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

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Zim Standard

Fighting 'deception' with deception
overview With Bornwell Chakaodza

JONATHAN Moyo, with a super-government salary and numerous perks that
obviously keep him well-fed, says there is no food crisis in the country.

According to him, if people die of malnutrition, what's the big deal. Even
the Americans die of malnutrition because they eat too many "burgers", he
informed us indignantly.
In the same way that Tony Blair and George W Bush used "weapons of mass
deception" in Iraq, Bulawayo city council officials who dared reveal that
people were starving to death had unleashed their own little "weapon of mass
deception" on Zimbabwe.

This would be funny if it were not so tragic. Who does not know that there
are some districts of Zimbabwe, especially the traditionally dry areas,
where perenially, there is low availability of food, and where when it is
available, prices are beyond the reach of many particularly in the urban

If we go along with Moyo's way of thinking, those Zimbabweans who allow
themselves to starve to death, or complain that they have no food, are
unpatriotic. Not full blooded Zimbabwean should expose the nation to
ridicule by claiming that that there is not enough food in the country.

If this is how propaganda works - to fight deception, you use deception,
then Moyo is certainly proving to be a master at the game.

But even worse, Jonathan Moyo has introduced a terrible misconception in
political thought and practice in this country namely that if you are not
with the government of the day, then you must be against it, and therefore
you are a traitor. His own instruments of mass deception are the State
controlled media, which he misuses and abuses with impunity.

Bulawayo's City Council's director of medical services, Dr Zanele Hwalima
and the city's executive mayor, Japhet Ndabeni-Ncube, are now suddenly in
the league of Tony Blair and George W Bush for daring to report the facts as
they saw them on the ground.

And it does not end there. The newspapers that reported what the Bulawayo
officials said are, according to Moyo, just as guilty. This is akin to
bludgeoning the postman for daring to hand you a huge bill, even though you
expected it. Indeed, Moyo wants to kill the messenger for bringing the news
that he does not like. So now the truncheon must fall on the heads of
Ndabeni-Ncube and Hwalima in addition to the public flogging they received
from the junior minister's acerbic tongue.

We must all wonder what Jonathan Moyo's brief is as Minister of Information
and Publicity. In a government that functions normally, the information
minister is the chief government public relations officer building bridges
between the government and the people.

But in Zimbabwe, Moyo sees himself as the knight in the shining armour - the
executioner in charge of the harem - and woe betide anyone who dares cross
his path. If the number of journalists being wantonly arrested under the
country's draconian media laws is anything to go by, anyone who ignores this
man's campaign of attrition against the media does so at their own peril.

It's most unfortunate for our country that we have a person like Moyo
holding a government position of such importance.

The way this junior minister has used propaganda to lie, distort and mislead
the people of Zimbabwe on many things is unforgivable. Propaganda is a
dangerous motivation. All writers of opinion may, in a manner of speaking,
be propagandists but it is how propaganda is used that matters.

The lying Herald reported that I had left the country and am doing a .com in
the UK. I did not know that I had left the country until a friend alerted me
to the deception in that government bulletin. I then wondered what else has
been happening to me lately that I ought to know about.

All along I had been believing in the physical law that an object can only
occupy one space at any given time. The lying Horrid has obviously revised
that law.

We regret that we are unable to publish Over The Top this week. The column
will be back next week

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Zim Standard

Malawi President's farm a 'serious health hazard'
By Foster Dongozi

KADOMA - Bineth Farm, owned by the President of Malawi, Dr Bingu wa
Mutharika, could pose a serious health hazard if poor sanitary conditions
are not improved, says a report by a team from the General Agricultural and
Plantation Workers Union of Zimbabwe (GAPWUZ).

"The farm compound has no electricity and has poor water supplies, which
expose workers to diseases such as cholera, dysentery and malaria.
"The GAPWUZ team established that workers at Bineth Farm are living in poor
pole and mud houses with broken roofs," reads part of the report, which was
compiled by a team, after visiting the farm on September 16, 2004.

As a result, the farm management has been summoned to the union headquarters
in Harare.

GAPWUZ launched investigations at the farm after The Standard broke the
story about the poor working conditions at the farm.

So poor are the conditions on the property that in late July, the workers
went on strike demanding better wages and improved working conditions.

The strike was quickly quelled and its end coincided with the arrival of wa
Mutharika in the country in August. The Malawian President was in Harare to
officiate at the Zimbabwe Agricultural Show.

The Malawian head of State reportedly delayed his departure in order to
attend the burial of nationalist and national hero, Dr Eddison Zvobgo.

He, however, took time out to visit Bineth farm, where he slaughtered a
beast for people of Malawian origin, who live in the mining settlements of
Kadoma and Patchway.

The deputy secretary general of GAPWUZ, Gift Muti, told The Standard that
some of the findings made by the team from the union included low wages of
$38 000 a month instead of the stipulated $72 000.

"During the meeting held with the workers, some complained that they were
not being paid for maternity or sick leave. They were not paid overtime and
were not provided with protective clothing," said Muti. Most of the workers
at Bineth Farm are female.

Muti said in addition, workers had been working at the farm for several
years without becoming permanent staff.

"According to labour regulations, anybody working continuously for eight
months should be made a permanent employee," Muti explained.

He said from their interviews of the farm management and the workers, it had
become apparent that both parties were ignorant of the labour laws.
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Zim Standard

Doctors strike
By our own Staff

ZIMBABWE'S junior doctors have since Thursday been on strike after they
received what they said were half salaries for the month of September from
their employer, the Public Service Commission (PSC),The Standard has learnt.

When The Standard visited Parirenyatwa Hospital on Friday afternoon most of
the junior doctors were at their residences while others were drinking beer
at a bar within the premises.
Workers at the hospital said scores of patients had, since Thursday, been
turned away because there were not enough doctors to attend to them.

"A number of people have been turned away since yesterday. I hope it won't
go on for long because senior doctors alone can't cope," said one worker,
who requested anonymity.

The few senior doctors remaining at the hospital were attending to patients
in critical condition only.

President of the Hospital Doctors' Association (HDA), Phibion Manyanga, said
the doctors would only resume duties after they are paid their full

He said not a single doctor in towns such as Bulawayo and Mutare had
received the remaining half of their salaries.

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Zim Standard

Depositors flee indigenous banks
By Kumbirai Mafunda

PANICKY depositors are moving their money from vulnerable commercial banks
to established ones ahead of Thursday's ultimatum to cull financial
institutions in poor health, Standard Business has learnt.

Bankers say alarmed depositors are increasingly removing their money from
more exposed banks - such as Trust Bank which was closed for six months on
Thursday - to established ones fearing the weaker ones could go under.
Corporates are also reportedly moving their deposits to more stable and
traditional banks among them CBZ, Finhold, Kingdom, Standard Chartered,
Stanbic and Barclays.

The run on deposits could a detection that some banks will sink come
September 30, the date by which commercial banks are required to raise their
minimum capital base to $10 billion under new banking regulations, say

The base for finance and discount house has been pegged at $7,5 billion. The
capital base will represent the last line of defence of any financial
institution in the event of potential exposure to risk.

Zimbabwe's banking sector comprises 41 banking institutions of which six are
under curatorship; two under liquidation while four are operate under the
Troubled Bank Fund.

Sources last week told Standard Business that some clients were making
"frenzied withdrawals" from the small banks - which they fear would not be
able to meet the RBZ regulations - to the bigger banks.

"People would rather move their accounts from those banks who benefited from
the Troubled Banks Fund (TBF) rather to be sorry at the end of the day,"
said one banker.

Traditional lenders to indigenous banks - such as pension funds and
insurance companies - have also withdrawn lending to some of the smaller
institutions because of fear of exposure, said banking sources.

The new tight measures on commercial banking have however benefited the
foreign-owned and established banks more.

Interim profit reports up to June indicate that Barclays and Standard
Chartered - both British-owned - reported an after-tax historical cost
profit of Z$196,5 billion and Z$190 billion respectively while the South
African owned Stanbic recorded an after tax historical cost profit of
Z$114,9 billion.

Barclays' customer deposits rose from $170 billion to $960 billion while
lending to customers increased to $676 billion in the period up to June.

Kingdom Financial Holdings Limited (KFHL), one of the stable indigenous
banks, says its savings and current account deposit base has doubled during
the past nine months to the extend that it was opening a new corporate
branch in Graniteside.

"We have consolidated our business such that our deposit base has doubled,"
says Franky Kufa (KFHL)'s Chief Executive Officer.

Stanchart's head of corporate affairs Geraldine Matchaba however says the
increase in the level of the bank's deposits is "broadly in line with

Behind the multinational banks, local established institutions such as
Zimbank and CBZ also recorded profits during the same period.

Banking analysts say some of the indigenous banks' profits were from
parastatal funds and subscription to government paper.

"CBZ, First Banking Corporation and Zimbank have done well because
government money and parastatals money is being channelled there," said one

Critics blame the December 2003 monetary policy for the plight of the
indigenous bankers many of whom are threatened with closure.

"Indigenous banks have been hurt by (Reserve Bank Governor) Gono's monetary
policy which is why traditional banks have made abnormal profits while
robbing the saver," says Tendai Biti the Movement for Democratic Change
(MDC)'s secretary for economic affairs.

Gono has said in the past that he was forced to move on the banks because
they had departed from core business and were busy at speculation, fuelling
high inflation.
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Zim Standard

War veterans stop Chipinge retailers from selling maize
By our own Staff

WAR veterans and Zanu PF youths have banned retailers in Chipinge South from
selling maize meal to villagers, The Standard has learnt. The ban means
villagers can only buy maize meal from the Grain Marketing Board (GMB),
where they are asked to produce ruling party membership cards.

Villagers who spoke to The Standard last week said they were finding life
difficult because they were forced to buy Zanu PF membership cards in order
to access food at GMB depots, where the maize meal is sold in bulk.

In some cases, the maize meal is sold to villagers, at inflated prices, by
Zanu PF youths, who have easy access to the GMB.

According to the villagers, the practice is rampant in areas such as
Chibuwe, Rimbi, Kondo and Mariya, where firms such as N Richards & Company,
Reapers (Pvt) Limited and other smaller retailers have been banned from
selling maize meal.

"We used buy to 5kg maize meal for $6 300 from N Richards but now we cannot.
If you go to the GMB, you have to buy in bulk but we don't have the money,"
said Sofia Mhlanga of Rimbi Business Centre, about 30 kilometres from
Chipangayi, where the nearest GMB depot is located.

The villagers said they preferred buying maize meal in smaller quantities
because they could not afford bulk purchases.

The GMB can only sell a minimum of 50kg bag of maize for $32 900 to
individuals "subject to approval by the depot manager", said a GMB official
in Harare.

Chris Dube, who also hails from Rimbi but works in Harare, said it was
disheartening that Zanu PF, was using food to force starving villagers into

"At times, Porusingazi brings maize meal at the centre to sell it to Zanu PF
party card-holders only. Now that some retailers have been banned from
operating in the areas, people are going to starve," said Dube.

Enock Porusingazi, a long-standing aspirant for the Chipinge South seat,
said he was only involved in the transportation of maize to selected points
from the GMB but does not distribute it to the communities. He refuted
allegations that villagers were being forced to buy Zanu PF cards to secure

"The selling is done by local councillors and drought relief committee
members not Zanu PF youths," said Porusingazi. His political rivals, he
claimed, were making the allegations. He will be contesting against
Catherine Chirimambowa in the Zanu PF primaries next month.

An official with N Richards & Company in Chiredzi last week confirmed the
firm had been prevented from selling maize meal in Chipinge South. He said
for the past month the company had not been delivering maize meal to
Chipinge South after Zanu PF youths threatened company officials.

"The issue looks political. However, the MP for Chipinge South (Wilson
Kumbula) came here on Wednesday and appealed to us. He said that people in
his constituency were suffering, so we are likely to resume supplies any
time from now," said the company official.

Kumbula, Zanu legislator for Chipinge South, confirmed meeting officials
from N Richards over the issue.

He said Zanu PF officials, who have easy access to the GMB, were denying
food to opposition supporters, including those from his party.

"I have invited the companies back because people are suffering. Porusingazi
was given a contract to transport food from the GMB to surrounding
communities, but he is distributing it to Zanu PF supporters only," fumed

Kumbula alleged that after collecting the maize from GMB, Porusingazi would
then distribute it to Zanu PF youths, who would in turn sell at inflated

"As a result, the youths are driving away retailers in the constituency in
order to avoid com

petition," said the MP.

Reapers (Pvt) Limited chief executive officer, Basel Nyabadza, however
denied they had been banned. He said they had stopped due shortage of maize
meal for sale.
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Zim Standard

CIO invade holiday resorts
By Savious Kwinika

MASVINGO - Business at hotels and lodges, now thriving on workshops, is
being disrupted by state security agents who are prowling around these areas
in a bid to spy on the activities of non governmental organisations (NGOs)
and any other organisations perceived to be anti government.

Investigations by The Standard in Masvingo revealed that many resort centres
dotted around the vast Lake Mutirikwi were being subjected to persistent
intimidation by the continuous presence of Central Intelligence Organisation
(CIO) operatives and the Zanu PF youth militia.

These groups, The Standard heard, were after members of the opposition
Movement for Democratic Change (MDC), the Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions
(ZCTU) and several other NGOs involved in governance issues, such as the
National Constitutional Assembly (NCA).

Some organisations preferred holding workshops close to the Great Zimbabwe
monument and the lake where the atmosphere is peaceful.

Officials at several hotels and lodges, which surround the country's largest
inland lake, Mutirikwi, last week told The Standard they were seriously
concerned about the presence of CIO and Green Bombers - the ruling party
militia - saying their presence alone terrified clients.

"Only last week on Thursday, three male CIO operatives, whom I can identify,
came to our lodge on three occasions. They were in a Mazda vehicle and said
they were looking for members of the Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions
(ZCTU) whom they claimed were holding a seminar.

"Efforts to block the three CIO operatives from entering the conference room
failed. They would not listen and this resulted in our guests hurriedly
fleeing the premises shortly after the departure of the operatives. This is
not healthy for the tourism business," said an official who preferred not to
be named.

Another tourism marketing official said: "Right now I fail to understand why
we are campaigning abroad for tourists when the youth militia and CIO are
deployed to intimidate, harass and threaten the very same people who are
bringing business."

Another lodge, a favourite among European, American and South African
tourists, Lake Shore, was visited twice last week by CIO operatives and Zanu
PF youth militia. They told staff at the lodge that they were looking for
opposition MDC and ZCTU members attending a workshop.

"It's true that MDC had 10 of its people attending a two-day seminar, but so
what?" said the official.

Another manager said: "Because of these intrusions, foreign tourists who
used to be our major clients are no longer coming here."

A manager with one of the hotels in Masvingo said: "When we do business we
don't consider whether one is Zanu PF, or MDC"

The Zimbabwe Tourism Authority (ZTA) regional manager for Chiredzi, Keron
Shumba, admitted that the tourism sector was facing problems but quickly
pointed out that his organisation was involved in aggressive marketing
strategies to revive the tourism business.
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Zim Standard

      Plot to oust Ndabeni-Ncube
      By Loughty Dube

      BULAWAYO - The Zanu PF government has allegedly hatched a plan to oust
the elected MDC executive mayor for Bulawayo, Japhet Ndabeni-Ncube, from
office over allegations that he is making up malnutrition figures in the
city to discredit the government, The Standard has learnt.

      Last week, the Minister of State for Information, Professor Jonathan
Moyo, threatened Ndabeni-Ncube, accusing him of "falsifying" malnutrition
figures and giving them to the independent media to discredit the
      Councillors who spoke to The Standard last week said they were aware
that the government was hatching plans to accuse Ndabeni-Ncube over a host
of allegations, paving the way for his arrest and ultimate suspension from

      The councillors said they were aware of their colleagues who were
provoking the mayor in council meetings in a bid to get him to react in a
violent manner. Some of these councillors were said to be in direct
communication with the Minister of Local Government, Dr Ignatious Chombo.

      "Zanu PF is using millions of dollars to lure councillors to the party
and we are aware that there are councillors who appear to be falling into
the trap," said one councillor.

      Ndabeni-Ncube has on several occasions clashed with the city's former
deputy mayor, Charles Mpofu, during council meetings. Mpofu defected from
Zanu PF and was elected councillor on an MDC ticket.

      The mayor also exchanged harsh words with Ward 28 councillor, Stars
Mathe. during a full council meeting.

      Zanu PF currently has a single councillor, Ernest Msipa, in the 29
strong council, who was elected unopposed after the MDC pulled out of all
elections early this month.

      MDC spokesperson for Bulawayo, Victor Moyo, said his party was aware
of the plot to oust Ndabeni-Ncube from his position and replace him with a
pro-Zanu PF acting mayor.

      He said the latest attempt to implicate the mayor in unethical
practices would not succeed since council had documented material to support
cases of deaths from hunger in the city.

      Ndabeni-Ncube confirmed the existence of a plot to remove him from
office. "I know I have ruffled many feathers by disclosing the deaths of
people due to malnutrition and they want me out of the way."

      Moyo last week lashed out at Ndabeni-Ncube and Dr Zanele Hwalima the
city's health services director and said his ministry would deal with
journalists who write stories about people dying from malnutrition.

      Chombo could not be reached for comment yesterday.
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Zim Standard

Mujibhas win battle for compensation -  Economists warn of economic disaster
By Caiphas Chimhete

THE government has gazetted the Ex-Political Prisoners, Detainees and
Restrictees Bill, which seeks to dole out millions of dollars to people
affected by the struggle for independence, but analysts warned of serious
repercussions to the economy.

Although there is no mention of figures in the Bill, earlier reports put the
one-off gratuity payments at $10 million a person. The government has not
disputed this amount.

The Bill gazetted on Friday, among other things, provides for a one-off
gratuity payment to former political prisoners, detainees and restrictees as
well as a monthly pension, not less than the minimum salary paid to public
service workers.

Also, there will be a monthly survivor's or child pension payable to the
dependants of a deceased ex-political prisoner, detainee or restrictee.

The Bill, which is expected to be fast tracked through Parliament, will also
establish schemes for the provision of financial assistance to ex-political
prisoners, detainees and restrictees, as well as their dependants.

Such assistance would come from a fund that will be set up by government.
The Minister of Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare, who at the moment
is Paul Mangwana, will have "sole management, control and use of the fund",
according to the Bill.

Among other functions, the fund provides for grants for subsistence,
physical, mental or social rehabilitation as well as manpower development
for the beneficiaries.

It also provides for loans, "whether with or without interest", financial
technical, managerial or any other form of assistance to ex-political
prisoners, detainees or restrictees involved in income-generating projects.

In what amounts to a State funerals for every beneficiary, the Fund will
also take care of their funeral expenses.

University of Zimbabwe political science lecturer, Eldred Masunungure, said
: "From an economic standpoint, it is too disastrous for an ailing economy
like ours. But from the political side, it will give enormous support to the
ruling party."

Other analysts described the Bill as a populist move which spells doom for
the country's economy. They said its magnitude could only be rivalled by the
November 1997 crisis, which was triggered by the hefty unbudgeted gratuities
and pensions awarded to former freedom fighters.

President Mugabe, under siege from marauding war veterans led by the late Dr
Chenjerai Hunzvi, awarded war veterans $50 000 gratuities each, sending the
economy into a free fall in what came to be known as "Black Friday".

Economic analyst Dr Eric Bloch said compensating ex-political prisoners,
detainees and restrictees will further increase the government deficit and
in turn, trigger a hyper-inflationary environment, which is a recipe for
"economic disaster".

The Bulawayo-based economist said if huge funds are involved it would be a
repeat of the December 1997 scenario, which precipitated the current
economic meltdown.

"The government has no money. To raise it, it would have to increase taxes
and this will certainly lead to more people suffering," said Bloch.

The Bill describes an ex-political prisoner, detainee or restrictee as a
person who after January 1, 1959, was imprisoned, detained or restricted in
Zimbabwe for at least six months for political activity in connection with
bringing about the country's independence.

Masunungure believes it is more beneficial to address economic fundamentals
than to scout for victims of the war of liberation, 24 years after

"Let sleeping dogs lie and proceed with solving the country's economic
problems because if the economy is running well you will not need to cushion
anybody," said Masunungure.

Opposition MDC secretary-general, Professor Welshman Ncube, said effects of
the Bill, if signed into law, would be as "disastrous" as the gratuities and
pensions awarded to war veterans in 1997.

Ncube said it was mind-boggling that a government failing to fund capital
projects in sectors of health and education was seeking to dole out money to
millions of "purported" ex-political prisoners and detainees, over two
decades after independence.

Reserve Bank Governor, Dr Gideon Gono, who is expected to meet World Bank
officials next month for consultations on Zimbabwe, could not be reached for
comment yesterday on how the government proposes to raise the money. The
Acting Minister of Finance and Economic Development, Dr Herbert Murerwa, was
also unavailable for comment yesterday.
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Zim Standard

Government is using fake churchmen
Sundaytalk with Pius Wakatama

THE Herald's editorial of September 1, 2004 once again proves that it is no
longer a public newspaper but a cheap propaganda tool of the ruling Zanu PF.
It praised the government for introducing the recently gazetted Bill on
Non-Governmental Organizations.

It said: "The Bill, which will put in place a code of conduct, will help
protect Zimbabwe's sovereignty from deviant organizations. Some NGOs and
church organizations have been causing widespread confusion in the country
by converting their humanitarian programmes into political platforms.
"Some of them have been openly going around the country under the guise of
distributing food aid and combating HIV/AIDS while they incite people to
rebel against the government.

"Organisations and churches that conduct their work according to the
country's laws need not lose sleep over the bill. We have said in the past
that the church should concentrate on spiritual and other issues. Politics
is for politicians and the church has no business in politics.

"Whoever decides to combine the two is not serious about the church, but is
keen on furthering their political objectives using the church as a cover."

Whoever wrote this editorial must live in another world to think that
Zimbabweans, especially Christians, can believe such twisted drivel. We all
know that the Bill is not all about protecting Zimbabwe's sovereignty.
Protecting it from what? It is all about protecting the Zanu PF government
from having their gross human rights abuses exposed. It is just another of
Zanu PF's concerted efforts to silence all opposition to its injustices,
lawlessness, corruption and plunder.

The church represents God on earth. Her ministers speak on behalf of God and
God can never be gagged. Some tried it in the past and failed miserably.

In the Bible we read of how Peter and other apostles were ordered not to
preach about the death of Jesus and his resurrection by the powers that
were. They said: "We must obey God rather than men. The God of our fathers
raised Jesus from the dead - whom you had killed by hanging on a tree. God
exalted him to his own right hand as Prince and Saviour that he might give
repentance and forgiveness of sins to Israel.

"We are witnesses of these things and so is the Holy Spirit, whom God has
given to those who obey him."

When they heard this, the rulers were so angry that they wanted to kill the
apostles right there and then. They were restrained by Gamaliel, a respected
lawyer who said: "I advise you: Leave these men alone. Let them go! For if
their purpose or activity is of human origin, it will fail. But if it is
from God, you will not be able to stop these men; you will only find
yourselves fighting against God." (Acts 5: 17 - 38).

To say that church leaders should have no say in political matters is to
misunderstand completely the role of the church in society. At independence
Catholic Bishops in Zimbabwe defined the role of the church very clearly.
They wrote: "While the State and the Church are independent and autonomous
in their own spheres, both are at the service of man.

"The church is not identified with any political community, nor is she bound
to any political system. Rather, her function is to be the moral conscience
of the nation, the sign and safeguard of the supreme value of the human

"Everywhere and all times, the church must be in a position to preach the
faith. She must carry out her mission unhindered. She must be in a position
to make moral judgments, even on political matters, when fundamental human
rights or the salvation of men require it.

"Citizens have the duty to obey lawfully constituted authority. They should
not, however, entrust the state with disproportionate power.

"True peace cannot be achieved unless personal values are safeguarded, with
men freely and confidently sharing their creative gifts."

The above definition by the Catholic Bishops of Zimbabwe is theologically
correct. It is the biblical position espoused by both Catholics and

By presenting the NGO Bill, the government has set itself on a collision
course with the church because the aim of the Bill is to take away the
independence and autonomy of the church and to place these under the
authority of the State. Its goal is to take away the freedom of the church.
This is exactly what Adolf Hitler did in Germany.

Those Christian leaders like Dietrich Bonhoffer and Martin Niemoller who
tried to resist his moves to subjugate the church were either killed or sent
to concentration camps. With the church silenced the atrocities and horrors
of the holocaust went on unchecked and without reproof.

Hitler did not ban the church as such. He was too clever for that. He
pretended to be a Christian and even carried a tattered Bible. Through
intrigue he elevated sycophantic praise singers to the leadership of the
church. These fake pastors and bishops then approved of all that he did in
the name of German nationalism.

In Zimbabwe, it is saddening and indeed frightening to see the same trend.
Certain "church leaders" are now being used by Zanu PF to give credence to
all the government does including the violent and economically disastrous
land reform programme.

The idea of banning NGOs and churches from receiving overseas funds for
their programmes is nothing new. A Reverend Chifamba mooted it way back in
2001. In The Herald of 26 October 2001 he castigated the Zimbabwe Council of
Churches for writing a pastoral letter criticizing the government for
"allegedly instigating violence in the country and allowing war veterans to
take the law into their own hands". He went on to criticize the ZCC for
receiving money from overseas for voter education and training for election
monitors for the presidential election.

He said: "Funds from most of these Western organizations, especially from
countries hostile to Zimbabwe, are not mere handouts. They always come with
strings attached. The ZCC is expected to make noise about the perceived
lawlessness, land reforms and presidential election."

The pitiful irony of it all is that a good many of those in government were
assisted by funds raised overseas by the Christian Council of Rhodesia,
which is now the Zimbabwe Council of Churches. These funds were used to
feed, clothe and educate their families while they were in prison, detention
or exile during the liberation struggle.

What was good for the goose then should surely be good for the gander today.

Chief among the so-called church leaders, who support the government,
rightly or wrongly, is one Reverend Obadiah Musindo. He is the founder of
the little known Destiny for Africa Network Church. Nobody seems to know his
background, where he studied Theology, the membership of his church or where
it regularly meets to worship God. In July this year his "church" received
peanut butter making machines worth $30 million from the government as "part
of its efforts to reduce unemployment". This sounds like the 30 pieces of
silver given to Judas Iscariot for betraying Jesus, doesn't it?

Although the government media is predicting overwhelming support for the NGO
Bill one hopes that there will be enough people who fear God in Parliament
to block its passage.

If it becomes law then those who will have voted for it will not escape the
wrath of God for trying to silence Him.

He, who has ears to hear, let him hear.

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Zim Standard

Nothing new in what Chihuri said

THE two investigations into politically inspired violence in Manicaland
could, like many other inquiries before them, turn out to be nothing more
than a gigantic whitewash.

Police Commissioner, Augustine Chihuri, last week warned that the police
would not tolerate any violence especially during the run-up to next year's
parliamentary elections.
Chihuri warned: "As we proceed towards the 2005 parliamentary elections,
there have already been acts of inter- and intra-party political violence in
parts of the country. In these acts of criminality, life has been threatened
and property damaged. This barbaric type of political activism in which
youths are used as cannon fodder should cease forthwith."

Zimbabwe Republic Police officers, he said, were under instruction to have
zero tolerance of any situation or activities, which they perceive as
contributing to violence. The ruling party, Zanu PF, has instituted the
second inquiry.

A police board of inquiry investigating recent political violence in Rusape
has implicated Makoni North Member of Parliament (Zanu PF), Didymus Mutasa,
who is also the Minister of Special Affairs Responsible for Anti-Corruption.

Many people in and around Rusape, who are not supporters of the ruling
party, live in terror of youths, who are known followers of the minister.
Rusape is a no-go area for non-Zanu PF supporters and merely being found in
possession of a private newspaper, for example, can invite trouble.

The police inquiry found that the minister has a case to answer and
recommended that all parties and persons involved or implicated in the
assaults, destruction of property and public violence should be dealt with
in terms of the law regardless of "status or station in life".

Tough talking, but this is the usual rhetoric that precedes every election
in this country. There is nothing really new, apart from the time this
directive is issued. Many will view these developments with a lot of
scepticism. Over the past two years the hopes and expectations of the nation
have been raised unnecessarily, only to be dashed altogether.

The problem stems from the police stance that they will not interfere in
anything they consider political - whether violence or invasions. The second
is that the Police Commissioner himself publicly declared his allegiance to
the ruling party and demonstrated his reluctance to act against any excesses
by supporters of Zanu PF.

While the police commissioner spoke of zero tolerance to violence by members
of the public, he is silent on violence by members of his force and Zanu PF.

Police officers have been implicated in torture and ill treatment, mostly of
MDC supporters. Among examples of torture by police are those of MP Job
Sikhala; lawyers Beatrice Mtetwa and Gabriel Shumba and MDC supporters
Bishop Shumba, Taurai Magaya and Charles Mutama.

Since 2000 more than 100 people were murdered and nearly 900 others were
beaten up and maimed. Their crime: they dared to belong to or they were
merely suspected of being supporters of the opposition Movement for
Democratic Change (MDC).

But the police have refused to react expeditiously - if at all - in bringing
the perpetrators to book.

In at least three cases, the High Court has asked for people suspected of
murdering or torturing political opponents during the run-up to the 2000
parliamentary elections. However, four years later, some of the suspects are
still to appear before the courts, even though they were named and their
whereabouts are known.

The case of Joseph Mwale, a Central Intelligence Organisation (CIO)
operative in Chimanimani is one example which immediately springs to mind.

The ruling party has initiated its own investigation into intra-party
violence in Manicaland, but its record is one of gunning for the small fish
or coming out with inconclusive results.

The recent probe into companies owned by the ruling party is a case in
point. In short, such measures are merely intended to mislead the general
public into believing that the government or Zanu PF have both the will or
capacity to deal with their errant members or supporters. They do not.

In the past, where such members or supporters have been convicted, President
Mugabe has seen nothing wrong in granting an amnesty. For supporters of the
ruling party, amnesties have therefore become the convenient way of escaping
censure and a green light to commit further atrocities with impunity.

An audit of the human rights abuses in this country will show that the
majority of the violations were committed by ruling party supporters and
police, security and army officers against opposition or suspected
opposition party supporters.

Violence has been a part of the election landscape in this country since
1985 and it is unlikely that given the panic in both government and ruling
party, they have now found the political will and determination to banish
violence, which has been their electoral trump card all these decades.

The truth of the matter is that neither the police nor the government have
the will and the inclination to deal wth the Zanu PF-inspired violence.
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Zim Standard

No cash for Zimsec
By our own Staff

THE government is struggling to pay a subsidy to the Zimbabwe School
Examination Council (Zimsec), throwing into uncertainty ordinary and
advanced level (O and A level) examinations set for October and November
this year.

Earlier this year, government turned down proposals by the Zimsec to
increase fees from $100 to $16 500 a subject for Ordinary Level examinations
and also from $1000 to $39 000 for an A Level subject.

Aeneas Chigwedere, the Minister of Education, Sports and Culture, told
Parliament recently that his ministry had decided to subsidise the
examination fees in order to assist parents. He pegged the examination fee
for an "O" Level subject at only $500 and an "A' Level subject at $5 000.

Sources at the examinations council said recently the government was failing
to pay the subsidy, threatening operations of Zimsec, which has for the past
few years experienced serious financial problems.

It was only last week, sources said, that government paid Zimsec $10
billion. "After paying the September salaries and a few creditors, the
council will run dry," said a well placed source.

Chigwedere confirmed that government had paid $10 billion two weeks ago.
"Yes the money was given to Zimsec late but this does not mean that
government is failing to pay the subsidy," he said.

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Zim Standard

      MDC members hurt in Kwekwe violence
      By our own staff

      FOUR people were seriously injured after a group of marauding Zanu PF
militias attacked MDC supporters who had gathered at the Globe and Phoenix
ground to celebrate the party's fifth anniversary in Kwekwe. The attacks,
according to Kwekwe MP Blessing Chebundo (MDC) took place around 8 o'clock
on Saturday morning as party supporters were preparing for the start of the
anniversary celebrations.

      "We were supposed to hold a rally that was sanctioned by the police
under POSA (Public Order and Security Act) but unfortunately a group of Zanu
PF supporters attacked us and four people were taken to hospital. They were
more that 200 Zanu PF supporters. I don't even know where they all came
from," said Chebundo.
      Police in Harare said they were aware of the incident.
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Zim Standard

Mutare council in court over river pollution
By our own Staff

MUTARE - THE city council last Tuesday appeared before the courts for
allegedly polluting Sakubva River.

The council, which was represented by its legal counsel, Issue Matting,
appeared before Mutare magistrate Billiard Musakwa. It was not asked to
plead and the case was remanded to September 28, 2004.
The Zimbabwe National Water Authority, ZINWA, is the complainant.

Abiot Kachirika, appearing for the State, said council employees at Gimboki
Sewerage Works unlawfully discharged raw effluent into Sakubva River without
a permit on 26 May this year .

Kachirika said the raw effluent from the sewage works polluted water

He said investigations by a water quality scientist with ZINWA, Webster
Munhundiripo, had shown the water was contaminated and the council was
carrying out operations at the sewerage works without a permit from ZINWA.

The council requested that the matter be deferred to a later date to allow
its legal counsel to go through the charge and prepare a defence.

Musakwa granted the request and the matter will be heard this week on
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Zim Standard

No justice as State defies court orders
By Caiphas Chimhete

"My heart bleeds when I find that I have nowhere to turn to for justice.
They invaded my farm, stole 670 cattle and recently sold my coffee worth
millions of dollars in defiance of several court orders," laments Roy
Bennett, the owner of Charleswood Estate in Chimanimani.

Police officers, the army and several supporters of ruling Zanu PF party,
who invaded Charleswood Estate in 2000, are still camped at the farm despite
six High Court orders, instructing them to leave or stop interfering with
operations at the farm.
Bennett is an opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) legislator for
Chimanimani constituency.

"It is a pity that the government is ignoring it's own laws," said Bennett,
whose 108 tonnes of coffee were recently sold by the Agricultural and Rural
Development Authority (ARDA), a quasi-government body, despite a court
prohibiting the sale.

Bennett's predicament is representative of that of scores and scores of
other commercial farmers, who have turned to the courts for justice but have
found none.

Another commercial farmer, whose farm was invaded in Hippo Valley in
Chiredzi, said he secured two court orders but scores of Zanu PF supporters
were still camped at his farm.

"The police say it is a political issue, so they can't effect the order. I
will continue to fight in the courts," said the farmer, who preferred
anonymity. He said publicity might jeopardise his chances.

In 2001, Leith Bray of Meidon Estate in Karoi was evicted from his farm
despite a High Court order.

These three cases are just a drop in the ocean.

The Commercial Farmers' Union (CFU), an organisation that represents the
majority of the remaining 500 - 1 000 white commercial farmers, estimates
that the government or its supporters have defied up to 100 Court orders
since the 2000 land invasions, which were spearheaded by Zanu PF supporters
and war veterans.

A spokesperson for CFU said several commercial farmers had been granted
relief to return to their properties by the courts because the farms had
been acquired illegally but could not do so due to prevailing lawlessness.

"This is a typical example of how Zanu PF disregards the law. It shows there
is no rule of law in this country. In some cases, when it (the government)
loses in court, it changes the law to suit its needs," said the CFU

Infuriated by the continued defiance of court orders and delays in handing
down judgements in the country, the Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights (ZLHR)
recently filed a complaint with the Portfolio Committee on Justice Legal and
Parliamentary Affairs.

In a report dated September 16, ZLHR director Arnold Tsunga said defiance of
court orders was rampant in matters relating to land and cases under the
obnoxious Public Order and Security Act (Posa).

"In the Bennett cases, despite the eviction orders granted by the courts no
less than six times, the settlers, apparently with the blessing of some top
officials in government, have refused to vacate the property," wrote Tsunga.

In June 2002, President Robert Mugabe declared that his government would not
respect court judgements, if the government did not agree with the verdicts.

He made the declaration at a time when several commercial farmers were
challenging the legality of Section 8 eviction orders.

Analysts said Mugabe's statement could have fueled defiance of court orders
by government officials, war veterans and Zanu PF supporters.

"This is indicative of our general feeling that the executive considers
itself above the law," said the CFU spokesperson.

Tsunga lamented the death of the justice delivery system in the country.
"Without doubt, justice delivery in Zimbabwe is in shambles. The relevant
authorities such as the Ministry of Justice and the Law Society have an
obligation to come together and overhaul the justice system for the good of
all Zimbabweans."

The vice-president of the Southern African Development Community (SADC)
Lawyers' Association, Sternford Moyo, said the government's failure to
observe court orders renders ineffective the judicial remedy, which should
be available to citizens when their rights are violated.

"It renders ineffective the function of the court as a check against the
excesses of the legislature and the executive. The court's ability to check
the excesses of executive is critical to the proper functioning of the
concept of separation of powers," said Moyo, a former president of the Law

He said when citizens have unsuccessfully exhausted all domestic avenues for
remedy; they can resort to "international mechanism" for the protection of
their rights.

The African Charter for Human and People's Rights, for example, provides for
the African Commission, which reports directly to heads of State, and
handles complaints from individual citizens of member states.

Moyo said the Nigerians and Zambians had used the African Commission
extensively, while in Europe people had also relied on the European Court of

"There is no reason why African mechanisms should not be used extensively by
Zimbabweans," Moyo said.

In a bid to force the government to observe its orders, the High Court of
Swaziland on December 19, 2002, declared that it would not entertain court
papers in which the government was the applicant, except for criminal
proceedings. "In this case, the High Court used the 'dirty hands concept'
and it worked for them," said Moyo.

But other analysts said it was unlikely that Mugabe would heed international
pressure, especially at a time when he is determined to win next year's
general elections.

Zimbabwe is scheduled to hold parliamentary polls in March next year.
Previously, elections were marred by intimidation, violence and murder
despite widespread international condemnation.

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Zim Standard

Civic bodies to lobby Sadc leaders over ZEC Bill
By Caiphas Chimhete

THE civil society, realising the futility of taking their case to the
courts, has resolved to lobby the Southern African Development Community
(SADC) countries to force President Robert Mugabe to drop the Zimbabwe
Electoral Commission (ZEC) Bill, which they say is unconstitutional.

Among other things, the Bill purports ti establish the ZEC, an organisation
that would administer all elections in the country in line with
acceptedregional election standards.
Analysts, however, say n practice, it is designed to consolidate the ruling
Zanu PF's political position in the country.

The organisations met at a "crisis meeting" organised by the Zimbabwe
Election Support Network (Zesn) in Harare a fortnight ago and agreed that
taking litigation was an exercise in futility considering that there are
several other pending cases against Zanu PF, yet to be concluded.

Some of the cases have been in the courts for more than three years.

The way forward, the organisations said, was to approach both the SADC
secretariat and individual heads of State, lobbying them to exert pressure
on Mugabe, who has crafted several pieces of legislation meant to keep him
in power.

Zesn chairman, Dr Reginald Matchaba-Hove, said SADC heads of State were the
most influential politicians in the region and they could exert pressure on
the 80-year-old President to drop the Bill.

"Crisis Coalition Zimbabwe is already doing it. It has previously worked and
I hope it will work," he said.

It was through lobbying by civic organisations and MDC in the region and
internationally that forced Zanu PF to introduce the current electoral
reforms, although they have been described as "cosmetic".

The lobbying also resulted in Zimbabwe signing the SADC principles and
guidelines governing democratic elections.

Greg Linington, a lecturer in the department of political and administrative
studies at the University of Zimbabwe said regional lobbying was the best
option under the current political environment.

"It will be very difficult to take the legal route because history has it
that it will produce nothing. At the moment, lobbying both SADC and
Parliament is the best option," Linington said.

He said several 2000 and 2002 election petitions and the case in which the
Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) is seeking Mugabe's impeachmentwere
conveniently still before the courts years after they were filed.

The meeting agreed on the need to educate the SADC region on the crisis of
governance in Zimbabwe because there is still a strong misconception that
the current crisis stems from the land reform programme.

Prosper Mutandadzi; an officer with Zimbabwe Peace Project, said the Bill
was a 'son-in-law' of the Non Governmental Organisation (NGO) Bill, which
excludes civic society from participation in governance and human rights
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Khaleej Times Online >> News >> THE WORLD

26 September 2004

HARARE - Prison authorities in Zimbabwe say they will hire out inmates as labourers on farms resettled under the country’s land reform programme, a state newspaper reported on Sunday.
The Sunday Mail quoted a prison official as saying the scheme would help inmates to learn new skills, as well as helping the country’s farmers overcome labour shortages.
“We felt as part of the rehabilitation process, the prisoners should not be seen as criminals when they perform duties on the farms,” the paper quoted Washington Chimboza, the deputy commissioner of the Zimbabwe Prison Service as saying.
“We want our prisoners to start from planting to weeding and harvesting of a particular crop so that when they are released they can venture into farming.”
Zimbabwe embarked on a controversial land reform programme four years ago, which saw the seizure of white-owned farms for redistribution to new black farmers.
However, the new farmers have sometimes faced problems including lack of inputs, skills and labour.
Chimboza said that of the country’s 22,500 prisoners, many of them were not high-risk criminals and so they were not likely to try and escape if employed as farm labourers.
Twenty new farmers have already used prison labour, the report said.
Under the scheme the prisoners also earn the stipulated farm workers’ wage of 3,000 Zimbabwe dollars (53 US cents) per day.
An official with the Zimbabwe Association of Crime Prevention and Rehabilitation was quoted as saying the scheme was not likely to undermine the rights of prisoners.
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One in five women abused in Zimbabwe: study 2004-09-26 16:11:12

    HARARE, Sept. 26 (Xinhuanet) -- Violence against women, which includes emotional abuse, physical and sexual violence, is on the increase in Zimbabwe with one in every five women aged 15 to 29 years having experienced with an intimate partner, according to the Sunday Mail.

    The report said that a recent study has found "higher levels offorced sexual intercourse," indicating an increase in sexual abuse of women and girls. This form of violence against women has been described by researchers as "lethal" in the context of HIV/AIDS.

    The study has shown that women who experience domestic violenceare at greatest risk of HIV infection due to their lack of power to negotiate safer sex.

    However, gender-based violence has often been understood as a domestic problem rather than being both a public and development concern.

    According to the Zimbabwe Country Report on Women, Girls and HIV/AIDS in Southern Africa, ample evidence suggests that domesticviolence is so normalized in Zimbabwe and the rest of the southern African region that women themselves believe that wife beating and coerced sex is accepted as a natural consequence of bad behavior.

    Communities often did not consider a person an abuser if the sexual abuse resulted in pregnancy and the abuser accepted responsibility.

    The Zimbabwean law recognizes marital rape as a criminal offense but most spouses are silenced by traditional values which restrict them from seeking legal action against their spouses.

    In 2001, the Zimbabwean government enacted the sexual Offenses Act to protect women and girls from rape, including marital rape and other forms of sexual abuse.

    The Domestic Violence Bill, which proposes to provide protection and relief to survivors of domestic violence, has been pending for some time, raising concern by many women over the delay by Zimbabwe's parliament. Enditem

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