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

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Former Zim chief drops race bombshell
Posted Mon, 04 Oct 2004

Vincent Hogg, former chief executive of the Zimbabwe Cricket Union, is to
drop a bombshell into the International Cricket Council's investigation of
racism within the sport.

Hogg will inform the ICC's investigators, Indian solicitor-general Goolam
Vahanvati and Justice Steven Majiedt, this week about several incidents
involving black ZCU directors.

These were the main reasons he left the job two months ago after two and a
half years, he told AFP.

"I am going to write to the adjudicators describing some of the things that
were done and said to me during the dispute with the players," he said.

"For instance one director told me that whites have no right to be in the
country at all - and that was during a formal meeting.

"Some of the directors were totally out of order in this regard and it was
extremely upsetting to have to listen to that sort of racist language."

He added: "I was hoping to give this evidence orally to the two adjudicators
when they were here last week, but I did not get the chance."

The hearing had to be terminated by Goolam and Majiedt following a day of
legal wrangling, when the players would not give evidence in front of three
black ZCU directors and the directors said they would refuse to take part in
proceedings unless they were allowed to be present.

The ZCU board is made up of four blacks, four whites and four Asians.

Hogg said he would have given evidence if he had had the opportunity.

"It wouldn't have bothered me who was listening."

Goolam and Majiedt said after terminating the hearings they were now forced
to base their conclusions on written evidence only. Their findings will be
presented to the ICC at a board meeting in Pakistan on October 16-17.

At one stage during the height of the player dispute, Hogg was angrily
accused by a black director of colluding with groundsman Robin Brown to
sabotage the pitch on which the replacement Zimbabwe team were playing Sri

They were bowled out for a world record low score of 35.

He was also penned into his office on one occasion by black ZCU personnel
demanding that more black players be included in a forthcoming match, even
though the selection of teams had nothing to do with him.

"Some of the things said to me at that time were just terrible."

However, Hogg said he had no quarrel with the way the national selectors
went about their job, nor their choice of players.

"In my view they did a good job," he said.

He is therefore at odds over that particular issue with former captain Heath
Streak and the other sacked white players who objected to the selectors'
choices, claiming some black players were being unfairly picked ahead of


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"Disloyal opposition" denied access to public media

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

HARARE, 4 Oct 2004 (IRIN) - A senior Zimbabwean official declared at the
weekend that the main opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) would
not be allowed access to the state media in the lead-up to general elections
next year.

The statement was made despite the fact that Zimbabwe is a recent signatory
to the Southern African Development Community (SADC) Protocol on principles
and guidelines governing democratic elections.

Speaking in Mashonaland West province at the weekend, Jonathan Moyo,
Minister of State for Information, said the MDC was disloyal to the country
and showed allegiance to the United States and Britain.

"Britain and the USA do not give disloyal opposition political parties
access to their public media and we also will not do it here. Unless and
until we have a loyal opposition, it will not be possible for them to access
the public media," said Moyo.

He added that the opposition should stop using foreign radio stations like
the Voice of America if it hoped to access the official press.

Brian Kagoro, chief executive of the Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition, a group
of pro-democracy NGOs, told IRIN there was nothing surprising about Moyo's

"The SADC Protocol is just a collection of basic guidelines. The guidelines
are just that - guidelines - and because they are not part of the country's
enforceable laws, the ZANU-PF government can choose to ignore all the
guidelines or implement a few of them for cosmetic purposes to avoid
international isolation," Kagoro said.

In reacting to Moyo's statements, MDC secretary for constitutional and legal
affairs, David Coltart, said: "Since the protocol was signed [in Mauritius],
there is nothing yet to show that the government of Robert Mugabe is
committed to the SADC Protocol ... On the contrary, the government is
ensuring every day that the election next year would not be free
and fair."

The MDC has pulled out of all polls until the government fully implements
the SADC Protocol. General elections are due in March 2005.

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Mbeki confident Zim's problems will be solved

President Thabo Mbeki remains confident that an amicable solution to
Zimbabwe's political and economic problems will be found, the presidency
says in its annual report for the year ending March 2004.

The report, tabled in Parliament on Monday, says Mbeki supports dialogue
between Zanu-PF, Zimbabwe's ruling party, and the opposition Movement for
Democratic Change as the only means of ensuring a peaceful and lasting
solution to that country's problems.

"The president, while concerned about the pace of progress in this regard,
remains confident that the people of Zimbabwe will find an amicable,
peaceful, and inclusive solution to the various challenges that they face,"
the report says.

Mbeki and the South African government will continue to support Zimbabweans
and seek to promote mutual trust and understanding between the two political
parties, particularly as the 2005 parliamentary election approaches.

Zimbabwe's turmoil started just before the 2000 parliamentary elections. -
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Police Blitz Leaves Commuters Stranded

Zimbabwe Standard (Harare)

October 3, 2004
Posted to the web October 4, 2004

Valentine Maponga

A police blitz, which put out of operation nearly 1 400 commuter buses, has
left residents of Harare and Chitungwiza stranded for transport. Commuter
buses found with inadequate papers or being unroadworthy were taken off the
road and sent to the Vehicle Inspection Depot for inspection.

While the police say they have arrested 1 382 operators and raised more than
$37 million through fines, the cost to commuters is considerable. They are
never at work on time or reach home late at night.

Margaret Mawere of Chitungwiza wakes up at 4.00AM everyday to prepare
breakfast for herself and her two primary school children before leaving for

Mawere, a secretary at a consultancy firm in Mount Pleasant, says going to
work every morning has become a frustrating struggle .

"By 6.00AM I have to be at the bus station to catch a commuter omnibus to
Harare. If I am lucky, by 7.30 am I could be in Harare where I then must
find transport to Mount Pleasant."

After knocking off at 4.30PM, she begins another "struggle" to get back
home. "Due to transport shortages, I usually get to the city centre at 6 PM
before battling to get to Chitungwiza. I get home late at night usually at
around 10 PM and this means I rarely see my children in the evenings because
every time I get home they are asleep."

After going to bed at 11PM, she only has five hours to sleep before
repeating the daily grind of going to work and returning home to her

For Mawere and thousands other commuters getting transport to work has
become a daily nightmare because most commuter omnibuses are grounded due to
shortages of spare parts or the police have not impounded the vehicles
because they are not roadworthy.

The problem is more evident during peak hours when available commuter
omnibus drivers opt for shorter routes, leaving commuters bound for
Chitungwiza, Mabvuku and Hatcliffe stranded.

Gregory Mlambo also of Chitungwiza, narrated his daily ordeal to find
transport to and from work.

"When I get home, I just eat and sleep because I will be very tired from
standing in the long queues for transport. The problem continues because we
have to wait for transport again every morning. You will be very lucky to
get to work on time," he said.

Every evening, thousands of people line up along major roads flagging down
the few commuter buses still on the road and private cars.

Many risk being run over by vehicles as they jostle to be first on any bus
or vehicle which stops. And when it gets very dark, they risk falling prey
to thieves, who prowl bus stops.

Tambudzai Makwara of Kuwadzana says she has become a stranger to her family.
"I have been here since half past five. It is almost two hours since I
joined this queue and its getting dark. This is a real disappointment
because there are no buses," said Makwara who now arrives home each day to
find her two children asleep.

A number of workers, who stay in surrounding suburbs such as Mbare, Warren
Park, Arcadia, Belvedere and Eastlea, now resort to walking to and from
their workplaces.

Lovemore Zimuto, a welder at an electrical company in Harare's Workington
industrial area, said he walks because he cannot afford to be late for work.
"I feel I should be able to get a bus home and rest because I work very
hard, but I've got no choice. I walk, because I want to keep my job," said
Zimuto, who stays in Warren Park.
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Fuel supplies return to Zimbabwe

October 04, 2004, 15:44

Fuel supplies to Zimbabwe could return to normal after almost a month of
shortages that have seen motorists queuing for petrol and diesel outside
filling stations. The reasons for the shortages remain unclear, with no
official statement being issued by fuel companies or state officials.

Masimba Kambarami, the chairperson of the Petroleum Marketers' Association
of Zimbabwe, said he expected distribution to improve as there were adequate
supplies. He said: "It is already improving.

"There are adequate supplies in the country and as far as we're concerned
there are no problems."

Last week July Moyo, the energy minister of Zimbabwe, said that as many as
24 fuel importers could be closed down for abusing foreign currency
allocations from the central bank. Moyo told fuel companies they would have
to prove they used their allocations to buy gasoline.

"We've given them a deadline and if they fail to give us the proof we need,
we will de-register them and the police will take up the investigations,"
said Moyo.

A filling station owner whose city centre outlet had no fuel, said: "We've
had nothing since last week and I don't know when we'll get our next
delivery. Things are confused and no one is admitting the reason for the
shortage. We just get different stories."

Fuel queues stretching for several city blocks were a common sight in the
country, though the current shortage is the first since fuel imports were
opened to oil companies last year. - Sapa
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ZIMBABWE: Questions over compensation for former liberation activists

IRINnews Africa, Mon 4 Oct 2004

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

Mugabe is expected to reward ex-political prisoners

HARARE, - Zimbabweans have had a mixed response to an Ex-Political
Prisoners, Detainees and Restrictees Bill, which will compensate those
disadvantaged during the 1970s liberation war.

While some observers say the proposed law, gazetted last Friday, may put a
further strain on an already weak economy, others argue that such people
deserve to be financially rewarded.

If passed by parliament next month, up to 20,000 former political prisoners
and detainees will reportedly receive a one-off payment and a monthly
pension of not less than the minimum salary of a civil servant. The children
and dependents of former liberation activists will also be entitled to free
education and state medical care.

The authorities have yet to indicate the amount each beneficiary would
receive, but the compensation package is expected to cost the government
billions of Zimbabwe dollars.

Former political activists who were imprisoned, detained or had their
movements restricted by the white minority government between 1959 and
independence in 1980, have lobbied for the payments for several years, amid
ongoing complaints that they were being disregarded by the authorities.

There are concerns, however, that doling out unbudgeted funds to claimants
could worsen the country's current financial woes. Zimbabwe's economy is
facing its worst downturn since independence in 1980, with high annual
inflation rates, rising unemployment and poverty.

"It will definitely worsen the internal borrowing because the government is
getting money from the same financial institutions that the productive
sectors are also borrowing [from]. It will negatively affect the
government's deficit," Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions (ZCTU) secretary
general, Wellington Chibhebhe, told IRIN.

He said compensating the former activists would further increase
hyperinflation, now at 314.4 percent, and warned of a re-run of a decision
in 1997 to pay hefty sums to war veterans - a move that was blamed for
putting the skids under the country's economy.

Opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) secretary for economic
affairs, Tendai Biti, pointed out that the country could not afford to hand
out huge sums of money when the manufacturing sector was fast shrinking.

But the chairman of the Zimbabwe War Veterans Association, Jabulani Sibanda,
welcomed the gesture, saying it recognised the role played by former
political prisoners and detainees during the liberation struggle.

"Most of the former detainees were the founder members of the liberation
struggle, way back in 1960s, and it is only fitting that they be compensated
handsomely," said Sibanda, himself a beneficiary of the War Veterans
Compensation Fund.

Local political analyst Prince Moyo, however, noted that struggle for
independence had been fought on many fronts.

"Some people provided clothes and food, and if we continue awarding people,
then a large section of the Zimbabwean community will [have to] be
compensated," he told IRIN.

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Old foes Mugabe, Museveni bury the hatchet
October 04 2004 at 03:22PM

Harare - Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni arrived in Zimbabwe on
Monday on a three-day state visit, the first since the end of the war in
Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) in which Kampala and Harare backed
opposing sides.

Museveni was welcomed by President Robert Mugabe, a guard of honour
and thousands of Zimbabwe ruling party supporters when he arrived at Harare

The east African leader, who is leading a high-powered team which
includes government ministers and top businessmen, immediately went into
talks with Mugabe at his official Harare residence.

This is Museveni's first visit to Zimbabwe since 1989 and also his
first since the end of the war in DRC, which began in August 1998 and
formally ended last year.

Uganda sided with Rwanda in backing rebels fighting to topple the
government of the late DRC president Laurent Kabila.

Zimbabwe deployed up to 12 000 troops to prop up Kabila's government.

Museveni is expected to tour a local pharmaceutical factory
manufacturing AIDS drugs later Monday, and on Tuesday he will visit a farm
outside Harare.

He is expected to leave Zimbabwe early on Wednesday.

Museveni is the current chairman of the Common Market for Eastern and
Southern Africa (COMESA), a regional grouping that aims to promote trade and
investment between members.

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ZCU embarks on a charm offensive

Wisden Cricinfo staff

October 4, 2004

The Zimbabwe Cricket Union has changed its PR tack in the face of adverse
publicity which dogged some of its senior officials during the aborted ICC
hearing in Harare. Whereas before it relied on bluster and the
pro-government Daily Herald to get its message across, now it appears to be
undertaking what almost amounts to a charm offensive.

The ZCU has been without a website for more than a year, and local
journalists have hardly been wooed in the way that most other national
boards try to get them "on message". But in the last few days the ZCU has
announced that it will have a weekly column in a local paper and the
Independent has carried an interview with Ozias Bvute in which he looked to
get across the point that he was not the pariah many have made him out to

Until now the board has continued to maintain that there is a conspiracy
against Zimbabwe cricket and has cut off any media source it sees as being
against it or its senior officials. That's the way things are done in
Zimbabwe, and the BBC has been banned in its entirety for daring to
criticise the Mugabe government.

Wisden Cricinfo, which used to run the official ZCU website, has received
the ZCU cold shoulder, and Peter Chingoka has told reporters that the ZCU
will not longer have any contact with us. So questions go unanswered, and
even offers to allow Chingoka to have his unedited say are ignored.

The Independent at the weekend cited examples of how it had recently posed
questions to Chingoka about an incident of alleged intimidation only for him
to go straight to the Herald - where a unchallenging reception was
guaranteed - with his side of the story. But no longer.

The interview with Bvute was revealing for what he didn't say more than what
he did. He was at pains to explain his side of recent events and the
circumstances surrounding the breakdown of the relationship between the
rebels and the board.

But in a separate article explaining how the board sought to get across itsw
side of the dispute with the rebels, the Independent's Itai Dzamara couldn't
help but suspect that all was not as it seemed. "We were frank on this one,"
he wrote. "It didn't sound right. Period! Both parties must have had
skeletons in their cupboards. I mean the ZCU board and the white players.
But certainly, in the chronology of events as related by the union, we smelt
a rat!"

There were enough questions raised during last week's truncated hearing in
Harare for even the board to realise that loudly and repeatedly maintaining
that all was well in the face of mounting evidence to the contrary would no
longer suffice. However, it has not yet grasped that merely smiling and
giving newspapers your side of the story is not enough. But it's a start.

Wisden Cricinfo Ltd
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From The Daily Mirror, 4 October

Dairy farm invaded

Clemence Manyukwe

Suspected war veterans have invaded a dairy farm, Red Den, in the Beatrice
commercial farming area south of Harare at a time when many people thought
farm invasions had ended. The farm, situated along Marirangwe Road, is a
partnership of four people - two whites and two blacks- and manufactures ice
cream, cheese and butter. They bought the farm before 2000 when the land
reform exercise kicked off. Yesterday, the four owners refused to give
details of the incident, arguing that it might scuttle on-going negotiations
to have them remain on the farm. The farm owners also pleaded against having
the story published, saying they were afraid of reprisals. Charles Machinga,
one of the owners said: "Government has said that there should be no more
invasions of farms, but some people have been trying their luck to take away
the farm. We are working with governor (David) Karimanzira, the DA, as well
as the local leadership on our problems. They all know what is happening."
Machinga went on to say,"We are not politicians. We are businessmen, so you
better talk to Karimanzira because he has been of assistance. You are lucky
to talk to me, The Herald has been following the same story, maybe to give
it another angle, but we are not talking to the press."

Machinga's other partner, who refused to be named, said: "There is no need
for you to publish our problems. It will complicate everything. I still want
to stay in this country, so if you have the interests of this country,
please don't write this story, it is a sensitive subject." The other two
owners switched off their mobile phones when they were contacted. David
Karimanzira, the Governor and Resident Minister for Mashonaland East,
expressed ignorance on the issue. "I do not remember the name of the farm or
the name of those farmers. We have hundreds of dairy farms around,"
Karimanzira said. According to a worker at the farm, Red Den produces 15 000
litres of milk "every other day", apart from deliveries from other farms in
the province for its processing plant. The worker claimed that there were
powerful individuals who were behind manoeuvres to take over the farm, but
there were divisions over the matter as there were leading politicians
opposed to the move. The worker said that people behind the invasions were
taking advantage of the mixture of races in the ownership, by claiming that
the other two blacks were being used as fronts by the whites. Police
spokesperson, Wayne Bvudzijena, refused to comment, saying: " Phone the
lands ministry." John Nkomo, the Minister of State responsible for Land,
Land Reform and Resettlement in the Office of the President and Cabinet,
referred all questions to Karimanzira. " Phone Karimanzira, the governor of
that area," Nkomo said. Efforts to get comment from the war veterans
leadership proved fruitless by the time of going to press.
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Daily News online edition

Zanu PF snubs meeting

Date:5-Oct, 2004

PRETORIA - The ruling Zanu PF party yesterday snubbed a meeting
organised by South African churches and Non-Governmental Organisations on
the minimum standards for free and fair elections in Zimbabwe.

Organisers said they were not sure why Zanu PF had not turned up for
the Pretoria meeting which was attended by political parties such as the
opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) and South Africa's ruling
African National Congress.

But a Zimbabwean participant who declined to be named said: "They
don't attend these kinds of meetings. Call them to a Third Chimurenga party
or bira and they will come in dozens."

Zanu PF spokesman, Nathan Shamuyarira could not be reached for

At the conference, MDC spokesperson Paul Themba-Nyathi lambasted the
government for instilling fear in the electorate thereby scaring them from
choosing a party of their choice.

Nyathi said elections in Zimbabwe would never be free and fair for as
long the government and the ruling party continued to intimidate, harass and
"deal" with people perceived to support the opposition.

Time had come, said Nyathi, for Southern African Development Community
(SADC) leaders, to tell Mugabe in his face that what he was doing was
uncivilised and bad.

He said Zimbabweans needed to restore their dignity by voting freely
and fairly.

"Zimbabweans need a new beginning after 24 years of suffering under
this regime," said Nyathi.

He said there was need for the government to create a conducive
electoral environment in order to get rid of fear gripping the Zimbabwean

Nyathi dismissed the proposed electoral changes by the government as a

He said the changes do not mean anything as the government was already
failing to implement the new SADC protocol on free and fair elections which
it signed last August in Mauritius.

The electoral guidelines include the running of elections by an
independent electoral commission and the provision of equal access to the
public media by political parties.

Zimbabwe human rights lawyer Beatrice Mtetwa said the proposed changes
were meant to "hoodwink the world".

She said there could not be any meaningful changes to the electoral
environment in Zimbabwe if a host of such laws such as the Access to
Information and Protection of Privacy Act and the Public Order and Security
Act remained in place.

Human rights activists have condemned the two pieces of legislation
saying they are meant to close down democratic space in Zimbabwe.

Zimbabwean churches, NGOs, SADC and African Union representatives are
attending the conference.

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Daily News online edition

Can't fool all the people all the time: that's fact

Date:5-Oct, 2004

IF the government believed it had fooled the people into accepting
that all our economic problems were caused by a dozen or so bankers
externalising foreign currency, then they'd better think again.

There is this joke: one loyal Zanu PF member, seeing an opportunity to
engage President Robert Mugabe in a tete-a-tete at State House, whispered he
possessed information of a most explosive nature.

Mugabe, nodding eagerly, waited expectantly. He could always use such
dynamite to rouse the wrath of the people against his enemies, at political

So he waited breathlessly for the man to spill these huge beans.

"What about Made, Mr President?" the man said with a tone of mystery.

"What about Made?" the president asked, puzzled.

"Well," the man said triumphantly. "He is everywhere, isn't he? You
read of him everywhere: Made in England, Made in China, Made in Brazil, Made
in Russia, Made in Finland, where they make that popular cellphone. Made in
South Africa. Made is everywhere, Mr President, externalising foreign

Insiders say the president did explode, not with rage, but with
laughter. Poor Joseph Made! As if he was not in enough trouble with the
disastrous land reform programme, he has to take the flak for what lovers of
hyperbole have called Crimes of the New Millennium.

Made is the Minister of Lands, Agriculture and Rural Resettlement. His
surname is Shona and pronounced phonetically.

Governments throughout the world have played similar con-game on their
people: in a tragic way, George W Bush and Tony Blair, played it on their
people too, over Iraq and the invisible weapons of mass destruction.

Now, poor Tony Blair had to undergo a heart operation.

If anybody thinks it had nothing to do with the Iraqi misadventure,
then they need to have their head, heart, lungs, liver, kidneys, pancreas
and other vital organs examined thoroughly.

It is to be expected that Zanu PF will credit Mugabe with landing
Blair in hospital. But most people doubt that Gushungo's attacks on Blair
were as life-threatening as that heart-stopping blunder in Iraq.

During the Cold War, governments in the West and the East concocted
elaborate falsehoods against each other. A whole generation of Christians
grew up believing Satan was a communist.

The communists did not believe in the existence of God and Satan. But
they accepted the existence of evil in Humankind and its proliferation among

But we know now that all this was debunked as a gross falsehood by
Mikhail Gorbachev, now reckoned to be a statesman of the same stature as
Bill Clinton and Nelson Mandela.

At least, this is what the Libyans seem to believe, according to
recent reports from Tripoli. This shows how much Muammar Gaddafi has swung
away from the man who once spoke of the West as if it was every Muslim's
mission on earth to destroy everything they stood for: Coca Cola, Beatles
music, pizza, steak and kidney pie, schnapps and Dutch wooden shoes.

In Zimbabwe, exactly how many people genuinely believe that all our
economic problems, but particularly the crisis of the past two years, were
caused by the externalisation of foreign currency by the bankers must depend
on how much such people have imbibed of first-class weed from Malawi -
believed to be the best in southern Africa - or kachasu, an intoxicating mix
made of ingredients generally mentioned in the same breath with hemlock,
arsenic, distilled water and scorpion's bile.

We all remember how Herbert Murerwa, wearing his most pious, pitiful
and pathetic face, called upon the Almighty to intervene in the deepening
financial crisis.

At that time the Good Lord was not impressed. Perhaps He didn't
believe people so committed to an opulent lifestyle and the oppression of
their poorer citizens could be sincere in their pleas.

He banged his Almighty telephone receiver on them, probably gnashing
his teeth in holy disgust.

If Murerwa hoped that the Good Lord would send the Angel Gabriel
(because of the similarity in names with the President) to smite the bankers
with his mighty sword, then he would not have known that they would be given
shelter in such robustly Christian countries as the United States and the
United Kingdom.

Or did Murerwa know what the real trouble was and was seeking the Lord's
intervention in diverting attention from it?

But you don't mess with The Great One and hope to get away with it.
Zanu PF is paying the price of trying to pull the wool over The Almighty -
or taking His name in vain.

This must be punishment for daring to compare their leader with The
Son of God. They have Tony Gara to thank for that unholy falsehood.

When ordinary people concoct derisive anecdotes to pooh-pooh
government programmes, you can be sure the propaganda is not fooling them.

There are similar spoofs about the land reform programme, the
untouchable status of war veterans such as Joseph Chinotimba, Chris
Mutsvangwa and Patrick Nyaruwata.

There are others, unprintable, of the recent suggestion that Zanu PF
needs a woman vice-president and that this woman should be Joyce Mujuru.

But the most searing commentary is made on the much-ballyhooed theory
that Zimbabwe has finally solved its economic crisis. It has sent the
allegedly thieving bankers fleeing out of the country, their cocktail tails
between their fat, hairy legs.

But what happened to the other theories, advanced so eloquently by
successive Ministers of Finance and Economic Development since way back

What about the well-published perfidy of the parastatals? Air
Zimbabwe, Noczim, Zupco, Ziscosteel, Wankie Colliery, NRZ and others?

What about the other scandals? Didn't anybody reap billions from the
scandal featuring Samson Paweni and the Willowgate scandal?

There are no reliable records of how much the parastatals have cost
this country over the last 24 years. There is no record of how much of this
money went into the bottomless pockets of the so-called Big Fish.

What about the Harare airport terminal building scandal?

Why ordinary people are disdainful of the official theories on the
causes of the financial crisis is simple: how could such a small number of
people do so much damage without the support or connivance of the government
or of someone high-up in the government?

In a strange way, this parallels the old cartoon of a matronly,
platinum-haired American housewife asking her husband, as they watch TV
footage of a war in some God forsaken foreign country in Asia or South
America: "How could they start that war without our help?"

The root of the joke about Joseph Made is self-evident: those who
claim to have triumphed over corruption are themselves not as innocent as
they would have us believe.

The people know: not all of them can be fooled all the time. Once in a
while they surprise the ruling elite with their insight into how absolute
power corrupts absolutely. - Loving It Always

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Increased Activity by Zimbabwe Police to Silence Critics. Is this a prelude
to March 2005?
By Scott Morgan

In Recent weeks there has been an increase in activity by the Zimbabwe
Republic Police (ZRP) to silence those who criticize the Government. One of
the areas where this has taken place is their use against the remaining
Independent Media Outlets the Zimbabwe Independent and the Standard. Both
Publications are owned by Trevor Ncube and have in recent weeks have had
journalists questioned about items published that are critical of the
current regime. The Standard has received threats by the Media and
Information Commission (MIC) after printing a photograph of President Mugabe
adjusting his trousers.

A letter coming from the Office of the Secretary of State for Information
and Publicity claimed that " the use of the photograph by the Standard is
extremely mischievous and represents a deliberate denigration of the highest
office in the Country". The letter also criticized the paper for a
"editorial disposition for anti-Zimbabwe and anti-Mugabe orientation. The
letter further claimed that the photograph sought to "caricature, belittle
and undermine the dignity of the Head of State". The author of the letter J
Neusu filed an earlier complaint about the Standard to the MIC. That letter
complained about the "reportage by the Standard and its sister paper the
Zimbabwe Independent is characterized by outrageous lies and claims
underpinning misrepresentation of facts." The editor of the Standard said
" The Complaints defy logic."

In another crucial and uniquely timed event which could be construed as
another attempt by the ruling Zimbabwe African National Union-Patriotic
Front (ZANU-PF) to remain in Power by stealing an election for control of
the Zimbabwean Parliament, Four members of the Institute for Democracy in
South Africa(IDASA) were detained by the Police on Monday. The Arrests were
made in conjunction with a Interdenominational Prayer Meeting that occurred
in Gweru. The police stated that IDASA facilitated an illegal meeting. Under
the Draconian Public Order and Security Act (POSA) any meeting of more than
5 people needs the permission of the Police Department. This has been used
with great success to keep the Opposition from having any rallies or
It has also been used against Trade Unions also.

There will be a large meeting next week in South Africa. The South African
Council of Churches along with the South African Catholic Bishops Conference
will hold a meeting with the goal of " Minimum Standards for the Zimbabwe
Election". IDASA is providing logistical support for the Conference. In a
statement IDASA states that it is "an Independent public interest
organization committed to promoting sustainable democracy in South Africa
and elsewhere in the region by building democratic institutions, educating
citizens and advocating social justice." "It is therefore regrettable that
the Government of Zimbabwe is treating IDASA as an outlaw that is bent on
subverting the democratic process in Zimbabwe." In another situation eight
women who were marching from Bulawayo to Harare to protest the dreaded NGO
Bill were released early Saturday Morning by the Police.

There is a reason to explain these actions however. Earlier this week the
website reported that police officers were ordered to
take mandatory political indocrination classes. The use of the police by the
Government has been a problem since the myriad of political crises began in
2000. The proper function of the police is to ensure the rule of law not to
silence voices of criticism. This shows that ZANU-PF members are willing to
take any steps to remain in power. This means that the people of Zimbabwe
have no means of redress for complaints. But it is an effective reelection
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New Zimbabwe

Mbeki vows to keep pressing on Zimbabwe

By Agencies
Last updated: 10/05/2004 03:49:15
SOUTH Africa's President Thabo Mbeki has vowed to press ahead with efforts
to broker an end to the political and economic crisis in neighbouring

Mbeki said on Monday that while South Africa was concerned about the slow
progress in bringing the opposing sides together, it continued to believe
negotiation was the only way to solve that country's problems.

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

A June deadline set by Mbeki to solve the crisis was missed and South Africa
has been criticised for not taking strong enough action against alleged
human rights abuses in Zimbabwe.

"The President, while concerned about the pace of progress in that regard,
remains confident that the people of Zimbabwe will find an amicable,
peaceful and inclusive solution to the various challenges they face,"
Mbeki's office said in its 2003/04 annual report.

"The President and the South African government will continue to support the
people of Zimbabwe in this regard and seek to promote mutual trust and
understanding between the two political parties."

Zimbabwe is suffering serious economic turmoil widely blamed on government
mismanagement, and Mugabe was accused of rigging his re-election in 2002.

Mugabe has blamed the country's problems on a plot by former colonial power
Britain and other western powers opposed to his policy of seizing
white-owned farmland for redistribution to landless blacks.

He accuses the MDC of being a puppet of Britain - Reuters

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HARARE - Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe Governor Gideon Gono and Finance Minister
Herbert Murerwa are in Washington to head off imminent expulsion of Zimbabwe
from the IMF.

Gono and Murerwa will meet IMF officials at the Fund's winter meetings
beginning in Washington this weekend, an RBZ spokesman has confirmed. "The
Governor's mission is to convince the IMF that Zimbabwe is on the path to
recovery. The IMF itself has said we are on the right path, and the
Governor's mission will simply be to reinforce that," the spokesman said.

The IMF last month closed its office in Harare, after having gone five years
without a programme in Zimbabwe. A deteriorating economy and widening
international isolation has seen Zimbabwe's arrears to the IMF swelling to
US$295 million by April. Gono and Murerwa have a much more difficult task
than the RBZ spokesman would have people believe.

Government has in recent weeks made claims that the battered economy is on
the mend, but critics note that the country had only managed to slow down
the rate of decline. This did not in any way translate into any real
economic recovery. The IMF has downgraded Zimbabwe's membership over the
past few years, culminating in an announced late last year that it had begun
a process leading to the possible expulsion of Zimbabwe from the IMF.

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