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

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Zim Standard

Minister holds post 'illegally'
By Valentine Maponga

SITHEMBISO Nyoni, the Minister of Small and Medium Enterprises Development
is now in Cabinet illegally, The Standard can reveal. The Standard
understands that Nyoni's term of office expired on 15 July this year.

In what appears to be a flagrant disregard of the laws of Zimbabwe,
President Robert Mugabe continues to accommodate the minister in his Cabinet
despite the expiry of a constitutional three-month grace period that allowed
him to regularise her appointment.
Under Zimbabwean laws, a person can only occupy a ministerial position if he
or she is a duly elected Member of Parliament or a Non-Constituent MP.

Appointing Nyoni, who lost the Bulawayo South constituency in the 31 March
parliamentary elections to the Cabinet in April this year, Mugabe said he
wanted to ensure gender balance and promised to make arrangements for her to
become an MP.

However, since the swearing in ceremony for the Sixth Parliament and the
subsequent parliamentary sessions, Mugabe has not found a way out of the
legal quagmire.

Up to now, Nyoni has not set foot in Parliamentary chambers. Her name and
ministry do not appear in the official parliamentary publication, the
Hansard. Only that of her deputy minister, Kenneth Mutiwekuziva, the Member
of Parliament for Uzumba-Maramba-Pfungwe is listed.

Nyoni could have either gotten into parliament through a by-election or if
Mugabe had asked one of the appointed MPs to resign. Another avenue would
have been if Zanu PF had fast-tracked the re-introduction of the senate
where a number of party officials who did not win parliamentary elections
are expected to find sanctuary.

Nyoni could have contested the Mudzi by-election, in Mashonaland East, but
the Zanu PF provincial executive said they could not accommodate the
minister as they had already come up with their own candidate, Christopher
Muza. The constituency fell vacant after Ray Kaukonde was appointed the
provincial governor for Mashonaland East.

Arnold Tsunga, the director of the Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights (ZLHR),
said they were filing a court application against the minister's position in

He said according to the Constitution, Nyoni was now sitting in the Cabinet

"The President should have regularised that position during the three months
grace period provided for in the Constitution. We are already filing court
papers for her position to be declared illegal because she has no mandate to
be in Cabinet," Tsunga said.

He said the President failed to use all the available options to ensure
Nyoni found a constituency.

"It is very unhealthy to have a minister who does not seat in Parliament,"
he said.

When contacted for a comment Nyoni said she was operating legally: "If you
want to know about my status, why don't you talk to the President because he
is the one who appointed me. There is no illegality about my appointment."

Zanu PF national chairman and Speaker of Parliament, John Nkomo, said he was
not in the executive. "That question is best answered by the executive," he

Patrick Chinamasa, the Minister of Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs
said: "Refer that question to the President's Office."

Mugabe is out of the country on official visit to China. His two Vice
Presidents were not immediately available for comment.

Austin Zvoma, the Clerk of Parliament, said he was not the best person to
talk about the Cabinet appointments.

"She has never attended Parliament and if you need a clear position on the
issue talk to Patrick Chinamasa," Zvoma said.
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Zim Standard

Chombo faces prison term for contempt of court
By Linda Tsetere

LOCAL Government, Public Works and Urban Development Minister Ignatious
Chombo faces up to 30 days imprisonment with a fine of up to $20 million
dollars if a court application by Eddies Pfugari Properties (Pvt) Ltd is
granted by the High Court.

George Gapu of Scanlen and Holdernness, who is representing Edward Nyanyiwa,
the managing director for Eddies Pfugari, has filed for contempt of court
against Chombo whom they accuse of deliberately flouting a high court order,
granted three weeks ago.
The Order, a copy of which is in The Standard's possession, ordered the
government to stop the construction of houses at White Cliff farm where the
government says "Operation Garikai/Hlalani Kuhle" is in full swing.

Issued on 28 June, the order instructed the minister to destroy any
structures or sample houses put in place at White Cliff before the applicant
went to court within 48 hours.

"We have filed for contempt of court against Chombo because it seems he has
deliberately defied the high court order.We await to see how things progress
and I anticipate the application will be upheld," Gapu said.

The fresh application, filed in the High Court on Thursday last week, also
seeks to bar Chombo from constructing sample houses or any structures at
White Cliff and allocating stands at the farm.

Part of the draft order submitted before the court reads:

"Ignatious Chombo shall be committed to prison for a period of thirty days
unless he publishes a notice in The Herald reversing the allocation of the
stands to the alleged beneficiaries and demolishes all the structures
constructed at 'White Cliff' within 48 hours of the date of this order."

Gapu, however, expressed fears that his client risked losing his property if
the controversial constitutional amendment on land acquisition sails through

"Ultimately, I do not know if my client will continue holding on to White
Cliff," said Gapu.

Under the proposed constitutional amendments, government will be granted
powers to acquire any land and aggrieved owners will not be able to resort
to the courts for redress.
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Zim Standard

Thousands forced to go on leave as fuel crisis bites
By Savious Kwinika

BULAWAYO - AS many as 300 000 drivers and conductors in the public transport
sector around the country have been sent on forced leave as effects of the
crippling fuel situation worsen, The Standard has established.

Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions (ZCTU) chairman, Lovemore Matombo, said an
estimated 100 000 long distance drivers and 200 000 from the informal
transport sectors (kombis) had stopped going to work due to the fuel
"About 40 percent of the transport sector has been adversely affected and we
can't see the situation improving at the moment, as there are no efforts to
address the pathetic situation.

"At the end of the day it's politics that takes precedence over these
pressing socio-economic issues. I can't see Zimbabwe getting back to where
it was if governance issues are not addressed," said Matombo adding: "We
won't see any economic growth until something has been done."

He said ZCTU could not blame operators for failing to pay their workers
under such circumstances.

Former Zimbabwe Passenger Transport Association (ZPTA) President, Edward
Chawasarira said the transport industry had been badly hit by the fuel
crisis but expressed concern that the trade unions body only cared about
salary increments without looking at the economic factors affecting the

"The trade unions do not care about employers' grievances as they are only
concerned about the plight of workers only otherwise the situation in the
transport sector is really bad.

"Most buses are now off the road due to the fuel situation and we hope
things will improve," Chawasarira said.

A snap survey by The Standard revealed that big transport operators such as
Kukura Kurerwa Bus service, Masvingo province's leading transport operator
Mhunga, Tenda, Chikozho and several others had sent more than 12 000 workers
on leave as a result of the crippling fuel situation.

"How can we pay the drivers and conductors when there is no diesel on the
market? Worse still, we don't have foreign currency to import diesel from
either South Africa or Botswana," said one transport operator who requested
anonymity for fear of victimisation.

As the fuel crises continued with no solution in sight, the government last
month called on people with open trucks to carry people to and from work.

Meanwhile Commuter bus operators in Bulawayo are cashing in on crippling
transport problems, charging up to $20 000 for trips and forcing thousands
of thousands of low income workers to walk to and from work.

The exorbitant fares mean that a person who works in the Central Business
District (CBD) would fork out between $800 000 to $1.2 million on transport
a month, a sad development condemned in strongest terms by the Zimbabwe
Congress of Trade Unions (ZCTU).

Residents from Gwabalanda, Cowdray Park, Luveve, Magwegwe North, Magwegwe
West and Lobengula say they are being subjected to abuse by the commuter bus
operators who take advantage of non-availability of transport to charge them
twice for a trip.

Commuters from Luveve, Gwabalanda and Cowdray Park are picked and dropped
off at D-Square or Magetsini centres and pay another $10 000 for the rest of
the trip to the city centre, bringing the total fare for the journey to $20
000 a passenger.

As a result, several families have since withdrawn their children from
school citing failure to afford the $800 000 a child needs a month to travel
to school.

"I earn less than $2 million but I pay $800 000 for transport a month. My
three children require $2.4 million excluding money for their lunch. What do
I do for rent/accommodation, food at home, accounts and medication?

"Life has become unbearable for many in this country and I appeal to
President Mugabe and his government to put the interests of the nation first
and step down for they have completely failed this once great nation," said
one war veteran who requested anonymity.

Bulawayo based economic commentator, Erich Bloch, said the standard of
living would not improve as long as the economy was not right.

"Until such a time the government changes its policies, especially
overspending that has become the worst enemy of inflation, life will not

ZCTU Secretary-General, Wellington Chibebe, said wage negotiations at this
point would not solve anything arguing that what the country was
experiencing was a national disaster.

"I am sure mass action is the only solution to the national crisis because
wage negotiations would not yield anything because we have a national
disaster. Our economy is actually down and those running high offices have
totally run out of ideas."
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Zim Standard

Murerwa has some explanations to make
By our staff

FINANCE Minister Herbert Murerwa has some explanations to make when he
delivers his mid-term fiscal policy review on Thursday.

Although this was only meant to be a fiscal policy presentation, Murerwa
will have to go cap-in-hand to the legislators to ask for extra funds to
shore up empty coffers in troubled ministries.
Ministries in dire need of extra funds are Social Welfare, Agriculture and
Finance, and a host other government departments.

Murerwa will also announce the supplementary budget to accommodate the three
new ministries created in President Robert Mugabe's Cabinet reshuffle in

Mugabe split the Finance and Economic Development ministry into two and
added two new ministries of Public and Interactive Affairs and Rural Housing
and Social Amenities.

With a number of targets outlined in the national Budget having been missed,
Murerwa will have to come up with real targets, analysts say.

In the 2005 Budget Murerwa anticipated that inflation would be in the region
of 50-80% by year-end. Year-on-year inflation for the month of June is now

Analysts say Murerwa has the unenviable task of explaining the differences
that arose from the original Budget.

John Robertson economic consultant at Robertson Economic Information
Services said: "A lot of explanation is needed to put across reasons of
variations in Budget deficit and revenue forecasts."

In the 2005 Budget Murerwa said he was forecasting a deficit of $4.5
trillion (5% of GDP). Robertson said the Budget deficit was much higher than

Murerwa said in the statement that he was anticipating revenue forecasts of
$23.0 trillion.

Tony Hawkins, an economic analyst, says a number of questions remain
unanswered on the financing of Operation Garikai and subsidies given to
tobacco and cotton growers as well as gold producers.

The University of Zimbabwe Graduate School of management lecturer said the
RBZ's 50-80% inflation targets by year-end were not possible. Positive
growth targets, Hawkins said, will remain a pipe dream.
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Zim Standard

                        Tibaijuka to feature in Politburo meeting
                        By Walter Marwizi

                        UNITED Nations Special Envoy Anna Kajumulo
Tibaijuka's report will top the agenda at the Zanu PF Politburo meeting this
week as pressure mounts on President Robert Mugabe to fully comply with her

                        Tibaijuka has called on the government to stop the
demolitions of homes and markets, pay reparations to those who have lost
housing and livelihoods and punish those who, "with indifference to human
suffering," carried out the evictions of some 700,000 people.
                        Zanu PF National Chairman John Nkomo told The
Standard yesterday that the party's supreme decision making body was going
to look into the report.

                        "That is the matter that will be discussed at the
next politburo meeting. A decision will be taken by the party. Personally, I
have not seen that report in full but I have been reading extracts," Nkomo

                        The Politburo did not meet last week since President
Mugabe was away in China where he sought Chinese help in an unsuccessful bid
to stop Tibaijuka from briefing the UN Security Council.

                        Patrick Chinamasa, the Minister of Justice, Legal
and Parliamentary Affairs, said yesterday government was preparing a
detailed response to Tibajuka's findings.

                        "What Cde Simbarashe Mumbengegwi (Minister of
Foreign Affairs) said was a preliminary report. So you have to wait for a
detailed one."

                        Diplomatic sources told The Standard on Friday that
major players in world politics were not taking lightly Tibaijuka's report,
which condemned the government's eviction and demolition exercise that made
700 000 people homeless and affected about 2.4 million.

                        A US State Department official told The Standard on
Friday that Tibaijuka had produced an "excellent report" on the brutal
housing demolition campaign in Zimbabwe and her country endorsed the key
points made by Secretary General Kofi Annan in his 22 July Statement on

                        ". the Government of Zimbabwe should end the
demolitions immediately and work with the international community on relief
and reconstruction operations; the architects of the housing demolitions
should be held accountable for their actions; and there should be dialogue
between the Government of Zimbabwe, domestic groups, and the international
community to resolve Zimbabwe's pressing social, economic, and political
problems," said the official.

                        He added that the US was ready to help Zimbabwe end
serious food shortages.

                        "As we have said before, we stand ready to assist
with food aid, as we did in 2002-04, should the government request such
assistance. We urge the Government of Zimbabwe to engage with the World Food
Programme and with donors to resolve any operational problems that may be
obstructing increased food assistance."

                        Kristina Svensson, Swedish Ambassador to Zimbabwe,
urged the Zimbabwe government to fully co-operate with the recommendations
in order to avert a possible large-scale humanitarian disaster.

                        "Sweden considers multilateral co-operation to be
the most important instrument in dealing with issues of human survival. This
task requires a strong United Nations and close cooperation of all countries
seeking to guarantee human rights and the rule of law within their borders,"
Svensson said.

                        UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Louise
Arbour, on Friday said she was encouraged by the attention that demolitions
and evictions in Zimbabwe had received since the release of Tibaijuka's

                        "I hope it will also bring home to the government
the necessity to desist from this extremely misguided operation," Arbour

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Zim Standard

Ex-MP charged with public violence
By our Staff

FORMER Movement for Democratic Change legislator for Masvingo Central, Silas
Mangono, two of party's councillors, Francisca Sheya and Misheck Gapare, and
six supporters on Wednesday appeared before a Masvingo magistrate, Crispen
Mberewere, facing charges of public violence.

Mangono and his co-accused were remanded out of custody to 10 August.
Mike Chimombe for the State told the court that on 8 February this year
Mangono and his party sympathisers disrupted an MDC meeting at the Civic
Centre, which was being addressed by party President Morgan Tsvangirai.

It is further alleged that Mangono, who had already been trounced by Tongai
Matutu, who together with his supporters were denied access to the meeting,
tried to force their way in, resulting in clashes with party security
officers. Matutu won the Masvingo Central Constituency for the MDC.

The state also said the supporters beat up three party activists using logs
and seriously injured them. They are also accused of throwing stones and
breaking city council windows.
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Zim Standard

Chombo meddles in Chitungwiza
By Caiphas Chimhete

LOCAL Government, Public Works and Urban Development minister, Dr Ignatious
Chombo, is trying to block the investigation of Chitungwiza Town Clerk,
Simbarashe Mudunge, who is on suspension on allegations of failing to
account for more than $220 million of council money and employing "ghost"

Official documents obtained by The Standard show that Chombo, who claims
that the suspension ordered by Chitungwiza mayor Misheck Shoko was highly
unwarranted and not in the public interest, wants Mudunge to be reinstated.
Mudunge is alleged to have employed 850 "ghost" casual workers for the
project without authority of Chitungwiza Town Council or permission to pay

The casual workers are suspected to have been Zanu PF supporters who were
recruited ahead of the 31 March parliamentary elections when President
Robert Mugabe announced that his government had taken over "sewer
maintenance and upgrading" in Chitungwiza.

Mugabe said as a result of this, the nagging problem would become a thing of
the past.

Soon after the announcement, several Zanu PF youths were recruited to dig
sewer trenches without the approval of the local authority.

However, five months after the elections, the sewer problem continues to dog
Chitungwiza and the trenches, which were left uncovered, pose a health
hazard, especially during the rainy season.

In a letter dated 24 June, the Chitungwiza mayor said the Town Clerk failed
to follow council procedures.

"It is alleged that you authorised Messrs C Chigumba and P Nyaruwata to
manage $224 686 110.00 and to pay ghost casual employees. This resulted in a
shortfall of $32 969 110. As stated above no official paysheets were used,"
wrote Shoko.

The money had been released by the Ministry of Local Government but was not
receipted into council coffers in terms of the "Head Office Accounting

Under section 51 (h) of the Council's General Conditions of Service only
council workers can manage council funds.

Mudunge is also accused of unlawfully instructing the council treasurer to
release a cheque for $53 582 290 for the purpose of paying the "ghost"

On 15 December, wrote Shoko, council resolved to transfer employees at Unit
F Bottle Store in Chitungwiza to other sections but Mudunge allegedly
refused to implement the resolution.

"The facts of this case have clearly shown that you have failed to properly
carry out those functions, especially the management of council finances,
implementation of council resolutions and supervision of council employees,"
Shoko said.

However, in a letter dated 18 July to Shoko, Chombo, ordered the
reinstatement of Mudunge with full benefits, claiming that the suspension
was not in the public interest, among other reasons.

"Wherein I have no option but to, in accordance with the provisions of
Section 314 of the Urban Councils Act (Cap, 29:15) direct that you reverse
the council resolution in question and forthwith, reinstate the town clerk
without any prejudice whatsoever," Chombo wrote to Shoko.

Shoko last week stuck to his guns and wrote back to Chombo saying he would
not reinstate Mudunge until investigations were completed.

"We suspect that an offence was committed. We don't hold him guilty or
innocent until the investigating committee finishes its work," Shoko said.

Shoko said that Chombo, partially acknowledged in his letter to him that
there was an anomaly in the way the funds were handled.

"If he agrees, I don't know why he (Chombo) is trying to stop the
investigations," questioned Shoko.

Chombo's letter says: "The method and manner in which the funds from my
ministry were administered and managed is currently being reviewed with the
objective to take corrective measures on those items that may have been
overlooked due to the urgency of the assignment beforehand then."
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Zim Standard

Call to prosecute the architects of 'Murambatsvina'
By Valentine Maponga

CIVIL society leaders in Zimbabwe last week said that all those behind the
implementation of "Operation Murambatsvina" must be brought to book despite
the challenges the victims may encounter in pursuing their cases through
available legal remedies.

Speaking at a meeting held in Harare last week, the civil leaders drawn from
the church, local and international non-governmental organizations (NGOs),
and human rights activists expressed full support of the United Nations
Special Envoy, Anna Kajumulo Tibaijuka's report and called for the
government to fully implement all the recommendations.
They resolved to offer financial support to the poor so that all those
responsible for the widely vilified operation must be prosecuted.

Arnold Tsunga, the director of the Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights (ZLHR),
said a co-coordinated approach within the civil society was needed in order
to make sure that all those behind the operation were held accountable for
their acts and that compensation was paid to all the victims.

"In any democracy, the will of the people must be the basis for good
governance. What happened in this country over the past two months are clear
acts of human rights abuses by the government on its own citizens and they
must be held accountable," he said.

Caroline Sande, the director of Actionaid, a regional NGO that deals with
human rights abuses among the urban poor also concurred with Tsunga and
added that the perpetrators were known.

"The (UN) report calls for accountability and it has been established that
the whole operation is as a responsibility of a few known overzealous and
misguided individuals, who must be brought to book.

"It is very clear who is responsible and they must be held accountable," she

Tibaijuka's report notes that the government caused large sections of its
population serious suffering and it was "collectively responsible" for what
has happened. "The people and government of Zimbabwe should hold to account
those responsible for the injury caused by the operation," says the report.

Reverend Andrew Muchechetere representing the Evangelical Fellowship of
Zimbabwe (EFZ) said the church had, from the onset, taken a bold stance
against the operation. "The operation has done more harm than good to the
general population in Zimbabwe and the church must and will continue to
advise on the basic needs of the people without any bias," Muchechetere
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Zim Standard

UN envoy's flattery deceived Mugabe newsfocus

UNITED Nations envoy, Anna Tibaijuka, visiting Zimbabwe from 28 June to 8
July 2005, to assess the impact of the widely condemned slum clearance
operation, appeared a willing tool in the Zimbabwean government's unending
quest to improve its vastly tattered image.

She made all the right statements during sanitized government tours of
affected areas and proposed new housing sites.
The government's rebuilding programme following the demolitions was
"commendable", a sign of "seriousness and clear vision" she gushed.

She was rewarded with a trip to the fabulous Victoria Falls. But she was
only flattering to deceive. Underneath the smiles and demure exterior was a
technocrat, an expert in her field, seeking serious answers and getting
inadequate responses from a government, which believed it, had her in the
palm of its hand.

She would play ball as others before her had done.

Being allowed unlimited access, she sought the answers she needed from the
victims, civil society groups and non-governmental organizations. The
picture was not a pretty one. She was clearly appalled, but kept her cards
close to her chest.

Government was stunned then when Tibaijuka slammed the slum clearance
exercise as a "disastrous venture" carried out in "an indiscriminate and
unjustified manner" with little or no warning and involving the "wanton
destruction of homes, business premises and vending sites" and affecting 700
000 people. "This humanitarian disaster" she said, would take several years
to overcome and then only with the assistance of the international
community. She called for an immediate halt to the demolitions.

She saw no systematic plan on the ground for devastation of this scale and
by implication, no logic to it and was even drawn into urging government to
embark on a practicable plan and implementation programme and in to
promising UN assistance.

In an attempt at damage control, government first dismissed the report as a
biased British plot and then President Mugabe, seeing the implicit criticism
of his leadership in the report, wangled a promise from UN Secretary General
Kofi Annan that he would visit Zimbabwe to assess the situation for himself.

But the damage has already been done. In an interview with Voice of America
(VOA)'s Studio Seven, after the release of the report, Tibaijuka said: "I
met with the victims, the people affected, the mayors and others dealing
with them. The report reflected the general feelings on the ground."

Everywhere she went, she was met by disaffected people calling on her to
rescue them from their misery. At Caledonia Farm holding camp, a transit
point for displaced people waiting to be allocated building stands or
relocation to their rural homes, there was a clear lack of sanitation,
drinking water and tent shelter.

This mirrored the plight of many others living in the open or in churches to
avoid forced repatriation to their barren and congested rural homes. She
felt compelled to tell government officials: "Rural repatriation does not
work and has never worked anywhere."

Local and international statutes requiring some notice to victims and
provision of alternative housing before eviction had clearly been flouted.

At Porta Farm squatter camp, she witnessed first hand, police defiance of
two high court orders barring them from demolishing structures without
availing alternative accommodation.

Even structures set up with Council approval or sanction of government
officials were razed to the ground.

Government's avowed aim of availing Z$3 trillion for its vast rebuilding
programme following the demolitions was always suspect given government's
urgent debt to the IMF of US$209 million and lack of money for the
importation of 1.2 million tones of maize, fuel, power, drugs and spares.

It also made the far-fetched claim that it would build 1.5 million houses
over the next four years to deal with the general backlog and 20 000 for the
displaced by the end of August.

This would mean the government building thousands of houses every day!
Tibaijuka will have witnessed many being granted housing stands but little
serious building on the ground.

In the second city, Bulawayo, she was drawn to ask: "The houses you are
talking about, have they been built? Because you have only 40 days to build
1003 (the stated number for that city) houses and I feel timewise it is not
feasible." It's no wonder her report dismissed government submissions as
"allegations" and "rhetoric".

Mugabe claimed it to have been "well-thought" out operation which had been
put on hold till after the March elections to stop it being deemed an
attempt to disenfranchise opposition MDC supporters in the urban areas.

But his pronouncements seemed to contradict those of finance minister
Herbert Murerwa's in the Press that the clean up had been unbudgeted for and
that a supplementary budget was being conceived to cater for the unplanned

There was also no evidence of Mugabe campaigning on the basis of a clean up
after the election. Tibaijuka was aware of the confusion.

"Evidence suggests that it was based on improper advice by a few architects
of the operation" and she urged prosecution of "all those who had
orchestrated this catastrophe.

But it was likely to have been a Mugabe initiative and no prosecutions are
likely. He is given to knee jerk reactions when he feels threatened. The
urban electorate had rejected him twice in a row. Some kind of measure was
likely but the chosen architects disagreed on procedure. - Global
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Zim Standard

Warning on Sale of fake drugs
By Linda Tsetere

COUNTERFEIT drugs are a major threat to health in the country and constitute
10% of global medicines available on the market, The Standard has learnt.

Dr David Parirenyatwa, the Minister of Health and Child Welfare, said
recently: "In Zimbabwe we cannot overlook the fact that there are some
people who sell drugs on the streets and backyard shops taking advantage of
the suffering public."
He said that his ministry had put in place the Medicines Control Authority
of Zimbabwe (MCAZ) meant to curb the sale of harmful drugs and to protect
the country's health sector.

Speaking during an occasion to mark International Nurses Day in Harare,
Parirenyatwa said that during "Operation Murambatsvina", several people were
caught by the MCAZ selling counterfeit drugs.

"The MCAZ's duty is to go around the country making sure that people get
drugs that are effective," he said.

Parirenyatwa also said a lot of people now resort to using counterfeit drugs
to seek instant remedies for diseases such as tuberculosis, dementia, skin
disease and meningitis which are related to HIV and Aids.

He said that this year's theme, Nurses fighting counterfeit drugs, was a
challenge to the nurses.

"Nurses must be vigilant. The people should know that buying and using
counterfeit drugs affects the user and one can be poisoned by mislabelled
drugs, may develop resistance if the drug does not contain adequate
quantities of the ingredients and will eventually erode public confidence in
the health care system," he said.
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Zim Standard

ILO raps Mugabe over ZCTU, COSATU links
By our own Staff

THE Confederation of South African Trade Unions (Cosatu)'s camaraderie with
its Zimbabwean counterparts, the Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions (ZCTU) is
legitimate and permissible, the International Labour Organisation (ILO) has

In a report released at the 93rd annual conference of the ILO in Geneva, the
international labour body's Committee on Freedom of Association criticised
President Robert Mugabe's government for the arbitrary arrest, detention and
dismissal of labour union leaders for the exercise of legitimate trade union
activities. The government twice expelled a Cosatu fact-finding team last
year accusing it of being a front for western nations.
However the Committee considered that it was fully legitimate for a trade
union movement to seek advice and support from other well-established trade
union movements in the region to carry out its role of defending or
developing the national trade union organizations.

"The Committee requested the government to allow in future such mutual
support missions and noted with deep concern that the trade union situation
in Zimbabwe has not evolved and may have even worsened," reads part of the
ILO report.


More trouble for government over Tokwe-Mukorsi Dam

By Godfrey Mutimba

MASVINGO - Salini Impreligo, the Italian company contracted to build Tokwe
Mukorsi Dam in Masvingo, has demanded that the government pays it 300 000
euros (about Z$6.4 billion) a month backdated to 1999 for breaching
contractual agreements, before it can resume work at the giant water
reservoir in Chivi.

In addition, the company says the government should fork out $127 billion,
in monthly instalments of $14 billion for the minor works that are in
progress at the dam due to be completed next March.

These minor works are being carried out by small indigenous companies, which
were subcontracted by the company before it relocated to Italy after failure
by the government to meet its contractual obligations

Salini Impreligo halted operations at Tokwe Mukorsi in 1999 after the
government failed to pay its debt in foreign currency, breaching terms of
the contracts it had signed in 1998 when the project started.

The government owes the foreign company 12 million euros (about Z$255
billion) including the 300 000 euros charged every month as a penalty fine
from the time it breached the contract.

The assistant project resident engineer, Charles Nyamaruwata, told the
Minister of State for Policy and Implementation, Webster Shamu, and his
counterpart at Water Resources and Infrastructure Development, Munacho
Mutezo, that no work would commence on the main project unless the
government cleared the arrears.

"The main contract is on suspension because of the arrears and if they are
cleared the suspension will be lifted. The government has to pay 12 million
euros for work to resume and for breaching the contract, the company needs
300 000 euros as per agreement," he said.

The dam construction, which started in 1998, was supposed to be completed in
2002 but up to now only minor work has been undertaken owing to the
government's failure to pay the company on time.

The company said it had completed about 50 % of the project but could not
finish because it needed foreign currency to import construction equipment,
which is not available in the region.

When completed the dam will cover 7 120 square kilometres and will displace
more than 200 families.

Nyamaruwata said if the government paid the debt, work would only commence
next year after the rainy season.
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Zim Standard

UNICEF boosts anti-malaria campaign
By our staff

The United Nations Children's Educational Fund (UNICEF) has intensified
efforts to curb malaria, particularly in children and pregnant women in the
remote district of Kariba.

UNICEF is working in collaboration with the Ministry of Health and Child
Welfare in reaching more children through immunization, as part of
Zimbabwe's Child Health Days and malarial prevention.
UNICEF supported the distribution of long lasting insecticide treated
mosquito nets and vaccination of children with Vitamin A.

"The Kariba Campaign aims to reach 15,000 children and pregnant women from
all corners of the remote district, providing each with a world-class
insecticide treated net, while raising Zimbabwe's worryingly low Vitamin A
vaccination rate for eligible children," said UNICEF.

"The Campaign is a key part of the country's Child Health Days, launched by
the Ministry of Health and UN agencies, to reach all under five
children."said UNICEF head of health, Dr Juan Ortiz:

"The success of this campaign is critical for several reasons. Firstly,
malaria is the biggest killer of Zimbabwean children behind HIV/AIDS.
Secondly, amid strong vaccination rates, Vitamin A among children under one
is worryingly low, and finally, we must take the successes of this campaign
nationally so that the benefits of Child Health Days can be enjoyed by all
Zimbabwean mothers and their children."

The Kariba campaign has seen hundreds of health workers trained, a sustained
drive to inform parents of the importance of taking part, and thousands of
person-hours in overcoming logistical challenges of fuel shortages,
remoteness and local capacity. The campaign comes at a critical time, as
Zimbabweans face challenges on multiple fronts, noted UNICEF.

"Less than 10% of Zimbabwe's children are adequately protected with Vitamin
A, and UNICEF and the Ministry of Health aim to increase this to at least
60% by the end of this year. Vitamin A protects children against infections
(particularly diarrhoeal diseases) and viral diseases; while severe Vitamin
A deficiency will lead to blindness."

Meanwhile, half of all Zimbabweans live in malarial areas, and yet only
seven percent of children (under five years) sleep under insecticide treated
nets (ITNs).

"This campaign seeks to take the first step on the road to reaching the
globally accepted targets of 60% ITN coverage among children and pregnant

Malaria not only kills, but also hampers productivity and halts development.
A malaria-stricken family spends an average of over one quarter of its
income on treatment. Thus malaria has far reaching effects on health and
economic productivity, according to UNICEF.

Said Dr Ortiz: "It's a tremendous advancement and one that Zimbabweans can
now enjoy. At this stage the Kariba campaign is looking like a stand-out
success, but we must now go nationwide."

The second round of Child Health Days will be in November and December this
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Zim Standard

Die is cast for Bulawayo mayoral poll
By our Staff

BULAWAYO - The opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) tests its
urban support base when it locks horns with the ruling Zanu PF party in what
promises to be a low-key Bulawayo mayoral election.

Japhet Ndabeni-Ncube, the MDC candidate, who will square up with Dickson
Abu-Basuthu on 13 August, was on Friday confident that he would win the
polls at a time when there are reports of divisions within the opposition
Ndabeni-Ncube said Abu-Basuthu, an ordinary member of Zanu PF whose
selection as the ruling party candidate came as a surprise to outsiders,
should have just refused to stand in the race to avoid embarrassment to
himself and his party.

"I wonder why he (Abu-Basuthu) didn't refuse to stand against me. However,
his participation is welcome, as it will create the much-needed sense of
competition, which is what elections are all about. As MDC we thrive on
competition, and Abu-Basuthu's involvement will work towards that goal," he

He said latest attempts by Zanu-PF sympathisers to demonise him through the
Bulawayo-based state-owned newspaper, The Chronicle, would not work.

"We know some people are working flat out to tear us apart, but evidence
shows who has been torn apart. Four years on, my council is still solid. Our
achievements over the past few years are our testimony. Our performance has
been above board and the people will vote for us for as long as they want
Bulawayo to be in safe hands," Ndabeni-Ncube said.

However, Abu-Basuthu said he had a role to play in the development of

"After serious consideration, my party and I felt Bulawayo needs a person
like me, one who is conscious about what is happening in Bulawayo and the
development needed in the city. The people are not getting what they deserve
from the money they pay to council. That is why I thought I should come in,"
he said.

Abu-Basuthu said he was confident he would win the election.

"Bulawayo citizens will vote for me because they want the city to regain its
status. We are tired of burst water pipes, sewers, non-functional tower
lights and potholes all over the place," Abu-Basuthu said.

While the candidates work on their election strategies, Bulawayo residents
appear not moved by the forthcoming election, and seemingly do not take it
with the same seriousness they did in 2001.There is little political
activity on the ground as people prefer to go about their daily business.

A former ruling party official in Bulawayo province said the recent
"clean-up" exercise could work against Abu-Basuthu in the elections, as
voters still had fresh memories of the destruction of their homes and market

"The people are still angry over Operation Murambatsvina, and this could
work against Abu-Basuthu. This is worsened by the fact that the most
affected areas are in his neighbourhood, that is Makokoba, Babourfields and
Mzilikazi," said the official.

Ndabeni-Ncube was elected executive mayor of Bulawayo in 2001 after thumping
former Bulawayo City council Engineer George Mlilo, in the mayoral polls,
which also saw the MDC winning in all the seven contested wards.
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Zim Standard


Probe Macheke sexual abuse scandal

THE Ministry of Education may have acted properly by closing down Macheke
Primary School in Mashonaland East after repeated cases of abuse of school
girls, but it blundered by transferring the staff.

It must be accepted that all the staff at the school shoulder the blame for
allowing at least 53 pupils to be sexually abused, by among others teachers
and a caretaker, for some time. It may never be fully established how long
this cancer was allowed to fester, but one thing is certain; there was no
mechanism in place and there is very little that has been done to forestall
such abuse.
Merely addressing the pupils on the subject of sexual abuse is not adequate.
When parents leave their children at school, in the care of the school
authorities, the headmaster and his/her staff assume the role of parents. It
is therefore inconceivable that a parent could allow the children to be
unattended in their dormitories. Such laxity is criminal and all the staff
at Macheke Primary School have an awful lot of answering to do.

Unfortunately the Ministry has acted unwittingly by dispersing the problem.
It is a frightening thought that some of the abusers could be savouring an
opportunity to try out their dastardly acts in their new environments. So
the abusers and their accomplices have their jobs, what about the
traumatised and abused children, just where are our priorities? We seem to
care for the abusers and those who were negligent in their duties than for
the victims. What happened at Macheke is a national disgrace.

All the staff must return to Macheke where they should be subjected to
rigorous grilling. There are experts in the country who can assist in
detecting sexual abusers. Their expertise must be called in to help identify
these child murderers. They are child murderers because in all probability a
thorough investigation may establish that some of the abusers maybe
suffering from life-threatening conditions such as HIV or AIDS and that they
may have infected innocent children thus virtually sentencing them to death.
The advent of new drugs to prolong the lives of people suffering from
conditions such as HIV and AIDS should offer no comfort because the
inescapable truth is that innocent children have been traumatised and their
lives adversely affected and permanently scarred.

What is distressing about this tragedy is that it appears the ministry gives
the impression that this is just another case and so what is the fuss about.

In normal societies - and Zimbabwe is by no means normal - the whole top
brass of the ministry, that is the minister and his deputy and possibly the
secretary and regional director for the province in question would have done
the decent thing and resigned in shame. But that is to expect too much from
our politicians and their officials.

The government should set up a commission of inquiry, starting with an
investigation into the apparent lack of leadership at Macheke Primary School
but extending to boarding schools throughout the country.

In order for such a commission to do a thorough job the staff that was at
Macheke should be back at their station. A commission cannot conduct an
investigation in the absence of such material witnesses. It will be
important to establish what factors the ministry considers when appointing
staff to schools such as Macheke.

It would be most reassuring if the commission comprises more people from
outside the ministry, because at this juncture it is difficult to resist the
temptation that they are part and parcel of the problem and that the Macheke
scandal is but one of the manifestations of problems whose origins can be
traced to the ministry's head office.

There are a lot of experts both in the private sector, other institutions of
higher learning, the non-governmental sector and the ministry's schools
psychological services. These would be able to do a professional job if they
are members of the commission of inquiry.

Of critically equal importance is what should happen to the affected
children. Every effort should be made to ensure that every single child who
was at Macheke Primary School receives professional counselling. If Zimbabwe
does not have such expertise, the government could consider asking for help
from countries with which the country has bilateral/reciprocal agreements in
areas of education and health.

It is important that this aspect be treated as a matter of urgency and that
advantage is made of the school holidays. Whether the children should return
to Macheke should be the choice of individual parents, although it would be
better to remove all the pupils from that school, as part of helping them
get over the trauma of what the pupils experienced or what their colleagues
were subjected to.

The parents can also seek expert legal opinion. There are so many instances
of negligence that are tolerated and condoned precisely because there are no
penalties. It's time to tell all those concerned or involved that the
honeymoon is over. We must do something for the sake of those children.
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Zim Standard

Spare a thought for the poor teacher

FAR from being revered and well-paid, today's teacher is an underpaid,
scorned, chided, abused, down-trodden and literally forgotten pauper.

The guardian of many societies' values and traditional traits, a role model,
a leader (look at President Robert Mugabe and several of his Cabinet
ministers who are all former teachers), but the Zimbabwean teacher today is
leaderless and literally defenceless.
Our employer, the Public Service Commission does not talk about us. It talks
about civil servants in general. Our minister and his deputy do not remember
and recognise us. They only think of children.

Our own minister labels us drunkards and harlots. Our own deputy minister
prefers and suggests that the problem of shortage of teachers can only be
addressed by offering "respectable remuneration to university and college

I say give teachers a living salary and decent accommodation and the
ministry will be able to retain them, even in the remotest parts of the

Already, there are existing colleges that are producing enough teachers for
existing educational institutions, but the only problem is with the
pathetically low salaries and poor conditions of service. This is the reason
why a lot of teachers are leaving the profession for better lucrative
employment. For as long as the issues of salaries and conditions of service
are not urgently addressed, we will continue to witness massive flight of
personnel from the profession for better paying jobs, within and outside the

I am surprised that Aeneas Chigwedere (education minister) and Sikhanyiso
Ndlovu (his deputy) do not see sense in emulating what the Minister of
Health has done for personnel under his ministry.

I would want to appeal to the President that next time he gives us someone
who is prepared to listen to our grievances. Ever since Chigwedere's
appointment, he has with supersonic speed successfully managed to confine to
the grave, what was once a vibrant education system.

With a different minister, we can do better.

Displaced teacher

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Zim Standard

Gideon Gono's 'know-it-all' attitude galls

I have noted with great concern a tendency by the governor of the Reserve
Bank of Zimbabwe, to either evade some of the questions he is asked, or
attack, with impunity those who dare to ask questions.

The most vulnerable are those in the tourism and hospitality sector. He
called them all sorts of names. He cited the number of tourists he said had
entered the country and put these at around 500. He argued that out of this
number hoteliers had only remitted US$6million.
The hoteliers tried, in vain, to convince the governor by way of explanation
that not all the visitors were booked into their hotels, because some of the
visitors preferred to stay with friends. The explanations fell on deaf ears.

Instead, the explanations were viewed as defensive tactics on the part of
the hoteliers. They were accused of either charging too little or
"panel-beating" their books while stashing away their foreign currency. He
described this as indiscipline of the highest order.

Dr Gono continues to believe in this view oblivious of the fact that there
are many people in the hotel industry who are well versed in the field of
finance and banking. They keep quiet after his attack, out of frustration
and fear of raising the dust. It is not possible for anyone to know

I have also noted with concern that the governor tends to respond to
questions not specifically meant for him. Would it not be a good idea for
the governor to have key economic ministers with him when he undertakes his
road shows? This would give them the platform to respond to questions
relating to their ministries. I am sure they would feel highly honoured to
do so.

Witness Chuma


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Zim Standard

We've been reduced to desperation

"WOE unto you who lie awake at night plotting wickedness. You rise at dawn
to carry out your schemes; because you can, you do. You want a certain piece
of land or someone else's house (even though it is all he/she has got). You
take it through fraudulent means or threats and violence." Micah 2:1-2.

On 22 June at around 10AM a low loader carrying a bulldozer drove to the
gate of our home industry accompanied by a paramilitary police unit in a
Defender vehicle.
"We give you 30 minutes to leave this place," shouted policemen in the
Defender. They had guns at ready in their hands.

This particular home industry was established in 1997 by the city council.
It has had a variety of shops and factories. It was bigger than Mbare's Siya
So. It had modern buildings.

Like ants, we ran in different directions of the security walling. We
carried as much as we could from our shops and factories. Unfortunately,
some of the factories had equipment, which required cranes for them to be
removed. What can a person do in 30 minutes? Very little.

In no time, the bulldozer started to demolish the structures except toilets.
They task was enormous enough such that it took the bulldozer two whole
days. This is how we lost our "fields".

A week before that all my 11 workers had lost their cottage homes. Like me,
they all have dependants. We could have gone to our rural homes if we had
them. We are trained and skilled factory workers, not peasant farmers.

We have tools of our trades and not tools for farming. Can someone tell me
what to do? I am very very angry and I don't have a gun. I now have a lump
in my throat, which doesn't want to clear. Desperate is my second child.
Totally totalitarian indeed.

M Makubalo


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Zim Standard

Hands off schools, Minister

WITH all due respect to the honourable Minister of Education, Sport and
Culture, I honestly think that a government minister should not be given
powers to prescribe fees for private schools or any school for that matter.

Surely a minister who has pegged primary school fees at $500 in this day and
age should not be taken seriously. This is far less than the cost of the
receipt that is issued out.

Doug Kamukapa

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Zim Standard

Hove in charge
By our own Staff

ZANU PF secretary for economic affairs and Finhold chairman Richard Hove has
taken over at troubled Intermarket Holdings (IHL) as the new chairman after
Finhold emerged as majority shareholder early this month.

The new board is mainly constituted of representatives of Finhold. Elisha
Mushayakarara is CEO at Finhold, Sijabuliso Biyam is MD at Syfrets Merchant
Bank, a subsidiary of Finhold while Ronald Mutandagayi who takes over as
Acting CEO was Finance Director.
Both Victor Muchatuta and Passmore Matupire who are chartered accountants
were picked from the outgoing board. Mutandagayi takes over the baton from
Rindai Jaravaza who was appointed Acting CEO in March 2004 by the RBZ.
Jaravaza relinquished his position last week alongside Timothy Matangi, who
was a non-executive director.

Said Jaravaza, "I have delivered my part."

Finhold and the RBZ both creditors of IHL are now the prime owners of IHL
after they converted their gargantuan debts into equity. They own 80% of IHL
while other IHL founding shareholders who include the Zimbabwe Development
Bank (ZDB), Old Mutual, the Mining Industry Pensions Fund (MIPF), the Local
Authorities Pension Fund (LAPF) and Fidelity Life now control the residual
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Zim Standard

Bankers welcome Gono plan
marketmovers with Kumbirai Mafunda

THE ZSE sustained the upward thrust beyond the crucial level of 4 000 000
points four days after the central bank set lending rates to 180%.

Share values raced toward the new chart levels with cement maker PPC
blasting through the $1 million/share price while green insurer Old Mutual
also puffed out taking the sensitive industrial index to a magical 4 204
282.37 points Tuesday.
The 44 323 186 points sharp rise gained between last Friday and Tuesday's
trading sessions demonstrates that the next target is 4 500 000. Market
strategists were wondering how many other barriers would be broken during
the next couple of weeks when the CSO release crucial inflation data while
corporates will be reporting profit earnings.

Plus signs were strewn Monday and Tuesday most of them on leading gainers
such as Econet, Meikles and Delta.

Bulls had appeared to be in no mood to take a breather until Wednesday when
the highly overbought market took a correction. Econet, which is
profiteering from the current fuel crisis, as subscribers rely more on
mobile phones to communicate and conduct business, lost some of its steam
Thursday alongside DZL, Circle and CBZ, which shed $300 to $1 200.

Winners for the day were Colcom, Mashold and clothing retailer Truworths.
Market veterans attribute the weakening to profit taking.

"Small investors tend to have a certain target. So when they beat that
target they relax," remarked one market veteran. Strategists are quite
sanguine that the bulls will be back on the market considering that the July
inflation data is expected to scale-up considerably owing to the doubling up
of fuel prices and a 94% devaluation.

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Zim Standard

Econet reacts to 'Murambatsvina'
By our own Staff

ZIMBABWE'S largest mobile phone network operator, Econet Wireless Holdings
(EWH), says it will introduce a new electronic method of recharging
cellphones that will get rid of physical recharge cards following the
country-wide "Operation Murambatsvina" that has rendered thousands of
vendors jobless.

Douglas Mboweni, Econet's CEO said the mobile group wanted to introduce the
new methods because the old cards were now hard to sell after the government
banished vendors from the streets.
"We want to keep ahead of the market and we are working on the new
recharging method because we realised that most of the card vendors were
removed from the streets," Mboweni said.

He said the new method would involve banks and one would command his/her
bank to transfer money by using cellphones. The new system will affect both
Buddie and Libertie subscribers.

The government embarked on the controversial clean-up campaign code-named
Operation Murambatsvina/Restore Order in May removing all street vendors and
informal traders saying it wanted to get rid of all criminal elements.

The Econet boss also revealed that they had finished installing the central
nodes on their network and engineers were now busy planting base stations
countrywide to enable the company to accommodate new subscribers.

Mboweni, who was voted the 2004 Manager of the Year, said Econet had
finished installing "the heart" of the network and was now putting finishing
touches on its expansion exercise.

"We are only left with the planting of base stations, we have already
installed switches and nodes that will accommodate 500 000 plus
subscribers," Mboweni said.

The company committed more than $200 billion to the expansion programme with
a view of increasing its subscriber base to 500 000 by year-end. Econet got
US$14million from its disposal of its 14% stake in Mascom of Botswana and
the money was directed towards its expansion programme.
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Zim Standard

Clean-up violated basic human rights
sundayopinion By Innocent Mawire

IN peaceful and tranquil moments, most governments if not all, will publicly
profess, though in ostrich-style fashion, to be deeply committed to ensuring
that fundamental human rights for all segments of society are respected.

It is in time of civil and political strife that a government's commitment
to observance of human rights gets really tested. It is during such periods
that it is found out whether or not the commitment to human rights is real
or merely a cosmetic disguise assumed for political expediency or for
purposes of retaining a modicum of respect in the face of the international
Often, when trouble comes, the human rights disguise or veneer of concern is
quickly and contemptuously disregarded in favour of the iron fist.

Respect and guarantee of human rights is one of the cornerstones of
democracy. For any government to be truly labelled as fully democratic, it
entails that it has to demonstrate respect and commitment to the rule of law
in the broadest sense.

Laws enacted and all governmental activities have to conform to certain
minimum standards of justice which are fair and reasonable to all sections
of the governed.

But once a government professes a contemptuous, intransigent, dilatory and
incongruous disregard for the rule of law, problems abound. The problems
usually emanate from mismanagement, which results in inherent social and
political instability as the citizenry lives in dire conditions of
destitution and deprivation.

When this happens, the government becomes hostile and insensitive to looming
social problems, serious misrule, gross economic mismanagement and
profligacy, waste and rampant corruption rapidly take root. Ultimately, such
autocratic regimes run their fragile and impoverished economies into the
ground. This in turn, exacerbates social tensions, public discontent and
civil unrest.

When this time bomb of social unrest finally explodes, human rights will be
the first casualty. Repression becomes the norm. The regime will try to
justify and legitimise its use of repressive and oppressive measures as
necessary to obviate the outbreak of disorder and violence, which might lead
to anarchy.

However, the regime will not admit its authorship of the problem and will
look for scapegoats to alienate itself from the problems. After use of
brutal and brazen force and other stern measures to quell upheavals, they
will unashamedly proclaim that normality has been restored.

The government has recently invoked "Operation Restore Order" throughout the
country. The Zanu PF-led government said that the programme was aimed at
cleansing the country of all unwanted criminal activities and also to return
the country to sanity.

In contrast to this, the general urban civil society has different
perceptions altogether to what is being proffered by the government. They
view the action as a political gimmick that is meant to punish the urban
people for supporting the opposition Movement for Democratic Change in the
2005 general elections.

A clean and crime free environment is a necessary habitat for a just
society, but "Operation Murambatsvina" has brought nightmares to the general
populace. The end result is that the operation has become an oppressive
apparatus employed by the government to achieve some nebulous objective.

With the benefit of hindsight, the major question to be posed is that of
legality versus public interest. Legality entails that every undertaking
should be in accordance with the letter and spirit of the law. It does not
take into account other competent factors such as what the law says is what
is to be done no matter how malevolent it is.

The concept of public interest, as the legitimate aspirations of all
underscores that whatever administrative issue is to be undertaken, the
rights and interests of the public should be legitimately considered and the
balance of interests weighed before any action is implemented.

To this end, the concept of public interest is of paramount importance and
should take precedence over the concept of legality. Even if it is being
conceded that Zimbabwean people had committed administrative illegalities by
electing illegal building structures as their habitats, regard should have
been taken of their interests before "Murambatsvina" was put into motion.

The Administrative Justice Act of 2004, a fairly recent piece of legislation
states that every Zimbabwean does have a right to administrative justice.
Although not guaranteed in the archaic and anachronistic Lancaster House
Constitution, the fact that there is a separate Act providing for such right
should be viewed with great importance. The right to administrative justice
entails a number of issues which, among others, include that whenever an
administrative decision is to be implemented, the individuals to be affected
by such action should be given a fair notice before the decision is brought
to life.

What is fair notice usually varies depending on the nature and complexities
of the case. In the case of "Murambatsvina", it is unassailable that it was
going to impact heavily on the rights of people hence it was necessary that
reasonable notice should have been given for example, three months - the
guiding principle being that the rights and liberties of the people were at

But in contrast, Zimbabweans were only given something like 48 hours to
reorder the affairs which were put in place in a period of around 20 years.

As a result of failure to adhere by the simple principles of fairness as
required by the Administrative Justice Act of 2004, quite a labyrinth of
individual rights and freedoms as enshrined in the Constitution and other
international instruments have been swept under the carpet as mere
aberrations by the government.

First, is the right to shelter. All these people who have been deprived of
their shelter have not been able to secure decent accommodation and are
reported to be sleeping in the open.

The government also failed to take into account the imperatives of the
Convention on the Rights of the Children, called the Child Charter that is
to ensure that the rights of children have been protected and catered for
since they are the ones who are most vulnerable to any political
miscalculations. The Convention underscores that the rights of children are
an overarching aspect that should be given best and maximum insurance from
all political or administrative decisions. To this end, "Murambatsvina" has
disrupted the most fundamental and basic child rights, which among others,
include the right to education, shelter and clean environment.

The right to education has been disrupted by virtue of the displacement of
their parents or guardians. In short, the right to life is now under threat
because of the social ramifications of "Murambatsvina", which is tantamount
to deleting section 15 of the Constitution because the "Operation" has the
effect of subjecting the people to inhuman and degrading treatment.

The "Operation" can be viewed as a flagrant and contemptuous disrespect by
the government of our constitutional liberties.

The mere fact that such countries as Britain and Zambia committed such
heinous and barbaric activities is not good justification for the government
to "punish" the people of Zimbabwe. To any student of history, it now seems
to be a line of defence by the government whenever it tries to justify its
substantive excesses. It raised the same argument during the enactment of
the Public Order and Security Act, saying Britain at one time had a similar
statute - the Public Order Act of 1993.

In conclusion, the government has ushered an era of tyranny. Zimbabweans
find themselves in the same situation as liberals and churches, even
academics during Nazi Germany. Helpless against a determined regime holding
al levers of power, Zimbabweans watch aghast as tyranny permeates all
segments of civil society and a fascist regime takes control of every facet
of social existence.

Defence against tyranny ultimately lies in the hearts of the people.
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Ideological confusion dogs Zanu PF
sundayopinion By Itai M Zimunya

THE multi faceted crisis that besets Zimbabwe today has been explained in
many ways. The ruling Zanu PF party attributes poverty and hunger ravaging
the country to international sanctions and drought while civil society
believes it partly has to do with the chaotic land reform exercise.

However, Other scholars and economists link this socio-economic collapse to
Zanu PFs policy inconsistencies and incongruencies as well as its disrespect
for the rule of law. In an historical context, the crisis in Zimbabwe can
best be matched with an acute deficiency of ideology in the ruling Zanu PF
After the first decade of so called scientific socialism, the government
dived into the dark pool of capitalist structural adjustment programmes.
Having excelled in the provision of social services like education, health
and housing provision in the first decade of power, the Zanu PF government
would have done well by maintaining a people-centered policy system.

The abrupt change from a "humanist" to a cost-recovery economic system was
the era of reversing the gains of the liberation struggle. In this context,
evils such as "Operation Murambatsvina" and the wholesale nationalization of
non-Zanu PF businesses are but manifestations of years of ideological

Present day Zimbabwe is under siege from militarism. As Father Zimbabwe, Dr
Joshua Nkomo noted in 1985: "The people of Zimbabwe are defenceless and live
in fear, not of enemies but of their own government"

In its history of ruling after 1980, the ruling party has resorted to a
dangerous system of pseudo nationalism, violence and chauvinism. The
Matabele massacres of the 1980s, the violent retribution to student activism
since the early 90s, the land reform exercise and the current anti-MDC
campaigns confirm this assertion of Zanu PF's belief in violence.

President Robert Mugabe explains his power more because of his history of
the liberation struggle than being a people's choice through elections.
Thus, after independence, the Zanu PF elite converted themselves into the
bourgeoisie class, and this explains the ideology currently reigning supreme
in Zanu PF. This also explains why land, allowances and chiefs' salaries are
rewarding war veterans and chiefs, the merchants of Mugabe's power.

Social pessimism and disbelief in dialogue has engulfed Zanu PF, and has
contributed to its resorting to virtual war to solve any problem whether
within Zanu PF or outside the party. The callousness with which Zanu PF
carried out its evil plans of evicting millions of poor workers from their
homes and razing them to the ground because they were "illegal structures"
is a clear example that Zanu PF has long forgotten that the liberation
struggle was fought by these very same poor people.

The black government in Zimbabwe appears to have adopted a form of racist
apartheid against indigenous Zimbabweans in favour of the Chinese who are
seen as providing economic salvation. The delicate trick here is the dilemma
that racism is the oppression of a few by the majority or only occurs
between blacks and whites.

The Zimbabwean economy, in the meantime, is suffering from asset stripping
and primitive accumulation of capital by the ruling elite. The land grabbing
exercise by Zanu PF chefs and the so-called war veterans is part of the
accumulation project. The taking of corporations accused of expropriating
foreign currency is part of this capital project. Gideon Gono, the Reserve
Bank Governor is an accomplice in this project. His call for the
extermination of corruption is sterile as he searches far and wide while the
real looters surround him.

The peasants were used as ponies in the land reform exercise. They were
asked to occupy peripheral lands and warned not to construct permanent
structures while the elite were commandeering government trucks into fertile
green lands. In the urban areas, workers face the most savage form of
exploitation when the authorities make a monetary statement that freezes
(without consultation) wages on the background of an above 120% inflation
rate and acute shortages of basic commodities. Fraud, plunder and propaganda
make the day for the ruling Zanu PF elite.

Professor Jonathan Moyo, despite being a political mercenary, best describes
Zanu PF's bankruptcy of ideology when he says - "they just make slogans and
declare them policies. "Operation Murambatsvina" is one such slogan that was
converted into policy overnight at the Police General Headquarters".

Before the March 2005 elections Morgan Tsvangirai, the leader of the MDC,
described the numerous and haphazard constructions on the farms with a
remarkable simile. He said: "The settlements were sprouting like mushroom."
He was taken to task by the State media which irrelevantly accused him of
"cursing the descendants of Mbuya Nehanda and Mzilikazi".

In agreement with Karl Marx's theory of primitive accumulation of capital,
Gideon Gono, the untrained economist prescribed the destruction of flea
markets and informal business merchants in the towns and cities of Zimbabwe
with many shallow aims.

Firstly, he argues that flea market traders waste foreign currency by buying
non-essentials from South Africa, Zambia and Botswana. Therefore closing
them will lower the demand of forex in Zimbabwe and scuttle the parallel
market. This has a tendency to lower the inflationary pressure and divert
most forex in informal hands to the productive sector.

Operation Murambatsvina is a well-calculated political project. The agrarian
revolution can not be a success without labour. It has emerged that there is
a critical shortage of labour on the farms to an extent that all agrarian
targets remain a mirage until this issue is addressed. The plot therefore,
is that displacing people from the urban areas and banning urban agriculture
will force people to work as farm workers in the commercial farms.

It is a shame for Zimbabwe that, 25 years into independence, the government
which ought to have been working for the people, chooses to implement a 16th
century and failed plan to force people into their labour traps. Operation
Murambatsvina is much like, according to Marx, the 16th century bloody laws
of France, Britain and Holland, which targeted at vagabond peasants who were
driven into capitalist factories and habituated to wage slavery by the
threat of flogging and hanging.

The answer to this madness is simple and just. The current political
leadership must go to pave way for a new beginning. It has to be a
calculated people's reclaim of their independence from opportunists that
want to build empires on the blood of sons and daughters of Zimbabwe.

The colonial constitution has to be archived while a new people-written
constitution, one that separates powers between the executive, the
legislature and parliament comes to effect. The leadership code has to be
built around sound corporate governance systems. All prospective members of
senior government positions must declare their worth before assuming duty so
that the current white-collar crime is checked. It will not, however, be
sustainable not to revisit the injustices of the current government on the
people of Zimbabwe on the political and economic fronts. Another Zimbabwe is
possible as nothing is constant but change.
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Zim Standard

Why 'Murambatsvina' is a disaster
sundayopinion By Jupiter Punungwe

THERE is nowhere in the world where you destroy a person's only roof over
their head, whether it's legal or not, without providing them with an
alternative except perhaps in Israel and Fallujah. And now Zimbabwe.

The objective of "Operation Murambatsvina" is noble, but the way the
operation was executed is blatantly inhuman and unjust. "Operation
Murambatsvina" would probably have been okay in some aspects if "Operation
Garikai" had taken place ahead of it not before. As it is "Operation
Garikai" has all the hallmarks of being hastily cobbled together as an
afterthought in order to do what in Harare street lingo is called 'kuvhara
mahwani' (try and ward off trouble). Operation Garikai was announced a day
before the arrival of Tubaijulka in an attempt to pull the wool over her
The government are accusing Tubaijuka of completely ignoring "Operation
Garikai" but my own analysis differs. If Tubaijuka had not taken into
account "Operation Garikai" she would probably have recommended the more
serious charge of crime against humanity

against Zimbabwe as a country (meaning the President would be held
acountable). As it is she recommended the lesser charge of criminal
negligence against some officials which means she took into account the good
intentions of government but could not afford to ignore the incompetent
manner in which the whole operation was carried out.

"Operation Murambatsvina" was poorly planned and caused suffering which
could have been avoided if it had been better planned. That cannot be

The first major flaw was the failure properly classify problem areas.
Illegal commercial activities should have been treated differently from so
called illegal dwellings. Nobody would object to the immediate clearing off
of a flea market located in the middle of a car park or too close to a road
and posing a hazard to road users. But destroying a dwelling which though
illegal does not pose an immediate hazard and leaving the occupants exposed
to the elements is cruel and inhuman.

The second flaw was failure to give people sufficient notice. As far as I
know no formal written demolition notices were ever issued to any of the
affected people. Prior to the actual demolition a lot of mixed signals had
been coming from informal sources such as the media and the rumour mill.

At first, it was said that people were going to be asked to pay hefty fines
as long as illegal dwellings stood on their premises. Then there was talk of
a three months grace period to regularise illegal structures being given and
indeed Minister Ignatious Chombo once appeared on TV saying something to
that effect. But none of this was formally communicated to affected people
by means of formal letters from local authorities or national government.

I understand a blanket notice was at one time drafted, but this apparently
was never distributed. In most cases minimum notice period is normally one
month written notice and adequate notice is considered to be three months
written notice for each and everyone of the affected residential premises.

The third flaw was that the operatives tasked to perform the demolitions
where not the competent parties for the task. The police are not competent
rural and town planners and in many cases they could not even tell legal
structures apart from illegal ones. I know of

two cases where people with approval from city planners were forced by
police to demolish their perfectly legal dwellings. In both cases the
affected people had complete documentation and had verified the status of
their houses with city council officials and had been told they would not be
demolished. But the police acting on their own destroyed or forced these
people to destroy their houses. The role of the police should have been
restricted to offering protection to urban planners identifying and
demolishing illegal structures.

They should never have been allowed to go about ordering demolitions, for
the simple reason they are not technically competent for that. Knowing how
to throw teargas is not a qualification for planning houses, or
administering a city.

Fourth, for safety reasons owners should never have been made to demolish
their own structures. Assessment of the structures should have been carried
out by competent demolition experts who would then have carried out or
supervised the demolitions in order to minimise the risk of fatal accidents.
Where it would have been deemed safe for owners to demolish their own
structures, they should have been given some rudimentary safety information
such as the need to keep toddlers away from demolition areas; the need to
wear protective head gear or other protective clothing.

Firth "Operation Murambatsvina" probably contravened Zimbabwe's
constitution. The right to property is enshrined in the constitution and
where the ownership or legality of such property is disputed, sufficient
time should be given to competent judicial courts to consider the facts of
the matter and come to a verdict. Under the operation many of the affected
people were denied that right to this due process of the law as enshrined in
the constitution. They were simply not given the chance to ask the courts
for a determination.

Right now the government ministers are scrambling about (kuparapatika)
blaming everyone else except themselves for Tubaijuka's negative report.
What do you call it when a man continually accuses others of poking him in
the eyes when in fact he is bathing his own face with a towel made of dry
twigs? The government carried out "Operation Murambatsvina" with too much
haste and did not seek expert advice.

When it was clear that the operation was being wrongly implemented to the
extent of inviting the attention of the UN, instead of pausing and taking
proper stock they chose to press ahead against all advice. Nobody forced the
government to embark on "Operation Murambatsvina. They planned it and
implemented it and therefore they should accept responsibility for mistakes
made during the operation.

As it stands, the minister responsible is Ignatious Chombo and the
government should have censured him a long time ago. If his colleagues want
to protect him, it is entirely their decision, and they should not blame
anyone else when blame meant for him spills

onto them.

Blame games aside, I remain greatly concerned that no concrete and coherent
action is being taken to address the suffering of those affected. People are
still sleeping in the open, children among them. The UN has sent Tubaijuka
and she has written her report, but a report is not a roof over their heads.
Government officials who have proved incompetent in planning and
implementing "Operation Murambatsvina" are not going to become competent
overnight. Prompt action is overdue, first to provide proper shelter and
care for the affected people and second to capacitate the government so that
is can plan properly in future. Meanwhile the government should press ahead
with "Operation Garikai" which stands to benefit the victims of operation
Murambatsvina in the medium term. However they should ensure that it is
competently implemented and corruption should be thoroughly kept out of the
housing allocation process.
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Zim Standard

UN pledge gives hope to PLWA's
Aidswatch with Bertha Shoko

THE United Nations (UN) estimates that at least 80 000 people of over 15
years of age living with HIV and AIDS have been displaced by "Operation
Murambatsvina" and are no longer able to access related services as a

The UN 10 days ago released a report on "Operation Murambatsvina" following
a two-week assessment visit by UN Secretary General's Special Envoy on Human
Settlement Issues, Anna Kajumulo Tibaijuka.
In her recommendations, the UN special envoy ordered the immediate end to
the government's "clean up" campaign, declaring it to be in violation of the
national and international legal framework.

According to the report, "Operation Murambatsvina" cost 700 000 people their
homes or livelihoods and affected 2.4 million others in one way, or the

During her two-week visit to Zimbabwe to assess the impact of the operation,
Tibaijuka met President Mugabe, some members of his cabinet, a number of
non-governmental organisations and those affected by the operation.

One of Tibaijuka's submissions in the report, is that the clean-up campaign
had created a humanitarian crisis and the government had to stop the
demolitions and create an enabling environment for humanitarian

Tibaijuka Said: "There is an urgent need for the government of Zimbabwe to
facilitate humanitarian operations within a pro-poor, gender-sensitive
policy framework that provides security of tenure, affordable housing, water
and sanitation, and the pursuit of small-scale income generating activities
in a regulated and enabling environment."

But as expected government has dismissed the report saying it is biased and
invited UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan to visit Zimbabwe and make his own
assessment. Politics is definitely at play here. We know the situation on
the ground and the reality of the issue is that we have a humanitarian
crisis at hand.

It is a fact that people are sleeping in the open because they have no
alternative accommodation after their houses were demolished. There is more
than enough evidence to show that government did not serve adequate notices
to people whose homes were destroyed. Also education representative bodies
estimate that more than 300 000 children are out of school after being

And these are issues that Tibaijuka submitted in her report and suddenly she
is a monster. Zimbabweans are not fools; they can read between the lines.

Mugabe and his ministers must do us a favour and for once admit failure and
not blame it on Tony Blair or George W Bush or whatever. This cheap
politicking is not helping anyone nor will it help avert a crisis already

The UN has pledged a total of US$10.1 million for the immediate needs of
those affected by the operation and is willing to work with government in
dealing with this humanitarian crisis.

Of that US$10.1 million, the UN will offer support to at least 10 000 people
living with HIV and Aids (PLWAs) at a cost of US$1.7 million over three

"An estimated 24.6 percent of adult Zimbabweans are infected with HIV and
AIDS. Assuming that the displaced population had an HIV and AIDS prevalence
rate similar to the rest of population, the mission estimates that over 79
500 persons over 15 years of age living with HIV and AIDS have been
displaced," reads the report.

"Priority interventions will include care for the chronically ill, continued
home-based care, monitoring ARV compliance, information on HIV prevention,
voluntary counselling and testing, promotion of condoms, and care for
orphans and vulnerable children," said Tibaijuka in the report.

The UN envoy said this disruption in HIV and AIDS programmes was likely to
result in shortened life expectancy and death owing to lack of treatment and
care, malnutrition and exposure to elements.

"Testimonies from the affected population and service providers indicate
that a number of AIDS patients have had their ARV treatment disrupted as a
result of the evictions. Several hundred persons receiving such treatment
have been reported displaced in Harare alone."

The UN has already dispatched a UN-Habitat desk officer to assist the
Ministry of Local Government, Public Works and Urban Development under
"Operation Garikai/Hlalani Kuhle." This and the assistance pledges UN has
made show they have good intentions.

Why would the UN be wasting its money to avert a humanitarian crisis that
does not exist, as the government would want us to believe?

It now remains to be seen whether or not the Zimbabwean government is
willing to join hands with the international community for the benefit of
Zimbabwe's poor.

We urge the government to stop cheap politicking on this issue and work with
the UN and other organizations wishing to offer assistance to those affected
by the operation, particularly vulnerable groups such as PLWAs.

Last week Aids Watch focused on the sexual abuse cases that continue to be
reported at Macheke case, which has received widespread condemnation. Here
is some of the feedback we received from our readers.

Memory Maposa wrote:

It is horrifying to say the least to hear what is happening at Macheke. I
wonder whether this school still has some authorities who run it. Why is it
that they did not learn from past experiences and put in place measures to
ensure that our children are safe from these sexual marauders?

In fact, I now sincerely believe that this is just a tip of the iceberg.
There is more to this than merely what we have been told or heard, hence the
need for an in depth probe.

Another reader, Jonathan Chawora, former police officer who is now working
in the United Kingdom as a Child Protection officer also wrote:

Your report of sexual abuse cases at a school in Macheke left me in a state
of shock. What is even more worrying is that nobody seems to bother at all.
If it is a one-off incident we may blame the perpetrator alone, but where
there is a pattern of abusing girls at a particular school we should ask
questions from the school authorities. Incidents of sexual abuse against
school children has been widely publicised

for a long time now but it seems there is no shift in policy in order to
deal with the problem. Am I missing something here because it seems it is
nobody`s bussiness and yet there are people being paid to protect children
in schools. Given the AIDS pandemic surely somebody somewhere should be
doing something about this problem. Does anybody at all care about the sort
of people who should be entrusted to work with children?

There are major social policy gaps in our country and it is very sad. I have
always believed that our criminal justice system does not serve the
interests of ordinary people. It serves the interests of the ruling elite
and lawyers.

We are supposed to have a generation free of AIDS and this is our only hope
of containing the disease and yet this will be impossible if the authorities
do not have a clue at all about preventing child abuse and taking tough
decisions on dealing with paedophiles. However, I must congratulate those
journalists who work hard to expose child abusers.

Someone who signed off as the 'girl child' spat out:

In regard to your 24 July, 2005 article entitled Macheke sexual-abuse case,
a shocking outrage, I was a bit disappointed in Betty Makoni response to the
rape of these girls. In your article you stated that Ms Makoni said "Young
girls have a right to education and should not be turned into wives by
teachers." These men are not turning these girls into their wives. They are
raping them and doing unimaginable horrible things to them. Let us not
confuse being made a wife with the violent act of rape of a primary school

For further feedback and questions please email
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Zim Standard

They speak with a forked tounge
By Dumisani Mpofu

THE leading lights of Freedonia's Revolutionary Party were masters of double
speak. For example when they spoke about having the best health facilities
on the continent or in the world they were being economical with words.
However, their actions showed that whenever they needed hospitalisation they
travelled to neighbouring countries or were flown abroad.

When they said they had accomplished the goal of establishing major
hospitals in each of the country's provinces or districts they conveniently
omitted to say the said health facilities had no drugs, doctors, nurses or
technicians to run them.
When they spoke of health for all, they conveniently did not say this was on
the basis of cost recovery and when they pointed to outsiders and in their
annual reports that Freedonians paid less visits to these institutions they
made sure that they masked the real reason why fewer and fewer people were
visiting hospitals and clinics. Ordinary Freedonians said the services were
far beyond their reach, meaning the revolutionary party had made health for
all unaffordable.

While Freedonia's Revolutionary Party celebrated the achievement of what
they described as a "healthier" population, since the attainment of
self-rule, there were others who believed that the governing party had
embarked on a deliberate "population control" programme. A population that
could not afford treatment because it was either unaffordable or absent
could not be fit enough to plan any mischief because it would be
pre-occupied with the health challenges confronting it.

The revolutionary leadership let it be known that Freedonia had some of the
best institutions of education in the region and on the continent. While
this may have been true, it was also a common secret that children of
Freedonia's ruling elite were enrolled in institutions outside the country.

Students at the country's institutions of higher learning pointed out that
the reason there was so much unrest on campuses was because none of the
children of the ruling elite attended Freedonia's institutions.

Sororenzou Changamire, one of the student leaders said: "If their children
attended colleges and universities at home they would tell their parents how
standards have declined. They would also explain how inadequate the student
grants are and this could save the country a lot of time lost when students
take to the streets to demonstrate against inadequate resources to education
or how these were being allocated and administered."

When Freedonia's Revolutionary Party denounced the West, it secretly craved
its embrace and when it fervently promoted a policy that appeared opposed to
the West, Freedonia hoped to panic the West into welcoming it as one of the
nations invaluable to the West.

Those who claimed to understand the psyche of Freedonia's revolutionary
leadership pointed out to recent visits to the Far East by the Don of
Freedonia's revolution and said this was a throwback to an era that gave
rise to such terms as the "Iron Curtain", when it was possible to play one
super power against the other. Whether the visit produced what the
revolutionary leadership hoped for remained a matter for debate, but what
most Freedonians knew was that there was no let up on what the West demanded
of the leadership of Freedonia.

But the Don of Freedonia's revolution, himself the master of hyperbole,
declared his sojourn to the Far East had been an unparalleled success, to
which those who claimed to be experts in doublespeak by Freedonia's
leadership suggested such explanations needed to be subjected to test.

The quiet old man of Freedonia seemed to sum up the general view on the
"unparalleled success" to the Far East, when he said: "We need to understand
such statements against other statements made by the Don after he visited
oil producing nations, on a mission to bail out Freedonia. The evidence is
there for everyone to see. There are fewer vehicles on the roads because
Freedonia has no fuel, contrary to the pronouncements by the revolutionary
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