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

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Zim Online

Fri 10 September 2004

      HARARE - Foreign investors are demanding tobacco, cotton and
horticultural products before they can agree to provide more than US$2.4
billion needed to expand generation capacity at the Zimbabwe Electricity
Supply Authority's Hwange and Kariba power stations.

      An official in the Ministry of Energy and Power Supplies Morgan
Mudzinganyama yesterday told Parliament's Portfolio Committee on Energy that
the potential investors also want to control the authority's power tariff
and pricing policy if they are to invest in the state-owned power utility.

      He refused to name who the prospective investors were, but sources at
the power authority told ZimOnline they were from China, India, Iran, and

      The investors had also asked the cash-strapped Zimbabwean power
authority to open an offshore account as proof that it had enough foreign
currency to finance the expansion projects, the government official said.

      According to Mudzinganyama, the expansion project should have already
been underway and was to be completed by 2010. He added that the project had
now been put on hold because of disagreements with the prospective investors
over their terms.

      He said that the government especially feared that if it ceded the
right to determine power tariffs to foreigners, they could in future set
these beyond the reach of consumers.

      "We are looking at a situation where the companies may end up charging
prices which our own people may not afford but we are still in talks,"
Mudzinganyama said.

      Officials at Zimbabwe's Agriculture Ministry also involved in
negotiating the funding deal said there were major differences between the
investors and Harare on prices of tobacco and other agricultural products
demanded by the financiers.

      The investors, wary of Zimbabwe's foreign currency shortages, are said
to have asked for a huge chunk of the country's tobacco crop, which is the
country's biggest foreign currency earner. They also want a share of cotton
and horticultural earnings as repayment for their loans.

      While tobacco is fast declining as a major foreign currency earner
because of recent upheavals in the farming sector, cotton and horticulture
have remained relatively viable.

      An official in the agricultural ministry, who did not want to be
named, said: "For the parties to agree on the payment through agricultural
products, the concept of forward contracting should be employed to determine
the price at which the products will be valued and this has been a challenge
to both the investors and the power authority."

      Mudzinganyama told the parliamentary committee that it was not
possible to say when or how the negotiations would end.

      The Zimbabwe power company, which at the moment imports 600 megawatts
or about 35 percent of national requirements, wants to expand capacity at
its biggest thermal power station at Hwange by 600 megawatts. Hwange
currently produces 920 megawatts of electricity.

      Under the proposed project, generation at the Kariba hydro-power
station on the Zambezi river will be increased from 750 megawatts to 1 000

      To achieve the targets, the power authority requires US$1.3 billion
for transmission projects, US$543 million for distribution projects and
US$247 million for heavy engineering.

      Another US$85 million is required for power telecommunications, while
US$35 million would be needed for rural electrification and US$207 million
to fund end-use infrastructure development. ZimOnline

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Zim Online

ZANU PF rewards Harare mayor with farm
By David Coltart
Fri 10 September 2004

      ZVIMBA SOUTH - The government has allocated a farm to acting Harare
executive mayor Sekesai Makwavarara, who last month defected from the
opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) party to join the ruling
ZANU PF party.

      Sources said Makwavarara was offered part of Sipolilo Estates, which
is also known as Tinto Farm. The farm, owned by white farmer Francis
Henning, is located in Zvimba South constituency, about 34 kilometres
north-west of Harare, along the Harare-Chinhoyi highway.

      Member of Parliament for the area Ignatius Chombo, who is also the
Minister of Local Government, last week accompanied Makwavarara to view the
property, according to the sources.

      "They went there last week and Makwavarara will soon take over the
property. The government seems happy with the way she defected from her
party and threw the MDC into chaos in the capital city," said a local
district council official, who asked not to be named.

      The Hennings, who are still on the farm, could not be reached for
comment on the impending take-over of their property.

      Makwavarara refused to discuss the matter when contacted by ZimOnline.
She said: "I do not want to talk about that. Even if I take the farm, I am
entitled to land in this country because I am a Zimbabwean."

      Makwavarara was elected into council on an MDC ticket but last month
defected to ZANU PF after falling out of favour with the opposition party.

      She was accused by the MDC of working with Chombo to sideline the
opposition party from running the city.

      Critics have accused ruling ZANU PF politicians of grabbing the best
farmland acquired under a chaotic land reform programme. The government says
the programme is meant to benefit landless black Zimbabweans.

      A report prepared by a Land Review Commission appointed by President
Robert Mugabe, which was leaked to the Press revealed that ZANU PF big-wigs,
their relatives and friends had seized up to six farms each.

      The government has also been accused of using farms to lure High Court
judges and other influential people into its fold.

      High Court Judge Michael Majuru three months ago said he had been
offered a farm by the government to shut down the country's largest and only
independent daily newspaper, The Daily News.

      The paper was eventually shut down by the government. It has appealed
against the government's decision and the matter is still pending at the
country's Supreme Court.

      Majuru refused the offer and has since fled into exile in South
Africa. ZimOnline
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Zim Online

Opposition legislator arrested
Fri 10 September 2004

      HARARE - Police yesterday arrested opposition Movement for Democratic
Change (MDC) party parliamentarian, Nelson Chamisa, for allegedly holding a
meeting at his Kuwadzana house without police clearance.

      Chamisa's relatives and tenants, who live at his house in the
constituency, were also arrested. They were still in police custody by late
last night.

      Under the government's draconian Public Order and Security Act,
Zimbabweans are prohibited from holding political meetings without police

      Harare lawyer Alec Muchadehama, representing the group, last night
said: "We have been trying to secure their release but the police have
refused. Instead, they have moved them from Marimba Police Station to Harare
Central. I am not sure whether they will appear in court."

      Police spokesman Wayne Bvudzijena could not be reached for comment on
the matter.

      According to the MDC, Chamisa was visiting his relatives and tenants
at his house. The MP does not live in Kuwadzana. The party said the police,
who had been tracking Chamisa, arrived at the house and found the legislator
talking to about 13 people.

      The police accused Chamisa of addressing a political meeting without
permission and promptly arrested him and the 13 people he was talking to.

      The arrest of Chamisa comes barely two days after police arrested and
later released without charge civil rights lawyer and activist, Lovemore
Madhuku. ZimOnline
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Zim Online

ZANU PF MPs face the cane for visiting Britain'
Fri 10 September 2004

      HARARE - Zimbabwe's ruling ZANU PF party will take disciplinary
measures against two of its parliamentarians for visiting Britain against
party policy, sources told ZimOnline.

      Chivi South constituency Member of Parliament (MP) Charles Majange and
his Zhombe North constituency counterpart, Daniel Mackenzie Ncube, will be
hauled before a tribunal headed by party chairman, John Nkomo, when they
return from Britain.

      The two, who are not on the list of ZANU PF and Zimbabwe government
officials barred from European Union countries, are part of a Zimbabwe
parliamentary delegation in Britain to meet members of that country's House
of Commons.

      Opposition Movement for Democratic Change party secretary-general
Welshman Ncube and MP, Priscilla Misihairabwi-Mushonga, are also part of the
Zimbabwean group.

      ZANU PF spokesman Nathan Shamuyarira yesterday said some members of
the party had raised concern over the duo's presence in London. He said:
"Some party members could be unhappy, but the matter will be handled along
party structures."

      He would not say whether the two legislators had been cleared by the
party to go to Britain.

      The legislators and members of the House of Commons will during their
meetings discuss, among other issues, the political situation in Zimbabwe
and strained relations between London and Harare.

      Journalist-turned ZANU PF politician, Kindness Paradza, was expelled
from the party after visiting Britain on personal business. He has appealed
against the decision. ZimOnline
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JAG JOB OPPORTUNITIES: Updated 9th September 2004

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

1.  Advert Received 3rd September 2004


Rydings School is a lovely little private country school situated in
Mashonaland West, on the main road to Kariba just outside Karoi.

We have the following vacancies for 2005. We do have accommodation on
premises. If anybody is interested, please contact one of the numbers below
for an interview or if you would just like to come and look at the perfect
place to bring up your children or to work at.

1. A Head to run the school.
2. A grade seven teacher.
3. A grade six teacher.
4. Two matrons. One who will be responsible for the boys and one who will
be responsible for the girls.
5. A teacher to teach computers.
6. A Bursar
7. School Secretary

Mrs A.Fourie at 091 230841 or 064 6329/064 6529.
Mr Mattison at 011 208833


2.  Advert Received 3rd September 2004

Situation vacant from 01 October 2004

Ideal opportunity for a mature couple or ex-farmer & wife.......

Mature couple needed to over see and manage an established Angling Society
Camp site at Charara, Kariba.

Suitable applicants must have a relevant combination of the following:-

1) Good public relations.

2) Be computer literate (Pastel accounting and xl spreadsheet),
book-keeping , accurate financial reporting,accurate fuel and stock

3) Building & mechanical knowledge.

4) Experience with organising & managing a small labour force.

5) Arrange & supervise the running of the office i.e bookings etc. For more
information please submit cv's and contactable references to The Chairman,
P.O. Box EH316, Emerald Hill, Harare. email

3.  Advert Received 3rd September 2004

Suitable applicants must have a relevant combination of the following:-

1) Good public relations.

2) Be computer literate (Pastel accounting and xl spreadsheet),
book-keeping , accurate financial reporting,accurate fuel and stock

3) Building & mechanical knowledge.

4) Experience with organising & managing a small labour force.

5) Arrange & supervise the running of the office i.e bookings etc.

4.  Advert Received 3rd September 2004

I write with regard to the recently advertised vacancies for maids. We
emigrated to Britain back in October 2003 and believe our maid of 16 years
has not found employment since then. Maria was very reliable and she holds
a written reference from us. She is also just over 60 years of age but a
very happy and energetic person. Unfortunately I only have her address,
which is:

Maria Musekiwa Nyathi Street 323 Dzivarasekwa 3 Harare

Any queries regarding the above, please contact us at this e-mail address:

Jo and George Schermuly ______________________________________________

5.  Advert Received 6th September 2004

 Personal assistant

Busy businesswoman requires a personal assistant to manage her
smallholding, motor vehicles, livestock and property. Must have some
mechanical and farming knowledge and be a Jack/Jill of all trades. Must be
able to live on property.

Please contact Jean on 091 229144 or

6.  Advert Received 6th September 2004

WANTED - Highly Motivated Manager for 1 000 ha Cane Farm in Zambia. Reply
For the latest listings of accommodation available for farmers, contact
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The Herald

Lion's recapture: a relief to farmers

From George Maponga in MASVINGO
A LION that early this week escaped from a holding cage at a breeding farm
near Lake Mutirikwi in Masvingo has been recaptured bringing relief to
hordes of resettled farmers in the vicinity who feared to be attacked by the

The lion was among a pride of seven lions that escaped from their cage at
Simply Farm, where they are bred, six others were immediately recaptured
soon after escaping.

Families resettled at Wayne Farm close to Simply Farm were living in fear
and had stopped their children from going to school fearing attack by the
runaway lion after it had attacked and injured two farm workers in an
abortive attempt to recapture it.

Plans were already in the pipeline to call for a specialist team from South
Africa to recapture the lion after attempts to capture it locally had proved

However, the area manager at Simply Farm Mr Robert Munyawiri yesterday
confirmed that the runaway lion had been captured adding that they had not
received any reports of any harm caused by the lion.

"We finally managed to recapture the lion yesterday (Wednesday) after we
trekked its spoor to a nearby mountain where it was staying and we led it to
the cages without any problem.

"The condition of the lion had greatly deteriorated maybe due to hunger and
we never encountered too much problems in getting it back to the cages at
the farm," said Mr Munyawiri.

He said the lion had not managed to slip out of the farm to pose danger to
villagers as Simply Farm was wholly-electrified which he said was a
pre-emptive measure to stop the lions from slipping out of the farm into
areas where people live.

Mr Munyawiri said schoolchildren from the surrounding farms had since
resumed going to school after the capture of the lion which had caused
unprecedented apprehension among villagers.

The escape of the lions from their cages at the farm has been attributed to
staff negligence and authorities there have said that they will launch
investigations to find out what caused the lions to escape from their cages.

One of the workers at Simply farm who was attacked by the lion has since
recuperated while the other one is still receiving treatment.

There are about 58 lions being kept at the farm for breeding purposes in a
move that is aimed at giving diversity and widening the tourist spectacle in
Kyle Recreational Park that does not have lions.
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The Herald

Daily water cuts for city

By Walter Nyamukondiwa
RESIDENTS of some suburbs in the capital city will have water supplies for
only six hours a day following Harare City Council's decision to introduce
daily water cuts.

Under the new water management system, supplies to northern and southern
suburbs will be disconnected every day from 3pm to 8.30am the following day.

The new programme replaces the 24-hour cuts that had become the norm in
recent months and is tailored to ensure fair distribution of water.

It is has also been devised to allow the city's water reservoirs to gain
volumes while there is minimal use during the night.

However, residents of the affected areas, especially those who live alone
and go to work from 8am to 5pm, are likely to have no water at all on a
daily basis unless they make contingent arrangements.

This is because they would have no time to fill containers with water
because supplies are disconnected at 3pm when they are still at work and
resume the next day at 8.30am when they would have already left for work.

Suburbs that are affected include Meyrick Park, Alexandra Park, Ashdown
Park, Matidoda Park, Milton Park, Highfield, Mabelreign, Gunhill, Westgate,
Kensington, St Martins, Kuwadzana, Presidential Guard and Mount Pleasant and
the area incorporating the Presidential Guard complex.

The other areas are Greendale, Kambanji, Warren Park, Msasa Park, Westlea,
Waterfalls, Ruwa, Hatfield, Eastlea, Glen Lorne, Chisipite, Hillside,
Chadcombe, Ruwa, Epworth and Zimre Park.

Harare has also reduced supplies to Chitungwiza in a reported measure to cut
on consumption.

But The Herald understands the water supplies have been cut back because
Chitungwiza owes the city an undisclosed amount.

Harare public relations manager Mr Leslie Gwindi said council hoped the new
system would ease the problems currently being experienced by residents.

He said this was only a temporary arrangement while a lasting solution was
being sought.

By late yesterday, most of the city's reservoirs were very low, a situation
attributed to the current hot spell. Most of Harare's suburbs have been
experiencing water problems which has been blamed on the ageing water
reticulation equipment at Morton Jaffray Water Works.

Some areas such as The Grange, Chisipite, Msasa Park, Ruwa and Greendale
have gone for days without supplies of the precious liquid.

In a related matter, some residents have called for the intervention of the
Ministry of Health and Child Welfare as the situation has deteriorated.

Mr Thabani Moyo of Msasa Park said it was high time the health ministry
intervened if a disease outbreak is to be avoided.

"Just imagine children being unable to use toilets. We have resorted to
digging pits in our gardens which we use for relieving ourselves. Can you
imagine the risk we are putting our children under?" he said.

He said residents in his neighbourhood were also contemplating holding a
peaceful demonstration to show their frustrations with the way council is
conducting its business.
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Zim Independent

Harare water contaminated
Itai Dzamara
FORMER Harare Mayor, Elias Mudzuri, has said residents of the capital city
and satellite towns are consuming water contaminated with raw sewage due to
the chaos going on at Town House.

Mudzuri yesterday said investigations he had made and information he
obtained from Town House had revealed that Harare could run dry next month.
There was a grave risk to residents' health, he said.

Mudzuri said the fighting between government and the Movement for Democratic
Change (MDC) council over the past year had led to structures collapsing in
the water treatment system.

"We have to alert the people that Harare is likely to run dry in October. I
have done investigations and visited Lake Chivero and established that
things have fallen apart," Mudzuri said. "One day the city could wake up
without any drop of water because of the looming collapse of the water
treatment system."

Lake Chivero supplies water to Harare and satellite towns such as Norton,
Chitungwiza and Ruwa.

Mudzuri, who is a qualified engineer, said the quality of water currently
being pumped into Harare was unfit for human consumption.

"The treatment plants (at Morton Jaffray) are terribly bad and Lake Chivero
is badly polluted. The water currently being consumed has a bad smell
because of the untreated raw sewage flowing into the lake and I have since
stopped drinking it."

Mudzuri was elected to head the Harare City Council in 2000 but was only in
office a year when Local Government minister Ignatius Chombo suspended him.
Government eventually fired Mudzuri earlier this year and Sekesai
Makwavarara, who recently defected to Zanu PF, took over as acting mayor.

Harare has been struggling to secure funds to import water treatment
chemicals over the past year and Mudzuri said, added to this, plumbers who
had been employed during his tenure were fired leaving the council without
enough manpower at the water treatment plants.

University of Zimbabwe scientist Professor Chris Magadza this week warned of
the danger of microcystin levels rising well above World Health Organisation
recommended limits in Lake Chivero.

Microcystins cause cancers, intestinal disorders and damage human male
testicular chromosomes, Magadza said.

Mudzuri said recent claims by Chombo that government was giving Harare City
Council $50 billion didn't offer hope for the city.

"That amount is too little considering the terrible state of affairs on the
issue of water treatment as well as others such as refuse collection," he

The MDC pulled out its remaining 22 Harare councillors a fortnight ago
following six months without council holding meetings. Chombo suspended 19
councillors in May after they had refused to take his orders barring them
from holding meetings.
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Zim Independent

Zanu PF bulldozes reforms
Dumisani Muleya
THE ruling Zanu PF is planning to introduce the much-touted proposed
electoral reforms without consultation with key stakeholders, a move that is
likely to increase criticism that it is ignoring recommendations by regional
heads of state.

Zanu PF, through government, has adopted the recently drafted Zimbabwe
Electoral Commission (ZEC) Bill - which will be gazetted today to usher in
the changes - and plans to bulldoze it through parliament next month.

This would be in violation of the spirit of the Southern African Development
Community principles and guidelines on democratic elections that call for
consensus on such reforms.

Opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) leader Morgan Tsvangirai on
Wednesday told diplomats in Harare that Zanu PF was not interested in
serious electoral reforms.

He said the MDC decided to boycott elections because of rising repression
and government's unwillingness to discuss ways to implement the Sadc

He cited the continued ban on MDC rallies, prevention of public
demonstrations, violence and intimidation by Zanu PF militias, and
suppression of civil and political liberties.

This week there were arrests of civic society and opposition activists for
holding meetings deemed illegal.

Tsvangirai said as long as Zimbabwe had laws such as the Public Order &
Security Act and the Access to Information & Protection of Privacy Act, it
would be hard to have freedom of assembly, association and expression.

"Fear is now endemic, especially in the rural areas, thus destroying the
confidence of the people in the electoral process. Some say we rushed into
the decision to suspend our participation in elections," Tsvangirai said.

"They argue that we should have given the government a chance to implement
the Mauritius protocol. Our answer is simple. We say look at the political
facts and the political reality on the ground."

The MDC two weeks ago suspended participation in future elections pending
the implementation of Sadc principles in full.

A conference convened by the Zimbabwe Election Support Network and the
Electoral Institute of Southern African in August in Victoria Falls resolved
that "electoral systems and processes should be established by consensus".

However, since attempted talks between Zanu PF and the MDC failed in July,
the ruling party appears determined to go it alone.

This has raised prospects of a head-on clash between the two parties over
the proposed electoral changes and embarrassment for Zimbabwe regionally.

Official sources said the two parties were headed for a major confrontation
in parliament next month over the Bill due to rising hostility. Sources
predicted a heated debate in parliament because government will try to pass
into law the electoral changes through a Bill and not through constitutional
amendment as initially envisaged.

After failing to secure MDC support to amend the constitution and make the
ZEC - which will run all future elections - an independent constitutional
body, Zanu PF is now intent on using an Act of Parliament to introduce the

Legal Affairs minister Patrick Chinamasa said yesterday that he would use
the Bill to introduce the proposed reforms without amending the

"We will do it (make reforms) through the Bill. It will be gazetted in a few
days or maybe tomorrow (Friday). We want to create an independent electoral
commission to run elections," Chinamasa said.

"We don't need to amend the constitution to make these changes. We can do it
through the Bill. There is no problem at all. Those who are making noise are
people who are afraid of participating in elections."

The introduction of reforms through the Bill means that the current
Electoral Supervisory Commission (ESC) will remain in place. Chinamasa said
the ESC would perform its current functions of supervising elections, while
the ZEC would be added to the already cluttered electoral structures.

The chairman of the ZEC will be appointed by President Robert Mugabe in consultation with the Judicial Services Commission, something the MDC is
vehemently opposed to.
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Zim Independent

Mnangagwa fights for Kwekwe
Augustine Mukaro
RULING Zanu PF secretary for administration Emmerson Mnangagwa's bid to
return to mainstream politics faces a stern test in the primary elections
for the Kwekwe Central constituency.

Mnangagwa needs to win the constituency to place himself on a firm footing
against other Zanu PF luminaries eyeing top posts in the party's hierarchy
ahead of its December congress.

Highly placed sources in Kwekwe told the Zimbabwe Independent that a retired
Brigadier Mavenge had already started canvassing support in readiness for
the primary.

"Brig Mavenge of Mbizo area has already started canvassing support and has
declared that he will be contesting in the primary," the sources said.

"What makes the situation interesting is that Mnangagwa has been declaring
himself as the candidate for the Kwekwe constituency at meetings he has been
addressing since July at Amaveni Hall."

Sources said Mnangagwa has been visiting Kwekwe every weekend, addressing
meetings of the party's district structures and promising assistance to the

Sources also said an officer commanding 5 Engineers Squadron at Kondoroza in
Kwekwe, a Lt Colonel Undenge, was also understood to be eyeing the
constituency. He has reportedly resigned his commission to enter the
political ring.

Zanu PF is understood to have scheduled the party's primary elections for
October so that candidates in next year's general election can be involved
in the formulation of campaign strategies at the congress.

Mnangagwa and a number of other Zanu PF bigwigs, who were consigned

to the political wilderness in the landmark 2000 parliamentary election by
the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC), are reportedly keen to bounce

Mnangagwa wants to recover Kwekwe Central from the MDC's Blessing Chebundo.

Mnangagwa was widely expected to be elected vice-president at the
forthcoming congress to replace the late Simon Muzenda until the Women's
League congress last week resolved to push for a woman candidate. Zanu PF
external affairs secretary Didymus Mutasa has also expressed an interest in
the job.

Mnangagwa needs to prove he has popular support if he is to recover from
political defeats in 1999 - by John Nkomo - and 2000 - by the MDC.

Meanwhile, reports reaching the Independent say serious intra-party clashes
have erupted in some constituencies with Young Turks threatening to unseat
sitting MPs.

Zanu PF's own The Voice newspaper said this week "very dirty and undesirable
things" were taking place in Manicaland, Masvingo, Mashonaland West,
Matabeleland and Bulawayo.

In Masvingo North, Foreign Affairs minister Stan Mudenge reportedly
complained that Major Kudzai Mbudzi was using dirty tactics to wrestle the
constituency from him whilst a fierce battle looks inevitable in Masvingo
Central following Eddison Zvobgo (jnr)'s indication that he is eyeing the
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Zim Independent

AirZim reinstates managers
Itai Dzamara
AIR Zimbabwe has reinstated four senior managers who were dismissed earlier
this year but have been on full salary and benefits, causing discontent
among the workforce.

The four managers returned at a time when the airline is experiencing a
go-slow over failure by management to honour a promised 80% pay hike to

Air Zimbabwe acting managing director Oscar Madombwe this week confirmed the
managers were back at work but claimed they had never been fired.

"Yes they are back at work. The four managers you are talking about were
never dismissed," Madombwe said.

"There are internal reasons why they have not been coming to work. They have
always been our workers."

The four managers, David Mwenga, Modercai Magaisa, Stephen Nhuta and Phineas
Ndlovu, were dismissed by the national airline as part of a restructuring
exercise. Former managing director Rambai Chingwena told the Zimbabwe
Independent in March that the four had been "removed" as part of the
restructuring exercise.

However, they have been getting full monthly salaries, using company
vehicles, and receiving an entertainment allowance, school fees and housing

Madombwe yesterday said the dispute between management and workers over
salary and wage increments was being discussed. "We are talking with the
workers and we are making progress. I think everything is progressing very
well. I am not sure if I can answer the question regarding when we will
award the increments," he said.

Management at the airline resolved to award the increments last month and
said these would be backdated to July after a series of strikes over the
past couple of months.

However, workers went on a go-slow a fortnight ago when they received their
August pay slips without the adjustments.
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Zim Independent

Mat water project hits another snag
Loughty Dube
THE construction of the much-awaited Matabeleland Zambezi Water Project
pipeline is likely to be delayed after it emerged that tenders for the
various phases of the project except the Gwayi-Shangani dam are yet to be

The Chinese contractor currently at the site, Chinese Electrical Machinery
and Equipment (CEME), was only awarded the tender to construct the
Gwayi-Shangani dam, while the laying of the 450-kilometre pipeline is yet to
be tendered for.

Sources said the Chinese contractor had started clearing the site and
blasting the area around the access road to the river-bed but has not yet
started on the dam construction.

Matabeleland Zambezi Water Trust (MZWT) chairman, Dumiso Dabengwa, confirmed
that the Chinese would only construct the Gwayi-Shangani dam.

He said the process of inviting tenders for the laying of the pipeline from
the Zambezi river to Bulawayo would be done at a later stage.

"The Chinese have already started clearing the site. Blasting the access
road to the river bed will be complete soon and we expect them to start on
the foundation of the dam wall very, very soon," Dabengwa told the Zimbabwe
Independent this week.

Pressed to comment on when the whole project is expected to be completed,
Dabengwa said it should take three years.

"While the first phase of constructing the Gwayi-Shangani dam is going on,
we will be looking for a company that will manufacture the pipes. The
process will go parallel with the dam construction and we should be through
with the project in three years," he said.

It also emerged this week that the designing of the pipeline has not yet
been done. The design of the pipeline will determine the type of pipes to be

"This year we expect to do a detailed design of the pipeline and by the
beginning of next year we will be on course. At the moment we do not see any
hitches to the project," Dabengwa said.

MZWT officials are expected to travel to Malaysia this month to sign a
US$600 million joint-venture agreement that will see the Malaysians holding
an 80% stake in the project while the MZWT will only have a 20% equity.
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Zim Independent

Top cops quit
Gift Phiri
TWO senior police officers have quit the force rather than sacrifice
professional principles, the Zimbabwe Independent heard this week.

Sources said senior assistant commissioner Frank Musuthu and senior staffing
officer (internal investigations) Ngonidzashe Gambiza resigned three weeks
ago after they were assigned to the Commissioner's Pool, widely regarded in
the force as a means of dealing with problem officers.

The officers are understood to have resisted pressure to perform partisan

There were unconfirmed claims that the two officers had clashed with
Chihuri, who has made public his political affiliation to Zanu PF.

The sources say Gambiza was told he was no longer fit for active police
duties although he had served in the force for over 20 years. He could not
be reached for comment at the time of going to press.

Musuthu confirmed he had resigned but would not comment further.

Meanwhile, President Robert Mugabe last week extended Chihuri's term of
office by another year in what was widely seen as a vote of confidence in
him ahead of next year's election. Police and the army have played key roles
in recent elections, in particular during the presidential poll in 2002.

Mugabe has renewed Chihuri's term annually since his first four-year term
expired in 1998.

The latest extension makes Chihuri the longest serving police commissioner
in the country's history.

Chihuri, an ex-combatant, has publicly declared his support for Zanu PF, in
the process contravening the Police Act that bars officers from active
participation in politics. He stated publicly that he would resign if Zanu
PF lost power.

Under Chihuri, the police have been widely criticised for lack of
professionalism and human rights abuses.
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Zim Independent

World student body seeks Mugabe's excommunication
Gift Phiri
THE International Union of Students (IUS), the umbrella body of all student
unions around the world, has urged the Catholic Church to excommunicate
President Robert Mugabe for human rights abuses and for attacking church

The IUS, based in Prague, wrote to the Vatican last week exhorting the
church to excommunicate Mugabe. The students' plea follows representations
by other groups, including Catholic bishops and human rights activists, to
have Mugabe excluded from the church.

IUS political advisor to the secretary for African affairs, Nicholav Kalav,
said Mugabe should be excommunicated for his disregard for human life. He
further stated that Mugabe was leading a "repressive government" and the
Catholic Church should mete out its most severe form of punishment.

"Our request is premised on the following: Mr Mugabe presides over a
government that massacred thousands of civilians in Matabeleland in the
early 1980s in Zimbabwe," reads the letter. "As a means of reviving his
fading political fortunes he has deployed some ex-freedom fighters to
harass, harangue, torture, rape and murder supporters of opposition parties
in the country. Recently he has been on a trail to persecute divine men of
the Lord."

Excommunication is usually reserved for very grave offences.

If Mugabe is excommunicated - which is unlikely - he will join the ranks of
Cuban dictator Fidel Castro, who was excommunicated from the church in 1962
by Pope John XXIII.

An official with the Catholic Commission for Justice and Peace (CCJP) who
declined to be named said the Vatican would consider the students' request
on its merits.

"There will be an objective analysis of the request and if it has any merits
it will be considered," the official said.

Mugabe, who has recently hit out at Bulawayo Archbishop Pius Ncube, has
angered many church followers. The slurs have not gone down well with
Catholics who feel that as long as the president is a practising member in
full communion with the principles of the Roman Catholic Church, he should
stop denigrating church leaders.

Catholic, Protestant and Ecumenical associations last week denounced what
they called Mugabe's "calculated, hateful and unjustified criticism of
Archbishop Pius Ncube".

"This amounts to the persecution of the church and its leaders as a ploy to
silence it from voicing the glaring evils perpetrated against the generality
of the population," the organisations said in a joint statement.
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Zim Independent

GMB fails to prove claims of bumper harvest
Eric Chiriga
THE Grain Marketing Board (GMB) and the Central Statistical Office (CSO)
have failed to provide proof of government claims of a bumper harvest. They
failed to provide figures to the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Land
and Agriculture more than two months after they were requested to supply the

The committee sent questions to the GMB at the beginning of June after
parliament had ordered an assessment of the food situation in the country.

This followed serious disputes regarding grain stocks in the country, with
government insisting that Zimbabwe will get a bumper harvest whilst
independent surveys differed. The committee was expected to present a report
to parliament before the end of the month.

The CSO has not yet submitted a response to the parliamentary committee and
is yet to compile figures regarding this year's harvest, Daniel Mackenzie
Ncube, the chairman of the committee, said last week.

The GMB produced an unsigned document this week before the committee, which
didn't have figures but only claimed that the country had sufficient food.

GMB officials who attended the meeting organised by the portfolio committee
on Tuesday said they were not ready with the figures. GMB marketing
director, Zvidzai Makwenda, told the meeting that acting chief executive
officer Colonel Samuel Muvuti had taken urgent leave.

"It would be unfair for us to present anything, we are not prepared. If we
could be given more time to go and prepare," Makwenda said.

Ncube said his committee had been assessing the grain reserves in the
country over the past month but could only come up with an informed position
after obtaining figures from the GMB and the CSO.

"We need those figures and statistics, which should present a break down of
what was harvested countrywide so that we could compare with the situation
on the ground," Ncube said.

Sources at the GMB and the CSO this week said both institutions were
reluctant to provide statistics regarding the food situation because they
could expose government, which has been claiming that the country will this
year harvest 2,4 million tonnes of grain.
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Zim Independent

Mugabe faces class action lawsuit
Gift Phiri
ZIMBABWE Lawyers for Human Rights and the Legal Resources Foundation are
contemplating a class action to compel President Robert Mugabe to publish
findings of investigations into military atrocities against civilians in
Matabeleland in the 1980s.

A spokesperson for the two human rights groups said they were still
collecting signatures from victims of an alleged genocidal campaign in
Matabeleland and Midlands provinces that claimed the lives of an estimated
20 000 people in five years.

"By failing or refusing to make the reports public (President) Mugabe is
hindering many people's enjoyment of freedom of expression," the
organisations' lawyer said. "As an alternative remedy, it is prudent for us
to bring a class action lawsuit against Mugabe until he concedes to our
demands to make the two reports public."

The Matabeleland mas-sacres - which have been described by Pre-sident Mugabe
as an "act of madness" - were committed by the North Korean-trained Fifth
Bri-gade during a security clampdown against purported dissidents in the
south-western part of the country.

Investigations by human rights groups have found that at least 20 000
civilians were killed in Matabeleland and Midlands provinces in what
political analysts have said was a bid to establish a one-party state. Most
of the people in the affected regions supported the now defunct PF-Zapu.

Although President Mugabe has not directly apologised for the mass murders,
he has said it was "an act of madness" that should not be repeated. He came
close to apologising at Joshua Nkomo's funeral in July 1999 when he said he
regretted the loss of lives during the Gukurahundi campaign.

The massacres between 1982 and 1987 were preceded by bloody clashes at
Entumbane in Bulawayo between former liberation movements PF Zapu and Zanu's
armed wings - Zipra and Zanla respectively.

President Mugabe reacted to the incidents by appointing a commission of
inquiry chaired by the late former Chief Justice Enock Dumbutshena.

Another commission chaired by Harare lawyer Simplisius Chihambakwe was set
up to investigate the atrocities in Matabeleland and Midlands.

However, President Mugabe has refused to publish the reports despite
sustained pressure to do so.

This forced human rights groups to approach the Supreme Court to compel him
to release the reports. But a full complement of the highest court of appeal
bench dismissed the application for the publication of the reports.

Justice Misheck Cheda ruled that President Mugabe could not be compelled to
reveal the findings contained in the reports.

"The president is, by virtue of executive privilege, permitted to withhold
such a report where he deems it to be confidential and its revelation would
be prejudicial to public safety and order," Cheda said.

"As long as the first respondent (President Mugabe) declines to publish the
reports on the basis of the interest of the state and safety of other
persons, he cannot be compelled to publish the reports."

But human rights groups say they will now resort to a class action to oblige
President Mugabe to publish the reports to heal the wounds.
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Zim Independent

MDC to test spirit of Sadc protocol
Itai Dzamara
THE opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) is this weekend expected
to hold rallies in Harare and Bulawayo to mark its fifth anniversary.

The rallies, to be held at Zimbabwe Grounds tomorrow in Highfield and White
City Stadium in Bulawayo on Sunday, will be used to explain to the
electorate the party's decision to suspend participation in future

MDC spokesman Paul Themba Nyathi said on Wednesday the rallies would be
addressed by MDC president Morgan Tsvangirai and Vice-President Gibson

"We want to see how the police will handle our rallies and campaign," Nyathi
said. "We also want to see whether Zanu PF will unleash violence on us," he

"We are going to explain our position to the electorate regarding the 2005
election. Our position is that until such a time that Zanu PF implements the
letter and spirit of the Sadc protocol on the principles and guidelines on
holding democratic elections we will not participate. This is why we did not
participate in Seke because the by-election was going to be held under a
flawed electoral system."

The MDC a fortnight ago decided to suspend participation in all future
elections, triggering debate over the timing and political wisdom behind the
pullout. The party cited lack of the rule of law, unfair electoral practices
as well as use of draconian laws by Zanu PF.

The MDC's decision came soon after President Robert Mugabe signed the Sadc
protocol on the principles and guidelines on holding democratic elections.

Tsvangirai was attacked in Mvurwi by Zanu PF supporters in June when he went
to address a scheduled rally and says the police failed to protect him and
his entourage.

The Sadc protocol compels President Mugabe to implement wholesale changes to
the electoral framework and government will soon be tabling a Bill in
parliament seeking to introduce the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission to run all
future elections.

In his weekly column on Tuesday, Tsvangirai said the MDC marks its fifth
anniversary having made great strides towards ending repression.

"The myth of invincibility that has come to be associated with Robert
Mugabe's regime has been shattered. Autocracy and tyranny under the mask of
nationalism has been dealt a fatal blow. The principal doctrine of autocracy
on which the Zanu PF dictatorship nourished has been smashed.

The very foundation of Mugabe's tyranny has been defeated. It is a
milestone, indeed," Tsvangirai said.
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Zim Independent

Customs dashes Nkomo's dream
Staff Writer
CANNERY and timber equipment worth $300 billion sourced by the late
Vice-President Joshua Nkomo is lying idle at different locations in the

Sources said some of the equipment has gone missing after an empowerment
company set up to implement development projects failed to start work.

The equipment, which includes timber processing, tomato and fruit
juice-making machinery, was sourced from Italy by Nkomo and was handed over
to the Development Trust of Zimbabwe (DTZ), an empowerment company formed by
the veteran nationalist to spearhead development in the country.

However, the equipment was detained by the customs department after the DTZ
failed to pay customs duty while some of it was sent to different
destinations across the country.

Sources told the Zimbabwe Independent this week that several cargo

containers of the equipment were lying idle at Balu Estates in Matabeleland
North while other containers have been detained for the last 10 years at
Harare International Airport and at the Joshua Mqabuko Nkomo Airport in

The sources said some of the cargo containers had been moved from the
Bulawayo customs depot to unknown destinations.

DTZ board member Dumiso Dabengwa confirmed that the equipment was still
lying idle but said the DTZ board would soon meet to chart the way forward
on the project that was expected to create thousands of jobs.
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Zim Independent

The ball is now in Sadc's court
By David Coltart
ON July 20, President Mugabe, in his speech marking the opening of
parliament, announced that a number of electoral reforms would be introduced
that would level the electoral playing field. Mugabe and Zanu PF
disingenuously claimed that these reforms (including the establishment of a
new Zimbabwe Electoral Commission, the reduction of polling days from two to
one and the counting of votes at polling stations) would address the
Movement for Democratic Change (MDC)'s demands.

As we said at the time, these proposed reforms only partly address our
minimum standards pertaining to improving the transparency and fairness of
procedures governing the polling day. On the whole, they are woefully
inadequate and fail to even touch on the crucial issue of opening up the
political space and ending political violence.

What the ruling party's proposals clearly demonstrate is that they view an
election as an event as opposed to a process.

It is this politically expedient definition of what constitutes an election
that received an unequivocal "yellow card" at the Sadc summit in Mauritius.
The comprehensive set of guidelines and principles that were agreed upon in
Mauritius captured the essential elements of our blueprint, "Restore", in
particular the recognition that a free and fair election is not possible
when the political space has all but been closed down. This was a symbolic
victory for the MDC.

When Mugabe signed the protocol he was technically committing himself to
implementing the MDC's minimum standards. In theory at least, our "yellow
card" in the form of Restore produced a very positive result indeed. The
reality, however, is different. In the immediate aftermath of his return
from Mauritius, Mugabe and his regime quashed any hopes that they would act
in the spirit and letter of the agreement by gazetting a draft NGO Bill
containing provisions which continue the government's determination to crush
all organised centres of opinion opposed to the regime.

This for the MDC was the final straw. In the absence of any evidence that
the government intends to comply in full with the Sadc elections charter,
the MDC decided to draw a line in the sand and say enough is enough. With
less than seven months until the election there is insufficient time to wave
yellow cards any longer.

The timing of our decision was also influenced by the fact that nomination
day for a by-election was due on September 3 and we had to make a decision
prior to that day. Had we not made a decision before that day the region
could have assumed that we believed that the Mauritius principles were in
the process of being implemented in Zimbabwe.

The timing also has to be seen in the context of what has been stated in the
region about the issue of negotiations between Zanu PF and MDC. For over a
year we have been told that we are engaged in informal negotiations with
Zanu PF when that is not true. A real fear we had was that Zanu PF's
compliance, or rather non-compliance, with the Mau-ritius principles, would
be fudged as would our "acceptance" that Zimbabwe's electoral system now
complied with the Mauritius principles.

We had to make it clear, emphatically, urgently and unequivocally, that our
electoral system does not, and will not, even in the event of Mugabe's
proposed changes being implemented, comply with the Mauritius principles.

It has been suggested in this newspaper and elsewhere that we should have
used the next few months to prove that Zimbabwe's electoral environment does
not comply with the Mauritius principles. That is precisely what the Mugabe
regime wants us to do. It would, no doubt, be happy to implement meaningful
reforms a month prior to the election, which would not result in a free and
fair election. Zimbabweans have been deeply traumatised during the last five
years and need a peaceful period of at least six months prior to the
election to feel confident to exercise their vote meaningfully.

For all the government's claims that the MDC is dead and that they can run
an election without us, Zanu PF can never claim legitimacy unless the MDC
participates. Whilst the MDC could have been ignored in 2000, it is now
recognised regionally and internationally as a credible political party and
to that extent its participation in the 2005 election is critical to both
Zanu PF and Sadc if Zimbabwe's crisis is to be resolved.

To that extent, it was critically important that we indicated to Sadc as
soon as possible that we were not prepared to participate in this charade
any longer and that they should bring the Mugabe regime to book as quickly
as possible to resolve the crisis. The onus is now on Sadc to ensure that
the Mugabe regime fully complies with its obligations under Sadc elections'
protocol. A failure to do so would put Sadc's credibility on the line.

It is suggested that what is required is for the MDC to test the water. That
precisely is what we will be doing. We will be testing the regime's
sincerity in the course of the next few months in parliament, in the courts
and in the media. At every turn we intend explaining to the Zimbabwean
electorate and Sadc why it is that the NGO Bill, Zanu PF's proposed reforms,
and existing draconian legislation that severely curtails our fundamental
rights, are wholly incompatible with the Mauritius principles.

Finally, it is also suggested that we are somehow disengaging from the
political discourse. Nothing could be further from the truth. We are
suspending our involvement in the electoral process pending Zimbabwe's
compliance with the Mauritius principles.That is very different to
suspending our involvement in the political process. We are actively
identifying candidates for the 2005 parliamentary election. We will be
vigorously participating in parliament and organising our structures in
anticipation of the Mugabe regime being forced to comply fully with these
wonderful new Sadc standards.

*David Coltart is MDC MP for Bulawayo South and its shadow Justice minister.
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Zim Independent

Zim imports milk
Augustine Mukaro/Eric Chiriga
DESPITE government claims that its land reform programme is a "resounding
success", the country is having to import milk to augment declining local

The Zimbabwe Independent understands that Zimbabwe has been forced to source
milk from New Zealand, Denmark, Argentina and several other countries.
Sources said the milk was being imported through commodity broking agencies
based in the United Kingdom and Denmark. One of the agencies is said to be
London & General, based in the UK.

This follows revelations by dairy farmers that raw milk supplies to the
market have declined by over six million litres over the past year.

Information from Zimtrade confirms that the country has been importing milk
although it doesn't specify whether it was companies or individuals making
the imports.

Zimtrade figures show that last year Zimbabwe imported a total of 6 401 507
litres of raw milk.

Of the imported milk, Botswana supplied 4 278 043 litres, New Zealand 89
418, Denmark 100 000 and Argentina 50 590.

The rest of the milk came from other countries.

Dairibord Zimbabwe public relations manager, Emelda Shoko, said her
organisation was not importing milk except for very limited quantities of

"Importation of powders has always been done to augment local shortfalls in
years of drought," Shoko said.

"Like any other business operating in a challenging economy, there has been
a decline in milk supplies due to escalating costs and a shortage of
stockfeeds. This was exacerbated by the recent drought that we experienced,"
she said.

"Currently volumes are about 22% down compared to last year, while last
year's volumes were 31% down when compared with 2002," she said.

Milk production has fallen by over 52% since the inception of the land
reform programme. Production fell from 18,7 million to the current under 9
million litres over the past four years.

This decline in the dairy industry is largely due to the land reform
programme which has seen producers being forced to vacate their properties
and close down their operations.

Over the past four years government has been issuing eviction notices to
white commercial farmers eroding confidence and discouraging new investment.
The uncertainty forced producers to slaughter their dairy cows.

The farmers who took over from former white commercial farmers are failing
to bridge the production gap.
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Zim Independent

HIV/Aids impact on society devastating
Gift Phiri
SEVERELY emaciated eight-year-old Lucy gestures from her hospital bed that
she wants to sit up to have her nutritious maize-soya blend porridge.

It is the first time Lucy, an orphan who weighs just 10 kg, has asked for
food in several weeks. The return of her appetite brings a broad smile to
the tired face of her aunt, cradling her skeletal torso on a hospital bed at
Harare Central Hospital.

With both her parents dead and the Aids virus slowly gnawing away at her
immune system since birth, it is hard to imagine that Lucy is actually one
of the luckier ones.

Taken in on Harare Central Hospital's recently introduced Opportunistic
Infection (OI) Clinic and started on a course of anti-retroviral drugs (ARV)
this week, she now has a reasonable chance of slowly recovering.

Sadly, most relatives who cannot afford to take care of such children, let
alone pay for virus suppressing pills, reject most of the thousands of
children affected by Aids in Zimbabwe.

"She is not in a good state now but she will make it," said a nurse tending
to the ward. "Other kids who have come here in the past were worse but they
managed to recover. The pills really do work."

The drug costs $100 000 per month per child and is sourced through
partnerships with local manufacturers such as Varichem.

Ravaged by three successive droughts that have pushed food shortages to
crisis levels and with HIV currently killing at least 3 000 people a week,
Zimbabwe is being seriously devastated by Aids.

Although Zimbabwe could emerge from its food-supply crisis following rains
that fell in most parts of the country, the spectre of HIV and Aids
continues to stalk the land.

"The potential impact of HIV on society could be devastating," Aids and TB
programmes coordinator in the Ministry of Health, Dr Owen Magurungu, said.
"Our major worry is to make sure that we have a reliable and adequate supply
of drugs. We have received $2 billion from the Aids Levy and $10 billion
from the Ministry of Finance."

Magurungu said five pilot sites countrywide had been granted OI centre
status. These include Harare and Mpilo hospitals, which are expected to take
about 1 000 patients each.

The other three centres will take in between 500 and 600 patients each.

"Of the 4 000 patients we aim to treat, at least 800 are children and we
expect to have 260 000 of an estimated 520 000 HIV-positive people on the
programme by the end of the year," Magurungu said.

To be eligible for the programme, patients have to undergo a CD4 count,
which is a measure of the body's immune system. Only patients with a CD4
count below 200 are considered.

Prevention of parent to child transmission project coordinator with Medecins
Sans Fron-tieres (Doctors Without Borders), Dr Jacinta Hurst, said the CD4
count helps to monitor the effectiveness and possible side effects of the

"On this programme we are providing the technical support and the
development of tools for delivering the ARVs," Hurst said.

According to Women and Aids Support Network (Wasn), Nevirapine, an
antiretroviral drug that helps to reduce parent-to-child-transmission (PTCT)
of HIV, has helped in mitigating the number of children born HIV-positive by
about 50%.

A Wasn official said an HIV-positive pregnant mother takes one 200mg tablet
of Nevirapine during labour. The baby is then given a 20mg dose in liquid
form within the first three days of its life, as a precautionary measure.

"Out of 600 000 Zimbabwean women who give birth annually, 200 000 are
HIV-positive and 30% of them transmit the virus to their babies," the
official said. "This means that about 60 000 babies are infected at birth.
However, the use of Nevirapine further reduces this figure by half to about
30 000 babies. Effectively, this means that the lives of 30 000 more babies
can be saved through the use of Nevirapine annually."

Dr Hurst noted that the number of people living with HIV in the country was

Since the discovery of Zimbabwe's first case of HIV in 1985, the disease has
continued to decimate the population and an estimated 1,8 million are
HIV-positive out of a population of 12,5 million. Of this figure, 1,54
million are adults within the age group of 15 to 49, about 870 000 are women
and 165 000 are children.

Despite this situation, government claims Zimbabwe is one of the few
developing countries which are slowly but surely winning the battle against
the epidemic.

It says infection rates have dropped from 33% of the population in 2002 to
24,6% last year.

Health minister Dr David Parirenyatwa last December said the campaign
against HIV/Aids is working.
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Zim Independent

Will Chombo's cronies make Harare better?
Augustine Mukaro

THE city of Harare, which has been denied a democratically elected council
by central government for the past four years, could soon have a commission
foisted on it following the mass resignation of Movement for Democratic
Change (MDC) councillors.

The MDC chose to withdraw all its remaining councillors three weeks ago,
saying Local Government minister Ignatius Chombo had rendered the council
ineffective. Chombo fired MDC executive mayor Elias Mudzuri, before
dismissing 19 councillors and barring council from holding any meetings.
The majority of councillors resigned, forcing two full council meetings to
be aborted because of failure by those remaining to form a quorum. To date,
only four MDC councillors remain.

It is understood Chombo is mulling a commission to run the affairs of the
city. Sources said James Kurasha, who chaired the committee that recommended
Mudzuri's dismissal, was tipped to lead the commission as he is already
sitting in all council meetings.

The question that comes to mind is whether the commission will turn around
the fortunes of the politically volatile Town House when the previous one
dismally failed to make an impact in the three years it was in charge.

Harare's problems date back to 1999 after the dismissal of the Solomon
Tawengwa council on allegations of corruption, fraud and maladministration.

Government then handpicked commissioners led by former diplomat Elijah
Chanakira to run the affairs of Harare.
Losing Harare to the opposition in the March 2002 mayoral election meant
government had lost its grip on the capital, so by hook or crook it has
worked to recover it.

Barely three months after Mudzuri's takeover, Chombo started poking his nose
into the daily running of Town House. Analysts say this had nothing to do
with the interests of ratepayers but owed much to the ruling party's
insatiable hunger to control the capital.

Chombo's first move was to issue directives demanding that the mayor refer
all financial and human resources matters to him before making resolutions.
"Mudzuri managed to resurface all major roads leading in and out of Harare.
Responses to burst water and sewer pipes were coming within hours of a
report and he ordered the closure of all sanitary lanes in the city in an
effort to control refuse," one urban analyst said.

"Mudzuri's biggest achievement was the computerisation of the city's
treasury department to improve revenue collection," he said.
Despite Mudzuri's spirited efforts to revive Harare's decaying
infrastructure, politics ruled the roost with his deputy Sekesai Makwavarara
turning against him before defecting to Zanu PF.

The introduction of the Harare Metropolitan province to which was appointed
Zanu PF top functionary Witness Mangwende as governor was the last straw for
the MDC council. Mangwende and Makwavarara are currently running the show at
Town House. The Combi-ned Harare Residents Association (CHRA), an umbrella
body representing all residents associations in the capital, said Chombo's
interference was reversing Mudzuri's achievements and council services had
been deteriorating over the past year.

Harare residents this week said Town House started declining after April
2003 when Mudzuri was suspended and subsequently dismissed a year later.
"Virtually all the capi-tal's infrastructure is in a free-fall characterised
by burst water pipes, raw sewerage flowing in high-density residential
streets, roads almost inacce-ssible because of potholes and decomposing
mountains of uncollected garbage which are posing threats of disease
outbreak at the corners of the streets," CHRA said.

CHRA said Makwavarara had dropped the stakeholders' consultation system
resulting in council coming up with absurd rate increases and policies that
were often resisted by residents.
"Council is no longer consulting residents in matters of budgeting as had
been the norm but simply imposing its views," CHRA said.

"Last year council had to be forced to revise its budget downwards because
it had not followed the procedural consultation process.

"Half the time Makwavarara has been fighting to keep her position instead of
taking the city ahead through getting feedback from residents and responding
to their concerns."

CHRA said the one-man-band attitude which Makwavarara has adopted had
resulted in the city deteriorating further in both infrastructure and its
financial position.

"Council has been reported bankrupt on two occasions over the past year that
Makwavarara has been acting mayor because residents have been refusing to
recognise her thereby holding back rates payments, council's main source of
revenue," CHRA said.

CHRA said Harare's health delivery system had been thrown into disarray over
the past year as Makwavarara had bungled other sources of revenue.
"Germany's city of Munich suspended its cooperation with Harare citing
dismissal of someone democratically elected by the people of Harare to take
over the mayoral office," CHRA said.
"Suspension of the Munich partnership has closed prospects of both medical
equipment and financial support that could have improved the situation at
city council clinics," it said.

Other residents who spoke to the Zimbabwe Independent said water and refuse
collection problems have been worsening over the past year with a number of
residential areas going for weeks either without water or with mountains of
decomposing refuse.

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Zim Independent

Harare residents need practical solutions

IT would appear that the former Sunshine City is gone forever. Virtually all
of Harare's democratically-elected MDC councillors have either been turfed
out of office by Local Government minister Ignatius Chombo or asked to step
down by their own party because their position is untenable. As we report
elsewhere in this issue, Chombo is mulling another commission to run the
affairs of the city.

Water shortages, potholes and uncollected garbage have plagued the capital
for a very long time. The last such commission, led by Elijah Chanakira, was
an unmitigated disaster. There was thus a collective sigh of relief when
Harare residents were in 2000 afforded an opportunity to elect a council of
their choice whose members would be forced by the pressure of accountability
to perform. After 20 years' experience with Zanu PF failures, people decided
it was time to try new brooms and voted overwhelmingly for an MDC-led

But the Zanu PF government was in no mood to recognise this expression of
democratic opinion. If Zanu PF councillors had failed in the past 20 years,
nobody should be given the chance to prove that they could do any better, it
reasoned. The council was therefore emasculated from the start when Chombo
decided to run it by directives from his office. The council could not make
decisions on vital finance and human resources issues without his signature,
he decreed. At the same time government failed to meet its financial
commitments to the city.

Thus, while the council had the overwhelming backing of the ratepayers who
needed services, the government used its political muscle to make sure it
could not perform.

Harare's first democratically-elected executive mayor Elias Mudzuri was not
given the chance to run the city. He resisted Chombo's intrusive directives.
Fictitious charges of incompetence and corruption were manufactured by the
same minister who found himself with nothing else to do but monitor Mudzuri's
daily doings. Eventually the mayor was fired. In his place a Harare
metropolitan governor in the form of Witness Mangwende was imposed on the
residents of Harare, in the same way as the previous commission had been.

Unfortunately Harare's problems have not been amenable to this form of
manipulation. They require practical measures, not party slogans. Reports
this week indicate that parts of Greendale, Glen Lorne, Chisipite,
Borrowdale and Mabvuku have been without water for several weeks. Most of
the residents in these areas have to rely on borehole water or sourcing it
from relatives or friends who have a reliable supply. All this despite the
fact that Chombo has virtually taken over the running of Harare affairs and
that he can immediately make all the key decisions concerning finance and
human resources.

We have had enough of reports about pumping capacity and broken pipelines.
What is needed are solutions.

We hope something will materialise from reports that $50 billion will soon
be made available for the upgrading of Morton Jaffray water works and the
collapsing sewerage system.

By the time Mudzuri was fired he had managed to fill most of the potholes in
the CBD and repair streetlights. Now the city is reverting to its original
state of disrepair.

The way in which Chombo's symbolic representative at Town House, Sekesai
Makwavarara, has been manipulated by Zanu PF tells us all we need to know
about the ruling party's anti-democratic agenda and the shallowness of those
prepared to cling to office regardless of principle.

Chombo's subversion of the electoral process in the city has seen the City
of Munich sever ties which held enormous benefits in the form of medical
equipment, water treatment and capacity building.

Meanwhile, the Combined Harare Residents' Association reports that most of
the capital's infrastructure is in free-fall. Burst water pipes, raw sewage
flowing down the streets and mounds of uncollected garbage have become
trademarks of the new administration. But that has not stopped Chombo's
blue-eyed girl Makwavarara from driving around in luxury vehicles and
drawing a large monthly salary for simply putting on a Zanu PF uniform.

A report by Professor Chris Magadza on the pollution of Harare's water
sources on Page 15 of this issue makes chilling reading.

During one of his regular teaching tours with his students this year,
Professor Magadza reports: "At the south end of Budiriro we saw a stream
carrying raw sewage, with visible faecal material floating down the stream -
in fact down to Lake Chivero. The municipal herd of cattle were seen
drinking from this stream."

Prof Magadza points to the danger of microcystin toxicity in the city's
water supply.

These are the realities that Harare residents are facing and which an
accountable council should be addressing. These are problems that an
accountable central government should be concerned about. These are life and
death issues for the residents of Harare which Chombo and his cronies at
Town House should be addressing with the greatest urgency instead of playing
party politics.

They cannot be solved by the imposition on Harare residents of another
illegitimate commission which does not enjoy the confidence of those it
purports to serve.

Exactly what qualifications does James Kurasha have to make decisions
regarding a city of this size? And what sort of record does Witness
Mangwende have as an administrator?

The nation's capital has been cursed over several years by village
politicians interfering in its administration. Harare's residents must
resist any further depredations by Zanu PF's desperate leadership and insist
upon the elected and accountable governance to which they are entitled.

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Zim Independent

Eric Bloch Column

Dire effects of collapsing infrastructure
WITH parliamentary elections only six months away, government is vigorously
trying to convince the populace that not only has the continuing decline of
the economy over the last seven years been halted, but also that the economy
is firmly upon a path of recovery and growth.

In speech after speech the president and his ministers contend that
government has in no manner been responsible for the distressed state to
which the economy has been reduced. And such denials have not only been the
characteristic of almostevery speech of the Zimbabwean political hierarchy,
but they have also been the central theme of editorials and articles in the
state-controlled press, and in news bulletins and other programmes on the
state-owned radio and television services.

The realities are diametrically opposite to the government's contentions.
Whilst it cannot be denied that the last nine months witnessed some
remarkable economic achievements by the governor of the Reserve Bank, Gideon
Gono, the effect of those achievements is confined to slowing down the
economic decline, as distinct from actually reversing it. Gono deserves loud
applause for that which he has achieved in a short period of time.

Foremost of his attainments has been the lowering of the year-on-year rate
of inflation from 622,8% in January, 2004 to 362,9% only six months later.
He has also restored an aspect of order, prudency and good governance to the
financial sector,has significantly increased inflows of foreign exchange -
albeit that there is still a pronounced insufficiency, has partially
restored Zimbabwe's relationships with the International Monetary Fund and
other major international bodies and with the diplomatic corps and those it
represents, and much else.

But all of that cannot re-establish and develop the economy. Monetary
policies are but one of the essential ingredients required.

Equally essential are constructive and responsible fiscal policies, just and
positive political actions, and to a large extent those ingredients are very
sadly lacking.

It must be acknowledged that the past few months have evidenced, under the
control of the acting Minister of Finance and Economic Development, Herbert
Murerwa, some more effective and long-overdue fiscal policies, but much more
are needed if the monetary policies of Gono are to be complemented and
rendered fully constructive. And, very regrettably, there have been
absolutely no endeavours on the part of government to undergo the
desperately needed transformations of its political actions.

In such circumstances, it is impossible for the economic recovery (which is
so greatly hungered for by the Zimbabwean populous) to materialise, and it
is inevitable that the economy will continue to decline, although the pace
of the decline has diminished to a significant degree, in response to the
monetary and fiscal policy changes over the last nine months.

Amongst the innumerable factors which cause the continuing debilitation of
the economy is the very sorry state of much of Zimbabwe's infrastructural
resource. No economy can be transformed from a state of great frailty to one
of virility and strength if the requisite supportive infrastructure is not
in place, and it is incontrovertibly not in place in Zimbabwe.

Thecatastrophically negative condition of most of Zimbabwe's infrastructure
is such that it is not only that the economy cannot recover, but that the
economic circumstances must continue to worsen.
Accountability for such disastrous conditions lies fairly and squarely at
the feet of government, and at those of the directors and managements of
many parastatals. Theinfrastructural environment is generally so poor that
even the very diminished levels of economic activity cannot have their
essential needs fully serviced.

The first of many key areas of infrastructural inadequacy is that of power
generation. The Zimbabwe Electricity Supply Authority lacks the electricity
generating capacity required to service the economy fully, and that adverse
situation is exacerbated by its failure to maintain and operate fully such
capacity as it does have. In part that is due to financial constraints, in
part to the scarcity of foreign exchange, and in part to a loss of much of
the technical and managerial skills required for efficient operations.

Load-shedding is a very frequent occurrence, exceeded only by supply
breakdowns. Vast areas of Zimbabwe's towns and cities are deprived of
lighting, or have grossly inadequate lighting providing safe haven to the
thousands of criminals who exploit the obscurity provided by shadows and
darkness. And industrial, mining and agricultural production is seriously
constrained by instabilities and uncertainties of power supplies.

Of major concern is also that in less than three years from the present,
neighbouring states who provide Zimbabwe with a substantial portion of its
electricity requirements will be forced to discontinue those supplies, as
their domestic needs increase and absorb their present energy export

Zimbabwean telecommunications are becoming a massive disaster, and yet
telecommunications are of critical importance to efficient economic
During normal business hours it is increasingly impossible to make
subscriber trunk dialling calls from Bulawayo to other centres in Zimbabwe,
let alone to destinations further afield. Invariably, after having dialled
only half of the digits of a desired telephone number, thecaller is the
recipient of an engaged signal, and that can occur on each and every attempt
to make the call over several hours.

The only telecommunication growth area in Zimbabwe is in the scales of
TelOne charges, which rise in draconian increases at regular levels, the
increases or charges being equalled by the extent of the decline in service

The collapsing telecommunications resource is not confined to Zimbabwe's
landline system. It is as catastrophic with the mobile telephone facilities.
On the one hand the most frequent result of any attempted call on the 091
network is message "Network Busy", and when the caller ultimately succeeds
in penetrating that barrier, he can anticipate that, with a highdegree of
probability, his call will be summarily terminated within three minutes,
requiring repeated attempts to reconnect.

(It could be argued, however that is economically beneficial, for it enables
the service provider to make several charges, as a minimum charge is
attributable to each call.)

And the cataclysmic state of Zimbabwean telecommunications, also impacts
negatively upon service provider for e-mail systems. The cost of lost
transactions and of other economic opportunities, due to the disastrous
telecommunications is unquantifiable, but must amount to trillions.

The sad litany of near useless infrastructure is not, however, confined to
electricity supply and telecommunications. Also subject to inclusion in such
a litany are Zimbabwean rail services. Locomotives, rolling stock, lines of
rail and signal systems are in critical need of maintenance andrepair,
refurbishment and upgrade, but are not sufficiently in receipt of those
needs. The result is the inability of National Railways of Zimbabwe to
provide reliable services for the carriage of coal from Hwange, and of goods
for commerce and industry.

Other parastals within the transport sector are similarly unable toservice
Zimbabwe's needs. In particular, although Air Zimbabwe must have amongst the
world's best insofar as cockpit and cabin crew, and ground check-in
personnel are concerned, it has a grossly inadequate fleet of aircraft.

The lack of suitable and sufficient aircraft prevents Air Zimbabwe from
servicing Kariba and Hwange National Park, and from providing air freight
access to major potential regional export markets such asAngola. Moreover,
whensoever aircraft are commandeered by the President for regional or
international travel, and whenever an aircraft is inoperable for technical
reasons, immense disruption of schedules result, with very adverse
repercussions upon the business and tourism communities.

Vast portions of the city of Harare have been without water for many months,
to the prejudice of community health and of industrial operations.
Traffic flows are appalling because of the pot-holes and generally poor
state of the city's roads, and many of Zimbabwe's local authorities are
unable to provide the extent of sewerage and refuse collection services
necessary. Much ofZimbabwe's health services are nearing the point of
collapse, and the same is increasingly applicable to the country's secondary
and tertiary education infrastructure.

Unless and until government dynamically addresses the restoration and
expansion of the Zimbabwean infrastructures, reinforced by like action by
the private sector in areas such as the non-governmental telecommunications,
those infrastructures will continue be a source of economic decline.

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Zim Independent


Welcome to Zanu PF hospitality guys

HOW come remarks President Mugabe made at a "closed meeting" with
ambassadors found their way onto the front page of the Herald? Was this a
closed meeting or not?
Furthermore, everything Mugabe said appears to have been given a spin to
make him look tough and the ambassadors lame.

"According to sources", Mugabe "categorically told" the ambassadors of
Britain, the United States and Australia last Thursday when they presented
their credentials that "Zimbabwe was an independent nation which brooked no
interference in its affairs."
Then either one of the "informed sources" or the Herald reporter added the
following: "The three nations are angered by the land reforms Harare
embarked upon to correct historical injustices of skewed land ownership
patterns in the country."

That is what Zanu PF wants the country to think the ambassadors are angry
about. But were they asked if that was the main sources of their "anger"? Is
electoral manipulation, political violence and suppression of democratic
choice not also a factor in their attitude towards Zimbabwe? Might they not
be concerned about threats against judges, the muzzling of independent
newspapers and the assault on civil society?

Of course the wilful sabotage of productive agriculture at a time when
Zimbabwe expects the rest of the world to subsidise its poverty alleviation
and HIV/Aids awareness programmes is a legitimate cause for concern, not
just in Britain, the US and Australia but in the region where refugees are
pouring into neighbouring states. But it is just part of a pattern of
misrule that has made Zimbabwe Africa's leper.

Mugabe told the ambassadors that regime change was the mandate of
Zimbabweans, not outsiders.
So what happens when the government strips people of their citizenship to
prevent them voting, mobilises Zanu PF's militias to beat up opponents, and
uses the police to prevent rallies? What do Zimbabweans do when they are not
allowed to express themselves or gather for meetings? What do they do when
they have no access to the public broadcaster or any other means of
expressing their views?

Let's hope the ambassadors, who included Nigeria's, were a little more
"categorical" than the Herald led us to believe in responding to Mugabe's

"The US and Australian envoys said their countries did not question the
legitimacy of President Mugabe," the Herald told us.
Did they? And why does Mugabe feel so insecure about his legitimacy?

"The president said the government regarded the opposition MDC as a creation
of the British because Mr Blair had openly admitted to working with the
opposition party to effect regime change in Zimbabwe."

Wouldn't it be more accurate to regard the MDC as a creation of Zanu PF? Is
the MDC not the product of Zanu PF's failed economic policies?

And what happened to Tiny Rowland's cheque for one million pounds which the
late Eddison Zvobgo passed on to the ruling party's treasury? Was that ever
sent back in a spirit of nationalist indignation: "We can't be bought?"

No, they were happy to cash it!
Blair said he would work with a number of people in the region including
President Thabo Mbeki and other leaders to secure change in Zimbabwe. Mugabe
left that bit out! He told Dr Pullen that "we do not worship false gods but
we worship one true God".

He didn't say who that was.
Another country Zanu PF took cash from was Nigeria which is weekly
excoriated in the official press. The Nigerians gave US$5 million for the
purchase of Zimpapers which now daily attacks Olusegun Obasanjo's

"We should not lose the unity as Africans," Mugabe told the Nigerian
ambassador. "If there are problems, we should discuss. We must always talk."
Does that include the Sunday Mail inventing what the Nigerian Foreign
minister described as a "ludicrous and false" story about Nigeria giving
money to the MDC? Is that part of the discourse Mugabe envisages?

Mugabe told US ambassador Christopher Dell that Zimbabweans would go back to
the bush in pursuit of their sovereignty if necessary.

Many would argue that there is no need for that. Under Mugabe's regime the
bush has reclaimed large swathes of the country. Once rich arable land is
now desert. Wildlife has been decimated. And roads, schools and clinics have
reached an advanced state of decay.

But instead of hearing a robust reply from the ambassadors on issues of
governance and the rule of law, all we got was Rod Pullen talking about
mending relations and Dell blithely suggesting there were similarities
between America's history of fighting British colonial rule and Zimbabwe's.
Does this mean we have to think of Robert Mugabe as George Washington
crossing the Mukuvisi? Or Didymus Mutasa as Paul Revere riding from Rusape
to Mutare in his Jeep Cherokee warning "the British are coming"?

As everybody knows, new ambassadors are always keen to "mend relations" upon
arrival. This, after all, is what diplomats are here to do.

But sooner or later they discover the absolute impossibility of dealing with
a regime that is locked in its own self-serving illusions and puerile
propaganda, impervious to reason and intent upon abusing even the mildest of
critics like Botswana.

Last week the Namibian Information minister, Nangolo Mbumba, had to politely
remind his over-heated allies in Harare to stop wasting time looking for
enemies everywhere when there were other priorities.

That wasn't the only remark that must have come as a rude shock to his
listeners. Mbumba, launching the regional propaganda vehicle, the Southern
Times, said the press are "watchdogs" who uncover "errors and wrongdoings by
those in authority". A free press was not a luxury, he said. "It is at the
heart of equitable development institutions.

"A free press can contribute to the reduction of poverty and boost economic
development in poor countries," Mbumba said. "However, remember the success
of newspapers, radio and TV stations in spurring development depends on
their independence and their ability to reach a wide audience."

Independence? Independent papers distributed in areas patrolled by militia
gangs? This is heresy! Fortunately Zimpapers chairman Herbert Nkala was on
hand to show such enlightened pronouncements were not part of official
policy when he gave a mind-numbing speech about those who only yesterday
"sought to undermine and plunder the continent". He didn't tell us who were
doing that with great success today!

Nkala thinks the launch of the Southern Times will correctly tell the
African story from "African eyes". He didn't say why other newspapers in the
Zimpapers stable have not been able to tell that story "correctly".

"Reading about Africa in the Western media, one only reads about scorched
earth, hopelessness, despair, hunger and disease," said Nkala ruefully at
the launch of the Southern Times in Victoria Falls.
Unfortunately to a large extent his words aptly describe the situation in
Africa thanks to the rapacity of its politicians who misuse the "natural and
human resources" he referred to and squander scarce resources importing
foreign-manufactured luxury vehicles.

Meanwhile, local manufacturer Willowvale Mazda Motor Industries is on the
brink of closure.
A leadership that is uncomfortable looking at its dishonest face in the
mirror derives comfort in blaming phantom enemies. Even Nkala should be
aware by now that it is in Zimpapers publications that every self-respecting
Zimbabwean is driven to frustration and utter despair. The lies are simply
insulting. All hope for the future gets butchered in the state-controlled

Meanwhile, the Southern Times has retreated from its original claim to be
the New Sunday Times. A few warning shots from the Sunday Times in
Johannesburg seem to have put paid to the bombast in Harare that they could
call it what they liked!

One predictable story in the inaugural edition claimed "Namibia, South
Africa, Kenya and Chagos Island in the Indian Ocean region, to name but a
few, took the cue from Zimbabwe (at a Ministers of Agriculture summit in
Dar-es-Salaam recently) and have started pushing for the equitable
redistribution of the land."

Really? Our understanding was that South Africa and Kenya in particular were
keen to avoid Zimbabwe's lawless and arbitrary land seizures. And their
ministers have said so. Even Namibia has made it clear it will pursue legal
and consensual routes.

Another story suggests "Sadc countries have unequivocally shut the door on
donors and foreign powers that seek to interfere in the affairs of African
countries by adopting election guidelines for the 14-member grouping".

What the writer means is that now Sadc has adopted the rules donors and
civil society were demanding, it can afford to close the door - until it
needs another handout. Needless to say, it turned out to be a Herald story.
We can imagine how far the new paper is likely to go in winning hearts and
minds. Just what everybody wanted: another government mouthpiece encouraging
us to "stand foursquare" behind Presidents Mugabe and Nujoma. But thanks to
Cde Mbumba for his little ray of sunshine.

Still on the subject of Zimbabweans worshipping at the altar of one true
God, we had somebody in all seriousness writing in the Herald last week that
President Mugabe was "divinely-appointed".
All kinds of hard things had been said against the president and the
government, Owen Matamisa wrote. But the demonisation of Mugabe could not go

"Attacks on the head of state and the government are direct attacks on the
church," he claimed. He illustrated his hagiography with the story of King
Nebuchadnezzar who ordered the captive Jews to worship his image of gold.

"The people of Judah were opposed to these decrees and they could have
condemned Nebuchadnezzar.However, it remained true that the Babylonian king
was on the throne by divine appointment.

"This is the point I am trying to bring home," Matamisa laboured on. "It is
God who sets up kings. Yes, it is good to talk about elections and democracy
but God is not so much into voting but prayer.
"Even the devil himself is fully aware that President Mugabe is a great
international statesman."
Recognition at last!

Most readers will have seen the Homelink supplement inserted in the
Independent and other papers advertising the benefits of the scheme and
reporting on the governor's recent visit to the US, UK and South Africa.

As one would expect, it is breezily upbeat. But while the RBZ can be
expected to be radiant about Homelink's prospects, we were surprised by the
resentful tone adopted by Mike Hamilton of MHPR Public Relations
Consultants, a member of Gideon Gono's roadshow team, who used the
supplement to take a number of pot shots at unnamed newspapers and their

Articles and Letters to the Editor in "some newspapers" gave the impression
that "many people were opposed to our mission for political reasons",
Hamilton complained. But far from the rough ride that some newspapers
claimed the team was given, "it was plain sailing almost all the way".

Protests were "small and insignificant", Hamilton claimed. Six to eight
people in Dallas, four people in Birmingham, and 13 people outside the
Zimbabwe embassy in London.

Only in South Africa was there a significant protest, Hamilton said, and
even there they were outnumbered by those who would have liked to hear the
governor's speech but were prevented from doing so.

Hamilton said, as a former editor, he was "disappointed by the inaccurate,
distorted and false reports about the mission in some media."
In particular, he resented the suggestion that the governor and his team
were begging people to part with their money.

There was no pleading, Hamilton said. Most Zimbabweans were already sending
money home. What the team wanted to do was tell them about the advantages of

So there you have it. No rough ride at all. Just a handful of insignificant
protestors while newspapers back home distorted the record by suggesting
people were opposed to the Homelink roadshow for political reasons.

Shocking what some papers will say! And do you know what: some protestors in
Dallas held up more than one placard to make it look as if there were more
of them! Will Zimbabwe's detractors stop at nothing in their bid to demonise
the government?
Mike Hamilton, we are told, drafted news releases to keep the media,
particularly in Zimbabwe, informed about the team's progress.

Did this include informing the media of when Dr Gono would be leaving
Zimbabwe and arriving in the US? Did it include informing the media of his
itinerary in the US and UK? And why spend billions on promoting Homelink in
the US/UK if Gono's team was just preaching to the converted?

But back to the ambassadors: as expected of those who earn their salaries by
dreaming up plots and conspiracies against the government, there was no soft
landing for the new envoys in ruined Zimbabwe. They were all clones of those
they were replacing who should not be given the benefit of the doubt,
fulminated Nathaniel Manheru on Saturday.

"They are an evil that can only be under-described and that is all that the
passage of time will signify," he cried. "There will be no surprises, save
by way of degree of vileness," was Manheru's verdict.

Welcome to Zanu PF hospitality guys!
But there was a clear irony in the reference to cloning. We need go no
further than Nathaniel Manheru, Mzala Joe and Lowani Ndlovu to see Dolly the
sheep replicating herself!

Zanu PF last week went through the pointless ritual of holding an election
in which there was no challenge. It then won against itself, for it is in
Zanu PF that there are reports of serious infighting in the primaries. After
the constituency registrar announced that the Zanu PF candidate Phineas
Chihota had been duly elected, the Herald says about 30 supporters broke
into song and dance. That's about all they are good at!

An elated Chihota then told the same supporters who had spent the whole day
with him at the Magistrates' court that "his victory showed that he had the
backing of a strong party and government". But who will he be representing
during his short stint as an MP? Who voted for him?
Luckily for all decent Zimbabweans the circus will last no more than six

We are going to let Herald sports reporters recant on their own. The whole
of last week we were inundated with inane propaganda about how the Zimbabwe
Warriors would perform a miracle at the National Sports Stadium, how the
Nigerian Super Eagles would be butchered and roasted.

In one particularly fanciful piece of journalism, Shingirai Kawondera and
Benjani Mwaruwari would turn into "weapons of mass destruction" against
Nigeria's Super Eagles that would be the envy of George W Bush.

If that's meant to show patriotism, even zealots at times know the limit of
fantasy. But Herald reporters wrote their stories as if the day of reckoning
would never arrive so there would be no need for proof. It did come and the
super patriots have been full of curses and expletives ever since the Super
Eagles landed on the turf in the National Sports Stadium. They are all wise
after the event noticing all sorts of comings and goings they failed to spot
before the match!

If there is one thing that state-controlled media can learn from Zimbabwe's
humiliation, it is that even the Big Lie will at some point be exposed for
what it is. We needed a team like Nigeria to remove all the illusions we
have about what a great country we are and the success of Jonathan Moyo's
propaganda. Like the state media finally conceded after the game on Sunday,
the Nigerians didn't have to sweat for their 3-0 win. The title of Mtulisi
Mafa's story on Saturday was "Nigeria can get three points in Lagos but not
in Harare".
Reality can be quite sobering!
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Zim Independent

IMF debt: time running out for Zim
Ndamu Sandu
ZIMBABWE is now left with only three months to make or break its
relationship with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) as the country has
to make significant progress to settle its US$291 million debt.

Zimbabwe, which has failed to service its IMF debt since February 2001, is
the first country to have protracted overdue obligations to the IMF's
Poverty Reduction and Growth Facility (PRGF).

As at June 30, Zimbabwe had been making monthly payments of US$1,5 million.
Zimbabwe lost its voting rights in the 184-member grouping last year. In
July, the IMF gave Zimbabwe a stay of execution for a period of six months
to pay its arrears to the institution.

Although Zimbabwe has been making some repayments to the multi-lateral
institution, the IMF said the country was making small payments to clear its
arrears of US$291 million.

Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) governor Gideon Gono told businessdigest that
the country was making efforts to repay the international financial

"We have significantly made improvements on repayment. We are no longer
repaying US$1,5 million a month. We have definitely improved. Imagine if we
can pay US$10 million in one day for fuel, by how much can we fail to
increase our payment?" he said.

In a review of countries in protracted arrears to the IMF, the multi-lateral
financial institution this week said Liberia, Somalia and Sudan account for
88% of all overdue debt obligations, with Sudan making up more than 52% of
total arrears at the end of June.

The IMF said other debtors were Iraq and Zimbabwe which owe the institution
US$80 million and US$291 million, respectively in default.

Total arrears to the IMF were about US$3 billion as at the end of June.

Economist John Robertson said considering the crisis besetting the country
and the issue of priorities, Zimbabwe had no realistic chance of repaying
its arrears since the amount owed to the IMF "is a lot of money".

He said Zimbabwe was making a token payment so that IMF "will say we are
trying our level best".

Robertson said the IMF would not expel Zimbabwe as the matter has to be put
to vote.

"Expulsion will not happen as the countries have to vote and Zimbabwe has
support from other African countries," Robertson said. "The IMF will not
expel Zimbabwe. The country will remain a member without voting rights as
well as borrowing powers".

Zimbabwe was also excluded from a United States Bill providing for the
cancellation of debts owed to the IMF by selected 50 poor countries. The
Justice and Understanding by IMF Loan Elimination and Equity (Jubilee) Bill,
if enacted into law, intends to cancel multilateral debts owed to the IMF by
eligible poor countries while promoting human and economic development and
poverty alleviation.

"The IMF shall cancel all debts owed to the IMF by eligible poor countries
and finance the debt cancellation from ongoing operations, procedures and
accounts of the IMF established as of the end of the most recent fiscal
year, including the Poverty Reduction and Growth Facility (formerly known as
the Enhanced Structural Adjustment Facility," the Bill says.

The Bill says the waiting period for debt "cancellation shall not exceed one
month from the date of eligible poor country's application for debt
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Zim Independent

Zimbabwe debt soars to $1,4 trillion
Ngoni Chanakira
ZIMBABWE'S domestic debt which stood at $590,5 billion in December last year
has ballooned to $1,4 trillion as at June 25.

Latest figures available from the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe on the country's
foreign debt are for November when the figure stood at US$4 billion.

The domestic debt, which stood at $346 billion in December 2002 rose
dramatically to $546 billion as at June 30 2003.

NMB Holdings Ltd this week said Treasury Bills, which were mainly two-year
paper, account for 93% ($1,3 trillion) while government stock accounted for
the balance of 7%.

The financial institution said government intended to further restructure
the domestic debt during the second half of the year.

Analysts said the high interest rates would continue to be a burden on the

They said the increased borrowing had tied up a high percentage of the
nation's savings.

They said the domestic debt would continue to soar due to the necessity to
fund various imports such as electricity, grain and providing financial
support for newly-resettled farmers.

When he took over as RBZ governor, Gideon Gono said the current debt
overhang had a negative impact on money supply numbers and, therefore,
efforts to fight inflation.

He said Treasury and monetary authorities and the private sector were
engaged in active discussions over the idea of ring-fencing this debt and
coming up with innovative instruments of dealing with the entire outstanding
domestic debt.

Gono then proposed a zero-coupon bond where government issues a zero-coupon
bond which investors purchase at a discount.

He also proposed a weighting system to determine the discount factor for the
said bond.

Another idea to try and stop the soaring domestic debt was that of
converting the current domestic debt into foreign debt.

Gono said government with the help of the private sector would, on a
bilateral basis, request friendly countries to issue foreign currency
denominated bonds in international capital markets.

The foreign currency raised would then be sold to the RBZ and the local
currency used to extinguish domestic debt while the foreign currency with
the RBZ could then be used to repay part of the foreign debt or meet the
country's import requirements.

It, however, seems none of these proposals have begun to bear fruit if they
have been put in motion.

Zimbabwe's balance of payments position has remained weak, largely as a
result of poor export performance and continuing importer demand.
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Zim Independent

Forex shortage set to worsen
Eric Chiriga
THE shortage of foreign currency on the auction floor is set to worsen as
the tobacco season, one of the major foreign currency earners, has ended. By
the close of the season last week, a meagre 65,4 million kg of tobacco
valued at US$132 million had been sold.

This compared to US$184 million from 81 million kg sold last season.

At its peak, the tobacco industry earned about US$600 million.

According to the Zimbabwe Tobacco Association (ZTA), before the disruptions
of tobacco farming by the land reform programme, tobacco exports contributed
more than 25% to the country's total foreign currency earnings. This has now
declined to 20%.

"The close of the tobacco season will worsen the shortage of foreign
currency at the forex auction floors," David Mupamhadzi, an economist from
Trust Holdings Ltd said.

He said there were already problems at the forex auction floors and the
difference between the total amounts available far exceeded the total number
of bids placed.

On September 2 the amount of foreign currency on offer was only US$10
million compared to US$52 million total amount of bids, falling short by
US$42 million.

Mupamhadzi said the increase in company capacity utilisation was the major
reason why the amount of bids is increasing.

He said foreign currency sourced from other sources such as platinum and
gold were already committed to other things.

To better manage Zimbabwe's foreign currency reserves, the Reserve Bank of
Zimbabwe (RBZ) adopted a foreign currency auction system.

The system involves the auctioning of foreign currency to the foreign

exchange market through a currency exchange within the RBZ.

All exporters discharge CD1 forms on the basis of gross export proceeds.

Of the total foreign exchange earnings, 50% can be retained in Foreign
Currency Accounts (FCAs) for a maximum period of 21 days.

Exporters' FCAs continue to be deposited with the RBZ.

After expiry of the 21-day retention period, exporters will be required to
liquidate their FCA funds through the auction.

The RBZ introduced a carrot and stick retention based export incentive

Under this scheme, exporters who repatriate their export proceeds timeously
will be rewarded while those who exceed the stipulated period without
exchange control approval will be penalised.

Authorised dealers will be required to buy foreign exchange from small
suppliers such as tourists and individuals on behalf of the RBZ at the
ruling auction rate for supply to the auction.
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Zim Independent

Editor's Memo

Rest in peace BW
Joram Nyathi
HE worked like he had an urgent, grim appointment with destiny. He loathed
sloth and hoist himself with his own petard. He shunned publicity like a
plague. A lawyer by profession, he preferred to labour in anonymity as a
property developer, in the process helping thousands of Zimbabweans secure a
roof over their heads.

On Friday, August 27 Biriam Wabatagore died in a freak vehicle accident in
Mvurwi. So was cut short our friendship of 27 years.

I first met Biriam in 1977 when we were doing Form 1 at Masase Secondary
School in Mberengwa. Like myself, a relative was paying his school fees
because his parents could not afford them.

Masase was closed down in 1979 because of the liberation war and we moved
briefly to Bulawayo and then in 1980 went on to reopen Manama Secondary
School in Matabeleland South which had also been closed in 1976 because of
the war.

Biriam went to Goromonzi High School for his 'A' levels while I went to St
Ignatius College in Chishawasha. We reunited at the University of Zimbabwe
in 1983 where he studied law while I did English. After completing his
Masters programme in 1986, majoring in real estate and property development,
Biriam joined Guni & Guni Legal Practitioners and remained there up to the
time of his death last month. By that time he had become the owner and the
firm had changed its name to Wabatagore & Company.

He told me it was Paul Mkondo (yes, Va Paul Mkondo of "itai cent cent
vakomana" fame) who helped him buy the firm when he was still struggling
without the connections that make you forge ahead faster than your
contemporaries. Va Mkondo already saw the potential in the young lawyer to
stake his reputation and fortune as a guarantor. I have no doubt he is very
proud he made the right decision but heartbroken that Biriam died suddenly
in the prime of his life without a farewell even to his beloved wife Audrey
who, along with three of their children, barely survived the crash.

At the time of his death Biriam had just bought a house in Glen Lorne after
selling another one in Milton Park. It was as a property developer that
Biriam helped many home-seekers. He bought semi-built houses, completed them
and sold the properties. As a partner in Damofalls Investments, Biriam
touched the lives of many who didn't know him. He turned thousands of acres
of land from Ruwa to Bulawayo into stands for residential accommodation.

It was rare to find him at home after work. He did much of his work at night
after closing his offices on Kwame Nkrumah Avenue. Each time I telephoned
him he was either in Ruwa or Zimre Park or Budiriro supervising the
construction of one of his housing projects.

Biriam wanted to make money and ensure his children did not taste the life
of penury that he went through. He was very indulgent about their wants. All
of them go to the most elite schools in town. He achieved more than the
average professional can do in a working life of 50 years. He died at 41.

Biriam was a very good counsellor. He counselled many of his companions at
home. In fact, he took so much time using his legal brain and professional
experience to help us to a point where we assumed he didn't have problems.
He had, but took refuge in hard work. It was like he knew he didn't have
long to live and couldn't waste time in idle pursuits.

He didn't drink, he didn't smoke, he had no time for sport and was generally
cynical about people we call friends. Biriam never went on holiday all his
life, had all his meetings in the office and his meals at home. He didn't
have time to acquire a passport despite his wealth. His musical tastes were
essentially Zimbabwean, especially the social commentaries of System
Tazvida, Pengaudzoke and Mbira Dzenharira. He loved his music loud in a fast

His social circle was very limited. I saw only one lawyer at his funeral. He
believed unless one was a childhood friend, it was hard to make real friends
in Harare. His best friend was his wife.

The last day we spent together at his house in Glen Lorne three weeks ago
there was a stack of 72 doors in his garage. He said he was working on a
flats complex.

In the course of the day he took me on a tour of the earthly equivalent of
the biblical mountain where the devil took Jesus. It was Folyjohn Crescent
where the crème de la crème of Zimbabwe's most successful professionals
live. If you have not passed through the two guarded gates of that crescent,
you don't know Harare, he said. Top bankers are in that crescent. He showed
me the home of one football player and golfer Nick Price's Pamushana
mansion. Although the place has smaller stands than his six-acre plot, he
said it was his dream location. I'm certain it would not have taken him a
year to make the leap across.

In his vehicle on that day he had three books which he said he had just
bought in town for over $300 000, Dr Joshua Nkomo's The Story of My Life and
another titled The Street Lawyer. I can't recall the third. But it is clear
now that he believed time had arrived to tell his story, and that life
begins at 40. He bought his Glen Lorne home for $340 million cash at the age
of 40 last year.

But his ambitions were cut short by a cruel fate on the night of August 27.
It made a mockery of the exhortation that a man shall eat from the sweat of
his brow. For here was a man who sweated and reaped a bountiful harvest but
was denied the right to eat. I can see no heavenly plan in this.

Thus ended the career of a brilliant young lawyer who transformed the lives
of many who visited his offices, and some who never saw him in person. We
had to undertake the long journey to his rural home in Mberengwa for burial.
That was his express wish before he died.

The funeral befitted a man of Biriam's stature. Two beasts were slaughtered
to feed the multitudes who came to pay their last respects to a worthy son.


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