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

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The Telegraph

Mugabe in denial over '162 deaths by starving'
By Peta Thornycroft in Harare and David Blair, Africa Correspondent
(Filed: 24/09/2004)

President Robert Mugabe's rosy claims of a bumper harvest were flatly
contradicted by the mayor of Zimbabwe's second city yesterday when he
disclosed that 162 people have starved to death in Bulawayo since January.

The regime retaliated by vilifying the mayor, Japhet Ndabeni-Ncube, a member
of the opposition Movement for Democratic Change.

      Children search for spilled maize
Jonathan Moyo, the information minister, called him a "liar" and insisted
that starvation was unknown in Zimbabwe. "Malnutrition is just a case of not
having a balanced diet," he told The Herald, an official daily.

"People in the USA are fat because they eat too many burgers. That's

But the United Nations forecasts that Zimbabwe will grow only one million
tons of grain this year, about half the country's needs. The mass seizure of
white-owned farms has combined with drought to wreck agriculture.

Last year, almost half of Zimbabwe's 12 million people survived on
international food aid.

A UN-led assessment mission estimates that five million Zimbabweans will
need outside help again before the next harvest in March. But the regime
claims a bumper harvest of 2.4 million tons of grain and has told
international donors their help is no longer needed. Anyone contradicting
this message is targeted for vilification.

Mr Ndabeni-Ncube, alone among Zimbabwe's mayors, compiles figures on deaths
from malnutrition in his city. He said growing numbers of people had no
money to buy food in a country with inflation of 314 per cent.

"We are not saying there is no food in Bulawayo," he said. "What we are
saying is that people cannot afford to buy food.

"The deaths we record are from the two city hospitals. There are probably
others who starve to death at home, but we have no way of recording that

"I am shocked that the government should criticise doctors for doing what I
have ordered them to do - monitor malnutrition related deaths."

Dr Zanele Hwalima, Bulawayo's health services director, was also singled out
for criticism. Mr Moyo accused her of "doctoring lies" intended to "harm

But Mr Japhet-Ncube said: "We are not going to stop recording these
statistics. I expect the government will move against me, as it has against
other elected mayors, because it is political."

Zimbabwe once exported food to drought-stricken countries in southern Africa
so its dependence on international help has come as a serious embarrassment
for Mr Mugabe. His response has been to deny that there is a problem.

In May, he said Zimbabwe would no longer accept supplies from the UN's World
Food Programme. "Why foist this food upon us? We don't want to be choked."
he said.

He has effectively ended co-operation with the UN. When James Morris, the UN
envoy for humanitarian affairs in southern Africa, conducted his last tour
of the region, Zimbabwe declined to receive him and said officials in Harare
had no time for a meeting.

Zimbabwe holds parliamentary elections next March and Mr Mugabe's Zanu-PF
party has been accused of channelling food to its supporters and denying
help to anyone suspected of backing the MDC.

By keeping out the UN and aid agencies, Mr Mugabe can ensure that his regime
controls all food supplies. Critics suspect that this is his real objective.
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Daily News Online Edition

      Zanu PF supporters remanded to next month

      Date:24-Sep, 2004

      A RUSAPE magistrate Mark Dzira last Friday remanded 31 Zanu PF
supporters to October 25 when they appeared before him on charges of public
violence, malicious injury to property and grievous bodily harm.

      The Zanu PF supporters appeared before him for their routine remand

      Allegations against the 31 ruling party supporters are that on August
21 and 22, while in Makoni North, the group, acting in common purpose
attacked other Zanu PF supporters loyal to retired Major James Kaunye in
Mayo, Headlands and Rusape in Makoni East to try to force them to stop
backing Kaunye.

      It is further alleged that the militants injured Lucia Chitura, the
Zanu PF district co-ordinator for Makoni, Kaunye, the aspiring Zanu PF
candidate for Makoni North, George Ngirazi, a war veteran loyal to Kaunye,
Florence Mhiripiri, the wife of aspiring Makoni East MP Nathaniel Punish
Mhiripiri and several other people numbering about 70.

      Violence broke out in Rusape, Mayo and Headlands when Didymus Mutasa,
the Makoni North MP, who is also the Minister of Anti-Corruption and
Anti-Monopolies and Shadreck Chipanga, the MP for Makoni East, who is also
the Zanu PF deputy chairman for Manicaland Province and the Deputy Minister
of Home Affairs led a five-truck convoy on a looting spree that left several
people injured.

      Court officials said the 31 men belonging to the Zanu PF vigilante
group "Chinyavada" were remanded to October 25.

      Meanwhile, the commission of inquiry that was set up by President
Robert Mugabe has completed its work and produced a damning report that
implicates Mutasa.

      Reports from Rusape indicate that the police have collected evidence
from victims of the minister's violent conduct during the August

      Sources say the police intend to arrest Mutasa anytime soon for his
involvement in the violent clashes in Makoni.

      The report, quoted by The Sunday Mail last week also reported that on
the fateful day, Mutasa slapped in the face a police Inspector Tomukai, the
officer-in-charge of crime at Rusape Police Station.

      The paper reported that the Zanu PF youths numbering 25 surrounded the
police Defender vehicle and Tomukai failed to identify who had assaulted

      But an entry in the Occurrence Book (1447/2004) made by Constable
Gwature indicated that it was actually Mutasa who had slapped Tomukai

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New Zealand Herald

Zimbabwe family can stay after rule change

The widow and four children of Zimbabwe migrant Leon Oosthuizen will be
allowed to stay in New Zealand.

Immigration Minister Paul Swain said today a change of policy on Zimbabwe
migrants would allow the Oosthuizens and others like them to gain permanent

Mr Oosthuizen was killed last week when the van he was driving collided with
a truck in Hastings.

The family's business visa expired when he died, meaning his widow and four
young children faced an uncertain future.

"It's an absolute tragic event and it's hard to imagine what that family is
feeling," Mr Swain said.

"I hope this announcement gives them some certainty that they will be able
to stay in New Zealand, and I hope that helps them in their grieving over
this next little while."

On Monday Cabinet passed a policy change that will enable all Zimbabweans in
New Zealand on temporary permits to be considered for permanent residence.

Applicants, who cannot gain residence through existing categories, will be
granted residence under the new policy, provided they meet health and
character requirements.

Mr Oosthuizen's widow Margie said today the news had left her almost

"How wonderful. Praise God for that. This feels like heaven without being
there," she said.

Mr Swain said he had been working on the policy since March, and cases like
the Oosthuizens had been instrumental in gaining Cabinet approval.

"Clearly it was not acceptable to send them home."
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The Herald

French firm to supply Zim with 5 000 tractors

Herald Reporter
A French farm equipment manufacturer, Renault Agriculture, will supply
Zimbabwe with 5 000 tractors and 2 000 of these are expected to be delivered
soon while the remaining 3 000 would be supplied later.

This comes as a major boost to the country's land reform programme just a
few months before the onset of the rains.

The tractors also come at a time the District Development Fund (DDF) says it
needs about $20 billion to operate at full capacity and provide tillage
services for the 2004/05 cropping season.

The tractor deal was announced in Harare on Wednesday during a meeting
between Agriculture and Rural Development Minister Cde Joseph Made and the
area export manager for Renault Agriculture, Mr Laurent Adelinet.

The tractors, to be purchased at a wholesale price, would be assembled in
India and supplied through Tanaka Power.

Briefing journalists after the meeting, Mr Adelinet said they had held a
fruitful meeting with Cde Made and looked forward to closer co-operation.

"We have agreed to supply 2 000 tractors soon while between 2 000 and 3 000
others would be supplied later," he said.

Cde Made said the tractors would go a long way in boosting agricultural
production in the country since mechanisation was critical to the land
reform programme.

"We have farmers who are interested in acquiring tractors to enhance
production in the tobacco sector for export," he said.

The minister said the tractors would also become handy in cotton and maize

New farmers, he said, had always expressed concern over the prohibitive cost
of farming equipment, thus the supply of the tractors by the French firm in
large quantities was a welcome development.

Cde Made said they had also discussed issues related to closer co-operation
in fighting livestock and poultry diseases as France had expertise in
manufacturing animal vaccines.

He said Newcastle disease had hit some parts of Southern Africa, therefore
Zimbabwe should be on guard by putting contingency measures in place in the
event of an outbreak.

Mr Adelinet and his delegation are expected to visit farms in various parts
of the country on a familiarisation tour.

French ambassador Mr Michel Raimbaud, Agricultural and Rural Development
Authority chief executive Dr Joseph Matowanyika and senior ministry
officials also attended the meeting.

Zimbabwe needs at least 35 000 tractors of various capacities over the next
10 years to satisfy the demand for farming machinery arising from the land
reform programme.

The DDF has targeted a total of 128 200 hectares this coming season but says
a timeous release of funds by the Government would enable it to offer credit
facilities to all deserving farmers.

DDF director-general Mr James Jonga said a number of constraints were likely
to limit the provision of tillage services to the smallholder farming sector
this season and these needed to be urgently addressed before the onset of
the rain season.

"The number of tractors and implements is fast going down due to minor but
very costly breakdowns like worn-out tyres and broken sensor shafts," he

Mr Jonga said while such breakdowns were easy to fix, it would, however,
require $3,1 billion to buy tyres and tubes for DDF's 194 tractors that need
major repairs.

DDF, which is a key Government agency with the responsibility of providing
mechanical tillage services, has a total national fleet of 768 tractors, 656
ploughs and 92 disc harrows. Of these tractors, 474 needed repairs.

Mr Jonga said some of the tractors that needed major repairs were now beyond
economic repair and were in the process of being grounded.

"The boarded (grounded) tractors shall be stripped and stored as spare units
for the functional tractors. Up to 70 tractors have so far been surveyed and
recommended for boarding," said Mr Jonga.

He said given the nature of DDF's operations and impediments such as erratic
fuel supply, breakdowns and dead mileage, a 75 percent efficiency factor for
DDF was assumed and the land preparation process shall be a combination of
ploughing only, ploughing and secondary discing and primary discing only.

The Government, he said, should make maximum use of the recently enacted law
on the compulsory acquisition of farm machinery to clear off all potential
tillage capacity that might still be locked up in warehouses.

He said private sector participation in the sourcing and financing the
acquisition of tractors for individual farmers should be stepped up in order
to ensure successful commercial agriculture following the conclusion of
implementation of the land reform programme.
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JAG JOB OPPORTUNITIES: Updated 23rd September 2004

Please send any classified adverts for publication in this newsletter to:
JAG Job Opportunities

1.  Advert Received 21st September 2004

Position available for young single man to provide assistance on a Game
Park. General job requirements include :

Day to day supervision of Game Park operations and labour Assistance at the
Accomodation Section (Lodge) when required

Pre-requisites for the position :
LOVE of wildlife essential
Valid and clean drivers licence
Knowledge of weapons and hunting skills (Some game culling might be
Some basic knowledge of Wildlife

In return for this the sucessful applicant will be given an opportunity to
work on a world-unique Black Rhino breeding station and Game Park. Salary
highly negotiable, depending on skills and knowledge. Other perks to be
discussed with successful applicants.

Please reply to : Imire Game Park
Tel Main Farm Office : (022) 2054
Lodge office : (022) 2449

2.  Advert Received 22nd September 2004

Small, Northern suburbs based agrochemical and fertilizer procurement
company requires mature, computer literate, mornings only

Working knowledge of excel/QuickBooks/pastel necessary and familiarity with
agrochemicals an advantage.

Please call Mark on 04-301041, 011-216105 or e-mail cv to

3.  Advert Received 22nd September 2004

Wanted: Part-time or full time admin. assistant for a butchery business in
Harare. Please contact Brian on 091239825 or (04)336774, or Tish on
011424226 for further details.

For the latest listings of accommodation available for farmers, contact
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JAG OPEN LETTER FORUM 23rd September 2004

Email: ;

Please send any material for publication in the Open Letter Forum to with "For Open Letter Forum" in the subject line.


"The more that you read, the more things you will know.  The more that you
learn, the more places you'll go."



Letter 1.  JAG Open Letter Forum 20th September 2004

Comment on Eddie Cross's letter dd 17 September 04

Seldom is one moved to comment on opinion related to such onerous, evil,
necessary and justified actions that Eddie Cross so roundly and
convincingly put into print the other day.  Were I, and I'm sure many
others would agree, able to have put my thoughts on paper as well as he
did, I would have been proud of my achievement.  It is what we, the silent
majority, know and believe and stand for.  It is what we, the silent
majority, fail to stand against, act upon or acknowledge.

I hope these sort of letters, this type of debate, get an airing or a
viewing on Capitol Hill and the Houses of Parliament, and, preferably, far

Mike Whitfield
Harare, 21 September 04

Letter 2.  Subject: At Last, some good nesws from
                    Zimbabwe as Daily News wins case -
                    D J R Small
Dear JAG

HARARE - Regional magistrate Lilian Kudya, today, 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, Stuart 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. An issue of The Daily News had been published a
day after the Administrative Court ruled that the current Media and
Information Commission (MIC) was not properly constituted and that a
properly constituted MIC was supposed to issue ANZ with a licence by
November 30, 2003, failure of which ANZ would be deemed licenced.

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

ANZ chief executive, Samuel Sipepa Nkomo, hailed today's judgment by
regional magistrate Lillian Kudya as a victorious step in his company's
fight against draconian media laws, which have resulted in the closure of
The Daily News and The Daily News on Sunday newspapers.  Nkomo said the
vision of seeing the two titles back on the streets, was slowly becoming a

He said that, contrary to perceptions being peddled by the public media,
ANZ was not anti-Zimbabwe, the company and its newspapers were there for
the promotion of democracy and good governance.  He added that ANZ was
pro-Zimbabwe and provided an alternative voice for the nation.

"This judgment is highly significant in that our company and its directors
have been absolved of any wrongdoing. Even the publication of our
newspapers was, is and will never be criminal," said Nkomo, adding that
today's judgment was a victory for media freedom in Zimbabwe". D J R Small

Letter 3.  Subject: Difficult Landline!

Dear Jag,

 Your communiques are excellent & hugely apreciated, but with our
exceptionally intermittent land line, almost impossible to down load. Is it
possible to send only one or two buletins a week?  One knows a lot of the
local ghastly news, but outside stuff we don't hear. Incidentally, noone
ever mentions the main reason for much of our present problems, & that is
the huge population increase during the last 50 years. When we started
farming in the late 50s there were no people in the doma area at all & most
farm employees came from Malawi, Tanzania & Mozambique. Yours sincerely. 

Letter 4.  Subject: I know nothing about that

Dear Family and Friends,

This week the latest telephone bills were delivered and they were the stuff
that heart attacks are made of. The price of one unit of local telephone
time has gone from 120 to 585 dollars. Even though I knew it would be a
complete waste of time and money, I phoned the state owned Telephone
Company to complain about the increase and see if there was any sort of
logical explanation for such a massive price rise. A bored and
unsympathetic voice told me that the price had gone up. "Yes, I can see
that," I said, "but can you tell me why?" "I know nothing about that," was
the response. "But the government has just announced that inflation has
dropped to 314%," I said "and yet your increases are 485% - that's over a
hundred and fifty percent higher than inflation." Again, the answer was "I
know nothing about that". In desperation I said "can you at least tell me
what exactly the increase is for?" The answer did not change: "I know
nothing about that." I assume that my telephone bill pays a part of this
woman's wage and that alone incenses me. Another call, by a friend, to the
Branch Manager also yielded the same answer: I know nothing.

Zimbabweans have become trapped in a communication and information prison.
A few months ago the cost of postage stamps increased by almost 500% and we
all stopped posting anything except the most essential letters. The
traditionally long queues in the post office have become a thing of the
past because no one can afford to do business there anymore. The irony of
the telephone charge is that in the same week that most peoples' domestic
phone bills have hit the half million dollar a month mark, President Mugabe
has been touring schools and giving out computers. Almost every night on
ZBC news for the past fortnight, we've seen either President Mugabe or his
wife donating computers to schools and extolling the virtues of Information
Technology. How tragic it is that all these schools now have computers but
will not be able to afford to use them to their full capability. School
fees have remained frozen at unsustainable levels by our government and no
schools are going to be able to afford the massive telephone charges that
are made for email and internet connections. The generosity of the
President's gifts are made a complete mockery of, by the rulings of his
ministers or the excessive greed of his governmental oganizations who are
literally driving themselves out of business as we can no longer afford the
services they provide.

For four and a half years I have been sending this weekly letter for free
to anyone who cares enough about democracy to read it. Without the
generosity of my email server Mango, I would not be able to afford to do so
anymore. I would like to try and keep writing this letter for as long as I
can afford to pay the telephone bills but must again ask people to please
not send photos, pictures or attachments that now cost literally multiple
thousands to download.

Thank you and until next week,

with love,
All letters published on the open Letter Forum are the views and opinions
of the submitters, and do not represent the official viewpoint of Justice
for Agriculture.


JAG Hotlines:
(091) 261 862 If you are in trouble or need advice,
(011) 205 374
(011) 863 354 please don't hesitate to contact us -
(011) 431 068
                                we're here to help!
263 4 799 410 Office Lines

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      Zimbabwe's tourist arrivals slump


      Zimbabwe's tourist arrivals declined by 36 percent to 827,245 for the
first half of 2004 from 1,303,901 in the same period last year, according to
statistics released by the Zimbabwe Tourism Authority (ZTA) on Thursday.

      Incessant negative publicity that Zimbabwe receives in the
international media owing to its stance on the land reform program largely
reportedly accounts for the slump in the industry.

      The majority of visitors during the period from January to June this
year were from mainland Africa, which constituted 675,538 visitors, while
the overseas market contributed 151,707 visitors.

      The leading source country from overseas was the United States, which
contributed 23,300 visitors (15 percent), replacing Britain, which had been
the longstanding leading source country for Zimbabwe.

      This was followed by Britain, China, Japan and Australia.

      Comparing the figures for the first half of 2004 with that of 2003,
the ZTA noted that the highest increase in the number of arrivals was
recorded for China, which jumped 245 percent from 3, 354 in 2003 to 11,584
in 2004.

      This remarkable increase in tourist arrivals from China is undoubtedly
due to the Approved Destination Status (ADS) that China granted Zimbabwe
last year.

      The ADS encourages Chinese people to travel to Zimbabwe, the eighth
African nation to be granted the highly acclaimed status by the Asian

      Holiday remained the main purpose of visit as shown by the 454, 982
(55 percent) visitors who came to Zimbabwe over the period under review.

      Some 206,810 (25 percent) stated that they were on business, 148,908
(18 percent) came for shopping while 16,545 (seven percent) said they were
in the country for educational purposes.

      September 23, 2004
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Zim Online

Fri 24 September 2004

      HARARE - Police yesterday arrested Zimbabwe Independent editor,
Vincent Kahiya, the paper's general manager and a reporter and charged them
with breaching state press laws.

      The three were arrested over a story carried by their paper on July 30
alleging that High Court Judge President Paddington Garwe had sought to
convict opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai of treason without consulting
his assessors.

      Under court rules, Garwe must consult the two assessors with whom he
presided over the trial of Tsvangirai on charges that he plotted to kill
President Robert Mugabe.

      Kahiya, reporter Augustine Mukaro and the paper's general manager,
Raphael Khumalo, were released later in the afternoon after being charged
under Section 80 (c) of the Access to Information and Protection of Privacy

      Journalists convicted under the section, which prohibits abuse of
"journalistic privilege" through publication of falsehoods, are liable to a
fine of Z$200 000 or a jail term of two years or both.

      Kahiya and his colleagues were ordered to report at Harare central
police station next Tuesday.

      The Zimbabwe Independent carried the article in question several days
after ZimOnline broke the story after authenticating it with its sources at
the High Court.

      This is the second time since January that police have arrested
journalists at the paper, which is one of only three independent
publications still operating in Zimbabwe. The country's only privately-owned
and biggest daily newspaper, the Daily News, and two other papers were shut
down by the state for breaching its harsh Press laws.

      Former Zimbabwe Independent editor, Iden Wetherell, Kahiya, the then
news editor and reporters Dumisani Muleya and Itai Dzamara were arrested in
January after publishing a story alleging that Mugabe and his wife had
grabbed an Air Zimbabwe plane for a private holiday in the Far East.

      At least 100 journalists, the majority from the private media, have
been arrested for allegedly breaching government Press laws. None of the
journalists have been convicted.

      The Zimbabwe chapter of the Media Institute of Southern Africa
condemned yesterday's arrest of the Zimbabwe Independent staffers.

      Meanwhile the High Court yesterday announced that it will deliver
judgment in the Tsvangirai treason case on October 15, two years after the
opposition leader was charged with plotting to assassinate Mugabe during the
run-up to the 2002 presidential election.

      If convicted, Tsvangirai could be sentenced to death, but can appeal
against Garwe's judgment at the Supreme Court.

      The state based its case against Tsvangirai on a barely audible video
provided by Canadian-based political consultant Ari Ben-Menashe.

      The grainy video, first aired on an Australian television channel, was
purportedly a recording by Menashe of a meeting with Tsvangirai where the
opposition leader sought help to kill Mugabe.

      Menashe, who is wanted in the United States for fraud, admitted in
court that he was on the payroll of the Zimbabwe government. - ZimOnline

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Zim Online

Women activists in long march against draft law
Fri 24 September 2004

      KWEKWE - About 60 women activists are on a 440 kilometre-march from
Zimbabwe's second largest city of Bulawayo to Harare to protest against a
proposed new law that will restrict Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs) in

      A ZimOnline reporter yesterday spoke to the women, all members of the
Women of Zimbabwe Arise group, in the city of Kwekwe, 200 kilometres west of

      The drum-beating and whistle-blowing women, who left Bulawayo on
Sunday, had planned to reach Harare on October 4 when Parliament resumes
sitting. They plan to demonstrate outside the House and hand in a petition
urging parliamentarians to block the draft NGO Bill.

      The Bill seeks to establish an NGO Council that will register civic
bodies in the country. NGOs will also be barred from carrying out voter
education while those seeking to perform human rights work will be
prohibited from receiving foreign funding.

      A spokeswoman of the group, Magodonga Mahlangu, yesterday said they
were not likely to reach Harare on time because they had run out of food and
would now spend much longer in Kwekwe replenishing supplies.

      Mahlangu said they had had to share some of their food with a group of
villagers and policemen they met on the way. "While we were walking, we met
villagers and some police officers who were starving and we were forced to
share our food with them," she said.

      According to Mahlangu, the women had so far walked without much
incident except on Wednesday night when they were harassed by some war
veterans while they slept in the open between the city of Gweru and Kwekwe.

      The women are also using the march to highlight to ordinary
Zimbabweans along the way, how the proposed new law will affect their daily

      Mahlangu said: "Employees of NGOs will be hardest hit but what we fear
most is that poor Zimbabweans who depend on NGOs for survival will starve to

      Aid experts have warned that restrictions by Harare on NGOs will also
see a drop in humanitarian support from international donors.

      More than half of the 12 million Zimbabweans have in the last three
years survived starvation because of food handouts from food aid agencies.
International donor groups are also helping the country combat a ravaging
HIV/AIDS pandemic that is killing at least 2 000 Zimbabweans every week. -

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Zim Online

High political risk scares off investors
Fri 24 September 2004

      HARARE - High political risk and a skewed exchange rate policy had
sacred investors away from the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe's US$10 million
worth of one year bonds which closed this week, finance industry players
told ZimOnline yesterday.

      The bonds were meant to raise hard cash to stem a fuel crisis that
worsened in the last four weeks with several garages across the country
running out of stock.

      It could not be immediately established yesterday how much the central
bank had raised through the bonds. But sources at the bank said the market
response to the issue was unfavourable and the bank was now exploring other
ways of raising foreign currency.

      Central bank governor Gideon Gono yesterday could not be reached for
comment on the matter.

      An analyst with a Harare bank, who spoke anonymously for professional
reasons, said a 12-month London InterBank Offer Rate on the bonds plus a six
percent payable on bond maturity that had been meant to woo investors was
outweighed by market perceptions of political risk.

      He said: "It was not commensurate with the perceived government risk.
It also shows that the rate was not competitive enough on the international

      Fluctuations in Zimbabwe's exchange rate had scared away local
investors as any adverse movement in the rate could mean a loss in value,
the analyst said.

      Economic analyst Eric Bloch said the bond may have been
undersubscribed because the two-week application period was too short
especially for Zimbabweans working and living abroad.

      He said: "I expected the issue to be undersubscribed because the
application period was too short. I think the issue should be reopened or
the central bank must come up with a second issue without a closing date.
People in the diaspora may want to subscribe on a monthly basis as opposed
to once off short issues like the just ended one."

      The bank last week invited resident and non-resident Zimbabweans, as
well as other interested foreign investors, to subscribe for the one-year
foreign currency bonds.

      It set minimum subscription amounts for the bonds at not less than
US$100 and that the payments were to be made in multiples of US$100, 200,
500, 1 000, 5 000 and 10 000.

      Special features of the bonds included a guarantee by the central bank
that the bonds were redeemable/payable on maturity, full settlement of
principal plus interest to be made in US dollars and the fact that the bonds
were freely tradable among investors.

      The failure of the fuel bonds is the latest in a series of attempts by
Zimbabwe's central bank to raise forex to pay foreign suppliers of fuel,
electricity and essential drugs.

      The bank's foreign currency auction floors, where hard cash is sold to
the highest bidder, have flopped because rates at the floors are less than
on the parallel market. Another scheme of the bank, codenamed Homelink that
was meant to persuade Zimbabwean exiles to send money back home through
official channels has also failed. - ZimOnline

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Zim Online

ZANU PF militia invades centre for the disabled
Fri 24 September 2004

      BULAWAYO - Recruits from the government's controversial National Youth
Service training programme have moved into one of Zimbabwe's biggest
rehabilitation centres, the Jairos Jiri Association for Rehabilitation of
the Disabled in Bulawayo.

      The youths, accused of torturing and maiming opposition supporters,
moved into Jairos Jiri two weeks ago from their camp at Ntabazinduna on
Bulawayo's north-eastern boundary.

      An official at the centre, Joseph Rusike, told ZimOnline they had
reluctantly accepted the youths after Youth Minister, Ambrose Mutinhiri,
requested them to do so.

      Rusike said: "It has come when elections are around the corner. It's
possible that people could think another camp has been established. We pray
that nothing happens."

      About 78 youths are staying at the centre.

      The youths have been accused by churches and human rights
organisations of operating torture camps especially in rural areas where
they torture and rape suspected supporters of the opposition Movement for
Democratic Change party.

      The government denies the youths commit human rights violations saying
the youth training programme is meant to inculcate patriotism and good
behavior in the youngsters. - ZimOnline

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Zim Online

Botswana urged to step up pressure for change in Zimbabwe
Fri 24 September 2004

      GABORONE - Botswana's biggest mine workers' union has called on
President Festus Mogae's government to help mount pressure for change in
Zimbabwe because the crisis there was costing its members' jobs here.

      Botswana Mine Workers Union chairperson Gaebepe Senna at the weekend
accused Gaborone of not doing enough to persuade Harare to end a political
and socio-economic crisis that has driven more than four million Zimbabweans
into neighbouring countries and beyond.

      Senna said: "We are appalled by the abject silence from our government
when it comes to the situation in Zimbabwe. Our government does not indicate
whether it is for or against the works of the regime of (Zimbabwean
President) Robert Mugabe or (opposition leader) Morgan Tsvangirai."

      According to Senna, Zimbabwean artisans fleeing hardships in their
country and willing to work for below market wages were flooding Botswana's
mining industry, taking up jobs at the expense of locals.

      He said mining firms told his union they preferred Zimbabweans because
"they are cheap as opposed to locals."

      The mine workers leader, who also criticised local firms for
exploiting the desperate Zimbabweans, said xenophobia was rising in the
mining industry with locals angry that they were losing jobs and
opportunities to Zimbabweans.

      Botswana has however been one of the few southern African countries
that have openly criticised Mugabe over some of his controversial policies
blamed by many for derailing Zimbabwe's once vibrant economy. - ZimOnline

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The Herald

School heads want fees raised

From Bulawayo Bureau
THE National Association of Primary Heads wants school fees raised so that
they can cover the costs of books, teaching materials and essential

The association is now talking to the Ministry of Education, Sports and
Culture on the matter.

In an interview, the association's chairman, Mr Alexius Musariri, said
tuition fees for primary schools were so low that schools could not
adequately provide essential teaching material such as textbooks as well as

"The current situation is that in a former Group A Government school, the
fees are $225 per child per term. For former Group B schools, the fees are
pegged at $100 per child per term," he said.

"In Government schools, we have a school service fund where the fees go.
They are supposed to pay for water, electricity, textbooks and stationery
bills, but these always run into millions making the fund grossly
insufficient. We would want a situation where the fees take into
consideration the costs involved in running a school."

The association had already raised its concerns with the ministry which, Mr
Musariri said, had taken its concerns seriously.

He said as a result of the low fees, amenities such as grounds and swimming
pools, and tractors, lawn mowers and sports equipment were in a bad state at
most schools because the schools could not afford their maintenance or to
buy new material.

Mr Musariri said most schools were now relying on school development
associations for maintenance and the purchase of essential teaching

Asked to comment about the plight of the schools, the Minister of Education,
Sport and Culture, Cde Aeneas Chigwedere, said fees were kept deliberately
low so that all parents could afford to send their children to school.

In Zimbabwe, it is illegal to send a child home because they have failed to
pay levies, but a child can be stopped from attending lessons if they have
not paid fees.

The minister said the school authorities could raise levies to sustainable
levels for their institutions to run properly as long as the parents would
have agreed.

"We have never ever said school fees and levies must remain stagnant. No.
What we have always said is that the schools need to agree with the parents
and approach the secretary (of the Ministry of Education, Sport and Culture)
to justify the increments so that they are given permission," he said.

"If they do that, they will be able to meet their needs."

Cde Chigwedere, however, said he was aware that some schools, especially
those run by trusts, were in the habit of introducing a host of levies, such
as bus and desk levies, yet they never buy the items they would have
collected the levies for.

He said his ministry would only approve such levies where a time scale to
raise the money is set. He said after the purchase of the items the levy
should immediately be stopped.
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Zim Independent

Mutasa faces arrest
Itai Dzamara
ANTI-CORRUPTION minister Didymus Mutasa faces stern disciplinary action from
Zanu PF and possible arrest after being implicated in acts of violence
against a party rival vying for his seat in Makoni North.

Mutasa could be taken to court to answer charges of public violence and
destruction of property, police sources said. Police Commissioner Augustine
Chihuri recently said police would deal with anyone involved in violence
regardless of status.

Police spokesman Wayne Bvudzijena this week said the findings of police
investigations had been submitted to the Attorney-General's Office which
will decide on prosecution.

"We don't discuss our investigations or findings. We submit them to the AG's
office because it is part of the court process. The suspected people will be
called to answer charges against them," he said.

Sources in the ruling party said President Robert Mugabe recently told a
politburo meeting that he was not happy with reports of intra-party violence
ahead of primary elections. Mugabe, the sources said, ordered a full
investigation of the clashes in Mutasa's Makoni North constituency. The
culprits could face stern disciplinary measures.

State media reports at the weekend said police had found that Mutasa had a
case to answer over the violent incident in which a rival candidate in Zanu
PF primary elections, James Kaunye, was beaten up by the minister's
supporters. Mutasa three weeks ago confirmed to the Independent that his
supporters assaulted Kaunye because he was trying to invade his

Mutasa has publicly said he wants to be one of the two vice-presidents.
Until he was implicated in the Makoni violence, he was named as one of those
vying to replace the late vice-president Simon Muzenda.

Zanu PF Women's League heavyweight Joyce Mujuru and ruling party secretary
for administration Emmerson Mnangagwa are also possible candidates for the
position which should be filled during the party's congress in December.
Mnangagwa, who is also speaker of parliament, was initially considered the
favourite until Mujuru emerged as a contender.

Mutasa, a former speaker of parliament, has been an MP since 1980 and is one
of the few remaining veteran ministers. He was recently involved in a
scuffle in parliament with MDC MP Roy Bennett.

Zanu PF chairman for Manicaland Mark Madiro this week said the party
leadership in the province was investigating the violence in Makoni North.

"There have been investigations into the violence and the matter is now
being looked into by the party's disciplinary committee. We want to avoid
the recurrence of such incidents which tarnish the image of the party,"
Madiro said.

Mutasa last month confirmed that he had paid bail for 31 of his supporters
who had been arrested after they allegedly attacked Kaunye. Mutasa currently
holds the seat.

This week Mutasa refused to comment on the matter, saying "it is before the
courts and police are involved".
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Zim Independent

Sweden may resume bilateral aid to Zim
Staff Writer
SWEDEN could soon normalise bilateral relations with Zimbabwe if its
parliament, the Riksdag, adopts a new policy on equitable global

Sweden was the first Western country to suspend bilateral cooperation with
the government in 2001 to protest the systematic political repression and
human rights abuses.The Swedish Foreign Affairs ministry this week said the
new policy proposals aim to contribute to equitable global development.

"We cannot give support with one hand while building up obstacles with the
other, all policies must aim in the same direction," Carin Jamtin, Minister
for International Development Cooperation, said in a statement this week.

"The key to success in the fight against poverty is that all policies, not
just development assistance, contribute to equitable development."

If Sweden resumes bilateral aid to Zimbabwe, the decision would be helpful
to the poor in view of current official attempts to curtail non-governmental
organisations' activities which have bailed out thousands from hunger and
abject poverty.

Swedish ambassador to Zimbabwe, Kristina Svensson, said her country would
not abandon the people of this country. She said the move shift by her
embassy from town to spacious offices in Avondale was proof that her country
wanted to continue working with the people of Zimbabwe.

"I sincerely hope that we soon will be back to a normalised relationship
where our two governments cooperate and we can intensify our support to
Zimbabwe," said Svensson.

"My government will not abandon the people of Zimbabwe. The newly renovated
chancery in Avondale is proof of this."

Sweden and other 24 European Union (EU) countries have imposed targeted
sanctions against President Robert Mugabe, government and ruling Zanu PF
officials for political repression and human rights violations.

The sanctions were initially imposed in 2002 by the 15 EU members before
they were also adopted by the new 10 nations in the grouping. The United
States, Canada and Switzerland have also imposed smart sanctions against
Harare. This has resulted in curtailed bilateral cooperation between
Zimbabwe and Western countries.

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Zim Independent

Annan says Nepad's peer review ups aid inflows
Itai Dzamara
UNITED Nations secretary-general Kofi Annan says 23 African countries that
have submitted to the New Partnership for Africa's Development (Nepad)'s
peer review mechanism are benefiting economically and in governance areas.

In a Nepad assessment report released last week, Annan said the adoption of
the peer review mechanism had enabled countries involved to access more
international aid.

"A distinguishing feature of Nepad is developing sectoral policy frameworks,
implementing specific programmes and projects and developing ways of good
governance," Annan said.

"It combines articulation of policy framework on specific issues with the
implementation of programmes in sectoral priority issues," Annan said in his
report. "The past year has been marked by progress in the implementation of
the Nepad initiative."

Annan said the commitment of 23 African countries which have subjected
themselves to assessment on their standards of democracy, human rights,
governance and economic management by peers was a stepping-stone towards
economic emancipation.

Nepad was adopted by African leaders in 2001 and includes a peer review
mechanism, a voluntary process by which members agree to subject their
standards of governance and economic policies to scrutiny by their peers.

Zimbabwe has not signed up to the peer review mechanism and is among the
countries on the continent referred to by Annan as "lagging behind in the
development initia-tive".

Annan highlighted the role played by the UN in assisting Nepad members to
realise its goals in social and economic development.

"The UN has a key role to play in mobilising international support to Nepad.
In this regard, the secretary-general has set up an advisory panel,
consisting of 13 members, to assist him in monitoring international support
to Nepad," Annan said.

UN agencies such as the United Nations Development Programme and the United
Nations Children's Education Fund have greatly assisted in development
programmes in Nepad member nations.

Annan cited South Africa as an example of a country which had gained a lot
from international partnerships forged through Nepad.

President Thabo Mbeki of South Africa and leaders of Nigeria, Senegal,

Algeria and Egypt are the major proponents of Nepad and its peer review
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Zim Independent

Woza on long march against NGO Bill
Loughty Dube
WOMEN of Zimbabwe Arise (Woza), a women's pressure group, has embarked on a
440-km march from Bulawayo to Harare to protest against proposed legislation
to curtail the operations of non-governmental organisations.

The group said it was protesting against government's human rights abuses
and Zimbabwe's four-year political crisis.

At least 30 women activists left Bulawayo on Sunday and are expected to

reach Harare in two weeks' time.

"We expect to be in Harare in the coming 10 days. This march is the only way
we can express our feelings about the NGO Bill without being arrested by
police for allegedly disrupting the peace," Woza spokesperson, Jenni
Williams, said in a telephone interview from Kwekwe which the group had
reached by yesterday morning.

"There were about 30 of us when we left Bulawayo but we were joined by about
15 other women in Gweru and we expect more women to join us along the way,"
she said.

The government has in the past reacted heavy-handedly to protest marches
organised by Woza and other civic groups. Woza members, including Williams,
have been arrested several times for taking part in protests.

Williams said her group decided to embark on the protest march after
realising that the police would crush any demonstration in Bulawayo. In the
past three weeks there has been a string of arrests of opposition and civic
leaders for allegedly holding illegal meetings or demonstrations. The
opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC)'s Bulawayo offices were
raided by police who claimed they were looking for "subversive" material.

She said the women were determined to express their outrage at the Bill
despite the hard march.

"Our spirits are high and we will not be deterred by anything. The walk also
seeks to raise money for women activists who are likely to lose their jobs
when government closes down some of the NGOs," she said.

Civic groups and churches have labelled the proposed law an "overkill" which
has drawn international condemnation because of its restrictive nature.
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Zim Independent

Teachers gear up for strike
Staff Writer
THE Zimbabwe Teachers Association (Zimta) will meet next week to endorse a
proposed strike following the expiry last week of a 14-day ultimatum to the
government to increase teachers' salaries by 100%.

Zimta secretary-general Dennis Sinyolo would not commit himself on what
action the teachers' body would take, saying there were options they were

"It is premature for me to comment on that except to say industrial action
cannot be ruled out if there is no movement on the government side," Sinyolo

"It is indeed true that teachers' patience has been stretched to the limit
and it is critical for government to make an offer. We have requested for a
100% cost of living adjustment."

Sinyolo said Zimta members would have the final decision. He said the
ultimatum expired on September 15, the same day the Zimta executive met
government officials.

He said government announced at the meeting that it had revised housing and
transport allowances for civil servants.

He said Zimta has since asked for its members' views on the issue.

Teachers who spoke to the Zimbabwe Independent said they were in full
support of the proposed industrial action.

"This (strike) is the only language that government understands," a high
school teacher, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said.

"If they refuse to accede to our demands then we will definitely take to the
streets. We fully support our leaders on this one."

It was not possible to obtain comment from Chigwedere. Government has in the
past clashed with teachers over salaries and working conditions.

On average, primary and secondary school teachers take home between $900 000
and $1,2m a month.

The Consumer Council of Zimbabwe has said an average family of five now
needs a food basket worth $1,4 million a month.

A strike by teachers could disrupt public school examinations expected to
commence in a fortnight.
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Zim Independent

      Tel*One tariff hikes threaten businesses
      Staff Writer

      THE cost of telephone calls has gone up astronomically amid fears that
many businesses will not be able to sustain the increases and could be
forced to close shop.

      The increase has been met with howls of outrage from both domestic
consumers and business users of telephones who are charging that the raise
was not justified by either the current rate of inflation, which has been
slowing, or an improvement in the quality of service provided.

      The country's fixed telephone operator, Tel*One, announced last week
that it had increased tariffs by 275 to 385% with effect from July 21. The
unit charge for a three-minute local call increased from $120 to $585. Trunk
calls will now cost $328 per minute from the previous $120 per minute. The
actual charge for trunk calls depends on the distance between the calling
and the called exchange.

      Fixed calls to regional countries were increased from $1 000 to $2
053,83 per minute. The average charge for an international call is now $2
733 per minute.

      Tel*One public relations officer, Collin Wilbesi, said the telephone
operator has been running on sub-economic tariffs for a long time and it was
necessary for businesses to charge economic rates in order to make a profit
and remain viable.

      "The tariff structure (will) bring in the revenue to deliver quality
services in new lines and current maintenance," Wilbesi said. "The company
intends to further improve on customer service by ensuring immediate
response to faults, improve on call completion rates and installation of new

      Wilbesi said the August telephone bill would be a six-week cycle bill
instead of the usual four-week and it will be based on the new tariff
structure. Telephone users who spoke to the Zimbabwe Independent condemned
the increases as excessive.

      "Surely it would have been fairer to the telephone-using public for
Tel*One to have engaged independent consultants to examine the impact of
various price changes rather than relying on the obviously self-servicing
approach that the company took," Shingai Moyo of Mufakose, said. "Owning a
telephone will soon be a luxury we cannot afford."

      A business executive who declined to be named said the increase in
telephone charges would have a domino effect on the economy. He said most
businesses would be forced to disconnect their telephone lines or simply

      Consumer Council of Consumer public relations officer, Tonderayi
Mukeredzi, said the increases would inhibit consumers from communicating.

      "Increases of this magnitude deprive consumers of their right to
information as only a few previleged consumers will afford to make a call,"
Mukeredzi said.

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Zim Independent

Govt intensifies farm evictions
Augustine Mukaro
GOVERNMENT has intensified the eviction of squatters who invaded white-owned
commercial farms starting in 2000 in a bid to restore order in the
agricultural sector.

Analysts said government had undermined its desire to rectify skewed
colonial land ownership patterns through partisan politics, greed and
subliminal racial hatred.

They said land reform had destroyed a sector government itself touts as the
backbone of the economy through haphazard occupations by people who have
little aptitude for farming or have no resources to embark on commercial
production. In some cases, formerly productive farms have been turned into
dustbowls, the analysts say.

In the past few weeks government has evicted hundreds of so-called model A1
farmers. Most of them were left stranded after soldiers and police last week
and earlier this week set their homes ablaze on an estimated 21 farms along
the Harare-Chinhoyi highway.

Meanwhile, Amnesty International reports that at least 10 people have died
at Porta Farm outside Harare in the past three weeks as a result of what it
alleges was the misuse of teargas by police during the eviction of

Police spokesman Wa-yne Bvudzijena yesterday denied the reports.

"Amnesty International is calling for a full and independent inquiry into
the deaths of at least 10 people since September 2 at Porta Farm," Amnesty
said in a statement yesterday.

Bvudzijena said: "They (Amnesty International) must give us the names
instead of merely claiming that people died. If the people died at hospital
there must be a hospital report. The law in this country bars anyone from
burying the dead without a police report. We haven't received reports that
there is anyone who died at home."

Amnesty said those who died of exposure to teargas had pre-existing
illnesses. It said on September 2 riot police, war veterans and Zanu PF
militia went to Porta Farm to evict about 10 000 squatters where teargas was

A visit by the Zimbabwe Independent to five farms in Mashonaland West -
Little England, Inkomo, Newlands, Kingswood and Sotibury - on Wednesday
revealed that the evicted families were still stranded in the open along the
highway.In interviews with the Independent, the farmers, the majority of
whom seized the properties from white commercial farmers in 2000, blamed
government for encouraging farm invasions as "legitimate demonstrations by
land-hungry people".

One farmer, Goodwill Zimbizi, said they were sleeping in the open and still
expected government to allocate them land elsewhere.

"Since Thursday last week, we have been visiting Murombedzi district offices
to find a solution to this crisis," Zimbizi said.

"Land officers have asked us to register our names and are promising that we
will be allocated land elsewhere soon," he said.

"Even if we get the land now, there is no way we will make a meaningful
contribution to production this season considering the time needed to settle
down and prepare the land," he said.

Zimbizi expressed fea-rs that the evicted families, especially children,
could contract diseases because there was no clean water or sanitary
facilities on their roadside settlement.

When the land invasions began in earnest in 2000, government promised
peasants that it would send land experts to properly plan settlements on
occupied farms. They were warned, though, not to erect "permanent"

Bvudzijena on Tuesday told the Independent that the peasants were being
evicted because they had settled illegally and had been given advance
notices that they would be moved.

Local Government minister Ignatious Cho-mbo was last week reported saying
the evictions were necessary to pave way for A2 farmers with resources to
utilise the land on a commercial basis.Chombo said the government would find
alternative land for the evicted families.

There were reports this week that the crackdown had spread to Banket, Karoi,
Chinhoyi, Mhangura and Doma in Mashonaland West province and in Lower Gweru
in the Midlands province.

The farmers said government had used them.

"We are convinced that government is now evicting us from the farms to pave
way for Zanu PF officials," said Gilbert Karima, sitting on an eviction
notice in the Mhangura area.
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Zim Independent

Food supplies dwindling
Loughty Dube
THE Famine Early Warning Systems Network (FewsNet) and the World Food
Programme (WFP) this week warned of declining food supplies in most
districts of Zimbabwe.

The groups said urban people were also facing starvation because while food
was available the prices were unaffordable.

The WFP's emergency report number 38 of 2004 and FewsNet's monthly food
security update released this week, expressed serious concern about the food
situation in the country.

"As more households rely on the market to obtain their cereal needs, food
security will depend more and more on the Grain Marketing Board (GMB),"
FewsNet said.

"However, 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

The WFP said Rushinga, Lower Guruve and some parts of the Centenary valley
districts were experiencing serious food shortages.

"In Masvingo province, reports show that food security is better in
resettled areas than in communal areas. Some major GMB depots in the
province are not selling cereal due to nonavailability," it said.

"In the traditionally dry Matabeleland province, Bulilimamangwe, Lupane,
Matobo and Gwanda, Tsholotsho and Nkayi reported low availability of food."

Although inflation has now fallen to 314% from a January peak of 623%, the
groups said this was still too high.
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Zim Independent

Zim, IMF ties suffer further strain
Shakeman Mugari
RELATIONS between Zimbabwe and the Bretton Woods institutions are likely to
be further strained after President Robert Mugabe apparently declined to
meet the new Inter-national Monetary Fund (IMF) managing director, Rodrigo
de Rato, recently.

Mugabe was due to meet with the new IMF chief on the sidelines of the
African Union meeting in Burkina Faso's capital Ouagadougou on September 8.
However, the Zimbabwean delegation failed to confirm the meeting whilst the
IMF team waited.

It is not clear who had suggested the meeting but it is understood that
Mugabe had agreed in principle to meet De Rato.

"The call to confirm the meeting from the Zimbabwe side did not come through
and as a result the meeting did not take place as scheduled," IMF spokesman
David Hawley was quoted as telling Bloomberg news agency.

This is likely to complicate relations between the IMF and Zimbabwe which
are already frosty. Mugabe has shown deep resentment towards the Bretton
Woods institution despite efforts by Reserve Bank governor Gideon Gono to
mend relations with it and other multilateral organisations.

Mugabe lashed out at the IMF, accusing it of telling lies about Zimbabwe, in
his speech to the UN General Assembly on Wednesday.

"We plead with the IMF to stop its strange political mouthings, lies and
fabrication about our situation," Mugabe said. "Our own regional
organisations know the truth about Zimbabwe."

The attack came barely a week after the IMF released a damning report on
Zimbabwe's economic situation. It raised grave concern over Zimbabwe's
"sharp economic decline".

The report blasted Zimbabwe for not putting concrete measures in place to
curb the economic slide. It said the current confusion surrounding land
reform was a threat to property rights and eroded investor confidence.

"More broadly, staff stressed the importance of addressing the issue of
property rights in a way that would resolve investor confidence including
observing commitments under bilateral agreements," the report said.

It said Zimbabwe needed sound economic policies, strengthening of the rule
of law, addressing governance issues and reducing corruption if it was to
restore international support.
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Zim Independent

Zim slips in FDI rankings
Eric Chiriga
THE Zimbabwean economy has been ranked 138th out of 140 countries, with an
inward Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) Potential Index of 0,064 for the
period 2000-2002, the World Investment Report 2004 has revealed.

Zimbabwe had an inward FDI Peformance Index of 0,069 for the period
2001-2003 as compared to Bangladesh and Haiti, which had 0,083 and 0,080
respectively in the same period, the report said.

The inward FDI Potential Index is based on 12 economic policy variables and
the inward FDI Performance Index is the ratio of a country's share in global
FDI flows to its share in global Gross Domestic Product (GDP).

According to the report Zimbabwe experienced a Foreign Direct Investment
(FDI) inflow of 2,5% of gross fixed capital formation in 2003.

The report, which was themed "The shift towards services", said that
Zimbabwe's FDI inflow had declined to 2,5% from 3,5% in 2002.

It also said that the country's inward FDI stocks were 15,5% of GDP in 2003
as compared to 18,5% in South Africa and 55,2% in Zambia.

Africa as a whole experienced inward FDI stocks of 25,3% compared to 27,0%
in the previous year.

The Zimbabwean FDI inflow has been dwindling with the exception of the
mining sector which remains lucrative and major foreign investment projects
are underway.
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Zim Independent

Opposition sceptical of airwaves access

Itai Dzamara

GOVERNMENT'S decision to have the Zimbabwe Broadcasting Holdings (ZBH) give
coverage to opposition parties in line with regional guidelines on the
conduct of elections will not achieve much unless it is implemented fully
and fairly, analysts said this week.

Opposition parties are sceptical about government's sincerity in claiming
that the public broadcaster will give equal access to all parties ahead of
next year's elections. The opposition parties said ZBH, which has become an
instrument of Zanu PF propaganda, was likely to push the ruling party's
mantras to the exclusion of all else.

Justice minister Patrick Chinamasa last week said ZBH would be giving
coverage to all political parties ahead of next year's general election.
This would be part of efforts to reform the electoral framework to meet
standards prescribed under the Southern African Development Community (Sadc)
guidelines, Chinamasa said.

Misa-Zimbabwe legal officer, Silas Dziike, this week said the Sadc
principles on the conduct of elections cited access to the public media by
political parties as one of the most critical areas. He said there was
however no law in Zimbabwe which specifically provided for that, leaving ZBH
open to political manipulation.

One of the areas included in clause 7:4 of the Sadc electoral guidelines is
equal access to the media by all political parties.

"The Zimbabwe Electoral Commission Bill should have included this aspect in
line with the Sadc guidelines," Dziike said. "But it doesn't have it and the
Broadcasting Services Act is silent on that aspect. It merely deals with the
technical regulations of the broadcast media, such as regulating the

"What we can have therefore are bilateral agreements between ZBH and the
political parties as was the case in 2000 when ZBC came up with 10 golden
rules. However, that is prone to political manipulation," he said.

Zimbabwe Election Support Network chairman Reginald Matchaba-Hove said ZBH
needs to be independent and professional in line with the recently adopted
Sadc principles on elections.

"Under normal circumstances, there shouldn't be an order from government to
the broadcaster to give balanced coverage to all parties," he said. "The
broadcasting authority must act professionally and independently in the
coverage of political parties. One of the standards in the Sadc principles
clearly states that there should be equal access to the media by all
political parties. This is therefore one of the areas that we need to
address if we are to comply with those guidelines."

ZBH board chairman Rino Zhuwarara this week said the broadcaster would wait
for a declaration by President Robert Mugabe of the election period, after
which the broadcaster would give space to contesting political parties.

"The Broadcasting Services Act clearly stipulates how we should do this
(giving access to political parties)," he said. "That is what we will

"We will not censor anything because we are not in the business of
censorship. There is obviously the need for quality control and we will do
this in discussion and agreement with the political parties after the
president has declared the election period," he said.

Zhuwarara added that ZBH would be apolitical in giving coverage to political
parties as long as they stuck to their agreements with the national

Zapu leader Paul Siwela doubts the possibility of opposition parties getting
unconditional access to the public broadcaster. "What Zanu PF is likely to
do is say that all opposition parties are being allocated a certain amount
of space on radio and television but still order that the reporting be
negative on our part," Siwela said.

"The public media is likely to be used to set an agenda that works in favour
of Zanu PF. That is what happened in 2000 despite us having agreed the rules
of fairness and balance."

Zanu (Ndonga) president Wilson Kumbula said ZBH would still censor material
from opposition parties. "I have just returned from Botswana where all the
political parties are getting coverage and time on national radio and
television to enunciate their policies," he said.

"Here the ZBH will certainly be used to censor our information and material
to suit the Zanu PF agenda. As long as the public broadcaster is under the
direct control of Zanu PF we can't hope for anything better," he said.

Democratic Party leader Wurayayi Zembe said: "We can't be held to ransom on
this matter because under normal circumstances all parties must enjoy
unhindered access to the public media.

"We need terms which are fair to both Zanu PF and opposition parties."

Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) secretary-general Welshman Ncube said
rules should be set to ensure the opposition was given the opportunity to
respond to all the allegations raised by the ruling party and vice versa, in
a balanced manner.

"We have the experience of how in 2000 and 2002 our election material was
censored and in some cases distorted whilst some of it was denied the chance
to reach the electorate despite earlier promises that we would get balanced

Media freedom activists Article IX say this about the role of the media in
election campaigns:

"The role of election campaign broadcasting may be divided into three broad
categories. The first encompasses political party and candidate access to
the people through direct communications, sometimes referred to as political

"The second category includes the manner in which the broadcast media cover
candidates, parties and issues of importance to the election in news and
special information programming. The third category concerns voter-education
information regarding the voting process, voter participation and related
civic issues."

Public broadcasters in Sadc countries like South Africa, Botswana and Zambia
give wide coverage to all contesting parties before elections. The South
African Broadcasting Corporation, for example, gave opposition parties such
as the Democratic Alliance, the Pan-Africanist Congress and Inkatha Freedom
Party space on television as well as radio to counter the campaigns of the
ruling African National Congress in general elections earlier this year.

In Botswana, where a general election is set for next month, Botswana TV is
currently running programmes that accord the Botswana Democratic Party and
the Botswana National Front space to explain their policies while at the
same time responding to questions from the public. Equal coverage is also
given to the campaigns of the contesting parties.

Zambia, which recently adopted the international standards on access to the
broadcast media during election campaigns, created statutory instruments
that compel the Zambian National Broadcasting Company to give equal coverage
and space to all political parties.

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Zim Independent

Editor's Memo


HAS the Homelink initiative been as successful as officialdom would like us
to believe? A document prepared by the central bank to help governor Gideon
Gono to answer questions from the parliamentary portfolio committee on the
Budget, Finance and Economic Development this week is revealing. It paints a
not-so-rosy picture of the forex transfer scheme.

The Gono document which his office volunteered to us this week says since
January 1, Homelink has brought in US$36 million which translates to 3% of
the global foreign currency figure of US$1,2 billion for the same period.

More importantly however, is another revelation contained in the Homelink
press supplement in which its publicity committee chairman, businessman
Herbert Nkala, said 60-70% of Zimbabwean adults who should constitute the
productive sector are living abroad.

Diabolical? But Nkala's guestimate should not be doubted because he tells us
that it is a "scientific estimate".

"The most scientific estimate we have of the number of Zimbabweans living
abroad is 3,4 million," he said. "This represents 25% of the last national
census figure."

"When you take into account that at least 50% of the population is under the
age of 15 and the number of children who have retired, you are left with the
inescapable conclusion that between 60% and 70% of Zimbabwean adults in
their productive years are living abroad," he said.

Nkala tells us that the large cross-border population told the Homelink team
on its globetrotting mission in May and June that they wanted to participate
in the economy's turnaround.

"They also confirmed that they will send money through Homelink," Nkala told

That is not all. Nkala said 50% of diasporans in the United States and the
United Kingdom each sends home an average of US$200 a month. A conservative
figure of a million diasporans sending money home every month should bring
Zimbabwe US$200 million a month.

To be even more circumspect, a quarter of that amount would be enough to
finance monthly fuel and electricity imports.

Those living abroad are yet to translate their enthusiasm and support of
Homelink into huge remissions.

Nkala said people in the diaspora were sending money home through other
means - a more honourable way of describing the black market - which
unfortunately is finding its feet again. That the RBZ team on its roadshow
was "overwhelmed by the desire by the diasporans to send money through
Homelink" is a political statement which does not reflect the reality in the
central bank's coffers. Indeed, it tells us something of the delusional
thinking that characterises much of the scheme.

Homelink has brought in US$36 million and not the hundreds of millions
"overwhelmed" Nkala was promised during his junket in Europe. Remember boss
Gono has said "failure is not an option".

Gono's document is revealing in as far as it rubbishes the propaganda in the
RBZ's Homelink supplement. There was no real "overwhelming" response to
Homelink other than from perhaps those who attended expensive parties in
Atlanta, London and Johannesburg.

"Every picture (in the supplement) tells a story," it declares.

The 3,4 million Zimbabweans in the diaspora who Nkala tells us would like to
"invest their money to boost Zimbabwe's economy", will not be doing so soon
as long as they do not support the system of governance at home.

If each one of them brought in US$100 a month through the formal monetary
structures, the amount of just US$340 million would surpass forex receipts
from exports. Since January, exports proceeds, which constitute the largest
chunk of forex inflows, have brought in US$745 million - that is about US$83
million a month. Gold is bringing in an average US$25 million monthly. Not
very overwhelming is it?

The subterfuge built around the numbers game is key to ensuring that the
world regards Zimbabwe as a country on the firm road to recovery. That is
the reason why the Grain Marketing Board (GMB) has told us that the country
has produced 2,4 million tonnes of maize. The parastatal failed to produce
tangible evidence to support this when it appeared before a parliamentary
portfolio committee recently.

GMB boss Samuel Muvuti this week said 300 000 tonnes of maize had already
been collected and a balance of between 500 000 and 750 000 would be
collected before the end of the year. The parastatal, we are told, is
collecting between 20 000 tonnes and 30 000 tonnes of maize every week.

At a collection rate of 30 000 tonnes a week the maximum that would be
collected by December is less than 400 000 tonnes. But grain-marketing
trends show that communal farmers producing most of the grain sell their
crop before the onset of the rains to raise money for inputs. There are no
huge grain sales between December and March. Muvuti would want us to believe
that the peak marketing period has shifted to the end of the year. Another
invention of the Third Chimurenga!

*Our Online readers can now send us feedback electronically through the
Feedback/comments on our website: We will try to
respond to each message sent through this link.
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Zim Independent


Land reform turns to hut-burning orgy

DEVELOPMENTS on farms north-west of Harare in the past three weeks have
exposed the other face of the Zanu PF government, or rather the more
familiar one. Supporters who have been squatting on Little England and
Inkomo farms were forcibly evicted after more than four years of occupation.

The farms were designated A2, they were told, so they had no business being
there. Their contribution to the Third Chimurenga was over. Thank you and
goodbye. As an incentive to relocate, their huts were burnt.

Torched in the early hours of the morning, not all managed to salvage their
household belongings. Domestic animals such as cattle, goats and sheep were
reportedly stolen as their owners were ferreted out of their huts well
before dawn.

The result has been huts and other makeshift dwellings going up in plumes of
smoke, and the displacement of settlers, most of whom can now be seen
stranded along the Chirundu highway. Reports this week indicate that the
fires are spreading and more settlers are being displaced.

Huts on at least 20 farms between Norton and Banket have been set ablaze so
far and the scorched-earth campaign is not over. By Tuesday it had reached
Doma and Mhangura.

These are farmers who were told to stay put on the land, notwithstanding
that their plots were not properly pegged. The Zanu PF government even came
up with the Rural Land Occupiers (Protection from Eviction) Act, which
shielded the settlers from eviction by white farmers who had won court

It is labouring the point even to merely state that most of these people
voted for Zanu PF in 2000 and 2002. Now most of them may not be able to vote
next year because of the latest displacements. Many face starvation.

The evictions from Little England and Inkomo farms, making way for model A2
settlers, is intended to result in consolidated land holdings to correct the
anomalies caused by Zanu PF's fast-track land resettlement exercise.

But in correcting the anomalies four years down the line, government should
assess the damage to the environment caused by farmers who were allowed to
settle in wrong places.

The squatters being removed had cleared forests - completely altering the
ecosystem in some areas, decimated game on farms, removed fences and
vandalised water infrastructure.

The Zanu PF government will not be able to put right these huge

Then there is the humanitarian crisis the forced evictions have spawned.
Hundreds of families were made to abandon their rural homes to push
government's agenda of driving all whites off commercial farms. Some of the
settlers had invested millions in livestock and shelter only to be told to
bring down everything overnight and go back to their original homes.

Cynics are bound to say the euphoria of correcting historical land holding
patterns fooled many about what was essentially an election gimmick. Those
so fooled should have known better than to trust Zanu PF to live up to its
promises to empower the poor.

The sceptics certainly have a point. Like George Bush's war in Iraq, it
looks like land resettlement is far from over more than a year after
President Mugabe pronounced fast-track occupations ended.

The chaos being created now means more disruptions to food production amid
loud complaints about lack of seed, draught power, an uncertain rainy season
and vandalised irrigation infrastructure. It looks like those who predicted
that Zimbabwe would take up to 15 years to return to food self-sufficiency
may have been over-optimistic.

Those being displaced today join the ranks of thousands of former farm
workers whom they displaced themselves in the name of land reform. We have
come full cycle and the big fish who have always been eating can now safely
occupy all the choice farms without too much effort.

Those war veterans who tried to occupy Chief Fortune Charumbira's farm in
Masvingo know Zanu PF's true colours. At the end of the day it doesn't
matter whether you call yourself a war veteran or a Border Gezi graduate.
Once Zanu PF has accomplished its mission it will discard you like a banana
peel. Unfortunately it has used the same strategy since Independence without
some people learning a thing.

It is pointless for government to now say that it wants to allocate land to
those who have the resources to utilise it. That was the point made by those
who warned of chaos. It was the point made at the 1998 donors' conference
about poverty alleviation with equity. Those who opposed the fast-track
approach argued that large-scale commercial farms were being subdivided into
subsistence plots when the country was in dire need of increased exports to
aid economic recovery.

Needless to say such arguments were dismissed as unpatriotic and inspired by
Tony Blair's puppets keen to reverse land reform.

They were vindicated by the Utete audit, which exposed anomalies and
inappropriate land use. Reversing the process is going to inflict
considerable suffering on those villagers who never thought government would
betray their trust nearly five years later. They should have listened more
closely when Elliot Manyika sang in Nora that "Zanu deyekushupika".

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Zim Independent

Eric Bloch Column

Beneficiation vs import substitution

ZIMBABWE has now been in a foreign exchange crisis for more than 42 years!
It was on February 14 1962 (St Valentine's Day!) that the government,
through the Reserve Bank, introduced exchange controls because of the
imbalance between the country's foreign exchange inflows and outflows.

The negative balance of payments which rapidly developed after the 1960
decision to dissolve the Federation of Rhodesia and Nyasaland was becoming
catastrophically greater, forcing the government of the day to take the
drastic action of regulating all foreign currency outflows, concurrently
with strenuous efforts, reinforced by law and regulation, to ensure the
inflow of all export proceeds and other foreign currency earnings.

With a view to minimising outflows of the scarce foreign exchange resources,
the authorities resorted to numerous strategies, one of the foremost being
focused upon the establishment of industries to produce goods which would
otherwise have to be imported. And this strategy was vigorously intensified
after the government of the day embarked upon its foolhardy Unilateral
Declaration of Independence (UDI) on November 11 1965.

An immediate consequence of that ill-considered action was that the United
Nations, at the request of the then colonial power, the United Kingdom,
imposed severe international trade sanctions upon Rhodesia, now Zimbabwe.
The government arrogantly tweaked its nose at the international community,
and set about innumerable methods of circumventing those sanctions or, at
the least, minimising them.

One of those methods was perceived to motivate industry to engage
substantively in import substitution, whereby products previously imported
would be locally manufactured, thereby reducing the demands upon available
foreign currency, while concurrently other economic benefits - such as
employment creation - would be realised.

It cannot be denied that some very significant successes were achieved, such
as the establishment of several motor vehicle assembly plants and some
substantial manufacturers of pharmaceuticals, among many others.

The fact that the costs of production were immensely greater than the landed
cost of equivalent imported products was considered to be irrelevant, for
the import substitution assured product availability, notwithstanding the
almost universally applied trade sanctions.

Understandably, cost was a very secondary consideration to availability. The
higher costs were due to diverse factors, including those occasioned by the
need to circumvent sanctions in order to obtain necessary imports.

However, the greatest contributant to the greater costs applicable to the
domestic production, as compared to imports of like products, was that the
country could not achieve economies of scale. The size of the domestic
market, and other factors, minimised volumes of production as compared to
the volumes produced by factories in other countries.

Thus, for example, the total production of all our motor vehicle assembly
plants in one year was less than the production of some of Japan's leading
motor vehicle manufacturers in one day! Such a production disparity
unavoidably created such a production cost disparity, but the higher cost
was considered acceptable as the local production of goods, which would
otherwise have to be imported, markedly negated the effectiveness of the
trade sanctions. Concurrently the oppressed economy enjoyed the ancillary
benefits of the local production operations.

After UDI came to an end and an independent Zimbabwe came into being, the
trade sanctions against the country were lifted. However, despite the import
substitution and other measures that had prevailed during the almost 15
years of UDI, the economy was a very emaciated one, necessitating a
continuance of exchange controls.

As a result, the government continued to extol the virtues of import
substitution, and has done so throughout the 24 years of Zimbabwe's
Independence. However, in the past almost a year, its calls upon commerce
and industry to intensify import substitution has - alongside pleas for
increased export performance - been one of the mainstays of the drive by the
government and the Reserve Bank to counter the ongoing balance of payments
deficits which so very severely constrain the economy.

Regrettably, the focus upon import substitution is excessive, being almost
to the exclusion of other methodologies as could address Zimbabwe's foreign
exchange and other economic needs.Although import substitution should be
constructively pursued wheresoever it can be achieved without prejudice to,
or to the benefit of, the consumer, pursuing import substitution in
instances which exacerbate the final cost is counterproductive to the
economy, even if some saving in foreign currency utilisation is achieved.

Even more regrettable is that the emphasis upon import substitution has, to
some considerable degree, diverted attention from another economically
beneficial measure, and that is to maximums upon value-addition to
Zimbabwean production.

Zimbabwe has the productive capacity for a wealth of primary products. These
range from many, varied agricultural products such as cotton, timber, fruits
and vegetables, poultry and meats to numerous minerals, precious and
semi-precious stones and the like. Without endeavouring to enumerate all of
the latter, some of the foremost are asbestos, platinum, iron ore, bauxite,
gold, diamonds and emeralds, to name but a few.

However, the bulk of these very valuable primary products are exported in
their foundling state, either subjected to no processing whatsoever, or to
very little processing. Instead, the products are exported in their original
procurement condition, inclusive of all attendant waste.

Although in no manner the only one of such products, cotton is a prime
example. Based upon most recently available data, Zimbabwe currently
produces a cotton crop of approximately 350 000 tonnes. Of this, an
estimated approximately 250 000 tonnes is exported with the only
value-addition being ginning.

Between 20 000 and 50 000 tonnes are exported with some slight additional
beneficiation, being in the form of yarn, leaving only 50 000 to 80 000
tonnes being converted to fabrics and, possibly, garments or furnishings.
Similar statistics are attributable to most other Zimbabwean primary

This situation suggests that there is a crying need for Zimbabwe to engage
very energetically in the promotion of industries as would be beneficiating
Zimbabwe's primary products. The benefits of doing so would be very

In the first instance, the waste content of exports would be significantly
reduced, therefore reducing transportation costs sustained without a
corresponding enhancement of earnings.

Secondly, the value addition enables realisation of higher selling prices,
thereby generating greater foreign exchange inflows - potentially to a far
greater extent than the curtailment of foreign exchange outflows achieved by
import substitution.

The beneficiation processes also involve the establishment of new
industries, and the expansion of existing ones, which convey numerous
benefits to Zimbabwe and its economy. In particular, value addition to
primary products can result in very great job creation, which is
desperatelyrequired in an economy in which more than three million of the
country's labour force are unemployed.

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Zim Independent


We know who is a mafikizolo

THE Zimbabwe Independent appears to have caused some discomfort to the
Munhumutapa Building Big-Head over its story that the MDC will be afforded
access to the public media in line with commitments made by President Robert
Mugabe in Mauritius last month.

We reported Justice minister Patrick Chinamasa as saying ZBH would soon
start allocating political parties airtime in accordance with the Sadc
requirement that all participants in elections have equal access to the
public media.

This led to an eruption in the propaganda ministry with much fist-waving
that appeared as much directed against Chinamasa as the Independent.

"If there's such an order it must have been made by Tony Blair and is
therefore null and void," Big-Head declared with palpable anger.

Chinamasa could not lawfully make such an order, we were lectured. He merely
repeated the legal position contained in the Broadcasting Services Act that
political parties have reasonable access to the public media.

"Never" would Blair be given access to the media, we were firmly told.

This sounded very much like giving a dog a name and beating it. Are parties
to be denied media space on the grounds that Zanu PF has childishly labelled
them pro-this or anti-that?

What was significant for us was the reference to Chinamasa being the
predictable source of "this inane story". The accusation reminded us of the
official fury that followed our interview with Vice-President Joseph Msika
who referred to "immoral little boys" involved in the Kondozi seizure.

John Nkomo has also faced similar attacks from the same overweening source.

On this occasion we are accused of stealing the story from the public media.
Lifting the story from Newsnet and making it a front-page story was "a first
in the history of desktop journalism in Zimbabwe", we were told.

In fact our reporter spoke to Chinamasa on Wednesday evening. Our story was
based on his remarks to us, not something he might have said on TV. The
frenzied denials coming from ZBH this week suggest the Mauritius terms are
by no means settled government policy. And guess who's trying to block them?

Uncle Joe Stalin's column in Moyo's tired megaphone, the Soviet Sunday News,
misses no opportunity to hurl abuse at the Independent. But just in case
readers have difficulty wading through the juvenile name-calling that is
lifted word-for-word from similar columns in the Herald and Sunday Mail,
they are treated to a repetition of the invective in a column headed "Goings

The columnist, it would appear, spends much of his working day hanging
around on Bulawayo street corners monitoring sales of the Independent. He
then proceeds to insult even those declining to buy it.

An elderly white man who, we are led to believe, declared there was "no
story there" regarding our headline on opposition access to the public media
last Friday, was described as having a face that "seemed to narrate the tale
of an Alfred Hitchcock mystery".

The author doesn't tell us which tale, but given his master's rantings, we
can safely assume he is referring to Psycho.

From this insight, the loitering columnist was able to report that "even the
remnants of our hated colonial past now find it useless to read Blair's
toilet paper".

What we don't understand is why the writer chose to ignore his editor's own
story in the "Goings On" column? That was a real Hitchcockian tale of
skulduggery and drama along Gwanda Road. It contained all the inventiveness
we have come to associate with state-owned Bulawayo papers. But for some
reason the so-called Sunday News omitted it.

It was so busy attacking the Independent for carrying what it claimed were
false reports that it missed the charge of false reporting going on right
under its nose!

And we were interested to note that the wildly inaccurate and no longer used
figures of 300 000 resettled A1 farmers and 54 000 A2 farmers that the
propaganda department had been hawking prior to the Utete Report have
resurfaced from the paper's Special Projects Editor.

Let's hope "special projects" don't include smuggling such discredited
statistics into Bulawayo papers!

What under-employed Sunday News reporters could usefully be doing when
hanging around on street corners is monitoring sales of The Southern Times.
After all, this is a paper that shares their bankrupt ideology. And it
claims to have a regional dimension.

Last weekend this comprised a front-page story on child soldiers in the DRC,
an interview with Sam Nujoma about his dream for a United States of Africa,
a huge feature on elephants (and why they must be shot) and remarks by
Jonathan Moyo on the "need for region to tell its own story".

On the editorial page was an article headed "Mugabe indeed one of the
greatest Africans of all time".

So the people who sponsor this achingly dull, utterly predictable
publication, which actually makes the Sunday News look interesting, have
been devoting acres of space to rubbishing the Independent while doing
nothing to improve their own product.

And regional "allies" are unlikely to be impressed with barbs of this sort
from Southern Times writers: "While other African leaders - including those
enjoying celebrity status for perceived heroism - sit on time bombs by
ignoring the land question in their countries, Mugabe will go down in story
and song as one of the bravest sons of Africa."

What song might that be: "Old Sabina had a farm."?

We found the advertising content significant. There were two ads from
Namibia, one being the Namibian Ministry of Finance. The rest were from
Wankie Colliery, Native Investments Africa Group (including a picture of the
shoes that once served as wages) and PaxAfro.

Better-informed readers will quickly get the Wankie (Chimanimani)
connection. And our theory about Philip Chiyangwa being roped into Big-Head's
self-aggrandising project has now been confirmed. But the paper will have to
do better than this if it's to sell.

Instead of burning the midnight oil trying to think up Form II "jokes" like
"British Satanic Apartheid Press" (yes, seriously, that's the best they can
do and they evidently haven't said to their readers: "Stop me if you've
heard it"!), the sponsors of this latest misuse of public funds need to
devote more time to making their own "special projects" more interesting.

Last week Muckraker expressed dismay at political comment being smuggled
into the Herald's court reports. There was another shocking example this
week when something was tacked on to a report headed "Judgement date for
Tsvangirai set". At the end, the court reporter managed to squeeze this in:
"President Mugabe won the election after defeating Tsvangirai with a wide
margin, but the opposition leader and the party's Western allies have
refused to accept the results, claiming the poll was rigged. But the
election was hailed as free and fair by observers from most African
countries, the Third World, and those from Russia and China."

In a court report!

Don't we recall those involved in setting up the Media and Information
Commission claiming it would uphold professional standards in the media?

Gideon Gono told the parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Budget, Finance
and Economic Development this week that "some stakeholders wanted the
central bank to implement policies that were well-documented in academic
books written by economists but this was not possible as the RBZ had
resolved to apply home-grown policies to turn around the economy".

This is nonsense of course and he knows it. Which home-grown policies can he
name that have succeeded? What happened to Nerp, Merp and Vision 2020? Were
they not home-grown?

What we want are policies that work. Gono certainly won't find them from his
friends in Zanu PF. Perhaps he should start reading some books.

He referred to China "where the economy was growing tremendously because of
the application of home-grown policies".

In fact China's economy is booming precisely because it has abandoned the
policies that Zimbabwe's leadership is still clinging to.

Gono should stop playing to the political gallery and tell it straight. We
are not going to turn around anything until we have turned out those who,
having devastated commercial agriculture and started fighting among
themselves over the spoils, are now setting their sights on plundering the
mining sector!

Someone should help Lowani Ndlovu. He is livid about the speck in UN
secretary-general Kofi Annan's eye but blind to the log in his own. Annan's
crime was that he, according to Lowani, belatedly declared illegal the
British and American invasion of Iraq.

Muckraker will not bother debating the illegality or otherwise of the Iraqi
invasion. Nor respond to the silly suggestion that the Zimbabwe Independent
should have made Annan's comments our lead story last week.

But to claim that Annan's silence was "unAfrican" is most strange to say the
least. That criminal African silence has been the bane of the continent for
years. That is why we had disasters like the famine in Ethiopia in 1984 that
killed millions. It was only exposed by Western media when it was already
too late.

Let Lowani not tell us nobody knew about it. We nearly had a similar
disaster here a few years back when Agriculture minister Joseph Made claimed
the country had a "bumper harvest" when in fact there was a serious cereal

It was the same criminal African silence that allowed the genocide in Rwanda
to happen in 1994. Radio stations and other state-owned media were allowed
to spread hate propaganda the same way state media in Zimbabwe were
encouraged to publish editorials like "Hit them hard" when the government
was carrying out genocide in Matabeleland and the Midlands in the 1980s.

Over 20 000 people were killed in what President Mugabe now admits was "an
act of madness that should not be repeated" yet when it happened between
1983 and 1987 the likes of Lowani were silent about the wanton massacre of

They were equally complicit in the violence that preceded the parliamentary
election in 2000 and the presidential poll in 2002. While the rest of the
country was low on food they were not ashamed to go shopping in South
Africa. What a true African story!

It is the same criminal silence that has seen the likes of Archbishop Pius
Ncube being subjected to weekly attacks in the public media for questioning
government figures on the food situation in the country. If Ncube hasn't got
precise figures for those starving etc, it is in part because the government
itself is secretive about the truth. That is if it has any figures at all.
Ncube has also condemned the abuse of youths by politicians while pretenders
to the faith claim Mugabe was sent by God to serve Zimbabwe.

Incidentally, while Lowani was wasting space telling us how touched he was
by what's going on in Iraq, he didn't say a word about the lead story in the
same Sunday Mail in which a senior government minister is being investigated
by the police for causing havoc in Makoni North. Police want to find out
Hurricane Didymus's role in what commissioner Augustine Chihuri last week
described as the use of youths by politicians "as canon fodder". How
hypocritical can one get?

Talking of hypocrisy, Lowani reserved his bitterest attack for US secretary
of state Colin Powell who has refused to indulge Lowani's fancy by ignoring
his taunts for America to invade Zimbabwe. Lowani says Powell should not
seek to avert the imminent tragedy in Sudan's Darfur region because he didn't
stop the Iraq invasion. What Powell sees in Sudan, says Lowani, he should
have seen in Iraq.

"The brutalised human beings in Iraq are not different from the brutalised
human beings in Sudan. Human beings are human beings wherever they are
found," declares Lowani, trying to make a very banal truism sound like some
profound discovery. But that is not the most criminal part of Lowani's
mentality. The tragedy is his insinuation that nothing should be done to
stop the unfolding disaster in Darfur because nothing was done to stop the
Iraq invasion. That notwithstanding the fact that many countries opposed
that invasion.

In short he wants another genocide in Sudan so that he has more ammunition
to hurl at Annan. It's another plea for unAfrican silence from Lowani in
Darfur! What are some one million black Africans worth, his warped logic
suggests, compared to a few Arab fanatics slaughtering each other daily in
the name of killing Bush? When some 800 000 black Africans slaughtered each
other in Rwanda did the Organisation of African Unity do anything? Why
should the African Union act differently in Darfur?

According to Lowani Africans are wastable, never mind the numbers. The duty
of humanity is to protect Arab oil from Western plunder. Sudan's Janjaweed
militia are the untouchables, Lowani's answer to American hegemony!

But we did enjoy the attempt by Lowani to deflect attention by pretending
mafikizolo now refers to Tony Blair and George Bush. No, that won't wash. We
use the term advisedly to describe those who want to cry louder than the
grieved, those who want to sound more Zanu PF than its founders, those who
looted more than one farm and won't heed the president's exhortation to
surrender the extra land. It's that simple.

Readers may recall that last week we mentioned one Goodson Nguni whom we
said could not differentiate between the MDC and Tony Blair. Now a reader
has responded by letting it be known that Nguni is in fact a fugitive from
justice in South Africa where he allegedly defrauded the SA post office
where he worked.

The reader says they witnessed SA's top investigations agency, the
Scorpions, attach Nguni's property at his home in East London just after he
fled to Zimbabwe. His helpless wife or girlfriend had to hand over keys to a
Mercedes-Benz bought by the proceeds of Nguni's alleged scam, the reader

Then the scorcher: "He (Nguni) now seeks the protection of Robert Mugabe's
regime by pretending to be its vociferous supporter."

He is not alone in that. He has seen the trick working before! Another
mafikizolo joins camp.

Under the Surface this week described the MDC official in Murehwa, Peace
Banza, as "stubborn" because he had defied the party's orders not to
participate in a local council election. "He is causing untold headaches to
his embattled party," Cde Under enthused as he sank under a personal
illusion. "He has defied his party's ill-advised decision not to participate
in any election and it looks like he won't be budging."

This was despite registrar-general Tobaiwa Mudede placing an ad in the
Herald last week to announce that Peace Banza had withdrawn his candidacy.

It's bad enough to mix journalism and propaganda. It's worse when you are
also blind. Cde Under would not let facts get in the way of his theory of a
party divided against itself. This theory has failed to work with Job
Sikhala in St Mary's. But that doesn't stop Cde Under plugging away at it
every week.

Finally, as we are often accused of saying nothing positive about President
Mugabe and his government, we will let those who see light at the end of the
tunnel have the last word. This appeared in the Sunday Mail last weekend:

"The country's economy, which has been on a recovery path since the
beginning of the year and whose improvement has received applause from
several international economic institutions, is set for a major boost before
the end of the year as the Ministry of Industry and International Trade has
started inviting applications for the $200 billion Industry Revival Fund."

So you see, it's all going to be OK!
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Zim Independent

Govt closes in on mining sector
Godfrey Marawanyika/Eric Chiriga
THE Mining and Minerals Act is being amended to accommodate an empowerment
clause which will require foreign investors to cede a significant
shareholding to indigenous people.

Last week President Robert Mugabe said government would demand a 50%
shareholding in all mining investments.

A draft of the amendment has already been circulated to mining

The latest development comes in the wake of concerns by government that
mining firms are not doing enough to empower Zimbabweans.

Currently the statute allows for only a 15% shareholding to be reserved for

Chamber of Mines chief executive officer, David Murangari, said a copy of
the draft amendments had been sent to them.

"One of the major changes in the amendments is to include a clause on
empowerment. There is no specific clause on what sort of percentage but this
has to go through parliament during the current session," he said.

"Once the amendments have been done it will become public knowledge."

Last week Mugabe said government was going to demand a 50% stake in all

Murangari said since government had not officially communicated to them on
increasing the 15% stake to 50%, he could not comment.

Most of Zimbabwe's mining firms are owned either wholly or partially by
multinational companies that include Anglo American Corporation, Ashanti
Goldfields, Rio Tinto and Mwana Africa.

Some of the locally-owned mines are Makwiro Platinum, formerly Broken Hill
Proprietary, and mines owned by the Zimbabwe Mining Development Corporation.

Zimbabwe's Labour and Economic Research Institute director, Godfrey
Kanyenze, said the contribution of the mining sector to both gross domestic
product and employment had steadily declined since1980.

"In 1980 mining contributed 8,8% towards GDP, by 1990 the figure had
declined to 4,4%. In 2002 the sector contributed 1,4% to GDP," he said.

"The sector employed 6% of total formal sector employment, but by 1990 this
had declined to 4,3% before hitting 0,8% by the year 2002."

Kanyenze said the depreciation of the local currency in the 1990s resulted
in soaring inputs costs, 40% of them imported, which resulted in a number of
workers losing their jobs.

He said their research into the state of the mining sector had revealed that
when Mhangura Copper Mine closed 1 300 people lost their jobs.

Kanyenze said retrenchments had also affected foreign-owned firms such as
Anglo American.
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Zim Independent

Zim banks unsafe - IMF
Godfrey Marawanyika
THE International Monetary Fund (IMF) has expressed concern over the
country's banking sector, which it says is a credit risk.

Analysts say this means that incidents of bad debt in the financial sector
are high.

The IMF's comments reflect the persistent macroeconomic instability which in
the past four years has accounted for a 30% decline in gross domestic
product and eroded traditional sources of income for the sector.

In a 50-page Staff Report released last Friday as part of the Article IV
July visit, the fund said the value of banking sector assets had declined in
real terms by 40% as of the end of last year.

"Stress tests indicate that the Zimbabwean banking system is most vulnerable
to credit risk, but it is practically immune to changes in the exchange rate
as net open positions in foreign exchange are small," the IMF said.

The report, however, said local banks continued to show remarkable
resilience in the face of adverse macroeconomic developments.

The IMF said non-performing loan ratios in the financial sector were low at
5% as of the end of last year, which reflects a largely negative real
interest rate.

"Systemic problems in the banking sector in the next 6-12 months cannot be
ruled out. Loan performance is likely to deteriorate if the concessional
facilities are curtailed and the general interest rate structure is
rationalised," the IMF said.

"These pressures will need to be carefully monitored and the Reserve Bank of
Zimbabwe should be ready to deal with possible failures of individual
institutions and avoid systemic risks. In particular, it is essential that
provisioning and capital adequacy be monitored on a continuous basis and
prudential norms enforced."
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Zim Independent

NSSA bosses keep parly guessing
Shakeman Mugari
NATIONAL Social Security Authority (NSSA) board chairman, Edwin Manikai,
this week failed to appear before a Parliamentary Public Accounts Committee
where he was expected to answer searching questions over the operations of
the authority.

The committee, chaired by Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) MP Priscilla
Misihairabwi-Mushonga, said acting general manager, Amod Takawira, also
failed to turn up to the meeting.

The two had been summoned before the committee to give a detailed account of
NSSA's operations which have been a subject of public outcry.

Manikai was said to be in South Africa. Takawira, who has been acting for
the past four years, was said to be on leave. Also unavailable was the
permanent secretary in the Ministry of Labour and Social Welfare, Lancaster
Musaka, who was also said be on leave.

Instead, NSSA and the ministry sent Takawira's assistant and the acting
permanent secretary respectively.

The parliamentary committee dismissed the two junior officials and demanded
to talk to Manikai, Takawira and the secretary.

"We said we wanted to speak to the chairman, permanent secretary and the
general manager who has been there for the past four years," said
Misihairabwi-Mushonga. The meeting was postponed to next week.

The committee wanted NSSA management to clarify its financial statements for
2002, which have been completed by the auditor-general.

She said they wanted the authority to give a detailed account of their
spending, policies and operations.

"We want to scrutinise their report and financial accounts because there has
been a public outcry over their operations," she said. The committee wanted
to find out if NSSA was following procedures in its investment of taxpayers'
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Zim Independent

New statutory instrument threatens production capacity
Conrad Dube
THE recently gazetted statutory instrument which allows government to take
over companies indebted to it, will further reduce production capacity.

Under the new Presidential Powers (Temporary Measures) Act (Reconstruction
of State-Indebted Insolvent Companies) Regulations 2004 gazetted two weeks
ago, the state can convert into equity debt owed by a private company if
there is evidence the company is unable to repay.

Industry production capacity is currently 40% and industrialists say the
instrument will drive away much-needed foreign direct investment. The
instrument is a direct attack on efforts to rebuild confidence and trust in
the business environment, analysts say.

The government has so far taken over Mutumwa Mawere's Shabanie Mashava Mines
under the new law.

Zimbabwe National Chamber of Commerce president Luxon Zembe said the worst
fears of business are that the instrument is in the wrong hands and is
likely to be used as a tool to take over competitors assets on the pretext
that they owe government.

"This is a dangerous statutory instrument which we as a business group will
strive to make sure is repealed. The instrument will be used by predators in
government who are supposed to be custodians of the law to send tremors to
targeted business entities and this is not good enough to attract
investment," said Zembe.

The instrument kills the spirit of entrepreneurship and will drive away
potential investment.

Zembe said the statutory instrument was designed with a bias towards
particular entities and was likely to be used against government critics
whose companies owe the government. He said the instrument was vague in
terms of its application and criteria used to determine the level of
indebtedness which might be described as being beyond the entity's ability
to repay. He said the instrument was also not clear on the level of debt
which would lead to government taking over the company or what period that
debt may have been outstanding.

Government, said Zembe, should avoid double standards in its operations and
policies. He said the government gave billions of dollars to new farmers who
are struggling to pay but it had not taken over their farms.

The government last year disbursed over $60 billion to new farmers through
Agribank but the new farmers have so far failed to pay back these loans due
to a failed harvest.

Zembe said companies would resist any forms of government assistance even
facilities such as the RBZ's productive sector finance scheme. The phobia,
said Zembe would lead to companies becoming content with current production
capacity and it kills the desire to expand. He said this would lead to
retrenchments and closures.

"Government should concentrate on creating a conducive environment for
business and not on taking over companies. They should find ways to help
improve production capacity and re-engineer failing businesses," Zembe said.

Past experiences have shown that government is not a good business manager.
Parastatals are in a rundown state with most of them facing imminent
collapse. Most of the parastatals have not published audited accounts for
more than five years but they continue to receive aid from the government.

Farms that were taken over by Agricultural and Rural Development (Arda) are
derelict as the parastatal has no capacity to fully utilise these farms.
National Railways of Zimbabwe has failed to resuscitate its ageing
signalling system, while Zesa is failing to expand electricity supply due to
capacity constraints at its Hwange and Kariba Power stations.

Chairperson of parliament's portfolio committee on Public Accounts Priscilla
Misihairabwi-Mushonga sa-id the government was moving back the hands of time
by introducing legislation that brings back a command economy.

Misihairabwi-Mushonga said government has no business running industry but
should assume the position of facilitator and regulator.

"Most countries in the world are moving away from being command economies
because how then does government regulate if it is also a key player in the
market?" she said.

Misihairabwi-Mushonga said the government commercialised companies like
Astra Holdings but is now going back to reclaim companies through this
statutory instrument.

"Parastatals have failed to perform due to government interference. The
state is virtually defining how these institutions should operate and also
the pricing structures which are often not viable," Misihairabwi-Mushonga
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Zim Independent

TETRAD - Chinese imports hamper Number 1 Stores
By Admire Mavolwane
THE growing dominance of Chinese exports has become an issue of major
concern to investment analysts and economists all over the world.

China last year recorded a GDP growth rate of an average 9%, quarterly year
on year, making it the fastest growing economy. Although it has slowed down
to an average growth of 6%, this is still high when compared to the rest of
the world. China is one of the few countries with a positive balance of
payments and enjoys a trade surplus with a number of countries including the
United States.

The comparative advantage the country has is a large pool of hard-working
cheap labour, no World Trade Organisation restrictions because the country
is not yet a member, and an undervalued currency that has been kept
"deliberately" so in order to enhance export competitiveness.

One positive impact that rapid Chinese economic growth has had is the surge
in industrial metals prices.

On the debit side, however, has been the number of job losses that have been
incurred in countries like South Africa and the US although the Congress
denies it, as a result of Chinese imports that have flooded these countries.
The undervaluation of the yuan is a double-edged sword as it both encourages
exports and makes imports into China uncompetitive. Unofficial estimates
from South Africa indicate that cheap Chinese imported clothing now accounts
for over 56% of the domestic market sales.

According to the South African Clothing and Textile Workers Union, textile
imports in 2003 alone rose by 73% and 20 000 jobs were lost!

Zimbabwe has in the past couple of months also been inundated by these
cheaper Chinese imports which are selling at give-away prices when compared
with locally manufactured apparel. Calls for the government to intervene and
protect the industry by way of charging restrictive import duties, have in
the past gone largely unheeded.

The influx of imports into South Africa started in 2001 and only now are the
authorities considering the imposition of tariffs, which may be a little too
late. We hope our government has learnt a lesson from our neighbour as to
the effect of procrastinating on such matters.

Whilst accurate and current statistics are not available (a real weakness in
this country as a whole) regarding the number of jobs lost in this sector,
there is no doubt that some sort of downsizing has been implemented in the
industry. Conclusions on the impact of the cheap imported merchandise can
however be drawn from the year-end results to June of Truworths, which we
shall review this week.

Net turnover for Truworths increased by 643% to $82 billion, as Truworths
Ladies and Topics traded strongly throughout the year, whilst Truworths Man
was hampered by the inability to restock due to unavailability of foreign
currency to fund imports.

Number 1, the cash chain targeted at the lower end of the market, was the

one directly affected by cheaper imports and as such had a difficult second
half as volumes declined by approximately 30% year on year and turnover grew
by only 385%. At group level, however, unit sales dropped by about 4%
compared with the 2002/2003 financial year.

Operating profit growth of a commendable 729%, to $33,7 billion, was
achieved on the back of an improvement in margins from 37% to 41%, courtesy
of a changed mix in favour of higher margin sales from Topics and Truworths.

Net finance income of $498 million was recorded, up 211% on the 2003 figure
of $161 million. The group charges interest only on arrear debtors, and thus
the inflow could be attributed not so much to the deterioration of the
debtors book, as on average over 75% of debtors are in current as to the
fact that the group was cash positive and not geared during the year.

Attributable earnings growth at 703% to $23,5 billion was well ahead of the
year on year inflation figure for June of 395%, ensuring yet another real
return for shareholders.

Going forward, the two clothing retailers expect the government to move in
and protect their industry ahead of the festive season.
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Zim Independent


Is Stamps too blind to see?

I HAVE just been shown an article written recently by Dr Timothy Stamps in
the Sunday Mail.

The self-serving hypocrisy of the article (including an old photo in the
best tradition of vain politicians) is perhaps well suited to the odious
publication in which the article appeared.

Our forgotten former Minister of Health, under whose stewardship the
precipitous decline of our health services began, attacks the international
community for denying Zimbabwe's corrupt, brutal, kleptocracy access to
donor funds to fight the Aids scourge.

I can think of no other reason for his rambling, incoherent article other
than a desire to curry favour with his political masters and stay on the
political gravy train (probably the only fully-serviced and functioning
train in Zimbabwe!)

Stamps begins his article with a quotation from that valiant leader of the
fight against Nazi tyranny, Winston Churchill.

I somehow doubt if Churchill were alive today Stamps would quote what he
would say about the tyranny that is Zanu PF.

Stamps suggests that Zimbabwe is being denied access to global funding "on
purely hearsay political excuses".

Does he seriously believe that corruption on a grand scale and the
politicisation of food aid are mere "hearsay"?

His concern for the women who will "lose their lives because we do not have
enough money to buy the special equipment" (to diagnose and treat cervical
cancer) and for those affected by the Aids pandemic, rings rather hollow
coming from a supporter of a government whose deliberate policies have led
to massive problems of malnutrition and starvation.

Not content with beginning with a quotation from Churchill, Stamps concludes
with quotes from General William Booth, founder of the Salvation Army and
Tertullian that emphasise the need to put service to others before self.

For good measure he additionally quotes a hero of the American revolution,
Patrick Henry: "Give me freedom or give me death."

Doesn't Stamps see the irony of using such quotations? Is he so blinded to
the Zimbabwean reality by his life on the gravy train that he is genuinely
unaware of the essentially selfish, self-serving nature of our
freedom-denying Zanu PF government? But perhaps I have underestimated and
falsely maligned Stamps. Perhaps his quoting Henry is a way of conveying a
message to the MDC and all those brave Zimbabweans struggling to regain
their freedom.

In conclusion Stamps further adds to my confusion as to where he really
stands politically when he asks: "Do we want the dignity of man or his

Surely this is a question that all those opposed to a brutal and corrupt
dictatorship constantly ask?

I wonder if Stamps has ever asked this question of those responsible for the
many incidents of torture and human rights abuses committed in Zimbabwe.

"We will be remembered as heroes solely by what we have done for others, to
uplift and console them," is the conclusion of Stamps' article. Surely
another subversive remark in the context of some of Zimbabwe's "heroes".

Could Stamps be secretly working from within the system to subvert it?

RES Cook,

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