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The Times

            April 20, 2005

            The needless suffering and terrible death of Emmanuel

           Jan Raath

         Mugabe's excesses have made life even worse in Aids-torn Zimbabwe

            THE LAST time I saw Emmanuel Chitsere alive, he was struggling
to get out of the back door of my pickup truck. His wife, Memory, was trying
to get him on his feet. I had to blink away my tears. Chitsere's feet were
painfully swollen. As I left their one-room home in the Mbare township of
Harare, I felt optimistic. After a month battling with Zimbabwe's failing
health system, I had won: Chitsere, who had Aids, was in possession of two
little envelopes of anti-retroviral drugs (ARVs).

            I was not able to stay to ensure his health, though. The next
day my lawyer phoned to warn me that police were soon to pick me up on
suspicion of "spying" and of "working illegally as a journalist". I stuffed
a couple of suitcases with belongings. And overnight, I fled Zimbabwe.

            Fifteen days later Chitsere, aged 39, was dead. I still don't
know why. He had enough ARVs for six weeks, renewable indefinitely. I found
out that he was taken to his rural home soon after I left, because it would
be easier to nurse him there.

            In the end, it made little difference. No bus would take
Chitsere in his state, so the family had to hire a taxi. He died in the car,
10km (6 miles) away from his home in Chirumanzu, about 200km south of
Harare. He was buried on March 4. A prudent man, he had joined a burial
society, so the coffin and pots and plates for cooking for the mourners were
paid for. One of his four cattle was slaughtered to feed them.

            I hired Emmanuel Chitsere in 2001 as a night guard, not out of
fear of burglars, but as a first defence against Zimbabwe's secret police,
who tend to burst into the homes of journalists at 2am. We got on well from
the outset. He was an avid reader of newspapers, and we laughed at the
latest anti-Mugabe jokes. He did chores for me, such as gardening, without
being asked. Occasionally I would find him sleeping on the job. He always
denied it, but I didn't mind. His presence was reassuring.

            My landlord, Andy Moyse, phoned me in Cape Town two days after
Chitsere's death and told me of it. After shock came anger. There was no
excuse for him to have died. His demise had been brought about through
ignorance, confusion or superstition. But at the same time, I felt relief.
If Chitsere had recovered, I would probably have had to provide ARVs for the
rest of his life. And from where I am now, 1,500km away, I could not
guarantee that. I also had to think of the living. There is a strong chance
that Memory, in her twenties, is HIV-positive. Without Emmanuel, her only
source of income is selling tomatoes at the bus terminus.

            Aids in Zimbabwe today brushes you personally every day. The
country has one of the highest rates of HIV infection in the world: one
adult in four carries the virus. Life expectancy has collapsed to 38 years
because of Aids. Seventy per cent of patients in hospital are being treated
for the virus. In the 1980s I was news editor of a domestic news agency to a
generation of young black journalists. Nearly all are dead. I have found
myself driving the hearse for one of my office messengers. In my pickup, I
took the dead members of his family to the cemetery, women mourners keening
about me.

            Over my time in Zimbabwe, I learnt that for all but a tiny
minority, early death is certain for Zimbabweans with Aids. About 10,000
have access to ARVs but it kills 200,000 each year. ARVs are unaffordable
for ordinary Zimbabweans. The price is doubled by the import duty that the
Government charges. Even donated anti-Aids drugs are charged duty.

            Last year Chitsere sickened. First it was flu, then a sore
throat, then a cough that wouldn't go away. With Vitamin C, extra food and
aspirin he recovered temporarily. I said nothing. How do you say to someone,
"Excuse me, I think you should see a doctor about a virus that will probably
kill you"? I returned from holiday in January to hear that he had been off
work most of the time I was away.

            I was told that he was in St Theresa's, a Roman Catholic mission
hospital at Chirumanzu. The phone never worked. On the morning of January 22
I was about to drive to Chirumanzu when Chitsere turned up on my doorstep.
"I have come for my duty," he said. He had shrunk to half his size in just
over a month. His head was swollen. But the spell in hospital seemed to have
cheered him up.

            I phoned an Aids-prevention charity, the centre, which provides
a low-cost diet of nutritious basic foodstuffs and herbs to boost the immune
system. The Centre also issues ARVs as a last resort. It agreed to see him
immediately. I told Chitsere that I would take him to someone who would help
him. I did not mention Aids, but I'm sure he knew. When I dropped him at the
gate he didn't even turn to wave as I drove off. I'm sure he knew that he
was about to face someone who would try to force him to confront his
condition. He did go in, I found out the next day. Fortune, the counsellor,
told me: "He just said, 'But I can't have Aids'."

            Two weeks later Chitsere came back, escorted by his son,
Simbarashe. He was desperately sick. Diarrhoea had shrunk him even more
dramatically in a fortnight. His mouth was raw with thrush; his lips stiffly
pouted to ease the burning that breathing caused. He couldn't eat; he was
vomiting. He mumbled obsessively about money and that he could not pay his
debts. I discovered later that after his counselling session he had gone for
an HIV test at a municipal hospital for sexually transmitted diseases and it
had turned out positive. Too frightened to tell anyone, he did nothing.

            Then I launched the campaign to get him on ARVs. You cannot get
them without a prescription, and the doctor cannot issue one without a CD4
count, a measure of the cells that manufacture the body's immune-defence

            None of the depleted state laboratories can do CD4 counts.
Unless you are one of the 10,000 on the state ARV programme, you have to go
to a private laboratory. They charge 1.2 million Zimbabwe dollars (about
£75) - two months' wages for a guard.

            Chitsere couldn't walk to the bus stop, so I collected him from
his spotlessly clean room to take him to the laboratory. He lay on his bed
in only his underpants. His ribcage was like a large hump with hollows
between each rib, his stomach was sunken, his hips stuck out and I probably
could have closed my hand around the middle of his thigh.

We waited five days for the results. ARVs are usually introduced at a count
of 200. Chitsere's was 16 and he was withering by the day.

I took him to my GP for a prescription and just happened to phone the doctor
while he was seeing Chitsere. The GP told me: "He said nothing about Aids or
ARVs. He went on about a pain in his stomach."

The next day, armed with the prescription, I got Chitsere to the Centre to
pick up the ARVs. He now had a two-week starter pack and a month's full ARV
medication with nevirapine. On top of that, every day he had to take
anti-diarrhoeal drugs, anti-emetics, antibiotics for the thrush,
electrolytes, three vitamins, mineral supplements, zinc and selenium - to be
administered by his wife, who was educated no farther than primary school
and speaks no English.

While we waited in the Centre's reception area for the drugs, Memory noticed
that Chitsere's orange shirt was hanging open. She leaned gently across him
and buttoned it up.

That night I was forced to stop at an intersection as President Mugabe's
28-vehicle motorcade of gleaming new Mercedes-Benz limousines, Yamaha
motorcycles and troop-laden 4x4 behemoths roared past, and I was filled with
rage. It was a horrible symbolic sight: a reminder that people like Emmanuel
Chitsere and three million other Zimbabweans with Aids are paying for Robert
Mugabe's gross and cynical excess.
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Cape Times

      MDC leaders 'feeling used', decide to sever ties with SA government
      April 20, 2005

      By Peta Thornycroft and Beauregard Tromp

      Johannesburg: Contact between the South African government and
Zimbabwe's opposition, Movement for Democratic Change (MDC), has ceased.

      MDC secretary-general Welshman Ncube, who was the main contact between
the two, said at the weekend: "I am not available to the South Africans any

      Paul Themba Nyathi, MDC spokesman, said: "From his point of view, he
acted in good faith, in seriousness, and he discovered he had been used, so
one should imagine he is intractably angry. That is what has happened."

      William Bango, spokesman for MDC president Morgan Tsvangirai, said:
"He is not talking to the South Africans either as far as I know."

      A senior South African foreign affairs source said the news of the
MDC's decision had come as a shock.

      "We haven't heard anything from them. We've been talking to them and
of course they weren't happy with the result of the election and about what
the observers had to say. But nothing like this," he said.

      The ruling Zanu-PF won 78 out of 120 elected parliamentary seats at
the March 31 election which, together with 30 MPs appointed by President
Robert Mugabe, gives it a two-thirds majority allowing it to change the

      The MDC won 41 seats, down 16 from 2000 when it came within three
seats of winning a parliamentary majority.

      The opposition claims the results were rigged and that the voters'
roll is in a shambles. Meanwhile, several diplomatic missions, including
South Africa, are becoming increasingly alarmed at yet another sudden dive
in the economy off an already low base.

      With domestic debt having trebled since February, to US$1.1 billion
according to information on the website of the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe,
foreign currency reserves now meet less than 10% of demand from the
productive sector.

      Street traders in central Harare said yesterday that the black market
rate for the dollar was now more than treble the auction rate at the Reserve
Bank. One woman, ostensibly selling tomatoes but offering to buy foreign
currency, said South African rands were trading at R1 to Z$3 100.

      Inflows of forex from annual tobacco sales which began this month are
way down because of a poor quality crop and reduced volumes.
      Manufacturers of cooking oil, margarine and soap put in for US$5
million for inputs and got US$300 000 at a recent Reserve Bank auction.

      Already, cooking oil and soap powder have largely disappeared from
supermarket shelves, in addition to sugar and mealie meal which are only
rarely available.

      Relative price stability over the last year has ended, and reductions
in inflation have bottomed out and are now galloping ahead.
      No one, least of all consumers, believes the Reserve Bank's figure of
less than 130% inflation as of end February. Private sector economists say
it is somewhere between 300-400%.

      Making life even more unbearable is the virtual collapse of both
cellphone networks - the privately owned Econet and government-owned Netone.

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The Herald

Zim urged to explore trade opportunities in Japan

From Victoria Ruzvidzo in NAGOYA (Japan)
ZIMBABWE should aggressively explore trade and investment opportunities that
exist in Japan as part of efforts to turn around the economy, the Zimbabwean
ambassador to the Asian country, Mr Stuart Comberbach, has said.

In an interview here yesterday, Ambassador Comberbach said Zimbabwe could
improve trade between the two countries significantly with more effort,
particularly by Zimbabwe.

Last year, Zimbabwe exported goods worth US$130 million to Japan while it
imported US$20 million worth of commodities. These figures had potential to
rise significantly.

Japan exudes potential to become a big market for Zimbabwe's minerals,
agricultural products and other manufactured goods.

Trade figures for last year do not include tourism and the second-hand motor
vehicles Zimbabwe imports from Japan.

Statistics show that Japan imports ferrochrome, nickel and nickel alloys,
tobacco, cotton and leather from Zimbabwe while the latter often imports
motor vehicle spare parts and high-tech equipment.

Ambassador Comberbach said Japan was also keen to import paprika, coffee,
tea and platinum from Zimbabwe and measures were currently being taken to
explore strategies in this regard.

"We have been receiving so many enquiries from the Japanese particularly
regarding platinum and coal. The Japanese are also keen to buy large
quantities of tobacco from Zimbabwe."

However, reduction in the production of ferrochrome and tobacco over the
past few years had affected Zimbabwe's exports to Japan.

A rejuvenation of agricultural produce, minerals and manufactured goods
would translate into increased imports by the Asian country.

Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe governor Dr Gideon Gono in January said he
anticipated exports to grow to more than US$3 billion this year from about
US$1,7 billion last year

In this regard, more exports to Japan would contribute towards the
attainment of the projected figure.

"Zimbabwe could indeed increase exports to Japan. The scope exists and we
are working towards ensuring that this happens," said Ambassador Comberbach

However, he stressed that Japan was a sensitive market that put emphasis on
both quality and quantity.

"Japan is currently worried about erratic supplies from Zimbabwe but we are
confident that as the economy stabilises, the country will be able to meet
the required quantities and quality particularly in to-bacco," said
Ambas-sador Comberbach

Zimbabwe, which boasts of the world's second largest platinum deposits after
South Africa, could take advantage of the growing demand for the mineral in
Japan and other countries.

The white metal is a key component in the production of catalytic converters
for motor vehicles' exhaust systems.

"Japan currently imports huge quantities of platinum from SA but as our own
production increases, we can increase our exports to automobile producers,"
said Ambassador Comberbach.

Zimbabwe and South Africa between them hold 80 percent of the world's
platinum resource.

A number of countries including China and Russia have also expressed keen
interest in the platinum sector.

Ambassador Comberbach said ambassadors from 10 countries based here were
currently engaged in negotiations with Japanese countries based in South
Africa to ensure that they extended their business interests into other
countries in the region.

South Africa hosts a concentration of Japanese companies, which include the
Japanese Import and Export Bank, Toyota and Jaika.

"We have been engaging some of these companies to look beyond SA and put up
businesses elsewhere including in Zimbabwe," said Ambassador Comberbach.
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The Herald

Zimra cracks down on tax defaulters

Business Reporter
THE Zimbabwe Revenue Authority (Zimra) has embarked on a massive crackdown
on tax defaulters in a bid to meet its revenue collection targets and
instill a sense of professionalism among individuals and companies Zimra
yesterday announced that it was on an "intensive follow-up on potential
withholding tax and VAT defaulters".

The crackdown comes hard on the heels of an announcement by Zimra at the
beginning of the year that it would make follow-ups on all forms of tax
defaulters to promote regulatory controls with integrity, transparency and
fairness in all transactions made.

Zimra collected revenue amounting to $7,87 trillion in the 12 months to
December 31 2004, surpassing its targets of $7,23 trillion by $643 billion
or 9 percent.

At 40 percent of the total revenue or $3,199 trillion in monetary terms
against a target of $2,5 trillion, individual tax was the biggest

Company tax, however, fell short of its target of $733,37 billion closing
the year at $604,9 billion which represents a deficit of $128,4 billion or
18 percent negative variance.

In its first year of operation VAT contributed more to the fiscus than sales
tax. By December last year about 10 000 registered operators were reportedly
using the new system and more were still registering.

The tax collector has been given a target of $22 trillion for the 2005
fiscal year by the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development, which
relinquished its economic development mandate in the recently announced

To meet or surpass this target the revenue authority is keen to ensure that
all forms of tax are paid, including withholding tax and VAT.

As of last month at least 80 percent of companies had paid their first
corporate tax dues of the year to Zimra. The deadline was February 28.

In its bid to plug tax loopholes, Zimra was intensifying roadblocks, field
audits and border patrols.

The most common leakages included smuggling and non-acquittal of CD1 forms
by exporters and TR1 forms by tourism operators.

Zimra has also enlisted the services of the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe to
tighten the screws on potential tax evaders.

In a statement earlier this year, the RBZ said anyone found guilty of
violating declaration procedures risked a heavy fine as Zimra and the bank
had intensified their crackdown to promote integrity, transparency and
fairness in all business transactions, including imports and exports.

"In line with the redoubled thrust, heavy penalties will be imposed on those
exporters who refuse to take heed and comply.

"The Reserve Bank also wishes to strongly urge authorised dealers to educate
their clients on proper procedures, for when in default, equal
responsibility will be placed on the financial institutions in question as
well as their errant clients," said RBZ.

Regarding the discharge of CD1, TR1 and CD3 forms, RBZ said in giving these
dispensations to exporters, the bank expected reciprocity through compliance
with standing Exchange Control Regulations, as well as commitments to
enhance foreign exchange generation.

The Zimra crackdown comes at a time when tax remittances are said to have
put a tight squeeze on some companies' cashflow positions with most reported
to be seeking bridging finance to meet their operating expenses.

It also comes at a time when several companies and individuals are reported
to be now familiar with VAT mechanics but chose to dishonour their
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Zim to devalue currency
19/04/2005 17:28  - (SA)

            Related Articles
            a.. Zim 'stable for business'

            a.. Zim gets tough on laundering

            a.. Zim to unveil new currency

            a.. Mboweni: 'Zim needs stability'

Harare - Zimbabwe's central bank will announce a steep currency devaluation
this week to boost export earnings in a country suffering perennial foreign
currency shortages, a newspaper said on Tuesday.

"Officials sources privy to the issue told The Daily Mirror that the central
bank governor would be announcing a huge devaluation of about 90 percent in
his monetary policy review at the end of this week," The Daily Mirror said.

"The Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe governor Gideon Gono has finally bowed to
mounting pressure by industry to devalue the local dollar in a last-ditch
attempt to boost export earnings," the newspaper said.

The Zimbabwean dollar is pegged at 6 200 against the US dollar, yet on the
black market last week it traded for over 13 000 to greenback.

Zimbabwe has for almost five years experienced an acute foreign exchange
shortage when vital imports of fuel, electricity, basic food stuffs and
other commodities have to be paid for.

The government last year launched a scheme to encourage thousands of
Zimbabweans living abroad to send money home.

The enthusiasm that greeted the launch of the scheme, codenamed the Homelink
Scheme, has been waning in recent months.

Farmers and industrialists have been crying out for a devaluation, but the
government has been reluctant.

Zimbabwe is mired in its worst-ever economic crisis, with a triple-digit
inflation rate, unemployment levels over 70% and the critical lack of
foreign currency.

International donors suspended aid more than four years ago while tourism
and foreign investment have suffered a slump.

The tobacco sector - which earns a third of the country's desperately needed
foreign exchange - has not had any significant impact on the foreign
currency availability in the country.
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Daily Mirror, Zimbabwe

More trouble for Chiyangwa

The Daily Mirror Reporter
issue date :2005-Apr-20

BUSINESSMAN and former Mashonaland West Zanu PF provincial chairman Phillip
Chiyangwa, (pictured), is in trouble again amid revelations he will be
hauled before the ruling party's disciplinary committee.
Zanu PF national commissar Elliot Manyika yesterday confirmed the former
Member of Parliament for Chinhoyi would be summoned for a hearing.
However, he refused to disclose the date of the hearing or the nature of
charges to be preferred against the businessman, arguing the matter was an
internal party issue.
 "He will appear before a disciplinary committee, it is confidential, and we
cannot discuss the charges in the Press. But after a vote of no confidence
was passed on him, it is normal that disciplinary procedures follow," said
He declined further comment, only saying answers were provided for in the
"ruling party's books".
Zanu PF Mashonaland West chairman, John Mafa said his predecessor last
attended party meetings before his arrest.
However, he was evasive on whether a ban had been imposed on the
Mafa also said the Zanu PF leadership would deal with Chiyangwa's fate in
the party.
" The nature of his arrest means that as a province we cannot do anything
regarding his fate, so we will await a decision from the elders. They must
have been busy (to deal with the issue), but as we have finished the
independence celebrations we are waiting for the Politburo to decide."
Zanu PF national chairman John Nkomo told The Daily Mirror to contact him
later, but subsequent efforts to reach him were fruitless.
Chiyangwa has been maintaining a low profile since he was freed by the High
Court in February on espionage charges. The State has since indicated he
still has a case to answer and will proceed by way of summons if more
evidence crops up.
Following his disappearance on December 15 last year, soon after presenting
a budget review committee report in Parliament, the former Chinhoyi MP lost
the ruling party's mandate to defend his parliamentary seat.
Chiyangwa also lost the provincial chairmanship while he stands to lose his
Citrus Farm following Chinhoyi Municipality's decision to acquire it for
peri-urban development.
In a recent interview with The Daily Mirror, Chiyangwa would not be drawn
into commenting on his political status, and went biblical.
He said: "If God is with you who can be against you?"
Another ruling party senior official, the deputy director of security, Kenny
Karidza, arrested at the same time as Chiyangwa on similar charges, had his
trial postponed to April 26, yesterday.
Zimbabwe's then ambassador-designate to Mozambique, Godfrey Dzvairo,
ex-Metropolitan Bank secretary Tendai Matambanadzo and Zanu PF external
affairs director Itai Marchi were jailed in February this year for breaching
the Official Secrets Act.
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Daily Mirror, Zimbabwe

Karidza trial postponed

Court Reporter
issue date :2005-Apr-20

THE trial of Zanu PF deputy security director, Kenny Karidza, was yesterday
postponed to April 26 after his lawyer George Chikumbirike failed to turn up
in court.
Karidza is being charged with espionage against the Zimbabwean government.
The suspect has since pleaded not guilty to contravening provisions of the
Official Secrets Act and has been languishing in remand prison since
December last year.
Yesterday, prosecutor Lawrence Phiri told the court that he had not seen the
defence counsel and neither had the lawyer communicated anything to him.
Regional magistrate William Kasitomo then deferred proceedings to next
In a related case, Zimbabwe's then ambassador-designate to Mozambique
Godfrey Dzvairo, ex-Metropolitan Bank secretary Tendai Matambanadzo and
ruling party's external affairs director, Itai Marchi, were jailed in
February for breaching the same law.
Dzvairo was jailed for six years while Matambanadzo and Marchi were slapped
with five-year prison terms each for spying.
Former Mashonaland West chairman and businessman Philip Chiyangwa was also
hauled before the courts on similar charges, but had his application for
refusal of remand granted by High Court judge Charles Hungwe.
Earlier, regional magistrate Peter Kumbawa had dismissed Chiyangwa's bail
application and refusal of remand forcing the legislator to seek protection
from a higher court.
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Daily Mirror, Zimbabwe

Fishing permits shoot to $15 m

Shame Makoshori
issue date :2005-Apr-20

THE government has hiked prices for kapenta fishing permits for companies
operating in Lake Kariba from $2.5 million to $15 million per annum, a
development that is set to cause further upheavals in the already distressed
Environment and Tourism Minister Francis Nhema announced on Friday that the
$15 million would be paid in respect of every fishing rig that a company
However, information gathered by this newspaper indicates that the bulk of
companies in the commercial fishing sector have been struggling to meet the
current demands from the government due to acute viability constraints.
The fishing concerns claim that operations have been going through volatile
patches in the past five years due to foreign
currency shortages for importing spare parts, sporadic fuel
supply bottlenecks and
the hyperinflationary environment.
There are also indications of overfishing on the water body, whose fish
produce is shared by both Zambia and Zimbabwe.
 These problems, the Kapenta Producers Association of Zimbabwe argues, have
militated against
profitability resulting in
 companies either diverting into
Mozambique or winding up operations.
  The operators have also been complaining that cheap Kapenta from Cabora
Bassa in Mozambique that is persistently dumped on the local market are
threatening their survival considering that the local produce's prices are
controlled by government.
Former member of parliament for Kariba Isaac Mackenzie recently said the
problem originated from the failure by customs officials to charge duty on
the Kapenta from the Indian Ocean, a condition that makes production costs
for fishing companies in Mozambique lower compared to those in Zimbabwe.
Government however says although measures were put in place to curb
leakages, companies trying to avoid duty payments on the ports have always
looked for other avenues of beating the system.
"Regardless of all the measures that have been put in place, it is no secret
that fraudsters are on the look out for any possible loopholes that may be
exploited thereby threatening local businesses and loss of revenue to the
fiscus," Finance deputy minister, David Chapfika told parliament last year.
While most companies that spoke to this newspaper yesterday expressed
ignorance of the new tariffs, some players said
they were headed for a possible clash with government, as the
increments would further
slide their prospects into uncertainty.
The government also announced in last week's Government Gazette that
adjustments had also been effected on such businesses as luxury cruises,
angling, rafting and sailing, among others.
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Daily Mirror, Zimbabwe

Mugabe extends Chinhoyi town boundaries

The Daily Mirror Reporter
issue date :2005-Apr-20

PRESIDENT Robert Mugabe has extended the boundaries of Chinhoyi, the
provincial capital of Mashonaland West.
According to statutory instrument 52 of 2005 published in the government
gazette of April 15, President Mugabe expanded the boundaries by altering 15
wards falling under the jurisdiction of Makonde Rural District Council and
incorporating them into Chinhoyi Municipal Council.
The alterations were done in terms of sections of the Urban Council Act as
well as the Rural District Councils Act.
"Whereas it is provided by paragraph (b) of subsection (2) of section 4 of
the Urban Councils Act (Chapter 29; 15), that, at any time after the
establishment of a council, the President may, subject to the said Act, by
proclamation in the gazette and after consultation with the council.Whereas
I consider it desirable to (a) alter the boundaries of the council by adding
thereto the area known as Alaska, Cheltenham, Olympus, Sangwe, Shacklelton,
Strathcoma and Sinoia subtracted from the jurisdiction of Makonde Rural
District, (b) redefine the council area; and whereas the Chinhoyi Municipal
Council has been consulted: now therefore, under and by virtue of the powers
vested in the President as afore said , I do hereby- alter the boundaries.,"
reads part of President Mugabe's proclamation.
The mayor of Chinhoyi, Risipa Kapesa could not be reached for comment
yesterday, but in an interview with The Daily Mirror in February the mayor
said council was in dire need of land for peri -urban development. He added
that the government had already allocated it 14 farms including one owned by
troubled businessman Phillip Chiyangwa which he said at the time were
awaiting gazetting.
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Daily Mirror, Zimbabwe

Police investigate MDC's Matamisa

The Daily Mirror Reporter
issue date :2005-Apr-20

POLICE in Mashonaland West say they are investigating the MDC's losing
candidate for Chinhoyi constituency in the March 31 2005 parliamentary
elections, Silas Matamisa, on allegations of assaulting a Zanu PF member at
a local polling station on voting day.
Matamisa who lost the Chinhoyi seat to Faber Chidarikire of the ruling party
reportedly man handled the Zanu PF chairman for ward 12, Erison Dendere, at
Manyame primary school.
Inspector Paul Nyathi confirmed receiving a report  on the matter and said
the police were looking into the allegations and if reasonable suspicion
arose, would take the matter to court.
However, according to the presiding officer at the polling station Florence
Machila who spoke to The Daily Mirror last week, on election day, she
received a report that Matamisa arrived at around 10am and confronted
Dendere who was already in the queue waiting to cast his vote.
Matamisa reportedly grabbed his 'victim' by the neck and then hit him after
accusing him of encouraging those in the queue to vote for Zanu PF.
"The MDC candidate came here and had an altercation with Dendere who was
waiting to cast his vote. But when I investigated, people in the queue said
Dendere had done no such thing," Machila said.
After voting, Dendere reported the incident to the police leading to the
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Daily Mirror, Zimbabwe

MDC challenges six ministers

The Daily Mirror Reporter
issue date :2005-Apr-21

THE MDC has petitioned the Electoral Court seeking the nullification of
results for the parliamentary seats won by five ministers and a deputy last
The six are: defence minister Sydney Sekeramayi (Marondera West), national
security minister Didymus Mutasa (Makoni North), finance minister, Herbert
Murerwa (Goromonzi), energy and power development minister Mike Nyambuya
(Mutasa North), women's affairs, gender and community development minister,
Oppah Muchinguri (Mutasa South) and deputy minister of science and
technology, Patrick Zhuwawo (Manyame).
The losing candidate for Harare South, James Mushonga, also filed papers
against Zanu PF's Herbert Nyanhongo, the constituency's new Member of
The six petitions were filed on Tuesday.
In Marondera West, the opposition party's losing candidate, Ian Ka,y said
there were discrepancies between the number of total votes cast which were
announced on March 31 by the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) and those
announced the following day.
Kay, who garnered 10 066 against Sekeramayi's 19 193, said initially 25 193
were said to have voted but the total released later left 4 742 votes
unaccounted for.
Elton Mangoma, who was beaten by Mutasa in Manicaland, also cited
discrepancies in figures released by ZEC that he attributed to the ruling
party's secretary for administration's victory.
He added that prior to the poll, there was intimidation in the constituency
by Zanu PF supporters.  He cited an incident in which three MDC women were
assaulted by ruling party supporters who were in a truck driven by Mutasa
and agriculture minister Joseph Made.
In Goromonzi, MDC losing candidate Claudious Marimo cited a number of
allegations he said had tilted the figures in Murerwa's favour.
One such incident is the alleged hovering of a military helicopter above the
constituency from morning till noon - a development which, he said,
intimidated the voters.
In Mutasa South, Evelyn Masaiti also said soldiers had been used to
intimidate the electorate. She said on March 31, 10 986 was given as the
total number of votes cast, but the following day the number shot up with 10
135 votes being attributed to Nyambuya and 6 665 to her.
In Manyame, Hilda Mafudze said the delimitation exercise had resulted in
people who were not supposed to vote doing so.  She also cited discrepancies
in the figures released.
"The constituency of Manyame was a new creation of the Delimitation
Commission based on unchecked figures given to it by the Registrar General,
which were not consistent with the national census, the findings in the
Rukuni Report and the fundamental principle required in section 3 of the
Act," said Mafudze in her affidavit.
In Harare South, the only constituency won by the ruling party in Harare
Province, Mushonga bemoaned the actions of the Delimitation Commission,
among other allegations.
Mushonga alleged that the commission created a "designer constituency" for
the ruling party by incorporating some people on acquired farms.
He queried the removal of areas such as Cranborne, Hillside, Arcadia and St
Martin's among others, from the constituency.
The MDC candidate for Gokwe, Aaron Chinhara, also petitioned the Electoral
Court on Friday seeking to be declared the winner of the poll, or
alternatively for the seat to be declared vacant.
Chinhara lost to Zanu PF's Lovemore Mupukuta, who garnered 8 987 against his
rival's 14 113.
Among other allegations, Chinhara said there was intimidation of the
electorate by the country's security agents and threats by traditional
leaders - 10 headmen under chief Njelele - who used food as a political
Chinhara also alleged that the poll was fraught with irregularities during
"Firstly, the decision as to when to do the verification and collation of
the polling station returns was not determined by the constituency elections
officer, but was determined in Harare and mandated to the constituency
elections officer.
"Secondly, neither my agents nor I were given the opportunity to examine and
to make notes of the contents thereof.
"Thirdly, the elections officer did not deal with the postal ballot papers
as required by section 65 but added those ballots into the ballot box of one
of the polling stations," said the MDC losing candidate.
Law firm Mbidzo, Muchadehama and Makoni are representing Chinhara, while the
rest are being represented by Atherstone and Cook.
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Daily Mirror, Zimbabwe

Water woes hit town

The Daily Mirror Reporter
issue date :2005-Apr-21

RESIDENTS of Marondera town endured a week of water rationing after the main
booster pump at its reservoirs broke down last week.
Executive mayor Ralph Chimanikire told The Daily Mirror yesterday that the
Mashonaland East capital was forced to ration water by the breakdown, but
council had since imported a $1,3 billion new booster pump to be delivered
"The water rationing was due to the breakdown of the biggest booster pump at
our water reservoirs and the remaining three could not cope with the
 demand," Chimanikire said.
"We have, however, contracted a private company to import a new machine and
we expect it to be delivered in the next two to three months," he added.
The mayor explained that council sent notices to residents last week
informing them of the breakdown, and that water supplies would be rationed
until the situation normalised.
An official at the town's water works said the pump had been repaired and
that normal water supply was expected to resume today.
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Daily Mirror, Zimbabwe

Chingoka suspended

Simba Rushwaya Deputy Sports Editor
issue date :2005-Apr-21

THE Sports and Recreation Commission (SRC) has suspended Zimbabwe Olympic
Committee (ZOC) president, Paul Chingoka, amid allegations of financial
misappropriation during his tenure with Tennis Zimbabwe (TZ).
In a press statement Sports Commission chairman, Gibson Mashingaidze,
announced that Chingoka and treasurer Bash  Mohomed were placed under
investigation on recommendation of the SRC Investigating Committee which
probed the operations of Tennis TZ after accusations of "maladministration
and malpractices against the tennis leadership by players, parents and
"The Investigating Committee noted that Tennis Zimbabwe Board was not
effective as an entity. The board was significantly passive on all tennis
matters and, therefore, it was found collectively responsible for the mess
in tennis.
"The association was found wanting in records keeping and accountability.
Some indicators of possible misappropriation of funds were established."
The committee, which was commissioned on 18 June last year, was given the
following terms of reference:
n investigate any issues relating to the constitution, governance and
development of Tennis Zimbabwe
n investigate allegations of maladministration and misappropriation of funds
n  investigate the existence of national team selection criteria,
composition of the selection panel and how the system has been working in
the past
n investigate how the Davis Cup was funded and grants and loans for the ITF
have been used
n determine if Tennis Zimbabwe has a strategic plan or a development plan
and how the plan is implemented
The committee, among their findings, claim that the TZ constitution is
outdated, does not comply with national policy on the decentralisation of
sport, some of its affiliates have outdated constitutions while others do
not have any at all, the governance structures are poorly structured and
weak and that there were low levels of professionalism, accountability and
transparency in administering and developing tennis.
 The report further alleges poor administration of the game although
Zimbabwe scaled dizzy heights during Chingoka's reign.
"Decision making tended to be centralised on a few individual leaders and
there was no separation of powers between the board and its secretariat."
As a measure to improve the operations at TZ, the Sports Commission devised
a road map that will see the association updating its constitution and that
of affiliates by the next AGM.
"An investigative audit on the funds of the Tennis Zimbabwe, especially the
ITF and Davis Cup resources, payment of players and officials, foreign
currency account and sponsorship deals should be done by 30 June 2005.
"An investigation into the conduct of former president and treasurer and any
other person who may have been involved in conduct inconsistent with the
development of tennis in Zimbabwe should be done by 30 June 2005," read part
of the statement.
It further said Chingoka and Mahomed should be suspended with immediate
effect from
tennis to "facilitate the investigations".
The revelations will come as a shock to many Zimbabweans after the country
attained prestigious status in tennis during Chingoka's era which was spiced
by the Black brothers -Wayne and Byron - who took Zimbabwe to the Davis Cup
World Group.
Ironically, Chingoka has won several accolades as a good administrator,
including the Administrator of the Year run under the auspices of the Sports
 It remains a mystery what criteria the Sports Commission bosses were using
when they selected him as the best administrator just last year against this
Efforts to get a comment from Chingoka were unsuccessful by the time of
going to press.
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Business Day

Posted to the web on: 20 April 2005
Zimbabwe runs short of maize - and the foreign exchange needed to pay for it
Peter Apps


DROUGHT and poor seed distribution may force Zimbabwe to import more South
African food, traders say, but many doubt whether President Robert Mugabe's
government has the money to pay for it.

South African traders say Zimbabwe's state Grain Marketing Board failed to
honour contracts last year, and they are reluctant to supply much-needed
maize for the struggling country this year.

But SA stands to capitalise on shortages across the southern African region
as the only country to have a surplus of the staple food.

Aid workers say this year's drought would have cut Zimbabwe's maize crop
anyway, while Mugabe's critics say chaotic seizures of white-owned farms
over the past five years have left the nation's once-thriving farm sector in

"Even in the commercial areas it would have been bad," says one aid worker.
"But those guys would have had irrigation. There could be real suffering
this year."

Some wonder if Zimbabwe's food needs might be funded by China or Iran - both
wooed as part of Mugabe's "look east" policy, aimed at developing new
friends for a government widely reviled in the west.

"We don't know where they will get the money from," says another aid worker.
"(Iranian President Mohammad) Khatami was in Zimbabwe recently, so we wonder
if it's someone like that."

With state-supplied seeds and fertilisers arriving late or not at all, some
aid workers say Zimbabwe's overall maize crop could be as little as 300000
to 700000 tons - well short of the 1,8-million tons they say the country
needs, and estimates of a 1-million ton crop for last year.

SA, on the other hand, is expecting its best harvest in over a decade after
good rain, but much of the rest of the region also faces shortages after
late-season droughts destroyed much of the crop in Zambia, Malawi and
Mozambique, leaving SA the only regional source for grain.

Some traders say the rest of southern Africa may need as much as 1,5-million
tons of South African maize to stave off starvation in a region where the
HIV/AIDS pandemic has left many weakened and unable to carry out farming.

Zambia, Malawi, Mozambique and the kingdoms of Swaziland and Lesotho can
either buy the food themselves or ask for food aid, but no one knows how
Zimbabwe will meet its shortfall.

Zimbabwe, along with much of the rest of southern Africa, saw serious food
shortages in 2002-2003, with as much as half the country's 14-million people
needing food aid.

Agencies such as the World Food Programme saw operations significantly cut
back in 2004, when Zimbabwe said it had enough to feed its people, and
economic decline has left the country with little foreign exchange to buy
imports, commodity traders say.

Some aid workers expected relief agencies to be invited back after
parliamentary polls at the end of March - criticised by western countries as
unfree - but nothing has happened.

Traders say food is moving into Zimbabwe anyway, as last year's harvest is
exhausted and next year's main crop awaits harvesting towards May. Further
orders are expected, they say.

There are no signs the South African government is buying on behalf of
Zimbabwe, as it has done in the past, traders say, leading some to talk of
Chinese or Iranian involvement. Both countries have invested in Zimbabwe in
recent years as western donors flee.

South African rail and road transport operators ship some 40000 tons of food
a month to private buyers around the southern Zimbabwe city of Bulawayo,
rail operator Spoornet says.

Some South African traders say they distrust Zimbabwe's Grain Marketing
Board after it failed to honour contracts last year, and a few say the
government is using private buyers rather than the board to purchase its

Although current orders are being processed and paid for, traders say large
future orders may to be treated with caution until Zimbabwe's ability to pay
becomes clear.

Other trade sources say as much as 70000 tons of white maize could be
already in transit to Zimbabwe from SA, with a possible further 80000 tons
on the way.

"I think you'll see the export figures to Zimbabwe rise next week or the
week after," a trader says.
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This is Derbyshire


      16:30 - 20 April 2005
      A Zimbabwean asylum seeker based in Derby has won a last-minute
reprieve in his fight to stay in the UK.

      Tafara Nhengu (25), was to be deported back to his home country at 8pm
yesterday, after a series of asylum applications on his behalf failed.

      Mr Nhengu, a performing artist, has campaigned against President
Robert Mugabe's regime in Zimbabwe since he was a student.

      He fled his home country for Britain in 2002 because he feared his
political activities as a member of the opposition Movement for Democratic
Change would lead to his imprisonment.

      Last night, Mr Nhengu signed a faxed authorisation for a new lawyer to
take over his case.

      According to Dr Martine Stemerick, a minister at Alvaston Methodist
Church in London Road, who has championed Mr Nhengu's case, the new lawyer
was successful in a last-minute appeal against the deportation, although it
is unclear on what grounds.

      Mr Nhengu has now been returned to the Colnebrook Detention Centre
near Heathrow Airport while his latest appeal is considered by the Home

      It is not known how long Mr Nhengu will have to wait for his appeal to
be heard.

      Dr Stemerick said: "Tafara's new lawyer is superb and we are hoping
Tafara can stay.

      "He would be in great danger for speaking out against Mugabe if he was
returned to Zimbabwe."

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Dry Taps Force Residents to Consume Unsafe Water

The Herald (Harare)

April 20, 2005
Posted to the web April 20, 2005


THERE has been no water supply to some sections of Tafara, Mabvuku and
Prospect in Waterfalls for the past two days, forcing residents to resort to
using unsafe water from shallow wells for household consumption.

Some of the affected residents told The Herald yesterday that they feared an
outbreak of waterborne diseases if the situation was not resolved soon.

Mr Voster Muzavazi of New Mabvuku said the supplies in the area were
abruptly cut without warning on Monday morning.

"Up to now there is no water and we don't know when the supplies will
resume," he said.

Mrs Sarah Chivizhe of New Tafara, who said only a few drops of water were
trickling from the taps, echoed Mr Muzavazi's sentiments.

She urged the city authorities to find a lasting solution to the now
perennial water problems faced by residents in the eastern suburbs.

Harare City Council introduced water rationing in the north-eastern and
southern suburbs about a week ago in a bid to boost dwindling levels in the
city's major reservoirs.

Director of works Mr Psychology Chiwanga recently said due to persistent
water shortages in the eastern suburbs, the Commission running the affairs
of Harare City Council had implemented a water demand management exercise.

The city is currently facing shortages of Ecol 2000, an oxidising agent used
to destroy algae (chlorophyll containing organisms) which clog filters at
Morton Jaffray Water Treatment Plant.

In a related matter, Glen View residents are complaining of running stomachs
and headaches because they allege they are drinking dirty water supplied by
Harare City Council.

In separate interviews, the residents said they were now boiling drinking
water but another unforeseen problem had arisen from that measure.

"The water gets thick and forms into a viscous compound when we boil it,"
said Mrs Betty Makura.

Mr Chiwanga said no report had been lodged with his office over the state of
the water.

"He said his staff would investigate and report appropriately.

After receiving numerous calls from residents of the suburb, The Herald
yesterday visited Glen View to investigate and found that the water coming
from the taps had impurities.

Mrs Makura said the problem had been going on for almost a fortnight. She
said five people at her house were suffering from severe stomachaches as a

Another resident, Mrs Rachel Simango, concurred, adding that residents had
resigned themselves to the hope that the water would come out clean on one
of the days.

"Last weekend the water was brownish. We had to throw away a lot of it," she

Mr Mabasa Kadzimwe from the same area said he had a running stomach but
could not pinpoint the cause.

He only became aware that the water had impurities after neighbours alerted

Four other people at his house also complained of the same problem.

Mrs Nyarai Tandi and Mrs Bridget Keta also complained that the dirty water
was causing stomach upsets with children affected the most.

The residents said to compound the problem of the contaminated water,
supplies were not reliable.

The Herald is reliably informed that problems with the city's water emanate
from a shortage of water treatment chemicals.
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Daily News online edition

      How Mugabe ruined Zimbabwe over 25 years

      Date: 20-Apr, 2005

      CAPE TOWN - President Robert Mugabe couldn't be more different to the
man who offered great hope when he came to power 25 years ago.

      There were always silly rumours that a ghost writer, such as the last
British governor Christopher Soames, had written Robert Mugabe's speech of
reconciliation after he won the first general election in 1980. That speech
that he made 25 years ago on April 17 - on the eve of independence - always
stuns young Zimbabweans when they see the black and white footage for the
first time.

      "If yesterday you hated me, today you cannot avoid the love that binds
you to me and me to you. Is it not folly, therefore, that in these
circumstances anybody should seek to revive the wounds and grievances of the
past?" Mugabe said.

      Among those who questioned his authorship were vanquished whites,
mourning their dead and scared after decades of demonising propaganda by the
Rhodesian Front-controlled media. Others who questioned the speech, were the
left wing of Zanu PF, many of whom had been detained by Mugabe in Mozambique
during the war, and of course, the towering Joshua Nkomo, who led the
original liberation movement, Zapu.

      But Mugabe wrote the speech himself, according to a former Rhodesian
senior civil servant who stayed on in his office after independence. And it
needed little editing. If many questioned it then, almost everyone now finds
it hard to believe, so far does Zimbabwe seem from those emotions today.

      They were directed mainly at whites who controlled much of the economy
at independence. But Mugabe quickly made them politically irrelevant. Many
of the racists and the heartsore slunk off to South Africa. Those who
stayed, largely disappeared from the political scene.

      A few months after independence, Mugabe still had a positive message
for whites, though rather less so that in that April 17 speech. He told a
group of white farmers in a hall in Chinhoyi, 100 kilometres north of
Harare: "You will need shock absorbers, as you will hear many things about
yourselves, but just keep going."

      They heard the message in a province which provided 70 percent
agricultural foreign currency earnings. Agricultural expansion, which spread
into an increasingly sophisticated and growing peasant sector who quickly
became the largest maize producers, seemed set to provide food security for
ever and ever, even in drought years when there was enough foreign currency
for short term imports of grain in 1991.

      This sector drove the economy so fast it was almost breathtaking and
Mugabe invested the proceeds in health and education. According to the
United Nations, Zimbabwe achieved 85 percent literacy within 15 years of
independence, and health care was up there too. Even now, when the country
is mired in staggering domestic and foreign debt and a collapsing
infrastructure, there is still zeal and dedication among many public health
workers struggling to alleviate the suffering of those affected by HIV/Aids.

      "They are surprisingly committed, hamstrung by lack of resources, of
course, but their data collection, for example, is really good," said a
foreign doctor, seconded to the department of health. "Despite everything,
many African countries could learn something from the Zimbabweans."

      By 1990, a decade after independence, infant death rates had been
reduced by more than 16 percent, maternal deaths were more than halved, and
immunisation and nutrition levels had soared.

      After free and compulsory primary education became law, the number of
primary schools nearly doubled - from 2 401 to 4 324 - between the last year
of minority white rule in 1979 and 1985. Zimbabwe more than doubled its
number of trained teachers between 1980 and 1995. Secondary schools sprung
up everywhere.

      But if things looked good at the start, it was because Mugabe's
essentially autocratic, undemocratic nature had not fully revealed itself.
Mugabe's political plans were always to establish a one-party state under
the comfortable cloak of his allies in the eastern bloc. Zapu leader, Joshua
Nkomo, stood in his way.

      Zapu won 20 of 120 elected seats in the liberation election of 1980.
Shortly after independence, fighting broke out between Mugabe's former
combatants and those loyal to Joshua Nkomo's Zapu in post wartime assembly
points. Former Rhodesian soldiers, mostly black, restored an uneasy peace
but the wound ran too deep to heal.

      Former Zapu combatants struggled for places in the Zimbabwe National
Army and many of those who did get recruited and who were manifestly better
trained than those loyal to Mugabe, found themselves stuck in junior
positions. They left in droves.

      Top Zapu leaders were arrested and tried for treason, acquitted and
detained under emergency regulations for a further four years. A mysterious
force, known as the "dissidents" began killing a few white farmers and some
Zanu PF members in Matabeleland province. Many of Mugabe's opponents
suspected that this was a "dirty trick" by Mugabe himself to give him
ammunition to crush Zapu, which he in any case did.

      Mugabe accused Nkomo in the following provocative terms: "Zapu is
irretrievably bent on its criminal path ... time has now come to show this
evil party our teeth. We can bite, and we shall certainly bite." He told his
supporters to "weed them out of your gardens."

      He sent in the North Korean trained Fifth Brigade, and for five years
parts of the Midlands and the two Matabeleland provinces were consumed by
violence in remote villages and journalists who reported it were routinely

      Food in those dry and hungry areas was used as a weapon, development
was withheld, and the state controlled media was used, much as the
Rhodesians had used it, to persuade the dominant Shona tribe that Zapu and
Ndebele speakers in general were the enemy.

      Many Shonas outside of Matabeleland didn't know, or didn't believe,
what was going on in the south of the country, and peace, development and
growth continued in the provinces closest to Harare

      But Zapu had been quietly vanquished, and Nkomo, who had fled Zimbabwe
three years after independence, returned, and he and his party retreated
into a junior partnership with Zanu PF. Zapu died when Nkomo reluctantly
signed a unity accord with Mugabe in 1987. The massacres in Matabeleland
left unknown thousands dead, many injured and thousands fled from the rural
areas. The economy, now struggling with outdated capital equipment from
years of sanctions against Rhodesia began to falter, and then in 1997,
Mugabe made a huge unbudgeted, pension pay-out to restless, unemployed war
veterans which sank the value of the Zimbabwe dollar overnight. Foreign
currency became scarcer and the International Monetary Fund's structural
adjustment programme in the early 1990s, which facilitated cheaper imports,
and led to factory closures and massive job losses, ripped the social
infrastructure further apart. So, when a growing, well educated urban
society began questioning the loss of civil liberties and the trade union
movement grew in protest against the economic hardships of structural
adjustment, it was inevitable that a new opposition would emerge. Several
small parties came and went, and only one, the Zimbabwe Unity Movement, lead
by former Zanu PF heavyweight Edgar Tekere, made any impression. But it was
demonised and made a foolish alliance with conservative whites, fought an
election in 1990, won two seats, and disappeared before the next poll. The
new party, the Movement for Democratic Change, MDC) as in the early days of
Zapu when it was still a liberation movement, would emerge cutting across
the lines of tribe, clan, class and province. When the MDC mobilised the
population to reject Mugabe's proposed new constitution in a referendum in
February 2000, Mugabe was caught by surprise. His old international allies
in the Soviet bloc had become multiparty democracies, the world had changed,
so dealing with the MDC in the same way as he had crushed Zapu was not an
option. So, Mugabe played his last card - the card which some believe he had
always kept at the bottom of the deck for an emergency like this - the white
farmers whom he had always berated verbally when he needed a scapegoat, but
whom he had basically left intact. Some say that the farmers "brought it
upon themselves" by providing financial and logistical support for the MDC.
In any case, now he needed their land and he unleashed his war veterans and
unemployed youths onto well developed farms, evicting white farmers and
their workers. Commercial agriculture shrank and the peasant farmers who
grew the maize were collateral damage as tractor mechanics left, foreign
currency for fertiliser dwindled, reliable seed was no longer available. But
that was okay for Mugabe because his objective was political not economic.
With civil liberties largely extinct, collapsed education and health
sectors, a constitution so massively amended and often ignored, a justice
system mired in political patronage, Zimbabwe's future is as breathtakingly
perilous as it was bright when Mugabe made that speech 25 years ago. -
Sunday Argus

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Daily News online edition

      ZESN blasts conduct of poll

      Date: 20-Apr, 2005

      HARARE - The recent parliamentary elections in Zimbabwe did not comply
with the SADC principles and guidelines and there were many flaws and
irregularities before and during the one-day poll, the chairman of the
Zimbabwe Election Support Network (ZESN), Dr Reginald Matchaba-Hove has

      Speaking at a postmortem one-day workshop organised by the Silveira
House Civics Department in Harare today, Matchaba-Hove noted that the
Zimbabwean government flouted many regulations and for this reason, ZESN did
not endorse the poll.

      He said his organisation had already written to the Zimbabwe Electoral
Commission expressing displeasure about the discrepancies of figures in the
final count of votes. He said there had been serious discrepancies in a
number of constituencies.

      He said ZESN noted the failure to invite observers at least 90 days
before the elections, the bias by the state media in favour of the ruling
party Zanu PF and irregularities on the voters roll.

      "As many as 10 per cent of the prospective voters were turned away for
various reasons and we felt that the margin was too high," the ZESN boss

      Matchaba-Hove questioned the legitimacy of the Zimbabwe Electoral
Commission as it was created just before the elections. The voters roll was
only released to the participating civic groups seven days before the
election and yet it was supposed to be released much earlier.

      He said although there was relative peace during the election period
there was concern about the transparency of the collation of results after
they were taken from the polling stations to the main centre.

      Matchaba-Hove warned the nation to look critically at the planned
amendment of the Constitution by Zanu PF now that it had the two-thirds
majority of members in the House of Assembly. The presidential term might be
amended so that both parliamentary and presidential elections are held
simultaneously either in 2008 or in 2010, Mugabe has already hinted.

      Addressing the same group of participants, mainly drawn from civic
groups, a senior lecturer in political science at the University of
Zimbabwe, Dr Eldred Masunungure, predicted a massive disengagement by civil
society in socio-economic and political

      affairs of the country.

      "After failing collectively to bring about positive change through the
ballot box in 2000, 2002 and 2005, many people will feel disinclined to take
part in national affairs at whatever level," said Masunungure.

      He painted a very ugly picture of the Zimbabwean economy, noting that
experts say the former British colony has the fastest shrinking economy in
the world. Socially, Dr Masunungure said as many as 12 000 people die of
Aids every month making Zimbabwe the second highest country affected by the
Aids pandemic in Africa after Botswana.

      Masunungure said while many people were hopeful that the elections
would bring about change, they were disappointed with the outcome. " Most
people feel resigned, disillusioned, defeated and powerless. They might turn
to divine intervention. They have become like tortoises that withdraw into
their shells when they feel threatened or out of sorts," he said.

      He warned that disengagement was dangerous in the long term. "It means
political submission. People are not happy and when anger is bottled up, it
can lead to a sudden spontaneous outburst. This is real but this might
result in leaders who are demagogues - leaders who will remove both the MDC
and the ruling Zanu PF party," he said.

      He also noted that President Mugabe, who has in the past been accused
of appointing people from the Shona group, had moved a step further by
appointing people mainly from his own Zezuru tribe in the recent Cabinet
reshuffle. He said the Zezuru domination was not good for the country as it
could ignite national chaos.

      Most of the 40 participants agreed that the elections were grossly
flawed but they could not reach consensus on what strategy to be taken as a
step forward.

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Daily News online edition

      SA scraps Mozambique visas, but not Zimbabwe's

      Date: 20-Apr, 2005

      JOHANNESBURG - The South African government, fearing an expected
influx of Zimbabweans into its territory following the removal of stringent
visa requirements, will for the meantime maintain the current visa system
with its northern neighbour.

      Speaking at a recent ceremony at which it announced its removal of
visa requirements for Mozambican nationals visiting South Africa for a
maximum of 30 days, South African Home Affairs Minister Nosiviwe
Mapisa-Nqakula expressed concern with the condition

      of the Beitbridge border post, where thousands of Zimbabweans cross
into South Africa.

      She said the number of Zimbabweans who were crossing the border post
on a daily basis was unacceptable.

      "On a daily basis we experience a very high influx of Zimbabweans who
are involved in cross-border trading. The situation now demands that we
should do something about it and we are currently talking with our
Zimbabwean counterparts," said Mapisa-Nqakula.

      She said the visa waiver pact with Mozambique was meant to encourage
legal entry and to keep a proper record of people who come in and go out.The
agreement was co-signed by Jose Pacheco, the Mozambican Home Affairs

      Mapisa-Nqakula did not, however, say when discussions with the
Zimbabwean government would be translated into the scrapping of visa
requirements. At the moment, Zimbabweans are required to get visas before
they can travel to South Africa.

      The requirements for the South African visa are now beyond the reach
of many Zimbabweans, who are required to either produce travelers' cheques
worth R1 000 or savings with any South African bank of the same amount.

      The streets of Johannesburg, South Africa's economic capital, are
filled with Zimbabwean blind beggars who have run away from Zimbabwe.
Illegal border jumpers have also invaded the country's industrial sites in
search of employment. More than three million Zimbabweans are believed to be
eking a living either by illegally working in South Africa or involved in
cross-border activities.

      Although the South African government has tried to curb the influx of
Zimbabweans by introducing stringent visa requirements, the move seems to
have come to naught as long queues can still be witnessed at the South
African visa office in Harare.

      Zimbabwean banks, seeing the popularity of the South African visas,
are now cashing in by requiring that any Zimbabwean in need of the visa has
to find ways and means of acquiring the R1 000 from the black market, and
hand it over to the bank for it to issue travelers cheques of equivalent
amount plus a commission of Z$500 000 per transaction.

      Zimbabwe is a major South African trading partner, with large volumes
of goods going through Beitbridge. The border post is also Zimbabwe's safest
gateway to the Atlantic and Indian Oceans through the ports at Durban and
Cape Town.

      The scrapping of visa requirements for Mozambicans visiting South
Africa is set to improve trade relations between the two countries. South
Africa has similar arrangements with Botswana, Zambia, Swaziland,
Namibia,Malawi, Lesotho and the Indian Ocean island of Mauritius.

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Daily News online edition

      Reserve Bank mum on impending devaluation

      Date: 20-Apr, 2005

      HARARE - Zimbabwe's central bank has remained silent amid speculation
that the Zimbabwe dollar would be devalued by up to 90 percent as part of
economic austerity measures in the delayed first quarter economic review
policy statement expected to be issued by the central bank soon.

      In the past, the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe ( RBZ) would quickly issue
press statements denying such moves, but its silence on the current
speculation is now giving credence to the speculation. Tale-tell signs of a
devalued dollar have already begun to be felt as the prices of most basic
commodities have been steadily rising in the past few weeks.

      A number of companies which survive on the central bank's foreign
currency auction floor to raise money for international purchases, have
indicated that the central bank has in the past weeks failed to raise the
required money, resulting in some of them being advised to raise more funds
on the parallel market.

      A senior employee for a tyre manufacturing company told The Daily News
Online today that his company had been allowed by the central bank to raise
foreign currency on the parallel market. He said although the central bank
was not committal to the whole deal, it had endorsed it.

      "This is a clear indication that the Zimbabwe dollar is poised for
massive devaluation because the foreign currency auction floors are longer
raising enough money required by various critical sectors of the economy,"
he said.

      Most of the companies which had been allowed to raise foreign currency
on the parallel market were now factoring in their expenditure when pricing
basic goods. The Zimbabwe government, facing mounting pressure from industry
to raise the price of basic commodities, has indicated that all those found
charging exorbitant prices would be prosecuted.

      The move has resulted in various commodities disappearing from shelves
in major distribution outlets. This has in turn led to hoarding. The central
bank, which has always issued a quarterly monetary policy review, which
among other things, has been a guiding

      principle in the country's economic activities, has been quiet in the
past few weeks.

      With nearly half of the second quarter coming to an end, industry and
commerce has been jittery over government's lack of a deliberate economic
policy, especially as it also included the country's election period.

      The Zimbabwean dollar is currently officially pegged at $6 200 against
the US dollar, yet on the parallel market it is trading at fluctuating rates
of between $13 000 and $14 000.

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Domestic Wage Rise Will Erode RBZ Gains: Emcoz

The Herald (Harare)

April 20, 2005
Posted to the web April 20, 2005


The recent wage increase for domestic workers will erode the gains made by
the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) to revive the economy through its
monetary policy interventions, the Employers' Confederation of Zimbabwe
(Emcoz) has said.

Mr Mike Bimha, the Emcoz president, said the increase, announced by
Government last month, could have the consequence of reversing the "good
work" achieved by the monetary policy.

"Statutory Instrument 42/2005 has the potential to undo all the good work
achieved by monetary policy interventions to date. Emcoz should continue to
seek accommodation with the relevant authorities on this issue," said Mr
Bimha, in a statement.

Government increased domestic workers' wages by nearly 1 000 percent from a
minimum of $90 000 to $850 000.

Wages for a cook/housekeeper who resides at the employer's premises were
increased to $850 000, while those residing elsewhere would be entitled to a
minimum wage of $1 256 000 with effect from March 1 this year.

Mr Bimha said Emcoz would consult with relevant stakeholders on the matter
following which its members would be informed of the outcome.

He, however, urged all members to pay according to the gazetted wages
pending the results of the deliberations.

"In the meantime, Statutory Instrument 42/2005 is the law of the land and
members are advised to comply," reads part of the statement.

Some employers have also expressed concern at the increases, saying they are
both unrealistic and unaffordable.

Mrs Priscilla Nyahuma of Glen View said she could not afford to pay the
gazetted wage of $850 000 as it amounted to a third of her salary.

"If Government wants us to increase domestic workers' wages, then our
salaries should also be revised upwards," she said.

Another Harare woman was of the opinion that it was for the domestic worker
and his or her employer to mutually agree on a wage rise.

"You cannot expect someone who takes home $2 million to pay $850 000. They
will be left with just over a million to survive on," she said.

"I've told my maid and gardener that I can only increase their wages by $150
000 and they have agreed. So it's a matter of understanding between the
workers and their employers," she said.

The Government, however, said the increases were necessitated by the rise in
the cost of living over the past few years, which has not spared the
domestic workers, some of whom have families to look after like everybody

Government also defended the almost 1 000 percent margin of the raise -
which is over tenfold above the RBZ's recommended maximum salary increase of
95 percent for this year - saying the latter percentage was meant for the
general workforce.

Earnings of domestic workers were far below the minimums stipulated in other
sectors and industries.
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