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

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International Herald Tribune

      Zimbabwe losing faith in democracy
      Sharon LaFraniere NYT
      Friday, August 27, 2004

JOHANNESBURG Zimbabweans, weary of political conflict, are increasingly
losing faith in democracy and tempted to accept a one-party system, a survey
released Thursday has found.

The poll, overseen by the Institute for Democracy in South Africa, found
that 46 percent of Zimbabweans now say they trust President Robert Mugabe,
up from 19 percent in 1999. Seven out of 10 said they distrusted the

Researchers concluded that the biggest factor behind Mugabe's growing
popularity was his government's control of the press, which now largely
functioned as an organ of the ruling ZANU-PF party and muted opposition.

"However crude, the government's nationalist appeals have apparently induced
numerous Zimbabweans - especially older, less-educated elements in rural
areas - to accede to the political status quo," the study concluded.
"Apparently, ZANU-PF is succeeding in shoring up its base with propaganda
about the liberation war and land seizures, while painting the opposition as
a foreign-backed force."

The poll of about 1,100 people, conducted in late April and early May,
documented widespread hunger and economic distress. But the majority of
those surveyed did not see democracy as the solution. Only 48 percent said
democracy was the best form of government, down from 71 percent in 1999.
Three-quarters said that competition between political parties led to

The survey bodes ill for the Movement for Democratic Change, or MDC,
Zimbabwe's leading opposition party. Fewer than one-fifth of those polled
said they trusted the MDC's leader, Morgan Tsvangirai.

On Wednesday, the MDC declared that it would suspend its participation in
coming parliamentary and local elections because Mugabe's policies had
effectively eliminated any chance of a fair vote. MDC officials said that
they would take part in the votes only if Mugabe's government adopted
political reforms, including establishing an independent authority to
oversee the electoral process.

The New York Times
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The Herald

Some Harare residents subdividing agric plots for residential purposes

Municipal Reporter
DESPITE the existence of legislation that promotes and encourages the
practice of urban agriculture in Zimbabwe, a lot of land designated for the
purpose is going to waste in Harare as residents occupying huge plots are
instead subdividing their stands for residential purposes or leaving the
arable pieces of land desolate.

The Herald discovered that the practice of subdividing land earlier
designated for urban agriculture is widely practised in such areas like
Queensdale, Hatfield, Greendale, Waterfalls and Highlands.

These properties allocated between the 1940s and 1960s were originally meant
to promote urban agriculture.

Some of the areas that were designated for urban agriculture in Harare
include parts of Borrowdale, Mandara, Greystone Park and Glen Lorne. There
were further efforts to promote peri-urban agriculture as a means to assist
low-income earners among the white population that exclusively occupied the

They were allocated plots in areas like Ruwa (Mandalay Park which was then
called Twentydales Township), Tynwald in Harare, Christon Bank in Mazowe and
the Glen Forest area.
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The Herald

'About 50 percent of Zimbabweans diabetic'

Herald Reporter
ABOUT 50 percent of Zimbabweans are diabetic but are not aware of the
condition, a Zimbabwe Diabetes Association official, Mrs Brenda Munhenga,
said yesterday.

In an interview with The Herald at the ongoing Harare Agricultural Show, Mrs
Munhenga said most people did not know their diabetic status.

"So many people are suffering from diabetes but do not have any knowledge
about it.

"It is sad that a lot of people have died because of this disease without
knowing it, and only relatives will know about it after a post-mortem has
been conducted," she said.

Mrs Munhenga encouraged people to get tested each time they visited their
doctors or clinics.

"Diabetes can affect anybody, young or old, so it is therefore important for
everyone to be aware of their sugar level in the blood so that it can be

"If not controlled, this can lead to blindness, impotence, heart and kidney
diseases," she said.

Mrs Munhenga was, however, quick to point out that sugar does not in any way
make one diabetic.

"Most people believe that diabetes is caused by sugar that we take in tea,
and this is not true. It is rather caused by a metabolism disorder," she

Diabetes develops when the pancreas cannot produce enough insulin or when
the body cannot get energy from food.

Research has shown that people who are obese are prone to diabetes.

"About 80 percent of people with diabetes are overweight. They are the most
affected ones due to lack of exercise," said Mrs Munhenga.

Some common symptoms of diabetes are frequent urination, blurred vision,
feeling hungry all the time and sudden weight loss.

There is no cure for diabetes, but it can be effectively managed by
controlling blood sugar levels to those required by the body.

The level of sugar in the body is supposed to be between 3.3 mmol per litre
and 10.0 mmol per litre. Blood sugar is measured in mmols per litre.
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The Telegraph

White men must stop meddling in Africa
By Alice Thomson
(Filed: 27/08/2004)

Cry havoc and let slip the dogs of war. Margaret Thatcher, Christmas
puddings, smooth Old Etonian mercenaries, a dictator who - it is claimed by
his enemies - likes to eat the testicles of his opponents to boost his
libido, 500,000 terrified Africans waiting to be liberated. It's fantastic,
fabulous, the next Frederick Forsyth.

There are friends with nicknames such as Smelly and Scratcher, mysterious
puppet masters, large splodges of wonga, and Mark Thatcher insisting his
only interest in Africa is as a wildlife photographer. And that's not all.

We've had a breakfast raid by the elite Scorpions, an alleged link with Lord
Archer and even a shared flat with Peter Mandelson, who for once has nothing
to do with the plot.

True or not, it sounds incredibly romantic. Equatorial Guinea has been run
by a tyrant for 25 years and now some English public school boys reportedly
want to liberate the country, aided by their South African chums.

Their alleged aim is to provide a new, more Westernised leader and, in the
process, free up some of the oil reserves for more worthy causes than the
dictator's Swiss bank accounts. Surely that's all President Bush was trying
to do in Iraq. These mercenaries were allegedly prepared to do it for a
fraction of the money.

While President Teodoro Obiang Nguema's people starved, his cronies have
been benefiting from the oil deposits that were found in the 1990s. Exxon is
already exporting nearly 300,000 barrels a day to America and there are
direct flights to Houston. The World Bank and the International Monetary
Fund gave up on the country 10 years ago. The proposed alternative, Severo
Moto, is said to be a benevolent, honest man who once trained for the

It could all be fiction, and if so we must hope that the alleged mercenaries
are released from their cockroach-infested jails as soon as possible. But if
true, how these men of fortune must have enjoyed preparing for the coup.

What fun raising the money for this extended camping trip and all those
boys' toys, the helicopters, the AK-47 rifles, the hand grenades. They would
be making history in a forgotten corner of west Africa. They would become
the modern-day Lawrence of Arabias, dashing white paternalists riding to the
rescue of the oppressed black majority.

Whether or not the men now accused of the plot really were trying to
re-enact The Dogs of War, they initially seem inspiring. But the last thing
that Africa needs is a bunch of hypocritical, homicidal mercenaries taking
up the white man's burden.

The persistent excuse used by every black African dictator when asked about
his country's plight is to blame it all on the Europeans. They got the
continent into this mess, it's all their fault. President Robert Mugabe's
bedside reading is Thomas Pakenham's Scramble for Africa, which details the
rapacious way 19th-century Europe carved up Africa with no concern for
ethnic lines.

But that was then. Today, Africans are responsible for the chaos their
continent is in. Mr Mugabe inherited a well-run, prosperous, democratic
Zimbabwe and turned it into a despotic basket case. Even South Africa has a
president who for many years refused to accept that Aids existed. The many
peoples of the African continent are uniquely ill-served by their leaders.

But now a bunch of mercenaries has provided the perfect evidence that white
people are still meddling incompetently in Africa. They might claim that
their motivation was humanitarian, but their backers were paying them to get
their hands on Equatorial Guinea's natural assets, and the mercenaries were
apparently ready to kill to do it. What a propaganda coup for Mr Mugabe,
especially since many of those involved appear to have been British.

The more fundamental question is whether Tony Blair will do any better than
these alleged mercenaries. This week, he sent Jack Straw to Sudan to try to
sort out Africa's problems. The Foreign Secretary put in his contact lenses,
scooped up some journalists and headed off for Darfur to lecture the
Sudanese leader before posing for the cameras with a suitable gaunt-eyed,
match-stick thin child.

"Children have lost their lives, their loved ones," Mr Straw said. At least
Mr Straw was armed merely with words rather than AK-47s, but isn't he just
another meddling European who thinks he knows best?

To most in Westminster, next year is general election year, but senior civil
servants are not thinking about the vote, which they have concluded is just
a formality. They are focusing on the two big events for Mr Blair next
year - Britain taking over the presidency of both the G8 and the European

The Prime Minister is determined that, newly elected for his third term in
office, he will make his mark as the elder statesman of the Western world.
And guess where he wants to do it? In Africa. His party conference speech in
2001 called for "a partnership for Africa", in 2002 it was "a coalition to
give Africa hope", and last year he was still "fighting to give hope to

He is desperate to sort out the African continent. He believes it is his
Berlin Wall, a land of simple moral imperatives after the quagmire of Iraq
and Afghanistan. He has set up an Africa Commission ahead of the G8
presidency, and he's urging the EU to come up with a unified strategy on the
former colonies.

Both he and Gordon Brown know that, while any talk of Iraq plays badly with
Labour backbenchers, they all love any mention of Africa. Almost the only
time Mr Brown mentions foreign affairs is to discuss how much money he has
spent on the continent. Mr Blair is determined not to be outdone.

But all this talk of coalitions and partnerships obscures a truth that
neither Mr Blair nor the Dogs of War understand. The only lasting solution
to Africa's problems will be an African one. Interfering Europeans, whether
they come clutching guns or a microphone, should stay at home.
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Zim Independent

Moyo in farm purchase row
Dumisani Muleya/Gift Phiri
CONTROVERSY surrounding Information minister Jonathan Moyo's purchase of
Patterson Farm in Mazowe has deepened amid disclosures that he violated
government policy and set a bad precedent for land reform.

Moyo is also entangled in a row over Subdivision 1 of Lot 2 of Dete in
Hwange where illegal poaching is reported to be rampant.

The minister has said Patterson is a family farm which he has bought.

But sources said Moyo's acquisition of Patterson had caused ructions in
government circles and fuelled current tussles over land among top ruling
Zanu PF officials.

Moyo's move was "fundamentally improper", sources said, because it breached
government policy. Cabinet has taken a decision to ban the sale of state

Lands, Land Reform and Resettlement permanent secretary Simon Pazvakavambwa
said state land could not be sold or bought.

"As a matter of policy nobody can buy or sell state land," he said.

However, official records show that Moyo bought Patterson Farm, described in
Agriculture minister Joseph Made's offer letter dated November 30 2001 as
state land, for a mere $6 million.

Documents show Moyo, whose ID No was 63-0857281M-73, wrote a Jewel Bank
cheque at the Westgate branch on July 22, 2002 as payment for the farm. The
bank's branch number was given as 6118 and the cheque number as 000003,
while the account number was (01211) 66058401.

A stamped Agriculture ministry receipt No 955419 shows that the payment was
made on July 22, 2002 by "Prof JN Moyo" whose address was given as P Bag
7700 Causeway, Harare.

The payment followed a letter written by Agriculture permanent secretary
Ngoni Masoka on April 29 2002 to Moyo informing him about the cost of the
land and improvements.

But sources said the $6 million which Moyo paid to Made's ministry was still
in the government's suspense account because "it had no verifiable

The sources said it could not have been possible for Moyo to buy the farm
given that he had no lease agreement and that the property's acquisition had
not, in any case, been confirmed by the Administrative Court.

As a result, the title deeds for the farm - which Moyo initially wanted to
buy for a paltry $1,8 million - are still with the farm's legal owner, a
company run by a trust.

Meanwhile, official documents show Lot 2 of Dete - where widespread poaching
has been reported - was offered to Moyo by Made on July 19 2002 although a
company called Eternity Trading is said to be operating there now. While the
firm has been linked to Moyo, he has denied any interest in the farm saying
it was owned by his cousin, a Jackie Meyers. But government recently
withdrew the farm from Moyo whom it said owned it.

The farm has a 32 bedroomed top-of-the-range lodge, Sikumi Tree Lodge, which
is an ecotourism facility that offers upmarket accommodation and
photographic safaris to tourists.

Legally the farm, which is the subject of a legal wrangle, is owned by
Lions' Den Enterprises which was run by Buck de Fries and his family,
including his son Thys. The lodge was leased by the Rainbow Tourism Group,
which had tried to prevent Moyo from taking it over.

RTG, in which the government has a 17% stake, wanted Lot 2 occupiers out as
it claimed they were disrupting its tourism activities there. Moyo, who has
threatened to sue the Zimbabwe Independent over his farm interests, has been
linked to other farms but he has denied any connection.
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Zim Independent

Ministers fire Sable managers
Augustine Mukaro
IN a bid to win back the Kwekwe constituency, cabinet ministers and ruling
party chefs have involved themselves in the affairs of Sable Chemicals and
dismissed five top managers for allegedly failing to resolve a labour

Highly placed sources said ministers Webster Shamu, July Moyo, Rugare Gumbo
and Olivia Muchena visited Sable in early June and ordered an unconditional
reinstatement of around 30 employees whose services had been terminated.

The government has already directed the company to suspend senior managers.

"Following a government directive issued through the board of directors, you
are suspended on full benefits with effect from the 5th August until further
notice," reads a letter sent to one of the managers by Sable acting general
manager, J Mhunduru.

"After holding separate meetings with management and workers, the four
brought together all employees to an open ground where the reinstatement was
ordered," sources said.

"The whole process including meetings were conducted with political
sloganeering and open denunciation of the Movement for Democratic change
(MDC) leadership as well as accusations that the majority of Sable employees
were opposition supporters."

Sources said the move was meant to restore Zanu PF's authority at Sable
Chemicals ahead of next year's election. The fertiliser manufacturing
company is viewed as an organising hub for the opposition MDC. The sitting
MP Blessing Chebundo worked at the company before 2000.

Sources said a week after the visit, government issued a directive to the
Sable board of directors to suspend five top managers. They were
subsequently dismissed at the beginning of this month along with 11 senior

"The key positions are currently being manned in acting capacities by
well-known Zanu PF functionaries now indirectly running the company," a
source said.

Contacted for comment, Chebundo said he was not in a position to discuss the
matter as he had applied to parliament to move a motion on the issue.

"I can't give details at the moment," Chebundo said. "I can confirm
receiving the complaints but it will prejudice my presentation to

Sable Chemicals, Zimbabwe's sole ammonium nitrate fertiliser producer, is
owned by the Industrial Development Corporation, TA Holdings and Norsk
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Zim Independent

Mutasa attacks political rival
Itai Dzamara
ANTI-CORRUPTION minister Didymus Mutasa's supporters last weekend attacked
an aspiring Zanu PF candidate for next year's general election in Makoni
North, Manicaland.

Mutasa's followers assaulted James Kaunye, who wants to wrestle the Makoni
North seat from Mutasa who is Zanu PF's secretary for external affairs.

Mutasa, who was involved in a scuffle in parliament in May with opposition
MP Roy Bennett, confirmed the attack on Kaunye.

"He was attacked by my supporters. But if he was attacked by Zanu PF members
and supporters, that makes his membership questionable.

Probably it has to be asked whether he is a true member of the party,"
Mutasa said.

The attack took place last Sunday as tension rises ahead of the ruling
party's primary elections later in the year.

The Zimbabwe Independent in Rusape last Sunday saw Mutasa's supporters
driving in four vehicles behind the minister's Jeep Cherokee towards
Kaunye's farm.

Kaunye's relatives alleged Mutasa's supporters visited the victim at the
farm where Kaunye and his wife were assaulted for trying to stand in Makoni

Kaunye was left naked after the attack. He was later admitted to Rusape
General Hospital after he sustained serious injuries to the head and a
suspected broken rib.

Kaunye's assailants were arrested on Monday and appeared in court on
Wednesday before they were released on bail.

Mutasa said he paid bail for them.

"Of course, I have to pay for my supporters. I have paid for 31, and it was
$300 000 for each," he said.

"But only 10 of them were involved, the rest were not involved. I am trying
to find out how the others were arrested. I don't understand. Yes, it's a
very interesting issue but I am not sorry for Kaunye, wherever he is."

Mutasa claimed that Kaunye had provoked him by invading his constituency
while he was attending a church service.

"I had gone to a church service in my constituency and Kaunye came to
provoke me. He got what he deserved. Akabatwa neriva rake (He was caught in
his own trap)."

Police spokesman Wayne Bvudzijena confirmed 42 people were arrested over the

Zanu PF has been accused by the opposition Movement for Democratic Change of
using violence to win elections. The ruling party has however always denied
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Zim Independent

Probe leaders' wealth - Shamu
Conrad Dube
MINISTER for Policy Implementation Webster Shamu says greed has seriously
affected the ruling Zanu PF's campaign efforts - especially in Mashonaland
West province.

Shamu told the Zimbabwe Independent that people who wanted everybody to know
what they drive and that they live in big mansions need to attend the
national youth training orientation programme.

"Problems within the party are caused by people who want everyone to know
that they drive a Mercedes Benz ML or the size of their mansion. They have
destroyed the party in the province. Such people buy their way into office
and hence cause conflict with genuine party members," said Shamu.

Although Shamu did not mention names, it is believed his attack was directed
at the party's flamboyant provincial chairman, Phillip Chiyangwa, the MP for
Chinhoyi who recently allowed a Zimbabwean online property magazine, Expo
Properties, to tour his Borrowdale home.

The mansion has 15 carports, 18 bedrooms, 25 lounges, four balconies,
domestic quarters for nine, two swimming pools and three helipads among
other features.

Shamu said there was need for political lessons even at higher offices so
that members understand discipline and protocol over and above
constitutional expectations placed on them.

"This process is needed. Orientation at all political levels is necessary
for people to appreciate the existence of structures and this will remove
not only unnecessary contradictions but will create a conducive
environment," said Shamu.

He said wayward attitudes had caused problems as officials resorted to
unscrupulous acts to cover up their corruption.

"Corrupt officials ha-ve tried to usurp the restructuring process in order

appoint their henchmen to ensure their re-election," said Shamu.

To fight corruption, Shamu said it was now necessary for public officials to
declare their assets to avoid a situation where leaders take advantage of
their offices to amass wealth overnight.
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Zim Independent

MDC councillors defy party directive
Staff Writer
Movement For Democratic Change (MDC) Harare councillors yesterday defied the
party's directive to withdraw from Town House as they turned up to a council

The meeting did not however take place because of the absence of a quorum. A
total of 14 out of the required minimum of 16 councillors, among them acting
mayor Sekesai Makwavarara, turned up for the meeting. At least 10 of them
were from the MDC.

Makwavarara this month dumped the MDC to join Zanu PF.

The MDC executive on Wednesday announced that it was withdrawing its
remaining councillors from Town House. Government has already fired 19 MDC
councillors on charges of insubordination.

The MDC leadership announced on Wednesday that the party was withdrawing
from all polls until Zanu PF adhered to electoral reforms agreed in

Commentators yesterday welcomed the MDC's decision to suspend participation
in all future elections until the proposed electoral reforms are adopted.

Crisis Coalition chairman Brian Kagoro said that the grouping of civil
society organisations supported the MDC's decision.

"The position taken by the MDC is crucial in that the party seeks to restore
Zimbabweans' sovereign right to freely choose their leadership," Kagoro

"That sovereign right has been stolen by the regime. For instance, the

people of Harare chose their executive mayor and councillors in March 2002
but the regime has dismissed half the councillors and the mayor and
appointed a bogus commission to support an illegitimate acting mayor,
Sekesai Makwavarara."

Kagoro said Zimbabwe needed to be rid of the culture of violence whilst at
the same time implementing the Sadc principles on elections.

National Constitutional Assembly chairman Lovemore Madhuku has also endorsed
the MDC's stance.

"This was long overdue," he said. "We have always said that nobody should
contest elections under this manipulated system.

"We support the decision taken by the MDC but it must be followed up by
action. We must come together and pile pressure on Mugabe for genuine
electoral reforms as well as the restoration of the rule of law. They won't
come on a silver platter."

MDC national youth chairman Nelson Chamisa said his party's youth wing

"We are in agreement with the decision. The reality is that contesting
elections under the current environment is a waste of time because the
results are predetermined," he said.

"Repressive laws are being used to deny us political space and Zanu PF uses
its militia to perpetrate violence. There must be an alternative programme
or follow-up to this decision and we are saying more pressure should be
piled on the regime to reform."
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Zim Independent

Mugabe rediscovers Mat region
Loughty Dube
WITH the 2005 parliamentary election beckoning, never has the Matabeleland
region witnessed so many promises of development and attention from
President Mugabe's government.

Development projects likely to surpass the trillion-dollar mark have been
promised. The Matabeleleland region, forgotten in the past 24 years, has
suddenly been rediscovered as President Mugabe's Zanu PF goes on a massive
drive to win votes.

Lupane, the proposed capital of Matabeleland North, is a hive of activity
where an assortment of equipment has been offloaded in the sleepy growth
point that recently was accorded provincial capital status after former
governor Welshman Mabhena had opted for Hwange as the provincial capital.

Just a stone's throw from the home of the late MDC MP for Lupane, David
Mpala, bulldozers and earthmovers are tearing at the earth as preparations
for the construction of a dam to supply Lupane with drinking water move a
gear up.

The completion of the dam is expected to cost over $300 million.

According to government, Matabeleland will soon realise the fruits of the
long-promised Matabeleland Zambezi Water Project (MZWP) and the upgrading of
Tsholotsho and the Kezi roads, while the sleepy town of Lupane will boast a
fully-fledged university, a state-of-the-art provincial hospital, a
provincial police headquarters, recreational facilities, a bank and an
upmarket hotel, among other things.

The MZWP, on the drawing board since 1912, is now estimated to cost a
whopping $150 billion to complete.

Mugabe was in Lupane last week to officially launch the site where housing
for the hundreds of civil servants who are expected to throng the service
centre will be constructed.

The government is expected to fork out $250 million in infrastructural
developments for the centre.

The ambitious water project has remained rooted in the planning stages and
the Zanu PF government has used it as an electioneering tool for a long

Government has promised to spend $150 billion on the proposed Lupane State
University which is to have its fist intake in September.

"The people of Matabeleland will always remain sceptical about the
intentions behind these development projects," Gorden Moyo, a Bulawayo
Dialogue commentator, said. "If the government is genuine then we should see
the projects going on even when Zanu PF loses the election next year."

Moyo said the Matabeleland water project had always been Zanu PF's election
trump card.

"Similarly, the government has been using the land issue for the last 20
years but would shelve the idea once the elections were over. Zanu PF
history tells us that we should be sceptical of them."

Other projects in the offing include the construction of a hotel in

A hotel group says it was invited by Information minister Jonathan Moyo to

construct the hotel. Moyo has been donating generously in the area where he
wants to stand as an MP next year.

In July Moyo poured over $100 million in a space of one week into
Tsholotsho. Moyo has donated $125 million to various institutions.

In the second week of July Moyo donated over 700 blankets worth $90 million
to several health institutions and followed that a day later with a donation
of two computers and a printer worth $22,1 million to Tsholotsho hospital.

A few days later the minister made another donation of a computer and
printer worth $13 million to Tsholotsho police.

Moyo has also donated medical equipment worth $28 million and 1 000 bags of
cement worth $40 million to various institutions in the constituency.
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Zim Independent

MDC slams govt over Nigeria attack
Loughty Dube
THE Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) has slammed government's attack on
Nigeria for allegedly interfering in local politics.

"The MDC notes with dismay the Zimbabwe government's unrelenting attack on
the state of Nigeria. We are also dismayed by the government's personalised
insults on the Nigeria head of state," MDC spokesperson Paul Themba Nyathi
said this week.

The state media recently claimed the Nigerian government had promised to
channel $200 million into the MDC's 2005 parliamentary election chest.
Nigeria however dismissed the story as "false and ridiculous".

"The Chronicle of August 24 carried an insulting cartoon depicting President
Obasanjo polishing the boots of President Bush," Nyathi said. "This follows
on the heels of an unfounded accusation that Nigeria was funding the MDC at
the behest of the British government.

"The vitriolic attack on Nigeria is in our view an attempt to head-off
Nigeria's likely insistence as chair of the AU that the report recently
produced by the committee that investigated and condemned Zimbabwe's
appalling human rights record be debated openly."

Nyathi said the insults against Nigeria were an attempt to intimidate its
leadership and stop it from condemning bad governance, corruption, human
rights violations and violence.

The Nigerian government recently assumed the chairmanship of the African
Union and wanted the AU Human and People's Rights Commission report on
Zimbabwe published.

"Zimbabwe is highest on the list of countries whose bad governance gives
Africa a bad name," Nyathi said. "The attack on Nigeria is a pre-emptive
attempt at neutralising it. Zimbabwe's attempts will fail. The rest of
Africa yearns for progress and will resist those who seek to drag it
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Zim Independent

Another committee to audit land reform
Augustine Mukaro
GOVERNMENT is setting up yet another committee to correct anomalies in the
land reform programme which saw thousands of peasant farmers being dumped on
pieces of land which they are unable to till.

Responding to questions on behalf of Lands, Land Reform and Resettlement
minister, John Nkomo, Justice minister Patrick Chinamasa told parliament
last week that government was putting in place a vetting committee to assess
the level of land utilisation throughout the country.

"My ministry is currently putting in place a vetting committee, which will
go round the country to ensure that beneficiaries allocated land fully
utilise it," Chinamasa said.

"The main focus at the moment is to ensure that all those who have been
allocated land put the land to productive use."

The committee is the sixth to try to clean up the mess caused by the
haphazard seizure of formerly white-owned commercial farmland. The first
attempt was by former Land Reform minister Flora Buka.

The committee's findings were swept under the carpet after unearthing
serious irregularities in the land distribution process.

It was followed by the Charles Utete land audit which made similar findings.
It also revealed that ministers and other top Zanu PF officials had grabbed
more than one farm each against government policy. The report also revealed
that while government claimed to have resettled 300 000 families under the
A1 and 54 000 under the A2 schemes the situation on the ground was more
sobering. Only 129 000 families had been settled under A1 and a mere 7 000
under A2.

In a bid to correct the glaring shortcomings, government came up with the
Cabinet Land Acquisition Committee chaired by Vice-President Joseph Msika.

Msika's committee did not do much before it was overtaken by the
Presidential Land Review Committee led by John Nkomo mandated to implement
Mugabe's call to recover excess farms.

There was also a parliamentary committee that audited the land reform
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Zim Independent

Lack of funds delays demining
Itai Dzamara
LARGE tracts of land are still heavily mined along Zimbabwe's borders with
neighbouring countries as the demining efforts slow down due to lack of
funding after the European Union (EU) and the United States withdrew.

About 400 km of Zimbabwe's border are still covered by land- mines, posing a
serious danger to human and animal life. Already more than 800 human lives
have been lost to anti-personnel mines, the Zimbabwe National Army (ZNA)
said this week.

Most of the anti-personnel mines were planted by Rhodesian forces in the
1970s to stop independence war guerilla forces from crossing into or out of

Lieutenant Isaac Goora of the ZNA public relations department said donor
support had dried up. He said army engineers would however continue with the
exercise "with or without donor assistance" to clear the remaining
"dangerous" mine fields.

Goora said the United States, Britain and Germany had made a one-time
donation of equipment towards the project while Zimbabwe provided funding
for logistics and demining troops before the scheme ground to a halt.

The EU Commission and the US embassy in Harare confirmed last week that
Zimbabwe requested more funding but that was rejected. The ZNA said vast
stretches of the border with Mozambique and Zambia were still covered in
minefields and the project was proceeding slowly due to lack of resources.

"The programme began in 1998. We provided training and equipment until
2001," said Lt Col Daniel Hampton, the Defence Attaché at the US embassy in

"Zimbabwe afterwards requested more funding especially for equipment and
repairing of equipment, most of which came from the USA. But there was no
more funding provided by the USA."

The EU press and information officer, Josiah Kusena, said the EU had funded
a demining project for 10 million euros.

"We don't have a demining project currently on our programme. The programme,
which was called the Minefield Clearance in North-East Zimbabwe, was
approved in 1995 and became operational in 1996," he said.
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Zim Independent

Teachers condemn Porta Farm evictions
Gift Phiri
THE Progressive Teachers Union of Zimbabwe (PTUZ) has condemned the eviction
of Porta Farm residents saying the relocation will prejudice more than 1 600
pupils currently enrolled at schools around the area.

PTUZ infor-mation officerMasimba Nya-manhindi told the Zimbabwe Independent
on Wednesday that there were students registered to sit for their Grade
Seven and Ordinary Level examinations at the end of the year at the two
schools at Porta Farm but their hopes had been dashed.

"Zimsec (Zimbabwe Schools Examination Council) candidate numbers are not
transferable, and the effect on these students might be irreversible,"

Nyamanhindi said. Porta Farm has one primary and one secondary school with
enrollments of 1 300 and 315 pupils respectively. The primary school employs
28 teachers while the secondary school has 11 teachers. National Housing
minister Ignatius Chombo last month issued a directive for the settlers to
vacate the farm by August 15. He said the settlers would be moved to
Caledonia Farm close to Banket.

Nyamanhindi said most teachers stay in Norton and now face the daunting task
of commuting all the way to Caledonia Farm.

"As it stands, the teachers face an uncertain future, there are no building
structures at Caledonia farm, and schools have to be built," Nyamanhindi
said. "In any case the Ministry of Health clearly stated that if the
residents of Porta Farm were to be moved to Caledonia Farm, the stands at
the farm had to be serviced first because it is a health hazard."

Some of the residents had registered as voters in Zvimba North constituency.
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Zim Independent

The 'weak link' in Sadc poll protocol

 Dumisani Muleya

THE adoption of the Southern African Development Community (Sadc) guidelines
governing democratic elections in Mauritius last week was widely welcomed
but analysts have voiced reservations about the "weak link" in the
protocol - the issue of observers.

Although the Sadc principles stipulate that elections in the region will be
observed by an official delegation from the regional bloc, the rules are
silent on the role of observers from individual member countries and other
interested parties.

The Zimbabwe Election Support Network (Zesn) said even as it welcomed the
regional electoral norms and standards, it was concerned that the protocol
only refers to Sadc election observers and not other international groups.

Zesn, which has been at the forefront of the campaign for electoral reform,
said it was important to invite observers from all over the world. The group
recently held a meeting on the issue in conjunction with the Electoral
Institute of Southern Africa in Victoria Falls where a number of aspects of
electoral changes were discussed, including the issue of observers.

An Independent Electoral Commission Bill proposed recently by Zesn, a
coalition of 38 civic organisations, states that Zimbabwe's envisaged
elections body should invite "foreign observers", which means those from
Sadc and elsewhere.

The opposition Movement for Democratic Change and civic groups like the
National Constitutional Assembly have demanded an overhaul of the electoral
system to create a conducive environment for free and fair elections. In the
process, they have called on observers from all over the world to be given
unfettered access to oversee the polls.

However, nothing in the Sadc principles is said about inviting observers
from regional parliaments and other groupings such as the Sadc Parliamentary
Forum whose secretary-general Kasuka Mutukwa attended last week's summit in
Grand Baie, Mauritius.

Then there is the African Union, Commonwealth, and European Union - which
have diplomatic relations in the region - that might be interested in
observing elections in southern Africa.

The otherwise well-received protocol leaves it to the member states to
choose who to invite as observers. In fact, it is a matter of choice whether
or not Sadc countries invite observers at all. There is no obligation to do
so, according to how the principles are written.

The electoral norms and standards say Sadc countries will issue an
invitation to the regional bloc's observer mission three months before
voting if they "deem it necessary" to allow adequate preparation for the
deployment of the team. The Sadc observer mission would be in the country at
least two weeks before voting.

"In the event a member state deems it necessary to invite Sadc to observe
its election, the Sadc Electoral Observation Mission (Seom) have an
observation role," the principles say. "The mandate of the mission shall be
based on the Treaty and the Protocol on Politics, Defence and Security

The chairperson of the organ - currently President Thabo Mbeki of South
Africa - "shall officially constitute the mission upon receipt of an
official invitation from the electoral authority (not government) of a
member state holding the elections".

The principles further say that the chairperson of the organ shall mandate
the Sadc executive secretary to issue a letter of credentials to each member
of the Seom prior to their deployment into the country holding elections.

"The constitution of the mission should comply with the Sadc policies
relating to gender balance," the principles say. "While recognising that the
members of the mission may come from different political parties in the home
countries, they should behave as a team."

The Seom would be headed by an official from the chairperson of the organ's
office who would be the spokesperson of the mission. The team would send
regular reports on the election observation process to the representative of
the organ on issues that might require urgent attention.

The mission would also issue a statement on the conduct and outcome of the
election immediately after the official announcement of the results. It
would then prepare a report on the elections within 30 days of the
declaration of the results.

The Sadc principles also contain a code of conduct for election observers.
The set of rules of behaviour are consistent with those of the African Union
's Declaration on the Principles Governing Democratic Elections in Africa.

Sadc observers are obliged to comply with laws and regulations in the
country holding elections. They are also required to "maintain strict
impartiality in the conduct of their duties, and shall at no time express
any bias or preference in relation to national authorities, parties, and

The observers would not be allowed to "display, or wear any partisan
symbols, colours or banners". Furthermore, the observers would not accept
gifts from parties or candidates, as well as attend parties. They would also
be given unhindered access to all relevant areas during the course of duty
and be allowed comment on issues freely.

Analysts say Sadc's silence on foreign observers from outside the region
could have been designed not to offend sovereignty sensitivities of some
Sadc member states, although that leaves open one of the most important
questions regarding the conduct of elections.

The exclusion of foreign observers from outside Sadc seems to have been for
President Robert Mugabe the most encouraging part of the process.

Mugabe openly expressed his contentment with the issue upon his return from
Mauritius last week.

Over the years the issue of observers in the region has generated
controversy, especially during Zimbabwe's last two crucial polls in 2000 and
2002 which were riddled with political violence and blatant vote-rigging.
The Sadc principles prohibit the "perpetration of electoral fraud, rigging
or any other illegal practices".

Zimbabwe's past two controversial national elections, in particular the
presidential poll, got a mixed response from observers. Missions from Sadc
and the AU and some individual African countries like South Africa and
Tanzania said the election was "legitimate", while the Commonwealth, Sadc
Parliamentary Forum, EU, and countries like the United States, Ghana and
Japan said it was "not free and fair". The international community broadly
rejected the election result.

While some countries have welcomed foreign observers without restrictions,
others like Zimbabwe have been grumbling, claiming some observers, in
particular those from the Commonwealth, EU and North America, were coming
with mindsets or hidden agendas.

Although analysts say this could be partially true, the point remained that
Zimbabwe's complaints only started recently when Zanu PF became unpopular
due to its governance failures following which it came to rely on voter
coercion to "win" elections.
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Zim Independent


Fate of a poor schemer for power
IF Joshua Nkomo was the "Father of the Nation" and Simon Muzenda the "Soul
of the Nation", how should we describe the country's most eminent legal

President Robert Mugabe couldn't find an equally pithy description for
Eddison Zvobgo to etch his name in the heart of the nation. That perhaps
reflects Zvobgo's mercurial character as he traversed the Zimbabwean
political landscape.

What Mugabe did was give us a definition of what constitutes a national
hero, the one enduring characteristic that separated Zvobgo from many of the
dubious characters today laid at Heroes' Acre.

He said in his condolence message: "Zvobgo was indeed a true nationalist who
faithfully espoused the principles and objectives of our liberation struggle
and upheld them to the end."

With the death of Zvobgo, Mugabe said, the nation had "lost one of the great
and sharp legal minds upon whom the ruling party and government had relied
for his professional advice and craftsmanship of the country's legal

It is a tragic tale of our political vicissitudes that such a towering
political and legal figure spent his last days in almost enforced obscurity,
because the ruling Zanu PF does not allow individuals to rise above the

But there is no doubting that Zvobgo was also the author of his unenviable
end. In the early days of Zimbabwe's Independence Zvobgo clearly saw himself
as standing in the line to succeed Mugabe, first as prime minister and then
president of the country.

But in crafting the constitutional amendment that gave us the overbearing
executive presidency in 1987, Zvobgo sealed his own fate as a poor schemer
for power. Instead of ensuring there were sufficient checks and balances and
a sufficiently strong parliament to rein in the executive, Zvobgo gave a
hostage to fortune. That amendment has been the albatross around the neck of
the nation and indeed around the necks of all those wishing to succeed

So it is that Mugabe can today proclaim how Zvobgo meets all the criteria of
those he says qualify to rule Zimbabwe yet Zimbabweans cannot choose Mugabe'
s successor. So it is that Mugabe can praise Zvobgo's "great and sharp legal
mind" because the amendment ensured his position as executive president was
impregnable until he -  and not the nation - decided he had hung on long

It is almost an oxymoron to belong to Zanu PF and be independent-minded at
the same time. Unfortunately that is what Zvobgo tried to do. He criticised
the party. That led to his gradual fall from grace - from Legal Affairs
minister to an ineffectual portfolio as Minister of Mines and then Minister
without Portfolio and finally out in the cold completely. Because of his
maverick nature, Zvobgo found himself aligned to Dzikamai Mavhaire's faction
in Masvingo which believed Mugabe had become the nation's greatest liability
who should go.

He had a huge constituency in Masvingo and beyond. His intellectual prowess
endeared him to many across the political divide. His speaking skills could
have won him votes from a nation long disenchanted by Mugabe's economic
failures. But Zvobgo could not bring himself to be anything other than what
he was in essence - Zanu PF.

Come the presidential election in 2002, Zvobgo told of the story of the
madman from Ngomahuru psychiatric unit who, instead of passing on the baton
in the relay, ran with it into the nearby mountains.

Enemies were ranged against Zvobgo accusing him of not campaigning
vigorously enough for President Mugabe. He was even accused of campaigning
for Morgan Tsvangirai.

As fate would have it, ill-health saved him from being hauled over the coals
by "mafikizolos" who knew perfectly well he couldn't be a member of the

Zvobgo dismissed the allegations with characteristic scorn as "ill-founded
rumours peddled by ciphers". He described his detractors as corrupt

His sharp attack on the Access to Information and Protection of Privacy Bill
as chairman of the Parliamentary Legal Committee was the final outrage on
the dead conscience of Zanu PF. He wondered aloud why the Information
department wanted such "frightening powers"? He said the Bill was the "most
calculated and determined assault on our liberties, which are guaranteed by
the constitution".

"Ask yourself whether it is rational for a government in a democratic and
free society to require registration, licences and ministerial certificates
in order for people to speak. It is a sobering thought," he said.

The last we heard of Zvobgo's voice was in defence of the Iraq invasion. He
defied the party mob and said leaders who abuse and kill their own people
did not deserve to remain in power. It was the heresy of regime change. His
terminal illness silently took him out of the limelight and saved him the
embarrassment of having to explain who else he thought needed to be ousted
from power.

So as we mourn the passing of a dedicated freedom fighter in the bush and at
law and a "nationalist who faithfully espoused the principles and objectives
of our liberation struggle up to the end", let us not forget those ideals
have not been fulfilled. In fact, most of our "liberties" are in grave
danger from opportunistic mafikizolos.

While Zvobgo cherished most of the liberties that political independence
promised, he died almost a forgotten hero who managed to survive this long
because of his personal wealth.

While the jury will be out for a very long time on the quantum of his
contribution to our freedom and the legal history of this country, what
cannot be denied is that Zvobgo was part, and also the victim, of a party
that is unforgiving in dealing with wayward members and whose only homage to
independent-minded heroes is writing their epitaphs.
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Zim Independent

Eric Bloch Column

Demands on financial institutions unreasonable

 ONE of Zimbabwe's national daily newspapers last week demonstrated, in an
editorial, that it is totally detached from reality. It evidenced an
inconceivably abysmal awareness of the fundamentals of sound operations of
the financial sector of the economy, that absence of knowledge being
exceeded only by its lack of knowledge as to how Zimbabwe's
agriculturalsector was funded in the past, and by its blatant racism.

Almost the only factually correct statement in the editorial was that
Zimbabwe's commercial farming has "from time immemorial" been very reliant
upon financing from banks and other financial institutions. Agriculture, on
any basis other than very small-scale subsistence farming, is very capital

For most of the past century, the initial capital cost was the acquisition
of the land even though today's Zimbabwean politicians delude themselves and
others into believing that the land was stolen. As of the 1990s, almost
every farm in the country had been bought by the sitting tenant, and even
the original commercial farmers established themselves upon lands unused by
any of the people of the country. However, it does not suit the government,
the ruling party, the war veterans and many others to admit to the facts
when such are not conducive to their intents of, in fact, stealing the land.

After that initial capital cost, farmers were confronted with massive
outlays on development and improvement, including farm buildings, dams,
boreholes, fencing and the like, and upon obtaining necessary capital goods,
inclusive of irrigation equipment, pumps, tractors, ploughs, and very
considerable other needs. And after all those expenditures, there are very
great operational expenditures, ranging from procurement of inputs such as
seed, fertilisers, chemicals and so forth to wages and allied labour costs,
electricity, fuel, insurance and an almost endless list of other operating

Very few farmers had the resources to fund all their unavoidable capital and
recurrent operating payments and, therefore, as stated in the editorial
"banks provided money for labour, farm inputs" and all else. However, the
editorial fallaciously contends that all that the farmer was required to do
"was to come up with a detailed annual budget of his requirements", and
continues to allege that the "Land and Agricultural Bank that advanced loans
to white commercial farmers did not ask for collateral because owning a
piece of land was enough security".

The editorial is wrong! When the "piece of land" was hypothecated to the
bank and had a value sufficiently in excess of the loans, it sufficed as
collateral. But when it did not, the farmer had to mortgage the land and
provide supplementary security, be that hypothecation of other property,
cession of insurances, pledges of shares, provision of guarantees, or

The Land and Agricultural Bank, and all other banks, necessarily sought
security for the funds to be advanced by them. This they had no alternative
but to do, for the bulk of the monies that they advanced were not their own,
but those of numerous depositors who lodged their hard-earned income and
accumulated capital with banks in the belief that their resources will be
secure and fully protected. Banks had, and have, a fiduciary responsibility
to their depositors, investors, clients, the public and the country as a
whole to administer funds responsibly, cautiously and securely, and hence
made their advances against adequate security.

Implying that "white commercial farmers" were accorded required funding
without security, or against security of the land only, and that today's new
farmers are confronted with unjust demands for collateral, the editorial
poses the question: "Why should the goal posts be changed now?"

The editorial justifies its question by stating that Zimbabwe now has
farmers "who have over the years survived many adversities such as poor
soils, lack of financial backing and were even denied access to agricultural
extension officers". The editorial argues that what these farmers now
require is "just access to financial resources to enable them to work the
land", andplaces responsibility for achieving this upon the government,
which, it says "should reject outright calls for collateral security by
financial institutions".

And the editorial does not rest there, for it urges that if persuasion of
the financial institutions fails, "the government will have no option but to
resort to using its powers to whip the defiant banks into line", and yet it
is that same national daily that has very correctly berated the
irresponsibility of financial institutions that have reduced themselves to
liquidation or curatorship and placed in great jeopardy the thousands of
depositors whose funds have been put at risk.

Nevertheless, the editor put his finger on the nub of the situation when he
wrote that "owning a piece of land was enough security". The government has
adopted a very determined and obdurate stance that all land should be owned
by the state. It has discarded any respect for title deeds, which evidenced
land ownership. It has resisted all representations that farmers, be they
white commercial farmers, or newly settled A1 or A2 farmers, should be
vested with land tenure.

Therefore, the position of the past that ownership of land was enough
security - although contingent upon the value of the land in question to the
extent of the loans - no longer applies, for the government is fast creating
a position where none owns the land.

Instead, the government has recently proposed that farmers who qualify under
yet-to-be-specified criteria will be granted 99-year leases over land
allocated to them, although as yet the terms and conditions of such leases
are still to be disclosed. However, the government has intimated that the
leases will be specific to the particular farmer and will not be capable of
transfer to others.

Thus, those leases will be devoid of any collateral value. If, contrary to
the government's heretofore declared intents, the leases would permit
transferability, then they would have some collateral value and could be
used as security for loans and other funding facilities required by the
farmers of Zimbabwe. If not, the only other alternative would be for the
government to be the guarantor for the due repayment of all advances to

Despite the gross misconceptions that characterise the editorial, its final
statement cannot be denied, for it states that "agriculture is the backbone
of Zimbabwe's economy and it therefore means that a successful agricultural
season means a positive economic growth". If the government would recognise
this fact, it would reverse its ill-conceived, and  catastrophically
implemented agricultural policies.

Instead of those policies, it would apply justice and equity,
constructiveness and realism. It would implement the agreements it entered
into at the 1998 Harare Donor Conference, and again in 2001 in Abuja,
instead of pretending that the other parties to those agreements had reneged
and that, therefore, these agreements are null and void.

If the government would restore farms to those unjustly displaced under
spuriously promulgated, destructive laws and would then acquire land on a
willing buyer, willing seller basis and by cooperation and collaboration
between the government and all representative farmer organisations, Zimbabwe
would be on the path to agricultural recovery. And if Zimbabwe would
recognise that tenure is a prerequisite to responsible financing - as well
as a productivity motivant to the farmer - the necessary funding would
become available.

But if the government hearkens to the editorial's call to force bank and
financial institution lendings without security, then the financial sector
will soon be as decimated as is agriculture today.

A positive stance by the government towards agriculture will be the catalyst
to total economic recovery. The government will no longer have to deceive as
to the availability of food; it will no longer have to beg the international
community for food support.

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Zim Independent


'Kirsty is our son of the soil'

 AS the nation's institutions line up to say how much they support the new
electoral principles agreed last week by Sadc leaders in Mauritius, some
have been demonstrating a rather limited grasp of what is involved.

The Herald told us on Saturday the police had welcomed the Sadc guidelines.
Police spokesperson Oliver Mandipaka said they already had a "strategy" to
ensure the March parliamentary elections are held in a peaceful environment.
The ZRP was fully prepared to deal with political "malcontents" and elements
bent on destabilising the peace of the nation, he warned.

But at the same time, Mandipaka said the police aimed to provide "the best
service possible, a service which would earn the total satisfaction,
confidence and support of the general public".

We thought the Police Act already required this of a professional police
force! Is Cde Mandipaka telling us that before the Sadc guidelines he didn't
know the police were expected to operate impartially and inspire confidence
in all citizens regardless of political affiliation?

We have heard the warnings in the past against those who engage in violence
or incite their supporters against opponents. In most cases these are
politicians from the ruling party. What does Mandipaka expect the youths
from Border Gezi centres to do when they hear people like President Robert
Mugabe and Jonathan Moyo describing the official opposition party as
puppets, sellouts and enemies of the people? Is that not incitement by the
highest office in the land?

And how does Cde Mandipaka hope to get an impartial and professional police
force when the head of that force declares that he is a member of the ruling
party? Isn't that partly the reason why most professional officers have left
the force?

While we suspend belief because of past experience, we would love to see a
reformed ZRP sooner rather than later and we wish Mandipaka all the best in
his endeavour.

One-party-state dreamers appear to be winning their war against democracy.
That was the message Muckraker got from reading the editorial comment in
Zanu PF's The Voice this week. The comment was smugly titled "No more MDC to
talk about". You would expect such a bold proclamation to be supported by
concrete evidence of the MDC's demise. There was nothing except the
gratuitous insults that we have become accustomed to.

"While opposition parties in other countries enhance democracy," wrote the
editor, "the MDC has been doing everything possible to kill all associated
with democracy in the country."

Is this the conclusion the public reached from the Cain Nkala case - that it
is the MDC that is associated with murder and terrorism? Was that the view
of the court? Has the editor of The Voice been asleep?

And how can the opposition enhance democracy in Zimbabwe when it is
demonised daily in the state media and its democratically-elected
councillors and mayors are hounded out of office by latter-day Stalinists
wanting to control everything?

Then we are told the MDC demonstrated it was anti-Zimbabwe "when it
vehemently opposed the land reform". This is immediately followed by the
following revelation from the MDC manifesto: "The MDC said it was going to
redistribute five million hectares to at least 100 000 families in a period
of five years."

Not the same thing as "vehemently opposed" is it?

The comment ended with a big reassurance to Zanu PF supporters: "The MDC is
obviously now history and Zimbabweans can now freely do their business
without risking being bothered by power-hungry thugs who think ruling a
country is the same as running their tuckshops."

Which thugs are these? Those like Joseph Mwale who despite belonging to the
country's intelligence service cannot be traced?

The Voice editor should ask Justice minister Patrick Chinamasa why he needs
pernicious laws like the Public Order and Security Act under which the
opposition cannot hold rallies freely and ordinary Zimbabweans need police
clearance to congregate in an independent Zimbabwe.

He can also check with President Mugabe why the country needs to
indoctrinate the youths with phoney histories when other nations are
empowering their children with technological skills to compete with the best
in the world. Does he believe a Kirsty Coventry can emerge from a Border
Gezi training centre?

Talking about Coventry, we notice that she has suddenly become "a son of the
soil" even among those who only yesterday were telling all whites to go back
to Britain. Can anybody recall a kind word about whites since Mugabe called
on his venal war veterans to "strike fear in the heart of the white man"?

Come Coventry and the Olympic medals and the state-controlled media couldn't
miss an opportunity to be associated with her. Suddenly her medals had
become Zimbabwe's after we failed to produce a single medal winner from our
own soil!

Muckraker might have missed something. But we do not remember government
contributing a cent towards Coventry's training. The best they ever did for
swimming was to construct the now moss-covered Olympic-size Chitungwiza
Aquatic complex in preparation for the All-Africa Games in 1995. It has
become a shining monument to all that is wrong with sports administration in
this country.

And all that is wrong is there in our cricket which has been ruined by the
actions of a few racists who think people should be rewarded for their skin
pigmentation instead of talent. The chaos is there at Zifa for all to see.
Rugby lies comatose. It will be many generations before we can produce
another Black family in tennis.

We have crowned all that with a ruined economy. We would not be far off the
mark in postulating that were Coventry locally-based and belonged to some
club she would not have won an Olympic gold. While we are happy that she won
three medals, let's also acknowledge our failure as a nation to produce
sports stars. Instead we persecute them. Ask Heath Streak, Andy Flower and
Henry Olonga!

The biggest consolation for Muckraker in this respect was that the Greeks
made sure Sports minister Aeneas Chigwedere was nowhere near Athens for the
Olympics. He has done just about everything imaginable to destroy both sport
and education in this country.

The foul-minded Lowani Ndlovu reckons every NGO in the country has evil
designs against his party, Zanu PF. He doesn't say why, if his party is the
love of the voters, it is so hated. Because there is no love lost between
government and the people, instead of voluntary compliance, laws have to be
dreamed up daily to force people to love the party. It's a crying shame for
a party that came to power on a wave of popular support that it has to
remain in power by threats and coercion.

Lowani's latest project is the NGO Bill that seeks to register and regulate
the operations of all NGOs in the country which he claims are seeking to
effect a "regime change". That's the fellow's bugbear when he's not running
away from the ghost of Tony Blair.

We can only hope that this time around Zanu PF MPs will scrutinise the Bill
when it comes before them and pass it on its merit instead of foolishly
listening to bogeys being raised by Lowani about NGOs threatening national

They were previously cheated about the Access to Information and Protection
of Privacy Act and now they rue the day they voted with party emotions
rather than their national brain. Now they have to go down on their knees to
beg for space to express their views, even in the state media. Once "beaten"
twice shy, as the government's semi-literate columnists would say!

For good measure Lowani also accuses NGOs of being corrupt. That might be so
but they can't be worse than people who seized more than one farm illegally
and are now obfuscating issues to avoid surrendering them. Land is a
national resource, not a treasure trove for looting in the name of Zanu PF.

And why does Lowani maliciously repeat the lie that Care International
"unilaterally distributed poisonous sorghum seed in Chivi" when it has been
explained that all they did was contract companies to supply the seed? And
everyday we are reminded of falsehoods under Aippa!

Lowani, whose column has been successfully colonised by a big-headed
opportunist, darkly suggests that NGOs have been undermining Zimbabwe's
sovereignty "in ways that are yet to be fully told to Zimbabweans".

Needless to say, he supplies no evidence to support this calumny. But we all
know what he means: Some NGOs have been helping people to exercise their
rights, improve their lives and aspire to the same standards of governance
as apply elsewhere in the region. This is what Sadc leaders meant when they
said citizens must have the right to fully participate in the political life
of their countries. Zanu PF is doing precisely the opposite: it is denying
people the right to participate just as it denied people the right to vote
in 2002.

Let's record not only this abridgement of rights which contradicts Zimbabwe'
s undertakings made last week, but also the role of ruling-party spokesmen
in attacking existing NGOs representing churches, lawyers, and journalists.

"All these organisations and more," we are told by Lowani, "are among those
included by (US Assistant Secretary of State Walter) Kansteiner as working
closely with the US government to effect regime change in Zimbabwe."

Is there a shred of evidence that Kansteiner contacted any NGOs or
journalists' organisations in Zimbabwe? Does Lowani know of any? If so why
hasn't he told us?

Lowani's cousin, Mzala Joe, writing in the Sunday News, is indignant that a
recent survey could suggest that an increase in President Mugabe's
popularity is due to propaganda in the public media.

"What propaganda?" he wanted to know. "The public media has merely reported
what President Mugabe does and says whereas Blair's media - that includes
the so-called Zimbabwe Independent - has always lied about the president."

A closer reading of the survey, Mzala Joe suggested, "would indicate that
the public is sick and tired of the lies and that the reason why the
president's popularity is increasing is because the public is punishing the
liars in the opposition press, such as the Zimbabwe Independent, which never
says anything true or good about President Mugabe. The bottom line to all
this is that lies do not pay. The public media is succeeding because it does
not lie."

This, coming from the sister paper of a publication whose editor sees
nothing wrong with inventing comments and conversations and then stands by
his lies when challenged by regional editors, is more than a little rich!

But what we suspect Mzala Joe wants us to say is that under President Mugabe
's regime Zimbabweans have seen vast improvements in their standard of
living, an increase in agricultural production, and huge strides in

Anybody could have said that in 1985 or 1990. But who could say it now 14
years later without lying?

So it came to pass that a Herald reporter had a nasty encounter with our
thuggish law enforcers in front of the Magistrates' courts on Monday. The
photographer said he was taking a picture of Charles Charamba being led to
court on fraud charges. Is this what Cde Mandipaka termed "the best service

The police detectives accosted the photographer and damaged his camera worth
about $10 million. We wish former Daily News photographer Virginia Mauluka
was around. Her experience at the hands of the riotous police was
life-threatening although the state media then jeered at her claiming she
was part of an illegal demonstration.

What is interesting is that although a Newsnet camera crew was at the scene,
they chose to keep a safe distance from rioting police detectives. They
reported it as simple "manhandling". It reminds us of the late Defence
minister Moven Mahachi who, after the army tortured Mark Chavunduka and Ray
Choto, shamelessly claimed the two journalists had "scratched themselves".
Meanwhile each evening Newsnet promises us: "When it happens we will be
there". But with their eyes and cameras shut. To be or not to be there, what
is the difference?

What is happening to our Chinese and Malaysian friends? The Zimbabwe Tourism
Authority says the industry is in dire straits. "Figures for holiday and
business makers in Zimbabwe are quite high," it says, "but the majority of
them, about 70%, are staying with friends or families."

This has seen hotels in Harare having room occupancy of as low as 38%. So
which sector of the economy is on a firm recovery path, we wonder?

And how come all these foreign tourists suddenly have  families here?

Justice minister Patrick Chinamasa, asked in parliament about relations with
Nigeria following a false report in the Sunday Mail about Nigerian support
for the MDC, replied that relations with Nigeria were "excellent".
Opposition MPs were attempting to "drive a wedge" between Zimbabwe and its
friends, he said.

The government was not responsible for what was carried in the media, he

Does that include the government media? Is Chinamasa seriously suggesting
that government-owned newspapers are not controlled by government? What else
is he asking us to believe? That pigs have wings?

He also claimed, by the way, that government did not interfere with the
judiciary. At least the minister still has a sense of humour!

Congratulations to Kumbirai Kangai for not losing sight of the important
things in life.

He told parliament on August 17, in reply to the presidential address, that
he would share with colleagues the "issues of today".

And what were these?  "The president came to this House with his graceful
wife who was well-dressed (hon members: inaudible interjections).

"I acknowledge that she was well-dressed."

Really enlightening stuff kk!

Finally, Muckraker would like to know if there is any connection between
Zesa's power cuts and Jonathan Moyo's Back2Black initiative.

Sydney Gata announced at the CZI conference early this month that he would
not be going to George Bush or Tony Blair for supplies.

As nobody had suggested he should, he is obviously once again in campaign

Zesa yauya!
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Zim Independent

Govt runs NRZ dry
Ngoni Chanakira
POLITICAL instead of business considerations are the major factors causing
mayhem at the cash-strapped National Railways of Zimbabwe (NRZ), insiders
have revealed.

To compound matters, the recent regrouping of staff into single categories
instead of the usual technical (mechanics and engineers) and administrative
(messengers and clerks), has resulted in the NRZ's wage bill skyrocketing to
more than 140% of revenue collected.

The NRZ, which is operating at 40% capacity, is currently collecting less
money than it is forking out daily.

Incensed by the problems bedevilling the NRZ, Minister of Transport and
Communications Christopher Mushowe two weeks ago held a meeting with the
board to try and thrash out problems at the parastatal. The meeting is
understood to have ended in deadlock.

In his monetary policy statement for the first quarter to March 31, Reserve
Bank of Zimbabwe governor Gideon Gono said the problems facing the NRZ were
not only affecting passenger transportation but also the movement of goods
within the country, as well as shipment of exports and imports. He said the
situation was worsened by the fact that road transport for bulk consignments
was relatively costly for producers.

Based on available business, the NRZ requires around 108 mainline
locomotives (DE10 class) compared to about 60 currently available.
Unavailability of locomotives has seriously impacted on the company's
ability to return foreign wagons to the owning railway administration,
especially South Africa's Spoornet.

This limitation has resulted in NRZ paying monthly interchange costs of
around R6 million to Spoornet, effectively eating into the country's limited
foreign exchange resources.

Bulk deliveries such as coal, tobacco, minerals, cotton lint, sugar, maize

and fuel have been directly affected by the capacity constraints at the NRZ,
which has now been asked to produce a turnaround programme.

A senior NRZ official speaking on condition of anonymity told businessdigest
that there was too much politics at the NRZ.

Government launched commuter trains before the 2002 presidential election
amid much fanfare in Harare and Bulawayo.

The official said each commuter train was milking about $3 million from NRZ

"Each train brings in about $1 million per trip," he said.

"We run two trains from Dzivaresekwa each morning and evening which means
that we are losing more than $12 million every day from this route alone. We
also run trains from Mabvuku and Luveve in Bulawayo."

He said to worsen matters each train had a duty manager who was paid
overtime whenever there was a mishap.

"Each driver and manager are collected from their homes by company vehicles
every morning and this means huge fuel bills. It's just a disaster. The
trains are also very cheap - $300 - so we all know this is a political

Government has however dismissed sentiments that the move to introduce
commuter trains was political, claiming it was meant to alleviate transport
blues for urban workers.
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Zim Independent

Banks make a killing on TCs
Conrad Dube
BANKS are reported to be making a killing on prospective travellers to South
Africa who want travellers' cheques (TCs) as Zimbabweans struggle to get the
R1 000 to get a visa to South Africa.

Investigations by businessdigest revealed that most banks charge between
$100 000 and $300 000 as commission for TCs. To get TCs clients are required
to deposit at least R1 000 with the bank.

Stanbic Bank is charging the highest amount of $300 000 and is reported to
be making good business from commissions while Kingdom Bank is charging R100
for TCs equivalent to R1 000. Standard Chartered said it was issuing TCs to
foreign currency account holders but charging 0,5% of the total amount to
non-foreign currency account holders.

Barclays Bank said they only give account holders while First Banking
Corporation is charging 10% of the foreign amount although the TCs were not
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Zim Independent

Zesa unveils investment projects
Ngoni Chanakira
AMBITIOUS Zesa Hold-ings (Pvt) Ltd has released investment projects for its
various subsidiaries in a bid to solve the country's worsening power

The southern African region, including Zimbabwe, is expected to experience
power shortages beginning in 2007.

Operational challenges facing Zesa include persistent coal shortages at all
stations, new imports contracts required for the 2005 to 2007 period as well
as the fact that only one firm contract has been signed for 2005.

The contract was signed with Snel of the Democratic Republic of the Congo
(DRC) for 150 megawatts.

Zesa has, however, released business plans for the Zimbabwe Power Company
(ZPC), the Zimbabwe ElectricityTransmission Companyand the Zimbabwe
Electricity Distribution Company.

The ZPC, which is 100% owned by Zesa, is planning generation investment
projects worth about US$800 million. The transmission company has investment
plans in the pipeline worth US$543 million while the distribution company's
investment projects will cost US$247 million.

Zesa is currently facing severe foreign currency problems leading to its
being regarded as an interruptible customer by neighbouring suppliers such
as the DRC, Mozambique, Zambia and South Africa.

The power utility also owes about $9 billion to local suppliers such as
Wankie Colliery Company Ltd.

Zesa executive chairman Sydney Gata said planned power sector investment
projects for the period 2004 until 2010 would cost a staggering US$2,416

Analysts contend that the plans are too ambitious and Zesa will never be
able to raise the amounts judging from its poor pricing policies, escalating
regional debts, as well as an increasing interest rates bill.

Gata said ZPC's investment projects would cost US$799 million.

He said expansion of Hwange 7 and 8 would cost US$368 million while that of
Kariba 7 and 8 would chew up US$175 million.

The projects would include upgrading the coal bed methane power generation

Upgrading the gas turbine plant will cost US$200 million, gas extraction
US$50 millionand proving commercial viability US$6 million.

Zesa is currently searching for local and international investors. Gata said
investors could take up both the Hwange and Kariba projects.

According to the ZPC business plan, the future supply-demand situation

was 650 megawatts for import displacement, 450MW for the expanded rural
electrification pro-gramme, 250 MW for spinning reserve, giving a minimal
additional of 1 350 MW for the period up to 2008.

Zesa said for its trans-mission investment pro-jects which would cost US$543
million, the costing was as follows: reinforcement bulk supply substations
would take up US$40 million, interconnection to Hwange 7 and 8 US$90
million, interconnection to CBM project US$81 million, sub trans
reinforcement for the Expanded Rural Electrification Programme (Erep) with
Electricity End-Use Infrastructure Development (EEUID) US$108 million, 330
kV sub-stations for major customer projects US$81 million, second Cahora
Bassa interconnector US$57 million, new 330 kV bulk supply sub-stations
US$31 million, 330kV grid extensions US$50 million as well as the upgrade of
88 kV sub transmission network US$5 million.

Analysts however que-stion whether these projects will indeed be carried out
with the serious foreign currency shortages that Zimbabwe is currently
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Zim Independent

Zimbabwe dollar under siege
By Addmore Chakurira
ANALYSTS are asking whether the Zimbabwe dollar is now at its greatest risk
and could collapse.

The Zimbabwe dollar has been losing ground against major currencies over the
past weeks, both on the auction and the parallel markets.

The local unit is now trading at over $5 600 - the diaspora rate - to the US
dollar and appears to be heading towards $5 700 to the US dollar at the
auction market.

However, the likelihood of a further "devaluation" of the Zimbabwe dollar to
a more realistic level on the managed auction system is remote given the
immediate impact such a move will have on the economy and on the inflation
rate, targeted to be reduced to 200% by December by the Reserve Bank of
Zimbabwe (RBZ).

Given the looming balance of payments deficit combined with escalating
inflation, the local currency will remain under strain. With no external
support to shore up the currency in the short to medium-term and to restore
both international and local confidence, the pending BOP crisis will further
shake the currency and fuel inflation exacerbated by firming world oil

Given our current economic situation, especially the country's disappointing
export performance, the continued high import demand will continue to put
pressure on the Zimbabwe dollar. In order to achieve long-term economic
stability and restore local as well as foreign investor confidence, it is
necessary to curb the inflation scourge, runaway fiscal expenditure and
revive production through increased capacity utilisation.

Outlook muted?

The economic slowdown has resulted in the currency crisis the country is
facing. The country has witnessed a sharp pullback in production across all
sectors of the economy and the economic performance has declined

Agriculture, the mainstay of the economy, has been affected by a barrage of
factors which include the land redistribution programme, drought and
shortage of inputs.

There has been marked erosion of foreign exchange inflows and throughput
from tobacco - once the country's main foreign currency earner. To date,
around 49,3 million kg of tobacco have been sold at the auction floors
earning around US$95,3 million.

The tobacco-selling season is coming to an end, penciled to close on August
31 and it is unlikely that the total crop will exceed 55 million kg this
year compared to 80 million kg sold last year.

Cotton, which is grown mostly by the rural peasant farmers, has overtaken
tobacco in terms of foreign currency earnings, with a total crop of 300
tonnes projected for 2003/4 season, up from the 2002/3 crop size of 250

Preparing for trouble

Availability of input schemes can be attributed to the increased production
in cotton hence the need to have concrete input schemes for tobacco, which
is highly capital-intensive. This would consequently result in increased
agricultural activity.

Added to that, the access to markets will greatly enhance farmers'
viability, ie the re-introduction of a commodity market will improve the
marketability of the products. With the tobacco planting season behind us,
there have not been a lot of initiatives to support local farmers and hence
increase tobacco production.

The beauty about financing tobacco cropping is that it results in a win-win
situation for tobacco merchants and farmers. On top of that, the country is
likely to receive foreign exchange in advance. Ideally, what might happen is
that inflows of foreign currency from tobacco merchants' offshore credit
lines will be used to finance the crop, thereby injecting a significant
amount of foreign currency into the country.

The merchants will only buy a crop equivalent to what they injected in the
out-grower scheme with the contracted farmers selling anything in excess to
the market.

This might also help in stabilising the local currency as merchants will
only require Zimbabwe dollars when purchasing the crop some nine months down
the line.

If such schemes can be structured for a variety of agricultural products
this might ease the pressure on the local currency. Increasing the
production and properly structuring foreign currency instruments from cotton
and tobacco which are out of phase, backed by these commercial crops, sanity
can prevail in the foreign currency market to a certain extent.

In conclusion, such efforts should not only be limited to a few crops but
should cover a wider variety, more- so the lucrative horticultural sector.
That said, the efforts being made by the authorities and industry players
alike is a welcome development if Zimbabwe is to overcome problems it is
reeling under.

Information contained herein has been derived from sources believed to be
reliable but is not guaranteed as to its accuracy and does not purport to be
a complete analysis of the security, company or industry involved. Any
opinions expressed reflect the current judgement of the author(s), and do
not necessarily reflect the opinion of Sagit Financial Holdings Ltd or any
of its subsidiaries and affiliates. The opinions presented are subject to
change without notice. Neither Sagit Financial Holdings nor its
subsidiaries/affiliates accept any responsibility for liabilities arising
from use of this article or its contents.
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Zim Independent


Probe scam at Beitbridge border post

I WOULD like to bring to the attention of the travelling public and
government officials the scam that is going on at the Beitbridge Border

On August 15, three other people and I were returning from South Africa
aboard a private motor vehicle.

As we approached the customs and immigration building we saw hundreds of
people milling around and a queue of about five to 10 motor vehicles
comprising mainly small pick-up trucks laden with goodies purchased from
South Africa.

As we disembarked from the car, a tall burly gentleman approached us and
offered to "arrange" to spare us the long wait - perhaps two to three hours.

We initially spurned his offer. But as time wore on we obliged since we did
not want to travel in the dark.

The gentleman at first asked for R200 for the service but my friend did not
have foreign currency and offered him $40 000 in local currency.

He argued this was insufficient and after some haggling settled for $150

We passed through and met up again with the gentleman. He guided us through
a fleet of cars which, judging by the dust that had gathered on them, had
been there for weeks unattended.

In front of us was a sign post marked "searching". After waiting for a
while, my friend approached a customs official who was checking people's
documents and waving them to proceed.

He looked at our documents and then looked into the distance to our
"arranger" who gave him a nod.

The official signed the documents and allowed us to proceed to the final
departure gate.

It is quite obvious that the customs official and the "arranger" were in

It was apparent too that a scam is rife whereby the travelling public is
forced to pay for quick entry. Talk of corruption!

I hope that the powers-that-be will put a stop to this corruption.


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Zim Independent


Kirsty being shamelessly used

ALONG with so many others at home and scattered throughout the world, I
would like to express my admiration for Kirsty Coventry and congratulate her
on her amazing achievement.

It was also wonderful to see our other athletes all doing their best for our
poor country.

However, I am deeply disturbed at what appears to be an attempt by the
government to hijack her achievement and use her victory for propaganda
purposes. We should remember that this is a regime so repugnant in the eyes
of the free world that even the Minister of Education, Sport and Culture
Aeneas Chigwedere was barred from attending the games.

If Coventry is to be feted at home, that would be truly wonderful, she truly
deserves it. But I fear that an innocent young woman could be shamelessly
used by a pariah regime.

Charles Frizell,

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Zim Independent


Someone please save our flora and fauna!

WITH the massive land resettlement programme which has taken place in
Zimbabwe, have there been any moves to monitor the impact it has had on the

My experience has proved that it has been implemented with very little, if
any, regard for Zimbabwe's natural resources.

A prime example is the massive destruction of Miambo woodlands along the
Eiffel Flats/Mhondoro road.

Hectares upon hectares of brachyslegia/julbemardia woodland are being
cleared daily in areas clearly unsuitable for agriculture on hills and
watersheds and on land particularly susceptible to erosion. It appears that
this is occurring throughout Zimbabwe where "new farmers" are instructed by
government to clear their land or lose it!

It appears that members of the Forestry Commission and the Natural Resources
Board of Zimbabwe are not fulfilling their duties to protect our forests and
woodlands. This is a national disgrace which cannot go unchecked by
international environmental groups.

President Mugabe will never be able to claim that his land resettlement
programme was done with the future environmental health of Zimbabwe in mind.
It has been one of the most destructive and senseless onslaughts on the
environment I have ever had the misfortune of seeing.

Please, will someone save what is left of our precious, life-giving
woodlands and forests. Is there someone, somewhere with the courage to speak
out and put an end to this senseless destruction of our flora and fauna.


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Zim Independent

Editor's Memo

The big lie

THE principal rule of propaganda as espoused by Josef Goebbels -the Nazi
minister of propaganda - is to tell a big lie.

Justice minister Patrick Chinamasa - while responding to a question in
parliament last Wednesday - came up with diabolical untruths which fit this

Gweru Urban MP Timothy Mukahlera asked the minister if government would
ensure the opposition gets equitable media coverage in the run-up to the
Seke by-election. Chinamasa had the effrontery to suggest the MDC was
already getting more media coverage than Zanu PF.

"As we know, out of some 52 publications in Zimbabwe, 50 of them are
belonging to the private sector, which in fact support the opposition,"
Chinamasa told parliament.

"That is the truth in Zimbabwe. The point I am making is that the field in
respect of the media is very level. If it is uneven, it is tipped against
Zanu PF both locally and internationally in terms of movement of persons. I
do not think basically that there is a problem in that sector."

Nothing could be further from the truth.

German dictator Adolf Hitler writing in Mein Kampf said this about the big
lie: "In the primitive simplicity of the people's minds, they more readily
fall victims to the big lie than the small lie, since they themselves often
tell small lies in little matters but would be ashamed to resort to
large-scale falsehoods.

"It would never come into their heads to fabricate colossal untruths, and
they would not believe that others could have the impudence to distort the
truth so infamously. Even though the facts which prove this to be so may be
brought clearly to their minds, they will still doubt and waver and will
continue to think there is some other explanation."

The technique of the big lie demands that it defies logic. In order to work,
all the evidence and logic has to point the other way, said best-selling
author Hal Lindsey in a newspaper column in 2001.

MPs were made to swallow the dross by Chinamasa, which from elementary
analysis is an embarrassing falsehood and an assault on the intelligence of
the governed.

Chinamasa would like the nation to believe that 50 publications registered
by the Media and Information Commission (MIC) all support the MDC and there
are only two which are not sympathetic to the opposition! Which are the two
publications not owned by the private sector?

There are six titles in the Zimpapers stable, owned by the government, which
have not disguised their crude allegiance to Zanu PF. The government owns at
least eight community newspapers under New Ziana, which churn out anti-MDC
messages with gusto. Zanu PF has its own publication - The Voice - as part
of its information machinery designed to prop up the incumbent and make
vituperative attacks on the opposition.

Another obvious truth which evidently never occurred to Chinamasa is that
the Zanu PF government runs four radio stations and a television station
which have all been schooled to ensure that President Mugabe is portrayed as
a hero and to preach the notion that the MDC is a reincarnation of colonial

The minister's suggestion that all private-sector publications support the
MDC is simply fatuous. Does that include fashion magazines, trade magazines
or innocuous in-house journals which are all registered with the MIC?

There was no one in the House to challenge the minister's ridiculous
statement, which is crucial for propagandists hooked onto the big lie
stratagem - if noone challenges a big lie then it transmutes into fact.

The opposition's silence on this is tantamount to aiding and abetting the
process of distortion.

That record in column 132 of Hansard of August 18 should be kept for
posterity as an illustration of our rulers' integrity.

Despite its diabolical intention, Chinamasa's statement is a useful
disclosure on government's perception of the current media scene.

His prognosis is that the MDC is already overexposed in the media and Zanu
PF is getting a raw deal. What deception from a minister who told parliament
on the same day that "my reputation as minister responsible for delivering
justice is at an all-time high"!

He was responding to a question by Job Sikhala (MDC, St Mary's) as to why he
had remained silent on accusations that he interferes with the judiciary.

Chinamasa's statement on the media, if it represents government's view, puts
paid to any hopes of equitable media coverage of political groupings in the
build-up to next year's election. The Sadc guidelines make clear that equal
access to the public media is a fundamental condition of democratic due
process. Without it, voters cannot make an informed choice.

As Paul Berenger made clear, that includes access to radio and television.

So within 24 hours of Zimbabwe signing the Grande Baie protocol ministers
were dreaming up ways to circumvent both the spirit and letter of that

Is this the beginning of Zimbabwe's disregard for the electoral principles
which President Mugabe spoke so highly about on his return from Mauritius?
It certainly looks like it.

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Dear JAG

Need a little bit of help.  There seems to be many conflicting statements
recounting the accident on Samora Machel cnr Rhodesville Ave on Friday the
13th of August 2004 where a lady, Mrs. Diane Hewitt tragically passed away.
We know that so many people were at the scene of the accident, saw it
happen and/or arrived shortly afterwards.  We ask that perhaps they could
come forward and help by sharing what they saw, and in trying to help the
family and the police find out exactly what happened.  If you were there or
know of someone who was, please could you contact either:

Gary Hewitt 091 341 334 or Sam Hewitt on 490 416/091 315 768
or John Falkenberg 333192/011 403 172

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JAG OPEN LETTER FORUM 26th August 2004

Email: ;

Please send any material for publication in the Open Letter Forum to with "For Open Letter Forum" in the subject line.


The Triple Filter Test
In ancient Greece, Socrates was reputed to hold knowledge in high esteem.

One day an acquaintance met the great philosopher and said, "Do
you know what I just heard about your friend?"
"Hold on a minute," Socrates replied. "Before telling me anything
I'd like you to pass a little test. It's called the Triple Filter Test."

"Triple filter?"
"That's right," Socrates continued. "Before you talk to me about
my friend, it might be a good idea to take a moment and filter what
you're going to say. That's why I call it the triple filter test.

The first filter is Truth. Have you made absolutely sure that what you are
about to tell me is true?"

"No," the man said, "actually I just heard about it and..."

"All right," said Socrates. "So you don't really know if it's true or not.

Now let's try the second filter, the filter of Goodness. Is what
you are about to tell me about my friend something good?"

"No, on the contrary..."
"So," Socrates continued, "you want to tell me something bad about him, but
you're not certain it's true.

You may still pass the test though, because there's one filter left:
The filter of Usefulness. Is what you want to tell me about my friend going
to be useful to me?"
"No, not really."

"Well," concluded Socrates, "if what you want to tell me is neither true nor
good nor even useful, why tell it to me at all?"


Letter 1.  Subject: Just a Thought

In the years between the Battle of Chinoyi and the raising of the
Zimbabwe flag at Rufaro the liberation movements tried without success
to remove the white farmers from their farms. Despite every act of
violence and the use of guns, bombs and intimidation they failed. The
efforts of ZANU-PF supported sanctions, the constant call ups, and the
vilification of their efforts by the entire Western world and the Soviet
block, to say nothing of the AOU and the UN combined were not up to the
task of displacing the white farmer.

It was only in the period after the 2000 Referendum that it was possible
to achieve that long held objective. And to do it the only surviving
liberation movement had to do a number of things; mobilise the Army and
Airforce, utilise the CIO and Police, bribe the war veterans and youth
with food, drugs and alcohol as well as the promise of free land. Remove
any legal protection that the courts and police force might provide.
Legitimise murder, rape and theft on a grand scale and many other acts
of greater or lesser harassment.

But let us not forget that probably the single most telling blow was
the destruction of the concept of legally enforceable title to land. It
took the abandonment of the rule of law, which was the secret of this
country's economic success, to finally achieve this narrow political
objective of stamping out opposition to ZANU-PF hegemony. That
generations will pay for this vandalism is not the point; the point is
that it took the full might of the State machinery to displace a small
part of the population

Only after all this was it possible for the liberation movement, in its
present incarnation as a government, to actually get the white farmer
off his land and out of the country. It makes you realize the resilience
of the white farmers, and that this strength of character will hold them
in good stead in Zambia, Mozambique, and Nigeria or wherever they settle
next. I just hope that other sections of the Zimbabwean population have
learned from this sorry saga and are better placed to do the right thing
as the future unfolds.

Knowledge is Power


Letter 2.  Subject: Useful info about cellphone

I have tried this myself, and got the number of my own cell phone. It seems
too good not to pass on to you. I hope it is genuine.
                MARTIN TRACEY.
 * Originally by Ross Pharmacy,
 * Originally to mtracey, 5:7211/1.1552
 * Originally dated Sat 10 Jul 2004 11:37A

 -*- Forwarded message follows: -*-

Date: 06 July 2004 10:29
Subject: FW: useful information about mobile/ cellphone
Interesting that mobile sellers don't tell you this - How to disable your
stolen Mobile? A bit of useful information to those Mobile Users among
you,just in case you lose your mobile or it gets stolen.
To check your Mobile phone's serial number, key in the following digits
on your phone: < * # 0 6 # >
A 15 digit code will appear on the screen. This number is unique to your
handset. Write it down and keep it somewhere safe. Should your phone get
stolen, you can phone your service provider and give them this code. They
will then be able to block your handset so even if the thief changes the
Sim card your phone will be totally useless. You probably won't get your
phone back, but at least you know that whoever stole it can't use/sell it
either. If everybody did this, there would be no point in stealing mobile
phones. Send this to as many people
as possible.
All letters published on the open Letter Forum are the views and opinions
of the submitters, and do not represent the official viewpoint of Justice
for Agriculture.


JAG Hotlines:
(091) 261 862 If you are in trouble or need advice,
(011) 205 374
(011) 863 354 please don't hesitate to contact us -
(011) 431 068
                                we're here to help!
263 4 799 410 Office Lines
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JAG JOB OPPORTUNITIES: Updated 26th August 2004

Please send any classified adverts for publication in this newsletter to:
JAG Job Opportunities

1.  Advert Received 20th August 2004

Farmworker required in Esperance W.A.
14000 acres wheat, canola, barley.
4000 cattle, 3000 sheep.
Join a team of 8 (including 1 ex-Zimbo).
80km east of Esperance.
Junior school 10km away, High school and two other Junior schools in
Esperance, serviced by bus.
Position is available +/- February 2005.

Please email your CV to Laura at

2.  Advert Received 24th August 2004

We recently arrived here in Western Australia from Zimbabwe. We are here on
a Regional Sponsorship Visa and since arriving have been asked by numerous
farmers in our area if there are any people back in Zimbabwe who would like
to find employment on farms here. They are desperate for full time and
seasonal leading farm workers. I am willing to help put anyone who is
thinking of coming to Western Australia in contact with farmers here in our
area, and to give as much advice as I can from our experience thus far.

The work is enjoyable and rewarding and is not as what most Zimbabweans
imagine, that you will be a farm labourer. Though it is true that there is
only one or two of you on the farms and you do do all the work that is
necessary, most work is backed up by modern mechanical equipment. Anyone
wishing to immigrate to Australia and felt that they did not meet the
relevant criteria to do so, this may be a very good way as it is likely
that your visa application may be looked at more favourably as they are so
short of people in the rural areas.

Our contact details for anyone who would like to ask any questions is
Karen & Lawrence Christian

Herewith is one job offer that may interest someone back home.

Turua Park is one of Western Australia's largest cereal cropping & sheep
grazing enterprises and run by the Iffla family.

The crops that are grown are predominantly wheat & barley. Lupins, peas,
canola and oats are also used in the rotation and make up the 8,200 ha
(20500acres) of crop.

There are also some 6000 Merino ewes plus lambs along with other dry sheep
which make up the 13 000 Merino sheep on the property. We use contractors
to shear and mark the lambs.

Most of the work centres around the cropping enterprise which entails a lot
of preparation. Machinery looked after and serviced, spraying weeds,
seeding crops and harvesting them.

Soil & green leaf testing are conducted at different intervals to
determined available nutrients required and the uptake in both pastures and

Although here is not the large amount of manual labour required today
compared to a few years ago due to the advanced technology systems.

Machines like boomsprays now have GPS systems in to help guide the machine.
Our boomspray is 120ft wide and has automatic steer. Obviously no person
could accurately judge the width without this technology.

Permanent staff are required to run the day to day operations, help with
planning and also give leadership at busy times when we use casual staff to
help during planting and harvesting crops.

All staff are well housed and although there is a small rent on the house
($30 - $50 per week) sheep meat, water are free.

Although the machinery we use is a lot larger than most people have driven
it doesn't take long to adjust. In fact the larger more modern machinery is
most times easier to operate.

Our family is looking for skilled people with a reasonable education that
are prepared to learn and take on new ideas and challenges, people that are
prepared to do any duty on the farm when required.

Our preference on the wage side of things is to pay a reasonable base rate
and further increases to be performance based. (sharing profits) however,
this is determined between parties.
For further information, please contact the above e-mail address.

3.  Advert Received 24th August 2004

Wanted: Lady Warden at Borradaile Trust.

                    Borradaile Trust, a retirement complex in Marondera,
requires the services of a special, caring lady who would fill the position
of Lady Warden of the B Scheme. This is a cloistered area, where some 30
residents live independently in their own flats off the cloisters, but are
provided with all meals in a communal dining room. The incumbent enjoys
free board and lodging and a salary commensurate with qualifications and
experience. Trained nursing staff would be preferred, but this is not
essential. Interested parties should apply to: The Warden, Borradaile
Trust, Pvt Bag 3795, Marondera, enclosing two references and a c.v..
E-mail: .

                   The position is tenable w.e.f. 1st September, 2004.  The
Warden regrets that he will only be able to acknowledge applications of
short-listed applicants.
( 21st August, 2004.)

4.  Advert Received 25th August 2004

Advert: Vacancy

Position: Workshop Foreman / Manager required at BR Toyota
Phone: Len Idensohn or Darrin Keates
E-mail: or
Tel: 304650 / 304659

5.  Advert Received 26th August 2004

Cawston Ranch (Rosslyn Safaris) requires a general manager for this well
developed game ranch with ostrich production section, 60 km north of
Bulawayo on the Vic Falls road.

This is a substantial position and needs a person of energy, integrity and
organising ability, with good people skills and a keen interest in land and
wildlife management.  Experience in wildlife and ostriches not essential
but obviously an advantage.

In return we offer a very good package with accommodation and sundry perks.

Please contact Peter Johnstone: by email at, by
phone at 09-244155, or cell 091-241-229.

6.  Advert Received 26th August 2004


1.  Tobacco Manager - Experienced.

2.  Crops in Agriculture with Tobacco experience, good
knowledge of irrigation

Contact T I Beattie Cell 011 404 297
                                  Home 053 2448
                                  Office 053 2573

7.  Advert Received 26th August 2004


Butchery looking for a Shop Manager/Supervisor.  Possibly suit an ex
Require own transport, will supply fuel.
Interested persons please contact:

Phone 04 - 336 773/4 ; cell 091 239 825 ;
For the latest listings of accommodation available for farmers, contact
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