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

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6 April 2005

Preliminary Findings Indicate Massive Electoral Fraud


Preliminary investigations and analysis by the MDC has revealed that in 30 constituencies in the provinces of Manicaland, Mashonaland West, Mashonaland East and Matabeleland South (see list below), there are serious and unaccountable gaps between the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission’s (ZEC) official pronouncements on the number of votes cast and final totals accorded to each candidate. This indicates massive electoral fraud by the ruling party.

At present we are unable to carry out an analysis of the accuracy of the number of votes cast in constituencies in Mashonland Central, Masvingo, Matabeleland North, Midlands North and Midlands South as the ZEC refuses to release these figures.  The ZEC’s refusal to release these figures indicates widespread irregularities.

Where the MDC was widely predicted to regain its seats, such as in Harare and Bulawayo, very few discrepancies were identified. This raises further suspicions that there was a calculated plan to ensure that the MDC won a sufficient number of seats to provide the electoral process, and the end result, with a veneer of legitimacy. While little attempt was made to deny the MDC victory in key urban areas it is clear that all the stops were pulled out to ensure the MDC made few gains elsewhere.

In 11 constituencies (Kariba, Manyame, Goromonzi, Murehwa South, Mutoko North, Seke Rural, Buhera South, Mutare South, Mutasa South, Mutasa North and Nyanga) the deficits between the ZEC’s official pronouncement on the number of votes cast and the final total directly account for the Zanu PF ‘victories’. In most of these constituencies the Zanu PF candidate was either a senior party official or a Government Minister.

This analysis does not even take into account the uneven electoral playing field, the inflated voters’ roll, the coercion of the rural electorate, nor the high number of people who were turned away on polling day.

The findings in question have been submitted to the SADC and South African observer missions. Regrettably, these observer missions have so far shown a chronic lack of interest in such compelling statistics and instead have maintained their respective positions that the elections reflected ‘the will of the people’. This was clearly not the case.

We urge the observer missions to fully investigate the discrepancies identified by the MDC. Any final reports that fail to take into account such discrepancies would be seriously flawed.

The MDC and the people of Zimbabwe know full well who the real winners are. This election was stolen. The results are in no way an accurate reflection of the sovereign wishes of the people of Zimbabwe.

Paul Themba Nyathi

Secretary for Information and Publicity

Notes for the editors




  1. Manyame: ZEC announced the total votes cast as being 14 812.  The MDC candidate polled 8 312 votes, meaning she had an unassailable lead.  However, when results were finally announced the winning Zanu PF candidate was reported to have received 15 448 votes, with 543 ballots spoilt. The total vote count for the constituency becomes 24 303, with the discrepancy being 9 491 votes.
  2. Goromonzi: ZEC announced the total votes cast as being 15 611. The MDC candidate, with 8 578 votes, polled more than half of the votes cast. However, when results were finally issued the Zanu PF candidate was announced the winner with 16 782 votes, 1 171 votes more than the total number of votes cast. The total votes cast for the 2 candidates, including spoilt ballots, becomes 26 123.  The discrepancy is 10 512 votes.
  3. Kariba: ZEC announced the total votes cast as being 16 676. The MDC candidate, with 9 540 votes, polled more than half of the votes cast. However, when results were finally issued the Zanu PF candidate was announced the winner with 13 1719 votes. The total votes cast for the 2 candidates, including spoilt ballots, becomes 24 142. The discrepancy is 7 466 votes.
  4. Seke Rural: ZEC's total votes cast in Seke are given as 11 344.  The MDC candidate, with 8 843 votes, polled more than half of the votes cast. But, when results were finally issued the Zanu PF candidate was announced winner with 15 434 votes, which is 4 090 more votes than the total votes cast. The total votes for all the candidates, including spoilt ballots, mysteriously becomes 24 873. The discrepancy is 13 529.
  5. Mutare South: The ZEC figures for the total votes cast is 14 054.  The MDC candidate received 12 163 votes. The final result released shows total votes as being 28 575, with 16 412 of these being for the winning Zanu PF. This registers a discrepancy of 14 521.
  6. Buhera South: The total ZEC figure for votes cast is 25 447. The MDC candidate received 13 893 votes, more than half of the total votes cast. When results were finally issued, the Zanu PF candidate was announced the winner, with 15 066 votes.  This gives a total of 28 959 ballots cast for the constituency, leaving a discrepancy of 3 512.
  7. Marondera East: The total ZEC figure for votes cast is 25 193. When results were finally issued, the Zanu PF candidate was announced the winner, with 19 192 votes against 10 066 for his MDC counterpart.  The total vote count for the constituency is 29 935, leaving a discrepancy of 4 742.
  8. Buhera North: The total ZEC figure for votes cast is 16 795. When results were finally issued, the Zanu PF candidate was announced the winner, with 17 677 votes against 4 137 for his MDC counterpart.  The total vote count for the constituency is 22 688, leaving a discrepancy of 5 893.
  9. Murehwa South: The total ZEC figure for votes cast is 8 579. The MDC candidate received 4 586, more than half of the total votes cast. However, when results were finally issued the winning Zanu PF candidate was announced to have received 19 200 votes, more than double the number of votes cast.  This gives a total of 24 463. There is a discrepancy of 15 207.
  10. Mutasa South: The total ZEC figure for votes cast is 15 733.  The MDC candidate received 9 380, more than half of the total votes cast. However, when results were finally announced the Zanu PF candidate was reported have received 9 715votes. The total vote count, including spoilt ballots, amounts to 19 573, leaving 3 840 votes unaccounted for.
  11. Mutasa North: The total ZEC figure for votes cast is 10 986.  The MDC candidate polled 6 605 votes, again more than half of the total votes cast. But, when results were finally announced the Zanu PF candidate was reported have received 10 135 votes. The total vote count, including spoilt ballots, amounts to 17 204, leaving 6 218 votes unaccounted for.
  12. Nyanga: The total ZEC figure for votes cast is 13 896.  The MDC candidate polled 9 360 votes. When results were officially announced, the Zanu PF candidate was reported have received 12 612 votes. The total vote count, including spoilt ballots, amounts to 22 739, leaving 8 843 votes unaccounted for.
  13. Chimanimani: The total ZEC figure for votes cast is 23 896.  The MDC candidate received 11 031 votes, while 794 votes were spoilt. When results were officially announced, the Zanu PF candidate was reported to have received 15 817 votes. The total vote count, including spoilt ballots, amounts to 27 642, leaving 3 746 votes unaccounted for.
  14. Makoni North: The total votes cast for the constituency, according to ZEC was 14 068. However, when results were officially announced the winning Zanu PF candidate received 18 910, with the MDC's candidate polling 6 077 votes, giving total votes for the two candidates as 24 987.  There is a discrepancy of 10 919 votes.
  15. Chipinge North: The total ZEC figure for votes cast is 23 896. When results were finally issued, the Zanu PF candidate was announced the winner, with 16 047 votes against 10 920 for his MDC counterpart.  The total vote count for the constituency is 27 576, leaving a discrepancy of 3 625.
  16. Chipinge South: The total ZEC figure for votes cast is 29 479. When results were finally issued, the Zanu PF candidate was announced the winner, with 16 412 votes against 12 163 for his MDC counterpart and 2 129 for Zanu Ndonga.  The total vote count for the constituency is 30 704, leaving a discrepancy of 1 225.
  17. Makoni East: ZEC announced that 20 454 people voted.  When results were finally announced, the total votes for the 2 candidates, including spoilt ballots, amounts to 17 341, leaving a negative balance of 3 113 votes unaccounted for.
  18. Beitbridge: ZEC announced that 36 821 had voted but the totals for the
    only add up to 20 602, leaving a negative balance of 16 219 votes unaccounted for.
  19. Hwedza: ZEC announced that 23 698 people voted.  The total votes cast for all candidates, including spoilt ballots, amount to 26 736, leaving 3 038 votes unaccounted for.
  20. Mutare West: ZEC announced that 18 584 people voted.  The total votes counted for the candidates, including spoilt ballots, amount to 20 950, leaving 2 366 votes unaccounted for.
  21. Chegutu: ZEC announced that 19 763 people voted.  The total votes counted for the candidates, including spoilt ballots, amount to 25 374, leaving 5 611 votes unaccounted for.
  22. Chikomba: ZEC announced that 18 401 people voted.  The total vote count, including spoilt ballots, amount to 26 050, leaving 7 649 votes unaccounted for.
  23. Hurungwe East:  ZEC announced that 22 533 people voted. The total votes counted for the two candidates is 26 552, leaving 4019 votes unaccounted for.
  24. Mudzi East: ZEC announced that 12 499 people voted.  The total votes counted for the candidates is 22 420, leaving 9 921 votes unaccounted for.
  25. Mudzi West: ZEC announced that 10 998 people voted.  The total votes counted for the candidates is 22 796, leaving 11 798 votes unaccounted for.
  26. Murehwa North: ZEC announced that 17 606 people voted.  However, when results were finally issued the winning Zanu PF candidate was announced to have received 17 677, while his MDC counterpart received 4 137. The total votes counted for the candidates is 22 353, leaving 4 747 votes unaccounted for.
  27. Mutoko North:  ZEC announced that 10 721 people voted.  But, when results were finally issued the winning Zanu PF candidate was announced to have received 16 257. The total votes counted for the candidates is 20 652, leaving 9 931 votes unaccounted for.
  28. Mutoko South: ZEC announced that 15 863 people voted.  But, when results were finally issued the winning Zanu PF candidate was announced to have received 19 390. The total votes counted for the candidates is 23 481 leaving 7 618 votes unaccounted for.
  29. Insiza: ZEC announced that 20 220 people voted.  When results were officially announced, the winning Zanu PF candidate was announced to have received 13 109, while his MDC counterpart received 8,840 votes. The total votes announced for the constituency is 22 099, leaving 1 879 votes unaccounted for.
  30. Gwanda: ZEC announced that 23 288 people voted.  When results were officially announced, the winning Zanu PF candidate was announced to have received 13 109, while his MDC counterpart received 10 961 votes. The total votes announced for the constituency is 24 594, leaving 1 300 votes unaccounted for.





Zanu PF





Cast as Announced


Zanu PF







Combined Vote













J.N. Zwambila

W. Shamu









S. Matamisa

F. Chidarikire








Hurungwe East

B. Haurobi

R Marumahoko








Hurungwe West

G. Gumbo

C. Gwachiwa









E. Matamisa

J. Mudauri









F. Hotyo

B. Matonga









T. Ruzvidzo

Z. Ziyambi









N. Makwasha

s. Chandengenda









J. Karemba

L. Mugabe









S. Maya

S. Nguni









H. Mafudze

P. Zhuwao








Zvimba South

E. Masimba

S. Mugabe








Zvimba North

P. Chibanda

I. Chombo







































P. Denga

T. Jokonya









C. Marimo

H. Murerwa









T. Makoni

A. Chigwedere








Marondera East

Ian Kay

S. Sekeremayi








Marondera West

S Chipangura

A. Mutiinhiri








Mudzi East

. Machemedze

R. Kaukonde

T. Marowa







Mudzi West

S. Tsungu

A. Katsande








Murehwa North

A. Mudzingwa

David Parirenyatwa








Murehwa South

A. Kumirai

Joel Matiza








Mutoko North

S. Mandaza









Mutoko South

D. Muzira

O. Muchena








Seke Rural

M. Bene

P. Chihota









S. Paeremanzi

K. Mutiwekuziva







































M. Siphuma

K Mohadi

L. Siyoka








M. Ndlovu

Maj Nleya










E Sandi









P.T. Nyathi

A. Ncube









S.N. Ncube










L. Moyo

Ananias Nyathi










N. Moyo

Ab. Damasane
















































Buhera North

T. Mudzingwa


M. Mutyasira







Buhera South

S. Madzore


S. Mbaimbai








R. Bennet









Chipinge North

M. Matewu









Chipinge South










Makoni East

P. Muchauraya

S. Chipanga








Makoni North

E. Mangoma

D. Mutasa








Makoni West

R. Makuwaza

J. Made








Mutare Central

I. Gonese

S. Beta








Mutare North

G. Mutsekwa

E. Gwaradzimba








Mutare South


F. Kanzama








Mutare West

G. Chiwara

C. Mushowe








Mutasa South

E. Maupa

O. Muchinguri








Mutasa North

E. Masaiti

Mike Nyambuya









D. Mwonzora

P. Kadzima
















































Bulawayo North East

W. Ncube

J Malinga








Bulawayo South

D. Coltart

S Nyoni








Lobengula Magwegwe

F. Duluni-Ncube










T. Khupe

S. Thebe

A. Payne








M. Gwetu

S Ndlovu

L. Nkala








G. Sibanda

A. Sikhosana

S. Mathe







Pumula Luveve

E. Mdlongwa

G. Malaba







































G. Shoko

G. Hokoyo










B. Chirongwe

G. Juru








E. Mushoriwa









Glen Norah

P. Misihairabwi

V. Chitepo

T. Ziwachi







Glen View

P. Madzore

S. Mangwende

Clemence Machakaire







Harare Central



Margaret Dongo







Harare East

T. Biti

M. Mukarati








Harare North

T. Stevenson









Harare South

J. Mushonga










T. Mashakada

Amos Midzi











Sekai Putire








W. Madzimure

S. Mvurume









N. Chamisa

D. Mutasa

L. Chitate








T. Mubhawu

P. Tungamirai











T. Savanhu









Paurina Mpariwa

S. Thembani

G. Magaya







St Mary's

Job Sikhala

P. Nyaruwata

T. Maswata









C. Chigumba

E. Muchaiwa





































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MDC VICTORY - Despondency?...What causes it and how to cope

The MDC achieved a resounding victory. The people have spoken. They did what
they had to do, bravely. However, another election has been stolen but not
our future. Understandably, most are feeling very let down over these post
election days.

Please pause for thought on reflections of February, 2004.

Despondency...What causes it and how to cope

Right now, we are all faced with one of the most important phases of our
lives in our country.

Against a background of real repression, where there is virtually no freedom
of speech, association or expression, we are forced to live in an
information void filled with what our masters want us to hear, view and
read. This enables them to have the opportunity to have us think what they
want.  That is very dangerous and we must not fall into this trap.

This is the True Grit phase.

How do we cope with the doom and gloom, the depression and despondency which
results from this situation?

The way we think negatively is not necessarily based on fact but usually as
a result of what others, of us, say!  Therefore we all have the power and
influence to counter this deliberate campaign to convince us of our failure
and the hopelessness of our plight.

We all have a responsibility to say what is necessary in the interests of
our joint welfare and not what suits us as individuals in our moments of
weakness. For the positive, they are inevitably propping up the negative who
lean heavily on their shoulders. They are often challenging them with doom
to seek reassurance in the hope that they receive a positive answer. It's
draining and tests conviction. The positives are after all human and are
influenced by others, negative and positive.

By controlling the information we receive is one thing, the other is to deny
us the truth. This of course leads to a great deal of guess work and
speculation and so many of us become least most of those that
are deliberately negative in their outlook. We all know that good news
seldom makes the headlines just as bad news usually attracts interest and
attention. It is the attention seekers who delight in spreading rumours
which plays directly into the hands of those that take the opposite view to
the ideals of freedom and democracy.  It is they that have the means and the
power of the Tax Payer to deliver this unrelenting onslaught against us.
However they can be defeated by Thought Power, by us!

Those that wish to destroy our lives are creating an illusion of no hope to
make us give up the fight. They are endeavouring to convince us that they
are invincible and will be our masters forever - an attempt to make us
believe that we have lost. Every resource is deployed in this direction.

We must decide whether we are to be winners or losers. Which is it?  Make
that decision and play to win or play to lose.

Most of their tactics are symptomatic of those that are about to capitulate,
the last desperate attempts to thwart our progress towards the victory that
is ours. Would they be behaving like this if this was not the case?  Do not
be deceived.

There are those that are listening to you when you speak who are more
insecure and more vulnerable than you. There are those that admire and
respect you no matter what you might think. Your juniors and seniors. We
have a duty to choose what we say and how we say it. We must instill hope
and make them feel better... Unselfish in an opinion or comment to
positively influence others. Give them strength to carry on. We are all
exposed to despondency which is a condition of the mind, the result of mere
words of others uttered mostly from the mouths of unqualified people.

Discover the passion, that is there, for your country and share it with
others. Consider its amazing achievements on the international stage.
Reflect on its incredible beauty. Be proud, as you should be.

Don't get exhausted in protracted debate or argument with those that suffer
from self inflicted misery, those that continually shoot themselves in the
foot. Rather spend your time and energy with those that will listen to your
point of view and may not necessarily agree. The Yes buts will always
counter your positivity with a negative consequence of what you have to say
no matter what.

Remember, it will make you feel better when you cheer up someone else.

Do not repeat negative, alarmist rumours for the sake of it. Ask yourself,
will this information (usually unsubstantiated) help the other person or
create fear and insecurity? Keep the bad news to yourself and promote the
good. It IS there!!  Condition yourself and make it habit forming to react
to problems in a positive manner. That habit will ensure that all you want
to do is to solve the matter. It is only positive people that invent,
discover and create. It is the positive that win and achieve the
unachievable against seemingly insurmountable odds. A state of mind!

Are you a fighter? Are you going to win or accept defeat at the hands of a
most despicable enemy?

Value today. We all know that our immediate duty is survival. Give yourself
that chance by adopting the frame of mind that will guarantee you that
chance.  Why exasperate matters that are problematic by re emphasizing the
negative statement or rumour that you have heard. Gain re assurance by
associating with those that are positive and strong and you will notice the
difference. This is the same effect that you can have on others.

For those not committed to prayer, try it and remember to pray for those
less fortunate than yourself will notice the difference in your day.
Think of a way to help others in  a material way, how ever small. It will
take your mind away from self pity ..away from your own predicament and
restore your determination to win through by seeing the positive effects of
your own actions. The feel good factor.

There is an end to this battle and we must not be lured into the trap of
believing there is not. Don't judge your country or your own situation on
the present bizarre man made circumstances. Look to the realistic future of
prosperity, peace and happiness that is promised. Plan you next holiday now.
A visit to friends and family. Set your goals short, medium and long. Focus
ahead and not backwards. Get on with life and make sure it is as close to
normality as possible. Defy these cowards. Don't let those that you despise
beat you. Remember those that need you more than you need them. The old,
sick, lonely and traumatized. Those that have lost and suffered more than
you. Get committed for them.

When this is over, be able to reflect on your victory and be proud of it.
You did not concede and you won! You were part of history and helped build
the foundation of a great new country.

Think positive, be positive and create positivity for others.

Simon Spooner, Bulawayo, Feb 2004
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      US observer mission condemns Zim Poll

      Date: 6-Apr, 2005

      HARARE - THE United States Observer mission to Zimbabwe"s recent
elections has denounced the manner in which the parliamentary poll was
conducted saying it was fraught with irregularities irrespective of the
peace that prevailed throughout the country.

      In a press statement, the US Embassy in Harare said its observers had
noted "several patterns of irregularities that raised concerns about the
freeness and fairness of the process".

      "Of particular concern was a lack of transparency in the tabulation of
vote counts," the embassy said. "The US observers were excluded from
observing counts in four polling stations. Where they were admitted,
observers and officials, including party representatives and neutral
domestic observers were locked in the polling station and not permitted to
communicate with anyone outside."

      However the US embassy said uniformed policemen were observed
communicating the vote tallies via radio and telephone.

      The embassy said in several observed instances, the presiding officer
confiscated the notes compiled by party polling agents and independent
observers before letting them depart the polling station.

      The concerns of the Zimbabwe embassy of the US government follows
widespread condemnation of the election result by several western
governments and the opposition.

      Their statement comes hardly a week after US secretary of State
Condoleeza Rice denounced the conduct of the March 31 poll as lacking

      She said although the campaign and election day itself were peaceful,
the election process was neither free nor fair.

      The opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC), the only
opposition party to contest in all of the 120 contested constituencies
yesterday reported that it had established irregularities in 76

      The US embassy said it sent out 25 teams of diplomats accredited as
election observers by the Electoral Supervisory Commission (ESC). They
observed more than 350 polling stations in 59 constituencies.

      They also queried the roles of Zanu PF agents and the police in the
supervision and conduct of the polling stations. In the operation of
Zimbabwe Election Commission (ZEC) tabulation centres, the US office said
the embassy observers witnessed uniformed

      policemen participating in the vote compilation instead of the ZEC
officials at the respective constituencies.

      Other irregularities the US embassy observed include the biased citing
of some polling stations, the high number of voters turned away and the
failure by the ZEC to release the voting results of any polling station.

      In an apparent indictment of the ZEC, the US Embassy said: "The ZEC
has failed to explain why its initial release of totals of ballots cast only
included six of the country's 10 provinces, neither has it explained why it
never released results for the remaining four provinces.

      "Moreover it has failed to explain why discrepancies its announced
figure for ballots cast in constituencies for those six provinces differed
so rastically from the subsequently released official combined vote totals
for candidates in the constituencies."

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      US government challenges African governments over Zim Polls

      Date: 6-Apr, 2005

      JOHANNESBURG - The American government has challenged southern African
governments to back up their claims that Zimbabwe's March 31 parliamentary
poll was free and fair.

      In a statement today, the US State Department spokesman, Richard
Boucher, said the American government, together with Britain, the European
Union, independent local observers and the defeated opposition, disputed the
election outcome.

      "I would have to ask them what they think their basis is for saying
that. We've put out what we think is the basis for viewing this election as
seriously tainted and not free and fair," he said.

      President Robert Mugabe's ruling ZANU-PF party won a comfortable
majority of the 120 arliamentary seats contested in the poll, according to
the country's electoral commission, which was set up a few months before the
election, to meet the SADC protocol on holding free and fair polls, which
Zimbabwe signed in Mauritius last August.

      As a result of the Zanu PF win, Mugabe, who turned 81 last month, is
now able to appoint 30 additional lawmakers to the 150-seat legislature.
That will give him the two-thirds majority he needs to amend the
constitution to further bolster his rule, according to observers who were
watching the election.

      The opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) rejected the
official results, which gave it 41 seats to ZANU-PF's 78. It called for new
elections, claiming intimidation and ballot-rigging.

      Protests, which police were quick to thwart, have so far been held in
Harare against Mugabe, whose 25-year tenure and controversial land
redistribution policies have left the former British colony's economy in

      MDC leader Morgan Tsvangirai said his party would challenge the
results in court.

      African governments gave a thumps up to the election, stating that it
was an indication of the will of the Zimbabweans. They ignored criticism
from Western capitals, human rights groups, and many Zimbabweans themselves,
who argued that the whole had been flawed as it favoured the ruling party
from the onset.

      Mugabe, who has been engaged in a verbal war for years with critical
Western governments, refused to allow Western monitors to observe the poll.

      African Union observers declared the elections transparent, while
those from regional governments comprising the 14-member Southern Africa
Development Community (SADC) also said the vote reflected the will of the

      "The poll was peaceful, transparent, credible and well managed," said
a statement issued by the SADC observer team, headed by Phumzile Mlambo
Ngcuka, a South African cabinet minister, who is now facing criticism from
home after she made unacceptable comments after the poll.

      She said all disputes related to the election had to be dealt with by
Zimbabweans themselves as SADC Observers did not have time for that because
they were now homesick and wanted to leave for their respective countries to

      South Africa, the region's economic powerhouse which provides power to
impoverished Zimbabwe, also sent a separate team of parliamentary observers.
That team's leader, Labour Minister Membathisi Mdladlana, who is a lawmaker
from the ruling African National Congress (ANC), issued a statement saying
"mission unanimously agreed that the elections were credible, legitimate,
free and fair," but representatives of other political parties have
distanced themselves from the verdict.

      One of those parties, the Democratic Alliance, accused the ANC
government of deciding in advance to endorse the elections.

      Criticism also came from Zimbabwean civil society groups.

      A local observer mission, the Zimbabwe Election Support Network, said
there had been huge discrepancies between the number of people who voted and
the final vote tallies.

      In some places as many as a quarter of voters were turned away because
they either did not appear on the voters roll or failed to present proper
identification, said the mission's chairman, Reginald Matchaba-Hove.

      "The polls took place in a climate of fear," he added.

      While it was generally accepted that the campaign had been less
violent than previous ones in 2000 and 2002, other aspects of the campaign
and the election itself however drew criticism from the US Secretary of
State, Condoleezza Rice.

      She said the "electoral playing field was heavily tilted in the
government's favor." As many as 10 percent of voters were turned away from
polling stations due to irregularities with voter registration rolls, she
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      Foreign journalists complain over Zim media gag

      Date: 6-Apr, 2005

      JOHANNESBURG - An international organization representing the
interests of foreign correspondents, the Foreign Correspondent's Association
(FCA) has condemned Zimbabwe for allegedly failing to allow a free and open
media coverage of last week's

      parliamentary poll.

      "The FCA believes that free and open press coverage of elections is a
vital part of the democratic process. Zimbabwe fell short of that ideal in
these elections," FCA chairman Simon Robinson said in a statement.

      Zimbabwe denied several journalists, including reporters from the BBC,
CBS, the Associated Press, Reuters and the Chicago Tribune, accreditation to
cover the parliamentary poll.

      The FCA's stance against the Zimbabwean government comes in the wake
of arrests and detention of foreign correspondents in Harare.

      Two British journalists have been arrested for working inside Zimbabwe
without accreditation while four others and several other foreign
correspondents were denied accreditation to cover the controversial poll,
won by President Mugabe's Zanu PF party.

      Stephane Barbier and Fanuel Jongwe from Agence France Press were
detained for more than an hour on the evening of March 31, after watching
police arrest around 100 women who had gathered for a prayer meeting.

      At the same protest, a group of journalists including correspondents
for the Economist, Associated Press and Swedish newspaper Dagens Nyheter
were threatened with arrest for refusing to leave the area as police pushed
protesters into their trucks.

      On Friday Swedish journalists Carolina Jemsby and Fredrik Sperling
were detained by immigration authorities after filming street scenes in
Harare. They were threatened with prison and told that "people had
expectations of you when you were given accreditation. You fell short..."

      Jemsby was forced to erase her film but was released and allowed to
continue her work.

      Sperling was accused of earlier filming a farm belonging to a relative
of President Mugabe. Sperling had not set foot on the farm but was accused
of trespassing.

      He had his accreditation withdrawn, was forced to leave the country
immediately and was declared a prohibited immigrant.

      The FCA expressed concern for Britain's Sunday Telegraph journalists
Toby John Harnden, 37 and photographer Julian Paul Simmonds, 46.

      They were arrested and charged with violating media and immigration

      "While the FCA recognises that the men did not hold accreditation to
work in Zimbabwe and were there illegally, it is concerned that they will be
made an example of under the draconian Access to Information and Protection
of Privacy Act," Robinson said.
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Zim Online

ZANU PF unleashes massive violence against MDC supporters
Thur 7 April 2005
  HARARE - Retribution is quietly gathering pace days after Zimbabwe's
disputed election with several dozens of opposition supporting families
denied food or beaten up and forced to flee their homes, ZimOnline has

      In the town of Karoi in Mashonaland West province, ruling ZANU PF
party militants have told all perceived supporters of the main opposition
Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) party that they will intensify attacks
against them once foreign election observers have left the country.

      At least 10 villagers from Kazangarare rural area in the province have
sought refuge in Karoi after fleeing ruling ZANU PF militias on Monday, who
were threatening them with unspecified punishment for supporting the MDC.

      "They (ZANU PF militants) said we should come here to Karoi where the
MDC is supported," one of the villagers Innocent Tavoyi told ZimOnline.

      The villagers are staying at the Karoi home of Biggie Haurovi the MDC
candidate in last Thursday's poll. Haurovi lost Hurungwe East constituency,
under which Karoi and Kazangarare falls, to ZANU PF's Reuben Marumahoko. But
the opposition candidate had more votes in Karoi town.

      In Gwanda, in Matabeleland South province, 45 MDC supporters were
beaten up and told they will no longer be allowed to buy maize from the
state Grain Marketing Board, the only supplier of the staple food in the
hunger stricken district.

      MDC officials in Matabeleland South said retribution against their
supporters, which they said they feared could become more brutal in coming
days, began last Saturday a day after the final results of the poll won by
ZANU PF by 78 seats against the MDC's 41.

      In Mutare city, in the east of the country, six MDC supporters are
holed up at the opposition party's provincial headquarters in the city after
fleeing their homes in Makoni East, about 100 km north-west of Mutare.

      "They (ZANU PF militants) are threatening everyone known to have been
campaigning for the MDC. The police are aware and insist we be beaten up
first and then report later as there would be evidence," Tendai Gonese who
was campaigning for the MDC in Makoni East said.

      Gonese and his MDC colleagues, Nixon Injisi, Langton Chifamba, Future
Musindo, Thomas Handireki and Rosemary Chimombo said they will only go back
to their homes if they are assured of protection from ZANU PF militants.

      But MDC officials in Mutare and in other parts of the country where
retribution is going on against opposition supporters said they had reported
the attacks and denial of food to opposition supporters to the police but to
no avail.

      MDC deputy spokesman in Matabeleland South, Petros Mukwena said: "Most
of the people have suffered beatings .they have (also) taken advantage of
their control of maize distribution to deny our supporters a right to buy
the commodity. We have told the police about these activities many times in
the past few days but they have not done anything about it."

      In Karoi, the MDC's Haurovi said MDC supporters there were living in
fear as ZANU PF militants freely roam the area terrorising suspected
opposition supporters while the police had by yesterday not taken any action
against the ruling party militants.

      Haurovi said: "I am surprised that the police are not arresting ZANU
PF members involved in brutal attacks against MDC supporters, people are
living in fear here."

      But Home Affairs Minister Kembo Mohadi and ZANU PF officials denied
there was any campaign of retribution by ruling party militants against MDC

      "I am not aware of that. If the MDC has such problems, which I do not
believe are happening, they have not reported to the police," Mohadi said.

      In Mashonaland West province, under which Karoi falls, acting ZANU PF
provincial chairman John Mafa said: "We have not sent anyone to go around
beating up people and we as a party we have not received any reports of any
of our supporters beating people for voting for the MDC."

      Human rights and pro-democracy groups warned of a vicious backlash
against the opposition after Zimbabwe's poll and urged observer missions to
remain in the country a little longer after polling to help ensure there
will be no victimisation of government opponents.

      It was not possible to immediately establish when the South African
government, Southern African Development Community and Africa Union observer
missions, all still in Zimbabwe, planned to leave the country.

      Meanwhile, MDC spokesman Paul Themba Nyathi said in a statement
yesterday that deputy Transport Minister Andrew Langa last Sunday fired
shots to scare MDC supporters as ZANU PF militants brutally attacked them at
Avoca rural business centre in Insiza constituency in Matabeleland South

      "In Insiza, Andrew Langa, the "winning" candidate for Insiza fired at
people at Avoca Business Centre last Sunday (3 April 2005). Langa arrived at
Avoca business centre and ordered the youths he led to randomly beat up
people at the centre. When people tried to defend themselves and forced the
youths to retreat, Langa fired at the people, but no one was hit," Nyathi's
statement read in part.

      Several people were injured during the attack and were treated at
Avoca Hospital while a man, Dumisani Mthunzi, who suffered serious injuries
was transferred to Bulawayo Central Hospital where he is still receiving
treatment, according to Nyathi.

      Nyathi said police at Filabusi police station in the area however
allowed the ZANU PF youths to go scot-free and instead arrested some of the

      More MDC supporters were also attacked in Shamva in Mashonaland
Central province and in Harare's Mufakose low-income suburb according to

      ZimOnline was not able to independently verify the incidents reported
by Nyathi. - ZimOnline
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Zim Online

MDC demands explanation on voter figures
Thur 7 April 2005
  HARARE - Zimbabwe's main opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC)
on Wednesday threatened to take the country's elections body to court over
conflicting voting figures as the United States expressed concern over lack
of transparency in tabulation of votes in the just ended poll.

      MDC secretary general Welshman Ncube in a statement said the Zimbabwe
Electoral Commission (ZEC) should explain glaring discrepancies in the final
tally of votes cast in the disputed parliamentary election won by ZANU PF by
78 seats against the MDC's 41. One seat went to an independent candidate.

      The ZEC first announced the total number of people who had voted in 76
of the 120 constituencies before abruptly stopping the announcements without
explanation. When the ZEC however released the final total numbers in each
of the 76 constituencies of people who had voted for the winning and losing
candidates plus spoilt ballot papers, there were glaring differences with
figures the commission had earlier released.

      The commission has to date remained mum on the discrepancy. Ncube
said: "We urgently seek an explanation from you as to the reason for these
disparities. We have reason to believe that these disparities are as a
direct result of manipulation of numbers to achieve ZANU PF victories in
constituencies where they had lost."

      Ncube spoke as the United States embassy in Harare, which was able to
observe the election, issued a statement also querying the disparities in
the ZEC figures.

      In addition to conflicting statistics of the number of people who
voted, the US, whose team visited 350 polling stations in 59 constituencies
said some of the polling stations were located in areas that could have been
intimidating to voters such as near police stations or ZANU PF offices.

      The statement reads in part: "Compounding concern over the foregoing
irregularities is the silence of the Zimbabwe Election Commission on crucial
issues. It has failed to release the voting results of any polling stations.

      "It has failed to explain why its initial release of totals of ballots
cast only included six of the country's ten provinces, nor explained why it
never released results for the remaining four provinces.

      "Moreover, it has failed to explain why discrepancies between its
announced figures for ballots cast in constituencies for those six provinces
differed so drastically from the subsequently released official combined
vote totals for candidates in the constituencies."

      ZEC chairman George Chiweshe could not be reached for comment on the

      The African Union observer mission has also called on the ZEC to probe
allegations of irregularities over voting figures pointed out by the MDC.

      But the South African government and Southern African Development
Community observer missions gave the poll the thumbs up saying it was held
in a peaceful environment and that its results were reflective of the wishes
of Zimbabweans. - ZimOnline
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Zim Online

SA bank governor meets Harare officials, demands more reforms
Thur 7 April 2005
  HARARE - South African Reserve Bank governor Tito Mboweni met Zimbabwe
government officials this week to press for greater economic reforms and
also to inform them that Harare might be initially left out of a planned
regional economic union, ZimOnline has established.

      Impeccable sources said Mboweni, among the few senior officials in
Pretoria to openly criticise President Robert Mugabe, quietly slipped into
Harare earlier this week and held talks on Monday and Tuesday with Reserve
Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) governor Gideon Gono and other top officials of the
Harare administration.

      "The message was that Zimbabwe is letting the region down, and the
region is not going to wait for Zimbabwe to shape up," said a senior RBZ
official who spoke anonymously for professional reasons.

      According to the source, Mboweni also indicated to the Zimbabwean
officials that their crisis-sapped country could be initially excluded from
the proposed economic union for Southern African Development Community
(SADC) countries.

      Proponents of the new union, led by South Africa, want the bloc in
place by 2008.

      A key demand for entry into the union, modeled along the European
Union, is that a country's inflation rate must be below 10 percent and that
each country maintains a slim budget deficit.

      Inflation is running at 127.6 percent in Zimbabwe, the highest
inflation rate in the SADC region and one of the highest in the world.

      It was not possible last night to get comment on the matter from
Mboweni, RBZ or Zimbabwe's Ministry of Finance.

      Zimbabwe's economic decline has seen international investors becoming
increasingly jittery about investing in the SADC region, fearing a spillover
of Zimbabwe's problems into the region. - ZimOnline

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Zim Online

Panic-buying as basic goods vanish from shops
Wed 6 April 2005
  HARARE - Basic commodities have vanished from most shops in Zimbabwe while
the few supermarkets still selling mealie-meal, milk, soap, sugar, cooking
oil or other essential goods have hiked prices by up to 100 percent as the
country plunges deeper into crisis days after a disputed election.

      Bread and fuel were still available but also showing signs of running
short with for example, most garages in the southern Matabeleland region
visited by ZimOnline reporters yesterday saying they had no or little stocks
of diesel and petrol left.

      The state-funded Consumer Council of Zimbabwe (CCZ) told ZimOnline
yesterday that panic-buying by consumers trying to stock up as much as was
possible in case the country runs out completely of basic commodities was
only helping worsen the situation.

      The council said it was still investigating the cause of the shortages
but said preliminary inquiry showed that the staple mealie-meal was in short
supply because most milling companies did not have maize.

      "Millers have run out of maize and this is exacerbating mealie-meal
shortage. Cooking oil is in short supply because of a shortage of soya
beans, a key ingredient in cooking oil production," a CCZ official said.

      The official, who did not give his name because the council does not
allow employees to be quoted by name by the Press, added that a vicious
black market was fast emerging with most of the goods out of stock in shops
easily available on the black market at more than double what they cost in

      President Robert Mugabe, his grip on power firmer than before after
his ZANU PF party won a landslide victory in last Thursday's ballot, told
the South African Broadcasting Corporation at the weekend that his
government had the means to ensure no Zimbabwean starved.

      Social Welfare Minister Paul Mangwana yesterday also insisted Zimbabwe
had enough food including basic commodities such as sugar, soap or cooking
oil. Mangwana instead blamed shortages on panic-buying and on pro-opposition
manufacturers whom he said were creating artificial shortages in a bid to
incite people against the government.

      "Everything is available and the country has enough food." Mangwana
said. He added: "This (shortage) is caused by panic buying and machinations
of the opposition party. These manufacturers are opposition supporters and
are causing the artificial shortages."

      In a snap survey in Harare, most of the city's leading supermarket
chains were not selling cooking oil, mealie-meal or popular laundry soap
brand saying they had not received supplies from manufacturers.

      In the shops were some of the commodities were Available, prices had
been hiked by between 50 and 100 percent.

      Independent economic analyst John Robertson predicted the situation
will get worse unless the government devalued the Zimbabwe dollar to help
exporters who generate foreign currency needed to pay foreign suppliers of
some of the essential commodities or ingredients required to manufacture

      He said: "Price increases will continue from now and this condition
will make it difficult for exporters. Unfortunately, we need to devalue the
dollar to help exporters whom we expect to bring in foreign currency."

      Some political analysts had expected last week's controversial poll to
help usher in a democratic solution to Zimbabwe's crisis.

      But the poll appears to have worsened Zimbabwe's isolation by key
international players after the European Union, United States, Britain,
Germany and Australia rejected the March 31 election as neither free nor
fair. - ZimOnline
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Zim Online

Irate tobacco farmers withhold crop
Wed 6 April 2005
  HARARE - Irate farmers protesting over low prices yesterday forced
Zimbabwe's biggest tobacco auction floors to suspend trading as the country's
crucial tobacco selling season started off on a sour note.

      Farmers, who described as ridiculously low yesterday's season opening
price of US$0.25 to US$0.45 per kilogramme of tobacco, refused to sell their
tobacco and blocked trading at the privately-owned Tobacco Sales Floors

      The TSL was paying between US$2 and US$3 per kilogram of tobacco at
the close of the selling season last year.

      There are two other floors but the TSF is by far the biggest with the
bulk of Zimbabwe's biggest single foreign exchange earner traded there.

      Tobacco prices generally tend to firm up as the selling season
progresses with better quality leaf being delivered. But farmers, most of
them black smallscale producers, told ZimOnline yesterday they would go
bankrupt if they accepted the prices that
      were being offered.

      "We cannot allow these people (TSF) to rip us off like that. We would
rather burn the tobacco than sell at such contemptuous prices," said
Lovemore Mutambo, a small-scale farmer from Nyamajura area, 250 km east of

      "Tobacco is an 18 month cycle crop that is both labour and capital
intensive. The prices will have to be right before we allow trading to start
here," Mutambo added.

      Another farmer from Selous about 80 km west of Harare, Brian Hitchman,
said he had yesterday brought 300 bales of tobacco to the auction floors but
was withholding it until "the right prices are offered."

      "How are we going to repay our loans? I will withhold my crop for
now," Hitchman said.

      TSF managing director David Machingaidze said 1 000 bales of tobacco
had been booked for trading yesterday but only 300 had been disposed off by
the time the floors were closed.

      "By the time we stopped the selling we had sold about 300 bales out of
the 1 000 that were booked ... We are hopeful that a solution would be found
maybe by tomorrow (Wednesday)," Machingaidze said.

      But TSF officials, who did not want to be named, said farmers were
being offered lower prices because of the poor quality of leaf which was
unlikely to fetch much on the international market.

      The price wrangle mirrors deep-seated problems threatening the
viability of the mainstay tobacco industry after President Robert Mugabe
seized land from white farmers who accounted for the bulk of Zimbabwe's

      Production has dropped from 236 million kilogrammes produced in 2000
before farm invasions had completely destabilised the agricultural sector to
the 85 million kilogrammes expected to be sold this year.

      Although there have been some sign of recovery from 69 million
kilogrammes in 2004 to the 85 million kilogrammes expected this year, the
leaf quality has drastically dropped as most of the black peasants settled
on white farms lack the expertise or financial resources to maintain
production of good grade tobacco.

      Proceeds from tobacco sales, which last year totalled US$220 million,
are eagerly awaited to pay for vital imports of fuel, electricity, essential
medical drugs and to pay off debts. - ZimOnline
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Zim Online

FEATURE: Exiled Zimbabweans say only confrontation will achieve results
Wed 6 April 2005
  JOHANNESBURG - From the sixteenth floor of a residential apartment in
central Johannesburg, a bloodied Zimbabwean flag flaps lazily in rhythm with
the slow but bitingly cold wind.

      Even the continuous drizzle has failed to wash off the blood, and the
words written on the flag stand out prominently: "Mugabe and ZANU PF = Death
by slow poison. Do not swallow."

      Another dripping line reads "Mugabe: The tsunami is still destroying

      To Joel Maphosa and his friends, the bloody flag tells a story: that
President Robert Mugabe's parliamentary election victory last week was not
free and fair but was achieved against a background of bloodshed over the
last five years.

      Although last week's poll was peaceful as compared to the 2000 and
2002 elections, the opposition and Western states insist that conditions
were not conducive for a free and fair election and were heavily tilted in
ZANU PF's favour.

      Maphosa said he is still waiting for somebody to tell him that news of
the ZANU PF victory was one bad April Fools' Day joke.

      "I was busy listening to the election results last Friday. For most of
the morning, ZANU PF succeeded in making everyone believe the opposition
Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) party would win the election.

      "Just as we were getting ready for a great weekend celebration, ZANU
PF covered so much ground that we could all see who would win. We were
bluffed from the beginning and I still believe that somebody forgot to tell
us that what we heard was just an April Fool's Day joke," said Maphosa.

      Even here in downtown Johannesburg, South Africa, where an estimated
three million Zimbabweans fled the political and economic meltdown back
home, the final results plunged the community into a state of shock and

      The ruling ZANU PF party won 78 of the 120 contested seats with the
MDC winning a paltry 41 seats to clinch a two-thirds majority.

      Former government propaganda tsar Jonathan Moyo, who fell out with
Mugabe after seeking to block the rise of Joyce Mujuru to the
vice-presidency, won the highly contested Tsholotsho seat on an independent

      Tsvangirai has rejected last week's results, describing the election
as a "disgusting massive fraud." He cited discrepancies between the number
of voters and the final figures announced by the Mugabe-appointed Zimbabwe
Electoral Commission which was in charge of running the election.

      A largely despondent Maphosa, said the shock result could signal the
beginning of the end for the MDC and democracy in Zimbabwe.

      "The opposition and the citizens' clamour for democratic change are
all but dead. I had hoped to return home in the event of an opposition
victory but I cannot go there to face ZANU PF-inspired hunger and
starvation. ZANU PF has once again robbed us of victory," he said.

      A section of the Johannesburg community here feel participating in the
electoral process under the present set up is a sheer waste of time and
effort. They called for an end to all attempts to remove ZANU PF through the
ballot box.

      Anele Moyo, a shop manager in Berea who left Zimbabwe four years ago
said: "We have said over the years that political dinosaurs like ZANU PF
understand only one language and that is war. ZANU PF came to power through
the barrel of the gun.

      "Mugabe has used the gun and outright electoral fraud to win elections
in the past. This result must let all realise that it is not possible to
dislodge ZANU PF from power through an election. We must seek other means."

      Nkosinathi Tshuma, of Heal Zimbabwe Trust, a civic group dealing with
Zimbabwean refugees in South Africa is however of a different view.

      "I do not see how mass action or pushing for a new constitution can
make things better. If anything, the situation is likely to get worse if the
opposition opts for mass protests.

      "Trying to change the constitution when ZANU PF enjoys a two-thirds
majority can only produce a more draconian, ZANU PF and not a people-driven
constitution," said Tshuma.

      But for the majority of Zimbabweans here in South Africa, they are
thoroughly disillusioned with the electoral system which they say is
designed to ensure only one outcome - victory for ZANU PF. The solution,
they say, lies in taking the regime head on, outside Zimbabwe's electoral
framework. - ZimOnline
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Zim Online

South Africa says not aware of ill-treatment of jailed mercenaries
Thur 7 April 2005
  HARARE - The South African embassy in Harare has denied any knowledge of
severe ill-treatment and torture of 62 mainly South African mercenaries who
are jailed in an infamous Harare prison.

      Kingsley Sithole, South Africa's deputy ambassador in Harare, said the
embassy was not aware of any ill-treatment and torture as alleged in recent
press reports.

      "These are new allegations. We have no record of such complaints. No
one has brought them to our attention," said Sithole.

      Last week, a South African newspaper said the mercenaries were living
in terrible conditions at Chikurubi Maximum prison in Harare saying the
mercenaries have been without running water for more than a month.

      The newspaper also reported that the mercenaries were starving in jail
with the little food they were fed lacking any nutritional value.

      A lawyer representing the jailed South Africans, Alwyn Griebenow,
yesterday told Zimonline that living conditions at the security prison were

      "Sometimes they each have a small cup of water with which to wash,
shave, brush their teeth and drink from," Griebenow said.

      The 62 were arrested last year at the Harare international airport on
their way to stage a military coup in Equatorial Guinea. They are
languishing in jail after earlier attempts to secure an early release on the
grounds of good behaviour hit a brick wall. - ZimOnline
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Daily Mirror, Zimbabwe

Tobacco farmers agree to sell under protest

Farming Reporter
issue date :2005-Apr-07

TOBACCO merchants yesterday offered slightly higher prices at auction floors
in Harare and farmers who had boycotted selling their crop the previous day
agreed to sell, although under protest.
When sales commenced in the morning merchants were offering a minimum of
about US27c (Z$1 600) and a maximum price of US$2,20 per kilogramme at the
Zimbabwe Tobacco Centre (Zitac) before sales closed in the afternoon.
Sales at the other auction floors - Tobacco Sales Floor (TSF) and Burley
Marketing Zimbabwe (BMZ) averaged US40c (Z$2 500) per kilogramme.
Smallholder farmers were the hardest hit as they did not have any
alternative other than to sell, although clearly under protest, as they
lacked transport to ferry their produce back home.
On Tuesday, the opening day of Zimbabwe's 2005 tobacco selling season,
merchants at BMZ and TSF offered as little as US15c with the highest bid at
US$1,65 per kilogramme.  During  a tour of BMZ and Zitac, The Daily Mirror
observed that most farmers had sold their crop by 11:00 am and were waiting
to receive payment.
Nevertheless, most tobacco growers expressed disappointment over the prices
and said they intended in future to divert to other cash crops.Although the
spokesperson for Zitac Irene Chakanyuka-Ushe could not be reached for
comment, a senior auctioneer at the company said most smallholder farmers
who had brought their tobacco crop on Monday had opted to sell their crop,
even though under duress.
"Most of the smallholder farmers that delivered their crop at any of the
three auction floors decided to sell their produce," said the auctioneer.
"Most large-scale commercial farmers returned home with their crop hoping
that the situation would stabilise."
A large-scale tobacco farmer from the Odzi, John Machiri, bitterly
complained over prices and said such a scenario would discourage farmers
from growing the crop next season.
"We believe government should urgently chip in this season to provide an
acceptable support price to keep farmers in the sector or else they may be
forced to abandon tobacco growing," Machiri said.
Most smallholder farmers who came from Mashonaland Central and West
provinces agreed that they had no option but to sell their crop citing
transport problems that would hinder them from taking their produce home.
A smallholder farmer from Mt Darwin, Timothy Gurupira said: "I found it
difficult to ferry my crop back home as it is costly to do so since I do not
have transport."
Giving a breakdown of expenses he incurred, Gurupira said he hired a
three-tonne truck for $3 million. His tobacco weighed about 600 kilogrammes,
which he sold at an average of US40 cents.
"Although I have been paid a support price, I will be going home without any
money," he said."I still have other commitments to meet that include paying
workers, particularly hired labourers who are waiting for their money."
Meanwhile technocrats in the tobacco sector said that most new farmers
lacked adequate training in the production of the crop. Farmers had been
warned in advance that they should follow rules and regulations in crop
The Zimbabwe Association of Tobacco Growers (ZATG) warned as early as
September that farmers should have planted tobacco by mid-November, saying
that the quality of late planted crop would be poor.
Most new farmers planted tobacco during mid-December as they received inputs
like fertilisers late, given the country faced a serious shortage of top
dressing fertiliser particularly at a time it was required most.
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Daily Mirror, Zimbabwe

Zim lawyers send poll report to Geneva

The Daily Mirror Reporter
issue date :2005-Apr-07

A WEEK after the March 31 polls won by the ruling Zanu PF and endorsed by
the African Union, Sadc and many other observer teams as free and fair, the
Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights (ZLHR) has produced a damning report on
the election-which it has already sent to Geneva.
Reasons for sending the report, which castigated operations of the Zimbabwe
Electoral Commission (ZEC), to Geneva still remain hazy.
ZLHR's board member Mordecai Mahlangu, claimed that ZEC failed to provide
adequate, impartial and informative voters' education.
Said Mahlangu: "This contributed to an unacceptable high number of voters
being turned away from polling stations and also an unacceptable number of
spoilt papers throughout the country but especially in rural areas."
He said the change in constituency boundaries were not sufficiently made
known to affected voters leading to a number of voters being turned away on
polling day.
This is despite the fact that demarcations were done and announced three
months before the elections were held as required by the Constitution,
giving the electorate ample time to find out whether they had been affected
or not.
This has always been the procedure in previous elections.
ZLHR also accused the Registrar General's office of failing to carry out a
transparent and efficient voter registration and inspection exercise despite
the deployment of officers from the Electoral Supervisory Commission
throughout the country to conduct voter education.
Other non-governmental organisation under the Zimbabwe Election Support
Network were part and parcel of the voter education programme.
It must be noted that the MDC had held their supporters at ransom while
playing hide and seek with the ruling party on whether or not they would
take part in the elections, political observers said.
Then the MDC took the decision to participate "under protest" when the voter
registration exercise was almost complete.
However, Mahlangu went on: "This is borne out by the high number of voters
turned away from polling station on grounds of invalid registration
documentation, names not appearing on the roll and voters attending in the
wrong constituency following boundary changes."
The report also attacked the Electoral Court alleging it was susceptible to
executive manipulation and that ZLHR was unable to fully express confidence
that it would deal effectively, independently and timeously with cases
lodged with it.
It must also be noted that there have not been any cases known brought to
the Electoral Court after the polls.
ZLHR noted that political tolerance was higher and violence lower than in
2000 and 2002 polls.
Yesterday ZEC maintained it conducted the election in a professional manner.
"As ZEC we did what we were supposed to do and we have not received a single
complaint from anyone up to today," Utoile Silaigwana, the commission's
spokesperson said.
Police chief spokesperson Wayne Bvudzijena said it was the responsibility of
ZLHR to support and substantiate their allegations instead of blowing hot
Bvudzijena challenged the lawyers' grouping as he did with National
Constitutional Assembly boss Lovemore Madhuku to produce evidence of their
claims he said were meant for the international gallery.
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Daily Mirror, Zimbabwe

Parks probe spreads to China

Shame Makoshori
issue date :2005-Apr-07

THE probe into allegations of corruption at the Parks and Wildlife Authority
has spread to China and South Africa after the investigating team unearthed
a syndicate of elephant trophy and game smuggling linked to the two
countries, The Business Mirror has learnt.
Investigations by this newspaper have indicated that the Parks Authority has
been advised by the investigating team who pried through the parks records
to move into South Africa and trek an unnamed Chinese firm that acted as a
conduit for the corrupt activities.
Documents leaked to this newspaper also revealed that after completion of
investigations implicating former operations director Vitalis Chadenga, a
further probe would be commissioned.
The probe would centre on a Chinese firm that helped in the illegal
exportation of 74 elephant trophies to that country by yet to be identified
Parks top brass.
"The investigations also unearthed information that 400 sables were smuggled
into South Africa while 63 lions mysteriously disappeared into the same
country," a source close to the investigations said.
In Kariba, the probe would focus on the corrupt issuance of fishing permits
to white owned commercial fishing companies whose directors are fighting a
bitter war to get indigenous companies out of business.
The white owned companies are alleged to be conniving with Parks officials
to be awarded extra permits at a fee or in exchange for shareholding.
In an earlier interview, Kapenta Producers Association of Zimbabwe president
Stanford Mafa told The Business Mirror that the industry was concerned in
the manner in which the permits were distributed.
Several indigenous fishing companies, this newspaper understands, were
awarded between two and four permits while the most established white firms
have up to 20 permits, some of which are not utilised.Among the companies
clamouring for more permits, according to sources, include Chalala, Mulange,
Mvurazhinji, Nyanyana and Zvatakarwira in Kariba and Chunga Fishing company
in Binga.
The sources further alleged that several black business have been waiting
for permits since1992 after they had been promised that a quota system would
be implemented where permits would be taken from companies with more and be
redistributed to the awaiting new firms.
Also under investigation include the awarding of 32  illegal professional
hunting permits, 40 elephants that were allocated to Parks staff in the
Charara area but were later devoured by clients after the allocations were
corruptly made for trophy hunting.Two ranches, Bishopstone and Mujingwe, all
in Beitbridge would also be investigated for possible canned hunting with
South African operators with the aid of Parks staff.
The investigators also recommended that the director of operations, who has
since been suspended, be further investigated for the alleged approval for
an operator known as Coetzee to hunt lions and hippos in areas not in his
Investigations also revealed corrupt rhino hunting in the Bubye areas by
several companies such as Out of Africa and Game Management Africa, which
are also under investigations.
Game Management Africa has since been served with a letter of suspension,
according to documents at hand.
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Institute for War and Peace Reporting

Next Step for MDC

Opposition party says it intends to use its seats in parliament to expose
government "nonsense".

By Marceline Ndoro in Harare (Africa Reports: Zimbabwe Elections No 26,

The opposition Movement for Democratic Change, MDC, will take up the 41
parliamentary seats it won in the country's recent elections, in spite of
its protests that the vote was rigged.

In an interview with IWPR, MDC secretary-general Welshman Ncube said his
party rejects its overall defeat in the election, which he said was
"engineered by widespread fraud".

But the MDC's successful MPs, elected mainly in urban areas, won their seats
fair and square, he said, and the party would build on these successes to
publicise what he described as the ZANU PF government's corruption,
mismanagement and misrule.

"We intend to use the seats in parliament to expose government nonsense...
in whatever way possible," said Ncube, who himself won the Bulawayo East
constituency for the MDC.

He said the MDC would not appeal to Zimbabwe's courts as the main way of
challenging the results, but would intensify its protests in other ways. He
declined to expand on how this might be done but promised that the strategy
would soon become clear.

In the wake of parliamentary elections in 2000 in which the MDC won 57
seats, the party contested ZANU PF victories in a further 30 seats. The
appeals are still stuck in the supreme court, which President Robert Mugabe
has packed with judges personally loyal to him and the ruling party.

Immediately after the results of the latest parliamentary election were
announced on April 2, MDC leader Morgan Tsvangirai urged people to "defend
their vote", which he said could include some form of mass action.

But Ncube said the party's resort to Zimbabwe's judiciary would be more
limited this time round.

"We are going to go to the courts to challenge certain selected glaring
[results]," he told IWPR. "Our lawyers are currently working on the papers.
Unlike in 2000, when we challenged almost all of the seats we lost, this
time we are selecting just a few and these will be enough to expose Zanu
PF's rigging."

Constituencies likely to be challenged are Manyame and Mhondoro in
Mashonaland West; Harare South, Goromonzi and Marondera East in Mashonaland
East; and Chivi North in Masvingo, whose final declared results did not
tally with the numbers of voters counted at polling stations.

In Manyame, for example, President Mugabe's nephew Patrick Zhuwao reportedly
received 15,448 votes, beating the MDC candidate Suka Hilda Mafudze who
apparently secured just 8,312. But the combined total of these results
suggests 23,760 people voted in the constituency, nearly 10,000 more than
the actual figure announced as having completed ballots at the polling

A senior MDC official said the party might now push for full international
sanctions against Zimbabwe as opposed to the targeted sanctions on senior
government and party officials currently enforced mainly by the European
Union, United States, Canada and Australia.

The official declined to be named - calling for sanctions against Zimbabwe
might be counted as treason, an offence punishable by hanging.

Marceline Ndoro is the pseudonym of an IWPR contributor in Harare.
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Sent: Thursday, April 07, 2005 1:33 AM
Subject: ZIMBABWE: Govt plans to replace DOTS

ZIMBABWE: Govt plans to replace DOTS

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

JOHANNESBURG, 6 April (IRIN) - Zimbabwe plans to introduce a new combination of drugs to treat tuberculosis (TB) early next year, an official in the Ministry of Health and Child Welfare told IRIN.

Owen Mugurungi, a senior officer with the ministry's HIV/AIDS and tuberculosis programme, told IRIN that the Fixed Combination Dose (FDS) would replace the existing Directly Observed Treatment Short-course (DOTS) strategy.

"The new dose will combine a number of the tablets that patients are currently taking separately, to produce one powerful combination that will be tolerable to patients and more effective in combating all TB strains," Mugurungi explained.

He said FDS would also reduce the daily tablet intake from 14 to eight, resulting in fewer patients abandoning the treatment because of the large doses, as had been the case in recent years.

TB patients who skipped doses "have always returned to health institutions exhibiting signs of new, highly resistant TB strains that are hard to treat. We also expect the new dose to reduce some of the TB strains we have seen developing in patients who take the DOTS combination for a long time," said Mugurungi.

The launch of FDS has been delayed from June to early next year, as the medication is awaiting approval from the Medicines Control Authority of Zimbabwe.

TB has emerged as one of the major opportunistic killer infections among HIV/AIDS positive people. According to the World Health Organisation, more than 19,000 Zimbabweans - most of them HIV positive - died of TB in 2003, almost five times the number of deaths from the disease in 1990.


Copyright (c) UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs 2005

U N I T E D  N A T I O N S
Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA)
Integrated Regional Information Network (IRIN) - 1995-2005 ten years serving the humanitarian community
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Christian Science Monitor
from the April 07, 2005 edition 

Is it ethical to visit 'outpost of tyranny'?

Zimbabwe's wildlife industry struggles as many tourists steer clear of the Mugabe regime.

By Stephanie Hanes | Contributor to The Christian Science Monitor

VICTORIA FALLS, ZIMBABWE – Not long ago, travelers longing for adventure and wildlife in Africa had an obvious destination: Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe.
This small city on the Zambezi river not only boasted the mile-wide falls - its own "wonder of the world" - but game parks full of elephants, safari guides aplenty, and hotels catering to everyone from backpacking bungee-jumpers to would-be colonialists. It was a regional tourism center.

That was before Zimbabwe's collapse - before President Robert Mugabe encouraged the takeover of white-owned farms, closed independent newspapers, and restricted political opposition.
Last week, Mr. Mugabe's party trounced the opposition in a parliamentary vote that international observers have decried as rigged. The country faces severe food shortages and the US government has labeled Zimbabwe an "outpost of tyranny."
So now, travelers face a more difficult decision: Is it ethical to vacation in a country where tourist dollars help fund repressive leaders? A traveler might pay the hotel, but Zimbabwe's government collects taxes from tourism-related business.
Or does abandoning the country worsen problems faced by individuals who have nothing to do with politics?
Particularly in the region around Victoria Falls, people depend on tourists for jobs, money, and food - all of which are scarce these days. Conservation programs also rely on tourist-generated income.
"As a traveler, you'd want to define your purpose," says Paula Mirk, vice president for education at the Maine-based Institute for Global Ethics. "What are the core values supporting that purpose? Do they conflict with the values of democracy?"
Close to a dozen tourists interviewed recently in Victoria Falls said the financial boost they give locals outweighs any unintentional funding of Mugabe.
"From the ground level, you're supporting individuals who have done nothing wrong," says Oscar Moseley from England, who has been traveling through Africa.
But many vacationers have opted out of Zimbabwe, either for ethical reasons or because of concern that the March 31 election could have turned violent.
Victoria Falls looks like an abandoned mining town, crawling with desperate hawkers who swarm the few sightseers.
A young Zimbabwean who runs an art gallery says he used to sell five to 10 stone sculptures per day, mostly to Americans. Now he sells only one or two per week.
Across the street, men in second-hand clothing clamor to sell carved wooden animals. Many of them came to Victoria Falls for jobs in the tourist sector. But with some estimating unemployment at 55 percent, hawking is the one of the few options.
In the nearby township of Chinotimba, home to many of the city's black workers, a man named Zuka chiseled a piece of wood, crafting an elephant. Selling curios to tourists is his only income, he says, but business is down. He says he can afford only two meals a day - tea and bread in the morning, a starchy staple known as "sadza," or corn meal, in the evening.
The wood he whittles was probably chopped down from national parkland, according to conservationists. Deforestation has become one of the main environmental concerns in western Zimbabwe, as people who can't get jobs in hotels or gift shops fell trees to make carvings. Conservationists fear the habitat that draws visitors is being destroyed.
"It's going to take generations to replace these trees," says Charles Brightman, who runs the Victoria Falls Anti-Poaching Unit, which combats environmental degradation while giving locals employment. He says poaching has also increased. People are hungry, so they are more tempted to hunt impala and other game in protected parks.

Two hours down the road, rangers at the Hwange National Park say they have seen the same trend. Of the 30 rangers based at the once-popular Main Camp, most are dedicated to antipoaching efforts.
With hardly any tourists, no one needs to stick around camp to lead game drives and walks. Recently, a camp log book showed it had been weeks since the last visitor took a ranger-guided hike.
Without tourist dollars, national parks are strapped for funds. According to a ranger, Hwange cannot afford to run the man-made water holes that attracted animals to this park in the first place. Conservationists tell stories of landowners, desperate for money, allowing unscrupulous hunters to shoot protected animals.
"There has been just wholesale destruction of large game," says Brian Gratwicke, who runs ZimConservation, a Washington-based online community of scientists and conservationists interested in Zimbabwe.
But it is unclear whether more tourism would mean improved facilities and less poaching. Much of the money earned by the park system goes to the central government, which distributes it at will. The landowners rumored to allow full-scale poaching are said to be well connected.
Doug Wilson, a tourist from Ontario, says he suspected much of the tourism-generated revenue went to Mugabe. "He's strangling the country," he says. But he feels comfortable traveling and spending money in Zimbabwe. "It's for each person to decide their own ethics," Mr. Wilson says. But with the tips he gave to locals and the crafts he bought, he says, "I think it probably does more help than harm."
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