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Zim court makes decision on land grab ruling

Mail and Guardian

                  Harare, Zimbabwe

                  30 November 2005 02:25

                        A Zimbabwe court has handed down its first decision
based on a recent constitutional amendment banning white farmers from
legally challenging land grabs, state media said on Wednesday.

                        A high court in Zimbabwe has allowed three black
farmers back onto a farm from which they had been evicted by the white
owners, overturning its earlier decision.

                        The original judgement had been used by the white
farm owners to evict the three black occupiers, but now Justice Tendai
Uchena has overturned this judgement handed down by a fellow judge, Bharat

                        "Uchena clearly stated that resettled people can no
longer be evicted as appeared to have been sanctioned by Justice Patel," the
state-owned daily The Herald reported.

                        "In the event of any inconsistencies between this
order and any other previous orders in this case, this order shall prevail
over any such orders," Uchena was quoted as saying.

                        Zimbabwe's Parliament, dominated by President Robert
Mugabe's deputies, in August approved a constitutional amendment on state
ownership of land, effectively preventing farmers from taking legal

                        About 4 000 cases by white farmers challenging the
seizure of their properties were pending in the country's courts. But the
cases are soon expected to be scrapped off the court rolls.

                        Zimbabwe's land reforms which began often violently
in 2000 after the rejection in a referendum of a government-sponsored draft
Constitution, have seen about 4 000 white farmers lose their properties.

                        The land has been redistributed to landless farmers
in a move that the government has said is designed to correct imbalances
created by colonial rule, when the majority of prime farmland was owned by
about 4 500 white farmers. - Sapa-AFP

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Zimbabwean president appoints new ministers

People's Daily

      Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe has appointed two ministers and six
non-constituency member of parliament, according to the Ministry Information
and Publicity.

      Sithembiso Nyoni was re-appointed minister of Small and Medium Scale
Enterprises Development following her appointment as non- constituency
member of parliament.

      She replaces deputy speaker of parliament Edna Madzonwe as non-
constituency member of parliament.

      Madzonwe is tipped to land the post of president of the Senate in
polls to be held on Wednesday when the new Senators will be sworn in.

      Former minister of Industry and International Trade Samuel Mumbengewi
has been appointed minister of State for Indigenization and Empowerment,
replacing the late national hero Retired Air Chief Marshal Josiah
Tungamirai, who died in August this year.

      Mumbengegwi is the Senator-elect for Chivi-Mwenezi following his
victory in the weekend elections.

      The six non-constituency Senators are Kantibhai Patel, Mrs. Sheila
Chipo Mahere, Peter Haritos, Aguy Clement Georgias, Tazvitya Jonathan
Mapfumo and Joshua Teke Malinga.

      The six together with their counterparts who were elected in the
just-ended Senate elections will be sworn in on Wednesday.

      Source: Xinhua

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Senators sworn in

Daily Mirror, Zimbabwe

The Daily Mirror Reporter
issue date :2005-Dec-01

THE country's 66 Senators were yesterday sworn in at a ceremony where former
deputy speaker of the lower chamber Edna Madzongwe made history by becoming
Zimbabwe's first female President of the Senate.
The ruling party's Insiza Senator, Naison Ndlovu was also elected,
unopposed, as the vice president of the Senate.
All the 66 Senators, those appointed by President Robert Mugabe, 10 chiefs
and 24 elected and 19 Zanu PF members who waltzed into the Upper House
unopposed as well as 7 elected on an MDC ticket turned up for the ceremony.
In her speech, Madzongwe said her nomination and the inclusion of women in
the upper chamber showed government's commitment to creating a "new
 Zimbabwe" of gender equality.
She added that in her new post she would strive to pursue and achieve the
goals of the country's liberators.
The Senate President said the upper chamber and the lower house of assembly
were of equal importance.
"The lower chamber and upper chamber are not competing, they are
complementary. The challenge is to harness our collective strength,''  she
Madzongwe was nominated by Rushinga Mt Darwin South  Senator Diamond Mumvuri
and seconded by non-constituency Senator Khantibal Patel.
Mumvuri said Madzongwe was the most experienced person for the post.
"After the 1995 general elections, Honourable Madzongwe was elected Deputy
Speaker was elected deputy Speaker of the House of Assembly and chairperson
of committee's thereby becoming the first woman ever to become a Presiding
officer of Parliament in the history of the country," he said.
Ndlovu the first black Bulawayo mayor and Insiza senator was nominated by
Tracy Mutinhiri (Marondera Seke Senator) and seconded by firebrand
politician and Masvingo Senator Dzikamai Mavhaire.

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Deputy Information Minister booted off farm in Banket

      By Tererai Karimakwenda
      30 November 2005

      The website reports that the deputy Information
Minister Bright Matonga was booted off his Mupandaguta farm in Banket. The
property is reported to be the 2nd one he had invaded in Mashonaland West in
just over a month. New Zimbabwe said Matonga had been given an offer letter
to occupy Chigwell Estate in Chegutu, if he agreed to leave Mupandaguta the
same month. But as the story goes, Matonga remained there longer, and
repeatedly ignored lands officers' orders to vacate the farm. In the end,
they brought in the police to help. Government officials have been evicting
commercial white farmers illegally with impunity, and lands officials have
been making decisions about farms in their jurisdiction, without following
guidelines laid out by the law. New says Matonga went on a
10-minute tirade when they asked him for comment, and claimed he had access
to the editor's phone calls and e-mails exchanged with Zimbabwean
politicians and journalists. He allegedly said: "The farm story is very
silly. It's a rubbish story, even if I had 15 farms what has that got to do
with you?"How many farms government officials have stolen is every
Zimbabwean's business. They are the ones starving due to the food shortages
caused by cronies like Matonga who steal farms and destroy agriculture. He
needs to make it clear whether any farm workers lost their jobs when he took
over these properties, and whether he has continued to grow food for the
nation. "What has it got to do with you " is the typical ZANU-PF attitude
that always comes up when these greedy officials are asked to explain their

      SW Radio Africa Zimbabwe news

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Tortured lawyer argues case at African Commission

      By Lance Guma
      30 November 2005

      A lawyer who was tortured in police cells, Gabriel Shumba, argued his
case against the Zimbabwean government at the African Union on Wednesday.
The Commission on Human and Peoples Rights is currently sitting in the
Gambia to hear various cases from across Africa. The move has forced the
Director of Public Prosecutions Loise Matandamoyo and two other government
lawyers to travel to Banjul the capital of Gambia in order to put up a
defence. Shumba was arrested by police in January 2003 and tortured for
three days only to be released on bail five days later. He told the
commission that torture on the African continent was indefensible and that
he had every right to pursue a remedy to his torture. Government is arguing
amongst other things Shumba's evidence is inadmissible, he has not exhausted
all the legal options in Zimbabwe and that he is actually a fugitive from
the law. Shumba scoffed at the claims saying when he travelled out of the
country to Canada, the police issued him with a clearance letter and this
would not have been possible if he was wanted. The government has not denied
Shumba was tortured. A fact-finding mission to Zimbabwe by the same
commission in 2003 cites Shumba's torture case as one of the most serious
violations to occur in the country to date. Shumba told the commission that
torture is an offence, which is not recognised under Zimbabwean law and that
was why he had brought the issue to the commission. From Gambia, Shumba told
Newsreel most of the questions by the African Commissioners during the
hearing were directed at the government lawyers and this had made him
confident they would rule in his favour. A decision is expected in a few

      SW Radio Africa Zimbabwe news

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University students petition European Union to ban Vice Chancellor

      By Lance Guma
      30 November 2005

      The suspended student leadership at the University of Zimbabwe has
petitioned the European Union to impose a travel ban on the Vice Chancellor,
Professor Levi Nyagura. The petition was signed by all 6 members of the
Students Executive Council (SEC) and submitted to British Prime Minister,
Tony Blair who is the current Chairman of the European Union. They cite
Nyagura as the chief henchman of the Mugabe regime who is responsible for
victimising students at the University. The Vice Chancellor has defied a
High Court order quashing the suspension of student leaders by re-suspending
them. Secretary General Mfundo Mlilo told Newsreel they want Nyagura to be
placed on targeted sanctions by all European countries to make the point he
is an extension of the current regime. The petition documents the recent
harassment and victimization of students taking place. Students have been
arrested, detained and tortured in police cells on trumped up charges before
getting released without charge. A copy of the petition has been sent to the
SADC Chairman, Minister of Higher Education, UN Secretary General and
foreign diplomatic missions in the country.

      SW Radio Africa Zimbabwe news

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More prison officers deserting over salaries and work conditions

      By Tererai Karimakwenda
      30 November 2005

      Prison officers in Zimbabwe, not happy with their salaries and tired
of being used to carry out political assignments, are reported to be
deserting the prison services and relocating secretly. Our correspondent
Simon Muchemwa reports that at least 15 officers left their jobs in the last
month alone, and many did not bother to go through the proper procedures of
resigning. Shortages of food, fuel and other necessary resources have made
working conditions unbearable, but the politicisation of their duties is
proving to be the most difficult for many officers. Muchemwa says the
government was testing their loyalty by sending them to assault or
intimidate opposition supporters. Failure or hesitation was considered a
sign of disloyalty to the ruling party. It usually led to being transferred
to some remote area, or being demoted or being fired. The other problem has
been that private catering companies hired to service branches of government
are now hesitant to renew their contracts. The government is notorious for
not paying its bills on time, and the ever-rising inflation has caused
problems with suppliers. Prices are constantly changing while the terms of
some contracts remain the same. The prison system is not the only one hit by
low morale and desertions over salary and work conditions. The army has also
suffered, with many soldiers reportedly sent home due to food shortages

      SW Radio Africa Zimbabwe news

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Australian sanctions list

      By Tichaona Sibanda
      30 November 2005

      Australia has added a further 127 names to a list of people in the
Zimbabwe government barred from doing business with Australian firms. News
agency reports said the Reserve Bank of Australia issued a revised list of
Zimbabwean ministers, headed by Robert Mugabe, with whom Australian firms
and individuals are banned from doing business. The statement from the bank
read in part; "At the direction of the Australian government, the Reserve
Bank has expanded the list of individuals restricted by these financial
sanctions to include new members of, and persons associated with, the
government of Zimbabwe. All transactions involving the transfer of funds or
payments to, by the order of, or on behalf of such persons are prohibited."
It is believed many Zanu (PF) officials have children attending university
in Australia. Their fees were paid using the Reserve Bank facility. Sources
told us Gideon Gono has 3 children in Melbourne - twin daughters named,
Pride and Praise and a son named Passion. The Australian sanctions list is
interesting in that it includes several prominent white business people who
are in business with Zanu PF individuals. One notable exception is Charles
Davey, the father of Chelsy, Prince Harry's girlfriend, who is in business
with MP Webster Shamu. Notable inclusions are Eric Bloch who is an advisor
to Reserve bank governor Gideon Gono. Others on the list are Zed Koudanaris
and Tom Brown, directors of Innscor, a listed company on the Zimbabwe Stock
Exchange. Their link is Ray Kaukonde who owns shares in Innscor and is also
on its board. Ian Kind the Chief Executive Officer of National Foods is on
the list as Kaukonde is on the company's board of directors.

      SW Radio Africa Zimbabwe news

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Zimbabwe Senate Election


      30 November 2005

Independent observers in Zimbabwe say that fewer than thirty percent of
those eligible voted in elections for the new senate. This was a record low
turnout and confirms the fact that many Zimbabweans regard the new senate
as, at best, an irrelevance, and more likely as a wasteful extravagance that
the country can ill afford.

Morgan Tsvangirai, President of Zimbabwe's opposition Movement for
Democratic Change party, had called for his followers to boycott "this
meaningless election." Under the circumstances, it is no surprise that the
ruling ZANU-PF party has won twenty-five of thirty-one seats that were

The senate was created in August by the passage of a controversial
constitutional amendment that gives the senate little real power and
mandates that the body will go out of existence in 2010. Critics say that
President Mugabe created the Senate as a source of jobs for ZANU-PF cronies.

Whether or not that is true, the elections will do little or nothing to
address Zimbabwe's enormous problems. More than seventy percent of
Zimbabweans cannot find employment in the ever-contracting economy.
Inflation exceeds three-hundred percent. More than four million people are
at risk of hunger. Government mismanagement has led to severe shortages of
fuel and foreign exchange. The new senate may provide jobs for politicians,
but it will not put food on tables or bring wages into alignment with

The U.S. has called on the government to restore the rule of law and work to
improve conditions for the people of Zimbabwe. Zimbabwe needs sensible
economic policies, accountable government, and a real dialogue between the
government and all segments of society in order to find solutions to the
crises that are wrecking the country.

Time is running out. The current planting season has gotten off to a
horrible start, with shortages of fertilizer and other essential inputs.
Economic mismanagement has rocked every productive sector, leaving the
entire population with scarcer resources to buy food even if it is
available. Food shortages and hunger will be even worse next year if quick
action isn't taken. President George W. Bush has commented on the situation:

"We are concerned about a leadership that does not adhere to democratic
principles, and obviously concerned about a country that was able to, for
example, feed herself, now has to import food as an example of the
consequences of not adhering to democratic principles."

"The world needs to speak with a common voice," says Mr. Bush, "in insisting
that the principles of democracy are adhered to by the ruling party in

The preceding was an editorial reflecting the views of the United States

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Zimbabwe govt seeks to increase HIV/AIDS treatment


      Wed Nov 30, 2005 2:48 PM GMT

HARARE (Reuters) - Zimbabwe is hopeful that international donors will
provide cash to increase the number of HIV/AIDS patients on life prolonging
anti-retroviral (ARV) drugs, Health Minister David Parirenyatwa said on

Health officials, speaking on the eve of World AIDS Day, said an estimated
21,000 people were on ARVs in the country while latest figures showed that
1.61 million are living with


A majority of the patients are being treated in government hospitals where
prices are cheaper, the officials said.

"We hope that we will get more people, the donors especially, to assist in
putting more people on ARVs," Parirenyatwa said at the launch of the
national HIV/AIDS estimates for 2005.

"I am hoping that come next year, with the global fund money coming through,
we should have more people on treatment," he said but offered no further

The Geneva-based Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria
attracts, manages and disburses cash to fight the diseases - top killers in

The health officials said some 289,000 people were in need of ARVs in the
southern African country and although a local company had started
manufacturing generic ARVs, this was not enough to meet demand by HIV/AIDS

Zimbabwe's HIV infection rate has fallen to around 20 percent of the
population from 25 percent five years ago, apparently due to more condom use
and fewer sex partners, a rare piece of encouraging news for a country
battling its worst economic and political crisis since independence in 1980.

But Zimbabwe, with a population of some 12.5 million, still has among the
world's highest HIV prevalence rates.

Zimbabwe is expected to record 134,993 new HIV infections and 142,330 AIDS
cases by the end of this year while another 139,950 people are expected to
die from the disease. Some 57 percent of infections and deaths are women.

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ICC still not prepared to intervene in Zimbabwe


      Wed Nov 30, 2005 2:13 PM GMT

LAHORE, Nov 30 (Reuters) - The International Cricket Council (ICC) has said
it is saddened by the state of Zimbabwean cricket but is still not prepared
to get involved in internal matters.

"I am extremely saddened for the cricketers and people of Zimbabwe," ICC
chief executive Malcolm Speed told a news conference on Wednesday.

"There has been disintegration in Zimbabwe cricket. We are getting daily
reports on the situation there but the policy of the ICC board remains we
don't get involved in internal matters unless invited to do so by the
cricket administrators of that country."

Zimbabwe captain Tatenda Taibu quit recently, warning that cricket in his
country would die unless urgent changes were made to the way the game is

Taibu claimed threats had been made to his life and his family after he,
other leading players and six provincial bodies had called on Zimbabwe
Cricket Union chairman Peter Chingoka to resign.

Zimbabwe cricket has been in crisis since Heath Streak was sacked as team
captain for criticising selection policy in April 2004.

It led to a boycott of international cricket by more than a dozen white
players, some of whom did not return to the fold even after Streak ended his
dispute in February.

The team's results have been poor, leading to the sacking of coach Phil
Simmons in August.

Speed said it was a difficult decision for the ICC member countries whether
to get involved in the internal affairs of a member country.

"This issue will come up next when Zimbabwe is to play test or international
cricket. I am sure the board will discuss the matter at its next meeting,"
he added.

Zimbabwe are due to tour West Indies in April-May and play two tests and
five one-day internationals.

The ICC suspended Zimbabwe from playing test cricket last year following the
Streak affair.

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AirZim in forex controversy

Daily Mirror, Zimbabwe

Clemence Manyukwe
issue date :2005-Dec-01

NATIONAL air carrier - Air Zimbabwe - has reportedly lost billions of
dollars by paying its pilots in foreign currency for over a year.
Well-informed sources at the troubled airline say the pilots, numbering 48,
are currently being paid $US8 000 per month dating back more than a year.
They questioned that arrangement at a time the airline is failing to turn
around its fortunes due to a serious lack of spare parts and inadequate fuel
caused by inadequate forex reserves.
"Each pilot is being paid US8 000 American dollars every month. All the
foreign currency was not going into the bank as required as they (pilots)
are given it in cash.
"A company employee (name supplied) was tasked with taking it to the UK from
where the payments are made. The forex is never declared at customs, and in
London it is not clear how the money is disposed of," said a source.
The AirZim employee, a woman, is reportedly attached to the credit control
division while her male counterpart supposedly assigned to the treasury
department, allegedly facilitates the forex payments.
The national airline at one time flew with hungry passengers because it had
failed to pay up a debt of 2 000 pounds sterling to a catering company.
Efforts to reach the two officials since Monday were fruitless as they were
repeatedly said to be out of office.
The airline was also said to be operating two offices, with one of them
reportedly closed but rent still being paid in British pounds.
Air Zimbabwe spokesperson, David Mwenga yesterday skirted the issue of
foreign currency payments in his written reply to The Daily Mirror.
Mwenga said the issue of employees' payments (in forex) was an internal
matter that could not be discussed in public.
"We refuse to discuss the issue of salaries in the media. Even your company
cannot discuss your salaries in the media. I am sorry you are not going to
get the answers the way you want them," he said.
However, Mwenga acknowledged that AirZim was striving to meet international
standards and would go out of its way to retain qualified and experienced
He said: "However, it is important to note that in the case of the pilots,
because of their specialised skills and demand world-wide, the airline would
like to operate within international practices so as to retain them".
On allegations that the airline was guilty of externalising forex, he said
Air Zimbabwe was authorised to use its foreign currency resources to pay for
some specialised services.
But he stressed that there was "no question of the airline not declaring its
use of foreign currency resources".
On allegations that the airline was losing millions in rent for one of its
two offices currently closed, Mwenga said at one time, Air Zimbabwe moved
from its traditional offices at the Piccadilly to Victoria Station in the
UK, but it now operated only one office.
He said the new offices were central and accessible to clients while the old
one had since been sublet.
"The lease agreement for these premises expired early this year and the
airline then moved back to its offices at Piccadilly which themselves had
been sublet. Piccadilly are the only offices from which Air Zimbabwe is
selling tickets," he said.
"The airline has two offices in London, but one of them has been closed for
some time now. Despite not being in use, AirZim is still paying rent. We
wonder whether the airline needs two offices in the first place."
Last week, AirZim's board suspended the chief executive, Tendai Mahachi and
corporate secretary, Tendai Mujuru.
They were suspended "pending investigations into serious disruptions of the
airline's operations and services" which forced it to ground its fleet the
whole day after running out of A1 jet fuel.
Even though the fleet is now operational, that did not stop Reserve Bank of
Zimbabwe governor, Gideon Gono, from describing the mishap as "the nonsense
that is taking place at AirZim." at a media briefing last week.

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Zimbabweans await national budget

Daily Mirror, Zimbabwe

Oswelled Ureke
issue date :2005-Dec-01

ZIMBABWEANS from all walks of life are expecting a myriad of social concerns
to be addressed in the 2006 annual national budget due to be announced today
by the Minister of Finance Herbert Murerwa.
While the budget may not be expected to be divorced from addressing pressing
macro-economic challenges, people interviewed by The Daily Mirror revealed
that a number of social issues would also need to be considered.
The annual rate of inflation, which has risen to 411 percent, has seen
ordinary Zimbabweans failing to meet basic needs.
On the other hand, while the poverty datum line stands at $11,6 million,
most Zimbabweans, especially those employed in the public sector are earning
far below that figure.
According to the Consumer Council of Zimbabwe (CCZ), in light of the
increasing poverty levels, besides economic development, next year's budget
also ought to be more oriented towards social priorities such as affordable
health care, education and the provision of basic utilities.
The budget is expected to address the issue of struggling urban councils in
order to enable them to avail satisfactory services to residents.
Harare, Chitungwiza, Bulawayo and Chegutu, among many cities and towns, are
facing dire water shortages and cannot cope with blockages and leakages of
their sewer systems burdened by unanticipated overpopulation.
Hard-done residents in some areas are having to buy water for domestic
Israel Mabhoo, the vice-president of the Combined Harare Residents
Association (CHRA) said the water shortages were causing untold suffering to
urban residents, an issue he said warranted incorporation into the national
The Zimbabwe National Water Authority (Zinwa) has been struggling to meet
water demand and has had to resort to 24-hour water cuts in affected cities.
Already, three dams in Matabeleland, namely Lower Ncema, Upper Ncema and
Umzingwane have dried up, compounding the water woes in Bulawayo.
The governmentis widely anticipated to consider giving a sizeable vote to
urban councils and Zinwa to improve the operations.
Ordinary Zimbabweans also largely expect Murerwa to consider the issue of
food security in the budget.
"One needs to eat, commute and live somewhere but first and foremost there
should be food on the table. As it is, all those three are hard to come by
and the health situation is also deplorable," said Simon Mesowenyama, a
Harare resident.
According to a recent Zimbabwe Vulnerability Assessment Committee (ZIMVAC)
report, 3 million Zimbabweans may face food shortages this farming season.
The shortage of food is worsened by the low incomes earned by the majority
of the population; a sizeable chunk earns much less than the PDL, with most
government employees earning about $3 million a month.
Although there is a challenge to reign in inflation by reducing money
supply, those working in the civil service want the government to effect
substantial salary increments for the new financial year.
Already, some sections of civil society have started clamouring for
increments while some sectors have resorted to unbridled corruption within
their rank and file to subsidise their meagre earnings. The Progressive
Teachers' Union of Zimbabwe (PTUZ) recently threatened to go on strike next
year, if Murerwa did not factor in an 836 percent salary increment for
teachers in the national budget.
The plight of workers has been worsened by excessive taxation. The CCZ, in
its input ahead of the budget, urged the government to equate the taxable
threshold to the PDL.
"The plight of workers has been worsened by an excessive tax regime,
exacerbated by the introduction of new taxes in the mid term fiscal policy
review. The extra taxes have made the position of workers worse off, with
the majority of workers taking home very little.
"In this light, there is need for fiscal authorities to review the
non-taxable income from the current $1,5 million to levels at par with the
poverty datum line," submitted the CCZ.
Wellington Masango, who resides in Chitungwiza, concurred with the CCZ's
submission, saying salaries were "just too little to be budgeted."
Another major challenge that Zimbabweans want to see being attended to in
the national budget is the perennial pandemic of HIV and Aids. The havoc
caused by the deadly condition has long developed into a social problem not
just a health matter.
The government through the National Aids Council (NAC) is anticipated to
avail finances for the acquisition of anti-retroviral (ARV) drugs to help
those infected by the virus. Simultaneously, welfare organisations would
also need to be helped shoulder the onus of looking after people infected or
affected by the pandemic.
Another paramount issue the public wishes to see being tackled in the
national budget is that of the fuel crisis bedevilling the country.
"There is no fuel. It is difficult for one to travel to any destination
because the fuel shortages have resulted in exorbitant fares," said Trust
Marimo, another Harare resident.
The country is virtually running empty despite assurances from the
government that fuel would be acquired earlier this year. The finance
ministry would be largely expected to avail money to fuel the nation and end
the transport blues that the Zimbabwean populace is enduring.
The resettlement programme Operation Garikai/Hlalani Kuhle, which would see
the accommodation of thousands of people displaced by Operation
Murambatsvina also needs government's maximum support.
"We want houses for everyone not for those in positions of authority only.
There should be a housing scheme for everyone, not just Operation Garikai.
The government needs to think about that," said Marimo.
According to a disputed United Nations report, 700 000 people were displaced
by Operation Murambatsvina. The government is in the process of constructing
houses, factory shells and vendor marts to ensure that evacuated urbanites
are accommodated.
 If adequate financial resources are not availed towards this operation,
squatting, vagrancy and illegal vending may re-emerge in the city centre, as
is lately becoming evident, analysts say.
Zimbabwe faces an uphill task of achieving its Millennium Development Goals
(MDGs) while burdened by issues that need immediate solutions. The
International Monetary Fund (IMF) on one hand requires Zimbabwe to pay up
her arrears while on the other hand, the European Union and the USA have
slapped the country with punitive economic sanctions.
With that background the government in its budget would have to allocate
substantial quotas to relevant sectors to see the attainment of the set
goals and targets.
The agricultural sector, crippled by relentless regional droughts, is
challenged with providing adequate food to sustain the nation as used to be
the case in recent years.
The nation expects the government to assist farmers with inputs and
expertise for a good harvest.
To complement the budget the government is expected to initiate thorough
audits on parastatals and trusts that receive funds from the budget on
behalf of the public.
Observers say the financial resources should be accounted for so that the
public is not undermined by corrupt individuals in positions of authority.

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'National budget should not be mere wish list'

Daily Mirror, Zimbabwe

Givemore Nyanhi/Godfrey Mutsago
issue date :2005-Dec-01

THE 2006 national budget should move away from being a wish list for the
government that it would later fail to follow, analysts have said.

They added that budget should be supported by clear policies to enable it
achieve its stated goals.
In addition labour called on the government to make further concessions on
the income tax thresholds and ease the burden on workers exposed to a
hyperinflationary economy eroding their disposable incomes.
Taking a cue from the current 2005 national budget, that carried largely
optimistic growth prospects for critical economic sectors such as mining,
agriculture and manufacturing, analysts said government needed to
restructure the budget and ensure that capital expenditure is given top
"In the last budget and in previous budgets practice has shown that
traditionally recurrent expenditure constitutes close to 90 percent of the
budget while less than 10 percent is channelled towards capital
 expenditure," economist Witness Chinyama said.
"The budget needs to be structured in such a way that capital expenditure
gets a bigger allocation as compared to recurrent expenditure to create an
enabling environment for business."
Capital expenditure refers to the allocation of national funds that goes
towards capital projects and infrastructure programmes such as the
construction of roads, railways, dams, power generation, the building of
hospitals, schools, and other infrastructure.
Chinyama said such a scenario, where capital expenditure gained precedence
over recurrent expenditure would create an enabling economic environment
through a 'crowding in effect' that would allow business, especially the
private sector to carry out their operations in conducive conditions.
He said expectations were also that there would be a shift from a budget
that prioritised close to 80 percent of its allocation to social ministries
instead of  economic ministries that in reality implement capital projects.
For more than five years, the financing of the country's national budget has
increasingly been bankrolled by the domestic market as the country's
alienation from the international community has cost it precious balance of
payments support. Prior to that the international credit institutions used
to play a significant role in the nation's budget, coming in with critical
financial input into the budget.
The inability of the domestic market to meet the full needs of the budget
last year forced the government to come up with a supplementary budget that
has seen the government's domestic debt increase.
In the last budget the Finance Minister Herbert Murerwa made a commitment to
maintain domestic debt at below five percent of the gross domestic product
"But after the minister promised to keep domestic debt at below five percent
of GDP the supplementary budget has seen the proportion of the debt grow to
more than 8.7 percent," an economist noted.
Economic analysts said the government has been trying unsuccessfully to
restructure its ballooning domestic debt, and this  has been doing through
the issue of various treasury instruments such as short and long term bills.
But in the country's hyperinflationary environment short-term bills have
tended to compound the rate of inflation because of their early maturities
whilst the long-term bills have been unattractive.
Economists said the government needed to conceptualise the 2006 national
budget within practical government policies that would ensure that the
budget would not degenerate into a mere wish list that is not
followed.Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions (ZCTU) deputy secretary general
Collin Gwiyo said they expected the budget to cushion workers by making sure
the tax bands of workers are increased.
Gwiyo said this could be done if the government reduced the taxable band
from 45 percent to 30 percent and made sure that those workers earning below
the poverty datum line are not taxed.
Presently the poverty datum line for an average family of six as calculated
by the Consumer Council of Zimbabwe is estimated at over $11,6 million."Government
needs to increasingly recognise the fact that the economy can only grow if
people have a disposable income so that they can buy goods produced by the
manufacturing sector. This supports production but that disposable income is
going back to the government as tax," Gwiyo said. He said non-taxable
thresholds for pensioners were also required to ensure that pensioners
protected from the hyperinflationary environment.
Neither Zimbabwe National Chamber of Commerce (ZNCC) president, Luxon Zembe
nor his Confederation of Zimbabwe Industries (CZI) counterpart Patison
Sithole was available for comment yesterday.
Murerwa today unveils the 2006 budget on a backdrop of quickening
de-industrialisation that has seen the country sink deeper into economic
quick sand.
Murerwa's last offering was punctuated with optimistic outpourings of
recovery and growth that have since been wiped away by resurgent inflation,
foreign currency and fuel shortages.
Agriculture was expected to grow by 28 percent, mining by 11.6 percent and
manufacturing by at least 8.5 percent.
Overally, Murerwa forecasted the economy to grow by at least 3,5 percent but
the mounting challenges the country has faced in the last 12 months have
seen conservative estimates point out that Zimbabwe was set to witness a
decline of more than 7 percent this year.Meanwhile, leaders of the Zimbabwe
Commercial Farmers Union (ZCFU) and Zimbabwe Farmers Union (ZFU) said they
were looking forward to Treasury support for various farming programmes in
order for them to participate in efforts to turn around the economy.
They said that some time this year they submitted proposals on the funding
of the agricultural sector for 2006.Although it does not subsidise
agriculture per se, government, through the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ)
supports agricultural projects. Farmers usually receive concessionary
interest rates as a way to keep them on the land.
The unions are also hoping to receive increased financial support for the
day-to-day administration of their offices.ZCFU president Davison Mugabe on
Monday confirmed that the union had submitted some funding proposals to the
parliamentary select committee on agriculture for consideration. "We were
invited to submit proposals and air our views in support of the proposals
before they were submitted to Treasury for consideration," said Mugabe.
"We believe that government is aware of our suggestions as we want
agriculture to be a success."
ZCFU, which represents large-scale commercial farmers, is looking forward to
mammoth support in the form of funding of proposed macro-agricultural
programmes focussed on increasing production of food and cash crops.
An emphasis was placed on traditional cash crops with the hope of generating
the much-needed foreign currency, whose shortages have greatly crippled most
business operations in the country.
ZCFU's thrust is directed on tobacco, soya-bean and cotton that have ready
markets abroad.
The union also seeks support on resuscitating horticulture.
A number of new farmers resettled under model A2 (large-scale commercial
farms) inherited horticultural projects, which require funding to put them
back on track
Horticulture is another major source of foreign currency.
There are a large number of horticultural projects in Mashonaland East and
Central provinces that are not fully functional at the moment.
Also on the list of priorities for funding is desired support in the
building of the national herd, with emphasis on beef and dairy cattle.
With Zimbabwe currently gearing itself for resumption of beef exports to the
European Union (EU) in mid 2006, farmers require support in rebuilding the
national herd.
In dairy, a large number of farmers in Manicaland, Midlands, Mashonaland
East, West, and Central provinces are reviving abandoned dairy schemes and a
lot of funding is required.
ZCFU is concerned over delays in disbursement of funds earmarked for various
"Delays in the disbursement of funds have had a negative impact on our
sector," said Mugabe.
 "As a result we have often ended up reaping less than the expected
ZCFU also looks forward to receiving support in the procurement of farming
equipment and machinery not readily available in the country.
High hopes have been placed on the buying of tractors that are required for
tillage. The union expects the central bank to handle the matter with
The country currently has a total of about 15 000 tractors.
ZCFU, which has suggested that it would play a pivotal role in the
generation of foreign currency, wants its members, now numbering around 20
000, to be able to buy at least a tractor each.
Although both the ZFU director Dzarira Kwenda and the union's president
Silas Hungwe could not be reached for comment as they were said to be out on
business, the union also submitted its proposals that seek government
support in turning smallholder farmers into smallholder commercial farmers.
According to proposals recently made available to The Daily Mirror, the
union is seeking support in the provision of capital investments especially
on infrastructure that its members usually use on a communal basis.
ZFU, among its priorities, wants to focus on the rehabilitation of
dilapidated irrigation schemes and tobacco barns on former white commercial
farms, where its members who benefited under the model A1 scheme
(smallholder plots) were resettled.
Both the ZCFU and ZFU are hoping to receive increased support for their
day-to-day administration.
Government has in the last three years supported the unions through a $100
million annual grant.
The unions, in the proposals, have hinted that the grant no longer served
required needs as costs of maintaining offices had gone up.
The unions share the fund with ZFU receiving the larger share of $65
While the unions depend mainly on membership fees, in most cases they are
not receiving levies they are supposed to benefit from.
In the past, the Grain Marketing Board (GMB) used to collect levies on
behalf of respective unions on crops individual union members sold to the
However, in the last three years, GMB has not been doing this.
ZFU has on various occasions raised the
issue of levy collection at its congress but has
not received any positive response from authorities.

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It's just a bank overdraft, says $430bn fraud suspect

Daily Mirror, Zimbabwe

Court Reporter
issue date :2005-Dec-01

THE Harare man who allegedly swindled Central Africa Building Society (CABS)
of more than $430 billion yesterday argued that his case was not fraud, but
just a bank overdraft.
Mathias Ndlovu (37), an accountant formerly employed by First Banking
Corporation, allegedly abused his Platinum Club account, a facility
exclusive to people who enjoy privileged banking services.
In his bail application before magistrate Rodin Mzyece, Ndlovu's lawyer
Misheck Hogwe said his client would argue that his transactions with CABS
were above board.
"The accused will at the appropriate time during his defence show that what
is merely there is an overdraft rather than fraud," Hogwe argued.
He added that Ndlovu had the means to pay off the overdraft.
In his final submission in the application, Hogwe indicated that at a later
stage he would apply for refusal of remand on the basis that the matter was
Hogwe further argued that the allegations raised by the State were shaky and
did not disclose key elements of fraud.
"Where there is overwhelming evidence, the court is unlikely to grant bail.
The allegations are of fraud and key elements of fraud are that there must
be a misrepresentation. I submit that the allegations are shaky for the
reason that complainant was the keeper of the records of the accused's
account. It boggles the mind to say accused misled the complainant when he
was the keeper of the records," Hogwe argued.
He said all the vehicles acquired from proceeds of the alleged offence were
under police guard at Ndlovu's Gunhill home and that CABS had communicated
with all financial institutions to freeze his accounts.
Hogwe said there was no reason to point out that Ndlovu might abscond trial
if granted bail.
However, the State through the investigating officer, Detective Inspector
Nyasha Sereki said he still needed a month to finalise investigations, as
there were witnesses he still had to interview and he believed there were
recoveries he was yet to make.
He said the amount involved was substantial and from his view of the case,
the evidence was overwhelming and if convicted Ndlovu would face a long jail
"From my own assessment of evidence furnished by the complainant I see it as
overwhelming. If at all the accused is to be convicted there are prospects
that he will face a long term imprisonment and that I see as an incentive to
abscond," Sereki said.
Prosecutor Blessing Mhande alleged that Ndlovu operated three accounts with
CABS and issued 82 cheques in his favour from his Platinum chequebook
totalling $432 220 000 000.
Between July and November this year, Ndlovu deposited the cheques into his
transaction account, which gave him the privilege to deposit and withdraw.
The cheques were allegedly deposited at different banks, which do no have
the Platinum facilities so they could not be detected.
Under the privileges of the Platinum facilities, the cheques would instantly
be cleared.
Mzyece is expected to rule on the bail application tomorrow.

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AU to scrutinise Zimbabwe

Daily Mirror, Zimbabwe

The Daily Mirror Reporter
issue date :2005-Dec-01

THE African Union (AU) Commission on Human and People's Rights has started
presiding over some complaints made against the government.
The commission's 38th ordinary session began in Gambia on November 21 and is
expected to sit until December 5. The Minister of Justice, Legal and
Parliamentary Affairs, Patrick Chinamasa confirmed the development, saying
his ministry's permanent secretary, David Mangota had led the government
legal team.
He then referred questions to Mangota who has since returned to the country.
 "Can I refer you to Mangota who led our delegation. He is back in the
country, l think he is better placed to comment," Chinamasa said.
 Efforts to reach the permanent secretary were however fruitless yesterday.
Zimbabwe Lawyers For Human Rights (ZLHR) director, Arnold Tsunga also
confirmed that the issues were now before the commission. The forum is
critical of the government which, in turn, has branded it a front for
imperialist interests.
Tsunga said the lawyers were being represented by Otto Saki, Jacob Mafume
and Sternford Moyo, while the government by the Director of the Civil
Division in the Attorney General's Office Loice Matanda Moyo. The ZLHR
director said some of the cases being brought before the commission revolved
around the Access to Information and Protection of Privacy Act (AIPPA) and
the 2003 deportation of Andrew Meldrum, a foreign journalist, among others.
Meldrum, through the ZLHR and the Institute for Human Rights and Development
in Africa, has requested the commission to urge the government to permit him
to return to Zimbabwe and compensate him.

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It's 'business as usual' for Tsvangirai

From The Pretoria News (SA), 30 November

Opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai arrived at his party's headquarters as
usual on Tuesday, ignoring attempts by rivals to force him from office. "It
is business as usual," said Tsvangirai's spokesperson William Bango.
Differences over a weekend election for a new Senate have caused an
unprecedented split within the MDC, the only party to have seriously
challenged President Robert Mugabe's increasingly autocratic 25-year rule.
Tsvangirai ordered a boycott of Saturday's poll, but a narrow majority of
his party's national executive voted in favour of participating. Rivals led
by Tsvangirai's deputy, Gibson Sibanda, fielded 26 candidates - just seven
of whom won seats in the 66-member Senate.Tsvangirai this week rejected a
letter from Sibanda informing him that the party's disciplinary committee
was suspending him. He has since ignored instructions to vacate his office
and return all party property except two cars allowed for personal
use.Tsvangirai maintains only the party's annual convention, scheduled for
February, has the authority to remove him. Party spokesperson Paul
Themba-Nyathi said Tsvangirai violated party rules by insisting on the
boycott. His refusal to step down was "further defiance of the national
disciplinary committee and would be dealt with accordingly", he said on
Tuesday. Bango said there were no attempts to prevent Tsvangirai entering
party headquarters in the capital, Harare.

Just 19,4 percent of the 3,2 million eligible voters cast ballots on
Saturday - the lowest turnout for a national election since independence
from Britain in 1980 - according to the independent Zimbabwe Election
Support Network. Tsvangirai claimed most voters heeded his boycott call.
Independent observers said general apathy, ignorance about the role of the
Senate and voter fatigue after bruising elections in March for Parliament's
lower house also affected turnout. The labour-backed opposition won just 41
of the 120 seats up for grabs in that election amid allegations of
intimidation and vote- rigging. Mugabe appoints an additional 30 members in
the lower house. Tsvangirai argued participation in Saturday's poll would
only give credibility to another tainted vote. His rivals said the party
should take advantage of an opportunity to increase the opposition's voice
in the legislature. Mugabe himself abolished the Senate in 1990. His critics
charge the institution was only restored to increase Mugabe's ability to
doll out jobs and perks in Zimbabwe's ailing economy. The new house has no
veto powers over legislation passed in the lower house. The US state
department this week called the Senate election a "non-event".

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MDC's constitution backs Tsvangirai's suspension

From The Cape Argus (SA), 29 November

Morgan Tsvangirai has been suspended as president of the Zimbabwe opposition
MDC, at least according to the party's constitution. MDC legal secretary
David Coltart, who has refused to be aligned to either side in a dispute
which has ripped the party apart, said that according to Article 10.4 of the
founding constitution, the disciplinary committee had the power to suspend
anyone. Coltart was disturbed by the letter of suspension delivered on
Saturday during the senate election, which the MDC lost. "I question the
wisdom of taking this action at this point in time," he said. The
disciplinary committee is chaired by vice-president Gibson Sibanda, who met
three other members, including lawyer Josphat Tshuma, in Bulawayo last week.
They drew up the letter and sent it to Tsvangirai. At first Tsvangirai
reacted by claiming that he could not be suspended, but yesterday, via his
spokesman William Bango, he said: "I don't want to get bogged down in legal
interpretations. This is a political problem and would have to be sorted out

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