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

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Zim Online

Tsvangirai urges IMF not to expel Zimbabwe, wants UN intervention
Wed 24 August 2005
  HARARE - Zimbabwean opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai on Tuesday urged
the International Monetary Fund (IMF) not to expel the country for
non-payment of debt saying such a move would compound the southern African
nation's crisis.

      Speaking to ZimOnline in Harare, Tsvangirai also called on the United
Nations to intervene in Zimbabwe arguing its fast deteriorating problems now
required more than what regional powerhouse, South Africa, the Southern
African Development Community (SADC) and the African Union (AU) could do to

      Tsvangirai said: "I am against expulsion because the implications will
be disastrous for Zimbabwe , no one will do business with us. We will be
under siege from creditors ..creditors will call up their loans and the
country will virtually collapse.'

      MORGAN Tsvangirai . . . expulsion will be catastrophic for Zimbabwe

      An IMF team arrived in Zimbabwe on Monday for critical talks with the
government, private sector and Tsvangirai's opposition Movement for
Democratic Change party ahead of a September 9 meeting of its board that
could recommend the country's expulsion for failure to repay US$300 million
to the fund.

      Zimbabwe is negotiating with South Africa for a US$500 million loan,
part of which it hopes to use to pay off the IMF and avert expulsion.
Pretoria is understood to have asked President Robert Mugabe and his
government to commit to dialogue with the opposition to find a lasting and
democratic solution to Zimbabwe 's political and economic crisis before it
can release money to Harare .

      Mugabe two weeks ago rejected dialogue with Tsvangirai and his MDC
party saying he would rather talk to British Premier Tony Blair who he
claims is the principal behind the opposition party.

      The Zimbabwean leader has also snubbed an AU attempt to broker
dialogue with the opposition telling the continental body's envoy, former
Mozambican president Joaquim Chissano, that his ruling ZANU PF party and the
MDC could only interact in Parliament where both are represented.

      ZANU PF has absolute control of Parliament after a landslide win in
last March's general election, which the MDC and Western governments say was
massively rigged in favour of Mugabe's party.

      Tsvangirai said South African President Thabo Mbeki, who has
tirelessly and unsuccessfully worked to bring Zimbabwe 's feuding political
parties to the table, had reached the limit of what he could do to resolve
his neighbour's political problems.

      The Zimbabwe crisis now required the intervention of the UN and the
wider international community as well as the AU and SADC, the opposition
leader said.

      He said: "I can accept the fact that Mbeki wants to be part of the
solution and we also want him to be .. But he should accept that the
situation is now beyond the capacity of South Africa alone.

      "We need an international approach which includes the African Union,
SADC and the UN because the crisis has assumed that position. President
Mbeki therefore needs some complementary efforts from other international
bodies to solve this crisis."

      Fuel, food, electricity, essential medical drugs, hard cash and almost
every other basic commodity is in critical short supply in Zimbabwe as the
country grapples its worst economic and political crisis which critics blame
on mismanagement and repression by Mugabe.

      The veteran Zimbabwean leader denies ruining the country and instead
says its economic problems are because of sabotage by Britain and its
Western allies opposed to his seizure of land from whites for redistribution
to landless blacks. - ZimOnline

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Zim Online

Zimbabwe's Supreme Court dismisses judge's application to have tribunal
Wed 24 August 2005

      HARARE - Zimbabwe's Supreme Court on Tuesday dismissed an application
by suspended High Court judge Benjamini Paradza to have a tribunal set up to
probe him on corruption charges disbanded.

      President Robert Mugabe last year set up a tribunal to probe Paradza
after he allegedly sought to defeat the course of justice. Paradza is said
to have sought to secure the illegal release of his business partner Russell
Lubuschagne's passport who had been arrested for murder.

      Lubuschagne was later convicted of the offence.

      Paradza on Monday became the first judge to stand trial in Zimbabwe as
the courts pursued the corruption case.

      In a judgment delivered on Tuesday, the majority of Supreme Court
judges ruled against Paradza with Justice Wilson Sandura voting to have the
tribunal disbanded.

      In his application, Paradza argued that Mugabe had failed to adhere to
the law in setting up the tribunal after he failed to personally appoint the
committee as required by the law.

      Instead, the government had allowed Justice Minister Patrick Chinamasa
to appoint members of the tribunal with the assistance of chief justices
from three other countries.

      Last year the Zimbabwe government appointed Justices Dennis Chirwa of
Zambia, John Mroso of Tanzania and Isaac Mtambo from Malawi.

      Paradza accuses Mugabe's government of hounding independent judges who
delivered judgments deemed unfavourable to the state. The Zimbabwe
authorities are accused of purging the judiciary of independent
      judges, leaving a pliant bench at the beck and call of Mugabe.

      Meanwhile, High Court Judges Lawrence Kamocha and Nicholas Ndou
testifying in the ongoing trial of Paradza, yesterday told the court that it
was normal for judges to consult each other on cases they will be working
on. But the two justices maintained that no judge could influence the
outcome of a case not before him/her.

      The matter resumes today with Paradza's lawyer Jeremy Gauntlett
expected to challenge the admissibility of an audio tape which the state is
using as evidence but which the lawyer says was obtained illegally. -

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Zim Online

SA raps "targeted sanctions" imposed on Zimbabwe
Wed 24 August 2005

      CAPE TOWN - South Africa's foreign minister Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma on
Tuesday criticised targeted sanctions imposed on President Robert Mugabe and
his top lieutenants blaming the sanctions for Zimbabwe's economic woes.

      Dlamini-Zuma was addressing students, lecturers and politicians at the
University of Cape Town.

      "Now tell me, if you are a business person and you hear your country
has sanctioned the president of that country (Robert Mugabe), are you going
to go running there with your investments? You are not," she said.

      The United States and the European Union imposed targeted sanctions on
Mugabe and top figures in his ruling ZANU PF party after a controversial
presidential election in 2002 accusing the Zimbabwean leader of failing to
uphold democracy.

      Dlamini-Zuma said the targeted sanctions had adversely affected the
whole country.

      South Africa has persistently refused to openly criticise Mugabe's
style of governance in Zimbabwe preferring a policy of "quiet diplomacy"
towards the embattled Zimbabwean leader.

      Dlamini-Zuma also vigorously defended Pretoria 's much criticised
"quiet diplomacy" policy at the meeting.

      " Zimbabwe is a sovereign country. We have no leverage over them. We
can only negotiate, we can only talk to them.

      "We seem to think there is a lot we can do to force Zimbabwe to go
this way or that way. What is it we can do to force them, tell me? What is
it? Nothing, except of course through negotiations," she said.

      She however said South Africa was willing to assist Zimbabwe resolve
her plethora of problems.

      Pretoria recently offered a US$500 million loan to Harare to avert an
economic meltdown in Zimbabwe subject to Mugabe agreeing to engage the
opposition in talks in the search for a lasting solution to the country's

      But Mugabe has stubbornly refused to engage the opposition whom he
says are a front for the British out to reverse the country's liberation war

      Mugabe has also snubbed an African Union initiative to broker dialogue
between the two main contending parties. - ZimOnline

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Zim Online

Former Mugabe's propaganda chief still on EU banned list
Wed 24 August 2005

      HARARE - The European Union (EU) has maintained former Zimbabwean
President Robert Mugabe's chief propagandist, Jonathan Moyo, who is now an
independent politician, on its list of Harare officials banned from its
member countries.

      The EU, United States , New Zealand , Switzerland and Australia three
years ago imposed visa and financial sanctions against Mugabe, his wife and
top officials of his government and ruling ZANU PF party accusing them of
rigging elections, human rights violations and failure to uphold the rule of

      Moyo's name is included on an updated list of 126 Harare officials
banned from the EU dated July 29, where he is cited as "former Minister of
State for Information and Publicity in the President's Office, born 12. 1.

      It was not possible to immediately establish from the EU whether it
had altered its sanctions policy to cover former members of the Harare

      As information minister, Moyo crafted tough media laws under which
journalists and newspapers must register with a government Media and
Information Commission in order to practise in the country.

      Journalists face two years in jail for breaching the registration law
while newspapers will be closed and their equipment seized by the state if
found publishing without a registration certificate from the government

      During Moyo's tenure, four newspapers including Zimbabwe 's biggest
circulating and non-government controlled daily paper, the Daily News, were
shut down while more than a 100 journalists were arrested from breaching
tough state press laws.

      Moyo was fired from the government by Mugabe when he opted to stand in
last March's disputed election as an independent candidate after ZANU PF had
barred him from standing as its candidate. - ZimOnline.

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Bishop 'besmirching church'
23/08/2005 20:39  - (SA)

Michael Hartnack

Harare - An Anglican bishop who is a strong supporter of President Robert
Mugabe was brought before an ecclesiastical court investigating charges
ranging from inciting murder to besmirching the church.

On Tuesday, Jeremy Lewis, acting as prosecutor, postponed pursuing the most
serious incitement to murder charge against Bishop Nolbert Kunonga.

The 55-year-old clergyman arrived wearing a jewelled cross over his dark
suit and crimson shirt at Tuesday's hearing held in a golf clubhouse across
the road from one of Mugabe's official residences.

Kunonga had not yet been asked to admit or deny the charges, for which he
could be expelled from the church, defrocked or merely reprimanded.

If convicted, he could appeal within the hierarchy of the 200-million member
global Anglican family of churches.

Local church refuses to provide funding

The case was the culmination of a long series of disputes between Kunonga
and parishioners and other members of the clergy, who bought the charges.

The local Anglican Church had refused to provide funding for the
prosecution, which was being financed by international donations.

Other charges alleged Kunonga intimidated and improperly fired priests,
ignored church law, commandeered bank accounts and foreign exchange, and
"brought the diocese into contempt".

He also was accused of ordering the removal of Cathedral memorials to
Zimbabweans killed in the first and second world wars as well as pioneers of
former white-ruled Rhodesia and to victims of the 1972-1980 independence

Archbishop Bernard Malanga, head of the Church of the Province of Central
Africa, which had authority over Zimbabwe, appointed Malawian supreme court
judge James Kalaile to hear the case with Zambian bishops Leonard Mwenda and
Albert Chama assisting.

Kalaile was a prominent lay member of the Anglican Church in Malawi.

Priest can't give evidence from UK

James Matizha, defending council, won an adjournment until Thursday,
claiming charges had been changed at the last minute. Prosecutor Lewis said
Kunonga was apprised of the charges two years ago.

Plans for the key witness to the incitement to murder charge, former
Zimbabwean priest James Mukunga, to give evidence via a closed circuit video
link from a secret location in London, were disallowed under local rules of

Lewis said Mukunga feared for his life if he returned to Zimbabwe, but might
be prepared to testify in neighbouring Malawi.

The incitement to murder charge might be heard later in Malawi.

Kunonga was accused of inciting members of Mugabe's feared Central
Intelligence Organisation and "war veterans" militia to murder 10 of his
critics in the local Anglican hierarchy.

Mukunga allegedly received letters from Kunonga in 2003 with instructions to
pass them on to the intelligence organisation and war veterans, urging them
to "meet" the bishop's critics.

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Against odd, Zimbabweans keep their children in school
HARARE 23 August - Against great odds, Zimbabwean parents and caregivers are
keeping their children in school, and in some cases increasing national
enrolment, UNICEF said today. At the same time, the UN Children's Fund
called on international support for Zimbabweans to ensure this positive
culture does not disappear in the face of harsh economic realities.

Against a backdrop of a declining economy, rising unemployment, an orphan
crisis, the world's fourth highest rate of HIV/AIDS, inflation at 254%, and
over the past two months mass homelessness as a result of a government
'restore order' campaign, different sources of national education statistics
show that Zimbabweans have continued to demonstrate their resolve to keep
their children in school.

National primary school enrolment rates have risen from 92% to 96% (from
2000 to 2004), while nearly four out of five orphans and vulnerable children
(OVC) continue to go to primary school (77%). There is no significant
difference in primary enrolment of orphans and non-orphans, and there is
gender parity in primary enrolment.

"Zimbabweans are making many sacrifices so that their children can continue
going to school," said UNICEF's Representative in Zimbabwe, Dr Festo
Kavishe. "General enrolment is up, while families who have been greatly
stretched by absorbing this country's 1.3million orphans are somehow finding
the means to keep orphans in school. Having said this, recent surveys show
signs of strain in the families' ability to support their children to go to
school. I can think of no clearer reason why Zimbabweans deserve the full
support of the international community."

Even the most recent data from a UNICEF-led  UN assessment of the impact of
the Operation Murambatsvina ('restore order') on children's schooling status
across Zimbabwe - and despite numerous relocations caused by the operation -
shows that 90% of children affected by the Operation remain in school.

"There's no doubt this is the strongest piece of good news story coming out
of Zimbabwe," said Dr Kavishe, "though at the same time we must strive to
ensure that quality teaching is nurtured while we continue to aim for 100%
primary school enrolment." To make this happen, UNICEF says a constructive
and positive engagement with parents and all stakeholders is timely.

With this in mind, UNICEF will support the Ministry of Education and all its
partners to launch a Back to School campaign in September. The campaign will
seek to re-enroll all children who dropped up during Operation Murambatsvina
and access those most vulnerable children who were not in school prior to
the operation.

"Education remains the engine to drive Zimbabwe's long-term prospects, and
it is clear from this data that Zimbabwean parents know that," said Dr
Kavishe. "With additional international assistance we can support the
admirable endeavours of parents and communities across this country."

*   *   *
For further information, please  contact:

James Elder
UNICEF Zimbabwe Communication Officer
Tel: (263) 91 276120

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Mail and Guardian

      'We can do nothing to force Zim'

      Cape Town, South Africa

      23 August 2005 04:38

            Minister of Foreign Affairs Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma questioned on
Tuesday the wisdom of "smart sanctions" imposed on the Zimbabwean government
by Western countries, particularly the European Union.

            "Now tell me, if you are a business person and you hear that
your country has sanctioned the President of that country [Robert Mugabe],
are you going to go running there with your investments? You are not," she

            Dlamini-Zuma was responding to questions at the University of
Cape Town where her department held an inaugural imbizo (meeting) for the
exchange of views on foreign policy.

            Dlamini-Zuma said although the sanctions -- imposed by the
United States and the EU after intimidation and violence in Zimbabwe's
general election in March -- target individuals, they have a general effect
on the country.

            "Of course there are things also that I think Zimbabwe could
have done better ... But of course, these problems then became a vicious
cycle because if you are isolated, you can't get capital, you can't get
foreign currency and you are not able to pay your debts to the IMF
[International Monetary Fund] and so on," she told the audience of
academics, students and politicians.

            Dlamini-Zuma said South Africa's much-maligned quiet diplomacy
is the correct stance to take, and asked why, when opposing sides negotiate
in pre-democracy talks in South Africa, the same is not applicable to the

            "Our foreign policy is two-fold: it is predictable, it's
consistent, because it's based on our own internal values. So, if we value
negotiations in South Africa, why do we want fighting in Zimbabwe between us
and the Zimbabweans?"

            Dlamini-Zuma said South Africa is willing to advise and assist
Zimbabwe in making the right decisions in a non-confrontational way.

            "Zimbabwe is a sovereign country. We have no leverage over them.
We can only negotiate, we can only talk to them ... We seem to think there
is a lot we can do to force Zimbabwe to go this way or that way.

            "What is it we can do to force them, tell me? What is it?
Nothing, except of course through negotiations," she said.

            She said all the Western countries that advocate megaphone
diplomacy have achieved nothing, except to isolate them from what is
happening in Zimbabwe.

            Dlamini-Zuma fielded a wide array of questions from the floor,
including one from Canadian student Bryant Greenbaum about South African
mining companies named as "violators" by the United Nations in their
operations in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

            Greenbaum caused a minor stir when he put a brown bag over his
head and stood up, demanding that Dlamini-Zuma respond to questions on Sudan
and Zimbabwe and not extol the virtues of women in politics, as she was
doing in response to another question.

            An unflustered Dlamini-Zuma continued with her pro-women talk,
chastising Greenbaum and telling him to wait his turn. -- Sapa

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IMF Urges Mugabe to Save Economy

Business Day (Johannesburg)

August 23, 2005
Posted to the web August 23, 2005

Dumisani Muleya

AS IT began emergency consultations in Harare yesterday, the International
Monetary Fund (IMF) fact-finding mission urged the Zimbabwe government to
take urgent measures to save the country's economy from collapse, sources

Harare faces expulsion from the IMF for its failure to repay arrears of
$295m. Yesterday's call came ahead of the fund's board meeting on Zimbabwe's
fate in the international lending organisation on September 9.

The fact-finding mission will be in Zimbabwe for a week.

Official sources said the IMF team told Finance Minister Herbert Murerwa and
Zimbabwe Reserve Bank governor Gideon Gono to adopt a comprehensive policy
package to tackle the worsening economic crisis. The team is also expected
to meet President Robert Mugabe, among others.

Harare is banking on SA to provide money to clear its debt, although there
are still disagreements over conditions on political and economic reforms.

The sources said the South African loan was not discussed yesterday but
could come up in talks with Mugabe later this week.

"The team's entry point was to review the recommendations it made to the
government in June. They wanted to know how far the government has gone to
implement recommended policy measures," said one of the sources, who
declined to be named.

In June, the IMF told the government to take decisive action to lower the
fiscal deficit, tighten monetary policy and work towards the establishment
of a unified, market-determined exchange rate.

It also urged Zimbabwe to adopt structural reforms, such as the removal of
administrative and price controls, in order to ease shortages and restore
private-sector confidence.

The IMF, which has projected a 1,6% economic shrinkage for Zimbabwe this
year, has warned output would decline sharply this year, in part due to the
continued difficulties in agriculture which have been exacerbated by drought
and worsening foreign exchange shortages.

The fund told Harare clearly that unless there was a fundamental policy
shift, the budget deficit would grow markedly -- partly due to the cost of
higher food imports, interest payments and higher pension costs.

It also said that the central bank's substantial producer and credit
subsidies, and budget deficit would fuel a sharp increase in money supply,
and hence inflation, which surged from 164% in June to 254% in July.

The sources said the IMF reminded Harare again to rebuild relations with the
international community because this was "a critical part of the effort to
reverse the economic decline".

However, Zimbabwe has not done much to address these issues, except for
lifting the state-run Grain Marketing Board's monopoly by issuing import
licences to private-sector companies.

Murerwa said during a supplementary budget announcement last week that
licences had been issued to private importers to bring in 1,2-million tons
of grain desperately needed to fend off starvation.

"Total maize production is down to between 750000 tons and a million tons,
against a national requirement of 1,8-million tons," he told parliament. He
said only 300000 tons had been imported.

Murerwa yesterday confirmed he had met with IMF officials but would not give

"They arrived on Sunday and I had meetings with them this afternoon," he

A statement would be issued at the end of the meetings, he said.

Even if Zimbabwe does obtain a South African loan to pay its arrears, this
will not unleash additional IMF resources. Bankers say the country will have
to carry out the reforms the IMF is insisting on before any new loans can be
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Govt to help church aid get to Harare

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

JOHANNESBURG, 23 Aug 2005 (IRIN) - After almost a month of delays in getting
relief food to Zimbabwe, the South African Council of Churches (SACC) has
asked the South African government to intervene.

"The SACC has requested Rev Frank Chikane, director-general of the
presidency, for help, and he assured us last night that the necessary
documents will be processed soon," said Rev Ron Steele on behalf of the SACC
on Tuesday.

Relief aid for Zimbabweans affected by the government's controversial
crackdown on illegal settlements and the informal economy was expected to
leave South Africa two weeks ago.

Two trucks carrying 37 mt of food aid, including white maize, sugar beans
and cooking oil, have been waiting in a depot for clearance since the first
week of August; another truck laden with blankets is currently in a bonded
warehouse in the Zimbabwean capital, Harare.

Initially the food relief was stalled when the Zimbabwean government
requested assurance that the maize was not genetically modified (GM); the
documents declaring the maize's GM-free status were submitted the following

According to sources, the SACC is now attempting to get an exemption from
duty for the relief aid.

The NGO Christian Care is to distribute the goods for the Zimbabwe Council
of Churches to the displaced.

A report by UN Special Envoy Anna Tibaijuka said more than 700,000 people
had been affected by the demolitions of shanty settlements in and around
urban centres, which "breached both national and international human rights
law provisions guiding evictions" and had created "a humanitarian crisis".

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Trial of a High Court judge puts judiciary in spotlight

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

JOHANNESBURG, 23 Aug 2005 (IRIN) - As the trial of a High Court judge
arrested for allegedly obstructing the course of justice gets underway in
Zimbabwe, law experts say the proceedings are likely to bring the
independence of the judiciary under close scrutiny once more.

Judge Benjamin Paradza is facing charges brought against him by state
prosecutors in 2003 of attempting to defeat the course of justice by
telephoning fellow judges and asking them to release the passport of a
business partner accused of murder. Paradza has denied the allegations, and
last year stalled the proceedings of the inquiry by lodging a constitutional
case in the Supreme Court.

Paradza's arrest was roundly condemned by human rights groups, who accused
the government of cracking down on independent-minded judges and packing the
courts with sympathetic ones. The rights groups maintain the charges are
political and linked to a series of perceived 'anti-government' rulings made
by the judge.

A month before his arrest, Paradza ordered police to release Mayor Elias
Mudzuri, head of the opposition-controlled Harare municipal council at the
time; the judge also struck down eviction notices against white farmers,
although he is a veteran of Zimbabwe's war of independence.

Police have insisted that the case is purely criminal.

Irene Petras of Zimbabwe's Lawyers for Human Rights told IRIN: "This trial
will, once again, give the courts an opportunity to show just how able they
are to deliver justice fairly. So far, it has been evident that judges are
expected to toe the party line; failure to do so often results in unfair

Relations between the government and the judiciary have been less than
cordial ever since judges ordered police to remove militants occupying
white-owned farms in the runup to the 2000 parliamentary elections.

Several judges - including former Chief Justice Anthony Gubbay - have been
forced to resign or retire early.

"The problem right now is that lawyers and the Zimbabwean public seem to
have lost confidence in the justice system, chiefly because the courts are
seen to be partial to the government. There are also several incidents where
court orders have been disobeyed, which has contributed to a culture of
impunity," commented Joseph James, president of Zimbabwe's Law Society.

He added that the perception that judges had been compromised arose mainly
from the benefits they had reportedly received from the government in
exchange for their support.

"How can a judge be independent when he has received land from the
government? James asked. "This automatically means that he is at the whim of
the executive."

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ICC to stand by Zim
Tuesday August 23 2005

ItIt seems, according to a report in the Guardian, that the International
Cricket Council will ignore a tardy plea from the British government to ban
tours of the trouble-torn Zimbabwe by Test-playing nations.

It will apparently endorse a programme that commits all nations to visit the
African state at least once between 2006 and 2012. The timing of the UK call
is interesting in that it comes just after England's abridged tour last
winter with the team not due to return to Zimbabwe for several years. This
was 18 months after the last English-Zimbabwean hullabaloo over their World
Cup fixture in Zimbabwe and refusal to shake hands with President Robert
Mugabe if he presented himself.

The chief executives of the Test-playing nations meet in Dubai this week to
discuss the ICC's future tours programme, and are likely to recommend a
six-year cycle during which every nation will have to play each other home
and away at least once.

The British foreign secretary Jack Staw and the culture minister Tessa
Jowell have written to ICC president Ehsan Mani and Malcolm Speed, the chief
executive, urging the body to take sanctions against Zimbabwe following
human rights abuses in the country.

The letter was sent in support of similar pleas from the Australian and New
Zealand governments.

Without a clear government instruction not to tour governing bodies face
fines and possible suspension from international cricket (unless the two
parties agree to suitable compensation), if they do not play as planned.

New Zealand were recently threatened with such prior to their current tour
of Zimbabwe, but the return tour for later this years has been cancelled.
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Comment from The Financial Mail (SA), 12 August

Conditions are so much media hype

By Tony Hawkins

If the SA media is to be believed, Pretoria is at last playing hardball with
President Robert Mugabe, setting terms for a loan, reportedly of up to
US$500m, that are simply unthinkable. For Mugabe to agree to the terms that
the media believe are being demanded by President Thabo Mbeki would be
tantamount to signing his own political death warrant. As if on cue, during
his annual Heroes Day address on Monday in Harare, Mugabe was perfectly
explicit, rejecting what he called "shrill calls from many quarters,
including those whom we expect to know better (a clear reference to SA) for
the so-called talks with the MDC". Zimbabwe officials have said little about
the talks, aside from insisting they are confidential and that there is no
possibility that the ruling Zanu PF party will agree to re open talks with
the opposition Movement for Democratic Change or to re running the recent
elections and repealing repressive laws. Such conditions have been rejected
out of hand by Zanu PF. But whether Mugabe fully appreciates the gravity of
the economic situation is unclear.

Last week, in stark contradiction of the upbeat crop forecasts from
government, the chairman of the committee of bankers charged with sourcing
finance for the forthcoming agricultural season gave bankers a very downbeat
assessment of harvest prospects for 2006. He warned that output would be
seriously constrained by shortages of inputs, fertiliser, pesticides and
fuel, as well as bank credit. So yet again government's much-promised
agricultural turnaround has been postponed. Many other sectors -
manufacturing, tourism and, to a lesser extent, mining - are also being
subjected to "slow strangulation" by the shortage of foreign currency. The
reality is that there is not going to be an economic recovery in Zimbabwe
without substantial and ongoing foreign assistance. With China giving very
little by way of immediate financial support, Zimbabwe's sole remaining hope
is SA. Accordingly, if any SA loan is to be used primarily to pay Zimbabwe's
US$295m in arrears to the IMF, as is being speculated, it would do little
for economic recovery - unless it were to be part of a package that would re
open borrowing from the IMF, the World Bank and the donor community at
large. This is unthinkable at present so why is the IMF sending a team to
Harare in 10 days ?

There are two plausible answers. One is to provide an updated assessment for
the fund's executive board, due to meet on September 9 to consider
Zimbabwe's expulsion. The second - less plausible - is that in return for an
SA pledge to repay Zimbabwe's arrears, the IMF has agreed to start talks
with Harare about a staff-monitored programme (SMP) that would pave the way
for an eventual IMF debt-rescheduling deal, possibly by 2007. Pretoria's
finance ministry and central bank officials know full well that whatever
financial package SA provides will be no more than very short-run bridging
finance. The question is a bridge to what? To a return to international
legitimacy and access to international capital markets? Or a bridge that
enables the Mugabe government to stagger on for another six months or a year
before again knocking on doors ? The reality is that Zimbabwe is running a
balance-of-payments deficit of at least $600m - and possibly a good deal
more - in 2005. A $500m loan will not go very far unless it is part of a
much broader political and economic package.
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Africa will not meet millennium goals: Nepad

August 23, 2005, 17:15

Firmino Mucavele, the incoming Nepad Secretariat CEO, says Africa will not
be to meet the UN millennium development goals by 2015.

Mucavele cited financial resources to the tune of $100 billion a year to
meet the objectives of eradicating poverty and disease within 10 years.

Mucavele says Africa will only meet these goals by 2025, because it's all
about financial resources and the challenge is also implementation. Since
the inception of Nepad about four years ago, enough mechanisms have been
created to meet the critical challenges such as poverty and disease facing
the continent's states.

He also urged Zimbabwe to join Africa Peer Review Mechanism, to allow
greater dialogue with other African countries. Mucavele's call come while
Zimbabwe officials began a week of serious talk with a delegation from the
International Monetary fund, which will decide whether to strip the country
from its membership.

He says he believe if democracy is to take place in Zimbabwe, people need to
have a right to talk, the right to participate, and that's what will solve
the problems of Zimbabwe. Zimbabwe has been the only SADC country that has
seen a negative growth rate, with region's growth increasing in 2004 by
4.1%, as compared to 3.1% rate in 2003. The fastest growing countries are
Mozambique, Angola and the DRC with rates peaking at 11%.
While many say farewell to Wiseman Nkuhlu, the outgoing Nepad CEO, whose era
has seen more than 20 countries signed up for the Africa Peer Review
Mechanism. Most importantly, Africa is now taken serious by the world's
powerful nations and no longer can the G8 meet without the voice of this
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Mail and Guardian

      'Time is not on our side'

      Tendai Biti: COMMENT

      23 August 2005 03:14

            To find a peaceful and democratic solution to Zimbabwe's
problems the African Union and the Southern African Development Community
(SADC) need to develop an informed, honest and objective consensus as to its
origins and avoid public pronouncements that unwittingly distort the facts.

            This particularly applies to South Africa where, on occasion,
the government's pronouncements on Zimbabwe's various ills appear to be
guided by a revisionist narrative of developments in post-independence

            President Thabo Mbeki appears to be of the view that graft and
economic mismanagement are not the principal causes of Zimbabwe's debt.
Instead, he points to the massive spending programme on education and health
that took place in the 1980s to address the legacy of inequality inherited
from the colonial era. This noble and impressive programme, however, was
mainly paid for by external donors and not from money allocated from the
public purse.

            Moreover, Mugabe's commitment to social justice was transient.
The little public money he invested in this programme essentially stopped in

            At this point, Zimbabwe's debt was $3,24-billion, 25% of gross
domestic product, and, therefore, manageable. Contrary to the South African
view, it was events after 1990 that account for today's chronic debt crisis.

            The adoption of the poorly thought-out Economic Structural
Adjustment Programme, the military adventure in the Democratic Republic of
Congo, the massive, unbudgeted, hand-out to war veterans in 1997, and the
endemic corruption that took root across all levels of the government
precipitated spiralling debts that by 1998 had reached $4,716-billion and
which today stand at an estimated $7--billion.

            The gaps in South Africa's analysis of the situation raise
concerns about the policy objectives behind the proposed loan. If South
Africa is firmly of the view that Zimbabwe's debts are an unavoidable
consequence of post-independence obligations then this indicates a
disturbing belief that a lasting solution can be found primarily through
bilateral economic support.

            The Movement for Democratic Change, therefore, suspects that
South Africa is going to provide a loan with or without conditions. The
absence of any conditions would be a grave error for three main reasons.

            Firstly, paying off Zimbabwe's debts without addressing the
conditions that have made Zimbabwe's need to borrow inevitable would prove
to be a profligate exercise. Secondly, giving money directly to the
Zimbabwean government, without any safeguards, increases the potential that
the money will be abused for the purposes of political manipulation or
profiteering by government officials.

            Thirdly, and most importantly, the crisis in Zimbabwe is
essentially a political one and therefore it requires a sustainable
political solution.

            Any extension of credit must be conditional upon irreversible
steps being taken to secure a sustainable political settlement. If not, our
collective fear of Zimbabwe becoming a failed state could easily become a
reality that will have huge socio-economic consequences for South Africa and
the broader SADC region.

            A further concern is that, as the bulk of the money on offer
appears to be directed towards paying off arrears, it will have little
impact on the lives of ordinary Zimbabweans suffering on the ground. Given
the scale of our humanitarian crisis, it would be a tragedy if the loan did
not include a tranche for the purposes of immediate humanitarian relief.

            Time is not on our side. Mugabe needs to be persuaded that his
obstinacy towards a process of national dialogue is driving the country he
fought hard to create towards the brink of collapse and plunging the people
he helped to liberate into a state of unprecedented suffering.

            SADC leaders need to be cognisant of this. If the region is to
meet its development objectives it cannot afford to maintain the collective
deafening silence that has accompanied the United Nations report that
documented the displacement and humanitarian crisis that followed Operation

            Tendai Biti is the Movement for Democratic Change secretary for
finance and economics

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Daily Mirror, Zimbabwe

Ban on Tsholotsho 'rebels' still stands

Farirai Machivenyika
issue date :2005-Aug-23

ZANU PF national chairman John Nkomo yesterday said the five-year suspension
slapped on six provincial chairpersons who participated in the unsanctioned
Tsholotsho indaba last November still stands. There would be no reprieve for
the former party bosses.
      The six participants to the meeting, who threatened to tear the ruling
party apart,  are:  former Masvingo chairman Daniel Shumba, Midlands' July
Moyo, Manicaland's Mike Madiro, Matabeleland North's Jacob Mudenda, Lloyd
Siyoka of Matabeleland South and Themba Ncube of Bulawayo.
Former Zimbabwe National Liberation War Veterans' Association (ZNLWVA)
chairman, Jabulani Sibanda, who also reportedly attended the abortive
caucus, was suspended for four years.  This prompted President Robert Mugabe
to appoint a committee led by Dumiso Dabengwa to restructure the veterans'
Speculation has been rife that the six could be re-engaged by the party to
patch cracks caused by the illegal meeting and the emergence of a "third
force" advocated by the alleged architect of the Tsholotsho gathering,
former information minister Jonathan Moyo.
 But Nkomo, who also chairs the ruling party's national disciplinary
committee, said Zanu PF had not changed its stance regarding the penalty
meted out on the six.  He also denied being approached for clemency.
"We are not doing that (lifting the suspensions)," he said. "They have never
approached me and the judgment that was passed still stands."  Contacted for
comment, July Moyo, who was minister of Public Service, Labour and Social
Welfare before he fell from grace, said: "I have no idea on what you are
talking about." Mudenda refused to comment and referred all questions to
"Ask the national chairman, otherwise I have no comment," he said.
The other four, however, could not be reached for comment.
The six attended the Tsholotsho meeting just before Zanu PF's national
people's congress last year, pointedly to scupper the ascendancy of Joice
Mujuru to the vice-presidency of the party and subsequently the State.
Mujuru was later nominated second party vice-president and Zimbabwe's first
female vice-president. Her appointment was part of the female empowerment
drive by Zanu PF that also saw one-third of the party's candidates in the
March 31 general elections being women.
The meeting is believed to have been organised by Jonathan Moyo, who later
won the Tsholotsho seat as an independent, to canvass support for former
Speaker of Parliament Emmerson Mnangagwa.
Moyo was fired from cabinet after he refused to drop his candidature as an
independent.  Mnangagwa, who was the party's powerful secretary for
administration, was awarded the less influential legal affairs portfolio in
Zanu PF's supreme decision-making body outside the Central Committee - the
President Mugabe later appointed him Minister of Rural Housing and Social
Amenities in the current cabinet.
Didymus Mutasa is the new secretary for administration, while Nkomo is now
the Speaker of Parliament.

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Daily Mirror, Zimbabwe

Harare agric show kicks off

The Daily Mirror Reporter
issue date :2005-Aug-23

THE annual Harare Agricultural Show kicked off yesterday with most
exhibitors showcasing their products and services while several others were
still in the process of constructing their stands.
While the show is basically an agricultural event, other sectors of the
economy such as the information technology (IT), police, government
departments, women's organisations, universities, and HIV/AIDS organisations
were also in participation.
Participants said while the event had attracted few visitors on the first
day, they expected numbers to swell in the coming days.
Namibian president, Hifikepunye Pohamba, who jetted into Harare yesterday is
expected to officially open the exhibition tomorrow.
 Among the exhibitors were the National Aids Council (NAC) whose programme
officer for Harare, Edward Dembedza said the organisation had embarked on a
programme to assess the impact of HIV and AIDS on agriculture and food
security in the country.
Dembedza said the programme is specifically designed for women who usually
face the burden of providing for relatives suffering from AIDS-related
He urged men to take an active role in caring for AIDS patients.
"We have introduced this programme specifically for the agricultural show
targeting women. Society still expect them to be caregivers compared to
their male counterparts", he said.
Statistics reveal that of the 37,8 million infected people worldwide 17
million of them are women. In Sub-Saharian Africa, 57 percent of those with
HIV infection are also  women.
In Zimbabwe women are 1.35 times more likely to contract the disease than
Infection rates among the 15-39 years age group are 12 percent higher in
girls than in boys, according to the NAC. Dembedza said efforts by the NAC
to fight the AIDS pandemic in the country are registering meaningful
progress as the prevalence rate decreased to 21,3 percent of the total
population this year compared to 24,6 percent in 2004.
He added that their stand at this year's agricultural show is full of
There would be several theatre groups that will be showcasing traditional
dances, dramas and music all in the vein of conscientising Zimbabweans about
the dangers of the disease.
Yesterday, Hunters Theatre company were the first to perform at the
exhibition where they belted traditional songs aimed at teaching the public
about the dangers of the pandemic.
"We have four groups that will be entertaining visitors to our stand through
song, dance and drama. That is aimed at alerting the people on the dangers
of the disease," he said.

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Daily Mirror, Zimbabwe

ZSE in talks with Ministry, Zimra

Masimba Rushwaya/Givemore Nyanhi
issue date :2005-Aug-23

THE Ministry of Finance and the Zimbabwe Revenue Authority (Zimra) have held
talks with the Zimbabwe Stock Exchange (ZSE) over the new 10 percent
withholding tax on all tradable securities, in a bid to break an impasse
that has seen business grind to a halt on the local bourse.
Yesterday ZSE chief executive officer Emmanuel Munyuki confirmed the talks
where government is now considering replacing the controversial 10 percent
withholding tax on gross sales with a 10 percent capital gains tax.
"We held a meeting with ministry officials last week on Friday and they
clarified on the calculation of the new tax that will be charged on
turnover," Munyuki said.
"We are still working on the new mechanism."
The new tax will now see government receiving revenue from the profit
proceeds of the sale of a share, that is if the price of the share would
have appreciated.
Munyuki however, said that there had been no trade on the stock exchange
yesterday, making it the fourth day that the local bourse has been in limbo
after the ten percent withholding tax was spelt out in the mid-term fiscal
policy review.
"Yes stockbrokers turned up for trade but there was no business today
because there are still concerns about the tax. However, we are working on
the new clarification from the ministry."
Bright Chikore, managing director of Interfin Securities, and who was privy
to the meeting, added they had proposed to Zimra that stockbrokers should
not collect the capital gains tax on behalf of the revenue collector, as
this would be very tedious given that they had many clients.
"Under the current set up it does not make sense for us to collect revenue
on behalf of Zimra. This would entail us having to check whether an investor
would have made a profit from the sale of any shares before calculating the
tax due.
"Imagine doing this for 5 000 clients on a daily basis. In any case what
happens if a seller claims to have made a loss in the sale of his shares,
who would have the time to verify this?"
He added that they had recommended that Zimra should collect the tax on
their own and maybe on a quarterly basis, which would make the process
easier to all concerned.
"In addition we told them that there were other ways that government (which
is broke) could collect revenue from the stock exchange without threatening
the latter's existence," Chikore said without elaborating.
Chikore dismissed insinuations that there was a boycott on the ZSE but said
the new dispensation on prescribed assets for pension and insurance funds
meant there were too many shares on sale with not enough buyers to go round.
Chikore added that Zimra officials would be coming back to them with a
feedback on their proposals tomorrow.
After making history by not trading on Wednesday and Thursday, the stock
market suffered on Friday when sellers began reducing the offers of their
shares - the only option left for sellers in a market with no buyers.
Listed counters were forced to weaken their share prices on Friday as no
solution to the stalemate appeared to be in sight on the local bourse,
arguably the second biggest of its kind on the continent following after the
Johannesburg Securities Exchange (JSE) of South Africa.
The 10 percent withholding tax charged on the gross profit of all shares
traded on the bourse, coupled with the new directive for pension and
insurance funds to calculate their prescribed asset ratios at market value,
prompted investors to retreat from the stock exchange.
The measures resulted in sellers having shares on their hands that no
investors were willing to buy.
On Friday offers on the industrial index weakened on the local bourse to
3,927,304.04 from 4,207,981.21, a 6.67 percent slump, as some counters were
forced to reduce the offer prices of their shares in search of buyers. The
mining index also suffered a significant 11.07 percent decline.
Yesterday the offers for several counters continued to slide and the
industrial index closed 25, 841.07 points (0.66 percent) lower at
3,901,462.97 points.
The mining index was unchanged at 595,228.66 points. The only trade was
recoded in First Mutual Limited, $25 down at $50.
Zimbabwe has 79 companies listed on the ZSE, five of which are currently
suspended. The listed companies are involved in the business of buying and
selling of shares on the stock market.
Murerwa said the 10 percent withholding tax placed on the sale of securities
was part of measures aimed at raising revenue required to boost government's

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Daily Mirror, Zimbabwe

Mutare sued for firing recruits

From Netsai Kembo in Mutare
issue date :2005-Aug-23

MUTARE City Council is being sued for an undisclosed amount of money by
municipal police recruits allegedly discharged at the behest of Tinaye
Chigudu, the Manicaland Governor, in order to accommodate National Youth
Service graduates.
Confirming the lawsuit, acting mayor Norman Togara said the 37 recruits sent
home during the course of training two weeks ago were demanding either
reinstatement or compensation for the inconveniences caused.
Togara, not the Dynamos defence stalwart, said though it was the norm for
such recruitment to be done through the labour ministry and on merit,
Chigudu had directed that all council police recruits be replaced by the
Green Bombers.
Chigudu, who is also the resident minister, acknowledged that he was
interfering with council business because there was no transparency in the
recruitment drive as MDC supporters were getting preference.
He described insinuations that he was favouring Green Bombers as a cheap
ploy by the opposition MDC-led city council to rubbish the governor's office
in particular and the image of the Zimbabwe government in general.
"That is absolutely baseless and nonsense. I am not even aware of that
either in my capacity as Governor and Resident Minister or (interim) Zanu PF
chairman for this province," the governor said.
"Well, but still it is government policy that these youths be absorbed in
government departments and related organisations. If we fail to accommodate
them, then why were they trained in the first place?" asked Chigudu.
He added: "I have already agreed with local government minister (Ignatius)
Chombo that council consult with me when recruiting staff. This was after
reports that they recruited only MDC members and employed ghost workers to
milk ratepayers."
Chigudu further said that though priority was given to national youth
service graduates when recruiting, that did not mean "throwing away others."
There was need for non-graduates and graduates to interact for meaningful
development, he added.
But the acting mayor maintained that the governor had abused his office to
bulldoze preferred recruitees into council.
Apart from expelling the recruits, Togara further claimed that the governor
had previously presented his own list of 50 Green Bombers to be absorbed
into the city engineer's department effective beginning this month.
The order followed reports of council using huge amounts of money on wrong
priorities and hiring workers along party lines.

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Daily Mirror, Zimbabwe

Association denies involvement in Mutare mayor's suspension

From Our Correspondent in Mutare
issue date :2005-Aug-23

STUNG by accusations that it was fully behind the suspension of Mutare's MDC
mayor Misheck Kagurabadza last month, the Mutare Ratepayers Association
(MRA) has vehemently dismissed these assertions as baseless and meant to
cause despondency in the eastern border city.
MRA organizing secretary Nathan Mhlanga stressed that the association was
apolitical and had nothing against the opposition-dominated Mutare City
Council so long it executed its civic duties efficiently and above board.
Whatever MRA did, he explained, was in line with its core-business of
monitoring the activities of the local authority than being an appendage of
any particular political party.
Local government minister Ignatius Chombo suspended Kagurabadza together
with city treasurer Kudzanai Mumbengegwi and his deputy Silas Mapindu for
alleged insubordination and maladministration.
The allegations emanate from his issuing unauthorized car loans of $1,5
billion to top council officials in addition to hiring nurses without the
minister's consent.
Mhlanga's remarks come in the wake of a barrage of criticisms of the MRA by
some concerned sections of society for its alleged pivotal role in the mayor's
"These people said since the election of Kagurabadza in August 2003, the MRA
had adopted a "militant" approach to Mutare city council which they
baselessly blamed for mistakes of the predecessing Zanu PF led council," he
"They further said the ousting of Kagurabadza was even long overdue as it
was earmarked for April last year when the MRA staged a demonstration
demanding the removal of the mayor on allegations of inefficiency, amongst
others," Mhlanga added.
Kagurabadza declined to comment saying this might derail investigations.
But Mhlanga had defended the MRA stance, which he said was in the interests
of ratepayers.
"Kagurabadza dug his own grave and should never blame anyone.
It is our responsibility to monitor the activities of council as a pressure
group," Mhlanga said.
"As such there was no way we could turn a blind eye when things were going
the wrong way," he added.

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