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

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Thursday 5:15 to 5:30pm live on the internet at
Friday     5:15 to 5:30am on Medium Wave broadcasts 1197khz
Also available on internet archives after broadcasts at


Glen Norah MDC Member of Parliament, Priscilla Misihairambwi Mushonga is the guest on the programme. Lance Guma digs up her past to find out what propelled her into politics. How difficult is it to balance being a mother, wife and most challenging of all an opposition female member of parliament. She talks about her experiences as Margaret Dongo’s campaign manager, running for municipal elections in Harare in the mid-nineties. Why did she choose to become an MP for Glen Norah? Does she agree she is both vocal and aggressive? Misihairambwi comments on the assault she was subjected to by a party youths at their opposition offices. She ends the programme by sharing her vision for Zimbabwe.


Lance Guma
SW Radio Africa
Lance Guma          Priscilla Misihairambwi Mushonga (MP)
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Mugabe to visit Cuba
From: Agence France-Presse
From correspondents in Havana

September 09, 2005

ZIMBABWEAN President Robert Mugabe is to visit Cuba over the weekend in an official three-day visit with President Fidel Castro, Cuba's government announced overnight.
Mr Mugabe will arrive with his wife, Grace Mugabe, Foreign Minister Simbarashe Mumbengengwi and other government officials.
The announcement said Mr Mugabe and his entourage will meet with Mr Castro and other officials and will visit places of "historical and scientific interest."
The weekend visit to the island will be the African leader's sixth, the most recent having been in 2002.
Mr Castro visited Zimbabwe in 1986, for a meeting of non-aligned nations.
Cuba has educated 3034 Zimbabwean students, according to Havana's foreign ministry. Four Zimbabwean students are attending Cuba's International School of Physical Education and Sports, and 10 others are studying science at the University of Havana.
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Zimbabwean president appoints anti-corruption commission 2005-09-09 01:34:16

    HARARE, Sept. 8 (Xinhuanet) -- Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe on Thursday appointed eight commissioners to run the Anti-Corruption Commission which aims to stem corruption in the country.

    Abdulman Eric Harid, a former Commissioner of Taxes and the first black Comptroller and Auditor-General of Zimbabwe, chairs the body.

    Corruption in Zimbabwe has resulted in massive resources being siphoned out of the country, further worsening the country's economic problems.
Zimbabwean president appoints anti-corruption commission 2005-09-09 01:34:16

    HARARE, Sept. 8 (Xinhuanet) -- Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe on Thursday appointed eight commissioners to run the Anti-Corruption Commission which aims to stem corruption in the country.

    Abdulman Eric Harid, a former Commissioner of Taxes and the first black Comptroller and Auditor-General of Zimbabwe, chairs the body.

    Corruption in Zimbabwe has resulted in massive resources being siphoned out of the country, further worsening the country's economic problems.

    The government has declared war on graft, a move that has seen a number of senior government officials, bank executives and business people being arrested.

    Others have skipped the country to escape the law. The country's Anti-Corruption Act came into operation on January 14, 2005. Enditem

    The government has declared war on graft, a move that has seen a number of senior government officials, bank executives and business people being arrested.

    Others have skipped the country to escape the law. The country's Anti-Corruption Act came into operation on January 14, 2005. Enditem

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The economist

He's still there
Sep 8th 2005 | JOHANNESBURG
From The Economist print edition

President Robert Mugabe may be off the IMF's hook—for now


Gimme the cash

Get article background

ON SEPTEMBER 9th, the IMF is to decide whether to expel Zimbabwe from its ranks for not paying its debt and for grossly mismanaging the economy. The country has not received any money from the IMF since 1999 and has already lost its right to vote on the board. But last week, in a surprise move, its government paid $170m out of the $295m or so it owes the Fund. Whether or not this is enough to reverse the automatic expulsion process, it may persuade the IMF board to postpone a final decision for another six months. While the payment may make life even more miserable for ordinary Zimbabweans, it may give their beleaguered president, Robert Mugabe, further means to go on ignoring foreign pressure.

His government made the last-minute effort to find the money itself in order to avoid having to rely on South Africa to tide it over. President Thabo Mbeki looked as if he would come to his neighbour's rescue once again, with a loan; but this time it would have had strings attached, marking a distinct shift in policy. Loan negotiations were said to have included insistent chats about economic and political reform, though the South African government has been loth to talk about “conditions”.

So Mr Mugabe and his ruling ZANU-PF may breathe again, at least for a while. They have said that talks with the opposition, thought to be part of South Africa's demands, are out of the question. On August 30th, the parliament, controlled by the ruling party, amended the constitution: a senate is to be created, landowners will no longer have legal recourse against expropriation, and opponents can be stripped of their passports.

Mr Mugabe's efforts to find money elsewhere seem to have largely failed. His recent trip to China has not produced the cash he had hoped for; no other country seems keen to sign a cheque. Despite China's interest in minerals, Zimbabwe is of no great strategic importance; Mr Mugabe's “look-East” policy is unlikely to bring the investment so badly needed.

The government made the IMF payment by mopping up just enough foreign exchange from local exporters. As a result, unless some more hard currency shows up quickly, food and fuel shortages may get worse; this week the price of petrol doubled. In an effort to fend off the continuing crisis, Zimbabwe's official exchange rate was devalued in June, interest rates nudged up and measures to cut the budget deficit were announced. But overall the economy is still a mess; it will take more than monetary and fiscal tinkering to stop descent into total ruin. The country's GDP has shrunk a third since 2000; inflation, at last count, was running at 254% a year. About a quarter of Zimbabwe's estimated 12m-plus people are thought to have emigrated. The UN says that Mr Mugabe's recent drive to “clear out” the cities by expelling black-marketeers and destroying houses said to have been built without permission has left at least 700,000 more people destitute.

Getting by on nothing

The suffering of ordinary people is growing. The UN World Food Programme reckons that 4m of them will need food aid by March, but is short of funds. The South African Council of Churches collected blankets and food to support those left homeless by the government's urban clearances, but distribution has been delayed by government demands for proof that the food has not been genetically modified and by extra paperwork over import-duty exemption. Lack of foreign exchange may eventually force Mr Mugabe to start making concessions to his critics. But Zimbabwe's people may have become inured to their hardship, and some bits of the economy—mining, for instance, which brings in hard cash—still function. It is difficult to say when the government will run out of money completely.

Neither sanctions by the European Union and the United States nor South Africa's soft approach have persuaded Mr Mugabe to change course. He has rebuffed an attempt by Nigeria's president, Olusegun Obasanjo, the African Union's current chairman, to send an envoy to talk sense into him. And the prospect of Zimbabwe imploding in chaos on its doorstep may weaken South Africa's new resolve to squeeze Mr Mugabe. Without more pressure from abroad, especially from South Africa, Mr Mugabe can concentrate on squashing opposition at home. Despite the growing misery around him, he does not seem to be on his last legs yet.

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Mugabe: Zimbabwe poverty worseningstory.mugabe.ap.jpg

But some wonder where the money came from

Thursday, September 8, 2005; Posted: 10:17 a.m. EDT (14:17 GMT)

Robert Mugabe, pictured at a state funeral last month, criticized the U.S. and the U.K. for their attitudes.
HARARE, Zimbabwe (Reuters) -- President Robert Mugabe said on Thursday that poverty and hunger were on the rise in Zimbabwe as it grapples with its worst economic crisis since independence, but pinned the blame on drought and foreign sabotage.

Critics say the crisis -- seen in chronic fuel and food shortages as a well as record inflation and unemployment -- is largely the result of government mismanagement, a charge Harare denies.

Mugabe, launching a report on Zimbabwe's efforts to meet development goals set by a United Nations summit in 2000, said the southern African country was struggling on overall markers of economic well-being.

"The eradication of extreme poverty and hunger remains a major challenge for Zimbabwe [and] total consumption poverty increased from 42 percent in 1995 to 63 percent in 2003," Mugabe said in a speech at the launch ceremony in Harare.

The Millennium Development Goals seek to eradicate extreme poverty and hunger, fight the HIV/AIDS pandemic and malaria, promote gender equality and reduce child mortality by two-thirds by 2015, among other targets.

Critics say disruptions linked to Mugabe's seizure of white-owned commercial farms for blacks have undermined the key agriculture sector, leaving southern Africa's former breadbasket grappling with persistent food shortages since 2000.

The Zimbabwe report said a poverty assessment study had shown that 69 percent of the country's population lived below the food poverty line, up from 57 percent in 1999.

International aid groups have estimated that as many as five million of Zimbabwe's 12 million people may need food help this year.

Mugabe, 81 and in power since independence from Britain in 1980, insists the shortages are mainly a result of drought, rather than the land reforms, which he argues were necessary to correct ownership imbalances created by colonialism.

"The country is ... facing economic difficulties mainly because of the recurrent debilitating droughts experienced since the early 90's and the hostile responses of the British and American governments to our land redistribution program," the veteran leader said on Thursday.

He acknowledged Zimbabwe had an increasing housing backlog, but defended his government's demolition earlier this year of urban slums -- which the United Nations says left at least 700,000 people homeless -- saying Harare had embarked on a program to construct new houses.

Mugabe said Zimbabwe had gone a long way in promoting the millennium goal of universal primary education, with primary school enrollment in Zimbabwe increasing to 97 percent in 2004 from 85 percent in 1999.

Copyright 2005 Reuters. All rights reserved.This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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Fin Gazette
Zim Holds Breath As IMF Meets

Financial Gazette (Harare)
September 8, 2005
Posted to the web September 8, 2005
Rangarirai Mberi
ZIMBABWE is praying that a series of rushed attempts at economic reform in recent months will convince the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to spare it the axe when the fund's executive board meets tomorrow to decide the country's fate.
Over recent months, the government has climbed down from a long tradition of IMF-bashing, adopting a more conciliatory tone as the board meeting loomed.

But analysts say the IMF decision could be directed more by perceptions of Zimbabwe's deteriorating political climate than by efforts by the country's authorities to mend relations.
An IMF team ended a visit to Zimbabwe last Friday, and has presented its report to the executive board ahead of tomorrow's crucial meeting. The report will be key in determining how the executive board will act, analysts say, but they add that recent political events in Zimbabwe could weigh heavily on the minds of the board.
The ruling ZANU PF party last Tuesday used its strong parliamentary "majority" to push through controversial legislation that opposition critics say virtually bans private title to land, an action seen as deepening a long-standing dispute with the IMF over property rights.
The latest IMF visit came days after Finance Minister Herbert Murerwa announced Zimbabwe had made a US$120 million payment to the fund to settle part of the US$295 million it owed to the global lender.
Murerwa, widely seen as one of a few reformists in President Robert Mugabe's hardline administration, told a parliamentary committee on Tuesday that he did not support price controls.
This was in response to IMF demands that the country removes administrative controls "to ease shortages and restore private sector confidence".
"We are in a globalised village. There is no country that tinkers with this kind of thing," Murerwa said.
His remarks echoed recent statements by senior officials aimed at softening attitudes at the IMF, which released a critical report following a visit by a team from the fund in June.
The team had predicted further economic decline this year unless Zimbabwe agreed to "a comprehensive policy package" of reforms.
The IMF team had projected wider fiscal deficits this year due to subsidies to producers and interest payments on debt.
Murerwa reacted by refusing to allocate $31 trillion in additional funding to government ministries, while spending only a third of the originally planned $3 trillion on the government's ambitious housing scheme, "Operation Garikai".
The IMF said the government's internationally condemned clean-up operation - which demolished homes owned by the country's poorest citizens - would "worsen shortages, contribute to lower growth and aggravate inflationary pressures".
Following IMF pressure to ease all controls, the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) has devalued the Zimbabwe dollar by a cumulative 74 percent over the past three months and ended subsidies to gold and cotton producers.

Despite the US$120 million payment, RBZ governor Gideon Gono said the IMF had demanded US$50 million more, hinting the US$120 million was all Zimbabwe could afford at this time.
"If we had the funds we would have paid. Why would we pay US$120 million and not the rest of it?" Gono said, while urging members of the IMF board to take a forgiving stance in response to the partial repayment. "The jury is made up of people with a face, with feelings. I don't think the modest payment will escape the natural attention and consideration of the esteemed board."
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IMF to debate Zimbabwe explusion
Fuel queue in Zimbabwe
Zimbabweans face desperate shortages of fuel
International Monetary Fund officials meet on Friday to decide whether to expel Zimbabwe because of unpaid debts.

Zimbabwe has been in arrears with the IMF since February 2001 because it failed to pay interest on the $4.5bn it has borrowed from the fund.

Last month, it unexpectedly repaid $120m, but it still needs to find nearly $175m more to avoid expulsion.

Zimbabweans are facing a deep economic crisis, with high unemployment, rampant inflation, and food and fuel shortages.

An IMF delegation returned to Washington from Harare on Friday last week after assessing progress made by President Robert Mugabe's government.

The delegation's report will form the basis of the IMF's decision on whether or not to expell Zimbabwe from the fund.

'No more payments'

Zimbabwe's Finance Minister Herbert Murerwa denied reports in South Africa's Business Day newspaper that he and Reserve Bank Governor Gideon Gono intended to visit Washington to present the meeting with a $50m cheque.

President Robert Mugabe at the opening of Zimbabwe's parliament in June

"We have already paid $120m and that's all for [the] time being," he told the AFP news agency. "We have paid a significant amount of the loan and we will not be making any payments now."

Mr Murerwa said Zimbabwe had done its best to avoid expulsion and would be addressing the outstanding arrears.

"We think this will go a long way in consolidating relations," he said.

If Zimbabwe is ejected from the organisation, it will be the first country to be expelled since Czechoslovakia in 1954.

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Fuel Price Up Again, But Supply Won't Improve

Financial Gazette (Harare)
September 8, 2005
Posted to the web September 8, 2005
Staff Reporter
THE government has raised fuel prices by up to 122 percent, blaming rising world oil prices, but officials admitted there would be no immediate improvement to supply.
Petrol prices went up 122.7 percent from $10 000 to $22 300 per litre, while diesel rose from $9 600 to $20 800 per litre, an increase of 116.67 percent.

Yesterday's increase is the second in just over two months, following a 178 percent increase in petrol prices late in July that was blamed for a surge in inflation figures for the year to that month.
The new petrol price is less than half the black market prices of more than $50 000 per litre, which are likely to rise after yesterday's hike.
As most industries are sourcing fuel on the black market, the higher charges are set to spark a fresh round of price increases and heat up inflation.
Economists had expected a broader increase of at least $45 000, the implied price using currency rates on the parallel market.
South Africa's petrol prices went up to nearly R6 on Tuesday.

Energy Minister Mike Nyambuya said the latest fuel price hike had been effected to protect the lossmaking National Oil Company of Zimbabwe - the government's fuel importer - from rising world oil prices.
Oil traded at US$65 per barrel yesterday, down from highs of US$70 last week.
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Zanu PF Reaps $7 Billion Dividends From Investments

Financial Gazette (Harare)
September 8, 2005
Posted to the web September 8, 2005
Njabulo Ncube
THE ruling ZANU PF party has received dividends totalling more than $7 billion from its myriad investments that were put under an internal probe last year.
Segmented Investments, whose best-known investment is a 13 percent stake in diversified financial house FBC Holdings, topped the dividend contributions with a $3 323 910 615 cheque, while Bulawayo-based engineering firm Mike Appel made two payments of $625 million and $1.5 billion between December 2004 and April 2005.

FBC, which declared a $15 dividend per share at the end of the 2004 financial year, weighed in with $633 228 750 on April 29 2005 while Smoothnest Investment, through which ZANU PF holds another three percent in FBC, contributed $744 975 000.
The ruling party drew $200 million from troubled airline catering firm Catercraft on July 25 2005.

A report produced at the end of the investigation into the ZANU PF investments last year revealed gross mismanagement at the firms, but no action has been taken by the party.
The investigation was, however, largely seen in the context of internal power struggles within the party, with Emmerson Mnangagwa, a presidential hopeful and mastermind of most of ZANU PF's investments, being cited as the prime target of the probe.
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Minister Hails Mission Hospitals

The Herald (Harare)
September 8, 2005
Posted to the web September 8, 2005
MISSION hospitals have been hailed for complimenting Government efforts in providing health care services especially for rural communities.
In an interview, Health and Child Welfare Minister Dr David Parirenyatwa said it was only fair to give credit where it was due and mission hospitals deserved a lot of credit for a good job done.

"Mission hospitals do amazing work and their standards of service are very high.
"When one is admitted into a mission hospital they can be assured of getting the best treatment. I would like to urge the hospitals to maintain these high standards of service because we need them," he said.
The work mission hospitals did, said Dr Parirenyatwa, was especially important because it benefited rural and remote communities where most mission hospitals are located.
Some of the mission hospitals in the country include Nhowe, St Paul's Musami, Howard, Gutu, Mukaro, Marymount, Silveira, Morgenester, Driefontein, All Soul's and Makumbe mission hospitals.
In the case of serious illnesses these are the hospitals people in nearby areas go.
It is also not unusual to see families taking their sick relatives from as far away as Harare or Bulawayo to some of the mission hospitals because of the high quality treatment offered.
Dr Parirenyatwa said it was important for him to note the long-standing positive relationship between his ministry and mission hospitals.
"They are an integral part of our health care delivery system and a bed rock of rural health care. Many times they provide this health care in the remotest parts of our communities.
"They, therefore, provide invaluable services to the poor in our community," he said.
Just recently, Nhowe Mission Hospital was instrumental in the opening of a clinic in Rukunguwe Village in Murehwa while it was also through another mission hospital, Howard that the conjoined twins, Tinashe and Tinotenda, were able to get assistance.
The twins, who successfully underwent separation surgery, recently returned home from Canada and are being looked after at Howard Mission Hospital.
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Participate in Cassava Projects, Women Told

The Herald (Harare)
September 8, 2005
Posted to the web September 8, 2005
GOVERNMENT has urged women to actively participate in cassava production projects as a means to economically empower themselves.
The Minister of Women Affairs, Gender and Community Development, Cde Oppah Muchinguri, said as part of Government's commitment to women emancipation, the ministry would "resuscitate defunct agro-projects" that women had embarked on countrywide as a way of increasing self-sustenance of the family structure.

In a speech read on her behalf by Deputy Minister Cde Abigail Damasane at the Jekesa Pfungwa/Vulingqondo (JPV) 5th biennial conference in Harare last weekend, Cde Muchinguri called on women to apply for Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe facility funds to resuscitate defunct projects in their areas.
"We are starting from the ward level. Go and approach a gender officer at the DA's (District Administrator) offices in your area for the cassava seeds and try it.
"Most of the needy community members comprise women and youths, most of whom still do not have access to resources like finance and land while attitudes still prevail to the extent that the disadvantaged community members are not actively involved in the management of resources in these communities," she said.
The minister also urged women to support strategies aimed at raising standards of living at family level. She applauded the JPV group for coming up with training projects benefiting Zimbabwean women.
These include training in business management and team building, sustainable agriculture, food and nutrition.
"I am pleased that you are doing awareness campaigns through gender workshops, HIV and Aids discussions, wills and inheritance laws workshops and home-based care programmes which have benefit the community," the minister added.
"I note with pleasure that JPV programmes are community-driven, planned, implemented and monitored by both men and women to ensure long-term improvement of food security and sustainability."
The conference theme: "Combating HIV and Aids and Gender Imbalances Through Economic Empowerment" suited the ministry's poverty alleviation strategies.
These strategies include dairy and piggery projects, adult literacy, village banks and women's clubs.
"Let us not be intimidated by the economic recession that we are going through, we need to rise up to the challenge that is before us," said Cde Muchinguri.
JPV chairperson Mrs Sibusisiwe Chitekuteku said her organisation was aimed at empowering women through training extension and awareness on various issues. It boasts of 10 000 members in 36 districts. Zimbabwe has 76 districts.
"Our programmes are aimed at completely changing the whole woman for the country's benefit," said Mrs Chitekuteku.

Some of their programmes include sustainable agriculture and food security training, gender and development and small-scale enterprise development among women.
"We are involved in the soap and bread making projects around the country," she said.
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A Re-Examination of Health Benefit Costs

Financial Gazette (Harare)
September 8, 2005
Posted to the web September 8, 2005
Anthony Jongwe
THE current economic environment has seen a sharp increase in the cost of health-benefit in Zimbabwe. This year alone, the two major medical insurance vendors in Zimbabwe CIMAS and PSMAS have thrice hiked their premiums.
Employers also have had to contend with escalating pension contributions. This deadly combination of rising pension contributions and runaway health-benefit costs is beginning to preoccupy human resources (HR) executives at most companies. Whilst there are no available national figures on the average quantum of health-benefit cost increases absorbed by employers, there is no doubt that these have been significant over the last three years.

With little or no revenue growth to cover these additional expenses, rising benefit costs are ripping a hole in the bottom line. HR executives are on notice from top management to contain or cut costs. Depending on the degree of economic pressure, the composition of the workforce, and conditions in the local labour market, HR executives are pursuing different objectives and strategies. Some are cutting benefits and slicing salary budgets to offset rising costs. Others are turning to aggressive vendor management to achieve cost reductions without cuts or greater employee cost sharing. In all cases, successful cost control hinges on well-defined objectives, careful workforce analysis, and a holistic approach to the problem.
This two-part instalment examines the merits and demerits of the various strategies that both employers and employees can adopt to stem the rising health-benefit costs. It articulates the role of HR in the overall game plan and concludes by recommending an appropriate intervention to the problem.
Employers and employees are both under severe economic pressures stemming from the adverse economic environment. Employers have to contend with serious operational constraints ranging from high input costs to severe supply-side constraints in the form of forex and fuel shortages. The net impact of these has been high operating costs and diminishing profit margins. Some have not been able to absorb these pressures and have thus closed shop. On the other hand, employees have to contend with diminishing disposable incomes owing to higher taxation and inflation levels.
Both employers and employees have also had to contend with the reality of HIV and AIDS in the workplace. This has necessitated the need to mainstream HIV and AIDS mitigation initiatives in the workplace. Generally, the labour market in Zimbabwe is an employers' market as evidenced by the high rate of unemployment. The composition of the workforce in Zimbabwe is varied but the trend in recent times has been a shift towards temporary full-time staff as most companies adopt Atkinson's (1984) flexible firm model. There is now less emphasis on long-term employment albeit amendments to the current Labour Act have attempted to make this a desirable state of employment.
The common view in compensation philosophy is that benefits enhance the productivity of the individual employee and oftentimes counter demands for higher basic pay rates. Empirical evidence abounds to support this view. Therefore any strategies to be embraced by Zimbabwean companies to stem rising health-benefit costs have to be informed by this view. Yet, there is also no doubt that provision of benefits is a cost to employer that ought to be analysed within the framework of return on investment if it is to be justified as a business case. What emerges from the foregoing are essentially the common strands that underpin the strategies that Zimbabwean companies and HR executives can adopt in dealing with escalating health-benefit costs. Below, I examine the merits and demerits of each of these strategies.
Indeed, it is quite true that some companies have resorted to cutting the health-benefits available to employees as a way of containing the escalating costs. Whilst this may appear to be the sensible thing to do under the economic pressures at hand, it can have deleterious effects on employee motivation and ultimately productivity in the medium to long-term. In any case, the current inflationary environment would actually favour a compensation strategy that expands benefits whilst curtailing increases on base salary. Most importantly, benefits like health are increasingly becoming core in view of the HIV and AIDS pandemic hence it would retrogressive for a company to cut such a benefit. However, the current dominant composition of the workforce in most companies means that companies have greater discretion when it comes to structuring benefits like medical care. Clearly, it does not make much business sense here to provide health benefit to untenured employees albeit the opposite actually applies in the more mature Western economies. If a company adopts this strategy, then it should gear itself for increased demands for base salary as employees seek to cushion themselves from the vagaries of the economic environment.
A second discernible strategy that can be adopted by Zimbabwean companies in containing rising health-benefit costs seeks to align the provision of such a benefit to clearly identifiable business objectives. Here, emphasis is on calculating the return on investment of such a benefit to an overarching business goal. Companies are not 'socialist entities' according to D Sullivan (2004). Their overarching goal is to maximise shareholder wealth. As such, any interventions that a company makes have to be assessed overall in terms of their contribution towards this hallowed goal. The nexus between a healthy workforce and productivity has gone past empirical enquiry. Increased productivity translates to a better bottom line. It can therefore be argued that those corporates who invest in sound health benefits for their employees are a setting a trailblazing path to corporate success. This however needs to be empirically documented and HR executives can justify their strategic role in the business by building a logical thread linking these issues. A properly documented case may after all indicate that the company is getting a better return on its expenditure on health benefits that it otherwise thought. The biggest constraint to this approach is that many HR executives in Zimbabwe tend to have a noticeable dislike of metrics. There is actually a need to develop a culture of objectivity underpinned by the pervasive use of metrics in HR practice. That is the only surest way of demonstrating to top management that HR is an equal business partner.

A third strategy that can be pursued by Zimbabwean companies to deal with health benefit costs seeks to foster linkages with vendors of health benefit schemes. This strategy forms the basis of next week's instalment on the same subject.
Anthony Jongwe is a Harare-based human resources consultant with a keen interest in training and development.
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Deputy Minister Calls for Closer Ties With NAC

The Herald (Harare)
September 8, 2005
Posted to the web September 8, 2005
HARARE South Member of Parliament and Deputy Minister of Transport and Communications Cde Hubert Nyanhongo has called for closer collaboration between the National Aids Council (NAC) and the political leadership in the constituency to effectively implement HIV and Aids programmes.
Speaking at the quarterly distribution of NAC food packs to orphans and those affected by HIV and Aids in Waterfalls and Sunningdale yesterday, the legislator said there was need for systematic co-ordination on programmes to ensure transparency.

"While I am the MP for this constituency, which means they elected me to represent them, there are many things, especially those to do with HIV and Aids, that are happening without my knowledge.
"I would like to be involved because that is why I am here. We, as the leadership of this area, would like to work together with the NAC through its District Aids Action Committees (DAACs) and Ward Aids Action Committees (WAACs)," he said.
Cde Nyanhongo said he appreciated and welcomed NAC's initiatives and looked forward to a continued relationship with the statutory organisation.
"We would like the intended beneficiaries to be the ones who benefit. We do not want a muddled situation where people that have no reason to benefit from these food packs end up benefiting.
"The orphans, the sick and those living under the home-based care concept should be the beneficiaries. To ensure that this is what happens, closer collaboration between the NAC and the political leadership - councillors, myself and the District Co-ordinating Committee - is needed," he said.
Because of disjointed structures and lack of effective co-ordination, some people have in the past ended up abusing NAC's programmes hence the decision to distribute food packs and even money through DAACs and WAACs.
At least 500 people from Waterfalls and Sunningdale received foodstuffs that included maize meal, mahewu (a fermented non-alcoholic highly nutritious drink) and peanut butter.

A standard food pack is also supposed to consist of cooking oil, and kapenta.
However, NAC officials said they had been delays in getting some of the required foodstuffs which they would have to distribute at a later date.
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ZIMBABWE: New laws hamper re-establishment of informal businesses

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

Click here to enlarge image

Thousands of informal traders were affected by the cleanup operation

HARARE, 8 Sep 2005 (IRIN) - Informal traders affected by Zimbabwe's recent urban cleanup campaign have welcomed government efforts to restore their livelihoods, but say greater effort is needed if the country's lucrative informal sector is to recover.

A demolition drive, which began in May, uprooted thousands of informal traders in the country's urban centres. Months later many are returning to the cities but complain that strict new regulations governing how they do business is hampering their ability to make a living.

"While we applaud the government for giving us another chance, there is something wrong with the way in which authorities are handling the issue of re-establishing flea [informal] markets," said James Taruziva, a trader at Mupedzanhamo market in the capital, Harare.

Taruziva considered himself lucky after his application to trade at Mupedzanhamo was successful. However, his optimism soon turned into disillusionment when he saw the new by-laws.

"When we came back, the municipality told us that we should not use tables or racks, insisting that we should sell our goods on the floor. Customers tend to shy away from the clothes that I sell because they easily become dirty, and at the end of the day I don't get much money," he said.

Before the cleanup operation, Taruziva could take home as much as Z$500,000 (US $20) a day; now the maximum he hopes to make is around Z$150,000 (US $6). He is also expected to pay a monthly tax of Z$700,000 (US $28) to the local government.

Harare's municipal council recently established 42 flea markets at shopping centres outside the city centre, saying the move was meant to decongest the central business district.

Under the revised by-laws, informal markets in low- as well as high-density areas only operate during weekends, unlike in the past when they opened daily.

Israel Mabhoo, a spokesman for the Alternative Business Association (ABA), an organisation promoting microfinance enterprises, has accused the government of poor planning.

"It just goes to show that the government is not committed to empowering informal traders. Flea markets should not be limited to weekends - it will definitely be difficult for people to generate enough income only during weekends," Mabhoo told IRIN.

He pointed out that several informal markets in the city centre, where business could be conducted without causing congestion, remained closed.

"What is important is to revisit the municipal by-laws and find ways of accommodating flea market operators, rather than seeing them as potential criminals," said Mabhoo.

Zenzo Ncube, 29, who sells electrical goods and beauty products at Malbereign Shopping Centre, about 5 km northwest of Harare, complained that the market was out of the way.

"Business is quiet, and I expect it to be so in the future, because potential clients cannot afford the money to make two trips to do their shopping here," he said.

"At the end of the day, I may be forced to close shop because operating in an area which people cannot easily access, and where I operate only on weekends, is not viable - but where will I get the money for my child's school fees, rent and food if I stop?" Ncube asked.

It is generally agreed that the parallel market used to generate 35 percent of GDP, but in recent years, as a result of a drawn-out economic crisis, the real figure could have risen as high as 60 percent - almost double.

Innocent Makwiramiti, chief executive officer of the Zimbabwe National Chamber of Commerce, expressed concern that reconstruction of the informal sector was taking too long.

"There was a lot of hurry when informal trading points were destroyed and while we welcome the decision to re-establish the sector, there is hardly any progress to talk about.

"Tens of thousands of people who were in the trade were affected by the cleanup operation but, to date, beneficiaries would hardly number more than 2,000. Besides poor planning, the government lacks the necessary resources to rebuild what it has destroyed, while there seems to be lack of coordination between relevant line ministries, such as local government, finance and small-to-medium enterprises," Makwiramiti told IRIN.


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Bjorkman-Mirnyi to meet Bryans in Open doubles final

Posted on 9/8/2005 1:22:01 PM

Flushing Meadows, NY (Sports Network) - The top-seeded tandem of Swede Jonas Bjorkman and Belarusian Max Mirnyi will face the second-seeded team of Bob and Mike Bryan in Friday's men's doubles final at the 2005 U.S. Open.

Bjorkman-Mirnyi staved off elimination Thursday by coming back to win the second set and then cruising in the third against a fourth-seeded duo of Wayne Black and Kevin Ullyett of Zimbabwe. Bjorkman-Mirnyi prevailed in 5-7, 7-5, 6-2 fashion to setup the showdown with the 2003 U.S. Open runner-up Bryan twins.

The Bryans beat their fellow Americans Paul Goldstein and Jim Thomas in three sets in their semifinal encounter here on Wednesday. The Bryans were the Wimbledon runners-up in July and lost to Black and Ullyett in the Aussie Open finale back in January.

Bjorkman and Mirnyi beat the Bryans in the French Open final in June.

Friday's winning team will split $400,000, while the losers will divvy up $200,000.

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