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Zimbabwe Independent

Ben-Menashe backs out
Dumisani Muleya/Vincent Kahiya

TREASON charges against opposition Movement for Democratic Change leader
Morgan Tsvangirai and two of his senior officials face collapse as the key
witness in the alleged assassination plot against President Robert Mugabe,
shadowy publicist Ari Ben-Menashe, yesterday distanced himself from the case
saying "it's now none of our business". Ben-Menashe had been due to appear
as the state's star witness.

Tsvangirai, together with MDC secretary-general Welshman Ncube and secretary
for agriculture Renson Gasela are due to appear in court on April 30 to
answer the charges, which are punishable by death or life imprisonment.
The three opposition party heavyweights were involved in the talks with
Ben-Menashe's public relations firm, Dickens & Madson (Canada) Inc, in a bid
to secure the services of the company. The charges arise from meetings held
in London and Montreal where the firm is based.
However, Ben-Menashe - a former Mossad spy involved in a number of episodes
ranging from the Iran/Contra affair to the Zambian US$6 million maize scam
last year - yesterday said he was no longer involved in the case and did not
want to talk about it further.
"We no longer have anything to do with the MDC and Morgan Tsvangirai's
case," he said in a telephone interview from Canada yesterday. "We have
nothing to do with that anymore. We are now involved in doing some lobbying
work for Zimbabwe abroad."

Ben-Menashe, who was in the country last week on an undisclosed mission,
insisted the alleged Mugabe assassination drama was no longer Dickens &
Madson's business.
"What happened in the past happened. We are not involved in legal issues. We
are not working on anything to do with that case," he said.
The controversial lobbyist visited the country in February to give evidence
to the police. If he remains resolved not to give evidence in person it will
be a major blow to the state's case already facing problems of extra-territo
rial jurisdiction.
There has been speculation that Ben-Menashe would not turn up to give
evidence because he wouldn't want his controversial record laid bare.
The Independent heard this week that the docket for the treason case had not
yet gone to the Attorney General's office.
"I can confirm that the docket is not yet with the AG's office," said
Director of Prosecutions Joseph Mishawka.
Other sources at the AG's office this week said it was imperative that the
state produces other credible witnesses to bolster its case.
"He is a sitting duck to any defence lawyer in the witness box," the source

Asked whether he was in the country last week and if he was coming to
testify in the case, Ben-Menashe again said he had nothing to do with the
"I think it doesn't really matter whether I was there. I really can't
comment on my travels," he said. "I want to emphasise we are not working on
the Tsvangirai case."

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04/19 01:51
Zimbabwe Auction Executes Hyena Futures, Putsi Calls (Update1)
By A. Craig Copetas
Harare, Zimbabwe, April 19 (Bloomberg) -- There are some real killings to be
made on the Zambezi Valley Hunt Exchange. Baboon options are opening at $9
per baboon, traders expect a stampede on bull elephant derivatives and phone
orders from New York and London are overwhelming Zimbabwe's wireless

It's open season again for bids to participate in the high- risk business of
big-game hunting in Africa.

As wildebeest grow fat for the annual Zimbabwe hunting season, over 300
great white hunters in jungle fatigues and crocodile-hide boots trek in from
the bush every April and deploy beneath the onion-domed ceiling in the grand
ballroom of the Meikles Hotel. Puffing meerschaum pipes and drinking beer
served on sterling silver trays, the hunters unload their big-bore rifles
and power up the calculators for the business of buying and selling 104
government contracts to hunt some 4,000 big-game animals in the Zambezi
Valley wilderness.

``These are very strange investments because there's no hedge against a cape
buffalo,'' warns Anthony Williams, owner of African Hunter, a glossy
magazine and tip sheet on how to survive the Zambezi exchange without being
gored. ``The buffalo is born mean and nasty,'' he explains a few moments
before the opening bell. ``You get one kill-shot. If you miss, your
investment will stomp you bad. You don't die quickly, you don't die

It's not a market for the faint of heart. Williams says investors here best
be familiar with how to leverage a .404- caliber H&H single-shot against a
rampaging 3,000-kilogram (6,600- pound) hippopotamus. As hybrid markets go,
there's clearly none more volatile than the Zambezi exchange, where a 14-day
option to kill a hippo this year sold for $3,700 and traders say U.S.
investors pushed warthog futures to $690 from last year's high of $327.

Tracking the Pork

But while a pork belly contract on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange is a bet
on which way hog prices will move over 90 days, a pork option here is a
gamble on killing the pig over a 10- or 14- day period, all the while
tracking the investment through the Zambezi Valley, most often with a
6.5-caliber Mauser. If the contract holder either wounds or fails to bag the
trophy boar, market regulations stipulate the option cannot be extended and
the warthog gets to go home with his bacon.

Investment counselors here advise shareholders practice with at least 500
rounds of ammunition a week before executing a contract in the rugged
500-kilometer-long spine that runs from the Chizaria Hills in the east to
the Mavuradohna Mountains in the west. ``Zambezi Valley hunting futures are
the most dangerous derivatives on earth,'' reckons exchange manager Ian
Ferreira. ``To play this market you must either be very brave or bloody

Ivory's Descendant

Who's to doubt him? Questioning Ferreira's credentials in these parts can
cause more of a stink than calling Ernest Hemingway a sissy. Dressed for
floor action in a tie and safari vest, Ferreira is an expert on business
along the Tropic of Capricorn and can trace his family's mercantile roots in
Zimbabwe to 1496, when a relative sailed up the Zambezi River looking for
gold with the Portuguese adventurer Vasco da Gama.

An auctioneer by trade and a big-game hunter by inclination, Ferreira has
run the one-day exchange for 27 of his 61 years. The market, he explains, is
the descendant of the shadowy Zimbabwe tusker exchange, where foreign
businessmen once gathered to haggle over ivory prices with local white
hunters and native tribal leaders. In the mid-1960s the government banned
the trade and created a regulated market to curtail the commercial slaughter
of elephants and other endangered species.

While traders encircle Ferreria with bids on tuskless elephants, towers of
cash tumble out of bags and into the four bank-note counting machines
whirring on clerk Penny Carritt's desk. The exchange treasurer bundles the
bills in toilet paper and drops the take in an iron box for delivery to the

Call That Putsi

``This is Mickey Mouse money for foreign investors,'' Carritt says, wrapping
cream-colored single-ply bog roll around a stack of 100,000 Zimbabwe

Trading is momentarily suspended by what Ferreira suggests is the most
hazardous of market threats: the putsi call, which is more of a shriek. It
comes shortly after a trader notices that a tiny native insect known as the
putsi has laid its eggs under his skin. As the bug's trademark blue welt
erupts on the man's leg, Ferreira locks down the exchange and hollers for
blacksmith and bush doctor Corn Smit to come in from the lobby with his
Bowie knife.

``Too deep to cut out,'' Smit says, sheathing his blade and grabbing an
empty beer bottle off the floor. ``Putsis are toxic and I don't want the
poison seeping into your blood.''

``I don't care,'' the trader moans. ``It hurts. Just dig the damn thing

Beer Bottle Medicine

Instead, Smit flips open a lighter, heats the mouth of the beer bottle, and
presses it hard into the wound. He then pours a pitcher of ice water on the
warm glass to create a vacuum. The putsi pops out and Ferreira reopens the
market with a $7,000 option for a 14-day lioness hunt.

Standing beneath the head of stuffed blue gnu in the foyer of his home,
Ferreira says the exchange is immune to risks that include droughts and bush
fires, floods and malaria, armed poachers, tsetse fly infestations, venomous
black mamba snakes, annoyed environmentalists, food shortages and four
separate currency exchange rates. Not to mention the government of strongman
President Robert Mugabe.

The Big Four

Mugabe's continued refusal to accept a new national constitution and hold
free and fair elections after 22 years in power has plunged the country into
violence and scared thousands of photo-safari tourists into taking their
cameras and foreign currency to Kenya.

The U.S. and Great Britain recently declared the Mugabe regime a fraudulent
government and imposed travel sanctions against him and his cronies. Human
rights groups here say 50,000 people over the past month have fled their
homes in fear of revenge attacks against those who in the last election
supported his opponent, Morgan Tsvangirai.

But Ferreira says big game hunters don't care about the perils of politics.
``Hunters on this level are naturally tough people,'' he explains. ``They
come here for the Big Four: leopards, lions, elephants and buffalo. Those
are the blue-chip trophy animals.''

Still, big-game hunter Bill Bedford says he walks into the exchange each
year certain the political climate will cause the market to crash. ``It
never turns out that way,'' the owner of Ingne Safaris explains. ``The
Zambezi Valley is a globally recognized brand name and the last place left
to buy old-fashioned hunts.'' Kenya banned hunting in 1977 and South Africa
offers mostly stocked antelope hunts, leaving Tanzania, Zambia and Zimbabwe
the only countries where sport hunters can go after the Big Four.

Thrill of the Brand

Ferreira reckons the thrill of tracking the Big Four across the legendary
Zambezi Valley makes the exchange impervious to forces that would tumble
markets elsewhere. This year 240 investors spent a total of $3 million for
the right to hunt trophy game from antelopes to zebras, a 131 percent
increase over last year's close of $1.3 million at official exchange rates.
Ferreira says the numbers aren't an inflated indicator of market strength.

``The official 55-to-1 exchange rate between Zimbabwean and U.S. dollars is
the same now as it was last year,'' Ferreira explains. ``You can buy options
with black market Zimbabwean dollars bought at 400-to-1, but the government
will not let you take the trophy out of the country without proof of having
exchanged the money at the official rate.''

Dollar is King

Ray Townsend, the managing director of Chapungu Safaris, who this year spent
a record-setting $36,363 on a 14-day option to shoot a male lion, suggests
there are ways around the currency regulations. He plops his feet atop a
scruffy canvas duffle bag packed with millions of Zimbabwean dollars and
declines to spill the beans.

``I'm not telling anyone how we make money,'' he says to the laughter of
other traders. Patting his ample stomach, which he fondly describes as
``Mount Kilimanjaro,'' the 45-year-old big game hunter grins and pours
himself another beer.

``My client who bought the lion is a 35-year-old Austrian timber magnate and
money isn't a problem for him,'' Townsend says. ``I've taken out 60
businessman-hunters every year for the past 14 years and very few are
interested in African politics. They're prepared to mortgage the wife and
sell the house for the opportunity to hunt in Zimbabwe. This is a
mystique-driven market where the U.S. dollar is king.''

Angry Elephants

That's a problem for Leon Oelsehig, a South African hunter who represents
clients with only rand in their pockets. ``American dollars now control the
Zambezi Valley,'' he gripes. ``I've been priced out by rich American duck
hunters. They want to taste the fear of walking into a herd of angry

But why?

``Putting your life in danger from time to time breeds a saneness in dealing
with day to day trivialities,'' muses local hunter Don Heath. ``It gives you
the enthusiasm to tackle normal days, when the most dangerous thing
encountered is a taxi weaving through traffic on the way to work.''

Investors these days are mostly wealthy executives who view a big-game
safari alongside renowned African hunters like Charls Grobbelaar in the same
light as playing 18 holes on the Old Course at St. Andrews with Tiger Woods.

No Dead Executives

Lining up a shot in the Zambezi Valley isn't cheap. ``People looking for any
of the Big Four are hard-pressed to spend anything less than $7,000 for a
maximum four-day hunt,'' says Grobbelaar, owner of CG Safari Services and
chairman of the Zimbabwe Professional Hunters and Guides Association. ``Big
game hunting in Africa is a sport for American dollars.''

Depending on the price of the initial contracts, which can run from $7,500
for a basic 10-day-hunt (one buffalo, 10 antelopes and four baboons) to over
$100,000 for a 14-day safari with options to target the Big Four, local
hunters separately charge upward of $700 a day to equip and escort clients
into the bush. For the novice, Grobbelaar offers a three-day special $3,250
sable antelope hunt.

``We don't let our clients go after the animals on their own,'' he says.
``The rule pisses off a lot of American businessmen used to getting their
own way, but if we didn't enforce it, we'd have a lot of dead executives out
there.'' As for whom those businessmen might be, Grobbelaar isn't talking.

One businessman-hunter, Bjorn Edlund, communications director ABB Ltd.,
Europe's biggest electrical engineering company, says the silence is no
surprise. ``Big game hunting in Africa is a taboo subject outside the
boardroom,'' says Edlund, who hunts wild boar in France, bull moose in
Sweden and has no plans to purchase a $9,000 Zambezi Valley leopard option.

``It just doesn't look good for a corporate executive to publicly admit he
hunts elephants,'' Edlund explains. ``They're supposed to shoot golf with

Americans vs Europeans

That didn't stop a vibrant secondary market for a $45,454 bull elephant from
taking place this year beneath the kudu antelope horns downstairs in the
hotel's Explorers Club Bar. Market-tipster Williams says it's not unusual
for a buyer to resell an option for a 30% profit.

Still, a balanced portfolio in pachyderms and crocodiles by no means
guarantees a return on investment.

``A client two years ago bought a $15,000 lion option and we never bagged
it,'' Townsend recalls as a cell phone rings and interrupts his story.
Moscow is on the line. ``They wanted to confirm another July option for a
tusker,'' he says after booking the contract.

``Some dealers buy on spec, but not me,'' Townsend continues. ``I buy what
clients tell me to buy. Americans want the biggest and the best, the
Europeans prefer going after older animals,'' he says, smacking Grobbelaar
on the knee. ``Though a few years ago there was that Spanish businessman who
had the whole elephant stuffed for display in his home, right?''

Hedging Hyenas

Grobbelaar swears the story is true and says he sees nothing odd about
stuffing a 6,000-kilogram elephant for the living room. ``Some of these guys
just take home elephant feet and make table legs out of them,'' he says.

Back on the trading floor, hyena shares suddenly plunge from their 2001 high
of $290.90 to $18.18 a share. The hyena market is collapsing and Ferreira
says the 94 percent drop is no laughing matter. Though American hunters
never have been keen on the carnivorous scavenger, Ferreira is perplexed
because local investors have historically favored long positions in hyenas
as a hedge against burglars.

``Many criminals believe tribal witch doctors can transfer their spirits
into hyenas, so people often hang a hyena head in their home to scare away
thieves,'' Ferreira explains. ``The drop either reflects that homes are
saturated with hyenas or that criminals no longer are afraid of witch
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Zim Independent


   Friday, 19 April 2002

'Fat bums' & getting to the bottom of things

OVER the years we have alerted readers of this column to the dangers of
Nigerian scam artists offering large sums of money to anybody foolish enough
to disclose their bank account details. They invariably claim they have
access to the accounts of individuals killed in air crashes or other
"ghastly accidents" and would like to share the proceeds with anybody
prepared to provide a safe haven for the funds.

Needless to say, once they have your bank details, your money quickly
disappears. We have heard in recent months from a number of
Johannesburg-based operators who appear linked to associates in Nigeria. But
now there is a new twist. This week a letter arrived from somebody calling
himself Dudu Moyo, son of Dr Morgan Moyo "who was recently murdered in a
land dispute in Zimbabwe".

Moyo claims his father was a wealthy MDC supporter and that he (Dudu) is now
a refugee in South Africa with US$29 million to dispose of as a result of a
land investment his father made which turned out to be a gold mine!

"I am actually saddled with the responsibility of seeking an honest
individual with vast experience in business to help me safeguard and invest
this money," Moyo says.

He gives his address as have been warned!
The government's news agency Ziana used to have a "not-so-bad" reputation
when it was run by editor-in-chief Henry Muradzikwa. Although independent
newspapers declined to subscribe to its services, they occasionally found
its copy resourceful and reliable.

That is no longer the case. Following the Department of Information's
scorched-earth policy among its media agencies, Ziana has been reduced to
the same abysmal level as the rest.

This was illustrated by a piece appearing on Monday on the significance of
Independence Day. It looked as if it was written by somebody straight out of
school - or worse still, the Polytech. As the country celebrates the 22nd
anniversary of its freedom, it said, "many people are reflecting on how far
they have gone in shaking off the shackles of colonialism".

The evidence of colonial recidivism? The writer had discovered a place where
tea was served from silver teapots bearing the initials of King George VI.
This led to the rapid conclusion that "blacks are generally not welcome in
such institutions".

There was more shocking evidence. Chiefs, judges and school children were
still dressed in "colonial uniforms". These were reminders to people, we
were told, of "the time when (these) institutions used to discriminate
against them".

It then quoted President Mugabe extensively on the subject of "imperialists"
and produced as its prime evidence of lingering tokens of colonial rule the
inscription on the statue of David Livingstone at the Victoria Falls which
Aeneas Chigwedere led us to believe had been duly corrected.

Livingstone did not "discover" the Falls, we were reminded by the Ziana
writer. But then we were incorrectly told that the Tonga used to call the
Falls Mosi-oa-Tunya.

They didn't. That was the Kalanga name - in use for only 15 years by the
Mfecane invaders by the time of Livingstone's arrival.

But there has been change, the article conceded. The government had changed
the name of the country from Rhodesia to Zimbabwe. And the country no longer
celebrates Rhodes and Founders Day. In addition to these breathtaking
changes "strides have been made to reform the judiciary system", the article
said - although it didn't explain what form these "strides" took. "Several"
black business people had done well and the names of schools had been
changed, it added.

The millions facing starvation will no doubt draw some comfort from these

Muckraker's headline of the week was "I did not rig election says Mudede".
It was an account of his press conference in which he sought to deny a
number of stories in the "private press" alleging he was not very good with
numbers. The press conference confirmed that impression as he rather
inadvisedly attempted to prove he was good with numbers. The muddle only got
worse. The private press was trying to "justify certain agendas", Mudede

He is right. The main agenda is that without an independent electoral
commission Zimbabwe will be condemned to the incompetent and partisan
electoral management of Mugabe's cronies who procure electoral victories for
him contrary to the expressed wishes of the country. Perhaps Mudede can get
that right.

What has happened to Jonathan Moyo's media commission? We were told once the
election was over and the Access to Information Bill had been gazetted into
law we could look forward to all the associated mechanisms being put in

Then, when the new Act was subjected to its first test in the Peta
Thornycroft case it proved wanting. The state claimed she was in breach of
its licensing provisions. But the Attorney-General's Office declined to
prosecute on the grounds that the relevant clauses were inapplicable. In
other words it wouldn't stand up in court - just like charges they are
trying to bring against Geoff Nyarota and Dumisani Muleya for "abuse of
journalistic privilege".

This is an inauspicious start. The Act has a tarnished pedigree. It
represents the attempt by one individual minister and his master to get even
with the independent press for exposing Zanu PF's trail of corruption and
abuse of power. In its original form it was denounced by parliamentary legal
committee chair Eddison Zvobgo as an unprecedented attempt to curb liberties
enshrined in the constitution.

The projected media commission will seek to impose Zanu PF's spurious
"African values" as a way of silencing inconvenient voices. They will also
raise issues of "professionalism" while allowing a notoriously
unprofessional public media to get away with every breach imaginable.

Evidence of double standards were available recently. Covering President
Mugabe's address to the Zanu PF central committee in which he commented on
the inter-party talks, the Herald quoted the president at length in a
front-page report. Then it slipped this in: "The MDC is sponsored by
Britain, the United States, several members of the European Union, and white
Commonwealth countries who are widely believed to be influencing the
opposition party's position on the talks."

No attribution. Not even an "analysts say". Just a gratuitous opinion in
what was supposed to be a news story.

But nothing can compare with Munyaradzi Huni's fawning declaration of
loyalty to the ruling party in the Sunday Mail this week. Waxing lyrical on
Zanu PF's "victory" over the MDC in the presidential poll, he pronounced the
theme for the Independence Day celebrations which marked the country's 22nd
birthday yesterday.

"The birthday card should read: 'Happy Birthday resilient and exemplary
Zimbabwe. More fire to the Third Chimurenga! You are Africa's shining light.
Wish you many more years!'"

This North Korean-style exhortation from somebody claiming to be a
journalist made it abundantly clear that Independence Day was the property
of Zanu PF.

"There is no reason we should be shy to stand up proudly and beat our chests
saying: 'We are the conquerors'," Huni declared.

"We are the conquerors" was printed in capital letters in case anybody
mistook the message. The heading "Celebrating sweet victory over
imperialism" didn't appear to explain widespread starvation, economic
collapse, persisting violence and lawlessness.

But, as is invariably the case with Zanu PF apologists, there was somebody
to blame, in this case the Commonwealth.

"As was expected," Huni claimed, "Gen Abubakar had to please his masters and
his group was the only one that produced a report which said the elections
were not free and fair."

Really? The only one?

The person appointed to examine the alleged lack of professionalism in the
media, "Professor" Tafataona Mahoso, had this to say last weekend: "In the
current struggle for Zimbabwe's economic liberation, otherwise known as the
Third Chimurenga, the only real surprise is that so many Africans are
surprised by the nakedness and viciousness of the attacks on Zimbabwe and
President Mugabe from so many white leaders and media..."

In other words, the person whose report recommends the defence of African
values by the media is an undisguised apologist for a regime, which
systematically murders its political opponents.

In a revealing commentary on the resentment currently felt in official
circles, Mahoso calls the Commonwealth "the Anglo-Apartheid Commonwealth".
This is the best he can do. Beyond that, it is back to the quotes from
sources published years ago. Only it is not the usual soporific selection
from the 1960s and 70s. This time Mahoso exceeds himself by quoting letters
written in the sixteenth century. And just to update things, there is one
from 1751.

Mahoso is not just locked in an ideological timewarp. He is the timewarp!

The sense in which the regime which Mahoso so clumsily speaks for has become
completely unhinged is perfectly conveyed by an official statement last
Sunday replying to the UN Human Rights Commissioner's special rapporteur on
freedom of expression, Abid Hussain.

Hussain had politely sought to draw to Foreign Affairs minister Stan
Mudenge's attention the case of Sikhumbuzo Dube, a poet who is facing a
one-year prison sentence and $20 000 fine under POSA for reciting a poem
titled "Cry the Beloved Country" which allegedly ridiculed Mugabe.

Hussain asked Mudenge to ensure compliance with Article 19 of the Universal
Declaration of Human Rights which guarantees freedom of expression.

Instead of simply responding that Zimbabwe would act in accordance with the
law, some Zanu PF official drafted a rabid reply which was calculated to
discredit Zimbabwe and its government. It said Hussain was "one of the few
into (which) the British hate campaign has so deeply penetrated. While the
mere fact that an official of the UN system has been won over is worrisome,
it is more worrying that you would have the liberty to use the name of the
United Nations and its stationery to spread British hate-diplomacy upon a
freedom-loving, democratically elect-ed, and sovereign government, thro- ugh
the neat- (sic) picking of non-essential events in Zimbabwe, only to prove
faithful to the Queen."

The letter accuses Hussain of "loving" Dube and declaring him a hero.

"We wish to be wrong, but your letter persuades us to conclude that your
heroes are in the underworld, in the social fringes of crooks, malcontents,
deviants and subverts (sic)," the official response says. "RG Mugabe is
Zimbabwe's hero."

It recommends that Tony Blair give Dube a knighthood. It is signed "The
Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Republic of Zimbabwe".

Let's hope the UN gives this response the widest possible circulation.
Nothing more convincingly exposes the paranoid dementia and puerile
discourse, not to mention literary standards, of Zimbabwe's rulers.

Another item caught our attention in the Sunday Mail this week. It is headed
"Reliving painful memories of colonial horrors" and describes the
protected-village keeps which the colonial authorities used to isolate
villagers from freedom fighters.

Jestina Kaseke is quoted as saying: "No one was allowed to walk about at
night. If you were spotted and you were lucky to get away with a lenient
punishment you would be detained in a cell...In the worst-case scenario, you
would be beaten or tortured for days or killed."

Goodness, how times have changed!

At a time when we are all being lectured on the importance of getting our
facts right, it is necessary to correct a report appearing in the Herald
last Thursday. Reporting on the appointment of Bornwell Chakaodza as editor
of the Standard, the Herald thought it would sow a little mischief by
claiming that Chakaodza had once called the Standard's publisher Trevor
Ncube "an obese lunatic" and a "fat bum".

In fact it was Muckraker who was on the receiving end of those particular
remarks by Chakaodza, not Ncube. Can we try and get our abuse right!

We were interested to hear ZUJ president Matthew Takaona's comments on ZBC
in response to the news that a ZTV cameraman had been assaulted by the army.

"Police should alert the public to areas where assaults are taking place,"
he was reported as saying. Indeed they should. But at least they are
following up the case of Alum Mpofu, who was reportedly caught with his
pants down outside a Harare night-spot FM.

A ZRP spokesman was quoted as saying they would soon "get to the bottom" of

They are probably looking in the wrong place. The only information we have
on the other party is that he was an Angolan. Which raises another question:
Was this a breach of the 75% local-content rule?

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Daily News - The Mole

Very good, Mr Nyandoro, Sir, but please widen the net

4/19/02 12:36:55 PM (GMT +2)

It is dismaying to note how Zanu PF and its many parasitic appendages,
especially the public media which the ruling party has turned into its own
mouthpieces and defenders of its innumerable transgressions, seem convinced
that the dictum “do as I say and not as I do” should be the accepted modus
vivendi between the rulers and the ruled in Zimbabwe.

They want us to accept double standards or, to put it bluntly, hypocrisy, in
their day-to-day dealings with the rest of the population, as a normal way
of life. We cannot.

Only last week we asked why The Herald wanted to incite the whole world into
viewing plans by the new Harare City Council to spend a paltry $5 million
celebrating the MDC’s victory in council elections as a moral outrage when
they didn’t see anything wrong with Zanu PF spending more than $440 million
feting its senior members from all over the country at Victoria Falls last

Our sincere apologies, The Mole omitted to point out that the $5 million the
new MDC council planned to spend was largely coming from the business
community. On the other hand, the nearly half a billion dollars spent at
Victoria Falls was largely taxpayers’ money. They never learn, do they?

Hardly two days after our humble protest, The Sunday News carried another
story about the MDC and money. To The Sunday News’ credit, however, unlike
the one in The Herald about the $5 million, its story was neither
sensationalised nor meant to cause ill feelings.

The paper reported that the police in Bulawayo had launched investigations
“to establish the source of thousands of dollars paid to a group of MDC
youths who unleashed violence in Sizinda suburb last week”.

The report went on: “This comes in the wake of revelations that some of the
youths were found in possession of new bank notes with consecutive serial
numbers. Ten youths were arrested over the violence, targeted at Zanu PF you
ths camped at a local community hall . . .” (Don’t put it past Zanu PF to
have stage-managed the whole incident, through the CIO of course, just to
discredit the MDC. But we shall not go into that.)

The acting Officer Commanding Bulawayo Central and Suburban District,
Superintendent Abisaia Nyandoro, who reportedly said the MDC youths were
paid amounts ranging from $300 to $900 “to violently evict Zanu PF youths
who were at Sizinda Hall on development programmes”, also said the police
were “aware of the dirty tactics employed by the MDC and would react in a
firm and professional manner”. Once they had established the source of the
funds, “the culprit would be charged for inciting violence”.

Very good, Mr Nyandoro, Sir. A show of so much zeal, diligence and
conscientiousness in the execution of your duties is precisely what Zimbabwe
needs at this point in time as it writhes in its death throes, engulfed in
rampant lawlessness and mindless violence. You are a breeze of fresh air in
the stinking ZRP. But, we implore you not to be selective.

Please do us a favour and launch thorough and professional investigations to
establish who organised and funded the transportation of, hotel
accommodation for, food and the payment of per diems for the busloads of
Harare youths who descended on Bulawayo and unleashed an orgy of terror in
that city last September saying they were campaigning for Zanu PF’s mayoral
candidate. And those other youths again bussed into Bulawayo in February to
violently foil an MDC rally at White City Stadium.

Kindly investigate also who is funding the upkeep of the hordes of youths
camped at community halls throughout Bulawayo’s high density suburbs and at
Ntabazinduna, Nyamandlovu, Inyathi, Nkayi, Lupane and elsewhere in
Matabeleland and who seem to have nothing else to do apart from engaging in
debauchery and causing havoc in the communities where they are camped.

But don’t tell us those youths are gathered in those camps for “development
programmes” unless, of course, your definition of “development” includes
gang-raping young girls, housebreaking and theft, robbery, malicious injury
to property and looting defenceless businessmen’s shops all in the name of
Zanu PF.

And please also investigate and establish who was behind farm invasions and
paid weekly stipends to the invaders who killed innocent farmers, including
Gogo Gloria Olds who was brutally butchered only months after her son had
met the same fate.

Please, Mr Nyandoro, investigate and establish who was behind Zanu PF youths
’ illegal roadblocks and who is behind the ongoing illegal conditional
selling of scarce essential commodities to holders of Zanu PF membership
cards only.

Please, Mr Nyandoro, investigate all these and many more outrageous criminal
acts being committed daily by youths and war veterans in the name of Zanu PF
and bring the culprits to book. Only when you have done that will we take
seriously your claim to being “professional”.

Whoever coined the ex pression "ignorance is bliss" was sure right. It
certainly is so most of the time, though probably not always.

There was clearly much bliss at The Herald on Monday after the paper had
laid its hands on a copy of St George's College headmaster's end-of-term
letter to all parents with children at the school in which he eloquently
articulated what every sane Zimbabwean thinks about the recent presidential
election. Even the anger we all still feel could be detected in that letter.

Always eager to please a government that appears set in a relentless
conspiracy to sacrifice the country and everything in it (except itself and
members of its huge extended family) on the altar of political expediency,
The Herald, no doubt aiming to get the government to descend on the poor man
with a sledge hammer, splashed the contents of the damning letter across the
front page as its lead story the following day, Tuesday.

Completely lost on the paper was the fact that it was giving the headmaster
a much wider audience than he had even hoped to have even in his wildest
dreams and also giving free international publicity to sentiments we all
have been so anxious to get the world to know about.

And they are sentiments that are not likely to do much good for the
government in its desperate attempts to convince the world that President
Mugabe was popularly re-elected.

Here is part of what the headmaster, Mr B T Tierman, who candidly declared
the 9 to 11 March election as "morally invalid and a source of
embarrassment", wrote in his no-holds-barred letter:
"Until we have a presidential election that clearly satisfies the absolute
criteria of 'justice being done and being seen to be done', every citizen
has the right to consider the recent election as morally invalid.

"No one but an ignorant and naive caveman could claim to be able to tell his
children within the confines of his own home that he believed that the
recent electoral process was free and fair.

"The only thing we know about the recent election is that the +/-45 percent
who voted against the President did so despite the deep intimidation,
despite the public media, despite the artificial difficulties that were
engineered in various localities, despite the electoral commission and
despite the manipulation of the voters' roll etc.

"This overwhelming fact will sit very uneasily with the powers-that-be. It
will explain the post-election vengeance and violence that is being wrought
by the 'winners' . . . The 'victory' has not brought peace, it has not won
over hearts and minds and it has not won friends."

A good product needs no advertising.

The Mole can only say: Well put, Mr Tierman. You have articulated what
millions of anguished and angry Zimbabweans are itching to tell both the
government and the international community.

And to The Herald we say: Thank you for spreading the people's message far
and wide. You seem to be finally living up to your name.
Keep it up!

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Daily News
Experts predict winter maize project will fail

4/19/02 12:18:07 PM (GMT +2)
Staff Reporter

THE government’s decision to grow maize in winter in Chiredzi, in a
last-minute rush to avert starvation, is not feasible and is very expensive,
experts said yesterday.

The $10 million project would see maize being planted on a 5 000-hectare
fallow tract of land provided under controversial circumstances to the
government by Hippo Valley, Triangle and Mkwasine Estates. The project has
already kicked off with maize being planted on a 200-hectare plot.

Experts said the high input costs involved in the project and the
temperatures in the area made it impossible for the project to succeed.

Mike Clarke, the Commercial Farmers’ Union regional chairman, said farmers
in Masvingo had on several occasions unsuccessfully tried to produce the
crop in the area in winter.

Clark said: “The whole project is not feasible because of the high input
costs and low temperatures. The crop is going to be destroyed by frost. The
project is extremely expensive and its implementation was due to the
government’s desperation to make amends after it failed to take heed of our
calls that there was going to be a serious food shortage.”

Melody Kwanai, a crop specialist in Masvingo yesterday said growing maize in
winter is very risky since the crop might be destroyed by frost.

She said to produce the crop even in the lowveld where temperatures might be
favourably low, depends on the management system. “Frost is the biggest

Although there are incidents where frost is not found in the area, nature
might take its course. It is highly risky and sometimes not profitable.”
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Daily News
Price of fuel set to go up

4/19/02 11:28:33 AM (GMT +2)
By Collin Chiwanza

THE price of fuel is set to go up next month despite denials by the
government. The increase will trigger off a new wave of price rises in a
host of products as well as in transport charges.

The last fuel price increases in June 2001 saw a massive 70 percent rise in
the cost of fuel.

A senior official at the National Oil Company of Zimbabwe (Noczim), the
country’s sole fuel procurement agency, said prices would go up early next

Officials in the oil industry yesterday dismissed as a mere political
statement, the recent assurances by the Minister of Mines and Energy, Edward
Chindori-Chininga, that there would be no fuel price rise in the near

The minister’s statement comes in the wake of reports that some motorists
were now hoarding petrol and diesel in anticipation of an increase.

Staff at most service stations confirmed to The Daily News yesterday that a
number of motorists were stockpiling large quantities of fuel because of the
widespread rumours of another price jump.

The senior Noczim official said: “The minister is just playing politics. We
know as a matter of fact that fuel prices will go up in the next two to
three weeks. In fact, prices were supposed to have gone up at the beginning
of April, but this was stopped for political reasons.”

Speculation has been rife over the past few days that the government was
planning to increase the price of fuel by between 15 and 25 percent.

Petrol is now pegged at $74,47 a litre, while diesel costs $66,39 a litre.

Increases in the price of fuel will trigger a fresh wave of price rises
across the board, worsening the plight of the majority of the people, for
whom transport cost constitutes a major part of their expenses. A worker on
average spends at least $1 400 a month on transport alone.

Chindori-Chininga said another increase was not planned because of the
turnaround at Noczim, which he said had seen the parastatal “shedding off a
$12 billion debt”.

Libya is providing 70 percent of Zimbabwe’s fuel requirements amounting to
US$30 million (Z$1,65 billion) monthly following the signing of a US$360
million (Z$19,8 billion) facility between the two countries last year.

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Zimbabwe rights groups say 54 killed in violence

HARARE, April 19 — Zimbabwe human rights groups said on Friday three people
had been killed in political violence in the past two weeks, bringing the
death toll this year to 54.
       The groups said the violence had persisted since President Robert
Mugabe's controversial re-election in last month's presidential poll that is
widely seen as deeply flawed.

        A police spokesman dismissed the report as a ''lie,'' saying
political violence had been on a sharp decline since the March 9-11 poll.
       ''The continuing violence claimed a further three lives in the
fortnight under review, bringing the total number of politically related
murders this year to 54,'' the Zimbabwe Human Rights NGO Forum said in its
latest report.
       The forum said the death toll so far this year had surpassed the
number of politically related killings last year, but gave no figures for
       ''Political violence will continue to claim lives for as long as
there is no concerted effort by the government and the police to put an end
to it. More so for as long as state agents are perpetrators themselves,''
the association of 11 local human rights groups added.
       It cited among its sources, reports from individual member
organisations, newspaper stories and statements from the mainly-white
Commercial Farmers Union whose members' farms Mugabe has been forcibly
acquiring for landless blacks.
       Ten white farmers have been killed in the violence that has
accompanied the invasion of farms by pro-government militants since 2000.
       Police spokesman Inspector Tarwireyi Tirivavi said the number of
deaths given in the rights groups report was false.
       ''They are lying. They are including in that figure people killed in
non-political violence. The number of politically related deaths has gone
down a lot since the elections,'' Tirivavi told Reuters, without giving
       The European Union said this week it was concerned about what it
called continuing political violence and human rights abuses against
opposition supporters after Mugabe's re-election.
       The EU slapped sanctions on Mugabe and his close associates earlier
this year and, along with Zimbabwe's opposition, the Commonwealth and the
United States, denounced the veteran African leader's claim of victory as
       Mugabe's ruling ZANU-PF party insists the March 9-11 election was
free and fair. But opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai of the Movement for
Democratic Change (MDC) has filed a petition challenging Mugabe's victory,
saying he has ''shocking evidence'' of electoral fraud.
       On May 13 the two parties will resume talks widely seen as unlikely
to bridge the gap created by the opposition's demand for an election re-run,
which Mugabe, 78 and in power since 1980, has ruled out.
       The MDC says more than 120 of its supporters have been killed in
state-sponsored unrest in the last two years.

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Africa thwarts UN rights probe in Zimbabwe

April 19 2002 at 01:05PM

Geneva - The United Nations' top human rights forum on Friday threw out a
European Union call for Zimbabwe to allow a UN probe into human rights
violations committed in the country after African nations blocked a planned

The UN Human Rights Commission voted by 26 votes to 24 not to take action on
a draft resolution presented by European Union countries, which had urged
Harare to invite UN rights experts to visit the country.

Three countries abstained.

The draft had also expressed concern at "violations of human rights by the
government of Zimbabwe".

But it faced strong opposition from a united bloc of 14 African countries in
the 53-member Commission led by Nigeria, which managed to rally support from
Asian and Middle Eastern countries, according to diplomats.

Introducing the "no-action motion", Nigeria rejected the EU's move as
"politically motivated", and said it had failed to take into account the
root causes of Zimbabwe's human rights problems.

"There can be no debate on human rights without first focusing on the issue
of land," Nigeria's delegate told the commission.

"The resolution presented by the EU today, which is set totally out of
context is counterproductive and produces a serious danger of subverting
progress being made in several African initiatives," he added.

Current African members of the Commission include Algeria, Burundi,
Cameroon, South Africa, Kenya, Libya, Nigeria, Senegal, Swaziland and Zambia

China, Cuba, and Syria also supported the African countries in the no-action
motion, which effectively also stifled any debate on the issue in the

UN officials had said they believed it was the first time Zimbabwe could
face action by the Commission since the southern African state achieved
democracy in 1980 and President Robert Mugabe came to power.

But it was ultimately toppled by the Nigerian-led African group, which human
rights groups had described as remarkably united during this year's annual
meeting of the Commission.

"It's scandalous that there was no action. On top of that it was not a
strong resolution," Loubna Freih of Human Rights Watch said. - Sapa-AFP

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SA places ban on Zimbabwe beef

According to Pana, South Africa has placed a ban on the import of Zimbabwean
beef. The announcement was made by Zimbabwean authorities. A recent out
break of foot and mouth disease has prompted the ban by the South African
government. The effected area has been brought under control and it is
thought that the ban should only last for the next three or four weeks. The
Zimbabwean authorities have quarantined the effected area for at least a
year now and some officials questioned the South African decision. South
African authorities responded by saying that the move was merely a
precautionary measure.
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UN dismisses call to investigate Zimbabwe
(Filed: 19/04/2002)
THE United Nations Human Rights Commission has rejected calls by the EU to
investigate alleged human rights abuses in Zimbabwe.

The Commission voted by 26 votes to 24 with 3 abstentions to dismiss a draft
resolution presented by European Union countries urging Harare to invite UN
rights experts to visit the country.

The majority of the opposition came from a group of 14 African countries
headed by Nigeria, who claimed that the EU proposal did not address the
underlying causes of human rights issues in the country and was a
politcally-motivated attack.

The Nigerian delegate said: "There can be no debate on human rights without
first focusing on the issue of land. The resolution presented by the EU
today, which is set totally out of context is counterproductive and produces
a serious danger of subverting progress being made in several African
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The Times

April 20, 2002

Mugabe's airline must pay $28m or lose its planes
By Jan Raath in Harare and Daniel McGrory

ROBERT MUGABE faces losing his treasured state airline for failing to pay
debts of over $26 million (£18 million) to an American bank.
The Zimbabwean President has often been accused of using the state-owned
fleet as his own private airline to fly him, his new young wife Grace and
their cronies on overseas jaunts.

Increasingly strapped for cash, the Government has now received a final
demand from the US government-owned Export-Import Bank of the United States
(Exim) to settle the bill for two Boeing 767 aircraft or the planes will be

Air Zimbabwe has not paid the instalments on its leasing deal with Exim
since December 2000 and, with fines for late payment, now owes the US
Government nearly $28 million.

EU “smart” sanctions already block Mr Mugabe from many of his favourite
destinations. His opponents have long derided him for the amount of time he
spends abroad with his wife, reputed to be a profligate shopper. Losing the
pride of Air Zimbabwe’s fleet would seriously cramp his style and damage his
prestige among his neighbours.

One Western diplomat in Harare said: “He would hate to be marooned in
Zimbabwe or be like Yassir Arafat and have to ask his few allies to lend him
a plane if he wants to go anywhere.”

He is Africa’s most-travelled President. According to an investigation by
the Zimbabwe Independent business weekly he spent £180 million in a decade
during the 1990s on fuel and crews for commandeering planes for his and his
cronies’ use.

Long-suffering Air Zimbabwe passengers and the airline’s beleaguered staff
are used to the presidential entourage descending on Harare airport without
warning to demand the use of one of its small fleet — it has five planes in

In December last year, 40 passengers were thrown off a London-bound flight
to make room for President Mugabe and his party, who then diverted the plane
to Spain so he could have treatment at an eye clinic. More than 100
passengers were left stranded at Gatwick when he ordered the pilots to come
and collect him.

Later that week another 40 passengers were left in London when he demanded
another Air Zimbabwe flight to divert and pick up more of his party, who had
stayed on for a holiday.

Last month Mr Mugage instructed the regular London-bound flight to stop in
Geneva so that it could collect a package for him.

Grace Mugabe would frequently demand a plane to go to London and Paris on
shopping trips. On the return flight she would have seats removed from the
Boeing to stack her purchases.

A visa ban means that Mr Mugabe can no longer visit London, although he was
already boycotting Britain after suffering the indignity of Peter Tatchell,
the gay rights campaigner, attempting to make a citizen’s arrest as the
couple left Harrods in 1999.

Air Zimbabwe still flies to London and if the bank does not get its money by
April 30 then it could ask friendly governments such as Britain’s to seize
the aircraft if they land in the UK.

Exim, funded by the US Treasury but an independent agency of the federal
Government, will not say what its tactics will be to reclaim the Boeing

Alice McNutt Miller, its managing director, has, however, written to Air
Zimbabwe and the country’s Finance Minister, demanding that they settle
their debt by the end of this month. She says that it includes
$26,150,545.79 on the lease and a $1,675,430.07 interest charge for late

The letter says: “This is to formally advise the Lessee that if Ex-Im Bank
does not receive the entire past-due rent, together with interest thereon,
amounting to the sum of US$27,825,975.86, by April 30 2002, Ex-Im Bank will
instruct the Lessor to take all necessary and appropriate action.”

Zimbabwe does not have the foreign currency to pay that bill, with its
economy crippled by farm takeovers and lack of overseas investors.

Exim has formally asked Air Zimbabwe to stop using the planes until the
dispute is settled. A senior bank spokesman confirmed the letter had been
sent to Air Zimbabwe in Harare.

Air Zimbabwe executives would not say yesterday how they intend to resolve
this embarrassing episode. David Mwenga, their spokesman in Harare, would
say only: “We are talking to Exim bank.”

Senior airline sources say that negotiations have been going on for several
months now and the Government is exploring various options to hang on to
their only two 767s. Mr Mugabe could turn to his old friend, Libya’s Colonel
Gaddafi, to bail him out by paying the bill.

Air Zimbabwe would not say yesterday whether it is considering dropping its
flights to London at the end of the month for fear the planes could be

It could be that the ailing airline will now travel only to “friendly”
countries which would give an undertaking not to seize the jets on behalf of
the bank.

Without the two long-haul 767-200ERs, the airline would be left with only
the three Boeing 737s it uses on regional routes.

The airline, with 1,400 employees, has an enviable safety record but since
independence has not made a profit.

The top management tend to be political appointees. Mr Mugabe often takes
planes out of commercial service on domestic flights for his own use. When
he stages rallies in Victoria Falls or other cities he commandeers aircraft
to ferry Zanu (PF) officials and supporters.

The visa ban means Mr Mugabe has to choose holiday destinations such as
Malaysia, though he can still fly to North Korea and Libya, two countries
with whom his regime enjoys cordial relations.

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Senegal Chief: No Zimbabwe Sanction

Friday April 19, 2002 10:40 PM
ABIDJAN, Ivory Coast (AP) - Alone among African leaders in condemning
Zimbabwe's elections, Senegal's outspoken president urged Friday that
Zimbabwe's people nevertheless be spared international sanctions and aid

``Presidents are in passing, but the people are permanent,'' President
Abdoulaye Wade told The Associated Press from Senegal's capital, Dakar.

Wade evoked the long-term good of development aid for the people of Zimbabwe
and elsewhere.

``Airports, road, schools, universities - this has nothing to do with a
political regime,'' he said.

The European Union is thinking about toughening sanctions on Zimbabwe after
President Robert Mugabe won re-election last month through what
international monitors said was vote-rigging and orchestrated political

The EU already has frozen development aid to Zimbabwe.

The United States, calling the vote ``fatally flawed,'' froze defense
contracts and U.S. bank accounts of Zimbabwe leaders.

Wade, a 76-year-old leader elected in 2000 after more than two decades in
opposition, emerged as the only African leader to condemn the vote.

Last summer, he stood nearly as alone among African leaders in dismissing
the idea of European reparation for past African enslavement - asking if his
own family, former slave-holders like many in Africa, should also pay.

On Zimbabwe, he said Friday, ``For me, my problem is: Did the people of
Zimbabwe express their free choice of election? My answer is 'no.'''

His remarks came as Wade emerged from a week in which he spearheaded African
leaders' successful mediation of Madagascar's violent three-month election

After three days of room-to-room shuttling by himself and four other
presidents in a Dakar hotel, Madagascar's two rival presidents agreed to a
temporary power-sharing plan.

``Something very important on that is the consideration Africans have for
elder persons,'' he said of his own role in that effort.

``There are very few people who speak frankly, and generally we succeed,''
he said.

The peace-making came on the sidelines of an African leaders' summit in
which heads of state laid strategy for a promised massive infusion of
Western aid.

Wade broke from one key provision of African leaders' proposal for
encouraging good government among themselves - a demand of the wealthy Group
of Eight nations promising the aid.

The proposal, endorsed by influential Nigerian President Olusegun Obasanjo,
calls for a ``peer review'' in which African leaders themselves keep leaders
like Zimbabwe's president in line.

``Maybe if there is a problem, they call the head of state ... and maybe
scold him,'' he said.

``I am not very optimistic for the good functioning of the system,'' he
said. ``In general, we have little capacity to put pressure on a

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Daily News
Curtailing monetary growth answer to inflation says RBZ

4/19/02 11:49:55 AM (GMT +2)
Business Reporter

CONCERTED action aimed at curtailing monetary growth and increasing the
output of goods and services in the economy is vital if a sustainable
reduction in inflation to levels that promote investment and growth is to be
achieved, warns the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ).

In its latest Weekly Economic Highlights, dated 5 April 2002, the RBZ said
since 1990 high levels of money supply growth had been experienced against
the backdrop of economic decline. Real Gross Domestic Product (GDP) has been
shrinking, with economic growth falling from a peak of 10 percent in 1996 to
a decline of about 7,3 percent in 2001.

Inflation, which stood at 15,5 percent in 1990, had soared to 116,3 percent
by February 2002. The RBZ said: The resultant supply bottlenecks, against a
backdrop of high monetary growth, have also fuelled inflation Ð a result of
Ôtoo much money chasing too few goods’.

Successful inflation stabilisation, therefore, requires reduction in money
supply to levels consistent with real economic activity. In this regard,
limiting fiscal deficits to levels that can be freely absorbed by the
non-bank sector becomes crucial. In addition, private sector credit should
be channelled towards activities that create real wealth.

The RBZ said that growth in broad money supply (M3) increased from 17,6
in 1990 to 99,5 percent by January 2002. This growth in money supply was
reflected in increases of both narrow money and quasi money, with narrow
money rising from 30,3 percent to 122,7 percent and quasi money rising from
7,6 percent to 77,9 percent.

The RBZ said: The increase in money supply has been caused by expansion in
domestic credit, largely driven by public sector borrowing from the banking
system, to meet recurrent expenditures. The result has been high inflation
in the major trading partner countries, including those in the region.

Since 1990, rising domestic prices have propelled notes and coins in
circulation from $0,8 billion to $24,6 billion by the end of 2001. During
the same period demand deposits also rose from $1,6 billion to $113,1
billion, reflecting increasing volumes of cheque transactions. Quasi money,
savings deposits and time deposits all registered significant increases
during he period under review.

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Daily News
Bindura court orders Zanu PF members out of houses

4/19/02 12:06:06 PM (GMT +2)
Chief Reporter

THE Bindura Magistrates’ Court has ordered Zanu PF supporters who have been
occupying six houses belonging to MDC supporters in Bindura town, including
that of Trymore Midzi, the slain MDC vice-chairman, to move out of the

In its judgement last Friday, the court ordered members of the Criminal
Investigation Department (CID) in Bindura to accompany the messenger of
court to carry out the evictions and facilitate the return of the house

Shepherd Mushonga, who represented the victims, yesterday said the court
made it clear that if the Zanu PF supporters refused to leave the houses
they have been using as torture camps since last December they should be
arrested and charged with contempt of court.

Mushonga said: “The court ruled that the Zanu PF supporters should leave the
houses by last Wednesday. I am still to confirm with the CID and the
messenger of court whether that has been done.

“This kind of lawlessness should not be allowed to continue. My clients have
the right to repossess their properties,” he said.

One of the property owners, who refused to be named said that he was still
to go to Bindura to find out whether the Zanu PF supporters had left his
house in Chiwaridzo suburb.

The victim said he was forced to leave his house and flee to Harare after
Zanu PF supporters and war veterans accused him of organising the MDC in
Mashonaland Central province.

“I do not even know what remains of my property. I left virtually everything
when I was forced to leave. If I managed to repossess my house, I intend to
seek legal redress for any property loss or damages,” the victim said.

Meanwhile, seven Zanu PF supporters facing charges of murdering Midzi last
December will appear in court next week.

They were remanded in custody by the court last week.

Washington Mandundu and his colleagues were arrested by the police last
December after they tortured Midzi to death at a Zanu PF base in Chiwaridzo
suburb for organising MDC activities in the town.

They have been in custody for the past five months.

They were denied bail because they are facing serious allegations.

In January the court dismissed an application to remove Mandundu, one of the
alleged murderers, from remand after Dennis Tswarayi, the officer-in-charge
of the CID in Bindura said Mandundu had no case to answer.

However, some people in the town alleged that Mandundu is a close relative
of a top government and Zanu PF official in Bindura.

In dismissing the application, the court said the request did not conform
with the procedures and there was no evidence to exonerate Mandundu from the
murder of Midzi.

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