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Zimbabwe's Ethnic Cleansing

by maBhara

12 September 2004

One evening last week I received a desperate call from a ex work mate
of mine who had retired after a life time's service to the various
governments of this country. He had devoted his entire life to the
dedicated service of the people and livestock industry of this

When I visited him last month his health was clearly failing and he
could barely get out of his chair to greet us. He was so happy to see
his old friends but when we left there were tears in his eyes which
reflected the desperate situation which people of his generation are
facing in their battle to survive in the harsh inflationary climate of

He and his wife can only survive from the small donations which his
children manage to send from overseas. Of their five children only two
are (sometimes) in the same country. Such is the situation in Zimbabwe
today. All families have been forced to seek refuge and security for
their own families in many countries around the world. Although living
so far apart they are still very close. But for those remaining the
distance from their families hurts very deeply, because had there been
responsible governance in Zimbabwe this bombshelling of families would
never have occurred.

My friend's generation were the very people who should be admired and
thanked. They were the people who built most of the infrastructure of
the land of their birth. Whilst we may respect their arduous and
visionary work and show our appreciation it would appear that there is
also a plan to encourage them to "pack up and go", just as there has
been for the white commercial farming, business and industry sectors.

How many times has this been stated publicly at burials at Heroes
Acre, and various other State ceremonies? "We will bring the white man
down by removing his power and his wealth".

There seems to be so much concern over the negative influence of the
few remaining white voters, that even the pensioners appear to be on
the political and ethnic cleansing hit list.

The phone call from my friend was a desperate call. He can no longer
drive and has to rely on the services of a few good friends. However,
like the true gentleman which he is he does not abuse anybody's
generosity, and always feels he is burdening them. Anyway, his wife
was taken to the doctor by a friend. When she got there she was told
that her (government) medical aid had been stopped and they could not
assist her.

This family depends on their medical aid at this time of frailty in
their aging lives.

Their government pension has not been paid since January this year.
Nor have government paid their medical aid contributions (which they
were not aware of). They have tried working through all avenues
without success, except baseless promises from the relevant minister.
They have now had to appeal to family for contributions to help with
their medical aid payments. If their family are able to assist they
will be lucky.

On the surface it would appear that this cessation of payments to
pensioners by government appears to be only affecting white people. I
have checked with a black friend who is a government pensioner. He is
still receiving a regular pension payment and in fact has had an
increase recently which included a huge amount of back payment.

Is this just another form of ethnic cleansing against the remaining
white population in Zimbabwe?


The writer, a Zimbabwean resident, has granted permission to
distribute and publish this.
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The Herald

Declining disposable incomes, price increases affect Innscor

Business Reporter
INNSCOR Africa Limited says the foods sector (Zimbabwe Division) was
severely affected by declining disposable incomes and price increases during
the past year ended 30 June 2004.

These emanated mainly from rapidly escalating input costs, which resulted in
lower customer counts.

Innscor realised a growth of 762 percent in turnover and 489 percent in
operating profit in historical cost terms.

However, the group's strategic investment in local wheat and the favourable
productive sector financing enabled its bakery business to produce bread at
more affordable prices and maintain the prices to the consumer.

"In addition, the fast foods business focused on sourcing key raw materials
as cheaply as possible, with the benefits being passed on to the customers
resulting in significant volume recoveries.

The board declared a dividend of $15 per share during the period under
review, bringing the total dividend for the year to $22.

The group intends to reconstitute itself into an integrated model of four
distinct operational zones namely: agro-processing, food manufacture,
intellectual property and distribution and retail.

"This will allow management to maximise the benefits that can be derived
from all the available synergies existing within the expanded group,"Innscor

The group also acquired a 30,63 percent stake in Colcom holdings limited
through the purchase of shares and subsequent to the year end Innscor
acquired a further 12 percent through underwriting Colcom's rights issue.

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      Zimbabwe increases poverty datum line 2004-09-13 04:41:42

          HARARE, Sept. 12 (Xinhuanet) -- Zimbabwe's poverty datum line has
increased to 1.4 million Zimbabwean dollars (about 250 US dollars),the New
Ziana reported on Sunday.

          The Consumer Council of Zimbabwe (CCZ) was quoted as saying that
figures for August this year showed that a family of six now requires
1,400,386 Zimbabwean dollars a month for basic needs. Previously the same
family needed 1.2 million Zimbabwean dollars (about 214 US dollars).

          The CCZ said the basket figure has increased from the July figure
due to increases noted in food such as margarine, fresh milk, cooking oil,
bread, salt, meat among others. "We have noted that there has been a wave of
increases of basic commodities in July and August 2004 and hope that the
increases along with the recent rise in fuel will not derail the fight
against inflation," said the CCZ.

          More than 65 percent of Zimbabweans are living below the poverty
datum line. The consumer watchdog said it has noted with concern, that some
retailers were engaged in profiteering.

          The government has since identified inflation as the number one
public enemy in the country.

          In line with this, the fiscal and monetary policies during the
first half of the year have been targeted at inflation, to bring it down
from over 620 percent at the end of last year to below 200 percent by
December this year.

          Presenting the mid-term fiscal policy review statement in
July,Acting Minister of Finance and Economic Development Herbert Murerwa
said "while the process of taming inflation involves much suffering on the
part of public, notable benefits are being achieved on this front."

          "This should, however not lull us into a false sense of security.
Much more fiscal consolidation and monetary policy tightening will be
required for us to realize our set targets," said Murerwa.

          However, disposable incomes for low earners will improve from this
month after the government increased tax bands from 200,000 Zimbabwean
dollars (about 35.7 US dollars) to 750,000 Zimbabwean dollars (about 133.7
US dollars). Enditem
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The Star

      Parliament: Zim opposition's last hope
      September 13, 2004

      By Tim Hughes

      'What Mugabe can't control he makes irrelevant," observed a leading
Harare economist recently. Perhaps this explains the claim that its
parliament is Zimbabwe's most democratic institution.

      But with debate about popular strategies and tactics for the 2005
parliamentary elections intensifying, the role, effectiveness and relevance
of parliament is under scrutiny. Does parliament matter?

      Zimbabwean opposition parties operate under two handicaps: a
tyrannical legislative and security environment, and a loaded constitution
that raises the threshold of victory to 76 out of 120 electoral seats, as 30
MPs are appointed by the executive.

      The Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) has consequently laid down a
gauntlet of sorts by setting pre-conditions for participation in next year's
electoral process. But it is certain that President Mugabe and Zanu-PF will
not entertain the MDC's demands.

      Challenged to say whether parliament plays any role other than
constitutionally legitimising an increasingly repressive state, some
opposition MPs point to the space the institution still affords for open and
free debate, for questions, motions, protests, petitions and to hold the
executive to account. Indeed since 1997 the Zimbabwe Parliament has
undergone a series of progressive reforms that have improved the functioning
of the institution as well as public engagement with it. These include
establishment of parliamentary constituency information centres, a
parliamentary outreach programme and proposals to include governance as part
of the school curriculum.

      Since 2000, parliamentary portfolio committee meetings have been open
to the public and the cynical practice of fast-tracking bills through
parliament without adequate public hearings, debate and committee review has
been curtailed.

      Furthermore, fissures within the Zanu-PF parliamentary caucus have
occasionally emerged in debates within the historic chamber. One notorious
occasion saw the Speaker of Parliament effectively "whip" a Zanu-PF member,
asking in him to clarify on "which side" he was debating. In the quieter
recesses of the parliamentary tea room, Zanu-PF MPs have also expressed
their concerns over the immorality of repressive legislation and policies
conceived in the presidency, central committee and politburo of the ruling

      Yet while Zimbabwean parliamentary reforms are laudable, the emaciated
Zimbabwean governance and civil rights horse bolted the stable years ago.
Little further legislation is required by the state in its war against
democracy. The Public Order and Security Act (Posa) is a political gill net
that ensnares all opposition indiscriminately.

      Posa demands that the police give written prior approval for all
"political" meetings, obliging opposition and civil society organisations to
submit to the questionable arbitration of the local police commander, or to
defy the law. The legislation even makes it a crime for consumers to gather
to protest high food prices. Worse is to come. If passed in its current
form, the Non-Governmental Organisation Bill slated to be tabled in October
will become a legislative weapon of mass destruction, laying waste to civil
society activism in Zimbabwe.

      The MDC has now tacitly acknowledged that it cannot win the 2005
Parliamentary elections under current conditions. Furthermore, the MDC is
painfully aware that wherever it contests an election, or by-election, its
members and supporters are treated de facto as enemies of the state and
subjected to harassment, intimidation, torture and occasionally murder.

      And despite its substantial numerical presence in the Zimbabwean
parliament, the MDC has been unable to amend, still less block, the passage
of draconian legislation.

      All of these curtailments on democratic freedom lead to the
existential question: is the MDC's continued participation in parliament
perversely legitimising statutory repression? The alternatives it faces are
stark: withdraw from parliament, boycott the 2005 elections, adopt violent
and non-violent struggle tactics and perhaps establish a "government in

      Should the MDC withdraw from parliament and not contest the elections,
it will highlight the illegitimacy of the elections and parliament.

      Before making any final decision on withdrawing from parliament and
elections, the MDC needs to demonstrate its own democratic credentials and
take the debate to its members and seek a fresh mandate for action. After
all, in 2000 and 2002 the MDC received a substantial mandate, at great
personal cost to many of its millions of supporters, to oppose the ruling
party and its president in the formal political arena.

      The decision to participate or boycott will have crucial consequences
for the struggle for democracy. The opposition would do well to consider not
only what its rank-and-file would prefer, but also what its opponents would
relish. Parliament still offers the opposition in Zimbabwe a rare, protected
and relatively democratic site of struggle. It should be expanded, not

      Tim Hughes is Parliamentary Research Fellow of the South African
Institute of International Affairs and recently returned from research in
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Masai invaders target last white farmers
By David Blair in Laikipia
(Filed: 13/09/2004)

From the ridge that cuts through Loisaba ranch, golden savannah stretches as
far as a shimmering vision of Mount Kenya's jagged, snow-capped peak.

The rugged bush of this immense plateau, teeming with every variety of
African wildlife, is the setting for a growing confrontation between Kenya's
last white farmers and thousands of Masai and Samburu tribesmen who claim
their land.

Clad in blazing red, these tribesmen say Britain cheated them out of their
land in a treaty 100 years ago. They are now mounting Zimbabwe-style farm

Last month, Tom Silvester, the farmer of Loisaba ranch, watched as hundreds
of spear-wielding Samburu warriors drove a column of at least 5,000 cattle
on to his land, seeking to reclaim it as their own.

The tribesmen massed on a large rock beside the Ewaso Nyiro river and tested
the depth of the brown waters before herding their animals across the narrow
channel marking Loisaba's boundary. Mr Silvester, 36, called for police help
and, in sharp contrast to the plight of white farmers in Zimbabwe, the
response was immediate. Eighty officers deployed on his ranch, backed by a
helicopter, and drove the Samburu off Loisaba.

"It was like warfare," said Mr Silvester. "They were trying to push the
cattle in as far as they could and we were trying to push them back."

Another seven white-owned farms in Laikipia district were then invaded and
five are still occupied by thousands of Masai cattle and herdsmen. Police
have moved against the tribesmen in force, sparking violent clashes. One
Masai, Ntinai ole Moiyare, 70, has been shot dead.

Amos Kimunya, the lands minister, has pledged his backing for the farmers,
saying: "As a government, we are committed to the rule of law and protection
of private property."

But landowners fear a rising tide of Masai bitterness. "There is an
emergence of a radical group of Masai leaders, with an education and
political ambitions and they see their people suffering," said Mr Silvester.

The first invasion of Mr Silvester's farm came on the centenary of the
Anglo-Masai treaty that tribal leaders have turned into a cause celebre.
They claim the 1904 agreement between the British and Lenana, the Masai
paramount chief, gave Laikipia's white farmers a 100-year lease.

"We have been quiet for 100 years," said Moses Olio Sakian, from Osiligi, a
Masai campaign group. "But now the 100 years has come to an end and we want
our land back."

Yet this interpretation flies in the face of the treaty's text. The word
"lease" does not appear, nor is there any mention of a time limit. Instead
of removing the Masai from Laikipia, the treaty gave them the legal right to
settle in the area in place of their previous home in the Rift Valley.

It was a later treaty, signed in 1911, that opened-up Laikipia for white
farmers and moved the Masai to southern Kenya. This also has no mention of
leases or time limits.

But the Masai point to the huge tracts of land owned by Laikipia's white
farmers. Just 38 huge ranches, 27 of them white-owned, cover 2,700 square

Meanwhile, Laikipia's 300,000 people are crammed on to the remaining 3,300
square miles. The Masai, with about 45,000 head of cattle, have only 1,200
square miles.

In practice, the herdsmen range well beyond Laikipia, roaming over a huge
area stretching down the Rift Valley and deep into neighbouring Tanzania.
But overgrazing and Kenya's rising population has stripped this land bare.

With the onset of the dry season last month, the Masai must find fresh
pasture for their herds. The plentiful grazing of the white-owned farms is
hugely tempting.

Mr Silvester's Masai neighbours reap all the profits from a game lodge that
he runs on their land. He is building a primary school for Masai children
and runs bursaries allowing them secondary education. Loisaba employs 155
people and, including their relatives, some 1,550 black Kenyans depend on
its success.

For as long as the Masai continue to be herdsmen and their population
continues to rise, Kenya's last white farmers must hope the police remain as
stalwart as they are today.
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The Telegraph

Excerpt from Talking Sport:
By Donald Trelford
(Filed: 13/09/2004)

WHY, after the implosion of Zimbabwe cricket, are England still planning to
send a team there in November?

The country has had its Test match status suspended after its best white
players marched out in protest at political interference in team selection.

So now we can only play one-day internationals of dubious quality (as we saw
at Edgbaston on Saturday).

An inquiry into racism in the Zimbabwe Cricket Union (president: Robert
Mugabe) has been ordered by the International Cricket Council. There have
been allegations about undeclared payments to officials. And the ZCU refused
to meet Malcolm Speed, the ICC's chief executive, when he turned up on their

The moral case for not going at all was argued forcefully in a paper
prepared by Des Wilson for the England and Wales Cricket Board at the
beginning of the year. The board's stance was widely welcomed by the press.

The ECB backed off after the chairman was ambushed at an ICC meeting in New
Zealand in March, where he was told that England risked suspension from
international cricket if they didn't go and might not be hosts for the
Champions Trophy.

The threat of suspension always looked doubtful in law and the ECB looked
craven in retreating before a shot had been fired.

As I understand it, the ECB's position was, and presumably remains: we don't
want to go, we think we shouldn't go, but we'll have to go or face financial
ruin. But is that true any longer? The Champions Trophy is already taking
place and Speed said in a recent interview that suspension was only " a
remote possibility".

As Wilson told a cricket writers' dinner, it was one thing for the ICC to
adopt a policy of moral indifference to tyrannical regimes: it was another
to use tyrannical methods themselves to enforce their indifference on those
who don't share it. The ICC should not have dismissed the ECB's case as mere
moral bleating when the governments of the cricketing nations involved -
Britain, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, India, Pakistan, the West
Indies and Kenya - had already voted to expel Mugabe from the Commonwealth.

I think we should call the ICC's bluff. After all, they bluffed us in the
first place. The moral case is even stronger than it was in March and now
there are also powerful cricketing reasons for not going.

Does anyone seriously believe that South Africa and Australia would support
a ban on England when they are both about to play mouth-watering,
money-spinning series against our resurgent team? I don't think so.

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The Herald

Royal Bank fights for survival

By Jeffrey Gogo
ROYAL Bank Limited, currently under curatorship, is in urgent need of liquid
cash to prop up its present negative cash position ahead of the September 30
deadline for banks or it may be forced to go under.

The bank is now scouting for prospective investors. Commercial banks would
be required to a have a minimum capital of $10 billion starting from the
close of this month, the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) has stipulated.

Royal Bank curator Mr Robert McIndoe said it was crucial that the bank
obtained funds urgently.

"The bank has a significant liquidity deficit and I am making efforts to
resolve this through several initiatives," he said last Friday.

"We are committed to re-opening the bank as soon as possible and are
currently in discussions with several potential investors who have expressed
interest in investing in Royal Bank, which is currently under capitalised".

The RBZ has since made it clear that institutions which fail to meet the new
capital requirements will have to wind down their operations or perhaps
clearly explain their position to the authorities.

Mr McIndoe last week met Reserve Bank officials to discuss the bank's way
forward, probably trying to entice them to have the bank remain in operation
after September 30.

But details of this meeting could not be obtained at the time of going to

With the deadline just two weeks away, it remains to be seen where Royal
Bank would head after the banks' September D-Day.

Already, the curator has engaged in the disposal of some of the bank's
assets in a bid to raise the much-needed capital.

Analysts say this is something Mr McIndoe really needs to do in case
investors, who are most likely to adopt a 'hands off' attitude from Royal
Bank, are not forthcoming.

The curator said "some of the initiatives engaged to raise capital include
the selling of surplus properties, sale and leaseback of branches, cost
reduction and the reduction of debts owing to the bank.

"I urge all borrowers from the bank to make concerted efforts to settle
their balances on loans and overdrafts as soon as possible.

"This is a crucial step towards improving our cash flows, and most
importantly, releasing portions of frozen funds to depositors."

Previously, Royal was said to be engaged in talks with an unnamed partner
for a possible merger.

The proposed marriage, yet to materialise or may never had become necessary
as with most other banks, which were in serious solvency constraints, who
had to pool together their financial resources to remain afloat.

Royal Bank is the latest addition to the growing list of financial
institutions to be placed under the management of a curator by the RBZ.

Problems at the bank were unearthed during Royal's mudslinging with First
Mutual Limited (FML) early last month.

It emerged that the two firms had been engaged in serious underhand dealings
dating back to last year, which left the bank in negative cash position.
Resultantly, Royal Bank was placed under curatorship while an overseer was
also appointed to investigate and run affairs at FML.
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The Herald

RBZ floats forex bonds worth US$10 million

Business Reporter
THE Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) is issuing US$10 million worth of one
year bonds sought to mobilise foreign currency for the country's critical
import requirements.

"The Reserve Bank hereby invites resident and non-resident Zimbabweans, as
well as other interested foreign investors, to subscribe for the 1 year
foreign currency bonds," said the RBZ in a statement.

Minimum subscription amounts for the bonds, said, the central bank, should
not be less than US$100 and should be in multiples of US$100, 200, 500,
1000, 5000 and 10 000.

Ostensibly, the RBZ is seeking to shore up reserves to augment other foreign
currency generating initiatives so far put in place.

Already, several strategic measures to harness foreign currency have been
implemented, chief among these were the Homelink for Zimbabweans living
abroad, invigoration of the country's export base and campaigns from outside
to motivate Zimbabweans to remit their earnings back home.

From the denominations, added the central bank, investors are free to choose
denominations or multiples thereof.

The offer opened on Thursday last week and will close on Wednesday next

"Interest on the bonds shall be 12 months LIBOR plus a six percent margin,
payable on maturity at the Reserve Bank in Harare by bank draft or through
telegraphic transfer to the credit of a bank of the bond holder or his/her
nominee," the Reserve Bank stressed.

LIBOR stands for London Inter Bank Offer Rate.

Special features of the bonds include RBZ guarantee, bond redeemable/payable
on maturity, full settlement of principal plus interest to be made in US
dollars and the fact that the bonds are freely tradable among investors.

In this regard, only the final investor or bond holder who presents the bond
for payment at the Reserve Bank will be paid the face value of the bond plus

The central bank said the bond and interest there on, and are payable out of
the general foreign currency reserves and assets of the Reserve Bank of

Prospective investors can submit applications through their authorised
dealers or registered money transfer agents in Zimbabwe and notification of
successful applications would be done through the same.

Payment for the bonds, said RBZ, should be effected through bank drafts or
telegraphic transfers. Bank overdrafts should be made payable to the Reserve
Bank while telegraphic transfer should be through authorised dealers or
money transfer agencies.

In turn, the amount due to an investor's will be payable by the Reserve Bank
through telegraphic transfers via the investors' designated authorised

Although there has been a relatively satisfactory response to the measures
put to mobilise foreign exchange, it has been realised that demand for
foreign exchange has continued to out-strip supply.

It is could be in light of these shortages that the central bank continues
to be innovative in its endeavour to ensure adequate supply of hard

Foreign currency requirements for the country have largely been for
importation of electricity, basic health equipment and drugs as well as the
conversion of the country's short-term debt into loan term liability among
other obligations.

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Zim Standard

SADC supports us: Tsvangirai
By Foster Dongozi

SADC leaders have indicated support for the opposition demands on the
government to implement regional poll guidelines before the March 2005
general elections, the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) president,
Morgan Tsvangirai, told a rally in Harare yesterday.

Business came to a standstill in the suburb as more than 10 000 people
converged on Zimbabwe Grounds in Highfield, which have a rich background of
nationalist politics.

Addressing a colourful crowd during the MDC's fifth anniversary, Tsvangirai
said: "SADC leaders have written to me saying they support the stance that
the MDC has taken on the full implementation of the SADC Protocol on
Principles and Guidelines Governing Elections before we can participate in
next year's general elections.

"SADC and the international community now agree that an election without
violence and intimidation is a right for every Zimbabwean. SADC understands
and agrees that Zimbabwe needs a new beginning."

Tsvangirai did not name the SADC leaders, who have indicated their support
for his party.

"He (Mugabe) must make use of that window of opportunity to correct the
anomalies in our electoral system, identified and set right in Mauritius by
SADC. He must show us and demonstrate to the region that he is willing to
move and embrace the spirit of Mauritius."

Tsvangirai said the past five years had seen the MDC go through the anguish
of murder, rape, beatings, electoral fraud and propaganda.

The MDC had improved its organizational structures over the past five years.

"Our party has grown to impressive levels. The party has 12 functioning
provinces and 120 districts, complete with elected representatives. Our head
office in Harare is the busiest political office in Zimbabwe, complete with
a variety of departments dealing in administration, legal matters,
organizing, social welfare, security and information and publicity."

Supporters demanded he addresses them on soccer. He did not disappoint.

"Zimbabwean soccer needs to be rebuilt over a five-year period, otherwise we
will continue to be embarrassed."

The MDC leader said despite having earlier embarked on an anti-white
crusade, he was astounded that senior people in Zanu PF had swamped triple
Olympic medal winner, Kirsty Coventry. He called this outright hypocrisy.

The arrival of NCA chairman, Lovemore Madhuku who was arrested by police
last week was met with a standing ovation. Madhuku spoke on the need for
constitutional reform.

Suspended Harare Executive mayor, Elias Mudzuri's entrance also brought
proceedings to a standstill with supporters chanting: "Mayor!Mayor! Mayor!"

The MDC believes the government will implement the SADC protocol on
electoral guidelines just before the March 2005 parliamentary elections in
the hope of surprising the opposition.

Tsvangirai said based on this belief, his party is going ahead with
preparations for next year's general elections, but will only participate if
the SADC electoral guidelines are implemented.

The MDC has embarked on a massive campaign programme.

Addressing thousands of supporters who thronged Mkoba Stadium in Gweru last
Sunday, Tsvangirai said: "We are pressing ahead with preparations for next
year's elections because we don't want a situation where Zanu PF will
implement the SADC Protocol on elections a few weeks before elections and
catch us unawares."

The SADC Protocol among other requirements calls for equal access to the
public media and freedom for all political parties to campaign.

He said the MDC was establishing structures around the country and called
for a concerted membership drive.

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Zim Standard

Chinese businessmen evading duties, says local exporters' body
By Emmanuel Mungoshi

MANY Chinese, Pakistan and Nigerian traders in the country are breaching the
Exchange Control Act through tax and duty evasion and illegal foreign
currency dealings, Standard Business has been told.

Zimbabwe Importers and Exporters Association (ZIEA) chairman Leonard
Nyamutsamba said their investigations had revealed that very few containers
of imported goods from China, for instance, were paying duty.

"The containers are being declared as goods in transit to either Zambia or
Namibia. The currency declaration forms (CD1) are then sent to the
respective boarder posts where they are stamped to make it seem as if the
containers crossed into those countries," alleged Nyamutsamba.

He said their probe had also revealed that some Nigerian businessmen were
working with corrupt Zimbabwe Revenue Authority officials to allow
cellphones and accessories into the country without paying duty. He said the
scam was rampant at the Harare International Airport.

Most of the foreigners committing the crimes were coming into Zimbabwe
either as investors or tourists but quickly transformed themselves into
small traders once they get admitted into the country.

"We do not hate the Chinese, neither does our government. What we do not
want is the way they are abusing the system. They should set up industries
to make the toys and umbrellas here. Not to turn Zimbabwe into a dumping
ground for Chinese substandard products," said Nyamutsamba.

The Chief Immigration Officer Elasto Mugwadi did not respond to written
questions sent to his office by Standard Business. Efforts to get comment
from ZIMRA were also fruitless as its corporate communications manager was
reported to be out of office the whole week.
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Zim Standard

Police strip women in search of cash
By Nyasha Bhosha

IN a desperate move to stop the externalisation of local and foreign
currency, police at Chirundu Border post are stripping off travellers,
mainly women, in search of cash.

Several cross border traders who spoke to The Standard last week told
harrowing tales of inhumane treatment at the hands of police who suspect
they are smuggling both local and foreign currency out of Zimbabwe.

The women claimed the searches extended to private parts of their bodies.

"Twenty four years down the line when we think we are free, we are treated
like dogs by our own police. We would understand if it were the Zambian
police, not our own," said an angry female cross border trader.

"All we are trying to do is make a living. Some of us have to look after
orphans. Most of us are widowed," said a disgruntled woman in her late 40s.

She recounted an incident she said occurred on 19 August when all female
passengers were asked to surrender their passports before being led into an

"We were in groups of about 12. We were asked to strip while they searched
our bodies for money. They thoroughly searched our clothes as well," said
one woman who preferred anonymity.

She claimed male passengers were searched at random, without being asked to

"We wonder where they got the directive to strip people. But whoever gave
them the orders is barbaric. We do not mind being searched but not to the
extent of remaining in your birthday suit in front of several passengers and
police officers," said a female passenger on a Chigubu bus.

During a visit to Chirundu border post on Monday The Standard found that
police and officials from the Zimbabwe Revenue Authority (Zimra), were
cracking down on travellers suspected of attempting to cross the border with
both local and foreign currency.

The crew witnessed two women being detained. They were suspected of
concealing cash.

While their fate could not be verified, several cross border traders said it
was normal police practice to conduct thorough body searches after detaining
them. The body searches started a few weeks ago.

Police and Zimra officials only allow travellers leaving Zimbabwe to carry
$100 000 and foreign currency not exceeding US$1 000.

The cross border traders say the $100 000, when converted to Zambian
currency, is about 60 000 Kwacha, which they say is inadequate for their

They also said they needed cash to pay for duty.

"When we come back from Zambia we are charged at lot of money (duty), at one
time I was asked to pay $700 000 for three pairs of shoes. How do they
expect us to pay that kind of money if we cross with only $100 000," said
one angry woman from Mufakose.

"What's worrying is that we never get receipts for the money they collect.
The truth is they don't pay the money to the state, because one police
officer was boasting of making over a million a day from the money she
confiscated," said another trader.

In a normal situation Zimra officials are supposed to issue receipts for
money confiscated which would be used when claiming the money.

"It's also useless trying to get a ceaser form from those guys, because you
will never get the money back. We tried to claim some money through lawyers
and nothing came out of it," said a conductor whose bus plies the Zambia -
Harare route.

Contacted for comment Police spokesperson, Wayne Bvudzijena, said police
would not stop any searches because of allegations against them.

"We won't stop carrying out searches because of allegations being made. We
have done this before and arrested people, so there is nothing new. However,
we will give regard to human dignity and allow women police officers to
search women," Bvudzijena said.

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Zimbabwe challenges fund's decision
By Bertha Shoko

ZIMBABWE has appealed against a decision by the Global Fund to deny the
country Aids funds in the fourth round of proposals and now awaits the board's
final say on the matter, The Standard has learnt. Zimbabwe applied for about
US$381 million for use in combating three killer diseases - Aids,
tuberculosis and malaria but the proposal failed in what was considered a
political move.

The Global Fund has, however, maintained that its rejection of Zimbabwe's
proposal is purely on "technical grounds".

Health and Child Welfare Minister, Dr David Parirenyatwa, said the appeal
was procedural and the government was now looking at other ways of sourcing

Dr Parirenyatwa said the government was convinced that the rejection of
Zimbabwe's proposal was political.

"The most important thing and the reason why we appealed is that it is
procedural and we are concerned about the number of the people dying because
of lack of treatment.

"We wrote excellent proposals to the Global Fund with the help of experts
from the United Nations, World Health Organisation and numerous other health
experts and we know we had a tight proposal.

"It is unfortunate that the Global Fund board does not see it this way. Aids
is a humanitarian crisis and it is inhuman and cruel to deny innocent lives
treatment for political reasons."

Dr Parirenyatwa said the government has resolved to mobilise resources for
treatment and prevention programmes from inside the country, while the
Global fund "take their sweet time deciding what to do with Zimbabwe".

"We can't let innocent lives die in the meantime. We have resolved as
government to use our own funds to assist our own people. Government will
allocate us some money and we are going to tap into the National Aids Trust
Fund," Parirenyatwa said.

"We will rely on ourselves to mobilise funds because we have no choice and
it is encouraging that the foreign currency supply situation in the country
is improving by the day. It will certainly come in handy."

Zimbabwe has one of the highest HIV prevalence rates in the world and the
disapproval of its application was deadly blow to its plans to provide Aids
treatment to its more than 1,8 million people living with Aids.

The bulk of the US$218 applied for Aids was intended to go towards rolling
out of a full scale Anti Retroviral programme in the country.

The United Nations in Zimbabwe has welcomed the appeal and urged everyone to
respect the appeal process.

"The UN was disappointed that the Board of the Global Fund to Fight, AIDS,
Tuberculosis and Malaria (GFATM) did not approve the country's Fourth Round

United Nations Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator in Zimbabwe, Victor
Angelo said: "We welcome the appeal that has been submitted by Zimbabwe. We
now must respect the appeal process and await its outcome."

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Zim Standard

CHRA pushes for urgent mayoral polls

...seeks to restrain Chombo from meddling in the affairs of Harare By our
own Staff

THE Combined Harare Residents' Association (CHRA) has filed an urgent High
Court application seeking an order compelling the Registrar-General's office
to hold elections for the executive mayor of Harare within 60 days.

The application, filed on August 26, also seeks to interdict the Minister of
Local Government, Public Works and National Housing, Igna-tius Chombo, from
"interfering in any manner" with the conduct of the elections of the
executive mayor of Harare.

"The first respondent shall immediately give notice in accordance with
section 102 (1) of the Electoral Act and take all such other steps as may be
necessary to have elections to fill the vacancy of executive mayor of Harare
within sixty days of the granting of this order," reads the application.

In the application, the Registrar-General, Tobaiwa Mudede, is cited as the
first respondent, Chombo (second), acting Harare mayor Sekesai Makwavarara
(third), the Minister of Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs Patrick
Chinamasa (fourth), while dismissed Harare mayor, Elias Mudzuri is listed as
the fifth respondent.

The application, filed by Michael Davies, the chairman of CHRA also seeks to
have Mudede avail the voters' roll of Harare for public inspection in
accordance with the Electoral Act (section 113 F).

"I respectfully therefore submit that the elections for the office of
executive mayor are overdue, more specifically because the Deputy Mayor's
term of office has also expired, the second respondent has prevented the
conduct of an election of a mayor or of a deputy mayor," reads the

The application says Chombo should only give directions of a general
character as to the policy that the council should observe in the exercise
of its functions and the directions must be in the national interest.

"Surprisingly, the second respondent has ignored that his role is to give
general directions but has interfered in the running of the affairs of the
city council," reads the application.

In May this year, Chombo fired 19 MDC councillors after they declined to
take orders from him. One of the orders barred them from holding elections.
Another 22 MDC councillors resigned two weeks ago, citing frustration by the

Apart from the expulsion of the 19 councillors, Chombo is also accused of
appointing a de facto commission to assist in the running of the affairs of

In April this year, Chombo appointed a commission headed by Jameson Kurasha
to run the operations of Harare City Council.

"This is an extra expense to the residents from which they derive no benefit
because their elected representatives have been sidelined," says the

The application says costs of application shall be borne by the respondents.

Joseph Mandizha, the lawyer for the respondents told The Standard that they
had already filed opposing papers in the High Court.

"We are opposing the application on the basis that Mudede and Chombo cannot
play any meaningful role in the elections since there is a pending case in
which Mudzuri is challenging his dismissal in the courts," Mandizha said.

Chombo dismissed Mudzuri, who was elected executive Harare mayor on a
Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) ticket, over alleged mismanagement
"leading to the decline in service delivery."

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Zim Standard

Cash-strapped Mutare sells property
By our own Staff

MUTARE - The city council, reeling under a financial crisis precipitated by
a rate freeze imposed by the Zanu PF government, has sold one of its
properties, Sofie House, to the Zimbabwe National Army (ZNA) for $600

About three months ago, Ignatius Chombo, the Minister of Local Government,
Public Works and National Housing, ordered Mutare city council to suspend,
with immediate effect, its current budget arguing the rates were too high
for the residents.

His order came hot on the heels of a two-week demonstration by ruling Zanu
PF activists at the Civic Centre demanding executive mayor Misheck
Kagurabadza's resignation.

Kagurabadza told The Standard that following the sale, the council would now
be able to pay off debts to some service providers as well as paying workers
a promised salary increase.

"Before the budget freeze we entered into agreement with various
stakeholders on the mode of payment. All that was made impossible by the
minister's order. We had also promised a salary hike to workers staggered
three times during the course of the year and a breach of that was going to
see us in some problems," Kagurabadza said.

He said proceeds from the sale of Sofie House, which is used by the ZNA as a
hospital, would help in clearing council debts.

About three years ago the council and the ZNA, then a tenant, were locked in
a protracted dispute over the latter's refusal to pay rent.

The army insisted they were a government department and therefore supposed
to stay for free, despite the contract that entitled them to pay rentals.
The ZNA, who were nearly evicted from the building, eventually paid up.

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Zim Standard

Dulini-Ncube speaks out
By Bertha Shoko

LOBENGULA-Magwegwe Member of Parliament, Fletcher Dulini-Ncube, who last
month was acquitted of charges of murdering war veterans leader Cain Nkala,
says Zanu PF will never get away with the torture and suffering they put him
through. In an exclusive interview with The Standard Dulini-Ncube spoke of
his arrest, interrogation and subsequent incarceration for a crime he knew
full well he did not commit.

Dulini-Ncube of the opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) says the
trauma he went through after being accused of murdering Nkala was a
calculated political move by Zanu PF to "discredit and bury" him as a
legislator and the MDC as a whole.

The legislator said despite a strong alibi that he was not in Bulawayo at
the time of the murder of Nkala and "ample evidence" exonerating him; the
police manufactured evidence during their interrogation.

This, he said, was intended to frame him.

"When I was arrested in November 2001, the police and CIO (Central
Intelligent Organisation) alleged that sometime in February I had addressed
a meeting at my house in Hillcrest where I urged party supporters to kill
all Zanu PF activists and war veterans," Dulini-Ncube said.

"There was no address, no street of where the meeting had taken place. I
told them I did not stay in Hillcrest but in Hillside. They changed their
statement and now alleged that the meeting had taken place at my office in

"This is when I discovered that there was a catch and that the police were
playing mind games with me. They were seeking to create the impression that
I was working against war veterans before the murder of Nkala and therefore
build a case against me."

Dulini-Ncube said after the interrogation he was detained for three days, in
conditions he described as "filthy and inhuman".

He appeared in court on the fourth day and was remanded in custody and put
in solitary confinement at Khami prison, in Bulawayo, where his health began
to deteriorate.

Despite the doctor's instructions stressing a strictly diabetic diet for
Dulini-Ncube, prison officials ignored the legislator's dietary

In less than five days in prison, the MDC legislator says his sugar levels
shot up and because his eye ointment had run out, his eye condition

"After my condition began deteriorating the prison doctor came to see me and
promised to prescribe a diabetic diet for me and medication for my eye.

"It was only 10 days later that I was served with brown bread and milk but I
was already seriously ill. I thought I would die."

Dulini-Ncube said he then pestered the prison officials to take some blood
samples and get a second opinion about his condition from Mpilo central
hospital. They finally agreed.

"The results were supposed to come out after two days but prison officials
withheld them. Instead, a life support machine was brought into my room.
Thereafter, I went into a comma.

"They knew my condition was serious and that I needed hospitalisation to
stop me from going into a comma but they could not release me to get medical
attention. Instead, they prepared for my condition to worsen by bringing in
the machine.

As a result of failing health, Dulini-Ncube bail's application was approved
and immediately after his release he was admitted to Mater Dei hospital in
Bulawayo. His condition was so serious that he lost his right eye.

Even as things looked bleak, the consolation was he was out of prison and in
hospital, recuperating. But his joy was short-lived.

Dulini-Ncube was indicted and the case was moved to the High Court in Harare
and this meant his bail was set aside.

"The police came for me in hospital and insisted on locking me up in
defiance of doctor's instructions.

A few days after the indictment, Dulini-Ncube's application for bail was
approved. Then began the trial in which he pleaded not guilty. The ordeal
ended two years later with an acquittal of the MP and his five co-accused.

But is it over? Is it possible for the MP to move on with life, The Standard
asked. "No!," the MDC legislator says bitterly.

"When I think of the unwarranted stay in prison, the legal fees, the
psychological and emotional trauma my family and I went through over a crime
I did not commit, I feel angry. I just want to breakdown and weep.

"I lost an eye. My health has deteriorated and since my release from prison
I have not fully recovered.

"I was unfairly treated for unfair reasons - victimised for joining the MDC.
I am certainly slowly picking up the pieces and when I am on my feet again I
am going to take legal action. No one who had a part in this will get away
with it," vows Dulini-Ncube.

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Zim Standard

Anthrax outbreak kills 600 animals
By our own Staff

OVER 600 wild animals have died of anthrax in Masvingo Province over the
past two weeks amid fears that the outbreak is spreading across the

Dr Welbourne Madzima of the Department of Veterinary Services confirmed an
outbreak of anthrax in the province but said the disease was now under

"More than 600 wild animals have died in the past weeks, mainly kudus and
our department in Save and Bikita has visited the affected areas so
everything is now under control," Madzima said.

The department, he said, had enough vaccines for the disease.

"We do have enough vaccine in the country. Actually we were expecting a
consignment yesterday (Thursday) from South Africa to add to our stock," he

Anthrax is caused by bacterium, bacillus antracis, whose spores can survive
in an environment for years.

Experts say the disease spreads quickly during the dry season as livestock
and wildlife graze closer to the ground and ingest pathogens in the soil.

Vultures and other carrion-feeding birds can transmit the disease over huge

The outbreak of the disease comes when the Tourism industry in Zimbabwe is
on the verge of collapse and experts say this could hinder the recovery of
the industry.

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Zim Standard

Four MDC councillors defy order to resign
By Caiphas Chimhete

AT least four Harare City councillors from the opposition Movement for
Democratic Change (MDC) have defied the opposition party's order to resign
from the council en masse in protest against Zanu PF's interference in the
running of the council affairs, The Standard has established.

By Friday, the four councillors had not resigned although the MDC had
ordered all councillors to do so by Monday last week.

The four are Trymore Magamu of Mbare East (ward 3), Oscar Pemhiwa of Mabvuku
(ward 19), Francis Mabasa Marisi of Highfield (ward 25) and Joseph Mudzudzu
of Mufakose (ward 36).

Efforts by The Standard to get a comment from the four were fruitless by the
time of going to print yesterday, but sources within the opposition party
said some of the councillors had been reluctant to resign because their sole
income is from Town House.

MDC spokesperson for Harare province, Last Maingahama, said the four
councillors would soon appear before a disciplinary committee.

The four councillors had not communicated with the party regarding their
position although the deadline for them to resign, which was Monday, had
passed, he said.

"We are giving them a long rope to hang themselves. We don't want them to
hide behind technicalities, that is why we are giving them time," Maingahama

Meanwhile, the MDC has instructed Peace Banza to immediately withdraw from
contesting the rural council by-election in ward 1, Murehwa. Banza last week
filed nomination papers as MDC candidate although the party had suspended
participation in any elections until the government complies with the
Southern African Development Community (SADC) principles and guidelines on

The by-election is scheduled for September 25.

"We have instructed Mr Banza to immediately withdraw from participating in
these bogus elections and we expect him to comply. Should he fail to comply
within the time frame that has been set and communicated to him, he shall
forthwith be expelled from the party without further reference to the
matter," said MDC spokesperson, Paul Themba-Nyathi in a statement.

Banza was ordered to withdraw his nomination papers by yesterday or face

The MDC believes Banza was influenced by the ruling party to file nomination
papers in defiance of the opposition party.

"We are aware of Zanu PF's invisible hand and its insidious tactics that
have been exerted on our member to get him to file his nomination papers
without approval from his party," Themba-Nyathi said

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Zim Standard

Elders in bid to check Zanu PF young turks
By Foster Dongozi

ATTEMPTS are being made to sideline young politicians in Zanu PF from
contesting primary elections to choose the party's candidates in next year's
parliamentary elections, The Standard has established.

Sources in Zanu PF said the ageing generation of politicians in the ruling
party is reportedly afraid of being removed from their privileged positions
by younger, more ambitious politicians. The newcomers have been on a crusade
in their targeted constituencies donating money, paying school fees for
children and buying blankets.

They are also promising the electorate heaven on earth if they are nominated
to represent the ruling party in next year's elections.

President Robert Mugabe has already spoken about his disdain for corrupt
politicians who use money to get a foothold in the political arena.

The primaries will be held before the Zanu PF National People's Congress,
which will take place in Harare during the first week of December.

Thenjiwe Lesabe, Zanu PF secretary for Women's Affairs and chairperson of
the Women's League, told the Zanu PF mouthpiece, The Voice that newcomers
should be thoroughly scrutinised before being confirmed candidates in next
year's elections.

She said individuals who had a suspicious political history had compromised
the party.

"A person must have served in the provincial leadership for at least five
years. The person should also have a history of having served the people in
many ways. He or she may not be active politically, but (should be) a card
carrying member who can identify with the people and not just identify with
them when you are seeking their vote," she said in apparent reference to
younger politicians who have showered constituencies with goods and money.

Senior Zanu PF sources said concerns were raised recently in Politburo and
Cabinet meetings about the wayward and arrogant behaviour of some younger
politicians towards older politicians.

"The veteran politicians have been quiet all this time while the youngsters
were abusing them, especially through the state media. Now they are flexing
their political muscles and have vowed to put obstacles in the paths of some
upstarts," said a senior Zanu PF official.

Zanu PF stalwarts confided that the whole exercise was aimed at derailing
the career of unelected junior minister, Professor Jonathan Moyo, who had
bruising battles with Vice President Joseph Msika, Zanu PF national
chairman, John Nkomo, and the ruling party's spokesman, Dr Nathan

During the Zanu PF Women's League Congress held in Harare two weeks, some
women were barred from contesting positions in the league because they had
not served in the party's structures for more that five years.

Delegates to the congress said the veteran politicians in the Women's League
had closed ranks against younger aspirants who were prepared to pay their
way into power.

"Even in the women's league, we realised that some unprincipled people with
unbridled political ambitions were about to steal power using dirty money
sourced from some immoral politicians. They had done this through sponsoring
certain candidates," said a delegate to the women's congress.

The sources said by insisting on five years as a condition for members to
assume national office, the ruling party bigwigs would have effectively
sidelined the ambitious younger politicians, most of whom have not been
active in provincial politics.

"The requirement is not in the Zanu PF constitution but the fact that it was
used as a pre-condition at the women's congress means it can still be used
during the primary elections," a Zanu PF official told The Standard.

The Zanu PF deputy secretary for the commissariat in the Politburo, Dr
Sikhanyiso Ndlovu, was non-committal when asked about the requirement.

"It is not really a hard and fast rule. Some people may have been in the
party for more than five years and still are useless. "

He said all aspirants would get an opportunity to vie for higher offices.

"We cannot make regulations to suit ourselves even if it involves the
so-called omafikizolo or the maningindabas (rouble rousers). It is not there
in our constitution but that is not to say people are free to embarrass and
abuse the leadership of the party," Ndlovu said.

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Zim Standard

Zanu PF leaders benefitted from NGOs

.IN this, the second and final part of a two-part series, Standard Editor
Bornwell Chakaodza analyses the recently introduced NGOs Bill and argues why
legislators should stop it dead in its tracks when it comes to Parliament.

I THINK it is pertinent to remind the current Zanu PF leadership of the
critical role played during the struggle for Zimbabwe by non-governmental
organisations including various churches both in and outside Rhodesia.

Foreign funding was very crucial in the fight against the evil system that
was Rhodesia. Has power blinded the Zanu PF leaders so much that they have
forgotten where they came from? Have they forgotten how they and their
families benefitted immensely from the financial assistance and selfless
work of such organisations as Christian Care, the Rhodesian Justice and
Peace Commission, the International Defence and Aid Fund (IDAF), the
Catholic Institute for International Relations, the Anti-Apartheid Movement
and many individuals and NGOs too numerous to mention.

Many detainees, restrictees, and fighters together with their families would
not be what they are today had it not been for the spirited work of local
and international NGOs during the struggle for Zimbabwe.

It is deeply saddening to see a leadership which enormously benefitted from
the largesse of NGOs introducing a Bill which seeks to outlaw foreign
funding and bludgeon almost all NGOs out of existence.

It is very important to point out that the civil society in Zimbabwe does
not have an agenda against the government of Zimbabwe or indeed against any
sector other than to improve the quality of life of the people of Zimbabwe.
Human development and human rights are two sides of the same coin.
Government cannot do it alone. The same work that NGOs were doing in
Rhodesia and indeed in every age is what they are doing in Zimbabwe. And
this work includes involving themselves in civil and political rights as
well as economic, social and cultural rights. Human rights is everybody's
business. Poverty, for example, is a denial of human rights.

There are other governance and human rights issues which are universal and
which all governments and NGOs the world over are in complete agreement
about for example a free press, a vibrant civil society, freedom of
association and religion, active social justice and rule of law not rule by

It is most unfortunate to see intolerance pervading all sectors and strata
of the Zimbabwean society.

Democracy means participation and sharing of power and not government
turning a blind eye and a deaf ear to people's pleas for tolerance and
dialogue. Any law must be demonstrably and reasonably justified in a
democratic society. The proposed NGOs Bill clearly is not and should not
find its way into the statute books of this country.

Just like Aippa and Posa, its damage to the country will be immense. Almost
everything will be killed. Tourists will stop coming to the country.
NGO-driven conferences which have been a major source of foreign currency
will dry up. Investment will remain dead in the water. It is common
knowledge that the NGO sector has been a major employer in this country as
elsewhere - what will happen to people who have been deriving their
existence and sustenance from this sector?

Another key point that needs to be made about this Bill is that like Aippa
its preamble is deceitful and misleading. It states that it is "for the
registration of non-governmental organisations, to provide for an enabling
environment for the operations, monitoring and regulation of all NGOs ..."
But the truth of the matter is that not only is the Bill a violation of the
Zimbabwean Constitution, it is a slap in the face of Zimbabwe's regional and
international obligations.

The right to freedom of association and other fundamental rights are
recognised and enshrined in Section 21 of the Constitution of Zimbabwe.
Equally, the right to freedom of association is embodied in numerous
international and regional instruments to which Zimbabwe is a signatory. For
example, both the African Union (AU) and the Southern African Development
Community (Sadc) ta-lk about a genuine creation of an enabling environment
for organs of civil society in which the fundamental right of people to
associate freely together and to express themselves in and through
organisations of their choice should be embodied in national laws.

Clearly therefore, the pieces of legislation that have been enacted by the
Zimbabwean government in recent years and the impending NGOs Bill are not
consistent with these regional and continental commitments.

The African Commission on Human and People's Rights is a body established by
the African Union to promote and protect human rights on the African
continent and has formally associated itself with the UN on the protection
of NGOs and human rights organisations. As the International Bar Association
(IBA) points out, the NGOs Bill "seeks to achieve precisely the opposite
objectives and, if anything, flies in the face of regional standards for the
protection and proliferation of human rights defenders and NGOs operating in
the region".

The IBA further makes the important point that challenging the
constitutionality of the Bill would be difficult if not impossible. It cites
the approach of the Zimbabwean Supreme Court in the case of Associated
Newspapers of Zimbabwe (ANZ) versus the Minister of Information and
Publicity in the Office of the President where the doctrine of the 'rule of
law' in Zimbabwe was subverted to 'rule by law'.

In that case, the constitutional challenge by Associated Newspapers of
Zimbabwe was dismissed because ANZ had not been registered in terms of the
very Act that it sought to have declared unconstitutional.

In this regard, the Supreme Court in this country upheld the point that:
"The Applicant (ANZ) is approaching this court with dirty hands and is not
entitled to relief from this court ... the applicant chose to disrespect the
law by deliberately refraining from applying for registration as prescribed
because it resolved unilaterally that it cannot, in its alleged conscience,
obey such a law".

This effectively mea-ns as the IBA observed that the law in Zimbabwe as it
stands at the moment is that constitutional challenges to bad pieces of
legislation such as the proposed NGOs Bill cannot be brought by those
affected by the bad law until such time that they have in fact complied with
the registration and other requirements of that bad law.

Very ominous indeed for the NGOs operating in Zimbabwe! It means that NGOs
have to register with this terrible law first before challenging it and with
the kind of captive judiciary we have in Zimbabwe at this time, there is no
guarantee of success. It will be an exercise in futility for NGOs ever to
attempt to challenge it.

As a result of the above and many other reasons discussed in this and last's
week article, it is important for the Zimbabwean authorities to think again
on this Bill and its implications and dire consequences for the Zimbabwean
society as a whole. Men and women of goodwill in Zanu PF must do everything
in their power to put a stop to the insanity of this Bill.

There is much grief and suffering in this country already and this NGOs Bill
is bound to exercerbate the situation further. You cannot be agog with the
so called Homelink (Kumusha-Ekhaya) but at the same time closing all doors
to foreign funding of non-governmental organisations - that is double
standards and hypocrisy of the worst kind!

Where will Zanu PF leaders be now if Ian Smith had done that during our
struggle for independence? Think about it. It will not kill you, Zanu PF,
just to think about it.

The depth of this country's economic difficulties against which the problems
of Ian Smith's Rhodesia pale into insignificance must make any Zanu PF
leader pause for serious thought.

All Zimbabweans within and outside our borders are yearning for freedom,
tolerance, peace and reconciliation and an atmosphere of open, free debate
and honest dialogue as the best way forward for our country. The fortunes of
Zimbabwe cannot be turned around in a situation of instability and
antagonism between government and NGOs.

The challenge that all of us face is to make sure that the energy and
initiatives of the Zimbabwean people are unleashed for Zimbabwe's turnaround
to take place and this NGOs Bill will effectively prevent that from

It is not in the interest of government to be seen to be going against
global standards of behaviour. What conceivable benefit it there for the
country when a government violates its own constitution left, right and
centre? Why would any government regard NGOs and churches as opponents
rather than as partners in development?

Violations of civilised behaviour and international human rights norms must
not be pandemic within Zanu PF as is the case now.

Even at this late hour, we do strongly urge President Mugabe and Zanu PF to
reconsider this hamfisted clampdown of a very important sector of our
society for many reasons, one of which has been eloquently expressed by the
International Bar Association in their conclusion to the analysis of the
NGOs Bill:

"In the ultimate analysis, not only is the Bill in flagrant violation of
international and regional human rights standards and norms, it also
represents a decisive rejection of the terms of the Constitution of
Zimbabwe, which provide for the right to freedom of expression, association
and assembly. That attitude can only be described as contemptuous of the
rule of law and of regional and international stan-dards of governance and
of the protection of human rights".

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Zim Standard

Taking stock as MDC turns five

THE Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) turned five yesterday. If a week is
a long time in politics, what should we say about five years? In the same
vein, what can we say about Zanu PF's twenty-four years? Eternity. Yes,

Be that as it may, five years is good enough time to ask the question: How
has the child that was brought into this world on 11 September 1999 - three
months before the turn of the millennium - fared and grown?

Firstly, we would like to pay tribute to this child whose first cry at birth
and continued presence has infuriated those who thought they were anointed
to rule forever and wished it had not been born in the first place. Despite
its ups and downs - which is natural and to be expected - the MDC has
undeniably remained a force to reckon with.

Until the advent of the MDC, opposition parties in Zimbabwe had never made
much of a showing in elections. That is, of course, not to belittle the work
and presence of earlier opposition parties such as the Zimbabwe Unity
Movement (ZUM) and the Forum Party of Zimbabwe. Far from it. These and a few
others played their part under very difficult circumstances of Zanu PF

But it is merely to observe the fact that the country's political centre of
gravity shifted away from Zanu PF as a result of the formation of the MDC.
From then on things were never to be the same again.

The MDC has provided concrete evidence of a structural change in Zimbabwean
political geology rather than a passing piece of fluff which was soon to
blow away as has happened with previous opposition political parties. Its
smashing victory in the 2000 parliamentary elections is ample testimony to

Democracy is always and everywhere a work in progress. The MDC has made its
mistakes, as creative and active organisations do but there is no denying
the fact that multi-party democracy in Zimbabwe was given real meaning with
this party's massive success at the polls both in 2000 parliamentary
elections and the 2002 Presidential elections.

It could indeed be argued that by the time the MDC was formed in September
1999, the Zimbabwean cotton was ripe for the picking as a result of the
bungling of the economy by the ruling Zanu PF party. But then it takes
courage of individuals to move the whole process of justice and democracy

That is where Morgan Tsvangirai and his colleagues come in. Just as
President Mugabe, the late Vice-President Joshua Nkomo and other members of
the old guard - dead and living - were courageous and fearless enough to say
no to the evil system that was Rhodesia, so did Morgan Tsvangirai and
earlier on Edgar Tekere and the late Chief Justice Enoch Dumbutshena said no
to the totalitarian system that is now Zimbabwe.

As long as there is dictatorship and tyranny in a country, people will
invariably emerge to fight that evil system. As long as people are alive and
not dead, they will struggle for freedom and democracy.

In its five years, the MDC has kept the fires of multi-party democracy
burning in Zimbabwe. We now have a fairly balanced Parliament unlike say
seven years ago. Nationally and internationally, the MDC is acknowledged as
a government-in-waiting and a poltical party that you can do business with.

It must be remembered that for more than 20 years, the ruling Zanu PF party
seemed immune to the winds of change that were blowing elsewhere in the
world. The MDC shook up that fortress.

And in Africa it is not easy to nearly dislodge revolutionary parties that
first come to power. So it is appropriate that the MDC must congratulate
itself for having come this far in the full knowledge that the road to
success is always under construction.

Having said that, this is also time for the MDC to reflect on where they are
and where they are going. By hook or crook, Zanu PF has proved to be an
adaptive organism by mainly harking to the past in search of slipping
legitimacy and dying support. Zanu PF leaders also point to their sacrifices
in the struggle for Zimbabwe. In this they have a powerful point.

Nothing comes on a silver platter. You cannot expect things to come your way
without sacrifices. There is no evidence to show that the MDC leaders are
prepared to put their lives on the line for the sake of Zimbabwe.

In 2000, the electorate responded to the MDC positively and with absolute
clarity. That triumph and the evident defeat (Zanu PF stole MDC's victory)
of President Mugabe in 2002 ironically exposed the MDC to much more
penetrating scrutiny.

Every political party needs at least a set of strategies as well as policies
both to inspire and motive its supporters and to establish its enduring
identity in the minds of the voters. MDC leadership and the party as a whole
appear to have run out of steam - obstacles in their path put by Zanu PF

We have to be frank and candid with the MDC: Go back to the drawing board.

And we say this not underestimating the intimidation, harassment, arrests,
violence, racism and hate speech unleashed by Zanu PF backed by the partisan
instruments of power i.e. the civil service, army, police and the CIO.

A major challenge to the MDC therefore is to work much harder even without
the glare of publicity with both the rural and urban dwellers as well as the
Sadc leaders, continental leaders and the international community - in that

March 2005 is around the corner and the pressure for a genuine electoral
playing field must be intensified. If Zanu PF wins under genuinely free and
fair conditions, more power to them. If MDC wins under the same kind of
conditions, yes, more power to them also.

This is our bottom line.

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Zim Standard

The ball is now in your frying pan
overthetop By Brian Latham

IN a move that surprised no one, the troubled central African nation's
opposition More Drink coming Party said it would still not participate in
elections even though the ruling Zany Party had announced electoral reforms.
"The electoral reforms do not amount to anything," said a More Drink Coming
Party spokesman, "The ball is now in the Southern African Disaster Community's
frying pan."

Sources within the Southern African Disaster Committee said the organisation
did not know what to do.

"We don't want these problems in our frying pan," said another spokesman,
this time from the troubled southern African organisation. "Actually we don't
want any problems because we don't know how to deal with them."

The clearly disturbed spokesman said the organisation was particularly keen
to avoid troubles coming from the troubled central African country.

"People in the troubled central African country are too clever," said the
troubled spokesman. "We think it best to ignore the problem and hope it will
go away all by itself."

Still, a spokesman from the Zany Party dismissed the opposition's boycott.
"The reforms we are implementing fully meet the Southern African Disaster
Committee's recommendations," he said, adding, "And even if they don't, we
have no legal obligation to meet them so it doesn't matter one way or the

Meanwhile a More Drink Coming Party told Over The Top that "administrative
difficulties" had seen a member of the opposition contesting a rural by
election that he was supposed to have been boycotting.

"Actually, we forgot to tell him about the boycott," admitted the troubled
and embarrassed spokesman.

For its part, the Zany Party claimed the presence of a More Drink Coming
contestant on a ballot paper as proof that the opposition More Drink Coming
Party did not know its rear end from its elbow.

But the More Drink Coming Party, anxious to divert attention from the
unexpected appearance of its man in the keenly contested election, said the
real issue was not who was standing and who wasn't.

Instead it said troubled central Africans should be concentrating on the
fact that electoral reforms announced this week will retain control of
elections in Zany Party hands.

"This is unacceptable," said the More Drink Coming Party, "because simply by
changing the names of organisations does not mean the elections will be free
or fair, still less a true reflection of the will of the people."

While the ruling Zany Party gloatingly dismissed the opposition's
complaints, the Southern African Disaster Committee was strangely silent on
the issue.

Sources within the organisation, who cannot be named for reasons OTT will
think of in a minute, said that the disturbed leader of a disturbed southern
African nation was particularly exasperated by the development.

Actually, the source said, "When he finally wakes up, Mr Barking is likely
to be particularly exasperated by the stalemate in the troubled central
African country, but unfortunately he has been having some rather late
nights recently."

Other leaders in the region merely shrugged their shoulders, smiled wryly
and said there was no solution to their troubled neighbour other than to sit
the storm out.

"Once it has blown its course, we can pick up the pieces," said one
presidential spokesman, speaking entirely off the record, adding, "They can
toss the ball into our frying pan as often as they like, it just means we
will toss it back again."

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Zim Standard

Preconditions for free, fair polls

THE current Southern African Development Community (SADC) chairperson's
comments: "With free and fair elections in Zimbabwe early next year, we can
prepare for the normalisation of relations with the EU and the US."

These are very inspiring comments and Zimbabweans would jump with joy for
they have never seen a free and fair election for decades. The question is
how does the SADC ensure that the elections are free and fair?

For the elections to be free and fair, there should be normalisation of the
electoral environment at least six months before the polling day. Free and
fair elections are a result of a reasonably sustainable free and fair
election conducive-environment.

For the people of Zimbabwe to be satisfied that the environment has
stabilised and is ready for free, friendly, and fair elections, the
following must be adequately addressed:

.The draconian legislations such as Public Order and Security Act and the
Access to Information and Protection of Privacy Act, which violate
fundamental human rights must go.

. Freedoms of assembly, association, expression/speech, movement and choice
must be restored immediately. Nobody should seek authority from either the
police or the one-party state dictatorship to exercise any of the above

. All interested parties must organise and hold meetings without
interference and without being subjected to one-party state sponsored

.The green bombers must be disbanded.

.The ZRP must operate impartially without political influence.

. The state media must cease to be used as a Zanu PF mouthpiece.

.All the stakeholders must receive equal coverage in both print and
electronic media.

. All banned newspapers especially The Daily News and The Daily News On
Sunday must be allowed to operate without any political interference

.Independent broadcasting must be accommodated.

. The use of state security agencies such as the army and the Central
Intelligence Organisation to campaign for Zanu PF must be stopped.

.The use of government property such as vehicles and communications
facilities to campaign for a party must be stopped.

.Violence whether within the same party or between two opposing parties must
be prohibited, stamped out and mandatory sentence must be imposed.

.All Zimbabweans, including those in the diaspora, must be allowed to vote
without restrictions.

.A genuinely independent Electoral Commission must be democratically set up
to take full charge of the conduct of the entire electoral process from
voter registration to the announcement of the results.

. Voting must be done in one day and counting and announcing of the winners
must also be done at the polling stations,

. Translucent ballot boxes must be used,

. All political parties taking part in the elections must be represented in
all constituencies where they are participating.

. The chiefs and headmen who have since been politicised and bribed to
support Zanu PF must just cast their votes but never interfere with the
majority's electoral rights.

.Political violence or threats must attract a stiff mandatory sentence.

. All civil servants are loyal to the state and not the government of the
day which means that they are loyal to the people of Zimbabwe in their

. All people who have either been members of the puppet ESC or the Electoral
Directorate or the Registrar General's office must be barred from ever
presiding over elections in Zimbabwe for life.

. Nobody must ever have the right to appoint the so-called non-constituency
members to become Parliamentarians without democratic mandate. Anybody who
aspires to represent people in Parliament can only do so through the people's
mandate, through popular free and fair elections,

. Local and foreign observers and monitors must be accredited without
pre-conditions, and lastly,

. All the above plus some more that I might have overlooked need to be
addressed now if we are to have free and fair elections in March 2005,
otherwise the Sadc heads of state will be very sad people come March 2005,
while the people of Zimbabwe will continue to suffer under one of the most
brutal one-party state dictatorships in the world.

Mere declarations at SADC conferences do not automatically translate into
free and fair elections in Zimbabwe in particular. There is need for a lot
of work to ensure that the entire international community in general and
SADC in particular do not fall victim to the Zanu PF one party state
dictatorship's hypocrisy.

Finally, electoral reform must, for justice's sake, include a clause that
compels candidates who find their way into parliament or council, urban or
rural, not to abandon those who elect them to office by joining the
opponents. Should any elected person wish to join another party he or she
must resign first, so as to cause fresh elections to seek a fresh mandate.

H A Mushimbo

Mutoko North

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