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

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2the advocate, Baton Rouge, Louisiana

Africa's shame in Zimbabwe
The world's attention has been focused on many disputed elections, from
Afghanistan to Ukraine. But further down the alphabet of government is
Zimbabwe, where the consequences of a stolen election are more apparent
every day.
The government of Robert Mugabe pulled out all the stops to win a new term
as president for the 80-year-old former resistance leader, with
international observers decrying the suppression of the opposition.

In a free and fair election, there was little doubt that the opposition
would have toppled Mugabe because of misrule of the former English colony of

The country has gone from a relatively advanced economy and high levels of
agricultural productivity to Third World poverty and widespread famines.
During the election campaign, the government used the latter as one of its
weapons. Food aid was distributed on the basis of political reliability.

The Mugabe government is using its power in parliament to pass more laws
restricting the capacity of anyone to question its actions. The latest,
passed Dec. 9, is a bill to restrict the activities of nongovernmental

Human rights groups and churches are the main targets of this measure,
passed on a 48-28 vote. It prohibits domestic groups from accepting foreign
money or other support for promotion of human rights or interference in
"issues of governance" in Zimbawe. Fund raising also is prohibited from
Zimbabweans living abroad, many of them having fled hardship and repression.

The government can dissolve any group violating the new regulations.

Of great concern is the extension of the law to all activities by houses of
worship, which have been defiant critics of Mugabe. There is no equivalent
to the Constitution and courts of the United States, where the First
Amendment forbids government interference with religion.

Rather, the rule of one man is law. He is an aging dictator surrounded by a
corrupt coterie who have seized private property -- in the name of land
reform -- and turned choice farms and factories over to themselves.

While it might do little immediate good, we hope international human-rights
organizations and responsible governments -- particularly in Africa -- 
protest the latest attack on dissent in Zimbabwe.
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Daily News online edition

      Government role in agriculture needs caution

      Date: 16-Dec, 2004

      IF the government believes it ought to be the driving force behind the
successful development of agriculture, then it should re-examine this role

      Parliament recently approved legislation setting up another parastatal
dealing with the marketing of farm produce. Ideally, the government should
play the crucial role of a facilitator.

      If it sets up more parastatals in the mould of the Grain Marketing
Board, then it could be sowing the seeds of more corruption and inefficiency
in agriculture.

      The GMB, among other parastatals in existence today, is not the fine
example of efficiency and integrity that it ought to be. There have been
many scandals there, some involving high-profile members of staff.

      One United Nations agency a few years ago recommended that the GMB be
privatised. But for political reasons, the government has resisted all
attempts to rationalise the operations of its huge, unwieldy machinery.

      Like many of the parastatals now in deep financial crisis, the GMB has
been used more or less as an illicit milch cow for the Zanu PF high echelon.

      The government must know that farming is not a philanthropic
endeavour. Every potential farmer is in it for profit. To expect them to be
motivated simply by the "national duty" of feeding the nation is woefully

      Since 2000, after the farm invasions reduced our agriculture to a poor
cousin of most other sectors in the economy, the government has played a
leading role in agriculture.

      The land reform programme, though later touted as a rationalisation of
the ownership of the land, was intrinsically a political campaign.

      It was borne out of the government's fury at the rejection of its
constitutional proposals in the referendum.

      In the last four years, with the creation of A1 and A2 farmers, the
government has been the main player in agriculture. Evidently, it was hoped,
rather forlornly, that the eviction of the white commercial farmers from
their properties would cause only a mild and temporary hiccup to

      We now know that this was a grave miscalculation and people like
Joseph Made have not helped matters by predicting bumper harvests on the
basis of nebulous evidence.

      The drought did contribute to the food shortages, but the bulk of the
problem can be traced to government bungling.

      The government was ill-prepared for a major overhaul of a sector which
had been the mainstay of the economy for so long. As someone pointed out
recently, the thousands of new farmers have been unable to produce as much
food as the 4 000-odd commercial farmers did in many years before the
tragedy of 2000.

      If the government intends to play an even more prominent role in
promoting agriculture, then it ought to do so very cautiously. Its record of
efficiency and integrity, going by the sorry mess in the parastatal sector,
is highly dubious.

      Agriculture is, in many ways, too important a sector to be entrusted
to this government.

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Daily News online edition

      Journalists still an endangered species - Part Two

      Date: 16-Dec, 2004

      By Bill Saidi

      N.B: This is the second of a three part series from the book: Visions
of Zimbabwe which was published in the UK. Saidi is one of the three
Zimbabwean writers who contributed articles to the book.

      At the Times of Zambia, I once wrote a scurrilous denunciation of
Britain's policy on Rhodesia, as Zimbabwe was called before 1980. The then
British High Commissioner invited me to dinner.

      He offered me a trip to Britain - to prove for myself that the British
were not racists and were not acting to protect their kith and kin in
Rhodesia. I accepted the offer without hesitation.

      Any travel - sponsored or not - widens the journalist's horizons. The
trip did little to alter my perception of British betrayal in Rhodesia.

      In 1975, I was in Kingston, Jamaica, covering the Commonwealth Heads
of Government Meeting (CHOGM) for The Times of Zambia. I was introduced to
the then British foreign secretary, the Labour Party's James Callaghan.

      When he was told that I was from The Times of Zambia, he wagged his
forefinger in my face, disapprovingly.

      Years later, at the State House in Harare, another top politician
shook his forefinger in my face. This time it was the late Simon Muzenda,
then Vice President of Zimbabwe. I was working for an independent newspaper
in Harare, having resigned from a ten-year stint as an editor at the
government-owned Zimpapers group.

      Earlier, shortly after independence, I had provoked the same reaction
from Joshua Nkomo. All Nkomo said was: ("Wena Saidi wena!) Which means You
Saidi, you!

      Musarurwa, as editor, performed peerlessly, writing gutsy editorials
and en explosive weekly column. But I was not surprised when he was fired in
1985; the government said he was not following the party line.

      In other words, Musarurwa would not do what he wanted me to do in
Lusaka. His death a few years later was a sad epitaph to the impending
demise of a free press in Zimbabwe.

      Zanu PF shamelessly declared him a national hero although the party
had denounced him as editor of The Sunday Mail. I found their cynicism

      Zimbabwe Newspapers came into independence in 1980 as part of the
Argus Group of South Africa, with its flagship, The Herald, the largest
selling daily newspaper in the country then.

      I joined them in September of that year as assistant to the editor,
the quiet, unassuming Robin Drew. But by 1981, the government had bought its
way into Zimpapers, with a large donation from the Nigerian government.

      All the white editors were soon replaced by loyal party people -
except me. There was undisguised reluctance by the new owners to let me
continue. But I had worked in journalism in the two countries for 21 years.

      I had experience on my side. But I am getting ahead of myself. On that
September day last year, I reminded myself that I had come across cast-iron
evidence, as a journalist, that most African leaders would never
countenance, let alone cherish an independent, privately-owned press, or
radio and television stations.

      I was wrong about Malawi and Zambia, who now have thriving private
radio stations. The Zimbabwe government monopolises the electronic

      media. If the new rulers in Zimbabwe did accept an independent press,
then it would be with massive reluctance.

      You imagine them waiting patiently for you to make the one fatal
mistake that would give them the potent evidence to sack you. I should have
long predicted the closure of the Daily News and The Daily News on Sunday,
of which I was editor at its launch in May 2003.

      For 17 years I had worked on two newspapers in Zambia. I had been
fired from the Central African Mail, after its take-over by the government
of Kenneth Kaunda and renamed The Zambia Mail. We carried a story predicting
Kaunda's United National Independence Party - UNIP faced a revolt in the
Eastern Province.

      I was then news editor under an English man, William Dullfiorce who
had taken over from a Zimbabwean-born Zambian, Kelvin Mlenga, with whom I
had worked with in Salisbury at the African Daily News. It was Mlenga who
had invited me to Lusaka. Mlenga had taken over from Richard Hall, who had
gone to The Times of Zambia. By the time he returned to England in the
1970s, Hall had fallen out with Kaunda because he had become critical of the
corruption in Kaunda's government. In 1975, I was fired from my job as
deputy-editor-in-chief of Times Newspapers. My letter of dismissal was
signed by Kaunda himself. Until then, I had not been aware he was my boss.
But the chairman of Lonrho Zambia Limited, Tom Mtine told me that Kaunda did
have the clout to fire me. Under a deal with Roland "Tiny" Towland, the
British founder-chairman of Lonrho which owned Times Newspapers, Kaunda
could hire and fire senior staff, but Lonrho funded the newspaper. I was
fired by Kaunda over a story on the struggle in Zimbabwe. But his letter
said the reason was that "your performance continues to be inconsistent with
the philosophy and the spirit of the paper which must be the mouthpiece of
the party." I had joined The Times in 1969. Two years later, I was hauled
before Kaunda for writing in the Sunday Times that the government intended
to hold a referendum to turn the country into a one-party state. That had
been my first warning, apparently. The new editor was Vernon Mwaanga, the
former ambassador to the United Nations. He had succeeded Dunstan Kamana,
Kaunda's former press aide, virtually fired by Kaunda for not doing the
boss's bidding. He was later re-assigned to a sort of political Siberia -
ambassador to the Soviet Union. After being fired in 1975, I was reinstated
in 1977, Kaunda having admitted to Mtine he had made a mistake. Our
relations remained frosty until I left to return to Zimbabwe in 1980. I was
not fired from Zimpapers, where I became editor of the Sunday News in
Bulawayo before moving to Harare to become group foreign and features
editor. I resigned in frustration in 1990. (To be continued on Sunday)

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Daily News online edition

      Killer anti-rabies dosage claims fifty-five dogs in Chikomba

      Date: 16-Dec, 2004

      CHIKOMBA - Fifty-five dogs in Chikomba District of Mashonaland East
last week died after a veterinary dip tank supervisor administered an
anti-rabies dosage widely believed to have either expired or an overdose.

      Villagers told The Daily News Online this week that they had tried
without success to have the situation rectified. The anti-rabies dosages
were administered to dogs brought to Pokoteke dip tank in Njanja, in
Chikomba area.

      Masimba Mukuku, 48, a villager from Chimova village in Chief Mutengwa's
area said the situation remained bad, especially to fellow villagers without
the resources to buy drugs for their ailing dogs.

      "I lost my greyhound through the improper dosage," he said. "We do not
know exactly know how the dip tank supervisor could have administered that
poisonous drug. What is certain is that the drug was dangerous.

      "It only took us four days for the drug to work against the villagers.
Our dogs started vomiting and refusing to eat. As a result most of the
villagers have lost their valuable security and hunting pets.

      "Four of my puppies died alongside their mother after sucking the
poisoned milk. We have taken samples of some of the dead dogs for a proper
examination by veterinary officers at the Marondera veterinary provincial
offices. They are yet to advise us of what we have to do."

      Mukuku said most villagers relied on their dogs to scare away hyenas
during the night. In their village, marauding hyenas have constantly killed
goats and stray cows.

      Sebastian Rundofa, another villager in the area said he and other
villagers have tried to administer traditional herbs to attempt to save the
lives of the affected dogs with little success.

      "Those dogs which survived are miserable and we expect the veterinary
experts to have given us a report on the samples they took." he said.

      The most affected villages include Chimova, Rupatse, Magomo, and

      Simbarashe Choga, a technical superintendent in the department of
veterinary services responsible for vaccinations at their headquarters in
Harare, yesterday confirmed receiving the report but said he was not in a
position to know the status of the investigations.

      "Of course, that was a first in our history of vaccinations and we
will carry out investigations to establish how it all happened," he said. "I
will have to send this request for more details to our provincial offices in
Marondera. These dosages are done every year against rabies."

      Rabies kills. Infected dogs become hostile and once bitten, patients
also die unless they receive immediate treatment.

      Under normal circumstances, Choga said, dogs administered with the
dosage usually took less than a week before the drug is fully used in the
body. During that time, the dog's temperature rises and it develops a mild
fever that easily disappears before finally recovering.

      Efforts to get official comment from the provincial veterinary officer
for Mashonaland East under which Chikomba District falls were unsuccessful

      An official at the provincial headquarters, who refused to be
identified, said the provincial head, only identified as Doctor Tevera was
in Nyanga where he was attending a workshop on veterinary health services.

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Daily News online edition

      Health ministry, RBZ officials loot $40 billion fund

      Date: 16-Dec, 2004

      SENIOR Ministry of Health and Child Welfare and Reserve Bank of
Zimbabwe (RBZ) officials were yesterday implicated in the looting of a $40
billion fund initiated by the RBZ for malaria control in the country.

      According to documents shown to Daily News Online, the scandal
occurred between mid-October and early November this year. The scandal
involved non-existent service providers, RBZ and health officials who
allegedly connived to defraud the health ministry of the malaria control

      Senior health officials allegedly created non-existent service
providers and raised invoices against the Ministry of Health and Child
Welfare, claiming to have carried out some malaria control work like
spraying and awareness campaigns in vulnerable communities.

      The exposure of this scandal comes hardly a week after the police
arrested six RBZ officials for alleged fraud involving over $3 billion.

      President Robert Mugabe has launched an anti-corruption blitz that has
so far netted senior Zanu PF officials James Makamba, Chris Kuruneri, Philip
Chiyangwa, ENG directors and bank officials have been arrested while others
have fled Zimbabwe to the United Kingdom (UK) and South Africa.

      Government and banking sources yesterday told The Daily News Online
that the abused money was given to the Ministry of Health and Child Welfare
by the RBZ under the productive sector facility for malaria control
throughout the country.

      "Relevant authorities are investigating the circumstances leading to
the fraud at both the RBZ and the health ministry, including the banks
involved," the source said.

      "Those implicated would be punished. But what has become clear to the
authorities is that $240 million of the stolen money was siphoned through
Agribank by using an account held under the name of Navadel Investments. A
further $392 million was defrauded through Standard Chartered Bank through
an account held under the name of Predominant Satellite Systems."

      Under the money laundering scandal, the culprits, believed to be
senior RBZ officials in connivance with health officials, raised fake RTGS
(a new electronic transfer system introduced by the RBZ).

      "What was happening was that the officials who masterminded the
fraudulent activities got hold of Ministry of Health and Child Welfare RTGs
forms and authorised funds transfer," the source said.

      "They then put authentic signatures of senior health officials
vouching for the services provided. The fake health ministry money transfer
authorizations documents were then forwarded for processing to the RBZ which
in turn used the fake RTGS forms to authorise respective banks to authorise

      Commercial banks did not question documents allegedly raised by the
RBZ, believing them to be authentic and processed payments leading to the
massive scandal."

      The fraud was only unearthed by alert officials at Kingdom Commercial
Bank who raised an alarm and alerted the central bank.

      The alleged fraudsters who had transferred the $392 million to
Standard Chartered Bank then decided to further transfer $160 million to
Kingdom Bank to pay a bogus company identified in authoritative documents as
Delight Systems, whose only signatory (name provided) was supposed to

      One of the suspects was arrested by the police on Friday afternoon
while at Kingdom Bank where he had allegedly gone to withdraw some of the
looted funds.

      Senior sources at Kingdom Bank said after they learnt that the
signatory to that account was a known fraudster (name given), they launched
their investigations and subsequently established that the man had been
previously worked as a conduit of stolen funds in government and

      "We discovered that the suspect had worked for Megapak Zimbabwe in
Ruwa, a company that manufactures plastic products as a sales executive,"
the official said.

      "Our records clearly show that he defrauded Megapak of nearly $300
million through the company account with us. He is currently out on $5
million bail. What he then did was that he formed his own company called
Mega-Plastics and opened an account at Kingdom Bank, claiming it was a
subsidiary account of Megapak Zimbabwe."

      After establishing the character of the suspect, the Kingdom security
department issued an alert and froze his account and when he came to
withdraw $40 million out of the total $160 million transferred from Agribank
Commercial Bank, they detained him awaiting the police and RBZ officials.

      Investigating officials at Standard Bank, Agribank and Kingdom
estimate the total money that has been defrauded through similar means
around $28 billion, raising fears that the health ministry's malaria control
fight has been sabotaged by RBZ and Ministry of Health Child Welfare

      A second suspect was said to have been questioned by the police but it
was not immediately confirmed whether he was a government or RBZ official.
Assistant Commissioner Wayne Bvudzijena, the police spokesman yesterday
refused to comment on the matter.

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European Parliament

      Situation in Zimbabwe
      Joint motion for a resolution on Zimbabwe
      Doc.: B6-0212/2004, B6-0217/2004, B6-0219/2004, B6-0225/2004,
B6-0227/2004, B6-0230/2004, B6-0231/2004
      Debate/Vote: 16.12.2004

      In adopting a joint resolution by 76 votes in favour, 0 against with 1
abstention, MEPs insist that all political interference in the distribution
of international food aid be halted without delay, to prevent the Zanu-PF
government from using food as a political weapon. The House insists that
repressive legislation such as the Public Order and Security Act be repealed
and that the forthcoming elections in Zimbabwe be held in accordance with
the SADC principles and guidelines governing democratic elections, including
those agreed in Mauritius on 17 August 2004, with unimpeded access for
international observers and an end to intimidation of opposition supporters.
Parliament demands the immediate release of Roy Bennett MP and the cessation
of all violence and intimidation towards his family and employees.

      MEPs call upon Zimbabwe's neighbours and, in particular, President
Thabo Mbeki of South Africa, who recently addressed the European Parliament,
to undertake on behalf of the people of Zimbabwe to bring about change for
the better and ensure that the Zimbabwean Government fully cooperates with
SADC and the wider international community to guarantee free and fair
elections and a robust and timely international monitoring presence.
Parliament welcomes the steps taken by the African Union Commission on Human
and People's Rights to report on abuses in Zimbabwe, and stresses that the
AU must continue to monitor, and also act in regard to, the human rights,
civil rights and political situation in Zimbabwe and to keep up this process
of peer review throughout Africa. Finally, the House reiterates its demand
to the Council and Commission that loopholes in the EU's targeted sanctions
against the Mugabe regime be closed, and that the sanctions be rigorously
enforced. MEPs also request that the Council and Commission provide maximum
support for international efforts to ensure free and fair elections in
Zimbabwe, and in particular technical support to local, regional and
international observer missions.

      Press enquiries:
      Richard Freedman
      (Strasbourg) tel.(33-3) 881 73785
      (Brussels)  tel.(32-2) 28 41448
      e-mail :

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Zim invites chickens to come home to roost
          December 16 2004 at 03:52PM

      Harare - Zimbabwe will unconditionally take back all Zimbabweans who
fled the country in recent years to seek political asylum in Britain, state
media reported on Thursday.

      About 10 000 Zimbabweans had failed in applying for political refuge
in Britain and will be forcibly repatriated in the coming months, the
Harare-based The Herald reported.

      Britain announced a month ago that a blanket ban on enforced
deportations to Zimbabwe - introduced in 2002 - would end because of "clear
evidence that it had been exploited" by Zimbabweans and others posing as

      Justice Minister Patrick Chinamasa told parliament late on Wednesday
that any Zimbabwean sent back home from Britain would be welcomed.

      "We accept all our citizens, they are still Zimbabweans," Chinamasa
said in answer to a question by opposition Movement for Democratic Change
(MDC) lawmaker Job Sikhala.

      Many Zimbabweans, claiming political persecution, fled the southern
African country for Britain, Canada, the United States and South Africa in
the run-up to and after parliamentary elections in 2000.

      Chinamasa alleged: "The British now know these people were running
away from nothing, they were just economic refugees."

      "The chickens are coming home to roost. It's wrong to suggest that
they went there as victims of torture, but the truth is that they were
economic refugees," Chinamasa was quoted as saying in The Herald.

      Zimbabwe has been beset for years by an economic and political crisis,
which critics partly blame on President Robert Mugabe's controversial land
redistribution policy.

      Hundreds of Zimbabweans reportedly marched to 10 Downing Street and
the British parliament on Wednesday in protest at the pending removal of
some Zimbabweans in Britain.
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Demand for Tillage Services Soars

The Herald (Harare)

December 16, 2004
Posted to the web December 16, 2004

Daniel Muhau

MANY farmers have started or are now in the middle of preparations for the
2004/2005 farming season amid expectations of a favourable rainy season.

Demand for tillage services is increasing, especially when a significant
number of farmers had not started to plough their land citing the delay in
the onset of the rainy season.

This year's delayed onset had frightened many farmers after the initial
weather forecasts had suggested that the country might not receive enough

These fears and frustrations have been dispelled by the current wet spell.

What is more worrisome now is the possible obstacles likely to be posed by
inadequate ancillary equipment to assist the farmers in preparing their

As the land preparations intensify, some farmers and farmer organisations
across the country are raising concerns that the major supplier of tillage
services, the District Development Fund (DDF) might fail them due to its
ageing equipment which is retarding operations in most areas.

Farming organisations and most farmers in the country have raised concerns
about the shortage of supplementary equipment and the seemingly incessant
breakdown of tractors belonging to DDF, saying the situation calls for
Government and the private sector to come to their rescue.

The DDF is the key Government agency with the responsibility of providing
mechanical tillage services. It has a fleet of 773 tractors, 656 ploughs and
92 disc harrows.

However, since the beginning of the year, the Government agency has been
facing a number of challenges in carrying out its duties, especially the
lack of adequate funds to maintain existing equipment and buy new tractors
that has been attributed to the crippled services.

This season, the DDF had targeted about 128 200 hectares, but has already
indicated that this target might not be achieved if concerted efforts are
not put forward by the private sector and the Government to assist the

DDF director-general Mr James Jonga has already confirmed that the
continuous breakdown of equipment and of the fleet of tractors is hampering

"DDF has 773 serviceable tractors, but only 304 tractors were operational by
the end of November.

"The number of tractors and implements is fast going down due to minor but
costly breakdowns like worn out tyres and broken sensor shafts," Mr Jonga

He added that while such breakdowns are easy to fix, it would, however,
require at least $3,1 billion to purchase new tyres and tubes for DDF's old
tractors that need major repairs.

The implications of such a situation can be far reaching considering that
most newly resettled farmers depend on the provisions of DDF for tillage.

Zimbabwe needs about 35 000 tractors of various capacities to meet the
demand for farming machinery arising from the land reform programme, at
least in the next 10 years.

Meanwhile, there is still some hope that the French firm, Renault
Agriculture, which pledged to supply the country with 5 000 tractors, will
fulfil its promise so as to rescue farmers from the tillage plight. This
would boost production and enhance the drive towards reconstruction.

The need to come up with a lasting solution to the mechanisation predicament
in the agricultural sector was manifested in the National Budget in which
Acting Finance and Economic Development Minister Dr Herbert Murerwa proposed
a $40 billion allocation to the agricultural sector for both irrigation and

The thrust of the land reform programme is to forge the farming community
towards concentrating more on market-based tillage in order to increase the
country's food security and export capacity.

This drive is achievable through quasi-Government institutions such as the
Industrial Development Corporation.

Such institutions have been urged to take a lead towards agricultural
development by keeping on exploring and forging strategic partnerships with
external counterparts for greater value addition in agriculture.

Partnership is an indisputable and indispensable strategy for effective
farming. The need to partner Government with various local and external
institutions to boost agricultural production cannot be underplayed
especially where mechanisation is involved.

One area that partnership would also enhance production in the agricultural
sector is the systematic maintenance of road networks in communal areas that
had been highly under-utilised due to inaccessibility.

Infrastructural development in communal areas is a huge capital investment
that can go a long way in necessitating expansion and increase business
links for farmers.

Development partners need to work more closely especially in rural areas to
provide a safe and efficient road network, which acts as a catalyst for
economic development.

The Government has already made significant strides in bridging the gaps
posed by poor road networks.

Now that the land reform programme has been a success, discussions should
relate to a closer co-operation between Government and the private sector to
improve and support farming operations so as to boost overall production in
the agriculture sector.

Talk about the land reform programme has since ceased to be on how to take
back the land neither is it about reasons for land redistribution anymore.
This has been said and done with resounding success.

What constitutes debate now is mainly on the implementation of the policies
laid down on how to support farming from the grassroots level to the highest

In his 17th State of the Nation Address, President Mugabe emphasised that
agriculture development remains a top priority for Government as the country
forges ahead with the economic turnaround programme.

"I have adverted to agriculture as one of the leading sectors we must
continue to support in a deliberate way, both for reasons of food security
and overall export capacity.

"The past two years have seen massive investment in the sector, a trend
which will continue until we are satisfied that there is sufficient
mechanisation to drive it, adequate infrastructure to support it, sound
knowledge to guide it and good returns to expand it," said the President.

As efforts to rejuvenate the agricultural sector continue, it is expected
that various stakeholders play their part in curbing potential problems
posed by transitional challenges.

The recognition of the agricultural sector as the cornerstone of Zimbabwe's
agro-based and driven economy, manifested in the 2005 National Budget, calls
for closer partnership between Government and the private sector to
reconstruct Zimbabwe as Southern Africa's breadbasket.

It is at the backdrop of such realisations that agriculture is vital for the
country's economy that various sectors should put their heads together to
support Government initiatives and commitment to substantiate production by
resettled farmers.
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Parliament Approves 2005 Budget

The Herald (Harare)

December 16, 2004
Posted to the web December 16, 2004


PARLIAMENT yesterday approved 2005 budget estimates of expenditure for the
23 Government ministries and departments amounting to $28 363 606 415 000
without amendments.

Most of the estimates of expenditure were approved without debate.

The House approved estimates for the Ministries of Education, Sport and
Culture ($5,6 trillion) Defence ($3,043 trillion), Health and Child Welfare
($3 trillion), Office of the President and Cabinet ($849,2 billion),
Parli-ament of Zimbabwe ($63,8 billion), Vote of Credit ($40 billion) and
the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development ($2,4 trillion).

Also getting the nod were votes for the ministries of Public Service, Labour
and Social Welfare ($1,043 trillion), Water Resources and Infrastructural
Development ($272,8 billion) and Audit ($25,1 billion).

Contributing to debate on the Audit estimate of expenditure vote, Glen Norah
MP Ms Priscilla Misihairabwi-Mushonga (MDC) said the Department of the
Comptroller and Auditor-General should be structured in a way that enabled
it to perform its duties effectively.

She said the department should be removed from the civil service and
accorded the right to determine salaries for staff in order to compete for
skills with the private sector.

In response, Finance and Economic Development Deputy Minister Cde David
Chapfika said the issue of salary discrepancies was being addressed, as
Government was keen to retain experienced staff in the department.

Government, he said, had also put in place measures to ensure that there was
accountability of financial resources by public institutions.

Parliament also approved estimates of expenditure for the ministries of
Agriculture and Rural Development ($1,005 trillion), Small and Medium
Enterprise Development ($26 billion) and Energy and Power Development ($15,7

Budget estimates of expenditure for the ministries of Mines and Mining
Development ($81,3 billion) and Industry and International Trade ($55,049
billion) were also given the green light.

Contributing to debate on the estimates of expenditure for the Ministry of
Industry and International Trade, Harare North MP Ms Trudy Stevenson (MDC)
said the money allocated was not enough as the ministry had the key
responsibility of stimulating the economy through trade promotion.

Industry and International Trade Deputy Minister Cde Kenneth Manyonda agreed
the vote allocated to his ministry was indeed far from adequate.

The ministry, he said, had deployed six trade attaches to various countries
and was planning to deploy 10 more next year.
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Zimbabwe Daily Mirror

Fire chiefs: MDC

Clemence Manyukwe
issue date :2004-Dec-16

THE opposition MDC wants chiefs appointed by President Mugabe into
Parliament ejected, arguing they add no value to deliberations in the august
MDC chief whip Innocent Gonese yesterday described the current electoral
reforms as piecemeal because they did not include constitutional amendments
to scrap away provisions allowing 30 members of Parliament, including 10
chiefs, to be directly appointed into Parliament by the President.
"Chiefs must not sit in Parliament. They do their work in the rural areas.
If they want chiefs they must have upper and lower chambers where they can
be on their own," said Gonese in an interview with The Daily Mirror.
Ten chiefs are guaranteed seats in the House in terms of Section 38 of the
Constitution of Zimbabwe. The constitution, however, does not stipulate that
the chiefs have to be neutral, and the President, in his prerogative, will
naturally appoint chiefs who tow his party line.
Apparently, the MDC is becoming frustrated with the chiefs, who are
generally on the ruling party's side and have recently had their perks
improved by the government, including the provision of motor vehicles at
give away prices and the granting of powers to impose fines of up to $100
million against offenders in their jurisdiction.
The chiefs are now also allowed to sanction meetings, which take place in
their areas.
The MDC sees this as a ploy to make the chiefs push their subjects to vote
for Zanu PF in any elections and has accused them of blocking it from making
in-roads to capture rural votes.
In another incident, jailed Chimanimani legislator Roy Bennett, in his court
papers, said the Parliamentary Privileges Committee-that recommended his
incarceration was not properly constituted - alleging that its fifth member,
Chief Jonathan Mangwende, who is supposed to be neutral - was a member of
the ruling party.
Other members of the committee included Public Service, Labour and Social
Welfare Minister Paul Mangwana (Zanu PF), now vice president Joyce Mujuru
(Zanu PF), Welshman Ncube (MDC) and Tendai Biti (MDC).
Bennett said Mangwende, as evidenced by his voting patterns in the House,
was towing the ruling party line, a charge denied by the Speaker of
Parliament, Emmerson Mnangagwa.
Last month, another MDC legislator, Esaph Mdlongwa of Pumula Luveve,
attacked chiefs for not "being knowledgeable" about Parliamentary issues,
after ruling party members walked out of Parliament when the House was
debating a motion condemning government's deportation of a delegation from
the Congress of South African Trade Unions.
"There are six chiefs who are seated and they cannot debate on anything. You
leave them here and yet they are not knowledgeable about these issues. They
must go out and deal with traditional issues. They should not be here,"
Mdlongwa said, before being asked to withdraw the statement after Mangwende
Joram Gumbo, the ruling party's chief whip, blasted the MDC for its position
on the country's traditional leaders.
He said it was absurd to say chiefs were not knowledgeable when they
presided over customary courts in areas of their jurisdiction.
" It is an insult for the MDC to talk like that. Handizive kuti vanoda
kupenga vachienda kupi? (I don't know how far they want to go with their
madness.) As we stand now, there is no way we can avoid traditional leaders,
as they are a special area," said Gumbo.
One of the chiefs, Fortune Charumbira, is the Deputy Minister of Local
Government, Public Works and National Housing in the present government.
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Zimbabwe Daily Mirror

Chinotimba storms Herald House

The Daily Mirror Reporter
issue date :2004-Dec-16

WAR Veterans leader, Joseph Chinotimba stormed Herald House, Harare, on
Tuesday demanding that the State-controlled media writes a story distancing
him from the "villainous" Tsholotsho meeting allegedly convened by
Information Minister, Jonathan Moyo to "overthrow" President Robert Mugabe's
lieutenants in the presidium.
Herald House is the Zimbabwe Newspapers Group headquarters.
Chinotimba's actions came after The Daily Mirror published a story saying a
vote of no confidence had been passed against him and former deputy Minister
of Local Government, Public Works and National Housing Tony Gara by Harare
Provincial Coordinating Committee over the Tsholotsho saga.
Gara confirmed a vote of no confidence had been passed against the two, but
complained that although Chinotimba had openly confessed that he attended
the infamous meeting, he was not there.
Yesterday, Chinotimba said of his visit to Herald House: " I did not storm
the Herald House. I just went to tell them to write the story. I wanted them
to write that I was not under suspension because I did not receive any
official communication. Maybe it's Gara who was suspended. I am not Gara,"
Chinotimba said.
Herald News Editor, Itai Musengeyi said he did not have the details.
 "I came in the afternoon and I did not see him. May be he came in the
morning," he said.
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Zimbabwe Daily Mirror

Compulsory military training proposed

The Daily Mirror Reporter
issue date :2004-Dec-16

A PARLIAMENTARY Portfolio Committee has recommended the conscription of
every Zimbabwean into the national army, a situation reminiscent of the
colonial era when all able-bodied citizens were required by law to undergo
military training - dubbed call up.
The report by the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Defence and Home
Affairs on the defence ministry's 2005 budget estimates was presented in
Parliament yesterday by the committee chairman Saviour Kasukuwere, also MP
for Mt Darwin (Zanu PF).
Treasury allocated the ministry $3 trillion, which represents 13,5 percent
of the national budget.
"The Zimbabwe Defence Forces should establish a National Reservist Policy
whereby every Zimbabwean citizen working in industry, commerce and
government are occasionally called up to obtain military training. This can
help in the reduction of costs which are related to rations, uniforms and
medical services," Kasukuwere said.
 He said it was clear the ministry had been getting the "lion's share" in
allocations over the years but "there still remain gaps which need to be
filled up" so that the country's "sovereignty and integrity are not
Kasukuwere's report also revealed a sorry state of affairs in the Zimbabwe
Republic Police (ZRP), which falls under the Ministry of Home Affairs. The
internal department was allocated $2 485 022 754 000 representing
11,03percent of the $28 trillion budget.
"As it stands there is overcrowding in police camps. Treasury should clearly
commit itself to specific projects for the ZRP to avert a time bomb'"
Kasukuwere observed  without giving figures.
"Your committee is concerned by the fact that about 60 percent of the
country's police stations were inherited from the colonial regime. The CID
headquarters and Forensic Science needs to be completed to reduce congestion
at the current offices," said Kasukuwere.
He said treasury had promised to give the police force $300 billion for the
purchase of 2 000 land cruisers in rural areas, but had not honoured that
side of the bargain in the budget.
On the Registrar General's Office, Kasukuwere said the office introduced new
identity cards because the department's cameras were now obsolete, as
foreign manufacturers were no longer making the films required.
"Your Committee noted that the RG was introducing a new identity card which
requires a huge capital budget instead of first of all working flat out to
clear the queues which have become an eyesore at Makombe Building. The
queues are not acceptable," declared Kasukuwere.
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Zimbabwe Daily Mirror

Minister accused of fanning violence

The Daily Mirror Reporter
issue date :2004-Dec-16

THE Minister of Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare, Paul Mangwana,
has been accused of fanning violence against supporters of his rivals in
Kadoma East, ahead of Zanu PF's primary elections to choose a candidate to
stand in next year's parliamentary elections. Mangwana, who is the incumbent
Member of Parliament and is member of the party's central committee, is
alleged to have hired a group of people to assault party officials in the
constituency early this month.

The officials, who were accused of siding with Mangwana's chief rival former
Zupco boss Bright Matonga, were on December 1 accrediting delegates to the
recent Zanu PF congress when the assailants attacked them.
Matonga has publicly declared his interest to stand in the constituency
after resigning from the public transporter.
According to Zanu PF Kadoma East district coordinating committee (DCC)
secretary, Onward Chikonamombe, violence erupted at the ruling party's
offices in Kadoma.
Chikonamombe alleged that a gang of people, at the behest of Mangwana,
manhandled him and another party official in the district.
"They accused us of plotting the downfall of Minister Mangwana when we
recently carried out a district restructuring exercise," he said.
Chikonamombe also accused Mangwana's supporters of abducting Zanu PF Kadoma
East political commissar, Cain Mushauri.
He said the assailants that assaulted him and Mushauri were ferried to the
party's offices in Kadoma by lorries belonging to a local businessman (name
supplied) at the request of Mangwana.
Efforts to get a comment from the businessman were fruitless yesterday.
Mushauri confirmed that he was abducted and assaulted by people he alleged
were sent by Mangwana.
"They assaulted me before they drove me to Chegutu where they said Minister
Mangwana wanted to see me," Mushauri alleged. "On our arrival in Chegutu,
Mangwana phoned his driver demanding to talk to me. I told him I had nothing
to discuss with him and that I had done nothing wrong to be abducted,"
related Mushauri.
He said they then waited for Mangwana at Chegutu Hotel.
"When the minister arrived, we had a heated argument, as I sought an
explanation as to why I had been abducted," Mushauri said.
Contacted for comment, Mangwana said being a legislator did not make him
accountable for the behaviour of each and every member of his constituency.
"I don't think I own anyone in Kadoma East. It is only the behaviour of my
three kids that I can account for, not of every Zimbabwean just because they
are in my constituency," Mangwana said.
He denied any involvement in the violence that took place on December 1.
Mangwana said he only knew of demonstrations that took place in his
constituency over party cards.
"The only incident that took place were demonstrations in Kadoma town by
some members over party cards and I was called by the police to resolve the
case, which I did," he added.
He accused this newspaper of fabricating falsehoods about him and threatened
to take action against it at "the appropriate time".
Mashonaland West ruling party chairman Philip Chiyangwa was evasive when
asked to comment.
Chiyangwa said he had heard that the matter had been taken to higher offices
and he had nothing to do with it.
"But as the chairman of this province, the aggrieved parties have not made a
formal report to me and as a result l do not know exactly what transpired.
Had l got a formal complaint, l would have investigated the case and come up
with a judgment."
Zanu PF spokesperson Nathan Shamuyarira said the matter had not yet reached
his office, but called upon members of his party to desist from any forms of
"We have been telling people all along that we do not want violence. This
was made clear to everyone and I am surprised to hear about the incident. We
do not want any violence, especially amongst members of the same party," he
Kadoma police confirmed the intra-party violence, but referred further
questions to Police General Headquarters in Harare.
"There were incidents of political violence recently, but you are a stranger
to me and I cannot give you any details about it. Contact Mandipaka or
Bvudzijena, they are both aware of it," a police officer who identified
himself as Moyo said.
Police spokesman Oliver Mandipaka said he had not received any reports of
political violence from Kadoma East.
Chief Nyika of Mhondoro-Ngezi last month warned Mangwana and Matonga to
restrain their supporters from engaging in violence.
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Zimbabwe Daily Mirror

RBZ investigator jailed for receiving $32 million bribe

Court Reporter
issue date :2004-Dec-16

A RESERVE Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) employee has been sentenced to five years
in prison for receiving a bribe of $32 million from a director of a company
that he was supposed to probe for irregularities in his business dealings.
Edward Pedzai Samakomva (36) of Mabelreign, an investigator with the central
bank pleaded not guilty to charges of extortion or alternatively breaching
the Prevention of Corruption Act, but was convicted by regional magistrate
Virginia Sithole.
However, he was cleared of extortion but found guilty on the alternative
charge of corruption and will spend an effective four years in prison after
one year was suspended.
After considering mitigatory circumstances that losing his job in hard
economic times was in itself ample punishment, Sithole said: "Accused abused
his position of trust. The offence comes at a time when the RBZ is (trying)
to bring sanity in the financial sector and the economy at large. Samakomva
benefited from the offence and from the circumstances of this case. It is
the court's view that only a custodial sentence is called for."
Prosecutor Venrandah Munyoro said some time in March this year, Samakomva
was assigned to investigate Banks Trading (Pvt) Limited, a company owned by
Allan Banks, for dealing in foreign currency, conducting illegal money
transfer business and asset management activities.
Acting on information and accompanied by a Dhlakama, they proceeded to the
firm's premises in Willowvale and carried out some investigations, upon
which they stumbled on documents which indicated that Banks had externalised
72 000 British pounds.
Banks was invited to the RBZ offices the following day and on questioning
admitted to committing an offence and pleaded with the authorities at the
bank that he would repatriate the funds.
Members of CID Fraud were called in and Banks was told that he was to be
detained but the police later left as the matter was to be dealt with
Escorting Banks from RBZ, Samakomva showed him a fax that could get him
Later, Samakomva phoned Lewis Chibikira of Banks Trading and demanded $100
million but was paid $10 million in two batches.
He was paid another $20 million and a further $2 million on assurance that
he would destroy the incriminating fax but kept on pestering Banks.
Disgruntled by his continued demands for more money, Banks made an
appointment with RBZ governor Gideon Gono and reported the matter, which led
to Samakomva's arrest in April.
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deutche weller

      Opinion: Presidential Plain Language

     During his 10-day trip to Africa that ends Thursday, German President
Horst Köhler lobbied for the southern continent while also criticizing
shortcomings. DW's Ute Schaeffer accompanied him and reviewed the visit.

            Just before the end of his first journey to Africa as German
president, Köhler made the case for greater African involvement in
international institutions during a speech before the African Union in
Ethiopia's capital Addis Ababa.

            In the same speech, however, the former head of the
International Monetary Fund also pointed to serious problems faced by many
African states and denounced those profiting from armed conflicts.

            Köhler is convinced that it's important to use plain language in
Africa and he certainly did during his trip, which also took him to Sierra
Leone, Benin and Djibouti.

            Some diplomats might have been petrified with horror when Köhler
reminded Benin's President Mathieu Kerekou of the upcoming Anti-Corruption
Day and added that the latter's country still had a lot to do to combat
corruption. And during a meeting with tribal chiefs, the German president
talked about the continuing practice of mutilating female genitalia.

            Wars and failed reforms

          Wherever he went, Köhler talked straight and issued concrete
political demands: Africans should stop trying to find reasons for wars and
conflicts outside their own borders. Too many wars still originate from
within Africa, too many states continue to ruin themselves, he said, adding
that many reforms are stuck and countries fail to move ahead.

            Africans have to start addressing their own problems, otherwise
donor countries would start wondering what they are spending their money on.
Africa cannot avoid competition and has to show more responsibility, Köhler

            Plain language. But that's necessary as even in countries like
Benin and Ethiopia -- which are largely seen as success stories of
democratization -- development aid is not just used to combat poverty but
also ends up in the pockets of corrupt political elites. Köhler views
himself as a friend of Africa and believes that friendship does not exclude

            Europe's responsibility

            But he holds Europeans responsible as well since Africa will
continue to be reliant on the support of the global community. Donor
countries have to focus on living up to their promise of raising development
aid to 0.7 percent of gross domestic product (GDP) by 2015, Köhler said,
also pointing the finger at his own country, which only spends 0.28 percent
of GDP so far.

            Trade barriers and subsidies that distort the global exchange of
services and goods should be dismantled in order to make African products
competitive, the German president demanded.

            Köhler spent a lot of time talking to people during his trip,
and he tried to come into contact with people outside the political arena.
He spoke with representatives of non-governmental organizations, artists and
students, with women that have set up their own businesses with the help of
micro credits, with people that greeted him on the streets.

            Raising awareness

            He listened, asked questions and encouraged debates, pushing his
political goal to create a true partnership between equal African and
European partners.

            "Your president listens to people," said several of his
astonished conversation partners -- obviously used to a different approach
by their own heads of state.

          Köhler's trip was meant to honor reform-oriented governments in
Sierra Leone, Benin and Ethiopia, but the president also wanted to increase
Africa's visibility in Germany. He intends to continue doing so as he's
announced that he plans to make a longer trip to Africa during each year in

            Germans should not view Africa as a continent that has no effect
on their lives, according to Köhle. Weak and failed states such as Ivory
Coast and Zimbabwe pose risks for Europe. Terror cells operating in Africa,
especially around the Horn of Africa, do so as well. With his first major
foreign trip, Köhler has shown that Africa's well-being is something that
others should be concerned about.

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Zim farmers due in Nigeria
16/12/2004 12:05  - (SA)

Lagos - A team of white Zimbabwean farmers fleeing President Robert Mugabe's
controversial programme of land reform is scheduled to arrive in Nigeria on
Wednesday night to discuss "technical details" of farmland allocated to
them, an official said.

"Four technicians among the 15 Zimbabwean farmers will arrive at Lagos
international airport tonight and will stay around till December 23 after
which they will go for Christmas and New Year celebrations," said the
official, who requested anonymity.

Farmland 'allocated'

Authorities in Nigeria's central Kwara State have allocated farmland to the
15 farmers and the team arriving on Wednesday will "conclude demarcation" of
the allocations after a survey has been carried out, he said.

Officials said that the 15 Zimbabweans who visited the region earlier this
year struck property leasing deals with officials in the state.

The government has allocated 1 000ha of farmland to each of the "pioneer
farmers," officials said.

The Zimbabweans will carry out "irrigation farming and not conventional
farming. This allows them to begin their farming anytime they are ready," a
government spokesman told AFP last week.

In July, a spokesperson for the farmers, Alan Jack, told AFP that they had
each reached a deal with the government to take separate 25-year leases on
thousand-hectare parcels of fertile land.

"We are very excited about Nigeria and about being granted a pioneer status.
The people are very friendly," he said.

Nigeria 'good for farming'

"Nigeria is very good for farming, compared to Zimbabwe where land is
forcefully taken from the whites and given to the blacks. I am a victim of
President Mugabe's policy," he said.

The 15 will farm maize, rice, cassava, dairy cattle, poultry and vegetables.

Thousands of white Zimbabweans, the descendants of colonial-era European
settlers, have been driven from their farms since 2000 when Mugabe
instituted a policy of seizing and redistributing prime agricultural land to
poor black people.

Nigerian leaders have promised that their new guests will be able to make a
good living and that the development that their large-scale farms will bring
to rural Nigeria's peasant economy will help the population as a whole.

Edited by Tori Foxcroft

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