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VOA

Zimbabwe Tells Donors It Needs No Cash for Food Imports
Peta Thornycroft
Harare
22 Sep 2004, 14:46 UTC

The Zimbabwe Government has now officially informed Western donors that it
has had a bumper harvest and will need no food aid for the foreseeable
future. A letter from the welfare ministry has been delivered to donor
agencies telling them that Zimbabwe grew 2.4 million tons of maize last
summer.
A letter addressed to donor organizations, dated August 26 and signed by
welfare minister Paul Mangwana, has now sealed the doors to any intervention
by non-governmental organizations in addressing the shortage of food in many
parts of Zimbabwe.

In its latest monthly report, The Famine Early Warning Systems Network, a
long-trusted food security monitoring group across the region, said scarcity
of food is emerging in a growing number of rural areas in Zimbabwe and more
and more urban people can not afford to buy food from the shops. It says it
is not sure how much grain is in storage at the Grain Marketing Board
because those statistics are no longer freely available.

The figure of 2.4 million tons of maize for last summer's harvest can not be
accurate, according to crop analysts referring to data collected over the
last 30 years, as well as estimates of the harvest by the United Nations and
other groups.

The government's figure indicates a larger harvest than in any previous
season, even when the agricultural sector was in its best shape. Now about
80 percent of Zimbabwe's best land is unused, following the resettlement of
new farmers onto former commercial farms over the past four years. Most of
them have neither the financing nor the farming skills to grow more than a
few bags of maize.

Information minister Jonathan Moyo is reported in the Wednesday edition of
the government-controlled Herald newspaper, as saying that no food imports
are necessary, or planned, because Zimbabwe has produced 2.4 million tons.

But according to information released to the state media recently, the
government's Grain Marketing Board, the only legal grain trader in Zimbabwe,
has less than 300,000 tons in stock. Mr. Moyo says farmers are keeping grain
at home this year. Statistics from previous years indicate grain farmers
have traditionally held on to some stocks for home consumption, but sold the
rest to generate cash for items like school fees and essential items.

The United Nations World Food Program announced recently it had reduced its
staff in Zimbabwe by nearly half. Its operations were geared to feed more
than five million people, or nearly half the population, at the peak of food
shortages during the last three years.

The government says if people do need food aid, it will do the job itself,
from its own homegrown stocks. But well-placed sources close to food
distribution agencies say the government does not have the resources or
infrastructure to deliver food if another food crisis happens, which they
say could be in December. Additionally, non-governmental organizations say
it will take several months for the World Food Program to raise donor funds
and become fully operational again, if the food runs out.

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IOL

'There is no food crisis in Zimbabwe'

          September 22 2004 at 03:06PM

      Harare - Zimbabwe's information minister has accused the mayor of
Bulawayo of lying about food shortages in the second-largest city, where
scores of people have reportedly died of hunger.

      Jonathan Moyo was quoted as saying in the state daily The Chronicle on
Wednesday that there may have been cases of malnutrition in Bulawayo but no
food shortages.

      Citing data from the city's municipality, independent media have
recently reported that scores of people have been dying of hunger in
Bulawayo.

      "There is no food crisis in Zimbabwe. There is no food crisis in
Bulawayo," Moyo was quoted as saying.

      He said the city had stocks of 40 tons of the staple maize, enough to
last it till next harvest in April.

      "The lies are designed not to harm (ruling) Zanu-PF, not to harm the
president but Zimbabwe," said Moyo, promising to deal with journalists who
have been writing stories on the hunger deaths in Bulawayo.

      He also urged the relevant government ministries to take action
against Mayor Japhet Ntabeni-Ncube and the city's health director Zanele
Hwalima over the reports.

      "What we are seeing here is the use of weapons of mass deception
through the press," said Moyo of the opposition-led city council.

      "They are using deception to justify the introduction of NGO's
(non-governmental organisations) ahead of next year's elections," he said.

      Zimbabwe, which holds legislative elections in March has ruled out
inviting election observers from Western countries.

      Regional and international aid agencies and groups that monitor food
security have warned that despite government's claims of Zimbabwe producing
food in excess of its requirements this year, supplies would be insufficient
for some.

      President Robert Mugabe has shut out food aid saying it should be
given to more deserving countries.

      More than two million people in rural Zimbabwe will suffer from food
shortages this year, according to a report by a committee of United Nations
agencies and non-governmental organisations.

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Conservatives.com

            Banned Zimbabwean Minister in Brussels

            A banned Zimbabwean Minister, Kumbirai Kangai, has been allowed
into Belgium to attend a meeting of the EU-ACP Political Committee. Members
of the European Parliament are protesting at this deliberate act of contempt
by the Mugabe regime, which makes a nonsense of the EU's 'targeted
sanctions'.

            At this meeting British Conservative MEP Martin Callanan will be
elected Chairman of the EU-ACP Political Committee. If Mr Kangai is present,
Mr Callanan will make his opening remarks as the newly elected Chairman, but
will then walk out in protest in light of this flouting of the ban.

            Geoffrey Van Orden MEP, Conservative Spokesman on Defence and
Co-spokesman on Foreign Affairs and Human Rights in the European Parliament,
who has played a leading role in opposing the Mugabe regime said:

            "Yet again Mugabe gives two fingers to the EU when he
deliberately selects a banned politician to come to Brussels. Mugabe's
oppression of the Zimbabwean people has intensified and the international
community does nothing.

            I have demanded that the Secretary-General of the ACP block
Kangai's admission to meetings."

            Martin Callanan MEP, Chairman-designate of the EU-ACP Political
Committee said:

            "It would be an act of the utmost hypocrisy for politicians
concerned about the political and human rights situation in Zimbabwe to have
any dealings with Mugabe henchmen that have been specifically banned from
travel to the EU by the EU.

            We should be asking serious questions of the Belgian Government
as to why he has been granted a visa to enter the country."

            Mr Kumbirai Kanagai is Number 22 on a list of 95 Mugabe
associates banned by the EU from travel to the EU in its Common Position of
19 February 2004. The Belgian Government consistently seeks to waive this
ban on the grounds that the ACP is subject to multilateral agreements
conferring privileges and immunities.

            22/09/2004

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From The Mercury (SA), 22 September

Africa 'worse off than in colonial times'

Sipho Khumalo

Africa is worse off now than it was during the era of colonialism because
its political elite are plundering its resources and stashing money in Swiss
banks instead of investing it in their own countries. These comments were
made on Tuesday by Moeletsi Mbeki, Chairperson of the South African
Institute of International Affairs, and brother of the president. In his
address to the Durban branch of SAIIA, on the theme Africa: Quo Vadis?,
Mbeki said Africa was experiencing a downward spiral, with its people worse
off than they had been during the time of colonialism. Whereas colonialists
had developed the continent, planted crops, built roads and cities, the era
of uhuru had been characterised by capital flight as the elite pocketed
money and took it outside their countries. Among them were the late Nigerian
dictator Sani Abacha. The money Abacha had plundered had been discovered in
Switzerland. Mbeki said the continent was also facing the problem of being
unable to generate savings, with sub-Saharan Africa getting poorer and
poorer every year. "This is one of the depressing features of Africa," he
said.

Mbeki said that while China had lifted more than 400 000 people above the
poverty line in the past 20 years, Nigeria had pushed more than 90 million
people below the poverty line. "The average African is poorer (now) than
during the age of colonialism. In the 1960s African elites/rulers, instead
of focusing on development, took surplus for their own enormous entourages
of civil servants without ploughing anything back into the country," he
said. He said the continent's cash crops, like cocoa and tobacco, were
heavily exploited by the state-run marketing boards with farmers getting
little in return. What should South Africa do about this? "It should revisit
issues and stop putting out fires in Darfur until we address this
fundamental problem of power relations between producers and controllers of
political power," Mbeki said. On Zimbabwe, he said South Africa should
intervene on the side of democracy and not back Zanu PF. "Our intervention
should be to support democracy and not tolerate use of violence, torture and
rigging of elections and, if necessary, we should support the opposition,"
he said.
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Reuters

Mugabe Says Bush and Blair Think They're God
Wed Sep 22, 2004 03:36 PM ET

UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) - Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe accused
President Bush and British Prime Minister Tony Blair on Wednesday of acting
like God in riding roughshod over international law in Iraq and elsewhere.
"We are now being coerced to accept and believe that a new
political-cum-religious doctrine has arisen, namely that 'There is but one
political god, George W. Bush, and Tony Blair is his prophet'," the veteran
African leader told the U.N. General Assembly.

"Iraq today has become a vast inferno created by blatant and completely
illegal and defiant acts of aggression by the United States, Britain and
their allies," he said.

In a defiant speech, Mugabe, who is subject to sanctions by the European
Union and the United States for his human rights record, accused the West of
manipulating international aid to punish governments such as his.

"Regrettably, we continue to see the unfortunate and futile tendency to use
assistance in this area as reward for political compliance and malleability,
making it unavailable to countries whose governments are deemed
'inconvenient'," he said.

Mugabe said Blair had "arrogantly and unashamedly" told the British
parliament that his government was working with Zimbabwe's opposition to
bring about regime change.

"Once again, the lawless nature of this man who along (with) his Washington
master believes he is God-ordained to rule our world, has shown itself," he
said.

Former colonial masters were in no position to teach lessons in democracy,
he declared.

"Here in the United States, we remain aware of the plight of the black
American of both yesterday and today, and of the semi-slave and half-citizen
status that has been his burden," Mugabe added.

He asserted that Zimbabwe's economy was recovering despite international
sanctions and urged the International Monetary Fund "to stop its strange
mouthings, lies and fabrications about our situation."

IMF sources said on Tuesday the Fund was closing its office in Harare due to
the lack of a country assistance program since 1999. The IMF began
procedures last December to expel Zimbabwe.

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New Zimbabwe

2 killed, hundreds injured in Zimbabwe political violence

By Staff Reporter
Last updated: 09/23/2004 04:56:20
THREE people have been murdered and more than 200 assaulted in
politically-motivated attacks in Zimbabwe so far this year, a human rights
group said in a report released on Wednesday.

The Zimbabwe Human Rights Forum, a grouping of non-governmental rights
groups, said in its monthly report for July that members of the opposition
Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) were being victimised.

"Throughout July victimisation of leaders and members of the opposition
party persisted with politically-motivated human rights violations during
the month mainly related to campaigns being undertaken in preparation for
the 2005 general election," the report said.

It alleged that 244 people had been assaulted this year. Twelve were
assaulted in the month of July alone, it said.

The report detailed the alleged assault of a teacher in Seke, outside
Harare, who was beaten and accused of supporting the opposition.

In another recorded case an opposition supporter in Harare was assaulted and
had her arm dislocated by suspected ruling Zimbabwe African National Union -
Patriotic Front (Zanu-PF) supporters for wearing an MDC T-shirt.

The rights grouping says the three deaths this year occurred in January,
February and March. Two of the dead were known to be opposition supporters,
it said.

There are fears of a surge in violence ahead of general elections due next
March. Police have promised to clamp down on politically motivated violence
regardless of the perpetrators.

The government says it distrusts reports made by some human rights groups,
accusing them of being agents of western imperialism bent on discrediting
it.

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Zim online

ZIMBABWE IMPORTS 100 000 TONNES OF MAIZE
Wed 22 September 2004

      HARARE - Zimbabwe has in the last month imported about 100 000 tonnes
of maize through Zambia, ZimOnline has established.

      Well placed sources at the government's Grain Marketing Board said the
State-run parastatal had in the last two months successfully negotiated with
grain authorities in Zambia and Malawi to supply it with maize.

      "Money was made available to the board by government for these imports
and about 100 000 tonnes have already come. More supplies will be coming in
the following weeks," said an official of the board who did not want to be
named.

      The chief executive officer of the government's grain utility, Samuel
Muvuti confirmed this development. But he insisted the maize coming in now
was part of orders placed with foreign suppliers last year and that the
board had not made any fresh orders for maize.

      Muvuti said: "We have said it over and over again that we are not
importing any maize. Any maize coming through or which is still to be
delivered because we are yet to pay for it was ordered last year. I can't
give the quantity that is either coming in or yet to be delivered."

      Zambia and Malawi from where the maize is coming from were not
exporting maize last year because they had not produced enough for
themselves.

      Sources said the decision to import maize was taken because of growing
fears within the government that maize production from last season was going
to fall far short of the 1.8 million tonnes Zimbabwe requires for
consumption and for strategic reserves up to the next harvest in March.

      President Robert Mugabe in August told international food agencies to
take their help elsewhere because Zimbabwe had produced enough to feed
itself. The government claims farmers will deliver 2.4 million tonnes of
maize to its grain board.

      A survey by the government and the World Food Programme earlier this
year to establish the number of people needing food aid was called off as it
was felt no longer necessary in light of an expected bumper harvest.

      But Muvuti last week told Parliament's Portfolio Committee on Lands
and Agriculture that his board had only collected 298 000 tonnes of maize or
just about two months' supply since deliveries began around April this year.

      The board, which buys the bulk of maize from farmers between April and
October, should by this time have taken in more than double the quantity of
maize it says it is holding.

      Parliament ordered a probe into the country's food situation following
conflicting reports with the government saying there was enough maize to
feed the country while the United Nations and other international food aid
groups said about 2.5 million Zimbabweans would still require assistance
despite better harvests than the previous season.

      The parliamentary committee is going to table its findings on
Zimbabwe's food situation in the House when it resumes next month.

      Zimbabwe, which was once a net food exporter, has grappled with severe
food shortages for the last three years mainly because of the chaotic
government land reforms that destabilised the key agriculture sector. -
ZimOnline
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Zim online

MDC accuses secret service of hatching plan to tilt scales in ZANU PF's
favour
Wed 22 September 2004

      HARARE - Zimbabwe's main Movement for Democratic Change (MDC)
opposition party says it has evidence that the state's secret service, the
Central Intelligence Organisation, had already predetermined constituency
boundaries for next year's general election.

      MDC secretary general Welshman Ncube yesterday said a Delimitation
Commission appointed by President Robert Mugabe last week to carve up the
country into 120 constituencies would merely rubber-stamp a plan already
drawn by the pro-government secret service.

      Ncube said: "The MDC has documentary evidence that the process of
re-drawing constituency boundaries, ahead of the March 2005 parliamentary
elections, has already been carried out, under the instructions and guidance
of officers from the notorious Central Intelligence Organisation."

      He did not present for publication the evidence that he said his party
had.

      Ncube accused the commission that is headed by a High Court judge of
being pro-ruling ZANU PF party and said it would "rubber stamp the unlawful
delimitation" already done by the secret service. The commission also
includes a former permanent secretary in the Ministry of Defence.

      Head of the commission Justice George Chiweshe could not be reached
for comment while the secret service, which normally does not comment on
Press reports, refused to discuss the matter.

      With political support in the country almost clearly defined, with
most urban areas solidly behind the MDC while rural areas mostly support
ZANU PF, the way the country is divided up into constituencies could
determine the outcome of elections.

      More constituencies in cities and towns than in rural areas would most
likely tilt the scales in favour of the opposition while the reverse would
favour the ruling party. - ZimOnline

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Zim online

Exam council fails to pay markers
Wed 22 September 2004
      HARARE - The cash-strapped Zimbabwe School Examinations Council has
still not paid civil servants who marked public examinations written three
months ago, ZimOnline has learnt.

      Some of the public servants, most of whom are employed as teachers by
the government, said the State-run council had continuously shifted terms
and dates of payment since the examinations were written in June.

      Council information and publications manager Faith Chasokela confirmed
the delay in paying the markers but said the matter was being resolved. She
said council expected to pay everybody by the end of the week. Chasokela
said: "We have now instructed our bankers to effect the payments into their
bank accounts."

      The under-funded council, which in the past has also been accused of
gross mismanagement and corruption, promised to pay the civil servants their
allowances within three days after they started marking candidates' papers.

      The examinations body had promised to pay each individual an allowance
of Z$2 400 per every answer sheet marked, Z$50 000 for lunch and Z$4 000 for
transport every day.

      It later scrapped the transport and lunch allowances and said it was
now going to pay the markers only 25 percent of the total allowances they
should have pocketed for the two-week period they were to spend marking. The
council still failed to pay the reduced allowances.

      The council will still require the same civil servants to mark the
even bigger public school examinations scheduled to begin at the end of this
month.

      Poor remuneration has seen corruption thriving at the council with
markers accused of awarding undeserved pass marks to friends, relatives and
whoever is able to pay the right amount of bribe.

      Police last month opened investigations on at least 44 high school
students who allegedly bribed corrupt officials at the examinations' council
to obtain certificates for courses they either failed or had never sat
for. - ZimOnline
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Zim online

Human rights activists to face trial next month
Wed 22 September 2004

      HARARE - Amnesty International official, Obert Chinhamo, and another
local human rights activist arrested earlier this month for allegedly
breaching Zimbabwe's Miscellaneous Offences Act will face trial next month
after state prosecutors late on Monday requested more time to prepare their
case.

      Chinhamo and Masanko Maruwacha of the Non Violent Action for Social
Change group were last month arrested at Porta Farm squatter camp about 20
kilometers west of Harare.

      They were at the camp to check reports that armed police had raided
the camp and set several houses on fire in a bid to force the squatters to
obey government orders to leave the camp.

      Lawyer Aleck Muchadehama, who is representing the two activists,
yesterday told ZimOnline: "The trial was again postponed (from Monday) to
October 20, as the state indicated that they were not ready for trial."

      Meanwhile, Harare Town clerk Nomutsa Chideya on Monday night issued
notices of eviction to the 8 000 residents of Porta Farm.

      Muchadehama, also representing the squatters, said they would
challenge the eviction notices in court.

      High Court Judge Susan Mavangira two weeks ago issued a provisional
order barring the authorities from evicting the squatters.

      Porta Farm was set up by the government in 1991 when it rounded up
street people in Harare and squatters at Churu farm adjacent to the capital
and put them at Porta saying it would find a better place to permanently
resettle them. - ZimOnline

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The Cape Times

      20 000 settlers driven off farms

      Riot police burn down huts
      September 22, 2004

      By Peta Thornycroft

      Trelawney, Zimbabwe: Thousands of President Robert Mugabe's supporters
who answered his call to evict whites from their farms four years ago have
themselves become victims as riot police burn down their houses and chase
them off "their" land.

      These peasants were to have been the beneficiaries when Mugabe ordered
his supporters in February 2000 to kick out about 4 000 white commercial
farmers.

      Now they say they are being kicked off to make way for his friends and
relatives.

      "We were told this would be our land for ever," said Reuben Mashanda,
71.
      "We came here four years ago. We helped chase whites from this farm,
Little England.

      "Please, get in touch with the president for us and talk to him
through the phone, tell him people in Little England farm have been told to
evacuate, their homes were burned and they are now dumped along the road for
two days, with no money for transport, no food, and no water."

      Hundreds of huts built after Mugabe ordered his supporters to kick out
white commercial farmers are now blackened shells. The first of the
burned-out huts is about 30km north of Harare and the ruins continue for
more than 20km on either side of the wide tar road.

      Every few kilometres groups of thin people were huddled over their
pots and pans tied up in blankets, live chickens were trussed into plastic
bags, and thirsty children were crying in the sun.

      The fires set by the riot police were crackling in the bush when we
got there.

      A father of two, who had left one of Harare's ghettos to become a "new
farmer" in September 2000, was sitting on a double bed in the bush with his
two children.

      "Sabina Mugabe (the president's sister) wants this land," said Gilbert
Mushowe, 44.

      "We were told to come here. We did. We built houses, we tried to farm.
The police burned everything, they trampled our vegetable garden. I am very,
very cross. I have been a long-time supporter of Zanu-PF, but that makes no
difference."

      Sabina Mugabe, a ruling Zanu-PF MP who with family members has taken
over several white-owned farms, denied she was behind the evictions.

      "Those people are just using my name. They are illegal. That is cattle
land, not for crops. You white people are paying them money to talk. If I
hear of a white person there again, I will order the police to arrest you."

      Ms Mugabe said the "illegal settlers" were in her constituency, but
she did not know about transport for them, nor where they would be
"resettled".

      Assistant commission Wayne Bvudzijena confirmed the evictions.

      "They did not have permission to be there. We followed orders from the
lands ministry."

      Minister of Lands John Nkomo said: "Don't talk to me, talk to the
governor of the province."

      Nelson Samkange, governor of Mashonaland West province, who two weeks
ago sent militiamen to drive one of the last two white commercial farmers in
the district off his wheat and flower farm, would not take a call from the
press.

      People on the side of the road said Little England was one of about 10
formerly white-owned farms covering about 16 000ha where riot police were
burning houses. They said between 300 and 600 families had settled on each
of the farms and calculated that about 20 000 people might have been left
homeless this week. They said they came from all corners of Zimbabwe and did
not want to go back to their home areas.

      They admitted it had been a hard slog trying to grow food on that
stretch of land, which commercial farmers said this week was suitable for
ranching, but too sandy for crops.

      The legal owner of Little England, now living in Harare and who spoke
on condition he was not identified, said: "I saw what was happening. It
looks like Vietnam out there with those fires. I don't know what is legal or
illegal any more. I had a rough time and I am just trying to survive in
town."

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The Herald

Live cartridge found at mock battle site

Crime Reporter
A live cartridge has been found at the place where soldiers were conducting
a mock battle drill at the Marondera Agricultural Show, which turned nasty
resulting in the injury of 14 people.

Members of the Zimbabwe National Army investigating the incident said
preliminary investigations had led to the recovery of the live cartridge
where the soldiers were conducting their displays.

Further investigations are expected to establish how the ammunition was
issued and whether mistakes were made at the armoury.

They will also establish whether the officer or officers who handled the
live ammunition negligently loaded it or whether it is possible for a
trained officer not to detect the difference between live and blank bullets.

Those found at fault are expected to go through a disciplinary hearing which
will determine the level of the disciplinary action, sources close to the
investigations said.

Fourteen people were shot near the CSC stand at the show during the mishap.

Most were admitted at Marondera Provincial Hospital and they sustained leg
injuries.

Two have since been discharged from Marondera Hospital after their condition
was said to be satisfactory.

Five were taken to Parirenyatwa and Borrowdale Hospitals where their
conditions are said to be stable.

Zimbabwe National Army commander Major General Philip Sibanda and his wife,
Mrs Mercy Sibanda and other army senior officers, visited the injured at
Marondera Hospital yesterday afternoon.

Maj Gen Sibanda wished the injured a quick recovery and said the army would
pay for the hospital bills and crutches for the injured.

"What happened was an accident, which has never happened before since
independence. We have come here because we are human and feel for the people
who were injured in this accident," he said.

Maj Gen Sibanda also gave the patients Bibles, fruits, get-well-soon cards
and flowers.

Two Form Two students who are friends were both shot in the legs while they
were standing outside the army stand.

One of the girls will need crutches to enable her to walk again. Her mother
was close to tears and wanted to know whether the army would also provide
transport when the girl visits the hospital to have her wounds dressed.

"Arrangements will be made for transport for those that will need any kind
of help," Maj Gen Sibanda said.

The hospital's medical superintendent, Dr Jevas Majok Jevas said the
incident had disturbed people of the town who had not understood what had
happened.

"But we are happy that you are here and have demonstrated that what happened
was not intentional," Dr Majok said.
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The Herald

Local firms start using Beira pipeline

Zimbabwe's oil companies have started using the cheaper Beira pipeline to
transport fuel sourced from different parts of the world into the country,
the Petroleum Marketers Association of Zimbabwe said this week.

PMAZ chairman Masimba Kambarami told reporters that use of the pipeline
started a week ago after oil companies pooled resources under the new
Special Purpose Vehicle, which is charged with collective importation of
fuel.

"The Beira pipeline is now in full use and fuel supply, particularly in
Harare, has greatly improved," said Kambarami.

He said fuel supply had stabilised in most parts of the country except in
the south where shortages were still being experienced.

Areas such as Bulawayo and Masvingo, he said, were experiencing fuel
shortages and oil companies were trying to speed up deliveries to these
areas.

Mr Kambarami said recent fuel shortages were caused by the fact that the
country's major supplier, Sasol of South Africa, had stopped oil exports.

He said companies affected had since moved to other suppliers and the
situation was getting back to normal.

Fuel queues resurfaced in Harare and other parts of the country more than a
week ago after reports that the country had run out fuel.

The fuel industry initially blamed the shortages on foreign currency
constraints but the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe publicly denied the reason,
saying the country had enough funds to import the commodity.

Central Bank Governor Gideon Gono indicated that the RBZ had for the past
eight months allocated enough funds to more than 70 oil companies to import
fuel.

He disclosed that some oil companies were abusing and using for speculative
purposes, foreign currency that was meant for fuel imports.

Fuel supply in the country has greatly improved since the beginning of this
year owing to the increased availability of foreign currency through the
forex auction system.

The new system was introduced in January this year and has seen a
significant improvement in foreign currency inflows into the country - New
Ziana.
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The Herald

Technical glitches hamper Beitbridge EPZA project

Business Reporters
THE development of the Beitbridge Export Processing Zone (EPZA) Industrial
Park is running behind schedule, and this could stand in Zimbabwe's way on
its export drive.

EPZA inside sources told the Herald Business this week that the project has
been hampered by several technical glitches.

At present, only four factory shells, are fully operational at the park, but
the completion of the second factory (second phase) has been delayed due to
"unforeseen delays."

The development flies in the face of Industry and International Trade
Minister, Dr Samuel Mumbengegwi who had in May intimated that the
construction of the second block of factories would be complete by this
September.

But according to the sources, no meaningful progress has been made towards
the development of this factory to date, leaving the export processing
authority with no clue as to when it would be functional.

This also throws into near disarray the country's efforts of increasing its
exports to earn the much needed foreign currency as well attracting foreign
investments.

"The second factory is presently at roof level," said a source. "They were
indications that the factory must have been complete by September of this
year but it has suffered delays due to unreliable supplies of building
materials.

"The EPZA has been experiencing problems in importing some of the materials
from South Africa, but there are various other difficulties which have led
to these delays, including insufficient funding from Government."

EZPA chief executive Mr Walter Chidhakwa confirmed the construction of the
second block was running three weeks behind schedule.

"We are trying to speed up the process to enable us to meet our next
February deadline for the official opening," Mr Chidhakwa said adding that
delays in receiving steel consignments from South Africa had temporarily
stalled progress.

A massive industrial park is being developed in Beitbridge with the
incomplete factory among the biggest. The construction of the park commenced
in 1999.

The development of the park's first phase has been completed and a South
African sugar syrup producer is already operating, principally, for the
export market. This project represents the single largest investment to take
place in Beitbridge.

Another locally registered company involved in ostrich meat has expressed
serious interest in setting up operations at the second factory and is now
waiting to sign lease agreements with the EPZA, the sources said.

But, it's not certain if the prospective company would realise it's export
dreams any time soon, especially with no clear cut time frame under which
construction of the factory would be complete.

There is a lot of scope for fruit processing ventures in the Beitbridge area
where there is abundance of fruits especially oranges as farmers in the area
are believed to be exporting 15 000 to 20 000 tonnes of unprocessed oranges
into South Africa every month.

Expectations are that the project is likely to enhance more opportunities
for Zimbabwean exporters who will have easy access to South Africa, the
country's largest trading partner.
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On August 17 2004, SADC leaders, meeting in Mauritius, adopted a protocol on guidelines and principles governing democratic elections.
 
On 25 August the MDC National Executive unanimously agreed to suspend the party’s participation in all elections pending the government’s full compliance with the new SADC protocol. 
 
On the seventeenth day of each month, the MDC will publish a report, assessing the extent to which the Zimbabwe Government is failing to comply with the SADC Protocol. 
 
The first monthly report is available here .
 
MDC INFORMATION DEPARTMENT
 
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Daily News online edition

      Mugabe summons Chihuri

      Date:23-Sep, 2004

      HARARE - Police Commissioner Augustine Chihuri has been summoned by
President Robert Mugabe over reports that he is involved in corrupt dealings
that have cost the country billions of dollars.

      The Daily News Online understands that President Mugabe was upset
after getting reports that the man he has entrusted with the mandate to
ensure law and order and to weed out corruption was himself allegedly
involved in the rot.

      Presidential spokesperson, George Charamba could not be reached for
comment over the matter as his mobile phone was unreachable but sources
within the police force confirmed that Chihuri has been summoned to State
House over corruption.

      Although full details of what transpired at State House could not be
established, Daily News Online has it on good authority that the head of
state was upset with Chihuri.

      Chihuri has served his mandatory two terms as police chief and since
then Mugabe has been extending his contract yearly.

      Sources in the police could however not confirm whether Chihuri was
under investigation or whether he could face arrest in the current
government crackdown on corruption. Top government officials and ruling
party officials such as James Makamba and Finance Minister, Chris Kuruneri
were arrested earlier this year for alleged corruption. Makamba is out of
prison while Kuruneri remains locked in prison.

      Unconfirmed reports say the police chief who is supposed to lead the
anti-graft crusade which started late year has been frustrating efforts to
bring out some of the people and companies which have been siphoning foreign
currency out of the country because he was also allegedly involved.

      Recently Chihuri is alleged to have dismissed a fellow senior police
officer who had stumbled on information implicating him in a car theft scam.

      Chihuri was once dragged to the courts in the early nineties on
charges of corruption involving cars while some of his colleagues who have
since left the force appeared on various charges such as poaching and theft.

      Critics have questioned Mugabe's decision in appointing an accused
person to such a sensitive office. Chihuri, whose Chimurenga name is Comrade
Chocha was among the group of freedom fighters who rebelled against Mugabe
in 1978 and were arrested for more than two years in an underground prison
in Mozambique. They were only released a few days before the 1980 elections
after the intervention of the United Nations and the British government.

      The 77 member group, called Vashandi, included such people as Dzinashe
Machingura (Wilfred Mhanda), Rugare Gumbo (now a cabinet minister), Happison
Muchechetere (Harry Tanganeropa), the late Jones Jichidza (Sebastian
Musabayana) and Victor Maunde and Gwarada (Poyter Kaseke).

      Chihuri joined the police force in 1981 and worked his way up until he
became Police Commissioner in 1990.

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Daily News online edition

      Nation waits on Mugabe to wield the axe on Chihuri, Gono

      Date:23-Sep, 2004

      If indeed it is true that President Robert Mugabe has summoned his
police chief, Commissioner Augustine Chihuri following reports that he is
involved in shady deals that have cost the country billions of dollars, then
we are about to see a new Mugabe.

      It would be a great story.

      This will not be the first time that Chihuri, a devout member of the
Apostolic Church has been linked to graft. The last time when he made
headlines Chihuri was implicated in the importation of stolen cars and
bribery. He survived but came out scathed for a man whose position is to
watch over the national offices of law and order.

      Good old Mugabe did not call for a commission of inquiry. He did not
see that the incident had seriously tainted the image of the police force.

      True to his weak character, Mugabe renewed Chihuri's term of office
when it expired. And since then it has been renewed every year until now.

      Since 1980, Mugabe has turned a blind eye and a deaf ear to public
outcries over corruption within the government or scandal-tainted
parastatals such as the Grain Marketing Board, PTC, National Railways of
Zimbabwe, Air Zimbabwe, Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation, and of late the
Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe.

      Gedion Gono, the governor of the Reserve Bank has been implicated in
corruption by hiring people known to be his close relatives or friends
without going through the normal procedures.

      There are serious allegations that Gono has offered these same people
salaries that are much higher than those for old staffers at the bank and
this has miffed the old timers who have blown the whistle.

      But knowing Mugabe, and his close relationship to Gono, a distant
relative of the First Lady and the personal banker of the first family, it
is highly unlikely that he will raise a finger, let alone take heed to the
complainants.

      Mugabe's perennial failure to act decisively against his close
lieutenants implicated in graft is one of his biggest weaknesses as a
national leader.

      He has always swept dirt under his feet and this has piled so much
that Mugabe emits a pungent smell. Everywhere he goes there are flies on his
person like one who has done something in his pants.

      Perhaps the real reason why he will not punish wrongdoers is that he
has too many skeletons in his cupboard to point any fingers at any of his
corrupt friends.

      The nation waits to see what action will be taken against Chihuri and
Gono. - Editorial

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Daily News online edition

      Vendors vow to defy council

      Date:23-Sep, 2004

      HARARE - Vendors in Harare's Commercial Business District have vowed
to defy council orders for them to vacate their selling points and be
allocated stalls in areas which are designated for such purposes.

      In separate interviews, the vendors, who are currently engaged in
running battles with the municipal police and Zanu PF militias from the
National Youth Service yesterday told The Daily News Online that they were
losing wares worth millions of dollars to the council on a daily basis.

      They said officials from the municipal police, who were spearheading
the clean-up exercise, were also taking some of their wares for personal
use.

      They also alleged that some of the vendors who had co-operated with
the municipal police, were being issued with market stalls at council
designated points after being forced to join the ruling party, Zanu PF and
paying their subscriptions to the party.

      "We are not politicians. We are suffering and are trying to make life
easier for ourselves and families. We do not understand why these people are
demanding that we should first join Zanu PF for us to be given market stalls
in the city centre," said Pelagia Hore, one of the vendors operating in the
CBD area.

      Other vendors told The Daily News Online that they were being forced
to pay hefty spot fines with the municipal police and youths from the
National Youth Service confiscating their wares.

      "We know that our municipal police officials are corrupt and that they
accept bribes from us, but it becomes a problem when they demand those
bribes in front of these youths from the National Youth Service," said
George Paganga, a vendor operating along First Street.

      Most of the vendors who are being harassed are those selling
foodstuffs, pre-paid cards for cellphones and vegetable seedlings.

      Harare City Council has always been engaged in running battles with
vendors in the CBD, accusing them of messing up the city and not paying
revenue to the council.

      They are also being accused of exerting pressure on the city's
sewerage and water reticulation services which have now almost become
non-functional.

      The vendors, who are part of the nation's 80 percent of informal
traders and the unemployed, have always argued that they were paying rentals
to their landlords who were in turn being levied by the city council.

      They say that they are not supposed to pay any levies as the
municipality was not providing them with any service.

      Since the recent mass resignation of councilors from the opposition
Movement for Democratic Change (MDC), the government has taken direct
control of all the functions of the council.

      The introduction of youths from the National Youth Service to help in
policing the streets of Harare, is one of the many initiatives which the
government has embarked on to bring back sanity to the collapsing city.

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Gains in water and sanitation provision eroded

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

HARARE, 22 Sep 2004 (IRIN) - Zimbabwe is preparing to host a Southern
African Development Community (SADC) Water Resources, Sanitation and Hygiene
Fair (WARSH) in the midst of a water and sanitation crisis.

The capital, Harare, has been experiencing ongoing disruptions to its water
supply, while borehole use in rural areas has been reduced.

The SADC fair, from 23 to 25 September, aims to promote cooperation between
members in water and sanitation matters and assess progress made towards
reaching the Millennium Development Goal (MGD) of halving the proportion of
people without access to safe drinking water and basic sanitation by 2015.

According to an MDG Mid-Term Assessment for the period 1990 to 2002,
released in August, Zimbabwe improved its water accessibility to 83 percent
and its sanitation coverage to 57 percent during this time.

However, a UN Children's Fund (UNICEF) report for 2003 noted that recent
environmental disasters, such as cyclones and drought, coupled with internal
migration caused by the country's fast-track land reform programme, had
eroded progress made in the extension of these basic services.

Thousands of people in rural areas were, consequently, without access to
safe water and sanitation, leaving them open to epidemics of cholera and
diarrhoea, as well as skin and eye infections.

The situation has been worsened by the national economic downturn, which has
eroded the capacity of communities to run and maintain their water supply
systems to such an extent that an estimated 50 percent of systems are
non-functional.

According to the MDG assessment, water access in rural Zimbabwe in 2002
stood at 74 percent. However, in areas where over 300,000 families have been
officially resettled as part of the land reform programme, access to safe
water is estimated to be as low as 11 percent, and basic sanitation at below
one percent.

The rehabilitation of water supply and sanitation systems in these areas
needs to be prioritised, UNICEF spokeswoman Shantha Bloemen told IRIN.

Although the MDG assessment report put access to safe drinking water in
Zimbabwe's towns and cities at 100 percent in 2002, urban areas were
increasingly threatened by water shortages, largely because a lack of
foreign currency has made it difficult to purchase water treatment
chemicals, or replacement parts for ageing equipment.

Many parts of Harare have had to endure water cuts for long periods, forcing
residents to obtain water from unprotected sources. Although the government
has taken over water management of the capital from the city council,
according to official sources recapitalisation of Zim $49 billion (about US
$8.7 million) would be required to rectify the situation. Analysts say it
may be some time before any sense of normality is restored.

Nowhere have the effects of the crisis been more keenly felt than in
government schools, where water rationing, coupled with unaffordable water
bills caused by the rising cost of water and leakages in obsolete equipment,
has brought a number of schools to the brink of closure. Although schools
may charge levies for operational costs, they are not mandatory and many
parents either are unwilling or unable to pay them.

As a more sustainable solution to the water problem in the 287 urban
government schools, UNICEF has suggested the rehabilitation of old boreholes
or drilling new ones, as well as training the school community in water
conservation and management.

"This would keep any costs down and release the schools from the burden of
having to raise enough in school levies to meet the cost of water bills.
Instead, these funds could be channelled into other urgently needed
education materials, such as textbooks and stationery," Bloemen said.

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AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL
PRESS RELEASE

AI Index: AFR 46/027/2004 (Public)
News Service No: 233
22 September 2004

Zimbabwe: Ten dead following police misuse of tear gas
Amnesty International is calling for a full and independent inquiry into the
deaths of at least ten people, since 2 September 2004, at Porta Farm, an
informal settlement on the outskirts of Harare.
On 2 September, riot police, "war veterans" and members of the youth
"militia" reportedly went to Porta Farm to forcibly evict some 10,000
people, many of whom have been living there since 1991. The police were
acting in defiance of a court order prohibiting the eviction. According to
eye-witness testimony, the police fired tear gas directly into the homes of
the Porta Farm residents.
One resident of Porta Farm, a man who had been ill with tuberculosis, is
reported to have died on 2 September, shortly after being exposed to the
tear gas. A young child died the following day. By Sunday 19 September eight
more Porta Farm residents had died. Residents claim that all those who died,
several of whom were reported to have pre-existing illnesses, had been
exposed to the tear gas. Amongst the dead are a mother and her five-month
old son, who were in their home when police fired tear gas into the
building.
Hundreds of residents have complained of chest and stomach pains, nose
bleeding and other ill-effects since the tear gas incident. Doctors who
examined some of the Porta Farm residents, following the events of 2
September, believe that those most seriously affected by the tear gas were
particularly vulnerable due to pre-existing illnesses such as tuberculosis.
Amnesty International is appalled by the excessive use of force by the
Zimbabwe Republic Police, and deeply concerned by the deaths at Porta Farm.
"Firing tear gas into a confined space is completely contrary to
international human rights standards on the use of force by law enforcement
officials because of the danger posed to those exposed," the organization
said.
Amnesty International is also concerned by the attempt to forcibly evict the
residents of Porta Farm. Forced evictions - a term used internationally to
describe evictions carried out without due process - violate human rights.
They violate Zimbabwe's obligations under international human rights
treaties to which it is a party. Forced evictions undermine the right to
adequate housing and subject people to arbitrary or unlawful interference
with their privacy, family or home.
"The Government of Zimbabwe has an obligation to provide access to adequate
housing for all people within its jurisdiction. Any resettlement of the
residents of Porta Farm must ensure that their civil, political, social and
economic rights are upheld," Amnesty International said.
"The authorities must ensure that all those affected by the police use of
tear gas are properly examined and provided with any medical care they may
need," the organization added.
Background
In 1991 thousands of people living in informal settlements around Harare
were moved, by the government, to Porta Farm, as a temporary measure in
anticipation of being permanently resettled. More than a decade later the
majority remain at Porta Farm. In July 2004 the Porta Farm residents were
allegedly told they would be relocated to other farms. However, the
residents were subsequently threatened with death by "war veterans" if they
moved to the proposed locations. On 31 August 2004 they obtained a court
order staying their eviction from Porta Farm for 10 days, while the matter
was investigated further.
Tear gas can be lethal if used in confined spaces. It can also cause people
to panic and stampede, which is often where the most serious injuries and
fatalities occur. Amnesty International has documented misuse of tear gas by
police in Zimbabwe for several years, including incidents at the University
of Zimbabwe in 1995 and 2001.
Amnesty International has examined some of the tear gas canisters used by
the police on 2 September at Porta Farm to determine the suppliers. Many of
the canisters carried the initials "PW", while some were marked "ZW".
Canisters with these initials were also fired into university student
residences by the Zimbabwe Republic Police in November 2001.

Public Document
****************************************
For more information please call Amnesty International's press office in
London, UK, on +44 20 7413 5566
Amnesty International, 1 Easton St., London WC1X 0DW. web:
http://www.amnesty.org

For latest human rights news view http://news.amnesty.org
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Women march against the NGO bill

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

BULAWAYO, 22 Sep 2004 (IRIN) - About 50 members of the rights group, Women
of Zimbabwe Arise (WOZA), have embarked on a 440 km march to the capital,
Harare, to protest a proposed bill that will regulate NGOs.

The drum-beating, whistle-blowing activists began the march on Sunday in
Bulawayo, Zimbabwe's second city. They are expected to reach the capital on
4 October and will assemble outside parliament to present a petition against
the controversial bill.

"What we are basically saying is that we are diametrically opposed to the
proposed bill, because, should it find its way through parliament, it will
mean suffering to many women and children. Of course, there are many risks
that include being arrested on the way and being attacked by wild animals as
we sleep in the open at night, but we are absolutely undaunted," WOZA
spokeswoman Jenny Williams told IRIN from Gweru City, some 200 km north of
Bulawayo.

The protesters, aged between 20 and 60, intend to "be a physical and
spiritual presence outside the parliament when it opens on 4 October and
hope to convince the conscience of the legislators against the bill,"
Williams said.

"The NGO Bill, if passed in its current form, will have struck at the lives
and very survival of women and their families. Most of the women are
beneficiaries of donor food and have HIV/AIDS orphans that they care for.
This walk symbolises a defending of the kindness of the donor community, and
a way of saying how much their help has meant to Zimbabweans," said WOZA in
an additional statement.

The proposed bill, which replaces the Private Voluntary Organisations Act,
requires all NGOs to register with a government-appointed regulatory
council, similar to the controversial Media and Information Commission, and
disclose details of their programmes and funding.

NGOs without registration licenses will be shut down, and officials who
continue their activities illegally could face up to six months in prison.

Organisations involved in charity work, disbursing humanitarian assistance,
the provision of funds for legal aid, animal welfare, environmental issues
and the promotion of human rights are all covered in the bill.

The proposed legislation also seeks to ban foreign NGOs concerned
principally with "issues of governance", and deny registration to NGOs
receiving foreign funding for "promotion and protection of human rights and
political governance issues".

The authorities have countered that the draft bill is meant to regulate the
operations of NGOs for national security reasons.

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