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

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Zim Online

Tue 21 September 2004

      HARARE - Weak governance, corruption and a breakdown in the rule of
law in Zimbabwe have severely eroded investor confidence in the country,
according to the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

      In an annual economic review released last Friday, the IMF board
expressed alarm at Zimbabwe's "sharp economic decline" which it said was
mainly because of poor economic planning and the country's disorderly land

      The IMF said Zimbabwe's crisis, which was also negatively affecting
neighbouring countries, was mainly a result of "inappropriate macro-economic
and structural policies, including weak financial management, distortionary
controls and regulations, and the disorderly implementation of the
fast-track land reform programme.

      "Directors (of the IMF) regretted that weak governance, corruption and
the lack of respect for the rule of law have undermined confidence and led
to capital flight and emigration, with negative spill-over effects on
neighbouring countries."

      The Bretton Woods institution also criticised Harare for its refusal
of food aid which it said left the country badly exposed if the government's
"ambitious estimates" on food production prove incorrect.

      President Robert Mugabe has told international food aid groups that
have helped feed hungry Zimbabweans for the last three years to take their
help elsewhere saying the country had produced enough food to feed itself.

      The government says the country produced 2.4 million tonnes of the
staple maize. The United Nations and other groups note there will be an
improved production of the staple grain this year but insist it will still
fall far short of national requirements.

      The UN estimates that about 2.5 million Zimbabweans will still need
food aid. Zimbabwe requires about 1.8 million tonnes of maize for its
consumption per year and for strategic reserves.

      The IMF urged the Zimbabwean government to abandon multiple and often
chaotic exchange rates in favour of one unified exchange rate determined and
driven by the market.

      Zimbabwe, which less than a decade ago had one of Africa's most
vibrant economies, is in the grip of a painful economic crisis that has
manifested itself in acute shortages of foreign currency, fuel, essential
drugs and food.

      The IMF and other critics blame the government's economic and land
policies for Zimbabwe's decline.

      Harare denies the charge claiming instead that the economic meltdown
is because of sabotage by Britain and other Western opponents of its land
redistribution programme under which it seized white-owned land and parceled
it out to landless blacks. - ZimOnline
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Zim Online

Evicted farm settlers still stranded in the open
Tue 21 September 2004

      HARARE - Several thousand families left homeless when soldiers and
police burnt their homes on Little England and Inkomo farms last Friday were
yesterday still stranded in the open about 30 kilometres along the
Harare-Chinhoyi highway.

      Elsewhere across the country, chaos reigned at several former
white-owned farms as ruling ZANU PF party militants ordered thousands of
black families to vacate farms they seized about two years ago.

      Police spokesman Wayne Bvudzijena yesterday told ZimOnline the
families were being removed from the farms because they had settled there
illegally. He said: "These are illegal settlers and the law states that they
can't continue occupying those farms

      Local Government Minister Ignatius Chombo last week told the Press the
evictions were necessary to pave way for blacks who had resources to carry
out commercial agriculture on the farms.

      Chombo said the government would find alternative areas for the
evicted families. But he and Bvudzijena did not explain the involvement of
ZANU PF militants in the evictions.

      The black families seized the farms between 2000 and 2003 and were
encouraged by President Robert Mugabe and his government who at the time
defended the families' actions as a "legitimate demonstration of land

      The government, which launched its own farm seizure programme several
months after the farm invasions by the black peasants, promised it was not
going to evict the peasants from the farms. Instead the government promised
it was going to send in its land experts to properly plan settlements on the

      Black settlers at several farms toured by ZimOnline yesterday in the
districts of Banket, Darwendale, Karoi and Chinhoyi in Mashonaland West
province and in Lower Gweru in Midlands province expressed disappointment at
the government actions.

      They accused the state of using them during the
internationally-publicised farm invasions. They said the government was now
evicting them from the farms to pave way for ZANU PF and government

      Government, ZANU PF officials, their relatives and friends kept most
of the best land seized from white farmers with some of them taking as many
as six farms each, according to a government land audit report leaked to the
Press last year.

      A father of two, who talked to our news crew by the side of the
Harare-Chinhoyi road said: "When we moved onto Little England the government
backed us and said we were going to be allowed to stay on the farm."

      The disappointed father, who would only identify himself as Mukosi,
said: "Now that the chefs (senior government and ZANU PF officials) want
more land on top of what they already got, they are sending soldiers and
police with guns to chase us off."

      Mukosi explained that he and his colleagues were sleeping in the open
and said he feared that the evicted families, especially the children, might
soon contract diseases because there was no clean water or sanitary
facilities at their new "roadside settlement." - ZimOnline
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Zim Online

Finance minister remanded in custody
Tue 21 September 2004

      HARARE - Finance and Economic Development Minister Christopher
Kuruneri was yesterday remanded in custody to October 12 after State
prosecutors said police were still finalising investigations against the

      A pale and tired-looking Kuruneri could only shake his head in
apparent disbelief after magistrate Omega Mugumbati acceded to requests by
the State for the police to be given more time to finish probing the charges
against him.

      Kuruneri, who has been in jail since April, is facing charges of
possessing a Zimbabwean and a Canadian passport in contravention of the
country's Citizenship Act which bars Zimbabweans from holding passports of
other nations.

      He is also accused of siphoning out of the country 5.2 million rands,
34 371 pounds, 30 000 euros and US$582 611. 99. Kuruneri has in the past
sought to be released on bail pending trial without success.

      The Finance Minister, who is also the ruling ZANU PF Member of
Parliament for Mazowe West constituency, is the highest-ranking government
official arrested so far in a clampdown by the State against high level

      Kuruneri has pleaded not guilty to externalising foreign currency
saying the money he is accused of having used to buy properties in South
Africa was acquired through consultancy work done outside Zimbabwe.

      Higher Education Minister Herbert Murerwa, who has been finance
minister before, is acting in Kuruneri's place. - ZimOnline
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Daily News online edition

      Daily News wins case

      Date:20-Sep, 2004

      HARARE - Regional magistrate Lilian Kudya, on Monday acquitted four
directors of the Associated Newspapers of Zimbabwe, (ANZ),publishers of The
Daily News and Daily News on Sunday who were facing charges under the
draconian Access to Information and Protection of Privacy Act (AIPPA) and
contempt of court after publishing The Daily News on October 24 last year.

      The four, Samuel Sipepa Nkomo, Rachel Kupara, Michael Mattinson and
Brian Mutsau, today walked out of the regional court free after Mrs. Kudya
said there was no prima-facie evidence that the four had wanted to commit
any crime against the state.

      Mrs Kudya also acquitted ANZ as a company for publishing the same

      The charges had stemmed from a decision by the newspaper bosses to
resume publication of the Daily News, six weeks after it was shut down after
an Administrative Court ruling in which the Media and Information Commission
(MIC) was adjudged to have erred when it denied ANZ a licence to publish.

      The MIC, through its executive chairman, Dr Tafataona Mahoso, had
complained that ANZ had misinterpreted the court ruling and that it should
have waited until November 30, 2003 before restarting publication of its

      Beatrice Mutetwa of Kantor and Immermann represented ANZ.
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Daily News online edition

      Move to place bank under curatorship queried

      Date:21-Sep, 2004

      HARARE - The recent placement of Royal Bank under curatorship by the
Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe has been described as a political rather than
administrative move aimed at stripping the bank of its market share in the
country's remote parts.

      According to sources within the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ), the
bank's financial books, although in an unhealthy state, were in a much safer
position than those of a named financial institution, which is currently

      "Royal Bank was sacrificed because it was growing faster than
expected. Although it had a liquidity deficit, it did not warrant RBZ's
decision to place it under curatorship," said the source, adding that the
decision was a result of the government's fears that the bank would become
more independent and reach out to the new farmers.

      The bank's curator, Robert McIndoe, recently said he was looking for
investors to come on board and rescue the bank.

      Among the other initiatives which McIndoe has suggested, is the
disposal of the bank's assets in the remote parts of the country in an
effort to raise the required capital.

      However, sources within the central bank have maintained that the
disposal of the bank's assets would work against the bank's strategy, which
was to target those clients in remote parts of the country.

      Two banks in which the government has a significant shareholding,
First Banking Corporation and Agribank, are said to be eyeing the branches
in rural areas and remote parts of the country, which the curator said he
was targeting for disposal.

      According to the sources, the government is not comfortable with Royal
Bank being responsible for financing and handling of finances for new

      Such finances, according to sources, would be better handled by either
First Banking Corporation or Agribank, which do not have braches in most of
the commercial farming areas where Royal Bank had already established its
network through buying out of clients and banking halls from either Standard
Chartered Bank or Barclays Bank which recently closed shop in the areas.

      Most farmers in areas such as Chipinge and Karoi, were now relying on
Royal Bank and its recent closure to the public had adversely affected their

      In Chipinge, there is no other banking institution operating in the
area apart from Royal Bank.

      Unlike the other banks where chief executive officers and other
management board members have fled the country on suspicion of embezzling
funds, all the directors of Royal Bank are currently in the country.

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Zimbabwe is running out of food - report
          September 20 2004 at 07:36PM

      Harare - Food supplies are declining in most rural districts of
Zimbabwe and households will be forced to depend on insufficient official
stocks, a monitoring body warned in its latest report, received on Monday by

      The warning comes a week after the head of the state-run Grain
Marketing Board (GMB) admitted the country's sole grain purchasing agency
was only likely to receive 750 000 tons of maize this season, way below the
southern African country's needs.

      "As more households rely on the market to obtain their cereal needs,
food security will depend more and more on the the Grain Marketing Board,"
the Famine Early Warning Systems Network said in its monthly food security

      But the US-funded agency warned: "The quantity of grain collected by
the GMB as of mid-August is insufficient to meet the needs in urban centres
and rural areas with deficit production."

      It said people in rural areas were depending on their own dwindling
stocks of grain to survive.

      In urban areas, food security is also threatened: while basic
commodities are available, many households cannot afford them, the report

      "Hyperinflation, high rates of unemployment and low wages contribute
to food insecurity in urban areas," the report said. Zimbabwe's inflation
rate currently stands at just over 314 percent.

      Last week the head of the GMB, Colonel Samuel Muvuti told a
parliamentary committee that Zimbabwe currently had just 298 000 tons of
maize in stock and expected a total harvest of 750 000 tons by March next

      The figure represents less than half the 1.8 million tons the country
needs for both humans and livestock.

      Muvuti said farmers would retain some produce for their own

      Earlier this year, the Zimbabwe government claimed it would be
harvesting a bumper maize crop of 2.4 million tons. It refused to accept
international food aid on that basis.

      The opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) has claimed that
the figures on the country's food stocks have been distorted so that food
handouts can be used to buy voter support ahead of next year's general

      The government denies the charge, saying it will not let anyone

      Zimbabwe is due to hold general elections next March, but the MDC has
vowed to boycott those polls unless electoral reforms are implemented. -

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      Zambia temporarily suspends oil export to Zimbabwe 2004-09-21 01:02:15

          HARARE, Sept. 20 (Xinhuanet) -- Zambia has temporarily suspended
exporting crude oil to Zimbabwe after fuel shortages hit Zambia as a result
of technical fault at its Indeni oil refinery plant, local official said on

          A senior official with the Zimbabwean Ministry of Energy and Power
Development here said on Monday that on Friday last week, Zambia suspended
exporting oil to Zimbabwe following the fuel shortage that the country is
currently experiencing.

          "The suspension will be lifted once the oil situation improves in
Zambia. Zambia's Ministry of Energy informed us that the move was inevitable
as the current stock in their country was failing to meet domestic
requirements," said the official.

          "Fuel shortage in Zambia was caused by a defect in the machinery
at the country's sole oil refinery plant. The plant is currently being
attended to. Zimbabwe is not the only country affected as Zambia has
suspended all exports to other countries that benefit from them," the
official said.

          He said once Zambia addresses the technical fault, normal supplies
to Zimbabwe would resume.

          The official said the temporary suspension would not affect the
fuel situation as measures had been taken to avert shortages.

          The Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe recently availed 10 million US
dollars to facilitate the release of bonded stocks of fuel in the country to
improve the fuel situation, and another 20 million US dollars was also made
available to the National Oil Company of Zimbabwe for purposes of importing
fuel in the past one and a half months.

          The move by the central bank came as fuel queues were beginning to
resurface in Zimbabwe at the beginning of the month following reports of
fuel shortages in the country. Enditem

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Homeless Rural Children On Increase

The Herald (Harare)

September 20, 2004
Posted to the web September 20, 2004


THERE is a worrying increase in the number of homeless children in rural
areas as a result of poverty, food insecurity and HIV/Aids, the president of
the Association of Rural District Councils of Zimbabwe, Cde Jerry Gotora,
has said.

Cde Gotora said the problem of homeless children was most prevalent at
growth points and rural service centres.

He said women should champion solutions to the problem.

"With the gender wave in the world, women should play a central role.
Without a woman there is no home. No man has a home until there is a woman,"
he said.

He also challenged the Ministry of Education, Sport and Culture to use its
department of culture to conscientise society on the need to safeguard the
interests of children.

He said his association was in consultation with Government over the problem
and was exploring a number of remedial interventions.

Cde Gotora said the HIV/Aids pandemic has orphaned many children who,
because of circumstances beyond their control, also lost property left by
their deceased parents.

The demise of the extended family system had also exacerbated homelessness
among the children.

"Those in distressed circumstances have traditionally been protected by the
noble philosophy of the extended family. In our culture it was taboo to kick
out a relation and even a stranger. It was unheard of for a child to go
without a family, a father, a mother, brother or sister," he said.

Cde Gotora said that system was used to protect the vulnerable in society.
He said unlike in the European set-up where such children are sent to foster
homes, the African culture of the extended family should be strongly

Interventions that are being explored include the creation of a special fund
to deal with the problem but there is a fear that red tape would bog down
the fund.
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New Zimbabwe

MDC leaders meet Mbeki as mass action looms

By Staff Reporter
Last updated: 09/21/2004 00:30:23
ZIMBABWE'S main opposition party said it may launch mass protests to press
President Robert Mugabe to enact voting reforms ensuring free and fair
parliamentary elections next year.

Mass action and demonstrations were options if Mugabe did not implement real
electoral reforms, Movement for Democratic Change secretary general
Professor Welshman Ncube told Reuters on Monday after seeing South African
President Thabo Mbeki at the weekend.

It was the first time the MDC had made known its intentions after it said
last month it would boycott elections until Mugabe's government introduced
meaningful reforms.

Mugabe, in power since independence in 1980, is accused by critics of a
harsh political crackdown as Zimbabwe spins into economic crisis, partly due
to the government's seizure of white-owned farms to give to landless blacks.

He has announced plans for electoral reform that have been welcomed by
regional governments but has not said when they will come into force. The
MDC remained skeptical.

"There are other forms of struggle we will look at like mass action,
boycotts and demonstrations to bring about a democratic dispensation because
elections are not an end in themselves," said Ncube.

He said three MDC leaders met Mbeki in the South African capital Pretoria
and impressed on him the need for an urgent resolution to Zimbabwe's crisis.

Mbeki has admitted his policy of quiet diplomacy has so far failed to make
headway, and informal talks between the MDC and Mugabe's ruling ZANU-PF have
not matured into full negotiations.

There was no immediate comment from Mbeki's office.

Last year marches planned by the MDC were crushed by Mugabe's government and
MDC leader Morgan Tsvangirai was arrested and charged with treason.

Ncube said the meeting with Mbeki was part of the MDC's resolution to press
Southern Africa Development Community (SADC) leaders to push Mugabe to
embrace democratic reforms.

Ncube said MDC ranks did not have radical elements agitating for an armed

Mugabe's electoral reform plans won backing last month from Zimbabwe's
neighbors at a summit of SADC, which proposed similar guidelines as
democratic benchmarks for the region.

The Harare government, which was not available to comment on Monday, has
given no indication of when it would enact them - Reuters

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Marondera Shooting: 2 in Critical Condition

The Herald (Harare)

September 20, 2004
Posted to the web September 20, 2004


TWO of the 13 people shot and injured when a mock battle drill allegedly
went awry at Marondera Agricultural Show on Saturday are in a critical
condition and have been referred to Parirenyatwa Hospital.

Circumstances surrounding the incident were still unclear yesterday as
Zimbabwe National Army spokesperson Major Masuku could not shed light on any
developments regarding the matter, saying he was away in Bulawayo.

"We apologise to the victims, but this issue is under investigation to
ascertain what could have happened," Maj Masuku said.

He, however, pointed out that army officers are prohibited from using live
ammunition during their demonstrations.

Speaking from her hospital bed, a woman who was shot at the show said she
had been watching the drill when - all of a sudden - she was hit in the
right breast.

"I was just standing and watching when I was hit. I do not know why I was
shot. I must have lost consciousness as I only woke up in hospital," the
woman said.

Two members of the Air Force of Zimbabwe, who were about 200 metres away
from the arena where the drills were taking place, were shot in the legs.

"None of us knows how this happened. We were standing about 200 metres away
when we heard some shots. I immediately felt being hit on the leg, but was
not sure whether I had been shot at with a live bullet as there was no
reason for me to think there could be live bullets flying in the air.

"In a state of shock, I ran towards our bus while the crowd - which was
panic-stricken too - started fleeing."

He said he collapsed on reaching the bus.

The airman said it was strange for the soldiers to have fired live
ammunition in public.

"In this profession, we do everything involving firearms by ourselves. No
one can book for a gun on behalf of someone else and from my knowledge, only
blank ammunition is used."

He said the soldiers had fired randomly.

"If they had used blank ammunition - which produces smoke only - they would
not have injured even someone standing as near as five metres away," he

The other injured airman, who was still in pain, said he was suddenly hit in
the leg while helping in the displays at their stand.

"The next minute I was lying on the ground - I did not know what happened,"
he said.

Police spokesperson Superintendent Oliver Mandipaka yesterday said
investigations into the shooting were still at a preliminary stage.
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In southern Africa, too many elephants
         John Donnelly The Boston Globe  Monday, September 20, 2004

Is killing the best remedy for overpopulation? Some ecologists say it may be

PILANESBERG NATIONAL PARK, $ Rudi van Aarde, an ecologist, leaned back on a
veranda that overlooked dry grasslands and a group of bull elephants, his
shoes still dusty from a 12,800-kilometer tour of game reserves in southern
Africa. Van Aarde was on a mission: saving elephants from sanctioned
The overpopulation of elephants in parks throughout southern Africa has
reached a crisis stage, most conservationists agree, and South Africa soon
will consider whether to cull its herds. It would be the first culling on
the continent in a decade. Proponents say it is necessary because the
elephants are fast destroying valuable woodlands in many parks, including
some 2,000-year-old thick-trunked baobabs. But van Aarde, head of the
Conservation Ecology Research Unit at the University of Pretoria, and a
collection of animal rights groups and zoologists hope to avoid culling by
expanding newly created transnational parks. In this way, they hope to link
the seven largest clusters of elephants in southern Africa.
Their theory, which they call "Megaparks for Metapopulations," is that by
merging herds with high and low reproduction rates, and then drying up many
water holes, the numbers of the world's largest land mammals will reduce
more naturally.
They don't have much time to make their case. Public hearings on how best to
manage the growing elephant herds, including the option of culling, are
scheduled for next month in Kruger National Park in northeastern South
"This is a problem that man induced," said van Aarde at dusk one day last
week, relaxing on the veranda of an open-air restaurant in Pilanesberg
National Park, a small reserve crowded with nearly 180 elephants. He had
just returned from a five-week trip in a Land Rover through Malawi, Zambia,
Zimbabwe, Botswana and South Africa. "We reduced their range and forced the
elephants into fenced-in areas and then artificially created water holes.
The populations grew rapidly. What did we expect?"
Those who favor culling the herds, he said, are "only dealing with a symptom
of the problem. It's a short-term solution. I think we need to deal with
what caused the problem in the first place."
Opponents of culling also worry that such killings may lead to lifting the
worldwide ban on ivory sales. Opening the market, they say, could encourage
poachers to kill elephants in protected areas as well.
But those who favor culling include respected ecologists who acknowledge
that they are trying to solve a vexing problem in which all the viable
options are risky. Given current reproduction rates in Kruger National Park
and Chobe National Park in northern Botswana, they say that if half the
herds were killed, it would take a dozen years to return to today's numbers.
"No one wants to go out and cull elephants," said Jeremy Anderson, a South
African wildlife consultant. "Say we take off half of the elephants; it will
take 12 years to get back to where you were. "If you don't take them off,
and you're wrong about the baobabs, it will take us 2,000 years to replace
them, or wrong about the soil, it will take us 2 million years to replace
that. No one is looking at the big picture and the loss of biodiversity."
Africa's elephants once roamed the continent wherever water and trees were
plentiful, but their range today, while still spread over 37 countries, has
been vastly reduced because of development and the once-lucrative trade in
ivory. In 1979, the African elephant population was estimated at more than
1.3 million; a decade later, the widespread slaughter for ivory had reduced
it by half.
In 1989, the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species placed
a worldwide ban on the trade in ivory and other elephant products. The ban
had an immediate effect, vastly shrinking the market for poachers. But
because the elephants' traditional range in western and central Africa had
been greatly reduced, the numbers of elephants there stabilized or continued
to dwindle.
Southern Africa is a different story. It is home to about 300,000 of the
continent's estimated population of 400,000 to 600,000 elephants; about 80
percent of the region's elephants are in northern Botswana and Zimbabwe, in
the vast region stretching from Chobe to Hwange to Lower Zambezi. South
Africa has about 17,000 elephants in 75 fenced-in parks, and specialists
estimate that the numbers of elephants exceed the capacity of the land in
three-quarters of those populations.
Elephants are herbivores with a great appetite for trees. They use their
versatile trunks to snap branches and strip off leaves and bark; some bulls
level mature trees, snapping the roots with relative ease. They eat about 5
percent of their weight daily, which means 68 kilograms, or 150 pounds, of
vegetation for a young bull.
The environmental destruction can be negligible if elephants have wide areas
to roam.
But in southern Africa, they don't, so they have turned some forest areas
into grassland or denuded the land in ways that open it to erosion.
In Botswana, the government determined in 1991 that its population of 54,000
elephants was the maximum its parks could handle without severe
environmental damage. Today, the number of elephants is estimated at more
than 120,000.
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Life saving interventions target vulnerable in Zimbabwe
HARARE, ZIMBABWE, 20 September 2004 - The European Commission Humanitarian
Aid Office (ECHO) in Zimbabwe has contributed EURO 1,600 000 to UNICEF for
providing targeted assistance to the country's most vulnerable women and

"We are very grateful to the European Commission for their continued
commitment to assist Zimbabwe's vulnerable women and children," said Dr.
Festo P. Kavishe. "This generous contribution will go a long way in helping
vulnerable women and children through building on already existing

The funding comes at a time when many families and communities continue to
struggle with the consequences of diminishing access to basic social
services, the aftermath of three years of drought and the impact of the AIDS
pandemic.  Zimbabwe, with an estimated HIV infection rate of 24.6% and
approximately 1,820,000 living with the disease, currently faces one of the
highest AIDS prevalence rates in the world. The number of orphaned children
continues to grow, with close to 800,000 children under the age of 18 having
lost one or both of their parents to AIDS (Children on the Brink, 2004).  Of
the more than one million orphans, many children are dependent on elderly
grandmothers or live in child headed households, having to care for younger
siblings and forced to survive on their own.

The contribution will target malnourished children, orphans and other
vulnerable children, especially child headed households, as well as the
families and communities supporting these children. It also builds on the
existing UNICEF programmes that were initiated with ECHO support received in

The funding will specifically support:

Nutrition Interventions

  a.. Food shortages worsen the plight of those living with and affected by
AIDS and diminish the overall health status of the population at large,
especially children.  Children are more likely to suffer the effects of
acute or chronic malnutrition and are in turn more susceptible to disease.
ECHO's support will ensure that therapeutic feeding programmes operating at
District Hospitals continue to benefit severely malnourished children, and
that treated children are further supported once they are discharged and
return home.

  b.. These hospital-based interventions, carried out in partnership with
the Ministry of Health and Child Welfare, will be complemented by a pilot
community based nutrition programme.  The programme seeks to better educate
communities and health workers to identify the signs of malnutrition,
understand how to manage them and to refer children to the hospital if their
condition worsens.

  c.. Initial anecdotal research indicates that children suffering the worst
forms of malnutrition are more likely to be HIV positive.  In addtion,
malunutrition increases their risk to other infections and the likelihood
that they will be less responsive to treatment.  The project looks to expand
referral systems for these children and their families to include additional
HIV/AIDS services that could improve their overall wellbeing.
  In order to ensure a more comprehensive response for improving the
nutritional status of children in Zimbabwe, ECHO support will assist UNICEF,
in collaboration with the Ministry of Health and Child Welfare and NGOs, to
coordinate nutrition related activities and create better systems to monitor
their impact.
Water and Sanitation Interventions

  a.. ECHO support to UNICEF will strengthen coordination and data
collection mechanisms to allow for a more accurate understanding of the
country's water and sanitation needs.  Currently an estimated 50 per cent of
all existing water facilities are in need of repair, and additional
facilities are urgently required to meet demand.  Through better
coordination and information sharing, women and children have greater access
to safe water and sanitation.
  b.. Support will also be used to identify the numbers of orphaned and
other vulnerable children in 16 targeted districts who are without access to
safe water and sanitation. These children will then be given priority.
Care and Support for Orphans and Other Vulnerable Children

  a.. Building on an existing network of community based organizations
established last year with support from ECHO, 31,000 orphans and other
vulnerable children will be assisted to improve their physical and emotional
wellbeing.  Interventions will include the provision of shelter and access
to improved nutrition, emotional and access to education or vocational
"This partnership with UNICEF to assist the most vulnerable women and
children is part of our much larger commitment to provide humanitarian
assistance to the people of Zimbabwe," said Aadrian Sullivan, ECHO's field
expert based in Zimbabwe. "We believe our collective efforts can help
mitigate the devastating impact of the current crisis in the country and
ensure that children are better able to cope in the future."

UNICEF Zimbabwe works both at national level and in 16 target districts in
the country in areas of health, nutrition, water and sanitation, HIV/AIDS,
education and life skills in efforts to ensure the basic rights of all
children are realized.

For more information, please contact:

Shantha Bloemen, Communications Officer, UNICEF Zimbabwe, Tel. +263 4
703941/42 Mob. +263 91 27 6120,
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State Scraps Trainee Nurses Requirement

The Herald (Harare)

September 20, 2004
Posted to the web September 20, 2004


THE Government has scrapped the requirement that people wishing to train as
nurses at central hospitals should have obtained five Ordinary level passes
in one sitting.

Recently Harare Central Hospital refused to accept eight students with
O-levels obtained from two sittings despite the fact that the hospital
committee had permitted them to start training as nurses this term.

Of the eight trainees, five had been referred from the Ministry of Youth
Development, Gender and Employment Creation, while the other three had
performed satisfactorily during their interviews.

Harare School of Nursing enrols 50 nursing students a term.

Harare Hospital medical superintendent Mr Chris Tapfumaneyi last week
confirmed he had expelled eight students who had been allowed to start
training by the hospital committee as they had not met the requirements

"They did not meet the requirements then as we, until Wednesday, had a
policy that clearly stated that all applicants wishing to train as nurses at
all central hospitals should have obtained five O-level passes in one
sitting," Mr Tapfumaneyi said.

"I had implemented the policy of that day and that policy was not supposed
to have applied to some individuals and then made not to apply to others
regarded as special by certain people," Mr Tapfumaneyi said.

Of late, some people wishing to train as nurses had complained that most
intakes at nursing schools were not being conducted transparently as the
bulk of applicants who were considered were those who came through the back
door and were usually those referred by influential people in society.

As a result, some people said, the alleged corrupt channel of enrolment had
in a way negatively impacted on the nursing profession as some people
without the passion for nursing were afforded the opportunity to train and
those turned down ended up going to other countries such as the United

Mr Tapfumaneyi said the nursing school was not in the habit of accepting
applicants simply because they were referred by influential people.

He, however, confirmed the nursing school was sometimes inundated with phone
calls from politicians and other prominent figures in the private sector
wishing to have their relatives enrolled for training.

"All applicants, including those that are referred to us by some people from
higher offices, go through a rigorous interview conducted by the hospital
committee and members of the Public Service Commission.

"None of those referred to us gets preferential treatment from the rest of
the applicants. In fact, if they fail to satisfy the committee, they are not
considered. It does not matter where they would have come from," Mr
Tapfumaneyi said.

Officials at the nursing school said the matter concerning nursing training
was complicated as even workers at the hospital also brought their relatives
for consideration.

Mr Tapfumaneyi said there had been rumours of workers who went around
soliciting for bribes from applicants.

"We have asked those who have already got places to give us the names of
such people if they know them, but no one has come forward. We are appealing
to anyone who could have fallen prey to such corrupt officials to bring such
information to us so that we can carry out our own investigations," he said.
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Council Doctors Leave

The Herald (Harare)

September 20, 2004
Posted to the web September 20, 2004


CHITUNGWIZA Municipal clinics are facing a shortage of doctors, a situation
that has seen some senior nurses being tasked with the diagnosis of
illnesses and prescribing medication to patients.

One qualified doctor, who is also involved in administrative issues at the
municipality offices, mans all the four clinics in the town. Under normal
circumstances, each clinic should have one doctor. Most doctors have left
council clinics for greener pastures outside the country or have moved into
private practice and to Government hospitals where remuneration is higher.

Director of Health Services Dr Mike Simoyi said doctors were highly
marketable and would not stay for meagre salaries and poor working

"The situation is bad, but we are managing to cope using our senior nurses
who diagnose and prescribe drugs to our patients," said Dr Simoyi.

He said the nurses were under strict instructions to exercise caution when
they execute their duties.

"They are under strict instructions to handle the situation carefully,
especially in maternal problems where we tell them to refer patients
immediately to Chitungwiza General Hospital for further attention," he said.

However, this move has put a strain on the referral hospital where the staff
is struggling to cope.
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Chlorine Shortage Hits Chitungwiza

The Herald (Harare)

September 20, 2004
Posted to the web September 20, 2004


CHITUNGWIZA Municipality has been hit by a critical shortage of chlorine, a
chemical powder applied on sewage waste to kill bacteria and dampen the

Residents fear a major disease outbreak judging by the frequency at which
sewage bursts occur in the town.

Mr Tonderai Chenhamo, a St Mary's resident, said employees from the town's
engineering department came to fix a sewer pipe burst but did not apply the
chemical to ward off flies, disinfect the flowing sewage and kill the heavy

"We fear a diseases outbreak might occur since our children, like all
children, are playful and will end up playing along the streams of sewage,"
said Mr Chenhamo.

Chitungwiza mayor Mr Misheck Shoko admitted that some areas were not being
disinfected after sewage bursts had been attended to but attributed the
situation to the run-out of stocks at some offices.

"Council policy is that after de-blocking, chemicals should be applied for
the health of our residents, but at times some offices might not have the
powder to apply," said Mr Shoko.

He said some of the area offices did not have supplies owing to inadequate
funds on the part of council.

Chitungwiza has been plagued by persistent sewer pipe bursts which have been
blamed on the ageing sewerage infrastructure in the town and the rise in
population. Some residents recently took the local authority to court over
incessant sewage bursts.
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Email received:
Thought I could just to let know that President Morgan Tsvangirai has now been informed that the verdict on his treason trial will be delivered on 15 October 2004 at the High Court in Harare. You will recall that the judgment was postponed indefinitely after he was told to be ready for it on 29 July 2004.
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