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

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New Zimbabwe

Zimbabwe says fuel shortages to end in 48 hours


ZIMBABWEANS are back in fuel queues

By Agencies
Last updated: 09/08/2004 06:19:51 Last updated: 09/07/2004 20:28:28
A CHRONIC fuel shortage that has crippled Zimbabwe for the last three days will end "within 48 hours," the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe said on Tuesday.

The bank's governor, Gideon Gono, said $10-million had been released to pay for desperately needed fuel already in Zimbabwe, but held in bond by oil companies.

He said 12,4-million litres of diesel and 13,2-million litres of petrol would be released to filling stations within the next two days.

"We are not saying we are out of the woods yet in terms of the availability of foreign currency. We have to be realistic," Gono told reporters.

Zimbabwe uses about $30-million (about R198-million) worth of fuel each month, making it southern Africa's biggest consumer after South Africa's Gauteng province.

Zimbabwe has seen periodic and often lengthy fuel shortages for the last four years as the country reels under 360% inflation and rising unemployment. - Sapa

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IOL

Now Zimbabwean farmers lose their tools Basildon Peta
September 07 2004 at 12:06PM

Zimbabwe's embattled white farmers will now lose their equipment after
President Robert Mugabe approved a new law that allows his government to
confiscate all farming equipment "lying idle" on farms around the country.

The new Acquisition of Farm Equipment and Material Bill will allow the
Zimbabwe government to seize all equipment owned by farmers whose farms were
seized for redistribution to blacks.

Farmers have not been able to use the equipment as most had fled after
their farms were seized. Those who moved into neighbouring countries,
particularly Zambia and Mozambique, were barred from taking their equipment
with.

Others moved it into warehouses and tried to sell it but were blocked
by the government which later criminalised removal of agricultural equipment
from seized farms.

The Mugabe government later turned on the farmers accusing them of
leaving agricultural equipment to lie "idle" yet there was no option left
for farmers to use it.

Irate farmers are dismissing the latest move as yet another act of
"daylight theft which has become the hallmark of the Mugabe regime".

"All they know is stealing, stealing, more stealing and nothing else,"
said one farmer on Monday.

.. This article was originally published on page 4 of Cape Argus
on September 07, 2004

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From The Daily Mirror, 7 September

Ministers vie for Mawere's mines

Nkululeko Sibanda

Six cabinet ministers have been named in plot to take over two mines owned
by South African-based business mogul, Mutumwa Mawere, as a consortium. The
two mines - Shabanie and Mashaba Mines - have been a prime target for
several government officials and cabinet ministers since allegations of
externalisation of foreign currency against Mawere were unearthed. Analysts
noted that this was due to the lucrative returns realised from the sale of
asbestos. Sources privy to the developments indicated yesterday that the six
are acting Finance and Economic Development minister, Herbert Murerwa,
(chairman), Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs minister, Patrick
Chinamasa, Energy and Power Development minister, July Moyo, Agriculture and
Rural Resettlement minister, Joseph Made, Mines and Mining Development
minister, Amos Midzi, and the Minister of State for Information and
Publicity in the Office of the President and Cabinet, Jonathan Moyo. The
sources said the consortium had targeted the mines under the guise of saving
them, saying that they could not let them collapse due to alleged poor
funding of the venture by the concern's major shareholder, Mawere. Mawere is
alleged to have vowed never to set foot in Zimbabwe again, giving room to
interested parties to launch take-over bids for his companies.

The sources said there was uncertainty on how marketing for the product
would proceed, given mounting international pressure to ban asbestos. They
also argued that there was likelihood that Mawere could also add his voice
to the mounting calls for a ban on the product as part of means to destroy
the ambitious project by the ministerial consortium. Said one source: "There
is likelihood that Mawere can go ahead and push for the tightening of screws
on the asbestos ban, a situation that would effectively render the move to
acquire his concern null and void, since there would be no ready market for
the product. It is an open secret that here in Zimbabwe, that product cannot
sustain the operations of the entire company and obvious still, there would
be need for them to export the product to other countries." Other sources
contended that the consortium had plans to take advantage of the presence of
the Minerals Mining Corporation of Zimbabwe (MMCZ) to market the product
abroad.

Statistics obtained from the MMCZ in July showed that the two major mining
houses were having difficulties in supplying orders worth over US$40 million
which when translated, run into more than $224 billion. This financial base,
observers noted, was able to sustain operations of the company and also to
afford it to pay off all those that it owes. The current demand for asbestos
fibre is firm and the corporation has orders amounting to nearly 144 000
metric tonnes valued at US$40 million and the MMCZ is working closely with
Shabanie and Mashaba Mines to guarantee long term supply," said one
observer. Vice President Joseph Msika recently announced that government had
made available about $20 billion as a support lifeline for the resuscitation
of the two mines that employ at least 10 000 workers and thousands others
downstream. There are several other injections that have been made by the
government into the mining concern as part of government's efforts to
resuscitate the concern's operations. Zimbabwe is the third largest exporter
of asbestos fibre after Canada and Brazil. Chinamasa said he was not aware
of the proposed take-over. The others could not be reached for comment.
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Tobacco Selling Season Ends

The Herald (Harare)

September 7, 2004
Posted to the web September 7, 2004

Harare

ZIMBABWE's tobacco selling season closed last week with around 65 million
kilograms of the gold leaf having been sold.

This marked more than a 15 percent drop on the 81 million kg which were
produced in the previous season.

The selling season end brought more attention on the preparations being made
for the next season with a lot of anticipations for a rebound.

The just ended season was unique in that the contract system made its maiden
appearance accounting for at least 15 percent of the total sales.

There were also a number of challenges in the run up to the tobacco selling
season especially the acute shortage of coal.

Tobacco curing was affected by coal shortage and an irrational increase in
the price of the commodity by both the supplier and the merchants made
things worse.

Coal price increases together with transport costs saw farmers spending more
than $600 000 for a tonne of the commodity up from around $200 000.

These price increases and a stagnant exchange rate that was operational
during the 2003 season debased the glamourous crop.

A serious shortage of chemicals also compounded the problems.

The just ended season also saw fewer problems caused by exchange rate levels
unlike in the previous seasons.

In 2002 and 2003, the tobacco selling season was either suspended or delayed
after farmers held on to their crop calling for a review of the exchange
rate.

In the last two seasons, a fixed exchange rate was used which farmers viewed
as unfair as they were getting their foreign currency on the parallel market
where rates were much higher.

Prospects for the coming season are brighter after stakeholders in the
industry have put a number of mechanisms to enhance production.

There already has been a multi-billion dollar support scheme that has been
laid down, and this is expected to play a pivotal role in the bid for a
rebound.

Operating under a code name 'Vision 160', the support scheme involves
Government, the central bank and other financial institutions and it is
hoped that at least 160 million kg be produced during the 2004-5 season.

The just wrapped up season has a number of lessons to be drawn by
stakeholders if the country entertains a hope for a rebound.

There have been changes to the terrain following sweeping changes made to
the agriculture sector as a result of the agrarian reforms.

Tobacco has been dominated by large-scale growers, numbering a peak 1 878 in
1998 growing a total 85 810 hectares.

Large-scale farmers produced a total 229,4 million kg of the crop in 2000
out of a total 236 million kg.

Only 700 large-scale commercial farmers were into the crop complemented by
about 12 000 small-scale farmers.

Such changes have to be supported by a comprehensive financial scheme as the
small-scale farmers are yet to establish themselves.

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NGOs brief MPs on concerns over bill

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

JOHANNESBURG, 7 Sep 2004 (IRIN) - Zimbabwe's National Association of
Non-Governmental Organisations (NANGO) told a parliamentary committee on
Tuesday of its concern that a proposed law would restrict the activities of
NGOs.

NANGO's appearance at the portfolio committee hearings was preceded by a
"walk of solidarity" by some of its members. The organisation, which
represents 300 NGOs, has warned that the proposed "NGO Bill" would impact on
basic freedoms.

Bob Machabaiwa, a NANGO advocacy officer, told IRIN the organisation was
"able to make a written submission as well as oral presentations" at the
portfolio committee hearing.

He added, "the main thing is the bill should not be passed into law in its
current state."

The controversial NGO 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. Rights groups have argued that, if
passed, the law would further restrict civil liberties, but the authorities
have countered that the draft bill is meant to regulate the operations of
NGOs for national security reasons.

Machabaiwa said NANGO wanted changes to issues such as the banning of
"foreign funding for human rights work, the issues of registration and
governance of NGOs ... which are all constraints [on NGOs]."
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Veteran umpire Ian Robinson sacked by ZCU

Telford Vice

September 7, 2004

Not content with jettisoning most of the international playing experience at
its disposal, the Zimbabwe Cricket Union (ZCU) has also axed Ian Robinson,
its stalwart umpire and an experienced administrator.

However, Robinson, 57, a veteran of 28 Test matches, 90 one-day
internationals and three World Cup tournaments, has refused to go quietly
and is challenging the terms of what the ZCU has told him is his
retrenchment. "I've not accepted the package they have offered me," said
Robinson from Harare on Tuesday, "and we are now locked in negotiations with
lawyers."

Besides being Zimbabwe's most senior umpire - he has been a fixture on their
first-class panel since 1978, and made his international debut in Zimbabwe's
inaugural Test against India at Harare in 1992 - Robinson fulfilled an
important function as the ZCU's international cricket manager. He became a
cricket administrator in 1978. He was a ZCU board member for 14 years, and a
ZCU employee for the past nine years.

Robinson said he did not understand why the ZCU wanted to get rid of him.
"They can't say it was due to poor performance in my job because they've
never told me that," he said. "No-one has actually told me anything. All I
have in writing is that it is due to a restructuring exercise."

Robinson was told on August 13 - Friday the 13th - that his services would
not be required from the end of the month. However, his challenge to that
decision means he remains on the payroll until the dispute is settled.

Robinson said the bigger blow had been his complete removal from the
umpiring ranks, a decision he is prepared to fight. "I hope there's some way
for me to be of service to cricket, especially on the umpiring side,"
Robinson said. "That seems to have been taken away from me, but I am
challenging it because I have it in writing.

"During the retrenchment talks they spoke about retaining my expertise as an
umpire, retaining me on a consultancy basis to do some training and
development of umpires, and umpiring local cricket. I was reassured I would
be reappointed as an umpire, but that hasn't happened. It would be very sad
if I was to have nothing to do with cricket in the future, because it has
been a major part of my life."

The chairman and acting managing director of the ZCU, Peter Chingoka,
declined to discuss the issue and told Wisden Cricinfo to put its questions
on Robinson's position in writing. However, a ZCU receptionist in Harare
confirmed that Robinson had been sidelined. "Mr Robinson is no longer with
the organisation," said the receptionist, who declined to be named.

Robinson said his son, Brad, had resigned as the Zimbabwe team's
physiotherapist and returned to private practice.

Chingoka has denied reports from Zimbabwe that the controversial ZCU board
member Ozais Bvute had become the organisation's acting managing director.
The position became vacant after Vince Hogg resigned in June. Asked who the
acting MD was, Chingoka said: "I am. I get assistance from various board
members, but in the main I am assisted by Ozais Bvute."

Bvute has been accused of "guerrilla behaviour" by the 15 rebels whose
refusal to play for Zimbabwe prompted an International Cricket Council
investigation into allegations of racism in Zimbabwean cricket.

Wisden Cricinfo Ltd
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Crackdown On Contraband Between Mozambique And Zimbabwe

Agencia de Informacao de Mocambique (Maputo)

September 6, 2004
Posted to the web September 7, 2004

Maputo

The customs authorities of Mozambique and Zimbabwe agreed on Friday to
strengthen their fight against contraband between the two countries, reports
Monday's issue of the daily paper "Noticias".

The decision was taken during a meeting between the general director of the
Mozambican customs services, Barros dos Santos, and his Zimbabwean
counterpart, Gershem Pasi, held as part of the trade agreement between the
two countries.

The meeting discussed particularly the import/export of sugar and
cigarettes, delays in the customs clearance of tanker trucks carrying fuel
to Zimbabwe, and the high charges by the Zimbabwean authorities on
merchandise in transit.

Addressing a press conference at the end of the meeting, dos Santos said
that one of the decisions taken was to strengthen the control of trade in
sugar and cigarettes.

"In legal terms, the framework has been set, and the ease with which we
exchange information between the authorities in both countries will improve
our efficiency in these matters.

Sugar and cigarettes are very sensitive products, because, as we know,
Mozambique has invested about 250 million US dollars to rehabilitate its
sugar industry. This is a very heavy investment, and it needs protection",
he said.

He added that "there is nothing more damaging to any country's economy than
the economic crime taking the shape of contraband".

For his part, Pasi said that this meeting will help minimise the destruction
of both countries' economies by smugglers.

"In the specific case of Zimbabwe, for instance, the trade ministry is not
issuing any licenses for the export of sugar, because the country does not
have enough sugar for its own consumption", he said. "When sugar is
smuggled, the economies of both countries economies end up greatly damaged,
hence the importance of strengthening the fight against such contraband".

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ZBH, NBC Set to Stablish Joint Satellite News Channel

The Herald (Harare)

September 7, 2004
Posted to the web September 7, 2004

Harare

THE Zimbabwe Broadcasting Holdings (ZBH) and the Namibian Broadcasting
Corporation (NBC) have signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) to
establish a joint 24-hour satellite news channel to be known as "Africa
World".

The MOU was signed over the weekend at Victoria Falls.

The news channel would be based in Namibia. It is expected to go on air on
December 1 this year or on such other practicable date as may be agreed by
the two companies. ZBH and NBC would each have equal 50 percent shares in
the company.

The parties shall, until such a time when alternative funding can be found,
be equally responsible for financing the channel.

The board of directors would be comprised of six members - three appointed
from ZBH and the other three from NBC.

A chief executive appointed by both parties shall be responsible for the
day-to-day operations of the company.

The signing of the MOU follows an agreement that was signed between Zimbabwe
and Namibia in which they agreed to co-operate in the media field and on
information sharing.

Newspaper companies from the two countries last weekend launched a regional
newspaper, The Southern Times, that would be based in Namibia.

The regional newspaper is a joint partnership between Zimbabwe Newspapers'
flagship The Herald and New Era of Namibia.

Namibian Information and Broadcasting Minister Cde Nangolo Mbumba was last
week in the country for the launch of the newspaper and signing of the MOU
to establish the satellite news channel.

The two countries have, among other things, expressed the desire to jointly
establish and support regional news, current affairs and entertainment
satellite channels.

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PRNewswire

SAS Helps WildTrack Save Endangered Species

-- What began with rhinos has been extended to other species --

CARY, N.C., Sept. 7 /PRNewswire/ -- Newly launched wildlife conservation
organization WildTrack, together with SAS, the leader in business
intelligence, is using a unique, non-invasive monitoring technique to save
endangered species in the wild. Using SAS(R) software, WildTrack's footprint
identification technique has already helped save the black rhino population
in
Zimbabwe and has provided a census of white rhinos in Namibia.
Current projects include the world's most endangered black rhino
subspecies, living in Cameroon; the most endangered of all rhinoceros
species,
the Sumatran rhino in Borneo; the lowland tapir in Argentina; the Bengal
tiger
in India and Bangladesh; and the most endangered large cat in the world, the
Iberian lynx in Spain and Portugal.
WildTrack's unique footprint identification technique analyzes the data
collected from wild animals' footprints using advanced statistical
algorithms
on geometric profiles derived from digital images of footprints. The data
collected by the footprint identification technique is analyzed and compared
with other footprints in the database using software from both SAS and JMP,
a
business unit of SAS, to enable researchers to identify individual animals
and
to assess group numbers with greater accuracy. The software is customized
for
each species so that multiple conservation projects can proceed
simultaneously. The huge advantage of the WildTrack approach is that its
non-
invasive techniques allow monitoring to be done without disturbing the
natural
behaviors of the animals.
What began with rhinos is now not only being applied to tigers and other
endangered species at an individual level, but also at a species level.
WildTrack's latest project involves monitoring the Iberian lynx, the most
endangered carnivore in the world. With only 150 members of the species
left,
WildTrack is working with Spanish authorities to build a library of
footprints
to develop an algorithm that distinguishes lynx footprints from other
carnivores, such as otters and genet cats.
"Increasingly, governments and authorities require hard evidence of the
existence of endangered animals before they will listen to guidance about
protecting its habitat. Moving forward, we hope to incorporate biometrics
and
other technology into our projects to help speed up the identification of
animals," said Zoe Jewell, co-founder of WildTrack.
Sky Alibhai, co-founder of WildTrack explained: "We are looking at
working with field projects and groups around the world to feed us
footprints
and data so that we can continue to work remotely on projects and the
conservation process."
Alastair Sim, director of marketing, SAS UK, commented: "We are
privileged
to work with WildTrack and see SAS software being applied in such a
progressive and innovative way. WildTrack provides inspiration to a range of
organizations across the globe through its commitment to developing and
applying non-invasive techniques in order to further the protection of
endangered species."

SAS has supported WildTrack, formerly known as RhinoWatch, with support
and software since 1998. For more information on WildTrack's activities,
visit http://www.wildtrack.org .
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