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

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The Daily Telegraph:

Mugabe ``agrees to' US maize for the starving despite GM protest

August 2, 2002 4:05am

ZIMBABWE was said yesterday to have accepted a large consignment of maize to
help feed six million people who face famine, after previously rejecting the
American aid because some of the maize is genetically modified.

Despite the apparent decision to accept the shipment, the image of a nation
on the brink of starvation rejecting food because it has been genetically
engineered has reignited controversy over GM food, which has been eaten by
Americans for years with no apparent ill-effects.

An editorial in the Herald, regarded as a mouthpiece of President Robert
Mugabe's government, said last week: "Vegetables . . could be contaminated
with genes from such grain." Experts have said this is a scientific

Yesterday's issue of New Scientist reported on how the Zimbabwe High
Commission in London had said no GM foods were allowed in the country
because "scientifically, they haven't been proven to be safe." The same day
an American official said: "The government of Zimbabwe has communicated its
willingness to receive the maize."

He added that Harare had in the past accepted milled maize from America,
which cannot certify whether the grain in the 20,000 ton consignment has or
has not been genetically modified.

Only a little non-engineered corn is segregated from GM varieties during the
US harvest. It sells at a premium to organic food processors and others.

Biotech proponents have attacked the Zimbabwean government for initially
refusing aid, saying Mr Mugabe seems to care more about demonstrating his
independence than saving the lives of 6 million said to be facing famine.

Others accuse Washington of using the food crisis to get US gene-altered
products established in a part of the world that has resisted them.

The US Agency for International Development rejected the suggestion that
America was strong-arming Zimbabwe or had any agenda other than feeding the
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Daily News

Leader Page

      Who will pick up the gauntlet?

      8/2/02 10:08:42 AM (GMT +2)

      THE involvement of the ordinary man, woman and child in any action is
largely dependent on information at hand on the gains derived from
participating in that cause.

      From there, everything else is likely to fall into place, thus
guaranteeing the success of the enterprise, that is if the gains outweigh
the risks that lie ahead. Weighing the gains of the time and effort invested
in shaking the Establishment towards democracy, it is only logical that the
execution of the people's revolt will be stayed indefinitely, considering
the risks. So Zimbabweans have to find and strike a balance between forever
being on the receiving end of the abuses of power, and also what taking to
the streets will mean for them.

      Judging by experiences in the Philippines among other countries, it
would also be expected to expedite democratic reform here. But as would be
expected, what guides one in deciding whether or not to take a particular
path are the challenges presented by the task. If they are surmountable, it
is foreseeable that the individual will be equal to that task, and if
presented with a challenge much larger than themselves, obviously that
challenge will be left to the foolhardy. The latter no doubt is the station
that many here find themselves in on the calls for democratic reform. Is
anybody equal to this new task where the "masters" meanwhile show no sign of
fatigue? But before all those cards are dealt, there are issues of choosing
that path which leads to taking up of "arms" and coming out onto the streets
to demand democracy.

      We could well ask: "Will the real men please stand up?" And real men
as in folks who will stand up and be counted as those who stopped Zimbabwe
from going to the dogs. What has happened in the past and in the history of
the continent, and also the fallen repressive communist regimes of Eastern
Europe, has been that opposition to these regimes has been executed from
outside the borders by exiled patriots. And these have been both voluntary
and involuntary. While exiled political activists spent most of their adult
lives pushing for those reforms, with some unfortunately being hunted out of
their not-so-safe havens and assassinated, could that be the same kind of
politics that will bring change here and elsewhere across Africa? Proof is
there for the doubting Thomases, and it is in studying the politics here
since the June 2000 parliamentary election to the present.

      After all, there already is a radio station beaming its programmes
very far from home and manned by Zimbabweans! A look at the obstacles put in
the way of the opposition, despite its parliamentary seats, and also the
fate dealt other citizen actions will provide one with proof that the drive
for change from within has hit a brick wall. Look at the efforts of the
National Constitutional Assembly. These few men and women who have exhibited
courage and determination have been those who firmly believe the law and the
Constitution are on their side, yet they have still been dealt with
"accordingly" by the police! And obviously at the behest of the ruling

      Thus this new challenge would call for new solutions as the ballot has
not yielded any desired effect. But the question would be whether that in
itself is tenable. While post-independence Zimbabweans will forever be
remembered for the men and women who weathered the onslaught from the party
under whose aegis the new Zimbabwean flag was hoisted, they will still be
remembered by others as people who did so with "good" reason. Thus it was
asked: "Will the real men and women please stand up?" They bore the assaults
with no idea how to hit back because the opponent had an unfair advantage.

      Previously it was agreed that the police and the army were
citizen-friendly, but today seeing them milling about in the city centre
with their baton sticks spells trouble for the law-abiding citizens. So with
that ferocious power on the side of those responsible for the misrule of
this country, who honestly would dare the devil and leave behind a widow and
orphans? Or just die young? And this when everybody is painfully aware of
the hard times that have hit many. So thinking about leaving behind those
loved and young ones who might just end up as urchins would be enough to
absorb the punishment in silence and just hope that this nightmare will soon
come to pass.

      That is what has inspired what some have called the cowardice of
Zimbabweans, despite the state of affairs they find themselves in. And it is
this that has fed the confidence of the ruling party, despite all pointers
that would have the party gurus frantically running for panic buttons! A
recent Amnesty International report tells us what we have always known: that
the police are being used as an arm of the ruling party, as a militia force
which has actively taken part in the subjugation of law-abiding citizens.
Moreover with the taxi driver shot at a roadblock in Harare also in June,
the images that are recalled for one entertaining the idea of taking up the
challenge and march for democracy would not be something that favours taking
up that gauntlet.

      If a taxi driver ferrying passengers to their chosen destination could
be a victim of a trigger-happy police officer, what about one who takes part
in an agenda that openly challenges the ruling party?

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Daily News

      Three men face murder charges

      8/2/02 11:03:52 AM (GMT +2)

      Staff Reporter

      Three men accused of murdering a 17-year-old student during an armed
robbery at a house in Greendale North, Harare, appeared in the Harare
Magistrates' Court on Monday.

      Gilbert Sebastain Chikukwa, 30, Vengai Savieri, 23, and Naison
Savieri, 20, were arrested following a shootout with the police on Wednesday
last week in Tynwald South, Harare. A fourth person, Jack Jiri, is already
in custody, charged with murdering Robert Thompson on 8 July. He is also
facing a charge of car theft. A fifth suspect, Michael Mugadza, was killed
during the shootout.

      Chikukwa, Naison and Vengai Savieri, were remanded in custody to 13
August when they appeared before Harare provincial magistrate Joyce Negonde.
Chifarai Dube, for the State, alleged that at about 7:30pm on 8 July the
five men drove to the house in Chamberlain Road in a Mazda 323 they had
stolen in Chatsworth in June.
      Two of them broke the kitchen door and gained access, while the other
two used the front door, which was open, the State alleged. Mugadza remained
in the car.

      Jiri was allegedly armed with a pistol, Vengai with a wheel spanner,
Naison with a crowbar and Chikukwa, an empty beer bottle. The State alleged:
"All four met in the dining room where they ordered Mrs Ingrid Thompson to
remain silent but she screamed. "During the ensuing scuffle, Robert
Thompson, a student at Heritage School in Borrowdale, grabbed Jiri from the
back, trying to disarm him. "Jiri broke loose and shot him in the head. He
died instantly." Opposing bail, the State said the alleged murder weapon had
not been recovered. The State said Chikukwa was facing three other counts of
armed robbery.
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Daily News

      Police called in to control crowd shoving for sugar

      8/2/02 10:59:42 AM (GMT +2)

      Staff Reporter

      The police were called in to quell any possible outbreak of violence
on Wednesday after hundreds of people stampeded a central Harare supermarket
which had just received a consignment of sugar.

      Scores of people rushed into Jarzin Supermarket along Chinhoyi Street,
jostling for the few packets of sugar that had just been delivered. The
police, however, managed to calm the restive crowd. When The Daily News
visited the supermarket, some police officers were inside the supermarket,
while several shoppers waited patiently outside. Most basic commodities,
including sugar, maize-meal, cooking oil and salt have been in short supply
following the cumulative effects of economic mismanagement and
government-approved farm invasions over the past three years. In 1997, food
riots erupted in Harare, Bulawayo and other major cities as people protested
against tax increases and the rising cost of living.
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Daily News


      Beware of creeping Islamisation of Zimbabwe

      8/2/02 10:14:09 AM (GMT +2)

      It pains me to write on the subject of Islam. This is not only of
concern to Christians, but to all Zimbabweans. Do you realise that Moslems
are invading this country?

      It may appear funny and very simple to you yet this has many
implications and complications for this nation. I understand and appreciate
the fact that the Zimbabwean Constitution allows freedom of association and
religion. I also do understand that we have a crisis in Zimbabwe and that it
is apparent that the only friends left for our President are the Moslems (ie
Arab countries). Whilst I am not a racist, I would like to let us open our
eyes to the impending Islamic invasion on our land. African solidarity
certainly does not mean letting other African countries invade our own
country. Can't you see, brethren, that this country is going to Islam all in
a bid to be different and free from from the so-called West? Don't you
realise in whose hands we have placed our economy? This has a lot of
implications. I will give you examples of Nigeria, Libya and Malawi.

      It is the priority of Moslems to turn the whole of Africa into an
Islamic continent and to apply their shariah law. In Nigeria there are
always raids on Christians by Moslems resulting in a lot of bloodshed. To
them it is a "holy" war. Now these people are flooding this country. I am
not a prophet of doom, but if nothing meaningful is done then very soon we
will be experiencing these "holy" wars in this country, Do people understand
the meaning of halaal? If they would know what it means how would they
react? Yet all the meat from the Cold Storage Company (CSC), all the chicken
in big supermarkets and most of the "cheap" butcheries is halaal. Halaal
meat is especially prepared as a ritual by Moslems and it is at the centre
of their religion.

      They sacrifice these beasts that we eat to their god called Allah, yet
it is not explained to the public what halaal means. To many Zimbabweans it
means cheap meat.
      Why on earth do the Moslems prepare meat to be consumed by the whole
nation in a ritualistic manner? Are we all Moslems? The argument normally
advanced here is that Moslems consume the bulk of our beef in this country.
How true is that? Even if it was true, does that justify forcing us to take
their own food?
      If all Christians are going to shun eating such meat, what would be
the impact on the economy of this nation? I know that even if I eat that
meat I would still remain Christian, but I certainly do not want to be
forced by whatever means to eat what I do not choose to. It should be fully
explained to the whole nation what halaal means.

      Long back when this argument first surfaced it was resolved that a
distinction be made between halaal and non-halaal meat, but all the meat
from the CSC is now halaal. I am convinced that if the people of Zimbabwe
really knew what this means they would not eat such meat. The economy is
going into the hands of different people, all in the name of black
emancipation and patriotism. Politics aside, it is important that the
President, whom I respect so much for his stance on Christians, take a stand
here and stop Moslems from invading this country. Have you ever realised
that almost all the wholesale companies in this country belong to Moslems? I
am not against these people accumulating wealth for themselves, but this is
just to caution Zimbabweans about the cliff ahead.

      Given Mt Pleasant Harare
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Daily News

      Shut down 'sex slave' youth camps, says MP

      8/2/02 10:54:38 AM (GMT +2)

      From Our Correspondent in Bulawayo

      Thokozani Khupe, the MP for Makokoba, Bulawayo, yesterday called on
the government to shut down youth camps where girls are allegedly being used
as "sex slaves".She called on parents whose daughters were in the camps to
campaign for their closure as there had been reports of rampant cases of
"unprotected sex", with the danger of HIV/Aids being spread among the
occupants.Khuphe said as a mother and a concerned citizen, she was worried
about the continuing existence of the militia bases, created for Zanu PF
youths in the run-up to the presidential election.

      The Zimbabwe Women Lawyers Association has reported that about 1 000
girls were being used as "sex slaves" in 50 militia camps throughout the
country. "My major worry is the vulnerability of these kids, especially the
girls who are being used as sex objects," said Khupe. "The question is
whether the authorities are aware of the HIV infection that these children
are being exposed to." Khuphe said research by a number of organisations had
proved that youths in the militia camps were engaging in unprotected sex. "I
therefore call upon all Zimbabweans to condemn the idea of the militia camps
and that they should be disbanded with immediate effect." Some of the
militia bases set up in Bulawayo in the run-up to the presidential election
have been disbanded after Zanu PF failed to feed and pay allowances to the
youths. Those who have remained in the camps are reportedly surviving on
begging and prostitution.

      A youth who ran away from one camp, said: "We were forced to drink
beer and do things we could never have dreamt of in our right senses,
including having sex." But yesterday in Bulawayo, Mkhululi Sibanda, the Zanu
PF provincial secretary, denied there were any such camps in the city.
Sibanda said: "We never had any militia camps in Bulawayo or anywhere else
in the country."When asked how he would describe the camping of Zanu PF
youths at the community halls in the city, Sibanda invited the reporter to
the party's provincial headquarters, which was also a Zanu PF camp, for more
details.Chidyausiku to hear Jongwe's bail appealStaff ReporterLEARNMORE
Jongwe's appeal for bail in the case in which the Kuwadzana MP is accused of
murdering his wife, Rutendo, has now been set down for hearing in the
Supreme Court on Monday before Chief Justice Godfrey Chidyausiku.Jongwe, 28,
is alleged to have stabbed his wife several times with a kitchen knife
during a domestic dispute.His lawyer, Jonathan Samkange, who lodged the
appeal in the Supreme Court last Friday to reverse Justice Anele Matika's
decision in the High Court, says he believes another court is likely to come
up with a different ruling.
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Daily News

      Judge refuses to remove Nkala murder suspects from remand

      8/2/02 10:51:01 AM (GMT +2)

      From Chris Gande in Bulawayo

      Justice George Chiweshe yesterday threw out an application to stop the
indictment for trial of the MP Fletcher Dulini Ncube (Lobengula-Magwegwe)
and two other suspects in the Cain Nkala murder case.

      The application in the Bulawayo High Court sought the removal of the
three from remand because the State had failed to link them to the murder.
The defence alleged "political intervention" in the State's bid to indict
them. Chiweshe said in a ruling delivered on his behalf by Justice Misheck
Cheda: "The application is designed to frustrate the course of justice and
therefore cannot be successful." Immediately after the ruling, Mercy
Moya-Matshanga of the Attorney General's Office (AG) rushed to the
magistrate's court to seek warrants of arrests for the three.

      Initially, the police through the State media, had alleged that the
accused possessed forged passports and R1 million (Z$6 million). The reports
alleged Nkala's wife had been struck on the head with the butt of an AK
rifle. Now, according to court documents, the State has a piece of the
shovel allegedly used to dig the grave where Nkala was buried. Advocate
Chris Andersen, the defence counsel, instructed by Nicholas Mathonsi and
Josphat Tshuma, both of Web, Low and Barry, argued that the AG was obliged
to fully disclose to the court the evidence and grounds upon which the three
were to be indicted. "In the absence of a credible explanation for such
conduct from the law officers it is difficult to avoid the conclusion of
intervention for political reasons," said Andersen.

      Moya-Matshanga argued the AG's Office had the constitutional right to
indict the three. She said the application to stop the indictment was an
attempt to defeat the course of justice. Simon Spooner, who was implicated
in the murder charge, has been absolved of all charges. Last week Justice
Lawrence Kamocha issued a provisional order stopping the indictment of the
three. The State is relying on statements from three other suspects,
Khethani Sibanda, Sazini Mpofu and Remember Moyo. According to the
statements Dulini Ncube and Masera held a meeting at which it was decided to
avenge the kidnapping of Patrick Nabanyama, an MDC activist. Nabanyama was
kidnapped in the run-up to the June 2000 parliamentary. He has not been seen
and is presumed dead.

      The statements allege that Sibanda, Mpofu and Masera and three other
people identified as Matshobana, Mageza and Prince Ndlovu kidnapped Nkala
from his home and later murdered him. Sibanda and Moyo later told the High
Court they were tortured into making confessions implicating the MDC
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Daily News

      Chief calls for spirit mediums' intervention over mine deaths

      8/2/02 10:50:15 AM (GMT +2)

      By Precious Shumba

      NINE days after the collapse of Village Mine shaft at Zimbo in
Mhondoro, the bodies of about 20 illegal gold panners who died last Tuesday
were by yesterday still entombed underground.

      But Chief Matthew Chivero of Chivero in Mhondoro communal lands said
the Chegutu district administrator (DA), Christopher Shumba, should have
approached him soon after the tragedy as the custodian of traditional
values. "The DA has not told me about the deaths of the panners," Chivero
said. "I have heard that there are over 30 people assumed dead. If they fail
to retrieve the bodies from the pit in time, we are going to consult our
spirit mediums on the best way forward." He said efforts should be made to
identify the victims and inform their relatives.

      The Chegutu District Civil Protection Unit (DCPU) yesterday said they
were making frantic efforts to acquire the necessary machinery to retrieve
the bodies. The stench of the decomposing bodies could be smelt from a
distance of about 30m when The Daily News crew visited the scene yesterday.
A rescue team from Makwiro Platinum Mine in Selous only managed to rescue
one panner identified by other panners as Francis. However, he died on the
way to Chegutu District Hospital. Christopher Shumba, the DA for Chegutu and
chairman of the DCPU, said they took long to respond because of conflicting
reports on whether the tragedy had indeed occurred.

      Shumba said: "All efforts are being made to ensure we have the
necessary equipment to retrieve the bodies. We are assessing how the rescue
team can approach the crisis." The DA was speaking at Village Mine yesterday
afternoon, where he led the DCPU team to the site of the tragedy. The DCPU
has ordered relatives and other illegal gold panners not to attempt to
retrieve the bodies as they risk being entombed in the shaft. Among the team
was the officer-in-charge at Selous Police Station, Inspector Leonard
Matuku, Francis Dhlakama, the Chegutu mayor, Benaiah Manyara, the chief fire
officer for Chegutu, and officials from other government departments. Peter
Chanetsa, the Mashonaland West provincial governor, had by yesterday not
visited the scene of the disaster. He is only expected to do so today.

      Matuku said it was difficult to ascertain the exact number of victims
as only a few of their relatives had confirmed their worst fears to the
police. "We have only received reports from relatives of four of the dead
panners," Matuku said. "Our efforts have received negative support."
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Daily News

      Soldiers assault Zanu PF youths

      8/2/02 9:41:27 AM (GMT +2)

      From Brian Mangwende in Mutare

      SOLDIERS patrolling the border between Mozambique and Zimbabwe on
Tuesday severely beat up 10 Zanu PF youths employed by a senior ruling party
official - after mistaking them for illegal cross-border traders from

      The youths are employed as bus conductors by Isau Mupfumi, a
businessman and Zanu PF secretary for transport in Manicaland. Mupfumi said:
"This is not acceptable. Those Zanu PF youths are employed by me as bus
conductors. The soldiers went to my premises in Nyakamete, woke up my
workers who were sleeping in a guest house and severely assaulted them after
suspecting them to be illegal traders from Mozambique. "They ordered the
youths to lie on the ground face down and assaulted them. They were then
ordered to roll on the floor." Edmund Maingire, the provincial police
spokesperson, could not be reached for comment as he was constantly out of
his office. The case number is 0011546 and it is being handled by one
Constable Chashaya.

      Efforts to get a comment from the army were also in vain. "Surely, how
can soldiers tasked to keep peace and tranquillity in the country go around
assaulting people indiscriminately?" Mupfumi fumed. "Assaults on innocent
civilians by soldiers in Manicaland are on the increase and this has to
stop. If we in Zanu PF are not careful we may lose the forthcoming rural
district council elections because of these unwarranted assaults and
harassment of civilians by the uniformed forces." Soldiers have been accused
of spearheading violence in the politically volatile Buhera district in
Manicaland province. Over 1 000 opposition MDC party supporters have fled
Buhera alleging assaults by soldiers deployed ostensibly to quell
disturbances there after Zanu PF and MDC members clashed. In general, the
security forces mete harsh treatment on members of the public and the
opposition, while turning a blind eye to Zanu PF violations.
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Opposition leader to stand trial for allegedly plotting to kill President


HARARE, Zimbabwe, Aug. 2 - Zimbabwe's main opposition leader will stand
trial in November on charges he plotted to assassinate President Robert
Mugabe, a court ruled Friday. The treason charges carry the death penalty.
       Morgan Tsvangirai, 50, leader of the Movement for Democratic Change,
has denied the charges that also name two other opposition leaders.
       The treason charges were filed in March after a Canadian-based
consulting company released a secretly recorded videotape of a Dec. 4
meeting in Montreal, which they said incriminated Tsvangirai.
       A local media monitoring group said the recording had been heavily
edited and rearranged, and Tsvangirai said his remarks were taken out of
       On Friday, a lower court judge set the trial for Nov. 11 and extended
Tsvangirai's bail.
       Tsvangirai's attorney, Eric Matinenga, said prosecutors failed to
consult the defense over a trial date and he dismissed the case as
politically motivated.
       Zimbabwe has been wracked by more than two years of political and
economic chaos as Mugabe's increasingly authoritarian government has cracked
down on the opposition, the independent press and the judiciary.
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Daily News


      Property market takes a knock from runaway inflation

      8/2/02 9:37:57 AM (GMT +2)

      By Simba Chabarika Deputy Features Editor

      PRICES of basic goods and services are rising with unpredictable
regularity. They have reached frightening proportions. Almost everything,
from essentials to luxury items, has its share on the rising price index.

      Prices of residential and office properties have not escaped the
upward spiral either. The property market has experienced a phenomenal rise
as runaway inflation wreaks havoc in these trying times. Beer drinkers can
tell the story better as the price of their favourite beverage has been
hiked four times since December last year, while vehicle owners bemoan daily
rises in the prices of spares. The parallel foreign exchange market is
calling the tune. If the US dollar or British pound rises, so do our prices.
Many people are selling their properties as they leave the country, while
those who have left for greener pastures overseas are buying those

      According to leading international property consultancy firm Knight
Frank's Southern Africa Property Report, the Zimbabwe property market has
experienced a slow-down and lacks direction because of the economic and
political problems, but prices have generally remained stable in US dollar
terms. But if the property rates and prices are considered in local
currency, they become higher due to inflation-related considerations. The
Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe issued a directive banning property owners and
negotiators from selling or renting properties in foreign currency. Office
rentals and retail space charges in Harare's prime areas, continue to vary
and increase accordingly.

      A few months ago, the prices ranged from $250 a square metre a month
for office space while retail space cost around $500 a square metre a month.
Today, these costs have trebled. Knight Frank says tenants pay much less on
the property market in Zimbabwe than other countries in the region as a
result of the relative balance between demand and supply. "However, most of
the rentals are much higher in Zimbabwe dollar terms as most property owners
do not use the fixed exchange rate of $55 to one US dollar. Despite the
political turbulence and economic hardships, the Zimbabwean property market
remains the second largest market in the Southern Africa sub-continent after
South Africa." Residential rentals and selling prices continue to rise in
both the low and high-density suburbs as well as flats near the city centre.

      Houses which were selling at a few hundred thousand dollars at the
beginning of this year, are now going for millions of dollars. Some tenants
volunteer to pay in
      foreign currency which is in scarce supply and once that is converted
into the Zimbabwean dollar at the now "official" parallel market rates,
owners have reason to smile all the way to the bank. Some guest houses which
have recently and suddenly sprung up in low-density areas, charge in foreign
currency. "US$35 a day or US$1 000 a month or equivalent," says an
advertisement in the Press for a Highlands guest house. Usually,
 "equivalent" means the prevailing parallel market rate.
      In its latest quarterly report, one of the leading real estate
companies in Zimbabwe, Gainsborough, says any confidence in the country's
economic recovery has evaporated since the presidential election, and prices
have declined in international terms.

      "As inflation continues to escalate, prices in Zimbabwe dollars are
increasing at an alarming rate. "The fall in value of badly maintained
properties or those requiring modernisation is increasing. Security is of
increasing importance, and in some inner city and outlying suburbs, prices
have been severely affected," says Gainsborough's managing director, John
Spicer. A shake-up within the country's residential property market has been
caused by the current economic hardships and political climate.

      "Houses for Sale" columns in the papers show that there are now more
properties for sale on the market than before. But other reports say there
is a shortage of residential and other properties for sale. Both buyers and
sellers have remained uncertain amidst conflicting advice and sales of
property have been slow until recently. "However, a contradiction continues,
prices are increasing in Zimbabwe dollars and decreasing in US dollar terms.
The advice for sellers or buyers therefore, depends on your personal
circumstances. What is clear is that many potential sellers are not moving
and there is already a shortage of properties for sale, especially
well-maintained secure homes in safe areas." says Gainsborough's report.

      Price increases continue to dominate the property market and
Gainsborough says these increases were fairly straightforward until February
2001, when government reduced interest rates from 70 percent to around 15
percent. This resulted in a flight of capital from the money market into
foreign accounts, the stock market, property or luxury 4x4 vehicles.
"Besides redistributing wealth to new millionaires, the political expediency
of low interest rates has allowed the government to increase the domestic
debt to levels that would be untenable without this manipulation and this
will ensure that prices continue to increase in Zimbabwe dollar terms."
      In a development that boosts investment, an international property
services company has shown faith in the Zimbabwean market. South Africa's
Seeff Property Services opened its doors in Harare on 1 July 2002, after
months of negotiations with one of this country's biggest real estate
companies, Gainsborough.
      This move sees the Seeff group establishing itself as one of the
African continent's largest property service companies.

      Gainsborough converted to the Seeff licence group after months of
negotiations. The 15-year-old company onaverage trades between R20 million
(Z$120m) and R30 million (Z$180m) worth of property per month. "The value
and expertise the Seeff brand brings to our business, augurs extremely well
for the future. This conversion will also open the doors for investor flow
from Zimbabwe to South Africa. "It also goes without saying that we are
excited about the foreign investment which will emanate from South Africa to
Zimbabwe, which has a huge variety of real estate investment opportunities
on offer," says Spicer, who heads the new-look Seef Gainsborough branch.
After the nine-month joint branding of the two companies, the Gainsborough
name will fall away. Some advice from Gainsborough to sellers: - n "never
agree to a sale where payment may be delayed" n and to buyers - "never part
with money except to a reputable registered estate agent or lawyer who has
checked the title and will hold the money in a trust account". Money is a
very slippery commodity which needs to be harnessed in sound investment, but
with the spiralling costs of properties, how many people can afford these
properties that now cost millions of dollars?
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Daily News

      Importers blamed for fuelling foreign currency black market

      8/2/02 9:23:41 AM (GMT +2)

      Business Reporter

      THE Commercial Bank of Zimbabwe (CBZ) says survival strategies by
exporters have partly led to the proliferation of the foreign exchange
parallel market.

      Foreign currency shortages have resulted in the pegged exchange rate
trading on the parallel market at more than ten times the official rate of
$55 against the green back. The Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe and economic
commentators say there is need to boost the export industry so that the
problem of the parallel market can be curbed. But in its latest economic
review The Economic Vision, CBZ said exporters were also major players on
the parallel market as they try to evade the payment of 40 percent of their
export proceeds which is required by the government. "Foreign currency
shortages have seen the bulk of transactions begin carried on the parallel
market," said the CBZ, also known as the Jewel Bank.

      " . . . The parallel market has been fuelled mainly by the survival
strategies employed by exporters who are required to sell 40 percent of
their proceeds at the official rate. "They then use the balance to meet
their import requirements or to achieve a blend rate that provides them with
a sustainable situation." Exporters have been calling for devaluation of the
dollar, pegged since 1999, so that their products can be competitive on the
world market. They argue that they cannot stay afloat as they get their
export remittances at the official rate when they are sourcing raw materials
after getting foreign currency on the parallel market.

      There seems to be no solution in sight to end this perennial shortage
of foreign currency which has resulted in the country failing to import
essential commodities such as electricity, fuel, medicine and other
commodities. The severe foreign currency shortages have seen gross foreign
reserves falling significantly. At one time gross reserves had fallen to a
low of US$140 million (about Z$7 700 million) - an import cover of less than
a month. As a result, the country has been defaulting on most of its debt
repayments. Last month when Simba Makoni, the Minister of Finance and
Economic Development presented the 2002 a $52,97 billion Supplementary
Budget he said external payment arrears to are now standing at US$1,1
billion. The International Monetary Fund adopted a declaration of
non-cooperation for Zimbabwe and suspended its technical assistance after
Harare failed to settle its overdue financial assistance debts.

      Zimbabwe owes the IMF at least US$132 million. Last year the foreign
currency-strapped Southern African country paid US$1,6 million and only US$3
million this year to the Bretton Woods institution.
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Daily News

Leader Page

      DRC peace pact: not another mirage, please

      8/2/02 10:07:48 AM (GMT +2)

      LAST Tuesday, Paul Kagame, the president of Rwanda, and Joseph Kabila,
the president of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), signed a
memorandum of understanding on the way to end the four-year conflict in that
vast country.

      Two and a half million people were killed during the conflict, among
them a number of Zimbabwean, Angolan and Namibian soldiers, whose
governments had sent them to help Joseph's father, Laurent, repel the
rebels, backed by Rwanda and Uganda, who planned to unseat him violently.
The elder Kabila did not live to see peace return to his country, the victim
of an assassin's bullet. His son, at 30-something of age one of the youngest
leaders of an African country in turmoil, must hope he has better luck than
his father. The United Nations and South Africa will play key roles in the
lead-up to the implementation of the DRC-Rwanda peace pact. The UN Security
Council has said it eagerly awaits the details of the pact. So do all
Africans, including Zimbabweans who cherish the return of peace to the Great
Lakes Region.

      Zimbabwe, which has the largest number of troops backing the Kabila
regime, has not been mentioned. President Mugabe has not officially
commented on the pact, as he is in Malaysia attending a conference on the
much-vaunted South-South "smart partnership" economic strategy promoted by
his close ally, Mahathir Mohamad. In Harare this week, the Minister of
Foreign Affairs, Stan Mudenge, did comment on the pact signed in Pretoria.
That comment was notable for its lack of enthusiasm. The prospect of more
than 10 000 Zimbabwean soldiers being able to return home at last doesn't
seem to excite Mudenge as much as it must do their parents and other
relatives back home. What is crucial for the pact to succeed is for both
South Africa and the UN to convince the two leaders that if the fighting
continues, even as a low-level conflict of sporadic skirmishes between the
Hutu Interahamwe and the Rally for Congolese Democracy-Goma troops, their
respective countries will sink deeper and deeper into the morass of poverty,
driving into the distant future the prospect of their people ever enjoying
the fruits of the independence their countries won in the 1960s.

      Kagame and Kabila must be convinced that this pact cannot be allowed
to evaporate like another mirage. The Lusaka ceasefire agreement of 1999 is
now a dead letter. Under it were set out the modalities for the tracking
down and disarmament of ex-Armed Forces of Rwanda (FAR) and Interahamwe
insurgents in the DRC. Since then, none of them, held responsible for the
1994 genocide of one million Tutsis and moderate Hutus in Rwanda, have been
captured. Kagame and Kabila will need to display tremendous courage,
tolerance and even statesmanship if they are to save their people from the
further punishment of senseless killings.
      The UN itself must feel a special need to swing this peace pact.
Reports of its role - or the lack of it - in the 1994 massacre have not
portrayed the UN in good light. Secretary-General Kofi Annan himself, then
in a crucial role before the killings started, came in for some criticism.
For South Africa, a successful resolution of the DRC imbroglio would enhance
its image as the unanointed Big Brother of the region, if not of the
continent. For a beleaguered President Thabo Mbeki, it would certainly
deflect attention from what his critics both at home and abroad have called
his pathetic failure to convince Mugabe that his anti-democratic policies at
home are suicidal.

      But the most abundant fruits of the success of the peace plan would
fall into the waiting hands of the hungry people of the DRC and Rwanda. Most
of them can have no beautiful memories of their independence from
colonialism. All they know is strife, poverty, hunger, disease and a decline
in their life expectancy. Zimbabwe must play its part in ensuring they begin
to enjoy their independence, even if for many Zimbabweans, that enjoyment
itself has been somewhat delayed.

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Daily News

      Zimbabwe Election Support Network blasts Kadoma poll

      8/2/02 10:57:11 AM (GMT +2)

      Staff Reporter

      THE Zimbabwe Election Support Network (ZESN) yesterday said the Kadoma
mayoral election was not free and fair due to irregularities which
compromised the conduct of the two-day poll, won by Zanu PF's Fani Phiri.

      In a statement, Reginald Matshaba-Hove, the ZESN national chairperson,
said the election held on 27 and 28 July, was characterised by pre-poll
voter intimidation and significant incidents of violence. Only one ZESN
observer was accredited to cover the 13 polling stations. The intimidation
has been largely blamed for the voter apathy, which saw only 13 161 people
voting out of 38 789 registered voters. The ZESN deplored the significant
reduction of polling stations from 22 to 13. In the 2000 parliamentary
elections, there were 22 polling stations. These were reduced during the
presidential poll and slightly increased for the mayoral election.

      "Despite the slight increase, the polling stations were still less
than adequate for voters to be able to exercise their rights. "Since we have
complained about long queues in the past, one would have thought that for
the mayoral election the authorities would have increased the polling
stations or made the number equal to that used during the parliamentary
elections,'' said the ZESN statement. The election monitoring body noted
that the extremely long and slow-moving queues observed in the high-density
areas of Waverley, Mabanana, Kuredza and Mupamombe could only be attributed
to the reduced number of polling stations.

      "Reports also reached ZESN of a number of people not on the voters'
roll being allowed to vote, which is clearly against all regulations. "We
are still investigating and verifying allegations of voters being bussed in
from areas outside the constituency,'' said the statement.
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Zim Independent

British MPs slam Mugabe
Dumisani Muleya
PRESIDENT Robert Mugabe has lost the moral authority to rule Zimbabwe due to
his systematic repression and economic mismanagement, the British
parliament's Foreign Affairs Committee has said.

In a hard-hitting report, the House of Commons' Foreign Affairs Select
Committee said Mugabe forfeited the legitimate right to lead through
reckless disregard of democratic norms and abuse of power.

"In his Independence speech in 1980, Mugabe said: 'Only a government that
subjects itself to the rule of law has any moral right to demand of its
citizens obedience to the rule of law'," it said.

"(But) since 1980, Mugabe has deliberately and systematically flouted the
rule of law in Zimbabwe. Even judged against his own yardstick, he has lost
the moral right to govern his people. By abusing their fundamental rights
and freedoms, he has earned their contempt and that of the international
community and has transformed himself from a respected statesman into an

The committee said Mugabe had also squandered the opportunity to ensure
prosperity in Zimbabwe.

"The tragedy is that he (Mugabe) has taken his country down with him," it
said. "One man can exalt a nation, as Nelson Mandela did South Africa; one
man can destroy a nation, as Mugabe has Zimbabwe."

Mugabe's legitimacy crisis, the report said, has been worsened by his
disputed re-election in March.

"We support the demand for new, free and fair elections in Zimbabwe
monitored by the Commonwealth and other impartial international observers,"
it said.

The report said the Commonwealth set a good precedent by suspending Zimbabwe
for a year for electoral fraud and violations of its own agreements.

"We warmly welcome the Commonwealth's decision to make a suspension for the
first time on grounds of violating human rights and the Harare Declaration,"
it said.

"In the past countries have been suspended from the Commonwealth only after
the unconstitutional overthrow of elected governments."

The report urged the UK government to intensify efforts to consolidate a
global coalition involving the Commonwealth, G8, the United Nations, the
European Union and African countries "to increase pressure on the
illegitimate regime of Mugabe".

It called for broader and tighter targeted sanctions against the ruling
elite. The report said the British government should clarify how the EU
travel ban provisions on Mugabe and his officials related to exemptions
allowing them to attend meetings of bodies established under international
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Zim Independent

Heads to roll in reshuffle
Dumisani Muleya
SPECULATION is mounting overthe appointment of a new cabinetwith reports
suggesting President Robert Mugabe could announce a crisis management team
in a week's time.

Sources said Mugabe - who for the first time ever did not immediately
appoint new ministers after his re-election in March - is expected to do so
after the Heroes Day holiday.

Information at hand indicates Mugabe is contemplating a "crisis cabinet" to
resist growing international pressure and isolation. Unconfirmed reports
about Mugabe's fire-fighting agenda have been swirling for sometime now.

As usual, the president is expected to cling to the ruling Zanu PF old
guard. Those widely seen as candidates for removal or reshuffle include
Finance minister Simba Makoni and Industry and International Trade minister
Herbert Murerwa who have recently been the targets of hardliners around the
president. Mutoko North MP David Chapfika who is chair of the parliamentary
finance committee has been lobbying for Makoni's post, ruling party sources
said this week.

Addressing the opening of parliament last week Mugabe, in a thinly-veiled
attack on Makoni and Reserve Bank governor Leonard Tsumba, said those
advocating devaluation were "saboteurs" and "enemies" of his government. The
remarks, observers say, revealed Mugabe's deepening hostility towards
reformers and dismissed idle talk about Makoni being a possible candidate
for the Zanu PF leadership.

Sources said Mugabe was coming under intense pressure from the ruling
party's old guard and war veterans to transfer or even discharge loyalists
such as Jonathan Moyo, Justice minister Patrick Chinamasa and Agriculture
minister Joseph Made.

Made is accused of bungling land reform, Moyo has alienated war veterans
while Chinamasa has landed in a row with the courts. But insiders said
although the three have evidently made mistakes, they were unlikely to go
given their ability to reflect Mugabe's combative thinking.

Health minister Timothy Stamps is likely to be replaced by his deputy David
Parirenyatwa while Defence minister Sydney Sekeramayi is said to be a
possible candidate for a transfer. General Solomon Mujuru has been
considered a candidate for the Defence ministry. Attorney-general Andrew
Chigovera, who is an ex-officio member of cabinet and the recent subject of
attacks in the government media, is also likely to go if his detractors
succeed. Analyst Brian Raftopoulos said if a new cabinet is appointed it
would be a fusion of old-guard followers and new blood. "I think it will be
a combination of the old guard and younger ministers," he said.

Sources said several provincial governors, especially the ageing Stephen
Nkomo of Matabeleland South and ailing Peter Chanetsa of Mashonaland West
could also be removed.

It is generally accepted in government the two vice-presidents - Simon
Muzenda and Joseph Msika - will soon be retired although this may not happen
just yet, given the political turbulence their succession would entail.

The cabinet reshuffle is expected to give an indication of the direction
which Mugabe

wants to take in view of growing international hostility.

Commentator Masipula Sithole said Mugabe was under pressure to fire Makoni.

"There has been tremendous pressure from certain Zanu PF quarters for Makoni
to go. They want to skin him alive together with Tsumba," he said. "The
misguided hardliners are likely to dominate the new cabinet. It will be
difficult to find credible new ministers because no one is enthusiastic to
serve in a sinking ship."

CBZ chief Gideon Gono, who was once tipped as a possible Finance minister,
is understood to have turned the job down. But he could come in as Reserve
Bank governor if Tsumba falls victim to Zanu PF's long knives.

If the long-postponed reshuffle does materialise there will likely be a
realignment of ministries.

The current Ministry of Lands, Agriculture and Rural Resettlement will be
divided into two: the Ministry of Lands and Rural Resettlement, and the
Ministry of Agriculture, a source said.

The Ministry of Rural Resources and Water Development is also targeted for
restructuring, sources said.
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Zim Slides Into Expatriate Society

Financial Gazette (Harare)

August 1, 2002
Posted to the web August 1, 2002

Joseph Ngwawi, Business News Editor

ZIMBABWE, once one of the most educated and skilled nations in Africa, runs
the risk of being turned into a society of expatriates because of an
unprecedented exodus of professionals fleeing a plethora of worsening ills,
industry experts warned this week.

But they said the recruitment of foreigners to fill in positions left by the
large army of Zimbabweans leaving the country in search of greener pastures
had its own limitations, particularly at a time when the country is battling
to raise funds to import basics such as the staple maize and wheat.

Zimbabwe, facing its worst economic and political crisis in more than two
decades, has lost more than 100 000 of some of its best young brains in the
past two years, a snap survey by the Financial Gazette showed this week.

It showed that 15 percent of all professionals who left Zimbabwe since 2000
to seek economic refuge in the United Kingdom, the United States, Australia,
New Zealand and South Africa were skilled workers such as doctors, nurses,
accountants and engineers.

The brain drain has even assumed political connotations, with President
Robert Mugabe at the weekend accusing Zimbabwe's former colonial ruler
Britain of "stealing" medical doctors, nurses and pharmacists from the
southern African nation.

But human resource experts and business analysts say the lure of better
living standards has cost Zimbabwe its intellectual capital to almost every
corner of the globe at a time the nation is unable to extricate itself from
worsening shortages of foreign currency, food and fuel and of rampant
unemployment, inflation and poverty.

Reward consultant Godfrey Chisanga says some Zimbabweans are now seeking
employment opportunities as far as in the Caribbeans.

"Intelligent brains no longer respect borders, and in Zimbabwe's case the
situation has been exacerbated by the weakening currency," he said.

The Zimbabwe chapter of the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants
(ACCA) estimates that at least 200 of its members had left the country since
the beginning of the year in search of greener pastures.

ACCA branch administrator Cuthbert Munhupedzi however said the figure could
be higher because some members did not notify the association when
relocating to another country.

"This year alone over 200 of our members have left but the number could be
higher because our records only capture those students who have notified the
association of changes in their addresses," Munhupedzi said.

Other professional bodies such as the Zimbabwe Medical Association (ZIMA)
and the Zimbabwe Institution of Engineers (ZIE) have lost a sizeable chunk
of their members in the past two years, although their representatives said
this week it was difficult to come up with actual figures of doctors and
engineers who had left.

"We have lost a sizeable number of our members to South Africa, the UK, the
US, Australia and New Zealand where the doctors are attracted by better
salaries," said ZIMA secretary-general Paul Chimedza.

ZIE deputy president Sam Kundishora said: "The loss of engineers and other
professionals to other countries will obviously have a negative impact on
the science and technology policy launched by the government in June, which
is supposed to be driven by locals."

The science and technology policy seeks to promote investment in research
and development.

Dave McElvaine, a human resources consultant with Deloitte and Touche,
warned that Zimbabwe risked becoming an expatriate society unless the brain
drain is stopped.

He said the available labour pool had shrunk by more than 50 percent since
2000 because of the exodus of professionals.

"Two years ago, I could shortlist five or six people for an interview but
that figure has now dropped to about one or two for any particular job," he

He said the migration of skilled workers was particularly telling on the
sectors of information technology and finance.

"Zimbabwe therefore risks losing an entire generation of young skilled
professionals and turning into an expatriate society if the current trend
continues," McElvaine said.

Zimbabwe already has more than 100 Cuban and other foreign doctors working
at rural government hospitals and church-run health institutions.

The number is expected to rise as more doctors leave the country.

Aona Fallon, a partner at accountancy firm KPMG, said: "We are moving
towards a scenario where we will soon fill most of our professional
positions with expatriates because we won't be able to find the right people
for the job in a few years time."

The Zimbabwe Economic Society (ZES) warned that an increase in the number of
expatriate workers would worsen Zimbabwe's foreign currency crisis,
triggered by poor exports and a boycott of Harare by the West over
governance issues.

The country has operated on less than a week's import cover for more than
two years because of a crushing hard cash crisis that started at the end of

ZES president Lovemore Kadenge said recruiting foreigners to fill in
positions left by Zimbabweans now working abroad would prove costly because
the country does not have enough hard cash to meet imports of food and basic

"Local companies will therefore have to do with what is available but that
will have serious implications on the level and quality of output," he said.
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