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

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Mugabe rules out opposition talks

Zimbabwe's President Robert Mugabe has ruled out holding talks with
the main opposition party despite international pressure to do so.
South Africa's President Thabo Mbeki has reportedly offered to help
Zimbabwe repay some of its foreign debts on condition that talks are held.

Mr Mugabe said he would rather talk with the UK than the opposition

Zimbabwe is in an economic crisis, with shortages of fuel, food and
foreign currency and high unemployment.


"Today we tell all those calling for such ill-conceived talks to
please stop their misdirected efforts," Mr Mugabe said in a speech in the
capital, Harare, to remember those who died in Zimbabwe's 1970s war of
independence on Heroes Day.

"The man who needs to be spoken to in order to see reason resides at
No 10 Downing Street [UK Prime Minister Tony Blair's residence]... That's
the man to speak to," he said.

"Those in Harvest House, Harare, [headquarters of the Movement for
Democratic Change (MDC)] are no more than his stooges and puppets. We would
rather speak to the principal who manipulates the puppets."

Mr Mugabe has blamed Zimbabwe's problems on a UK-led Western plot
designed to oust him because of his seizure of white-owned land.

His critics say the land reform programme has ruined what used to be
one of Africa's most productive economies.

"Only someone with his head firmly buried in the sand would not
understand why there are calls for dialogue," said MDC spokesman Paul Themba

Separately, South African and Zimbabwean officials have started talks
over a possible loan - Zimbabwe needs $300m or it faces expulsion from the

Mr Mbeki reportedly wants to use the loan to get Zimbabwe's rival
politicians to talk to each other and possibly form a government of national
unity to resolve the country's economic and political problems.

Food aid delayed

In his Heroes Day speech, Mr Mugabe also justified the demolition of
thousands of homes, which the government says were built without planning

"Let those loud hypocrites who speak in defence of slums that
brutalise our people tell us what they have done for our people in the area
of housing," he said.

A recent United Nations report said 700,000 Zimbabweans had been left
homeless by Operation Drive Out Rubbish.

Meanwhile, a consignment of 37 tonnes of food aid sent by South
African church groups to Zimbabwe is being held up at the border because
Zimbabwe officials want proof that it is not genetically modified.

"We just wanted to get the food there as fast as possible. But we are
appealing to everyone to speed up the process so that the food can arrive in
Zimbabwe in the next couple of days," said South Africa Council of Churches
spokesman Ron Steel.

After visiting Zimbabwe, the SACC said those left homeless were living
in "shocking conditions".

Mr Mugabe says new houses will be built for those made homeless.

Following a failed harvest, Zimbabwe is suffering food shortages.

It has been short of foreign currency for imports such as fuel for
several years.

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Zimbabwe suffer huge defeat to NZ
First Test, Harare, day two: New Zealand (452-9 dec) beat Zimbabwe (59
& 99) by an innings and 294 runs

Zimbabwe suffered their worst innings defeat in Test cricket when they
were bowled out for 59 and 99 on the second day against New Zealand.

It means they lost the first Test by an innings and 294 runs in

Spinner Daniel Vettori took 6-29 in the two innings and James Franklin
5-29, including three wickets in four balls in Zimbabwe's first knock.

New Zealand had declared on their overnight score of 452-9, Shane Bond
nine short of a maiden Test fifty.

And they wasted little time in skittling out Zimbabwe for 59, five
more than their record low, made against South Africa in March.

That was one of just 12 matches in Test history that have failed to
reach a third day.

"The mood was clinical out there. After the first hour the goal was to
win this test today," said New Zealand captain Stephen Fleming.

"To be able to turn the game around so quickly was a good effort.

"To get 20 wickets in a day you have to bowl well and this was some of
the best cricket I've seen this team play.

"It's good for us, but I'm not sure it's good for the game."

Zimbabwe captain Tatenda Taibu was at a loss to explain his team's

"It was very disappointing," he said. "I thought we would bowl them
out on the first day (after New Zealand were reduced to 113-5) and our
batting wasn't good enough."

A desperate last 15 months for Zimbabwe have also included their
previous heaviest defeat, by a margin of an innings and 254 runs to Sri

But this time they were bolstered by the return of several veterans,
including Carlisle and Heath Streak, who had been in dispute with the
national cricket board.

Asked to bat at six, Carlisle was the top-scorer in the first innings,
left unbeaten on 20.

Hamilton Masakadza made a spirited 42 in the second innings but with
just a handful of overs to go on day two, Vettori delivered the crushing
blow as Chris Mpofu was stumped for a duck and Zimbabwe were dismissed for

It was New Zealand's finest Test triumph, surpassing their innings and
185 run success against Pakistan in Hamilton in 2000-01.

The second Test is scheduled for 15 August in Bulawayo.

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Zim Online

Mugabe dampens Mbeki's push for talks
Tue 9 August 2005

HARARE - President Robert Mugabe on Monday said he would rather speak
to British Prime Minister Tony Blair to resolve the country's economic
crisis, dampening South Africa's push for the veteran Zimbabwean leader to
negotiate with the opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC).

South Africa has provisionally agreed to loan troubled Zimbabwe US$500
million to offset arrears with the International Monetary Fund and for fuel
and food. But Africa's economic powerhouse is said to have imposed
conditions that Mugabe meet the opposition to resolve a deepening political
and economic crisis.

Mugabe told a gathering of mainly party supporters and members of the
army at the Heroes Acre to commemorate the lives of Zimbabwe's liberation
war heroes that he would rather speak to Blair whom he said was the
principal behind the MDC.

"I am aware that there are shrill calls from many quarters, including
those which we expect to know better, for the so-called talks with the MDC,"
Mugabe said in an apparent reference to South Africa's call for dialogue.

"They know who must be spoken to. The man who needs to be spoken to in
order to see reason resides at No. 10 Downing Street in London," he said.

Media reports quoting unnamed senior officials in Pretoria and Harare
have indicated that South Africa was demanding wide-ranging political and
economic reforms before it could lend money to Zimbabwe.

On the economic front, Pretoria is demanding a revival of Zimbabwe's
mainstay agricultural sector, after it was destabilised by Mugabe's chaotic
seizure of land from white farmers. Pretoria also wants Harare to review its
monetary policies especially its dual exchange rate policy.

South Africa wants efforts to resuscitate Zimbabwe's economy boosted
by reforms on the political front, key of which is resumption of talks
between Mugabe's ruling ZANU PF party and the MDC to find a democratic
solution to the country's political impasse.

But on Monday, Mugabe seemed to pour scorn on the South African
initiative and said his recent visit to long-time ally China would
"transform our economy in a fundamental way."

"Such talk is a slap in the face for Thabo Mbeki's efforts but then I
think Mbeki is caught in between helping to avert total collapse of a
neighbour and being seen as propping up Mugabe," Harare economist John
Robertson told ZimOnline.

He said Mugabe had effectively told Mbeki "to go to hell", banking on
Chinese support.

The veteran Zimbabwe leader said ZANU PF could however engage the MDC
if the opposition called-off sanctions imposed on his leadership by the
West, a demand dismissed by MDC spokesman Paul Themba-Nyathi as cheap

MDC leader Morgan Tsvangirai last week said he was ready to meet
Mugabe in talks to end Zimbabwe's crisis, an offer contemptuously rebuffed
by Mugabe who said: "No sir (Tsvangirai), I don't want to meet you."

Zimbabwe is grappling its worst economic crisis blamed by critics on
mismanagement and repressive rule by Mugabe. Food, fuel, essential medical
drugs, electricity, hard cash and almost every other basic commodity is in
short supply.

But the ageing Zimbabwean leader denies ruining Zimbabwe and says his
country's problems are because of economic sabotage by Britain and its
Western allies to punish Harare for seizing land from white farmers and
giving it to landless blacks. - ZimOnline

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Zim Online

Mugabe reinvents same old laws to force his will on schools
Tue 9 August 2005

HARARE - Zimbabwe government ministers have over the years built a
notorious reputation of willfully ignoring the cries of the poor and
powerless in society.

Even in the face of strong popular rejection of their policies by the
long-suffering Zimbabweans, government ministers have stubbornly rejected
popular sentiment, burying their heads in the sand.

Instead, government ministers have come up with amendment after
amendment, patching up the statute books and the constitution in their image
whenever they realised it did not suit their hazy vision.

Critics say this trend is not new.

Faced with a vibrant university which held several successful
demonstrations against his government, President Robert Mugabe came up with
the University of Zimbabwe Amendment Act in 1992 which virtually castrated
serious student activism at the campus.

In 2000, faced with the biggest challenge to his grip on power, Mugabe
drastically rebaptised the colonial and notorious Law and Order Maintenance
Act as the Public Order and Security Act (POSA) to stifle emerging political
opposition in the form of the Movement for Democratic Change.

The security Act bans Zimbabweans from gathering in groups of more
than three to discuss politics without police permission.

After failing to deal with a vibrant, questioning press, the
government came up with a new law - the Access to Information and Protection
of Privacy Act (AIPPA) to silence dissent.

Now Mugabe is redirecting his ire at schools which embarrassed his
government in the courts last year as they resisted government interference
in the running of the institutions.

The Education Amendment Bill set to be tabled in Parliament soon, has
given credence to charges that his government wants to extend its iron grip
over Zimbabwe's deteriorating education system.

Last year, Education Minister Aeneas Chigwedere sought to control fees
charged by private schools in the country. He lost the battle in the courts.

Chigwedere also provoked the ire of parents when he sought to
introduce one set of uniform for all schools. There was a public hullabaloo
over the move forcing the minister to backtrack.

Now Chigwedere, through the Education Amendment Bill has brought back
the same conditions through the back door.

The amendments, critics argue, impinge on the rights of both
church-run and private schools to recruit staff of their own choice giving
the Minister powers to determine who can be employed by these schools.

The draft law will empower the Minister to determine the school
uniforms children should wear and what associations teachers should belong

Human rights lawyers have criticised the proposed amendments saying
they impinge on some provisions of the Convention of the Rights of Children
and the African Charter on the Rights of the Child.

Rangu Nyamurundira of the Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights (ZLHR)
says the proposed Bill, if passed into law, will effectively deny children
the right to be enrolled at a school of their choice.

"The Bill raises concerns coming as it does after government closed 46
schools in its bid to control school fees in contravention of the provisions
of that Charter which it ratified," Nyamurundira said.

The Amendment Bill seeks to punish schools that fail to comply with
the government's directives on school fees and levies by arbitrarily placing
the school under direct management of the education ministry.

Schools which defy the government directives on fees risk being
de-registered while any excess amount collected in fees will be forfeited to
the State.

Progressive Teachers Union of Zimbabwe (PTUZ) secretary general
Raymond Majongwe says his union is peeved by the proposed amendments.

The trade unionist said the proposed amendments were nothing more than
"the ministry's misplaced desire to extend needless control over the running
of schools in the country."

"Amendments have become a norm in this country whenever a minister
feels enfeebled by current legislation. The new Labour Bill even bans
teachers from becoming members of a trade union," he said.

Majongwe accused the education ministry of failing to keep its fingers
on the nation's pulse as shown by the widespread sexual abuse of students at
a Macheke government school.

"We are not arguing that the ministry should not have some control but
too much of it is uncalled for. The ministry should address the serious
crisis in education sector rather than seek to control who private and
church run schools employ."

Chigwedere, a historian and former school head himself, could not be
reached for comment on his draft Bill.

Zimbabwe's education system once the envy of the region, is almost on
its knees after thousands of trained teachers fled the economic meltdown
back home.

The remaining teachers, who are poorly remunerated, make up an
unmotivated workforce in poorly equipped schools, with virtually no solution
in sight. - ZimOnline
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Zim Online

UN to appeal for aid for displaced Zimbabweans
Tue 9 August 2005

JOHANNESBURG - The United Nations (UN) this week plans to appeal for
more aid for Zimbabweans displaced in a controversial government urban
clean-up exercise as several tonnes of food aid remain stockpiled in
Johannesburg because Harare wants written confirmation it was not
genetically modified.
The UN's Harare co-ordinator Agostinho Zacarias told the Press that
representatives of the world body were in talks with Harare over the appeal
to the international community for humanitarian aid.

The UN, which strongly condemned Harare's clean-up exercise, estimates
that at least 700 000 people were left without homes or income after the
police demolished city backyard, shantytown homes and informal business

According to the UN, a further 2.4 million people were also affected
by the urban renewal exercise, which President Robert Mugabe defended as
necessary to smash crime and to restore the beauty of Zimbabwe's cities and

Zacarias said the UN wanted humanitarian support to provide "shelter
and to stabilise" the situation in Zimbabwe's cities after the mass
demolition of homes. He expressed hope the Zimbabwean authorities, who are
touchy over external aid, would not reject UN aid.

The UN diplomat spoke as the South African Council of Churches said on
Monday it was still unable to deliver 37 tonnes of food and 6 000 blankets
to displaced Zimbabweans because authorities in Harare will not allow the
aid in without documentary proof the food was not organically produced.

A written assurance by the supplier of the food that it was not
genetically modified had been rejected by Harare, according to SACC
spokesman Ron Steele.

"They waited until Friday, saying they wanted something more
substantive than a document from the supplier," Steele said.

Zimbabwe and several other southern African countries have banned the
import of genetically modified food because of uncertainties about its
safety and also because of concerns it could end up contaminating the local
natural varieties.

Officials in Harare last week accused the SACC of hiding behind a
humanitarian aid to push a political agenda but had said they would allow
aid from the religious group. - ZimOnline

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Emigrants Boost Zimbabwe's Parallel Economy

Inter Press Service (Johannesburg)

August 8, 2005
Posted to the web August 8, 2005

Wilson Johwa

It is enough to distress any new emigrant. Sending money back home is, for
many Zimbabweans working in neighbouring South Africa, a frustrating,
complicated and costly exercise.

The methods of choice include asking visiting friends or acquaintances to
take the cash with them on their way back into Zimbabwe. Another option is
having cross-border taxi drivers do it, albeit for a hefty fee. Any method
will do; except transmitting money through the official bank channels.

International bone fide agencies, like Western Union, are not a viable
option. Under the country's regulations, recipients can only get the money
in local currency at the equivalent 'official rate'. Those with U.S. dollar
or accounts in other major currencies are also compelled to redeem their
money at this rate or else accept travellers' cheques.

It would not be such a problem if the difference between the official and
thriving parallel market rates was less colossal. Currently, one U.S. dollar
fetches 17,500 Zimbabwe dollars on the official market and almost three
times that on the parallel market.

"It's an absolute shortage of foreign currency," says Godfrey Kanyenze, an
economist with the Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions.

The result is that even bankers, like Kenneth - a Zimbabwean teller in one
of South Africa's biggest banks - shun the official channels. "I hate having
to accept the much-reduced rate," he says.

In the last several decades, Zimbabweans have joined other Southern Africans
who went to work in South Africa's booming gold and diamond mines. But the
trek to South Africa intensified with the deterioration of the Zimbabwean
economy five years ago. A populist, and damaging, land-reform programme
preceded three disputed elections.

Resultant economic problems include a critical shortage of foreign exchange
to import fuel, basic food stuffs and medicines. This, coupled with
unemployment rate of 75 percent, has forced almost a quarter of the
population to emigrate.

Now estimated at up to two million, Zimbabweans are the second biggest group
of foreign Africans in South Africa. Some are skilled emigres. The majority,
though, are economic refugees who do menial jobs such as farm or house work
or waiting on tables. But, together, the money they send home is making a
difference to families.

"The work is not as I expected, but at least I can put something on the
table every day," says 33-year-old Rebecca, a former high school teacher now
working as a waitress at Johannesburg's glitzy Sandton shopping centre. Her
remittance of South African Rands sent through cross-border taxis - take
care of her parents and also pays for her three children's education in
"better" schools.

But Emelda has neither the time nor the sophistication Themba has. From Cape
Town, almost 3,000 kilometres away from Zimbabwe's second city of Bulawayo,
the publishing executive pays for friends' and relatives' satellite TV
subscriptions. He also buys - and sends - groceries together with electrical
appliances and books.

"I help people who cannot access foreign exchange and it is people I know
and will not disappear with my money," he says.

The items bought are delivered in various ways. Since there is much human
traffic between the two countries, it is easy to find couriers for such
things as cell phones. "For smaller items I sometimes post and the postage
fees will be added on to the amount owed," Themba says.

Another method is to make a payment at one of the big department stores,
sometimes asking that the goods be released at a branch closest to the
border, for instance. "For larger items you can connect with truck drivers
too," he says.

One can also use "omalaitsha" (carry-alls). These are a new breed of
van-owning entrepreneurs who make money by carting goods and groceries from
Zimbabweans in South Africa to their homes, mainly in Bulawayo.

For his troubles, Themba receives compensation in Zimbabwe, at a rate agreed
to in advance. "They pay me by passing on the money to my folks and also for
other personal business like the upkeep of my properties in Zimbabwe."

For those without the kind of network Themba runs, the only way of sending
money home is by handing it over to cross-border taxi drivers.

Their hub is Johannesburg's busy Park Station, the city's major bus and rail
terminus where Zimbabwe-bound taxis occupy the northern corner of the upper
level. Here drivers compete in attracting the attention of anyone seen as
intending to send money home. It is not difficult to see why; commission is
20 percent.

One such driver, Bheki, says carrying money is more lucrative than
transporting people. There is no question of the money not reaching its
intended destination, he assures, showing several envelopes neatly stacked
in his flack jacket. "Even if you give me 50,000 Rands (7,692 U.S. dollars),
I will deliver it," he says.

Getting money home is not much easier for Zimbabweans working overseas.
Themba, a legal advisor based in the Balkans, says in the last five months,
he has been unable to send cash to Zimbabwe via the official channels.
Themba is not related to the publishing executive in Cape Town.

"The last time I sent money to my wife into our U.S. dollar account in
Bulawayo, she had to withdraw travellers' cheques and drive (80 kms to
neighbouring) Botswana to cash them at a loss," he says. "Now I only wait
until l know someone going to Zimbabwe, and send the money as a parcel."

In Britain, which is now home to almost a million Zimbabweans, posting money
is relatively easier. That is because a throng of Zimbabwean middlemen has
snapped at the business opportunity.

A client deposits British pounds into the middleman's account upon agreeing
on a favourable rate. In turn, the middleman deposits the money, in the
intended account in Zimbabwe in local currency. This seems to work well.

"It's very convenient and efficient and you know you gain a lot than using
the Zimbabwean bank system whereby the folks end up getting rates that are
next to nothing," says 28-year-old Emelda, a Zimbabwean student in East

In at attempt to kill the parallel market and also cash-in on the
remittances, the government launched a scheme, called Homelink, which aims
to offer a rate slightly better than the official rate.

More recently, the programme was expanded to include a mortgage component,
whereby Zimbabweans in the Diaspora may get housing loans which they repay
in U.S. dollars or any one of the world's major currencies.

The scheme is largely seen as a flop. "Human beings are rational and act to
maximise their benefits," Kanyenze says. "You'd be very stupid if you send
your money at the official rate when you could be getting twice that."

Some say it is also because emigres are loath to believe in a scheme
initiated by a government they blame for their leaving the country in the
first place.

Zimbabwe, which faces expulsion from the International Monetary Fund (IMF)
due to accumulated arrears of almost 300 million U.S. dollars, is seeking an
estimated one-billion-U.S.-dollar loan from the South African government. A
delegation led by President Robert Mugabe has just returned from China where
it managed to secure a grant of only 6 million U.S. dollars, mainly to buy
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UN rights expert condemns African 'cover-up" on Zimbabwe demolitions

August 08, 2005,

GENEVA (AFP) - A UN human rights expert sharply criticised major
African leaders, saying their failure to condemn President Robert Mugabe's
housing demolition campaign in Zimbabwe was tantamount to a "cover-up."

A UN human rights expert sharply criticised major African leaders,
saying their failure to condemn President Robert Mugabe's housing demolition
campaign in Zimbabwe was tantamount to a "cover-up."
The UN special rapporteur on the right to adequate housing, Miloon
Kothari, said Zimbabwe was heading towards a disaster if the government
failed to change course on the forcible eviction of about 700,000 people
from shantytowns.

"The silence of major governments in Africa continues to be shocking,"
Kothari told journalists.

"And of influential individuals like Nelson Mandela, I don't
understand why they don't speak out," he added, referring to the former
South African president.

"There is a kind of a cover-up that is there as far as President
Mugabe is concerned."

Kothari also called on leading developing nations outside Africa, such
as Brazil and India, to speak out against the demolitions.

"What needs to be impressed upon President Mugabe is that he has to
change course -- you cannot rule a country by arbitrarily demolishing
thousands and thousands of people's homes," he added.

"You cannot run a government by that kind of direct animosity towards
your population because what we are looking ahead to is a much greater
disaster," Kothari said.

Kothari said UN Secretary General Kofi Annan was ready to spearhead a
coordinated campaign by the world body on the situation in Zimbabwe.

Some 700,000 Zimbabweans have lost their homes and livelihoods in the
campaign and a further 2.4 million people have been affected, according to a
UN report released last month.

The report by UN envoy Anna Tibaijuka said the demolitions had been
"carried out in an indiscriminate and unjustified manner, with indifference
to human suffering."

Kothari, an Indian legal expert, said he was concerned that there had
been no moves by Zimbawe's authorities since the UN report to resettle or
compensate those who had been thrown out of their homes.

Mugabe on Monday said he had invited Annan to Zimbabwe "so that he can
have an appreciation of what we are trying to do for our people in the
sphere of housing and informal business."

Zimbabwe's president also lashed out at critics, calling them
"long-distance philanthropists who romanticize shacks."

Kothari said he was willing to travel to Zimbabwe to provide help with
a fair housing policy.

2005 AFP.

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Business Day

Mugabe in bid to save face as SA calls shots
Jacob Dlamini, Ernest Mabuza and Dumisani Muleya


ZIMBABWE's government continued its bid to save face over its South African
bale-out, with central bank governor Gideon Gono pointedly reminding SA that
his country was not extending a begging bowl, but was in "loan negotiations,
which are different from asking for a gift".

Gono's comments at the weekend are being seen as an admission that while SA
has agreed in principle to give the Zimbabweans a bale-out, there are
conditions attached to the deal. Gono said it was common practice to attach
conditions to loans.

SA has been at pains to play down the fact that it wants economic and
political reforms in Zimbabwe in return for its aid.

Gono's comments also come amid calls from groups ranging from the opposition
Democratic Alliance (DA) to the South African Communist Party (SACP) for
President Thabo Mbeki to take the country into his confidence on the planned
loan deal.

SACP chief Blade Nzimande said: "If government is going to give the loan, it
must take Parliament and the broader public into its confidence."

DA leader Tony Leon said Mbeki had to tell SA what terms, if any, government
was attaching to the loan.

Gono said there was nothing unusual about the talks between SA and Zimbabwe
for a rescue package, which some reports say is worth about $500m, because
"borrowing is a common phenomenon worldwide".

SA, which announced last Wednesday that it was prepared "in principle" to
aid Zimbabwe, wants President Robert Mugabe to effect lasting economic and
political reforms.

Gono told Zimbabwe's state-owned media: "Borrowing between central banks,
between nations and different players in the financial markets the world
over is a common phenomenon in the world of finance, trade and international

He refused to disclose details of the agreement which Zimbabwe struck with
SA for the loan needed to pay the country's $295m arrears to the
International Monetary Fund, among other needs.

Gono insisted SA would not disclose the details of the talks because it
understood the confidential nature of the negotiations. "This is a principle
which our counterparts down south respect and adhere to.

"Any requests to discuss or disclose the nature and stage of discussions is
not only unfair but tantamount to pointing us towards breaking
confidentiality, norms of good corporate governance and behaviour in the
world of finance," Gono said.

He said Zimbabwean Finance Minister Herbert Murerwa, who met his local
counterpart, Trevor Manuel, last week to negotiate the final terms of the
deal, would issue an "appropriate statement depending on the appropriateness
of circumstances".

Harare is understood to be hugely embarrassed by the fact that it has been
reduced to begging after running down its economy. Gono was at pains to
emphasise that Zimbabwe was not begging but negotiating for a loan in the
usual way countries or individuals borrow.

"There is a difference between a loan and a gift and central banks are not
in the habit of negotiating for gifts but loans," he said.

"In 2000, Zimbabwe borrowed diesel from Botswana worth between 30-35 million
pulas which we paid back."

But Botswana had to fight to be repaid.
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Mugabe likely to sabotage loan conditions : editor

August 08, 2005, 08:00

Attempts to use the promise of economic aid to encourage political reform in
Zimbabwe could very likely prove fruitless, as Robert Mugabe, the Zimbabwean
president, is likely to throw a spanner into talks with the opposition
Movement for Democratic Change (MDC). This is the view of Dumisani Muleya,
the news editor for the Zimbabwe Independent newspaper.

Yesterday, newspapers reported that South Africa had slammed the Zimbabwe
government with a number of loan conditions, including a new constitution
agreed to by the opposition and fresh elections.

Muleya, however, warns that Mugabe and the ruling Zanu(PF) are opposed to
any form of talks with the MDC. Even if South Africa succeeds in pressuring
Zanu(PF) to concede to talks with the MDC, the ruling party is "not going to
take the talks very far", he says.

Muleya says he has spoken to people deployed by Mugabe to past talks. "They
have told me clearly that they had been mandated by Mugabe to make sure that
those talks do not succeed. So even if now they were to end up at the
negotiating table, I believer the same will happen," he says.
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Mail and Guardian

Zimbabwe police arresting 200 daily

Harare, Zimbabwe

08 August 2005 09:25

Police in the Zimbabwean capital Harare are arresting more than
200 people daily as they continue a blitz on market vendors and street
vagrants, state radio reported on Sunday.

"Police are aware that touts, street people and illegal vendors
that had disappeared from the city are gradually resurfacing," the radio

A police spokesperson, Edmore Veterai said that teams of police
were patrolling the streets of Harare "and are scoring successes against

A police blitz against street vendors and vagrants, as well as
shack dwellers and flea market traders was launched in May.

The government said it was meant to spruce up towns and cities
and clamp down on a flourishing black market in scarce commodities like
foreign currency.

The clean up exercise officially came to an end last month. At
its height, riot police destroyed workshops, houses, cottages and shacks
that they said had been built illegally.

Hundreds of street vendors were arrested and fined and vagrants
rounded up.

The clampdown was condemned by the United Nations as a
"disastrous venture".

An envoy sent by the world body to investigate the impact of the
operation estimated that about 700 000 people in the recession-hit country
have been made both homeless and jobless. - Sapa-DPA

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'My own party perpetrated atrocities on me'
August 08 2005 at 10:33AM

Harare - Frank Chamunorwa was beaten up and left for dead by President
Robert Mugabe's thugs when he helped launch the Movement for Democratic
Change (MDC) in September 1999.

But he was bitter and close to tears when he described a more recent
political assault, six weeks ago. Though less violent, it was more painful
because he was abducted from his Harare home and assaulted on a street
corner, not by Mugabe's Zanu-PF, but youths of his own party.

They accused Chamunorwa, 55, a veteran of Mugabe's liberation army, of
complicity in what he calls an "absurd" plot to oust the president of the
MDC, Morgan Tsvangirai, in favour of the party's secretary-general, Welshman

"I have never been so dejected in my life because my own party
perpetrated atrocities on me. I was not only beaten but forced to bend down,
lie on the ground by youths, most of them younger than my firstborn.

"Morgan has our mandate. More than half the population want him to
rule, but his ineptitude and indecision may cost him and Zimbabwe dearly."

He scoffs at those in Tsvangirai's inner circle, particularly national
chairperson Isaac Matongo, whom he accuses of "doing Zanu-PF's work" by
fanning "false and stupid" rumours of Ncube's ambitions.

He says he remain a loyal elected provincial official but is intensely
critical of the MDC, probably Africa's largest opposition party.

He says that even though the MDC is unremittingly persecuted by
Zanu-PF, it failed to do basic political work before the March parliamentary
elections. It did not ensure, for example, that new supporters who turned up
at rallies in Mugabe's rural strongholds were registered voters.

Chamunorwa is not sure whether Tsvangirai believed the party's
amateurish election directorate's propaganda that the party could win enough
votes to overwhelm Zanu-PF.

Surely, critics ask, this was the MDC's third election experience and
it had seen enough of Zanu PF's methods to know that it rigs polls.

The MDC lost 15 of the seats it had won in 2000 when it came within
three seats of defeating Mugabe. The party was then just nine months old.

Now, with another 30 appointed seats, Zanu-PF has a two-thirds
majority and has already begun steps to change the constitution.

Diamond Karanda, 31, an official in MDC security until he was beaten
by MDC colleagues on June 16 and accused, like Chamunorwa, of supporting
Welshman Ncube, says he still cannot walk properly because his left leg was
so badly wrenched during the assault.

"I have many scars from Zanu-PF.

They knocked out four teeth, but it is not alright when I am beaten up
in the MDC boardroom which has become a torture chamber."

They are not the only two who have been attacked for the same reason,
by youths, about 20 of whom have been expelled.

Ten days ago at a meeting of the MDC's national executive committee a
statement was circulated from the party's legal secretary David Coltart who
was overseas on party business.

"Violence has been used for over 100 years in this country to achieve
political objectives and is responsible for the catastrophic state we find
our country in today," Coltart wrote. "I cannot believe that the youths
involved in despicable acts acted independently. It is common cause that
they are unemployed and yet they had access to substantial funding."

Coltart pointed out in his statement that last year MDC thugs tried to
murder Peter Guhu, the MDC's former director of security who has now fled to

"I am deeply concerned about persistent allegations... that Welshman
Ncube is vying to be president... there are only two people in Zimbabwe who
have sufficient national support to run for president, Robert Mugabe and
Morgan Tsvangirai.

Within the MDC only Morgan Tsvangirai has sufficient status to contest
the presidency. Welshman Ncube knows that.
I know that," Coltart wrote.

"At the very time we have Zanu-PF on its knees and divided, we appear
to be intent on tearing up everything we have worked so hard to build over
the last few, very difficult years... " said Coltart.

MDC national chairperson Isaac Matongo brushed off Coltart's
statement. "It was not tabled officially. Anyone who says we are fighting
among ourselves is helping Zanu-PF," he said last week.

Tsvangirai has declined to comment.

Political scientist John Makumbe says: "Zanu-PF's methods have rubbed
off on all of us, including the MDC.

"Morgan Tsvangirai failed to mobilise an aggrieved nation because his
advisors tell him all the time: 'Stop, Mugabe will kill you.'

Zanu-PF uses the state resources to crush the MDC. (The party) knew
this when it began, or else it didn't understand Zanu-PF."
Commentator Brian Raftopoulos says: "The MDC is paralysed and if this
is not dealt with it will lead to its demise."

Tsvangirai, like Chaminorwa and Karanda, are from the majority Shona

Ndebeles like Welshman Ncube accept, without question, that after
decades of Mugabe's ethnic politics, only a Shona can hope to be a national
leader at this time.

The MDC has tried to shun ethnic tensions, so many of its leaders were
relieved when, in apparent despair with the party's paralysis, both Welshman
Ncube and his Shona deputy Gift Chimanikire recently told Tsvangirai they
wanted to quit.

Neither has yet resigned through formal channels, and both apparently
hope that the MDC will "face its own demons",

Yet discontent with Tsvangirai's leadership is coming increasingly to
the surface as the MDC fails to make any headway against Zanu-PF. When
Mugabe carried out his recent six-week assault on the urban poor, bulldozing
large areas and destroying the homes or livelihoods of 700 000 people, the
opposition failed to
offer any coherent response.

Morgan Tsvangirai's strongest critics in the party accept that he is
the victim of assassination attempts and treason charges intended to
de-stabilise him and that he is demonised in the daily press and on radio
and television every day.

But his leadership skills are nonetheless coming under sharp scrutiny.
Under the MDC's constitution, if he seeks re-election at its second congress
next March, it would be his last term as leader. And if, as expected, Mugabe
changes the constitution to merge presidential and parliamentary elections -
which will allow him to remain in office until 2010 - Morgan Tsvangirai may
never get another chance to lead Zimbabwe.

The MDC held an imbizo last weekend to address these problems and
reportedly made progress. But much repair work remains.- Independent Foreign

This article was originally published on page 11 of The Star on August
08, 2005
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No surprise if desperate Mugabe goes for broke

Business Day (SA)
Mon 8-Aug-2005

Long experience of a scorched-earth policy


Dianna Games

It must irk Zimbabwe's President Robert Mugabe that, just as he is
firming up his "total control" strategy, SA is trying to spoil everything by
imposing conditions on the granting of the loan he so desperately needs.
Still gloating over his party's resounding two-thirds "victory" in the last
election, which SA enthusiastically vindicated, Mugabe must be feeling a
little betrayed by his friends. In fact it is curious to us all that our
government has the gall to put the issue of the elections, and even talks
with the Movement for Democratic Change, which resoundingly "lost" the same
election, on the table at all after SA's representatives did such a good job
of whitewashing an election so obviously rigged in favour of the ruling
party. The land issue is another one. SA has apparently listed a fair and
open programme of land reform as another condition. Does this mean the
enthusiastic support for the land grab by most members of our cabinet was a
farce designed to keep Mugabe happy, even as the country went into
starvation mode?

In fact, most of the conditions we are led to believe are on the table
make a mockery of our government. They directly contradict the line SA has
taken over the past five years on a number of issues, and the related tacit,
or sometimes overt, support for such actions which has led more than one of
our ministers to arrive back from tours of the country, stage-managed by the
Zimbabwe government, spouting propaganda without a trace of shame. That is
not quiet diplomacy. It is spineless fawning over the region's puppeteer.
And if Mugabe rejects all conditions and the loan to boot, SA will have only
itself to blame. In any case, the question is whether the $1bn loan, or
$500m or whatever it amounts to, is enough to get him to agree to unravel
his complex web of power, because that is essentially what SA is asking him
to do.

Mugabe has been consolidating his political control over many years
under the noses of the region's leaders. He has tampered with the
constitution to give him wider powers, including the power of veto, changed
the laws to legalise the actions of his regime in support of his power,
oppressed the nation, rigged elections, silenced independent voices and
shored up his popularity with patronage. "The sole priority of the
government is to keep itself in power," a Harare banker told me recently.
"Economic fundamentals don't count except where they contribute to that end.
You must realise that the government does not care if it ruins the country
in pursuit of that. Most of those politicians need to end their days in
power. What else are they going to do?"

Mugabe has shown no signs of slowing down in his bid for total
control. Right now his government has a raft of new laws in the pipeline
designed to strengthen its powers. Legislation to allow government control
of private schools is before parliament, as is a new law to allow all
productive farmland to be nationalised. It includes a clause barring any
court challenges to government land seizures, in contravention of the
country's bill of rights. State-controlled agricultural marketing boards are
said to be in the pipeline while price controls on certain goods remain,
accounting in part for serious shortages of basic commodities, and the
government controls the fuel price in the formal economy. The government
recently refused the reregistration of two independent newspapers, forcing
people to continue a daily diet of unmitigated propaganda.

SA's negotiators need to understand that any mooted reforms, either in
full or piecemeal, are in direct contradiction to Zanu PF's strategy of
total control. In essence, they are asking Zimbabwe's government to destroy
its own carefully constructed edifice of comprehensive, centralised control.
Dropping treason charges against the leader of the opposition is a small
price to pay for a large loan. Even increasing the fuel price is do-able.
But asking for the government to rewrite the very constitution that props it
up against the tide of change is like asking the ruling party to commit
suicide. Pulling out the rule-of-law card, the revision-of-the-constitution
card, the talks-with-the opposition card or even the free-market card will
collapse the whole house of cards the president has put in place to entrench
his hold on power. Mugabe has long experience of a scorched-earth policy.
Compromising his power is not an option - further destroying the economy is.
There is every chance he will go for broke.

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08/08/2005 10:16 HARARE (AFP)
Mugabe hits out at 'hypocrites' who condemn housing demolitions
Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe on Monday lashed out at critics who have
condemned his demolition campaign, calling them "hypocrites" and
"long-distance philanthropists who romanticize shacks."

Addressing a Heroes Day ceremony commemorating those who died in Zimbabwe's
war for independence, Mugabe acknowledged that the "broad cleanup campaign"
launched in May "had created some difficulties" for families who lost their

"We acted decisively, but always mindful that the achieved end was to
accommodate displaced persons by providing them with better shelter, which
is what is happening now," he said at the ceremony attended by some 8,000
people at the Heroes' Acre shrine outside Harare.

"Let those loud hypocrites who speak in defense of slums that brutalize our
people tell us what they have done for our people in the area of housing
ever since," said Mugabe.

"Let those long-distance philanthropists, who want to romanticize shacks as
settings and habitats for human rights, tell us why they do not allow them
in their own land."

Some 700,000 Zimbabweans have lost their homes and livelihoods in the
campaign and a further 2.4 million people have been affected, according to a
UN report released last month.

The report by UN envoy Anna Tibaijuka said the demolitions had been "carried
out in an indiscriminate and unjustified manner, with indifference to human

Mugabe said he had invited UN Secretary General Kofi Annan to Zimbabwe "so
that he can have an appreciation of what we are trying to do for our people
in the sphere of housing and informal business."

"That visit, if taken up, will enable him to understand our situation
better," he said.

Annan has said he is ready to travel to Zimbabwe but no date has been set
for the visit.

2005 AFP
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Managing Mugabe.

The Chinese certainly know a thing or two about managing difficult
individuals. They have had Mr. Mugabe in their midst since Saturday and seem
to have achieved all they set out to do. Treat him with dignity, puff up his
ego and send him away with a raft of empty promises which may or may not
have to be met in the future. But with North Korea on your southern borders
I guess you get pretty adept at entertaining nutty dictators. They even laid
on some computer equipment - no doubt heard about his campaign to supply
computers to schools.

This is very important because if the Chinese had extended a massive aid
programme to Zimbabwe it would have broken the stranglehold that President
Mbeki has over the regime in Harare and allowed Mugabe breathing space with
which to maneuver.

The ploy of getting a local University to award him an honory professorship
was one that I would never have dreamt of. It was a perfect choice - free,
no subsequent obligations, easy to lay on and it pandered to the one area
where Mugabe is most vulnerable - his massive ego. An honory degree would
not have been as effective - he has several of those, declaring him a
General in the Peoples Liberation Army would have been an insult to the
Chinese armed forces. No, a professorship at an esteemed State controlled
University with a carefully tutored and assembled audience was a perfect

He went on to visit Malaysia to also request for economic assistance. They
were even less accommodating. China was always his best bet. By my reckoning
he has approached 5 countries, South Africa, China, India, Malaysia and
Namibia. Really there are no other likely takers - I am sure he would have
canvassed Libya during the AU summit in early July. I doubt if he would get
a tent peg out of that particular administration. So the Eastern world
returned Mr. Mugabe to his roost, shackled and bound by a crisis of his own
making and at the mercy of his African neighbors.

It has come to light that in fact the Mugabe regime asked South Africa for a
massive US$1,4 billion dollars in new loan financing. No details on the
hypothetical terms, which were also offered. South Africa is the only
country to respond so far and we understand the offer is for a much smaller
sum, extended as lines of credit with South African institutions for
supplies of various key basic commodities; no cash.

When Mugabe came home last weekend, he did so empty handed, we were then
confronted with the same problem that faced the Chinese - although with
fewer options to play with. What do we face? Mugabe is an 81-year-old
dictator who has ruled his country with an iron fist for 25 years. He has
destroyed our economy and forced a third of our population into economic
exile. In the process he has been responsible for thousands of murders,
torture on a scale unusual for the 21st Century. He has undermined the rule
of law and abused the democratic principles that his 30-year struggle for
independence demanded from the white colonials.

We face a man who dares not leave his post and remain in Zimbabwe. If he did
so eventually someone would take him to Court and seek redress. He might
even find himself in an international Court facing charges of human rights
abuse or worse. The specter of Saddam Hussein hiding in a hole in the ground
to be found by a US military patrol and arrested without any dignity is a
real fear, not only for Mugabe but many of his henchmen.

So how do we manage this situation so as to achieve the desired outcome? I
define the latter as a peaceful, democratic transfer of power to whoever can
win a genuine free and fair election in Zimbabwe. Perhaps to this we would
have to add today - because of the scale and urgency of the economic and
humatitarian crisis facing Zimbabwe, that we need an immediate arrangement
that would allow the international community to come in and help an interim
Zimbabwe administration fix our most urgent problems.

The MDC road map has been in place for over three years - it was put there
when President Mbeki made his first abortive attempt to get talks going -
remember that? The actual talks actually went a long way - far further than
Mugabe ever wanted and when he woke up to what was happening he stopped
them. The road map has not changed since then - an interim administration,
new constitution and then fresh elections under international supervision.

This time the question of how we manage Mugabe is of even greater
importance. The responsibility rests mainly with the South African and
perhaps the other SADC leaders, but it also rests in part with those of us
who live in Zimbabwe and are engaged in the struggle to regain our
democratic rights.

South Africa has the advantage this time in that they know what sort of a
man they are dealing with. The duplicity, cunning, ruthlessness is all well
documented. At the same time they also know that the regime has run out of
space in which to maneuver. Mugabe has his back to the wall - great position
for a firing squad, bad for resistance motivation. So Mr. Mbeki will have to
use both his stick and a carrot to get cooperation. The stick to ensure that
we do actually go into negotiations and that the outcome is accepted and
respected. A carrot to give the old man some security about his own future.
Reports suggest that this has been taken into consideration.

A deal has been negotiated and is now with the two Presidents - South Africa
is being devious about exactly what it has in mind but they have said "there
is no point in extending a loan facility to Zimbabwe if the underlying
political and economic problems are not addressed". In this respect they are
absolutely right - but to get that wily old man to the table and then to
stick to any agreement - that is another matter.

For us in Zimbabwe, we need to be clear about what we want - Mr. Mbeki has
stated repeatedly that our future is in our hands, lets not blow it when the
ball comes out of the ruck. Then we need to be committed to making the
outcome work for us in every way. To start with by delivering some stability
and the most basic needs of the majority of our people. Then growth and a
better standard of living for everyone, not just a tiny minority who are
well connected.

And when the time comes to chose our new leaders, let look for men and women
who will serve the people and put their own interests last. People of
integrity and vision, people we can trust for our future. Leaders who are
humble and well endowed with simple old-fashioned common sense and
compassion. Please Lord, let it be soon.

Eddie Cross

Bulawayo, 28th July 2005
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From: Trudy Stevenson
Sent: Tuesday, August 09, 2005 3:04 AM
Subject: Education Amendment Bill - Parliamentary Public Hearing Thursday 11
August 9 am

The Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Education, Sport and Culture will
hold a Public Hearing on the
Education Amendment Bill (concerning government controlling fees etc for
private schools) this Thursday 11 August at Parliament at 9 am.
Use the Union Avenue entrance, if possible bring a written submission and
prepare to make a brief oral summary - ie about 5 minutes. Give your name
to the committee clerk when you arrive if you wish to make a submission.
The Bill is available in electronic form on request.
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Editor Pleads Not Guilty to Charges of "Publishing Falsehoods"

Media Institute of Southern Africa (Windhoek)

August 8, 2005
Posted to the web August 8, 2005

On 3 August 2005, Willie Mponda, editor of the weekly community newspaper
"The Sun", pleaded not guilty to charges of publishing falsehoods when his
trial opened in Gweru, the capital of Zimbabwe's Midlands Province.

Mponda, who is on ZWD $250,000 (approximately US$14) bail, is being charged
under Section 15 (1) (c) of the Public Order and Security Act (POSA), which
deals with the publication of false statements prejudicial to the State.

The charges were filed following the publication of a story in the
newspaper's 10 June edition, alleging that a Gweru woman had committed
suicide after her two telephone shops had been destroyed by the police at
the height of a controversial clean-up campaign, Operation Restore Order, to
rid urban areas of illegal structures, street vendors and suspected

The state alleges that police did not destroy the woman's shops and that no
Gweru woman committed suicide as a result of the destruction.

The trial was adjourned to 11 August after the charges were read to Mponda.
If convicted, the editor risks five years in jail or a fine of ZWD $100,000
(approximately US$6), or both imprisonment and a fine.


For further information, contact Zo Titus, Programme Specialist, Media
Freedom Monitoring, MISA, Private Bag 13386 Windhoek, Namibia, tel: +264 61
232 975, fax: +264 61 248 016, e-mail:, Internet:
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Zimbabwe: International Book Fair A Dim Affair
Date: Monday, August 08 @ 18:48:34 BST
Topic: Book Fair News

Organisers and publishers were quite disappointed with the Zimbabwe
International Book Fair, which ended in Harare on saturday.

This year only 98 exhibitors (20 of them foreign) took part in this year's
event compared to last year's 150 exhibitors.

The Book Fair has played host to some of the continent's leading writers in
addition to the country's crop of top international award-winning writers.
But the majority of the visiting guiding lights of African writing have
decried Zimbabwe's human rights record. They are now staying away in

An event that over the years has captured the world's attention and
imagination for one of the 52 weeks of the year was this year reduced to a
provincial activity.

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Chicago Defender

GUEST EDITORIAL: Zealotry in Zimbabwe
by Rev. Bernice Powell Jackson
August 8, 2005

Nearly three-quarters of a million people in Zimbabwe have been rendered
homeless as the government has destroyed their small shanties in a program
which the government has named "Operation Restore Order," but which the
people are calling Operation Tsunami. By whatever name, this action by the
Zimbabwe government of President Robert Mugabe has been condemned by the
United Nations in a recent report, which has also demanded that compensation
be paid to the victims.

It is winter in Zimbabwe, which means that thousands of families are left
without homes to shiver in tents. In many instances, not only were homes
destroyed, but so were the markets and small businesses which support many
families. Moreover, the nation is facing a food shortage and oil is not
readily available to most Zimbabweans.

Share your thoughts on this story on the message

Operation Restore Order is the latest in a series of actions taken by the
Mugabe administration, which are leading much of the world outside Africa to
turn its back on this government. Other actions include the re-distribution
of much of the country's farmland, which Mr. Mugage attributed to the need
to end the last vestiges of colonialism. But it has meant that much of the
farmland, which had been able to produce food for the nation is now unable
to do so.

In addition, the status of the last national election is questionable, with
many outside observers raising concerns about the fairness and openness of
the election. Mr. Mugabe's political opponents have long charged that their
opposition has meant the harassment, beatings and arrest of their leaders.
In addition, many journalists have been imprisoned or forced to leave the
The United Nations report, written by Anna Tibaijuka, the highest ranking
African woman in the U.N., called these latest actions under Operation
Restore Order a "humanitarian crisis of immense proportions" which leaves
Zimbabwe in a "virtual state of emergency." Yet, leaders of African nations
seem unable or unwilling to speak out against Mr. Mugabe's actions, calling
it an "internal matter."

Perhaps the biggest tragedy of the Zimbabwe debacle is that Mugabe was a
much respected liberation movement leader, revered in much of Africa and
often named with Nelson Mandela. His courage and wisdom guided those
fighting the apartheid government of Rhodesia and led them into the new
nation of Zimbabwe. I remember when many African Americans were buying land
and homes in the newly-freed Zimbabwe, inspired by Mugabe and his beautiful

Today, the economy and the nation of Zimbabwe are in shambles. The
bulldozing of tens of thousands of homes of the poorest of the poor is one
more testimony tovMugabe's zealotry and his willingness to do anything to
remain in power. It's a sad commentary.

Meanwhile, the people of Zimbabwe wait - wait for the world to intervene in
the madness. They are hungry - hungry for food and hungry for justice. Now,
many of them are also homeless. Tragically, many are also becoming hopeless.
While they wait.

Rev. Bernice Powell Jackson is the executive minister of the Justice and
Witness ministries of the United Church of Christ.
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Letter From America

By Professor Stanford Mukasa
08 August 2005

There is no clear information about whether South Africa has now
resolved to give Zimbabwe the US$1 Billion that Mugabe has requested to pay
off the IMF debt and help ease economic pressures on the country.
Reports coming from South Africa appear to indicate that Thabo Mbeki's
government has approved in principle extending credit amounting to US$500
million to Mugabe's regime. What is not clear is how much and on what
conditions if any. But another question is whether this money is coming
directly from South Africa, or whether South Africa is a proxy in an
international plan to rescue Mugabe to enable him to pay his debts.
I have stated in the past that some unwritten policies of the World
Bank and IMF are based on the notion that if a person who owes you money is
on a death bed you will help the person to survive so he can eventually pay
back your loan.
Many Third World countries have been rescued from total collapse under
this principle. When a country cannot pay its debts, it is allowed to borrow
more money to pay its debts but under conditions for economic reforms
ordered by the IMF and or the World Bank. It is quite possible this
principle may have been applied to Zimbabwe. A collapsed Zimbabwe is not
good news to the lenders.
Key industrialized countries like the United States and Britain have
tried a carrot -and- stick approach to try to resolve the Zimbabwean
problem. The carrot in this case would be a rescue package for Zimbabwe in
the hope that anything that will help improve the economy will encourage the
democratization process. However, the biggest problem according to a staffer
in the United States Congress is that Mugabe is one rabbit that does not eat
carrots. To this extent Mugabe has proved obnoxiously stubborn in any
efforts to encourage a dialogue between ZANUPF and the MDC.
There are reports that the loan from South Africa will be a carrot
aimed at getting Mugabe to meet with his political opponents. Reports
indicate so far that Mugabe has adamantly refused to have any talks with the
MDC outside Parliament.
He was quoted as saying Mbeki can go to hell if he insists on the
talks with the MDC as precondition for the loan. Instead Mugabe reportedly
wants more destruction of people's property and homes. This is a clear
indication of where Mugabe's mind lies: more violence, more aggression
against the people of Zimbabwe and more destruction of the country.
The Zimbabwean economy is in a free fall. Just last week, the runaway
Zimbabwean dollar hit a new low with an exchange rate of US$1 being
equivalent to the black market rate of ZW$40,000, a plunge of 100 percent
from barely three weeks ago. The shortage of fuel has taken a bite. Two
weeks ago, passengers on an Air Zimbabwe flight from Harare to London said
the plane made an emergency landing in Uganda because it ran out of fuel.
The passengers said the plane had earlier been delayed in Harare for two
hours because officials were looking for fuel in the black market.
Inflation is rising steadily to the current 160 percent with estimates
that it will top 200 percent by the end of the year.
The economy has shrunk by about 40 percent. Unemployment continues to
rise to more than 70 percent.
Mugabe's attempts to bring the economy under ZANUPF control have
worsened the situation. As I said last week ZANUPF top bras are consuming
rather than productive elite. They have never created wealth in their lives.
They never will. They just do not have that mind, skill or capacity to do
so. This is why they, without shame, have to rely on seized properties as
well as looting the reserve Bank for foreign currency.
So what is Mugabe's basis for such stubborn resistance to economic and
political reforms? The answer lies in the fact that Mugabe and his top
cronies are living very comfortable lives. They have access to the country's
wealth which was created by someone else.
Like Emperor Nero when Rome burned Mugabe and his top cronies are
playing fiddle. The late Edison Zvobgo described once Mugabe as a madman who
was given a baton in a relay race to pass on to the next athlete. Instead,
this madman, according to Zvobgo, ran away with the stick into the bush and
is still running up to this day.
The loan from South Africa is reportedly on condition that Mugabe
meets with the MDC to agree on a new Constitution for Zimbabwe as well as
fresh elections under conditions agreeable to all parties in Zimbabwe.
There had been talk of forging a government of national unity. For a
long time it was suspected that South Africa, Britain and the United States
were in agreement on bringing ZANUPF and MDC into a coalition government
pending new and fresh elections.
That may well be so. Historically the transition from colonial rule to
independence in many African countries has followed a pattern of a
transitional government of national unity.
The question is: Can Mugabe be brought to meeting with Tsvangirai as a
condition for the loan he so badly needs? Is he in position to refuse such
conditions? Mugabe has so far repeatedly said Mbeki can go to hell if he
Mbeki thinks Mugabe will accept such conditions. But more important, has
Mbeki got the motive, intent and capacity to wield a stick on Mugabe? So far
Mbeki has reportedly given Mugabe one week to respond to the conditions of
the loan. What if the week passes and Mugabe refuses? What then?
Mbeki does not come through as one man who can effectively wield a big
stick on Mugabe. He is far too friendly and respectful of Mugabe to do that.
This brings us to the role of former Mozambican's president Joaquim
Chissano whom we understand has been appointed the African Union's envoy to
In the first place not everyone is agreed that South Africa should
give the loan to Zimbabwe unless there are substantive changes in the
country. MDC secretary general Welshman Ncube reportedly felt that Mugabe
cannot be trusted to engage in meaningful talks because Mugabe has never
been serious about such talks.
There is some truth to what Ncube has said. Mugabe has on a number of
occasions in the past five years agreed to talk only to change his mind at
the last minute.
Neither is there any real hope that Chissano could be any different
from Mbeki in terms of effectively persuading Mugabe to the conference
table. Neither Mbeki nor Chissano can be said to be honest brokers of their
close and intimate relationship with Mugabe. Mbeki has already distorted the
reason for giving Mugabe the loan. He said he was helping Zimbabwe to make
up for the debt Zimbabwe inherited at independence!
Considering the fact that Zimbabwe has been free for 20 years it is
difficult to accept or understand Mbeki's logic. This is what makes people
sceptical that Mbeki will in fact get tough on Mugabe. Mbeki has a tendency
to stretch the truth about what is happening in Zimbabwe. It is plainly
obvious that Mbeki cannot handle the truth when it comes to Zimbabwe.
To go back to my earlier question on what it will take to get Mugabe
to accept the terms of the loan he is being offered from South Africa, if
that indeed is true.
International pressure must be intensified on Mbeki. The South African
highly industrialized economy is dependent on investment capital and export
earnings. It is therefore vulnerable to the vicissitudes of the
international economy. Unemployment in South Africa is going up and the
country carries an extra load of over three million Zimbabweans.
It is quite possible that economic pressure could be brought to bear
on Mbeki, especially if he is reminded of the civil unrest that can be
sparked by a crisis of rising expectations among young mostly Black South
It happened in the late 1980s and early 1990 are when South Africa was
unable to repay all its external debts and had to negotiate a rescheduling
of its indebtedness. It was this economic factor that finally and decisively
brought apartheid South Africa to its knees.
Earlier in the 1970s a similar situation led to apartheid South
African prime John Vorster bringing pressure to bear on Ian Smith who not
long before had said there would be no black majority rule in Rhodesia in
his lifetime.
Under similar conditions it may well be possible to get Mbeki to also
act decisively on Mugabe. But Zimbabweans cannot raise their hopes too high
on Mbeki. Ultimately Zimbabweans will have to rely on themselves to confront
Mugabe. Zimbabwean civic society should never abandon mass action. Many
people tend to be discouraged when mass action fails. It can take a while
for the mass action to eventually succeed.

Whatever happens Mugabe's days are numbered. He is living on borrowed
time. He has nothing more to contribute to Zimbabwe. Anyone who thinks
Mugabe can be a positive force for progress or democratization is giving
Mugabe credit he does not deserve. Mugabe has abandoned Zimbabwe.
He is in fact the chairman of the top ZANUPF cronies not president of
Zimbabwe. His mission now is the survival of ZANUPF not Zimbabwe. If Mugabe
were to be engaged in talks with the MDC Mugabe would not be negotiating for
the welfare of Zimbabwe but that of ZANUPF.
Zimbabwe under Mugabe is a classic case of a failed state in which
Zimbabweans have now been left to their own fate.

SW Radio Africa Zimbabwe news
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Mugabe and the usual Heroes Day rant

By Violet Gonda
08 August 2005

People who go to Heroes Acre in the capital to commemorate those who
died in Zimbabwe's war of independence can almost predict what Robert Mugabe
will say on those occasions. It has been the same rhetoric ever since a
viable opposition emerged 5 years ago. Monday was no different.

Mugabe ranted against the MDC, Tony Blair and the West. In 2004 his
focus was the elections which he called the "Blair Elections". This year it
was the same old rhetoric: "The man who needs to be spoken to in order to
see reason resides at No. 10 Downing Street ... that's the man to speak to.
Those in Harvest House, Harare, are no more than his stooges and puppets. We
would rather speak to the principal who manipulates the puppets." Our Harare
Correspondent who watched the live commemorations on television said the 81
year old dictator also put his stamp of approval and support on the
controversial clean up exercise "Operation Murambatsvina" which was recently
condemned as a "disastrous venture" by a United Nations envoy. It also
appeared, although he didn't mention names, that he was snubbing Thabo
Mbeki's so called conditions on the loan to Zimbabwe. Observers say Mugabe's
Heroes Day speech suggested that political conditions are unacceptable.

SW Radio Africa Zimbabwe news
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South African deputy president claims press wrong on Zim loan

By Violet Gonda and Tererai Karimakwenda
08 August 2005

It can almost drive you crazy, the amount of information that is being
released by the media regarding Zimbabwe's request for a loan from South
Africa. Then there are those conflicting facts, all of which are said to
have come from "reliable" or "highly placed" sources. The responsibility
ultimately falls back on the officials who are negotiating this deal, or
not. They are playing games and failing to inform the very people that they
claim they wish to help - suffering Zimbabweans. So just what do we know for

According to Tim Hughes, a research fellow at South Africa's Institute
for International Affairs, South Africa
has agreed, in principle, to at least bail out Zimbabwe, with the
International Monetary Fund. Any further assistance is still under

The Foreign Editor of Independent Newspapers in South Africa, Peter
Fabricius, told us that there is no clarity on the loan as the reported
conditions are controversial and sensitive as they move into areas of
sovereignty. He believes this is why Mugabe's Heroes Day speech suggested,
without naming South Africa, that political conditions are unacceptable.
Fabricius said the other problem is that although there is a certain grain
of truth to the reports on the loan conditions, confusion has been
exacerbated by the South Africa government, which has been pursuing a policy
of quiet diplomacy and not saying much publicly. He also said the Zimbabwe
government is also notoriously unreliable when it comes to sticking to any
agreement, that is agreed in private.

All the other information that has fuelled press reports (no pun
intended here Zimbabweans!) is simply speculation, rumours and hearsay.
South African deputy president Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka must have also become
tired of it, for she told the press Monday afternoon that they have the
situation wrong. She said an announcement would be coming imminently.
Until then, we hold our breath!

SW Radio Africa Zimbabwe news
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New Zimbabwe


Hopes on SA loan deal misplaced

Last updated: 08/09/2005 01:41:14
THIS week I turn my eyes on one of the most controversial issues that
have affected South Africa in recent times. For the past few weeks, a heated
debated has been raging unabated like a forest fire across the nation's
social spectrum.

People from all walks of life have been caught up in the debate over
the possible implications of the proposed Zimbabwean loan deal with South

For the record, perhaps it is trite for me to briefly discuss the key
facts that have emerged so far in the loan saga. These include the
following, among others:

. Zimbabwe originally applied for a US$1 billion bail out from the SA

. The SA government has agreed in principle to bail out the Zimbabwean
government after some protracted secret negotiations.

. An impasse has been reached in the loan deal due to the SA
government's demand for the inclusion of some political conditions in the

. Reports in the media now suggest that the SA government is now ready
to release an amount of up to US$500 million, subject to a compromise
agreement on the several political conditions included in the loan deal.

According to some weekend media reports, the bail out issue is now
almost a done deal. The reports insists that a tentative agreement on a loan
of between US$200 and 500 million including about 100 million dollars to be
paid to the International Monetary Fund (IMF) was reached during talks in
Pretoria last Thursday.

The money is to be paid out over an 18-month period but not to the
Zimbabwean government. It will be channeled through the United Nations or
church groups.

The funds are to be used among other things to finance purchases of
fuel, seeds and fertilizer ahead of the planting season.

But Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe would have to agree to create a
new constitution which could lead to fresh elections, a fair land reform
programme, media freedom and a credible programme for economic recovery.

However South Africa is not specifically insisting on Mugabe opening
talks with the main opposition Movement for Democratic Change but rather
emphasizing the need "to interact with all role players to ensure economic
and political stability", the source said.

Subsequently, it appears that the loan deal negotiations have had the
concomitant effect of raising the hopes and expectations of some Zimbabweans
both at home and abroad. These believe that somehow, the SA government will
be able to use the opportunity to help effect positive democratic reforms in
Zimbabwe. Such a scenario could thus lead to a breakthrough in the present
political crisis that has stagnated for over five years.

I hate to be seen as one of those people who are keen to burst the
bubble of renewed optimism for a political breakthrough in Zimbabwe.
However, I have no alternative but to play the role of party spoiler in this
matter. Honestly, it would be unfair to presume that the SA government has
at last mustered the moral strength and goodwill to persuade the Harare
regime to a political settlement.

Surely it is clear that the ANC led government has always valued its
friendship with Zanu-PF regime above all else. The precedent that has been
set by the policy of 'quiet diplomacy' has been that of underlining the need
not to scupper that decades old relationship between the two liberation
Put in other words, it has always been easier for the SA government to
define the broader national interests of all Zimbabweans mainly in Zanu-PF
terms. In essence, the so-called 'policy of quiet diplomacy' has proved to
be a liability to the democratic hopes of many Zimbabweans.

Many of them have learnt of how prepared the SA government is to
sacrifice the nation's democratic aspirations at the altar of political
expedience for the benefit of Zanu-PF. That fact has not been lost to
Zanu-PF and hence the hard line stance against any form of political
compromise being part of the loan deal. Nobody should fault the Zanu-PF
hawks for feeling that they have the upper hand in the whole negotiation

The reality we all have to face as part of the forces of the
pro-democracy movement in Zimbabwe is that the SA government has never had
the democratic interests of our country at heart. As such, if push comes to
shove, Pretoria might find it easier to betray our hopes again than to
scupper its valued close ties with Zanu-PF as its erstwhile political

Any gains that might be gained from the current loan deal negotiations
might only be relevant in so far as to open up opportunities for us to
consolidate some gains for our struggle. Such gains will thus be at the very
best, be accessory in effect.

Ultimately as President Thabo Mbeki has always insisted, the solutions
of the crisis in Zimbabwe lies in the hands of its people. Foreign
interventions from countries like South Africa are only critical at the
level of supplementing our own efforts. Any attempts to place all our hopes
on the likes of SA are thus most unfortunate and regrettably will not yield
any serious democratic results.

We thus need to realize that ultimately that the democratic hopes of
our nation will continue to remain in our political hands. We need to get
more organized and galvanized and come up with more innovative strategies on
the way forward. We owe this not to ourselves only but also to our
posterity. History will judge us harshly if we do not do something
constructive to help our people realize the dream of a new prosperous and
democratic Zimbabwe.
Daniel Molokele is a human rights lawyer based in Johannesburg. He has
been elected as the Interim Chairperson of the Zimbabwe CSO Forum (South
African chapter) National Committee. His column appears here every Monday

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39 Zimra Officers Arrested

The Herald (Harare)

August 8, 2005
Posted to the web August 8, 2005


At least 36 Zimbabwe Revenue Authority (Zimra) officers in the Beitbridge
border town and three in Harare have been arrested.

The suspects arrested so far are facing various charges involving illegal
foreign currency dealings, bribery and smuggling.

In a related development, the bail granted to four Zimra officers arrested
in Beitbridge in the ongoing clampdown - code-named Operation Integrity -
was withdrawn after a successful application by the State as the revenue
authority intensified investigations into corruption that has rocked the

At the weekend, Silas Kimbini (44), Norbert Siniwa (33), Adrian Mungate (age
not given in court records) and Francis Pawandiwa (age also not provided)
had their bail revoked by a Bulawayo-based regional magistrate Mr Clifford

Mr Clement Mukwasi from the Attorney General's Office successfully applied
for the cancellation of the bail.

The four had initially been freed on bail amounts ranging between $3 million
and $5 million by the town's magistrate Mrs Mercy Rukoni.

Mrs Rukoni and Mr Tarcicious Moyo, the prosecutor who handled the bail case
of the four, were recused from presiding over the hearing of the State's
application for the cancellation of the bail.

The Secretary for Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs, Mr David
Mangota, would not be drawn into comment as he asked this reporter to fax
questions regarding the circumstances under which the bail for the four was
cancelled, and the recusal of the two judicial officers from hearing the
application for the withdrawal of the bail.

Efforts to get comment from the AG's Office also yielded nothing.

Under the anti-corruption campaign, Zimra has recovered a total of 28 luxury
cars belonging to its staffers in the border town, which have been impounded
pending investigations into the 36 officers.

A total of about R40 000, US$2 300 and 500 Botswana pula was recovered from
the arrested officers.

In a statement, Zimra said the officers were under investigations after a
thorough search at their residences resulted in the discovery of some
incriminating property ranging from foreign currency, imported luxury
vehicles to pornographic materials.

". . . some pornographic materials in the form of video tapes and magazines,
and DVDs, home theatres, colour television sets and computers are being held
as exhibits," said Zimra.

"The recovered property was imported using foreign currency whose source the
officers are failing to explain, indicating a serious possibility of
externalisation, corruption and illegal dealings through receiving bribes."

The officers were arrested by a special operation team drawn from the
Criminal Investigation Department, Special Investigations and Support Unit
of the police from Harare in conjunction with a Zimra team from the Loss
Control Division.

It is being alleged that the Zimra officers facilitating smuggling of goods
into the country, were demanding bribes from clients and conniving with
clearing agents to avoid payment of duty.

They are facing charges such as externalisation since they were allegedly
given foreign currency in cash and bought the vehicles outside Zimbabwe
instead of submitting the money to the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe.

They are also facing charges for borrowing money in a foreign land without
the authority of the central bank.

The officers, it is further alleged, failed to make true declarations on
some vehicles in the case of those who lied that the vehicles belonged to
friends based in South Africa whereas when they were brought, the officers
used their names when making declarations.

The officers would also be charged with money-laundering since these
vehicles are proceeds of ill-gotten money and that could be proven by the
fact that the alleged culprits could not give information on where they got
the money to buy the cars.

Of the 36 arrested in Beitbridge, six appeared in court last Thursday
pleading guilty to the charges against them and were remanded in custody to
Thursday this week for sentence.

Since the six have tendered a plea of guilt, it is likely that Zimra's
application for the forfeiture of their vehicles would succeed as part of

In Harare, a credit card scam where Zimra officers fiddled with the credit
card duty payment system was unearthed at the Harare International Airport,
resulting in the arrest of two officers last month. Investigations are

The officers allegedly defrauded Zimra of millions of dollars in revenue.

Another officer was arrested last Tuesday at the airport on allegations of
involvement in a smuggling ring in which he facilitated the smuggling into
the country of computer cartridges worth millions of dollars.

Zimra said the ongoing operation was driven by the organisation's zero
tolerance to corruption and its commitment to safeguard revenue and its

"Clients are urged to report any unethical behaviour to the station
managers. Alternatively, they can call our whistleblower hotline on
04-724709 and confidentially report what they know," said Zimra.

It said 10 percent of the proceeds discovered is offered as a reward if
information leads to recovery.

Zimra said Operation Integrity was proving effective in stemming the rampant
rot brought about by corrupt practices.

The operation would be spread to other stations around the country.
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