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

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Zim Online

Security ministry takes over food distribution

      HARARE - President Robert Mugabe's national security ministry has
taken over food importation and distribution in Zimbabwe, in a development
observers told ZimOnline will cast a veil of secrecy on the country's food
situation as well as perpetuate politicisation of food aid.

      Mugabe, who until last month had insisted that Zimbabwe had enough to
feed itself, recently appointed a National Task Force on Food Security to
deal with the country's fast deteriorating food crisis. The task force is
headed by National Security Minister in the President's Office, Nicholas
Goche. Goche also heads the state's spy Central Intelligence Organisation
accused of hunting down and victimising opposition supporters.

      "The task force is a ZANU PF (Mugabe's ruling party) creation and its
operations are not open to the public," said a source privy to the latest
developments surrounding food procurement and distribution.

      The chief executive officer of the state's Grain Marketing Board GMB),
in charge of food procurement and distribution, Samuel Muvuti, refused to
take questions on the matter and referred all questions to Goche. Goche
could not be reached for comment.

      International and local food relief organisations say up to four
million people or about a quarter of Zimbabwe's population need emergency
food aid or they will starve.

      Mugabe, who admitted during campaigning for last month's parliamentary
poll controversially won by ZANU PF that Zimbabwe faces a serious food
crisis, told international food agencies to take their help elsewhere
because the country had enough to feed itself.

      But a subsequent probe by Parliament revealed that the state's Grain
Marketing Board was to receive only about 600 000 tonnes of the staple maize
in its silos by December 2004, a far cry from the 2.4 million tonnes Mugabe
and his Agriculture Minister Joseph Made claimed Zimbabwean farmers had

      Zimbabwe requires 1.8 million tonnes of maize for human consumption
and stock feed per year.

      The country has virtually survived on food handouts from the
international community in the last four years after Mugabe plunged the
large commercial farming sector into turmoil through violent land seizures
for distribution to landless blacks.

      Opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) shadow minister for
agriculture Renson Gasela, a former GMB boss, condemned the government's
move to place food distribution under state security.

      Gasela said: "ZANU PF wants to use food as a tool to sway voters to
the ruling party. They want to distribute food along party lines."

      The opposition accuses the ruling ZANU PF party of denying food aid to
its supporters as punishment for backing the MDC. ZANU PF denies the
charge. - ZimOnline

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Zim Online

Pressure group demands say on new constitution
Fri 15 April 2005
  Harare - A local pressure group fighting for a new constitution in
Zimbabwe has demanded a say in the rewriting of Zimbabwe's constitution
saying it will resist attempts by the ruling ZANU PF party to unilaterally
rewrite the country's supreme law.

      Addressing journalists in Harare yesterday, National Constitutional
Assembly (NCA) chairman Lovemore Madhuku, a constitutional law expert, said:
"All changes which do not involve people will be resisted by all forms
available including peaceful demonstrations."

      "We are appealing to the government to give us the right that belongs
to us, to be involved in the constitutional reforms of our country," said

      The NCA is a coalition of churches, students and political parties
fighting for a new and democratic constitution for Zimbabwe.

      Madhuku, who has been arrested and beaten up by the police in the past
for organising street protests demanding a new constitution, however said
his organisation was ready to work with the government to draft a new
people-driven constitution.

      The NCA spearheaded a campaign to reject a government-led draft
constitution in 2000 which critics said entrenched Mugabe's grip on power.

      But this time, the group said it was willing to call churches, the
government, individuals, all political parties, including the ruling ZANU PF
to an All Stakeholders' Conference to draft a new constitution for Zimbabwe.

      "We are prepared to start working with the government and even if the
rejected draft is brought on the table, we will appreciate it and start
dismantling it. But it has some positive clauses. We are against its
structure of the government as it gives too much power to the executive,"
said Madhuku.

      President Robert Mugabe has already hinted that ZANU PF was planning
to amend the constitution to pave way for the creation of a Senate and
increase the number of legislators in the House from 150 to 200. With its
two-thirds majority, there are serious fears that ZANU PF will seek to amend
the constitution through Parliament.

      Contacted for comment yesterday, John Nkomo, the Zanu PF chairman said
his party was prepared to work with any group for the betterment of

      "We have an open-door policy. Whoever has genuine interests and ideas
for Zimbabwe will be welcomed by ZANU PF," said Nkomo. "What we will fight
against is the imposition of foreign ideas and agendas."

      ZANU PF accuses the main opposition Movement for Democratic Change
party of being a front for the West out to reverse Zimbabwe's liberation war
gains. - ZimOnline
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Zim Online

Jonathan Moyo challenges electoral law
Fri 15 April 2005
  BULAWAYO - Former government information minister Jonathan Moyo has
appealed against a High Court ruling dismissing his request days before last
month's election to have four polling agents for each contestant at each
voting centre.

      Moyo wants Zimbabwe's Supreme Court to strike off an electoral
provision which requires only two polling agents at each voting centre
saying the two agents are not enough in monitoring proceedings during

      Moyo, who won the Tsholotsho seat on an independent ticket after
falling out favour in ZANU PF, said even though he went on to win the
election, the courts must correct the law so that it is not abused again in

      High Court judge Nicholas Ndou last month dismissed the case saying it
was not urgent. But in papers filed at the court, Moyo argues that Ndou
misdirected himself in confining his determination of the matter on the
issue of urgency, instead of the merits of the case.

      Moyo says the two polling agents, allowed under the new electoral law,
are not enough to monitor the three voting queues during polls. Under the
law, voters queued in three lines depending on the first letter of their

      His attorney, Kossam Ncube told ZimOnline yesterday that the fact that
Moyo went on to win the seat was not an issue, but that they wanted the law
to be corrected so that it is not used again in future polls.

      "Even if Moyo had lost, we were still going to appeal against the High
Court ruling as we felt and still feel that it was misdirected and grossly
unfair. It's a matter of dealing with injustice regardless of whether one
has surpassed the unjust law's
      restraints," said Ncube.

      No date has been set yet for the case. - ZimOnline

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Zim Online

British journalists acquitted
Fri 15 April 2005
  HARARE - The two British journalists jailed in Harare for the last two
weeks were yesterday acquitted on charges of practising their trade in
Zimbabwe without government permission.

      But Julian Simmonds and Toby Harnden of the Sunday Telegraph newspaper
will be sentenced today on a lesser charge of contravening the Immigration
Act by overstaying their visas granted to them as tourists.

      The two were released from custody after a magistrate in the small
town of Norton, 40 km west of Harare, where the journalists were alleged to
have committed the offence, ruled that the state had failed to prove its
case that they were covering last month's disputed election without state

      The two journalists faced up to two years in jail had they been
convicted of breaching Harare's tough Access to Information and Protection
of Privacy Act which requires all journalists wishing to practise in
Zimbabwe to be accredited with the
      government-appointed Media and Information Commission.

      Harnden and Simmonds were arrested at a polling station in Norton on
March 31 and were accused of taking photographs of people who were queuing
to vote.

      But the magistrate ruled that the state had failed to establish a case
for the accused persons to answer adding that the evidence that had been led
by state witnesses was confusing.

      He said that the State had not produced the camera that had been used
including the pictures that the accused had allegedly taken. He added that
the state had also failed to lead evidence from the government commission
that accredits journalists to buttress its claims that the two were covering
Zimbabwe's election without being accredited to do so.

      At least four of the country's independent newspapers have been closed
down and several journalists arrested in the last three years for breaching
the state's draconian media laws. - ZimOnline

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Zim Online

Mbeki sticks to quiet diplomacy policy towards Harare
Fri 15 April 2005
  JOHANNESBURG - President Thabo Mbeki yesterday said his government was
studying reports from Zimbabwe's main political opposition and civic society
groups on the country's disputed parliamentary election.

      But the South African leader insisted that whatever the contents of
the reports, Pretoria will stick to its policy of "quiet diplomacy" towards
President Robert Mugabe and his administration in Harare.

      Responding to questions in Parliament from opposition Democratic
Alliance leader Tony Leon about whether the run-up to Zimbabwe's March 31
ballot was free and fair and what steps Pretoria would take to address any
violations by Harare of a Southern African Development Community (SADC)
electoral protocol, Mbeki said that even Zimbabwean groups had conceded that
voting was peaceful.

      But the South African President, who holds the rotating chair of the
critical SADC Organ on Defence and Politics, disclosed that Pretoria had
received detailed reports from the opposition Movement for Democratic Change
(MDC) party and the Zimbabwe Election Support Network.

      Another report was expected from the Zimbabwe Council of Churches and
South Africa was going to consider seriously issues raised in that and other
reports in seeking a solution to Zimbabwe's crisis, Mbeki said.

      He also revealed that his government and the Harare administration
were going to reconstitute a joint committee to look at ways of helping
Zimbabwe overcome its economic crisis.

      But Mbeki insisted that all his government and other players in the
region could do was offer a helping hand but the solution to Zimbabwe's
problems rested with the Zimbabweans themselves.

      Mbeki, who besides his influential SADC post has extra clout in the
region because of South Africa's economic might, has been widely criticised
for refusing to adopt a more robust approach towards Mugabe.

      His government has said Zimbabwe's poll won by a landslide by Mugabe
and his ZANU PF party reflected the will of Zimbabweans but stopped short of
declaring the election as having been free and fair. - ZimOnline

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Daily News online edition

      MDC dossier backs poll fraud claims

      Date: 14-Apr, 2005

      HARARE - The Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) this week released a
damning report that documents all the alleged electoral malpractices by the
ruling Zanu PF using State resources and electoral institutions during the
March 31 parliamentary elections.

      In its 56-page report on the elections, subtitled "Stolen", the MDC
points out the shortcomings of the so-called independent body responsible
for the supervision and administration of elections, the Zimbabwe Electoral
Commission (ZEC), the abuse of repressive laws to stifle the press and the
opposition leading to "the denial of the Zimbabwean peoples' will".

      The MDC said the management structure for the March 2005 elections was
partisan and unprofessional in its conduct of electoral business.

      The opposition claims the whole administration of the election was
supervised by the same partisan institutions that allegedly subverted the
electoral processes in the controversial June 2000 parliamentary elections
and the March 2002 presidential elections, giving Zanu PF "hollow victories".

      "Both the Registrar General (Tobaiwa Mudede) and Mariyawanda Nzuwah
(the Elections Directorate) are two individuals who openly support Zanu PF,"
the document says. "Claims that the creation of ZEC, established under the
ZEC Act have ensured that Zimbabwe's electoral laws were consistent with
regional guidelines do not stand up..

      "Firstly, the ZEC was established too late in the day to have any real
role in running the elections. Many of ZEC's key functions had already been
carried out by the time it was formally established. For instance, the
Office of the Registrar General had carried out the voter registration
exercise in May and July 2004."

      According to the MDC document, ZEC was subservient to the Electoral
Supervisory Commission (ESC) a constitutional body whereas ZEC was merely a
legislative body.

      The MDC questions the independence of ZEC, the appointment of people
to ZEC and how a body whose responsibility was to run the elections could be
expected to deliver without its own support staff.

      Other parts of the document highlight the partisan attitude of the
Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP) in granting permission to hold campaign
rallies, the restrictive nature of the legislation in place to curtail
information dissemination, the biased coverage of MDC campaign rallies and
programmes, and the continued abuse of grain maize as a campaign tool.

      During the campaign period, the MDC recorded 124 incidents of
selective food selling, denial of right to hold campaign rallies, threats of
expulsion from villages if people voted for the MDC, and beatings by Zanu PF
militants and the police throughout the country, including illegal arrests
and detention.

      Zimbabwe has been enmeshed in controversy since the infamous farm
invasions in 2000 which led to the breakdown of the once vibrant agriculture
industry, the rule of law, the economy, the health delivery system and the
lifestyles of the majority Zimbabweans has worsened.

      The country's elections since 2000 have been condemned by Zimbabwe's
civic society, the opposition, Europe and the United States of America as
fraudulent and rigged in favour of President Robert Mugabe's Zanu PF.

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Daily News online edition

      Chiwenga tipped as Cabinet reshuffle looms

      Date: 14-Apr, 2005

      HARARE - A cabinet reshuflle is imminent sometime next week, with
speculation rife that Rtd Lieutenant-General Constantine Chiwenga, who was
replaced as Manicaland provincial governor by Tinaye Chugudu, is most likely
to be appointed the new Minister of Defence.

      Sources within Zanu PF told The Daily News Online that Chiwenga was
set to replace Sydney Sekeramayi, who is most likely to be moved to his
former Ministry of State Security.

      The sources said since Foreign Affairs minister Stan Mudenge was
linked to the Tsholotsho faction aligned to former parliamentary Speaker
Emmerson Mnangagwa, whose political fortunes are on the wane, Sekeramayi
would replace incumbent Nicholas Goche. Goche would revert to the Ministry
of Foreign Affairs, where he once served as deputy minister.

      The sources said President Robert Mugabe was likely to settle for
Goche because ambassador Tichaona Jokonya, who was initially tipped for the
post, is not feeling well.

      Others tipped to be in the new Cabinet in various capacities include
Obert Mpofu, the former Matabaleland North governor who was replaced by
Thoko Mathuthu. Patrick Chinamasa is likely to be retained as Minister of
Justice, since he had shown contrition after he was accused of being linked
to the Mnangagwa faction, which sought to block the election at the Zanu PF
congress last year of Mugabe favourite Joyce Mujuru for the post of vice

      Others set to be retained are Paul Mangwana (Labour), Aeneas
Chigwedere (Education), David Parirenyatwa (Health) and Amos Midzi (Energy).

      The sources said the Ministry of Information and Publicity was a
toss-up between Webster Shamu and Zimbabwe's ambassador to China and former
ZBC director-general, Chris Mutsvangwa.

      Newly-elected Mhondoro MP Sylvester Nguni is tipped to land the
Ministry of Industry and International Trade post because of his strong
background in the corporate sector.
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Daily Mirror, Zimbabwe

Commissioners fail to agree on land disposal rules

The Daily Mirror Reporter
issue date :2005-Apr-15

COMMISSIONERS running the city of Harare on Wednesday failed to agree to
recommendations by the city's Land-Alienation Sub Committee that all council
land be disposed of through tender.

Commissioner Tapfumaneyi Jaja opposed the proposal during the fourth
ordinary Commission meeting arguing the move could deprive the many in the
low-income bracket of gaining access to land.
"The poor may participate (in the tender procedure) but at the end they will
get nothing while the rich will continue getting more. The system currently
being used needs refining here and there, but it's alright," Jaja said.
Michael Mahachi also agreed with Jaja saying a number of people would be
disenfranchised by the proposal if it was adopted and implemented.
However, Harare lawyer and also commissioner Terrence Hussein, who chaired
the sub-committee, defended the proposal arguing
that it was meant to prevent corruption.
"What happened in the past was that individuals identified council land and
go knocking on a council officer's door who would then make recommendations
to the council to dispose off the land and that is not transparent.
"We want all Harare residents to know when there is land identified for use
and when that is done everybody should participate," said Hussein
The sub-committee recommendations also read: "The policy on allocation of
land without going to tender was not transparent enough as it did not
clearly outline how such land was identified and this almost amounted to
"secretive way" of allocating land."
Chamber secretary, Josephine Ncube also defended the proposal saying the
tender system would not favour the rich, because it was not council policy
to accept highest bids only and added that the proposal would not apply to
residential stands.
The vice chairperson of the Commission, Tendai Savanhu also said the old
policy was open to corruption since persons could bribe council officials to
get land and said what was needed was for council to identify the land and
advertise it so that every resident would be involved.
In a meeting held in January this year, the council's finance committee
recommended that all council land be sold through public tender resulting in
the setting up of the Land-Alienation Committee to consider the proposal for
further recommendation to the Commission.
The land committee then adopted the proposal.
It recommended: "That it be noted that this sub-committee has reconsidered
the proposed policy under Item 32 of the Finance Committee Minutes dated 18
January 2005 to dispose all council land through tender.
"That pursuant to recommendation above and for the reasons highlighted in
the preamble above it, be council policy to dispose off all land through
tender if council so wishes."
Commission chairperson Sekesayi Makwavarara had to refer the matter back to
the land sub-committee for further deliberations after the commissioners
failed to agree.
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      South Africa to Look Into Claims of Fraud in Zimbabwe Election
      By  VOA News
      14 April 2005

South Africa's president says his government will look into new reports on
Zimbabwe's elections, which detail serious irregularities.

Thabo Mbeki told parliament Thursday the government would study the reports
from both Zimbabwe's main opposition party (MDC) and the independent
Zimbabwe Electoral Support Network.  He says his government will then
address whatever issues are raised.

On Wednesday, Mr. Mbeki's government said it was satisfied Zimbabwe's
parliamentary elections, won by the ruling party, reflected the will of the

Observers from South Africa endorsed the poll following the March 31
election.  And a delegation of monitors from the Southern African
Development Community also said the vote was credible.

The United States and Britain have said the elections were not free or fair.
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Catholic Institute for International Relations

Sign a petition to save Zimbabwean human rights activists
With the post-elections situation in Zimbabwe still unstable, CIIR members
are encouraged to sign a petition to help protect two human rights activists
believed to be in grave danger.

NGOs working in the region have reason to believe that Mugabe's ZANU-PF
regime intends to eliminate political activists. The Netherlands institute
for Southern Africa (NiZA), for instance, has received reports that the
Zimbabwean secret police, the CIO, plans to get rid of human rights activist
Lovemore Madhuku and Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions' leader Lovemore

Lovemore Madhuku, Chairman of the National Constitutional Assembly (NCA), is
one of few Zimbabweans who openly oppose Mugabe's regime. He was recently
threatened by Augustine Chihuri, Chief Commissioner of Police.

Lovemore Matombo is President of the coordinating union organisation
Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions (ZCTU). Matombo fights for human rights,
especially those of workers in Zimbabwe. Last month he survived an attempt
on his life but there is evidence that plans are being formed for another
attempt. Matombo's family have also been threatened.

Lovemore Madhuku and Lovemore Matombo need protection from the international
community. This petition will be delivered on 18 April, alongside an appeal
to President Mugabe, to the Zimbabwean ambassador in Brussels.

Please sign the petition at and encourage
friends and contacts to follow suit.
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      Flower unhappy at Streak return
      Former Zimbabwe Test star Andy Flower has severely criticised Heath
Streak for returning to the national team.
      Streak signed a new contract with Zimbabwe Cricket in February after a
10-month dispute over his sacking as captain and team selection.

      "That Heath led them into it and is now back playing is poor form,"
Flower told The Wisden Cricketer magazine.

      Flower said none of the rebels' demands had been listened to and he
could not understand their reasons for returning.

      He added: "There have not been the wholesale changes they were
demanding but they want to go back.

      "You don't make a big stand then when nothing changes go back and say
'actually I do want a contract'.

      "Now there are half a dozen or so young white players out of a job."

      Streak led the rebels who took legal action against Zimbabwe Cricket,
accusing them of racism. The allegations were dismissed after an
International Cricket Council inquiry.

      Rebels including Andy Blignaut, Trevor Gripper, Stuart Carlisle and
Craig Wishart have returned to the fold.

      Flower, who played in 63 Tests, averaging 51.54, has not set foot in
Zimbabwe since the 2003 World Cup where he and Henry Olonga wore black
armbands to protest at the "death of democracy" under the presidency of
Robert Mugabe.

      But he advised his younger brother Grant not to take a similar stand
after it effectively ended his international career.

      "When Grant first got in touch and told me what they were planning to
do, my advice was not to do it - not to have a rebel group of white
cricketers giving ultimatums to the Zimbabwe Cricket Union.

      "I told him he would not win that battle. He'd either not play any
more international cricket or be in a protracted battle in court. There
wouldn't be any winners," Flower said in the magazine's May issue.

      And he believes the wrangling will have an effect on the team for
years to come despite the return of experienced players.

      Essex batsman Flower said: "It will add to the strength of the side a
little, but there was a lot of damage done, with all the racial discussion
and I think there is a limit to the improvement the rebels are going to

      "I find it very surprising that they can return after the relationship
breakdowns during that year-long struggle.

      "I don't know what the relationship between the rebels and other
players is. It has to be awkward. How do you build harmony out of a
situation like that?"

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'Cotton Output Decline to Have Ripple Effects'

The Herald (Harare)

April 14, 2005
Posted to the web April 14, 2005

Martin Kadzere

THE anticipated decline in cotton output this season, compounded by
"uneconomic prices" offered by tobacco merchants, could have far-reaching
effects on foreign currency inflows and the revival of the economy at large,
economic commentators have warned.

Cotton and tobacco are Zimbabwe's major cash crops, generating a combined
US$179 million last year. The "white gold" contributed the bulk of the
earnings with US$117 million while the "golden leaf" raked in US$62,9

According to the Commercial Cotton Growers' Association, cotton output is
expected to drop by 31 percent from 331 000 tonnes last season to 228 000
tonnes this season due to shortage of basic inputs.

On the other hand, the prevailing prices on the tobacco auction floors are
way below farmers' expectations.

"This could affect the foreign currency inflows," observed one Harare

"Although the Reserve Bank has put in place some measures to ensure foreign
currency inflows from all sectors of the economy are maintained, it is
important to note that most of foreign currency is generated from cotton and
tobacco," he added.

The analyst was, however, optimistic the prices of tobacco could improve as
the auction progressed

"You should also bear in mind that for the previous years, it has became a
norm that the season begins on a low note and gradually improves as it

"As for cotton, there are no two ways about it," commented Mr Tendai
Manhide, an analyst with a local financial institution.

"The output is expected to decline by at least 30 percent. This will
definitely have a negative effect on the economy as cotton lint is the
second largest foreign currency earner after tobacco," he added

Last year foreign currency inflows into the RBZ coffers from cotton exports
amounted to US$117 million while actual shipments totalled US$134 million.

This year's target is US$165 million while tobacco is expected to generate
close to US$160 million.

However, commentators were quick to point out that it was important to note
that the country had diversified its potential foreign currency streams by
reviving some under-performing sectors such as horticulture which had become
stagnant in terms of foreign currency generation.

"The enhanced platinum sector regime, which was implemented in February will
also enhance the generation of foreign currency inflow," said Mr Jill Rosat,
another Harare economist.

Tobacco prices have declined to about US$0,90 from about US$2,90 last season
with merchants citing poor quality.

Industry players have concurred that the bulk of tobacco grown last season
was of low quality and there were already fears that many of the farmers
would not be able to recover their production costs.

This could reduce the number of farmers growing the crop in the next season,
which is just two months away.

On the other hand, cotton prices have declined owing to a glut of the
commodity on the international market.

Many developed countries are now using genetically modified seeds which tend
to cut costswhile boosting output. Zimbabwean farmers were likely to feel
the heat in such circumstances, concluded the analysts
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Bailing Out Parastals Should Bear Fruit

The Herald (Harare)

April 14, 2005
Posted to the web April 14, 2005


THE $10 trillion Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe's Parastatals and Local
Authorities Reorientation Programme is by any measure a massive project set
to induce radical transformation of parastatals that have become perennial
loss makers, feeding off the fiscus.

The Government has, over the years, been forced to bail out one parastatal
after the other with no end in sight to the woes that have bedevilled these
public enterprises.

A classic example is the Zimbabwe Iron and Steel Company which, despite
endless injections of capital by the Government and the central bank, is
almost collapsing with reports indicating that it is operating at between 10
and 12 percent capacity.

The giant has now been dwarfed by operational constraints that need
intensive investigation so they can be weeded out.

The story at Zisco is so sad that at some point Government was advised to
sell it off because it seemed to be beyond redemption.

But the powers that be at Zisco and the employees at large should have
heaved a sigh of relief when RBZ governor Dr Gideon Gono unveiled, in his
monetary policy statement in January, the $10 trillion finance package under
which $1 trillion would be injected into Zisco.

Other parastatals and local authorities are also scheduled to receive
varying amounts under the programme.

It is everyone's hope that the State enterprises, dubbed the "missing link"
in the economic turnaround efforts, should start performing sooner rather
than latter.

The assurance by the Reserve Bank that it will first conduct re-orientation
audits at the respective parastatals before it disburses the funds is
welcome given the history of mismanagement and abuse of funds at most of the

The audits, which sound very thorough, should be able to identify the
challenges being faced by these institutions and should lay the groundwork
for the adoption of efficient and effective operational systems.

The audits will focus on aspects such as corporate governance, procurement
systems, human resources structures, debt profiles, equipment holdings,
usage of previously allocated funds, among other things.

This should give a true picture of the state of affairs at the parastatals.
I am sure the entire nation is keen to know what has really been going wrong
at some of these State enterprises.

Dr Gono said some funds could be released before the completion of the audit
exercise on a project-specific basis to avoid what he termed "paralysis
through analysis".

We hope the larger chunk of the funds will only be released after conclusive
audits to ensure effective turnaround.

The Government is expected to cease the provision of funds to parastatals
and local authorities next year, by which time the State enterprises are
expected to be performing profitably.

We cannot wait for the day when there will be enough electricity, efficient
rail transport, unclogged cellular phone networks, enough coal for farmers
and other users, adequate rural and urban transportation, clean and safe
water, friendly roads and other such key services.

With PLARP, we hope it's now only a matter of time.
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The Australian

Fleming considers Zimb boycott
From correspondents in Wellington
April 14, 2005
NEW ZEALAND captain Stephen Fleming said today he is prepared to boycott the
tour of Zimbabwe later this year if he feels it will make a difference.

But he said the decision will not be a hasty one and there were three months
to consider the moral issues.

"If the information that I read suggests it's probably not wise to go and
that will make a difference, then that's something I'll consider," Fleming
said after leading New Zealand to an innings and 38-run victory over Sri
Lanka in the second Test here.

"Like the other players I'll be reading a lot, watching the situation
closely and trying to educate myself on what impact the tour will have.

"The players will take a lot of care over the decision and make sure it's
the right one in their mind for the right reasons."

New Zealand Cricket (NZC) chief executive Martin Snedden has said no players
would be penalised if they individually decided not to tour as a protest
against President Robert Mugabe's government.

Mugabe, who has been in power since Zimbabwe's independence from Britain in
1980, won a sweeping victory in the March 31 election, but foreign critics
led by the United States and the European Union dismissed the poll as a

Prime Minister Helen Clark has said she is personally opposed to the tour
and the leader of a minor party in the coalition government has written to
the players urging them to pull out.

Fleming said he had received his letter but had not opened it yet, and said
there had not been any team discussion.

"The players have to get educated, it's naive for them to make a decision
without being educated.

"There's going to be a lot of material that will give them an opportunity to
make a decision on whether they want to go for moral reasons.

"Safety will be discussed by NZC and that'll be their decision."

Fleming, who leaves for England on Sunday to take up his county contract as
captain of Nottinghamshire, said he would talk to Zimbabwe players to help
his decision.

Last year, England's tour of Zimbabwe was in doubt after Zimbabwean
authorities imposed a media ban on 13 British journalists.

After a two-day delay, England's cricketers finally flew out when the ban
was lifted, but cut short their itinerary.

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Are Our Neighbours Honest Friends?

The Daily News (Harare)

April 14, 2005
Posted to the web April 14, 2005

AFRICANS from the SADC and from the African Union have declared that
Zimbabwe's March 2005 Parliamentary elections were free and fair, while
Australians, Americans and European insist that Zimbabwe's elections were
neither free nor fair. The question is : Are our neighbours honest friends,
or are our honest friends not our neighbours?

It is disheartening to note that Zimbabweans, who now "enjoy" very limited
freedoms of expression and association, are not regarded seriously by the
African leaders closest to Zimbabwe when they make the case that elections
that are conducted under the stated - and worse - conditions, cannot lead to
a free and fair outcome.

Thabo Mbeki is arguably the president with the greatest influence south of
the Sahara, and when he insists that Zimbabwean elections were fair, or that
international criticism of Zimbabwe's government is either unbalanced or
unwarranted, he is simply showing us how much he is out of touch with

It is impossible to understand how any honest head of state could take
Mbeki's position in the presence of numerous well-researched and documented
reports by organizations such as the NGO Forum, Human Rights Watch, and
Amnesty International on voter intimidation, suppression of dissent, and
politicization of the country's food distribution, security and defense

After all, our neighbours are aware of the huge number of Zimbabweans
entering their countries, and they must be well aware that these Zimbabweans
are by no means tourists: they are men, women and children who can't go home

It is fine to appreciate the great lengths to which Western governments,
observers and human rights organizations have gone to in order to tell the
story of political intimidation and very probable fraud that lie behind the
ZANU PF victory in the parliamentary elections, but it is far more important
to scream for our neighbours' honesty.

At this time, it appears that whoever chooses to stand against Robert
Mugabe's regime must also stand against the leaders of Africa who support
him. The presidents of countries like Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa and
Malawi must be confronted with the fervour and energy that their
irresponsible positions on the March 2005 and other elections call for.

South Africa, Botswana, Mozambique, and all our "brothers and sisters" here
in Africa must either stop lying or simply look the other way and say
nothing about Zimbabwe, for to voice their support of - their legitimization
of - the results of Zimbabwe's elections

(in 2000, in 2002, and now, in 2005) and indeed of the Mugabe regime, is to
attempt to weaken the strength of the reasonable accusations of election
fraud that several Zimbabweans and independent election observers want to
have investigated.

Our neighbours currently stand in the way of our freedom and justice, and
they stand with our President. If we choose to challenge the legitimacy of
the ruling party's election wins, we must also face our neighbours and for
now, our friends are far away.

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$195 Billion Needed for Expiring VIC Falls Bridge

Financial Gazette (Harare)

April 14, 2005
Posted to the web April 14, 2005

Synodia Bhasera

ZIMBABWE and Zambia would need to cough out at least US$32 million ($195
billion) to replace the old Victoria Falls Bridge, which is nearing the end
of its lifespan, The Property Gazette can reveal.

The bridge - jointly owned by the Zimbabwe and Zambia governments through
the Emerged Railway Properties (ERP) - is the gateway to trade between the
two states and parts of the southern African region.

Constructed in 1905, the Victoria Fall Bridge is fast approaching the end of
its lifespan of up to 100 years and urgently requires reconstruction to
avert a potentially disastrous structural failure.

It has been reported that the bridge was being overloaded for the past 15
years due to unclear load limits. The bridge carries a railway line, a
roadway and a pedestrian walkway.

Karikoga Kaseke, the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Transport and
Communications, said the US$32 million would be sufficient to cover the
costs of building a similar structure, adding more money could be required
should the authorities opt for a better structure.

He said: "The figure may vary considerably depending on the type of
structure selected. This estimate is based on the total cost of similar
projects around the world.

"The maintenance costs are shared as follows: ERP will contribute 60
percent, the department of roads 20 percent and the Zambian Road Authority
20 percent."

Kaseke said the Zambia Railways Limited had received a loan from the
International Develo-pment Association and intended to apply a portion of it
for consultancy services aimed at assessing the structural integrity of the
Victoria Falls Bridge.

Zambia floated a tender for the structural assessment of the bridge in
September last year and the implementation period for this assignment was
given as three months.

Both Zimbabwe and Zambia are yet to decided on the structure of the bridge.
This would depend on various factors such as affordability, environmental
considerations and the technology available.

"The most ideal structure should be able to span the gorge, as is the
current situation, in order to avoid any foundations in the gorge. The
bridge should be able to accommodate both rail and road," he said

Meanwhile, heavy vehicle drivers have been advised to use the central
portion of the roadway deck so as not to overstress the outside stringers.
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Please send any adverts for publication in the JAG Job Opportunities
newsletter to: with subject line "Job Opportunities".


- Employment OFFERED

- Employment SOUGHT


1.1 OFFERED: OFFICE/ADMIN MANAGER, received 13.4.2005

Specifications for this job:

Good typing skills, good computer literacy, compiling correspondence, good
liaison skills with customers and staff, assertive and firm personality,
able to negotiate between suppliers and clients, self motivation and work
unsupervised, versatile, working calmly under pressure, good social skills,
knowledge of general office procedures, strong sense of responsibility and
loyalty in the working environment.

Please contact Vanessa on 04-492 666 or 04-492 445 (office hours).




2.1 POSITION SOUGHT: MECHANIC, received 11.4.2005

Young single male, aged 34.  Qualified diesel mechanic.  Workshop Manager
experience.  Available 1st June 2005.

Gary Lobb on 04-883398
Cell 011 400 560
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