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

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Zim Std
'Murambatsvina' strikes again
By Linda Tsetere

THREE months after the government declared an end to "Operation Murambatsvina", scores of people in Mabvuku have been given orders to immediately vacate houses they have lived in for years.

The orders, issued by the Harare City Council, instructed the residents to leave the houses in Chizhanje area on the grounds that they were "illegal lodgers".

Shupikai Moyo, a resident, confirmed receiving an eviction order. "This is cruel. I have lived in this house for more than 20 years," she said.

Another resident, James Ndoro, said he had nowhere to go. "There are reports that the houses are set to be occupied by the army, police and national youth service graduates," he said.

Since 1980 the residents have paid rentals directly to council and they say this meant they had a right to occupy the houses.

Timothy Mubhawu, the MP for Mabvuku, condemned the evictions saying they were not only illegal and unjustified but had been carried out unprofessionally. "No person deserves to be removed from a house he has lived in for more than 30 years and in 24 hours without a court order," Mubhawu said.

The order issued to the residents reads: "You are required to vacate the council rented house within 24 hours of this notice. Failure to adhere to this notice will result in you being thrown out of the house without any further notice."

Contacted for comment, Harare city council spokesperson Leslie Gwindi said: "The people are being evicted because most of them have expired leases and they are not the original lease holders."

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Zimbabwe Vigil Diary – 17th September 2005


Further signs this week of the collapse of the Zimbabwe regime gave extra fire to the Vigil.  The singing was fantastic. There is an extraordinary spirit to the Vigil – our supporters forget where they are and are transported back home.  It is like being part of a mass political rally in Zimbabwe.  Their heartache for Zimbabwe mesmerises many passers-by – they don’t quite understand what’s happening but the power draws them in.   The passionate singing was driven by a succession of great drummers. 


But, being in London, we were happy to welcome a cheerful group in fake police helmets on a stag night.  Mike and Wiz’s notice boards with the latest dismal news from home attracted loads of attention.  On a sunny day (but with a hint of autumnal chill), we had supporters from as far afield as Southampton, Wolverhampton, Leeds and Stoke-on-Trent (we know traveling in Zimbabwe is expensive and difficult, unfortunately it is also costly here).  They helped us celebrate the birthday of Dumi who, since his release from detention, has become a Vigil powerhouse.  He looks 26 but claims to be 10 years older. 


It was heartening to hear the hoots from so many bus drivers.  A couple of years ago we had a banner “hoot in support of freedom in Zimbabwe”.  The banner has long gone but the hooting continues.  We are shortly to mark our third anniversary outside Zimbabwe House on 15th October – all are welcome to commiserate with us on this date.  We hope there will be no need of hooting to mark a fourth anniversary.


We were glad to hear from Ephraim Tapa that after a lengthy bureaucratic process, the body of Remus Makuwaza was to be flown back to Zimbabwe today.  People back home will be very relieved to be able to pay their respects and to bury him in the customary manner.  Well done to Ephraim who has been tireless in sorting things out.


FOR THE RECORD: about 40 supporters came today. 


FOR YOUR DIARY: Monday, 19th September, 7.30 pm, Zimbabwe Forum at the George, Fleet Street, London (opposite the Royal Courts of Justice). Human rights activist Abel Chikomo will be speaking about Zimbabwe’s diplomatic relations with international and regional bodies with a view to preparing activists to lobby effectively.  



The Vigil, outside the Zimbabwe Embassy, 429 Strand, London, takes place every Saturday from 14.00 to 18.00 to protest against gross violations of human rights by the current regime in Zimbabwe. The Vigil which started in October 2002 will continue until internationally-monitored, free and fair elections are held in Zimbabwe.


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MDG's, a Pipe Dream for Zimbabwe

Zimbabwe Standard (Harare)
September 18, 2005
Posted to the web September 19, 2005
Caiphas Chimhete

PRESIDENT Robert Mugabe launched the Zimbabwe Millenium Goals (MGDs) Report
amid pomp and ceremony two weeks ago, but analysts have dismissed the event
saying the lofty objectives contained in the document are unattainable in
present-day Zimbabwe.
They said Zimbabwe had not shown political commitment to achieve the main
focus of the plans of halving poverty and diseases by the end of this year
and eradicating these twin evils by 2015 because it lacks the capacity
following the withdrawal of international support,.

In interviews with The Standard last week, the analysts said the country
would need an additional two decades after 2015 in order to reach the
targets set at the 2000 UN Millennium Summit during which 189 world leaders
adopted the MDGs.
The leaders pledged to make significant improvements in health, education,
gender equality, the environment and other aspects of human welfare.
But for Zimbabwe, the pledge is likely to remain just that, as the country's
ability to improve the welfare of its citizens becomes increasingly
compromised by the worst economic and political crisis in its 25-year
University of Zimbabwe political scientist, Eldred Masunungure, said it was
impossible for Zimbabwe to attain the 2015 MDGs target under the current
economic and political dispensation. Most of the 2005 targets have already
been missed.
He estimated that Zimbabwe would need an additional 20 years after 2015 to
attain the MDGs largely because of misplaced priorities, economic recession
and international isolation.
"Instead of moving forward we have regressed five decades back. So to
imagine a country which is regressing, talking about achieving developmental
goals is hoping for too much," Masunungure said.
Another University of Zimbabwe analyst, Heneri Dzinotyiwei, said being a
pariah State, Zimbabwe, does not have the capacity to generate funds needed
to attain the goals.
With minimal foreign currency inflows, mounting external debts and decline
in investment, chances of attaining the goals were negligible, he said.
Even the Zimbabwe Millennium Development (ZMDGs) Goals 2004 progress report,
produced by the government, confirms that achieving the targets was a major
But the government argues that its efforts were being hampered by "illegal"
sanctions imposed by Britain and America.
Current trends indicate that extreme poverty is on the increase in the
country. In 1995, only 57% of Zimbabweans lived below the food datum line
(FDL) but that has since risen to 80%. The government's target is to half
the FDL to 35% by 2015.
But malnutrition levels continue to rise.
According to the Ministry of Health and Child Welfare, 13% of children under
the age of five were malnourished in 1999. But the figure rose to 20% in
2002, suggesting a deepening problem. The target is to reduce under-five
malnutrition by two-thirds to 7% by 2015.
In the area of gender and women empowerment, Zimbabwe still lags behind.
The target was to have 30% in Parliament by 2005 and to strike a 50-50
balance by 2015. But only 24 out of the 150 legislators are women, a 16%
Tsitsi Matekaire, the director of Women in Politics Support Unit (WiPSU)
attributed the failure to attain 30% women representation in Parliament to
lack of political will.
Universal education, touted as independent Zimbabwe's greatest achievement,
is under threat from the current unplanned population displacements, brain
drain and the HIV and Aids pandemic.
The ZMDGs report says in 2000 primary school enrolment was 92.6% but the
completion was down at 75.6%, indicating that 17% dropped out.
This has been attributed unplanned policies such as the chaotic land reform
programme of 2000 and more recently, "Operation Murambatsvina", which
rendered 700 000 destitute without sources of livelihood, throwing thousands
of pupils out of school.
However, a report from the UN Commission for Africa maintains that Zimbabwe
was likely to achieve universal primary educational goal by 2015. The report
was issued last week to coincide with the World Summit at the UN in New
York, where MDGs were a major topic of discussion.
"This sharp rise in maternal mortality rate is largely explained by the
rapid spread of the HIV and AIDS epidemic," says the report.
While the health ministry insists that that HIV and AIDS infection rates
were going down, analysts dispute this assertion.
"I think figures are deceiving because the situation on the ground is
different. People are dying. We see them," Masunungure said.

Nearly 4 000 people die every week because of the pandemic.
Community Working Group on Health executive director, Itai Rusike,
attributed the failure to allocation of inadequate resources, compounded by
the withdrawal of international support by the European Union and other
individual donor organisations.
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Tuesday, 20 September 2005

Uncontrolled fires destroy $700bn forests
Herald Reporters

FORESTS with trees worth more than $700 billion have been destroyed by
uncontrolled fires in Chimanimani and other areas countrywide over the past
three weeks.

In addition, intermittent fire outbreaks are threatening the lives of at
least 1 000 wildebeests in Rhodes Nyanga National Park where a vast swathe
of grazing land has been destroyed.

The park — in which is found Zimbabwe’s largest population of wildebeests,
the large-headed ox-like antelopes with horns and a long, tufted tail — is
now virtually bare of vegetation following the raging fires, leaving the
animals with little pastures.

The veld fires — which have destroyed extensive tracts of forest, grassland,
wildlife and other natural resources — have also resulted in the injury and,
in some cases, death of people caught up in the blazes and the destruction
of their property, also estimated at billions of dollars, countrywide.

This comes at a time when the Ministry of Environment and Tourism has come
up with a strategic plan to effectively deal with wild fires whose intensity
and devastation has caused heavy loss of property and wildlife running into
millions of dollars.

Environment and Tourism Ministry acting secretary Dr Alfred Ncube said an
approach involving local communities, which had proved workable before, was
the effective solution to prevent the haphazard lighting and spread of wild

"There is urgent need for us to strengthen the concept," he said in
reference to the past practice in which it was the responsibility of members
of the communities to guard against uncontrolled igniting of fires and
extinguishing whenever they broke out.

Dr Ncube was speaking during an oral evidence session before the
Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Mines, Environment and Tourism last

The marshalling and mobilisation of the entire community in anti-fire
measures worked as a strong deterrent to people who would cause fires for
hunting purposes or otherwise. In some cases, whole forests have been burnt
down by hunters lighting fires to smoke and ferret edible wild animals and
herbivorous rodents like mice out of their lairs and holes.

Dr Ncube said communities should be educated on the concept, which had so
far proved the only effective way in reducing fires, thus saving "our
precious environment".

He said chiefs and legislators should be exemplary in educating the
community in the prevention of wild fires in order to conserve the country’s
fauna and flora.

Forestry Company of Zimbabwe (FCZ) chief executive officer Mr Joseph
Kanyekanye last week pointed out that presently there were no enforceable
measures in place to prevent veld fires.

Mr Kanyekanye was contributing to a discussion during a workshop for heads
of parastatals and senior Government officials held in Harare last Thursday.

"There is nothing which is being done to stop the uncontrollable fires," he

The fires have so far destroyed about 1 623 hectares of timber owned by
Border Timbers and 200 hectares of timber belonging to the FCZ.

To put the extent of the loss into perspective, timber is one of the country
’s leading foreign currency earners and the hectares burnt down in the last
three weeks far surpass the hectarage destroyed in the whole of 2004.

Illegal gold panners and illegal settlers in the Chimanimani area have been
blamed for causing the fires.

The fires have also destroyed coffee plantations worth billions of dollars
belonging to the Agricultural and Rural Development Authority.

"We have to go back to our roots and come up with technical support and an
effective system to prevent fires should be in place," Dr Ncube said.

He also urged the legislators to promote the clearance of land for
fireguards on farms, which go a long way in preventing the spread of bush

As a deterrent measure to would-be unauthorised fire starters, Dr Ncube
called on the Ministry of the Environment and Tourism to impose more severe
and stiffer penalties than is currently the situation.

The FCZ has also been holding awareness campaigns in both the print and
electronic media to educate the nation about the danger and damage of bush

Wild fires are those blazes that get out of control and devastate extensive
tracts of forest, grassland, wildlife and other natural resources as well as
injure and kill people and destroy their properties.

The blazes are normally caused by human-caused factors, among them the
smoking-out of bees for honey, the lighting of fires at roadsides by resting
motorists, careless throwing of burning cigarette stubs and the burning of
vegetation by hunters to flush out game.

Today -- where their were dense forests, lush green vegetation and an array
of interlocking savanna grassland valleys where wild animals used to roam
wild and free -- an extensive portion of the countryside has been reduced to
black soot.

Night after night, wildebeests and other game in Nyanga National Park and
elsewhere are seen stampeding from one valley to another as they escape from
the raging fires.

Recently property worth billions of dollars and wildlife was destroyed by
raging veld fires which engulfed Woodened Conservancy in Lower Gweru.

The fire razed 7 000 hectares, about three-quarters of the whole

Nine chalets that were under renovation were destroyed in the blaze that
also burnt down a farmhouse at the council-run conservancy.

The cause of the fire has not yet been established.

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Zim Standard
Govt owes Bulawayo $68bn
By our staff

BULAWAYO - Government Ministries owe the Bulawayo City Council more than $68 billion in unpaid water, refuse removal and sewerage bills, a situation that is crippling the provision of essential services to residents.

According to the latest council minutes, the government debt which stood at $53.4 billion in April this year shot up to $67.8 billion in May. Of the amount owed by the government, $19.5 billion represented outstanding payments as of May and $48.3 billion, the overdue debt.

Bulawayo City Council Treasurer, Middleton Nyoni, confirmed that the local authority was failing to provide adequate services because of lack of funds.

"They (government ministries) are not paying up and it makes it difficult for us to provide essential services to the community. We are just manging to survive…," Nyoni said.

He warned that the council would soon start disconnecting water supplies and stop supplying other essential services to defaulting government departments. "This is the only way we can recover our money from the government. We will definitely cut off water supplies and stop providing other services," he said.

Bulawayo Town Clerk, Moffat Ndlovu said: "Virtually all the services are affected. We need money for fuel for refuse removal services, to maintain our roads and cater for fire services. In fact, all the departments need money in order to function properly and efficiently."

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Zim Std
Cop detained for 'insulting' Mugabe
By our staff

A junior Beitbridge police officer has been sentenced to 14 days in detention after he was found guilty of insulting President Robert Mugabe.

Police sources said an internal disciplinary hearing, presided over by Superintendent Antony Mangezi, the deputy officer commanding Gwanda District, found Sergeant Ignatious Chabva guilty of insulting Mugabe while drinking in the border town.

Chabva, according to sources, was arrested by another police officer while they were at Peter's Motel.

The sources said the police officer, who was in Beitbridge to investigate alleged corruption cases by Zimbabwe Revenue Authority (Zimra) officials, was irked by Chabva's casual remark on massive corruption by senior politicians.

"They are accusing Chabva of insulting President Mugabe but what he said was not defamatory at all. Iye akangoti vari kungonetsana nevanhu vekuZimra ava vachisiya corruption chaidzo dzana Chihuri naana Mugabe (He just said, you are harassing the Zimra officials but you are not concerned about real corruption by the likes of Chihuri and Mugabe)," said the source.

Mangezi will spend 14 days in a detention at Fair Bridge.

Inspector Nyoni from the Gwanda police's Press and Liaison office, apparently irritated by questions on the incident, denied any knowledge of the detention before putting the phone down.

Police spokesperson assistant commissioner Wayne Bvudzijena also refused to give a comment on the matter reiterating that he no longer talks to The Standard.

Chabva is not the only one to be charged for insulting Mugabe. A civilian was arrested on a bus in Harare after admonishing his young brother during a row by saying that he should not be as obstinate as the President.

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UK using Malawi loophole to ignore ban on Zimbabwe deportations

By Tererai Karimakwenda
19 September 2005

Elias Kaposa, a Zimbabwean now in detention in the UK, was almost sent to
Malawi this past Saturday even though his birth certificate is Zimbabwean
and he has the metal identification card from Zimbabwe as well. In fact his
passport, though it was issued in Malawi, names Harare as his place of
birth. In addition he speaks Shona fluently and knows no languages from
Malawi. But immigration officials in the U.K. put him on a plane destined
for Malawi, despite a current ban on removals to Zimbabwe.

Elias came to the UK in October 2002 on a visitor’s visa, then later applied
for political asylum. He moved from London to Luton where his family is
located and was picked up on August 15th when he went for his weekly sign-in
at Luton police station. He had been scheduled by the Home Office to be
deported to Malawi last Saturday, but he walked off the plane and was
immediately handcuffed by security guards. Elias says he spent 10 hours in a
waiting room at the airport and was returned to the detention centre late at
night. He is scheduled to be deported in October and has been told he will
have escorts all the way to Malawi.
Elias says he is aware of the pending country case that is to be heard in
October, which will determine whether it is safe to return anyone back to
Zimbabwe. Until that case is heard, a judge ruled at the last hearing that
there are to be no Zimbabwe removals.

Many Zimbabweans are using Malawi passports to escape from Zimbabwe and
avoid getting caught. But immigration officials in the UK are using the
Malawi loophole to make exceptions. It is clear from all the documents Elias
has provided that he is indeed Zimbabwean. He is not the only one affected.
Several other Zimbabweans have been classed as Malawian and have been given
flight dates. All have found ways to resist deportation.

SW Radio Africa Zimbabwe news
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Business report
Zimbabwe manufacturing shrinks 9.4%
September 20, 2005

Zimbabwe's manufacturing industry contracted 9.4 percent last year to the lowest level in more than three decades, said private economist John Robertson, citing Central Statistical Office figures.

Factory output had slumped 45.6 percent since 1998, Robertson said. Manufacturing levels had dropped to the lowest since at least 1971.

Bloomberg's calls to the statistics office were not answered.

Many manufacturers had cut production after a shortage of foreign exchange made it impossible to renew machinery and buy new inputs. Zimbabwe has been short of dollars since 1998, when President Robert Mugabe sent soldiers to fight in the Democratic Republic of the Congo war and later seized commercial farms, prompting a drop in agricultural exports.

The economy is set to contract for a sixth year in 2005.

- Bloomberg, Johannesburg

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Zim Std
Masvingo wants more cabinet posts
By Walter Marwizi

"IN Masvingo, ministers are rare species. The whole province has only one."

This is how Retired Major Kudzai Savious Mbudzi, the Masvingo Zanu PF provincial secretary for Indigenisation and Economic Empowerment summed up the state of affairs of in the province of more than 1.5 million.

Less than two years after the death of Vice President Simon Muzenda, "feelings of betrayal" are running high in Masvingo over the number of cabinet positions allocated to the populous region.

Masvingo overwhelmingly voted for Zanu PF in the March general elections but there was no joy for many when the new cabinet was announced in April. The bulk of the positions went to Mashonaland East province where seven out of the 13 elected MPs were rewarded with positions in President Robert Mugabe's "Development Cabinet". Four others were appointed deputy ministers.

While the issue was once a subject of secret discussion a year ago, politicians say it is now being openly discussed in Zanu PF structures as fears mount that the province may one day find itself without a cabinet minister.

The death of Josiah Tungamirai, who was the Minister of State for Indigenisation and Empowerment, a few weeks ago, has also set tongues wagging as people speculate on his successor, amid fears that Mugabe might appoint someone from another province.

Local politicians are waiting, with keen interest, to see who will succeed Tungamirai, now that Masvingo has got only one cabinet minister, Stan Mudenge, who is in charge of the Higher and Tertiary Education portfolio.

There are two other deputy ministers, Isaiah Shumba and Tinos Rusere of the Education, Sport and Culture, and Mines and Mining Development ministries respectively.

However, these two are political lightweights in a province that has been dominated by heavyweights such as the late Muzenda and former Zanu PF legal guru, the late Eddison Zvobgo.

Masvingo politicians say apart from Mudenge whose influence is waning as he battles ill health, the province lacks meaningful representation in cabinet.

They warn that discontent was growing fast in a region, which, in the past, formed the bulwark of the Zanu PF support base.

"VaMzee vakainda, tasara pamhene" (Muzenda is gone and we have no one to protect our interests), lamented a Zanu PF Member of Parliament who preferred anonymity for fear of being victimised. Other Zanu PF politicians voiced their disgruntlement saying the province was becoming a fertile ground for anti-establishment politics.

"It's now common to see people capitalising on this disgruntlement to further their own causes. It is easy for them to go around saying Mugabe is practising politics of exclusion, now that Mzee (Muzenda) is gone.

"This message sinks easily in people's minds these days when they see people like former governor Josiah Hungwe who were close to him, without jobs," said a Zanu PF MP.

However, Mbudzi, who is among the young Turks, now at the centre of Zanu PF politics in Masvingo, said party supporters were not disgruntled but "pregnant with expectation" that the President would in due course, address the issue.

"We are not a province of deputies. We had expected that there would be a restitution of the balance of power. Masvingo is one of the biggest provinces with 16 MPs but it has one minister. Justice must not just be done, but must be seen to be done."

Mbudzi, a veteran of Zimbabwe's 1970's liberation war, said he did not believe that there were no cadres among the Masvingo MPs who were competent enough to assume cabinet positions.

"We do not care who is appointed. Previously, there were divisions but we are now stable and ready to contribute towards national development. Our contributions are equally important in the national context," he said.

Probably the only consolation for the Masvingo MPs is their commanding positions in influential Parliamentary Portfolio Committees. MPs from the province, Gutu South MP Shuvai Mahofa, Zaka West MP Mabel Mawere, Masvingo South MP Walter Mzembi, and Bikita West MP Claudius Makova are all chairpersons of parliamentary committees. These include Youth, Gender and Women's Affairs, Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare, Lands, Land Reform, Resettlement and Agriculture and Defence and Home Affairs and National Security. The house has a total of 13 committees.

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Zim Std
MDC rules out leadership changes
By Nqobani Ndlovu

BULAWAYO - The top hierarchy of the opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) has put a lid on leadership posts saying they are not up for grabs at the party's national congress slated for January next year.

The opposition party has reportedly been entangled in a serious power struggle with camps allegedly formed along academic, tribal and trade union lines.

Addressing a rally, MDC Vice President Gibson Sibanda and National Chairman Isaac Matongo - both former trade unionists - said party members should focus on removing Zanu PF from power and not fight for top posts at the Congress.

The two claimed that the infighting over the posts was being created by the Central Intelligence Organisation (CIO) which wants to divide the party.

"There is no infighting in the party. Do not read too much into what you read in the Press. The CIO is busy at work … they know that we are now heading for the congress. People are looking at the posts forgetting that we want to remove the President from power," Sibanda said.

Sibanda added: "If the congress is to divert us from removing Zanu PF from power and focus on party posts, then it is useless to have it. However, I am not saying that we will not hold it, we will."

Matongo said: "What we should do now to get the ruling party out of power is not to talk about removing our president at the congress.

"We should be united so that when we get to the congress, we will only talk about removing President Mugabe and not the issue of posts."

Power struggles in the opposition party have been simmering since the disputed March elections over the course of action to take against the ruling party.

The struggle came to a head in May when several vehicles were seized from some senior party officials. Several party youths were expelled from the party as infighting almost got out of hand.

Speaking at the same rally, MDC president Morgan Tsvangirai said the government of President Robert Mugabe should remain isolated until it abandons dictatorial tendencies.

Tsvangirai said if sanctions imposed on ruling party leaders and their cronies were to make the ruling party change, more pressure should be applied to ensure socio-economic and political stability in Zimbabwe.

Tsvangirai also said Zimbabweans who have been made "hunter-gatherers without food" should rally behind the MDC leadership. "This is the only way of forming a democratic resistance against the Mugabe regime," he said.

"We are prepared to be arrested and beaten up, but you should also be behind us. He (Mugabe) must be confronted. To the CIOs present at this rally go and tell the President that we are going to resist his tyranny and dictatorship."

The rally was attended by hundreds of Bulawayo residents, the top leadership of the opposition party, its parliamentarians and Bulawayo executive mayor Japhet Ndabeni-Ncube.

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News com
'Tired' Mugabe wants to retire
20/09/2005 10:03  - (SA)

Harare - The Zimbabwe government is considering amending the constitution to
allow presidential and parliamentary elections to take place at the same
time, an official newspaper reported on Tuesday.
Presidential elections are due in 2008, while parliamentary elections are
only due in 2010, but justice minister Patrick Chinamasa said President
Robert Mugabe's ruling party was contemplating changing the country's laws
to make the two polls coincide, the Herald reported.
The justice minister's remarks follow international media reports that
Mugabe intends stepping down when his current term ends in 2008.
There was speculation Mugabe might extend his current term to 2010, but the
Herald said given the Zimbabwean leader's remarks abroad, this was now
Exploring possible options
"We can harmonise by cutting short the current parliamentary term from 2010
to 2008 so that come 2008, we have both presidential and parliamentary
elections," Chinamasa told the state-controlled Herald.
Alternatively, he said they could hold an election for a president to run
for just two years from 2008 to 2010, when the country's next general
election is due.
"A third scenario is that we can have an election of a President to serve
for seven years, from 2008 to 2015, so that the harmonisation takes place
from 2015 onwards," said Chinamasa.
Mugabe, who was on his way home from the United Nations general assembly
summit in New York told Britain's Sunday Times earlier this month that he
definitely plans to step down when his current term ends in 2008.
The veteran leader, who has ruled Zimbabwe since the country gained
independence from white minority rule in 1980, told the paper that he wanted
to rest.
"I want to rest," he said. "I've no thought of changing my mind. I think I
want to retire and the party will choose someone else."
Alleged electoral fraud
Mugabe won a six-year term in power in 2002 beating his main rival -
opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) leader Morgan Tsvangirai -
by less than 500 000 votes.
Tsvangirai dismissed Mugabe's victory, citing electoral fraud, and is still
challenging the results in the country's courts.
Mugabe's party won parliamentary polls earlier this year, whose results are
also disputed. His Zimbabwe African National Union - Patriotic Front
(Zanu-PF) party won 78 seats to the MDC's 41, giving the ruling party a
clear majority to force through constitutional changes.
Last month ruling party lawmakers changed the constitution to restrict
freedom of movement, set up an upper chamber in parliament and prevent white
farmers from challenging the seizure of their land. - dpa
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Zimbabwe can take cue from Poland
Roger Bate
Business Day - Johannesburg,South Africa

FORMER Polish president Lech Walesa opened the recent American Enterprise
Institute conference, which celebrated the 25th anniversary of the
solidarity movement. It is remarkable how relevant his success in starting
the downfall of totalitarian communism in 1980 was for the conference
delegates from today’s “outposts of tyranny”. Walesa is an inspiring role
model in methods of opposition.

Delegates from Belarus, Cuba, North Korea, Iran, Syria and Burma, among
others, attended the event. Walesa and other eastern Europe speakers —
notably from the successful revolution in Ukraine — provide evidence that
change is possible in locations of despotism identified by US Secretary of
State Condoleezza Rice.

It is dangerous and difficult for those travelling from the outposts of
tyranny. On the day of the conference, Zimbabwe announced laws to restrict
freedom of international movement. Passports are likely to be withdrawn from
those critical of the administration of despot President Robert Mugabe. A
list including Movement for Democratic Change leader Morgan Tsvangirai and
Catholic Archbishop of Bulawayo Pius Ncube has been drawn up.

The lessons of this conference are how totalitarianism rulers may have
different forms of government but nearly always follow similar methods:
suppressing a free press, preventing free elections, where any occur at all,
and using violence, or the threat of it, to oppress its citizens.

But while the regimes adopt the same forms of suppression, the opposition
has myriad forms of revolt: strikes and non-violent protests in Poland and
more recently in Ukraine and Serbia; sabotage and civil disobedience in SA
and armed conflict in former Rhodesia. It is tragic that Rhodesia’s
dictatorial white government gave way to a far worse black government.

Of those trying to bring down a dictatorship, few require such immediate
support as those in Zimbabwe. While the need of those in North Korea is
probably greater, realistic solutions are not available yet for the world’s
most closed society. The latest estimates are that half the population of
Zimbabwe — about 5,5-million people— are short of food and more than 700000
are homeless after Mugabe bulldozed buildings in opposition areas.

The ruling regime is stopping food donations and blankets and preventing
journalists from entering the country. Thousands die weekly from
malnutrition. Despite the escalating crisis, many in Zimbabwe’s opposition
are hopeful peaceful protest and political participation in parliament can
bring change.

But, say informed sources at the state department, the US has cut its
support of Zimbabwe civil society. Last year it donated $7m to promote
democracy but cut that to $3m this year. Meanwhile, it gave $100m to Ukraine
for the same type of work.

Change requires resolve, the right time and often external support. With
Zimbabwe sliding into a disaster of Rwandan proportions, and Mugabe’s power
weakening due to economic collapse, the time is right. Zimbabwe is still
more open than many other despotic locations, so external support could

It is essential that the US provide more humanitarian relief, push the
United Nations to help, and support civil society. Violent conflict will be
the result unless more external aid is provided— and soon.

?Bate is a resident fellow of the American Enterprise Institute
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Zim Standard
Steam locos to the rescue
By Nqobani Ndlovu

BULAWAYO - Ten steam locomotives abandoned years ago, will undergo a $2 billion refurbishment in order to replace diesel engines currently grounded as a result of severe fuel shortages.

Fanuel Masikati, the National Railways of Zimbabwe (NRZ), Public Relations Manager told The Standard last week that the ambitious project would be sponsored by the parastatal, dogged by serious financial problems in recent years.

Masikati said the parastatal had already refurbished one locomotive for US$5 000, while the others were to be upgraded during the next "few months".

Masikati said the steam locomotives, entirely dependent on coal, would go a long way in overcoming the challenges brought about by the serious shortage of fuel that has crippled industries in the country.

He also said running the locomotives would be less expensive compared to diesel engines, although he could not indicate the actual monthly cost of running a locomotive."Even if there is a shortage of fuel the trains will be running as we have abundant coal supplies and spares are readily available in Zimbabwe. In terms of coal, we are the transporters of the commodity and there is no way that we can fail to get it," Masikati said.

The reintroduction of steam locomotives was also expected to resurrect tourist interest because efforts were underway to earmark some of them for safari operations.

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Zim Standard
Gutu widow's woes mount
By our staff

GUTU - The ordeal of Priscilla Chimhanda, a widow from Chivhande Village whose plight was highlighted by The Standard last month is far from over.

Chimhanda was back at the traditional courts two weeks ago. Initially she was ordered to pay a beast to Kanongovere Secondary School by her chief after her son, Robert Nhigo, was accused of stealing 23 chickens from the school.

She appeared before Chief Gutu recently where acting Chief Serima, George Chivhande, and his mother, Sophia Chiduza appealed against a Gutu magistrate's ruling ordering the two to return the animal to the widow.

Gutu magistrate Walter Chikwana granted the order and said the applicant (Chimhanda) should be given back the cow, valued at $4.5 million, by the end of this month.

Nhigo is serving a one-year prison term for various theft offences.

The Standard understands that teachers at Kanongovere School slaughtered the beast.

Acting Chief Serima is, however, unhappy and wants his superior, Chief Gutu to overturn the magistrate's ruling.

His mother, Chiduza, who was assaulted by Nhigo, is also demanding compensation.

However Chief Gutu, who sought guidance from Gutu area magistrate Chikwana, deferred the matter to Thursday this week saying the matter was too complex. "This is a very complex issue and it needs a lot of time to deliberate," Chief Gutu said.

Meanwhile before the deliberations started at Chief Gutu's Court in Mpandawana, scores of villagers could be seen milling around the old building waiting for their cases to be heard.

Before testifying in court, the accused and their witnesses pay a fee of $50 000. Cases which dominated the day's proceedings were mostly of lobola (dowry) defaulters.

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Sent: Monday, September 19, 2005 4:46 AM
Subject: Daylight Robbery

Dave Coltart and I were on the way back to Bulawayo on Sunday at 06.30 hrs
and had just come off the ramp at Rotten Row and were going under the bridge
onto the Beatrice Road. Under the bridge two men stepped out in the road in
front of us forcing Dave to apply his brakes. As soon as we slowed down a
third man - one of a larger group that were there - perhaps as many as 6 men
in all, hit the passenger window with a steel bar smashing it in. He then
reached into the moving car and attempted to remove Dave's bag from the
vehicle. Jeanette (my wife) was sitting on the back seat and as soon as she
heard the hit and saw the hand she reached over and held the bag handle.
Dave then accelerated and the man was unable to complete the theft. We did
not report this to the Police even though the Police Station was just a few
hundred metres up the road.

This is a tough call - we could have simply driven into the two men injuring
one or both of them and we could have stopped and tried to follow up but
both actions had risks which we were not prepared to take. Once again this
incident emphasises the need to be aware at all time of where you are and
who is behaving in a suspicious manner. Also keep your bags and luggage out
of sight and do not stop - they probably were armed. All the men were in
their mid 20's or so - dressed in  black - probably because they had been
trying this on in the night. This incident was in broad daylight.

Eddie Cross

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To All
Zimbabweans in the US have renewed calls for the US Government to grant Temporay Protection Status for Zimbabwe.
Kindly click on the following link to learn more about this initiative and to sign the on line petition in support of this TPS for Zimbabweans campiagn.  Log/click on to be part of this initiative.

Ralph B. Black B.Th CRCST
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Subject: The Life We Live

Before I go any further let me just say I AM FINE (disillusioned,angry,weary,wary) but fine!

I would like to thank S-, L-, W-, T-, C-, D-, S-, Mr & Mrs F- (sorry you got woken up!) and everybody else who helped and was
ready to come to my rescue.

At about 11.45 on Friday night on my way home from F- D- (sober,thank goodness!) I went through 2 red robots, very slowly and carefully but as there was only one car a long way behind me I felt it was safer than stopping.  That one car turned out to be an unmarked police car which
started my 3 hours of hell.

Before I had even started accelerating away from the 2nd robot, the blue light was flashing and I was being pulled over.  There were 3 uniformed officers and 1 plain clothed CIO officer all with rifles in that vehicle.
The shouting started the minute I stopped.  I did not have my handbag on me so no form of ID (my 2nd mistake!!!).  Off we went to R-e
Police Station where I was to be locked up until Monday.  I was not allowed to use my phone to contact anyone but as I drove off with the one police officer in my car I took the risk and phoned the first person in my call list,W-,as I knew the crowd was still at F- D- and closest to the
Police Station

On arrival at the station the verbal abuse and threats continued and I was made to sit next to an unconscious robber who had been shot and was bleeding all over the floor.  I was informed that would have been my fate had I failed to stop.  I finally, having messaged and stopped anyone coming to the Station (having angry drunk people descending on a group of aggressive police officers would have just made it worse) persuaded them to take me home to collect money and my Drivers' License.  As I had fuel in my car this task was accomplished after a 2 hour drive through Harare via Central Police Station, the Fife Avenue Pubs and assisting them in stopping a truck they wanted to search along Enterprise Road.

By the time we got to the house the officer (2 uniformed and the CIO Officer) were in a better mood and a lot more friendly.  I had managed to phone everyone when we stopped the truck and let them know what was happening as whilst I was driving there was no way I was taking the risk of answering my phone which was ringing constantly.

My ordeal was still not over as we now had to go back to the Police Station so I could be officially charged.  I was once again a jibbering idiot.  At the station initially they had informed me my fine would be at least $500 thousand dollars and I only had about $300 thousand on me so I asked if I could wake S- and R- up to borrow more.  The Officer in Charge said not to worry we would sort it out at the station.  I calmly explained there was no way I was going near the station if there was a chance I was going to be locked up for not having enough money.  He then explained that the fine for going through a red robot was $25 thousand dollars!!!! I wanted to throw up - all this anguish for $25 grand!! Oh and the half tank of precious petrol I used driving them around!

The trip back to the Station went smoothly with the CIO Officer and Second Uniformed Officer not leaving my side once we got inside and the CIO Officer even trying to persuade them not to even charge me at all.  I was charged the $25 thousand dollars and let go but with the advise that my ordeal was not over as the Officer in Charge had noted an 'irregularity' on my Driver's License and would be investigating further.  He asked me point blank if I had 'bought' my license.  I explained that it was issued over 17 years ago at the Kadoma VID and certainly was not 'bought'.  I don't think that was possible then but didn't go into that with them!!!!!

I finally got home at 3am!!!!!

Having been told by people over the week-end what I 'should have' and 'could have' done.....(Guys trust me - when you are a woman alone with 4 aggressive police officers with guns breathing down your neck (not to mention the other 3 bored antagonistic ones at the cop shop!) you do as you're told and don't even think to be clever!) please can someone try to answer the following:

1.    Is there and 'unwritten' law in Zimbabwe that says women on their own may proceed through red robots 'with caution' late at night?

2.    I know it's law to carry your driver's license but is there a 24 hour period you are supposed to be given to produce it?

3.    Is there anyone a woman alone can call should they find themselves in a situation like I did on Friday...... my stress was doubled as not only was I terrified of what these guys could do to me but what they could do to my friends if they came to help - I think the best thing I did was stop anyone coming to my rescue until I knew exactly what was happening!

PLEASE ladies learn from my experience - DO NOT DRIVE ALONE AFTER DARK - EVER!!!! If you have to, stop at the robots - I didn't even see these guys coming!!!! I also didn't know exactly what was happening as it was an unmarked car and I didn't know whether to stop or keep going.  They say drive straight to a police station - I will NEVER go near one of those again .. and also please believe me when I tell you that in a situation like that  - as level headed as I think I normally am - everything I had learned or heard - went straight out of my head!!!! Nobody can possibly know what it's like unless they've experienced it.  You live what you learn - and I've learnt two things - never drive alone after dark and never argue with someone who may have the power to hurt you - be humble, be apologetic,know your rights but trust me - I don't think knowing my rights would have really helped me - they had the power and briefly held my fate in their hands and there was NOTHING I could have done. I did learn my own strength of character on Friday night though.  I pray none of you ever has the experience I did..... ever!

I WON'T BE A the 3 officers I would like to say - thank you for eventually changing your tune and having the decency to apologise for what you put me through!  To my friends who want to take this further - it's not going to happen - it was a lesson and that's it - I want it over with - yes someone needs to stand up to those who think they have the power of God - but it won't be me - they know where I live!!!!!

The Mail & Guardian's headline this week-end was - "Laws in Zimbabwe Change Daily" - aint that the truth !!!!

If anyone can advise what our rights are I would be very grateful.
Take care and be safe.

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Zim Std
Keeping the people's spirits up
what's on air By Stewart Chabwinja

TELLING people what they want to hear is a favourite trick of politicians, it seems. Favourites include: Government is turning the economy around; no one will starve despite the drought; the Look East Policy is bearing fruit;

Zimbabweans should be grateful to have a leader of the Great Guvnor's wisdom and vision; fuel tankers have finally started loading and will eventually arrive at service stations...

The approach is typified by Vice President Joseph Msika, who revels in talking down to 'supporters' at rallies, much like a school head addressing pupils. He was the other week touring Operation Garikai housing projects, which are increasingly behind schedule.

At Whitecliff, after a few "Pamberis" which customarily climaxed with "Pasine MDC", Msika went about his trickery. He said he was happy with the (slow) rate of construction, houses would benefit all including those of the MDC, the operation would shame detractors who were jealousy the country had a great leader.

Msika stretched the tell-them-what-they-want-to-hear trick to breaking point when he waxed: Detractors are jealousy because "we have no problems; we are not at war; we're not killing each other, takagara zvakanaka hedu semvura yemutsime!"

In Bulawayo he found a scapegoat in the MDC, which he blamed for politicising issues by not providing water for Operation Garikai. We suppose in the same vein, the MDC is responsible for the ill-fated Matabeleland Zambezi Water Project.

The politicking reached a crescendo when Msika said vendors should be provided with temporary structures to operate from while awaiting the construction of permanent structures. How is that for a bit of logic? You destroy people's temporary vending sites under Operation Murambatsvina so that the government can provide them with temporary vending sites, while they await construction of permanent vending sites.

Hats off to Newsnet. Yep, again. It seems the economic difficulties the country is facing have finally diffused to Pockets Hill, judging by recent coverage of the economic malaise.

While Reuben Barwe might not be living proof of the country's endemic hunger and poverty, he nonetheless filed an interesting story last week. We prefer to think he was merely pulling our collective legs when he said Zimbabweans had expressed optimism that the country would soon be on the road to recovery.

Indeed, he banished any such thoughts when he thundered: "...If you succeed in Zimbabwe you'll succeed anywhere. If you live in Zimbabwe today, you'll live anywhere else in the world where there are problems."

Got that? Living in Zimbabwe is the ultimate endurance test. And if you survive, then you can make it in Somalia, Siberia or hell - assuming it's right here on earth.

Newspaper publisher Ibbo Mandaza was wearing the analyst's hat on Wednesday's Newshour during which he made comments on the UN reform debate. Nothing particularly interesting in what he said, as you would expect from Newshour analysts.

Surprisingly, he was back again on the lunch hour bulletin come Thursday, saying much the same comments as the previous evening. However his newsnet appearances gave him the chance to parade his considerable collection of what is popularly known as "African attire". It was the brown outfit on Wednesday, then the black one on Thursday.

A viewer was shocked, albeit briefly, when Newshour kicked off Wednesday.

"During the evening news when the camera showed an empty newsreader's seat for a while I thought the poor reader had gone bananas and bolted from the newsroom," writes Melvin Mubaiwa. 'The propaganda must finally have got to the poor reader', I thought to myself.

"It however turned out the camera had merely zoomed onto the wrong seat on the newsdesk."

Repeats, repeats repeats moans Runyararo Mherekumombe. "Sunday all seemed well at Pockets Hill, until the farming experts were through. I was expecting something refreshing in the form of Kabanana, only to be shown a previous episode with no explanation, just like when the Nigerian movie was repeated on the previous day. After that came the amusing Sunday Buzz. During footage accompanying a police story we could see newsreader Henrietta Ndebele sprucing herself up in the background of the footage.

"Wednesday, Ian Zvoma said Zimbabwe were hoping to do better 'on the second day of the first day' of a cricket match. Viewers were left to figure out that he meant the second day of the first test."

Idols, one of the biggest success stories in the history of reality television, is "kicking" on Dstv's Mnet channel.

The number of contestants has been whittled down from thousands of hopefuls and will be down to eight, and somehow increased to 12, after today's show.

The talent search has come a long way in the last few weeks, and how the judges have transformed since the auditions. After one no-hoper had finished singing terribly out of tune during the audition stage it was:

Judge: "How do you think that went?"

Singer: "It could have gone much better."

Judge: "Yeah, like if you kept your mouth shut. You can't sing so don't do so in public; it could be quite embarrassing!"

And when this lady entered the audition room she was greeted thus: "Those boots you're wearing remind me of someone, a cartoon character... Oh yes, Hagar the Horrible!

The judges have been much more charitable with their comments during the elimination stages. Why Nhlanhla, one of the hot finalists to make the last 12 had one judge, Mara Louw, in tears after impressively performing Lionel Ritchie's Hello.

What a show!

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Gulf Times
Zimbabwe’s economic future looking bleak
Published: Tuesday, 20 September, 2005, 12:07 PM Doha Time

By Abhik Kumar Chanda
HARARE: Zimbabwe must radically overhaul its land reform policy to revive the economy and retain membership in the International Monetary Fund, which has given it six months grace from threatened expulsion, analysts say.
The southern African nation, in the throes of economic turmoil, faces a bleak future with inflation hovering at more than 250%, real unemployment pegged at 90% and an acute fuel and food crisis.
To add to its woes, the current agricultural season has got off to a sluggish start with prices of seed and fertiliser increasing significantly over last year amid poor distribution.
“Over the next three months, we have to put the crops into the ground in the face of every disincentive and problem,” economist John Robertson said.
“There is no fuel to transport the seeds to the farms, there is no fuel to run the tractors and seed and fertiliser stocks are scarce,” he said.
“Next year’s crops will be a massive disappointment.”
Zimbabwe got a reprieve on September 9 when the IMF put off a decision to expel Harare for debt arrears by six months.
This was after Harare – in arrears since 2001 – paid back $20mn of its debt. The remaining debt to the IMF now stands at around $175mn.
Finance Minister Herbert Murerwa has announced that in line with IMF demands to cut public spending, he will aim at confining the budget deficit to within 8.6% of Gross Domestic Product (GDP).
Economists say the budget deficit currently stands at between 12 and 14% of GDP.
The finance minister has spoken of “restructuring” the civil service to reduce the wage bill, currently 20% of GDP.
Murerwa also hinted at lifting price controls – which have led to scarcity and a flourishing black market – and implementing policies to stimulate investment levels from 4% of GDP to 25%.
Eric Bloch, an independent economist who advises the government, said the key lay in reversing Zimbabwe’s land reforms under which white-owned farms were seized and redistributed to blacks with no farming expertise.
Bloch said the government should return land to farmers to come in line with earlier agreements entered into in Paris and Abuja stating that white farmers would be allowed to retain one farm each and not in excess of a stipulated size while the remainder would be sold under a willing-buyer, willing-seller principle.
Zimbabwe launched land seizures in 2000 in which 4,500 farmers lost their property, with fewer than 500 remaining.
Bloch said “corruption is a major cause of inflation” but stressed that if correctives were put in place, Harare could pay back another 50mn dollars to the IMF in six months.
Robertson echoed Bloch in saying that the key to economic revival lay in putting “the land back in the marketplace.”
He said the new beneficiaries often stripped the farms of equipment and irrigation facilities to make a quick buck and had reverted to subsistence agriculture thereafter.
Tapiwa Mashakada, shadow finance minister of the main opposition Movement for Democratic Change party, called for a “total paradigm shift.”
“It’s high time that the government restore’s economic co-operation with multilateral lending institutions and pursue rational policies so that investment comes in,” he said.
But President Robert Mugabe, who has ruled Zimbabwe for 25 years, shows no signs of relenting even after the IMF move to postpone the decision on expulsion.
“The IMF has never been of real assistance to developing countries,” he said. “It is wielded by big powers. We have never been friends with the IMF and therefore in future we shall never be friends with the IMF.” – AFP
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Tycoon Denounces Mugabe to IMF

Business Day (Johannesburg)
September 20, 2005
Posted to the web September 20, 2005
Dumisani Muleya
PROMINENT Zimbabwean tycoon Mutumwa Mawere, now a South African citizen, claims part of the money used recently by President Robert Mugabe's regime to cover the International Monetary Fund (IMF) arrears came from his seized companies.
Mawere's disclosure reinforces reports that Mugabe's government raided exporters' foreign currency accounts and the forex auction system to raise the $120m it paid to the IMF to reduce its $295m debt.

The revelations raise questions about the propriety of the sources of the money Harare paid to the IMF after failing to secure a loan from SA to settle the arrears. Zimbabwe rejected the conditions Pretoria attached to the loan.
In a recent letter to the IMF's MD, Rodrigo de Rato, Mawere said Mugabe's government used proceeds from his confiscated companies to help repay the IMF.
The letter was copied to United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan, World Bank president Paul Wolfowitz and senior IMF officials.
Mawere is a former World Bank and International Finance Corporation employee.
The payment of part of the IMF debt and concessions on economic reforms saved Zimbabwe from immediate expulsion.
Harare was given another grace period of six months to put its house in order.
Mawere wrote: "I am not sure whether your management and staff are aware of the policy steps that have led to the illegal expropriation of private property rights by the state, thereby enhancing its capacity to pay you.
"I am sure that if your executive board was aware that part of the source of payment from Zimbabwe directly originated from the proceeds of the state's illegal activities, your institutions would have arrived at a different conclusion in your deliberations."
Mawere lost his flagship conglomerate, Shabanie Mashaba Mines, which he had bought for $60m from British company Turner & Newell in 1996, to the state. His mines, together with companies in finance, insurance and agriculture, were seized by presidential decree.
Mawere was accused of externalising foreign currency and was specified under the Prevention of Corruption Act.

He was arrested in SA last year, but freed after Zimbabwe failed in its bid to get him extradited.
Mawere said that he felt compelled to bring the issue to the IMF's attention because of a misrepresentation of facts about Zimbabwe's payment.
Mail & Guardian
Disaster looms for Zim's tobacco crop

Michael Hartnack | Harare, Zimbabwe

20 September 2005 03:00


Sales of Zimbabwe's major export, Virginia flue-cured tobacco, officially closed on Tuesday after fetching about $104-million (about R661-million) on a crop that was just a fraction of what was harvested before the seizure of 5 000 white-owned commercial farms.

With returns still to be received from a few "tidy up" auctions, about 70-million kilograms had been sold at an average price of $1,63 (R10,37) per kilogram, a
spokesperson for the Zimbabwe Tobacco Association said. The association represents 850 large scale commercial growers, now overwhelmingly black Zimbabweans, and 30 000 new farmers who recently started production.

This compared with a 237-million kilogram 1999-2000 crop, sold as Mugabe ordered the invasion of the white-owned farms, then covering 17% of the country. The 2000 crop fetched about $400-million during a year when the average price was very low because of bumper crops in the United States and Brazil.

Economist John Robertson estimated $2-billion (R12-billion) would have been earned from this year's tobacco crop, at current prices, if the industry had remained undisturbed and able to produce Zimbabwe's traditional high quality low nicotine content "flavouring" tobacco.

Much of the tobacco produced by new farmers is low priced "filler" grades.

Opening sales in April were forced to close by angry new farmers who said they could not meet production costs with prices below $1 per kilogram.

Officials said next year's harvest was likely to be even worse.

The government-appointed Tobacco Industry Marketing Board released a statement on Monday saying the 2005-2006 season might be "a disaster" because of lack of fuel and fertilisers, late preparations and labour problems.

The marketing board chairperson, Njodzi Machirori, told The Herald newspaper that the coming season would likely be "the worst in history," with only 857ha being put under tobacco instead of the 150 000ha target. He said new farmers lacked working capital, with banks unwilling to give advances in time.

The marketing board said most growers were already two weeks behind schedule and faced a dire shortage of their most vital fertiliser compound. It said there was not enough diesel to prepare the fields.

President Robert Mugabe accused 40 000 whites of orchestrating opposition to his rule among 16-million black Zimbabweans since independence in 1980

About 500 000 skilled black farmworkers were displaced by the seizure of their employers' land, some being forced to go to Malawi and Mozambique, from where their parents and grandparents emigrated in the colonial era. Others live in towns as homeless squatters.

An economic crash brought 80% unemployment, runaway hyperinflation and shortages of most staples from maize meal to gasoline. An unknown number of whites and about four million black Zimbabweans have emigrated since the seizure of farms from whites began.

Annual inflation, which touched 662% in 2004, is now 265,1% and is expected to top 400% by the year end.

UN agencies say four million Zimbabweans urgently need famine relief to survive to the next harvests due in April 2006. - Sapa-AP
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