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

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8TH APRIL 2003


Tuesday 8th April, 2003 displaced farmers Alan Parsons (44), Johnny Coast (44), ZRP Inspector Kumalo, the Messenger of the Court and the Sheriff, were severely beaten by the "new owner" of Alan’s Karoi farm, TEMBA MLISWA, and about 15 thugs. It is only a few months since Temba Mliswa and his thugs beat up Alan’s wife Jenny and their eldest son of 16.

The Police had contacted Alan to tell him that his farm equipment was being stolen and that he needed to travel to Karoi and go out to the farm with them so as to take an inventory of what was left and to identify some property which the Police believed had been stolen from the farm. Johnny, who accompanied Alan to Karoi, had had 100% assurance from the Officer Commanding District Supt. GUMBO that their safety would be guarenteed while visiting the farm. Alan and Johnny travelled to Karoi and were accompanied by a PISI (Police Intelligence) officer, one CID detail and one CIO operative, all in plain clothes and a uniformed ZRP Sgt. They also had Insp. Kumalo and the Messenger of the Court with them.

On arrival at the farm the homestead and farm yard gates were locked and there was no one around. They looked around the farm yard identifying where equipment was missing that had been there when Alan and his family were forcibly evicted by MLISWA. They then drove to the other section of the farm where the Police said there was some stolen equipment hidden. At this time, one of the members of the group returned to Karoi to collect a locksmith so that entry could be gained into the main farm yard and the Parsons homestead. In one of the sheds a .303 calibre rifle was found and taken by the PISI officer.

On entering the Parsons home Alan noticed that a lot of their furniture and household items had been stolen (MLISWA had keys to the house). Alan asked the Police if he could take some of their personal items from their home. The Police agreed and it was loaded onto their Land Cruiser outside the house. At that moment they could hear wild screaming coming from the yard (close to the house) and then next minute MLISWA ran right up to Alan screaming like a lunatic and punched him in the face. All hell broke loose as the approx. 15 thugs accompanying MLISWA set about beating Alan, Johnny and the Policemen and Messenger of the Court, with fists and some used golf clubs found in the back of the Land Cruiser. The .303 rifle was taken from the PISI officer by one of the thugs, who immediately put it against Alan’s head and pulled the trigger. Fortuneately the rifle was not loaded. Alan and Johnny ran outside to try and get away, but saw the gates had been locked and MLISWA’s truck was barring their exit.

While they were being beaten MLISWA was screaming " kill these people", "kill the white pigs". The thugs then grabbed anything they could to use to beat Alan and Johnny (the Police had absconded), which included fuel pipes, golf clubs, gas bottles, iron fencing standards.

Alan was on the back of the truck and being beaten from all sides he ran under a fuel tank frame where he thought he could protect himself. MLISWA followed him, kicked him in the back – when Alan fell to the ground MLISWA continued to kick him all over the body. In the meantime the other thugs were beating Johnny near his truck .

Alan and Johnny do not know how long this all went on for but some while later a contingent of Police and Army details arrived at the farm gate. The assailants ran away and the Police vehicle took Alan and Johnny to Karoi. On leaving the farm the notorious (Kariba murders prior to the Parliamentary elections in 2001) REX JESUS drove up, stopped the Police vehicle, looked in at Alan and Johnny, closed the door and let them proceed. The Police delivered them to a friend in Karoi.

The thugs stole the victims cell phones and money and also smashed up Johnny’s Land Cruiser using iron fencing standards to smash the windows, doors, bonnet and roof.

Alan and Johnny have been treated at a Hospital and it is believed that Inspector Kumalo has been admitted to a district Hospital.

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Business Day

Harare muscles in on SADC rights probe


ZIMBABWE may play a role in judging its own human rights record, if claims
about the composition of a Southern African Development Community (SADC)
task force being sent to investigate mounting political violence are
anything to go by.

Confusion reigned yesterday over the exact membership, mandate and timing of
the visit, which was decided on at last week's meeting in Harare of the SADC
organ on defence and security.

Observers said the absence of clarity on the crucial issues could be a sign
that the region is backing away from placing pressure on Zimbabwe, despite
private concerns expressed by some ministers about developments there.

There was no mention of the visit in the final communique issued after the
SADC organ's meeting. In a strong signal of support for the Zimbabwean
government, the communique said: "The meeting took note that those opposed
to Zimbabwe have tried to shift the agenda from the core issue of land by
selective diversion of attention on governance and human rights issues."

A Harare-based diplomat said yesterday that the Zimbabwe government would be
part of the task force probe, a claim that was given credence by comments by
Zimbabwean Foreign Minister Stan Mudenge.

SA's foreign affairs department, however, says SA, Botswana and Mozambique
will be on the task force. The diplomat says the countries represented will
be Angola, Tanzania, Malawi and Zimbabwe.

Despite reports last week that the task force would visit Zimbabwe this
week, the Zimbabwean government said yesterday that it would announce the
dates soon. Mudenge said the task force would be formed by Zimbabwe and
would be sent there on his government's terms.

When a task force was first formed in August 2001, regional leaders
expressed concern about the effects of the Zimbabwe economic situation on
the region and it was agreed it would go about its task without
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Daily News

      Evicted workers win court order

      4/9/2003 11:37:10 AM (GMT +2)

      By Brian Mangwende Chief Reporter

      THE High Court yesterday directed that about 1 000 workers evicted
from Member of Parliament Roy Bennet's Charleswood Estate in Chimanimani
last week, be allowed to return to the farm immediately.

      Last week, State security agents and Zanu PF activists forcibly
removed the workers and their families from the opposition MP's farm and
dumped them about 11km away. The workers camped in the open at a bus
terminus in Ngangu Township in Chimanimani.

      In a final order consented to by the State and Bennet's lawyer,
Justice Tedius Karwi ordered Ministers Sydney Sekeramayi of Defence, Joseph
Made of Lands, Agriculture and Rural Resettlement, Augustine Chihuri, the
Police Commissioner, Constantine Chiwenga, the Commander of the Zimbabwe
National Army, to desist from attacking Bennet's employees.

      Karwi said: "The respondents and all persons acting for them or under
their control be and are hereby interdicted from threatening, abusing,
intimidating, harassing, assaulting or communicating with the directors of
the applicants, employees of the applicants and their family members.

      "That the employees of the applicants and their families be and are
hereby permitted and directed to return forthwith to their homes on the
property known as Charleswood Estate and recommence their duties working for
the applicants."

      Other respondents in the matter are the district administrator of
Chimanimani, the officer-in-charge of Chipinge District Police,
officer-in-charge of Chimanimani and his deputy, and Joseph Mwale, a member
of the Central Intelligence Organisation.

      Mwale is still to be brought before the courts on murder charges
stemming from the death of two MDC activists, Talent Mabika and Tichaona
Chiminya, who were petrol-bombed in their car and burnt to death during the
run-up to the bloody parliamentary election in 2000.

      Karwi then ordered the respondents, jointly and severally, to pay the
cost of the application.

      Ray Passaportis, Bennet's lawyer, said: "The State was represented by
the Attorney-General's Office and they conceded they had no defence to the
actions by the respondents.

      "The brutal assaults fell far outside the confines of the Land
Acquisition Act. The judgment was basically based on that."

      Bennet said: "I am pleased about the judgment. If the respondents or
some of them fail to pay the costs of the application, we'll be attaching
their properties through the messenger of court."

      The workers were kicked out on the pretext that the farm, which falls
under the Export Possessing Zone, had been designated. But according to the
law, property under EPZ cannot be designated.

      Wallace Mupfumwa, a Zimbabwe Human Rights Association regional officer
in Manicaland, said efforts to get humanitarian aid to the affected people
were thwarted by the State security agents.

      Since Bennet became the MP for Chimanimani, police, soldiers and CIO
agents have on several occasions raided his Charleswood Estate.
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Daily News

      MP says mine workers fired for backing MDC

      4/9/2003 11:50:07 AM (GMT +2)

      From Sydney Saize in Mutare

      AN MDC Member of Parliament claims 10 employees fired from a mine near
Mutare were victimised for belonging to his party.

      Giles Mutsekwa (Mutare North) yesterday accused Archibald Muradzikwa,
the Redwing Mine manager, of allegedly victimising the workers because they
were suspected to be MDC sympathisers.

      But Muradzikwa yesterday denied the allegation.

      He said: "I only know of about 10 teachers sacked for abusing food
meant for children. After these 10 were fired, we were taken to task by a
number of senior Zanu PF officials in the district. We don't know to which
party these people belonged."

      But Mutsekwa, in a letter to Muradzikwa dated 4 April, said he had
received information that there was victimisation of members of his party at
the mine.

      "I am reliably informed that you are taking advantage of your position
at the mine and that you are sparing no effort to thwart any activities by
the MDC," Mutsekwa wrote.

      He alleged Muradzikwa had issued a directive that the MP be denied
access to the mine, an allegation Muradzikwa also denied.

      "What I know is that workers are not allowed to wear any party
T-shirts within the mine premises," he said. "We are colour-blind and do not
care what workers do after hours outside the premises."

      Mutsekwa said the MDC would ensure that Muradzikwa's name was added to
the list of Zanu PF leaders under smart sanctions by the European Union, the
United States and Australia.

      "Let it be known that I have no boundaries in my constituency. I shall
visit Redwing Mine as much as frequently as I wish," he said.

      Muradzikwa said the sacking of the teachers followed demands for
transparency from the parents at the mine and surrounding areas.
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Daily News

      100 foreigners arrested in massive clampdown

      4/9/2003 11:51:54 AM (GMT +2)

      Staff Reporter

      About 100 foreigners have been arrested in Harare since last week in a
police operation code-named Operation Dzokera, Shona for "go back", to rid
the country of illegal immigrants.

      A police source said some of the arrested foreigners were detained at
various police stations in Harare last week pending their deportation.

      It could not be established if any of the alleged illegal immigrants
had been deported by yesterday.

      Officers at the immigration department referred questions to Elasto
Mugwadi, the chief immigration officer, who could not be reached on Monday
and yesterday.

      "Members of the team are checking records and tracing foreigners who
have overstayed and those who do not have valid residents' permits," said
the police source.

      "They are going to places frequented by foreigners and tourists. Those
whose papers are not in order are arrested and detained while waiting for
the arrival of the next plane to their home countries."

      The police said in a statement at the weekend the blitz code-named
Dzokera, targeted foreigners living in the country illegally.

      The police said they had recovered illicit drugs and skin bleaches
from some of the foreigners.

      They urged all those living in the country without valid documents to
turn themselves in at the nearest police stations.

      Isaac Mukaro, the commissioner for refugees, said genuine refugees had
so far not been affected by the operation.

      "If any genuine refugees were affected, they would have been in touch
with me," Mukaro said.
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Daily News

      Suspected Chinhoyi arsonists granted bail

      4/9/2003 11:54:39 AM (GMT +2)

      Court Reporter

      THREE MDC supporters implicated in an alleged arson attack on the
Mashonaland Turf Club building in Chinhoyi last month, were yesterday
granted $150 000 bail each by High Court judge, Justice Moses Chinhengo.

      Gift Machoka Konjana, who allegedly confessed to igniting the fire
which torched the General Agricultural and Plantation Workers' Union of
Zimbabwe premises, Zanu PF provincial offices and two other buildings, was
denied bail.

      The four men are being charged with arson or violating the Public
Order and Security Act.

      "In respect of the first applicant, there is a confession allegedly
made by him which is, however, challenged by his lawyer," Chinhengo said,
referring to the alleged admission by Konjana.

      Their lawyer, Alec Muchadehama, said Konjana made the alleged
confession under duress. He said his clients were tortured by detectives and
CIO agents.

      But Chinhengo said: "The statement by the first applicant is detailed.
It talks about how he singularly burnt down the building. It talks about
other people who may have been involved in the conspiracy."

      The judge ordered Martin Wilson, 24, of Gadzema; Peter Lwanda, 24, a
student at Chinhoyi University; and Rodgers Joseph Chimatira, 33, a
messenger at the MDC offices in the town, to report to the police three
times a week as part of their bail conditions.

      He said there was no strong basis linking the three men to the alleged
offence. The State was relying on an unconfirmed statement by Konjana, he

      Brian Vito, a senior law officer in the Attorney-General's Office, had
opposed bail because the accused were facing a serious charge which
attracted a prison term. He argued that the evidence against them was

      Meanwhile, 11 MDC youths accused of burning a Zupco bus in Harare's
Willowvale industrial area on 13 January, lost their second bid for bail.

      Chinhengo said the youths were facing "serious" charges. He dismissed
the defence's submission that the State had been tardy in providing their
trial date, saying that did not constitute a change in circumstances
warranting the granting of bail.

      Harare lawyer Ralph Maganga represented the youths.
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Daily News

      17 MDC members remanded

      4/9/2003 11:55:08 AM (GMT +2)

      From Our Correspondent in Mutare

      MUTARE magistrate Samuel Zuze on Monday further remanded 17 MDC
members out of custody to June for allegedly violating the draconian Public
Order and Security Act after they participated in last month's stayaway.

      Zuze ordered the police to return before 13 April, the $117 000 they
allegedly confiscated when they arrested Pishai Muchauraya, the MDC
spokesperson for Manicaland.

      Another Mutare magistrate, Lloyd Kuvheya, had last month ordered that
the money, together with a cellphone, be returned.

      Some of the opposition party members on $10 000 bail include Giles
Mutsekwa, the MP for Mutare North, Patrick Chitaka, chairman for Mutare
North, and Knowledge Nyamhoka, a councillor for ward four in Sakubva.

      They are being accused of organising and inciting people to engage in
last month's mass action, which was organised by the MDC.

      The mass action brought business to a standstill in major cities as
most people heeded the MDC's call for a protest to press President Mugabe's
government to stop human rights abuses against suspected government

      The MDC challenged Mugabe to confront the worsening economic
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Daily News

      Public dismisses army claims on rogue soldiers

      4/9/2003 11:56:20 AM (GMT +2)

      By Columbus Mavhunga

      The arrest of the alleged rogue soldiers and army deserters said to be
part of terror gangs indiscriminately assaulting residents and opposition
supporters, has raised many questions than answers.

      In a statement, the army said the soldiers had deserted the army and
were perpetrating violence on behalf of the MDC following their alleged
bribery by the opposition party.

      On Monday the Zimbabwe National Army paraded 23 alleged army deserters
arrested in a joint operation by the army and the police.

      Members of the public yesterday telephoned The Daily News querying the
authenticity of the army's claims.

      Most questioned why it had taken the army so long to alert the public
about the army deserters considering that residents had for months
complained of the terror campaigns which were being perpetrated by men
wearing military uniforms.

      Others could not understand why the army took its time before taking
action against the "rogue soldiers".

      The public questioned how the soldiers managed to leave the barracks
with AK rifles and ammunition considering the tight security checks at
military establishments throughout the country.

      "Army vehicles and guns such as AK rifles are not taken out of the
barracks in a pocket," said one caller who said he was in the army.

      "You have to account for them before you leave. The ZNA must look for
a more convincing explanation."

      Major Alphios Makotore, the army deputy director of public relations,
however, said: "They managed to steal ammunition from the barracks as they
were people who had a know-how on security procedures in the army.

      "A soldier on duty is entrusted with a weapon and its ammunition. In
that situation a soldier who is a rogue element or working for the interest
of outside organisations can steal the very weapon and ammunition issued to
him and go AWOL."

      On why the army did not alert the public that some soldiers had
deserted camp, Makotore said they wanted to establish the actual status of
the culprits.

      "It was imperative for the army to carry out exhaustive and thorough
investigations on the circumstances surrounding these allegations before
going to the Press," he said.

      Professor Welshman Ncube, the MDC secretary-general, yesterday
dismissed the ZNA's assertions as part of government efforts to divert
attention from the opposition's demands for the restoration of the rule of

      He said it was "nonsensical and illogical" to claim that his party had
hired the soldiers when its supporters were the victims of the wanton
beatings and attacks.

      Ncube said: "The soldiers were many and were heavily armed with AK
rifles. They were carried in army vehicles and were accompanied by known
members of the State security and youth brigades.

      "It is typical in fashion and characteristic of government's efforts
to divert our attention from our demands and to hoodwink the Southern
African Development Community task force coming soon to Zimbabwe."

      A Sadc task force is expected in the country this week or next week to
assess the crisis in Zimbabwe.
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Daily News

      Chinotimba threatens to deal with Mudzuri

      4/9/2003 11:58:48 AM (GMT +2)

      By Lloyd Mudiwa

      JOSEPH Chinotimba, the losing candidate in the Highfield parliamentary
by-election last month, yesterday allegedly threatened to "deal with" Elias
Mudzuri, the Executive Mayor of Harare, after he was questioned on
allegations that he was in breach of his employment contract with the Harare
City Council.

      Chinotimba, an inspector with the Municipal Police, runs a
Harare-based security company allegedly without the permission of his

      This was revealed when Chinotimba unwittingly donated through his
company, Edlan Security (Private) Limited, a cheque for $500 000 bearing his
signature to the municipality on 24 February this year.

      The money was donated towards the repair of public toilets at
Machipisa bus terminus in Highfield.

      Chinotimba, a Zanu PF activist, accused Mudzuri of having breached the
same employment conditions himself when he was employed as an engineer with
the council.

      "When he had his bar, did he ask for permission to operate it?" a
fuming Chinotimba said in apparent reference to Mudzuri who used to own
Status Nightclub in Harare's Budiriro 2 high-density suburb.

      "Ask him if there is a letter in his files authorising him to operate
the bar.

      "Let him go and hang. He wants Zanu PF out. Let him do what he wants.

      "God is not for him alone. I will deal with him."

      Mudzuri confirmed receiving the cheque but said he would not cash it.

      According to the municipality's conditions of service, an employee is
not allowed to run or be a director of a company in Harare without council

      Efforts to get comment from Josephine Ncube, the acting Town Clerk,
were fruitless.

      Records kept at the Registrar of Companies show Chinotimba was
appointed director of the company on 11 July last year.
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Daily News

Leader Page

      Good prevails over evil in by-elections

      4/9/2003 11:36:24 AM (GMT +2)

      By Maxwell Saungweme

      The victory by the Movement for Democratic Change in the recent
by-elections in Kuwadzana and Highfield must be celebrated as the triumph of
good over evil.

      The election outcome shows that Zimbabweans are capable of braving
State-sponsored intimidation, violence and abductions in their fight for
what is right.

      Voters in the two constituencies also clearly demonstrated that
vote-buying can no longer be used by the government to lure them into voting
for Zanu PF.

      However, people must not be fooled into believing that the elections
were free and fair - a story already being peddled by government
mouthpieces. Neither does the election outcome point to the fact that
Zimbabwe is a democracy.

      In Kuwadzana, the Zanu PF candidate, David Mutasa, was trounced by the
youthful Nelson Chamisa, the MDC candidate, who polled 12 584 votes ahead of
Mutasa's 5 002. In Highfield, the MDC's Pearson Mungofa won with 8 759
votes, ahead of Zanu PF's Joseph Chinotimba who polled 4 844. The African
National Party's candidate garnered 272 votes while Munyaradzi Gwisai, who
stood as an independent, polled a paltry 73 votes ahead of the United
Parties and Zimbabwe Democratic Party candidates, who polled 34 and eight
votes, respectively.

      For an election to be deemed free and fair, the political environment
before, during and after should be conducive to the prevalence of an
atmosphere in which the people are able to enjoy their freedom of movement,
speech and assembly.

      Candidates should be allowed to hold their campaigns in peace and
without fear. They should be given equal access to the public media. No
quarters of the constituencies should be labelled "no-go areas" for some

      The registration of voters and inspection of the voters' roll should
be transparent. During polling days, every registered voter should be free
to go and cast his/her ballot without fear. The polling must be monitored
and observed by independent monitors and observers.

      These monitors and observers should execute their duties freely,
without fear of victimisation. A truly independent electoral commission must
conduct the elections.
      But with respect to these two by-elections, the voter registration
process was far from being fair and transparent. Reports were made in
Kuwadzana of "ghost people" appearing on the voters' roll. Reports were also
made of people who reside outside the Kuwadzana constituency appearing on
the voters' roll.

      Chamisa had to apply to the High Court in order for him to get a copy
of the voters' roll from the Registrar-General's Office.

      The campaign process for both constituencies was characterised by
several electoral offences, including undue influence. There was vote-buying
during both the campaign and polling periods.

      The losing Zanu PF candidate for Kuwadzana, David Mutasa, used scarce
basic commodities like mealie-meal to lure voters.

      In Highfield, on polling days, Chinotimba's supporters were reportedly
issuing mealie-meal tickets to voters.

      Violence also marred the electoral process. At least two people were
killed during the bloody campaigns and hundreds were injured. Zanu PF
militants set up militia camps in both Kuwadzana and Highfield. Illegal
curfews were also enforced.

      Several campaign rallies of the opposition were disrupted by the
police, the army and Zanu PF hooligans. A case in point is the MDC rally
which was disrupted on 15 March in Kuwadzana Extension by marauding members
of Zanu PF supporters and the police, who were armed with guns, tear-gas
canisters and baton sticks. And in the melee of the disruption, one innocent
woman lost her life.

      Opposition candidates were denied access to public radio and
television. During the voting days, election observers sponsored by local
non-governmental organisations were barred from carrying out their work at
some polling stations, in spite of their accreditation by the Electoral
Supervisory Commission.

      Some monitors were beaten up by suspected Zanu PF supporters, while
others were forced to flee from polling stations.

      Known opposition supporters were also barred from voting and some were
beaten up in full view of the police. Zanu PF supporters chanted their party
's slogans within a 100-metre radius of the polling stations in Highfield,
in breach of the Electoral Act.

      Notwithstanding this backdrop where the electoral playing field was
heavily tilted in favour of the ruling party, the MDC still managed to win.
This victory must be celebrated.

      But the win under such tough conditions should not make people naively
agree with the line of thinking being promulgated by Zanu PF that the
elections were free and fair.

      If the government wanted Zanu PF to win the elections, nothing could
have stopped it, given that it had all the necessary ingredients to make
that happen - a defective electoral act, a partisan Registrar-General,
partisan election monitors and the State machinery.

      The concession of defeat by Zanu PF should be treated as a ploy to try
to weaken the MDC argument for mass action. The election outcome coincided
with the expiry of an ultimatum to the government to address the crisis
facing this nation or risk decisive mass action.

      The government would like to appear as a responsible entity that
allows the MDC to win by-elections. Also, by allowing the opposition to
triumph they wanted to present an image of democracy and rule of law.

      As we are all well aware, people are daily being tortured, harassed
and arrested without cause by the army, the police and Zanu PF youths.

      What Zimbabweans should know is that with or without opposition
by-election victories, it is only decisive action against the government
that will return Zimbabwe to its former economic glory, decisive action that
will bring democracy and rule of law. This action should continue in the
form of peaceful demonstrations and stayaways.

      The peaceful mass pressure should be geared towards leading us to
national dialogue that will in turn lead to a transitional period in which a
new people-driven Constitution would be put in place, followed by fresh
presidential elections to choose a legitimate government, under the
provisions of a people's democratic Constitution.
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Daily News

Leader Page

      About-turn on evicted farm workers a deceitful gesture

      4/9/2003 11:35:38 AM (GMT +2)

      IT is ironic that the government says it does not regret undertaking
the fast-track land reform programme which has created the current man-made
hunger and starvation that more than 80 percent of this country's population
is facing.

      If the draft constitution, which would have given President Mugabe and
his cronies absolute power to continue ruining this once beautiful country
and its economy, had been accepted by the people during the referendum in
2000, there would definitely not have been a fast-track land reform
exercise. The exercise was aimed at spiting the farmers and "making them
tremble". The farmers were blamed for financing the MDC, which had shaken
Zanu PF's hold on power which it had enjoyed uninterrupted for 20 years

      Before the formation of the MDC, Zanu PF had enjoyed unbridled power
and had been winning all the elections overwhelmingly. It had managed to
create an apathetic atmosphere where each time elections were held it would
romp home on a hollow victory.

      The MDC managed to reverse all that by giving the population new hope.
They gave Zanu PF a run for their money. It dawned on the population that
after all Zanu PF could be removed from power and that it had no God-given
mandate to rule this country forever or until "donkeys had grown horns", as
its vice-president, Simon Muzenda, used to say

      The MDC proved to the nation - to put it in the Shona idiom - that the
owl they feared had no horns, after all. That did not go down well with
Robert Mugabe and his ambitions to stay in power forever.

      The only formidable opposition that Mugabe had experienced was from
the former PF Zapu which Zanu PF practically swallowed with the unity struck
between the two former adversaries on 22 December 1987. To Mugabe, Zimbabwe
became a de facto one-party state with him as emperor, of course. However,
the advent of the MDC shocked him back to reality. But since he always wants
to have the last say, he spearheaded the fast-track land reform exercise
whose disastrous consequences the whole country is now experiencing.

      The farmers had to be "made to tremble", as Mugabe said at one rally.
They were sponsoring the MDC and they had to pay dearly for that. All along
they had been supporting Zanu PF, overtly or covertly, and by changing their
minds and advocating for change and being seen to sup with devil - in Zanu
PF's warped perception - they became instant enemies of the State. Their
land was willy-nilly grabbed in retribution.

      Zanu PF and Mugabe told the nation and the world at large that they
were continuing with the liberation struggle whose main cause was the land
taken away from the country's indigenous people by the colonialists in 1890.
"The land is the economy, the economy the land," Zanu PF bellowed as it
tried to woo people to support its ill-conceived and short-sighted

      As a result, 500 000 farm workers and their families - mostly of
Malawian, Mozambican and Zambian descent - were thrown out of their homes
and jobs. The government did not care a hoot about the plight and future of
these people as visibly demonstrated when 1 000 farm workers and their
families were forced off Roy Bennet's Charleswood Estate in Chipinge.

      Those who tried to defend their homes and their jobs were beaten up,
tortured, raped and killed in the terror and violence that accompanied the
chaotic land seizures. Although born in Zimbabwe, their citizenship was
revoked. The government secretly started rounding them up and deporting
them. These people were born in this country and are supposed to be citizens
by birth. They know no other home besides the farms that they were born and
bred on.

      The government could surely not expect them to go back to their
original homes. Their grandparents and parents had known no other home
besides the farms they toiled on for a lifetime. They could not go back to
no one and nothing.

      Now, as if realising their mistake, the government, following a
Southern African Development Community meeting, decided to extend
citizenship to all Sadc citizens resident in this country since April 1980.

      This should be a welcome relief to the farm workers and their
families. But they must be warned that Zanu PF will hold them beholden come
election time.
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Daily News

      Monetary policy blamed for bank note drought

      4/9/2003 11:42:41 AM (GMT +2)

      By Hama Saburi Business Editor

      THE volume of bank notes in circulation has suffered a drastic plunge
on the backdrop of a drying market that is reacting to the monetary policy
introduced in the first quarter of the year.

      The reduction in the volume of cash, particularly the $500 note, has
hit the banking sector amid fears that the country was running out of bank

      In order to spread the resource across a large number of clients, some
banks are rejecting large withdrawals except where prior arrangements have
been made.

      Bankers interviewed by The Business Daily blamed the Reserve Bank of
Zimbabwe policy for the discomfort facing banks.

      "The volume of cash has been reduced and when clients visit the banks,
they may not get it (cash).

      "This may trigger a run on the bank, a situation that is extremely
difficult to recover from," said one banker.

      What is extremely worrying is the volume of cash individuals stash in
cars and homes, a development which seems to indicate a lack of confidence
in the economy.

      David Mupamhadzi, a local economist, said the RBZ had kept the market
short by not issuing commercial papers (Treasury Bills) that it normally
uses when borrowing on behalf of government.

      The market has also rejected a number of Treasury Bill (TB) tenders
because of their low yields.

      At the same time, the central bank, which is the lender of last
resort, now requires banks to have TBs when borrowing.

      Institutions without TBs will pay a penalty of at least 40 percent
above the repo rate, bringing the total cost of funds to around 80 percent.

      TBs are also required as security in the case of overnight advances
used by banks to cover their positions. Unlike in the past, banks are now
required to cover their positions before disbursing money either to the
public or other banks.

      It means that banks should have ready money for disbursement to trade
through the
      Zimbabwe Electronic Transfer System (ZETS).

      Institutions that cannot meet the requirement would be thrown out of
ZETS, which is an electronic system used to clear all banking transactions.

      Banks have been caught between a rock and hard place. They cannot buy
TBs at a loss and at the same time cannot pay the penalty because none of
their clients can afford it.

      "So if you fail to pay it would be a liquidity crisis with possible
contagion effects on other banks," another banker said.

      Banks' capacity to issue more loans for new projects has been affected
as well as their ability to sustain existing loan books.

      This could also lead to the contraction of investments and the
ballooning of the budget deficit, which the government finances through
borrowings from the money market.

      Another senior banker said the solution would be for the RBZ to accept
securities banks get when they lend to institutions such as parastatals.

      Failure to honour other securities could derail industrial development
because banks would not advance loans to these companies.

      "The new policy is looking at fighting inflation regardless of causing
the collapse of financial institutions," said another banker.

      Failure to honour other securities could derail industrial development
because banks would not realise any value from lending to these

      Division could also emerge in the banking sector after it emerged that
the RBZ is favouring unnamed institutions by rescuing them from the
liquidity crisis.

      This is being done by way of private arrangements where they can swap
foreign currency at parallel market rates in exchange for TBs.

      "In fact, the RBZ should ask where the foreign currency is coming from
or put a circular to the effect that foreign currency swaps are now
acceptable," said another merchant banker.
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Daily News

      Borrowers bleed from high rates

      4/9/2003 11:43:21 AM (GMT +2)

      By Hama Saburi Business Editor

      MORE people could soon shy away from borrowing owing to sharp
increases in the cost of money.

      Of late, banks have raised lending rates citing the prohibitive cost
of money, escalating operational costs and effects of the new monetary
policy introduced recently.

      Royal Bank became the latest institution to increase lending rates,
adding to similar announcements from institutions such as the Zimbabwe
Banking Corporation, Kingdom Financial Holdings and First Banking

      On average, lending rates are now hovering between 45 and 55 percent,
against a return of at least 25 percent for current accounts and 50 to 60
percent for investment funds.

      Economists said companies and individuals that are heavily borrowed
could immediately feel the impact of the increase in interest rates.

      In the absence of debt rescheduling or restructuring, some companies
could be forced to trim their workforce or close down altogether.

      Credit stores and micro-lenders will also feel the pinch, as customers
hesitate to buy on credit or borrow.

      The government, as the largest borrower, will not be spared either
unless the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) continues to suppress the yield on
Treasury Bills (TBs). TBs are used by the RBZ when borrowing on behalf of
the government.

      David Mupamhadzi, the group economist for Century Holdings, said
interest rates are increasing in response to the acute shortage of funds on
the market.

      The cost of funds incurred by banks has significantly increased as a
result, hence the upward review in lending rates.

      Mupamhadzi said: "There are no TBs, which are maturing, hence the lack
of liquidity. All this is reflecting the impact of the tight monetary policy
adopted in the first quarter of the year."

      In a bid to rein in excessive money supply, blamed for 60 percent of
Zimbabwe's inflation, Leonard Tsumba, the governor of the RBZ, came up with
a new policy offering cheaper finance to exporters and the productive

      The policy suspended the bank rate that used to reflect the cost of
funds borrowed from the RBZ. This effectively left the determination of
interest rates in the hands of market forces.

      Mupamhadzi said the policy suffers the dilemma of how to distinguish
between companies or individual borrowing for productive purposes from those
borrowing for consumption.

      Samuel Undenge, a trade and economic consultant, argued this week that
not all exporters and companies in the productive sector are accessing the
cheap funds.

      Most companies are accessing expensive money through the normal
banking channels.

      "It is therefore advisable for the RBZ to pursue a low interest rate
regime than a high interest rate environment.

      "While the argument for real interest rates appears sound, it should
be known that most companies had borrowed at low interest rates.

      It is the low interest rates that had sustained them up to now.

      "The risk of closure is now high because of the upward adjustment in
interest rates, which is likely to compound inflation and unemployment,"
Undenge argued.

      Undenge's argument is that company closures result in poor supply of
goods and services. The few surviving suppliers will then raise prices to
match excessive demand, which in itself is inflationary.

      Tapuwa Muchenje, a local economist, said the increase in interest
rates was unavoidable.

      Muchenje said while most people would be hurt by the increase, it is
critical to come up with the true value of money.

      Muchenje said: "Because of market distortions, we now have a situation
in Zimbabwe where a gardener working in the United Kingdom can afford to buy
a house in Borrowdale.

      "What will happen when that person comes back to Zimbabwe? An economy
must be selective so that the person who enjoys the privilege, benefits and
those who cannot should accept doing without certain things."

      Interest rates, he said, are a tool used in the allocation of
resources and they encourage savings. Trying to control them could result in
inefficiency and speculative borrowing.

      Undenge said the RBZ has come up with sufficient measures to
discourage people from borrowing for consumption.

      For example, the bank has tightened controls on illegal foreign
currency deals, improving supervision and surveillance mechanisms.

      Pensioners could still get a handsome return on their pensions if
pension funds look at other investment options, particularly greenfield
projects in the real sector.

      Undenge said: "The RBZ seem to be aware that if they increase interest
rates, most of the companies will close down. That is why they are reluctant
to do so because would defeat the intention of solving the problems of
inflation and unemployment."
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Daily News


      What Zanu PF did to make freedom really stink

      4/9/2003 11:44:52 AM (GMT +2)

      ON 18 April this year, a man will walk up and down the First Street
Mall in Harare with a sandwich board reading FREEDOM UNDER ZANU PF STINKS.

      He decided it would be wrong for the board to just read FREEDOM
STINKS, because our independence stinks only because Zanu PF introduced
malodorous elements into it.

      Such freedom would be said to stink to high heaven.

      In a number of African countries - Botswana, Mozambique, the
Seychelles, Mauritius, even South Africa and Kenya, to name a few -
independence could be said to have assumed the fragrance of a bouquet of
freshly-cut roses.

      That may be an exaggeration, but any country which allows its citizens
certain freedoms which most Zimbabweans only dream of - freedom from hunger
and beatings, for instance - deserves special mention here.

      Any country in which the dignity and self-esteem of ordinary people is
as low as it was during colonialism has a bunch of selfish, greedy and
God-awful leaders at the helm.

      In that connection, it's amazing that a man who shouted at Heroes'
Acre a few years ago that times were better in this country during Ian Smith
's time than they are now is not quoted more regularly than Tafataona

      There are problems in the countries I have named, as there are in

      But their problems have not reduced their standards of living to

      Or their freedoms - of expression, speech, assembly, movement,
association, to food, health, education and shelter - to something

      True, South Africa has the highest murder rate in the world, but it's
not committed to advance Thabo Mbeki's political goals.

      Even the rate of rape of women and the girl-child is atrocious but
these crimes are not committed to enhance the political agenda of the ANC.

      They could be linked to the constipation caused by eating some of the
rotten fruits of independence.

      In Zimbabwe since 2000, most such crimes have contained a political
element favouring Zanu PF.

      Under Zanu PF, the country has been rated among the worst as far as
the freedom of the Press is concerned.

      Thomas Jefferson, were he alive today and living in Zimbabwe, would
have written this to Jonathan Moyo: "I have lent myself willingly as the
subject of a great experiment . . . to demonstrate the falsehood of the
pretext that freedom of the Press is incompatible with orderly government."

      Jefferson, incidentally, would be appalled at the attempt by the Bush
administration to manipulate the media in the war against Iraq. He would
probably tell the president: "Shame on you, George!"

      But in Zimbabwe, under such hideous laws as the Public Order and
Security Act and the Access to Information and Protection of Privacy Act,
Jefferson would win hands down.

      Let's say you were asked, under the aid of a truth serum and under the
scrutiny of a lie-detector machine: was independence all you hoped it would

      Would you say "No" or "Yes"?

      If you were asked if, at this moment in your life, independence had
brought you something good, what would you say? Nothing, emptiness, Sweet
Fanny Adams. Worse misery than before independence?

      Or would you reply "Everything I ever dreamed of"?

      We must all have conjured up a picture, however hazy, of our lives
after 18 April 1980. Nine times out of ten, most of us saw an improvement. A
few of us were not emotional or dewy-eyed. We saw Northern Rhodesia become
Zambia. We saw Nyasaland become Malawi.

      We had met and interacted with the people involved in the struggle.
Some of these meetings filled us with trepidation as the day of independence

      Most of our anxieties were more or less vindicated.

      In brief, we had no illusions about independence. There would be
selfishness, corruption and one-man one-party rule. All the new leaders
spoke in flowery language of what a beautiful country they would build,
knowing they were lying through their teeth.

      None of us journalists dared say so in 1980, but by 1981 they couldn't
keep us on their leash any more. So, there were changes, intended primarily
to neutralise all who would write honestly and passionately about the dirt
under the nails of the leaders.

      And so on to the scandal of the Willowvale motor assembly plant,
Willowgate, which would not topple a president as Watergate did to Richard
Nixon in the United States in 1974. What it did was to disabuse many of the
naive notion that Zimbabwe's political leaders were different from the
leaders of the other African countries which became independent since 1957.

      Today, any Zimbabwean still clinging to the belief that the leaders
are different from the rest of the corrupt megalomaniacs who have run and
ruined many African countries, should shout from the rooftop of their house
in the township: I AM AN IDIOT!

      It may shock some people to be told that on the day of independence,
there may not have been a blueprint of how the new government intended to
proceed. This was not peculiar to Zimbabwe.

      If we take the three countries that constituted the Federation of
Rhodesia and Nyasaland, we find abundant evidence of the absence of a
well-conceived Plan of Action at independence.

      All three almost degenerated into chaos shortly after independence -
the Lumpa Uprising in Zambia, the Cabinet crisis in Malawi and the
Matabeleland and Midlands dissident war in Zimbabwe.

      Some of these upheavals could not have been foreseen by leaders
wallowing in the intoxicating euphoria of full nationhood. But this is
equivalent to a failure of leadership.

      If the hurdles had been anticipated well beforehand, dialogue would
have eliminated any chance of chaos at the moment of independence.

      People have been cynical about the state of mind of the leaders on the
eve of independence. "So, what do we do with this independence now that we'
ve got it?" "Well, let's play it by ear. For the moment, let's party!"

      It may not have been as flippant as this, but there has always been a
suspicion that there was not enough planning done before independence.

      Some people have blamed this on the British, for not ironing out all
the political and economic snags before handing over the country to its
people. Others insist the African leaders would have solved this problem if
they had formulated a plan even as they trained their guerillas in
Nachingweya. Everyone is paying the price for that lack of foresight. And
only the leaders are getting fat from the fruits of their blunders.

      Anyway, back to the present: were the thousands of deaths worth it?
Was Independence under Zanu PF a Sweet Deal?

      I can hear the sniggers, even a week before 18 April.

      Watch out for the man with the sandwich board though . . . if the
Green Bombers don't get to him first.
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Daily News


      Gwanda shakes off its dusty, backward settlement image

      4/9/2003 11:38:31 AM (GMT +2)

      From Oscar Nkala in Bulawayo

      WHEN Gwanda was declared a municipality in 1999, residents and the
business community openly said they had no clue as to what that meant for
their dusty little town.

      They had every reason to be sceptical about the upgrading in status of
a town whose record in service delivery under the Gwanda town council could
be testified by the dilapidated infrastructure, public toilets that never
stopped spewing sewage effluent onto the streets and the choking dust that
rose where imposing buildings stand today.

      These were not the only the problems the town faced.

      There were serious concerns about the state of housing in Jahunda, the
refuse collection system and the lack of effective marketing policies which
failed to justify why the town was an ideal investment destination.

      But today, a visit to the town can be full of many pleasant surprises.

      Since it became a municipality, the town has defied the national
economic meltdown to change the landscape of what others justifiably
preferred to refer to as "a dusty, sleepy mining growth point".

      Gwanda is revolutions away from the pre-1999 miners' retreat.

      Growth is not only evident in the high numbers of people walking the
paved streets of an undoubtedly modern town.

      It is perhaps the only town in Matabeleland South which has managed to
take mysterious advantage of the nationwide economic meltdown to attract
significant levels of investment within the past three years.

      But what did it take to bring this Gwanda economic and social
revolution miracle so close to fruition?

      Rido Mpofu, the first Executive Mayor whose term expires next August
believes it was perseverance and teamwork by the council, residents and all
the stakeholders.

      Mpofu said: "When we came into office, we promised we would work
tirelessly to bring meaningful development to this beautiful town. How we
have fared so far is for other people to judge. But I am proud to say we
have managed to make good progress, on average. Gwanda will never be the
same again. It has grown and I hope it will continue to grow."

      For a town that had only one supermarket, one wholesale outlet and a
host of general dealers that sold literally everything from yesteryear
fashions, like safari suits, to nuts and bolts, the proliferation of
supermarkets and highly-specialised departmental stores, marks commendable
progress compared with the snail's pace growth of long-standing

      Economic investment has changed the hitherto mundane landscape of
Gwanda to a busy, eye-catching investment destination which every investor
suddenly wants to be associated with.

      The new National Social Security Authority (NSSA) shopping mall is now
home to top-shelf supermarkets and furniture shops as well as several
ultra-modern anchor businesses which supply just about everything a modern
community needs.

      It is not only the authorities that are pleased with the arrival of
new players in the home market.

      "Shopping is now a glory around here," says Kholisani Nxumalo, of
Spitzkop, the fastest expanding suburb in town. "We can now afford to go
window-shopping. In the past the nearest shopping centre was Bulawayo, 127
km away."

      The banking sector has grown as well, to break the monopoly enjoyed by
Barclays and the People's Savings Bank (formerly POSB), today there are
modern halls that include other top-notch commercial banks and building

      Mayor Mpofu says the town owes most of the investment strides to its
three-in-a-row participation in the Zimbabwe International Trade Fair (ZITF)
since the year 2000. For each year it participated, the municipality as
never left the ZITF showgrounds without collecting bits of silverware for
being among the best organised exhibitors in the municipalities category. In
 2000 it attained third position, first in 2001 and dropped only to second
position last year.

      "A number of meaningful developmental projects have been implemented
as a result of the renewed investment drive. These include the new
multimillion dollar NSSA Shopping Mall which has since been named
Manzamnyama Complex, the construction of a number of industrial shells by
the Small Enterprises Development Corporation and other projects, such as
the ongoing construction of the ORAP Hotel and Conference Centre," Mpofu

      The Gwanda Development Sub-Committee, tasked with attracting
investment, has played a major role in bringing in new investors under the
revived investment policy. Its ten-point plan tells the investor why Gwanda
is the ideal investment destination.

      The growth of the town is also evident in such housing expansion
programmes as the Spitzkop North project where 1 189 stands are now on
offer, the Jacaranda Low-Density Project where 63 stands have been serviced.

      Old Jahunda suburb, whose two-roomed structures and communal toilet
system were condemned as worsening the spread of communicable diseases, has
been streamlined into neat, two-roomed fenced and gated structures.

      Besides the captivating design of the new shopping complex, the
ultramodern Joshua Mqabuko Polytechnic College is one of the finest
architectural designs to grace the town's landscape in the past four years.

      Under the international Spatial Development Initiative, Gwanda signed
a twinning agreement with Makhado Municipality (formerly Louis Tritchadt) in
South Africa. Representatives from Makhado visited the town recently, not
only to apprise themselves with the strides made in the infancy stages of
the municipality but to invite Gwanda youths for this year's commemoration
of the 16 June, 1976 Soweto Uprising.

      "Our youths are certainly going to attend the event. The twinning
arrangement opened avenues for co-operation in economic matters, cultural
affairs and general civic issues. We expect a lot from it, but let us give
the initiative time to work out. We are also aware that Rome was not built
in one day," says Mpofu.

      Despite the giant leap forward in investment, service provision has
been a constant nettle for the council whose three refuse collection
tractors are rarely functional because of a shortage of spare parts.

      But the public works programme came in handy for the council which now
delegates town cleaning duties to residents.

      Gwanda is perhaps the only council whose residents are so patient that
they would rather not criticise it.

      "Give them time, we are a small town. We are involved in the
step-by-step strategic planning of developments in this town. It would be
unfair of anyone to accuse the council of this or if they cannot put their
concerns forward in stakeholder meetings," says Thandeko Mnkandla, a human
rights activist.

      Although the mayor could not find a statement to summarise the young
municipality's progress in the past four years, a 14-year-old Gwanda High
School student managed to throw the dice about this town of over 30 000

      "If all the new buildings, houses and other developments around here
cannot be termed progress, then what should it be?"
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      'Caution saved SA from Zim's IMF debt trap'

            April 09 2003 at 05:21AM

            By Jeremy Michaels

      The oft-criticised "conservative" fiscal policy choices made by the
government would help to avoid a Zimbabwe-styled economic and social crisis
in South Africa over the long term, according to Finance Minister Trevor

      The deliberate choices made early in the African National Congress
government's tenure to avoid, as far as possible, borrowing money for social
spending - on education and social grants, for example - were now paying
dividends, Manuel said this week.

      South Africa had learnt valuable lessons from many countries around
the world who chose to advance their social spending "by borrowing more and
more", he said.

      "Probably, the best example is Zimbabwe, which for the first 10 years
(after independence in 1980) had remarkably broad social expenditure."

      By 1991 the Zanu-PF government was borrowing from the World Bank and
the International Monetary Fund, including a structural adjustment facility,
said Manuel.

      But along with this facility "came certain conditions, and amongst
those were certain cuts that they had to introduce in the kind of social
expenditure" which had become commonplace in the first decade of freedom.

      One result of this was cuts to public service salaries, "so what
people had become used to by way of government spending was no longer
possible and, by the late 90s some of the people who had struggled - the
veterans - were demanding so much more".

      Thus the South African government's critics should consider that the
so-called conservative policies of "constructing affordability, rather than
depending on borrowing to finance social expenditure programmes" were now
paying off and were ultimately in the country's long-term interests.

      "We are now in a position where, because our deficit is so low, we are
willing to consider far more creative spending, especially on

      Borrowing for infrastructure spending as opposed to borrowing for
recurrent expenditure yielded significant dividends, he said.

      "I think we are in a very strong place as far as those balances are
concerned," said Manuel.

      Speaking after a media briefing on Monday, the minister was upbeat
following revenue figures which showed that the government had received
R1,5-billion more than budgeted for in February.

      An efficient South African Revenue Service (Sars) had been "a very
important weapon in that struggle to win the fiscal choices for ourselves"
said Manuel.

      By midnight on March 31 - the end of the government's financial year -
Sars had collected R281,6-billion, about R13,1-billion more than the 2002/03
estimates of R268,5-billion, and R1,5-billion more than the revised figures
published in the 2003/2004 budget announced by Manuel in

      This would reduce the government's need to borrow, saving significant
sums in interest on loans.

      At present rates, for every billion rand the government borrowed, it
would pay interest of about R120-million a year.

      "Often we borrow over 10 years, so for every billion rand we borrow,
the interest burden would be R1,2-billion," said the minister.

      If South Africa had a huge debt burden, the country would not be able
to spend as much on education (R9,88-billion) and old age and disability
grants (R700 a month) as had been budgeted for in 2003/04.

         This article was originally published on page 4 of The Cape
Times on 08 April 2003
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The Herald

Cross-border traders continue exporting basic commodities

Cross-border traders feeling the pinch on the ban by the Government on
export of basic commodities have defied police presence and continued to
export the goods to a ready market in Mozambique, a snap survey revealed
this week.

The daring traders had opened up illegal entry points along the Forbes
Border Post despite heavy police presence armed with automatic rifles and
vicious dogs.

At Forbes Border Post scores of unemployed youths were entering the bush
carrying items such as sugar, cooking oil, milk, margarine, mealie-meal and
to a lesser extent, maize.

Manicaland police spokesman said there was a serious battle between police
and illegal traders along the border area.

About 70 illegal traders were being arrested everyday with huge quantities
of goods confiscated, but the traders remained defiant.

''These traders are aware of the banned goods but they still force
themselves into Moza-mbique through illegal routes,'' said the spokesman.

He said locals arrested when coming from Mozambique were being fined $600
for both illegal entry and exit but the fee had not helped in reducing the

The Government banned the recent export of basic commodities a few weeks ago
after Mutare city was reported to have run out of sugar and cooking oil
owing to hoarding by traders from both Mozambique and Zimbabwe. - Ziana.
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Business Day

MDC's Nyathi stays in jail as charges changed

HARARE Paul Themba Nyathi, the opposition Movement for Democratic Change's
(MDC's) chief spokesman, was to spend another night in police cells
yesterday after authorities decided to change the charges under which they
were holding him, his lawyer said.
Nyathi, the second top MDC official to be arrested in a week, was told on
Monday he was accused of "attempting to overthrow the government by
unconstitutional means," and was due to appear in court in Bulawayo
yesterday to apply for bail.

The charges related to a meeting at which the MDC leadership planned the
protest stayaway that shut down the country for two days last month.

MDC vice-president Gibson Sibanda spent a week in jail under the same
charge. Nyathi, an MP and member of the MDC's national executive council,
was arrested outside the Bulawayo Magistrate's Court on Monday, immediately
after Sibanda had been granted bail.

However, he spent most of yesterday recording a statement in response to a
different charge, said lawyer Nicholas Mathonsi. "I think they realised that
they could not sustain the charges."

Nyathi was not at the meeting he was alleged to have attended, Mathonsi
said. Nyathi is now being charged with "attempting to coerce the
government". The new charges relate to a statement bearing Nyathi's
signature in which the MDC spelt out an ultimatum to President Robert
Mugabe, demanding that he restore the rule of law in Zimbabwe. Sapa
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Dear Farmer,

You will probably have noticed that our weekly up-dates are coming out Mondays and
not Fridays.  We have had to settle for Mondays for two reasons:

Firstly, doing the up-date on Fridays means omitting all developments occurring on
that day and secondly, Neil's server is closed at 1700 and any e-mails sent after
1500 sits in the server till Monday.

1.0    WAGES - C.B.A (Collective Bargaining Agreement)
Nothing has changed on this front.
Minister still toying with TNF Wages and the outcome there will determine what
happens to NEC Wages.

1.1    WAGES - T.N.F. (Tri. negotiating forum)
The ALB, GAPWUZ & NEC were invited for consultative talks with the TNF Sub-Committee
on wages and the Ministry on 31/03/03.  ALB presented a paper to this Committee on
Agriculture's position on the proposed minimum wages of  $22 354.46 & $40 860.76.
All the NEC's with minimum wages below $35 000 were invited for separate
consultations.  We are informed the Minister will present submissions to Cabinet
before a decision on those wages is made.  No dates given as usual.

Last week we invited certain farm owners to get in touch with ALB or NEC regarding
production of certain documents.  For the avoidance of doubt we would like to clarify
the following points.

1.   Published list:
The list published in our e-mail has no bearing at all to the list that appeared in
the Sunday Mail on the 30th March 2003.

2.    Purpose:
The list in question came up during proceedings at Compensation House on the 28th
March 2003.  GAPWUZ agents across the country had submitted lists of farms they had
assisted in paying out S.I. 6 of 2002 but for which they had no payment documents.
The publication of that list was intended to advise concerned farmer of the need to
get that documentation sorted out prior to the date on which their compensation
cheque comes through.

3.    Change in Labour Regulations.
The ALB will be offering on-farm training service for managers, supervisors, foremen
and worker's committee members.
If interested contact Leonie on (04) 309800 ext 241 or e-mail:

3.1    Response to queries
Unfortunately, due to the volume and nature of queries we cannot respond individually
to queries on the New Labour Regs.

3.2    Sick Leave
Registered medical practitioner includes both Doctors and State Registered and State
Certified Nurses.  However, as a rule, nurses tend to deal with relatively less
complicated cases and are therefore not in a position to grant sick leave in excess
of a week.  Illnesses of a grave nature fall as always within the domain of doctors.

3.3    Vacation Leave
This is meant to accrue to an employee who is engaged on a contract in excess of one
year - the first year being the "qualifying service".  Vacation leave can be accrued
during the qualifying service but the employee cannot proceed on such leave until
after the qualifying service.
It also follows that any employee who does not work for an equivalent of the
"qualifying service" does not accrue vacation leave.

3.4    Unpaid leave
It is not stipulated how many days unpaid leave an employee may apply for but we
believe it should not exceed leave accruable in a year i.e. 30 days.  Valid reasons
for seeking such leave must be furnished.

3.5    Seasonal Workers
The definition of a seasonal worker still remains "an employee who is employed for a
period not exceeding 8 months in a 12 months period."
No contract of a seasonal nature should be rolled over without a break.
If you must re-engage please ensure the break is long - minimum one calendar month.

3.6    Cancellation of Vacation Leave
The law, at this stage, is silent on procedure but insist on official communication
of the cancellation at the time that the employee falls ill.  There will be
exceptions and these will have to be based on reasonable justification.

3.7    Special Leave
Special leave includes Saturdays, Sundays and Public Holidays - though not stated in
the Act.  Inference made from Vacation Leave provisions.

3.8    Maternity Leave
Due to permanent employees and those on fixed-term contracts of more than 12 months.
A monthly contract renewed 12 times is not equivalent to a year of service because it
terminates every month.

3.9    Eviction of employee after notice
If paid in lieu of notice, the employee loses his right to continued use of employer'
s property.
He has 72 hours to vacate the property unless otherwise organised with the employer.

3.10    Dismissal
The thing to watch against is to dismiss an employee simply because you need to
engage another in order to avoid continual employment of the first employee.

The foregoing is but a summary of the new regs, for more details please contact the

Thank you,
Tony Ndoro
Unless specifically stated that this is a Commercial Farmers' Union communique, or
that it is being issued or forwarded to you by the sender in an official CFU
capacity, the opinions contained therein are private.  Private messages also include
those sent on behalf of any organisation not directly affiliated to the Union.  The
CFU does not accept any legal responsibility for private messages and opinions held
by the sender and transmitted over its local area network to other CFU network users
and/or to external addressees.
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Bogus cop in Zim border scam
09/04/2003 09:32  - (SA)

Lizel Steenkamp

Johannesburg - How much would you pay to get your child to safety? This is
what a desperate Zimbabwean dad had to decide before coughing up R400 to a
bogus policeman.

"Even if police catch him and send him back, he still will be better off
than staying in Zimbabwe right now," said the man who asked to remain

Beeld newspaper has a copy of the R400 deposit slip, which was paid into the
bank account of a man called Makhado, who allegedly lives in Musina.

When a reporter asked Makhado for comment, he said he was a policeman at
Beit Bridge border post.

He refused to give his rank and declined to answer further questions.

Superintendent Ronel Otto of Limpopo police said: "No one of that name works
at the border post."

Claims they were beaten by ZanuPF

In the meantime, the Zimbabwean father, who has been a South African citizen
for the past seven years, criticised "corrupt government officials who use
the situation in Zimbabwe to make money".

His son, who fled Bulawayo a week ago, recounted stories of family and
friends being regularly beaten by ZanuPF supporters.

He went to Beit Bridge on Wednesday last week to flee Zimbabwe.

He said: "I asked around for assistance. I paid R10 to pass through the
gates and a man offered his help, provided my father paid R650 into his bank

The Zimbabwean said "Makhado" impersonated a policeman.

The father paid the money into the "Makhado" account and his son joined him
in Johannesburg the following evening.
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