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From Business Day (SA), 6 September

MDC resignations plunge capital city into crisis

Harare Corresondent

Zimbabwe's capital, Harare, has been crippled by the en masse resignation of
opposition councillors after their recent decision to resign in protest
against political interference in their duties by the government. Harare was
plunged into chaos two weeks ago after the withdrawal of the opposition
Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) councillors because of the Zanu PF
government's attempts to hijack the municipality's operations. Zanu PF won
only one ward during the 2002 elections, while the MDC mopped up all the
other 44 seats, including the mayoral post. The MDC controls all other
cities and towns, leaving the central government unable to influence events
in Harare and other city councils. Because of this, the government has
resorted to arbitrary interventions. This has led to the dismissal of
popularly elected Harare mayor Elias Mudzuri and a dozen councillors. As a
result, the MDC decided to pull out its Harare councillors in protest
against the "persistent interference and hijacking of our democratic mandate
by the regime".

The council has since been unable to form a quorum to hold critical meetings
to deal with emergency issues such the water crisis in the city. The
withdrawals have left Harare with only 15 councillors, including some of the
MDC who decided to remain, but this is not enough to form a quorum of 16.
Confusion at the Harare council, which has been rocked by corruption and
incompetence since the mid1990s, has caused advanced decay in the city.
Delivery of social services has deteriorated markedly and the capital, once
known as the Sunshine City due to its fair weather and cleanliness, is now
called the Garbage City. Refuse collection has become extremely erratic, and
the council is unable to ensure enough water for the city's 2,5-million
residents. Roads have huge potholes and traffic lights are nearly always out
of order. Schools and clinics are also declining rapidly due to officials'
dereliction and incompetence. The condition of Harare is seen as emblematic
of the state of affairs nationally. Zimbabwe has been gripped by a serious
political and economic crisis but Local Government Minister Ignatius Chombo
claims councils could still function without enough elected councillors.
"The remaining councillors will carry on with their duties and will team up
with district administrators and the Harare governor and resident minister
(Witness Mangwende) to run the city," he said.

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Economic cost of NGO bill

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

HARARE, 6 Sep 2004 (IRIN) - Zimbabwe's National Association of
Non-Governmental Organisations (NANGO) has warned that a proposed government
bill to regulate NGOs more tightly was likely to have a serious impact on
the economy and civil society if passed into law.

NANGO Executive Director Jonah Mudehwe told IRIN the government did not seem
to appreciate the effect the legislation would have on unemployment, or
foreign currency and aid inflows, and his association had commissioned an
impact assessment study that was due out in a fortnight.

The controversial bill, expected to be tabled in October, seeks to register
and vet NGOs, while outlawing foreign-funded organisations involved in
governance and human rights issues. These NGOs, the government argues, are
used as proxies by Western powers to destabilise the country.

Zimbabwe's Council of Tourism president, Shingi Munyeza, has pointed out the
potentially significant impact of the "NGO bill" on the tourism industry.

"The hotel and tourism industry depends a lot on NGO-sponsored workshops and
conferences for business. About 60 percent of our business is
conference-driven in terms of hotel bookings. If a conference is held at a
hotel with tourist attractions, like the Victoria Falls, the same delegates
are the very people who will visit the attractions, and that says a lot
about what will happen to the industry if the bill is passed into law,"
Munyeza told IRIN.

Mudehwe said targets set under the UN Millennium Development Goals, to which
Zimbabwe was a signatory, were also at potential risk. "Essentially, the
Millennium Development Goals look at improving the human rights of everybody
in the world, while combating problems like infant mortality, malaria,
HIV/AIDS and environmental degradation. With the proposed NGO bill I foresee
a reversal on some of the gains."

NGOs are expected to march in the capital, Harare, on Tuesday against the
proposed legislation, and make a submission to a parliamentary committee.
NANGO, which represents about 300 organisations, has reportedly also met
with Social Welfare Minister Paul Mangwana over the same issue.

Mudehwe noted that aspects of governance and human rights were issues that
many NGOs could not avoid. "For example, an NGO for people living with
HIV/AIDS may want to engage on advocacy campaigns on the right to treatment,
which is a human right, but under the proposed bill, that [could] become
illegal."

Human Rights Watch (HRW), the US-based civil liberties watchdog, joined the
domestic protest over the NGO bill on Friday, arguing that it would grant
the government the right to interfere in the legitimate activities of civil
society groups.

The proposed government-appointed Council of Non-Governmental Organisations
would have "virtually unchecked power" to investigate and audit the
activities and funding of civil society groups. "The law would empower the
Council to constantly monitor the groups; leaders of any such organisations
found to be in violation of the act would be subject to fines and
imprisonment. The organisations could lodge objections to Council decisions,
but the Minister would resolve them with no possibility of recourse to the
courts," HRW said in a statement.

"A vibrant civil society is essential to a functioning democracy," Georgette
Gagnon, deputy director of HRW's Africa Division, was quoted as saying.
"With parliamentary elections in March, the government needs to ensure space
for civil society."
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ZANU-PF wins by-election

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

JOHANNESBURG, 6 Sep 2004 (IRIN) - Zimbabwe's ruling ZANU-PF party moved a
step closer to gaining total control of parliament after it won a new
parliamentary seat from the main opposition Movement for Democratic Change
(MDC) at a weekend by-election.

ZANU-PF recaptured the Seke parliamentary seat by default after the MDC
boycotted the poll, in line with a decision it took last month to suspend
its participation in all elections, alleging the lack of transparency and
fairness in electoral processes.

The ruling party now holds 98 of 150 seats in parliament, two short of the
two-thirds majority it would need to amend the constitution.

"We are sticking to our guns and will continue to suspend our participation
in elections until the government adheres to SADC [Southern African
Development Community] guidelines on free and fair polls," MDC spokesman
Paul Themba Nyathi told IRIN on Monday.

"Too much is being made over the possibility of ZANU-PF assuming full
control of the parliament, but the government already makes laws which
violate the constitution," he noted.

The protocol, agreed in Mauritius last month by the 14-nation SADC bloc,
guarantees equal access to the state media and freedom of association, which
the MDC has claimed was "severely lacking" in Zimbabwe.

"In the lead-up to next year's parliamentary elections we will focus our
attention on pressurising the government to stick to the protocol," Themba
Nyathi said.

Meanwhile, scores of NGO workers are expected to take to the streets on
Tuesday to protest impending legislation that will require all NGOs to
register with a government-appointed regulatory council and disclose details
of their programmes and funding.

If passed, the proposed Non-Governmental Organisations Bill will also clamp
down on foreign NGOs concerned principally with "issues of governance".

The draft bill is expected to be tabled in parliament in October for
discussion and debate.

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Zim Mirror

Tekere backs Mujuru
Kuda Chikwanda

FORMER ZANU PF secretary-general, Edgar Tekere has publicly thrown his
weight behind the nomination of Politburo member and Minister of Water
Resources and Infrastructural Development, Joyce Mujuru as the ideal
candidate to replace the late vice president Simon Muzenda.

Muzenda, who was widely perceived as the ruling party's chief strategist and
the godfather of the faction-ridden Masvingo province, died last year after
long illness.

"Mujuru is my running horse," Tekere said. "I am campaigning for her in my
own way and I am already celebrating her victory ahead of the party's
congress." December has been set as the provisional month to hold the party
congress when a new leadership is expected to be elected. Tekere's sentiment
come hard on the heels of revelations that Zanu PF's womens league was
lobbying for Mujuru's candidature.

It is widely believed that the Women's League, which has been pushing for
the empowerment of women not only in the ruling party's rank and file but in
government as well, has already begun lobbying senior party stalwarts for
Mujuru to fit into Muzenda's shoes.

Tekere praised Mujuru, once appointed Minister of Defence after the death of
her colleague Moven Mahachi, for the crucial role she played during the war
for independence.

"When President Mugabe and I went into Mozambique to deal with the
discontentment in ZANLA, Mujuru was one of the few that helped rebuild our
forces. "I have a lot of respect for her. It is because of her that I learnt
to take pride in saluting a woman," Tekere said. Tekere noted that Mujuru,
who joined the liberation struggle at the age of 18, rose through the ranks
to become the Camp Commander in Chimoio, Mozambique.

Tekere said the possibility of Mujuru's candidacy had already been raised in
Manicaland and that the women's move to elevate the former guerrilla was no
surprise.

"I will support for her," he added.

He said this year's congress was a chance for gender to triumph over male
chauvinism, and that it was a perfect opportunity to honour Mujuru, the
legislator for Mount Darwin North.

Parliamentary Speaker and ZANU PF secretary for administration Emmerson
Mnangagwa and Anti-Corruption and Anti Monopolies Minister Didymus Mutasa
have also been touted as possible candidates for the hot post.

Political commentators said this week that it still remained a mystery
whether Mujuru, the wife of the retired general and ZANU PF kingpin Solomon
Mujuru, would get the necessary backing from members of the Politburo or the
Central Committee at large.

Ultimately, Mujuru would have to sweat it out with Mnangagwa, whose is
widely perceived as President Mugabe's blue eyed boy, and Mutasa, the first
Parliamentary Speaker soon after the country gained independence from
Britain in 1980.

Former ambassador and Zanu PF director, Arthur Chadzingwa said of Mujuru's
candidature: "Her support is quite widespread and she has made no enemies.
Rather, she has developed political friendships. She has a distinctly
developed character in politics that has seen her rise above all
factionalism."
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Zim Mirror

Mugabe drags feet over Moyo, Msika
Brian Mangwende

INFORMATION Minister Jonathan Moyo could go "scot free" as it emerged this
week that Vice President Joseph Msika and ZANU PF's national chairman John
Nkomo have pulled out of the special committee formed to investigate
complaints against Moyo's alleged public attacks on the party's bigwigs.

Initially, the high-powered committee that was set up by the ruling party's
supreme decision body-the Politburo-comprised President Robert Mugabe as
chair with Msika and Nkomo as committee members.

But, Msika and Nkomo's pull out leaves, President Mugabe alone to deal with
the man he thrust into his cabinet to head the government's propaganda
department in 2000 and later into Parliament as a non-constituency
legislator before placing the former Mugabe critic was thrust into the
Politburo.

Party insiders who spoke to the Sunday Mirror this week said Msika and
Nkomo, who of late had become prime targets of Moyo's bitter attacks against
ZANU PF's old guard, refused to be placed on their defence against Moyo.

The sources also claimed that as soon as the decision to haul him before the
committee was finalised, Moyo, who is considered a provocative loose tongue
within the ruling party's rank and file, prepared a 30-page document in his
defence.

"The Vice President (Msika) and the national chairman (Nkomo) have refused
to be humiliated by the President and Moyo," the source said. "Indications
are that President Mugabe has been left alone to deal with Moyo. Msika and
Nkomo believe that Mugabe should come out in the open because many people
are saying Moyo is hiding behind him and that is where he is getting the
power to attack senior members of the party." According to the source, Msika
and Nkomo-who is also the ruling party's disciplinary chairman and Minister
of Lands, Land Reform and Resettlement-were angered by President Mugabe's
inaction after the pair was attacked in the public media despite several
calls to reprimand the mercurial Moyo.

"The two are breathing fire over failure by the President to step in because
nobody really knows where he (Moyo) is deriving his power from," the source
said.

However, another party insider thought otherwise. The insider who preferred
to remain anonymous said it was not up to President Mugabe to discipline
Moyo, but the disciplinary committee chaired by the national chairman who is
widely perceived as a no-nonsense man, but whose indecision to deal with
Moyo has baffled many.

Asked the source: "Why are they (Msika and Nkomo) bothering President
Mugabe? Has the national chairman failed to haul Moyo before a disciplinary
hearing. As a matter of fact, the problem lies with Msika and Nkomo for
failing to take charge and discipline Moyo if found guilty of breaking the
party's code of conduct." Moyo's diatribe on the presidium and his boss
Nathan Shamuyarira sparked a chorus of angry voices from the ruling party's
old guard including retired ex-army chief Solomon Mujuru who is reported to
have lost his cool over the firebrand minister way back in 2001 and
considers him a "Johnny-come-late" or Mafikizolo. Speaking to the Sunday
Mirror yesterday, Msika denied having pulled out of the high-powered
committee, but indicated that President Mugabe was dragging his feet in
dealing with Moyo.

"The President said we would meet over the issue, but nothing has since
materialised." Another source said Msika's and Nkomo's withdrawal from the
disciplinary panel could further loosen the tie that binds the ruling party
and further split the party. So far, Moyo has clashed with vice president
Msika over the Kondozi debacle which saw thousands of farm being made
redundant following the property's acquisition by the Agricultural Rural
Development Authority.

He fought Shamuyarira over the invitation of the Sky Television news crew
that eventually interviewed President Mugabe to tell the world the
Zimbabwean story.

Then Moyo, the architect of the much-despised Access to Information and
Protection of Privacy Act went for Nkomos' scalp over the issuance of
withdrawal letter in the continuous multiple farm ownership series. Efforts
to get comments from Nkomo and the ruling party's information chief Nathan
Shamuyarira proved fruitless at the time of going to press.
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Zim Mirror

EU behind MDC boycott
By Tawanda Majoni and Brian Mangwende

.as Mbeki's hypocrisy is exposed

The Movement for Democratic Change (MDC)'s decision to boycott next year's
parliamentary elections was done following advice from the European Union,
the Sunday Mirror was told.

It has also emerged that the South African government was reportedly aware
of the MDC's intention to withdraw from participating in elections but
President Thabo Mbeki did not bother to inform his counterpart, President
Robert Mugabe.

A source closely connected to one of the EU diplomats accredited to Zimbabwe
said the diplomat confided in her that the EU representatives in Harare met
to find a way of pressurising Zimbabwe to acquiesce to Southern African
Development Community (Sadc) electoral demands before meeting with the MDC.
"Following the promulgation of the Sadc guidelines on electoral reform in
Mauritius, EU representatives in Harare met to assess the recommendations,
following which they resolved that there should be a way of putting pressure
on the government.

"After that they contacted the MDC and a meeting followed during which they
advised the party to announce that they would be boycotting next year's
parliamentary elections," she said.

The MDC made its announcement on Wednesday 25 August, slightly over a week
following the meeting by Sadc countries in Mauritius where the guideline on
electoral reform-which among other things calls for all political parties to
gain access to state media and space for campaigning- was made. The main
opposition party announced that it would not be participating in future
elections until the government moved to significantly change laws and
practices pertaining to elections.

The MDC has been accusing the Zanu PF government of electoral fraud, voter
intimidation and victimisation, as well as the use of legislation biased
against the opposition.

On the day the MDC announced the boycott, numerous diplomatic cars were seen
parked at Harvest House, but it could not be established if that was
connected to the announcement, since diplomats frequently visit the party's
headquarters.

While no comment could be obtained from the EU at the time of going to
print, the MDC secretary general, Welshman Ncube, however dismissed the
claim that the EU was behind the boycott.

Ncube said no one was aware that the MDC intended to announce the boycott,
saying the decision was made by the party's executive.

"No one had an inkling of our intention to withdraw from next year's
elections. Most of them are questioning our move, saying we should have
taken Zanu PF to task in the Seke by-election." Following the death of MDC's
Bennie Tumbare-Mutasa in July, a by-election was announced for Seke
constituency. Zanu PF last week won on the technicality that MDC did not
nominate a candidate.

The MDC has been charged with depending too much on external material
support and advice, an allegation that the party vehemently denies. At its
formation, critics accused it of being funded by EU member countries, mostly
Britain, and the USA, while President Robert Mugabe has been using every
available opportunity to berate the MDC for alleged lack of patriotism.

There are apparent double standards in the way South Africa has been
handling Zimbabwe's inter-party dialogue following the revelation by a
senior government official from Pretoria that Mbeki knew about the MDC's
move to boycott all future elections. A source within Mbeki's office,
speaking on condition of anonymity, divulged to the Sunday Mirror yesterday
said that the South African leader had been briefed of the opposition party'
s intentions before the official announcement more than a week ago.

However it could not be established at the time of going to press whether
Mbeki, widely perceived to have a soft spot for President Mugabe, agreed to
the MDC's move to boycott.

The South African government official said: "President Mbeki was told about
the intended boycott. He knew about it well before the official announcement
, but I am made to believe that he thought it was not a wise move by the
MDC. As a matter of fact, he thinks it's a political gimmick by Zimbabwe's
opposition party." Contacted for comment, Mbeki's spokesperson, Bheki
Khumalo was hesitant to divulge intricate details on the matter, but
maintained that the two political parties should resume negotiations to save
the country from total collapse. He reiterated that internal dialogue was
the only way to solve the differences in Zimbabwe.

"Our position has always been that the Zimbabwean problem needs an internal
solution," he said. "I would not want to elaborately comment on the
Zimbabwean situation now, but the South African government believes that the
solution to the crisis lies with the Zimbabwean people." Political dialogue
between ZANU (PF) and the MDC to settle the current impasse hit a snag in
2002 after the two archrivals disagreed on the agenda for talks, also
accusing each other of negotiating in bad faith. ZANU PF's head of the talks
delegation and Minister of Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs, Patrick
Chinamasa refused to comment on the matter.

He only said: "I cannot comment at the moment." A clear indication that ZANU
(PF) has adopted a " wait and see" attitude. Ironically, Chinamasa himself
is on record as saying that the MDC pullout is non-event and his party is
not at all troubled by that action.

The revelation that Mbeki kept to himself knowledge of the impending boycott
brings to question the role South Africa has been playing to resolve the
political impasse in Zimbabwe.

Mbeki, together with Nigerian president, Olusegun Obasanjo and Australia's
John Howard were tasked by the Commonwealth after the contested March 2002
presidential elections to help solve the political problems Zimbabwe had
plunged into, especially by bringing Zanu PF and MDC to the talking table so
as to end prevailing polarisation.

Despite several visits by Mbeki and Obasanjo to Harare, the intra-party
dialogue remained a low key affair, with Zanu PF insisting that the MDC
should renounce its links with foreign countries hostile to the government,
while the main opposition accused the ruling party of half-heartedness.

The international community late last year sought to make Mbeki the point
man in resolving the Zimbabwean crisis, but the South African head of state
has unwaveringly preferred quiet diplomacy.

Pretoria has been showing increasing fatigue in trying to bring the two
political adversaries to the negotiating table, with Khumalo recently
admitting to the Sunday Mirror that his country had not been following the
interparty dialogue process "for some time".

Observers attribute the apparent exhaustion to continued failure to have
real talks take off, while the political landscape in Zimbabwe has changed
over the two years.

The Commonwealth suspended Zimbabwe in March 2002 following the Marlborough
House statement that cited electoral fraud, a chaotic land reform programme,
human rights excesses and economic mismanagement as some of the reasons why
Harare had to be monitored by the club's troika.

While then there was much pressure, both local and international, to halt
the fast track land redistribution programme that began in earnest in 2000,
there is now the wide acceptance that blacks had to be resettled on land
formerly monopolised by whites, and that the resettlement process cannot be
reversed.

Political polarisation, which was marked by interparty violence from 2000,
analysts say, has largely subsided, while the MDC seems to be increasingly
weakening, thereby undermining to some extent the relevance it enjoyed in
local and international politics.

This is seen also as progressively rendering MDC-Zanu PF talks irrelevant,
with analysts arguing that whatever issues the two parties intend to tackle
should be addressed through Parliament.

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IranMania

Iran, Zimbabwe stress bolstering of ties

Monday, September 06, 2004 - 2004 IranMania.com

LONDON, Sep 6 (IranMania) - Iran's Minister of Cooperatives Ali Soufi
Sunday stressed the importance of bolstering bilateral relations with
Zimbabwe in all fields, Iran's Official News Agency (IRNA) reported.

Soufi, in a meeting with Zimbabwean Minister of Transport and
Communications Chris Mushowe, the similarity of stances of the two countries
on political, cultural and economic issues at the domestic and international
arena is an indication of the importance Iran attaches to its ties with
African states.

He, moreover, said that an African headquarters, headed by First
Vice-President Mohammad Reza Aref, has been established in Iran aimed at
boosting cooperation with African states in various cultural, scientific and
research areas. The Iranian Minister said that Iran will do its utmost to
implement the memorandum of understanding already signed between the two
countries during a previous joint commission meeting.

Mushowe, for his part, said talks held between Iranian and Zimbabwean
officials in their latest joint commission meeting had been positive and
that the projects approved in the commission meeting have been fruitful. He
added Iran can help Zimbabwe in the establishment of airlines as well as
reconstruction and supply of equipment needed for its expanding
international routes.

He lauded Iran`s positive role in dispatching road-building equipment
to Zimbabwe to expand the commercial and international routes of the
country, saying his country desires to avail of Iran`s educational and
technical know-how. "We are confident Iran can help Zimbabwe expand its
airline industry as well as construct roads and railroads," he said.

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The Herald

Fuel queues resurface

Herald Reporters
FUEL queues have resurfaced in Harare and some major towns, raising fears
that the fuel shortage could worsen.

A survey conducted by The Herald yesterday revealed that some filling
stations in Harare and Chitungwiza had neither petrol nor diesel while
others were selling diesel only.

Long winding queues could be seen at some filling stations, as motorists
waited patiently to buy the precious commodity.

Other service stations which had fuel were limiting quantities, prompting
motorists to hop from one filling station to the other to fill up their
tanks.

There were reports that some areas like Bulawayo, Mvurwi and Shurugwi had
actually run dry.

In Harare, the situation was particularly critical on Saturday when queues
could be seen at some major filling stations leading into and out of town.

A fuel attendant at one of the service stations in the city centre said they
were failing to import fuel owing to foreign currency shortages and the
increase in duty.

"We are not able to get adequate quantities because of foreign currency
shortages. We are importing limited supplies," said the fuel attendant who
preferred anonymity.

He added that the problem was being further compounded by the five percent
duty that they were required to pay.

"We also have to pay levy to Noczim (the National Oil Company of Zimba-bwe)
of $110 per litre to bring in the fuel into the country, in addition to the
duty."

Presenting the 2004 national Budget in November last year, the then Minister
of Finance and Economic Development, Dr Herbert Murerwa, indicated that the
Government was planning to introduce a $110 levy per litre of both leaded
and unleaded petrol.

The levy would also apply to diesel imports.

The money was to be collected by the Zimbabwe Revenue Authority at all
border posts.

Apart from the levy and duty, sources in the fuel industry said most players
could not afford to pump their fuel through the Beira-Feruka-Msasa pipeline
and were using road transporters.

However, Mozambican authorities warned that they would soon impose a ban on
fuel tankers which they blamed for damaging the country's roads.

Indigenous fuel suppliers were said to be trying to pool their resources in
order to purchase fuel in bulk, which would be pumped straight to Harare.

According to petroleum industry experts, pumping of fuel through the
pipeline is a lot cheaper than road transport.

Energy and Power Development minister Cde July Moyo recently urged fuel
importers to use the Beira pipeline saying Mozambique had a right to ban
Zimbabwean fuel tankers.

The central bank last week said it would continue supporting fuel imports by
allocating importers foreign currency to procure the commodity.
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The Herald

Scam unearthed at hospital mortuary

By Tsitsi Matope
A HARARE Central Hospital doctor, mortuary attendant and some police
officers are being accused of demanding payments for post-mortems that are
conducted free of charge in all Government hospitals.

The mortuary attendant and police details are also accused of smuggling out
close to $1 billion worth of chemicals, including sprays and gloves, used in
the mortuary, which they allegedly sold to private funeral parlours.

Mortuary attendants are also reported to be contracting out the incineration
of baby corpses to private funeral parlours in return for kickbacks.

But instead of incinerating the bodies, the funeral parlours were discreetly
taking back the bodies to Government hospitals for incineration to cut
costs.

Harare Central Hospital only incinerates bodies of babies or foetuses from
its own wards and nursery.

Over a month ago there was a deadlock between the police and doctors who
refused to conduct post-mortems on behalf of the police in deaths where foul
play was suspected.

Parirenyatwa Hospital was the worst hit with the doctors claiming that they
wanted incentives to conduct post-mortems, which, they insisted, were the
responsibility of the police.

However, their requests were still to be considered although reports have
since surfaced that some police officers based at Harare Central Hospital
were conniving with a certain doctor at the institution to demand payments
from relatives of the deceased or risk having the bodies held indefinitely
in the mortuary.

The Herald called one senior police officer on the pretext that they had a
relative who was due for an autopsy and wanted to know how long they would
have to wait.

"Why do you listen to what people say ambuya? You can just come togara pasi
toronga (We can sit down and discuss)," the police officer (name supplied)
said.

The officer, who was impatient to know when the meeting would take place,
repeatedly asked the time he should meet with this desperate family.

According to reports, post-mortems have been performed on over 30 bodies
after relatives had agreed to a "negotiable" payment.

It is understood that certain police officers who booked the post-mortems
made it clear to relatives of the deceased that bodies were piling up
because there was no pathologist to replace Dr Alex Mapunda who retired in
May this year.

After faking a complication, they then offered to do the relative a favour
by requesting for assistance from a certain doctor.

They then disappeared before returning with information that the doctor had
agreed to conduct the post-mortem provided the family paid $1 million.

Harare Hospital Medical Superintendent Mr Chris Tapfumaneyi confirmed
receiving such reports against mortuary attendants.

Asked what the hospital was doing to bring the culprits to book, Mr
Tapfumaneyi said: "We are only able to carry out effective investigations if
the people who were made to pay the money can come forward and help us in
our investigations.

"We have also tightened our supplies of chemicals to the mortuary to monitor
how they are being used."

He said doctors had made it clear during a series of meetings with some
Government officials, including the police, that they wanted to be paid for
such services.

"But this was not considered and made official for people to pay, which
makes any demands for payments very illegal and subject to an
investigation."

Mr Tapfumaneyi said the hospital had promoted the particular doctor recently
on the basis that he had shown a great deal of commitment to his work by
offering to conduct post-mortems.

"If he is indeed involved in this alleged scam, it is unfortunate," he said.

Police Assistant Commissioner Killian Mandisodza said they had received a
complaint from a man who wanted an autopsy conducted on his relative
suspected to have been murdered in Epworth.

"One of our officers is said to have created an artificial complication
although in our investigations it was not clear whether money was demanded.
We have since had the officer transferred from the hospital police post,"
Asst Comm Mandisodza said.

He urged people who could have been duped out of their money to report the
cases to Harare Central Police Station to assist investigating officers to
nab the culprits involved in this scam.

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