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

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Blood and Soil in Southern Africa
      17 Sep 2004 10:52:00 GMT

International Crisis Group (ICG) - Belgium

Brussels/Pretoria, 17 September 2004: Tensions over land and race, which
have already contributed much to Zimbabwe's political and economic collapse,
are rising in South Africa as well. New approaches are needed if they are
not to push tempers to the boiling point across all southern Africa.

Blood and Soil: Land, Politics and Conflict Prevention in Zimbabwe and South
Africa*, a new book-length report released today by the International Crisis
Group, offers those approaches along with a detailed analysis of the issues.
The product of intensive field research with widespread consultations
ranging from farm workers to senior government officials, Blood and Soil
examines the challenges of land policy and redistribution in both countries
and places them within their social, political, economic and historical

Resolving the challenge of land will be central to getting Zimbabwe back on
its feet when that nation eventually experiences a change of government.

"For all the understandable international outrage over seizures of
white-owned farms in Zimbabwe, the biggest losers of the land program have
been black Zimbabweans -- black farm workers, black members of the
opposition, and all those who were not part of the ruling party elite", says
John Norris, Special Adviser to the President of ICG. "There are tremendous
historical injustices that need to be dealt with in both Zimbabwe and South
Africa, but Zimbabwe has demonstrated the deadly dangers of exploiting land
redistribution for blatantly political ends".

Blood and Soil provides a balanced assessment of the claims and
counterclaims about responsibility for the catastrophic situation in
Zimbabwe and offers practical policy suggestions for ways forward by
identifying the contours of a post-Mugabe land approach.

Blood and Soil also provides a comprehensive agenda for reinvigorating the
land reform process in South Africa.

"South Africa still has time to get it right on land reform and avoid future
land-related violence and insecurity", says John Prendergast, also a Special
Adviser with ICG. "The government, farmers, and donors can take practical
steps to accelerate the current land reform program, contribute to poverty
reduction, and reduce landlessness. The stakes are enormous, with
implications throughout southern Africa".

Contacts: Andrew Stroehlein (Brussels) 32 (0) 485 555 946 Jennifer Leonard
(Washington) 1-202-785 1601
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Chihuri Warns Against Violence

The Herald (Harare)

September 17, 2004
Posted to the web September 17, 2004


Police yesterday issued a stern warning to people who engage in political
violence ahead of the 2005 polls, saying they would be dealt with

Police Commissioner Cde Augustine Chihuri said all cases of a criminal
nature, even where politics is the motive, would continue to be thoroughly
investigated and purveyors of such violence would be hauled before the
courts to answer for their criminal deeds.

He said the Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP) would engage head-on and with the
necessary legal and physical force at its disposal those involved in public

"As we proceed towards the 2005 parliamentary elections, there have already
been acts of inter- and intra-party political violence in parts of the

"In these acts of criminality, life has been threatened and property
damaged. This barbaric type of political activism in which youths are used
as cannon fodder should cease forthwith.

"Members of the ZRP are under instruction to have zero tolerance of any
situation or activities which they perceive as contributing to violence,"
said Cde Chihuri.

He said several youths were arrested last month while eight others were
picked up this month following some disturbances.

"We implore political aspirants to campaign peacefully and direct their
supporters to do the same.

At the same time, peace-loving citizens are urged to separate themselves
from such individuals and groups of criminals," said Cde Chihuri.

The Police Commissioner said law-abiding citizens would only have themselves
to blame should they be confused for political criminals whose modus
operandi police were now familiar with.

"Let me categorically restate that any type of violence will not be condoned
in the country. The police will strive to ensure that despite political
tensions being fomented by some individual politicians, peace-loving
citizens will be able to go about their lawful day-to-day activities

"It remains the duty of the police to maintain law and order during any time
of the year, including periods leading to national elections. The police
force, as the law enforcement agency, is not going to abdicate from this
constitutional responsibility."

Politically motivated violence has of late been reported in some parts of
the country with property worth millions of dollars destroyed in Makoni last

President Mugabe has already called upon police to ensure that next year's
elections are conducted in a peaceful and tranquil environment as the
country would be under the international spotlight.

Speaking at a police pass-out parade in July, the President said the
observance and maintenance of peace and calm was crucial since the country's
detractors would, as usual, seek to misrepresent the situation and the
electoral process in the country.

Last month, police welcomed the Southern African Development Community
(Sadc) principles and guidelines on the conduct of democratic elections and
said they would ensure the country's parliamentary elections are conducted
in a peaceful manner.

Sadc Heads of State and Governments approved the rules, standards and
criteria regulating elections in the region at their summit in Mauritius.

The principles and guidelines are aimed at ensuring full participation of
citizens in the electoral process, freedom of association, political
tolerance and regular elections as provided for by national constitutions.
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It is encouraging to see that someone has bothered to start some kind of
protest against the PTC charge hikes. For those of you who just shrug your
shoulders and say that is just the way things are in Zimbabwe, please do not
read on, ….and have a nice day!

For those who do give a damn, read on and make you protest in whichever way
you think appropriate…………..

-----Original Message-----
From: Destination Horizon
Subject: Telephone charge increases

15th September 2004

To those of you who are responsible for the payment of Tel-One telephone
accounts, (which have started arriving today)please seriously consider
writing to the General Manager of Tel-One within the next few days to
COMPLAIN IN THE VERY STRONGEST TERMS against the unfair, unjustified and
exhorbitant telephone rates increases which have come into effect.

What we need is a massive and strong protest against the unjustified and
astronomical telephone charge increases introduced by Tel-One.  The unit
charges have been increased overnight from $120 to $585, a five-fold

This is justified by neither the current rate of inflation nor an
improvement in the quality of service provided.

By comparison, fixed land-line operators overseas have cut their rates by an
average of 50% over the last couple of years. It would appear therefore that
these increases are the result of either pure greed or incompetence.

It is likely that several businesses will not be able to sustain such
unrealistic increases and will have to close down. At a time when the
Governor of the Reserve Bank is trying, quite successfully, to control
inflation in Zimbabwe, the latest measure is tantamount to economic

These telephone charge increases will doubtlessly have a 'domino' effect on
all businesses, like fuel price increases do, and you can expect other
charges/fees/rates and subscriptions to increase in order to off-set these!

Let's try to be united in protest against these increases.

----- Original Message -----
From: "Trudy Stevenson"
Sent: Saturday, September 18, 2004 2:41 AM

An e-mail address for complaints regarding the phone call increase.

Possibly include a request for a reply giving reasons for the increase.
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Please find below the list of Section 7's published in the Herald today,
17th September 2004.

There is also a Section 8 Lot 14 in todays Herald, this comprises 129
properties.  This list will be sent out on Monday 20th September 2004.



TAKE NOTICE that an application for the confirmation of the acquisition
order issued in respect of the following farms has been filed in the
Administrative Court at Harare and that the Respondent and any holder of
real rights over the said farm are required to lodge their objections
within 5 days after the publication of this notice failure to which the
matter shall be set down unopposed without any further notice.

A copy of the application is available for collection at Applicant's
undersigned legal practitioner of record's address between Monday to Friday
from 8am to 4pm.

Minister of Special Affairs in the Office
of the President and Cabinet in Charge of Lands,
Land Reform and Resettlement.

Applicant's Legal Practitioners
2nd Floor, Block "A"
New Govt. Complex
Cnr Samora Machel AVe/Fourth St.

 1. 2195/86. Oldham Estates P/L: Hartley: Oldson Estate "A": 7 602.2200ha:
LA 3344/03

 2 .7481/86. Prangmere Farm P/L: Lomagundi: Prangmere: 1042,2698 ha: LA
 3. 6502/84: Fletchers P/L: Lomagundi: Chingomo of Gurungwe: 937,4176 ha:
LA 4264/04
 4. 2025/91: Mission Vlei Farm (Private) Limited: Lomagundi: Mission Vlei:
559,6075 ha: LA 4474/04
 5. 4861/91. Dedi Farm P/L: Lomagundi: Mwonga: 902,1191 ha: LA 4493/04
 6. 7164/72. Anthony Ellis Howland: Lomagundi: Remainder of Birkdale
Estate: 2023,3224 ha: LA 457/04
 7. 3446/94. Mvurachena Enterprises P/L: Lomagundi: Remainder of Mvurachena
Estate: 711,2734 ha: LA 4307/04
 8. 4806/91. PTA Farming P/L: Lomagundi: Bassett: 518,0221 ha: LA 4353/04
 9. 126/82. Maruchi & Cesare Lomagundi: Mzira Farm: 692,0666 ha: LA 4344/04
 10. 2521/61 Norwe Farms (Private) Limited: Lomagundi: Remainder of Morwe
of Birkdale Estate: 958,6930 ha: LA 4490/04
 11. 4573/80. H W Smithyman and Company P/L: Lomagundi: Laroe of Gurungwe:
1215,0346 ha: LA 4519/04
 12. 5756/56 Blue Grass Farms P/L: Lomagundi: Andrea: 1186,7333 morgen: LA

 13. 1060/86. Sherwood Farm (Private) Limited: Makoni: Ferncarry: 850,5224
ha: LA 4409/04
 14.  2193/94. Pebworth Estate P/L: Makoni: Farm 6 of Lawrencedale Estate:
1 013,7291 ha: LA 4256/04
 15.  447/84. C W Van Der Linden: Makoni: Remainder of Castle Kop: 1
570,5972 ha: LA 4272/04
 16.  5879/70. Siverbow (Private) Limited: Makoni: Farm "Early Mo" 455,6676
ha: LA 4316/04
 17.  6109/87 Normavalarie V Dum, Neville Clayton Tapson, John Granville
Tapson, Anthea Jon Koly Brenda, Elizabeth James, Dephne Vivian Ball and
Estate Late Rosalind Varvis Adamd Makoni: Remainder of Diana: 1 590,8571
ha: LA 4315/04
 18.  1271/96. G I Balance (Private) Limited : Makoni: Remainder of Ripple
Mead: 725,7751 ha: LA 4261/04
 19.  1696/62 Kenneth Charles Ziehl Makoni: Remaining Extent of Recondite:
2 136,4329 acres: LA 4413/04

 20.  6496/69 Ruwanga (Private) Limited: Mazoe: Ruwanga: 3 042,9340 acres:
LA 4354/04
 21.  4982/94 Mewrose Properties (Private) Limited Mazoe: Remainder of
Erin: 1 287,3138 ha: LA 4300/04
 22.  2504/95. Putney Enterprises (Private) Limited: Mazoe: Remainder of
Avontuue: 814,3973 ha: LA 4335/04

 23.  3420/51. The Wattle Company Limited: Melsetter: Hearthfield: 3243
morgen 547 square roods: LA 4279/04
 24.  6617/72: Millgrove (Private) Limited: Melsetter: Remaining Extent of
Mermaid's Grotto: 931,4706 ha: LA 4339/04

 25.  121/90. Bonora Ranch (Private) Limited: Nuanetsi: Bonora of Nuanetsi
Ranch A: 4 935,2572 ha: LA 4455/04
 26.  120/90. Dykersrus Ranch (Private) Limited Nuanetsi: Dykersrust of
Nuanetsi Ranch A 5 098,7037 ha: LA 4449/04
 27.  3209/94. J C Kotze and Son (Private) Limited Nuanetsi: Nuanetsi Ranch
A: 1 644,1503 ha: LA 4266/04
 28.  9002/71. Edenvale Ranch (Private) Limited: Nuanetsi: Jubula of
Nuanetsi Ranche A: 6 819,7612 ha: LA 4373/04
 29.  1895/81. Andre Eugene Fourie: Nuanetsi: Lot 1 of Quagga Pan Ranch of
Nuanetsi Ranche: 2 943,1275 ha: LA 4463/04
 30.  569/72. Mopane Ranching Company (Private) Limited Nuanetsi: Lot 1 of
Sembwe of Nuanetsi Ranch A: 4 254,7060 ha: LA 4418/04
 31.  1052/87. Solomondale (Private) Limited: Nuanetsi: Lot 1 of Wanezi
Block A: 1 436,2075 ha: LA 4510/04
 32.  1119/85. Hendrik Boshoff: Nuanetsi: Lot 10 of Lot 1 of Lot 12 of
Nuanetsi Ranch A: 6 070,5856 ha: LA 4483/04
 33.  1394/98. Rudolph Erasmus Van Den Heever: Nuanetsi: Lot 10 of Lot 12
of Nuanetsi Ranche A: 829,5989 ha: LA 4390/04
 34.  1394/98. Rudolph Erasmus Van Den Heever: Nuanetsi: Lot 12 of Lot 12
of Nuanetsi Ranche A: 981,7393 ha: LA 4431/04
 35.  1818/82. James Henry Edwards Nuanetsi: Lot 17 of Nuanetsi Ranche A:
11 927,005 ha: LA 4443/04
 36.  1394/98. Rudolph Erasmus Van Den Heever: Nuanetsi: Lot 19 of Lot 12
of Nuanetsi Ranche A: 820,4304 ha: LA 4340/04
 37.  99/81. Joseph Ernest Alain Faydherbe Nuanetsi: Lot 19 of Nuanetsi
Ranch A: 7 043,5958 ha: LA 4255/04
 38.  7438/95. Maria Johanna Barnard Nuanetsi: Lot 2 of Mkumi Ranch of
Nuanetsi Ranch A: 4692,6900 HA: LA 4374/04
 39.  4910/72. Cawoods Ranch (Private) Limited: Nuanetsi: Lot 21A of
Nuanetsi Ranche A: 14712,8968 ha: LA 4263/04
 40 4729/91. Raymond Roth: Nuanetsi: Lot 22 of Lot 12 of Nuanetsi Ranche A:
853,5739 ha: LA 4499/04
 41.  4729/97. Raymond Roth: Nuanetsi: Lot 25 of Lot 12 of Nuanetsi Ranche
A: 943,3104 ha: LA 4481/04
 42.  7992/88. De Vos Ranching (Private) Limited: Nuanetsi: Lot 26 of Lot
12 of Nuanetsi Ranche A: 872,2679 ha: LA 4502/04
 43.  5377/90. De Vos Ranching (Private) Limited: Nuanetsi: Lot 27 of Lot
12 of Nuanetsi Ranche A: 889,0915 ha: LA 4430/04
 44.  7992/88. De Vos Ranching (Private) Limited: Nuanetsi: Lot 28 of Lot
12 of Nuanetsi Ranche A: 813,1890 ha: LA 4302/04
 45.  376/63. Edenvale Ranch (Private) Limited: Nuanetsi: Lot 3 of Lot 12
of Nuanetsi Ranche A: 28 354,5703 acres: LA 4282/04
 46.  7050/86. Rio Enterprises (Private) Limited: Nuanetsi: Lot 3 of Mukumi
Ranch of Nuanetsi Ranch A: 2 292,7327 ha: LA 4405/04
 47.  1091/60. Umjanjele Ranch (Private) Limited: Nuanetsi: Lot 3 of
Nuanetsi Ranche A: 33 113,75764 acres: LA 4422/04
 48.  6852/94. Bull Barrow Enterprises (Private) Limited: Nuanetsi: Lot 34
of Lot 12 of Nuanetsi Ranche A: 810,8498 ha: LA 4460/04
 49.  1477/97. Louis Johannes Foord: Nuanetsi: Lot 36 of Lot 12 of Nuanetsi
Ranche A: 810,5237 ha: LA 4321/04
 50.  5923/70. Sheba Ranch (Private) Limited: Nuanetsi: Lot 39 of Lot 12 of
Nuanetsi Ranche A: 1 045,0693 ha: LA 4445/04
 51.  5924/70. Sheba Ranch (Private) Limited: Nuanetsi: Lot 40 of Lot 12 of
Nuanetsi Ranche A: 953,0142 ha: LA 4404/04
 52.  1991/92. Illunga Estates (Private) Limited: Nuanetsi: Lot 43A
Nuanetsi Ranche A: 5 147,8939 ha: LA 4362/04
 53.  7062/94. George Arthur Viljoen: Nuanetsi: 5 445,8956 ha: LA 4355/04
 54.  1609/99. Christina Catharina Langenhoven: Nuanetsi: Lot 49A Nunaetsi
Ranche A: 9 514,0779 ha: LA 4301/04
 55.  7061/94. George Arthur Viljoen: Nuanetsi: Lot 50A Nunaetsi Ranche A:
2 646,1056 ha: LA 4271/04
 56.  6409/83. Mateke Hills Safaris (Private) Limited: Nuanetsi: Lot 6 of
Lot 1 of Lot 12 of Nuanetsi Ranch A: 6 074,3238 ha: LA 4500/04
 57. 834/91. Nyavasha Ranching & Safaris (Private) Limited: Nuanetsi: Lot 6
of Lot 12 of Nuanetsi Ranche A: 793,3321 Ha: LA 4419/04
 58.  5922/70. Sheba Ranch (Private) Limited: Nuanetsi: Lot 63 of Lot 12 of
Nuanetsi Ranche A: 811,0429 ha: LA 4421/04
 59.  5922/70. Sheba Ranch (Private) Limited: Nuanetsi: Lot 62 of Lot 12 of
Nuanetsi Ranche A: 813,0111 ha; LA 4424/04
 60.  5925/70. Sheba Ranch (Private) Limited: Nuanetsi: Lot 67 of Lot 12 of
Nunaetsi Ranch A: 5 082,5387 ha: LA 4254/04
 61.  5926/70. Sheba Ranch (Private) Limited: Nuanetsi: Lot 68 of Lot 12 of
Nuanetsi Ranche A: 4 591,6203 ha: LA 4506/04
 62.  5472/94 Mateke Hills Safaris (Private) Limited: Nuanetsi: Lot 69 of
Lot 12 of Nuanetsi Ranche A: 3 264,4311 ha: LA 4289/04
 63.  834/91. Nyavasha Ranching & Safaris (Private) Limited: Nuanetsi: Lot
7 of Lot 12 of Nuanetsi Ranche A: 854,3431 ha: 4472/04
 64.  4729/91. Raymond Roth: Nuanetsi: Lot 71 of Lot 12 of Nuanetsi Ranche
A: 753,0012 ha: LA 4412/04
 65.  4791/92. Raymond Roth: Nuanetsi: Lot 72 of Lot 112 of Nuanetsi Ranche
A: 841,5431 ha: LA 4265/04
 66.  5451/93. Junction Estates (Private) Limited: Nuanetsi: Lot 8 of Lot
1of Lot 12 of Nuanetsi Ranche A: 6 073,9828 ha: LA 4253/03
 67.  834/91. Nyavasha Ranching & Safaris (Private) Limited: Nuanetsi: Lot
8 of Lot 12 of Nuanetsi Ranche A: 869,3599 ha: LA 4311/04
 68.  834/91. Nyavasha Ranching & Safaris (Private) Limited: Nuanetsi: Lot
9 of Lot 12 of Nuanetsi Ranche A: 869,35ha: LA 4498/04
 69.  4780/74. Louwrens Broers (Eindoms) Beperk: Nuanetsi: Mbavirira
Estate: 8 499,3521 ha; LA 4433/04
 70.  1478/97. Frederik Jacobus Van Der Sande: Nuanetsi: Nandice Ranch A: 9
506,2557 ha; LA 4239/04
 71.  833/65. Lowveldt Farms (Private) Limited: Nuanetsi: Nkomati of
Nuanetsi Ranche A: 2 368,2867 ha: LA 4507/04
 72.  1673/72. De La Rey Beyers Fourie Geldenhuys: Nuanetsi: Remaining
Extent of Lot 1 of Lot 12 of Nuanetsi Ranche A: 6 085,5040 ha: LA 4386/04
 73.  3500/86. Firmandale (Private) Limited: Nuanetsi: Remaining Extent of
Quagga Pan Ranch of Nuanetsi Ranch: 5 277,3216 ha: LA 4230/04
 74.  147/65. Mopane Ranching Company (Private) Limited: Nuanetsi: The
Remaining Extent of Sembwe of Nuanetsi Ranche A: 6 410,6641 ga: LA 4494/04
 75.  331/85. L & L Ranchers (Private) Limited: Nuanetsi: Rutenga Estate:
14 167,4681 ha: LA 4503/04
 76.  5492/86. Chipangali Estates (Private) Limited: Nuanetsi: Solomon
Landgoed Ranch of Nuanetsi Ranche: 10 484,9766 ha: LA 4417/04
 77.  3421/73. Jacobus Cornelius Wartington: Nuanetsi: Sonop of Nuanetsi
Ranche A: 8 347,3360 ha: LA 4270/04
 78.  9622/88. C P Investments (Private) Limited: Nuanetsi: The Remainder
of Steimarcoe A: 3 958,700 ha: LA 4501/04
 79.  6797/73. B J B Ranch (Private) Limited: Nuanetsi: Tinnor of Nunentsi
Ranch A: 6 307,55 ha: LA 4346/04
 80.  6797/73. B J B Ranch (Private) Limited: Nuanetsi: Tipperary of
Nuanetsi Ranche A: 6 341,3620 ha: LA 4229/04
 81.  7326/87. Umfula Ranch (Private) Limited: Nuanetsi: Van Beeck's Hulp
of Umfula Ranch of Nuanetsi Ranch A: 2 012,7013 ha: LA 4495/04

 82.  2152/95. Gllt Adge Pigs (Private) Limited: Shamva: Aburndalte:
69,8062 ha: LA 4576/04
 83.  6651/85. Douglyn Farm (Private) Limited: Shamva: Remainder of
Didsbury: 73,8618 ha: LA 4285/04

 84.  3078/82. Daniel Andries Swart: Sipolilo: Norwi: 914,8969 ha: LA
 85.  7614/86. Peter Benard Bowen: Sipolilo: Nyamseve: 1224,6730 ha: LA
 86.  079/91. Brendon Inglis: Sipolilo: Nyamfuta: 1324,2443 ha: LA 4414/04
 87.  9387/87. D B Hewitt P/L Sipolilo: Mongondo Estate: 3485,7120 ha: LA
 88.  5712/94. D N Gallow P/L: Sipolilo: Nyavuti: 1395,6782 ha: LA 4382/04
 89.  3606/79. Muir of Ord Farms P/L: Sipolilo: Miur of Ord: 1138,1070 ha:
LA 4245/04
 90.  6897/79. J P Crouch P/L: Sipolilo: Camsasa: 1114,2873 ha: ;A 4286/04
 91.  2422/87. Andrew Richard Verney Evans Sipolilo: Kelston Park: 998,7168
ha: LA 4505/04
 92.  9213/2000. Cumberland Farm P/L: Sipolilo: Brandon: 1511,9567 ha: LA
 93.  19194/61. Michael Barry McGrath: Sipolilo: Siyalima: 1916,2046 ha: LA
 94.  392/87. Mbada Farming (Private) Limited: Sipolilo: Marirambada:
818,5744 ha: LA 4407/04
 95.  2439/95. W J Hughes (Private) Limited: Sipolilo: Ternanog: 1527,2921
ha: LA 4357/04
 96.  3656/93. Tiaseka Farm (Private) Limited: Sipolilo: Tiaseka: 1140,7771
ha: LA4359/04
 97.  5571/96. John Hamilton Taffs: Sipolilo: Brooklands: 924,3463 ha: LA
 98.  3208/82. Neville Dawson Pearce: Sipolilo: Remainder of Dande:
1215,7439 ha: LA 4492/04
 99.  6374/84. Penlands (Private) Limited: Sipolilo: Penrose: 1765,4116 ha:
LA 4456/04
 100.  1852/98. Harvey James (Private) Limited: Sipolilo: Nyalungwe:
775,7682 ha: LA 4303/03
 101.  949430/90. Griff Enterprises (Private) Limited: Sipolilo:
Chireingwe: 684,2860 ha: LA 4452/04
 102.  2438/95. Hughes and Games (Private) Limited: Sipolilo: Taikoo:
1063,6751 ha: LA 4304/04
 103.  8035/94. Blue Star Investments P/l: Sipolilo: Bpnheim: 1479,8404 ha:
LA 4231/04
 104.  1058/93. Rusumbi Farm P/L: Sipolilo: Rusumbi: 1029,0860 ha: LA
 105.  548/98. David A J Lilford P/L: Sipolilo: The Remainder of Gurungwe:
1268,4169 ha: LA 4395/04
 106.  391/87. Mbada Farming P/L: Sipolilo: Lot 1 of Gomo: 575,4351 ha: LA
 107.  440/96. Manovi Farm P/L: Sipolilo: Manovi: 1252,4417 ha: LA 4334/04
 108.  288/76. Daisy Christina Maureen Kennedy: Sipolilo: Nyadopia:
753,8576 ha: LA 4275/04
 109.  4734/84. Alexander Martin Anderson: Sipolilo: Nainital: 842,4128 ha:
LA 4361/04
 110.  1351/73. Disi P/L: Sipolilo: Remaining Extent of Disi Estate:
2624,7483 ha: LA 4292/04
 111.  6984/88. Alan MacLaggen Jack: Sipolilo: Woma: 693,8184 ha: LA
 112.  3102/82. David Frederick Dolphin: Sipolilo: Mount Fatigue: 2508,6633
ha: LA 4492/04
 113.  6791/88. Impinge Farm (Private) Limited: Sipolilo: Remainder of
Impinge Ranche: 4 792,9600 ha: LA 4476/04
 114.  306/96. Cracklehill enterprises (Private) Limited: Sipolilo: Lot 1
of Norwe of Birkdales Estate: 477,6783 ha: LA 4411/04
 115.  1350/73. John Strong (Private) Limited: Sipolilo: Lot 1 of Disi
Estate: 2 397,8735 ha: LA 4333/04
 116.  6789/88. Kazilo Farms (Private) Limtied: Sipolilo: Lot 1 of Impinge
Ranche: 941.000 ha: LA 4497/04
 117.  6790/88. Mwembezi Farms (Private) Limited: Sipolilo: Lot 2 of
Impinge Ranche: 1 134,000 ha: LA 34438/04
 118.  8430/96. N D Carter Farming (Private) Limited: Sipolilo: Lot 1 of
Nyabonda: 393,4340 ha: LA 4509/04

 119.  143/61. Dikanayi Estates P/L: Umtali: Delamore Portion of Clare
Estate Ranch: 1 467,9376 morgen: LA 4296/04
 120.  2689/81. MM De Kock & Sons P/L: Umtali: Remaining Extent of Heimat
of Clare Estate Ranch: 1 185,8508 ha: LA 4401/04
 121.  8174/99. Varmland Investments P/L: Umtali: Beestkraal of Clare
Estate Ranch: 1 176,4862 ha: LA 4578/04
 122.  6141/94. Anthony James Waterkeyn and Juliet Anne Virginia Waterkeyn:
Umtali: Lot 1 of Maonza: 297,0721 ha: LA 4434/04
 123.  9801/98. Hedon Tours P/L: Umtali: Easatland A: 128,5293 ha: LA
 124.  1346/85. Stonewall P/L: Umtali: Wallacedale: 1 627,3843 ha: LA
 125.  6559/74. J & R Roballo Estates P/L: Umtali: Mount Shalom of Clare
Estate Ranch: 2 381,2700 ha: LA 3316/03

 126.  5314/68. Stan Sheppard (Private) Limited: Urungwe: Lot 1 of Rodges:
1 499,9783 acres: LA 3735/04
 127.  1303/89. New Haven (Private) Limited: Urungwe: New Haven of Gremlin:
412,7045 ha: LA 3498/03
 128. 956/68. Weigall and Pickard (Private) Limtied: Urungwe: Lot 1 of
Shambatungwe: 1 253,3788 acres: LA 3738/04
 129. 5224/86. Algehide Farm (Private) Limited: Urungwe: R/E of Woodlands:
368,6400 ha: LA 3573/03
 130. 11963/98. Orr Farming (Private) Limited: Urungwe: Lot 2 of Longueil:
511,6497 ha: LA 3739/04
 131.  7540/88. R H W Howes P/L: Urungwe: Tengwe 91: 694/7740 ha: LA
 132.  5538/69. Ruwanzi Ranch (Private) Limited: Urungwe: Ruwanzi: 17
483,6944 acres: LA 3620/03
 133.  1173/82. William B Smith: Urungwe: Avalon: 603,22 ha: LA 3359/03
 134.  7647/72. J W Lowe: Urungwe: Bonanza Estate: 580,4381 ha: LA 3679/03
 135.  2119/96. Dentrow Farm (Private) Limited: Urungwe: Dentrow Estate:
962,3647 ha: LA 3660/03
 136.  4832/82. Nicholas Philip Wiggins: Urungwe: Tengwe 75: 212,5892 ha:
LA 3410/03
 137.  9521/87. B Stirrup (Private) Limited: Urungwe: Tengwe 74: 208,4206
ha: LA 3412/03
 138.  184/93 Good Hope Farm P/L: Urungwe: Good Hope Estate: 1 253,6645 ha:
LA 3699/03
 139.  7973/94. Dixie Farm (Private) Limited: Urungwe: Dixie: 931,0738 ha:
LA 3725/04
 140.  6264/91. E & S Flight Farming P/L: Urungwe: St Brendans: 585,65 ha:
LA 3616/03
 141.  6354/81. J M Du Preez P/L: Urungwe: Shambatungwe: 731,7628 ha: LA
 142.  4653/93. Tobengwe Estates (Private) Limited: Urungwe: Kupinga:
395,7620 ha: LA 3675/03
 143.  3906/74. Hugh Bernard Royston: Urungwe: Lot 1 of Coldomo of Nassau
Estate: 580,4123 ha: LA 3731/04
 144.  6738/87. Clive Richard Boddy: Urungwe: Tengwe 76: 677,1957 ha: LA
 145.  7523/81. Michael W Champ: Urungwe: Horison: 964,1100 ha: LA 3664/03
 146.  1129/89. D S Brannigan: Urungwe: Remainder of Matikas: 221,6059 ha:
LA 3666/03
 147.  7973/94. Dixie Farm (Private) Limited: Urungwe: Dixie: 931,0738 ha:
LA 3725/04
 148.  9912/89. Ian Alcock Private Limited: Urungwe: Tengwe 93: 1056,6486
ha: LA 3642/03
 149.  4477/76. Tolleen Smith: Urungwe: Nyarenda: 1 529,3876 ha: LA 3677/03
 150.  5226/93. Josh Farming (Private) Limited: Urungwe: Lot 1 of Brockley
of Nassau Estate: 457,6069 ha. LA 4425/04
 151.  4493/00 Ruggick Enterprises (Private) Limited: Urungwe: Omamda:
439,7399 ha: LA 4441/04
 152.  1932/85. Gypsy Investments (Private) Limited: Urungwe: Gremlin
Estate: 1 599,2091 ha: LA 4268/04
 153.  4853/70. Amore Estates (Private) Limited: Urungwe: Garahanga: 3
613,3863 acres: LA 4461/04
 154.  557/94. Glenoros Investments (Private) Limited: Urungwe: Drift Wood:
295,0400 ha: LA 4330/04
 155.  1694/75. James Andres Beattie: Urungwe: Dendera Estate: 508,1043 ha:
LA 4402/04
 156.  9161/90. Sangeni Estates (Private) Limited: Urungwe: Chobeni:
303,3799 ha: LA 4520/04
 157.  1043/99. J H Watt and Sons (Private) Limited: Urungwe: Buttervant
Estate: 1 253,1189 ha; LA 4387/04
 158.  5358/80. Kingsley Markley Eswards: Urungwe: BroAcres: 1 169,8572 ha:
LA 4259/04
 159.  3802/81. Wenney Estate (Private) Limited: Urungwe: Andrilen:
611,3800 ha: LA 4293/04
 160.  183/88. M A Carpenter (Private) Limited: Urungwe: Thurlaston:
890,7582 ha: LA 4504/04
 161.  622/94. Catharina. Pretorius Widow: Urungwe: Toekoms Estate:
660,1387 ha: LA 4356/04
 162.  9643/89. Donald Farming Entprises (Private) Limited: Urungwe: Yeadon
Estate: 936,7083 ha: LA 4240/04
 163.  6845/70. Nyamanda Farm (Private) Limited: Urungwe: Remainder of
Chelvern Estate: 572,3074 ha: LA 4345/04
 164.  912/97. C and S Wrrett (Private) Limited: Urungwe: Remaining Extent
of Rowangoma: 535,57755 ha: LA 4388/04
 165.  6465/95. Chris Sheherd Enterprises (Private) Limted: Urungwe:
Nyamanda: 1 061,5230 ha LA 4410/04
 166.  5656/89. Weninda A Stud (Private) Limited: Urungwe: Little Gem of
Chilvern Estate: 439,3800 ha: LA 4484/04
 167.  1117/89. Leith Bray (Private) Limited: Urungwe: Meidon Estate: 1
088,3668 ha: LA 4309/04



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Agro-Forestry: Answer to Deforestation

The Herald (Harare)

September 17, 2004
Posted to the web September 17, 2004

Dr. Shakespeare K Chigwerewe

I FOUND Tawanda Kanhema and Nelson Chenga's feature on deforestation of July
21 2004 to be very informative and in many ways interesting.

The article clearly pointed out that nowhere in Zimbabwe is the problem of
deforestation and, therefore, environmental deterioration, more noticeable
than in the communal areas that generally have high population densities and
growth rates, poor soils and low rainfall.

The situation is likely to worsen in the future unless effective
intervention strategies are implemented in the communal areas as soon as

Informative as it was, the generality of Dr Shumba's strategies to combating
forest depletion such as "beekeeping and the growing of energy woodlots to
preserve forests and reduce pressure on indigenous woods" demonstrated lack
of substantive understanding of the underlying causes of forest depletion in
Zimbabwe, its context and its sub-text.

As I see it, solutions in general should not, like painkillers, address
symptoms only, but should root out the underlying causes.

Much of the indigenous forest depletion occurs in the communal areas, where
two main factors are at the root of the problem: clearing for agriculture
and fuelwood harvesting.

Clearing for agricultural production precedes fuelwood harvesting, and is
the primary cause of forest depletion in many communal areas. Solutions to
the problem of forest depletion, in my opinion, fall into three
complementary holistic categories, namely, reconciling the needs of
agricultural production and adequate wood supplies in the communal and
resettlement areas through better resource planning and use at the village
level, increasing wood supply through afforestation, agroforestry and
indigenous woodland management programmes and substituting alternative fuels
such as solar energy and biogas for wood.

The main emphasis in combating deforestation should be in respect of
Agroforestry Woodland Management and Alternative Substitute Fuels for Wood.

These are the most lucrative intervention strategies with the highest
returns on investment; the Forestry Commission is better off vigorously
pursuing these strategies than the age-old strategy of rural afforestation -
the so called "energy woodlot approach".

It is true that Rural Afforestation has played a significant role in the
fight against deforestation, it is definitely a strategy which the Forestry
Commission cannot afford to ignore, but at the same time, it is not a
programme that should dominate the strategy mix as returns on investment
from this strategy are very low.

The most attractive option for increasing fuelwood supply in the communal
areas and resettlement areas with a wood surplus such as some districts of
Matabeleland North would be through effective management of the existing
indigenous woodland and not "energy woodlots".

This would require the implementation of proper management regimes and
promulgation of appropriate institutional arrangements.

The economic cost of wood from this source would be the lowest. This should
constitute one of the Forestry Commission's primary intervention programmes
and responsibilities as it is the most cost-effective intervention strategy
on the supply side. It enhances the productivity of the traditional fuelwood
resource with preferred fuelwood species.

At the same time, its preservation is ecologically important and preferable.
Only limited programmes of woodland management have been carried out in
Zimbabwe and details of management prescriptions need to be verified for
each woodland type.

However, given the data on stand and stock characteristics from the biomass
inventory and the potential magnitude of the fuelwood deficit arising in
some catchment areas, it is felt that a pilot management programme should at
least be implemented on a trial basis.

The pilot programme could involve reserve forests in all the provinces to be
managed by the Forestry Commission and would also provide management of
non-reserved woodlands by village communities. This latter management system
is new in a formal sense though traditional integrated management of
woodlands existed in some areas under the old tribal system such as the
Norumedzo scheme in Bikita where the local people manage the woodland for
the end use of "harurwa".

It is important that villagers be brought back into mainstream management of
woodlands under the technical guidance and regulatory control of albeit the
Forestry Commission.

The extension approach should, therefore, also incorporate changing of the
mindset of the users of the forests and make them understand the management
processes and also become participants in the planning and decision-making
processes in the woodland management programmes.

The potential substitutes for fuelwood are electricity and paraffin. The
role of substitute fuels in supplying energy to rural households in Zimbabwe
is limited by their availability in communal and resettlement areas and the
high cash outlays required in relation to rural earnings.

The most viable option would be to increase fuelwood supply through
programmes that would enable farmers to incorporate tree planting into their
farm plans and decisions relating to resource use.

However, the shortage of land, especially in the communal areas, places
severe constraints on Dr Shumba's "energy woodlot type" of tree planting.

Furthermore, most people in wood-deficit communal areas do not have the
required resources to purchase the inputs, i.e., seedlings, fencing wires
etc., imperative for the establishment of "energy woodlots".

In my opinion, a support fund to purchase inputs is necessary to push-start
this effort.

Agroforestry could provide a long-term solution to the principal cause of
deforestation in Zimbabwe through competition for land between
crop/livestock production and trees.

It is projected that the proportion of area cultivated in communal and
resettlement areas would rise in keeping with population growth and that
more marginal land would be cultivated, causing the disappearance of tree
cover and soil erosion.

Similarly, it is recognised that programmes such as rural afforestation
would alleviate the problem of fuelwood supply, but would not on their own
stop deforestation if the clearance for land for agricultural use continued
unabated in the communal and resettlement areas.

Agroforestry provides the complementarity between agriculture and forestry
while minimising the competition between them.

Therefore, in this regard, agroforestry is much more than a "programme aimed
at marrying trees to agriculture".

However, there are no proven packages in Zimbabwe. The Forestry Commission
should not have abandoned the Agroforestry Extension Pilot Programme
initiated by the former Forestry Extension Division.

This programme should be resuscitated through initiation of research and
pilot schemes in strategic locations that will have ripple effects to the
target communities. These should essentially entail the development and
testing of agroforestry systems in communal areas and resettlement areas,
the development of wildlife management and utilisation schemes to integrate
wildlife management with forestry management.

Efficient production and utilisation of forest products should be pursued
through a free market framework that encourages competition among
participants in the production of wood and wood products.

The forestry sub-sector is one of the few sectors of the Zimbabwean economy
in which there are no price controls.

This policy measure is intended to stimulate the development of efficient
forest industries to supply domestic markets and, where appropriate,

However, due to foreign exchange constraints and self-sufficiency
considerations, forest industries supplying the domestic market are de facto

On the other hand, exporters encourage access to foreign markets by public
and private enterprises through various incentives including foreign
exchange retention.

Rural afforestation, the planting of fast-growing species, is an appropriate
approach to increasing the supply of fuelwood to rural people and relieving
pressure on the natural vegetation.

It is, however, "a knee-jerk" strategy that has been overused by the
Forestry Commission. Its primary objective is to replace the wood cut in
wood- deficit communal and resettlement areas and to supply fuelwood to the
rural population and farming community as well as arrest soil erosion in the
long term.

The Forestry Commission should not implement this programme as if it is a
panacea for all the deforestation in Zimbabwe, but should do so in tandem
with other strategies like agroforestry and woodland management.

This strategy should focus on the communal areas with a serious wood deficit
and serious soil erosion especially in and around Seke, Mutoko, some areas
around Masvingo and to the south and west of Mutare.

I would like to conclude by saying that a great many of our conflicts arise
directly out of the decline and deterioration of resources and ignorance
about the tools we have to manage them leading to endless "quick-fix

Like Lowani Ndlovu said in an article he wrote for The Sunday Mail some time
ago when coming up with solutions for any problem, deforestation included,
it is important to evaluate the process of deforestation, and demonstrate
substantive understanding of its underlying causes, its context as well as
its sub-text otherwise what looks like a perfect solution today will show up
as a product of insufficient knowledge tomorrow.
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Zim Independent

MDC to gain access to TV
Itai Dzamara
GOVERNMENT has ordered Zimbabwe Broadcasting Holdings (ZBH) to allocate
airtime on radio and television to opposition political parties ahead of
next year's general election, the Zimbabwe Independent has established.

Justice minister Patrick Chinamasa confirmed this week that ZBH would soon
start allocating political parties airtime to articulate their policies
ahead of next year's election.

"We are working on creating a conducive electoral framework in line with the
Sadc principles. This will include equal access to the public media by all
political parties and programmes will be introduced on television and radio
soon," Chinamasa said.

This is part of government's efforts to reform the electoral system in the
country in line with Southern African Development Community (Sadc)
principles ahead of the general election scheduled for March.

However, opposition parties have dismissed the move, saying it is an attempt
by the ruling party to hoodwink the world whilst the public media continues
to campaign against them.

The public broadcaster has in recent years become a crude instrument of the
ruling party, abandoning professional standards to denigrate the opposition.

Sources in Zanu PF this week said the politburo had recently agreed that ZBH
must offer airtime to other political parties in line with the Mauritius
protocol agreed by Sadc heads of state last month.

Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) secretary-general Welshman Ncube
yesterday dismissed Zanu PF's announcement to give his party access to the
airwaves as mere posturing.

"This is part of the unstructured responses coming from the ruling party.
What we need is a public media that is accessible to all political parties
all the time, not just 10 days before the election date," Ncube said.

"It is meaningless for government to appropriate the public media in favour
of Zanu PF for many years and then pretend to open up to the opposition with
only a few months before the election."

Democratic Party leader Wurayayi Zembe said: "No, our rights are not
dependent on the benevolence of Zanu PF. We dismiss as rubbish this claim by
Zanu PF that it will open up the public media to opposition parties. Access
to the public media is every citizen's right enshrined in the constitution.
So we can't be hoodwinked by Zanu PF that has been denying us that right."
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Zim Independent

 . . it's a smokescreen - Ncube
Dumisani Muleya
THE opposition Movement for Democratic Change has slammed government's
proposed legislation on electoral reform, saying it did not meet even the
most rudimentary standards of democracy. It said the reforms were a
smokescreen behind which "the same old institutions and faces who stand
accused of electoral fraud" would remain in place.

Appointments to the Delimitation Commission made this week reinforced the
"military element" in elections, the party said.

MDC secretary-general Welshman Ncube said the reforms were a
"smoke-and-mirrors" act by Zanu PF to appear as if it was complying with the
regional standards for elections while actually manipulating the electoral

Southern African Development Community (Sadc) heads of state last month
adopted principles and guidelines governing democratic elections that call
for free and fair polls. The principles forbid "the perpetration of
electoral fraud, rigging and other illegal practices".

Ncube said the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) Bill gazetted last Friday
was a sham because it woefully failed to address the fundamental issues.

The Bill proposes an independent electoral commission; voting in one day
instead of two; use of transparent ballot boxes; and counting of ballots at
polling stations. The ZEC will run all elections and referendums.

But Ncube said the proposed changes were simply meant to give legitimacy to
a profoundly flawed electoral process which did not "meet even the most
rudimentary standards of democratic elections".

"The ZEC will in theory be in charge of the elections but practically
nothing will change. It will only have legal responsibility but no effective
control," Ncube said. "At the end of the day the same old institutions and
faces who stand accused of electoral fraud and manipulation will remain in

The MDC said Zanu PF functionaries and the army would remain in charge of
the electoral process despite "make-believe" reforms.

Registrar-General Tobaiwa Mudede's office will remain involved in elections.
Retired army officers will continue to hold sway in electoral agencies.

The army reportedly played a key role during the hotly-disputed 2002
presidential election, especially at the National Command Centre.

The MDC said the "military element" in the electoral process was this week
reinforced by appointments to the Delimitation Commission.

Justice George Chiweshe, a former army judge advocate-general, and Job
Whabira, ex-Defence permanent secretary, were appointed to the commission
together with two others. The opposition described Chiweshe and Whabira as

The ESC is chaired by Sobusa Gula Ndebele, a former military intelligence
officer, and has as its chief elections officer, Kennedy Zimondi, a retired
lieutenant colonel. Zimondi replaced Brigadier Douglas Nyikayaramba who was
in charge during the 2002 election.

The introduction of reforms through an Act of Parliament - as opposed to a
constitutional amendment - means that the current Electoral Supervisory
Commission (ESC) will remain there. Zanu PF decided to introduce changes
through a Bill because the MDC refused to support the "piecemeal" reforms.

The opposition wanted the changes to be tied to other broad political

Justice minister Patrick Chinamasa said the ESC would continue to perform
its current functions of supervising elections, while the ZEC would conduct
the polls.

The chairman of the ZEC will be appointed by President Robert Mugabe in
consultation with - and not the approval of - the Judicial Services
Commission, something the MDC is vehemently opposed to.
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Zim Independent

Committee to show govt misrepresented grain stocks
Itai Dzamara
THE Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Lands and Agriculture is expected
to present before the House a report exposing the hollowness of government's
claims that the country has sufficient food after the Grain Marketing Board
(GMB) and the Central Statistical Office (CSO) failed to produce proof.

GMB chief executive officer, Samuel Muvuti, on Wednesday told the portfolio
committee that the country had 298 000 tonnes of grain but was still
expecting more deliveries from all over the country.

"We currently have 298 000 tonnes in our silos but we are expecting more to
come from across the country," Muvuti said in response to questions by the

Government has been claiming that the country has harvested 2,4 million
tonnes of grain from last season's crop.

Muvuti declined to commit himself on the country's food security, saying it
wasn't the role of the GMB and instead said the CSO should be able to answer
the question.

Chairman of the portfolio committee, Zanu PF legislator for Zhombe, Daniel
Mackenzie Ncube yesterday said they were waiting for documents from the GMB
to support the figure of 298 000 tonnes. Ncube said the committee, which has
moved across the country to physically assess the food situation, would then
compile a report.

"We want to have the documentation from GMB to verify the figure as well as
their projections, which suggest that more is still coming," Ncube said.
"After that we will compile a report, including the figures regarding the
quantity of seeds sold last season as well as hectares put under grain. We
have to submit our report first week of October when the House resumes

The CSO has failed to submit statistics to the committee which sent
questions in June requesting information on the amount of grain harvested
this year.
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Zim Independent

Undenge eyes parly seat
Augustine Mukaro
SAMUEL Undenge, the pro-Zanu PF economic analyst, has joined the struggle
for the right to contest next year's general election on a ruling-party
ticket against one of the opposition's most popular candidates, the Zimbabwe
Independent heard this week.

Highly placed sources in Manicaland said Undenge is currently attempting to
wrestle Chimanimani constituency from the Movement for Democratic Change
(MDC)'s Roy Bennett.

"Two weeks ago, Undenge accompanied by another Zanu PF supporter, Tafataona
Mahoso, made a surprise appearance at the United Baptist Church (UBC) annual
conference at Biriiri Secondary School in Chimanimani to launch his
political career," sources said.

UBC Bishop Joshua Nguweni Dube confirmed that Undenge and Mahoso were part
of the delegation at this year's conference.

"The two were part of the delegation," Dube said. "We accepted their
attendance of the conference because they were raised in our church by their
parents in Chimanimani."

UBC officials who attended the conference said when Undenge and Mahoso
appeared everyone waited anxiously to hear what the two were up to.

"Bishop Dube, a former governor of Manicaland, introduced the two 'doctors'
by saying 'the learned sons of the province had come back to church'."

"Knowing their umbilical attachment with the ruling party, church members
waited for the two men to deliver confessions about their lives in their
long absence," officials said.

The officials said the two hardly attended any church sessions, but used the
conference time to meet as many people as possible to announce Undenge's
intention to contest the Chimanimani parliamentary seat in 2005 on a Zanu PF

"It turned out that Undenge was using the conference as a support-sounding
mission before he could come back on a campaign mission," officials said.

Mahoso yesterday confirmed that he attended the UBC conference in
Chimanimani but questioned why that would generate the interest of a

"I attend all kinds of conferences," Mahoso said. "I am alumini to many
schools which I attended and whenever I go there I am introduced therefore
this should not be an issue."

Mahoso confirmed that Undenge also attended the UBC conference but was quick
to point out it was coincidental that they were in the same place at the
same time.

"We did not plan to travel together with Dr Undenge. About his political
ambitions, you can ask him because we never discussed that matter," he said.

Undenge could not be reached for comment. Dube would not confirm that
Undenge would be vying for Chimanimani constituency.
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Zim Independent

Mercenaries' ordeal exposes hell in Zim prisons
Gift Phiri
THE assault by prison guards on some of the 67 "mercenaries" jailed at
Chikurubi Maximum Prison throws a spotlight on inhuman treatment that
prisoners are subjected to in the country's prisons.

During the six months that the "soldiers of fortune" have been remanded at
Chikurubi Maximum Security Prison, they have experienced an appalling
existence in a prison that breaches every international human rights
convention and many national statutes.

It is alleged that the 12 prison officers, who appeared in court last
Friday, jointly charged in common cause, assaulted the suspects using open
hands and batons. They are alleged to have forced the suspects to remove
their clothes before assaulting them.

The men were berated by the officers as having "superior-being" attitudes.
In their court testimonies the suspects said the officers constantly yelled
at them. During the Heroes and Defence Forces holidays, prison authorities
allegedly confiscated their parcels that had been legally admitted into the

Prison sources said the ill-treatment of prisoners was generally prevalent
in all of the country's 41 jails. They said the situation was exacerbated by
the severe shortage of food that has resulted in prisoners missing some
meals. The Independent was told that the situation was equally serious in
remand prisons. People with relatives remanded in custody were being asked
to bring them meals, as there was no food to cater for the swelling numbers
of people remanded in custody everyday. The officers said suspects in remand
prisons were being served a single meal a day.

Both the prisons and the remand prisons were said to be struggling to cope
financially and prisoners were being forced to supply their own soap,
toothpaste and other toiletries, all of which are supposed to be supplied by
the state.

It was not possible to obtain comment from the Zimbabwe Prison Service
public relations officer Elizabeth Banda as she was said to be out. Calls to
her mobile phone went unanswered.

Reports of homosexual activities also abound in the prisons as some
long-serving prisoners were said to be luring newer inmates with food.

"The food crisis in prisons is fuelling homosexuality and with the threats
posed by Aids, this is just a cocktail for disaster," a prison officer said.

Three years ago there was a public uproar after government suggested that
condoms be distributed to inmates. The idea was promptly discarded.

The officers said the prisons have become so overcrowded that inmates are
literally "sleeping on top of each other".

A recent parliamentary report stated that facilities designed to handle 16
000 inmates were now handling 25 000. There was a general amnesty last year
that saw hundreds of prisoners being released countrywide through the
presidential prerogative of mercy. But hardly a year down the line, the
prisons are again full owing to the soaring crime rate.
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Zim Independent

Civil society appeals for pressure on Zim

A COALITION of civil society organisations yesterday asked the Pan African
Parliament to ratchet up pressure on Zimbabwe to help entrench democracy in
the crisis-ridden country.

In a petition delivered to the South African Ambassador to Zimbabwe,
Jeremiah Ndou, Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition demanded an immediate end to
human rights abuse, the repeal of repressive legislation, restoration of the
rule of law, and the restoration of economic and political freedoms.

Reports from South Africa said 300 Zimbabwean protesters carrying placards
reading "We need food not violence", "Democracy now", and "Restore our basic
freedoms" toyi-toyied outside the Gallagher Estate in Midrand yesterday
morning, interrupting the opening ceremony of the parliament. A petition
handed out by the protesters spoke of a "chronic democratic deficit" in

The petition, delivered by women activists, draws the attention of the
Speaker to the massive human rights abuses in Zimbabwe.

"Women have been raped by the youth militia and they have been the hardest
hit by lack of food in Zimbabwe," the petition says. "Women's rights must be
respected. Women must be treated with dignity and respect. Use of food as a
political weapon against opponents must stop."

The coalition calls for an end to political violence. It also demands that
police and security forces be impartial in carrying out their duties. The
group calls for the repeal of a raft of legislation that it says subjugates
civil liberties.

"We demand the repeal of the Public Order and Security Act, the Access to
Information and Protection of Privacy Act, Broadcasting Services Act and the
Presidential Powers (Temporary Measures) Act in their entirety so as to
provide full freedom and equitable access to the media," the petition says.

"The NGO Bill that seeks to ban all NGOs (dealing with governance) must not
be allowed to take effect."

The coalition also demanded that free and fair regular elections based on
the principle of universal suffrage be conducted in Zimbabwe. The group
further seeks the immediate restoration and respect of people's fundamental
freedoms of assembly and association, and freedom of the media.

"Abusers of these rights must be tried under properly constituted courts of
law with jurisdiction," the coalition said. - Staff Writers.
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Zim Independent

Zupco fails to buy 250 buses
Conrad Dube
ZIMBABWE United Passenger Company (Zupco)'s bid to acquire 250 new buses has
been scuttled by its failure to raise the $150 billion demanded by three
companies awarded the tender.

Documents in the possession of the Zimbabwe Independent show that Zupco's
plans to revive its fleet have been affected by lack of funding, although
government had initially promised finance.

Controversy has rocked the transport parastatal, with chief executive
officer Bright Matonga resigning under unclear circumstances after reports
of financial audits unearthed anomalies, the documents reveal.

Most of the $150 billion is required to pay foreign suppliers in hard
currency for body kits and components.

According to minutes of a special meeting on August 23, the board accepted
Matonga's resignation after he failed to provide satisfactory responses to
issues relating to Zupco's finances.

"The board had a closed session where they discussed in detail issues
relating to the audit report and resolved to accept the resignation of the
chief executive (Matonga) and to task the human resources committee to
consider the proposed package," the minutes of the meeting chaired by
Professor Charles Nherera said. The board also resolved that the financial
controller, Perpetual Ndekwere, act as chief executive.

Ndekwere yesterday refused to comment referring all questions to Nherera.
Nherera said Matonga was on leave until September 30.

According to tender documents obtained by the Independent dated July 30, the
state procurement board awarded the tender to supply the buses to Deven
Engineering (Pvt) Ltd, W Dahmer & Co (Pvt) Ltd, and Zimbabwe Motor
Distributors (Pvt) Ltd (ZMD).

Deven and ZMD were to supply 40 Mercedes Benz 1722 model buses apiece, each
costing $644 million and $590 million respectively while W Dahmer would
supply 170 Scania F94 buses at $610 451 050 each.

It has also turned out that the Zupco board ignored the procurement
committee's re-commendations on the tenderers. The committee had unanimously
agreed to award the tender to Gift Investments, importing from Kenya General

"This should assist in meeting the targeted dates for supply of the buses,"
the procurement committee said in its minutes of a meeting dated July 5.

The committee agreed that the buses from Gift Investments were the most
suitable and were the cheapest. Gift Investments wanted to supply Isuzu
conventional buses at a cost of $549 million each.

The three companies that were awarded the tender asked to be paid between
50% and 80% upfront, which Zupco has failed to raise.

It is now feared the local companies might not meet the deadline for the
supply of the buses. At least 150 buses were to be delivered by September 30
and the remaining 100 by December 31.

Matonga, who was set free by a magistrate's court last month after being
accused of corruption involving $1,25 billion, was expected to hand over the
reins to Ndekwere at an unspecified date.

The state accused Matonga of buying 48 Scania Marcopolo buses from Pioneer
Motor Company (PMC) without board approval.

"The outgoing chief executive (Matonga) should conduct an initial
handover/takeover with the acting chief executive (Ndekwere) and to avail
himself as and when he is required to continue to provide information that
might be necessary," the minutes say.

It also resolved to send two chief operating officers, Clever Zvingwe and
Ben Mauchaza, on forced leave with immediate effect to facilitate
investigations arising from the external audit report.
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Zim Independent

Kunzvi Dam project stalls
Itai Dzamara
GOVERNMENT'S multi-billion-dollar Kunzvi Dam project, which earlier this
year was expected to commence in April, is still to take off amid reports
that the $150 billion tender floated last year had no takers.

A visit to Kunzvi Dam site last week revealed that there is virtually
nothing to show for the project, which has been on the cards for several

The project was mooted three years ago in a bid to solve water problems
affecting Harare and its satellite towns, which get supplies from the
heavily polluted Lake Chivero.

Incessant water cuts have been affecting most areas of the capital city at a
time the Harare City Council is struggling to procure water treatment
chemicals. Kunzvi Dam, which would have less pollution risk, was expected to
alleviate the water problems faced by Harare.

Questions sent to theMinister of Rural Re-sources and Water De-velopment,
Joyce Mujuru, had not been answered by yesterday. However, an official from
the ministry, Vavarirai Choga, this week said the project was yet to take
off due to lack of funding.

"The issue of funding is the one that has been stalling progress but the
project is still on the cards," he said.

A guard at the dam site in Goromonzi last weekend said there had only been a
few visits by government officials to the site, with Mujuru at one stage
having promised that bulldozers were coming soon to start work.

Government floated the $150 billion tender in December last year after the
first tender, floated in March 2002, had flopped without any takers coming
forward. The first tender had valued the construction cost at $21 billion
but rising inflation saw the cost sharply rise to $150 billion as of January
this year.

In addition to the funds needed for dam construction, more funds would be
required for the construction of a pipeline as well as supply of water
treatment chemicals. The tender for the construction of the pipeline, which
was to have been issued by July this year, was not floated due to lack of
movement on the bigger project.
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Zim Independent

Barclays loses Kondozi equipment
Augustine Mukaro
BARCLAYS Bank of Zimbabwe has failed to recover billions of dollars worth of
equipment invested in Kondozi Farm in Odzi, which was taken over by the
Agricultural and Rural Development Authority (Arda) earlier this year.

Highly placed sources said although the High Court had granted Barclays an
order to repossess the equipment on the farm, the bank had been blocked from
effecting the order.

"Arda sought political intervention on the matter, forcing Barclays to
instruct its lawyers to put the case in abeyance pending negotiations,"
sources said.

"Arda chief Joseph Matowanyika was the first to plead with the bank not to
effect the High Court order as the quasi-government agricultural arm was
interested in acquiring most of the equipment," a source said.

"When the negotiations failed to yield results, Arda approached the
presidency to intervene. Up to now Barclays has not instructed its lawyers
to effect the order, a clear indication that the bank has succumbed to
political pressure and given up on the equipment," the source said.

Arda was reportedly interested in tractors, fresh produce transporting
trucks, irrigation equipment and the crop packaging machines. To date no
equipment has been recovered from Kondozi Farm and Arda is using it for its
day-to-day operations.

The sources said independent evaluators were dispatched to Kondozi to put a
price on the equipment which Arda wants. Barclays then set conditions for
payment for the equipment.

Matowanyika was not available for comment at the time of going to press
yesterday. But the sources said Barclays was forced to settle for a lopsided
deal after it failed to get a deposit upfront, which it originally wanted.

The High Court first granted Barclays an order to repossess all movable farm
equipment at Kondozi Farm in May and it was confirmed in July.

Movable assets listed in the order included an ERF 30-tonne truck, two-tonne
forklifts, 30 motorised knapsacks, 10 Jialing motor cycles, 15 Same
tractors, six Nissan Diesel UD 90 chassis & cab trucks, three Nissan Cabstar
four tonne trucks, two Nissan 2,7 S/cab trucks, and two Nissan 2,7 Hardbody

Kondozi was still expected to pay about $5 billion for the listed assets.

The violent seizure of Kondozi farm by Zanu PF through Arda and the abrupt
closure of the horticultural concern adversely affected the company's
financiers, Barclays-Fincor, Zimbank-Syfrets and the African Banking
Corporation which had collectively invested about $37 billion in the

The order granted by Justice Charles Hungwe in May placed all the movable
assets at Kondozi under judicial attachment and barred Arda from using or
tampering with the equipment.
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Zim Independent

Company not owned by Makoni

GOVERNMENT has set its sights on acquiring two foreign-owned farms on the
pretext that they are owned by former NMB managing director Dr Julius Makoni
whom the government considers a fugitive from justice.

It however emerged this week that the farms in question - Aberfoyle Estate
and Eastern Highlands Plantations - do not belong to Makoni. They are in
fact owned by Plantation & General plc, a company listed on the London Stock

State media reported on Tuesday that government wanted to acquire the two
properties in Nyanga, together with other farms belonging to another former
NMB director, Francis Zimuto.

Makoni, Zimuto and the NMB's deputy managing director James Mushore fled the
country six months ago to escape arrest on charges of externalising $30
billion. They indicated at the time they would not return to Zimbabwe as
long as they were not guaranteed a fair hearing.

Investigations by the Zimbabwe Independent this week revealed that the two
farms in the Eastern Highlands are not owned by Makoni. Plantation & General
plc, in a statement to the Independent on Wednesday, confirmed it owned the
two properties.

"I can confirm that Eastern Highlands Plantations Ltd is owned by Plantation
& General Investments plc, a company listed on the London Stock Exchange
with a range of international shareholders," said Plantation & General
spokesman, Richard Clothier.

"Our reaction to the Zimbabwe government's compulsory acquisi-tion notice
will be to appeal against it in the prescribed way.

"Perhaps I should add that we will appeal on the assumption that the
government of Zimbabwe does wish to encourage foreign investment in
Zimbabwe, especially companies which will manufacture for export and which
made their investments during the time that the present government has been
in office," he said.

Located in the Honde Valley, the 1 800-hectare Eastern Highlands Plantations
produces tea and washed arabica coffee. Its two tea factories at Zindi and
Wamba produce a black CTC tea.

Plantation & General bought Aberfoyle tea and coffee estates in 1999 after
acquiring the whole of the share capital of Heathleigh Investments Ltd,
which owned the majority interest in the estate. The estate adjoins Eastern
Highlands Plantations.

An agriculturalist in Nyanga questioned the suitability of the farms for

"I believe there is a scam here," he said. "Someone wants those properties
and is rushing to acquire them using the excuse that they are owned by a
'criminal' who has not yet been charged with any wrong-doing.

"Tea estates, perched as they are on slopes of mountains, are not suitable
for resettlement, which is why they have never had settlements on them," he
said. - Staff Writer.
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Zim Independent

Settlers evicted, homes torched
Augustine Mukaro
THE Ibo in Nigeria say when a leopard wants to eat its young ones, it first
accuses them of smelling like a goat. In Zimbabwe when Zanu PF wants to
evict its supporters, it accuses them of illegally settling themselves. That
was the fate of Porta Farm settlers.

Porta Farm, a squatter settlement of 14 years, was demolished last month
because government wants to use the farm for sewerage disposal.

This week it was Inkomo Farm near Darwendale, where A1 resettled farmers had
their homes set ablaze. They were forced to leave so that the farm can be
reallocated to A2 farmers.

The squatters said five Nissan UD trucks full of soldiers and riot police
raided the farm in the early hours of Tuesday and ordered everyone to leave
before setting the makeshift homesteads on fire. Most of the homesteads were
still smoldering on Wednesday.

When a Zimbabwe Independent news crew visited the farm on Wednesday
afternoon it was informed the riot police and army had left around 1pm.

The families had been on the farm since 2000 when farm invasions started.

Scenes on the farm on Wednesday resembled a war zone, with the whole farm up
in smoke as huts were burning.

Like refugees, the squatters could be seen carrying their belongings to the
nearest highway to catch a lift back to wherever they originally came from.
Some said they had nowhere to go.

An estimated 600 families have been rendered homeless as Zanu PF clears
Inkomo Farm to create room for its top functionaries and hangers-on.

Peter Chikosi, one of the evicted new farmers, accused government of
cheating and abusing landless peasants to occupy farms for the benefit of a
selected few.

"I came here in the year 2000 just as the farm invasions started and
spearheaded the eviction of the white farmer who used to own this property.
I invested all I had on this property and now I am being kicked out with
nothing," Chikosi fumed.

"I feel cheated and abused. Government encouraged us to invade this farm.
They even sent land officers to subdivide the farm for us. Around 600
families were given six-hectare plots and that is what we have been farming
on over the past four years."

An old woman who identified herself only as Mbuya Muchenje broke into tears
as the Independent crew approached the shell of her proud homestead of four

"Government has killed me. Building this home has eaten all my energy and I
won't be in a position to start anything again. If government had told me
that I won't be settling here permanently, I wouldn't have wasted my time,"
said Muchenje.

She said police and soldiers sent to evict them were demanding offer letters
from the settlers.

"Why didn't government talk of those letters before calling for countrywide
farm invasions? We just followed government orders."

The evicted farmers who spoke to the Independent indicated that Inkomo Farm
was earmarked for the resettlement of a selected group of people.

"Police are telling us that the farm is earmarked for A2 farmers with money.

"We are however trying to make representations to the highest office so that
we can be allocated another farm or even retain these plots," Chikosi said.

Inkomo Farm used to be owned by Jim Black and his sons and was ranged
amongst the top beef producing farms in the country.

In the year 2000 Zanu PF, in what was seen as a desperate attempt to win the
elections, called on landless peasants and war veterans to invade
white-owned commercial farms.
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Zim Independent

MDC shows defiant official the door
Itai Dzamara
THE Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) leadership in Murehwa district has
expelled a member who defied a decision to suspend participation in
elections when he filed his papers at the nomination court for a council
by-election. He has since withdrawn his appliction.

Peace Benza filed his nomination papers two weeks ago for the by-election in
Murehwa Ward 1 set for September 25. Speaking to this paper last week, Benza
defended his decision - which came hard on the heels of a resolution by the
MDC national executive to suspend participation in all elections because of
violence and other anomalies.

MDC spokesman, Paul Themba Nyathi, this week said the decision by the
Murehwa district leadership to expel Banza would be considered by the
party's disciplinary committee before it could be ratified by the national

"The normal disciplinary action will be taken. The MDC leadership in Murehwa
will have to pass the recommendation that he (Benza) be expelled to the
disciplinary committee and the matter will then go to the national
leadership level," Nyathi said.

The MDC Murehwa district committee last week decided to expel Benza.
However, the aspiring councillor said he had filed his papers out of
conviction and a desire to prove a point to Zanu PF. "They burnt my house
and tortured me. I wanted to prove to them that I can defeat them in
elections," Benza said.

He withdrew his nomination on Wednesday.

The MDC national executive announced three weeks ago the decision to suspend
participation in elections, citing the continued use of violence and
repressive laws by Zanu PF as well as what the opposition says is
government's unwillingness to implement electoral reforms.
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Zim Independent

Celebrations end in agony for party supporters
Augustine Mukaro
DESPITE the fact that the opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC)
managed to commemorate its fifth anniversary without disturbances at
Zimbabwe Grounds in Harare over the weekend, the celebrations were
restricted to the official venues. Outside the glare of media publicity, MDC
supporters were reportedly beaten up by Zanu PF militia.

Reports reaching the Zimbabwe Independent show that MDC supporters
travelling to and from the venue were forced to hide their party regalia.
Some were allegedly abducted and tortured by Zanu PF militias deployed
throughout Harare.

Two victims of Zanu PF militia, Jabusile Shumba and Brighton Makunike, told
of horrendous experiences at the hands of Zanu PF militias who abducted them
and Kuwadzana police officers to whom they were later handed over. Their
crime was that they were seen putting on MDC bandanas.

"We were approached by 11 militias who were wearing T-shirts inscribed
'National youth service, a commitment to serving the nation'," Shumba said.

"They force-marched us to a secluded place which we suspect is being used as
a torture base in Kuwadzana. We were beaten with an iron bar on our
buttocks, toes were burnt with matches and our genitals were pulled
downwards," a visibly traumatised Shumba.

"The beating took over six hours until we were helplessly lying on the
ground," said Makunike as he struggled to sit down.

"At around 0300 hrs, the militias handed us over to the police who took us
to Kuwadzana 2 Police Station. The police officers took over the beatings.
They also forced us to carry metal coffins from one place to the other until
six in the morning," he said.

The two allege that they were not allowed to communicate with relatives and

"We were later charged under the Miscellaneous Offences Act," Makunike said.
"Our crime was 'conduct likely to provoke breach of peace'. We paid $25 000
fine each in the early hours of Monday."

Officials at MDC offices said they were compiling more complaints of
violence from their supporters who were harassed by Zanu PF militias after
the rallies over the weekend.

The officials said the harassment of MDC supporters was enough indication
that a lot still had to be done to level the political playing field before
they commit themselves to participating in next year's election.
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Zim Independent

Sadc electoral protocol undergoes test
Gift Phiri
THE Southern African Development Community (Sadc) principles and guidelines
governing elections stand little chance of being implemented in all 13
member states in forthcoming elections.

While some countries have used the same principles as those adopted at the
Sadc summit in Mauritius in August, others are yet to comply with the
regional principles on how to conduct free and fair elections.

Elections are due in several countries in the region such as Botswana
(October), Mozambique (December), Namibia (November/December) Democratic
Republic of Congo (next year), and Zimbabwe in March. President Thabo Mbeki
who chairs the Sadc Organ on Politics, Defence and Security has said that
southern African countries that do not abide by the protocol might be kicked
out of the regional body.

Mbeki is tasked with ensuring that forthcoming elections in the region are
free and fair. Political analysts said Zimbabwe and DRC were unlikely to
comply with the Sadc principles. They, however, said a lot depended on the
attitude of the sitting governments.

Multi-party democratic elections, not well-rooted in some southern African
nations, are "old hat" in Botswana where voters are expected to cast their
ballots in October to choose a new president and 40 MPs to govern them for
the next five years.

An Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) has been in place for some time. A
spokesperson for the IEC was recently quoted in a Botswana paper asserting
the electoral body's independence.

"I would like to stress the IEC's independence. Our job is to run the
election in its entirety. As an independent body we talk about issues, not
politics," the spokesperson said.

Political analyst Professor Elphas Mukonoweshuro said Botswana was a model
of democracy.

"They have held elections generally regarded as free and fair since their
independence, with no violence and no abuse of state apparatus,"
Mukonoweshuro said. "To all intents and purposes, Botswana is a leading
democracy in the sub-region."

The opposition parties that include the Botswana Congress Party (BCP),
Botswana National Front (BNF), the Botswana Alliance Movement (BAM) and a
few smaller parties, have equal access to the public media.

The country's sole daily paper, the Daily News, a tabloid published by the
Ministry of Information, recently published the manifestos of the three main
parties in a centre-spread. The government-controlled Botswana Press
Association and Radio Botswana also cover opposition parties. There are a
few small commercial radio stations that carry mostly music. On the other
hand, there are four lively and very independent commercial weekly tabloids
that publish considerable political news as well as a mix of other

Foreign minister Mompati Merafhe said Botswana was poised to hold "good and
free and fair elections" in October.

"Everything on our side is running smoothly. We keep by the provisions of
the law," he said.

Since the adoption of the Sadc protocol, the Mozambique election campaign
has reportedly been "running smoothly, without violence, and with general
goodwill - although with little enthusiasm, already pointing to a low
turnout". The country is running notices advising its foreign-based citizens
to register to vote. The election is scheduled for December.

Reports say the government has already issued an order that coverage by the
national Radio Mozambique be balanced, and fair coverage is given to all
players in the election to ensure that everything is done in the true spirit
of the Sadc protocol.

The state-owned press is however said to be biased toward Frelimo but it has
started giving coverage to the opposition Renamo. The government has
repeatedly said that electoral laws should be approved by both main parties
in the assembly and not by a 51% majority.

Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition chairman Brian Kagoro said Mozambique was a
salutary case.

"Mozambique has a background of recent conflict," Kagoro said. "But the
opposition Renamo has been accommodated as the official opposition. Rarely
do we hear that Renamo MPs have been treated with the contempt and
disrespect that local MPs are treated with."

Minister of State Administration, Jose Chichava, has promised that before
the election there will be electoral law reforms in line with the Sadc

The country has started discussions to discard the CNE (Comissão Nacional de
Eleições; (National Election Commission) and (Secretariado Técnico de
Administração Eleitoral; (Technical Secretariat for Electoral
Administration) that have been running elections.

However, not all Sadc members are necessarily on the right track. President
Robert Mugabe has been criticised by the international community for
draconian laws that incapacitate the opposition. The opposition Movement for
Democratic Change (MDC) has vowed to boycott all elections until the
government meets the regional election standards, ends political violence
and repeals repressive media and security laws.

MDC leader Morgan Tsvangirai has been lobbying the 13 member countries of
Sadc to force Zimbabwe to conform to the election protocols signed by Mugabe
in August.

"Sadc must prove it has teeth. Sadc must push Mugabe to honour his word, and
to do so early enough for us to have our elections in March," Tsvangirai

Since signing the protocol at the Sadc summit in Mauritius, the Zimbabwean
government has announced a series of planned electoral reforms, but the
opposition says they don't go far enough to conform to the regional

Mukonoweshuro said Zimbabwe was unlikely to fully comply with the Sadc
principles on elections.

"Zimbabwe cannot pretend to be implementing any meaningful reforms when the
root of survival of this government is legislation that does not belong in a
democracy," he said.

"Firstly, they should repeal Posa (Public Order and Security Act) and Aippa
(Access to Information and Protection of Privacy Act). I don't think
implementing the guidelines should be left to the free will of the
government alone. The opposition should also play a leading role and I don't
see that happening."

Mukonoweshuro pointed out that while Namibia's leadership shared Zanu PF's
revolutionary profile, the country would adopt the guidelines.

"Yes, the leadership is radical in posture," Mukonoweshuro said. "But it is
not engaged in the level of repression that their Zimbabwean counterparts
are engaged in. They are likely to embrace the protocol. The real problem is
the growth of the opposition. And Namibia is not bad in its treatment of the

In the DRC, democracy and elections have never seen the light of day and
newly established norms on electoral procedures stand little hope of being
implemented in the near future.

Despite delays in the legislature, United Nations officials say general
elections in the DRC could still be held in 2005 in line with last year's
all-inclusive peace agreement that ended nearly five years of war in the
vast central African country.

"Most of the laws governing the conduct of elections remain to be enacted,"
William Swing, head of the UN Mission in the DRC, said.

Mauritius Prime Minister Paul Berenger, who is also the new chairperson of
Sadc, said the guidelines were an expression of the region's commitment to
democracy and freedom.

"We have observed the holdingof successful elections in Malawiand South
Africa early this year," he said in his closing remarks at the Mauritius
summit. "Later this year Botswana, Mozambique and Namibia will be going to
the polls. The United Republic of Tanzania and Zimbabwe are expected to hold
elections next year. This is indeed a clear expression of the region's
commitment to democracy."
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Zim Independent

Govt doles out money it doesn't have
Shakeman Mugari

RECENT moves by government to pour money into troubled parastatals and the
expropriation of private businesses is unsustainable and likely to bloat the
national debt, analysts have said. It is also likely to put paid to what
prospects for foreign investment remained.

The analysts say the government is draining its coffers, which are already
running dry due to over-expenditure and fiscal indiscipline, in a bid to
prop up parasitic state corporations that have a record of non-performance.
They have also castigated the move to take over troubled private companies,
arguing that the government has proven that it is not capable of running a
viable business. The chaos in the debt-ridden parastatals gives credence to
their concerns.

Business analyst Anthony Hawkins says the government is making a huge
mistake by dishing out unbudgeted funds to parastatals and troubled private

"It is clear that the government will have to print more money in order to
sustain this level of expenditure," Hawkins said. He said this would push
inflation up and further drag the country into recession.

"We are grappling with a suffocating debt and these loans will only make it
Over the past three months more than $2 trillion has been advanced to the
productive sector and other troubled companies, a move which government says
is meant to boost an economy which is in its fifth year of recession.

Last week government ratcheted up its debt by giving $50 billion to Zesa
Holdings, the power utility which has been struggling to find its feet. The
troubled Zimbabwe Iron and Steel Company (Zisco) also received a $30 billion
lifeline from government.

Many more parastatals are likely to feed from the same trough on the grounds
that they are being "turned around". Already Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ)
governor Gideon Gono has promised to give the Agricultural and Rural
Development Authority $25 billion, the National Railways of Zimbabwe $20
billion, Zupco $10 billion, Air Zimbabwe $7,5 billion and Zimbabwe
Broadcasting Holdings $7,5 billion.
Local authorities are entitled to $20 billion each for infrastructural
development. All these companies and local authorities are unlikely to pay
back the money if past experience is anything to go by.

Zupco and ZB Holdings have also successfully lobbied government to take over
their crippling debts. As has become the norm since Independence, the
government willingly took over Zupco's $30 billion debt to Metropolitan Bank
and ZB Holdings' arrears to local banks. Another $100 billion has been doled
out to Shabane Mashava Mine (SMM), the hub of Mutumwa Mawere's business
empire, which has become the latest takeover target for government.

But analysts have said this level of corporate indulgence is a recipe for
disaster, as it will sink the country deeper into debt and add to the burden
on taxpayers. Latest figures from the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe show that
domestic debt is hovering around $1,4 trillion and is likely to increase
drastically if the government continues to bail out state companies.

The foreign debt has also continued to soar as Zimbabwe lags behind with its
arrears to multilateral organisations like the Bretton Woods institutions.
The country owes US$290 million to the International Monetary Fund. The
Reserve Bank has said that 30% of the US$778,6 million that came into
Zimbabwe through Homelink and export revenues was used to service debts.

The budget deficit has also increased on the back of over spending.
Currently Zimbabwe has a budget deficit of $830 billion. Government
anticipates GDP will shed a further 5% but independent analysts believe it
will shrink by 8%. About 70% of the population is said to be living below
the poverty datum line.

Parastatals account for a large chunk of the debt. Priscilla
Misihairabwi-Mushonga, the chairperson of the parliamentary Public Accounts
Committee, says parastatals are draining the fiscus. She blamed government
for continuing to tolerate maladministration and corruption in the
parastatals. This, Misihairabwi-Mushonga said, had seen the government
abusing taxpayers' money through loan advances and guarantees to the

"It's a waste of national resources to give money to parastatals that are
riddled with corruption and mismanagement," she said. "Most of these monies
were unbudgeted for and it means borrowing from local banks or printing
notes all of which lead to debt and inflation. This is abuse of taxpayers'
money and should not be allowed to continue."

A debt management report compiled by the Public Accounts Committee in 2002
reveals that parastatals are at the core of the country's debt crisis. There
are more than 30 state companies all of which benefit from the fiscus in one
way or another. The report recommended, among other things, that government
stops being the guarantor for parastatal loans. It also recommended that
these companies be made accountable for their losses.

As if to show that it has learnt nothing from previous mistakes, the
government has started nationalising Mawere's companies under the guise of
saving jobs. This is likely to see the government digging deeper into its
pocket to prop up these companies, a scenario which analysts say only
worsens the country's debt problem.

The analysts say instead of injecting funds the government should have
identified new investors to save the companies. Misihairabwi-Mushonga said
that government sought to maintain a dead man's grip on industry instead of
playing a facilitator's role in economic development.

"This is a control man-ia government which does not realise that by seeking
to take over companies through injection of capital, it is only piling up
debts. The government cannot run a business. Their role is to facilitate
business development and not run them," she said. Government has failed to
run its own businesses due to bureaucracy and political interference.

The Zimbabwe Min-ing Development Corporation (ZMDC), a state-affiliated
mining company which used to own a number of mines in Zimbabwe, has gone
under. Sabi Mine, a state company in Mberengwa, has also collapsed. It is
these clear examples of failure that have led to widespread protests from
economists and business community whenever government wants to take over a
company. An economist with a local bank said this was the same impulsive
spending that worsened the budget deficit.

"We have a government that is desperate to be seen to be doing something.
And to give this impression they spend more than they have," the economist
said. "The victims of this uncontrolled spending are the taxpayers. No
wonder we are heavily taxed. It's not a government debt but a national one.
Government has no money of its own. That money comes from the taxpayer."

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Zim Independent


Another disaster waiting to happen

THIS week President Mugabe dumped another instalment of corrosive policy on
the nation when he announced the government would force its way into
acquiring a 50% shareholding in all mines.
Mugabe, addressing students at Moleli High School, was engaging in his habit
of making policy on the hoof. He said government would demand a shareholding
in mining companies. He believes participating from within is the best means
of control.

"We are going to demand that government be given 50% shares in mines," he
told the students. "We cannot recognise absolute ownership of our resources.
No, that must be corrected."
He said countries such as Botswana had walked the same route.

But the Botswana model has been carefully crafted to ensure that there is a
mutually beneficial relationship between the government and private
investors. The 1999 Mines and Minerals Act which revised the 1977
legislation in Botswana was fashioned to make government participation in
new developments more attractive to investors.

The legislation ensures the government of Botswana participates in ventures
through equity and board representation. Generally, for large projects
government participation falls within the range of 15% to 25% issued free.
The government exercises minimum control on business operations and
management is left entirely to the private-sector partner.

While the Botswana government retains the right to acquire a minority
interest in new mines, this is generally up to a maximum of 15%, and is on
commercial terms with the state paying its pro-rata share of costs incurred.
We wonder if this is the t

emplate Zimbabwe's rulers would work with when they demand participation in
mining ventures. There are also doubts about the Zimbabwe government's
ability to pay for its shareholding in the capital-intensive mining sector.
No investor would want to benevolently cede a 50% stake. The trend worldwide
is that governments should create the right environment for capital and not
try to run businesses.

Mugabe believes however that involvement of the state in the operation of
mines will increase efficiency and counter multinational companies accused
of underhand dealings in mineral exports.
He is wrong and this fallacy poses a major threat to recovery in the mining
industry which accounted for about 30% of export earnings four years ago.

The alleged underhand dealings in the mining sector constitute a key
component in Mugabe's ever-lengthening list of scapegoats for the country's
economic meltdown. Missing from the list however is his government's
contribution to the morass.
We would like to remind the president that the near collapse of the mining
sector stems largely from poor macro-economic policies in which the skewed
exchange rate was employed for extended periods despite urgent calls for

By fixing the exchange rate at an unrealistically low level, the government
ensured mines earned less money than they should have for their exports, yet
their domestic costs were going up in sync with inflation which peaked at
623% in January.

More worryingly is the idea of government trying to run mines. No one should
be fooled into believing that the government will be able to run mines any
better than it has run other state enterprises over the past 24 years.
State-owned corporations have a record of inefficiency, graft and debt that
mirrors that of government itself.

Until just recently, government has declined to push them into producing
audited results. Instead quangos have become nests of political patronage,
playing the black market at will and serving as key contributors to national
debt. Then there is the burden they impose of taxpayers.

The Zambian government in the euphoria of self-rule nationalised copper
mines using the spurious premise that Zambians had to enjoy the national
resource. That piece of the national cake was never shared as the mines were
run down and production fell. Zambians became poorer than they were in 1964.

The process was reversed in the last decade and mines have gone back to
multinationals. A lesson for Zimbabwe's control freaks!

This is not the first time that Mugabe has threatened the mining industry.
Just before the 2000 parliamentary election he told a South African
newspaper that mines were next. This was met with indignation from large
investors in that sector who described Mugabe's threats as "unhelpful" and

Disastrous the gung-ho grab-and-go policy has indeed been. The
destabilisation of the agricultural sector can only be replicated in the
mining sector with dire consequences for the economy.

The government should tell us what has happened to Mhangura Copper Mine
which was run by the inept Zimbabwe Mining Development Corporation (ZMDC).
The country is still waiting for copper ore from the Democratic Republic of
Congo to be processed at ZMDC smelters.

We need to know how many carats of diamonds the country is mining in the DRC
and who is picking up the cheque.

The country needs a mining policy which inspires investor confidence,
guarantees employment creation and replenishes foreign currency reserves.
Not one that sends mining companies looking for opportunities elsewhere,
unemployment figures doubling and forex evaporating.
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Zim Independent

Eric Bloch Column

Economy riddled with anomalies

THE Zimbabwean economy is so extensively regulated and political actions are
so directed to address symptoms instead of causes, that policies aimed at
addressing some economic or sociological objectives often act in direct
conflict with many others.

The pronounced reluctance to evaluate thoroughly the probable consequences
of any policy or action results in immense prejudices to the very economy
which it is desired to protect, stimulate and grow.
The examples are manifold to an extent that space constraints preclude all
being cited. However, there are some, which are so incongruous and
incomprehensible that they should be aired. Some of the foremost relate to
government's declared objectives of assuring the maximum of healthcare for
all at the minimum of cost, but where the prevailing fiscal polices have a
diametrically opposite effect.

In order to contain health costs, government very rightly does not impose
any customs duties upon the importation of pharmaceuticals. However, if a
Zimbabwean pharmaceutical manufacturer imports materials required as
ingredients to produce pharmaceuticals, these materials attract duty. The
effects are several.

Firstly, the imposition of the duty inevitably increases the cost of the
pharmaceuticals payable by the consumer in outright conflict with government's
stated intent of containing health costs.
Secondly, the effect in many instances is to render the imported
pharmaceuticals cheaper than those locally manufactured, resulting in
greater than necessary outflows of foreign exchange - so critically required
for other purposes and diminished viability for the local producers with
consequential declining employment and downstream economic activity.

But the illogicality of policies in relation to health goes further. With
absolute justification, government sought to ensure that the rendition of
healthcare should not attract value added tax, in order that healthcare
costs not be inflated. But in order to achieve this, government legislated
VAT exempt status for healthcare instead of providing that such services
would attract VAT at a zero rate. The first reaction must be that exempt and
zero-rated statuses have the identical effect in that the patient does not
pay VAT.

However, in practice that is not the case. Where a service provider is
supplying VAT-exempt products or services, he cannot recover VAT charged to
him by his suppliers by offsetting such VAT against charged VAT. If,
however, his products and services are zero-rated, he can do so, and
therefore receives a refund of the VAT borne by him. In the absence of such
recovery, he necessarily builds the VAT paid by him into his charges, and
therefore the patient pays more for the health services.

If government genuinely wishes to minimise healthcare cost of the populace,
it will amend the legislation to provide that such costs are VAT zero-rated.
The same situation applies to educational expenses. Government claims to
strive to minimise the costs of education to such an extent that the
Minister of Education, Sport and Culture has no qualms at destroying the
viability of at least 46 private schools! But despite such claims, it
exempts educational costs from VAT, instead of zero-rating them, thereby
increasing the aggregate costs of the educationalists, and hence increasing
the amounts, they must remove from those they educate.

Yet another marked example of anomaly within the customs duty and tariff
regime is in respect of clothing and textiles. For many of such products,
the rate of duty is a ludicrous $100 per kg (often less than $50 per
T-shirt), but if a local manufacturer of clothing or textiles imports
essential manufacturing imports, inclusive of certain yarns, dyestuffs, and
machine spares, he is subjected to onerous import duties rendering his
products uncompetitive in the domestic markets. This circumstance is
presently particularly prevalent with Zimbabwe awash with Chinese textiles,
clothing and footwear, imported at a fraction of local manufacturing costs.

Their lower cost is partially because in many instances the products are
factory seconds and rejects, because of massive subsidies and incentives
from the Chinese government, and because of the ridiculously low rates of
duty applicable to such imports. Failure by government to address this
anomaly must result in the failure of numerous factories, with resultant
massive unemployment and many other negative economic effects.

Another anomaly of rapidly growing, very real and justified concern is that
whilst Zimbabwe desperately wants to increase its foreign exchange
generation through exports, it is fast destroying its exporters. It first
did so by its heavy-handed approach to land reform, resulting in a near
total collapse of agriculture to levels of less than 25% of those of only
three years ago. Then it did likewise to the tourism industry by sullying
Zimbabwe's international image through its disregard for the fundamentals of
human rights, to such an extent that tourism declined very considerably to
levels of only 10% of those of a few years ago.

And now all other exporters are fast approaching the point of collapse. They
are confronted with continuous and massively rising costs, including wage
increments - often at least once a quarter - at levels significantly above
the rate of inflation. The cost escalations are not confined to wages but
include imports indirectly sourced through the parallel market, in the
absence of alternative supplies, escalations in energy charges, fuel prices,
and much else. But the exporters are not enabled to counter those rapidly
increasing costs by being accorded currency exchange rate movements
commensurate with the extent of cost increase.

Instead, the exchange rates are, through the "controlled" foreign currency
auctions, virtually static.
In June and July, the compounded monthly inflation approximated 20%. In the
same period, the exporter enjoyed an exchange rate increase of less than 5%,
and therefore the export yield declined, in gross terms, by at least 15%. If
that trend continues, almost all exporters will soon be out of business! If
that occurs, Zimbabwe's foreign exchange inflows will be minimal, and in
such event the rise in inflation will be gargantuan as compared to that
which would be triggered by an exchange movement at realistic levels.

One of the most evident anomalies that prevailed until last December was
that parastatals had the tacit approval and acquiescence of government and
the Reserve Bank to source foreign exchange in the parallel market.

However, since then, those in the private sector who did likewise in the
belief that it was lawful, in view of the example set by the state, and in
order to keep their businesses alive, have been vilified and subjected to
prosecutions and punitive fines.
Since last December, the parastatals discontinued their patronage of the
parallel market, but they could afford to do so as, pursuant to the monetary
policies, they could source their foreign exchange requirements from the
Reserve Bank at $824:US$1 (as compared to having previously paid up to $7
000:US$1 in the parallel market).

The parastatals were, and still are, being subsidised by those exporters who
are being obligated to surrender portion of their export proceeds to the
Reserve Bank at that spurious rate.

That subsidisation is enforced in complete disregard for the devastatory
effects upon exporter viability, and like disregard for the discriminatory
and unjust imposition upon exporters to sustain the operations of the

Still another of the anomalies is that Zimbabwe has a Ministry of
Anti-Corruption, but after it was brought into existence almost a year ago,
only a negligible number of instances of prosecutions in the courts exist
(exclusive of those relating to parallel market trading, initiated by the
National Economic Conduct Inspectorate, which falls under the Ministry of
Finance and Economic Development). When will Zimbabwe witness the
prosecution of those identified years ago by the Chidyausiku Commission of
Enquiry into abuse of the War victims Compensation Fund, or accused of
corruption within Noczim and the Grain Marketing Board, amongst many others?
Instead, corruption continues to be a catalyst of inflation.
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Zim Independent


The Warriors farce and the fury

'Living in Harare a nightmare," ran the headline of the Herald Comment on
Saturday. The editorial was not about expensive rentals or muggings. It was
about poor service delivery by the council.

"Nothing just seems to be working - from provision of water, lighting,
maintenance of roads and other services which council is obliged to render
to its residents," ran the Comment.
That is the reality we have come to expect. Where we differ with the Herald
is the source of our problems.

"There seems to be a determination to destroy the capital city - and no one
should blame political interference in these matters," came the lame

One cannot fail to sense that the editor is fighting his own conscience to
defend the indefensible. Surely there would be no need to defend politicians
if there were no political interference. Why has Ignatious Chombo made
himself the unelected mayor of Harare? Why have MDC councillors been denied
the right to run the affairs of Harare as mandated by voters? Why were they
denied the right to consult with ratepayers that they serve?
What is Witness Mangwende doing? Does Pikirayi Deketeke seriously believe
defending his political masters is more important than addressing the
concerns of ratepayers and laying the blame squarely where it belongs - at
Chombo's door?

Meanwhile, what is Chombo doing about the chaos going on at Whitecliffe farm
that has become an eyesore to every visitor driving from Bulawayo into the
capital city? Is he unaware of who is in charge of the latest shanty town
along High Glen Road near Marimba police station? We are talking about
squatter settlements mushrooming all over the city with no sanitary
facilities whatsoever. Will the sun ever rise again over the Sunshine City?
In its lead story on Monday the Herald said the Harare city council had been
allowed to borrow about $49 billion for water and infrastructural
development. But the figures quickly mutated beyond control.

Part of the letter supposedly signed by Local Government minister Chombo
said Harare had been allowed "to raise $48 570 215 billion (sic) from the
domestic market". The paper said "$2 339 000 billion (sic) would be used for
the construction of an 18-megalitre/day BNR plant and expansion of existing
capacity at Crowborough sewage works".
Can somebody help with interpreting those figures. Does Zimbabwe have that
kind of money in the first place?

We were interested to read about how blind Zimbabweans were until the
Malaysians came to our rescue. President Robert Mugabe told students at
Moleli Secondary School in Zvimba on Sunday that it had taken government a
very long time to realise there was corruption in the financial sector
because previous management at the RBZ were victims of Western economics. As
such they didn't know what was happening in the financial sector, Mugabe

To get to the bottom of the crisis, said the president, he had to take new
Reserve Bank governor Gideon Gono to Malaysia "so that he could learn how"
that country had pulled out of a similar crisis.
They were shocked by what they discovered after their magical trip to the
East, Mugabe confessed. Meanwhile, we all along thought Gono was his own man
doing his own diagnosis about the nation's multifaceted crisis. But it
turned out to be Mahathir? And in Zimbabwe's case who was the evil George
Soros spearheading speculative attacks on our currency? Tony Blair, we

Still on corruption, how is Mugabe going to explain the award of fuel import
licences to so-called non-existent companies?

The Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe revealed last week that enough foreign currency
had been made available for companies to import fuel. But by last weekend
most garages were virtually dry. It turned out that most of the more than 70
companies who were getting foreign currency to import fuel didn't have
physical addresses or distribution networks. The question to ask is how were
they issued with licences? Are these not clear symptoms of corrupt

Now Zanu PF's own mouthpiece, The Voice, claims much of the foreign currency
sourced from the Reserve Bank's auction system could have been used to trade
on the black market to purchase luxury vehicles or to buy properties. We
assumed since it was so soon after the debacle of dubious asset management
companies the RBZ and its parent ministry would be more circumspect in
issuing licences for purposes of accountability!

Shouldn't Mugabe be taking Gono back to Malaysia for more learning? And some
of those briefcase companies are advertising fuel in the public media
everyday. There is certainly something bigger than the RBZ wants us to
believe here.

Zanu PF chairman John Nkomo seems to have hit the nail on the head in his
diagnosis of the source of Zimbabwe's problems. This is what he said in his
weekly column in The Voice on Sunday: "A functioning economy is a handy tool
of politics. However, our situation requires that we turn our politics into
tools for the revival of the economy. Placing sole responsibility for
economic recovery on the central bank would not only be irresponsible but

How come everybody else in Zanu PF appears in public to foolishly believe
the Mugabe mantra that there is nothing wrong with our politics; that Gono
will single-handedly solve all our problems or that China will revive our
economy alone? Is this some form of epiphany that could result in the party
being more "responsible" and less "dishonest", we wonder?

Spare a thought for newly sworn-in member of the Delimitation Commission,
Job Whabira. The former Defence permanent secretary on Tuesday looked like a
jester plucked from a circus for the ceremony at the president's palace, if
his dressing on Newsnet is anything to go by.

Muckraker's colleagues reckon Whabira, shown on ZTV clad in a "specially
designed" scarlet suit, would have made Jojo the Clown green with envy if he
had remembered to wear the clown's big red nose. He could have done with a
pair of earrings and a pony tail too!

Then there was another clown called Goodson Nguni who thinks Britain is the
MDC. Asked by Cleo Tsimba whether the MDC might change its mind and
participate in next year's election, Nguni said that decision would come
from the UK in December. He said the MDC had no mandate to make a decision
outside of Tony Blair. Never mind that the MDC made it clear its decision on
whether to take part or not would depend on whether government had met to
the full the Sadc guidelines and principles on the holding of free and fair

Newsnet should make a distinction between analysts and clowns. It has not
talked to a single analyst since Jonathan Moyo took over the reins four
years ago.

The Soviets who run the so-called Sunday News, which never manages to
publish any news worth reading but carries letters from people signing
themselves "J Stalin", have been incandescent with rage over the Warriors'
failure to fulfil the state plan assigned to them.

On the day of the fateful World Cup qualifier nearly two weeks ago, the
paper produced a Comment confidently claiming the Super Eagles would "crash
this afternoon in Harare".

The Warriors' impending victory was all part of a momentum built up by
Kirsty Coventry, we were told.
"Coventry's achievement underlined Zimbabwe's new status as a growing force
in the world of sport and no doubt all roads lead to the National Stadium
today amid huge national optimism that head coach Rahman Gumbo will lead his
troops to victory," the paper declared.

Alas, it was not to be. And hell had no fury like a state illusionist

"It just will not be enough for Warriors team manager Rafiq Adam to resign,"
another Uncle Joe given to purges fulminated last weekend. "And it will not
be enough to fire the hopeless coaches Rahman Gumbo and Brenna Msiska.

"Even firing the team captain Peter Ndlovu, which is now inevitable, will
not be enough. Heads must roll and the whole Zifa lot must be shown the
door.When all is said and done, Zifa failed the nation."

Was it Zifa that failed the nation or ministerial puppets trying to get us
to believe that political meddling in football and reaping where they failed
to sow in swimming has led to Zimbabwe becoming a "growing force" in the
world of sport? More a growing farce!

We had a similar performance last weekend from Sunday News editor Brezhnev
Malaba who reported Pravda-style from Victoria Falls on the launch of the
Southern Times.

"Western media propagandists and the unrepentant apartheid press will no
longer enjoy a monopoly in the dissemination of information in Southern
Africa, the people of the region have boldly declared."
But it didn't end there.
"The people of Africa have spoken," Brezhnev proclaimed. "The era of racist
hate and discredited falsehoods is long gone."

Any reader turning to Uncle Joe's column may think that forecast was a
little premature. And we admired the way "the people of the region" - ie all
five buyers of the threadbare new publication - had been transformed into
"the people of Africa" in the space of a sentence!

The "apartheid press" had failed in its "silly attempts" to scupper the
project, we were told by Cde Brezhnev. But we don't recall any attempts to
block this self-defeating project to launch yet another dreary Moyo
mouthpiece. What we do recall is the black-run Sunday Times saying the new
publication couldn't use their name. And they seem to have won their point.

But imperialists, colonialists and apartheid-pressers should not relax.
Inspired by what Brezhnev describes as "assertive Africans trodding (sic) on
the repugnant history of colonial oppression", a new project is being
hatched, we are led to understand. Victoria Falls will soon be renamed the
Victory Falls to mark the people's victory over colonial oppression.

Now that should be just the tonic the tourism sector needs.
Keep up the "trodding" guys!

The Chronicle last Friday dutifully carried a front-page picture of
Information minister Jonathan Moyo handing over three computers worth $69,4
million to Avoca High School Lower Sixth pupils in Godlwayo.
What we don't understand is why these computers cost so much in the first
place. A quick reference to the Herald's classifieds for the same day tells
us that the most expensive models on offer range from $8,5 million to $12,5
million. A top-of-the-range laptop goes for $9,5 million.
While we appreciate the Chronicle is obliged to engage in embellishment from
time to time, especially when promoting the minister's election bid, it
cannot be unaware of the going price for equipment of this sort.

At one time, despite all the manipulation that took place elsewhere in the
Herald, it was possible to trust their court reports. That hasn't been the
case for a while now.

A good illustration was available on Saturday following Friday's sentencing
of Simon Mann and his "mercenary" associates. Most of the report was
accurate and provided useful detail. But then this sentence was smuggled in:
"The men were arrested and the plane seized in March when the terror squad
landed in Harare to buy arms on their way to take part in a coup in
Equatorial Guinea."
Is that what they were convicted of: being part of a "terror squad" planning
to "take part in a coup in Equatorial Guinea"? Weren't those charges the
state failed to prove?

We recall most of them pleading guilty to offences under the Immigration and
Aviation Acts, and Mann being sentenced under Posa for arms-related
offences. But the Equatorial Guinea connection was never proved.

The Herald claimed on Wednesday that the plane the men arrived on, which was
impounded, was carrying a consignment of AK47 assault rifles, KPM light
machine guns, rocket-propelled grenades and anti-tank weapons among other
Was this established in court? Had the weapons been loaded aboard the plane?

While it is all too easy for the press to reach conclusions about what the
suspected mercenaries may have been up to, drawing on damning reports from
Malabo and Cape Town, is it right for newspapers in their court reports to
convict them of offences they were not actually convicted of in court?
At the end of the day, the state did achieve one thing. It has acquired an
aircraft worth between US$3 million and $5 million at no charge.

Could we soon see the Boeing 727 ferrying passengers on AirZim's Beijing
route or decked out as Zimbabwe's Airforce One?
Together with the US$180 000 taken off the plane, it would seem as if
Zimbabwe is not doing too badly from its encounter with the "dogs of war"!

Parastatals have a key role to play in the economic turnaround process,
Zimra boss Gershem Pasi believes.

"Our overall performance and contribution to the nation's economy has not
always been consistent and sustained."

That's putting it mildly. These parasitic institutions have been centres of
economic destabilisation. Now they will be miraculously "turned around"
despite having the same old crew on board.
Minister of State responsible for state enterprises Rugare Gumbo said
parastatals should formulate "guidelines and principles" on how they should
be run.

Evidently nobody had thought of this before. And nobody has thought of the
obvious solution to the current mess at AirZim, Noczim, NRZ, Zesa, Zisco and
Zupco: get rid of them and all their hangers on!
Gumbo had a solution: another workshop! "We want to come up with a
home-brewed strategy," he said.
Rugare: Why not a strategy that has worked everywhere else in the world
rather than one that has failed here? It's a no brainer.

Muckraker was intrigued to read comments made by new ANC Youth League
president Fikile Mbalula, published in the Sunday Times last weekend.
He was asked if he took President Robert Mugabe's line that problems in
Zimbabwe were all Britain's fault.

"The politics of Zimbabwe.are about primarily issues of democracy. And the
willingness of the ruling Zanu PF party to engage its opponents," he
Asked if he had been listening to Archbishop Pius Ncube, he said: "Yes. He
gives an account of the material conditions they find themselves in. It is
basically objective."

Although Mbalula insisted that Zimbabweans must find a solution to their own
problems and Britain should play its part in providing compensation for
land, this was not exactly the message of solidarity some may have hoped
for. Indeed, when foreign dignitaries were asked at the Youth League
congress to stand and identify themselves, cheers for the Zanu PF delegate
turned to laughter, reports say, when it was seen how old he was!
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Zim Independent

Quelea birds gobble wheat crop
Ngoni Chanakira
The quelea bird, coming at a time when bread has become unaffordable, is now
threatening the country's poorwheat crop.

While government insists that the food situation is not threatened by the
withdrawal of the donor community due to political differences with
Zimbabwe, the Ministry of Agriculture yesterday confirmed that the quelea
bird was now threatening wheat.

Insiders said the ministry had run out of the chemical to kill the birds
that can destroy thousands of hectares of wheat in minutes.

Zimbabwe's wheat crop, like all other commodities, has been declining

In 2000 the country produced 45 000 hectares of wheat, while in 2001 it
produced 56 000 hectares - the largest crop so far.

In 2002 the country produced 25 000 hectares of wheat and last year Zimbabwe
produced a paltry 10 000 hectares.

The figures were supplied by the Central Statistical Office (CSO) and
include A2 farmers.

Yesterday the Ministry of Agriculture confirmed that it was inviting
interested companies to urgently procure 3 000 litres of fenthion chemical
or a suitable alternative for the control of quelea birds, which it said had
begun to damage the wheat crop.

A senior ministry official told businessdigest that government was prepared
to pay the business executives on delivery in Zimbabwe dollars for the

Companies, especially indigenous ones, are now jostling for the lucrative
tender which has been labeled "top priority" by the cash-strapped government
in its bid to stop the birds from destroying what is already a poor harvest.

"Yes, I can confirm that we are asking companies to tender for the supply of
fenthion chemical or any suitable alternative for the control of quelea
birds which are destroying our wheat crop," an official said yesterday. "We
cannot allow these birds to destroy what is already a very poor crop."

This week leading food manufacturer and distributor National Foods Ltd
(Natfoods) said the limited availability of local wheat was supplemented
with imports to maintain volumes.

The company said it had to go cap in hand to the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe
for foreign currency to import wheat and avert "serious shortages of flour
and thus bread".

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Zim Independent

Interest in Homelink wanes
Shakeman Mugari
THE Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ)'s "Homelink" facility launched earlier
this year to mop up foreign currency in the diaspora is fast losing favour
with Zimbabweans scattered around the world, analysts and money transfer
agency officials have said.

The initiative is being shunned because of the unattractive rates offered on
the central bank's auction floors. Zimbabweans in the diaspora have since
turned to private individuals who are facilitating their foreign currency
transactions at parallel market rates.

The British pound and the United States dollar have remained largely
stagnant on the RBZ's controlled auction market. This has seen the parallel
market rate rally on the back of perennial shortages.

A money transfer agency operator with a branch in London who recently
visited the country said all was not well in the Homelink plan. He said on
average the London branch receives 30 enquiries a day from Zimbabweans in
the diaspora but only one transaction is finally processed.

"There is now an even stronger parallel market network between people in
London and Zimbabwe," said the official last week.

He said there was rampant black market activity abroad, which is now
undermining the Homelink initiative.

"A number of MTAs in the United Kingdom are reported to have closed shop
owing to the serious black market activities which have sidelined their
business because of the low exchange rates being offered," he said.

He said of major concern to citizens scattered throughout the diaspora was
the huge gap between the parallel and auction rate.

The Zimbabwe dollar is currently trading at $5 611: US$1, which contrasts
with the parallel market rate of $7 400: US$1.

Analysts say this gap is likely to continue widening unless the central bank
devalues the dollar to match the parallel market rate.

Government is, however, unwilling to do this saying it could result in
escalating bills for electricity supplies from neighbouring countries.

"It's a network of people in London who have contacts with people in
Zimbabwe who have foreign accounts," the MTA official said. "Zimbabweans
deposit the foreign currency into the FCA and the recipient is paid in
Zimdollars but at the parallel market rate."

Analysts blame the policy framework for Homelink's problems.

Economic advisor to the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) Eddie Cross
said Homelink was operating in an unstable economy.

"The gap between the Homelink rate and the parallel market is too big to
ignore. That is why it has failed to achieve the desired results," Cross
said. "The framework is not conducive. Government needs to look into other
ways to boost the export sector."

It is estimated that Zimbabweans abroad have the capacity to send more that
US$70 million a month.

This has, however, not been achieved owing to the stagnant rate on the
market and also resistance from citizens in the diaspora.

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Zim Independent

Sugar shortage looms

HIPPO Valley Estates Ltd (Hippo) says because cane yields have declined by
10% Zimbabwe will face reduced sugar production for the current year.

The company this week said its Mkwasine Estate was issued with a fresh
Section 8 Order on July 23 which was followed up by a Section 7 Order,
making production very difficult.

Thousands of commercial farmers countrywide have been issued with Section 7s
and 8s and are undecided on whether to continue farming when such cases

This has resulted in production declining in virtually all sectors of the
country's agricultural sector.

"Appropriate legal action is being taken," Hippo said. "Hippo Valley Estates
remains listed under Section 5. Representations are ongoing with the
relevant authorities to secure a de-listing of both properties."

The company said the dispute between some commercial cane farmers and some
A2 cane farmers on the ownership of cane delivered during the 2003 milling
season was still to be resolved by the High Court.

"All proceeds received to-date in respect of the disputed cane for the 2003
crop, amounting to $4,34 billion, have been paid over to the High Court in
accordance with the provisions of the interpleader proceedings," Hippo said.

It said due to lower rates of evaporation occasioned by lower mean
temperatures and shorter periods of sunshine, cane yield had declined by 10%
compared with budget.

"This will inevitably result in reduced sugar production for the current
year," Hippo said. - Staff Writer.

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Zim Independent

Imports boosted wheat volumes, says Natfoods

NATIONAL Foods Holdings Ltd (Natfoods) says the limited availability of
wheat last year had to be supplemented with imports to maintain sufficient
volumes in its floor division.

The food distributor and manufacturer said the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe
(RBZ) needed to jump in and bail the company out through the productive
sector finance facility made available to struggling firms.

Firms repay the loans at a rate of 30%.

Natfoods said the foreign currency for imports was made available to "avert
serious shortages of flour and thus bread".

It said maize mill capacity utilisations remained well below desirable
levels and raw material availability for the production of maize-meal was
still negligible, although up on last year.

For the half-year ending June 30 Natfoods made a net profit of $27,5
billion, which was 245% up on the previous year.

Turnover increased by 544% to $236,8 billion on the back of volume increases
in all divisions except general trading, stockfeeds and packaging.

"The company is focussed on keeping volumes at profitable levels but this
will remain an issue in the medium-term as shortages of local raw materials
make the company more reliant on imports where adequate foreign currency has
been difficult to obtain," Natfoods said.

"Costs have continued to rise on a monthly basis with significant pressure
coming from employees, particularly where increases are negotiated at
industry level. Many costs which have exceeded inflation on a year basis and
have outstripped the growth in turnover, have been outside the company's
control, straining margins in an environment where it is difficult to
increase prices to the consumer."

The company said sales volumes of cooking oil had improved and it had
managed through pre-season contracts with soyabean farmers, to purchase a
significant share of locally available beans.

"It is expected that these will shortly be supplemented by crude oil
imports," it said.

Natfoods is now the country's largest local supplier of rice into the

Other types of rice have, however, flooded the market from the Far East and
Malaysia which is sometimes much cheaper than the local product.

Natfoods said stockfeeds sales volumes during the first quarter of 2004
continued to deteriorate and reached unprofitable levels. - Staff Writer.
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Zim Independent

Water crisis hits property sector
Ngoni Chanakira
THE water crisis facing Harare and its surrounding areas has begun to delay
the progress of construction projects that have now become white elephants.

It has also affected the development of water schemes in various suburbs
underway such as in Monavale, Bluff Hill, Snake Park and Zimre Park in

Harare's director of works Psychology Chiwanga recently said the capital
city was facing a serious water crisis caused by "poor planning of urban

The capital city now needs to borrow $50 billion to restore water to parts
of the city which gets just six hours' supply a day.

The water crisis has resulted in projects stopping mid-way such as the Joina
Development Centre in Harare's central business district as well as various
housing schemes scattered throughout the country.

Some residents have been riled by the delay in the construction of their
homes due to the water shortage.

"We bought the properties and paid hundreds of millions of dollars, but
to-date we hear that not even roads have been constructed on the site," said
Rodgers Svovah, currently based in the United Kingdom.

He said the delays could also be due to "greedy developers more concerned
about making money from customers".

"We are about to complete our payments and yet there are no houses to be
delivered at the end of the transactions. We do not even have title deeds."

The Harare City Council, which this week first mooted and then shelved its
idea of water rationing, has now gone cap in hand to government for the $50
billion for the dilapidated water reticulation system.

Ignatious Chombo is the minister responsible for all municipalities.

Unlike the Bulawayo City Council whose water source is upstream and,
therefore, uses less purification chemicals, the Harare City Council "sits
on" its water source and is, therefore, forced to use eight chemicals in the
treatment process.

These are powdered activated carbon, liquid aluminium sulphate, white
hydrated lime, sodium silicate, chlorine gas, anhydrous ammonia, sulphuric
acid and ECOL 2000.

Chiwanga said while government had allocated Council $10,7 billion under the
Public Sector Investment Programme (PSIP) for various water and sewer
related projects, it needed a further $48 billion.

Harare, however, does not have borrowing powers after Reserve Bank of
Zimbabwe governor Gideon Gono threw out its requests for funding, requesting
the municipality to first produce "externally audited accounts".

"Considering their unfavourable creditworthy status, however, it remains to
be seen whether they will be able to access the required funds from the open
market," Chiwanga said. "The supply of water to Harare and its environs
continues to provide challenges to the local authority and government, as
efforts are made to seek a sustainable resolution and ensure the consistent
supply of uncontaminated water."

He said factors that affected the quality of the treated water included
algae, the clogging of filters which result in increased backwash frequency,
as well as the increased desludging of clarifiers.

Other contributory factors include pollution, the corrosion of concrete
civil works, increased wear and tear of mechanical equipment and increased
chemical usage.

Harare currently draws its water from four dams on the Manyame River, namely
Chivero and Manyame both of which are owned by Council (83%) and government
(17%), Harava which is wholly-owned by Council and Seke.

"In addition to the yield from the said dams the water supply to the City of
Harare is supplemented by the reintroduction of treated waste (recycled)
water into the water sources," Chiwanga said. "It is now generally accepted
that the water demand of the metropolitan exceeds the safe yield of these
water sources, hence the tendering of the Kunzwi Dam and Pipeline Project."

Svovah pointed out that there were many projects that had been stalled
including the Warren Park/Belvedere West schemes, as well as the Snake Park
project, where individuals had resorted to building on stands that do not
have water and a proper reticulation system.

Chiwanga said studies had shown that there were 32 major polluters to
Harare's water sources with 11 of these facilities belonging to council.

"Unfortunately the water treatment plants were not designed to cope with the
poor quality of water associated with the water sources, thus the consistent
breakdowns," Chiwanga said.

He said the Morton Jaffrey Number 1 Waterworks was commissioned in 1953,
Number 2 in 1972, Number 3 in 1994 while Prince Edward Works was
commissioned in 1928.

These dams are able to supply Harare with a total of 704 megalitres of water
daily but are only supplying 533 megalitres.

He said what was now needed urgently was the establishment of a Harare
utility company wholly-owned by council which would allow for an independent
body to focus solely on issues pertaining to the supply of water to the
Harare metropolitan area.

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Zim Independent

Editor's Memo


IT had never occurred to me that kapenta fish and Mazoe crush could be
special dietary requirements for Zimbabweans in the diaspora. When a
colleague learnt that I was due to travel to the United Kingdom, he was
quick to place a special order from home: kapenta fish, Mazoe crush and

Those tiny fish, which appear on menu cards as a starter or more commonly as
protein substitutes to the malnourished, are a coveted delicacy. The
colleague tells me that some diasporans know how many of the little
creatures can fit in a 200g packet. They are cooked in strictly set
portions - in groups of 20 for my bachelor colleague - and perhaps washed
down with a glass of the orange drink to satisfy the nostalgia.

I delivered liberal quantities of the fish to those who have run away from
poor governance here. Most of them do not have nice things to say about
Zimbabwe and I wondered whether our information merchants could ever counter
this torrent of discontent.

I was in London last week to attend a Public Administration International
programme on Government: Image and Information. This provided useful insight
into the mind of a spin-doctor. Contributions from senior government
spokesmen from the Caribbean, West Africa, the Middle East and Eastern
Europe were crucial in comparing how different governments handle the media.
There was also a senior civil servant from Botswana whose government is
trying to fend off a relentlessly hostile press from Zimbabwe.

Presentations by politicians, senior correspondents and editors - mainly on
the United Kingdom experience - and contributions from various countries
present in the end gelled into the conclusion that the relationship between
politicians and the media was vital to effective governance.

There were catch phrases like: "Politicians complaining about the media are
like fishermen complaining about the sea."

Adrianne Foglia, a London-based Colombian diplomat who has dedicated her
life to cleansing her country of the bad-boy image arising from drug wars,
was spot-on on how governments can deal with a bad press.

"The only way to fix a bad press is by fixing the problems at home," she
said. Defending internationally condemned ills would not help much.

Many speakers could not complete their presentations without mentioning
Alistair Campbell, the former Number 10 Downing Street sultan of spin who
left the political scene exhausted by his encounter with the BBC.

Despite his spin-doctoring the war on Iraq has remained a sore point for
Tony Blair which the media love to prod and open up.

Dr Martyn Bond - the programme director - said spin-doctors did not have a
long shelf-life.

"The value of the spokesman is being constantly eroded as he sometimes has
to carry the blame on behalf of the boss," he said. "The spokesman lasts as
long as the boss lasts but he usually falls first."

Indeed, Campbell fell first after he became the news. The moral of
Campbell's fall is, when the spinner becomes the story it is time to stop
spinning. There is a similarly excoriated spinner who has become the news
closer to home. Will he beat his boss in the fall from grace? It's a close

Perhaps the most insightful presentation came from former editor of the
Observer, Professor Donald Trelford. His colourful rendition included his
editorship of the Times of Malawi and his brushes with Kamuzu Banda who
accused him of supporting his political foe, Henry Chipembere.

The most interesting part of his career was in 1984 when he came to Zimbabwe
to interview prime minister Robert Mugabe and ended up in Matabeleland where
he came face to face with the Fifth Brigade bloodbath.

Trelford, who prefaced his presentation by saying "news is what government
does not want you to read", said arrangements for the Mugabe interview were
hijacked by business tycoon and Lonrho boss Tiny Rowland. The businessman
who had bought the Observer in 1981 was close to Mugabe. Trelford said the
Mugabe interview was "disastrously dull" although the Zimbabwean leader did
not mince his words about the need to crush the "rebellion".

"The solution is a military one," he told Trelford. "Their grievances are
unfounded. The verdict of the voters was cast in 1980. They should have
accepted defeat then."

Nothing much has changed 20 years later!

Trelford said his experience in Matabeleland offered him a better story,
which he produced in the Observer on his return to London. Tiny Rowland, he
said, was livid when the story came out. So was Mugabe.

Rowland, who described Trelford as an incompetent reporter, rushed to the
press to denounce his story about the Matabeleland massacres.

"I take full responsibility for what in my view was discourteous,
disingenuous and wrong in the editor of a serious newspaper widely read in
Africa," he told the world. He announced that Trelford would be dismissed.

But Trelford survived the chop and lived to tell the tale of an episode of
immense drama illustrating a clash between a proprietor's commercial
interests and an editor's quest for editorial independence.

Who said only politicians are spin-meisters?
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Zim Independent

A tale of agony and hope
By John Robertson
The Battle for Zimbabwe - The Final Countdown By Geoff Hill Published by
Zebra Press, Cape Town. Price in Zim: $194 300.

READERS on the journey through this agonising story of Zimbabwe's descent
into a totalitarian nightmare would have to be forgiven for losing heart,
but an undeniable hint of optimism is captured in this book's subtitle, The
Final Countdown. Whether the countdown has actually started might still be
an open question, but as Geoff Hill says, it is important to understand how
things developed if we have any hope of creating a better future for all

Hill's book chronicles in graphic detail the conduct of Zimbabwe's ruling
party through the 24 years of its control. More than half the book
concentrates on events since 1997 as the party responded to a series of
challenges to its authority. The first of these came from war veterans, who
caught President Robert Mugabe off guard. Those that followed came from the
successes of the first significant opposition party since Independence and
from legal challenges to the land acquisition policies that were mounted by
commercial farmers.

The War Veterans Association was the driving force behind the move to break
up the country's thriving commercial farms and to allocate small plots of
land free to the veterans and to hundreds of thousands of peasants. The
initiative they took forced into place the process of evicting thousands of
commercial farmers, and when this action was challenged in the courts, a new
constitution that was intended to give the ruling party the legal right to
capture land was proposed.

When this constitution was defeated in a referendum, the ruling party set in
motion a train of events that was designed to prevent new challenges from
ever again threatening the domination of the party. Geoff Hill traces a path
through the subsequent months and lays bare the raw brutality of a regime
that saw no reason to set limits to the methods it could use to subjugate an
unarmed population.

When Zanu PF's constitutional proposals were rejected, the 2000
parliamentary election was a few months away, but the party had time to pass
into law the land acquisition clauses that had generated most of the
opposition to the proposals.

With active support from the police and the army, war veterans and their
supporters were then empowered to forcibly evict farmers and their families,
and at the same time urban communities were punished for supporting the
opposition party. Effectively, the right to the protection of the law was
withdrawn from those perceived to be trying to oppose government decisions.

Zimbabwe is not treated in isolation. Hill weaves into his tapestry the
records of many other African countries where brutality and oppression
became the authorities' standard responses to dissent.

Taken together with the harsh dictatorships that emerged almost everywhere
in Africa, the result becomes a backdrop against which Zanu PF's excesses in
Zimbabwe start to appear fairly normal. This, suggests Hill, helps to
explain why international reactions against Zanu PFs early excesses,
particularly the devastating Matabeleland Gukurahundi episode, were muted,
if they were discernible at all.

Gukurahundi is estimated to have cost between 10 000 and 30 000 lives as
Zanu PF made its concerted attempt to break the spirit of the Ndebele.

Diplomats and foreign governments seemed eager to dismiss the massacre as
the price that had to be paid for unity, but the atrocities committed came
back into public consciousness when a full report was finally published in
1998, 14 years after the event. Those in charge of the campaign are still in
office, as are those who authorised it. Now, Bosnia and Kosovo have caused
changes to the concept of accountability and, with Milosevic behind bars,
the scene has changed.

From the lack of any reaction to the Gukurahundi episode when it happened,
and the unfinished business that it has since become, Hill traces two of the
characteristics of Zanu PF rule: first the party's belief in its absolute
impunity, and now that accountability is rearing its head, its determination
never to relinquish power.

The first real threat to its political power emerged in the form of the
Movement for Democratic Change. When this party won a significant number of
seats in the 2000 parliamentary election, Zanu PF's self-preservation
instincts and its violent origins quickly returned to prominence.

Hill offers a condensed, but comprehensive background history of the country
in the first 80 pages, and provides a detailed account of the Zanu PF's
talent for violence in the next 200 pages. Stage by stage, each reaction to
the mounting challenge to the ruling party's authority is explained and each
new layer of control over the opposition party's freedom of movement, civil
rights and access to publicity is detailed.

Dozens of the attacks on victims of the resulting oppression and
intimidation are described in detail and the account is made all the more
appalling by the consistent record of success that Mugabe's supporters have
had in running rings around their opponents, detractors and critics.

So profound has been the devastation that if a genuine recovery is to be
achieved, many basic institutions will need to be rebuilt. Among other
facilities, the public health services have all but collapsed and will need
to be restored, commercial agriculture has to be re-established and the
seriously damaged education system has to be put back on its feet.

Signposts to where we are now were very much in evidence a few years ago.
Hill quotes a 2002 statement from the Minister of Justice, Patrick
Chinamasa, in which he claimed that non-governmental organisations were bent
on the overthrow of Zanu PF and they were "disguising their activities in
semantics such as human rights, democracy and promoting civil society".

Now, a Bill that will impose stringent controls on all NGOs awaits its
passage into law. Soon, fearsome penalties could be inflicted on anyone
caught providing for the material, mental, physical or social needs of
distressed persons or families or even animals if they haven't first
registered their organisation with government.

Hill covers a range of topics that will bring memories flooding back for
many readers. Remember Willowgate? Capital Radio? The war over cellphone
licences? The looting of the War Victims Compensation Fund? These and many
other events are described and put into their historical context.

Along with encapsulated facts about the country's early history, the book
also deals with events such as the more recent fuel crises, the banknote
scarcity, Congo timber concessions and the deeply negative interest rates
that allowed government to capture the bulk of the country's savings. The
causes and effects of these and many other crucial issues show the many ways
that Zanu PF has tried to profit from their engineered distortions or to
deflect the costs onto others.

However, the destruction has also consumed the country's resources very much
more rapidly than its diminishing productive sectors can replace them. Like
everything else, the wealth redistribution process has its limits.

Like many Zimbabweans, Hill was intrigued by the mysterious death of
Bulawayo war veterans leader, Cain Nkala. He spent more than a year
investigating the murder and the book includes a fascinating account of
Nkala's last hours. Eye-witness testimonies have been pieced together with
court reports and police evidence and his thoughts on how the murder was
committed, and by whom, could shed new light on the case when it is
re-opened, as it surely must be.

Hill has produced a record of events that will keep alive the consequences
of misrule. Hopefully it will help prevent deviant behaviour from developing
elsewhere and also help to bring to book those who can still be held to
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Zim Independent

Mercenary coup in Zanu PF
By Chido Makunike
IN Western countries Christmas time is the traditional season to exchange
gifts. In Zimbabwe a new tradition that is emerging is the amazing
generosity of politicians at election time.

If one were naive, one would think that election time would be when those
who aspire to elective office, or to being re-elected, would brush up their
manifestos in an effort to sell themselves to the electorate as the best
candidates for the offices they were interested in. But election manifestos
and well-thought out plans of what one hopes to accomplish during their time
in office take work that may be beyond the ability of some of our
politicians. It is so much easier to try to beg, borrow or steal money and
other resources with which to try to simply buy off large segments of the

This may seem absurd and offensive to a discerning and sophisticated voter,
but in a society where economic hardship is keenly felt by many of the most
vulnerable voters, attempted vote-buying cannot be ruled out as an effective
tactic to give some of our less scrupulous politicians an edge over their

We saw many examples of this during the last parliamentary election, and
there are early signs that we will see more in the next one a few months
away. For instance, in 2000 some aspiring MPs wantonly stretched the limits
of good taste and electoral legality by offering various "inducements" to
the mostly rural electorate that cheapened and compromised the whole
political process. Controversial, brazen and shameless as the offers of
money to the voters were, they helped to push some onto the political gravy

I don't know what "benefits" have accrued to the voters in the affected
constituencies from having such characters as MPs for the last five years,
but all the signs are that it has been a rather good and beneficial tenure
for "honourable" MPs themselves!

It is no wonder one senior official lamented how the ruling party has been
prostituted by self-serving mafikizolo fifth columnists! I have also noted
how gifts are flying all over Tsholotsho constituency as several big
political egos position themselves to be its MP in the next parliament.
Mugabe propagandist Jonathan Moyo, who seems to have also appointed himself
to the position of "more Zanu PF than anybody else" would seem to have a
head start over the other aspiring candidates.

He is aggressive and ruthless in a way that often seems worrying, and would
appear to have mysteriously bottomless pockets.

He has donated blankets and computers to various groups of his would-be
constituents, among many other gifts. Moyo's generosity is splashed in the
state media he controls with equal generosity, often accompanied by a glossy
colour portrait of a benevolently smiling younger Moyo, perhaps taken five
or 10 years ago, carefully casting him on the mould of the dashing young
saviour of Tsholotsho!

If you divide the purported values of the computers and blankets he has
donated by their number, you find that they are all apparently top dollar,
top of the range luxury items! Either that or the values we are given are
completely fictitious, pure propaganda of a type we have become rather
accustomed to since Moyo and George Charamba began running the department of
"information and publicity!"

As to where all the money is coming from, that question only betrays that
those who ask it are ordinary working stiffs struggling in Zimbabwe's tough
times. If you were a passenger of a minister on the Mugabe gravy train, you
would not ask such silly questions. While those out of favour may be jailed
for months with no legal recourse for miscellaneous crimes, if you are a
flavour-of-the-month minister you can sell your South African house without
anyone asking where and how you got the money to buy it in the first place,
and what you did with the presumably "external" funds you received from
selling it!

Zanu PF enforcer Joseph Chinotimba has reportedly done rather well for
himself since being used so effectively during the last election to strike
terror in Zanu PF and Mugabe opponents. He has reportedly "won" some
lucrative state service tenders from which in less than five years he has
made enough money to be in a position to donate "gifts" to the voters of the
Glen Norah he would like to be MP of to the tune of $250 million, including
hundreds of pairs of shoes and a vehicle!

Although apparently doing very well materially, Chinotimba longs to be taken
seriously and is making his second attempt to become a ruling party MP,
thereby extending his tenure and security on the gravy train.

From the huge, free front page campaign colour picture of the benevolent
Chinotimba, helpfully featured by the Herald, it looked like the shoes were
used, making a certain cynic question the value attached to the donation.
Perhaps the sums were done using the same generous calculator used to value
Moyo's donations! And hmm, I wonder how candidates like Moyo and Chinotimba
are so brazenly able to use the state media to help their campaigns with
free publicity? I smell a rat here somewhere.

Given the Chinotimba jokes that continue to fly back and forth by cell-phone
SMS and email, Glen Norah is going to become a laughing stock if Chinotimba
somehow works his way to being its MP. He might have been a fearsome and
effective enforcer of terror for Zanu PF, but to imagine him as a serious MP
given his buffoonery is a little difficult!

But all this just illustrates the levels to which the formerly great Zanu PF
has sunk. Yes sir, it's the age of the fifth columnist mafikizolos in Zanu
PF, forget about principle and the good of the nation! The mercenaries we
must most worry about are no longer Western dogs of war, but those among us!

Chido Makunike is a regular columnist of the Zimbabwe Independent
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Zim Independent

Playing with numbers in parliament
By Trudy Stevenson
IF you really want to impress someone, quote statistics. Statistics can
prove anything, manipulated the way you want, and few dare challenge the
figures - at least in public.

Just so the voting pattern in parliament. "All those in favour say "Aye".
Those against say "No". "I think the Ayes have it. Yes, the Ayes have it.
The Bill is therefore adopted."

On really contentious matters when a division is called, members line up and
are carefully counted and recorded as voting Aye or No, and the figures are
quoted in both Hansard and the media.

On almost all those occasions in this Fifth Parliament (2000-2005) the
majority has been clearly Zanu PF, and so an increasing array of Bills
reducing citizens' rights in clear contravention of the Constitution and the
oath of loyalty sworn by all members have sailed through to become law: the
Public Order and Security Act (Posa), the Access to Information and
Protection of Privacy Act (Aippa), the Land Acquisition (Amendment) Act, the
Rural Land Occupiers (Prevention from Eviction) Act, the Citizenship
Amendment Act, the Acquisition of Farm Equipment or Material Act, the
Broadcasting Services Act, the Criminal Procedure and Evidence (Amendment)
Act and the Bank Use Promotion and Anti Money-Laundering Act.

Not forgetting of course passing the budget every year despite vigorous
protests, setting up privileges inquiries into opposition members' behaviour
while failing to do so for members of the ruling party, overturning some
motions and passing others .the list goes on.

Yet the number of votes in every case is subject to question, for the simple
reason that 39 people sitting in the House faced High Court challenges to
their June 2000 general election result, and judgements only started being
handed down in January 2001. Of these, seven MDC petitions were successful,
but the Zanu PF MPs have appealed to the Supreme Court and remain sitting
and voting in parliament until those appeals are heard and judgement handed

Eleven were dismissed and the Zanu PF wins confirmed, but of those six have
appealed and await hearing. Five have not yet been completed. Sixteen
petitioners did not proceed for various reasons: the petitioner or the
"winner" died, one disappeared, some came to agreement with the "winner",
some just became exasperated with the inordinate delays.

Of the 40 election petitions, only one was brought by a Zanu PF candidate
against the MDC "winner" in Seke, where sadly Ben Tumbare-Mutasa recently
died and the challenger, Phineas Chihota, "won unopposed", so cannot proceed
with his court appeal. Apart from one Zimbabwe Union of Democrats petition
against a result also contested by MDC which was not proceeded with, the
rest - 38 - were all filed by MDC candidates against Zanu PF "winners".

Do not forget in this number game that the courts themselves have been in
considerable disarray since 2000, with judges leaving, being intimidated,
arrested and dismissed, and with unheard-of mishaps such as tapes of the
court records being stolen from a locked office in the High Court, as
happened in the Tsvangirai v Manyonda petition!

Suppose all 38 Zanu PF and one MDC "challenged MPs" voted, and suppose their
elections are found to be irregular, so that their votes should in fact not
be included in the totals. I do not believe there has been a single Bill or
motion passed with a majority of as many as 38. Now add the 38 to the MDC
vote, bearing in mind that in fact the MDC could have had as many as 38
extra MPs in parliament at the beginning. The implication is that all of
those Bills and motions would not have been adopted.

Let us, however, be fair and admit that it is most unlikely that all the
"challenged MPs" would have voted at any time. Suppose that only half of
them voted; 19. Even then, the Bills and motions would have failed. I cite
for example the vote in June this year on Philip Chiyangwa's motion on
"Actions by the MDC" when the House divided with 53 Ayes (Zanu PF) and 25
Noes (MDC). The result would have been 34 Ayes and 44 Noes, and the motion
would not have been adopted.

Even where there was no division but the volume of the Ayes and Noes,
clearly the MDC side would in every case have been louder and its members
would have challenged any pronouncement that their side had lost.

What does it all mean? It means, unfortunately, that most of what has
happened in parliament could be cancelled, because everything has been based
on false premises. It means in particular that not one of those iniquitous
Bills would have been passed.

Citizens - including members of parliament - would not be harassed and
arrested by police because of their misinterpretation of Posa (I am the
first to admit that the Act is not quite as draconian as the ZRP's
misinterpretation of "notification" to mean "permission").

They would be able to assemble, discuss, demonstrate, march and generally
enjoy their constitutional right to freedom of assembly, movement and speech
without interference. Independent and foreign journalists would be going
about their business without hindrance and we would all be able to read the
Daily News, the Tribune and possibly several new papers. We would be able to
listen to Capital Radio and Radio Dialogue, watch Joy TV and probably have
several new choices. Just imagine!

The entire fast track land resettlement programme would have been done
properly under rule of law with due notice, compensation, etc. Government,
chefs, so-called war vets or whoever would not have been able to "acquire"
farm equipment without payment or possibility of recourse to the courts.

Zimbabwe would not be short of food. We would not have scared away both
investors and producers, and we would have foreign currency reserves from
agricultural exports. Indeed, our economy would be strong and we would have
three million extra brains, currently drained into the diaspora, here at
home building our country.

The implications go on and on - and the enormity of what has happened in the
parliament of Zimbabwe and its repercussions on the people of Zimbabwe
begins to dawn upon us.

Now let us go back to the original numbers - 38 + 1. Supposing that
parliament had not started sitting until those 38 + 1 challenges had been
settled, and it was found that perhaps half - 19 - should not have won and
their opposing candidates - MDC - were declared the winners. This would have
meant that the MDC had won 57 + 19 - 1 = 75 seats, against 44 to Zanu PF. So
the MDC would in fact have won the general election, having a majority in
the House of 120 elected seats. However, since Mugabe still had another two
years as president, he still retained the power to appoint directly or
indirectly 30 members (governors, chiefs and non-constituency MPs), so Zanu
PF would have had 74, the MDC would have had 75 and Zanu-Ndonga would have
retained its 1 seat. A very close thing indeed!

Suppose instead that all 38 challenges were upheld. MDC would have had 57 +
38 - 1 = 94 seats, Zanu PF 26 elected + 30 appointed = 56. Here the MDC
would have been in a clear majority in the House, and even Mugabe's
appointed cabinet would have been defeated at the vote in the House, so that
his "government" should properly have resigned at the first instance of
this, if not before (ie refuse to be appointed, as happens so often in
Italy, etc).

What is the solution? In my view, we should not simply shrug our shoulders
and accept the injustice of what has happened to Zimbabwe without a fight.
It is not enough to say that there will be a special court for the next
election to deal with election petitions within six months - welcome though
that change would be. Many thousands, indeed millions of Zimbabweans, have
suffered injustice because of the serious anomalies arising out of this
numbers game in parliament - and the deliberate delays and manipulation of
the just-ice system by the executive.

I submit that, without interference, our courts could have dealt with those
election petitions within a year at most, and our country might be a very
different place from the very sorry state it is in today.

Trudy Stevenson is MDC member of parliament for Harare North.
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