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Zim Standard

Live bullets used in ZNA show demo - Soldiers injure 15
By our own Staff

AS many as 15 people were injured, two of them possibly dead, after soldiers
taking part in this year's Marondera Agricultural Show apparently used live
ammunition during their demonstration.

Two of the exhibitors and several parents contacted by The Standard
yesterday confirmed the tragedy and said it happened around 3PM when
soldiers were performing a mock drill involving 'enemies'.

A school teacher, who accompanied school children, said: 'I was sitting
right at the entrance to the Cold Storage Company stand under a tree,
watching the military demonstration. Something exploded and there was a
stampede. People were screaming, running in all directions.

'I saw a man in khaki trousers. He was injured in the legs. We could see his
fractured bones. His wife, who was with him, started crying for help.

'One woman was injured on the chest. Two military ambulances ferried people.
A Marondera Hospital ambulance also carried people.'

According to the schoolteacher, the soldiers were performing a mock battle
and their 'enemies' threw a grenade. Two of the soldiers, covered in white
cloth, were ferried by an army helicopter.

She said: 'I 'm really scared. Right now I wonder how I managed to escape
unharmed,' she said after uniting with her husband.

An official at Marondera Hospital, who spoke to The Standard as the injured
were being admitted, said they had admitted 10 people with two transferred
to Harare because they had sustained serious injuries.

He said: 'There was a mock battle by soldiers and people were shot. This
happened around 3pm. We are admitting people right now. The full details are
still unclear.'

Two of the exhibitors confirmed shooting during the army drill when live
ammunition was apparently used triggering off the tragedy. They put the
number of the injured at 15.

One of the exhibitors said: 'It appeared they did not know they were using
live ammunition. One of the soldiers ran down to stop them. But already the
shooting had unleashed panic, triggering off a stampede.'

Another exhibitor, who also declined to be identified, said: 'Fifteen people
were seriously injured. It happened just two hours ago. There are about four
young children. The rest are adults. They were taken to Marondera Hospital
in an army helicopter, which was waiting to put on a display. The serious
cases were rushed to Harare but we do not know where.'

'I was on our stand. I saw the reaction of people. They were running away.
Then I saw one of the soldiers running inside to stop the people taking part
in the drill. There were many people. The show did not stop despite the
incident. It is going ahead but people are apprehensive.'

Another man, who was attending the show, said he suspected the injuries were
from shrapnel. He said this showed negligence on the part of the army.

Several parents whose children were at the show rushed to find out whether
their children were safe. They were gathered at the gate and complained that
they were not being allowed in to collect their children.

Ambulance and fire services say they heard about the incident but they did
not have specific details. Their ambulances at the show were already
ferrying the injured to the hospital.

Harare and Parirenyatwa hospitals said they could only confirm receipt of
the injuries from Marondera if they were given the names of the patients
admitted.

Dr Sydney Sekeramayi, who is the MP for Marondera and Minister of Defence,
last night said he had not received a report about the incident.

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Zim Standard

Govt rewards Makwavarara with seized Raffingora farm
By Foster Dongozi

RAFFINGORA Harare acting mayor, Sekesai Makwavarara has been awarded Tindo
Farm, in the prime agricultural area of Raffingora, in what is believed is
her reward for wresting control of the capital from the opposition Movement
for Democratic Change and handing it to Zanu PF.

The Standard tracked Makwavarara to her newly acquired farm in Mashonaland
West province yesterday and found her relaxing in the huge lounge of the
luxurious farmhouse, perched on a hill.

She had just arrived accompanied by a male partner and her Toyota Hilux,
registration 844-945S was parked outside.

The top of range vehicle was loaded with carpets and other household
appliances.

Raffingora falls under Zvimba North constituency, whose Member of Parliament
is Local Government Minister, Ignatiuos Chombo.

The minister strenuously resisted attempts by MDC councillors to replace
Makwavarara when they started suspecting she had infiltrated the opposition.

The owner of the farm, only identified as Henning, was hounded out of the
farm on Friday and fled with his family to Harare. He declined to comment,
saying he did not want to expose his family to danger.

Dressed in a crŹme suit and reclining on a sofa, the acting Harare mayor
said : 'I am the new owner of the place.'

Her male partner who looked very suspicious did not give The Standard an
opportunity to interview Makwavarara further as he herded the news crew out
of the luxuriously furnished farm house, complete with a satellite dish.

The farm also boasts hundreds of hectares under an almost mature crop of
wheat and produces tobacco, maize and paprika.

'If you want to know anything about this place, go and ask the workers,'
Makwavarara's partner said.

The workers at the compound said they were distressed about having a new
boss. 'What does she know about farming? We hope she will not convert the
farm into a holiday retreat as has happened with many new farmers,' said one
worker.

Makwavarara, who was elected as a Harare City councillor on an MDC ticket
for Mabvuku in 2002, was immediately elected deputy mayor as Elias Mudzuri's
understudy.

Chombo immediately went on the warpath against the popularly elected
Mudzuri, while at the same time frustrating attempts by MDC councillors to
replace Makwavarara.

Mudzuri was then suspended for alleged mismanagement last year, paving the
way for Makwavarara to ease herself into office.

The permanent secretary in the ministry of Lands, Land Reform and
Resettlement, Simon Pazvakavambwa, could not confirm if Makwavarara had been
officially given the farm.

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Zim Standard

GMB holding maize for only two months
By Valentine Maponga

THE Grain Marketing Board (GMB) last week finally came clean on the
country's food situation. Only about 300 000 tonnes enough for two
months'consumption have been delivered to the parastatal.

Answering questions on the food situation, from a parliamentary portfolio
committee, the GMB said its depots had so far taken delivery of only 298 000
tonnes of maize, a figure far below estimates by Joseph Made, the Minister
of Agriculture and Rural Development.

Based on last year's maize consumption patterns of 5 000 tonnes a day, the
grain delivered so far will be enough for two months only.

Made, through his ministry, predicted more than 2,4 million tonnes from this
year's harvest, but the GMB, the sole buyer of maize has managed to buy only
274 130 tonnes.

Giving out the statistics, GMB chief executive officer, retired Colonel
Samuel Muvuti, said they were still expecting more grain to be delivered to
the national granaries.

'We have 298 000 metric tonnes of maize a figure far much better than the
previous two to three seasons. We are expecting around 500 000 and 600 000
tonnes by the end of the buying season,' Muvuti said.

He said the buying season runs from April 1 up to March 31 the following
year. However, the harvesting season runs from April and continues until
October. Maize deliveries peak during July/August.

If, however, the maximum anticipated deliveries of 600 000 tonnes is
factored in, the GMB will only take delivery of nearly 900 000 tonnes of
maize supplies enough for six months.

Crops due for planting under the 2004/2005 agricultural season will only
start to mature in March seven months away. Demand for grain increases
between October and February when most households with less food exhaust
their own reserves.

Muvuti, on a number of occasions failed to answer adequately questions from
the parliamentary portfolio committee on Lands and Agriculture on whether
there would be need to import additional maize.

'It is very difficult for us to say that we need to import more maize since
we are still expecting more inflows from local farmers. I am not saying
there will be no need to import, but as GMB we ar happy with the progress so
far. We are looking forward to a prolonged inflow of grain,' he said, adding
that they were receiving weekly inflows of around 20 000 tonnes.

Responding to a question from Renson Gasela, MP for Gweru Rural (MDC) on how
the 2,4 million tonnes estimate was reached, Muvuti said it was not within
the jurisdiction of the GMB.

However, the GMB chairs the country's crop forecast committee.

During the meeting Mathias Matewu Mlambo MP for Chipinge North revealed that
maize was already being distributed on the basis of political affiliation.
GMB officials were quick to deny the allegations.

Mlambo said people in his constituency were failing to buy food because the
GMB officials at Musami Business Centre were selling the much-needed
commodity on a partisan basis.

Zvidzai Makwenda, the marketing director of the GMB denied the MP's claims.
'No, we do not discriminate when selling maize. I am actually very
surprised. People who are queuing in Chipinge are doing so because of the
cheap GMB products,' Makwenda suggested.

Some MPS who were in the meeting also revealed to the GMB officials that
millers from their constituencies were failing to produce any stockfeeds
because of the shortage of maize.

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Zim Standard

High fuel costs to fuel inflation: experts
By Rangarirai Mberi

LAST week's fresh inflation data for August was obviously sweet news to
Reserve Bank Governor Gideon Gono, but a surprise fuel price hike last month
might yet hurdle his drive towards his target of 200% inflation by December.
New numbers from the Central Statistical Office last week said annual
inflation had slowed to 314% in August from 362,9% in July, ahead of the
RBZ's own August target of 320%.

But the new figures have not factored in last month's new fuel costs,
economists say, and their likely effect on prices across the board.
Month-on-month inflation actually came in lower than expected, but
sustainability going forward will be a key test for central bank.

Fuel prices rose last month as importers responded to a spike in world oil
prices, petrol going up from $3200 to $3500 a litre, the first fuel price
increase this year.

Worries over supply from Iraq, surging demand from India and China and a US
report saying world stocks were at their lowest since March have driven
prices up in recent months.

More expensive fuel seems not to have been on central bank's radar screen
at least not at the last quarter monetary policy review.

'The high inflation bubble has been burst,' Gono declared triumphantly. RBZ
had 'a 90% confidence level' that the 200% target was within shooting
distance. Perhaps that 10% of left-over doubt is a provision for such
surprises like last month's spike in fuel prices.

According to unofficial forecasts provided to StandardBusiness by a senior
central bank official, the bank is on an ambitious plan to bring inflation
to below 10% by March 2006. The figure would be achieved by a steady
slowdown of annual inflation from July's 362,9% to 300% in September, 275%
in October and 245% by November.

By June next year, RBZ hopes to have brought inflation down to 100%.

The December target has always looked to be well in sight since January,
when year-on-year inflation peaked at 622%. A steady decline in the rate was
recorded over the past half-year as central bank cut spending on cheap funds
to banks and the economy saw a decrease in speculative demand.

Also key to the deceleration of inflation was a relative stability of the
Zimbabwe dollar, whose weakness has fed inflation over the past few years.

The RBZ introduced a Dutch-styled foreign currency auction system in
January, which initially helped stabilise the exchange rate and calm
inflation.

The year-on-year rate of inflation fell to 602% in February, 583% in March
and 505% in April, before ending the first half at 394,6%.

However, with supply continuing to lag farther behind demand at the forex
auctions, that source of hope looks to be slipping away. High demand and
weak supply have pushed the Zimbabwe dollar lower, trading at $5613,98 on
the US Dollar Monday, its lowest ever level at the auction. On the
unofficial market, the dollar is trading at more than $7000 against the US
unit.

Economists, bought over to the optimists' camp by a series of sunny-side-up
outlooks from the RBZ, now appear ready to downgrade their own forecasts.

'It's going to be tough for the RBZ to get things stable in time to meet the
200% percent target. Fuel and the Zimdollar weakness will give the RBZ a few
things to think about,' an economist said.

Other experts point to surging wage costs as another source of inflationary
pressures towards the end of the year.

'The recent increase in fuel will, without doubt, not help (meet the
inflation target) neither will the increasing staff costs,' said Mario dos
Remidios, finance director of NMB Bank.

Economists also worry over the possibility of a rise in government spending
beginning in the last quarter and leading up to the general election in
March. The election is in question following the opposition Movement for
Democratic Change's late August decision to boycott all elections.

Analysts, though, still weigh the parliamentary poll into their forecasts,
perhaps a sign they doubt the MDC will follow through on their threat.

RBZ has spent much of the last six months groping for a sure way of managing
liquidity on the money market.

Worried that loose funds were threatening its inflation plans, central bank
invented special new bills the Financial Bills and the much-ridiculed RBZ
Bills to complement the more traditional regime of Treasury Bills. The TBs
themselves had to be used in unorthodox fashion on numerous occasions, RBZ
seeking to attack liquidity from every possible angle.

However, underlying currents bode ill for RBZ's ambitious plans. Although
the rate of inflation is well off its January record, economists say
month-on-month inflation this month will come under pressure from a possible
rise in the prices of goods and services.

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Zim Standard

Gweru suspends rates increases
By our own Staff

GWERU AFTER successfully clearing off a $1.2 billion bank overdraft it
inherited from the former Zanu PF council, the opposition Movement for
Democratic Change (MDC) dominated Gweru city council has suspended all
increases in rates for the remainder of this year.

Sesel Zvidzai, the city's executive mayor, made this announcement at a
stakeholders meeting held recently in the city.

Addressing the stakeholders, the mayor said council, which did not implement
the 50 percent increase for the third quarter (July, August and September),
will also ignore the 25 percent increases for the remaining months of the
year.

'After realising that we have cleared the council's biggest financial
obstacle, the bank overdraft and after also successfully identifying
disposable assets in the city, my council has resolved to suspend the rates
increases and start working on the 2005 budget,' Zvidzai said.

The council, after consultation with all stakeholders, last year originally
implemented a $30 billion budget with rate increases going up by 450 percent
spread over four quarters.

In the first quarter the increases in rates went up by 250 percent and 100
percent in the second quarter. Increases in the third quarter were pegged at
50 percent with a 25 percent increase due in the last quarter.

In an interview with The Standard on the sidelines of the meeting, the mayor
dispelled rumours that his council's move to suspend increases in rates was
a result of pressure from the Minister of Local Government, Public Works and
National Housing, Ignatius Chombo.

'The suspension of rates increase has got nothing to do with pressure or an
order from anyone,' said the mayor.

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Zim Standard

Byo council consults residents over budget
By our own staff

BULAWAYO: THE Bulawayo city council has embarked on a budget consultation
exercise with a view to establishing specific development needs of residents
in 2005, says town clerk Moffat Ndlovu Ndlovu said the budget consultation
process would be carried out in all wards of the city.

'We have started planning for next year and we would like to see our own
residents making an input towards the 2005 budget formulation process.
Residents need to tell us what kind of developments they would like to see
next year,' Ndlovu said.

He said consulting the residents was ideal and democratic. 'Through this
process, we will be able to know that we have the people's backing in
whatever we do. This is opposed to imposing developmental projects on them,'
he said.

Bulawayo executive mayor, Japhet Ndabeni-Ncube, also stressed the need to
involve stakeholders.

'In an democratic society it is always important for a local authority to
hear people's views on development and give them what they want instead of
imposing,' said Ndabeni-Ncube.

Meanwhile, the budget for next year is expected to go up drastically from
$180 billion to a whopping $500 billion.

This is attributed to the high costs of acquiring water treatment chemicals,
high electricity bills, shortage of foreign currency to buy motor spare
parts, servicing of traffic lights and road repairs.

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Zim Standard

SA mulls scrapping visa requirements
By Loughty Dube

BULAWAYO South Africa could soon phase out visa requirements for countries
in the SADC region but may have to delay doing so for Zimbabwe, which is
undergoing its worst economic and political crisis, official sources have
said. They said the move to scrap visa requirements among SADC countries was
aimed at promoting cross border trade and all countries in the regional bloc
support the move.

South Africa and Mozambique kick-started the initiative when the two
countries announced on Tuesday they had abolished visa requirements for
their citizens.

Mozambique was one of the countries in the SADC regionwhose citizens endured
stringent visa requirements imposed by South Africa in order to curb the
illegal flow of immigrants into that country.

Eden Reid, the third political secretary at the South African Embassy,
confirmed that South Africa was working towards scrapping visa requirements
for SADC countries.

'The South African government is in the process of reviewing our current
visa policy and progress is at an advanced stage. South Africa hopes to
conclude discussions with various stakeholders, including governments of the
other Southern Africa Development Community (SADC) member states as soon as
possible,' Reid said.

He said relaxing of the visa conditions was a two-way process that should be
reciprocated by all countries in the region.

'South Africa recognises that the principle of reciprocity should form the
basis of our visa policy with all SADC member states and we are committed to
maintaining the strong and friendly relations between South Africa and her
neighbours, including Zimbabwe,' Reid said.

Sources, however, said despite Pretoria finalising the technical aspects
over the matter, Zimbabwe was not likely to benefit soon owing to fears of
being flooded by illegal Zimbabwean immigrants.

The sources said Zimbabweans might find themselves the only ones that would
need visas to travel to South Africa unless Harare moved to address economic
and political problems facing the country.

'Consultations are still taking place in the Department of Foreign Affairs
over Zimbabwe and the South African government is concerned that if visa
requirements are relaxed for Zimbabwe millions of illegal immigrants will
cross the border,' the sources said.

South Africa is hosting nearly two million illegal Zimbabwean immigrants,
the majority of whom fled the country's economic problems while another
large number fled the deteriorating political situation in the country.

The sources said South Africa was concerned that they might be forced to
handle an influx of Zimbabweans if visa conditions were relaxed before the
parliamentary elections due in Zimbabwe next year.

South Africa is Zimbabwe's second largest trading partner and thousands of
Zimbabweans cross the Limpopo everyday to conduct business with their
counterparts across the border.

South Africa tightened visa restrictions for Zimbabwe in 2003 and now
demands that visa applicants should pay a fee of R 1 000 and a further R 100
for their upkeep while in South Africa.

Mozambican citizens, another source of immigration irritation to South
Africa, were paying a fee of R430, which was non-refundable, if a visa was
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Zim Standard

SADC in anti-corruption drive
By our own Staff

THE Southern Africa Forum Against Corruption (SAFAC) held its fourth annual
general meeting in Zambia recently and resolved to continue with the fight
against graft as well as lobbying all member countries to ratify to the SADC
Protocol Against Corruption.

Eight countries have so far ratified the protocol as they move towards
waging a full-scale campaign against corruption.

These are Botswana, Mauritius, South Africa, Malawi, Tanzania, Zambia,
Lesotho and Namibia.

Namibia has gone a step further by passing the anti-corruption legislation
that provides for the establishment of a commission that has powers to
receive, initiate and investigate allegations of corruption.

Zimbabwe is yet to ratify the protocol even if the Zanu PF government claims
that it is has launched a full-scale campaign against corruption, blamed for
bringing the country's economy to its knees.

A member of the SAFAC secretariat, Zimbabwean Philiat Matsheza, who is also
the director of Human Rights Trust of Southern Africa (SAHRIT), said the
organisation was going to hold a number of training workshops in the region
with a mandate to fight corruption.'Twelve countries attended the meeting
and it was about sharing experiences on how to effectively fight corruption
and influence each other positively,' Matsheza said.

Officially launching the meeting Zambian President Levy Mwanawasa said his
government was very committed to fighting corruption.

'I want to mention that Zambia is indeed a proud member of SAFAC and fully
supports the strategic objectives of combining regional efforts I achieving
trans-boundary co-operation in the investigations and prosecution of
corruption cases,' Mwanawasa said.

He said SAFAC had provided a platform for strengthening networking among
member countries and organizations.

Speaking at the same meeting Havard Lesterberg, Ambassador of Norway to
Zambia said the fight against corruption required a dedicated leadership.

'Corruption can be found in any country around the world. That can be in my
country, Norway, in other European countries, Africa, Asia and America. One
important lesson learned is that to effectively fight corruption we need
political leadership that is serious and dedicated in its interest in
fighting the vice,' Lesterberg said.

The success or failure of this fight hinged on the follow-up and
implementation of the protocols, he said.

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Zim Standard

ZEC Bill a Zanu PF smokescreen
By Caiphas Chimhete

THE new Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) Bill, which was gazetted last
week, alienates civic bodies from polls and does very little to level the
playing field ahead of next year's general elections, The Standard can
reveal. Instead, it solidifies Zanu PF's electoral position; as bodies
presided over by officials sympathetic to the ruling party, will continue to
run elections in the country.

The Bill, to be presented to Parliament next month, seeks to establish an
independent ZEC that will run elections. The commission will oversee
presidential, parliamentary, referendums and local government elections.

However, an array of Zanu PF-aligned bodies will continue to run all
elections but reporting to the ZEC, whose chairperson is appointed by
President Robert Mugabe, raising questions about its independence.

According to the Bill, the Registrar-General's Office, Election Directorate
and the Electoral Supervisory Commission (ESC), bodies widely seen as
pro-Zanu PF, will continue to exist despite an outcry from the opposition
Movement for Democratic Change (MDC).

Former military officer Sobuza Gula-Ndebele heads the ESC while Tobaiwa
Mudede, a known Zanu PF sympathiser, is the registrar- general, virtually
putting their impartiality under scrutiny.

The opposition MDC has, on several occasions, accused Mudede of being a Zanu
PF functionary, who aided the ruling party to rig elections.

The chairman of the Zimbabwe Electoral Support Network, Dr Reginald
Matchaba-Hove, said it was pointless to create the ZEC without overhauling
the country's electoral laws, including the Presidential Powers Act.

'We should insist on an independent commission. Creating another
quasi-government body while leaving all these other bodies intact is adding
more confusion to the already clustered electoral platform,' Matchaba-Hove
said.

Another contentious issue, Matchaba-Hove said, was the appointment of
partisan civil servants to run the electoral bodies. 'We need independent
personnel, not civil servants overseeing other civil servants.'

By introducing the Bill, the MDC said, Zanu PF has indicated that it was not
willing to conform with the Southern African Development Community (SADC)
principles and guidelines governing democratic elections.

Last month Mugabe together with other SADC leaders, signed the regional
charter in Mauritius, pledging to adhere to democratic principles governing
free and fair elections.

'This Bill shows Zanu PF's unwillingness to comply with SADC principles or
to negotiate. Our position remains the same. We will not participate until
genuine electoral reforms are in place,' said MDC secretary-general,
Professor Welshman Ncube.

In practical terms, Ncube said President Mugabe appoints the chairperson of
the commission after consulting the Judicial Services Commission. The
President will also appoint the other four members of the commission from a
list of seven nominees submitted by a Parliamentary Committee.

Constitutional law expert, Dr Lovemore Madhuku, said the ZEC Bill should not
be entertained because it falls far short the SADC principles and guidelines
governing democratic elections.

Madhuku said if Zanu PF is sincere, it would have amended the Constitution
rather than introducing the ZEC Bill through an Act of Parliament.

Mugabe can amend or overrule any Act of Parliament, using the Presidential
Powers Act, rendering the whole exercise useless said Madhuku, chairman of
the National Constitutional Assembly (NCA), an organisation that advocates
for a new constitution.

'Anything created outside the Constitution is a waste of time and people in
Zanu PF know that. In fact, even Chinamasa knows that,' Madhuku said.

Patrick Chinamasa, the Minister of Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs,
last week said: 'We don't need to amend the constitution to make these
changes. We can do it through the Bill. There is no problem at all. Those
who are making noise are people who are afraid of participating in
elections.'

Although the ZEC was supposed to determine boundaries of the country's 120
constituencies for next year's elections, Mugabe last week swore in four
members of the Delimitation Commission, composed of two retired army
officers.

Chaired by High Court judge, Justice George Chiweshe, a former major in the
army, its other three commissioners are Dr Job Mutondori Whabira, former
secretary for defence, Dr Charles Madenyika Mukora and Dr Macleans Bhala.

The Delimitation Commission, which is expected to start work, soon, would
have already usurped the operations of the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission.

'What it means is that the ZEC would only supervise voting on the voting day
alone because the Delimitation Commission would have drawn boundaries while
Mudede is preparing the voters' roll,' Ncube said.

This scenario renders the new ZEC a mere political superstructure.

According to the draft law, the ZEC will be the only body permitted to carry
out voter education.

Apart from that no foreign organisation would be allowed to provide or
sponsor activities related to voter education or awareness campaigns,
virtually shutting out the participation of civic bodies in elections.

Matchaba-Hove said there was no harm in the ZEC supervising voter education,
with civic society assisting, if the body was independent.

He, however, said it was improper for the government to prevent civic
society from getting foreign funding when there are no other sources of
funding internally.

"This is tantamount to preventing them from carrying out voter education,'
said Matchaba-Hove, whose organisation is dependent on donor funding for its
core activities.

Zesn is a coalition of civic organisations advocating for electoral reforms
to enable conduct of free and fair elections in the country.

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Zim Standard

In-fighting rocks Zanu PF
By our own Staff

INTRA-PARTY violence and in-fighting within Zanu PF are on the increase
following the recent announcement by the Movement for Democratic Change
(MDC) boycotting any future elections until government levels the electoral
playing field, The Standard has established.

With other opposition parties such as National Alliance for Good Governance
(NAAG), Zanu and Democratic Party (DP) largely inactive, the MDC's decision
has condemned Zimbabwe to the pre-2000 era where Zanu PF ran in polls
virtually unopposed.

This scenario, which analysts say is unhealthy for democracy, means that any
member of the ruling party elected in Zanu PF primaries becomes the duly
elected MP.

As a result, party insiders told The Standard, there was an upsurge of
violence as Zanu PF stalwarts jostle among themselves seeking to take
advantage of the situation.

They said the in-fighting was also precipitated by President Robert Mugabe's
announcement in July that all aspiring MPs, including senior party members,
must contest in the party's primaries. A number of senior Zanu PF
politicians had already imposed themselves as candidates for next March's
general elections.

In the past few weeks, increased incidence of intra-party clashes were
reported in provinces such as Manicaland, and Mashonaland West.

'Would be parliamentary candidates for Zanu-PF are competing for nomination
in bitterly contested primary elections. Although publicly, Zanu PF leaders
say it is healthy for democracy in the party, they are secretly worried that
it is causing serious divisions within the lower ranks,' said one Zanu PF
official.

Zanu PF spokesperson, Dr Nathan Shamuyarira, sai the party was disturbed by
the on-going intra-party violence and was working to stop it.

Shamuyarira, a former journalist, said Zanu PF officials should refrain from
using 'unbecoming language,' intimidation or violence to win the party's
primaries.

'It is our party policy that cadres must compete in an open manner, without
intimidation or violence. We are going to stop it. Would-be contestants must
compete as comrades-in-arms and not enemies,' he said. Shamuyarira vowed to
take stern action against all those found promoting violence.

With primary elections due next month, sources said intra-party violence is
escalating.

They cited incidents in Chipinge, where supporters of businessman, Enock
Porusingazi, have on several occasions, attacked people sympathetic to
Catherine Chirimambowa, who is Porusingazi's rival in the Zanu PF primary
elections.

Chirimambowa, who could not be contacted last week, is said to have made a
report of an attack and harassment of his supporters to Mike Madiro, the
party's Manicaland Provincial chairman.

Madiro was said to be in a meeting when The Standard sought a comment.

MDC's Manicaland provincial spokesperson, Pishayi Muchauraya, who visited
Rimbi Growth Point in Chipinge last week said: 'The atmosphere at the growth
point was tense. This time it was not Zanu PF against MDC but Zanu PF
against Zanu PF.'

Muchauraya had visited the area to verify reports that Zanu PF supporters
and war veterans were preventing MDC sympathisers from buying maize from the
local Grain Marketing Board depot.

Presently, Zanu's Wilson Khumbula holds the Chipinge South constituency.

Intra-party violence is also simmering in Makonde in Mashonaland West, where
incumbent legislator Kindness Paradza, sees the problems in the constituency
as being fanned by senior Zanu PF politicians, who want to impose Mugabe's
nephew, Leo Mugabe.

Contacted for a comment Leo Mugabe denied his supporters and those of his
rival, Paradza, had ever clashed. 'We are campaigning peacefully here. There
is nothing like that here,' said Mugabe, a former football administrator.

Tension is also simmering in Buhera North, where the incumbent MP Kenneth
Manyonda is squaring up with Mugabe's spokesperson, George Charamba, and a
third contender identified only as Mutomba.

The sources said Charamba recently addressed a rally at Chitsunge Village in
Buhera, where he blasted Manyonda for 'failing the constituency in
development matters'.

He could not be reached for comment although he undertook, through his
secretary, to return calls.

The latest reports of intimidation and intra-party violence come barely a
month after supporters of Didymus Mutasa, the Minister of Special Affairs
Responsible for Anti-Corruption and Anti-Monopolies, attacked retired Major
James Kauye, who wants to challenge Mutasa in the primaries.

A committee to investigate intra-party violence that broke out in
Manicaland's Makoni North constituency has been set up. Mutasa, who said
Kauye 'deserved what he got', is the incumbent MP for Makoni North.

Zanu PF's Phineas Chihota was recently declared legislator for Seke
constituency after the MDC pulled out of the election contest. Chihota, a
businessman, took over following the death of opposition MP Ben Tumbare
Mutasa.

Analysts say that the on-going in-fighting in Zanu PF could destabilise the
ruling party.

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Zim Standard

Chivi South shakes off dirty Zanu PF politics
By Walter Marwizi

MASVINGO Although for years this desolate remote district has remained
politically inconsequential, rural Chivi South constituency is blazing the
trail in shaking off dirty Zanu PF politics that have characterised campaign
periods in Zimbabwe.

The drought prone constituency whose politics have largely gone unnoticed in
the national political arena, has come out alive as the countdown to the
2005 general elections begins.

Ten ruling party stalwarts – notable among them incumbent MP Charles
Majange, Bulawayo businessman Jonathan Gapare, educationists Enock Shindi
and John Tichagwa are all chasing the sole party ticket to represent the
constituency in Parliament, come March next year.

This has generated massive interest in politics as hunger-stricken villagers
contemplate who among the ever-growing list of aspiring MPs could best
represent them in Parliament and transform their meagre fortunes for good.

Village elders bemoan the fact that the constituency's only 'industry' is a
prostitution network revolving around the innumerable haulage trucks that
ply the Beitbridge-Ngundu Highway on a daily basis.

There is new consensus that an MP who can at least mitigate their plight by
working out strategies aimed at job creation at centres such as Ngundu
growth point should be elected.

And, interestingly, the aspiring MPs themselves have adopted a unique
campaign style that is different from the usual combative Zanu PF's politics
that have seen many people losing either their lives or limbs for daring to
express a different point of view.

They have made the campaign process 'one of issues' and it's common for all
the aspiring MPs to call one huge campaign rally, where each one of them has
an equal opportunity to tell the villagers what he can do to change the
status quo in Chivi South.

Majange, the current MP is encouraging these common rallies and is not
worried by the idea of sharing the platform with people keen to elbow him
out of the race for the Chivi South constituency seat.

At one such rally held recently in the constituency, Majange, sporting a
white suit, broke away from the usual Zanu PF belligerence when he actually
smiled while his opponent, Gapare, told thousands of Chivi South villagers
that he, and not Majange, was the best man to lift them from the throes of
poverty.

Gapare was accompanied by a group of 'entertainers' who go around the
constituency performing plays that portray Majange as an ineffective MP who
has done little to uplift the constituency since 2000.

And on that day the 'political entertainers' did exactly that: poured scorn
on the leadership of the sitting MP, through song and dance.

If Majange was offended he did not show it. When it was his turn, he stood
up and joked that some of Chivi's youngsters had become so successful that
they were now determined to wrestle the constituency from him.

He believes he has done a lot to help his constituents and could do more if
given a chance. When he ended his short speech, which dwelt on the need for
tolerance among the contestants and the electorate by saying 'Pamberi
nekudya nyama'(forward with eating meat), he drew deafening applause.

Ironically, it was Gapare who had provided a beast that was slaughtered for
the villagers who braved the scorching heat to listen to the speeches.
Gapare says he and Majange were related and therefore saw no need for
acrimonious campaigns.

'We are cousins and even with the other candidates, we are all united by the
desire to uplift our land of birth, so there is no need for us to beat each
other,' said Gapare who is assisting in repairing dams and boreholes in the
constituency.

Gapare, who owns Alpha Construction and five other companies under a group
called TLP Agencies, is also assisting many hard-up parents with school
fees, endearing himself to many in the poverty- stricken constituency.

Majange, who has remained unscathed by the political squabbles that are
associated with Masvingo province over the years, told The Standard last
week that he was very pleased with the way the campaigns were going.

'Since 2000, I have been saying there is no need to throw a stone at your
opponent. I have been stressing that democracy entails that someone who
holds a different political view is not an enemy and I am happy to say this
message has been understood,' said Majange, who recently returned from UK
where he attended an international workshop for Parliamentarians.

At this workshop, he rubbed shoulders with representatives from the
opposition MDC as well as those from the British House of Commons.

Asked how he felt when Gapare's youths sang songs that downplayed his
achievements right in his face, Majange said: 'Ndine vanguwo vanoita
izvozvo. (I also have my group doing the same).'

He added: 'We are really trying to teach people about democracy, we want to
inculcate the feeling that people are free to decide who should lead them.
And before they do that, aspiring candidates should offer themselves for
scrutiny.'

Turning to the national political scene, Majange said there was no need for
Zanu PF and the opposition MDC to fight.

'We can pretend that we (Zanu PF) will never talk with the MDC but the
sooner we talk the better. Angola waited for 27 years when the negotiating
table was there for them. Finally they had to do the logical thing,' he
said.

'We also have an excellent opportunity in 2005 to settle the issue of
legitimacy once and for all.

'If others are going to boycott the elections, it means we are condemning
ourselves to an indefinite period of international isolation,' said Majange
who meets regularly with political rivals, including those from the MDC,
when he is at home in Chivi South.

Joubert Mudzumwe, the MDC national executive member based in Masvingo, says
Zimbabwe would be a much better place if politicians could emulate the
example set by Majange in Chivi South.

'Although we do not have an official candidate in that constituency we have
several aspiring MPs. They are all very free to campaign in the
constituency. The only impediment we face sometimes is the police,' said
Mudzumwe, who has been banned from his rural home in Bikita by Zanu PF
militias.

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Zim Standard

Zanu PF's commitment to reform queried after arrests
By Foster Dongozi

THE Zanu PF government's commitment to regional democratic election
guidelines was brought into question last week following the arrest and
detention of MDC youth chairman, Nelson Chamisa and the National
Constitutional Assembly (NCA) chairman, Lovemore Madhuku.

The two were picked up and locked up by police in circumstances that critics
say amounted to harassment of people perceived to be opponents of President
Mugabe's regime.

Madhuku was asleep when police knocked at his door around 4:00 am.

They (police) went on to ransack the NCA offices, claiming they were looking
for subversive materials and later that week stormed the MDC provincial and
regional offices in Bulawayo, again, claiming they were looking for
subversive materials.

Chamisa was arrested on allegations of holding a public gathering without
police clearance.

MDC president, Morgan Tsvangirai, said the crackdown on the opposition and
the NCA was a clear indication that despite signing the SADC Protocol on
election guidelines, the Zanu PF regime did not subscribe to the principles
of democracy and free elections.

'Certainly, everybody can see the reluctance and lack of sincerity on the
part of Zanu PF to implement the SADC Protocol. The events of the last week
have revealed the true colours of the dictatorship and that alone should
send a clear signal to the international community,' he said.

The SADC Protocol among other things calls for equal opportunities for
political parties to access the state media, freedom of association,
political tolerance.

'Zanu PF is very reluctant to implement the guidelines because it would be
like signing their own death warrant. It is unfortunate that the police are
being used to raid our offices under the pretext of searching for so-called
subversive materials when, in fact, they would be getting information about
our strategies which they then forward to Zanu PF,' Tsvangirai said.

The SADC Protocol could only be genuinely implemented if the government
repealed the Public Order and Security Act, (POSA) and the Access to
Information and Protection of Privacy Act, (AIPPA), which curtail political
interaction and freedom of the press.

'The government was not worried about signing the protocol because it was
aware that it could use AIPPA and POSA to suppress the MDC. Basic freedoms
and democracy can only be attained when POSA and AIPPA are repealed,'
Tsvangirai said.

Brian Kagoro, the chairman of Crisis Coalition said the SADC Protocol is
made up of guidelines, which were not enforceable under law.

'Mugabe had no problems signing the protocol because it actually portrayed
him as a statesman eager to embrace electoral reform. But there is no court
in Southern Africa that you can go to and accuse the government of not
implementing the Protocol. As long as the guidelines are not part of our
domestic law and we have AIPPA and POSA which are enforceable, then the
protocol will remain irrelevant to Zimbabwe.'

Kagoro said the harassment of the opposition and civic organizations was
consistent with regimes that eliminate opponents and tell the outside world
that they had embraced reforms.

'The elimination of opposing views is manifesting itself in the form of
picking up civic society activists at odd hours and making all sorts of lewd
allegations against the opposition to disorientate them,' Kagoro said.
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Zim Standard

Comment

Time for Zanu PF to walk the talk

ZANU PF is only excited about the recommendation for a female vice president
from its Women's League because it knows this translates into thousands more
votes and many other people campaigning for it ahead of the March 2005
parliamentary elections.

That women and daughters of the soil fought gallantly and contributed to the
liberation of this country is not contestable. Evidence and recognition of
this abounds: Amai Sally Mugabe; Mama Johanna Mafuyana; and Julia Zvobgo,
who are buried at the national shrine and countless others, dead and living.

But Zanu PF has a history of begrudgingly accepting the contribution of
female members of the Zimbabwean society. For example, it is inconceivable
that Amai Sally Mugabe was the first female freedom fighter to have died and
be worthy of hero status.

The ruling party pretends it cares about women, yet its real interests are
in the extent to which it can exploit and manipulate women as voters and
foot soldiers in advancing its male agenda.

If it is accepted that women played a pivotal role in the struggle to
liberate this country, there is no basis for the issue of a female vice
president requiring deliberation just as the case of the late Eddison
Zvobgo's hero status did not require any deliberation. There is nothing to
deliberate on because their role in executing the struggle is self-evident.

Delegates to the Zanu PF Women's League Congress, which ended in Harare
recently, demanded more recognition apart from a female vice president,
they want greater representation in posts held in politics and the
government.

But raising the issue of a female vice president in some respects is a
tactical move because it throws into disarray the factions that have been
plotting and jockeying to position their favoured candidates for elevation
into the triumvirate that make up the presidency.

However, if there are questions about those surrounding the presidency,
support for a female vice president could be a watershed indicator of where
the preferred locus of support for the ruling party is shifting.

At their peak, the regimes of Kamuzu Banda, Kenneth Kaunda, Mobutu sese Seko
and Daniel arap Moi, among others, appeared to draw the bulk of their
support from women. Zimbabwe could be embarking on this route.

Anyone in Zanu PF contesting against a candidate proposed by the Women's
League of the ruling party runs the grave risk of being seen as opposing the
advancement of women – politics wise. That could be the kiss of death for
the political careers of many vice presidential hopefuls.

But women should not have to ask for the vice presidency if Zanu PF
subscribes to the doctrine of equal opportunities. Women constitute more
than 50 percent of the population of Zimbabwe. They are among the most
active of the membership of all parties.

In the majority of cases at rallies or at the airport to welcome visiting
dignitaries or when President Mugabe is returning from abroad, women are in
the majority of the welcoming parties even though we do not endorse or agree
with the way women are exploited in this manner.

Women also turn out in far greater numbers when it comes to voting.

There is also a trade-off the ruling party hopes to exploit to its advantage
by dangling the carrot of a female vice president. Zanu PF believes that
women will forget –albeit for a while – the hardships sired by its policies,
which have resulted in unemployment nearing the 80 percent mark and the
closure of businesses affecting nearly everyone.

In showing readiness to embrace, in principle, recommendations from its
Women's League, Zanu PF is merely demonstrating that it is preoccupied with
formulas that will bring more voters to the polling stations to cast their
ballots supporting it. Zanu PF and the government are more worried about the
benefits they expect to harvest.

Some background will help focus on this issue in its proper perspective.
Seven years ago, the Southern African Development Community (Sadc) adopted a
declaration establishing a target of 30 percent female representation in
parliament.

The current parliament elected in 2000 represents something of a setback
because the level of female representation is a paltry 10 percent, down from
14 percent during the last parliament.

If Zanu PF and the government recognised the contribution women made to the
struggle for independence and if they were committed to advancing women, the
numbers of women among government ministers, parliamentarians, provincial
governors, permanent secretaries, ambassadors, district administrators,
provincial administrators, rural district council chairpersons and even
party provincial chairpersons would be more than what they are now purely
on merit not just for the sake of uplfting them willy nilly.

In contrast, Mozambique and South Africa have done much more to promote
women. Mozambique has a female prime minister, while South Africa has seen a
female taking the reigns of power as acting president during periods when
both President Thabo Mbeki and his deputy, Jacob Zuma, have been out of the
country.

If Zanu PF and the government have the political will and commitment to
effect the main recommendation from the Zanu PF Women's League congress they
do not have to wait until after March 2005 because capable women are there
in both the ruling party and civil society as a whole.

It's time Zanu PF and the government started to walk the talk.
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Zim Standard

How Batman baffled Bobbies
overthetop By Brian Latham

SOMETIMES events beyond the troubled central African nation are so
stunningly idiotic, so staggeringly stupid, that they warrant closer
inspection. And so it was this week when a flamboyantly dressed man in a
Batman suit scaled the walls of Buckingham Palace, a not-so-modest home that
belongs to the head of State of a small, muddy Island in perpetual dispute
with the troubled central African country.

Batman's gripe, not uncommon in that part of the world, had something to do
with fathers' rights though that's hardly important.

More interesting than his campaign was the fact that this particular Batman
foiled the scores of soldiers, policemen, guards, spies and officials
allegedly guarding the head of state who, though she generally works from
home, was away at the time. (In common with certain other heads of state,
she spends a great deal of time visiting her various residences.)

Interviewed afterwards, London's police chief said that Batman would have
been shot had he been a terrorist. But of course! No self-respecting
terrorist would dress up in a superhero suit, still less fill his money belt
with whatever this particular Batman was carrying around his waist.

Still, the chaotic situation provided an object lesson for the crazy loon
Osama bin Laden, who now knows that if he wants to blow Britain's head of
State into next week, all he needs is a Superman suit and a couple of
kilograms of plastic explosive in his sandwich box.

If that display of ineptness from the forces of law and order wasn't enough,
just days later a small group of protestors, this time with a real
grievance, invaded parliament, foxing high tech security systems and armed
policemen. Despite avoiding X-ray cameras and body searches, the protestors
were eventually apprehended by a couple of tired looking gentlemen in
tailcoats.

It has come to something when a nation that lays Stake to a role in world
leadership, claims technological superiority and security consciousness has
forgotten how to lock the door.

Of course, such things wouldn't happen in the troubled central African
nation. Should anyone try and scale the walls of the most equal of all
comrade's residence, he'd end up so full of lead it would require a crane to
remove the body.

As for scenes of happy violence inside parliament, these are generally
confined to pleasing scuffles between the opposing Zany and More Drink
Coming parties.

Naturally there has been much ardent questioning and not a little soul
searching over the two invasions, but Over The Top is can reveal the real
reason behind them: breathtaking incompetence.

Of course, the only reason for mentioning all of this is that it's nice,
once in a while, to be reminded that staggering hopelessness and uselessness
exists in other parts of the world.

That it happened in a country that once held rather tenuous dominion in this
part of the world just makes it slightly more amusing.

It should also provide considerable relief to the Zany Party. Obsessed by a
paranoid frenzy over the possibility of being re-colonised by Britain, these
two small incidents should put their minds at rest. If Britain's
well-equipped security forces aren't able to stop a brightly clad man in a
humorous suit entering one of the most secure areas of their country, it
seems highly unlikely they're capable of organising anything even vaguely
threatening.

As for paler citizens of the troubled central African nation hoping to be
evacuated if turmoil and bloodshed ever take hold; well, it might be prudent
to look elsewhere for help.

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Zim Standard

Minings freeze after Mugabe statement
marketmovers with Rangarirai Mberi

MINING shares took a beating last week after remarks by President Robert
Mugabe that government would seize half of every private mining company
operating in Zimbabwe.

The mining index fell 6,55% or 11 872,55 points Wednesday, led south by
losses in gold producer Falgold, off $5 to $60, and nickel miner Bindura, a
massive $20 weaker at $730. The mining index has quietly chipped out
positive movement in recent weeks, but has always been overshadowed by the
main industrial average, which continued flat last week.

But Mugabe's statements immediately cast negative attention on the small
mining counter; investors selling what little holdings they have in mostly
illiquid minings.

'We are going to demand that government be given 50% shares in the mines,'
Mugabe told an audience of school kids at Moleli High School, in his home
province of Mashonaland West.

'We cannot recognise absolute ownership of our resources. That must be
corrected,' the President ranted.

Minings earlier this year suffered knocks after a leaked state document
suggested government would force mining companies to cede 49% of their
investments to black empowerment groups. Government will next month table a
Bill seeking to transform ownership patterns, but has denied that the leaked
document represents cast-in-stone policy.

'Investors are asking themselves whether this will be like the farms. You
have the President saying one thing this minute, and the next minute, it
becomes law,' an analyst Thursday. 'Is the government going to pay for the
stakes, or will they just demand the stakes?'

Bindura's losses were particularly intriguing, coming only days after news
that majority owners Mwana Africa had bought Freda Rebecca mine, the
remaining Zimbabwe interests of world number two gold producer AngloGold
Ashanti.

The US$2,25 million deal completed AngloGold Ashanti's total pullout from
Zimbabwe.

Elsewhere on the stock market, shares continued to drift rudderless for much
of the week. The market failed to find any real direction, counters making
small gains in one session and giving them away in the next.

Fresh inflation data earlier in the week showed an improved prices outlook,
but investors found little in the numbers to cheer them into any new buying.
Inflation slowed 49 basis points to 314% in the year to August, the CSO said
Tuesday.

The industrial index slumped 0,12% Tuesday and a further 1,14% midweek on
weakness in financials and heavy cap counters, and traders reported Thursday
that the market had once again opened to lethargic trade.

CFX sank to an all time low $15 Tuesday, but took back $10 Wednesday.
Investors remain uncertain about the long-term strategy of the bank, the
result of CFX's takeover of Century Holdings. CFX brought in a history of
corporate advisory, but this is unlikely to give too much value to the group
in the new post-consolidation period.

Sugar producer Hippo gained $5 to $225 Wednesday, even after the company
painted a bleak outlook in a trade update earlier in the day. Cane yield
would be 10% down this year, Hippo said, while its Mkwasine and Hippo
estates had been issued with fresh acquisition orders, despite court action
to have earlier orders withdrawn

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Zim Standard

Milk shortage hits homes
By Kumbirai Mafunda

THE countrywide shortage of raw milk is persisting unabated with most retail
outlets virtually running out of stocks during the past few weeks.

A survey by Standard Business revealed that most retail outlets are not
stocking the commodity at all. Dwindling supplies are blamed for the
shortages of fresh milk and that of sterilised and powdered milk.

The shortages have been caused by the disturbances on commercial farms
caused by the land grab, say analysts.

Milk production has declined 40% in the past five years since liberation war
heroes and ruling party loyalists expropriated land from white farmers
driving many experienced dairy farmers out of business.

Production dropped to 180 million litres in 2001 and 168 million litres in
2002 compared to 240 million litres produced prior to the disturbances on
the farms.

Prominent large scale dairy farmers who at one time numbered 375 and used to
produce 98% of the national milk have either moved into neighbouring
countries or quit because of a viability crisis crippling the industry.

Shortages of stockfeed have also resulted in the few small-scale dairy
farmers destocking or abandoning dairy farming altogether.

In the late 1990s small-scale milk producers numbered 750 and used to
produce around 2% of the country's total milk production.

Dairiboard Zimbabwe Limited (DZL), Zimbabwe's largest milk processor, admits
the lower levels of milk supply are causing havoc with its supplies.

'We are currently facing a nationwide shortage of milk powders and liquid
milk,' said Busi Chindove, DZL's spokesperson. 'It also refers to the
decline in the national dairy herd.'

The national dairy herd – once in the region of 100 000 head of cattle – has
gone down drastically. Apart from reduced milk supplies, DZL like other
manufacturing companies is facing constraints in sourcing hard currency from
the central bank. The company imports all its packaging materials for its
'chimombe' range of ultra high temperature processed milk, which has a long
shelf life.

Regionally DZL holds a significant stake in Dairiboard Malawi and its export
markets are Botswana, Zambia and Tanzania.

DZL's extensive range of dairy products includes beverages, ice creams,
cordials, condiments, sauces and spreads which are marketed locally and
abroad. During Wednesday's trade on the ZSE, DZL shares were quoted at $500.

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Winds of change are still blowing
Sundaytalk with Pius Wakatama

THE Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) has finally taken the right step by
refusing to take part in any future parliamentary or council elections until
the playing field is made level. This makes a lot of sense. Only a fool will
go into the boxing ring against an experienced and rough fighter with his
right hand tied behind his back.

Let the dogs, who are accusing the MDC of cowardice bark to their heart's
content. If Zanu PF goes ahead to rule by default, more power to them. The
day of reckoning will come one day. The Shona say: 'Chinobhururuka
chinomhara (What goes up will surely come down)'. The human quest for
liberty is indomitable. It will always overcome and triumph.

With conditions being what they are, participation by the MDC in the
elections would surely lead to widespread violence across the country. Zanu
PF leaders are already sending out thinly veiled messages to their
supporters to 'fight vigorously' to stop the MDC from winning.

On the other side MDC young bloods are vowing to retaliate if attacked by
whoever, including the dreaded Green Bombers. With knives thus drawn, so to
say, who knows what the outcome could be?

It could signal the beginning of civil war or even genocide. It was,
therefore, wise for the MDC leadership to suspend participation in elections
until the threat of violence, among other things, is removed from the
political arena.

As I started to enumerate the 'other things', which need to be removed from
our political playing field I thought of the words of Guy Clutton-Brock, the
Zimbabwe national hero. He was speaking at a teach-in on political trends in
the then Rhodesia at the then University College of Rhodesia in 1969. He
said: 'In our situation, the forces of law, the army and the police, were
appointed, sworn and paid to protect the weak against the irresponsible use
of power by the strong. They were faced with an agonising moral and legal
challenge – many of them are good men and true.

'They are ordinary people like ourselves, but they were led to shirk their
duty to arrest the major lawbreakers, who were often self-confessed. At the
behest of those, seemingly guilty of major crime, they continued to proceed
against the lesser criminals. And the major lawbreakers have not been
brought to book and have so far escaped justice.

'Now some judges have been led to acquiesce at the breaking of the law, at
aiding the revolution (UDI) by recognising it, and the courts have become
powerless against the illegal use of power by the executive. So the
machinery of law and justice is no longer able to fulfil its proper function
– to protect the weak against the man with the gun – and this is a gigantic
moral shock to our country and to our whole community. Civil servants also,
servants of the public, have been led to forgo the principles of political
impartiality.

'They have connived at crime and they have served those who have seized
power illegally rather than the public – which is us.

'… There's a new spiritual uprising just around the corner, I believe. And
the old barriers are breaking down and new thought is producing new people
classless, raceless, international beings and they're challenging the
conventions and the traditions of the old blocks put by the old gangs like
me in the way of progress.'

The speech by Guy Clutton-Brock was published in a booklet entitled, We
Protest! He was speaking about the situation prevailing in Ian Smith's
Rhodesia after the unilateral declaration of independence. Is it any
different from the situation prevailing in Robert Mugabe's Zimbabwe?
Certainly not! Clutton-Brock might as well have been speaking about present
day Zimbabwe. He must be turning in his hero's grave.

When the stinging African Commission on Human and People's Rights report,
which revealed the Zimbabwe government's attempt to limit civil liberties
through the enactment of colonial-style legislation and the subjugation of
civil society was tabled at the African Union summit in Addis Ababa, the
Zimbabwe government should have taken note. They should have immediately
started to 'chart a path that signalled a commitment to the rule of law'.
That is if they had the interests of Zimbabwe at heart.

Instead they slammed the report as 'a pack of mischievous lies' sponsored by
the British and Western powers.

After President Mugabe signed the SADC protocols on elections in Mauritius,
he should have upon coming home, set about putting the principles and
guidelines into effect. He didn't. Instead the government is making a lot of
noise about a few proposed cosmetic changes. There was definitely no real
commitment to levelling the political playing field.

When the MDC, which almost won the last elections announced that they were
going to suspend participation in all elections until the SADC principles
and guidelines were put in place, Zanu PF should have realised that they
were in a serious dilemma. If they had the real interests of the country at
heart they would have stopped in their tracks and invited the MDC for
serious dialogue to break the impasse. But, No! They added insult to injury
by drafting and presenting to parliament the nonsensical Non-Governmental
Organisations Bill, which seeks to curtail the activities of civic society
and churches.

The Zanu PF government is trying to do the impossible. It is trying to hunt
with the hounds and run with the hares at the same time. On one hand it
loudly claims that it is a modern day democracy and publicly signs documents
like the SADC election protocols. On the other hand it passes draconian laws
to stifle democratic activities of the people like old-fashioned
totalitarian dictatorship.

The hallmark of a democracy is the freedom of the people to organise
themselves as civic society and to form non-governmental organisations for
their own good. This is what is meant by 'government of the people, by the
people and for the people'. The government itself is a creation of the
people for their own good. They freely choose who should represent them in
this ruling organisation and for what period of time.

This is not what Zanu PF takes government to be. It is no exaggeration to
say that the Zanu PF government wants Zimbaweans to believe that governments
may legitimately give to people or take away from them virtually anything,
anytime, any place checked only by the licence conveyed by government
officials either elected or appointed by an all-powerful president.

Zanu PF wants us to believe that the powers of government are unlimited and
the natural rights of individuals as subordinate to whatever government, and
not the people, think is for the 'public good' no matter how far-fetched or
ridiculous. The 'public good' is, of course, determined by those exercising
the power to give or take. They have become superior beings by virtue of
their having 'fought the war against colonialism'.

In their arrogance, they and not the people brought freedom to Zimbabwe.
They have become gods in their own eyes.

The late former premier of Britain, Harold MacMillan spoke of the 'winds of
change blowing across Africa'. Diehards like Ian Smith failed to ride on
those winds and brought bloodshed upon an otherwise peace-loving people.
Those winds of change are still blowing and as Guy Clutton-Brock said,
'there is a new spiritual uprising just round the corner.' This spiritual
and moral uprising will bring real democracy to Africa and to Zimbabwe in
particular. Mark my words.

He who has ears to hear, let him hear.

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The Times

††††††††††† MI6 chief's nephew was partner of coup leader
††††††††††† Nicholas Rufford

††††††††††† A CLOSE relative of a former head of MI6 has emerged as having
business links with Simon Mann, the former SAS officer involved in the plot
to overthrow the head of an oil-rich African state.
††††††††††† Justin Longley, the nephew of Sir Richard Dearlove - chief of
MI6 at the time the coup attempt was staged last March - was a friend and
associate of Mann, the Eton-educated former soldier jailed for seven years
in Zimbabwe last Friday.

††††††††††† Longley was working closely with Mann on goldmining, forestry
and engineering ventures in Africa. He visited the continent as a
representative of Logo Logistics, the company through which Mann later
financed the attempt in March to overthrow Teodoro Obiang Nguema, president
of Equatorial Guinea.

††††††††††† One mining venture in Sudan also involved Sir Mark Thatcher, who
was arrested last month by South African police and accused of being among
the backers of the coup.

††††††††††† Dearlove is likely to be unhappy that controversy is dogging him
even into retirement. He told the Cambridge college of which he became
master last month that he was hoping for a "calmer existence" after several
fraught final months as head of MI6.

††††††††††† A picture - the first to be published - showing him dark-suited
and balding in a new edition of the Pembroke College Gazette suggests he
believed he had finally escaped public attention. As "C", Dearlove took
strenuous steps throughout his career to protect his identity and gave
evidence to the Hutton inquiry over a voice link.

††††††††††† Documents seen by The Sunday Times show Longley - the son of
Dearlove's sister - and Mann were corresponding on ventures in Sudan, the
Democratic Republic of Congo, Gabon and Angola. Longley accompanied Mann on
a trip to Sudan in December 2002 to inspect a mining and forestry area that
could have yielded millions of pounds worth of gold and teak.

††††††††††† A report of the visit identified Mann as "CEO of Logo while
Justin Longley is a senior project manager". At one point Mann wrote to
Longley about the fantastic potential wealth in an African gold deposit:
"The grade is awesome - ounces per ton."

††††††††††† Longley was connected with several business ventures that the
Foreign Office was aware of or intervened in.

††††††††††† He worked with Mann at DiamondWorks, an Angola-based diamond
mining enterprise, in the 1990s. The company had links through investors to
Sandline International, the private military company that supplied arms to
unseat a group of rebels who had seized power in Sierra Leone. The Foreign
Office knew in advance of the operation.

††††††††††† Longley also worked as a manager for Oryx Natural Resources, the
mining concern that had controversial links to Robert Mugabe, the president
of Zimbabwe.

††††††††††† Oryx's attempts to get a London stock exchange listing collapsed
when the Foreign Office criticised the company's plans for mining in the
Congo - a source of "blood diamonds". Oryx denied any wrongdoing.

††††††††††† Mann was jailed for attempting illegally to buy weapons for use
in the coup in Equatorial Guinea. The Zimbabwean authorities claimed he
confessed under interrogation that MI6 was behind his attempt to seize power
in Africa's third biggest oil producer. The Foreign Office denied it had
advance knowledge. There is no suggestion that Longley had any knowledge of
or involvement in the plot.

††††††††††† As well as Dearlove, Longley had uncles from both sides of his
family in MI6. His mother was headmistress of Roedean, the girls' public
school. He also had connections with other members of the coup conspiracy.
He was a close contact of Greg Wales, who allegedly helped plan the mission.

††††††††††† Longley is said to have regarded Wales as a "spook" and
described him to an acquaintance as a man with influential connections in
Washington who "worked for the CIA and the commercial wing of the Republican
party".

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The Telegraph

Impoverished British war veterans in Zimbabwe 'face death by malnutrition'
By David Harrison
(Filed: 19/09/2004)

More than 1,000 British-born servicemen and women who fought in the Second
World War will die because of malnutrition and lack of medicines in Zimbabwe
unless they are given urgent help, according to the Royal Commonwealth
Ex-Services League.

Col Brian Nicholson, the league's secretary-general, who has just returned
from the former British colony, called on the Government last night to
launch an emergency plan to evacuate the destitute elderly servicemen and
war widows to Britain.

In a report on a secret visit he made to the southern African state last
week, Col Nicholson says that the veterans, impoverished by rampant
inflation, also face intimidation by "thugs" from President Robert Mugabe's
Zanu-PF party.

Col Nicholson, a former defence attache at the British embassy in Jakarta,
Indonesia, told The Telegraph last night: "This is a tragic situation. These
brave people who risked their lives for Britain are now desperate, alone,
impoverished and terrified."

The Duke of Edinburgh, the league's Grand President for 30 years, had seen
the report and had asked to be kept informed of developments, Col Nicholson
said.

The crisis involves more than 1,000 British-born servicemen and women who
emigrated to Rhodesia, as Zimbabwe was known until independence in 1980,
after 1945. Up to 5,000 former Rhodesian servicemen, who as Commonwealth
subjects served the Crown, are also affected.

The British-born veterans range from Army privates to brigadiers, Royal Navy
seamen to commanders, and Royal Air Force aircraftmen to group captains.
They served in regiments including the SAS, the Royal Artillery, the Royal
Tank Regiment, the Lancashire Royal Fusiliers, the Staffords, the Black
Watch and the Highland Fusiliers.

Most now live in privately owned nursing homes or sheltered housing. Col
Nicholson visited three homes in Harare, the capital, and another four in
Bulawayo, the second city, and was "shocked and appalled" by what he found.

His report gives examples of the veterans' financial and physical suffering.

One 85-year-old former captain in the SAS, awarded a Distinguished Service
Order for outstanding bravery at the age of 19 in north Africa, set up a
pension to provide him with an income of Z$4,000 a month. Because of
inflation, that is now worth the equivalent of just 40p a month.

Inflation of more than 600 per cent has sent the cost of food and drugs
soaring. A former major recovering from a cancer operation cannot afford the
drugs he needs to fight the disease, the report says. A monthly pension
barely covers the price of a loaf of bread.

The report accuses Mr Mugabe of deliberately "allowing rampant inflation to
deprive anyone of pensionable age with a liveable income" and accuses the
British Government and the United Nations of ignoring the veterans' plight.

Back at his desk in London last week, Col Nicholson, who spent 33 years in
the Army, sifted through the latest applications for financial help from the
veterans.

The cases include a former soldier whose investments of Z$800,000 and
savings of Z$1,000 are now worth £80; a 78-year-old ex-lieutenant in the
Royal Fusiliers whose Z$200,000 of investments are now worth less than £20;
and an ex-trooper in the Royal Tank Regiment whose pension of Z$22,000 a
month now gives him just £2.30 a month.

Col Nicholson said: "The world hardly knows about these veterans because for
years they lived a good life and didn't need help from a services charity."

Their living standards started to deteriorate dramatically when President
Mugabe began seizing white-owned farms and inflation soared. "The veterans
dug into their savings to survive but in the past few months those savings
have started to run out and people are getting desperate," Col Nicholson
said.

The veterans are proud and talk reluctantly about their plight. Ken Gee, 76,
who joined the RAF in 1944 aged 16 and worked as a flight mechanic before
emigrating to Zimbabwe in 1948, has £120 of his life savings left.

"When that's gone I will have absolutely nothing," he said. "I'm just
praying for a quick death."

Colin Radcliffe, 83, served in the RAF's Hurricane and Bomber squadrons. "We
are in a terrible situation," he said. "A lot of people sold their houses to
pay for the care homes, but inflation has wiped all that money out."

Charmaine Roberts, 80, ran away to join the WAAF in 1940 when she was 16.
She served in Belgium, intercepting morse messages, and later married a
major from the Eighth Army and moved to Zimbabwe in 1947.

"Most veterans are on their own," she said. "The lucky few can get help from
their families but so many of our sons and daughters have been forced to
leave Zimbabwe and are struggling to start new lives in other countries."

Col Nicholson's report accuses Mr Mugabe of aiming to "eliminate" the middle
class by impoverishment and intimidation, leaving the country ruled by an
elite of Zanu-PF politicians and businessmen, unchallenged by a peasant
class concerned only with survival.

Mr Mugabe has already closed many of the best schools and forced most of the
white farmers out of the country. Now Col Nicholson fears Zanu-PF supporters
will turn on the British war veterans, ransacking their homes, intimidating
and possibly killing them.

The league raises £300,000 a year in donations to help 30,000 veterans in
Commonwealth countries. In the past month it has given up to £500 each to
360 Zimbabwe veterans and widows but says it cannot sustain that beyond
December.

Col Nicholson is circulating his report to senior military figures and other
"influential people" and wants them to press the Government to offer
immediate financial help and to implement an evacuation plan.

He said: "We are doing our best but we can't do it alone. If nothing is done
these brave, elderly people who fought for the Crown in the Second World
War, defending the freedoms we enjoy today, will die an ignominious death."

A Foreign Office spokesman said there were "no plans" to evacuate British
war veterans in Zimbabwe. He added: "If people are impoverished we would
offer the appropriate consular assistance on an individual basis."

Donations can be made to the RCEL, 48 Pall Mall, London SW1Y 5JG.
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Sporting life

HARMISON TO BOYCOTT ZIMBABWE TRIP
Steve Harmison has ruled himself out of England's controversial tour of
Zimbabwe.

Michael Vaughan's side will play five one-day internationals against the
troubled African nation in November.

However, Durham pace bowler Harmison has decided to boycott the trip for
political and sporting reasons.

"In all honesty, my decision was made in Cape Town over 18 months ago when
England's World Cup squad spent an horrendous four days before finally
deciding not to go to Harare," Harmison told the News of the World.

"Nothing has changed for me. The situation there is worse now - that's what
the official reports say - and Zimbabwe's top players have been sacked."
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