
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Zim Independent

Zanu PF empire a mess
Dumisani Muleya
THE Zanu PF politburo committee investigating the party's business empire
has learnt that its companies, supervised by administration secretary
Emmerson Mnangagwa, are a shambles due to gross mismanagement.

Zanu PF's Report of the Committee on Party Investments, debated by the
politburo last week and this Wednesday, reveals the companies are riddled
with managerial corruption and incompetence which could have prejudiced the
ruling party of billions of dollars and assets.

The report said some of the companies had virtually collapsed, while others
had not been audited for years and their financial accounts were a complete

A $650 million Tregers Holdings cheque for dividend declared on February 18
2003 for the year ended December 31 2002 cannot be accounted for.

The report said it was "inconceivable" that Tregers, in which Zanu PF has a
41,96% shareholding, managed to declare a $1,2 billion dividend in four
years when its annual turnover was about $150 billion.

There are further queries over the murky investment of $120 million in the
portfolio investment company M&S Investments by Zanu PF's wholly owned
investment arm, M&S Syndicate (Pvt) Ltd.

Zanu PF has interests in public and private companies held through M&S
Syndicate (Pvt) Ltd. The ruling party has invested in Treger Holdings, Mike
Appel, Catercraft, Fibrolite, closed last December, Zidlee, which failed to
take over Delta in 1989 and now runs duty-free shops, Southern African
Re-Insurance Company (Sare), Zidco Holdings and First Bank, whose Congo
investment has now collapsed.

Another company, NamZim, was "closed due to mismanagement and the property
was looted by unknown people", the report says. Zanu PF also had interests
in National Blankets, Woolworths and Ottawa Building, which were disposed of
in unclear circumstances.

Furthermore, Zanu PF separately owns Jongwe Printing & Publishing Company,
as well as Jongwe and Nyadzonya farms. Some companies' books, for instance
those of Catercraft, have not been audited for at least four years and there
have been no board meetings for two years.

Mnangagwa, who was interviewed twice by the probe committee because he holds
sway over the party's network of companies, confirmed the chaos in the
businesses by admitting most of the companies have no records.

"He (Mnangagwa) said that in most of these arrangements there were no
written agreements on the formation of the companies and most of these
agreements were done verbally between parties," the report says.

"Neither was there an agreement for payment of management fees to the Joshi
brothers as these companies were operating as one."

Mnangagwa, who sits on nearly all companies' boards, supervised M&S
Syndicate with Manharlal Chiunilal and Jayant Chiunilal Joshi. The two were
linked to Zanu PF by the party's external secretary Didymus Mutasa and
former secretary-general Edgar Tekere in 1979.

However, the Joshi brothers and Dipak Pandya fled the country in April
shortly after the probe began. Several Zanu PF officials were quizzed about
their escape. Mutasa said the three ran way from being arrested and were in
regular contact with him. He said Jayant was believed to be in Dubai, while
Manharlal was in Manchester, England.

Some of the Zanu PF investments such as in Bindura Nickel Mine were also
unclear. Zanu PF has a 23% equity in Bindura through the Reserve Bank of
Zimbabwe. Further inquiries into this investment have been recommended.

There are also fears that companies like Tregers could have externalised

As a result the report recommends that "police/law enforcements agents
should go into further investigations in order establish any prejudice in
terms of revenue to the party on its investments".

More investigations were required into the shady M&S $120 million
investment, Fibrolite and Catercraft operations, the unaccounted for $650
million Tregers dividend and other dividends declared without audited
accounts, as well as Mike Appel's dividend declarations.

The report says it is surprising Mike Appel declared a $31 million dividend
in 2003 but $250 million this year. Sare and shelf companies like M&S
Investments, Segmented Investments through which Zanu PF has a 27% interest
in First Bank, and Smoothnest Investments, Hutsonville and Amelia
Properties, the report says, should also be further investigated.

There were also calls for the committee to find out if Zanu PF has interests
in Africa Resources, Banco Nationale of Mozambique, DRC Bank in the
Democratic Republic of Congo, and Shabanie and Mashaba Mines.
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Zim Independent

Independent news websites mushroom
Gift Phiri
INTERNET news websites on Zimbabwe continue to mushroom as government closes
down independent local newspapers to stop the flow of information deemed

Government has so far shut down three independent newspapers and threatens
to close down the remaining ones, pushing scores of journalists out of

Labelled "terrorists" and "sellouts" by government for their critical
reporting, free press journalists have been hounded out of their jobs
through repressive media laws and endless harassment. This has seen dozens
of journalists leaving the country.

A group of former Zimbabwean journalists and other professionals now based
overseas have launched an independent political website, The
website was launched in July and has had a daily publication since then.

Owners of the website, who declined to be named for security reasons, said
in written response yesterday that the website was being run by Zimbabweans
in the diaspora.

" is a project initiated by former Zimbabwean professionals now
based in the UK, the US and Canada with combined knowledge of journalism,
marketing, management, and IT," said.

"Having been exposed to the repressive laws in Zimbabwe,
founders decided to come up with a force that President Robert Mugabe and
his spin doctor Jonathan Moyo cannot stop."

Owners of the website said is edited in Canada and published in
England. The website is owned and run by WorldOnCall Corporation, a media
company owned by Zimbabweans abroad. "We hit the 100 000 mark within the
first two weeks of launch," the owners said. said it believed
in the independence of the media in any democracy. "Furthermore we seek to
inform the public in order for people of Zimbabwe to be able to end the
suffering of fellow country men who don't a voice to say it out but have the
power to make the change."

The government has since the promulgation of the Access to Information and
Protection of Privacy Act in 2002 closed down the Daily News, the Daily News
on Sunday and the Tribune and arrested dozens of journalists on flimsy

There are more than 10 Zimbabwean websites that include,,,,,, and the controversial
A new 24-hour Internet radio station, Afro-Sounds FM, run by former ZBC
presenters went live two weeks ago, broadcasting to thousands of Zimbabweans
from a location in London.

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Zim Independent

Zim's claims of rule of law a fallacy
Gift Phiri
DESPITE government claims that the rule of law is thriving in Zimbabwe after
the recent acquittal of opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC)
leader Morgan Tsvangirai on treason charges, the situation on the ground
shows that this is a fallacy.

Although Tsvangirai was acquitted on trumped-up charges of plotting to kill
President Robert Mugabe in 2001, overwhelming evidence of clear denials or
miscarriages of justice is abundant.

Few objective observers of the Zimbabwe political situation would deny that
there is a degree of lawlessness in the country, largely stemming from the
current political crisis and the chaotic land reform programme.

It is also evident that the judiciary has been politically restructured and
suborned in the process. This has resulted in the handing down of court
rulings which on the face of it, if not in reality, fit squarely into
designed positions.

There have been at best questionable decisions or simply partisan rulings
that support the view that the rule of law has either been undermined or
essentially collapsed.

Judgements on land, newspaper closures, election petitions, and various
cases of flagrant human rights abuses have been questioned by human rights
lawyers and civic activists. A pervasive culture of violence and impunity
has taken root due to the breakdown of the rule of law.

A number of well known human rights violators are currently roaming the
streets with little or nothing being done to bring them to book.

The recent reported abduction and torture of four Zanu PF youths at
Emganwini high-density suburb in Bulawayo by Central Intelligence
Organisation (CIO) operatives bring into sharp focus the impunity that is
eroding the fabric of the nation. The ruling party cadres were tortured and
sustained broken bones.

Bulawayo CIO boss Innocent Chibaya and four CIO operatives have been named
as suspects. Zanu PF insiders allege that the youths were brutalised in the
presence of Chibaya for supporting a faction opposed to the political
machinations of Jabulani Sibanda, the war veterans' leader based in

Vice President Joseph Msika has reportedly had to intervene to get the
police to act against the CIO agents named in the act primarily because the
victims are Zanu PF activists. Otherwise, it would be business as usual for
government had the victims been members of the public not affiliated to the
ruling party or worse still if they were MDC supporters.

MDC MP Job Sikhala and his colleagues Taurayi Magaya, Charles Mutama and
Gabriel Shumba were arrested and tortured by police last year but no action
has been taken against the culprits.

President Robert Mugabe assured Nigerian President Olusegun Obasanjo in
February last year that Sikhala's torture was under investigation but
nothing concrete has been done yet.

Sikhala, Magaya and Mutama had to receive specialist treatment in Denmark.
An affidavit signed by Dr Faith Ndebele, a psychiatrist, said Sikhala was
suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder with depressive features.

Despite the legal suit brought against Mugabe at the African Commission on
Human and People's Rights by Shumba, a human rights lawyer based at the
University of Pretoria earlier this year, there has been no action from the
local police.

Sikhala said last week that Mugabe had misled Obasanjo. "That promise to
Obasanjo never went anywhere," Sikhala said. "It was a gimmick by Mugabe to
win sympathy, no investigation took place."

In the run-up to the 2000 parliamentary poll, two Movement for Democratic
Change (MDC) activists, Talent Mabika and Tichaona Chiminya, were
petrol-bombed by a known state agent and his accomplice.

Joseph Mwale, a CIO operative, and Tom Kitsiyatota Zimunya, a war veteran,
have been named as suspects. Zimunya and two others were arrested by police
and subsequently appeared in court for initial remand before they were
released on $5 million bail three weeks ago.

High Court judge Justice James Devittie two years ago ordered that a record
of the case involving the constituency challenge in Buhera North be sent to
the Attorney-General with a view to a possible prosecution of the alleged
killers of the activists. At the bail hearing earlier this year, the court
heard testimonies from an eyewitness that Mwale and Zimunya killed Mabika
and Chiminya. The judge said "the killing of Chiminya and Mabika was a
wicked act".

Acting Attorney-General Bharat Patel had promised to bring the alleged
perpetrators to book but there has been no prosecution to date of Mwale.

At the height of farm invasions from March 2000, 12 white commercial farmers
and an estimated 100 opposition supporters lost their lives to marauding
militias and self proclaimed war veterans, but so far there have been few,
if any, successful prosecutions.

The first white farmer to be killed in cold-blood was David Stevens. He died
on April 15 2000 in Mashonaland East province after having been seized from
a police station by a Zanu PF gang.

A priest who conducted a memorial service said it was essential for the
"soul of the country" that Stevens' killers should be brought to justice. A
few days after Stevens' death, another farmer, Martin Olds, was brutally
killed in Nyamandlovu in Matabeleland North province.

In 2001, Olds'' mother, Gloria, was also killed on the same farm. Justice
for Agriculture, a farmers' organisation, said on its website that "no
arrests have been made in connection with any of these murders".

In both the Stevens and Olds cases suspects were interviewed but released.

Police spokesman Wayne Bvudzijena had not responded to written questions he
requested two weeks ago.

It was reported last year that Henry Dowa, a chief inspector in the Criminal
Investigation Department (Law and Order section) who had been serving in the
United Nations administration in Kosovo, returned to Zimbabwe after he was
accused by human rights groups of torturing detainees here.

The UN made a request for his withdrawal from the Kosovo mission after an
internal inquiry, it was reported.

Bvudzijena confirmed at the time that the UN had written to government about
the matter. But Dowa remains active in police duties.

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Zim Independent

Govt's paranoia further exposed
Augustine Mukaro
GOVERNMENT'S growing paranoia was further exposed this week when it deported
Congress of South African Union Trade Unions (Cosatu) representatives who
were in Zimbabwe on a fact-finding mission.

The Cosatu team came into Zimbabwe despite a government declaration that
their trip to Harare was "unacceptable".

The Cosatu delegation arrived on Monday evening and held meetings on Tuesday
with their Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions counterparts before they were
bundled out of the country the same day.

Two weeks ago government displayed its siege mentality when it deployed

heavily armed soldiers and police in urban areas throughout the country
ahead of the High Court ruling on Movement for Democratic Change (MDC)
leader Morgan Tsvangirai's treason charges.

The security forces were deployed at all strategic points waiting to crush
any popular reaction to the judgement, especially if Tsvangirai was
condemned to life imprisonment or faced the death penalty.

Observers said the deployments were calculated to instil fear among the
general public.

Before the ruling, fighter jets flew over Harare. Soldiers and riot police
roamed the streets ready to deal with public protests in the event of
Tsvangirai's conviction.

He was however acquitted.

Soon after High Court Judge President Paddington Garwe acquitted Tsvangirai
on charges of plotting to assassinate President Robert Mugabe ahead of the
2002 presidential election, thousands of MDC supporters poured into Harare's
streets for celebrations.

The celebrations were however short-lived as security forces descended on
jubilant MDC supporters, firing teargas and ordering people off the
streets.Government had earlier in the week warned that security forces would
be on hand to crush any public demonstrations after Tsvangirai's High Court

In Chitungwiza, like in all other residential areas around the capital, riot
police were present. Roadblocks were mounted on all roads leading into the
city where body searches were conducted. Anyone who did not carry an
identification card with him was forced back home.Elsewhere across Zimbabwe,
Tsvangirai's acquittal was received with jubilation but the heavy presence
of the police and the army prevented any celebrations.
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Zim Independent

Zesn calls for delay of parliamentary poll
ZIMBABWE'S parliamentary elections, scheduled for March next year, should be
delayed, a local poll observer network said this week.

Reginald Matchaba-Hove of the Zimbabwe Election Support Network (Zesn) told
Irin that the implementation of new electoral reforms, such as voting in one
day, transparent ballot boxes and increasing polling stations, "cannot be
done in time by March".

"There's no way we can have elections by March next year and say the
conditions were free and fair. We're calling for the elections to be delayed
beyond March, so as to allow for sufficient time for all the necessary
consultations to take place with all stakeholders, including the opposition
and NGOs, and to make the adjustments (required by new legislation). Our
point is that it will take time to have adequate consultations,"
Matchaba-Hove said.

This follows doubts raised by the opposition Movement for Democratic Change
(MDC) over the validity of the voters' roll, and news reports quoting
Zimbabwe's foreign minister as saying that foreign powers were attempting to
discredit the legislative poll before it was held.

Media reports quoted MDC president Morgan Tsvangirai as saying that analysis
of a hard copy of the voters' roll indicated it "has been manipulated to
secure even further reductions in urban seats".

The roll was not consistent with the 2002 census, as it showed increased
voter registrations in rural areas and a decrease in urban areas, where the
MDC has traditionally been strong. Tsvangirai called for an independent
audit of the voters' roll.

The ruling Zanu PF party's secretary for information, Nathan Shamuyarira,
rejected Tsvangirai's accusation, adding that "we (the government) are
setting up an independent commission to conduct the elections and they (the
MDC) can complain there".

Matchaba-Hove, meanwhile, said Zesn "have not seen any copy of the voters'
roll, and our position has been and still is that, as far as we are
concerned, a voter registration exercise is still to be done properly, and
it is strange if the roll is completed already".

He added that there "are fears that there could be gerrymandering".

Last Friday the a state newspaper reported that Foreign Affairs minister
Stan Mudenge believed some Western countries and organisations were
attempting to discredit next year's parliamentary elections, and were trying
to influence the composition of the Southern African Development Community
election observer team.
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Zim Independent

Horticulture under threat
Augustine Mukaro
THE horticultural sector is under serious threat from Reserve Bank of
Zimbabwe governor Gideon Gono's stagnant foreign-exchange rate policy and
continued farm acquisitions.

Zimbabwe's fresh produce giants are facing viability problems due to the
over-valuation of the local dollar against major trading currencies. Fresca
was forced into liquidation while Mitchell & Mitchell is laying off workers.

Meanwhile, Hortico is winding up its operations.

Highly placed sources in the horticultural industry said the fixed exchange
rate since the beginning of the year had made it impossible for fresh
produce exporters to break even, let alone be viable.

"The exchange rate has moved up by a mere 30% since the beginning of the
year against a 400% increase in the cost of production and other expenses,"
a source said this week. "This is not sustainable and unless the dollar is
devalued as a matter of urgency, companies will continue to fold."

Sources said converting forex at the controlled auction rate will not work
when other services are rising.

Zimbabwean horticultural produce is rated amongst the top foreign currency
earners after penetrating European markets.

Sources said the continued acquisition of farms was creating uncertainty
among producers.

Hortico, which used to be the country's second largest fresh produce
exporter, is facing closure due to land seizures that have rocked the
agricultural sector over the past four years.

The firm, located along the Harare-Shamva highway on Chipunza Farm, used to
get most of its produce from an estimated 15 outgrowers around the area.
Most of the outgrowers have since been forced off their properties.

Farms that used to supply Hortico have continued to be acquired one by one
since 2000.

Although Hortico owner Daniel Perlman underplayed the impact of the land
seizures on his business, workers said all was not well on the farm as they
were losing their jobs and being left destitute.
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Zim Independent

Harare city in salaries crunch
Augustine Mukaro
PANIC has gripped Harare city council employees as the local authority has
failed to pay them on time for the third month in a row because of acute
financial difficulties.

Senior officials said the local authority has not been remitting taxes
resulting in the Zimbabwe Revenue Authority issuing garnish orders to
council bankers.

"Last month council failed to transfer employees' salaries into their bank
accounts," one of the officials said. "The employees ended up being paid
through cheques that were encashed from direct revenue collected at Rowan
Martin Building and district collection points."

Sources said town clerk Nomutsa Chideya circulated a memorandum to all
workers saying salaries would be delayed by about a week because the city
council was facing cash-flow problems.

"The town clerk and chamber secretary Josephine Ncube have sent out internal
memos claiming the council is experiencing cash-flow difficulties and will
therefore be unable to pay salaries on time," the official said.Harare
workers were supposed to get their salaries on October 22 but payday was
moved to October 29.

"It's not yet clear whether council will manage to pay the workers on the
date because there is no money," city treasury officials said. Neither
Chideya nor council spokesman Leslie Gwindi could be reached for comment.

Harare has deteriorated rapidly over the past year since Zanu PF wrestled
control of the capital city from the opposition Movement for Democratic
Change (MDC)-dominated council.

Service delivery has collapsed, the streets are potholed, water and sewage
systems have become dysfunctional while key capital projects have been
abandoned. The government suspended executive mayor Engineer Elias Mudzuri
in 2002 and eventually fired him this year.

Acting mayor Sekesai Makwavarara has since crossed the floor from the MDC to
rejoin Zanu PF. MDC councillors resigned two months ago in protest against
what they said was "undue interference" by the government in the management
of the city.Local Government minister Ignatious Chombo appointed a
commission to take charge of the city, but conditions continue to plummet.

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Zim Independent

Anglo fights for Mkwasine

ANGLO American, the world's second biggest mining corporation, said
yesterday it was contesting the Zimbabwe government's plans to expropriate
Mkwasine Estate, a sugar and wheat project owned by the South African listed

Mkwasine Estate, a joint venture between Anglo and the Tongaat-Hulett Group,
was issued with a Section 8 order on July 23. Anglo controls 53% of the
sugar estate whose acquisition notice expired this week. The order had given
management and staff 90 days to wind up operations and vacate the property.

Anglo chairman in Zimbabwe Godfrey Gomwe said the corporation had engaged
government in negotiations.

"Hippo Valley Estates remains listed under Section 5 but representations
with the relevant authorities to secure a delisting of both properties
(Hippo and Mkwasine) are ongoing," Gomwe said. Anglo was taking appropriate
legal action to prevent the government from acquiring its properties. He did
not elaborate.

No comment on the matter was available from Tongaat.

Mkwasine, which at the moment has 4 600 hectares under sugarcane, produces
between 475 000 and 500 000 tonnes of cane a year. The cane is grown under

Anglo owns a stake in Mkwasine through its Zimbabwean subsidiary, Hippo
Valley Estates, while Tongaat is represented through a local subsidiary,
Triangle Ltd.All three vast sugar plantations, which are tucked away in
Zimbabwe's south eastern Lowveld, have been served with notices of
compulsory acquisition despite the presence of bilateral investment
promotion and protection agreements. The agreements compel the Zimbabwean
government to protect investments and properties of other countries from
arbitrary expropriation.

The Utete land audit report recommended that land owned by companies in
Export Processing Zones should not be acquired under the land reform

Although the government initially said it was not going to seize timber, tea
and sugar estates, it appears to have backtracked on the promise with
several estates now targeted for acquisition. The government has repealed
the Hippo Valley Agreement Act to pave way for compulsory acquisition of the
land owned by the country's largest sugar producer.

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Zim Independent

Gono highlights
Staff Writer
The following are highlights of Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe governor Gideon
Gono's 3rd Quarter Monetary Policy Statement..

*GDP to decline 5% compared to 9% last year.

*Positive real rates set 10-20% above inflation.

*Productive Sector Facility disburses $2,058 trillion.

*Interest rates policy on banks revised from 189-199% to 135-145%.

*Cumulative forex inflows to date US$1, 249 billion.

*Enhanced platinum sector to come on line in February 2005.

*Gold support price $92 000 per gramme from $71 000.

*Year-end inflation forecast 150-160%.

*Capitalisation deadline exte-nded to December.

*Troubled banks to be amalgamated.

*All customers with small deposits in banks being amalgamated to be paid in
January 2005.

*Bearer cheques lifespan extended to 2005.

*More Homelink trips on the cards.
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Zim Independent

Economic woes continue unabated

Shakeman Mugari

DESPITE government and Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) claims that the
economy is recovering, the manufacturing sector continues to decline.

Analysts say the government's poor economic policies led to the collapse of
manufacturing and other sectors of the economy.

The manufacturing sector - a key engine of economic growth - has slumped by
more than 60% in the past three years, leaving thousands jobless.

A Confederation of Zimbabwe Industries report released last week shows that
more than 290 companies have closed shop in the past two years.

About 700 companies have so far closed down over the past five years.

The annual report, titled The State of the Manufacturing Sector, reveals
that this year alone, 25 companies are expected to downsize while eight are
likely to shut down.

The continued spiral in the manufacturing sector, says the report, is likely
to see about 2 575 employees losing jobs. Last year close to 3 858 employees
were thrown onto the streets after their companies either downsized or
closed down.

The report also says that "virtually all manufacturing sub-sectors recorded
negative growth last year". It says significant declines were recorded in
transport and equipment (-35,9%), clothing and footwear (-35,2%) and
non-metallic metals minerals 29,8% in the same year. The wood and furniture
sub-sectors declined by 20,8% while chemicals and petroleum slumped 14%.

While it is routine for government to blame such a downturn on sanctions,
the report points out that the crisis in the agricultural sector has
contributed to the 60% decline in the manufacturing sector in the past three

"The persistent slump in manufacturing output over the last three years can
be explained by the limited throughput from agriculture which has a direct
bearing on the food stuff sub-sector," says the report.

The foreign currency shortages, which have been caused by the decline in
exports, have also impacted negatively on the manufacturing sub-sector.
Foreign currency-induced input supply bottlenecks continued to strain
availability of strategic raw material imports, and hence continuity in
production profiles in the period," the report says.

The fragile Zimbabwe dollar has worsened the plight of the clothing,
footwear, chemicals and petroleum sectors.

Government's "Look East" policy has also been blamed for the disaster in the
manufacturing sector. The report says the textile, clothing and footwear
industry have been affected by the unregulated influx of substandard
products from China and other Asian countries.

Analysts say recent government efforts to pour money into the productive
sector will not revive the manufacturing sector. Over the past three months
the government has gone on a spending spree, splashing more than $2 trillion
into the productive sector. So far it has doled out more than $744,2 billion
to the manufacturing sector.

Despite this generous spending, the manufacturing sector has remained in the
doldrums. According to an economic update report by the Finhold group,
manufacturing production has declined by 13% in the first six months of this

Economic commentator John Robertson said government was wrong to believe
pouring billions of dollars into manufacturing would suddenly solve all the
country's problems.

"This business of throwing money everywhere will not help. Companies need
foreign currency not Zimbabwean dollars," Robertson said.

"Throwing Zimbabwean dollars at a problem that needs United States dollars
will not help. Where will they (manufacturing companies) get foreign

The auction market launched earlier this year has failed to stabilise the
foreign currency market. About 87% of foreign currency bids on the RBZ's
auction system have been rejected to date.

He said due to foreign currency shortages many investors were likely to shun
the manufacturing sector.

"Because the agriculture sector which used to earn foreign currency has been
destroyed, production will continue to decline," Robertson said.

Other analysts say the government has destroyed manufacturing under the
guise land reform. They say the government has failed to realise that in as
much as the agriculture sector might be the mainstay of the economy, it
needs support from other sectors.

Zimbabwe's exports have crashed from a peak of US$3,4 billion four years ago
to a paltry US$1,3 billion expected to be achieved this year. The shortfall,
economists say, is likely to impact on the other sectors of the economy.

Tobacco production, which used to earn the bulk of the foreign currency, has
been systematically destroyed by the government's chaotic land reform.
Production has decreased from 200 million kg in 2000 to about 65 million kg
in the just ended season.

A bleak outlook continues to hover over the sector with recent reports
showing that land prepared for the current tobacco season will not yield
more than 60 million kg. All this spells doom for companies that depends on
the agricultural sector.

Robertson said the government had also contributed to the collapse of most
manufacturing companies by maintaining an unrealistic exchange rate.
Companies that rely on imports have been battling to get foreign currency
from state-controlled auctions.

The government has over the past two years opened up the market to Chinese
products that have forced local companies out of business. The manufacturing
report says due to the influx of Chinese footwear and clothing into the
market, a number of local companies have closed shop.

Brian Kagoro, a political commentator and human rights activist, says Mugabe
is turning the country into a cash-cash economy without any real growth.

"Mugabe says 'Look East' and to make that point, he allows substandard
products to be dumped in the country, thus destroying the ailing
manufacturing sector," said Kagoro.

"You cannot build an economy based on imports and retail. There is no
production and growth to talk about in Zimbabwe. For there to be meaningful
growth there is need for rationalisation of the fiscal and monetary policy,
but at the moment there is a wide gap between the two."

Statistics show that the 'Look East' approach has not brought a single
manufacturing company to Zimbabwe. They also show that over the past three
years Zimbabwe has not had a single investment in manufacturing. This
decline is also apparent in sectors like tourism.

The mining industry had not been spared either. Political analysts say that
there will be no real investment unless the political impasse has ended.
They say there is need for a political settlement if foreign investors are
to return to Zimbabwe. International economic groups have ranked Zimbabwe as
one of the worst investment destinations in the world because of the current
political turmoil. Zimbabwe is ranked along with war-torn countries like
Iraq and Haiti.

The Economist Intelligence Unit points out that foreign investors have
shunned the country because of political violence and lack of property

MDC MP Priscilla Misihairabwi-Mushonga said the manufacturing sector would
only recover if there were political stability.

"For the economy to grow, the current government must show that it is now
committed to stopping violence against the opposition, restore rule of law
and respect private property," Misihairabwi-Mushonga said.

Misihairabwi-Mushonga, who is also the chairperson of the public accounts
committee, added that parastatals were also contributing to the downturn in
the manufacturing sector because of inefficiency.

Zimbabwe has more than 30 parastatals that offer essential services to the
economy. However, most of them are debt-ridden and inefficient.

The National Railways of Zimbabwe has failed to provide coal to some
companies due to lack of wagons.

"How can the manufacturing industry grow when there is no energy? Even when
it's available the charges are increased arbitrarily," Misihairabwi-Mushonga
said in reference to the power utility, Zesa.

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Zim Independent

Editor's Memo

Own goal
Vincent Kahiya
THE self-centred pettiness of the Zanu PF government continues to give
Zimbabwe a bad name. If our democratic deficit was ever in doubt, the
evidence came in a flood this week.

Hour-by-hour, while these petty men with absolute power continue to occupy
office, this deficit gets bigger.

Our rulers cry loudest in the face of international condemnation of their
daily misdeeds. They are determined to fight back, albeit with an
ill-equipped campaign whose strategy has become all-too-predictable: blame
all the country's woes on Tony Blair.

This ideological dementia has opened too many fronts for Mugabe's PR
soldiers. The country will continue to be peppered as long as Mugabe's
government keeps declaring war on anyone sane enough not to sing Zanu PF

Events this week opened another front for the propaganda combatants.

Only two weeks ago, the government tried to parade itself to the world as a
paragon of justice and doyen of transparency following the acquittal of
opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai on charges of high treason. We were told
that the country's detractors had been shamed by the ruling, which not only
epitomised the independence of the judiciary but also the presence of the
rule of law in Zimbabwe.

South African Foreign minister Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma was caught in this
subterfuge and concluded that the ruling would result in "national healing"
in Zimbabwe.

She said the ruling "must indicate to everybody that there is a rule of law
in Zimbabwe".

This notion was put to the test when unwanted guests in the form of a
Congress of South African Trade Unions (Cosatu) delegation flew into Harare
on Monday night on a fact-finding mission.

Cabinet on Tuesday ruled that the 13-member Cosatu team must be deported.
Cosatu had just met officials from the Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions and
was due to meet with civic groups like the NCA and Crisis Coalition. That
this was the South Africans' only crime is an illustration of just how petty
and vindictive Mugabe's government has become.

Their trip to Harare was deemed unacceptable. They were bundled from the
Sixth Floor of the Quality International Hotel and driven to the airport on
Tuesday afternoon to catch a plane back to Johannesburg but, when none could
accommodate them, ended up being dumped at the Beitbridge border post at
dawn on Wednesday after a 600 km road trip.

The court order obtained by the team allowing them to remain in the country
was ignored in the same manner as journalist Andrew Meldrum's. The Guardian
correspondent was booted out of Zimbabwe despite three court rulings
interdicting the state from deporting him. That is the rule of law in
Zimbabwe, Madam Foreign minister!

Critics of the regime, no matter how well-meaning, are not allowed in this
country. The only political groupings welcome here are those that sing
praises to President Mugabe. The government fatuously finds it convenient to
bracket Cosatu together with Mugabe's arch-enemies, Britain and the United

The Department of Information described the Cosatu mission as an alien

"Some dubious individuals claiming association with the South African
Congress of Trade Unions, and working with Tony Blair's well-known
anti-Zimbabwe, pro-Western interests opposed to the Zimbabwe's land reform."
it rattled on.

This is an obvious falsehood because Cosatu never disowned its delegation to
Harare, which does not make the team in any way "dubious". Secondly, Cosatu
is not a pro-Western organisation. It is in fact opposed to globalisation
and highly critical of the United States.

Cosatu has held large anti-Western demonstrations in South Africa. In one
such protest in Pretoria in July last year during US President George Bush's
visit to South Africa, Zanu PF jumped on the bandwagon and marched with the
labour body. Cosatu was surprised by this sudden exhibition of solidarity.

"I was surprised to see them in our march," said Cosatu president Willy
Madisha. "We don't know where they came from. Our position is very clear -
we don't support the actions of the Zanu-PF government of harassing and
intimidating ordinary workers through their war veterans."

The labour grouping in May 2002 said government must disband youth militia
camps which were used as torture bases. Cosatu has also spoken strongly of
Zanu PF's lack of commitment to dialogue with the opposition.

There is powerful irony in the fact that Mugabe's latest tactics - deporting
outspoken foreigners, denying opposition media coverage, harassing political
opponents - so closely resemble those of Ian Smith during the last days of
Rhodesian white minority rule.

Two weeks ago foreigners going to a fishing tournament were arrested in
Makuti for allegedly celebrating opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai's court
victory. The tourists went back home and told their compatriots the truth
about Zimbabwe - stay away.

The government's own goal over the Cosatu visit has been splashed on
newspaper front pages around the world. Let's not hear any more nonsense
about government critics tarnishing Zimbabwe's image abroad. Moyo and his
friends did a great job of that this week completely unaided!

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Zim Independent


The ball is now in Sadc's court

MOVEMENT for Democratic Change (MDC) leader Morgan Tsvangirai this week
resumed his party's diplomatic offensive in the region after an absence of
almost two years. The government returned his travel documents last week
following his acquittal on treason charges two weeks ago.

Tsvangirai's diplomatic shuttling covered South Africa and Mauritius. His
team is also expected to travel to other Southern African Development
Community (Sadc) countries soon.

The key issue on Tsvangirai's agenda is Zimbabwe's general election in March
next year.

Tsvangirai raised electoral concerns with South African president Thabo
Mbeki and Mauritian prime minister Paul Berenger who will be in charge of
Sadc institutions at the time of Zimbabwe's election.

Mbeki is the chair of Sadc's organ on politics, defence and security which
deals with elections, while Berenger is the chairman of Sadc.

It is therefore appropriate for Tsvangirai to discuss with the two leaders
Zimbabwe's political crisis and its implications for the region ahead of
next year's election in the context of Sadc's principles governing
democratic elections.

Tsvangirai says he wants the region to encourage government to hold a free
and fair election. This can only be done if the Mauritius principles are
fully observed. This will in turn ensure a legitimate government and provide
a basis for the resolution of Zimbabwe's protracted crisis.

Without a doubt, next year's election will be a litmus test of government's
commitment to free and fair elections. Above all, the poll will provide an
opportunity for the world to assess Sadc's commitment to upholding its own
election standards that Zimbabwe is prevaricating over. Statements by
hawkish ministers Patrick Chinamasa and Jonathan Moyo point to official
obduracy over implementation.

Although there are other countries holding elections in the region,
including Botswana tomorrow, Zimbabwe remains the key test for Sadc because
of its prolonged crisis and its impact on regional economies.

Having endorsed flawed elections in 2000 and 2002, Sadc has an opportunity
to salvage its credibility by ensuring Zimbabwe holds a genuine election
this time. The ball is firmly in Sadc's court.

Zimbabwe's polls have been marred by political violence, intimidation,
ballot fraud, and bureaucratic incompetence. The 1985 poll was probably the
worst. It was held under a state of emergency, with parts of the country -
especially in the south - garrisoned by the military.

A climate of terror prevailed due to a combination of dissident activities
and an orgy of state-sanctioned violence and Khmer Rouge-style civilian

There was intimidation in the 1990 election which surfaced again in 2000 and
2002. The 1995/96 polls were better largely because Zanu PF was facing no
more than a symbolic challenge. But these were not truly free and fair
elections as the skewed legislative framework and political landscape held

Information minister Moyo validated this widely held view in his book,
Voting for Democracy: Electoral Politics in Zimbabwe in 1992. "Fairness and
freeness of elections relates to such issues as whether all parties or
candidates are able to hold rallies and meetings without undue restrictions
and whether they have equal access to the media," Moyo observed.

"The question of whether elections are free and fair depends not only on
what registered voters think but also on the organisational nature of the
institutional framework within which voters exercise their right to choose
their political leaders."

However, Moyo is now denying the opposition access to the media which he
controls. He has become a shrill crusader for Mugabe's totalitarian project.

In a democracy elections have to take place regularly, legislative seats
must be fully contested, freedom of movement recognised, equal access to the
media, and votes counted and announced in a transparent manner. Zimbabwe has
only been able to meet only one of these conditions - regular elections!

Sadc principles if implemented in full can deliver free and fair elections.
The standards urge member states to have independent electoral institutions,
competent and accountable management of elections, as well as transparent
supervision. The Grande Baie protocol says it's imperative to have
"impartial, all-inclusive, competent, and accountable national electoral
bodies staffed by qualified personnel, as well as competent legal entities
including effective constitutional courts to arbitrate in the event of
disputes arising from the conduct of elections".

It urges the upholding of political and civil liberties, respect for
freedoms of assembly, association and expression, equal access to the media,
and political tolerance.

Although the principles do not specify enforcement procedures and sanctions
for failure to comply, Mbeki has said that through Sadc organs member states
found to be blatantly in breach of the principles can be "excluded" -
meaning expelled - from the group. It is really up to Sadc leaders to ensure
member states adhere to its own treaty and protocols. Nothing short of a
genuinely free and fair election in Zimbabwe will restore political
stability to the region and promote economic prosperity.
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Zim Independent

Eric Bloch Column

 Unfounded rumours of Bulawayo's death
OVER the last month, seven journalists have telephoned me with a request
that I comment on the fact that Bulawayo is dying.

In each instance my initial response was an enquiry as to why the journalist
believes that the City of Kings is nearing its demise. And, in almost every
instance, the reply was: "Everyone knows that. After all, look at how many
businesses are closing down". In turn I would comment that "not everyone
knows that, for I am certainly unaware of Bulawayo's ill-health being so
great that death is approaching".

I then add that it must be acknowledged that all is not well in Bulawayo,
for the city and the enterprises operating in it are as vulnerable to the
impacts of Zimbabwe's negative economic circumstances as is the capital
city, Harare, and all other cities and towns in Zimbabwe. But I proceed to
emphasise that the prognostications of doom are devoid of foundation, that
the substance of Bulawayo remains intact, and that it and its commerce and
industry, and its populace, will recover from those ills that have befallen

Most of the journalists receive my comments with some scepticism, for they
feel they have no story to write, due to a perception that the only news
that sells is bad news.

I have strived to counter the scepticism with a recounting of much of the
clear evidence and facts that corroborate that Bulawayo is in a
substantially sound state, albeit its people and their businesses are
confronted with immense challenges due to the distressed state of Zimbabwe's
economy. I do not minimise those problems, and I identify many of them, for
it is counterproductive not to recognise them and not to endeavour to
contain the consequences.

But I also identify many of the positives that exist and which will provide
the platform for future growth, once the national economic ills are
addressed and reversed, and which provide a foundation to diminish the
effects of the existing problems pending recovery.

Although I am a very committed Bulawayo resident, I do not allow that to
blind me to that which is not well in the city, and I recognise that there
is much room for change, but that does not detract me from recogising that
which is good.

It was therefore very heartening that the annual review delivered last
Friday by the executive mayor of Bualwayo (and almost ignored by the state
controlled press) was extraordinary, well-balanced, transparent, concerned
at certain issues, but nonetheless positive. At the outset he noted how the
prevailing national economic circumstances have repercussed adversely upon
the service delivery of the municipal authorities. He focused upon the
continuing upward surge of costs as a result of inflation, with recognition
that although the annualised rated of inflation has fallen markedly from
622,8% in January to 251,5% in September, nevertheless inflation is still at
unsustainably high and crippling levels.

The executive mayor Japhet Ndabeni Ncube noted that it was not possible for
revenues to keep pace with the soaring costs and, therefore, the city had,
reluctantly but necessarily, to allow a lesser level of service delivery.
However, he emphasised that this was not acceptable on a continuing basis,
and that every possible effort was being made to restore as much service
delivery as possible.

Ncube acknowledged that most departments of the Bulawayo local authority are
suffering from having to rely upon greatly aged vehicles and equipment, with
maintenance being constrained not only by inadequacy of funds, but also by
the pronounced difficulties in accessing required foreign currency. Those
departments were also suffering, he said, from the very considerable brain
drain which has not only been experienced by the private sector, but also by
the public sector.

Of the departments which accorded him particular concern were those
responsible for sewerage and refuse removal, water delivery, fire and
ambulance services, clinics and schools, amongst others. His concerns are
very justified, for the city has always set such high standards of municipal
service that any deterioration is worrying. It is no consolation to know
that although service delivery has worsened, it is still markedly greater
than virtually all other local authorities in the sub-continent in general,
and in Zimbabwe in particular.

Although refuse collection is far more infrequent than previously, it is
still undertaken sufficiently frequently as to avoid potential threats to
health and as to ensure that the city generally continues to have a
substantially immaculate appearance.And traffic lights still work, all
streets are properly sign-posted, pot-holes in the roads are usually rapidly
dealt with, and the city business district streets are cleaned daily.

Bulawayo is renowned for its susceptibility to water shortages, but in the
year under review, the inflows into the city's dams amounted to 27 months of
normal consumption. Moreover, in contrast to Harare, any breakdown inwater
delivery is an exception and is very rapidly rectified, and the water is
properly treated and fit for human consumption.

Despite presently having a relatively plentiful water supply, the executive
mayor justifiably bewailed the continuing failure of government to bring the
Matabeleland Zambezi Water Project, encompassing the proposed Gwayi-Shangani
Dam, into being. The project was hijacked from the city years ago, and there
has been no substantive progress other than for repeated promises and press
statements (and especially so ahead of each parliamentary and presidential

Particularly notable in the executive mayor's annual review was the
pronounced transparency, with no attempt to conceal any of the city's
problems or to attribute blame to others, save only to admit that the core
causes of the problems were economic and losses of skills.

But it cannot be denied that many industries in Bulawayo are struggling to
survive, although most of them are imbued with a resilience which motivates
them to continue with the struggle. A large proportion of those that
areembattled are industries whose viability is dependent upon export
operations, and those operations have been brought to the point of near
collapse by the impacts of inflation upon production and operating costs,
without any compensatory move in exchange rates.

Bulawayo has a vast mining, tourism and agricultural hinterland which, once
the fortunes of those economic sectors are restored, will draw heavily upon
Bulawayo for inputs. It remains a key rail hub and road junction, which
makes it well placed for export operations. It has a very considerable
industrial infrastructure. It is pivotally located in the Trans-Limpopo
Spaticial Development Initiative. And it has an able, competent and
motivated local authority. All this augers well for Bulawayo, once the
Zimbabwean economic ills are cured (which needs a government which places
wellbeing of the populace ahead of politics and self-beneficiation).

So contentions that Bulawayo is dying are nothing but unfounded rumours.
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Zim Independent


 Manheru bares his tortured soul

AT last we begin to understand the deep traumas that drive Nathaniel Manheru
in his bitter weekly discourse. His deeply disturbed psyche, and in
particular his dislike of whites, had to have some explanation rooted in
childhood experience or early adulthood. And last week, in what many
analysts would regard as a classic case, Manheru disclosed that the taunts
of teachers and fellow students in response to his early literary efforts
left him a scarred and bitter man.
I am one of those Africans," he recalled, "who suffered under white tutelage
in the early years of Independence, all the time being reminded by white
teachers that I was incapable of comprehending even a figure of speech let
alone alliteration, assonance, front-, cross-, or final-linking in poetry
let alone a sonnet, for my type, colour and rearing culture made this
impossible, put it beyond me.

Then there was the reaction of his white classmates, "always giggling
whenever such hefty assaults were made on me by their kith and kin".
Infinitely dimmer than the ambitious Nathaniel, they "loved it, luxuriating
in my periodic humiliation".

Scholarships to the imperial metropole don't appear to have assuaged
Nathaniel's deep sense of resentment against all bearers of a lighter
pigmentation. They will be taught a lesson.

"I hope I will not have to box one from this tribe, or do much worse, to
demonstrate this rejection to my children."

We hope not too Nathaniel, because your advocacy of spontaneous violence
against those whose relatives may have mocked you in English A-level class
does not provide a good advertisement for the office you now represent. One
Joseph Mwale is enough!

The prejudices of his classmates drove the young Nathaniel "to study their
language and their culture in its various embodiments, for I sought to be a
Caliban that masters the master's language so as to curse him better. This I
have done in this column and in the greater world."

We would have thought such a vaulting claim would be better coming from
Herald readers than the author himself. Nathaniel's prose remains leaden,
all-too-obviously advertising his literary pretensions while failing to win
friends and influence people. The office he speaks for appears resentful and
vindictive in dealing with its critics. Evidently no interest here in making
the president look better apart from some foolishly contrived indignation
about a picture of him having difficulty holding up his pants!

In this connection Ngugi wa Mirii's remarks in the Sunday Mirror of October
10 claiming the picture in the Standard, taken at the Harare Show,
represented another "outrage" and inviting the Media and Information
Commission to investigate the paper, demonstrate the sinister alliance
between so-called nationalist intellectuals and officials who see their job
as preventing media scrutiny of the regime's leadership.

"What national benefit could have been derived from the use of such a
 photo?" the fawning Kenyan exile wanted to know as if there has to be a
"national benefit" to every picture published.

Wa Mirii asked the MIC if there had been a pattern of complaints against the
newspaper. Indeed there has: by the same official in the Office of the
President! This, it can be confidently expected, will provide a pretext for
action against the paper at some future date.

No complaints from named members of the public, just from officials intent
upon glossing over the less edifying dimensions of geriatric rule.

Wa Mirii himself shows little regard for accuracy. He claims the Zimbabwe
Independent lied when it said that itself and the Standard were "the only
two newspapers in Zimbabwe that were not state-owned".

In fact the paper said there was growing harassment of journalists at "two
of the country's remaining private publications".

Not quite the same thing is it Cde Wa Mirii?

But we note with interest the Kenyan's indignation that the Sunday Mirror
had not been credited by us as an independent publication. Perhaps that's
because no independent paper worth the name would subscribe to the
discredited New World Information and Communication Order, junked years ago
by Unesco as inimical to media freedom, or allow itself to be used as a
platform to instigate a witch-hunt by the state against another paper!

It was only a couple of months ago that the government was making a huge
amount of self-congratulatory noise about Zimbabwe's adherence to the Sadc
guidelines and principles governing democratic elections. Now it seems their
commitment is less solid.

Lowani Ndlovu, who reflects views similar to those of Information minister
Jonathan Moyo, was on Sunday reminding readers that these were just
guidelines and not part of any binding treaty or protocol.

"None of the countries, not even big brother South Africa itself, has had
their parliaments ratifying the guidelines and principles because they do
not have that kind of legal significance or import in terms of international
law," Lowani declared.

So there you have it. They are just some sort of vague outline that member
states are free to adopt, adapt or junk.

What appears to have stung Lowani into this act of disownership is the
suggestion that President Mbeki is being asked, along with other Sadc
leaders, to press the Zimbabwe authorities into adopting the "electoral

They are not norms, Lowani raved, just parameters! How can the Sadc security
organ troika, due to visit Harare, press for any such thing?

What this all tells us of course is that any such visit will be greeted with
huge resentment in Harare, not least because the authorities here are trying
to get away with not implementing the Mauritius terms. Patrick Chinamasa has
already demonstrated that the government will define what the opposition
stands for and then deny it access to the public media on the basis of that
definition - the very opposite of the Mauritius accord as set out by premier
Paul Berenger.

Moyo appears to have realised, rather late in the day, the public relations
damage that open defiance of the Mauritius terms is creating in the region.
He therefore sought in an address to religious collaborators on Monday to
claim that government was implementing the terms and that MDC claims to the
contrary were wrong.

But it isn't just the MDC that believes the government is insincere in
claiming adherence to the guidelines. It is a view widely held across the
country, reinforced by maladroit statements from government officials.

In a speech read on his behalf at the opening of an election workshop,
Police Commissioner Augustine Chihuri said it was crucial that all police
personnel understood their obligations under the new electoral guidelines
which include full participation of citizens in the political process and
freedom of association. But he said he would not tolerate the bussing of
people to other constituencies. Only a "reasonable number of people" will be
allowed to travel.

So the guidelines will clearly be interpreted upon the basis of what the
police commissioner will tolerate, not what the law allows? He was reported
as saying the March election posed a challenge to all police officers and
required "well-thought-out tactical plans to counter enemies of the state
whose fortunes thrive on bashing the image of the country".

So no change there! Chihuri, by the way, had an explanation for the growth
in crime: it could be attributed to "the birth of foreign-funded opposition
parties in the country" which had seen "a polarisation of society resulting
in political crimes".

By all means let's have ZTV play again and again those clips of Blair
joining 12 million Zimbabweans in advocating regime change. But make sure it
includes the bit about Sadc states being involved!

"If there is one thing which is fundamentally unZimbabwean", declared the
uncouth Ndlovu this week, "it is for any Zimbabwean to invite outsiders to
poke their fingers in our national affairs."

Muckraker reckons what is fundamentally unZimbabwean is having lying
ministers who claim that there is no crisis in Zimbabwe and then sneak
across the border in the dead of night to shop for food in South Africa as
if Zimbabweans were fundamentally lazy and unable to feed themselves.

It is only politically insecure people like Lowani who are afraid of the
transparency required by the Sadc principles and guidelines on democratic
elections. There was a similar foulmouthed reaction when Nepad's peer review
mechanism was first mooted. Those with skeletons in their cupboards cried
foul. Now we are being told that the Sadc principles and guidelines "are not
law" as if anybody other than Lowani would be so naïve to think that they
were law.

Meanwhile there was a spirited attempt to intimidate Sadc leaders even as
their said visit was being denied. They were warned not to make
 "Zimbabweans" (ie Lowani) feel that British prime minister Tony Blair was
correct when he claimed he was working closely with "some Sadc leaders to
effect illegal, unconstitutional and undemocratic regime change in Zimbabwe".

Did he actually say that? Where has illegal regime change ever been
constitutional or democratic? Not to mention one that has not changed in
nearly a quarter century.

Media and Information Commission chair Tafataona Mahoso has attacked the
Zimbabwe Catholic Bishops Conference for merely pointing out that opposition
political parties were being denied access to the public media. For all we
know, that is a public secret and we don't understand what Mahoso's problem
is. We know also his job thrives on fiction although he seems to confuse
this with fact.

"Who exactly is being denied freedom and for what reason?" Mahoso sincerely
inquired without a sense of irony.

Mahoso told the The Voice that the claim by the bishops was false because
"there is ample access even for scoundrels". Scoundrels and the opposition
are not the same thing Cde Mahoso. But then Zanu PF propagandists always
stretch hyperbole to bizarre levels. Before the 2000 parliamentary election
the party told its supporters in Masvingo they should be prepared to vote
for a baboon if it came to them carrying a Zanu PF card. Most did. Lately we
have been told the opposition in the United States is called al-Qaeda. What

"The West is funding churches to criticise our media laws," Mahoso announced
with the authority of an oracle. "I want to remind Christians that it is
wrong to bear false witness." Which reminded Muckraker of Jesus' temptation
when the devil quoted the scriptures. But as Saddam Hussein's Comical Ali
would say, God is roasting all liars in hell.

Talking of roasting, Sadc ambassadors accredited to Zimbabwe last week had a
mouthful of tongue-lashing from Foreign Affairs minister Stan Gorerazvo
Mudenge. He said a report had been produced by "Western forces" prejudging
next year's election and that Zimbabwe would "not tolerate hypocrites .
involved in clandestine issues".

He said such ambassadors would not be allowed to observe the country's
election even if they were accredited. He didn't say who these ambassadors
were or who had authored the offending report. In fact we doubt if the said
report can be authenticated.

Which leaves us wondering why the ambassadors would allow themselves to be
treated like kindergarten kids. What the world is watching is whether the
Sadc ambassadors will be browbeaten by Mudenge into endorsing a flawed
electoral outcome. Last time around Sadc election observers did not come out
shining. Their integrity was left battered while Zimbabweans continue to
suffer from that act of infamy. They say "once beaten twice shy". That's why
the spotlight has remained on Zimbabwe and not Namibia and Mozambique who
are holding elections before the end of the year. Sadc guidelines and
principles on the conduct of democratic elections seek to ensure victory
with legitimacy. Why is government afraid of light?

When friends quarrel it is advisable for outsiders to keep a safe distance,
elders always say. Muckraker wants to make an exception of The Voice editor
Lovemore Mataire and Financial Gazette columnist, CZ. Mataire accused CZ of
making a mountain out of every molehill error in the The Voice and called
him an "untrained zombie".

He claimed CZ had been consigned to the "commissioners' pool" at the Fingaz
and finally left out of frustration.

"How many years did you spend at the pink paper seeing young people twice
your age being employed and becoming your bosses overnight." asked Mataire
mockingly, seeing as he has risen overnight to become editor of a
nondescript party publication.

"Young people twice your age" is a strange construction by any standard.
Lovemore's credibility would be enhanced if he lost that hat!

Another howler in the Herald on Tuesday with Jonathan Moyo's comment on the
implementation of Sadc guidelines and principles on the conduct of
democratic elections. "None of the Sadc countries are going to legislate
themselves out of power."

Did he really say that? We didn't know Zanu PF was a country.

The story was headlined "MDC on a campaign to discredit government" in which
it was claimed opposition officials were "ignorant" of the Sadc principles.
It was claimed in the story that MDC leader Morgan Tsvangirai, who met South
African president Thabo Mbeki in SA on Monday, had embarked on a regional
tour "to discredit the government".

"Details of the meeting (between Tsvangirai and Mbeki) were not available,"
said the Herald. So how does it know what "campaign" Tsvangirai is on? By
the way, is it true SK Moyo refused to see pesky Morgan when he turned up at
the Zimbabwean embassy in Pretoria after his talks with Mbeki?
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Zim Independent

RBZ/govt face $8b loss
Shakeman Mugari/Godfrey Marawanyika
THE Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) and the Ministry of Finance could lose $8
billion invested in the money market through a trust called Climax, it
emerged this week.

The Reserve Bank and government, through the Finance ministry, use Climax as
an investment vehicle in the money and stock market.

Former Finance junior minister and chairman of Trust Bank, Tichaendepi
Masaya, chairs Climax.

Sources said the government and the RBZ could lose more than $8 billion
after it emerged that Climax was battling to recover the money which is
currently locked up in financial institutions that have been shut down or
placed under curatorship.

The investmentvehicle has moneylocked up in tro-ubled National Dis-count
House (NDH), Barbican, and Intermarket.

The investments in the troubled firms has led to management deciding to part
ways with the then projects manager, finance manager and accountant for
failure to read the problems associated with the firms.

Since the beginning of the year, the central bank has placed six firms under
the management of curators.

Recently, Climax received $2,4 billion as a dividend from Bindura Nickel
which had also been invested in the money market.

The firm has loaned a $4,9 billion stake in the Commercial Bank of Zimbabwe
nominees which sources say has not been paid back.

The central bank and Ministry of Finance snapped up Climax in 2002 when the
firm had acquired a $1,2 billion bad book from Finhold.

Before the takeover by the RBZ and government, the company at one stage
bailed out the now defunct Unibank with a $444 million advance.

Climax has also successfully managed to offset an $806 million debt it owed
to Equator Bank of South Africa.

Climax is currently paying a percentage of managerial fees to National Asset
Management Corporation (Namco) who had their asset management application
fee turned down by the central bank.

Namco is a conduit company used to run the affairs of Climax after it failed
to obtain an asset management licence from the central bank under the new
regulations. Masaya also chairs Namco.

Although Climax is paying the managerial fees to Namco, it has since been
established that because of the problems at Climax, there is no form of
meaningful work being undertaken at the company.

Both Namco and Climax share the same offices.

Problems at Climax came to a head a fortnight ago, triggering the central
bank's investigations of the firm.

Masaya this week confirmed that the central bank had visited his
institution. He also defended the dismissal of senior staff at Climax.

He however said that there was nothing sinister with the visit by the
central bank.

"There is nothing amiss with the Reserve Bank coming to investigate. It is
their company which they own through a Trust with the Ministry of Finance.
Climax management had nothing really to do. So it was not good to continue
paying them," he said

"It had been a while since they came to audit their books following the
managerial changes at the Reserve Bank."
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Zim Independent

Another policy blueprint for Zim
Godfrey Marawanyika
THE government has come up with another new economic blueprint dubbed
"Towards Sustained Economic Growth - Macro-Economic Framework 2004-2006" to
be unveiled in two weeks' time.

Acting Minister of Finance Herbert Murerwa is set to present the new
two-year policy at a National Economic Consultative Forum Meeting scheduled
for Masvingo from November 10 to 12.

Murerwa is also set to present the national budget on November 25.

Under the new economic blueprint, one of government's main priorities will
be to reduce inflation to two digit levels by next year.

Currently the country's inflation is pegged at 251,5%, down from a peak of
620% in January.

Murerwa confirmed that the new economic programme would be discussed in

"The new plan will be discussed at the NECF meeting which will include
government, business and labour in Masvingo," he said.

"I cannot say anything on the budget right now since consultations are going

Ministry of Finance officials were this week finalising with parliament on
the date of the budget presentation.

The officials said they had recommended that the national budget be
presented on the last Thursday of November.

This is not the first time that government has drafted an economic policy
document that has not been followed through. In 1998 it launched the
Zimbabwe Programme for Economic and Social Transformation (Zimprest) as a
replacement for the Economic Structural Adjustment Programme (Esap).

Government argued that Esap was not home-grown and therefore failed to
address the country's problems.

In 2000 it came up with the Millennium Recovery Programme (Merp), which was
drafted by the Planning Commission. It never saw the light of day and was
soon replaced by the National Economic Revival Programme last year.

Agriculture is expected to underpin the economic turnaround under the new

In the past four years, the country's agricultural production has been
severely hurt by the badly handled land reform.

The land reform programme has also been delayed by government's failure to
address the issue of tenure up until this year.

The programme will also focus on infrastructural development in all sectors
of the economy such as water resources, transport, construction,
telecommunications and energy.

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Zim Independent

'Nothing to show for economic recovery'
Shakeman Mugari
THERE is nothing on the ground except the inflationary slowdown to show that
the economy is recovering as claimed by government and the Reserve Bank of
Zimbabwe (RBZ), a local economic consultant, Peter Robinson, has said.

Robinson told delegates at the sixth annual congress of the Zimbabwe
Association of Accounting Technicians (ZAAT) in Kariba last week that the
economy would continue to bleed under the current regime.

His presentation also indicated some shocking statistics on how the economy
has declined over the past six years.

Robinson took a swipe at the country's policies and piecemeal measures put
in place by Reserve Bank governor Gideon Gono, which he said were

"Dual interest rates are inconsistent with what Gono characterised as the
RBZ's number one enemy - inflation," said Robinson. He said the recently
introduced productive sector facility was likely to result in speculation
and excess consumption.

"For example, borrow at 30% (50%) from the productive sector facility and
buy TBs at 160%." He also told the delegates that the RBZ was exercising too
much control on the foreign currency exchange rate on the auction floors.

Robinson said foreign currency auction systems work well where there is
liberalisation and external support.

"Governor Gono's auction is a lot more controlled than an auction," he said.

"This tight control of the forex market has made exports unviable, leading
to the closure of most companies." He also said government's claims of
higher foreign currency inflows were "false" and the inflation numbers

Robinson added that there was no grain of truth in government's claims that
exports had also increased, citing companies like Colcom and Cafca whose
exports have shrunk by 52% and 87% respectively.
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Zim Independent

'Nothing to show for economic recovery'
Shakeman Mugari
THERE is nothing on the ground except the inflationary slowdown to show that
the economy is recovering as claimed by government and the Reserve Bank of
Zimbabwe (RBZ), a local economic consultant, Peter Robinson, has said.

Robinson told delegates at the sixth annual congress of the Zimbabwe
Association of Accounting Technicians (ZAAT) in Kariba last week that the
economy would continue to bleed under the current regime.

His presentation also indicated some shocking statistics on how the economy
has declined over the past six years.

Robinson took a swipe at the country's policies and piecemeal measures put
in place by Reserve Bank governor Gideon Gono, which he said were

"Dual interest rates are inconsistent with what Gono characterised as the
RBZ's number one enemy - inflation," said Robinson. He said the recently
introduced productive sector facility was likely to result in speculation
and excess consumption.

"For example, borrow at 30% (50%) from the productive sector facility and
buy TBs at 160%." He also told the delegates that the RBZ was exercising too
much control on the foreign currency exchange rate on the auction floors.

Robinson said foreign currency auction systems work well where there is
liberalisation and external support.

"Governor Gono's auction is a lot more controlled than an auction," he said.

"This tight control of the forex market has made exports unviable, leading
to the closure of most companies." He also said government's claims of
higher foreign currency inflows were "false" and the inflation numbers

Robinson added that there was no grain of truth in government's claims that
exports had also increased, citing companies like Colcom and Cafca whose
exports have shrunk by 52% and 87% respectively.

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Zim Independent


The irony in Stamps' quotations

I WOULD like to thank Muckraker (Independent, October 8) for drawing my
attention to the fact that Dr Timothy Stamps, health adviser in the Office
of the President and Cabinet, had replied to my recent letter - albeit a
typically evasive response that was published in the Sunday Mail.

Muckraker is absolutely correct when he suggests that "the last thing our
correspondent wants are the prayers of somebody who kneels aboard the gravy

Judging by both his original article and his subsequent letter, it would
seem that Dr Stamps has little to do other than ingest large doses of

Some might suggest that an excessive use of quotations indicates an
inability for original thought.

Others might be inclined to suggest that loyal Zanu PF party functionaries
choke on a daily diet of quotations from genuinely heroic figures noted for
their contributions to the service of humanity.

Presumably, Dr Stamps is so blinded by his loyalty to those who permit him
to ride the gravy train that he does not see the irony in using quotations
from famous individuals renowned for qualities that are the very antithesis
of everything that Zanu PF represents.

Dr Stamps states that his initial reaction to my letter was to take Winston
Churchill's advice and "not to bother about dealing with this barking dog".
Some might say: "better a 'barking dog' than a presidential poodle".

He states that "the whole point" of his article in the Sunday Mail was that
"we will be remembered as heroes solely by what we have done for others, to
uplift and console them".

I agree, Dr Stamps. But perhaps you can explain to millions of suffering
Zimbabweans just exactly what it is that you and the rest of Zanu PF have
done to "uplift and console them".

I understand clearly what Zanu PF chefs and their cronies have done to
"uplift and console" each other, but I have difficulty in appreciating just
how their dedication and devotion to selfless public service has benefited
us ordinary mortals.

Dr Stamps claims that the publication of my letter in which I criticised the
"self-serving hypocrisy" of his original article "is surely one hallmark of
a free society". What are the other "hallmarks of a free society", Dr Stamps
and do they exist in Zimbabwe?

There are many potentially embarrassing questions that could be asked of Dr
Stamps, but I shall limit myself to just one, given that he "prays that God
may heal me of obvious bitterness". Yes I am bitter that this regime has
brought so much destruction on this country and in the process ruined the
lives of millions of its citizens.

My question, Dr Stamps, is very simple. How can anyone who claims to be a
Christian belong to, and actively support a party that has been directly and
deliberately responsible for so much human suffering - death, starvation,
rape, torture, arbitrary arrests and detention?

When on your knees on board the gravy train have you forgotten the two most
important of God's commandments?

RES Cook,


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