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Zimbabwean publisher challenges passport seizure in High Court

Zim Online

Tue 13 December 2005

      HARARE - Prominent Zimbabwean and South African newspaper publisher
Trevor Ncube on Monday made an urgent appeal to the High Court in Harare
against the seizure of his passport by the government, the first time a
controversial law allowing the state to withdraw passports from critics is
being challenged in court.

      Immigration officials last Thursday impounded Ncube's passport at
Bulawayo airport soon after he arrived from Johannesburg where he publishes
the highly regarded Mail and Guardian newspaper.

      The officials told Ncube - a citizen of Zimbabwe and the publisher of
two of the country's few remaining independent newspapers - that his
passport was being seized because his name appeared on a list compiled by
state Registrar General Tobaiwa Mudede of people whose travel documents
should be withdrawn.

      President Robert Mugabe's government controversially amended
Zimbabwe's constitution last August to allow it to withdraw passports from
citizens it deems will harm the "national interest" if they are allowed to
travel abroad.

      The main opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) party and
civic groups said the law was meant to hamper opposition leaders and
government critics from travelling aboard to mobilise international pressure
against Mugabe and his ruling ZANU PF party.

      Ncube wants the High Court to compel the government to return his
passport, saying that the decision to seize the document was "made in
disregard of rules of natural justice, procedural and substantive fairness."

      He says in his court affidavit that by unilaterally deciding to
withdraw his passport without affording him an opportunity to argue his
case, the government had virtually "condemned him unheard in violation of
basic tenets of natural justice."

      Ncube also contends that the seizure of his passport, which if not
overturned by the court will confine him to Zimbabwe, was in disregard of
his "fundamental rights and liberties as provided for by the Constitution of

      The reference to the constitution appears to suggest Ncube's lawyer,
Stenford Moyo, plans to challenge the constitutionality of the law
permitting state seizure of citizens' travel documents at the country's
highest court, the Supreme Court, if the High Court fails to order the
release of his client's passport.

      Mudede, Chief Immigration officer Elasto Mugwadi and Home Affairs
Minister Kembo Mohadi are cited as respondents in the matter.

      The seizure of Ncube's passport was the first time the government had
done so since changing the law to give itself powers to stop its critics and
opponents from leaving the country. But a day after seizing Ncube's
passport, immigration officials also seized the passport of MDC politician
Paul Themba Nyathi telling him that his name was on the list of people whose
travel documents must be withdrawn.

      It is not clear whether Nyathi will challenge the seizure of his
passport in court although he told ZimOnline last Friday that he regarded
the issue as political, requiring a political solution.

      Political analysts say the seizure of passports of critics and
political opponents suggested Mugabe and ZANU PF, who boosted their hold on
power with a landslide victory in a controversial election last month, were
panicking in the face of swelling public discontent because of worsening
economic hardships. - ZimOnline

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An update from Trevor Ncube

From Trevor Ncube, journalist and newspaper publisher - SA Mail and Guardian
and Zimbabwe Independent Groups

Just to let you know that on Monday afternoon the papers were being served
on the three respondents, who are the Minister of Home Affairs Kembo Mohadi,
the Chief Immigration Officer Mr Mugwadi and the Chief Passport Officer &
Register General Tobaiwa Mudede.My lawyers think that we should have a date
for the Court hearing by Tuesday afternoon.

We have challenged the confiscation of my passport on 6 grounds namely that
the action is;

1. unlawful self-help

2. irrational and grossly unreasonable

3 violates rules of natural justice and lacks procedural fairness

4. violates my rights to freedom of movement

5. violates my right to freedom of expression assuming they impounded the
passport based on the things I have said or written

6. and that the action violates my freedom of thought if it was done on the
grounds of some of my writings and pronouncements.

In a normal society this sounds all logical and straight forward. But
Zimbabwe is not a normal country. The lawyers are confident that the case
will be heard  before the end of this week because it is an urgent

I hope this helps to spread the word.

Trevor Ncube

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Mugabe moves to dip his hands into private Foreign Currency Accounts

Zim Online

Tue 13 December 2005

      HARARE - The Zimbabwe government plans to introduce new regulations to
allow it to temporarily borrow from foreign currency accounts (FCAs) of
private organisations and individuals, in yet another desperate bid to lay
its hands on whatever little hard cash is available in the country,
ZimOnline has learnt.

      Sources within the central Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) said the
proposed new regulation that they said could be announced early next year
would bring FCAs held by individuals and others such as non-governmental
organisations within reach of President Robert Mugabe's hard cash-strapped

      If implemented as planned, the move would widen the sources of hard
cash for the internationally-isolated Mugabe government, currently battling
fuel, power and basic commodity shortages due to lack of foreign currency.

      "The bank (RBZ) is currently working on the modalities of implementing
the scheme. Details will be announced early in the New Year," said a senior
RBZ official, who asked to remain anonymous.

      It is envisaged that the government, through the central bank, would
use the scheme to borrow funds from the FCAs which would be repaid after
some time but with interest.

      No comment could be obtained yesterday from RBZ governor Gideon Gono
or Finance Minister Herbert Murerwa.

      Zimbabwe has faced acute foreign currency shortages since the
International Monetary Fund (IMF) withdrew balance-of-payments support in
1999 following disagreements with Mugabe's government over fiscal policy and
other governance issues.

      Several other international money lenders, donors and development
agencies, taking a cue from the IMF, have since suspended relations with the
Harare administration.

      Mugabe's chaotic and often violent farm seizure programme, launched a
year after the IMF withdrew assistance, exacerbated Zimbabwe's foreign
currency and economic crisis by destabilising the agricultural sector, the
backbone of the economy.

       Zimbabwe, with an annual inflation rate of 502.4 percent and
unemployment of over 70 percent, has been described by the World Bank as the
fastest-shrinking economy in the world outside a war zone.

      The southern African nation, once a regional economic star, has seen
export earnings this year decline by 6.4 percent to US$157 million while
imports also fell by 2.6 percent to US$193 million, according to Murerwa,
who last week presented the country's 2006 national budget statement.

      Murerwa's figures point to a contracting economy, barely able to meet
its day-to-day import requirements.

      Harare survived censure from the IMF in September after making
last-minute payments of its arrears to the Bretton Woods institution which
was on the verge of expelling the country from the Fund.

      Fuel and food shortages coupled with hyperinflation have scuttled all
efforts to resuscitate the economy after more than six years in the
wilderness. - ZimOnline

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'Rebel' MDC members to appeal to Supreme Court in bid to oust Tsvangirai

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

HARARE, 12 Dec 2005 (IRIN) - Senior officials of Zimbabwe's main opposition
Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) party plan to appeal a High Court
decision against their bid to oust Morgan Tsvangirai as party president.

MDC deputy secretary-general Gift Chimanikire told IRIN that he would be
consulting with secretary-general Welshman Ncube and other party leaders
opposed to Tsvangirai. "We have a very strong case and we are definitely
going to appeal to the Supreme Court today," Chimanikire said.

On Friday last week, Zimbabwe High Court Judge Yunus Omerjee dismissed an
application by the 'rebel' faction of the MDC seeking to remove Tsvangirai
as party leader.

Omerjee did not give reasons for his decision to reject the application -
brought by Chimanikire on behalf of the faction led by secretary-general
Ncube, party deputy president Gibson Sibanda, and the party's former
spokesman, Paul Themba Nyathi - but said a full judgment would be released

Tsvangirai's lawyer, Selby Hwacha, told the court Tsvangirai's suspension
was void because he had not been charged or convicted of an offence, and
pointed out that the MDC "constitution "empowers the committee to suspend
only where a member has been found guilty of an offence".

The MDC leader fell out with Ncube and others after he ordered the MDC to
boycott last month's senate election, saying the poll was a waste of
resources in a country that should be focusing all its energies on fighting
the hunger threatening three million people.

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Tsvangirai calls for single front with civil groups against dictatorship

      By Tererai Karimakwenda
      12 December 2005

      The struggle in Zimbabwe for true independence and democracy has so
far been a fragmented effort that has failed to gain momentum and public
support enough to dislodge the government of Robert Mugabe. The major
players are well-known and their trials and tribulations well-documented.
But that is where it usually ends. And ZANU-PF continues to run the show,
dictating not only domestic policy but international response. They decide
who feeds people and who gets fed, who gets treatment for HIV and who dies
without it, and most recently who leaves the country and who stays. The
combined power of all the independent stakeholders has never been tested,
and the level of suffering in Zimbabwe now demands unity more than ever.

      In that respect, MDC president Morgan Tsvangirai's recent call for a
united front to fight dictatorship is right on point. Speaking at a press
conference at the MDC Harvest House headquarters, Tsvangirai said: "The
challenge before us is to rally the nation, rally the people and rally the
international community to help end the current crisis." These words should
not fall on deaf ears, and they need to be followed up by strong decisive
action that shows clearly that the people now really mean what they say.
      Previous campaigns have had no threatening effect on ZANU-PF. In fact
they were quite laughable in Mugabe's eyes. We have seen stayaways where
people stayed at work, demonstrations where only dozens took to the streets
and demolitions where hundreds of armed soldiers forced an entire country to
destroy their own homes. It almost sounds insane, but that has been the
genius of ZANU-PF, using fear to divide, conquer and demolish.

      The fact is the ruling party does not have enough resources to deal
with disturbances in several towns all at once. They can barely bring a few
hundred prisoners to court as it is due to fuel shortages. Food shortages
are causing soldiers to be sent home, and power and water rationing have
been critical issues for the government. Mugabe has used these shortages to
his advantage and yet they could prove his Achilles' heal.
      Tsvangirai said: "May I call on the leadership of civil society to
join hands with the MDC and assume positions at the forefront of this
struggle." Imagine Lovemore Madhuku of The NCA walking with Jenni Williams
of WOZA, Archbishop Pius Ncube, Lovemore Matombo and Wellington Chibebe of
the ZCTU, and representatives of Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch
and The United Nations. Mugabe would be mad to shoot any of them should they
show up at his doorstep with thousands of Zimbabweans behind them. That is a
powerful image. And to reduce fear, analysts have suggested that soldiers
and the police be offered amnesty after Mugabe if they stand with the

      MDC spokesman Nelson Chamisa told us on Monday that the struggle is
bigger than any single institution, and Zimbabweans everywhere have the
responsibility to disentangle this dictatorship. Chamisa said Zimbabweans
are ready and so are the leaders. He explained how a plan was already in
place and the party was meeting with officials from various organisations
including The Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions and the Zimbabwe National
Students Union (ZINASU). Unity is a powerful force, and whoever said United
We Stand had obviously seen it in action. So now that Tsvangirai has said
it, what will he do next?

      SW Radio Africa Zimbabwe news

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More talk and no action against farm grabbers

      By Tererai Karimakwenda
      12 December 2005

      Echoing the warnings issued by his reserve bank governor Gideon Gono
and vice president Joseph Musika earlier this year, Robert Mugabe blasted
officials within the ruling party who have been grabbing farms illegally.
But like them, his words sounded empty to Zimbabweans because none of the
perpetrators have ever been prosecuted, and the recent farm evictions have
been done by top officials using the local police and state agents.

      Publicly, Mugabe has a habit of speaking as though he truly cares
about his people. Yet his actions always have the opposite effect- they are
truly evil if measured by the suffering he has caused to the majority of the
population. According to his mouthpiece the Herald newspaper, Mugabe said
ZANU-PF has no room for greedy and corrupt leaders who have abused their
positions to become multiple farm owners at the expense of the multitude of
land hungry Zimbabweans. He uttered this message to delegates and guests at
the ruling party's Annual National People's Conference at Mzingwane High
School in Esigodini. Many of the most recent culprits were sitting in front
of him.

      And while local villagers in Esigodini went to bed hungry during the
conference, tonnes of meat were served up to the pot-bellied party cronies
he was referring to in his address. Didymus Mutasa, Mugabe's top man in
charge of land reform and food distribution, made a public statement some
months ago referring to the remaining white farmers as filth that must be
removed. So how can he be taken seriously when he says people are hungry
because they don't have land. It is simply more lip service, and no-one on
the ground believes for a moment that it is true.

      Judges and ministers alike have snatched more farmland around the
country in the last month, accompanied by the local police and state agents.
Their names are well-publicised and they claim they were allocated these
multiple farms by the government. Some have produced documents and others
have told the farm owners land was nationalised and it now belongs to the

      The Constitution of Zimbabwe Amendment Number 17, which ZANU-PF pushed
through parliament, is being used to block any challenges to these illegal
land acquisitions. Until the perpetrators are brought to justice, and
mechanisms are put in place to stop the evictions in the first place, any
rhetoric will remain just lip service. All talk and no action.

      SW Radio Africa Zimbabwe news

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Five arrested at WOZA human rights demonstration

      By Lance Guma
      12 December 2005

      Five women from the Women Of Zimbabwe Arise (WOZA) pressure group were
arrested on Saturday in Harare during a protest march commemorating
International Human Rights Day. The group had gathered at Fourth Street in
the city centre and were headed for Nelson Mandela Avenue when police
intercepted the procession. Loise Grezia, Rosemary Mironga, Julia Chipehama,
Noria Kadhari and Monica Chimbiro were all briefly arrested before police
released them later in the day. The group alleges they were assaulted whilst
in custody and one police officer in particular, known only as Mhondoro, led
the assault.

      Due to a combination of this assault and the police refusal to give
them access to lawyers, the women decided to negotiate the payment of
      ZD $25,000 admission of guilt fines and were released around 5pm in
the evening. WOZA launched six separate protests around the country and even
took time to distribute their December Newsletter, which included an open
letter to the Zimbabwe Republic Police to stop arbitrary arrests of WOZA
women. The group also urged the police to uphold the 2001 Harare resolution
of the Southern African Regional Police Chiefs Co-operation Organisation
(SARPCCO) regarding the code of conduct for police officials.

      The pressure group cited Article 1, which says 'in the performance of
their duties, police officials shall respect and protect human dignity and
maintain and uphold the human rights of all persons'. In Bulawayo the women
marched from Mabutweni Shopping Centre to the local police station where
they left placards and the open letter to the police. In Mpopoma, the
protest started at Msitheli High School and ended at Matshobana Beer Garden.
As the women dispersed, a police vehicle pursued some of the protestors
before giving up the chase.

      In Tshabalala, they gathered at the shopping centre and marched
towards Sizinda Beer Garden while in Magwegwe, Pumula, Emakhandeni Nkulumane
and Luveve, the protests took place without incident. WOZA co-ordinator
Jenni Williams told Newsreel that hundreds of women protesters heeded the
call countrywide. They wore t-shirts calling on Zimbabweans to 'Stop
Violence against women and in the spirit of "Tough Love", WOZA's brand of
civil disobedience, the 'mothers of the nation' defied the Public Order
Security Act (POSA) and conducted their protests without giving notification
to the police.

      SW Radio Africa Zimbabwe news

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Australia guilty of genocide: Mugabe

Sydney Morning Herald

  a.. By Rochelle Mutton in Johannesburg
  December 13, 2005

President Robert Mugabe has responded angrily to Australia's expanded
sanctions against Zimbabwe's ruling elite, saying the country is guilty of

Mr Mugabe has used the Government-controlled media to claim Australia tops
the world's list of human rights abuses and should be hauled before an
international tribunal for crimes against humanity.

The Government-controlled newspaper, The Herald, reported the Zimbabwe
leader as saying British settlers to Australia "embarked on a genocidal
massacre of Aborigines, reducing the survivors into hopeless alcoholics and
objects of pity by crushing their spirit.

"As a result, the vanquished natives are now in the minority whilst their
murderers have multiplied to become the majority."

He added: "The Australians, you know their history, it was thieves and
robbers, criminals from Britain, who the British in those years wanted to
send out of their country.

"They have destroyed a whole people, just as the Americans used to do with
Red Indians - you must have seen the pictures. But in Australia they
succeeded more than the Americans.

"May we ask: does Australia have a real system of human rights that can
compare with our own system?"

The article follows Australia's addition of 37 names to the list of people
facing sanctions for co-operating with Mr Mugabe's increasingly
authoritarian regime.

However, there is already at least one name scratched from the list after
the embarrassing revelation that Trevor Ncube, the publisher of Zimbabwe's
only independent newspapers and a staunch critic of the Zimbabwean
Government, had been sanctioned.

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Zimbabwe bird flu is not type dangerous to humans


      Mon Dec 12, 2005 11:36 AM GMT

JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) - Zimbabwe's avian flu outbreak among ostriches is
the H5N2 strain which is not dangerous to humans, a veterinary official said
on Monday.

The H5N2 strain can be lethal to birds but unlike the H5N1 version that has
killed 70 people in Asia it poses little risk to people.

"It is H5N2 according to seriological testing but they have not isolated the
virus yet," said Celia Abolnik, a senior researcher at South Africa's
Onderstepoort Veterinary Institute.

"We know it is H5N2 but we need to isolate it to see if it is the highly
pathogenic form or not," she told Reuters.

Zimbabwe has sent samples to South Africa for testing.

The outbreak has been detected on two ostrich farms in the country but all
have been placed under quarantine, dealing a fresh blow an agriculture
sector which has been hard hit by drought and the often chaotic seizure of
white-owned farms for redistribution to landless blacks.

South Africa had an outbreak of H5N2 among ostriches last year. It declared
itself bird flu free in September and last month the European Union lifted a
ban on the import of South African ostriches and their meat.

The H5N1 strain has not yet been detected in Africa but experts say
identifying it will be difficult because of poor surveillance and high
mortality rates among backyard chickens.

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Trade union presses for more tax cuts to cushion workers from fresh price hikes

Zim Online

Tue 13 December 2005

      HARARE - The Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions (ZCTU) is pressing for
more tax cuts to cushion hard pressed workers from a fresh round of price
hikes triggered by a more than five times jump in the price of fuel last

      The ZCTU, the largest representative body for workers in Zimbabwe, at
the weekend said it wanted the government to re-adjust the tax free
threshold to Z$12 million up from the $7 million announced by Finance
Minister Herbert Murerwa when he presented his 2006 budget to Parliament
last Thursday.

      Previously the free pay-as-you-earn tax threshold was $1.5 million.

      The labour body, which in the late nineties mounted economically
crippling mass job boycotts to force President Robert Mugabe's government to
backtrack on plans to increase income tax, said Murerwa's tax concession had
been wiped away by inflation, which surged to 502.4 percent in November,
according to the latest figures released by the government last Friday.

      Inflation, which independent economic analysts say could reach 700
percent by month-end, was pegged at 411 percent in October.

      "The ZCTU maintains that all workers earning below $12 million should
not be taxed," the union said in a statement.

      The labour body said the tax threshold should match the poverty datum
line - signifying the minimum amount of money an average family of a mother,
father and four children require for basic goods and services per month. The
poverty datum line is pegged at $12 million.

      "The ZCTU acknowledges the efforts of the Ministry of Finance in the
2006 budget proposal, to reduce tax to a maximum of 35 percent and also
increase the un-taxable amount to $7 million, this is not enough as this is
way below the poverty datum line which is now at $12 million," said the

       Although Murerwa gave concessions on tax in his budget statement, he
also relaxed regulations on fuel imports allowing private firms to charge
market-determined prices for the commodity. The move saw fuel prices
shooting up with for example a litre of petrol now selling for between $90
000 to $120 000 which is about five times what it cost a week before.

      Prices of most basic commodities ballooned in sympathy with the new
fuel prices, with for example the cost of the main staple maize-meal rising
from around $175 000 for a five-kilogramme bag to $320 000 in the space of a
few days.

      The ZCTU, which is virtually a shadow of its former powerful self when
main opposition Movement for Democratic Change party leader Morgan
Tsvangirai was still at its helm, did not indicate what action it would take
should the government ignore its calls for tax cuts.

      But the union said apart from tax cuts it also wanted workers paid
living wages, provision of free anti-retroviral drugs and that the
government should move to protect local jobs from the threat of cheap
imports from Asia. - ZimOnline

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Smugglers Cost Zimbabwe Billions

The Herald (Harare)

December 11, 2005
Posted to the web December 12, 2005

Tawanda Kanhema

BILLIONS of dollars worth of maize-meal and sugar are being illegally
exported to Mozambique daily, creating an artificial shortage of the
commodities in Zimbabwe.

Well co-ordinated syndicates operating on both sides of the border are
sneaking the products into Mozambique's Mangwe town daily where smugglers
converge and load the contraband into trucks, buses and vans for

The syndicates use illegal crossing points dotted along the border.

An investigation by The Herald revealed that some transporters were moving
an average of 30 tonnes of maize-meal and sugar -- worth over $200
million -- from the border every day.

On average, a single Mozambican transporter in Mangwe, a small settlement
that now resembles a maize-meal and sugar depot, carries five tonnes of the
Parlenta and Silo maize meal brands smuggled from Zimbabwe.

Smuggling has become an industry in Mutare and Mangwe with thousands of
people on both sides of the border literally living on it.

Buses with trailers and commuter omnibuses carry smaller consignments.

Houses in Mangwe have been turned into warehouses where smugglers stock
their illegal imports before forwarding them to Manica and Beira for sale.

One carton of sugar -- made up of ten 2-kilogramme packs -- costs $580 000
in Zimbabwe and fetches 300 000 meticals in Mozambique (Z$1,2 million), thus
netting a profit of more than 100 percent for the smuggler, while a 10kg bag
of maize-meal going for $130 000 in the country fetches more than $250 000
across the border.

The profit margin for any contraband is well above 100 percent, therefore
creating a lucrative market for smugglers.

Ironically, trucks carrying maize-meal smuggled from Zimbabwe and truckloads
of food aid destined for Zimbabwe are seen going in opposition directions as
they pass through Mozambique's Port of Beira.

The contraband is carried through organised networks that use military
tracks in mountains along the border and "merchants" involved in the illicit
exportation of basic goods are making more than $20 million a day.

The Herald reporter and a Mozambican guide, Jenito Antonio, disguised as
vendors, took to the mountains to see how the smugglers go about their

The smugglers use a kiosk near a base -- manned jointly by army and police
officers who are stationed there to guard a pipeline -- as a warehouse from
where the maize-meal and sugar are distributed.

This is meant to reduce the time and labour it takes to transport the goods
across the border.

Climbing the mountain with a load of contraband takes up to two hours.

"I carry up to 90kg of maize meal and 40kg of sugar everyday," said one of
the smugglers.

He said they begin smuggling goods at around 2am.

More than 200 smugglers cross the border at least three times each day and
they are paid $700 000 a day for braving the steep mountain, risking losing
limb and life to landmines and the prospect of arrest.

The people buying consignments of maize-meal and sugar use the official
crossing point at Forbes Border Post and make their payments at the kiosk
barely 500 metres from the border and then hand over their contraband to the
carriers, known as "majorijo".

They then go and wait for the majorijo on the Mozambican side, where they
either warehouse or forward their consignments to other towns.

On the mountain, they rest and hide some of their contraband in the bush,
and the common meeting point for smugglers of all nationalities is on
no-man's land, where they believe neither Zimbabwean nor Mozambican security
authorities can arrest them.

The smugglers claimed they pay security authorities bribes to avoid being

However, Manicaland police provincial spokesman Inspector Joshua Tigere said
these were just a few misguided elements that were tarnishing the force's
image and said police were conducting intensive patrols to eradicate

He said: "I cannot deny or confirm these allegations, but members of the
force who were involved in cases of bribery at the border were discharged
from their duties last year, and we need to rid society of such elements.

"It's a cause for concern when we have food shortages here yet we are able
to feed Mozambique that much through the illegal exportation of food," said
Inspector Tigere.

"We are going to intensify our border operations and bust the smuggling

On December 2, police in Mutare confiscated 12 bales of used clothes that
were being smuggled from Mozambique, and 550kg of maize-meal and other
miscellaneous goods which were being taken in the opposite direction. The
contraband was valued at $100 million.

A truckload of maize-meal destined for Mozambique was also recovered two
weeks ago in joint operations by the army and police.

Since October 21, police have arrested 498 smugglers on Zimbabwe's border
with Mozambique, recovering 8 240kg of maize-meal, 2 000kg of sugar, 100kg
of maize seed, 200kg of rice, 4 616 bars of soap, 21 bags of tobacco and
other miscellaneous items.

Of the 498 smugglers arrested along the border, 400 were Zimbabweans and 98

Inspector Tigere said the quantities confiscated showed that organised
syndicates were behind the smuggling.

But police would work towards curbing the practice, he said.

Zimbabwean and Mozambican police have made arrangements to patrol the
no-man's-land, which many smugglers are now using as a free zone where they
can hide contraband and rest during their activities.

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Zimbabwe Pensioner

How's this for a wonderful example of what has been going on in our
beautiful country since the despotic organization of Zanu pf has taken
over.My mother who is now 65 years old has been working her fingers to the
bone for a country she loves as a school teacher.She has taught all walks of
life predominantly in government schools,both high schools senior schools,in
the cities and in the regions,she has taught black kids,white kids,Indian
kids,special needs kids,kids doing O.M and A levels.She has taught
geography,history,English ,maths,sciences,shona,Afrikaans,domestic
science.She has been back to school in the afternoons everday of her life to
assist in the important development of our future citizens of Zimbabwe.She
has done so without a whimper,watching her family of fourth generation
Africans get thrown off their highly productive farms and still she
remains,,Why? Because she is an African and is in love with her country!
How is she rewarded for this hard work and dedication you ask-The ministry
of education has paid her out a Pension after 45 years of toil-Z$ 100 000
which equates to US$ 1. Now will any one believe this tyrant deserves
anything less than total condemnation?
These are the thanks the Zimbabwe government gives to its loyal citizens.


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Zimbabwe begins crackdown on opposition

Washington Times

Dec. 11, 2005 at 10:36PM

Zimbabwe's ruling party is backing government attempts to clamp down on
      The Zimbabwe African National Union Patriotic Front annual meeting
called for action against civic groups and non-governmental organizations
associated with the United Nations, the BBC reported.
      It urged the government to implement a constitutional amendment
allowing the authorities to confiscate the passports of those who it sees as
a threat.
      Officials began putting that law into practice on Thursday when
newspaper owner Trevor Ncube had his passport seized after he arrived at
Bulawayo Airport on a flight from South Africa.
      Ncube's newspapers, both in Zimbabwe and in South Africa, have been
critical of Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe's government.
      On Friday, an official of the opposition Movement for Democratic
Change, Paul Themba Nyathi, had his passport confiscated as he returned from
a trip to South Africa.

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Zanu-PF endorces passport seizures

Sunday Times, SA

Monday December 12, 2005 08:42 - (SA)

ESIGODINI - In the first official reaction to the latest crackdown on
government critics through the seizure of their passports, Zimbabwean
President Robert Mugabe's party has endorsed the move, urging state security
agents to draw up lists of targets.

In a resolution adopted by the Zimbabwe African National Union Patriotic
Front (Zanu-PF) at its annual conference, the party said it "welcomes the
17th constitutional amendment, in particular the withdrawal of passports of
Zimbabweans who go around demonising the country."

"We want the security people to draw up a list of people like that and
withdraw their passports," it said.

The party "calls upon government to effect that constitutional amendement
with immediate effect", said a resolution read out by a senior party
official Kumbirai Kangai to thousands of supporters gathered in this rural
town, 480 kilometres southwest of the capital Harare.

The authorities have over the past two days confiscated the passports of two
high profile critics of government - a veteran journalist and an opposition
politician - as part of a move to punish them.

Immigration officialswithdrew the passport of Trevor Ncube on Thursday, a
Zimbabwean independent newspaper publisher and on Friday seized that of
opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) official Paul Themba Nyathi.

Both lost their passports as they arrived back home from neighbouring South

Themba Nyathi is a former human rights activist and an outspoken critic of
the Harare government which he has previously called "tyrannical".

Ncube publishes the weekly Zimbabwe Independent and Sunday Standard as well
as the Mail and Guardian, published in South Africa - all of which have been
openly critical of Mugabe's policies.

Parliament in August approved changes to the constitution that allow the
state to seize the passports of people perceived to be anti-government.

Ncube said he was shown a list of rights lawyers, journalists, opposition
politicians and other activists, whose travel documents government wants to
take away.


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Zimbabwe to reject all UN envoys

Sunday Times, SA

Monday December 12, 2005 08:11 - (SA)

Zimbabwe's ruling party ended its annual conference on the weekend urging
the government not to entertain any more "clandestine" envoys sent to Harare
under the auspices of the United Nations.

"The conference resolved to encourage government to re-think its position on
entertaining any future UN envoys sent into the country as clandestine and
insidious agents of the British and other Western countries in pursuance of
their hidden agenda of regime change in Zimbabwe," said a conference

The resolution by the ruling Zimbabwe African National Patriotic Front
(ZANU-PF) was adopted a day after President Robert Mugabe accused the UN
envoy on humanitarian affairs and relief aid coordinator Jan Egeland, who
visited the country earlier in the week, of being a "damn hypocrite and a

The longtime leader hinted Friday that he might ban any more emissaries sent
from the UN because he believed they were shoring up Britain's anti-Zimbabwe

Mugabe said Egeland had misrepresented the facts of a meeting between the
two men by claiming that they had discussed a critical report compiled by
another UN envoy, Anna Kajumulo Tibaijuka, who spent two weeks in Zimbabwe
in July assessing the impact of the government urban demolition campaign.

The head of state said no reference was made to the Tibaijuka report during
their two-hour meeting in the capital.

The conference said it was convinced that the Tibaijuka report was "a direct
product of some anti-government non-governmental organisations operating in

Harare has rejected the report, saying it exaggerated the facts and ignored
the fact that victims of the clean up campaign had a safety net on which
they could rely.

"Most of those affected by the clean up programme have rural homes or farms
they can return to," said ZANU-PF, adding Zimbabwe had one of Africa's
lowest rates of urban squalour.

ZANU-PF said it was disappointed that Egeland had failed to stick to the
truth about his Harare trip and had decided to tell the media of its outcome
before UN Secretary General Kofi Annan, who had sent him to Zimbabwe.

It said contrary to the UN's assertions that food shortages were a result of
controversial land reforms, the country had experienced three successive
years of drought, but the government had ensured nobody had died of hunger.

Zimbabwe embarked in May on an urban clean up exercise which saw tens of
thosuands of people lose their shelter and livelihood.


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2 000 cattle rustlers arrested

Daily Mirror, Zimbabwe

The Daily Mirror Reporter
issue date :2005-Dec-12

MORE than 2 000 cattle rustlers were arrested countrywide this year, the
police have said.
Speaking in Harare at the weekend at an anti-stock theft awards ceremony at
the Zimbabwe Republic Police's (ZRP) Morris Depot, deputy commissioner Levy
Sibanda said police had arrested a total 2 083 people for the offenmce.
He commended the police's Anti-Stock Theft Unit and added that incidents of
rustling decreased from 4 521 in 2004 to 4 368 this year.
"It is highly commendable to realise that we have police officers who exude
these critical attributes in the face of vast challenges currently obtaining
on the policing terrain.
"We are aware of the rigorous operations and stringent measures that were
put in place by the Anti-Stock Theft Unit, which resulted in the fall in
stock theft cases during the course of the year," said Sibanda.
He added: "Since the beginning of the year, the clampdown on stock theft has
witnessed the arrest of 2 083 culprits and a fall in the incidents of this
 from 4 521 in 204 to 4 368 this year.
"I wish to assure you that the police shall not relent in its endeavour to
bring to book all culprits involved in livestock theft."
Ten officers from different provinces walked away with a total $54 million
prize money, meat vouchers and certificates for excelling in their duties.
Sergeant John Zengeza and Constable Cornelius Chikomo from the Midlands
Province got the first prize of $20 million each for their efforts.
The Midlands quartet of Constables Trust Murombedzi, Sikhu-lumani Sibanda,
Jabulani Mhlanga and I. Romuliya came second and got $5 million each.
Constables Patrick Kuzvida and Trevor Nyani of Matebeleland North Province
collected the third prize, winning $4 million each. Patrick Charles and
Gonye of Mashonaland Province took the fourth prize worth $3 million.
Chief Superintendent Oliver Mandipaka read some citations that proved the
commitment to duty by each of the winning
In some of the riveting citations, he announced how the Midlands team from
Zhombe District had recovered 66 head of cattle valued at $660 million and
how the other Midlands team from Kwekwe, armed with revolvers, dramatically
recovered eight beasts valued at $160 million.

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Confiscation of passports will not solve economic problems: MDC

Daily Mirror, Zimbabwe

The Daily Mirror Reporter
issue date :2005-Dec-12

THE MDC yesterday said the confiscation of passports by government on people
perceived to be enemies of the state will not solve the economic problems
being faced by the country.
MDC spokesperson in the anti-senate faction and Kuwadzana legislator, Nelson
Chamisa said this in response to the seizure of passports belonging to Paul
Themba Nyathi, spokesperson in the MDC's pro-Senate faction and newspaper
publisher, Trevor Ncube by immigration officials last week.
"This is a vicious attack on the voices of change. We condemn this desperate
response, as it would not help in anyway in resolving the economic problems.
"That it is why we were vigorously opposing the passing of the
Constitutional (No.17) Amendment Bill in parliament because we knew it was
going to be used against perceived enemies," he said. The constitutional
amendment gave the State the power to confiscate passports of Zimbabweans
who travel abroad undermining the interests of the government.
The government justified the move, arguing there were
people going around the globe calling for sanctions against the country.
 "This desperate act by government is a blow to government's Pan-African
credentials that allow movement from one place to another without
 hindrance," Chamisa said.
Nyathi's passport was confiscated on Friday after a two-day visit to South
Africa, while Ncube's was taken on Thursday when he arrived in the country
from Botswana.
Ncube was also included on the controversial sanctions list by the
Australian central bank last week.

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Legislate repair of traffic signals, Govt. urged

Daily Mirror, Zimbabwe

The Daily Mirror Reporter
issue date :2005-Dec-12

THE Traffic Safety Council of Zimbabwe (TSCZ) at the weekend implored the
government to come up with legislation to compel local authorities to repair
traffic signals and maintain roads if accidents were to be reduced in towns
and cities.
In an interview, the executive director of TSCZ, Romaldo Jokonya, said most
roads and signals were
not being attended to in most urban areas because local authorities
have no legal obligations to do
"It would be important if there were legal provisions that require councils
to attend to these problems. At the moment we have instances where some
traffic signals have gone for two months without working and if you go and
report to the council some of the officials there will simply ask: so what?
"We need such kind of legislation because we think that would go a long way
in curbing traffic jungle," he said.
Jokonya said the TSCZ would on December 20 launch a multi-media campaign to
promote traffic safety awareness involving various stakeholders from
industry and commerce.
"The major objective is to create a traffic safety brand where all potential
sponsors would be able to market their products," he said, adding that the
brand would be under the theme "Safety first, there is no second chance".
The ZTSC director said there was need to enforce road regulations fully if
fatalities were to be reduced, especially during the coming festive season.
"We in the council believe that the problem of road traffic safety can be
addressed by education campaigns and enforcement of road regulations,"
Jokonya said.
He said Harare contributed 45 percent of accidents reported in the country,
85 percent of accidents were due to human behaviour and that 94 percent of
deaths that occur during accidents were due to human error.

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WHO Pledges $120BN for Anti-Malaria Drive

The Herald (Harare)

December 11, 2005
Posted to the web December 12, 2005

Walter Nyamukondiwa
Victoria Falls

THE World Health Organisation (WHO) has pledged US$1,6 million (about $120
billion) to Government for the fight against malaria, which threatens over
five million people countrywide.

Making the pledge during a fundraising gala hosted by the Ministry of Health
and Child Welfare and other stakeholders in Victoria Falls last week, WHO
country representative Dr Everisto Njelesani said the money would be
disbursed over the next two years, starting from next year.

In addition, the health ministry also raised about $117 million from local
individuals and companies who included the Jewel Bank and Standard Chartered
Bank among others.

"The impact of malaria on the economies of local communities and households
is significant. Malaria drains the economy of African nations and traps
their people in poverty.

"Ironically, effective tools, medicines and control strategies are available
and could dramatically reduce the deaths and suffering caused by malaria,"
said Dr Njelesani.

The gala was held after the belated commemoration of the Sadc Malaria Week
attended by health ministers and other stakeholders from the region at Tinde
Hospital in Binga, about 100 kilometres east of Hwange.

Malaria and HIV, Dr Njelesani said, had emerged as the two diseases
requiring the most serious attention in the Sadc region, where out of 18 to
20 million cases of malaria, at least 150 000 deaths were recorded.

"In this context, the response to strengthen existing or establish a new
area in malaria control for the vulnerable groups cannot be over

"Mobilisation of resources to scale up integrated approaches and strategies
for malaria and HIV and Aids especially among vulnerable groups such as
pregnant women and children under five were a priority," Dr Njelesani said.

Speaking at the commemoration, Health and Child Welfare Minister Dr David
Parirenyatwa urged people to seek early treatment when they develop malaria
symptoms like headaches and vomiting.

He said women and children remained the most vulnerable to malaria and
everything was being done to protect them.

Pregnant women get malaria drugs when they visit antenatal clinics as part
of efforts to protect them from the disease.

Government has so far disbursed $9 billion to all the country's provinces
for spraying programmes in high-risk communities such as Binga, Lupane,
Kariba, Chiredzi and Beitbridge.

With the assistance of the United Nations Children's Fund (Unicef) and other
stakeholders, Government has also distributed 400 000 bed re-treatment kits
as part of preparations for this year's malaria season.

His ministry also welcomed the pledge for $120 billion saying this was a
positive develop-ment.

The funds would also come in handy to compliment existing efforts in the
fight against malaria.

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Channel to Showcase Africa to Go On Air, Says Key Player

The Nation (Nairobi)

December 12, 2005
Posted to the web December 12, 2005

Nation Reporter

A pan-African television station aimed at changing the negative image of the
continent will be launched in 2007, a player in the broadcasting industry
has said.

Dubbed Africa Together Vision (ATV), the project, a brainchild of leading
African journalists and broadcasters, is expected to operate along the lines
of America's Cable News Network and Middle East's Al Jazeera's television.

The station will concentrate on issues like tourism, sports, culture and
entertainment among others that have been ignored by foreign-owned
international media. The decision to establish the new channel was reached
at an international meeting held in Nairobi last week.

Speaking to the Nation yesterday, Mr Salim Amin, the chief executive officer
of Camerapix, said the objective of the station is to change the negative
coverage Africa had received from foreign media.

"It will put all African stories into perspective, something that has been
missing for so long," said Mr Amin one of the media personalities involved
in the project.

He said the perception of Africa worldwide was one of a continent ravaged by
war, famine and disease, yet there was more about the continent that was
being ignored.

"We will cover more than just war and diseases," Mr Amin said.

Media personalities in Kenya are pushing for the station to be established
in Nairobi.

Participants at the two-day meeting of Africa media personalities observed
that foreign media would continue to concentrate on the negative portrayal
of Africa if nothing was done.

Mr Amin announced that a team of experts was drawing up a business plan
which will detail the editorial policy, investment opportunities and risks
involved among other key issues.

"We will also study why other television stations in Africa that were
launched with the same idea failed to take off as expected," he added.

Mr Salim said the station would be a 24-hour network with six hours of
content on Africa.

Mr Salim commended the Nation Media Group saying the company, the biggest
media house in East and Central Africa, had committed itself to helping
establish the station.

The group was represented by chief executive Wilfred Kiboro at the meeting.

Mr Salim said the station would broadcast in English and French in the
initial stages before expanding to Portuguese and Kiswahili. A Website on
the project will be established early next year.

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Fuel shortages rock South Africa

      By Lance Guma
        12 December 2005

      South Africa is currently in the middle of a serious fuel crisis as
supplies are reported to have run out. At the centre of the problem is the
conversion of refineries to produce unleaded petrol only next year. The lack
of aviation fuel supplies to major airports in the country has resulted in
dozens of flight delays. Despite assurances from ministers that the country
will get over the crisis, press reports indicate several motorists have been
turned away from filling stations, especially in the Gauteng province.

      The Automobile Association of South Africa has already warned that the
fuel crisis will impact on Namibia, Botswana and Mozambique. There was a
conspicuous omission of Zimbabwe. The Minerals and Energy Minister Lindiwe
Hendriks denied there is a fuel shortage inland. She says the Western Cape
area has no problem with petrol, but admitted diesel supply was tight. She
said the shortage of jet fuel should be rectified in about four days.

      The fuel crisis follows the introduction of new government standards
for cleaner fuel.

      SW Radio Africa Zimbabwe news

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