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

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Zimbabwe's commitment to Democratic Principles.

Two weeks ago Mugabe signed the SADC protocols on democratic principles. In
this he committed himself to the basic things that all go towards holding
free and fair elections. MDC has suspended all involvement in elections
until the Mugabe regime implements the agreements they have just signed up
to. What signs do we have that they are going to fulfill their new
obligations? So far the record is totally in the opposite direction.

1. They are proceeding with the NGO Bill. Despite all the protests and the
clear evidence that this Bill violates many fundamental rights and
democratic principles, the State has defended the Bill in large adverts
placed with the national press. This Bill will further restrict all
democratic space.
2. Last week they forcibly broke up an NGO demonstration in Harare with many
3. On Monday they raided (without a search warrant) the MDC offices in
Bulawayo searching for subversive materials. This is the latest of many such
arbitrary actions and is clearly designed to intimidate in advance of a
major rally in Bulawayo on Sunday.
4. On Tuesday - at night, they arrested the Chairman of the NCA and held him
for 12 hours in Police cells. He was released without charge.
5. On Wednesday they unilaterally announced that they were going ahead with
new legislation covering the future elections - these new regulations are a
totally unacceptable attempt to modify the rules for the electoral process
without correcting any of the fundamental problems inherent in the Zimbabwe
6. Yesterday, the MP for Kuwadzana, Nelson Chamisa was holding a small (8
persons) meeting of members of MDC in his constituency. He was arrested and
the meeting broken up. He is at present being held in Police cells where
there are no facilities, no food and no civil rights.

This is all in the past few days - they add up to a serious pattern of total
disregard for democratic principles. SADC leaders must now consider just
what to do about these violations of the new accords. They cannot ignore
what is happening here.

Eddie Cross
Bulawayo, 8th September 2004.
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From The Daily News Online Edition, 9 September

Mugabe installs state-of-the-art radar at rural home

President Robert Mugabe has started building a multi-billion dollar security
radar at his rural home in Zvimba communal lands, about 86 km west of
Harare. Construction work will be undertaken by the Zimbabwe Electricity
Supply Authority's ZESA Holdings, a state-owned company. Authoritative
sources in Harare yesterday told the Daily News Online work had already
started, with the radar to be mounted on an 80-metre mast being built at the
residence. The sources said the up-to-the-minute radar, recently acquired
from China, would be linked to other security gadgets being installed at the
president's mansion in Helensvale on the outskirts of the upmarket
Borrowdale Brooke suburb. The construction of the security radar is likely
to cost billions of dollars. ZESA Holdings, headed by Mugabe's
brother-in-law, Dr Sydney Gata, is tight-lipped on the project, viewed as an
addition to the security features already installed at Mugabe's rural home.
A few kilometres from the home, a secret Airforce of Zimbabwe hangar has
been built into the mountain ranges of Darwendale commercial farming area.
The hangar was built a few years after independence.

Meanwhile, work on the construction of the controversial mansion being built
by Mugabe, is almost complete. The mansion, built for more than US$13
million, caused a stir when Mugabe revealed he had received donations from
China and Malaysia towards the construction. In an interview with United
Kingdom based SkyTV in May this year, Mugabe admitted that although the
mansion was "quite expensive", he had received help from various quarters to
construct it. "I was given the house by the party way back in 1984/85 and it
was burnt. The party was to assist and we have been trying to build another
one from our resources since 1986. We agreed with the Yugoslav company
Energo Projekt that we would provide construction material little by little
and they provide labour, and they agreed," said Mugabe. The area in which
the mansion is being constructed has been declared a "protected area"
resulting in severely restricted access, with anyone caught straying or
taking photographs liable to arrest. The police have been empowered to shoot
and kill anyone straying into the area without authority. The same
restrictions exist at Mugabe's official residence, Zimbabwe House, where a
number of motorists have been shot and killed over the years. Apart from
bricks, gravel and cement provided locally, everything else at the property,
particularly all the interior furnishings and roofing materials have been

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From The Toronto Star, 9 September

Zimbabwe human rights abuses documented

Canadian lawyer on fact-finding tour, Ottawa urged to push for legal reform

Tracey Tyler, Legal affairs reporter

Raj Anand still hasn't forgotten a simple but disturbing question. At a
Toronto reception, a group of visiting lawyers from Zimbabwe asked their
Canadian counterparts, "How do you do cases against the government without
getting arrested?" He had no plans to go to Zimbabwe. But three months
later, Anand and five other Canadians flew to the African country for a
two-week, independent fact-finding tour. They plan to give their report to
the Canadian government today. Anand, a Toronto lawyer and former chief
commissioner of the Ontario Human Rights Commission, travelled as the
Canadian Bar Association's representative, focused on the justice system.
What they saw during their recent visit, his report says, is "a dramatic
deterioration in the human rights of Zimbabweans, to the point where the
legal system is virtually unrecognizable." It calls on Ottawa to increase
funding to non-governmental agencies in Zimbabwe so they, in turn, can fund
litigation involving basic freedoms, such as the right to vote, obtain law
reports and online legal publications and train judges and human rights

The report also urges lawyers here to criticize Zimbabwean court judgments
from a Canadian perspective and calls for more exchanges between the
judiciary of both countries. It also proposes a conference in South Africa,
where Zimbabwean judges and lawyers can consult with international
colleagues on the independence and effective functioning of lawyers and
courts. Anand said he and his fellow group members, who called themselves
the Canadian Civil Society Mission, were told repeatedly that Canada has
"extremely high moral authority" in Zimbabwe because it opposed apartheid in
South Africa and the former Ian Smith regime in Zimbabwe, then known as
Rhodesia. Ed Ratushny, president of the Canadian section of the
International Commission of Jurists, agrees. Last year, the commission's
Canadian branch successfully lobbied Zimbabwe to drop obstruction of justice
charges against judge Fergus Blackie, who was arrested and jailed after he
acquitted a white woman of theft and found the justice minister in contempt
of court.

"In terms of the rule of law, judicial independence and human rights, Canada
has an outstanding reputation throughout the world and our voice counts on
these issues in particular," Ratushny said in an interview."One of the
difficulties with Zimbabwe is that President (Robert) Mugabe was a strong
opponent of apartheid and supported Nelson Mandela and others who were in
the process of overthrowing that corrupt regime. As a result, influential
countries in the region, such as South Africa, find it difficult to be too
critical of President Mugabe because of the debt that country owes to him."
While Mugabe's seizure of white-owned farms and attacks on political
opponents have grabbed headlines, the world hasn't heard much about what
it's meant in Zimbabwe to have everyone from prosecutors to judges
conscripted into partisan instruments of the state. By all accounts, the
situation has worsened since early 2000, when Mugabe's proposed new
constitution was defeated in a referendum, Anand said. Four members of the
Zimbabwean Supreme Court have received farms from the government. Others
feel isolated and afraid to issue rulings contrary to the interests of the
state, his report notes. In June 2002, the president and secretary of the
law society were arrested and jailed on frivolous charges when they spoke
out against the absence of the rule of law.

Anand met judges, law society officials and lawyers, including Beatrice
Mtetwa, a human rights advocate in Harare and member of the law society's
governing council, who was run off the road and beaten up by police for no
apparent reason. "He kicked me, hit me in the face, broke my glasses and
gave me two black eyes and bruises all over my body," she told Anand, adding
the officer explained he was giving her a lesson in "police brutality" so
when she goes to court, she'll know what it's all about. Although Mtetwa had
him charged, the case has yet to come to court. That's typical in Zimbabwe,
where government opponents are routinely jailed, often without charges, yet
acts of violence by members of the ruling party rarely lead to arrests, let
alone trials, Anand said. Two years ago, constitutional rights in Zimbabwe
were eroded further when the government passed two draconian laws, he said.
One, the Public Order and Security Act, created several new offences,
including making false or abusive statements against the president. Another,
what the report describes as "the so-called Access to Information and
Protection of Privacy Act," established a commission to accredit journalists
and was used last year to shut down Zimbabwe's only independent daily

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9 September 2004


Latest Arrests Further Vindicates MDC Decision on Elections


In the past 48 hours the MDC’s two offices in Bulawayo have been raided by police on the usual spurious grounds; the chair of the National Constitutional Assembly (Lovemore Maduku) has been arrested for arranging a peaceful demonstration whilst MDC MP Nelson Chamisa has been arrested for allegedly holding an illegal meeting in his constituency.


These are not the actions of a government acting in the spirit of the Mauritius agreement on democratic elections standards. In fact they represent a flagrant violation of this agreement and provide further vindication of the MDC’s decision to suspend participation in all elections until the government honours the undertakings that it gave to regional leaders in Mauritius.


As part of the agreement, SADC leaders pledged their commitment to freedom of association and fostering an environment of political tolerance. The latest examples of the government’s anti-democratic predilections provide a stark reminder that it was not acting in good faith when it signed the SADC protocol. Its signature, as things presently stand, appears to be just another attempt to hoodwink regional leaders and delay a new beginning in Zimbabwe.


A free and fair election simply is not possible in a political environment characterised by these latest attempts to intimidate those (i.e. the majority of Zimbabweans) who express opinions at variance with the views of the ruling party.


In the present Zimbabwe context therefore, the draft Electoral Commission Bill, announced in the government controlled ‘Herald’ newspaper on Tuesday, is simply yet another exercise in deception on the part of the government.


Paul Themba Nyathi

Secretary for Information and Publicity


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Zim police move against state opponents
          September 09 2004 at 06:26PM

      Harare - Invoking sweeping security laws, police detained an
opposition leader after a series of raids on the homes and offices of
government opponents, Zimbabwe's main opposition party said on Thursday.

      Nelson Chamisa, a lawmaker and head of the youth wing of the Movement
for Democratic Change, was picked up Wednesday by police who alleged that he
held an illegal political meeting, the party said in a statement.

      Chamisa was arrested after meeting with eight supporters, the
statement said, adding the it was expected he would be charged under the
security laws, which stipulate that any gathering of more than five people
requires prior police approval.

      The opposition accuses the government of using those laws to routinely
harass political opponents. In this case, the Movement said it believed
officials were trying to keep the party from celebrating its fifth
anniversary on Saturday.

            Chamisa was arrested after meeting with eight supporters
      Police spokesperson Wayne Bvudzijena confirmed that officers had
raided the Movement's offices in the city of Bulawayo on Tuesday and
Wednesday, and that Chamisa had been arrested after being accused of holding
an illegal meeting.

      The police were acting on information from informants, the police
spokesperson said, and were searching for subversive material but found

      Chamisa was being held at a station near the western Harare district
he represents in parliament.

      Police also raided the Harare home of Lovemore Madhuku, head of the
National Constitutional Assembly, a militant reform group, and arrested him
for allegedly organisation an illegal demonstration on September 1, his
group said.

      Baton-wielding police broke up that protest against proposed
government restrictions on charities and human rights groups.

      Madhuku was released later on Wednesday with charges pending under the
Public Order and Security Act, according to Jessie Majome, an official with
Madhuku's group.

      Madhuku has been arrested 15 times in the past two years, and 32 of
the Movement's current 51 lawmakers have been arrested since the last
parliamentary election in 2000.

      The opposition has said it plans to boycott a parliamentary election
in March to protest unfair electoral laws and media and security laws that
they say violate freedom of speech.

      In the 2000 ballot, the opposition won 57 seats of 120 elected
seats -the biggest challenge to President Robert Mugabe's authoritarian

      Since that election Mugabe - who personally appoints 30 lawmakers,
allowing him to give his Zanu-PF party a sweeping parliamentary majority -
has cracked down severely on dissent. - Sapa-AP

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England agree to five-match series in Zimbabwe

Wisden Cricinfo staff

September 9, 2004

England's cricketers will play five one-day internationals in Zimbabwe later
this year, after the England & Wales Cricket Board concluded that there was
no threat to the players' security. The team will play two matches in Harare
on November 26 and 28, and three more in the space of five days in Bulawayo,
before moving on to Johannesburg to start their Test tour of South Africa on
December 6.

The announcement is sure to meet with disapproval in some quarters, given
the human-rights record of Robert Mugabe's government, but David Morgan, the
ECB chairman, explained that in the absence of any firm instruction from the
British government, they had no choice but to comply with the requirements
of the ICC's Future Tours Programme.

"The board has concluded that the tour to Zimbabwe must go ahead, subject to
it being safe and secure to do so," said Morgan. "[Since] March 2004, it has
become a contractual obligation for the England team to tour Zimbabwe, and
if the ECB were to breach this regulation by not touring . we could be
subject to severe financial penalties, including a possibility of suspension
from the ICC."

The possibility still remains that several of England's senior players may
choose not to undertake this opening leg of what is going to be an arduous
winter campaign. Michael Vaughan and Andrew Flintoff have young families to
think about, and Flintoff's dodgy ankle would probably benefit from an extra
fortnight's rest. Meanwhile, the strength of the opposition is hardly
enticing - yesterday, Zimbabwe were beaten by four wickets in their
Champions Trophy warm-up match against the less-than-mighty USA.

"Any individual who decides not to make himself available for reasons of
personal conscience would not be penalised," stressed Morgan, "[although] we
emphasised that our preferred solution was for all players and management to
make themselves available to tour.

"I must emphasise again that by undertaking the tour, the players and
management will be in no way condoning the situation in Zimbabwe, but rather
following the direction of their board and recognising that the tour has to
proceed to safeguard the interests of the game. Furthermore, the tour party
will neither be involved in official functions nor meet with members of the
government during the tour."

In response to the announcement, the Professional Cricketers' Association
(PCA) accepted the difficult situation faced by the ECB, although it
reiterated its reservations about the tour.

"The decision to tour in no way indicates that players are seeking to ignore
the human rights violations in Zimbabwe," said Richard Bevan, the PCA's
chief executive. "We should look instead to the government to provide the
lead on any political or moral imperative. They have not intervened on this
issue, and continue to allow trade of many descriptions with Zimbabwe.

"The ECB rightly asserts that the impact of suspension on cricket's
infrastructure would be devastating. Although the PCA believes it is
unlikely that this penalty will be enforced, while any threat does exist
that England could be suspended from international cricket, the PCA and the
players accept that the ECB has no option but to proceed with the tour."

Vaughan's reaction to the news telegraphed his misgivings. "All the players
are aware of the serious nature of this situation," he said. "I am aware
that deciding to tour is a huge decision for any player. We will continue to
work closely with the ECB to ensure the players' situation is fully
understood and a satisfactory outcome is arrived at."

© Wisden Cricinfo Ltd
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Washington Times

'Excuse me, there's a lion in the loo'

Kariba, Zimbabwe, Sep. 9 (UPI) -- "Excuse me, there's a lion in the loo,"
Zimbabwean safari operator Peter Calera politely informed his colleague
Steve Pope by telephone.

Residents of Nyamhunga, a township near Kariba, were trying to drive three
lions out of town last week by throwing stones when a young male took refuge
in a public toilet, The Star of Guateng reported Thursday.

Pope and Calera called everyone they could think of -- including police, the
army, National Parks officials and veterinarian Rob Rees, who answered the
cry for help.

Rees agreed to shoot the animal with a tranquilizer dart, but he was in
Harare, about 218 miles away, a three hour drive.

So, Pope and Calera trapped the lion in the bathroom with a game capture net
and for the next three hours, took turns shining a light into his face to
keep him from lunging.

The story had a happy ending, with Rees finally arriving and sedating the
animal, which was then loaded into a truck and released back into the
bush. - UPI
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Zim Observer

      Zanu PF MPs in UK
      by STAFF EDITORS (9/9/2004)

 TWO Zanu PF legislators Charles Majange, Member of Parliament for Chivi
South and Daniel Ncube of Zhombe, have travelled to the United Kingdom for a
meeting with legislators from the House of Commons, despite the current
political impasse between Harare and London.

Majange and Ncube left Harare on Tuesday together with two MDC legislators,
Professor Welshman Ncube, the opposition's secretary-general and MP for
Bulawayo North-East, and Priscilla Misihairabwi- Mushonga MP for Glen Norah.

The legislators were invited in their capacities as Members of Parliament to
attend a workshop that was organised by an international organisation called
Parliamentarians for Global Action.

Although the MPs are not going to deal directly with the British government,
their visit is likely to be frowned upon by some of their colleagues in Zanu
PF. The MP for Makonde, Kindness Paradza, went to the UK on what he said was
a private visit and got his fingers burnt when the Mashonaland West
provincial leadership called for his dismissal from the party.

His case is still before the party's national disciplinary committee.

British Embassy spokesperson Sophie Honey could not comment on how the Zanu
PF legislators obtained visas to travel to the UK.

"All visa  applications are assessed against UK immigration requirements. If
the application complies, a visa is issued .We cannot comment on individual
applications," said Honey.

Speaking to this paper on the eve of his departure, Majange mourned the
death of talks between MDC and Zanu PF and the fall in the standards of
living in Zimbabwe.

"Until recently, the nation's hopes were pinned on a secret dialogue between
two persons-Patrick Chinamasa, the leader of the House, and the
secretary-general of the MDC, Welshman Ncube.

"The nation has not been informed about the reasons for the lack of progress
in those talks and as we meet in London, risking our political careers, the
public press is full of disdain for those who believe that dialogue leads to
the ultimate resolution of all problems," said Majange in his advance

Majange suggested that the only way forward in tackling the country's
political squabbles revolved around the promulgation of a new constitution
that the whole nation would subscribe to.

"I believe that the difference between the constitution which was rejected
in the 2000 referendum and the one advocated for by the NCA, for example is
less than 10 clauses and that difference can be negotiated in less than an
hour if the political will is there," added Manjange.

Majange, who described as unfortunate recent statements by the British
government on its relationship with the MDC, called for unity among
Zimbabwean politicians across the political divide.

"Even if we fight for 27 years like the Angolans, the negotiating table will
be waiting. Why not use it now? Crushing the opposition and talking tough is
not a long term solution," said Majange, further mourning the sidelining of
people in search of solutions to problems affecting the nation.

Meanwhile, Paul Themba Nyathi, MDC's spokesman, yesterday confirmed that the
opposition party had members attending the UK workshop for parliamentarians.

"We have participants there, who were invited to the Parliamentarians for
Global Action workshop," said Nyathi, adding that he was aware that Zanu PF
legislator- Ncube is part of the delegation meeting the House Of Commons.

Efforts to get a comment from Zanu PF on whether their MPs' trip was blessed
by the party were fruitless. A secretary from the party's secretary for
information and publicity, Nathan Shamuyarira's office, said he was too busy
to entertain an interview.
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Zim Observer

      Zimbabwe Parliament in financial dire straits
      by STAFF EDITORS (9/9/2004)

 The Parliament of Zimbabwe is facing big financial problems. Sources at
Parliament Building said yesterday that the situation had gone so bad that
they were failing to get enough stationery for their daily chores. Some
complained that they had gone for days without bond paper, which is used for
correspondence, photocopying and faxing.

Parliament is financed by the State which overshot its budgetary allocation
for the period up to June this year.

According to the Mid Term Fiscal Policy Review Statement presented in July
this year by the Acting Minister of Finance and Economic Development,
Herbert Murerwa, Parliament used more than $8 557 billion, overshooting the
Public Finance Management System target of  just over $7 737 billion.

The financial position is said to have crippled Parliamentary sittings and
general business, whose major negative impact is its prolonged adjournment
at a time it has to deal with a number of important issues, such as 11 Bills
that have to be read, debated and either passed or rejected.

Since President Robert Mugabe officially opened the Fifth Session of the
Fifth Parliament on July 20 this year, the legislative assembly only sat for
three days on August 11, 17 and 18, before being adjourned to October 5.

Sources said that the grim financial position had seen workers' morale
hitting an all time low, mainly due to poor allowances.

For example, the human resources department is said to be operating with the
Principal Director only, without supporting staff.

The sources have blamed the State of affairs on lavish spending, among other

They said Parliament organised numerous workshops were officials and workers
were paid hefty allowances, in addition to incurring hotel expenses and
travel costs in luxury coaches.

dding to the woes, managerial staff is said to be driving luxury cars not
tallying with their positions in the public sector. One senior employee is
said to be driving a Peugeot 607, which costs anything above $150 million.

Said a source: "For those who have been here for a long time, the situation
has never been like this. The fact that only Parliament, of all departments,
could not live within its means says volumes. Because everything was used
up, Parliament is now broke and I can safely say that one of the country's
most important institutions is now on its knees."

The clerk of Parliament, Austin Zvoma, last night said he could not comment
as he had not yet seen the policy review statement in which it was stated
that Parliament had overshot its budgetary allocation. He added that he
would be in a position to answer all the other questions today.
Zanu PF's chief whip and Mberengwa MP, Joram Gumbo, however said although
Parliament had overspent, that did not mean that it was broke. Gumbo added
that the present financial position was a result of price changes that had
not been anticipated.

"We had a long sitting during the Fourth Session because there was a lot of
work, and that was done after realising that in this session there would be
less business. The situation was unavoidable, so that is why parliament is
asking for a supplementary budget." Said Gumbo.

But the MDC secretary of economic affairs and Harare East MP, Tendai Biti
said: " I have no doubt that Parliament is broke. Look at the way we have
been sitting. Parliament has been rendered useless by overspending.
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Africa: IMF Chief Sees a Glimmer of Hope

Inter Press Service (Johannesburg)

September 8, 2004
Posted to the web September 9, 2004

Moyiga Nduru

For Africa to outgrow its economic woes, it will need a heavy dose of
financial assistance from the world's richest countries, says Rodrigo de
Rato - managing director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

The advanced economies should provide more, and better coordinated
development assistance - preferably in the form of grants "to support
well-designed economic and social programmes," he added during a press
conference in South Africa's economic hub, Johannesburg, this week.

However, Rato - who ended a two-day visit to the country Tuesday - did not
provide exact figures on how much money wealthy countries should provide.

During the Group of Eight (G8) summit held in the Canadian town of
Kananaskis in 2002, former Prime Minister Jean Chretien failed to persuade
other leaders to commit half of their combined 12 billion dollars of annual
aid to Africa.

Now Britain (a member of the G8, along with Japan, Germany, France, Italy,
the United States, Canada and Russia) has pledged to ensure that Africa
receives priority on the global aid agenda. Next year, Britain will head
both the G8 and the European Union.

British Prime Minister Tony Blair's Commission for Africa, a think- tank
launched in February this year, will advise him on how to reduce poverty and
boost development on the continent. Inaugurating the commission, Blair
lamented that "Africa risks being left ever further behind".

"Africa," he said, "is the only continent to have grown poorer in the past
25 years...(where) 44 million children do not go to school, millions die
through famine, or disease, or conflict."

These concerns are echoed by aid agencies.

In a recent report, the British charity Oxfam said "More than half of
sub-Saharan Africa's 600 million people still live on less than a dollar a
day. More than 28 million Africans are living with HIV/AIDS. Forty percent
of children never go to school in Africa - the only region in the world
where the numbers of children out of school are rising."

But not everything is doom and gloom in Africa, Rato insists: "I sense a
deeper commitment at the highest levels of government to the process of
economic reform, good governance and closer integration into the world

"Supported by the recovery in global economic activity, we expect economic
growth in sub-Saharan Africa to rise to over 4.5 percent in 2004, and to in
excess of five percent next year," he added.

This is Rato's second trip to Africa since he became head of the IMF in June
2004. During the first trip, undertaken in early August, Rato visited
Nigeria, Gabon and Uganda.

"This is my second trip to Africa in a month. This travel has given me a
deeper appreciation of the problems facing the continent, which will enable
the IMF to provide a meaningful and durable contribution to its economic
development," he noted.

In South Africa, Rato held talks with President Thabo Mbeki, Finance
Minister Trevor Manuel and the Governor of the Reserve Bank of South Africa,
Tito Mboweni.

He commended South Africa's economic performance, which has seen growth
double to around three percent. Rato also praised the fact that officials
had brought inflation under control while allocating more resources to the
social sector.

"South Africa's economy is presently enjoying a recovery in activity that we
expect to continue through at least 2005," he said.

Formidable challenges remain, however.

"Growth will need to be elevated to a higher plateau if there is to be a
significant fall in unemployment (which is 40 percent now). This will
involve strengthening South Africa's ability to attract investment by
continuing efforts to improve productivity and competitiveness. It will also
require pushing ahead with introducing labour market flexibility," Rato

Efforts to pull Africa out of poverty are being undermined by ongoing
conflict and political instability on a continent that has witnessed 186
coups d'etat and 26 major wars in the past half-a-century.

As was noted in Tuesday's press briefing, the troubled African states
include Zimbabwe - which has been suspended from the IMF's borrowing
facility. The country has experienced political violence and a controversial
programme of farm occupations since 2000.

"Zimbabwe has high inflation - no growth, no reserve. These are all driven
by the problems we all know. The solution will depend on the abilities of
the leaders there to make changes," said Abdoulaye Bio- Tchane, IMF director
for Africa.

After leaving Johannesburg, Rato travelled to Ouagadougou, capital of
Burkina Faso, to attend the African Union's Extraordinary Summit on
Employment and Poverty Reduction in Africa. This gathering ends Thursday.

At the summit, the IMF head will be bound to encounter criticism of his
organisation's policies towards Africa, which many claim have worsened
Africa's economic woes.

A Febrary 2004 report by the United Nations Conference on Trade and
Development (UNCTAD) says Africa's share of world exports fell from about
six percent in 1980 to two percent in 2002, and its share of world imports
from about 4.6 percent 2.1 percent.

Africa's heavy dependence on primary commodities as a source of export
earnings has meant that the continent remains vulnerable to market vagaries
and weather conditions, notes UNCTAD.
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New Zimbabwe

Solving the riddle of Mugabe's falling trousers

By Staff Reporter
Last updated: 09/10/2004 06:30:24 Last updated: 09/09/2004 21:13:32
WHILE touring the flopped Agricultural Show in Harare two weeks ago, an alert photographer captured President Robert Mugabe pulling up his trousers. We found the picture intriguing, and sought your help in trying to explain what His Excellency was up to. We chose the headline "Squeaky Bum Time", a phrase popularised by Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson which connotes a tense period in the life of a team and its manager, usually towards the end of the season.

Here are some of your catchy captions:

"Mugabe seems to have taken the Atkins diet too far in his attempt to woe voters," Nyarai, London

"Honayi varume kuonda kwandaita. Inyaya dzaTsvangison dzandipedza mafuta," Walter P

"Mr. Mugabe pulls up his oversized pants in public as a political statement that he too is feeling the pinch of the food sortages," Russell Sears

"Kana hydraulic dance yacho tinoigona futi," Foya Stewart

"Dlala Mapansula!!!!!!!!," Mkambo, London

"Gees I told Grace these trousers are too big for me.I will just pull them up.

"Zvekutonga zvinowonza izvi. Bhurugwa randaikwana musi uno. Dai ndazorora," Killion Matiwa

"You see, not only am I an idiot, now I look like one," Mark

"Zimbabweans starving? What are you talking about?" - dbx, UK

"Ini ndanzwa ne weti," Farayi Manyika

"Haaaa, musanzwe zvenyu vaya vaya vanoti President havasi kunzwa mushe. Manyoka chete andambenge ndichinzwa mazuva ano. Ko iye Blair wacho anomama makeke here?" Bogus Magaivha, UK

"Kasekuru," Conrad Mashangeni, UK

"Bvuma wasakara," Maidei Magaisa, UK

"You are gone man, bvuma kusakara, bvuma wapera kuchembera ndizvo," T Cheuka, London


"Ndombolo ndombolo mah, ndombolo," W Mupazvi

"Belt cannot tighten anymore....Ooops, now its time to hold on," Davison Sibanda

"When one has become a cartoon character like this I suggest it's high time he leaves office he can no longer be even a headman (sabhuku), mabhurukwa odonha oga mukweguru vanofanirwa kuchiswera zvavo vari pasi pemuti vachiveza mipinyi," Osama, Harare

"Oops, I should have worn my pad, my trousers would not be falling off!," Ethel Makubika

"Vakafa vakazorora," RLC Hullivington

"Mugabe is saying: 'Who the hell is he? A British or an imperialist.......Oh! Let me smash him right now'," Vuyo Soko

"Its time to adjust our belts comrades, zvinu zvaoma," Bernard Ndlovu, Bulawayo

"Gracee andikuvadza vakomana....kupera so," Lester, Birmingham

"Smarting up," O Soza

"That damn tailor Moyo made the waist to big," P Vicars, New Zealand

"Shuwa sekuru vanenge vaita loose weight, kana kuti zvimwe varipadeit. Handiti
munhu anoisa bhurukwa mudumba anenge anaro dumbu racho kana kuti anenge
," Will Mung

"Side effects of Viagra," More Fire

"Waal what are we fighting for the old man is gone. Wangova muromo chete,"
Admire Muwalo

"I justed showed maBhunhu kuti ndirimember.Handibatiki ini," Vez Nkomo, Texas, USA

"Bechuweee zangariwa hai," Chana Chevhu

"I knew Gono was going to screw me....just couldn't figure out kuti...where," Cecil Shamu

"MDC yakandipedza mafuta mani, mabhurugwe so, kuwonda like this!!!," KC

"Ok Ok you¹ve had your laugh!... now give me my belt back," Nick Leguern

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