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

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ANCYL comes out in support of Mugabe's regime

August 20, 2004, 06:08

The ANC Youth League (ANCYL) has come out in strong support of the regime of
Robert Mugabe, the Zimbabwean president. This is contained in its
organisational report presented at its 22nd congress currently underway in
Nasrec, south of Johannesburg.

The youth movement has reiterated its call for a redress of the land
question in Zimbabwe. It also blames much of the land problems in Harare on
the British government's failure to honour the Lancaster House Agreement
regarding land reform in Zimbabwe.

The youth league also contends that on the days of Zimbabwe's national
elections, the atmosphere for a free and fair election existed. President
Thabo Mbeki along with Jean-Bretrand Aristide, the deposed Haitian
president, addressed the congress yesterday.

The congress is expected to emerge with a new and young leadership on

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Business Report

      Zimbabwe's mining on road to recovery
      August 20, 2004

      By Stella Mapenzauswa

      Harare - Zimbabwe's mining industry was on track for recovery after
central bank measures boosted earnings and access to foreign currency for
imported raw materials, a senior industry official said yesterday.

      Last year the Chamber of Mines said about 12 gold mines had closed
over a three-year period amid steep operating costs and delays in payments
to producers by the Reserve Bank, the sole buyer of the precious metal in

      David Murangari, the chamber's chief executive, said the gold sector,
which accounts for about 52 percent of all mineral production in the
country, had been buoyed by an increase in the central bank's support price
for producers to Z$85 000 (R100) per gram from Z$71 000.

      The non-gold sector was also benefiting from new concessions allowing
them to keep more of their hard currency export earnings in return for
making timely statutory remittances to the central bank, he said.

      "Frankly there is a recovery process and we have reports of improved
revenues by the major producers.

      Hopefully in the next three months we should be able to see a specific
impact in terms of how much surplus companies are able to plough back into
finding new resources," Murangari said.

      The mining industry has grappled with acute shortages of foreign
currency and fuel in recent years, as well as ballooning operating costs.

      Murangari said producers, previously forced to source foreign currency
from an informal market where the Zimbabwe dollar plummeted to Z$7 000 per
US dollar in December, were now able to buy it at roughly Z$5 500 per dollar
from central bank-managed auctions introduced in January.

      Last month central bank governor Gideon Gono said gold export earnings
in the first half of the year rose 87.1 percent to nearly $150 million,
after deliveries increased to 10.5 tons from 5.96 tons over the same period
last year.

      He forecast total output of 22 tons this year and 30 tons in 2005,
compared with 12 tons produced during the whole of 2003.

      Murangari said the mining sector could surpass the 2005 output target
as more companies revisited their mine development and exploration work
which were abandoned when times were tougher.
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Cape Times

      SA hunters on 'wildlife killing spree' in Zimbabwe
      August 20, 2004

      By Melanie Gosling

      Conflicting reports are emerging from Zimbabwe about poaching and
illegal trophy hunting.

      The Zimbabwe Conservation Task Force has heard of illegal hunting in
the Metetsi area near Victoria Falls, its chairman, Johnny Rodrigues, says.

      "Our informant met ... some South African hunters. He was told they
were engaged in a massive hunting expedition on a game ranch or conservancy
now being taken over by settlers.

      "He saw a large number of vehicles with South African number plates
... He says these people are ... on a killing spree. Among the carcasses he
saw were lion, leopard, buffalo, elephant, kudu, sable, impala and even
baboon ... He was invited to the abattoirs, which were full of game meat.

      Our informant was told one of the settlers was paid US$50 000 by the

      Most of the government officials to whom he used to report such
incidents had quit because of pressure, Rodrigues said.

      A professional hunter said there was hardly any game left on the
commercial ranches.

      "One property near Bulawayo used to get a quota of one bull elephant
every two years for trophy hunting. This year five bulls have been shot.

      "It is illegal to shoot animals with radio collars as they are part of
research. In Hwange National Park, four of the five collared lions have been
shot. In many places there is uncontrolled slaughter, where people are even
shooting babies."

      Sally Bown, of Zimbabwe's Professional Hunters and Guides Association,
said there had been poaching on private land, but there was "plenty of game"
on state land.

      Morris Mtsambiwa, director-general of Zimbabwe's Parks and Wildlife
Management Authority, said illegal hunting was not widespread. "On farms it
was a problem up to a year ago, but new farmers are seeking quotas. We
appreciate information on illegal hunting and will investigate it."

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The Scotsman

African coup suspects' need for artillery disputed


A POLICE investigator told Zimbabwe's trial of 70 suspected mercenaries
yesterday that much of the group's equipment could be used by security
guards, but arms such as artillery were only used by the military.

Most of the men pleaded not guilty on Wednesday to charges of conspiring to
possess dangerous weapons in connection with an alleged coup in Equatorial

Zimbabwe has held the men since 7 March, when their plane landed in Harare
en route for what officials said was a coup against the African state's
president, Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo.

The men say they were headed for the Democratic Republic of Congo to guard
mines. But a police investigator, Clemence Madzingo, testified artillery and
other arms the men wanted to buy are not suitable for such duties.

Trust in Zimbabwe's president, Robert Mugabe, has more than doubled in the
past five years, despite the nation's political and economic crisis, a
survey indicated yesterday.

The polling group cited widespread government propaganda as the reason.
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Catholic News

Zimbabwe law would criminalise church charity work

A proposed law to regulate non-governmental organisations in Zimbabwe would
effectively criminalise much Christian charity work and deprives millions of
impoverished Zimbabweans of aid.

Independent Catholic News reports that the law does not interfere with
strictly spiritual aspects of church work, but requires all charitable
organisations to register with the state under stringent conditions. It also
bans overseas funding.

On Monday, the Bulawayo-based interdenominational Christians Together for
Justice and Peace joined mounting protests against the bill, calling it
"another attempt to whittle away our rights and privileges as Christians,
and to restrict or imprison us within a strictly religious domain".

"Will churches be allowed to feed the hungry, care for orphans, educate the
poor, empower people to think for themselves without fear of being
answerable to the government?" Are we now to submit to a man-made
authority?" the alliance asked in a statement.

President Robert Mugabe has repeatedly castigated church groups, charities
and human rights groups for criticising his increasingly autocratic
government, and accused them of fomenting dissent.

The proposed Non-governmental Organisations Bill would require that such
groups register with a state-dominated regulatory council and disclose
details of their funding and programs. Groups that continue to operate after
being denied registration would be closed down and their officials subject
to arrest. Parliament, dominated by Mugabe's Zanu PF party, is expected to
approve the bill within weeks ahead of legislative elections in March.

Welfare groups warned that the bill's ban on foreign funding threatens
assistance to millions of impoverished Zimbabweans, reeling from the effects
of the worst economic crisis since independence from Britain in 1980.

"The bill criminalises a sector that is providing social safety nets to a
lot of communities,'' said Jonah Mudehwe, head of the National Association
of Non-Governmental Organisations.

This in a country where more than 70% of the 12.5 million people live in
poverty, a quarter of the population is infected with HIV and one million
children are orphans, he said in a statement on Sunday.

Zimbabwe: proposed law would criminalise church charity work (Independent
Catholic News 19/8/04)
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Centre for Public Opinion and Democracy, Canada

      Anxiety Over Political Views Clear In Zimbabwe

            (CPOD) Aug. 20, 2004 - Many residents of Zimbabwe are very
cautious when discussing politics, according to the Afrobarometer conducted
by the Institute for Democracy in South Africa, Ghana's Centre for
Democratic Development and Michigan State University. 83 per cent of
respondents say they often or always have to be careful about what they say.

            Robert Mugabe of the Zimbabwe African National Union-Patriotic
Front (ZANU-PF) has acted as the country's president since 1987. In 2002,
Mugabe earned a new six-year term in an election deemed as "deeply flawed"
by foreign observers and human rights organizations.

            Opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai of the Movement for
Democratic Change (MDC) has criticized the government-sponsored Public Order
and Security Act, claiming it has affected his party's rights. In the past
two months, law enforcements officers have relied on the legislation to stop
at least 11 political rallies.

            The next parliamentary election is tentatively scheduled for
March 2005.

            Polling Data

            In this country, how often do people have to be careful about
what they say about politics?





                  Don't Know

            Source: Afrobarometer / Institute for Democracy in South Africa
/ Centre for Democratic Development / Michigan State University
            Methodology: Interviews to 1,200 Zimbabwe adults, conducted from
Apr. 26 to May 17, 2004. No margin of error was provided

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Zim Independent

Zanu PF old guard in comeback bid
Dumisani Muleya/Augustine Mukaro
RULING Zanu PF heavyweights defeated in the landmark 2000 parliamentary
election are making frantic efforts to bounce back into mainstream politics
ahead of their party's key congress in December.

Informed sources said the Zanu PF bigwigs, who were consigned to the
political wilderness after dramatic reversals by candidates of the
newly-formed Movement for Democratic Change (MDC), are manoeuvring to make a
comeback before what ruling party spokesman Nathan Shamuyarira described as
a "watershed" congress.

The Zanu PF luminaries were said to be eyeing top posts in the party's
hierarchy that could undergo a major shake-up if President Robert Mugabe
accepts recommendations to revamp it.

Those mentioned as plotting comebacks include Zanu PF chair John Nkomo,
parliament speaker Emmerson Mnangagwa, and politburo members Dumiso
Dabengwa, Joshua Malinga, Sikhanyiso Ndlovu and Tony Gara, among others.

The Zanu PF leaders were said to be lining up to contest the party's primary
elections in October to ensure they attend congress as official party
candidates in next year's general election.

Nkomo, now widely regarded as a frontrunner together with Mnangagwa in the
race to succeed Mugabe, could contest the primaries in his Tsholotsho home
area against Zanu PF deputy information secretary Jonathan Moyo. Nkomo and
Moyo have of late been at each other's throats in the media in the ongoing
tussle over land that is linked to the internal Zanu PF power struggle.

Sources said Mnangagwa was planning to recover Kwekwe Central from the MDC's
Blessing Chebundo.

"Mnangagwa has of late been addressing meetings in the party's district
structures and schools and giving promises of assistance to the elderly in
Kwekwe," Chebundo said. "He wants to come back."

Mnangagwa is widely expected to be appointed vice-president at the congress
to replace the late Simon Muzenda. Zanu PF external affairs secretary
Didymus Mutasa has also expressed an interest in the job.

Sources said Mugabe wanted to appoint Mnangagwa co-vice-president with Nkomo
in December if his current deputy, Joseph Msika, agrees to retire. However,
it is understood Msika has refused to go. This has left Mugabe facing the
invidious task of having to destabilise his party's carefully contrived
pecking order by parachuting either Mnangagwa or Mutasa in above Nkomo who
is effectively the third most powerful official in the ruling party.

Nkomo cannot be appointed vice-president while Msika is still there because
they both come from the now defunct PF Zapu. In terms of the 1987 Unity
Accord between Zanu and Zapu, the two vice-presidents have to come from both
parties. Mugabe said two weeks ago he still wanted the two posts to remain.

Dabengwa, who lost Nkulumane in Bulawayo to MDC vice-president Gibson
Sibanda, confirmed he was planning a return.

"I have made indications to my constituency, so they will be making a
decision in the primaries," Dabengwa said.

The former PF Zapu intelligence supremo has said he will consider taking
over from Mugabe if people choose him.

Malinga, who was defeated by MDC secretary-general Welshman Ncube in
Bulawayo North-East, said he was also prepared to return.

Ndlovu said people in his former Mpopoma constituency had approached

him to stand. Ndlovu lost to the MDC's Milford Gwetu.

"I cannot say no to the people's will because they are not happy with the
incumbent," Ndlovu said. "The people of Mpopoma have openly disapproved of
the sitting MP calling him 'Missing Person' instead of Member of Parliament.
I won't impose myself."
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Zim Independent

Sadc corners Mugabe
Dumisani Muleya
THE Southern African Develop-ment Community (Sadc) has put President Robert
Mugabe in a tight spot ahead of next year's general election by adopting the
raft of new electoral standards at its just-ended summit.

Regional leaders unanimously voted for the Sadc principles and guidelines
governing democratic elections at their summit which ended on Wednesday at
Grand Baie, Mauritius.

The Sadc standards - which Mugabe has signed up to - demand free and fair
elections, upholding of civil and political liberties, press freedom and
access by all parties to state media, and the independence of the judiciary,
as well as the impartiality of electoral institutions.

They also encourage member states to "take all necessary mea-sures and
precautions to prevent perpetration of fraud, rigging, or any other illegal
practices" during elections.

This has left Mugabe, who had proposed piecemeal electoral re-forms before
the summit to ward off inevitable pressure for fundamental changes at the
summit, in a cleft stick. His government will now have to adhere to Sadc
principles and guidelines which threaten its tenure on power.

The exacting new standards put pressure on Mugabe ahead of the March
parliamentary election. Local opposition and civic groups met with Sadc
leaders, including the new chair of the regional bloc, Mauritian Prime
Minister Paul Berenger, to press for free and fair elections.

The Movement for Democratic Change, the Zimbabwe Election Support Network
and Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition held meetings with political and civic
leaders from Mauritius and the region to deal with the current situation,
including Mugabe's widely-criticised proposals for a new electoral

Berenger, whose office deals with electoral issues, subsequently made it
clear that the bloc would not be satisfied with cosmetic changes in

"Really free and fair elections mean not only an independent electoral
commission, but also include freedom of assembly and absence of physical
harassment by the police or any other entity, freedom of the press and
access to national radio and television, and external and credible
observation of the whole electoral process," Berenger told a Sadc audience
that included Mugabe.

"With free and fair elections due in Zimbabwe at the beginning of next year
we can already start preparing for the normalisation of relations between
Sadc, the European Union and the United States."

Zimbabwe has held two hotly-disputed elections in 2000 and 2002 whose
aftermath has destabilised the region and forced millions of Zimbabweans
into the diaspora.

Sadc leaders, especially President Thabo Mbeki of South Africa, have for the
past four years been struggling to resolve the Zimbabwe crisis but Mugabe
has resisted their pressure to either change his leadership style or go.

Diplomatic sources said Sadc leaders would now use the electoral route to
resolve the Zimbabwe crisis. Berenger will work with the new Sadc troika of
his deputy, President Festus Mogae of Botswana and Benjamin Mkapa of
Tanzania. The team will be reinforced by Mbeki as the new chair of the Sadc
organ on politics, defence and security and his troika colleagues Pakalitha
Mosisili of Lesotho and Sam Nujoma of Namibia.

The sources said African Union chair Olusegun Obasanjo of Nigeria would also
be involved. Berenger, Mogae, Mbeki, Obasanjo, and to some extent Mkapa,
were said to be ready to put pressure on Mugabe to organise a legitimate
election next year.

Mogae, an Oxford-trained economist and one of Africa's most competent
leaders, has said Zimbabwe is suffering from a "drought of good governance".
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Zim Independent

52 000t of food needed to 11/04
Roadwin Chirara
ZIMBABWE needs 52 000 tonnes of food assistance this year for the period
July and November, the Zimbabwe Vulnerability Assessment Committee (Zimvac)
has revealed.

In a report compiled by Zimvac and published by Fewsnet this week, an
estimated 2,2 million people in the rural areas will be unable to meet their
own food requirements without external assistance.

"About 2,2 million people in the rural areas will not be able to meet all
their food needs on their own between July and November 2004, during which
they would require food assistance of at least 52 000 tonnes," said the

The report said the suspension of supplementary feeding by aid agencies
because of government claims of sufficient food was likely to leave a
majority of households vulnerable to hunger. It said lack of consensus on
the actual harvest between government and independent assessors made
contingency planning by aid organisations difficult.

"The lack of consensus of the cereal harvest and the inaccessibility of
government cereal import figures for the current marketing year make food
availability analysis and contingency planning for international agencies
very difficult," said the report.

Zimvac said out of Zimbabwe's 57 districts, Buhera, Mutare, Bulilimamangwe
and Beitbridge would have used up their cereal and grain by the end of July.

The report said the hungry rural populace had resorted to selling cattle for
the purpose of buying grain. If such a situation was allowed to continue
grain values would increase compared to livestock because of poor grazing,
leading to a continued deterioration of the food situation.

Zimavc also said government shuld continue to engage the United Nations in
dialogue for the purposes fo the continuation of food aid and recovery
programmes. It said appropriate food assessment programmes were urgently
required. It highlighted high rates of unemployment and inflation as major
contributory factors to the food situation in the country.

The report said the erosion of the purchasing power of most households
continued to limit food access to low income earners.

* Meanwhile the World Food Programme (WFP) has denied an agency story
carried in the Zimbabwe Independent last week suggesting that the United
Nations body had contacted the Zambian government regarding food assistance
to Zimbabwe.

No such request had been made, the WFP said.
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Zim Independent

Zim anti-graft chapter set for relaunch
Conrad Dube
THE African Parliamentarians Network Against Corruption (Apnac), Zimbabwe
chapter, which seeks to strengthen the commitment and capacity of MPs to
fight corruption, will be relaunched next week, public accounts committee
chairperson Priscilla Misihairabwi-Mushonga has said. Apnac is a continental
network which seeks to build the capacity of parliaments to exercise
accou-ntability with particular relation to financial matters, undertaking
projects to control corruption and cooperating with organisations in civil
society with shared objectives.

"We will relaunch the Apnac Zimbabwe chapter which we hope will go a long
way to curb corruption right from the top," said Misihairabwi-Mushonga.

"Corruption can best be control-led by strengthening systems
ofaccountability, transparency andpublic participation in the gove-rnance
processes of our countries. It is essential that we develop healthy,
balanced relations between the state, civil society and the marketplace and
that parliaments be strengthened as effective insti-tutions of
accountability in over-seeing the policies and actions of governments.

"We believe it is possible to apply the lessons learned and best practices
of past anti-corruption campaigns to fight corruption across Africa," she

Corruption poses a grave danger to the well-being of African people and to
the development of their countries. Corruption diverts scarce resources from
basic human needs and destroys confidence in the integrity of our
institutions, according to Misishairabwi-Mushonga.

Apnac is a network which aims at coordinating, involving and strengthening
the capacity of African MPs to fight corruption and promote good governance.
The network was formed in 1999 in Kampala, Uganda. It also seeks to advocate
inclusion of anti-corruption measures in government priority programmes, to
liaise with national and international organisations and institutions in
matters of corruption.

The network also seeks to mobilise internal and external resources to
promote anti-corruption pro-grammes and to develop links with oversight
committees of parliament and parliamentarians across Africa.

The network will be relaunched amid calls for parliamentarians to disclose
assets in a bid to encourage transparency among legislators.

Parliament will also investigate sources of funds which prospective
candidates donate to communities in the run-up to elections.

"Some sitting parliamentarians have been donating large sums ofmoney, much
more than their monthly salaries and one wonders where all this money is
coming from," Misihairabwi-Mushonga said.

Countries that already have Apnac chapters include Uganda, Kenya, Tanzania,
Ghana and South Africa.
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Zim Independent

Nhema orders probe of parks
Godfrey Marawanyika
ENVIRONMENT and Tourism minister Francis Nhema has ordered the National
Parks and Wildlife Management board to investigate the suspension of
operations director Vitalis Chadenga on allegations of failing to account
for US$500 he was given as part of an allowance.

The board is also expected to brief Nhema on other allegations that Chadenga
ordered the capture and relocation of animals from Nyamaneche sanctuary in
Mashonaland West to private lands.

Nhema this week confirmed that an internal probe had been set up, adding
that he was concerned with what was happening.

"The board must carry out investigations and give us (ministry) a report.

it looks like people are just saying things without facts, so it is
difficult to distinguish facts from rumours right now," Nhema said.

"The board must give us a report on the issue of stray animals and charges
levelled against the officer (Chadenga). But has such a senior officer
failed to remit the US$500 in question? This money might just be two days'
allowance," said Nhema.

Charges against Chadenga arose when he was allegedly given US$500 as part of
a travel allowance to South Africa.

It is alleged Chadenga did not travel to South African but instead went to

Chadenga is also accused of writing a letter to a warden of Nyamaneche
sanctuary, instructing him to capture stray animals that were destroying
crops and disrupting resettled people in Mashonaland West province.

National Parks chairman Bu-zwani Mothobi confirmed that an internal probe
had been set up, but could not say when the case would be finalised.

"The machinery is under way fullstop. At this stage there is nothing to say
besides that the investigations are under way," he said.
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Zim Independent

Shamuyarira dragged into vehicle wrangle
Godfrey Marawanyika
ZANU PF In-formation secretary Nathan Shamuyarira has been named in a civil
suit over a vehicle that was forcibly taken and parked at his house.
According to an urgent High Court ap-plication by Elton Madzima against
Nomsa Murambiwa on Friday last week, Madzima is seeking to recover a Land
Rover Discovery SUV which was removed from his premises by the respondent
and parked at Shamuyarira's house.

In his application, Madzima said Johanna Nomhle Hayford, a sister of the
respondent, gave him general powers of attorney. Madzima said this did not
go down well with Murambiwa.

The documents say the respondent started to harass Madzima accusing him of
owing money to Hayford. She confiscated the vehicle to force Madzima to pay

"Indeed if there was anything that is lawfully due to the respondent then
her entitlement lies in bringing the matter before the courts, as opposed to
taking the law into her own hands in the manner that she chose," said
Madzima in his affidavit.

"I reported the matter to Borrowdale police who have been dealing with the
matter ever since. From the threats that were being uttered by the
respondent, it then appears that she is well-connected because my vehicle
was towed to Dr Nathan Shamuyarira's place of residence. The police appear
somewhat perturbed by this development and have not acted as swiftly as I
believe they ought to have," he said.

Madzima said in the vehicle when it was towed away was $12,5 million in
cash, a firearm, cheque books, his driver's licence, safari jackets and
cattle dip worth $2,5 million.

He said he wanted to use the money to buy farm supplies.

Madzima said the Land Rover was towed from his workplace on July 30 at the
instigation of the respondent.

"To make matters worse, the keys were accidentally locked in the vehicle. As
such the respondent had the vehicle towed away. This was done improperly
because the steering wheel was locked," Madzima said.

"During the time that I sought legal advice and while these proceedings were
being prepared for, it was brought to my attention by police at Borrowdale
that while parked at Dr Shamuyarira's place of residence, my vehicle was
forcibly opened."

He said the money which was in the vehicle, together with the firearm, were

"There can be no doubt that there is no basis at all, in fact and in law,
for the respondent to forcibly remove my vehicle and to store it at Dr
Shamuyarira's place of residence (or indeed to any place for that matter),"
Madzima said in his affidavit.
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Zim Independent

Air Zimbabwe market shrinks
Itai Dzamara
AIR Zimbabwe has leased one of its two Boeing 767 aircraft to Ghana Airways
after losing its market share to competitors.

Air Zimbabwe legal and corporate affairs manager, Arthur Manase, yesterday
confirmed the national airline had leased the plane to Ghana Airways.

"We have leased the plane but it is not true that this was because of lack
of business," he said.

An official at Ghana Airways offices in Accra told the Zimbabwe Independent
this week the Air Zimbabwe plane had been hired due to overwhelming

"We have been failing to cope with the bookings and therefore requested Air
Zimbabwe for a plane. I am not sure whether the plane was not working at Air
Zimbabwe," said the official. However, highly-placed sources at Air Zimbabwe
revealed this week that the national airline had lost nearly all the routes
it used to ply to other airlines, especially South African Airways (SAA).

"SAA now flies to Victoria Falls twice a day from South Africa and at times
flies from Harare to Victoria Falls," said an industry source.

The source said there had been a drastic fall in the number of people
travelling between Harare and the UK. Air Zimbabwe has only four planes, and
only three are functional while one is grounded.

Air Zimbabwe was suspended from the International Air Travel Association
earlier this year after failing to meet set standards.

* Meanwhile, Air Zimbabwe has advertised the post of managing director.
Rambai Chingwena who held the position resigned in June.
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Zim Independent

Chingoka payment touches off row
Staff Writer
A ROW has erupted between the Zimbabwe Cricket Union (ZCU) board and members
of provincial structures over a payment of £50 000 to ZCU chairman Peter
Chingoka by the union.

The ZCU is also accused of spending more than $300 million last year in
travel and accommodation expenses for all 12 board members when they
accompanied the Zimbabwe national cricket team on a tour of Australia. It is
claimed that the board members took their wives along with them.

The issue of payment to Chingoka and the trip to Australia had been
concealed by the ZCU leadership, with former general manager Vince Hogg
having remarked earlier this year that the matter was confidential. He
reportedly asked how it got to be known.

Tongues have been wagging in the cricket fraternity over Chingoka's payment
as well as the cost of the board members' trip to Australia.

The Zimbabwe Independent has been investigating the issue since last week.
Chingoka was interviewed on Tuesday and Wednesday. However, a story appeared
in the Herald yesterday that appeared designed to pre-empt these
investigations, claiming there was a "conspiracy" to sully Chingoka's name.

Chingoka admitted at the recent ZCU annual general meeting that he received
the money after former cricket administrator Ray Gripper raised a question
from the floor. Chingoka refused to explain the circumstances under which he
was given the money.

In an interview on Wednesday, he admitted to having received the money from
the ZCU. He also confirmed all 12 board members travelled to Australia last

"The matter was discussed by the board of directors on January 18 2003. It
was minuted following a meeting," said Chingoka. "I was not in the meeting
but I was advised that there was a unanimous decision to give me the money.
They said it was for service to cricket for 21 years," Chingoka said.

Hogg, who resigned at the AGM two weeks ago, said the matter was meant to be

Chingoka said the spending on the board's trip to Australia was justified.

"It's normal practice for various board members from all over the world to
visit and interact. For example, when Sri Lanka came here there were three
board members and Australia had one. Yes, all our board members went across.
But there were no expenses incurred on members' wives. Probably board
members paid for their wives' expenses. The expenses, which I can't give a
figure for, are part of the board expenses in the report. We can't state
every item."

The financial report for the just-ended ZCU calendar year indicates that
board expenses were over $500 million.
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Zim Independent

Paradza appeals to Mugabe for respite in troubled Makonde
Staff Writers
ZANU PF Makonde MP Kindness Paradza has appealed for President Robert
Mugabe's intervention to stop the chaos fuelled by senior ruling party
officials in the constituency.

Highly-placed sources said Paradza had sought Mugabe's intervention,
accusing top politburo members of ganging up to advance their favourite
candidates to wrestle Makonde from him.

"Paradza has now appealed to President Mugabe for help because there is
chaos in Makonde as politburo members like Edna Madzongwe, Ignatius Chombo
and Enos Chikowore are fronting their candidates to destabilise the
constituency," a source said.

"Initially, Paradza wanted the issue dealt with at constituency level. But
in the end he had no choice because his seniors are wreaking havoc in the

Chombo, Chikowore and Madzongwe were understood to be trying to sponsor
Lashiwe Murefu who was defeated by Paradza in the primaries last year.

Another camp of Sabina Mugabe and Philip Chiyangwa was said to be pushing
for Leo Mugabe who was also defeated by Paradza in the primaries. Sources
said last weekend Chombo, Chiyangwa and Chikowore led a group of more than
30 low-ranking party officials to invade Makonde under the guise of
restructuring the party structures.

"The team went round the constituency denouncing Paradza and claiming that
he was no longer a party member," another source said. "It was clear their
agenda was to demonise the incumbent MP ahead of the primaries scheduled for

Sources said in Mhangura, the Chombo team told the electorate that
Mashonaland West province's alleged dismissal of Paradza would not be
overturned by the national disciplinary committee (NDC).

Chiyangwa said his province had recommended the dismissal of Paradza because
he allegedly did not have a party card and wanted to source funds from
Britain to fund his now closed Tribune newspaper.

However, President Mugabe recently said he was surprised to hear accusations
against Paradza when he was allowed to join the party in broad daylight and
not through witchcraft. Paradza is aligned to Zanu PF spokesman Nathan

"NDC and the politburo are entitled to overturn a provincial verdict, so the
claims by Chombo's squad are a clear violation of the party's procedures," a
source said.

Sources said a number of local leaders seen as sympathetic to Paradza were
removed from their positions and replaced by those supporting the aspiring

"At Gudubu district, Chikowore incited youths to prevent Paradza from
holding meetings in the area."

Sources claimed the anti-Paradza camp was justifying its arbitrary actions
saying the Zanu PF national commissar, Elliot Manyika, had given them a
directive at a meeting in Mhondoro three weeks ago to dismiss indisciplined
party cadres. Manyika's alleged directive was now being taken as the "holy
bible superseding the party constitution", a source said.

Efforts to get comment from the Zanu PF officials were unsuccessful but it
is understood Paradza was trying to get President Mugabe to issue an order
for Chombo and his colleagues to stop interfering in Makonde.
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RBZ arm fails to pay workers
Loughty Dube
GOLD Mining and Minerals Development Trust (GMDT), a subsidiary of the
Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ), has failed to pay its workers for two months
after allegations the RBZ has severed ties with the trust.

The workers claimed that their salaries should come from the central bank
while RBZ officials have distanced themselves from the unfolding drama.

Gono's spokesperson, Fortune Chasi, this week said the GMDT was not an RBZ
subsidiary. He said the trust was dissolved earlier this year.

"The RBZ is aware of the existence of a trust by that name which was set up
three years ago to handle gold issues but the trust was dissolved this year
when the new governor assumed office and government took over control of
gold buying through Fidelity," said Chasi.

The spokesperson also indicated that the GMDT used to depend on handouts
from the RBZ but that the contract was terminated when the new gold policy
came into effect earlier this year. The workers from GMDT's branches in
Kwekwe, Mutare, Bulawayo and its headquarters in Harare were not paid their
July salaries. Latest investigations indicate that they may not receive
their August salaries on time as the money has not yet been deposited in
their bank accounts.

"We have not been paid for last month (July) and salaries for August have
not been deposited into our bank accounts but our bosses at the RBZ are not
coming out in the open to tell us the truth," said a worker in Harare.

GMDT workers' committee chairperson, Innocent Shuro, refused to shed light
on the matter and referred this paper to the organisation's chairman,
Nhlanhla Masuku, for comment.

When asked about the issue, Masuku was evasive and switched off his mobile

It also emerged this week that trusts that were set up by the previous
Leonard Tsumba administration were a source of contention at the RBZ when
the new governor, Gideon Gono, took over in December.

A reliable source at the RBZ said the salaries that were paid from RBZ
coffers to the trustees of some of the organisations incensed Gono. The
trustees are Masuku, Charles Chipato, Chief Cyprian Malisa, a Dr Mandal and
Violet Madzimbamuto.

The source said GMDT trustees were paid salaries ranging from between $30
million to $50 million a month, which was higher than what some senior
managers at the central bank were getting.
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Harare-Kariba drive mirrors land farce
Augustine Mukaro
I HAD always assumed that all Zimbabweans who were given farms seized from
white commercial farmers desperately needed land to till. The situation on
the ground has proved me thoroughly mistaken.

Although government's motive could have been a noble desire to rectify
skewed land ownership patterns and reclaim an important national resource,
it now looks as if the whole exercise was inspired by greed and subliminal
racial hatred.

A drive along the Harare-Kariba road shows a shocking picture of the effects
of the chaotic land reform programme that has destroyed the agricultural
base and left many hitherto productive farms as dustbowls.

I travelled to Kariba during the weekend for a parliamentary reporting
workshop. I used the opportunity to assess the situation on farms along the
highway. I only saw six farms under wheat cultivation along the
360-kilometre stretch of what used to be the nation's breadbasket.

This was unbelievable, especially after Agriculture minister Joseph Made
recently claimed 80 000 hectares of wheat had been planted this year.

The first wheat field along the road was just before Gwebi College, about 40
kilometres outside Harare, two others between Banket and Chinhoyi and the
rest after Angwa River towards Karoi. Thereafter, nothing.

I was curious to know what the new farmers were doing if they were not
tilling the land. It's either they are cutting down trees or harvesting
grass - and not crops - for resale.

Stacks of firewood and thatching grass are the hottest selling commodity on
both sides of the road. Hungry peasants dumped on virgin farmland under the
fast-track land reform programme have to find the means to survive after
failing to productively till the land. They have taken to logging big time
and damn the consequences. Poaching of wildlife - and sometimes domestic
animals - is rampant as a result of the failed resettlement of villagers.

The fields are vast stretches of dried grass, crop residue and hastily cut
tree stumps. Where the dry grass has been cleared, there is extensive
burning, with the fires sometimes turning into uncontrollable blazes that
destroy all pasture.

But what should be happening to these fields if they are not under winter
crop? Land preparation for either irrigated early maize and tobacco crops or
even for the dryland crop should at least be taking place.

Most of the new farmers say they have no resources such as draught power or
money to farm. They have no money to buy fertilizer. In fact they have no
other means of survival except cutting and selling firewood on the roadside.

It is hard to understand why then government grabbed over 11 million
hectares of land when only a tenth of that could be utilised. It is
difficult as well to escape the conclusion that wholesale land seizures were
motivated by political survival and self-aggrandisement by those in power.
But at what cost, is the big question?

Commercial Farmers Union (CFU) Mashonaland regional executive, Ben Kashula,
said it was sad to see the destruction wrought on large-scale commercial
farms in the name of land reform.

"There is no doubt the place no longer looks like it used to be before the

land reform programme," Kashula said.

"It's sad because the land is not being fully utilised. Lovely green fields
stretching as far as the eye could see were common in the winter season on
both sides of the highway but all that has been reduced to scattered little

The Nicole family and Les deJager were among the top farmers in the rich
Mashonaland West province. They used water from the multi-billion-dollar
Biri dam to irrigate thousands of hectares of winter crops.

Farmers who spoke to the Zimbabwe Independent this week said the havoc in
Mashonaland West was a microcosm of a national tragedy after a noble cause
went horribly wrong.

"We have the same calamity repeated along the Mazowe valley estates," one
farmer said. "Farms such as Thromes and Boroma Estates which used to produce
a lot of wheat and maize for the nation have been forced to close down and
that spells doom for commercial agriculture and the economy."

According to a CFU annual congress report for 2003, commercial production
since the beginning of the fast track resettlement in 2000 has declined as
follows: flue-cured tobacco (-72%), maize (-72%), cotton (-95%) and
soyabeans (-70%).

By the time of its congress on August 3 this year, the CFU estimated that of
the 4 500 white commercial farmers who were on the land in the year 2000,
there are now less than 500 who are either fully or partially operational.
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ZCTU, informal traders forge ties
Staff Writer
THE Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions (ZCTU) has signed a Memorandum of
Understanding (MoU) with the Zimbabwe Chamber of Informal Economy
Association (ZCIEA) aimed at uplifting the living standards of informal

ZCTU president Lovemore Matombo and ZCIEA president Valentine Chikonyora and
the two organisations' secretary-generals appended their signatures to the
agreement. According to the MoU, the bi-partite relationship will allow the
two organisations to jointly lobby for legislation that promotes the
operations of the informal economy. It is also aimed at securing financial
assistance by lobbying for a budget allocation from government, fundraising
and donations.

The ZCIEA hopes to benefit from the arrangement through the incorporation of
its interests by the ZCTU onto the Tripartite Negotiating Forum (TNF) and
any other forum.

"We dedicate ourselves to the transformation of our activities, we want to
stand up and be counted," Chikonyora said at the signing ceremony in Mutare
last week. "We want to be reflected in the national figures not as estimates
or just as outflows of revenue. Our productivity shall add value to our GDP
and so we shall push for our national policies, development plans and
programmes to accommodate informal economy activities."
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Ombudsman's office a shambles
Gift Phiri
THE Ombudsman's office is a shambles due to lack of personnel, gross
under-funding and alleged mismanagement.

The office is operating with only two law officers instead of the desired
10, a situation that has led to a huge backlog of cases at a time human
rights abuses are increasing in the country.

The office was established by Act of Parliament in 1982 and is mandated to
investigate cases of administrative malpractice and alleged contravention of
the Declaration of Rights by members of the defence forces, police,
government departments and the prison service.

While it does not have powers to enforce its findings, it can make

recommendations to various arms of government.

The office currently has a backlog of 1 500 cases which it is battling to
clear. The Ombudsman, Bridget Chanetsa, this week admitted that her office
was facing serious problems.

"We have a backlog because we have low manpower," Chanetsa said. "We have
however obtained authority from the Public Service Commission to engage
eight more law officers after February next year and we believe this will
greatly improve the performance of the office."

The Ombudsman's office is funded through the Ministry of Justice and the
department got a paltry $120 million in this year's budget. Of that amount,
$50 million is a human rights vote.

"We are not the only government department that is not adequately funded,"
Chanetsa said. "We get our budget every year."

The office has been accused of taking too long to investigate case. Despite
poor funding the Ombudsman office's performance has been widely described as
poor and in some instances partisan. Chanetsa is married to former
Mashonaland West governor Peter Chanetsa.

Sources told the Zimbabwe Independent that there was a deliberate effort to
avoid confrontation with any of the government departments cited in public
complaints. Chanetsa however dismissed the allegation saying she was a

"My private life has nothing to do with my work," Chanetsa said. "I am a
professional person and being married to a politician does not mean
anything. We are non-political. We have received cases from government
officials and MDC officials and we have investigated them."

Last month a stinging African Commission on Human and People's Rights report
on Zimbabwe criticised the Ombudsman's office whose mandate is human rights
protection and promotion.

"It was evident to the mission that the office was inadequately provided for

such a task and that the prevailing mindset, especially of the Ombudsman
herself, was not one which engendered the confidence of the public," the
report said.

There had been complaints that she failed to follow up cases, it said.

"That did not surprise the mission seeing that in her press statement
following our visit, and without undertaking any investigations into
allegations levelled against them, the Ombudsman was defensive of
allegations against the youth militia. The office needed to be independent
and to earn public trust," it said.

The office hit the headlines two years ago after producing an annual report
that was five years late.
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Zim Independent

Test for Zanu PF's sincerity on reforms

 Gift Phiri

REGISTRAR-General Tobaiwa Mudede this week announced that the voters' roll
for the Seke by-election was ready for inspection.

The by-election will be held to replace Movement for Democratic Change (MDC)
legislator Ben Tumbare-Mutasa who died last month after a short illness.
Tumbare-Mutasa became MP in 2000 after trouncing Zanu PF's Phineas Chihota.

Zanu PF will be under pressure to demonstrate that it can participate in an
election that conforms to minimum standards for free and fair elections as
adopted by Sadc this week in Mauritius. This by-election is a make or break
vote for Zanu PF, because if they fail to deliver in terms of conduct, there
is a risk that the electorate will treat the legislative polls next year
with scepticism.

The ruling party will have to use the by-election to demonstrate that it can
conform to minimum electoral standards such as equal access by all political
parties to the public media, an overhaul of the voters' roll and equal
access for local and foreign monitors and observers.

The ruling party will also have to dissuade itself from the violence and
lawlessness that have marred previous by-elections. Violence has been used
as a weapon by the ruling party to cow the opposition. Ruling party militia,
war veterans, the police and army units have, in previous by-elections such
as Lupane and Zengeza, been deployed to intimidate opposition MDC members
and leaders. The ruling party will have to ensure that people responsible
for this violence will be subjected to due process of the law. The
opposition has called on security forces, the police and army, to
demonstrate their professionalism by refusing to be used for partisan ends.

President Robert Mugabe has said the ruling party's position is that the
2005 parliamentary election should be held in an atmosphere of peace.

"You cannot force people to vote for you if they do not want to and violence
can only result in tarnishing the exercise rather than benefiting anyone so
we appeal to both sides to recognise that the people who have the right to
vote must be allowed to vote in peace and calm," Mugabe said.

The remarks followed his address at the opening of parliament last month in
which he mooted "far reaching reforms to our electoral law".

"These proposed changes, which also take into account ongoing regional
consultations on developing electoral norms and standards for the Sadc,
envisage the creation of an independent electoral commission as the
principal player in running all our elections," Mugabe said. He also
proposed voting in one day, counting of ballots at the polling stations and
the use of translucent ballot boxes.

MDC spokesperson Paul Themba Nyathi said Zanu PF thugs had already started
harassing the rural electorate in Seke.

"Zanu PF thugs are telling rural folk in Seke that since voting is now going
to be done in one day, it would be easy to deal with all the culprits who
would have voted for the MDC," Nyathi said. He stated that ruling party
supporters were also lying to the electorate that transparent ballot boxes,
instead of translucent, would be used during polling. MDC leader Morgan
Tsvangirai recently said Zanu PF's proposals were insufficient.

"People are still demanding more measures towards a democratic order,"
Tsvangirai said. "The recent appointment of a soldier as chief electoral
officer does not inspire anybody. It is a step backwards." He said electoral
reform was a central part of political and democratic transformation.
Electoral reform, in the case of Zimbabwe, was a serious constitutional

"To be effective, electoral reforms needed a solid backing of independent
institutions dealing with electoral disputes, handling political excesses
and taking care of the whole electoral process," he said. The MDC leader
said the absence of credible, legally empowered institutions for recourse
and reliable monitoring bodies with statutory powers of censure, direction
and correction created a shaky process open to contest regardless of the

Tsvangirai said people were worried about the lack of confidence-building
measures, especially on the secrecy of the ballot. He said there were no
mechanisms and institutional frameworks to guarantee a free and fair
election. He cited the Lupane and Zengeza by-election held earlier in the

There are allegations that hundreds of youth militia from Matabeleland
provinces were bused into Lupane constituency to register as voters. The
seat became vacant following the death of MDC legislator David Mpala. It is
alleged youths from areas such as Jambesi, Kamativi and Wankie were bused
into the constituency where arrangements were made by ruling party officials
for them to get recommendation letters from the local chiefs and headmen for
them to register as voters.

At Lupane business centre alone where the youths were booked at a guesthouse
until April 27, more than 300 youths were registered between March 22 to 24.
Some of the youths confirmed that they were indeed registering in
preparation for the by-election. They disclosed that they had been
instructed not to talk about it to the public.

In an attempt to disguise their strategy, each group was moved out to either
Dadaya camp in Zvishavane, Mushagashe in Masvingo or Border Gezi in
Mashonaland Central as soon as registration was completed. They underwent
youth training in those respective centres before being re-deployed back
into Lupane to vote in the by-election.

"It is not surprising that Zanu PF will employ such diabolic tactics,"
Nyathi said.

In Zengeza there were numerous reports of violence and harassment in the
weeks prior to the poll. Hospital officials said that they treated at least
50 people for injuries immediately prior to and during the two days of
voting. Other reports told of 200 people being attacked and chased away from
a voting queue by a "riotous" group of ruling party youths. In one violent
incident on the first day of voting the opposition reported that four
truckloads of ruling party youths stormed the house of the MDC candidate.
Twenty-two-year-old opposition supporter Francis Chinozvinya was shot in the
chest and pronounced dead on arrival at hospital. In the same incident
another man, Arthur Gunzvenzve, was shot and injured.

The Zimbabwe Election Support Network, in a report of the Zengeza
by-election, said the atmosphere was extremely tense and intimidatory and
said there was "not a chance this can be called a free and fair election".

"Only 32% of registered voters exercised their right to cast a ballot in the
Zengeza by-election which the opposition called 'daylight robbery'. It was
an election that has made all Zimbabweans start thinking seriously about
parliamentary elections due in March next year," Zesn executive chairman
Reginald Matchaba-Hove said.

There is already much debate about whether or not the opposition should
boycott next year's elections - considering the violence which arose in the
Lupane and Zengeza by-elections.

Political pressure group Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition said this week the
absence of popular outrage at electoral irregularities was worrying.

"The most depressing thing about Zimbabwean elections now is the tired
resignation with which people accept the results and the almost non-existent
outrage," Crisis Coalition said.

"Police, government and the state-owned media say the election was peaceful
or that there were minor skirmishes, they don't talk about cold-blooded
murder, terror and perpetrators walking free."
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It's more than principles and guidelines

 THE Sadc summit which ended in Mauritius this week set a challenging
threshold for President Robert Mugabe to elevate Zimbabwe's electoral
standards to.

Sadc heads this week trod with caution in tackling Mugabe but in the end
made their point by coming up with an electoral charter that exposes the
paucity of transparency in the country's current electoral process. This was
very much the "high bar" that the government will have difficulty clearing.

The charter commits member-states to levelling the playing field by
affording all parties equal access to the media and unfettered campaigning.
It proposes the setting up of independent and impartial bodies to run

Sadc leaders like Thabo Mbeki have been reluctant to tackle Mugabe head-on,
especially on issues relating to repression and the rule of law. In
Mauritius, Tanzanian president Benjamin Mkapa employed the carrot and stick
tactic. He attacked the West and spoke strongly of the need for regional
countries to get back land from former colonisers, which is exactly what
Mugabe wanted to hear. But in his address to the summit on Monday, Mkapa
managed to smuggle in a reminder to his colleagues that the process of land
reform should be done in a "civilised" way.

Despite pronouncements of solidarity and praise for Mugabe's valour in
wresting back land, no country in the region shows any enthusiasm for taking
the disorganised, lawless and often corrupt route carved out by Zimbabwe's

"In a much more civilised way, we want to create fair and just mechanisms -
not to dispossess anyone, but to redistribute land, and to help new land
owners become productive in the quickest possible way on lands over which
they have secure property rights," said Mkapa.

Zimbabwe's delegation to Mauritius had tried to do its homework by heavily
publicising Mugabe's newfound credentials as a doyen of progressive
electoral reforms. Mugabe preached the need for peace during elections ahead
of the summit. He never spoke of equal access to the media or unfettered
opportunities for the opposition to campaign.

New Sadc head Mauritian Prime Minister Paul Berenger did not pull his
punches when he defined what he believes constitutes a free and fair

"Really free and fair elections mean not only an independent electoral
commission, but also include freedom of assembly and absence of physical
harassment by the police or any other entity, freedom of the press and
access to national radio and television, and external and credible
observation of the whole electoral process," he told the gathered heads.

Mugabe has heard about the need for reform from his peers. He was in
Mauritius when the charter was tabled and debated which should ultimately
make him want to own the process and product. But will he deliver to ensure
that Zimbabwe's poll conduct chimes with agreed Sadc standards? This will be
the key test over the next seven months.

He has to ensure that the Department of Information and Publicity in his
office refocuses the public broadcaster Zimbabwe Broadcasting Holdings so
that the opposition MDC gets equitable coverage on radio and television.
That will entail a return to professional standards in news coverage. The
public print media will also need to be instructed to cover the opposition's
activities without bias.

The government will need to instruct police not to deny political parties,
labour organisations and civil society the right to hold meetings. Youth
militia and party hoodlums employed to disrupt opposition rallies will have
to be reined in.

Mugabe needs to instruct senior government officials including ministers to
leave the judiciary alone instead of making contemptuous attacks on judges
who refuse to toe the line.

Perhaps his adherence to the precepts of reform agreed in Grande Baie can be
readily judged by the persons to be appointed to the Zimbabwe Electoral
Commission. The return of Tobaiwa Mudede - regarded by many as an agent for
election rigging - will not inspire confidence nor will the appointment of
soldiers or policemen.

Mugabe was tinkering with the electoral law right up to the eve of the
presidential election in 2002. He has to desist from that unsavoury

To scale the heights of optimism Mugabe's reform package should include
amendments to the Public Order and Security Act which Justice minister
Patrick Chinamasa has said was useful in dealing with the opposition. There
will also need to be a relaxation of the campaign against the private media
which has been hounded by Information minister Jonathan Moyo over the past
two years as part of a wider campaign to close down democratic space. The
airwaves will have to be opened to allow more players into broadcasting in
line with a Supreme Court ruling. The NGO Bill cannot be allowed to pass
through parliament in its current state.

To achieve this Mugabe will need to discard the myth that an opposition
victory means a return to colonialism. Indeed, he will need to discard what
he perceives to be the instruments of his political survival.

None of this is very likely. While the government will now address the
technical shortcomings of electoral administration, it is unprepared to
address the context. That remains one of violence, hate-speech, coercion and
manipulation. Zimbabwe's democratic deficit remains the worst in a
far-from-perfect region.

But what we have now is a set of rules to measure the government's
commitment and performance. That at least is a start.

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Eric Bloch Column

Economic recovery hindered by brain drain

 AMONGST the achievements in the Zimbabwean post-Independence era was the
outstanding growth in levels of literacy, which in a period of less than 10
years rose from approximately 38% to approximately 88%. This was attained by
the determination of government to enable all to receive a good and sound

The upward surge in literacy, with concomitant growth in overall educational
standards reached by most Zimbabwean youth, opened the doors to tens of
thousands per annum into tertiary educational institutions. Very
commendably, government worked vigorously to maximise access to such
institutions, expanding very considerably the polytechs and technical
colleges and the then only local university, the University of Zimbabwe.

It also actively enabled the establishment of other universities and
tertiary educational institutions.

Zimbabwe developed a wealth of highly educated and skilled persons as
required by all sectors of the economy - industry, agriculture, mining,
manufacturing, tourism, finance and services - and required to sustain and
develop all of Zimbabwean society, including doctors, nurses, others with
medical and related skills, teachers, public servants and many others.

Education and skills are amongst the greatest assets any country can
possess, and a conduit to economic advancement and well-being. After the
first 15 years of Independence, Zimbabwe appeared to be well-placed for
major economic growth, the combination of its agricultural resources,
mineral wealth, unique and abundant tourist attractions, technological
infrastructure and much else being the catalysts which, fuelled by the
educational and skills resources, would bring about that economic growth.

Unfortunately, the economy, which began to blossom between 1994 and 1997,
began to wither in late 1997, when government allowed political ideologies
and objectives, hunger for retention of power, and contempt for fundamental
principles of democracy, justice, law and order, to override the needs of
the populace for a stable and growing economy. It stubbornly rejected any
and all well-founded and well-intentioned advice from the international
community and from the captains of the economic sectors, wheresoever such
advice was in conflict with its dogmas.

Steadily over the years 1998 to 2004 the economy shrivelled, bringing
closure to many business, contractions of operations by most other
enterprises, decimation of the tourism industry, almost total agricultural
collapse and, as a result, a markedly lesser need for educated and skilled,
let alone the unskilled.

Some decided to embark on self-imposed exile, because of their pronounced
abhorrence for government's policies and its authoritarian control of
Zimbabwe. They found it intolerable and untenable to reside in a state which
had no respect for the fundamentals of human rights (as recently evidenced
by a report by the African Union which government strenuously tried to
suppress at the recent AU meeting in Addis Ababa.

With over 80% of Zimbabwe's employable population unemployed, nearly half
the population barely surviving below the Poverty Datum Line, hundreds of
thousands of Aids orphans, and many others debilitated and unable to sustain
themselves, those who were fit and able departed Zimbabwe in order to gain
employment elsewhere, yielding valuable foreign exchange which could provide
financial support for dependants.

In addition, others, such as white commercial farmers, also departed for
pastures further afield, for they were viciously deprived of their
livelihoods, vilified and mentally and physically abused. Increasingly, the
Zimbabwean economy declined, primarily as a direct consequence of government
's actions of economic destruction, alienation of international goodwill and
support, fiscal mismanagement, and intentionally myopic oblivion to
corruption. But the decline was exacerbated by the mass exodus by the
majority of Zimbabwe's skilled. Productivity diminished, technological
awareness and ability decreased, investment became the exception instead of
the rule, and economic viability was markedly destroyed.

However, this tragic circumstance has continued to worsen. Admittedly, the
rate of economic decline was curtailed by the dynamic and resolute stance of
the governor of the Reserve Bank, Gideon Gono. He determinedly applied
constructive monetary policies (although some have been muted to accommodate
political circumstance) with a result that the possibility of the
contraction of the economy being halted was considered by some to exist.
That was more recently reinforced by a belated implementation of long
required fiscal policies and disciplines.

As pleasing as these changes are, as possible indicators of positive further
changes in the future, they did not suffice to stem the flow of the skilled
from Zimbabwe. The brain drain has continued apace, for economic needs still
motivate the exodus of many. That brain drain is a further and intensifying
economic constraint, greatly hindering the valiant attempts of the few (and,
in particular, of Gono and of the acting Minister of Finance and Economic
Development, Herbert Murerwa) to bring about an economic metamorphosis.

Zimbabwe has developed a critical lack of accountants, engineers,
architects, trained industrialists, and many other vitally needed skills.And
that lack is becoming greater. Remarks by the president that continued
possession of some farms by whites is an anomaly and irregularity to be
corrected, spurs fears of intensifying racism. So too do many of the
diatribes by many of his ministers and especially by the Minister of
Fiction, Fable and Myth, being targeted against minority racial groups.
Recurrent modifications of the Citizenship Act underscore the contempt for
those minorities, and for justice and equity.

Recently, more and more of the remaining skilled in Zimbabwe have been
motivated to leave Zimbabwe. They do so out of fear of total collapse of the
health services due to the very pronounced numbers of doctors, nurses,
radiologists and radiographers, physiotherapists, anaesthetists, surgeons
and others of the medical professions as they have taken up employment in
South Africa, Australia, New Zealand, the United Kingdom and elsewhere.

That fear is experienced by whites, Asians and blacks alike, resulting in
mass departures by people of all races. In the last few months, the fears of
the collapse of health services have been compounded by fears of sharply
declining educational resources.

Tertiary institutions have been struggling for some time to obtain a
sufficiency of professors, lecturers and other academics with requisite
knowledge and skills. And now the Minister of Education, Sport and Culture
is determinedly destroying primary and secondary schools. He has a shrinking
pool of capable teachers to staff fully the government schools and his
stance against independent schools is clearly driven by a wish todestroy
their independence and subject them to his total control.

Not only has he prevented them from raising essential revenues, necessary if
standards are to be maintained, but he has insinuated racial discrimination,
devoid of foundation, and has unhesitatingly assured the schools'
representatives of his increasing interference and control, until the
schools are wholly subjugated to him. As a result parents of thousands of
pupils are, irrespective of their race, leaving Zimbabwe or intend to do so,
so as to assure their children's education.

The Zimbabwean economy is the victim, and the minister can justifiably be
identified as yet another major contributor to economic collapse, and
increased poverty and misery. Unless the brain drain is reversed, the
Zimbabwean economy cannot recover.

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Please tell it like it is, Gono

 MUCKRAKER was surprised by Reserve Bank governor Gideon Gono's refusal to
speak to the Zimbabwe Independent last week on the troubled banks issue.

"No, no. I spoke to the nation a few weeks ago," he told our reporter.
"Please refer to my statement. I can't be speaking to the press everyday."

Is this the same governor who has assiduously courted the press, paying
Mighty Movies huge amounts in public funds to ensure his every word is
recorded for posterity by their camera crews?

Journalists were woken up last Friday by the beeping of their cellphones
with an SMS from the governor congratulating them on helping to bring down
inflation. This is a modern-minded Reserve Bank chief who understands very
well the importance of media coverage. But he should also understand that
when reality on the ground doesn't quite match the comforting assurances
contained in his statements, reporters may have questions. And he must deal
with those questions openly and honestly.

Loftily referring us to his most recent epochal "address to the nation"
doesn't really cut it.

Please Gideon. Tell it like it is occasionally, not like you want it to be.
A whole raft of banks are having difficulty staying afloat because the
economic fundamentals that caused their problems remain the same. Most are
struggling to repay their loans. That's a fact. It wouldn't hurt you to
admit it when asked.

We were amused by William Nhara's open letter to President Olusegun Obasanjo
in the Sunday Mail last weekend - the same paper that had the previous week
published a false report about Nigerian funding for the MDC in the 2005

Nhara took the Nigerian leader, whom he addressed as "Oga Kwata Kwata", to
task over Nigeria's reported support for the MDC. The fact that Nigeria's
foreign minister had dismissed the Sunday Mail story as "ludicrous and
 false" did not deter Nhara from repeating the claim.

"I write as a disturbed Zimbabwean, as a patriotic pan-Africanist, as a
progressive internationalist," Nhara wrote. He forgot to add that he was
also writing as a political failure. Voters declined to buy his
blandishments in a Harare Central by-election last year.

If Obasanjo had read the latest issue of New African magazine he would know
that Robert Mugabe had been voted the "number three greatest African of all
time", Nhara pointed out. Obasanjo, on the other hand, belonged in the Moise
Tshombe category, he suggested.

"Let me refresh your memory on what your counterpart President Mugabe said:
'Zimbabwe will never be a colony again'."

That's as far as Nhara's persuasive powers extend, it would seem. By
repeating this facile mantra as some Delphic oracle the pathetic Nhara is
simply demonstrating the limited orbit of his intellect.

Don't we recall some research agency coming under his auspices? What
happened to that? And who else would take the results of a survey by Barmy
Baffour's pan-Africanist vehicle as a guide to anything in particular?

The survey, which placed Obasanjo 19th, "should leave you thinking and
thinking hard why the world and Africans just love this Robert Mugabe",
Nhara bleated.

After this performance, many readers will agree with Nhara when he describes
himself as a "disturbed Zimbabwean".

Below Nhara's less-than-incisive piece was another vacant lot by political
editor Munyaradzi Huni describing Obasanjo as a chameleon. It contained the
usual abuse.

We can well understand why Nigerian Foreign minister Olu Adeniji should
express such shock at Zimbabwe's campaign of calumny against his country.
After all, it was Nigeria which gave Zimbabwe the US$5 million it needed to
buy out the Argus group's shares in what is now Zimpapers.

Adeniji called in Zimbabwe's acting ambassador to express his displeasure at
a  "patently untrue publication in the press of a friendly country for which
Nigeria has sacrificed so much".

He charged the acting ambassador with communicating his government's
displeasure to Harare over such claims against Nigeria "which have become a
pattern in Zimbabwe".

At least the facile claim that Zimbabwe was the victim of a conspiracy by
the "white" Commonwealth has been disposed of by this latest development.
The truth is now evident. The "conspiracy" goes much further than that!

And it was good to see Botswana's assistant minister for presidential
affairs Olifant Mfa standing his ground on the flogging issue. Why should a
country like Zimbabwe with an appalling record of abuse of detainees lecture
Botswana on "human rights"? When did Botswana last torture a detained
lawyer, an MP or a journalist?

The Botswana government should now adopt a more robust position over hosting
radio stations which the Zimbabwe state media accuse of "anti-African hate

Who are the masters of hate language? Who have closed the airwaves to public
discourse and reduced Zimbabwe to a desolate prison from which hundreds of
thousands of its citizens have been forced to flee to countries of refuge
like Botswana?

Joke of the week: the Sunday Mail's editor who thinks we are all "kicking
ourselves" for rejecting the draft constitution. The commission, we are
told, "comprised some of the most eminent and honourable thinkers the
country could assemble".

Does that include those who ignored the views expressed in the outreach
programme and allowed proposals on land acquisition to be smuggled in by the

The state media has been busy pretending that none of the Sadc states have
in place the electoral proposals adopted this week in Mauritius. In fact
nearly all have independent electoral commissions and one-day voting. Above
all they have ruling parties that allow the opposition to campaign!

Protest group Zvakwana, which handed out pro-democracy leaflets at a demo in
Grande Baie and flew banners from boats offshore during the summit, found it
considerably easier to exercise freedom of expression in Mauritius than at

The Sunday Mirror, it would seem, is attempting to match the Sunday Mail in
the wildness and scope of its conspiracy theories. Last weekend brought
revelations of a plot by Zambian tour operators to warn visitors against
crossing into Zimbabwe because of the volatile situation here.

The Mirror's intrepid business reporter had managed to get a tape of a
Zambian tour operator warning Zimbabwean tourism executives disguised as
Kenyan tourists that this country was not a safe destination.

The reporter is going to hand the tape over to the Zimbabwe Tourism
Authority which he appears to think is some sort of holiday police.

This latest "onslaught", the Mirror's reporter suggested, was part of a plot
by "enraged" former commercial farmers to "unleash a blitz of inaccurate
information" about Zimbabwe.

That was the last we heard of them. They didn't feature again in the story
and no evidence was provided linking them to the tour operators except the
claim that they were part of "a grand plan of syndicates involving the
powerful Western media bent on securing the demise of the local tourism

In other words nothing to justify the Mirror's headline "Ex-farmers hatch
plan to block tourists".

Where's Tendai Chari when you need him?

Muckraker is always surprised at the panic by mafikizolos in Zanu PF every
time the subject of talks with the MDC is mentioned. This week it was Mzala
Joe who devoted a whole article to denying that there were any talks between
the two parties on electoral reforms.

Obviously alarmed that any such talks between Zanu PF and the MDC might
result in people like him being sidelined, Mzala Joe told his Sunday News
readers any such talks would be a betrayal of the people. The Independent
was attacked for reporting MDC leader Morgan Tsvangirai's remarks that there
were hardliners in Zanu PF who were opposed to such talks. Such hardliners
would appear to include mafikizolos like Mzala who have just dipped their
snout in the feeding trough.

The truth is that if there was any positive outcome from the talks, the
likes of Mzala Joe and his partner in propaganda, Lowani Ndlovu, would find
themselves out of employment. They thrive on perceived irreconcilable
divisions in the country.

The Sunday News clown claimed the opposition was desperate for talks
"because it is now clear to every fool that the MDC has become so irrelevant
that the only thing that can bring back life to the sellouts are talks with
Zanu PF".

Those like Muckraker not privileged to be "every fool" have not shut out all
prospects of Zimbabweans one day overcoming their adversity and working
together to restore the country to its past glory. Apart from the politics
of division that have provided sheltered employment to Mzala Joe and his
ilk, life in Zimbabwe has deteriorated severely in the past five years. And
the issue of unity and restoring national prosperity is not about scoring
cheap points.

We wonder if Mzala Joe and his other fools really believe the puerile
propaganda that the Independent is a treacherous pro-Tony Blair newspaper
for giving the MDC a chance to air its views. Not all editors are
thought-terrorists allowed to carry the views of only one minister.

Nothing in the Sunday Mail beats Lowani Ndlovu's fascination with blair
toilets. He claimed in his "uncolonised" column that after the "final push"
campaign the MDC fell into the blair toilet. What remains "is for it to be
flushed down that toilet" in next year's parliamentary election.

This exposes alarming ignorance from one who claims to be a son of the soil.
He doesn't know you don't flush a blair toilet. Nor a bush toilet.

And why is Lowani Ndlovu so terrified of change? This week his effort was
directed at confusing a very clear demand for electoral law reform with his
so-called regime change. Fortunately he is powerless to stop the process
because people have decided to ignore unhinged fellows like him. Even
President Robert Mugabe, whom he pretends to be defending, has realised he
cannot stop any more the tide of change. So it is that the likes of Lowani
will be forced to accept change even as they squeal and rant against the
people's will.

No one believes Lowani's deranged humbug that electoral reform means
"unconstitutionally" removing Mugabe from power. Unless that has been his
wish but he lacks the means. Why waste space trying to poison people's

A fan of Muckraker has written to complain about an MBA student at the
University of Zimbabwe behaving like a Zanu PF cadre. This came out last
week when a lecturer on corporate governance, Victor Mhizha-Murira, said it
was "unfortunate" that Zimbabwe had withdrawn from the Commonwealth since
most of the codes on corporate governance originate from that grouping.

One Margaret Sangarwe is said to have taken great exception to the use of
the word "unfortunate". Muckraker understands the woman is the permanent
secretary in the Environment and Tourism ministry and apparently they have
been told to praise every individual deed by President Mugabe as a
collective decision of the people of Zimbabwe. So she went ballistic
demanding that Mhizha-Murira withdraw the word "unfortunate" in regard to
Zimbabwe's expulsion, and pretend everything is fine.

According to our reader, the stand-off ultimately sucked in the entire class
on the side of the lecturer, himself a war veteran, who refused to be

We wonder who is paying for Margaret's MBA programme if she can't function
outside Zanu PF's ideological straitjacket. What hope do we have for our
kids if somebody doing an MBA can be so indoctrinated she must defend the

So despite all the noise about Africans being able to go it alone, there is
in fact a secret craving and longing for all things European, or English to
be more specific? We always wondered why there was so much coverage of
English soccer in the state media despite the Dear Leader's almost choking
anger against Tony Blair.

Robson Sharuko let the cat out of the bag this week when he expressed his
disappointment about Warriors captain Peter Ndlovu's decision to leave
England to join South African soccer side Sundowns. This was a huge
climbdown, moaned Sharuko.

"Peter should not have gone to South Africa," he said. "It's a total waste
of his talents, a total waste of his time and a total waste of his efforts.
Peter is way above South African football, way above any football played in
all the African countries ."

So the best of our footballers don't deserve to play in South Africa? We
need not ask where he wants them, and that's not politically-correct, or is
it called "ideologically confused"?

We have noticed that Housing minister Ignatius Chombo has been making noise
about evicting illegal settlers from Porta Farm along the Bulawayo highway.
How come very little is being said about squatters randomly scattered at
White Cliff Farm, along Airport Road and along Chitungwiza Road, all closer
to Harare than Porta Farm? In fact we have just been informed that another
illegal settlement is taking shape opposite new government flats in Marimba.

Muckraker is told that two weeks ago a so-called war veteran led his friends
in the name of something called Leopold Takawira Cooperative. They hoisted
the national flag in an open space on the roadside and one house is already

You can be sure that there are no sanitary facilities. There is no planning
of any kind. Considering the time taken to erect the house, you can be sure
these are not desperate people. It is what we call lawlessness at its worst.
Squatters at Porta Farm are less of a nuisance than those messing around
near a proper residential area near Marimba police station!

Keep your eyes on this one and see if there is going to be any movement
ahead of an election!

Singapore's new prime minister Lee Hsien Loong appears to be adopting a
different stance from that of his stern father, founding statesman Lee Kwan
Yew. In remarks that will come as cold comfort to the Zanu PF regime, hoping
to build bridges to the East, Lee said: "Our people should feel free to
express diverse views, pursue unconventional ideas or simply be different."

What heresy!

 So petrol prices are going up? How long ago was it that the Herald assured
us they were coming down? Part of the "economy on the mend" message we
understood. Time for another call to Dr Gono!

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Zim Independent

Water shortage hits soft drinks supplies
Godfrey Marawanyika
THE country's largest distributor of soft drinks, Delta Beverages, has been
hit by serious water shortages, a trend which has greatly affected the
company's ability to meet consumer demand.

The failure to get adequate water supplies from the Harare City Council has
now resulted in retail outlets limiting the number of drinks clients can

During the past six months, however, Delta, which controls and markets the
Coca-Cola brand name has seen its production improve when compared to last

The company's recent production levels have been affected by the water woes.

Delta needs large quantities of water for purification and during the
production of fizzy drinks.

Council spokesperson Lesley Gwindi confirmed the problems Delta was facing
and said a series of meetings had been held with the company.

"We have met and spoken to the guys from Coca-Cola Central Africa," he said.
"We looked at the problems they are facing and we both agreed that these
would continue for sometime.

"The problem of water will continue as it is not only confined to Delta."

During the last festive season Coca-Cola was affected by problems of gas
procurement from a South African firm.

Delta is again having problems procuring carbon dioxide from a South African
firm because of foreign currency constraints. Carbon dioxide is used during
the production of soft drinks to produce the fizzy product.

Delta spokesperson George Mutendadzamera confirmed that since July 30 they
had been experiencing production interruptions which resulted in a supply

"Volumes are significantly ahead of the same period last year and this has
been so for three months in a row," he said.

"While this is very good for our business it makes the impact of recent
water supply problems quite severe on our customers."

He said although they had met with City of Harare officials on the water

problems, it would take time to reduce the existing supply gaps.

He could, however, not be drawn into commenting on the problems of gas

Although the company is understood to be facing problems due to the
non-availability of bottles from Zimglass (Pvt) Ltd, a subsidiary of the
Industrial Development Corporation of Zimbabwe Ltd, the managing director of
the parastatal Mike Ndudzo said the firm still had sufficient quantities of
glass in stock.

"We have not reduced any production but we are rebuilding our plant," Ndudzo
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Zim Independent

Govt claims on expenditure untrue - Robertson
Shakeman Mugari
THE government's claims that it managed to maintain a positive balance on
its Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) account and cut down on expenditure are
misleading and should be regarded with suspicion, economic commentator John
Robertson has said.

Robertson said government had managed to maintain a positive balance on its
account because it had not paid Value Added Tax (Vat) refunds to local
companies for the past six months.

He said it was "not true" that government had a positive balance on its

"They have a positive balance because they are not paying their debt. They
have not paid billions in Vat refunds," said Robertson this week.

"Anyone can have a positive cashflow if they are not paying their debts."

Government recently announced that it had cut down on expenditure as part of
its inflation-reduction strategy.

The Treasury department in the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development
also said government had managed to maintain a positive balance on the
accounts as part of efforts to reduce expenditure.

This, Robertson said, was not "honest in its assessment" of the situation on
the ground. He pointed out that there was still a massive budget deficit
which government was deliberately down-playing to boost their claims of
controlled expenditure.

"(Acting Finance minister) Herbert Murerwa's fiscal policy states clearly
that there is a budget deficit of $830 billion. If there is any surplus then
it is billions that have not been paid to local companies," he said.

"They (government) continue to live beyond their means. Their expenditure
remains high. How can they have a positive balance? It's misleading."

Government continues to fund its bloated expenditure through borrowing.

Vat refund delays have seen the government maintaining a positive balance on
its central bank reserve account. The positive balance account is also an
accumulation of billions of dollars that government and the Zimbabwe Revenue
Authority (Zimra) have not paid to exporting companies, Robertson said.

The government owes more than $25 billion in outstanding refunds to bakers.

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Zim Independent

NRZ crisis affects Zimplow's earnings
Roadwin Chirara
THE shambles in the rail transport system has severely affected Zimplow's
foreign earnings capacity as the company fails to deliver to external
markets, a top company official has said.

Zimplow chief executive officer Tony Rowland said delays in transport
logistics were having a negative impact on the company's exports.

"We have been having problems with the NRZ in the movement of our products
to South Africa and this has become a serious problem because we have failed
to deliver timeously to our customers," Rowland said.

He said the company was facing serious viability problems due to the
persisting exchange rate which, he said, was failing to tally with

"The current exchange rate has impacted negatively on us. We feel the local
currency has been over-valued mainly because the local dollar has failed to
converge with the local inflation rates," Rowland said.

He said the auction system had become a buyer's market where there were more
bidders than funds allocated.

He said exports were contributing two thirds to the company's earnings, a
situation which he said was being threatened by the exchange regulations.

Rowland said there was need for a liberalised exchange which would reflect
the true picture of the exchange rate in comparison to other regional

"We are going to continue with our exports although their earnings will
continue to be eroded. But you must realise that it has taken time for us to
source these markets and to stop would prove difficult for the company,"
Rowland said.

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Zim Independent

Editor's Memo

What's new?
Vincent Kahiya
SADC heads of state and government meeting in Mauritius this week have
finally adopted the much-touted electoral guidelines and principles
committing them to hold free and fair elections.

The charter implores member countries to ensure that there are equal
opportunities for parties to campaign and to access public media. It also
stresses the importance of an independent judiciary and impartial electoral

The principles are, however, neither new to the continent nor are they a
peculiarly African innovation as some African leaders would have us believe.
These are universal tenets which perhaps explains why before last month they
were so strongly resisted by demagogues in our midst who thrive on coercion
to govern.

Other countries in the region have already embraced many of the electoral
principles and have been encouraging errant members of the bloc such as
Zimbabwe to adopt them.

These are the same standards which Western critics of Mugabe have been

pushing Zimbabwe to adopt. The elections in South Africa and Malawi this
year were held under the dispensation of transparency and political
tolerance of the opposition. Mozambique and Namibia will hold elections
later in the year using the same basic standards.

Tanzanian president Benjamin Mkapa however, in pursuit of regional
solidarity and redundant militancy, let fly against the West saying Africa
was "tired of being lectured on democracy by the very countries which, under
colonialism, either directly denied us the rights of free citizens, or were
indifferent to our suffering and yearnings to break free and be democratic".

While we are mindful of his need to soften up our autocrat by means of
flattery, Mkapa should be reminded that liberation movements which fought to
break free from colonial bondage have no monopoly over the freedoms which
are our birthright.

The liberation struggle was a fight for equity as much as anything else.
Sadc leaders have no right to deny others rights on the spurious premise
that they brought us democracy and therefore should not be censured when
they err. Modern-day oppression cannot be justified on the grounds that
colonialists once oppressed us.

For Mkapa and his colleagues who supported the flawed Zimbabwean elections
of 2000 and 2002 there is no denying that African countries still need to
forge relations with rich nations and conform to attendant conditionalities.
In fact, the adoption of new electoral standards fits into that paradigm.
Sadc will never be a zone of peace and stability unless it has elementary
rules on governance that the rest of the world can recognise.

Mauritian Prime Minister Paul Berenger, whose country has reaped huge
benefits from exporting textile products to the United States under the
Africa Growth and Opportunity Act (Agoa), knows about the contagion effect
of bad governance on trade. His summation of prospects of free and fair
elections in Zimbabwe - albeit too optimistic - is revealing.

"And with free elections due in Zimbabwe next year, we can already start
preparing for the normalisation of relations between Sadc, the European
Union and the United States," he told the assembled heads of state on

Free and fair elections in Zimbabwe are possible if regional leaders drop
their doublespeak with Mugabe who has found solace - not to mention
obduracy - in solidarity from fellow Sadc heads. They attack the West and
heap plaudits on the octogenarian Zimbabwean leader while negotiating with
the same Western countries for trade and aid.

None of the Sadc leaders have joined Mugabe in shouting "to hell with the
West". None have spurned the IMF or World Bank. And even Mkapa was measured
in his remarks on land reform.

Agoa has provided duty and quota-free access for a wide range of products
from African countries that meet United States political and economic
requirements. To qualify, countries should satisfy minimum governance
standards as set out in the Act. The Act also allows exporters to source raw
materials for their exports to the US locally or regionally. The US has
allowed African countries to import raw materials from non-Agoa countries
including Zimbabwe, but this preferential condition expires on September 30.
Benefiting countries are scheduled to negotiate new preferential terms with
the US.

About 10 members of Sadc are signatories to Agoa while Zimbabwe has been
excluded. Member states have derived immense benefits from the textile and
clothing industry. In Lesotho, more than 40 000 jobs have been created as a
result of Agoa.

Countries in the region are also negotiating with the European Union for
development aid - including Mkapa's Tanzania. Mkapa, during the negotiations
will have to attend the "lecture" on good governance and democracy.

But this is not a Western conspiracy to emasculate African governments.
Patrick Mazhimaka, deputy chairperson of the Commission of the African Union
(AU), spoke at the regional summit of the envisaged partnership between the
AU and regional bodies like Sadc.

"In this regard, a protocol on relations between the African Union and
Regional Economic Communities (RECs) is soon to be concluded which will
usher in a new dimension of co-operation between the AU and the RECs," said

"It has been necessary, indeed imperative, to establish co-ordination and
co-operation mechanisms to ensure the promotion of good political, economic
and corporate governance, human rights, the rule of law, humanitarian
concerns and a democratic culture."

That was a lecture to African demagogues by a senior official of their own
mother body. Hopefully some of them were listening.

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