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

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Zimbabwe seen in deeper hole after constitution vote
Wed Aug 31, 2005 8:42 AM ET
By John Chiahemen
JOHANNESBURG, Aug 31 (Reuters) - The constitutional tightening of President
Robert Mugabe's grip on power has all but dashed South African hopes of
mediating an end to Zimbabwe's crisis or keeping it in the IMF, analysts
said on Wednesday.

Mugabe rammed constitutional changes through his ZANU-PF dominated
parliament on Tuesday giving his government powers to nationalise
white-owned commercial farms, re-introduce an upper chamber Senate and
restrict suspected dissidents.

"Essentially we are seeing a regression, not progress in resolving
Zimbabwe's crisis," said Chris Maroleng, specialist on Zimbabwe at the
Pretoria-based Institute for Security Studies.

He said it was now difficult to see how South Africa can persuade a
supremacist ZANU-PF to negotiate power sharing with the opposition, a move
seen by African leaders as key to ending five years of political and
economic crisis in Zimbabwe.

Mugabe also now looks less likely to accept South Africa's widely reported
offer to help pay Zimbabwe's $295 million arrears to the IMF to prevent
Harare's expulsion, in return for Mugabe agreeing some political

Senior Zimbabwean officials have scorned any idea of accepting conditions
set by South Africa. Zimbabwe is also unlikely to agree IMF demands for
fiscal reforms to mend an economy struggling with a jobless rate of over 70
percent, triple digit inflation and acute shortages, analysts say.

An IMF mission is wrapping up two weeks of talks in Harare on Wednesday, and
Zimbabwe looks likely to face expulsion next month. Neither side has
commented publicly on the talks.

"It is now much more difficult for the IMF mission not to recommend the
expulsion of Zimbabwe from the Fund," Maroleng said. "For one thing the
amendment will effectively lead to bigger government where, in the IMF's
view, government spending should essentially be reduced," he added.

Other analysts said the IMF would first have to garner the necessary 85
percent vote for expulsion from IMF member states, among which are African
states supportive of Mugabe.

South African President Thabo Mbeki has failed in two years to persuade a
confident Mugabe to hold talks between ZANU-PF and the opposition Movement
for Democratic Change (MDC).

Mugabe denies opposition charges of vote rigging and calls the MDC a puppet
of Britain and other Western powers he says want "regime change" in Harare.
The government recently rejected mediation by an African Union appointed

The new Senate will have 66 members, six of them appointed by Mugabe, who
can already appoint 20 lower house members.

The amendments on land appropriation will effectively bar white farmers from
using the courts to challenge the seizure of their property under Mugabe's
land reform programme, which economists say has ruined a once-thriving
agricultural sector.

The government will also be able to wield new weapons against political
opponents, imposing travel bans on Zimbabweans suspected of engaging in
terrorist training abroad or who have called for sanctions or military
action against Zimbabwe.

"The legislators have failed in their duty to protect all their constituents
from the endless attacks on their basic rights and freedoms," said Zimbabwe
Lawyers for Human Rights.

A likely new bill could repeal a requirement for elections to be held in 90
days should the president die or be incapacitated. This would allow Mugabe
to pick a successor without subjecting him or her to an electoral contest.

Some analysts said that on the positive side, the amendments could lead to
further constitutional changes that would allow Mugabe, 81, and in power
since independence from Britain in 1980, to become a ceremonial president.

© Reuters 2005. All Rights Reserved.

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      Zim pays IMF $120m
      Aug 31 2005 09:56:14:833PM

      Harare - Zimbabwe has paid back $120m of its $300m (?245m) debt to the
International Monetary Fund (IMF), which had threatened to expel Harare for
arrears, state television said on Wednesday.
      "Zimbabwe has managed to pay $120m to the IMF out of its own resources
as part of efforts aimed at servicing its international debt," said a

      Commitment to turn around

      "This development is a source of immense national pride as it
demonstrates the country's unwavering commitment to turn around its economic

      Finance Minister Herbert Murerwa told AFP that it proved "that no one
can write off Zimbabwe as yet," and that we "can still do things on our

      An IMF team is currently in Zimbabwe for key talks which were extended
by two days and ended on Wednesday.

      Zimbabwe's powerful neighbour South Africa earlier this month agreed
to step in with a loan to ensure that Harare retains its IMF membership.

      Tentative agreement

      Talks held in Pretoria three weeks ago reportedly yielded a tentative
agreement on a loan of between $200m to $500m including about $100m to be
paid to the IMF.

      The news bulletin however quoted the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe as
saying that said the amount paid back however "does not nullify or close
present negotations with South Africa" on a bail-out loan.

      Zimbabwe's economy has shrunk by 30% in the past four years following
the seizures in 2000 of about 4 500 white-owned commercial farms which sent
agricultural production plummetting.

      Drought and sanctions

      President Robert Mugabe's government has blamed drought and sanctions
by the European Union and the United States for the country's economic
decline, characterised by triple-digit inflation and high unemployment.

      Murerwa recently presented a supplementary budget to pay wages, import
food and build new housing, after admitting that targets for economic growth
and inflation would be missed.

      Inflation, already hovering at 164.3% in June, shot up to 254.8% in
July, dealing a blow to the government's goal of bringing inflation down to
80% by year end.

      The government is also spending on housing reconstruction in the wake
of an internationally-condemned urban cleanup campaign in which shacks,
market stalls, shops and homes were demolished.

      No meltdown

      Meanwhile, South African Foreign Minister Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma on
Wednesday warned that an economic meltdown or collapse of Zimbabwe would not
be in the interest of the continent or of humanity.

      "We do not want a meltdown in Zimbabwe so that there is a total
collapse... because who has to gain from a total collapse in Zimbabwe?" she
told the South African parliament in Cape Town.

      "None of us, not South Africa, not Zimbabwe, not Africa, not
humanity," wanted that, she said.

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Business Day

SA in the dark about Zimbabwe paying back IMF loan

GOVERNMENT says it is not aware that Zimbabwe has paid part of its loan to
the International Monetary Fund (IMF), Government communication and
Information Systems head Joel Netshitenzhe said today.

"In response to media queries we wish to indicate that the government is not
aware of any formal communication on Zimbabwe's payment of part of its loan
to the IMF," said Netshitenzhe.

"If the reports are accurate this is a development we would welcome since it
would mean that they have found a solution to immediate pressure."

He reiterated that the funds did not come from Pretoria. Government would
await formal communication on this matter, he said.

Zimbabwe recently held talks with an IMF mission to that country over debt
arrears totalling $300m.

Media reports earlier this week said the risk of Zimbabwe being expelled
from the IMF had risen as the mission had been unable to secure a serious
commitment to economic reforms and debt repayment from Zimbabwe.

Earlier this month Cabinet agreed in principle to a loan to Zimbabwe to
ensure it retains its IMF membership.

However no details on the proposed size of the loan or its possible
conditions have been made public.
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Zimbabwe bans hunting to protect elephants-paper

Aug 31, 2005 - HARARE (Reuters) - Zimbabwe, home to thousands of elephants,
has banned safari hunting in the western districts of Dete and Hwange to
protect a "presidential" elephant herd, the official Herald newspaper said
on Wednesday.

"We have banned hunting activities in those areas where we find the
presidential herd of elephants for sanity and order to prevail," the paper
quoted Tourism and Environment Minister Francis Nhema as saying.

The paper did not explain what it meant by "presidential" or whether the
herd was owned by President Robert Mugabe.

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Nhema and tourism ministry officials were not immediately available for
comment on Wednesday.

Safari tourism in the area has been in steep decline since 2000 when Mugabe
loyalists invaded farms and other land in support of the government's
controversial seizure of white-owned farmland.

Conservationists have complained that rampant poaching has accompanied the
invasions amid a breakdown of law and order in the countryside.

"As a result of the illegal hunting we lost business because our clients
were scared away by the dead animals they saw on their tours and the
shooting done by the hunters," the Herald quoted an official from one tour
operator as saying.

With tens of thousands of elephants, Zimbabwe has one of the largest
populations of the giant beasts in Africa.
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Children living in borderland limbo

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

MUSINA/BEITBRIDGE, 31 Aug 2005 (IRIN) - Lucas Mavhube, 17, sat hiding under
a clump of bushes in the dark, a few kilometres from the border gates at
Beitbridge, Zimbabwe, waiting for an opportunity to slip through the fence
that separates his country from South Africa.

"I waited and waited. My time came when I saw some soldiers go past the
security [gate], late in the night - the guards were distracted, and I then
slipped through." He is now in the South African border town of Musina,
scratching a living as an "undocumented migrant."

Mavhube is among scores of Zimbabwean children who risk life and limb to
slip through the security cordon on either side of the fence and cross the
crocodile-infested Limpopo river that marks the border, motivated by the
need to find jobs to uplift their families and a better life for themselves.

An aid worker with a local NGO that provides support to migrant Zimbabwean
children said, "After that [crossing the river] there is a 12 km trek to the
town of Musina. They try to keep to the bushes, away from the prying eyes of
authority." Mavhube was found wandering in the streets by one of the NGO's

After his mother died in 1997, Mavhube could no longer afford his school
fees in Chiredzi, a town in Masvingo province in southern Zimbabwe. He did
odd jobs when he could, while his grandmother, a vegetable vendor, supported
three younger siblings.

"But there is no food now - the situation got very desperate," he said. "I
thought I should leave so I can earn something in South Africa to help my

Zimbabwe is going through a severe economic crisis and facing serious food
shortages due to recurring droughts and the government's fast-track land
redistribution programme, which disrupted agricultural production and
slashed export earnings.

Mavhube and five other Zimbabwean teenagers do odd jobs around Musina in an
attempt to earn enough money to get to another South African city,
preferably Johannesburg, where they think there are better opportunities.

"Often, children have other siblings, relatives or friends working in South
African cities and they just pass through Musina. But children like Mavhube,
who do not know anyone else in South Africa, hang around in Musina or
Makhado [a neighbouring town]. We try to provide them with shelter, a place
to bathe in, wash their clothes, play, study and plan their next move," an
aid worker explained.

The NGO is aware of at least 100 Zimbabwean children who have crossed the
border illegally since the beginning of this year. "These are children that
we came to know of - there are probably many more who were smuggled in
unnoticed," the aid worker said.

According to the Geneva-based International Organisation for Migration
(IOM), at least 2,000 Zimbabweans are deported from South Africa via
Beitbridge every week.

"In 2003 the South African authorities deported 55,753 Zimbabweans without
official documents. Figures for this year are likely to be higher, with
24,000 irregular Zimbabwean migrants being deported between January and
March alone. Deportees are both male and female, and aged from in their
teens and upwards, but the reason for deportation is always the lack of
legal documentation," said IOM spokeswoman Nicola Simmonds.

"It is easier for teenage girls to cross the border - they often offer sex
in exchange for transport to truck or combi [minibus] drivers - girls even
as young as 14 years. It is also more difficult for authorities to track
them down, as once they make it across the border they assume married
identities, but who will marry a teenage boy?" remarked an aid worker.

There were few job opportunities for unskilled Zimbabweans back home,
remarked Elias Gwamure, 16. "None of us could finish school, as we could not
afford it, so there is little we can do."

Many teenagers in Beitbridge are waiting for a lift - preferably unnoticed -
across the border. With their thumbs in the air, they line the sides of the
highway through the town and almost 30 km beyond, while scores of adults and
children sit at the petrol stations in town, begging for any foreign
currency that could help buy them a trip out.

"I don't have a passport - most of us don't. Getting a lift is the only way
out," said a waiting Zimbabwean teenager. They sit for hours and even days
in the blazing sun, after having made it to Beitbridge from towns as far as
300 km away; they live off offerings from passers-by, or sell bags of
oranges for local farmers.

Many of them have already had a brush with the South African authorities.

"Once caught, the Zimbabweans are transported to Beitbridge. They are
usually denied access to their belongings after being caught, and so often
arrive empty-handed and needing to bathe, eat, rest and receive
counselling," said Simmonds. According to IOM, many deportees often do not
have enough funds to either attempt another crossing or return home, and
usually remain in town.

In collaboration with the Zimbabwean and South African government, IOM is to
set up a reception and support centre at the Beitbridge border in October,
to provide humanitarian assistance to Zimbabwean migrants deported from
South Africa.

"The reception centre, funded by the British government's Department for
International Development (DFID), will help the deported migrants with
transportation, food rations, basic healthcare, and information on HIV/AIDS
and irregular migration issues, including human trafficking and smuggling,"
said Simmonds.

A tripartite dialogue between IOM and the ministries of home affairs in
South Africa and Zimbabwe on issues of cross border migration will also be
initiated, she added.

Although there are no reliable data on the number of undocumented Zimbabwean
migrants in South Africa, the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe estimated that last
year 1.2 million Zimbabweans were living across the border.

*The names of the children have been changed to protect their identities

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S. Africa Urged to Rethink Zimbabwe Ties

Associated Press Writer

CAPE TOWN, South Africa (AP) -- The Zimbabwean parliament's approval of
constitutional restrictions on civil liberties has fueled calls here for
President Thabo Mbeki to reconsider his policy of gentle diplomacy with his
northern neighbor.

Despite mounting concerns that Zimbabwe could face an economic and social
meltdown, the opposition Democratic Alliance has pushed for Mbeki to
withdraw an offer to loan the country money to avoid expulsion from the
International Monetary Fund for falling behind on loan payments.

Pressure has been mounting for Mbeki to make the loan - which his Cabinet
agreed to in principle - conditional on political and economic reforms.

But the South African leader cautioned that pushing Zimbabwean President
Robert Mugabe too hard, or criticizing him too publicly, would be

"I don't think we should deceive ourselves that we have some magic wand that
we can wave and get Zimbabwe to change if it doesn't want to change,"
Foreign Minister Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma said during a heated parliamentary
session Wednesday. "That's the honest truth."

"What is important that Zimbabwe consists of millions of Zimbabweans. We
must not treat Zimbabwe as if we were talking about one person ... as that
will not solve the problems," she said. "If we care about human beings then
we must care about what happens to those Zimbabweans if there is a meltdown
or total collapse of the economy."

The size and terms of the loan have not been disclosed and, despite meetings
between both countries' central bank governors, Zimbabwe has not publicly
accepted the offer. That has prompted speculation that Mugabe can't accept
it with strings attached.

Dlamini-Zuma said her government would not "force" Mugabe to accept the

Government spokesman Joel Netshitenze said that the loan was not discussed
at Wednesday's regular Cabinet meeting.

Some analysts said Mbeki's reluctance to predicate the loan on reforms
underscored the difficulty of dealing with Mugabe, who has come under
international criticism for his crackdown on civil liberties and his land
expropriation policies.

"If the loan agreement had been signed on understanding that things would
get better afterward, it would be deeply embarrassing for the South African
government," said political analyst Steven Friedman, a senior research
fellow at South Africa's Center for Policy Studies.

He said South Africa was unlikely to officially withdraw the offer, but
could quietly let it lapse as the IMF process takes its course.

The IMF board meets Sept. 9 and could decide to expel Zimbabwe for falling
$295 million in arrears.

The constitutional amendments approved Tuesday, the 17th since independence
from Britain in 1980, strip landowners of their right to appeal
expropriation and declare that all real estate is now on a 99-year lease
from the government.

Legislators also give the government authority to deny passports if it is
deemed in the national interest - a provision that Zimbabwean Justice
Minister Patrick Chinamasa said Tuesday would be used to stop government
critics from traveling.

Zimbabwe's opposition Movement for Democratic Change described the
constitutional vote as a "dark day for democracy," and called on regional
leaders like Mbeki to reconsider their support for Mugabe. It said approval
of the amendments destroyed any hope of agreement with donors for
desperately needed aid.

The move sounded alarms in South Africa.

"President Thabo Mbeki's diplomacy on Zimbabwe is facing its most critical
test yet, and by all indications it is still failing," said the Johannesburg
daily Business Day in an editorial Wednesday.

The Independent newspaper said there appeared to be no limit to how far the
ruling Zimbabwe African National Union-Patriotic Front "will go to maintain
its grip on power.

"The incalculable damage to the country's instruments of governance, its
economy and its people seems to be of no consequence," the Independent said.

The seizure of white-owned commercial farms and years of drought have
crippled Zimbabwe's agriculture-based economy. Some 4 million Zimbabweans
are in urgent need of food aid in what was once a regional breadbasket,
according to U.N. estimates.

Friedman said South Africa's quiet diplomacy had now become "untenable," but
he predicted little immediate change.

"They will say mildly nice things about Mugabe in public but keep putting
pressure on him in private," he said.

© 2005 The Associated Press.
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"Third way" runs into criticism

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

BULAWAYO, 31 Aug 2005 (IRIN) - Reviled by both sides of the political divide
in Zimbabwe, sacked information minister Jonathan Moyo is back at the centre
of controversy, promoting a "third way" to break the logjam between the
ruling party and its main opposition.

Moyo, the only independent candidate to win a seat in the parliamentary
elections in March, argues that his United People's Movement (UPM) offers an
alternative to ZANU-PF's 25-year grip on power, and the labour-backed
Movement for Democratic Change (MDC), which has lost three elections in a
row since 2000, in ballots many regard as rigged.

Although the initiative has stirred discussion in a country suffering
triple-digit inflation, food shortages, savage unemployment and critical
foreign exchange shortages, the debate remains coloured by the image of Moyo
himself - first a staunch former critic of the government, then one of its
most ardent ministers, now a new party leader.

According to Moyo, the UPM is a "synthesis of the dialectic between ZANU-PF
and the MDC", and an idea that has attracted disgruntled elements in both
parties. The goals of the "third way" are to provide "a pragmatic
ideological and policy alternative" for charting a way out of Zimbabwe's
crisis, and to "succeed where the MDC has failed".

"As a sunset political party going through an inevitably bitter [internal]
succession struggle, ZANU-PF no longer has the capacity to govern, and
govern well," Moyo told IRIN. The MDC, on the other hand, believes "it can
come to power on the strength of protest votes produced by the ineptitude
and brutality of the ZANU-PF", but had become "trapped by the web of protest

However, University of Zimbabwe political scientist John Makumbe commented
that what Zimbabwe needed most at present was political dialogue between the
MDC and ZANU-PF - not the introduction of more parties.

"Currently there is so much polarisation in Zimbabwe, there can only be two
horses in the political field, which are ZANU-PF and the MDC - there is no
space for the so-called third way," said Makumbe.

"Jonathan Moyo must not fool himself into thinking that he can win the
people's support," Makumbe added. "His brutality against progressive forces,
and his unbridled hate for opposition politicians, is well documented."

As information minister for five years, Moyo was an abrasive defender of the
government, and spearheaded the draconian Access to Information and
Protection of Privacy Act: legislation for controlling the media that has
seen the arrest of more than 100 journalists and the closure of four private
newspapers in the past four years.

Moyo has, however, attracted audiences when he has spoken publically about
the third way, winning applause, especially from college students. His
willingness to stand up to ZANU-PF after being sacked in 2005 for his role
in organising resistance to President Robert Mugabe's succession plans has
earned him the admiration of some Zimbabweans.

But for civil society activists and past opponents, like National
Constitutional Assembly Chairman Lovemore Madhuku, the third way initiative
is tainted by association with Moyo.

"Little is known about it and if it is a credible movement at all, it can
only succeed when reputable people take charge, and not the likes of Moyo -
he has no credibility with the people, who justifiably dismiss him as a
disillusioned former ZANU-PF die-hard," said Madhuku.

Thokozani Sibanda, a civic activist, wondered aloud, "What is it that the
MDC has failed to do, that Moyo and his UPM think they will achieve?"

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SA 'can't force Mugabe'
31/08/2005 20:00  - (SA)

Donwald Pressly

Cape Town - Foreign Minister Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma told parliament on
Wednesday that South Africa could not force Zimbabwe to take a loan to
resolve its problems with the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

In reply to to Democratic Alliance (DA) MP Joe Seremane in the National
Assembly, Dlamini-Zuma said she did not know how one could force Zimbabwe
and President Robert Mugabe into taking a loan from South Africa.

Dlamini-Zuma said: "Do you just deposit (it) into an account... is that what
you mean?

"I don't know what you mean ... to force him (President Mugabe) to take the
money. Maybe I will ask the minister of finance."

She, however, indicated that South Africa had asked the International
Monetary Fund to delay its decision - on the expulsion of Zimbabwe - until
September 9.

Dlamini-Zuma also indicated that the problems of Zimbabwe should not be
placed on the shoulder of one person - clearly referring to Mugabe.

One should not "try and talk about Zimbabwe as if it was one person".

Referring to Seremane who asked whether Mugabe should not be allowed to
"stew in his own juice", she said: "I don't understand your wish for a total
collapse of Zimbabwe ... it will affect millions and millions of

South Africa's cabinet has taken a decision in principle to assist Zimbabwe
and its treasury and the South African Reserve Bank have been involved in
negotiating details of the assistance.

However, there has been resistance from Zimbabwe's government to conditions
which South Africa wishes to place on the assistance.

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Last Updated: Wednesday, 31 August 2005, 18:10 GMT 19:10 UK
Opposing Mugabe 'no easy task'
John Simpson
By John Simpson
BBC world affairs editor

It seemed almost inevitable that last week's strike in protest against the bulldozing of illegal housing in Harare and elsewhere would be a flop.

Opposing President Robert Mugabe is not easy.

Group protesting against Zimbabwe government
Protesting against the government requires a lot of courage

The media in Zimbabwe, now entirely under the strictest of controls, carried no mention of the strikes.

The main opposition party, the Movement for Democratic Change, joined in only the day before they were due to take place.

The police warned that they would attack any street protests ruthlessly.

That meant they would shoot people down in the streets if necessary.

So coming out in protest required serious courage. And in any society - let alone a quiet, essentially gentle one like Zimbabwe - not many people are prepared to become martyrs.

Even those who are, know that their efforts will often be vitiated.

President Mugabe's men have infiltrated every opposition group inside Zimbabwe.

The police know what they are planning as soon as they have reached agreement.

This infiltration has now spread to Britain, where government supporters appear at opposition meetings and sometimes openly threaten the people there.

Mr Mugabe, sensing his opponents' weakness, attacked them last week in the only places where they matter: the capital, Harare, and two or three other centres of population.

By bulldozing the ramshackle huts which illegal street-traders have built for themselves, he was striking a blow at the people who hate him most.

The police forced some people at gunpoint to pull down their own houses.

Market traders

Thirty thousand people are thought to have been arrested.

The traders have often drifted to the cities because of the collapse of the rural economy.

They deal in black market goods, especially sugar, and act as illegal money-changers, where people can turn the rands and pounds and dollars which their friends abroad send them into Zimbabwean currency.

And they usually provide the foot-soldiers for any anti-government demonstrations which may be going.

Now, they have to live rough in the cold of the southern hemisphere winter.

Eventually, many will start drifting back home.

It is another victory for Mr Mugabe.

As ever, he has an impressive explanation: "The current chaotic state of affairs where small- to medium-scale enterprises operated outside the regulatory framework and in undesignated and crime-ridden areas could not be countenanced much longer," he declared.

I have met and interviewed Robert Mugabe on various occasions over the years.

He likes giving his opinions, but you sense as he listens to your questions that he has little but contempt for you.

The outside world shows little serious interest in Zimbabwe, beyond indulging in occasional ritual condemnation of him

He is used to feeling cleverer and more articulate than anyone he comes into contact with - and he despises those he thinks are less intelligent than he is.

Which happens to be most people.

As a result he has done as he likes with Zimbabwe, wrecking the lives of most of its inhabitants.

So far he has got away with it.

His ministers and his security chiefs are not necessarily evil people, though many of them have become corrupt through serving him.

If it were not for him, most would probably be reasonable enough public servants.

He dominates them utterly. They find themselves, one of his former ministers told me, tongue-tied and stupid in his presence.

It is impossible to argue with him, even if anyone dared to do so.

Free society

So what can the outside world do about a man who ruins his own country and murders his own people, yet cannot apparently be dislodged from within?

No-one is going to invade Zimbabwe, that is for sure. After all, it does not possess oil. South Africa, which could bring down Mr Mugabe through economic pressure if it chose, has clearly decided to do nothing of the sort.

In any decent, free society, the Mugabe government's actions would be regarded as a serious crime against human rights.

The entire resources of a once wealthy state have been used to enslave it and make it destitute.

Robert Mugabe has not done all this on his own. Without his ministers, his civil servants, his policemen and soldiers, his regime would collapse.

Police officers in Zimbabwe patrolling on a farm
Many 'illegal' street traders have come from rural areas

The outside world shows little serious interest in Zimbabwe, beyond indulging in occasional ritual condemnation of him.

France has moderately friendly relations with him still.

And although the Catholic hierarchy in Zimbabwe has been among his bravest opponents, the Vatican still managed to give him international recognition by inviting him to the funeral of Pope John Paul II.

If the international community cared about Zimbabwe, it would try the president and his senior officials in absentia for their crimes.

This would be a salutary reminder that serving an octogenarian with no clear successor is a short-term and dangerous thing to do. The day of reckoning is coming closer.

There would be no shortage of evidence, from President Mugabe's appalling massacres in Matabeleland in the 1980s right down to the present day.

Short of a national uprising, there is probably no stopping Robert Mugabe, who has slaughtered so many of his people and ruined the lives of the rest.

But if his closest supporters understood that they would have to pay the price for his crimes, they might be less willing to serve him so slavishly.

Your comments:

There is a major problem in that there is no viable and strong opposition in Zimbabwe. The MDC is opposition of sorts, but to many, the party is neither ready nor fit to govern. Maybe, better the devil you know. The last elections have cemented the fact that Mugabe will have a grip on Zimbabwe until the day he dies, even if he does retire in 2008! The scariest bit is that even those who wish to replace him from within his party do not come across as being the sort of people who will make a change for Zimbabwe. The people of Zimbabwe are a gentle and hardworking people as can be seen in the many NHS hospitals in this country. If they weren't, Ian Smith may not have lasted as long as he did! Like a lot of other African countries, Zimbabwe is going to have to hit rock bottom before it has a chance to bounce back and that will be when a new community minded and honest group (probably presently unknown) win control. After Zimbabwe, watch out for Namibia and South Africa ! to have their growing pains.
Benjamin, Birmingham, UK (previously Harare, Zimbabwe)

What utter propaganda from John Simpson! This is the same kind of rhetoric and demonizing that got the US into trouble in Iraq. The people of Zimbabwe are not stupid, nor weaklings. They in their majority have accepted and voted for their government, warts and all. Those who complain are mostly disgruntled 'Rhodie' whites, misinformed foreigners and general malcontents with power-hunger ambitions. All this because Mugabe had the courage to take back land that was stolen from the people of Zimbabwe. Let us not ignore the psychological impact of that on Africans. Do you not wonder why he gets a standing ovation wherever he goes in Africa? You cannot orchestrate that kind of reaction. All this comes down to is Western fury at the loss of white privilege and the subversive example that creates.
George Dash, Canada

I'm afraid that my respect for Nelson Mandela has fallen enormously as a result of his inactivity over Zimbabwe. No one in the South African government can seriously believe that Mugabe rules through the democratic will of the people. They can do something about it (any intervention by the UK would be dismissed as racist, of course). And the fact that they haven't is a very sad indictment. After so many years of the wrongs of the empire and UDI, you can understand why some think that any form of self rule is better than what preceded it, but, in this case, that is clearly not true.
Richard Morris, UK

John Simpson is an astute and analytical observer. It is a pity though that even though he recognizes the problem of the generality of Zimbabweans, he can not pass any policy on how outside governments can bail out the masses. A number of Western countries are not able at all to confront the Zimbabwean situation because they have nothing to gain. If there was oil in Zimbabwe, or any other interests of the Western world, we would have seen an immediate intervention long time ago. Zimbabwe today is a sad state. It is shameful for anyone to identify himself/herself as Zimbabwean as this would automatically render feelings of resentment and abhorrence. How long will the whole world watch from a distance without taking steps to make sure that such dictatorship is not allowed to prevail?
Sikhulile Nyathi, United Kingdom

Mr Simpson is right in saying the Zimbabweans are a quite and gentle group and it is for that very reason that they need the help of the outside, more able world to help them through this catastrophe. The world has watched for far too long as the independent press has been shut down, a lot of people have moved out and I hope it will not take another 'Sudan' for the world to help out. I'm sure with the help of BBC and the likes of Mr Simpson we will get that help soon
Roberto Chirasha, Washington DC, USA ex Harare

As a Zimbabwean in the 'diaspora', John Simpson's article hit the nail on the head. The world is indeed in a sorry state when a man like Mugabe is allowed to continue his dictatorial oppression unabated - simply because the country does not possess anything of 'value' to the international community. Well, here's a different example: how about the thousands upon thousands of wild animals, supposedly protected and most of them endangered, that have been slaughtered as a direct result of Mugabe's land-grab policies. Were those not worth saving?
Justin Marabini, London, UK

Mugabe should realise that 1980 was light years ago, and despite his academic intelligence, none of his policies have been implemented in reality with any dialogue, sensitivity, scale or appropriateness. He has perfected partisan self-exculpation and morbid self-justification to a fine level. Zimbabwe will probably undergo a second Chimurenga revolution between the state beneficiaries and the dispossessed. South Africa is seeing the crystal ball; the honeymoon is over.
DJ, Kingston, Canada

John Simpson's article is the most informed and insightful of any I have read about Zimbabwe. We who live here, long for change and to be part of the world again. It seems it is not ever going to happen.
Susan, Harare, Zimbabwe

This is true about Mugabe. He has a low regard of anyone especially if you are not a member of his tribe as shown by his previous statements that in a certain suburb of Harare that resides totem less people (in reference to citizens of Malawian origin). If he is that clever, have we ever heard the history of his father. Let us have it.
EJ, Harare, Zimbabwe

Illegal housing? Imagine the police with guns and dogs raiding the back gardens of houses in the Home Counties in England and burning all the garden sheds and glass houses. The purpose is fear and intimidation of those struggling to survive. To remind them that any uprising would be stopped with unlimited force. Mugabe's failed his people, his country...
Sisi, UK

In addition to Simpson's observations, it is important to note that Mugabe has been nourished on a political diet of flattery, sycophancy and shameless praise-singing. He now thinks he is a demigod beyond human error. Mugabe is impervious to any reason from any quota. His case is typical of all dictators - militarising the state, abuse of the police, lavishly rewarding his cronies, intimidating the population using the cruel Central Intelligence Organisation, and also personalising the presidency. Because of his greed for power and wealth, when he dies, his sycophants are going to go for each other's throats, creating more confusion.
Chenjerai Hove, Stavanger, Norway

Because you are unable to control Zimbabwe like a stooge, you call him all names. How was Zimbabwe, then Rhodesia, governed under Ian Smith? Blacks were killed everyday or doesn't that matter. I wish we in Africa had lots of Robert Mugabes. Stooges like Morgan Tsvangirai are a disgrace to Africa.
Kwasi Pabi, Accra, Ghana

The Simpson article, like most compiled by members of the western media about African leaders can best be described by just one word, nonsense. We Africans appreciate the concern of the outside world regarding issues in Africa but don't like people calling our leaders murderers. President Mugabe is a true African patriot and people hate him because he is not afraid to speak his mind.
Philip Buchanan, Morrisville, PA, USA

Thank you for this report. It's true. Mr Simpson you are the only one out there who cares for us Zimbabweans today. My friends and church mates will be sleeping outside because the destroyers are in my area. My question is: Where is the organisation called the United Nations if it's also for us. If possible tell its officials that they don't care. Shame on them. Maybe America might come to our help. But most of all we still have hope in God. May the world pray for us. Mr Simpson may God bless you.
Anonymous, Harare

I think there is another element that Mr Simpson did not mention: Any action by the western world to rectify this issue would be seen by sub-Sahara Africa as potentially racialist. After all, very few nations other than the United Kingdom give any coverage to the mismanagement of Zimbabwe.
John Cole, USA

John Simpson's report does not have anything new, which has not been said before. In a recent African poll Robert Mugabe came third in the greatest African ever because taking the land from the white minority was one of the greatest acts of the 20th century by an African. Greater than Mandela being made president.
Derrick Kerr, London, England

John Simpson is right - Zimbabwe has no oil or significant mineral wealth so is of no interest to the First world. However, I don't understand why full sanctions were imposed on the Ian Smith government for lesser crimes than Mr Mugabe is committing, come on the First world you have to put a stop to his nonsense!
Samantha Smit, Lusaka, Zambia

I just cannot understand why countries of the civilised world stand by and let his tyrant rule, we go into Iraq, Afghanistan, why not Zimbabwe?
Alan Bailey, New Mills, UK

Mr John Simpson's article about Zimbabwe is journalism at its best. He told the truth that the conventional press hides. My best wishes for Mr John Simpson.
Roberto Alvarez, Miami, Florida

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      Zimbabwean journalist acquitted in important test case

        New York, August 31, 2005-A magistrate in Zimbabwe's capital,
Harare, acquitted a journalist today on criminal charges of working without
accreditation for the now-banned Daily News, according to his lawyer.
Observers say the ruling in favor of Kelvin Jakachira could set an important
precedent for several other former Daily News journalists facing the same

        Jakachira was accused of working for the paper between January and
September 2003 without the government license required by the Access to
Information and Protection of Privacy Act (AIPPA). The Daily News,
Zimbabwe's only independent daily, was forced to close in September 2003
after the Supreme Court ruled that it was operating illegally under AIPPA.

        Magistrate Prisca Chigumba ruled today that Jakachira had applied
for accreditation in accordance with the AIPPA but received no response from
the government. Chigumba ruled that Jakachira was entitled to work while
awaiting the outcome of his application.

        At least eight other former Daily News journalists are facing
similar charges in cases that could be heard this fall. Jakachira's lawyer,
Beatrice Mtetwa, said the ruling could benefit the other defendants. "All
these journalists' applications were sent together," she said. "And we
expect the evidence to be more or less the same."

        AIPPA makes it a criminal offense for media outlets and individual
journalists to work without accreditation from the MIC. The charge of
working without a license carries a prison sentence of up to two years, but
no journalist has yet been convicted under the repressive law.

        "We welcome this important court decision," said Ann Cooper,
executive director of the Committee to Protect Journalists. "The government
should withdraw these spurious charges against all of the former Daily News
journalists, repeal AIPPA and allow the Daily News to reopen."

        Since AIPPA became law in February 2002, the government of President
Robert Mugabe has used it to detain and harass dozens of critical
journalists, and to close four newspapers.

      © 2005 Committee to Protect Journalists.  E-mail:

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Submission by the Combined Harare Residents Association to the Parliamentary
Portfolio Committee on Local Government and Urban Development

30 August 2005


The Combined Harare Residents Association is a member-based organisation
uniting civic-minded citizens advocating for transparent, accountable and
democratic local government. Our members are drawn from a wide cross-section
of society in all areas of the city.

The State is a social creation built by men and women to regulate their
interactions. The history of the human race in modern times has been the
long march away from the rule of the many by the few or the one to the rule
of the many by themselves. Our own State is created through the social
contract that is inherent in our constitution. It is predicated upon the
principles of democracy and equality. It is underpinned by an implicit
recognition that citizens have the right to participate in and derive
benefit from their State. To this end CHRA believes that ordinary people not
only have a right but a duty  to be active participants in their affairs at
local and national level.

Local Government is an area of the State whose status is not at all clear.
There is only a brief mention of it in the actual constitution and the
operations of municipalities and rural councils are governed by a number of
laws. Cities such as Harare are primarily administered under the Urban
Councils Act but many other Acts are also relevant. Additionally there is a
medley of By-laws, many archaic and not easily accessible to residents, that
affect the daily lives of residents.

A fundamental conflict arises in the Urban Councils Act. On one hand it
bestows a degree of local autonomy to residents through local council
elections yet on the other, it confers almost dictatorial power upon the
Minister of Local Government  through the numerous exclusionary powers
conferred (Illustrated by the use of the term "notwithstanding" 31 times in
the Act). Indeed the Minister has said that it does not matter which party
wins council elections as local government is but an extension of central
government. If this is indeed the case and is what our Parliament intended,
then revised legislation is essential.

CHRA believes that this legislative confusion has given rise to the serious
conflict that has undermined the good governance of the capital city. As
democrats we believe in the fundamental right of residents to elect their
representatives who are then accountable to the electorate in particular and
the citizens in general. To this end we have challenged the government on
numerous occasions in order to protect this right and currently we are
petitioning the courts to obtain relief from what we believe to be an
unlawful Commission. (H/C 2587/05) CHRA has consistently raised its
objections to any illegal extension of the tenure of office of commissions
appointed to run the city. Since 9 June 2005 the Commission no longer has
legitimacy under the law. (Judicial precedence was  established in 2001 by
the Supreme Court which ruled that the Chanakira Commission was
illegitimate. Subsequently the government was compelled to hold mayoral and
council elections.)

Until the status of our local authority is established under the law and
until democratic local government is restored, there can be no resolution of
the numerous problems bedevilling the city. Fundamental to any resolution is
the legitimacy of any authority which is bestowed by free and fair
elections. Thereafter many of the technical problems relating to service
delivery can begin to be addressed in an holistic manner that involves all

The core question of securing adequate financial resources can only be
tackled once these fundamental issues are addressed. We have at least one
example of funding being withheld by foreign donors because of the lack of
an elected Mayor and Council.


As a consequence of our views expressed above, CHRA rejects not only the
operations of the Makwavarara Commission but its very raison d'etre and its
continuing existence. It completely lacks any mandate from the residents and
ratepayers of the City who are being denied their right to select their own
councillors and Mayor.

The Commission has been an unmitigated failure:

Apart from claiming responsibility for the catastrophic disruption to the
lives of hundreds of thousands of residents in recent months (which should
itself be the subject of a Parliamentary Inquiry), the Commission has failed
to address the continuing decline not only of service delivery but of urban
life in general:

1. Refuse removal
A city is judged on the visual aspect it presents to the world.
Apart from the major health threat presented by uncollected garbage, the
sight of so much filth in our city is shocking. Far from Operation
Murambatsvina resulting in driving out trash, anyone with eyes can see the
garbage that inundates the city from Joburg Lines to Borrowdale Brooke.
Residents are starting to refuse to pay for non-existent refuse removals.
While they are in their rights to do so, a boycott will result in a further
loss of revenue for the City, thus fuelling an even greater decline.

2. Road Maintenance
There has been no improvement in the conditions of the city's roads.
Some better-off residents are now contemplating private and costly repairs
to public roads in a desperate attempt to maintain them. CHRA is opposed to
such privatisation as we have a right to demand services for the rates we
pay to our Municipality.

The failure of the City to maintain roads increases not only damage to motor
vehicles and risk to life but also opens the City to lawsuits by aggrieved
motorists seeking compensation.

3. Rates and Charges
Massive increases have been imposed by the Commission despite
numerous valid objections. Residents are rejecting these and calls for the
boycotting of rates grow louder by the day.

The arbitrary nature of many charges that have been imposed,
withdrawn, reinstated and reduced (eg Parking fees) are indicative of a
Commission that has no communication with the residents

The punitive and vindictive charges made for "rubble" or "illegal
structures" further alienate the residents who view their city as occupied
by an alien body that has no interest in promoting their well-being.

4. Audited Accounts
The Municipality is required by law to produce regular audited
accounts. Indeed it is difficult to understand how any modern administration
could function without such financial tools if only to establish
credit-worthiness to secure loans. The City of Harare has not produced
audited accounts for many years. As ratepayers we have an inalienable right
to know how our money has been spent.

5. The budget making process.
CHRA believes that the budget-making process is flawed. The Commission has
not implemented a genuine and substantive consultative process that helps to
avoid objections and legal disputes over the budget. Where consultations
have been done, they have been largely cosmetic, attempting to legitimise a
pre-conceived budget devoid of input from residents. Where we have
challenged the budget via the objection process, the objections have not
been independently assessed but casually dealt with by Commissioners in
minimal time.

6. Tendering practice and Licensing procedures.
CHRA continues to be concerned over the lack of transparency in the
licensing process and awarding of tenders by the local authority. The
procedures lack clarity. Inquiries directed to the City have been ignored,
as indeed is most of our correspondence.

7. Lack of clear and consultative policy formulation.

Without the support of the residents (who fund the operations of the city
after all), it is unlikely that any policy will be successful. This
operation which had a massive impact upon residents was unleashed without
warning let alone consultation. We still do not know who was responsible
even though it was announced by the Commission Chairperson. The UN Report
identifies this lack of accountability.

8. The By-laws
CHRA believes that many of the by-laws governing the City of Harare are
substantially colonial and archaic. There is a need to repeal irrelevant
bylaws, and to codify and up-date others. The perpetuation of the
colonialist two-cities concept is completely unacceptable.

9. Local government legislation (Urban Councils Act Cap 29:15)

CHRA repeats our previous submission to this Committee and reiterates its
call for the amendment of the Urban Councils' Act (Chapter 29:15). Critical
areas relate to the following:

* The Power of Recall: To enable entrenching checks
and balances in local government administration and hold elected
representatives accountable. This also entails the sharing of the powers
conferred upon the minister to act as a guardian of the rights and interests
of the residents.
* Term of Office of a Commission: That commissions be
viewed and maintained as stopgap measures which should immediately plan for
new elections. Currently there is either a misinterpretation of the statute
or abuse of statutory powers. Samudzimu and Others vs. The Minister of Local
Government and Others, is a case in point.
* Establishment of an Independent Arbiter: The current
legislation should be to the following effect any objections raised shall be
referred for independent arbitration in terms of the Act to ensure that the
Council is not the judge in a case where it is the respondent.
* Provision of Civic Education: That conscious efforts
be maintained in educating the residents on their rights, duties and
responsibilities in the city
* Establishment of a Referendum System: To firmly
entrench the participation of the residents in the management of their
affairs. It is however noted that this provision will not only be limited to
legal reform but also institutional reforms.
* Recognition of Residents Associations: To define the
framework for residents participation in the decision making processes. This
is in line with some of the preceding issues raised above. However, the
regulations should deal with modalities of the operations of such a system.
* Decentralisation: That service provision be
decentralised to ensure efficiency, effectiveness and transparency. This
shall also do away with the current TWO-CITY concept as perpetuated by
current legislation.
* Affirmative Action: To promote sectoral interests
particularly of disadvantaged and disenfranchised groups. While it is noted
that this is a re-orientation of our local government system, it will go a
long way in providing for the disadvantaged/vulnerable groups (e.g., the
disabled, women and youths). This is common in some African countries:
learning from others may be instrumental in democratising local government.
* Constitutional Local Government: That principles of
Local Government be enshrined in the Constitution of the land.

While investigations into the Commission running the affairs of the City are
legitimate and timely, it is essential to investigate the structural aspects
of local government. A broader policy and operational framework based on
inclusivity and accountability should be established to ensure that the
residents derive greater benefit from their city.

On behalf of CHRA and its members, I thank you and your Committee for the
opportunity to present our views and suggestions.



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The Age, Australia

US critical of Zimbabwe political moves
September 1, 2005 - 5:24AM

The United States strongly criticised Zimbabwe's ruling party for dramatic
changes it pushed through this week on the southern African country's
Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe's ruling party used its two-thirds
parliamentary majority to change the constitution to allow the government to
nationalise white-owned farms, impose travel bans on "traitors" and
reintroduce a second legislative chamber that critics said would be packed
with Mugabe's allies.

US State Department spokesman Sean McCormack said the process used to
implement the changes was deeply troubling.

"It's a sad step backwards for personal freedom as well as the rule of law,"
he said.

The United States has been increasingly critical of Zimbabwe's human rights
record and political process, calling last April's election "seriously

While critical of human rights issues, the United States has continued to
send food aid to the poor southern African country.

This month it sent 73,500 tonnes of food aid to southern Africa with much of
that expected to go to Zimbabwe, where about half of the rural population is
estimated to need emergency help.

© 2005 AAP

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The Times

            August 31, 2005

            Families fear for deported refugees who disappeared
            By Daniel McGrory

            HUMAN rights groups are trying to trace more than 100 Zimbabwean
asylum-seekers who have disappeared after being forcibly sent back from

            The Government pledged to ensure that the deportees were not
mistreated on their return to Zimbabwe, but campaigners claim that nothing
was done to protect the 130 men and women who were expelled.

            Diplomats in Harare, the capital, concede that they do not know
what has happened to "the disappeared".

            British diplomats have secretly been in touch with human rights
groups in Zimbabwe about the fate of the returnees, The Times has learnt.
There are fears that some have been detained by President Mugabe's regime.
Officials in Harare say that most of those expelled went into hiding on
their return and are living rough, afraid of being arrested. It is a crime
to leave Zimbabwe and seek asylum.

            The Home Office was forced to put expulsions on hold until the
High Court rules in October on the legality of the deportations so far this

            Scores more detainees who faced being thrown out in June went on
hunger strike while church leaders, MPs from all parties and civil liberties
groups lobbied Charles Clarke, the Home Secretary, to cancel dozens of
planned removals.

            The disappearance of so many people since then has led their
families to ask for the Government's help. The Home Office was condemned for
allowing hired security guards to hand over deportees to Mr Mugabe's
security forces as they arrived at Harare airport.

            One mother, who would give her name only as Agnes, told
yesterday how she has been trying to contact her son who was deported in
June. Mr Mugabe's recent forced evictions of people in Harare and Bulawayo
has made it harder for the deportees to find shelter.

            The Home Secretary has made it clear that he will reintroduce
the deportations if the High Court finds in his favour. Some asylum-seekers
who were granted bail after the suspension in June have pledged to starve
themselves to death rather than be sent back.

            The Rev Raymond Motsi, the chairman of the National Pastors
Conference in Zimbabwe, has visited Britain to plead with the Government not
to throw out any more asylum-seekers, describing such a move as immoral. Mr
Justice Collins "stayed" future cases while the Asylum and Immigration
Tribunal looks at fresh evidence. Pressure is growing on Britain to allow
the deported asylum-seekers back if the courts rule against Mr Clarke.

            The Home Office said yesterday that no decision had been taken
on what, if any, action will be taken if it loses this test case or whether
those already thrown out of Britain might be allowed to return.

            Lawyers who have been trying to arrange the return of a number
of those deported say that the situation in Zimbabwe makes it impossible for
campaign groups to obtain evidence of the returnees being tortured.

            The Home Office said it does not routinely monitor treatment of
deported individuals, "but we would remove them if we thought they would be
persecuted on their return".

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New Zealand Herald

Zimbabwe plans travel bans for 'traitors'

31.08.05 1.00pm

HARARE - President Robert Mugabe's ruling party has pushed through
amendments to Zimbabwe's constitution, paving the way for the government to
nationalise seized white-owned farms and impose travel bans on "traitors".

Mugabe's ZANU-PF party, using the two-thirds parliamentary majority it won
in disputed March elections, approved constitutional changes that also set
up a second legislative chamber to be known as the senate, which critics say
will be packed with Mugabe allies.

ZANU-PF mustered 103 votes for the amendments, with 29 parliamentarians
voting "No", 28 of them from the opposition Movement for Democratic Change
(MDC), which has criticised the changes as another blow to democracy in

Parliament's lone independent legislator also voted against the bill -- the
17th set of changes to the country's constitution Mugabe has pushed through
since independence from Britain in 1980.

"This is a disastrous amendment bill," said Lovemore Madhuku, chairman of
the National Constitutional Assembly, which advocates a "people driven"
overhaul of the constitution.

"It simply shows how this regime continues in its intention of pulling down
the country. It has no other intention except to keep this government in

The amendments call for seized farms to be nationalised, effectively barring
white farmers from using the courts to challenge seizures which economic
analysts say have ruined Zimbabwe's once-thriving agricultural sector.

The amendments will also give the government new tools against its political
opponents, allowing it to impose travel bans on Zimbabweans suspected of
engaging in terrorist training abroad or who have called for sanctions or
military actions against Mugabe's government.

The MDC, which is backed by several Western countries in its charges that
ZANU-PF rigged the March polls, has advocated its own set of changes to
Zimbabwe's constitution which would limit the tenure of a president to two
terms in office and create an "independent" electoral body.

The government's plan, by contrast, would set up a new senate of 65 members,
of which 50 would be elected, the rest going to traditional chiefs and
presidential appointees.

Mugabe's ZANU-PF argues that the changes will enable the government to
conclude its controversial land reforms while a Senate will improve the
quality of legislation.


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Business Day

New 'stone age' legislation in Zimbabwe
Dumisani Muleya

Harare Correspondent

ZIMBABWEAN President Robert Mugabe's Zanu (PF) party yesterday used the
voting power of traditional chiefs to push through a raft of repressive
constitutional amendments to consolidate its faltering grip of power.

The slew of new legislative measures designed to contain rising popular
discontent over deteriorating economic and social problems will worsen
political repression in the troubled country.

Analysts and opposition MPs said the laws would transform Zimbabwe into a
"bastion of tyranny in the heart of the region".

National constitutional assembly chairman and Movement for Democratic Change
(MDC) MP Lovemore Madhuku said the legislation was a crude consolidation of
power and "intensification of repression".

"It has no other intention except to keep this government in power," Madhuku

Zanu (PF), which has a technical and not numerical two-thirds majority,
forced the 10 chiefs in parliament to vote for it. The party had managed to
mobilise 93 of its elected 97 MPs, seven short of the needed 100, but chiefs
were put under political pressure to vote with it.

Zanu (PF) claims it has a two-thirds majority, but in reality has 77 of the
120 elected MPs, three short of an absolute majority. It had 78 MPs, but one
of them died in SA last week.

Zanu (PF) however has at its disposal 12 MPs appointed by Mugabe to
represent "special interests", eight provincial governors, and 10 chiefs.

The MDC has 41 MPs. There is one independent legislator, Jonathan Moyo.

Moyo, Mugabe's former information minister, said the new laws would
"institutionalise repression, patronage and paranoia. It's really a sad day
for Zimbabwe and democracy," he said.

"This abominable piece of primitive legislation removes Zimbabwe from the
community of civilised nations and consigns it to the stone age," he said.
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Business Day

Mbeki may yet have to do a Vorster on Mugabe
Dumisani Muleya


PRESIDENT Thabo Mbeki's diplomacy on Zimbabwe is facing its most critical
test yet, and by all indications it is still failing.

This presents a gloomy picture of how events are likely to pan out in the
short to medium term in Zimbabwe. Unless Mbeki performs a dramatic act to
rescue his diplomatic attempts, he may soon be reduced to a spectator,
rather than a player, in the crisis.

This means Zimbabweans - who should confront their situation head-on without
waiting for Mbeki's intervention - have clear choices: capitulate to tyranny
or embark on a campaign of democratic resistance.

At a time when Mbeki is pushing for wide-ranging political and economic
reforms in Zimbabwe, President Robert Mugabe is stubbornly moving in the
opposite direction. Mugabe's ruling Zanu (PF) yesterday passed a raft of
repressive laws that fly in the face of Mbeki's initiatives.

Zanu (PF) used its technical - not numerical - two-thirds majority in
parliament to railroad through the highly controversial Constitution of
Zimbabwe Amendment Bill, which will introduce autocratic laws that will
worsen, rather than improve, the situation.

The bill will lead to the nationalisation of land and stop farmers from
legally challenging land seizures. This will be a ruthless assault on
property rights and the judiciary - an attack on the rule of law and due

The bill allows for the seizure of passports of citizens suspected of
undermining "national interest", and bans permanent residents from voting.
The bill thus disenfranchises all those who have one or more foreign parents
and have permanent residency status but not full citizenship.

The bill also sets up a second legislative chamber - the senate - which will
strengthen the ruling party's presence in the legislature. The senate - the
council of old men - will be just a feeding trough for Mugabe's adherents.
The bill is clearly about widening patronage and sorting out Mugabe's
succession crisis.

The bill will make it impossible for Zimbabwe's crumbling economy to recover
as agriculture, the mainstay, will no longer be bankable.

The bill will give government unlimited powers to run the education system.
The education minister will now make regulations governing teachers'
conduct, associations of teachers, and even school uniforms.

The bill will also consolidate disputed electoral reforms.

The passing of the bill and Mugabe's refusal to make economic reforms will
pose a further challenge to Mbeki's diplomacy of disjointed incrementalism.
Mugabe will stick to his failed model of Jacobin control and dirigisme. With
Zimbabwe's economic base and superstructure collapsing, this guarantees it
becoming a failed state.

As a result, Mbeki might find himself having to take the same route former
apartheid prime minister John Vorster took on Rhodesia. After realising that
Rhodesian prime minister Ian Smith was not helping his own situation,
Vorster pulled the plug and left Smith to his own devices. Mbeki might have
to do the same with Mugabe.

Mbeki's arguments about the danger of leaving Mugabe to go down with
Zimbabwe are compelling, but so are the opposing views that propping up a
collapsing regime will not resolve the situation.

There is no doubt Mbeki's government has - by design or accident - been
aiding and abetting Mugabe's regime. Supportive statements by Foreign
Minister Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma and, of late, by Deputy President Phumzile
Mlambo-Ngcuka, show SA is keen to rally round Mugabe. The much-talked-of
financial rescue package to Mugabe is part of it. If this is attempted
brinkmanship by Pretoria, it is a poor effort.

Giving Mugabe money will not strengthen Mbeki's leverage.

Attaching reform conditions to the loan will not work as long as a framework
of appeasement remains.

?Muleya is Harare correspondent.
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NewstalkZB, New Zealand

Goff hopes for Zimbabwe indictment
31/08/2005 16:55:03

Foreign Affairs Minister Phil Goff is confident the UN Security Council will
take action and indict Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe.

The New Zealand Government has joined Australia in lobbying the council to
have Mugabe and his Government sent to the International Criminal Court for
crimes against humanity.

However, getting the UN to take any action will be difficult with a Mugabe
supporter, China, being one of the member countries on the council.

Phil Goff says they are pushing ahead despite China and other countries'
likelihood of blocking any resolution.

He says at least the Zimbabwe issue will be put on the international stage.
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The Star

      Mugabe is Zim's real problem
      August 31, 2005

      If Dominic Tweedie believes the South African "loan" has suddenly
produced compassion in Robert Mugabe towards his suffering povo (Shona for
the poor), he will believe anything (Letters, August 22).

      I hear that not only does the destruction of dwellings continue but
homeless/jobless folk are fined if they do not clear the rubble.

      Trucks laden with tents, blankets, maize meal and medicines are still
stuck this side of Beit Bridge because Mugabe won't give the churches the
necessary duty relief documents enabling these badly needed supplies to
cross the border and reach his thousands of victims.

      A disturbing revelation is that the many Aids sufferers who have been
despatched to the rural areas are going to find it much more difficult to
secure retroviral drugs.

      Far from "moderating," Mugabe is hell bent on depriving opponents of
their Zim passports to stop them spreading the bad news overseas.

      Those who have been deprived of their land or property will find it
more difficult to apply to the courts for justice.

      The opposition and the big-circulation independent newspaper, Daily
News, remains banned.

      His latest wheeze is the creation of another useless talking shop,
      an "upper house senate" of 60 political has-beens.

      This is an expensive white elephant with plenty of scope for bloated
salaries and "allowances".

      Is this why he needs that "loan"?

      (I place the word in quotes as loans are supposed to be paid back.)
      I am not advocating military force to effect a regime change, but it
is worth noting that Mwalimu Julius Nyerere lost patience with maniac Idi
Amin and sent his Tanzanian army across his border into Uganda and rapidly
gave Idi and his entourage the heave-ho out of the country he ruined.

      By his track record, it is obvious that Mugabe cannot solve Zimbabwe's
many problems.
      He is the main problem.
      Ivor Davis

      .. Zimbabwe has given the SA Council of Churches a duty free permit
to import nearly 5 000 blankets to the country.

      However, a duty-free permit is still awaited for the 37 tons of food
also sent as a donation to people who lost their homes and possessions in
Mugabe's controversial urban clean-up operation. - Letters Editor

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Ministry Still to Reverse Instruction On School Fees

The Herald (Harare)

August 31, 2005
Posted to the web August 31, 2005


THE Ministry of Education, Sport and Culture had by yesterday not reversed
its instruction for schools to backdate to January this year the new school
fees approved in June.

Following publication of a story in yesterday's issue in which the Minister
of Education, Sport and Culture, Cde Aeneas Chigwedere ordered school
authorities not to backdate the fees increased a thousand-fold, many parents
yesterday called The Herald while some came in person to Herald House
seeking clarification as most headmasters remained unyielding despite the
minister's latest directive.

The minister said all those parents who had been made to pay backdated fees
for the first and second terms must either be refunded or have the amount
credited to fees for future terms.

Following his latest announcement, Cde Chigwedere had indicated that his
Permanent Secretary, Dr Stephen Mahere, was working on a new circular that
would nullify and invalidate the earlier circular permitting schools to
backdate the raised fees.

In the first circular - Number 7 of 2005 dated July 12, which was
distributed widely - Dr Mahere said the ministry was aware of the need to
review fees upwards in line with the current economic trends and, as such,
had raised tuition and examination fees levels for 2005.

The secretary said the fees stipulated would be with effect from January 1

However, the minister last week indicated in Parliament that Government
would take action against State school authorities who backdated the
increased fees for Government institutions to January this year.

Last Wednesday, he told the House that backdating school fees was not
Government policy, saying this would result in an unnecessarily heavy burden
on parents.

"We cannot act until we know what is happening and it is possible that some
headmasters have taken advantage of the fee increase to backdate them to
January," Cde Chigwedere said.

He was responding to Chitungwiza Member of Parliament Mr Fidelis Mhashu
(MDC) during a question-and-answer session.

The opposition lawmaker wanted to know whether it was Government policy to
backdate the fees that had been increased a thousand-fold from a few hundred
dollars a term set several years ago.

Dr Mahere said in recognition of the current unstable economic environment
where prices of basic teaching and learning materials had continually gone
up, Government had fixed tuition fees for its primary schools in low-density
urban areas from the $225 approved in 2004 to $200 000 for Zimbabwean

He added that Zimbabwean pupils attending Government primary schools in
high-density areas were to pay $100 000 up from $100, while those local
pupils attending Government primary schools in the rural areas would not be
required to pay anything.

Local pupils attending secondary schools in low-density areas were to pay
$500 000, up from $500, while fees for those enrolled at Government
secondary schools in high-density areas were pegged at $250 000, up from
$250, and those attending rural schools $100 000, up from $100.

Fees for extra-territorial pupils attending Government primary schools in
both low and high-density areas and rural areas stayed unchanged at US$300,
while those for secondary schools in all the three areas also remained
static at US$400.

The secretary also announced that Grade 7 examination fees remained fully
subsidised by Government while there would be no Zimbabwe Junior Certificate
examination for 2005.

Fees for Ordinary Level examinations were pegged at $35 000 per subject for
the parent or guardian and $25 000 as Government subsidy.

Advanced Level examination fees were put at $95 000 per subject for the
parent or guardian and $5 000 as Government subsidy.
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Daily Mirror, Zimbabwe

CIO in contempt of court

Clemence Manyukwe
issue date :2005-Aug-31

HIGH Court Judge Francis Bere has ruled that the Central Intelligence
Organisation (CIO) was in contempt of court when it declined to re-instate a
State security agent, Manners Mafuta.
Mafuta, who was based at Chikombedzi Business Centre in Chiredzi, was sacked
in September 2002 for various charges, among them, training his
four-year-old daughter how to use an AK47 rifle.
He denied the allegations before the CIO board of inquiry, but was, however,
discharged from the organisation and decided to seek recourse in the High
In March 2004, High Court Judge Susan Mavangira ordered the CIO to reinstate
Mafuta, a ruling that was not complied with.
Instead, the secret service organisation later approached the same court
seeking the rescission of an order to reinstate Mafuta.
In a judgement on the CIO application delivered on April 20 this year,
Justice Bere ruled that the secret agency was in contempt of Justice
Mavangira's order.
The CIO Director General in 2002 was the applicant in the matter, while the
Minister of State for National Security and Mafuta were the respondents.
Bere said in his ruling: "No one is a law unto himself. Failure to respect
such orders for no good reason amounts  to naked contempt which is
intolerable by the very authority that seeks to do justice between man and
man.In the final analysis I hold the firm view that the applicants have no
locus standi to bring an application for rescission to this court while they
are in contempt of court."
He said if the CIO felt that it was no longer possible to continue employing
Mafuta they should have first obeyed Mavangira's order and then return to
court to avoid approaching it with dirty hands.
"My sister judge Mavangira's order of March 2004 was clear and required no
further interpretation except full compliance with it. It has not been
complied with by the applicants. Is it not ironic that the litigants want a
remedy from this same court when they regard its order in total contempt?"
he added.
The judge said the Supreme Court of Zimbabwe had set a precedent by
dismissing an appeal by the Associated Newspapers of Zimbabwe (ANZ) against
the then information minister Jonathan Moyo and two others for approaching
the court with dirty hands after snapping the country's media laws.
ANZ were the publishers of the closed paper The Daily News and its sister
paper The Daily News on Sunday.
Challenging his sacking, Mafuta argued that Masvingo Provincial intelligence
officer did not formally charge him as was the norm, but was summoned to the
CIO headquarters, Chaminuka Building, for a hearing into allegations of
"I was brought before the chief personnel officer (CPO) Mr Ndaudzwa together
with Mr Chakanyuka and another man and the allegations outlined above were
raised and a brief hearing without any witness was conducted wherein
applicant was accused of the allegations aforesaid and he denied them and he
was told to go back and await the board's decision," claimed Mafuta in court
He said two months after the hearing he discovered that his salary was
missing from the station list and when he complained to the provincial
administration officer he was advised to keep on reporting for duty, while
his matter was being looked into.
Mafuta added that he kept on reporting for duty and was surprised to be
advised verbally of his sacking three months later by a district
intelligence officer identified as Ndini.Mafuta was represented by Shephered
Mushonga of Mushonga and Associates, while the CIO were represented by
Fatima Maxwell of the Civil Division in the Attorney General's Office.
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Daily Mirror, Zimbabwe

Donors pull out of dairy project

Shame Makoshori
issue date :2005-Aug-31

IN A development that is set to derail current efforts to resuscitate the
availability of milk on the domestic market, major donors have pulled out of
the Dairy Development Project (DDP), a programme running under the
Agricultural and Rural Development Authority (Arda), whose core business is
the provision of capital for new farmers to run dairy farms.
The DDP was formed in 1983 but had in recent years been seen as a possible
solution to depleted milk output after scores of mostly former white
commercial farmer-run dairy investments were taken over by government
through the agrarian reform programme, triggering sporadic milk shortages on
the local market.
While it could not be established which donors have pulled out of the
projects, the DDP was bankrolled by four major international
rganisations  -  the European Union (EU), Africa Now, Heifer Project
International and the British High Commission - whose combined funding
contributed 30 percent of funds.
The government, through the Public Sector Investment Programme (PSIP) funded
the remainder but DDP officials told this newspaper at the Harare
Agricultural Show last week that expansion programmes had been dealt a body
blow due to the lack of funds for start up capital.
"DDP milk production was now accounting for five percent of formally
marketed milk in the country and the figure was projected to increase
because we were encouraging small dairy farmers in rural communities to
formally market their milk.
"However, we have failed to expand the projects into other areas because of
the pull out of the major donors. We wanted to wean off some of the projects
with a proven record of good business and performance because this demands a
lot of funding to provide technical support for the weaned projects," one of
the officials said.
The DDP is currently serving about 4 000 rural farmers whose dairy
infrastructure, training, extension services and dairy stock were partly
funded by the donors.
The development came as the country has in recent years been facing acute
basic commodity shortages, among them milk.
Farmer organisations and the government have been working towards the
resuscitation of dairy farming through many other projects like the
Livestock Development Programme.
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Daily Mirror, Zimbabwe

Former TelOne workers storm HQ, demand reinstatement

The Daily Mirror Reporter
issue date :2005-Aug-31

BUSINESS yesterday briefly came to a halt at TelOne headquarters at Runhare
House in Harare when about 40 disgruntled former employees bulldozed their
way into the firm's reception room demanding to be either reinstated or
given their dues.
Last year TelOne fired 1 550 employees following a salary dispute. The
ex-workers took up the case with Labour Court, which ruled that they be
reinstated, but TelOne had since appealed against the decision to the
Supreme Court.
When The Daily Mirror news crew visited Runhare House, the disgruntled
former employees had jammed the reception demanding access to managing
director, Wellington Makamure.
They threatened never to leave the premises claiming they were still
employees of TelOne as ruled by the Labour Court.
"We are not going to leave the premises because in terms of the laws of this
country, we are still TelOne employees. The employer is breaching the law
and we will not go anywhere. We will bring our families and stay here," one
of the former employees shouted.
The ex-employees were later ordered to vacate TelOne premises and seek
recourse in the courts.
"Even if your grievances might be genuine, it is not proper for you to come
here and cause chaos. By so doing you are breaching the law and face arrest
and subsequent prosecution. We urge you to go back to court and seek
recourse," a police officer warned them.
Yesterday, the former employees' representative Lovemore Matombo took a
swipe at TelOne management accusing them of disregarding court orders and
abusing the judiciary.
"It all started in 2004 as a salary/wage dispute. We went through
arbitration. The arbitrator provided an award but management turned its back
alleging the award was ambiguous and required explanation from the court,"
Matombo said. Efforts to get a comment from Makamure were in vain at the
time of going to press last night.
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      WFP says far short of funds to fight Africa hunger
      Wed Aug 31, 2005 5:23 PM GMT

By Ed Stoddard

JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) - A dramatic rise in grains prices has left the U.N.
World Food Programme far short of the funds it needs to feed millions of
poor people in southern Africa, a WFP official said on Wednesday.

"We need food and cash now. Many people who have already eaten their food
reserves are surviving on wild foods and relying on other desperate coping
strategies," said Mike Sackett, WFP Regional Director for Southern Africa.

The WFP, which buys and distributes food to the needy, said it usually
expects prices to rise in what it is known as the "lean season" from
December until the March harvests.

Instead it has seen price hikes between April and July of up to 71 percent
in 15 markets in southern Malawi alone.

"WFP now plans to provide food for at least 8.5 million people by the start
of the lean season in December," WFP said in a statement.

"But due to an immediate funding shortfall of $187 million for feeding
programmes in Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, Swaziland, Zambia and Zimbabwe,
only a fraction of those who require assistance will receive it," it added.

Prices in regional breadbasket South Africa have also been on the rise.

South African maize prices had fallen from over 1,000 rand a tonne in
November to below 550 rand in February on huge stocks and crop expectations,
but have recovered since then as traders fear that the harvest will fall
short of initial forecasts.

The white December white maize contract is up to around 735 rand a tonne.

Crop production in the region has been hit by drought, soil erosion and a
raging AIDS pandemic which is killing off many of those till the land.

"It can take up to four months to move food to the region, so donations are
needed urgently if we are to reach the neediest before the beginning of the
lean season," Sackett said.

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ABC Radio Australia - transcript

      ABC correspondent visits Zimbabwe's homeless
      PM - Wednesday, 31 August , 2005  18:35:00
      Reporter: Zoe Daniel
      MARK COLVIN: In Zimbabwe's second largest city, Bulawayo, almost
75,000 people have been made homeless by what the Government calls its slum
clean up campaign.

      Opponents call it politically motivated destruction.

      Many of these men, women and children are now at serious risk of
starvation and disease after being scattered into the countryside.

      There is little evidence of the new homes promised by the Government,
only continued intimidation of those trying to help people who are desperate
and hungry.

      Members of the foreign media, including the ABC, are normally banned
from Zimbabwe.

      But the ABC's Africa Correspondent Zoe Daniel was granted
accreditation to cover the cricket and then made secret visits to people and
placed affected by the demolitions.

      ZOE DANIEL: Just a few minutes from his home in central Bulawayo,
Opposition MP David Coltart shows me what remains of a large township.

      DAVID COLTART: So this was a home destroyed and you can see that this
was not a shack built up overnight.

      ZOE DANIEL: Two and a half thousand people once lived here but there's
only rubble left.

      The people were dispersed in the Government's demolition campaign,
Operation Restore Order.

      DAVID COLTART: You can see from the plants, the crops that have been
planted here that this would probably have been a home of some people for
several years and in some cases people had lived in this area for 25 years
and were evicted on two or three hours' notice.

      ZOE DANIEL: David Coltart has just returned from Australia where he
was trying to publicise the plight of ordinary Zimbabweans who have lost
their homes and livelihoods in the campaign ostensibly to clean up slums and
crime but more likely designed to crush the Government's political

      Since the Opposition for Democratic Change MP returned, the situation
has worsened. The aftermath of the demolition campaign may be worse than the
event itself.

      DAVID COLTART: Many people are living out in the open. I've had
reports just this week of grandmothers, of young children, of pregnant
mothers still sleeping out in the open because they have been taken out into
the rural areas where there are no homes.

      ZOE DANIEL: In and around Bulawayo about 75,000 people were made
homeless when the Government started flattening townships.

      Joseph is one of the lucky ones because he's been able to find some
temporary shelter for his family but he says there's been no help from
authorities who had promised new homes for those displaced in the

      JOSEPH: How can I say to the Government because I have not even seen
any government, since we arrived here, since we were there, everybody was
crying. Not me, but everybody was crying. There was no help.

      ZOE DANIEL: Joseph and his family now rely on the church for food and
clothing but their place of worship was also crushed by the bulldozers.

      David Coltart shows me where the church once stood.

      DAVID COLTART: It's hard to imagine this structure but it was a proper
structure with an asbestos roof on it. You can see the altar over here. And
despite the protestations of people that this was in fact a place of
worship, the police came in an utterly destroyed it in the space of a couple
of hours.

      ZOE DANIEL: Reverend Albert Chatindo from the Christian Faith
Fellowship Church was forced to watch as his pride and joy was pulled down.

      ALBERT CHATINDO: We have given them food and clothing and blankets in
winter and so on. So they were like my blood relatives, you know. We grew to
love each other so much. We were so close. I really, I don't easily cry but
when the day in question in winter, seeing the children and so on, I really,
I cried. Most of them were also crying.

      ZOE DANIEL: Now he and other church workers are battling intimidation
from authorities to support those who lost everything in the Government

      ALBERT CHATINDO: It is very, very difficult. You know, you live in
fear, fear of intimidation, fear of accusation, being accused for working
against the authorities.

      ZOE DANIEL: In some instances they're battling just to find those
who've been dumped in the countryside and to keep them alive.

      ALBERT CHATINDO: I don't know if you have heard that so far we have
lost five people who died. And the worst was one old man, you know because
he was living in the bush. He fell sick and died there and no-one saw him.
When we discovered, the ants had already eaten out the eyes out and they
were now on the lips.

      It's a terrible situation and only us, the field workers, get to know
these situations, but not everybody else knows.

      ZOE DANIEL: A few church workers face the task of trying to help tens
of thousands of people around Bulawayo and hundreds of thousands across

      This is Zoe Daniel in Bulawayo for PM.

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Daily Mirror, Zimbabwe

UZ lecturers strike

The Daily Mirror Reporter
issue date :2005-Aug-31

UNIVERSITY of Zimbabwe's academic staff yesterday downed tools to press the
authorities to award a 30 percent shortfall on the Cost of Living Adjustment
(Cola) they were promised in January this year.

The institution opened for its 2005-2006 academic year on Monday but
business was reportedly low key after most teaching staff did not turn up
for duty. A  lecturer who could not be named for professional reasons
yesterday told The Daily Mirror that the lecturers agreed on the opening day
that they would not report for duty until the UZ authorities award them the
shortfall backdated to the beginning of the year.
"We want the university to respect its undertaking to pay all the academic
staff the 30 percent shortfall on Cola backdated from January. There is an
agreement with the authorities that a 30 percent gap should be maintained
between what is awarded to the rest of the public servants and academic
staff at state universities."
"So when civil servants were awarded 250 percent in January, we were
supposed to get an extra 30 percent on top of that and that has been the
issue that has been dragging on since then," the lecturer said. Efforts to
get a comment from the UZ authorities proved fruitless by the time of going
to print.
Lecturers are expected to meet this morning to review the industrial action.
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Comment from ZWNEWS, 31 August

The man who isn't there

"As I was going up the stair
I met a man who wasn't there
He wasn't there again today
I wish, I wish he'd go away"

Where's Emmerson? The man who would be king has been lying very low of late.
The world watches Mugabe playing the choosy beggar, turning away ever bigger
sums of money because he doesn't like the people who are contorting
themselves to give it to him. Mnangagwa is nowhere to be seen. Nearly
three-quarters-of-a-million people are made jobless and homeless in the
space of a few weeks. Emmerson can't be seen for dust.

But then he has a habit of not being "there". Gukurahundi? "Not me, mate.
Anyway, just following orders." Congo looting? "Must be someone else who
looks like me." Fingers in the Zanu PF till? "Cleared. Ask the boss." He
wasn't at the Tsholotsho meeting last November either, and it wasn't his
best friend's plane that flew the participants there from Harare.
Nevertheless, Mugabe and the Mujuru double-act found enough of his
fingerprints lying around for him to be promoted from Parliamentary Speaker
to Minister for Thatched Huts.

The South Africans have long wanted a "reformed" Zanu PF to replace Mugabe
and his cabinet of incompetents. There is nothing to indicate that they have
abandoned this goal. Mnangagwa is one of the very few senior Zanu PF people
for whom President Mbeki and other powerful ANC leaders have any regard.
Mnangagwa's ambition is the worst kept secret in the country, and there is
no evidence to indicate that his ardour for the top job has been dampened in
any way. We are led to believe, on the basis of an ambiguous sentence or two
in a recent edition of ANC Today, that Mbeki has finally lost all patience
with Mugabe. IF this is true (and it is still a big if), it does not
necessarily follow that Mbeki has suddenly developed a passion for
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