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

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      Zimbabwe arrests S. African man for tearing notes 2004-10-03 16:06:53

          HARARE, Oct. 3 (Xinhuanet) -- The police in Harare have arrested a
South African man for tearing Zimbabwean notes of 107,000 Zimbabwean dollars
(about 19 US dollars) into pieces at the Harare International Airport,
according to the Sunday Mail newspaper.

          Derek Peter Hewlett, the South African man, destroyed the
moneyafter a Zimbabwe Revenue Authority official advised him that he could
not carry more than 100,000 Zimbabwean dollars (about 17.8 US dollars) out
of the country.

          The police said Hewlett has since been charged under the Section
42 (2) of the Reserve Bank Act Chapter.

          According to Assistant Inspector Blessmore Chishaka, Hewlett last
Sunday went back to his home country with 200,000 Zimbabwean dollars (about
35.6 US dollars).

          "In a fit of rage, Hewlett tore 107,000 Zimbabwean dollars
intosmall pieces and was immediately arrested," said Chishaka.

          He said the public should be aware that destroying money is a
criminal offense and "anyone found destroying money will be arrested."

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New Zimbabwe


WOZA's long walk to freedom
Last updated: 10/03/2004 22:10:02
IT WAS perhaps the most adventurous and dramatic story of the year in
Zimbabwe. Until it happened, it was always deemed unimaginable. Let alone
possible. But this past week the unthinkable happened!

As fate would have it, as the sun arose on Sunday morning a group of about
fifty women quietly left Bulawayo, the royal city and headed towards Harare,
the capital city.

All those who have traveled on the Bulawayo-Harare highway by road or
railway will willingly testify on the long and grueling nature of the
journey. It takes an average bus a minimum of six tiresome hours to
trans-link the crisis-riddled country's two greatest cities.

It also takes a minimum of ten hours for a train to shuttle across the two
cities. Or should I say it used to, because nowadays Zimbabwean trains
rarely run on time. That is if they ever manage to run at all in the first

But I digress. This week's story is not about the country's rapidly
collapsing public transport system. By that I do not mean that it is not a
serious story. It is also a cause of serious concern. Be that as it may, I
think I will have to write about it some other time.

This week's story is about a daring feat that is founded on the podium of
heroism. It is about a group of women who defied logic and reason. It is
about women who did what men would never think of doing. By that, I mean
'amadoda sibili'. That is, if I may be allowed to use Robert Mugabe's
favorite Ndebele expression.

This week's story is about the women who took a stance and declared that
'enough is enough'. It is about the women who took an unequivocal stance
against an unjust regime.

It is about women who walked all the way across the country, from Bulawayo
to Harare.

Indeed, it is about women who arose early one morning, literally! The women
who took a 450km long march to freedom, literally! The women who walked
their talk, literally!
The amazing WOZA women!

This week's story is a tribute to a group of great women of the struggle.

I mean the struggle for a better and more democratic Zimbabwe. Indeed, the
struggle against an unjust and repressive regime that has used a labyrinth
of legal tentacles to maximize their octopus grip on the destiny of an
entire nation.

      "The Parliament that was once expected to legislate the hopes and
dreams of a people has become a powerless and lifeless institution. It has
now become a shambolic white elephant whose tusks of legislative influence
have fallen away"

I mean a callous regime that has systematically abused draconian laws such
as the Presidential Powers (Temporary Measures) Act, the Public Order and
Security Act, the Access to Information and Protection of Privacy Act and
last but not least, the soon to be enacted, Non-Governmental Organisations
Bill. This week's story is about the women who wanted the entire world to
know that they are radically and rabidly opposed to the obnoxious NGO Bill.
This of course is the latest addition to the regime's ever growing cabinet
of monstrous laws. I mean the laws that have defied all laws of democratic
reason and logic. The laws that have eaten the very roots upon which the
nation's political and socio-economic prospects are rooted, upon.

I am talking about laws that are meant to criminalize all forms of public
expression. I am talking about the laws that are meant to curtail all forms
of freedom and liberty in Zimbabwe. I am talking about laws enacted by a
caricature of a legislature otherwise known as the Zimbabwe Parliament.

I mean a Parliament that was once the envy of a continent that was once the
thriving hotbed for coups and life time Presidents. I also mean a Parliament
that was once the hope of a people that had been denied during the colonial
days, the right to vote at all. That is a people who at last in 1980, had
been given the right to determine their destiny.

I mean the sad people of Zimbabwe.

Today everything has gone horribly wrong! The Parliament that was once
expected to legislate the hopes and dreams of a people has become a
powerless and lifeless institution. It has long lost its purpose and glory.
It has now become a shambolic white elephant whose tusks of legislative
influence have fallen away.

In their place today, now lies the power of a dictatorial regime. A regime
whose leaders where the heroes of yesteryears. The heroes of the protracted
liberation war. Heroes who over the years have become so inebriated with the
rich wines of power and amassed wealth. The same heroes that have now,
suddenly turned against their own people, in an orgy of political

The heroes of yesterday who have now easily become the villains of today.

Indeed, as this first October week commences, the same hypocrites will tread
upon the hallowed corridors of Parliament. The same caricatures of democracy
will proudly say 'aye' to a new law that can only make the architects of the
UDI and Apartheid, blush green with envy. I mean the same villains who will
willingly close the last avenue for democratic expression in the country -
the NGOs.

Sadly it will be the so-called non-constituency members of Parliament who
will be leading the way. It will be the likes of Jonathan Moyo and Patrick
Chinamasa who will be hogging the limelight.

It will be them, the unelected MPs, who will be leading the debate on the
NGO Bill on behalf of the elected MPs. It will be them who will be having
the final say on the legislative proceedings on a bill that is much against
the will and wishes of a nation.

It will be them who have never won any election or by-election in their
entire lives. Let alone stood up as candidates! But alas, it will be them
who will be having the final say on the NGO Bill's final sections and

As we all might know, the NGO Bill is merely the latest in a series of
draconian laws that have only served to distance the Parliament from the
people. The same laws that have increased the gulf between the will and
wishes of millions of Zimbabweans and the Mugabe led clique of
non-constituency MPs such as Moyo and Chinamasa.

The same laws that have become a legal symbol of the loss of national
control by the povo, the now voiceless majorities of Zimbabwe. The same laws
that have confirmed the legislative worthlessness of their long winding
queues at polling stations. The same laws that have devalued completely, the
worthfulness of their enfranchisement. Let alone their ballots!

The question we all need to answer is simple.

For how long shall they continue to usurp our will and wishes as a people.
Yes, for how long shall they continue to mock and scorn at the integrity and
sacredness of our Parliament. For how long shall they continue to abuse our
Parliament to churn out such draconian laws that are rabidly against our
ambitions and aspirations as a nation?

The answer we all need to give is simple.

As long as we continue to watch the political proceedings haplessly. As long
we continue to agonies and not organize. As long as we continue to sit on
our laurels and assume that somehow, democratic change will come someday.
As long as we ignore the clarion call to democratic arms. The call from
women who have already dared to venture into the battlefield for political
space and expression. The call to arise and take charge of not only our
Parliament but also our national destiny.

Indeed fellow patriots, is it not about time we responded to the determined
challenge by the WOZA women and arose and joined them in unison, in prison,
as part of our long but necessary walk to freedom.

Amandla, Ngawethu!
Ayihlome bakwethu!
Wathinta umfazi, wathinta imbokodo!
Woza Moya! Woza! Woza Moya! Woza! -
Daniel Molokela is the National Co-ordinator of the Peace and Democracy
Johannesburg, South Africa. His column appears here every Monday

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Police confirm eviction of Zimbabwe settlers
          October 03 2004 at 02:32PM

      Harare - Zimbabwean authorities were on Sunday continuing to drive off
thousands of people occupying former white-owned farms they invaded under
President Robert Mugabe's land grab scheme in 2000.

      For the last three weeks, paramilitary police have raided scores of
farms in once-productive white commercial farming areas, evicting settlers
and burning down their homes.

      Police spokesperson and Assistant Commissioner Wayne Bvudzijena was
quoted as saying that the evictions were part of a programme seeking to
regularise resettlement patterns in the farming areas.

      "Some of them illegally resettled themselves on the farms and we are
now working in conjunction with the land task teams (local committees of
Mugabes ruling Zanu-PF party) to evict them," he explained.

      "We are moving in countrywide as a way of trying to normalise the
resettlement patterns," he added.

      The mass evictions are seen as a dramatic reversal of the government's
land reform policy, denounced internationally as violent, illegal and

      The forced removal of white farmers was followed by the collapse of
the country's robust agriculture-based economy and the country is forecast
to be entering a third consecutive year of famine.

      Thousands of people have camped at the roadsides, sheltering with
their belongings. All those interviewed said they had been there since 2000
when Mugabe launched his revolutionary land reform programme which urged
blacks to help themselves to white-owned land.

      The state-controlled Sunday Mail newspaper said that violence broke
out on Saturday when police met with resistance from settlers after they
descended on four farms just east of Harare.

      The 2000 land-grab was widely seen as a bid by Mugabe to regain
sinking popularity ahead of parliamentary elections that year, which Zanu-PF
won with a narrow majority in the 120-seat parliament. - Sapa-dpa

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Zimbabwe Mirror

Farm evictions
Staff Writers

. . . Msika, Mkomo differ

There is no clarity on who is in charge of overseeing the process to tidy up
the land reform process in order to ensure sustainable productivity
following the accelerated redistribution programme, it has emerged.

This confusion has been cited as the major reason behind the apparent lack
of decisiveness on the part of delegated authorities, as well as the
conflicts that have recently emerged in the exercise to get rid of the
untidiness that has dogged the programme since it was officially adopted in
2000. This absence of clarity was evident this week in interviews the Sunday
Mirror carried out with high-ranking government officials, when their
opinions were solicited on the recent, apparently uncoordinated evictions of
new farmers form the communal A1 model scheme to make way for commercial and
somewhat elitist A2 farmers. The Minister in charge of Lands and Land
Resettlement, John Nkomo, who is also the ruling Zanu PF national chairman,
was anxious to place blame on provincial authorities following the on-going
wave of new settler displacements.

"As far as the reported displacements are concerned, talk to the provincial
governors, provincial administrators and provincial land committee
authorities who should explain to you what is happening. I cannot answer on
their behalf. I can only talk after they have commented," Nkomo told the
Sunday Mirror.

Critics, however, say the attempt by Nkomo to pass the buck amounts to
dereliction of duty, since he is supposed to be overally in charge of the
resettlement process.

This sentiment was echoed by Vice President Joseph Msika, who at one time
was tasked to supervise the resettlement of land-hungry Zimbabweans.

Msika queried Nkomo's attitude of trying to absolve himself of the problems
bedevilling the attempts to clean up the land reform programme.

"It is puzzling why Nkomo should refer all questions to the provincial
authorities, when it is obvious that he is the responsible minister. He is
the one who is in charge of resettlement and in any case, why the governors?
Nkomo should closely liaise with his subordinates and we have told him that
he is the authority," said Msika.

This discord at the highest level, observers say, is one of the main reasons
why it is taking too long to bring to a conclusion the land redistribution
programme that was sold as the basis for the empowerment of land-hungry
Zimbabweans who had been crammed on unyielding land at the expense of a
minority white farming community.

But even at the provincial level, authorities insist that it is the mother
ministry that should ensure sanity in cleaning up the land programme, with
them receiving orders on what to do.

The Masvingo governor, Josaya Hungwe recently came out in the open, saying
new farmers who government was declaring illegal settlers should be given
alternative living and farming plots before they are summarily removed from
farms that are now being officially described as meant for commercial

His remarks came in the wake of a wave of evictions, some of them violent,
carried out in several provinces, but notably in Mashonaland West, where
settlers that have lived on the farms since 2000 and had their houses burnt
as they were forced to live along the roads as they pondered their future.

Msika has been opposed to the eviction of people without the government
offering alternative solutions. He said he stood by his announced position
that Kondozi farm in Manicaland, a horticultural farm that earned the
country substantial foreign currency before it was taken over by ARDA, a
government agricultural establishment criticised by some for lack of
capacity, should not have been acquired.

Nkomo was last year given the task to establish to what extent decongestion
had taken place and what problems still remained in order to tidy up the
land redistribution programme. His ministry, some have acknowledged, has
done a lot to identify problems, even though they also express reservations
with his authority. Nkomo clashed with several Cabinet ministers who had
been believed to be owning more than one farm each, in direct contravention
of theland To page 2 policy and the fallout remains apparently unresolved,
degenerating into media wars. Other critics say he is also failing to
repossess land from non-VIP multiple farm owners, yet seems powerless as
former communal farmers are being ejected from farms on which they had made
considerable investments over the years, to make way for individuals.

Nkomo was given the role to lead the clean-up committee following the
publication of a report compiled by a presidential land review committee
that was led by former secretary to the President and Cabinet, Charles

The Utete land report, among other things, indicated that there was gross
multiple farm ownership, underutilisation of land, corruption by land
officials, double allocations and a general lack of decongestion in some

The Utete team also found out that the fast track programme was marked by
the allocation of excessively big farms and inflated figures by government
officials of the number of families resettled since the start of the land
reform programme The presidential report was hailed by many as a positive
move to realise the empowerment of landless Zimbabweans, with many saying it
would enable the full utilisation of land by new farmers, a goal that Nkomo
had to achieve.

While the empowerment of blacks was the rallying cry when the programme
commenced officially in 2000, but unofficially in the preceding years,
critics have maintained that the land reform programme was attended by
political considerations in its early years, with the ruling party realising
that it could depend on it to win the sympathy of the electorate.

Down the years, analysts say it dawned on the ruling party that there was
need to move from politicising the land issue to genuinely ensure social
justice-through equitable distribution-and economic productivity.

Social justice would be attained mostly through the A1 model while economic
sustainability would occur through the A2 model.

However, it is argued, there seems to be an inability to manage the
political backdrop, given the prevailing confusion and discrepancies.

Observers have been querying why lesser authorities can manage to defy
orders that come from above, amid reports that some governors and other
provincial authorities refuse to follow orders that emanate from higher

One politician who refused to be named said that this was made possible by
the political factions and camps within the ruling party.

"It is not surprising these days to see a very lowly-placed government
official defying orders from a superior. It is because they have their own
godfathers high up there. Once higher authorities learn of this, they
backtrack because they are afraid that insisting on what is otherwise right
might earn them powerful enemies. It is all about fear and uncertainty,"
said the politician.

The government recently commissioned a new land team led by Deputy Police
Commissioner Godwin Matanga to oversee the eviction of illegal farm

Matanga refused to reveal his mandate but confirmed that former senior
secretary for Special Affairs in the office of the President and Cabinet,
Willard Chiwewe, had appointed him.

Matanga's committee comes in the wake of recent statements by Justice, Legal
and Parliamentary Affairs minister Patrick Chinamasa who announced that
government was setting up a vetting committee to assess the levels of land
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From The Sunday Times (SA), 3 October

SA intensifies focus on Harare ahead of election

Brendan Boyle and Sunday Times Foreign Desk

South Africa confirmed yesterday that it had stepped up contact with
President Robert Mugabe's Zanu PF and the opposition Movement for Democratic
Change ahead of Zimbabwe's election early next year. "There has been a
deliberate decision to intensify the contact with both parties in Zimbabwe,"
chief government spokesman Joel Netshitenzhe said. Zanu PF and the MDC
sources in Harare said the SA government was now regularly focused on the
Zimbabwean crisis. They said both parties briefed Pretoria at least once a
week through its embassy in Harare, the Department of Foreign Affairs or
President Thabo Mbeki's office. Netshitenzhe said South Africa was
encouraging the implementation of Southern African Development Community
protocols for free and fair elections, which include the right to campaign
freely, arrangements for the conduct and monitoring of the vote and free
access to the media. Mugabe previously promised to engage the opposition in
negotiations about election rules but little has come of his undertakings so
far. The contact is being managed from the SA side by the director-general
in Mbeki's office, Frank Chikane, and by the President's legal adviser,
Mojanku Gumbi. Welshman Ncube, secretary-general of the MDC, which said it
would boycott the poll unless conditions for opposition campaigning improved
dramatically, welcomed the enhanced contact with South Africa. "We are now
[holding] weekly briefings with the SA government," he said. "We discuss the
Zimbabwean crisis openly and honestly ... It's very helpful." A senior Zanu
PF source also confirmed that Mbeki's government was talking to his party
"more often".
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From the Sunday Mail, 3 October

Mujaji gets $40m and holiday package from President

By Phyllis Kachere

A New Year's holiday trip for himself, his wife and three children to
Malaysia and $40 million from President Robert Mugabe and the First Lady,
Amai Grace Mugabe. Another $30 million from the Ministry of Education, Sport
and Culture, $20 million and a trophy from the Sports and Recreation
Commission, and over $10 million from individual efforts. All these for
winning a gold medal at the just-ended Paralympic Games in Athens, Greece,
in the 100 metres sprint. Speaking at a ceremony to honour the country's
Paralympic gold medallist, Elliot Mujaji, which coincided with the official
opening of the Danhiko Paralympic Games in Harare yesterday, President
Mugabe said Mujaji had brought honour to the country. "We want to say
congratulations to you. We watched you on television and saw you win the
race. Yes, we were with you, cheering you even though you could not hear us.
We are proud of you," said President Mugabe. He said Mujaji's victory should
serve as a reminder to all that whatever one does, one is not doing it only
for oneself but for the country. "Whether you are in the office, cleaning up
floors, playing soccer or swimming, you must remember that being Zimbabwean,
and born of the soil, whatever you do, you do it for the citizens of this
country," he said.

The President paid tribute to Mujaji and thanked him for bringing honour to
the country and said people should acknowledge the existence of disability,
as disability could come later into their lives. "Disability could be caused
by accidents at work or even at home, but we must know that disability doesn't
mean inability. "Even persons with full senses, full limbs and with no sign
of injury are not 100 percent efficient. We are all only partially
efficient," he said. Describing the limitations of human capabilities,
President Mugabe said: "That is why we cannot do everything that can be done
by a human being. We can only do certain things and not all things. We are
able to pull in one direction but we cannot pull in all directions at one
time," he said. After receiving the money Mujaji said it was a dream come
true for him to sit next to the President. "I want to assure my fellow
compatriots that there is indeed light at the end of the tunnel. After the
accident in 1998 good things have started happening. I will be a role model
for all the disabled athletes and I will be a good ambassador for my
country," said Mujaji.

Officially opening the Games, patron Amai Mugabe said: "I view the Danhiko
Annual Paralympic Games as a kind of homecoming that I always look forward
to with anticipation. At the outset, I wish therefore to extend a deep sense
of gratitude to every one who has been involved with the Games since 1997
and supported them at every step of the way." She also paid tribute to
Mujaji for successfully defending his 100 metre gold medal and praised him
for beating his previous best time of 11,33 seconds. "In congratulating
Mujaji, I wish similarly to applaud the committed efforts of the Zimbabwe
Sports Association for People with Disabilities. Against quite some
formidable challenges, particularly of funding, the association has
distinguished itself by giving confidence and motivation to people with
disabilities," said Amai Mugabe. She singled out Delta Beverages for taking
over the sponsorship of the Games from Chibuku Breweries, one of its
subsidiaries, and said this year's Games had attracted better funding thanks
to the seed money made available by the Government.

She appealed to corporate sponsors to fund the resurfacing of the racetrack
and basketball court as well as the construction of an ablution block close
to the sports fields. Welcoming participants from Botswana and Zambia, Amai
Mugabe expressed hope that more participants from neighbouring countries
would join next year's Games. "This year, 80 teams from schools and clubs,
including our friends from Botswana, are attending. Our hope remains that of
attracting participation from a bigger number of countries in the Sadc
region," she said. Amai Mugabe said all the 2 000 participants would receive
$50 000 each for participating in the Games plus other special prizes for
the winners. As a token of appreciation from Mujaji, the First Lady received
a T-shirt with his image while on the track at Athens. Those who attended
the ceremony included Education, Sport and Culture Minister Cde Aeneas
Chigwedere, Health and Child Welfare Minister Dr David Parirenyatwa and
Zimbabwe Olympic Committee president Mr Paul Chingoka.
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Daily News online edition

      ZCTU seeks $1.5 million tax-free threshold

      Date:4-Oct, 2004

      THE Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions (ZCTU) has said the $750 000
tax-free income threshold proposed by the government in July is not enough
and authorities should consider raising the figures to $1.5 million.

      Presenting the mid term fiscal policy review, the acting Finance and
Economic Development Minister Herbert Murerwa said the decision was reached
after realising that rising prices had eroded incomes for the ordinary

      The new rate was set to be effected end of September. The labour body
asked why individuals should be taxed higher than corporates.

      In his mid-term review for the half-year to June, Murerwa said
individual taxpayers contributed $1.2 trillion to the fiscus, accounting for
nearly 39 percent of revenue.

      Corporate tax during the same period was only $321.1 billion, about 11
percent of total revenue. The high taxes on individuals, that are enabling
the Zimbabwe Revenue Authority to surpass its revenue targets, give a false
impression that the authority is efficient yet the money is collected on its
behalf by employers.

      This is clearly shown by the authority's failure to meet targets on
corporate and other taxes because it is not able to bring everyone into the

      The high taxes on individuals dampen demand because they deprive
people of disposable incomes to purchase goods and services. In his budget
presentation for the current year, Murerwa said the review of the tax
threshold from $15 000 to $200 000 a month would release $1.2 trillion to
taxpayers while that from $200 000 to $750 000 a month would release $750
billion to taxpayers.

      "Why should individual income tax be 45 percent when company tax is 30
percent, why should workers continue to negotiate for increments in wages
and salaries only for the government to take all the gains, while they
remain poor and hungry?

      "Companies are into business for profit while workers work for a
living, so why should workers be deprived of their right to life by being
taxed to death," the ZCTU queried.

      Government said workers earning up to $750 000 are not taxed while
those earning between $900 001 and $1 050 000 would be taxed at 25 percent.

      Workers with incomes from $1500 001 and above will from this monthend
be taxed at 45 percent, a bracket the labour body described as uneconomic,
suggesting instead that the 45 percent be revised downwards to 30 for
workers earning above $5.5 million.

      The ZCTU's demands came as economic analysts have always pointed out
that Zimbabwe's income tax rate is too high and needed urgent reviews to
beat the shooting prices.

      "The solution would have been that income tax thresholds be reviewed
in tandem with the Poverty Datum Line," said University of Zimbabwe Graduate
School of management lecturer, Isaac Kwesu.

      Consumer watchdog, the Consumer Council of Zimbabwe (CCZ) recently
released figures indicating that basic commodity procurement prices for an
average family shot up to well over $1 million per month against average
monthly earnings of $200 000.

      Up until recently, income from employment in this country was taxed at
progressive rates after an exempt threshold of $200 000 per month and
workers had begun complaining that government revise these figures to
sustainable levels.

      While the new thresholds were expected to trigger increased spending
power amongst consumers, they however come amid a spate of basic commodity
price increments that analysts warned would see minimal benefits to the
overburdened worker as the economic landscape has changed since Murerwa's

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Clerics call for defiance
03/10/2004 20:04  - (SA)

Harare - Zimbabwe's seven Catholic bishops on Sunday denounced state media
control, while ecumenical Christian groups called for outright defiance of
planned laws curbing charity work in the impoverished African country.

The bishops sent a pastoral letter to churches on Sunday demanding a
"credible electoral process" and peaceful campaigning ahead of March

And they warned against propaganda, favouritism and discrimination against
dissenters, including the main opposition party.

In a separate move also seen as a crackdown on dissent, the government
proposed criminalising charity work done without a government permit, and
banning charities and private groups focusing on "issues of human rights and
good governance" from receiving foreign funding.

The bill comes before parliament on Tuesday.

"It is important that all political parties have access to media coverage so
that they can inform citizens about how they intend to govern if they are
elected," said the bishops, who claim 2 million followers in Zimbabwe,
including President Robert Mugabe.

Information minister Jonathan Moyo said the government would deny media
access to the "disloyal" opposition, and ignore Southern African Development
Community rules on election conduct, the state-run Sunday Mail reported.

"When a political party has no loyalty, then it should not expect to be
treated fairly," the paper quoted Moyo as saying.

"Unless and until we have a loyal opposition, it will not be possible for
them to have access to the public media."

International observers have rejected the ruling party's victories in the
2000 parliamentary election and 2002 presidential election as illegitimate,
citing widespread allegations of rigging and intimidation.

Christian groups say the government's new efforts to limit charity work
jeopardise crucial relief work in the country, where the United Nations says
about 2 million people may need food aid before March.

Roman Catholic Archbishop Pius Ncube of Bulawayo has accused Mugabe of
planning to use food to buy votes.

The Christian groups urged Zimbabweans to reject the proposed bill, calling
it a "vain attempt by the ruling party to usurp the place of God."

"If what we do in obedience to our Christian calling makes us criminals in
Zimbabwe, so be it," said a joint statement signed by the Bulawayo diocesan
branch of the Catholic Commission for Justice and Peace and two inter-church
bodies - Christians Together for Justice and Peace, and Solidarity Peace

"This bill has a deeply sinister purpose, to disable all NGO's which the
ruling party perceives to represent a threat to their continuing brutal hold
to power," it said.

The government has said food aid is unnecessary, due to a bumper 2.4 million
maize crop this year.

UN agencies say, however, the harvest yielded less than 900 000 tons.
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Black rhino in the crosshairs
03/10/2004 20:33  - (SA)

Malelane - Multi-millionaire game farmer John Hume speaks lovingly of his
"insecure" and "over-sensitive" black rhinos, and yet he is fiercely
lobbying to lift a ban on hunting the endangered species.

The Zimbabwe-born game farmer stands firmly behind the South African
government as it goes before a world body regulating trade in endangered
animals this week to ask for 10 hunting licences for adult bulls.

Paradoxically, Hume believes trade in rhino products is the only way to save
one of his favourite animals from extinction.

"It's so logical. Give something a commercial value and it will increase in

A farmer will guard his animals with his life if it is commercially viable,"
Hume says from his stunning 7 000ha game farm outside Malelane, next to
Kruger National Park.

South Africa will ask the Convention of International Trade in Endangered
Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) at a meeting in Bangkok this week to
be granted an annual hunting quota of 10 black rhinos.

There are about 3 600 wild black rhinos in the world and South Africa,
Zimbabwe, Kenya and Namibia - which will ask for permission to hunt five
rhinos per year at CITES - are home to most of them.

"We need the hunting quotas for farms that have a problem with too many
rhino bulls that kill each other," Thea Carroll of the environment ministry
told AFP.

"This doesn't mean we will necessarily use all 10 permits in one year.

"It's just to give us the option to do that, if there is a need."

South Africa has won acclaim for boosting its black rhino population from
110 in the 1930s to nearly 1 300 last December.

But the South African director of the International Fund for Animal Welfare
(IFAW), Jason Bell, says re-starting the rhino hunt will be an open
invitation to poachers.

"It sends out a dangerous message to consumers, traders and poachers that
rhino horns are back in trade."

Hume started a breeding programme for black rhinos on his well-maintained
bushveld farm in 1996 - but he has since lost three of his black rhinos.

A "cantankarous and very territorial" infertile bull named "Number 65" is
taking the rap for killing two males and one female.

Hume would rather that a hunter pay between $80 000 and $100 000 to shoot
"Number 65" and use the funds in one of his "many other conservation
projects that are screaming for money".

"If you have a black rhino that is old and that is going to die anyway, why
not let it be hunted," says Andre van Dyk, communications manager at the
South African Hunters and Game Conservation Association.

"The farmer can plough that money back into conservation."
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Ballarat Courier

Africans could fill job needs
Sunday, 3 October 2004

AN AFRICAN-born woman says Zimbabwean immigrants could be the answer to the
Ballarat region's skilled employment shortage.

Jill Lambert, of the Zimbabwean Connection, will visit Ballarat next week to
promote the not-for-profit association which aims to match the skills of
Zimbabwean immigrants with local employment needs.

Ms Lambert joined the association to help Zimbabweans interested in fleeing
the unrest in their home country begin a new life in Australia.

The association's website states: "Rural Australia is short of skills in
many areas.

"Although you may find it difficult to own your farm or business initially,
there is no reason why you cannot continue to do what you do best - and that
is to continue working in your area of expertise - either in a direct

situation or through a joint venture opportunity which will allow for
diversification into other areas, using your skills.

"We do not believe in encouraging anyone to leave Zimbabwe because that is a
unique and personal decision," it continues.

"We are here simply to help those who have actively made a decision to move
on because they cannot stay in the country any longer."

The association, which does not act as an immigration or personnel placement
agency, works with ex-Zimbabwean migration agents in several states across

"We are at the moment expanding to cover the whole of Australia and hope to
have each state and territory covered by the end of 2004"' the website

"In essence, we play the role of a caring `relative' or `friend' and try to
help in a number of ways - we match your skills up with existing
opportunities throughout Australia."

Ms Lambert will speak to a Business Ballarat function at the Town Hall on
October 13.
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